tv Election Day in America Georgia Senate Runoffs CNN January 5, 2021 10:00am-1:01pm PST
the senate. kelly loeffler and david perdue facing off against raphael warnock and jon ossoff. last pitches today, in person voting today, runoff record which is amazing, 3 million early votes already cast and people lined up today to vote in person. >> today's voting is only part of the unprecedented moment in the country. not only the balance of power up for grabs in the senate, but by this time tomorrow, republicans in washington will challenge the democratic foundation of this country. more than half house republicans and 13 senators are expected to contest biden's win when congress meets to tally electoral votes. this is president trump's last ditch effort to try to overturn the election and he is now applying maximum pressure to vice president mike pence to go along with the charade tomorrow. >> it is incredible theater. we know the outcome. we have so much to get to in the next three hours in georgia where we have no idea what the
outcome will be. ryan young is in smyrna. what are you seeing there? >> reporter: absolutely has been a lot of energy behind this. we just talked to a voter that said when he arrived for the november election, there was a line down the block. early voting has had an impact, you look now, there's no line, no waiting. there was a man sitting at the door before 6:00 a.m. this morning. at some point we had a line around the building. the average wait time in the state of georgia is less than two minutes. talking to voters, they're getting in and out quickly. as we saw the young man coming in and out, we asked how long did it take you to vote, what brought you here today. >> probably took me under a minute or minute or two, i just wanted to vote because i know it is important and specifically i wanted to show my support for ossoff and warnock, i knew it was important to me. >> reporter: what issue stood out to you, you have been getting killed with text
messages and commercials. something that stood out about the election that made you want to be here? >> definitely because i know it is important in terms of controlling the senate and specifically i know that the candidates that i supported, i like their stances on environmentalism and race relations and things like that. even though i don't specifically align with some of the candidates in terms of that, i know, for instance, ossoff doesn't support defunding the police, i think he will be a better candidate than the republican. candidates just because i think that, well, i mean, i'm not going to vote for a republican because yeah, but yeah. >> thank you so much. was this your first time voting? >> no. >> reporter: there's been a lot of energy. a group of poll workers here, cheering folks as they come through. so far, good news, we are told maybe votes could be counted as early as 7 or 8:00 tonight. let's not forget, over $500
million spent on ads. anderson, it has been a busy day. you see folks still flowing in to put votes in. >> the ad buys are incredible. thanks very much. let's go to martin savidge in savannah, georgia. what are you seeing there? >> reporter: i want to reiterate, chatham county has seen record early voting turnout. today, the developing line of the story would be slow turnout. in fact, lower than projected numbers. this particular polling place in downtown savannah at the civic center, they're seeing it around 8 to 9 ballots cast an hour. you know, you can begin to start to calculate here, it is usually democrats that take advantage of early voting. they saw twice the number of people that showed up for early voting for a runoff election, but they're not seeing quite the numbers they expected today. this is antoine lange with chatham county board of elections. >> the projection is about 40,000 that we hope to see
today, but we may see a little less than that. >> reporter: yeah, they could see significantly less than that. they had 69,000 votes cast. there's plenty of time left. these are extraordinary times. for instance, another polling place, same county, 15 minutes away this morning, two people showed up and told the election officials there that they were positive for covid-19. there is a protocol for that. what they did is they evacuated the polling place, allowed two people, husband and wife to come in, cast ballots. as soon as they were done, they did a complete clean and disinfecting of the precinct before they allowed the general public to begin voting again. extraordinary times in many ways in georgia today. >> wow, that is an extraordinary thing to imagine that they do
that. every vote will and should count. john king at the magic wall, you've seen what's happening on the ground there. let's talk about turnout. marty talking about that. obviously savannah, that was biden heavy, democrats tend to vote earlier but now you have people turning out on the day. what do you read into that, how do you compare to what we've seen in november? >> we know it is off the charts for a runoff election. we don't expect it will match november. the question is how close does it get. you mention november. presidential election, that's when turnout is highest. this election, turnout was up everywhere. just shy of 5 million votes cast in georgia in the presidential election. that back in november. 5 million if you use it at a benchmark. we come in under that. usually runoff election drops dramatically. we know this already. as marty was starting to
mention, there are 3 million that cast ballots already. the previous high in the senate runoff election was over 2 million. we already exceeded the record, question is how high do you go. if you look at the breakdown of how it comes in, in person, 2 million of the voters voted in person, just shy, 970,000 voted absentee by mail. you can still drop it if you have one in a lock box today. but this is the threshold. we'll see with election day turnout. reminder number one, turnout is up for the runoff. people are still engaged in the elections. number two, it reminds us and viewers just like back in november, we have to be care. . some counties are counting different order. we have to watch as votes come in, sometimes they jump out to leads that are normally republican because they are counting mail in ballots. we'll have to walk through it carefully. >> you have the president there last night, john. what role does he play?
he's come out and said the whole election in november was rigged, you can't count the system, even though he tells people to turnout now. what kind of impact does that have? >> it is a fascinating question, erin, you get different questions when you ask different smart people. go back to the 2020 map. do the trump voters come out at a time he is criticizing the governor and secretary of state, criticizing the process, saying georgia doesn't know how to conduct elections. if you're a trump supporter, do you say i'm not going to vote, i'm staying home? that's one of the reasons the president was here. dalton was his big rally. republicans are nervous that early voting in trump counties, where they want the trump base to come out. he talked mostly about himself and grievances, did say get out and vote in senate races. this is one of the places we'll watch. how much will it be down from the presidential election. do we see evidence the trump basis in play or is he stirring
up a fight. lot of people that's enough to get the trump base to come out. another thing to watch here in the suburbs around atlanta. this is why joe biden carried georgia, the anti-trump animous and bias in the suburbs had moderate republicans deciding i can't vote for president trump. one quick example. if you go back, come up to cobb county, you see president trump gets 42% of the vote, 165,000 and change. in the senate race, david perdue gets 169,000 and change. it is 4,000 votes. you may think it is not a huge deal. in a close election, that could be a huge deal. does anti-trump bias in the suburbs continue with trump not on the ballot or do republican senate candidates do better in the suburbs. that's a defining question. >> so hard. you obviously saw across the country, people choosing democrat and going against it on the lower ticket. you have control of the senate at stake here. all this said, john, they can start to tabulate early voting
starting 7:00 eastern, when do you think we may know? >> the wall is magic, erin, not that magic. election officials say number one in part because turnout is down from presidential election, they'll count more quickly. we expect them to count election day votes, gets to mail in ballots pretty quickly. we may have a sense tonight. we again need to be careful, if these are razor thin, if you're an overseas voter, military voter and casting a ballot, those can come in until friday. so it is possible we have another election week in america, not election night in america. officials in the state say number one, they did a good job, despite what the president says in november and think they learned from that. i think we have a good sense around midnight or so what's happening, but will we have a winner or winners? we'll see. that's why we're here. >> all right, john. next, mike pence back at the white house. president trump of course pressuring him, doing everything he can to pressure him to
prevent election certification. what's he going to do, side with the constitution or trump? and live to fulton county, largest county in the state of georgia. voters at the polls. and the coronavirus situation in california, a human being dying in los angeles county from the illness every 15 minutes.
role presiding over certification of the electoral college tomorrow. kaitlan collins is near the white house. it is getting public, confrontational. what more do you know? >> reporter: we know the vice president showed up at the white house not long after the president sent that tweet. the tweet was part of what we're seeing, this private pressure campaign on behalf of the president and some of his advisers turn public. started with the comment at the rally, one of the first times we have seen the president address the vice president in that way. seen him do it before with the attorney general and fbi director, others in his cabinet. have not seen it on a level like this with the vice president. what the president is asserting, anderson, the vice president has authority we know he doesn't have, we know what the outcome of tomorrow will be. the president is listening to people like peter navarro and others telling him pence can do more than he actually can tomorrow. the vice president has been taking careful steps to walk the president through what his role is going to look like.
it seems obvious to the rest of us what the vice president has to do, given he doesn't have legal authority to do anything else, but he is facing the biggest loyalty test probably in the last four years of his relationship with donald trump, which is saying a lot because he had to carefully navigate some things the last four years. this could be the biggest one. it goes to show even if you're someone that's been loyal to the president, if there comes a time you disagree, find yourself in a situation you feel like you have no other option, the president will still expect you to side with him. that's what he is doing with pence now. he is clearly building up anticipation for what his appearance will look like on the hill tomorrow, what it is he is going to do. >> it is a lesson for republicans that are prtrying t please the president in his final days. pence has been doing his bedding the entire time. if he stands his ground and does
his ceremonial duties, none of it matters. >> reporter: there's always another loyalty test with trump. that's why it seems some people around him don't realize. even if they go and disrupt tomorrow, do what the president wants, republican senators and house members, even if the vice president took steps the president wanted to see six months later down the road, there could be another opportunity where the president has another thing he wants them to do. that's been the story of the trump era since he has been in office, since i have been covering him. every single thing is a loyalty test. just because you pass one doesn't mean there won't be another one later down the road. >> thanks very much. joining us, senate parliamentarian emeritus. there's speculation what vice president pence may do wednesday. i want to play something the president said last night. >> i hope mike pence comes through for us, i have to tell you. i hope that our great vice president, our great vice president comes through for us.
he's a great guy. of course, if he doesn't come through, i won't like him quite as much. >> i mean, can you just explain what vice president pence can and can't do tomorrow? i'm not sure he can do anything the president will view as coming through. >> well, he's authorized under the constitution to open the ballots and he is authorized under the electoral county act of 1887 to announce the result of the vote. >> and we just lost that. we'll try to gett alan back. he was saying he will open the ballots and announce the results. huge early voting turnout may have given democrats an advantage in georgia. we want to see what election day voting will reveal. go live to fulton county, the lieutenant governor is our guest. also, ahead, defying democracy, more than 100 republicans in congress are expected to do that in a
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polls are open another five and a half hours in georgia's crucial senate runoff races. gary tuckman live in fulton county, georgia. what more can you tell us about the judge's decision? >> reporter: anderson, important news but not necessarily surprising news. most lawsuits by the trump administration have failed. this is another one that has failed, so things will proceed as normal in the state of georgia with that voting. georgia voters are the king makers from the north and appalachians to the south and beautiful beaches. georgians going to the polls, more than 2600 polling places across the state, including this one at the cathedral of saint philip in buckhead section of atlanta. early this morning when we got here, there was a long line outside in the dark to come outside. since then, there are no lines. there is a steady stream. the voting today is not the big story. the big story is early voting, 15 days of early voting in fulton county, georgia. today we have to show up at the
precinct they're assigned to. for early voting, you can go to one of 30 locations. it is easy to early vote. because of that, record setting voting in fulton county, $3390,0 ballots were filled out absentee or in person, that's a record setting level. there's never been that many votes for a runoff election in the state ever. we talked to voters as they've come in. who they decided to vote for. i met these two folks a couple minutes ago. tell me your names. >> abigail. >> and ross. >> family? >> my son. >> how old are you? >> i am 19. >> first election? what made you decided to and not early vote? >> i was going to early vote and never got around to it, so here i am. >> better to vote today than not
at all. >> ask you a personal question, some people want to slug me. who did you vote for? >> voted for democrat, democrat, democrat. >> this is an interesting point it brings up. there are two senate races, there's a third race for public service commissioner, the most well voted for public service runoff race in the history of georgia. who did you vote for? >> it is a secret ballot. what i will say is i voted for peace, i voted for justice, and i voted for all people. >> vote against your son? >> no, i didn't. >> that's how reporters get answers. final question for you. you heard about the phone conversation donald trump had with the secretary of state, based on who you voted for, i assume you weren't happy about it? >> you know, not surprised, not happy. not surprised. >> this case, we have a couple of democrats. atlanta is a democratic strong hold. thank you for talking to me.
at this particular area in buckhead, this is the most republican part of the city of atlanta. so we're in a place where democrats and republicans so happen to have talked to people that voted for democrats. anderson? >> thanks very much, gary. >> thanks, gary. want to bring in georgia's republican lieutenant governor jeff duncan. good to talk to you again. we talked a lot of times. now here we are, actual voting in person day. are you confident given all of the boo-ha the president put out there, all of which you and the elections team debunked, are you confident today's election will be secure? >> certainly i am glad it is election day. if you're a georgian, you haven't missed the fact that today is election day with mail, tv, radio, everything else coming out. yes, i am. i know the secretary of state's office and all of the 159 counties put a great deal of effort. certainly a great deal of attention and focus. our job is to make sure we put on a fair, legal election, i am
confident that will happen once again today. >> you use the word today. do you think we will know who wins tonight? >> i think it is going to take us a little bit of time, certainly unless there's some run away in early results which doesn't seem to be the case, seems like this will be razor thin margins on either side of all three of the races, and that's one of the things that's so concerning to me. i have been so loud about trying to get folks, republicans, to focus on this race and not any sort of sideshows or distractions that some of the other folks started to talk about because this will be a razor thin election and we need every vote we can get that counts. >> i know you've spoken about the call, gary tuckman raised it with the voters about the call to the secretary of state, raffensperger. and the president claimed in that call which we all listened 16 times that he won the state of georgia. of course, he did not win the state of georgia, along with
that made untrue claims which again you gave sterling, secretary of state raffensperger have gone to great pains to say that's not true, there were two dead people, shredding of ballots didn't happen. you made it clear you would never make a call like that, inappropriate, you were disappointed by it. do you believe given the facts out there, given how clear you all have been about them that the president of the united states actually believes all of the stuff he was saying on the call? >> well, i tried to find the nicest, most direct word to use, disappointed in the call. no reason for the call. i can't imagine anybody on his staff thought it was a good idea before, during, or after. i don't know if the president believes it or not. i hope he doesn't. i guess part of me wants him to be embracing reality in facts and figures, but neither here nor there, that doesn't help us get kelly or david across the finish line, doesn't help us build the republican party, to fan the flames of
misinformation. it has been concerning to me, to my wife, to our family to watch folks that are close to us that we know, that we live life around, that have been willing to believe just the most crazy, outlandish fictitious scenarios put on a facebook page, what not, that are debunked in five seconds or less. it is concerning. look, i am ready to move on, get kelly and david across the finish line, ready january 20th for president-elect biden to be sworn in and for us to move on as republicans, try to win the white house back in four years. >> our reporter in georgia, donie o'sullivan has gone to rallies, the president's rally in dalton, rallies the president and vice president had, talked to trump supporters. some of the conversations have been eye opening, lieutenant governor. here are just a couple voters talking to donie. i want to play it for you. >> in georgia, republicans run the elections, right? >> yes. >> secretary of state, all that. they said they investigated and investigated and investigated, counted three or four times. >> right.
>> they said biden has still won. do you accept that? >> no. not all republicans are good people just because they're republicans. >> do you accept joe biden as president? >> no, he'll never be my president. >> but you accept that he is going to be inaugurated? >> no, i don't. >> how could that change at this point? >> could be a civil war, you never know. >> lieutenant governor, what do you say to those voters, all of whom believe the stuff the president is putting out there. >> that was just hard to listen to, i got to be honest with you. my gut reaction, hard to listen to folks talk like that. look, any republican, including the president, that wants to fan the flames and spread this misinformation about election fraud, honestly it is an excuse for the loss, and it is not a solution. it is not going to help, hasn't helped us gain momentum to get us here today, it certainly hasn't, it has been a distraction. longer term it puts us in a tough position to have to re-invent ourselves as gop 2.0,
figure out a pathway forward that grows and amplifies what we're good at. as a republican, i think we're good at policy, need to get better at empathy, need to get better with tone moving forward. >> lieutenant governor, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thanks, erin. next, president trump having lunch with the vice president, mike pence now, putting pressure on him to try to do something tomorrow to overturn this victory. can't be done, but this is an incredible position we're seeing the vice president put into. new study revealing a stunning, sobering possibility that the number of coronavirus infections could be four times higher than reported, and with that would come hospitalization and death. stic weight loss program ever. you can choose any workout you want to fit within your time frame. there are a ton of zero point foods that i love. i never feel restricted. the new myww+. kickstart your weight loss with the ww triple play
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breaking news. president trump and vice president pence together now having lunch amid the president's intensifying pressure campaign for pence to overturn the november election. this is senator ted cruz saying he will object to state of arizona's electoral college results tomorrow. senator josh hawley pledging to challenge results in pennsylvania. at least 140 house republicans and 13 senators are expected to oppose the certification of electoral college results. a futile last ditch effort to overturn president-elect biden's victory. bring in mark preston, senior political analyst, and political reporter for politico. lauren, 140 house republicans plan to stand with the president in this effort to try to overturn the election. it is stunning what they're trying to do. what are they weighing as they try to make the decision? >> well, the republicans that are challenging the election of
biden, electors, they're trying to focus on the number of states, particularly arizona, georgia, pennsylvania, but when you ask the same republicans whether or not that means they should invalidate their own elections, elections of house members or senators in those states, they say no, which gets at the heart of the cognitive dissonance, anderson, that you ask georgia house newly elected member who is a qanon conspiracy theorist supporter, taylor green, whether it means that she, her election should not be valid, if they invalidate georgia's electors, and she says no. so that gets at this chaos that's brewing within the republican conference, both in the senate and house. >> president trump has been singling out republicans that won't support his efforts. >> mike lee is here too, i am a
little angry with him. where is mike lee. little angry at you today. >> saying he hopes the north dakota governor will run against thune, and warning tom cotton republicans will never forget. that's why republicans are afraid to stand up to trump, don't want a tweet or rally callout. it is pathetic. >> it is, and anderson, it has gotten complicated, certainly the last couple months for the republican party. you talk about what's the future of the republican party, it will be split in the near term. we already have these trump activists, supporters saying they're going to create their own party, which we all know is very hard to do, and basically it is fool hardy, because the way the system is set up, if you're a democrat or republican, that's your only clear shot at going to the white house. what i think is interesting, too, watching donald trump now really gauging a slow suicide, slow political suicide, we're
going to look back on these times and say if president trump had shown some leadership during covid, had president trump shown some leadership about being a republican, going down, winning the two races, and being the heir apparent to run again in four years, he would be in much better position. there are some like tom cotton that want to see him implode because that's their path to the white house. >> they have sub certificate sriance to him matters. he will turn against anybody on a dime. president trump is now increasing pressure on vice president pence to do something, he was tweeting to do, the vice president has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors, vice president pence's role here is basically a formality, ceremonial. >> right. what trump is asking pence to do is certainly irregular,
historical. this is typically something, what pence has to oversee is something that is typically n noncontroversial, and despite over the years pence has been next to trump's side, almost never rebutting him, rebuking him. the president is now turning on the vice president and pressuring him publicly through tweets. one big thing about what comes out of this so-called stunt pretty much, the fact that it won't be successful, the republican efforts on both the house or senate floor as well as georgia runoff, one big thing running through the republican party now is that there are voters so devoted to trump who do not believe that biden is the legitimate elected president. and so that's something that's a big question, coming out of the georgia runoff, coming out of
these events on the house and senate floor tomorrow, which is how does it impact democracy in terms of voters being so loyal to trump himself. >> we appreciate it. so we got disconnected before. you talked about the role of vice president pence in this. you were saying it is essentially to open the proceedings. explain what the vice president can and cannot do during this. >> first of all, as a side note, the constitution and relevant statute authorizes the, quote, president of the senate to perform all these duties. there's an out for the vice president if for some reason he doesn't want to preside. he could duck this, allow chuck grassley to preside. whoever presides, they have two powers, two authorities. one, open ballots, two, announce
result of the vote. there's nothing in the constitution in precedence or experience or practice at all that gives the presiding officer in the joint session any discretion. what the president is talking about, hoping mike pence steps up, comes through for him tomorrow, what play does the vice president have to try to do something in favor of president trump? >> there are two parts to the question. what can he do physically, what can he do legally. legally, he opens ballots and announces the result. beyond that, he has no authority to do anything. having said that, what can he do when he decides to announce, pronounce that he and donald trump won the election, we would be in crazy town then, a place
where we've never been. should that happen, it would seem to me the two are not without recourse. in each the house and senate, whenever the presiding officer makes a ruling, those rulings are always subject to appeal in the respective houses, and an appeal, the question on an appeal is challenge the decision of the chair stand as judgment of the senate or house. so the burden would be on the chair, in this case the vice president, to have both houses of congress separately vote to sustain whatever it is doing. >> that's a coup attempt, is it not? like in a developing country, the person lost the election just announces that they didn't lose the election, that's a
coup. given all we know so far, he is in an interesting spot. clearly the president is trying to makeup that there's something magical he can do when really his job is like somebody presenting an award at the academy awards. he shows up, opens the envelope, announces what's on the envelope. >> that's all he is authorized to do. we've never seen somebody at the oscars open the envelope, give one to you or me and this would be the equivalent of that. >> it is fascinating. a lot to watch for tomorrow. thank you so much. coming up next, coronavirus is ravaging california. people are dying within minutes of each other. health care could be rationed. the situation described as a disaster. we'll take you there.
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human sdadisaster. how the center of the coronavirus outbreak is described today. in l.a. county one in five people techsted now, testing positive. a virus taking a life there every 15 minutes. every 15 minutes someone dieing of coronavirus in los angeles. standing right now, nick, this is bad. officials are warning it could get worse. >> reporter: yeah. erin, this is where we are now.
ambulance crews here in los angeles county have been told if they're treating a certain cardiac arrest victim, who after resuscitation attempts aren't showing signs of life. well, she ththey should being documented dead of a the scene and not taken to the hospital. when ambulances take patients to a hospital can be hours before they can drop that person off and sometimes that person doesn't go into the hospital but into a tent. emts told to limit who they give oxygen to, because it's in such short supply, and across southern california, erin, icu capacity is officially at zero percent. now, california has and has had some of the toughest restrictions during this pandemic, but either they're just not being enforced or, you know, people are just not obeying them, and the real fear
here is that what's happening in los angeles and california today could be happening somewhere else tomorrow, next week, next month. erin? >> nick, thank you very much. go to dr. paul offit to respond to what nick just reported. a neb of tmember of the vaccine committee and member of the children's hospital in philadelphia. you hear what nick watt is saying and reporting, do you think, thinking could get worse and what we're seeing in california is it true that really we could start to see that happen somewhere else? >> yes. especially with this sort of emergence of this uk variant virus. the budge t the b117 variant. still cold weather. still not humid, relatively dry climate allows for further spread of the virus. the next few months to see
another 200,000 people die. it's heartbreaking. >> it is heartbreaking. "the atlantic" did a fascinating report a few days ago showing how terrible the new strains could be. increase of 50% in fatality rate, versus a 50% increase in the transmissibility. right? we're seeing a much more transmissible virus, not more deadly. showing just the math. five times more people would die with a more transmissible strain than the current strain killing more people. what you're talking about, i guess. >> right. it's not technically -- much more likely to get it then you are much more likely to, now you have the infection. not that it hasn't drifted away from the vaccine. good news. but much more contagious and we're seeing it. >> do you have more concerns about the south african strain,
more transmittable like the uk strain. that could be vaccine resistant, reports of that, combined with being incredibly transmissible. do you share those concerns or do you know more about the status of that evaluation? >> i haven't seen the most recent studies of that. cloer clearly showing the uk variant has not escaped the vaccine. easy to do the studies. do them in about a week once you have the strain in hand. should see those studies shortly. i'm optimistic this particular virus, although it's an rna virus like influenza, measles also an mrna virus, mutates, variants but never drifted away from the vaccine been around since the 1960s. i like to think think virus shrike that. this has been unusual and probably shouldn't mate assumptions. >> last quick question. you said basically dosing a lot
more people and hoping more doses become available as opposed to saving the second dose for each person would be a bad idea. fda agrees with you. current head of "operation warp speed" dr. slaoui thinks, vaccinate many as we can and in six weeks give them more. are you concerned about that? >> yes. clearly second dose, tremendous boost in immune response and memory responses, longer-lived immunity. we know the two doses work, gives 95% protection. one dose tlshs is protection that's first few week. you don't know if it's longer than that. plus, not sure where to get the second dose that instruments the program and may make it so that many people who should be getting a second dose don't get it. think they're protected and they're not. i think disruptive. >> absolutely. stick with a set of things and obviously could be single-dose
welcome to our special coverage of "election day in america" continued. i'm erin burnett alongside anderson cooper. right now voters heading to polls casting ballots in two races and they're crucial. they will determine balance of power in washington. republican senators david perdue, kelly loeffler battling democrats jon ossoff and reverend raphael warnock. president-elect joe biden tweeting, go vote, georgia. there's been a lot of early voting, anderson. obviously the last day and only in-person chance left. >> a lot of early, big turnout early. see about today. meanwhile, georgia's top election officials fact checking president trump in realtime. last hour reporting dominion machines not working's top election official responding issue resolved hours ago. sorry you received old intel,
mr. president. this as republicans are about to test american democracy. planning to challenge joe biden's win tomorrow when they meet to challenge electoral votes. trump is turning up heat on his vice president to overturn the election tomorrow. >> interesting. the interview he just did. unprecedented territory if pence tried to do something completely outside the rule of law here. we are covering it all. let's go to those crucial elections in georgia. ryan noble begins our coverage in atlanta at the gop headquarters there. ryan, given this record early turnout that anderson referenced and what we see today. which is no lines anywhere we've heard of. what is the mood at the gop headquarters? >> reporter: well, erin, from the very beginning republicans had the sense these races were theirs to lose. even though deaths had made big gains over the past several years including almost winning the gubernatorial race in 2018,
of course joe biden winning on, in november. that this was still a red-leaning state. especially in a runoff where turnout is not traditionally as great that the republicans just needed to get their vote out. today that, they're going to find out whether or not that theory is going to be a reality. because there's no doubt the democrats did much better during the early voting phase of this election. not just in terms of more democratic registered voters coming out. also, compare it to their pace in the november election. still republicans believe today is their day. they -- republican voters much more traditional. prefer to vote in-person and on election day, and you're right, erin. may not be very long lines in some of the more densely populated counties. what republicans are hoping for is just a steady stream of voters in more of those rural counties. the counties where president trump won big in november. where david perdue and kelly loeffler expects a base of their
voters to be. republicans and democrats agree the results tonight will be very close, but ultimately feel k69 they' confident to be the ones come out on top. >> do you get a sense from gop headquarters what they're seeing in the all-important rural counties in georgia? >> reporter: feeling print ingd the pace is brisk. the sense we're getting. they're not necessarily making any predictions now. the republicans believe there is, you know, a total voter turnout 800,000 to 1 million voter that need to turn out tonight. if they see the numbers and of confident they'll come out on top. the numbers track below that number, they'll get nervous because of how well the democrats did during the early voting phase. they've got a very robust plan in place. keep in mind that the republican national committee is on the ground here investing tens of
millions of dollars in a turnout operation that was very similar to the one that president trump employed during the general election. a very targeted effort. they use voter data to push out the vote and believe something as simple as the presidential rally last night, target voters who went to the rally last night and haven't necessarily cast their ballot, reach out to them. part of their formula for winning today. >> thank you very much, ryan. let's go to ka wyong yung l. they didn't feel they were in lines. brisk turnout needed. 800,000 to 1 million voters and seem to be okay. what about the democratic side? unprecedented turnout early? >> reporter: you would think they would very really confident. talking to campaign sources they're being extremely cautious. that is what i am hearing from
campaign sources. that they are fully expecting exactly what ryan said today. that they anticipate republicans will vote in-person, and that republicans who do vote today, they are the ones who are the most reliable. they are the ones who do not skip elections. they are the ones who will show up. so that is the anticipation, and that's why they are also looking at the same numbers. who turns out and in what districts. we're also seeing democrats making sure to get out and talk to any democrats who may not have already gone to the polls. that's why you saw reverend warnock as well as jon ossoff heading out in that final get out the vote push slamming trump reminding voters it is game day. >> where will they be today? we don't know obviously. but if you know at some point tonight, kyung, where are they awaiting results? reverend warnock and mr. ossoff? >> reporter: well, you mentioned
that ryan was at gop headquarters. there is no democratic headquarters. i'm actually standing at a backdrop of atlanta at a higher lookout point. and the reason why i'm here is because democrats are not gathering. they're fought going to gather inside, because of covid. they are not anticipating, also, erin to have any kind of results tonight. they saeanticipate it will take while to count these voetstes. thank you, anderson? >> and a writer for cnn politics and a "new york times" national political reporter in georgia covering the race. candidates out in final moments making their case. what are you watching tonight? >> i think i'm watching a few things. number one, watching the black turnout. right? we saw that the black turnout in the early vote was making up a larger share of the electorate than it did at the equivalent point in the general election's does that hold true when we have the actual election day returns? another thing i'm watching.
whether or not up in that 14th district in the northwest part of the state, that has been lagging significantly. that's the very, very republican rural district. will we see turnout actually come out on election night? third thing i'm watching, georgia six congressional district. the district formally very republican. trended much more democratic in recent years. biden won it by 11. democrats on the senate side only by 5 and. can they get the anti-trump republicans to become democrats in this runoff election? >> the democrats hammering home the impact, selection could have on stimulus checks, bank accounts for people in georgia. play that for viewers now. >> we will be able to passeds 2,000 stimulus checks for the people next week. when we win these races in georgia. get economic relief directly into the bank accounts of the american people who are suffering right now. >> working families. need somebody in washington, d.c. who will be thinking about them.
>> how is it playing in georgia? >> yeah. something we saw certainly over the last month become an increasing part of the democratic message. something that felt tangible and you heard democratic operatives say thought it was something voters could latch on to. $2,000 checks are on their way if you vote for democrats, period. all obviously complicated by president trump who also endorsed that idea. you saw loeffler-perdue try to back it after the president does. a history and record of being slower to get to that issue and the republican turnout is not about policy in itself. it is about kind of stopping the rising tide of democrats. it's about the kind of negative ads they've seen about their opponents. democrats have positive policy -- >> harry, are voters on the
ground, republican voters, what is the impact on them of president trump essentially lying about widespread election fraud? is that motivating them to go to the polls? is it not motivating them? do we know? >> so far in the early vote it hasn't. right? i mentioned the 4th district. 9th district another very republican-leerning territor i g republican-leans vote. republicans let likely to turn out relative to levels of turning out early vote in november. more than that i don't just think it's about the turnout. it's about persuasion. i mentioned that 6th congressional district. what happens now with those voters who decided in november, i'm going to vote for joe biden but also vote for david perdue and kelly loeffler. do they now decide i want to send president trump a message and go over to the democratic side. if they do, could be enough to switch the election regardless of the turnout. >> we had connection problem -- trying to get that back. harry, more than 3 million votes
cast, absentee votes, for a runoff election. more than 30% of those ballots come from black voters. you mentioned, higher than we saw in the november elections. turnout today, i mean in a number of places we've gone to just this morning, which is not a scientific sampling. they had lines in the morning when polls first opened. but a lot of places do not have lines right now. people going in. voting within a minute and coming out. >> yeah. i mean, look. turnout relative to the early vote. today's vote makes up significantly less proportion than the early vote did. here's the thing. democrats do not need to win today. right? they lost the election day vote in november, both in the presidential and senate races. the question is, what percentage of that vote today makes up the entire pie? saw the numbers earlier. somewhere near say 4 million total. that would be 800 plus 1,000 today. republicans might feel confident. here's the thing i will point
out, anderson. so important. go back in history, go back in time. republicans have improved upon their general elections to the runoff situation seven our eight times since 1992 in georgia history. do we see a continuation of that history today? if we, in fact, do not see it, boy, georgia's a much different state than we thought it was even a few months ago. >> my mind is fogging's not enough coffee today. repeat that, that's a, kind of a key metric to look for. that republicans have done better in runoff elections than in the general? >> correct. if you go back, state-wide since 1992. seven out of eight times republicans have improved upon their november performance, general election performance, in the run joffs. if that history holds republicans will win today because results were so close. in november, in fact, republicans ran a little ahead in senate races. georgia's a very different state because the suburbs, those well-educated white voters and
six congressional districts that won 20-plus percentage points nor mitt romney in 2012. 11 points for joe biden this time around. senate democrats won by five, six points. improve that up to double digits tonight probably looking at two democratic senators from the state of georgia. >> appreciate it. thanks very much. our thanks to stead herndon we lost his connection. live to john king next. standing why t ining by at the plus, president trump stepping up pressure on the vice president. that effort likely to fail because pence it only do so much. a limited ceremonial role. a crisis in california we're watching. ambulance crews told not to transport patients with little chance of survival. the situation is getting worse.
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okay. we are less than five hours ay way from polls closing in georgia. hopefully soon after find out who's going to control the senate. things so far going well. no issues, no bumps. these georgia voters, of course, are the ones who will decide not just the party that controls the senate. crucial, but obviously given you now have president-elect joe biden, that's going to determine how much of this agenda actually happens. so everything rests upon these voters in georgia today. go to john king at the magic wall. john, it's only been a few weeks since georgia voters we want to the polls. in the seismically disruptive outcome. right? georgia turning blue in the presidential election in november. what do you take away from that?
>> that is the biggest lesson, erin. look at georgia's recent history last couple of decades, especially the history of runoff elections in georgia statewide. you have to say loeffler and perdue are favored. history tells you. 2020 tells you georgia is changing and democrats can win. joe biden winning by 11,779 votes. roundal up in atlanta in suburbs, up in augusta, chatham county. need to be near perfect, democrats, but can defy georgia's history. the recent history republicans win state-piwide. register nor african-americans, more younger voters, this state a purple state, used to be red state purple leaning red. it's possible. joe biden proved.
not since bill dpclintonen in 1992. georgia is in play. democrats need to be near perfect. the challenge today but they can win. >> numbers we have. ryan nobles talking to gop sources in georgia said they think they need 800 to 1,000 to 1 million people to turn out, to actually pull out a win. early voting numbers, obviously we know in the presidential election skewed incredibly democratic. already had 3.1 million people vote. what do we know about that? >> that is exactly why ryan nobles is correct. republicans no ed to see turnout today. the president trying to get the base out. republican base out. early voting you talk about, come back to the elections where we are now. early voting we're talking about shows that people are still engaged. not at the presidential level but beyond previous runoff elections. more than 3 million people voted. break it down further, of those
3 million, more than 2 million voting in-person. 966,000 and change voting absentee by mail. democrats believe when they look who requested the ballots, look at african-americans participating in early voting they believe they've done their job in early voting. why ryan's reporting is dead-on. republicans think they need to, as in november, has a big, giant turnout on day of voting to offset the democratic advantage here. >> important how you break it down. right? absentee voting versus voting early in-person. that's a lot more question marks around it than absentee. >> sure. >> to your point. john, put this into context? the significance of the moment we're in with so much at stake on this day and also the president's role in it. >> well, number one. the president's role. stay here a minute. the president's role is can he turn out the voters where he was last night? come back to a few weeks ago. look at it. criticizing the governor, criticizing the secretary of
state. questioning the integrity of the georgia election process. does it hurt or take the contrarian view, jenning up a fight, even though mad at everybody. one theory. here for the consequence of the moment, walk here. november election isn't over. joe biden doesn't know. knows he has narrow majority in the house. will it be mitch mcconnell controlling floor of the senate or chuck schumer controlling floor of the senate? whoever is senate majority leader will have a narrow margin. this is why these races make a difference. now republicans have 50 senators. democrats, count two independents, caucused with democrats have 48. all comes down to tonight. the count here. if jon ossoff, can win, gets democrats to 49. raphael warnock, democrat, could win. democrats get to 50. vice president harris breaks the ties. doesn't mean things are easy for joe biden in the senate but that chuck schumer controls the floor. democrats chairman of committees and joe biden quick hearings on nominees, hearings on
legislative a agenda. republicans win 51, two, 52, that changes everything. >> the story one can imagine if split. truly stunning. it's a package deal one way or the other. wow. you never know. thank you so much, john king. joe what fringe lawyers, i emphasize the adjective fringe, are telling president trump about pence's role tomorrow? right? pence has a role. open the envelopes and read the winner. not decide what's in the envelope. but the president's trying to change that. plus, a human disaster. how officials are describing the coronavirus outbreak we are seeing in the united states in southern california right now. someone is dieing every 15 minutes. from covid. [ thunder rumbles ]
breaking news. senior trump adviser conceding the president's last-ditch effort to overturn election results in congress is likely to fail, the adviser acknowledging vice president pence can't do much to change the outcome despite president trump's pressuring for him to do just that. live near the white house. what are you learning, kaitlan? >> guaranteed to fail. everyone recognizing that except the president listening to a lot of outside voices lately leading to this tension remarkable we're seeing break out in public view between the president and his vice president, who we should note just had lunch a short time ago. though it was not listed on the president's public schedule. of course, that came shortly after the president tweeted that
pence has this authority tomorrow he does not have. pence walked through with the president. met with the senate parliamentarians sees exactly what his role is. gone through it with people at the white house several times to say this is procedural. not any affect i can change anything. yet the president continued to insist, wrongly, that the vice president is going to play a big other role tomorrow than he really is. >> clearly getting advice from -- is it his usual group of fringe lawyers? rudy guiliani and others? >> reporter: yeah. actually who the president has only relied on for advise since the election. stopped listening to his inner circle of advisers in the white house for many reasons but started listening to people basically telling the president what he wants to hear. that has been kind of a subject of his presidency for the last four years, where the president often listens to the last person in his ear and makes the best argument telling him exactly ma he should do but now is
listening to people telling him the election was rigged. he did win it. there was widespread fraud. all the evidence shows none of those things are true. you're seeing the president listen to people like peter navarro, his trade adviser. rudy guiliani. other attorneys we note the president is getting so many new attorneys it's hard for people around the president to keep up who is representing him at a given time. so many new faces introduced in all phases of him trying to contest election results. now, of course, erin and rnds , anderson, instead of listening to vice president pence, he is turning on him in remarkable fashion. >> of course, vice president pence has no one to blame but himself for not seeing think. and here we are on the day of the georgia runoff. hours ahead of what is something that no american has probably ever paid attention to before.
right? in washington. what do you make of trump's mind-set right now? >> well, i think he's all over the map in a bad way. look, i think that, number one, the most important thing is as a republican, makes mitch mcconnell stronger and i think that's winning the seats in georgia. president trump counter intuitive with the exception of the rallies, but he's really between trying to use the rails continuing to thump on the governor of georgia's head and by raising money that should be going to the senate campaigns and in addition pushing this, having people push this in the house, now the senate. trump has been subtracting rather than adding to republican efforts since the election. >> talk about mike pence. just had lunch with the president. in this position tomorrow where he is the guy at the oscars that opens up the energy.
rig -- the envelope. not the guy who actually puts the name in the envelope. his job, read the envelope. either read joe biden or he's going to do something never done before. right? that wouldn't be -- legal. i want to play something trump said last night about pence. here's trump. >> i hope that our great vice president, our great vice president comes through for us. he's a great guy. of course, if he doesn't come through, i won't like him quite at much. >> okay. the right thing for mike pence to do is to read the name of the winner. the winner, of course, is joe biden. are you confident he'll do that tomorrow? >> well, i actually think what vice president pence should do is just decline to preside over the ceremony and have senator grassley do it. that's probably what i would do if i was him. he's been a loyal trump soldier and a constitutionalist and will
follow through with his constitutional duties. erin, there is precedence for this. some house democrats in 2016 for trump and for george w. bush in 2004, the 2004 election protests votes, although not near on the scale this is. pence is in a sticky spot. he's been a loyal soldier. on the two-inch line, he doesn't want to alienate the trump base now but has to follow his constitutional duties and i think he will ultimately. look, pence has been on a tightrope walking around above the skyscraper in circles for four years. i think he can figure it out. >> the only one able to manage to do it consistently. right? everybody hawaii flown too close and opted out or burned to the ground. >> he's also the one person that trump can't fire. >> right. >> constitutionally. >> it's a fair point. i want to ask you about
something else. i know you know josh hawley, leading the charge to object to the electoral college results, which senators objecting the states not their state. i know you had supported him early on. tweet of yours from 2018 dan, write, time to retire at claire mccaskill seeing her popularity numbers drop by nearly ten points. i'm supporting j ining josh haw 2018. doing this, you don't support. what do you say to senator hawley? >> look, in general i'm a big supporter of senator hawley and -- i think he's an original thinker. doesn't really fit in a partisan box so much. stimulus checks with aoc, not with the republican party in terms of wanting more. in the case of this i would say, senator hawley, cruz, blackburn, step back a bit. this is bad for the republic.
campaigning when you should be governing. the framers intended for the people to decide, for the states to have the primary role in the election. this is a box-checking exercise. not a publicity stunt. stap back fr step back from the podium. >> see if he listens to you. glad to have you on. next, pushing back against the president say they go will not challenge joe biden's win. standing up to trump. who are they? plus a situation growing more dire in california today. one in five residents testing positive. what can the state actually do right now to prevent greater catastrophe when they've already had such stringent restrictions? liberty mutual customizes your home insurance, here's one that'll really take you back. wow! what'd you get, ryan? it's customized home insurance from liberty mutual! what does it do bud? it customizes our home insurance so we only pay for what we need!
we're now learning three nor republican senators who will not support the effort to overturn the election. tim scott, south carolina, jim inhofe of oklahoma and the kansas senator saying they will not challenge election results. 13 senate republicans and house members will support the president. asking if there are objections.
once no objection both chambers debate separately up to two hours before resuming. pennsylvania, georgia and arizona contesting. the south carolina house of representatives and scott jennings, former senior adviser of senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. mr. scott from your state. talk whether he will run in 2024. what do you make of this calculation? >> tim scott and my politics couldn't be further apart. at least he has good common sense. the fact is he doesn't want to play politics with this issue tomorrow. i think what we are seeing is a lot of these individuals. the list of senators who are objecting to these particular states, all this is, is a shot across the bow for 2024. whether or not it's josh hawley, ted cruz. all individuals campaigning on
our dime and on the floor of the united states senate. the biggest problem, though is that they're campaigning and it's undermining our fundamental tenants of democracy. seems they don't care. rule of law does not matter for these republicans tomorrow lining up. glad there are some republicans like tim scott who i served with in the south carolina state house when a member there, who end of the day, anderson, has good common sense. >> what do you make about what they're doing? obvious play to try to inherent the mantel of trump for the 2024 nomination. arguing that the federal government should be powerful enough to unilaterally disregard the states and disregard the people and choose the president just because you happen to be in charge of one of the two chambers of congress. it is not a conservative position. i don't think much of what they're doing. i don't think it's constitutional, frankly. i don't think it's conservative, and i don't think they're going
to, this is going to wear well on their records. it's become a huge stain, frankly, on the trump presidency. glad most republicans will do the right thing here and that's essentially perform the ceremonial roll to accept these electors. congress in this thing, they're like a dalmatian on a fire engine. just ceremonial. they don't really have a role in the dealing, but expect to see them there. to show up and try to tell republicans, hey, we can overturn the results of an election? just not true and not a good look. >> and i want to play something former defense secretary william cohen, republican under bill clinton said in responses to overturning the election. >> the president and his supporters have so saturated the airwaves with lies, misinformation, disinformation, rumors, speculation. that people are having trouble understanding what is true and what is false. we're standing on the abyss of the destruction of our democracy.
>> and there's a lot of folk whose have been making that argument, and i mean -- you know, republicans among them. do you agree? >> i mean, i do agree and i think this president has done so much damage to the foundation of our democracy, when things like this happen. we shrug our shoulders. say you know, he does this all the tile. he lies. he undermines democracy. this is another day that ends as president donald trump is president of the united states. there is alarm and individuals who are spreading misinformation and disinformation. you have a qanon supporter in the united states congress who's flying on air force one down to georgia who thinks that they need to overturn the election in georgia, but not overturn her election. it's pure absurdity and the effort is impotent at best. they won't overturn the election however they're going to try their damndest. that's a fundamental problem. somebody needs to grab josh hawley by the collar, look him in the face and say you're not
going to be president of the united states. you're not going to be vice president pence. you won't even beat nikki haley and definitely not donald trump if he runs again. save yourself this embarrassment. that's exactly what this is. this is embarrassment egg on his face so he will have a forward-facing view over the field in 2024. that ain't happening. >> scott, are you concerned about, the impact this could have on you know, the democratic system? on confidence in, you know, no the just this time around but two years from now, four years from now? eight years from now? >> of course. i mean, the democratic system depends on winners and losers. the acceptance of the results. unfortunately over the last 20 years, we've had people in both parties who have refused to accept results. republicans, some of them, at least, in this case, take didn't a step further than it has gone before. but it's not the first time we've had a lack of acceptance by a certain people in washington, d.c. it's a growing problem. i frankly as a republican and someone who supports the
electoral college am worried about the long-term impact on the health of the electoral college. these republicans right now who are leading this efforts are handing democrats the single greatest argument that there ever was and ever made to abolish the electoral college. a disaster for the republican party, which tends not to win the national popular vote. unless you're last name is bush. over the last 30 years. so i think both from an institutional perspective and political perspective, real reasons to be concerned what this might do to the future of our governments. >> thank you. coming up next, coronavirus infections could be for times greater than reported. and the crucial runoff election in georgia. what the candidates are saying in these final hours. onth, bece fuels opportunity. see what scholarship you qualify for at phoenix.edu
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the number of people infected with coronavirus could be four times higher than reported. that means, according to the study, as of mid-november one out of every seven residents may have been infected, 47 million people. confirmed we only have 21 million cases. one state hit hardest right now is california. let's go to dan there in san francisco. dan, just how bad is it in california, a state that has had very strict restrictions on activity for quite some time? >> reporter: well, erin, unfortunately the new year is off to a very rough start in california as far as the coronavirus is concerned. just to paint a picture for you, you have a shortage of hospital
beds and hospital rooms, you have a severe shortage of oxygen as well, not to mention a tired and weary front line medical staff at all the various hospitals, and the situation is most pronounced in l.a. county where you have someone dying of coronavirus every 15 minutes, according to officials there, and one out of five people who is getting tested for the virus is testing positive. now you have the county telling ambulance crews not to take somebody to the hospital if they're having a serious cardiac event where they're not expected to survive, which is absolutely extraordinary. they're doing this in order to conserve oxygen. as bad as things are now, erin, things are only expected to get worse. we haven't even talked about vaccine dlelivery, which is ver, very slow. you only have a third of vaccines that have been shot into arms and only about a third distributed. hundreds of thousands of doses sitting on a shelf, which is very frustrating. >> incredible amount of
frustration considering how many we need to vaccinate in your state and around the country. we want to go to dr. reiner, medical adviser to the administratio administration. california has a high number of deaths and icu beds taken, which they've told ambulances not to bring people there because they're short on oxygen. this has an influence on indoor dining, schools and all. what can they do? >> california has had a limited shutdown in parts of the state for about the last month, and they may need to make that even more stringent. the virus is really out of control in california. they've had almost 800,000 cases. they have almost 800,000 people hospitalized in california. that's 6% of the total number of hospitalizations in the united
states, and it's disproportionately affecting populations. if you're a member of the ladknocks community in los angeles, you have three times the likelihood of acquiring the virus and needing to be hospitalized than if you're white. if you're in a poor part of los angeles, you have about a 60% higher rate of infection than folks who live in the richer parts of the community. so it's really a devastating los angeles right now, but they may need to shut down further. we're hearing the film industry may just do that. >> let me ask you this in the context of the new study. we don't know what we don't know, but if the number of coronavirus infections in the united states could be up to four times higher than had been purported, it could mean a couple of things. it could mean a lower death rate. obviously it would mean that if that's the case. it could also mean we are closer to herd immunity than we think.
we need a vaccine significantly to get there, but closer than we would think. what do you make of this study in the parameters? do you think it's true? >> it's very interesting. we've always known that there is an enormous amount of symptomatic asymptomatic infection in this country, and that's due tie large part of the spread. but we've never known how many were asymptomatic and not known it. this study suggests if you use current numbers, about 20 million documented infections, up to 80 million in this community might actually have been infected with this virus. if 70% to 80% of the population needs to have been exposed to the virus or been vaccinated to the virus, that would mean that our goal for vaccination might -- and herd immunity might be achieved at a slightly lower number. perhaps vaccinating 150 million people might get us closer to
herd immunity if 80 million people have had the vaccine. really, it's symptomatic of how widespread the virus has been in this community. >> and widespread correlates to more death because the vaccine isn't rolling out that quickly. one question before we go. in new york city, 30% of the health care staff of the 11 public hospitals in new york have so far taken a wait and see approach, right, opted not to get the vaccine for various reasons, questions they may have, whatever it might be. the new york health ceo mitch katz defended them saying, things we know about the vaccine may have changed, give them some time. obviously you had your shot. today or yesterday i saw your picture on twitter. what do you say to health care workers who are turning it down right now? >> yeah, i did get my second vaccination today. i would say let's talk about it. gw is about to start a program which they're calling vaccine
ambassadors where people are actually going to have on their name tags basically an invitation let's talk about the vaccine. we need to polarize this. this isn't vaxnovavax. we need to educate people all across country. >> dr. reiner, thank you. i appreciate your time. dr. reiner has had his second shot, no concerns about it. much of our coverage for election day continues after this. y area homeowners
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and welcome again to our special coverage of election day in america continued. i'm erin burnett, and anderson and i are here with you this afternoon covering what is an historic 48 hours for this country. you've got control of the senate. joe bid joe biden's presidency and the georgia election all hanging in the balance. that election with stakes running so high. all four candidates running know it. listen to their closing messages on the trail today. >> when we win both of these senate races, we will pass $2,000 stimulus checks immediately for the american people. i spoke with the president-elect about that personally yesterday. >> but ordinary people, struggling families, working
families need somebody in washington, d.c. who will be thinking about them. >> what's at stake here is we want to hold a line against this radical socialist agenda. that's why the president came down. but also to protect what we've accomplished in the last four years. >> all right, kelly loeffler has not spoken yet publicly today, anderson. of course, we're going to bring it to you as soon as she does. >> this vote comes as republican allies on capitol hill are trying to thwart the election results. they plan to challenge joe biden's win tomorrow as they tally the votes. it does come as trump is turning up the heat on his vice president to overturn the election tomorrow. >> let's start with georgia and gary tuckerman. he is in fulton county, georgia. gary, i know you talked to people today who came in to vote in person on election day. tell us what you're seeing now.
>> reporter: erin, i will tell you the u.s. senate represents an entire nation, but it's the people of this state, these people who are about to vote, who makes the decision about who controls the u.s. senate. there are about 2,600 polling places in the state of georgia. they've been open for about eight hours now today. they have four more hours to go. we're here at the cathedral of st. phillipe. there were about 15 people in the cold and dark when the doors opened at 7:00 a.m. there have been no lines since then, but there's been a steady tropical storm hermi stream of people coming in to vote. there were 15 days of early voting in this state, and you could go many places for early voting. there were about 3 million people in this county who early voted. there were 5,024 votes cast, so
75% of that presidential number was early voting in this election, the senate election, so it's an extraordinary number of people. we could tell you the secretary of state, brad raffensperger, who has gotten some fame lately, says everything is going smoothly in the state so far. that conversation he had with president trump, obviously a lot of people here are talking about it, the very first voter who came in today was the chairman of the fulton county commission. and the president criticized georgia, criticized fulton county, and i asked the leader of fulton county what he thought about it all. >> it's a little irritating to wake up and to hear people at the highest positions in the country talking, saying negative things about fulton county when i know for a fact that it's not true. because if it were true, i would be on top of it and would have put a stop to it. it just did not happen in fulton county. >> reporter: erin and anderson,
it's very interesting how much they want people to vote. there is no mandate for masks. everyone we have seen were wearing a mask, but if you come in and don't want to wear one by principle, they'll let you vote. they bring in dogs, cats, everything. if you have covid-19 and you really want to vote and you come in here, they'll make provisions for you to vote. even if you say you're positive, they won't kick you out of here. >> i want to go back to martin savage. he is in savannah, georgia. when do you think you'll know the results, martin? >> reporter: that's a good question. obviously the polls have to close at 7:00 p.m., but getting to the point gary was just making, the tremendous number of early votes that have occurred, that's going to be key here. because under georgia law, early votes, especially absentee ballots, can be processed before the end of the day today. they cannot be counted until 7:00 p.m. but they can be processed. that gives many election boards across the state a real leg up when it comes to numbers.
for example, i was just looking at cobb county. there were 467,000 requests for absentee ballots and there were 108,000 returned. in this county, chatham county, you had 65,611 early votes cast. some were absentee, some were early person voting. they, too, can have the votes standing by. can't enter them into the count yet, but when 7:00 p.m. comes, they can quickly enter them into the system. in theory, in this county, for instance, it's obvious you had more people voting early than will actually vote today. so the opportunity to move quickly with these tallies is definitely there due to the overwhelming amount, a total of over 3 million early votes that were cast. we'll have to wait and see. clearly everyone is going to be very cautious because they know what's at stake and they know all eyes are on georgia. but there is a good opportunity tonight we will get a very
strong look at what the trends will definitely be. in this county, for instance, the counting doesn't end until friday because there are certain ballots that will have until 5:00 p.m., including overseas ballots. but by tonight we may have a very good idea of where the senate is going. >> like you say, overseas ballots, martin, and i know in the presidential election savannah was a little late to report, so we'll see if that is what we'll see tonight. let's go to john king at the magic wall. john, you're all looking and we're all wondering, right? waiting for savannah, waiting for savannah. some earlier to report than others when we look back in november. when you put all this together, what do you see? what are the counties that are most crucial tonight to you? >> let me start with the suburban question, because the suburbs decide close elections all across america. georgia is no exception when it comes to that. the suburbs have been absolutely critical to recent wins, joe
biden's win in november, nancy pelosi. does it continue today in georgia even though president trump is not on the ballot? that is a critical question. let's go back to georgia on election day and election days after joe biden gets an 11,779 win in the state. first democrat to win in the state since bill clinton in 1992. they need to be perfect, and one of the places they need to be is in the suburbs. look at cobb county, used to be traditionally republican. president trump gets 11,799 votes. david perdue gets 9,700 votes. let's move over to fulton county. this is atlanta. you think of fulton county, you think of atlanta, but it's also the suburbs to the north and the suburbs to the northwest.
look at senator perdue back in november. 106,464 votes. you say only 20%, he got blown out. but math matters in close elections. let's look at the presidential race. 137 and change for president trump. david perdue got 9,000 more votes and change in fulton county. in a close election, that can make the difference. so do these republican senate candidates get a normal georgia turnout in the suburbs, or does the animus against trump in the suburbs carry over because of the national implications? that's a giant question today. >> such a giant question. of course, trump's behavior in this, right, saying it's rigged and everything else he's been doing in the past weeks. when you take all this together, and again, it goes back to martin's point in savannah where you've got overseas ballots, military ballots, there's more time to count those. how long could it be before we know definitively who won these races? >> we have a magic wall, we could use a magic ball to answer that question.
we don't know, but you just heard martin and i heard gary talk earlier today. the reporters on the ground are doing a great job. turnout will not be at the level of a presidential race. it's still off the charts for a runoff election, but they do believe they'll get there. can they get there? let's go back to 2020 and the state of georgia. we had early votes, people voted in person. we had the absentee mail-in ballots, we had people turning out today like they did in november. not as many, but still a sizeable number of people. let's remember what they did in the state of georgia. this is 12:00, right? let me go all wait back to tthe the beginning. you come in here and joe biden is ahead. by 8:00 election night, donald trump has a narrow lead. then we went through. this is midnight as we move over to the next day, right? trump is still in the lead. 24 hours later, trump is still in the lead. 24 hours later, trump still in the lead. now on november 6, we are three
full days after the election and donald trump was still leading in georgia, and then, bang, they keep counting those early votes. the mail-in ballots, the absentee ballots. joe biden takes the lead and it grows from there until we get to the end. i'm not saying that will play out again tonight, but we need to be careful. if you see early votes, democrats may jump out to a big lead. if it's all votes from today, republicans may jump out to a big lead. patience. we'll get there. >> what people need to understand, it takes time. you start counting at 7:00, a fair vote is a fair vote whenever it is counted. thank you so much, john. so we are learning president trump and mike pence are now coordinating with far right allies in congress to try to overturn the election results tomorrow. some prominent republicans, though, have stepped up. just in the past hour we've started to see a few more saying they are not on board. we're live at the white house with new details coming in at this hour. joe biden feeling good about the election in georgia.
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president trump pressuring vice president pence to overturn the election results during his ceremonial role pre sizsiding o the election results tomorrow. some senators not backing it, knowing it's sure to fail. kaitlan is at the white house. kaitlan, more and more senators are going along with president
trump's attempt. >> there are senators who say they will object tomorrow, of course, that's smaller than others who say they will as well. we know that number will be potentially around 140. president trump will be watching who is defending him tomorrow. while these are people coming forward to object, know that the outcome will be the same tomorrow regardless. what they're weighing is doing that is going to be worth the political dividends that it pays in the end. of course, all these people you see coming out have political ambitions, and one of those in a very tough spot tomorrow, if you talk to his advisers, is the vice president, who is in this open position with the president who is pressuring him to make some move tomorrow to disrupt this, potentially delay the certification of the results. pence just doesn't have that power. he has the most basic job of anyone on capitol hill tomorrow which is counting those votes, but the president is refusing to see it that way, even though
multiple people, anderson, have explained it to the president, the vice president has explained it to him. he's listening to those other voices saying pence has a power he does not have. >> i want to go to nia-malika henderson and michael smerconish. we're hearing president trump, vice president pence, they had lunch today. trump has been, quote, confused as to why pence can't overturn the election as he presides over the election count tomorrow. i don't know why the president would be confused. he's a fully grown adult capable of understanding basic concepts. he's listen ing to these lawyer like rudy giuliani who suck up to him. >> i think that's right, rudy giuliani and all the conspiracy theorists around him who believe
things he reads on the web. that's what the president believes. he has ingested all of it. in mike pence he has seen someone who has been really, really loyal to him throughout the last four years, and the expectation is that not only someone like mike pence has absolute authority, but will use that absolute authority to then do something for this president, who also believes he has absolute authority. this isn't surprising from this president. he doesn't really understand american history, doesn't really understand the constitution, either, so it isn't surprising at this late date he is still relying on that ignorance and sort of a fantasy view of the american presidency to try to hold onto power. >> michael, this lunch that the president is having with pence today comes after the president talked about pence in georgia last night at the rally. i just want to play that for our viewers. >> i hope mike pence comes through for us, i have to tell you. i hope that our great vice
president -- our great vice president comes through for us. he's a great guy. of course, if he doesn't come through, i won't like him quite as much. >> he always says the quiet parts out loud. you kind of have to respect that about the president. he clearly would turn on pence on a dime, there is no doubt about it. pence is in an interesting position. i guess if he wants a career on talk radio or, you know, oan or some of these trump networks, if he wants a career in the maga world, he faces a dilemma of what to do tomorrow. even though, frankly, there is nothing he really can do. >> i think vice president pence is rather unique, anderson, in that he's the one individual who comes to mind who has remained in the inner circle for all four years and has never incurred the public wrath of the president. and with regard to tomorrow, you
remember filipe petite, i'm sure rk sure, the guy who in the '70s walked between the two buildings on a tightrope. fabulous movie, i loved it. but that's what i picture for vice president pence tomorrow, because he's walking that tightrope and he doesn't want to anger trump because he wants to stay in the good fold like the rest of them because he's concerned about the base. by the same token, i do think of him as a traditionalist who doesn't want to defile the constitution and his prescribed ministerial role. so how does he achieve both of those tomorrow? it's going to be fascinating to watch. >> nia, at least 13 republican senators are going to speak against biden's election, or say
they will. doour do you think they will do something like that? >> chthey have chosen their pat and that is to be one of trump's boys. the ones who will oppose it is the one who has spoken republicanism to really forge their own path, to have their own brand who is separate from this president. we talk about the president's loyalty. you can show all sorts of loyalty to him, but the idea that you showing loyalty to him will mean he's loyal to you forever just isn't the case, and he's certainly not going to cede his base to anyone. >> for ted cruz, hawley and a couple others, this is a move to try to set themselves up to get maga voters in 2024. they're also kind of dependent on there actually being responsible senators who will vote the opposite way. because if they actually got their way, this would be
devastating for american democracy. this would be essentially a form of a coup. >> i hate to be so cynical, but i think it's largely about self-preservation. who is going to run the risk of a primary in '22 who wants to run for president in '24, and all of this differeneference to president keeps him as the head of the republican party beyond the 20th. >> and they will undercut him any way they can for their own benefit. it's like they don't want to rescue, they want to stay with their captive. it's bizarre. michael, nia-malika, thank you. carl rove in a public call with a donor says they will win.
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georgia. >> i feel optimism about today. we have to restore a sense of decency, honor and commitment to one another. we have to reunite this country, and that's why i'm so excited about the prospects of jon and the reverend winning this thing. >> let's get to two monen who kw georgia well, the best of anyone. georgia van johnson and conservative radio host eric erickson, host of atlanta news. thanks to you both. you heard the president-elect say he was optimistic, excited about the prospects. but there was a call a few moments ago with expert carl rove with donors, and he said they expect that turnout today, and if happens, they expect they have the victory at hand. who do you think has the edge? >> i think it's very clear the excitement is here, the motivation is here, the drive is here.
georgia has recognized the place they play at this time in history, and i believe that we'll have two new senators by the time this process is over. >> eric, it would be a pretty incredible thing to happen. just giving the context here, you haven't had a democratic senator candidate winning in georgia in 20 years, right, so it would be a history-making thing if you have not one, but two seats go democratic. what are you seeing, eric? >> i know, i've talked to a lot of republicans and democrats across the state right now, and the presumption seems to be that david perdue probably is going to win. no one is really sure about the loeffler-warnock race. that's very close. and the reason they're saying david perdue wins is because he has the attack dog against kelly loeffler and hasn't touched david perdue. there were a number of precincts that went for biden and perdue.
it's very popular with black and white farmers because of all the efforts. republicans are nervous but they kind of think david perdue definitely wins and they're just not sure about the others. if that would keep them in the senate, they would be happy. >> we don't know what we don't know, but obviously if it's a split, that's a victory for republicans nationally, right, for the senate. what are the odds something like that happens given the situation in georgia right now? so many people seem to see this as it's all or nothing, right? you're going to get two seats or no seats. do you think it could split? >> i think it's certainly conceivable, but i think the reality is that in a race where all conventional wisdom has been thrown out the window, this is totally about turnout. we've been really excited about the fact that 3 million georgians prior to this day have voted. 2 million of those have been in person.
again, people recognize in georgia, certainly here in savannah and chatham county the significance of this day, the day they're able to make history and certainly to have representatives that are more representative of the entire state of georgia and not just certain interests. >> so, eric, when you look at what happened in november, right, history was made with joe biden's victory. but you saw a lot of split ticket voting, okay? you saw a lot of people, a lot of republicans, presumably, right, who voted for biden who then voted for republicans on the ticket, lower on the ticket, and we don't know what will happen now. if republicans don't win, who is to blame, though, eric? who else do you blame other than donald trump? >> listen, the republicans are to blame for themselves. when you look at november, republicans got over 50% of all of the legislative votes combined. with david perdue and the libertarian, they got over 50%, and when you added up all the right of senate candidates in november, that 20-person senate
election, the right of center candidates got 53% of the vote. now it's no coincidence that the area of the state running behind the state in turnout is north georgia which is highly republican and also has the qanon congresswoman saying the race was stolen in november and the republicans let the race be stolen. yeah, there's some dissatisfaction. to the mayor's credit, i have to say the democratic machine in the chatham area is firing on all cylinders right now. >> i was recently in savannah, and the signs made it clear which way savannah is leaning, but what do you expect in the turnout? is it possible you could do better than you did in november? >> we had phenomenal turnout in early voting and certainly absentee voting. i think people recognize because of covid that it was really easier and more efficient. we've had some issues of some voter suppression, so we wanted
to get those votes out early. today has been steady. people have been coming throughout the day. we expect that once 5:00 comes, we'll again have long lines at the polls, but i think people understand, be patient, be vigilant, don't get distracted, stay focused and then let the election professionals do their job. >> thank you, both, very much. next, more cracks forming in trump's wall of republican support on capitol hill ahead of this all-important electoral college certification. three senators just announcing they will not back the president's efforts to overturn the election. plus a new study estimates coronavirus infections in this country may be four times higher than reported. the situation in southern california is now spinning out of control. how did it happen? -kee-on-oh... -nope. -co-ee-noah. -no. -joaquin. -no. it just takes practice. give it a shot. [ grunts, exhales deeply ]
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senator ted cruz announcing he will object to the senate election results tomorrow. he joins 12 other republicans and at least 140 house republicans who are expected to oppose the certification of the results in order to have donald trump win. manu, what is expected tomorrow? >> that depends on how long these republicans want to take this that is doomed to fail because they don't have the votes, and at the end of the day, joe biden will be on the way to becoming president of the united states on january 20th. but the way that it works is this. when the house convenes tomorrow in congress, both senate and the
house will be in the chamber. afterwards, each state will go through the electoral votes, and if one house member is joined by one senator to object to those electoral votes, then each chamber will go to recess and have a debate and debate up to two hours each on each objection. at the end of the day, the senators themselves and the house members will vote on whether to affirm the objection, to throw out those electoral votes. they're not even going to come close to a simple majority in either chamber, so those methods will fail. there's up to six objections which is what the concerted house members hope. this could take 12 hours of debate and many more hours to go through the process of voting, and it could stretch on for days. anderson, at the moment we're expecting three challenges for certain. whether it gets up to six still remains to be seen. we do expect georgia, we do expect pennsylvania and you mentioned ted cruz announcing he
would oppose arizona. but after that, it's uncertain whether lawmakers will continue to push on this fruitless effort. republicans are divided over this, aroundersonanderson, behi doors. a number of them came out opposed to the idea, and senate republicans, more and more of them are saying this is a bad idea, so ultimately, anderson, they have no chance of succeeding, but they can drag it out. >> manu raju, thank you. appreciate it. vice president pence and the president having lunch today as trump tries to get him to overturn the election results. he can't. he will be presiding over the election results tomorrow. that effort is likely to fail. what more are you hearing, jim? >> reporter: i think reality is setting in what's left of the trump campaign. they were walking me through some of the steps that manu raju was talking about tomorrow.
we'll see house members reject to some of this, we'll see senate members on the republican side joining in, essentially to boost those challenges. but i talked to a trump adviser earlier today who said, listen, this is not going to go very far. the vice president can only do so much constitutionally, and while these challenges will be underway throughout the day tomorrow, anderson, i talked to this adviser who said, listen, the issue is what constitutionally can be done about it? the president has been pressuring vice president mike pence to throw out these results throughout the day tomorrow. all of our indications atanders vice president is not going to do that. they're going to try to steer clear of some of the crazy and wild nonsense we've been hearing from some of the president's more nutty advisers, people like sidney powell and others who we've heard from in the last several weeks, and his advise
or. i would consider it to be the more credible evidence of what they deemed it to be, it the trump campaign, the trump team has not put forward any credible evidence of widespread voter fraud. this is sounding a lot less like an attempted coup tomorrow and more like a lesson in fertility. >> bill barr even said he looked at it, investigated it, and no sign whatsoever of widespread fraud that would impact the outcome of the election. so let's go to former u.s. attorney harry lipman. harry, you hear jim's reporting, manu's reporting. yet president trump goes to dalton, georgia last night and pressures pence. he hopes pence, quote, comes through for him tomorrow, and the president today has tweeted,
quote, the vice president has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors. does pence have any power here? >> the short answer is no. so trump doesn't understand the constitution, of course, and he did tweet, i like him less. even if, erin, pence wanted to try to channel the president, even if he opened the envelope from arizona that announced votes for biden and said, therefore, trump, he can't do it. he's utterly impotent here. if he tried to do it, he would be swiftly rebuffed by the senate and the house. he can only stand by. ilts it's a strictly ceremonial role where he is the emcee. i've analogized it in the past as an oscar presenter. it might be thursday, it might be friday where he has to say
these most loathed words to president trump where he says, the next president of the united states is joe biden. >> you're saying you can take a couple days here with machinations, but first it was the electoral college, then it was turn this january 6th of nothing into something, then it was overturn the election results. is there anything of which the election is still in dispute after this? >> i think this will be it. next would only be troops in the street, erin, and what else? >> i think tomorrow will actually be anticlimactic. i think you'll see cruz and hawley retreating. i don't think you'll see six and eight-hour debates. to answer your question
directly, he's finished unless he wants to try to call out the military and they know he would rebuff them. he's tried hard, but his hand is now played, nothing more to do. >> harry, thank you very much. i appreciate it. next we'll go to los angeles where people predicted it could happen. it is happening and cases are surging. a 30% jump in just a week. another variant of coronavirus now discovered in another state. we know new york and now we know at this moment it's been found in georgia. we have more details after this. so you only pay for what you need. isn't that what you just did? service! ♪ stand back, i'm gonna show ya ♪ ♪ how doug and limu roll, ya ♪ ♪ you know you got to live it ♪ ♪ if you wanna wi... [ music stops ] time out! only pay for what you need.
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california the state reports the virus has claimed nearly 30,000 lives. hospitals are being pushed to the brink. we are in los angeles with more. in los angeles county the covid-19 burden on hospitals is so great that emts are under orders. if certain cardiac arrest victims after attempts to resuscitate show no signs of survival, they should be determined dead on scene and not transported. ambulances waiting hours to drop patients who are transported. >> the next couple of weeks we're going to get more. i think we're going to be in some trouble. >> reporter: over in daytona beach, florida -- >> i want to be able to see my
kids and my grandchildren. >> reporter: seniors kept in their cars overnight to be the first in line for the vaccine this morning. >> we've seen it in duvall, broward, orange and lee county. >> in lee, why did that happen? did you investigate why? >> that was my question to you, governor. you're the governor of the state. >> we distributed vaks vaccine to hospitals. >> reporter: like most states, florida has reported administering a fraction of the doses delivered. >> it's much slower than we expected or hoped. we're going to have a rough time in the next couple of months and we face the possibility that we will have to do a shutdown again. >> reporter: a record-setting 128,000 americans are already in the hospital and the number of tests coming back positive proves we are nowhere near getting this virus under control. >> this looks very much the way it started back in march and april in new york city and it's
almost as if we haven't learned anything and this is a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in los angeles. i worry it won't stop in los angeles. >> reporter: and you know what's freaking a lot of people out is this idea of having to limit care. one nurse told us he didn't train to limit care, he trained to help people and emts here in la are now also being told to limit who they give oxygen to because oxygen is in such short supply. an der souther anderson? >> it's what health care workers have been fearful of. coming up next, georgia joining a number of cases coming up. we'll have details on that next. n bring your vision to life. for small prices, you can build big dreams. spend less, get way more. shop everything home at wayfair today.
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contagious variant in the area. joining me now, dr. william shatner, from vanderbilt and on the cdc advisory. doctor, now we know this is in georgia so now we know new york, california, colorado, georgia. in the u.k. they sequence testing. they can say this person has this variant, this person doesn't. we don't. the fact that we know about these individual cases in four corners of the country, is it safe to say this is, indeed, everywhere in the u.s.? >> i was about to use that word, erin. yes, we can decide that it's everywhere. we can make that assumption and it may well be contributing to this surge in cases we're seeing all over the country which of course was augmented by people getting together in the holidays offering this virus even more
opportunities to spread, which it knows how to do. >> let me ask you about this because i know that the practices that we all know work work with any version of this, but when it's more highly contagious, what does that mean or do we even know in terms of its ability to, you know, get through certain types of masks or live on surfaces or all these questions, right? do we not even know the answers to that? >> the answer is that we produce more virus so we shed it out more and that means if you're close in, you're more likely to catch it. so it hasn't got anything to do very much with the surfaces we don't think, it's just that the individuals who are infected put out more virus, which means more people can catch it more easily. >> all right. that's really important. for people to understand these basics. as you point out, it could be contributing to -- 30% surge in
hospitalizations in la in one week, it's safe to ask the question as to whether it's related. we don't know at all, but i know they're fair questions. it's a race against time, doctor. you've got something like this happening, more highly contagious disease. someone had said you could lose 200,000 more lives just because of something that spreads more quickly but is not more virulent. the vaccine rollout has been slow thus far, significantly so. what can be done to change that? >> well, you know what i'm going to say, erin, because i say it all the time. we can put up a stop sign to this virus if we would all wear the masks, social distance, don't go to groups, go back home and don't give this virus an opportunity to get from an infected person to the next person. that's the key. everybody please wear the mask. >> dr. shatner, i appreciate your time very much. thank you, sir. >> my pleasure.
>> sobering news confirming an 18-year-old man in georgia does have that u.k. variant. that's now the fourth confirmed state where it's present. thanks very much to all of you for joining myself and anderson. our special coverage of election night in america continues right now. it's election night in america continued as this country is entering 48 hours of history and uncertainty. >> trump allies in congress are right now preparing for a futile seditious challenge of the electoral vote count as the final fight is on the line. >> after a contentious fight for the u.s. house, the fight is up to voters in one state. >> people of georgia. >> magnificent georgia. >> will republicans keep control of the senate? >> let's go get it done,