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Pence Speaks In North Carolina; Trump And Biden Battle For Support In Rust Belt States; Next Hour: Obama Campaigns With Biden In Michigan; GA Senator Pulls Out Of Final Debate To Campaign With Trump; "Do Not Wait": Court Cases Throw Late-Arriving Votes Into Doubt; Trump Speaks At First Of Four Rallies In Pennsylvania Today. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired October 31, 2020 - 12:00   ET






FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: All right, thanks so much for joining me everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Coverage -- our countdown to election day coverage continues right now with Ana Cabrera.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thank you for joining us for our special coverage as we are now just three days away from the election of a lifetime. 90 million ballots already cast and today it's all eyes on the coveted rust belt in the states that helped push President Trump to victory in 2016.

In Michigan next hour, we will see something we have yet to say this campaign season. A joint appearance by Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama. They will be in Flint first and then they travel to Detroit together for an appearance with Stevie Wonder. For President Trump, it's all about Pennsylvania.

He is not one, not two but four different stops in a state that he is won just this past election cycle by less than one percent and top of mind of course at all these events today the pandemic in a staggering new headline today. The U.S. has just set an all-time world record for new cases in a single day.

Nearly 100,000 new infections on Friday alone in the United States. We have a huge team of reporters and analysts joining us from all over the country today. Let's begin with the Biden campaign in Michigan today. CNN's Jeff Zeleny is in Flint this afternoon ahead of the Biden- Obama event set to get under way in the next hour.

Jeff, what can we expect and why Michigan for this first joint campaign event.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Ana, there's no question. Michigan is at the center of the blue wall, both physically and literally. I mean this is something that a state that Joe Biden knows he needs to win next week.

Of course Donald Trump carried Michigan by the slimmest of margins four years ago as well as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin so this is where the Biden campaign decided to bring the former president Barack Obama. Really the biggest gun in the Democratic Party the weekend before for this simple reason, to try and turn out the Democratic vote.

They know there are enough voters here who supported the former president and former president Joe Biden, former Vice President Joe Biden but they simply didn't turn out four years ago so that's what - this whole day is about a turnout effort.

So coming here to Flint, Michigan Genesee county had 25,000 fewer votes for Hillary Clinton than Barack Obama four years prior. Going later to Detroit. That's Wayne County. Some 75,000 fewer votes for Hillary Clinton than Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Adding those together that's a 100,000 potential votes they believe are still out there so that's why they are trying to make the pitch here to you know really shake the conscience of some of these Democrats and independent voters to come out and vote for Joe Biden but it also gives you a sense the Biden campaign is not entirely confident about their standing here in Michigan.

We do not see Barack Obama out in Ohio or in Iowa, trying to you know win over some of those red state voters. He is here in deep blue Michigan so he certainly going to make the point that Joe Biden he believes is the best candidate but we've not seen these two old partners side by side. They'll be starting here in a short time in Flint, Ana.

CABRERA: Jeff, the Biden campaign's spent a good part of this past week focusing on states like Georgia and Florida. States that Biden may want to win but doesn't necessarily need to win on the path to 270 but he says this shouldn't be seen that he is over confident in places like Michigan and Wisconsin so what is the thinking there?

ZELENY: The thinking there is it's an insurance policy if things don't go well elsewhere and that is another reason we just learned a few moments ago that Barack, the former president is going to Georgia on Monday and going to South Florida on Monday.

At this stage of the campaign location tells you everything you need to know about a campaign's thinking and strategy so the Biden campaign clearly trying to get out some of those Democratic voters, some of those old Obama voters if you will.

There is a question of enthusiasm and there is a question if this is a democratic field effort. They've been campaigning in a pandemic and not doing the old traditional door to door programs that they used to do so they're trying to use Barack Obama, you know who's really the most popular figure in the Democratic Party to turn out that vote.

So yes, this blue wall so important that's why President Trump is in Pennsylvania all day long but the Biden campaign also hoping for Georgia and Florida. That's one of the reasons they're going back there on Monday, Ana.

CABRERA: OK, Jeff Zeleny there in Flint, thank you. We'll check back. Now let's turn to the Trump campaign. President is holding for big rallies in Pennsylvania today and CNN's Joe John joins us now from Bucks county Pennsylvania. Joe take us there.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, the president is wheels down and he is on his way. It won't be very long before he arrives at this event, a very different from what we seen around the country at the airport. This is not a rally.

The president is giving a speech, much smaller crowd. The president left the White House as a little while ago. On departure, he spoke very briefly with reporters. Let's listen to some of that.


DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're spending the day in Pennsylvania and we're going to have a great day and I think we're doing extremely well with the votes. I think it's going to be very interesting. Three days. It's going to be a very interesting Tuesday. We got the big red wave that is formed as you probably noticed.


We're doing very, very well with the African-American vote. We're doing very, very well with the Hispanic vote all over and we're doing very well. It's going to be really something. Thank you.

REPORTER: Can you talk a little bit about what you're doing on Election night, Mr. president?

TRUMP: Yes, I'll be perhaps between the White House and the hotel because you know we have a - I guess they have a limit they placed limits on the hotel which is unfortunate. They did that yesterday in Minnesota, the governor and I think he's paying a very big price for it. We had thousands - we're going to have over 25000 people. And you saw what went on there, it was ridiculous.

And with all the problems that Minnesota has with riots and all the things and I saved Minneapolis. They should've called me sooner but we saved it. I mean you wouldn't even have a Minneapolis right now.


JOHNS: So that's what. The president is on his way and this is a very different venue than some of the past for the president, is out in the country and very important to say that the president is really trying to run up the numbers in Pennsylvania and rural counties and needs to hold down the big Joe Biden vote in some of the metropolitan areas like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. This is all an attempt by the president to really canvas the state of Pennsylvania. Back to you. CABRERA: So 14 rallies for the president himself in the next few days,

Joe but the First Lady is also stepping up the push for her husband to get a second term. What's she up to today?

JOHNS: The First Lady is coming here to Pennsylvania as well, in fact northeast Pennsylvania but that'll be her second stop of the day. Her first stop will be in Wisconsin, outside of Milwaukee. The campaign has been trying very hard to get the First Lady out on the trail because she's viewed very favorably and there's a certain mystique about her.

But of course she has been somewhat reluctant to campaign and there's also that issue of testing positive for COVID. She as well as her son Barron.

CABRERA: OK, Joe Johns, we'll check back. Thank you. Now the president's mission is to retrace his 2016 path to 270. Joe Biden's is to rebuild the blue wall the president tore down. CNN's Phil Mattingly is standing by at the magic wall for us. Phil, what are you seeing in the states that Trump and Biden are visiting today?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that 2016 matters. Look that the Biden campaign trying to learn the lessons from 2016 when you talk about that blue wall and the Trump campaign to the degree that they can is trying to replicate what happened in 2016.

Now let's start with this preface, 2020 is not 2016. Just take a look right now and where the polling stands in those key states of Michigan and Pennsylvania where the president and the Vice President are today. Right now in Michigan, Biden 51, Trump 43. This is a poll of polls that CNN has put together. Pennsylvania, Joe Biden with a pretty significantly lead. Six points there as well.

But the Trump campaign says look, we were down in the polls back in 2016 and we ended up winning. There are a number of different formulations you can do with this 2016 map. To make clear, a couple things. One, that it's different this time around, there are different states in play, there are different states that are tossups and two that we don't necessarily know what's going to happen.

Let me make something very simple that underscores why both candidates are in Michigan and Pennsylvania today. If Joe Biden taking all these states, this was the 2016 map, if Joe Biden flips Pennsylvania, if Joe Biden flips Michigan, if Joe Biden flips Wisconsin, Ana, Joe Biden is above 270 electoral votes and that's not even taking into account, Florida's a tossup. Georgia is a tossup. North Carolina's a tossup. Democrats feel good about Arizona.

So if you want to know why Donald Trump is in Pennsylvania, if you want to know why Joe Biden is in the state of Michigan. That is why. The rust belt of the industrial Midwest is the easiest path for Democrats to rebuild their blue wall and it's the one path the Trump campaign knows enable them to win 2016.

One point, I want to make clear, Jeff Zeleny Ana, was talking about this and this is a very key one. You talk about margins in Michigan, margins in Wisconsin, margins in Pennsylvania, all razor thin margins. None more so than the state of Michigan. President Trump won the state by 10,704 votes. If you want to know why President Obama and Vice President Biden with Stevie Wonder are in Detroit today. Take a look at Wayne County.

Jeff Zeleny mentioned this and I think it's really, really crucial when talk about turnout. Hillary Clinton crushed in Wayne County, won by 66 percent to 29.5 percent. However it's the top line here that is why the Biden campaign is where they are.

Take a look at this. Democratic collapse in the county. Obama-Biden in 2012, 595,000 votes. Nearly 596,000 votes. Clinton-Kane 519,000 votes. Democrats feel good about the suburbs around Detroit. They feel good as you move into the western part of the state too based on what happened in 2018 but it's right there.


When you lose a state by 10,000 votes and you had a 76,000 vote drop off in one of your key areas, well, you try and fix that and that in the state of Michigan is what the Biden campaign is trying to do today, Ana.

CABRERA: And so it's a good reminder for all those viewers, all those people who maybe haven't voted yet, every vote counts. It can make a difference. Phil, I also want to just home in on the state of Georgia for a moment because it hasn't gone blue in a presidential election since 1992.

And yet both President Trump and Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris will be campaigning there tomorrow so how significant is that?

MATTINGLY: Well look, the significance is there's nothing more valuable at this stage in the campaign than the time of the candidates and the running mates themselves and if you are going to a state in the last final days then it underscores that you think it's potentially in play.

And here's why, let's look at the polling from Georgia right now. It is remained tight, it is expected to be tight. It's a tossup race, no question about it but in the CNN poll of polls, Joe Biden is up by about three points right now. When you talk to Republican and Democratic operatives who know about the state, look at the state, they acknowledge, it's a margin of error race one way or the other.

And that is a bigger problem for President Trump if it's actually in play. Look, we talk about pathways here. We talk about what the tossups. Florida's a tossup, Georgia's a tossup. North Carolina's a tossup. We'll say Arizona is a tossup leans Dem. Ohio tossup, Iowa tossup.

We talked about the blue wall here. Say you give President Trump, Florida and you give President Trump, the state of Pennsylvania. Joe Biden now under 270, few wins, Michigan, Wisconsin, all of a sudden you toss Arizona, sorry, you toss Georgia in there and he's back up over 270. It's all about pathways, right? Jeff made a really great point about

this. There is a clear kind of easiest pathway for Democrats where they look at re-establishing that blue wall but they also need insurance policies. They also know that things can happen on election night.

So put some juice into Georgia. You know numbers look good there. Stay focused on Arizona. You know numbers look good there and most interestingly Kamala Harris dropping by Texas. They're looking at the surge in turnout vote right now in the early vote and saying, hey, you never know.

Obviously, the focus is here. The focus is here for both campaigns but all of a sudden this comes into play for Democrats, if they can flip Arizona like they think they can, they have a lot more pathways to 270 than they did going into the night. That is why you see campaigns focused on places other than the Midwest, even though clearly the Midwest is their focal point right now, Ana.

CABRERA: And with all those possibilities, Phil, your homework is not easy and especially working out magic wall. Thank you for outlining it, outlining all that for us. We have both vice presidential candidates stumping right now. Let's head first to Kamala Harris speaking in Miami.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Mr. President, science does know and so does the leading science magazine that endorsed Joe Biden for President of the United States. So there's a lot going on and we got three days to get this done and so let's talk for a minute about voting.

You know people have been asking me and I'm sure you because this is a whole beautiful group of leaders. People been asking why should I vote. And I think there are three reasons that everyone should vote. One, honor the ancestors, honor the ancestors. Honor people like the late great John Lewis who shed his blood on the Edmund Pettus bridge so we could vote. I know he hears you. I know he hears you.

Honor the ancestors, those suffragettes who 100 years ago got us the passage of the nineteenth amendment. But let's always speak truth, black women couldn't vote until 1965 so there is that. So reason number one, let's honor the ancestors who sacrificed so much for our right to vote.

Reason number two. Everything is at stake. Everything. Everything we just discussed including creating a pathway for citizenship, for undocumented immigrants, renewing our promise to our dreamers with DACA, shutting down private detention centers, reuniting 545 children with their parents who the United States government orphaned.

There's every reason to vote in terms of what's at stake and then here is the last point that I'd make is reason number three. Including that America's future is at stake. We are - I'm traveling all over the country. [12:15:00]

This is my - I don't know how many times I've been to Florida since I've been on the ticket and many times before that. Thank you, Debbie. All over our country, people are putting in place laws and procedures to make it difficult for us to vote. Making it confusing to vote.

You know, purging voter rolls, passing laws to suppress the vote, picking up drop boxes. I was in Houston yesterday, a county of 11 million people with one drop box. Trying to make it confusing in different places. In Florida different days. Right? Different envelopes you got to fill out and who's going to sign them.

The President of United States who took the stage at the debate and openly attempted to suppress the vote so here's the thing. When we look at where we are in terms of these powerful people who are trying to - and we're not going to be distracted by what's at hand. We're not going to be distracted by the stakes.

We're not going to be distracted. We know what we have to do. And so here's my point, here's my point. You got to ask. Why are these powerful people trying to make it so difficult for us to vote. And I will tell you, I believe the reason they're trying to make it difficult and confusing for us to vote is because they know our power.


CABRERA: OK, Kamala Harris speaking live in Miami at this hour. Vice President Mike Pence is on the ground in battleground North Carolina. Let's listen in there.


PENCE: And we always will. You know when I was growing up in a small town in Indiana, we used to drive up Chicago where my parents are from over the holidays. We'd go to my grandparents' home. Me and my three brothers would stand in the living room when my uncle would come out dressed for work wearing the uniform of Chicago Police Department.

That blue uniform, the badge, side arm. Me and my three brothers would just look up in awe. You know all of my heroes wear uniforms. President and I know what you know. The men and women who serve in law enforcement or some of the best people in this country and they deserve the respect of every American every day.

Let's hear it for our law enforcement that are with us here today. Will you just show them how much we appreciate all they do to protect and serve our families. Oh, we're going back to blue. You know Joe Biden, Joe Biden and his running mate say often that America is systemically racist.

And they explain it in part by saying that they believe that law enforcement officers of every background have a quote implicit bias against minorities. When Joe Biden was asked to be support cutting for law - cutting funding for law enforcement, he said yes, absolutely. Kamala Harris recently praised the mayor of Los Angeles for cutting

$150 million out of the LAPD's budget. Let me make you a promise. People in North Carolina and America, with four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House, we're not going to defund the police, not now not ever. We're going to back the blue for four more years.


CABRERA: OK, you're listening in to Vice President Mike Pence on the campaign trail in North Carolina today just three days away from the election and a quick fact check. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have not been campaigning on defunding the police. So just a few days now for a race like no other. It all ends here. Join us for special live coverage. The way only CNN can bring it to you from the first votes to the critical count. Understand what's happening in your state and all across the country. Election night in America. Our special coverage starts Tuesday at 4:00 PM Eastern here on CNN.


President Trump will momentarily begin the first of four rallies in Pennsylvania today and the coronavirus pandemic is raging, breaking the world record for the number of new cases in one day in the United States. Stay with us. This is CNN's countdown to the election.


CABRERA: It is a milestone that just a few months ago was almost unimaginable. The U.S. now holds the world record for the most coronavirus cases reported in a single day with nearly 100,000 new cases reported Friday alone.

That surpasses the highest single day record set by India last month and it's worth noting, India has nearly four times the population compared to the U.S. CNN medical analyst and former Assistant Commissioner of Health for New York City Dr. Celine Gounder is joining us now. Dr. Gounder, months ago Dr. Anthony Fauci warned us in a Senate hearing that if people gathered in large crowds and aren't wearing masks, he wouldn't be surprised to see 100,000 new cases a day in this country.


And it appears we are at that point now. Did you expect this to happen so soon? I mean we're really just entering the fall.

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Ana, you know it really all comes down to did I believe Americans would change their behavior or not and in some parts of the country we did. We did socially distance. We did mask up. We spent more time outdoors.

But in other parts of the country we haven't done that and so in those areas, it's really not surprising that we're seeing big exponential increase in cases and I'm very fearful for what the months ahead will bring us. CABRERA: First, President Trump blamed increased testing for the rise

in cases. The data shows cases are up because more people are getting sick. The hospitalizations are going up as well but now here's what he's saying about the shocking number of COVID deaths in the U.S., listen.


TRUMP: Our doctors get more money if somebody dies from COVID, you know that, right? I mean our doctors are very smart people so what they do is they say I'm sorry but you know everybody dies of COVID but in Germany and other places, if you have a heart attack or if you have cancer, you're terminally ill, you catch COVID, there say you died of cancer, you died of a heart attack.

With us, when in doubt choose COVID. It's true. No, it's true.


CABRERA: No, it's not true but what's your response to that doctor?

GOUNDER: Well, just to be very clear that is a lie. Doctors do not manufacture diagnoses to get paid more. What we do on a death certificate is we list all of the different conditions that contributed to somebody's death and it's impossible to list coronavirus if somebody was not tested so if anything, we're undercounting deaths related to the coronavirus.

And this lie is all the more galling because while we are busy doing our jobs, the president has not shown leadership and commanded an effective public health response in the face of this crisis and so here he is, really spreading malicious lies about those of us who are working much harder.

You know I personally have not taken a day off since February - since February and we are being paid, many of us less about a quarter of doctors are making 50 percent less over the course of the pandemic right now because of changes in their work schedules and so to be spreading these kinds of lies is really demoralizing to those of us, who've been working very hard over the last several months.

CABRERA: And I think I speak for the majority of Americans about how grateful we are for all the hard work you were doing to save our lives, to help our loved ones and our friends. Thank you for all you do. It is not taken for granted by most of us.

It is Halloween today and so as people continue to make sacrifices and yet it's so challenging to continue in the moods that we are, when we're you know we're not going out with people, not socializing as much as we want. Is it safe for trick or treating?

GOUNDER: You know Halloween is a great holiday actually to be celebrating during the pandemic and that it really lends itself to many of the very measures that will help prevent coronavirus transmission. You can be outdoors, you can wear a mask, a cloth mask that's for

coronavirus prevention under your costume but there are a few other things that you should be keeping in mind if you're going to be handing out candy. It's much better not to put that in a bowl where people can put their hands in and perhaps contaminate the other candy.

Set up a grab and go table perhaps at the end of the driveway so that you're not getting into close contact with other people. Keep your trick or treat groups small and to those in your own household and you know be aware. Use some common sense. If you yourself are sick, if you have somebody in your household who is sick or have been in contact with somebody who has coronavirus, it's probably not the year to participate in trick or treating.

CABRERA: OK, all good advice. Dr. Celine Gounder, as always. Thank you so much for your time and again, thank you for all you do. Up next, it's not just president and Vice President voters are choosing this election. 35 Senate seats are also on ballots across the country. Going to dig into the races that could determine the balance of power in Washington. Next. This is CNN's countdown to the election.



CABRERA: As we countdown to the election, we have this just in, former President Barack Obama will campaign for Democrats in Georgia on Monday, a state where Republicans are holding their breath over a pair of competitive Senate races. That's a Republican Senator David Perdue is trying to fend off Democrat Jon Ossoff, a challenger half his age who has accused Purdue of ignoring the coronavirus crisis and seeking to profit from it.


JON OSSOFF (D), GEORGIA SENATE CANDIDATE: Well, perhaps Senator Perdue would have been able to respond properly to the COVID-19 pandemic if you hadn't been fending off multiple federal investigations for insider trading. It's not just that you're a crook, Senator. It's that you're attacking the health of the people that you represent.


CABRERA: Now Purdue was supposed to debate Ossoff again tomorrow, but he abruptly pulled out of this event to campaign with President Trump in Georgia instead. And in these final days, Purdue has been avoiding the media. His campaign wouldn't disclose his plans this week. But when CNN learned, he was in central Georgia. His supporters tried to block our camera or prevent any questions.



MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're trying to reach out your campaign, but your campaign wouldn't tell us why you were -- where you were doing -- what you were doing. I'm wondering why, why that was.

SEN. DAVID PURDUE (R-GA): Were you asking me a question?

RAJU: Yes. I'm asking you. Yes, your other opponent, I just talked to Jon Ossoff, he was very critical about you. He also called your comments about Kamala Harris. He said they were racist. What's your response to that?

PURDUE: Well, that's about all he can talk about, because he sure can't talk about his agenda.


CABRERA: Joining us now former Republican Congresswoman from Utah, Mia Love, and former Bill Clinton campaign and White House Adviser Paul Begala. So Congresswoman, avoiding reporters, skipping the last debate, what do you make of this?

MIA LOVE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think that he was trying -- well, I think that it was better for him to skip the debate so that he can go out and campaign with President Trump. Obviously, he thinks that the support of the President is going to carry him, is going to at least help him and that that might be more beneficial than actually doing the debate.

So I think that that's the reason why he did it. I think he wants to kind of ride the President's coattails a little bit. So he decided to --

CABRERA: Was it the right call do you think?

LOVE: I don't know. You know, you have to make -- he has to make those decisions. We'll find out obviously on election night. But I think whenever you get out and you speak to the constituents, and you let them know where you stand on specific issues, and you make sure that you let them know that they're your priority, not the White House. That you're there to support them and not the White House is always a better move. But I hope he knows his campaign better than I would.

CABRERA: And other Georgia Senate race, Republican Kelly Loeffler hasn't really been able to focus on the Democratic challenger because her race has three candidates, Republican Congressman Doug Collins is also in that race and threatening to split Republican support. And so we've seen Loeffler completely embrace the President to the point where she claimed she didn't even know anything about the Access Hollywood tape, watch this.


RAJU: And you're still not disagreeing with that particular thing that President Trump said. You're still not disagreeing with that?

SEN. KELLY LOEFFLER (R-GA): Sorry, what are you referring?

RAJU: You're still not disagreeing with President Trump's statements about personally sexual assault? LOEFFLER: I'm not familiar with that.

RAJU: The Access Hollywood tape. He's referring to the Access --

LOEFFLER: Yes, no.


CABRERA: Paul, what do you think of that response?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Kelly Loeffler didn't get that rich by being that stupid. She's not stupid. She knows all about the Access Hollywood tape. And it happened four years ago, Senator, you should have a response.

You should know about it. She does know about it. I don't know that for a fact. But obviously we can presume that every sentient being knows about the Access Hollywood tape. She's trying to hide. She's in a terrible vise, right?

Her primary electorate, she's in a what's called a jungle primary where both parties participate. But the most avid Republicans in her state of Georgia love, love, love Donald Trump. Congressman Collins, a Republican is running at her also for that Trump vote.

And meanwhile, Reverend Raphael Warnock, the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church is able to consolidate all the Democrats because he's the only Democrat, major Democrat really in that field. So she's in a terrible vise. I sort of feel sorry for her. But, you know, you got to -- she owns a WNBA team. You know, she's got to up her game. She just got dunked on that.

CABRERA: Yes, I'm sure you feel sorry for her, Paul, as a Democrat as well. Let's talk about this other race.

BEGALA: Yes. I'm a person too. You don't want to see somebody humiliated. You know, I mean --

CABRERA: OK, fair enough. Let's talk Arizona because Republican Senator Martha McSally in Arizona, she refused to answer a question about whether she was proud of her support for the President. And that brings us to this rather awkward moment at a rally this week.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Martha come up just as quick, fast, fast, come on, quick. You got one minute, one minute Martha say. They don't want to hear this, Martha. Come on. Let's go, quick, quick, quick, quick. Come on. Let's go.

SEN. MARTHA MCSALLY (R-AZ): All right, I'm coming. Thank you President Trump.


CABRERA: Congresswoman Love, your view that appearance there help her at all or just humiliate her?

LOVE: Well, I think actually the President is in a really tight race in Arizona. I don't know if he pulls Arizona off. I got some information that he's actually doing just a little bit better in Arizona than he actually is doing in Utah, which is saying something so. But Martha is actually doing well. I was out in Arizona and saw Martha several weeks ago, and she is working the street, she is going out, she is probably doing the same thing, taking every opportunity to get as many people out to vote as possible.

She's also been seen in a rally saying, look, even if you don't like the President, you still need to vote down ballot because you don't know what's going to happen. We need a stronghold in. We need a front line as she puts it in Arizona. So she is actually playing to both Trump supporters and also maybe some of those who may not be as supportive of the President by saying no matter how you feel about the President, we still have if you are Republican, a front line that we have to hold just in case the President loses or you want to keep a Republican Senate.


CABRERA: Real quick, Paul, before I come to you, and this particular race in Arizona. Did I hear you correctly, Mia, say, you think Donald Trump is in a better position in Arizona than he is in Utah? Could he lose Utah?

LOVE: I don't think he will lose Utah. I'm just saying that he's in a particular position in Utah, whereas Republican presidents typically do very well in the state of Utah. It's -- there's this sentiment that is not working as well for him in the State of Utah. I still think that he wins the State of Utah.

CABRERA: Got it.

LOVE: No, hands down. But it's not going to be as large of a margin as other Republican presidents have had in the past.

CABRERA: Got you. So back to Arizona for a second, Paul, because how significant would it be if McSally's Democratic challenger Mark Kelly ultimately takes the seat once held by John McCain, and he has been ahead and all the latest polls.

BEGALA: I think he can and I think he will. And I think it's because Senator McSally could have run as a McCain Republican. But she didn't. She's running as a Trump puppet and even accepting humiliation, just abject humiliation at the hands of the President. Nobody's going to treat Commander Kelly that way, OK?

He's a Navy pilot hero astronaut and the husband of another hero, Gabby Giffords, who was survived heroically being shot in the head in an assassination attempt when she was a Congresswoman from Arizona. So that's much more, I know he's a Democrat, Arizona doesn't elect a lot of Democrats. But Mark Kelly is the kind of Democrat who can win and he is very much I think in the John McCain mode.

CABRERA: All right, Paul Begala, Mia Love you're both back with us next hour. Thank you.

President Trump will momentarily be speaking at the first of four Pennsylvania rallies he's holding today. And the Supreme Court recently weighed in on a legal challenge to voting rules there, just one of many, cross exam with Elie Honig is next. You're watching CNN's countdown to the election.



CABRERA: With the election now just days away, three days to be exact, the message to voters in many places is clear. It is too late to mail- in your ballot. A court ruling about Minnesota this week essentially moved up the deadline for mail-in ballots. Now it is 8:00 p.m. Election Day itself. So that's problematic for anyone in Minnesota who may have mailed in their ballots in just the last couple of days believing they had another week or so to be delivered.

In Pennsylvania, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a deadline extension there allowing ballots received by November 6th to be counted for now. But and again, this is a big but, the Court made clear, those ballots that arrived after Election Day could be disputed later. For now, Pennsylvania officials plan to segregate those ballots that arrive after Election Day, setting up a potential legal battle if those later rival ballots end up being enough to swing the election. So we're watching that.

Meantime in Wisconsin, the Trump campaign and Republicans successfully fought a Democratic attempt to extend the deadline for mail-in ballots to be received, so all the ballots in Wisconsin must arrive by Election Day. And that brings us to cross exam with legal analyst Elie Honig. He's a former federal and state prosecutor. And he is here like he is every weekend to answer your questions. And we're going to focus this segment just on the legal challenges to voting and counting ballots.

So Elie, let me start with this question from a viewer in Ohio who knows that President Trump and others have said that votes should not be counted after November 3rd. Legally, is there any support for that?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No, Ana, there's no support whatsoever for that simply put the President's comments on this issue are both dangerous and wrong. Let's start with the U.S. constitution, the constitution, of course, gives us the right to vote. It's one of our most cherished treasured values. Lesser known, the constitution also specifically gives the states the rights to administer their own elections.

In fact, federal law creates something called the safe harbor, which is a time period this year, it's about five weeks, 35 days, specifically to allow the states to finish counting their ballots and then to certify their results. Now, every state has its own rules on how this works, 23 states which together carry a majority of the electoral college votes allow votes that arrive after November 3rd by mail to be counted. And when it comes to certifying, Delaware gives itself two days to certify. But every other state in the Union gives itself at least a week to certify results. Viewers need to know no state will formally officially certify its results on November 3rd on Election Day. So the bottom line here, Ana, we have reliable constitutional and legal processes in place. And it is simply false to suggest that any votes counted after November 3rd are somehow fraudulent or illegitimate or illegal.

CABRERA: Yes. That's just not the case. And I'm glad you laid it all out for us. And as we just went through the Supreme Court has already weighed in on a number of legal challenges regarding the deadlines for absentee ballots, but some of these rulings have seemed to contradict other rulings. So one viewer wants to know, how can the Supreme Court allow some states to extend their ballot deadlines, but prevent other states from doing the same thing?

HONIG: Yes, Ana, this is a great question. You know, when you're in law school, they teach you that the Supreme Court's decisions are sort of neat and orderly and principled. But then you get into the real world and you see a week like this one where the Supreme Court really returns this sort of confusing mess of decisions. Somehow, they allow extended voting deadlines in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, disallow them in Wisconsin. I think the best we can do is to break down the votes here.


In all three cases, three justices voted consistently in favor of extended deadlines, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. And three justices voted in all three cases against extended deadlines, Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch. And that leaves us with Roberts and Kavanaugh, they went different ways on different cases based mostly on sort of arcane procedural considerations. So there's very little predictability here.

A key point to keep in mind Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in these rulings. She didn't have enough time to get up to speed. So if we see another case, reach the court before or after the election, her vote will be influential could even be decisive.

CABRERA: And that's probably leads us to this next question specific to Justice Amy Coney Barrett. One viewer asks, should Justice Barrett recuse herself from any election related case involving President Trump given that Trump himself nominated her?

HONIG: She should, Ana. But I think it's unlikely she will. Yes, here's the reason this is an issue. Just days before President Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett, he said publicly, we need nine, we need nine justices because I believe we will end up with an election case in front of the Supreme Court, that creates a conflict of interest for Amy Coney Barrett, because it creates at a minimum an impression that the President wants and expects that in return for the nomination. He will have her vote.

She will have to decide for herself. There is a code of conduct that applies to all federal judges, except for some reason it does not apply to the U.S. Supreme Court justices. So she will have to decide on her own. There's no way anybody else can force her or compel her to recuse if she does stay on the court on these cases on election related cases, I believe if she rules on those cases, that will do real damage to public confidence in the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.

CABRERA: Elie Honig, always good to have you here. Thank you very much, Sir.

And let's take you to Bucks County, Pennsylvania now where President Trump has just about -- is just about to take the stage there. We'll monitor and be right back.



CABRERA: Welcome back, President Trump is speaking live now in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the final push before Election Day. Let's listen in.


CROWD: We love Trump. We love Trump. We love Trump. We love Trump. We love Trump. We love Trump. We love Trump. We love Trump.

TRUMP: But as you know, he just looked at me and shrugged. In fact the anchor looked up and said, why did you do it? She couldn't believe it. She was on his side. She said, why did you do it? Why did you do it? And why did you say it?

In 2016, Pennsylvania voted to fire this failed and corrupt political establishment. And you voted for an outsider as president who is finally putting America first.

And if I don't look like a typical politician, that's very simple. It's because I'm not a politician. If I don't always play by the rules of Washington and the Washington establishment, it's because I was elected to fight for you and I fought harder for you than any president in the history of our frankly.

From day one, Washington insiders have been trying to stop me because they do not own me and they do not control me. They want control. They don't like what I'm doing. They don't like what I've said to the big pharma, the drug companies, the number one lobbyist in the world, number one lobbyist in our country. They didn't like that I instituted favored nation so that we now pay the lowest prices in the world for prescription drugs, onset of the highest prices around the world.

If these corrupt forces succeed in electing Joe Biden, Washington will see to it that another outsider never becomes president again. It'll never happen again. And nobody has done in three and a half years, nobody, no administration, no president, what we've done and what we've accomplished and it's not even challenge. Nobody even challenges that. They'll take back control and they will never ever give it up. This once in a lifetime opportunity to beat the corrupt politicians will be lost forever. And they know it. They're fighting so hard. And they hate what they're seeing because they're not looking at fake suppression polls anymore. Now they're looking at the numbers that are pouring in. And they don't like the numbers that they're seeing in Florida and in Ohio and in North Carolina.