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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  March 13, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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i'm steve kornacki. we're still going strong here early in the morning on the east coast, this is our continuing coverage. how exciting is this. the peaspecial election in pennsylvania between comer lamb and rick saccone, the race too close to call, no one has called this race. 99%, though, of the expected vote, it is in, it is counted, it's dislay for the world to see. democrat conor lamb currently in the lead with 579 votes. that is out of 227,000 cast district-wide. that number accounts for all of the election-day vote and most
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of the absentee vote. why are we with with you live? it's for this reason. we could be within minutes receiving a critical number. that would be the absentee vote in washington county. that could be enough to tell us if saccone's going to have any mathematical chance to overtake conor lamb. now earlier tonight, even though all the votes aren't counted yet, democrat conor lamb took to the stage and he said this to his supporters. >> it took a little longer than we thought, but we did it. you did it. you did it. >> and the chairman of the house democrats campaign also declaring victory for his party saying in a statement tonight, "i want to congratulate conor lamb and his team of grassroots supporters on an incredible
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victory, i'm excited to have conor as a colleague and look forward to working with him on the issues facing our country." as for the republicans, rick saccone, his campaign, they are not conceding anything at this hour. animated candidate rick saccone took the stage after the election day votes were counted. >> i just came down to -- you know we're still fighting the fight, it's not over yet. we're going to fight all the way. all the way to the end. you know i never give up. you know my first race went into the night, and we won that. my second race was the same way. we're kind of used to this now, right? so -- that's it, we're not going to -- we're not giving up, don't give up, and we'll keep it up! we're going to win! >> now the saccone campaign tells nbc news they have been in touch with legal counsel tonight, that they are exploring their full range of legal
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options. pennsylvania's law requires a recount for statewide races if candidates are within .5% of each other. the law is murky, it does not specify what happens when you're in a congressional district like this one. not a statewide race, a congressional district. the ka season campaign says it may not make a final decision about their next move until march 20th. that is also the deadline for both these candidates to file paperwork to run in november. this district is going away because of redistricting, they'll have to decide which new district these have to move into if they want to run again. exactly what we're looking for, 579. that is the margin at this hour, as we said, for conor lamb. what we are waiting for, we talked to somebody in the board of elections office a few minutes ago, it's right here, washington county. we got basically 1,200 absentee ballots of 1,195 being counted as we speak. we are going to get the announcement probably this hour of how those votes went.
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you can see how critical that is. saccone is 579 behind. can he cut severely into this lead here? he's certainly hoping so. we've got to tell you what he's up against, two things. first of all, this, a red county, but tonight rick saccone is not winning it by a huge margin, only winning by 7. the other thing is what we've seen in allegheny and westmoreland in their absentee votes is the absentee vote has been more favorable to lamb than the election day votes. if that continues, that 53 could come down even further for saccone. you're looking at that bank of 1,200 votes, how many is he going to be able to gain? he would need something, a departure in washington county from what we saw in westmoreland and allegheny earlier. he desperately needs it. can he get it? we're going to find out. that's the biggest chunk of outstanding votes. otherwise you've got greene, i think they went to sleep.
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200 votes there, they're probably going to be counted tomorrow. again, just for comparison, how did the race go on election day? 58% for saccone, a small county, 58% for saccone again. this that trend held the number might be different in the absentee ballots. beyond that military and provisional. military is going to be a very small number. we talked to somebody in washington county, they said there are 14 military ballots in that entire county. they're going to have a week to get those in and count those. there's a total of 14 at the most there. you can expect similarly low numbers the rest of the district. might be an area where saccone could cut into the lead but not going to be many ballots there. proviolational, let's see, the expectation especially in allegheny, the provisional, only a couple hundred, low hundreds. that's what we're looking at total. the expectation is maybe the allegheny portion, those are a little more favorable to lamb. other areas are more republican, maybe issues there would help
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saccone, but that's it. you're going to have scores or dozens of military votes, low hundreds of provisionals. what saccone needs, and he needs it in this hour, when they release that number from washington, he needs a big number out of washington county. i think he's got to do probably better than he did in the election day vote there. he's got to probably improve on that 53%. you could get a big number, multiply it into the 1,200 outstanding ballots. maybe he could start to eat into it. it is a massive stack against him but you can understand why he's not questioning up yet, it's an exciting hour, it's early morning, you're awake with me. we've got an election coming down to absentee and we get to watch it together. don't go to sleep, what would be the point of staying up this late and going to sleep now? i know you're supposed to work in the morning, so am i, who cares, we're going to be talking about this 50 years from now. joining us now, kaitlin huey
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burns, national political reporter for "real clear politics." jason johnson, politics editor at the root.com and nbc contributor. jason, let's go bigger context to start with. whatever happens tonight, we've seen a 20-point swing in this district from the 2016 result won by trump, it's not the first district we've seen this in. >> right. this is getting worse and worse for the democrats. even as a political scientist, i've been the contrarian, i've never been in love with the congressional ballot, i think it sort of generalizes too many things. what we've been seeing is this. the special elections are getting closer and closer and democrats have started to break through. they're winning state senate races, winning statehouse races, they win with doug jones, now conor lamb or it seems likely they've won with conor lamb. i think the operative lesson -- republicans have a chance of possibly saving themselves from a blue wave. they have to stop being so lazy
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with the candidates they're putting up. conor lamb was an excellent candidate in any year. saccone was not a great candidate. republicans are serious about keeping control of the house and the senate, they've got to make sure they're putting forth competitive candidates. if they keep putting out whatever it is they think they can get away with, they're going to get wiped out this fall. >> i'm wondering, it's a matter of inches one way or the other. psychologically, if the headline ends up being that lamb, the democrat, has won this district, versus saccone eked it out by a few dozen votes, do you think for the average embattled republican looking ahead, there's a psychological difference there between being able to say, hey, at least we still won? >> i think so. i think joe biden is right that there will be more retirements among republicans if conor lamb wins this election even narrowly. and the more retirements there are, then the more level the playing field is, incumbents usually have an advantage.
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and that would help the democrats get to their magic number of 24 to flip the house. but the other thing that this race is really indicating to me is the trump factor campaigning locally. this is a guy who goes wherever he wants. you're going to have a lot of republicans this fall who are going to be running for cover. especially in districts that are much more closely divided than this one is. they're going to be saying or hoping that the president doesn't come to their district. that trump being trump, he's going to go anyway so you're going to have very awkward situations where republican incumbents are going to be campaigning with a president they don't really want to be with. >> that's an interesting issue in this race. we'll see what happens tonight. if this holds, if conor lamb does pull this out, the president was just there the other day. how do you think he reacts to this? >> exactly. the president campaigned for saccone. a lot of people criticized that rally for being a rally about
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trump. but that was also kind of the point. he was trying to transfer his support down the ballot, telling people a vote for saccone was a vote for the trump agenda. i've been talking to republicans all day, whether that support is transferrable, and they're saying it is going to be district by district. there are going to be districts where the president is going to be welcome, people are going to wrap their arms around him. other districts like colorado, for example, the house republican democratic map runs through california, new york, new jersey. those are going to be very different. republicans and the president have to get on the same page and be strategic about the decision, because the outcome of these races, of course, affects all of them. >> jason, it's interesting, this question of transfer ability. all these republicans wondering, trump has this special bond with the republican base, can i tap into that at all? i'm reminded here of the frustration democrats had in the obama era, barack obama had that bond with the democratic base
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2010, 2014, couldn't seem to transfer it. >> no. no, look, it's very, very hard to transfer a really magnetic and interesting presidential candidate, whether barack obama, whether donald trump, and sprinkle that fairy dust on other candidates. i think the other thing is this, i think republicans down ballot have realized that trumpism, it's a nice suit that looks great in the store but you can't take it home with you, it only fits on one guy. only donald trump can get away with the scandals he's gotten away with and stay popular with his base. only donald trump can make the mistakes he's made as a candidate and a president and still stay popular. a lot of these candidates are realizing, i can't embrace trumpism the same way because i don't have the same protective field around moits. i think some of them will eventually acquiesce and say, i need you to come here and help me raise money, i'm december operate u. but i think of this behavior is going to have to moderate. >> it's interesting too,
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jonathan, democrats, conor lamb, the campaign he ran, issues that jump out, trade, guns, the nra, the question that's been raised the last few weeks. this was a message in some ways that was a trumpist message for a trumpist district that the democrats ran on. >> on those two issues, you've got to remember, he was very much against the tax cut. he was very much in favor of obamacare. so on two big democratic issues, he took the traditional democratic line. one area where he took a different path was on nancy pelosi. he said he would vote against her for speaker. this is going to be a big issue for democrats. and for nancy pelosi personally. what is her decision going to be? republicans spent a huge amount of money in this campaign trying to link conor lamb to pelosi, even though he didn't support her. they're going to do that all over the country. imagine if nancy pelosi says in september or october after she's
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raised a ton of money, you know what? i'm not going to be a candidate for speaker. then she knocks the struts out. >> you think that's possible? >> possible, not probable. but possible. there's been a fair amount of talk about it in her circle. >> what do you think? >> i mean, she is a huge liability still. democrats are saying, well, look, if conor lamb wins, that proves he was able to separate himself from her. but you talk to republicans and look at the polling that they're seeing. she is a negative weight on democrats in other areas where they're not going to have the kind of candidate like conor lamb. you're not going to have this nationalized attention on one race where you're able to kind of define yourself independent. conor lamb localized this race in an effective way. looking at all these other races going on at the same time, you're not having that kind of attention and the ability to kind of carve out independence. so that's a problem for republicans as it pertains to trump in cases, certainly still a problem for democrats. >> there's a school of thought when it comes to midterms the
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opposition party, whether it's republicans with obama or democrats right now, they don't have to do too much because the nature of these elections is like you want to check whoever's in the white house. how much of that is carrying everything we're seeing tonight and this last year? montana, south carolina, these swing states -- how much of it is gravity of politics? >> i think that's a big part of this. we don't live in a parliamentary system. if you're unhappy with who's in office, we pretty much have one other choice. i've argued notions of messages and lack of message on the part of democrats, it's no a big deal during midterms. remember the democratic message in 2006 in the only midterm message i remember is the contract with america in '94. for the most part, if you're the opposition party, as long as you don't have a big scandal, you're going to end up benefiting. i also say this. i think this is important about nancy pelosi and her symbolism. if you're the kind of voter who is motivated by animus against nancy pelosi, it won't matter if she steps down, it means you're
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already a hard-core republican, you're going to vote for the republican candidate. even if nancy pelosi wasn't there, donald trump has made it clear he's got maxine waters, chuck schumer, other democrats he can throw out as red meat. >> even if it ends up being the case that democrats don't need to put it together this year in terms of a clear message, everybody being on the same page, they probably do in 2020. >> yeah, no, i think they do. jason and i disagree a little bit on both of these points. you always need a message in politics. it doesn't have to be a one size fits all message. but you've got to focus the people on the issues that are important to you. if you just run a kind of a lackadaisical campaign or depending on animus toward trump, you're going to pick up some seats because it's the gravity that you talk about, but to get to 24, 25? more seats than that? you've got to have something more going for you. and as far as pelosi, i think
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she was a great speaker in many ways and she was very much responsible for the affordable care act passing. almost as much responsibility for that as the president, barack obama. but if you can take a target off your back, why not? if you can get generational change, which millennials and a lot of other voters are ready for, why not? why keep investing in these old leadership in congress and also in an older presidential candidate -- >> 2020. >> that's an interesting question, if democrats were to go that route, it raises the question who next? steny hoyer, cleburne, same age. one of the things pelosi's done is insulate herself from internal challenge. one of the costs of that ends up being, who's next when it's time to go? maybe we'll have that conversation this year, maybe we won't. coming up, how well did conor lamb do in trump country? we are continuing to wait, any
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minute now, we're getting word from washington county, it could decide the election.
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go out on tuesday and just vote like crazy, you got to get out there. the world is watching. i'm going to be home watching the returns. the whole world, remember that, they're all watching. we want to keep it going. we want to keep the agenda to make america great going. you got to get them in. this is a very important race. >> all right, that was president trump's rallying cry to voters in allegheny county in the pennsylvania 18th district. he was there campaigning for
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rick saccone over the weekend. the 18th district special election in pennsylvania, it comes just two years after donald trump carried the same district by 20 points. we do not yet know the final outcome tonight. we hope to learn this hour. we are waiting, any minute to get the absentee wall lots out of washington county, i can't wait to tell you. before we get to that interesting stat from today's vote. this is hq reports. conor lamb won 132 precincts that were won by donald trump in 2016. rick saccone did not win a single precinct won by hillary clinton in 2016. david jolly, former republican congressman from florida, am rhea teresa kumar, president and ceo of voter latino and msnbc contributor. i'm curious about the trump effect. we saw high turnout, energized turnout against the republicans in allegheny county, the suburban part of this district
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where lamb has done so well tonight. on the other hand, as dave wasserman pointed out, if you look at the votes cast today, it may end up being the case saccone wins the election day vote. is there a possibility here that while trump is a drag on republicans in the suburbs, he came in and joined up enthusiasm in the rest of the district? >> i think, i've been a product of this, i do think the rnc and the nrcc's get out the vote effort all the way through election day is actually -- has outperformed democrats. i think that's what we're seeing. more republicans show up to vote even if they agree with the president. they come home to the republican party vote. but you know, interestingly, with that lead-in clip about donald trump, the two in pennsylvania avenue, we saw how donald trump reacted in alabama with luther strange and roy moore. what does donald trump do tomorrow morning? try to suggest somehow he made the republican candidate better in pennsylvania? does he suggest that but for him
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it would have been worse? the other end of pennsylvania is also important. i don't see a pathway tonight for how republicans keep the house in november. it's hard to see a pathway for republicans holding a majority in november, given the fact that this was a 20-point seat that they nearly lost or perhaps lost tonight. >> maria, i'm not trying to be a shameless promoter, counting down to this result, but the enthusiasm and the organization on each side, david mentions the republican effort sort of coming out of the rnc. on the democratic side, i think we might be getting a test in the next few minutes in washington county. absentee ballots, did they organize, did they get votes to vote ahead of time? >> what's interesting is republicans are acting like democrats waiting till the last minute to vote, and democrats, it looks like they're doing it ahead of time, absentee. it's usually the flip. what's interesting is to see where we are with the provisional ballots. al franken won his senatorial seat because of provisional
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ballots, he won by 1,000. these are proportionately areas where a lot of folks are working families, a lot of folks that don't get the straight information. i would watch provisional ballots much more closely. oftentimes you lose individuals that don't know where to vote and they just show up. >> maria teresa kumar and david jolly, thanks to you. we are waiting, i am dying with anticipation here. any minute now the absentee ballots from washington county, we'll find out how they voted. we are still waiting. as soon as we get them we'll tell you. next as the countdown continues, there's no concession speech, but was there a victory speech? we'll let you be the judge.
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all right, we continue to wait for a call on the special election in pennsylvania's 18th congressional district. waiting on those absentee ballots in washington county. as soon as they come in we will be all over it. stay up with us, please. meanwhile, as we continue to wait, we did hear from both candidates. no concession speech was delivered. there might have been a victory speech or an attempt at a victory speech, at least. republican rick saccone took the stage first, hear what he had to say. >> wow. i'm applauding you. that's why i came out applauding, i'm applauding you all. i just came down to -- you know we're still fighting the fight, it's not over yet, we're going to fight all the way, all the way to the end. you know i never give up.
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you know my first race went into the night, and we won that. my second race was the same way. we're kind of used to this now, right? that's it, we're not giving up. but i wanted to come down and thank you all. and i know you have -- you've got to go to work tomorrow, everybody's got things to do, i didn't want to keep you here later than you really need to be. because we're going to be working late into the night, into tomorrow. and -- but i wanted to thank you all. because i know how hard you've worked. and i was out at some of the polls today. i know how cold it was. i know you spent all those hours out there for us, for our family, for all of you, for the agenda that we're working on. and you never gave up, you never gave up on us, you never gave up on me. and i thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. you guys are amazing, i'm not
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kidding, always so upbeat, you're salt of the earth, you're the best people in the world, i couldn't ask for a better blessing than to have supporters like you. i'm pleased that you're still here. again, i don't want you to try to hang on too much. i know many of you got to go. i definitely wanted to come down and say to you that i thank you ever so much. we're going to keep fighting. don't give up and we'll keep it up, we're going to win! god bless you all. >> that was rick saccone. he came out talking to his supporters first. after that, democrat conor lamb, here's what he said. >> well. it took a little longer than we thought. but we did it. you did it. you did it.
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you did it. i see so many great friends out here. you know, four months ago right after we won the democratic nomination, before we ever even had a chance to open an office, the grassroots leaders that are in this room tonight came to us, and they said, precipitatiint u something, print anything, so we can get out there and start canvassing. they said, get going, they said. or we're going without you. well, we went together. and i can't thank you enough.
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we followed what i learned in the marines. leave no one behind. we went everywhere. we talked to everyone. we invited everyone in. and we found that there was public support for programs like social security and medicare that's nearly universal. because these programs are universal. they are america's way of saying, we are all in this together. our issue in this campaign is common ground. we fought to find common ground, and we found it.
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almost everywhere. democrats, republicans, independents. each of us, americans. i've heard it over and over. >> go, conor! >> i've heard over and over, conor -- >> we love you! >> i've heard, conor, the job you're running for is the house of representatives. so if you get down there, do the job. do the job. okay, i will. mission accepted.
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people are so tired of the shouting on tv and in our politics. >> come together! >> it's amazing what happens when you're in a room with real people who have real aspirations and real troubles. there's lots of ideas. there's no angry shouting. our job in congress is to attack the problems, not each other. people want to be heard. they want to talk about serious things and honest solutions. not be drowned out by dark money, distorting the truth, and telling lies to our children. i'm proud that you helped me
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refuse corporate pac money. you helped us raise millions in small contributions. 86,000 donations. almost all of them small. every one of them in the open. just like our campaign. we were able to campaign the way american democracy is supposed to be. it's supposed to be for you, not just on tv, but in your town halls, at legion posts, in small auditoriums, on your streets, at
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your door. and side by side with us at each step of the way were the men and women of organized labor. organized labor built western pennsylvania. let me tell you something. tonight, they have reasserted their right to have a major part in our future. these unions have fought for decades for wages, benefits, working conditions, basic
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dignity, and social justice. thank you. thank you. you have brought me into your ranks to fight with you. let me tell you something else. i am proud to be right there with you. thank you. let me finish with this. i'm a pennsylvania democrat. a proud western pennsylvania democrat. this is the party of my grandfather. he believed in fdr, who taught us all -- he taught us all that people have a right to know that their government walks on their side of the street. what that means is, i'll work on
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the problems our people face. secure their jobs and pensions, protect their families. and i will work with anyone to do that. we're practical people. we're serious people. and tonight, we celebrate regaining our voice and our vote in the great business of governing this country we love. thank you.
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the waiting continues. we are waiting for ballots, absentee ballots, to be counted in washington county. remember, 579 votes, that's the lead for the democrat conor lamb right now. there are basically 1,200 absentee ballots in washington county. they're doing two things, one of them takes awhile, one of them
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is pretty quick. one is a hand count of the ballots. the other one is a scan. it's a very close race, they want to be very thorough. what we're told is there are 40 precincts that are left in washington county for them to do the scan. that the hand counts are completed. that they're now doing the scan, the ballot scan in those 40 remaining precincts. when that is done, if this holds, we will then know who won those 1,200 votes, 1195 to be exact, in washington county. those absent tee votes. remember, it needs to be -- saccone needs a big number, he's trying to cut into a 579-vote lead for conor lamb. that's where they stood, we got that update within the last two minutes. any update i'm going to share with you, i promise you, whatever happens in our programming tonight, i'm staying up and i want you staying up with me because i want us to all find out together what happens in this county. we cannot invest this much time, this much jerry, kill ourselves
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with a lack of sleep, and not at least find out how the county voted. stay up and i promise i will stay up with you. in the meantime we'll we'll bring in folks to talk about everything going on. jason johnson theroot.com and msnbc contributor, jonathan altar, kaitlin burns, they are back with us. i was saying in the break, i'm almost running out of questions. but maybe i just take a minute here to appreciate, you know, if you're anybody watching at this hour, you're an election junkie or insomniac. let's talk to the election junkies because you don't get nights like this. whatever side you're on, this is just exciting. >> this is cool. this is an exhibition of every vote counts in this case. i think we're talking about the actual results, what there will be. i think the fact that we are at this point, where it is so close in a district, again, we've been talking about this, that trump won by 20 points. the fact that it is 50/50 with
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the possibility, to your math, of lamb pulling this out. i think you have a lot of republicans across the country really worried, no matter what the results are tonight. >> jonathan, what's going through your mind waiting for these final votes to come in? >> since it's 3:00 in the morning, one of the things is going through my mind is i was in a studio on this floor in 2000 on election night ahh, yeah. >> on the area with tom brokaw and tim russert and we were talking about how that election, the stakes were higher, a presidential election, but it could all be going to court, and indeed it did in florida. i don't think this one is going to go to court. i don't think the republican party nationally really wants to pursue this that much. i mean, these guys are going to run again in november. and they're in different districts. but it is fun for anybody who loves politics. and it's why politics is sometimes compared to sports.
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because there's just a rush you get from the fun of the chase. but i'm also struck by something that rick saccone said earlier in the campaign. he insulted conor lamb a lot. he said that his supporters hated god and hated this country. but at one point he said of his opponent, conor lamb, he's still young and idealistic and thinks he can change the world. as if that was an insult. as if that was like a great attack line. and to me it sort of summarized what's going on now. which is a backlash against that, that kind of cynicism, that idea that young people shouldn't be trying to make change. and i think it's why it looks like he's going to lose tonight. >> jason, help us. this is broadcasting, we're supposed to be exciting. help us pass the time till we get these results. what are you thinking right now,
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where's your mind? >> first off, i'm thinking as you were talking before, we've waited this long. it's sort of like you've been binge watching a certain show and you're like, i'm at the last episode, i need to finish "dexter," i have to see how this ends. so we're staying up to see it. but what's getting me here, this is very idiosyncratic to pennsylvania. trump kept saying, he's been saying all along, you're going to win so much, you're going to be tired of winning. all that winning also makes candidates and makes parties lazy. pennsylvania does not have early voting. that means the key to victory is enthusiasm and a ground game. and that's the kind of thing that conor lamb had. he had people on the ground. he had people getting these absentee ballots in. he knew he couldn't rely on early voting one way or another. and i think this way, just like with roy moore and alabama, republicans have to look at themselves and say, are we getting complacent here, getting laetds? are we not doing the things that we used to do when we were really competitive and going
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against president obama? because we shouldn't be in this situation. republicans should have won this by 2% or 3%, looks like they probably won't win because they weren't willing to put in the work. >> one of the characteristics of this district that's a little unique from some of the other ones we've looked at in these special leaks, we have the storyline we're familiar with, there was a trump surge in the district in 2016, or a trump backlash, georgia '06. the backlash, the surge, the storylines, trump won by 20, but romney also won by 20. this has been in this century since 2000, basically. this has been that kind of double-digit republican district. now in this special election, 2018, whatever happens with these absentees, it's a 20-point swing. >> it is. we talk about this district in terms of western pennsylvania and the working-class voter and you also have to consider that it includes suburbs of
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pittsburgh. some of which have some very highly educated, higher earners that were not part of that trump coalition, necessarily, that we talk about over and over again. it is really a combination of the two. when you look where democrats are targeting, they're mainly targeting suburban area districts that are -- they hope are disenchanted by the president and the party at large. while also trying to get those voters. you mention this district but it does have some history of this kind of democrat. of this kind of brand of democrat. which i also think is important to consider when you're looking at it. >> this is the first election since the tax cut. >> yes. >> first big election since the tax cut. lamb ran against that. >> the republicans stopped making it their message. >> very consequential. there's been this assumption that republicans are going to run this fall on the tax cut, hey, you got more money in your
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pocket. you didn't see those pittsburgh suburban men and women going, thank you, president trump. thank you, rick saccone, who loves trump, for my tax cut. there wasn't gratitude that you saw. a lot of them voted republican because they're republicans. but that issue was not driving -- >> the question too, republicans tried, right, and they must have been seeing something about the effect. >> you saw over the weekend the president talked about the economy a little bit, talked about the tax cut a little bit. really leaned into some of the more cultural issues and pushed the tariffs pretty hard. which lamb was able to kind of take over for himself. i'm also wondering the result of this, whether we might see republicans in congress push some items of legislation geared at ginning up their base of support. whether or not it has any chance of passing. you see in election years parties try to do that.
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>> kaitlin, jonathan, jason, i cannot thank you enough for staying up with me later and later and later into the night as we keep waiting. still not over, we are waiting. i am a broken record at this point. but washington county, they are scanning, they are counting, those ballots are flying through the machines, i hope they're flying through the machines, and any minute now we are going to find out those 1,195 absentee ballots. how did they go? does saccone still have a chance or is it over?
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here is the deal. we are coming up against the top of the hour. we are running out of people here who can even put tv on the air. a couple things i want to say right now. number one, i am not going anywhere. if you have made it this far to
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try to find out where these absentee ballots land in washington, you can stay up and i promise you i will stay up. the second we find out, i will come on and i will tell you what's going to happen here in a couple of minutes is i think they're going to go to taped programming, some stuff that ran earlier in the evening. relive the great moments of the evening if you'd like. feel free to do that. please though stay tuned if you're interested in getting these numbers because we will break in as soon as we get them. i will do it. i can't leave here until i get to these numbers so please stay up with me. let me reset what exactly it is we're looking for, what the stakes are for the next few minutes, however long it takes. the margin is 579 votes. that is what conor lamb leads by. he declared victory tonight. his opponent is conceding nothing. what this is coming down to is this county, washington county, where they are counting, and i think by machine right now, scanning these absentee ballots. the number is 1195.
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that's how many they are running through the machines right now. so it's a republican district and saccone, to have a chance to still win this election, he's got to cut severely into that 579. what he is up against is this. he didn't do -- he won it but by republican standards you're supposed to do better in washington county. he got 53%. you want to be eating into that margin that conor lamb has in the district, you're going to need more than 53% of these absentee ballots. the problem what is we've seen in allegheny wash, what we saw westmoreland is, lamb is doing better on the absentees than he did on election day. that pattern would have to break in washington county. fit does, saccone could get a bump here. if it doesn't, he quickly runs out of votes because all that's left, greene county, there's only 200 absentee ballots, they'll count those tomorrow, but there's only 200. military votes, those are probably going to break more republican. there may be like dozens of
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those, a couple score of those. so not a lot there. then provisionals, allegheny county, we're talking about a couple hundred. the low hundreds here of provisionals. especially in allegheny, in expectation they're going to favor the democrats a little more. but you can see not many votes. if you're saccone and you got to cut into that number, your last big place on the map is washington county. and in washington county, we have been calling them, we're talking to their election folks there, they're in that room, they're scanning them. ka saccone make a big cut or does it end? when we come out, we'll be on the air, back at the board, we'll take you through everything. we're going to tape. if you want to know, stay tuned. watch along with me and i'll see you any minute now, i hope. trust and loyalty.
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. i'm steve kornacki. we're still going strong. this is our continuing coverage. how exciting is this? the special election in pennsylvania, the race between conor lamb and rick saccone. the race still too close to call, according to mnbc news. democrat conor lamb currently with a lead of 579 votes. that is out of 227,000 cast

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