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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Biden Closes in on Presidency as Lead in Pennsylvania Grows to 20K; Long Line In Nevada After Deadline To Resolve Ballot Issues; Biden Close To Victory, But Counts Continue In AZ, NV, PA; Source: Biden Likely To Speak Tonight Even If Race Still In Flux. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired November 6, 2020 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: In Pennsylvania right now, the all-important state, 20 electoral votes, Biden still maintains an impressive lead, nearly 20,000 votes -- 19,491 over Trump. That lead has grown and grown almost every hour, 49.5 percent for Biden, 49.2 percent for Trump, 96 percent of the estimated vote is in.
In Arizona, Biden also maintains a lead of 36,835. It's gone down a little bit, but it's still there, 36,835 ahead. Within the hour, we're expecting a whole batch of new numbers in Arizona. We're watching this very, very closely, 11 electoral votes in Arizona, 94 percent of the estimated vote is in.
Let's go over to David Chalian to do a little analysis.
I keep getting a lot of texts and a lot of e-mails, a lot of questions from my friends, all over the place, wanting to know why hasn't CNN yet projected a winner?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: You and me both, Wolf. I mean, here's the reality. We're now 72 hours after the polls closed in Pennsylvania, and you look at the board and you see that Joe Biden has a lead now of 19,491 votes, and you've spent the last three days watching Donald Trump's huge lead from the Election Day vote shrink each hour, until Joe Biden actually overtook the lead today, as more and more mail vote came in and we keep explaining that our expectation is that lead is going to continue to grow for Joe Biden.
From everything we see, every batch of votes that come in, we see him able to sort of pad that lead. So you're thinking well, why can't you call this yet? And the answer is pretty simple. We have a roomful of statistics experts, data scientists who dig into the numbers every time new votes come in, and do their calculations to get to an extraordinarily high level of certainty that if we make a projection, it is because we are so completely certain that the number two candidate in the race, Donald Trump now in Pennsylvania, cannot overtake the number one candidate in the race, when every single last vote is reported.
That is what we're looking for, that high level of certainty. So you're saying, well, is there a magic number that gets you there? No, we need to know a little bit more about the outstanding vote. We know there is about 100,000 or so outstanding vote by mail ballots still to be counted. We know that there are 100,000 provisional ballots and we need to learn a little bit more about them.
We need to see a little bit more about how those votes from specific areas continue to split, so that we can actually get to that extraordinarily high level of confidence that we are going to be accurate and that is the driving force for any projection and that's why Pennsylvania even with this lead that you see right now for Joe Biden remains uncalled.
BLITZER: You know, it's a very important point, David and John King, you and I have covered a lot of these presidential contests over the years, when you make a projection, you've got to be really, really certain it's not going to change.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You have to do it in any event -- in any event, because credibility is everything, especially in these times when you have the President of the United States himself, challenging what's happening. Other people have a stake in this, their own political stakes, and especially again, anyway, we should have basic standards.
The rules are the rules no matter what, in this case, calling that state would make Joe Biden the President-elect of the United States and so you take extra, extra, extra care, but the basic rules should always apply. That's why you have them.
People wouldn't have them in the first place if you didn't need them.
Let's start out west. Let's start in Nevada. We're waiting for votes out here. Joe Biden is 22,657 ahead. You see how competitive Nevada is. Hillary Clinton won it last time. Joe Biden is leading.
The Democrats are confident that they'll keep it. They are waiting. The bulk of the votes are down here, Clark County near Las Vegas, but 22,657. At daybreak, that was 11,438.
So again, the day -- it has been a Biden build, a modest lead, a modest lead as we still count votes, but the Biden campaign believes soon enough, but they are counting slowly there. They will get that. That one could stretch on a little bit longer.
Let's bring up Arizona right now and you see here again, 38,835. This has been the anomaly, if you will, anomaly by -- meaning in Nevada, the Biden lead has grown; in Georgia, the Biden lead has grown; in Pennsylvania, the Biden lead has grown today. In Arizona, it is down. It was 47,000; at 9:00 a.m. in the East Coast, you see right now 36,835.
So the Biden campaign is still confident they will hold this, but they believe more votes will come in later from Maricopa County, largest county in the state, in Phoenix. The President is running pretty competitive here and worth remembering, something --
You see this blue? That's good for Joe Biden. He has this county, the biggest county in the state in his column. But it's close. President Trump narrowly carrying Maricopa County four years ago, so there are plenty of Republicans in Maricopa County.
But the Senate race in Arizona went for the Democrat, Mark Kelly defeating a Republican incumbent. So that's why another one of the reasons the Biden campaign is confident in the end, we get a few more votes that they'll be able to hold on to Arizona.
Now, we move to the east and by the way, Pennsylvania could be decisive and it may come before, but Nevada and Arizona would get Joe Biden to the finish line if we had a longer count still in Pennsylvania. I'll get there in one second.
Let's just go to Georgia first, 4,000 votes now. Some smaller counties have come in, in the last couple minutes. The Biden lead, though, was 1,097 today. It's gotten a little bit above where it is right now, trickled down a little bit, but the end result, the full day trajectory is a 4,000-vote lead for Joe Biden. It's remarkable, right, 2.4 million 2.4 million remarkable, 4,000 votes in an incredibly competitive state.
This one will go to a recount. We are still waiting on some military ballots here. But this would be a major flip. If this holds, it would be a major flip for Joe Biden. No Democrat since Bill Clinton back in the 1990s, a generation ago -- that has carried Georgia in a presidential election. So that would be a major deal.
And again, the President of the United States must win Georgia, must win Pennsylvania to get to 270 electoral votes and victory, and so let's go to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The largest prize still on the board, 20 electoral votes. You see how close it is 49.5 to 49.2, just shy of 20,000 votes, 19,491.
And again, at 9:00 a.m. this morning, the Vice President's lead, Joe Biden's lead was 5,500 -- five thousand five hundred and eighty-seven votes. So throughout the day, as they have counted mail-in ballots, Joe Biden's lead has increased even just in the last couple of hours. It has trickled up some as well and we're still waiting.
We're waiting for some final votes. I think last time I heard, about a hundred thousand, a little more than that still out, a bulk of them are here, Allegheny County, a place where Joe Biden has been racking it up pretty impressively. They are counting votes now.
Brian Todd was there earlier when we got some, and that padded Biden's lead a little bit here and more of them are over here. You see Philadelphia. Philadelphia is very close, up to 95 percent. Whenever we get votes from Philadelphia, you see what's happening. He is getting 81 percent of the vote overall. The mail-in ballots have been higher.
And as Pam Brown told us last hour, we are still waiting for some boats in the suburb here. Bucks County is almost done. Montgomery County has some more votes to count. And again, Joe Biden winning more than six in 10 votes here. But when the mail-in ballots come in, it's higher than that, because the mail-in ballots are disproportionately Democratic.
So we're waiting. Chester County, Delaware County, again, if you weren't familiar with this geography, by the time we're done today, or tomorrow, and as we analyze the election after we're done, I just moved the state a little bit too far there, this is where it matters most, Philadelphia and the color around it. That's where most of the votes are, the population centers in the state. See a lot of red out there. Those are smaller, more rural counties. President Trump runs it up out there.
But Joe Biden has done what the Democrats needed to do, mounting impressive totals here. Winning back Erie County, Donald Trump won that before running it up in Allegheny County, again, almost 20,000 votes. As David Chalian just explained the process, the trajectory is clear. Many people believe it's inevitable. We need to count a few more votes before we're comfortable.
BLITZER: And in any kind of contest like this, when it's so close, it gets down to taking a look at the provisional ballots, the military ballots coming in from around the world. The Americans living abroad, the expats around the world, and the mail-in ballots. You've got to look at all of that and it gets a little complicated at the end, but you've got to count every vote.
KING: Right? And you will look at the history and remember, President Trump did carry this state four years ago. There's no question the President has very substantial support. And again, this is a fascinating case study.
He is an incumbent. So you're running against an incumbent, you think, I need to take some of his votes away from last time, right? He won last time. Therefore, a Democrat's path to victory would be to take votes away from Trump. This would be a key battleground for that, a traditionally Democratic state of presidential politics going back to the 90s.
But look at what happened? Two point nine seven million for Donald Trump, 2.92 million for Hillary Clinton. President Trump got more votes. He got more votes in Pennsylvania this time than last time, 3.3 million. But Joe Biden just has more. Democrats turned out their votes.
The President and the two completely contrasting styles. Joe Biden campaigned safely. He had smaller events, the so-called drive-in rallies. He kept social distancing. He urged voters to vote by mail. That's why these votes are coming in late. He urged Democrats vote by mail. Stay safe. Don't get in line at a polling place in the middle of a pandemic.
Donald Trump had rallies across this state. This is one of the -- as I study all of this all the time, this is what I call one of the Trump super counties. You know, he has a rally here and look what it does, it gins up his support, and he turns them out. That's great for him. Right? That's what you want to do.
You know, I know a lot of Democrats watching don't like the President. If we learned anything from the President in the final days of the campaign is he is very effective at turning out his people, turn out in this election was up. The President received more votes than he did four years ago.
It's just in this case, especially nationwide, yes, I'll show you the totals in a minute. But including here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Democrats very impressive, turning out their votes. And again, Democrats mostly voted by mail. That's why Biden's lead is growing, because those are the ballots. They are counting as we head into Friday night after a Tuesday election.
And just to button up the point, Wolf, 74.2 million votes, four million, 4.12 million lead in the national vote over Donald Trump. That's not how we pick a president. We do it state by state, we get to 270 electoral votes, but that's impressive.
Joe Biden has more votes for an American presidential candidate than anyone in history. And guess what? Donald Trump has the second highest number. He is now above 70 million votes.
BLITZER: And that's with 92 percent of the estimated vote in. There is still eight percent outstanding. Those numbers are going to go up.
KING: They are going to go up. We're still counting votes -- still counting votes everywhere. And again, if you're watching at home and you're frustrated, you're saying, why haven't they called Pennsylvania? It's nearly a 20,000-vote lead, or if you're saying why are these states -- why is it taking so long in these states? I get it.
It's Friday night. The election was Tuesday, but let's just pop around.
We called Texas a long time ago. They are up to 96 percent of their count, reliably, Trump state. Oklahoma, they are up to 96 percent. You move up here, good for Kansas, they are up to 99 percent, smaller, less populous state. Nebraska, let's just check a blue one here, you move over, 96 percent; in Wisconsin 99 percent.
So a lot of these states are in the 90s, right, as you come through, let me just check on Illinois, 88 percent. So you do see even in states that we called long ago, because look how lopsided it is here. So you can call this state even though they are still counting votes because it is so lopsided, the trajectory was clear and this state has a reliably Democratic pedigree in presidential politics.
So we get it. We would like the votes to be counted, too. We would like to be able to make the key projections in the states that matter.
But this was a complicated election everywhere because the three kinds of voting: Election Day voting, vote early by standing in line, showing up somewhere to vote early, or vote by mail. It was -- because of the pandemic, it was an unprecedented election. And you're seeing it, states are taking more time than normal to count the votes. BLITZER: North Carolina, we still are waiting for the final result
KING: Right. We have it red on our map. We have not officially called it. But there is still -- you would not get a dispute in the Biden campaign when I say what I'm about to say, which is their full expectation is that the President will hold this lead, but it's a 76,000-vote lead. It's 50 percent to 49 percent.
And so, they are counting the votes. If you make me go over to the other map, and I'll walk over anyway, just to underscore the stakes. We haven't called it yet because there's no need to in a sense that it's clear right now that the President' is leading, but they are still counting votes.
And so in all of our calculations, we assume even though it's gray here, gray means it has not been called, again, the Biden campaign says maybe, maybe, maybe, but they don't dispute when you say all indications are. It's a very competitive state. It's a Republican leaning state of presidential politics. We expect the President to carry that.
The President is also leading up here. It's a slow vote count. This is Maine's second congressional district. You see the other congressional districts have gone for Joe Biden, Joe Biden will win statewide in Maine, but they allocate their Electoral College votes by congressional district.
The expectation ism, the President will hold on to that. It is not a guarantee. Alaska is counting slowly. The expectation is the President will hold on to that.
But there's your issue. If you're the President of the United States right now, you're getting bleak news from your own campaign team here in Washington, D.C. or just over the river in Virginia and from Republicans around the country. Because that, yes, that would add to the President's total, get him up to 232. But you're losing here. You're trailing here. You're trailing here. And you're trailing here.
Again, we're not to the finish line. But this is the decisive moment that you know, could welcome tonight when we get more votes. But as of now, Joe Biden wins just that one, Pennsylvania. He is over the finish line, 273.
He is leaving there. That one is going to go to a recount, it might be a couple weeks before we can say so for sure. But Joe Biden has a lead there. Democrats are confident they will keep it. We'll see as they count the votes. That would be 289. Joe Biden leads here. Joe Biden leads here.
The expectation in the Biden campaign is that that that is how it is going to turn out. The Trump campaign has narrowed the lead a little bit in Arizona as I showed you, 20,000 plus. It's still in play in Nevada. But the take inside the Biden campaign is -- and I'll tell you this -- privately, the Trump campaign publicly they say count these votes, we're going to come back -- in Nevada, privately the Trump campaign think that one is going to go away.
Arizona, they are still interested in the count, but this is where -- see those numbers, 306 to 232.
BLITZER: They sound familiar.
KING: They sound familiar because they are familiar. It's exactly where we ended four years ago, in reverse order.
BLITZER: Yes. That goes to show, four years makes a difference.
KING: It sure does.
BLITZER: All right, let's go back to Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right. Thanks so much and one of the reasons why we are taking our time with this count and before we project a state going to anybody is because obviously we want to be safe. But one of the other reasons why we are fairly sure that this is going in one direction is not just because Joe Biden now leads in all four of these battlegrounds that we're paying attention to: Pennsylvania and Georgia and Nevada, and Arizona, is because the legal issues being raised by the Trump campaign, with one exception. It seems rather frivolous, if not, outright preposterous.
Let me bring in Kaitlan Collins who covers the Trump White House for us and Kaitlan, you're hearing more -- you're learning more from your sources about President Trump's views of his legal team.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, because, Jake, we're quickly moving from the vote counting phase of this election to what appears to be the litigation that the President has promised and just did so a few hours ago saying that the legal proceedings are on the way and they are moving forward with that.
But the question that the President himself seems to be raising tonight is about the team that he has assembled to fight for him in court.
We've seen so far that's been Rudy Giuliani, the former Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi, Matt Morgan, who is a Trump campaign attorney and a few others. But Jake, we're being told tonight by sources that the President is raising questions about the effectiveness of that team and asking people, if they're going to be able to properly fight for him and do a good enough job basically suggesting he doesn't think that they're up to the task.
And he has even told one person he wants them to find him better attorneys to put on his team because he wants a team of what he described to one person as killers. And the question, of course, is going forward is why didn't the President raise these concerns sooner? Or why didn't aides really think of this strategy earlier, because the President has been forecasting for a few weeks now that there was likely going to be legal challenges if the outcome of the election was not in his favor.
It doesn't appear right now that it is going to be -- of course, it has not been called yet, and we're still waiting on some vote counting, in of course, critical states. But it's moving into that phase. And the President himself is even raising questions on the team that's going to be representing, that's going to be fighting for him to potentially get a second term.
And we're told it's not only the President raising those questions, it is also some of his top staffers who are raising questions about whether or not they are going to have enough of a heavyweight of a legal team to help them wade through this litigation that they are trying to pursue because they keep comparing it to the 2000 Florida recount, Jake.
Of course, a lot of those attorneys went on to be White House counsel, Supreme Court clerks, Supreme Court Justices, and they don't feel like that is what they've got as their legal standing at this point.
TAPPER: Well, Kaitlan, I can certainly understand why the President is finding his legal team underwhelming, but does it not occur to him that perhaps the issue is that there really isn't any sort of case to make here in any of these states when it comes to the integrity of the election?
Everything we've seen is that by all accounts, this election was conducted well and without fraud. In fact, the only instances I've seen of fraud have to do with people who supported President Trump. Is that not a factor in his thinking that maybe there just isn't anything for them to issue legal complaints about?
COLLINS: I don't think that's a factor that the President is thinking. I've heard that from some of his allies. But then there have been others who have said, if they felt like they had a powerful enough legal team, they could actually raise enough hell and it could have some credibility behind it if it was a certain kind of attorney that people trusted.
But they are just not finding that with people like Pam Bondi who is there, during the President's impeachment trial, or certainly not Rudy Giuliani, of course, and the saga that he has had representing the President during his four years in the White House.
And so I think it's more of the optics of how they are viewing it. They think that their legal team and their arguments and their allegations of voter fraud might be more credible, if they had a better team, making those allegations going on television talking about this than what they have had so far, which has involved the Corey Lewandowskis, the Dave Bossies who is now in charge of streamlining this effort. And of course, Rudy Giuliani and Pam Bondi holding these press conferences that they feel has been this, you know, scattershot approach to this, and they still think it's even helping them there. And so even the President himself appears to be unhappy with the team.
TAPPER: All right. Kaitlan Collins, thanks so much for that. Excellent reporting as always. Let me bring in our Republican legal expert Ben Ginsberg, also a CNN consultant. Ben, you heard Kaitlan's reporting, what's your response?
BENJAMIN GINSBERG, CNN CONSULTANT: Well, I think it's interesting the President has come to this conclusion now. He assembled that team. He was basically the cornerstone of the strategy.
Remember, it was his rhetoric about elections being fraudulent and rigged that really, the legal team then had to go out and file the 40 some suits around the country, all of which, or none of which were helping voters cast their ballots, all were basically exclusionary. So this is kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
TAPPER: So one of the things that they were doing, and this obviously, may be a factor in why it looks like the President is not going to be victorious is President Trump was arguing that efforts to make it easier to vote, vote by mail in several states should be shut down, and that individuals should not vote by mail. His supporters should not take advantage of it.
That always seemed to me to be a problematic strategy, because A, there was nothing legally wrong with it and B, making it easier for your own supporters to vote especially during a pandemic seemed to be a smarter way to get more votes. Right?
GINSBERG: Yes, I totally agree with that. I mean, one other point about the President's comments is that on the Friday after the election in 2000, when we were already down in Florida, we had put out the call to the Republican legal establishment. And under Secretary James Baker's guidance, had really assembled the greatest group of lawyers I've ever practiced with, a third of which, a third of the Supreme Court is made up of people who were down there. But tells you about the caliber of those lawyers. The President today named David Bossie, who is not a lawyer in charge of that effort.
And so to get the quality team that was there in Florida to represent President Bush is going to be a really tough haul right now.
TAPPER: All right, Ben Ginsberg. Thanks so much. And I was down there in Tallahassee when Ginsberg was there and that was a very impressive team led by James Baker, the former Secretary of State and White House Chief of Staff, but also just pulling all these lawyers in from all over the country eager to help George W. Bush.
And as he alluded, several of them are now Supreme Court Justices, including Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh. There hasn't been the rush to represent this President from the legal community throughout this presidency, but especially right now.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Ben Ginsberg is perhaps too humble to say this, so I'll say it, if there were real, legal avenues for the President to pursue, people like Ben Ginsberg would be on the legal team, because they are the experts, maybe not him, because he has a problem, you know, with Donald Trump. He is not his favorite Republican.
But in terms of the brain power and the experience, that would be happening. And it wouldn't be people who are more politicians like Rudy Giuliani, and frankly, even Pam Bondi, or the President's -- the people who tell the President what he wants to hear, as opposed to what he should hear.
There are people around him, like Jay Sekulow who is dealing with the Supreme Court, if that is a possibility for them in Pennsylvania. But for the most part, the reason why the President doesn't have the kind of team that Kaitlan says he wants is because they -- people who are looking at this who have bright legal minds and experience don't see very many avenues.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: In addition to the President always wanting to be his own spokesperson, he also kind of likes being his own lawyer. And we're in this position where the President is frustrated with his legal team because he doesn't think they have a great case, because he determined very early on that he was going to have a problem with mail and ballots.
And even though historically, there has not been a huge partisan bent to how mailing ballots are used in states until he created one. And now, because of that, they have created this entire sort of patchwork quilt of different standards for which mail-in ballots they like and which they don't.
He told his supporters, they can use mail-in ballots in Florida, but not in Pennsylvania. He didn't like it in Nevada, but he likes it in Arizona. It is impossible if you are a lawyer to defend that kind of random, illogical strategy, and the strategy was set not by lawyers, but by the President. That is why we are where we are today.
The R.N.C., the Trump campaign spent more than $20 million establishing this strategy, and today, three days after Election Day, President Trump is finding that entire strategy lacking, but frankly, it's probably not because the lawyers are, you know, putting aside the people who are at the top. The big names, David Bossie who is not a lawyer, but the Rudy Giuliani's and the Pam Bondis. There are a lot of lawyers underneath them who are rank and file Republicans who are working on these cases. Maybe they're not bad lawyers, but they've been dealt a really bad case.
TAPPER: Well, and just one other thing as somebody who covered the Florida recount 20 years ago and also I wrote a book about the Florida recount, I interviewed Ben Ginsberg back then. Two big differences. One, there was a legitimate issue there. George W. Bush won Florida by 537 votes. So there was going to be an automatic recount. It was one of the narrowest, if not the narrowest victory in a presidential race ever in a key state, and it all hinged on Florida. It wasn't four states, it was one state.
Second of all, there were a whole bunch of things going on with the ballots in terms of the butterfly ballot and punch card ballots that have now been outlawed in Florida. So there were issues to discuss.
TAPPER: First came the problems, then came the lawyers, and then the last point I'll make about this and we can discuss this after the break, Dana, the last point I'll make about this is, George W. Bush was ahead and that's where you want to be if there's a recount or any sort of legal issue, because George W. Bush won.
Al Gore did everything he could, but he couldn't undo that victory, and so there really is no comparison.
BASH: There really isn't.
TAPPER: With what's going on now in this this scene from the "Star Wars Cantina" scene that we're seeing playing out.
People still in line as a key deadline passes in Nevada. We're going to go there next.
Plus, we're waiting for more results soon from Pennsylvania and Arizona states that could well decide this long thrilling and wearying election. Stay with us.
BLITZER: Let's check out Nevada right now. Take a look at this, six electoral votes in Nevada, 93 percent of the estimated voters in. Joe Biden continues to maintain his lead over Donald Trump by 22,657. He has 49.8 percent to 48 percent for Donald Trump.
I want to check in with Sara Sidner. She is in Las Vegas, in Clark County for us right now. Sara, people I see are waiting in line. Tell us what's going on over there.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Okay, so this is the line of people who were told that they need to come show an ID so that they can make sure that their vote counts, otherwise, their vote will not count.
The elections officials want to see an ID from these folks. This is a line that was very long earlier today and it's now shortened and part of the reason why it shortened, Wolf is because it is past five o'clock. Five o'clock was the deadline to get the votes cured.
Now, you are the last person in line.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The last person in line.
SIDNER: And what did they tell you? Because there's no one behind you. If anyone shows up now, they cannot get their vote cured. Correct?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right, exactly. So for me, it's very important that my voice is heard my voice is my vote. So, whether they text me at 4:30, first, they called me and said, my vote did not go through. And then they text me and said, I needed to be here by 5:00. So I am literally driving to the streets to get here on time to make sure that my vote is counted --
SIDNER: Wait, they didn't tell you until 4:30?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Until 4:30, they called me. And then they sent me a text and asked me to send a copy of my ID. But that's not going to happen sending my cut my ID to someone, not sure certain who it is. So, I made sure that I came down here because they said I had to be here by 5:00 p.m. So I was flying literally to get here. So it's important that at this very last minute is very important that my voice and my vote is counted and heard.
SIDNER: Tell me your name.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Mary (ph).
SIDNER: When you got that call, what was your initial thought? Are you have you been living here a long time?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh yes, absolutely. I've been here for at least 35 years. And so when I got that call, and I was watching, I have been watching the poll constantly live, to see where the vote actually lies. And it's important now, because my stance of who I'm voting for, that my vote actually goes through. So this is like the last minute and I definitely want my vote to be counted. Definitely.
SIDNER: Thank you very much. And thank you for your dedication. This is a part of the American process. And you were here taking part.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By the people for the people.
SIDNER: You said by the people for the people. Thank you for being here. I appreciate it.
All right, we're going to go on down the line, this gentleman back here has agreed to speak with us. He's got a nice cowboy hat on how you doing? Hi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you?
SIDNER: I'm Sara, what's your name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, my name is John Burke (ph).
SIDNER: John, how long have you been living here in Nevada?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been in Nevada for about eight years.
SIDNER: OK. You are here in line? How did you find out you needed to show up to show your ID?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I have a friend of mine, like we all do on Facebook. And I noticed that he had made a statement that if your vote hadn't been counted, to get down here today, by 5:00 p.m. And it was about 3:00, when I saw that. I did fill out my ballot, I dropped it off a couple weeks or so ago. And it keeps showing up when I check it online that it's been received, but it hasn't been counted. And, you know, so I thought I'd come down here. And even though we'll get lines and all that I want my vote to be counted. One thing I will tell you while I'm standing here in line, the irony have made some new friends. And the biggest thing I want to say about how cool this is going. Ironically, we just mentioned, none of us have asked each other who were voting for, or anything like that. We just all down here representing got my little crew over here being real silent and all that. But we're just all down here want to make our vote count.
SIDNER: It's a beautiful thing that basically you're telling me that you've made some friends, you don't care who they're voting for. But you do care that the votes are counted, period.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct. I mean, you're sitting here looking at an old man with a cowboy hat. We got some other folks here that are, you know, younger than me that are parents. We got some young guns over here that are in their early 20s, stuff like that. And we're all laughing and joking, and no one has not asked who are you voting for him? And I think part of us would want to know and the other part, we don't want to know.
SIDNER: Do you want to tell me who you're voting for?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, I think I'll just leave that a mystery. For those of you out there that know me you know what I'm voting for.
SIDNER: But everybody's getting along, but you didn't get a call from officials, you came down because you hadn't seen that your vote had been actually counted yet. So you just came here to make sure that they have everything they need to make sure your vote was counted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I went online, you can go online to the Nevada website. It does verify they've received my ballot. But it would identify that it's been counted and it did not do that. So I want to see why hasn't it been?
SIDNER: Wonderful? Thank you so much for your time and thank you for waiting in line and doing your civic duty. I appreciate you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you all for your service. I wish I had some sandwiches and water to give you out.
SIDNER: We're all good. Thank you so much.
So there you have it. This is the last person in line the line is moving. We just talked to the Registrar of Voters who said if people showed up here and got in line before 5:00 p.m. then their votes, they can cure their vote, they can show those two IDs and they can make sure that their votes will be counted. Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: So nice. I love these patriotic Americans. All right, thanks very much Sara for that.
Nevada, it's still you know there's what 7 percent outstanding still there still some time over there 22,657 vote lead Biden over Trump.
[20:35:00] JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And so see that's a relatively close race. Right. You know, the Vice President, former Vice President Joe Biden has been a consistent lead there. He started the day in Nevada, up 11,400 votes so he's doubled his lead almost a little shy of doubling it. Where Sara is with the line of those people, there's here in Clark County in Vegas, I will bet you $1. I'll bet you $5 video that will end up online momentarily. Somebody will tweet. They're trying to steal the election. People are still voting. That's not what's happening there. That's not You heard her explain what's happening there. Different states, different jurisdictions do this in different ways. They allow people to come down today was the deadline. We talked about this the other day, I voted absentee in Montgomery County, Maryland, you put your e-mail address on there, they actually send you, a ballot received, then ballot counted. Out there obviously, you heard the gentleman and the lady saying that they checked and they realized their ballot hadn't been counted, and they came down to make sure it gets done. That's the process.
And guess what, when you have a close race, Clark County, 54 to 45. In Clark County, 72 percent of the statewide vote is going to come here. So if you've been watching the results, and you live in Nevada, you know, number one, it's relatively close in Clark County, when you pull it out statewide. It is, you know, that's a competitive battlefield. Again, the Biden campaign believes, given the demographics of the state given what they know about who voted. Remember, both campaigns have pretty intense data analytics operations. Biden campaign thinks it's going to pull this out. But, but that's still within play there. So, good for those people. No matter who they're voting for, get in line, make sure you vote is counted.
BLITZER: Let them count the votes. So, let's go to Arlette Saenz, she's in Wilmington, Delaware, covering the Biden campaign. Arlette, what are you hearing? I understand you're getting some news about whether or not we will hear tonight from the Democratic presidential nominee?
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, if it turns out that Joe Biden is expected or is likely to speak tonight, regardless of whether this race has been called. Sources have told us that if the race is not called by the time he speaks, that he will simply underscore and talk about the current state of the list race, including his growing lead. Now, the Biden campaign had announced earlier in the day that they were expecting that the former vice president would speak in primetime, we are still waiting to hear a how exactly that would play out. But aids early on in the day had been hopeful that this race would be called for Joe Biden today. And they are still waiting for that to happen.
We have seen a growing leads for Joe Biden, in states like Georgia and Pennsylvania, a state that would not just be a strategic win, as it would put Joe Biden over the top of 270 electoral votes, but also a personal one, one where Joe Biden spent quite a bit of time during the course of his campaign, including the closing days, it's the state where he was born and spent some time as a child. But we are expecting it is likely that Joe Biden will be speaking later tonight, regardless of where this race currently stands as his lead is growing, and some of these states, Wolf.
BLITZER: Arlette Saenz in Wilmington. Thank you very much. So, we anticipate is very possible. We'll hear from Joe Biden tonight, even if there is no projection, even if he hasn't been projected the winner of this contest.
KING: And it's an understanding by Joe Biden who, you know, within a day or two believes he will be if not later today be the president- elect of the United States. We're not there yet. But that's what he believes. And he knows his supporters look on social media ago, it'll talk to your friends, but people out there are anxious, why have we not called the selection. So Joe Biden wants to reassure his supporters all as well, I trust what's going on. And he also has in every one of his public statements tried to reach out to Trump supporters as well saying, I know you didn't vote for me, I will be your President, it does reflect the dicey moment, because there are a lot of people out there saying, you know, call the election, call the election, and we get the frustration, trust me, we get the frustration, all of the evidence on the table, including the Biden lead here in Pennsylvania, about -- just shy of 20,000 votes. All of the evidence on the table, including the Biden leads in Arizona and Nevada.
A narrow Biden lead, but still a Biden lead in Georgia there's plenty of opportunity here for Joe Biden to get to 270 plus. In fact, he can get above 300, if he wins, all the states that are blue on this map. So you get that out there to the people who are frustrated. And I was just looking at some social media Democrats saying called the race, called the race, called the race. You know, pick your sporting event, or if you're a baseball game, your team's up seven to one in the seventh inning, you're confident, but you don't stop the game. Right? We have to finish we have to get to the end, the other team gets two more baths. Right. And that's where we are right now. We're just trying to get more votes. Right. We're trying to get more votes so that we know. But if you're Joe Biden, number one, you want to reassure your supporters that everything's fine. Don't worry, because a lot of Democrats are saying the longer this drags on, the more they think the President is going to find some way, right. It's the President who says the Democrats are cheating. You see Democrats now getting nervous, is the President going to find some way to gum up the works? You get the tension where it's a very polarized country. There's a lot of suspicion, both camps. That's one of the problems in this town and in the country, as a party, trust the other party, and no Democrats trust the President at all.
So, Joe Biden, I think wants to step forward to just say, I'm confident I will be at the finish line very soon. Everybody stay in there. We'll be good.
BLITZER: We'll stand by and see what he says there. What should he say if in fact he does deliver a major speech to the American public tonight? Our special coverage continues right after this.
[20:44:34] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And welcome back. Our continuing coverage of election night or nights in America. So, we now know the Biden campaign says that Vice President Biden is going to speak tonight. What do you think he's going to approach this? I mean just kind of unchartered territories.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It is. I was kind of surprised actually because he really everything that, you know, the votes are still being counted. But I think he's probably going to remind people that he's ahead in all these four states that is most likely to be the winner, and to say they should be patient. I don't think he'll go far beyond what he said in the past. I don't think he'll go after the President and anyway. But I do think he's going to say, hey, I'm winning. And I expect to win and be your next president. And stay tuned for the for the final vote.
COOPER: Similar to what --
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: To what you already sounding (ph).
COOPER: But he came out yesterday, he said a similar kind of thing.
AXELROD: No, that's what -- you know, I mean, I don't know how you refresh the same thing. But there is, in some ways, a message that says, you know, that reinforces patience, because now patience is becoming even more difficult, because it's been a longer time. So, you know, reassure I can see offering a message of reassurance. I don't think it's the message that they expected to deliver it.
COOPER: Do you think he goes down the road of sort of healing? I mean he did speak of being, you know, not a Democratic president and --
AXELROD: You know, honestly, that is the appropriate message. And here --
COOPER: Are we going to hear -- do you think we'll hear from Kamala Harris? Look, I think earlier, there had been talk that she would speak (INAUDIBLE).
VAN JONES, CNN COMMENTATOR: I think it would be great. I wouldn't be surprised just knowing him how he might try to just acknowledge the people who are doing the work. You know, he is working, working class, Joe. And there are people out there who are doing this work. And -- one reason why I want us to hold back on the frustration is, it's not fun doing this stuff out. If anybody's ever done this stuff, it when your poll watch and we -- with poll watching, when you -- it's tedious, it's hard, it's hard to do this for us, it's that much harder for them, and they've got to check every box, they've got to do the work wouldn't be surprised if he didn't acknowledge that.
Also, I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge, you know, he's got to be speaking to people, many of whom are his supporters. Of course, he still talks with people who are not, everybody loves him for doing that. But he also has an opportunity to recognize the people who are his supporters. And frankly, a lot of African-American women, if you can't say it enough, brought him across the finish line. And I want to get, we always say don't say her name. Stacey Abrams is a good name, but also in Georgia, Tamika Atkins, Helen Butler, (INAUDIBLE) and Deborah Scott, and many, many other people worked their butts off. And I think it'd be great for him to get up there and acknowledge heating it there by himself. More than almost any other person, it was him throwing his heart to the American people in America people catch it.
COOPER: Rick, I mean, you've won races you've been in, you know, similar situation --
COOPER: Of the five of us, you're the --
RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think, you know, you may do that at some point. I don't think it's the time now to congratulate people or thank people, because it's not over yet. You do that --
JONES: It'd be premature.
SANTORUM: -- it would be premature. And it would make it -- would sound presumptuous. And so, I think it's, I'm with David and I don't want to be critical here. But I don't understand -- I don't see really a reason to do this. I mean, if you think --
COOPER: I mean the President had already said earlier, he didn't think Biden should speak. Do you think it just is unnecessary irritation (INAUDIBLE)
SANTORUM: No, I don't think it's observation. I mean, because I don't think Joe's going to go out there and say anything particularly irritating. I mean, I that's not as -- that's not the (INAUDIBLE) trying to communicate here. But, I mean, I guess he'll be out there in front of a bunch of cars. I mean, I feel like maybe the real live version of the movie cars, and you'll have a Doc Hudson come out there and, you know, and communicate with the folks. I don't know, I don't understand. It just doesn't make any.
BORGER: But look at what's going on tonight. You have inside the White House, people who are trying to convince the President that look, you're going to lose. You've got to think about how you do this and how you go about.
COOPER: Are there people trying to convince them?
BORGER: I think there are friends of his let me say that. Who are saying to him, you've got to think about this and wrap your head, stare in the right direction, if you will. And then I think there are people who are urging him to fight like Rudy Giuliani, et cetera. And then there's the President who's trying to figure out what he's going to do, what his options are, and sort of process all of this. So, watching Joe Biden, Biden is not going to poke the bear right now. He's just not going to poke the bear.
JONES: That's right.
BORGER: But he might, in a way be talking to Trump. And Trump --
JONES: That will be interesting.
BORGER: Trump watching him, as Biden says, look, we're going to get there. I know we're going to get there be patient. I don't know how that affects Donald Trump one way or another. Maybe it doesn't.
AXELROD: The bright line would be if he tried to claim too much --
BORGER: That's right.
AXELROD: -- tonight, and I don't think he'll do that.
SANTORUM: They say, more chance for error than that.
COOPER: Yes. We have a key race alert. Let's go to Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, the Biden lead in Pennsylvania grows a bit. Take a look at this in Pennsylvania, Biden lead over Trump now is 21,705. He has 49.5 percent to 49.2 percent, 96 percent of the estimated vote is in, you can see was just under 20,000. Now it's approaching 22,000 21,705 vote lead over Trump in Pennsylvania.
Right now John King, that lead has been growing almost every hour during the course of the day. We started pretty early this morning. Where is the lead a growing now?
KING: We have Delaware County, we just have some new votes in here, Wolf, let me bring up the board. Oops, sorry, wrong place. So let me bring up the board here. And we'll show you the votes here. And again, as you know, the overall the big headline is it is growing in Joe Biden's direction. Again, this is Delaware County some new votes in here for the former Vice President 1,293, for the President of United States 406 here. So that is about this is 47 percent, 47 percent. Right. The reason you're seeing 47 percent even though if you look at that, you know, it's more than that. That's because there was some writing candidates here in Delaware County. But look at this 1,293. The main thing is Joe Biden adding so you see 800 plus to the lead there as you go. So there's 800 there in Delaware County when you bring those up. We move this --
BLITZER: Well, that's not 47 percent that's a --
KING: A significant hire.
KING: Yes, this has to be a transcription error here. This was handed to me a 47 percent. We know are some writing candidates some of these places, but there's no question.
BLITZER: That's why he's built up as laid back.
KING: The key is 1,293 votes when you add for the former vice president there. So now, we want to bring up some more here, we want to move over. Let me move this up to the top here. And we move, oops, I drove it up too far here. Want to go around, the counties here, here we go, the Chester County. Let me pull this back down for us here in Chester County, Pennsylvania, we have 1,600. This is impressive here 1,657. You're talking about? What are we doing for Joe Biden here you're trying to add not only add to your math, but over perform the totals you're seeing there. And we have 80 percent right here, 80 percent here to 398 for the President of United States. So the President is behind.
And we're going through these collar counties, the suburbs around Philadelphia. And we're seeing more and more of this, right? Look at that 80 percent of the vote. Joe Biden is getting 57 percent of the vote. When you round up in this county. This has been a consistent pattern, excuse me, as they count these mail-in votes, Joe Biden not only winning by a lopsided margin, by even more so than he's winning in this county. So that's the -- those are two counties I just gave you, Chester and Delaware they're in southeast Pennsylvania around Philadelphia here, let me move this away, turn that off, it doesn't want to go off. OK, I'll bring it back this way. If it doesn't want to go that way. We do it this way. But now we move up here.
And we go to Erie County and we have some more votes up here in Erie County. And again, this is a county where throughout most of the day yesterday, President Trump was leading you see how close it is. This has become a bellwether county now, a swing county within the state, if you will. Let me bring this up again and move it up here. So you see in the math right now 49 to 49, essentially a 50, if you're around the former vice president up in Erie County here, we have 206 votes, this one is more competitive, but still Joe Biden adding to the lead 260 to 138 here. So you just see again, here, this is 59 percent for the former vice president. So 59 percent in the new count, you might say well, that's a modest number of votes. The goal here is take the 100,000 ballots out, take them off the board, get them counted, add them to this board. And again 59 percent, almost 10 points higher than how Joe Biden is running in the total count. And the difference is the total count includes ballots cast on election day, the President did very well with those, it actually was leading in Erie County when that was the pace there. And now you see him adding again. So, you add in the new votes, Biden gains and Chester, Biden gains and Delaware County, Biden gains in Erie County, you add them all up, the total lead now goes to 21,705 votes. And this has been again, a methodical march as they've added votes to Biden throughout the day. The Biden campaign is comfortable. They believe that trajectory is in their direction. There are more mail-in ballots to be counted. And they're also trying to get more information on a number of so-called provisional ballots that are waiting to be counted as well, I think believe is about 100,000 of those. And again, provisional ballots, you show up, either you requested a mail-in ballot and you didn't get it or you were afraid to put it in the mailbox, you show up and fill out a different ballot. People think they're different reasons. You fill out a provisional ballot, but usually, maybe you've moved or you show up at a polling place. They say that's not supposed to be yours. You fill it out, they check the books, make sure that you haven't voted twice, and then they count it. We're waiting for those to be counted for.
BLITZER: It's about 100,000 votes still need to be counted in the state of Pennsylvania. All right, moments from now we'll get more results from Arizona State that could help Joe Biden across the finish line. Our special coverage continues, next.
BLITZER: At any moment now we're expecting to learn how tens of thousands of Arizona voters cast their ballots in this presidential election. That's keeping all of us on the edge of our seats.
I'm Wolf Blitzer.
Joe Biden is looking for the final batch of electoral votes he needs to become president-elect of the United States and deny President Trump a second term. We're told Biden is likely to speak tonight, even if the race is still in flux. Right now, Biden has multiple paths to the presidency through several undecided states where he's leading and that includes Arizona. Were new vote totals are about to drop in the state's largest county.
Whatever happens tonight we're nearing the homestretch of this election.