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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Americans Cast Votes on Election Day; Trump Does Not Commit to Accepting Results; Nevada Judge Rules Against Trump Campaign on Early Voting; People Line Up At Susan B. Anthony's Gravesite; Just Hours Away From First Election Results. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired November 8, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Election Day 2016, a day that, frankly, could not come soon enough for many Americans after one of the nastiest and most divisive presidential campaigns in American history.
Millions of Americans are casting their votes today, making their voices heard at the ballot box, the outcome of this historic election now in their hands, in your hands.
Donald Trump, meanwhile, still refusing to commit to accepting the results. He equivocated with an interview with a Tampa Bay radio station this morning. We will bringing you complete coverage of exit polling and CNN's projections throughout the evening.
Right now, let's go the Jessica Schneider. She's is in Warren, Michigan, a battleground state, kind of surprisingly.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is surprising, Jake.
The candidates have been focusing a lot of energy here, them along with their surrogates. I am in Macomb County right now. This is one of the counties Donald Trump is counting on, Macomb County, home of the Reagan Democrats. This is the blue-collar suburbs of Detroit.
Donald Trump hoping that his message of jobs and trade resonate here. Now, I just got off the phone with the county executive here. He says that the turnout already has been incredible. You can see inside this polling area right now -- we are not allowed inside, but there has been a steady stream of people.
This is where three different precincts are voting throughout the day. And this is what it's been like all week -- all day long. Just about five miles down the road, I heard there is about a two-hour wait. The county executive telling me they should be on track to hit the same sort of record turnout that they saw back in 1980, as well as 2008.
We are talking about 69 percent of registered voters showing up today, a big day. Now, Macomb County, interestingly, though Donald Trump is counting on this county as one of the ones that might be able to push him over the brink here in Michigan, Macomb County itself, it voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012, so Hillary Clinton, of course, hoping that that holds true for this election.
But it is a county in flux. As I talked to the county executive, he says it is a county divided. So, at this point, uncertain which way it could go, but it could mean big things for Donald Trump or it could mean big things for Hillary Clinton. So, we will see, but, of course, all eyes on Michigan, when just about two weeks ago, we weren't so sure that this was even a state we had to look twice at -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Jessica Schneider in Warren, Michigan, thank you so much.
As we mentioned, even before polls opened in Nevada this morning, Donald Trump and his campaign were trying to dispute the results, to a degree, his lawyers filing a lawsuit last night over early voting in that state.
Just a short time ago, a judge ruled against the Trump campaign.
Jim Sciutto joins us now with the latest on that.
Jim, when Trump was the polls today in New York, he talked about his concern about voter fraud. Explain what this legal challenge in Nevada is all about.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right.
This morning, Trump was talking about a particular kind of voter fraud for which we found no evidence. And that is people going to machines, voting Republicans, and those machines automatically switching those votes to Democrat. We haven't seen evidence of that being widespread in any way.
But, in Nevada, the case was about keeping polling stations open later than their initial closing time, this during the early voting in Nevada. But, in truth, this complies with state law. What it is, is, people who show line and they're still in line when that voting station, that polling station is meant to close, they're allowed to go in and get that vote, even if it takes them another hour to get in the building, in effect.
So, that's what happened in four Nevada polling precincts, the Trump campaign taking issue with that and to perhaps lay the groundwork for a legal challenge after the election. They went to a judge and they said, we want these records preserved. We want to know, in effect, who voted before that assigned closing time and who voted after. The judge was very quick to dismiss the case.
Have a listen to how she handled it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE GLORIA STURMAN, NEVADA 8TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT: Why would we issue any kind of writ of mandate? They don't -- there is no need to. He is obligated to do it already. I can't obligate him to do something he's already obligated to do. He is already obligated to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: The judge's point being there that that's something they already do. They already keep records like that.
But it was also interesting. She also took issue with the Trump campaign. The lawyer was asking for the names of polling workers who worked at those sites to potentially make them public. And she said there is no way I'm going to do that. Have you seen how Twitter trolls, in effect, handle people like that? Keeping that information private, so that they weren't unleashed with Twitter traffic or other criticism from folks who thought they might not have been doing their job right.
TAPPER: And even though, Jim, polls are still open, we are getting some information in. What are you learning?
SCIUTTO: That's right, this on voter turnout.
So, at this point, it's largely anecdotal because you can't make a final calculation as to what the turnout is going to be across the country. But I am just going to give you what we are hearing from a number of key states.
In Alabama, we just got a report in just in the last few minutes from the deputy director for the secretary of Alabama, saying they have never seen turnout this high. In his words, some people have compared it to game day. That's in Alabama.
In Mississippi, very high turnout up through the morning, more than they have seen. In Connecticut, we're seeing similar reports of long lines there, longer than usual, according to the state attorney general. In Virginia, turnout way up.
So, at least state by state and, as you know, some of these key states here, Virginia included, at least from the secretaries of state, early reports are they're seeing turnout higher than normal -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Jim Sciutto, thanks.
Back with my panel now.
Mary Katharine, we were talking just a minute ago about Latino voters and women voters and whether or not they have some sort of momentous impact on this election, the suggestion being that they might help Hillary Clinton.
As I recall from the Republican National Committee's autopsy about what went wrong in 2012, one of the things that that autopsy concluded was that Republicans need to do a better job going after Latino voters and women voters.
Do you think there is a chance that going forward maybe Republicans will consider that those two groups actually should be wooed?
MARY KATHARINE HAM, "THE FEDERALIST": Sometimes, one wonders if they read that report and just decided, let's do the opposite.
But the Trump campaign makes an argument that, we are reaching certain segments of these voters.
Look, I think it is going to be a really tough, uphill battle, and it was an uphill battle before, to get those folks to feel like you cared about them and then to listen to your policies, which is the steps you have to take.
I think Trump has done a great job of that with white working-class voters who felt this economic insecurity. But reaching out to new groups is going to be a lot tougher, I think, when there has been this surge for Democrats, which I think you will see some of tonight. And the thing is, too, with young voters, they lock in that preference. That's something I'm genuinely worried about for the right, center- right coalition in the future.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It will be interesting to see how Rubio does in Florida. That is going to be a real test case in terms of his future.
I mean, he had always argued that he was the one who could broaden the party, attract Latinos. You have seen a 103 percent spike in the Latino vote from 2008 to now. And so it will be interesting to see if you see ticket-splitters there and he does well with that Hispanic vote, which isn't as Cuban as it used to be.
It used to be very Cuban and much more Republican, more Puerto Ricans, more Dominicans as well. So, that will be, I think, a very interesting kind of frame to see not only Rubio's future, the voting patterns of Latinos, and how Republicans might be able to attract that.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Jake, I would think this.
If Latinos deliver Florida and possibly a couple of other states, it's going to put enormous pressure on Republicans in the next session of Congress to get an immigration bill passed. They have to get beyond this issue.
To not have an immigration bill and continue down the road Trump has taken them is suicidal for the party. So, I do think that they're going to have to change on this, and they will.
TAPPER: Kirsten, let me ask you something. Do you think that Democrats, conversely, have an obligation to try to figure out how they lost white working-class voters, which used to vote for Democrats decades ago?
Just, if Hillary Clinton wins, does she need to reach out to this group in some ways that didn't support her?
(CROSSTALK) KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN COMMENTATOR: Yes.
No, I mean, I think that's something the Democrats will definitely be looking at. But I think in terms of the Republican Party, the problem that they had before this was that they were not attracting or appealing to women and Latinos.
Now they're actually repelling them, right? Now, they're going to have to actually...
POWERS: Yes. They're actually going to have to -- the problem is, is that a lot of Latinos and a lot of women stood by and watched these other Republican leaders sort of tarnish themselves by not standing up against Trump.
And so now they're in an even deeper hole, is my point, I guess, is that they're not -- they have to dig themselves out from a much deeper hole of now convincing people that -- just of the basic threshold of trust, that they can trust them to look out for them.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I do think we are writing the headline of Latinos deliver victory for Clinton a bit prematurely.
TAPPER: Of course. We're just saying if, if.
MCENANY: If, of course.
But, from the other side, I don't necessarily believe all of these Latinos that have turned out can just be given to Hillary Clinton. I think there are a number of Latinos who care deeply about the economy, Cubans in particular, who realize some of the threats to democracy we see coming from the other side.
They have an aversion to kind of totalitarian rule, some of the executive power issues we have seen come out of President Obama. And I think there are going to be Latinos who do show up for Trump. I am not suggesting he is going to win a majority, but I think there will be at least 20, 30 percent that will vote for Donald Trump.
TAPPER: Mayor Nutter?
MICHAEL NUTTER (D), FORMER MAYOR OF PHILADELPHIA: Kayleigh, I will give you credit for the high-level academic argument.
I think the problem here is, they did read the memo. They misunderstood the word go after. So, they went after them and insulted women, insulted Latinos, insulted every possible group.
And so, as we have seen, there is a coalition of the insulted who are now coming together. And so the problem here is, yes, Latinos, African-Americans, Muslims, whatever group you want to talk about, care about those issues. But it's tough to talk about something when someone has insulted you and punched you in the face.
TAPPER: All right, so, we're going to come back on to this.
We're going to take a very quick break, much more with the panel ahead on this historic day.
The first results, we are just hours away. The first exit poll data is coming within the next 20 minutes. We will get a preview of that data next.