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CNN Live Event/Special
Maricopa County Officials Give Update On Arizona Vote Count; Trump Privately Trying To Turn GOP Anger Towards Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY); Several Election Deniers Still Within Reach Of Winning Races; Election Day In America Continued. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired November 11, 2022 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome to CNN's special coverage of Election Night in America Continued, all eyes again on Arizona and Nevada. I'm Anderson Cooper.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Erin Burnett.
And as we speak, ballots are being counted in those two states that will decide which party controls the Senate. No matter what happens in Georgia's Senate runoff next month, it could determine it. These are live pictures from Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Anderson.
COOPER: Election officials there are about to talk to reporters. CNN's Kyung Lah is also there. Kyung, Tell us what we should expect to hear from them.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are expecting them to come through the doors. And you can't see the doors but it's behind our camera. And election officials are going to come out and give us a bit more detail if yesterday and the day before are predictive of what we're going to see today, what we will know is just a bit more about what exactly we will see tonight.
And I'm starting to see some of the election officials walking this way. It is the head of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and they will be updating reporters now just on the 60,000 to 70,000 -- approximately 60,000 to 70,000 ballots that they are anticipating to release tonight. That is going to be happening at 10:00 P.M. Eastern Time.
And at the mic, just preparing to speak, is Fields Moseley. He is the spokesperson for the Board of Supervisors. Standing next to him is Supervisor Bill Gates.
FIELDS MOSELEY, SPOKESPERSON, MARICOPA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: Wow, it got quiet fast. All right, good afternoon, everybody. Thanks for being here. We appreciate it. Another big crowd today in a very small room, so thank you for your patience.
BILL GATES, CHAIRMAN, MARICOPA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: Thanks, Fields. Good to see everyone again today. Happy Veterans Day to all of our veterans out there. As I mentioned yesterday, Veterans Day is a holiday in Maricopa County, but, obviously, we can continue to work here and thrilled to be able to move -- continue to move through the process.
We have several veterans who are involved in the vote counting process here. And so we actually paused today to just recognize all of those veterans who were a part of this, again, taking their Veterans Day, we know many of them saved democracy. And now, they are serving democracy today. So, we are really thrilled about that.
Give you guys an update on what you will be hearing later today in the 8:00 hour. We will have another vote drop somewhere around 80,000 votes to be reported again, just like last night. And when you figure that in, that will bring us then below 300,000 ballots that will be left to tabulate, so, again, moving through that in that same fashion that we talked about yesterday.
Give you a little bit of information on the ballots that will be reported in that 8:00 hour. We will be reporting a decent amount of the early -- sorry, the Election Day votes, those votes that were in- person Election Day votes, the 17,000, a good amount of those. And then we will also have the remainder of the early votes from before Election Day. We had a few thousand left. Those should be reported.
But the majority of the votes that will be reported this evening are going to be early ballots dropped off on Election Day. So, this will be the first report that we have had that include the early -- that include the early ballots that were dropped off on Election Day.
And then something else very important in the process is the hand count audit. And the hand count audit is going to start tomorrow. Now, the hand count audit is mandated by law. There's been a lot of discussion of that recently, especially in some of the other counties around Arizona.
This is a very important part of the process. It's required under Arizona law. And this hand count audit allows us to ensure that the machines are operating correctly.
This will be a statistically significant amount of ballots that will be involved, and there's two parts of it. First of all, there are the early -- the early ballots, the mail-in ballots. And those have actually been selected, the batches of those have been selected over the past few weeks by the political parties. So, that is part of the magic of the hand count audit. It's actually done by representatives of the political parties. So, they have been identifying batches.
And then also, there was a drawing on Wednesday to select the vote centers that are involved in that. And there are five vote centers. I believe, interestingly, they are all from the west valley. But these were selected randomly. And we will be looking at a few races. So, it's not a hand count of all the races, it is the governor's race, the state representative and Prop 129, and then I think also Congress, right? Yes. U.S. Congress, state rep, Prop 129 and governor.
So, again, this is mandated by law and we are very confident this is going to go well. But these are three-person boards, okay? So, these are representatives of the parties, three-person boards. BURNETT: All right. You are listening to Bill Gates. He is the
election supervisor for Maricopa County, the most populous county in Arizona, in Phoenix. And the bottom line here is that he is saying that they anticipate releasing at some point tonight another 80,000 tabulated votes, which would bring the remaining uncounted total of votes to less than 300,000. So, that's still a lot outstanding. So, you are going to have everything still too close to call. But a big chunk of votes, 80,000, he's saying early drop-off on Election Day as well as some Election Day votes themselves.
So, let's go to John King at the magic. And, John, all eyes are going to be on the votes coming tonight from Maricopa County. So, you do the math. At some point, you have enough votes in to be able to project. But he is talking about 80,000, which would bring your outstanding total to just under 300,000. Where does that get us in terms of calling these razor thin races?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, let's walk this through. In the case of the Senate race, where Senator Kelly has 115,073 vote lead, is it conceivable after these batches tonight we will be there? It's conceivable. It depends how aggressive or conservative you want to be, and I'll come back to that in a second.
Now, I want you to look at the margin of the governor's race, 26,906 votes. Katie Hobbs, the Democratic candidate, had a much more narrow lead for the Democrat there. So, obviously, it is more plausible for Kari Lake to make up that gap than it is at this point for Blake Masters to make up that gap. There's still plenty of room for both of them, don't get me wrong, but simple math there, simply arithmetic.
So, what Mr. Gates said there, Erin, is pretty significant, in a sense that we have three different types of ballots and we are going to get a sampling of all three of those different types tonight. Some of them are early ballots, right? He said that there was some -- I'm sorry, Election Day ballots, right, Election Day ballots. Republicans tend to do better for people who actually show up the normal process. You check in, you go to the booth and you vote. So, we'll get the sampling of that and he said they are almost done with those, right?
And then you are going to have some -- the biggest party said was what we call late earlies. This is kind of a new definition. We went through this in 2020. But people who got a mail-in ballot at home but then showed up with it, instead of mailing it in, dropped it on Election Day. We don't know about those. In 2020, we had a clear pattern. Republicans tended to vote on Election Day. Democrats tended to vote early and mailed their ballots in, in the COVID election we had.
What we don't know about those late earlies, are they Democrats? Again, if it was in an envelope in 2020, it was disproportionately Democratic. We simply don't know. So, when we get that first sampling, and Mr. Gates said a significant amount of the ballots we get tonight will be from those, the so-called late earlies, do we get -- does a statistical pattern develop, right, or do we wait for the second batch of those late earlies?
I know I'm sounding like a statistician here but we have an amazing group of people on our decision desk. There are people -- that's what they look at, right? So, the Election Day vote, did that benefit Blake Masters? Does he start to close the gap there or Kari Lake in the governor race? Then the other batch of ballots, what does that do? But the biggest batch left are those in an envelope yet dropped on Election Day. So, what are they? Are they early ballots or are they Election Day ballots, right? How do you consider those?
And so you are guided by what we learned in 2020 but you can't be wedded to what we learned in 2020 because we learn new things all the time.
So, that's what we are looking for. And a statistician will say, what's the right number of those late earlies that we need before we can have some statistical probability about where we're going? And that's above my pay grade, but that's what you are looking for tonight.
BURNETT: Right. And that's so crucial. You get these first 80,000, does that give you the ability to forecast? But as you point out, if you are going to vote early, you are going to vote on Election Day, we sort of knew those groups, and that could change over time but we knew the statistical historical pattern of that. But voting early but then refusing to drop it off until Election Day, the unknown person --
KING: And we have heard -- quickly, if I can jump in, we have heard a number of different theories about that, so we need to see the votes to know what they are. You have a number of people in Arizona saying the early ballots came late because the Postal Service or any other delays. And so people were afraid to put them in the mail and send them back, so they dropped them off because they wanted to make sure they made them on time.
And other people are saying, and remember, you have Barack Obama come into the state late in the campaign. Did he get some people who weren't sure, maybe I'm going to vote, maybe I'm not going to vote, did he convince some people, and they were afraid to put it in the mail but they had it at home. A Democrat requested wasn't sure they're going to vote, don't love the candidates, Obama convinces them and they do it. Or are they Republicans who requested ballots and then just in case and then maybe we're going to show up in election? So, that part we don't know. But when we get a decent amount, you see if a pattern develops.
BURNETT: And we'll see tonight. Maybe 80,000 of them will say. Thank you so much, John King.
And as the vote counting continues with the House and Senate still up for grabs, Anderson and our political team are going to talk about the big impact of this week, the fallout from it and where it leads us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: We are back, Election Night in America Continued. Election officials in Arizona weighing in just a short time, saying new vote tallies are coming in later tonight, another 80,000 expected to be reported in Maricopa County. New ballot counts expected in Nevada as well.
Joining me here, the team in New York, CNN Senior Political Commentator David Axelrod, CNN Political Commentator Scott Jennings, CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger, Political Commentators Alyssa Farah Griffin, Ashley Alison and Alice Stewart.
David, in terms of where the numbers are in Nevada and Arizona, obviously, it's still anybody's race. One of the things that you mentioned before is the importance of the Senate in terms of picking judges.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Look, I think that is lost in this discussion. We get caught up in the sort numbers and who is up and who is down. But there are implications to this. Joe Biden has nominated and the Senate has confirmed judges at a very brisk pace in this first couple of years, I think 84 judges, which is quite a few.
COOPER: And, obviously, McConnell had done that to great effect.
AXELROD: But McConnell also has slowed that down quite a bit when he got control of the Senate. So, this will shape the judiciary. Just these 9,000 votes in Nevada and 125,000 votes in Arizona and the Georgia runoff will determine in many ways what the court is going to look like moving forward. Because you figure, Biden will continue at this clip if the Democrats hold the Senate. If not, he is going to get much fewer.
COOPER: And, Scott, there's new CNN reporting, that according to GOP sources, former President Trump is calling around to folks in the Senate, suggesting that it's Mitch McConnell's fault what happened, Mitch McConnell, who invested a lot of money in Republican candidates, which the president himself -- the former president did not.
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If Donald Trump preferred a cloudy day, he could blame a rooster for the sun coming up. I mean, this man's attempts to project blame on everyone else but himself are ridiculous.
Mitch McConnell and his affiliates raised and spent $400 million trying to elect the poor candidates that Donald Trump himself got nominations for. How much did Donald Trump spend? $15 million. Mitch McConnell spent more in New Hampshire than Trump spent nationally for everybody. If not for Mitch McConnell, we lose Wisconsin, we lose in North Carolina, probably Ohio, we wouldn't be in the game in Nevada. Mitch McConnell moved heaven and earth to try to help Trump's candidates, and now Trump is is trying to shift the blame? No thanks. COOPER: We can actually make a CNN projection here. CNN projects the winner in Oregon's governor's race, Democrat Tina Kotek defeating Republican Christine Drazan, who has just conceded defeat. Obviously a win for Tina Kotek and for the Democrats.
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Great analysis.
COOPER: I really worked on that all day.
JENNINGS: By the way, Republicans had high hope for that Oregon race, and that's a good hold for the Democrats.
GRIFFIN: But Scott is absolutely spot on, but what's interesting is I know we all are seeing the party shift a bit from Trump. But I would put a little caution on that, because prominent conservatives are coming out and really trying to place the blame for Republicans' loss on the feet of Kevin McCarthy and Leader McConnell.
And something I thought was notable is Marco Rubio, who is generally loyal soldier, not somebody who is on the far right by any means, put out a statement today saying that the Senate should delay leadership races, which, to me, that's saying delaying Mitch McConnell's leading the Senate, which -- that's notable to me. Because if anybody did everything they were supposed to in this midterm, it was Mitch McConnell.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It's interesting. Because if you look at the House Democrats by comparison, and they are kind of waiting to see what Nancy Pelosi wants to do, the waters part for Nancy Pelosi. They did better than they anticipated they would do. And then when you look at what's happening on the Republican side, it's just a cat fight.
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Disarray.
BORGER: Yes, it's worse than disarray because they are blaming their leader, who, as Scott points out, spent all this money to line up behind Donald Trump who somehow believes having been responsible for a lot of these losses that he should actually choose the next Republican leader.
STEWART: But we're not going to see -- Alyssa mentioned, there are many within the party and Senate leadership, some that would like to delay the votes. That's not going to happen. Senator Barrasso sent out a notice this afternoon saying he looks forward to a robust conversation within the Senate, but he is putting the focus on meeting next week to talk about their platform, talk about spending, about the federal budget.
And he made a commitment to say, we are going to vote on leadership on Wednesday, period, despite the fact that there are some, Senator Scott, Lee and others, who are trying to delay this. But the inevitable is that they're going to vote. It looks as though McConnell is the choice, because there's no alternative. No one has really stepped forward.
And to the end of the day, Republicans need to put the fight to Democrats and not this internal fighting. And they need to either lead, follow or get out of the way and let McConnell continue to do what he has been doing.
ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You don't want to be in the Republican Party where you totally were disappointed in your outcome and then you have this internal fighting. But to David's point around how the Senate races are playing into the judicial nominees, people are thinking about it in the context of just Roe. Well, guess what, Georgia still has a runoff even if Nevada and Arizona go for Arizona. And we want to expand our Senate margin. And guess what else is on going up to the court, student loan debt, climate, DACA. All of those things are going to be held in front of the court, which often if you're -- I think that's great for Democrats to campaign on in Georgia and then also leading into 2024.
BORGER: It depends how you read this election. If you read this election as a victory somehow for Donald Trump, then maybe you are saying in the Senate, well, I want one of his folks to be my leader. I don't see how you read it that way.
AXELROD: Yes. Who the hell could read it as a victory for Donald Trump?
JENNINGS: One man.
BORGER: May I finish? Why would Marco Rubio and Mike Lee and all these other folks then be coming out and saying, let's wait, let's delay this because we have got to see what happens in Georgia?
AXELROD: May I answer?
AXELROD: Yes. The answer is that they are still catering to the Trump base. And as for McConnell, he is wily guy and he knows that idle time is the devil's workshop and he is going to go quick and he is going to press his advantage right now.
JENNIGS: He also has it a bit easier than McCarthy. Because to get elected Senate Republican leader, you just need to get 50 percent of the votes in the conference, in the meeting. For McCarthy, he has got to go down to the floor and get 218 votes on the House floor. And in a closely divided U.S. House, I mean, obviously, crazy things could happen. So, he has got a lot more complicated chess game going on than McConnell does.
GRIFFIN: Every day, the House freedom caucus is growing more empowered and leaning into the idea of trying to challenge him for speaker.
STEWART: And in addition to Donald Trump thinking that this was a great win for Republicans, his senior staff thinks as well, Jason Miller, a senior advisor to him, was on with Steve Bannon today, basically threatening McCarthy, if you don't fully support Donald Trump for 2024, they are going to put up a challenger. But right now, Donald Trump has said he supports McCarthy in the House. I'm anxious to see --
AXELROD: And welcome to the rest of your life then, McCarthy.
GRIFFIN: That's why people are saying that this isn't why Donald Trump is over because people are still hedging their bets on whether or not he can take leadership within the Republican Party. Everyone is saying that, oh, Democrats did better and so this is -- might be the nail in Trump's coffin. He just doesn't go away that easily.
COOPER: Alyssa, I mean, you have been making this point from the moment people started to turn on Donald Trump in the last couple of days. In terms of the wavering -- if there's a watch of like who is starting to waver and go back to Trump do you see that already happening?
GRIFFIN: Oh, it's already happening. The House is, of course. Elise Stefanik came out and endorsed him for 2024 before he's even announced. In that same interview, I laughed when Alice mentioned that Jason Miller win, because Jason Miller said the former president is moving forward with a highly professional announcement for president this coming week.
So, he is not stopping. I don't think the brakes are on. And if there's one thing Donald Trump is not known for, it's highly produced and professional press conferences but neither here nor there.
JENNINGS: One thing that happened today in addition to a few Republicans hedging, I already see Democrats also promoting the idea of Donald Trump being the 2024 nominee. Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe was asked about that, and he said, well, I may regret this, but I would love to see Donald Trump be the Republican nominee. I fully predict there is going to be a full court press by Democrats to do whatever they can do to make Donald Trump the nominee in 2024.
COOPER: Well, it did work for them in some of these races, funding the Mastrianos. Maybe they will start to fund him.
BORGER: He will take it.
AXELROD: But one of the -- I mean, we should talk about the implications. This threatening of McCarthy, this is going to be his daily diet, okay? This is the situation that he is now in. He is at the behest of the Trump-oriented freedom caucus. And that is a really, really serious problem for him and, frankly, for governance in the House.
BORGER: I would be dialing John Boehner right now if I were McCarthy, who had the same problem, Ryan, who had the same problem.
COOPER: I don't think Boehner is going to pick up that phone.
BORGER: He may have a glass of red wine. COOPER: When we come back, more on the man from Mar-a-Lago, a new reporting on family dissent over any plan for another presidential run with his daughter, Tiffany's wedding tomorrow and a self-proclaimed special announcement set for Tuesday.
How it might play out, next.
BURNETT: Welcome back to our special election coverage, Election Night in America. As former President Trump prepares to host his daughter, Tiffayn's wedding at Mar-a-Lago Saturday, sources tell CNN he is, quote, cranky over the election results, seems to be a kind word, angry with his wife over Mehmet Oz's Senate loss and preoccupied with his political future.
And you don't even need a source to tell you that, as our panel knows, when you see the screed he put out about Ron DeSantis, the tweets he's been putting out, the racist tweet about Glenn Youngkin, which was one of the weirdest in quite some time.
So, John, he is in a terrible mood. He is angry. He is frustrated. He is lashing out. And he is still teasing this big announcement on the 15th, which we all know what it was going to be and what it probably will be. But he didn't think it was going to be like this.
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No, he didn't. And I look forward to a time in America where we don't have to talk about the ex- president's mood. But he just vents his spleen in public. We all know exactly what's going on.
Here is the real deal, right? For the first time in a long time, there is a sign that Republicans are willing to admit they have a problem, which is the first step to solving the problem. And the conservative media is saying, this guy is a cancer on our party, he is dragging down the ticket, he is dangerous, he is destructive, he is divisive and he can't win elections.
But after January 6, we saw some people who denounced him in the immediate aftermath quickly get their spines removed and go to Mar-a- Lago and kiss the ring. So, the cement is wet. Hello, Kevin McCarthy. Yes. So, now, let's see if this attempt to take out McConnell's success, well, let's see if McCarthy says he will agree to endorse Donald Trump in exchange for a safe speakership. It's all negotiating with someone who is going to bite you in the back, anyway.
AUDIE CORNISH, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: You can't really gauge Trump's mood, so to speak, but at the same time, we know that he doesn't like a loser. And he said before the election, hey, if they win, it will be because of me, but if they lose, it won't be because of me.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I win tells you lose.
CORNISH: Exactly. But, narrator, it was you. And I think the problem is all --
BURNETT: The self-loathing is very difficult.
CORNISH: No, no. The problem is all of his favorite media is turning on him. It doesn't matter what gets said at the panels he doesn't care about. He cares about those front pages that are taking shots and telling him, hey, we are interested in someone else. I don't think that's meaningful.
CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He hates losing, he says. But all he has given to Republicans is defeat and loss. They keep losing. That's what's going to make Republicans --
BURNETT: But he has got this announcement next week. He can't --
DENT: -- move away, because how much losing can they take?
BURNETT: But he can't not do the announcement now. He has got to do it.
DENT: It sounds like he is there, but, yes, I guess he is going to make the announcement. I mean, good luck, Herschel Walker, now if Trump can help him.
KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What makes anybody think that Donald Trump all of a sudden has the self-awareness to say he is not going to do the announcement next week?
HOOVER: Actually, I don't think it's so much self-awareness as much as an ability to really feel and sniff out sort of the crowd and the electorate. And I think he does know when there's a great moment to pounce and to go for it and to just go full throttle and when to pull back. And he did pull back a little bit after January 6th. He did begrudgingly leave the White House. And he was sort of forced to lay low because he was taken off of Twitter.
But it's hard to see if winning is the only thing that matters and everyone is telling you, you just didn't win, not only are you not winning, you are a loser, that he could march in -- there's no momentum to announce a presidential run in three days, four days.
FINNEY: I think he's going to -- in his mind, it is upside down world. That is exactly the time -- if they think you are down, you punch them in the nose even harder.
And, remember, after January 6, there was an infrastructure around him that could -- including the Secret Service, who could actually keep him under wraps. Now, there are no guardrails now. And on the heel this was wedding, as you have pointed out, this is the perfect time. Everybody loves a wedding, all smiles, poor Tiffany.
I think this is really -- Donald Trump is someone who, I think, time after time, we have seen him double down and the Republican Party double down. How many times were we waiting for the pivot, right?
BURNETT: But, Congressman, has it really changed this time, I mean, these people who are now calling him out? By the way, The Wall Street Journal slammed him after January 6, too. So, there's precedent for backing off.
DENT: We will see. I mean, I like to say yes, but I'm afraid that we might retreat back to traditional form. We are upset for a few weeks and then we are afraid of the base again. And, by the way, we should all stop trying to psychoanalyze Donald Trump. I mean, this is a lifetimes worth of work for an army of therapists. And none of us are qualified --
AVLON: They are going to be called historians in the future. But Republicans shouldn't be let off the hook here too, because, let's get real, what happened is all the candidates realized they could win their primary if they agreed to back Donald Trump lies, and they did it, they did it. So, they let him back in. They re-empowered someone after he tried to overturn our democracy.
HOOVER: I have to tell you, John, there's actually nothing to indicate the Republicans have learned that lesson. And there's nothing to indicate the Republicans will really reconstitute and finally learn the lesson of Donald Trump.
AVLON: There you go.
CORNISH: I'm just going to say, I think right now, hindsight is 20/20, we can all be like, obviously, he was the problem. Leading up to this, it seemed like it was going to be about inflation and crime. I think a lot of people looked at the crowds and the base and saw how excited they were.
BURNETT: And they were, yes.
CORNISH: And really saw what that movement was capable of. So, does this feel deflating? Yes. Does it mean all that energy is gone, so to speak? I don't know. He is still the leader of the party.
DENT: But -- there's a big but here. If you represented a swing district like I did or a suburban district, you have seen the damage that this has caused. Republicans are losing in these areas where they must win. He is bringing them defeat in the areas they need in order to govern. That's the problem.
BURNETT: That's the bottom line. All right, thank you all very much.
And coming up, Pulitzer Prize-winning Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin joins us to discuss the threat to democracy after the midterms and the defeat of many but certainly not all of the election deniers on the ballot.
COOPER: And welcome back to CNN's special coverage of Election Night in America Continued. As you saw moments ago, Arizona officials in Maricopa County say they will be reporting new numbers tonight, about 80,000 tabulated votes expected. It will obviously affect the current vote count in that close Arizona Senate race where Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly is ahead. Should Republicans win at least two of the three outstanding Senate races, their control of the Senate will be cemented by multiple election deniers. It's important to note, however, that in other must watch races across the country, including those in Michigan and Pennsylvania, election deniers largely lost.
I'm joined now by Pulitzer Prize-winning Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of many best sellers, including Leadership in Turbulent times. And it's so wonderful to actually have you in person. You and I have spoken many times since the attempted insurrection on January 6. I'm wondering how you feel about democracy today compared to maybe even a month ago.
DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Much better. I really do. I mean, I saw a statistic that 44 percent of the people who came to the polls were motivated by democracy. I mean, that's an extraordinary thing. Everybody was worried it's too abstract. They're going to worry about what's happening to gas and inflation. But they cared about it and they cared about it in a number of ways.
I mean, I think the election deniers was part of it. They knew a peaceful transition of power is the hallmark of democracy. If you are going to allow people who are still arguing about the 2020 election to argue about this one, and then they will argue about 2024, 2028, it will never be the same again.
But I think they also came out because of voting rights. There was voting rights were under restrictions, the great Civil Rights Act of 1965 had been undone. We were talking about states that were restricting different votes. So, they got to get out and vote. They're going to make sure that they can pass those restrictions.
And I think abortion rights had something to do with democracy, too. Here was a right to choose that had been there for half a century and it was taken away, and somehow that felt like a part of democracy, too. So, democracy was on the battle, which is great.
COOPER: I also wonder how much the work of the January 6 committee has had an impact on how -- on people's understanding of what happened on January 6.
GOODWIN: It's a really good question. I think we've underestimated the educational possibilities that January 6 provided to us, first of all, the attack itself. I mean, as a historian, I was certain that that was going to change things, that we had reached --
COOPER: That everybody would see that and just -- GOODWIN: And they would know that we can't have this happen again and we have to take care of it right then. But somehow, it went away and we got distracted. But then the hearings brought it back again very powerfully last summer. And then I thought that was going to be the sand in the line.
But maybe it took voters coming to the polls and, finally, the people -- this is the first time the people got to vote on January 6, on the summer, and they came out. I think they voted for democracy.
COOPER: Is there a historical precedent that you see a parallel to right now?
GOODWIN: I think there are times when democracy becomes a part of our everyday lives. It obviously happened during the civil war when people are willing to give up their lives to save democracy. I mean, that's what Lincoln talked about. He said democracy really was on the line with that war, that if you allow the southern states, because they were Democratic states, they lost the election, to decide, I'm going to secede from the union because I don't like this election, then the hallmark of democracy would be undone.
It was on the line on the turn of the 20th century and there were anarchist bombings in the streets and when there were nationwide strikes and the gap between the rich and the poor, and yet, somehow, we got through that, and it was on the line again with FDR. I mean, he was told right before he took office the first time, if you can make that new deal program, you will be the best president in the country. If it fails, you will be the worst. He said, no, if it fails, I will be the last. And you think about it. It was happening with Mussolini and Hitler. Democracy was in peril and it was saved here.
In the '60s too, I mean, I lived through the '60s when there were the assassinations, the riots in the streets, and young versus old and the anti-war violence. You felt like something was happening. But somehow when you feel democracy is in peril and you act on it through votes, that's what saves it.
COOPER: The New York Post the other day had the former president humpty dumpty falling off the wall that he hadn't built, unable to get back up again, it's very possible he will be able to get back up again. But there have been bullies in the past who have fallen, Joe McCarthy, most famously, probably. How do -- do you see parallels?
GOODWIN: I do. I mean, I think with Joe McCarthy, what happened, that that bully was getting the airwaves, terrible things that he was doing to people, destroying reputations, and then he went too far, and it was on television. And people saw it. They saw what he was doing in those Army-McCarthy hearings. And then they censured him finally in the Senate. And that didn't really end his power but it somehow ended his mojo, it ended his confidence in himself. And it was over. This crazy period was over.
And you wonder whether that's what's happened, that a certain sense, something has changed. Whether or not he will come back -- "The Post" thought Trump was gone in 2015. They had the headline at the time after he said those terrible things about McCain not being a hero. Then he floated back again. I think the people are beginning to take hold of this.
COOPER: And we are talking obviously on Veterans Day, the role veterans have played in saving democracy. You talked about that a lot.
GOODWIN: I think about the veterans a lot. When you think about what the period of greatest bipartisanship was in America, it was in the '50s and '60s and '70s because two-thirds of the senators and congressmen were veterans of the war. They knew what it was like to have a common mission, to fight against something that they could come together from all walks of life. That's the sense we need again.
Teddy Roosevelt warned if people think of themselves as the other, rather than as common American citizens, then democracy will be lost. You need somehow to get that feeling of a common mission again. Maybe saving democracy has centered into people's ideas, which would be an incredible thing.
COOPER: Yeah. Well, it's nice to have you on.
GOODWIN: Well, I'm glad to see you in person.
COOPER: Thank you. Such an honor.
Coming up, more on what turned out to be a key factor for Democrats, younger voters, Gen-Z. CNN's Harry -- what happened to Gen-X? We do nothing.
CNN's Harry Enten will join us to break down the role they play this year.
COOPER: And back with CNN's special coverage of election night in America continued even as ballots continue to come in we wait to see which party controls the house and the Senate. Democrats are pointing to a number of reasons on why they performed on what historically is a bad election cycle. One reason younger voters, in fact the first member of Gen-Z was elected to a House seat from Florida.
Here to make sense of an election that has defied the odds, CNN senior data reporter Harry Enten.
So, how important are younger voters to Democrats?
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: I mean, if you just look at the exit poll data and those under the age of 45 and those over the age of 45. Democrats won voters under the age of 45.
So the math is there. If there aren't the younger voters in the electorate, the Republicans would easily have won the House and they probably would've the Senate as well. It's simple math.
COOPER: I mean, there was a talk about a surge of youth turnout. Is that accurate?
ENTEN: No, not really. I mean, if you look at the exit poll, you'll see that the percentage of voters who are under the age of 30 match pretty much all of the last midterms. We have a whole list of it on the screen.
No, while younger voters were the reason that Democrats won, it was not because of a surge, it was because of the younger voters who did show up. Their preference was so strongly for Democratic candidates.
COOPER: Do you see a big political difference between Gen-Z and millennials?
ENTEN: Yeah. So this is kind of fun because I will admit I'm not part of Gen-Z, although I am a young guy.
COOPER: How old are you, Harry Enten?
ENTEN: We don't discuss that. I keep my age hidden, keep my age hidden. We're all about the numbers here, not my own number. So if you look at the exit polling, older millennials, while they support Democratic candidates, the difference between older millennials and then younger millennials/Gen-Z is about 20 points.
You can see on your screen that essentially gen-Z young millennials supported Democrats by 28 points while older millennials only about by nine points.
COOPER: Wow, that's interesting. Harry Enten, I appreciate it.
ENTEN: Well, what about gen-x? We don't have it on the slide.
ENTEN: They supported Republican candidates.
COOPER: Is that right?
COOPER: Okay. Gen-X used to be Gen-Z.
ENTEN: What are all these names anyway? Age is just a number.
COOPER: Is it?
Harry Enten, thank you.
ENTEN: Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up, more on the red wave that was not. CNN's Brian Todd reports from Washington and why Republicans underperformed in this election and where they are now directing their anger. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right. We have a key race alert from the crucial state of Arizona.
Let's start here on the Senate side. Mark Kelly is expanding his lead by 129 votes. Every vote matters here when you've got 80 percent in but expanding his lead now 115,202 votes ahead of his Republican challenger Blake Masters. So that's a change in favor of Mark Kelly by 129 votes.
On the governor's race. Kari Lake closing the gap between herself and Katie Hobbs by 278 votes. So they are now 278 votes closer. Lake still trails Hobbs in the count. But again, only 79 percent of the vote is actually in. So Kari Lake just a little bit there closing that gap.
Well, this all comes as we're waiting for more votes to be counted in Arizona as well as Nevada. That's going to determine the balance of power in the House and the Senate. One thing is clear, though. Republicans did not get the red wave that they were expecting. And there's a lot of blame to go around.
Brian Todd joins me now.
So, Brian, where are Republicans focusing their anger? Because there's a lot of ire out there.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is, Erin. The blame among Republicans tonight seems to point squarely at the parties' biggest names, Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell. Many Republicans and conservative pundits say it was Trump who was the biggest drag on the party this week.
Chris Christie, former New Jersey governor, former Trump confidant, who is now a Trump critic, said this to "The Associated Press."
Quote: We lost in '18, we lost in '20, we lost in '21 in Georgia, and now in '22, we're going to net lose governorships. We're not going to pick up the number of seats in the house that we thought. We may not win the Senate despite a president who has a 40 percent job approval rating. There's only one person to blame for that, and that's Donald Trump.
Retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey whose seat was lost by Republican Mehmet Oz, who was backed by Trump, said this to you, Erin, yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA): All over the country, there's a very high correlation between MAGA candidates and big losses, or at least dramatically underperforming.
(END VIDEO CLIP) TODD: Mehmet Oz himself is blamed by one prominent activist who says he lost because she believes he avoided the abortion issue while Democrats were launching attacks on Republican candidates following the overturning of Roe versus Wade.
Marjorie Jones Dannenfelser, the president of the group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America told reporters, quote, Oz lost a others because they hoped the issue would go away.
Oz did not respond for a request for comment. Oz was a Trump-backed candidate, and Trump and his aides are reportedly fuming over the quality of the candidates he backed. Trump himself, according to a report by our Jim Acosta, is, quote, livid and screaming at everyone following the Republicans' disappointing performance in the midterms. One Trump adviser saying of Trump's hand-picked candidates in battleground states, quote, candidates matter and they were all bad candidates.
And, Erin, Trump himself is privately blaming Mitch McConnell, according to our reporting.