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CNN Live Event/Special
Georgia Sees A Runoff Between Walker And Warnock; Election Denier Kari Lake Projected To Lose; Governor Ron DeSantis Win Big In Florida; Not A Good First Run For Lee Zeldin; Governor Gavin Newsom Remain In His Post. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired November 08, 2022 - 22:00 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: 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.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: It sure does. John King, thanks so much. Voting is about to end in three more states, including Nevada. Another key battleground that could tip the scale and the fight for the control of the U.S. Senate.
We have a key race alert for you now, it is too early to call. The U.S. Senate race in Nevada between Senator Cortez Masco and Mr. Laxalt, Adam Laxalt. It is too early to call. We do not have any information for you there to project.
In terms of Utah between incumbent Republican Senator Mike Lee and his challenger independent Evan McMullin, also too early to call. The balance of power in the U.S. Senate. As we've been telling you all night, this is key. There are 40 Democratic senators, 40 Republican senators, 20 seats outstanding.
That is what we are going to be spending the rest of the night focusing on Republicans need to pick up one net seat in order to regain control of the U.S. Senate. But right now, it's tied 40-40.
Boris Sanchez now has a projection at the governor's desk. Boris.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jake, a trio of projections to bring you in. All of them Republican incumbents hanging on, including in the state of South Dakota where Democrats have not elected a governor since the 1970s.
There Kristi Noem earns another four years defeating Jamie Smith. She is someone that potentially has presidential, if not vice-presidential aspirations for 2024.
An update now or projection from the state of Oklahoma. There Kevin Stitt getting a big boost from national Republicans late in the game. A big influx of cash there. He defeats Democratic challenger Joy Hofmeister to earn a return trip to the Governor's mansion in Oklahoma. An update now from the state of Vermont, in a state that Joe Biden won
by a considerable margin, Republican Governor Phil Scott earns another four years. He is the only Republican holding onto statewide office in that state as he defeats progressive educator Brenda Siegel.
A number of key race alerts to bring you now beginning in the state of Texas. Republican incumbent Greg Abbott building on his lead. He's now 368,000 votes ahead of Beto O'Rourke with 58 percent of the vote in, in the Lone Star state.
Let's get a look at Michigan. Right now, Gretchen Whitmer roughly the same place, maybe a slimmer advantage than the last time we checked in on her contest with Tudor Dixon, 36,000 votes ahead for the Democratic incumbent with 16 percent of the vote in.
An update now again, from Georgia, Brian Kemp there 247,000 votes ahead of Stacey Abrams. Notable in this rematch last time around, Kemp only won by about 50,000 votes. This is a much bigger lead, and as you just saw, he added another thousand votes to that advantage with 77 percent of the vote in in Georgia.
We finish with Wisconsin the key race alert there, 85,000 votes separating these two candidates. Tony Evers the incumbent holding onto an advantage over election denier Tim Michaels, 35 percent of the vote in, in Wisconsin.
And as we turn it over to Kasie Hunt, we have to point out there's also a big Senate race in Wisconsin as well.
KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: There sure is, Boris. We're going to walk across the map here. I want to start, take a guess, Georgia, which is where we've been talking about all night.
Raphael Warnock back in the lead by 0.1 percent. Look at that, 2,300 or so votes separating Warnock from Herschel Walker at this hour. We've got 77 percent of the vote in, but I think it's very obvious to everybody watching this could go either way.
Let's take a look at Wisconsin. We obviously just saw at what Boris was pointing out. It's similar on the Senate side. Mandela Barnes, the Democrats sitting at 51.8 percent, but that is not as strong as the gubernatorial candidate. Ron Johnson, the incumbent Republican at 48 percent. We expect this to be one of the closest Senate contests throughout the night. We've only got 34 percent of the vote in, so keep watching that one.
Pennsylvania, let's check back in. This has changed pretty dramatically since the last time we really looked at it. John Fetterman is now at 52.1 percent. To Mehmet Oz's 45.4 percent. This is starting to look a lot more like we expected to look as they count the votes perhaps over the next couple of days, depending on how close it remains.
Right now, about 146,000 votes separating them. Fetterman has been underperforming the Democratic candidate in the governor's race, Josh Shapiro. So, another thing to keep an eye on. Let's check in on Ohio where J.D. Vance has expanded his lead a little bit over Democrat Tim Ryan, the congressman, who's challenging him.
This is of course, retiring Republican Rob Portman's seat, so Vance can hang onto this lead. It'll represent a Republican hold 53.4 percent to Ryan's, 46.6 percent. We still do, of course, have about 30 percent of the vote outstanding there.
Now, let's go down to North Carolina where Ted Budd is still leading Democrat Cheri Beasley, 50.8 percent to Cheri Beasley's 47.1 percent. Retiring Republican Richard Burr has this seat right now, so this would represent a Republican hold. This has been pretty steady for the past couple of hours, but the vote count creeping upward.
We're now at 83 percent in North Carolina. And let's check back in in New Hampshire. This is one that a lot of people were looking to for signs of potentially an early Republican wave if Don Bolduc, the Republican, had a particularly strong showing. So far, that's just not happening. Maggie Hassan is at 57.2 percent. Bolduc down at 41.5.
Now granted, we still only have about 40 percent of the vote in there, so things could still change. But I will say Democrats are saying good things about New Hampshire right now on the Senate side, Jake.
TAPPER: Well, it's a nice state. Of course, they're saying nice things. Let's take a look at the balance of power right now in the competitive seats. Remember, we're looking at 82 competitive House seats. We're not going to look at all 435. They're 82 competitive ones. Of those 82, there are 51 competitive seats that we think are too early to call.
Right now, in those 51 Democrats are leading in 39 of them. Republicans are leading in 12 of them. It's early. We do not know that this is going to be determinative, but this is certainly if you're a Democrat watching at home, better news than what a lot of Republicans were hoping for at this point in the night.
Let's go over to the magic wall right now. John King, let's take a look. And if you don't mind my asking. There is a -- there is a, a little county, a little district in Virginia of the three that we're watching in Virginia, Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger's district. And I'm wondering, it's changed to Blue.
KING: It has changed to blue and we talked about earlier what was happening, three competitive districts in the commonwealth of Pen -- of Virginia, excuse me. The Republicans hope to pick up all three. They thought maybe they could get two. The Waxton race we called a little earlier. That's the most Democratic. She's winning comfortably.
So, then we come down, and again, Washington, D.C. is here. We come down on the Spanberger race. She is now pulled ahead, narrowly ahead, but 4,863 votes with 98 percent of the vote an estimated vote in. So still some counting to do.
So, what happened here? Remember last time we were here, we didn't have many votes from Prince William County. This is the largest population base in the district. It also happens to be the most Democratic area closest to Washington, D.C.
TAPPER: And look at this.
TAPPER: Eighty-nine but still 11 percent outstanding.
KING: Still more votes to come.
KING: From the most Democratic area of the district. Joe Biden carried this county by 32 points, and there you have it right there. She's counting, carrying it by 32, 33 points. So, this county performing. So, you, when you pull back out, again, Democrats are looking at these House races filling in, and what you do see is the Democrats are very competitive.
Is it enough to keep a Republican majority? That's a much bigger question and we'll walk through the night because Republicans only need a net gain of five.
But in terms of Democrats fighting, tough in the competitive districts. You see it right here, a lot of red here in the district as you look for Vega. But the people, the largest population center of the district is right here. And so, again, we have to finish the count here, but we're up to 98 percent.
You come out, I just want to come down south to the Luria district, which is the -- this is the much more competitive district. She has narrowed, Luria has narrowed this but she's still down nine points or 10 points if you round up --
KING: -- to the Republican candidate Jen Kiggans. It's gotten a little bit tighter as things have come in. You're seeing it on the county level here as it breaks up throughout the district. This'll be an area people study after the election, right, in the Virginia Beach area, just south of Norfolk.
But you come back up. I want to come back to the House competitive map. Again, if you're Democrats and Republicans looking at Virginia saying, we're going to get at least two of those three, at the moment you're thinking, OK, maybe we can keep it to just one.
This is a footnote I want to make because it's early. I don't want to draw any conclusions here, but you -- this district has gotten a lot of attention in recent days because Sean Maloney is not just a Democratic incumbent from New York. He's the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He's the head of the fundraising arm to help Democrats try to keep the majority. At the moment, he's losing in his district.
I want to turn off the county line for a minute to just to show you the district here. You're in the Hudson Valley, little bit northwest of New York City, losing at the moment, but it's only 9 percent. So, this is one of those races. Republicans would love this. They consider this if they can get it a trophy because he's the campaign committee chairman. But it is very, very early.
And again, in the other competitive districts in New York, early for them too. So that could change. But Democrats ahead, Democrats still holding both in New Hampshire. Democrats holding that seat in Rhode Island I talked about. We're not done yet, but they're leading Democrats.
This is another one we haven't talked about all night long. Republicans were hoping to pick up. You talked about New England earlier, hoping to pick up a Democratic seat in Connecticut, only 10 percent of the vote, but the Democratic incumbent ahead at the moment.
TAPPER: Vice President Kamala Harris was dispatched to western Connecticut a few weeks ago.
TAPPER: Early October to back up a Democratic turnout in this area. And it's only 10 percent, but still right now, Democrats holding.
KING: Ten percent and it's early vote. And that, so that's one of the reasons, again, we've been urging patients all night. But if you, if you look at the map right now, you see a -- these are the 82 competitive seats, and you're seeing, again, these races aren't called, That's a very important point to make.
Most of them are not called, but you're looking, you're seeing a lot of blue. If you're the Democrats, you're thinking, OK, at least at the moment, this Republican bragging about a big red wave. This map is incomplete. We're not done. We haven't called these races.
But if you're looking now, you don't see it. Can you get a Republican majority here? Yes, you can.
TAPPER: Sure. Absolutely.
KING: Yes, you can. But do you see, you know, you don't see 30 seats looking at this map, and we'll know a lot more two hours and three hours and into the morning than we will now. But again, we'll see if this one holds up. This is an incredibly competitive race for a Democrat. He has a narrow lead here, 27 percent in, again, rank choice voting kicks in here, so this one is going to take a long time to finish the count.
But you want -- if you're -- if you're going into rank choice voting, you'd still rather be the guy with the most.
And I just want to check where we are in the vote count here in New Hampshire, because again, these were -- the Republicans really thought maybe if, especially with the governor, Chris Sununu, coasting to reelection that they could pick up at least one of these and Kuster holding on as we're up to 27 percent here.
Chris Pappas leading more, much more narrowly. This is the more competitive district. This one here, you move up into the north country. This is more Republican territory, 24 percent. It's more competitive. So, we have a long way to go in counting that one.
But you pull back out to the map. And, so North Carolina, we have some competitive seats here. The Democrats at the moment, I just want to check, leading here, 91 percent so that, you know, you're looking to hold and you come here. This is a -- this is a fascinating race here in the sense that --
TAPPER: My goodness, look at this.
TAPPER: Seventy-four percent in and Wiley Nickel is up.
KING: Up, up 11,000 votes. But again, remember what happened in the Senate race there as well when the day of -- day of votes came in. So, we have to wait and see. But again, you know, if you're looking at the map and you're a Democrat, you're thinking, you know, you were worried. You were worried if an incredibly bad night would be Republicans cutting into you, especially in the northeast, which has been traditionally blue Democratics territory for some time.
And the map, it's not great for Democrats, but it's certainly not bad in the sense that when I say not great, you know, again, the margins here.
KING: Democrats have no margin for error in the Senate.
KING: And a tiny, tiny margin of error in the House. Meaning how many seats can we lose? But if you're looking at this map right now, and your Democrats, you, you don't see the blowout here incomplete. A lot of votes to count still.
TAPPER: Right. I guess the most accurate thing you could say is there are a lot of Democrats in Washington, D.C. that were holding her their breath, thinking that there was going to be a lot more red in this map right now in the night than there is.
KING: And here's an example of it here again, just to come out. We're up to 65 percent now. We were talking about this earlier when Tim Ryan, the Democrat, was leading in the early count in the Senate race, we knew that was early vote and we kept saying, we need to wait.
We now know that, you know, the Republican candidate in the Senate race has passed and taken the lead. So, here's Marcy Kaptur in a district, the Republicans who controlled the governor's office and the legislature redrew her district at 65 percent of the vote. Still a way to go and you're still, the Republicans benefit from the election they vote. So, we're still not. But if you're Marcy Kaptur, one of the hardest working Democrats, not taking partisan side, she works the district hard, she goes home. And you're looking, this is all new territory for here way out here.
And at the moment, if you break it down by county, you take a look at the district. This tells you, you know, this when they red -- when they redrew the district, they added this. So, it's just their interesting to watch, Jake, as we go through. Still a lot of counting to go, but more blue than Republicans had hoped on the map at this moment.
TAPPER: All right, John. And CNN has some projections for you right now in the U.S. House. One Democrat, three Republicans. CNN is projecting the Democratic Congresswoman. Abigail Spanberger is the winner in Virginia's seventh congressional district. She's a former CIA case officer. She's criticized her party for moving too far to the left.
This was the seat that Republicans hoped to pick up. They failed to do so, CNN projects. Republican State Senator Jen Kiggans has however flipped the southern Virginia District. She defeated incumbent Congresswoman Elaine Luria, who serves on the January 6th committee. That is one of the Republican pickups. They were hoping for this evening.
Republican and emergency room doctor Rich McCormick has CNN projects flipped the Georgia seat that was gerrymandered to become more Republican. He's a marine veteran who served in Afghanistan.
In addition to New York, Republican, Nicole Malliotakis has been reelected in New York's 11th Congressional District, which includes Staten Island and part of Brooklyn. It was a rematch after a 2020 win over Democrat Max Rose. Let's look at the balance of power right now in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Eighty-one 81 Democrats in the House, 145 Republicans, including five pickups. There are 209 seats remaining to be called. You need 218 to control the U.S. House of Representatives. The state of play right now when it comes to those competitive seats, we've been telling you at these 82 competitive House seats all night.
Democrats, well, let's start with Republicans. Republicans need to win 23 of the outstanding competitive seats. Democrats need to win 51 of the outstanding competitive seats.
Anderson Cooper, I'm going to go to you right now with your panel. This is a suspenseful night. What's great about election nights is that at the end of the day, the polling and the prognostication and the pundits, at the end of the day it's up to the voters and the voters get their say, and sometimes they throw us a lot of surprises like tonight.
[22:14:57] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And that is what makes it exciting and what makes it a very long night, which is why we are going to be here for quite some time. I want to talk with the team here in New York about what's going on in Virginia. Abigail Spanberger winning, Elaine Luria losing. What does that say about where things are?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm happy, happy, happy about Spanberger because, you know, she's great moderate, understands kitchen table issues, works hard, and it's a Biden plus seven district. If she had gotten wiped out you'd be very terrified for the rest of the night. Because if she can't hang on, who else is going to go down?
The fact that she's still there, still standing that she won, I think means, you know, that's very positive for Democrats.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I think both Republicans and Democrats were looking at this as kind of a bellwether district. If she had gone down, that would've been very good news for Republicans. It doesn't mean that, I mean, there are races out west that are perilous for Democrats. We'll see how those go.
But you know, you see this the race in Rhode Island, which I don't think has been called yet, has it?
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But it was very close.
AXELROD: But it's been --
URBAN: Back and forth.
AXELROD: -- that was in jeopardy. That would've been a bad sign for Democrats that this was going to be a very deep defeat that, you know. All I can tell you is, I was in the White House in 2010 when the big wave rolled in. I know what it feels like. It doesn't feel like this. Even if Republicans take control of the House, it's not going to be a night like that where race after race after race, went to the Republicans and a whole kind of crew of young Democrats were wiped out.
You know, the Spanberger win tells me that's not what this night is going to be.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I just heard from someone at the White House who said that they're a bit, they're really relieved about Spanberger and they, they feel like you do, David, that it didn't, it doesn't feel to them like a wave. They're, not happy.
COOPER: Wait, they're just up by one race.
BORGER: Well, this was, well, this was, as David said, sort of their bellwether. This is a district that was redistricted became more blue, and the folks at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have said that this kind of was the race that they were looking at, because if it were, you know, a blowout and she really lost, they would know that it was going to be a bad night.
I think no one is happy about Luria who is on the January 6th committee and is very well regarded and some folks believed that it was her service on the January 6th committee that really may have hurt her. We know that Liz Cheney came out and campaigned for Spanberger.
So, you know, I think Democrats feel like not the wave that they were so worried about, but again, we all have to say --
URBAN: Too early --
BORGER: -- the evening is young.
COOPER: It's 10.17 on.
BORGER: Is that all? Is that all.
URBAN: Even though we've been here for a long time.
BORGER: Yes. We've been here for a long time.
URBAN: Still early.
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So, if -- whether it's a wave, a ripple, or whatever you want to call it. If the Republicans do win the House, the oversight is going to feel all the same.
JENNINGS: They --
URBAN: There's no doubt.
JENNINGS: I mean, if you're in the Biden camp, don't agree --
AXELROD: There is -- but there is the matter of margin.
COOPER: Well, also, let's just look at the Georgia race right now on the screen. I think it's like 700 and something votes separating --
JONES: A lot than that.
COOPER: -- 748 votes separating Herschel Walker.
URBAN: But listen, I'm a little more optimistic here, right? Because at least you know Walker is tending to do better on election day, we we're looking, the graphic that we had up earlier about what percentage of election day votes are still outstanding is really big here, and I think that Walker has been slowly nibbling away.
Scott, Scott has a theory here as long as he is running close to --
JENNINGS: Well, it's been about four and a half --
JENNINGS: -- between Walker and Kemp, and I've been kind of watching that number. The other number I've been watching is the libertarian Oliver. He's at 1.9.
AXELROD: This is (Inaudible).
URBAN: Yes, not libertarian has not broken two, stayed down low.
JENNINGS: Yes. The Walker campaign's theory was that if they can keep Oliver below two and a half, then they might be able to avoid a runoff. So far he is at one point, not obviously incredibly tight margin on that.
AXELROD: But I mean this, who knows? This looks like a prescription for a potential runoff here, and given the way, you know, the Pennsylvania race is running true to form looks very competitive. Democrats pick up that seat. This Georgia. We could, this could be by, you know, biennial event, Georgia decides control.
COOPER: We should also just point out now on the screen Arizona, Mark Kelly in the lead right now with 56.4 percent, Blake Masters 40.3, but again, 41 percent.
BORGER: We don't know Washington state.
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, this evening feels like a mixed bag. And of course, it's actually early in the night despite the fact that it may not feel like this. Of course, Florida just a blowout for Ron DeSantis, winning by more than eight points in Miami Dade.
GRIFFIN: That's huge for Republicans, but then some of the other seats that we were looking at as potential pickups like New Hampshire. You know, Bolduc at this time is trailing. It's not been called yet. We'll see as votes continue to come in. I tend to agree this may not be quite the wave that Republicans were anticipating. Do I think the House still goes to the right? Absolutely.
But that Abigail Spanberger seat is significant.
COOPER: The Arizona governor race on the screen now, 55 percent for Katie Hobbs, Kari Lake, 44 percent. Again, 40 --
AXELROD: My point, my point is the margin is really, really important in the House because, Kevin McCarthy knows that he needs to have enough of a majority so that Marjorie Taylor Greene and that Freedom Caucus doesn't have, essentially --
COOPER: Leverage on him.
AXELROD: -- by the neck when it comes to the agenda there. And he has spent, his super PAC has spent like over $300 million trying to broaden the battlefield so that he'll have a larger majority. So, act -- every one of these races that they were hoping to win that they don't get, even if they get the majority, which I still think is likely, makes his position more perilous in trying to run that caucus.
BORGER: Can we just talk about Florida, because we really haven't had a chance to do that. I was texting with a source in Florida, political source, who pointed out to me that this will be the first time since reconstruction that Florida won't have any Democrats in statewide office. Period. So, and DeSantis' victory --
JENNINGS: The message --
BORGER: -- Miami Dade.
JENNINGS: The message that DeSantis sent tonight, I mean this got called early and Florida counts their votes quickly, so we won't be talking about it as we watch these other nail biters. The message that Ron DeSantis sent to the Republican Party tonight about what he's capable of crushing up and down the state among the Hispanic counties where they have a lot of Hispanic votes, suburban voters, rural voters.
When you talk about building a coalition to run a presidential campaign that could win. That's the message that DeSantis sent tonight. So, I, to me, for 2024 implications this crush because if the rest of the country is a little bit more muddled. And Florida crushes. Think about the political message that sends about what should this party do?
URBAN: I was going to say sitting, sitting across the state at Mar-a- Lago, right, curiously, I think former President Trump has to be watching that. Looking at the margins.
URBAN: Governor DeSantis won the last election by 33,000 votes, I think --
JONES: Barely won.
URBAN: Barely winning. He won by, I think 1.6 million right about now. So, it still could grow, shrink a little bit, but a huge margin. And to Scott's point, the coalition of voters he's put together is something completely impressive that he'd need to put together to run, you know, nationwide. He'd done it here, he could replicate it again.
AXELROD: The other huge number he put together was money. And he is still got $90 million left to start his presidential race. So.
GRIFFIN: Yes, this is as close to a mandate as Governor DeSantis is going to get. And I imagine every elected Republican is going to be calling him saying you need to be the nominee.
BORGER: And DeSantis tonight pointed out, we not only won the election, we have rewritten the political map and he called his own win a win for the ages.
AXELROD: They say, you say -- you say -- it's where every Republican is going to be calling him and telling me --
URBAN: What did DeSantis say is where woke goes to die.
JENNINGS: And I will say what he did during the campaign, he ran all over the country campaigning for all different kinds of Republicans and he never made it about himself, unlike others. And look how he got rewarded by the Republicans of, I'm telling you what he put together and what his team did it. It's really impressive.
URBAN: Big night.
COOPER: Let's go back to Jake in D.C. Jake?
TAPPER: All right, Anderson, thanks so much. Let's -- I'm standing here at the magic wall, obviously with Mr. King, taking a look at th --, at the U.S. Senate and what we got. We got 46 Democrats leading right now, two of them in Republican seats, 46 Republicans leading right now, one in a Democratic seat. Give us the lay of the land.
KING: So, the, one of the Democrats leading in a Republican seat is Mandela Barnes, the Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, leading right now, 47 percent of the vote counted over the incumbent senator by a 30,000 vote margin.
Remember, Donald Trump won this state by 20,000 votes. Then Joe Biden won this state by 20,000 votes. That is today's Wisconsin. it will be close. And you have, they see all the gray. Those are mostly Republican areas, so we're still waiting for votes to come in. This is going to go, this is a very competitive race.
Again, this is one of those races though, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin, where you had Democratic candidates in traditionally red leaning states in a midterm year. This one more of a battleground who ran very competitive races, and we're going to keep counting votes there because Lieutenant Governor Barnes ran a very competitive race.
This is a Democratic held seat that is read at the moment because of Herschel Walker, who has stretched this out a little bit. But this has been a seesaw. Ten minutes ago, Senator Warnock was up by 647 votes. Then Walker was up by about 700 votes now. Walker is up by 16,000 votes. You're seeing the map filling in.
That's one of the reasons Walker's vote total has changed. You see a lot of these smaller counties, this one still has no votes. Coffee County, it's tiny. It's less than one half of 1 percent of the statewide vote, but these are big Republican counties, so it's a couple hundred votes there, a couple thousand votes there.
I'll just give you an example as you come over here. You know, it doesn't look like a lot, but in a close race, you need them. And so that's what has happened recently. Some of these smaller rural counties have started reporting their vote and Walker has come up.
Again, if you look at this dynamic, this could matter.
KING: That could matter because who's ever on top you need 50 percent plus one vote to avoid a runoff. And so, we're still, we got 20 percent of the vote to count, so that could change. One of these candidates could pull more significantly ahead, but this is a nail biter at the moment.
And just to come over and look, a very known quantity, the Republican incumbent at 54 percent with a 285,000 vote lead if you round that up just a little tiny bit, right? So, the well-known Republican quantity, the Republican incumbent governor was 54 percent of the vote.
The newcomer, the untested in politics Herschel Walker running below 50 percent of the vote. So, Brian Kemp helping but not helping everywhere, if you will.
TAPPER: Yes. And it's not just the Herschel Walker's untested in politics.
TAPPER: He's had a very rough campaign with all sorts of allegations about his personal life, about kids he's fathered, and not been not been there for and on and on and on.
May I ask you, because I know you have this technology, can you show me where Herschel Walker is underperforming Brian Kemp, the governor.
KING: So, you're looking at this. Yes. And so just for at home, if you help me look at this map here, it will change. It will -- where is the counties that stay lit up are where Herschel Walker is underperforming.
TAPPER: Meaning the governor -- the Republican governor is doing better and getting more votes --
KING: Yes. TAPPER: -- than Herschel Walker.
KING: That would be almost everywhere.
TAPPER: Pretty much everywhere.
KING: One, two, three, four. Four counties so far, and I think one of them hasn't reported any votes yet. So just about --
TAPPER: Sorry, I just change to three.
KING: That just changed to three. It's just changed to three.
TAPPER: It's all everywhere.
KING: It's just about everywhere. So, it matters. It matters enormously because if you come in here and you come Fulton County, it's Atlanta, it's the largest slice. There are 159 counties in Georgia. So, it's a complicated state, but 10 percent of the population is right here. Atlanta majority Democratic, without a doubt, overwhelming democratic.
Then you move out to the suburbs that are still predominantly Democratic, but there are Republican votes to be had. Right? Herschel Walker is getting 23 percent of the vote there. Brian Kemp is getting 28 percent of the vote. That matters and it matters hugely.
TAPPER: And let me also ask you, because first of all, I mean, Herschel Walker was running a base campaign. He was just trying to get Republicans out. Brian Kemp, who is a very conservative Republican, was also trying to appeal to Democrats and suburban voters. We see a similar difference in approach between Stacey Abrams, who is also running kind of a base campaign.
TAPPER: A little less so than Herschel Walker but versus Raphael Warnock, the incumbent senator who was really highlighting work he'd done in a bipartisan way. Can you tell me, can you show me where Stacey Abrams is underperforming Senator Warnock?
KING: Sure. I can. And I want to add to that point. You know, she ran, Stacey Abrams ran four years ago. Raphael Warnock has had to run three times. Right? So, he's, you know, this is a campaign that says, so where -- so where is, the question is, where is Abrams?
TAPPER: Just to - just to explain this for people who are not in Georgia, the reason Raphael Warnock had to run three times is because he ran for the Senate in 2020. Nobody got above 50 percent. Then he had to run in over again in January, 2021.
TAPPER: And now he's running again. So that's, that's the third time. KING: And he may have to run again in a month, December 6th. That's
just the way it is. We'll see how this one plays out. So where is, the question is where is Abrams underperforming Warnock? And it's not in as many places. Right. It's not in as many places. Because it is the percentages. It's the percentages.
TAPPER: What do you mean it's not as many places.
KING: If you come -- if you come in and look at it, it's -- I'm sorry, it's in everywhere. It's everywhere. In the sense that she's running -- she's running behind him because nothing changes. Right.
KING: So again, you -- and so the point, sorry, I was distracted because the point I was going to make is you come in here and you think, OK, Senator Warnock is getting blown out here. Right. And he is. And he is. But in close races, to your point about, you know, Brian Kemp, popular conservative governor who is doing OK in the Democratic areas. OK.
TAPPER: Not horrific, right?
KING: Not horrific. Right. But he's doing OK. And then you come out here where Herschel Walker is getting 65 percent. You say, well, that why, why are we talking about that? Right? That's 30 points, that's 31 points. Well, we're talking about it because of this. Because that's, you know, 35 points, right?
You just as you, it just says the little bit matters, right? Five hundred seventy-one votes for Stacey Abrams in this county, 6,200.
TAPPER: So, but that's 300 votes for Raphael Warnock that Stacey Abrams didn't get.
KING: And it's 300 there, and then it's another couple hundred here, is what I'm saying. So, in the very rural conservative areas of Georgia, Warnock is getting blown out, but by a much, not much, by a smaller margin.
TAPPER: Smaller margin.
KING: Twenty votes here, a hundred votes there matter. Now it matters out here for the Democrats, and this is where it matters up here for the Republicans. Again, this DeKalb County, this is Joe Biden won this county by 67 points, right? So, you're not looking for this to be read tonight. It's not going to be read tonight, but you see Herschel Walker at just shy of 12 percent. Twelve percent. If you round that up.
KING: The governor is running at 15 percent.
TAPPER: Fifteen percent. Again, that matters.
KING: Thirty-three -- 33,000 votes to 26,000 votes. In a close election every single one counts.
TAPPER: So, what's the overall right now? Because I want to bring in David Chalian at the Battleground Desk. Right now, it's 81 percent established at reporting.
Let's bring in David Chalian at the battleground desk to tell us. David, this 81 percent, where's it from and where's the 19 percent we're waiting for coming from?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Right. So right now, Jake, Herschel Walker is in the lead. He's got that 1.645 million votes there. Raphael Warnock, 1,621,000 votes, 81 percent of the vote in. How much of this vote is pre-election vote? Right now, our estimate is 70 percent of it is pre-election. Which we know Democrats have been participating in the pre-election vote in more robust numbers than Republicans.
At the end of the day, we think that's going to drop down to 61 percent, so right now there's more preelection vote in the Georgia vote as a share than we think there will be at the end of the day.
Now I want to break down specific methods of -- method of voting and take a look at what's left uncounted here. So, in the mail vote where Raphael Warnock has a 36.9 percent lead. It's a big Warnock advantage category. There's still 26 percent of that mail vote uncounted.
I'm going to add in early in person. Here Warnock has an eight and a half percentage point lead over Walker, and there's only 5 percent counted. Now these two buckets together, remember what I just said, make up what we think will be 61 percent of the overall electorate.
The smaller piece is the election day vote. OK? Down here. Now that is a big Herschel Walker category. It -- he's winning it by 27.2 percent and there's still 42 percent of it uncounted. But remember, the top two categories, let me see if I can unhighlight, that is what we think is going to make up 61 percent of the vote and the election day vote, which again, 42 percent is uncounted.
We think that's going to make up at the end of the day about 39, 40 percent of the vote in Georgia. This is why you're seeing such a close race right now.
TAPPER: Yes, it is a nail biter. No idea what's going to happen here in Georgia.
KING: No. And we, we did it in the presidential race.
KING: We -- and the runoffs were closed.
TAPPER: It took a few days. Right? In Georgia.
KING: Yes, that's -- this is why, you know, we can go back in time and show it if you want. But this is -- this is just, this is why. I mean, if you go back to the, you know, just instructive to go back to 2020, that's the Senate race. This is -- this is why we had a runoff, right? The Republican --
TAPPER: Right. Neither of them achieved --
TAPPER: -- over 50. And at the end of the day, Jon Ossoff won.
KING: Right. And so that's if we -- if we're at that point, it's not so much who's on top, it's which to go into the runoff. But if you want to come back to the presidential race, I mean, Joe Biden ends up winning the state by 11,779 votes. But if you go through it, you know, this is Donald Trump took an early lead.
TAPPER: So, what time are we at? We're at 10.30 right now Eastern.
KING: Yes. Now we're at midnight as we're switching. So that's to Wednesday.
KING: Trump is still in the lead as we're switching from Tuesday to Wednesday. Noon the next day, Donald Trump's still in the lead.
TAPPER: Still in the lead.
KING: Starting to shrink a little bit. Then you get to, two days later. Two days later from Wednesday to Friday --
TAPPER: That's when we were up to nine --
KING: Because they were counting all the mail-in votes during the COVID pandemic. Right? And then Biden passes it.
TAPPER: Right. Now they did change the law in Georgia, so you could count the early votes, you could prepare them and you could count them. So we -- it's -- they're not completely in the same vote as of now.
KING: Right. It won't take as long.
TAPPER: Right. It won't take as long.
KING: Yes. It won't take as long this time. So, let's come out of 2020. Let's close that.
TAPPER: And when you're done with that, I want -- I want you to drive up i-95 and take me back home to Pennsylvania.
KING: And then we'll come out of that. We'll come here, we'll get out of the House. We'll come back to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
TAPPER: OK. Where are we here?
KING: We'll see again as we get here, 57 percent of the vote, 106,000 vote lead, but a very, very, still a very close race. That's, you know, three points. Three points and a little bit of change. And the question is, so then you start moving around, right? In the suburbs, only 36 percent of the vote in Bucks County, Montgomery County was empty earlier, remember.
TAPPER: Thirty-two percent --
KING: We're up to 32, about a third of the vote there. If that margin -- if that margin stays like that, this David could help. David will interrupt if I'm wrong, but if -- that's early vote. There's just no way it's not because of the margin. Again, these are more competitive than this.
KING: But if John Fetterman is winning Bucks County at the end of the night by a margin, that's 20 points.
TAPPER: That's a crazy margin.
KING: Yes, that would be --
TAPPER: By the way, Bucks County is usually much, much closer.
KING: Right. Much, much more competitive. And this this obviously is a Democratic county recently, Joe Biden, was it by 26 points. But he doesn't win it by --
TAPPER: Can you show me where the vote is outstanding? Where the -- where we're waiting for the vote?
KING: So that's the key point. As you're waiting for the outstanding vote, you look, the larger the circle, the greater share of the outstanding vote. And the color of the circle is who is leading in that area right now. Does not mean who will win it in the end, but who is leading right now.
TAPPER: That's a lot of big blue bubbles though.
KING: Right. You see the bulk of the vote. Look, this race will come down to can Mehmet Oz compete here? It's the same conversation we were just having in Georgia. Brian Kemp is not winning Fulton County. Brian Kemp is not winning DeKalb. He's not winning Cobb County, but he's running, he's getting a decent amount of votes.
Mehmet Oz has to do it down here. Philadelphia, the Collier counties around it. At the moment, Fetterman is leading and we just looked leading significantly.
KING: The question is, yes, and you see these other circles, these are Republican votes, right?
KING: And they're smaller counties, right?
TAPPER: Well, Erie is not -- Erie is not --
KING: Erie is not so small --
TAPPER: -- and right there, is not so small.
KING: Right. As you come in, but you know, but if you're looking up here, the question is can you know, can Mehmet Oz, the margin. It's the same thing about the margins we see in Georgia.
TAPPER: Yes. I want to -- I want to go to Brianna Keilar if I can. He's at the voting desk. Brianna, where are the votes that we're waiting for here and tell us the status of the counting in Pennsylvania?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, so let's look at this because officials there are doing this marathon counting, that means that they're not stopping until all the ballots are counted. So, no one is, you know, going home in the middle of the night. They're going to keep this up and we're going to be seeing these results coming in into some key counties here.
So, John, you can kind of walk us through some of this and give us a sense of what this is going to mean for the night unfolding ahead of us. In Philadelphia, we'd been told of course, that these final results there could take days.
We're now hearing that officials are going to tell us they'll do a press conference within the hour to update on their status. But of course, we don't know. Obviously, this is going to take some time with some of the measures that they're taking there to verify some of these ballots. Right.
TAPPER: Well, Brianna, just remind people because one of the things that happened in Philadelphia, is that the Republicans made a move, and are demanding Philadelphia election officials to take steps that they're not demanding of election officials in any other part of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and even the Republican commissioner was upset about what was going on. So, let's -- you remidn us.
KEILAR: That's right. And in the end, and in the end, you had that Republican official joined also by a Democratic official, and they're going to go ahead and proceed with that verification of what they're seeing at the polls and cross-referencing these ballots just to make sure that they don't have anyone challenging or that they should not be able to actually challenge.
We'll see if that actually means no one's -- no one does challenge what they're doing. But it just means it's going to add a lot of time to it.
I want to head now to Berks County. So you see this here, Redding is obviously in Berks County. And so, what we're looking here at the mail-in ballots, these are expected to be done here in a few hours. We're actually going to see these in-person votes by midnight. So, brew a little coffee, but it's not too much farther ahead of us, right, where we're going to be getting some information about what's going on there.
KING: Let me jump in for one second, Brianna, because she makes the point that we have more ballots to count. Again, you're looking at margins, right? So, Joe Biden wins this. I mean, Donald Trump wins this county by a little bit more eight points, right? So that's six points right there.
The question is, you know, can John Fetterman keep it that close? It's just one county, but you're looking at margins all across. But as Bri notes, we have some outstanding votes to count. Sorry to interrupt. Go.
KEILAR: OK. So, the other thing we're looking at, if we go to, OK, you're in Allegheny County now. OK, so let's take a look at Allegheny County here. Obviously, where Pittsburgh is, 90 to 95 percent of the results should be in by 11 p.m. And obviously, Allegheny is showing up first as you've been watching all of those results coming in.
But we should be getting a really strong picture of what is happening there where you can compare what John Fetterman is doing, obviously, to the gubernatorial candidate and get a sense of how things are going.
TAPPER: Yes, and look, I mean, this was always going to be a nailbiter. And it was always a very, very tight race especially with, I think it's fair to say that that Oz in the, you know, closed pretty strong.
TAPPER: But at the end of the day, Fetterman is a known quantity. The lieutenant governor. And Oz, you know, people talked about, earlier about does it bother them? It was an exit poll. Does it bother them that Oz is a new resident of the state?
As a Pennsylvanian let me just say, the issue wasn't just that he's a new resident of the state, it's that he was from Jersey. which, if you're from, if you're from Pennsylvania, that's not just a -- that's not like, that's not from Connecticut. That's from, that's a whole other thing it means, but look, we'll see what happens.
But Brianna, go ahead.
KEILAR: OK, so let's look at Bucks County heading to those suburbs that you were just checking out there. Outside of Philadelphia. 40,000 mail-in ballots now have been scanned. They're expecting all of the votes to be counted by midday tomorrow. OK. So, we've got some time ahead of us to find out what is happening there in Bucks.
KING: It's an interesting point. Mail-in ballots. So, in 2020, those were disproportionately Democrat. We don't know that they are this time.
KING: Right. But in 2020 they were disproportionately Democrat in Bucks County have been talking about this all night. But because it's so important, you know, Pat Toomey wins Bucks County six years ago. He's reelected in a pretty competitive race to the United States. Right?
So, this is -- this is very key. And again, so the mail-in ballots. If you look at the moment, look, if you look at the moment, that's a 20- point lead in Bucks County. If it's anywhere close to that at the end, anywhere close to that at the end, John Fetterman is the next senator from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. But we're only, you know, so you're at 61 percent --
TAPPER: He may well win. He's not going to win Bucks County.
KING: Yes. Yes. You're at -- you're at 61 percent statewide. It's just important. So, in the places, you know, Philadelphia, the suburb, 61 percent, but only 36 percent.
KING: Which means you have a way to go. Right? Thirty-two percent here, you know, this is 6 percent, six and a half percent of the state population. This is 5 percent of the state population, and you've got a lot of votes to count still.
So, this was Democrat 4.4. I mean, that would be outstanding. So, we need, we have ways -- we have ways to go. We're still counting, we're still counting votes now. And then Brianna talks about, you know, mail-in ballots. It might not be count until tomorrow.
Remember, this was the state, again, there aren't as many this time and they, they're prepared to count them better this time.
KING: But this was the state that took us until Saturday in the 2020 election.
TAPPER: Well, the --
KEILAR: Yes. TAPPER: Go ahead, Brianna.
KEILAR: I think we're going to see that again. We have the acting secretary of state saying, be patient because this is going to take a few days. So, it sounds like it could very much be a repeat of that. And you know, we're going to be dying to see what's happening here, especially in Philadelphia, but we're just going to have to be patient.
TAPPER: And the other thing to keep in mind is that in 2020, Donald Trump was on the top of the ticket and he was telling people do -- his supporters, do not vote by mail, do not vote early. Oz, to his credit, to his sanity, has not been saying that. And in fact, the way he won the primary, if memory serves, is that ultimately, he beat a very strong challenge from Dave McCormack, by beating him in the -- in the total and obviously in the total vote count. But that included early ballots.
TAPPER: He wasn't -- he wasn't telling people not to vote.
KING: Right. That'll be one of the great case studies. Again, when we're done with the count, the most important thing, who controls the Senate? Who controls the House? What about these governor's races as we get through all that, when we can do a closer analytical environment, look at the Ron DeSantis win in Florida.
You know that Florida Republicans did much better in early voting this time than they did in 2020. The Kemp campaign says, I haven't looked at the data yet. The Kemp campaign says when you look there, they did better, even though Democrats are dominating the Georgia early voting, the Kemp camp again on the margins, the campaign.
So, it's just a simple question, what Donald Trump's saying don't do it. Just ask yourself this. Would you like a month to turn out your vote or one day to turn out your vote?
KING: I mean, it -- what Donald Trump did to Republicans in 2020 was, forgive the word, asinine. Because he costs them the ability to have more time to turn out more votes. And in a digital age, the second you return your ballot or the day after, I know it so I can move on to somebody else. You know, you're not wasting your money still texting Jake Tapper saying you need to vote.
Your votes cast. We know we move on to the next one. The fact that Donald Trump took that away from Republicans in 2020.
TAPPER: No, I know. It's an excellent -- it's an excellent point. We now have some news from Boris at the projection desk for governor.
SANCHEZ: That's right, Jake. A handful of projections to bring you and in all of them Republican victories beginning in Texas. Greg Abbott, the incumbent Republican, winning a third term defeating former Congressman Beto O'Rourke.
Meantime, in the state of Iowa, another incumbent Republican defeating the Democratic challenger Kim Reynolds, their winning reelection against small business owner Deirdre Dejear. We also have a projection to bring you from the state of Nebraska, Jim Pillen. A veterinarian who defeated a Donald Trump back candidate in the Republican primary. He becomes the next governor of Nebraska, defeating state legislator Carol Blood.
And no surprises in the state of Wyoming. A state that Donald Trump carried with some 70 percentage points in 2020. Mark Gordon, the incumbent Republican there, defeats Theresa Livingston an air force veteran.
Let's get you some key race alerts now and in four of these key races, the Democrat is leading an election denier. First in Michigan. Gretchen Whitmer, the incumbent Democrat, she builds on the lead that she had. When we last checked in on this race against Tudor Dixon now sitting 112,000 votes ahead with 30 percent of the vote in, in the state of Michigan.
An update now, Jake, from your home state, Home Commonwealth, maybe Josh Shapiro, the attorney general there, 430,000 votes ahead of Doug Mastriano with 62 percent of the vote. In meantime, our first look at the Arizona governor's race with this key race alert. Katie Hobbs, the secretary of state that helped certify the 2020 election results in Arizona. She's leading former TV anchor turned unrepentant election denier, Kari Lake, 184,000 votes. Half of the vote in, in the state of Arizona.
Then in New York, a race that nobody expected would be as close as it was in polling right at the very end, Kathy Hochul, the incumbent Democrat, 647,000 votes in front of Lee Zeldin who you may recall voted to object to certifying the election results in 2020 in the states of Arizona and Pennsylvania. Hochul holding onto a lead there.
Let's get you a look at Georgia now. This race that we've been talking about all night. Incumbent Republican Brian Kemp nearly 300,000 votes ahead of Stacey Abrams in this rematch from 2018, 82 percent of the vote in Georgia.
Let's turn it over to Kasie Hunt now. Kasie, you have an update for us on some Senate races?
HUNT: We do, and we're going to start, can you fill in the blank for me, Boris.
SANCHEZ: Maybe Georgia.
HUNT: Georgia. We're going to start in Georgia where Herschel Walker, again, I want to compare this directly to the number Boris just gave you, which was 54 percent for Kemp. Herschel Walker sitting at 49.6. That is considerably behind, but he is ahead of Raphael Warnock, the Democrat, who holds 48.5 percent right now. Again, this is so close. Neither one has 50 percent. We are
potentially looking at a runoff, 83 percent of the vote in, in Georgia.
So, let's check in on Wisconsin, which has been tightening over the past hour or so. Mandela Barnes, the Democrat. Look, you saw it tighten right there on your screen now at exactly 50 percent, just 4,000 votes ahead of the incumbent Republican Ron Johnson at 49.8 percent.
Our friends at the magic wall are going to be able to give us a sense of what we -- how we may see this move in the next couple of hours with 50 percent of the vote in, in Wisconsin.
Let's check in on Jake Tapper's Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, also mine. John Fetterman, 49.8 percent now below 50 percent, Mehmet Oz, 47.7 percent. This race really tightening up as we have been expecting all night. About 75,000 votes separate them right now. I think we can expect a really long time counting this race. Sixty-four percent of the vote in in Pennsylvania right now.
And I do want to check in on Arizona because this has been a critical battleground as well. Mark Kelly, the incumbent Democrat sitting at 58.1 percent. So, he's got a comfortable early lead over Blake Masters, the Republican at 39.6 percent.
I do want to point out Katie Hobbs is sitting at 57 percent in the governor's race. So, Kelly is slightly outperforming Hobbs potential to see a split on that race. There of course is only 50 percent of the vote in here, so we could see this tighten up throughout the night, Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Kasie, thanks so much. Coming up, we're going to go live to Georgia as we follow that incredibly close Senate race and whether it may be heading for a runoff. And we're coming up on the first results from the west coasts -- west coast, including the powerhouse state of California.
Back in a moment.
TAPPER: And welcome back. CNN has some projections for you now. They are three Republican Senate holes. In Iowa, CNN projects that Chuck Grassley, incumbent Senator Chuck Grassley will defeat retired Admiral and Democrat Michael Franken. Chuck Grassley holds that seat.
In Louisiana, Senator John Kennedy, Republican Senator incumbent will defeat Gary Chambers, who you might remember he smoked a joint during a campaign ad. John Kennedy will hold onto that seat, CNN Projects.
And then in Missouri, the attorney general, Eric Schmidt will become the next U.S. Senator from the state of Missouri. He defeats heiress Trudy Busch Valentine. Let's take a look at the balance of power now in the U.S. Senate. You
know it's a hundred seats. Right now, Democrats have 40 of those seats. Republicans have 43. There are 17 seats remaining. That's what the rest of the night is about. In order to control the US Senate, you need 50 seats plus one. Republicans need to pick up one net Democratic seat.
We're about to head into another round of votes. Every contest counts with the battle for control of Congress still undecided. Just minutes from now at 11 p.m. Eastern polls are going to close in California and Idaho and Oregon and Washington state.
This will be another chance for the parties to pick up some of the 218 House seats needed for control of the U.S. House of Representatives. A total of 69 seats are at stake in the four states where pulling places are about to close. Fifteen of those seats are competitive. Most in California.
We're also going to be watching the Senate race in Washington state in the hour ahead. Incumbents Democratic Senator Patty Murray seeking reelection after serving 30 years. And the Senator Republican challenger, former nurse and first time candidate Republican Tiffany Smiley is positioning herself as a political outsider.
The governor's race in California is also on our radar. The incumbent Democrat Gavin Newsom is a national figure who prevailed over a 2021 recall effort. He now faces Republican, challenger State Senator Brian Dahle. Newsom has a clear advantage in the state where Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one. Will he take a victory and go on and run for president? That's a question we're all asking.
In the Oregon governor's race, former State House Speaker Tina Kotek is running to keep the governor's office in the hands of Democrats. A Republican opponent is former State House minority leader Christine Drazan, and there's a potential wild card, Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state senator who is running as an independent candidate. Almost anything could happen in Oregon when it comes to the governor's race there.
Polls are closing out west just minutes from now. Well, let's turn back right now to the nailbiter center race in Georgia. Jeff Zeleny is at the headquarters of Republican candidate Herschel Walker.
Jeff, Walker spoke just while -- just a little while ago.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF U.S. NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: He did, Jake. He came down here to the hotel ballroom and he said he simply wanted to thank his supporters and his message was, Hang in there a little bit longer. He said he came here to win. He got in this race to win, and he gave an upbeat and very brief message.
So, there was no declaration of victory. There was no talk about the process. He said he was simply here to win and just to urge patience. So that's what obviously everyone here in Georgia is going to be, is patient for this, because this Senate race has been seesawing back and forth all night long between Raphael Warnock, the Democratic incumbent senator, and of course Herschel Walker, the Republican challenger.
Now just a few thousand votes about up to 30,000 or so votes separate them. Herschel Walker has the narrow edge, but the Walker campaign tells me they believe that some rural counties, the vote is still out in some rural counties in northern Georgia where they're fairly optimistic about the election day vote that benefits them.
However, the Warnock campaign is still looking at votes here in Atlanta and around the suburbs, they say there is still vote out there for them as well. But Jake, one thing is clear tonight as this moves forward that Herschel Walker is underperforming Republican Governor Brian Kemp in his reelection effort.
He is leading Democrat Stacey Abrams by a wider margin. So clearly, some questions here and one thing split ticket voting. We've been wondering all season long if there would be coattails or split ticket voting, definite split ticket voting.
But the question here is, can Governor Kemp still bring Herschel Walker over that finish line to 50 percent? We'll find out in the coming hours, but indeed it could take that long. Jake?
TAPPER: That's right. With 83 percent of the vote in, Walker has 49.7 percent, Warnock, 48.4 percent. If it stays like that and there's still a lot of votes to count stays like that, it will go to a runoff.
Let's go to Warnock headquarters in Atlanta right now where we find our Eva McKend. And Eva, what are you hearing from Warnock campaign folks?
EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, Jake, there is a whole lot of cautious optimism here. Close aides, the campaign manager just leaving the stage, not saying a whole lot, just maintaining that they are feeling good. I did speak with a Democratic strategist working with the campaign and he says, look at, Dekalb County. Look at Fulton County. Look at the major areas around Atlanta. That is where they are tracking tonight.
They are looking to see if the Biden voters from 2020 are going to stick with them. They're also feeling good about these split ticket voters because it is splitting in a way that seems to be good for Senator Warnock. And overall, they are confident in the strategy that they have employed here for the past several weeks by really characterizing Warnock, who is a reliable, a Democratic vote, but characterizing him as a moderate, as someone who can appeal to a wide swath of Georgians.
All of that optimism though couched, with the fact that a lot of votes still need to be counted. Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Eva McKend, thank you so much. And I'm here with John King at the magic wall because we're getting votes in from all over the country. And one thing -- one state we haven't talked to about yet, significantly in terms of actual votes, is the Badger state, Wisconsin, where there's a very competitive Senate race between incumbent senator, Ron Johnson, the Republican and the Democratic Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, the Democrat. Where are we in Wisconsin?
KING: As you are introducing Wisconsin, it flipped from blue to. Just moments ago, the Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes was up by 149 votes. Now that Republican incumbent Ron Johnson is up by 851 votes. We had a bit of a seesaw earlier in Georgia, and looks like we're going to have one as we go through the second half of the vote count, if you will, in Wisconsin.
Sixty percent of the vote in, Ron Johnson now up to 1,422 vote lead. But you can, you don't need me to say a word, but 49.9, 49.9. So, it's 1,400 votes in an incredibly competitive state in recent years. So, we're going to watch this play out. We're at 60 percent, which means we're going to watch it and count for quite some time.
Let's just take a look at what we got. Milwaukee is your largest vote pool. It's 16, 16 and a half percent of the state population. And Mandela Barnes getting 66 percent there to 33 percent. I just want to check in on the Governor's race and see how that's going right there.
It's about the same. Tim Michaels a little bit below there. We'll see when you get to the final numbers. We come back to the Senate race. Fifty-seven percent. Again, this is the largest basket of votes in the state, we're only at 57 percent. Mandela Barnes, if he holds a margin like that, might not stay if this is all early vote. But if he holds a significant margin, just come back to the presidential race just to get a sense of it there.
Joe Biden gets 69 percent of the vote here, so that gives you the target. Joe Biden wins the state by 22,000 votes, gets 69 percent here. So that tells you what you're going to look for as you come through. Not all races are exactly the same, but you want to stay --
TAPPER: Like Barnes and Evers are both underperforming. Joe Biden in Milwaukee.
KING: Underperforming Joe Biden at the moment.
KING: So, if you, yes, so if you, and then you come back out and you look, it's, you see here, Waukesha County where Ron Johnson is getting 63 percent of the vote. I just want to compare him to Donald Trump in the sense that when you come here, Donald Trump said, Ron Johnson overperforming Trump by a little bit a as we go through it.
And again, I just want to check the percentages because the percentages can change when you have a mix of which vote is counted or only vote, or election day vote. But if that holds up, that votes well for Senator Johnson in the sense that you have Milwaukee here. You have more of a swing area right here in the eastern parts of the county as you move into the western parts of Waukesha County. It's Republican territory and that's where Republicans need a healthy margin here.
TAPPER: This isn't something we really were looking for as opposed to Pennsylvania and Georgia, but is Mandela Barnes underperforming Governor Evers?
KING: I don't know if we have that built in just to check it, but let me look to see if we kept it. I don't believe we have it here as we come through. Now we do have that --
TAPPER: We can just -- we can just look at the number. OK.
KING: I can get -- I can get it for you. I was trying to do it the easy way, but we can do it. We can do it the harder way just by coming through and looking at the big counties. Right? And so, you look, you have, again, you have the same idea, different parties in Georgia, but you have an incumbent Republican governor and the Senate candidate here, you have a Democratic governor and his lieutenant governor --
KING: -- is the Senate candidate right here. So, let's just pick a county here. We just saw it in Milwaukee first is Mandela Barnes at 66.4. Tony Evers at 67.4. So the governor running just a little bit, a little bit up a point --
KING: -- a point higher, the Democratic governor there. And so then let's move out. Let's drop down south to Racine County here. It's a competitive county and you have the -- it's 49.5 to 49.2, the Republicans slightly ahead in the governor's race.
Let's flip over and look at the Senate race, a more healthy lead for Ron Johnson there. So, the Democratic incumbent governor is performing more strongly, stronger than his lieutenant governor who is the Senate candidate here. And if you pull it out, I just want to see where we're missing votes here, where the live outstanding votes are.
And you still see, especially down the largest basket of votes still out in Milwaukee in the suburbs around it here. But you see these big red dots. There are a lot of Republican votes out as well.