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By The Numbers: Progressives Face Pushback In Races Across U.S.; Manchin Outlines Concerns, Including Taxes And Medicare; Girl Who Vanished For 18 Days Found Alive In Locked House. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired November 03, 2021 - 05:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[05:30:30]

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So it is still election night in America. Sixty-one votes separate the two gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey -- just 61 -- with more than two million votes counted already. Still, a lot of votes still to be counted though in New Jersey.

In Virginia, a big win for Republicans. Glenn Youngkin, CNN projects, will be the next governor there.

So, what do these results tell us because I think there is a clear story developing.

We're joined now by CNN senior data reporter, Harry Enten. So let's start with New Jersey, Harry. What's left there?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: I mean, if you look at what's left in New Jersey, John, what is left is heavily Democratic territory, right?

So if you look, for instance, where the most votes out -- at least, it's a percentage of those votes that are in -- it's in Mercer County. What's in Mercer County? Trenton and Princeton. I don't have to tell you that Princeton is a college town. There are a lot of well-educated voters there -- a lot of them who have, I believe, voted by mail. I think there's a lot of vote-by-mail left.

So at this particular point, even though we have a close contest within 100 votes in New Jersey, I do believe as the votes eventually get counted that the incumbent Bill Murphy will, in fact, pull ahead.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: What's the takeaway here with these incredible swings from what you saw the breakdown be in the presidential race between Biden and Trump? It's actually -- as Berman points out, even though in New Jersey this is certainly something that could still turn out for Murphy. The swing is bigger than in Virginia.

ENTEN: It is at this point. Look at this. Eighty-four percent of the estimated vote in Virginia -- look at that. A 16-point swing towards Republicans. Even if that comes back a little bit, right, and Phil Murphy ends up pulling ahead, this is still going to be a double-digit swing.

Look in Virginia right now. Ninety-nine percent of the estimated vote and 12-point swing. Again, a double-digit swing. So whatever is happening in Virginia seems to also be driving what's happening in New Jersey.

BERMAN: Democrats ran against Donald Trump and continue to run against Donald Trump. And what did we learn about that strategy?

ENTEN: It did not work. I mean, look, in Virginia, 54 percent of voters had an unfavorable view of Donald Trump. But look at this -- 54 percent also disapprove of the job that Joe Biden is doing. So yes, Republicans have their anchor with Donald Trump, but Democrats have their anchor with Joe Biden.

And if you look at those voters who disapprove of the job that Joe Biden was doing but also had an unfavorable view of Donald Trump, look at this. Glenn Youngkin overwhelmingly won this vote 67 percent to 32 percent in our exit poll.

And you know what? That group of voters -- 15 to 20 percent, John -- you can recall back in 2016 there were those voters who didn't like Hillary Clinton nor did they like Donald Trump. They went overwhelmingly Republican. A very similar dynamic happening in Virginia and Glenn Youngkin was the beneficiary of it, and I believe that is one of the big reasons why it was Joe Biden driving the vote more so than Donald Trump.

BERMAN: This number is a huge number, Harry. I just want to just sit on this for one minute. This is among people who basically don't like either Donald Trump --

ENTEN: Correct.

BERMAN: -- or Joe Biden.

ENTEN: Correct.

BERMAN: And that matters because in the midterms, next year, neither Biden nor Trump will be on the ballot but you can bet each side is going to try to use them.

ENTEN: That's exactly right -- each side is going to try and use them. And if this is an indication of what is going to happen when the Democrats try and use Donald Trump against the Republicans, and Republicans try and use Joe Biden against the Democrats -- what seems to be happening is the buck stops here. The incumbent -- the incumbent is Joe Biden. No matter how hard Democrats try to make Donald Trump the incumbent, Joe Biden is the incumbent, and that is what voters seem to be voting on -- at least in Virginia.

KEILAR: Now, McAuliffe was -- I mean, he was very clear about it. He said it outright that Biden was a drag on the race, right? So we knew that; the candidates knew this.

What other issues were animating voters in Virginia? ENTEN: Yes. I mean, look, if you were to look essentially at the issues that were motivating voters in Virginia, look at this. There was all this focus on education, right? Everyone was saying schools, schools, schools. But look -- it was actually the economy and jobs that was the top issue.

But here's the other thing I will point out. Economy and jobs, education, taxes, the top three issues. Guess who won the vote of those three? It was Glenn Youngkin. In fact, on the economy, which was the most important issue -- look at that. Youngkin won by 12 percentage points.

[05:35:00]

It's awfully difficult to lose a race in which you are trusted more on the top three issues, according to voters.

BERMAN: One quirk of this is that people in Virginia actually think the economy is good. Fifty-five percent thought the economy was good there. I thought that was strange if you think the economy is good with a Democratic president and a Democratic incumbent to then think the Republican is better on it. It's just interesting.

I want to talk about 2021 more. Sorry, I want to talk about 2022.

ENTEN: Yes.

BERMAN: What does Virginia tell us as we look forward?

ENTEN: Yes. You know, John, this was the graphic I showed you last week -- "Party of the Virginia governor winner gains House seats in the next midterms since 1977" -- look at that. Eight of 11 times if you win the Virginia governor's race it's a pretty good bet you're going to gain House seats in the next midterm. And we know Democrats have such a small majority in the House.

If you were betting based upon history, the dynamic that held in Virginia last night that helped Glenn Youngkin will hold to the next midterm. Of course, we're still a year away so we'll have to wait and see on that.

KEILAR: And what about progressives? What's the takeaway there, Harry?

ENTEN: Yes. I mean, look, I think the takeaway is if you look -- you know, Buffalo mayor -- right now, we believe the progressive is losing there, right? There are still those write-in votes that need to be counted, but Byron Brown, we believe, is probably the person who got most of those write-ins if that holds. Look, that's a bad result for progressives.

Minneapolis police reform -- that was a projected loss. New Jersey governor, far closer than expected. And Phil Murphy ran a pretty progressive campaign. New York City mayor -- remember, this was back in June but the progressives lost that primary. And then, of course, in Virginia, a projected loss for the Democrats. So, I think there's going to be a lot of reflecting upon what happened last night and what's happening in the last few months. I think that there are a lot of voters who said you know what, we want to pump the brakes on the Democrats and progressives. Let's take another look. We want more people moving towards the center of the aisle.

BERMAN: Harry, am I right you're about to go to sleep? This is our last chance with you? Anything you want to leave us with if you're about to go night-night?

ENTEN: The only -- yes, I am about to go night-night. I think I've been awake now for 21 hours.

Look, the fact of the matter is I think the real only question left is in New Jersey. We pointed it out at the beginning of this segment. Look, a far closer call for Phil Murphy than anyone thought it was going to be. But it's pretty clear that across the board in these races --

And something I didn't even mention. On Long Island, you see a bunch of Democrats losing. This is not just one place where Democrats are losing. We are seeing it up and down the map. It's not just about one candidate, it's about an overarching issue. And that overarching issue, John, is the unpopularity of the President of the United States.

BERMAN: There is a clear story being told.

Harry Enten, sleep well.

ENTEN: Good night.

BERMAN: Don't let the bed bugs bite.

ENTEN: Good night.

KEILAR: Sweet dreams.

BERMAN: Do you think he dreams of data? Do you think when Harry dreams it's like in numbers?

KEILAR: What the heck else would he dream about? Of course.

ENTEN: Snow and diet A&W Cream Soda are probably the two things that I dream about. If I'm being honest with you, that's my drink of choice.

KEILAR: And what does that mean, do you think?

BERMAN: I don't know.

KEILAR: What does that -- well --

BERMAN: In the break, I'll speculate.

KEILAR: We will dissect that for some meaning, Harry. All right, thanks so much, Harry. I really appreciate you walking us

through this.

Our election coverage will continue. We are expecting new batches of votes from New Jersey, which has a 61-vote margin right now. That's going to change, but this is in a dead heat.

BERMAN: And a rare move between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a senator, Kyrsten Sinema. They are negotiating. So, what are they finally agreeing about?

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[05:43:02]

BERMAN: This morning, President Biden is expressing confidence that he can get Democratic holdout Sen. Joe Manchin on board with the emerging deal -- what he hopes is a deal on his domestic spending plan. We have new reporting on Manchin's chief concerns with the Biden agenda.

CNN's Melanie Zanona joins us now, live with that, in person. What's Manchin saying?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, Manchin is saying that he has a number of concerns. He had this defiant press conference earlier this week where he said he was upset the progressives had delayed the infrastructure vote. That he had longtime -- long-term fiscal concerns about the impact of this bill.

But in an interview yesterday with our colleague Manu Raju, he went into very explicit detail about where he is on the policy issues. And he is still concerned with the climate provisions, the immigrations provisions that they're still working out, and the push to expand Medicare.

So, these are a lot of issues still to resolve, but the good news is we have a really good sense of where he is. For Democratic leaders, that's been important. That's been huge having a view into where he stands.

And Manchin also said that look, even though he has all of these concerns that he is open to the idea that this could all be wrapped up by Thanksgiving, so he does want to play ball.

KEILAR: In the Build Back Better plan, if we can talk about an interesting development where you have, actually, the House speaker negotiating with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. And this is because in the bill, hopefully, a lot of Democrats want Medicare to be able to directly negotiate some drug prices. And this has been a sticking point but it means a lot to many Democrats who want to get this back in. This is pretty unusual.

ZANONA: Yes, this is really rare. You don't usually see the Speaker of the House negotiating with a member of the Senate. And, in fact, initially, there's a lot of frustration on the House side that Sinema and Manchin both are out of their control.

But Speaker Nancy Pelosi rolled up her sleeves and got to work because this is an issue that is very important for her moderates in those vulnerable swing districts. A lot of them ran on lowering prescription drug prices.

And another promise that Pelosi made was that she wasn't going to put any bill on the House floor that couldn't get the votes in the Senate because a lot of moderates didn't want to walk the plank and take tough votes on provisions that were going to get stripped out or changed. And so, it was really important to negotiate directly with the source here and they came up with this compromise that Speaker Nancy Pelosi was instrumental in.

[05:45:15]

BERMAN: What are we talking in terms of timing here? First, it was September; then it was Halloween. Now it's Thanksgiving. Is this going to be Valentine's Day?

ZANONA: I'm giving up on guessing when this is all going to be wrapped up. But I will say the growing sense right now on Capitol Hill is before the end of the year. They're trying to wrap it up before Thanksgiving. I think realistically if it's going to ping-pong back and forth a little bit that's going to take some time.

And also, when you look at the legislative calendar there's only actually a few weeks that they're in session. They have a recess next week. They have a Thanksgiving recess. There's not to mention we have a government funding deadline -- a debt ceiling deadline coming up. And so, there's just not that much time on the calendar.

KEILAR: It's not over until it's over, right? So, with that just hanging out there it's just --

BERMAN: Yes.

KEILAR: -- incredibly anxiety-inducing for a lot of Democrats.

ZANONA: It is, but Biden has said he is confident that he can get Manchin to a yes. I think that's an important thing to point out as well. He feels like he has invested a lot of time in these negotiations with Biden. He has a good sense of where his head is at.

BERMAN: Yes.

ZANONA: He called him a good friend and he thinks, in the end, Manchin will be there. But we'll have to wait and see.

BERMAN: Before Valentine's Day.

Melanie Zanona, great to see you.

ZANONA: You, too.

BERMAN: Thank you so much. So, new this morning, a remarkable discovery. A young girl who had vanished from a campsite was just found alive after 19 days.

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[05:50:37]

KEILAR: Parents in Western Australia relieved and overjoyed to have their 4-year-old girl back in their arms this morning after she went missing for 18 days. Cleo Smith vanished from her family's campsite and she was found after police smashed their way into a locked home. A 36-year-old man in custody now and being questioned by detectives.

And CNN's Ivan Watson is following this story. He is live for us. Ivan, incredible, but it's also harrowing to think of what this young girl has been through.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Harrowing but, man, it's so rare Brianna that we get to report a story with a happy ending.

This little 4-year-old girl -- she went missing on October 16th. Her family had gone out to a camping site in a remote area near the coast of Western Australia. They got in late at night. And then they say they got up in the morning and their tent had been unzipped and 4- year-old Cleo Smith was missing, along with her sleeping bag.

And this triggered a nationwide manhunt with about 140 police officers and volunteers from all across the country. The state government issuing a $750,000 reward for information.

And as you mentioned, before dawn this morning, an incredible rescue after 18 days. Take a listen to what the police commissioner had to say about it.

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CHRIS DAWSON, WESTERN AUSTRALIA POLICE COMMISSIONER: The outcome that was achieved at about 1:00 a.m. this morning when four officers went in and broke down the door and found little Cleo in a room. And as you can see, she's alive, she's safe, and she's back with mum and dad.

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WATSON: So, the police say that she is healthy. They've taken her to the hospital. On the way to the hospital from the locked house, they were able to call the parents and say we have somebody who wants to talk to you. Just an amazing moment there.

As for the suspect -- well, the police -- they say charges are likely to be issued possibly by the end of today. And it's a 36-year-old man from the same town of Carnarvon, not related to the family. They say that they were able to solve this mystery -- they're not being -- giving a lot of details but they say they were combing through cell phone data, through security camera footage from a radius of hundreds of miles around the campsite where the girl went missing, and eyewitness testimony.

This moment is being celebrated all the way up to the levels of the prime minister of the country and, of course, for the family themselves. Ellie Smith, the mother, posting a photo of her daughter, saying our family is whole again -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Yes, unbelievable. It'll be interesting to see what the thing was that led them to little Cleo. So wonderful that she's back with her family.

Ivan Watson, thank you.

BERMAN: So, we're expecting new counts from New Jersey as more ballots there are finally counted. The two candidates for governor there separated by just 61 votes.

KEILAR: That is close.

Plus, the Atlanta Braves, formerly of --

BERMAN: Boston.

KEILAR: That's right -- overcoming decades of frustration.

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[05:58:47]

BERMAN: The Atlanta Braves, World champions. They beat the Houston Astros for their first title in -- well, a long time.

Andy Scholes, a grieving Houston Astros fan, is in his hometown --

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

BERMAN: -- with more in this morning's Bleacher Report. Some days, Andy, the job isn't as fun as others.

SCHOLES: Yes, that's very true, John, and this is one of those mornings. Sad for my Astros but certainly happy for this Atlanta Braves team -- first World Series title since 1995.

And this is one of the greatest runs we've ever seen in baseball history. The Braves did not have a winning record until August sixth. They lost their best player, Ronald Acuna Jr., to injury in July, but they never gave up. They traded for four outfielders and those outfielders coming through big-time in this post-season.

One of them was Jorge Soler. He was the first player ever to lead off the World Series with a home run -- and, boy, did he hit another one last night in game six -- a 3-run shot in the third inning. This actually left Minute Maid Park. Just an incredible, incredible home run.

Shortstop Dansby Swanson chipping in with a 2-run home run as well in the fifth inning. And that was more than enough for starter Max Fried. He was fantastic. He threw six shutout innings.

A dominant performance -- the Braves win in a shutout 7-0 to take the series in six games.

Soler named the World Series MVP, just capping off.