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Election Night in America; Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) is Interviewed About the Election. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired November 5, 2020 - 05:00   ET

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


[05:00:00]

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Welcome to 5:00 a.m. in the east, 2:00 a.m. in the west, maybe you're waking up. Maybe you're thinking about whether or not to go to sleep.

Either way, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon got you. Welcome to our special live coverage, ELECTION NIGHT IN AMERICA continues.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: You may as well just hang with us. It is a good time. We always will show you a good time because you know what, we're on count watch here on CNN in the wee hours of the morning.

New numbers, Chris, coming in overnight, and we're expecting even more from those very key battleground states that are still out and still in question.

Arizona shifted just a little bit, Biden's lead narrowing by just over what, 10,000 votes, that's getting close.

CUOMO: Just on our watch, just less than 10,000 votes traded hands in Arizona. And look, there are a lot of different states going through a lot of different permutations. A lot of ballots out there and it really is all good because it's all a reflection of tremendous turnout at the polls for people to have a hand in their own political destiny. So it's a blessing but you got to deal with it now.

So, let's give you the latest results for you in a key race alert.

All right. Here are the main races that we have been watching. You have Pennsylvania, of course, 20 electoral votes. Right now, you have 164,000-vote margin. This is a big number in play. There's no question about it.

But it keeps getting smaller and the latest calculations suggest that there are enough votes outstanding for former VP Joe Biden to meet or beat Donald Trump in this all-important state. The president was right to pick this one to see as a potential problem and potential for all of these bad things that he has no proof about. He was right that it would come down to this state, and it may well do that, about 10 percent of the vote still outstanding.

A lot happening there as well in Georgia -- 16 electoral votes, 5 percent of the vote outstanding there, 23,009 votes separate the two gentlemen.

Are there enough outstanding votes to make a difference? Yes, with a couple of caveats. We'll take you through it.

One big thing to know about is it could be a candidate for a recount depending on the outcome of the overall election.

Arizona, Joe Biden, still ahead. His number has been going down. Why? Donald Trump has been over performing in all important Maricopa County.

This state is a little bit of an inverse effect from what we're seeing in four of the other five states we're following, which is that Donald Trump is the one overperforming, Donald Trump is the one who likely has enough votes to meet or beat Biden if he keeps overperforming. Will he? We don't know. Those are going to be a very important 11 electoral votes.

Nevada, six electoral votes. Still a chunk of votes to come in. This is a short story, why, we're not getting nothing until later this morning. That's what they told us there. They count all the votes before they release any of the next batch of results. A thin, thin margin there.

Now, North Carolina, another quick tell, the president is ahead by 76,000, he has been for a while. There is a little bit of an opportunity for more vote to come in to change the state of play here. But this is where it is, it may be a likely candidate for the first of these five to get projected, 15 electoral votes there.

Let's look at the big map. Big map, 253 to 213. Joe Biden, a couple of moves away from getting to 270. Donald Trump, a more narrow path, but still there.

So, let's discuss what it means. There's a lot that's happened since Tuesday night.

Let's go to Stephanie Elam right now for a sense of the big picture out there, doing what she does best, bringing us a good understanding of what's happening in our country.

Good morning. Very nice to be sharing a moment in history with you.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very nice to hear you at this hour of the night, morning, day, wherever we are right now. Chris, I know there's a lot of people who are insomniacs because of the facts you're looking at these races tightening around the country, and we knew that it was going to take a long time to get to the counts being done.

Still, it doesn't make it less tedious for anyone watching all of these races.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELAM (voice-over): With the race for the White House still too close to call, the focus is now on a handful of battleground states still counting hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots that will decide whether President Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden win the election.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I'm not here to declare that we have won, but I am here to report when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.

ELAM: Biden asking his supporters to be patient, saying his campaign sees a clear path to 270 electoral votes.

BIDEN: Every vote must be counted. No one's going to take our democracy away from us.

[05:05:02]

Not now, not ever.

We, the people, will not be silenced. We, the people, will not be bullied. We, the people will not surrender.

ELAM: The former vice president making this address before adding projected victories in Michigan and Wisconsin, the states crucial to help rebuild the blue wall Trump painted red in 2016.

Now, the Trump campaign is trying to sow unfounded doubt over the election results after the president falsely declared victory early Wednesday morning.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As far as I'm concerned, we already have won.

ELAM: The president's team is also taking legal action in Michigan and Georgia, and saying they will request a recount in Wisconsin, which CNN projects Biden has narrowly won by less than 1 percent.

The Trump campaign is planning to sue in Pennsylvania where Biden could narrow the president's lead.

ERIC TRUMP, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S SON: It's a shame that we have to do that, it's the last thing that we wanted to do.

ELAM: State officials condemning Trump's baseless allegations that the Biden campaign is adding votes to their tally.

KATHY BOOCKVAR, PENNSYLVANIA SECRETARY OF STATE: You have got counties live streaming, candidates and representatives watching every step of that process. It's just not happening. There's no evidence of anything like what was alleged.

ELAM: Meanwhile, in Nevada and Arizona where the president believes he can catch up with Biden, they want ballot counting to continue.

CROWD: Count the votes! Count the votes! Count those votes!

ELAM: Trump supporters protesting just that in Phoenix, with dozens surrounding the Maricopa County elections department as poll workers tally votes inside.

But in Detroit, they stormed into this ballot counting center, demanding them to stop.

(CHANTING)

ELAM: With tension growing, protests emerging across the country, many calling for a fair tally of all votes.

One state official defending the process, despite expected efforts like the president's to call into question the integrity of elections.

JOCELYN BENSON, MICHIGAN SECRETARY OF STATE: We always knew we would be here from the -- when the polls closed, as we went to that tabulation. We have always had a lot of faith in the truth underneath our work, which everyone can see for itself is one that is meticulous, it has been accurate, it has been secure, and it's been something that we're quite proud of here in our state.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ELAM: Ad you take a look at the electoral votes, where we stand right now, and you see Joe Biden is just 17 electoral votes away. Arizona carries 11 electoral votes. That's why everyone cares so much about what is happening here. Maricopa County where I'm standing, the most populous county in this state, we are looking after the numbers we got in last night, that here in the county, there's some 300,000, more than that, just over that, in Maricopa County that need to be counted and we're likely not going to hear anything about those numbers until later in the day.

So, more waiting for everyone all around -- Chris.

CUOMO: Hey, better to wait than to get it wrong.

Stephanie, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Phil Mattingly here at magic wall holding forth -- paths to 270.

Let's start with Joe Biden.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's stipulate something out front which is both candidates have pathways to 270.

CUOMO: Absolutely.

MATTINGLY: We have been talking about this all night. But if you're just waking up, this race is not over. There are still pathways for both Joe Biden and President Trump.

And let's walk through, what you see on the map, if it's red, we have called it for President Trump, if it's blue, we have called it for Vice President Biden.

We'll go ahead and fill in, Chris, you were going through North Carolina, pretty solid lead for the president, we'll go ahead and make that red. Alaska as well, waiting for the count, but the expectation is that will go red.

So, what does that leave? That leaves Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada -- Arizona and Nevada.

All right. Well, here's some pathways. Right now, the vice president is leading here in Arizona, and he's leading here in Nevada. He wins those two --

CUOMO: It's over.

MATTINGLY: -- it's over.

However, and this is key, right now, as Stephanie was just laying out. Arizona has tightened a lot.

CUOMO: Very competitive.

MATTINGLY: Very competitive. We're going to have to wait a little bit for the results to come in.

CUOMO: This was his one flip.

MATTINGLY: This was his one flip. This was his one flip until he moved through the blue wall.

Also, Nevada, only 7,000 votes separate the president and Donald Trump, we expect Clark County, the most populous county there to report at some point this morning.

So what happens, the president catches up and flips Arizona. What happens if the president catches up and flips Nevada?

Here is the reality, no matter what you're looking at on the map right now. If Joe Biden wins the state of Pennsylvania, he is at 270. He's at 270 with Arizona, with Nevada, without Arizona, without Nevada, without Georgia.

Pennsylvania for the Biden campaign is everything. It is the ball game. Now, they can get to 270 without Pennsylvania. But with Pennsylvania, particularly given that Pennsylvania is going to pick up the count, Pennsylvania ends it no matter what else happens.

Now --

CUOMO: Play it through if he doesn't win Pennsylvania.

[05:10:00]

MATTINGLY: So, if you give President Trump Pennsylvania, right now, he's leading by 160,000 votes.

CUOMO: Yeah.

MATTINGLY: Perhaps it holds, perhaps they find other vote as they continue to count. Right now, President Trump, if he leads in Pennsylvania, what you have

to have is a combination of things. Say Joe Biden ends up holding on -- Clark County comes in, most popular county, leans Democrat and Joe Biden holds on to Nevada, President Trump would have to win Arizona. President Trump would have to win North Carolina, and President Trump would have to win Georgia to go above 270 electoral votes.

So, it's some combination of Pennsylvania and three other states is President Trump's pathway right now.

Here's the problem for the Trump campaign. Arizona right now narrowed the margin, narrowed the margin in terms of 400,000 votes outstanding. The expectation is he's going to have to get somewhere between 55 to 57 percent of those votes to overtake Joe Biden. Right now the expectation is he may fall shy of that. We'll see.

Georgia, right now, outstanding vote, there's not a ton of it, about 5 percent left. The outstanding vote is mostly in Democratic strongholds, Fulton County, DeKalb County, Atlanta metro area trending heavily Democrat over the course of the night. It's also mail-in ballots.

We'll probably hear from Nick Valencia shortly with more about that.

Pennsylvania is the biggest --

CUOMO: Let's bring in nick and get context, and believe it or not, I have a question for you that I have not asked you yet.

MATTINGLY: Okay. Now I'm nervous.

CUOMO: I wouldn't believe it either, but it's true.

Nick Valencia, thank you so much for holding forth from there tonight. Thank you for giving our audience and us frankly such a great window into our fellow citizens who have volunteered to do such an important job, such a grind, so meticulous, so tedious. So, thank you for showing us democracy in action.

What's the latest word you have about when the county will bring in the rest of its count?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, just to give you an estimate here and to give you a sense of what we have been dealing with since this morning. At midnight here in Fulton County, the state's largest county, we had 20,000 absentee ballots, mail-in ballots that still were outstanding that had not been counted.

An hour earlier, that figure went down to 17,000, and the last update from the secretary of state's office came at 2:00 a.m., showing a 23,000 vote lead for President Trump.

Now, here's where it gets complicated. Here in Fulton County, although you can see the work behind me here, let me step out of the way, they are continuing to count ballots, they were continuing to process them, continuing to adjudicate them. I mentioned that 20,000 number, Chris, at midnight. That number is

down to 7,500 -- around 7,500 absentee ballots remaining to be counted. What we don't know, though, is the raw data.

Who those ballots are helping? Are they benefitting Joe Biden? Are they benefitting President Trump?

The reason we don't know is the secretary of state went home for the night in these overnight hours, and we won't see the figures that are happening here. The work that is being done here reflected in the overall numbers until the secretary of state gets back into his office later this morning.

We are expecting a gaggle to happen from the election supervisor here, the elections director. We've been hearing from him throughout the morning. Rick Barron (ph), he says he is waiting to see his team here at Fulton County if they will update the figures on their website. We might some raw data there.

But the secretary of state, that's what really matter. That gives you an overall sense of what's going on in the state. Earlier, Chris, we were told that there was 90,000 absentee ballots across the state.

So, you know, really, there's a lot of confusion still with the math, who these votes are benefitting, when we get those details, we will bring them to you. I mentioned Rick Barron, he's anticipating holding a gaggle in a little bit. Secretary of state expected to give a press conference later this morning at 10:30 a.m. eastern.

So, still a lot left to count. It's still too close to call here in Georgia -- Chris.

CUOMO: So, for those who have been following along, or even if they haven't. We have been talking to you since midnight Eastern Time. Two women over your right hand shoulder have been working at a fever pace every time we have seen them.

It is so impressive that they have that level of dedication. I don't to mess with them. But if you can turn over your shoulder, and say, hey, everybody says thank you for what you have been doing. It is amazing.

VALENCIA: We don't want to interrupt your work, but America thanks you very much for everything you're doing. We see you, give us a wave here. This is democracy in action. Chris Cuomo our anchor here, very impressed with all of you guys doing this. The spotlight is on you guys.

We don't want to interrupt them too much. They're working hard here, Chris. But you're right, they have been at it very early. Some here since 8:30 yesterday morning. Imagine that.

CUOMO: I mean, it is just amazing, you were speaking earlier to the supervisor there and a number of people are going to stay with us overnight, volunteering to do it all the time. I mean, I just think it's such a beautiful demonstration of who we are at our best, and the fact that they have a long and hard job is more proof at our best.

[05:15:04]

What an amazing turnout we're seeing in the country. Maybe the biggest vote total we have seen in years.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Go ahead.

VALENCIA: The atmosphere here is very optimistic, you know. They just brought in coffee and donuts about an hour ago. That lifted a lot of spirits.

The crowd has thinned out a little bit here, the volunteers. Some of them, we spoke to one who went home. She said she touched about a thousand ballots. Just think about that. You have about 20 people in the room, all of them working at a feverish pace here.

They are trying to get these numbers out. We are all waiting with baited breath. We are really anxiously waiting these results here. We know it could mean a big difference in this presidential election in 2020 -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Nick, thank you very much. We're going to take a quick break.

How amazing is it that even when you have the news guy talking to you, they're just like, yeah, great, and they keep going at it. I mean, the level of dedication, you can't ask for anything better than what we're getting. That's us at our best.

All right. We are on count watch, as don said. It's going to continue. We'll be with you all morning. There are shifts. They matter. We'll take you through them, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:20:20]

LEMON: Welcome back, everyone.

Let's get some perspective on the battleground states.

We're joined now by Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.

Congresswoman, I appreciate you joining us. Thank you so much for being up early or late with us, whichever it is.

REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): I really haven't gone (ph) to bed in three days. So, it's just great to be with all of you.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: I was going to say, join the club. You're among the lot of folks who haven't been to sleep. We hear so much, Congresswoman, about the blue wall, the Democratic

blue wall. The vice president, former Vice President Joe Biden flipped Michigan. Dems have part of the blue wall back.

How -- how significant is this?

DINGELL: Well, I think it is very significant. You know, Michigan's always closer than everybody thinks it's going to be. I almost got killed by several people when I said Michigan had tightened last week.

But it's -- we're a state that's a very diverse state. But we did deliver it in the end. I think it's women that delivered it.

You know, when this election is done, Don, we have to really look at what happened across America.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Wait, wait, wait. I want to talk about that. You said you think women really delivered and then we can talk about looking back. Why do you say that, tell me about it?

DINGELL: Yeah, women delivered for Joe Biden. No question.

You know, I really started thinking about this more in the last few days when the Million Women's March, the weekend after the inauguration, I was there the morning and came home to 20,000 women in The Diag, in Ann Arbor.

And in the end, women have been forced out of the workplace, they've got child care issues, the ones on the front line. I hate using the word "suburban women" because at canvas two weeks ago, these sweet women in their 70s, never done anything political, probably voted Republican all their life, passed out voter guides for me, but said they hate the word "suburban housewives". They're not, they're women who care.

Those are the example of the women that delivered Michigan.

LEMON: Well, listen, I have S.E. Cupp sitting here right next to me, I don't know if she's suburban mom. I don't know where she is. But I do know that she is a mom.

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLTICIAL COMMENTATOR: I am.

LEMON: And she is nodding in agreement with everything you're saying.

Do you think women, S.E., that helped to carry this?

CUPP: Well, it's the Democrat that's the white suburban woman, and I am one, so I say that with some affection, the demographic I have been watching not just this election but over the past four years because white suburban women really helped get Trump elected.

But, Congresswoman, I would love to know, and I'm so glad you're here with us right now. I lived in Oakland County, Michigan. I know that a lot of those women came out for Biden.

I'm wondering, though, if you can tell me if other counties, less Democratic counties also saw that kind of suburban woman drive for Biden. Is that something you're seeing reflected in exit polls yet?

DINGELL: You know, we're still looking at all of the data. They were -- Kent County, Grand Rapids, you certainly saw it there. I mean, not all women who voted for Donald Trump four years ago came back, but enough did to deliver that vote.

Because I'll tell you who didn't deliver it, and this was sort -- union workers did not come home in droves. The ones that helped elect Donald Trump four years ago and many of them still voted for Donald Trump.

LEMON: Why do you think that is?

DINGELL: Because we as Democrats do a terrible job of talking to just working men and women. You know, I had one of those Trump caravans come in and surround me a couple of weeks ago, but as you know, my personality, I don't run away, I talk to 'em.

And, you know, we had an intense conversation for 20 minutes. I think Democrats look down their nose at them. They think promises were made that weren't kept, which actually isn't true. The steel plant was closed in my district, 1,500 jobs, the week before Christmas.

But they -- I really think Democrats have got to do a better job of just connecting with building trades, UAW, steel workers, they don't think we really care about them, understand them, and they think -- you know, I could go on, but I won't. It's early, late, whatever.

LEMON: We also have John Avlon with us and Andrew Yang.

And I know John -- John, we often have this conversation about Democrats and speaking to middle class people, the working class people, as we call them, Johnny lunch bucket or what-have-you, and she said --

DINGELL: That's insulting to them, too.

LEMON: The union folks didn't come home. Do you believe that, John?

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, I think, you know, Congresswoman Dingell would have the insight.

I mean, four years ago, Congresswoman, I remember you were the one raising the warnings about Macomb County, which used to be the archetype swing county in the country that Stan Greenberg wrote books about.

[05:25:06]

And you were saying, watching it, don't take it for granted just because Clinton is on the ballot and Bill Clinton famously flipped it last time. I'd be interested to know what happened in Macomb this time, and what shifts did you see in the pivot counties, areas like Grand Rapids.

What's the underlying data you're seeing in Michigan from this race?

DINGELL: Well, Macomb County still voted, I think Andy Levin who represents thought they might have a stronger Joe Biden vote. There were some changes but there were some very strong Donald Trump areas. My down rivers are the Macomb County.

Macomb County got some attention. We don't give attention to the down rivers or some of the other areas like Macomb County. There are areas like that throughout the state, and those are ones, they still went for -- my down rivers went for Donald Trump again.

LEMON: Wow. I got to run, John.

But, listen, Congresswoman, I want to thank you. Andrew Yang didn't get to say anything, so he'll just say hello.

Say hello to congresswoman.

DINGELL: Good morning.

ANDREW YANG, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Morning, and I could not agree more that we need to do a better job of talking to working men and women around the country. That there's a gap we need to bridge.

LEMON: That was a little bit more than good -- than hello.

YANG: Sorry.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: That's okay.

DINGELL: Hey, you, guys, keep -- keep America awake while we watch all this.

LEMON: Yeah, and we need a -- we needed a little levity, but we got -- we have some serious business. We got to do the business of the American people so that they can get to figure out who actually is ahead, and who's going to win this election.

So thank you, Congresswoman. We appreciate it. You be safe.

And we're going to be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)