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Control Of Congress In Limbo, Close Races Still Undecided; Republicans Hold Narrow Lead In Key Nevada Races; Dems Hold Small But Shrinking Lead In Key Arizona Races; Georgia Senate Race Heads To Runoff, Could Decide Senate; Biden: Midterm Vote Was A "Good Day For Democracy," No "Red Wave"; Trump Allies Push For Delay Of His 2024 Announcement; Colorado House Race Remains Too Close To Call. Aired 12- 12:30p ET
Aired November 10, 2022 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour, I'm Kate Baldwin. Thank you all so much for being here. At This Hour, it is not clear, which party will be in control of Congress for the next two years. Let's just get that out of the way right now. But results are coming in and we made a projection last hour. There are several, several of the close races that we are tracking still have not been called.
Right now, Republicans in terms of the balance of power in Washington, Republicans hold 49 Senate seats, Democrats 48 Senate seats, three races are still undecided. And let's look at those races. Arizona is one of the keys. Democratic Senator Mark Kelly, he's currently leading his Republican challenger, Blake Masters.
And then in Nevada, Republican Adam Laxalt holds a narrow lead over Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. And in Georgia, Senator Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker, they are back on the campaign trail. They are headed to a runoff. Again, this all happens next month.
Now, let's look at the House. The Republicans inching closer to retaking the majority, but right now we have to say it is far from a done deal. Nearly three dozen races remain undecided. President Biden, his take on all of it. He says the results represent a good day for democracy as his party avoided and expected Republican blowout.
Though we still will see, if Democrats or Republicans remain in the majority in the House especially, we are covering all of this for you with reporters in key states throughout this hour. And John Berman on those undecided races here with me in studio in the Senate especially, all right. What do you say in this hour?
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, one thing I just want to make abundantly clear is not only, do we not know who will control the Senate, we don't know when we will know, right? These are the races that are still undecided. Georgia is going to a runoff in December that much we know, Nevada and Arizona. Well, let me show you what happens. Right now, you have a Republican ahead in Nevada, a Democrat ahead in Arizona. But if the Republicans happen to win both the states, they get 51 seats, they control the Senate. The runoff in Georgia doesn't impact that. However, the Democrats are ahead in Arizona. If they happen to also win Nevada, then they have 50 seats. Kamala Harris would break the tie and they maintain control. So, either of those scenarios are possible. It's especially possible given how close those races are right now in both Arizona and Nevada.
Let's take a close look at where things stand in Nevada. 15,000 votes separate Adam Laxalt from the incumbent Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto. His lead has shrunk overnight as there was more mail ballot counted from Clark County and also from Washoe County. We think there's about 135,000 votes left. That is an estimate. That's what CNN thinks the estimate currently is left in Nevada.
If Catherine Cortez Masto can win 60 percent or maybe even a little less than 60 percent of that, she could overtake Adam Laxalt. And in Arizona the situation is almost the reverse. You have Mark Kelly, the Democrat ahead by 95,000 votes, Blake Masters, the Republican, he is behind. That was closer last night, but there were new ballots counted or there were ballots that were counted in Pima County right here last night.
Also, in Maricopa County right here, Mark Kelly's lead grew. There are 560,000 votes remaining roughly in this state. That's a lot of vote left, predominantly from Maricopa County, but also a bunch from Pima County. The trick will be what does this vote look like.
The vote that was processed yesterday, it's skewed toward Mark Kelly. But we've seen in the past some of the late arriving male vote in Arizona has skewed toward the Republican, not impossible with that much runway, 560,000 votes for Blake Masters to make up that 95,000- vote margin. Kate?
BOLDUAN: All right, John. We'll see you in just a second. Stick with me if you would. As you just heard from John though, Arizona election officials, they're still counting ballots at this hour, with both the Senate and governor's races yet to be called. Sara Sidner. Sara in Phoenix for us again This Hour. Sara, what are you tracking? Who you're talking to? What are they telling you?
SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are talking to county officials who are showing us that the vote is happening right now. Yes, they are counting away, counting all of those ballots. We know that there are 560,000 ballots still yet to be counted in the entire state, but the bulk of those 400,000 to 410,000 are right here in Maricopa County.
You see that the election workers are diligently doing their jobs at this hour. There is a huge load of ballots that has just gone through the machine. You see the young woman putting those ballots in a box. So those ballots have gone through the tabulation machines. And we will hear in the evening our time, around 6pm, Arizona time 8pm your time, new numbers, the new tabulations from some of those early votes. And then eventually, once they get through some of those 400,000 votes, as we get closer and closer to Friday, Saturday, we're expecting to have about 95 percent, potentially of all of the votes counted. And it'll give us a much better idea just how close these cases are and if someone is a clear winner. Back to you guys.
BOLDUAN: Sara, thank you so much. We're also, of course, still waiting for the vote count in Nevada to be completed. Right now, Republicans hold a narrow lead in both the Senate and governor's races there as well. Neither contest has been called. Rosa Flores, there for us in Las Vegas. Rosa, how are things going there?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, I've been doing some math since you and I talked because we've been talking about how we don't know how many mail ballots are out there. How many outstanding ballots are out there. What I can tell you based on our latest news gathering and editorial, we know that there are at least 100,000 ballots that officials say that they have in their possession, that are being processed but are not reflected in the results yet.
Here's the breakdown. We know that in Washoe County, there are about 20,000 ballots, and these are election day drop box and mail-in that they are still processing. They're still working through those to count them. And the results are not reflected yet in the totals. And then there is Clark County, we know of at least 80,000 ballots and these are election day drop box ballots, mail-in ballots, ballots is still need to be cured, and also provisional ballots.
And again, these are not reflected yet in the totals, but officials tell us that the biggest thing here in Nevada, Kate, is that they don't know how many are outstanding. And that's because all point one- eight million of registered voters on this they opted out. They received a ballot in the mail, and so long as that ballot is it was turned into a mailbox on election day, postmarked it could be counted until Saturday. Kate?
BOLDUAN: Until Saturday. Rosa, thank you so much. All right. So, control of the Senate, it may come down too, well there is lots of factors, but definitely one state is a factor. Georgia, again, both parties are bracing for what will of course be a tough run off next month between Democratic senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger, Herschel Walker. Eva McKend is live in Atlanta for us. Eva, one of the candidates saying is, right now they have to kick back up into campaign mode.
EVA MCKEND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, Herschel Walker will campaign later today. This evening with Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Walker really enjoying the full weight of support of the Republican establishment. Senator Warnock will hold a news conference in about an hour here in Atlanta.
What we're seeing on the ground is Georgian, sort of digests this all, digest the reality that Georgia could potentially be in a place again, where the state could determine the balance of power in Washington. What we're also seeing, Kate, is just money pour into this state. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, they are a key fundraising operation for Senate Democrats. They have pledged $7 million to boost Senator Warnock. And that is going to go to field organizing, really to help get out the vote. For his part Walker, getting a boost as well, more than a million dollars from an anti- abortion group.
You know, Georgians actually don't have all that much time. It's just about four weeks till this run off. But we're learning from the secretary of state, it's actually just two days after Thanksgiving will potentially be the first day that the early vote starts in this state. Kate?
BOLDUAN: It's good to see you. Eva, thank you. So, President Biden, he is definitely bolstered by the midterm results and the red wave that did not materialize, declaring the election a good day for democracy. But if Republicans win control the House very clearly, very clearly his agenda, faces big challenges.
Jeremy Diamond is live at the White House for us. Jeremy, White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield. She was on with us just last hour and talking about the midterms. They clearly feel vindicated. But just like everyone else, they don't know yet what kind of Congress that they're going to be dealing with, yep?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Kate. And listen, there has been this triumphal mood at the White House since yesterday. You heard some of it reflected in what the president said, as he talks about no democratic presidents in decades having lost, you know, fewer seats than he is expected to lose in the House. But the White House is also very clear eyed about the fact that it is likely, more likely than not that they will have a Republican House to deal with.
And that is also something that was reflected perhaps not directly by the president, but when you heard him talking about the fact that he was speaking with the House Majority Republican Leader, Kevin McCarthy yesterday. And then he also talked about the ways in which he is willing to potentially compromise with Republicans and also the red lines that he's drawing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, 46TH U.S. PRESIDENT: And I want to be very clear, under no circumstances, will I support the proposal put forward by senators Johnson and a senator from down in Florida, to cut or make fundamental changes in social security, Medicare, that's not on the table. I will not do that. I will veto any attempt to pass a national ban on abortion. But I'm ready to compromise with Republicans where it makes sense on many other issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DIAMOND: And listen, Kate, the president didn't lay out exactly which issues he would be willing to compromise on. But just the fact that he's talking about that shows that the White House acknowledges this political reality that they are likely to face, a Republican House, and everything that comes with that, including increased oversight investigations into the administration and potentially the president's son as well. And more broadly, a power sharing situation that this White House has not yet had to deal with.
Now, the last thing that we also heard President Biden talk about yesterday was the successful exercise of democracy. And today President Biden is expected to address DNC staffers at Howard Theatre this afternoon. That will be one topic that he addresses today. Kate?
BOLDUAN: Jeremy, it's good to see you. Thank you for bringing us that. So, as we were just discussing, the votes are being counted still in several states, control of Congress yet to be determined. What could come in next? What could today bring? That is next.
BOLDUAN: The midterm elections are officially in overtime. Friends, votes still being counted in several key races that will decide control of Congress. Georgia Senate race is heading for a runoff again next month, as Republicans are inching closer to winning a majority in the House.
Joining me right now to discuss, with the man with all the answers, CNN political director David Chalian, senior political analyst Kirsten Powers, political commentator Scott Jennings, and John Berman, kind enough to stick back with us. David, where's your focus when it comes to kind of everything that is outstanding right now?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: My focus is on resolving this election. That's where my focus is.
BOLDUAN: What a novel idea, David.
CHALIAN: Yes. Specifically, in terms of what is left outstanding, of course, in the battle for control the United States Senate, particularly focused on Maricopa County in Arizona, the Phoenix area, that largest county, because what I'm really looking to see there, as I'm sure John was discussing with you, is sort of the pattern of the vote that comes in when we get another batch of votes from there today.
What we learned in the last two election cycles is that the pattern is not always the same. In 2018, a lot of those late arriving ballots that were dropped off on election day actually benefited the Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. In 2020 that election day drop off piece of the equation was a very heavily pro Trump vote and made Biden's, you know, why did vantage in Arizona remarkably narrow. I mean, he won it by, you know, I think 11,000 votes or something like that, maybe a bit more than that. So, I'm watching that. And in Nevada, everything I'm speaking to Democrats and Republicans, our analysts at our decision desk, everybody is waiting to understand the nature of these votes that are in these drop boxes that were dropped off on the day of the election. It is like a black box to everyone right now. We just do not know the nature of those votes inside those drop boxes, that will give us as clear picture as possible going forward in Nevada.
BOLDUAN: That's so interesting. And Scott, you are focused in Nevada. You're talking to people on the ground. What are you hearing?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The Laxalt campaign is really focused on this one drop box situation with 57,000 votes. They refer to it this morning to me as the ball of wax, the whole ball of wax. And if that doesn't come in for Cortez Masto, the way last night's batch came in, then they feel like they've got it and they don't think it will.
Now the Democrats I know are arguing that those might be culinary union votes, the old read machine, and they didn't in fact might deliver. The Republican rebuttal is, no, no, no, it was raining. There's a whole bunch of votes in that box of people who are probably Republicans that didn't want to stand in line. So, the war of spin between the campaigns is really kind of fascinating. And I guess, sometime today, we'll find out who's right.
BOLDUAN: We will find out, yes, someone is going to be a genius in all this, right, as we always say. And the impact of weather is something to never be discounted when it comes to an election for sure. John, can you give us a little background on what you're seeing in terms of the votes coming? And what happened yesterday and what you're looking at?
BERMAN: Just focus on what Scott was just saying there. This is Clark County. You can see Catherine Cortez Masto. The incumbent Democrat has a lead of almost six points. There are 5.5 points. The votes that were processed in released last night, it was 14,000 votes from Clark County, and of those the Democrats put a D there. Catherine Cortez Masto, she won 65 percent of those. That's a big percentage for her. She was able to net votes there.
And the question is, are Scott sources with the lifestyle campaign right, will there be a much lower margin or maybe even Republican votes? When we get more of the Clark County vote, we think there may be anywhere from 80 to 100,000 votes left in Clark County. Again, these are estimates.
We just don't know. But if you're Catherine Cortez Masto and you can get 60 percent, not even 65 percent of the vote there. You probably, probably can make up this margin of 15,000 votes. That's why as David Chalian and I defer to him on, let's be honest. Everything is 100 percent right, that we need to know the makeup of this vote and we just don't yet. BOLDUAN: The good news is we will at some point, everyone, we will just stay here. Never leave ever. Let's talk about another one. Another one a very important states are watching, the runoff in Georgia. Kirsten, the impact of presidents current and past on this runoff is something that a lot of people are kind of analyzing now. I had Kate Bedingfield on from the White House, saying that when it came to Warnock, the president would do whatever Raphael Warnock wanted. If that meant obviously stay away, he's clearly not going to go. If he would like him to come, maybe he will.
There's also then, you know, some of the Republican Party taking a look at the impact of the former President Donald Trump, saying they would really like him to push back his 2024 announcement until that runoff ramps. What do you think the impact of all of this is?
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think there is no question that Donald Trump has had an impact on this race in terms of the person who is representing the Republicans and somebody who Trump is, you know, really very much been behind. And so, I don't think there's any question that he's impacting it, of course, you know, the governor who Trump despises the Republican governor, one, you know, running away.
And so, a lot of people, I think a lot of Republicans were hoping that that was going to boost Republicans voting, you know, in the Senate race, and it looks like there were a lot of ticket splitters here. So, what happens in a runoff when you don't even have somebody at the top of the ticket, who is actually bringing Republicans along. And so, it doesn't particularly bode well for Republicans.
And I think that Biden's approach here is exactly right. It's not really the way Donald Trump thinks though, right? So, he's not somebody who's necessarily willing to step aside for the good of the party or, you know, really anybody else other than what's good for him.
BOLDUAN: Out of the courtroom. I can see Scott raising his eyebrows to that in full agreement. One race, David, that I have been tracking, and I know that I've been bending you around quite a bit is Colorado's 3rd congressional district. This is Lauren Boebert district. Challenging her is a former City Councilman Adam Frisch. And he's posed a very serious challenge to Lauren Boebert.
What he's said that all along that what he's been running against is her brand of angertainment in Washington that's done little. He says, for the people of the district. John Berman, before we get to David on that, you've been looking at this as well. How close is this race right now?
BERMAN: Well, I actually have to tell you. I just looked at it for the first time in a couple hours and for the first time, Lauren Boebert is ahead there. Up until the last time I checked---
BOLDUAN: Was it like 64 votes difference?
BERMAN: Adam Frisch was I think, was 64 votes ahead. Now you have Lauren Boebert ahead by 386 votes. That might not seem like a lot, but it's what it's. It's five times what the margin was in the other direction yesterday. I wish I knew where the vote was coming in from the county level here. Pueblo County is the largest county that leans democratic. It's a D plus one, D plus two district. There's still 83, only 83 percent reporting there.
So, if you're a Democrat, there's still hope that Brianna Keilar called this county yesterday and there were 2000 votes still outstanding from this county as of yesterday. I'm not sure where this new batch came in from that now he's giving Lauren Boebert the lead. I will tell you this is interesting. I was not expecting this. I checked this not long ago, and first she was ahead. Now, new votes actually reported, Lauren Boebert has taken the lead.
BOLDUAN: Yes. And so, David, what do you see in this race? Because you've got Lauren Boebert facing a real challenge. We've also got Marjorie Taylor Greene, that brand of Republican seeming to be gaining more strength within the Republican caucus at the very same time. Does this race and what we see here suggest otherwise?
CHALIAN: Yes. I wish we could sort of put truth serum into Kevin McCarthy's arm and say, hey, you're going to have a narrow majority no matter what. So, you're going to have this headache. So, do you have a preference of the outcome of this brace? If you have one less rabble rouser, in that sort of wing of the party trying to exert leverage.
But here's the reality, Kate. I don't think we can learn huge broad lessons from a single congressional race. There is no doubt that Lauren Boebert comes from a wing of the party, that with a narrow Republican majority in the House, if that's where we end up. Kevin McCarthy is going to have to constantly be negotiating with, constantly be dealmaking with in order to get anything done.
I mean, that's the reality of an hour majority for any speaker is that every vote becomes really, really important as you're trying to pass the agenda. So, I'm not sure we can say, and we don't know how this race will come out. If Lauren Boebert, who's now leading as John just showed. If she ends up losing this race, I don't know that you can draw a huge national conclusion here. But it will be interesting in terms of the composition of the Republican conference.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And this race is one of many that we're seeing right now that the line of every vote counts. It really does when you're looking at that when the difference between them with 64 votes at one point. Let's see if it expands or tightens up, we will see. It's great to see you guys. Thank you so much.
So, a programming note for all of you. Former Vice President Mike Pence, he will be joining Jake Tapper for a live CNN town hall next Wednesday at 9pm Eastern. The DOW up right now. Just take a look at that. A big on the news that inflation is cooling, but prices they're also still up. We're going to go over the numbers what it means. That's next.