tv Election Night In America Continued CNN November 13, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
california this hour. welcome back. i'm wolf blitzer, along with jake tapper, a week after voters went to the polls. we're following a slew of key races where ballots still being counted or recounted. we're also revisiting the scope and the significance of the democrats' midterm election wins, their takeover of the house of representatives, and what it all means for president trump and his family, his party, i should say. jake, a lot has happened since we were here a week ago at the cnn election center. >> wolf, it turns out that the democrats' gains are more impressive than we realized at this time last week, especially in the house of representatives. so far, democrats have picked up 30 seats, net, and they may be headed for their best midterm performance in more than 40 years since watergate. they're now leading in seven of ten house races that remain undecided. a democrat just now taking the lead in a key california race, as new votes came in just a short while ago.
that means the democrats' advantage in the house could grow beyond the 225 seats they hold now, compared to 200 for the republicans. in the senate, democrats now have 47 seats. republicans holding the majority with 51 seats. two senate races still undecided this hour. let's go back to wolf, who's at the magic wall with john king. >> all right. thanks very much. you know, it's interesting. even as we're doing this live show, votes are coming in pretty quickly out of california, especially in the tenth district in california. >> so let's beam it out and take a look at it and we'll show you why it's so significant. this is the full state, people leading. but let's take off the races that we've already called and just look at the races that are still in place. one, two, three, four in southern california, the tenth district here. we talked about it a bit earlier. important for democrats, because you have a republican moderate incumbent, jeff denham, trying to hold on to a district hillary carried in 2016. josh harder, the challenger is increasing his lead. more votes have come in in this race throughout the last several minutes. this has gone up.
this was 34-something. it's now 1500. he's added 1500 votes to his lead. it was in the 3400s, now it's closing in on 5,000. this is a trend we're seeing throughout all of these races and some of the others, as the late votes come in, they're trending toward the democrats. now, why do these districts matter? number one, this is a republican incumbent that the democrats wanted to knock off, a moderate republican, josh harder, the challenger there. so this is one of the democrats' top targets in california. you see these other districts down here. you see one, two, three, and one leading by republican. i just want to shrink the map and make it a little smaller and circle these to show you. these are still in play in california. this is mia love in utah, all right? there's a district here in new jersey. these are all republican-held seats where the democrats lead right now that have not yet been called. one of the strengths of the democrats -- i'm going to take this off and bring you out to the map here -- make this go away. one of the strengths for the democrats here, take this off for a minute, is the 2016 to 2018 flips. these are the districts that many of them called, those ten
we're still looking at, that are flipping from republicans to democrats. now i want to overlap this with looking here, the top suburban districts in the country. the democratic takeover in the house is fueled by the suburbs. look at this. it goes away. the district i just talked about, the districts i just talked about, the district in utah i just talked about. the democrats are on track to pick up 30 plus, maybe 35 plus, when we call these other called races, right? 35 plus, 23 of them coming from the suburbs. this has been the trump toxicity in the suburbs, democrats fielding good candidates. this used to be the bastion of the republican party. the closed in suburbs across the united states of america. democrats are going to get 30 plus, 20 or more of them. 23, maybe more, coming from the american suburbs. this is the big story of 2018. the democrats taking seats that normally, many of these seats have been republican hands for years. so the american suburbs fueling at the house level, clearly, a trump revolt. >> yeah, good point. you know, jake, if you're a republican, as john points out and you're looking at what's happening in the suburbs, you've
got to get nervous. >> you'd be very worried. because what seems to be happening in certain parts of the country is president trump, his rhetoric and his focus on undocumented immigration and the way he's talking about it is really driving up turnout and support in rural areas. but it is suppressing and driving down support in suburban areas. take the congressional district outside atlanta that used to be held by the former secretary of the department of health and human services, tom price. that was a republican seat. then there was a special election last year. we all spent a lot of time covering it. there was a young guy, osif was running. he lost. he lost that seat to karen handel. guess what, karen handel just lost that seat. karen handel lost that seat in the atlanta suburbs. now, it looks as though brian kemp is going to be, although it's premature to say it's definitely going to happen, but brian kemp will be the governor
of georgia. so republicans did turn out. but in that district, president trump's tone -- i doubt it had much to do with karen handel herself as a candidate. president trump's tone turned off so many voters that they actually went for the democrat. and not just the democrat, by the way, a pro-gun control democrat. a woman who took on the issue of gun control and further restrictions on gun ownership, which is usually not a very popular issue. >> lucy mcveigh -- >> in the georgia, in the atlanta suburbs. >> you know, it's interesting, because in the house, trump's gop majority clearly has shrunk. >> yeah, it went away. and it went away in a big way. >> it shrunk dramatically. >> it shrunk dramatically. but you know, to that point, jake, the senator who wants to be the number two and probably will be the number two in the republican caucus, john thune, was talking to reporters in the hallway, and he was making your argument. this is the -- you know, second in command on the gop side. we need to do better about our tone. we need to do better about our tenor.
we need to make it clear to people who are not part of our natural base that there are reasons to vote for us. and, look, he's right. anybody who has studied politics for more than five minutes knows that he's right. but was his message to reporters? was his message to his, you know, rank and file, or was it to the president, because that's where it comes from. you know, you're not seeing any tweets from the president about the caravan in the election or anything like that. >> right. >> and that is all part and parcel of that tone he was talking about. >> and i'm going to mess up the exact quote, but saline azito, she really writes a lot about trump voters and she had an analysis of the election. she said something like, whether or not you think a lot of trump voters are racist, trump talks as if he thinks they're racist. and that turns off people who would vote republican. and she also said, it's not just white suburban women who are being turned off, it's white suburban men.
>> yeah, and i think andrew gillum had a pretty good quote about this, too, in the context of that florida race. he essentially said he didn't necessarily think ron desantis was racist, but the racists think that ron desantis is racist and it goes to this similar point. donald trump has decided to run a white identity strategy. it worked in 2016, because he was able to get those racial conservatives, who in some ways have stereotypes about people who are non-white, who voted for obama in some instances. he got those folks by talking about the wall, talking about immigration in a very hawkish way. the key is, does it turn people off? and we've seen that in some of these races, right? we've also seen something interesting, as well, that their candidates like lucy mcbath, an african-american woman, in georgia, able to compete for white voters and turn those white voters away from the republican party and have them be democrats. and we saw that also in illinois with lauren underwood, as well.
i think democrats, this time, did something they hadn't done before. and that is actually field candidates in places that they hadn't fielded candidates before. in texas, for the first time in a generation, they fielded candidates in all of the congressional districts. so that's how you get a collin allred, african-american, former football player, who beats pete sessions. so, you know democrats are, i think feeling this demographic shift, not focusing on trump exclusively, just knowing that some of these college-educated white voters hear some of the bullhorns that he has for some of these folks that have issues around race. >> let's go to anderson. he can lead more conversation. >> jake, thanks very much. as republicans see their base of support shrinking, certainly in the suburbs, as we've been talking about, democrats are looking to rebuild their blue wall ahead of 2020. let's go back to david chalian with a look at more exit poll results. >> yeah. we're going to take a look at four critical midwestern states and look at trump's approval rating according to the exit polls from voters in those states from a week ago.
let's start here in michigan. you can see that donald trump is at 45% approval, 55% disapproval. upside down by 11 points there. take a look at the next state, in pennsylvania, he's upside down by ten points. 45% approval. 55% disapproval. wisconsin, he's upside down by five points. 47% approve of him, but a majority here still disapprove. and, of course, in ohio was the one shining moment for him across this midwest bloc, he's rightside up. he's got 53% approval in ohio, 47% disapprove. donald trump won all four of those states in 2016. the first three was that blue wall you're talking about. and according to these numbers right now, democrats have done some rebuilding of that blue wall that donald trump broke through. >> although it is important to point out, ohio, also florida, still good for the president. and obviously those are going to be critical in 2020. >> very important. those are sort of the bright shining lights for the republicans were ohio and florida, two of the biggest swing states. donald trump still in charge, if you will, in those states.
but the other three states that you mentioned are in danger of slipping away. and those were the margins. >> without them, he would not have been president. >> exactly. that was the difference, >> exactly. and so you have the southwest looking a little bit more purple. you have those states maybe slipping away. and you've got your -- you know, your two bulwarks there, ohio and florida. but it's dangerous. it's dangerous. one thing i will say for donald trump is that he did keep -- he did keep rural america, you know, and that is really important to him. >> it's a huge warning for democrats, the fact that they have not made inroads in rural america at all, abby. >> that's true. i mean, democrats have this growing problem where rural america is trending away from them. and the way that the senate is structured is that these less populated states that many of them are more rural, have a lot of power, a disproportionate amount of power in that chamber that has become much more important to democrats. but at the same time, if democrats can shift their
battleground from those rural areas or even the midwest, to the sun belt, they might be able to offset some of these problems. and i think that's what they're looking at now, looking at arizona, looking at solidifying nevada, even looking at some of the places in the south where they've been waiting for some demographic changes to happen. georgia, even in texas, where you're seeing some of these really, really close races, closer than they ought to be. it's happened -- it's starting to happen slowly, but it's starting to happen. and i would say donald trump, even while he prevailed in florida, even while he may have prevailed in georgia, these are not comforting results in a midterm election. >> let me throw some water on this "democrats don't do well in rural america" thesis we're espousing here, because if i'm not mistaken, i do think sherrod brown won re-election handily in ohio. democrats own virginia, and virginia is not the most metropolitan state out there. north carolina, democrats have a
democratic governor and attorney general, et cetera, et cetera. so it's not as if democrats are not doing well in rural america. democrats can do better in rural america. but the map has fundamentally changed, to gloria's point. you remember this. in 2008, we were talking about indiana, missouri, we were talking about iowa, ohio, pennsylvania. all of these swing states. it was a list of 11 or 12. and now when we get to 2020, we're going to be talking about wisconsin, pennsylvania, michigan, and florida, as your top tier? and you're going to then move to the second tier, some of these other areas, you'll have north carolina -- i mean, i don't even know if virginia is there anymore. but you have these places, ohio, where democrats are doing extremely well, because democrats are engaging a new demographic. and that's why they'll do well. democrats are engaging a new demographic in nevada, in arizona, in north carolina, in virginia, and if they can get that blue wall, then they have a road map to win. >> and so i would say, to that point, you know, democrats have abandoned that traditional
working class, you know, labor, blue collar vote, right? i like -- i always say, in 2016, the president won because of the big short voters, right? the book and the movie. that part of america was left behind by wall street. the folks that had their house foreclosed on and the banks kind of took advantage. i think people watched those movies and said, hey, i identify with that. and the president went into those states and he had a message, an economic opportunity that really resonated with those voters. if the president doesn't get back to that, there will be problems. i think when you return to that message, it's the only one you're going to win with in 2020, regardless of who the candidate is. >> here's what i'm worried about for republicans going into 2020. what we saw from 2018 is that the democrats were very willing to run different kind of candidates in different kind of races. look at the governor who won in michigan and got those hillary clinton voters back in the democratic column. meanwhile, donald trump, his speech the day after the election was essentially a scolding for republicans who did not get in line. he danced on the grave of mia love, who hasn't -- her race has not been called.
by the way, she's a lovely person. she is a black republican woman. he should be thanking her for being republican in this party today. and still, he would not let her be the kind of candidate that she felt she needed to be to win that race. and if you put this in a nutshell, where does this go? you have women like barbara comstock and mia love losing, potentially. paul ryan, retiring, and candidates like chris collins and duncan hunter, who have been indicted winning. that is a -- >> well, that's because of -- >> -- scary prospect. >> it's the truth. >> but you have these safe seats, where it doesn't matter if you're a member of the far left or far right, you're going to win no matter what. >> i wanted to agree with you for one second, which may be rare, which may be a moment in tv history because i think you have a point when you talk about how democrats have to focus on working class people in this country. now, i have to say that i'm kind
of sick and tired when people say working class when they mean white, but i just -- that's coded language. but i'm talking about all of those hispanic workers, african-american workers. >> absolutely. >> those white workers -- >> republicans need to go after those votes. >> this is where we shift the conversation because now it's not an anti-donald trump message, but this is in the laps of chuck schumer and nancy pelosi and how they govern. and i may be moving too far ahead, but this is why democrats are like, okay, we understand that demographic changes are here, but now we have to actually legislate and lead. >> because those working class people are going to move up the economic ladder and they're going to see maybe some policies they don't like in the democratic party. >> well, they used to be democrats, right? >> i want to toss it back to chris in new york. chris? >> all right. for all of the "what may bes," that brings our focus right to florida. that is the state, for all of the elections that we're watching, that has the most at stake in terms of the optics. of course, there are no house seats there going on. you have a congressional seat, you have a governor's race, and they are both in very, very sharp focus.
now, republicans have ratcheted up the tension down there. they're claiming that there is fraud, that the democrats are trying to steal elections. they have offered no proof of that. in fact, the secretary of state, who is a republican, has said he has no specific and credible claim of fraud. law enforcement that was asked by the governor to look into it, they went and said, do you need our help? they were told "no." so this isn't about fact, it's about feelings. and there's somebody who's in the center of it all. the election supervisor in broward county, brenda snipes joins me now. thank you for taking this opportunity, miss snipes. >> well, thank you for giving me this opportunity. i look forward to it. >> all right. let's start with the biggest question. will you get your counting done on time? the thursday deadline you have, the friday deadline with military and out of country ballots after it. will you be ready on thursday?
>> absolutely. my team and i are working very hard, very diligently to make sure that that happens. >> so you're saying, 100%, you'll have the count done to everybody's satisfaction? >> i'm saying 100%. we have a staff that's highly trained. they're capable. they're competent. and we've set the goal of making sure that all of our information is in according to the schedule. >> you have been cited, miss snipes, as a problem in this process. that you're not doing the job with transparency and you're not doing it with the efficiency that gives confidence in the overall process. how do you respond? >> well, you know, that's probably -- those are opinions that people have put forward, for their own various reasons, but i would like to call your attention that this midterm election, in addition to running very smoothly, was one of the most highly participated midterm elections, probably that we've
had in 20 years or more. over 700,000 folks decided that they wanted to have a voice in this election. they came forward. they voted. we are counting their votes now in a recount procedure. but they said, i don't want to be left out. i want to be an important, contributing citizen of this process. and they came forward. and we appreciate that. >> all right. but you have rules that you're supposed to abide by and transparency that is very important. you refused to give the scott campaign the information they wanted. it had to go to court. the judge said you had to turn it over, you didn't turn it over by the deadline that was given. that is cast as a partisan spat, that you're doing that because you're a democrat. how do you respond to that? >> well, i was talking with a woman today as she came into our office, and she made some statement about -- a partisan statement. and she said, i know that you're a republican. i said, i have been a democrat all my life. in this position, i have been
very focused on party, because i want to treat all of the voters in broward county the same. and i think if you'd ask the voters, you'd find that i have that reputation. i don't have a reason to hold anything back, except that i don't want to give out information that's incomplete or incorrect at that particular time. so concerns or allegations that we are not transparent, there's one comment that my staff -- and we work very closely together -- always bring to my attention is, that dr. snipes, you'll just take time to walk anybody through our election warehouse. i think that's very important, because that gives those persons who take the time who come to us to see our operation, a chance to see behind the scenes. and there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make an election possible, to make it efficient, and to make it something that voters want to participate in. and obviously, we're doing that, if over 700,000 participated in the midterm.
>> well, if it were that obvious, rick scott wouldn't have had to go to court, though, with all due respect, right? he had to go to court to get this tour, that you say you're giving to everybody for no reason, he had to go to court to get it. fair criticism? >> um, no, it's not. no, it's not. we don't -- we don't select who we give our information to. we give the information to those persons who have requested it and i believe the public records request says "in a timely manner," and we attempt to do that. and we try to balance everything. we're finishing up one of the biggest elections -- as i mentioned earlier -- for the midterm, so we're trying to get everything complete. and as far as i know, we had a team working on that. >> right. >> and i'm pretty sure that they got the information out. >> now, after that, the central criticism comes to whether or not all the ballots that are supposed to be counted are and whether or not ballots that should not be counted are being counted. your critics point to 2020 -- 22 rejected provisional ballots
that were put in with a batch of 200 valid ones. and they say, you see? this is what happened back in 2016. they make mistakes in there, and it can change an election. >> as i said before, an election is a huge operation. there are many moving parts, but we pay attention to each one of them. there are folks who have specialties in all kinds of functions of the election process. and there were 25 ballots in question, not 21. and those 25 ballots had not been counted as of today. but now those ballots, as i understand it, came from valid broward voters. and i believe every voter should be given a fair opportunity to have their ballot cast, but we don't want that ballot to be cast illegally. if the ballot doesn't meet the standard, that's one thing. but if the ballots have been determined to come from actual registered voters who met all
the criteria of being a registered voter -- >> right. >> -- and operated as a registered voter, those votes should be counted. but that's not just my decision. decisions like that are taken before the canvassing board, and we sit as a team, there are three of us, two county judges and myself, supervisor of elections. so if a ballot is in question, before that ballot is opened, it comes to the canvassing board so that the canvassing board can review the circumstances. >> right. >> and the canvassing board makes a determination as to whether those ballots should be counted. >> is it not the case that whether the number is 22 or 25, whatever the number is, that those rejected provisional ballots that were put with 200 valid ones, is it not the case that those 22 or 25 ballots were then removed again, because they were not supposed to be counted with the other ones? >> they were -- they were never counted. those ballots had been separated. they had been isolated. they have not been counted to date. >> okay. one other question.
there's going to be a lot of talk about how well you do your job. you've talked about it. you said, i'm going to stay here pore -- for the pendency of my term or maybe i'll step down, we'll see what happens with the politics of it. but when it comes right down, are you more concerned with whether or not the count or the ballot itself is going to wind up being the story when it comes to the senate race? because the ballot in your county put the senate race in the bottom left-hand corner. and it could be that one of the reasons you have all of these undervotes in your county is because people didn't see the race because of the way the ballot was constructed. >> you know, our ballots are constructed by a state-approved ballot code and when we put our ballot together, that's exactly what we utilized. and we also have representatives sitting alongside us to assist with the coding of the ballot to make recommendations for the ballot. we have a huge ballot. our ballots are either six pages, five, or six pages in
length. and you have to be concerned about how it's going to appear to the voter, how it was going to be structured, and whether or not the voter is going to read everything that's important to making a selection. so i don't think there was anything wrong with the design of our ballot. we did create it according to the state's uniform ballot code, and that's the -- a part of the uniformity process in our elections here in florida. >> well, we'll see how that goes, because undervotes are going to be an issue in that race. and obviously, as you know, it's not news to you that people are talking about how the ballot is constructed. just to get you on the record with this, while i have you, dr. snipes, and i'll let you go back to your work, which is clearly more important than media interviews. but if the pressure stays on you, after this race, are you really thinking about resigning after the recount is over? >> as i told one of the reporters today, i'm thinking about many things. i have not made any decisions. whatever i do, i will
contemplate it very carefully and make what i think is the correct decision for me. >> all right. brenda snipes, i know these aren't comfortable questions for you, but the process matters so much. confidence in it matters so much that we wanted the opportunity to let you answer for yourself and let people know what's going on, so thank you for taking the opportunity. >> thank you. i appreciate it. thank you. >> all right. be well and good luck with the job. all right. we have more on the midterm message for president trump. what does this race, what does this popular vote where he lost by millions more than he did, even in 2016, how is he reacting to the democrats' wins as the 2018 election continues. this is big! t-mobile is offering the awesome iphone xr with an unlimited plan for just $40 bucks a month. unlimited. with the new iphone xr?! yeah, iphone xr included. for $40 bucks?! that is big. so, to breathe better, i go with anoro.
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[ neighing ] [ sigh ] it's bring your own phone, not pony. so i could've taken the bus? yeah. bring your phone. switch your carrier. save hundreds a year with xfinity mobile. call, click or visit a store today. you're looking at live pictures of the round-the-clock recount in florida. we just learned that some machines in palm beach county have been working so hard they've malfunctioned, erasing a day's worth of work. tonight, as republicans fight to hold on to their leads in the florida races for senate and for governor, president trump is not letting up on his attacks on the
election process. the president tried to spin the midterms as a big win for him, a claim that's obviously not true. and it's even more dubious, as we've seen the democrats expand their gains over the past week. cnn's senior white house correspondent, pamela brown, joins us now. and, pamela, president trump remains in election battle mode tonight. >> yeah, that's right. and then talking to white house officials, jake, president trump has been brooding about the election recount in florida, according to several people. and he's also making those feelings, those thoughts known on twitter. in fact, just today, he tweeted, when will bill nelson concede in florida? the characters running broward and palm beach voting will not be able to, quote, find enough votes. too much spotlight on them now. so this is a pattern we're seeing from the president, alleging that officials are trying to steal the election, democrats. and he's directed his ire particularly at brenda snipes, the election supervisor in
broward county who was just on our air, claiming without any evidence that she's trying to steal this election. now, officials in florida have said that there is no indication of wrongdoing. snipes, for her part, has said the same and she has defended the process. but all of this is a reflection of how important the state of florida is to this white house, to this president, as he looks ahead to 2020. and as the white house sees kyrsten sinema there, the democrat in arizona, take the senate seat. the just makes the results in florida that much more consequential. raising the stakes. in talking to white house officials, there is a sense of confidence that republicans will end up prevailing in florida. and if for some reason they don't, you can bet that the president will continue to hammer home without evidence that the recount is illegitimate and everything is fraudulent. >> and let's underline that again, pamela brown, the idea that the president is saying this, these claims are false. there is no evidence of any
theft, of any fraud. there are certainly questions about how the process is going on. there's certainly disputed ballots here and there. but the president keeps repeating that it's fraud, that it's theft. no evidence of it whatsoever. it's just a falsehood. pamela brown, thanks so much. let's check in with anderson. >> all right, jake. the president said it would be a referendum on him. now back to david chalian with a look at more exit poll results. >> so we'll take a look at the trump factor, his overall approval rating nationwide last tuesday according to the exit polls, 45% approve, 54% disapprove. that's actually in the neighborhood of what obama was at in 2010, of what bush was at in 2006 when they suffered losses. but when you look at the four-way split, we try to do this to get, where's the passion on this question? and you see here that donald trump, that bottom number there, 46% strongly disapprove. that's higher than both bush and obama. the passion about donald trump is clearly on the disapproval side there.
we also asked folks, how did you factor in donald trump to your vote? take a look here. 26% said their vote for the house last tuesday was to support the president. 38% said they were casting a vote to oppose the president and a third said trump was not a factor at all, but clearly, that was a net negative for the president on his party's chances last tuesday. >> so, david, i mean, if you are president trump, how do you look at those results and how do you adjust if you are of a mind to adjust? >> there you go, anderson. every day of this administration, for a year and a half, i look every day at what he's saying and doing. the policies that he's proposing, to see what did the president and his team do today to expand his reach in the electorate, as opposed to just quadruple down on the folks that he has? and this has not been a presidency that has been dedicated to trying to expand that reach into voters he didn't already have. it's actually, as we were seeing now, it's shrunken what he had from 2016.
and so he has shown no inclination, to your point, to actually make an adjustment here. i think the road map of how to adjust this is clear. i think david was talking about it earlier, the economic populism. i think there are lots of things the president could do. he has shown no inclination to do so. >> and, anderson and david, those disapproval numbers, the strongly disapprove numbers are interesting. i would like to see that broken down even further because i hear from a lot of people, boy, we love what the president is doing, we hate what he's saying, right? the tone versus efficacy issue, right? so if that number could be broken down even further, do people despise his tone or just despise him overall? >> suddenly, republicans are talking about the tone. john thune was talking about the tone -- >> a little late, buddy. >> well, the president spoke about it. he acknowledged it. >> "maybe i would change my tone." >> he said, i would love to change my tone, but i can't. >> how many times -- how many times over the last couple of years have we said, maybe he'll pivot, maybe he'll change his tone. pivot should be outlawed, that word. >> i don't think anyone's said that in the last two years. maybe early on, the first week or so, there was -- >> but nothing has changed.
>> the only -- >> -- that the republicans might, maybe tiptoe and say, mr. president, you need to stop doing that. i don't know. david, maybe you can tell me that. >> so, again, i would say, the president needs to remember what got him here, right? all of those rallies were about coal, about economics, about bringing jobs back, making america great economically, all right, that was what people -- people look at the verbatims on some of these polls of democrats -- i've never voted republican, but this guy's got my back. these were all economic messages that really resonated with those independents and democrats. and he needs to get back to that message to win. >> but what he think works for him is the conspiracy. look at what he's doing in florida. he doesn't change, he doubles down. when the votes get close -- and it's crazy, because the math is actually in the republicans' favor. the bad ballot design actually favored rick scott. >> right! >> and yet donald trump is talking about voter fraud without any proof,ecausee him in 2016 and so he could draw
better lessons from his win, but i think he's drawing the wrong ones. >> i think donald trump should just keep in mind, though, that you cannot talk about trump in 2016 without talking about "build the wall" and "lock her up." those things are not divorced from the message in 2016. and it might have worked for him then, when hillary clinton was on the ballot, but she is not going to be on the ballot in 2020. >> well, maybe not. >> well, someone else. someone else is. and the other problem president trump faces is that he honestly doesn't like campaigning on those other issues that you just talked about. he said, explicitly, i think it's boring, my supporters think it's boring, and he wants to give them the show of their lives. >> i like the job -- >> that's good -- >> if anybody is expecting -- if anybody is expecting between now and 2020 for donald trump to somehow change, i have a bridge in brooklyn i want to sell you, right? >> or a trump degree. >> that's just not going to happen. everybody's waiting on that word that we should bury, it's called pivot, right? that's just not happening. but i think democrats still have
to step into that void. and what we're going to have now is we're going to have so many people with these messages. you have everyone who has a very succinct message from a kamala harris or deval patrick to sherrod brown to those who want to follow donald trump down this rabbit hole, the michael avenattis and others. so my advice to democrats is do not go down this rabbit hole. allow elijah cummings and these individuals to do the oversight that is required and necessary, right? i believe it was grassley who said his advice to donald trump would be to comply, coop nate. well, we know that ain't happening. but other than that, do not follow trump down these rabbit holes, because we have a prime opportunity to build on our electorate. we have a diverse electorate now, but we can build on it. and we can make sure we solidify that blue wall. >> but when they blow the whistle and toss the ball up, jump ball, all bets are off. a lot of sharp elbows. you've seen reports, there are not enough democratic campaign consultants for the primary field, right? >> that's amazing. >> there will be. >> the base primary electorate.
the voters that are going to show up in these contests in the caucuses and the primaries, they want some of that red meat. you know that, bakari. >> they have to put on a little bit of a show. >> is there any democrat that actually has shown they know how to run against president trump at this point? >> not yet. >> not yet. >> is there any candidate -- i mean -- >> there's only about 18 of them right now. >> in the meantime, i think democrats are approaching this -- having watched the republicans do it on their side, and thinking, okay, well, we have to work this out amongst ourselves. and the process is going to change the candidates. i think their problem -- as someone who covered democrats in 2016, a lot of people came out of that feeling like the coronation of hillary clinton really hurt them. >> oh, sure. >> that they were not able to vet -- >> bernie sanders -- >> -- vet the field to the degree that they would have liked to. to tap into what the voters might have actually wanted in that election. so they're going to have an opportunity to do that, whether that produces -- >> to that point, you know this, to get traction, among the democratic electorate, you've
got to pull it a certain amount. to be at the big kids' table at the debates, you have to break a certain number. >> but that's not the case now. if you look at the newest polls, you have joe biden at 20%. and you have 20 other candidates -- >> but what i think is key for the democrats going forward, i think the election results of this week, which immediately set the context upon which the 2020 presidential race for the democrat nomination begins. this is the political context in which it starts. i think the results actually were quite muddled. i don't think it settled -- i don't think the results made clear for the democratic party which way to go here. you had the bold progressives in beto o'rourke and andrew gillum and stacey abrams that you were talking about earlier, bakari. they came up short. they overperformed with democrats, but came up short in the goal of winning their seats. so i'm not sure that there isn't still an argument for the terry mcauliffes or steve -- >> no, no, i agree with that. i agree with that. i think that terry mcauliffe is
going to be a very viable candidate and lead this party, if he so chooses and can garner that support. but andrew gillum and stacey abrams and beto o'rourke did not lose. all right. and i know that they may not have won these particular races, but they fundamentally rebranded the democratic party. i moon -- mean, stacey abrams and andrew gillum showed that you can have progressivism in a black idiom. beto o'rourke showed, if you have this grassroots movement, no matter where you are, if you touch 100 counties in texas and you have that energy and out here showing that you can have not only the hollywoods and the willie nelsons showing you can have the bubba who drives a truck that you have an opportunity -- >> yeah, but you have to actually win, though. >> a winning national message. >> but let me just tell you this, without those three individuals, you don't flip the house. so, i mean, we can sit here and say that they lost their elections, they did. however, you're not winning in the suburbs -- you're not winning the chaletla seats in florida. you're not winning the allred races in texas. you're not winning the lucy mcbath race in georgia.
so that energy was built by these individuals who showed that you could -- >> but how about independent voters? this to me was the key. you were showing the exit polls, the way independent voters went for democrats by a large margin. those are the people now that the democrats have to keep and turn to and say, stay with us. the suburban voters in houston and dallas and orange county and, you know, wherever, denver. those independent voters now who were trump's at one point, need to be -- need to be -- >> and again, to break out of that primordial ooze, it's got to be pretty progressive to break out. >> we've got to take a quick break. we've been getting new votes from california in this hour alone. we'll have an update on that ahead. and we'll break down the big races that the democrats just lost that david mentioned and consider the lesson for 2020.
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tabulation takes days, weeks, every state has its own laws. they're all projected out weeks. now, those projections are a function of timing and litigation. and a big case for that you're going to see in florida, also in georgia. tomorrow, we're going to have a ruling on stacey abrams' lawsuit regarding absentee ballots. abrams, the georgia governor, democratic candidate, is one of the last holdouts for new rising star democrats. so what is abrams' possible defeat and the losses of andrew gillum and beto o'rourke mean for democrats? let's get some perspective on that and a lot more from cnn senior political commentator, david axelrod. always good to see you, axe. >> good to see you. >> all right. so let's start with the bold-faced names. there was a lot of hope pinned on gillum, although he always had an uphill challenge, so did abrams, especially given the politics and the culture and the history of georgia and florida. beto o'rourke, same thing could be said. of course, he's not a person of
color. that was an additional challenge for abrams and gillum. but what does it mean that the big names went down? >> well, first of all, they all -- and i'm not here to be an apologist for either party, but i must say, i think this is being analyzed in the wrong way, because all of them outperform their predecessor candidates. beto o'rourke in texas did better than any democrat running for major statewide office there in 20 years. abrams did better than her predecessor democratic candidates. gillum did better, although marginally, than the last two democratic candidates for governor. so i wouldn't read too much -- >> but they lost. >> -- into them. they also stirred -- they did. they stirred a lot of excitement in places where the result was democrats picked up house seats. but i think you can learn something from those candidates, despite whether they win or lose, you can learn something from those candidates, because it had as much to do with the
style of their campaigning than it did with their views on some ideological spectrum. beto o'rourke campaigned all over texas, went to every county, and his style was one of respect for voters. wherever he went, even if they disagreed with him, his style was one of optimism and being a positive force. and that is something i think people are hungry for there. i think the lessons you can draw from these candidates -- and by the way, abrams and gillum campaigned that way in the general elections there, as well. i think that we -- that democrats need a candidate who is going to treat voters with respect, wherever they find them, in this country. and that is a prescription for success against a donald trump who has made a decision that he is going to try to maximize his base and write off the rest of the vote. >> i hear you. i understand the analysis. and i get the adjustment that
you're making in terms of the blanket statement, "well, they lost." but at the end of the day, we had this conversation during the special elections. and i've been listening to everybody tonight and their thoughts about defining victory. i'm more simple than that, axe. you've got to win at some point. and the problem in the special elections is that the democrats were competing in places better than they had in the past, but they didn't win. and we did see them win in a lot of house areas in this midterm election. not the special election period, there they kept losing. but in these midterms, they won in places. and i wonder if what we're seeing is, you still lost in texas, you still lost in georgia and in florida, maybe twice in both of the races. but you're gaining ground. and if trump keeps banging away on fear and loathing and he keeps distancing himself, not just from the others in his party, but from the orthodoxy of it, is that what democrats are betting on for 2020? >> well, i think democrats probably look at these cross tabs and they see, for example, that democrats broke basically
even with voters over 45 and voters -- even voters over 65, which once was a republican stronghold. trump carried them, broke 12 points ahead with independent voters. trump carried them by 4%. honestly if you look at the suburbs have been picked over. big victory for democrats. but you look at rural democrats and rural areas and even the margins there were smaller than those margins that trump got. >> yeah. >> so he is shrinking his base, and that's an opportunity for democrats. and i'd just say democrats won seven governorships. democrats held -- it looks like they're going to hold the margin and one to two gains for republicans with the worst senate map in a century and picked up more seats than at any time since the watergate year of 1974 in the house. it's really hard to read these results as anything but positive for democrats and a cautionary note for republicans.
doesn't mean that donald trump is going to lose. i remember people reading last rites over barack obama after the 2010 midterm election and won a substantial victory. >> yeah. >> so, you know, i'm not suggesting that things can't change. but the one thing that won't change is donald trump. >> right. >> i think we've seen a lot of evidence of that. and if he's not going to change, he's going to face a really tough night two years from now. >> look, i mean we thought there was an inkling. i'm one of those foolish optimists. i always believe that you got to give people an opportunity to not be their worst day, but when macron said, here's why you don't want to be a nationalist, here's what's wrong with nationalism, which is obviously -- which is common sense, it wasn't even political philosophy, trump said nothing at first. i said, oh, look at that. he's keeping his mouth shut when he should. good for him. then today he came out and bashed macron and made jokes about world war i and world war ii and the germans. so you're right. he is who he is. the question now is who will the democrats be? they've got a chance to be in power in the house. let's see what they do with it.
axe, thank you so much. always appreciate it. all right. my friend, good to see you. >> back to wolf and jake. >> thanks, chris. it's interesting because already the midterms aren't even over yet. we're still calling races. but people are trying to figure out what this might mean for president trump and his re-election contest. one of the things that i think is you can see signs both positive and negative for president trump in these results, mainly negative. but, you know, he did hold some states, republicans did. florida, for example. but one thing that i think is a very important development is the fact that the states where trump won the election, pennsylvania, wisconsin, michigan -- those were states that did well for democrats. >> mm-hmm. >> senate and governors races in pennsylvania, democrats won. wasn't really even close. in wisconsin, scott walker defeated in the governor's office by a democrat, and the senator, the incumbent senator winning a race that everyone
thought was going to be competitive. not all that competitive. and, in fact, senator baldwin ran on medicare for all and won wisconsin, and then michigan, of course, where democrats held a senate seat and picked up a governor's office. that's significant in terms of those states. it's not to say that president trump can't win them again, but it does say, first of all, they're going to have democratic governors. and second of all, it does say the democratic message did well. >> yeah, in some ways i think we probably overestimated trump's strength in the midwest, right? he won those three states, michigan, wisconsin, and pennsylvania, by about 80,000 votes. if you look back at the way obama performed in those states, he won pennsylvania, i think, by something like 300,000 votes. he won michigan by about 400,000 votes in 2012. what is interesting about the people they ran, right, really centrist democrats, right? gretchen whitmer in michigan won the governorship, and part of
her message was fix the damn roads, right? i mean very sort of bread and butter issues, obviously issues around medicaid and medicaid expansion and health care as well. but i also think what we're seeing is this debate in the democratic party about who you should run in 2020, right? all the conversation about gillum and abrams, as much as they talk about progressives losing in those states, it's really a conversation about whether or not the democratic party should run a black person or a brown person or a woman in 2020, or should they run a white male? >> that's very true. and then i talked to the trump people about this notion that you were talking about, the blue wall building back up in those states where he knocked it over with his win. and the response was, well, maybe, but he wasn't on the ballot. and they are hoping that it will be different once he is. that's a hope until we see who's on the other side. and that's what it's all about. hillary clinton didn't go to wisconsin. hillary clinton didn't go to michigan.
pennsylvania was maybe taken for granted a little bit more than it should have been. end of story. >> yeah. >> you know? and the president offered them things that -- >> one thing that is clear. there will be dozens of democrats running for that presidential nomination. >> at least. >> already this presidential contest, at least among the democrats, has started dramatically. we're going to take a very, very quick break. coming up, she rode the wave of democratic women who ran for congress for the first time and won. we're going to ask illinois congresswoman-elect lauren underwood about her historic victory and what's next. a moment of joy. a source of inspiration. an act of kindness. an old friend. a new beginning. some welcome relief... or a cause for celebration. ♪ what's inside? ♪
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november 6th. in the house, democrats are reclaiming control by a bigger margin than first thought. they now have a majority of 225 seats. republicans have 200. and we're still awaiting the final outcome of ten house races. democrats are leading in seven of those contests. we saw one house race in california flip in their favor before our eyes earlier tonight. the democrats potentially picking up close to 40 seats, which would be their best midterm performance in decades. in the senate, democrats have stemmed losses in some very tight races. they now hold 47 seats. republicans have a majority of 51 seats. two senate contests remain undecided. jake, we're watching some important cliff-hanger races. >> wolf, once again, right now it's all about florida with two marquee contests on the line as a statewide recount is unfolding this evening. democratic senator bill nelson looking to close the gap in his tight contest with republican rick scott.