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i'm don lemon. this is cnn's continuing coverage of election night in america, and it is a major night for republicans. just look right here. virginia, cnn is projecting that glenn youngkin scores a huge victory there, winning the governor's race in virginia, beating out democrat terry mcauliffe in an extremely tight race in a state biden won decisively just one year ago. the other major contest tonight, the race for governor in new jersey, it is neck and neck right now. and the votes are still coming in. republican jack ciatterelli had been leading the incumbent phil murphy for most of the night. but the race is now virtually tied. ciatterelli is projecting confidence, though. and murphy telling his supporters that every vote still needs to be counted. ciatterelli is doing the same thing, as well. let's get straight to the magic wall. >> it does not get closer. 49.6, 49.6. >> let's do the math here.
separated by about 1900 votes. >> that's right. with jack ciatterelli still almost 2,000 ahead >> so what happened here if >> this is a state biden won by almost 16 points a year ago. biden, underwater popularity, not helping. democrats thinking that murphy would get re-elected easily. defies history. he was running to be the first democrat in 40 years to be re-elected governor to the state. let's look at bergen county, most populous county in the state, right across from new york. earlier tonight, ciatterelli was in the lead. that was blowing people's minds. we can see that murphy has pulled ahead, 86% reporting. there's still probably some room for that movement. that's one of the reasons murphy's people feel like they still have a shot. but keep in mind that murphy, just four years ago, was crushing it in bergen compared to where he is. and just to remind people that new jersey is not always
predictably democrat, eight years ago, chris christie was doing even better with 60%. his re-election was a walk in the park compared to what murphy is facing tonight. so this is a tale of the tape. the issue is where the votes are still out tend to be these more urban counties. and that's where you will see this margin tighten up and democrats think they can make the grade. but this is a very different map than it looked like just four years ago. that's a warning side to murphy and to democrats nationally. >> let's go to virginia. glenn youngkin -- okay. not really a race alert. let's go back to new jersey and look at the numbers. this is just in. you've got to be kidding me. what is that, about 500 votes? >> every vote continues. so it's down to 565. still tied. >> how much reporting?
>> 84%. >> so we have 16% to go. you see that margin continually tightening. but, i mean, it just doesn't get closer. >> so 565 votes. if you look at the counties still to come in, are those from blue counties? >> overwhelming. let's look at where the counties are with 80%. 20% of the vote still coming in, overwhelmingly counties that are blue. that's good news for democrats. >> trenton, camden. >> these are all the big cities. >> i lived in philly. >> so you know your camden. jersey city, newark, trenton, ca camden, this is where the vote is still out and democrats have the big lead. but you just don't get tighter than this number. >> so there we go. the numbers have tightened up, a difference of 565 votes.
>> it's half a minor league ballpark. >> let's go to virginia now, because a big win for glenn youngkin. >> huge. >> we were talking about this polling. terry mcauliffe was in the lead, and then all of a sudden it started to dwindle and dwindle. and then youngkin had the wind at his back. >> momentum matters. look, you can say that mcauliffe, making it all about donald trump didn't work. i will say, mcauliffe, 1.5 million votes is nor than northam got four years ago. but in a state democrats won easily, they were blocking democrats -- or republicans from winning a statewide race since 2009, this is a wakeup call bigtime. and really what's going on is take a look at some of the key states. youngkin overperformed trump every place. he kept trump at a distance and he won independents back, he won
moderates and suburban voters back. every place. people who just a year ago were saying donald trump is not for me, moved republicans big time. but terry mcauliffe is overperforming joe biden nowhere. that's a problem. he's underperforming where he was -- where democrats were just four years before. so all that says is that particularly in this area, this area, the southeast part of the state, you know, democrats had won this four years before. not happening tonight. >> that is -- i think the broader question for the panel, i'll ask you then the panel. if he is not outperforming joe biden anywhere, does that say more about the campaign that he ran and instead of youngkin's performance? >> reality check it says in part that a million more people voted in virginia during the presidential election than
governor that's normal. the problem is, the democrats thought they really picked the lock on virginia. remember, barack obama was the first democrat to win virginia in 2008 since lbj. and since then, democrats have been on a serious winning streak. but youngkin keeping the distance from donald trump, biden being under water in the state, they have eroded in some places and youngkin was able to say look, i'm a businessman, i'm not a professional idealogue like some of these, and it's a big momentum shift. >> i'm going to walk over here and talk to these folks. so you heard what john avolon had to say about this. bakari, how much of this is terry mcauliffe's own fault, that he ran a bad campaign? >> as someone who has run a statewide race, i can tell you that hindsight is always 20/20. >> we're not just saying that now, though. people have been saying --
>> in a nationalized race and nationalized environment, you can't escape the drag that washington democrats have been on terry mcauliffe. and yes, i'm beating on them, and rightfully so. you can talk about the american recovery act and shots in arms, talk about the things that joe biden has done with the courts. all things that i will champion on social media. but what alice has been talking about and what republicans -- alice scott jennings got this thing right. democrats have missed how voters feel. they missed how to make voters' lives better. tangibly. like how they feel today. yes, what we did when we got elected to get people out of covid is great. judges may impact you in the future. but right now people want to know about the gas pump. people want to know about prescription drug prices, people want to know all all of these things that we just seem like we're unable to accomplish.
>> there were a few things that he couldn't help. obviously he couldn't help the fact that joe biden has low approval ratings. he cannot help the fact that there is dysfunction in washington. there's no wins on the board with regard to a lot of these promises and spending planning. and democratic voters feel like the dog that caught up to the car. we got him here and what do we do now? >> what if he treated joe biden the way that youngkin treated donald trump? does he not have that option? >> obviously, he's the sitting president, and you're going to have him come in, kamala harris, you'll have surrogates come in. but more of a strategic mistake that the mcauliffe campaign made was not so much -- the biggest factor was making this all about donald trump and trying to tie youngkin up with donald trump. but he alienated a key voting bloc for any candidate -- parents.
>> he made one of the largest and probably most consequential gaffes on the campaign trail that you'll see. i think the combination of everything is why he lost. but the gaffe of saying that parents don't belong in -- and i'm paraphrasing, he would know it better than anybody, but parents shouldn't have a say in the education of their children, that's one of the more consequential gaffes. >> isn't that something you can clean up? >> but he didn't do that, he doubled down on that and took several days that the polls tested really badly before he changed his mind. but that's what he was thinking, he just made the mistake of saying it out loud. parents realized that, they were pissed and they voted for youngkin. >> one pollster i was talking to said democrats misread how frustrated parents were about having their kids miss two years of school. and about the covid closing down the schools and then terry mcauliffe's reaction. look, he had a platform out
there. he had progressive policies that he was running on. but at the end of the day, democrats didn't have a forceful response to what youngkin was presenting in terms of education and in terms of what he was saying he would do with school choice. and some of biden's pollsters will even tell you that if you don't have a full-throated response to what republicans are running on, name it, the issue, whether it's immigration, critical race theory or something else, then democrats are going to falter, and they're not going to do as well. because there was not an aggressive response on it. you know, mccauauliffe also had deal with voters still feel like the environment out there is still terrible and there is a crisis the country is dealing with. and they're going to blame who is in power. >> i have someone on the ground who i know there is saying about
mcauliffe, that democrats need to find someone who can win, who can speak to a diverse coalition and expect a diverse coalition to turn out. i don't believe that, but here's where i think they're right. i'm not saying that person can't win, but they have to speak to the issues. i'm down here and mcauliffe did not move any of their democratic friends to go above and beyond. >> so correct. that part's correct. the first part is not correct. i would say -- look, we all know terry mcauliffe. he worked at cnn and sat at one of these tables with us at one time or another. he's a very good politician, okay? but they miscalculated on the school issue and on the trump issue. we have seen trump being beaten in the media for the past four
years. trump is out, bide season in office right now. every piece of mail we receive at my house -- >> i want democrats and republicans and the news media to hear that, because i've been saying that every day. >> that's the fact, democrats don't want to acknowledge that. but trump is not in power right now. and that, i think, was an absolute miscalculation. every piece of mail we received, and this is the most direct mail we have ever received at my house, ever. think about that, everything is moving digitally, but mail is like an old-school type of way to persuade voters. we got a piece of mail every day from the democratic party of georgia -- excuse me, of virginia. by trump message. >> people didn't care about it. >> we seen one piece of mail
about abortion in the last week. >> two quick points and they both bear just saying -- they don't really go together. but the fact that we're having a conversation about terry mcauliffe losing an election and that being a rejection of progressive politics. terry mcauliffe and progressive politics? that ain't a thing that meshes well together. so that's when politics gets funky and democrats have to step back. when you talk about the missteps, and it's something that was sizzling in my spirit a lot, the lack of investment of the democratic party in this race and to black communities is astonishing. and we utilize the same playbook that i thought we had broken ourselves away from. just this weekend, you saw all the articles. i think politico wrote one as well that said terry mcauliffe is bringing in jim clyburn. he's a savior. he'll make sure those black
voters come out. we wait until the day before, the week before. but i was talking to some of my friends who do black media, and they were talking about $100,000 buys on black radio, how they weren't doing this or that. and we always just want to talk to black voters after labor day. >> how are you going to get the black vote when you're not talking about voting rights or -- >> i've been saying that for a long time. there you go. i don't know what you're supposed to say -- [ overlapping speakers ] still, i mean, they didn't even run the ads. >> just one more thing, they said that black groups endorsed youngkin in the virginia beach area. first time ever. >> one of the successes of the youngkin captain mpaign is, the
not leave any voting bloc out. the way you get a vote and support from a voting group is you show up and you ask up, and you get their support. he did that with african-americans, with women, with hispanics. that was the key to them making up a lot of the lost ground. if mcauliffe had given the speech tonight throughout his campaign, he would be in a different spot. bun word he did not say tonight, trump. he focused on health care and issues that voters are concerned with, but he already lost the race. >> a lot of folks need to learn how to quit trump. republicans, democrats, news media. the race for governor in new jersey a dead heat. what does harry enten, our senior data reporter has to say. inside the numbers, next.
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look at the wall there. fewer than 600 votes. and 84% in right now. let's get straight to our senior data reporter. >> it's 2:22 in the morning, whatever you want. >> what is your take on what's happening in new jersey, who do you think will win here? >> i think phil murphy will ultimately be the winner. it's too close to call, but as john avolon was pointing out, the places where the votes are remaining are heavily democratic. but if you looked at the counties that have pretty much already fully reported and compare the 2017 gubernatorial vote to what we see right now in those counties that have fully reported, although the numbers have shifted towards the republicans, it's not a big enough shift in order for the republican to win in this race. >> is it -- a win is a win, and
we get that phil murphy is -- it's looking good for him. but is this a win for him? did ciatterelli teach him something or was it just what's happening in d.c., people feel the democratic party has moved too far to the left? >> i know what you're saying. but if you looked at a preelection poll from monmouth, new jersey, joe biden's approval rating was 49%. that's what we saw in virginia where his approval rating was beneath his disapproval rating. we're not even talking about the county races and the township races on long island. again in the northeast, again a place where joe biden did well last time around. we are seeing that republicans are doing well across the board. and new jersey is just one big example of that. >> why is this closer than we expected? is it because everything you just said?
look, i think that, again, for the political class, especially democrats, i think that they have been out of touch. how many times have we been on the show and i'm saying democrats, what are you doing? you don't see what's happening? you don't see the forest for the trees. is that what's happening? >> i think that is one of the things happening. if you look at virginia, for example, and you look among the voters who disapprove of the job joe biden was doing, and also had an unfavorable view of donald trump, there were plenty of those voters, because donald trump and joe biden were both under water in virginia. who did those people who disliked both of them? they went for glenn youngkin by over 30%. this is not donald trump who is the president any more, despite the fact that there's so many democrats who are trying to argue that he's still this menace. and that -- they have to focus on the fact that joe biden is quite unpopular, because the buck stops there. >> he is now in the white house.
he has an opportunity to turn it around. >> sure. >> a short opportunity, i think, right? because the midterms are coming up. we see what's happening here. if this tone and this message and this sentiment continue, it's going to be a problem for him. they've got to get something done. he's got to turn this around. >> but i'll also point out, we saw very weak economic growth in quarter three because of the coronavirus pandemic, because of delta. we're going to get further away from that. we have seen that cases have been falling. does that help the economy to reboost itself? if that does happen, joe biden's ratings may go up, regardless of what happens in washington, d.c. >> so joe biden has the opportunity to do it because he has the bully pulpit right now. donald trump is no longer in power, and democrats need to realize that. republicans need to realize that, and us, as well. so what does this -- what do you
think this means? if you're looking inside the campaigns, you're the data expert here, what does this mean for donald trump? because youngkin was like, he gave him pretty much the stiff arm without saying, you know, he goes hey, i got this. what does this mean for donald trump? this is not necessarily a donald trump victory, maybe for a donald trump voter victory. am i wrong about that? >> no, i don't think it's a donald trump victory. i will say if you're a republican, you can take two lessons from what happened in virginia. you can take the lesson, okay, youngkin didn't want to appear in person with trump, and also youngkin won in a state that donald trump lost by ten points. the other lesson that you could take away is the fact that even though donald trump is as up popular as he is, republicans were still able to win. and maybe there will be some republicans that won't distance
themselves. >> this is the best way to phrase it. are we overindexing the trump factor? >> definitely. there is no doubt about it. the fact, is glenn youngkin ran a mostly local and state race. terry mcauliffe tried to bring up trump over and over and over again. and you clearly saw it didn't work. >> harry, we're going to talk about this with you and our panel and discuss policing in this country. what happened in minnesota? remember what happened after george floyd's death and then democrats all this defund the police, defund the police. i got beat up from democrats when i said defund the police is a terrible slogan, not good. and now i think it's all come out. we'll talk about that after the break.
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this is a big deal around the country, big deal in the race specifically we're talking about minnesota, but policing in america on the ballot tonight. my panel joins me. also joining me is kathryn johnson, who is retired from the missouri state patrol. so let me break down what the ballot measure proposed in minnesota. replacing the police department with a department of public safety. calls for a comprehensive public health approach. it would remove a requirement to employ a minimum number of
officers. it splits oversight between the mayor and the city council. and it was rejected by those voters tonight. for a city that's been through so much turbulence, we covered it all, you were here with us, are you surprised that this measure failed? >> no, i'm not. we need policing in our country. we need quality, well-trained police in our country. and our community want police, they just want good policing. >> i had been saying -- we've been talking about the progressives, the moderates and what have you in the democratic party. but you just talk in terms of people and many of the neighborhoods where you have crime issues, african-americans live there. i have found -- i believe that african-americans want better missing. not fewer police officers, they want police departments to be overhauled possibly or to be fixed. but they don't want to get rid of the police department.
>> no, they don't. they do want the police department to be fixed. they want better training, but they want partnerships with their police department. and it goes both ways. and police are asking for that. so policing in our country is something that we need in all of our communities. we feel safe when our police are there. >> stand by, i want to bring in the rest of the folks here. bakari, this measure didn't call for so-called defunding the police. but many people thought it was a step in that direction, quite frankly, defunding the police slogan. that's a terrible slogan. >> i think the messaging behind it is something that -- trust me, in politics, any time you're explaining you're losing. this was more in line with abolition than it was with defunding the police. you were talking about creating an entirely new department. but the captain was right. i go back to base voters.
i would tell folk in order to win the democratic party primary, you have to win my momma and her friends. what they're always saying is, we don't want less police or no police, we want better police. >> yes. >> and this is what elected officials, including those in congress have to understand. we're talking about banning chokeholds. we're talking about eliminating no-knock warrants between the hours of like 10:00 p.m. or midnight and 6:00 a.m. we're talking about having a database for officers who commit bad acts, limiting qualified immunity and lowering the standard by which you can charge an officer with federal civil rights violations. that in itself is criminal justice reform. that should be bipartisan, but it's not. i don't think this is a rejection of criminal justice reform. congress won't act upon it. but you saw someone or you saw individuals trying to swim
upstream against what base voters want. and i can just tell you the captain is right, no one is articulating, saying we want no police. i mean, my last point, don, and i think all of us, one of the commonalities of all political persuasions, we look like america, we all have law enforcement in our family. and we recognize they have a difficult job, and we also recognize that sometimes they shouldn't be showing up to mental health calls. so we have to think about ways -- >> but police officers will tell you they don't want to show up at mental health calls, but here is the thing. it was so hard, laura, to get the defund the police crowd to understand that it was a bad slogan. well, if you just understand and we can tell you what it is. but as you said, if you're explaining, you're losing. defund the police is a special slogan. when i heard that, i said who the hell came one that?
i call it the church lady crowd. those are the people who show up to the polls to vote consistently. and the church lady crowd, which my mother is one with the church hats, those are the people who go out and vote and want to have policing in their country. in their communities. they want a relationship with the police. and they do believe that police departments should be overhauled, some of them, many of them. but they don't want to defund and get rid of the police. >> not to discredit the activists and the grassroots that are trying to see change made, and there's very real policy changes behind that slogan. the slogan, yes, did not help democrats. and biden did not run on that slogan for that very reason. >> they are saying, you should let the activists decide what the language should be. but this is not about activists but winning campaigns and you don't win on defund the police.
within the defund the police, you know, the policy, there are good things in there. but when you just say defund the police, it's just a bad slogan. >> it doesn't fully articulate or explain what exactly they're pushing. biden did not run on defund the police for that very reason. his campaign was aware that it was not doing well with voters. in fact, in biden's matt form, he pushed forgiving more money to police, and that is something that they tried to also pass recently in the legislation, that ultimately didn't get any -- >> isn't that a democratic messaging problem, as well? >> there are no republican votes for it. again, unless some senate changes are made -- >> but republicans were able to brush -- to paint democrats with a broad brush as the party of defund the police, right? >> successfully, i think. >> i don't think that -- look, what we saw in 2020, yes,
democrats did lose some seats in the house. but i don't think that was necessarily just because of defund the police. and that it was some huge cudgel for democrats that republicans were able to use. biden still won the presidency talking about eliminating -- or reforming qualified immunity, talking about banning chokeholds and very directly talking about what was happening in terms of black people being killed by police and the fact that democrats were going to address that in a way they never had before. so that was a big piece of the 2020 election. >> i'm going to talk about that with captain johnson in a moment. look, producers, if you can pull the exact quote from youngkin's victory speech, he says, we're going to keep our communities safe. we're going to fund law enforcement and -- because they stood up for us, we're going to stand for them. we're going to work to build trust before law enforcement and the community. and we're going to protect
qualified immunity. >> how much more effective is that very simple stated goal opposed to defund the police? in politics, you know, the loudest people aren't always the most effective, right? in fact, they're usually not. they're usually the least effective in getting done what they want to get done. but they're most effective in, you know, altering theout come of a certain event. what we saw in this election is, i believe, the left was effective in pushing out a message that was based really on emotion and anger and not to your point, strategically trying to get people behind them. >> i think a key part of legislation or making change in politics as we have seen with many issues over the years, changing hearts, changing minds, changing legislation. and this clearly got at the heart of people across the country, but thinking of the origin of this around the george floyd murder, there was outrage, there was frustration, there was
anger at the police department. but the answer is not a complete overhaul and doing away with the police department and overhaul of the system with inkremental changes in areas where it's necessary. that's what you can talked about. instead of taking away the police force, adding to it with regard to -- >> we have a member of the law enforcement. captain, clearly this went the law and order way tonight with eric adams winning by positioning himself here in new york city as the toughest on crime candidate. homicides, captain, are up almost 30% since 2019. safety and law and order are an important part right now. what we need in big cities. by the way, i think the numbers are going down, but still, they're up from traditionally over the last few years. >> you're right. that's why we have to continue to support policing in america. we have to make sure that we're
putting -- allocating money in the right resources. and making sure police are doing what police are supposed to do. we're bringing in clinicians and other helpful people that can actually come in and make policing better. but defund the police, like you said, is a bad word. we're always explaining that. no one wants it. we had a hero die in our community, tyler timmens who passed away. how do you say defund and we're going to support our heroes? so i think there's a way to get better policing. republicans are saying it and explaining it. so we just need to make sure that we're being supportive and getting our training where it needs to be. we're given the right resources there. but we're being fair and inclusive and making sure our laws are fair to everyone. >> yeah. bakari, i'll give you the quick final word here, but also within that, the police departments have to be open and willing to change. they can't be the only profession in the country that
is not willing to change, willing to reform themselves and willing to take on criticism. >> yeah, but my biggest frustration i think with this conversation about criminal justice reform is twofold. one, we haven't done anything. >> hold on, hold on. this is not about criminal justice reform overall. this is about policing. i know that's part of it. but this conversation is strictly about police reform. >> put it all in the same pot. we haven't done anything to address it is my point. on the local level, you have the mayor of st. louis who is tackling it head on. you have brandon scott, the mayor of baltimore, frank scott, the mayor of little rock. they are attempting to tackle this head on, but on a widespread level, we saw cory booker, karen bass and tim scott attempt to negotiate and get it done. i'm not sure tim did it with total genuine spirit. so it faltered. but in this same conversation,
one of the things that the democrats were not able to thread in talking about new jersey and virginia tonight is in this argument to rebuff, you know, and push back on and defund the police being a bad slogan, yeah. but a year ago we were in the streets because we were tired of black blood in those streets. we were in the streets because of breonna taylor, because of george floyd. it's still happening today. it's jarvis randall, andrew brown. so, yes, i agree with the captain. no doubt about it. you know, we want to make sure that we have police to keep us safe. but we also want, and we need elected officials and candidates to be able to talk to us about how they're going to keep black folk from dying at the hands of law enforcement. i think you have to be able to have this conversation wholi wholistically. and my fears tomorrow, joe manchin is going to be like, see, told you.
we need to get rid of defund the police and don't worry about it. and they're going to miss this heart beat and miss this moment. >> maybe joe manchin is right about get rid of defund the police. >> he is, but you can't ignore the fact that it's a system that needs to be restormed. >> absolutely. i think we can look at -- go ahead, captain. >> i said i agree with bakari. >> look, i think -- >> i'm running that in my next campaign. >> there are lots of things that need to be looked at and reformed and changed. but the whole idea, i think we're talking about here, defund the police a bad slogan. but also the messages in that, i think republicans outmessaged them. they painted democrats with a very broad brush with what defunding the police was. it's not up to the activist to
decide who is going to win, right? it's bad language. when you realize it's bad, get off of it. don't try to double down as terry mcauliffe did. don't double down on defund the police when you know it is bad and a losing message. a lot more to come here tonight on the races that are already shaking up the midterms and beyond. we'll be right back. because his plan is backed by the team at fidelity. a group of investment professionals manages ben's ira for him, analyzing market conditions and helping him stay on target. he gets one-on-one coaching when he wants some advice, and can adjust his plan whenever he needs to. and now he's so prepared for retirement, ben is feeling totally zen. that's the planning effect from fidelity.
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doesn't get tighter than this. but this is why democrats think they can begin to see the light. see >> these are democratic strongholds, including jersey city, newark, essex county, trenton, camden. these are districts/counties that murphy is up ahead 60%, 70%. so, if that's where the majority of the outstanding votes are -- >> yeah. >> -- that's why democrats are thinking that as tight as this is, they might wake up with better news. >> right now, we are just dancing in the dark. >> ooh, i like that. courtney cox. >> in the morning, we'll know? >> we'll certainly -- we are going to -- this number's going to creep ahead. the outstanding votes indicate that this is going to start moving, probably, more in the democrats' direction. whether we will have a declared winner, you know. >> you got one more for me? come on. anybody? >> no, i am just going to go atlantic city. atlantic city. arguably, his best song.
>> there you go. >> going republican. >> we are going to take a quick break but we have got a lot more ahead and votes are still coming in. "election night in america" -- let me do that again -- "election night in america" continues. one of the many reasons you're with amex platinum. in 2016, i was working at the amazon warehouse when my brother passed away. and a couple of years later, my mother passed away. after taking care of them, i knew that i really wanted to become a nurse. amazon helped me with training and tuition. today, i'm a medical assistant and i'm studying to become a registered nurse.
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the race for governor of new jersey a dead heat at this hour. just look at the big board. 49.6. 49.6. can you believe it? and glenn youngkin will be the next governor of virginia, beating out democrat terry mcauliffe. i want to bring in now cnn's senior political analyst, mr. ron brownstein. and here we are, ron. how are you, sir? this is a culmination of everything we have been speaking about over the last couple of months. >> yep. >> how much of what we see tonight do you think has to do with the democrats' inability to pass biden's agenda? >> i think it has to do primarily with biden's weakness and the failure to pass the agenda is contributing to that. i mean, it's probably not the principal element. the principal element is dissatisfaction with the immediate conditions in the country. inna inn inflation, covid, starting with afghanistan. but look, don, what happens to the president's party in midterms is they run into two
big problems and both of them are evident tonight. the one, the most consistent one, the biggest one, is that the party out of power just feels more urgency about voting and i think if you look at virginia, i think the evidence is pretty clear that it's the change in the composition of the electorate that mattered more than the change in the preference of the electorate. i mean, people talking about big change in the preference. you know, i mean, if you compare this to 2017 -- i don't think you can compare it to 2020 -- if you compare to 2017 when the democrats won by nine points and 230,000 votes, you see very small shifts in the -- um -- in the democratic share of the vote among most of the key groups, with one big exception, non-college white women but among many of the other group, among independents, college white men, non-college white men, latinos, african-american voters, democrats are winning -- mc mcauliffe won about the same share.
this is a state that joe biden won by ten points last year. but in that exit poll, among the voters this time, 47% said they voted for biden. 45% said they voted for trump. the trump side of the electorate turned out in really big numbers, and changed the composition. and the other thing that happens to the president's party in midterms is that his coalition erodes. i mean, there is disenchantment, there is disappointment. there are people who voted for him and -- and -- and feel that they ideologically overreached and this is, again, a state that biden won by ten points. his approval rating in the virginia exit poll was about nine points underwater and as harry noted in the polling in new jersey, his approval rate tlg is underwater, as well. when the president's approval rating is underwater, the rain falls on the just and unjust, alike. to quote shakespeare instead of springsteen who are roughly equal in my book. and, you know, that's what happens. i mean, that's why you see new jersey, um, probably the principal reason why new jersey is so tough. probably, a critical reason why,
um, virginia was so tough and what it says to democrats is that they have a shared interest, not in solidarity with biden but out of survival in finding what ever they can do to help rebuild his approval rating over the next year and that probably starts with getting these bills done as quickly as possible. almost -- what is likely to be the opposite of the message joe manchin may take that, you know, that the whole thing has to be kind of renegotiated and rethought. i think the answer is as others have pointed out, this is not what the public is focused on now. they are focused on inflation. they are focused on covid. there may be programs in here that democrats can -- can tout in '22, and certainly '24. but they really need it oh get this done so that biden's public persona can be shifted back toward the issues that americans are most concerned about right now. >> look at that. i got one question. and you answered everything. i didn't even have to ask the rest of the questions that -- that you asked. i just got to -- i have to say this. springsteen? or joel? >> oh, no. come on.
really. what -- what -- what -- what do -- what are we talking here, you know? i mean, that's -- i am trying to think of the proper comparison. billy joel's fine. but, you know. >> don't say billy joel's fine. the reason, billy joel is my neighbor so i have to say. >> i'm sure he's a good neighbor. i'm sure he is a good neighbor. i haven't seen him many times. >> thank you, ron brownstein, appreciate that. don't go anywhere. we have much more ahead as cnn's coverage of the "election night in america" it's going to continue at this hour a dead heat in new jersey's governor's race.
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