Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Live Event/Special

John Fetterman Wins Pennsylvania Race; Kari Lake Loses to Katie Hobbs; Georgia is a Sure Tossup State; Elissa Slotkin Won in Michigan; Ron DeSantis Had an Easy Win. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired November 09, 2022 - 03:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: -- and Georgia, there's still no projections here. This is -- take a look at what's happening in Nevada. This is the incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto, 50.1 percent to Adam Laxalt, the Republican challenger, 47.0 percent. He started surging in the polls very late into the game. We'll see if that momentum will carry him through. The Democrat leading in that race right now though.

Let's get you to Wisconsin. Democrat Mandela Barnes still trailing Republican Senator Ron Johnson. Ron Johnson, 50.6 percent of the votes. He's the incumbent. Mandela Barnes, Democratic Challenger, 49.2 percent of the vote.

There is Georgia up on your screen. Everyone watching Georgia really closely. The Republican Herschel Walker there with 48.8. trailing just a little bit with 96 percent of the estimated vote in. Raphael Warnock who is the incumbent 49.1 percent of the vote.

But here's, if no one gets a 50 percent in this race, that could go to a runoff. The head of elections there saying it probably will be a runoff. CNN is not declaring that yet. We still have a lot of runways to go here before we make that declaration.

And let's go on to Pennsylvania now. A huge night for the Democrat there. John Fetterman is the projected winner for the Senate race in Pennsylvania, defeating the TV doctor Mehmet Oz.

Standing by right now our very own of the wall -- of the magic wall here, and that is none other than Mr. John Berman. John, where are we when it comes to --


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I just wanted to leave this up here in the U.S. House. You can see where Republicans are currently ahead. These aren't all the races that have been called. Just where they're ahead. You can see they would get the majority, but barely, Don, like by two seats.

LEMON: Wow. BERMAN: That's nothing compared to what Republicans were hoping for

tonight. They're on path to get the majority again, but barely. And when you think about the competitive race this year, we think there are about 82 competitive races.

Democrats are leading in 49, Republicans in 33. Republicans need to win 30 of these to take control. Again, they're on path to but just barely. We'll come back to the house in a little bit, Don. Let's focus on the Senate now for a while, because I think that's where a lot of the main interest is.

So, you look at the U.S. Senate, you can see Democrats leading in 51 Republicans leading in 49. In terms of what's called, it's tied 48 to 48. You can see the four remaining states to call are Georgia, which by the way, Gabe Sterling who works in the secretary of state's office says is going to go to a rundown. I'll come back to that in just a second.

Wisconsin, Nevada, and Arizona. In Wisconsin, the Republican Ron Johnson is ahead narrowly. We haven't called that race yet. In Nevada, we have about 65 percent, and we just got some more vote in from Nevada. Catherine Cortez Masto, the Democrat is ahead by about three points there and in Arizona.

LEMON: It's tightening, right?

BERMAN: It's tightening ever so slightly. And in Arizona, 56 percent in Mark Kelly's got a lead of about 15 points. Now what I wanted to show you here is how this could change over the next several days and why we would expect it to change and maybe tighten. Mark Kelly's got a lead here, 56 percent in.

But let me take you back to the presidential race two years ago. That was Mark Kelly's race there. This is the presidential race. Yes, Joe Biden won by about 10,000 votes.


BERMAN: It was close, right. But we can do a timeline here or I can walk you through the course of the evening. Let me go back to the very beginning. So, at 10.15, at 10.15, which was the first time we saw votes, Joe Biden was ahead by 218,000 votes. That was with 72 percent in. He was ahead by 218,000. That feels comfortable, but then by 5 a.m. he had actually grown it ever so slightly to 130,000.

The next day though, it starts to drop, 93,000. By Thursday it's down to 68,000. Then on Sunday it's down to 18,000, less than a one-point lead, and it's not called basically till a week after that. And the reason I wanted to show you that is, yes, right now you have Mark Kelly in the lead there by 15 points. But that could shrink. It shrunk for Joe Biden as more votes came in.

And right now, for Mark Kelly, only 56 percent was in, when we showed you that first Joe Biden, there was more, there was actually more vote counted more quickly in Arizona two years ago than now.

LEMON: It also depends where the outstanding votes are.

BERMAN: It does depend where the outstanding vote is. But in Arizona, Maricopa County makes up about 60 percent of the vote. This is the swingiest of the swing counties, and they have 55 percent. So, we know that a lot of that vote is going to come in Maricopa County.

LEMON: The swingiest of the swing county.

BERMAN: The swingiest of the swing counties, Don.

LEMON: All right, John Berman, thank you very much. We appreciate that. We're going to get check back with John because John has all the numbers going inside the vote. Let's get now to Athena Jones. She's live in Pennsylvania.

Athena, hello to you. We heard from John Fetterman moments ago after he beat Mehmet Oz. What did he say?


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he talked about how important it was to campaign in every county in the state of Pennsylvania, 67 counties. This is something that one of the first things he said when he spoke to his crowd of supporters, say, I didn't expect that we would turn every single one of those counties red, but it was important to have the conversation in those counties.

He also talked about being proud of what he ran on. Things like protecting a woman's right to choose, raising the minimum wage, fighting for a union way of life and protecting, or he said standing up for our democracy.

But as we've been saying for the last several days and weeks now, this seat, this Senate seat in Pennsylvania was Democrats best opportunity to pick up a seat. It's a -- it's currently held by the retiring GOP Senator Pat Toomey. This was the most expensive race in the country by a long shot with more than -- with nearly $375 million spent on this race, and Democrats succeeded in flipping this seat.

Now we are in Bethlehem. This is in North Hampton County. You're talking about swing county, swing states. This is a swing county in a swing state. This is a county that has generally been known as a bellwether county, one that ends up usually tracking with the statewide result. And that is what we saw again in this election.

Fetterman won here this in this county by more than 6,000 votes. So once again, as North Hampton went, so went Pennsylvania. Now, how did he do it? He did have a lot of help. He had big help from big names like President Joe Biden who was here campaigning for him, as well, as former President Barack Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris, and that big endorsement from Oprah Winfrey over the weekend.

And in fact, we just learned a few minutes ago that President Biden has sent Fetterman a congratulatory text this morning, one of his many congratulatory calls. So that's one of the ways he -- they managed to pull it out here in Pennsylvania. Don.

LEMON: All right Athena Jones, live from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I appreciate that. Kaitlan, we have been covering these elections since the start of our show, CNN This Morning, and the can -- the former presidents, the current president, they have been all over the place campaigning for their particular candidates.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CO-HOST: Yes. But President Biden only went to certain places. You've seen he has been very busy tonight. Busier than some White House aides had been expecting, certainly some Democrats when it came to congratulatory calls that he was placing from the White House tonight.

One was a text to John Fetterman. You can see here many calls that President Biden was making tonight. So, let's talk about all of this. You know, White House officials were saying, we are not so hopeful about the House. We'll see what happens with the Senate and with Fetterman.

I mean, the president got what he wanted with the Fetterman victory and Josh Shapiro at the top of the ticket for the governor's race.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, over in this century the presidential approval has been a driving force, especially in Senate races. In 2018, Republicans did not win a single Senate seat in the state where Biden -- or excuse me, where Trump was at 48 or below.

In 2010, Democrats lost 13 to 15 in states where Obama was at 47 or below. Tonight, it is possible that Democrats are going to win a bunch of states where Biden's rating was equivocal or not really so good. I mean, in Pennsylvania, I think it was 46, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada all down in the -- in the low -- in the 40 percent range.

And so, I think what we saw, in many ways was what I called in October, a double negative election. A majority of voters said they disapproved of Biden, and that did exert a downward pull on Democratic candidates. But the impact of that was bounded by the fact that a majority of voters, a bigger number of voters were unfavorable toward Trump.

And that allowed Democrats to hold together more of the anti-Trump coalition from '18 and '20 than you would've expected from the attitudes about Biden and the economy, and certainly allowed them to dodge the worst and maybe even get a surprisingly good outcome.

COLLINS: Yes. And Fetterman is running above Biden --


COLLINS: -- in 2020 in Pennsylvania in the race and how we saw it tonight before it was actually calls for him.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No, I think in the end, Pennsylvania voters just liked Fetterman. Right? I men, there were so much doomsday predictions after his debate, he stumbled in the debate. He had some health problems because of the stroke, but in the end, a, he was always leading right in most of the polls.

You had President Obama, former President Obama go in and campaign for him. That was one of the states that Biden could go to as well because he's a Scranton kid. And so, in the end, it ended up all working out for Democrats. And listen, Democrats work is sort of cautiously optimistic going into tonight. They are gleeful now --


HENDERSON: -- tonight given that I think they expected a, to have lost the House by now, that it would be much more, definitive that the House was gone. It's not quite clear. And then what we're seeing so far, from some of these races out west Nevada.


HENDERSON: Cortez Masto looks stronger, I think than a lot of people.



COLLINS: She's the most endangered --


COLLINS: -- incumbent Democratic senator right now.

BROWNSTEIN: With all the individual aspects of any one of these candidates. I think that the core story is that even despite 75 percent saying the economy is only fair, poor, 55 percent disapproving of Biden. The core anti-Trump coalition of 18 and 20 held together more than people expected of me.


Democrats won women, they won young people, they split college educated whites and won them in the key states. And especially the erosion among non-white voters.

HENDERSON: Didn't happen, right?

BROWNSTEIN: It was not nearly as big as Republicans anticipated. I mean, Democrats still won, you know, there was a lot of talk before the election that they were going to receive, I think the phrase from Axios was a political realignment in real time among non-college, non- white voters. Democrats won two thirds of them in the national exit poll and more than that in many of the key states.

So yes, there was erosion around the edges of this coalition, which you would expect with 9 percent inflation. But the story was more of the Democratic coalition held together and that allowed them to cut their losses in a year when the basic structural views about Biden and the economy would've predicted blowout.

COLLINS: Well, and so much has had to do with also Mehmet Oz being the candidate for Republicans. I've gotten a number of expletive lace texts from Republicans who believe Dave McCormack would've been able to beat.


BROWNSTEIN: Why wasn't McCormack a nominee?

HENDERSON: And listen --


COLLINS: John Fetterman --

HENDERSON: Because of Donald -- because of Donald Trump.

COLLINS: Because of Donald Trump, of course, that race that was about margin about 900 votes. I do wonder one thing, you know, and the White House will be listening to closely is, does this change the conversation that had been having -- happening conventionally around Democrats about whether or not Biden should run in 2024?

HENDERSON: You know, listen, I think if you're Biden, you're sort of overperforming, and listen, if it looks like Donald Trump is going to win. I think the conventional wisdom is that Biden is still the strongest candidate against Donald Trump. It looks like he's probably going to announce --


BROWNSTEIN: There's a question -- there's a question for Republicans here for Donald Trump, too. I mean, there were five states that made Joe Biden president, five states that flipped from Trump '16 to Biden in '20. It is possible that the Donald Trump chosen nominees in all five states are going to lose.

They lost in Wisconsin. They lost in Pennsylvania. They lost in Michigan. Walker is not certain in Georgia, and it's possible they will lose both of those seats the governor and the senator in Arizona. A normal political party would look at that and say, maybe this isn't the formula to get us back those states that decided the president.

Do any Republicans get up if that's the outcome and say, Donald Trump let us down the wrong path.

HENDERSON: Well, I think you're going to hear him say, look at Ron DeSantis down in Florida who absolutely crushed it.


COLLINS: Close --

HENDERSON: Did quite well among all the groups that typically vote for Democrats. So, we'll see. So far, Republicans have not been able to quit Donald Trump despite what happened in 2020, despite what happened tonight.


HENDERSON: So, we'll see.


HENDERSON: Yes, 2018.

COLLINS: He's got the primary voters. Clearly not the general election voters. We will keep watching all of these races very closely, Don, of course, we're still waiting to see what happens in Georgia, what happens in Nevada, and also what's happening in that Arizona governor's race.

LEMON: Right on. Very interesting conversation with you guys over there. So, I've got Victor Blackwell here with me. He's at the voter desk. He's following news or information from around the country. But you have some news on Arizona right now. What do you have there?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, specifically Maricopa County, where of course the largest tranche of voters are in that state. We're expecting a batch of votes to come in at the top of the hour at 4 a.m. Eastern. Of course, we've learned though from state officials and officials in Maricopa County specifically that they're not expecting to complete the count of all the votes until Friday. So, this will stretch over several days.

But we know that there was this problem earlier in the day that actually went to a judge to have to figure out what to happen in that case. There were some printing issues with tabulation centers. It affected about 60 out of 223 voting sites. Republicans asked for voting to be extended beyond the 7 p.m. local to 10 p.m.

A judge determined that there was no evidence that any voter who wanted to come and vote was denied the opportunity or that this would have any major impact on the integrity of the vote. So denied that request. But what we know is as we're looking at this very crucial race for the Senate and for the governor's office, that we are expecting votes to come in at the top of the hour.

Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for governor in Arizona. She in a speech said that made some connection between her debunked claims about a stolen election in 2020 and linked it to the mistakes, the problems that happened today.

Of course, there's no evidence that any of this was nefarious at all, and she tweeted just a couple of moments ago something that seems benign here. She says the party is not stomping until the last legal vote is counted. But earlier in this evening, we did her try to -- hear her try to make that connection between her lies throughout the season. And the problem that happened. That was corrected earlier today in Arizona.

LEMON: Yes, they always say the last legal vote to be counted, but they have to remember a judge legally said that there was no issue --

BLACKWELL: Right. LEMON: -- when it comes in and did not keep the polls open and there were no issues with the voting. Thank you very much for that.

John Berman, so take us into what's happening in Arizona as you have this of Mark Kelly and Blake Masters.

BERMAN: So, Victor was just talking about the state of Arizona overall. We know that 56 percent of the vote has reported right now, and Mark Kelly, the incumbent Democrat, has a lead of about 15 points. What Victor just told us is we can expect them to report the county of more votes in Maricopa County.


Again, it makes up about 60 percent of the overall vote in Arizona, so the majority of the vote there. Right now, Mark Kelly holds a lead of about 20 points there. All right. Let me write that down. I'm going to put D plus 20. D plus 20 in Maricopa County with 56 percent in which mirrors the state.

I want to take you back two years and show you where that lead was roughly about now for Joe Biden at this time. That's why I'm going to leave that up there. So, let's go back to the presidential race and we'll hit the clock right here. And I'll take you back to roughly 5 a.m. Wednesday. No, let's go to 10, 10.15 p.m. So, a little bit earlier.

That was with 77 percent reporting. Joe Biden only led in Maricopa County with 77 percent in by 10 points. Right now, with 56 percent in Mark Kelly has got a 20-point lead.


BERMAN: So, let's wait and see how much vote for Maricopa -- Maricopa County comes in. If you get a higher percentage of a vote and Mark Kelly has still got a lead, maybe not 20, but still more than Joe Biden 10. That might go well for Mark Kelly as the night goes on.

See what I mean? I'm trying to show you how this could develop as the night goes on there. So that's one thing to look for. We're waiting for that vote in Maricopa County. Let me just quickly show you Wisconsin, because we did get some more vote in in Wisconsin as well. We put up - I have to get out of this.

Let me put up the Senate race there now. In Wisconsin, you see Ron Johnson has got a lead of 1.4 percent, 93 percent, and we have not called this race. Why? There's still some vote to be counted in Milwaukee. Just 79 percent of the vote counted in Milwaukee. Mandela Barnes has got a lead there of almost 40 points, which is just about where Joe Biden was. Unclear whether there's enough votes left in Milwaukee.

LEMON: That was my question.

BERMAN: See, yes, it's hard. It's hard to tell whether there's enough vote for him there to close that gap, 38,000 votes right now, the lead for Ron Johnson here, but that's where the votes still remains. So, Mandela Barnes could tighten. I'm not sure whether he can tighten enough.

And in Georgia, which we haven't talked about in a while, we haven't called this race, but what we have heard from the secretary of state's office is that it is likely to go to a runoff. Raphael Warnock is in the lead but he is only got 49.1 percent of the vote. The key number here is 50.

If no one gets to 50 plus one, as you pointed out, 50 percent plus one, it goes to a runoff. That runoff would be on December 6th. Right now, according to the secretary state's office, that's where this is headed even though Raphael Warnock holds lead and could expand this lead but maybe not get to 50 percent, you got about 5 percent left in Fulton County, which is heavily Democratic. Cobb County, which leans Democratic 88 percent. And in some of these other counties, DeKalb, you have about 10 percent left account.

So, Raphael Warnock could build on his lead, but it'd be tough for him to get to pick.

LEMON: If you're looking at that, what is that about? My math is that about 12,000 votes? I mean, Joe Biden won what, 12,000.

BERMAN: So, Raphael Warnock leads by 11,000 votes of.

LEMON: That's what you --

BERMAN: You want to play this game?

LEMON: Lost --

BERMAN: Joe Biden won by 11,000 votes. It looks very similar.

LEMON: I got the math right.

BERMAN: You have a great memory. Like a steel trap they say.

LEMON: Yes, the phone call. It sticks in your mind.

BERMAN: That's right.

LEMON: All right, John Berman, I appreciate it.

BERMAN: All right.

LEMON: Thank you, sir. So, we are waiting on these, these undecided Senate races as votes are still being counted as you can see.

Plus, news on the big governor's races all across this nation. This is CNN's special live coverage election night, morning, election morning in America.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: Continuing coverage of CNN's election night in America, and we

have a CNN projection. So here we go. Democrat Josh Green will be Hawaii's next governor. He is a projected winner. He's going to hold as a Democrat there. That is a hold for Democrats in Hawaii.

In the meantime, Democrats managing to outperform in some races for governor all across the country. First up, you can see Michigan there with Democrat -- Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer winning her reelection bid against Trump endorsed Republican Tudor Dixon.

Democrats have flipped two gubernatorial seats so far, one in Massachusetts with a historic win by Mara Healey. She will become the nation's first out lesbian governor. Mara Healey, nation's first out lesbian governor in the state of Massachusetts.

And in Maryland, let's take it to Maryland now. That's where Wes Moore defeated the far-right Republican Dan Cox to become the first African American elected governor there. Overall, though, GOP still holding on to some top jobs in the majority of the Senate, with a history making victory of their own in Arkansas, that's where Sarah Huckabee Sanders is projected to be the first woman elected governor.

Remember her father was a governor there as well, so it's an interesting for her. Republicans also winning a few other big races. Florida's Ron DeSantis, Georgia's Brian Kemp, Greg Abbott in Texas, all defeating their Democratic challengers. The wall all red there except for the surrounding blue framing. So, there you go.

CNN's John Berman. I'm walk over to the magic wall. So here we go. Let's talk about, can we talk about Arizona?

BERMAN: Let's talk about Arizona. Katie Hobbs is the secretary of state there and Kari Lake is this election denying Republican who has the support of Donald Trump.

LEMON: A media hating.

BERMAN: The media hating --

LEMON: Former anchor.

BERMAN: Republican former television anchor. Not that there's anything wrong with being a television anchor, Don. So, she's trailing Katie Hobbs, the secretary of state by almost 11 points.

But one thing I do want to point out there again, just 56 percent in, we've been talking about the Arizona Senate race. She's outperforming the Senate candidate Blake Masters, who was 41.4 percent. Let me just put that up again. She's a 44.7. She's running about three points better.

She's about three points better, and that could be the difference in this state, which has been decided by very close margins in the past, when you're talking about, for instance, the Senate race there two years ago, you know, Mark Kelly won just by three points when he ran two years ago as Martha McSally.


So, if you extrapolate that out to the governor's race this year, that three-point difference for Kari Lake that she's running ahead of Blake Masters, that could be decisive. We're going to have to wait and watch how she does there.

LEMON: Can I ask you something?


LEMON: Is she out -- is she outperforming Trump?

BERMAN: She is, well, no, not yet because Trump, you'll remember, Trump in this state two years ago got 49 percent, but that was with 99 percent. And the problem right now --


LEMON: At this point.

BERMAN: -- where we are in Arizona at this point in the night, it's just impossible for us to tell.

LEMON: Got it.

BERMAN: Where she is relatively speaking. The other governor's race that I think is interesting, that tells an important story tonight is in New York. Now we have called this race for the Democrat Kathy Hochul. But look how close --


BERMAN: -- it is right now. That's, you know, that's about a six- point margin in a state that do -- that Joe Biden won two years ago by, you know, you can see 23 points. It's a 23-point Biden State, and right now the Democratic gubernatorial candidate is about six points ahead. And even though the Democrats will maintain the governor's mansion, it may have had an impact on the House races. We're watching the House races in New York very closely.

I can put the competitive seat filter in here, and you can see of the 10 competitive seats in New York State, Republicans lead in eight of them, Democrats in two. You go back to 2020 it was eight Democratic, two Republicans. So, Republicans may be on track to flip a number of seats.

You know, it's a six-point seat swing in the state of New York alone. And if I take this off right now, you talk about that six P -- that six seat swing. That's the margin. Right? You give those six seats to the Democrats and they would be on track to maintain control of the U.S. House of Representatives -- House of Representatives.

So, what's happening in New York could be decisive in terms of the House, and it might be the governor's race that's driving that even with Republicans losing.

LEMON: Can you look at Suffolk County and to see what's happening there?

BERMAN: Why do you care so much about Suffolk County?

LEMON: Well, because I live in Suffolk County, but also because of Lee Zeldin. Lee Zeldin was the congressman in Suffolk County.

BERMAN: This is -- this is Suffolk County, right? And this is a seat that's actually about tied between Democrats and Republicans two years ago. He's got a huge lead there. He's got a huge lead in Suffolk County. I'll go back to the presidential race. So, you can see that right there.

And you can see Donald Trump and Joe Biden were tied.


BERMAN: Neck and neck and in the governor's race right now, Lee Zeldin way, way ahead of Kathy Hochul there.

LEMON: You I do notice -- I'm noticing here?

BERMAN: What are you noticing?

LEMON: There's a cup of coffee here because John Berman is the man of the hour. He's going to be.

BERMAN: Cheers. Cheers. Bottoms up.

LEMON: John Berman, thank you very much. Look, we're getting new projections and the votes are still being counted. And these undecided Senate races, the control of Congress, still up for grabs. This is election night/morning in America.



LEMON: And there you see it. There's a CNN projection, and it is in Michigan's seventh, Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat there has won reelection in Michigan seventh congressional over Tom Barrett. This was a tight Republicans had hoped to pick up. They did not. The Democrats will hang on there.

And you may also remember Republican Liz Cheney campaigned for Elissa Slotkin in Michigan. And Elissa Slotkin is the projected winner there. And Oregon's fourth district Democrat, Val Hoyle wins another hold for Democrats there. Another hold for Democrats in Oregon.

Now let's take you now to the balance of power. See where the balance of power is happening now in the House of Representatives. Republicans remain in the lead, but it is tight, they remain in the lead with 195, 218 obviously is the one that's needed. That's the magic number. Democrats 176, they picked up three, Republicans, eight pickups so far.

So, let's head out now to CNN's Sunlen Serfaty. And Capitol Hill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi weighing in on the performance of Democrats tonight. What is she saying? Good morning.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Don. Certainly, good morning to you. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi out with a new statement just in the last hour, acknowledging in essence that Democrats in the House tonight have done much better than expecting -- expected, didn't get quite the shellacking that many Democrats on Capitol Hill were bracing for.

She says in a statement, quote, "while many races are too close to call, it is clear that House Democratic members and candidates are strongly outperforming expectations across the country. As states continue to tabulate the final results, every vote must be counted as cast. Many thanks to our grassroots volunteers for enabling every voter to have their say in our democracy."

And Republicans on Capitol Hill, Don, are certainly sweating this out much more than they had expected. The fact that these races are tighter than expected. The numbers as they currently stand right now, of course, have Republicans on the path to winning a majority in the House, but it's not done yet. And certainly, their majority potentially will be narrower than they had expected.

And we heard from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in the last hour, and he claimed premature victory of sorts taking an early victory lap. He said that, he predicted that that Republicans would win the House. He did not comment on that smaller than expected margin that they likely would have.

And he said he read, in essence the results as a mandate of sorts for the House Republicans going forward, saying, quote, "work begins now. We need to set America back on track."

So, Don, some dashing of expectations, high expectations that House Republicans had going into tonight. Still many key races, of course, in the House yet to be called.

LEMON: Sunlen Serfaty at the capitol, our nation's capitol. Thank you, Sunlen. We appreciate that. Poppy Harlow, it's -- let's go head over to Popping. Poppy, lot has been said about what would happen this election night in America.


LEMON: There are a lot of narratives, just not what people thought.

HARLOW: You've been saying it the whole time, Don.


HARLOW: It's the voters.

LEMON: Yes. HARLOW: It's all about how they vote. You know, Republicans can

celebrate some big gains from Latino voters, particularly tonight, this morning in Florida.


For the first time in two decades, Miami Dade turned red. It was Republican Governor Ron DeSantis winning handedly there. Miami Dade is home to a large Cuban population, another traditional Democratic stronghold won by DeSantis is Osceola County, a majority Latino county, south of Orlando with a heavy Puerto Rican population.

It's not clear whether the Latino vote is tracking in favor of the GOP outside Florida. All right, we've got great folks to talk about this and a lot more.

Maria, I promised I'd go to you first. To you first, this is what you wanted to talk about.


HARLOW: But, but, but, but Democratic strategist, you didn't want to talk about the Florida part.

CARDONA: Well, what I said was, I will leave Florida out because --

HARLOW: But we can't.

CARDONA: Well, no, no. Meaning that I concede that in Florida we continue to lose ground with Latinos and we absolutely need to do a much better job there. I think the Democratic Party needs to focus on Florida in a way that we certainly did not this time around.

But I will say that nationally the Latino vote is a huge storyline for Democrats, especially because one of the big narratives coming from Republicans is that they were going to try for this red wave to include the Latino vote nationally in Texas, in Arizona, in Nevada, in Colorado, in California, and that just not has it. It has not born reality as of now.

We wouldn't be where we are with our margins holding on right now. And we know that there's still a lot of more votes to come in if we weren't breaking two to one, three to one in Arizona with Latino voters.

HARLOW: I think the que -- I hear you. I do. But I think the question is, is Florida an example, Alice, of what may be to come for the rest of the country or more of the country?

There was that Wall Street Journal reporting out just, you know, this week that showed that Latino voters were breaking more for Republican candidates this cycle much more, more than double where they broke for Trump. And a similar pattern for black voters.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Clearly. And Maria has been touting the Latino vote for quite some time and it's impressive to see them come out in the large numbers that they have.

I think Florida sets a tone for what's to come ahead based on what Ron DeSantis did, and his way of campaigning, he didn't need Donald Trump. He kept Donald Trump at arms distance. He focused on the policies that are important to the people of Florida. He talked about how he helped create jobs.

He increased tourism, how he handled natural disasters and his ability to galvanize voters, independent voters on the policies that's important. And hearing from Republicans, not just people that aren't Trump supporters, but Trump allies.

I'm getting a lot of the same expletive tweets, texts from a lot of --


HARLOW: As Kaitlan is.

STEWART: -- as Kaitlan is. Look, they're telling me that Donald Trump is an anchor on the party. It is time to turn the page on him. They are tired of donating money to the Republican Party to pay his legal bills. They're ready to move on. My take on this, Donald Trump went into tonight expecting to be the king maker. He has lost his crown and it's time for him to get off the throne.

HARLOW: Mia, you're a former Republican congresswoman, you, you called today's election opportunity to change the nation's trajectory. What does that look like?

MIA LOVE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it first of all, looks it -- Donald -- people have to get away. Republicans have to just get away from Donald Trump. If you look at all of the gubernatorial candidates, all of the candidates he supported lost. And the ones that he actually went after and attacked Brian Kemp, Ron DeSantis, they won.

He is not a crutch. He's actually, you know, he actually hurts these candidates. I believe he hurt Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania. I just -- it's time for new leadership. And to talk about again, the things that Americans really care about.

And I do believe that that Florida is an example of what we are going to see, and it's going to continue to break Republican as long as we still have a president that, I'm sorry, still has not been able to handle the inflation issue, has not been able to handle the gas prices continuing to go up. Energy independence is a big issue for the United States.

HARLOW: What do you, Paul, as a Democrat here, I wonder what you make of all of that. And then also if you flip it to the Democrats, you know, Fetterman, coming in ahead of, running ahead of where Biden was in 2020. I think the question on that is, is that because of the candidate he was and who he was, or is that indicative more broadly for the party?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, there is Florida aside, and Governor DeSantis really should be congratulated for remarkable success there. This, the, you know, the most powerful emotion in life, the most wonderful emotion. It's not joy. It's relief. It's relief. Democrats feel such relief right now. Why? Because it's across the country.

John Fetterman ran a great campaign. By the way, so did Josh Shapiro, the new governor elect of Pennsylvania is a rising star.

HARLOW: Who told us on the program this week by the way, this isn't about Biden. This isn't about the national party. This is about Pennsylvania.


BEGALA: Yes, and it was, and Pennsylvania. I've worked a lot in Pennsylvania, and I think Fetterman really embodied sort of the best of that state, which is grit, you know? Yes, he got knocked down, but he got back up and he said that that was his closing message.

HARLOW: Yes, he did today.

BEGALA: And boy, that resonates with Pennsylvania's. And you know, Pittsburgh hates Philly. And Philly hates Pittsburgh, and the rural tea hates the cities. The one thing every Pennsylvanian agrees on, they hate New Jersey. And Donald Trump dropped in some TV knucklehead from New Jersey.

HARLOW: Let's stay away from no name calling here.

BEGALA: Well, no knucklehead, it's an affectionate term.

HARLOW: But no, the exit polls did show that most voters in Pennsylvania did not think that Mehmet Oz lived in --

BEGALA: Right.

HARLOW: -- the state long enough. Thank you all.

BEGALA: Thank you, Donald Trump.

HARLOW: Stay here. We're going to be back very soon as we watch these undecided Senate races. We've just received a huge vote count from Nevada. That is a critical state. Right now, standby. It is next in our special live coverage.


LEMON: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. And we have a major key race alert and it's in Nevada. More votes have just come in and the Senate race has gotten significantly closer. Look at those margins right there.

Democratic incumbent, Catherine Masto Cortez is -- or Cortez Masto, I should say, is leading, but it is still within one point. Catherine Cortez Masto still leading there.


Head over now to the magic wall with Mr. John Berman. Boy, it is tight, John in Nevada.

BERMAN: Yes. Let's go. Yes, let's go into Nevada right now. Leading by 0.6 percent, but Don, it's just 4,500 votes. The Democratic incumbents lead right now is 4,500 votes. And I want to point out there are some counties we haven't heard from at all here.

Now look, let's talk about Nye County in Nevada. It's a tiny county. It just makes up 1.5 percent of the vote, but we have zero percent in, Let's look what Donald Trump did there. Donald Trump won that county by 10,000. So just that county alone, in theory, you could see the Republicans wipe out the lead enjoyed right now, by the Democrats there.

Let's go back to the Senate, back to Nevada, and you can just, you know, I can poke around and show you the other counties here. Leon County right here. Again, zero percent reported two years ago, the margin here for Donald Trump was 12,000. So again, just with these counties that haven't reported, you could see that margin made up completely.

The most important county in Nevada in terms of margins is Clark County home to Las Vegas, which makes up almost 75 percent of the vote. There's 84 percent reporting right now, which feels like a lot, but our friend Harry Enten just told me that the bulk of the uncounted vote in Clark County is mail, is mail vote, which has been heavily Democratic and they can count until Friday. They only have to mail the ballots up by today. Those ballots can actually come in still and they don't have to be counted till Friday.

So, it's very possible that that Cortez Masto can expand where she is in Clark County, which is hugely important. And again, you know, if you think about the state as a whole, 72 percent in 0.6, separating them. I can show you two years ago roughly where it is at this this.

If you go back the first votes came in, and you saw Donald Trump way ahead there, but by where we were now, 8 a.m. the next day, it was very close. There was only 0.8 percent separating them with 85 percent in. So that margin isn't that different than where we are now, Don.

LEMON: Yes. So, what's the margin again now? Just to -- because it keeps changing.

BERMAN: The votes in Nevada, I think --


LEMON: And it's early or late, depending.

BERMAN: OK, so 72 percent in, and there's 4,500 votes separating them right now in Nevada.

LEMON: Wow. BERMAN: It's close. It's close again. It's close. We have -- we got,

you know, this county I showed you before, which hadn't reported at all yet. Nye County just reported in 81 percent in that just happened as we were speaking.

Remember, this was all gray, not two minutes ago, Don. Now you can see Adam Laxalt, the Republican there with a 5,000, vote edge, with 81 percent in.

LEMON: Who was (Inaudible) the numbers?

BERMAN: No, actually it flipped. He's now ahead.

LEMON: He's ahead.

BERMAN: So that put him ahead. So now for the first time we see Adam Laxalt ahead in Nevada. That's key. Seventy-four percent in Adam Laxalt has taken the lead in Nevada. That's all because of this one county, Nye County that we just told you about there. Again, I warn you though, that 75 percent of the vote in the state in general is in Clark County.

Yes, they have 84 percent in, but the bulk of that we were told is mail ballot, which skews Democratic and they can count that for some time.

Let me quickly look at Washoe County also. All right. This is also a county which Catherine Cortez Masto was leading by more than a point, only 50 percent reporting in this county. So, a lot more vote to count here. Joe Biden won this county by four and a half points, so this could be a while.

LEMON: You got three counties there that there's no --

BERMAN: There -- now we're down to two counties that have no votes. You have Lyon County right now. Again, zero votes counted two years ago. Just so you see in this county, Donald Trump netted 12,000 votes, had a 12,000-vote lead there. So that matters. There's no question that the Republicans will pad their lead there.

And the county we also haven't heard from is Douglas County, also a heavily Republican county. Two years ago, Donald Trump a 10,000-vote lead there, 10,000 vote margins. So yes.

LEMON: I'm being told to go back to the main board that it's flipped again. So, let's --

BERMAN: Let's go back to the main board. Let me go back to the U.S. Senate. Let's check it out. I'm still seeing red here.


BERMAN: I'm still seeing red in Nevada. You can see Adam Laxalt with a lead of about a point, a point right now, 74 percent in, maybe we're getting more votes and it could switch back to blue. But I think I could switch a few more times. When we start seeing these county votes come in and we get more vote from Washoe County and more vote from Clark County. This is going to be a nailbiter. We're going to be counting ballots in Nevada for some time, Don.

LEMON: In Nevada and in Georgia and elsewhere.

BERMAN: Yes. You were talking about Georgia again, just so people remember Georgia, just so people know, we haven't seen new votes reported yet from Georgia. Raphael Warnock with a lead there. But the reason that Don is saying we're counting boats in Georgia for some time is no one is at 50 percent. If no one gets to 50 percent plus one vote, there will be a runoff in December 6. It looks like that's where we're headed.


LEMON: And the outstanding counties, there's a, I mean, big blue counties, Atlanta, big cities, but there are lots of -- there were red, lots of red dots all across the state. There we go.

BERMAN: There we go. So, 96 percent reporting of the 4 percent remaining what you see here is the places where there's blue, that's where there's Democratic vote left to be counted. The places where there's red dots Republican vote, the bigger the dot, the more the vote. Y

You can see there are much bigger blue dots, but there are more red dots here. Probably at this point, according to the secretary of state's office won't give anyone 50 percent, so this looks like it's headed to a runoff there.

LEMON: Thank you, John Berman. Hey, we still got a long ways to go, Kaitlan Collins and a lot to talk about.

COLLINS: Long ways to go. We are going to be spending many more hours together. Let's talk about Nevada, the race that they were just looking at closely there over on the wall. Obviously, that's a state that President Biden won by just three points.

Senator Cortez Masto is one of the most endangered incumbent Democrat -- Democrats. She's up against Adam Laxalt who of course signed onto that lawsuit to challenge the 2020 election. He's been an interesting candidate because remember of course, he later scrubbed his election.


COLLINS: His web site of his mentions of Trump, of his mentions about disputing the 2020 election. What are you watching for there, Ron?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, I mean, he's been a little bit more of a generic Republican than some of the more controversial Trump candidates who have run into trouble like in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania and elsewhere. And he's been able to surf what has been a wave of economic discontent.

I mean, there's almost no state that got hammered more by the shutdowns in the pandemic or by inflation after. But Nevada is a state where Democrats actually have an operation. I mean, you know, Richard Daley would appreciate what Harry Reid built in Nevada, and they have won a lot of close races.

And, you know, the folks there, Jon Ralston, the guru of the Nevada early vote, you know, he just points out as Harry and John did that what's left is going to be largely Clark County mail votes that benefits Democrats. So, no one can predict how this goes. But history would suggest this is a place where Democrats can win close races.


HENDERSON: Yes. Listen, Democrats were worried about Catherine Cortez Masto because she, this is her first term, this is her first time running for reelection. Harry Reid isn't around anymore.


HENDERSON: But certainly, his machine is still around. They were worried about the high gas prices out there, and also looking at Latino voters to see whether or not this demographic realignment would actually show up, particularly around working class Latinos.

We saw it in Florida. We may see a little bit of it --

BROWNSTEIN: Just a little.

HENDERSON: -- in Nevada.


HENDERSON: But listen, those unions that, you know, --

BROWNSTEIN: Culinary workers.

HENDERSON: -- culinary workers unions --


HENDERSON: -- that Democrats have been so good at organizing. I think we're going to see that tonight. But listen, Republicans were so bullish on Nevada.


HENDERSON: I mean, they were bullish on the Senate race. They were bullish on the governor's race, as well as the congressional seats as well. We don't know what's going to happen, but Democrats right now feel better about this race, I think.

BROWNSTEIN: Can I just add real quick?


BROWNSTEIN: I talked this week to the secretary treasurer of the culinary -- of the Unite Here, and she had a great phrase. She said, we are within the margin of effort in Nevada and Arizona, and Pennsylvania. And that is kind of the mindset that has made that state more competitive for Democrats and obviously than it was earlier in the century.

COLLINS: Yes, and obviously that's something the White House is watching incredibly closely. They are celebrating the victories that they've had so far. A surprising night for some of them, Democrats who have been panicking the House, though we are still watching so closely of what is going to happen there, what it's going to look like. It's not the night that Kevin McCarthy thought they were going to have.

We're all watching New York. I think really closely. Obviously, the gerrymandering. The redistricting that happened there. You know, we talked to Sean Patrick Maloney's Challenger, Mike Lawler this week. He's a freshman Republican assemblyman. He may potentially beat him. He has put him in this tight race and that matters.

If you're watching at home. Sean Patrick Maloney is the chair for House Democrats, their campaign chair. He's the one responsible for making sure they keep their majority. What do you think that says for the rest of the seats that are up in New York still?

BROWNSTEIN: I mean, it's extraordinary, right? I mean, who would've thought that if the Democrats lose the House because of the results in New York State. I mean, there are two ways to look at this. One is that, as you said, Lee Zeldin ran better than expected. Maybe not better than expected in the end, but he ran better than the Republicans have done in recent years, and that helped Republicans win a number of these House races.

There's another way to look at it, which is that a Democratic court in New York threw out a Democratic gerrymander, while a Republican court in Florida upheld an even more severe Ron DeSantis gerrymander. And those two decisions by these two courts may be the margin that flips the House.

HENDERSON: No, I think that's right. Democrats obviously pulling their hair out. The idea that Sean Patrick Maloney might go down. You heard Kevin McCarthy mention this in his speech, --


HENDERSON: -- because this would be a big get. Listen, Democrats sort of shot themselves in the foot with that original redistricting map. And we see now that these --



COLLINS: Essentially because they overreached --

HENDERSON: They overreached exactly.

COLLINS: It went to the court.

HENDERSON: And now these districts are much more, sort of balanced and that's why we see these fights.


BROWNSTEIN: But it is fair to say that --


BROWNSTEIN: -- Florida, he overreached even more and it went to the court.


BROWNSTEIN: And the court said, fine.


BROWNSTEIN: There was the, you know, the New York State court, maybe they made the right decision reading the state Constitution. But that could ultimately be that the little, you know, the last nail that switches the House.

COLLINS: Yes. It'll be fascinating to see also what the post -- postmortem on that essentially is the argument there. Even though Democrats are having a better night than they expected, Republicans certainly aren't, you know, we're still expecting a major number of votes in the key Senate race of Arizona.

That is something that everyone is watching closely from Washington to the White House to hear at CNN. Stay with us. We will be right back to keep you updated on what's happening.


LEMON: It is the top of the hour, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. This is CNN's continuing coverage of election night in America.

At this hour, control of Congress still at stake and the balance of power in the House has been decided. Many of the races really just too close to call, but now I want to take a look at where we are as it concerns the balance of power in the House.


First of the house, the party with the, at least 218 seats.