tv PBS News Hour PBS November 7, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> sreenivasan: and i'm hari sreenivasan. gwen ifill is away and we look forward to having her back as soon as possible. >> woodruff: we do. on the newshour tonight: it's election day eve-- our own john yang and jeffrey brown are out on the trail as the presidential candidates dash across the country, revving up their vote before time runs out. >> sreenivasan: also ahead this monday: a special pre-election edition of our politics monday panel-- amy walter, susan page, and andra gillespie on the final sprint. >> woodruff: plus, one year later-- how life for one syrian family has changed since moving to america, the challenges they still face. >> i don't know in which country i would be better, because my family some of them in turkey, some in syria, and some in
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and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: this time the cliche fits: it's down to the wire, and donald trump and hillary clinton are campaigning late into the night. their final blitz came as a last round of national polls gave clinton a lead of three to six points. but, trump has made it close in a number of battleground states. in their final salvos today, trump called clinton a "phony". she accused him of worsening the country's divisions. our teams are out on the trail these final days.
we start with john yang who has been covering hillary clinton. >> reporter: the last day of hillary clinton's campaign to become the first woman president began in a region where her opponent has been showing strength: western pennsylvania. >> we can do this, right? we can do this. tomorrow you can vote for hopeful, inclusive big-hearted america. >> reporter: it's been a long, strange trip to election day. just yesterday, f.b.i. director james comey lifted the cloud he placed over clinton's campaign and her handling of classified emails. >> i would much rather love to hear from our next president, miss hillary clinton. >> reporter: in cleveland yesterday, she never mentioned comey's clearance the new comey letter as she appeared with n.b.a. superstar lebron james of the champion cleveland cavaliers. >> so let me ask you this: are
you ready to vote? >> reporter: it was clinton's second visit to cleveland in three days. this weekend, she followed an itinerary set by polling results and the math of getting to 270 electoral votes. >> boy is this a hearty bunch standing out here in the rain. >> reporter: ...holding a soggy rally in florida saturday afternoon... ...appearing on stage with singer katy perry that night in philadelphia... >> ♪ i got the eye of the tiger, a fighter. ♪ ...and with singer james taylor last night in manchester, new hampshire. her path circled back to cleveland. the swing state of ohio is again a key battleground, and this city is the democrats' beachhead. this weekend, a new poll showed the race in ohio a dead heat. >> yes, i'm worried. if i weren't worried, i wouldn't be here in ohio. >> i do lose sleep over this at night. that's the bottom line.
>> reporter: cindy demsey is chair of the cuyahoga county democratic women's caucus. why is the vote here in cuyahoga county so important for the democrats? >> so cuyahoga county is the densest population of democrats. so what we need to get all of our democrat votes in to compensate for the rest of the state. >> without that, hillary cannot take ohio. >> reporter: that explains the frenetic activity at the campaign's office in shaker square. among the volunteers being trained to go door-to-door: registered nurse donna stern, who lives in rochester, new york. why come from new york to cleveland, ohio, to canvass for hillary? >> well, new york state is not one of the swing states. so we decided we need to come to ohio to help swing some votes here for ohio. >> reporter: in every presidential election since 2008, stern's come to ohio to talk to voters. >> we are willing to travel four hours for your state and it's, you know, that's important to
say, you know, and to vote and >> ♪ ain't no party like the democratic party 'cause the democratic party don't stop! >> reporter: the goal: get people to the cuyahoga county board of elections, where early vote ballots were cast all weekend. >> please have patience. we'll try to make this move as quickly and as smoothly as possible. >> reporter: taking a page from president obama's 2012 re- election, the clinton campaign is trying to build a firewall of early votes in key states like ohio seeking to roll up a big lead even before polls open on election day. >> i just voted. >> i'm glad that i did it. i got a chance to participate in the democratic process. >> what's more important than doing this? >> reporter: a sign of potential trouble for clinton in ohio: including this weekend, early voting in cleveland is behind 2012. one early voter was clara parrish. is this your first time?
>> voting early, yes. >> reporter: and it was because of the calls and the urging of the democratic campaign? >> correct. >> reporter: the campaign even enlisted jay-z and beyonce. they held a free concert for clinton in cleveland friday night. tickets were distributed directly across the street from the board of elections where people were encouraged to vote early. the concert was intended to energize two voting blocs campaign officials say are crucial to clinton's potential success: african-americans and millennials. >> i've always been democratic. win or lose, i'll be a democrat all my life. >> reporter: the black vote is especially important in cleveland, which is about 53% african-american. at sunday services at the olivet institutional baptist church on cleveland's east side, pastor jawanza colvin preached the power of voting. >> it's in our hands to decide who wins on tuesday.
it's in our hands. we are going to vote on tuesday. we're going to make sure that every black person we know votes. somebody say amen! we always do our jobs. >> reporter: black churches don't just talk the talk, they walk the walk -- picking up worshipers from services to take them to early voting-- a program they call "souls to the polls." >> do you want to help us stop donald trump? >> reporter: amid concerns about african-american turnout, millennials could give clinton the edge she needs in ohio. this weekend, volunteers from next-gen climate talked to voters around the campus of case western reserve university. in the closing days of what's a remarkably negative and personal campaign, clinton has finally turned to a positive and uplifting message-- something the campaign had been promising to do for weeks. >> if you give me the privilege of your vote tomorrow, that's what i'll do every single day of
my presidency. to knock down barriers, to create opportunities so that you have the chance to fill your own dreams. you see, i believe america's best days are still ahead of us. >> yang: for the clinton rally in philadelphia on independence mall it's an all-star lineup. she'll be with president obama, michelle obama, former president bill clinton and bruc bruce springsteen. it has the feel of a grand finale but one more event, a midnight rally at another key state, north carolina. judy? >> woodruff: so, john, tell us about the choice of states. we know at the end it's all about location. she is ahead in michigan, pennsylvania, north carolina a little bit closer. why are they going to these places on their last night? >> yang: the campaign wants to nail the door shut on a possible
donald trump to 270 electoral votes. another reason they're coming back here to pennsylvania, this is the third stop in three days. and in michigan today, these states don't have early voting so unlike other states they don't know who's been voting because on canvassing fieldwork. they want to make sure they get people out to follows tomorrow. >> woodruff: john yang reporting to us from philadelphia, thank you. >> sreenivasan: now to jeffrey brown who's been following donald trump in this final campaign push. >> the next president of the united states, donald j. trump! >> reporter: how much does donald trump need north carolina? count the ways and count the days he's been here as the election nears. by all accounts this is a must- win state. and this afternoon he was back
again, before a large crowd at raleigh's j.s. dalton arena. >> this is amazing, thank you very much. >> reporter: following f.b.i. director comey's latest dramatic announcement, trump did not back down. >> of course the f.b.i. was under tremendous pressure, so they went through 650,000 emails in eight days. >> reporter: that issue was also on the minds of his supporters, some of whom had waited outside for hours. >> i think there's something there. i think it's being covered up. i think a lot of people here think it's being covered up. >> reporter: it's been a mad dash, with stops all over the electoral map-- in minnesota, michigan, pennsylvania and several more states just this weekend. we joined the campaign yesterday in iowa at the sioux city convention center. >> we're going to win the great state of iowa, and we are going to win back the white house. >> reporter: first time voter
kailey bledsoe said she likes trump's independence. >> i'm voting for trump because i believe he has the best intentions for our country. i like that he's never been in politics and i like that he's supporting himself. and he really has his own beliefs. nobody is paying him to say anything. >> reporter: that youthful enthusiasm was reflected in a new des moines register poll showing trump up by a healthy seven point margin in iowa-- his largest lead to date-- this after barack obama won the state twice and democrats have carried six of the last seven presidential elections. >> he's winning among independents in iowa, right now. >> reporter: trump has reached beyond his core constituency, says pollster ann selzer. >> the other thing that we're seeing here is a change in the character of the younger voter. and in iowa, part of the backbone of the obama coalition were young voters, and he won here by substantial margins with
people under the age of 35. trump is now winning that group. they're more likely to identify as republicans. >> reporter: he's winning among young people? >> he's winning among young people. >> reporter: iowa's demographics help trump: a population mostly white, more rural, less affluent and fewer college graduates. and his overall campaign strategy has been to ignite these voters in battleground states across the country. also helping trump: leading party members here, including governor terry branstad, have supported him even through low points in the campaign. the governor's son eric, in fact, serves as trump's iowa director. >> this is a campaign like i've never seen before. usually when i go to a republican rally, spending a lifetime in republican politics, i know everybody there. this is a campaign that has brought in democrats. independents. >> this election is bigger than donald trump. >> reporter: but at a rally to energize volunteers, trump himself was rarely mentioned. state republican chairman jeff
kaufmann said this. >> is our candidate perfect? nope. are you perfect? no. am i perfect? no. the only way that grassroots politics works is to accept the candidate voters gave us. >> reporter: to make sure core republicans actually vote, the party had canvassers out this weekend, employing an app similar to what democrats have long used. 20-year old jillian dunker grew up outside des moines. >> so you can click on this, it will show you their name, their age, gender, registered party and modeled party. >> reporter: oh, modeled in this case like "hard" republican. >> yes. >> reporter: so that's how you know they're the core. >> yes. we also see how often they vote so we know the tactics we have to use to try to get them to a) vote for our candidates and b) get them to go out and vote. >> reporter: how to explain donald trump's popularity?
veteran pollster ann selzer. >> i've been listening to people talk about a candidate like donald trump-- sometimes by name-- for 12 years. people are looking for something else. something different. and if donald trump isn't different, i don't know who is. >> hello, how are you today? >> reporter: something different for sure. but can that win here in north carolina as well? voters in cary this weekend waited in lines up to three hours to cast their early ballots-- a diverse group of people reflecting an increasingly diverse state, including many with college degrees and higher incomes-- a challenge for trump. u.n.c. professor ferrel guillory. >> so the trump-clinton election in this state represents this clash of people who look back to what they see as a better america, and those who look forward to rising affluence and a more tolerant society that they want to live in the future. >> reporter: north carolina has
been a classic flip-flop state: it voted for barack obama by the slimmest of margins in 2008. and then went back to the republican column, with mitt romney by another small margin in 2012. >> did you already vote? >> yes, we have. >> okay. would you like a sticker? >> okay. thank you so much. >> reporter: zan bunn, head of the north carolina federation of republican women, wants to reach beyond the party's core. she canvassed around raleigh this weekend, including at the wendell harvest festival. >> diversity is always a positive. and it's important for republicans to message well to everyone. and that is perhaps not as well announced as it should be. but we just continue to try. >> reporter: as donald trump arrived here this afternoon, polls showed a very close race. meaning all eyes will be on this key battleground state when the votes are tallied tomorrow.
donald trump finished his rally at the arena a short time ago. i was able to talk to a trump official earlier today. he said they were cautiously optimistic in north carolina. that sounds about right. i don't think anybody can be completety can have donate about what happens tomorrow. hari har. >> sreenivasan: you have been on the trail with trump, what is his closing argument to supporters? >> his message is i am an agent of change, i will change what's happening in washington, i will change what's happening with the government and lead you to make america great. this is an argument we have been hearing. this is a donald trump very much on message. he goes through the list of negatives and positives from hillary clinton corruption as he refers to it to obamacare to his own attributes. he stays on message. >> sreenivasan: does it connect with the crowd? >> brown: i think it seems to be working. the crowds we've seen, certainly. but he's speaking, really, to the core right now, and the
whole idea at this point is get out the vote. >> sreenivasan: jeffrey brown joining us from raleigh, north carolina. thank you so much. in the day's other news: the justice department announced it is sending more than 500 staffers to 28 states to watch for civil rights violations at the polls. that's down a third from four years ago. meanwhile, the u.s. supreme court refused today to re-impose curbs on partisan poll watchers in ohio. democrats wanted the restrictions, citing fears of voter intimidation. >> woodruff: wall street shot higher today, as investors appeared to shed doubts about the election outcome. that came after the f.b.i. said newly found e-mails warrant no action against hillary clinton. the dow jones industrial average gained 371 points to close at 18,259. the nasdaq rose nearly 120 , and the s&p 500 added 46. >> sreenivasan: in syria: kurdish-led forces pressed toward raqqa today, the islamic state's de facto capital.
they announced the offensive on sunday, beginning what promises to be a prolonged fight. the u.s. military is providing the coalition of kurdish and arab fighters with air support. an estimated 5,000 isis fighters are in the city. >> woodruff: iraqi troops are still advancing on isis forces holding mosul, and now they've found a mass grave with 100 beheaded victims. the site was uncovered just south of the city. it's not known if the bodies are civilians or soldiers. >> sreenivasan: a thick layer of acrid smog hung over large parts of india today, the worst in 17 years. a million school children stayed home and people lined up to buy face masks around the capital of new delhi. the gray haze contains smoke, ash and other pollutants, causing shortness of breath, watery eyes and coughing. environmentalists urged new government action. >> ( translated ): it is a public health emergency; we hope that the supreme court will advise the government to take some strict measures to clean the air of delhi.
>> sreenivasan: one plan that's under consideration: bringing back a curb on road traffic. >> woodruff: china has barred two elected lawmakers in hong kong from taking office, after they openly advocated independence. it's the first time beijing has gone that far since britain returned hong kong to chinese rule in 1997. the maneuver has sparked new protests in the city against the communist government's control. >> sreenivasan: back in this country: the people of cushing, oklahoma surveyed earthquake damage today. sunday's magnitude five tremor hit just west of the city-- a major commercial hub for oil. up to 50 buildings were damaged, and officials cordoned off parts of city. there was no damage to oil facilities. oklahoma has had thousands of quakes in recent years, caused mainly by injecting oil industry wastewater into the ground. >> woodruff: janet reno-- the first woman to be u.s. attorney general-- has died in miami, of parkinson's disease. she served almost eight years under president clinton, and was known for her blunt manner-- once declaring, "i don't do
spin". but, she drew criticism for authorizing a deadly raid on the branch davidian cult in waco, texas, in 1993, and the return of a cuban boy-- elian gonzalez- - to havana, in 2000. she looked ahead, on the newshour, in 2001: >> until the day i die, or until the day i can't think anymore, i want to be involved in the issues that i care about. how we make the law real for all people; how we give people access to the law. i'm vitally interested in cyber crime, and in preparing law enforcement for a time when crime is international in its origins and its consequences. >> woodruff: in a statement today, president obama called reno "an american original" who left the nation a better place. janet reno was 78 years old. >> sreenivasan: and in philadelphia: a week-long transit strike has come to an end-- just in time to avoid affecting voter turnout tomorrow. public transportation workers and the main transit agency reached a tentative agreement on
a new contract early today. it will boost wages, and provide better pensions and health care coverage. still to come on the newshour: a full analysis of what to watch for on election day, reconnecting with a syrian family one year after they fled their home, students give their advice for whichever candidate becomes the next president of the united states, and much more. >> woodruff: tomorrow on election day, we'll be following a lot of numbers and data here at the newshour. a big part of that are the so- called exit polls. they're also part of what's used to project winners before the final real vote counts come in. we thought we'd talk about how that works, and take a look at the all-important electoral vote map, with our friend, domenico montanaro, npr's lead editor for politics. domenico, great to see you and great to be here. so let's look at this map.
this is your npr map. tell us what it shows. >> first of all, going into election day, hillary clinton quite clearly has the advantage. she could get over 270 electoral votes, 274 by our count, because i moved nevada from our last map to now lean democratic, where it had been in tossup. i moved new hampshire back to tossup. so when you look at it here, all of the states leaning towards clintonen's way, if those democratic base voters hold and show up to vote, hillary clinton would win. >> woodruff: this is even without the so-called tossup states? you haven't even put those in his or her category? >> think about the fact you could have somebody win without florida and ohio and iowa and north carolina, that's pretty unheard of in recent modern american political history but because of demographic change and where we're at in this election, totally possible. >> woodruff: if that's the
case, what's donald trump's past? what does he have to do? >> clearly, donald trump is going to have to break off a piece of the blue wall. we were thinking possibly in nevada, maybe new hampshire. it wouldn't be if yo enough for. you would have to pick off a state like nevada. he's a barn storm in our country in places that have gone democratic. in all of the last six elections, places like minnesota, wisconsin, michigan, they feel better about michigan, but the clinton campaign says they're still up in and president obama is going back to make sure african-american voters are getting out to vote. may feel like if they get the voters out, they win. trump will have to pick off a cinder block. if he does it, all bets are off. >> woodruff: i want to turn about exit polls, something that comes up every election year. remind us, what are they, who
runs them. >> so exit polls are commissioned by the national media, the big broadcast organizations. some print organizations like the "new york times," the "washington post," abc, nbc, cnn, for example, they pay a group called edison research which creates what's called the national exit poll consortium. it's a lot of money. the public broadcasters, pbs, npr, were not participating in it this time around, so when you see those numbers, they will be coming from that consortium. >> woodruff: what they do is they have thousands of people who go out around the country and interview people after they've left the polls. >> that's right. you will see about 100,000 people as part of the sample. why that's really amazing is that, when you think about a normal, national poll, there is about 1,000 people sampled with about 3.5% margin of error. here you have 100,000 people across the country, so smaller margin of error. it will be every fourth person
who leaves the exit polling place, an exit pollster will try to approach them and try to get them to take a questionnaire, fill it out and the information is relayed back. >> woodruff: domenico, we've heard how big the early vote, is 40-some million people voting early, how do they measure those votes or absentee votes, for example? >> when it comes to exit polling early voters, they will do a normal phone poll, so they will call a place like washington state or oregon or colorado where they do a lot of mail-only ballots so they can get demographic information to plug into the exit poll. >> woodruff: so the news organizations that are part of this, they're the ones, including the associated press, which we at the "newshour" will be relying on, they take that information, and then how do they turn that into a projected winner? >> and npr, too, are relying on the associated press' calls. but they take historical data, exit polls and actual results. with exit polling information, they will go into places that
are barometer precincts, for example, and when they get actual information or exit poll information that shows the direction of where that's headed, they can make a call. when you see a lot of the places that call the state with zero% in or 1% in, it's very rarely that state that gets it wrong because historically that's usually a state that's pretty far apart and the exit polls back it up. >> woodruff: in other words a state that's been reliably republican or democratic. >> new york or california or something. >> reporter: and those are the states that are expected to be called as soon as the polls are closed or very shortly after. the those that are close we'll be waiting. >> those too close to call you're looking at 11:00 or later. >> woodruff: on the edge of our seats. domenico montanaro, npr. thank you so much. >> thank you.
>> woodruff: and now for our election eve edition of politics monday we're joined by amy walter of the cook political report, susan page, washington bureau chief of "u.s.a. today" and andra gillespie of emory university. it's great to have all of you with us. amy, we just heard from domenico montanaro about what he thinks the map looks like. what do you think it looks like now? >> i don't disagree with that at all. i think every election i come in with the grand hopes that we look at the map and when the polls close and say we're going to be able to project out how this map will come together over the course of the night, but as you all discussed, sometimes the states are too close to call, sometimes a state comes in earlier than expected, so what i'm looking for are the anomalies. what's a state we didn't expect to go one way is going that way. what will that tell us if georgia goes to hillary clinton? that tells us she will have a
really big night. if a state like michigan ends up going to donald trump, it says maybe the rust belt strategy paid off. that is more likely that the -- you know, that's what i'm going to be looking for. but really the three states i'm going to be paying attention, to that everybody in america will be paying attention, to florida, north carolina, and pennsylvania. >> sreenivasan: susan? ohio i would put on that as well. if you look at florida, north carolina, ohio, donald trump needs to win all of them. if hillary clinton wins one that's a good sign for her. georgia, polls close at 7:00. that's a state that ought to go red. if it goes blue, a big sign. virginia closes as 7:00 and usually goes blue. if that goes red, it says donald trump will have a better night. one of the interesting things about this year's map is different because of previous
year because of donald trump's appeal with blue-collar voters . so arizona, ohio going blue and the industrial states going red more than likely. so a transition because of the coalition behind each of the parties. >> woodruff: andra gillespie, what do you see when you look at the african-american, the latino component of this electorate? >> well, i am wondering whether or not 2016 is going to be for latinos what 1964 was for african-americans. so in particular i'm interested in the break in the vote for hillary clinton versus donald trump amongst latino voters. a lot of the polling with latinos is showing she will get 75% of the latino vote and i want to see whether or not that's higher for tun decideds, whether they break towards clinton, she gets upwards of 80% of the latino vote. i think it suggests a huge shift
in politics and the new democratic majority is something that's already here made up of multicultural coalition. >> sreenivasan: and republicans wanted to go out and court the latino vote with mitt romney. >> they did that well. they nominated a candidate that's, one, not only reach out and brought in the romney coalition, so doing worse among non-white voters, but found a way to actually split up the romney coalition, so among the white working class voters a little better than mitt romney but among white voters with a college education, he's doing a lot worse. so to me, what i'm most fascinated to see is what the new coalition will look like but then to see whether or not it lasts post-this election and these two unique individuals. >> woodruff: we're really guilty that election time of breaking the electorate up into groups, into this ethnic group and that gender, but, susan, i want to ask about women, because the polls do indicate that hillary clinton is doing much better among women voters than
donald trump. you would expect that of a democrat, but this year it just seems to be markedly more so. >> and she's our first woman nominee of a major party for president so that may have resonance. also donald trump has driven some women voters away from the g.o.p. who might otherwise have voted for the republican nominee even with democrats nominate ago women, that would be white college educated women and women in suburban areas. that's one swing group we should watch for. we break groups down and that's true. the two critical groups are latinos and early voting in nevada and florida indicate a big surge in atlantao turnout, and white women who historically have voted for the republican party, do they move to the democratic party? looks like they l. to amy's point, do they stick? is it more than a one election affair. >> sreenivasan: how much did the comey news play into this
and what impact did it have considering what happened a couple of weeks ago and last night? >> what house democrats will tell you is they think that blunted their momentum enough, they were doing very well up to this point thinking they could flip more seats, it blunted their momentum enough it might cost them five to ten seats. so the folks out there are most upset about the change there. i think it also blunted the ability for hillary clinton to be able to try to change her favorable to unfavorable ratio. her favorable ratings were starting to inch up. now they're back a little better than donald trump's new york city much better. >> woodruff: andra, would you agree with that analysis, an impact on senate and house races, less so overall? >> i would agree. when i think of how hard and fast people's opinions were about the race, they were fixed before the email investigation. if you hated hillary, that wouldn't change your mind.
if you were already submitted committed to clinton, you were already going to vote for her. so this gives clinton supporters greater affirmation of their decision to vote for her. but at this point i think most people already made up their mind. >> sreenivasan: what about the spread in that week is this a lot of early voters went to the polls. >> woodruff: 40 million early voters between the first and second comey letter and they voted on the assumption that there was probably something serious the f.b.i. was going to look at. i think it probably had an energizing effect with some republicans, republicans maybe not that enthused about donald trump but man this is a reminder of why i don't want to vote for hillary clinton and depressed among democratic voters. i don't think it swung some states but i think hurt the margins. i talked to strategists with down-ballot races who think it cost them a senate seat or two and handful of house races. >> woodruff: it wouldn't be election eve if i didn't ask what are you looking for
tomorrow night, ai amy. >> the states i discussed are what i'm going to be looking for. i think ohio is a great place to looivelgt this is a state where donald trump has been leading, the expectation is that he -- this is a state he can win but, from what we're seeing on the early vote and on the ground, that hillary clinton's closing that gap, hillary clinton wins ohio, i think this suggests this is going to be a good, big night for hillary clinton. >> sreenivasan: from our reporters, we saw a mismash of different travel positions on where to go. donald trump is making inroads in hawaii, and hillary clinton is trying to show up places like arizona and north carolina. >> hillary clinton had a strategic planning going to states who daintd have early voting like pennsylvania and michigan. smart use of surrogates, barack obama, to generate black turnout in florida and north carolina where early voting indicated black turnout was down.
with donald trump you don't see a strategy. you see throw the spaghetti aainst the wall and hope it sticks because he's now in a place where he needs to run the table, he needs every battleground state to break his way and still needs another state which is why he went to places like minnesota and michigan where he's unlikely to win. >> woodruff: andra, georgia, you're teaching at emory, this is not a state hillary spent time in but the democrats are trying to pull out stops to get out the vote they think could go to her. what does that look like? >> most polls suggest donald trump will win the state but the mar is probably more narrow than 2008, so that's something that's really important to think about. the d. j. party of georgia spent months trying to convince the d.n.c. this was a state worth investing in and this shows that. in georgia, gwyneth county, a republican strong hold but demographically has shifted so a majority of voters are now voters of color.
if they vote democratic then that represents the change the democratic party in georgia has been predicting for the last five years in the state. >> isn't it also challenging because it's a high concentrated of white college educated voters so you get both of those. >> at the same time. >> woodruff: reminds us education is something else we'll watch out for tomorrow night, voters with and without a college education and how they divide. great to have all of you. amy, walter -- amy walter, andra gillespie, susan page, thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: join us tomorrow for our special live coverage. >> election day 2016, the less torque end to a long campaign. who will voters elect as the next president of the united states? which party will control congress? what else will we learn from the voters? join pbs "newshour" for special election night coverage, analysis you won't find anywhere
else. tuesday november 8, starting at 8:00, 7:00 central only on pbs. >> sreenivasan: in this campaign, the topic of refugees from war torn syria have been a political flashpoint-- we want to look at what it's been like for refugees themselves. in 2015, under 1,700 syrian refugees were re-settled in the united states. this year, that number has shot up to more than 12,000-- a significant increase, but few in comparison to canada, which has taken in 33,000 this year, or europe, which has absorbed hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the war at home. last year, special correspondent marcia biggs introduced us to one syrian family that arrived in the u.s. as part of that first group. she recently checked back in with them amid a difficult transition to life here, and sent us this report. >> reporter: a typical afternoon in this new jersey home-- mom in the kitchen, son reading on the sofa and preteen daughter chatting on her smartphone. it's a mundane reality compared
to the horror they've fled-- a warzone in syria, overcrowded refugee camps in jordan. we first met the darbi family last year. newly arrived, they were five of the roughly 1,700 syrians resettled in the u.s in 2015. living with the help of grants from the federal government and church world service, one of nine n.g.o.s organizations assisting refugee resettlement, helping them find housing and enroll in language classes. for husband and wife mohamed and amira it was the chance for a new life. their three children were starting the first week of school. hope was in the air. but today... >> ( translated ): i'm surprised that a year later, i'm still in the same place. in fact i feel that i've gone backwards. i feel like next year i might fail. they should have given us more time for school, so that we could learn the language. >> reporter: five months after their arrival, the financial
assistance ended and mohamed struggled to find a steady job. once a carpenter in syria, he is currently doing manual labor at a construction site, having abandoned language classes. without a car, he cycles to job sites and barely makes enough to afford this two bedroom apartment. six-year-old shaker sleeps in his parents' room. >> reporter: when was the last time you spoke with someone from church world service? >> ( translated ): it was a long time ago. in the office, they treated us as if we need special connections for a simple request. how am i going to ask them for a job? >> reporter: according to church world service, his frustration is typical of refugees who have high expectations and lack understanding of the concept of starting from the ground up. we spoke with sarah krause, director of programs. >> it's a challenge to find something in the refugee's chosen field and that's going to take a little more time. it also takes time to learn english. often times in families both the husband and the wife need to work in order to really support the family, just as is the case with american families.
we receive a very limited amount of money to provide those initial resettlement services. it's $2,025 per individual, that's not a lot of money to get someone started in the united states. >> reporter: just over 300 syrian refugees have arrived in new jersey in the last year. like the darbi family, most of them were resettled here in the shadow of new york's freedom tower. but some people argue that placing them here may have actually hurt their chances for integration. >> most of the syrian refugees that are coming into new jersey are being settled in either jersey city or elizabeth, which really doesn't have any syrian community there. >> reporter: mohamed khairullah is also a syrian refugee. born in aleppo, he was just a child in 1980 when his family fled a crackdown by bashar al assad's father hafez. he emigrated to the u.s. in 1991, settling in prospect park,
new jersey, about 20 miles from the darbis. he's been mayor here for over a decade. he believes that resettling refugees in arab neighborhoods like his would provide a support network, and make finding them the right job and getting them into english classes easier. >> most of them, you speak to them and they say, "listen, we want to work, we want to provide for our families. we don't want to go from one organization to another, asking for help, it's humiliating to us." these private organizations need to speak to us, need to communicate with us, need to let us know ahead of time when there is a refugee family coming in. so we could try to find a home for them in our areas. >> reporter: while the darbis say their neighbors are friendly, not one of them is arab and the family has very little interaction with them. do you have a support network? if there is an emergency who do you call? >> ( translated ): there is no one. >> reporter: the children are their ray of hope.
last year, then 11-year-old hajar and 13-year-old nabiha couldn't speak a lick of english. but this year... what's your favorite music, what do you dance to? >> "rolling in the deep." >> reporter: adele, you like adele? >> yeah. >> reporter: one other change we noticed? hajar began wearing a hijab, something she says she was proud to do when she turned 12 years old, and a decision her parents say she made on her own. >> ( translated ): i felt that she was still young, i told her maybe you should wait. but she insisted. >> reporter: do you know why she wanted to wear it earlier? >> ( translated ): maybe it was because, after she started school here in the states, she wanted to show people her culture and traditions. >> reporter: the girls say they've been bullied in school, often because of their religion. >> ( translated ): i didn't just wear the hijab because i have to. it was because kids at school were telling my sister to take off her hijab. they were telling her that this is america and we don't wear hijab here. a few weeks later i started wearing the hijab and the kids
at school started asking me "are you muslim, are you muslim?" and i said "yes. i am muslim. it's nobody's business but mine." >> reporter: even with these obstacles, the girls say they are happy in school, love their teachers, and their classes. hajar still wants to be a doctor, but nabiha says she wants to be an artist. do you feel like you're home here? >> yes, because our future is here, not in syria. >> reporter: those are very big words for a young girl, and for nabiha, who has more memories of syria, it's much more complicated. >> i don't know, this is a good country and i like it. if there is no war in syria, i will go back, but i will visit this country. i don't know in which country i would be better, because my family some of them in turkey, some in syria, and some in jordan. i want all of them in one country.
>> reporter: her english doesn't suffice to describe the painful separation of displacement. >> ( translated ): i am used to having them around ever since i was a child. if i can't see them, i don't think i can carry on in this life. every member of my family is in a different country. i can't even comprehend this. >> reporter: the family also arrived in one of the most politically polarizing times in recent u.s. history, with parts of that conflict surrounding both syrian refugees and islam. new jersey governor chris christie shutting the door on syrian refugees in his state, donald trump calling for a temporary ban on all muslims entering the u.s. and making so- called "extreme vetting" of refugees a campaign issue. >> and we now have them in our
country, and wait til you see, there's going to be the great trojan horse. >> ( translated ): he's talking about a plan that he doesn't know anything about. on the contrary, we were vetted for a whole year. it took a whole year of vetting before we were allowed to come here. does he want a ten-year vetting process? the war would be over by then! we didn't come to america with any bad intentions. we came here asking for safety. if our country weren't completely destroyed, we wouldn't have left. >> reporter: how do those comments make you feel? >> ( translated ): i feel like an innocent man, in jail for a crime i didn't commit. i feel frustrated. i keep asking myself, is it possible that some people here might think this way? when i think of americans, they are innovators, they reached the moon. but with this type of thinking, you can't reach the moon. >> reporter: so have we disappointed you? >> ( translated ): no, i'm telling you, the american people did not disappoint me. but, as the saying goes, the politicians are throwing gasoline on a fire. >> reporter: despite the
difficulties the darbis remain grateful, even hospitable. >> ( translated ): the children have become safe and secure and now they have a future. it means they are living a normal life. i'm beyond exhausted. i was expecting better. but when it comes to normal life, it's wonderful. >> reporter: a normal life and a hope for a better tomorrow. for the pbs newshour, i'm marcia biggs in jersey city, new jersey. >> sreenivasan: since our interview, church world service has reached out to both mayor khairullah and the darbi family in an attempt to improve the process of integration. >> woodruff: finally tonight, on this last evening before election day, we hear from the next generation of voters about the issues they care about most. we challenged our network of student reporting labs to record young people voicing the concerns closest to their hearts. here is a sample of their responses. the project is called "letters
to the next president." >> both candidates should consider affordable tuition plans because no one should be deprived their right to further their education. my mother works a second job just to help pay for my college fees, so i'm working extra hard in school so i can receive as many scholarships as possible. >> i would like our next president to talk about environmental issues in a way that actually makes us feel inclined to do something about them. it's difficult to put ourselves in a place where we actually understand the negative impact that we're creating with the pollution that we make with things that we think are necessities-- like cars or factories-- when in reality those things are not going to matter at all if we don't have a healthy enough planet to live on. >> i want the next president to focus on the immigration crisis. many people are living with fear of being deported and having their families destroyed. the next president should find a path toward citizenship for immigrants who have been longtime residents of our country. instead of being treated like criminals, they should be rewarded for the positive contributions they are making in our economy and society.
>> what i want to tell the next president is that we need to bring god back into our government. the term "separation of church and state" means that, in according to letters written by thomas jefferson, that the government shall not interfere with church teachings. this is important because we've taken it out of context saying that the church has no right to be in the government. when god was in our government, our country was truly good. no democrat or republican can fix it, only god can. >> and i want the next president to know that women deserve equal pay to men. this is america and we are known for our freedom. women are earning more college and graduate degrees than men, but are still earning 79 cents to the dollar. this is our time to be paid equally, and it was our time a long time ago. >> i believe that homelessness is something that we need to address in the upcoming election. i believe that we need to help people who have lower privileges get up off of their feet because it's not always their fault why they made it their in the first place. it could have been something like a spike in taxes that caused them to lose their home
and end up on the streets like i did. while i was on the streets, i realized basic necessities like food and water were almost impossible to come by, and people treated you as if you were a lesser human being. so we need to come together and whatever excess we have we have to use to bring those people up off their feet so they can be a useful member of our communities. >> i would like to tell the next president that there are 415,000 children all over america in foster care systems. when they exit the foster care system, 50% of them will be unemployed, 50% of them will be homeless and 33% will have to go on public assistance. >> i want the next president to help protect children like me from violence that has been going around our nation. going to school every day is hard for us thinking that we are unsafe and our lives can be threatened at any moment. >> so mrs. chief executive or mr. head of state, if you want to get these votes, then you've
got to be the one to make this change. give us peace of mind and equality if you are going to step onto this grander stage, because i'm tired of being scared to walk the streets as blood and bullets rain. what's to stop another brother from taking a gunshot to the head or through his chest? dear america, i'm another statistic, depending on which way you see me. you built him a statue, but your law enforcement soils what he was dreaming. there's a whole monument to him because he signed off for our freedom. clearly y'all don't see the greatness that they were seeing. but i digress. i wish you both the best. if we give you the keys to our world, you gotta promise us true freedom. truly yours, the black nation, the people you should be healing. >> woodruff: wow, let's hope the candidates are listening to all these young people. you can see more of the letters- - over 100 of them-- at studentreportinglabs.org.
the project is a partnership with the national writing project and local pbs station kqed in california. also online right now: we have much more election coverage for you. including a guide to when, where and what to watch for as results come in. and, have you followed every twist and turn of this election? take our super quiz to see how well you remember the 2016 race. all that and more is on our website: pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: and again, to our honor roll of american service personnel killed in iraq and the afghanistan conflict. we add them as their deaths are made official and photographs become available. here, in silence, are five more.
>> sreenivasan: and that's the >> sreenivasan: later tonight on charlie rose, chris christie breaks his silence on the bridgegate scandal. that's the news for tonight. i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. please join us online and again here tomorrow for our special live election day coverage. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and go vote if you haven't already! >> major funding for the pbs
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