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Too Early To Call Senate Races In Key States Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin. Rep. Kevin McCarthy Waiting To Address Crowd As Races Remain Too Close To Call. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired November 09, 2022 - 00:00   ET




KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR: We've always expected this race to be very, very close. Johnson is really doing what he needs to do. At this hour, 80 percent of the vote in in Wisconsin.


And let's check in now on Arizona where Mark Kelly is sitting at 57.8 percent. The Republican Blake Masters 39.9 percent. That's a pretty comfortable lead. I think we need to know a little bit more about where the vote is still outstanding in Arizona.

Let's now check in on Utah. This is a really interesting one, Mike Lee, the incumbent Republican at 53.7 percent. He is facing a challenge from independent Evan McMullin. You may remember him from his brief presidential bid. He was in the CIA. He is someone who has mounted a challenge to Lee, hasn't said who he would conference with.

Mitt Romney has stayed out of this race. So far, McMullin is behind Lee, but that's a strong number for an independent running in a situation like this, Jake.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, one of the great things about these election nights, Casey, is that we have no idea what's going to happen. It's up to the voters, not the pollsters, not the pundits, it's up to the voters and the voters are giving us some surprises this evening.

And probably, nobody is more surprised than the man who is the leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy. Let's go check in with Manu Raju. He's at the headquarters of House Republicans.

Manu, I think that it's fair to say that by now, people thought that it would be a bacchanal at House Republican headquarters, it would be raucous, the champagne corks would be pumped. It seems kind of serene.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Yes, Kevin McCarthy had hoped that this hour in the 11:00 p.m. Eastern hour that he would be out here declaring victory, they were preparing to give a victory speeches this time, but there are too many races that are too close to call and talking to his advisors, they are saying they are waiting to see how some key races in the West break. And see some key races in the Midwest break before Kevin McCarthy comes out and address his supporters.

Now, they are still very confident that they will get not just the votes to enough seats to take back the House, but enough seats to have what they consider a comfortable governing majority.

They have set a bar at 20 seats, picking up 20 seats. I'm told by a Republican source that they are still confident they can get there, in large part because of success they are seeing in New York, they believe that can help them ultimately get to where they want to go.

Now, McCarthy himself has met with his political advisors at the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee this evening, as well as his super PAC that have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in key races, as he has tracked races, race by race, talk to some of the candidates who support he will also need at the end of the day to become speaker should Republicans regain the House.

But Republicans still confident even though it's going slower than they anticipated as they wait for the final numbers and for the final margin for potential majority, Jake.

TAPPER: Yes, I mean, we should point out Manu that earlier this year, Kevin McCarthy was anticipating and talking about how they were going to pick up 60 seats. Now, they're talking about 20 and it's not clear that they're going to get there.

RAJU: Yes, no question about it. They had expected a huge wave before the Dobbs decision, which changed the dynamics completely.

And then, ultimately, they were concerns that it could potentially even be a single digit victory for the Republicans.

If it were that narrow, it would make McCarthy's task of governing incredibly difficult, given it would empower some of the folks on the far right of his conference, which is why they've invested a ton of money to expand their potential pickups to around 20 seats. No more are they talking about that 60 seat massive wave.

A 20-seat majority they believe would be enough to get their agenda through and not have problems with that right flank of their conference. Can they get there, Jake? Still an open question at this late hour.

TARLOV: All right, Manu Raju at the House Republican headquarters where they have yet to put on the cool in the gang in celebration.

Phil Mattingly at the White House right now. What are you hearing from President Biden and his top aides?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): You know, Jake, to give you a sense of things, just a few seconds ago, I got a text message from a democratic official who said I love the backdrop behind Manu Raju right now, there is a recognition that this is a night that has gone in a different direction that even in probably their most optimistic view of things, for Democrats and for some White House officials, that this is better than what they could have imagined.

Now, keep in mind, if there was one area where White House officials thought that there was a clear path and one thing that they definitely wanted to secure coming out of this night, it would be maintaining that Senate majority, that is not locked in by any means right now, there are still a number of very tight races out there.

But when you look at the broader map and talking to White House officials, they understand right now that this is a very different picture than most people were predicting going into the night, a very different picture than some of them were expecting.

Even last night, the president, the congenital optimist himself made clear that holding on to the House was going to be a very tough task.


Now, nobody here is predicting the Democrats will necessarily hold on to the House but they are very clear that they have won a lot of races that look like they would be tipping towards Republicans.

One in particular stands out when you talk to White House officials. That was the victory of Abigail Spanberger earlier tonight down in Virginia, it was a tossup race. It was one that Republicans were really targeting.

But it was also one that to some degree was personal for the president, it was Abigail Spanberger who criticized the president and his wide-ranging agenda in the New York Times last year after the first major loss for the president in terms of electoral sense. The Virginia governor's race, Biden called her, joked around with her, ended up visiting her district.

White House officials very much wanted her to win because they knew that would be a sign that there was not going to be a wave, this had a potential for being a positive night for them, they won. And right now, they feel pretty good about things, Jake.

TAPPER: Yes. Or at least not a negative night for them, not the time they were referring (PH).

We have projections for you now and five of them are for Democrats winning and one is for a Republican winning.

In Tennessee, Republican Andy Ogles, a former mayor conservative think tank executive has flipped a seat in Tennessee. It is a Nashville area district that got much more Republican after redistricting.

Democrat Greg Landsman has flipped a seat in Ohio. This is a surprise and a big win for Democrats. He beat longtime incumbent Republican Steve Chabot, this congressional district includes Cincinnati and became a lot bluer after redistricting. Democrat Marcy Kaptur in Ohio, one of the longest serving members of

the House has been reelected in Ohio. She defeated a far-right Trump supporter who was at or near the Capitol on January 6th, that's after her district was made more Republican, she won anyway.

Ohio State Legislator Emilia Sykes has won an open seat for Democrats in northern Ohio. It's a swing district that Biden won by three.

Kansas Democrats Sharice Davids has won a third term. She's one of the first two Native American women to serve in Congress. That is a tough congressional district. It's a battleground district. She has been reelected.

Rhode Island State Treasurer Seth Magaziner has held on to an open seat for Democrats. It's a district Biden won by 14, Republicans thought they could pick it off in a wave here.

Apparently, it's not the year they thought they were going to have.

Let's look at the balance of power. Right now, in the House of Representatives, Democrats have 155 House seats, including one pickup, Republicans have 184 House seats, including six pickups. 96 seats remain. The magic number 218.

In terms of the state of play, looking at the competitive seats, we told you at the beginning of the night, we're keeping an eye on and watching pretty much determined who was going to be able to control the House of Representatives.

Republicans have to win 22 competitive seats, Democrats have to win 44 competitive seats. And right now, we're taking a look at those competitive seats and counting the votes and trying to figure out who is actually going to win.

It still seems as though Republicans are on to a possible path to taking control of the House of Representatives. But this is not the night as you can tell by the crickets chirping behind Manu Raju with Republican headquarters. This is not the night they thought they were going to have.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, and what an odd moment, a crossroads moment we're at in this night in the sense that Joe Biden could well beat the national historical averages here in both the House and the Senate. And yet, he could still lose both the House and the Senate.

TAPPER: Right.

KING: In that -- going back to the Reagan days, the average of the House, the first midterm is 31 seats, right? on the map right now, they may get there. But I don't see 31 seats on the map right now for Republicans. I see them getting a majority right now. It's not done. But I can see that, I'll show it you in a second.

And then, the national average since Reagan in your first midterm election in the Senate is minus two. Joe Biden, of course can't lose any.

In the Senate, I don't think -- I don't think we got an answer tonight. I'm getting ahead of our people out there. But I don't think we're going to know the answer tonight. But we'll see as we go.

So, this is the full House as you're watching it fill in, right. And the important part is, we talked earlier, there's one red (INAUDIBLE) and I'll come to it in a minute.

When we talked about Republicans wanted to pick up a bunch of knowing and maybe three, maybe four, maybe five, that's a lot of blue.

Republicans are trying this, we're still counting out here. But if you see that blue line all the way up the coast, then you're not having a huge Republican night, you can still get a Republican majority. But there were several districts out there, they wanted to pick up.

And then I want to come here to the middle of the country and I'm going to change the map in a second, look at the blue there.

Because the idea was Republicans were going to have a big night and they were especially going to have a night in the competitive state.

So, let's look at the competitive races as we come through here. Just narrowed it down to the 82 competitive seats. Yes, there is a path, a very plausible path. Even I would say a likely path to a Republican majority. We're not there yet. I'll count them out for you.

But look at all this blue. Look at all this blue. Again, in new -- so, I'm going to do one New England seat left on the board here. This was blue when we looked at it earlier, we talked about this race, Jahana Hayes, if you're looking at this now, the Republicans say oh, maybe we'll get this one in Connecticut. I would caution.

Watch this one as well. Because you see the areas in the district that are not filled in, this is new Britain, Connecticut, Democrat by 34 points in the last presidential election.


You come up here to Farmington, Connecticut, Democrat by 22 points in the last election. You come here you're in Avon, Connecticut Democrats by 23 points in the last election.

So, the votes that are still out in Connecticut's fifth district, these districts, these counties out here, the towns out here, they're not counties, also big Democratic areas.

TAPPER: Just to remind people, Democrats were worried enough about this district. They sent Vice President Kamala Harris there to campaign a few weeks ago.

KING: Right. And Dana mentioned this earlier, I think Abby as well, the late democratic scramble when they started to think, OK, well, some blue states are in trouble. Some blue places are in trouble. The Democrats sort of started moving the bodies around and moving some money around. And it may turn out again, we have the final vote. That's a conversation for later in the week.

But then you come here, the Republicans were going to pick up a whole bunch of New York, right?

Well, they may pick up some in New York. The question is, are you going to get all of them in New York?

Sean Patrick Maloney, the Democratic campaign committee chairman is still running behind there. But will there be a massive turnover in New York? You don't see it in the numbers now. But you do see again, if they pick up that seat, that's one and they only need a net gain of five.

So, you come back down here. And again, we come through your home state, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, just a minute ago, this one, this one here was red, and you see this, this is such a competitive district.

If you look at the district, demo -- Joe Biden won this district by less than one percentage points, 0.6. right. So, there you have it. Right. There you have it.

This is one of the most competitive places in America in one of the most competitive states, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This has gone back and forth, it said 93 percent.

TAPPER: Charlie Dent's districts.

KING: Charlie Dent's district. The lines are a little different. But yes, roughly Charlie Dent's district and then you come to Matt Cartwright. Again, this is a Republican district, three points. Trump would have wanted if the lines were the same.

In 2020, Matt Cartwright at the moment with a bigger margin there, holding on. I was up in these districts a couple about six weeks ago, eight weeks ago, Susan Wild said if Matt Cartwright and I hold on, we will hold our majority, that may have been overly optimistic, but if they hold on the margins.

And again, Western Pennsylvania, Summer Lee 99 percent of the vote in, ahead in the district Republicans wanted to take. This one here, this is a surprise to Republicans here.

Chris Deluzio, we were talking about this area of the state earlier in the Senate race, and we'll talk about it later. But the Democrats again, holding on there, and you come out --

TAPPER: The Conor Lamb's seat?

KING: His lines are a little different. But that's Conor Lamb's district, again, a more moderate centrist Democrat in a tough area.

But Democrats are winning in tough areas tonight. That was what the Republicans did not bet on happening. Democrats are winning, or at least fighting in the ones we haven't called in tough areas. So, we come down to Virginia. We've talked about this before. I won't

dwell on it. But two out of the three, the Democrats are holding. Republicans thought they could get two, they had dreamy hopes of getting the third one, that was unrealistic I think from the beginning.

But this, Phil (PH) was just talking about it at the White House. It's not just because Abigail Spanberger won, it's because this district is like so many other competitive districts across the country.

So, if you have a good candidate, and she can hold on, then you're -- then you're thinking we can replicate this as we grow across the country, which is why I want to move now to the Midwest, the state of Ohio, the Republican Senate candidate won. The Republican gubernatorial candidate won reelection Mike DeWine in a walk, right, in a walk.

And yet, Marcy Kaptur holding on here, redrawn district, right? You see the red out here. They added this to her district to make it tougher. Thinking in a midterm year, Democratic presidents first midterm, Marcy Kaptur, again another frontline Democrat who managed to scratch and claw district by district, her way to reelection.

And you can see by the counties here, higher population here in Toledo that's how she does it.


TAPPER: Let me check one thing, this guy J.R. Majewski who lost, we've called this race. But not only was he there on January 6th at the Capitol, according to press reports, he lied about his combat service.

I think one of the lessons that we're going to learn, and it's early at, of course, is when Republicans put normal candidates out in these competitive seats, they can win. And then when they put extremists out, they make it much easier for the Democrats to hold on to the seats or to win.

KING: Absolutely, candidate quality matters. And the flip side of that is Republicans would have said A., we made her district tougher, B. friend of Nancy Pelosi in an anti-democratic year. We're going to finally get Marcy Kaptur. She goes home every weekend, she cuts the ribbon, she shows up in the right places. She works the district, right?

Now, I say that about Democrats or Republicans who do it, she puts the work in to be able to scratch it out. She has a brand. She has a local brand that can sometimes overcome national dynamics.

But again, Republicans thought they could pick up some of these seats. Look at this seat here. This is a newly drawn district here. You have the Democratic candidate ahead. 14,000 votes. This has won Republicans -- what you figure is your Senate candidate is winning, your gubernatorial candidate is winning big, why don't we pick up this district, it's only Democrat plus three. That has been the challenge, right? Republicans thought anything Bidens won by one point is ours. Anything Biden won by two points is ours. They thought they could get districts. Abigail Spanberger is six points. This is a -- Biden won this district by only three points. The Democrat is scratching and clawing tonight.

And then here, this is a pickup. Like it's a redrawn district more favorable to Democrats.


TAPPER: But he's been in Congress forever.

KING: He was in Congress, he lost and then he came back, way back, way back in the tea party years. I've been around a while.

This with the redrawn lines, this is a Democratic district. So, you know, so, it's not a shock that the Democrat won it, but in a year, again, where the Republicans think we're going to -- we're in -- we're taking democratic territory, we are taking back places we lost, especially in the suburbs in the Trump years. That's a big win. That is a big win for the Democrats, because Republicans need net five. That's the democratic takeaway of a Republican incumbent.

TAPPER: Right.

KING: So, it's a swap, if you will, Republicans get one here, we take that there, makes the math more complicated, keeps the House Majority margin down, if that's where they get.

So you're just looking at this map where Republicans thought most of this, or at least half of this would be red, that's not the case, Democrats are still on their heels, because the margin is so close, they can only lose five.

TAPPER: The interesting thing is, if one takes from this night, and again, we're still waiting for results. But if one takes from this night, that the Republicans nominating some extreme candidates ultimately hurt their ability to reclaim as much of a majority as they want, they still are on track to reclaim the House.

The fact is, though, that that narrower majority, and who knows if it's going to be five votes or 20. But that narrow majority is actually only going to empower the extremists that are going to win who are in the Republican Party, the Marjorie Taylor Greenes of the world, because they will -- their votes for McCarthy, a speaker and for whatever are going to be so much more important than actually the irony of so many extremists losing is going to empower the extremists who remain.

KING: Right, Kevin McCarthy, assuming he is the speaker and it looks as if he will be, we'll have a much shorter leash, if you will, to negotiate with Joe Biden. To negotiate with the Senate Republicans.

I'm more fascinated and interested whether the Senate Republicans take the majority or not, is the McCarthy McConnell relationship, because that is Mars and Venus in terms of how they -- of how they approach governing, it just is.

Now, we don't know the final numbers yet. And I want to emphasize that, because remember, in 2018, it took a long time to count the districts out in California.

But I was just texting with a very smart Republican who says 20, will be lucky to get to 25, right? So, that would be -- and it could be smaller than that.

So, what you might get here is, the idea was, is this a big giant change election. The House number is going to change. I think it's likely and I'm getting out ahead of our smart people in the decision desk.

But I think you know, based on this, Republican, my guess, my experience, says Republicans get a majority, but it's not a huge majority. So, it's not a ton of change. And then you come over here.

TAPPER: I mean, the only other thing is like when George W. Bush got hammered in 2006. He called it a thumping. When Barack Obama got hammered in 2010, he called it a Sri Lankan (PH). I don't know that Biden's going to have to come up with a gerund to describe what's happening tonight. It's unclear.

But can we look at some of the governor's races right now, because I'd really like to look at the Arizona race, because that's one where a lot of people are concerned because Kari Lake is an election denier. And 51 percent of the vote in, she's losing.

KING: Right. And so, we won't draw big conclusions tonight and nobody at home should either. But if you have a Republican swing, but a modest one, modest Republican majority in the House, we're going to be at the Senate for a long time.

The next piece of what happened in 2022 will be these governors' races because all governor's races are important. But this one, we're looking at a half dozen others in the key battleground states.

You mentioned an election denier there, 51 percent of the vote in, that's -- you know, that's what you want if you're Katie Hobbs. The question is, what are we missing? Right?

And so, this is where Arizona is decided for the most part, more than 60 percent of the vote. It's one of the fastest growing areas in America. It's one of the most fascinating political areas in America, Phoenix, and the sprawling and growing suburbs around it.

Right now, Katie Hobbs says 58 percent in the county where Kari Lake for 10 years was an anchorwoman in people's homes. That's who she's trying to.

She's trying to convince these suburban Republicans, a lot of whom did not vote for Donald Trump. I'm Katie -- I'm Kari Lake, your anchor, not the Trump acolyte.

You get out into these counties. That's where she wants to be, the Trump acolyte and run it up here.

But let's take a look at Maricopa County.

TAPPER: That's D plus two, right?

KING: D plus two.

TAPPER: And Katie Hobbs is winning by 16, 17 points.

KING: 53 percent in.

TAPPER: I got it.

KING: So, we have to check in.


KING: David could tell us what this vote is. The Election Day vote here, this is -- you know, this is the behavior of the voters here follows closely the Trump model because he does have such a base there. So, we need to watch that.

But if you're Katie Hobbs, that's what you want. That's what you want your margin. But bulk of your votes, 61 percent here in Maricopa County, then you come down here to Pima County, and you've got another 50 percent. 75 percent of the vote. 76 percent of the vote right there in those two counties.

Katie Hobbs again, ahead at 45 percent. Let's see what that number is when we're up to 60, 65 percent.

You know, you build up the margin with the early vote. The question is, can you hold it when the rest of it comes in?


But if you're looking at the map right now, both in the governor's race, and in the Senate race here, you know, Mark Kelly running a more healthy ahead. Republicans were claiming all sorts of -- sorts of late momentum here. This tells us you have a battleground state as you play it out.

And you mentioned the governor's races, as you just come back out. And again, sometimes you have to be careful what you see elsewhere in the news, if you will.

But you know, right now, that's Senate. Let me come back to the governor's race here. Sorry. Right now, this one is fascinating, because the big question was, will the third party candidate help the Republican to victory in Oregon, we're at 63 percent. Still a long way to go in counting the races here.

The West Coast has been democratic for so long, you know, Republicans were very eager.

When I started covering presidential politics, Oregon was a competitive state in presidential politics.

TAPPER: Oh, I remember flying out there with the George W. Bush, both Washington and Oregon.

KING: Yes, it is not anymore. I mean, it started in the Reagan days. I mean, you know, as you come up here, it is not anymore.

Republicans again, they're looking for trophies, and they're looking to say we're rewriting the map. And I think that's the question, you do not see a dramatic rewriting of the map when you look at the House races so far. And when you look at the governor's races, not yet anyway, you don't see it, again, if you watched another network, Kathy Hochul was going to be sent home. Kathy Hochul is the now fully elected governor of the state of New York.

TAPPER: And I said at the beginning of the night that a smart democratic pollster said he was going to be watching three things. The New York governor's race, the New Hampshire Senate race, and the three Democratic Congresswoman in the vulnerable and competitive districts in Virginia.

And right now, we have called New Hampshire for the Democrat. We've called in for the Senate race. We've called the New York governor's race for the Democrats, that wasn't necessarily about whether or not Lee Zeldin was going to win, but about how close it was going to be. It wasn't apparently that close.

And the Democrats have won two out of the three.

KING: Two out of three seats.

TAPPER: So, that democratic pollster, who's not a guy who spins me, he's feeling pretty good right now.

KING: Right. And so, again, you come back to, I don't know if irony is the right word, just where we are, in the sense that, you know, Joe Biden -- President Biden is having a better night than even many Democrats thought he was going to have, we're not done yet.

But as we get -- where are we now, 20 past midnight, so happy Wednesday, you know, he's having -- he had a better Election Day as we continue to count into the day after, even though he looks like he's going to at least in the House beat the historical average.

The Senate is still an open question mark. So, you can have a historically pretty good night and still have your life changed dramatically, meaning the Republicans take the House with a narrow majority, which makes it even harder, as you noted, and now we still don't know -- he could still lose the Senate.

Because the history books will record it as a better than average night, and his daily reality will be miserable.

TAPPER: We don't know about Pennsylvania, we don't know about Georgia, and Nevada is a big question mark. Can I --

KING: I just wanted to check this one since we're here at 87.


KING: I mean, Fetterman, I just want to look at it because you mentioned it. I just like looking back at the margins. And you know, Fetterman is holding on. And again, where are the votes missing. You come in here.

You know, Oz would have to really overperform not win the suburbs but with all the votes down here. You know, Oz needs to really amp -- would have to really amp it up in the suburbs. We don't see it yet. But we have to -- you know, that's why we count them.

TAPPER: So, let's talk about Fetterman for one second, because I think a lot of people thought that first of all, Oz had momentum going into the race, especially after the Senate debate where Fetterman had difficulty.

And also, just that Fetterman stroke was going to -- was going to really end his chances. One of the things I was talking to a top Democrat in Pennsylvania, and he said when Fetterman ran in the primary, he had a strategy about rural votes. One of the ways he racked up his -- he totally ran away with the primary, the Democratic primary was he won 33 of the Republican of the rural counties, I'm sorry, the 33 of them by more than 70 percent.

And we were talking about margins earlier in this having to do with margins in Georgia, margins in North Carolina. I want you to look at three rural counties. And we're going to look at how Fetterman did or is doing versus how Biden did. And these are all counties where Biden lost and Fetterman is losing, but it's a question again of the margin. So, if we could start with Westmoreland County.

KING: Westmoreland County is right here, that's where Latrobe where the big Trump rally was.


KING: Fetterman Oz was just -- within the last week.

TAPPER: OK, so this is -- what is this? 19 points.

KING: Yes.

TAPPER: 19 points. Fetterman is losing by 19 points.

KING: 28.

TAPPER: And Biden lost by 28.

KING: Biden lost by 28. So, on the margins, Fetterman is dramatically over performing Biden in that county.

TAPPER: Jefferson County.

KING: Come down here for that one. Jefferson is here. TAPPER: Right, so OK, so 50 points. Fetterman is losing this by 50 points.

KING: Biden lost.

TAPPER: Biden lost by almost 60 points.

KING: 59.

TAPPER: And then Somerset County.

KING: Right along the bottom, right along the southern border.

TAPPER: OK, so Fetterman losing by 50 and Biden loss by 56.


KING: Right. And so, in the -- Fetterman said he was going to campaign in Trump country. He said he was going to win. But winning for him is cutting the margins 50, 60 you know, that matter.

Again, we did went through this in the Georgia Senate race, the margins matter. And I'll give you one more because he's -- it was the mayor of Braddock. He's for all those counties, you just mentioned happened to also be on his end of the state.

We always focus over here, because it's the largest population center, and then close races, Philadelphia and those big crowded suburbs around it.

But if you're doing what you need to do out here, the way you knock the other guys off, you're right, you're absolutely right. Those are just three, you're going to find other of the Trump counties, the Republican counties where Fetterman over performs Biden, and then look at his home county.

Braddock is here in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. It's a small town. He was the mayor. And so, he's getting here. What's that? You know, almost 30 points, right. 28 points?


KING: 28 points. Joe Biden wins it by 20. So, in a Democratic stronghold, but you know, you look at this. You look at the county and it's blue. It's all blue. Pittsburgh is blue.

When you start getting out here, you know, this county is red, right? It doesn't -- it's not like across the street. It suddenly gets blue across the street. This part if you look at the voting precincts, there's a lot of red out here. That's where Braddock is. And John Fetterman is cutting into the --

TAPPER: So, that's why it's close?

KING: As well. TAPPER: That's why it's close. Again, we don't know what's going to

happen. But that's why it's close right now. Fetterman of course a known quantity, the lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania. Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much. We're going to go to Kyung Lah in Arizona. She's at the headquarters of the Republican candidates for Governor and Senator Kari Lake and Blake Masters.

Kyung, Kari Lake spoke moments ago, what did she say?

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just a few moments ago, Anderson she delivered a fiery and you know a really questionable speech to this crowd at this point. She is trying to make a connection between the mistake that we have seen here in Maricopa County, with some of the polling places, some of the tabulation machines that have had trouble trying to read some of these ballots.

And she's making that akin to corruption and tying it to the 2020 election lie, I want you to take a brief listen to a portion of what she just said.


KARI LAKE (R), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE OF ARIZONA: And I want you to know we are going to monitor the ballots. We got to work in this system that we have right now. And as they continue to come in and our numbers go up up up like they did last time. When we win, first line of action is to restore honesty to Arizona elections.


LAH: Let's underscore that there is no evidence of dishonesty or corruption in this election so far. There was a mistake with the tabulators, it was corrected.

So then, she did also, Anderson, take a turn to asking the crowd to have patience. That is something that we've heard from many of the campaigns here in Arizona, having covered the state a number of times through a number of elections. Things can change very quickly.

It is obvious for anyone who has covered this day that the leader, the winner, who right now at this moment, because we're just looking at the early ballots, that person may not stay in the lead.

So, what you are hearing from Kari Lake is yes, she is asking for patience. There are a lot of votes out there that are yet to be counted. It is too early to say who has won in any of these top races.

But this connection that we have seen, Anderson, is certainly a touchstone to what may predict what's going to happen in the next few days with the Lake campaign, Anderson.

COOPER: Kyung Lah, appreciate it. Thank you very much. Back with the team here in New York, not a surprise that Kari Lake would be harkening back to 2020 and trying to create some sort of buffer around her by already sort of talking about corruption. ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Throughout this race, she's proven to be probably the least responsible candidate in terms of espousing conspiracy theories, you know, creating sort of this fear that something is going to go wrong in the election process when very clearly Maricopa County put out a statement clearing up the wrongdoing hours ago.

What I think is interesting, you know, we're all kind of trying to decide what's the theme, what lessons can we learn from the results we've seen so far? And I think it's too early to tell.

But one thing I did notice is there's a bit of a referendum on election deniers between Bolduc losing, Mastriano losing and even Zeldin.

Now, I'm not saying those are the only reasons those races were lost. But she may actually find that she doesn't fare as well as she was expected to.

Voters I think are sophisticated enough to realize they don't want to go through that exercise again, what we saw on January 6, what we saw after Donald Trump lost the election.

COOPER: It's interesting, President Biden came out, you know, days ago talking about focusing on election liars, and January 6, was criticized for it as having a message that wasn't right. It wasn't an economic message.

VAN JONES, FORMER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: He may have been wider than we knew. And what I will say is that it does seem that things I see are a lot of people were under estimating Democrats, that's the bottom line.


Mandela Barnes, with 80 percent of the votes counted, Mandela Barnes is within two points of winning the Senate race. He was written off: he's too left-wing. He's too crazy; there's no possible way. There's something out there that we were not able to pick up on.

Tim Ryan put up a heck of a fight. They had to drop $30 million on it to stop him. And -- and he put on a clinic.

So there's something -- something happened as we got closer to election day, where the polls were telling us one thing; but the people were feeling something very different. And I think the polls actually jumpstarted something out there.

DAVID URBAN, CNN COMMENTATOR: And just remember, when this started out, let's press rewind, go back maybe six weeks, right? Six weeks ago it was going to be a close race for the House. Or maybe even go to the summer. The House is going to be close. The Senate was out of reach for Republicans. Never going to happen.

And then, you know, the narrative started shifting. Then it became this -- you know, the Republicans are going to win this wave; the Senate's going to fall. The House is going to be gone by 40 votes.

JONES: That's what you said.

URBAN: No, I would never say that. I'm -- I'm always like, look, cautiously optimistic here. But you know, the narrative was probably -- neither of those narratives were true, right?


URBAN: The narrative that true was it's going to be a close race along the way, the whole way. And here we are on election night. Democracy wins.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: For almost -- for almost the entire year, there was in anticipation that this was going to be a very strong Republican year for a whole range of reasons.

There was a brief period during the summer where it looked like a Category 5 storm would be a Category 3 storm. But it may not even be a Category 3 storm.

But getting back to Kari Lake, you know, she is the sort of warrior queen of election denial. So I mean, she built her whole campaign around it. She's told reporters consistently she wouldn't agree that she would accept the results of the election. And I suspect if she doesn't win, she was laying the predicate there for not accepting the results of the election.

But we should point out that half the vote is in, in Arizona. Most of it was -- I think maybe all of it -- came in early vote, mail-in vote; favored Democrats. The vote that's yet to be counted is the vote that was cast today, and it's -- it figures to be heavily Republican.

So these races are very much in the air.

But -- but it really is outrageous. I mean, she really is sort of a more refined version of Donald Trump.


AXELROD: Well, no, I mean, in terms of her representation.

BORGER: Better lighting, maybe. Better lighting.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Better lighting and better makeup.

AXELROD: Exactly. Better lighting and better makeup. But -- but the storyline is the same, which is I win or the election was stolen. There's no third. And you know, I hope that you're right that the -- what we saw tonight with some of these other races was a repudiation of -- of that kind of politics.

BORGER: Well, when you're voting for governor, you're not voting and say, Oh, that person is an election denier. You're voting for somebody who has an impact on your everyday life. And Kari Lake, so far as I can tell, is talking more about the past

and denial and Donald Trump and riding those coattails. And for tonight, what we've seen so far, those coattails are not so long. And so she may have been barking up the wrong tree here. I mean, we don't -- you know, we don't know the answer to that.

McCarthy may have been barking up the wrong tree, you know, thinking he was going to have a huge majority. If he doesn't have a huge majority tonight, his life is not going to be easy. He's going to have a really uncontrollable caucus, not to change the subject from Kari Lake, but that's a whole other interesting storyline here.

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: A couple things that are jumping out to me. You have a country that is very dissatisfied with its government. I mean, right track, wrong track is off the map. Very unsatisfied with inflation. Biden is not overwhelmingly popular, although 45/46 is different than being at 40. Congress is not popular.

And yet -- again, a lot of votes to count -- it may be that the country sends a relatively similar Congress back. I mean, there's a little bit of a shift in the House, possibly very little shift in the Senate. It's interesting to me.

The other thing that is jumping out is Republicans getting close on a lot of these races but not being able to close the deal.

And I want to dig into this later, but it must be independent voters. Because it strikes me that Republicans back Republicans; Democrats back Democrats. The Republican anticipation was that independents were so sour on Biden and the direction of the country that they would just break Republican.


DENT: And it may be, even if they just break even -- broke evenly, that that was enough to help Democrats just hold off in some of these close races. And I don't know. To me -- to me, the story about the independent voter and what they want is really something to dig into.

JONES: I think the other thing is, we may have under-polled young people. I think there's something happening, because I'm hearing from people who are -- who were still standing in line on campuses for two hours after the polls closed, wanting to vote.


Biden actually performed very well for young people when he talked about student loan stuff, marijuana, climate and there's -- that concern about abortions out there.

We missed something. We missed something. It's whether it's the independent voters or the young voters or something out there.

But I think that you know, we're going to look at tomorrow morning. some of the stuff is going to go back in more of a red direction. This is the blue mirage stuff going on. But I think everybody is going to have to look in the mirror and say, I don't think that we understand what the American people are going through. This much economic pain should have resulted in a revolt against --


AXELROD: I just want to point out, of young people, there were enormous lines in Michigan --


AXELROD: -- where there's an abortion -- constitutional amendment on abortion that is on the ballot there. University of Michigan, I was told today, four-hour lines to vote.

And so it may be that in places -- you know, in Wisconsin, 90 percent turnout in Dane County, where the University of Wisconsin is. That is a place where abortion, I think, is a concern because of the legislature and potentially the change of governor.

So where it's really in jeopardy or on the ballot, I think young people have been highly motivated.

COOPER: Coming up, more votes, more projections on this very exciting election night as we watch vote counting play out live in Nevada. Stay right there. It is -- right to the vote (ph). We'll bring you there.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to election night in America. We have some CNN projections for you for some House races.

In Texas, the 34th Congressional District, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez defeats Mayra Flores. Vicente Gonzalez is the winner in that race in Texas.

In Illinois, 13th Congressional District, Democrat Nikki Budzinski has flipped an open seat that was gerrymandered to become more blue. She's a former Biden administration official. She will defeat Regan Deering.

And then, in New Jersey's 7th Congressional District, Republican Thomas Kean Jr. has defeated incumbent Congressman Tom Malinowski. Malinowski is the incumbent, Kean Jr. the former New Jersey Senate Republican leader and also son of the former New Jersey governor and chair of the 9/11 Commission, Tom Kean.

Let's look at the balance of power right now: 218 seats are needed to control the House of Representatives. One hundred and sixty-five seats, the Democrats have 165, including two pickups. Republicans have 190 seats, including seven pickups. Eighty seats remaining right now.

The state of play right now when it comes to those competitive seats, those 82 competitive seats we've been looking at the entire night. Republicans need to win 21 of them. Democrats need to win 40 of them. So Republicans have an easier task ahead of them.

Let's look at these other two races right now that I -- very interesting as votes are coming in.

In Colorado's 7th -- 3rd Congressional District, Lauren Boebert, the incumbent Republican congresswoman, a firebrand, some would say an extremist, is currently losing. She's 8,551 votes behind her Democratic challenger, Adam Frisch, with 80 percent of the vote in. That is a surprising result as of now. It is not the end. We're still looking at the votes. They're still counting them.

And then in New York, at the 17th Congressional District, Sean Maloney, who is the -- in addition to being an incumbent congressman, he is the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he is losing with 85 percent of the vote in, to Michael Lawler, a local state representative.

We also have some governor's races for you right now. Boris Sanchez has those.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: We have a pair of projections to bring you, both of them Democratic holds.

First, in the state of New Mexico, incumbent Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham, the only Latino governor in the United States, she defeats former TV weatherman, Mark Ronchetti, for another four years in New Mexico.

In the state of Connecticut, another Democratic win. Incumbent Democrat Ned Lamont winning his rematch against Bob Stefanowski. This race decided by three percentage points last time around; a much bigger margin this time, securing another four years for Ned Lamont.

Let's take a look at some key race alerts now for races where Democrats are defeating either election deniers or election questioners.

Starting with Arizona: Katie Hobbs right now, 172,000 votes ahead of Kari Lake, 52 percent of the vote in, in Arizona.

Let's get an update now from Michigan. Gretchen Whitmer, the incumbent Democrat, 133,000 votes ahead of conservative commentator Tudor Dixon, 62 percent of the vote in, in Michigan.

As we take a look at Wisconsin, a very close race there. Joe Biden won the state by only about 20,000 votes last time. That's roughly the advantage that incumbent Democrat Tony Evers has right now, about 25,000 votes ahead of Tim Michels, with 83 percent of the vote in, in Wisconsin.

We also have an update to bring you in the state of Kansas. This race very, very close. Incumbent Democrat Laura Kelly, perhaps the most vulnerable incumbent Democrat on the entire map, 24,000 votes ahead right now of Derek Schmidt, with 86 percent of the vote in, in Kansas.

And we have a bonus projection to bring you. In a secretary of state race in Georgia, this guy became a household name after the 2020 election. Brad Raffensperger caught on tape as Donald Trump tried to convince him to find 11,000 votes in the Peach State. Raffensperger refused. Donald Trump made him a target. But he wins reelection as the secretary of state in Georgia.

Let's turn it over to Kasie Hunt now. You've got an update for us on Senate races -- Kasie.

HUNT: Yes. And we are going to start, as we always have this evening, in that same state, which is Georgia. Raphael Warnock has actually ticked into the lead here, but man, look how close this is: 12,631 votes right now of literally millions -- you can see it on the screen -- separating Warnock from Walker.

Again, both under 50 percent. The question remains, can someone get to the point where they avoid a runoff, or we are looking at four more weeks of this fight that we have seen 94 percent of the vote in, in Georgia.


Let's check in now in Pennsylvania, which is turning out to be our other linchpin. John Fetterman, 49.2 percent; Mehmet Oz, 48.3 percent. You heard Jake and John King really breaking down where some of the votes are out. Here Fetterman seems to be outperforming what Biden did in some of the rural counties, but we're still waiting on those big numbers in counties like Philadelphia.

Eighty-eight percent of the vote in, but this really could be where the Senate hinges.

Now, let's take a look at Wisconsin. Ron Johnson sitting at 51.6 percent. He is doing better than the Republican gubernatorial candidate. And Mandela Barnes is underperforming the sitting governor, Tony Evers. Fifty-one point six percent to 48.2 percent for this race. Still very close, but Johnson right now doing what he needs to do with 83 percent of the vote in here.

Now, let's check in on Arizona, where Mark Kelly is sitting at 57.2 percent, pretty comfortable lead over Blake Masters, who's got 40.5 percent. It's tightened a little bit since the last time we took a look at this.

We really need to know where we're still waiting on votes to fully understand what this means at this hour of the night. We've got 53 percent of the vote in, in Arizona -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Kasie. Wow, lots of votes still out there.

John King and I are going to dive into Georgia, where six percent of the vote is remaining outstanding. Raphael Warnock has taken a slight lead, at 49.1 percent. He's 12,000 votes ahead.

So what are we looking for? We're going to tell you right after this quick break.



TAPPER: All right. So here we are, back at the Magic Wall with John King. And he's going to tell us what's going on in Georgia right now.

Neither Warnock nor Walker is about 50 percent. So if it were to stay like this, it would go to a runoff. But let's forget that for now and just tell me where is the outstanding vote and how are they performing?

KING: We've got six percent still outstanding here, and let's just take a look at where it is across the state.

And again, if you're joining us, or having been with us earlier in the night, the larger the circle, the bigger slice of the outstanding vote is within that circle. The blue says the Democrat is leading in this area. The red says the Republican is leading -- doesn't mean they'll win -- but leading in that area.

So where are the largest circles? Right? Most of them are right here in Atlanta and the suburbs, and they are by far -- by far -- the biggest slice of the vote still outstanding to be counted is in these Democratic areas. So your eyes tell you advantage Warnock when you look at that.

I just want to caution you, look at how many other counties. There are votes out everywhere. In some of these counties, it's a very small percentage of vote that's out. But you have these counties where Herschel Walker -- you know, it's tiny. It's less than one-half of one percent of the population.

TAPPER: That's 10,000 votes.

KING: Right. But if he -- you know, if you add a couple -- you add a couple hundred here, you add a couple hundred here. So you have to be careful. We need to count them all, in a state this close and this competitive.

Sometimes, you can just say, you know, there's 100,000 votes out here. The margins, we're done. This state is so competitive and you have a lot of Republican votes still to be counted.

But your eyes don't lie. The biggest proportion of the vote -- let me come up here, I move the map a little bit -- is here. And we're getting into the suburbs right around Atlanta, where most competitive races in -- in statewide elections in America are decided in the suburbs.

Cobb County, where 14-point advantage right now, 15-point advantage right now for Senator Warnock. Still a good chunk of votes out there.

Fulton County is Atlanta, the largest county in the state. Atlanta here, suburbs to the North and South. About 10 percent of the state population.

Again, Joe Biden won this county by 46. Senator Warnock is doing better than that if you add it all up there. So he's doing well.

And then you come out here, you start moving out to the suburbs. Gwinnett County, 18-point Biden win there. Again, you're looking at 21 right there.

So Warnock is overperforming Biden in most of these counties where you still have a large percentage, or a decent percentage I should say, a decent share, of the outstanding votes, as you see the circles.

So you come back in. Again, the only cautionary tale is we have seen this happen before by watching Trump races. When these counties start to come in.

And again, you know, this is at 1.1. It's 21 in terms of the 159 counties in terms of population size. But it's an 18-point win there. So Herschel Walker will pick up some votes here, which tells you, if I'm sitting in the Warnock campaign headquarters, I'm reasonably optimistic looking at that.

But if we have lived through Georgia elections, we're going to count these. And then, again, we're going to have to count them to the end. And then we're going to have to see if whosever on top then is above 50. And December 6, if the answer is no.

TAPPER: Neck and neck.

Let's -- let's drive up I-95. You know where I'm heading.

KING: You're heading home.

TAPPER: Pennsylvania.

KING: So we'll bring it up right here, look at it. This one here, 56,735 votes for the Democrat. Eighty-nine percent. Let's do the same. Let's just take a look at where we're -- still have outstanding votes here.

And this, your eyes here don't lie. And it's a little more significant. Yes, you have some tiny dots in these tiny rural counties, but they're tiny, which means it's a very small percentage of the outstanding vote.

What do you mean by that? Ninety-nine percent reported here. You move over here, just to check the numbers here. Potter County, 99 percent. So when you see just the little, very tiny dots, we're not talking many votes here.

TAPPER: It's a speck.

KING: Right. So then you see, where -- where are the bigger circles? They're in Allegheny County, where John Fetterman is romping. This is his home county. Braddock, Pennsylvania is where he was the mayor before lieutenant governor. That's right here.

That is, to borrow a term from a past midterm, a shellacking in Allegheny County.

And then you come over here, to the birthplace of one Jake Tapper, Philadelphia and the suburbs around it. So we'll come straight in first -- I just crossed the border there. You told me not to do that earlier.

TAPPER: Yes. Don't go to New Jersey.

KING: Yes, that's bad.

So we'll start here in Chester County, and then we'll move our way toward Philadelphia. Very competitive, right? It's a very competitive county; still a lot of votes out here, so -- the Democrat is leading, which is why you see the blue circle.

TAPPER: How is Fetterman doing in Chester County compared to how Biden did?

KING: So this was 17 points, so it's closer.

TAPPER: Much closer.

KING: Oz is running much closer.

TAPPER: Oz is much --

KING: Oz is -- Oz is running much closer. That -- that's the test, right? So that's why you have to watch it.

So then we'll come over here to Delaware County, or Delco, if you're going to correct me right here. And again, so 35 to 60 -- 25, you know, it's --

TAPPER: But Oz, again, is overperforming Trump.

KING: That's true, 26, yes. It's closer; closer to the average there. But yes, and again, if he's overperforming a little bit.

If you want to look at it that way, we can come out here. Let's take this away. You raised the question in that time -- in that context. So let's look at it that way. Let's look at it here.


TAPPER: Where is Oz outperforming Donald Trump in 2020?

KING: Not many places.

TAPPER: Not many places?

KING: Not many places. So Mehmet Oz is outperforming Donald Trump -- and this pulls away -- you just mentioned.

TAPPER: Oh, it's just Chester County.

KING: Just Chester County.

TAPPER: Sorry.

KING: So if you're looking at the Trump map and you say -- you know, and Donald Trump lost Pennsylvania, remember. And so you're looking at it this way. And so you come at it a different way and you want to bring this around.

Dem underperformed Biden. You know, there's some counties, but they're mostly red counties. But again, Chester County is going to come back up here.

But Fetterman is slightly underperforming Biden. This is why we're still counting votes here, right?

You come in here, Bucks County earlier on -- you remember, early on, Fetterman had a very big lead in Bucks County. That has shrunk as you count the day of, election-day votes, right?

Biden wins it by 4.4. We're right in that ballpark. We're literally right in that ballpark, if you look at it right there.

Then you come here to Montgomery County. Oz had a late campaign event here. Biden wins by 26.2. Again, you're right in that ballpark when you look at it.

But this is it. So we still have votes to count in the Philadelphia suburbs here. Let's just check. We've checked Chester a minute ago.

And then we come right in to the city. In Philadelphia city, Fetterman is running up, and only 69 percent. This -- you know, remember, 2020, you had votes here counted all the way into Saturday.


KING: And so we're going to -- you know.

TAPPER: Very -- tough to read the tealeaves on either one of these races.

We're staying on top of these close Senate races in Georgia and Pennsylvania. We're going to go live to both of those battlegrounds next. Stay with us.