Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: November 6, 2018 Guest: Michael Steele, James Carville, Claire McCaskill
BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: And we`re going to start with one that we`ve been covering tonight. We just don`t have the finishing data on it as 8:00 arrives. Florida Governor, too close to call at this hour. Florida Senate, also too close to call. Missouri Senate closely watched race tonight, too close to call at this hour. Tennessee Senate, too early to call.
Blackburn is the early leader in that race. Massachusetts Senate -- and the next six people are going back to work in the Senate, let`s just say that. Elizabeth Warren, no surprise. Connecticut Senate, Chris Murphy going back, no surprise. Delaware, Carper is going back, the Democrat, no surprise there. Ben Cardin in the state of Maryland. In the state of Pennsylvania, Senator Bob Casey. In the State of Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
Over to New Jersey, too early to call though, Bob Menendez is in the lead something of a huge undertaking given the campaign that Hugin mounted against him. Angus King, the Independent in Maine who caucuses with the Democrats, too early to call. He is in the lead, however. And then in Mississippi, this is -- by the way to look at the current Senate, again those undecided seats in gray. That`s what to concentrate on until we get a little later in the evening.
I got ahead of myself. Mississippi Senate we have two races we`re calling them one and two, too early to call, too early to call. When we have a minute, we`ll explain just how this is going to work in the state of Mississippi.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: We may end up looking at -- we may be looking at a runoff in Mississippi Senate and that race there on the right. We want to go back to Steve Kornacki right now because while Brian has been running down those Senate and governor`s calls, Steve has been getting in the data to I think call a few more of these House races, right Steve.
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we don`t have any more calls but we`ve got a number coming in everywhere and we just want to take you through what we`re looking at right now piece by piece. So first of all, we`ll start in Virginia where we`ve had two calls. Remember four target districts there four Democrats. They`ve won the 10th they are -- they have lost to the Fifth District, the Second District this is Scott Taylor that wasn`t supposed to flip there. Let me just make sure I`ve got that back even.
OK, Scott Taylor embattled Republican incumbent trying to hang on. The story in this district is largely Virginia Beach. It`s about two-thirds of the vote. It`s going to come out of here, Virginia Beach. Now, this is a -- Trump won this portion of the district by four points in 2016 so Taylor right now performing as he needs to there. He`s going to have to do that - - continue to do that because in the other two portions of the district we`ve got vote here the Democrat in York and really in Norfolk. The Democrat is exceeding Hillary Clinton`s numbers so we`re keeping an eye on that one.
We are keeping an eye on the Seventh District of Virginia. Remember, the Richmond suburbs here Abigail Spanberger leading very slightly over Dave Brat here. This would be a major pickup for Democrats if they were to get it. The Sixth District of Kentucky, we`ve been talking about this all night, those rural areas starting to come in now. Andy Barr is taking a lead over McGrath although you see it`s very tight about 3,000 votes separating them so that one looking very close right now.
We`ve got a few others in Florida of note, Carlos Curbelo, again Republican running for re-election in district that Hillary Clinton carried. Curbelo right now this is largely Miami-Dade plus you go out to the Florida Keys here. He`s running very slightly behind there as well. Two more in Florida to quickly show you. Brian Mast here, he is running ahead right now. That was not supposed to cover. And one more we can just check in on the 15th District, we showed you earlier Ross Spano, the Republican. We said those numbers were looking decent for him early and you can see he`s leading by six right there at the moment.
MADDOW: Can I ask you one -- I`m sorry, can I just interject. Can ask you one quick question about Virginia Five, Steve? That`s the race that as you mentioned includes Charlottesville. You`ve called that now Denver Riggleman, the Republican holding that seat for the Republican Party, Leslie Cockburn was the Democratic challenger there. How big of a prize is that for the Republicans? Were they really expecting to hold on to that one? I remember that was sort of a lean Republican race but is that one that was really on the bubble for them?
KORNACKI: You know, I mean, I look, this was -- this is one Republicans, this would be almost a catastrophe for them to lose. You know, the way Virginia went, I think the way folks we`re looking at this coming into the night was the tenth Democrats had to pick up. They`ve done that. The seventh which suggests Democrats are on their way to getting the House. We`re going to see what happens there.
MADDOW: That`s the Bratt-Spanberger race.
KORNACKI: Right. That`s the Richmond suburbs. The second district there were some particular issues with Scott Taylor, some issues around a controversy there in that district, the 5th Districts is the one where if you added that to one of the others for Democrats, you start -- you`re starting to say nationally that could mean wave. So again, the story here, I think Democrats not getting the gains they needed. This is Charlottesville itself, right here, this is the county around it, Albemarle County not getting the gains necessarily needed here to offset the strength that Riggleman got in the this next heavily populated portion of the district which is a very Trump friendly part of the district.
MADDOW: Thank you very much, Steve. Sorry to interject there.
WILLIAMS: No problem. Governor`s races are an important part of tonight. We have a partial list of them. Again, some of these closings were at 8:00. In Florida, however, too close to call. We`re watching it.
MADDOW: Wow, very close.
WILLIAMS: To the state of Pennsylvania we go. Wolf, the projected winner, Governor Tom Wolf, Tennessee, Lee, Massachusetts, Baker, Illinois, too early to call though Pritzker is in the lead, Alabama, too early to call though Ivey is in the lead. Rhode Island, too early to call, Raimundo is in the lead, and in Georgia, too early to call another widely watched race tonight where the numbers the early raw has been all over the map.
MADDOW: Ten percent in that Georgia governor`s race that year. You mentioned the Illinois race, that is the governor`s race that Democrats most hope to pick up. They have their strongest I think confidence in terms of flipping a governor`s race. But as bad as the Senate map is for the Democratic Party, with all of these Democratic Senators defending their turf in places that Trump won including a bunch of states where Trump won by double digits, as bad as the Senate map is for Democrats, it is that good for them in terms of the governor`s races. And so that Illinois race isn`t first among a lot that the Democrats are hoping to flip but those governors --
WILLIAMS: And are really, really expensive.
MADDOW: And -- that`s -- everything in Illinois is expensive. That`ll be -- those governor`s races are going to be fascinating to watch over the course of the night because Democrats haven`t been shy about having very high expectations there.
NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: And they`ve got some of their best candidates running in these Midterms running in those gubernatorial races. Whatever happens tonight, Andrew Gilliam is one of the top Democrats in the country right now. He had the right message, he had the right tone for running as a Democrat against in a climate so colored by Donald Trump. Stacey Abrams, is one of the better, one of the best candidates that`s running in this cycle.
MADDOW: It`s killing me that we`ve only got ten percent of the vote in the Georgia Governor`s race.
WALLACE: Well, and the Florida race tightened. I mean, the last numbers we showed for Florida represented a real tightening in that race so I wonder what came in that tightened up the Florida gubernatorial.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steve Kornacki could tell.
WILLIAMS: Steve Kornacki, forgive me. I`m told Steve has more number. Steve?
KORNACKI: Yes. Well, I just want to set up because I think some things are going to start happening fast here and I want to get everybody ready for them because again the countdown here for Democrats at 21 with Pennsylvania votes coming in right now. Remember, they redrew the district lines in the middle of the year in Pennsylvania. And what that did was it created, first of all, some more competitive districts for Democrats, it also created some accounting issues. So we`ve been saying that the Democrats -- this is all -- these are all districts here where the Democrats are trying to unseat Republicans.
There are a handful of districts across the country tonight where Republicans have a chance of unseating or taking Democratic seats. There`s one -- they are virtually guaranteed to get. It is in Pennsylvania. And let me just show you about -- this has everything to do with the redistricting. It`s the 14th District of Pennsylvania. They drew this in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania. Under the new lines, Trump would have won this district by 30 points. These are two first time candidates running for it here, so the expectation is that any minute now this will be called Republican and that this will become a Republican pickup.
We`re not going to see many of those tonight but that would increase that number to 22 if that comes in first. However, I say, there were a bunch of new districts drawn in Pennsylvania and so we have to point out as well that there are a couple that worked the other way down here on the other side of Pennsylvania, start the newly drawn Sixth District. Again, two first-time candidates under these new lines, this was a Clinton district and you can go right next door under the new lines a really big Clinton district, also an expectation the party could -- the Republicans had pulled out of this race in the seventh. This is a Republican seat. Charlie Dent declined to seek reelection. It`s competitive on paper but the two parties were telegraphing. They didn`t think it was that competitive so there`s an expectation of Democratic pickups in these three districts.
And also one more out here a name you`ll remember Connor Lamb who won that special election earlier this year, the district he won in being dissolved at the end of the year, he went and he decided to challenge in this newly drawn district, a Republican incumbent Keith Rothfuss. The polling has shown Connor Lamb out ahead by double digits. The Republicans pulled their money out of this race. So again, the expectation has been that Lamb would win this race and fairly easily. We will see if that matches up but you can see in the next few minutes a couple of these districts we expect to flip pretty quickly. There are others, they may take a little longer but they`re expected to flip as well. So I think in Pennsylvania alone, now the polls are closing there, we`re going to get votes, we`re going to start seeing this number move around a lot.
WILLIAMS: Steve Kornacki, did I just see you flirting with Jersey Eleven?
KORNACKI: New Jersey -- let`s see if we`ve got something in New Jersey Eleven. I`m going to call it up right now.
WILLIAMS: I`m sorry to look over your shoulder but I`ve been doing it all night.
KORNACKI: Yes, we don`t have any vote out of New Jersey 11 yet. This is another one though. Look, for -- we talked about Virginia ten, the Democrats in Comstock, this is another one. They are -- Democrats are expecting to get this district with Mikie Sherrill. It will be a very bad sign for them if they don`t.
MADDOW: Chris Matthews, as a Pennsylvania expert, can I just ask you, obviously the redistricting issue in Pennsylvania, a huge deal, it`s a big part of why Democrats think they`ve got a chance to take control of the House of Representatives. But you don`t have the redistricting issue when it comes to statewide races for Senate or for governor. What happened with the Republican efforts to run somebody against Bob Casey or Tom Wolf? I mean, Bob Casey and Tom Wolf are fine, but neither is Superman. They both just walked away with the statewide races and the Republican candidates were just nothing.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: It`s very hard to beat an incumbent governor although they did before but -- and Casey is a magic name in Pennsylvania. It`s a sweet spot. He`s a pro-life, but a sweet spot with so many of the more traditional Democrats up in Scranton and or the eastern part of the state. He`s just an impossible name to beat. And I think they didn`t want to waste the money. I`m fascinated by what happened in Bucks County at Fitzpatrick. If they knock down one off, if they go out and knock off Mike Kelly out in Erie, I think I think it`s two or three beyond Steve mentioning that they can win out there.
MADDOW: Fitzpatrick and Kelly, both Republican incumbents.
MATTHEWS: Yes, they could knock them off and they can knock -- they can win the 10th too in Lancaster. So they could win not just in Philadelphia counties and Lehigh which has always been the swing part of the state. If they pick up Bucks county against a pretty well recognized incumbent, they`re in business. That`s sweep time.
MADDOW: Well, what -- how much of a difference does it make if they had such weak state wide candidates at the top of the ticket? I mean, there is no President Trump on the ticket in Pennsylvania this year. The guy running against Tom Wolf disappeared, the guy running against Bob Casey disappeared. That doesn`t help for their down ticket races.
MATTHEWS: I think -- I know the burbs because I grew right on the edge of Bucks County. I`m telling you that the guy at the top of the ticket was on the Republican side and his name is Donald J. Trump. And I think a lot of the women this time, and men, were evolved, men as I said the other night, in the suburbs, I think -- Hillary was a complication at the end. I heard from a lot of people and you`d be surprised by it and find her complicated. Chris (INAUDIBLE) report 11 days out didn`t help.
This time it`s all about voting against Trump. The American voter tends to be a voter against and there was no -- one thing you can say about the Democratic Party, they`ve been so enactive in terms of legislation or national profile. You can`t vote against them except like a few country.
MADDOW: Once you`re out of power, you can`t do anything that offends anyone.
MATTHEWS: Do your man act. Your man that`s running the show and Trump has been running the show. So I think it`s a great advantage to be -- to be on offense this time.
WALLACE: Those counties -- so Erie County is a place where it would hurt Republicans to have the economic message crowded out, which is what happened when Donald Trump --
MADDOW: You spent a ton of time in Erie, don`t you?
WALLACE: I spent a ton of time in Erie. I get some mail delivered there. But Erie was a place where Trump flipped Erie county because of the message about the economy and no Republican has been able to run on the economy for the last, I don`t know, eight weeks, six weeks because Trump has been obsessed with the slow-moving humanitarian crisis that he calls a caravan.
MATTHEWS: And women are important. I mean, we didn`t talk about it with Northern Virginia, but clearly the Comstock defeat is a big part of women. It`s a -- we called it -- we called it bedroom community. Single women in Northern Virgina are very much like the Philadelphia suburbs. They`re highly educated, many single, they`re very liberal on social issues, choice of course, on LGBT issues, very liberal. It was an opportunity for them to vote their feelings and also get the vote against Trump.
So I think the -- I think the big wins are going to come in those suburbs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn`t buy Comstock`s MS-13 scaremongering, even though there is MS-13 in the Washington suburbs, but people put it in perspective.
WILLIAMS: Steve Kornacki -- I don`t mean to interrupt. I`ve just been alerted that he has new numbers over at the board. Steve?
KORNACKI: Yes, Florida has turned around a little bit here. You can see - - let`s start in the Senate side, the Senate governor, matching up closely, a very -- you can see very narrow lead. We`re talking 10,200 votes right here for Rick Scott over Bill Nelson. Where has that come from? A couple places, we can show you. Remember what I was talking about here. These counties where Donald Trump in 2016, particularly keyed by same day voters, not the early vote, but the same day stuff that comes in later where we`re going to see Republicans match that.
Here`s one place where they`ve matched it. Volusia County, this is one of those counties two years ago we were looking at around this time and saying wow, Trump is doing better than Mitt Romney did four years ago. In Volusia, a 12 point improvement in terms of the margin for Trump over Romney and you can see Scott is basically replicating what Trump did in Volusia County. So that`s one example of it. I`ll give you another one. Y
ou can get out in Collier County, down here -- getting down here Southwest Florida, Rick Scott actually running ahead of Trump`s pace right there. I think we showed you Lee County, think of like Cape Coral here. Again, this is the -- we talk about the Midwest retirees, a lot of them who come down here, you can see Scott replicating those numbers again so you`re starting to see it. Manatee County, replicating those numbers. Let`s take a look up, we flagged this one earlier, Pasco, again, here you go, Pasco County with same-day, there`s improvement here for Rick Scott. So you`re starting to see that.
Now, let`s take a look on the -- excuse me, on the gubernatorial side in Florida, just to give you a sense of what`s going on. The big picture number here, statewide in the gubernatorial race close to what we`re seeing. This is actually a 35,000 vote margin for DeSantis. Let`s just take you through some of those counties. Again, Volusia County, again you`re seeing a similar story. We go down to Collier County, you`re seeing a similar story. He`s finding it in the same places. One other thing that I would flag here in terms of what Democrats are putting up on the board right now, Osceola County 59-39 that`s actually less. The margin for Clinton was 25, still some vote to come but that`s only a 20-point margin in a key Democratic County right there. You can see 24, 25 running about even where Orlando is.
So you`re seeing -- and it looks like same day vote in some of those places Trump did really well in 2016. Looks like Republicans are getting that today in Florida as well and you got a very complicated picture there statewide right now.
WILLIAMS: We`re going to try to page Chuck Todd and get them back into the studio as our son of Florida to talk about exactly what is going on in Florida. Steve Kornacki, stay on it and holler if you get anything new. Michael Steele is with us, the former Chairman of the Republican Party. And Michael, if you were in your old job tonight, how would you feel about the chances?
MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER CHAIRMAN, RNC: I`d be very nervous, to be honest, because there`s a lot that`s still out there obviously. But when you look at the trend lines, particularly in a state like Virginia, Northern Virginia, that Loudoun County area has become so much of a bellwether for the state and almost for the region as the demographic patterns have shifted and changed. And in the parties, if the state and the national level have to be cognizant of how people are not just moving around but how that`s impacting the vote patterns and where people are going to turn out and how that vote settles down. And I think we`re going to see this play out across the country tonight in a big way potentially.
And you`re looking at those numbers in Florida. That race is a lot tighter than I think people thought it would be at this point. And again, that says a lot about how people have kind of settled into their vote and almost settled into old habits in some respects particularly when you look at the con momentum that someone like Gillum had in the state of Florida.
WILLIAMS: As you`re speaking, we`re looking at a 50-50 race right there lower-left, Rick Scott, Bill Nelson. On the other side, 49-49 and change. That is unbelievable.
STEELE: Yes, and it really speaks to just how the voters have processed these elections. Trump was no doubt a factor. But at the same time, he had that ability to sort of settle the vote down for a lot of Republicans in key areas and that`ll be interesting to juxtapose against something like you know, what we see in Virginia right now where the Democrats have picked up some congressional seats. Does that translate in Pennsylvania? Does it translate Nevada? Does it translate in other parts of the country? That`s the thing to look at as we go forward and these numbers start to come in.
WILLIAMS: Michael, don`t move an inch. We`re going to fit in a break. I`m watching Kornacki at the board looking at county by county numbers in Florida. A lot of stories on the move right now. Please stay with us.
WILLIAMS: Thank you for staying with us. We are back 8:22 Eastern time. Ohio Governor right now, we have this too close to call between Cordray and Mike DeWine.
MADDOW: 30 percent of the vote in there.
WILLIAMS: Yes, there you go. Steve Kornacki has been taking an early look at Texas and also these numbers out of Florida. Steve?
KORNACKI: Yes, let`s just keep on Florida now because we are -- I think statewide we got -- we`re -- we`ve had a higher turnout than expected so our estimate for the overall turnout here has gone up since the start of night. But still we`ve got you know more than seven million votes that have been counted. You see the gap here. It`s just going up as I`m speaking about 37,000 vote lead for Rick Scott. Where is their vote left here, less populated up here in the Panhandle but you can see there are a couple of counties up here where we don`t have any vote. This is going to be big for Rick Scott, small in terms of population.
Look down here, Miami-Dade. Now again, remember when I say that 75 percent, at 75 percent of precincts. They don`t run that early vote, the mail and vote through the precincts so proportionally that`s a little out of whack but there is and it`s the same thing in Broward. I`ll give you an example. I think -- here`s what we expect in terms of vote out of Broward. This adds up to 474,000 -- 480 -- about 485,000 votes is what this adds up to I think we`re going to be just over 600,000 out of Broward when all is said and done. So there is still vote to come out of Broward. It`s not going to double though so keep that in mind.
Palm Beach almost all in. And again, you see how Nelson is running there so there are still some Democratic areas but the story as we said is Scott and for that matter DeSantis in the Governor`s Race, the same day vote in those Trump areas, those Republican areas seems to have come through for them and made this a real game there, memories of two years ago.
Certainly, Texas the votes were seen now. Again, Texas is a heavy early voting state. Take our first look at the Senate race. First, look, about more than two million votes counted. Now, the reason one thing that`s helping Beto O`Rourke right now, one of the places where we`ve got a lot of vote here is Dallas County. You can see over half a million votes have been counted here. This is a core Democratic area. Hillary Clinton got 61 percent of the vote here you can see in 2016 so Beto O`Rourke is improving on that in a core Democratic area.
I think more interesting is when you get outside of Austin, Williamson County here. This is one of the wealthiest -- this is a very wealthy county. This is Beto O`Rourke doing nine points better than Hillary Clinton. Then also you go to Hays County on the other side, you know, about a ten point improvement right there. So those are numbers in that area that the O`Rourke campaign wants to see but that`s very early. You`ve got some Democratic-friendly areas therein. They need -- they need to get that kind of shift in the suburbs around the state, they need to have a turnout surge there, and we got to see what happen as these Republican counties begin to come in as well.
WILLIAMS: All right, Steve Kornacki, thank you. We have two calls to pass along to our viewers. From Illinois, we are projecting Pritzker wins as the next governor of the state of Illinois. A pickup for the Democrats and a hold in Maryland as Larry Hogan will be returning. We have one more. Rhode Island governor, it`s going to be Raimondo, Gina Raimondo the Democrat. And let`s go over to James Carville, longtime Democratic Strategist. It was I think in 2016, Florida was turning when we went to James Carville. And if you look at the spectrum of Benjamin Moore Paints, I don`t know what color I would have described your face as just at that moment. But whatever blood was draining out, you started -- your mood started to go south James. How are you -- how are you thinking about the country right now?
JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: 2016 I said between Chuck Todd and Hugh Hewitt and Chuck Todd said that Hillary was running ahead of Obama in Prince William in Virginia and Hillsborough in Florida and I said great. And then Hugh Hewitt said upshot said there`s a 65 percent chance that Trump wins Florida and I knew right there, and the blood did go out of my face. Tonight there was some hope that the Democrats would have a wave election. It`s not going to be a wave election. It could still be a good election. You know, there was a lot of -- a lot of drama left in Florida. Some of the stuff I saw out of Texas that Kornacki put up particularly Williamson County I thought was encouraging but you know, that`s still a lot of -- a lot of politics left.
But I will wait and see. Hopefully, the Democrats get the House back. I was a little more optimistic about Florida and what it`s turned out to be and I think we haven`t nailed bite in a lot of places here tonight.
WILLIAMS: James, how tough you think it`s going to be? We keep running the number on the right-hand corner of our screen, 21 for the Dems in the House.
CARVILLE: Well, I think they`re going to do well in some of these suburban seats you know, in places like North Carolina, some of them Georgia will do well. I think it pickups in Texas. But the aspiration to pick up a lot of seats doesn`t seem like it`s coming to fruition. A lot of them be close and there`s still a good chance that the Democrats win the House but I`ve got see the chances of a wave kind of dissipating every time I see something on the board.
MADDOW: James, this is Rachel in New York. Thanks for being with us tonight. You keep talking about how you see the wave dissipating and not building there. Obviously, the Democrats hope to get control of the House with this bigger majority as they can get. But even if they`ve only got a one-seat majority, that means that they will take over the committee chairmanships and every single committee. Nancy Pelosi will be Speaker once again. How important is the size of the Democratic majority if that wave doesn`t materialize but they do win?
CARVILLE: Well, I mean, look, you always -- you need some safety in there. I mean, people could switch, people could die, the thousand things could happen. So you want some margin there and you know, let`s wait and see. I mean, you still could get it. I mean, don`t get me wrong. I`m not -- I`m saying out this is not going to be the wave election that people like me would have hoped for. It can still be a good election but some of these races are going to be you know, very tight and it`s you know, it`s still volatile down in Florida. You still got a lot of Broward out which is you know, big, big, big county and it`d be hard for Scott to make some of this up in a panhandle like smaller but it`s going to be close.
I went into this morning feeling really almost confident almost to the point of being cocky about Florida. I no longer have that feeling.
MADDOW: How are you feeling about Georgia tonight, James?
CARVILLE: Well, they kind of -- you know, we got to count them out. I was just -- I mean, somebody`s -- the vote turn around in Georgia is going to be so high, you know, in a place like you know, suburban Atlanta, the Fultons and the Mariettas and all these -- all these counties start coming in. They just dwarfed a lot of these rural counties. So I mean, there`s a lot of counting left to do. I`m going to be watching it really close but you know, we`ll see. But right now, you know, with Florida Senate is kind of central to what`s going on I think.
MADDOW: In San Francisco tonight, Democratic Strategist James Carville. Mr. Carville, it is always a pleasure and an honor to have with us. Thanks for being with us.
CARVILLE: Thank you and I love that "Mister," thank you.
MADDOW: I`ll use that whenever you need it.
CARVILLE: Tell my children that. Thank you.
MADDOW: Will do. Will do.
WILLIAMS: I mean, the proper southerners so he should appreciate the honorific. We`re coming up on 30 seconds away from the next half-hour, the poll closings. We only have the state of Arkansas coming in fresh at 8:30 but we`re also going to use this opportunity to update folks on the other races. People are so highly interested in and people are waiting for. And Rachel`s warning, her admonition at the top of the evening that it might be a very late night remains true. That holds even at this hour of 8:30.
So here we are, the poll has closed. Polls have closed in Arkansas. We are projecting Governor Hutchinson is handily reelected there.
And onto the other two. We`re watching Florida, too close to call. Georgia, too early to call. So projected on the side of the building we sit in.
MADDOW: Georgia race, again, only 16 percent of that vote in, in Georgia.
But in Georgia, the issue of the administration of the election has been like the other candidate in the race. As we talked about earlier this evening, Brian Kemp faced many, many calls, not just from his opponent, but from people like former President Jimmy Carter and from others that he should step down from his role as secretary of state administering the election, given that he`s running at the top of the ticket in the election.
Georgia`s election security has been very, very controversial. There have been a number of lawsuits against the state. There have been a number of election security public complaints and publicly reported issues in Georgia. When there have been concerns raised by outsiders, and by outsiders in this case I mean even the federal government, about the security of Georgia elections, Brian Kemp has turned that around and made it sound like they must have been trying to hack into Georgia if they discovered those faults.
So the issue of Georgia voter suppression, him purging hundreds of thousands of people off the rolls in advance of this election, is inexorable as we watch the vote numbers just absolutely crawl in in that state.
MATTHEWS: And no paper trail.
MADDOW: They have zero paper...
MATTHEWS: No evidence. If it screws up it`s gone.
MADDOW: And a judge in that case -- there`s a federal judge in that case who has been considering issues about Georgia, voter suppression and ballot security there, and the judge seemed absolutely poised to order Georgia to finally get a paper backup, but said at the last minute, we are too close to the election to make that kind of a change.
WILLIAMS: Let me just interrupt one second. We have a winner in the Senate race in the state of New Jersey. New Jersey remains blue. Menendez, who had so many ethical and legal troubles has turned away former pharma Bob Hugin ran an aggressive race especially in the media markets of New York and Philadelphia. But we are projecting when it`s all said and done Bob Menendez returns to the U.S. Senate from New Jersey.
MADDOW: We should be clear, that visual might have confused you a little bit, right. So, this is NBC News projecting that as Brian said when all the votes come in, Bob Menendez who have won the race. The actual number of votes in and counted right now is only 1 percent and those show the Republican challenger ahead, but projections are put together through a lot of things other than just the actually counted votes. That wasn`t a typo. And Bob Menendez looks like he`s going back to the senate.
WILLIAMS: And Steve Kornacki has new numbers from Florida -- Steve.
KORNACKI: Yeah, OK, so the gap here right now for Bill Nelson in this race now has climbed over 50,000. I want to show you where the vote is left, because it`s beginning to come into focus here in terms of Democrats and where they can still find votes. Two places to key in on, number one here is Broward County. We expect there`s going to be about 630,000 votes that are going to be cast here. That means there`s probably about 145,000 left to be counted.
You can see Nelson is defeating Scott at about a 2-1 clip here, so if there`s 145,000 left, that gives you about 55,000 vote plurality here if things broke the Democrats` way here.
Miami-Dade is a little bit more confusing. We have a range her, there`s over -- there`s about 712,000, 713,000 votes that have been counted here. We think there could be up to 900,000 votes that come out of this county, but there is a lot of confusion here right now about where exactly that`s going to land, so that could be the ceiling, 900,000, but it may end up being less than that.
Those are two big Democratic areas still to come. Keep in mind they are balanced by two things, however, the scattering of rural counties, particularly in the panhandle, where there are still votes to come in, not many votes, but they`re going to be overwhelmingly Republican, and also a couple of counties that have a little bit more population.
Let me start down here, Collier County you can see still vote to come in here, still a significant amount, Scott winning that one 2-1. If we take a look up here in Charlotte County, still vote to come in here. Scott leading that almost 2-1 up here in the panhandle as well. There`s one additional -- so there are still places where Republicans are going to balance out gains that Democrats make in those core counties.
Again, right now, let`s just see if it`s changed, it is now 60,000 votes for Scott in the Senate race. In the governor`s race, the margin for Ron DeSantis, it is now approaching 100,000. You`re at 83,000. 83,000 is the margin for Ron DeSantis in that race. Again, a pretty similar turnout pattern holds there as well.
WILLIAMS: We are on it. We`ll stay on it. We have to sneak in another break here with this proviso, we`ll bust out of any commercials for any major calls we have at our election headquarters here in New York as you look at the state of the Florida senate race.
MADDOW: It is 8:39 on the East Coast, one of the Senate races that we are watching tonight is in the great state of Missouri where Republicans would so love to unseat Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.
As you`re seeing the results there, we`ve only got 1 percent of the vote in right now. This is too close to call right now, but as you`re seeing we`ve got less than 30,000 votes.
Joining us now live from Missouri is Senator Claire McCaskill. Senator McCaskill, thank you so much. We know this is an incredibly fraught and busy evening for you.
SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL, (D) MISSOURI: Yes, a little nerve racking.
MADDOW: Well, we`ve only got 1 percent of the vote in in terms of what we are looking at. How do you feel about how things have gone over the course of the campaign, but also in its closing days?
MCCASKILL: Well, you know, we had to crawl out of a pretty deep hole. Donald Trump won this state by 20 points. So, I`m really proud that we kind of clawed our way to dead even near the end of the campaign.
But you know me, I`m going to be really honest with you, I have no flipping idea what`s going to happen tonight. We could win and we could lose. I feel like our turnout was great.
MATTHEWS: Go ahead.
MCCASKILL: Yeah, the turnout was great in places we needed it to be great, but it was also strong in other parts of the state where we`re not going to do as well. So, I think it could go either way.
MATTHEWS: Missouri is such a tough state, it`s like riding a bucking bronco representing that state. I remember of all the weird things Eisenhower lost in `56, he won in `52, then they dumped him in Missouri. And there you are -- it`s like a bucking bronco or a Missouri mule maybe.
What is it about Missouri that makes it so hard to stay atop of?
MCCASKILL: Well, if you think about it, I got -- running in this race as a Democrat in Missouri has been very Republican lately, so not only do I have to excite the base and get them out, but I also have to make sure that people understand that I`m not ashamed to be a moderate. So, it`s a little bit like walking and chewing gum at the same time and juggling all at once to make everything work, to make sure people understand that my moderation is principled, but I`m not afraid to compromise, which I think a lot of Missouri voters like that I`m independent, I don`t always vote the party line. So -- but it`s tough. This is a tough state in terms of -- it will never be completely red or completely blue, but it`s pretty close to red these days.
ROBINSON: Senator, Gene Robinson. The president had that big rally out in your state. What impact do you think that had? Did it -- was it positive or negative for you?
MCCASKILL: Oh, listen, he was here so often, I figured he was building a golf course, right? He was here time after time after time. And then of course he finished the campaign here with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Gene Perot and Kellyanne Conway. They were -- it was a cast in Cape Girardeau last night.
So, clearly they want this state. And they worked very hard to do it.
I do think it`s a double-edged sword, because while it motivates the Trump base when he`s here, it also motivated a lot of people in my base that really are not happy with President Trump. So I don`t think we`ll know whether or not ultimately it worked or not until every vote is count tonight.
MADDOW: Senator McCaskill, as a woman in the senate, and as a woman leader in Missouri, who`s held a lot of different positions of authority in your state and now the country, I have to ask you how you feel like gender plays right now in terms of being a senior elected woman at a time when gender politics in our country right now and the fight over sexism and sexual harassment and sexual assault and accountability and all of those things is just is red hot and such a volatile issue.
Obviously, we`re seeing a record number of women running this year, particularly on the Democratic side. But I just wanted your perspective on that right now, especially right now not knowing how tonight`s going to end for you.
MCCASKILL: well, i think these -- it`s always going to be an issue that`s out there. sometimes it`s more subliminal, sometimes it`s front and center. it`s probably been a little more front and center this time.
But I`ve got to tell you, honestly, Rachel, I think the biggest problem for me is not as much gender as it is in politics today it`s really a mark against you if you know what you`re doing. You know, experience, this is one of the few fields where experience is considered a negative right now. I mean, you know in most careers, if you`ve done a lot of different things and learned a lot, then that is a positive thing.
But right now people really don`t get excited about folks who have spent their life in public service. They want something new. And so I think the fact that I have served the public so long -- and maybe that`s one of the things that`s hurting Bill Nelson. I think if you`ve been serving the public for a long time that`s a difficult hurdle to get over these days.
MADDOW: Senator Claire McCaskill tonight awaiting news of her own fate with her own voters in Missouri. Good luck to you, senator. Thank you for taking some time to be with us while you`re watching those vote totals come in. We`re looking forward to see how this turns out tonight. Thank you.
WILLIAMS: The senator mentioned something new. I`m looking at Steve Kornacki who is deep in the heart of Texas. Speaking of something new, Steve?
MADDOW: Yeah, in Texas -- this is very similar to Florida in that you`ve got a ton of early vote, that early vote gets sort of put out there almost all at once. Then you wait for the same day, and the question that hangs over the same day is, is there going to be a trend on the final data that`s at odds of what you see in the early vote.
So, again, this looks like about, we think, about half the vote that`s going to be cast total statewide. But when you start to go into these individual counties, what you`ll see here, this will be good example, a ton of vote here, it`s going to say 1 percent of precincts. That`s the giveaway that we are looking at early vote right here.
So, again, here`s the comparison as we can show you how the early vote is looking for Beto O`Rourke. In 2016, Donald Trump won the state of Texas by nine points. So you basically got to improve the margin if you`re a Democrat by nine points or more across the state. So, use that as a rough benchmark. And we can compare.
This is Dallas. In 2016, the margin here for Clinton was 26. Tonight, the margin in the early vote 33, a seven point improvement. Go next door to Tarrant County, the margin for Trump was nine, the margin for Trump right one in the early vote. That`s down by eight.
You go up to Denton, 21 has been cut to 10. That`s 11 points. So, you`re seeing this in the Dallas area pretty consistently, 17 sits at 7, 10 point improvement.
We`re you`re seeing a little bit better than that in the early vote for Democrats, take a look here Travis County, this is Austin, 39 goes to 53. You talked about an explosion of Democratic energy, especially in the early vote, it speaks to that, go north of Austin, Williamson, 10, 10-point advantage there for Trump has turned into a three-point advantage for O`Rourke.
Here`s an interesting one, we have yet to hear from Travis County, the biggest in the state, Houston, but go to the suburbs outside of it, Clinton won this by seven -- this is a little bit of a disappointment for him, because it`s only 10 right now in the early vote.
But again this is like Florida, we await that same day.
WILLIAMS: All right, Steve Kornacki, thank you. And more on this same topic, Chris Hayes has now made his way to O`Rourke headquarters in El Paso.
And Chris, what are you hearing there?
HAYES: So, I`ve been talking to a lot of strategists here in Texas, and there are a lot of eyes wide open emoji right now, because the numbers are different than people are used to seeing in statewide races. There`s something interesting happening in terms of what`s going to happen here.
That Tarrant County is a good place to think about, that`s a place -- that is the largest urban Republican district in the United States, it encompasses Fort Worth, Texas right next to Dallas. That`s a place where when the early vote came in it was 50/50, as Steve was just talking about, that`s a number that puts Beto in the ballpark.
So far the kinds of early voting they`re seeing, you`re talking to Democratic strategists, particularly those who are running the State House races here, there`s a bunch of state houses that have been targeted for Democrats, they`re down in that state house, 95 to 55, and they`ve got about ten or eleven they`re feeling pretty good about it, those are in Republican districts that they`re looking like they maybe able to flip.
All of that points to an evening here in Texas as the votes come in that is more interesting than it`s been in Texas for a very long time when you`re looking at what kind of dynamics Beto would need in order to defeat the incumbent Ted Cruz.
WILLIAMS: And, Chris...
MADDOW: Brian, you go ahead.
WILLIAMS: No, please.
MADDOW: I`m sorry to interject. I was just going to ask kind of a dumb question, which is Chris, I know that you`ve been through a lot of races like this. You`ve been through losing and winning races, you`ve been at headquarters as the votes have come in. Just from your own reporting in your own sense, do you think that the Beto O`Rourke campaign believes that it will win tonight or do they believe that they will lose tonight?
HAYES: They believe they will win.
Now, that`s a crazy belief in some ways because of the history of statewide Democrats in Texas. If you look behind me, I don`t know if you can see the shot, the setup here is not the setup of a person who is expecting to come out and give a desultory concession speech after losing by nine or 15 points which is traditionally what happens to Democrats in the state of Texas running statewide. We are in a ballpark, there is a ton of media here. There is a huge venue behind us with bands. This is a campaign that I think went into today feeling they were in the ballpark, literally, figuratively, of what they would need.
And if you`re looking at some of the Republican strategists right now who know this state well, particularly some of the big data people, when they`re looking at the modeling, they`re looking at a number of 8.2 million votes, they`re looking at what they`re seeing in Tarrant County particularly, there`s some real nervousness on the Republican side right now. And it is going to be an interesting night.
HAYES: Chris Hayes, thank you. If you don`t mind, we would like to stay in touch, because we think you might be at one of the more exciting stories and story lines of the evening. Chris Hayes at O`Rourke headquarters in El Paso, Texas.
Nicolle Wallace, I am thinking about the best laid plans in 2016 and the Javits Center on the west side of Manhattan.
WALLACE: You know, I was thinking, listening to you and Chris Hayes, there`s only so far science and polling and academics can take you. And so the people that sit in headquarters in front of computers with whirly hats on, they can only get you so far. They don`t make you win or lose. Candidates make you win or lose. Candidates with magic make your win or lose. And candidates that are hated make you win or lose.
Ted Cruz was supposed to win. Ted Cruz really, to lose this after sort of crawling back to Donald Trump who insulted his father and his wife, would be a human tragedy, but an immense political victory.
He is the most polarizing figure in the Republican Party, was famously at odds with the Bush family, the other famous Republican family to hail from Texas. But to talk to Texans and to talk to Texas Republicans, as I have over the last three months, there are Beto signs in every corner of the state. There are Beto signs in Amarillo. There are Beto signs all over El Paso where he is from, but there are Beto signs in neighborhoods, in blocks, in streets that are known to be Republican strongholds, so it would not be surprising to see an upset there. And it would really...
MADDOW: Really? You wouldn`t be surprised to see an upset?
WALLACE: Of course we would be surprised, but it wouldn`t be surprising to Beto, because I think he is running as someone who -- he didn`t have a pollster. He didn`t do the conventional things. And he didn`t become hostage to sort of the politics of red and blue. And it can`t be done, and you`re running against Ted Cruz.
It would be the story of the night if he were to win. But I`m betting he would do an interview and say to you I`m not surprised I won.
ROBINSON: Whatever happens in Texas is technically going to be a surprise, because if they usually get 4 million votes in a midterm election, and they`re going get 8 million...
MADDOW: Or 9 million...
ROBINSON: ...something like that this time, it`s all a surprise. Nobody knows what that extra vote is going to do.
MADDOW: And if in 2020, Texas turns out 8 or 9 million votes as their baseline from which they build on to presidential year, I mean, that changes Texas and the country.
WALLACE: If Texas because a battleground state it changes the country.
MATTHEWS: One asset that -- I can`t believe it was a week ago we had the Hardball college tour down there at the University of Houston. I have never seen -- well, Bill Clinton might be the best retailer I`ve ever seen. I mean, he works the last one in the room. He stays until everybody is gone. He wants to shake hands with everybody, chat up everybody. This guy is that good. He has none of the other problems. This guy has all the good stuff.
So, I think not having a pollster -- Joe Kennedy, his best buddy in the House, said I told him for a year, please get a pollster. Don`t dive into the pool until you know how deep it is or how cold it is, and he wanted to do it.
WALLACE: No one will have a pollster again if he wins without one.
WILLIAMS: Perfect note for sure.
8:52 p.m. east coast time. Another break, a quick one. We`re back right after this.
MADDOW: We got a bunch of new poll closings coming up in just a few minutes at 9:00 at the top of the hour. Before that, quickly, we have some more calls in House races.
And Steve is going to tell us about the overall estimate of how the House is going to go. Steve Kornacki?
KORNACKI: Yeah, we`ve had -- Kentucky, six, we`ve had our eye on on this one all night. We`ve now officially made a projection here. Andy Bar, the Republican incumbent, is going to hang on in this district, holding off Amy...
WILLIAMS: Steve, I have to interrupt you. Indiana Senate, Republican pickup. Donnelly has been turned away. This has just come into us. Mike Braun, Donald Trump worked hard to flip this seat from the Democrats. We are estimating that when all the votes are counted, this will be a GOP pickup in the senate.
Steve Kornacki, back to you.
KORNACKI: Yeah, the other big piece of news we have from you comes from our decision desk that has been watching these early House results, seeing Democrats get what they needed to out of Virginia 10. Again, they hit the level they expected. Florida 27 went as expected. Again, they don`t -- they need to get only a share of these, only about a third of these to get the House. It will lose these is not necessarily bad for Democrats. The question in a lot of cases here is are they improving over Hillary Clinton`s performance significantly? You saw that in Kentucky six.
What that means is our decision desk is looking at the totality of this sort of extrapolating out the trends and numbers they`re seeing to similar districts around the country, and coming up with their initial estimate of the night, which I can now show you their initial estimate is that the Democrats will end the night with 224 seats plus or minus 8, so keep that in mind 224.
KORNACKI: ...minus 8 would get you to 216. 216 would be short of the 218 needed for a majority, 224 plus 8 would get you to 232, comfortably over what you need for a majority.
And what that means is if you look at that range, where that number falls in it we think it`s about right now a 65 percent chance, about a 2/3 chance that when all these districts come in, if the trends old about a two-thirds chance that Democrats will end up in control at the end of the night.
So, again, we`re going to see more of these districts start to come in, more of these individual counties and precincts. That number is going to change. I`ll tell you now, it might change frequently, but use that as the benchmark. The first estimate of the night comes in with Democrats, a range of 216 on the low end to 232 on the high end, and a two-thirds chance at this moment we think that they will end up in control of the House.
MADDOW: And, again, on the low end of that estimate, Steve, which is 216, that is not enough to make Nancy Pelosi speaker, that would leave, presumably, Kevin McCarthy a speaker.
KORNACKI: That`s right.
MADDOW: At this point, we`ve just got a call. Just ahead, we`re waiting for poll closings at 9:00, but we have a new call right now. This is the West Virginia senate race. NBC News can project that Democrat Joe Manchin will hold on to his seat in West Virginia. This was obviously a state that Trump won by huge double-digits in 2016, that made Republicans very excited about the prospect of knocking off Joe Manchin. Joe Manchin is a home state senator above all else. He is a moderate Democrat much in the mold of Claire McCaskill who is fighting for her seat tonight in Missouri, but Joe Manchin will be returning back to the Senate, and that will make the Democrats happy, especially given that just moments ago it looks like they have lost Joe Donnelly`s seat out of Indiana.
WILLIAMS: I`m getting -- I`m getting the top of the hour calls for 9:00, 30 seconds away from the 9:00 poll closings. Forgive me. You caught me talking to the control room. Here are the 9:00.
MADDOW: We`re going have now poll closings in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming, all of those states are pulling in their poll closings right now.
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