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Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) Discusses Election in Pennsylvania, Giuliani Allegations of Voter Fraud; Mail-In Ballots in Pennsylvania Reducing Trump Lead, Biden Could Overtake Him; Biden on Brink of Win, Waiting for Pennsylvania; Update on Georgia Race. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired November 5, 2020 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: All eyes on the critically important state of Pennsylvania right now, 20 electoral votes. Make or break for these candidates.
Let's discuss what's going on in Pennsylvania with Democratic Senator from Pennsylvania, Bob Casey. He's been tracking the vote very, very closely.
Senator Casey, thank you so much for joining us.
The secretary of state of Pennsylvania just told our colleague, Jake Tapper, that we could get the results, the final results later today from Pennsylvania.
Earlier today, you told us you were confident there's enough uncounted votes right now for Joe Biden to overtake President Trump.
You still believe that?
SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): I do, Wolf. And we're seeing that as the hours go by. What transpires eventually is Joe Biden will overtake the president.
I'd use the number, in terms of the margin, of 100,000.
My folks at the -- Kevin Mack and the Voter Project -- these are folks that I have relied upon for this data.
But the 100,000 to be reached I think might take the final official certified count for sure. It could be down the road.
But I think, for the short term, no question I think Joe Biden will win the state.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Senator, it's John King. What do you have behind you there? You want to trade?
CASEY: John, it's a map of Pennsylvania by county.
KING: I got one --
KING: I've got one of those. You want to trade?
CASEY: Yes, I could use yours.
KING: This one, I've learned a lot from it. One of the things you learn from it, one of the gifts of this is, since I get to travel, especially this year because I'm here for this, is I get to travel this way.
So tell me, when you look at your behind you -- obviously, you know the geography of your state better than I do.
But you have the votes down here, Philadelphia and the suburban collars around it. That's where most of the votes are. Allegheny County, out of Pittsburgh we're waiting for.
But when you look behind you -- you're from Scranton, where Joe Biden was born.
Are you worried at all as we get -- we have seen so far, the mail-in ballots, even in a lot of these red counties that the president wins, Joe Biden is doing better in the mail-in votes?
When you look county by county on your map, is there any place you're worried about? Or do you see the trajectory here as inevitable?
CASEY: I think it is inevitable. And the reason for that is most of the vote out, as we know, is in Philadelphia, Delaware County. There are some other counties that still haven't counted yet.
But even in the counties that President Trump will win big, there will be a scattering of Joe Biden votes, because they're mail-ins. They tend to favor the Democrats.
It won't be as high a ratio of Joe Biden votes, 90 percent or 80 percent, but even some of the smaller places, he will pick up some votes.
This process has to unfold.
I wanted to make one point though, a reminder of what Anderson said earlier about the 369,000 that is still out. The number I have is 369,364.
But there's three other categories not include in that.
Number one, there's some division in Philadelphia that are not included. I'm told it's about 30 divisions being prescinded.
There are also provisional ballots not included.
And then the third category after the big number is the ballots that are postmarked Election Day but have arrived yesterday and today and tomorrow.
So that's -- I don't know what that adds up to, whether that adds a lot to the 369, but that's something to be factored in.
KING: The way you go through that, Senator -- your dad was the governor. You're now a statewide official.
As someone who understands, has won tight races in Pennsylvania, you have to know where every single last vote is.
This is a question. This is going to be more of a question you know for Friday and Saturday and next week and next month and next year. Obviously, today, the focus is on the count.
But when you look at this map, it's not a lot different from four years ago.
But the idea is, would this be a map changing election. Would Democrats and their animus toward the president --
KING: -- change the map?
And in the commonwealth, we're not really seeing that. We're seeing higher turnout by both sides.
We're seeing that Joe Biden was affected, especially down here in the suburban collar. And Philadelphia turning up votes.
But we saw the president's rallies at the end.
I mean, in a state as diverse and as competitive as yours, are you learning from this election or is it just turn out every last vote because it's so competitive?
CASEY: No question that I think the Democrats have learned since 2016, and Joe Biden's campaign not only learned but implemented the lesson you have to try to get votes everywhere.
So when, for example, Joe Biden went through Emery County, he got there ahead of the president. And that's a very intensely supported area for the president.
He went to Erie. He went to Westmoreland County. And places like that.
So you have to go everywhere. You have to have a message for every part of the state.
And I think that that lesson has been learned.
Even when you do that, you have to accept the fact that sometimes the margin won't change. For example, Emery County, over my right shoulder there. So as far as
at least, not all the votes are counted, but so far, Joe Biden is behind there as much as Secretary Clinton was.
So if he didn't spend some effort -- expend effort there, would the margin go higher?
We can learn a lot from how the rural numbers in a lot of places changed a little bit.
But even a point here, a point there, by 3,000 votes there, 5,000 votes there in a state we lost by 44,292 last time, you've got to go everywhere. I think Joe Biden did that.
In addition to amplifying your vote in the cities and the suburbs.
BLITZER: I want to get your reaction, Senator, to Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal attorney, the former mayor of New York.
He's been in Philadelphia. He's been leveling all sorts of charges, unfounded, completely terrible charges about voter fraud, alleged voter fraud in your states, in your Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
And I want your reaction. They're outrageous. They are unfounded. What do you make of his allegations of voter fraud, ongoing, in Pennsylvania?
CASEY: Well, it's a lie. It's part of the bigger lie about mail-in ballots, all of that. Everyone knows the voter fraud lie has been debunked over and over again. All the data shows that.
I think most people know that. I think they dismiss those kinds of arguments.
What voters did across the board is not listen to, and not be intimidated by voter suppression or lies about mail-in ballots.
What they did was they went out and voted. And now the votes are coming in.
We will probably get a turnout. It will certainly, as you know, from the numbers, will go to about 6.5 million if we go as high as 6.8 by some estimates. That would be 800,000 more voters in the state than last time.
BLITZER: What you're saying, Senator, is 370 outstanding votes. You think by the end of today, late this afternoon, early in the evening, we will get the results and presumably we will know who will win the 20 electoral votes in Pennsylvania?
CASEY: I don't know about timing. I've heard at least two different points of view on that, that we can get a deformation today. Another point of view is maybe, maybe not. I'm not sure I can make that guesstimate.
The only thing I'm certain about is Joe Biden will win this race. And when all the votes are counted, it should be about 100,000. But that number may not be manifest for a while.
I ran six times statewide -- I've run six times. When you get a count on Election Night, you get 97 percent or 98 percent of the vote in, you still get votes over time when provisional ballots and when the final numbers come in.
A number below 100 today or tomorrow or a couple of days from now, when it's over, when it's certified and it becomes official, it could be higher.
I think eventually it'll be about that number.
KING: Senator, it's John King again.
I get a little nerdy and sometimes go through the map trying to figure out, again, what is America telling us. In this case, what is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania telling us.
I'm just using by the county here. Trying to show counties in Pennsylvania where the president underperformed his 2016 performance.
And as you watch this pull away, there are none of them. None of them.
That's the point. Joe Biden may overtake the president today and he may win the Commonwealth of the Pennsylvania. But this whole campaign was: Can Democrats reach out to Trump voters, right?
Let's see if the president overperformed at all in a few of the counties, the rural counties that he wins and runs it up big and he did even better in 2016.
So then you flip the table and you say: What about Joe Biden? Did he over-perform Hillary Clinton anywhere in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?
And you bring it up here. And again, look how few, look at the tiny smattering of this. You have just one county here, one tiny county. I'll bring up, Montour County, where he overperformed Secretary Clinton. It's 60 to 39 there.
So then you come back again and you look. This is my lesson. It's a little geeky but you're trying to see, you know, is anything changing. Are you reaching out to people and getting new voters?
That's the big challenge in your state for a Democratic like Joe Biden: How do you reach the Trump voter? Did he underperform Secretary Clinton in the handful of counties Trump is winning?
So I'm just - the question sort of is: Did anything change in America, or did everybody just fight this out because the intensity was so high?
And if the president wins, it's because those rallies turned out enough people in the end. And if Joe Biden wins, it's because Democrats came out.
Is that simply what this is, or you do you think your party still has lessons to learn? Whether you beat Donald Trump in this election or not, he's not going anywhere, and his voters aren't going anywhere.
CASEY: John, no question. I have an obligation as a public official and as a candidate, when I'm running, to not only go to places where people don't vote for me and reach out to people and listen to them.
But, look, I think what's happened generally in Pennsylvania overall is you can see where the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, is doing very well in Philadelphia.
But he could overperform both Secretary Clinton and President Obama. He will be way ahead in the suburbs beyond where they were.
But in those other counties where he will lose and the margins are high, I think it's a reminder that Democrats have work to do.
I will say this, though, just my view, the Republican candidate for president running in Pennsylvania will not get the margins that Donald Trump got. He won't be winning counties by 50 points both times. It won't happen.
Donald Trump, I think is the most effective Republican presidential candidate in Pennsylvania that I have seen since Reagan. Ronald Reagan won the state twice by about seven.
But the 2024 candidate, the 2028 candidate, the 2032 candidate will not get votes in rural areas like he did.
The question is: Can they make up that deficit by getting votes by appealing to suburban voters? Making an argument that they're listening to people of color and people whose voices should be heard?
Are they going to be able to cut the margins in the cities and suburbs?
But they will not be able to match Donald Trump's numbers in rural areas. No Republican, no Republican governor, no Republican Senator, mark my word.
BLITZER: Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. We love the map behind you. Very, very impressive. Good work.
We'll stay in close touch with you. We'll see if your assessment works out later in the course of the day.
Thanks so much for joining us.
CASEY: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: President Trump's lead narrowing in Pennsylvania. We're taking you inside the Trump campaign to find out how they're feeling, when we come back.
We'll be right back.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome back to CNN's election coverage continues.
We are looking at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where President Trump holds a narrow lead.
Though as more and more of these vote-by-mail ballots are counted, coming largely, as they have, from population centers such as Allegheny where Pittsburgh is, to Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, the so-called collar counties, it's becoming clearer that President Trump is losing his once-substantial chasm lead.
And it looks as though Joe Biden may well be on track to overtake him perhaps as soon as today.
Let's check in with Jim Acosta, who is covering the White House and President Trump.
Jim, just looking at the numbers, and looking at the ratios by the which people who voted by mail in Pennsylvania voted overwhelmingly for Joe Biden, as opposed to people who voted on Election Day, who voted overwhelmingly for President Trump, it's difficult to see a scenario in which President Trump wins Pennsylvania.
What are you hearing from the Trump team?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Jake, I think that's absolutely right. Every time people inside the Trump campaign watch those returns get updated in Pennsylvania, they wince. Because Joe Biden is eating into Donald Trump's lead into Pennsylvania.
Every time that happens, you know, that sends shockwaves through Trump campaign headquarters.
I talked to a Trump adviser about this a little while ago. You know, you can look at the various scenarios on the map right now, and each of the scenarios involves winning Pennsylvania.
Yes, he would like to win Arizona. Yes, they'd like to win Georgia. Yes, they'd like to win Nevada. But they have to combine any of those states with Pennsylvania in order for the president to win reelection.
In the words of a Trump adviser, if the president loses Pennsylvania, that is "the knockout punch." That is a knockout blow to Donald Trump if he loses Pennsylvania.
So they understand the stakes right now all too well, Jake.
As much as they would like to win the other states, it's all about Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, right now for the Trump campaign. There's no other way to look at it.
Picking up Arizona, as much as they would like to pick up Arizona, it's not as critically important as Pennsylvania. It's really all on Pennsylvania at this point for the Trump campaign.
TAPPER: The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the keystone state it is called. And, indeed, a keystone to either --
TAPPER: -- candidates' chances to be elected president.
Jim Acosta, thanks for much.
Let's check in with David Chalian now to explain the math.
First of all, David, we should say we have been reporting for weeks now Democrats were voting overwhelmingly in places like Pennsylvania by mail and that Trump supporters were going to vote overwhelmingly on Election Day. We expected this to happen.
We didn't know whether there were going to be enough votes for Biden in these vote-by-mail ballots being counted now. But we knew it would come down to it.
Tell us where we are in the process.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: We did. We knew they were going to count the Election Day ballots first, and then get to the mail ballots. And that would create this sort of blue shift that we're seeing taking place.
Take a look at where we are in Pennsylvania. That Trump lead now is at 108,772. Yesterday morning, that was like a 600,000-vote advantage. It's down to 108,000.
And 52 percent for Donald Trump, 48.5 percent for Joe Biden. And 92 percent of the estimated vote is in.
You just saw Senator Casey on our air talking about how many outstanding ballots in Pennsylvania.
Right now, Pennsylvania officials put this at about 370,000 uncounted votes. That's the universe of what's still to be counted.
If that's true, if state officials are correct with that assessment, Joe Biden would need 64 to 66 percent of that remaining universe of uncounted ballots in order to overtake Donald Trump and win the state of Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Donald Trump, for his part, would need 33 to 35 percent of that universe of remaining ballots in order to hang onto his lead and keep Pennsylvania red. Here is the important point, Jake. We have been seeing Joe Biden
winning about 75 percent in the vote totals coming in from Pennsylvania over the last 24 hours.
Because as I said, what's coming in are these mail votes, and Democrats were more inclined to vote that way. It's also coming from the big Democratic population centers.
The 64 to 66 percent range that Biden needs of what's left actually is not that high of a bar for him, given what we've seen him winning in the last 24 hours.
I want to show you what's going on in Georgia. We got a brief update there from the secretary of state's office.
The current state of play, Donald Trump at a 12,828-vote lead over Joe Biden, 49.5 percent to 49.2 percent. And 98 percent of the estimated vote is in. Not that much more to count.
In fact, the new number, in terms of what is outstanding from the secretary of state, there's about 48,000 votes. That's a rough estimate of what is left to count.
Joe Biden would need 63 to 65 percent of these 48,000 votes that are yet to be counted in order to overcome Donald Trump's lead and win the state of Georgia.
Donald Trump would only need 34 to 36 of what's left to hang onto it -- Jake, Dana, Abby?
TAPPER: Thanks, David.
First of all, we should note the secretary of state of Georgia is going to have a press conference in roughly 10 minutes at the top of the hour. We'll bring that to you when it happens.
I want to take one note just to say, you go back 100 years to Tuesday, to the fact that we told voters and viewers there were going to be two different kinds of shifts. There was going to be a blue shift and red shift.
On Election Day, places like Texas and Ohio that counted the early ballots first, the vote by mail, suggested Biden might win.
Then it turned out they started counting the votes that day and Trump won Texas and Ohio.
We're now seeing the exact opposite in states that did not do early counting of vote by mail, such as Pennsylvania, where the exact opposite shift is going on.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
TAPPER: Places that looked like Trump was going to win and now looks more like Biden will win.
BASH: That's exactly right.
Can we also say probably the biggest news we've had today is what the secretary of state of Pennsylvania said to you that, despite the fact they have huge numbers outstanding, 500,000 ballots that they haven't been counted or processed, 370,000 I was told, they could be finished with the bulk of it today.
What does that mean? We could actually know who the next president of the United States will be by the end of today.
It feels like Tuesday was 100 years ago. Given the state of the world that we're in, in the pandemic, two days isn't that bad.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Pennsylvania is going to be decisive in terms of determining who the president of the United States is.
It's because of what Jim Acosta was saying. If Donald Trump does not win the state of Pennsylvania, he cannot get to 270. He just can't. The numbers just are not there.
That's why what happens today is so important. That's also why you're seeing the Trump campaign fighting so hard to keep in the game in Pennsylvania.
I'm not sure there's anything they can do about the sheer number of votes that there are. But they need Pennsylvania.
They also need a lot of these other states. They need to hold onto Georgia, Arizona. And they need to come back in Arizona and come back in Nevada, both of which seem like uphill battles.
DANA: Yes. There's a reason why President Trump is putting out unprecedented press releases, like the one he did today with all caps saying stop the counting.
Because that's really the only way his campaign sees that he has a real shot at winning Pennsylvania right now.
TAPPER: We're standing by to hear from officials in Georgia where there are now under 50,000 outstanding votes to be counted. President Trump's lead over Joe Biden is shrinking.
BLITZER: The 2020 presidential election continues this hour. Will day three be decisive?
Right now, former Vice President Joe Biden is optimistic about clinching a victory as he makes new gains over President Trump in key battlegrounds.