Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Live Event/Special

House, Senate Control Still Hang in the Balance; More Votes Drop in AZ, GA, NV With Senate Races Undecided; Dems Pick Up Senate Seat with Fetterman Win in Pennsylvania; Candidates Making History in the Midterm Elections. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired November 09, 2022 - 04:30   ET



DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: OK, so this is a CNN projection. CNN can project that five additional House races here, five additional House races. First, we're going to go to Iowa. That will be a Republican hold there. That is where Mariannette Miller-Meeks will win over the Democrat Christina Bohannon.

And then in Wisconsin, Wisconsin 3 we have a Republican pickup with Derek Van Orden beating out Democrat Brad Pfatt.

In New York's House race 2, we have a GOP hold with Republican Andrew Garbarino defeating Jackie Gordon. And New Hampshire 1 we have a Democratic hold there. Incumbent Chris Pappas winning over Caroline Leavitt. Also in New Hampshire, the Democrat there Ann Kuster in district 2 holds that seat against Republican Robert Burns there. Pappas will hold no.

OK, so, listen, let's talk about balance of power. OK. Republicans are getting closer but they are still short about 218. That is the magic number. Let's go to the magic wall now and Mr. John Berman to see where everything is landing now.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, the number you're looking right here, don't be alarmed. The 221 number four Republicans is where they're ahead right now. 214 is where Democrats are ahead. This would give Republicans control of the U.S. House but not in the numbers they were hoping for. This would be at the low end of the gain they were hoping for.

Take a look at the competitive seats. The competitive seats there, you can see Democrats leading in 47 of the competitive seats. Republicans leading in 35. I would remind you, however, that Republicans only need to win 30 of the competitive seats to take control. Right now, they lead 35. So, they're doing what they need to do to take control of the U.S. House.

There are some interesting stories as we go around the country. I think one of the most interesting stories -- and Democrats will be kicking themselves over this for some time to come -- is in New York. You can see 10 competitive seats here in New York. Republicans lead in eight. Lead or we've called the races for them and eight. Democrats lead in two. Those boundaries two years ago would have given Democrats an 8-2 lead in the seats. So, Republicans have completely flipped in these competitive seats and that includes for now -- we have not called this race or projected this race -- Sean Patrick Maloney, the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is trailing Mike Lawler in New York's 17th district. Republicans would love to knock off Maloney just for the bragging rights to knock off the DCCC chair. He is trailing 98 percent in. There's still some vote to be counted there but he's got to make up 3000 votes.

LEMON: And listen, he's going to get it from his own party. A lot of consternation about funding election deniers.

BERMAN: Well however, however, if you want to talk about that, look, Sean Patrick Maloney, he's going to take the blame for the bad redistricting for Democrats and New York. Funding election deniers let's talk about that. Because the most prominent race that that happened in was in Michigan's third Congressional district. Where indirectly Democrats backed election denier John Gibbs, right now -- in the primary. And Peter Myer who was a Republican incumbent who voted to impeach Donald Trump, he lost in the primary and Democrats may have helped get that defeat in the primary. John Gibbs won.

But right now, the Democrat is leading there. So, it may have worked, right. That funding may have worked for the Democrats there. They may get a pickup, what has amounted to a pickup in that district.

While we're talking about Michigan, let's also talk about Elissa Slotkin. You know, we call this race -- I believe we call this race -- 99 percent in. This is a seat Democrats desperately wanted to keep and they have. We call this race. She's got nearly 51 of vote. Liz Cheney, Republican Liz Cheney went out and campaigned for Elissa Slotkin there.

A couple other places we're watching that I do think worth noting right now. In Wisconsin, this district -- which we just called for Derek Van Orden over Brad Pfaff -- what makes this interesting -- and this is the just that is now R plus. It's a Republican district by almost 5 points. Democrats had held most of this seat before redistricting. This was the one rural Wisconsin seat that Democrat still held. Democrats are losing control more and more of these rural districts that they had held historically. There just aren't that many left -- Don.

LEMON: All right, thank you, John Berman. We'll check back with you. I want to get now to Victor Blackwell who's at the voting desk. And I understand you have some news out of Arizona -- Victor.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Don, specifically out of Maricopa County. Of course, 61 percent or so of the state's population. The largest tranche of voters. We've just learned from the elections office there that they are done reporting until later tonight. Now the 223 voting sites, they say they have all reported. Now they're moving onto the early ballots.


They say that overnight -- this is a tweet from their office. That overnight they're now preparing the tens of thousands of early ballots dropped off today for signature verification in the morning and they will post more results Wednesday night. It's Wednesday across the whole country now. So, Wednesday night, yes, we went from early morning into the evening. Yes, so later tonight --

LEMON: You're looking at me. I don't know.

BLACKWELL: So that's going to happen later tonight. Now, we know also that the office says that it will take until Friday to report everything. But the signature verification, what does that look like? Well, they have to scan all of the signatures from these tens of thousands of ballots, prepare them. It's called staging for verification throughout the day. And then we expect a largest tranche of those early votes to be reported.

Now it's interesting that they say at this hour the 223 voting sites they've all reported because there was that technical issue. They promised that there would not be a problem with getting those votes in. And those votes have come in, they've reported there. so, all of those votes in 90 percent across the state waiting for these early ballots, of course, in all important Maricopa County -- Don.

LEMON: Victor, John, I have a lot of folks talking to us. He still working the magic wall and I'm trying to keep the, you know, trains running on time. Give us the headline of what you were saying?

BERMAN: All of election day Maricopa County quote has now been processed?

BLACKWELL: Yes, so that's what they say. It's all been reported. The tweet, again, from the office, they say that election day ballots from all 223 sites have been reported. They've now moved onto the early votes ballots trying to verify the signatures there.

BERMAN: All right, that's interesting, OK. So, let's look at Maricopa County which makes up 60 percent of the vote in Arizona. Let me backtrack here just for people to see where we are in Arizona in general. You have Mark Kelly with the lead of about 6 1/2 points in this state with 66 percent reported right now.

Victor was just talking about Maricopa County which includes Phoenix, his lead there is almost at 8 percent. Joe Biden won the district by 2. What Victor just reported, is that all of the election day, in- person voting now has been counted.

What do we know about the vote nationally at this point. That skews Republican. So, in Maricopa County theoretically their best votes for the Republicans have now been processed and Mark Kelly still holds a lead there. It's a little quirky in Arizona is that they have a very robust mail-in ballot process. And you can drop off your mail ballots through election day. So, you can walk in rather than pull a vote in person. That counts as a mail ballot. Sometimes in Arizona what happens is the people who put in their mail ballots later also tilt a little bit Republican. So, it's hard to tell exactly how Democratic the remaining mail vote will be. We know the mail vote tends to skew Democratic. So, that might be good news for Mark Kelly. But that is interesting.

LEMON: What would that portend for the governor's race there?

BERMAN: Let me just look at where the governor's race is. So, the Senate race right now you can see a lead of 6 1/2 percent. In the governor's race that margin is much tighter. It's about 2.2 percent. So, Katie Hobbs is under performing Mark Kelly, Kari Lake is overperforming Blake Masters there by about -- so Blake Masters is at 45.6 percent. So, it's a 3-point difference. And I can't stress this enough. 3 percent.

LEMON: Can make a huge difference.

BERMAN: Could very well be the ball game in Arizona. You could see a split ticket there. We'll see as more of the vote is counted -- 66 percent in.

I think we also got new votes counted in Nevada. OK, there are no counties left that have not reported anything. So, I believe the votes we just got in is Lyon County which is the biggest of the rural counties. It's the third largest county, third most populous county in Nevada. But it only makes up 1.8 percent of the vote. You can see now 71 percent in. Adam Laxalt has got an edge of 8,000 votes. The overall statewide vote for him is now 22,000. We know we have a lot of mail vote left to count in Clark County. Can Catherine Cortez Masto make up that margin?

LEMON: Nail biter.

BERMAN: It is going to be a nailbiter. And they can count that mail ballot until Saturday.

LEMON: All right, thank you very much, John Berman. We want to go to Nevada now. There are four key Senate races remain undecided at this hour. Control of Congress up for grabs. Right now, we'll get to Nevada when we come back.



LEMON: Did you hear those cheers? That was from John Fetterman when CNN declared John Fetterman to be the projected winner in Pennsylvania earlier.

I want to get now to CNN's Harry Enten. He is up at the battleground desk for us. He's going to talk us more about John Fetterman, how he won Pennsylvania. Listen, a lot of people counted him out after that debate but didn't seem to affect him. He won.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: No, it didn't. Didn't seem to affect him. He did seem to win.

You know, look, when we think about Pennsylvania, right, we think of the Great Lake battleground, we think of white voters without a college degree. And when we look at the voters who make up the formality of all voters in the state of Pennsylvania, it is in fact those white voters without a college degree. They make up 47 percent of all the voters in Pennsylvania.

So, there was this big question, could John Fetterman perhaps win back some of those white non-college educated voters. So, let's take a look at how they voted in the selection. And what you see is you see that Mehmet Oz did in fact win among white voters without a college degree. But it was just a 24 point margin. And although we can't put it up on the screen, I can tell you that back in 2020 in Pennsylvania Donald Trump carried white voters without a college degree by over 30 points. So, John Fetterman's idea that I can go in at least shrink the margins that Trump has among white voters without a college degree, seemed to work out.

Now, of course, there was also the question that both Mehmet Oz and John Fetterman had weaknesses in the electorate, right. The idea essentially that Oz's weakness was that he in fact was from out of state. He was a carpetbagger. So, we asked exit poll the questions, has Oz lived in a state long enough to represent it effectively. And the vast majority or clear majority of voters said, no -- 56 percent. So, that clearly cost Oz.

Now Fetterman, of course, also had something that that a lot of voters worried about, and that was his health. Could he actually serve effectively because of his stroke? And what we found on our exit poll was that 50 percent, the plurality said that yes, he could serve effectively. So, Mehmet Oz's weakness clearly heard him, cost him the race. And John Fetterman's weakness, in fact it turned out was not something that cost him the race as he clearly won the state -- Don.


LEMON: Harry Enten, appreciate that. I want to toss it over now to Poppy Harlow, my colleague Poppy. I've been saying all along after that debate that I thought people would be more empathetic --


LEMON: -- to John Fetterman, and that the media and pundits were actually being harder on him than the voters. And it turns out that it may have been true.

HARLOW: I mean, I think you were right on that, Don. I mean, you also said, wait, wait, wait. Listen to the voters, right. And so, let's talk to our experts about this. Paul and Marie. I want to start with you Marie. I'll get to you, Paul. I just want to talk about what Fetterman tells us. What do you think he tells us about party or does he not? Because voters weren't enamored with Trump or Biden -- according to our exit poll -- but they got behind Fetterman.

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think there's a couple of reasons. Fetterman won against all odds but I think it's -- it's 4 in the morning. But I think it does tell us a couple things. He actually -- and I know that there was a narrative that Democratic did not focus on the economy. Fetterman did. He talked about minimum wage. For working-class voters that's huge. He talked to the unions, that's huge in Pennsylvania. Working class, right. Harry talked about this. And everyone has talked about this.

He's been able to make that up for white working class voters, which is a huge part of the Democratic coalition. Has been historically. Trump won them. But for us, John Fetterman got them back. The other thing that I'm hearing and you know I'm really focusing on and tracking the Latino vote, Fetterman came out in support of so many of the policies that Latinos support. Latinos gave him 3 to 1 and gave him a big, big majority. And what interestingly Fetterman did during the campaign was that he focused a lot on his wife's immigrant story and that really, I think, helped him out.

HARLOW: What do you think of that?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Maria's right. Gisele Barreto, the wife of John Fetterman. She saved her life.

CARDONA: He said that.

BEGALA: God bless him. She saved the campaign and she stepped in when the Lieutenant Governor Fetterman was unable to campaign. I took three lessons that all Democrats need to learn from Fetterman. First, it's the working class, stupid. Just what Maria said. Harry showed us the data. You know, the Democratic party, I've been saying this for over a decade, we are moving away, we're now -- we used to be the party of the factory floor, now we're the party of faculty lounge. Well, John Fetterman is a factory floor Democrat and he showed, number two, margins matter. He campaigned in rural Pennsylvania and cut the margins. And number three, authenticity is everything. He's real. And a lot of people thought Dr. Oz was a fake and a phony.

HARLOW: So, Mia, you've been talking a lot about beyond who won tonight, what it means for committees of power.

MIA LOVE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right, so as we're thinking about who is going to be speaker, who is going to be minority leader, it's really about who's going to chair these important committees where the work gets done.

HARLOW: Set the agenda.

LOVE: Right. Who sets the agenda. It's the difference between representative Maxine Waters in financial services being the chair versus representative Patrick McHenry. So, these are -- I mean, this is where the work gets done before the votes get out, before you get the policy on the floor for a vote. It's really important. And so, Kevin McCarthy right now is thinking about all of these things. He's thinking about all of them.

HARLOW: Were you excited about Marjorie Taylor Greene taking the --


HARLOW: That's what --

CARDONA: She wants oversight. HARLOW: Right, and she wants oversight. Let's talk about Georgia. So,

it's your state. And we don't know what's going to happen to Georgia. It's looking more and more likely like it could go to a runoff vote.

Talk about that. That's unique to Georgia and what do you think the independent -- in that Libertarian candidate rather, Chase Oliver, who got a little over two percent of the vote. What does that mean in a runoff? Where do those votes go?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First off, it means all eyes are back on Georgia yet again. And what our current number show right now, Walker is at 48.7, Warnock at 49.2. So, no one's reached the 50 percent. So, more than likely, we'll go to a runoff.

Looking at the history, my old professor Charles Philip wrote -- he writes about this. This goes back to the 1960s around the civil rights era. The segregationist representative from Macon was frustrated with the fact the African-Americans voted in block and the white vote was rather down and it went across the spectrum. So, he came up with the law that said you have to get 50 percent or we go to a runoff.

Fast forward to today, we have two African Americans that could potentially go to a runoff vote. And enter Chase Oliver, libertarian candidate who presented himself as a goldilocks candidate. I'm not too red, I'm not too blue.


But what it looks as though -- and looking at exit polls from "The Atlantic Journal Constitution," a lot of his voters more than likely may go to Warnock. Because they went to him because they were frustrated with Walker. So, they did not like Trump. They went to Warnock. So, if we go to a runoff, as much as I hate to say that this could potentially benefit Warnock.

HARLOW: Wow, you're predicting a runoff essentially. Chase Oliver, the Libertarian candidate said if a runoff occurs, it's a lesson to them. The majority party candidates in the top two candidates haven't been as responsive as they need to be. Watch closely. We'll get back to you guys very soon. Thank you, everyone. Stand by everyone. See history made by candidates across the nation tonight and early tomorrow morning including the first gen Z member of Congress and the former Trump White House official who is now a governor. This is CNN special live coverage. We'll be right back.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: A lot of history being made in these midterm elections. Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be the first woman elected governor of Arkansas.


When in the office that her father once held for more than a decade. In my home state of Alabama, Republican Katie Britt has become the first elected female Senator from the state winning an open Senate race to succeed her one-time boss, retiring Republican Senator Richard Shelby. 25-year-old Democrat Maxwell Frost will be the first member of generation Z elected to Congress. He just won Florida's 10th Congressional District. Frost will succeed Democrat Val Demings who vacated that seat to run for Senate unsuccessfully against Marco Rubio.

Democrat Wes Moore is going to be Maryland's first black governor in just the third African-American ever elected governor in the United States. Anthony Brown just became the first black person ever elected Attorney General of Maryland.

In Massachusetts, Democrat Maura Healey becomes the first out lesbian governor in U.S. history and the first elected female governor in the state. Republican Mark Wayne Mullin will be the first Native American Senator from Oklahoma in almost 100 years. Winning a special election to succeed retiring GOP Senator Jim Inhofe.

And in Pennsylvania, Democrat Summer Lee will become the state's first black woman elected to Congress winning the 12th Congressional district there. A lot of history being made. The balance of power in Congress though is still undecided even at this hour as we are closing in on 5 a.m. here on the East Coast. We are still watching four key Senate races. The votes are still coming in. So, stand by and we'll bring you a key update for those races.


LEMON: Hello and welcome, everyone. Top of the hour. I'm Don Lemon and what an election night. What an election morning in America. CNN's special coverage has been following all those historic wins, major upsets and some races that could take days ...