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Votes Still Coming In From Different States; Republicans Leading In House Votes; More Latinos Voted For Republican Candidates; President Biden Running In 2024; Voters Want New Blood; Leader McCarthy And President Biden Need To Work Together. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired November 09, 2022 - 22:00   ET




JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: It is a busy night for election officials in Arizona. They've been scrambling to process and count more ballots. We're crunching all the new numbers as they come in tonight. The nation, of course, is waiting for the final word on which party or parties will be in charge of the House and the Senate over the next two years?

I'm Jake Tapper in Washington.

Arizona will be one of the deciders in the fight for control of the U.S. Senate. Take a look at the state of play right now. At this moment, Democrats have 48 U.S. Senate seats. Republicans have 49. Republicans need two more seats to read the math -- to reach the magic number of 51 required to retake control of the U.S. Senate.

And three Senate races remain undecided in Georgia, in Arizona and Nevada. Now we know the Georgia race is heading to a runoff in December, because neither candidate got above 50 percent of the vote. It's possible Senate control will not be determined until then, but it could be determined by what happens in Nevada and Arizona.

Turning to the House. The numbers just changed again a little while ago. Remember, 218 seats are needed to control the House of Representatives. Democrats have 188 seats, including four pickups. Republicans now have 208 seats moving closer and closer to the threshold to retake the majority of the House. Thirty-nine races that could tilt control of the House remain as of now undecided.

But let's go back to Arizona now because CNN senior national correspondent Kyung Lah is in Arizona for us. She's watching the tight races for Senate and for governor. And Kyung Lah, all eyes on Maricopa County, the most populous county in all of the Grand Canyon state.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, and these campaigns absolutely feel the weight of everything that you are talking about, Jake, the control of the U.S. Senate comes down to these little numbers that we're looking at, and that is very clear when you talk to the various campaigns. I've spoken to a flurry of sources at all of the campaigns. Let's start with Democrat Mark Kelly. A source with knowledge of what's happening inside the campaign calls a reaction from within as a, quote, "good patch, a good batch" that this was something that they were expecting and it is building pad. So they are feeling good about it. This is going their way.

As far as the Masters campaign, someone with knowledge, a source with knowledge of, quote, "what's happening in the Masters war room" called a quote, "the worst drop, but we knew it would be." So, it's not a surprise. They knew that this one would not be very good, but they are expecting and hoping that things are going to change.

As far as the Kari Lake campaign, they are saying that this isn't super predictive of where this is going. The campaign at the Kari Lake headquarters is still believing that things are going to change, and why do they believe this? Because of what is still out. What Maricopa County has said is that it is those late early, those mail-in ballots that were filled in and then dropped off in person.

The expectation from the Kari Lake campaign and the Masters' campaign is that those are going to lean to the Republicans and then you're going to start seeing tomorrow some change. Now, we can't predict how that's going to go because this is unpredictable.

Voting patterns have changed so much. The way voters feel and believe it has changed constantly from 2018 to 2020 here in this state. So, we do not know how these are going to go. The hope by these campaigns is that tomorrow is going to be a different day.

One other bit of context, Jake. The confidence of the Kari Lake campaign is that there was a press conference scheduled for this evening to react from this data dump, but that press conference was cancelled. This count is taking a long time. So even though they're projecting this sort of confidence, there is certainly some hesitation as these numbers trickle out. Jake.

TAPPER: Yes, the, as the like Great William Golding once said, nobody knows nothing. Kyung Lah in Phoenix, thanks so much.

The other big state that we're wondering about tonight, it is Nevada and in North Las Vegas, that's where we find Gary Tuchman to give us, get us up to speed on the Senate and governor's race there. Gary?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jake, there are still tens of thousands of votes to count here in the state of Nevada. We are in the largest county by far in the state. Clark County, almost three quarters of the population lives in this county. This building behind me is the Clark County election headquarters. We were inside a short time ago.

We wanted to show you some pictures of tabulations of votes. These are not in person votes from yesterday. Those votes are all done. These are mail in ballots.

[22:04:58] Every person who votes in the state of Nevada who registered to vote received a mail-in ballot. There has been an extraordinary number of mail-in ballot sent in since October 24th, and there are lots of votes still to count. So, when we were inside, we watched them tabulate the votes. You will not seek any faces as a sad sign of the times. For security reasons, the election workers didn't want their faces shown.

There were also Republican and Democratic observers in there. They didn't want their faces shown, but here's what we know. When the day started, the incumbent U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto was trailing Adam Laxalt, the Republican challenger by about 22,500 votes. These are the numbers we just got a short time ago.

They counted 13,327 votes. Cortez Masto got 9,158 new votes, Laxalt 4,169. That's a net gain for Cortez Masto of 4,989. So, the lead has gone from about 22,500 to 17,500, and now this is just a tip of the iceberg. Tomorrow, another 12,700 votes roughly, and they were received in the mail. Today will be counted, and also here's the big number, about 57,000 votes that were put in boxes yesterday at the various voting centers, about 300 boxes.

So, a total of 70,000 more votes are expected to be counted tomorrow. So, we have a lot of counting still due. And one more thing, Jake, after that's counted, we still have tomorrow, Friday and Saturday for more mail in ballots to arrive as long as they were postmarked by yesterday, they'll arrive over the next three days, and that's conceivably tens of thousands of more votes. So, anything can happen.

TAPPER: All right, Gary Tuchman, thanks so much. That's updates from Arizona and from Nevada. And John, walk us through Nevada. What's going on?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's walk through the micro, if you will, and then we'll come out to the macro of what Gary just said. Because control -- balance of power in the United States Senate could depend on this seat.

And he just told us we're waiting and we're waiting a while. And then we have the Georgia runoff on December 6th. So, for anybody sitting at home thinking, you know, I'm going to get the tonight, I'm going to know it's not going to be tonight, but we could get more votes, which gets you closer to the trend.

What is happening? As Gary just noted the last time they released some votes here, Senator Cortez Masto gained in Clark County and narrowed the Republican statewide. So, she is winning in the largest county right now in the state, but she is trailing in the statewide vote count. In part, because Adam Laxalt as we discussed last time, we talked about this is running reasonably competitive here in Clark County, the largest population center.

He's running very strong in the traditional Republican areas. You come through White Pine County in the like 75 percent. Again, this is, you know, only, it's less than 1 percent. It's less than one half of 1 percent of the population. But in a close race, every vote counts and it's almost a 2,000-vote margin. So, in these smaller counties, you see what he's doing. Again, it's less than 600 votes, but in a close race, you take all you can.

So, he is doing what he needs to do in the smaller counties. And then you come over here, Nevada is Vegas, 60 percent plus. That's Clark County and Washoe, which is Reno, and then up to the northern border here, another 15, a little more than 15 percent, where this is the swing county that's always most competitive and he is narrowly, narrowly ahead at the moment. And we're still waiting for votes here too.

The majority of the votes we're waiting for are in Clark County, Vegas, and the suburbs. But this, this matters too, especially if Cortez Masto keeps making up ground in Clark County. The question is, does she make up ground here as well where it's very competitive? Or can Laxalt keep this swing county red? So, we're going to have to wait as we go through it.

And again, just to come out to the math. We're also waiting on the Senate race here, where the last time we did get Kyung was with us as they released more votes there. Senator Kelly increased his lead. So the Democrat is gaining but still trailing in Nevada. Inching up a little bit in Arizona, but both correspondents say what? Tens of thousands of more votes, which means we need to be patient.

And your patient is something that matters obviously to the citizens of those two important western states, but also matters critically to this control of the United States Senate.

Let me clear this and see, come back to where we are and come back to where we are. Right? Boom. Right now, here's the races we have called. The Democrats successfully, it's a big one flipped Pennsylvania. We knew that last night. Georgia, we are now certain, goes to a runoff on December 6th, so that one will stay toss up and undecided there, which is why these states out west matter so much.

Right now, the Democrat is leading here. That is left over from the last time we were here. The Democrat is leading there. Mark Kelly, the Republican is leading there. So, here's where we are at the moment. If both of those races, they finish counting the votes, Laxalt wins in Nevada. Kelly wins in Arizona, Georgia would decide control of the United States Senate.

Democrats would need it to get to where we are now. It would be a change. You would flip Pennsylvania for Nevada 50-50. The vice president breaks the tie.

So, if the Democrats can get Nevada and hold Arizona, Georgia is about the cushion, right? If Republicans can get Arizona, Georgia is about the cushion. So, we're, we're going through this interesting math as we wait. And it's frustrating, I'm sure, certainly to the people of Nevada and Arizona.


But if you're Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer and the president of the United States, and any partisan Democrat sitting at home, partisan Republicans sitting at home saying, I need this answer, going to wait. TAPPER: And it is entirely possible that after millions of dollars,

hundreds of millions of dollars, and years of scrambling and fighting, that we end up back where we started with the 50-50 Senate. That if the runoff election ends as the last runoff election did, and remember, Raphael Warnock this is now his third statewide race in two years because he ran in 2020, then he ran in the runoff there in 2021 and now he's running in 2022. This is his third race. He could win in December. I'm not saying he will, but he could.

KING: Right.

TAPPER: And if that happens after all of this, what you've really just done is swapped Pennsylvania and Nevada.

KING: Correct. and it's 50-50 tie in the United States Senate. You're right. If you own a local radio, TV station, one of those states, you're very happy. If you're anyone else, you're -- if anyone else, you're maybe a little frustrated.

But look, it just shows, you know, we have to laugh because you're at this day two and we're going to be doing this for some time. So, every now and then you need to laugh as you go through it. But the stakes here are enormous and consequential, which is why I just want to come back to where we are at the moment.

So, we go through these hypothetical sometimes. And we're clear about them. And then we come back to, you know, we have the three races that are not called, but you see these dramatic stakes here. We have very dramatic stakes still waiting in the House. The governor's race in both Nevada and Arizona still in play.

Incredibly important states, again for the citizens of those states. And also, among the Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin. These are the states that will decide our presidential politics for the foreseeable future. And it's been a fascinating couple of days, and we have more to go.

TAPPER: Yes. And we remain a divided nation. The balance of power in the House of Representatives changing hour by hour, race by race. We're on the verge of another House projection after this quick break.



TAPPER: And we're back with our election coverage, our midterm election coverage, and a new projection that CNN can reveal right now. In New York, Democratic Congressman Pat Ryan has been reelected, CNN Projects. Ryan is an army veteran who's been in Congress for just a few months. He won a special election in August.

Now let's turn to a controversial member of Congress. But before we do that, let us give you the balance of power right now. The balance of power, the Democrats have 189 seats, that includes four pickups, and Republicans have 208 seats. That includes 16 pickups, 38 seats remain needed to control, the magic number of course, 218. The state of play right now when it comes to those competitive House

seats that we have not yet called. Democrats need to win 22 of them in order to win or keep control of the House of Representatives. Republicans need to just win seven of the competitive seats that are outstanding.

Now let's turn to a controversial member of Congress whose political future seems in peril tonight.

Brianna Keilar is at our voting desk with that. Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right Jake. We're talking about Congresswoman Lauren Boebert who finds herself in an unexpectedly tight race and what was supposed to be a reliably GOP district. I mean, very reliably GOP. She, of course, is a vocal Trump loyalist. She has national name recognition as beloved by Trump Republicans as she is condemned by liberals for election denialism and antics like heckling President Biden during his State of the Union address, or posing with guns for her family Christmas card days after a deadly school shooting.

So, what's happening with her? Well, right now she is very narrowly trailing Adam Frisch who is a former Aspen City councilman right now, by less than 100 votes, he is ahead of her by that.

So, let's zone in here on Pueblo County, south of Colorado Springs to see why she and her campaign may be very worried. They should be worried because this is a county that trends Democratic.

And I spoke tonight with Gilbert Ortiz. He is the clerk there in charge of elections, and he told me that all of their outstanding votes to count were all election day votes. They actually just reported out 2,000 of those votes that he told me they were going to report out. But the teams here, they are exhausted.

They've been working 18-hour days. They need sleep, so they're not going to be done here. They're going home for the night. They're going to be back at tomorrow at 9 Mountain Time, which is of course 11 a.m. Eastern. And they're going to finish the last 2,000 approximately votes.

But John and Jake, that's going to be essential to really seeing what happens in this race that now a lot of people are watching that they didn't expect they would be.

TAPPER: That's interesting. I have to say one of the things that makes me think maybe Boebert is not necessarily in trouble is that their election day votes, because generally speaking, the trend has been election day votes tend to go Republican. And early votes tend to go Democratic. But am I wrong about that?

KING: No, early votes tend to go Democratic, election day votes tend to be more Republican votes. That is -- that's certainly what happened in 2020 and we see more of that this year. It's you know, it's an individual discard here. You saw me just popping around the thing while you were talking for finishing break, just looking for more votes.

She was talking about Pueblo County here. And you see this is an estimate. Now our team does our best. It's a midterm political environment. You're not sure what turnout is going to be.

TAPPER: Right.

KING: So, we make our best with our partners to get an estimated reporting. So as Bri made the point, you know, they're tired and they need sleep, but it's a Democratic area, it's Joe Biden only carried this piece of it, this county by two points.

But you see right now, Adam Frisch, the Democratic candidate is winning it by nine. So, he's running very well in this traditionally Democratic area, so that, that's one piece of the district that that's one, one piece of the district. So that's some of it. I mean, this is just what we're going through on a smaller scale.

Just so we're going through in Arizona and Nevada, what's outstanding, what part in this case the district, not the state, are they in and how many more elsewhere, right.

KEILAR: Yes, that's great. So, let's look at Pitkin County, which, OK, this also trends strongly Democratic, I mean, very strongly Democratic. The spread here is huge. It's like four to one Democrats to Republicans here. And I got an -- I got a hold of the clerk there and she told me that they had reported out all of their votes as of 1.50 a.m. this morning.


So, the only thing outstanding there, they have some military ballots that have until next week to arrive. They have some cured ballots. They have a very, very small number of ballots that actually went to other counties that they are going to be counting.

But this is important to look at. Because this is an area where, I mean, he's actually a former Aspen City councilman, so he is just raking in the votes here.

KING: Right.

TAPPER: Yes. Although it's small. It's a small county.

KEILAR: That's right.

KING: Small county. Again, Biden carried this small county by 52, and so you see him carry it there by 59. So again, he is overperforming the president of the congressional district. But to Brianna's point, you're waiting for those military ballots and so you wait. You wait and see how it goes.

KEILAR: Yes, and we say 95 percent estimated reporting there. She says it's totally done. But you have to keep in mind that here in Colorado they have eight days to cure votes, right? So, if someone made a mistake on their ballot, they have eight days after the election to fix that.

So, let's look now at Mesa County. This is on the other side of the state. This is where Grand Junction is located. They, this trends in favor of Lauren Boebert here, and they're waiting on approximately 5,000 military ballots, ballots that the machines initially had trouble reading. Those cured ballots as well.

So, a picture here altogether of just how razor close this race is and will likely remain as we're going to be waiting for a few more votes. And also, as if we didn't need to add more drama to this. If this race is within half a percentage point, which it very well could be, as you're looking here, it will trigger a recount. That's how Colorado goes. So, you can imagine how that is going to play out.

TAPPER: Yes. Look at this, John, because she's up by about 15 points in this.

KING: Right.

TAPPER: But it's an R plus 28.

KING: Right.


KING: Underperforming in a Republican area. You could make an argument, we could make this case in other districts. You know, that some of the more Trumpy Republican candidates have had trouble in this environment. She is as Trumpy as they come. Bri was mentioning some of the other controversies in the past, so is that what it is? That'd be great to get on the ground reporting from there about, without a doubt that.

Donald Trump two years ago carried Mesa County by 28 points, one of his acolytes, Lauren Boebert, as you know, that's 15, 15.6.

KEILAR: Yes. She is underperforming Trump consistently in all of these counties that I looked at, and keep in mind that her district overall, and it has changed. Look, this has changed, but this was still a district even with last year's redistricting that was almost plus 10 GOP district. This is Colorado's western slope. It's the southern part of the state. It should not be this close.

So, you have voters here really sending Lauren Boebert a message whether she squeaks this out, which has increasingly been up in the air here, or whether she loses.

TAPPER: And we were talking about this earlier. If you're in Colorado, there were two other big races, federal, statewide races. A governor who won 50, what was it, 58 percent or something? Governor Polis, 57.2 percent. And then the incumbent Senator, Democratic Senator Michael Bennett --

KING: Michael Bennett.

TAPPER: -- 54.5 percent. What does that tell you? It says generally speaking, the electorate who turned out to vote in Colorado was a little bit more to the left than to the right. Now, that's not necessarily the case in Boebert's district, but it seems like she's had a much more competitor. How did -- how did she win two years ago? What was her -- what was her vote total?

KING: The lines are not exactly the same.

TAPPER: OK. It's different.

KING: It's not apple to apple.

TAPPER: Not exactly the same.

KING: Yes. We can go back to the House now and you can go back to where the House now, and you can look at the district here. She got 51 percent. She had a tough race, you know, tough race, but you know, you can see the lines of the district a little bit --


TAPPER: It's a different and they redistricted it to make it less Republican. So, but it's R plus eight this time. What was it last time?

KING: To slide that down a little.

TAPPER: I don't know. The same.

KING: Yes, it's pretty close. Some of the lines don't change that much.


KING: But you see the district here and you come, you come back in. But to your point about the governor's race, let me bring this up a little bit and make it bigger. To your point about the governor's race and you come back in now, you know, statewide candidates running big, but in the combination of, I wanted to just come back to we talked about this before. If you look statewide at the competitive seats, right? Where we go here, come back in. Come back out. Here we go.

So, you have the Colorado House, right? Six and two.


KING: Right. Two in competitive seats. So just bring up the -- just bring up, I'm going to take the county off because the wall works a little better to take the county off. If you look at the competitive seats here, right? It's another state. We're not sure about this one yet, right? We're not sure about this.

If it's another state, we, in competitive seats, you have the Democrats doing better than the Republicans would've anticipated. And what they thought was a Republican year. And again, in this one here you see the six, leading the vote in sixth, Republicans leading in two, Democrats leading in two of the competitive districts, which includes this one right here.


That is not, that is not the dynamic Republicans were thinking about two weeks ago, four weeks ago, six months ago. That is our dynamic today, the day after election day.

TAPPER: Interesting. And also, don't discount the fact that Bennett and Polis were, you know, pulling Adam Frisch with them when with voters that went to the right.

KING: Very strong candidate with statewide help. But to Brianna's point, often those military ballots overseas affect the margins in the end.


KING: They matter here with the 64-vote lead.

TAPPER: Coming up, what President Biden said today about his plans to run for reelection after Democrats beat expectations in his midterm report card. This is election night in America continue. Stay with us.



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And welcome back, President Biden said at his White House News conference late this afternoon that he isn't in any hurry to announce the 2024 reelection bid. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Our intention is to run again. That's been our intention. Regardless of what the outcome of this election was, when I announce. If I -- my intention is that I'm run again, but I'm a great respecter of fate and, this is ultimately a family decision.

I think everybody wants me to run, but they're -- we're going to have discussions about it and I don't feel any, any hurry one way or another what to make that judgment. But today, tomorrow, whenever, no matter what the -- my predecessor does. My guess is it'll be early next year we make that judgment. But my plan to do it.


COOPER: You may not be having the discussion, but let's have the discussion, David Axelrod. David Axelrod?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Yes. Well, look, I do think the timing matters to everyone else because if his decision, I think if the president runs, he's going to be the nominee of the Democratic Party. And I think people who think otherwise are mistaken. There is, even if people aren't necessarily eager for him to run and the polling suggests, and these exit polls suggested that that is the case.

There's a lot of affection for Joe Biden. There's respect for Joe Biden and I think he'll be the nominee if he decides to run. But if he's not going to run, it does matter when he announces, because the Democratic Party is going to have to have a campaign. And campaigns are how you find out who is going to lead you forward.

It is a, it is a long, rigorous oral exam and the shorter the runway, the less opportunity there is for people to surface. So that's going to become a matter of concern for people. His habit has been to decide these things late. I don't think he has the luxury to do that. At least if he's thinking about the party and the country, he needs to do it by the first quarter of next week.

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Did you think if Trump gets it next week, then Biden feels more compelled to get in quicker?


AXELROD: A few guys rip Trump apart between now if he decides.


BORGER: I tell you what, I think it changed. Because I always said, if Trump gets in, he's going to want to run against him and he's going to want to beat him. But now, even if Trump gets in next week, who knows who the nominee is going to be because Trump has been wounded after, after this election.

So, running against Rick DeSantis is very different from running against a Donald Trump. And don't forget, during the last campaign for David's age issue, you know, he campaigned, during COVID. He wasn't out on the campaign trail constantly, which you have to do as presidential candidate.


BORGER: And so, this would be a very, very different kind of campaign for him. And one other thing that struck me was when he said, you know, I'm a great respecter of fate. That's he is. Because a lot of things have happened in his life that were not planned, including, you know, untimely deaths, et cetera.

So, you know, for somebody who's aging, I take that kind of seriously.

JENNINGS: He's basically the president because he's not Bernie Sanders and he is not Donald Trump. Those were his great attributes to get elected in 2020, and he looks better in the data from CNN's exit polls because he is not Donald Trump. His approval rating is 44 percent. Donald Trump is like 39 percent favorable, so he looks a little bit better than Trump.

Eighty-six percent of Democrats approve of him, but only 52 percent say they want him to run free election. To your point that you made earlier, there's a lot of Democrats that think kindly of Joe Biden, but they are so ready to move on. There's a lot of Republicans that are ready to move on. Nobody wants this rematch, and I do think there's a mood in the country for people to find younger candidates. You could love Joe Biden. You could love Donald Trump. But you could also love the idea that a new generation of leadership is needed by both parties. There's a market demand. Do the parties have it within them to meet it? I'm not sure.

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, and I agree with David that if Joe Biden runs, he will be the nominee, but because he's not made up his mind and is creating kind of a vanishing window to make it, the Democrats are not doing enough to groom the next era apparent for, I mean, whether it's a Pete Buttigieg. Then tee him up to have foreign policy experience. Give him an ambassadorship. If it's the vice president --


AXELROD: That's really not the way it works though.

GRIFFIN: But to some degree --

AXELROD: I mean, you know what happens? People run and they prove themselves. Pete Buttigieg is a good example. He was a small town mayor four years ago, and he ran in a national race and be -- because of the way he performed in that race --


GRIFFIN: But there is --

AXELROD: -- he became a national figure.

GRIFFIN: But the point more is that I don't think that there's somebody that today all, most Democrats would rally around and say, this is the obvious person. That's where you want to be as a party. You don't always get (Inaudible). That's a problem.


URBAN: He's talking about -- you're just talking about the great -- in the break, the great Democratic bench. Right. Governor -- you have Governor Whitmer. You have Wes -- Wes Moore just got elected. You have Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania. There are all these governors, Democratic governors who are just chopping at the bid, I think, to get in these races.


AXELROD: There won't be any dearth of applicants that say that.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I, look, I think this is a tough thing to sort out. I think the reason that it would be wise for Biden to think about letting somebody else have a shot is, I think you got to think of where's the country going to be in two years.

I think most of these elections are change elections. We just, you know, I don't think we're in a left-wing period. I don't think we're in a right-wing period. I think we're just in a turbulent, volatile period. And if in two years, the economy is still sputtering forward, and I don't see anything that's going to really help us.

If we're going to have gridlock in D.C., the fed is still going to be beating the crap out of us. China's economy is slowing down. If you're going to have a very soft economy in two years, it's going to be a change election. Let the Republicans put their same old, same old person back up. Let us put somebody else new up. That's my --


JENNINGS: New versus old.

GRIFFIN: But that needs to be now.

JENNINGS: It's new will beat old.

JONES: New will beat old.

JENNINGS: But you're right.

COOPER: We are getting new information about President Biden's call today with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy. We are live at the Capitol Hill next.



COOPER: And we have a CNN projection in California. Republican Representative Jay Obernolte wins reelection against the Democrat Derek Marshall. Obernolte was first elected in 2220, and Marshall was a staffer for Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign.

Take a look at where the balance of power stands now. Democrats now have 189 House seats, Republicans now up to 209, nine short of the 218 needed to win control of the House. Thirty-seven seats remain undecided.

The White House confirming that President Biden spoke by phone tonight with House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who is going to become the next House speaker. No details on the -- of the call were actually given out. Earlier McCarthy spoke briefly about whether he has the votes to get that post.

I want to go to CNN's chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju? What did he say?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I'm hearing from a source who is familiar with that call that it was a short and polite phone call. Now, earlier tonight when Joe Biden was talking to reporters he was asked about his relationship with Kevin McCarthy, he really didn't get into any sort of details about what that relationship is, but they really don't have much of a working relationship. They didn't haven't spoken much in the first two years of the Biden administration, but assuming Kevin McCarthy does become House speaker this relationship could be critical in determining what can get done in the next two years and what are the basic functioning of government can happen such as funding the na -- funding the federal government, as well as extending the national debt limit to avoid a default.

One of the major issues that they'll have to deal with in the new Congress and things can get very tense very quickly. The Republican majority, assuming they take the majority, wants to go after Hunter Biden, investigate the president's son over his foreign business dealing.

All those issues will come to a head in a Republican Congress, but those topics were not discussed in this very brief and polite phone call from tonight. But Anderson, it is not unusual for a new president to deal -- a president to deal with a new speaker.

Remember what happened with Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi? How contentious that relationship began -- began -- became after Pelosi became after Donald Trump's first midterm, or when Barack Obama had to deal with John Boehner who became speaker after 2010 Republican wave there, they too had to learn how to work together, and they too were at longer heads from time to time over some major fiscal fights in the Obama year.

So, the Biden/McCarthy relationship is one that'll be put to a test, but they had a brief phone call tonight and it was polite. Anderson.

COOPER: Well, that's something, I guess. Manu Raju, thanks.

Still ahead, Republicans push hard for the Latino vote in several battleground states. We'll take a look of whether or not it paid off.



TAPPER: Welcome back. As with all elections, experts are going to be combing through the numbers from this midterm vote for years. Looking at all the voter demographics and the role that they played in the outcome.

Latino voters showed up big for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican and that demographic will play a crucial role in the Senate and the governor's races in Arizona.

Let's bring in CNN political director David Chalian with us at the exit poll. David, tell us more.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes. We're taking a look at how the Latino votes split between key Senate candidates in some critical battleground states. So first up here, Jake, in Arizona. Latinos, according to the exit polls make up 17 percent of the electorate in Arizona in this midterm election. And they split Kelly 58 percent, Masters, 40 percent. That's a little closer, a little more narrow advantage for the Democrat than Joe Biden had against Trump in Arizona two years ago. We also took a look at Nevada. And what you see in Nevada is a Cortez Masto has 62 percent of Latinos. They make up 12 percent of the vote in Nevada.

Adam Laxalt gets 33 percent according to our exit polls. This is roughly in line with what the Biden/Trump Latino split was in Nevada two years ago. In Georgia, Latinos make up 6 percent of the overall vote in Georgia. You see Warnock winning them 58 percent to 39 percent. This two is a little more narrow than the advantage Biden had over Trump in Georgia in 2020.

So, you do see slight inroads that Republicans are making with Latinos in these key states. And in Arizona, Fetterman gets 68 percent of the Latino population there to Mehmet Oz's 30 percent. In Pennsylvania, Jake, they only make up 8 percent of the electorate, but that's an increase significantly. So, from two years ago when Latinos were 5 percent of the electorate in Pennsylvania. Jake.

TAPPER: All right, David. That's so interesting. And Boris Sanchez, we were talking about the importance of Latino vote. Obviously, the Latino vote is not -- is not uniform, and it's different in Florida than it is in Texas than it is in California.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And if you look at these numbers on the surface, it appears that Democrats have some breathing room, right? There's a big advantage, nearly 20 points in some of these races.

But if you get into the details where some of these races were just a year ago, for example, Raphael Warnock had 64 percent in his runoff against Kelly Loeffler last year. Similar dip for Stacey Abrams. Mark Kelly in Arizona, he had 65 percent in 2020. He's down to 58.

So, these are small numbers, but ultimately if these races are within the margins, they make a huge difference.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And that's really the key. I know you went out and did a number of stories on this. I went out to Nevada and to Arizona and was looking at the Republican push to try to expand.


And that's exactly the way that they approach it, is that they don't expect to get from, you know, a 5 percent jump from one election to the next, but they want to try to slowly make inroads. The NRSC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, they started an entire program called Vamos where they sent people out in Hispanic neighborhoods, knocking on doors, just introducing themselves in the notion of Republican ideas and the policies that they support.

I don't know if that was part of it, but if you just look at Arizona in particular, Joe Biden in 2020. I'll just go to Donald Trump. Donald Trump in 2020 got 37 percent. Right now, it looks like Blake Masters got 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. So, it's just it's a little bit, but it's something.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's little bit. I will say this is something that I've been also reporting on over the last few months, and I think there was a lot of hope among Republicans that they could make much bigger inroads.

They had been seeing in the numbers a lot of dissatisfaction among Latinos with the economy that was leading them to be more interested in voting for another party. And I think last night what they got were tinier shifts than they were really expecting.

And in some key places too, I mean we we're talking about Nevada and Arizona and the west, but in South Texas they had three competitive districts where they ran Latino candidates. Two of those three candidates lost to the Democrat in places where honestly, Democrats were a little bit concerned along the border, where they were ha -- they'd been having a lot more erosion.

So, I think last night was not quite the shift that Republicans had been looking for. And I think tonight I'm -- I hear a lot more relief from Democrats seeing smaller shifts, but shifts that they feel like they can address in future.

KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: But Clinton actually campaigned in those three districts --


HUNT: -- at the very closing days of the midterm campaign, which tells you how Democrats were focusing on it at the time. And I think they definitely were trying to measure to see or the shifts that we were seeing and you know, the reason everyone was out on the trail reporting on this, were they the kind of thing that was going to be unrecoverable. Right?

And I think that what they learned is that no, they still have a chance to make sure that this is a place where they're focusing. I did talk to a couple of Latino operatives who want to make sure that Democrats don't take for granted what has happened here. The fact that it's -- it was a little better.

SANCHEZ: That's something I've heard from a lot of Democratic voters. They feel that the party's taken them for granted, the ones that have switched over to Republicans. I just wanted to point out quickly, nationally, if you look at exit polls, support for Democrats among Latinos is down nearly 10 percent.

TAPPER: Right.

SANCHEZ: More it was in 2018, and specifically among Latino men, an 11-point bump for Republicans. So, the concern --


PHILLIP: But I think that the -- SANCHEZ: -- if I could, the concern quickly isn't just that this is happening broadly across the map. It's who it's happening with. It's not just Cuban Americans in south Florida.

TAPPER: Right.

SANCHEZ: Demographic I know very well. It's with Puerto Ricans it's with Colombians, it's with Central Americans. And it's not just for candidates like Ron DeSantis. It's for a slew of different Republicans.

TAPPER: Yes. I think Florida is instructive for Democrats because Ron DeSantis and Marco Rubio both did very, very well. And as much as Democrats might be breathing a sigh of relief that it wasn't worse, they're whistling past the graveyard because there is an institutional change going on here.

HUNT: Yes.

TAPPER: And John Anzalone, Biden's pollster wrote about this in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago, which is the fact is that minority voters, Latinos and also African Americans, are slowly moving to the Republican party.

Now, that doesn't mean that they're -- that they're going in droves, and it doesn't mean that Democrats aren't still getting sizable majorities, but in these tight races all you need is to pick off 2 percent, 3 percent more.

HUNT: Yes.

TAPPER: And we're talk -- we were just talking about this, the change in Arizona, how republicans did do slightly better the change in other places. And we're still counting votes. So, some of the reason that these races are so close is because, instead of Democrats winning 70 percent of the Latino vote, they won 65 percent.

PHILLIP: And it's not just also, I mean the share of the vote is important, but one thing to keep in mind is the drop off. When if you have voters who might have shown up two years ago or four years ago who don't show up for you.

BASH: Yes.

PHILLIP: Today, I mean, I think Democrats are dealing with both problems at the same time. A lot of them want to argue that it's not as significant. But Jake, you're absolutely right. The shifts don't have to be huge to matter.

One interesting thing though, Republicans this year ran the most diverse slate of candidates that they have ever run. A lot of those candidates lost interestingly in some of these competitive races. In Virginia, you had Yesli Vega losing narrowly to Abigail Spanberger, those two Republicans in south Texas.

[22:54:58] So, they're -- they're making those efforts, but also those candidates are not necessarily winning.

BASH: Right. They've 13 Republican.


PHILLIP: Right, but it's part of their strategy to reach out to these communities.

BASH: And 33 run. You're exactly right.

TAPPER: Yes. Coming up, new details of the closely watched vote counts in Arizona and Nevada. We're going to go live to both battleground states. This is election night in America continued. Stay with us.


COOPER: And welcome back. It is 11 p.m. on the East Coast, United States, 9 p.m. in Phoenix, Arizona, where election officials still are on the job working their way through hundreds of thousands of ballots. What they do there will matter in the nation's capitol controlled U.S. House and Senate. Coveted prizes for both parties still trying to be decided that this hour.


I'm Anderson Cooper. This is CNN's coverage election night in America.