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CNN Live Event/Special
Democrats Score Big Nights in Kentucky, Ohio and Virginia; House Censures Rashida Tlaib for Anti-Semitic Remarks. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired November 08, 2023 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, voters deliver a verdict and deliver two important wins for Democrats in cherry red states. I'm Abby Phillip in Washington.
LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Laura Coates in New York, and you're watching CNN's special live coverage, ELECTION NIGHT IN AMERICA. And CNN is projecting two very big and very consequential bulletin board wins for Democrats.
Tonight in Kentucky, expecting that Democrats will retain the governor's mansion, Andy Beshear defeating rising Republican star Daniel Cameron. Also tonight in Ohio, CNN projects the right to an abortion will now be written into that state's constitution. It's evidence that abortion and the issue of abortion has staying power more than a year after Supreme Court erased Roe versus Wade.
PHILLIP: And we are also waiting on some important results out of Virginia. Let's get right to John Berman at the magic wall for us. John, this is really important right now. We just called the Senate in Virginia. We're waiting for the house of delegates. What are you seeing there as Democrats and Republicans battle it out district by district for control over that legislature?
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, let's look at Virginia right now. We don't have the same type of granular data coming in, but what we can tell you right now as we look at the Senate, CNN has projected that Democrats will maintain control of the Senate, they'll have at least 21 seats there, which will give them the majority.
That in and of itself is a setback for the Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, who ran hard in this campaign. He wanted to have a Republican Senate and a Republican House of Delegates, what they call a trifecta, so he can control the entire state government apparatus. He has lost in that endeavor. That has failed.
And he put a lot on the line there. And the night could get worse for him, because not only have Democrats maintained control in the state Senate, but if you look at the House of Delegates right now in Virginia right now, they are currently leading in 51 of these races. We just got an update in, and Democrats are leading in 51 of these races, but 51 is still enough to control the House of Delegates as well. And if that holds, that would actually be a flip, that would mean it
went from Republican to Democrat in the face of these efforts from the Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin to get the trifecta in one of the major issues in Virginia. And we've seen this in several states tonight, Abby, abortion rights, Glenn Youngkin wanted to limit them, Democrats said no. They ran on providing abortion rights and that may have been decisive.
PHILLIP: Just one of the many big headlines potentially coming out of tonight. There's also Kentucky, a major governor's race there. What is the big headline out of that state?
BERMAN: The big headline out of Kentucky, let me get to it, is that Andy Beshear won and won big. OK? Look at the map here. Look at all the blue counties. He over-performed Joe Biden in Kentucky, literally everywhere in every single county. In 2020, Joe Biden won only two counties. This time around, you can see how much more blue there is for Andy Beshear.
And he didn't just over-perform Joe Biden. I think as you noted last hour, Abby, he over-performed Andy Beshear from four years ago. He improved on his margins of victory. I can show you everywhere where Beshear over-performed, and you can look anywhere, there's a color red or blue here, he did better than he did four years ago.
That is a tremendous improvement. And also, I just want to show you some suburbs here. Suburbs are so important in the election tonight and will be into 2024, and you can see right here, not tons of suburbs in Kentucky, it's a pretty rural state, but in all the counties with the significance of urban population, almost all of them or at least the vast majority, Andy Beshear did really well. That, too, is something that Democrats would hope that they can replicate in other races around the country.
PHILLIP: Yes, and there in Kentucky, but also in the state of Ohio, abortion, as we were just talking about, a huge issue on the minds of voters, in this case, on the actual ballot. What did voters decide there?
BERMAN: This is something that is really glaring. First of all, you can see abortion rights, which was a yes vote on a constitutional amendment enshrining abortion at 50, almost 56 percent of the vote. Just a reminder, in the state of Ohio, which you called cherry red, I like the variation from ruby red.
In the state of Ohio, Donald Trump won with 53 percent of the vote. He won by 8 points. So right now, abortion rights ahead by nearly 11 points. You can see the huge spread there. And I just want to show you that in the counties that Donald Trump won, every county that's colored in here, green and orange is a county that Donald Trump won. So all the green counties here are counties where abortion rights prevailed in the balloting last night.
And you can see, these are Trump-won counties now that have voted for abortion rights. Abortion rights can be a potent issue even in a Trump-won county. And you can also look at the suburban counties which I think is also very interesting, suburban counties here. This, if you look at this map everywhere in green here, actually everywhere that's colored here is suburban county.
But if we circle these, I circle the suburban counties up there in the northeast over here and down here, and then look at Trump again. You could see a lot of these were areas that Trump won. Trump won every red county here in the Ohio suburbs. Yet, abortion rights was a potent issue and people voted for abortion rights in those Trump counties.
Again Abby, Democrats will be looking at this, these results, these suburbs, and they will hope to replicate that. This is the sixth state now where abortion rights has been on the ballot and prevailed.
PHILLIP: And a really smart observation by you there, John Berman, a lot of voters in Ohio and in Kentucky, you could probably argue in Virginia too, who would have been Trump voters, probably voted for either a Democrat or a Democratic-leaning issues in this off-year cycle.
A lot of consultants on both sides of the aisle taking a close look at that. Berman, standby for us, we'll check back with you in this hour. Laura, there is much more to come from the actual results, but so much to digest with your great panel up there.
COATES: Let's unpack it, Abby, because I've got this great panel with me right now. Big picture, this was a heck of a night for Democrats, perhaps maybe unexpected in some areas. But on abortion in particular, is the writing on the wall?
GEOFF DUNCAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I've been doing this for the last couple of election cycles. I've been -- had the fortune of pleasure of sit in the seat, and I feel like a play-by-play announcer for a terrible baseball team --
That just keeps losing and losing and losing, and not doing anything about it.
COATES: The Republicans, you mean?
DUNCAN: Absolutely. And not changing direction, and it all -- all things point back to Donald Trump. There's so much chaos throughout the party. We need to reorganize. We need to revamp it. We should not be losing states that we're losing. We should not be losing issues that we're losing.
We've just completely lost our way. And until we purge ourselves of Donald Trump often, I think we're kind of in the process of throwing them up, right? It's going to take time. It's disgusting. It's hard to watch. But until we get rid of Donald Trump, we're going to continue to stumble and bumble and lose races in states and issues that we should win. COATES: It's very visual at midnight. I like that. The acid reflux
connotation of all of it. Let me ask you, though, when it comes to abortion, is Donald Trump really to blame? Obviously, he was the one to nominate Supreme Court justices who on the one hand said that they would be very objective and adhere to precedent. And then when it came to Roe v. Wade, did ultimately overturn it. Is he really the through line?
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He's the motivating factor, because as you said, he's the one that put the justices on the Supreme Court that overturned it and put it back in the hands of the states. Now it's in the hands of the states and they're saying, we want to protect abortion. And look, that's something that Republicans need to wake up on because Democrats, I'm sure, will make this a ballot issue in 2024.
And that's going to be a big motivator in Democrat voters. I'm looking big picture tonight. Also at not just the power of abortion to motivate voters, I'm looking at the power of incumbency. You look at Kentucky, Governor Beshear being the incumbent governor, had the good fortune of being able to work on the economy, being able to work on education, being able to work on issues to his state.
But also as the governor, he was there for his people in the tragic mass shooting. He was there for his people during the floods. He was there for his people after tornadoes, that is invaluable. When you do for the people and you're there for them in times of crisis, they will remember that on election day and come out for him. And if you heard his speech tonight, his acceptance speech, he was talking about this is not about right or left.
This is about moving forward. And that is very powerful, because he has been a very good leader for the people of Kentucky. Also, as we're looking at Mississippi, Governor Reeves did a great job -- has done a great job as the governor, improving education, low unemployment, as well as improving the economy, moving Mississippi that is generally in the back of the pack, moving them in the right direction.
And his voters look at that as he's done a good job so far, and we're going to reward him by re-electing him. So the power of incumbency really is also on display tonight.
COATES: Well, there's also the scandal of allegedly moving welfare funds to those who are wealthy instead, and then --
STEWART: And there's that --
COATES: And there's that other movement that happened as well, but the voters essentially said no. But hold on, strategist, talk to me here about this, because from what Alice is talking about, it sounds like all one must be is essentially the maybe the consoler-in-chief of the executive head of the state.
Biden is not doing well in his polls if that's the reason. JAMAL SIMMONS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Biden has always been
the consoler-in-chief for the country, right? Like nobody can feel your pain like Joe Biden can. And I think it's ultimately a superpower. I think what we saw in Andy Beshear tonight is the future of the Democratic Party.
What we saw is somebody who is -- he's the future of the Democratic Party. We saw somebody who is willing to stand up and say in a moment of crisis, not just what's wrong, but kind of give a tear to it, right? I remember when one of the storms happened, he talked about walking up and seeing a bike, leaned up against the side of the wall, and knowing that a child had lived in that house that was no longer alive.
And how he had a child who had a bike just like that. And like this guy really tagged in. And I think every candidate that's thinking about running for national office needs to pay attention to the speech he gave tonight, and how it is he has conducted himself on the national stage. I don't know if he can run for president. He's a little moderate for the current Democratic Party, but he is certainly somebody, whether it's him or Governor Whitmer or Gavin Newsom or Wes Moore, there's a crop of governors -- or Shapiro in Pennsylvania.
There are crop of governors out there in the Democratic Party who I think in 2028 are going to make it a big year, along with, of course, the Vice President Kamala --
DUNCAN: Or maybe sooner.
SIMMONS: Yes --
COATES: Well -- oh, see, I knew someone was going to go there tonight. It was you, I love it. Let me ask you -- OK, talk about somebody who might have his sights, Allison -- I mean, Ashley, gave your last name first. Ashley Allison, when it comes to 2028, Glenn Youngkin in Virginia, it's pretty clear some people wanted him to jump in right now. And it's also pretty clear with the one term and a term limited governor in Virginia, that he had to have some wins.
The ability to say the school choice, the parental choice issues, and now add to that, I was able to get the Republicans in charge. That's not happening for him. Is that a distant dream now?
ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think it's a distant dream, but here's what I will say. It's interesting to hear both Jamal and Alice talk about Governor Beshear, I'm like, oh, wow, he's governing, which --
DUNCAN: Yes --
ALLISON: Governors are supposed to do, it seems like such a foreign concept in politics these days. And I think for Mississippi, look, it's hard for Dems to win in Mississippi. But what I will say is because of that race, it's a tell, don't give up on the south Dems, like we have Georgia. This is -- this is a place, particularly a state like Mississippi with such a large black population. When I zoom out, I think, you know, when Glenn Youngkin won in 2021,
everybody was like, oh my God, the Dems are going to throw it away in 2022. I think what voters are actually demanding is that they want people who are going to protect their freedoms. And 2022 in the midterms, abortion was on the ballot, but also voters said no to election deniers because they want to protect our democracy.
And 2023, voters said no to extremism, on abortion in Ohio, in Virginia, and also in Kentucky. And I think in 2024, the question is going to be, who is going to move us forward? Who is going to get our -- is Joe Biden the person who is going to get -- continue to get the country back on track. And if it is up against Donald Trump, I know the polls that came out are not great, and I would not ignore them if I'm the Biden campaign, and I don't think they are.
But I would say that you need to make the argument that Donald Trump will take us back to extremism and will compromise our freedoms, and Joe Biden is the person for progress and to get us -- keep us on track.
COATES: What does he often say? Judge me not against the almighty, but the alternative. Maybe the alternative conversations will have to come more and more. Of course, we're a year out still. Abby, back to you.
PHILLIP: Laura, we do have another major projection here. The Democrats have now won full control of the Virginia legislature. They have retained the state Senate, and now, CNN can project that they have flipped the House of Delegates. We're going to go back to John Berman over at the magic wall. John Berman, this is the scenario, not what the Governor Glenn Youngkin wanted, but the scenario that seemed in this political climate somewhat unlikely, Democrats flipping the House of Delegates in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
BERMAN: Yes, I think if you talk to the Democratic consultant class, this would have been the state and the race that they were watching most closely. Let me just put this up there to reiterate what Abby just said. Right now in Virginia, Democrats lead in 52 of the races for the House of Delegates. We have projected they will flip and gain control of the House of Delegates, and they are maintaining control of the state Senate.
As Abby said, this gives Democrats full control over the State Assembly in Virginia, both chambers, which is the exact opposite of what the incumbent Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, wanted. He campaigned hard in this state and lost in both cases in the House of Delegates.
It's actually even more embarrassing because it's the flip. It went from Republicans to the Democrats and the Senate, it was a Democratic hold in this -- in some ways may derail his national ambitions, at least for a time. Abby, I mean, you heard people whispering, should Glenn Youngkin jump into the presidential race even at this late time? Might be hard for him now based on this. And again on the issue of abortion rights, which was very much front
and center, he put it front and center for a time in this campaign. We see once again that Democrats have prevailed here, and as I said, yes, Kentucky with Andy Beshear, that's a big win for Democrats. But some people might look at that as an anomaly because of his family name, because of how strong he performed as a governor over the last several years. But this race, people are watching very closely. Democrats think this could be a sign of what is to come.
PHILLIP: And John Berman, thank you for that. We'll be back with you shortly. And obviously, this is a blow not just to the Governor Glenn Youngkin, it's also a blow, Astead Herndon, to the Republicans who had hoped that coming out of Virginia would be a narrative that there is --
ASTEAD HERNDON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes --
PHILLIP: An alternative to Trumpism, an alternative, maybe it's centered around Glenn Youngkin, but maybe it's centered around issues like crime, issues like education, issues like a -- I'm going to put this in quotes, because this is the word Glenn Youngkin used, "a compromised position on abortion" --
HERNDON: Yes --
PHILLIP: And that turned out to not be the case.
HERNDON: It turned out to not be the case in a big way. I mean, underneath the kind of candidates-split on the Republican Party, you've had this kind of agenda fighting between, you know, folks like Senator Rick Scott, obviously, Donald Trump at the top of the party, and people like Glenn Youngkin, who have tried to pitch themselves as kind of conservative legislative shapers who could use this Virginia session to really show how that works electorally.
And that didn't pan out tonight. I mean, this is someone who's going to be term limited out of that Virginia gubernatorial seat. And he was hoping to have a kind of moment that really showed that this brand of politics worked for these type of voters --
PHILLIP: And an opportunity to actually get some things done in the next year with full control.
HERNDON: Absolutely --
PHILLIP: It can be --
HERNDON: And so, none of those things are coming to fruition. And I think we're seeing the Democratic Party that has learned and kind of muscle memory in the Trump era. They did a better job organizing kind of on a state, local level. They've reversed some of their grass roots problems that we saw during the Obama era. And frankly, all of those groups that popped up in 2016 to 2020 have created a kind of language that's helped them in these special elections.
And have caused voters to really get more involved in some of these things. I don't think we can overlook how Joe Biden's Democratic Party top-down, is a more structured party for these type of races than the Barack Obama version of this party. That's the good news. The bad news is that those type of people are different who vote in presidential elections so they can do well with these types of people this year.
The question is, the type of person who then comes and votes for the top line of the ticket next year.
PHILLIP: Look, we have so much to discuss on all of this. Everyone just stick around for us. The results are coming in. The picture is becoming more clear. It has been a good night for Democrats, a clashing at the same time with a very bad day for the Democratic president. We'll talk about how these things work together. The brand new CNN polling that the White House is now looking at very closely.
You're watching CNN's live special coverage.
PHILLIP: Tonight, critical Democratic wins in Kentucky, Virginia and Ohio, voters there breaking in a big way for Democrats. And that is good news for the Democratic Party. But now, there is some bad news there. If you live or work in the White House. Our brand new CNN polling shows the near-record frustration with President Biden as he is asking Americans to renew his contract for a second term.
Now, in a hypothetical matchup with Donald Trump, he narrowly leads Joe Biden 49 to 45 percent. Let's go back to John Berman over at the magic wall to break all of this down. We've been talking about this polling, but really, tell us, what is the picture here of how President Biden is faring with the very voters that he actually needs in order to win re-election, particularly with non-white minority voters?
BERMAN: Yes, not faring well enough, that's the story tonight, Abby. And you can imagine in the White House, they're saying, look at the votes! Look at Kentucky! Don't look at the polls because the polls paint a bleak picture for them. As you said, in the head-to-head match-up among registered voters, Trump leads 49 percent to 45 percent.
But if you look at voter groups, particularly minority voter groups -- and I'm going to keep both up on the screen right now so you can see this. Among black voters, Joe Biden leads, but only 73 to 23 percent. According to Pew, Biden won over 90 percent of the black vote in 2020. That is a huge change there. Among Latino voters, is virtually tied again, a Democrat to win, needs to do much better among Latino voters and among white voters.
You can see Donald Trump with a 12-point lead. So you can see, particularly with black voters, which helped Joe Biden, propelled him to the Democratic nomination four years ago, and then into the White House. His numbers are sagging, and there are some other numbers that should worry the White House too, in terms of personality or character traits here. I want to put both up on the screen here.
This is the trait applies to Joe Biden or the trait applies to Donald Trump. And I'll put both boards up, so you can see what voters said, OK? Respects the rule of law, Trump leads -- Biden leads Trump 51 to 35. Honest and trustworthy, 42 to 43, will unite, not divide the country, 39 to 44, and cares about people like you, 44 to 40. Now, this incidentally, Abby, back when I used to cover elections in the dark ages, this used to be everything.
If you let among people, you know, cares about people like you, you won. Right now, though, look at these other numbers that seem to be dragging Joe Biden down. You're proud to have as President Trump actually leads, has 38 percent to Biden's 33 as effective world leader. Trump leads 48 percent to 36 percent. And remember, this is after Joe Biden's handling of Ukraine and the crisis in Israel right now, and then has necessary sharpness or stamina.
And this is the one that you know, people will focus on. Donald Trump at 53 percent, Joe Biden, President Biden at 25 percent. So, again, you look at these personality --
PHILLIP: Yes --
BERMAN: Traits right now, Abby, and you get a sense of how voters are thinking.
PHILLIP: Yes, and that doesn't even get into how voters are thinking about, you know, how President Biden is handling his job. All of this seems to just raise some questions about how the president is faring, especially among his base voters who are going to be critical here going into the next cycle.
John, standby again for us. Laura, over to you.
COATES: My panel is back with me, Abby, on this very point. This is really fascinating to think about these traits and how the polling comes out. On the one hand, the administration wants to say, look at the polls! Now, they mean, of course, Kentucky, and they mean, of course, what happened in Ohio and obviously Virginia. But these polls tell a very different story when you look at what this means. I mean, what do you do about it?
SIMMONS: Listen, I think the campaign would say, there have been eight polls in the last three weeks that have had Joe Biden either tied or ahead of Donald Trump. So let's not get too carried away with 1 or 2 particular polls that show him in a tough spot. What I would say is --
COATES: Well, let me just --
SIMMONS: What --
(CROSSTALK) COATES: I know, I want you to finish, but just for the American
public, they will look at that and say, but how can he be tied and so close to Donald Trump, given he's the incumbent and all the different indictments?
SIMMONS: Because it's a 50-50 race, and I think if you look even at the "New York Times" poll the other day, Donald Trump was basically at the number he was at on election day. So Donald Trump has a ceiling here. The question, what we're seeing here is Joe Biden is the one who's oscillating up and down. And so the real question for me is, getting bad polls is like going to the doctor and getting a bad lipid panel, right?
It's like getting a bad set of labs. And so --
COATES: This is very personal right now.
SIMMONS: No, it's like, you know, is it -- is it the doctor's fault that I got high blood pressure? No. Like, so when you see those numbers, it does make you -- you have to sit back and take stock as a campaign and say, OK, what are we doing wrong on the measures of perception that are out there, and we've got to go out and do something.
This age question is one of the questions the president is going to have to do things that show people that he can engage, he can handle the combat. In the debate, we saw that at the State of the Union a year or so ago. He's going to have to be able to keep doing more of that so people recognize that he is actually up to the job.
STEWART: One of the things that's surprising to me is the level of the five alarm fire that many Democrats are ringing based on a lot of these polls. The Siena -- "New York Times"/Siena poll, devastating for the president. But all of these things to their benefit. This is a year out. We all have one year to turn things around.
And the people's disappointment with the economy, hopefully they can work on turning the economy around. Other -- his disapproval rating, potentially he can work on this. But all of these things are opportunities for them to grow. The one thing they cannot do anything about is his age. And currently at 81, people have concerns about his age. The most damning part of the cross-tab of today's CNN poll was the question of, do you think he has -- do you believe that President Biden has the stamina to do the job?
Twenty five percent of the people polled said he has the stamina to do the job. That is something he cannot do anything about that, and when they asked about Donald Trump's stamina, 53 percent of the -- of those respondents said that he has the stamina. So that's going to be a difficult hill to overcome because he cannot do anything about his age or stamina.
COATES: Well, what do you do about that? I mean, obviously, from the Democrat side, they think about it the way you're describing it in part, but then Republicans also look at this. And is that concerning then, that people have lower favorability for Joe Biden? Does that mean that it elevates Donald Trump in a way that many Republicans don't want?
DUNCAN: If we're all being honest with each other here, we're both shocked that if you're Democrat, that Joe Biden is your nominee, and we're shocked as Republicans and just concerned that Donald Trump is going to be our nominee. Right, that's just the reality. And I would never describe a 78-year-old with talking about their stamina or an 80-year-old or an 81-year-old, right?
I mean, like we're splitting hairs at this point. We're talking about the most important position in the world that requires the most amount of attention, the most brain cells, the most articulate decision- making, and we're dealing with these two people as our -- as our nominees. And one of them is going to be the next president again. As a Republican, we can do so much better if we just figure out a way to nominate somebody with a heartbeat and no felonies, they'd be 10 points ahead of Joe Biden today with all of those metrics that John just showed.
COATES: There is a polling about this so-called generic Democrat and the match up is pretty significant. But hold on. Thanks, everyone. Abby, I want to go back to you for a second.
PHILLIP: CNN can now officially call the governors' race in Mississippi, the Republican there, incumbent Tate Reeves holding off his Democrat challenger who just conceded last hour. Let's go now to John Berman over at the magic wall. John, we've been watching very closely as these votes have been coming in, particularly in the democratic parts of the state. They were not enough for the democratic challenger.
BERMAN: That's right, not enough, 86 percent in right now, Tate Reeves, the incumbent Republican, holds a lead of about 42,000 votes. And CNN projects that lead will hold. We've been watching Hinds County, the most populous county in the state, with about 80 percent in, Brandon Presley, the Democrat, has a huge lead there. He leads by almost 60 percent, almost what? Thirty eight thousand votes.
But even with 20 percent still remaining, it will not be enough to close that gap. And it's interesting, Brandon Presley, I think received a lot of national attention in the last few weeks, partially because he's second cousin to Elvis Presley, partially because Democrats thought he ran a very good campaign. But if you look at this race, with a candidate Democrats were happy with against a weak Republican incumbent.
And I say weak because he's been dealing with some scandals, some welfare scandals and what not. It's basically the same result as four years ago when Tate Reeves first became governor. He got 52 percent of the vote, then Jim Hood got 46.7 percent, and tonight, you're looking at Tate Reeves with 52 percent, Brandon Presley with 46.6 percent. So, yes, Democrats might be happy with this number in a very
Republican state, but fairly inelastic, not able to get above that. A little bit of a ceiling, a significant African-American vote, particularly in this part of the state, the Democratic part of the state. But Brandon Presley wasn't able to run up the numbers there. And one other thing we noticed, there were even counties, again, even with what was seen as a strong Democratic campaign, the Republican Tate Reeves actually flipped Lafayette County, home to Oxford, "Ole Miss", it's a college county right now.
Tate Reeves right now leading with almost 52 percent of the vote. Four years ago, the Democrats won that county, so this flipped and is now a Republican county. And if you want to be -- if you're Brandon Presley and you wanted to overcome Tate Reeves in a Republican state, that's the kind of county you would have needed to win. And he just couldn't get there. So, again --
PHILLIP: Yes --
BERMAN: This would have been miraculous for Democrats. They would have looked at this as a miracle if a Democrat was able to win in Mississippi. They didn't get there. They'll be satisfied with his performance, but I think they might feel like, oh, they were so close, maybe they were on to something, didn't quite get there.
PHILLIP: Yes, I think that's really notable about Oxford there. A place where usually you could count on a few liberals coming out and helping a Democratic candidate out, but not in this case. John Berman, thanks for breaking all of that down for us. Up next, I want to continue this conversation on those numbers Laura was talking about earlier. Does Vice President Kamala Harris do better with voters than her boss, President Biden? More from CNN's special live coverage after this quick break.
COATES: Before the break, we talked about the new CNN poll involving a current snapshot for President Biden. And if you dig deep into that poll, you'll see things that, well, they're not much better for his running mate, Vice President Kamala Harris. John Bremen is at the magic wall with those numbers. John?
BERMAN: Yes, it doesn't really look much better at the other end of the ticket either. You look at the approval ratings for Vice President Kamala Harris, 39 percent approve, 61 percent disapprove basically where President Biden in as well. And if you look at favorability also, not particularly strong, 32 percent favorable, 52 percent unfavorable, very much underwater here.
So again, as people look at President Biden, look at his age, look at something that can prop up the ticket, it doesn't seem to be coming from his running mate, Kamala Harris, the vice president, at least not now. Now, I'm sure if you went to the White House and asked them about this tonight, they would say, oh, yes, well, look at Kentucky. That would be their answer to this poll right now.
And they would say that the Democrat Andy Beshear just won in Kentucky. They'll take the votes over than the polls, but there is consistency, not just in the CNN poll, but we've seen in the "New York Times" and "CBS" polls right now, that this administration is seen as struggling by the American people.
COATES: John, I'm so curious about the why in particular, Abby, I mean, digging deeper into those numbers, what is the reason for that?
PHILLIP: Yes, I mean, this is the conundrum I think a lot of Democrats, frankly, are asking themselves about. I want to actually go to this gentleman right here on my right, Astead Herndon, he just wrote a big piece about the vice president --
HERNDON: Yes --
PHILLIP: And I mean, I cannot, you know, overestimate how much of a topic of conversation Vice President Harris is, and why those numbers are the way they are. What is the view inside of her office --
HERNDON: Yes --
PHILLIP: About what they can do about it?
HERNDON: I mean, their view -- the top line view from inside the office is that they think she will be the ambassador to Biden to fix these base problems we see in the CNN poll, in the "New York Times" poll, that she can be a messenger to black communities, to young people on issues like gun control and specifically on abortion. An issue. Biden has been less vocal with when you see him along the trail.
They say that in time, her numbers will turn around. But when you look at kind of Vice President Harris as a figure, she's been someone who's been frankly unwilling to really lead the party's ideological conversations on many of these issues. I mean, we think back to the kind of criminal justice front in which she came. She's not been the person kind of over the last 4 or 5 years leading that Democratic convo on it.
I mean, when I asked her specifically about how she would define herself between the question of progressive or moderate, she told me, you know, how about you define those words and I'll tell you where I fit. You know like, that's not someone who's really willing to do that work for you. And I think that some of what voters are really perceiving is a rather un-comfort with knowing kind of who she is and what she stands for.
I will say that this is not separate from the age issue, but actually, a piece of it. You know, when I talk to voters across the country, kind of outside of the insider world affairs, they really say that if they had more confidence in Biden's number two, maybe they would see this a little differently.
When Biden made that promise to be a bridge to a new generation of Democrats, I feel like a lot of people saw Vice President Harris as the first kind of down payment on that. And for a lot of voters I talked to, that is the real break that's happened with President Biden. There was a sense that he was an emergency option in 2020, but they really didn't kind of --
PHILLIP: Yes --
HERNDON: Fathom that they would be back here in 2024.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, you go back to when he chose the now vice president to be his running mate. They were not friends, if you remember, there was a very famous exchange on the debate stage where she just went right after Joe Biden.
But Joe Biden really did paint this picture that he was going to be this bridge, that he was going to help set up Kamala Harris to help break the glass ceiling, something that Hillary Clinton, you know, was unable to do back in 2016. But she hasn't seemed to grab the reins. You know, she hasn't seemed to jump right in and to show that she's willing to go out there and get her hands dirty, specifically on some of these issues that have been very difficult.
Now, I'm not sure if the Biden administration, if Joe Biden's advisors themselves have been very good to her either. I mean, the fact is, she kind of seems like she's left out on an island and perhaps it's self- imposed in some ways, because maybe she doesn't feel as if she's as connected to the administration as she initially thought she would be.
PHILLIP: Well, tonight, I mean, look, with abortion once again proving it is the issue not just for Democratic voters, but for voters writ-large in this electorate. This could be an opportunity not just for Vice President Harris, but also Kristen. I mean, I wonder, is there a path here for Joe Biden even with the numbers that we're seeing in this poll to create a policy focus, stakes-focused presidential campaign that overrides people's concerns about his age and his stamina, and focuses their minds on, hey, what's going to happen if there's a Republican in the White House instead of a Democrat?
KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The problem that Biden is facing is that when you ask voters, for instance, do you think that Biden's policies have helped you or hurt you economically by a double-digit margin, they say hurt. And then they ask, do you think Donald Trump's policies helped or hurt you when he was president -- by a double-digit margin, they say helped.
People are looking back at the Trump presidency through these almost rose-colored glasses. And so while I'd love to think that this 2024 rematch from hell that we're likely to get between Trump and Biden, is going to be this very policy-focused sort of rematch. It's not. It's going to be these two men talking about how they each are going to be a complete disaster, completely incapable of holding the office. It's going to be much more personal than policy. That's just the
PHILLIP: It's all rose-colored glasses until Donald Trump is the nominee, and he's out there and in front of people, and it becomes very real.
JANE COASTON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Right, I think that so many people seem to be operating from a hypothetical version of Donald Trump, a version of Donald Trump that we experienced again and again. And I think from Biden's perspective, he would say, I already beat this guy, and then you remember January 6th. Remember how he has never been able to get over it?
Remember the last three years of our lives? So I would say from the Biden perspective, they'd be saying we're not --we're probably not going against Nikki Haley. We're probably not going to be running against Ron DeSantis. We're going to be running against Donald Trump. But not even the Donald Trump of 2016, a version that could look forward. We're going to be looking towards a version of Donald Trump that is still fixated on the 2020 election.
HERNDON: But these are the chickens coming home to roost for Democrats too, because in 2020, when they had that primary, that was diverse, they had ideological differences, they really consolidated around the question of short-term electability. Who can beat Donald Trump right now? Joe Biden was justice -- he was not justice at all, but it was pretty old at the time, and people were making this exact argument around looking to the future.
Democratic voters prioritize --
PHILLIP: Yes --
HERNDON: The short term and have found themselves in this conundrum because of it.
PHILLIP: Democratic voters did that even when the sort of political class wanted to go in a different direction. So, a really important point there. Everyone stand by for us tonight. There is also some drama on Capitol Hill, 22 Democrats say that a member of their own party crossed a line that no member of Congress should ever cross. We'll explain what happened there next.
COATES: You know, as the results poured in tonight, there was a very notable moment happening on Capitol Hill. The house voting to censure Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib for remarks that 22 of her own Democratic colleagues say violated decency. She posted a video last week where she accused President Biden of supporting genocide, and that included the anti-Semitic rallying cry, which she takes issue with that characterization from the river to the sea, which calls for the erasure of the state of Israel. I want to bring in my panel. Ashley Allison, again, she took issue on the floor with that characterization, was very emotional at times about being critical of the government of Israel and that being conflated with anti-Semitism. What do you make of this decision?
ALLISON: She got very emotional on the floor today as the only Palestinian-American in the house. Obviously, what happened on October 7th was terrible, and what's happening in Gaza with innocent civilians dying is also terrible. And I think that what we're seeing play out is not just international issue, it is now coming right to Americans' footsteps and to their doors and to our college campuses, and it's going to play out in the 2024 election.
I mean, we've been talking about the election the whole night. I think some of the poll numbers, because they were recent poll numbers about Joe Biden with young people, with people of color, have to do with what's happening in Israel and Gaza. No one should ever make anti- Semitic comments, and I often yield to the community that is the target of a statement to say, if they find that language derogatory or not, I know Tlaib said she did not mean it in an anti-Semitic way, but 188 Democrats did not support this vote.
And it's also going to play out in these house races as Hakeem Jeffries, you know, is hoping to flip the house. So an important night tonight in terms of where our politics stands. I think it is another moment of divisiveness. I am surprised 22 Democrats did support the censure. But here we are, and I think it's going to continue to play out over the course of the next year.
STEWART: I'm actually surprised 188 members of the House of Representatives have not found her statements and her continued statements absolutely unacceptable and to censure her. That is shocking to me. And I think there's going to be some consequences when they're going for re-election.
Look, what she has said and not said, she refuses to point the finger at Hamas and call Hamas the bad guy here and the terrorist. And refusing to accept the fact that Israel has the right to defend themselves when they've been attacked. And her comments and her slogan repeatedly about from the river to the sea, and she tries to claim that it is about peaceful co-existence. That is bullcrap.
She knows exactly what that means. That is about the complete annihilation of Israel and the murder of innocent Jews. She knows that. But the fact that she continues to put out this false narrative about what's going on and encouraging people to protest and take to the streets on false information, that is absolutely despicable. And I am glad that the members of the house finally stood up to her.
COATES: She also spoke about it again in that emotional speech on the house floor, where she was comforted by some of her colleagues about that Palestinian lives were not expendable, not disposable. And that was one of the issues she also was raising in trying to defend herself on that floor. Your congressman, actually, brought the resolution. It contrasts to
Marjorie Taylor Greene, who tried to bring one that included insurrection based language. This one proved more successful. Why do you think so?
DUNCAN: Yes, Rich McCormick, you know, I think he was listening to his peers, and to see anything done in a bipartisan manner is -- says something, right? And certainly, as the president of the Senate and the state Senate in Georgia, very few things were done in a bipartisan way that were controversial.
But I think it shows to the complexities of what's going on. This is a war right? This is -- there's just the brutality of what happened in early October and now the events that continue to play out in the back and forth. I think it's just a sobering reminder of how unprepared we really are, right? We're still trying to pass a budget.
We're still trying to get unanimous support for funding for Israel. We're still trying to figure out how to, you know, really position ourselves as a global leader in foreign policy and all of the difficult scenarios that are playing out. I just don't think we're as prepared as we need to be right now. And I think that brings -- you know, that just brings doubt to the world's mind.
This world is a better place when America leads. And I think this is one of these issues where we need to lead.
COATES: By the way, we are just days away from another government shutdown on election night in America. Everyone, thank you so much to my panel, both panels obviously as well. Election night delivered some pretty big wins for Democrats in places like Kentucky and Ohio and in Virginia. We've got much more on the results and what they will mean just ahead.
COATES: Well, Abby Phillip, a busy show time, we've had a lot of projections on our watch, and suffice to say, it's been a big night for Democrats.
PHILLIP: It has been. Look, the voters have voted. I was texting with a Democrat earlier tonight, talking about this dichotomy we're seeing. The polls looking really bad for the president --
COATES: Yes --
PHILLIP: But the votes turning out differently. And this person said, you know, polls are an expression of frustration and maybe anger with the situation, but when voters go into that ballot box, they are voting on what will actually happen to them in their lives. And that may be what we're seeing out there. And that could have huge implications for this next year. A very consequential presidential year that we're about to get into. COATES: That's why we call it election night in America. You never
know what's going to happen, and here we are, and we got a year ahead as well. We want to thank everyone for watching, our live coverage continues in just a moment.