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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  March 13, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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as we speak, absentee ballots are arriving in these white envelopes. these are the absentee ballots. what happens after the people get the absentee ballots, these machines, these great meesachin over here, those are the scanners, and those ballots are put inside the scanners and they immediately tabulate the vote if it's for the democrat or the republican. but you won't see those on our tote boards in the studio. they will wait until they tabulate every one and they're not all here. they gave out about 4,200 absentee ballots. there's no way to know how many they will get. right now hundreds of them have arrived, but they expect there are at least hundreds more to come. so we won't get the total number until they are all done. but as they go into these gray machines, they are immediately tabulated and we'll see the results a little bit later. anderson? >> and gary, i should just point out, still 95% of the vote, but a jump of about 200 votes for conor lamb, so it's now 50% to 49.4%. gary, do they have a sense of how long it's going to take them to tabulate those votes?
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>> reporter: what we are being told by the election director here in allegheny county is that they expect to be done tabulating all the absentee votes by minlgt. that's two hours from now. it's a very interesting procedure here, anderson, when we came in, all these people held up their hand and took an oath to be honest. they had to swear to be honest before they started counting the votes. we also were told that we would have to take a similar oath when we came here, because we're in the room with them. and right now we're the only news media in the room with them. we have vowed that we wouldn't come to the table, right up to the table, so we could hear everyone with the camera. we were standing about 20 feet away and that was the agreement that we have. but it gives us a very unique look at what could be, we don't know for sure, but what could be the decisive votes. >> gary, we'll continue to check in with you fascinating to see that process at work. 95% of the votes in. conor lamb ahead with 1,132.
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again, just a slight tick up, but very, very close. let's just talk in general for the folks -- >> yeah, i'm just looking at the districts. obviously, i represent a lot of this area. and you know, in the allegheny county portion of the district that's still outstanding, i would say about half of the -- half of the areas are saccone areas and half -- >> i don't see lamb's lead growing much in allegheny county. and almost everything out in washington county is going to be good for saccone. i can't see the westmoreland part. so this race should tighten from here. i don't know how much at this point, though. >> and do you have a sense on absentee ballots, where that might go? >> only from what you've reported. i don't know whether every county counts them the way allegheny county counts them. i think a lot of them count them at the precinct. >> but do you have any sense in who's voting -- >> i don't. joe and i were talking about who did a more effective job. the only reason i would think maybe republicans did a more effective job is because the republican party was in in a bigger way supporting it. it's usually not something the campaign does, it's usually something the party does. and the party was sort of big in
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for saccone and they weren't in for lamb. so that might make a difference. >> just for the viewers who were joining us at the top of the hour who have not been watching all night, let's talk big picture on this, on why this race matters, joe. >> well, it matters because democrats have not so far this year, in any specials or the midterms been able to attract enough republican -- or just working class white voters, period. and they've been able to -- we were able, in many of these states or special elections, to move suburban republican women over, younger republicans, college-educated republicans. for this to be where it's at right now, i mean, it's already a success in the sense that conor lamb, win or lose, has successfully been the first candidate out of the shoot for democrats. >> so it's a symbolic lose for democrats? >> no, he's pulled -- he's won a lot of the labor votes that voted for trump in the last -- there's no way to win this, or to even be in this -- have this lead, even if saccone, you kns
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tenths of a point, there's no way for that to happen without working class voters who voted for trump either staying home or coming out and voting, but voting for conor lamb. that's a democrat with a "d" next to his name. no matter what he was saying about anything, let me tell you, with a lot of these voters just having the word "democrat" next to your name has for the last decade been a big problem. and this is significant. >> when the polls closed at 8:00 and i said, i'm more interested in the margin than i am the victor. this is very exciting, a more exciting night than i thought we would have on our hands. but the narrative is already set. it hardly matters now which of these two wins for a district that is in the process of vanishing within this -- >> we should point out, the person who wins is only going to serve until, what, november? >> correct. so the narrative is already cemented now. this is a district that the president won by 20 points, that at best his party has really struggled to control and to contain. nothing is going to change that
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now. >> but if trump wins -- if saccone -- >> what's a victory? what's a win? >> a win is a win. >> i don't think so. >> well, but if saccone were to win, the president of the united states is not going to take a look at the margin and say, well, he only won by this much. >> but gloria, i think there are many who will wake up in the morning, as someone said earlier, and say, i'm not so sure -- at this margin, already, i'm not sure i'm sticking around. >> jason miller, are you going to wake up and say that? >> no. i mean, i think tomorrow the president is going to get up and he's going to go to missouri. he's going to talk about tax cuts and what's going on with the economy. and i think more americans tomorrow are going to be worried about their ncaa bracket, getting that filled in, than caring anything about this race. and this will be a snapshot where we can see where some of the energy and enthusiasm is on the left. we'll see, again, what we talked about with the union-voting households and if there are any trends that people can pick up. again, the overarching narrative, what people are really paying attention is really going to stem from the white house and as the
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president's out selling the economic successes, that's going to influence a lot more. the rest of these races in the fall, they're not going to have the opportunity to pay attention to every single race. >> assuming he sticks to that message tomorrow, by the way. kristen, we haven't heard from you. >> i just disagree -- it may be true that the average person isn't thinking about it, but the people who are going to be running are going to be thinking about it. >> yes, big-time. >> and the people in the democratic party and the republican party are going to be thinking about and they're going to be watching this and they're going to be making a lot of decisions about what they're going to do. so there are two thunings. one, the republicans will be looking at the trump coalition and what's going on there. and the democrats are going to be looking at, are we going to try to run people in the districts that are like the districts, because that's a big fight. >> if you don't think -- >> by the way, 96% of the vote's in now. conor lamb slightly, now, 1238 ahead, a slight jump. >> just imagine this scenario. you're a republican, you're on the ballot this year, you know that every guide of history tells you, this is going to be a really rough year to run.
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you're in a competitive district. and by competitive, i mean, fine, you're in one of the districts that hillary clinton won. so that really had you concerned, already. you probably have your game on already. but if, let's say you're just in a trump plus five district, a trump plus eight district. >> exactly. >> and you look up tonight and you see that a district that donald trump won by 20 points just over a year ago is potentially about to slip into democratic hands or come really close, you start freaking out. like, that's just the reality. that -- and what happens is, you -- your members, your fellow members, you start, all that hand-wringing together, how bad is it going to be. are we prepared? do we have the money that we need? this is going to set the stage for the republican party to look at their majority and say, are we fortified the way we need to be, if, indeed, this wave that is crashing on the shore in november is enormous? and tonight is -- that's why we're paying attention tonight. is we're trying to get a sense of, we know it's going to be a democratic year. but we're trying to get a sense, how big of a democratic year
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might it be? and that's why a night like tonight is why we're paying attention. >> and it's also a question of how much the president can ask any republican to do. if he wants a republican to agree with him on something that may push them a little bit in an uncomfortable zone. if he had done that on guns, for example, or if he does it on something else. they're going to say, you know what, me first. i'm sorry, you're not helping me out here. >> and bringing the president in doesn't help him. >> and bringing the president in didn't help, of course. the president on saturday night, i have no life, so i saw what he -- you know, the whole thing. and the president on saturday night didn't talk about his candidate. he talked about himself. normally, when you go into a -- when you go in to campaign for someone, you talk about that person most of the time. >> and they put a lot into this race. i mean, it wasn't only that donald trump was there. mike pence was there, ivanka trump was there donald trump jr. was there, kellyanne conway was there. they threw everyone --
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>> but joe biden was there -- >> joe biden was there for the other candidate. they threw everybody in there. you talk about rick saccone not needing to raise money. in some ways, he didn't need to. he had $10 million from outside groups. >> rick saccone didn't run his first tv ad in a campaign until last wednesday. this race was defined, this race was over the one ad that he put up down the home stretch. but what i do think going back to david's point, i do hope the republican members take a look and say, am i running a good campaign, raising money, are these guys scared straight to think about they need to worry about winning their own race. i hope some of these guys snap to attention. they need to run good campaigns. >> you also remember that terrible candidates win all the time. all the time. most candidates are terrible candidates. that's the truth. so the idea that he was a bad candidate and that explains everything, what is much more important is where you're
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running. and what kind of district you're in. >> let's go back to wolf and the magic wall to figure out what votes are still outstanding. >> there are still outstanding votes, john king. right now 96% of the vote has been counted, conor lamb, the democrat, he has a slight lead, 50% to 49.4%. he's ahead by 1,238 votes. the key question in these four counties, in this 18th congressional district, where are those outstanding votes? >> let's go through them. and as we do, we'll notice we've been through this before in past tight elections. 96% district wide, 1,200 votes and some change, the lead. let's start in the biggest county. this is allegheny. the slice of allegheny in the district is more than 40%. of the voters in the district, we've been stuck at 90% for some time. conor lamb has had a healthy lead throughout the night. the question is, when that 3% comes, he needs it. he needs more, and he needs the numbers. and the question is, you know, when those precincts come in, do
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they come in with a similar margin? keep an eye on that 57%. when the math comes in, do those numbers stay right around there? why does he need them? he's in the lead right now, but second largest county in the district, this slice of the westmoreland county, we're up to 99% now. rick saccone, just shy of -- a little more than 10,000 votes there. a little more than 10,000 votes. i said earlier, i think he needs to be closer to 60. he has moved up from the mid-50s to 57. we'll see if that's enough. that's what's tightened this up. then over here, we're still missing 10% of the vote in washington county. when we have 33%, this race was tide. as more comes in, the dna, this is a republican county. you see rick saccone right there. at the 90% mark, rick saccone needs the rest of these votes to come in and boost up a little bit on the assumption. that green county 100% county in. still looking for these 3%, plus gary tuchman watching the
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absentee ballots could come down. in a allegheny county, when that final 3% comes in, conor lamb needs to stay there and boost that number. when you pull out, 918 votes ahead with 96% of the precincts and, again, i just want to check one more time to see if anything's moved. that's still at 99%. except rick saccone to get a little bit more here, but we're at 99%. so not a lot. this is key. when that 10% comes in, does it stick with this or does the saccone margin go up a little bit? if you are in the lamb campaign right now, this is what matters most, because it's the biggest part of the district. more people live in these precincts, because it's more suburban. you're more rural when you move out to the other places. you are calling your precinct captains in these areas trying to figure out what in allegheny county is missing. is it a big play place for us a you're biting your nails in both campaigns. >> and we're told there's about 3,700 is absentee ballots they're counting in allegheny
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county. we're watching a nail biter in pennsylvania with more than 95% of the vote counted. this race is still too close to call. ♪ last night took a l, but tonight i bounce back. ♪ what's an l? the rap singer took a loss and now he's ok again. right. yeah you can get a mortgage that avoids pmi, but there's no way to avoid mip on... . hey! this'll help. rocket mortgage by quicken loans makes the complex simple. so, origination fees... this takes care of it, thank you. understand the details and get approved in as few as 8 minutes. by america's largest mortgage lender. bounce back, right right right, i get it now. ♪ i woke up in beast mode, with my girl that's... ♪ a hilton getaway means you get more because you get a break on breakfast get an extra day by the pool get to spend more time together get more from your spring break getaway with exclusive hilton offers. book yours, only at and made it liberating. we took safe... and made it daring.
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this is 49.9% for conor lamb, 49.5% for rick saccone. only 918 votes separate these two candidates. jake and dana, this is a -- people thought it was going to be close, but this is really, really close. >> and for those wondering at home, we should point out, there is no automatic recount in pennsylvania on the congressional district level. there is on the statewide level, but on the congressional district level, if it becomes that close, a kacandidate will have to petition. >> that's right. we started out this evening talking about how republicans genuinely didn't think that they were going to win. democrats genuinely thought that they would. and now it feels less certain. i wouldn't say different, but less certain. jake, i feel like we've had -- we've done this before. this feels like deja vu, don't you? >> and let's take a look at the estimated absentee ballots by county that remain out there.
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allegheny, about 3,700, fract n approximately. green county, 203. washington county, 1,200. westmoreland county, 1,800. almost 7,000 absentee ballots by county and we have conor lamb with 96% of the vote in, wionlyp by 918 votes. these absentee ballots will have to be counted before this race is called. >> they probably will and they're going to be absolutely key. i was just texting with a senior democrat, jake, on this whole question of whether conor lamb is right now, who said that he is, right now, at the minimum number of votes that he needs to win. if he dips below where he is right now, he's in big trouble. and allegheny county, where john was showing us, really needs to be no less than 57%. he's right now about 57.3%. if it goes below that, this is according to democrats, conor lamb is toast. and republicans, i will just say, are sort of certainly not thrilled, because this should not be this competitive, but are
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feeling a little bit different and a little bit desperate that they did at 8:00 tonight. >> one of the things that's interesting, also, is that the pollsters have still not yet figured out how to measure this very volatile electorate. they were not able to do so in 2016. and they're not able to do so now. the problem of voters who are low-frequency voters and no-frequency voters, who show up and actually vote at the polls remains a perplexing problem for them. conor lamb, according to a monmouth university poll was supposed to win by five or six. both democrats and republicans in internal polls showing that conor lamb, suggesting that connor lamb was going to win. all three of those pollsters wrong. that this is an incredibly tight race. >> absolutely. and i will tell you that what republicans, especially those from trumpland, are telling me tonight is, as you can imagine, they give the credit to the president for going there on saturday, for rallying the republicans who were not excited
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about getting out. he raised the level of republican turnout more than it was going to be. we'll have to dissect those numbers and see if that's really true. but i think just anecdotally, where we see where these votes are right now, based on what the anticipation was from republicans and democrats, they might be right. >> on the big scale, on the large scale picture, as our colleagues across the room have pointed out, this is a district that republicans normally win. >> no question. >> and for conor lamb to make it so close, even if ultimately he does not win, and we have no idea what's going to happen, it still shows that the democratic electorate is fired up and the wind is at the back of democrats, even if rick saccone's -- if rick saccone ends up winning. but on a smaller -- that's the big scale picture. on the smaller scale picture, you're right that republicans are going to say that president trump showing up and not only motivating the base, but telling him -- telling them the name of
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the candidate, rick saccone. telling them, hey, by the way, there's an election on tuesday, that that information shared by president trump, bringing the spot really helped. wolf blitzer? >> let's go over to john king and see where these votes are outstanding. i want to also point out, 96% of the vote is in. the libertarian candidate, drew miller, he's got 1,280 votes. he's got more votes than the difference right now. conor lamb, the democrat, still ahead of rick saccone, the republican, by only 918 votes. >> we don't have exit polling, so we can't say who they would have voted for the drew miller were on the ballot. but this is welcome to american politics, 2018, and for the foreseeable future, third party candidates. increasingly, especially in close races, you're going to see back to them. you can talk to hillary clinton about jill stein, that's up to you. but 918 lead. 49.9 to 49.5. that matters in the sense that we don't know exactly where it's coming from, but it's taking away. so let's see where we are. again, this is where we're waiting for these final precincts to come in. we're at 97% in the slice of
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allegheny county. it stretches up here too. but this slice of allegheny county is in the district. this is the bread and butter for conor lamb. he needs to stay above 57% there. we're -- we're up to 98% now. we're told there are a few precincts out here that conor lamb is expected to win. one in an area where he's expected to get in the high 50s. one in an area in the lower 50s. dana was just talking about this, democrats think it's critical, especially now that they're seeing the performance in the republican areas that he stay at or above 57%. let's watch that and watch the math. 98% in allegheny county. again, only 2% left. more people live here, so that 2% sometimes has a little bit more weight in terms of the math than 2% somewhere else. we'll watch that. let's just check. down here in washington county, we've been stuck at 90 for a good stretch of time now. again, at 33%, this county was tide. as more republican votes have come in, we're up to 90. ric saccone at just shy of 53%. as that final percent comes in, just like i said, conor lamb has to hold his 57 here. if you're rick saccone, you want to get above 53, closer to 55 as
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that final 10% comes in, you need the math to make it up here. let's pull back out here. 795 votes at -- >> got a bit tighter. >> at 97%. let's come over here. we're at 99% here in westmore la westmoreland county. again, rick saccone can expect given this margin to get something, but it's a tiny, tiny percentage left to come in. the main things we're looking for, what little bit comes in here, this, up to 393% here. again, this is the third -- allegheny first, then we come here to westmoreland. then to washington. it's the third biggest slice of the district. but still some votes to come in here. let's come back out. 540 votes now, as more votes come in. as they come in, again, green county, i'm not ignoring greene county. it's at 100%. we're up to 93. we're up to 99. and we're up to 98 right here. and you pull it all out, because we count them, and it's going to -- we're going to have to count every last vote tonight. 540. sometimes you get a margin so big you can go the math and say
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they're not there. at 540 ahead with 97% in. guess what? that final percentage point is going to matter here. that final 7% is a big deal here. that's a decent chunk, 7%, again, there. and again, 2% left here. conor lamb has to hope in the 2% that's out he performs at or above that 57%. >> take a look and show us the district right now. you can see, 540 votes, that's what separates conor lamb, the democrat, rick saccone, the republican. 97% of the vote has been counted in this surprisingly competitive special election. stay with us, the final ballots are being tallied. ♪ ♪
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and welcome to a very exciting race in pennsylvania. it does not get much closer than this. 98% of the votes counted. conor lamb is up by 585 votes. that is it. rick santorum, you've been watching this very closely. >> most of the votes in washington county are from peter township, which is a very affluent suburban area of pittsburgh, just across the border from allegheny county. so all of those conservative
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voters who don't want to pay the higher taxes in allegheny county cross the border into washington county and live in peter's township. and it looks like six precincts left in peter's township. it's a populated area. there's enough votes to make up that difference. the difference is, there's three districts left in dplooen coual county. all should be for lamb, one pretty heavily for lamb. >> you call it? >> i'm not going to call it. >> you think peter's township would be for saccone? >> yeah, the districts that have come in so far in peter's township have voted for saccone. and across the border is upper saint claire, which voted mid-50s for lamb. but, again, it's the folks who want to leave allegheny county and and more conservative voter that lives in peter's township -- >> but regardless, it's probably going to boil down to the absentee ballots, no? >> whatever's going to happen at this point. with 7,000 absentee ballots, we're going to be up -- >> can i make a point independent of the absentee
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ballots, that an advanced society should be able to count 2,015 ballots on them within 2 1/2 hours. it's not a sexy subject. we never enhance the machinery. >> i'm not appreciating you beating up on my home. >> it's a point i would make about the whole country. it's like, every four years we say, we need to improve this system. >> there might have been lines a to the polls. come on. >> i remember the iowa caucuses when you were hanging by a vote or two. >> eight votes. >> it's going to be worse because we're going to paper ballots. that will be a lot slower than this. >> how long does it take to count the absentees. >> by midnight. >> but they don't in dribs and drabs. they do it in all one big in number. >> we're looking to the national significance of this race, you made the point early on that for you, who won and who lost, not all that significant, because they're only going to be there until november.
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but how close they came, that was the story. >> i think it's hard to spin. i really don't know what target will be on behalf of republicans and the white house come tomorrow. because by any objective measure, in a district, and it's been said so many times tonight, that the president won by 20 and mitt romney won by 17. the president invested personal capital by coming in on -- >> but it's better to win than to lose if you're a republican. a win is a win. >> i think anybody that looks at the metrics of this thing says this should have been a slam dunk. and the fact that it's not will set off alarm bells or at least it should within the gop. and i am as interested in what takeaway democrats come away, because i think there are some difficult decisions as to how they positions themselves. and i think it speaks to a the divide within the democratic party as to whether it's going to be elizabeth warren -- >> if you're elizabeth warren or bernie sanders and you're watching this, what are you thinking? >> i think you have trepidation about a young member of congress, should he win, who holds an ar-15 and gets elected by being, you know, someone with those bona fides.
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>> but you have a senator who won by being kind of, you know middle of the road in alabama. and i don't think they're scared by that. >> that's pretty unique, though. he's running against someone with as much baggage as you could ever conjure. >> but michael, let's talk about the metrics for a moment. i think one of the things that trump supporters will point out is the fact that saccone was down by five points before the president's visit. and afterwards, this thing is dead even. >> but why was he down by five to begin with? you could say it was because he lacked charisma, but obviously he's down because of the president. >> no, the president coming in gave him the wind in his sails, talking about the steel tariffs, that gave him in a shot in the arm. it's because of president trump that he even got this close. i think people will go back and look -- >> but i would argue it's because of the president -- >> -- not until the last minute. >> but perhaps it's because of president trump that he started as far behind as he was. >> no, trump boosted him. that logic doesn't work.
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>> that is the dynamic of the current political moment. it is exactly that. donald trump can totally motivate the core part of the republican base. it's why we're going to see donald trump in year in places like north dakota and west virginia and missouri. >> but david, if he's down five and trump comes in and it's a tie game, it's a jump ball, that's because trump gave him that boost. >> i just said that. he can motivate the base, but he can also turn off a whole swath of suburban women who the party needs in order to have a successful year. so both things can happen here. >> but what i think this race really is, is a measurement of passion. passion wins tonight. however it turns out. it was a chilly day in pennsylvania today. we had snowflakes on the ground. it's a vanishing district. there's one question that people have to come out and vote on. it really requires -- i mean, i give credit to those who come out and do their civic duty, but this require requires an emotional attachment to who wins this thing. that's what it really shows you
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tonight. where does the passion lie? >> conor lamb, 98% ahead. they are still counting the final vote. 98% of the vote has been tallied. still too close to call. they're counting the absentee ballots, as well. all of that ahead. what's going on here? i'm babysitting. that'll be $50 bucks. you said $30 dollars. it was $30 before the pizza-ordering fee and the dog-sitting fee. are those my heels? with t-mobile taxes and fees are already included, so you get four unlimited lines for just $35 bucks each.
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an incredibly close race in pennsylvania's 18th congressional district. 98% of the vote is in. the democrat, conor lamb, is only 700 votes of rick saccone, the republican. drew miller, he is down, he's the libertarian, but take a look at this. more than 215,000 votes have been cast, 700-vote difference between conor lamb and rick saccone. 49.9% for conor lamb, the democrat. 49.5% for rick saccone, the republican. let's go over to john king at the magic wall. and once again, greene county, the smallest county there, 100% of the vote is in. washington county, there's still some significant number of votes outstanding there, about 7%. >> 7%. the question is, do they factor -- we're waiting for the rest of the precincts to come in there. absentee ballots still to be
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count there had. this is rick saccone's great hope right now in the sense that -- again, pull back, a very narrow 700-vote margin overall, and you still have 7% out here in a county, washington part, part of the district, that hays winning, and winning comfortably. i said earlier tonight, he wants that number to be higher than that. so the question is, in the remaining precincts, how many of those are saccone votes and when it's a 700-vote margin, he needs to win and by a healthy margin there. i want to check westmoreland here, 99% here. so perhaps a few more votes for rick saccone, who's winning this district. this is his best county of the bigger counties here. and lastly, we're at 99% here. and we know -- we saw gary tuchman a couple of times earlier. they're counting the absentee ballots in -- >> let me go to gary tuchman right now. gary, i understand, what, about 3700 absentee ballots in allegheny county. they're counting now and expect to get the results by midnight. is that right? >> wolf, it may even be earlier. and with us right now is mark wolasick, the elections director here in allegheny county. first off, all your votes are in
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for the people who voted today. >> all the districts have reported. >> and the democrat got 57.h04% of the vote. so now absentee ballots could decide this election. you're still expecting more absentee ballots? >> we're expecting about 10 more precincts to arrive within the next 10 or 15 minutes. we will scan them and then we will upload the results to a -- to the different electronic medium and we will put them in a database. >> and you were explaining it will take 10 to 15 minutes to do all the computer work. as of now, you don't know what the 3,000 ballots that have already arrived and gone into those scanning machines tell us? >> that's right, we do not know. >> it's all a secret. you're the boss. you know nothing? >> that's right, we don't know. they are stored internally on that machine, but we haven't downloaded them to a disk to read them. >> you sent out 4,000, roughly absentee ballots. that's the most we'll get back. you're expecting no more than 1,100. >> i don't think there'll be 1,100 out of those ten
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districts, because not everybody returns them. >> correct. what time do you think we'll know if these last ballots come in in the next few minutes, what more will we know -- >> by about 11:15. >> so we're talking about half an hour from now? >> yes. >> this is the absentee blallot. they pencil in rick saccone, conor lamb, the libertarian. excuse me for one second. i don't mean to be rude to you. you have a lot of hard work to do. they go into those green machines. and you can see it's very quiet right now. they're done with 3,000 and are waiting for the remaining ballots to come. thank you for being so gracious and talking to us. back to you, wolf, back to you, anderson. >> thanks very much. so it could come down, john, to these absentee ballots in allegheny county, washington county, we don't know about westmoreland and greene county, but it could come down to counting those. >> if you pull out district wide at 17700 votes, clearly the mat
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is out there to decide this race. the commissioner saying he thought all the precincts were repo reporting. so we'll see if there's any change in allegheny county in the next half hour as we wait for the absentees. but this was conor lamb's biggest test. stay above 56, 57. he did that. the question is, is it enough, the margin of error to offset what we're seeing here. still at 93% in washington county. this is -- until we get to the absentee ballots, this is the biggest question mark of outstanding votes. where are they coming from, how many are there? does it stick with this margin? how many can rick saccone make up? over here in westmoreland, we're at 99%. so i'm waiting to see what happens in washington county, the rest of those votes and we'll be counting those absentees, optimistically, he said, before midnight. that would be nice. >> we'll see if that happens. it clearly underscores once again, every vote counts. it's clearly important. look at how close it is right now. 755-vote advantage for the democrat, conor lamb, over the republican, rick saccone. all right, anderson, we're counting the votes. we'll see what happens. >> and we'll be following them,
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all along. president trump is obviously taking a keen interest in this race. he went there and spoke over the weekend. let's go to our chief white house correspondent, jim acosta, traveling with the president in california tonight. what are you hearing, if anything, from the white house? >> reporter: hi, anderson. president trump is in beverly hills. you can hear the sirens behind me, probably for security. bef beverly hills is about as far from the swamp as you can think of it. but at this point, i talked to a source close to the white house a few moments ago who said, listen, they are getting more hopeful watching this race tighten, no doubt about it. they believe that these absentee ballots that are outstanding in pennsylvania, that those are more than likely to be rick saccone ballots. that is their wishful thinking at this point. we'll see if it bears out. but at the same time, anderson, i talked to a republican source, top congressional source earlier this evening. there was a lot of hand wringing on capitol hill, inside the republican party, watching this race. this source said to me, you can't read too much into one
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individual race and they don't think there are a lot of conor lambs out there, who are seen by republicans as a very strong democratic candidate. but this person was saying, listen, this is not a good sign for the november elections. even if the republicans were to squeak this one out, anderson. keep in mind, this would be a tidal wave-type surge in the democratic party's direction, if this district were to go to rick saccone, by just one or two percentage points. and at this point, it may not even be that. and in the words of this one top republican congressional source, november could be a bloodbath. that is the concern inside the republican party. i know we've all been hearing this for weeks and months, that these trend laines are not in their favor. but there's a big concern that, yes, even though rick saccone could pull this out. even those these absentee ballots could pull this race in this favor, this does not bode well. there are people inside the republican party who are deeply worried about what they're seeing tonight, anderson. >> is the president going to be making a public appearance tonight, that he might be on
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camera and might make some comments about this race? >> reporter: i don't think so. apparently, he's doing some fund-raising this evening here in beverly hills. it's about as different a scene as you can imagine, compared to western pennsylvania. but, no, i think that the most that we'll hear from the president would be tomorrow, he's supposed to hold a rally in st. louis. we'll get a chance to hear from the president then. and you know, you saw those remarks that he made in miramar down at the marine base in southern california, earlier today, he was -- he had a pep in his step, no doubt about it. but this is something, when you talk to republican sources close to the white house, inside the white house, up on capitol hill, this is is that steady drum beat, that undercurrent that worries them more than anything. that the president could, perhaps, lose the house of representatives come this fall, and yes, while the republicans on the house intelligence committee have wrapped up their investigation, when the house
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changes hand, the chairmanships change hands, the committees change hands. and all of a sudden there is a doomsday scenario they worry about inside the white house, inside the republican party, sources that advise the president that you could, all of a sudden, have this russia investigation reignited. come 2019. that is the doomsday scenario that they're worried about. and every one of these conor lamb races, even if they lose this one tonight, they are concerned it moves them in that direction. >> jim acosta, appreciate that from california. tonight, nearly all the votes counted in pennsylvania, as we've been talking about, absentee ballots could be the deciding factor. a tally underway. stay with us. we took legendary... and made it liberating. we took safe... and made it daring. we took intelligent, and made it utterly irresistible. we took the most advanced e-class ever... and made the most exciting e-class ever. the 2018 e-class coupe and sedan.
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together, we're building a better california. real nail bite ner this special election in practice. look at it roupt. 98% of the vote counted. conor lamb, the exact, he is ahead by 75 a votes over rick
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saccone, the republican. 49.9% to 49@5%. only 75 a votes separate these two candidates, not many. john king at the magic wall. i want to get to washington county right now. look at washington county. 93% of the vote. we have counted so far 93% of the vote. rick saccone ahead of conor lamb. but i want it to bring in larry spar, the director of elections in washington county. you and i have spoken. you have new up numbers. what does saccone have and what does lamb have. >> mr. lamb raies 22114. mr. saccone has 25615. >> let me reap the numbers lamb you said 221 one what did you
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say. >> 114. >> 114. and rick saccone, 25615. >> correct, sir. >> that's the entire -- that's 100% of the vote with the exception of the absentee ballots is that right. >> that's correct. >> now absentee ballots? how many are there. >> okay we had a total of 1195 absentees returned. >> and those will be counted only tomorrow. >> well we begin wsh -- we started to prepare them tonight for counting -- beginning to count the ballots tomorrow. >> why do you wait to count the absentee ballots. you see how close it is. the 1195 that could make the divs in this entire election. >> that's correct. >> so tell our viewers why you wait to finally taly the absentee ballots until tomorrow. >> it's state law we have to place the absentees in secure envelopes, sale them, send them
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back out to the presingts where the ballots had come from. then the election boards at the precincts will take the ballots unopened, return them back to county. then we have to open those ballots at the county elections office, remove the ballots from the envelopes to prepare them for scanning tomorrow morning. >> tomorrow morning. are there different rules for washington county than allegheny county in we were told by the board of elections in allegheny county they should have the results during the 11:00 p.m. eastern hour. >> i would say so but they have a huger staff than we do. they have the people to number that number of ballots. we don't. >> stand by for a moment, larry. i want john king to explain the new numbers, 100% of the vote in
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washington county tallied. >> who here is what we have officially the new math is not in the system yet he gave you. before you started that conversation we had rick saccone with a 2481 vote with the number news he has a 135 vote lead a net gain of 160 votes. add the numbers into the system, absent changes in any where else be the leads goes down to 95 votes. when the votes come from you have no new votes, conor lamb's lead by that math once you get the total in washington county 660 net gain for saccone makes it a 95-vote race as we wait for the absentee ballots here, the gentleman said wrael o we'll do it tomorrow and obviously here. i can bring this out. west moreland.
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leaving the scribbles up in case you need to do the math. 100% in allegheny. we are waiting for the absentees we should o we should have by 11:30. washington county new now the numbers up here up to 100% right now. that tightens the race. >> you see in washington county right now. rick saccone, 25615. to conor lamb, 53% to 46% but the 1,190 ballots in washington county could make a huge difference. what we heard earlier. 3,500 absentee in allegheny. and the commissioner doing the counting said he expected the last ten pre60s to come in momentarily. we'll get these. if they're not counting these until the tomorrow. the sque what is the margin after these? is the margin outside the grasp
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of these making a difference? we'll do math for a while. >> with the latest numbers he with got it's a 95-vote difference, the democrat ahead by only 95 votes. essentially this is a tie. we are waiting for the absentee ballots. we are not going anywhere. ♪ ♪ wake up early, o. ♪ slap on some cologne ♪ i'm 85 and i wanna go home ♪ ♪ just got a job ♪ as a lifeguard in savannah ♪ ♪ i'm 85 and i wanna go home ♪
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look at how close this contest is in the 18th congressional district in pennsylvania. more than 220,000 votes counted. there is only a 95-vote advantage for the exact, conor lamb over the republican rick saccone. 109945 votes for conor lamb. 109850 votes for rick saccone. 49.7%, 49.7%. those are the numbers right now. 99% of the vote has been counted. let's go to john king. we are waiting now. there are a few thousand absentee ballots in washington and allegheny county. let me go to gary tuck j in allegheny county. we expect momentarily to get the absentee ballot count in allegheny county. >> well that's


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