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Georgia Senate Race Goes To A Runoff; Dems Flip PA Senate Seat In Major Victory Toward Holding Senate; DeSantis First Republican To Win Miami-Dade In 2 Decades. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired November 09, 2022 - 12:30   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: If you don't get 50 percent plus one, there's going to be a runoff on December 6th. It looks like certainly there's going to be a runoff right now, even though it's so, so tight, they're both just below 50 percent right now in Georgia. We also have some projections that we're going to release right now.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: All right in the state of Arizona, CNN is not projecting that Eli Crane, the Republican, will be elected to the House of Representatives from Arizona. This is the Arizona's district number two. Eli Crane looks like he's going to be the next representative from Arizona right now. That's one projection. We have another projection from Pennsylvania right now as well. Let's get that up on the screen if we can.

Yes, there you see it. Susan Wild, the Democratic incumbent, she is going to be reelected. We cannot project even though it says too early to call. We're projecting that Susan Wild will be the winner defeating Lisa Scheller as well. Let's go over to John King at the magic wall. So we got two more projections in the House of Representatives. So set the scene for us. What that says to you?

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Set this down right here. So you start, let's come back to the House of Representatives, I spent some time and Susan Wild's district earlier in the campaign. She was talking about how important this was to her in the sense of trying to win. This is a head right now as you come through these districts right here. And you come up here, this is her district, Pennsylvania's 7th District. Look how close of a race this was.

Her view when I visited, Wolf, was that if she held on, she believed if she held on, and if Matt Cartwright held on, as you see he's leading right there right now that this would protect the Democratic majority. That may be overly optimistic. But the fact that she held on tells you that if there was a Republican majority, and we're not there yet, it will be a very narrow one, much more narrow than Republicans expected both in the 7th and the 8th district. Those were rematches of elections two years ago, and that -- they would win them.

Look, Democrats are also leading in the competitive races out of the western part of the state. So we come back to where we are right now. That Arizona race you just call, that is significant, that the Republicans pick up one in Arizona, the Democrat Tom O'Halleran, one of the most vulnerable frontline Democrats in a very tough district losing.

So now you do the national math. And where are we? This is not a final number, this is leading. So Republicans need 218 to get the majority it looks like they are on a plotting path to get there, but they're not there yet. It is still, if you come to called races here, there are 203 to 187. So mathematically possible, as you look at the uncalled races, it is mathematically possible the Democrats hold the majority.

The more likely scenario is you look at where those races are, is that Republicans get to a majority, but let's count votes and get through the day. That is what this tells you that they are leading in enough races. But we've been full of surprises yesterday, some surprises already today. So let's continue the count as we go forward. If the Republicans do keep that and win the majority, though, it's going to be a very narrow one, not what Republicans expected even a couple of weeks ago, especially back a couple of months ago.

Now, the point you just made about the Senate is absolutely critical. So let's switch the map. And look here. Number one now, Herschel, I'm sorry, Raphael Warnock, the Democratic incumbent, continues to lead in Georgia. But the fact that we are now projecting a runoff means December 6th, we will have another runoff election in Georgia. It was the runoff elections in January 2021, Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock won. That is why Democrats control the Senate right now, that could come down to be the case again.

Let me turn this off and just switch maps because this now gets fascinating as we count the rest, the two left, right, we still don't know who's going to be leading here. But leave that one there, right. We're going to keep that off the board. So where are we right now? Let me come back to where we are, 50-50 Senate, right. Now we come back to our projections here, right. So what do we have right now? The Democrats won this race, John Fetterman won, right, so that gets the Democrats to 49, right?

This one we're going to lead. These are all settled. What's left? These two races out here. Right now, the Democrat is leading, leading in Arizona still a sizable chunk of votes to be counted in Maricopa County and Pima County, elsewhere in Arizona. But for the sake of argument, let's say Mark Kelly holds on to that lead in Arizona. Then we come down here, look at this math, 49-49. Right now, the Republican candidate Adam Laxalt is leading in Nevada, still a lot of votes to be counted. So we're not done yet.

This race now becomes critical, especially if Kelly holds which is a more sizable lead. If Laxalt wins this race, then we come out to this. If Laxalt wins and Kelly holds on, Georgia will once again determine in a run off, the balance of power in the United States Senate. If Cortez Masto, the Democratic incumbent here can come back as they count the remaining ballots mostly in Clark County, Washoe County, the two biggest counties in Nevada, if she can come back and Kelly holds on, then the Democrats will have a majority and this will be is it 51 is, you know, because of 50-50 if Republicans win this, the Vice President still wins the tie.

So now that we project this is a runoff, a lot of focus out here in the next several days as they continue to count those votes. This seat here becomes absolutely critical to the Republicans. The Republicans have to have this seat especially if Mark Kelly holds on to that lead. If Republicans don't -- if the Republicans lose the lead in Nevada, and Kelly holds on there, then the Democrats have the majority of --


BLITZER: What are the numbers in Nevada right now between Laxalt and the incumbent Democrat?

KING: So let's come over switch map, so we get our live vote feed here. And so you come up the map. This is -- it's fascinatingly close right now, but this is the most important number, you see 50 if you round that up to 47, but that's the most important number right there, 80 percent estimated reporting.

BLITZER: -- 20 percent --

KING: Right, 20 percent reporting. And you see, a lot of it is right here, 74 percent of the population in Nevada lives in Vegas and the sprawling suburbs fast growing suburbs around it, an incredible competition here. At the moment, this is significant to watch. As this number climbs, that's her number climb because Joe Biden won Clark County by nine points. Sorry, I hit the -- I got the cufflink too close to the end there. But if you come down here back to Clark County, Joe Biden wins this county by nine points. Masto right now it's winning it by about four points a little less than that, a little more than that, a little more than four, a little less than five. That is absolutely significant.

As the new as the other ballots come in, Democrats are saying, it's a lot of mail-in ballots. They think they will spread this here. That becomes absolutely key in the game of Senate chess, it's not a game. But in the art of Senate chess, those two Western seats now absolutely critical to understanding. Will Georgia be for the majority again? Or will the Democrats protect the majority out here and Georgia will be, can they get to 51 math to do today and tomorrow?

BLITZER: -- Senate, the majority is still very much up in the air at this moment indeed.

Coming up, a very, very big win in Pennsylvania boosting Democrats chances of possibly holding on to the majority in the U.S. Senate. And now a concession in that race, we're live in Pennsylvania, that's next.



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Democrats have flipped the Republican held Senate seat in Pennsylvania a short time ago. The Republican Mehmet Oz issued a statement saying that he called Democrat John Fetterman and conceded the race. Our Brian Todd joins us with the very latest from Pittsburgh. Brian, look, you know, obviously concessions are important, been tracking them, there's been some very important concessions from both parties today. Fetterman though had a very strong showing throughout the state.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He certainly did Erin. And one of the reasons that he did was because he didn't shy away from campaigning in rural Republican counties where many analysts thought it might be a red sweep. And Fetterman spoke about that strategy of campaigning in those Republican counties during his victory speech early this morning, take a listen.


JOHN FETTERMAN (D-PA), SENATOR-ELECT: 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.


TODD: And he certainly did turn some of those red counties blue. That's one of the reasons he won. Another factor being talked about this afternoon is the endorsement factor. Did Oprah Winfrey's endorsement of John Fetterman maybe they be helped him with those suburban women voters that were so crucial in this race? And conversely, did Donald Trump's endorsement of Mehmet Oz help or hurt him? That's part of the big postgame discussions this afternoon, Erin.

BURNETT: All right, thank you very much. And there's a postgame in Pennsylvania obviously not in many other places as of right now. We obviously still cannot tell you who will control the Senate or the House. Bakari Sellers is with me, democratic former state lawmaker from South Carolina along with Ana Navarro, our political commentator Ashley Allison, who worked on President Biden's presidential campaign, and the Georgia Republican Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan.

So Ashley, President Biden actually campaigned with Fetterman. Fetterman was one of the few people who would have him. Fetterman is one of the few who, you know, came out on top and it was clear, and we knew that relatively early while we're still awaiting other races in which Biden was not present. Were people wrong about Biden?

ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN COMMENTATOR: The Biden agenda is what people want. We're talking about raising wages, saving democracy, protecting women's constitutional rights. The voters sent a clear mandate in 2020. And the thing about politics is so funny is that Biden actually did everything possible to deliver on the promises he made for voters in 2020 on the campaign.

And so in 2022, you're actually seeing people say thank you showing up for those candidates. I think we will still see what happens in these other races. I think these Democratic Senate races they're going to pull it out. Georgia, we all said it was going to go into a runoff. It probably is. I still think Warnock will pull it out. But Biden's popularity, I think was overplayed this cycle. The agenda and the policies that he is pushing is what people in America want. BURNETT: OK, so let's talk over. This is the -- this is going to be the crucial question to figure out, is what Ashley is saying true? Is this a pro-Biden agenda? Or was this an anti-election deniers, MAGA?

LT. GOV. GEOFF DUNCAN (R-GA): Yes, I think it's an anti-election. I think there's folks that wanted to flee away from Donald Trump and Joe Biden. I mean, just their travel schedule in the last few weeks was enough evidence to know that folks didn't really want them there. Now, Pennsylvania, he showed up, and some other places President Trump showed up.

But at the end of the day, this was an economy question. And folks felt the real economy and it's hard to explain inflation. It's hard to explain layoffs. It's hard to explain drop in the equity markets, but it's real. People feel their paycheck and they feel the anxieties in their community. This was a direct reflection on the economy with some nuances, right? If you break down the Georgia equation, it really became a different scenario.

BURNETT: It's interesting, Bakari, if this was really about the economy, you'd expect a repudiation of the party in power. I mean we just came out today we just saw average credit card one year rate is 19 percent, we haven't seen something that high since 1991. And yet, you didn't get some bloodbath, red wave. That is not what we saw.


BAKARI SELLERS (D-SC), FORMER MEMBER OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Well, you also had the most jobs created in a two-year period of any previous president. So I mean, when we talk about the economy, you can't just talk about it in a vacuum with what's happening a few miles away from us on Wall Street, but actual jobs being created in Georgia and everywhere else.

But I think that we might have missed something. In the White House actually got this part right. I -- we were sitting here yesterday. And we were questioning whether or not people were actually voting because of democracy being on the ballot. And we know that was his closing message. And it appears that some people actually did vote like democracy was on the ballot. I think that when we were watching the voters and people were talking about inflation and abortion, yes, there were also some people who were like, I'm scared to death of that crazy MAGA Republican who doesn't believe in democracy.

And so I think that that played a role in one of the things also that has to be stated is that for the last three months, I know the White House is spiking the ball. But just across the little street right there, Kamala Harris has been on the road for the last three months, in all of these states, where Democrats have done extremely well, she deserves her flowers too. And I think that they figured something out about allowing Kamala Harris to actually get outside of Washington, D.C. and get outside of that bubble and shake free of the advisers because --

BURNETT: Well, I mean I feel like you're -- I feel like you're hinting at a broader conversation here, which we should have. But I mean -- SELLERS: It's a transition. I'm getting better at T.V., you see.

BURNETT: I see where you're going. I see where you're going with that. But this is, OK, so we've got President Biden is going to be giving this press conference in just a couple of hours. So obviously, you will hear it here live. Coming into this, he talk about spiking the ball. They are. They're excited. They didn't think it was going to look like this. They said we have defied historical trends. No matter how this turns out, that is true. And yet the bottom line still may be and we don't know who's going to control the House. But if it is the GOP, the Biden agenda would still be stymied.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's true, right? So it's hard to claim victory and despite the football when the Senate and the House made go Republican still. But, you know what, today is the day to do that because if it goes Republican, the House or the Senate or and it's not going to be for days or weeks, you know, maybe even a month when it comes to Georgia. And I want to tell you, though, because I want to talk, you know, I've been dying to talk about Florida.


NAVARRO: And I think it's being completely misread. I think the narrative is all wrong.

BURNETT: And so hold on. Let me just put a pause. And there it is. Ron DeSantis is the king of Florida, and has done what no one thought could be done. That's the narrative. Now correct it.

NAVARRO: Which I told you yesterday was going to be the case. I told you he was going to win bigly. But listen, Ron DeSantis barely won in 2018 by 35,000 votes, by the skin of his teeth against a black progressive little known Mayor from Tallahassee, Florida. It didn't -- yesterday, he won by 20 percentage points. Why? Because he gamed the system, because he turned Florida into an unleveled playing field, they changed the election laws making it harder to vote by mail. They paraded a bunch of people, black people that they arrested for voting fraud and paraded them in front of national media. He created an election police. He also was very good at responding to hurricanes and other tragedies. He also invested and laser focus on Miami Dade.

And in the meantime, in the meantime --

BURNETT: -- turnout, turnout.

NAVARRO: Turnout was 10 points lower than it was in 2018. In 2018 was 63 percent. Yesterday in Florida was 53 percent. So that's not a red wave. Red wave is when people go out to the streets and vote. When you have what you have is a depressed deflated vote Democratic vote and who can blame them when you nominate a corpse? I mean, yes, he won bigly, but he won against a corpse, a political corpse and that's an insult to corpses. I apologize --

BURNETT: I'm going to just put a pause because I know we will come back, I promise. [12:49:05]

All right, next, a major victory for the Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. It was turnout may be lower. But everybody may remember Bill de Blasio called it a mandate turnout was down and it wasn't mandate. You vote, you vote. All right, what this win for DeSantis could indicate we'll be back.


BLITZER: Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis won reelection in that landslide victory. He became the first Republican by the way to win Miami Dade County in two decades and he flipped the Democratic stronghold of Palm Beach County as well. Now a decision is looming about whether they'll actually make a White House bid. CNN political director David Chalian is joining us right now. You're looking at some exit poll numbers. It's a very impressive win by the governor.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: It is impressive. And these exit poll numbers back up just how impressive it is, Wolf. Take a look among independent voters they make up about 30 percent of the overall vote in Florida. Ron DeSantis wins them by six percentage points, 52 to 46. In 2018, four years ago, he lost independence by 10 points. That's a 16 point swing in his favor. Among Latino voters, we see a similar story but even greater degree.

So Latino voters this year made up 21 percent of the Florida electorate. OK, that's significantly more than they were four years ago they were only 15 percent. Ron DeSantis wins them for 57 percent to 42 percent, 15 percentage point advantage among Hispanic voters. He lost them by 10 four years ago, Wolf, that's a 25 point swing among Latinos towards DeSantis' favor.


Look at his approval rating in the state. Florida voters those that showed up and voted in this election, 58 percent approve of Ron DeSantis, 41 percent disapprove, completely opposite of what we see in Joe Biden's approval ratings. And then the question, do you want Ron DeSantis to run for president in 2024? Florida voters in this election, slim majority, 53 percent say no, they don't, 45 percent said yes, they want to see DeSantis run for president next time around, Wolf.

BLITZER: So Donald Trump doesn't want him to run for President of the United States among the -- those who don't want him to run. All right, David, thank you very much.

Just ahead, we'll check in over at the White House. We're expecting to hear directly from President Biden at 4:00 p.m. Eastern later today. One advisor now tells CNN that the mood over the White House can best be described and I'm quoting now, as vindicated. We'll be right back.