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CNN's Election Night In America Special Coverage Provide Comprehensive Coverage And Real-Time Results Of The Midterm Elections; Trump Allies Turning Focus To Likely Trump-DeSantis Matchup. CNN's Jake Tapper Interviews Pat Ryan; GOP Strategist: New Anti-Warnock Ads To Use What Biden Said; Murdoch Media Sharpens Attacks On Trump In Wake Of Midterms. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired November 09, 2022 - 23:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Coveted prizes for both parties still trying to be decided that this hour.

I'm Anderson Cooper. This is CNN's coverage of election night in America. We are following all the midterm dramas, standing by to make more projections.

Here's what the fight for the Senate looks like right now: Democrats have 48 Senate seats, Republicans have 49. They need two more seats to reach the 51 required to retake Senate control. Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada are the three states with undecided Senate races. They will determine which party controls the chamber. It could all come down to a December runoff in Georgia depending on what happens in Arizona and Nevada.

Now, to the House, these are the most up-to-date numbers: Democrats have won 189 seats. Republicans now have 209, just a nine short of the 218 needed to win control of the House. Thirty-seven races remain up in the air this hour.

We are on the ground in all the key battleground states. Let's begin with CNN national correspondent Gary Tuchman in North Las Vegas, Nevada for us. Gary, what is the latest?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, hello to you. Here in Nevada's most populous county of Clark County where almost three quarters of Nevadans live, there is still a lot of tabulating going on at the Clark County Elections Department.

Between today and tomorrow, it is expected that people who work here will be counting an additional 83,000 ballots. Today, they counted 13,000 more ballots. And these are not the ballots of people who voted yesterday in person. Those ballots are all counted. What these are our mail-in ballots.

You may say to yourself, why are they counting tens of thousands of ballots like this, it sounds weird, it sounds suspicious. It is not at all suspicious. It is not an all weird. They seem to have been doing a great job. This is to be expected because this state prioritizes mail-in ballots. Every single person who register to vote here in the state of Nevada received a mail-in ballot. So, they have received lots of them over the last two weeks.

In addition to that, as long as it was postmarked by yesterday, the mail-in ballot can be received by this Saturday. So, we don't know on Thursday, Friday or Saturday how many more ballots are coming. It could be a huge number also. So, there is a lot still to count.

So, when the day started, the race between Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and Adam Laxalt, the Republican challenger, he was up by about 22,000 votes. After the count of initial 13,000 ballots today, she has gained about 5,000 votes. So, she is tight in this race.

So, if anyone is going to tell you, we know who is going to win this, one thing you can tell them is, there is no way you know because we don't know how many more ballots will still be coming. Anderson?

COOPER: Wow. Until Saturday. Gary Tuchman, thank.

I want to go to David Chalian who is at the battleground desk. David, what are we looking at right now?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Hi, Anderson. So, we are looking at that outstanding vote in Nevada, and we have an estimate that about approximately 160,000 votes remain uncounted in this Nevada Senate race.

So, our decision desk did some calculation of what each candidate would need to get, what portion of that 160,000 outstanding votes. Catherine Cortez Masto who is currently behind in the vote count, the incumbent Democrat, would need in the range of 52% to 55% of that outstanding vote to overtake Laxalt and win this election. For his part, Adam Laxalt, who is ahead, obviously, he only needs 42% to 45% of those 160,000, roughly an estimate, outstanding votes in Nevada.

So, when you watch the next batch of votes come in, we will be able to see if these candidates are sort of meeting these targets of what they would need to win the race.

COOPER: All right, David Chalian, we will be watching.

Now, to CNN senior national correspondent Kyung Lah in Phoenix. Maricopa County election officials just reported an additional 62,000 ballots a short time ago. That is on top of the hundreds of thousands of ballots yet to be counted.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. And so, let's put this within a certain frame, Anderson. We are talking about just about 60,000 votes that came out from Maricopa County tonight.

And we have heard from all of the campaigns, there has been a flurry of response to this, and what we are hearing from the Democrats is, yes, this was good, this leaned their way, that this was what they expected.

We also heard from the Republicans, both the Senate and the gubernatorial campaigns, and they say, okay, didn't go our way so much, but it is also what they expected.

And then, all of these campaigns are saying it is just 60,000 votes. What they are looking for is tomorrow. That is the thing that all the campaigns are saying. Tomorrow, they expect that things will really get interesting here in Maricopa County.

There are 370,000 late early votes yet to be counted. So, what are those votes? Those are the mail-in ballots that arrived at Maricopa County between Saturday and Tuesday, election day, or those ballots that -- the mail-in ballots that were filled in and then dropped off in person.


Those are what are known as the late release (ph) here in Maricopa County.

Now, the Republicans are trying to spin it, trying to say that they believe that these votes will go their way, that they will break to Republicans.

But the reality is, is that it is very difficult to know because vote patterns have shifted so much. Voter habits have changed dramatically, most dramatically here in Arizona, because of the influence of Donald Trump as well as the pandemic from 2018 to 2020 to today. So, all of this may be the wild west.

That is what we are hearing from the campaigns, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, and it depends, Anderson, how quickly they can dig into those 370,000 votes. It is still anybody's game. Anderson?

COOPER: A lot of work ahead. Kyung Lah, I appreciate it.

I want to go over to John King at the magic wall. He is also looking at the Arizona numbers. John, what does the map show?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, 24 hours after the polls close on the West Coast, we still have, as we did two years ago, uncertainty about two very important states in American politics, including Arizona and Nevada.

So, you just heard from Gary and from Kyung, let's start in Arizona where Kyung is. As she noted, the last time votes were reported, Mark Kelly's lead increased. The key is to watch the next batch of votes and the one after that, if you remember the dynamics. In 2020, it was Joe Biden's lead that kept shrinking. He won the state in the end, but his lead was shrinking as the ballots come in.

So, the key is, what happens as we go forward, and David laid out the percentages in Nevada, we have the percentages for Arizona as well, so we have to watch this play out. A vital state. Obviously, a vital race. The Democratic incumbent facing a challenger from a Trump-endorsed Republican there. Critical to the 50-50 balance we currently have in the Senate. Where will it end up?

Then quickly, in Nevada, this is where Gary is, he is in Clark County, it is 75% -- 74% of the state vote. The question is, you know, can Cortez Masto improve that percentage as more and more votes come in? That's what she needs to overcome.

One other key question there is, can she turn Washoe? Washoe County where Reno is and the rural areas to the north, that's a swing county. Usually, the color of this county in the and can determine who wins the state. Laxalt is slightly there right now. Again, more votes to be counted.

I just want to come to this other map just very quickly to get to the question here, which is, why these races matter? Well, of course, they matter to the citizens of Arizona and Nevada. They also matter to the dynamics here in Washington, who controls the United States Senate.

This is a runoff, in Georgia, we know that now, on December 6th. The question is, if Senator Kelly can keep his lead here and Senator Laxalt can keep that lead here -- neither of these are guaranteed, by the way. As you heard both correspondence, tens of thousands of votes still to be counted.

But they're still consequential because if that happened, if those two races stay the same, well then guess what? Republicans have 50 and Democrats have 49, and once again, the Georgia runoff would determine the control of the United States Senate.

If Democrats could get back to 50 where they are now, the vice president breaks the tie, Republicans can get to 51. So, any change in those races affects whether or not this Georgia runoff in December is decisive, Anderson, and we are going to have to wait, listening to Kyung and Gary, for a while to get to that.

But just quickly, I just want to come over, you mentioned the House totals at the top of the race. I just want to show you the map as it fills in. It looks like a lot of red. But Republicans are not at the finish line.

Republicans thought by now -- they thought by this time last night -- we would be saying there will be a republican majority in the House of Representatives. Here we, Wednesday night, 11:07 p.m. in the east, Republicans are called -- we have called 209. So, they are now nine House seats short of 218, the magic number for a majority. Democrats, 20 seats behind them right now at 189.

Let's look where they are ahead. This is really interesting. Republicans are ahead right now in enough seats -- enough seats, if nothing change, to get a majority. But look how narrow a majority it would be if it stopped right now. It is not going to stop right now. Some of these races will take days. Some could take longer than that to count. But you just get the expectation from looking at those numbers where they stand right now. But yes, the probability is Republicans get to majority. It's also likely that that's going to be a very narrow majority.

One last point, Anderson, before I come back. Not enough attention in my view has been paid to this. Democratic governor gets a new Democratic governor in Pennsylvania. Democratic governor reelected in Michigan. Democratic governor reelected in Wisconsin. Democratic governor reelected in Minnesota. We talk a lot about the battleground states out here. They matter. Who will win the governorship in Nevada? Who will win the governorship in Arizona? These states right here, long time ago used to call them the blue wall. They are incredibly important and now a little messy.

Let me do it one more time. You come up here, right in there. Yes, the governor of Ohio was reelected but the Democrats held Pennsylvania, held Michigan, and held Wisconsin, these governor's races, and I think underappreciated story for the Democratic Party in these midterm results.

COOPER: John King, I appreciate it. Thank you, John. Stay right there. We are going to stand by for more projections. How this election is ramping up, the showdown between former president and Ron DeSantis.



JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back. In all the attention and continued mystery as to who will win control of the House and Senate, there is one race that I think needs to get a bit more focus, and that is the Florida governor's race, because Republican Governor Ron DeSantis trounced his opponent, Democrat Charlie Crist, former governor himself, by almost 20 points. That's 15 points better than Trump did in 2020.

Yes, Florida has been trending republican since George W. Bush eked out his victory over Al Gore by 537,000 votes 22 years ago. But this was something to note because DeSantis won two democratic strongholds, Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County.


He won Latino voters by 18-percentage points. Joe Biden won them two years ago. It's no wonder why Donald Trump has already begun attacking DeSantis.

CNN national correspondent Kristen Holmes is in West Palm Beach, Florida. Kristen, we are now hearing that Trump and his team are gearing up for what they view as inevitable showdown with Governor DeSantis.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jake. I mean, they ended the night on Tuesday and really into Wednesday morning in the exact opposite place of where they wanted to be. This is what they have been trying to avoid, a scenario in which Trump's candidates fizzled and flopped, and his rival, Ron DeSantis, soared to the top, and that's exactly where we ended up on Wednesday morning.

You saw this momentous win by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is widely seen as former President Trump's most formidable opponent should they both enter the race in 2024. Now we know that advisers are trying to gear up for what they would view, as you said, is the inevitable, a Trump-DeSantis showdown in 2024, trying to figure out what exactly that looks like and how exactly they go after the Florida governor.

Right now, that appears incredibly daunting not just because of this huge win that he had in Florida but also because of the momentum that he has picked up from Republicans and from donors. We reported earlier today that Rupert Murdoch, the owner of many conservative outlets, seems more than thrilled to throw Trump to the side and embrace Ron DeSantis as the head of the Republican Party.

Because of that, we already started to see Trump attacked DeSantis. In an interview on Monday night, he said this. He said, I don't know if he's running. I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I think he will be making a mistake. I think the base would not like it. I don't think it would be good for the party. I would tell you things about him that would be very unflattering.

A clear threat here. I will note that for months, behind closed doors, Trump has told advisers that he's upset with DeSantis. He feels that DeSantis was ungrateful to him for Trump's endorsement back in 2018, which Trump believes is the reason he became the Florida governor in the first place.

So, all of this really coming down to the wire. One thing to point out, though, Jake, right now, this showdown, this battle is really one-sided. DeSantis just won his governor's race but it is Trump who is taking him on.

And of course, even though last night was lackluster results for Trump, even though advisers have spent most of the day trying to convince him to delay any sort of announcement for a third presidential bid, it seems, as of now, that Trump is set on announcing next Tuesday for his third presidential bid.

So, again, this is just the beginning. One adviser telling me that these insults that we heard Trump saying in this interview are just the tip of the iceberg, that they expected to get much, much nastier. Jake?

TAPPER: I don't doubt a for one second. Kristen Holmes, thank you so much.

And just to put it into context, guys, DeSantis won in 2018 by 0.4% of the vote, 0.4. Last night, he won by almost 20 points, and he addressed this in his acceptance speech last night. Take a listen.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Thanks to the overwhelming support of the people of florida. We not only won election, we have rewritten the political map. This election, we will have garnered a significant number of votes from people who may not have voted for me four years ago. I just want to let you know, I am honored to have earned your trust and your support.


TAPPER: I mean, whatever people think of him, he is a force to be reckoned with.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: His approval rating in the state is almost 60%, according to exit polls. That's huge, especially in today's politics and especially considering that his whole brand seems to be just pissing the other side off.


PHILLIP: That doesn't seem to have hurt him. I mean, Florida is an interesting place, there's always a lot going on, but it seems to me that Florida voters are willing to look past some of the bravado. Maybe they like the way he is running the state. I think COVID has a lot to do with it.

And the question for DeSantis now, not to skip over Florida, but really, I think what he's thinking of and his allies are thinking is, how much of this is exportable and how much of it is something to do with as governor? People like what he is doing.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It seems to be exportable when it comes to Republicans, the potential Republican presidential electorate. If nothing else, in sort of the chattering or fundraising class, the republican operative class, it's DeSantis, DeSantis, DeSantis, which is why he is living rent free in Donald Trump's head.

And I'm going to quote you, back to you, when somebody said the other night, you know, he usually counterpunches, and you said, well, he punched just by existing as far as Donald Trump is concerned.

PHILLIP: I think Trump would love it if DeSantis was just not around. But he is a constituent of DeSantis. So, they're always going to be in each other's head (ph).


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I just want to take a step back and meditate on something for a moment because it is astounding that Ron DeSantis put dozens of Venezuelan asylum seekers on a plane to Martha's Vineyard, a very controversial step, very hard immigration moment, and yet in Miami-Dade County, a community of largely asylum seekers, he overwhelmed Charlie Crist, winning among Cuban Americans and others in that community that have --

PHILLIP: Puerto Ricans.

SANCHEZ: Puerto Ricans. And that's where I was going. You talk to a lot of Democrats who will say, well, South Florida, you fearmonger on socialism, you hammer that you will win, well, that doesn't explain why Puerto Ricans supported him.

A majority of Puerto Ricans, 55%, they don't have a generational trauma associated with socialism. So, I think there's something stylistic about Ron DeSantis that appeals to Latinos.

KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: It's a hardline style -- he is just confronting everything at every turn, and he stole that from Trump, he took it from Trump. If you talk to people in Florida about Ron DeSantis, there is some truth to the idea that he owes Donald Trump everything, right? That that 0.4% margin or whatever it was he got back in 2018 was simply because Trump got on his bandwagon, right? So, Trump knows that.

He's also sorts of vaguely threatened him by saying he seems to know something about his wife that he is going to reveal. It was really direct, I guess I should say that. That's really a more accurate way to put it.

The one caveat that I have is that there have been so many moments where Republicans have started to say, this is the moment for Donald Trump, this is where we can finally -- I mean, a lot of them I talk to privately, they're like, yes, we can break free of him, thank God he really screwed it up this time, and it just like never turns out to be the case. The voters stick with Trump inside the Republican Party.


HUNT: And so, you know, I just -- I will believe it when I see it, but I'm going to be hesitant to buy it until it actually plays out.

PHILLIP: Some Republicans want DeSantis to be the guy who takes Trump out, but they are not willing to do what it takes, which really would be to back DeSantis at the beginning and make this a one-on-one race. When you talk to Republicans, they're like, well, it's probably going to be a bunch of people at the beginning, and that's exactly how Donald Trump became the Republican nominee.

So, at the end of the day, I mean, Ron DeSantis might have to do the same thing all these other Republicans did back in 2016, and we see how that turned out.

TAPPER: Ron DeSantis can throw a punch. We've seen him do that in Florida. The question is, is he willing to try to throw a punch at Donald Trump? I am not yet convinced that he is. First of all, he does, to at least a small degree, owe his success -- Trump endorsed him in the primary. That is one of the reasons he is now the governor.

Second of all, a lot of people -- we watched this in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, they expect someone else to take out Donald Trump for them, because when you attack Donald Trump, you literally run a risk of alienating the base, pissing people off. Donald Trump remains the most powerful, popular person in the Republican Party.

If Governor DeSantis wants to be the next president, he is going to have to be willing to throw a punch at Donald Trump.

HUNT: He is. And here's the other thing, they are convinced that the way -- this performance will feed into it -- but that him being where he is in Florida, the power he has amassed in Florida, the experience he has in Florida is going to be enough to get him to the White House perhaps relatively easily.

I am sorry, but having covered a number of these presidential campaigns, no one gets to White House easily and everyone is surprised by the crucible that it represents. Trump has done it before. DeSantis has not.

TAPPER: He should -- I mean, I don't doubt that he -- I think that Ron DeSantis is a strong candidate, no question. But he should talk to Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush in Florida if he thinks he can wait for somebody else to take on Donald Trump for him. They might have a couple things to say about that.

The balance of power in the House is changing hour by hour, race by race. We have another projection in the works on the other side of the break. Stay with us.




TAPPER: More votes are in. It's time to make another projection in the House of Representatives. In California, Democratic congressman, incumbent, Raul Ruiz, who was first elected in 2012, CNN projects he is going to win his reelection against Republican Brian Hawkins, a pastor and a city councilor.

In Washington State's 10th congressional district, CNN projects that Democratic Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland will win reelection against her Republican challenger, Keith Swank. Strickland first won her seat in 2020. She's the former mayor of Tacoma. Swank is an army veteran and Seattle police officer.

Let's take a look now at the balance of power in the House of Representatives. Right now, Democrats have 191 seats. They picked up four. Republicans have 209. They've picked up 16. Thirty-five seats remain. The 218 is the magic number, as we know. Republicans only have to win a few more seats to win control of the House of Representatives.

What about those outstanding competitive seats? Well, Democrats need to win 22 of them, 22 of them. Republicans have to win only seven of them. So, things still seem to be progressing towards Republicans taking over the House of Representatives by a narrow margin.

Right now, we are going to talk to the reelected Democratic congressman from New York, Pat Ryan. Congressman, you were just reelected, congratulations.

[23:30:00] TAPPER: A lot of people saw -- you won a special election over the summer. A lot of people saw that as a referendum on abortion rights, which is one of the major issues. I know you talk about others, but that was an issue that you talked about quite a bit. Do you see this victory last night and today in the same light? Is it a victory on the issue of abortion rights?

REP. PAT RYAN (D-NY): It feels good to have two victories in six months. In both of our races, we center the broader concept to defending American freedoms, reproductive freedoms. Lots of other critical rights and freedoms from voting rights to LGBTQ rights are on the line.

We saw people respond not once but twice, that when a fellow American's rights are ripped away, we stand up and say, that is not who we are as a country. So, I'm so proud that once again, our community delivered that message here.

TAPPER: You focused some of your campaign on the issue of protecting democracy. Your opponent had greeted groups that went to the January 6 insurrection and only seemed to really reluctantly acknowledge Joe Biden's 2020 election win.

Did that help you win, do you think? Do you think that the results of the election and the defeat of so many of these election liars, although to be honest, quite a few of them won also, do you think that is going to weaken the grip that these election conspiracies have had when it comes to the Republican Party?

RYAN: I hope so with every ounce that I have. I mean, far too many won, as you said, Jake, but here in our place, we defeated someone who did so doubt upon the most sacred part of our democracy, which is trust and free and fair elections.

So, I think we had, in my case, a West Point grad, a combat veteran, who literally fought to protect our democracy abroad and now having to defend it here against someone who is an election denier and insurrection supporter. And so, I think we need to continue to deliver more of these victories. This is not about Democrat or Republican. This is about being an American.

TAPPER: Let's talk for a second about your experiences as a combat veteran. What do you think that brings to your ability to be a member of Congress? Do you think that makes me more reluctant to vote for the authorization of use of force? Do you think it makes you more hawkish, more dovish? How does it play a role and how you see foreign policy and military intervention?

RYAN: Having been on the receiving end of some, I think, pretty bad foreign policy in going to Iraq and how we conducted the war there, I will certainly be a voice to say, the use of military force has to be the absolute last resort.

I think we need to repeal the post 9/11 AMUF that is still out there and has been used to justify a lot of foreign interventions that have cost lives, blood and treasure. I think we need more voices at the table who will really make -- ask those hard questions and understand the gravity of those decisions.

TAPPER: Democrats beat expectations but still look as though you are going to lose control of the House of Representatives. Do you think that your leaders at the Democratic Party in the House need to change priorities in any way?

RYAN: We are quick to always focus on the downsides, but there are a lot of upside here. I mean, a lot of the take, just like before the special election in August, that we would not win, that a red wave was coming, did not pan out in August when we had our victory. It did not pan out here because we don't give enough credit to the American people.

They see that fundamental rights and freedoms are being taken away, that that is not who we are as a country, and that Democrats stand for protecting those rights, reinstating those rights, especially reproductive rights and freedoms, and that we're also delivering economic relief.

That one, two combination has put us in a position where we have once again defied the conventional wisdom. I think this is very encouraging and hopeful, from my perspective, I think, a lot of people across the country.

TAPPER: All right, Congressman Pat Ryan, reelected in New York in a completely new congressional district, so that had to be interesting, thank you so much and congratulations again.

We're going to sneak in a quick break. We'll be right back with more election coverage continued on CNN.




COOPER: Welcome back. The political landscape in the wake of the midterm elections has grown clearer, but one of the most closely watched contest won't be settled for weeks.

Democratic incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Republican challenger Herschel Walker are heading toward a runoff election next month.

I want to go to Atlanta, CNN's Jeff Zeleny. Jeff, you are learning new information about the upcoming ad war ahead of the Georgia runoff. The amount of money that's already been spent on ads, it's only going to get more.



A quarter of a billion dollars in ads has been spent in this entire election cycle and it certainly is going to be more over the next week. I am told that advertising strategist on both sides are already working on ad campaigns.

And, of course, one thing I'm picking up from Republicans is that they were watching the president's news conference today at the White House, when he was asked if he would do anything different in his second two years in office, and he said, nothing.

Republican strategists I'm talking to said that they are going to test that message and potentially use that in an advertising campaign here to try and make this race a referendum again on the Biden administration, trying to urge Georgia voters to be a check, if you will, a check and balance on the power of the White House.

Of course, Democrats have ads of their own, still trying to disqualify Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

This state has been awash in ads, billboards, direct mail coming to people's houses. It's hard to imagine any new messages that can come up. That's why the press conference at the White House, I am told, got the attention of some Republican ad makers.

But I'm also learning that a couple of other people who will be playing a role in this runoff are people who are on the ballot yesterday. Republican Governor Brian Kemp, of course, who has a big ground organization and a grassroots organization, he, of course, defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams. She has a big organization of her own, a big Democratic following. So, both of them will be helping their respective candidates for that runoff race.

So, even as Nevada and Arizona are counting votes, there is about to be a big dissenting on Georgia from Republican and Democratic strategists. I'm told there has been an on call of staffers who are working in races in different states across the country to come here to Georgia to work here in the final four weeks of this campaign.

So, early voting is going to begin in just three weeks' time right after Thanksgiving, and this runoff will be December 6th. It could determine control of the Senate. We don't know that, of course. We'll see what happens in Nevada and Arizona, but more spending, more ads, one more month of exhaustion here in Georgia. Anderson?

COOPER: Jeff Zeleny, thank you, appreciate it.

People in Georgia must be so sick of political ads, as it is, the idea that more are coming. Is this effective?



AXELROD: I mean, I think it is effective. I think messages get across. I think there is a (INAUDIBLE) on the marketplace at some point and they become less effective. But, you know, I think it's the bluntest weapon there is in politics and they're going to use it. If I have Dave Urban's money, I'd be buying a TV station --


AXELROD: Yeah. No, it's going to be -- it's -- you know.

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDNET TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I wonder about the messages. Maybe there is not so much persuasion left to do, but there is certainly engagement to do, like people who voted, you've got to remind them, you got to vote again. Both parties are going to have to do that.

So, for Republicans using Biden to remind Republicans that you got to turn out one more time, and then there's also that matter, that 80 some thousand people who voted for the third party, you get them to come to your side. Maybe both parties will be competing for them. So, maybe not mass persuasion, but certainly engagement.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Doesn't it depend what the stakes are really if, you know, we don't know what the results are in Nevada and Arizona, but if it is indeed for control of the Senate, that's a whole different ballgame.

We saw what happened with Republicans during the campaign. You had candidates like Glenn Youngkin going to campaign for Kari Lake because control of the Senate was the mantra and you had to do that. Look, if that's what it becomes, this is going to be an all-out battle and who knows how many millions and millions of dollars are going to be spent.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: And they will be wasted because people are sick of this stuff.


JONES: I'm going to tell you, I don't believe that the next smartest marginal dollar is for another crappy ad saying something mean about somebody. I think that what is going to win this thing is going to be organizing.

I think the field gets starved every time. There are groups in Georgia like the Movement Voter Project, Black Voters Matter, Color of Change, Push Black, they have a different model. It's relational. They do basketball tournaments. They do health clinics. They do all kinds of stuff. They engage human beings, ask human beings, and then they move them to vote.

It's actually cheaper. It usually cost about 700 bucks per additional voter. These guys have models that are 60 bucks, 70 bucks. So, it's cheaper to support the Push Black, a Color of Change, a Black Voters Matter, and you get more out of it. You're not depressing people with these ads that nobody wants to watch anywhere.

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The other component that I expect to see is if it's for a battle for control of the Senate is a lot of celebrity endorsements coming out for Raphael Warnock. I would expect that you would see some of the characters who came in last time when there was a runoff. I don't know how much that actually helps.


I think, to your point, organizing on the ground is what we need. On the republican side, what is going to be a challenge is what figures are off putting to voters, because independents are going to matter, attracting some of those, appealing to libertarian votes. If you bring in someone like a Trump who may turn them off, that may hurt Herschel Walker more than help him.

URBAN: I don't think you're bringing in Donald Trump. I think if Donald Trump decides -- I think if he decides --

GRIFFIN: He drops in.

URBAN: I think if he decides to show up, right, that is going to have an impact on the race. To Van's point, I think money is much better spent on dragging people to the polls. Whatever methodology you use to engage and get people there, that's going to be far more important than spending the money on TV.

AXELROD: Guys, I don't think money is going to be the problem. I don't think this is going to be, wow, I don't know if we have the budget.


AXELROD: I think the budget the -- roof is going to be off the budget, especially if it is for control of the Senate. So, I think it's going to be both and all. I agree that the saturation of commercials has its limit, especially if they are negative commercials. But, you know, if Herschel Walker puts Governor Kemp on TV, that could be a helpful thing.

JENNINGS: I like the idea of seeing Governor Kemp on TV. I like the idea of Governor Kemp's field organizers being put on the payroll because to Vance's point, these are the most effective people in Georgia quite obviously.

JONES: They just came off.

JENNINGS: They just came off. They got fresh relationships in the communities. So, TV ads, whatever, but you take people who have been working these neighborhoods, both parties, those could be the secret weapon.

BORGER: You get independent voters, too.

COOPER: Some lively conservative media outlets seem to be turning on Donald Trump after Republicans failed to (INAUDIBLE) midterms. We will look at that, next.



COOPER: There is a lot we don't know about how this midterm election will end, but there are signs tonight that former President Trump may have lost some of his luster with certain members of the conservative media, including Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch of "New York Post" portraying the former president as "trumpty dumpty" who had a great fall.

Murdoch-owned "Wall Street Journal" publishing an op-ed proclaiming Trump as Republican Party's biggest loser, arguing he flopped in this election and the previous three elections.

Is this a temporary blip?

GRIFFIN: I will be watching very curiously. It feels real this time, but it also felt real to me after January 6th. I think that he was the unmitigated loser of last night and the party does seem to be leaving him in a big way. How long it holds is the question, who steps in to the mix in the meantime.

URBAN: I would just say, look, it is not like he lost one race or two races or three races. He lost all races. This was his party. It was his show.

GRIFFIN: He has proven to have more lives than the cat, though. I mean, he lost the White House, he lost the Senate before, the insurrection took place, so I'm not sure we can discount him yet, but this is definitely --

URBAN: Not according to Donald Trump. So, you are wrong on that front.


AXELROD: I mean, how does he react to you, guys, because one of the things that has happened to Donald Trump, when he ran in 2016, he was articulating other people's grievances. Increasingly, he's articulating his own grievances.

And he is going to be really aggrieved by some of the things that we have seen in the last 24 hours, particularly on the cover of the "New York Post," on the editorial page of "The Wall Street Journal." What does that provoke him to do? How does he lash out?

BORGER: He runs for president.


AXELROD: I was a center into his two-hour presentations and --

JENNINGS: Well, I mean, I think we saw some evidence this year that people did not really respond to his airing of grievances from the past. They did respond to Republican candidates who ran on the future. So, if I were in this -- if he shows up in Georgia to relitigate the 2020 election, relitigate the conservative media, that is in no way, shape or form would be helpful. And so, but that will he his instinct, to your point.

BORGER: I don't know --

URBAN: And it is going to hurt because -- sorry, Gloria.

BORGER: I don't know how this affects Donald Trump, to answer your question, David, because nothing bothers him more than getting criticize, and he lashes out. And so, if he sticks to his plan to announce next Tuesday, it is going to be grievances part 500. If you look at "The Wall Street Journal" editorial, it said that since 2016, he has a perfect record of electoral defeat.

JENNINGS: Yeah, he doesn't get the most votes.

BORGER: He doesn't. It is going to drive -- it is driving him crazy. The reporting of CNN is that he is lashing out at his aides, he is in a terrible mood --

GRIFFIN: He is blaming everyone but himself.

BORGER: Blaming even Melania for --


URBAN: -- go to Georgia to help Herschel Walker, Mitch McConnell, majority leader, the guy he hates the most?

GRIFFIN: He won't see it that way.

BORGER: Right.

GRIFFIN: One of his fatal flaws, Donald Trump's fatal flaws is that he still despite hitting the fake news media, pathologically craves approval from the mainstream media. Ron DeSantis, the now rising star of the GOP, is that I don't think he cares at all what the mainstream media says about him. That is going to be a very interesting juxtaposition to watch.

JENNINGS: I think that is so spot on, and I think the republican base, actually the next evolution of the Republican Party's relationship with the media, you know --


JENNINGS: -- the media has almost replaced the Democrats as the chief enemy, and while Trump craves the approval of the enemy, DeSantis has decided to write it off and say engagement is not even worth it. I do think there is an element of republican base that likes that about DeSantis more than they like about Trump's craving of the attention.


JONES: Interesting, DeSantis doesn't even talk to mainstream media most of the time. There are now enough other channels, right-wing channels, or just you stand up, you talk, and you walk away. It is a different model. When Trump came along with a different model, in 2016, up until then, there was a way you did and it was based on the old television model.

What Trump understood was that social media and reality TV were different. So, you could do stuff, you could be outrageous on social media and reality TV and be rewarded for that. I think that thing is now changing, and DeSantis may know that more than Trump.

COOPER: Our election coverage continues. Next, stay with CNN for all the latest results. We'll be right back.