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CNN Live Event/Special
More Votes Released In Nevada, GOP Lead Shrinks In Senate Race; First Member Of Gen Z Elected To Congress; GOP Sen. Ted Cruz To Campaign For Walker In Georgia. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired November 09, 2022 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RON KLAIN, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: When the President said, today, when the - he gets back from Asia, he's going to meet with Democratic and Republican leaders, and talk about what kind of progress, we can see, in this lame-duck.
The government runs out of money, in mid-December. We have to fund the government. We shouldn't have a government shutdown, right before Christmas. We have other priorities too. The Congress works all the way, till January 3. We want to see progress in this lame-duck session.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: So, one of the ironies of Democrats defeating some of these more extreme MAGA candidates, in races, yesterday, is that that makes, assuming that there is a Speaker McCarthy, that would make his majority pretty narrow, which actually empowers the MAGA members, of the Republican caucus, the Marjorie Taylor Greenes of the world, the Andy Biggs, the Paul Gosars, and on and on.
Are you prepared for that? Because that's going to mean investigations into almost everything that has happened, and even some things that have not happened, by the Biden administration, investigations into the President's son, Hunter, investigations and perhaps an impeachment of the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas, and on and on. Are you ready for that?
KLAIN: Look, we're always ready for fair and legitimate oversight--
TAPPER: That's not what I asked.
KLAIN: --in this - in that past two years.
TAPPER: I didn't. I'm not asking about fair and legitimate oversight.
KLAIN: That's what I have said.
KLAIN: What I am saying though Jake is if that's what it is, we're ready for it.
I think, look, I think one reason why Republicans faded, at the end of this campaign, is they stopped talking about what they could do for families, and started talking about what they were going to do to the President's family. I don't think that's what the voters want to see.
They want to see Washington work to bring down prices, to continue to fight COVID, to work on the urgent economic challenges we face, as a country. I don't think they what to see a bunch of political games here from the House of Representatives.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN CO-ANCHOR, STATE OF THE UNION: Hey, Ron, it's Dana Bash.
I wanted to ask you about one thing that the President was asked today, which is what he would do differently, assuming that at the very least, that there is a Republican-led House. And his response was "Nothing."
And he was noting the legislative successes that he says that you all had beforehand that are going to kick in down the road. But assuming that he wants to do other things, going forward, and the Republicans are in charge of the House, he is going to have to work with Republicans, to get something done.
Is there something that you can say that it would be on your agenda, if in fact that does happen, that you would need bipartisan support for it?
KLAIN: Yes, Dana, I think, his point in saying "Nothing" was that since the day he got here, he has tried to work, with Republicans, in both the House and the Senate.
He signed over 150 bipartisan bills, in two years, including that landmark Infrastructure law, the CHIPS Act, Veterans Health. So, we're going to continue to look, as we have, for areas, where we can work with Republicans.
The President specifically mentioned mental health today, is one area, we've heard a lot of Republicans say they want to see the country tackle that problem. Hopefully, that's something we could do together.
The President has this Cancer Moonshot Initiative, which again, shouldn't go along party lines. Everyone, whatever your political affiliation, knows someone, in their family, who has been touched by cancer, who wants to see us make progress, in fighting this disease.
We continue to work on things that can help Veterans.
So, we're going to do what we've done all along, which is stand up for what the President believes in, some things he will not compromise on, he will not cut Social Security, he will not cut Medicare, will not let Republicans ban abortion.
KLAIN: But where there's areas of common interest, and common ground? We're going to try to make progress on those.
BASH: What about immigration? This is, I know, something--
KLAIN: Oh, yes, I think it's - yes.
BASH: --that everybody has been trying to do for going back, I don't know, two, three presidents.
BASH: And it's very difficult.
BASH: Unless you have real partners. Is that doable in this climate?
KLAIN: We're going to find out. Certainly, we - the President sent an immigration reform bill, to Capitol Hill, the very first day he got to the White House. If there's a chance to do something on immigration, we'd love to see that. The country needs immigration reform and progress on that. So, that's another area, where if it's possible, we certainly would be interested, in talking to Republicans, about that.
BASH: There is going to be a runoff in the State of Georgia. Will President Biden go down and campaign with and for Raphael Warnock?
KLAIN: Well, I have to be careful here about the Hatch Act, because that's a future election. But what I'll just say is we're going to do whatever Senator Warnock, wants the President do that he finds helpful.
BASH: Do you think it would be helpful? You've got a pretty sharp political mind.
KLAIN: Well, again, I don't want to violate the Hatch Act here, and talk about--
BASH: Oh, I see.
KLAIN: --what we're going to do to get Senator Warnock elected in an election--
BASH: Got it.
KLAIN: --that hasn't happened yet.
BASH: Got it. Don't want to get you in trouble. I see the building behind you.
KLAIN: Please, don't!
BASH: OK. Thanks, Ron.
KLAIN: Thanks, Dana, appreciate it.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Dana, thanks very much.
Let's talk with our team here.
David Axelrod, I mean, Dana was bringing up immigration. I mean, there are a huge number of just gridlocked, incredibly serious issues that there has been little progress on. Any sign that there could be progress on, I mean, something like immigration, which is such a difficult topic?
DAVID AXELROD, FORMER OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, it's hard to be terribly optimistic, given the history of that issue. I mean, there was a bipartisan bill that passed the Senate, with large numbers, during the Obama administration. Never got through. It wasn't called for a vote in the House.
And one of the questions is if Republicans control the House, would you run into the same kind of obstacle there, even if you could work it through the Senate? We've seen some significant compromises, in the past year, on infrastructure and other things.
But it's going to be such - this is one of the consequences of this very small majority that Kevin McCarthy is going to have, if he has it, or whoever is the Speaker, because they're just not going to get a lot of leeway, to work on this issue.
So, I think, Ron is right to take the tack that he's taking, and to say, "We're going to test this, and see what we can get done." And I think they're going to try.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: You know but--
AXELROD: But politics won't - I don't think politics are going to lend themselves to that.
BORGER: With Trump running, if he does announce, next week, he was very much opposed, to even the infrastructure compromise. And so, he will change that calculation, because he doesn't want anything to get done.
He didn't want anything to get done last time. He was all over Mitch McConnell, for signing onto that Infrastructure bill. And, I think, he's going to be trying to pull some strings, from outside the Congress, and say, "Look, you guys can't do this."
And even if it's areas, like combating opioid abuse, for example, or fighting crime, or holding tech companies accountable, which are, mutually-agreeable issues, in some way? I think Trump's impact will be very large. Don't you think?
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And I think, also, with a slim potential House Republican majority, and an empowered right flank, we're going to struggle, to even keep the lights on. Funding the government is going to be a challenge.
FARAH GRIFFIN: Dealing with the debt ceiling, the NDAA, these basic functions of government that have to happen are going to be a challenge, in a divided government.
I would love to see some kind of bipartisan deal on immigration. We've been, wanting to do that, dating back to Bush. But I would be shocked if that happens, heading into a presidential contest two years out.
SCOTT JENNINGS, COLUMNIST, USA TODAY: Yes, the House has its own set of problems, given how thin the Republican majority is likely to be. But, on McConnell, and for his part, yes, Trump was all over him.
JENNINGS: But Trump wasn't able to influence him out of it. And they did do some bipartisan work. McConnell has often said he's interpreted these very close elections, as the American people, saying they want the two parties to do things between the 40-yard lines.
BORGER: He's right.
JENNINGS: And you could interpret that this way. It's sort of a close election. Republicans winning the national popular vote by couple points. Democrats doing better they thought. You could interpret it the same way. So, you could see the Senate maybe going in that direction. But I agree with Alyssa. The House seems unlike.
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO TRUMP 2016 CAMPAIGN: Can't get 60 votes.
COOPER: Our election coverage continues, in a moment. The gap narrowing in the Nevada Senate race, new numbers, next.
TAPPER: The balance of power, in the U.S. Congress, at stake, tonight, even as new vote numbers come in from key battleground States. We're on the ground in all the key States, with CNN National Correspondent, Gary Tuchman, in Nevada, for us.
Gary, tell us what's happening with vote counting where you are.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jake, as we speak, we are getting more results here, from the State of Nevada.
This is the Clark County Election department. Inside the building, we were just inside, we watched the vote counters, counting, tabulating mail-in ballots. These are ballots that were mailed in, as the name implies, or were dropped, in drop boxes. We were told earlier today, they would be counted, about 14,000 today. Here's what we've learned. The Democratic senator, Catherine Cortez Masto was about 22,000 votes behind the Republican challenger, Adam Laxalt. In these new tallies, Senator Cortez Masto has 9,158 more votes. Adam Laxalt, former Attorney General, from the state, has 4,169 more votes. That's a net gain, for Masto, of 4,989 votes.
So, as we said, she is behind, Cortez Masto, by about 22,500 votes. She has just gained 4,989 votes. So, that means, right now, with my mathematic standing here, she has about 17,000 votes behind.
TAPPER: All right.
TUCHMAN: Back to you, Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Gary Tuchman, thanks so much.
I'm at the Magic Wall. Let's talk about this Nevada race, because this is the opposite of what we see going on, in Arizona.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS: Right
TAPPER: Here, you have the Republican in the lead by about almost 18,000 votes, against an incumbent Democrat. Can she make it up?
KING: The question is do the other remaining outstanding votes come in like this? Again, if you're looking at Clark County, the most Democratic county of--
TAPPER: That's the Nevada - from Las Vegas.
KING: Yes. I mean, Las Vegas.
KING: I'll come back to you, in one second. Remember the 2020 experience. Biden got the majority, a big majority of the votes in Clark County. Biden got the big majority in Pennsylvania, in the Philadelphia area and the suburbs around it.
So, the question is? We just had this conversation in Arizona. When we get another installment of votes, and then another release of votes, then you say, are the same trends continuing? Or are we getting different kinds of ballots, right? Ballots that were mailed in a couple weeks before that they're still counting versus ballots that came in at the last minute.
But, in this, if you're the Democrat here, we were talking in Arizona, the Democrats increased their leads. Senator Cortez Masto is the incumbent Democrat. And this seat is absolutely critical to the math and the balance of Senate.
So, she caught, as Gary just said, just shy of 4,900 votes off the lead of Adam Laxalt. Now, he is still in the lead. This is the new votes. And again, as important as this is, this is what you're looking at, right? TAPPER: Right.
KING: So, Cortez Masto has to have a higher percentage, because she's trailing. And it certainly helps if you're doing that, more than two to one as the votes come in.
So, I'm going to move this out of the way, and we'll continue.
So, where are they? They came from here. This is Clark County. We're up to 86 percent now. But this is 74 percent of the vote. 74 percent in the state comes from right here. So, this is where the most of the votes are outstanding. This is obviously the most important county.
Look at that - I just want to show you the margins. As we watch these additional votes come in, is she getting that 65 percent, in the next installment of votes, and something close to that, in the next installment of votes? Because she's at 51.3 percent to 45.8 percent.
Just want to go back to the presidential race, to show you this is very competitive territory. So, there you see. In Clark County, last time, just shy of nine points, somewhere in the ballpark nine points, almost 10 points, you're looking there.
So, if you come to the Senate race, the Democratic candidate for Senate is - doesn't have quite that margin. So, she wants - she wants to stretch it out, right? She needs to run it up here, is the idea, run it up here, to offset this, right?
So, and especially the other - the other conversation, forgive me, is there's - these also outstanding votes here, in the second largest county. This is a genuine swing county. Washoe County is the second largest. It's 15 percent of the population, as opposed to 60-plus percent of the population. So, it is a smaller population center. But in a close race, it all counts. They're running neck and neck here.
The question is, if at the end of the count, if this flips to blue, Cortez Masto is in pretty good state. If it stays red, she can still win, but she would need to get - continue to get high percentages, like she just did, more than two to one, in Clark County.
TAPPER: So, you just showed us Clark County, which is Las Vegas. And, in that county, Cortez Masto is underperforming what Joe Biden did.
TAPPER: By a little. And Adam Laxalt is over-performing what Donald Trump did.
TAPPER: Right? And this is a state that Joe Biden one narrowly. Do you have a way of finding out where else in the state, Senator Cortez Masto underperformed Biden? KING: There's your answer, right there. So, she's underperforming him, in Clark County. And she's underperforming him in these traditional Republican counties, anyway. But again, in a close race, you say, "Oh, well, that's red." As we went through the--
KING: --experience, last night, in Georgia, in the Senate race, the margins matter. So, let's just see what it is. Right now, you see Cortez Masto, here.
This is Republican by 54 points, last time. I mean, it's, you're still it's not - you're not talking a huge difference here. But you're not taking a huge difference here. But again, a percentage or two, a couple hundred votes or three can matter, when you get through it, as you go.
TAPPER: Now, you said that this is the second--
KING: This is the big one, yes.
TAPPER: --second biggest county other than Clark County.
KING: Right. Biden won this by four and a half. And she's trailing by four. And so, there's your - this is it.
KING: This is it. I'm not saying - I'm not trying to insult the great people of Nevada, who live in these counties. I'm not saying that - every vote matters in a competitive election.
KING: But the way to swing it, if you want to - the big - the big vote releases, as they calculate ballots, are going to come from here, and here, overwhelmingly from here.
But watch this one. If at the end of the day, Washoe is blue? There're pretty good chance she has caught up, and passed, Senator Laxalt. If it stays red? She can still win. But if it's blue, it's just as a leading - leading indicator, the winner here, as long as this stays deep blue.
TAPPER: So, if I were advising?
TAPPER: Let's go back to Nevada. If I were advising Adam Laxalt, a year ago, right?
KING: Did the math (ph).
TAPPER: If I were going to advise him?
KING: Right. TAPPER: And I would - I would say, "What you need to do is you need to get the same turnout that President Trump got, in rural Nevada," right?
KING: Just turn this off.
TAPPER: "You need to get the same turnout. And then you need to trim away at the margins in the Democratic counties, Clark County."
TAPPER: And then - what's this?
TAPPER: And Washoe County. And he's done that, right?
KING: So far.
TAPPER: Where is he over-performing Trump?
KING: So far. Let's look at that. Then I want to make a quick point here. So, we look at she perform - over-performing Trump, in the counties that count, and in a couple of the smaller counties.
TAPPER: Where the populations--
KING: And the counties where the populations are. Again, I'm not saying--
TAPPER: I'm just saying that he ran the campaign. I don't know how this is going to end.
TAPPER: But he ran the campaign, he needed to run, just in terms of the-
TAPPER: --the margins and the turnout. He ran the campaign he needed to run, in the most populous counties, in order to win. I'm not saying he's going to win.
TAPPER: But he's in the lead right now.
KING: And so, when we get to the end, we can break down whether that works out through. Remember, this will be a place. We have not seen this that - Florida Republicans, Marco Rubio and Ron DeSantis have a lot to brag about, when it comes to the Latino vote, in southern Florida, especially in Miami-Dade.
Republican said they were going to do it in South Texas. Not so much. Not a horrible performance, but they did not build - they did not continue building, and Democrats would say - I'm going to soon as I - we end this, I'm going to have texts from Democrats, saying, "We were actually better than that." Democrats did reasonably well.
This was the other test in Arizona as well. This was a big test. So, in the end, we'll know more.
But remember, here, what dominates Vegas? The hospitality industry.
KING: What dominates Reno, up in Washoe County?
TAPPER: Same thing.
KING: The same thing, the hospitality industry. At the peak of COVID, the unemployment rate in Nevada was over 28 percent.
KING: Now, it is back down below 5 percent. When you take a body blow like that? The bruise lasts.
And so, yes, you're right. Laxalt is running a pretty good campaign. He also has a much better environment than Donald Trump had in 2020, when he was running here, in the sense that you have a lot of people - gas prices, here, a buck a gallon higher than the national average.
KING: So, this is a tough environment, for Senator Cortez Masto. It's tough environment, for any Democrat, because you have the national trends that are even exacerbated more here, because of the blow they took during COVID and because of the energy costs now. So, it is a very tough environment for her. Still, she has a demographic - she has a demographic advantage here, unless to your point, Laxalt--
TAPPER: He chipped away.
KING: --has smartly cut into it.
TAPPER: Yes. He chipped away.
Let's get more in the state of play in Nevada, because Brianna Keilar is at our Voting Desk.
Brianna, tell us more.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, let's break down Clark County here. You mentioned it. This is where Vegas is. It's the most populous county, 70 percent of the entire population of the state. In fact, all eyes on the ballots, coming in from the county's roughly 300 drop boxes.
There were nearly 57,000 ballots that were picked up on Tuesday. That's in addition to the nearly 15,000 ballots picked up from drop boxes on Monday. And we're still expecting some of those results, this evening. So, those are the drop boxes.
And then, you have other ballots that people dropped in mailboxes that are arriving through the U.S. Postal Service. And officials are processing 12,700 mail ballots, and they will continue to do that through Friday.
The County Registrar said that all in-person Election Day votes have been counted minus roughly 5,555 provisional ballots, which will be counted by next Wednesday.
And then, finally, there are more than 9,500 voters on the cure list, meaning there's something on their ballot that needs to be fixed. They need to correct it. More than 5,000 voters have not yet cured those ballots. But they have until Monday, November 14, to fix those mistakes.
And there's still an unknown number of mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day. It could still be coming in. Remember, those can arrive up until Saturday.
So, there's still a lot to count, in Clark County, Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Brianna, thanks so much.
Gen Z in the house! Coming up, meet Maxwell Frost, Congressman-elect Maxwell Frost, the first of Gen Z, to be elected to Congress. Stay with us.
BASH: A new class of representatives, coming to Congress, in January, although tonight it remains unclear which party will control which chamber. But we do know that some of the new lawmakers are making history. Congressman-elect Maxwell Frost is among them.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN ANCHOR, "INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY": The 25-year-old Democrat, who will represent Florida's 10th congressional district will be the first member of Gen Z, to serve in Congress. And he's joining us now.
MAXWELL FROST, (D) FLORIDA CONG.-ELECT: Thank you so much for having me.
BASH: So, did you see the President's remarks today?
FROST: I did. I did. PHILLIP: He--
FROST: I was mid-flight. But as soon as I turned on my WiFi, I saw the messages.
BASH: So, for those who have not heard, he gave you a shout-out. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Last night, I was pleased to call Maxwell Frost, the 25-year-old, who got elected - I guess the youngest man ever elected to the United States Congress.
That I have no doubt he's off to an incredible start in what, I'm sure, will be a long, distinguished career. And when he's President and they say, "Joe Biden is out in the outer office," I don't want him to say, "Joe who?"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: So, you are well aware that you are going to be joining a group of people, who are much older than you. Some could be your parents, grandparents, maybe even great grandparents. How are you going to approach that?
FROST: Yes. Well, it's the same way I've approached every other job, in my career, from the ACLU, to March for Our Lives, just working with folks, building strong relationships, so that way we can really deliver for people at home, in Central Florida, and work to fight for the values we believe in across the country.
PHILLIP: You were saying, as we were talking earlier, that last night was a huge moment for you, obviously--
PHILLIP: --in your young life, 25-years-old. But it was also a big moment for your State of Florida. You were a Democrat, elected in a Democratic seat. But you got a Republican governor, in Ron DeSantis.
PHILLIP: Just listen to a little bit of his victory speech from last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Florida was a refuge of sanity when the world went mad. We stood as a citadel of freedom for people across this country and, indeed, across the world.
We will never ever surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die.
(AUDIENCE CHEERS & APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIP: Just an incredibly strident speech, from DeSantis.
But Congressman-elect, do you think he's speaking to you, and your generation, when he's talking about the, woke mob, and carrying out a lot of this culture war argument in the State of Florida?
FROST: What Governor DeSantis is doing is scapegoating vulnerable communities due to his failures.
In his speeches, he's not talking about affordable housing. He's not talking about the fact that the young - that the leading cause of death, for young people, is gun violence, right now. He's not talking about the fact that people are losing their right to safe and legal access to abortion.
He's talking about these culture war bits, which this is what he's doing to rile up his base. He's more interested in running for president than running our state. And we saw that on display, last night. And we're going to continue to see it for the next two years.
BASH: How are you going to approach your job, given your age? And do you think - I know you're going to represent your entire district. But you are also representing a generation, Generation Z?
BASH: So, how are you going to look at it differently, given that?
FROST: I think it really has to do - and when people ask me, "What does Gen Z care about?" I think we all really care about the same issues. But Generation Z is seeing them through a different lens, right, through the life, we've been through.
I think about my timeline, growing up, seeing Occupy Wall Street, learning about Trayvon Martin, and he was murdered just 30 minutes north of me, Parkland, March for Our Lives. These are the moments that are defining for our generation. And, I think, I'm taking that perspective, to Congress, and the urgency that these issues really deserve.
PHILLIP: You really came into your adulthood, as an activist, on the issue of guns. And especially, after what happened, in Texas, at yet another elementary school, how do you feel about the state of gun politics in this country? It almost seems, frankly, as if we're - it's getting harder to get to compromise on issues--
PHILLIP: --as it relates to gun control, or reducing gun violence, especially the kind--
FROST: Yes. PHILLIP: --that has been taking the lives of so many young kids.
FROST: Yes. I mean, I've been in this fight since the Sandy Hook shootings, for about a decade now, since I was 15-years-old. And this issue does feel like it moves slower than molasses, right? It's that one issue that impacts. A 100 people a day die due to gun violence, yet we barely see any action.
But we've seen action over the past two years, the bipartisan bill, ending gun violence, I think, is really important. And it's a step- forward. It's not everything we need. But if something is going to save one, two, three, four, five lives a day, that's worth it. Because behind every number, there's a person, there's a human.
BASH: Congress is it's big, and it's unruly. But a lot of people, who are freshmen, whether they're young, 25, or even older, they kind of look for role models.
BASH: Who is your role model, who you want to be like, as a legislator?
FROST: There are so many people. Too many to name, right? I mean, a lot of folks--
BASH: Just pick one.
FROST: Yes. I'll say someone who really helped me early on was Congressman Mondaire Jones. He was someone, who reached out early on, as another young, Black, progressive elected, and he's someone that I look up to, and that I count as a friend.
PHILLIP: And do you have any plans for Washington? I bet you've been here a little bit.
PHILLIP: Given what you've been up to. But any things you're looking forward to doing, on Capitol Hill, in this city, now that you'll be here a little more?
FROST: Well, obviously, the work that I'm sent here to do. But I'm a musician, and I'm actually really excited to really--
PHILLIP: Oh, yes?
FROST: --dive into the music scene.
BASH: What do you play?
FROST: Drums, percussion, yes.
PHILLIP: Oh, that's interesting, really great.
FROST: Yes, yes. PHILLIP: Well we'll have you on for a set or--
FROST: Yes. I got to play some drums!
BASH: Thank you.
FROST: Yes, of course.
BASH: Thank you so much.
PHILLIP: Congressman-elect, congratulations, and thank you again.
FROST: Yes. Thank you for having me.
And stay right there. We have another projection in the works. It will be on the other side of a quick break. Don't go anywhere.
TAPPER: Welcome back. And we have a new projection to make in the race for the U.S. House of Representatives.
In Iowa, CNN projects that Republican state senator Zach Nunn has succeeded in ousting Democratic incumbent congresswoman Cindy Axne, in a purple district that Trump won, by less than half a percentage point, in 2020.
More now on the Senate, let's go to the balance of power, right now. In the House of Representatives, 188 Democrats have been elected. That includes four pickups. Republicans have 208 seats. That includes 16 pickups. 39 seats remain to be called.
And there are 218 seats that you need to have to win control of Congress. The state of play right now, in terms of the outstanding competitive seats, Republicans need to win seven of them. Democrats have a tall order. They need to win 23 of the competitive seats.
COOPER: Jake, thanks very much.
Want to talk more now, on the Senate, and a very tight race, in Georgia, so tight in fact, it is heading to a runoff.
Want to go to Atlanta. CNN's Jeff Zeleny is there.
So, the campaigns are not wasting any time, going back into campaign mode?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, they're not. And actually, all eyes, here in Georgia, tonight, at least among political operatives, are on Nevada, and Arizona, because what happens there affects the races here. And here's why. If control of the Senate hinges on Georgia, this is certainly going to heighten the importance of this race, over the next month.
But as you said, they're not wasting any time. And, starting tomorrow, Ted Cruz, of course, the Texas senator is the beginning of the cavalry that's arriving here, in Georgia.
Republicans are planning to flank Herschel Walker try - and build up his support. And that starts tomorrow night, with a rally that Ted Cruz is hosting, in Cherokee County. It's about an hour or so north of Atlanta. And it's one of the very places that Herschel Walker underperformed, Governor Brian Kemp, by about 9,000 votes or so.
And when we look at the vote totals, across the state, here, in Georgia, it was happening in red counties, really, in all corners. And it's one of the concerns here for Republicans that Herschel Walker underperformed the Republican governor by almost 200,000 votes, across the state.
So, Ted Cruz is coming here. Other senators, I'm told, are lining up virtually day by day. And campaign staffers are also coming here, to Georgia, trying to help build him up.
But the question is, are those the kind of voters that they actually need? They also need independent and swing voters.
That's where Senator Raphael Warnock, of course, the Democratic incumbent senator, who is still in the fight of his life - yes, he was some 17,000 or so votes ahead, but still needs to get over that 50 percent.
So, he also is bringing in a lot of surrogates. I'm told early conversations have been already held, with former President Barack Obama, who of course came here at the end of the general election period.
One question, are two other presidents going to come?
Former President Donald Trump, who did not step foot, into Georgia, during the campaign period, even though he recruited Herschel Walker?
And is President Joe Biden going to come? We've heard Ron Klain, the Chief of Staff, say just a short time ago, on our air, that it would be up to Senator Warnock. He clearly did not want him, here, during the campaign period.
And you may be asking, why a runoff? Why is this even happening? Only two States, Georgia and Louisiana have runoffs in general election. They're actually from laws from the 60s and 70s that some said were trying to keep certain people out of office.
So, a lot of interesting history here, certainly, when two Black men, are on the ticket, a Republican and a Democrat, so part of our nation's history here, playing out, in these runoff races, now, December 6, here in Georgia, Anderson.
COOPER: And Jeff, has the Governor Brian Kemp said that he would - I think we lost Jeff, anyway.
I'll talk to the panel.
What, do you think Brian Kemp is going to campaign?
URBAN: That was a question I was just going to ask.
COOPER: Right. Yes, yes.
URBAN: So, Brian Kemp really performed. Let me say, Brian Kemp outperformed Herschel. Brian Kemp did this. Brian Kemp ran up big numbers in Georgia. I would keep everybody out of the state, except Brian Kemp.
AXELROD: Yes. Yes.
FARAH GRIFFIN: But the problem is you can't do that. I advised the Georgia 2020 Senate runoff. And nobody wanted Donald Trump to come down. We had Ivanka down. Don Jr. wrote an Op-Ed. Pence came down. No one wanted Trump there.
FARAH GRIFFIN: But Trump hated not having the attention.
URBAN: But this also--
FARAH GRIFFIN: So, he showed up.
URBAN: But Brian Kemp proved a winner.
COOPER: Do you think he'll show up this time?
FARAH GRIFFIN: I think he'll show up this time. I think everyone with 2024 aspirations is going to descend. I wouldn't be surprised if DeSantis ends up trying to help in some way. I think it's going to be kind of the first round of showing--
AXELROD: But Kemp is what - I mean, the fact--
URBAN: Yes. Here's where - Herschel, just keep Brian Kemp, no one else.
AXELROD: No, you're absolutely right. Because if the battle is for those independent voters, in the suburb--
URBAN: Who we saw, right, broke for Democrats?
AXELROD: Yes. But, I mean, he - Warnock got 55 percent of the independent vote, in Georgia. He needs to - Walker needs to penetrate that. But it will be a fundamentally different race, depending on--
AXELROD: --whether it's for control of the Senate or not. If it's for control of the Senate, I think, you're going to see a lot of people making the argument, hold your nose, and vote for Walker.
BORGER: Yes. But without Kemp, at the top of the ticket, the question is, how much more difficult is it going to be for Walker? I mean, Kemp did so much better than Walker. And you could say he brought along a lot of votes for Walker now.
Kemp is going to campaign for him, I bet. Republicans will campaign for him. You saw that happening, right now, on election, before the election. So, they'll all be down there. But independent voters? Where are they going to go?
URBAN: Yes. We know, right now, Brian Kemp's the most popular Republican, in the State of Georgia. We just had him in Atlanta (ph).
JENNINGS: My understanding is, is that Governor Kemp, and other senior Republican officials, have had conversations, today, about the need for him, to put his arms around Herschel Walker. As Jeff pointed out, there's just a ton of counties, out there, with a lot of Republican votes--
JENNINGS: --that Kemp got, and Walker didn't get. Kemp is the key to unlocking that. Also, his Libertarian got about two points--
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.
JENNINGS: --80-something-thousand votes. Those people need to be corralled as well.
JONES: Yes, he got--
JENNINGS: Now they - they attack the Libertarian, the Walker campaign did, as being a liberal, as being as liberal as Warnock is. I don't know exactly who those voters are. But 80,000?
JENNINGS: Could make a difference. But the note on Kemp - I really do believe those conversations are already taking place. And my advice to the Walker campaign would be call Kemp's campaign team, and say, "Come to the office, get the whiteboard, and just show us"--
JONES: And tell us--
URBAN: Scott Jennings gets the big bucks!
JENNINGS: I mean--
URBAN: Right there.
JENNINGS: I mean, they're just--
JONES: That's fine.
JENNINGS: I mean, look, I know, they ran their own separate campaigns.
JONES: Want to say a couple things. But--
JENNINGS: There's only one. And there's a whole group of people out there, who knows--
COOPER: So, what would you recommend, Van, for Warnock?
JONES: Well, first of all, I think, I just want to just point to the history here. It's gotten normal. But it ain't normal, to have two African American men, running, to represent Georgia, in a state with the history that Georgia has. And that's a big deal.
And why is that possible? It's possible because Stacey Abrams, who's now lost twice, built a machine that may turn out possible for both Ossoff and Warnock.
You can be somebody - I just want to give Stacey Abrams, a little bit of acknowledgement here. She's not going to be governor. She's probably never going to be governor. But you could have a cause that succeeds when your candidacy fails. Her candidacy failed, but her cause has succeeded. It is possible now, for Black folks, to win statewide, in Georgia, in both parties. And so, I think that's a big deal.
Now, I think that Warnock is going to need an awful lot of help. I don't think that he should keep anybody out of state, who wants to come and help him. And I think that, my belief is going to - we're going to have another repeat, it's going to come back down. And if in fact, he pulls it off, Warnock? He will owe Stacey Abrams. If in fact, Walker wins, he's going to owe--
AXELROD: We should - we should--
AXELROD: We should remember why Kemp - why Warnock - I mean, why Walker is in the race. Trump put him in the race. Kemp is popular, because in some - partly because he stood up to Trump.
AXELROD: So, that's something he can't convey to Walker.
COOPER: 62,000 additional ballots now, in the hands of Arizona election officials. We'll look at how they could impact the Senate race and gubernatorial races, in that state.
We'll be right back.
TAPPER: Control of the House, and control of the Senate, hangs in the balance. And mail-in and drop-off ballots could make all the difference, in the many races that remain undecided.
Election officials, in Arizona, for example, just announced they have an additional 62,000 of them. That's on top of hundreds of thousands of other votes that need to be counted there.
David Chalian is at the Battleground Desk.
David, give us some insights here, into what remains to be counted, and the percentage that these candidates need to win?
DAVID CHALIAN, VICE PRESIDENT AND CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes. So, Jake, we think approximately now, there are 600,000 uncounted votes, in Arizona. When you and I talked about this, a little earlier, we were about approximately 700,000 uncounted. But you noted that 62,000 that came in from Maricopa. We got some other vote around the state. So now, we think it's about 600,000 votes that are uncounted.
So, what does each candidate need to do to win? Well, Blake Masters is currently behind. So, he needs about 54 percent to 57 percent in that range, in this estimate, of the remaining outstanding vote, of those 600,000 outstanding, in order to overtake Mark Kelly, and win this race.
Mark Kelly, who is leading, right now, does not need as much. He only needs between 40 percent and 43 percent of the outstanding vote. We know that the bulk of that vote is in Maricopa County. There's also a big chunk of outstanding vote, we believe, in Pima County, both of which are counties that Mark Kelly has been doing better than this number.
But what we are looking for here is a pattern change. Will these votes, from those counties, present a different pattern? In other words, does Masters, start doing better, with the batches of votes that come in, because they were late arriving?
We heard for instance, there were 290,000 ballots, dropped off, just yesterday, in Maricopa County, from the official, who said, that was a record. Does that have a different pattern than we've seen so far in the county? We will look at that. But that's what Blake Masters need.
TAPPER: All right, David Chalian.
And I'm back at the panel.
And Chris, the irony - we heard the Assistant Secretary of State describe, in painstaking detail, why this takes so long. And the irony that people are using the fact that this takes so long as evidence that there's something, there's malfeasance afoot, couldn't be more inaccurate?
CHRIS WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR, CNN HOST, "WHO'S TALKING TO CHRIS WALLACE?": She seemed so precise, and so earnest, and so bureaucratic, in a positive sense, about "We're going to do this, the right way."
KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: This shouldn't (ph) be boring.
WALLACE: And she also made it clear that her boss, Katie Hobbs, the Secretary of State, who was running against Kari Lake, for governor, is going to have absolutely nothing to do with this count.
But just hearing what David Chalian said, there's no doubt that if either of these candidates, the Republicans lose, they're going to make a fuss, and they're going to say that there were some irregularities here.
Listen, in the Republican primary, Kari Lake said that she didn't trust that vote. And when she won, she said, "Well, I outvoted the fraud." So, this is just an election litigation waiting to happen.
BASH: She told--
PHILLIP: Think you literally can't win!
BASH: Yes. She told me, on "STATE OF THE UNION," a few weeks ago that she would accept the results, when she wins. And she wouldn't even go there on the question of whether she didn't win.
And she started to sow doubt, in the vote, last night, when she gave her speech, Kyung Lah's been reporting on this, which just doesn't make any sense to me, because she wants the rest of the votes to be counted.
Because, right now, based on what we see, look at the screen, 50 - Katie Hobbs has 50.3 (ph) percent. She has 49.7 percent. She says that she believes she is ultimately going to win. Well, the only way she can actually win is for all the votes--
TAPPER: But you're taking her--
BASH: --to be counted.
TAPPER: --you're taking her at face value, as if she's a rational human being and not--
BASH: I'm trying--
TAPPER: --and this isn't like an act.
BASH: I'm trying to - I'm trying to explain facts, and numbers and math.
PHILLIP: And math, yes.
HUNT: I mean, I keep thinking back--
TAPPER: Math is hard.
HUNT: --to that phone call that we learned about between Donald Trump and Blake Masters, and how Trump was chastising him, for not handling questions, like this, in the way that Kari Lake clearly is, where it is a political stance, right? I mean, that's what she's doing. She's taking a - I don't know if partisan, is the right word, because not every Republican does it. But she is taking a Trumpian stance about this. And I mean, I don't know. I don't expect her to do anything other than say it's wrong--
PHILLIP: The only thing--
HUNT: --if for sure, she loses.
PHILLIP: I mean, we're sort of - we're sitting here talking about this for hours on end. So, we have to find some levity, in a little bit of the conversation. But it is pretty dangerous. I mean?
BASH: No, I know. It's not--
PHILLIP: We are counting the votes. We don't know how it's going to turn out. She could very well turn out to be the next governor of Arizona. And if she does, she's already said that her very first order of business is going to be to start involving herself, in how the state carries out elections.
Now, I'm not trying to say that everything that Arizona does is done perfectly, and that there's no room for improvement. But when you have someone, who doesn't believe basic facts, like the last election was legitimately won by President Biden, then you start to question what she's going to be after. And I think that's where we are with this.
Kari Lake is very much an election denier, and has no regrets about it, and also spins some really wild conspiracy theories. And I think that if you're an Arizona voter, you should probably be pretty confident that those conspiracy theories would come with her--
WALLACE: But Abby?
PHILLIP: --to the governor's mansion.
WALLACE: If you look at our exit poll, 35 percent of Arizona voters say they did not believe that Joe Biden is the legitimately elected President of the United States--
PHILLIP: Which might actually be a bigger number or a smaller, I mean, it's not enough--
WALLACE: No. But well - no, my point is, though, that it - she's not out there by herself.
WALLACE: There is a sizable minority, but a sizable portion--
WALLACE: --of the Arizona electorate that says right on. You're exactly right.
PHILLIP: By the way.
TAPPER: So much of this--
PHILLIP: That's like the same number--
PHILLIP: --as the country, at large.
TAPPER: So much of this is just rooted in infantile behavior. "If I win, then it's legitimate. And if I don't, it's illegitimate."
TAPPER: And Chris, Donald Trump said something that I thought was so telling. I think it was an interview with Fox Digital, but I'm not sure. But he said something about the candidates he endorsed. He said, "If they won, I get credit for it."
TAPPER: "And if they lost, I don't share in any of the blame."
WALLACE: You can't--
TAPPER: That's like a quote!
WALLACE: You can't make this stuff up, right? I mean, it is sort of four-year old logic, "When they win? It's all on me. If they lose? It's their fault."
HUNT: I just will say we're absolutely right about Kari Lake, et cetera. But I will - across the map, there have actually been a lot of examples, in the last 24 hours, of people actually doing the right thing, in terms of conceding their elections.
TAPPER: Oh, yes.
HUNT: And actually standing up - and again, like the reason that 35 percent of Arizona voters think that Joe Biden didn't win the election, is because political leaders told them that that's what happened.
HUNT: Right? And they believed those political leaders. So, it shows you that it's very important that our leaders do the right thing.
And we've seen a series of things that have been encouraging, that say that there is an understanding that voters are rejecting this environment, where everything is completely polarized, people are lying.
There is increased political violence, like the attack on Paul Pelosi. You had Glenn Youngkin, write this letter, directly to her, and say he was sorry - you had - I mean, Dr. Oz did concede, in Pennsylvania, for example.
TAPPER: I don't think Mastriano did though.
HUNT: Well, right. There's - yes there are--
HUNT: --there are examples, and Kari Lake maybe another one. But I am hopeful that we are taking a step in the right direction--
TAPPER: Yes. So, we have to take a quick break. I'm so sorry.
More election coverage, in a moment. We're going to go live to Arizona, and to Nevada, where key races are undecided. The vote counting continues. Stay with us.
TAPPER: It is a busy night, for election officials, in Arizona.