The Vote: America’s Future. TRANSCRIPT: 11/6/2018. Hardball w. Chris Matthew.

Guests:
Valerie (ph), Alan Gomez
Transcript:

Show: HARDBALL
Date: November 6, 2018
Guest: Valerie (ph), Alan Gomez


BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Many of the Republicans watching, that
candidate is named 23. The 23 seats the Democrats need to take control of
the House.

Now, the 7:00 hour has arrived and we have the following projections.

In Indiana in the Senate race there, he Donnelley race, we are calling it
too close to call at the top of the 7:00 p.m. hour.

In the Vermont, no surprise the reelection of Bernie Sanders, the
independent who caucuses with the Democrats.

In Virginia, no surprise, Hillary Clinton`s former running mate, Tim Kaine.
This is the race Kaine was in against Cory Stuart who made a big splash
early. Not so much along the homestretch.

The U.S. Senate at this hour and this of course is fluid and will change
all night, that is the undecided portion in gray of the U.S. Senate. We
will fill in those seats as we go.

And a race so many of you are following, so many people have asked about.
Georgia, governor too early to call. Abrams versus Kemp.

But Steve Kornacki sure looked busy over there at that board.

Steve, what do you have at the top of seven?

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, Georgia, Florida, Virginia,
they are starting to close right now. As you can see, we gave got it.
There is two that we are keeping an eye on, two battleground districts here
in Georgia, right outside Atlanta. And just seeing quickly, it doesn`t
look like there is any vote yet,

But let me just tell you, these are so important, obviously. Because for
Democrats these are flip opportunities. But also these are directly
related to that governor`s race. And let me just quickly show you how the
sixth district here of Georgia. Remember this one, this is where Democrats
dumped $30 million last year trying to get John through special election.
That didn`t work out. And yet here we go again. This is one of the most
closely watched races out there.

The story here, this is right outside of Atlanta, this is the suburbs,
about half the district here is the Fulton county portion. Largest county
in the state. Now this is where Karen Handel in the special election did
well here. But if you are getting that surge Democratic, it is Stacey
Abrams has been talking about, this is one of the places you will see it in
Fulton County, in this portion of the district.

You will also see it in the Cobb County. This is about a quarter of the
district. Handel lost here in special election. If you have surge
Democratic turnout for the governor`s race, you will see it here, too. You
probably see a little bit of it in Cobb County too, the Cobb County portion
of this district.

So, if, if, Stacey Abrams is delivering in the governor`s race, especially
in this Atlanta area, it could spill over to this district. And it could
also spill over right next door to seventh district. This was sort of a
late arrival on the Democratic target list and the national media`s list.

You have Rob Woodall, the incumbent there. That he is in a top race. I`m
told he may have some numbers here in Florida. Let me just quickly see, we
do.

So Florida, huge early voting state, right. We get a lot of vote. We get
it very fast. You see, we have already got over 100,000 dumb. But right
now, Rick Scott, the challenger, running ahead here. But you can see all
of this is coming from one county.

Paso - this is interesting. Pasco County, in 2016, was the county we
looked at, the gulf coast region. And we said something is happening here
for Trump. Now, this is just early vote. This is just early, but when
Donald Trump, Pasco County, north of St. Petersburg, what you get here, a
lot of retirees, a lot of folks from the Midwest. They come down to gulf
coast. They are in Pasco County. Early on here. So I`m not saying read
anything into this.

But keep an eye on this going because this is the question we are asking
tonight in a Senate race and in the governor`s race is can Scott, can
Desantis, perform at the Trump level in places like Pasco County or does it
recede? Does it go back to where Mitt Romney was in 2012? That wasn`t
enough for Mitt Romney in 2012. It was enough for Trump in 2016. So
getting our first.

This is another one to keep an eye on, Citrus County. It will be a
Republican county. The question is how much it is going to be a Republican
county? So just getting a scattering in. And it looks like some
Democratic areas. Osceola County, the story in Osceola County, going to be
largest Hispanic vote here particularly there is a large Puerto Rican
population in Osceola County, talking about like Kissimmee here. Shall
Bill Nelson expected to win here? But again, we talked about, you know,
Puerto Rican vote, especially in light of the disaster there last year.
What effect might that have? This is a county to keep an eye on. So the
vote, the early vote starting to be tabulated fast here in Florida. You
got three counties spitting it out. Just try to make some sense of it.
And I will let you know when I have got a little bit more for you.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Steve, can I – not to put you on the spot here
for a second, but out of Virginia, NBC has projected that the winner of the
Senate race in Virginia will be Tim Kaine. To get that kind of projection
right at poll closing means that it was not a close contest between him and
Cory Stuart. But it does make me wonder about the Virginia House races
that have been such a point of focus for Democrats. I know about a handful
of Virginia races that Democrats think they might be able to flip. I also
know that Virginia tends to count a little slowly. It looks like we are
not seeing any numbers yet out of those races.

KORNACKI: Yes, we are not. But you mentioned, so Cory Stuart, the
Republican we are now saying is going to lose that Senate race, that
Republican were nervous about the effect he might have down. Keep an eye
in particular, there are four Republican held seats in Virginia Democrats
are targeting.

Number one up here is the tenth district right outside of Washington, D.C.
It would be a disaster for Democrats if they don`t get that one. But keep
an eye on this one, the fifth district. Now this is a Republican held seat
here. It is an open seat. The population is kind of spread out. But look
what is right in the middle of it, Charlottesville. Albemarle County,
outside Charlottesville here.

Charlottesville itself, a very Democratic town. You expect the Democratic
strength to be there. But if you look at the combination of the legacy of
Charlottesville from a year ago, the impact that might had on the local
population, also the fact of Cory Stuart, with all of his controversies
being at the top of the ticket, this is a particularly interesting one to
watch. Democratic haves targeted it, Leslie Cockburn their nominee.
Polling has showed close in this race.

So it is one of the four to keep an eye on here. The other one we are
monitoring too. There is the (INAUDIBLE). I`m trying to get over there.
I will get that in a second. There is the (INAUDIBLE) district. It`s the
suburbs of Richmond and then also Scott Taylor down in Virginia Beach.
Four in total in Virginia. We are keeping an eye on as well where
Democrats are targeting.

WILLIAMS: Steve, just smack it. It usually work.

MADDOW: There you go. Yes. Come on.

WILLIAMS: They are in this together. Never apologize. We are in this
with you. Any of us who tried to make an iPad work. It`s fantastic.

No, no problem.

KORNACKI: Let me just check to see if we got some in Florida. And I will
- will just shout right back to you. How about that?

WILLIAMS: I think that`s a polite way of saying you guys talk among
yourself.

(LAUGHTER)

MADDOW: Obviously, the east coast closing. 7:00 closings. 7:00 eastern.
We knew was going to be a big deal. We are not getting a ton of surprise
at this point. But I mean, all the way up to Maine, all the way down to
the southernmost district in Florida, there are races that the Democrats
think they are going to flip along the east coast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

MADDOW: And I mean, the President`s approval rating is bad but it is not
terrible, you know. The Democratic wins tonight in the exit polls, the
first round of exit polls, all look like they are going the Democrats
direction.

I mean, at some point, you know, the Democratic confidence tonight is going
to run up against real numbers. But it starting to see these numbers come
in on the east coast. You can just sort of feel 2016 coming washing back
over you rights now in terms of expectations, pollings, and yet we don`t
have the real numbers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And have to talk about - I mean, Florida, Florida,
Florida. So much PTSD tied to Florida 2000. Election night. And I think
on election night, sitting here in 2016 when Trump won Florida, that was
when the night started to turn from the Trump campaign perspective. I
mean, when they won Florida, I think that was the first time. And people
have reported this up. They didn`t write a victory speech. They didn`t
think they were going to win until Florida went for Trump.

So to see Florida and all the polls of it, Andrew Gillum up a little bit, I
mean, to see Florida now possibly swinging back to being run by a Democrat
is remarkable. And, you know, I know there`s so much, talking about PTSD,
there is so much trauma from getting it wrong from our side of it and for
the Democrats. But this is - if Democrats have a good night in Florida,
that says something really important about the next few years.

MADDOW: And in Virginia, honestly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly.

MADDOW: Because Virginia has off year elections at the state level,
Virginia has already had a chance to weigh in on the post-Trump landscape.
And when Virginia went to go vote in the first nationally watched elections
after Trump was elected, they went blue hugely, right. That`s popular vote
for state legislature. It was like double digits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

EUGENE ROBINSON, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes, it was amazing. And
the polling before that interestingly did not really catch that blueness of
that wave, which was kind of interesting.

MADDOW: And Democrats have tried to get up the vote and turn out and then
enthusiasm and stuff that you can`t necessarily measure on paper.

ROBINSON: Democrats almost took the House of Delegates within one seat,
which was not ever going to happen.

MADDOW: Well, had the state knock from gerrymandered, they would have
taken - they would – had that legislature not the gerrymandered, they
would have taken the House of Delegates by a mile.

ROBINSON: Yes.

MADDOW: I mean, that`s the other thing that is going on tonight. And we
don`t talk really about it because it has become the climate and so we
don`t talk about it whether we have regular storms. But the country has
gerrymandered to structurally benefit Republican candidates in such a way
that if you look at the popular vote for Congress tonight, I mean,
Democrats may need to win the popular vote by double digits in order to
have a chance at winning having control of Congress.

ROBINSON: That is why these governor races and state legislative races are
as important as these congressional races because they will redraw the
redistricting after the next census.

MADDOW: Yes. If the playing field is going to be un-tilted, they will be
the one to do it.

WILLIAMS: Chris Matthews, I owe. I just got the eye from Steve Kornacki
across the room with the board.

What do you have?

KORNACKI: You know, let`s take a look. We showed you Florida Senate.
Let`s take a look at Florida governor now. Look. You see a lot of gray on
the screen. But we say so much of the vote in Florida is early. So, I`m
going to show you a screen. There`s going to be a number that is a little
misleading on it. I mean, I try to put it in perspective because we got a
lot more of the vote. And it looks like, this says one percent is in in
Pinellas County.

One percent of Election Day precinct are now reporting. You add this up,
you got more than 275,000 votes that are counted here. We estimate based
on our projections, that is well over half the vote that is going to coming
in from Pinellas County. This is St. Petersburg. Think of that.

Now take a look here. We said this is the area that gulf coast where Trump
did well over-performed in 2016. In 2016 Trump won Pinellas 49/47, with a
little over half the vote. The every vote now in and tabulated, Desantis
running three point short of the Trump pace there.

Now, that is encouraging early sign for Democrats. Obviously, it raises
the question, Election Day vote. Republicans seem to have a surge with the
Election Day vote in 2016. Independents seem to break their way. So what
happens with the remaining let`s say 40 percent of the vote from this
county when it is tabulated, the same day vote. Was there another
Republican surge? Can Desantis match that number? Or did independents
break differently this year? If you are looking at this number out of
Pinellas County at the end of the night, that would be good news for
Democrats. Same story, north of there.

We were mentioning Pasco County a minute ago. Again, we expect this is
more than half of the vote. It`s already been tabulated here. It says say
percent. The early vote is not routed through precincts. The early vote
goes in to the county. So it is a misleading number. This is more than a
half of the vote. It has been counted. And you see again, Desantis
running three points underneath the Trump 16 total there. He is ahead. We
expected him to win here. But look at that, 22 point margin there for
Trump in 2016. It`s clocking in at 12 right now.

Again, I said is it going to be closer to Romney or closer to Trump. This
is closer to Romney. The question is when they count that same day vote,
was there any kind of Republican surge. So we are starting to get a
significant cure of the vote in. And I`m just checking here. Tallahassee,
by the way, just saw this pop up. Again, take Leon County. Of course,
Andrew Gillum is the mayor of Tallahassee. This is a Democratic area. But
you see probably not a surprised here. He is over-performing where Clinton
finished in 2016 in a Democratic county, his home county. Bus so, Gillum
again, more than half the vote here in Leon County. Out to 2-1 advantage
there.

So you see statewide that`s what it all adds up to there. But really, that
is my question. Some of these key counties in 2016 where Donald Trump
over-performed and surprised everybody on Election Day. Can Desantis who
tethered himself so closely to Trump, trying to replicate that strategy,
can he replicate that performance or do we look at something more like
2012?

WILLIAMS: Steve, thank you. And thank you for the context and every case
showing us the Trump performance and in some cases the Romney performance
and just holler if you have results that we need to go to.

In the meantime, we keep telling folks it`s going to be a minute before we
have answers on Georgia.

Katie Tur is in Atlanta for us at a polling location where people are still
in line to vote even though the polls have closed officially.

Hey, Katie.

KATIE TUR, MSNBC HOST: Brian, you just missed the mini celebration here as
the last person one up to begin to process of voting here at this church.

This has been a pact polling place all day. The workers got here, and
let`s walk over here, the workers got here 6:00 a.m. this morning. They
expect to be here for a little while longer counting the balance. They say
the turnout here has been presidential election level. This is not a
midterm election. People are excited about voting.

Let`s try to talk to somebody in line.

Hey, ma`am, can I just ask you, you were one of the last people in line.
You came in at the wire. They closed the doors right behind you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

TUR: Why was it so important for you to come out?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, for obvious reasons.

TUR: So in this race, are you voting because the governor`s race.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is one of the most important elections ever.

TUR: Why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because of the state of the country and because of
the state of the union, I would say.

TUR: May I ask who you`re voting for?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

TUR: No? You don`t have to tell me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

TUR: You don`t have to tell me. Don`t you worry.

What about you? You were - you are voting for Stacey? You are happy to
say that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

TUR: Why are you voting for Stacey?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I feel comfortable.

TUR: Yes. Were you concerned about voter suppression at all or any of the
issues?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

TUR: No. Having a hard time at all getting your vote cast.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Well, it was hard to get up here. And I was
ready to vote.

TUR: They had lines here, guys, that stretched around the block for hours.
I was talking to the lady in charge here.

Valerie, you want to come talk to me real fast?

Valerie, I want to ask you. What`s it been like here all day watching
people come in to vote?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Crazy.

TUR: Crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. We got here at six.

TUR: It`s just one word, guys, crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Crazy. We got here at 6:00 in the morning. So we
had lines all day.

TUR: Yes. Any issues at all voting?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People in the wrong precinct and not having patience
to wait.

TUR: And it cast provisional ballot when they do that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had about maybe 15.

TUR: Got it. And you heard some problems at various other places, but
nothing here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No problems.

TUR: No problems here.

You guys have been watching along with us. There have been problems at
(INAUDIBLE) county polling places. They have extended some of the polling
times. And I think about two polling places in this state all in all. I
mean, this is you guys are talking about, this a state to watch. It`s a
race to watch. Yes, we are focused on congressional races and what happens
in the Senate and what happens in the House, but the governor`s races are
so important. If the Democrats can take over a number of governor`s
mansions across the country, that could really change the way voting maps
look in 2020, at 2022 and 2024 going forward. Because these governors will
have the power to veto any maps if they are taking over from Republicans
any maps that are drawn by Republicans. So it could look a lot different
in the coming years.

WILLIAMS: Katie Tur in Atlanta.

Katie, thank you for that.

Reminder to all our viewers that elections are local matters. Elections
are successful because of people like the woman we just met.

MADDOW: Valerie, my heart goes out to you.

How was it? Crazy. Problems? No. That`s the determination. I love it.

WILLIAMS: She speaks for all of us.

Another break for us. When we come back, we have been joined by Steve
Schmidt. We have been joined by Chuck Todd. We will ask them both to
weigh in on what we are witnessing this midterm election night 2018.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MADDOW: From the northwesternmost point of the United States all the way
up in Alaska, where Don Young is running tonight – he`s been in Congress
since the year I was born.

WILLIAMS: Wow.

MADDOW: All the way down to the southeastern corner of the country.

WILLIAMS: Getting personal.

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW: The Florida Keys, where Florida – where Florida Republicans are
worried about holding onto one of their House seats, we have got
battlegrounds all over the country, literally to the corners.

We have got results in now from Florida.

And Steve Kornacki is looking at some of those endangered incumbent
Republicans in some of those key House races in Florida state.

What do you got?

KORNACKI: Yes.

And I – also, we have just in the last – as you were sort of introducing
it, we got some key counties coming in, in Florida statewide. So let`s
just reset there.

In the race for governor, this is where it stands now. Well, over two
million votes have been counted statewide. Let me show you some of what`s
just come in. Now, this is a county right here. This was one of those
places where Donald Trump outperformed Mitt Romney. The net was six point
– it was a six-point improvement for Trump over Romney in terms of the
margin.

You see Trump won here by 20 points. The margin right now, 13 points,
again, the early vote in this county. But this is more than half the vote
has been counted here. So, DeSantis, again, that is closer to a Mitt
Romney number. In fact, I think that might be actually the exact Mitt
Romney number – let me just see if I can get – yes, 56-43 was the Mitt
Romney-Barack Obama number.

So, again, the question with the same-day vote, is there any kind of
Republican surge there? We can check in, in Miami-Dade as well? We are
getting, again, well over half the vote, I think, out of Miami-Dade.

You can see here, this is a bit of a fallback so far from what Clinton got
in 2016, 64 percent for her, 59 percent for Gillum right now. So those are
the two big ones that have come in, Hillsborough as well, Tampa coming in,
huge county here, again, Gillum four points up on the Clinton total here.

So, you add that up statewide, and Gillum is out to that advantage there.
And if we look in the Senate race, what does that look like in the Bill
Nelson Senate race? It looks pretty similar right now. Let`s just see if
he`s getting any different numbers.

He`s getting about the same out of Miami-Dade. He is getting about the
same amount of Brevard. And then if you look in Hillsborough here, yes, so
it`s not looking that much different across the board. The question there
is some kind of same-day surge for Republicans to get them back to Trump
levels right there.

On the House side, there is one competitive race there that Democrats had
been targeting we`re starting to get some returns from here. Again, this
is a vacancy. This is an open seat, I should say. The Republican
incumbent, Dennis Ross, decided not to run for reelection. We got two
counties coming here.

This is Hillsborough. This is about half the district population-wise.
Trump carried this portion by a couple points in 2016. Good news for the
Democrats, they have gotten out ahead here with more than half the vote
counted. Probably, though, when you look at this district, they might need
to be a head by a little bit more.

This is looking – this is going to be a Republican area, we expect here.
So, the initial indication may be a little more positive for Republicans in
that competitive district. But, again, statewide, you can see early on –
and not so early on anymore – we got a lot of vote in – Gillum and Nelson
tracking pretty closely to each other and running ahead right now.

WILLIAMS: Steve Kornacki, thank you.

We have a camera dedicated to you tonight. So, later, when it gets really
tight, just flap your arms, and we will – we will come over there to you.

We are joined here by a native Floridian who also happens to be the NBC
News political director, Chuck Todd.

What do you make of it?

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, first of all, I wanted to
show Rachel.

You went from Alaska to Key West. But it`s not fair to our friends in
Guam.

MADDOW: That`s – you know what?

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW: Again, I…

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW: … on Guam.

TODD: On Guam.

And, apparently, that`s the first flip of the night?

MADDOW: Is it really?

TODD: Yes. Remember, we learned who – yes, the Democrat is now the next
governor of Guam.

MADDOW: So Democrats have picked up the Guam governorship.

TODD: They have picked up, Guam, all right? So there it is.

MADDOW: I stand corrected. See, we needed you.

TODD: What is that?

MADDOW: We needed you.

TODD: Who knew?

(LAUGHTER)

TODD: What`s interesting to me about Florida is the fact that those two
races aligned suddenly, the Senate and the governor`s race.

For most of this campaign, they had been – they had stayed…

WILLIAMS: Separate tracks.

TODD: That`s right.

Gillum has sort of started to pull a small, but consistent lead. And
Nelson and Scott were coin flips. Scott ran a brilliant campaign for, I
would argue, a year – well, let`s say, if it was one year of a campaign,
he ran a really brilliant campaign for 50 of 52 weeks.

And in the last two weeks, because he stayed away from the president, he
distanced himself from the president, he tried to run above – above
everything. The president came twice, and Scott had to be with him twice,
once in Fort Myers 10 days ago, once the other night in Pensacola.

The pattern of where the president visited in the last two weeks and the
downturn in the statewide number for that Republican candidate was pretty
consistent across the country, when I have talked to Republican pollsters.

Ted Cruz lost four points after the president visited.

MADDOW: Really?

TODD: That`s why McSally and Heller didn`t want him to come in the last –
in the last visit.

I think that Scott`s going to ask himself, should – should he – look, I
had a strategist say to me, here`s the problem with Trump. You`re damned
if you do, damned if you don`t. You can`t win without his base. And with
him, you can`t win the swing voters.

MATTHEWS: Explain how Gillum played that, because Gillum, in the last
week, we have been trying like hell to get him on our show, like everybody
has.

TODD: Yes.

MATTHEWS: He`s determined to stay local.

TODD: Well, I think, in a governor`s race, you want to.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

TODD: Look, I think nationalizing him got him the nomination in some ways.

But at the end of the day, people – most voters aren`t like us, putting
them in red and blue T-shirts, OK?

WILLIAMS: Thank God.

TODD: Most people, when they decide on their governor, actually think
about the person first.

And one of the things that I think we`re going to – look, Andrew Gillum
has run a really good campaign, but he was helped by one of the worst
gubernatorial campaigns I have seen in my life in the state of Florida.

Ron DeSantis never explained why he wanted to be governor. He just decided
one day, I want to be governor. Donald Trump, can I be governor? Will you
endorse me? He does.

I talked to one high Republican, Nicolle, in Florida, somebody that I know
you would be familiar with. He said to me – I asked him, why is he
running? And he said, well, I want to support Supreme Court justices. And
this person said to him, OK, that`s on day one. What are you going to do
the rest of your – rest of your term?

And he had no idea.

MADDOW: Wow.

TODD: So, DeSantis was looking to step up in office, but didn`t have –
and somebody else told me he`d rather have been a senator than a governor.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: That was clear, because he wanted to pick federal judges.

TODD: Yes.

MATTHEWS: I mean, governors don`t get to do that.

TODD: Well, the state Supreme Court does have three open seats that on day
one of the new governor…

MADDOW: You will get to, yes.

TODD: You do get to appoint those three.

MADDOW: Has Bill Nelson run a better reelection campaign than people have
been giving him credit for?

TODD: I – it`s hard to say, because I think – look, I think he stayed
more competitive with Rick Scott than he gets credit for.

But it`s the DSCC that gets credit for this for Nelson. And I would say
this, because they – they poured all the extra money that was necessary.
Rick Scott is his own super PAC, OK?

He put in some, I think – I mean, he spent more than both the super PAC
and Nelson combined. I think he got into the $60 or $70 million. But they
have kept Nelson alive, kept him competitive, when he could have been
swamped with money.

Gillum, though, is the special sauce for Nelson, OK, because Nelson was –
look, Scott in isolation, I think, wins this race against Nelson just by
simply saying he`s been in Washington too long.

MADDOW: Right. And here`s a billion dollars.

TODD: That`s right.

Gillum was – look, the governor`s race was the marquee race, not the
Senate race.

MADDOW: Yes.

TODD: This was Gillum. And I think…

MADDOW: And at the end, you see Nelson up there with Barack Obama, with
Andrew Gillum, Bill Nelson up there looking strong, looking like he`s part
of a winning team.

(CROSSTALK)

TODD: By the – way and here`s the irony to all of you this.

Bill Nelson`s people swore Graham was going to be the better ticket mate
for them.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

MADDOW: Yes.

TODD: Turned out to be absolutely wrong.

If Stacey – listen, we`re very early. If Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum
win tonight, I think it transforms how Democrats run in the South. I think
this idea – if Phil Bredesen doesn`t get close, but Andrew Gillum and
Stacey Abrams wins, I think that this will – this just will transform how
Democrats think about running in the South.

You don`t – the clinging to the middle and hoping it inspires the
Democratic base, Michelle Nunn will now look probably – and Jason Carter,
who both just got clobbered in Georgia running that kind of ago, are
probably looking at Stacey Abrams going, oh, you know what, maybe some of
these progressive Democrats were right.

WILLIAMS: Look at how Bredesen handled Kavanaugh.

MADDOW: Yes.

TODD: And look at – and look at how Beto O`Rourke – I mean, you look at
Texas and Tennessee. Bredesen chose one way to run. Beto chose another
way to run.

MADDOW: Beto has suspense tonight. Bredesen doesn`t.

TODD: It looks – perhaps, but…

MADDOW: Yes. We will see.

TODD: Yes, I mean, that`s – I`m just saying that`s something that
Democrats in the South, I think, ought to be thinking about, is Gillum and
Abrams may be providing a more fruitful path for them.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: I think it also – and it makes Trump`s racist campaign musings
more toxic for Republicans.

It makes it a harder bet to stand with Trump, when you`re running against
candidates whose very presence on the campaign trail sends the message
anyone with kids wants to send. It makes Trump`s toxicity far more
perilous…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Right.

TODD: Can I just tell you, and it also – I want to remind people – don`t
just assume you know how the Mississippi runoff is going to go.

OK? There`s going to be runoff. There`s a chance that decides control of
the United States Senate. But when you see how other Democrats are – the
– how Stacey Adams and Gillum ran in the South and how Beto, my Mike Espy
is going to look at that, and it`s just going to make – like I said, I
think it transforms how Democrats run in the South going forward.

MATTHEWS: I think the most inspiring picture is what you mentioned a
couple of days ago, when you saw Barack Obama coming in and holding up the
two hands of Bill Nelson and Gillum.

And it was inspiring, African-American guy helping out the white candidate,
in blunt terms.

WILLIAMS: You see there on the graphic what we`re coming up on. We`re 10
seconds away here, 7:30 poll closings.

And, Steve Kornacki, we`re coming to you after we have the results.

So far at least tonight, in the 7:30 closings, in West Virginia, a closely
watched Senate race, Joe Manchin, speaking of deciding how to handle the
Kavanaugh matter, too early to call.

Ohio Senate, too early to call, though Sherrod Brown is in the lead thus
far and has the advantage. The Senate at this hour – again, pay attention
to the undecided, the vacant gray seats in the center over party balance
this early in the evening.

Ohio governor, too early to call at 7:30 Eastern time. And one of the big
races we keep touching on, so many people are following, Georgia governor,
too early to call.

Over to Steve Kornacki at the board.

What do you have?

MADDOW: Steve, I understand that we have got some new important numbers
out of some of those Virginia House districts that we have been looking at?

KORNACKI: Yes.

We said – remember, there are four, four Republican-held seats Democrats
are really going after in Virginia. Where we have got the most votes in
right now is right outside Washington, D.C., the 10th District.

This is a name you have been hearing a lot about this year, Barbara
Comstock, running for reelection in a district Hillary Clinton won by 10
points. So, it`s less than 48 percent in right now, again, but we have got
well over 40,000 votes.

And, interestingly, you can see where this vote is coming from. And I
think it`s going to be pretty instructive. This is Loudoun County right
here, outside Washington, D.C. This is the biggest chunk of the district.
About 40 percent of the vote overall is going to come out of Loudoun
County.

That`s where most of the vote that`s in is from. And you can see Wexton,
the Democratic challenger, running at 56 percent; 56 percent is the exact
same vote total that – vote share, I should say, that Hillary Clinton got
in the Loudoun County portion of the 10th District of Virginia.

So she is running at, Wexton is, Hillary Clinton`s numbers right now. And
Hillary Clinton carried this district by 10 points. So, again, of the four
districts, the four Democratic districts Democrats are targeting in
Virginia, the 10th is the one they felt the most confident in.

It would be a catastrophe for them, I think, if they did not carry the
10th. But they are getting out of the largest part of that district the
number they want to see right now.

We can also show you starting to get about 20,000 votes now in, in the 7th
District. Again, this is routed around the Richmond suburbs here. Dave
Brat, who set off that political tsunami in 2014, knocking off Eric Cantor.
Henrico County, this is about a third of the district right here in this
county. Still a lot more vote to come.

This is encouraging for Democrats here, Spanberger running ahead early.
But this is a place – I can just give you the number here, which I think
she`s got a kind of shoot for in this part of the district. Hillary
Clinton got 52 percent of the vote in this part of the district. And
Hillary Clinton didn`t carry the district.

Spanberger might need to get that a little bit higher as the votes continue
to come in. But, again, overall in the 7th district, Spanberger out in
front by a point right now. And we can very quickly show you. We said
that 5th District there in Virginia, the Charlottesville-based district,
starting to get some numbers.

You see here Riggleman, the Republican out in front. Now, what hasn`t come
in yet here is Charlottesville itself, Charlottesville, the biggest sort of
single city in this district.

What has come in, down here by Roanoke, this is the most pro-Trump part of
the district. And you can see Riggleman, these are Trump numbers so far,
still more vote to come in. But the question was, would there be slippage
in Trump country? In the Trump country portion of this district, Riggleman
is getting Trump level support right now.

So that is what we`re seeing in Virginia right now.

WILLIAMS: Steve Kornacki, thank you.

MADDOW: In terms of the – in terms of what we are watching and as stuff
starts to come in at this point, one of the things that we are keeping in
mind is the national exit polls tell us a little bit about the direction of
things overall.

But those turnout numbers are going to be key. So, for example, in that
Cockburn race, Denver Riggleman vs. Leslie Cockburn, what Steve is saying
is that, in the Trump parts of the district, you`re getting Trump level
numbers, but we haven`t seen the non-Trump, we haven`t seen the Democratic-
leaning parts of that district.

Democrats are counting on not suppressing the Trump vote. They`re counting
on turning out huge new numbers in the Democratic…

(CROSSTALK)

ROBINSON: Right, in Charlottesville, After Charlottesville…

MADDOW: Yes.

ROBINSON: … there is going to be a big Democratic vote. Now, we just
don`t know how big. But clearly there`s going to be a big Democratic vote.

So that district is going to be – you look at that margin in Virginia 10,
with Barbara Comstock losing to Jennifer Wexton, that`s a – that`s a big
margin. I mean, that bodes well for Democratic hopes of taking the House.
Big marker.

MADDOW: There`s the board right there.

You can see it`s just over half the vote in. I think this is one – I
mean, Barbara Comstock has been on every list of the most vulnerable
incumbents this year, just because that district was plus-10 Hillary
Clinton, and because Jennifer Wexton is a very strong candidate.

And you add those two things together, and there isn`t much of a way out
for Barbara Comstock.

WILLIAMS: It everybody`s early evening bellwether.

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW: That`s right.

WALLACE: Right.

MADDOW: If Barbara Comstock is ousted, she will become – it`ll be a
landmark. She will be the first Republican incumbent to lose her seat
tonight, but it won`t be enough to tell you much about what`s going to
happen. It`ll be the margin.

(CROSSTALK)

ROBINSON: The margin will be important.

And one thing that Wexton did, she constantly ran ads saying, Barbara
Comstock voted with Donald Trump 98 percent of the time.

WALLACE: Right.

MADDOW: Yes.

ROBINSON: Ninety-eight percent of the time.

I mean, that ad – you just couldn`t get away from that ad.

MADDOW: And you know what? That works everywhere in the country, because
even the most outspoken anti-Trump Republicans in the country in the House
and the Senate still always vote 90 percent of the time-plus with Donald
Trump, because of the way Congress works.

WALLACE: Right.

And even Jeff Flake, who I think is now famous for being a Trump critic,
has voted with him most of the time. It`s important, though.

We keep – we were going to be talking about turnout all night. And when
we talk about the kind of night Democrats are having, if it`s good, it`s
going to be because they grew the pie, not because they – as you said,
they didn`t suppress any of the Trump vote.

But if you need to know how important voter suppression was to the
Republicans, just watch Donald Trump in the last 24 hours. He said
yesterday, he said yesterday – he made up a conspiracy about voter fraud.

There isn`t widespread voter fraud.

MADDOW: Threatening people about the penalties.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: You`re going to find law enforcement waiting for you when you
come.

WALLACE: But he – there is no inner monologue – Julie Pace said this
once of the AP after interviewing him – there`s no inner monologue and
outer monologue . There`s just monologue.

So from Trump`s mouth, you heard how important voter suppression was for
Republicans.

WILLIAMS: I have been alerted Steve Kornacki has something for us.

Steve?

KORNACKI: We got a bunch we can take you through.

Let`s go back to that congressional district, the first one we got votes
from tonight, the 6th District of Kentucky around Lexington. Maybe it`s
easier if I`m on this side.

Amy McGrath, the Democrat, now has jumped out to a lead here. The reason -
- again, we have been stressing this – Fayette County, 40 percent of the
district, basically the city of Lexington. We have got now – this is
about accurate. We got about 60 percent of the vote that is in from
Fayette County.

She`s running – remember, we said the benchmark 60 percent for her
they`re, roughly. She`s running at 60 percent. And that translates.
There`s a sort of an imbalance here in terms of a little more Democratic
vote in.

Still to come – and I think crucial for McGrath – beyond Fayette County
is going to be Franklin County. That`s where Frankfurt is. That`s got to
go Democratic for her to be in the – to be in the game here. That`s the
update there.

We can show you quickly Indiana. I want to just – again, Braun, the
Republican, continuing to lead. Only now are we beginning to get votes in
here from the big Democratic areas, Marion County, biggest county in the
state. Indianapolis, this will be the biggest Democratic county. You can
see this is very low early vote percent historically has come out of Marion
County.

And I think that`s what you`re looking at here, a lot more same-day.
There`s going to be a lot more votes than this. Democrats keeping their
eye on Marion County. They are keeping their eye on Lake County up here,
second biggest county in the state.

This is Saint Joseph County. Notre Dame is here. Joe Donnelly`s old
congressional district was in this part of the state. So they want to see
that. And, again, we also want to see – I said at the start of the night
if you start seeing blue in Southern Indiana, you say take a trip back in
time a little bit here.

Barack Obama in 2008, when he won Indiana, won counties in Southern
Indiana. Joe Donnelly in 2012, when he got elected, won counties here.
Hillary Clinton was not in the game here. But you do see some blue popping
up.

These are not complete. This is sort of – I think this will be – you got
Clark County right here. This is the other side of Louisville. Louisville
is kind of on the other side of the river there. Early on, but let`s see
if you keep getting blue there.

And in Florida, very quickly, we now have in, in Florida vote-wise – VA 10
– has Virginia 10 just been called?

Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first flip of the night. Here it is, the
10th District of Virginia. We just told you the Democrats got the level of
support they needed in the key county in Virginia 10. We are now
projecting that Virginia 10 will be a pickup for Democrats.

That means Barbara Comstock, the Republican, defeated for reelection.

And that means, critically, that our countdown here – we said Democrats
need a net gain of 23 seats – it goes down to 22. So Democrats are now 22
away from control of the House.

Again, we said this would be a catastrophe for Democrats if they weren`t
carrying the 10th. We figured this would be the first to be called. Mark
it down, though. That is the first to be called on this night.

Quickly, though, to bring you back to Florida, because we got a lot more
vote that just came in, in Florida, and I want to quickly take you through
it. These three counties right here are the heart of any Democrat`s
changes in the state of Florida.

We now have the early vote in from all those. We have the bulk of the
vote, it looks like from these counties. And, again, Hillary Clinton in
2016 did not carry Florida. She did pretty well in these Democratic parts
of the state.

Take a look here. Palm Beach County, Hillary Clinton got 57 percent,
Gillum running at 62. Broward is the biggie. Clinton got 67 percent,
Gillum right now outpacing that. Miami-Dade, Gillum running a little bit
short of that right now.

But, then again, we said the Gulf Coast. The question is Democratic
strength here, and do you get Trump surge, like you had in 2016 in the Gulf
Coast? Take a look, Sarasota, this down three points, again, getting
closer to what you would have seen with Mitt Romney.

Take a look. Charlotte, it`s about level, a point off. Lee County,
actually, DeSantis is running ahead, significantly ahead. I`m just seeing
that for the first time. And I`m surprised. That is one place, at least
with the early vote – and that`s significant – that`s over 100,000 votes
counted there – that very good news for the Republicans there. .

Pasco County off the mark. We showed you that, Citrus County. And the big
thing to keep an eye on here is Gillum leads statewide with all that vote
in, the Senate and the governor`s race, 52/48, 2 million to 2.8 million
there in favor of Nelson and running – the numbers don`t quite match up,
but the margin there, 52/47, 52/48. So, Gillum doing a little bit better
there, head to head.

But that`s what we`ve got so far out of Florida.

MADDOW: Again, big picture in Florida, half the vote in. Leading
statewide in both the governor`s race and in that Senate race and going
county by county shows us why they`re lining up that way.

Can I ask control room, do we have Alan Gomez standing by right now?

Wanted to bring Alan Gomez into this conversation while we`re talking about
those Florida numbers because one of the crucial things statewide in
Florida and nationwide for a lot of races is going to be the issue of
Latino voters. Latino voters tend to not turn out in great numbers in
midterm elections. Latino voters are wild card in an election where
immigration has been prioritized and was such a ragged edge the way the
president has done so for every Republican candidate in the country this
year.

Alan Gomez is a reporter who has focused for a very long time on Latino
voters and the politics of immigration.

Alan, in terms of these Florida results we`re seeing tonight and what we`re
starting to see nationwide, how do you think the Latino vote and
immigration are playing?

ALAN GOMEZ, IMMIGRATION REPORTER, USA TODAY: Well, immigration obviously
is taking center stage. The exit polling you were showing just a little
while ago, where immigration is number two issue. I mean, if you look back
a month ago before President Trump started his sort of assault on the
migrant caravan and birthright citizenship and all of that, immigration was
running third, fourth, fifth in some polls depending what you`re looking
at.

So, that shows he made it that much of an issue. Obviously, we`re going to
see which way that swings and whether that was a good thing for him. When
it comes to Hispanic voters, you`re absolutely right. They have
historically underperformed dramatically, way behind whites, way behind
black voters.

Last, in 2014, 27 percent of eligible Hispanic voters turned out. Excuse
me, of the population turned out to vote. All the indication so far is
that we are going to see a bit of a surge this year. Polling indicates it
could get up to something in the 35 percent, 36 percent range.

But because they`ve underperformed so much in previous elections and it`s
been going just further and further down, we`ll have to wait and see. So
far, the early returns show that like everyone else we`re seeing out there,
they`re going to turn out a little bit more this year.

MADDOW: And, Alan, obviously, there is no single Latino community in the
United States. There`s a lot of different types of Latino communities with
a lot of different geographic concerns and different ideological alliances.
If we do see Latino vote spike in the way that you`re talking, going from
27 percent to something like 35 and 36 percent of eligible voters, how
would you expect that to map in terms of partisan affiliation.

Obviously, that wouldn`t just be a pure Democratic vote.

GOMEZ: I mean, predominantly, if you look at them on average, they are
going to lean more Democratic around the country. And somewhere like
Florida, things got pretty complicated because you have a predominantly
Republicans. When it comes to Cuban American vote, Puerto Ricans are going
to be really interesting test this year. That`s – you know, we talked so
much about how this midterm election is a test on the president`s policies
and obviously his handling of Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico is going to
be – that`s going to weigh heavily on their decision when they come out to
vote.

There`s a lot more Central and South Americans throughout Florida right
now. So, the Hispanic vote is very complicated here in this state. But
overall, when you look around the country, when you look at places like
Arizona and Texas and Nevada where Hispanic vote is already big and
growing. Virginia, especially northern Virginia, where you guys just
called that first race, that`s another place where it`s really big.

I mean, I think it`s interesting. Comstock, she ran a very, very Trumpian
campaign. She talked a lot about MS-13. She talked a lot about dangers of
illegal immigration. And look what happened already.

MADDOW: Alan Gomez, immigration reporter for “USA Today”, joining us
tonight from Miami. Alan, thank you very much. Really appreciate having
you here.

If this ends up being on the Republican side, you know, the election of the
caravan, where the president put that at the absolute center of everything
and ends up from the Democratic side being Latino voters turning out in
record numbers and turfing out Republican incumbents, that will be the
snake eating its tail.

WILLIAMS: And you`re right. And we thought was going to be a flat line
from 2016.

Just to share homework with you, we`re on our way to another break. The
very patient Steve Schmidt is standing by and will join us on the other
side. But let me read off the list of 8:00 closings we`re coming up 16
minutes away. Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Florida, Illinois,
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, if you heard your
state in there, even if you didn`t, I would advise you to stay close.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: We are back, 11 minutes away from a huge batch of poll closings
and our decision desk is deciding right now what we are going to say about
them at the top of the hour.

In the meantime, I`m told our friend Steve has new numbers over at the
board.

KORNACKI: Let`s take a look at Georgia. The picture coming in right now.
It is very incomplete. You can see the numbers tabulated and overwhelming
lead for Brian Kemp, the Republican. The reason, these are heavily
Republican areas in small Democratic counties that have been coming in.

The ball game for Democrats really is going to be in the Atlanta metro
area. You don`t see much – look, Fulton County, largest county in the
state. This is what we don`t have any votes coming out of here yet. But
Fulton County is going to get 350,000 votes or more total or going to be
cast here.

Hillary Clinton won close to 70 percent of the vote here in Fulton County.
DeKalb County, again, this is going to be, this was 81 percent for Hillary
Clinton. We`re going to have close to vote.

I think this one, though, when this comes in, it`s going to tell us a lot.
Gwinnett County, there are some precincts apparently where they`ve held
voting hours open a little bit longer. It`s a huge county and it`s changed
dramatically from a demographic standpoint, nonwhite voters, African-
Americans, Hispanics, also Asians coming into this for the first time,
Hillary Clinton in 2016 as a Democrat carried Gwinnett County. She got 51
percent of the vote here against Donald Trump.

If Stacey Abrams can improve on that and if Stacey Abrams can build on the
turnout with those voting groups we talked about, that could have a huge
impact on the governor`s race and a huge impact on that race in Georgia`s
seventh district, which is most of – most of that district is Gwinnett
County.

I should note, we`ve now made another call from our battleground. This is
a Republican hold. Remember, every district you see here is currently a
Republican-held district that Democrats are targeting. The sixth district
of Florida, Republicans, we project, are going to hold to this somewhat
comfortably here. So, Republicans on this list of 66, they have their
first save of the night.

Very quickly, I did want to go back and show you Indiana because it is
beginning to tighten. Democratic areas beginning to report. This is Gary,
Indiana, Hammond, late county Donnelly doing better than Hillary Clinton
did in 2016. You`re starting to get some vote out of Marion County.
You`re going to have close to 300,000 votes out of here before all is said
and done.

Also, Ft. Wayne, this would be – Ft. Wayne is the city here, Allen County,
if Donnelly were to emerge with a win, that would be unusual for the
Democrats, big for him. We`re seeing the Democratic areas come in there
and that race is going to tighten. So, we will keep an eye on that as well
with a bunch of poll closings coming up any minute now.

MADDOW: On that, just to reiterate what just Steve just said there in
terms of House races that we`re watching. We do have our first flip of the
night from red to blue. We`ve got Barbara Comstock, Republican member of
Congress, losing her seat in Virginia to Democrat Jennifer Wexton. And
that Republican hold that Steve just outlined there.

That`s actually the district in Florida Ron DeSantis used to hold. He had
to give up the seat. Waltz is the Democrat who came in to run to hold that
seat for the Republicans against Nancy Soderberg. Waltz will hold that
seat.

That`s one of the ones that Democrats had hoped to pick up, if only because
it was an open seat. But the Republicans have been able to hold on there.

As we`re starting to see the first conclusive results come in tonight, we
want to go to our dear friend, the eloquent Republican strategist and
former Republican, I should say, Steve Schmidt.

Steve, it`s been too long since I`ve seen you, my friend. It`s great to
have you here tonight.

STEVE SCHMIDT, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Good to be with you Rachel.

MADDOW: Big picture, how you`re feeling about the import of this election
tonight.

SCHMIDT: I mean, if you`re the Democrats tonight, watching this from the
national party headquarters, you have some early reasons to be optimistic.
When you look at the exit polls it looks like Donald Trump was a
determinative factor –

MADDOWW: Steve, I would only do for a call. Interrupt you for one second.
Don`t lose your train of thought.

We do have a call. This is in the Ohio Senate race. Democratic Senator
Sherrod Brown projected to hold onto his seat fending off the Republican
challenge from Jim Renacci, who closely aligned himself with President
Trump. Sherrod Republicans salivated at the prospect of knocking off very
early on in this prospect. But he will, it looks like, comfortably hold
onto his seat tonight.

Steve, let me get back to you there. Sorry, my friend.

SCHMIDT: The – when you look at the race, the issue, I think, that we`re
going to see play out over the night is the degree to which Donald Trump
and Air Force One and the dramatic arrivals in all of the states for these
MAGA rallies where he incited all manner of racial animus, in fact, does it
turn out to be a pestilence arriving? Was it a plague of locust for these
Republican candidates?

In Ohio yesterday, Donald Trump came, spent the last day in the campaign
trail, campaigning for Mike DeWine, who`s running for governor of Ohio.
Did he give Mike DeWine a lifeline or did he push his head under the water?

When we look at these Florida returns right now, it seems to be the case
that Donald Trump was an anchor around the ankles of the two Republican
candidates. It may well have been instrumental in bringing about
Democratic victories.

At the end of the day, what the race has been about is a referendum on
Trump and Trumpism. Donald Trump has traveled the country, he`s incited
the American people, he`s stoked a cold civil war. He has led a campaign
of racial animus, the likes of which we have not seen in the modern era.
It is something that would be recognizable to Lester Maddox or to George
Wallace.

So, what we`re going to watch play out over the night is whether Trumpism
faces its first validation or its first repudiation. And when you look at
the exit polls, when you look at some of the early returns, I would bet on
repudiation at this early hour. It will be a long night, and we`ll see how
it plays out.

MADDOW: Steve, do you feel like Republican candidates have a choice as to
how they align themselves with Trump or not? One thing Chuck Todd was
talking about here early on is that Republicans had a hard decision to make
about whether or not they would stand there on a stage with Trump, whether
they would attend a rally if he came to their state, to try to put his
imprimatur on their own local races.

Do Republicans have a choice? Can they say no to Trump and still turn out
the Republican base enough to compete?

SCHMIDT: One of the things I think that we miss in our analysis in our
coverage is this, we tend to say that the election is determined by the
last big event that occurs in the campaign, as opposed to the first
meaningful event.

When Donald Trump arrived in Washington, D.C., there were three parties.
There was an insurgent Trump party, a Republican Party, and a Democratic
Party. The Republican Party capitulated to Donald Trump one by one by one.
They surrendered to Trumpism.


They became apologists for the incitement, for the cruelty, for the malice,
for the assaults on our institutions, for the constant lying, for the
illiberal assaults on the media. So, they made the decision two years ago
to tie themselves to Donald Trump, to tie themselves to Donald Trump lock,
stock and barrel. That`s the decision that mattered. Today, the bill
comes due for that decision.

So the question isn`t what you do in the last week of the campaign. It`s
what you do in the first week of service.

Every single one of these Republicans, by and large, when you talk to them
privately, or when you used to have private conversations with them, they
would tell you that they were offended. They would tell you that they were
appalled. They would tell you that they`ve been in meetings with him and
they think that he`s crazy and that he`s unfit. But they would never say
it publicly.

And so, the choices to either repudiate or to validate, that`s the question
at hand. And I think that it gives these Republicans a pass to say that
they didn`t have a choice, that their hands weren`t bound. They did have a
choice. They had a choice to be fidelitous to the issues they claimed
belief in for most of their political careers until Donald Trump arrived on
the scene.

MADDOW: Former Republican strategist, former Republican, Steve Schmidt,
thank you for joining us, Steve.

SCHMIDT: You bet.

MADDOW: Sobering, as always.

Nicolle Wallace, you and I were talking about this a few minutes ago off
camera. There are Republicans who repudiate Trump, who call the president
out on specific matters and even call him out in general in terms of his
overall approach to politics and then they quit. Nobody calls him out and
then votes against him, or stays in office and decides to fight.

NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: And we shouldn`t – there aren`t many. You
don`t need two hands to count them. But the most specific was Bob Corker.
He questioned his competence, his fitness to serve, he called this West
Wing adult day care, and then he actually held a hearing to sort of hear
expert testimony about the president`s nuclear power.

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW: Just before the poll closings in less than two minutes, we`ve got
a call.

KORNACKI: Yes, we got another flip. You have your second flip of the
night, this is the 27th district of Florida, Eliana Ross, the Republican
who designed – it`s going Democratic. This is one that Democrats were
worried about a few weeks ago. They nominated Donna Shalala, against a
former television anchor here, a district Hillary Clinton won by 20 points.

But there`s a large Cuban-American population here. There was a concern
that Shalala was not faring well as a candidate. But now, we projected she
has won the 27th district. This is a flip. This is the second Democratic
pickup of the night. They began the night needed 23, and now only need 21.

We`ve also made a call in the same area for the third Miami-Dade-based
Republican held seat, Mario Diaz-Balart, he has held on.

And I believe we have another call just coming in right now. We said that
district, that Charlottesville based district Democrats were hoping to win,
we said that Riggleman was doing well in the Trump part of the district, he
was doing very well. Denver Riggleman projected to be the winner there,
Democrats do not get the pickup.

So, we now have five calls from our target list, Democrats have picked up
two of them, both of these districts, be clear on this, both of these
districts were those districts that Hillary Clinton had won in 2016, now
throwing out Republicans when it comes to Congress. So, Democrats have
taken two off the target list in the House.

WILLIAMS: Steve Kornacki at the board, thank you. We`re coming up on 30
seconds away from the 8:00 eastern calls, a huge list. We`re going to go
after the Senate races first. We`re going to break internally. Then we`ll
take a look at the governor`s races.

But here is the list of states we`ll be coming up on, starting with
Alabama, ending with Tennessee. We`ve had some split closing times as we
approach, again, the 8:00 hour here in the East.

And we`re going to start with one that we`ve been covering tonight. We
just don`t have the finishing data on it.


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