tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN November 5, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
floor of her sister's pickup truck. by the way, no one has claimed the other winning ticket purchased in new york. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me here today. let's go now to "the lead" with jake tapper. it starts right now. twas the night before the election, and all through the house, democrats were stirring, asking, "do you think the polls are right this time?" "the lead" starts right now. with control of congress on the line, president trump continuing his scorched earth campaign swing, playing to fears and even admitting his focus in the migrant caravan is all about rallying his base. with just hours to go, brand-new cnn polls giving us a possible glimpse of where the balance of power might be decided. and who will decide where this country could be headed? plus, dead heat. in the biggest swing state of them all, a race that could decide the control of the senate, filling the airwaves
with commercials, swampier than the everglades. welcome to "the lead," i'm jake tapper. this time tomorrow, we will be closing in on revealing the first results in the 2018 midterm elections. so far, at least 31 million early or absentee ballots have been cast in the first nationwide test of the trump presidency. at this point in the last mid terms in 2014, that number was only about 19 million. president trump himself has been advising supporters to vote as if he is on the ballot. it's an attempt to defy history and keep republican control of congress. to do so, political newcomer, president trump, is throwing out the conventional playbook and bringing back his own. except now with less substance, and more fear. >> they all say, speak about the economy. speak about the economy. well, we have the greatest economy in the history of our country. but sometimes it's not as
exciting. >> what president trump apparently does find exciting is fomenting fear and doling out falsehoods. here's the president falsely suggesting that democrats invited this caravan. >> and i think it's a good thing, maybe, that they did it. did they energize our base, or what? >> last night, in tennessee, the president rattled off a series of false claims about the leadership of the democratic party and their agenda. all within 60 seconds. >> they want to raise your taxes by double and even by triple. they want to take away your health care. they want to impose socialism on our country. democrats want to invite caravan after caravan of illegal aliens to pour into our country. >> so that's false, false, false
and false. there was once a time when politicians could be shamed away from blatant lies. but that time seems a distant memory. the president paints a picture of democratic control of congress that is as nonsense california as it is dystopian with a healthy wallop of racial division, talking about marauding hoards of undocumented latinos, causing the country to become overrun with criminals. >> even you in montana, you're not going to be able to walk around. you'll be locking those doors, you'll be locking those windows. >> right. the president's latest ad is so full of falsehoods, so racially incendiary, not only cnn, but nbc and facebook and fox news -- fox news are refusing to air it. contemplate that for a second. now, as a purely political matter, it may be that this ploy works in rallying the president's base and saving some house and senate seats. but republican officials in washington are worried about the
impact on also serving to rally democratic voters and turn off swing voters in those key suburban districts. now, some republicans hope the strong economic numbers are what the public will ultimately pay attention to. unemployment at 3.7%. a 49-year low. hispanic unemployment at its lowest rate ever. wages at a relatively robust growth after years of stagnant paychecks. republicans hope voters focus on that and not on the normalizing of demonization of undocumented immigrants, bald faced lying, violations of basic decency. in a matter of hours, the american people will get the final say. cnn's kaitlan collins is in ohio, where president trump finished one of his final three rallies before election day. and kaitlan, you're learning that white house officials have advised the president to brace for republican losses in the house. >> reporter: that's right, jake. inside the white house, they do
not feel confident at all about keeping the house. and they're trying to temper the president's expectations ahead of tomorrow. now, president trump has been insiste insistent that these mid terms are not a referendum on him and his agenda. but he told the crowd here in cleveland, and i'm quoting him now, in a sense i am on the ticket. ♪ president trump delivering his closing argument. in a final three-state midwest mad dash before voters head to the polls. >> i think we're doing great in the house. i think we're doing great in the senate. but who knows? >> reporter: despite what republicans had hoped for, the president's final message has been light on the booming economy. >> america now has the hottest economy on earth. >> reporter: but heavy on immigration. >> that's an invasion. >> reporter: as he continues to paint a dark picture of a caravan of migrants still hundreds of miles away from the u.s./mexico border. >> these are rough, rough people in many cases. >> reporter: those remarks
coming as nbc, fox news and facebook have all decided to stop running a controversial ad paid for by the trump campaign and widely criticized as racist, because it ties an illegal immigrant convicted of murdering police officers to the caravan. >> dangerous, illegal criminals like cop killer luis bracamontes. >> a lot of things are offensive. your questions are offensive, a lot of times. >> reporter: even though he says the mid terms aren't a referendum on him, trump urging his supporters to mobilize. >> in a certain way, i am on the ballot. whether we consider it or not, the press is very much considering a referendum on me and us as a movement. >> reporter: the president visiting three more states he won in 2016 today, starting in ohio, then on to indiana and missouri. joined by right-wing fire brands, rush limbaugh and sean
hannity. ramping up attacks on democrats in the final days. >> democrats want to invite caravan after caravan. >> reporter: as he goes head-to-head with former president, barack obama. >> they're telling us that the single-most grave threat to america is a bunch of, like, poor, impoverished, broke, hungry refugees a thousand miles away. >> reporter: obama didn't mention trump by name. but he didn't have to. >> unlike some people, i don't just make stuff up when i'm talking. i've got facts. to back me up. >> reporter: with voters set to deliver their verdict on his first two years in office, sources tell cnn, white house aides have braced to the president for a loss in the house but feel hopeful they can hold on to the senate. president trump is hedging his bets. >> the difference is, i can't campaign for all of those house
members. there's so many of them. >> reporter: now, jake, president trump just wrapped up after an hour here in ohio. he's going on to indiana, then missouri. he's been campaigning nonstop the last two weeks, two or three rallies a day. but i'm told by someone inside the white house, he has nothing on his schedule tomorrow. he's going to sit back and watch and see if all this campaigning has paid off, jake. >> all right, kaitlan collins at the trump rally. thank you so much. let's talk about this with our experts. and scott jennings, politico is reporting that house speaker, paul ryan, called the president this weekend and begged him to focus on the economy instead of these fears of the caravan that he is stoking. obviously, speaker ryan concerned that this might turn off some key voters in swing districts. >> sure. the suburban house districts, where people are worried about maybe in october the stock market going down, and they're worried about the state of the economy, they want to see the president focus on the good news in the economy. i think, frankly, the president had it right a few weeks ago when he was saying, democrats
create mobs, recognitipublicans jobs. i thought they had it right, and he sort of abandoned it after a few days. but it was -- i think it was really working out there. we'll tell you that his immigration issue is certainly potent in some areas, and the reason i know it is because democrats are also using it in the middle of the country. but for the suburban house districts, i think paul ryan has it right. shoring up the suburban white collar republicans on the economy is really where the republican campaign ought to be. >> so cnn, kirsten, fox, facebook and nbc have all pulled the racially charged web video from the air. all full of falsehoods. the president was asked about the ad and whether or not it was offensive before he left washington this afternoon. take a listen to his response. >> we have a lot of ads. and they certainly are effective. based on the numbers that we're seeing. a lot of things are offensive. your questions are offensive. >> so his response seemed -- by
the way, josh's questions are not offensive. but the point seemed to be, it's effective. forget about whether or not -- >> exactly. and i think the fact that fox news pulled it tells us a lot about it. because they're so in the tank for him. and so i think he's doing this because he thinks it's effective and he seems to have made a calculation probably they have lost the suburban white women. and so he's going to go towards -- educated women and so he's going towards his base. i have to say, he sort of knew what he was doing last time. so we have to wait and see. when we see the polls. he was going to, if history is any guide, probably not do very well, anyway, to start with. and so he seems to have made a calculation that he's going to try and shore up his base where he can. >> so we did see a similar play in the virginia governor's race last year, ralph northum, the current governor, the democrat, against ed gillespie. ed gillespie closed out his argument with fears of undocumented immigrants and the like. it didn't work.
you know, people came out to vote for ed, but it turned off many more voters in districts in northern virginia, like where you live. >> right. >> than it did drive up the base. >> right. and virginia is a purple -- more purple state, where those areas of northern virginia, you have to worry about that kind of voter. and i would say also that the ad spending all over the country, if you look at republican ads, reflects the fact that they don't want to be talking about this principally. the only places where it dominates ads are sort of a bit on texas and the border, a bit in arizona and a couple california districts, right? where this is really an issue on the ground. republicans do lead on the issue of border security, and are more even with democrats on the issue of immigration in general. so it's not a terrible place to be talking about something, if you could do it in a delicate way. but i think, ironically, the kavanaugh fight and some of the behavior from democrats, i think actually charged up some republicans and more moderate republicans in those ex urban and suburban districts and this is the kind of thing that's perfectly calculated to make them stay home again. >> do you agree with that? >> yeah. i think that -- i've been in
virginia, knocking on doors with paul begala at lunch. i've been to cincinnati, williamburg, new jersey. and you look in these excerpt suburb districts, underwood and right outside of chicago. and what you're starting to see are people are turned off by the rhetoric. and that's the debate that keeps going back and forth. civility and the rhetoric. and because the president is ending on this message and because the president is not talking about jobs. look, we can have an argument about who created this economy, when did it start. but he actually has a message that says the economy is still here. the wages are still growing. unemployment rates are still decreasing. but he would rather talk about brown people demonizing this country, and that is turning people off. people are growing weary of it. ask especially where you have college-educated, white voters in the suburbs. and that's where democrats are going to make up the ground. and that's where democrats are going to take back the house. it's going to be a lot more difficult for joe donnelly and claire mccaskill in the united states senate. but this closing message, it's trumpism. he's never changed.
and this is a referendum on trumpism. and it's two different parts of the country clashing on tomorrow. >> i have to say, this is a particularly bad thing that he's doing. but he's done so many other things that i just have to wonder if he wasn't doing this, would it really change that much with those voters? >> no, i think that is a question. whether this is baked in, and people think that was going to happen regardless. i think that's a real issue. >> unless you think, as you seem to be the argument you were making a few minutes ago, which is that motivation and enthusiasm depends on what's going on in that moment. >> i think on the margins, it is possible that what i felt with some republicans that i think had not been in the heads in the game a couple weeks ago during the kavanaugh hearings sort of turned on to the races and then, like i said, this seems perfectly suited to make them go, really? is this what we're doing? >> you were talking about how it might help in some places. >> sure. >> you're not endorsing it, but saying it might help in some places. you're from kentucky. one of the big races i'm going to be looking at tomorrow night, the polls close at 6:00. >> yeah. >> is right outside lexington or the lexington area, rather.
andy barber and mcgrath. do you think this helps the republican? this debate in the lexington area or cut the other way, or do you know? >> you know, that race is so close. the final "new york times" poll had it 44-44 there. there's not really been that much other public polling. both campaigns will tell you it's on a knife's edge. i talked to andy bar a little bit today. he feels good about the rural areas of the district. it's got urban fayette county, lexington. and the rest is fairly rural. so you've got a lot of different and diverse populations. the trick to winning is to get the rural vote energized and maximize it. that's why amy mcgrath brought joe biden into owingsville, trying to tamp down what andy is trying to do to run up the score. i think that -- and the president came and went to richmond, which is not in lexington, either. so both campaigns understand, the whole game is whether andy can run up the score in rural america. and i'll be honest, right now outside of lexington, what donald trump says is still what goes. and barr knows it.
>> although who knows what the standard is in terms of the effect this will have. but the latest cnn poll finds the president approval rating is at 39%. which is a record low going back to president eisenhower. 7 in 10 voters say they will be sending a message to president trump in this election. 28% of likely voters said their vote would be a message of support, compared to 4 2% who said their vote would send opposition. 39% is something of an outlier. some of the other polls released have him in the low 40s, not the high 30s. but still, that's not where you want to be. >> that's an albatross. if you're a candidate running a race -- if you're karen handle in the outskirts of atlanta, that's an albatross around your neck having to go out and campaign and carry the message and the proverbial water for somebody who has a 39% approval rating who goes on national tv and lies about everything. and now we're talking about rhetoric. there are a few other things that have happened that we have not mentioned. you had the two black individuals in kentucky who were
killed because they were black and then we had the synagogue shooting in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. and we also had the pipe bombs. and so when you look at all of these things as a collection, they're not events, as the president wants to call them, to stop momentum. that is just the terror that is kind of baked into our country right now, and the tragedy in all of those isms we're trying to reject. so there are a lot of people who look at this race as not just rejecting trumpism, but rejecting anti-semitism, bigotry, xenophobia, and all of those things that i'm not saying he is these things, but all of those things who somehow find a way to get close to him and find a home in his message. >> all right. we'll have more on that coming up. he's a republican running for governor in georgia, also in charge of overseeing elections in the state. and he just lobbed a grenade into this closely watched race. stay with us.
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took to learn how she can share more moments with her daughter. just one free hearing test could help you hear more... laughter...music...life... call now for your free hearing test from an industry leader: miracle-ear. into an election where allegations of voter suppression have loomed large, republican gubernatorial candidate and georgia secretary of state brian kemp, a man charged with overseeing the state's elections, including his own, threw a curveball, announcing an investigation into the georgia democratic party, claiming without any real evidence that democrats tried to hack the state's voter registration file. now, democrats say kemp's claims are completely without merit, that a voter brought to their attention a vulnerability in the system, and they told kemp about it, only to see him turn around and use it for dirty politics, they say. cnn has the e-mails kemp is pointing to as evidence, and they do seem to back what democrats are saying, showing georgia democrats passing along concerns to his office, not
saying that they tried to hack anything. cnn's kaylee hartung is joining me now. and all of this unfolding on the eve of election day. is this impacting the final day of campaigning? >> reporter: not really, jake. the drama continues in this campaign, and sure, both candidates use today to continue to appeal to their polarized bases with the rhetoric and responses to this controversy. but otherwise both campaigns telling me they tried to stick to the issues, that they know will motivate voters to go to the polls in this deadlocked race. in the final hours of one of the most contentious and high-profile campaigns of the election cycle, a political firestorm rages. republican candidate for georgia governor and sitting secretary of state, brian kemp, requesting an investigation into the georgia democratic party for a failed attempt at hack of the state's voter registration system. >> i'm not worried about how it looks. i'm doing my job. this is how we would handle any investigation when something like this comes up. >> reporter: kemp's office has
not provided any evidence of a hack or even an attempted hack. but they say a chain of e-mails between state democratic party operatives and cyber security experts discussing a massive vulnerability in the system sparked the investigation. those e-mails obtained by cnn indicate that rather than taking part in any alleged hack, the georgia democrats have simply passed along information regarding potential security flaws from a georgia voter to a private cyber security firm, which in turn shared its concerns with kemp's office. his democratic challenger, stacy abrams, defending her party. >> it's wrong to call it an investigation. it's a witch hunt that was created by someone who is abusing his power. >> reporter: the democratic state party denies any wrongdoing and says they have not been contacted by law enforcement. the georgia bureau of investigation today say they're opening a probe. abrams saying this is a political stunt to deflect from potential vulnerabilities in the voting system. >> brian kemp was notified there was yet another flaw in the election security system. instead of owning up to it, taking responsibility and
seeking a way to fix the flaw, he instead decided to blame democrats. >> reporter: punches thrown by the candidates and their most prominent supporters. >> if stacy abrams gets in, your second amendment is -- [ booing ] is -- gone. >> reporter: if elected, abrams would not have the power to change a constitutional amendment. kemp refusing to step down from his role as the state's top election official. democrats calling this a conflict of interest, and claiming kemp pushed voter suppression. >> stacy's opponent has already been caught multiple times. [ booing ] >> don't boo! vote! >> reporter: the star power that's inundated georgia unprecedented. so too are the early voting numbers. georgians have already cast more than 2 million early ballots, more than twice the amount to this point in the last midterm election. records have been broken at the polls and in fund-raising.
but this race remains too close to call. jake, something we need to keep in mind tomorrow night, a hitch here, being there is a third-party candidate running in this race. if no one receives a majority of the votes cast, all this drama will carry us to a december 4th runoff. >> a runoff! the devil, you say. kaylee hartung, thank you so much. are democrats in good position to gain a political check on president trump? the latest snapshot on the race to control congress, next. bond s with lower expense ratios than comparable vanguard funds. and we're now offering zero expense ratio index funds. that's value you'll only find at fidelity. ♪ one thing leads another that's value you'll only find at fidelity. the midterm elections, not as a democrat or a republican --
i've been both -- but as an american who is deeply concerned with the direction of our nation. like you, i've watched the recent bombings and mass shootings with growing alarm. political violence tears at the heart of our democracy. and violence against a religious group, in a house of god, tears at the heart of our humanity. at these moments of great national tragedy, we look to washington to lead... to offer solutions... to bring us together... and to appeal to all of us, as americans. we are a nation of builders and doers. we know that there are no easy answers or quick fixes. but we expect a plan. we expect to be called to a higher purpose. we expect to work together. i don't hear that call coming from washington these days... do you? in fact, i hear the opposite -- shouting and hysterics instead of calm reasoning. pointed fingers instead of open hands. division instead of unity. we see this most dramatically
with the fear-mongering over immigration. americans are neither naive nor heartless. we know that we can be a nation of immigrants while also securing our borders. sadly, our greatest threats today can be found from within our borders, from a government that is constantly on the verge of shutting down over partisan bickering, that is accumulating record debt, and failing to address our most urgent problems. i've never been a particularly partisan person, i've supported candidates from both sides. but at this moment, we must send a signal to republicans in washington that they have failed to lead, failed to find solutions, and failed to bring us together. that's why i'm voting democratic. america is the greatest nation on earth and for all our sakes we must start becoming the united states of america once again. thank you. independence usa pac is responsible for the content of this advertising.
before election results start rolling in, new cnn polls may -- may give us an early indication of what we might see tomorrow night. let's bring in cnn's phil mattingly. phil, start with the new poll for a generic congressional ballot. obviously policy didn't quite hold true in 2016, but history might back up the results of this one. >> this is a clear democratic advantage. you look at the new cnn ssrs poll today, had democrats on a generic ballot leading by 13 points. that's a sizeable number. in 2010, there was a republican wave and republicans were up by 10 or 11 points within the margin of error. there are other polls, the nbc "wall street journal" poll have
it around seven. there is a difference that matters. if it's around seven, democrats can probably still win the house. if it's at 13, you're talking about a potential wave type of issue. what i'm being told, it's somewhere in the middle. you can see the numbers clearly give democrats an advantage. the question, what kind of advantage? >> how much of this vote is about president trump? >> the interesting thing, first off, look at the top line approval ratings. right now a poll of polls, cnn and other entities, 43% approval rating. this raises alarm bells if you're a republican. this number started to tick up to 45, 46. that matters, particularly in some of those house suburban districts. 43%, that's a warning sign, particularly if it continues to drop. take a look historically at what we're looking at here. you go through past presidents and where they were going into mid terms, traditionally. first-term presidents, first midterm, they take a hit. 2010, president obama got wiped out. where was he sitting? right around 46%.
>> okay. >> around the area of where president trump is now, higher. pl bill clinton, 1994, another wipeout. >> i'm old enough to remember both of these nights, by the way. they were bloodbaths. >> i was around. >> you were alive. >> i was covering 2010. >> okay. okay. >> no, but you see these numbers do have a correct correlation. these why people are keyed in right now. >> when the polls start closing and votes start coming in, what are you looking at? which house race. >> let's talk about the things that are actually important when people start voting. there are a couple barometers. kentucky's sixth district. this shouldn't technically be a close race, except for amy mcgrath, a top tier democratic candidate, raised millions of dollars, retired fighter pilot that democrats seized on. this is one first race we'll start seeing returns on later in the night. pay attention to this as a sign of what might come later. i want to move over a little bit into virginia. now, there is some -- one clear
pickup in virginia. but another race i'm keyed on. we talk about tossup races here. this is virginia's seventh district. dave bratt won by two points in 2016. democrats acknowledge, this is a reach for them. but jake, if this starts going down, you're talking about suburbs, particularly in the richmond area. this could mean a very, very big night for democrats. and there is another one i want to key on, as well. and that's new jersey's third district. this is tom macarthur's district. if you recognize this name, he was the moderate republican, served as a key deal-maker and the house effort to repeal and replace obamacare. won his district handily in 2016. he is now in a very hard-fought race. white collar district, a lot of retirees. if this race goes democrat, it might be a very big majority-making night. let's talk with my experts. i want to start with the democrats or the left-leaners on the panel here. and my question is pretty simple.
do you trust the polls? do you have faith? >> no. i was here near tears in 2016. and so no, we don't trust the polls at all. if you would have asked any of us, based on polls and the data we had, hillary clinton would be president of the united states and we would have the senate and the house would be in a different state. so, no, we don't trust the polls. but what i do trust, though, is the quality of candidate that we have. from -- >> democrats. >> democrats. to andy kim in the district we were just discussing. you go all the way down to arkansas and the congressional districts with clark tuckerment. and you have mayors like frank scott, andrew gillum, amazing and outstanding candidates from the mayoral races all the way up, giving us a chance and that energy. so when you look at a frank scott running for mayor or andrew gillum running for governor, they're going to pull other candidates along with them. >> do you trust the polls? >> no. i don't. but -- well, how -- here's the thing. it's true the national polls were essentially right with hillary clinton. >> won by almost 3 million votes.
>> but the polls were very misleading and more misleading than normal. there's always a couple states that are tough to poll. i feel in the past i was always able to look at the polls and get a very good sense of what was going to happen. there would be a surprise here and there. but that's also -- the question is, the presidential was such a unique situation with him losing the popular vote and winning the electoral college, not quite the same dynamic. i have a lot of caution. i'm wondering even with the polls, it's not just that democrats -- i mean that the republicans could end upholding the house or something that nobody is expecting. also are the democrats being sort of under polled. is there more support for them than we think? >> one of the big questions about 2016, and holds true in 2018, which is does trump under poll? are there people who support president trump but don't want to admit it to a pollster or maybe don't have much more than disdain for a pollster? >> and maybe they're not answering the phone. this project that the "new york times" upshot is doing, which
has been really interesting. these live polls in all these districts. look at the number of people they're having to call to get 4 or 500 responses. 25, 30, 35,000 calls to get 400 people to answer the phone and answer a poll? i think also, they're going to be people in the republican and democratic parties that never vote in mid terms that show up in this thing. so how would you know who to poll? so although i think the national samples are easier to get right, the lower the jurisdiction, the fewer people in a jurisdiction, it's much, much harder to get something you could hang your hat on. >> so do you trust the polls? do you think that the democrats are likely going to have a good night? >> i think history saysthat they should have a good night. i think it may be slightly less good, and the only reason i'm thinking that is that this republican enthusiasm number, and, again, this relies on trusting the polls. but the republican enthusiasm number hasn't dipped as much as one would expect. if you sort of watched and listened to the conventional wisdom alone. now, that doesn't mean that democrats aren't really, really excited. they are. but republicans have been closer
to parity the entire time than one would expect if you were just kind of -- casually paying attention. i do think that that matters in a midterm election. so they may come out more than we expect. >> and one of the things i don't think pollsters are getting ready are millennials and generation z voters. we have been pathetic when it comes to voting in mid terms. to your point -- >> you're a millennial. >> i'm a millennial. aren't you a millennial? >> that's sweet. that's sweet. >> you have about 18 to 29 is coming out in these record-breaking numbers over 2.4 million have already voted to date, and it was 800,000 total in 2014. you have my age group, my peers, who are coming out. but, again, we're coming out because of candidates. and i think the polls -- i have never, ever been polled. in the last 16 of years, of me being voting age of this society, i have never, ever, been polled. i've also never had a land line. i do know they call cell phones sometimes. i don't know any of my friends that have been polled so i know you're missing some energy. where it breaks, i have no idea. >> i would just like to say some of my best friends are
pollsters. >> we all love pollsters. let's talk about actual votes. early and absentee turnouts, actual votes, have been high, compared to this point of obama's first term as of this morning, more than 31 million votes have been cast for tomorrow's election. 2014, obama's second midterm, 19.3 million. is president trump, do you think, scott, is he the biggest driver of this, both for and against? >> yeah. everybody is always worried about low voter turnout in america. who knew that all we needed was donald trump to fix american democracy? everybody wants to vote! everybody wants to vote. and so, yeah. i mean, i think there's a lot of republicans that want to turn out and make sure he can push his agenda. and i think there are democrats who have been waiting to vote since the polls closed november 2016. >> yeah. >> so i think we're going to see a record turnout for the midterm, the early vote analysis shows it. and you know what? good for america. the more we vote, the better off we are. >> absolutely. i want to look at one other thing, which is the gender breakdown, the cnn poll conducted by ssrs. likely voters choice for
congress. women choose democrats, 62% to 35%. men, it's 48% to 49%. now, again, this is a poll, and if you believe it, great. if you don't, great. but if this is true, that's rough parity with men on the generic ballot. and that would suggest that democrats will have a good night, if you believe this poll. >> that's the problem. i mean, so, yeah, that's true. i think it goes without saying that if he starts, as the polls are saying, he's cratering white suburban educated women. if that's true, then that would say the republicans are in trouble. >> everyone stick around. it's got everything. it has a key senate race, a governor's race, some important house races. i'm trying to do stephan. do you know which state is home to the most campaign ad spending? stay with us. ♪
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we're back with our politics lead. and a note of sympathy for our brothers and sisters in florida today, where the television airwaves are bombarded with nastiness amidst competitive house races and senate and gubernatorial races locked in dead heats. and it doesn't matter if you're watching cnn or the news or soap operas or your favorite crime drama. if you turn on a tv in florida, this is what you get. >> in the swamp of tallahassee, he's a legend. >> rick scott. >> bill nelson, washington democrats' old reliable puppet. >> rick scott, another shady millionaire who doesn't look out for you. >> career politician, bill
nelson, doesn't think the rules apply to him. >> question, how did rick scott get rich? answer, ripping off medicare. >> 46 years in politics, but nelson has never worked a real job. >> man, i need some purell. and that's just a few of the ads running in the state senate race, just the senate race. when you combine the house races and the governor's race. just the house and senate, ad spending in florida is nearly double the spending in any other state this election cycle. topping out at nearly $137 million, according to media analysis group, cmag. ryan, you're in beautiful downtown tallahassee. you've been talking to voters. how sick are they of the nonstop always almost negative ads? >> reporter: yeah, jake, there's no doubt that voters in florida are ready for this election to be over. in fact, at lunch this afternoon at a deli near the state capital, the main topic of conversation here was college football. not politics. but despite all of that fatigue, you do get the sense that voters here in florida are ready for
that their voices to be heard in this crucial election. battleground florida. two high-profile races with historic implications. polls show a democratic edge in both races but still up for grabs. the democrat nominee for governor, andrew gillum, the current mayor of tallahassee, has the opportunity to become florida's first african-american governor and the first democrat since the late '90s. >> we gave voters something to actually get out there and support. not just by tearing people down and dividing us based off of superficial differences. >> reporter: his opponent, ron desantis, is hoping to keep the gop gubernatorial winning streak alive, pumping support from president trump and hammering gillum over an fbi investigation into tallahassee city government. >> he's getting his pockets lined, he's getting illegal gifts that he shouldn't have had. >> reporter: the stakes are just as high in the race for u.s. senate. the current governor, rick scott, offers the chance to flip the seat into republican hands. he spent millions on ads,
tagging the democratic incumbent, bill nelson, as out of touch. >> 40 years later, a lot of things change, but bill nelson is still in washington. >> reporter: nelson has countered by arguing scott has used the governor's mansion to pad his financial portfolio ahead of the interests of floridans. >> newspapers of this state have said that he is a walking conflict of interest. >> reporter: more money has been spent on florida than any state in america. nearly $137 million and over 175,000 tv spots, just on the federal racetrack. florida voters inundated with a barrage of negative ads that accuse gillum of being corrupt -- >> is andrew gillum caught up in corruption? >> reporter: and hammer desantis for opposing a requirement for insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions. >> he let insurance companies deny them coverage. >> the candidates have now retreated to their base and the
polarizing national figures who support them. desantis and scott campaigning twice with president trump. >> he runs one of the worst one of the biggest problem cities anywhere in the country. he's not doing a job. you don't want to have him running florida. >> reporter: and gillum and nelson welcoming president obama to a big rally in democratic vote-rich south florida. >> let me tell you something. republicans can't hear you boo, but they can hear you vote. >> reporter: and the best indicator that we have of just how high the level of enthusiasm here in florida is the early vote totals. and so far, they are big, outpacing the numbers in the last midterm of 2014, more than 6 million floridans have already cast their ballots. traditionally, republicans have been better at getting out the early vote. but as of this morning, 25,000 more democrats than republicans have already voted in this election. jake? >> all right, ryan nobles in tallahassee. thanks so much. let's talk about the senate with my panel.
what senate races are you -- pick one. senate race you're keeping an eye on. >> there's two critical ones for republicans. >> can't do it. >> arizona and nevada. i'll stick with arizona, and someone else can take nevada. if republicans win either one, it locks out the democrats. i think the polling strength in arizona for the republicans hasn't been as good as nevada. but the early vote analysis, according to the republicans on the ground there, is much better than it is in nevada. governor ducey, the republican, is running strong. he's going to win big. and i'm told his organization is cranking for mcsally. also the republicans believe there may be some cannibalization of high propensity voters going on for the democrats. so they think they have more voters left to turn out on election day. so i'll say advantage -- slight advantage republicans in arizona. because if they win that one, it would make it very hard for the democrats to peel away the majority. >> it's an open seat. it's -- jeff flake is retiring. what are you looking at, kirsten? >> i'm looking at mccaskill -- claire mccaskill of missouri.
honestly, i think it's kind of a miracle she's where she is. and it's a dead heat right now. extremely red state. a state that trump won -- he won 57% of the state. he's popular there. and she's still keeping a pretty good candidate in check. and so it's not like last time where she ran against todd akin, who had made the comments about legitimate rape. she has a real serious candidate to run against who trump is supporting. so i think if she manages to pull this out, it's going to send the message to the democrats to have a good night. >> how does she do it? you're right. this is a state obama won never. and she's a democrat. >> she's a great politician. for one thing. and i think that, you know, she's distanced herself a little bit from what she calls the crazy democrats. she specifically was talking about people who are interrupting people's dinners and screaming at them. so i think she's willing to play to the crowd, for sure. but on the issues, she's been hitting him on obamacare and health care. because he was, you know -- he was part of the lawsuit against
obamacare. and he's been hitting her on kavanaugh. so it will be interesting to see which of those issues, you know, end up being the ones that make a difference. >> what are you looking at? >> i'm going to take florida, because it's our karmaic destiny. big, diverse, a microcosm of the united states and politics. by the way, the fact that college football is the number one topic of discussion in that state makes me think better of florida. go, dogs. but this is a really expensive race. it's a very close race. florida man versus florida man. and i think -- nelson has gillum to thank on the governor's race side, because uncharacteristically, the senate race has taken a back seat to it. and democrats are excited. and as you see in the early numbers for early vote, not only that but in the primaries, a huge uptick in democratic votes, so they have been taking that enthusiasm and turning it into votes. and you're seeing that in real ways. doesn't mean republicans will necessarily lose. but that's what i'm watching.
>> rick scott has never lost an election. he's run twice for governor and won both times. >> and he's a competent governor and people because of this most recent storm, numbers are fairly good in dealing with that. so that obviously matters. and i would say, there may have been a shift in this race, because a couple weeks ago, nelson was saying, why is he not campaigning, which i thought was a real losing message when the guy is dealing with a really serious hurricane. but i think the race has shifted since then in nelson's favor. >> you think nelson has the edge. >> i don't know if he has the edge. but shifted back that way. >> what are you keeping an eye on? >> indiana. if we're able to indiana and missouri, the wave is real. if we win one, then i think we can have a good night. joe donnelly is running a hyper local race, as we will call it. scott will say he is running away from -- >> build the wall, extend the trump tax cuts. i mean, hey -- >> the president helped out by going to gary, indiana -- >> president obama. >> the president helped out by coming to gary, indiana, because you have to make sure that those voters in gary turn out in
indianapolis. turn out those african-american and diverse voters. you only asked for one, but i will also say that a lot of democrats are watching new jersey. it's a race that should not be close, but it's very close. and that is one of the races where democrats are playing on defense. the entire time. because we have the weakest candidate that we've had in recent history running for united states senate. >> menendez, who had some legal troubles. but he was -- it was a hung jury, i believe is what happened. let's go back to missouri for one second. because president trump has gone there. second stop in missouri in five days. take a listen to what claire mccaskill just told cnn about president trump's visit and the effect it might have on the election. >> i do think that it swings both ways. the president coming here. there are a lot of president trump supporters that president trump can motivate. but there's also a lot of people that him being here motivates folks that want to vote for me. >> you know what i love about
election season is when you hear people really just holding in their real feelings, just to be as diplomatic as possible. i think we saw -- just yesterday, when i asked stacy abrams, who is running for governor of georgia, about some of the more controversial, let's say, things that have been said. and she, going right for those suburban white women, those educated -- college educated white women, held back on her criticism. which was smart. i'm not criticizing. that's smart. you want to appeal to the voters you need. and that's claire mccaskill doing the same thing. >> she's a great candidate. and i think scott said this earlier. donald trump is the ultimate gotv for the democrats. >> get out the vote. >> yeah. she's right. there are some people who it will, you know -- he has a lot of influence over his base supporters. but he also has a lot of influence over democratic voters who really don't like him. >> not only are voters turning out, but i think one of the other things we're highlighting is a ton of voter suppression in this country. and you look at the things going on in georgia, you look at all the issues that people are having in florida.
you actually had souls to the polls, especially in black churches. you look in north carolina where they stripped that away. you look in other southern states where they took that away. there's a lot of voter suppression going on in the country. i think it's been highlighted. and this is just an amazing night for individuals, because tomorrow night, these people will have new titles, many of them. you can have a black governor in georgia, florida, a new congressman in new jersey, et cetera. so this is an exciting time. >> okay. thanks, everyone. really appreciate it. finally, tragedy in our national lead. at a time when our nation might feel more divided than it has in decades, an inspirational message of unity from a man who lived a life in service, and gave his life for his country. >> i pledge allegiance to the flag. >> he began each city council meeting with a pledge to his country. and north ogden, utah's mayor, brent taylor, he meant it. taylor served for more than a decade in the army national guard, including two deployments
to iraq and wone to afghanistan. a career he proudly noted will running for mayor in 2013. >> i learned a lot about leadership during that time. and how to make decisions under pressure. how to be a leader, how to earn respect of those that you lead. >> in january, brent taylor stepped up again. >> and right now there's a need for my experience and skills to serve in our nation's long-lasting war in afghanistan. >> the 39-year-old was mere months away from returning home when he was killed saturday in kabul. the pentagon says his death was the result of an apparent insider attack involving small arms fire. >> it was a shock. and it still is. >> north ogden administrator, john call, considered him as close as family. >> it just doesn't seem real. >> taylor had enlisted in the army just three days after getting engaged to his wife, jenny, who came with him to the recruiting office. >> military service involves the entire family. and my family is very proud to
be a military family. >> in the years that followed, brent and jenny welcomed seven children. megan, lincoln, alex, jacob, ellie, and young caroline, just 11 months old. >> it's obviously heartbreaking, but the family has no regrets that he was doing what he loved, serving a country he loved, and working with people that he loved and cared about in afghanistan. >> taylor's family is not oh loan in their grief. in a letter to jenny taylor, afghan pilot, abdul raqmani asks her to tell her children that their father was a compassionate man whose life was inspirational. he died on our soil, but he died for the success of freedom and democracy in both of our countries. even in death, taylor's service to country continues. his final facebook post implores
americans to exercise the freedoms he died fighting for. quote, i hope everyone back home exercises their precious right to vote, he posted. we have far more as americans that unites us than divides us. united we stand. divided we fall. god bless america. >> everybody vote. coming up, one democratic senator who is up for re-election in this pivotal midterm. that's ahead. stay with us. (burke) fender-biter. seen it, covered it. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ hey, darryl. hey! hey, how much would you pay for something you don't want? nothing. is this a test? no. do you like getting stuff you like for free? yes. this feels like a test. it's not. (vo) get six months free apple music on the network you deserve. switch now and get $300 off our best phones. welcome to emirates mr. jones.
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happening now. all about trump. on election eve, our new polls show 70% of voters say they're casting ballots to send a message to president trump. with thousands of local, state and national seats at stake, is this midterm election a referendum on the president? bracing for defeat. white house officials advise president trump to brace for republican losses tomorrow in the house of representatives. is that why he's been focusing on the senate in recent days? suggesting voter fraud. president trump makes unsubstantiated, last-minute claims about voter fraud. is he preparing to use that as an excuse for any election setbacks? and fault lines. with the country split along the lines of race, gender and education, will this election show the president is at fault for deepening the divide, and is his