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Election Night In America Continued; Presidential Race Down To The Wire; Pathways To The Presidency; Georgia And Pennsylvania Must- Watch States At This Hour; Foiled: Potential Attack Plot On Philadelphia Voting Center; Trump Delivers Barrage of False Election Claims. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired November 6, 2020 - 01:00   ET

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


[01:00:00]

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, ELECTION NIGHT IN AMERICA CONTINUED: Welcome back to ELECTION NIGHT IN AMERICA CONTINUED.

I'm Chris Cuomo along with Don Lemon. And things are changing on our watch.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, ELECTION NIGHT IN AMERICA CONTINUED: It's so serious he has to use my entire name tonight.

CUOMO: Yes.

LEMON: It's not just D. Lemon, it's Don Lemon. It's a big night.

CUOMO: I'll mix it up.

LEMON: But listen, sometimes, as we just saw, as you just showed us in the last hour, sometimes the numbers, the votes come in in big numbers and sometimes they come in in small numbers.

But they all, all matter right now.

Joe Biden is on the brink of breaking open the electoral map.

President Trump's lead over Joe Biden in Pennsylvania shrinking as the final mail-in ballots are tabulated. And they're even neck and neck in Georgia Trump's former big lead, Chris, is completely evaporating now.

CUOMO: True. And this is the new standard. In 2016, we saw tight races, 10,000 votes, 20,000 votes.

Now, we just had a move in Georgia. Joe Biden gained 92 votes.

LEMON: It matters though.

CUOMO: So now the spread is under 1,000 votes between the two men. That's how small the increments are.

But that little increment could make the difference between which of these two candidates makes it to 270 electoral votes.

I'll check back with you in a second, D.

LEMON: (Inaudible).

CUOMO: Let's take a look at the latest results with a key race alert.

Pennsylvania, 20 electoral votes, 49.5 to 49.2. 22,000 votes separate the two candidates.

That 95 percent vote in estimate is deceptive. There are more than enough votes to make a difference in this race.

Will they? We'll see.

Georgia, 16 electoral votes, dead heat. 49.4 to 49.4.

Now with those 90 votes that came in, is it still 1,709 votes or is it under that? All right. 1,709, that's what separates the two men, I misspoke earlier.

We're still over 1,000 votes, but it's going down each time in a dead heat. Still enough votes there to make a difference.

Arizona, 11 electoral votes. We just saw a little bit of a change here in the last hour. 47,000 votes separate the two men.

Donald Trump has been overperforming in the later batches of votes and is catching up to Joe Biden.

Nevada, six electoral votes, 89 percent of the vote in there. They have been counting slowly, deliberately. We're not getting as much information.

There was a little bit more of -- vote that came out of Nevada this morning that gave Biden a little bit more of a lead, but still very vulnerable.

Here's the electoral map, 253 to 213.

It's all about how and who gets to 270 though. And that's what the white spaces on the map, the uncolored boxes, represent.

Nevada and Arizona, that's one story. But it's really about Pennsylvania and Georgia.

So let's go to Phil Mattingly at the magic wall. Nobody will explain it better to us.

To get to 270, last night we were all about these two --

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right.

CUOMO: -- Nevada and Arizona, what's going to happen. Now, the focus has shifted to Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Georgia is obviously up for grabs, wasn't last night. Pennsylvania, now very much the story.

MATTINGLY: Shifting very much towards Joe Biden. Not there yet. But these are the two kind of live balls for the day, right? for our time, at least, as it's currently going.

You've got Pennsylvania, you got Georgia, we've got vote that's coming in.

You just noted Georgia had a bit of vote come in, I think about 118 total votes. We'll get into that in a second.

But why are we so focused on them besides the fact we're actually getting votes? Because Donald Trump has to win both. He has to win Pennsylvania and Georgia.

He can win a combination of these two, if he wins those two, but he has to win Pennsylvania and Georgia.

Let me show you why.

Let's say for sake of argument, North Carolina where Trump has held a pretty solid lead, that stays in Donald Trump's column.

We can give him Alaska as well -- we expect that to go Republican, traditionally, (inaudible).

CUOMO: You said even if he wins these two?

MATTINGLY: We'll go ahead and give him --

CUOMO: Right.

MATTINGLY: -- we'll go ahead and give him Arizona. So you mentioned, he's been closing in Arizona.

CUOMO: Right.

MATTINGLY: Perhaps he goes over the top. We'll wait and see, lot more vote to come in there. We'll go ahead and give him Nevada as well.

That's stayed very tight. Biden Campaign thinks they're in a pretty good spot there with what's coming in. But we'll go ahead, for the sake of argument, do that.

We'll give him Maine too, as well. That's a single vote up here, looks like Trump is going to be able to win that.

Where does that leave things?

CUOMO: Still's got to win (inaudible).

MATTINGLY: Where does that leave things? 253 to 249. If Joe Biden wins Pennsylvania --

CUOMO: It's over. MATTINGLY: -- it's over. Donald Trump can win everything else that's open on the map. If Joe Biden wins Pennsylvania, it's over.

What if Donald Trump wins Pennsylvania? Well, that's 269. That gets him right at the edge.

If Joe Biden wins Georgia -- and Joe Biden's catching up in Georgia right now -- 269, 269.

[01:05:00]

CUOMO: So before we all grab our collective throats and say oh, no let's go down a constitutional death tunnel, Maine could wind up -- did we give it to him already? He needs Maine to get to 269.

MATTINGLY: We have not called Maine 2.

CUOMO: Right. But I'm saying for a hypothetical right now, did we already give it to him?

MATTINGLY: I gave it to him --

CUOMO: All right.

MATTINGLY: -- because right now he's on track for it.

CUOMO: So if that happens, 269, 269 is not as crazy as it -- usually, it's a purely academic exercise when we talk about how the race could end up there.

Statistically, it's not a crazy notion. It's one of like five permutations of what could happen.

MATTINGLY: It's not an impossibility. A lot of things would have to line up for President Trump. The biggest thing that would have to line for President Trump is Pennsylvania. I don't think there's any question about that.

A lot of things would have to line up. But that would kick things over the House of Representatives and then we'd get into some pretty dicey territory in terms of (inaudible).

CUOMO: There's a lot of rules there and they benefit the president also. But just in terms of the crazy zone; not crazy, not crazy North Carolina, not crazy Arizona.

A little against the odds right now, but could happen there. I don't know anything about the Maine 2nd, so you tell me about that.

But then, him winning Pennsylvania? We're talking who wins Pennsylvania, who wins Georgia; there's a toss-up in both right now.

MATTINGLY: Look, you're making a key point in that there's still vote, they're still counting, none of those states have been called.

CUOMO: Right. MATTINGLY: And that means it's a fair game.

Here's another thing you need to pay attention to as a distinct possibility as well. Joe Biden overtakes in Pennsylvania, Joe Biden seems to be on the verge of overtaking in Georgia, Joe Biden leads in Arizona, Joe Biden leads in Nevada.

Just as likely is Joe Biden ending up with 306 electoral votes. All of these things are on the table right now.

The biggest takeaway at this moment in time, in this morning, is that one state and the one state that's moving quickly right now, Pennsylvania, ends this race if it goes for Joe Biden.

CUOMO: It's the only one and done.

MATTINGLY: Yes.

CUOMO: The closest thing to it after that is if Biden holds onto Arizona and Nevada.

MATTINGLY: Right. Yes, Arizona and Nevada combined --

CUOMO: Right.

MATTINGLY: -- goes towards Joe Biden, he's at 270 electoral votes.

CUOMO: Right.

MATTINGLY: But let's dig into Pennsylvania, just real quick and then we'll go down to Georgia because this remains a live ball right now.

The big question -- let's take a look. Over the course of the last 24 hours, how things have gone because it has been dramatic.

Take a look. Wednesday, midnight, 548,000 vote lead for President Trump. So you're looking right now as his lead has dropped down to about 22,000 votes.

And you're asking how is that possible over the course of a 24-hour period? We've been through a lot and I think it's just crucial to understand.

Pennsylvania counts election day vote first. President Trump and his campaign blew out turnout expectations for them on election day vote.

That is why they took a very large lead on election day vote. That lead has been whittled away. Why? Because Democrats voted heavily vote by mail, heavily vote by mail.

And now, all of the Democratic vote is coming in. We've seen President Trump's margins, even in his stronghold counties, drop throughout the course of the last 24 hours.

It's gone just like this; 548,000 at midnight, 10:00 a.m. went up a little bit. Move up to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, all of a sudden you see it start to drop. That's when the mail-in votes started to be counted.

It was already in, it was already in on time. It started to be counted.

Then down to 182,000, then down to 146,000, then down to 108,000.

You can just watch this play out over the course of the last 24 hours. And it leaves us right here.

And why it's important that we are at this point right now is because of what's outstanding.

You go into the biggest county in the state, you go into the City of Philadelphia and you realize there's still nine percent reporting.

Look at that margin. 80 percent to 18.7 percent, 521,000 votes. There are tens of thousands of votes to come in here.

These votes are breaking heavily towards Biden -- sometimes, depending on the batch, higher than 80 to 18.

CUOMO: Right.

MATTINGLY: And it's not just Philadelphia. You can move down here, Delaware County, look at the margin. It's still about nine percent outstanding.

The bottom line is southeast Pennsylvania, which if you just look at it, Democratic stronghold, it's all blue.

CUOMO: And there's still vote to come in.

MATTINGLY: There's still vote to come in in all these counties.

CUOMO: And we had Councilwoman Hallam came on at the beginning of the show, gave us some key pieces of information.

One, the councilwoman said they have about 35,000 ballots -- and there are a couple of other different categories they're dealing with as well. But then, the key piece of information is that she said that in Allegheny County, which is -- obviously, you have Pittsburgh and there -- that Joe Biden is getting about 78 percent of the batches that have been coming in.

Now that's much higher. I checked with Phil in real time because the number you guys have been using that he needed to win was in the 60s, wasn't it?

MATTINGLY: It was 62, 63 percent.

CUOMO: So she was saying he's at -- we have to wait, she said look, we're going to take our time on this, we're going to get it right, we're not going to rush it so you have something to report.

But if he does anywhere near that, he's in very good shape.

MATTINGLY: And I think the other point here is that underscores the margins for mail-in votes.

Look at the margin overall for Allegheny right now; 58.7 to 39.7.

And what the councilwoman was saying is it's coming in at 78 percent with the mail-in vote. We have seen that consistently.

So margins right here in a blue county that is a Democratic stronghold, it's going even bigger.

CUOMO: Right.

MATTINGLY: It's going even bigger.

[01:10:00]

CUOMO: Right. And the reason is because the mail-in vote, there's a much bigger Democratic preference.

Why? Because the way the Republicans pushed to get out the vote on election day, the Democrats pushed on early voting.

And remember, we don't talk about it these days, but talk about popping numbers, we're popping cases.

We're over 100,000 cases now in the pandemic and the pandemic was going to keep people home.

This is the best option for them. That's why you see this disproportionate level of mail-in vote that even exceeds the overall strength in a county.

So a big change of play today for how Phil gets to recognize what's happening here and the rest of us just experienced this election was what the president tried to do.

the president hit us with his worst and lowest shot, a collective insult to all of us.

That all of this, this is all fake. Everything that happens that's not in his favor is fake, is cheated, is wrong.

And he's heard stories. But he doesn't have a piece of proof about anything.

It was a bomb but it was the bomb it seemed like not too many people noticed in his party.

Ryan Owens is following the Trump campaign -- Ryan Nobles, sorry. Ryan Nobles is following the Trump Campaign, he's in Washington, D.C.

Ryan, I've only talked to you a hundred times, of course, I'm not going to your name right. That is called mental exhaustion.

But tell me this, my friend. How is the president's perfidy, his attack, his faithless about the democracy playing in-house, is anybody happy about it? (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Chris, you act like you haven't been up for about 75 hours, and going. No worries about that.

You know you make a point about what the president's posture is with all of this.

And he seems prepared to go through a lengthy, long term battle regardless of how this vote ends up ending when all the counting is settled. And that means lengthy court battles.

He's also talking about challenging and offering up recounts in certain states like Wisconsin, among others.

And the question is, is he going to be able to sustain something like that without the support of Republicans across the board?

We've seen, to a certain extent, a consolidation of support behind the president within the campaign infrastructure itself; the campaign aides, the president's children, for instance. They seem to be ready and geared up for a long-term fight.

But what I'm learning is that Republicans outside of that campaign bubble aren't necessarily enthused with a long-term struggle here.

One senior Republican aide that I talk to that works on Capitol Hill in the senate office told me that many Capitol Hill Republicans have cracked. He told that they're just ready for this to be over.

And one of the things they are not looking forward to is finding ways to support the president when he continues to push out these baseless accusations of potential fraud.

And even some of these Republicans, Chris, I should point out, are open to the idea that there might be some level of fraud in some cases in certain states and they would like to see that looked into and explored and examined on a certain level.

But very few of them believe that it could alter the ultimate outcome in this race.

I talked to a longtime GOP operative who's worked on many campaigns on all levels who said that fraud exists, it happens. It only usually ever has an impact in local races and it's never at the scale where it can overturn a presidential election.

And there are many Republicans who believe that that's the case here too. That this fraud that the president continues to throw out without any kind of evidence just doesn't exist.

And this is important, Chris, on a broad scale because not only is the president just going to need this support, going to need these Republicans behind him for the optics of it but there's also a financial impact to all of this. These recounts aren't cheap. In some cases -- Wisconsin, being an

example of this, it requires the campaign itself to fund the recount. That could be in the millions of dollars.

And then the other point I'll make, Chris, is that a lot of these Republicans are frustrated that they're not given any kind of specific message to the campaign as to how they should be responding to the count slowly trickling away from the president.

They're not getting sort of communication from the campaign, there's no specific messaging.

And this senate GOP aide told me that it's very difficult for these Republican leaders to support the president when they don't even know what they should be saying.

So right now, there's a just a lot of disarray here in Republican circles. They're still holding out hope there are enough votes for the president to win but they're not looking for a long term, lengthy battle after the fact once all the votes have been counted. Chris.

CUOMO: Ryan Nobles, thank you very much. Thank you very much.

I'll tell you, it is a sad day when Republican or Democrat has to think about what the right thing is to say when the president tries to undercut the entire democracy.

What a weird place we are in, it can only get better. Or so we think.

Let's bring in Alexandra Field right now.

Why? Police are investigating a potential attack plot at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

Why there? That's where votes are being counted in a big way.

The story first reported by CNN affiliate WPVI. CNN's Alexandra Field, as I said, is in Pittsburg with the story.

Thank you for jumping on this for us.

[01:15:00]

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Chris. Look, this is alarming on a lot of levels. But here's what we know at this point. It does comes from our affiliate, WPDI.

They are saying that police were acting on a tip about an alleged plot to attack the convention center where so many people are hard at work through the day, through the night, counting votes for all of us.

The tip apparently concerned a group of people arriving in a Hummer. We know that authorities have taken at least one person into custody, possibly in connection with that investigation.

A weapon has been recovered. They've also recovered the Hummer, it seems, that they were looking for when they were tipped off that this group was coming possibly from out of state in a car with nefarious plans to unleash at the convention center.

There are no reports of any injuries at this time.

We have reached out to a number of law enforcement authorities to see what else we can learn. There are no details about what they might have been planning at this point.

But certainly, this is the kind of thing that police are going to jump on. They can't jump on it fast enough, Chris.

This is an alarming report when it comes in in the first place.

But we've got to put this into context. Again, this is that convention center where people are working so hard to count the votes for us in what is a nail-bitingly close election.

We know that tensions are high across the country right now. There have been some protests and some counter protests outside the convention center as people really feel that tension, as people remain very divided about what could happen next in this country.

Again, we don't know any details of this possible alleged attack. We don't know what could have motivated it.

But it certainly underscores the idea that it is just so incredibly dangerous to foment this idea that we could in any way discredit the work that's being done in those buildings that could give rise to any more anger among people right now.

We're going to stay on this, we're going to see what we can learn from the authorities.

We're going to try and find out a little bit more about who this group might have been, what they might have been planning to do.

We'll get back to you as soon as we have it, Chris.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: Alexandra, thank you very much. Correlation is not always causation, right?

But is it a coincidence that this came after the president lied as badly as he ever has about the state of our election process? No proof, tons of charged allegations, saying it was being stolen from him and it was fraud and that he knew it.

What timing, that right after that people act on obvious and pointless animus?

We'll keep taking you through the facts and the bottom line is together we will figure out who the next leader of this country is. And that is the only way it will happen.

Many of the races are close, they've changed on our watch.

Stay with CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:20:00]

LEMON: Welcome back, everyone, to CNN's continuing election coverage. I'm Don Lemon.

(Inaudible) to tell you that Joe Biden has clear path to 270 electoral votes and he is getting closer on our watch.

It is time now for a key race alert.

All right. So let's look at it now. As you see up on the board -- Georgia, it is narrow. It couldn't get much narrower than that.

The former vice president -- Trump, I should say, up by 1,700 votes only.

Then we're following Nevada as well. 11,000 votes separates Trump from the former vice president.

Pennsylvania, obviously a nail-biter there. We're waiting for returns to come in in Pennsylvania; 22,000 votes separates the two men.

And then Arizona, 47,000 votes. All of these, at this moment, too close to call.

But look at that Georgia number, will you. Look at that Georgia number, 1,700 votes really. Can you imagine, in a race that is this big?

Let's talk to someone who knows about that and is the chair of Georgia's Democratic Party. Her name is Nikema Williams.

Has been elected to represent as well Georgia's 5th congressional district. That is the seat formerly held by the late civil rights icon, Congressman John Lewis.

And Congresswoman Elect Williams is right here with us now.

Congresswoman, thank you so much -- Congresswoman Elect, I should say, thank you so much.

NIKEMA WILLIAMS, CONGRESSWOMAN ELECT (D), GEORGIA: No, thank you for having me.

LEMON: Congratulations, by the --

WILLIAMS: Happy to talk about battleground Georgia.

LEMON: Yes. It is a battleground right now. It's all playing out. Georgia, all eyes on Georgia. This is an incredibly close race if you look it up. Neck and neck, right, if you look at the numbers? How are you feeling about the overall race?

WILLIAMS: I'm feeling good. We've been telling people all along Georgia was a battleground state, we needed the investments.

We've been organizing, the infrastructure was here and Georgia voters turned out.

And we are showing the country what we've already known, that we're a battleground state.

And the path to the White House is paved right through Georgia.

LEMON: There were a lot of people who didn't believe. Georgia, like Georgia, what do you mean --

WILLIAMS: A lot of people that I know. A lot of people.

LEMON: -- what's going to happen, right? But you guys --

WILLIAMS: Yes.

LEMON: You took the 2018 playbook there in Georgia, for the governor's race and Stacey Abrams, and you used that and capitalized on it and made it better, I would imagine.

It is incredibly close. A lot of focus is on the votes in Clayton County which is part of the district that you won.

Do you think Clayton could put Joe Biden over the top?

WILLIAMS: Clayton still has ballots to be counted. We know that we're winning those votes for Joe Biden at like an 80 percent rate and those ballots are still coming in.

They have stopped counting for the night and will continue in the morning. This is a long process and I'm not looking for expediency, I'm looking for efficiency.

So I'm giving them all the time to take to count the votes.

I'm wearing my "Voters Decide" sweatshirt because the voters have had their -- made their voices heard and their votes deserve to be counted, no matter how long it takes.

So Clayton County will be back at it in the morning and we'll have more updates.

If anything, if any election shows us that every single vote counts, it is this one, Congresswoman Elect.

WILLIAMS: Every vote, Don. I was literally arrested in the state capital in 2018 after the gubernatorial election as my constituents protested that every vote should be counted. So this is poetic justice.

That the district that I now represent, that Congressman John Lewis once represented, is now going to decide the presidency of the United States.

[01:25:00]

And actually kick Donald Trump out of the White House. So I'm looking forward to it.

LEMON: Yes. that was my next question, I'm glad you answered that, I didn't even have to ask it.

So listen, he may get the last word here, right?

WHITFIELD: Absolutely. I am sure that our ancestors are smiling down on this one.

Congressman Lewis would be proud of voters turning out in force, he was a fierce advocate for our right to vote.

And he told us that our right to vote was the most powerful, non- violent tool that we had in a democratic society. And we have used it, we have shown up and we're going to flip this state.

LEMON: Even with all of this, everything that you have said, you are representing now John Lewis's former district.

President Trump is attacking the democratic process in Georgia saying that the election apparatus run by Democrats, that it's totally false.

That the governor and the secretary of state, Republicans, that it's false and the election is being stolen from him.

As chair of the Georgia Democratic Party, what do you say to the president and to the people around him who are repeating his claims?

WILLIAMS: Don, I ignore Donald Trump just like I ignore his cronies because I know that there is so much at stake.

There are people that are counting on us to step up and make sure that these votes are counted and counted accurately.

Donald Trump is a liar. He's shown us that time and time again and we just need to keep counting the votes.

Focus on what we know is at hand and make sure that voters understand that they have the power in this election. Not Donald Trump and not his people following behind him and his lies.

LEMON: Someone is really trying to get in touch with you, I see there. They're excited.

WILLIAMS: I see.

LEMON: It's OK. WILLIAMS: And (inaudible) my phone on airplane mode.

LEMON: We're in this new pandemic zoom world, and I think everybody's used to it so don't even worry about it.

But listen, let's -- I just spoke with Jon Ossoff just a short time ago, moments ago before you came on.

It's looking like Georgia could have two senate runoffs come January, races that could potentially determine who controls the senate.

How big are the stakes for Democrats do you think here?

WILLIAMS: Stakes are huge, Don. I've been telling people all along, we're playing for all the marbles here in Georgia.

We're the only state in the country that had two United States senate seats on the ballot and now with both of them going into a runoff it is increasingly clear how important Georgia has been all along in all of this.

And so we could decide the balance of the United States senate right here in Georgia.

We're looking forward to organizing, getting back out there, talking to voters about the importance of them turning back out to vote. For Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the January 5th runoff.

LEMON: When you think about what's happening around the country, we see what happened in your district, what happened in Georgia, what's happening in Philadelphia.

And many of the areas who actually have the most votes in picking the president of the United States, it is people of color.

I forget who it was who said it but one of my friends reminded me today he said that black people started off by picking cotton and look, now we are picking the president of the United States.

It's really been -- it's a moment for people of color in this country, I think. Especially black folks.

WILLIAMS: It absolutely is. Congressman Lewis used to have a statue in his office that said the hands that pick cotton can now pick our elected officials.

And it was a black hand reaching down to put their ballot in the ballot box. And that has always stood out to me.

And so now to see this happening in this district it just means so much to me.

And that's why I'm going to continue to organize and do everything that I can to live up to the legacy of Congressman John Lewis and bring this home in his legacy, in his honor.

LEMON: So listen, the votes are still being counted. But if Biden does win, he's going to have the first black woman as vice president.

What does that mean -- what will that mean for you and for all women of color -- well, even for the country?

WILLIAMS: I'm rocking my pearls tonight, Don. But our next vice president is my sorority sister. And I'm thrilled, an HBCU graduate, I'm an HBCU grad.

And just thinking about what that means for so many people -- representation matters, absolutely. But she is also smart, qualified, and ready to step into this job. And I cannot wait to see what that means for so many other people coming behind her.

She is shattering a glass ceiling like no other. Because it's not just for women but for women of color across this country who have been looking for this glass ceiling to be shattered.

So I'm excited and I cannot wait to bring this home for her home for her right here in Georgia. So that we can claim victory and get to work.

LEMON: Congresswoman Elect Nikema Williams in Georgia's 5th congressional district. John Lewis's old district, what an honor that must be and what an honor it is to have you on.

LEMON: Thank you so much. Best of luck to you.

WILLIAMS: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Thank you.

[01:29:50]

All right. We're going to keep watching the numbers. Just put up the numbers that we showed you at the top we gave you at the beginning of the segment. We gave you the key race alert. There it is right there.

Georgia look -- 1,700 votes; Nevada -- 11,000; Pennsylvania -- 22,000; 47,000 in Arizona. That is what separates the two men who are vying to be the next president of the United States.

We will continue to follow. These numbers could change, and we're getting new numbers in. We never know.

We're expected to get more overnight as we continue on through. So we'll be right back. Don't go anywhere.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: OK. During the commercial break, Joe Biden picked up thousands of votes in Pennsylvania, hence, a key race alert.

All right. Here is what we see. 49.5 to 49.2. The lead for Donald Trump now under 20,000 votes -- 18,229. Why? Joe Biden just gained 4,347 votes in the last few minutes. What does it mean?

[01:34:58]

CUOMO: Let's go to the magic wall and Phil Mattingly. Where did they come from and why is this consistent with what could be cobbled together to meet or beat Trump?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Because Joe Biden is beating expectations once again in a batch of votes that came in. Now, where it came in underscores why that occurred.

But let's top line it first. Right now, Donald Trump, now up by 18,229 votes in the state.

Right now, Donald Trump, now, up by 18,229 votes in the state. And what came in, roughly about 5,800 votes came in in Philadelphia. We know, Philadelphia is very, very heavily Democrat. 80.5 percent to 18.6 percent. Joe Biden, as you, noted picking up a little north of 4,000 votes, adding to that total, dropping Donald Trump's lead.

But I think more important here is it continues on a pathway that we have seen, consistently from Philadelphia and pushing outward. The margin in the vote that just came in, 84 percent. 84 percent for Joe Biden.

We've been talking, what does Joe Biden need to hit with the outstanding ballots in Pennsylvania in order to overtake President Trump? He needs to get somewhere between 60 percent right now, that's probably dropping as the vote continues to come.

CUOMO: Wait, explain that.

MATTINGLY: So here's --

CUOMO: The rate that he needs to win will drop as what and why?

MATTINGLY: Well, because he's continuing to pick up votes, and where the vote is outstanding, it is now starting to even up. Right. He is no longer down by 5 or 6 points.

CUOMO: So he doesn't need to over perform the same way?

MATTINGLY: Exactly.

CUOMO: So contextualize. We had Councilwoman Bethany Hallam from Allegheny County came on and said that they have 35,000 or so ballots they're still to count, but the key piece of information was that Joe Biden is receiving somewhere around --

MATTINGLY: 78.

CUOMO: -- 78 percent of the vote there. So that was a key piece of information. We thank her for that.

So he is over performing and you are saying, he won't have to as he gets closer?

MATTINGLY: Right. We've been kind of talking, pretty consistently, over the course of the last day or so that if he sits somewhere between 60 and 62 percent in terms of the outstanding vote, that he will surpass where President Trump is.

We are at the point now, when you look at the outstanding vote and when you look at the margins that Joe Biden has continued to run up with each batch of vote that has dropped in the state of Pennsylvania. And it's dependent, right.

If Allegheny is sitting at 78 and Philadelphia is hitting at 86 or 87 -- it depends on where you are. It depends on which county is actually reporting it.

What it means is as we have described over the course of the last 24 hours, the mail-in vote is heavily Democratic. The mail-in vote is more heavily Democratic than even the margins in the most Democratic counties.

And so, as we wait for more vote to come in and there is still 8 percent outstanding in Philadelphia, that's tens of thousands of votes. There's still 9 percent outstanding in Delaware County, that's a little bit of a smaller margin but that's still a pretty big Democratic margin.

So the bottom line is, Joe Biden doesn't just have a pathway, Joe Biden is on the verge of overtaking. And Joe Biden may overtake by tens of thousands of votes. If he stays on the pathway that he's currently so.

Joe Biden may overtake by tens of thousands of votes, if he stays on the pathway he is currently on.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTINGLY: We have to keep watching, waiting and seeing as they release the votes after they count them. But right now, if you're the Biden campaign, not just now, they've been looking at it this way for 24 hours. They feel very good about where Pennsylvania is.

CUOMO: The usual problem that you will find is someone who is on the surge is that you're running out of votes. You may not have enough. You will have to win so much of what is left it's just not going to make sense.

That happens a lot in terms of projecting races. That's not the issue here. There are over 150,000 votes still to count and areas where Joe Biden has been over performing. So he can, the question is, can he keep up the right rate. That goes to not just enthusiasm for Biden, but to how much of that vote is mail-in vote that was spurred by Democrat call. We'll see. We'll see.

Now, some context on what wasn't a surprise, but was completely shocking and totally devastating, for where we are right now in a moment of national celebration of the kind of turnout we have never seen in a presidential election before is this current president, who wants you to give him a second term, and his pitch to you today was everything that happened in this election so far that isn't good for me is a fraud.

What does that mean in the state of the race? How do we contextualize it in terms of other things we've seen in our political history?

Let's bring in Carl Bernstein right now, ok. Obviously legendary journalist, mentor as well. No, let's bring in Carl Bernstein and I'll tell you why.

I don't want to toss this out so. We played it for you the first time it happened. It is without basis. It is completely fallacious. It was filled with lies and they are intentional.

I'm not going to play it for you again. But trust me, that is what it was, that is what everybody is saying it was. If they are being honest, and that is our problem Carl.

There are actually -- this is my surprise -- not that Donald Trump lied about the integrity of the election. He's done it before in 2016. He lied. Put a commission together. They lied. They found nothing. They had to disband it. When he said he was going to lie about this one, he lied.

What I'm shocked by, Carl and I want your take. So many Republicans who I thought would take this as a clarion call to consciousness, stood up and said, no, I'm with him. There is some tricky stuff.

[01:39:59]

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, they have been craven, his Republican enablers throughout his presidency. They've enabled him to do his authoritarian, illegal, unconstitutional business through his whole presidency.

And at the same time, and I've spent a lot of time talking to people on the Hill -- Republicans, chiefs of staffs, some of the senators, there are easily 15 to 20 members, Republican members of the Senate, who absolutely despised Donald Trump and the way he has treated them.

They are not loyal to him in any personal sense. And a good number of them were very pleased to see that he is going to lose this election. And look, as long as the Republicans hold the Senate, it is ok with him for them to see him go.

And now, the question is, whether a group of them, and there are 6, 8, 10 of them, that are talking among themselves, about going down to the White House at a certain point, or going to the country if this president continues to try and undermine and (INAUDIBLE) the democratic processes of our basic electoral system. There is talk about stopping him. They're not allowing him to undermine the system.

But remember, he has said, all throughout the campaign, that he was going to do exactly what we are seeing to undermine the very electoral process, the most basic aspect of our democracy so he could hold on to office, down to illegally using the postal service to try and not deliver ballots, as it were, through his postmaster general of the United States. CUOMO: Do you believe that there is anywhere near the kind of resolve

it would take to stand up to this president among their ranks? Because you look at Graham, pretty outspoken -- he came out and basically, you know, even though he is a practitioner of the law himself, came out and backed this baseless idea from the president.

McConnell, nothing; Cruz, nothing. You have the 2024 hopefuls basically came out and kind of snuggled up against Trump. I haven't heard anybody come out and full-throated in saying, this is wrong. Even Romney gave more of a general prescription about a democracy, you're supposed to count the votes and trust the process. But not nailing Trump for saying something that is demonstrably ugly.

BERNSTEIN: They are not going to be very loud about this until the president continues to use this terrible, terrible language and intent to undermine the system. But I think we can absolutely be certain that -- they know that the future of the Republican Party is at stake if they go along or too long undermining the very system.

They know that Trump is not going to prevail except they're also aware of a strategy that Trump to actually try and throw this election into the House of Representatives by tying up the electoral college, by challenging electoral college electors and throwing a monkey wrench into that process, perhaps keeping the electoral college from meeting.

And if by some chance, Trump was successful in eluding the electoral college and throwing it into the House, that would be a 26 to 28 state as one vote for the president if it comes to that. It would be a 26-23 majority by the Republicans.

CUOMO: Yes.

BERNSTEIN: So there is a lot at play here and at the same time, there is real abhorrence about what this president is saying among some of the Republicans.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: That's right. Not just --

BERNSTEIN: But let's be clear.

(CROSSTALK)

BERNSTEIN: They've been craven throughout.

CUOMO: Right. It is not just about his lying anymore. It is about them motivating a malignant purpose. Because he's not going to do all that by himself. And that's what we have to watch.

We have something else happening on our watch, Carl. Standby, we have a new development in Georgia.

Phil, what just happened?

MATTINGLY: Take a look at the top line, now down to 1267. And why. Well, one of biggest outstanding vote counties that we've been paying attention that is most important to Joe Biden, over here it is Clayton County. Sixth largest county in the state about 3 percent of the population, just got another batch of vote in -- a couple of hundred more votes for Joe Biden.

I think you're going to see this progressively throughout the night. Depending on the county. Some of the counties have stopped counting for the time being. We will see how they report throughout the night.

But Clayton was the biggest outstanding batch of Democratic-leaning votes. Had around 4,000, a little more than 4,000 going into this night. Clayton County as Don was just talking about with the last guest. Clayton County, former home of John Lewis is the county the Democrats were looking to right now to take Joe Biden over the top in the state at least for the time being.

CUOMO: So that was not all of their ballots?

MATTINGLY: They've been reporting in spurts. They have a couple of hundred votes about 30 minutes ago, a couple of hundred votes now, every time they report Joe Biden eats more into Donald Trump's lead.

Now there's some Republican counties outstanding as well. But Democrats right now feel very good about where this is headed. In large part because of Clayton County with what is outstanding there, will see if you move up a little bit. Gwinnett County holding until the morning.

[01:44:58]

MATTINGLY: There is a lot of outstanding votes there that should lean Democratic as well. We talk about Georgia -- but Clayton County right now was the biggest outstanding vote, they've continued to count and report and every time they report, Joe Biden picks up a couple hundred more votes.

CUOMO: And going to the state overall, it says 99 percent of the vote estimated in. First of all, key part, estimated. Second, well it's about where. And you have 159 counties in Georgia. Each one of them if they have a handful of votes, it creates advantage. That's why this can go from pause to a neutral to a negative.

All right, so we'll keep following that.

I'm going over to Don Lemon right now, right on our watch, it just changed and very apropos of the conversation you are having. This is a process that could change the state of the race.

LEMON: I mean right after we had spoken to the congresswoman-elect for John Lewis's district -- there we go, in Clayton County, what did you say?

CUOMO: What's happening. Are you getting into a fight over there? What happened to your tie.

LEMON: Listen, it's a rough night, you know. We're fighting for every vote in this country.

CUOMO: Get yourself together, Brother. We have a long way to go here.

LEMON: No, but seriously, we were just talking to the congresswoman elect representing John Lewis's old district. And she said, you know, Congressman Lewis had a picture on his wall that he kept in his office that said black people used to pick cotton, now they are picking our elected representatives.

I think it's a perfect segue to get to our guest here. Bakari Sellers is here. Alice Stewart, also Ryan Lizza.

Listen, hello to all of you.

But Bakari, I'm going to ask you, every time we go to Georgia and now that we are looking at Clayton County, this is John Lewis saying, you know what, we've got to fix this.

And, you know, he and the people in his former district are working to make sure that they get the person in office they want.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, but this has been a long time coming. And it's John Lewis and his legacy and people remember that. But it's also Stacey Abrams. You know, down south, we always say you have to give people their flowers while they're living.

LEMON: Her 2018 playbook.

SELLERS: I think that people -- I think the people around the country, Democrats and Republicans alike, are having to look at the organization that Stacey Abrams put together on the ground.

How she registered voters. How she activated voters. And now that's really showing up in the southern states.

Look, I hear these claims made by some people on the right, and the president himself about this election being a fraudulent election. It's not. And they point to cities like Atlanta or point to cities like Philadelphia -- these majority black, Democratic cities. It's not.

But what you are seeing is the activation of black voters, once again, particularly black women, showing up to the polls and carrying the Democratic Party across the finish line. That's what we are seeing again in 2020.

LEMON: Bakari -- as I was watching listening to the president of the United States talking about these cities that have big black populations, calling them fraudulent and the process fraudulent, and that they are trying to steal it from him. I thought it was an insult to the people whose ancestors, even many of them died for the right to vote.

And just because they are showing up to the polls, it does not make it fraudulent. That was an insult to me. SELLERS: Well, I mean first of all, let me also say that Democrats, if we're going to rigged an election, we really must suck. Because we just rigged an election where we lost House seats and we didn't flip the Senate.

I mean we've got to have -- we've got to come together and have --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: We're three days later, it's a tie.

SELLERS: I mean I need to talk to a manager. We really are bad at this thing.

LEMON: All right.

SELLERS: I just think that -- I just think that --

(CROSSTALK)

RYAN LIZZA: That's exactly what someone who's bringing an election would say Bakari. No, I'm kidding.

SELLERS: I just believe firmly --

(CROSSTALK)

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If you are going to rig, don't suck at it.

LEMON: Quickly Bakari, I'm going to --

LIZZA: That's right. I just firmly believe though this is --

SELLERS: My only point is I firmly believe that when this is done, it's a lot of these organizations, Black Voters Matter, LaTosha Brown, Cliff Albright, it's unique ways that we are penetrating these voting bases. You know, it's not just Stacey Abrams and her own work but also add messages like take your booty to the polls.

You know, all of these things together across the country are leading to what we're seeing today.

LEMON: Alice, I want to bring you in because you're from DeKalb County. AS we've been talking throughout the evenings here and the mornings here about the election.

The margin in Georgia, razor-thin. How do you see the state of this race right now. I mean you don't get any closer to a tie than we are right now in Georgia.

STEWART: Yes. These numbers are virtually mirror images that's pretty much a tie in -- I told you last night, Don. GOP officials in Georgia were concerned and this is exactly why. This is what they were worried about. This is what they had expected to happen and it's happening. And this just goes to show as Bakari says when you get a group of people that feel as though they haven't been represented and they're frustrated with the current administration. They get together.

[01:49:58]

STEWART: And I'm so glad that Bakari gave a shout out to my friend Latosha Brown. She has been working tirelessly with black voters matter in Georgia and around this country to get people out.

And you talked about John Lewis one of the quotes that I often use I think is so important that he said. Talked about voting and he said your vote counts. If it didn't, why would so many people be trying to take it away?

And so many people thought for the right to vote. And I think what is going on right now with a president of the United States who is questioning the integrity of our election -- it's disturbing, and quite dangerous.

LEMON: So Alice, having said that, and I appreciate you saying, let me ask you because you are a Republican and you're supporter of the president. We had you on because you support his policies. You don't always support the way his actions and what he says. But you do support his policies. and I judges, I get it from talking to you why you support them.

But here's the thing. We are hearing from Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney, lukewarm talking about the process, basically giving a definition of this is what should happen in our country, not saying the president of the United States is wrong. He should not be doing something like this.

Where are the Republicans who are coming out with strong statements or a strong stance going in front of cameras saying what the president of the United States is doing is wrong. And should not happen in our country. this is not the way a democratic process should work.

STEWART: We've had a few. Will Hurd has come out and talked about the dangerous precedent of doing this. We've had some. But what we all are having is we've heard Lindsey Graham come out others come out. What they do want those that support, Lindsey Graham supporting what the president is doing.

But they are doing it in a way that they support making sure that every vote is legitimate and legal. And making sure that we have a proper number of observers overseeing the counting process, making sure that Republicans and Democrats have equal access to overseeing the process.

Those are the people that are supporting the president and want to make sure that the process is done legally unfairly. But just as important, is to continue to reinforce what we are hearing from Secretaries of State cross the country, specifically the one in Georgia. They are making sure that every legal and legitimate ballot is cast. that it is not only brought in it's a It is secured, cured, counted, we'll be certified at a date certain.

And the most important point, we can reassure people, be patient and let's let the process work.

LEMON: I got you. But Ryan, having said what Alice just said about Lindsey Graham. They do -- represent there is absolute no evidence of this. By someone correcting something or trying to fix something about poll workers and how close all workers get.

That's how the process works. You have a complain of any widespread fraud or any thing untoward going on with the ballots or with accounting or with editions with any of it. So why are Republicans going on this crazy rabbit hole conspiracy theory with the President of the United States.

RYAN LIZZA, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST:: I think what we're seeing it the first war within the Republican Party in the post Donald Trump era.

Everyone sees where the trend lines are in Pennsylvania. And these other states. We know --

LEMON: Do they really want to go down with the ship like that? If he does -- I mean I'm not saying he's going down but that's what you're saying. You're thinking it's post Donald Trump era. But do they really want to go down with a ship like that?

LIZZA: Look, everyone knows where that's headed. It started with Trumpian rhetoric before the election, that the only way that Democrats could win was if it was rigged. Then they moved into the courts in the last few days. Most of those cases appear to be junk and are unlikely to succeed.

And I think you're seeing a little bit of an escalation each day to the point now whereas Carl Bernstein was talking there is this very, there's serious Republicans talking about getting state legislatures to challenge who the electors are that go and certify -- into Washington and certify the election and actually, you know, do the voting.

That is, you know -- that has just not happened. And that's going to be the next test. The first test was do you agree with the Trump on the rhetoric about it being rigged? Do you agree with him on these court challenges?

When those fail, they are moving into this electoral college strategy. And people like Mitt Romney, who had a pretty milk toast statement tonight and Nikki Haley, who was kind of wishy-washy. They are going to have to decide which direction they want the Republican Party to go.

LEMON: Ryan, let me ask you this in the short time we have left. As I watched the president tonight, I had my head in my hand because he always likes to project strength, right. That he is a strongman.

What he did made him look so weak. It was embarrassing for him to sit there, play the victim, and whine the way he did.

I don't think it really helped him, maybe it did with his supporters. Am I missing something?

[01:55:03]

LIZZA: Well, I've been frankly, you know, I think it has helped him with quite a few supporters. I mean someone like Lindsey Graham has just gone over the edge talking the way he talks.

If you've seen Newt Gingrich, some of the things that he's been saying on Fox News and people that used to be leaders of the Republican Party. Rudy Giuliani just fully embracing the misinformation campaign and an attack on the legitimacy of our democracy, you know, they are following Trump off that cliff.

And it's going to take a much larger universe of Republicans than Will Hurd and Mitt Romney to stabilize the ship.

LEMON: I've got to tell you, I am not surprised by Lindsey Graham. I mean obviously, we should not be surprised by Rudy Giuliani, come on.

This is the twilight zone.

LIZZA: These are people who are some of the most respected people in the Republican Party, not that long ago. And they are now spouting complete misinformation and attacking the legitimacy of our election.

LEMON: Those days are gone. Those days are gone. We will see how they try to make a comeback or whatever or gain some sort of credibility if this does, indeed, and the way that we think.

Things are changing every hour here. As you saw, we just had a number of votes come in. really changed what's happening in Georgia, changing what's happening in Pennsylvania.

We're going to keep an eye on Nevada and Arizona as well. There is your tally board. The Tote board as they say and it's -- we're in a marathon situation and we're going to continue to cover it.

Don't go anywhere. We have a key race alerts coming up.

[01:56:37]

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