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Trump-Backed Republican J.D. Vance Wins Ohio Senate Race; Kari Lake Raises Doubts About Election Results in Arizona; Control of House Up for Grabs as Key Races Too Close to Call. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired November 09, 2022 - 10:30   ET





SENATOR-ELECT J.D. VANCE (R-OH): Whether you voted for me or not, the thing that I promise to do is go to the United States Senate and fight every single day for the people of Ohio.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: J.D. Vance wins Ohio Senate seat after a tough battle with Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan. Vance has had support from former President Trump. He even got a boost at a rally on election eve. Did that endorsement make the difference?

I want to bring in former Republican Governor of Ohio John Kasich. Governor, I appreciate you joining us.

So, Senator-elect Vance's win was obviously on some level also a win for former President Trump, although, as Jonah Goldberg pointed out, J.D. Vance did not thank President Trump at his acceptance speech. What do you make of Vance's win in your state?

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR COMMENTATOR: He was helped significantly by Mike DeWine, who won overwhelmingly. I think Vance was about 400,000 votes short of DeWine. So, in a sense, DeWine was able to pull him across the line, and that helped him.

The other thing that needs to be noted in Ohio, I think Ohio will change. When I was elected my first term as governor, Anderson, the Democrats controlled all the statewide offices except for one. But after two significant wins, the Democrat organization just basically collapsed.

Do I think they can come back, I think they can and I think they will. And Ryan ran a very good race. So, it shows you that Ohio, even though everybody is now trying to say is a red state, they're misreading it. Things are changing in this state, and right now, the Republicans are on top. But, you know what in politics, today, you're on top, and tomorrow, you're on the bottom. It's just what happens.

COOPER: How does this affect things moving forward? I mean, the GOP red wave did not materialize, as a lot of Republicans hoped it would. Is it clear to you why that occurred?

KASICH: Well, we have to look at turnout, Anderson. But, look, let's not minimize the fact that the Republicans have won the house. They are now in control of the United States House, and that probably means that Joe Biden is going to be moderated.


I mean, that's what's really interesting. The progressives that drove the agenda out of the House and took it to Biden will no longer be in charge. The Republicans will be in charge.

And I always felt that Biden, with one House being Republican, he was going to be the Biden I expected him to be, which was more conciliatory, looking for compromise. And so my sense is that you're going to see a Joe Biden who's going to be willing to deal more with Republicans.

And, look, everybody is going to kind of claim victory here. The Republicans are going to say, well, we won the House. They may still win the Senate. We don't know. How about that election down in Georgia? Anderson, you and I -- I don't know whether we'd (INAUDIBLE) state far away, right? That could be who's going to run the Senate.

But, you know, at the same time, the Republicans did not have the smashing victory they thought that they would, and, you know, also remember, the country is divided, and that's a lot of what we saw last night.

COOPER: There's an opportunity for Republicans to distance themselves, and for the Republican Party to finally distance itself from the former president. Is that an opportunity they're ready to take?

KASICH: You know, I think both parties have to go deep. In other words, I think the Democrats, to do better, have to reject some of the extremism, the woke agenda. On the Republican side, they have to reject the MAGA agenda. I mean, the country is basically center-right or center-left, however you want to define it. And the fact is, yes, Republicans now can take a look.

But, look, if you look at the United States House, I think Kevin McCarthy is probably going to be committed to Donald Trump. We have got to see how this plays out. Trump is still a significant force. But now there is an opportunity for people to assess this. I had predicted when Republicans the primary endorsed by Trump, I was (INAUDIBLE) win the general, and it turns out that a number of them have not. So, yes, it's an opportunity to reassess what Trump's role is inside the Republican Party, and are people willing to stand up rather than caving in on him.

And the same is true for Biden. If Biden's agenda is going to be driven by the hard left, they ain't going to be very good. But I can tell you today, Biden is going to feel pretty good and I think now probably Democrats are saying maybe he ought to run again. It's interesting, isn't, it, how 24 hours can change so much in politics, Anderson.

COOPER: I mean, it's just unbelievable and nobody knows anything, really. I mean, it's up to voters to decide and voters made choices and we're seeing the results. John Kasich, it's good to talk to you, Governor. Thank you.

KASICH: Okay. Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: GOP Candidate Kari Lake is already casting doubts on the Arizona governor's race, as frankly she did even before votes were cast. We'll take a look at the facts, next.



COOPER: And welcome back to our special live coverage. We have several CNN projections to bring you.

Brittany Peterson, the Democrat, has defeated her Republican opponent to become the representative for Colorado's 7th district. Also in North Carolina, Don Davis, a Democrat, has defeated Republican Sandy Smith. That's a hold for Democrats. In Pennsylvania, Democrat Chrissy Houlahan has defeated her Republican opponent as well. All of these races are Democrat holds.

Let's walk over to John Berman to see how this affects the balance of power. John?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, that brings Democrats up to 182 seats that have been projected for them, Republicans still at 201. In terms of where Republicans are ahead, it's still in 222 seats, Republicans in 213. This would give Republicans the House, but I will just point out again, not by the margins that they were originally hoping for.

I can show you these seats. I think I can dig in here. One we didn't consider necessarily competitive, that's Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district right here, Chrissy Houlahan, we projected winning, she's up by 12 and changed. This was a Democratic district by almost 15 points in the presidential election, so interesting. She's running a little bit worse than Joe Biden did two years ago, or John Fetterman was running largely better there.

Let's go down to North Carolina's first congressional district. Again, this is considered a Democratic hold, Don Davis winning that. He's up by almost five points. Joe Biden won this district by almost seven points, so underperforming Biden a little bit. But Democrats will be happy to have this. In a way, this is the type of seat you could have seen going to the Republicans.

Finally, out to Colorado, this is the Colorado's 7th congressional district, Brittany Peterson with a comfortable lead of 17 percent there in a district that Joe Biden won by 14, good for Democrats. Again, some of these seats might have been in trouble had this been the type of wave that some Republicans were hoping for.

COOPER: That's fascinating. John, I appreciate it.

This morning, the race for governor in Arizona is still too close to call. Overnight, Republican Candidate Kari Lake raised unfounded doubts about election results after some polling places reported printer issues.

Ana Cabrera is at the voter desk with more. What more are you learning?

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, there are some hundreds of thousands of ballots left to count, some 300,000 still to be counted in just Maricopa County alone, we're told. And yet, as you point out, the Republican candidate for governor, Kari Lake, is already raising doudts raising doubts about the election results. Take a listen.


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



CABRERA: Lake, of course, won her GOP primary by amplifying Trump's lies about the 2020 election, and she referred to yesterday's election as, quote, Groundhog Day.

We do know some far-right voices have been seizing on the fact that counting in Maricopa County, which makes up 60 percent of registered voters in Arizona, was temporarily delayed because of issues with tabulation devices at 60 of the county's 223 voting locations, so not all of them. Now, we've learned the problem was with printers there, and they weren't printing dark enough on the ballot.

But officials stressed no voters were turned away. All of those votes that may have been impacted will be counted and Maricopa is telling us they expect to have 95 to 99 percent of all ballots counted by Friday.

But the county is bracing for possible legal action. In addition to Lake, the Republican candidates for Senate, secretary of state and attorney general are all election deniers. CNN has not called any of these races yet, Anderson.

COOPER: Ana Cabrera, thank you so much.

It wasn't the decisive early victory the Republicans expected, but what happens if they take control in Washington? More on that ahead.


[10:50:00] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: At this hour, control of the House is still up for grabs with key races too close to call. This is not what top Republicans were expecting.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): You're out late, but when you wake up tomorrow, we will be in the majority and Nancy Pelosi will be in the minority.


CAMEROTA: Well, that hasn't happened yet. It's safe to say that whatever the final result is, there was no big red wave.

So, let's discuss with our panel of CNN political commentators. We have with us Karen Finney and Charlie Dent. We also have Alice Stewart and Abdul El-Sayed. Great to see you.

So, Karen, I hear so many Democrats celebrating no big red wave, but Republicans are still poised to win the House, and that still means that they chair the committees. That still means they launch investigations. That still means they have subpoena power. How is that a win for Democrats?

KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, we defied history. I mean, President Biden, the Biden coalition showed up in terms of the voters. I think we have seen that the Biden agenda and the results actually mattered to voters. The fact that we have seen election deniers and, you know, some of the most extreme elements in the Republican Party get pushed to the side, it shows that, you know, the Republican Party, it's a ripple. Okay, we have got a few red drops in the ocean, but they're not going to have the massive power and influence that they thought they were going to have.

And I think, again, just Biden just really deserves credit and all the groups who work very hard. Multicultural, multiracial, multigenerational coalitions matter and Joe Biden has helped defy history.

CAMEROTA: Charlie, when you and I were on together on Monday night, so before the election began in earnest, you were predicting basically 15 to 25-seat pickup of Republicans. It doesn't look at the moment like that's going to happen. And so what did you get wrong, and what does all of this mean for Kevin McCarthy's future dreams of speakership?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think what a lot of us got wrong, back in September, I thought it was going to be a narrow majority. But I saw the numbers, I was following the polls and it seemed like it was all moving in a certain direction. Obviously, it didn't move. I don't even know if I would call this a red ripple at this point. It's almost like they battled toward a tie in the House.

It looks like that Republicans might take the majority but they have a very slim margin. If you're Kevin McCarthy, you have got to be real nervous right now because he needs 218 Republican votes to become speaker. And he's got a few wildcats there who may not be there to support him.

And so I would have to think that those folks are going to use their leverage, and they're going to use it and they're going to torment them, and they're going to have plenty of leverage now because they'll only need a handful of people to obstruct whatever he wants to do.

CAMEROTA: Yes, really interesting.

All right, we have a little bit of new information that we want to report right now. This is just in to CNN. New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, chair of the House Democratic Campaign Arm, has conceded his race to Republican Mike Lawler, a state assemblyman from Rockland County. Maloney's spokesperson has confirmed the concession to CNN. That's interesting because he was head of the DCCC, as you know, and so he lost his race.

I want to move on, though, because we were keeping such a close eye on the election deniers because that affects all of us in the country. And so here are the ones who were running for governor who lost. So, let me just put it up on the screen for everybody, from Doug Mastriano, Dan Cox of Maryland, Paul LePage of Maine, Lee Zeldin of New York, Geoff Diehl of Massachusetts, Scott Jenson of Minnesota, Tim Michels of Wisconsin, Tudor Dixon of Michigan, Heidi Ganahl of Colorado.

There are also a handful that won but on balance. The election deniers did not win, which I think is a comfort to certainly people who believe in facts.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it's a comfort to people who believe in facts and it's a signal to people that believe what we need to do moving forward. I'm glad to see that people realize election deniers really have no place in politics. Because what they are doing is they are basically ruining the credibility that people have in our wonderful election system.


I never believed there was widespread voter fraud. I never believed we should have gone ahead with January 6th. And what voters have said is that we do have free and fair elections and you're not the person I want to oversee this election.

And, again, it's most important, the other factor is people look at election deniers as litigating past grievances of Donald Trump, litigating what he thought he was done wrong in the past. And they spent much of their time on the campaign trail litigating past grievances instead of talking about future issues that impact voters. And that's where they lost precious time looking at things that don't really impact people. And while they were out there talking about this affects me instead of ye, that's where they lost support?

CAMEROTA: Now, I mean, there are still some who are running for secretary of state, which, of course, you know, oversees elections in some of the state's, Alabama, Indiana, South Dakota and Wyoming, and they are projected to win some of these people questioned Joe Biden. So, I wouldn't say everybody is out of the woods, but I would still say, again, Abdul, unbalanced, democracy won this round.

DR. ABDUL EL-SAYED, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's right. And think about the state you just mentioned. These aren't states where you're going to have contested elections. If you look at the state of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer won, Jocelyn Benson won. You look at the state of Wisconsin, another important swing state, and they denied the seats to an election denier.

And so I think what happened is people stood up and said we value our elections, we value our democracy and we're willing to fight for them. And that's really big news for American democracy itself.

CAMEROTA: Friends, thank you all very much. And stay with us for all of the breaking news on the midterms. Anderson Cooper is going to pick it up right after this break.