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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 5/17/22

Guests:

Summary

Primary elections are underway in 5 Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Idaho, and Oregon. Polls are closed in Pennsylvania for 2022 primary election. GOP Senate primary in Pennsylvania is expected to be tight. Polls are closed in North Carolina where all eyes are on the primary race for freshman Congressman Madison Cawthorn.

Transcript

CHARLES BLOW, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: He`s a young white domestic --

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Yes, who are being radicalized -- who are being radicalized online and yes, I`m sorry, on cable news. Charles Blow, Dean Obeidallah, we`re going to have you guys come back and talk about this some more. Thank you both very much.

That`s tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. And tonight, we have a very special supersize edition of ALL IN on a crucial light of primary races. It is now 8:00 p.m. here on the East Coast and we have results already in the state of Kentucky where Republican Senator Rand Paul has won his primary. He is seeking a third term in the Senate. And in November he will square off against Democrat Charles Booker, who is also now the projected winner in his primary race in that state tonight.

Polls are closed in North Carolina where all eyes are on the primary race for freshman Congressman Madison Cawthorn. Now, Cawthorn has come under attack from his own party in the wake of multiple scandals. And polls have just closed across the state of Pennsylvania. We are watching some very key races there, where frankly, the future of American democracy is on the ballot.

Tonight Pennsylvania Republicans will decide if they will run two insurrectionists for Senator and Governor this fall. In the Senate primary, far-right candidate Kathy Barnette has seen a late surge in the polls, putting her essentially neck and neck with Donald Trump`s choice, celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund executive David McCormick.

Yesterday, new images emerged of Barnette seen here in that gray hat and coat on January 6, marching to the Capitol building. This is after the Ellipse rally going to the building. And in this photo, Barnette is seen walking next to two members of the far-right gang, the Proud Boys. These two men were later arrested and indicted on federal charges for allegedly breaking into the building and attacking officers.

Last night, Barnette spoke to Fox News about these photos denying any connection to the Proud Boys.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, HOST, FOX NEWS: First of all, did you go into the Capitol and how do you talk about that day?

KATHY BARNETTE (R-PA), SENATE CANDIDATE: Well, first of all, allow me to correct you. I was not with the Proud Boys. I was out there because I wanted to hear what the president had to say.

BAIER: And just to clarify, you didn`t go into the Capitol that day.

BARNETTE: I said, I sang, I prayed, I listen to my President and walked, and then got on the bus and came home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: You notice, she doesn`t say that she didn`t go into the Capitol that day, so I`m not sure what we`re supposed to conclude. But whoever wins that Republican primary tonight, whether it`s Kathy Barnette or one of her rivals, it will almost certainly face Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman on the Democratic side of November. Again, this is a retiring seat Pat Toomey. It`s going to be an open seat.

Now, today, Fetterman voted by emergency absentee ballot from his hospital room where he is recovering after suffering a stroke on Friday. Fetterman also went -- underwent a procedure to implant a pacemaker earlier this afternoon. He says his doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

Tonight`s other key race in Pennsylvania is the Republican primary for Governor which has yet another avowed insurrectionists on the ballot. State senator Doug Mastriano is the front runner in that race, a diehard Trump supporter who aided in the ex-president`s attempt to overturn the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania.

After the election in late November 2020, Mastriano told Steve Bannon all about his plan to introduce a resolution in the state legislature that would allow them to bypass the will of Pennsylvania`s voters and to seat a phony slate of Trump electors.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOUG MASTRIANO (R-PA), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: The resolution is going to say we`re going to take our power back, we`re going to seek the electors. Now, obviously, we`re going to -- we`re going to need the support of the leadership in the House and Senate. We`re getting there on that. But we need to act like --

STEVE BANNON, RADIO HOST: Hold on, hold on, hold on. I think we got some breaking news here. You`re saying you`re going to get a joint resolution to actually go forward -- and the Republicans control the House and Senate -- to go forward to basically take the power back from the Secretary of State and put it in the state legislature to put forward the electors?

MASTRIANO: That is exactly what we`re going to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: They didn`t actually do that in the end, we should note. Mastriano went on to spend over $3,000 of his own campaign funds to organize bus trips to Washington D.C. on the sixth. He was present on the Capitol grounds that day. You can see him here among the crowd on the left in a baseball hat.

Earlier this year, the January 6 Committee subpoenaed Mastriano, but it is not clear if he is cooperating. If Doug Mastriano wins the primary tonight and is elected Governor of this crucial swing state November, he would have broad authority over Pennsylvania`s elections. And he has already said he would use that power in a way that would likely benefit Donald Trump.

Last month, Mastriano, vowed to appoint a Secretary of State who would require all voters to reregister before casting their ballots, which could dramatically reshape Pennsylvania`s electorate. And so, the stakes are high tonight, not just in Pennsylvania, but for the fate of this entire country.

I want to bring in Steve Kornacki who of course is MSNBC National Political Correspondent. He joins me now from the big-bore with the latest. Steve, what do we got?

[20:05:07]

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we got a projection. We got a winner is what we got in North Carolina and the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate there. Ted Budd, Congressman Ted Budd in an absolute runaway over the former Governor Pat McCrory, over former Congressman Mark Walker.

This one -- the polls were right and this one. It suggested that Budd had all the late momentum. Donald Trump endorsed Budd early in this race. The Club for Growth, which has been very active in backing conservative candidates and really backing them with a ton of money, was also behind buds.

So, this is just a sort of a wash out here. Budd is going to win this nomination. This is an open Senate seat. Republican Richard Burr has held it for several terms. He is retiring so Republicans are trying to retain the seat. They are going to try to retain this seat with Ted Budd.

Ted Budd`s opponent in the fall, we can also tell you, this not a surprise either, Cheri Beasley. She`s the former chief justice to the State Supreme Court. The Democrats all but cleared the field for her so she will be Ted Budd`s opponent in the fall in the Senate race.

The other news and the more suspenseful development in North Carolina at this hour, though, involves the 11th Congressional District. This takes you out to far western North Carolina. And Madison Cawthorn, the first term incumbent you can see here, he is in serious trouble in this primary. He is being challenged by a local state Senator Chuck Edwards. There`s a number of other candidates in the race as well, but Edwards came into this with the most support.

And you can see what`s happening here is that Edwards has opened up an 11- point advantage over Cawthorn. Now, there are two things to keep in mind when you look at these numbers here. Number one is there is a 30 percent threshold in North Carolina. You got to win 30 percent to avoid a runoff. So, just finishing first isn`t automatically going to get whoever finishes first here in the nomination. You got to be over 30.

But the other thing to keep in mind when you see this Edwards lead is the way they count the vote in North Carolina is they have a ton of early voting, in-person early voting. And this is not one of those things where tons of Democrats do it and Republicans don`t like the mail. This is Republicans do heavy early voting as well in North Carolina.

And the pattern that we have been seeing in Republican primaries coming into tonight is that Trump-backed candidates and more Trump-aligned candidates have done much better after they count the early vote, and they start counting up the same-day vote, the vote that was cast in-person at polling places today. That`s what we are waiting on right here.

Donald Trump had reiterated at the last minute on his social media platform his support for Madison Cawthorn in this race. What Cawthorne is going to need here, it`s an awfully tall order, is in the same day vote he`s going to have to turn the tables on Edwards. He`s going to have -- there`s two key counties. If we could zoom in here, I can show you. One of them is called Lawrence home county of Henderson.

There are two key counties here we`re Edwards is beating and by 2000 votes each in the early vote. That accounts for the Edwards margin right now. Essentially, when the same-day vote comes in, Cawthorn has to reverse that. He`s going to have to pound Edwards by about 2000 votes in the same day. That`s a huge shift that Cawthorn is going to need.

But we haven`t seen the same-day vote come in yet, so we want to wait and see. But you can say certainly at the least, Madison Cawthorn is in serious, serious trouble in his primary in North Carolina`s 11th district.

Now, you mentioned it too, the polls closing at this hour in Pennsylvania. Let`s go up there and see if we`ve got any voting. We`ll start with -- OK, we have a little bit of voting here. This is the Democratic Senate primary here. This is from Allegheny County. Interestingly, Fetterman and Conor Lamb both claim Allegheny as their home county. What you`re looking at here again this is vote by mail. That`s what Allegheny said they were going to release first.

This was vote that was cast, you know well before today`s primary and you can see the counts, they`ve got over 75,000 votes counted up. And again, Fetterman, Lamb, geographically, this is -- they share this base out here in Allegheny County right around Pittsburgh. And you see Fetterman is leading by 18 points here. Mail vote being -- vote by mail being counted there.

Let`s take a look at what we`re seeing on the Republican side. So, again, same thing, Allegheny County. Notice how much smaller the numbers are. Obviously, Allegheny County a Democratic county but also Republicans don`t use vote by mail nearly as much as Democrats do. But this is the county. David McCormick, this is his home county.

[20:10:00]

Again, we`ve got mail-in votes coming in here, only from one county in western Pennsylvania, Allegheny County, both Oz and Barnett, they list the Philadelphia suburbs as their home base. So, obviously much more to come there.

And let`s check in on that Republican gubernatorial primary you mentioned as well. I imagine we`ll see something similar. Again, this is where it gets really interesting because again, mail ballots in Allegheny County it`s worth -- this is Melissa Hart, former Congresswoman who you see actually leading. She dropped out of the race a few days ago.

Remember, there`s an effort here. Melissa Hart was one -- there were a couple of other candidates here. Melissa Hart Corman, here we go, there were a couple of candidates who dropped out at the last minute trying to prevent Mastriano from getting the nomination.

So, she dropped out. She endorsed Lou Barletta. But of course, vote by mail, these are votes that were cast before she dropped out, votes that were cast before that developed in this campaign. So, you`re seeing here actually. So, probably, take a picture of it. It`s probably the only time tonight you`re gonna see heart leading in any of the results that we show you.

But again, we`re just getting mail-in ballot results from one county here in western Pennsylvania. We expect Mastriano has been leading in the polls, Barletta has been second, McSwain has been third. We`ll see how that develops as we get into -- as we get into the rest of the state, Chris, as this night unfolds. And I`m just going to -- as I send it back to you, just check it one more time on Carolina and see if we`ve got anything new coming into that house race.

HAYES: Let me just -- one just, I think, important point as we go through the night here that I think we should all sort of keep in mind. One is that all votes are equal, right? So, just to make it obvious to everyone, like, however people cast their votes, they`re coming in in different ways, it`s all the same thing.

But it is interesting that basically behavior -- what I`m hearing from you is behavior has been polarized such that Democrats use early voting more than Republicans. And then, within Republican voting, Trumpier voters vote more on election day and are less akin to use it early.

So, there`s like the spectrum because of Trump`s sustained attacks on early voting, absentee voting, we see this behavioral shift such that the sort of closer you are to Trump-aligned, the more likely you are to vote on Election Day.

KORNACKI: So, we saw this in Ohio a couple of weeks ago when J.D. Vance had Donald Trump`s endorsement. And what we got in Ohio initially was the early vote. And in the early vote, Vance was actually struggling a bit and the more moderate candidate Dolan was actually leading. And then what happened was, we got the same day vote that got reported out and there was about a 10 or 15 point jump in Vance`s direction.

I think that dynamic is particularly worth keeping an eye -- an eye on here in Pennsylvania because in Pennsylvania, they`ve got mail-in voting and they`ve got same-day voting. They don`t have this layer in between. So, I think one thing we`re going to be keeping an eye on as these results come in tonight, I`m going to try to be constantly letting you know, is this mail vote we`re looking at, is the same day vote still to come because certainly the expectation here is that somebody like Mastriano is going to do a lot better when you get to the same-day vote. Somebody like a Barnett in the Senate race is going to do a lot better with the same-day vote.

Again, I think we`re just looking. These are some of the Philadelphia -- I think we`re looking here. If we call it up, this is Bucks County. We`re looking at Philadelphia suburbs. Again, I believe what we`re looking at is some of the male vote being counted up here early. These numbers will change dramatically.

Again, this is Bucks County. It`s a huge County, and you`re looking at 2500 votes, 1500 votes, the bulk of the votes in Bucks County and elsewhere in this Republican primary are going to be the same-day votes.

HAYES: All right, Steve Kornacki, thank you. We`re going to be checking back in with you throughout the hour as results come in. NBC News correspondent Dasha Burns is live at the election night party for Republican Senate primary candidate Kathy Barnette in Elizabeth town, Pennsylvania. Dasha has been broken several major stories about Barnette including that she was photographed at the January 6 insurrection marching near members of the Proud Boys. And Dasha both joins me now.

Talk to us a little bit about what the trajectory for folks that have not been paying attention to in this race. This was not someone with huge endorsements. This was not someone who is in any way favored in this race and now appears to have very significant momentum headed into the final stretch.

DASHA BURNS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Chris, that`s absolutely right. We are actually at Kathy Barnette`s election night party right down. Things are just starting up here tonight. And I`m going to use a little bit of my inside voice here. I think national anthem is about to start.

Look, this is a campaign that had no business being at this point, right? The money, the resources, they were a fraction of the other two front runners, Barnett, Oz, and McCormick. These were mega-rich campaigns that had spent months bashing each other on the air, Chris.

I`m sorry, go ahead, Chris.

HAYES: I`m just going to let you -- I`m going to come back to you. I`m going to let them do the national anthem there. I don`t want to put you in that situation while everyone salutes flag there. We will come back to Dasha Burns in Elizabeth town in just a second.

Let`s go now to NBC News Correspondent Vaughn Hillyard who`s live in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He`s been tracking Republican Senate primary candidate Mehmet Oz`s campaign. He`s spent the day talking to Pennsylvania voters. He joins me now.

Vaughn, Oz has the name recognition, the Trump endorsement, but that it is a very tight race.

[20:15:23]

VAUGHN HILLYARD, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You know it Kathy Barnette over the last couple -- she`s a surging candidate here who not only are we talking about Islamophobic statements, we`re talking about homophobic statements. We`re talking about literal statements saying, "Ban Islam," coming to the forefront of this primary race.

But interestingly, those weren`t the digs that these other Republican candidates. David McCormick who was a former CEO of a major hedge fund, and Mehmet Oz, the longtime celebrity television doctor were taking shots at her over. It was -- it was actually about the idea of creating a statue of the Obama family, Chris.

At the Emancipation Memorial in Washington D.C. several years ago, Kathy Barnette had suggested that there is a slave who was kneeling on the ground with Abraham Lincoln standing next to him, and he`s looking up and suggested that there should be a statue of the former president and his family.

But this is a Republican race here that is complicated, because as Dasha began to say, we`re talking about tens of millions of dollars being spent for Mehmet Oz and David McCormick. Donald Trump threw his support behind Mehmet Oz trying to build out this stable, trying to suggest to the rest of the country as he looks towards his own 2024 run that his influence is still king in this Republican Party today.

But you know, having the conversation though with voters today, we`re in Bucks County. And as you know, Steve revisits that map here today, these are the suburbs around the greater Philadelphia area here. And it talks about voter after voter who continually told me over the course of the last days that they were considering voting for Kathy Barnette. But ultimately, we`re going to go Oz`s and McCormick`s route because they -- because they were unknown entities.

And you know, when we`re talking about Mehmet Oz here who has a real shot to pull up this win tonight, was consistently getting, number one, Donald Trump`s endorsement, or number two, these were low information voters that frankly, were exposed to Mehmet Oz for 10, 20 years because of his presence on the television airwaves.

That is the question is where you`re heading into these final, you know, hours here in which we`re watching these results come in, just the extent to which Kathy Barnette was able to make inroads.

HAYES: All right, Vaughn Hillyard, thank you very much. Let`s go back to Dasha Burns who`s at that Kathy Barnett Election Night event. Dasha, I think the National Anthem has done. So, there has been this incredible surge of Barnette. She did not have the endorsements. She did not have the money. She doesn`t -- I mean, maybe it`s worthwhile saying what her bio is. She -- you know, what her claim to being a possibly good U.S. Senator is that has caught hold among the imagination of Republican voters there.

BURNS: Yes, listen, I think a number of factors contributed to the surge we`ve seen from Barnett here, Chris. First, we`ve been in Pennsylvania for a long time and we have seen these ads for months, Oz and McCormick bashing each other on the air. And when I talked to voters about that, that seems to have turned into -- turning voters off of both of them.

Voters heard the messages and said you know what, I don`t know -- I don`t know if these guys is right for Pennsylvania. They see a both as outsiders. They see both as mega-rich and maybe not able to relate. And for months, as I`ve been talking to voters, I`ve kind of had the sense that people are looking for a third option.

And listen, we actually talked to Barnette back in February and I was struck by what she told us about what she was hearing in these rooms, which is the same thing that we were hearing when we were talking to voters on the grounds here. She said she warned the Republican establishment. She said she was warning the insiders that something else was happening.

This is back in February, early February. And it turns out she was onto something, a fraction of the money. And here she is right now today. She`s walking into a round of applause of room full of supporters. And Chris, this is a candidate who made her name in the Republican Party on claims of election fraud, including in her own election.

She ran for Congress back in 2020 in a heavily Democratic district, and she claims for months that she lost because of voter fraud. You mentioned earlier in the show that we recorded -- NBC News was first to verify images of her on January 6 at the Capitol marching alongside known members of the Proud Boys. So, this is someone who has been to the Stop the Steal rally.

Here`s what`s interesting, though, Chris. Last night, we went to an event of hers where when she talks about the 2020 election, instead of emphasizing that she lost because she believes there was voter fraud, instead, she was pointing out the fact that she lost but she lost in her district by a smaller margin than Donald Trump did, saying she was able to pull over some voters.

And this morning, when we caught her at the polls, I asked her, you know, what she says to voters about the process. Can they trust it? Take a listen to what she told us this morning.

[20:20:16]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BURNS: Can the voters who are asking to turn out for you today trust this process and trust in the results of this primary?

BARNETTE: You know what, we all have such a wonderful opportunity only in America -- not only in America, but in America, we get to decide. And so, for every single Pennsylvanian, the way you can, you know, be a part of this process is make sure you`re here. Make sure you`re coming out and voting. Don`t allow anything to discourage you. Every single Republican, you need to be at these polls today. And you need to make sure that your voice is heard and I`m so excited.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNS: So, we`ve certainly seen a bit of a shift in messaging from Barnette on that process of voting, of casting a ballot. And Kornacki said, we do expect that most of her vote will happen day up here, not mail-in, not early. They`re going to come in within the next couple of hours here, hopefully, Chris.

HAYES: All right, Dasha Burns, thank you so much. We have a big night in front of us. Steve Kornacki, of course, is staying close by at the big board. I`m watching him pure over the numbers right now. He`s ready to bring us the latest updates in those high-stakes races happening around the country tonight.

We`ll go to live in North Carolina where embattled Congress and Madison Cawthorn is hoping a last-minute Trump endorsement could push them to win. Our special primary edition of ALL IN continues right after this.

[20:25:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: We are monitoring the results out of the Pennsylvania primaries tonight where polls just closed a little more than 25 minutes go. We have just six out of 67 counties statewide. We`re putting a small portion of their votes at the moment so those numbers could and likely will swing wildly over the next hour or two.

Right now, in the closely watched Republican race for Senate, it`s too early to call, with former hedge fund CEO David McCormick in the lead for the moment. On the Democratic side, the race is also too early to call with Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman up in the results so far.

Over the weekend, Fetterman had a stroke. Earlier today, he had a surgery to implant a pacemaker. In a Democratic race for governor, Attorney General Josh Shapiro is running unopposed and is the projected winner while the Republican gubernatorial primary is crowded and right now too early to call. Right now, former U.S. attorney William McSwain is up though he could have a long night. We could have a long road ahead of us.

As we look at these early returns and the prospects of having an avowed insurrectionists on the ballot in November, it`s worth hearing what Pennsylvania voters are thinking about all these candidates and what has become the quintessential modern swing state.

Sarah Longwell is a Pennsylvania native, publisher of The Bulwark. She also hosts a podcast called The Focus Groups with Sarah Longwell where she recently shared insights from conversations with Pennsylvania voters. And she joins me now.

Sarah, I think this -- that Senate seat in Pennsylvania is likely to be perhaps the most contested in the entire country. I think it`s probably the Democrats best chance for a plus-one pickup because it is a Republican incumbent who`s retiring, Pat Toomey. What have you been hearing in focus - - in the focus groups you`ve been dealing with voters there?

SARAH LONGWELL, PUBLISHER, THE BULWARK: Yes, the main thing is that these Republican voters, they do not like their choices in this race. It is not surprising to me to see this late-stage Kathy Barnette surge because, you know, these voters, they can sort of smell a MAGA phony a mile away.

And you know, with Dr. Oz, when you listen to the voters in the focus groups, what they tell you is this guy should stick to TV. Like, he is not a politician. What is he doing running for this race? It doesn`t matter that he`s got all the money. It doesn`t matter if he`s got Trump`s endorsement, they do not like him.

And then when it comes to McCormick, they just think he`s kind of a snooze. You know, there`s nothing about him that, you know, lights anybody up. And so, it`s funny because Kathy Burnette did not come up a ton in the groups. But you could tell that there was a hunger for something different, that they didn`t like these two front runners. And so, the idea that she`s kind of jumping out now late while people are like, not loving their choices, doesn`t surprise me.

HAYES: There`s also something a little -- I mean, I`ve been watching people like Sean Hannity and others try to convince Republican primary voters that Barnette is not electable or dangerous because she said things like, you know, Islam is built on a foundation of pedophilia or said anti-gay comments, and I`m just not quite sure that`s going to be persuasive sells the Republican primary base that a candidate who says nasty things and bigoted things about Islam is not electable given Donald Trump.

LONGWELL: Yes, well, what helps you in a Republican primary can doom you in a general election. I think that John Fetterman, the likely winner in the Senate race, would love to face Kathy Barnette over Dr. Oz because as much as people, you know, don`t like Dr. Oz or they don`t like Dave McCormick, it`s going to be a tough year for Democrats to run.

And one of the main hopes for Democrats in general is that they get to run against these incredibly extreme candidates that really do chase off these swing voters. I mean, Kathy Barnette is going to be -- when they -- when swing voters hear some of those things, that is going to have them running in Fetterman`s direction.

And I will just add on the Democratic side, I -- you could find a Republican in the Trump focus groups who are happy with these candidates, but in the Democratic side, the voters loved Fetterman. You rarely hear voters talk with such enthusiasm about a candidate. But these were -- they were really into Fetterman. And even a couple of the Trump voters said they were open to voting for him. So, I think he could be tough to beat no matter who the Republican candidate is.

[20:30:20]

HAYES: Yes, there`s a great quote in one of them. This is a Democratic voter who said I think he is a visual representation of Pennsylvania, it was pretty funny. And I was seeing earlier today that if you -- if you got something like Fetterman versus Oz, it would almost be like a scientific laboratory test around authenticity and its value.

Because, you know, Fetterman, whatever you think of him as politics, like he`s really a Pennsylvania guy. And Mehmet Oz, whatever you think about him and his politics, he is really not. I mean, this is just the fact about things. And so, if that sort of thing matters, you know, you would see it.

But who knows? Our politics are determined by so many other things. We`ll have to see. Sarah Longwell, thanks so much for your time tonight. I appreciate it.

All right, don`t go anywhere. We`ve got much more to come. Steve Kornacki has an update at the big board and the latest on that really fascinating Madison Cawthorn race ahead.

[20:35:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: All right, polls have been closed in Pennsylvania for about half an hour. Steve Kornacki is back at the big door -- big board with some updates. Steve, what do we got?

KORNACKI: So, we can take a look here, Chris, Pennsylvania. Let`s zoom in here. Our characterization of the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate right now is that the Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman is leading this race. We haven`t called it yet, but he`s leading. And you can see, about a fifth of the vote counted up here, it`s a solid lead statewide but it`s also, what you look forward to race like this is any kind of geographic pattern that if your Lamb, you could look at and say, hey, my votes are still to come.

And the problem is, again, we talked about this, they`ve got a shared western Pennsylvania base. Here`s Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh area, they share it as a home county. And again, we`ve got a ton of vote that`s come in there and Fetterman is winning big in their shared base. So, then the question becomes -- and you see throughout Western Pennsylvania, you see Fetterman also doing well there.

So, then he moved to the eastern part of the state and specifically these Philadelphia suburbs that produce a ton of votes. Is there really any difference that we`re seeing there in terms of Lamb strength. So, let`s take a look at Montgomery County. This is one of the biggest right outside Philadelphia.

No, it looks very similar to Allegheny. You know, go north here. Take a look at Bucks County, similar story. Let`s go into what we`ve got from Philadelphia so far. Philadelphia, actually, this is Kenyatta`s home area here. So, he`s actually leading the vote here followed very closely by Fetterman, and then Lamb a distant third here.

So, again, you`re primarily looking at mail-in ballots here in this Democratic primary. But we talked about the disparity. Mail-in ballots could end up accounting for half of all the votes cast in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania. So, for Fetterman to be running up these kinds of numbers from West to East and in between in the middle of the state too, that`s a substantial lead that Fetterman has built their over Lamb, and you just can`t look at that map and immediately see, hey, here`s the place where Lamb could turn it around.

Like I said, this is mail voting. We still have the votes from today that will be counted up. We will see if there`s been some dramatic shift in the same-day vote. That`s what it would take for Lamb to get into this, otherwise, Fetterman is in great position right here.

I draw your attention to the mail-in ballots for another reason, though, because let`s compare. They`re counting up the votes in these counties theoretically at the same rate, but let`s take a look at some of these differences here. Montgomery county, I mentioned, one of the giant suburbs, one of the giant suburban counties right outside of Philadelphia. Look at the total number of votes.

This is mail. The total number of votes they`ve counted up here so far 23,000, plus 14,000, plus 5000. That`s over 40,000 votes have been counted up in the Democratic primary so far in Montgomery County. They`re going through the mail. Take a look at the Republican Senate primary in the same county. And this is -- there are going to be a ton of Republican votes that come out of Montgomery County, there`s going to be a ton of Republican votes that come out of these Philadelphia suburbs tonight. But look at this. It`s about 8000 right now. There`s a few more underneath here.

But that`s -- we expect maybe 10 percent of the votes in this statewide Republican primary are going to be cast by mail. The other 90 percent we expect to be cast today in person. So, it`s more 50-50 on the Democratic side. So, those numbers are really, I think, significant I just showed you on the Democratic side.

What you`re looking at here is this comparatively tiny pool of mail-in ballots that are starting to get counted up and report it out. We can just give you a tour. Again, Bucks County, I think I showed you, it`s another one of the biggies. You know, McCormick`s got an early advantage here. But again, you`re looking at the mail-in vote. These numbers are going to get much bigger.

And again, that pattern where the McCormick candidate, you know, who`s not backed by Trump, Trump is going after him, he`s not backed by the Club for Growth, that candidate in other primaries we`ve seen is not held up that well when the same day vote has been counted in.

HAYES: Right.

KORNACKI: So, I`m just take the Republican numbers you`re seeing in this Senate race right now. Again, I`ll reset. These are the statewide numbers right now. They do not add up to a lot -- you know, you`re looking at getting like a million votes, more than a million votes cast in this primary. We`re looking at like 50,000 here. These are mail-in ballots. Take it with a giant grain of salt.

[20:40:00]

I`ll show you the Republican gubernatorial race, very similar story. You see the former U.S. attorney Bill McSwain right now ostensibly is the leader right here, but the whole story I think, is going to be Doug Mastriano in the same-day vote. I mean, one of the safest bets, if you could bet this in Vegas, is that Mastriano is not going to do well with mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania and a Republican primary.

Well, we`re looking at mail-in ballots right now in a Republican primary, so just not many votes have been counted, you know, and so I think the same day could have massive, massive shifts in both of these races. We have not taken into account the same-day vote here on the Republican side. So, it`s much more significant that mail vote that we`ve seen on the Democratic side.

One thing I do want to just update for you, keep an eye on that House race where Madison Cawthorn is definitely in trouble in western North Carolina. Call it up on the screen here. Now, we`ve got close to half the vote in. And you can see the gap here. It`s narrowed a little bit here. It`s about a seven-point gap between Cawthorn and -- I`m sorry. I think I had to get back to you, Chris.

HAYES: Oh, no, but I think we have to get a break. But you can see -- we`ll check back in on that race, but he does not look in great shape with 47 percent in. So, we`re going to keep our eyes on that. Steve Kornacki, stick around.

KORNACKI: All right.

HAYES: I know we`ll be coming back. When we come back, the moment of truth to numbers in North Carolina, as he just said, not looking particularly good for young Mr. Cawthorn. We`ll see how that`s going when we return right after this.

[20:45:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: The embattled freshman Republican Madison Cawthorn is currently hanging on to his political life at the moment. NBC News Correspondent Antonia Hylton is live in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Antonia, it`s been quite a race there. You can see that he is down with about 50 percent of the vote in, although Election Day vote will probably help him.

But he has been under sustained attacks nearly every direction from the right-wing media, Republican establishment, this home state senator. How are things looking at this hour?

ANTONIA HYLTON, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, he is in some hot water right now. And frankly, the mood at his election I party behind me here is a little weird. There`s about 30 or so people milling around, probably a third of them are reporters. It`s very quiet. Nobody`s come out on stage and said much to us yet.

And so, you get the sense people are -- you know, they have a sense of the trouble that he`s in. And look, I`m not surprised. I spent the day out at a precinct in a Republican district right near me here. And I talked to Republicans all day long who were using words to describe him like immature or maybe not ready to lead at 26.

And this is after one scandal after another. I mean, calling President Zelenskyy of Ukraine a thug, going on a podcast and saying that colleagues in Washington D.C. were using cocaine and going to orgies. And then more recently, leaked photos and videos that many voters here said they found to be unseemly.

And so, if he loses tonight, voters say that`s really going to be his own fault. And it looks like he`s trailing behind State Senator Chuck Edwards. And I`ll tell you, as I talk to voters today, that`s the name of the seven challengers who are up against him. That`s the name that kept coming up as the one that people were looking to when they felt like Madison Cawthorn really just wasn`t the guy for them. Chris?

HAYES: Yes. Edwards, of course, state legislator who has a history there and a base in the district, has been elected there before. Antonia Hylton, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Michael Steele is a former chairman of the Republican National Committee. Former Congressman Carlos Curbelo, Representative Florida`s 26th congressional district as a Republican from 2015 and 2019. And former Congressman David Jolly represented Florida`s 13th congressional district as a Republican from 2014 and 2017. He`s no longer affiliated with the Republican Party. He now chairs the Save America Movement. They all join me now.

Michael, I`ll start with you. I think the Cawthorn story is fascinating and bizarre for a number of reasons. One is like, I thought he was not telling the truth about the coke orgies, but then when I saw the Republican establishment come down on him so hard, I was like, I don`t know is he -- is this like a Fight Club situation where he accidentally spilled the beans, this is a real thing.

And also, just like watching the coordinated effort to take this dude down, who I have no dog in this fight, was wild when you consider what other members of Congress have done, said, endorsed, who they`ve appeared with. It was like, this is the guy that we`re going to destroy.

MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You put your finger on that piece of pie. Let me tell you, it is -- it is so much truth. And it says a couple of things. One, that the establishment, the political leadership in the Republican Party can`t stand up against crazy.

HAYES: Yes.

STEELE: It can`t put down those who speak out of turn about the right thing versus the wrong thing. And it wasn`t until he started talking about what he had seen inside the caucus or what he had heard that, they were like, oh, no, he`s got to go. So, this to me tonight is just, you know, an example of how duplicitous and just not honest the party is about these things where they`re going to target this guy because he appeared in lingerie, and yet you have a member of Congress right now who has legislation to expunge the impeachment of Donald Trump and reassert the lie of January 6. And everybody`s like, OK, let`s get back to power and push that through.

So, it`s an interesting night for different views of the Republican Party.

[20:50:10]

HAYES: Well, and Carlos, I mean, one thing that`s interesting to me here, right, is how these trust relationships function in the Democratic -- in the Republican primary base. So, we did see there was an effort. You know, we`ve seen it with Kathy Barnette in Pennsylvania, and we`ve seen it to a certain extent with Doug Mastriano up in Pennsylvania, which is a certain part of the establishment, and even again, Trump putting out that statement like, don`t -- these are not electable candidates, do not pass go, don`t do it. They can`t really get to their own base on this. Whereas with Cawthorn, it seems like it`s been a little more effective. I wonder how you think about that.

CARLOS CURBELO, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Chris, I guess the good news is that Republican leaders and Republican primary voters have finally found someone who is unacceptable.

HAYES: Yes, right.

CURBELO: Because for a few years now, we`ve gotten the message from Republican primary voters and a lot of the leadership that it`s OK to lie, it`s OK to spread conspiracy theories, it`s OK to use speech that promotes violence. But I guess if you do wear lingerie, and if you do accuse your colleagues of partaking in orgies and consuming illicit drugs, then that finally gets you kicked out.

But I think Michael`s point is important. Republican leaders, I mean, we should try to take the positive here tonight. Republican leaders should realize that it is possible to stand up against people who behave in ways that are totally inappropriate for elected officials. And tonight could be an example of that.

HAYES: Yes. And it`s possible at least to get caught trying. I mean, that`s the other thing is they -- you know, whatever, whatever -- I don`t know what happens with Madison Cawthorn. We -- it`s 47 percent in. As Steve keeps saying, Donald Trump has managed to polarize what gay people vote, which is as ludicrous is the Dr. Seuss battle between the people that buttered on one side and buttered on the other side, or, you know, having a political battle over which day you do grocery shopping. Like, it`s completely politically, ideologically contentless, and yet has been polarized by loan Trump.

So, who knows? He may come back to win. But it`s the effort to me that`s so striking. I mean, I think we`ve all watched this, David. It`s like, wow. When they want to take someone down, like, this is what it looks like. And you know, from Thom Tillis on down to Art Pope was the big billionaire mocker in North Carolina, like, they painted a target on this dude, and they have gone after him.

DAVID JOLLY, CHAIRMAN, SAVE AMERICA MOVEMENT: Yes, look, I think Madison Cawthorn is simply a rare case. I mean, I think he`s an unqualified kid who has a bad temper and a worse intellect, right? I think if you look at all these other races, their Republican leaders are more tempted to interfere in races like we`re seeing in Pennsylvania, and Georgia, and otherwise, where they hug closely Herschel Walker and others.

Chris, the big takeaway for me tonight is how remarkably off message the entire party is in a cycle when they actually could have a good message to beat Democrats. The highest-profile races since 2020, that we can look at are the two Georgia run-offs and the Virginia governor`s race. And in the Georgia run-offs, they were re litigating the past election. They were arguing this Trump stuff. And in Virginia, you had a gubernatorial candidate that ignored Trump and ignored 2020 and took the race on a main street culture war, more traditional GOP platform.

That`s where Republicans should be tonight, turning the focus on Democrats on a winning message. But they are going to litigate in the primary message that cannot win in November.

HAYES: Yes. And that`s -- I mean, that`s been the big -- the big worry, right for the Senate Leadership Fund and all those folks in particular on the Senate race. In fact, we`ve got some news, if I`m correct, Steve. We`ve got a news -- We got a call in our Pennsylvania race. The projected winner is John Fetterman. He is being projected by NBC News as the winner of that primary, so he will if this projection holds, which we expect it will, he will be the nominee.

He`s up now over Connor Lamb. He was favored, we should say. Of course, he had a health scare just yesterday, a small stroke. He had a surgery today to put in a pacemaker. His doctors say the operation is successful. You should be back on his feet and on the campaign trail.

Let me come back to you guys, Michael, on this because I do think -- I mean Pennsylvania is really interesting to what David`s point, right? If you nominated milquetoast generic Republican, given the macro environment and had them just go out and spend the next however months just saying like prices are too high, vote Republican, prices are too high, vote for Republican, things are not back to normal. Boy, isn`t it a bummer that COVID is still around, whatever. Just, you know, just up or down and you know, the vibes are bad vote for me.

STEELE: Yes.

HAYES: But what you`re going to get -- you know, you might get Kathy Barnette for John Fetterman. And if I`m the Democrats, that looks like a winnable race, you know, otherwise pretty brutal political environment that could mean the difference between Senate control or not.

STEELE: Well, you know you`re in a -- in a ticklish position when you got Republicans, as was noted in the focus group, that said hey, yes, I could vote for Fetterman. I don`t see -- he`s not that crazy or scary to me. You`re absolutely right. And you know, I think my friends on this panel know having been in the trenches with them that when you got -- you got a good candidate and a good message, you set yourself on a glide path that makes it much more difficult for your opponents to come after you because you now have them fighting against themselves.

They have to disprove that things aren`t bad right now, disprove that, you know, we`re doing everything that we can for, you know, the lower gas prices. Instead, when you put up crazy, it becomes OK, who`s going to go out there and defend that? And so, it reminds me in many cases of the race in 2010 when I had to go around and sit down with certain candidates and go, you know what, you`re the nominee of the party, but we`re just not going to talk about it, you know. And that --

[20:55:54]

HAYES: Right. Well, there`s probably about three seats you guys gave up, if I`m remembering correctly in 2010 --

STEELE: Oh, yes.

HAYES: -- purely on candidate quality. Those are the worries again. Carlos Curbelo, Michael Steele, David Jolly, great to have you all. Thanks very much.

Still ahead, we`ll check back in on the other races in Pennsylvania where as I said, two straight-up insurrectionists marched on the Capitol on January 6 are on the ballot. We`re continuing monitoring those disappointing numbers thus far from Madison Cawthorn`s race, at least for Madison Cawthorn and people who love him. Our special edition of ALL IN continues next.