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GA: 61.367 Ballots To Be Counted; Trump Leads By 18K; More Votes About To Release In Nevada; Biden Increases Lead In NV To 12K Votes; Nevada's 6 Electoral Votes On The Line; U.S. Presidential Election Still Undecided, Race Narrows. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired November 5, 2020 - 12:00   ET

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


[12:00:00]

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I am Wolf Blitzer. We're back in the CNN Election Center for a third day, awaiting another critical round of votes in the Presidential Race after tightening in key battlegrounds.

Former Vice President Joe Biden aiming for wins in one or two more states that could seal a victory over President Trump. At any moment, we expect new results from Nevada where Biden holds a lead. It is one of six states where the race is still too early to call.

We're also keeping a very close watch at Arizona where Biden's advantage has narrowed, and Georgia and Pennsylvania where he has significantly cut into the president's lead. The big question, will Biden add to his 253 electoral votes and move closer and closer to winning the number necessary 270, or will Trump find a path to add to his current count of 213 and keep this contest going?

Let's get a key race alert. But right now look at Pennsylvania right now. The numbers are shrinking once again for President Trump. He's got 50.3 percent to 48.5 percent for Biden. He is ahead now by 116,000 votes. 92 percent of the estimated vote is in. 8 percent of the estimated vote is still outstanding 20 electoral votes at stake in Pennsylvania.

Loot at Georgia right now, Trump's lead has shrunk once again. It's now 14,765. He's got 49.5 percent to Biden's 49.2 percent. 98 percent of the estimated vote in Georgia is in that, means about 2 percent still outstanding 16 electoral votes at stake in Georgia.

In Nevada right now it hasn't changed. Biden's lead remains 7,647, 86 percent of the estimated vote is in. Biden has 49.3 percent, Trump has 48.7 percent, six electoral votes in Nevada. In Arizona, Biden maintains his lead, although he shrunk a bit, his lead now 68,390. 86 percent of the estimated vote is in.

Biden has 50.5 percent, Trump has 48.1 percent. 11 electoral votes at stake in Arizona. Let's go over to my friend, John King. We're expecting any minute now more results coming in from the key battleground state of Nevada.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST, INSIDE POLITICS: And that would be great. Because we spent all day yesterday, and no criticism, may call it what you will, frustration, we didn't get anything out of Nevada. Look we're looking at the map right now, Joe Biden is winning the popular vote quite convincingly, but he is at 253 Electoral College votes, he is leading in Nevada.

And that's one of the places Wolf. If he holds the lead in Nevada, he wins in neighboring Arizona. Joe Biden is the next President of the United States, even if we're still waiting on Pennsylvania, still waiting on Georgia and so on. So this is why the state is so important. And it was frustrating frankly yesterday that we stayed here the whole time. 49.3 to 48.7, a 7647 vote lead.

Now the Secretary of State and the officials in Clark County, this is where Las Vegas is, this is most of your votes, 70 to 75 percent of your votes are going to come right here, Vegas and the suburbs around them, what they were saying yesterday as we understand you're frustrated, we understand this could be a decisive piece of the path to 270.

We want to get it right. And so, now that we're going to get some of those votes that will tell us a lot. Clark County is overwhelmingly where most of the votes are going to come from as I said, as much as 75 percent, at least 70 percent. That's what we're waiting on.

BLITZER: John, hold on for one moment.

KING: Sure.

BLITZER: Erica Hill is in Clark County in Los Vegas for us. You're getting new information Erica. What are you learning?

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, what we are waiting for this morning is, John pointed out, and did it as well, we've been waiting for, for the last 24 plus hours are some updates. So we have the numbers for early in person voting.

Some mail ballots that were received prior to Election Day as well as Election Day numbers. But we are expecting it any minute this morning. And frankly, I just keep hitting refresh here on the Secretary of State's website. Our other updated numbers, so those could include some of those mail ballots.

Remember, for the first time ever in this state, every active voter was sent a mail in ballot because of the Coronavirus. Now not everybody has to return that ballot, not everyone has to vote by mail. There were two weeks of early voting at each polling location, including on Election Day.

Drop boxes where you could bring that mail-in-ballot in. And even when we get some numbers today, it's important to note there are still more ballots that will be coming in by the U.S. postal service in this state through the 10th of November, as long as they have been postmarked by Election Day, they will be received by the 10th. They have a couple of days to cure the signatures and they will then be added. The final tally from those could come as late as November 12th. But

again today what we're hoping for, more of those numbers that the counties, 17 counties in the state have sent in, in the last 24 hours. And that's what we're expecting here in Clark County which is pivotal as John was pointing out.

We were told yesterday by the registrar that in about an hour from now, at 10:00 am local time, some of the numbers we will be getting will be those mail-in-ballots. How many were received at drop boxes, at the 125 polling locations in this county on Election Day.

[12:05:00]

HILL: How many were received or delivered by the U.S. mail on both Election Day and the day after and how many are left to still be processed that they know of?

BLITZER: Erica, keep hitting refresh. We're going to get back to you momentarily. Sara Sidner is also out there in Clark County. What are you seeing, what are you hearing, Sara?

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A couple of the other things. We're actually expecting to hear from the Secretary of State to give us an update. The first one that we've had in a while and everybody is waiting to hear from that. And then as you heard from Erica Hill, we're going to hear an hour after that something from the clerk here in Clark County.

I do want to mention that we just listened to a press conference from the GOP here who has all of these claims about ballots, they're unhappy with being able to actually observe, they're talking about a lawsuit that they want to file in federal court over what they're saying is voter fraud.

So they've talked about that, but didn't give a lot of details about exactly what they were talking about with the exception of one voter who came forward saying that her ballot was taken and she was unable to vote herself because someone she said had filled that out.

But what we are really waiting for, for the rest of the population here is 70 percent of the voters are here in Clark County and so, as Clark County goes, generally the rest of the state goes. Getting new numbers, getting bigger numbers from here will mean a great deal as to who gets those six electoral votes.

And just to keep in mind historically, the Republican has not won here a Republican President has not won here since 2004.

BLITZER: Yes, every electoral vote counts in a close battle like this. I'll get back to you. John, let's take a look at Nevada right now. And you got Clark County up there Los Vegas, maybe 75 percent of the vote right there.

KING: Right. And so, that's why it's so important. Look, when we get a trend here, and this is interesting. Remember when we're talking about Florida and Miami-Dade County, the Trump Campaign frankly stunned the Democrats. Joe Biden carried Miami Dade, but niche marketing if you will, this is a nationalized election environment.

However some local pitches have worked in South Florida, especially to Latino voters, from Cuba, Venezuela and elsewhere. Socialism, socialism, socialism worked out here, it has been lockdown, lockdown, lockdown. The Trump Campaign believes one of the reasons that has said, it believes they can come back here.

Let's just pull out, look at the statewide numbers. Again that's not a big lead, 7,647 votes. One of the reasons the Trump campaign thinks they can come back here is because in Vegas and in Reno, they argue this is not what Joe Biden says he would do. But the Trump campaign advertising and the messaging was that Joe Biden will shut the country down, he will have an economic lockdown because of the Coronavirus.

And Vegas and Reno, the travel and tourism industry has been punished severely, all sectors of the economy. This is a key test in a part of the state as Sara just noted, this used to be a Republican state or at least a purple competitive state and presidential politics.

It has trended blue. This is one of the Clinton states that Joe Biden is trying to hold. That it is competitive, makes you watch. Right? And it still can be competitive. I mention Clark, the other big population center as ----

BLITZER: Hold on, John, Erica Hill is getting more information. Let's check in with her. Erica, I take it you refreshed. What did you learn?

HILL: Yes. So Wolf, we're getting some slight updates. Remember, it was a really tiny number of votes, 7,647 votes I believe that Joe Biden had in his lead over President Trump. I'm just looking at these numbers as again, I continue to hit refresh on the Secretary of State's website. What we're seeing is that, his lead has increased a tiny bit before I believe those maybe 0.64 percent that separated the two candidates.

Now it looks like one percentage point. Some more votes coming in now. Again I am just trying to do some quick math in my head. But still about I would say at this point about 8,000 votes that separate them. So a couple of hundred votes that we are seeing there that have been added to Joe Biden's column. But again this information is going to be coming in throughout the morning, and I'm going to keep hitting refresh.

BLITZER: Hold on, one moment Erica. We're getting the numbers here, too. Take a look at this. This is a key race alert in Nevada right now. Biden's lead has increased to 12,042 over President Trump. Biden now has 49.5 percent. Trump has 48.5 percent. Remember six electoral votes in Nevada. So it's gone up from 7,647 Biden's lead to 12,042, John King. So - when every vote counts, that's significant.

KING: Right, what you're watching now is the trend lines. Look, both candidates can get to the finish line without Nevada. What you're looking at now when you have Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania essentially left, North Carolina hasn't been called. But the expectation is that will stay in the president's column, as you're trying to take a chess piece off the board, you're trying to keep six, those six. Right?

The Biden campaign wants to keep those six out of the president's map, the Trump campaign is trying to keep those six away from Joe Biden again. So you are moving up. What do you want to be happening?

You want that to be happening. You are at 7,600. Now you are at 12,000. That it's just simple. You want the trajectory.

[12:10:00]

KING: You want to be building your lead, not shrinking. The president's lead is shrinking in Pennsylvania, the president's lead is shrinking in Georgia, and Joe Biden's lead yesterday was shrinking in Arizona as we wait for new numbers there.

So that is the ten source of tension in the campaign war rooms. So that's the direction you want to be heading. Is 12,000 votes enough to get you out of the woods? No. We have a lot of votes to count still we think. And again because this was unique election, everybody in Nevada was mailed a ballot, we don't have an exact number. Because officials don't have an exact number. They're waiting for them to be returned.

But we think we're looking at a ballpark today of 200,000 votes still to be counted somewhere in that area. So you get a couple of thousand, Joe Biden's lead goes up from 7,600 to just over 12,000, that's the way you wanted to go. It's not enough yet, lot more votes to count. But in the campaign headquarters, you're sort of moving the needle, which way we're going, our direction or the other guy's direction, if you're the Biden campaign, you're happy with that.

But again you're looking at a one point race in a state in a state that you thought you would win by a little bit more than that if not significantly more than that. And again you come back in time; I just want to bring it out here. That's the popular vote. When you come back here and you look, it was relatively close. Right?

This state is trending the Democrats' way, but it's not a break way state, it's not a guaranteed lock blue state. 48-46 if you round up four years ago. A reminder again, 3.3 percent for Gary Johnson . The third party candidates had an impact in 2016 not so much in 2020. But we'll watch this play out. Again if you're in the Biden Campaign, this is six and we can come over here and look at the map. I mean, again the reason--

BLITZER: I'll point out John also, only 87 percent of the estimated vote in Nevada is reporting. So there is still 13 percent outstanding. That's open for a lot of change.

KING: Yes, that's what I mean. 12,000 is better than 7,000, it's better than 7,600. So you're moving in the right direction, but by no means out of the woods as we wait for more votes. But again, just to come back to the math here. Why does this matter? Joe Biden got to 253 yesterday when he got Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nebraska's second congressional district.

If you hold Nevada and if you keep your lead in Arizona, you're the next President of the United States. And Joe Biden is closing the gap in Georgia and closing the gap in Pennsylvania. So Joe Biden still has more options than the president. The president has fewer options. Even if you just take Arizona off the board, if Joe Biden gets that, it's just one less than six.

In the Trump Campaign, they're looking at a dwindling path to 270, much more narrow path at 270. Anything Joe Biden takes off the board, that would not be decisive in and of it, but it just makes the window for the president, the path of the president so much more narrow.

And so - it is a take away. This was a take away for Biden. Trump won it in 2016, this was a take away that was a take away. Joe Biden needs to hold that. It was a Clinton state. The president would like to take it away.

BLITZER: David Chalian has got some contacts about what's going on in Nevada right now what are you seeing David?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Wolf as you know, we got that additional vote just in, the 12,042 vote lead now for Joe Biden in Nevada, 49.5 percent to 48.5 percent. 87 percent of the vote in, Wolf. But here is what's really important. That additional vote that just came in from Clark County, Joe Biden won about 64 percent of that vote.

Now before it came in, there were 200,000 outstanding votes. Joe Biden only needed about 46 to 48 percent of all of the outstanding vote before this update in Nevada to hang onto his lead there and win the state.

Well, he just got 64 percent of the votes that just came in, well ahead of where he needs to run. Obviously more votes to count. But if that is the rate which Joe Biden is winning this additional vote coming in Nevada, he is performing much better than he needs to in order to hang on to this lead and ultimately win the state Wolf.

BLITZER: Very interesting indeed, and let's not forget John, if we take a look at Las Vegas, Clark County in Nevada, as you've been pointing out that 70 to 75 percent of the vote right there.

KING: Right. David has given you the math, and Joe Biden is exceeding his math right now. And that is actually the trend of the campaign right now. In Georgia, Joe Biden is exceeding his map, in Pennsylvania; Joe Biden has been exceeding his map.

And this in a state here where he is ahead, it's absolutely critical to protect your lead. And he doesn't have to perform as well as he does in Pennsylvania and Georgia to come back. But again you're going to get 72, 73, perhaps 75 percent of the vote here depending on the turnout, turnout meaning mail-in for most people in Nevada participation.

But this is it; this is - if a Democrat can run up a lead here, that's what Hilary Clinton did if you come back four years ago, you run up the lead here 52 to 42, if you look at that, 52 to 42 then. You're looking at 53 to 45 now. Again the president's percentage his higher than Hillary Clinton, but

no third party candidate. So you're seeing the more of - it's a definitely a two candidate race here. But there if Joe Biden can stay at 53, move it up a little bit with a dial up a little bit in Clark County, you stay there in Clark County, given that it's 70 percent of the vote, that you're most likely going to win the state.

BLITZER: Yes, and let's take a look at Arizona. Right? Because we are still waiting for more numbers that come in from Arizona. As you point out, the Biden's lead actually a bit shrunk a bit.

KING: Yes, and we can show you that, if you want to go back in time and take a look at it. Let me bring this out for you to see, punch up Arizona makes them in the right place. This is Wednesday. As we went from Tuesday election night into Wednesday, midnight on the east coast, you see 207,000 and some change there.

[12:15:00]

KING: Then 1:00 am it starts to shrink a little bit. By 3:00 am, it's down to 155,800 and we continue to count the votes. This is a little more goes down again. And then you come one more time here, this is Wednesday, at 10'o clock in the morning, it's down to 93. Then it falls down Wednesday night, last night down to 79.

And then you come out in real time where you are now, which is 68. So you have a lead. And again the Trump Campaign is experiencing this in Pennsylvania and in Georgia, and the Biden Campaign is experiencing this in Arizona. You post a lead, you start to get confident and then you watch it shrink as they count votes.

BLITZER: And 86 percent of the estimated reporting in Arizona is in. Still plenty of votes outstanding. Let's get a key race alert right now in Nevada. The numbers just changed a little bit right now. Right now Biden's lead over Trump in Nevada is 11,791. It's reduced a little bit. It was 12,042, not it's 11,791, 49.5 percent to 48.5 percent.

87 percent of the estimated vote is in, meaning there's still plenty of votes outstanding in Nevada right now. So you can't read too much into that, John, the fact that it has gone down a little bit to 11,791 from 12,042.

KING: Come over here, no. You just watch as these votes come in. And look, it's good that they're reporting. We went all day yesterday without getting new votes out in Nevada. So you're going to watch these votes come in, and we're going to go all over the place. We just got some votes here in Elko County, that's one of the reasons things are moving.

It's a read county. You see the president getting 76 percent of the vote, Joe Biden only getting 21 percent of the vote. So when you get - some of this, this is why the map has value if you're watching at home. Some of this is fairly falls along, you have a red county, you get some votes. The president is going to move the dial a little bit.

Again if you look at the math though here, you're talking about it's less than 2 percent of the state population. So the president needs to run it up here in all of these small counties. And this way in Nevada, it's a very different state than much of America, but in this way it's similar. In the smaller rural counties, the president needs to run it up.

And you see him doing that, the question is just for context here, you're looking with 89 percent of the vote in, the president has 2100 votes to 477. So this is critically important for the president to run it up here and to run it up where we just got votes here in Elko County. Again, 15,000 votes, he's leading with 88 percentages. Look at the map. This is a big county for the president. Right? 15,000 votes.

Then you come to Clark County, 431,000 votes. So this is where you need to win. This is the prize. If it's close, then all of these other smaller county matters, no offense to the other counties in Nevada. But 75 percent of the vote, 72 percent of the vote is here. And then another 15 percent of the vote is here. And Joe Biden is winning.

So you take 72 and 15 in a state where 87 percent of the vote is going to come from these two counties, Joe Biden is leading in most. So in the red areas, the president not only has to win, but run it up, but that still won't be enough. He has to be competitive here and here. You don't have to win, but you have to be very, very competitive and close.

And at the moment, that margin is not close enough for the president to win Nevada. That does not mean as we count the rest of the votes that he can't narrow the gap. We'll get there. We'll see.

BLITZER: That is going to be important. Let's get another key race alert. Getting some additional changes right now in Nevada. Biden's lead, still maintains lead clearly at 11,458 that went down just a little bit from 11,791.

He is still at 49.5 percent to Trump's 48.5 percent. But he still maintains his lead of 11,500 votes right now in Nevada. And those six electoral votes John in Nevada are important especially when you add up those six to Arizona's electoral votes.

KING: Right and I will come over and do that math in a minute. Just want to show you, we're going to get geography lesson today especially for people who are maybe not familiar with this part of the country. These are where these votes just came in, Lyon County. And again the math moves a little bit, the president you look at this and that's impressive, he's getting 69 percent.

But again just for the context here, this is about 2 percent, little less than 2 percent of the statewide population is here. So if you're the president, you have to run it up. If you move over here to Carson City, it's a little bit bigger here, so again 2 percent of the population a little but tiny bigger than its neighbor. You have to run it up.

And that's not, actually that gap is not as biggest the president would need it most likely. And so, you're going to look at this again, the major population centers are here and here as you go through this, and I'll just come over here. Again this is why we're doing this math today. Right? This is why it is so important. You have Joe Biden at 253. And it takes 270 to win.

So if Joe Biden protects this lead and protects this lead, he is the President of the United States, period. Right? Once you get to 270, you can't take it back. That doesn't mean he wouldn't like to win Georgia and he wouldn't like to win Pennsylvania, but that's it, period. Right?

So I just want to give you a scenario. This is why in the Biden Campaign, they're confident because they're closing the gap here. They believe they have a chance to win Georgia. They're closing the gap here, they're even more confident, even though the numbers are bigger here, there are more votes out.

The Biden Campaign is expressing confidence; it is going to capture the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. That would be game over. That would be game over.

[12:20:00]

KING: The president can win without some of these other pieces; the president cannot win without Pennsylvania. He just cannot. So let me come back. I just want to give you a scenario, what if, what if. Right? We're doing some what ifs as we go through these states. Let's start with the small one. The president is leading in Maine's second congressional district. Let's say if he gets that.

If the president can hold Pennsylvania, he is leading in North Carolina; what if Joe Biden does come back and wins the State of Georgia. Well, in a calculation like that, especially if the western states took longer to count, the president, we expect him to carry Alaska.

We're waiting for the vote count there. This is where it would get interesting. If the president can come back in Arizona, and the president can take Nevada, 269 to 269. You have an election that goes to the House of Representatives. I am not saying that's going to happen. But in both campaign war rooms right now, that is what they're doing.

When they see even 300 votes reported here, 4,000 votes reported there, they're sitting around the campaign war room; it's essentially in the Electoral College chess board, trying to figure out who is getting what, what are our chances? And so, in the Biden campaign, let me just come back--

BLITZER: It goes to the new House of Representatives.

KING: Right.

BLITZER: Not the current House of Representatives.

KING: It would go to the new House of Representatives.

BLITZER: A vote by delegation. KING: The vote by delegation, not by majority.

BLITZER: Correct.

KING: And so, in that majority, we're not done with the House math yet. The current House of Representatives, Republicans have an advantage there. We're still counting. And the expectation is they still would, but we don't know that for certain now. I did that as a scenario just for people watching at home.

But that's why today is so decisive, or could be, potentially decisive as we count these votes. Again, the President of the United States cannot win with this. Everything else you're moving around the chess board and you're doing the math. If Joe Biden turns that one blue, not that these don't matter.

We talked a bit about this yesterday in this environment, you just heard our reporters in Nevada, and the Trump Campaign is out there challenging ballots, talking about legal challenges. They're going to talk right now. I don't mean this is criticism, either campaign.

People say things at news conferences about election integrity, about ballot's challenges. It's what they ultimately say in court that matters. Do you take a case to court, what evidence you put on the record, and the Trump campaign has not done that in most of the places yet, they're just talking about it now.

Because once you make an argument in court, if you make one argument here and a different argument here, the problem then is, they make their way up for the federal courts and the appellate courts, and you cannot be arguing inconsistent if you expect it to get to the Supreme Court.

So you're going to hear a lot of talk in the next couple of days. Listen to it, that's fine. But what matters is now what they say to press conference and what they say in a court document.

BLITZER: Yes, Pennsylvania is so, so critical, Trump can't win without Pennsylvania. If Biden wins Pennsylvania, gets those 20 electoral votes, he is the President of the United States, that's clear.

KING: Absolutely.

BLITZER: The votes are still being counted right now in Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. We're about to get more results from the battlegrounds. We're going to check in with the campaigns. Lot's going on. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:25:00]

BLITZER: Let's get on the key race alert right now two very important states. Starting in Georgia right now. 98 percent of the estimated vote in Georgia is in. Look at how close it is. President Trump has a 14,100 vote lead over Joe Biden. It's 49.5 percent to 49.2 percent. 16 electoral votes at stake in Georgia. 98 percent once again of the estimated vote is in still vote outstanding, 14,000 vote lead.

In Pennsylvania, 20 electoral votes, 92 percent of the estimated vote in. Still plenty of outstanding votes out there. Trump maintains a lead, but it's going down to 115,069 over Biden. 50.3 percent to 48.5 percent. Trump's lead has gone down significantly over the past 24 to 48 hours as you know, John King.

Let's talk about these states right now, talking about Georgia and Pennsylvania. These are key battlegrounds that could determine who is the next President of the United States?

KING: They absolutely could. And let's start with the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, because it's the biggest prize still on the board. Its 20 electoral votes. And as I said earlier, and I will say it throughout the day, the president can't out win re-election without these 20. The math doesn't work if he loses these 20. It's down to 115,069 votes right now, 50.3 to 48.

You see the 92, and you would think normally under normal circumstances, you would think OK, if they split the votes at that ratio the rest of the way, the president would be good. But we're not having a normal election. What's being counted now are mail-in- ballots.

And we know and we've watched this play out and I'll show you what I mean, just the second. They're disproportionately hugely coming in for Joe Biden. So let's look at the sleeve right now again in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Let's go back in time. Remember that 115,000 right now. So let's go back in time in Pennsylvania. Let's go back to Wednesday, midnight.

As Election Day, Tuesday gave way to Wednesday, the president was 548,000 votes ahead. Then, 618,000 by 9:00 am Wednesday morning then watch. Throughout the day yesterday as these ballots started to come in, down to 435, Wednesday, 3:00 pm Thursday, this morning 1:30 a.m., the early morning hours, down to 164. 6:00 am this morning as the sun starts to break its way through, 164,000. 11:00 am, down to 135 live right now down to 115.

You just get the sense of momentum there for Biden and you still have hundreds of thousands of ballots out. And as they're counted, this is what's happening. You come down here, you come down into Montgomery County, 95 percent is in now. Joe Biden you see 62 percent there.

The percentage there goes up, but in the mail-in-ballots they're counting, he is winning a higher percentage than that. You come into Bucks County, you see the two candidates splitting the votes here. In the mail-in-ballots, Joe Biden is making a comeback.

[12:30:00]