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CNN Live Event/Special
United States 2022 Midterm Primaries Key Race Alert. Aired 11p- 12a ET
Aired May 17, 2022 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That was 8,000 not all that long ago. So, a lot of math to do in a very tight contested race.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: All right, John. Voting is about to end in two more states, Idaho and Oregon. This hour brings new tests to the endorsement power of President Biden and former President Trump. Right now, we have a key race alert.
In Idaho, it is too early to call the Republican contest for governor where incumbent Brad Little is facing off with the state's lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin. She is a Trump-backed conservative.
It is also too early to call one of the key House races that we are watching tonight in Oregon's fifth congressional district. There, incumbent Democrat, Congressman Kurt Schrader is hoping President Bidens support will help him overcome a challenge by progressive Jamie McLeod-Skinner. Anderson?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Jake, thanks very much. Let's go back to Pennsylvania, looking to close race between David McCormick -- let us put up the latest numbers that we have. David McCormick with 31.5%, Mehmet Oz with 31.2%.
Chris Wallace, I mean, it seems pretty clear Kathy Barnette has taken away votes from Mehmet Oz.
CHRIS WALLACE, BROADCASTER: Yeah.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah.
WALLACE: I think it is fair to say that if she hadn't done as well, Oz would be clearly ahead in this race. I got say I'm a little bit surprised. I'm curious to hear from David, why it is that you think in some of these collar counties where at -- we thought that McCormick was going to do better. In fact, Oz seems to be doing better --
COOPER: In Bucks County.
WALLACE: In Bucks County.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER: Yeah. Look, I think that his appeal is a little bit mixed, right? He is being propelled by the Trump folks. He's also a television personality. They've been attacking him for being too moderate. So, you know, I think it's a mix of those things.
But getting back to the other issues, you know, you look at these rural counties and John King appropriately is saying Barnette -- I mean, McCormick is doing better than expected. He's getting, you know, 30, 32, 33% of that vote.
And Kathy Barnette is taking some of that MAGA vote, the Trump vote, away from the Oz in those counties. She may be the greatest blocking back in Pennsylvania history here by the time this evening is --
WALLACE: But --
BORGER: But you know --
WALLACE: Do you think the fact that McCormick was attacking Oz and saying that he wasn't really conservative enough might actually --
AXELROD: Yes --
WALLACE: -- abortion, on guns, on Obamacare that that might actually be working to Oz's benefit --
COOPER: And let me just put this up. A 0.2% between them, 31.5 --
BORGER: Yeah. I think --
AXELROD: That is what I'm suggesting.
BORGER: I think you can also -- one thing we haven't talked about tonight about Oz is the people, and I guess this is McCormick, too, but people don't think he's really of the state, and they kind of look at Oz and they say, you're a carpet bagger. I know that McCormick lived in Connecticut, et cetera. But they look at --
BORGER: No, but they look at Oz and they say, you know, you're foreign to me.
COOPER: It is incredible.
AXELROD: He can still win this race, though. We should point that.
COOPER: They're 1,700 votes apart right now with 77 --
BORGER: And there is a recount provision.
AXELROD: There are significant counties out that could be good counties for McCormick. But this is clearly going to be a very, very close race. And, you know, I don't think anybody can -- you know, obviously, we're not calling it. I don't know that anybody on either side knows exactly how this is going.
WALLACE: But one of the --
AXELROD: She has made this --
WALLACE: This goes back to the point that was being made earlier, that the actual election day vote is favoring Oz. To that, you may have to give some credit to Trump, who is doing robocalls, really pouring it on.
AXELROD: Well, and also, the voters who follow Trump are also the least likely voters to be using mail at this point and voting early.
AXELROD: I mean, they're the most likely to be participating --
WALLACE: First, it was 5,000, and then there was 3,500 (ph).
BORGER: Some of what Trump is saying has relevance about -- he says, look, he sold us out to China. You know, McCormick sold us out to China. That is something that has resonance. He is a liberal Wall Street Republican. He is a liberal.
You know, these voters listen to Donald Trump. And, you know, in the end, the irony of all of this is that a card-carrying Trump supporter who went to January 6 could end up defeating his own candidate, helping to defeat his own candidate, which is, of course, something he didn't want. But it is an irony. That happens in this race.
AXELROD: Listen, we should -- we should -- there are two things that we should -- having said that they are reinstating, whether this thing falls on one side or another has huge national consequences.
I mean, Mitch McConnell, I'm sure, and Chuck Schumer are both watching this race very, very closely because Pennsylvania could be the state that tips the Senate one way or another. And McCormick, I think, is widely viewed as a better general election candidate for the Republicans than either of the others.
The second is, people will say, if Oz loses, that this was a defeat for Trump. And it will be a defeat for Trump. But it is still true that every candidate in some form or fashion was (INAUDIBLE) to Trump. The two-thirds of the vote will either have been with, you know -- close to two-thirds of the vote will be Oz and Kathy Barnette. So, you know, Trumpism is alive and well.
COOPER: Let's go back to Wolf in Pennsylvania.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, guys. So, let's talk a little about -- look at how close this is, Michael, this race between McCormick and Oz. It is about as close as it can be right now. Either of these candidates could eventually emerge the winner. Look at this. McCormick right now ahead by about 2,000 votes, 31.5% to Oz at 31.3%. It is extremely, extremely close. What do you think?
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I am interested in the fact that Barnette lost her momentum because coming into the home stretch of this election, whether you rely on Trafalgar or Emerson or Franklin & Marshall, it is shown to be a three-way race.
Mastriano wins by nearly 25 points, and I thought maybe he would provide a (INAUDIBLE) for Barnette because a Mastriano voter in many cases is a Barnette voter. But that turned out not to be the case. And so, I buy into the idea that she really did harm Oz in the end. It is still too close to call. Who knows how it goes? But she faded amidst all the scrutiny that came in the 11th hour.
KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yeah.
BLITZER: Twenty-three percent of the vote is still out.
HUNT: Right, it is still out. It is worth underscoring that the number from Mastriano in the governor race, he's winning with 40 plus percent of the vote. Barnette, to Michael's point, is down at 24 percent.
You know, I do think, too, as we look ahead here, I mean, I know there are a lot of Democrats that are watching this race really on edge because now that they have selected John Fetterman, you I were talking about this as we are watching this unfold, you know, I think Democrats want him to run against Mehmet Oz more than they want to run against David McCormick.
SMERCONISH: No doubt. Absolutely. Yeah, I don't think they want to face McCormick for a whole host of reasons. He is a more traditional general election candidate. They would have loved Barnette, by the way, but I think that they would much rather face Dr. Oz than face McCormick.
SMERCONISH: Fetterman. Right.
BLITZER: It is still very, very close. It could go either way. We should know fairly soon who is going to be the Republican Senate candidate in Pennsylvania.
HUNT: There are also could, though, depending on how close this ends up being, we could be in recount territory here. This could be something that does drag on for quite some time.
You know, I do think, Michael, the implications for Donald Trump here. I mean, David Axelrod was making the point that no matter what, Trumpism is alive and well here in Pennsylvania. However, he really did put a lot on the line here for Mehmet Oz. What does that -- what is your sense of what that tells you about his decision-making?
SMERCONISH: Well, I thought it was really a shock that he decided to go in for Oz at a point where it seemed that McCormick was the more ascendant of the two. I'm still puzzled by it. There is no doubt that is why he went back for Mastriano because he thought, oh-oh, I need to leave Pennsylvania with at least one W. He will lay claim to that tonight. But he wants to go (INAUDIBLE). He doesn't want to go one and one in the commonwealth.
BLITZER: But do you think McCormick is a stronger potential candidate against the Democrat, Fetterman?
SMERCONISH: I do. You know, much of what has been written about McCormack is that some who have known him for a period of years don't recognize the McCormack who is now suddenly running for the United States Senate in Pennsylvania, unlike Mastriano. I expect that if McCormack ever gets to make a speech tonight, he is not the same guy who has been running for the Senate. He will tether much towards the center.
HUNT: I think that point is absolutely right. One of the things I noticed when I was on the ground here earlier this week, you can't turn on the TV without being bombarded with multiple ads. We were sitting having lunch in a bar and saw the whole basically Republican Senate race playing out before our eyes.
It really was a race to claim the mantle of Donald Trump. That is what McCormick's ads were all about, even though he did not actually have the endorsement.
That said, it seems very clear that he can easily pivot back to being the kind of, potentially, pro-business Republican that a lot of people in Pennsylvania have backed in the past. Pat Toomey is very much in that mold, right? The retiring senator for Pennsylvania, he did not want to face a primary in this kind of Trumpian electorate, but I would not be surprised if Dave McCormick turns into that.
BLITZER: Is Dave McCormick one of those more moderate Republican candidates in Pennsylvania like an Arlen Specter, for example?
SMERCONISH: Moderate does not mean here what it used to mean, Wolf, but yes, we have a rich tradition in this state --
SMERCONISH: Sure. Think Thom Ridge, think Dick Thornburgh, think Arlen Specter, think John Heinz. I mean, a hell of a lot has changed. But there is a huge difference between a primary and a general election. I know I have saying that all night long. This is a primary. The general is going to be totally different.
BLITZER: It is going to be in November. So, it is going to be -- between now and then, there are several months to go.
HUNT: That underscored, too, I know we touched on this briefly earlier, but control of the entire United States Senate could very well come down to the race here in Pennsylvania. It is going to be big money. It is also -- in many ways, Pennsylvania is representative of the country as a whole in a way that some other states aren't because it sort of have all of the pieces of the puzzle, right?
You've got big urban areas, you've got big collar counties, you've got a big, strong urban population, you've got a lot of people -- independent voters here. They can't vote in this primary, so they will get their first chance, have to say, in the general election (ph).
BLITZER: Just look at how close this race, the Senate republican primary right now in Pennsylvania. We're watching every vote as the GOP Senate primary in Pennsylvania keeps getting, look at this, closer and closer. The big question right now, will Dr. Mehmet Oz move into the lead? Anything could happen. Still, plenty of votes out there that have to be counted. Our special coverage will continue.
TAPPER: We are back. Election night in America. Primary night. Let's give you some key race alerts right now within the republican Senate for primary in Pennsylvania. David McCormick, just 1,700 votes ahead right now, 31.4% over Mehmet Oz. The TV doctor endorsed by Donald Trump was 31.2%. Kathy Barnette trailing with 24.4% of the vote. That is 0.2-percentage point difference. Just 1,700 votes, David McCormick ahead of Dr. Oz. with still 21% of the vote outstanding. So, anything could happen in that race.
Let us go out to Idaho now where the incumbent governor Brad Little is 4,651 votes ahead. He had 66.1% of the vote over the lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin. That is only with 4% of the vote in.
Let us take a look now at some interesting House races with democratic primaries. In Pennsylvania, this is a democratic primary for House seat, the 12th congressional district, in the Pittsburgh area. Summer Lee, the progressive state representative is right now, with 99% of the vote in, 40 votes ahead of Steve Irwin who is more of an establishment lawyer-type. Summer Lee who could be perhaps a member of The Squad were she to ultimately win this, right no beating the more establishment Steve Irwin who is an attorney in the Pittsburgh area.
Let us go to Oregon now. In Oregon, Jamie McLeod-Skinner, she is the progressive candidate, is ahead of incumbent congressman, centrist Democrat Kurt Schrader. She has 66.7% of the vote. He has 33.3% of the vote. That is with only about a quarter of the vote counted right now. But still, Jamie McLeod-Skinner, the progressive, up more than 6,500 votes over Congressman Kurt Schrader who was endorsed by Joe Biden.
So, look, the votes are still being counted in Oregon. The polls just closed there. But Dana and Abby, at least based on those results -- I got John King. I'm sorry, John. Based on those votes, it looks as though progressives in the Democratic Party are having a good night.
But let us go back to the glorious commonwealth of Pennsylvania because right now, it is so razor-thin with McCormick just 0.2- percentage points ahead of Dr. Oz. Where are we still waiting for votes from?
KING: Mostly here in the southeast. But just look at the map and it just tells you this is highly competitive race. And it's not actually a clear pattern. I'll explain what I mean in just a minute. But 2,307 votes right now, David McCormick's lead. As you are going through those other states, that was down as low as 1,700.
Erie County just flipped, meaning we're still counting votes here. But Erie County in the northwest corner of the state here, Dr. Oz was ahead just moments ago. Dave McCormick has pulled ahead a little bit there. Cost him 600 votes right there. But this is what happens right now.
Now, we are in this very competitive race. The two candidates on top a very competitive race. Kathy Barnette is a distant third. So, a factor in the race. Almost impossible to make up the math.
But if you watch it play out, number one, we've talked about this before, Dave McCormick leading in so much of these rural counties. Now, that's happening in part because what you see happening, he's getting 32%. The other two candidates are splitting the vote in what is Trump country Pennsylvania, if you want to look at it that way.
So, now, you ask the key question, we are at 80% in a very complicated state, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Here's one thing I just want to put on your radar. Number one, we're waiting for some votes in these counties here. Number two, I just want to bring up Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. You see right now Kathy Barnette is leading here, Dr. Oz is second, Dave McCormick is third. But we may not have a final number here for several days.
There are roughly -- we're trying to get an exact number. We were told ballparks to 7,000 votes. They had a problem, Jake, coding the mail-in ballots. And so, they have to process those now all by hand. So that means, election officials get in the room.
Every campaign, there are some lawyers in the room. We were through this in the presidential election. We've been through this in the past contest. They have to go through and essentially rewrite these ballots because the coding was messed up when they were mailed out. It's not a voter's fault, it's the state's fault or the county's fault. But they have to go through that. So, about 7,000 votes in this one county.
If you look at some of the early counties, Dave McCormick did well in the mail-in ballots. By no reason, it means he is going to do well in Lancaster County, but we need to count those votes. So, you are saying, 7,000 votes to count there and it could take a few days in a race with 2,300-vote lead at the moment, at 80%.
So, what else are we looking for? The reason I said it has no pattern is look here in this part of the state here, you have some counties where McCormick is leading, some counties where Barnette is leading, some counties where Oz is leading.
And this is where -- Jake Tapper, this is home for you, so you know this is where most of the people live. Thirty percent of the population down here in Bucks County, competitive. But Dr. Oz, this is where his campaign headquarters is tonight, 32.5 to 29 to 24. Only 37% of the vote counted here. This is the fourth largest county in the state by population. So, A decent chunk of the votes have yet to be counted are here.
Then you move over to Montgomery County. And again, Oz is leading here, Barnette is leading here, McCormick is running third. Only about 60% of the votes counted so far in Montgomery County. This is the third largest county in the state. So, a large pool, a large basket of votes still to be counted.
You come down here to Delaware County. Only 15%. Again, suburban county. This is fifth largest county in the state. McCormick is leading here and only 15% of the votes in. So, if you are the McCormick campaign, you say, well, if we keep this up, we're going to get a bunch of votes here.
If you are Barnette, come back is pretty hard to look at, but you think, we still have more votes to get here. If you're Oz, you're saying, we pick this for reason, this is why our campaign headquarter is here, look, we are leading with a lot more votes, which tells you we have a lot of math to do.
And again, this is where most of the people live in the state, 30% of the population right down here in the southeast. Those three key suburban collar counties all at the moment going for different candidate. A lot of counting to do.
TAPPER: Really fascinating. I believe that Pennsylvania has an automatic recount if the vote margin is less than one-half of 1%. Am I right about that?
KING: I think that's the right number. I had to double check it, but that sounds like it's in the margin. So -- then, the candidates have rights as well to ask for either re-canvassing or recounting.
I think one of the key things will be, again, we'll see where we are when we're done counting tonight or in the early morning hours. Some of these votes, remember, 2020, sorry to erase all the therapy, but we go back through that. But here, again, if there 7,000 or so votes just in this one county, that is more than enough to say, you know, we need to wait and count. And then, the lawyers get involved.
TAPPER: And then the lawyers get involved. Of course. The GOP Senate race in Pennsylvania could potentially flip at any moment. We are watching in real time. It's so close right now. Anything could happen. More votes are coming in. Let's squeeze in a quick break. We will be right back.
TAPPER: It's election night in America. We have a key race alert for you now. Take a look at the latest out of the Senate republican primary in Pennsylvania. Dave McCormick, the former hedge fund manager, is at 31.4% of the vote. That is 2,108 votes ahead of his closest competitor, Mehmet Oz, the TV doctor endorsed by Donald Trump, at 31.2% of the vote.
That is still 20% of the vote outstanding here and there is only a 0.2-percentage point difference. Kathy Barnette in third place with 24.4% of the vote. Still a nail biter, still anybody's race between McCormick and Oz at this point.
Let's go now to the state of Idaho where incumbent governor, Brad Little, is in a republican primary against his own lieutenant governor. Little is at 65.5% of the vote. He is 5,200 votes ahead of Janice McGeachin, the lieutenant governor who was at 21.6%. That is with only 5% of the vote in. So, that's still very, very early.
Let's go now to Jeff Zeleny. He is at the campaign headquarter of Dr. Oz in Newtown, Pennsylvania right outside Philly. How are Oz supporters reacting to this increasingly razor-thin close race, Jeff?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Jake, they are absolutely keeping an eye on the individual votes as they come in right here specifically in Bucks County right outside Philadelphia. As you said, only about half of the vote here is counted. So, this is one of the central areas that vote campaigns are keeping an eye on.
But for the Oz campaign, they do believe that their trajectory over the last several hours, bit by bit, really inch by inch, is going to pay off in the end. They also are very well versed in the automatic recount rules here in Pennsylvania. Half a percentage point would trigger an automatic recount. We are not there at that point but both campaigns obviously are thinking about that and discussing that.
But as for the supporters, Jake, they are preparing to spend some more time here as the votes come in. There's a possibility that Dr. Oz himself could come address his supporters. There's a possibility that this will not be known this evening.
So, a lot of scenarios. I can tell you as I look around the room here, the crowd has actually grown as the hour has gone late and this race is ending and wrapping as it has gone for the last several months in a bitter duel between Dr. Oz and Dave McCormick.
The conclusion is not certain but we know this race again is ending as it has progressed, a multimillion-dollar race here, a fight between the two men.
Again, all eyes on these counties around Philadelphia. That's likely where this race will be won or lost, Jake.
TAPPER: Only rough 2,000 votes separate the two men right now, Jeff Zeleny. Let's go to the other side of the keystone state, to Dave McCormick's campaign headquarter in Pittsburgh where we find our own Kristin Holmes. Kristen, what's going on there? KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, we were just told to clear out of the way. McCormick group coming out any second to address the crowd that he wouldn't be taking questions. This is quite a surprise given that advisers told us that he wouldn't come out until the race was called.
So, we are not sure what to expect right now, but I will say, advisers are not willing to yet say that they are worried despite the fact that this margin continues to get smaller and smaller.
They are waiting for (INAUDIBLE) counties to come in. Just like Jeff said, they are looking for Delaware County there, looking for more votes in Buck County. And as John mentioned earlier, those Lancaster County votes, those might become critical votes.
These are all areas that Dave McCormick campaign is watching very carefully. Again, they are not yet willing to say that they are concerned at all. They still believe the map is trending in their direction. They still maintain that in areas they believed Oz was going to outperform them, that they are outperforming him. They also believe in the areas that Oz was doing well, that was something that they expected that that is because of that Trump effect.
So, right now, we are just currently standing here. Everyone has gathered around trying to figure out when exactly he is going to come out and what exactly he is going to say. But if his advisers are any indication, they are still viewing this in a positive light. Wait, I'm hearing cheering. Oh, here we go.
UNKNOWN: Dave McCormick!
HOLMES: Here he comes.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(MUSIC IS PLAYING)
DAVE MCCORMICK, PA REPUBLICAN PRIMARY RACE FOR U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: All right. All right. Thank you. Thank you all so much. We had a pretty good day today.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
MCCORMICK: Thank you all so much for your support, for what has happened across Pennsylvania today. There's been a huge outpouring of support. We knew it. We felt it on the ground.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
MCCORMICK: We knew it was working. We knew our message to take back this country, your message, was resonating with the voters of Pennsylvania and they showed us today (INAUDIBLE). Thank you. Thank you for the supporters in this room. It has been an unbelievable outpouring of support. We feel such friendship. We feel such love for the people in this room. So, thank you for everything you've done. We feel incredibly blessed to have you with us. So, thank you so much. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
MCCORMICK: Now, we're going to win this campaign. We're going to win this campaign.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
MCCORMIC: And tomorrow -- right now, we have tens of thousands of mail-in ballots that have not been counted that are going to need to be counted beginning tomorrow. And so that -- unfortunately, we're not going to have resolution tonight, but we can see the path ahead, we can see victory ahead, and it all because of you.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
MCCORMICK: So, thank you, Pennsylvania. Thank you for our great friends and supporters in this audience. We love you. We're going to take back this state. We're going to take back this country and it's because of you. God bless you. God bless Pennsylvania and God bless America. Thank you so much.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
TAPPER: All right, Dave McCormick, and if his wife looks familiar, that's Dina Powell, former deputy national security adviser to Donald Trump and the Trump White House, speaking there announcing -- saying the obvious, which is that we're not going to have resolution tonight in terms of his tight race in the Senate Republican primary in Pennsylvania.
Dana and Abby, he is correct, we are probably not going to have resolution tonight. Last I checked, he was up by 2,190 votes, Dana, which is 0.2-percentage points of the vote. They still have -- let me look at the chart there. About 83% of the vote has been counted. So, that's 17% outstanding.
Plus, of course, we have that issue in Lancaster County that John King was telling us about earlier in which there seem to have been some tabulation issues. So, there are thousands of votes that have not been counted yet, Dana. So, Dave McCormick saying we're going to win, but unfortunately, we're not going to have a resolution this evening.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And I did not -- I'm sure you had the same conversation -- speak with one Republican in Pennsylvania or one Republican here in Washington before tonight who did not say I am not making any guesses. This is anybody's race when it comes to this Senate race in Pennsylvania.
I don't know that they thought it would be this close, but who knows? I mean, this is the world in which we're living and it really does show that they understand this could be, you know, a couple of days.
Never mind the outstanding ballots that have to be counted, but also the fact that there is an automatic recount if the margin between the top contender and the one below is less than half a percentage point, which is very possible given the fact that it's only 2,000 votes separating them right now.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: One thing that I do think is clear based on where we are right now is that a lot of people, even experts in Pennsylvania politics, expected that McCormick and Oz would kind of, you know, they would both explode, they would blow each other up, leaving a space for Kathy Barnette to rise. That did not end up happening. Instead, what you're seeing is Kathy Barnette making it a little more difficult to Oz to break through.
But the split in the Trump vote is really the story here tonight. If McCormick is going to make it out of this night as the winner, it would be because the two Trump candidates, Trump-endorsed candidate and the one who believes that she is the true heir of Trump, split that vote in a critical way leaving an opening for a candidate who frankly in another cycle, another era, would have been the type of Republican candidate that you would more typically see from the state of Pennsylvania.
Right now, I think Oz and McCormick being neck and neck really is kind of the story of this Republican Party right now.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: And to that point, that's exactly what the McCormick campaign after sort of getting rattled by seeing the late surge of Kathy Barnette -- I think both the Oz and McCormick campaigns were sort of caught off guard by that. But as soon as they got their bearings, they saw what you're describing, as their potential path, as their opening that there would be this split between Oz and Barnette and this lane, an avenue, available to McCormick.
But I think we should know, what you just heard Dave McCormick said in that speech, yes, there are tens of thousands of absentee votes to be opened and counted, we have been discussing this issue in Lancaster County, but given our estimated votes in right now, there could be like 200,000 votes that are still to be counted across the commonwealth.
There is a lot of counting to do and the margin is so small right now. I this it is not at all clear yet which one of these guys are going to end up victorious in this race.
I also just would say, I think it's really interesting to hear someone running in a republican primary, in Pennsylvania of all places, telling their supporters, hey, wait for the absentee ballots to be counted. That may be our path to victory. That's exactly what Donald Trump railed against in 2020.
PHILLIP: By the way, it's the right thing to do. It is clear he is doing the right thing.
TAPPER: Yeah. We want all the votes to be counted. There is a problem in Lancaster County with some of the vote tabulation. There are absentee ballots. There is vote by mail. Yeah, we're going to wait for all the votes to be counted, whether it's Kathy Barnette or Mehmet Oz or Dave McCormick that ultimately wins this primary race.
We don't want to take our eyes off this nailbiter in Pennsylvania for too long. We are going to try to squeeze in a quick break. Stay with us for more results coming up.
TAPPER: It's election night in America. We have some key race alerts for you. Take a look at the Pennsylvania Senate republican primary. Hedge fund manager Dave McCormick still up, 31.3% of the vote for him.
He's roughly 2,200 votes ahead of the next closes competitor, the Trump-endorsed television doctor, Mehmet Oz, who has 31.1% of the vote. Kathy Barnette, who has a surging lead in the campaign, apparently not enough. However, she is at 24.5% of the vote. There is still about 15% of the vote to be counted. A nailbiter, really.
I want to show you two interesting House democratic primaries going on in Pennsylvania, the 12th congressional district, which is Pittsburgh area. Summer Lee, the progressive candidate, is up with 41.7% of the vote. That is about 534 votes ahead. The more establishment Steve Irwin, he is an attorney, she is a state representative, he is at 41.2% of the vote.
But that is a very interesting race. In this -- at least, the results we have as of now with 99% of the vote in, the progressive has defeated the more establishment Democratic candidate, which is also something going on in Oregon.
Let us go to Oregon democratic primary where the incumbent congressman, Kurt Schrader, endorsed by Joe Biden, the president, in a rare primary endorsement, Kurt Schrader, who is a centrist, being shellacked as of right now, only about a third of the vote in, but still being shellacked by the progressive candidate, Jamie McLeod- Skinner.
Let us go to Jeff Zeleny who is outside Philadelphia at the Oz campaign headquarter in Newtown, Pennsylvania where Mehmet Oz is about to speak to his supporters about the results there.
ZELENY: We have seen Dr. Oz walk in, Jake. Let's take a listen right now.
MEHMET OZ, REPUBLIAN POLITICAL CANDIDATE: Thank you to the people who have been so dear to me throughout this process. This has been the rock of (INAUDIBLE).
OZ: (INAUDIBLE) my kids were all lined up being behind me. God bless you all. Shown up at every point, fill in the gaps, make things happen that were otherwise seemingly impossible. So, we're not going to have a result tonight. When all the votes are tallied, I am confident we will win.
OZ: We are making a ferocious charge. But when this is closed, what else would you expect? Everything about this campaign has been tight. I want to thank my campaign team. They're over here, scattered about, working tirelessly to make sure we bet our best foot forward. They taught me this area because I am an art surgeon. I did not know politics, but I've learned it under the two religious and wonderful people.
And I want to thank some other individuals who are actually unbelievably close friends, made a big difference in my life, always there at every moment. Let's start with 45, President Trump.
OZ: President Trump, after he endorsed me, continued to lead in to this race in Pennsylvania. He knows all the subtleties of it. He was willing to participate with town halls, which he advised that I do, it was a brilliant idea. He participated in a massive rally on Westmoreland County. God bless you, sir, for putting so much effort into this race. I will make you proud.
I want to thank Sean Hannity.
OZ: Sean is like a brother to me. When Sean punch us through something, he really punched through it. He understands exactly how to make a difference, and he's been doing that through the entire campaign. Much of it behind the scenes, giving me advice, late night conversations. Again, the kinds of things that true friends do for each other.
There are so many others I can thank. I'm just going to toss out a couple of names. You'll know who you are. Mac (ph), Perry, Carson, Rosenthaler (ph), Ross. I can go on and on. But you all know who you are. You know how I cherish each and every one of you.
My parents were immigrants to this country, recruited to come here because we need doctors back then. And they saw the shining city on the hill that Ronald Reagan spoke of. They were incredibly patriotic about our nation.
I know many think that that city is a little dim these days. That is not what I saw when I was campaigning. I looked in the eyes of Pennsylvanians as I traveled across this beautiful commonwealth and I saw that light as bright as ever. All that wanted to be was unleashed.
And that's why I'm running for the Senate, to do just that. I'm running to allow us all to witness that brilliance. It is out there. We just have to be able to believe in it. We are a land of plenty. Let us remember that. And remind ourselves because we are land of plenty, nothing can hold us back.
Even bonds that you think are unbreakable, they can be torn away. Barriers may be broken and pushed to the side. We have the ability in Pennsylvania to fight for the soul of this country. We are such a critical part, a bellwether for the country, that when we win the battles here in Pennsylvania, it reflects on the entire country.
So, if the soul of Pennsylvania is thriving and healthy, so will the soul of the nation. And that's important because when you go around the world, people ask you, can you save America? Can you make America strong as ever? And I say, of course, but why do you care? And they say, because when we have issues here, we look to America, and we wonder, my goodness, if they figured it out, we can figure it out.
My friends, we are role model to the world. When our city on the hill is shining bright, others see it and they make their cities bright as well. That's why I'm running for the Senate. That's why I'll be the next senator for Pennsylvania. And that's what I promise we will bring to the United States of America.
OZ: God bless you all. I'll talk to you later.
TAPPER: Mehmet Oz, who is locked in a tight race right now with Dave McCormick, saying what McCormick said just a few minutes ago, there is not going to be a result, a resolution of this primary race, hard fought, this evening.
Dana Bash and Abby Phillip, really, I wouldn't put any money right now on this race. It really could go either way. There are so many votes left to count and the margin that McCormick has right now is razor- thin, 1,980 votes and shrinking.
BASH: Yes. And the fact that the first person that he thanked was Donald J. Trump, he said 45, the man who did endorse Dr. Oz and did so against the advice of a lot of the former president's advisers. And that's why he was doubling down, tripling down, doing these tele- townhalls that he was talking about.
But it was curious that the second person that he thanked was a conservative personality, a television and radio personality, not the people who voted in Pennsylvania, but I think that's very telling as to where and what kind of campaign this is.
PHILLIP: I just want to put in a plug for we don't know about a lot of this because what strikes me about this whole Pennsylvania Senate situation is that you have a lot of uncertainty being injected in this race.
You know, what a Fetterman-McCormick match-up is going to look like? What a Fetterman-Oz match-up is going to look like? When we all talk to people on both sides of the aisle, I think all of them are -- it's anyone's guess at this point. There are a lot of factors including Oz's celebrity and Fetterman's just unconventionality that make this a really interesting race for us to continue to look at.
CHALIAN: And it's important to remember we're going to be having the same conversation in November.
CHALIAN: This is a battleground state and the Democrats see it as one of their best pickup opportunities in the country to try and protect their Senate majority. Which Republican nominee comes out tonight really shapes the contour of that race, and we're going to be talking about a really close race then, too.
TAPPER: All right. Thanks so much. Wolf Blitzer in Philadelphia, what are you seeing?
BLITZER: Seeing a nailbiter of a contest. Anxious to get Michael Smerconish and Kasie Hunt's thoughts. What do you think?
SMERCONISH: I said on radio earlier today that anyone who said they know which way Pennsylvania will end up tonight is lying. And now we know why. Who the hell knows? It took four or five days before Joe Biden was finally proclaimed the victor in the last cycle. Maybe we're headed that same way.
HUNT: It's -- we know as much -- I guess we've got a little bit more information but we're still in exactly the same place where we were when this went in. We knew it was a three-way race. Now, we know it's a two-man race. This again big picture, important to realize Democrats are already talking about how they want to line up against either one of these candidates, and we are going to be having the same conversation in November.
BLITZER: Yeah. It's going to be a lively time indeed between these Democrats and these Republicans. Anderson, back to you.
COOPER: Wolf, thanks very much. David Urban, you're a supporter of McCormick. What do you think?
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I'm still optimistic we're going to win here at the end of the day. I think the trend -- we saw a trend where McCormick kind of took the lead early but narrowly, and I think that's what's going to play out here over the next 24, 48 hours. Those vote totals are going to continue to kind of tally up. They've been running where McCormick ends up on top at the end of the day with no recount.
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS: But I think where people are really nervous or who's really nervous right now is the former president. McCormick had the backing of Ted Cruz as well as Mike Pompeo.
And if he pulls this off, it proves that you can run without denying the election results, which Dave McCormick never did. He never supported January 6. He is kind of a mainstream, you know, America first Republican but without going down this conspiracy theory kind of lanes. So, it's very interesting.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We'll see. I was very excited to see the progressive Summer Lee pulling ahead. She had -- she had real opposition from the Democratic Party establishment as well. And I think you're going to have a star born tonight. Summer Lee, congressional district 12 in Pennsylvania.
COOPER: All right. Thank you all. Don Lemon picks up our election coverage next.