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CNN Projection: Incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet Will Win Reelection In Colorado; CNN Projects MA & MD Voters Make History With Choices For Governor; Maricopa County, AZ Official: 99 Percent Of Ballots Will Be Counted By Friday. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired November 08, 2022 - 21:00 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, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS: It's one of the fascinating dynamics, Jake.
In Georgia, one of several States, where you look, and you have a Republican incumbent governor. We've seen that in New Hampshire as well. Big question is, we keep counting the votes, can the Democratic senator there, Maggie Hassan hold on? In Georgia, we'll see.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, CNN TONIGHT WITH JAKE TAPPER: All right, John King. We are heading into the second busiest hour of the night. Polls are closing in 15 States, with a slew of high-profile races, in key battlegrounds, including Arizona.
And we have a CNN projection for you right now in New York. CNN is projecting that the current Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Charles Schumer will be reelected defeating Joe Pinion.
In South Dakota, CNN is projecting that a member of Republican leadership, Senator John Thune will be reelected, defeating Brian Bengs.
And in Kansas, CNN is projecting that incumbent Republican Senator Jerry Moran will be reelected defeating Democrat Mark Holland.
Let's look at the map, right now, and talk about the races that we are not yet going to make a projection. They include the Senate races in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. As of right now, we do not have a projection in those races.
The balance of power, of course, 100 Senate seats. Democrats have 37 of those seats. Republicans have 38 of those seats. There are 25 seats remaining. Republicans only need to pick up one net seat, in order to regain control of the U.S. Senate. There are governor's races going on out there as well.
Let's go to Boris Sanchez, for that.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Jake, two projections, to bring you, right now, beginning with a familiar face, being elected Governor of Arkansas. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former Donald Trump press secretary/communications director, following in the footsteps, of her father, Mike Huckabee, becoming the new governor of Arkansas. We should note she becomes the first woman elected governor of that state, defeating Chris Jones.
Another projection to bring you now, this one, from Rhode Island. There, incumbent Democrat Dan McKee will win his first full term in the governor's mansion. Remember, he replaced Gina Raimondo, when she left the governor's mansion to join the Biden administration, as the Commerce Secretary.
We have some key race alerts, to bring you now, beginning with the State of Texas. Last time we checked in, former congressman Beto O'Rourke had a decent advantage. Right now, Greg Abbott, the incumbent Republican has overtaken him, nearly 170,000 vote lead, for Abbott with 33 percent of the vote in.
An update now, from the Peach State, Georgia. Brian Kemp building on the lead that we saw him take earlier, against Stacey Abrams. Right now, he stands 177,000 votes ahead, roughly 8 percent advantage for Kemp. Still above that 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff with 55 percent of the vote in, in Georgia.
Meantime, an unexpectedly close race, in Oklahoma. A key race alert there. Kevin Stitt, the incumbent Republican, taking on Joy Hofmeister, a Democrat, who actually flipped parties, just last year, specifically, for this race. Stitt, right now, 43,000 votes ahead, with 34 percent of the vote in.
TAPPER: Boris, thanks so much.
Let's - the balance of power, in the U.S. Senate, 44 Democrats, 40 Republicans, and one of those key States just changed color, John, Georgia.
KING: And it is Georgia. We were talking earlier, number one, Senator Warnock was above 50. Number two, Senator Warnock was in the lead. Herschel Walker, the Republican candidate, now in the lead by 9,000 votes, up to 55 percent. I would say prepare for a little bit of a seesaw ahead.
But to the point David Chalian, was making, in our last conversation, as they begin to count more of the today vote, Election Day-cast votes, that's where Republicans have an edge.
Boris just noted, Governor Kemp, stretching his lead a bit. It's the very same dynamic. They're counting Election Day votes, now. We're starting to count them, as we move through the hour, and the hours ahead. Remember, Georgia took us a long time in 2020. And those runoffs were close.
So now, we come - now we come back here, I'm sorry, come back here to the Senate race. And you just look at this. This is the State of Georgia, today, an incredibly competitive state, a 9,000 vote lead. You're beginning to see the map fill in.
If you're in the Walker campaign, number one, you still got 45 percent of the ways to go. But you also see, again, see some of these rural counties. They're small, but we have no votes in at all. Those are going to be red, at the end of the night.
So, the challenge is, I just want to go check up here, a little bit. So, you first, you come to Fulton County, Senator Warnock, getting 75 percent of the vote there. Let's just go back and look at 2020, and the presidential race, Joe Biden getting 73 percent.
So, we come back here, I just want to check. So, Senator Warnock doing what he has to do, in Fulton County, at least at the moment, as we continue to count.
Then you go over to Cobb County, right? It's, you see, it's a more competitive suburb. But Joe Biden won it up by 14 points. Now, let's come back to where we are, and look at the Senate race in Cobb County. And it's a 20-point race.
So, around the Atlanta area, at the moment, Warnock there, doing quite well, and what he needs to do. Just want to come over here to DeKalb County, again, only 7 percent of the vote here, though. So, in Atlanta, and the suburbs, Senator Warnock is running strong.
The question is where are the Walker votes coming from? So let's see. One of the challenges was, did the Trump voters turnout for not Donald Trump, right?
KING: That's where Brian Kemp helps. Even though Brian Kemp and Donald Trump are in a feud, you have a Republican governor running well ahead of Herschel Walker. Republicans are coming out to vote.
And in these counties, where there is again, it's a small population center. It's less than 1 percent of the vote. So, you say, well it's not significant. But there are dozens of them. And those votes add up. This is a 28-point Donald Trump district. And there you see, Herschel Walker running up big margins.
Just to check on the governor's race here. Governor's running up even slightly bigger margins in these areas. There is - there's--
TAPPER: How did Trump do?
KING: Sorry. Let me come - let me come back there. We'll come on back there.
TAPPER: So, 65 percent for Walker, and 67 percent for Kemp.
KING: And 64 percent. So Brian Kemp running a little stronger than Donald Trump--
TAPPER: But it's--
KING: --in that rural area there.
TAPPER: So, this is what's interesting is--
TAPPER: --Warnock is outperforming Biden, in some of these areas, or at least matching it.
TAPPER: But it seems like definitely Kemp, and to a degree, Herschel Walker--
TAPPER: --in some places are outperforming Trump.
TAPPER: In Georgia.
KING: By percentage. By percentage, yes, and we'll see how the raw votes turn out as we come back. So, let's come back here, and pull it out, as we come. I just want to come back out to see if it changes, as we go.
There we go. Look at that. It just changed, while we were looking at the counties. It swung again.
TAPPER: Speaking of States that have changed color, let's go north to the Tar Heel State.
KING: Right. So, Warnock now leading there.
And Ted Budd, again, we talked about this dynamic earlier. First, you get the early votes, then you start getting the Election Day votes. Senator Budd, 5,600 votes, so 5,676 votes ahead, very narrowly. But again, as you start to count those votes, and you start to fill in the rural areas as well, 67 percent. So two-thirds of the vote, we have a ways to go yet.
And again, Cheri Beasley has run a remarkably competitive race. But when you see the dynamic of Democrats get to an early lead, that's the mail-in votes, the early votes that get counted first, Republicans pass them as we count them. We were saying earlier that if you're the Budd campaign, you're saying, "Wait." And now, we've seen.
KING: As it comes in, we want to play out. I just want to come back to this just because it changed while we were talking. I just want to see how much so. And now-- TAPPER: It flipped back.
KING: Yes. So, now it's - now it has flipped back. It went from a 9,000 vote Herschel Walker lead to 115,000 votes.
TAPPER: That's a big bucket.
KING: So that's a big - so that's most likely, you have a large urban precinct, somewhere. You'd have to go back and find it. I didn't - I didn't--
TAPPER: DeKalb County is what - is what I'm being told. That's where--
KING: OK. So, I--
TAPPER: That's where the votes where.
KING: I didn't write it down, when we were here, earlier. But there you go, right there. So, if you had a large - large votes reported, in DeKalb County, and you're getting 87 percent of the votes. There's your votes right there.
So again, you can have these quick and big swings in the night, when you're still waiting for the large metropolitan areas, and the big suburbs, around them, to report votes. Sometimes, you get, a big county reports a big chunk, and that's what happens.
TAPPER: Yes. Warnock was up 7 percent. And now, he's up 65 percent, in that one--
KING: In that one county.
TAPPER: So that's what came in.
TAPPER: And these are votes. These are votes coming in. And it's going to go back and forth, and back and forth.
KING: Yes. And look, there's no question. We went through Georgia 2020, despite what Donald Trump says that we went through the runoffs in early 2021, Georgia is very good, very solid at counting their votes. And so, you just have to wait, and watch it play out. And again, in a competitive state, you're going to get some swings.
TAPPER: Let's talk to David Chalian, at the Battleground Desk, if we can, to give us more of a breakdown of the vote in Georgia.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, just watching you guys, because we are looking at the geography of this, like John just showed you DeKalb County. At first, it was only 7 percent in. Then a huge batch of boats got in there, in a Democratic county.
But we're also looking at the kind of vote and breaking it down of what's still out there. So, I want to just show you, among male vote, Warnock has this big 36.8 percent lead. Roughly half of it, 49.5 percent is still uncounted. Early in-person voting, Warnock, it's a much closer category between the two candidates. He's got a roughly 5 percentage point lead, and there's only 30 percent left of the early in-person votes to count.
But I - you know, John said, it's going to be a seesaw. Look at this. 82.8 percent of the Election Day vote in Georgia is still to be counted. And that is a huge Herschel Walker category of vote. He's currently winning Election Day vote by 37.2 percentage points. And that is the biggest bucket of outstanding vote. So, this is what is giving the Walker folks, even though you saw Warnock take that lead, again, real confidence that they are very much still in this race.
TAPPER: Very interesting, David Chalian.
Let's get one more look at the overall Senate landscape. And then, I want to take you over, John, to the House.
KING: And to David's point, early voting has been a growing phenomenon, anyway. And you want the more people to participate, and therefore you give them earlier opportunities. That's good, whether you're Democrat or Republican, or an Independent. But obviously, that accelerated in the 2020 election, because of COVID. And so, that's one of the lessons we're learning.
And this is more complicated now than it was 10 years ago, just because you get people voting, in different ways, early voting, mail- in vote - early in-person voting, mail-in voting, Election Day voting. And different States count them in different orders.
So, it's just more complicated which requires us to be clear and contextual, and requires people, at home, to just be patient, because you're going to see seesaws, especially in these competitive races.
I'm sorry, back to the question, right now.
TAPPER: Well, right now, Democrats have 47 seats.
TAPPER: Republicans have 42. And, right now, they're leading - they're leading in 47 seats, and four of those are Republican seats. And 42 Republicans are leading. And one of them is in a Democratic seat, which is--
KING: Right. So--
TAPPER: --which is - well it was Georgia. Now, it's not.
KING: No. Georgia is ahead now. The Democratic seat is - we're still looking at this Maryland, Jake.
TAPPER: Oh, it's Maryland.
KING: So, we still have 13 - we still have-- TAPPER: 13 votes.
KING: Yes. We still have 13 to 12. So, yes, we need Maryland to count some more votes.
But if you come out here, again, let's just come out right here, and you're looking at the Missouri Senate race. Again, Trudy Busch Valentine is not favored, in the Missouri Senate race. We have just 6 percent of the vote in. And you see. Where is it? Well, you're having vote right here, in St. Louis, the suburbs outside of St. Louis.
KING: And in St. Louis proper. So again, it's what we're talking about earlier. If you look at the map at any given moment, it's very important. You could take a picture of this and say, "Wow," for the Democrats, because the Democrats are also leading at the moment. We've already projected this race.
KING: Because we understand what's going to happen here. It's just that the Kansas - Lawrence, Kansas, college town, Topeka, Kansas, urban area, Kansas city suburbs, the Kansas City, Missouri suburbs, over in the Kansas City, Kansas side, these are predominately Democratic areas. There's a House District over here. It's a very competitive race. And we'll--
TAPPER: Sharice Davids, yes.
KING: Yes. And we'll be looking at later.
And so, you look at - you can't - you can't look - just look at the map now. What matters is the map, midnight tonight, noon, tomorrow, midnight, tomorrow night. We're going to be doing this for a couple of days. But this race is unlikely (ph) to be close.
I just want to take a peek at this one, because you're looking at very early results here. This could be a competitive race, if you talk to both parties involved. And again, it's very early vote, in Denver, in the suburbs, for the most part, Senator Michael Bennet.
We talked about, would North Carolina, Ohio, or Wisconsin, be a surprise for Democrats. That's one of the ones we're keeping an eye on, as a potential surprise for Republicans.
TAPPER: Let's take a look at the House map, if we could?
TAPPER: Just because, right now, there are 34 House seats that are competitive. We consider them to be competitive that are too early to call. Of those House seats, Democrats are currently leading in 22 of them. Republicans are currently leading in 12 of them. That's not to say that those are going to be the final decisive answers, as to what happens, in those 34. But, right now, Democrats are doing better, in this early vote than - well, they're doing - they're doing well. They're doing what they need to do.
KING: Yes. And so, you're looking these two - these are just the competitive seats you're seeing on the map. If we come out of this, you're watching, these are how - these are - of the 435 House districts, these are the ones, globally, of all that we have results in them.
But now, you just isolate it to the competitive seats, right? We just want to isolate it to the 82 competitive seats that we've identified. And we'll watch. We could be surprised there could be other seats as well.
But you mentioned, to your point, Democrats being very competitive. And again, so where were we earlier? Number one at the moment, Democrats are holding both of the New Hampshire seats, two competitive seats, that the Democrats were a bit nervous about. The Republicans, there's one (ph) there.
And so, then you come down here. The last time Jake and I were talking about the competitive House districts, the Republican was leading this district, in Rhode Island. Now you see the Democrat has pulled ahead, in the Second District - Rhode Island's Second District.
It's a little bit of Providence, it's Cranston, and it's down to the southern part of the state, the western part of Rhode Island. 50.8 percent to 46.4 percent. So, the Democrat has pulled ahead again, as we count the votes, we get more votes throughout the hour. At the moment, that one was red, just a few minutes ago. Now it is blue, still a long way to go.
Then, you come into the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is fascinating, if it holds up. We know this is early vote. We know we have a long way to go to the count, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. But there are four competitive House districts, here, two in the east, seven and eight, Matt Cartwright, and Susan Wild, two out here, in the western part of the country.
Summer Lee's district right here is Pittsburgh, and you move forward from here, and you come up here, and you look at this district here. This is the old Conor Lamb district. The lines have been redrawn, at the moment. But again, very low vote count. Democrats are ahead in all four of those. This is a place, where Republicans think they could pick up two or three seats. We'll watch.
We have a ways to go, Jake. So remembering that the vote is still early, and where we are an hour, two hours, from now, will tell us a lot more about the House than right now.
TAPPER: All right, John, right now, CNN is about to make two more projections.
In House races, in Florida, Republican Maria Elvira Salazar, CNN is projecting has won a second term, in office, in her Miami area district. It went narrowly for Trump in 2020. She is a former TV journalist. Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar will be reelected, CNN is projecting. In Virginia, Democratic congresswoman, Jennifer Wexton, CNN is projecting, has been elected to a third term in office. She represents the Washington suburbs, in Northern Virginia.
So, that's one win for a Republican, one win for a Democrat. The balance of power, right now, 48 Democrats have been elected, 92 Republicans have been elected. That includes three pickups. 295 seats are remaining. Remember, you need 218 seats, in order to control the House of Representatives.
In the U.S. House, of the competitive seats that we're keeping an eye on, Republicans have to win 26 of them, we now say. That is down from 27. So, they have made one more gain there for - that they need to do. Democrats have as well. Democrats need to pick up 52. That is down from 53, in terms of competitive seats.
Let's go to Kasie Hunt, now, who will tell us more about what's going on, with the Senate races.
KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: That's right, Jake.
Let's check in across the map, and we're going to start, in a place we've been, all night, and that is Georgia, where Raphael Warnock, in the lead, right now, 51.2 percent, to Herschel Walker's 47 percent. But as we've seen, this has been bouncing back and forth, and I expect that you're going to be hearing a lot of us talking about this, tonight.
Let's check in though now, on Ohio, where J.D. Vance has taken the lead, 50.3 percent, over Democrat, Tim Ryan, the congressman who now is at 49.7 percent. Again, Ohio has trended red, in recent years.
North Carolina, we've got Ted Budd, the Republican, narrowly ahead, of Democrat Cheri Beasley, 49.4 percent to 48.6 percent. This is a real nail-biter, at this hour, thought we do have 70 percent of the vote in.
Now, let's go north to New Hampshire, where Maggie Hassan is holding her lead, in a pretty commanding way, at 57.4 percent, to Don Bolduc's 41.3 percent. He is the Republican. Considering how Chris Sununu has performed, as the Republican, in the governor's race, pretty significant that Maggie Hassan is right there.
Now let's take a look at Pennsylvania, where John Fetterman is sitting at 64.5 percent to Mehmet Oz's 33.1 percent. Obviously, we expect this race to end up much closer than what you're seeing, on your screen, right now. We only have about 15 percent of the vote in, in Pennsylvania.
And let's check in on Colorado, where Michael Bennet is out to an early lead, 58.2 percent over Joe O'Dea, the Republican, 39.6 percent. This is not a seat that Democrats wanted to have to worry about, but that came online near the end of this midterm season, as the national environment shifted for Republicans. We've got about a third of the vote in, in Colorado. We're going to keep an eye on that through the evening as well.
Now we've got some key race alerts on the governor's races, with Boris.
SANCHEZ: Yes, about a handful of key race alerts, beginning in the State of Texas. There, the incumbent Republican, Greg Abbott maintaining a lead, over former congressman, former Senate and White House hopeful, Beto O'Rourke. Right now, Abbott leading, by 80,000 votes, with 51 percent of the vote in, in Texas, as he seeks a third term.
Let's get an update now, from the Peach State, in Georgia, there, incumbent Republican, Brian Kemp maintaining a slight advantage, over Stacey Abrams, though the 90,000 vote difference between the two is a bigger margin than one Kemp won by four years ago. Keep that in mind. 64 percent of the vote in, he maintains an advantage over that 50 percent threshold.
In Pennsylvania, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, 324,000 votes ahead of Doug Mastriano. 15 percent of the vote there, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Let's get an update now, a key race alert, from the State of Michigan. Incumbent Democrat, Gretchen Whitmer currently leading conservative commentator Tudor Dixon, an election denier, as well. A 11 percent of the vote in. We just got an update. It appears Whitmer is 36,000 - 37,000-ish votes ahead, as we get an update from Michigan.
Let's take a look at a race that nobody expected would be as close as it was at the end. Incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul running for hers full first term in office. She currently leads considerably, over Congressman from Long Island, an election denier, Lee Zeldin, 265,000 votes, as we just got the update from the Empire State. A 9 percent - 9 percent of the vote in, right now, in the State of New York.
We'll send it back to you, Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Boris, thanks so much. Really appreciate it.
Let's take a look, right now, at the governor's races playing out. Some of them are playing out as we expected. Some of them are a lot different than we had expected.
KING: Certainly. Among the governor's races out there, again, a handful of States that are absolutely key presidential battlegrounds, in 2024. Every governor's race matters every year, but they matter all the more this year, of Supreme Court sending abortion rights back to the States.
So, let's go through some of those, as we go. Boris ended on this one. So, let's just - look, and we want to make the point here that we're just very, very early, right? A surprisingly close race in the polling, we'll see what turns out on Election Day. Crime, a huge issue, here. Kathy Hochul, trying to win a full term, for the first time. But the votes in, so far, largely, from down here, in the New York City area, and a very tiny percent of the vote. We're looking at Queens, here. You're looking at the Bronx. We'll walk through Manhattan, as you come over here. That's their early votes coming in there. So, we have a long way to go, long way to go, in the State of New York.
TAPPER: Yes. But this race is much more competitive--
TAPPER: --than that vote would indicate.
KING: Yes, absolutely.
KING: Yes, absolutely. So, we move over to Michigan, again. This has been a competitive race as well. We're only at 11 percent of the vote. You're watching the map. Just, for me, it's just is the map filling in as one would expect. And you look at it, and the answer is yes.
We'll see somewhere out here, Kent County, Grand Rapids out this way, if Republicans do well, here. They're competitive statewide. But it's only 3 percent of the vote. We'll see how this plays out.
And then, you come over here. This election will be decided, Wayne County, is Detroit, which is down here. I skipped it because we have zero votes in. It's 18 percent of the vote in Detroit. Tends to come in a little bit later than the other part of the state.
This is where though it'll be fascinating. Oakland County, if you go back 25 years, this is a more Republican suburb. But it is - this is where you have your upscale college-educated voters, who have become more and more Democratic, 60 percent. That's what Gretchen Whitmer needs to do. It's only 40 percent.
And then, we'll wait for here. This is Macomb County. Like Bucks County, where you're from, this is the more blue-collar.
KING: Just north of suburbs, when you come up here, and we'll see how this one comes in. Donald Trump did well in Macomb County. If you go back to the 1980s, this is where all the studies were done, the Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg--
TAPPER: Right, the Reagan Democrats.
KING: Reagan Democrats.
KING: So, we'll watch. We have a long way to go in Michigan.
So, as you move out here, you come this way, this is interesting, because this would be, again, it's a very modest number of votes, and they all come from a critical suburb, mind you, Waukesha County. Here's Milwaukee, suburbs here, Democrats can get votes in the closer in suburbs. As you move more out west exurbia, rural, it gets more Republican. But it's very early here.
Tony Evers, the Democratic incumbent, again, in a - Tim Michels, near the end of the campaign, said, "If you elect me, no Republicans will ever lose again, in Wisconsin," which brings the democracy question into play, very early. We'll watch this race play out. But again, key presidential battleground, key presidential battleground.
When you move out here, in the middle of the country, where you see this one, people don't think of Kansas as a Democratic state. Kansas has a Democratic governor. Kansas, remember, after Dobbs, had the big referendum, where Kansas voters, commonsense conservatives, said no, to opening the State Supreme Court, to allowing more abortion restrictions. So, it'll be interesting to see.
This is very early. You say 35 percent of the estimated vote. But if you're looking out here, and all - this is red. This, at the end of the night, will be red, barring some huge surprise.
Where are the votes so far? Well, again, it's just, we talked earlier, this is your close to the Kansas - this is Kansas City, Missouri, here, Johnson County, Wyandotte County. These are the Kansas City suburbs, if you will.
And then you're moving into the Democratic area, Lawrence, Kansas, it's Douglas County, that's the fifth largest county, Democrat by 40 points, right? So, you think it's - Kansas is a red state, but it has a Democratic governor. This was a 40-point county for Joe Biden.
You come over to the Topeka area, it was a Democrat plus three, where the Democratic governor early on is running much bigger than that, obviously. So, we'll see. Can Laura Kelly hold on in the State of Kansas? That's a big test for Democrats, a Democratic governor, in the middle of the country, in this time of year.
Then, you move up here to Nebraska, 23 percent of the vote, the Democrat is leading. But slow down, in the sense that look at where the votes coming in. Omaha, Lincoln, the Democratic areas, there's a whole lot of rural red Republican Kansas, to still come in.
A race that Republicans had hoped to make more competitive at the moment with about 40 percent of the vote in, the incumbent Democrat, Jared Polis, leading at the moment in Colorado. Interesting to watch if that plays out in tandem with the Senate race. We talked about that dynamic in Georgia, in New Hampshire. Otherwise (ph), what happens to the governor, vis-a-vis, the Senate candidate in Colorado, they are both of the same party.
Then we come down, just one more quick one, in New Mexico. The governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, running comfortably ahead, but very early votes coming in so far, Jake, only in Democratic areas.
But the governor's race is again, always critical, for state issues, all the more important, because of threats to democracy, and Supreme Court sending abortion rights, back to the States.
TAPPER: All right, John King, thanks so much. And CNN has some more projections.
Right now, CNN is projecting that incumbent senator John Boozman from Arkansas will be reelected. He defeats Natalie James.
In Vermont, CNN projects that Congressman Peter Welch will get the promotion, and become the next senator, from the State of Vermont, in an open seat, defeating Gerald Malloy.
Let's take a look at the overall balance of power, in the 100-seat U.S. Senate. Democrats currently control 38 seats, Republicans currently control 39 seats. 23 seats are remaining.
We also have a key race alert that we're going to go to Kasie Hunt, right now.
HUNT: That's right, Jake. We're going to take a quick spin through all of these races for you. We got a whole bunch of vote in.
We got Raphael Warnock sitting at 51 percent, right now, in Georgia to Herschel Walker's 47.2 percent. He is, of course, right now, above that critical threshold, to avoid a runoff. We're going to be keeping close tabs. We've seen this move back and forth, here, in the last hour or so. 65 percent of the vote in there.
Now let's check in on Ohio, where J.D. Vance still in the lead, but it's close, 50.3 percent to Tim Ryan, the Democratic congressman, 49.7 percent. John King is need to - going to need to walk us through where the votes are still out, to let us know if it's actually going to end up being that close. It's about 45 percent of the vote in there.
Now, in North Carolina, look at this, Ted Budd, sitting at 50 percent, to Cheri Beasley's 48 percent. This is actually little bit of a wider lead than we've seen at some points on this race, tonight. We've got 72 percent of the vote in, in North Carolina.
All right, let's move now to New Hampshire, where we've got Maggie Hassan, sitting at 57.8 percent, Don Bolduc sitting at 40.9 percent. Smart Republicans and Democrats that I'm talking to are looking at these numbers, say Hassan is in a very strong position at this hour. But, of course, we only have 30 percent of the vote in. So, we'll keep an eye on that one.
Now, let's go out to Colorado. This, again, a reach, for Republicans. Michael Bennet at 58.6 percent to Joe O'Dea, the Republican's 39.2 percent, at this hour. But, of course, we do need to know where the votes are coming in, because we're only looking at 40 percent of them, so far.
Now, let's check in on Wisconsin, expected to be one of the tightest races, on the map, tonight. So, take these numbers, with a grain of salt. Mandela Barnes, in the early vote out, 70 percent ahead of Ron Johnson, the incumbent Republican, who sits at 29.8 percent, right now. I'm sure John King can explain to us why it looks that way. There's about 4 percent of the vote in right now in Wisconsin.
Now, I want to check in on Iowa, another unexpected place on the map. But there was an Iowa poll, late in the cycle, from a very trustworthy pollster, out there that showed Chuck Grassley, the incumbent Republican, in a tight race, with Democrat Michael Franken. And some early returns show Franken out ahead 58.3 percent to Chuck Grassley's 41.6 percent. But there is very little vote in, in Iowa, at this hour. We only have 11 percent in.
Let's also dip in, on Pennsylvania, where John Fetterman, the Democrat's at 60.5 percent. These numbers are moving in real-time, to Dr. Mehmet Oz's 37 percent. This is another situation, where they're going to count votes very slowly. This is one, where there's already litigation challenges, questions about how these votes are going to be counted. And we expect that's going to go late into the night. 17 percent of the vote in, in Pennsylvania.
Now, Boris has got some governor's races to talk to us about, some of which are in, some of these same States.
SANCHEZ: Yes. It'll be interesting to see how voters may have split tickets, in these races, Kasie.
First, let's start in the State of Texas. There, we have an update. Incumbent Republican Greg Abbott, building on the earlier lead he had on Beto O'Rourke, the former congressman, 149,000 votes ahead for the two-term - two-time governor of Texas. 52 percent of the vote in there.
Let's take a look at the State of Georgia. Brian Kemp, right now, with 111,000 vote advantage, over Stacey Abrams. 66 percent of the vote in. Notably, he is above that 50 percent threshold, meaning he could potentially avoid a runoff, if this holds. And we just got an update there. Now, 115,000 vote lead for Kemp.
Let's take a look at the State of Michigan. Incumbent Democrat Gretchen Whitmer locked in this tough reelection battle, with conservative commentator, former TV host, Tudor Dixon. A 42,000 vote advantage for Whitmer, roughly an 8 percent lead, right now, still very early with only 12 percent of the vote in.
Let's get an update for you from Pennsylvania. There, the Attorney General Josh Shapiro, he has nearly a 300,000 vote advantage, over Doug Mastriano, one of the most extreme candidates you are going to see on the board tonight. 17 percent of the vote in, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, one that, our Jake Tapper knows very well.
Jake? TAPPER: All right, Boris, thanks so much.
Let's take a look at this governor's race, right now, in Pennsylvania. Josh Shapiro, the sitting Attorney General, running for governor--
TAPPER: --against a state legislator, named Doug Mastriano that Boris just aptly described. What's going on here?
KING: So, you're watching, fills in, more votes coming in, as you say. It's a nearly 300,000 vote lead, for Josh Shapiro, at the moment, who was favored in the late polls, in this race.
But if you just want to go through, just want to go through a place? I was just looking at one place. This is one of the closest most competitive swing counties in Pennsylvania. And you see Josh Shapiro with 82 percent to 16 percent. Northampton County, Josh Shapiro may win it. He may win it comfortably.
He's not winning it, right?
KING: That which tells you that this is early vote, right? It just tells you it's early vote, which is disproportionately Democrat. It's only 20 percent of the vote. But this is a - this is a key swing county.
Donald Trump won it just barely in 2016, when he won the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Joe Biden flipped it, won it just barely, in 2020, when he won. So, it is never like that. Even if Josh Shapiro wins it big, it is never like that. It just doesn't happen. So, that tells you, you're looking at early votes, and we have a long way to go.
So, where else do you look here? You obviously, you come down to Philadelphia, to see what votes in here. Only 34 - only 13 percent of the vote in, you see Josh Shapiro at 94 percent. The Democrat most likely will be overwhelmingly up, when we get to Philadelphia's final count.
TAPPER: But not that up.
KING: If he's up by that much, then we have a blow-out on our hands, if he is up by that much. And so, then you walk out from here. And again, you come to Bucks County. This is the more competitive of the collar suburban counties. It still was a Joe Biden by four points in 2020.
KING: Again, that would be shocking. But you'd rather be ahead than behind. But again, you're looking disproportionately at early votes.
And so, this is the governor's race, let's just come out and look at it. Again, whether it's early or late in the count, you want to start ahead. There's the governor's race, Josh Shapiro at 64.4 percent.
KING: The Republican.
TAPPER: 623,000, yes.
KING: Right, the Republican candidate for governor just shy of 34 percent, 327,000, if you round that up a little bit. And you just bring it over to the Senate race now, and you just see John Fetterman, running behind, underperforming his Democratic ticket mate, if you will.
They're both statewide officeholders, by the way. Josh Shapiro, the Attorney General, of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. John Fetterman, the lieutenant governor. So, they both have won statewide before.
You see 60 percent, if you round that up, to 38 percent, if you round that up. Again, there has been no indication that this race would be anything like that. We expect this race to be very competitive. We're still shy of 20 percent of the overall vote, 60 percent to 34 percent, as it goes up now.
Just want to check again, just one of my favorite places to always look, and again, this is early vote, Josh Shapiro was way up, in Northampton County, John Fetterman is as well. He may well win Northampton County.
Often the person who wins Northampton County goes on to win the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Almost always the person who wins Northampton County goes on to win, but it's not going to be by a margin like that, which tells me, Jake that we're looking disproportionately at early vote.
TAPPER: Early vote, absolutely. And just to put an underlining on the point you were making, John Fetterman, again, 18 percent, 19 percent in, this is early, this is not determinative. But John Fetterman, 59.6 percent of the vote, Josh Shapiro, who is running for governor, on the same ticket, he's at 64.4 percent.
TAPPER: Shapiro running about 5 percentage points ahead. And also when it comes to Oz, Oz running about 5 percentage points ahead of the Republican running for governor.
TAPPER: Just two very different races, ticket splitters.
Let's find out what this vote is, though. We'll look at the Battleground Desk, with David Chalian.
David, this is 19 percent of the vote in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is reporting. What is this 19 percent?
CHALIAN: Yes. So, as you guys were saying, it is an early vote situation, here. So roughly half of what we're seeing in Pennsylvania, 49 percent of that current vote, is pre-election early vote. So, that may be helping boost Fetterman to this 600,000 vote total that he's at, right now, versus Oz, 385,000.
We expect at the end of the day, for the share of the overall vote that is going to be early vote to be about half that. We think it's going to be 25 percent of the overall vote at the end of the day. So, right now, as a proportion of the vote, that early vote is sort of double in size. And that is what is giving Fetterman, giving Shapiro, these larger advantages than you'd expect, in some of these counties, like Northampton, that John was showing you there.
So again, right now, Jake, the early vote makes up roughly half. And we think it's going to make up a lot less than that at the end of the day.
TAPPER: All right. Yes, so disproportionately Democratic.
TAPPER: Disproportionately early vote.
KING: Right. Still, if you're the Democrats, you know that you understand this dynamic, right? So you know you need to run it up.
So, what you're doing, in Fetterman campaign headquarters, is saying, "OK, this is not contextual," and as in it's not final, but what did we need, in Lackawanna County, right? Is that what we needed in the early vote? Is that anywhere the percentage we thought we needed in the early vote? That's what's going on in the headquarters now. They understand there's a long way to go, and the numbers are going to change, and the percentage is going to change.
But they do know what their target was, in every county. So, that's what you're going through, as this vote comes in, you say are we close to our targets? Now that polls are closed, too late to do anything about it. But that's how - that's how they get a sense in the campaign of "OK, now, what do we have to look for, as we move on through the night?"
And so that, if you're the - if you're the Democrat, you're looking here, Allegheny County. Again, this is the part of the state, where Fetterman lives. He lives out here in Braddock, right here.
So again, you're looking. You're about half of the vote. As David just noted, when the Election Day vote comes in, that is where - that is what, in Pennsylvania, they count that - we got a lot of that early in 2020, remember, and Trump took a big, early lead.
And then, my biggest fascination about this race is when I was out here, couple weeks back, in the Pittsburgh suburbs, the more upscale Pittsburgh suburbs, they were asking, a lot of them voted for Trump the first time, then didn't vote for Trump, the second time, because they didn't like the chaos. They didn't like the tweets. They didn't like the noise. They didn't like to being told to ingest bleach.
And so, you're out here in these areas here. There, you're still in Allegheny County, but you're out here. The people, who made George W. Bush, president, and George H.W. Bush, president, and they were asking me, "What do you know about Dr. Oz?" And I was saying, "Not that much, just what I see on TV."
They were trying to figure out, "Is he a Trump?" Because then they were going to - not going to vote for him. Or is he a - is he just taking the Trump endorsement, and when he gets to the Senate, he'd be a more moderate Republican? So, that's one question for Oz. How's he do out here?
Now, the other question for Oz is how does he do here, right? How does he do? This is Trump country. This is where Trump loved his big rallies, in Butler County.
KING: And you come out here. So, again, it's 20 percent of the vote. So, can Mehmet Oz, match Donald Trump, in the Trumpy parts of Pennsylvania, percentage wise, and then with suburban voters there, and again, I'll come back here, closer to your birthplace, suburban voters here. That's just not a contextual number yet, because it's early.
Can Mehmet Oz thread the needle? Get Trump voters to embrace him, but get suburban Republicans to say "He's not that much like Trump. I can vote for him?"
KING: We have a long way to go before we know that. But that's the question.
TAPPER: And you've heard Oz, in the closing weeks of the campaign, try to paint himself as a Pennsylvania Republican.
TAPPER: A little bit more moderate Republican, talking about how he wants to go to Washington, to fight against the extremes, on the left and the right.
TAPPER: Did he convince people in the collar county, who might - in the collar counties, like Bucks County, Pennsylvania--
TAPPER: --Montgomery County, Delco, et cetera that he meant it? Or did he undermine that when he appeared at a rally with Doug Mastriano, and Donald Trump, on the other side of Commonwealth? KING: Right. Right. Or, if you're conflicted by that when you have to actually check the box, how do you settle that conflict, right, in the sense that - you know it better than I do. I mean, we don't have any votes in Montgomery County yet.
But this is where his last event was, in Montgomery County, just over - this is at - this is Lehigh County. So, it's blue-collar Lehigh County, more blue - the most blue-collar of the suburbs, Bucks County, the more upscale Montgomery County. His event was right here, sort of at the verge of all these key counties there. And that's where he was saying, "I'll be balanced. I'll be more of a moderate voice."
Well, those are the people who elected Arlen Specter. Those are the people who elected Dick Thornburgh, Governor. Those are the people, who elected Tom Ridge, who's from this end of the state, in Erie, as their governor.
Pragmatic commonsense, and they're the people, who the margins, they didn't vote - Pat Toomey didn't carry their counties. He did carry Bucks, didn't carry Montgomery. They're the people, who made Pat Toomey, senator, the margins in the suburbs.
TAPPER: I want to walk you, over the House, in a sec. But one other thing, I was talking to a top Democrat, in Pennsylvania, today. And he said the other thing for us to look at, since this is going to - it's anticipated to be a tight race between--
TAPPER: --Fetterman and Oz, is does Fetterman outperform Shapiro, and Biden, in Scranton--
TAPPER: --and in Harrisburg.
TAPPER: Now, Scranton is a - Trump won Scranton, even though it's the birthplace of Joe Biden. He won the county. But because Fetterman does have this statewide name and ID and image as a blue-collar Democrat--
TAPPER: --does he outperform? Again, he won't win Scranton. But does he improve the margins?
KING: So, if you come back to 2020, in the presidential race, Biden actually carried the county.
TAPPER: Oh, he did carry the county. OK.
KING: The county, because of this. You get out here. You're right. The precincts up here tend to be we're talking (ph). But he did carry it. He did carry it in 2020. But you raised a key point, in the sense that what Fetterman is trying to do, I was talking about what needle does Oz have to thread here? What Fetterman is trying to thread - now we skipped through the House.
TAPPER: That's congressional slide, OK.
KING: What the needle Fetterman is trying to do is run it up in the blue areas, and then cut in, cut into the Trump support, in places, you know, this is Latrobe. Latrobe is here, where Oz was at the rally. Fetterman lives right here. So, he wants to be the guy who can, yes, get blue-collar Democratic votes, but also get those blue-collar Republican votes, the white working-class voters--
KING: --who've abandoned the Democrats that - so, I talked about the needles Oz wants to thread. You raise the other one, which is can Fetterman cut into the Trump base a little bit, by saying, "Hey, I'm one of you."
That's his whole thing about "I'm one of you," Fetterman, "Oz is from New Jersey. You want to vote for me because I understand your issues. I have a steel town, outside my window, a steel plant, outside my window," which happens to be true, in Fetterman's case, in Braddock. That's his deal. We're a couple hours away from having good sense of that.
TAPPER: Yes. We'll figure out if that works or not.
TAPPER: Let's talk, again, about competitive seats, because we're looking at 82 competitive seats. Of the 82, 47 of them, the voting has ended, and they are too early to call, 47 of them. Democrats are leading in 34 of those 47 competitive seats. Republicans are leading in 13 of the 47 competitive seats.
Again, we know right now that a lot of what we're seeing is the early vote. But let's talk about these competitive races.
KING: Right. And if that kind of math holds up, Democrats at home would say 47 to 13. That's great. It's good. And it would defy historical averages. But that would still - if that math holds up right there, when you're calling the races, then you still have a narrow Republican majority, because they only need a net gain of five.
But - but if you're looking, as we go through the night, and you're Democrats, and you say, "OK, where are we now, as opposed to where we were earlier?" You just look, Jared Golden has pulled into the lead, in Maine.
Again, this district has rank-choice voting. It could be days and longer, much longer before we get a final result. But again, if you're a Democrat, and you're thinking this is - this is one of those districts they were going to take from us? At the moment, Jared Golden has pulled in a lead.
We're going to move south to New Hampshire, two competitive districts, both with Democratic incumbents here, and you have the Democratic incumbent. We're still only at 20 percent of the vote, here. So, we have a long way to go. But the Democratic incumbent leading here, and leading here.
If these three seats are red, when we're done, then Republicans are going to have a big majority. If the Democrats can hold them, number one, they have hopes, of defying history, and keeping the majority, or they think they can get to a more narrow majority.
So now we're going to come down to the State of New York, and you see the competitive districts here. And again, we have a ways to go, in the count. But you see these competitive districts, most of them are red.
You drop down south, where we just were in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We know this is the early vote, from what we just went through, for Senator and for governor. But the four competitive districts here, Democrats leading at the moment. Republicans hope to pick up two or three of these seats. So, we'll see how the night plays out.
And you keep dropping south. You come - I was earlier - let me stay up this way for one second, because we told you earlier, the Republican was leading at one point, the Democrat moved into the lead, about 15 minutes ago. Seth Magaziner has stretched that lead out a bit, and you're now up to about 87 percent of the vote. So, you see the Democrat ahead there, 51 percent to 47 percent, if you round that up. A ways to go yet here.
But the map, it's - if you were worried, tonight, for the Democrats, you're going to see a bloodbath? We're not - you don't see it in the map now, Jake, with some time to go. But you still have to say it advantage Republican, when it comes to capturing the net five, to take the House.
TAPPER: All right, John King, thanks so much.
And we have some projections for you, right now. CNN has three projections. One of them is a pretty significant one.
CNN is projecting that incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet, will be reelected, defeating Joe O'Dea.
Republicans had a lot of hopes, a lot of hopes that Joe O'Dea was going to be able to pick off Bennet, in purple Colorado. They fell short, which indicates that this is not necessarily going to be the kind of night, the kind of great night, Republicans were expecting.
Two other projections, in Maryland, Democratic senator Chris Van Hollen will be reelected, CNN projects, defeating Chris Chaffee, Republican. And, in North Dakota, CNN is projecting that former governor and current senator, John Hoeven will be reelected, defeating Democrat Katrina Christiansen.
The balance of power, in the U.S. Senate, as you know, 100 Senate seats. Democrats currently have 40, Republicans currently have 40. There are 20 seats remaining. That's what we're going to be doing for the rest of the night, and perhaps a few more days after that. Republicans, of course, remember, need to pick up one net Democratic seat, in order to regain control of the U.S. Senate.
We have governor's races of course now as well. And Boris Sanchez has some projections, there.
SANCHEZ: Jake, a trio of projections, and three victories, for Democrats, beginning with history being made, in Maryland. Wes Moore, who had never been elected to public office, in his life, will become the first Black governor of the State of Maryland, as he defeats election denier, Dan Cox.
Another historic win, in Massachusetts, for Democrats, Maura Healey, in another pickup for Democrats, she becomes the first woman elected Governor of Massachusetts, and the first openly lesbian governor, in the history of the United States, as she defeats election denier, Geoff Diehl.
Meantime, the first openly gay governor in U.S. history will win reelection, in Colorado. Jared Polis defeats Heidi Ganahl, a Republican entrepreneur.
We also have some key race alerts, to bring you, right now, beginning with the State of Georgia. We've not stopped talking to you about Georgia all night. We will continue talking about these races. Brian Kemp, right now, 204,000 votes ahead, of Stacey Abrams, roughly a 7 percentage point advantage, with 72 percent of the vote in, in the Peach State.
Let's get a look at Texas now. There, incumbent Republican Greg Abbott, with a similarly 282,000 votes ahead, of former congressman, Beto O'Rourke, 56 percent of the vote in, in the State of Texas.
An update now, for Michigan. This tough reelection battle, for incumbent Democrat, Gretchen Whitmer. She stands roughly in the same place, where she was, when we last checked in on Michigan, a 40,000 vote advantage against former TV host, and conservative commentator, Tudor Dixon. Only 13 percent of the vote in, in Michigan.
Let's take a look at a true toss-up. Joe Biden won the State of Wisconsin in 2020 by an eyelash, only about 20,000 votes. Tony Evers, the incumbent Democrat, right now, holding on to a 76,000 vote advantage, over Tim Michels, with 21 percent of the vote in, in Wisconsin.
We want to send it over to Dana Bash now, who has some analysis for us.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN CO-ANCHOR, STATE OF THE UNION: Thanks so much, Boris.
And that number that you showed, in Wisconsin, there are so many races there that we're watching tonight, such a battleground.
But let's go back to the pair of firsts that Boris was talking about, governor's mansions, you're going to have a Democrat in the governor's mansion, again, and in Maryland, in Massachusetts - excuse me, in Massachusetts and Maryland.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN ANCHOR, "INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY": Yes.
BASH: Maryland is - because we're local, we see the signs everywhere. Talk about Wes Moore, and the importance of it.
PHILLIP: Yes. Well, look, there's a lot of history that is - that could be made tonight. I think these are two big ones. But especially, for Democrats, in Massachusetts, the first openly gay governor, in that state, or the first lesbian, in the entire country. There could be actually a second, tonight, if Tina Kotek wins in the State of Oregon. But that's a significant moment, for the State of Massachusetts that governor's mansion returning to Democrats.
But in Maryland, in Wes Moore, I think what you're seeing there is someone who Democrats agree is perhaps the future of the party, a huge rising star, someone who, as Boris said, has never held public office before, taking over that governor's mansion, from a very popular Republican governor. I think that's definitely one place I would be watching.
CHRIS WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR, CNN HOST, "WHO'S TALKING TO CHRIS WALLACE?": Yes, there's no question. We obviously, here in Washington, we've seen a lot of the ads, for Wes Moore, an enormously impressive candidate. I agree with you. He's going to have a national profile.
It was so interesting. These are two deep blue States, Maryland and Massachusetts. And, for the last eight years, both of them have been governed by moderate, moderate Republicans, Larry Hogan, and Charlie Baker, both very popular.
But both Healey and Moore were advantaged by the fact that they had hard-right candidates, candidates, who were strongly against abortion, strongly for Trump, and one of them said that Pence was a traitor, the other one said the 2020 election was rigged. That kind of politics from a Republican--
WALLACE: --isn't going to work in Maryland, and Massachusetts.
BASH: Yes, no question. And the resume that Wes Moore has is just stellar. It's - he was a veteran, from Afghanistan, in the 82nd Airborne.
But I want to go back to Maura Healey, and Massachusetts, because - I'm sorry, when you think about it, the history-making moment, of her being the first, openly lesbian, OK?
BASH: But the first woman? There's never been a female governor--
PHILLIP: Yes, it is amazing.
BASH: --in Massachusetts?
PHILLIP: I mean, it is amazing. And Massachusetts is not the only place, where that is a piece of history that has not happened. I mean, there are a lot of places, in this country. But especially, when you look at these state-wide contests, where it is still a barrier to reach, for women to be elected, to those positions--
PHILLIP: --for Black people, to be elected to those positions, I believe Wes Moore would be only the third Black governor that's been elected, in this country, so - since Reconstruction, I should say. So, there are a lot of barriers that we thought we had gotten past that people are still breaking in 2022.
WALLACE: No. And you're exactly right about Wes Moore. I mean, the first Black governor of Maryland, another deep blue state. A few barriers have been broken tonight. We may see how the national race goes, but in a couple of very blue States, a couple of very impressive blue candidates.
BASH: OK. Back over to Jake.
TAPPER: Thanks so much, Dana.
Coming up, the first results, from Senate races in Nevada and Utah, that could be key to the fight for Senate control. Our election coverage continues, in just a moment. Stay with us.
TAPPER: It's Election Night In America, and we're getting deeper into this incredibly important night, in America. Just minutes from now, we are going to get more results.
But until then, let us start with the balance of power in the U.S. Senate. 40 Democrats, in the U.S. Senate, 40 Republicans in the U.S. Senate, 20 seats are remaining. Remember, you need - Republicans need to pick up one net Democratic seat, in order to regain control, of the U.S. Senate.
The balance of power, right now, in the House of Representatives. 75 Democrats, 129 Republicans, including three pickups. 231 seats are remaining. 218 seats are needed to control the Republicans - the House of Representatives.
The state of play, right now, when it comes to the House of Representatives, when it comes to competitive seats, there are 48 seats, where the polls have closed, and CNN has said it is too early to call. Of those 48, Democrats are in the lead, in 37. Republicans are in the lead in 11. There are 82 competitive seats total. That is the state of play, as of now, especially as those early votes are being tabulated.
Just minutes from now, at 10 PM Eastern, polls are going to close, in Nevada, in Utah, and Montana. Both parties aiming for the magic number of 218, the total number of seats needed to control the U.S. House of Representatives. A 11 House seats are at stake in the next hour. Every seat matters, in this heated battle for the House. Four of those seats are considered competitive, in this next round of poll closings.
Turning to the battle for the U.S. Senate, it really could all come down to Nevada, incumbent Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, the first Latina U.S. senator ever, is also one of the most vulnerable Democrats, in the U.S. Senate. She faces a strong challenge, by the former State Attorney General, Republican Adam Laxalt.
In the Utah Senate race, Republican senator, and Trump loyalist, Mike Lee was facing a heated challenge by an independent candidate, former CIA officer, Evan McMullin. McMullin is an anti-Trump former Republican, who ran for president in 2016.
The clock is ticking closer to the end of voting in three more States. And when those votes come, we will bring them to you.
Let's go to Gary Tuchman, now. He is in Nevada, at a voting location, in Las Vegas.
And Gary, you've seen a surge of late voters?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A surge of late voters, don't go this far, Jake, to tell you this. I've covered a lot of midterm elections. I've never seen a line this long at a voting place for a midterm election.
This is Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the Boulevard Mall, about a five- minute drive away from the Las Vegas Strip. And, right now, I just finished counting. There are 250 people in line.
Polls close, officially, at 7 PM Pacific Time, in about eight minutes. But if you're in line, before 7 PM, you will be permitted to vote.
We talked to the person in the front of this line. They said they waited an hour. When we talked to that person, was 10 minutes ago, more people have come in. So, this poll can be open for another hour and 15 minutes, an hour and a half.
One other thing we want to tell you, about results, here in the State of Nevada, there are 17 counties. Each of them - including this one, Clark County, where more than 70 percent of Nevada's population lives, we have been told that until all 17 counties had processed their votes, none of them are to report their votes, to Carson City, the state capital.
So, the results will all come out at once, when all 17 counties are done. So that could take a long time. So, the polls close officially, in seven minutes. But we should not expect results coming for a long time, because of what I just told you.
TAPPER: I can't believe you're walking in that line the entire - the entire live shot. That is indeed a long line!
Let's go to Sara Sidner, who is in Phoenix, Arizona, Maricopa County, getting a sense of what's going to happen there.
Obviously, Sara, we've been reporting - you've been reporting on some of the problems that have been happening, in Maricopa County. How are things now?
SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're told that all of these problems have been resolved. But, as you know, the polls did close at 7 PM.
And we have heard from the Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, who apologized for the problems that happened earlier in the day, but said that every single vote will be counted, rest assured. He wanted to make sure that voters knew that very clearly.
In about six minutes, we are going to have some of those first results just rolling in. And remember that in this county, about 85 percent of people vote early. And so, those vote counts that you start hearing, in just a bit, here, are going to be from early voters, people who came to the polls, before today, or who mailed in their ballots, as well. And so, that is what you're going to start hearing.
By Friday, we should have all of the early votes, about 95 percent to 99 percent of those votes counted. And we will know what those numbers are, according to officials here.
One thing I do wanted to stress is we asked the Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, whether or not those issues, those tabulation issues, with the printers that happened here, in several different voting centers, were going to make this count last longer? And the answer was no, this should be as per normal.
TAPPER: All right, Sara. Is that Mr. Gates, from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, right next to you, Sara?
SIDNER: That is, and we were hoping to bring him in live, if you have some time. We would like to do that--
TAPPER: We'll do-- SIDNER: --if you wouldn't mind?
TAPPER: We'll do - we'll come back later. Tell him, we said hi. We'll come back, and get a status report from him.
Let's get more on Arizona, right now, from Brianna Keilar, at the Voting Desk.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Let's take a closer look here, Jake.
A judge, in Maricopa County, which, of course, is where Phoenix is located, denying a request, from Republicans, to extend polling hours, by three hours. The judge saying there was no evidence that anyone was prevented from exercising their right to vote. That hearing wrapping up just two minutes before polls closed in Arizona.
Republicans had asked for this extension after machines at 60 of the county's 223 locations were rejecting those ballots, earlier. And election officials said that technicians had fixed the problems that the ballots would still be counted, even if they weren't tabulated by the machines that were affected. But the technical difficulties, of course, have stoked right-wing conspiracy theories, about voting machines, on social media.
And the chief election official, as you heard Sara talking about there, tweeting, "Every legal vote will be tabulated," adding "I promise," and we will see some of these official numbers from Maricopa coming here in just minutes, by 10 PM Eastern.
TAPPER: All right. Brianna, thanks so much.
Voting is about to end. But before we call - talk about those races, let's get a sense of the landscape, here, the U.S. Senate. And if we can, if you'll permit me--
TAPPER: Could you take me to Georgia?
KING: I can take you to Georgia, which has just turned red. Herschel Walker, again, we talked earlier about, look for a seesaw here, because this race is so competitive. Herschel Walker now 2,970 votes ahead of the Democratic incumbent senator, Raphael Warnock.
Chase Oliver, the Libertarian candidate getting just shy of 2 percent of the vote. That could be quite significant, in the sense that at the moment, at the moment, with 76 percent of the estimated vote counts, we have a ways to go, considerable ways to go but 49.1 percent to 49 percent, that's essentially a dead-heat, with a very slight Walker lead.
I just want to show you one interesting dynamic, in the state, as Walker now has pulled into the lead. If you look at the governor's race, it's not that close, right? You see an 8-point lead there for the incumbent Republican governor, right?
TAPPER: Brian Kemp up 251,000 votes.
KING: 251,000. So, watch this when we come back to the Senate race, right? So, you're looking--
TAPPER: Almost 3,000.
KING: So, you're looking through each of the counties here, across the great State of Georgia. Watch, while we pull this up, just to give you a sense. Where are the counties where Herschel Walker is underperforming Governor Kemp? That would be almost everywhere.
TAPPER: Pretty much everywhere.
KING: Yes. That would be almost everywhere. So what is happening? Number one, Governor Kemp, let me come - let me turn this off, and come back to the governor's race, for a minute.
Governor Kemp is over-performing Herschel Walker, where Democrats live, and where votes are overwhelming. You might say he's getting blown out here. Yes, he is. He is getting blown out here. But margins matter, in close races.
So look at Brian Kemp, with 28 percent of the vote, in Fulton County, the most populous county, in the state, county Joe Biden won by 46 points, more than 46 points. Brian Kemp's getting 28 percent. Herschel Walker's getting 23 percent, 23 percent. So, that's where the - in terms of where the people live, in a Democratic area, in a large area, that's one way to look at it.
But it's also happening out here. I'm just going to pick a random rural county in Georgia. This is Wilcox County. It's tiny. It's less than 1 percent of the vote. But look at Herschel Walker, getting 74 percent of the vote there. And Raphael Warnock getting 25 percent, if you round that up. Then you come over here to the governor's race, Brian Kemp getting a point or two higher, and Stacey Abrams lower.
So Herschel - Raphael Warnock is getting a few more votes, in these very White rural counties. He's over performing Stacey Abrams in these areas. It makes a difference, in the close race. You might say it's only 50 votes here, or 100 votes there. When you get in the governor's race, it's not close, so you say "Oh, it doesn't matter."
When you get here and Raphael Warnock in the - during this conversation, Senator Warnock has now pulled ahead by 5,491 votes. So, as these votes come in, the margins matter.
The fact that Governor Kemp is doing a little better in the strongly Democratic areas matters, big time, in his race. And the fact that Herschel Walker, in these red counties, all across Georgia, is running a little bit behind the Republican incumbent governor, Jake, it matters, the margins matter.
TAPPER: It sure does, John King. Thanks so much.