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Piers Morgan Live

Election Night Results; Interview with Mark Warner

Aired November 05, 2013 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Breaking news tonight, we have election night results in two races that could be a preview of things to come in 2016. Wolf Blitzer has the latest on the Virginia governors race. Too close to call right now. Jake Tapper is in New Jersey with Governor Chris Christie, who won big tonight here in New York. We are looking at a live show of Empire State building all donned up in red, white and blue. Polls close moments ago in the city's race from them. We'll have all that information to you as we go. But I want to begin with Wolf Blitzer, he has all the up to date results. Wolf particularly tie over in Virginia, bring us up to speed.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: A close race, Piers in Virginia. Unfolding right now the battle for governor and the state that place a crucial role in designing presidential elections, that's (inaudible) view on the vote tally as it's coming in right now. 48 percent for Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican, 45 percent for Terry McAuliffe, the Democrats 7 percent for Robert Sarvis, the libertarian and third party candidate.

This with 76 percent of the votes tabulated counter 37 vote plus -- 37,000 vote advantage for ken Cuccinelli right now as we stand in New Jersey. As you know CNN projects the Republican governor Chris Christie easily winning a second term of victory that positions him well for a possible run for the White House.

And in New York City, the Democrat Bill De Blasio wins the mayors race. We can now make that projection case on exit polls by Edison research for New York media. De Blasio by the way will be the first Democrat to win this city in two decades. He'll succeed the independent layer Michael Bloomberg. Let's go John King over at the magic wall. John, Virginia shaping up to be close, what 75 percent of the vote in Cuccinelli slightly ahead.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: 22,800 votes slightly ahead of the moment. I want to just show you the key area state right here. You see it's starting fill in deeper blue. Some of this was lighter blue a long time ago. We keep coming back to this because this is where elections now in battleground Virginia are one or lost. The Virginian suburbs just outside of Washington DC Fairfax County loudly ...

BLITZER: Hold on one second. I just want to interrupt for a second, we're going to get right back to you. But look at this 80 percent of the vote is in, look at how close to this now, only 22,000 votes, Cuccinelli slightly ahead of Terry McAuliffe, 47 percent to 46 percent. Seven percent for Sarvis the libertarian and this with 80 percent of the vote now in Virginia, only 22,000 votes separates Cuccinelli from McAuliffe. Go ahead John I'm sorry to interrupt.

KING: That's what we need the latest numbers because we're watching this now by as we go through. Important to know, you see all this red out here, the smaller rural counties Republicans have to win and win big in most of the vote up here. The bulk of the vote more than 80 percent of the vote in Central Virginia has been counted. Where we are waiting for most of the outstanding votes, the bulk of them are up here in the DC suburbs.

Also some votes out down in Norfolk (due for) news area, that's a traditionally Democratic area. So if these colors stay the same, dark blue. And as the votes continue to come in up here, there are more than enough votes up here for Terry McAuliffe to make up that 22,000 plus gap.

But with 80 percent of the vote county and you can bet, they are more and more nervous at McAuliffe headquarters. Couple hours ago, they thought they have this won by a decent margin, it is clear tonight it is still within reach. But with 22,400 -- 22,450 vote lead of the Republican right now, this is it. It all comes down to the DC suburbs right up here. And again, we still have outstanding vote in Loudoun County in Prince William County, in Fairfax County as well more than enough votes. More than enough votes for the Democrats to catch up but it's performance time now with Terry McAuliffe. He needs those votes to come in his way.

BLITZER: And those Alexandra, Arlington those Northern of Virginia suburbs the fastest growing part of Virginia. I suspect in a heavily Democratic part. So we'll see how we tabulate those votes. That's coming up Piers. So a very close race in Virginia right now. Not so close in New Jersey, not so close where you are in New York City.

MORGAN: Wolf, thanks very much. Be back obviously as we go to the hour. But now we're going to have Dana Bash who's at Terry McAuliffe's headquarters in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Dana, what is the mood there, is it quite confident or slightly twitchy?

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know it's actually nothing quiet about the confidence here. And you would think that they would be more openly nervous giving what we were just hearing about the numbers from Wolf and from John. But the reason why they insist that they are confident that they are going to pull this out is because of the vote right where I am, where he is having this victory party in Northern Virginia.

They are still waiting for a lot of folks to come back. And this is where they have been working very, very, hard to boost the voter turnout. It's always about voter turnout. We say that every election. But it really, really is even more so in this kind of election which is off year. Generally, they get less than half of the percentage of vote during and if governor's race which is obviously off here than they do in a presidential year.

But this time, they really were trying to boost it to maybe about 40, little over 40 percent with the hope that lead from McAuliffe's point of view would get him over the line and have him in with comfortable that he's not there yet but they certainly, you can see this is pretty festive atmosphere and they still insist that they feel confident that they're going to do this and send the message nationally that what Terry McAuliffe the former DMC chair very close confidant of Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton as they're saying in the campaign trail will resonate and translate to the Democratic message going into the midterm elections which is -- that the -- what they call the extreme Tea Party Movement has been blunted big time with -- what they hope will be a debate of the Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

MORGAN: Dana, for now, thank you very much in deed. We'll obviously be back to you once we get a result there. I'm going to bring in now Peter Hamby, he's at Cuccinelli Headquarters in Richmond. Any sign of white flags being raised yet, Peter, or is there a little bit poke in the air?

PETER HAMBY, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, it's kind of up and down mood here, Piers. Earlier in the evening, you know, they're pretty depressed here. They sort of racing for a loss. One the second way of exit polls came out, once the, you know, results starting to be posted there are sort of a mood, you know, an optimistic mood. Cuccinelli's team was in the room, working in the room, talking to the reports, donors, et cetera

As far as I can see they've left. They're going back downstairs I think to their offices. Look this race was not going to be a 10-12 point win from McAuliffe. The Washington Post poll about a week ago saw that margin.

Then the Quinnipiac Poll came out of here and they show a four- point lead. It's probably closer, you know, probably closer to reality. So, you know, the mood here, you know, there's a little bit of optimism. This event is hosted by the Republican Party of Virginia and not just the Cuccinelli Campaign. So there's some hope here that they can pick up some down ballot race as the Attorney General's race perhaps and some races in the House of Delegates sticks on it.

So, yes, they're sort of still racing for a loss here, Piers. But, you know, as we've been saying all night, it will probably a lot of closer than public polling indicated.

MORGAN: Good to have you for now . Thank you very much in deed. Let me go back to Wolf Blitzer and John King.

I mean, Wolf, was it expected to be this close? Peter suggesting that the polls were reasonably close but not as quite as tight that we're seeing. Should they be panicking slightly in the McAuliffe camp and if he just sneaks over the line, what is that say for the bigger picture?

BLITZER: Well, win is a win obviously. And I'll be thrilled if they get elected Terry McAuliffe in the Democrat. They'll take it anyway. They can get it but the polls going into today's show about 6 point advantage for Terry McAuliffe over Ken Cuccinelli.

And right now, I'll take a quick look it's one point, 47 percent for Cuccinelli, 46 percent as you there for Terry McAuliffe. But there are still 20 percent of the vote outstanding. And a lot of that vote, John King is in Northern Virginia outside of Washington DC, that's a pretty Democratic area.

KING: These two counties right here I'm going to highlight for you, Fairfax County and Price William County highlighted for you right there. DC -- close in DC suburbs slightly further this is, more of the next survey right here. This is where -- About 40 percent of the outstanding vote still in these two counties. Why is that matter? Let's do a little presidential history lesson if we can move over here and just stretch out these two countries.

This is Fairfax County, it's close inside to DC right here. Look at that. Obama wins almost 60 to 40. That's what Terry McAuliffe needs because there are a lot of voters in here. If you look at the counties up here, the left now (ph) it turn out is nowhere near. What it was like in the presidential race. But that is a place where you can run up some numbers. Then you move out a little bit further out more competitive, Prince William County can let Republican in the last Governor's race. Again, more than enough votes to turn that margin.

Terry McAuliffe has those votes come in. Need to keep this blue. As you looked at the map here, dark blue means heavily Democratic vote. A lighter blue is a lighter leaning Democratic but not by a strong margin. If those -- the rest of those votes come in up here, Wolf, and it stays dark blue there are enough votes for Terry McAuliffe to make up that 22,000 vote difference.

But when you looked at this map, the reason this race is so close is essentially as we count the final votes, both candidates performed where they need to perform. These smaller rural counties where the Republicans need to run up the numbers, you see the dark deep red. Ken Cuccinelli did that. Norfolk, Newport News, an African-American population down there, blue, just what the Democrat needs to do. I mean here some Democratic counties.

But again, Virginia is now decided right here. It's a big state. But it is now decided by the four or five counties right here on Washington DC., that's where the population growth has been. That's where the largest population of Latino voters are. It's where younger voters are, college educated women. The new swing voters in Virginia are the big swing voters in America. This is why the state has become such a fascinating national laboratory.

We're going to watch these votes come in. And when you dig deeper and we can do this as the night goes on. And look at the exit polls, this is a pretty evenly divided state.


KING: This was -- This was fight over ObamaCare. Fight over the government shutdown. Fight over the Tea Party and the fight over social issues. If it's stays as close as it is, and McAuliffe exits it out are people going to study the money. And they're going to study the ads on the social issues.

BLITZER: And the women -- the women ...

KING: Right, right.

BLITZER: ... see how they voted on that. And Piers let me just update our viewers right now. Take a look 81 percent of the vote is now in it's very close. Only 21,000 vote difference between Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican, Terry McAuliffe, the Democrat 47 percent to 46 percent to this race. Obviously closest, they're got a ways to go.

We're going to have to wait the old fashion way to see who wins. Piers, we're going to wait to see the --and count the actual votes.

MORGAN: That's rather exciting, Wolf for you and John and for us. So let's come back to you guys when you got more breaking news on this moving situation in Virginia.

For now, I'm going to go to somebody who know all about Virginia's politics. He's been a governor of the state is now Senator Mark Warner and he's at McAuliffe headquarters.

Senator, thank you very much for joining me. The spirit Dana Bash told me of quite noisy confidence down there, was that how you would describe it?

SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: Well, I think the votes that are still out as John was talking about looked very good for Terry. I think he's going to be successful tonight. We've already won the Lieutenant Governor's Race so I think this is going to be a good night for our team as well as some of the House of Delegates, but I -- what I think as a bigger message is and frankly folks in Virginia just as we see perhaps in New Jersey, they're tired of politicians running too far out outside the extreme. Virginia got hit worst than most any other state by the stupidity of the government shutdown and I think they saw particularly in the -- some of the Republicans again in Virginia that same kind of extremism.

MORGAN: What does it say about the situation nationally, what is going in Virginia because the Tea Party clearly repelled by the new (inaudible) lead by Ted Cruz again it clearly be a force to be reckoned with going forward. If they take a defeat tonight albeit quite a close one by the look of it, what will that do to Senator Cruz's chances of keeping his momentum going?

WARNER: Well, listen, I think the American politics which has always had a strain and extremism but after we swing outside of that strain it comes back to a more moderate. I actually -- I'm a strong Democrat but I believe in a strong two-party system. I actually hope the Republican Party comes back into the mainstream because that's where you get governing done in our country, from our deficit, to jump-starting our economy is going to need to actually stop bickering a bit in Washington and get some things done. Work with the President on improving the health care plan and that's going to take reasonable people not that kind of our way or the highway approach.

So I actually hope is if we see McAuliffe victory (of this size) I think it'll end up being that there will be perhaps a rethinking that maybe having folks that realize compromise that part of politics is not a bad thing to happen.

MORGAN: And finally, Senator, given Chris Christie's thumping victory tonight and a lot of support from even Democrats where he is. How concerned would you be if he ends up being the Republican nominee? Is he more of a threat perhaps another Romney-type character or you want it Ted Cruz?

WARNER: Well, I think that (inaudible) prognostic aid (ph), I do know that as a former governor, governor's more than I think senators are sometimes viewed by actually what they get done. But I think that, you know, part of Governor Christie's challenge if he goes nationally would be actually fighting off some of that Tea Party wing inside the Republican Party but that's a waste down the road.

MORGAN: Senator Warner, thank you very much for joining me.

WARNER: Thank you.

MORGAN: It's extraordinary, a tight race in Virginia as implications from coast to coast. Joining me now to break it all down is Larry Sabato, he's a Director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the author of the "Kennedy Half Century".

Welcome to you, Larry Sabato. So what do you make of all this tonight then? Is this surprising to you that is going down to the wire like this?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA CENTER FOR POLITICS: Certainly the margin is closer than expected. You know, that we always rely on polling averages. If you take all the recent polls together, McAuliffe had about 7 point lead.

Now I have to tell you, I've looked at all the outstanding votes and they are disproportionally Democratic. You would much rather be Terry McAuliffe right now than Ken Cuccinelli. I think McAuliffe will put this out. But we're talking about a few points, not 7 points.

Now, in the end, you know, whether it's one vote or a million, you're governor for four years so I don't know what the practical impact is but the Republicans, the Conservative Republicans will certainly take heart from the fact that Cuccinelli has done better than expected and I think it will make it more difficult for the moderate Republicans to move the Republican Party back toward the middle.

MORGAN: When you look at Chris Christie's big win and you look at what's happening in New York with a Democratic mayor finally after two decades. What is the big picture nationally if you take it all in totality from tonight? SABATO: Well, it's mixed as it always is especially when you only have three big races, New York, New Jersey and Virginia. You know, the national headline to me is I think for everybody is Chris Christie winning so big. If there's a message for Republicans it's clearly in Christie's 60 percent or so in a deeply blue state, his second victory. You know, we're so polarized as a country today. It really is remarkable anytime a Democrat can win a heavily red state, a heavily Republican state or a Republican can win a heavily blue state.

Christie has shown the way. The question again is whether the Republican activist who are mainly social conservatives, tea parties, people libertarians, whether they are willing to embrace somebody as moderate conservative as Chris Christie.

MORGAN: Larry Sabato, thank you very much indeed. Coming next, Chris Christie's big win. Jake Tapper is at the governor's headquarters. Also, the latest on New York's new man Democratic Bill de Blasio.


MORGAN: Latest news from Virginia, a very tight race, back to Wolf Blitzer in Washington, Wolf.

BLITZER: And by the minute, it's getting tighter and tighter as the actual votes come in Piers. Take a look at this. 84 percent of the vote in Virginia now went and only 6,784 differential between the Republican Ken Cuccinelli and the Democrat Terry McAuliffe, 47 to 46 percent. In a little while ago, there was a 20,000 vote difference. Earlier, there was a 40,000 vote difference. Now, it's down to only 6,784 votes, a very, very close race right now. Still, plenty of votes out there.

We're going to figure out where those votes are outstanding. Let's take a look at some of the head quarters right now. You see in Virginia, that's McAuliffe, headquarters in Northern Virginia, and Christie headquarters in New Jersey waiting to hear from Chris Christie. If Terry McAuliffe wins, we'll see what happens over there. Cuccinelli, very much in this race right now, we're watching it closely. John King is here watching it with all of us as well. It's shaping up to be very close in Virginia.

You know, it's surprising also is Terry McAuliffe and his campaign, they spent a ton more money than the Republican Cuccinelli.

KING: He -- Terry McAuliffe, the Democrats did plus he had a lot more outside help than the Republican and conservative-minded groups did. So money is an issue in this race but Wolf as you noted, we got a 6800 vote margin at the moment. But I'm going to show you why. If you are betting man, we are now we're going to count every last vote but if you are betting man, you would put your money on Terry McAuliffe eking out a narrow victory even though he's 10,673 votes behind at the moment.

Why do I say that even though he's behind at the moment? Let's look at these most populous counties up here and this is where Virginia is now one in a close selection. And let's take a look. Loudoun County, outside of Washington, Terry McAuliffe winning 50 to 45, still 30 percent of the vote to come in there. If Terry McAuliffe can keep that margin, he's going to make up some of that deficit right there. That's Loudoun County.

Now, let's come over here, Prince William County. Again, 50 to 46, it's a more split county but Terry McAuliffe still winning. Only 41 percent of the vote in you keep that margin there, again, more than enough votes to make up the deficit right there.

And lastly, Fairfax County is a more Democratic county than the other two. You see Terry McAuliffe winning there by 20 points, only 57 percent of the vote in so I'll get this out of the way and just show you the bulk of the votes still to be counted are up here in a more moderate, more Democratic of late of Virginia suburbs just outside of Washington DC.

So when a Republican win, that's the Republican race for governor, four years ago, Bob McDonnell carried those counties. Look at his strong, red strength up there. President Obama in 2012 carried those counties at the moment. At the moment as we count the votes most of the outstanding votes are still up here. Terry McAuliffe has a strong lead in all of those counties. The map would tell you he has more than enough space to make up what right now is an 11,000 vote deficit.

BLITZER: And let's take a look at that vote right now. If you take a look, with 85 percent of the vote in still close 11, 424 vote difference between Cuccinelli and McAuliffe, still 47 percent to 46 percent. Robert Sarvis, the libertarian third party candidate with 7 percent. 15 percent, Piers, still remaining outstanding and a lot of that 15 percent, the northern Virginia counties that are right outside Washington DC. They're the populated areas of Virginia and largely Democrat. Piers?

MORGAN: With me now, on the left Crossfire's Van Jones, on the right is his co-host, Newt Gingrich. He's the author of "Breakout: Pioneers of the Future, Prison Guards of the Past, and the Epic Battle that will Decide America's fate."

Let's start with Virginia, Newt Gingrich, pretty close over there likely still you would say that McAuliffe will edge it but what does it say that it's been so close?

NEWT GINGRICH, AUTHOR OF BREAKOUT: Well, I think it's remarkable and you have McAuliffe in some polls, 15 points ahead 10 days ago. He outspent Cuccinelli this week, 4 to 1. I think the key difference is one word, ObamaCare.

Cuccinelli shifted over, began pounding on ObamaCare and McAuliffe supported it and that lead went -- best, I think, to current projections went down from a 15-point lead to maybe a 1 or 2 point win. That's got be very sober in every Democrat who's up in 2014.

MORGAN: Van, how significant is being the presence of the independent service who at the moment, is getting nearly 7 percent of the vote here. I mean, if you took that out, could Cuccinelli have possibly won this?

VAN JONES, CO-HOST CROSSFIRE: Yeah, I think it's very interesting. It shows that a problem here that the Republicans and conservatives got to deal with, you have a very strong libertarian movement. Chris Christie has annihilated that movement, doesn't like that movement. It can go its own way. And when its on way and I think it's going to probably wind up causing him obviously (ph) thing with a lot closer than we thought it was going to be in Virginia but you got two factors, you got these libertarian movement going its own way.

He also have the extreme Right Wing policies of Cuccinelli. Those two things together gave us a win in that column and I think it submits -- it's really strong. We got the Democrats won Lieutenant Governors race there. It's already been called. We're going to win the governorship and I think that the Republican got to go back to their play book and figure out how they could do an autopsy on their autopsy because I bet they didn't learn anything from 2012.

MORGAN: Newt Gingrich, let's talk briefly about Chris Christie's big win tonight. It was widely predicted but has come in pretty big across the board and almost every demographic, he has really succeeded very well tonight.

What does that say about his potential chances of being the Republican nominee, perhaps, for one of the White House? Can he convince his own party? Never mind everybody else who've been those. Can he convince his own party that he's the man that can actually win a general election?

GINGRICH: Oh, yeah, I think he certainly has a real possibility of convincing people. He's going to be taken very seriously. He's running about 36 points ahead of Mitt Romney in New Jersey.

And by the way Cuccinelli is running ahead of Romney in Virginia. And so, you know from a Republican perspective what we'd like to win Virginia and they're still pretty close. I think the fact is everywhere we're doing better than we did in 2012. And then in the case of, of Christie I think he's win is going to be big enough and impressive enough and wide enough of women, Latinos, African- Americans, that I think he has to be considered a very serious candidate.

I don't think anybody is a front runner but he's certainly in the front rank of serious candidates for 2016.

MORGAN: Just -- your break, stay with us when we come back more election results and the latest on Chris Christie big win in New Jersey.


MORGAN: Welcome back. It's turning to a squinter down in Virginia. So let's go straight back to Wolf Blitzer and John King in Washington for the latest, Wolf. BLITZER: All right. Piers, it's getting closer and closer and closer only 3,355 votes separate Ken Cuccinelli from Terry McAuliffe. 47 percent to 46 percent, 87 percent of the vote is now in, it's getting closer and closer and closer. Take a look at what's going on in Virginia, we're going to keep counting these votes and see who's going to be the next governor of Virginia. Will it be the Republican Ken Cuccinelli or the Democrat Terry McAuliffe who's a very, very close friend of the Clintons. Only 3,000 there's as I said, 3,355 votes separate, separate these two candidates right now. It was more earlier, it's getting closer and closer.

At New Jersey we -- obviously projected that Chris Christie will be re-elected easily as the next New Jersey Governor. He will stay in office, 41 percent of the actual vote is in, he's up by 20 points 59 to 39 percent. 556,000 plus the 368,000. It's a landslide.

You see the pictures over there. Christie had reporters in the New Jersey over there. They're applauding right now. I think they're watching CNN. Let me wave to all of them. Hi guys. Christie had reporters in New Jersey. Go ahead. People applauding because I think they like our coverage, let's hope you do.

In fact, we're standing by to see what happens in New Jersey. Chris Christie, at some point, he's going to speak. We'll have coverage, of course, of that when the New Jersey Governor, easily re- elected to a second term.

Let's go to John King over here. No suspense in New Jersey, Chris Christie re-elected easily, lots of suspense in Virginia.

KING: It looks like the 2016 campaign is about to begin in New Jersey. But we're still counting votes in the Key 2013 Rights. And that is in Virginia. As you know, Wolf about 3,355 votes.

The Republican candidate, Ken Cuccinelli, is still ahead. Why? Because he performed so strongly in the Republican Counties in Central Virginia, down here, in Southwest Virginia. But, but -- when I say this. But we're still waiting for votes to come in, where 87 percent of the vote counted state-wide.

And we can show you. We've been focusing all night on these counties right here, just outside of Washington DC because they are the new population centers. They are the new swing centers.

Loudon County, now, 100 percent of the vote counted. Terry McAuliffe eking out a 5 point win there, Democrat to win that county. It's impressive in a close race. That's the Swing County, goes back and forth. President Obama won at the Presidential Race. The current Republican Governor, Bob McDonnell won it four years ago.

Let's come here, Prince William County. Again, little further out, so at more Swing County tends to lean a little bit more Republican, Terry McAuliffe with about half the vote counted, at 50 to 45 percent, with a 333,000 vote margin. Well, there are more than enough votes just in this county to make up the difference as the vote count comes in. That's half the vote there. But here, more importantly, Fairfax County, the closer you get to DC, the more Democratic this counties get. Fairfax County, just across the border from Washington DC, you see Terry McAuliffe here winning by 20 points. 5 points in those other two counties, a bit further out.

In the closing suburbs, he's winning by a bigger margin, 67 percent of the vote counted there. So there are more than enough votes.

If these margins continue, as the rest of the vote comes in, in Fairfax and Prince William County, then there are more than enough votes and Terry McAuliffe will pass Ken Cuccinelli. The question is, "Do these margins hold up as we count those final votes?"

BLITZER: Yeah. It's still a third of the vote. It has to be counted in Fairfax County. That's Alexandria and that's Arlington, some of the major communities outside Washington DC

Piers, I'm going to come back to you in a sec. But let me just show our viewers the votes right now, 88 percent of the vote in. Under a 3,000 difference between Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe, that is a tiny, tiny fraction right there. 880,000 for Cuccinelli, 877,000 for McAuliffe, this is a close race, 12 percent of the vote remaining, outstanding. And a lot of that vote remaining in Northern Virginia, in Fairfax County, that's right outside of Washington DC


MORGAN: Wolf and John, thank you both very much indeed.

Chris Christie, of course, has been the big success story tonight. Jake Tapper, Christie's headquarters in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Where the Governor is celebrating his win over the Democratic challenger, Barbara Buono.

Jake, you've spent a little time to be newly elected or freshly elected governor, Chris Christie, today. What do you make of his general demeanor because it's been a thumping victory and really right across the Democratic Board, just reading some stats here. Pulled in 56 percent, women, 21 percent black, 45 percent Latino. That is a Republican dream going into a general election, isn't it? So what does it say?

JAKE TAPPER, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the case. He's trying to make, first of all, greetings from Asbury Park, New Jersey. And I should say, of course, we're here at the headquarters and it is a very celebratory crowd. People are very excited.

And, of course, this is about more than just being governor and about more than New Jersey, because Governor Christie is very clearly trying to make a case to the Republican Party nationally that there is a way to win back the White House by appealing to Democrats, by appealing to independents, by appealing to minorities, and reaching out beyond Republican base voters. That has been what Governor Christie has been saying since he became governor here. Talking about trying to win and reach beyond. Obviously, this is a Blue State. President Obama won the state by 14 points in 2008. He won it by 18 points just last year. And yet, we see the returns coming in. Governor Christie, at least, right now, up 20 points.

This is a state that the last governor -- that the last Republican governor to break 50 percent was Tom Kean. The last Republican to do better than 50 percent in the State of New Jersey was George H.W. Bush in 1988.

If these margins hold, this will be a strong message. Governor Christie believes a strong message to the national republican party to reach beyond, and in fact when he and I talked earlier today, we discussed that. We discussed the idea of leadership and not necessarily having to be pure on one side or the other but taking a stand for what you believe and here's what he had to say.


CHRIS CHRISTIE, GOVERNOR, NEW JERSEY: They think that's why people make decisions, what I was implying in the last answer. They think that people go down the checklist of issues and like a pro and con, they draw and line and under all the sheet. They got, OK, well, if there's more checks for this person and for that person, then that's the person I vote for. That's not the way people vote in my experience. I think that voting is much more visceral, people say, can I trust this person? Do they lead? Do they tell me the truth? They look at the issues to if we win tonight. It will be -- I believe an affirmation of leadership.


TAPPER: That was a response to a question and a conversation he and I we're having Piers about first of all some Republicans saying that he is not pure enough. He is not conservative enough to be a Presidential nominee and also some Democrats who look at what's happening here in New Jersey and saying, this is the triumph of personality over politics. This is not serious politics. He says, that's not true, it's about leadership. Piers?

MORGAN: Jake Tapper, fascinating stuff with the man of the moment tonight and let's go right to Wolf Blitzer in Washington. Wolf you've got an update for us from Virginia?

BLITZER: Look at this and I must say, wow, it's getting really close only 386 votes, Ken Cuccinelli ahead of Terry McAuliffe the Republican had the Democrat by, well it's just changed now it's almost 5,000. Actually Terry McAuliffe, excuse me, Terry McAuliffe has now taken the lead by nearly 5,000 votes. Look at this, a change as we were speaking 91 percent of the vote is in, Terry McAuliffe with 47 percent, Ken Cuccinelli with 46 percent. He is up, he is up by almost 5,000 votes with 9 percent of the votes remaining outstanding even as we were speaking, it has changed, you see what's going on right now in Virginia, John King. You were suggesting when the votes are counted at Fairfax County, Terry McAuliffe's going to do better.

KING: His Northern Virginia suburbs. This is where Virginia is changing. Virginia from many of you out of places in America is a case study, what's happening in America. Younger voters moving in, Latino population exploding, college educated women in the defense related industries and the technology industries. These counties have changed so much over the last 15 or 20 years, they are making Virginia used to be reliably red. Now it's purple, some Democrats saying, it's starting to even trend into a blue state.

So we've been waiting for those votes. Terry McAuliffe now up just shy of 5,000 votes, why Wolf? If you look at this again. Women, 51 percent of the electorate are women, 49 percent men, they're pretty even split right? But Terry McAuliffe targeting women voters, 50 percent of the women's vote a narrow gender gap but if these numbers hold up that would be a key factor in this rate.

Move over is well, if you look at this here, this is what has so changed in Virginia. A lot of people think of Virginia as a conservative state. Look at this, the largest chunk of the electorate in Virginia today moderate. We're the moderates live? In the suburbs in the Fairfax County in Prince William County, in Alexandria and Arlington just outside the Washington DC and look at this number here, 55 percent of moderate is breaking for Terry McAuliffe the Democrat just a third of the moderate vote going for the Republican Ken Cuccinelli.

So, Terry McAuliffe winning a very narrow victory tonight. Wolf, we'll go back to the map and look at it this way. Again, this is what we see tonight right now. When the Republicans won the governors race last time, watch those Northern Virginia Counties, that's what happened. This is where Virginia has now decided when President Obama carried the state in 2012, blue up here, its right up here, right in the DC area right there. Let's comeback to where we are right now as we're at 91 percent of the vote, Terry McAuliffe with a very narrow lead if it holds up. He will be thanking the voters right here in the DC suburbs.

Very narrow margin.

BLITZER: And those of us who live in the DC area like you and me, we were bombarded with T.V. commercials on both sides and it was pretty ugly out there what they were accusing each other of doing. It's a very nasty campaign.

KING: A very nasty campaign and essentially the republicans saying Terry McAuliffe was corrupt, that he was trading into his relationship with Bill Clinton running a bunch of lousy businesses, and you have from Terry McAuliffe and Democratic groups saying, Ken Cuccinelli was all right extreme is whether be on the social issues or when it came to the government shutdown in the pocket of the Tea Party they said.

So a very harsh campaign, much more spending on the Democratic side. Republicans will say, look at the narrow margin, it proves to you Terry McAuliffe is a week candidate with all that spending to just eke out a win if those numbers hold up but will -- it's a cliche but it's a well used cliche for a reason. A win is a win.

BLITZER As we know ...

KING: It's a win.

BLITZER: And we know election side, let me take and look at the votes one more time before we go back to Piers. Take a look at this now. Once again 91 percent of the vote now counted in Virginia, Terry McAuliffe the former chairman of the Democratic Party. He is ahead by nearly 5,000 votes, 47 percent to 46 percent. Once again, Robert Sarvis the third party libertarian candidate, his got 7 percent of the vote. I think his story is looking Virginia. Whatever the result is and I'll say, what was the impact of Robert Sarvis on this race for the Virginia governor 5,085 votes now. Terry McAuliffe ahead of Ken Cuccinelli. A very close race Piers, it's not over yet.

MORGAN: Certainly isn't Wolf we'll come back to you as soon as we got more information, that's what it come of course some on the Virginia governors race What does it say about 2016, now Stephanie Cutter, Bill Kristol, and Candy Crowley will all weigh in after this short break.


MORGAN: Back with more election night coverage 2013. Joining me now Stephanie Cutter Co-Host of CNN's Crossfire of course, Bill Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard, and here in New York's CNN's CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

Candy let's start with you, let's talk about Chris Christie for a moment because I suspect he's the big story tonight, isn't he? This is a clear marker I could be the guy that can win as a general election.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He is a big story. I might argue that Cuccinelli coming this close is pretty amazing given the polls that we looked at.

But to Christie, this is the story he wanted. I mean, he wanted this headline. He's close to 60 percent the last time I looked at those votes, which is a massive win.

He is going to do well and -- or do better in those demographic groups that Republicans have so eluded Republicans. Latinos, African- Americans, women, women, women.

In the end, there are more women voters than there are men and they vote in higher percentages. So this is his presentation to the Republican Party tomorrow morning. He won't have to say a word, you know.

In some ways to me, Chris Christie is to New Jersey what Bill Clinton was to Arkansas. He was that moderate Democrat in a red state and Chris Christie is a what -- he calls himself a conservative. Lot of people see him as a moderate whatever you want to call him, he's a Republican in a blue state, proving that you can win there. MORGAN: Bill Kristol, let me turn to you, is it a big defeat for the Tea Party what's happened in Virginia even though it's so close or is the reality that if you haven't had this independent candidate getting perhaps of the 7 percent of the vote, then, they could have won and that it would have been a big win?

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Ken Cuccinelli run better in Virginia than Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney wasn't Tea Party candidate. Look, I know Ken Cuccinelli, was -- did not run a particularly good campaign. He was hurt by the government shutdown, which affected Northern Virginia.

When the government shutdown and ended with about three weeks ago, October 17, Cuccinelli was down eight, 10, 12 points in every poll. He closed over the last three weeks.

Not because he suddenly became a private candidate and he was outspent massively, I think for the one in the last week because of ObamaCare.

So, for me, the two big takeaways of tonight are Chris Christie -- as Candy was saying, Chris Christie is an impressive governor and an impressive politician and will be a force to be reckoned with nationally and ObamaCare is toxic. It was dominating the last two weeks. Cuccinelli closed on ObamaCare. He'd been a big opponent of ObamaCare. Terry McAuliffe embraced it, said he would use and expand ObamaCare more, included Virginia in the Medicaid program under ObamaCare.

Cuccinelli said, I'll do everything I can to resist and fight ObamaCare and that's what enabled Cuccinelli to make this close as he did.

MORGAN: Stephanie Cutter, is that your take on it? Well, how are you reading tonight?

STEPHANIE CUTTER, CO HOST, CNN CROSSFIRE: I read it as a rejection of the Republican Party. Which is much different than what Bill just said. I mean, if you look at what's happening in New Jersey, Chris Christie run not as a partisan Republican but really as a moderate.

And the thing that bolstered his numbers from the beginning was the hurricane, hurricane Sandy where he put politics aside and got heavily criticized by the Republican Party. But look at exits in New Jersey. Even though Chris Christie here is an overwhelming win there for him, they're rejecting the Republican Party, 58 percent disapproved of the Republican Party.

And in Virginia, we see what's happening in the race but those are still out in Fairfax, so we don't know what the margin is going to be but the margin will be significant.

Cuccinelli is losing amongst women because he seen as too extreme on abortion, on contraception, even on economic issues. According to some exit polls, 83 percent of Virginia voters are opposing the Tea Party.

Now, that means something. That means that the Republican reboot that happened a year ago, which we haven't seen yet hasn't worked, hasn't appeared and they really need to start thinking about how they're going to run in the future because what they're doing isn't working.

MORGAN: Let's take a short break. Come back with of the latest election update from DC


MORGAN: Right now, Stephanie Cutter, Bill Kristol and Candy Crowley, a lot of surprises in this election. Candy, how much significance can be really attached to what is going on tonight?

CROWLEY: I think the one thing we know now about 2016 is that Chris Christie is a big player. If we didn't know that before we certainly know that tonight.

But there is a danger of over interpreting these results across the nation, consider for instance that there are 30 Republican governors right now, if McAuliffe wins there will be 29, but nonetheless 30 Republican governors right now, a dozen whom are in states that Obama won. Many of them quite handily.

Governorships often are one offs. People do -- notice in Jake's interview, people do exactly what Chris Christie says, was they size up the person. There was an X factor when you go to vote for governorships and because that's closer to home. That has to do with leadership much more than party. It gets more party oriented on the national level.

MORGAN: I think we may have some breaking news. I'm going to go back to Wolf Blitzer and John King, Virginia has been teetering. We'll see in a minute.

Wolf do we have a verdict?

BLITZER: I think we have something that Terry McAuliffe supporters are going to be happy to hear. We are ready now Piers to make a projection.

And CNN Project Terry McAuliffe has been elected will be the next governor of the Common Wealth of Virginia. The former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, the close pal of Bill and Hillary Clinton, he will be the next governor. We make that projection based on the vote tallies that are coming in, let's take quick look right now.

Well, almost all of the votes have actually been counted well over 90 percent Terry McAuliffe is ahead by a significant number. He will beat Ken Cuccinelli, the Attorney General of Virginia and will become the next governor of the state of Virginia.

Terry McAuliffe wins a close race closer than some people were suggesting. Let's go now Terry McAuliffe headquarters in Northern Virginia. Tyson's corner Dana Bash is standing by.

Dana they just heard us make the projection. I take it they're all pretty excited?

BASH: That is an understatement. They are watching us here. They are hearing the news. There are news organization that's already called the race, but it seems as though this has been the moment that they were waiting for to hear us project that Terry McAuliffe their candidate as they work for (inaudible) is going to be the next governor of this town of (inaudible) Virginia.

I have to tell you that this is a moment that many people here thought was going to happen hours ago, because of the way the polls were looking going in to election day and felt that there was going to be pretty comfortable in early lead and early victory but look they'll took it now even though it's a little bit later than they thought it was going to be. As you could see, a lot of happiness here that the man, who everybody has known nationally as somebody who was the Democratic national chair, the (inaudible) of the Clinton (ph) is now going to be the next Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

And also now really cementing the state as a major player in national politics when it comes to swing day (ph) to go (inaudible) not just for 2014 but most importantly for 2016, the next Presidential election.

BLITZER: All right Dana they're excited over at Terry McAuliffe headquarters in Northern Virginia. John King is with us. Let's take a look at the actual vote John, then we'll discuss how Terry McAuliffe did it. Let's put it up on the screen right now, Terry McAuliffe the winner, there he is, you see the projected, the projection that we just made.

With 96 percent of the votes now and he's up by 17,120. 47 percent to 46 percent, only 4 percent of the vote yet to be counted. John how did he do it?

KING: He did it by winning where the people. Look at this map, you see all this red, you would think wow Ken Cuccinelli had to win the state. Look at all that sweeping red, however, Terry McAuliffe like Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 can thank the people in the suburb of Northern Virginia.

Look up here. In Loudon County, a bit further out where Dulles airport is, Terry McAuliffe with a narrow victory, 50 to 45 percent winning right there, that's Loudon County.

Then you move in Prince William County. Again to the south of DC about 70 percent of the vote counted, 11 point margin there. A bigger margin for Terry McAuliffe there in that county right there. And here the people of Fairfax County, closer to Washington DC a 21 point gap, 91 percent and this is where, just an hour or so ago when Terry McAuliffe was trailing. We were saying we needed to wait for this votes to come in, when they did they provided the margin of difference. You look up here. Why was this such a close wrestling match? Let's take, the actual polls here are fascinating and this will be studied looking ahead at 2014 and the 2016 because this state is now such a bell weather state in presidential politics.

Ken Cuccinelli, many people thought he would loose by six or eight points, what happened today? 53 percent of the voters in Virginia opposed ObamaCare, remember that's been a big issue in the last couple of weeks right? With the heinous rollout of the ObamaCare program. Look at that, 80 percent of that more than half of the electorate who opposed ObamaCare broke for Ken Cuccinelli. This was his closing issue, it worked for him to tighten this race up without a doubt.

The President at the moment is underwater in the state of Virginia. From an approval standpoint 53 percent disapproved, most of those voters that's why it's red, they went for Ken Cuccinelli and yet Terry McAuliffe eased out a win. How did he do it? Especially in those moderate northern suburbs more than 40 percent of the voters they opposed the Tea Party.

Terry McAuliffe linked Ken Cuccinelli to the Tea Party, look at how much of a difference that made there. 83 percent of those Tea Party opponents voted for him and one more point. Yes this is about the Government shutdown, yes this is about ObamaCare but a lot of the odds in the end, targeting women voters. Should abortion be legal? 60 percent of the voters in Virginia said yes and look at that, it went for Terry McAuliffe by an overwhelming margin. He thank the choice issue as well for helping him to this narrow victory.

BLITZER: And there was a big issue as part of the Democrats ensured a lot of commercials against Cuccinelli on that issue alone. Piers, so Terry McAuliffe he will be the next Governor of Virginia.

MORGAN: Wolf and John thank you both very much indeed. And both Stephanie Cutter, Bill Kristol and Candy Crowley. I thought Kristol what's the take away tonight and when you wake up tomorrow.

What are going to be the key themes going forward?

KRISTOL: You know, I just got an e-mail from a Republican running for Federal Office in 2014, you know, the competitive race, and here's what he says. A divided Republican Party in Virginia, a libertarian candidate and 70 percent of the vote. The Government Shutdown weeks before the action at the place where it hurt the most and was still much closer than expected.

I know they will try but hard to see how Democrats and the media, but I repeat myself. Can forget about that little part in there. Hard to see how the Democrats can see anything other than ObamaCare do...


KRISTOL: I think Republicans will come back and press the assault on ObamaCare. MORGAN: That's pretty clear. Stephanie how will the Obama Administration repel this, given that's fairly where the assault will come?

CUTTER: Well look, I think that it's no secret that Republicans oppose ObamaCare but candidates matter here, campaigns matter and Terry ran a great race. Stuck to the issues that the people of Virginia cared about. Well Cuccinelli continue to get more and more extreme and that's a lesson.

MORGAN: Stephanie I've got to leave it there because we've reached the end of our hour but thank you all very much indeed to my panel. That's it for us. Stay with CNN for the latest on tonight's election surprises, plus a special edition of the Election Live with Jack Tapper at 11 and Crossfire live at 11:30 with all tonight's winners and losers. I will be back live at midnight AC360 Later starts right now.