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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Nation Awaits a Winner; Biden Closes In; Election Night in America Continues; Georgia, Another Shift; Margin is Just 665 Votes, It Keeps Changing in Georgia With 16 Electoral Votes; Donald Trump 665 Votes Ahead in Georgia; Pennsylvania With 20 Electoral Votes Sees The Lead Moving Down, Now The Margin is 18,229 Between The Candidates; State of the 2020 United States Presidential Election. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired November 6, 2020 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to "Election Night in America Continued." I'm Chris Cuomo, along with the man, D. Lemon, and we are witnessing democracy in action.
Congratulations to you, turnout like we could have never imagined, despite President Trump's blizzard of lies, falsely claiming that everything that has happened in this election, that isn't good for him, is fraud.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Listen --
CUOMO: No basis and no reason to do it right now when he needs the count as much as anybody, Don.
LEMON: No basis at all. And you're right about -- about what we are witnessing. This is history that we are witnessing. You and I have the honor, really, to be reporting this history to the folks. For the people at home, it really made a difference. Record numbers of people getting out and voting. That is a history here.
And all of this is happening this hour, each hour ticks by, right? Joe Biden is getting closer and closer to victory in this 2020 race. Chris, as you know, he is gaining in Pennsylvania, as the final mail- in ballots are tabulated there.
President Trump's one-time big lead in Georgia, which we have been talking about over the last couple of minutes, for years has been reliably red, well, that is evaporating now, and you can't get any closer to a tie than what is happening in Georgia right now.
CUOMO: It is very close. It is changing on our watch. So, let's check the numbers. It is time for a key race alert.
CUOMO: Pennsylvania, 20 electoral votes, still five percent of the estimated vote to come. That number is deceptive. There are more than enough votes needed for Joe Biden to meet and beat the spread right now, 18,229 votes.
Georgia, 16 electoral votes. There, again, 99 percent of the vote in. Well, it's over, right? Nope. More than enough votes for Joe Biden to catch and beat the president. Look at that, 1,276 votes separate the two men in what was believed to be ruby red Georgia just a couple of cycles ago.
Next. Arizona, 11 electoral votes, 47,000 votes right now. Here, it is the opposite narrative. Joe Biden has been in the lead and it has been eroding. This is why team Trump believe they have a shot. They have a path in Arizona to win this state.
Well, it happened, we've been watching, 10 percent of the vote to come. That is a lot. It is all about Maricopa County. We will take you through it at the big wall. But it's one to watch and it changed on our watch.
Nevada, six electoral votes. Still a ton of vote to come in. They've been quiet. It has been seeping out a little bit today as promised by the secretary of state. Not as much as we expected. That's OK. Get it right. It doesn't have to be fast. Eleven thousand votes as the spread. Joe Biden gained a few there, a vulnerable lead. Very important state for Donald Trump. We will keep an eye on it.
Now, all this talk about how it looks like Biden is going to get there, looks like -- let's put that back on the Biden campaign and see how they see where we are in the race right now.
Let us go to Jason Carroll. He has news for us from the Biden camp in in Wilmington. How are you doing, Jason?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Chris. You're up, I'm up, Don is up, and members of the Biden camp are up, as well, even at this late hour, watching some of those results coming in from Pennsylvania.
The Biden camp is feeling that Friday could be the day that he finally reaches 270. They are still feeling bullish about Pennsylvania and not just Pennsylvania but also Georgia and Arizona. But Pennsylvania, their data is showing that they could have what they're calling a decisive win there.
When you look at this campaign, though, Chris, this is a campaign that is really they feel as though that they have been on the offense. They feel as though the Trump campaign, in some ways, has been on the defense, filing these meritless lawsuits.
Biden team is looking ahead. Biden is meeting with his economic advisers about the economy earlier, on Thursday, also meeting with his health care advisers about the pandemic. So this is someone clearly positioning himself to move ahead.
Also, in terms of messaging, the messaging has been clear, let every vote count and be patient, but also a message of unity going forward. This is -- Biden has been saying clearly all along that he is going to be the president for someone who voted for him, in addition to those who did not vote for him.
CARROLL: But right now, this is a campaign just like the rest of the country that is at the mercy of those who are counting votes. But once again, the message is very clear, let every vote be counted. Chris?
CUOMO: That is the definition of democracy. Jason Carroll, thank you very much. Let us know if you learn anything more. Appreciate you on this historic day.
So, Pennsylvania. Why? Let's go to Kristen Holmes at the voting desk. What do we see as the potential in that state for Joe Biden?
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, there is a reason that the Biden campaign is feeling bullish, like you just heard Jason say, when it comes to Pennsylvania, and much of it is about those absentee ballots. We have seen absentee ballots come in huge margins for former vice president Joe Biden.
As we know, they are counted after the in-person day of votes. They are still coming in and they're coming in in big numbers. So here is what is left, 163,501 absentee ballots left to be counted. Now, remember, you just talked about this margin of 18,000, so this is huge. And where we are seeing these absentee ballots come in, they are coming in at more than 70 percent in the favor of Joe Biden. So that looks good for him.
Now, let's talk about key democratic counties. One of them, of course, is Philadelphia. We've been watching this painstakingly every single night from 2 a.m., however long we're on air, and they are almost done. They have counted 305,000 plus ballots.
They have less than 60,000 left, again, 60,000, much bigger than that 18,000 margin, vote margin here that we are seeing between the two candidates. In Philadelphia, huge margins of these mail-in ballots are coming in for Vice President Biden.
OK, now, what else is left in Philadelphia? We have provisional ballots. That is where you described this last night really well. It doesn't mean anything about the kind of ballot. What it means is that someone came in, they couldn't quite confirm them, maybe didn't have their ID, they had to double check everything. Those are probably going to come into play in some way just because of the tight margin that we are seeing.
Damaged ballots. That means, basically, these have to be gone through by hand. A team of people have to look through them, figure out exactly what is going on, and if they can be scanned.
OK, Allegheny. We have been talking a lot about this. Thirty-six thousand ballots left to count, and that includes 29,000 because a quarter can't be counted until 5 p.m. on Friday.
But at this point, what the Biden campaign, what officials are telling me there, what democratic officials are telling me in the state, they don't think that they are going to need this before they call Pennsylvania. They think they're actually going to get past Donald Trump's number before this even come into play.
And then we have the provisional ballots here, too. That's another 10 to 15,000 ballots, and then they have 7,000 damaged ballots. Again, a big team goes through all of these to see what counts, what doesn't, what matches, what doesn't, et cetera.
So, this is why you're seeing Biden campaign officials feeling very bullish about Pennsylvania, this margin and these huge numbers of outstanding ballots, absentee ballots that have been coming in, even higher in percentage for Biden than they thought, Chris.
CUOMO: Right. And we have councilwoman, Bethany Hallam, from Allegheny County, obviously, in Pennsylvania. She was on, gave us a key piece of information that Biden has been winning 78 percent of the votes in most of their batches, which is much higher than the metric we were using, which I think, Phil, was like 62 percent, which we were saying the target. So he is overperforming the overperformed status. So we will see how that holds up.
Thank you very much. I appreciate it. We will be back to you at the voting desk in a little bit. Kristen, thank you. So, Phil, you are following all the numbers, obviously.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah.
CUOMO: There are more than enough votes for Biden to meet or beat Trump. But let's go through -- but Trump is winning votes, too. Trump will overperform in some areas also even though he has been on average underperforming with late breaking or mail-in ballots or absentee ballots. It's not just like you need enough vote. You only need 18,000 and 230 votes, and he wins.
CUOMO: There is going to have to keep winning a percentage each time.
MATTINGLY: Exactly. There are Republican votes in these counties, even in Philadelphia.
MATTINGLY: There are republican votes that came in. I think the problem the Trump campaign faces right now, if you want to see this from the top line, if you had to be in one of their war rooms right now, you would like to be in the Biden campaign's war room given how Pennsylvania is sitting.
And the reason why is this. If you go through -- There is about 160 plus thousand ballots that are still outstanding. That is plenty to make up the current margin, 18,229. Frankly, in Philadelphia County, remember, the last batch that dropped in from Philadelphia County about 15, 20 minutes ago, 86 percent for Joe Biden. That's Philadelphia. This is the strongest democratic county they have. That was the expectation going in. But, as you noted, he is overperforming everywhere in margins. If you go through Southeastern Pennsylvania, the biggest outstanding county, Delaware County, as well, he is going to be hitting above the metric that he needs to hit.
I think the one interesting area that I am kind of paying attention to right now, Lehigh County has about 9,000 ballots outstanding.
MATTINGLY: We just reported -- that is kind of -- other than Philadelphia and Allegheny, this is kind of the biggest chunk. This is a little bit of a tighter margin. This is a tighter margin that Donald Trump, for a period of time, was actually leading. He was leading. But this makes a key point. He was leading in this county, and then they started counting their vote by mail.
This is something we have seen -- I made this point a couple of times. I think it's really important to understand. Even in the red counties, margins have been dropping steadily over the course of the last 24 hours, because even though -- even in the strongest red counties --
MATTINGLY: -- Democrats have votes, Democrats are mailing in, Democrats are winning the mail-in vote in those counties, even if they are losing the counties on net. And so Lehigh County with about 9,000 votes outstanding right now, not a huge margin, but Joe Biden will overperform. He has been overperforming even in counties with tighter margins.
CUOMO: Context and then a question for you about potential eventuality for the president. The context is that, well, this suspicion about the early ballots, you know, why? Why this time? Pandemic, the only thing that is overperforming more than Biden in Pennsylvania is COVID. We're over 100,000 cases right now. People are worried. They were looking for another way.
The president, the Democrats were pushing very hard for the presidential race to be done with Democrats by mail-in ballots. So, that is what was going on. Here is what the problem is. Pennsylvania and a lot of other states didn't give the money or the staffing or the consideration to how to count those ballots before the election.
Florida did. Some other states have their game together. But most didn't. So they had to count them after. If you need a fix for what you see is a problem right now, which I don't, I see it more situational, do it right, count them before. So we don't even have this problem going into it. That is the fix. We will see if anything happens.
Now, the question, why is there no chance that in Pennsylvania -- Trump can go Arizona, which is where he starts to overperform because Maricopa County is the big ticket there in Arizona, it is blue right now, but he is overperforming there -- why is there no chance that he overperform in any of the blue places and disrupts the progress? MATTINGLY: Trend lines and it is the type of vote that is coming in. And the difference, I think it's really important to understand, Arizona, vote by mail, particularly late in drop off ballots in Arizona, were actually trending more republican.
Arizona had a little bit of a difference of the makeup. Not every state matches with one another and Pennsylvania doesn't match how Arizona was. And so Maricopa is also formerly a republican stronghold. There's more republican vote there.
So, you match the fact that in Maricopa, I think right now Joe Biden is about 52 to 47, somewhere around there, and the outstanding vote here is 80 to 18, which Joe Biden hitting between 84 and 88 percent of threshold every time he comes in.
So, you look at the outstanding vote. You look at where it is located. You look at batch after batch after batch how it comes in. We are not operating blind anymore. We know it is outstanding, we know where it's outstanding, and we know the outstanding vote that has come in prior to it has consistently hit the same margins.
The idea that there is going to be some anomaly, possible, possible, but at this point in time, given the amount of absentee we have seen, given the fact that we've seen same margins hit almost every single time, underscore by, as you laid out quite well, the fact that Democrats voted by mail-in huge margins in Pennsylvania, Republicans voted in person in very large margins in Pennsylvania, it is just the reality of this moment.
The composition of the ballots, the composition of the votes as they are being counted and being reported, there is not a lot of space for anomalies because the consistency, we've seen it, we've been doing this now for three days --
MATTINGLY: -- we have been this for three days and we were at the wall with Wisconsin, in Michigan as you saw it hit, and you can look, and all of the sudden started counting vote by mail, and Biden started going like this and Trump started going like that, same type of formulation here, same type of construct here, and the same exact endgame is starting to play out.
Right now, 18,229 is not enough for President Trump given what is outstanding in democratic strongholds. The big question is, you know, in Lehigh County or someplace where he has got --
MATTINGLY: -- a little bit more strength, is that where something comes in --
CUOMO: To stop the bleeding.
MATTINGLY: -- to try and stop the bleeding?
MATTINGLY: And when you're dealing with Philadelphia or Delaware County, these Pennsylvania strongholds, and then as you were talking with the councilwoman, you know, Joe Biden is hitting at 78 percent --
MATTINGLY: -- in Allegheny, you've got problems if you are the Trump campaign.
CUOMO: Right. That is why we always say, oh, wow, it's all red, land doesn't vote. The populations in all these places are very small. If you look at a population map on basis of population and not land, it goes from red and all these center states to little red dots and big blue metro areas.
All right, so, Pennsylvania, state of play, what does the president have to win? Georgia has to. On that point, we got a great guest right now to discuss. Let's bring in Shauna Dozier, elections director for the Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration. Thank you so much for joining us. It is such a hectic time.
SHAUNA DOZIER, CLAYTON COUNTY ELECTIONS DIRECTOR: Thank you for having me.
CUOMO: I am going to hold off the question that nobody in your position likes, which is about timing, for last, although I just give it away.
CUOMO: What can you tell us about the state of play of how much more you have to do, how it is going, and what you are seeing in breakdown of Trump to Biden?
DOZIER: Well, I am happy to announce that we are down to 3,500 absentee ballots to count out of 30,000 absentee ballots that we have accepted.
CUOMO: OK. How many of the amount, except the 3,500, have already been reported? Is it all out there already?
DOZIER: Well, we just did update around 1:27 a.m. to show our updated count.
DOZIER: And so that is the most recent count that we have updated.
CUOMO: All right. Thank you. When do you expect -- and again, we know it's a hard job. You have to get it right. We appreciate what you are doing so much. You guys are the angels among us and such a cause for celebration for us in our democracy. You're doing the job right, big turnout, nobody expected it like this. All of that said, when do you think the 3,500 get done?
DOZIER: Well, we are going to stay here until every single absentee ballot is counted.
CUOMO: You are going to work straight through?
DOZIER: We are going to continue to move forward.
CUOMO: And what do you think? Does that take it into the overweight hours now? Do you think late in the morning, you think afternoon?
DOZIER: I anticipate early morning.
CUOMO: That is where we are now.
CUOMO: So a little bit later in the morning than right now, but not too long for now?
DOZIER: We are doing our best to just make sure that get every vote counted.
DOZIER: And whatever it takes to get it done, we are going to do it. We are committed.
CUOMO: But you are thinking hours, not big blocks of time from now?
CUOMO: All right. I appreciate it. I don't mean to push but, you know, we want you to do it right, but every little bit of information helps. Is there anything that you want the audience to know about what is going on, any problems you've had with the job, any challenges that were unforeseen?
DOZIER: We just ask for the community to just be patient as we undergo this process. We are excited about the amount of absentee ballots we have received. In 2016, which was the last election, we received 3,170 absentee ballots. At this time, we are hitting 30,000. And so we just ask for patience.
CUOMO: Just one more quick thing, and thank you very much, director, what are you seeing coming out in the most recent batches of returns in terms of what the percentage that Biden is getting on those votes?
DOZIER: Well, as of one 1:27, which is the last time we provided an update, it was at 84 percent.
CUOMO: Eight-four percent. All right, thank you very, very much. Good luck going forward.
DOZIER: Thank you.
CUOMO: So, 3,500 more votes. They were seeing 84 percent in the last batch. How does that size up with what he needs and how -- is that anomaly, you know, 84 percent?
MATTINGLY: No, that's pretty consistent with what he has been hitting in Clayton up to this point. And again, Clayton, you look at the margins, you look at the margins, you might even -- I think there is batch (ph) actually above that over the course --
CUOMO: Time for the four-letter word, you know, math.
CUOMO: So, if he wins 80 percent of 35,000, that is like 2,000 -- I am waiting for somebody to get in my ear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Right here.
CUOMO: Let me wait. Please.
HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER AND ANALYST (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) the former vice president essentially (INAUDIBLE) a little less than 2,500 (INAUDIBLE) less than 1,300 for the president's direction, and that would essentially mean if the Clayton County ballots (INAUDIBLE) --
CUOMO: All right. Hold on, Harry. We hear your booming voice in here. The microphone is not picking it up well enough. Harry is saying that he believes that based on an 80 percent -- we just heard from Director Dozier, that the president has been -- the former VP, Biden, has been winning about 84 percent of the batches in her county.
Let's just discount it to 80 percent. She has 3,500 ballots remaining. That means he would net about 2,400 something votes. Right, Harry? I got it all right?
ENTEN: You've got it right. He would net a little bit less than 2,500 votes and that would essentially overcome the deficit that the former vice president has statewide currently.
CUOMO: OK. And then --- the question then becomes, well, can it switch back? Is that enough? What does he have to make as the threshold here, 0.5 percent to get beyond the automatic recount? No, it is recount by request, but you have to have a margin in Georgia, I think, of 0.5 or one percentage point. Which is it? Do you know?
CUOMO: So he has to clear that for it to be on request.
MATTINGLY: Based on what is outstanding and where things are headed right now, it is a pretty safe assumption. I think both campaigns will tell you, this is going to a recount. They are pretty certain about that. If you talk about what will be -- who will be ahead when they go into that recount?
[02:19:58] MATTINGLY: If Joe Biden overtakes based on Clayton, what is left outstanding, I think if you're Republican right now, you are looking right here, you're looking at Forsyth County. This is the most outstanding vote for Republicans right now.
Again, the big question is, vote by mail. The woman we just spoke to had made an excellent point. In 2016, they had 3,000 absentee ballots. This year, they had 30,000. Those are coming in 80 to 84 percent Biden. Now, that is a democratic county. But the point is vote by mail as we have seen in state after state after state after state went huge in a place where it was very minimal prior to now.
And so I think the big question is, as we saw it play out in Pennsylvania, in Wisconsin, in Michigan, is Forsyth County is the decent margin for President Trump right now, decent margin, not as good as it was in 2016, flip back to 2016, did better, did better, but is the outstanding vote going to lock in at this margin and give him an opportunity to cut into whatever Joe Biden picks up from Clayton? Or is it going to be more made up of Democrats who decided to mail-in?
So there are republican counties with votes outstanding. It is not a tremendous amount. Forsyth is by far the biggest. I think Lawrence County is, as well. But Clayton was pretty much the biggest outstanding. (INAUDIBLE) will report tomorrow morning, as well, which is democratic, as well. Right now, Biden has more outstanding vote in democratic counties than Republicans have. We'll have to see how it makes up.
CUOMO: All right. This is really about managing expectations. You have a horse race, who is going to win? Then, it's not over, right? And that's not even because of the ugly suggestions by the president today. I'm not trying to be insulting. The insult was to you. You were insulted, I was insulted, and the process was insulted because he has no proof of his suggestions.
Now, that said, if Biden meets and beats the president, but doesn't clear the 0.5 percentage threshold then a candidate can request a recount in Georgia. The recount to request comes two days after certification. Certification is November 21st, so plenty of time between then and -- inauguration would be in January. So it's not until November 21st, then you ask for a recount.
My question is, to the control room and to you and to Harry, do you get an automatic recount of every county or do you have to request specific counties?
ENTEN: Assumption --
CUOMO: So there is no automatic recount, keep going. You can request one after certification if the margin is less than 0.5, but a recount of what, of the entire state, or do you have to make a case about a select county, is there a vetting of what you want recounted, or we don't know? We don't know?
Well, we do have our CNN legal analyst. Maybe he knows. Let's ask (INAUDIBLE). If we get an answer, I'll give it to you. But it's going to wind up being a relevant question.
MATTINGLY: Can I have one more thing?
MATTINGLY: We are looking obviously at the outstanding vote right now.
MATTINGLY: Factoring in provisionals in military ballots, as well.
CUOMO: But do you get past the 0.5?
MATTINGLY: I don't think -- I don't know. I'm not going to say what I think --
CUOMO: Because if --
MATTINGLY: What I can say -- so there are two things. One, Harry, I want to know what you think about provisionals and what is outstanding right now. How do you think those break, I think, is my big question?
ENTEN: I would think the provisionals would probably break for the former vice president. The military ballots, traditionally speaking, have lean more republican. But in terms of the question of whether or not that this would get outside of the recount area, I don't think it would. I don't think there are enough ballots.
Obviously, we have to wait and see on that. But I think that this is heading towards recount territory. Obviously, though, if Pennsylvania goes the way it is looking like it is going now, this will be more of an academic argument than anything else.
CUOMO: Well, however, two things. One, Pennsylvania has a recount rule as well, which I think is also a 0.5 margin, and then it is automatic there. So, you could be in a similar situation there, right? I mean, we don't have any reason to believe that even if Biden were to meet and exceed where the president is, he could be 0.5, can he?
MATTINGLY: Yeah, he can.
CUOMO: All right, good. It is good to know. And --
MATTINGLY: If enough votes come in at the levels that it has been coming in, there is a possibility.
CUOMO: So it might.
MATTINGLY: It is possible, but we don't know.
CUOMO: Very relevant, though. And provisional ballots, Harry, please make your point, why do you assume provisional ballots would go a certain way when they are just a function of unknowns? I don't see your name in the book, it doesn't match the address or whatever the reason is and they give you a provisional, which is a maybe, maybe this will count.
ENTEN: Traditionally, they have gone more democratic. It is folks who may be moving around, younger folks, groups that to lean more democratic. The other thing, of course, I would note in terms of a recount is just because you can request one and you can count all the ballots again, that doesn't mean it will necessarily change the result. Oftentimes, only when you're within, say, a few hundred ballots or a few thousand would it change results.
In Georgia, it could, if we get down to a few hundred ballots. But in Pennsylvania, I would be much more doubtful in that given the way that the vote has been trending in that state.
CUOMO: Appreciate it, excellent, and thank you. Let's take a quick break. When we come back, things are moving on our watch. Stay with CNN.
LEMON: We are back now with our election coverage in America, America votes. So, listen, we're up because you're up. And let's put up the numbers so you can see. We are still getting numbers in. We just got in some from Pennsylvania. We got some in in Georgia. And, man, things are getting tighter. Look at Georgia, 1,200 votes separating the two men, 11,000 thousand in Nevada, Pennsylvania 18, 000, Arizona 47,000.
Here is the thing. In the first three that you see, Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, every time the votes come in, pretty much every time, they put Joe Biden ahead. Arizona, though, has quite a different story. In Arizona, the president is really closing in on Joe Biden there. So we are keeping an eye on all of it.
But I want to talk about what is going in Pennsylvania. The perfect person to do that is CNN political commentator Charlie Dent. He is the former congressman from Pennsylvania, and that's why we have him here. Good morning to you, sir. How are you doing?
CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA CONGRESSMAN: Good morning, Don. Great to be with you.
LEMON: So let's talk about this. You see the president's lead. It keeps shrinking in Pennsylvania as the votes come in. You -- you have some idea of what is going on in the commonwealth, and you said you could have predicted this a couple days ago.
DENT: Yeah, I knew on Wednesday morning that Joe Biden was going to win Pennsylvania. Here's why. I am sitting here in North Hampton County.
[02:30:00] DENT: Donald Trump won North Hampton County in 2016 by 5,500 votes and Joe Biden won it by just under a thousand votes. So that's a swing right there. Same thing in like in Erie County (ph) where Hillary Clinton won by 3000 votes in '16, and Joe Biden won by 10,000. We knew this on Wednesday morning. So what that means is that Joe Biden is performing much better than Hillary Clinton did upstate, cutting Donald Trump's margins. It is quite clear very clear to me, that's what Biden needed to do to win.
Now he also has to come out of Philadelphia and the suburbs, and the Collar Counties with the big number which he will and so that was very clear to me, why he was going to win this race. And the other county, I said, whoever wins Northampton County, whoever wins Erie County is going to become - is going to win Pennsylvania, and probably the presidency. And I hope so we see happening that right now.
DON LEMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: So, as you were sitting there the other night watching the President when the President came out and said, look, we won - we won Pennsylvania and all of a sudden, we are not. We won there and declared victory. What were you thinking like this guy has no idea what he's talking about? What do you think?
DENT: I don't know what they put in his diet coke, but it must have been some heavy substance because it was clear to me what happened, we all knew this. There were three - Pennsylvania, for the first time has really done no excuse absentee voting. There were 3 million requests for absentee ballots, and about 2.6 million were returned, 1.6 million of them were from Democrats, and about 550,000 from Republicans. So, on a 3 to 1 basis Democrats were voting by mail. We knew that. And so the absentee ballots are coming in, they were the last one's to be counted, and guess what they are breaking at about 3 to 1 for the Democrats or for Joe Biden.
This is not surprising, we knew this and we knew that Donald Trump would do well in person at the polls. We knew this that he was going to come out with probably an advantage, but that lead would evaporate over time as the mail-in votes were being counted. And that is precisely what happened, completely predictable, everyone knew it, the Trump campaign knew it. Everybody knew it. So I am surprised that they are surprised by this.
LEMON: So then why are they coming up? Because I mean, this is really discerning it's dangerous. So they are making these baseless claims about voter fraud. And then, you have Republican signing on like Ted Cruz. You have got Lindsey Graham, backing him, Graham even donating to Trump's legal fund. How do you explain this Congressman? What is going on here?
DENT: I can't explain it. Look, are there going to be isolated incidents of fraud around the country? Of course. Is it going to change the outcome of the election? No. Have there been problems with voter fraud in Philadelphia in the past? Yes. I can put to a 1993 or 1994 election, where we had a very real problem and a federal judge intervened, and threw a guy out of the state legislator.
But we move beyond that. And I think everybody is behaving very well. All of these election officials around the state do not want an issue. They are trying to be transparent. And when I hear what they said about Philadelphia, look, Al Schmidt is the Election Commissioner, the Republican Election Commissioner in Philadelphia. He says things are in order.
LEMON: Al Schmidt was going to be on this program in just - Al Schmidt is going to be on it just in a short time here. And he is going to explain all that to us. But what we're you saying about Al Schmidt who is a Republican by the way?
DENT: Yes. He basically, he put out a tweet this morning, basically saying that things were pretty much in order, they are going to count every vote and they're going to keep counting until they get an outcome. I mean there is nothing nefarious going on as far as I can see, anywhere in the state. The bigger challenge here isn't so much fraud or suppression, the issue is we are all concerned about voter system failure because Pennsylvania has never done absentee balloting at this scale.
They passed the law to do this, prior to the pandemic done. They did that, and then, of course, the pandemic, they volumes increased. And we are really worried that they not - might not be able to handle it at the scale but they seem to be doing it, they're getting there, it's taking longer than we would like, but they're going to get to a good outcome.
LEMON: But, sorry - excuse me Congressman, I really don't understand that why Republicans are doing this. And I mean, I think you have some idea that you explain to me just a short time ago during the break about why the senate didn't go the way Democrats thought. Maybe even some of the congressional races didn't go the way that Democrats thought. But you have a theory about that?
DENT: I do have a theory. I think that a lot of these voters, swing voting Republicans who are not crazy about Donald Trump. And many independents voted for Joe Biden and against Donald Trump and then they voted straight Republican. Not one House Republican incumbent has lost his or her reelection. Not one. Well, Donald Trump is losing. This is a repudiation of the President by many Republicans and Independents, who voted for Joe Biden because they want him to stay the ship estate. And they want to have a check in the Republican senate to make sure that the left wing of the Democratic Party does not go too far. I'm convinced that's what's happening. And at some point will do an after action analysis. I think that's going to - they are out.
LEMON: A repudiation on Trump you think? But not their representatives?
DENT: Yes, I do. Yes. I mean how does one explain Susan Collins, who I admire very much won reelection. She outperformed Donald Trump significantly in Maine. Brian Fitzpatrick in Bucks County just to the south of me winning by a big margin and Donald Trump is getting clobbered and has getting beaten in Bucks County. And I can point all around the country, John Katko in Syracuse New York they are outperforming Donald Trump enormously.
And you see this everywhere. So I mean that is really what the issue is. I think people have tired of the President, but they do not want to give a mandate to the Democrats. Right now, there is really no policy mandate for either side, but I do believe there is a governing mandate and that is for Joe Biden to stay the ship steadied, and it would be wise for Republicans to assist him in that endeavor.
LEMON: Charlie Dent, Congressman Charlie...
DENT: I told you (inaudible) with Donald Trump.
LEMON: Yes. We appreciate having you. Thanks for staying up late or early whichever it is and we will see you soon. Get some rest.
LEMON: And again, I want to remind our viewers, we're going to have Al Schmidt, the Republican from Philadelphia, who is going to join us in just a short time. He will explain what is going on with the process in some of these things that are being set out there about voter fraud and about people trying to steal the election and people who are counting the ballots. You will be interested to hear what he is saying.
But Chris, I have to say Charlie did just said, the folks that this is a repudiation of Donald Trump, that the voters wanted a check on - they want Joe Biden they are sick of Donald Trump antics, but they wanted a check on Joe Biden in office. So they voted for Joe Biden, but did not change their representatives. So that could turn out to be a good thing for the country, we will have to wait and see, even if Joe Biden goes into the White House. We still a long way to go here.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean look it's an argument. You couldn't blame people if that's what they were doing. You got to hedge your bets these days. You know the political culture's one of opposition, more than it is one of compromise and progress. So you think, maybe you got a better chance if you have both in there because at one side just going to railroad all through and the other side is going to be on the hey parade (ph). But do we know that that's what's going on? Is a very provocative topic?
LEMON: Well, I got to tell you something of that. I am very jealous of you because you get to talk to Nia-Malika Henderson.
CUOMO: Well, I tell you what they call her the gift on this set here, although she was just gratuitously savaging me for no reason.
LEMON: That's why I'm jealous, because she's right, she's right. Continue on. But that's not here or there, carry on, carry on.
CUOMO: Do you think with Nia-Malika Henderson and Harry Enten and Mark Preston. All right, so let's chew on this idea a little bit. That what we're seeing is a repudiation of Trump. Well? The 73 million plus people, I know that is a preliminary number that voted for Biden, that is why I call it a whooping. Because nobody has ever had that many people come out to vote against them. Fair. But his 69 plus million is the 2nd most votes we've ever had. And what does that tell us then? How much of a repudiation of Trump is this if he got that many votes?
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. I mean, I think he is not as big of repudiation as Democrats wanted it to be kind of a blue wave that felt it, was in the senate and also in the house of repudiation of Trump and Trumpism and all of the Republicans that have supported him and cheerlead for him over these last years. But it does seem like the sort of embrace of Biden these millions of voters who showed up, is about sort of a return to normalcy, a return to calm. And I think Harry made this point before, which is that a lot of people hated Donald Trump.
They hated the way he made them feel with his tweets and criticizing people and so the race baiting and just all of the chaos that we have seen over these last 5 years. And so you have in Joe Biden somebody who is kind of a standard issue politician. The kind of person we grew up with, who is just sort of a normal kind of middle manager kind of person and we will see. And one of the things that I think is interesting in data too is the people who voted for Donald Trump weren't really that anti-Biden. They were really pro-Trump and so may be that will be a good thing that there isn't a lot of animus among Trump supporters for Joe Biden. That's it.
CUOMO: They are all interesting points. Now Harry, scratching at that a little bit more, you brought up that this President, though incumbent is running behind the congressional candidates when he should be even or ahead and they should be in his wake.
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER AND ANALYST: That's right.
CUOMO: How do you explain it?
ENTEN: I would just have to say that there was a sliver of the electorate. Right now nationally, now granted the house vote seems to be running a little bit behind the Presidential Vote, but right now nationally, Joe Biden is leading by 3 points. House Democratic candidates are leading by just one point. So that is a two point swing. You might say to yourself, oh, that's small, that's not very much of anything. But look at the margins in these important states right now.
If you had a two point swing towards Donald Trump, we would be talking a very different game in a state like Pennsylvania, in a state like Arizona, in a state like Georgia. It could have made the difference that there was a small sliver of the electorate that was perfectly fine with the Republican brand, but wasn't fine with the Donald Trump plan - Donald Trump say personality, you might say. And therefore it might have made the difference in this election.
CUOMO: Your take?
MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I just going to say, you know these margins are really going to have a great influence on what happens in a couple of months. Like we're going to go into a New Year with a New President, with a New Congress, and with Republicans having an incredible amount of power, assuming they can control and hold on to the senate. It looks like they will. We will see what happens in Georgia. But we're going to see a divided government and we're not going to see very much done. It will be interesting to see who gets the fault for that because the midterms are coming up very quickly after that.
ENTEN: Oh my God.
PRESTON: And will - I know I understand that, but we can also talk about 2024 and quite frankly like that day began, today one we saw Donald J Trump Jr., go after all the other potential 2020 for us because they were not defending his father. So look it is on right now. But I do think that folks, who think after this election that we're going to get back to normal, is that I think we are headed for a whole lot of mess. I think our political system, as we know it.
The political parties as we know are going to be totally disassembled in some ways they're going to be burned down from the inside. And If Donald Trump does not leave the Republican Party, then that party is going to take on his image and he is going to grow that way. Look, because if you grew up in politics, you understand how this is. A political party is about ideology, and ideas. It is not about a person. And when it does become about a person what's going to occur is that the Republican Parties are not going to able to grow and expand, it is going to just be very linear on Donald Trump.
CUOMO: Also, the whole thing is so, as they would say in Yiddish, fakakta, the whole thing is so messed up. My father, for example, my father was Mario Cuomo who was Governor in the State of New York, my brother Andrew the love golf, is now Governor of New York, but my father, Mario's Democratic Party is not the Democratic Party of today. Trump's constituency not the culture warriors but the working class, they were his constituency. Wait, more important, key race alert what do we have?
All right, in Georgia the spread is now 665 votes. How much of the vote outstanding? You see 99 percent there, but again, I really shouldn't even say that anymore. It's really about where there is remaining vote, who that breaks for, not just red or blue, but in the context of what kind of vote is coming in. I am going to wait for Phil Mattingly to get up, and we can understand where these votes came from. And what it tells us about our future. Phil, are you over there?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I am trying to crack down which counties came in.
CUOMO: Great. Do we know in the control room which County?
MATTINGLY: We got it. It's from Clayton. It's what's like coming in. So basically, Chris this is what we've been talk about over the course of the last couple of hours. The Clayton County was the biggest outstanding vote going into this night for us or for us to see what was coming in. We knew going into the night that they had about 4000 votes. We spoke to an official there who said that they were down to 3500. They have been reporting in batches over the course of the last couple of hours, 120 votes here, couple of thousand votes here. This is a County that is leading heavily Democratic and when the batches were coming in there were coming at 84 percent, 85 percent, 86 percent Biden still more coming in. We expect a little bit more out of Clayton County. But as you see the drop took another 600 votes off on that. That's going to continue. There is still more vote coming in from Clayton.
CUOMO: Do we know how many votes said came that netted us to where we are right now?
MATTINGLY: Still trying to tabulate that in my head right now. Give me a call.
CUOMO: OK. I'm in the control room, let us know. Because first of all...
MATTINGLY: 2000 right now.
CUOMO: So about 2000 votes, so they could still have a thousand 1500 left based on the calculation that Ms. Dozier (ph) gave us. Another tabulator, another chair person who deemed me and one - because you didn't make it sound, Dozier make it sound like we don't know where the votes are going to come out. And then right after they hit, another batch of votes came in. So it's was like a gift from this Ms. Dozier. Thank you for adding to us. I know I went a little soft there she took advantage and it worked. But now we have this new batch of vote that came in. There's still a 1000, 1500.
CUOMO: Which means that could make even more of a difference for Biden because it's not enough.
MATTINGLY: Because again, we're talking about what the margins are, and I have to break down the actual margins here from what just came in, but repeatedly over the course of the last couple of batches, Joe Biden has been heading somewhere between 84 percent and 88 percent of what's coming in. So if a thousand a couple of thousand come in here (inaudible).
CUOMO: So it was cut it in half, it was 12, 67, now its 665, right?
MATTINGLY: Right. And so couple of things to keep in mind here.
CUOMO: 602 votes.
MATTINGLY: One, we estimate right now that there's probably about 1500 left in Clayton. Joe Biden is going to net probably about a 1000, maybe a little bit more than that.
CUOMO: Because we're going what percentage ratio?
MATTINGLY: 81 - that I mean conservative - I mean conservative with 1500.
CUOMO: Because Ms. Dozier told us 84. And we discounted to 80, just to put some play in it?
MATTINGLY: Yes. Just to play around with it right now. There's a very real possibility, if Clayton continues to report.
ENTEN: I would be - look.
CUOMO: Can we hear Harry.
ENTEN: It's going to be close when the rest of it comes in, but based upon the current trend lines, it would seem when the rest of Clayton comes in, that Biden would jump into 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 vote lead.
CUOMO: On this County?
ENTEN: On this County.
MATTINGLY: Right. So Lauren our Associate Producer tells me 1300 just came in from Clayton. Harry says it's going to be what - you think it'll end up?
ENTEN: It will end up somewhere in the hundreds to low thousands probably, depending on exactly how many votes are left. But it would be Biden ahead, probably at this point, based upon the current trend line.
MATTINGLY: And you also have to factor in that we know tomorrow morning we will expect to also get Gwinnett, Gwinnett County. You look at the margin, but it has been coming in heavily Democratic. It has about 4500 votes outstanding as well. The point being that even as vote total goes down we started the night, Georgia had about 14,000 outstanding votes and Clayton has been reporting pretty consistently. So take that down even to a net 12,000, 11,000 should be left over right now. A bulk of that will come from Gwinnett another - there are still two major Republican counties with a decent amount of vote, both over thousand versus probably most notable for Republicans and that's what they're watching right now. But the reality is and this is what we've been kind of talking about over the last 24 hours when you're looking at the outstanding votes, you were looking where it was coming from. And you're looking at the rate at which it was coming in, Joe Biden was on the pathway to overtake Donald Trump and Joe Biden was on the pathway to finish before they get to professionals and before they get to military ballots ahead of Donald Trump and that might happen within the next hour or two.
CUOMO: Can we go to Forsyth for one second? Here is why. Just again, just fumblers math here, if there is 5 percent right, so you have basically 132,000 votes, 10 would 13,000, 6500 vote. He wins 65 percent of that, so he wins, like, you know 3000 in change that could make a difference.
MATTINGLY: So Forsyth has got 1545 votes is what we are expecting.
CUOMO: Forsyth has what? MATTINGLY: Forsyth has 1545 ballots outstanding.
MATTINGLY: Right. And I think the big question right now, and we've talked about this in a couple of states, is that this ratios, this margins on the top line for the counties aren't holing because of the types of ballots that are coming in. So just because it's coming from a county where Donald Trump is 6532 because it's mail-in, because it's mail-in is still leaning more Democratic. So we don't know the exact composition of what's going to be coming in from Forsyth. It could be, this could - it could be Republican, if you're Republican you're looking at Forsyth and you are hoping that it matches this or even maybe it gets a little bit bigger, but...
CUOMO: But Forsyth (inaudible). Harry, do you have any insight into what the red counties could mean for Trump in Georgia?
ENTEN: My inside would be that essentially if you're voting by mail, your chance of being Democratic is much higher than even given that this is a Red County. I would not be surprised if Trump netted no votes out of this county. I wouldn't even be surprised if Joe Biden netted a few votes out of this county, just because vote by mail is basically stand in for party registration even though Georgia doesn't have it. But it might be able to be used to essentially assume that these votes, despite being Red County may impact the much more Democratic than you might otherwise assume.
CUOMO: Question, could so, Nia-Malika?
HENDERSON: No, I mean, I think everybody's just looking to see when this thing is going to finalized it.
CUOMO: I don't even want to leave the wall.
CUOMO: Let's do this. Let's take a quick break and see because look, we just had Director Dozier here. And obviously, I'm playing about any kind of deception. She's doing her job. She said we don't know you're going to get votes. And then we got them minutes later. So as they come in, will tabulate what they mean now and going forward. We'll be with you and here for you. Stay with us.
CUOMO: A quick key race alert here, Georgia, another shift. You know, this time yesterday, 23,000 votes was the margin. Now, just 665 votes, it keeps changing in real-time. And we'll keep following. You know public enemy said, it's not what you think, is what you follow. And let me tell you, if you follow this election, overnight, everybody is working to get it done the right way. This is a cause for celebration. We'll see what happens next.
CUOMO: Welcome back to our breaking news coverage. Election night in America continues I'm Chris Cuomo with one and only Don Lemon. And let me tell you, nothing else for all the drama, Americans you should be proud that your democracy is working 24/7. Even on this late shift, new votes are coming in. We know people are working, we're talking to the directors there, volunteers across this country are literally burning the midnight oil so that we can get more information about who our next leader will be.
LEMON: Yes. I mean, we've got to be honest, Chris. I mean, this things is really on the verge of being decided in these hours that with you and I are covering, very, very shortly. If things - if the trend lines, as the prognosticators say - the trend lines continue in this direction, boy, we could have an announcement very soon, the final ballots, as you know, being tabulated two states that will determine the outcome. That's Pennsylvania and Georgia.
We've been getting information from them all evening, all morning here. A live look now, this is Philadelphia. You can see the votes are being tabulated even at this late or early hour however you want to describe it. You can see dozens of election workers on the right side of your screen there. This is what we call democracy in action, Mr. Cuomo.
CUOMO: Absolutely. And God, they are doing a democracy and God's work, really showing what this country can do in a moment that matters. No why so much emphasis on Pennsylvania and George? The President has to win Georgia to win reelection, and if Vice President Biden wins Pennsylvania, the race is over, so with that, how about a key race alert?
Georgia, 16 electoral votes, this is one that we've been seeing movement on tonight. Look at the lead now for Donald Trump, 665 votes ahead. A dead heat. And enough votes outstanding for Joe Biden to make a difference. We'll tell you more in just a second. Pennsylvania, 20 electoral votes that lead moving down, 18,229 to separate the two candidates, 49.5 to 49.2, again, Philadelphia, still has enough votes to make a difference, which is why you heard the President and his people attack Philadelphia, because that's what they are worried about. Now, Arizona, 11 Electoral Votes.