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U.S. Election Results and Key Race Alerts; Nail-Biter Election Come down to Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin; Biden Takes the Lead in Wisconsin. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired November 4, 2020 - 04:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[04:30:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. CNN can now project that the state of Hawaii will go for Joe Biden and that means he gets his -- those 4 electoral votes. What does that do to the tally? Let's take a look right now. Show us up here on the wall with those 4 electoral votes.

You get him moving in -- well, this is a key race alert in Michigan. You have the President up 234,000 votes with 76 percent of the votes in, but with those 4 electoral votes you now have 224 to 213. It is a move, but it does not change the story. Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia. Those are the four that we're watching, OK.

Let's look at the Michigan vote here, all right. What do we see? 234, 290 ahead for the President. 51.9, 46.4, 76 percent of the estimated vote is in. Is there enough or are there enough outstanding votes to make a difference here? Absolutely.

[04:35:00]

Much more so, one would argue, than in Pennsylvania or in Wisconsin. This is an easier path for Biden who probably has to win here. Omar Jimenez is in Detroit. What do we know about the vote in Detroit, my friend?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, I mean as the country waits to see what's going to happen in Michigan in regards to how these votes are going to be processed, people here in Detroit are furiously trying to get through the absentee ballots that came on the front end of election day. And so, as we understand, there are about 92,000 outstanding absentee ballots. And that was even at our last check a little bit earlier tonight.

And downstairs at the TCF center where we are in Detroit is where they are continuing to push through these ballots. They did not stop at any point overnight. One shift left, another shift came in and they kept that process moving. And then another set of eyes or I guess a place we're watching very closely is a county in the suburbs of Detroit, Macomb County. It was a place that President Trump flipped from Democrat to Republican in 2016. And previously we had heard they had been waiting on 250,000 absentee ballot results. Well that number is now down to 180,000 outstanding absentee ballot results. And they told us that they were going to try and have all of their -- all of those ballots counted by 7 a.m. which of course is quickly approaching.

And now on the Detroit side, the deputy city clerk said they're trying to have their unofficial results by early this morning. You could argue that's now, but my sense is that is going to be a little bit later in this morning.

And when you look at the state as an entire whole, we've heard from the Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. At the end of election day, in the earlier and later hours -- and the overnight hours, I should say, and one thing she said was that before we got to election day, she was telling people to expect the vote to maybe take up to Friday, November 6th to get through all these tallies.

Well, after we went through what was a relatively smooth election process or voting process here in Michigan yesterday. That timeline has been sped up significantly with her saying that they actually are on a timeline at this point to get through all of the votes in the state within 24 hours by the end of today basically. And that's even with the record turnout that we saw here in the state of Michigan combined with the more than 3 million absentee ballots on the frontend and around 2 million they're expecting the same total on election day as well -- Chris.

CUOMO: You're killing me with these numbers, Omar. But they're all very important and thank you. When you say 24 hours, does that mean that they would be done by Wednesday night?

JIMENEZ: That's -- so she said that at her press conference at about 10:50 p.m. election day night.

CUOMO: OK. Good. Thank you very much.

JIMENEZ: So, that's what we're looking for.

CUOMO: And the 90 something thousand mail ballots that you were talking about, that's in the city of Detroit, right?

JIMENEZ: City of Detroit, correct.

CUOMO: OK.

JIMENEZ: And they're still working through that. That number is likely lower but we're going to go back in there and check in a few minutes.

CUOMO: Let me know. You know how to get me with any information update. Anything you hear me saying that is wrong, just get me the correct information and I'll put it out right away. Thank you very much, my friend.

JIMENEZ: Of course.

CUOMO: All right, so here's why I'm trying to keep those numbers in my head, Phil, so I was trying to get your attention so you could be listening to them also. In Detroit if it's 90 something thousand in the city and then the bigger one was Macomb County, 180 something thousand.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right.

CUOMO: How does that help our heads in terms of figuring out the proportionality?

MATTINGLY: Not a lot.

CUOMO: I burned all those calories trying to remember those numbers. Why not?

MATTINGLY: So, let's explain this. Detroit is more -- Wayne County is more than just Detroit. Detroit is kind of the central hub. Obviously, a large part of Wayne County. And Wayne County is the largest county in the state. It's 18 percent of the population. And it's bigger than just the city of Detroit. So, there's more than 90,000 votes outstanding. And how do we know that? Well, only 43 percent is reporting right now. There're already 240,000 votes in for Biden alone at 166,000 plus more for Donald Trump as well, you get the sense that there's more than 50 percent outstanding.

CUOMO: Context that if you have about 90, 100,000 in the city, what that means as a ratio, like you know what I mean --

MATTINGLY: Like it just depends. It just depends on how everybody is counting. How the different clerks are counting.

CUOMO: 180 in Macomb?

MATTINGLY: So, this is the interesting thing with Macomb. Because I think one of the big questions right now is -- I cannot stress enough back in 2016 when Republican sources of mine saw the numbers coming in in a Macomb, that they were just blown away by what Donald Trump was doing.

But let's take a look back at 2016. Donald Trump winning Macomb by about 11 points, right, about 11.5 points, 224,000 votes to 176,000 votes. That was a night were everybody was blown away by what Donald Trump was doing. In 2020 his margin is significantly higher, is significantly higher.

[04:40:00]

The difference right now between 2016 and 2020 is that Macomb, along with Oakland County over here, started to move back towards Democrats in 2018. So, Democrats have worked under the assumption -- maybe not that they wouldn't win Macomb, but they would narrow the margin down. Start to bring the margin down. Now maybe they didn't. We talked about this a couple of times. A lot of concerns in the state. Perhaps he was able to run up an even bigger margin. But given what a shock that the Macomb numbers were back in 2016, I think the assumption here, with 71 percent reporting, you don't want to assume too much, but that a lot of the outstanding vote will likely, one be mail. If it's mail, it skews Democrat. In this case it would skew Democrat. We don't know that for a fact. But that's how people have been operating throughout the night and it's been borne out in other states that have gone through their absentee and vote by mail.

CUOMO: Let me tax your head a little bit. If it's about 180,000 -- oh, that's not -- I think he said 190 -- let's say 200,000, just have around numbers. 200,000 outstanding ballots there. If they split 2 to 1 for Biden, OK, so he gets like, you know, 2/3 of that number, it would put him up and close but they're going to need a lot more than this. This won't be dispositive of what happens in the state.

MATTINGLY: You have to take the whole picture.

CUOMO: Right.

MATTINGLY: You have to take the whole picture. And again, you start from this as your baseline with the idea that in 2016 Hillary Clinton had 519,000 votes and was considered one of the worse turnout years that they've had in a very long time. So, keep that in mind. Joe Biden is at 240,000, only 43 percent is reporting. You're going to have a lot more votes come in here. More heavily Democratic regardless of where it was mail or in person. Then you add more vote here.

I think what this underscores more than anything else is maybe a little bit less than Wisconsin. There's a lot of areas of outstanding vote right now. 76 percent of reporting is not bad. But you see if you take it down to place where 87 percent or less is reporting, you see that there are a number of different counties. There are number of different counties, and again, we're going to say this repeatedly throughout the course of the night, the biggest question right now is composition. It's not so much even what counties come from, what the margins of those counties are.

This is a county where President Trump is going to have a significant margin. Not a huge amount of vote, 70 percent reporting. A couple more thousand will come in here. But we don't know if that's going to track with this margin.

CUOMO: Right.

MATTINGLY: It's going to track with the 2016 margin, which Donald Trump is doing much better than. Or is the reason that Donald Trump is doing better because the Democratic vote hasn't come in by mail yet.

CUOMO: Right, so that's the big X factor. But we do know the smaller the County gets the better he tends to do.

MATTINGLY: No question. But again, I think this underscores the point, right? Is what we're trying to figure out right now, particularly in a moment of kind of information darkness or at least kind of a hold on information as we wait for people to do their jobs, to count the ballots as they're supposed to do, and respect them for doing it. Because it's not an easy job, is there's just a number of different variables right now. So, when you try and do the math and try and figure it out, we're missing various parts of the equation. So, you know, definitively where things are going, and that, boom.

CUOMO: All right. Hold on a second.

MATTINGLY: No. No. No. Look, Joe Biden just took the lead in Wisconsin.

CUOMO: Right, we're getting new information.

MATTINGLY: We'll go through it.

CUOMO: Pull it all the way out. Votes are coming in right now. Let's pull all the way out to the state of play here and let's see what's going on. Because we're getting -- I know, that's Phil Mattingly. We're getting new information in right now. And one of the things you don't get to see is actually what's going on in my head with all of the different voices. And that's before I'm on television.

But tonight, we just got new information in on Wisconsin and it has changed the state of play in the state for now, OK. Right now, Joe Biden is 11,381 votes ahead with 89 percent estimated reporting. Two questions, where did it come from? And what is left? What can we answer?

MATTINGLY: So, let's start with this baseline. Before this information came in, Donald Trump was up by 109,000 votes. Now Joe Biden is up by 11,381. Right now, Milwaukee County is up to 77 percent.

CUOMO: It was at what, 40 something?

MATTINGLY: Yes.

CUOMO: OK.

MATTINGLY: 47 percent of the lead. So not all the way in but, again, we knew this was a heavy Democratic County. We knew it was going to skew Democrat. We also knew the margin we were looking which was something like 57 percent for Joe Biden was low. It was low for what this county is expected to do. Now look at the margin. Now compare the margin of 2016. He's doing better than Hillary Clinton did in the margin. That was what was expected based on turnout in Milwaukee, based on Hillary Clinton's drop off and turnout, in particularly in the --

CUOMO: So, help me. How much vote is left? If it's 77 percent, how many more votes are we looking at?

MATTINGLY: Take 77 percent from 440,000.

CUOMO: You know how many numbers and calculations I've been doing?

MATTINGLY: I got into journalism so I wouldn't have to do the math. Somehow, I ended up on this wall. Now, so look, let's --

CUOMO: Do this in the control room. While we're going through them. Do some calculations for me, OK? So, we'll do that. Let's go to Kenosha and look at votes still outstanding. But give me some calculations about how many more --

MATTINGLY: Kenosha hasn't reported anything new.

CUOMO: So, it's static. MATTINGLY: What we've been waiting for has come in. Right? This is

what we were talking about. This is what Ryan was talking about. The vote that we were waiting for in Milwaukee County has come in. It hasn't come in in Brown and Green Bay yet. It hasn't come in, as far as I know, in Kenosha.

CUOMO: But you're still waiting for 23 percent of it in there.

MATTINGLY: Right now, that's outstanding. The vote that we were waiting for in Milwaukee County has come in. It hasn't come in in Brown and Green Bay yet. It hasn't come in, as far as I know in Kenosha.

CUOMO: But you're still waiting for 23 percent of it in there.

MATTINGLY: Right now, that's outstanding. We don't have an explanation for that. Ryan may have an explanation for that soon. But what I want to underscore here is -- we were trying to figure out was there a way for Joe Biden to overtake. We knew this was going to be the heaviest Democratic --

CUOMO: But is it enough to hold?

MATTINGLY: So right now, accounting for the fact that there is more vote to come in here, accounting for the fact that the vote that came in was heavily Democratic, moved the margin up from 10 or 11 points -- sorry, 25 points up to what it is right now, 40 points. What does that mean going forward? What it means going forward is --

CUOMO: Did anybody else come in? Did any other counties?

MATTINGLY: No. What we knew was going to come in up to this point, what we've been waiting for, we knew was coming in in 30 minutes, out here, was Milwaukee.

CUOMO: Was Macomb. Wasn't it?

MATTINGLY: No, Macomb is Michigan.

CUOMO: This is all that's come in.

MATTINGLY: That's new.

CUOMO: So, Milwaukee has come in and it's new. It's the only new number we have.

MATTINGLY: Yes.

CUOMO: We're waiting on everything else.

MATTINGLY: Yes.

CUOMO: What about Green Bay?

MATTINGLY: I just pulled that up, that has not come in. Green Bay and Brown County has not come in. Racine has not come in yet. We focus on Milwaukee because Milwaukee is the new numbers. And what Milwaukee gave us and what Milwaukee has now presented has flipped Wisconsin to Joe Biden with a lead right now.

CUOMO: All right, so reset. Where were we and what just happened?

MATTINGLY: Where were we, Donald Trump was ahead by 109,000 votes. We have had several counties throughout the state were we're waiting for information and waiting for data. We knew the county we were going to get was Milwaukee County. Milwaukee County skew heavily Democratic.

CUOMO: Now we know how much because of this.

MATTINGLY: Now we know how much. Joe Biden was able to make up roughly 121,000 votes in Milwaukee County which would track with an enormous Democratic skew towards Democrats in the outstanding mail-ins there.

Now let's take a look, 89 percent of the state is reporting. What's outstanding right now? Mostly red counties. Mostly red counties but also still about 23 percent of Milwaukee. So, there will be more vote here. And if it tracks anything like the information we just got, it will skew heavily Democratic. The big question now with Joe Biden -- like the lead just narrowed a little bit even more. Down to 10,900 points or votes, is what's the composition? What's the composition when Brown comes in? Is Brown going to come in like that? Or is Brown going to come in because it's mail vote more heavily Democratic?

CUOMO: So, what was 2016? Just so we get apples to apples comparison. How close was it?

MATTINGLY: Not this large. Do he was 11 points.

CUOMO: So, he won handily.

MATTINGLY: Yes, but he didn't win by 15.

CUOMO: Right, and when you're talking 10, 15, 20,000 votes, 5 percent is enormous.

MATTINGLY: Right. Is enormous. And so, that's the question right now. And Democrats saying, look, we think that most of this vote is absentee from Green Bay. And if it's absentee from Green Bay, it's going to skew Democratic. If that's the case, then perhaps it's not going to look like this margin when it comes in. Brown County is not going to look like this margin when those numbers come in. And perhaps it doesn't hurt Joe Biden, it may even help him.

CUOMO: But we don't know that the ratio in Green Bay will be what it was in Milwaukee?

MATTINGLY: It won't be. We don't think.

CUOMO: Right.

MATTINGLY: We don't' think, but we don't know. And again, this is the unknown variable that we've talking about throughout the course of the night. As these votes come in, even a smaller county, even Washington County, not a small county, Washington County had more of a Republican strong hold. Does this margin hold over the next 12 percent that comes in? Take a look back in 2016. Where did things stand? It's sitting right about within 2016 margin was. So, when the new vote comes in, is it going to be at that margin or is it going be just Democratic outstanding vote that hadn't come in yet because they all voted by mail.

CUOMO: The 11,000 that went to 10,000, why, is that an adjustment within Milwaukee?

MATTINGLY: Yes, another percentage point in Milwaukee came in. So, again, and Milwaukee is a good example of this. That's a good example of this.

CUOMO: Now we're up 90 percent.

MATTINGLY: Right. That was the new percentage that came in that changed the overall. It's not going to come in 100 percent Democrat. Just like the --

CUOMO: Right.

MATTINGLY: -- red counties aren't come in 100 percent Republican. We're trying to figure out compositions right now. You can go off past performance. You can go off traditional lean of the different counties to get a sense things. But because of the mail and because of how things are being counted right now, you can't necessarily extrapolate out what it's going to mean.

CUOMO: Right.

MATTINGLY: What we can extrapolate out at this point in time, is just the obvious fact that Joe Biden has started to turn Wisconsin blue for the moment.

CUOMO: Right. For the moment, Joe Biden is up 10,000 votes in Wisconsin. In 2016 the President won -- Trump won Wisconsin by 22,000 votes. So, it was thin then. It's thin now. You don't have Johnson and Stein in the mix. We have a third party candidate, but we don't see them registering in a way that's relevant right now. So, this is going to be decided by a thin margin. Can Joe Biden hold on with 10,000 votes? There is enough outstanding vote to be counted there where you could see a change. Certainly, much more than this number here.

MATTINGLY: Yes.

CUOMO: So, we'll have to see. When are we going to see? Control room, do you have an answer on that? Should I go to Ryan Nobles or we're waiting?

[04:50:00]

We don't know yet. Ryan Nobles -- not Ryan Nobles -- Ryan Young is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ryan, sorry. So, we have the numbers here. Did they tell you anything about anymore numbers coming in? Not yet. All right. Good. We'll wait. Everybody is anxious, right, because we want the information.

So, let's do this. We're going to go through the state and figure out what came in, what we're looking at, get some more calculations for you, but here's your headline. I know everybody is a little sleepy. But it's time to wake up. We had a move in Wisconsin. Joe Biden is now ahead. Why? Votes that are in are being counted in big, populated areas that could break Democrat and did. Is it enough? We're going to do calculations, see what is still outstanding and get after that right after this break. Stay with CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: All right, hello everybody. Time to wake up. It's just a few minutes before 5:00 in the morning here in the East and we have new information. CNN has key race alerts for you. Let's take a look.

[04:55:00]

The state of play in Wisconsin has changed, OK? Ten electoral votes are up. Very important now because remember the gateway, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, maybe Georgia. Those are the states in the mix right now that we are focused on.

We had a big change in Wisconsin. How? 10 electoral votes, 89 percent of the vote now estimated to come in. In the last batch of votes, it changed the lead. Biden now ahead 10,110 votes, 49.3 to 49.0. Where are the votes that are outstanding? I'll take you through it with Phil Mattingly in just a moment. But that is the big move.

The other state that we're watching in real time, Michigan, 16 electoral votes. The President up ahead. A stout 245,000, 52/46.3. That's 77 percent estimated vote. And where it is could make all the difference. Here's the electoral map in terms of what the state of play is, 224 to 213. But it is all about what we don't know on two different levels.

The states in gray obviously, but also, where the outstanding votes are, whether they're early votes or mail, and what that will mean in terms of breaking along registration lines.

So, with the new information comes new context. Let's go to Phil Mattingly over at the wall. A little bit of coffee. Let's see if it helped the old conjugation context in terms of what the numbers mean that just came out of Wisconsin, specifically Milwaukee.

MATTINGLY: Milwaukee County is what came in. Milwaukee County was the biggest outstanding Democratic vote that we knew for sure would skew heavily Democratic. And it did skew heavily Democratic. Majorly Democratic when it came in. Now 90 percent reporting, Joe Biden 69.2, Donald Trump 29.3 percent. I think the big question right now is how much with the 10 percent that's remaining outstanding, can Joe Biden extend this lead?

Because as we've about, there are more votes outstanding and there are a lot them come form red counties. They don't know the composition, but can you add 10, 20, 30, maybe even 100,000 votes to this. If you take 10 percent out of what's now probably about 450,000 votes, where do you get? You get to 45, 50,000.

CUOMO: So, he gets 15,000 votes out of this. That will pad his lead. The question is, is that enough votes even if he's up 25,000 to stave off the outstanding vote in the rest of the counties?

MATTINGLY: So, let's right now, 89 percent reporting, Joe Biden with a 10,000 vote lead. Let's see what's outstanding. Let's go find these counties and find this vote. Right now, all that you see now that Milwaukee is over 90 percent, you see red counties outstanding. And here is one of the open questions. Let's start with the match-up of these counties are right now.

Dunn County, not a big county. Right now, Donald Trump 56, Joe Biden 41 percent. About 86 percent reporting. So about 14 percent of the votes still outstanding here. A couple more thousand votes are going to come in.

There's two things you need to look at here. Look at this margin right now. Look at the margin. Look at what it was back in 2016. Right now, Donald Trump's a bigger margin. Now these are the types of counties traditionally that Donald Trump has done fairly well in.

Its location to Eau Claire might it a little bit. I think the big question right now is, is that margin because Donald Trump was able to run it up in a smaller county as he's done throughout the country to some degree or is that because the missing vote right now is Democratic mail-in vote? And that's the variable we need the answers to right now. Because as we talked about, 10,000 not a huge lead. 10,000 was enough to win the state of Michigan back in 2016 for Donald Trump. Maybe 10,000 holds, but factor in that it's not just 10,000 right now, it's going to add more from Milwaukee County. And how much more can Donald Trump get from red counties like this.

CUOMO: You've good questions. I think I can get us some answers.

MATTINGLY: Get the answers.

CUOMO: What do we have? OK, right now, we have Julietta Henry. She is the Milwaukee County Elections Director. First of all, thank you very much, ma'am and your whole team for the job you've been doing tonight for your county, for your state, for the country, frankly, because all eyes are on you. Thank you.

JULIETTA HENRY, DIRECTOR, MILWAUKEE COUNTY ELECTION COMMISSION: Thank you for having us tonight or this morning.

CUOMO: Yes, this morning, indeed. Now help me. In terms of Milwaukee, we're understanding that there's still about 10 percent of the vote outstanding. What can you tell us about how much more vote you expect from Milwaukee and how much more vote you expect from the other counties that are as yet open?

HENRY: In Milwaukee County we are now at 100 percent ballots cast. That does include the center count for the city of Milwaukee as well.

CUOMO: So, all the votes in Milwaukee are in? HENRY: Yes, sir.

CUOMO: So, the 90 percent estimate reporting, does that mean that we are just waiting for them to be tabulated? Have those numbers been released?

HENRY: Those numbers have been released. We are at a total --

CUOMO: Do you have the numbers?

HENRY: Yes, sir. We have a total ballots case in Milwaukee County 416,300 of which Biden received 317,259, 69 percent.

CUOMO: Hold on, one more time. Oh, yes, we have it. OK, go ahead.

[05:00:00]