tv Election Night in America CNN November 6, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
results in seconds. >> in seconds, and, wolf, this will be the earliest test of how democrats are going to do tonight and whether control of the house is in the democrat's grasp. we will get important clues when the first results come in from kentucky. democrat amy manage gragt has a chance of defeating republican incumbent andy barr who rode the trump wave to a big victory two years ago. in the fight for the senate, democrats on defensive in indiana. joe donnelly has embraced key aspects of the trump agenda to try to hold on to his senate seat in this state where the president won by double digits. donnelly is facing a tough challenge from republican mike braw braun. let's check in with manu raju on capitol hill. >> reporter: yes, they're bracing for the possibility they may lose the house and believe that president trump's scorched earth message on immigration may have hurt vulnerable incumbents
in key races. for instance one in texas, john culver son. a republican source told me internal polls showed him up by a small amount before the president shifted on this message. the president went to houston, railed on the issue of immigration. now internal polls show him losing that race narrowly. the same goes for key republican candidates in florida, carbello, as well as some in california as well. they believe the message should have been about jobs versus mobs and not the immigration issue. so if republicans do, in fact, lose the house, expect the blame game to intensify tonight and into tomorrow morning. but already concern about the way the president has handled this issue in the last several days here, jake. >> all right, manu raju on capitol hill. now let's go to pamela brown at the white house. what are you hearing? >> reporter: president trump and his team, jake, are anxiously awaiting results in kentucky. this is one of the most closely- watched house races by the president's team. it is a district that the president won by 16 points
during the last cycle, but this has been a tight race for the republican incumbent andy barr and his democratic challenger amy mcgrath. another closely watched race is pennsylvania, polls closing there at 8:00 p.m. one white house officially spoke to earlier says if the republican incumbent scott perry wins that race in pennsylvania, they will view it as a signal there will not be a blue wave. that said, the white house is already framing the possible outcomes if they lose the house, they're viewing that as historical trends. but if they gain any seats in the senate, they're basically painting the picture that the president should deserve all of the credit. he will be watching the results roll in from the residence this evening with vice president pence and those closest to him. back to you. >> no blame for the losses and all of the credit for the wins. that's an interesting idea. pamela brown at the white house. thank you so much. wolf. >> we're about to get the first results from the two states where the polls are closing right now. in the meantime let's go to david chalian. he has more exit poll results. >> reporter: that's right, wolf.
we are taking a look at some key areas of president trump's agenda and seeing how voters are responding to them. immigration up first, of course. this was his big closing message. we asked folks, are donald trump's immigration policies too tough, not tough enough, about right. how about this? 48%, nearly half the voters voting today, tell us that the president's immigration policies are too tough. only 16% say they're not tough enough. 32% call them about right. that may have been a miscalculation on the part of the president in the closing days. how about the tax law that republicans thought was so critical to their chances of keeping the house? well, look at this. we asked folks, did the new tax laws help or hurt your personal finances? 28% say helped, 23% say hurt. so a little bit positive, but split decision. 45% said had no impact at all. not the clear winner republicans were hoping for. we also asked about the president's trade policies. how has it impacted the economy in your area? here is what voters told us
today. a quarter of them said the trade policies of the president helped in their area. 31% said hurt. this is upside down, a net negative for the president. 36% said had no impact. wolf. >> interesting. you know, if we take a look at these numbers, you know, jake, once again the president probably is going to be disappointed as far as immigration, the tax law and trade are concerned. >> yeah. more people saying that the president's trade policies hurt them than said helped them, most saying -- plurality saying no impact. tax law, 45% saying no impact, 28% help, 23% hurt. i'm not sure who would be hurt by it, but in any case. then, of course, there's the idea about his immigration policy. the plurality is saying they're too tough, 16% say not tough enough, 32% say about right. if i were in the white house i would be looking at it and saying, well, 48% say too tough and 38% say not tough enough or
about right. that's a wash. this is about policy. i'm not sure if rhetoric is another question they asked about. either way, they're not good answers for president trump if he is expecting to have a good night, at least when it comes to the house of representatives. >> the president made immigration an important issue because he thought it would generate a lot of support among his republican base. >> a lot of republicans in washington, d.c. were asking him, please talk about the economy, it is less polarizing, the economy is doing so well, unemployment is so low, consumer confidence is up, but the president decided that he was going to close not just talking about immigration, but specifically demonizing undocumented immigrants, a campaign of fear based on a loft of things that are just not true. >> you know, agency ys you corr point out, the job numbers are very good, unemployment very good, why do the majority of the country think the country is moving in the wrong direction as opposed to the right direction? >> it is fascinating. i have never seen such a split.
68% of the public according to the preliminary exit polls saying that the economy is good and yet a majority, something like 55%, 56% saying the country is on the wrong track. normally people tend to think of the economy as the main deliverer, the main gauge of how the country is doing. but obviously there is something else going on where people think the economy is going well, but the country is on the wrong track. that's something that we'll have to find out more about as people dive into these exit polls in coming days. >> let's go over to john king. john, we are getting the first actually results from kentucky 6. numbers are coming in. >> the best part of election day when we can start count them. they're starting to count in one of the races we care very much about tonight, one of the big key races, democrats trying to take back control of the house, andy barr, republican incumbent in kentucky 6 district. the president carried this district by 15, 16 point. this should be safe republican territory. i'm going to say it a lot tonight. it is early, let's just strap in for the night, but andy barr,
just shoe of 1,000 votes, andy barr with 58%, mcgrath with 41%, 172 vote lead. again, it is very early on. we will watch as the numbers change. they may change while we're standing here. >> do democrats think they had a realistic chance to pick up this district? >> it is a very, very tough district, but the late polling showed a competitive race. again, why? if you look at the district, they have suburban areas around lexington, some suburban areas around frankfort. you get out to the rural areas here, i was touching the district next door, this is a safe republican seat. the first results came in from this district. you get out here to the eastern parts much the district, this is rural republican country. but if you get over here, you do have some suburban areas where the democrats think they have a shot. it has been a classic race in terms of the theme of the campaign. amy mcgrath said she hopes it is baked in, president trump is unpopular in the suburbs. he voted repeatedly to repeal
obamacare. >> so far a tiny number. let's see what happens. we have our first key race alert. >> that's right, wolf. in the state of indiana, this is a state we will be looking at closely all night. right now it is extremely early, but the republican challenger mike braun is ahead by about 10 percentage points of the incumbent democrat joe donnelly. it is one of the important states that will determine the balance of power. donnelly is one of five democratic senators who is up for reelection in a state that president trump won by double digits, wolf. >> and, you know, we have the vote coming in, once again as we keep pointing out, tiny percentage, very, very early. >> a little bit closer to the results and, again, forgive the broken record. this is early but we like to report them as soon as they come in. mike braun, 200 ahead.
they're coming in from sullivan county, you see in the south western part of indiana, again, a tiny percentage of the vote. when you see they start to come in, you think, okay, that's a small number. the only thing you do start to check is how does that match. for joe donnelly, the incumbent, he has to run it up in indianapolis, in gary, the urban areas where you have a democratic vote. he has to run it up in those places. if you go back to his race in 2012, he did carry this county. now, again, he had a weak candidate back then, a weak republican challenger but he carried sullivan county with 51% of the votes. it is one of the things we watch in a race we expect to be close. we come back to the results here, a few more coming in here. mike braun stretching it out a little bit. that's not a surprise because of where the votes are, central part of the state, rural, tea party country. this is mike pence's home state, the vice president. 67%, just go back in time for kicks, again, the republican won this county last time, a much weaker republican candidate against joe donnelly six years
ago than he has today. then factor in the pence and trump effect in indiana, it makes it a difficult state. if you look at the state, i just want to go back to joe donnelly's last win, you see it is critical up here for him, bloomington, evansville, indianapolis, being the most important right there. as you watch the map fill in, this is republican country. mike braun's challenge, get in the 60s, as high in the 60s as you can, and not just a number. it will be a key test everywhere but including this state right here, are trump voters coming out, republicans winning places like this not just by the margins but the numbers. we will watch this play out. very early on, the republican mike bruiaun, donnelly, this is very critical. joe donnelly must hold if the democrats have any shot. it is a steep hill to take back senate control. republicans think maybe we can add one, two, in a dream scenario for republicans add three to their majority, indiana
would be one of them. we are just starting. >> let's find out. 1%, if that, of the vote is in. tiny number. >> and just the first county to go blue. we showed you two republican counties going blue. again, looking at 3500, 3700 votes there, almost 3800 votes. a little tiny county out here, but, again, they're just starting to come in. this we expect to be a neck-in-neck rate throughout the night. if you remember back in time, the primaries tend to come in late. we'll see if they surprise us tonight. >> we spent a lot of time thinking about gary, indiana. i remember that. the votes are starting to come in. we will have much more coming in just ahead. remember, the polls will be closing in other states at the top of the hour.
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♪ washington, d.c. getting ready for potentially some significant changes. we'll see if that happens. let's go back to dana with a key race alert. >> wolf, we are still watching indiana. the votes are coming in slowly but definitely surely. mike braun, the republican challenger, is still up right now, but only a little more than 1,200 votes against the incumbent democrat. look at that, it went up a little more as we get more and more votes in.
income dent democrat joe donnelly is trying to hold on to this seat despite the fact it is very republican territory. remember, wolf and jake, the president went here not once, not twice, not three times, but four times for rallying campaigning to keep this seat or to take this seat out of democrat's hands. >> we will see if it paid off. jake, why is indiana so important right now for both parties? >> let's take a look at the senate landscape right now. so we start off with 23 democrats, 42 republicans, not having to worry about tonight, 35 seats remain. there's 42 democrats and 46 democrats, if you just put the safe seats aside. we are really only looking at 12 seats tonight. of these 12, let's just allocate them. let's assume nelson wins in florida and that donnelly wins in indiana, mccaskill in missouri and then montana for tester, new jersey, menendez, north dakota for heitkamp. then all democrats have to do if they hold on to all of those incumbents, which is a tall
order, if all they have to do is pick off two other seats. arizona, let's say sinema has a good nights, then the democrats can take control of the senate. everything relies on the democratic incumbents winning tonight. on the other hand, if you look at the same map and then you think about what the republicans have to do, well, all they really need to do -- let's assume they win mississippi and texas and tennessee, those are very traditionally republican seats. who knows will happen tonight but they're traditionally. all they have to do then is win nevada, that's it, and then they control the senate. so it is much tougher to be a democrat tonight when it comes to controlling the senate, but the idea that the control rests on each one of these democratic incumbents, they need to win. donnelly needs to win in order for democrats to have any chance, any hope of taking the senate. >> and as we'll remind our viewers throughout the night, the republicans only need to get to 50, the democrats need to get to 51. >> and that's because in a 50-50
tie the vice president breaks the tie, and that vice president, of course, is mike pence, who break it for the republicans. >> and the vice president is the president of the senate. david chalian, you got some more results? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. we're now digging into some of the state exit polls, again early preliminary numbers. but we have been talking so much about the governors contests in both florida and georgia, real ideological battle it in both states, representing sort of the wings of the parties in many ways. take a look at this in florida. we asked about andrew gillum's positions on the issues. 44% of voters in florida tell us that his positions are too liberal, 45% say they're about right. if that doesn't speak to battleground florida status, i'm not sure what does. ron desantis, we asked the same question. look at this. 45% of florida voters today also tell us his policy positions are just about right, 37% call them too conservative. we asked the same question in georgia about abrams and kemp.
stacey abrams, are her positions on the issues too liberal? 39% of georgia voters today say yes, too liberal. but 50%, half of georgia voters today, say that stacey abrams is about right on the issues. let's look at her republican opponent, kemp, on this score. you see here that 44% say that he's about right, 36% call his positive situa policy positions too conservative. >> thank you very much. georgia could easily end up in a run-off. there is a third candidate, and if not one candidate gets enough it could very much be a run-off between kemp and abrams. >> i think people recognize that, and that's why the abrams campaign is telling everyone to stay in line because i think stacey abrams is going for broke tonight to avoid the run-off. she wants to get to the 51% plus one to avoid a december run-off. we have seen an influx of people come in and support her. you had will ferrell knocking on
doors, oprah knocking on doors. this has become a very, very national race with a hyper-local candidate. people forget stacey abrams was the minority leader in georgia, but she represents something much larger than that. we have never had an african-american female governor in the history of these united states. for her to overcome everything that she's going through, i mean brian kemp's voter suppression, today they didn't even have power strips and power cords at some of the polling places. people waiting in line three hours. and to beat back that face of what many people see to be the old legacy of bigotry, the old legacy of voter suppression, if we can get a black woman to do that tonight, democrats are going to have a great night. that race will be something that people pop champagne over if we can get to that point, but it is an uphill battle. >> and there's a really big concern among the president's allies that he did the wrong thing with these races, not only in georgia and florida but also with kansas. they think that he endorsed someone who could win the primary but could not win the general, and they think he made
the wrong move here and they're not paying enough attention to this inside the white house and just how critical these races will be and how long lasting the implications will be. they think the president made the wrong move with desantis, kemp and chris covac. that's a big concern. they do not think that the white house is focusing enough on that and they think it will affect not only 2020 but possibly 2022 with redistricting and what not, and that is a really big concern among the president's allies who are outside of the white house. >> for those nationally who may not be interested in a governor's race in a state, it does have long-term effects on redistricting. >> that's the most important. >> and it portends the future because president trump's margin of victory, say, in georgia was much smaller than you imagine it was. in fact, it was closer in georgia than it was in ohio. so georgia may be the new ohio. we talk about ohio as the main presidential bellwether, it may be georgia. the sun belt phenomenon where democrats are doing better than they used to, it is going to move that 2020 battleground focus south a little bit. >> scott, you know kentucky very
well obviously. what do you make of the race with amy mcgrath and andy barr? >> well, you know, people in both campaigns said it is on a knife's edge for weeks. nobody knows what is going to happen. the barr people felt confident in their rural turnout operation today, but i know the democrats would tell you they had the best on-the-ground turnout ever they ever had for a federal congressional candidate in amy mcgrath. president trump went here, he went to richmond which is south of lexington. vice president biden went to bath county, a rural county. if mcgrath keeps the rural areas down and gets better than 53, 54 in fayette, she has a shot. >> andy barr is 357 votes ahead. obviously it is still very early. polls just closed about 22 minutes ago. in terms of the state polls, also just in florida and the governor's race, that's also
been a fascinating race. >> no doubt about it. i mean we talk about why governorship matters. think back to the election of 2000 in florida. whoever is a governor matters in the next presidential election, but one thing to watch tonight is the trump map from 2016. remember how he changed all of the midwestern states from iowa to wisconsin to michigan to pennsylvania, ohio, those states all have governorships tonight. so democrats in each one of those states are either within the grasp of winning or slightly ahead here. so that will also be a repudiation for, you know, just what happened in 2016. so it portends big things for 2020, which is right around the corner's edge here. the president already thinking about this. i was talking to one ally of his. i said, the rallies are finally over, right? they said, no, no, he likes the taste of these rallies. he will keep doing them over and over again. the question is he won't be able to do it in red states, but watch the governors races tonight. >> yes, imagine if democrats, likely to hold minnesota and pennsylvania governorships, but
imagine if they pick up illinois, ohio, iowa and wisconsin, imagine what that does to the map. the middle of the country becomes a blue stronghold. that will position democrats very well likely for 2020. >> but i just want to chime in real quick because we mentioned something but i want to make sure that the viewers understand. as a former state legislator, the most important year that you have is 2020 and 2021 because that is when you begin your redistricting process and you draw congressional maps and you draw state house maps, and you can determine the fate of the united states congress during that one year. so when you have a governor and you have a democratic governor or a member of your party who is overseeing this process, who can veto a map, then that actually has ripple effects for an entire decade. that's why the gubernatorial races tonight are so important. >> just minutes away now, the first big round of results as all voting ends in six states. we will get results in the heated georgia governor's race, or the beginning of them at least. much, much more coming up.
senate. right now the republican challenger, mike braun, is ahead. it is still, as you see there, very early, but he is ahead significantly against the democratic incumbent joe donnelly. wolf and jake. >> thanks very much. . david chalian, you are looking at indiana as well courtesy of the exit poll. >> that's right, wolf. we are taking a look at the trump factor in indiana. we know, we've been talking about how hard it is for the democrats running for reelection in trump country. take a look at this. donald trump's approval rating according to voters in indiana today is at 52%. he's right side up. he has a majority approval. we also asked about how trump is impacting people's votes here. are you voting in support of trump? 30% say in indiana they're voting to support trump. look at this. 34% in indiana tell us they're voting to oppose trump and 32% say the president is not a factor in this vote. this suggests to me that this could be the close contest that some of those preelection polls
have shown it will be. >> we certainly are anticipating a close race. less than 1% of the vote is in, jake, and clearly if you take a look at the president, got a positive approval number in indiana, 52% approve, 48% disapprove according to our exit poll. >> it seems like so long ago, ten years ago when president obama, then senator barack obama, won the state of indiana. he did not go on to win it again when he ran for reelection in 2012. donald trump won indiana by almost 20 points against hillary clinton. so the fact that joe donnelly has made it as competitive as it is says something positive about the campaign he's been able to run, but ultimately this is a trump-supporting state. donald trump is a positive. he is a -- he is the wind beneath the wing goes of braun. the idea that joe donnelly, this always was going to be an uphill fight. he was an underdog when he won
six years ago. we will see what he is able to do again. >> his opponent was not necessarily a strong candidate. let's look a closer look at indiana again. 1% of that has voted. >> just 1%. >> has come in? >> has come in. so we will be at it a while. they're hoping at the end of the night indiana is still red. it is the first of the senate contests we're getting results from. this is very early in the results, but it tells us mike braun is winning early, again, very early results in the places he has to win, the smaller rural counties. if you bring it out here, i want to show you what i mean by smaller rural counties. 92 counties in indiana. 0.4% of the population. you think, okay, randolph county doesn't matter much, but it does. when you have a 50-50 race, every vote counts. the challenge is are you running up percentages and getting the turnout. i want to make two quick points
here. monroe county, college town, bloomington, polls opened for an extra hour because of long lines. the results will be indiana is a late state any what sometimes. also up here, not lake county, we will get to it in a minute, but porter county had some polls extending, the closings delayed if you will, because they want to let people vote longer because of issues here. nothing bal nothing bad, just to keep people voting here. if you are joe donnelly, you never like being down, but you say it is early and so you are waiting the see what happens here. can you pad it up here, can you stretch it out here, more democratic votes here as you get closer to chicago, african-american population, suburban population. down here where i just said, the college town where the vote is extended. if you are in joe donnelly headquarters, the red on the map, nothing on that map surprises you just yet. you are waiting for more votes to come in. it is one of the races -- i think it was jake, dana noted, the polls were a dead heat at the end. everyone expects it will be close to the end of the night.
>> the democrats are waiting for indianapolis, for example. that's a big chunk of the population right there, 14% of the population, no votes counted, at least released yet. >> 14%, and in the race joe donnelly won six years ago, again, against a weaker republican candidate with 64% of the vote, i would pause it because mike braun is a stronger republican candidate because the president has been out there, because the vice president is from there and is closely in touch with the indiana republican operation. if you are joe donnelly, that's a good benchmark. you might even need to do better. you have to run it up here. you have to run it in the city, in the suburbs around it. david chalian said the president's approval rating was 52% in indiana today. he won 57% of the vote four years ago. donnelly has to hope the slight drop in the president's popularity somehow brings him over. let's watch the result as they come in. 6,000 votes, just shy of that for mike braun, but remember, 1%. >> let's look at the house of representatives right now.
we are getting some results already. at the top of the hour we will have a lot more. >> top of the hour we start to get some florida, some virginia, some georgia. right now, indiana and kentucky what we're looking at. starting in kentucky, all of the republican districts are filling insofar. this will help people throughout the night, leading the vote, leading the vote, not called. you have no republicans leading -- five republicans are leading, zero in democrat districts. republicans are leading in republican districts, doing what they need to do. this is the district we are watching most, the sixth district, and we got the early votes a long time ago. nothing has changed. we have been waiting on this to see more votes come in. andy barr, the incumbent and amy mcgrath is the challenger. most of these house races they're trying to make competitive, they recruited good candidates, retired military fighter pilot. she says you voted to repeal
obamacare and take away the existing coverage. the president won here in kentucky 6th by 15-plus points. if this changes to blue tonight, you are seeing something. if it stays red, what does it tell us? the democrats can still get to the net 23 they need if this stays red, but tells you that it will be a harder tasks. >> at the top of the hour we have will poll it closing in most of florida and virginia. potentially we could get an indication of which direction the country is moving. >> in some ways better indications, not to discount kentucky 6th. if democrats think they can get 23, the question is can they get 30 or more, kentucky 6th factors into that. you are talking about the other races when you come to virginia right here, the 10th congressional district, this is a must-win for the democrats. washington, d.c. is right here. this is the part of the country where donald trump, frankly, is most toxic, close-in suburbs. it was a struggle for him in 2016. it has become more of a problem during the first two years of his presidency.
jennifer wexton, this is what the democrats hope is plus one in virginia, one flip right there. we'll start to get results very soon. then the question for democrats is if they get one in virginia, yes, they can get to 23. their goal is to get two or three in virginia. then they think, okay, if east of the mississippi, especially out here way towards the east, they want to start to build fast to give themselves a cushion, if you will. what do they think? much like we talked about kentucky 6th, watch virginia 7th. this is dave brat, knocked off eric cantor in a tea party primary upset. yet the democrat very competitive. the late polling in this race, and, again, i talked in kentucky you have the health care versus the tax cut argument. here it is more about demographics, suburbs versus the rural areas. there are younger voters, do they show up, minority voters, do they show up. this should be brat country up here, but, again, as we watch it, tea party, trump voters, not
only is he winning but are they coming out. that will be a great test in virginia. here is another race down here in scott taylor's district down here in the corner here. democrats think they have less of a chance here, but is there a wave, a blue ripple or a wave? watch the results here. it will give you an indication of that in virginia at the 7:00 hour. again, as i noted, a couple in georgia that are longer shots for the democrats but a couple of possible races down here. if you come up here and look at our key races right here, they're both in the atlanta suburban area north of atlanta, the 7th district here, the 6th district here. these republican incumbents should win tonight. these are safe republican districts, but you have the governor's race down there and a lot of democratic money poured into the districts. if the blue wave is building, these will tell us that. >> we're standing by for our first chance to make projections in some of the key races tonight. polls are about to close in six states. we'll be back in a moment. election night in america is
what you hear and what you see are two different things. you hear about how "we're a nation divided." yet, from where we sit, we see no such thing. we see half a million people - today alone - stitching together some supposedly very divided states. red states. blue states. and every shade of purple in between. we see people working across party lines. state lines. yes, even airlines. all looking for for that uncommon, common ground. a nice reminder: that if you really want to see what this country is made of. maybe it's best to go see it for yourself. hey, what are you guys doing here? we're voya. we stay with you to and through retirement. so you'll still be here to help me make smart choices? well, with your finances that is. we had nothing to do with that tie.
♪ welcome back. let's quickly go to dana. she has a key race alert. dana. >> wolf, the numbers are still coming in a little bit more in the state of indiana. right now, as you see there on the screen, mike braun is still ahead by almost 60%, joe donnelly the incumbent democrat trailing. this is such an important race, we can't emphasize that enough because it is a key decision as
to whether or not democrats have any shot at taking back the senate tonight. they have to hold this if the answer to that will be yes. the republicans understand that, wolf and jake. that is why the president has gone to indiana four times to campaign for republican mike braun. >> very early in that contest. >> very early. as we said, indiana is trump country and it will be a challenge for senator donnelly to hold on to that seat. he can do it. he has kept it competitive. the polls were closing in and the candidates were neck in neck, but he is facing a tougher challenger in braun that he did six years ago. >> he certainly is. david chalian is with us as well. he is looking closely at all of this. >> reporter: as you guys know, wolf and jake, the closing message for president trump, he told the country in rally after rally that he wanted it to be kavanaugh and the caravan. this is what he thought would juice his base and keep his party in this fight and perhaps save the senate in republican hands, as you have been talking
about. so we're checking in on where voters across the nation were on both of those issues. take a look at this. the view of kavanaugh's supreme court appointment, 43% of voters say they support it, 48% -- more -- say they were opposed to the kavanaugh appointment to the supreme court. not a clear winner nationwide across all voters today for the president. we asked the same thing about hits immigration policies. are they too tough or not tough enough? this seems to be a split also. 47% say the president's immigration policies are too tough, but 16% say not enough, add in 32% who say about right and you have 47% too tough, 48% that say not tough or about right. again, a split decision. so he closed on two issues that weren't clear winners for him in this campaign. anderson, over to you. >> david, kirsten, it is interesting. clearly on kavanaugh that is something which many in the base
were obviously very happy about, it is one of the things that president trump ran on, on supreme court injuries advertises. he has been able to get two on to the court. on immigration, interesting that the number is split because it contradicts. earlier polling said 23% said that was their number one issue compared to 41% on health care. >> i think on the kavanaugh issue, i mean if these numbers are correct -- and they may change -- this would suggest a more democrat electorate because most republicans did support kavanaugh nomination. it is also something that, you know, in many of the races was an issue. if you look at claire mccaskill, it was one of the biggest things she was getting hit on, was her support for kavanaugh. so there was an expectation, i think, that this was going to be a winning issue for republicans. >> scott, you made the point earlier that after kavanaugh that the president didn't really need to do much more to mobilize his base. >> yeah. look, kavanaugh brought together all flavors and stripes of
republicans, the never trumpers, the lukewarm trumpers, the maga, it was first time they had been unified and it was around brett kavanaugh. it focused them in on what life would be like if the democrats who were fighting so hard against kavanaugh got control of either chamber. i think the party got unified at that moment. i know the national number is a little under water for kavanaugh, if these election exits hold, but look at it state by state. where is kavanaugh in north dakota and indiana? if republicans win the rural senate races, i guarantee kavanaugh is better off there than in a national -- >> but i think the kavanaugh thing has been misinterpreted slightly. it helped coau less the republican base. >> no doubt. >> but it energized a lot of women in this country and a lot of democrat leaning and democrat voting women in the country to say that, i'm going to now grab them by the mid terms now, right. that is the saying you see floated throughout instagram. the kavanaugh bump was real.
i was talking to my friend amanda loveday who was running a senate race and you can feel the kavanaugh vote all the way down in the senate race, so it is real. but the excitement is something that i think worked for both parties, because women in this country, it is yet to be seen, especially college-educated white women which we have been discussing. >> i think if this election were a month ago we would be talking about republicans taking the house very seriously. that still might happen, but most likely today we'll see. i'm very curious to see what the kavanaugh effect will be -- and we won't know until exit polling -- will be on joe donnelly in indiana. he came out earlier than he probably had to -- >> yes. >> -- against brett kavanaugh. heidi heitkamp had to make that decision. as you said, claire mccaskill had to make that decision. >> but there was a reason -- >> the kavanaugh factor will be interesting the look at for democrats. >> but manchin, there was a reason he did what he did.
>> let's quickly go back to john and wolf. >> thanks, anderson. john, it looks like a pretty significant flip just now with a key race. >> for partisans watching at home, it is early in the night. if you are a democrat, this is what you are looking for, you see blue in a place that started the night red. this is kentucky 6th district. we showed you earlier. we had the first votes in, andy barr was ahead moments ago. amy mcgrath took the lead, 1% reporting. 1% reporting, but she is ahead, 5300, 5251, a 49 vote lead. as close as it gets here. this is a district that should be safe republican. this is a district the president won by 16, 15 points. this is a district mitt romney won. this is not swing votes. this is not clinton territory. this is a republican seat that the democrats think they have a shot at tonight. again, it is very early on, 1% of the vote, but as democrats sit around saying, are we in the building blocks. in the 7:00 hour which is coming
up, the key first layer of building blocks are in virginia, in florida. if you are looking at the second level, can we get to 23, what is our backup, can we really get to 30, this is such a vital thing. this would tell the democrats, we're winning not just in the districts hillary clinton carried, not just in suburbs, districts full of suburbs, have a lot of suburban women but winning in places with a piece of the suburbs but stretch into rural tea party, trump, reliable republican territory. again, 1%. but around the country tonight in party headquarters, in kitchens, in living rooms around the country tonight if you are a partisan and watching this and starting early, be prepared to stay up late. the democrats will be happy. part is, a, can they win it and, b, can they keep it close and competitive. just to pull out, it is in the same region. we will see what happens. we know the president when you get to new york, new jersey, the virginia suburbs, down in florida in the democratic areas, you know the president has problems there. the question is can the democrats perform and deliver. if the democrats are going to
have an even better night beyond winning the places they should win or the golden targets of opportunity, then they have to start winning, see if they can hold the indiana senate seats. these are the house districts you are seeing up here. if you are a democrat and looking for a jolt of energy early in the night, can we get to 23, it is 1%, don't call your bookie, but the democrats are happy. >> yeah, the democrats can take this seat, that's a pretty significant signal. anderson. >> david gergen, is it possible the democrats have been overly optimistic? you had nancy pelosi going on the stephen colbert show saying it was going to be a big night, and he reminded her about hillary clinton's firework barge. >> i think they should be cautiously optimistic. >> but if they do not take back the house tonight -- >> it would be a shock. >> for the democrats. >> yes, it would be a shock, especially when you start out the evening with the exit polls looking encouraging. one of the things watching the votes come in, it is somewhat
sobering. you have to keep in mind, the exit polls can continue to be as favorable to the democrats, but it is not clear the tide will lift all ships. a lot depends on the conditions in the district or the state. in indiana, for example, to have trump at 52% approval is different from having trump and so, in these red states, trump is going to be more popular and it's going to be much harder for the democrats. >> exit polls are interesting to talk about, but time and time again, they have been misleading. >> no doubt about it. we should explain this is the first wave of them. as the night goes on, they add interviews and they change and they adjust but soon we'll have the real vote come in and the republicans in the white house have the blessing of geography in senate races this year so the fact that the president went to indiana four times, that is going to help mike brawn, without question. we don't know if it's going to be enough or not. but the republicans are concerned about missouri. i just got a note a second ago saying, keep an eye on missouri there.
democrats feel stronger. so as the night goes on, there's a lot happening. so these exit polls, interesting, but the real races will be coming in shortly. back to the democrats in terms of their optimism. a lot of democrats were wondering what nancy pelosi was talking about when she said that, if that was necessary at all, never mind the fact that she is the central sort of villain in a lot of these ads and they think she's not been helpful. she's been a big fund-raiser for sure but keep in mind the democratic party is still without a big leader. if they lose the house tonight, boy, talk about a party in disarray. >> yeah. let's go back to jay. >> guys, thanks very much, just minutes away from the first major round of poll closings on this election night in america with huge consequences for the nation and indeed for the trump presidency. at 7:00 p.m. eastern, all polling places close in georgia, indiana, kentucky, south carolina, vermont, and virginia. we're about to get a much better sense of whether democrats are in a path to retake the house of representatives and possibly -- or possibly the senate. remember, in the house,
democrats must win 23 republican-held seats to take back the majority and not lose any of their own. in the senate, they need to win two republican-held seats to take control as long as they hold on to the number of seats they have right now. so, jake, what are you looking for at the top of the hour? >> at the top of the hour, we're going to be watching a handful of contests where democrats have their best chances, best chances of making early gains in the battle for control of the house, one key race is in virginia. the commonwealth of virginia. political newcomer abigail is in a toss-up contest against dave brat. that race might be an early indicator of how this race will play out for the democrats. in the fight for the senate, we're still watching that heated race in indiana, incumbent senator joe donnelley, a democrat, has been trailing republican mike braun in the very early results that have already come in but it's very early. we're also watch ago historic governor's race in georgia. democrat stacey abrams hopes to become the first african-american woman to lead a
state in american history. her opponent, brian kemp, the secretary of state is fighting to keep the open seat in republican hands. as we get closer to our first chance to make projections, let's check in with manu raju. he's now at democratic party headquarters in washington, d.c. what are you hearing? >> reporter: top democrats are telling me they're optimistic after seeing some of the early exit polls showing that health care remains a top focus for voters in this midterm season. behind the scenes, nancy pelosi, the house democratic leader, has told her colleagues they made the right decision to focus on health care as the main issue this election season, and if democrats do retake the house majority, that is going to be one of her key pitches to members going forward, saying they made the right decision politically and there's no reason to remove her from the top. now, pelosi and her allies looking very closely at the ultimate margin that may come out from any house democratic majority and pelosi's detractors in the house democratic caucus, jake, also looking for closely
at the margin. they believe there's only a democratic majority of, say, 10 or 12 seats. she could be vulnerable and not become speaker, but her allies are confident because of the way this is looking so far and the chances of retaking the house majority that she will be elected speaker and democrats will retake the house tonight, jake. >> all right, manu raju at democratic party headquarters. let's go to pamela brown at the white house. pamela? >> reporter: well, jake, as white house officials await the election results, some of those that are watching are expressing skepticism about the polls showing republicans losing certain races, saying lessons should be learned from 2016 when those polls favored hillary clinton. white house officials i've been speaking with say that they believe the president's closing argument about immigration has resonated with voters but that hasn't been reflected in the polls and they're drawing the -- contrasting that with what happened in 2016. also, they're making the same argument when it comes to exit polls. these early exit polls showing that more voters are going to the polls today to express
opposition of president trump. one white house official i spoke with tonight disregarded that, expressing caution to draw any conclusions from those exit polls. another official i spoke with said they're taking a deep breath. it's still early in the night. the president is laying low and he's watching tv just like the rest of us, according to the official. >> all right, pal la brown at the white house, manu raju at democratic party headquarters. wolf? >> thank you. you know, john, the story line, the house of representatives up for grabs tonight. >> up for grabs and the 6:00 hour has given us a bit of an appetizer. we're about to go into the 7:00 hour, wolf, which is primetime for some of the early tests of the key races the democrats must win to get to net 23. what they need to retake the house. let's look at what we have so far before we talk about the hour ahead. the one thing we're looking at on this map, these are safe republican districts, most of them. moments ago, we showed you the democrat, amy mcgrath had pulled ahead. since that, just in a few minutes, this is what happens in a close race as the votes come in, andy, the republican
incumbent, now 60 votes ahead. we expect this to be a very competitive race. this is one of the races the democrats think if we can win here, very safe. trump plus 15 republican district, then they would be well on their way. if they can win this type of a district, well on their way to taking back the house. the 7:00 hour, polls closing in just a few minutes, will give us much better clues on some of the races that are -- the democrats think are more favorable to them. let me start in the state of virginia. as you pointed out here, there are 11 congressional districts in virginia but let's look at the races that cnn considers to be key races. the first one, all democrats would concede, to get to 23 and beyond, this is really a must-win. the northern virginia suburbs, washington, d.c., is right here, barbara comstock, president trump a big issue in this race, so are health care, tax cuts, the economy. jennifer wexton, this is a must. can jennifer wexton win? and then you look at by how much. if jennifer wexton is performing very well in the close suburbs
and reasonably well as you move out excerpts, used to be republican territory, it's becoming more and more democrating i. t -- democratic. the margins here will tell you a lot. another key battleground we've been tracking this race very close, shouldn't be, it's a safe republican district, but again, president trump's problems in the suburbs, helping the democrat, abigail spanberger. dave brat seeking reelection. this rural part of the district, absolutely critical to him. this is one of the building blocks the democrats think, 23 and beyond, can they get two or three in virginia. that's when they talk about, is it a ripple, a wave, is it just in the safe clinton areas. virginia will tell us a lot. so will the state of florida. competitive governor's race, highly competitive senate race as well. those two races neck and neck. florida plays big until the democratic building blocks if they are to retake the house
majority. the key races we have located here. this one's interesting. nancy soderberg. this is an open seat, why? the republican congressman retired because he's the republican candidate for governor so democrats think, can we? this should be a pretty safe republican seat. can we pick off a seat because of republican retirements? that's a big theme as you go across. the major battlegrounds, though, more down here to the south. this one, we'll watch very closely tonight. carlos, a latino, republican incumbent has spent much of the last two weeks criticizing the president's late campaign focus on the invaders, the caravan, birthright citizenship. carlos curbelo, a moderate republican, believing the president has hurt his cause. another key district, another republican retirement, democrats see an opportunity. the question is did they nominate the right candidate? former clinton cabinet member donna against a former tv host and a lot of democrats thinking this could be a missed
opportunity because you have someone who more fits with a diverse latino community here. we'll watch as this plays out again. part of the building blocks to get you to 23 for the democrats in florida. also at 7:00, there's georgia, the governor's race, it's the marquee contest here. brian kemp, the republican, stacey abrams, the democrat, but as that race plays out, both parties poor money into turnout. this is a district that any other year should be republican. we think it's likely republican but let's see. the democrats thinking the governor's race might help them with turnout here in georgia 6 and georgia 7. if you're thinking, how do we get to 23 and from there, as manu just talked about, can you build to 30? we're going to get a lot of clues in the 7:00 hour as the results start to come in. east of the mississippi, democrats believe there are enough districts there to get to 23. as the polls close in the 7:00 hour, we're going to put their think to the test. we will put it to the test in virginia, in georgia, in florida. we'll continue to track the results out here in kentucky 6
as we continue to watch the votes. just want to check once more on that. the republicans still ahead there. again, the 6:00 hour, the warm-up, primetime starts any second. >> we're ready. we're only seconds away from the first major round of poll closings, control of the u.s. congress, the future of the trump presidency, all of that trump presidency, all of that and a lot more on the line. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >> we have a senate projection right now. cnn projects that bernie sanders, the independent senator from vermont, the incumbent, he will be reelected. he caucuses with the democrats. in virginia, tim kaine, the incumbent democrat, cnn projects he will get another six years in office. in indiana, too early to call, joe donnelley facing mike braun, a very, very tough fight going on in indiana right now. let's take a look at the balance of power, see where things stand right now. in the u.s. senate, remember, 25 democrats, they will be in the senate. 42 republicans