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Trump And Biden Battle In Key States In Final Stretch Of Campaign; Fauci Gives Blunt Feedback On Trump's COVID Response; Trump Cheers Supporters' Confrontation With Biden Campaign Bus On Interstate In Texas; Biden Campaign Cancels Texas Event After Trump Supporters Surround Campaign Bus On Interstate; Police Use Pepper Spray To Break Up North Carolina March To A Polling Location; U.S. Coronavirus Cases Surpass 9.1 Million, Death Toll Tops 230,000; More Than 91 Million Early Votes Cast. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired November 01, 2020 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is the final stretch in the fight for the White House.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This doesn't seem like someone who's going to come in second. Do you agree?

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: It's time for Donald Trump to pack his bags and go home.

TRUMP: On November 3rd, we must finish the job and drain the swamp once and for all.

BIDEN: We choose hope over fear. And, yes, we choose truth over lies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: U.S. confirmed coronavirus cases have now surpassed nine million.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We now have one person being diagnosed of coronavirus every second.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our nation is plunging into a terrible darkness from COVID-19.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Anthony Fauci, he just spoke to the "Washington Post" and as the headline suggests said a mouthful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Slamming the president's medical adviser, Scott Atlas.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Now that is a sunrise we want to take a picture of. I hope that you are seeing that there in New York and maybe wherever you happen to be. We are grateful to have your company as always.

Two days out from the election and more than 91 million of you have already voted.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: So both candidates are storming the battleground states today making those final pitches to voters. And it's clear that President Trump is playing defense even in states that he won big like Iowa. But also in Michigan, North Carolina, Florida, he'll be in Georgia, as well, today.

Vice President Pence also headed to North Carolina, Trump and Pence won all of those states in 2016.

PAUL: Now, the Democrats are trying to flip three states specifically that the president won last time around. Today, Joe Biden's campaigning in his home state of Pennsylvania. Kamala Harris is holding events in Georgia and North Carolina. CNN has all the angles covered here. Sarah Westwood at the White House. Jason Carroll is in Wilmington, Delaware.

BLACKWELL: Let's start with Sarah Westwood at the White House. So, Sarah, two days out now from the election, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the -- one of the members of the Coronavirus Task Force, is becoming increasingly critical of the White House. Tell us about what he's saying.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Good morning, Victor and Christi.

Dr. Anthony Fauci really unloading on the White House in its response to the pandemic yesterday in an interview with the "Washington Post." This was really the most candid that we've seen Fauci get about this White House. He has sort of vaguely criticized elements of the pandemic response before, but never this bluntly. So, I want to read you some of what he said to the "Post."

"We're in for a whole lot of hurt," Fauci told the "Post." "It's not a good situation. You could not possibly positioned more poorly." And he was talking about the long winter ahead, the possibility that cases could once again be on the rise. Fauci accused President Trump of really focusing more on the economy, more on reopening, than on any other element of the response and he also took aim at Dr. Scott Atlas who is a medical adviser to President Trump whom Trump speaks to frequently but who is not an infectious disease expert.

He said, "I have real problems with that guy. He's a smart guy who's talking about things that I believe he doesn't have any real insight or knowledge or experience in."

The White House, of course, unleashed on Fauci after this. They were clearly not pleased that Fauci got so real with the "Washington Post" in that interview. I want to read you a statement from White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere who said, "It's unacceptable in breaking with all norms for Dr. Fauci, a senior member of the President's Coronavirus Taskforce and someone who has praised President Trump's actions throughout this pandemic, to choose three days before the election to play politics."

Certainly is interesting timing to see Fauci say these words now when he has been less visible lately than he was at the start of the pandemic. Dr. Atlas sort of fired back on Twitter with a series of hash tags, #embarrassinghimself, #notimeforpolitics. That was of course directed at Fauci after that interview. But I want you to take a listen to what Josh Dawsey, one of the reporters who conducted this interview, said about how frequently Trump has been engaging Fauci recently.


JOSH DAWSEY, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST" (on the phone): I asked Dr. Fauci on the phone last night (INAUDIBLE) when he had spoken to the President. Dr. Fauci said it was only about his own case recently, when he was in Walter Reed. And he had not spoken to the president. But Dr. Fauci said on the phone that he does not regularly go to the White House anymore.


WESTWOOD: Now, we know that Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx, other members of the task force have more or less been sidelined or at least had their public roles minimized as the president has focused more and more on his re-election effort, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right. So, Sarah, I want to ask you about this tweet that the president put out yesterday.


A video that appears to show this caravan of his supporters surrounding a Biden and a Harris campaign bus in Texas. What do we know about what happened?

WESTWOOD: Well, what appears to have happened there, Victor and Christi, is that a group that calls themselves the Trump Train group, who organizes these drive-bys with Trump flags, Trump paraphernalia, they appear to have surrounded a Biden campaign bus to slow it down perhaps in an effort to prevent it from getting to its destination. Now Trump seemingly embraced that by tweeting out that video saying, I love Texas.

That bus was apparently going from San Antonio to Austin at the time. And the Trump campaign has not responded to comment about whether Trump really was embarrassing his supporters doing something so potentially dangerous to a Biden campaign bus.

PAUL: All right. Sarah Westwood, always good to get the update from you. Thank you.

I want to go to CNN's Jason Carroll now following the Biden campaign from Delaware. Jason, we know that his camp is reacting to the president's tweet and the incident itself. What does that side say about this?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, a couple of things. Out of an abundance of caution, the campaign ended up actually canceling an event in Austin, Texas. As for reaction, a Biden spokesperson released the following statement on Twitter last night saying -- quote - "For the second time in a week, your campaign has left your supporters stranded in the cold with no transportation at one of your superspreader rallies. Maybe you should spend more time worried about those buses than ours."

Of course, that's in reference to some of the chaos that ensued after a Trump event in Pennsylvania where some folks were stranded in the cold without buses. That's a second time it has happened on the Trump campaign. You remember it also happened at that event in Omaha, Nebraska.

But on to what matters most to the Biden campaign at this point, and that's rebuilding the so-called blue wall throughout the southwest. That's why you're seeing so much time and energy and effort being spent in places like Wisconsin, places like Pennsylvania, places like Michigan. That's why yesterday we saw the vice president, former vice president, and President Barack Obama together for the first time out campaigning in Michigan, making two stops. Making stops in Flint and making a stop in Detroit, as well.

Driving home some of the same things we've heard throughout the campaign. The importance of early voting, also the president's failed response on coronavirus and Biden's message of trying to bring the country together.


BIDEN: I'll work as hard for those who don't support me as those -- as those who do. You know what, in this America, in my America, there's no red state or blue state. It's everybody. That's a job of president. The duty to care and to care for everyone. So for God's sake, please vote.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Go vote. If you've already voted, then what do you do? Go get your friends to vote. Get your family to make a plan to vote.

We need everybody to turn out. This is a family affair. That's why Joe Biden is my brother. I love Joe Biden. He will be a great president.


CARROLL: And of course, also joining them on stage, Stevie Wonder playing his -- one of his hit songs, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours." The same song that Obama used during his campaign.

As for Biden, he's going to be making three stops in Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, today. Tomorrow he's going to be campaigning in Pennsylvania, as well, again, stressing the need to have the state of Pennsylvania in terms of rebuilding that blue wall. They do not want to see a repeat of what happened in 2016 when Democrats lost those states.

BLACKWELL: Crucial state. Jason Carroll for us in Wilmington. Thank you so much.

So, a few U.S. cities, I should say, are now bracing for what may come after Election Day.

PAUL: It includes boarding up businesses and storefronts in placed like New York. We're seeing it in Washington, D.C. This is in apparent anticipation of potential unrest that is expected. Jean Casarez is in New York following this. What are you hearing about these measures that are being taken, and why they're being taken?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're being taken all around the country. And it's business owners that are really boarding up their businesses now.

Macy's, one of the hallmark retailers in this country, is saying that they are boarding up some of their stores for additional security protection out of an abundance of caution. And just yesterday, Macy's at Herald Square, which is the hallmark, the flagship Macy's of this country, they were boarding and we went there, and there they were boarding up the front entrance of Macy's. Other businesses in New York are doing that also. One of the banks in New York which is interesting, the Santander Bank.


It's in Union Square and it was vandalized extremely on May 30th, and they now are boarding up. But all over the country, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., California and Beverly Hills, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, the New York state police according to Andrew Cuomo is ready to take action. They are watching very carefully this election, and the state police are in coordination and communication with local, state, and even federal authorities, and the governor of New York says that they will not hesitate to take action if it is necessary.

And CNN also spoke with one of the major security firms in this country saying that they are getting an abundance of calls from business owners asking them about security protection, inquiries at this point. They're being called out to make assessments of how safe the business is in their eyes. And the owner of the firm, Stephen Ward, in its Polaris Corporate Risk Management, believes that there is a great likelihood of an issue here after the election or right during that, you know, very volatile moments because, number one, it's the election.

Number two, the pandemic has driven people staying home that they just had that urge to get out. And number three, the fact that there may be misinformation, we may not know the winner on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning or even after that. And that could lead to the emotions and the volatility of this entire situation.

PAUL: All right. Jean Casarez. I know a lot to take in there. Thank you so much. CASAREZ: Thank you.

PAUL: And police in North Carolina, want to tell you about this, they used pepper spray to break up a march at a polling station. They said the demonstration turned -- quote -- "unsafe and unlawful."

BLACKWELL: But a Democratic candidate there says that people were demonstrating there nonviolently, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Dianne Gallagher has the story.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, you hear pepper spray, march to the polls, not something that you really think about in the year 2020. But in Graham, North Carolina, which is about halfway between with where I am in Raleigh and Greensboro, what happened was there was this event, it was a get out to vote event that also was a police brutality protest. It was organized by Reverend Greg Drumwright of Greensboro.

Now, police in Graham, North Carolina, say that he didn't have the right kind of permit to block off the street. So, they say that while the group was marching from the church to the polls, they stopped in the street to honor George Floyd, whose niece was a part of this protest. The police said that they didn't get up quick enough when they were told, and they used pepper spray to move the crowd.

They then used pepper spray again when the crowd got to the town center. The courthouse where there's also a large confederate statue, and there were speakers making presentations at that point. They used pepper spray again. They didn't actually make it to the polls.

Now, the state board of elections says that there was nobody who was voting on this final day of early voting in North Carolina at that poll about a block away, that was interfered with. But I spoke with a poll greeter who says that they had actually been preparing for a large number of people coming from this protest, and that afterwards with all the chaos and the pepper spray happening that maybe one or two people instead of the dozens upon dozens they were expecting actually showed up.

The Democratic Party has said that they felt like this was a tool of voter suppression. The police in Graham say that they didn't pepper spray anybody directly in the face or anything like that, but the people who were there on scene, including a candidate for state house who participated in this, said the opposite. There were eight arrests that were made, Victor and Christi, including Reverend Drumwright who organized the event.

BLACKWELL: Dianne Gallagher for us there. Thank you so much.

If you're traveling to New York, you'll need to get a COVID-19 test before and after you arrive. We've got details about this new rule.

PAUL: Also, the election as we know just a couple days away. Don't necessarily expect to know the outcome that day. Why the only certainty in this contest could actually be uncertainty.



PAUL: Well, U.S. coronavirus cases passed 9.1 million and the people who have died is more than 230,000 this morning. More than 81,000 new cases were reported just yesterday.

BLACKWELL: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that most people traveling to New York have to get COVID-19 tests before and after they arrive. And with the holidays coming up, he cautioned that New Yorkers should be vigilant.

CNN correspondent Natasha Chen has more for us this morning. And, again, numbers are going in the wrong direction. We're not seeing as many as we reported yesterday, but still far too many.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor and Christi. And the governor in New York is really trying to stabilize the situation in that area. And that's why this change is taking place. It actually takes effect on Wednesday, November 4th. And granted the essential workers and people living in the contiguous states with New York don't have to do this. But for people who are outside of those states, for more than 24 hours, what essentially happens with the test before the trip and after you get there is that you're showing two negative tests in order to get out of quarantine.


CHEN (voice-over): With cases surging throughout the country this Halloween weekend, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday that most travelers to the Empire State will now be required to show they've tested negative for COVID-19 three days before they arrive and upon their arrival.

The governor said during a call with the media the new policy replaces a previous advisory list of states with rising case counts from which travelers were required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in New York.


In the U.S., the total number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 9.1 million. And the nation's death toll from the pandemic topped 230,000 on Saturday.

DR. JONATHAN REINER, PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: A hundred thousand cases yesterday, two weeks from now will start to translate into massive numbers of deaths. So we're going to see not just the cases continue to escalate, but we're going to see perhaps 2,000 deaths per day, two or three weeks from now.

CHEN: In Florida, health officials reported 2,331 new cases on Saturday. The 12th consecutive day with over 2,000 cases, according to a CNN tally.

Pennsylvania, on Saturday, reported 2,510 new cases according to a health department statement. Daily increases in the state along with Michigan and Wisconsin were at the highest levels since the start of the pandemic, health officials in those states said.

At least 47,374 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals on Saturday according to the COVID Tracking Project. That's up 65.6 percent from a three-month low of 28,608 on September 20th, and it's the highest total since mid-August. Hospitalizations decreased in Georgia and Hawaii this month, while California's hospitalizations held steady. Every other state and the District of Columbia saw increases, the COVID Tracking Project showed.

Former Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said Saturday the U.S. has a narrow window of time before more drastic measures like mandatory lockdowns have to be considered.

DR. LEANA WEN, FORMER BALTIMORE CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER: We are seeing COVID-19 hot spots raging all over the country. And right now we have an opportunity to implement targeted measures like universal mask wearing, like making sure that high-risk businesses like bars in certain areas, indoor bars are shut down. Like instructing the public that we should be avoiding social gatherings of extended family and friends.


CHEN: The seven-day moving average of new cases in the country has really climbed since mid-September. And now we're hearing of at least one person in the San Francisco bay area who has been diagnosed with both the flu and coronavirus at the same time. And that's, of course, a concern for experts as we're now in flu season.

Victor and Christi, back to you.

BLACKWELL: Natasha Chen, thank you so much.

PAUL: Still ahead, we're heading to a state both campaigns really want to win, Florida, of course. The latest poll shows a pretty tight race with time running out obviously to grab any outstanding votes. We're live from the battleground within the battleground, Broward County.



SMERCONISH: More than 91.6 million people have already voted, and Election Day is still two days away. According to a survey, that's about 43 percent of all registered voters across the country.

PAUL: And right now at least 16 states have already seen more than half of their registered voters cast a ballot. So breaking it down by party, 44 percent of Democrats, 31 percent are Republicans. We should note that there that doesn't mean that Democrats and Republicans are voting for their respective parties.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And in Florida, early voting wrapped up in most counties yesterday. The latest numbers so that more than 8.3 million ballots cast statewide. That's an increase of -- from 6.4 million pre- election votes at this point in 2016.

PAUL: So breaking it down by party, Democrats have a slight edge over Republicans by a little more than 113,000 votes. CNN's Randi Kaye is in Broward County for us live this morning. This is a battleground within the battleground of Florida, Randi. So I know that we've got two new polls we want to share as well showing Florida is a tossup. Talk to us about those latest numbers that just came out.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Look, well, first of all, here in Broward County I can tell you they can still vote. This is one of the counties in Florida that still has early voting for one more day. And believe it or not, the polls don't open here until 7:00 a.m. so just a bit about a half hour or so. But there's a couple of people behind me here in line making sure that they make their vote count.

But more than 54 percent of all registered voters here in the state have already voted. So it's amazing to see just a couple people here behind me.

But let's get to those polls that you mentioned, Christi. First of all, it is definitely a tossup when you look at these. First the ABC News/"Washington Post" poll shows Donald Trump leading here in Florida 50 percent to 48 percent. And then you have "The New York Times"/Siena College poll which shows the opposite, Biden ahead 47 percent with Trump at 44 percent. So certainly still a very tight race and certainly a tossup here in the state.

I did speak to Daniel Smith, who's a political professor at the University of Florida. And we talked a lot about the NPAs or the independents here in the state because that's really the key is to how are those folks going to vote. He said that only about 43 percent of those independent voters have already cast their vote.

So the question is where are they? Are they planning to sit this out? Are they planning to vote in person come Tuesday on Election Day? There's no voting at all tomorrow here in the state of Florida so we'll have to see.

We also talked about who is voting and not so many young people it turns out, 39 percent or so of 18 to 23-year-olds have voted, yet more than 70 percent of those who are 65 and older have voted. So certainly an older group getting to the polls early.

So let's talk about race as well because that's a big issue here in the state of Florida. Already African-Americans and Hispanic voters are turning out less than white voters here in the state by about 7 percent points. That's also according to this professor and that is a big reason why Kamala Harris was in the state of Florida yesterday here in South Florida where I am.


She made three stops. She told voters to honor their ancestors.

Listen to a bit of what she said.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, U.S. DEMOCRATIC VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do believe that a path to victory runs through Florida.

This is my -- I don't know, second time at least in person since I've been on the ticket but traveling up and down the state, but certainly in just the last couple of weeks.

So we're putting the resources and the investment in Miami. And I think we're seeing the response to that.

We've seen in each of the events, for example, today the kind of enthusiasm and turnout not to mention the numbers in terms of people who are voting across the board.

So election night I think will determine who has come out and who hasn't. And we can have that conversation then.


KAYE: African American and Latino voters, that is a big part of the strategy, that is a big part of the Biden strategy. It's why Kamala Harris was here yesterday. It's why Barack Obama will be here tomorrow as well in south Florida.

Donald Trump only won in Florida by about 113,000 votes, and they would like to eat into that margin.

Back to you guys.


BLACKWELL: Randi Kaye in Broward County, Florida for us. Thank you so much.

PAUL: So obviously there's never -- there's never really been an election quite like this one.

And precisely because of that, the outcome seems particularly muddy.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Between delays in counting the millions of mailed-in votes and other challenges brought on by COVID-19, it could take some time to confirm the next president, who the winner of the November 3rd election will be.

Here's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With more than 90 million early votes cast, we are very close to the two-thirds level of all the votes cast in 2016. And certain trends have emerged.

Much of the voting is occurring in 16 key states that CNN has identified, including the battlegrounds. Voting is up among younger voters, it is down among older voters. None of which tells us how people are voting right now, not in a

definitive way. And it certainly doesn't tell us when we will have results, and that's the big question.

Now it's difficult to calculate because with all this early voting, state to state to state, the rules are different about counting those votes.

Some are already being tabulated in secret, in a sense. Others are being prepared procedurally to be thrown into the computers and counted as soon as the polls close or the voting starts (ph) in their state.

And other places don't start until election day with any of it.

That includes, for example, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, two really tight battleground states. They don't start dealing with these absentee votes, these mail-in votes, until election day. That could be a slow process because we're talking about millions of them.

Michigan starts a few hours early, but not much. The bottom line is those are three battleground states where the vote might be very close and where getting every last vote tallied could be a big, big deal.

Because you might not know who's winning until that point.

That might be done fairly quickly, in a couple of days, might take a week. Might take even longer depending on any complexities that come up and just how close this race is.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


PAUL: Tom, thank you so much. There are two different messages two days before the election now.

At his campaign events, President Trump continues to mock mask wearing and consistently touts the falsehoods surrounding the coronavirus.

The president telling his supporters and I'm quoting here, "I just want to a normal life, and you do, too," unquote.

Now conversely, Biden is encouraging wearing masks, refusing to hold massive rallies. He told his supporters he, quote, "isn't going to shut down the economy, he's going to shut down the virus."

This headline, I want to show you, the "Washington Post" embodies where each campaign is.

They say, "The map is wide, Democrats tense and Republicans hopeful in the last days of campaign 2020."

Let's bring in CNN political commentator and host of the "You Decide " podcast, Errol Louis.

Good morning, Erroll. How you doing?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Just fine. Good morning, Christi.

PAUL: Good morning. So, all right. Let's take a look at these polls again real quickly. I know Randi talked about a couple of them.

But just as kind of a broad picture here, we know that Biden has a slight lead in Pennsylvania and Florida although Florida seems to be a tossup, we should say, at this point.

The CNN Poll of Polls has Biden though leading in Michigan, in Wisconsin. The races are a lot tighter in Arizona and North Carolina as well.

When we've got two days to go and we've got 91.6 million people who have already voted, what is your takeaway as we head into the final stretch here?

LOUIS: Well, to a certain extent, just as you suggest, the cake is already baked. When you've got 91 million votes already in the bank, nobody can do anything about them.

The results may simply be announced rather than fought through in these last few days.

The other big takeaway, though, is that as a general proposition, when you have an incumbent that's as well-known as Donald Trump is --


-- an incumbent candidate, late breaking voters are going to probably break away from the incumbent. Meaning everybody knows everything they're ever going to know about Donald Trump. He has 100 percent name recognition.

Voters, to the extent that this is a referendum on his performance, they've either made up their minds or they haven't. And we're going to really just kind of tally it all up.

And that's going to be what the election is all about.

The president almost seems to be in possession of this knowledge. Meaning when he goes out and campaigns and you hear him talk these days, he knows that this is a referendum on his handling of the pandemic.

He knows that the public is not happy generally with his performance and that's why he keeps saying he wants to get past it.

So this is somebody who is -- he's kind of fighting against reality. He's fighting against a really, really tenacious foe in the form of this virus which has bedeviled us all and it's kind of paralyzed the country these last few months.

PAUL: There's this new poll I want to ask you about, too, that's from the "Des Moines Register" that shows President Trump up seven points, he has a seven-point lead among Iowa voters there.

I'm wondering, I know it's one poll -- we know that Biden was there on Friday actually. He hadn't been there I think since February when he had that fourth-place caucus finish. But this is one poll we know.

But does it amplify the uncertainty of the numbers for you or are you more confident in the other polls?

LOUIS: Well --

PAUL: How much does Iowa play a part in this? Because we know that Biden has several pathways to 270, right? The president's is narrower than that.

LOUIS: That's right. Look, the Iowa poll is not just any poll, it's a very, very good poll, it's sort of renowned in the business. And I assume that it's accurate.

I assume that just as last time when Donald Trump carried the state -- in fact, he carried it by a larger margin than the closing polls suggested -- that's probably going to happen again.

The real question, though, Christi, is does this sort of serve as perhaps a way that the entire Midwest is going to tip? That's pretty much the way things worked out the last time.

Four years ago Iowa was an indicator that all of those midwestern states, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, were all going to break toward Trump in ways that the polls had not captured.

I don't know that that's the case here because you've got at a minimum a split decision. Polls in Wisconsin, polls in Michigan, polls in Pennsylvania all going towards Biden.

For Trump, though, to emerge as a sort of a heavy favorite, a substantial favorite in Iowa at the last minute, not at all a surprise.

When people say that these races were always going to tighten, they always were going to tighten.

And then one last thing. There's a really heated race in Iowa for the U.S. Senate. And Joni Ernst, who's a close ally of Trump, is fighting for her political life.

This may be a case of reverse coattails where she's doing better and that might, in fact, improve his prospects in the state. The poll could be reflecting that, as well.

PAUL: All right. Errol Louis, I'm sorry, I didn't get to Texas, I wanted to talk to you about that but they're wrapping me.

Thank you so much.


PAUL: We always appreciate your insight.

LOUIS: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So when Halloween falls on a Saturday you get this from "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE."


JIM CARREY AS JOE BIDEN, SNL "ELECTION NIGHTMARE": So don't worry, they say I'm eight points ahead. Poll numbers like that can only go wrong once in a blue moon.

CROWD: (Laughter)



CARREY AS JOE BIDEN: "Once upon a midnight dreary while Trump re- tweeted QAnon theories --

CROWD: (Laughter)

CARREY AS JOE BIDEN: -- and rifled through his Adderall drawer, I was writing my acceptance speech when something stopped me with a screech.

'Twas a knock upon my chambered door --


CARREY AS JOE BIDEN: -- it was someone still a little sore.


CROWD: (Applause)


BLACKWELL: Jim Carrey last night on "SNL" as Joe Biden reading a spooky story featuring, as you saw there, the ghost of elections past --

PAUL: Put --

BLACKWELL: -- apparently, is Hillary Clinton.

PAUL: Pretty good way to put it. Joining us, CNN's chief media correspondent and "RELIABLE SOURCES" anchor, Brian Stelter.

Brian, good to see you.


PAUL: So there are a lot of people who have real concerns about the fact that we may not know -- it's very real, we may not know the outcome of this election by the end of Tuesday night. What are they saying about it and how are they preparing for that


STELTER: Right. Whether "SNL" is funny or not, it is definitely being honest when it conjures up these anxieties and fears.

I think historically in this country the quick result, the projection, on the night of the election or the next day is something that causes a lot of trust in America.

Of course, we know it's not always the case, however. In 2000, in 2004, these things sometimes do take longer.

And in my conversations with TV network executives and the leaders of the Associated Press, they say pack your patience this year more than ever before. A slow count is a safe count, this is going to take longer than usual.

And it's important to get that message across between now and Tuesday night so that people don't have this false expectation of a sudden result on election night.

BLACKWELL: The president, though, is telling his supporters that the winner must be decided on election night.


STELTER: Yes. And he said this again yesterday at a rally yesterday conjuring up a conspiracy theory suggesting that if it takes longer than on Tuesday night, there will be some funny business, some shenanigans.

He said, quote, "I wonder what happens during that period of delay with the ballots."

So he's implying to his supporters that there's going to be fraud. There's no evidence for that but unfortunately, he's going to use his platform and his podium to do that.

I think that's all the more reason why the television networks and the rest of the news media need to be out front explaining how this really works, how projections are made.

We look at the actual votes as they are coming in, we compare them to the exit poll data that we have, there are mathematical equations that really rule this process.

It is not a gut feeling the way that President Trump operates. I do fear, though, he is going to use uncertainty to stoke chaos.

And in a situation like that, the networks, including CNN, will be very clear about what the facts are versus what the president is saying.

And by the way, I'm going to interview one of CNN's top executives later today on "RELIABLE SOURCES," D.C. Bureau Chief Sam Feist will join me. And we're going to go through some of these scenarios to lay it out for viewers.

PAUL: All right. Brian Stelter, good to see you. Thank you so much.

STELTER: You too. Thanks.

PAUL: Good conversation. You can watch Brian today on "RELIABLE SOURCES." It's at 11:00 am Eastern. Get more.

And still ahead. More than 100,000 drive-through votes in the largest county in Texas could be at risk of being invalidated.

The latest as a federal judge prepares to hear the legal challenge.




PAUL: Well, a federal judge is increasing oversight of the U.S. Postal Service to make sure that ballots get delivered on time in some key battleground states.

BLACKWELL: So the judge ordered the United States Postal Service to provide now daily updates on the sweeps for mail-in ballots they do every night in Detroit, Michigan and Lakeland, Wisconsin.

He told them to make every effort to deliver all ballots by 8:00 p.m. on election day.

PAUL: Now this extra scrutiny was ordered after the judge was told about a slowdown in the delivery of election mail-in in key battleground states there.

That warning coming from Democratic-led states that had sued the postal service.

BLACKWELL: And in the largest county in Texas, there is another challenge for early votes cast.

PAUL: Yes. On Monday, a federal judge is due to hear a legal challenge against drive-through voting in Harris County. That's after a petition by a group of Republicans.

Here's Jessica Schneider with more.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, we have seen a flurry of court cases this week and some decisions are still in flux. Including in Texas where a federal judge has ordered an emergency hearing tomorrow morning.

That's on a Republican lawsuit that's looking to throw out more than 100,000 ballots collected via drive-through. Now this is new to Harris County, Texas, this year. Harris county

includes Houston, and this is all because of COVID. These drive- through voting centers allow people to pull up in their cars, literally hand their ballots to election workers, and never have to get out of their car.

Now Harris County, Texas, is the only one doing it. They have about 2.4 million voters.

But Republicans are saying that this is illegal, that this unfairly benefits Democrats. In fact, they're saying nine out of the ten drive- through locations are favorable to Democrats.

Now crucially, a Texas State Supreme Court has already upheld these drive-through centers saying that they are legal. But this is a federal challenge, and that emergency hearing will be held tomorrow.

Of course, Texas usually a Republican-leaning state but now with the polls showing things very close, it looks like it could be a toss up and that's why the lawsuits are maybe popping up here.

Now there have been a flurry of lawsuits affecting the way people vote.

We saw in Minnesota that a federal appeals court would not allow the extension of the receipt of ballots. So officials there are saying it is now too late to mail your ballot back in, you should vote in person or hand it in in person.

But then we saw the flip side by the U.S. supreme court in in both Pennsylvania and North Carolina, allowing the extension of deadlines for people to get their ballots in as long as they're sent before the election.

But those votes could also be in question because they could be later challenged.

So the overriding point from officials across the country is vote in person if you can, and if you can't, try to hand in your mail-in ballot in person.

Victor and Christi.


BLACKWELL: Jessica Schneider, thank you so much. Now Dr. Anthony Fauci, he says that we are in for a whole lot of hurt -- those are his words -- during the next few months of the coronavirus pandemic.

And he says that he has a real problem with the president's go-to adviser on the pandemic.




PAUL: I want to introduce you to CNN Hero, Sheldon Smith.

He's providing food and diapers and emotional support to young black fathers in Chicago as they fight social injustice and the coronavirus.


SHELDON SMITH, CNN HERO & FOUNDER OF THE DOVETAIL PROJECT, CHICAGO: The message that I'm trying to spread is that black fathers are important.

When businesses were closing and doing layoffs, we wanted to just make sure that our fathers knew that we were there for them.


UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: So how many boxes of food you need?

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Just like one box.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: We'll get you two.


SMITH: The young men in our program have beautiful hearts and they are volunteering their time so that they can be better fathers.


CROWD: Black lives matter.


SMITH: And right now, we're talking about the injustices in America that need to be changed.

We have to continue to believe and work together and not make it about when a death occurs that this is the time we need to stand up.

Right now, as a country, as a nation, we have an opportunity to change and show the world what we're really made of.

Once you invest, build and believe you bring about a different solution.


UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: All right. Thank you so much.


PAUL: To learn more about Sheldon's efforts, you can go to And thank you for doing so.

BLACKWELL: Next hour of your NEW DAY starts right now. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is the final stretch in the fight for the White House.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This doesn't seem like someone who is going to come in second. Do you agree?

CROWD: (Applause)



JOE BIDEN, FMR. VICE PRESIDENT AND DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: It's time for Donald Trump to pack his bags and go home.



TRUMP: On November 3rd, we must finish the job and drain the swamp once and for all.



BIDEN: We choose hope over fear. And yes, we choose truth over lies.

CROWD: (Applause)