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New Day

Panel Discusses Possible Election Outcomes; Legalization of Marijuana Up for a Vote

Aired November 04, 2014 - 08:30   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. We call it election day, but really it is voting day. You have to vote. This is your day. This is your chance to say you matter more than all these politicians. And you have to, because the polls are saying the GOP takes control of the Senate, but that is only as good as your votes are, and surprises are often the norm when it comes to election day. Another reason to vote.

So, with a few - - Think, a few months ago, okay, everybody here knows this, you do too. Eric Cantor, okay? He was the majority leader. He was, of course, supposed to win his primary. He lost, he lost badly. What's the lesson? You never know, and that's why they have it today. So, what other upsets could we see? Who's our panel?

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Okay, let's bring back our great panel. John Avlon, CNN political analyst, Margaret Hoover, CNN political commentator, Ron Brownstein, CNN senior political analyst. And with us - -


CAMEROTA: Yes, and impressive. This hour CNN political commentator Greg Anthony.

CUOMO: Now, that's a good looking man.

CAMEROTA: Greg, great to have you join us via satellite. Okay, let's talk about what surprises have happened. Greg, I'll start with you. Already, what have been the biggest surprises of this race thus far?

ANTHONY: Well, I think the fact that Jeanne Shaheen is in such a tight battle with Scott Brown in New Hampshire. I mean, this is a young- - a lady, I should say, who's former governor an incumbent Senate, and Scott Brown is considered to be a carpet bagger, although he was born in New Hampshire. Yet he is in a position to potentially usurp that seat.

I think that -- that's pretty telling because - for me, when you look at all this rhetoric, and I'm interested to hear from the rest of the panel, you know, there's so much talk about the unpopularity of the president, and I always hear the term, well, and also the unpopularity of the Republican Congress. But the reality is, that the Senate's been controlled by Democrats since 2007. So, that's an area where I think the public now is starting to take a hold and look at, and we haven't heard as much debate about that up until, obviously, this election.

CUOMO: So you're down there in Florida, okay, and we're not playing it out for Senate there, but more and more the states are becoming relevant because of how they're taking over big issues, how they implicate the ACA, how they deal with minimum wage. You have a hot governor's race down there. Is there a feeling in Florida that this matters more than usual?

ANTHONY: It always matters in Florida, particularly since 2000 when you had the Gore/Bush election. So, listen, it was hotly contested for our governor last election, and I think Charlie Crist is trying to make it a more contested one this time around. And the fact that you have some topics like marijuana on the ballot, I think that could bode well for Crist in this upcoming election.

So it's -- it's a tossup, let's face it, down here. The country is as polarized now as it's ever been. There's no doubt about that. I think people are starting to look for leaders that can bring others from across the aisle together, and I don't see a scenario yet where we've still seen that, and I think that if what we think is going to happen with the Republicans controlling the Senate, I look at it as an opportunity for them to show some leadership and reach across the aisle to try to get some of the people's business done before we get to 2016.

CAMEROTA: Margaret, what has surprised you thus far?

CUOMO: What will surprise you?

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think we expect that Republicans will win the Senate, whether it will be in a runoff after December and January, but what we didn't expect was some of these stumbles that Republicans have made in the campaign going forward. We had a real scare in South Dakota early on, we've had some scares in some of these other states and, frankly, we're going to be surprised. We counted on Kansas, and we may not win Kansas. So, those have been some surprises. Also, we may get a Republican governor in Massachusetts of all bluest blue blue states, and Charlie Baker will be a real surprise for us.

CAMEROTA: Go ahead, John.

JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, look, I mean I think there's a chance of some northeast Republican wins that will really shock people because it goes against the trend we've seen for over a decade. Charlie Baker in Massachusetts being the most likely, those totally agree. Greg Orman in Kansas, you can't understate the significance of potentially Kansas not only unseating a conservative governor, but electing an independent senator. That skews all the math that people have been doing, and it skews a lot of Senate math, because if you have Greg Orman and Angus King, you have the potential for sort of a common sense coalition that can swing votes in a tight Senate.

The other thing, I think, to look out for tonight is we may not know who runs the Senate tomorrow morning. Very easily could have a runoff in Louisiana, could have a runoff in Georgia, and Alaska won't come in until late late late.

CUOMO: Give me a percentage. What's the chance that tomorrow morning we're right back here with different ties trying to figure out what went on?

AVLON: I'll say - I'll say there's a, you know, depending on what the margin is, there's a 25 percent chance we don't know tomorrow morning, because I think those two states go to a runoff.


RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: The basic trajectory of this election, I think, is following the expected tracks. I mean, the sixth year election is always tough for the presidents. Nine of the last 12 times we've had a sixth year election the president's party has lost both House and Senate seats. The basic map was tough for Democrats. We talked about defending seven Senate seats in states that voted against President Obama in 2012, six that voted against him both times.

Plus, Democrats face a boom and bust problem. Their modern coalition is heavily dependent on minority and young voters who turn out much less in off year than the presidential year. But, I agree, the biggest- - Two surprises. One, the extent to which Republicans have been able to extended the Democratic vulnerability into blue-leaning states, Iowa, Colorado and New Hampshire. And then secondly, Greg Orman in Kansas. Kansas has not sent anyone but a Republican to the Senate since 1932. That's a long time.


BROWNSTEIN: Even for us that's a long time, and I think, you know, the fact that he is this close, this far in, I think is the biggest individual race surprise of the season.

CAMEROTA: Margaret, do you agree that tomorrow morning, that we have a 25 percent chance of not knowing what the outcome is?

HOOVER: I was going to put it higher.


HOOVER: But, by the way, let's be clear. I'm going to be here at 3:00 in the morning. 3:00 in the morning, we may not know. By 6:00 maybe you all will know.

BROWNSTEIN: Alaska could take a while.

CUOMO: Turnout, over 35 percent? Overall.

HOOVER: Yes, I say 35.

CUOMO: You say 35, you take the under?


BROWNSTEIN: I think it's going to be low overall, but not bad in the battle ground states where the parties are actually investing a lot of money, trying to turn people out.

AVLON: Totally agree, and that's really where, you know, how much of the 2012 Obama machine can goose turnout. But, just remember this, folks, you know, if you don't vote, you lose your right to complain for the next two years.


HOOVER: Listen, it's not just Democratic turnout, Republicans invested a huge amount in early voting in states like Colorado, and Georgia and Iowa.

CUOMO: And you're seeing it bear fruit.


CAMEROTA: Greg, we only have a few seconds left, what's your prediction that you'd like to make?

ANTHONY: I agree with the panel. I think there's a very distinct possibility we won't know by tomorrow morning, and there's a big push for everybody to vote, but remember also, you have a lot of people who will never vote for the opposite party that have such disgust with their own party, that in their minds that is a vote for change. And so, while we're pushing for everybody to get out and vote, there's going to be a significant segment of our society that, in essence, they're going to abstain as a way of protest.

CAMEROTA: Right, the non vote is a protest vote.

CUOMO: The problem is that doesn't work. Strong point by Greg Anthony, and also, suggestions of people going to vote. And Ron made an important point, just to highlight as we get out of the segment, is, you know, in midterms, you see a complete reversal in proportionality between young voters and older voters. In general election cycles, major elections, presidential elections, young people vote more than older people. It reverses in midterms. So, if you're an older voter, know this is your chance to assert that dominance. And if you're a younger voter, this is a chance to actually get in there and have more of a role in what you think matters.

CAMEROTA: There you go. Panel, thank you.

AVLON: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Great to hear from you. Alright, marijuana on the mind for some voters. Three states may vote to legalize it, but even if it passes, it does not mean that people can light up right away. We will explain.

CUOMO: What?


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Alright, here we go with the special five things you need to know for your NEW DAY. And, of course, number one, midterm elections are underway. Republicans hoping the polls are right as they try to gain control of the Senate for the final two years of the Obama presidency.

Very special day today. Hundreds of parents and community members, even alumni on hand, to welcome back students at Marysville High School near Seattle, ten days after a sophomore shot and killed three fellow students before committing suicide.

The St. Louis county police chief denying an "Associated Press" report that his department requested a no fly zone to keep news choppers away from Ferguson following the Michael Brown shooting.

Almost three years after the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster, the final victim's body has been recovered. Workers clearing debris in Italy Monday found the remains of Russel Rebello in a cabin.

The commander of the elite U.S. Navy ships lashing out at those who betray mission secrecy. This comes as one S.E.A.L. comes under criticism for writing about the Osama bin Laden raid, and another prepares to speak out about it.

We do update those five things to know, especially on election day, so be sure to visit for the very latest and freshest. Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: Ok -- Michaela.

Marijuana is on the ballot in several states today. Several states may vote to legalize but don't bake a batch of brownies just yet. There's a catch. We'll explain.


PEREIRA: Good to have you back with us on NEW DAY. Our Election Day coverage continues now.

More states vote to make marijuana legal today. Voters in Alaska and Oregon -- they could choose to legalize pot for people over 21; Washington, D.C. could legalize it on a more limited basis. One issue though is standing in the way. Marijuana use is still illegal on a federal level. So does today's vote really mean anything in big picture?

We brought in Paul Callan, legal analyst for us here at CNN, also criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor. You have it all covered for us.

It's so interesting to thing about this notion about where it leaves us on a state level. For example, the federal government has been hands off with both Washington state and Colorado -- largely. But do people that maybe either possess it, grow it, smoke it where it is legal in their state, do they run the risk of breaking a federal law, being arrested for a crime there?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, they're definitely breaking one or more federal laws in doing this but the danger of being arrested seems absolutely is minimal. You know, the Obama administration in the early years of this movement toward legalization made noises that they were going to enforce federal laws and then they slowly started to back away from that. So there's really been no federal law enforcement of these marijuana statutes in states where you have had legalization.

PEREIRA: Another issue that I find fascinating is this notion of banking. So you have these companies makes all the money and they want do their banking but banks are saying, look, we have to watch ourselves. We don't want to find ourselves in trouble with the feds. How do they manage that and is there a way to get around it or work with it?

CALLAN: Well, this is a complex problem because a lot of the federal banks are chartered by the federal government, they're chartered by state governments. And if they're trafficking in money which is derived from selling drugs, they're afraid they're going to lose their federal charter. And be punished by the federal government so a lot of them have said hands off now.

These big marijuana dealerships become cash businesses and they're transferring bags of cash from one place to another subjecting themselves to robberies.



CALLAN: So you have a strange underground economy going on until we straighten out the banking situation.

PEREIRA: It might look really cut and dried but it isn't. Let's take a case in point, Washington, D.C. So Washington, D.C., the situation is very interesting. Poised to legalize marijuana, yet a fourth of the land is federal land. You could be thinking I'm fine. You cross the street you're in federal land. You have created a real problem for yourself.

CALLAN: And I think most people forget that the District of Columbia is owned by the federal government. It's not a separate state, it's a federal entity. It's the capital of the United States, obviously. And there are so many federal laws that make marijuana possession illegal. Can you have the federal capital city legalize it while Congress says it's illegal? So the danger is even if they enact this will Congress overturn it and say we can't have that in the nation's capital?

PEREIRA: So many things for us to watch, how once the votes are determined and decisions are made, how they will play out and the logistics and the legalities.

Paul Callan, always a pleasure to walk us through this. CALLAN: Thank you -- Michaela.

PEREIRA: Thank you. Of course, CNN has coverage of the election all day. Election night in America begins at 5:00 p.m. Eastern for the very latest results all night long right here on CNN -- Chris.

CUOMO: We're hoping the election turns into "The Good Stuff" for all of you out there. But just in case, we have our own offering of Good Stuff and it comes out of a bad situation.

This college freshman diagnosed with cancer, but she still had a dream and it involved a basketball court. And that's where this situation becomes a testament to the good stuff in all of us. Wait until you hear this.


CUOMO: "The Good Stuff". There's good out there and it often shows itself in the worst of situations.

Case in point -- college freshman, Lauren Hill, dealt a terrible blow in the form of a cancer diagnosis and meant among other difficulties she would never get to fulfill her dream of playing college basketball. But her teammates had something else in mind.

Rachel Nichols has the story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And a 5'11 freshman, forward from Indiana, number 22, Lauren Hill.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS: This was the moment that should have been just the beginning for 19-year-old Lauren Hill -- the start of her college basketball career. But instead, Sunday's game at Cincinnati's Mount St. Joseph University marked the end of a mission that Lauren had been on for more than a year -- getting to step on to this court before she died.

It was while playing during her senior year in high school that Lauren started to experience headaches, dizziness. An MRI revealed an inoperable brain tumor. But even through radiation and chemotherapy, Lauren remained strong.

LISA HILL, MOTHER OF LAUREN: Never give up. Motto is never give up. Not that she ever did before. I wouldn't imagine that it would change now.

BRENT HILL, FATHER OF LAUREN: Hasn't changed much.

L. HILL: But she's still never giving up.

LAUREN HILL, COLLEGE FRESHMAN WITH CANCER: I never gave up for a second even when they told me that I have a terminal diagnosis and I never for a second thought about sitting down and like just not living life anymore. NICHOLS: To Lauren that meant keeping her commitment to the college

team she signed with before her diagnosis. She still wanted to try to play, but this summer crushing news. Her tumor was advancing quickly. Doctors didn't expect her to live past this December.

LAUREN HILL: There's something they really need to say -- because I can't do anything.

NICHOLS: But while her cancer was incurable, basketball was a different story. The school petitioned the NCAA to move its first game up by two weeks so Lauren would still be in good enough health to play. Tickets were in such high demand officials moved the game from the 2,000 seat arena to one that holds 10,000 and the game still sold out in less than an hour. Finally, Sunday, Lauren took the court. And as she scored first basket the entire building erupted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number 22. We will remember that layup forever.

NICHOLS: At halftime, she received an award for her courage from women's basketball legend Pat Summitt.

LAUREN HILL: This is a very big surprise. I'm just happy that everyone is here and supporting this and funding research for cancer. We're going to fight this and we're going find the cure.

NICHOLS: After it was all over, gratitude and renewed strength for the fight ahead.

LAUREN HILL: Today has been the best day I've ever had. Thank you guys so much.

NICHOLS: For CNN, I'm Rachel Nichols.


PEREIRA: Not a dry eye in the room.

CAMEROTA: I'm speechless.

PEREIRA: What a tremendous young lady.

CUOMO: And she is showing what often you only see in yourself in the worst of moments. Reminds me of a kid once I met with terminal cancer and I said you ever ask yourself why you -- I'm sure she's had to ask herself that. And the kid said I don't ask myself why me -- I say why not me. It's an opportunity for me to show people that I'm not going to give up and that's what she's done for so many.

PEREIRA: The young lady was incredible.

CAMEROTA: Yes, she's such an inspiration.


CUOMO: What a story. Gives you some perspective.

PEREIRA: Proud of the NCAA too for doing that.

CUOMO: Yes. And both teams, both teams went along with it to make that moment special. Lauren Hill -- you're going to want to hear more about her story and you can. She's going to be speaking with Rachel Nichols on "UNGUARDED" this Friday at 10:30 p.m. right here on CNN.

All right. A lot of news for you this morning. We're watching the polls. They're opening up now. Hopefully everybody is getting out there before work if not after work. We'll be counting all day.

And let's get you right there to the latest on the process with Carol Costello in the "NEWSROOM". We're falling apart here -- Carol, but for good reason.