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House, Senate Control Still Hang in the Balance; CNN Projects Democrat Fetterman to Beat Oz, Flipping GOP Senate Seat; More Votes Drop in GA, WI, AZ, NV as Key Senate Races Undecided. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired November 09, 2022 - 04:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: But now I want to take a look at where we are as it concerns about balance of power in the House. First with the House, the party with at least 218 seats that will be the majority in the House. Republicans leading with about 195 seats at this hour. They need to win 19 competitive seats to gain control. Democrats have 176 at this point.

Let's check the Senate now. The balance of power there. The chamber still hangs in the balance. Republicans still hoping to gain control of the Senate and at this moment all eyes are on four Senate races, Wisconsin, Nevada, Georgia, and Arizona. There are still no projections in those races.

In Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, the Democrat, leading at this hour. In Wisconsin Democrat Mandela Barnes trails Republican Senator Ron Johnson. And in Arizona where incumbent Mark Kelly is facing Blake Masters, right now they are separated by -- get this -- about 140,000 votes. Let's head to Georgia now. Republican Herschel Walker and incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock, they are very, very, very close and we've got new votes in. We'll head to John Berman in a bit. If no candidate gets to 50 -- 50 percent of the votes, that race could go to a runoff. Secretary of State there already projecting that. In Pennsylvania, a huge night for Democrat John Fetterman. CNN is projecting that he has defeated Mehmet Oz, the famous TV doctor. This is after Fetterman had a stroke on the campaign trail, recovered and then of course, an endorsement from Oprah Winfrey.


LT. GOV. JOHN FETTERMAN (D) PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR-ELECT: Every County, every vote. Every County, every vote.

CROWD: Every County, every vote.

FETTERMAN: And that's exactly what happened. We jammed them up. We held the line. I never expected that we were going to turn these red counties blue, but we did what we needed to do and we had that conversation across every one of those counties. And tonight, that's why I'll be the next U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.


LEMON: John Fetterman there in his victory speech. Standing by this is John Berman monitoring the outstanding vote counts at the at the magic wall. Victor Blackwell is reporting on technical and legal challenges involving ballots all across the country. Harry Enten is digging through the exit poll data in battleground states. And our very own Kaitlan Collins with Ron Brownstein and Nia-Malika Henderson with the major takeaways tonight.

Poppy Harlow along with her political team of experts and commentators will join us as well. And of course, our reporters are standing by live coast to coast covering every single angle. Let's walk over now. Very important man of the hour, that is Mr. John Berman well, he's going to take us behind the scenes of all of this. John, where do you want to start?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Arizona just got a bunch of new votes counted in Arizona. And you can see Mark Kelly's lead there is shrinking. He's now ahead by about 118,000 votes. An hour ago, it was more than 200,000 votes. That's just the way it goes. They're counting more ballots maybe more election day ballots there in Maricopa County, which is where Phoenix is. This is a County that Joe Biden carried by 2 points. You can now see Mark Kelly leads by about nearly 8 points there. So, still outperforming Joe Biden but the margin getting smaller and smaller.

Pima County, which is Tucson, Mark Kelly again. Way up there, he's up by 33 points. We just saw a bunch of new votes counted there. This was a County that went to Joe Biden by 18 points. And, again, we saw Mohave County here, this is a Republican County, a vastly Republican County, a County that Donald trump one by 51. Now Blake Masters leads there by about 30,000 votes.

The margin much tighter in the Senate race. Let me just give you the governor's race here. You can see Katie Hobbs with 51 percent, Kari Lake at 48 percent.

LEMON: That is shrinking too, right.

BERMAN: Well, that margin is shrinking but Kari Lake is outperforming Blake Masters by about three points. You can see he's at 45.4, Kari Lake is at 48.7. Again, that could be the deference between winning and losing, that 3 points there. And I did this before, and I want to take you back to give you a sense of where we are in the process of counting votes as this lead shrinks for the Democrats.

Mark Kelly with a lead of 118,000 votes with 66 percent in. Let's go back to the presidential race two years ago and I can give you the clock there. At 5 a.m. -- what time is it now? It's 4 a.m. At 5 a.m. they had 82 percent in. They had more of the vote counted at this point but Joe Biden led, let's do D plus 5, right. Is my math there, right?


D plus 5 four Joe Biden with 82 percent in. And let's go back to where we are now. So, Joe Biden with D plus 5. There was more vote counted but Mark Kelly is plus 7 right now. So, again, we'll see where we are with more of the vote counted. If he can stay at D plus 5 or higher, he should feel --

LEMON: D plus 5 or 4?

BERMAN: It was D plus 5 based on my method. I asked you to fact check me at the beginning.

LEMON: We're not going back.

BERMAN: We're not going back. D plus 5 Mark Kelly where he wants to be we think right now but let's wait to see as more of this is counted. Still could go either way.

Nearby in Nevada right now, just 615 votes separate Adam Laxalt and Catherine Cortez Masto. We have a couple counties which skew Republican. These are heavily Republican counties. Donald Trump won these by 10,000 votes each. We have 0 votes in. So again, the Republican Adam Laxalt will pick up votes there. But Clark County, which makes up almost 75 percent of the vote. The vote remaining, yes there's 84 percent of the vote remaining is largely mail vote which they can count until Saturday and that skews heavily Democratic. So, we may not know in Nevada for some time.

We did get some new votes counted in Georgia. Remember Don, what was the last time we spoke between the two men? It was 11,000 votes. Now Raphael Warnock, the incumbent Democrat, leads by 18,000 votes but he's grown his lead, he's grown his lead. He leads by half a percent. But the issue is he's only at 49.2. The magic number in Georgia is 50 plus 1 vote -- 50 percent +1 vote. If Raphael Warnock doesn't get there, there will be a runoff on December 6th.

And the way things are going right now, if the way things are going, that could be decisive if Adam Laxalt was able to hang on in Arizona. Ron Johnson, we haven't called Wisconsin yet or projected Wisconsin yet. But he's been ahead by a point for some time now. If Ron Johnson wins in Wisconsin and if Mark Kelly hangs on as the Democrat in Arizona, then control of the U.S. Senate will go down to the runoff in Georgia on December 5th.

LEMON: You can see the Warnock folks are pushing --

BERMAN: They're trying. It's a long way to go. It's .8 pers percent. That's actually a fairly substantial margin at this point with not much vote left. I can show you where that vote is if you want to see. Again, the bigger the dot, the more the vote. So, there are some votes still in Democratic areas there but that would be an awfully big margin to make up with not too many votes left, done.

LEMON: All right, thank you very much, John Berman. Let's head over now to Victor Blackwell who was at the voting desk. And I understand you have some -- give us some context on what's going on in Nevada with the vote count there -- Victor.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, let's start there. Because the question is where are the votes? When will we get the results? And let's take a tour here starting in Nevada. Of course, we have covered over the last several weeks the concerns over drop boxes and security around those. Well, we know that the drop boxes will not be counted. We're now past election day, we're into the following morning. They could take until Thursday to count and where are they?

Of course, and the most populous counties we've got down here, Clark County where we've got Las Vegas, the most populous county is the state. And then up here in Washoe County where Reno is and in much smaller Douglas County. Again, there is no way to know how many ballots have been dropped into those boxes but those will be counted over the next several days.

And while we're here, let's take a tour through Wisconsin. We're told that there are fewer than 12,000 votes to count in the Milwaukee County. That does not mean there are 12,000 votes left to report. These votes that will be counted will, with the next tranche of reported votes there. But 12,000 there in Milwaukee County.

In Arizona, the estimate there in Maricopa County, most populous county there with the biggest tranche of voters across the state, it'll take until Friday to count all of those ballots. Of course, at the top of this hour getting those new results, as John reported, from Arizona and the very tight governor and Senate races there.

And in Georgia where the prediction from Gabe Sterling with the Secretary of State's office, that's a prediction from the state, not a projection from CNN is that that race between Warnock and Walker will go to that December 6th runoff. What we're learning from Columbia County, a big amount of votes still out there is all the early votes from Columbia. It's about 33,500. But as we saw from the math that John just showed us, still so many votes out in the Atlanta metro area we are waiting for. So, that's what we're getting the latest of where the votes are, the count and when we should expect those results.

LEMON: All right, Victor Blackwell, we'll check back. John Berman, since he invoked your name. Let's talk about --

BERMAN: That's right, because he said my name I get to talk now. Again, Raphael Warnock with a lead of about half a percent. Let's see where Raphael Warnock is outperforming what Joe Biden did two years ago. Remember, Joe Biden won by 11,000 votes. It was very, very close.


We can compare how the two are doing. Well, OK, so Raphael Warnock is outperforming him basically where Democrats need to outperform, need to do well, in the Atlanta metro area and all those counties. Warnock in Fulton County is at 73 percent of the vote. He's leading by 51 percent. Joe Biden won that district by 46 percent. In Cobb County, Raphael Warnock leads by 16 percent. Joe Biden won that district by that county by 14 percent. So, Raphael Warnock, that's where he seems to be doing well. I can show you exactly where the vote is at this point too. 96 percent reporting let's take it down here to about 95. OK, so -- well, I can take it down a little. Let's go to 90.

LEMON: You love this, don't you?

BERMAN: I do. So here, these are the counties that don't have 89 percent of the vote counted yet. You can see there aren't many. Most of the state has already counted at least 89 percent of the vote. These are the counties have got less than that. You can see, for instance right here, is Clayton County, which is a heavily Democratic county. They're at 87 percent. Raphael Warnock you would imagine would expand his lead some there.

Then the rest of the counties, it gets pretty small. I like Sumter County, why? Hometown of Jimmy Carter. Plains, Georgia, Raphael Warnock's got a very small lead there with about five points. That's what Joe Biden did. That's at 87 percent.

So, some of these counties down here Raphael Warnock could grow a little bit. Dougherty County right there he's got 11,000 vote lead, just 81 percent in. And he's outperforming what Joe Biden was there. There are some Republican parties still here but fairly small. Echols County and you can see the votes here are in the hundreds, right, there's votes to be counted there but not much room for Herschel Walker to expand. But we talk about this. And the important thing I think you remember, again, Raphael Warnock can be ahead of Herschel Walker by any amount but if he's not it 50 percent it's still going to a runoff on December 6. So

LEMON: Yes, and Secretary of State there Gabe Sterling saying, this is probably going to go to a runoff. We've been saying, we are not going to know four hours, were not to know for days. We may not know for weeks here.

BERMAN: We may not know until December 6th. And the reason for that is because Georgia could be decisive. This is where -- first of all, this is what we called at this point. There are still four outstanding races. Georgia, which could go to December 6th. Wisconsin, we haven't called that yet. Nevada, the margin in Nevada is just 615 votes. And Arizona which right now Mark Kelly is leading by 118,000 votes.

If it ended right now, if everything ended right now it would be 50- 50. Take that off the stand. It would be 49 for Democrats. They would need to win that in a runoff to maintain control of the U.S. Senate. Ron Johnson leading right now in Wisconsin. These two seats we still have a lot of vote to count there. So, we're not going to know, Don, for some time.

LEMON: OK, the Magic wall is a little warmer. We're going to give it a break. It needs a break.

BERMAN: That's magic. But sleep soundly magic.

LEMON: So, stand by, John. Stand by everyone. We have more projections in the House, in the governor's races and both chambers remain up for grabs at this hour. This is CNN's special live coverage of election night/morning in America.



LEMON: Don Lemon, election night in America continuing. We have a key race alert, Nevada Senate, Arizona Senate, Georgia Senate, Wisconsin Senate, that is the balance of power. And that is our key race alert. We're checking out all of these things.

If you look at Nevada, Adam Laxalt has pulled ahead of Catherine Cortez Masto, the incumbent there. She has been leading all night. But as of now he has pulled ahead.

Let's check now another race here. Let's go to Arizona. Arizona, Mark Kelly the incumbent 52.4 percent to Blake Masters, the Republican trying there was trying to win from the incumbent, 45.4 percent. But here's the interesting part. That has shrunk just over the last couple of minutes.

We're going to head to Georgia now. Let's go to Georgia. Everyone is watching that race in Georgia. This is where Raphael Warnock has 49.2 percent of the vote and Herschel Walker has 48.7 percent of the vote. Raphael Warnock is leading but if no one gets to 50 percent +1 then were told there's going to be runoff. CNN has not projected that. But the Secretary of State in Georgia is saying it is likely.

Wisconsin right now -- we head to Wisconsin where Ron Johnson who is the incumbent has 55.4 percent of the vote. Mandela Barnes, 49.3 percent of the vote. 94 percent of the estimated vote in right now. That could shrink a little bit but we have to see where the outstanding votes are. So, why don't we head over to John Berman. John, can we start here in Wisconsin?

BERMAN: You know, I hear you ask where the outstanding vote is?

LEMON: Yes, you did.

BERMAN: Milwaukee. We have about 82 percent reporting there which leaves some votes still to be counted. You can see Mandela Barnes has got a big lead of 41 percent, which is outperforming Joe Biden who won that by about 40 percent. You know, the issue for Mandela Barnes is that Ron Johnson leads by 32,000 votes. Is there enough vote left in the Democratic counties which would include Milwaukee, also Dane County, 93 percent in. Mandela Barnes has a huge lead there, a little bit of vote left. But 32,000 is a fair amount. I can see here where there is -- you know, let me take it down to 95. This is where -- OK, the counties here that have color on them are counties that still have 6 percent of their vote to count. So, not much, but some. Is it enough to make up 32,000? Hard to tell. You'd rather be Ron Johnson right now with this lead of 1.2 percent than Mandela Barns.

We got some new votes, Don, in Nevada. Votes counted in Nevada. Remember, last time we met here Adam Laxalt was leading by 615 votes. Now that lead is up to 14,000. Where did that come from?


Douglas County. Which had no votes counted before. Now we have 75 percent reporting and he has a 7,500 vote lead there and a lead of about 34 percent which is outperforming Donald Trump. Donald Trump won this district by 24 percent. So, Adam Laxalt doing what he needs to do in the Republican areas. The key -- oh, am I seeing this right? Washoe County. Washoe County -- OK, this is also very interesting here. Adam Laxalt now leads in Washoe County. He's up by almost 4 percent there with 64 percent in. Why is this important? Because this is the second most populous county in the state. It makes up about 15 percent and it's kind of a swing county.

This is a County that Democrats won. Joe Biden won but he won by 4 percent or so. So, if Adam Laxalt were to win this county, that would bode well for him. My suspicion is that a lot of the remaining votes to be counted there is still mail vote which does skew Democratic. And they can count that mail vote until Saturday. So, there might be ground for Masto to make up some of that vote.

And also, in Clark County -- which right now is the only county -- you notice, by the way, you look at the map and you see this. And you say, hey, you know, Catherine Cortez Masto is only ahead in one county, how could she possibly win the state? Well, it's almost 75 percent of the vote in the state, 84 percent in. She's got a lead of almost 5 points. The remaining vote is all mail vote there which, again, skews Democratic and they can --

LEMON: Mail-in.

BERMAN: The mail-in vote. The mail-in vote skews Democratic. And they can count that until Saturday. You can see the margins here right now she's up by about 5 points. Overall, remember, the statewide lead for Adam Laxalt is 14,000. Could she make up 14,000 votes in Clark County? We'll see, Don, over the next several days.

LEMON: This is why we caution people. I mean, even before that this could take some time. And here we are and this is close.

BERMAN: Very close.

LEMON: Lots of votes to be counted. Thank you very much, Mr. John Berman. And that gives us a lot to talk about, Kaitlan Collins.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, and speaking of taking time. In Wisconsin they did not start processing those mail-in ballots until election day. And now we are watching this fascinating race with Ron Johnson and Mandela Barnes. Ron Johnson had initially said he was only going to serve two terms. And then in this race he said, you know, given the political landscape he was backing off of the pledge and now he is locked in this race with Mandela Barnes. What you make of it, Nia?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, listen, I think it's much closer than any Democrat thought it would be, any Republican thought it would be. Sort of going into this it was thought Ron Johnson was a vulnerable incumbent Republican. But Democrats didn't necessarily think that Mandela Barnes was the person to challenge him. And you saw Republicans really attack Mandela Barnes as a progressive. They dumped a lot of ads on him linking him to crime.

COLLINS: Over crime.

HENDERSON: And you know that he wanted to defund the police. And listen, you had Democrats really rush in. Biden campaigned there as did Barack Obama as well. And so, it's a tight race. We don't know what's going to happen.

COLLINS: But Barnes kept his distance from Biden noticeably.

HENDERSON: I think that's right. I think that's right. And that worked to a certain extent. We don't know what's going to happen in this race. But I think it just goes to show that Democrats overall tonight overperforming what their expectations were and able to put this coalition together that defeated Donald Trump.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right, and that's really the story, right. I mean, Wisconsin I think embodies two things that we saw tonight. One is that while there was some definitely some fraying at the edges in the anti-Trump coalition that turned out in 18 and 20 which you would expect for 19 percent inflation on the first midterm for an incumbent President with an approval rating of 44 percent. By and large that coalition held together more than people thought.

I mean, Mandela Barnes won women. He won college educated white voters. He won about 90 percent of black voters and he won young voters, you know, preponderantly. That was the coalition that came together against Trump and Trump Republicans in 18 and 20. And it largely held to a greater extent.

You know, again, the fraying at the edges may be enough to tip the House and Senate narrowly. That's the reason why this idea of a red wave was always I think somewhat overblown.

The other thing is, you know, people talked about like a Dobbs mirage for that abortion was fading as an issue. He won 71 percent. Barnes won 71 percent of the voters, majority of voters in Wisconsin who said abortion should be legal all or most of the time.

Gretchen Whitmer won 80 percent of voters who said abortion should be legal most of the time. Even though only 25 percent of people in Michigan -- right next door, said the economy was strong. So, you know, the idea that abortion, I think, reinforced the concerns that this Trump -- anti-Trump coalition had about where the Republican party is going in this era and it allowed Democrats to basically avoid the worst.


HENDERSON: Well, I think all of that money they spent on those ads around abortion was really an argument about the Republican Party being extreme, right. And so, it really ginned up support among that Biden coalition, anti-Trump coalition. It was all of this at a second guess. Maybe they're spending too much time and money on ads on abortion, but it worked in a lot of these states where it was really able to, I think, remind voters of what they didn't like about the Republicans. COLLINS: Especially with Michigan, they had the measure actually on

the ballot.

BROWNSTEIN: Right, which made it more powerful there than anywhere.

COLLINS: Tudor Dixon really struggled to push back on that saying, you can vote for this without for -- you can vote for Whitmer's position without voting for her.

BROWNSTEIN: You know, the exit poll. We'll see if the exit poll is right. The exit poll had Whitmer winning 66 percent of college educated white women and 96 percent of black women. Not a typo as far as I know.


BROWNSTEIN: 96 percent. I mean, the gender gap was real in this election, both nationally and especially in the key states. Although I have to say that Johnson toughing it out is a reminder of just how tough Wisconsin is for Democrats in this era when Republicans are running so well among rural white and noncollege white voters.

COLLINS: And just talking about how expectations were wrong. I mean, I talked to Democrats today who thought maybe Whitmer herself was in trouble. But of course, we are watching to see what happens in Wisconsin. Nevada as well. We've been focusing on the Senate. It's not just the only big story tonight though. The House has not been decided yet despite what you heard from Kevin McCarthy earlier projecting and predicting that they are going to have a majority by the time everyone wakes up tomorrow. We are getting new projections so stand by and we'll bring you the latest.

LEMON: OK, so this is a CNN projection. CNN can project that five additional House races ...