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Election Night In America Continued; Race To 270 Becomes Days' Long Marathon; All Eyes On Arizona As Biden's Lead Shrinks; Trump Campaign Files Multiple Lawsuits; Pathways To The Presidency; Trump Supporters Protest At Arizona Election Site; America's Choice 2020. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired November 5, 2020 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DAVID BOIES, CHAIRMAN, BOIES SCHILLER FLEXNER: You saw, for example, earlier today -- I think this was in Georgia -- how they were going through the process.
And if there was an issue, it was presented to the Republican and the Democratic observer. If they agreed it went forward; if they disagreed, it went to a neutral arbitrator to make a decision.
These processes are set up and they're working.
I think the headline here is how well the system is working if you compare how badly the system worked in Florida in 2000 with how well the system is working this time.
And that's true whether the secretary of state is Republican or Democrat.
The secretary of states across the country are doing a great job of getting these votes counted, and getting the votes counted fairly.
You may quibble -- personally, I'd prefer if the secretary of state of Nevada would release the votes that have already been counted as opposed to waiting until everything has been counted.
But in general, the secretaries of states, Republican and Democrat, have done a phenomenal job in this election.
CHRIS CUOMO, ANCHOR, CNN ELECTION DAY IN AMERICA CONTINUED: So far, so good.
BOIES: In helping (inaudible) get counted.
CUOMO: So far, so good, counselor. The only caveat is that you did have Justices Kavanaugh and Alito suggest that there could be something reviewable about what happened to Pennsylvania. But as a time exigency -- another issue that was germane in Bush v. Gore obviously -- this isn't the right time, there's not enough time to consider it. Maybe after the election. That's why they have separated any ballots that come in after the election day during the judicial appointed period of three days. They'll count them but they'll keep them separate, just in case.
We'll see how it goes.
Counselor David Boies, thank you. Thank you very much.
BOIES: Thank you.
CUOMO: Top of the hour. Time for a reset.
BOIES: Thank you.
CUOMO: All right. Mosey on over here to key race alert land. Let's take a look at the state of play here up on the wall.
Arizona, 11 electoral votes. OK. 84 percent of the vote is in. Now, again, that is a lot of the vote in but that 16 percent, depending on where it is and who it's breaking for can make a difference when margin is under 80,000 votes.
Biden's lead has been slipping. The Trump Campaign is pinning a lot of hope on this state.
OK. Georgia's getting a lot of discussion tonight, and with good reason. Will we know the outcome here? Probably not. But will we know if there's been a substantial change of play? Maybe.
Right now 16 electoral votes, the spread is 28,000. It keeps going down; 95 percent of the estimated vote is in.
But again the amount of vote we're waiting for is in a big population center that breaks blue in a big way. OK.
Nevada, 6 electoral votes. OK. This is the quite shot we're waiting on tomorrow.
The secretary of state put out some information at some time this morning saying the 5th of November is when you will know more from us.
You're hearing a lot of chirping from inside the Trump Campaign that they feel they're going do better here.
Well, all right. What's the big X factor? The major population center there, Clark County, is where Las Vegas is. That has been more traditionally blue, we'll see where the votes come in.
It's hard to speculate on this until we get more data.
Pennsylvania. OK. Now this This one is really the big question mark.
20 electoral votes, 89 percent of the estimated vote is in. But still a ton of votes, enough to meet and beat the sizable lead of Donald Trump which has been getting whittled down -- it was over 600,000, now it's at 160,000 plus -- if they go in big ratio for Biden.
We'll be watching, we're waiting for information. We were just discussing -- that's a sophisticated state there, the president has been very negative on the process. We'll see how it goes.
North Carolina, 15 electoral votes, 95 percent of the vote is in. This has been a quiet contest. That lead has been 76,000, it's still there.
We don't have a lot of intrigue in the state of play there, 50.1 percent to 48.6 percent.
I like dealing with the margins more than the percentages.
Now where are we on the big map. The electoral college. 253 to 213.
But what's the asterisk on that? The white. The white, the white. The white are states that haven't been given to anybody yet and that makes all the difference except for Alaska and maybe North Carolina.
The other ones are all in play.
OK. So that is our key race alert.
Let's go to Phil Mattingly over here. You know what, let's flip it from how we did it the last time and go right to paths. And then we'll go into information dumps.
Because I think most people at home now are like how does this end already? When does it end, of course, but how?
Like how does one guy win, how does the other guy win?
Take us through it.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'll simplify this for you if you're the Biden team right now and you're looking at this map.
With the caveats that right now you're still leading in Arizona, you're still in Nevada, you're trailing in Georgia, you're trailing in Pennsylvania but closing a little bit there.
Look. Everything you see on this map that's filled in has been called. If it's red, it went for President Trump, if it's blue it went for Vice President Biden.
We will go, based on what you were talking about with North Carolina --
CUOMO: Go ahead.
MATTINGLY: -- and give that to President Trump. Go ahead and give Alaska to President Trump as well.
Where does that leave things? 253, 231.
If you're the Biden Campaign, you're leading here, you're leading here, you're closing here. But if you win here, it's over. It's over.
There is a simple path for the Biden Campaign right now. If they make up the hundred-plus-thousand votes that are still outstanding.
CUOMO: Big if. 164,000, (inaudible).
MATTINGLY: I'm not saying Pennsylvania's done. But I'm saying if you want the cleanest, easiest pathway -- not easiest from a vote perspective --
MATTINGLY: -- not having to put combinations of states together --
CUOMO: It's the hardest from a votes perspective.
MATTINGLY: Not having to put combinations of states together, Pennsylvania is the ball game if Biden wins Pennsylvania.
So that is why the Trump Campaign is very keen on watching what's coming in here.
Say Donald Trump wins the state of Pennsylvania. That's 20 electoral votes, that brings things pretty close in tight right now.
Well, the Biden Campaign hangs on to Arizona and winds Nevada, two places they're leading right now.
That is why the Trump campaign is so keen on what's happening in Arizona.
That is why they have been watching as that lead has whittled down from 200,000 to 100,000 to 70,000 and why they believe there is a pathway here.
Because if the pathway to Arizona is maintained, if Maricopa, the biggest county in the state where we're still waiting for the vote to come in, comes in at the level they need it to and all of sudden Arizona flips, Donald Trump has life.
Then all of a sudden what you're looking at is the state of Georgia.
The state of Georgia right now is down to, as you noted, under 100,000 votes, way under 100,000 votes. 30,000 -- 27,000 votes -- sorry, took me a while to get there. 27,000 votes with Georgia right now -- a lot of numbers flying through the head. As we wait for the vote to come in here.
Then it would be Georgia as the ball game.
That's if the Trump campaign can hold on to Pennsylvania, that's if they can flip the state of Arizona -- we obviously have to wait and see what happens with Nevada as well.
The Biden Campaign right now, if you were the Biden Campaign you are looking right here.
You are obviously paying attention to what happens in Maricopa in the next 20 minutes or so when we get results, you want to see what happens in Nevada tomorrow morning and you are looking at Georgia right now and saying we have a very real chance to turn that blue.
But this, given the outstanding vote, given the fact it's 20 electoral votes and given the fact you win this and it's over is what Democrats are keen on right now.
CUOMO: All right. So that's the how. Now we go to the when.
That takes us back to Arizona. Because we do believe in terms of wider watch, we are expecting information from Arizona and from Georgia.
Arizona may be a little bit more helpful in terms of understanding how much more picture there is left to paint.
So we're waiting on how much and where. Take us through just the permutations and then we have a reporter on site in Maricopa where they had this bizarre situation.
The president could win this thing. He won it last time, he won Maricopa County which is blue right now because the former VP is leading in it.
So he needs this count, he needs the integrity of it. He wants the people who are volunteers who are working so late to get through and do it well.
And what's happening there? A group of his supporters show up with weapons chanting a lot of things, maybe also singing "YMCA," but obviously they're not creating a comforting mood for the people inside.
Why? When you need the count?
Our reporter is there, they had to find a way out. We'll go there in a second.
Let's go through the permutations of how much is left there to tell the story.
MATTINGLY: So I think what everybody is watching right now is Maricopa County. There's still outstanding vote in a couple of other counties right here but the bulk of what's outstanding comes from Maricopa, largest county in the state.
Right now, Joe Biden with a lead; 887,457 votes, just over 800,000 votes for President Trump. But that has narrowed.
I want to show you something real quick. There's this great tool that our amazing team put together here.
Let's take this back. Let's take this back to midnight on November 4th and look at Joe Biden's lead in the state of Arizona.
Lead, 207,794. Now let's follow the map and watch the progression as this goes through.
Move on to 1:00 am, all of a sudden down to 185,000. Move on to 2:00 am, all of a sudden down to 155,000. Move on to 3:00 am, now all of a sudden down to 130,000. Move on to 4:00 am, still there.
Now you'll see, as it's come down over the course of the day, into where we are right now.
CUOMO: It was too damn early.
MATTINGLY: Well --
CUOMO: You got to go to when everybody came back and started counting again.
MATTINGLY: Well, I think what's been most interesting about is it's been the inversion -- it's the inverse of what we've seen --
MATTINGLY: -- in some of the Midwestern states in the sense that Donald Trump has closed the gap here. He's done the same thing in Nevada. And I think that's what we're waiting for here.
So the biggest question in terms of what's outstanding in in Maricopa is the composition of what's outstanding.
Is it drop off mail, how did it come in? And does it lean Republican or lean Democrat?
MATTINGLY: What President Trump needs to do from a numbers perspective with the remaining outstanding vote is hit about 56 or 57 percent of that vote.
MATTINGLY: Now this margin right here, if Joe Biden hits this or anywhere near this, anywhere between 44, 45 percent --
CUOMO: Right. MATTINGLY: -- he will win the state of Arizona.
President Trump however with the last couple batches that have come in as I showed you as you narrow it down, he has hit the margins he needs to hit.
So the biggest question right now for Arizona as we wait for Maricopa, wait for Pima as well which should go a little more Democratic is can he hit those margins, can he close that gap, can he keep Arizona in play?
Because as we went through on the maps to 270, the road to 270, got to have this --
MATTINGLY: -- if you're the Trump Campaign.
CUOMO: That's the thing that makes this so bizarre. The president's doing well here, he could win this thing. OK.
This is going to be count by count and that favors the president especially in this state.
That's the odd irony of him attacking the process. But to have his people come and freak out the same people you need to do their job well doesn't make any sense.
Kyung Lah is in Maricopa County. She was introducing us to the scene of that unfriendly environment.
Now you have moved. Did the people who were doing their job get out and get home without incident, what happened?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We don't quite know that yet, Chris. What we can tell you is that the building was closed to the public, closed to the press.
And the reason why they did that is they're trying to shrink the footprint inside.
But the people who are counting the vote as we were rapidly getting our equipment and trying to get out of the building, they were still counting.
They were barely looking up because they're working on a deadline. And they also want to make sure that it's done accurately.
Like I'm not saying anyone rushing, they're just carefully doing the work. And that's something that we've seen -- we've been there almost non-stop for the last two days, we've been dipping in and out for the better part of a week. And that's the diligence we've seen when it comes to counting the vote here in the largest county in Arizona that includes Phoenix.
So this is what we are waiting for. This is what they want to talk about is the vote.
And we are expecting a large number of ballots -- or a certain number of ballots, I shouldn't characterize it, excuse me. A certain number of ballots to come out at the bottom of the hour.
The delay was about an hour, 30 minutes, and part of that reason is because of simply the process of uploading the data.
We specifically asked was it related to the protests that we saw outside? This protest that was so large that the elections department had to make sure that the sheriff's department was called because there were chants that they wanted to come inside the building.
There was a small group that did make it inside, they were escorted out. And so there were safety concerns, security concerns.
Is it related to this delay of these results? No.
The elections department tweeted that the good work inside, the hard work that they are doing, as you read it there is continuing. That there will not be a stoppage of the work, that that will continue.
Essentially saying, Chris, in that tweet, that democracy will not be stopped even if there are some security concerns.
LAH: So I'm happy to report to you that we were able to exit working with the Maricopa County elections department to keep their workers safe.
We were exited out very safely. And now we're just down the street to make sure that we can continue to do the work of keeping you informed.
We are waiting for these next ballot results coming in just about 15 to 20 minutes. Chris.
CUOMO: Great. When you get them, let me know, get in my ear, we're connected and we'll come right back to you. Thank you very much.
And again, the issue isn't whether or not Trump supporters have the right to go outside and do that, of course, they do. It's about whether or not what they're doing is right.
We need these people to do their job the right way. They're citizens like the rest of us, they're volunteering. They're not the problem, they're the solution. OK.
Now while we were talking, we got new information about what's happening in Georgia. What do we see there?
MATTINGLY: Well, you remember when we were waiting, Donald Trump had about 27-, 28,000 vote lead in this state.
What we knew, amongst the outstanding vote was about 17,000 ballots from Fulton County. Fulton County is a Democratic stronghold, Fulton County, largest county in the state, about 10 percent of the state's population is here.
This is a Democratic county, this is a county that is going pretty heavily towards Joe Biden right now. And when the bulk of the vote came in -- we don't know the entirety of the composition of it -- but we do know that Donald Trump's lead has now narrowed again. Narrowed by a couple thousand here.
And what this underscores is what we've been talking about. The outstanding vote is leaning heavily Biden --
CUOMO: But we don't know if it was all 17,000.
MATTINGLY: We don't know if it was all 17,000, we know that it's narrowed. I would make -- I'm not going to make any guesses right now.
What we know is what has come in from Fulton over the course of the last day or so has largely been somewhere between 70 and 80 percent Biden.
So I would expect there's still a little more in Fulton out there if there were 17,000 and he gained about five.
But this is where things stand in Fulton County right now. You look at the margin, it's big. There's still some vote here, it looks like, that's coming in out of that 17,000.
But what this underscores is that it just seems like every hour or so another 5-, 10-, 15-, 20,000 votes are getting whittled away in Donald Trump's lead.
CUOMO: It's gone down. The lead has changed just under 10,000 votes, like 8,700 votes just since we came on air.
So look, it's a trickle thing.
One thing to remind of, though, kind of a Frequently Asked Question.
"I don't know, though, Phil, there's just something weird about this process. Everybody voted and then all of a sudden we started hearing about all these other ballots."
Now that is a key deception that has been going on down there. That's not true. All of the ballots that are being counted were in by election day. All of them.
The states had different rules about when they could start, many of them didn't start until the morning. I'm actually shocked at how far along we are. In 2016, we had big problems in Michigan in terms of counting right
now, we had problems in Arizona counting at this time of 2016. And we didn't even have this flood of early ballots.
I mean, just give us some perspective --
MATTINGLY: Well --
CUOMO: -- on the kind of efficiency.
MATTINGLY: I think we saw last hour -- Nick Valencia was on the ground in Atlanta, in Fulton County, and showing the process, not of counting the ballots but just of getting them out of their envelopes, how the entire process works.
And I think, again, it's taken a while but they're counting and we want them to count. And however long it takes so long as the count is accurate and it's thorough -- and that's what we've heard up to this point.
Secretaries of state, a number of them throughout the course of the last day or two made clear they don't believe they had found any significant issues. They believe the process is working smoothly.
It might take a little bit longer than people would like -- you probably want this called a little bit earlier -- however, the process is moving along.
When they count, how they count -- as you know, is dictated in large part by state rules. By how they're working through each of the ballots.
And we've seen it throughout the course of the last 24 hours whether it was Ohio starting very blue and then shifting hard red because of what was counted when. And the same throughout the Midwest.
You go -- look at the blue states up here whether it's Wisconsin or Michigan, we're seeing it in Pennsylvania now.
Shifts based on the rules based on how things were counted, what was counted and when it was counted.
CUOMO: All right. Let's go to Nick Valencia. We have him in Fulton County there.
He is monitoring what's going on, bringing us the latest. Nick, how's it going?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT:. Chris, it's moving along here and it's moving along pretty smoothly.
I wanted to introduce you to Rick Barron here. He's been really tirelessly working here along with some of the volunteers behind us.
And you have an update here Fulton County. What's going on, Rick? RICHARD BARRON, DIRECTOR OF REGISTRATION, FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA:
We've scanned 127,948 ballots. So -- and then we've also -- we've adjudicated 123,716 of those.
VALENCIA: So the last update we got from Regina Waller with the county was that you had made a 3,000 vote dent; 20,000 absentee ballots about an hour ago, now that's down to 17,000. Where does it stand right now?
BARRON: So we probably have somewhere in the neighborhood of 14,000 to go. At this point.
VALENCIA: So you're moving at a rate of about 3,000 per hour, is that safe to say?
BARRON: Yes. Close to that.
VALENCIA: And I know there's a lot going on here. We want to step to of the way here, Rick. Why don't you move with me on this side so we could show our viewers at home what's going on here.
And you can sort of narrate what we're seeing here specifically.
BARRON: Well, these -- over here, you've got the cutter, openers and these cut open the ballots, extract the ballot.
VALENCIA: And to be clear, these are all absentee mail-in ballots, these are not --
BARRON: They're all mail-in and from our drop boxes. We had 38 around the county.
Then they move over to the flatteners and then they'll go over to the scanners on the far side.
VALENCIA: Does this include any of the mail-in ballots that were sent day of the election?
BARRON: Well, these include -- some of these are the ballots that were put in the drop box --
VALENCIA: Got it.
BARRON: -- or that we received.
VALENCIA: Because there was a deadline to receive mail ins by -- what is it, 7:00 pm on election day?
BARRON: Receive everything by 7:00 pm on Tuesday.
VALENCIA: Lot of spotlight, of course, on Fulton County right now.
Atlanta -- we've been talking about Georgia as being a battleground state. Really a lot closer than a lot of people suspected.
What sort of pressure are you guys under right now?
BARRON: Well, we're one of the -- Georgia's one of the last few states that hasn't been called. So it's our responsibility to get these things counted tonight, if we can, to at least help the process along.
So that people have the peace of mind that all of the votes are counted in Georgia and that we can move onto the provisional ballots that will be counted on Friday.
VALENCIA: We know a lot of these individuals -- they are volunteers, all of them are volunteers. Is that right?
BARRON: Yes. There's a few of our staff here but yes, a lot of them are contract staff that we -- and there are others that we hired as late as this evening.
VALENCIA: As late as this evening?
VALENCIA: So were they trained to be able to handle this kind of pressure?
BARRON: We put them -- we swore them an oath when they sat down and then ran them through a very simple training.
VALENCIA: One of the things Regina told us -- I asked her how late have these people been working. She said some people have been here since 8:30 this morning.
BARRON: Yes. We have a few -- we brought in a fresh crew though in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm timeframe and those people are still here and most of them are going to stay through the night with us.
VALENCIA: OK. So just really quick here. They're not counting the ballots, they're just taking them out of the envelopes, getting them ready to be scanned, is that right?
BARRON: Yes. The scanner's over there. After that, we will -- what we do is we take them over to our Engle Street (ph) warehouse, they go through a vote review panel. The ballots are adjudicated and then they're tabulated.
VALENCIA: Rick Barron, elections director for Fulton County. Thank you so for taking the time with CNN.
BARRON: You're welcome.
VALENCIA: We know you're really busy. A lot of pressure, a lot of spotlight on Fulton County right now. Georgia, Chris, could end up being the deciding factor in this presidential election.
Fulton county election officials, they feel it, they understand the pressure they're under. They're working fast to count the remaining ballots here.
17,00 or actually 14,000 ballots, absentee mail-in ballots, still remaining here in Fulton County.
CUOMO: Boy, I'll tell you, 8:30 in the morning some of them have been there volunteering to work through the night doing this tedious work.
God bless them and what a beautiful demonstration of our democracy. Especially during a moment of such toxicity and division. It's not sanctimony, it's just pride.
It's amazing how people came out, Phil, in the worst of times, in the middle of a pandemic --
CUOMO: -- to vote, to have a hand in their the future from all over the country And these people are killing themselves just to make sure the democracy works for the rest of us.
What a beautiful moment in America even with all the trappings of animus. You can ignore the noise and see what matters most.
And it's those people in that room. What a beautiful thing.
All right. we're going to keep crunching the numbers. Results keep coming in. We'll get them right, we'll get it in context. And then we'll go through it together.
Stay with CNN.
FRANK APPEL, CEO, DEUTSCHE POST DHL GROUP: If you know what you are doing you can provide great service even in that moment.
I think people overestimate how complex it is if you are focused. If you don't know what to do then it becomes difficult.
But, of course, we focused very much on the health and safety of our people from the beginning.
And if you do that and say OK, we do one step after the other you really can manage such a crisis in pretty good shape.
[01:25:00] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, ELECTION DAY IN AMERICA CONTINUED: So we're here and we're counting for you.
We have everything that you need to know when it comes to this election.
So why don't we talk about where the voting is going.
The person who knows that better than anyone is Kristen Holmes. Kristen is at our voting desk.
Kristen, hello to you.
We have seen a flurry of lawsuits from the Trump Campaign including one in Pennsylvania that we are watching very closely.
Tell us more about that one.
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think the one in Pennsylvania's the one that we're watching probably the most closely because there was a little bit of an indication that the supreme court might take it up.
And here's what that is about.
According to local officials, during the pandemic they put an extension on ballots to allow mail-in ballots to come in for three days after election day as long as they were postmarked on or before election day or if their postmark was illegible. They said they could still be counted, they had to be counted as part of the process.
Again, this was a huge year where we saw record numbers in terms of absentee ballots, all of that. So they were trying to make the rules a little more relaxed to allow for more counting and problems with the postal system.
Republicans challenged this. They brought it to the supreme court. And while the supreme court did not weigh in -- they wanted them to expedite the process so they could get it done before the election, it was just days before the election -- the supreme court said they didn't weigh only because it was so close to the election.
However, they left the door open -- and this was conservative justices who did that, to possibly hearing this again after the election.
Now we know the Trump Campaign is trying to bring this back in front of the court.
Now the real thing to pay attention to here is how small that margin is going to end up being in Pennsylvania. And if these votes will even matter.
We have seen a flurry of lawsuits, as you said, across the country. And from speaking to legal experts it's really unclear with the game plan is and whether or not this will even have any kind of real impact. And that's what we're watching in Pennsylvania.
Look, there are going to be X amount of ballots that come in through the mail, absentee ballots, after election day.
Is that margin -- is that amount of ballots going to actually impact the race? And right now, it doesn't seem clear.
Now I'll tell you from experts in the state, political experts, on both sides that are tracking this they don't think that it's going to play any role here.
They think whatever the margin is it's going to be large enough to have these ballots just not even be considered, not even be an issue.
However, we know that the Trump Campaign is trying to sow chaos around this, they are trying to challenge every possible thing they can, they are trying to shave off votes from certain areas when they can through lawsuits.
So something we're watching very closely.
LEMMON: They want to sow doubt. And listen, they've threatened lawsuits in a number of different places. They filed a lawsuit in Georgia trying to stop the vote there.
They filed one in Michigan demanding vote counts be halted. And, of course, we're talking about what's happening in Pennsylvania.
Kristen, thank you very much. We'll get back to you on that.
Kristen mentioned experts and what they had to say about this and how they're going to handle this, how this may proceed or may not proceed in a court of law.
So let's talk to Ben Ginsberg. Ben Ginsberg is a longtime Republican election lawyer so he's knows about all of this.
Ben, it's good to see you again. Thank you for joining us here.
BEN GINSBERG, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Good to see you. Thanks.
LEMON: So I just want to get to your reaction to what Kristen just said, especially about Pennsylvania.
Is she right, this may not matter in the whole scheme of what's going to happen and how Pennsylvania may turn out?
GINSBERG: That is right. What you need, the legal definition, is enough votes to change the outcome of the election. And it's far from clear what the margin's going to be let alone how many votes will come in.
Worth noting that the Trump campaign has filed a couple of other lawsuits in Pennsylvania. One about a cure provision in Montgomery County and another about not having enough observers in polling locations.
So there clearly is some (inaudible) in Trump World.
LEMON: You were calling these lawsuits "Hail Mary" lawsuits. Why is that, Ben?
GINSBERG: Well, because this is the stage where -- and I've been in this stage before -- when a campaign is sort of faced with the grim reality of not winning an election.
And so they look for any little way that they can fight and try and salvage a victory, even if it involves "Hail Mary's."
And these are long shot lawsuits, they don't really go to the heart of the matter as Kristen points out -- there's only a small number of ballots involved.
They filed them in the states that you mentioned, they filed a recount in Wisconsin. Rumors tonight, they're looking to file actions in Arizona and Nevada.
So delay and messing up the elections themselves, the results seems to what they want to be doing.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: So -- I was going to say what's the purpose? Is it to sow doubt? Is it just to extend the process because ultimately, this is going to be decided and if they just continue to file as you see Hail Marys or frivolous lawsuits, I don't understand how that helps them then.
GINSBERG: Well, I'll give you the outside sort of game theory behind that Don. And that is if they can slow up a process enough as close as this election looks to be so that a state can't certify its results in time to get a slate of electors for the electoral college which is December 14th is when they meet. Then all of a sudden, nobody gets to 270 votes in the electoral college.
That can cause all sorts of havoc and maybe toss the election to Congress where Republicans didn't maintain a majority in the number of delegations from states in the House.
LEMON: And then this could also --
GINSBERG: So there is your conspiracy theory.
LEMON: Well, you would know. But listen -- and that would ultimately end up with the Congress deciding. What are the chances of that happening though, Ben? What do you think?
Because everybody at home is on edge and they're all watching and they're all concerned and they're thinking, well, this person -- you know, the Trump folks think the Biden people are going to steal it. The Biden people think that President Trump is going to try to steal it through some sort of legal action. GINSBERG: Well, the chances of that succeeding are really, really,
really, really small. But that doesn't mean that at this point there's not a Hail Mary strategy at work.
LEMON: Yes. All right. Ben Ginsberg. Ben, great information from you. But unfortunately you're shot is breaking up. If we can fix it, we'll get back to you.
GINSBERG: Oh, no.
LEMON: Yes. -- which we'll need to spend more time, as much time as we can with folks like Ben Ginsberg who know about this. He's been through this a number of times so he knows the ropes here.
But again we have legal challenges happening in a bunch of different states. The vote count is coming in. Is that Ben -- is he better? Is that what you are saying? Somebody talk to me. All right.
We're going to get to the vote count. We'll be right back. Right after this quick break.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right.
Welcome back to our continued coverage of the election in America for president and senate and a lot of down ballot races as well. You see we have Georgia and Arizona up on the big board.
Here with Phil Mattingly, I'm Chris Cuomo and we are waiting for Arizona and Georgia to give us more information about the state of play there, take us through what's happening and why we are anxious for the data.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So let's pull up Arizona first because this is where we expect to get data soon. We expect in probably the next 15 or 20 minutes according to Kyung Lah, our correspondent who's on the ground and she's doing some amazing work.
And here's what you're looking for here. Right now Joe Biden up by 1.4 million votes -- up by about 79,000 votes in the state. And where we're expecting votes to come in from is from right here. It's Maricopa County, 60 percent of the population lives here. Largest county in the entire state.
Right now you look at this margin and you say it's blue. Joe Biden is up by about 4 points. So this should be good for Joe Biden, right? Wrong, we thing.
But we have to wait and see the data. Here's what's happened over the course of the last several hours. Joe Biden's margin in large part because of what has come in to Maricopa county has started to dwindle.
Not entirely, still up by 79,000 votes. It went from 200,000 to 150,000 to 100,000 now at 79,000. What we're waiting for is to try and figure out the composition of what's coming in next.
Unlike some of the other states that we've been talking about over the course of last 24 hours, Arizona's late mail ballots have actually leaned Republican and we expect that some of this batch that's coming in will be leaning Republican as well.
The big question which is kind of top line mistake right now, Donald Trump needs to do probably between 56 and 57 percent of whatever comes in. That is the margin he's going to have to have. Hit 56 percent, hit 57 percent on his top line for everything that comes in for the rest of the state right now. That's going to be --
CUOMO: so he will have to overperform.
MATTINGLY: He will have to overperform. That's what we're going to be keying on. If Joe Biden even sits at this, even if he's at 45 or 46 percent, Joe Biden is going to win the state of Arizona.
CUOMO: And the reason it's not just a possibility is it goes in the realm of probability is that Joe Biden has been overperforming. Now he's got a built-in advantage in this kind of balloting that we'd been seeing. In mail-in ballots they have been over sampling Democrats because, we knew this for weeks before the election, more Democrats have been requesting absentee ballots than Republicans.
Why? 100 reasons. One of them that may haunt is the president kept telling Republicans and everyone else not to do it. And that will be part of the legacy and the autopsy of this election.
All right. So we are waiting, the latest time check is somewhere within a half an hour, they'll give us the information. As soon as we get it and we can make sure it's right, we'll bring it to you.
MATTINGLY: One point I want to make here and I think this is important is the Trump campaign has made very clear that they believe Arizona is still in play. This margin and what's left outstanding shows Arizona is still in play.
MATTINGLY: That's why we're talking about Arizona right now because the Trump campaign absolutely has to win the state of Arizona. So we're watching it very closely. Trump campaign feels like they have a shot at it. Biden campaign says everything should end up ok. When they look at what's still outstanding right now, we will wait see but Arizona is a must-win.
Here's another must-win for the Trump campaign where the Biden campaign has started to narrow, and boy have they started to narrow. Right now Donald Trump's margin in the state of Georgia down to 23,000 votes which means --
CUOMO: Dropped almost 10,000 the spread just since we came on air at midnight. MATTINGLY: We've seen over the course of the last hour or so, Fulton
County come in 5,000 - 6,000 - 7,000 votes of their batch come in and it's been coming in 80 to 85, 20 to 25 -- Biden to Trump.
MATTINGLY: And the reason why that's important is margins here are everything given what's outstanding. And this is a little bit different than what the batch that's coming in from Maricopa is because the vote by mail here is largely Democratic. It is coming from Democratic counties. It is coming from urban population centers. It's coming from suburbs.
We're still waiting to see what's outstanding. But you go into Fulton, we know there's about 14,000 votes there. You go into DeKalb County, about 5 percent reporting there as well. There is still vote to come in -- a lot of it comes from Democratic strongholds. It's vote by mail which has leaned heavily Democratic.
So Democrats look at the state of Georgia and they believe they have a pathway here. 23,000 votes separate to 5 percent, we're still waiting to come in. Well see how that comes in over the course of the night.
We talk to Nick Valencia, our correspondent on the ground who made clear Fulton County at least is working through the night. We'll see how the other counties come in as well.
Georgia is tight. It's a live ball and Chris, we're going to be paying close attention to it over the next couple of hours.
CUOMO: All right. Phil, thank you very much.
I walked away because I was getting tired -- no I'm here joining the panel. I have CNN's Nia-Malika Henderson, Harry Enten, and Mark Preston.
As we were going through those numbers, and thank you for waiting -- but I guess we're all waiting, right? So here we are now. Let's discuss.
As we go though those numbers, highlight some things for me about the -- for the people at home in terms of how to see some of the things we're waiting for.
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER AND ANALYST: Yes. I mean look, Maricopa County, we know that those late returns from the mail- in, some of them are drop-off will be more Republican-friendly than the earlier voters that we've been getting, right.
So we do expect that Biden's margin will shrink. The question, of course, is how much will it shrink. When were those votes -- when were those votes delivered? Because some of those that were delivered right before the election or on election day maybe more or less Republican- friendly than those that were returned, say on Saturday.
And the different batches can differ significantly. So we could see in one update, oh my God, Joe Biden lost a 15,000 post office (INAUDIBLE) like we saw earlier this evening. And then in the next one maybe only drop by 5,000. We don't really know.
But I think in all honesty what I'm really looking forward to over the next 24, 48 hours is Pennsylvania, right. Because as Phil and you were talking about last hour, all Joe Biden needs is 20 electoral votes from Pennsylvania, you had it to the 253 that he currently has and that gets him over 70 threshold.
ENTEN: so why even try to do the complicated math of say add Arizona, Nevada or Georgia and Nevada. Just go to Pennsylvania, win there and you've won.
CUOMO: Right. Nice to say but he's getting shellacked in Pennsylvania, though.
CUOMO: It's coming down but you say all he has to do is win there. Yes, it's a big haul.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: We will see. I mean for Democrats Georgia would be gravy. It would be something they've been trying to do for decades and decades. Turn that state blue. We will see if it happens.
I think if it does happen you owe a lot of credit to somebody like Stacey Abrams who ran for governor in 2018, lost by about 32,000 votes. And we're looking now to see how black voters perform for Biden in Georgia. In Pennsylvania, you think black voters are going to be critical, particularly in a place like Philly.
In Michigan they were key in or Detroit and then in Wisconsin, in Milwaukee too. So you do see this theme emerging that Biden seems to have reassembled the Obama coalition in many ways with African American voters being very energized as well as adding some of those white voters -- white working class voters, suburban white voters as well in some of these other states.
So Georgia I think fascinating to watch not only because of the presidential race but also because of those, you know, the senate race, that could go to a runoff but you were waiting to see.
CUOMO: Right. That's why we're not talking that much about the Senate right is because so much of it is in flux and Georgia in play for the presidential race but especially so for the Senate race because they have a special rule there. If they don't get to 50 percent in the race, then it goes to a run off, there's no resolution until January 5th.
Let me ask you something, Mark? Here's a tougher question and then please weigh in as you see fit about this.
On the one hand, this is a "who did you think we were?" election, right. you know, this is where the country is. Trump tapped into something that's very real, that he didn't create, that has manifested millions and millions of people across the country versus the, "oh yes, then how do you explain the popular vote. That's looks like it maybe the biggest gap between two people, ever".
You know, is this a repudiation of Trump. How, when he got such strength all across the country. How should people see what the statement is that's made.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, it's -- it's interesting that you ask that because I've been struggling with that today thinking about how we're going to quantify what has happened and how do we look at our fellow American and say that us who were supposed to be trained journalists, who are supposed to understand data, that are supposed to understand, you know, emotions of people.
How do we understand them, when we can't even get it right. We don't understand, you know, what people are thinking, why they're making decisions. You know, we think we understand them.
I don't know how this is going to play out. And to be perfectly honest with you, I do have concerns. I do have a short term concern. I have a short-term concern that that, right now, the pot is boiling, ok. And the lid is on top of it.
PRESTON: And things are going fine, we just saw 45 minutes ago, things start to get you know, a little bit heated. But again, a little bit heated.
What I fear is come tomorrow -- come in a few hours, President Trump starts to agitate again, and then some of his supporters come out. And then I'm concerned that you're going to see the left, who has been restrained and has been held back that are going to come out. And then you're going to start seeing civil unrest to the point of violence.
And I think long term is that we are really, really, really, really an injured nation right now. And I don't, I don't know how we come back and knit ourselves back together, unless we actually start showing some kind of respect for one another.
And I don't see that anymore, Chris. I just don't. And I'm not Pollyanna.
CUOMO: No look -- this is anxiety, because this is fear projected onto the unknown. So far, It's been fine. You have a group of people want to Maricopa and they're singing songs. They're not -- they have every right to be there. I don't understand it, logically because you need these people to do their job.
You may win Arizona. Why would you want to spook them and put fear them? But this is tricky stuff, in understanding where we are, and you have to know where you are to get to a better place.
HENDERSON: Yes. And a lot of the divisions that we should just be frank about this are racial divisions, right?
HENDERSON: We're just sort of America's original sin, not really acknowledging the wounds of racism, the wounds of slavery and segregation, and sort of systemic discrimination against a certain group of people.
You know -- and that's one of the things that I think Biden realized early on, that was the whole idea of his running for president. Renewing America's soul, binding the wounds of America, thinking about Charlottesville, and that as a low point, and him saying that he could do better.
We will see if he can do that. I think he was certainly eloquent when he spoke earlier about, you know, America needs to get to a place where we hear each other and listen to each other.
But listen, you know, I think what we don't know is the kind of force that Trump remains even if he loses. How does he stay on the scene? I imagine that he wants to and he will because he does have millions of followers who believe him, and look to him for guidance.
Is he going to be able to tamp, you know, some of the rhetoric down, or does he stay engaged with --
CUOMO: It takes two to tango --
CUOMO: -- and one of the things that I'm certainly doing personally, and I've taken a beating from you guys for a long time, and it's ok, it's part of the job.
I'm very open to both sides of the controversy. I have them come on "CUOMO PRIME TIME" all the time, I get into the fights, and I take it from the side for even having him there because you guys don't want to hear anybody you don't agree with.
Here's my concern, James Baldwin a genius, and he should be re-entered into our cultural awareness, and read how he dealt with race during even a more critical time than we're dealing with.
The idea of disagreeing with the decency is great. And we should exercise it. However as James Baldwin said, we could disagree with decency, unless your disagreement is about my right to exist.
And that's the problem here is when we are dealing with these hard, entrenched realities, you can't just look the other way, if the person doesn't agree. If the issue is, does a black life matter the way a white life does.
And that's a problem, and it's not going to go away. and the secret has to be in where we see common threads that bridge us past the difficulties? I don't know where we are on, that I do know this. We will have to converse our way through it and someone's going to have to lead. Who will that be.
Quick take, I have to go to break.
ENTEN: I was just going to say, look, we had record turnout. There was this whole idea of Democrats, hey, we are going to break the racial strife in this country, people are going to come out, repudiate President Trump.
And while perhaps that happened in popular vote, obviously that doesn't really matter. It's the Electoral College that matters. And we didn't see that repudiation I think a lot of Democrats were looking for.
CUOMO: And you saw, the polls showed us very clearly in the exit, people came out for President Trump for two big reasons. One, they were willing to overlook his flaws because of his positions, and those positions dealt with economics. Now what isn't told in that. that's the culture wars. And that's something we've been making our own trouble for a long time.
Let's take a break, let's deal with the top line, which is how are we doing in deciding who will lead us next?
There's new information coming in right 10, 12, 15 minutes from now in Arizona -- very important. We will give it to you as soon as we get it.
Stay with CNN.
CUOMO: All right. Welcome back.
One of the states very much in play, Nevada. Joe Biden right now having a very slim lead of 7,647 votes there. The interesting part is, when will we hear here?
We heard from officials there that nothing will come until tomorrow. We know counting is underway right now, we're showing Wachau County, that's the Reno, Nevada area.
President Trump's campaign is considering taking legal action in Nevada, sources tell CNN. Why? They don't say, but let's bring in the attorney general of Nevada, Aaron Ford, to discuss what he thinks the state of play is in the state. Thank, you mister At.
AARON FORD (D), NEVADA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Hi there, Chris. Thank you for having me.
CUOMO: All right. So the idea would be constructively, you've taken too long, and that's because these mail-in ballots are filled with fraud. And we are going to come after you for it from the Trump campaign. What is your take on your process? FORD: Well, my take is that all of that's nonsense. I want to back up,
if you would indulge me real quickly. You talked about something on a segment a minute ago about the poll workers there or the election workers.
And I think they should be getting our accommodation, not a condemnation. There's a lot of consternation about the time it takes to count but these are folks working very hard, and I'm very proud of the work that we're doing in Nevada.
Now counting votes takes time, especially in a circumstance like ours where our registrar sent out to all active voters, mail-in ballots which is something that our legislators in their infinite wisdom -- in its infinite wisdom did in order to help people exercise the constitutional right during the time COVID.
And I appreciate that, and we are working to ensure that everyone gets their right to vote, and that it's going to be counted.
CUOMO: First of all, I agree with you about the workers. In fact, the count is going quicker than usual. We just have a very tight race, and that's why the projections that people are used to from the exit polls didn't happen in this cycle, because this is a divided race.
It's not about the speed of assessment by states, especially with this flood of mail-in ballots. Now, you made a point that would become a critical legal concern.
The idea of we don't like how the e-mail voting works or the mail-in voting works. You made the statement there, legislature in the state reviewed by its own process. How invulnerable to legal attack is it when the way you do it is a function of legislature?
FORD: Quite invulnerable, if you take a look at the track record we've already established against Mr. Trump.
He sued us twice, maybe three times already and each time my office has been able to work with a local district attorney, for example, and defeat those lawsuits.
As recently as last week he filed another lawsuit claiming that the observation requirements, or observation opportunities were insufficient. And we prevailed on that as well.
So we think, at the end of the day, what the legislature has laid out is the great opportunity for people to exercise their right to vote, counting ballots is going to take in this instance because we actually have safeguards to prevent fraud such as just signature verification, and unique he bar codes that are also part and parcel of the process here. So, we think it's pretty impenetrable when it comes to a legal challenge against us.
CUOMO: As they teach us in Law school, with all -- deliberate speed.
Mr. Attorney General, thank you very much for joining us. Good luck in getting it right.
FORD: Thanks, Chris.
CUOMO: All right. So we'll take a break.
Litigation, a lot of it is noise. I say you ignore it. As legitimate issues and litigation comes up. We will tell you about it. The toxicity surrounding it. I don't know how it serves our purpose right now, so I say we keep it down as much as we can.
What we do want to do is get you more vote totals. And we do have information due from Arizona any minute.
Let's take a quick break, and will be right back.