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Biden Takes Lead in Georgia, Trump Lead in Pennsylvania Narrows. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired November 6, 2020 - 06:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: We have breaking election news overnight. Good morning. I'm Chris Cuomo with the one and only Don Lemon.

[06:00:43]

If you're just getting up now, it's 6 a.m. in the east on this Friday, November 6. Getting ready for breakfast. How about a plate of Biden took the lead in Georgia with a side dish of Pennsylvania may change hands and very soon? What do you think, Don Lemon?

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: And can you believe that? We just had an election commissioner on from Philadelphia who said we should get some new vote counts maybe within the hour or so. It could happen right on our watch here.

And I'm hearing it could be very significant when it comes to this race. So we will see.

A lot of votes still out there. They're still being counted, but a lot has changed overnight. That's -- and you know that's the truth, because we've been here watching it, Chris.

CUOMO: Oh, yes. A group of our fellow citizens that can only be described as Ameri-CANs have been working through the night and delivering votes in batches of hundreds that made a difference in Georgia, changed the state of the race, and now Pennsylvania is on the verge of a big change, as well.

So let's bring you the latest numbers. This is your 6 a.m. key race alert.

All right, let's start with Georgia. Sixteen electoral votes. Why does this state matter? If Donald Trump wants to be our president again, he must win Georgia if he wants to be president through the Electoral College.

So Joe Biden overnight took the lead, 1,096 votes. Statistical dead heat, certainly in recount territory, but there is enough vote left in the state -- and we'll show you in a few moments where -- that could pad that lead and maybe keep Biden in control. We'll have to see.

Also, Pennsylvania, 20 electoral votes. Very important. Why? If Joe Biden win Pennsylvania, this race is over. It would be a dispositive move, one and done.

Right now, though, the president up by 18,229 votes. Ninety-five estimated vote is in. Deceptive statistic. Why? Because the remaining vote that is out is more than enough to change the state of play. We just had one of the local officials on that suggested we may be getting more information and soon.

So we are very fortunate to have Kate Bolduan in Philadelphia, where we're expecting news.

Good to see you, my friend. Nice to share a day in history with you.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR: Good morning, good night, whichever it is. It's time to wake up, because today there's a lot of movement that will be happening this morning, friends.

They are still counting here in Philadelphia. The largest city -- county, the largest county in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The latest numbers here, the key numbers are, there is about 53,000 votes that are still left to be counted.

Now, we've been tracking increases overnight. There have been increases of something like in the realm of several thousand when they've been -- when they've been uploading new results of more ballots being counted. That's something, obviously, we are keeping a very close eye on.

And as one of the city commissioners, one of the people in charge that knows the most was just speaking with you guys a short time ago, they do expect, as Commissioner Al Schmidt said, they're expecting some more information to be coming out.

It would not -- the way things are looking, it would not be surprised if they -- they wrap up the count here in Philadelphia at some point today, if not even this morning.

One person we spoke with -- one person involved that we've spoken with quite a bit said, as of last night, they are calling it a full-court press to get this done.

But, of course, there are a lot of factors that go into that. You have human beings in this -- in this space beside me, behind me in this convention center who are doing the arduous task and labor-intensive task of getting the ballot from out of the envelope to the scanner to get that number uploaded to have the most accurate count uploaded to their website. That's Philadelphia.

There's also Bucks County, which is another key area that we've been tracking all along. This is the most competitive of the suburban counties outside of Philadelphia. Everyone has had their eyes on this. I believe Hillary Clinton won the county in '16 by 3,000 votes. It has been tight. The latest numbers there is that they are just shy of 11,000 ballots that they still have to count.

A note from a Bucks County official yesterday was that they've been tracking the mail-in ballots that are coming in. They have trended to be about 77 percent for Joe Biden, as they have been counting them.

[06:05:14]

Overall, the commonwealth is looking at about 163,000 mail-in ballots to be counted, 6.2 percent of what was received.

We are expecting to get numbers anytime now. We are tracking that throughout the morning. But again, things are moving here in Pennsylvania. They have been working hard. And they know that today is Friday. It is three days after the election. This is the final day when those mail-in ballots could be received per state law, and they're moving -- Don, Chris.

CUOMO: Boy, let me tell you, Kate, you were in the right place and thank you for that massive download of information. Appreciate it. Stand by.

Now, let's go to the Magic Wall with Phil Mattingly. Here's what's so exciting about what Kate is reporting, at least to me -- give me your thoughts. Not only is vote coming from an area in Pennsylvania, that Philadelphia area, which is rich for the Democrats, but there's so much vote left, that not only could it motivate Joe Biden to meet the president's lead, but to exceed it in a way that may put it out of reach.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So let's actually dig in on that.

Right now, as it currently stands, Donald Trump hanging onto an 18,229-vote lead. What are you talking about specifically here? You were talking about Philadelphia, where Kate was just speaking from, where we were told that there's about 50,000 votes outstanding.

With an 18,000-vote lead, let's do the math using this margin. Using this margin. If Joe Biden wins those 50,000 mail-in ballots, which would be conservative, based on what we've seen come in over the course of the last day or two, if he wins those 50,000 votes by 80 percent, he would end up netting -- netting -- in the city of Philadelphia, also Philadelphia County, same thing, he would end up netting 30,000 votes, just in Philadelphia.

If Joe Biden nets 30,000 votes, Joe Biden is in the lead in the state of Pennsylvania.

CUOMO: By over 10,000.

MATTINGLY: By over 10,000 votes. And that's not all. What else is left outstanding? Look at all the blue in Southeast Pennsylvania. Obviously, you have Philadelphia. Then you move over, Delaware County. I'm told by a native of Delaware County I can call it Delco. Call it Delco. I'm not from there, so I wasn't sure if I can use that term. Delco.

CUOMO: Well, you just did.

MATTINGLY: I just did. CUOMO: I hope it's safe for you.

MATTINGLY: They're reporting 100 percent -- we'll have to see what's going on. We knew there was about 8,000 votes there. Keep ticking up. You go through here, they're starting to show -- interesting. They're starting to show 100 percent reporting there.

What we know coming out of Southeast Pennsylvania, is there is more outstanding vote. That vote is mail-in ballots. It's coming from a place where Joe Biden has had comfortable margins.

Kate was just talking about Bucks County. This was by far the closest county here, and yet, you look at that margin, doesn't seem astronomical. Doesn't seem astronomical. However, Bucks County over the course of the last 24 hours has moved heavily in Joe Biden's direction.

Why? Because they are counting mail-in ballots. Mail-in ballots are leaning heavily Democratic, even in Republican strongholds, especially in places in Southeast Pennsylvania.

The reality right now in the state of Pennsylvania, which I would note is the most crucial state outstanding right now. If Joe Biden wins this state, Joe Biden is president of the United States. There's no other way around it. That's 20 electoral votes. He's at 253.

The reality in Pennsylvania is it is not a matter of if Joe Biden is going to overtake Donald Trump, it is a matter of when.

The biggest question right now, two things. One, how much vote in that can Joe Biden take, of that 160,000 that's left outstanding? And two, is there anything Donald Trump can do to stop what has been a pretty fast-moving train heading his direction over the course of the last 24 hours?

CUOMO: Well, we know what he's trying to do. I mean, he has been up all night, and the more the vote has moved, the more virulent and violent the president has gotten in his tweeting, such that Twitter has been flagging, like, every other thing that he says, because it's so wildly off-base.

But clearly, the urgency is not missing him.

Harry Enten.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS WRITER AND ANALYST: Yes, sir.

CUOMO: What is your analysis of where we are and where we go and why?

ENTEN: Right. So Phil was saying that -- and I have it up on the secretary of state's website. Kate spoke about it, as well. That there's a little bit north of 160,000 votes to be counted in the state of Pennsylvania. Or the commonwealth, so Jake Tapper doesn't get after me. And right now, what we essentially see is that Biden has been winning that absentee vote by around 50 points statewide. If you apply that, what you would essentially get is Biden on the margin would net around 80,000, maybe a little bit more than that in votes.

And given where Donald Trump's lead is currently in the state, just a little bit south of 20,000, it seems to me, if you apply the math and it follows through, that Biden would be leading at the end of this by somewhere in the neighborhood of about 60,000 votes statewide.

CUOMO: So at the end of the day, when all the vote is in in Pennsylvania, it could be a 60,000-vote margin for Joe Biden.

MATTINGLY: It's a distinct possibility. Look, things would have to -- things would have to track as they've been tracking. But I think what Harry's talking about here, and I think Harry is being a little bit conservative, probably, in his estimate, based on what we've seen, the batches come in over the course of the last 24 hours or so, Joe Biden hitting 72 or 73 percent in terms of margin with what comes in, would be undershooting what he's been hitting over the course of the last 24 hours.

[06:10:11]

CUOMO: Are you guys including the ballots that may be, maybe, if we're going to exaggerate probabilities just for the safe part of hypothesis, may be vulnerable to judicial intervention? Are you including the ballots that come in -- the day after election day until today?

MATTINGLY: My understanding -- and Harry, you can correct me if I'm wrong -- but I believe the segregated ballots are separate from --

CUOMO: They're segregated but being counted. I'm just wondering if in that number, they're included?

ENTEN: There's -- that basically makes up a very, very, very small portion. Most of the Democrats got the message that, if you want to ensure that your vote by mail or your absentee ballot be counted, they got them in very early.

From the secretary of state, she essentially said that many of the smaller counties were receiving zero ballots after election day. And even some of the large ones, it was basically within the hundreds. So that is really inconsequential to the math that we're talking about here.

CUOMO: Now, of course, this restriction doesn't apply to military ballots.

ENTEN: Right.

CUOMO: Every state has their own rules, but that would be a different situation. The president wasn't careful about what he was saying about those ballots and seemed to be wanting to disenfranchise military. Nobody wants to do that. All right. So then, we are waiting for the vote. And just to remind,

wait, what about Nevada, what about Arizona? Absolutely. We haven't been getting the same quantity of information, but remember how big a piece in the puzzle these two states are.

Where is the president's -- this is a trick question. What path does the president have if he doesn't have Georgia?

MATTINGLY: Well, let's just talk about Georgia first. We've just been talking about Pennsylvania. Look at this.

Overnight, if you're just waking up, Georgia turned blue about an hour ago. Joe Biden took a lead about an hour ago. About an hour ago ago, he took a 917-vote lead.

Guess where it stands right now? He's added to it. And here's the reality. Now he's at 1,096 is the lead. And the biggest outstanding vote, all vote by mail, comes from a Democratic county, Gwinnett County. Somewhere over 4,500 ballots, we believe, are being counted and will be released at some point this morning, the tabulation of it.

There are a couple of Republican counties that are outstanding.

But the reality is right now, that is a narrow lead. We'll have to see what happens. Eventually, there're going to be provisionals. There's going to be military ballots, as well.

But Joe Biden has a consequential lead with vote outstanding that is likely to lean Democrat in this state.

CUOMO: Right.

MATTINGLY: And you said, why does Georgia matter? Why does Georgia matter? Obviously, we ran through why Pennsylvania is so important. Joe Biden wins Pennsylvania --

CUOMO: It's over.

MATTINGLY: -- it's ball game. It's lights out.

Now, let's go through the map. Everything you see that is blue has been called for Joe Biden. Everything that you see that is red has been called for President Trump.

For the sake of gaming this out, we will give President Trump Alaska. They'll take a little bit to count, expected to go Republican. North Carolina right now, Donald Trump has held a pretty solid lead. Not a huge lead, 79,000 votes for a couple of days now. So we'll give that to him, as well. We'll give him Maine 2, the single -- the single electoral vote right up here, as well.

What does that leave? That leaves Pennsylvania. It leaves Georgia. It leaves Arizona. It leaves Nevada.

CUOMO: Give him all of it except Georgia. MATTINGLY: We'll give him Pennsylvania. We will give him Arizona.

Right now Joe Biden is leading in Arizona. It has narrowed. We'll see how that plays out when Maricopa reports in a couple of hours. We'll give him Nevada. We'll see how that plays out, as well. Clark is supposed to report this morning. Should go Democratic, but we'll see.

Joe Biden wins Georgia -- if Joe Biden wins Georgia, there is no pathway for President Trump to 270 electoral votes.

CUOMO: Through the Electoral College.

MATTINGLY: To 270 electoral votes.

CUOMO: We wind up in Constitution land, and the country would get a tutorial in a very severe process.

All right, let's do this. Let's go to break. When we come back, we'll take you through the state of play and what we're waiting for and when.

Please, have a good morning and stay with CNN.

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[06:18:13]

CUOMO: Good morning to you and what a night you missed. Although I have to believe so many of us are awake around the clock, because we are dealing with the future of our country here, and things are changing in real time, all the time.

And overnight, President Trump's path to becoming president again took a huge hit.

Joe Biden made a move. And it is time for a key race alert.

Georgia is now in the hands of Joe Biden. Will it stay there? We'll see, but overnight, he wound up taking a 1,096-vote lead, and there is more vote to come that could add to that.

Remember, if Donald Trump does not win the state of Georgia, he cannot get 270 electoral votes. He cannot win this election in the Electoral College.

Pennsylvania, 20 electoral votes. The president still in control there: 18,229 votes. But we have been told there is an offering from Philadelphia coming of counted ballots that could make a significant difference.

Remember, Pennsylvania matters, because if Joe Biden wins Pennsylvania, he is the next president of these United States.

So what is the reaction this morning to this development? Jessica Dean is in Wilmington this morning with the Biden campaign. Pennsylvania could make a very big deal.

Next to Jessica is Ryan Nobles, taking the temperature of team Trump.

So, Jessica, what do we hear?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, the Biden campaign says that they expect to win Pennsylvania by a sizable lead when this is all said and done. They've got their eye on those Philadelphia votes that will be coming in.

And remember, Pennsylvania, very personal for Joe Biden. He is Scranton Joe, after all. He really leaned into that with his Scranton versus Park Avenue messaging that he pitched to working-class voters, really specifically in Pennsylvania and the upper Midwest.

[06:20:11]

And he started his campaign in Pennsylvania, and he ended it, closed it out there, as well. So Pennsylvania incredibly personal to Joe Biden.

Georgia, also making a lot of news this morning. The campaign always saw Georgia and continues to see it as a true toss-up, but they believe it leans toward Vice President Biden. And to that end, they sent Vice President Biden back into Georgia in the week leading up to the election, where he gave that closing argument in Warm Springs, Georgia, talking about unity, talking about healing.

They sent in Kamala Harris, and there at the end on Monday, right before election day, they sent in their most high-profile surrogate, President Barack Obama, to really rally people there in Atlanta.

So again, they see it as a true toss-up, but they do think that Biden has the slight edge in Georgia. Will that all come to be? We'll find out once all these votes are counted up -- Chris.

CUOMO: Jessica, thank you very much.

You know, sometimes, the picture tells the story. If you look at the battleground behind Jessica and then behind Ryan Nobles. She has a beautiful sunset [SIC] coming up. Ryan Nobles not that far away, but a much darker dawn where you are.

And may he rest in peace, Senator John McCain used to have a joke where he used to say, you know, when they say it's not darkest before dawn, he goes, Yes, it is, it's pitch black. And overnight, some very dark news for the Trump campaign. What are we hearing?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're right, Chris. The situation in Georgia has really changed the shape of this race for the Trump campaign.

And let's be clear, the Trump campaign spent a lot of time and effort in the state of Georgia, expecting that to stay in the Republican column.

And it will come as a shock to many Republicans that Joe Biden has taken the lead there, because the Trump campaign presented such a stance of confidence about their chances in Georgia.

In fact, listen to what campaign manager Bill Stepien told me back in July, just after he'd been named campaign manager, about what was happening in Georgia. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL STEPIEN, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER (via phone): Again, I'd invite the Democrats to spend a lot of money in the expensive media market of Atlanta and -- and keep thinking it's for real, because we had the same conversation in 2016.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBLES: So back in July, Stepien almost mocking Democrats for their investments in the state of Georgia, pointing to what happened in 2018, where Democrats narrowly lost the race for governor there, and then back in 2016, when President Trump was able to win there.

That mocking looks very different now in the light of what the results are and what the results are coming in.

We should point out, though, Chris, even though Republicans acted like there was no chance they could lose in Georgia, they spent a lot of time and money there, including what they describe as their most precious resource.

President Trump himself made multiple trips to the state of Georgia. He went there both in official capacity and as a candidate. In fact, he made two trips, two rallies there to Macon and Rome, Georgia, in the closing days of the campaign. Chris, at this point, it looks like it may not have been enough.

CUOMO: Ryan Nobles, thank you very much.

Jessica Dean, thank you, as well.

Well, look, they haven't lost anything yet. OK? Let's bring in Michael Smerconish, David Gregory, and Laura Barron-Lopez.

Laura, in terms of the state of play, the headline is obvious. Joe Biden for the moment is in the lead in Georgia. So where does that take us for the campaigns today?

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right, I mean, as you were saying earlier, Chris, with Phil, if -- if Biden keeps the lead in Georgia, that appears to be the ball game. I mean, what Trump's path beyond that, if he doesn't win Georgia, is questionable.

Of course, the president, as he forecasted last night, with his unfounded claims, appears to, you know, be saying that he's not going to go quietly into the night.

His team has threatened suits. We see that a number of his supporters are also intimidating election workers in Arizona to a point that it's become dangerous for reporters to even stand outside of places in Maricopa County.

And so, you know, what happens in a state like Georgia is if it's within 0.5 percent, if it's 0.5 -- 0. 5 of a percent, that the margin is, then Trump could request a recount.

So, keeping an eye on that margin, as well as margins in Pennsylvania, are going to determine whether or not we see recounts or whether or not the Trump campaign actually requests those.

CUOMO: Good points, all. The problem with Georgia, Michael Smerconish, as a narrative, is the idea of having anything taken from you, how? The governor is your friend. The secretary of state's a Republican. The entire infrastructure is. They put this into place. They haven't said anything about any irregularities, let alone some type of gross fraud. So not a great story.

[06:25:08]

The bigger problem, to distract from that, all you have is Pennsylvania, and that is one and done for Biden if he holds on. You know the state very, very well. You call it home. How do you see it?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, HOST, CNN'S "SMERCONISH": So, Pennsylvania reminds me of one of those old SAT questions, where you're going from point "A" to point "B," and you're traveling "X" miles per hour. Now, when are you going to get to point "B"? Chris, you probably got those questions correct. I always got them incorrect.

CUOMO: The answer is always "C."

SMERCONISH: In this scenario -- in this scenario, Joe Biden is the faster car headed from "A" to "B," and the only question is, when is he going to arrive?

Bob Brady is a former member of Congress from Philadelphia. He remains the head of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee. He sent out a press release at 1 a.m. and said, Philadelphia's outstanding vote alone is going to close the gap that currently separates the candidates.

You had Al Schmidt on within the last 30 minutes doing his job as a city commissioner, very by the book, saying, Here are the numbers that are outstanding. Here's when we think they're going to drop. He can't provide you a projection of what it's going to mean.

But Bob Brady's assessment is exactly that, which you got from Phil Mattingly. It is a question of when, not a question of if. Joe Biden is going to win Pennsylvania.

CUOMO: So David Gregory, now it leaves us with this very scary question. Which is, what is the president going to do to stop this from happening? We can't believe he's not going to do anything.

And I guess the legitimate route is legal challenge. You know, Michael's a counselor also, but David, you know the area of the law very well. Not a lot of avenues based on absolutely no claims of problems, except the ones that he had no proof for. So what do we have to think about in terms of what happens next?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think a couple of things. First of all, there's path "A" and path "B" to Biden's victory. And because there's two paths that he can take, it tends to take some of the steam out of the idea that it's all down to Pennsylvania, for example. That's important for Biden, because it's important even for those around Trump.

I mean, I don't expect anything of the president other than what we saw. Lies, accusations, inconsistencies. He's not complaining about the lead for Biden shrinking in Arizona, but he complains about what's going on in Pennsylvania. It doesn't make any sense, of course. And there's no evidence for it.

What's the worst thing that they had to negotiate, getting closer viewing for monitors in Philadelphia. Come on. There's no real evidence there. It doesn't make sense.

And there's no real backup by Republicans, except the kind of, you know, truthers who are around the president, like his children and Rudy Giuliani. So these are not serious people who are -- who are leading this charge.

And so I think that's what's important. Biden is headed to victory in a couple of different ways. It doesn't mean there was a Democratic wave. It doesn't mean that this wasn't a tight election.

But for Republicans in Washington, it's very clear where this is headed. And they're not backing Trump up. And that will have an impact.

Again, I don't expect him to somehow decide to be a statesman, meaning the president. But I think there'll be more pressure to say, this isn't going to be a worthwhile avenue to try to fight this.

CUOMO: We will see.

David Gregory, Mr. Smerconish, Ms. Barron-Lopez, thank you very much to each and all. Michael, great to see you. Laura, thank you.

Now, I'll tell you something that's very interesting here as we go into break. We are waiting for Pennsylvania to deliver votes from the all-important Philadelphia that has been hitting so hard for Democrats. I know so many are watching. And we're watching because it matters. This is not about the "them" of politicians. It's about the "us" of our democracy.

We'll be right back.

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