The Briefing Room: Final countdown to midterms

Governor's race in Georgia and Senate race in Texas heat up, while President Trump ramps up his immigration rhetoric.
27:52 | 11/05/18

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Transcript for The Briefing Room: Final countdown to midterms
Everybody have Devin Dwyer welcome to the briefing. Team room New York edition final countdown to Election Day great to have you with us today and joined by the political brain trusts of ABC news political director Rick Klein deputy political director. Ellison parks in the great Matt Dowd is here at ABC news theater great to have you guys all with us. Here we are the final hours everybody is anxiously awaiting. And to be results tomorrow the record turnout already in the early vote. I'm one of the places that were most closely watching. Is Georgia. That's worst evo since Johnny has been on the trail in this final stretch the governor's race there. One of the hottest of the season and Steve and there has been a dramatic twist again. In this race over voting rights and allegations of voter suppression and now. Allegations of hacking and bring us up to speed on on the latest and that. That twist in that race. So that the current secretary of state Brian camp is also running for governor on Saturday. Announced that he believes that the Democratic Party hacked into state. Voter rolls but were unsuccessful he gave very little evidence about how that happened but it was a giant accusation. Which the Democrats deny 100%. And accuse. Cam actually trying to pull off a political stunt. Two G and the Republican Party. Just hours now before the election camp. Went further than just the accusation saying that he's now contacted. The FBI to investigate this. We've reached out to federal authorities they are not confirming that they're looking into this at this point and have no comment but it's a huge. Accusation that's coming just hours now before the election and it's got everyone talking about whether or not this is true. SI understand it how this happened was a voter who identified a vulnerability. With the state web site. Notified democratic Democrat party officials who then shared this with the secretary of State's office. And somehow this became the Democratic Party trying to hack into state voter rolls. At the rally that camp appeared out with the president yesterday south of Atlanta and Macon Georgia neither of the two made any mention of this. And I will say DeVon there's one point that we have to underline and all of this criticism against. The secretary of state they are he is facing mounting pressure to resign or at least step aside from this election. Because during his day job his official duty is to monitor. Elections which people here on both sides actually say is of huge conflict of interest and saves. Casey Abrams the Democrat was on Good Morning America this morning she said this whole thing is cooked. Op. At the last minute certainly. Smells of politics on both sides in these back and forth that allegations. What's your read there you've been a longtime Georgia resident. Of how this is playing with voters is they've many of the Marty made up their minds and will giving this have any impact. I think it will I actually and I think it's working I think that. What we're seeing in this election here which we haven't seen as much in previous elections for governor. Is he you have both sides speaking to their base. Preaching to the choir. And what Brian camp has done in this whether or not these accurate accusations are true or not which they do. Appear to be somewhat manipulated. Putting it kindly. Is that many of his supporters will be more motivated to vote because of this. There is also a flip side to this point something that was spread around over the weekend there were these racist robo calls. That were sent into voters' homes over the weekend. Making fun of Oprah Winfrey who was here last week. Campaigning for Abrams. One of them referring to her as aunt Jemima. Those robo calls are indeed fact those did happen and they have the same net effect in terms of their influence on voters here. On each side is trying to get their voters to the polls this is about turnout. And one of that one of the one of the campaigns over the weekend had a conference call where they shared. That about six they believe about 65%. Of Democrats have voted so far and early voting and about 55%. Of Republicans. This is all about turnout the polls right now put this as a very close race within the margin of various bearer whoever gets the most voters to the polls. Of their people get more of their people to doubles the polls on Tuesday wins. Artsy but since Tommy we know you be stand on the case tomorrow night and are part of our live team coverage thank you so much Steve for that report. That I was struck it was in Georgia yesterday with the president. And struck how much this race he's. Is racially tinged it's in all the conversation you have with voters on both sides. I'm happy to be at the trump rally for most the day also talked to some Democrats and all of them. Brought up the issue of race in this debate. Well this is that state it's obviously from the old confederacy that has changed on the history if that but it's changed dramatically in the course of the last twenty years and it's now a state. If it's not purple yet it's getting to purple which is why this race has become incredibly competitive and the difference between Atlanta and the suburbs in the rest. The state is dramatic I mean it's speaking directly to this I mean this would to me is the definition of a conflict of interest the guy camp runs this state elections. He makes this allegation of in from a place where he actually runs from about a race. For the chief executive of the state that he's running for. Come seems completely conflicted than. It's not just the the voting system he oversees malice but you've been covering these voter registrations 50000 of them that have been put on hold and. It's worth pointing out that so a mat saying he's the referee as well as one team. And he's the one that should have any evidence of an issue and yet he's not producing any evidence he's just making an accusation and that I think is not gonna go over very well. But I but what's a thinner at the end it seems a little bit. Tried and true and it's all I cannot turn out but it's really true and George up because she hasn't run to the middle. Seizing arms is not trying to win over moderates are Republicans she's trying to build out the party in Georgia and bring new Democrats in the table. Yet and I think. When you see in this race and a handful of others just a clear dissolution of the choices. The president has gone out and run a very misleading campaign to try to frame choices and false ways I actually think in George up. Florida and Texas you're seeing a clean contrast presented by the candidates themselves than. That offer that often that route is raise the stakes of what we already know is going to be a record smashing election. And this and keep in mind that this it I mean obviously this is a very close race that we're all going to be watching tomorrow night because of the historic. If CC a reverse to African American governor to win Maris but it's going to be incredibly close and it we may go into a runoff if neither side gets 50%. But there's also had some key can grab a key congressional race that that even if she loses by virtue of her turnout may have changed that race as well. A lot to watch in Georgia hey you know spending the day there as they were saying a lot of racially tinged conversation but also. A lot of focus on immigration among Republicans I was struck by. The number of Republicans said their top issue this election granted this is at a trump rally is the caravan in rural Georgia of all places. Thousands of miles from the border they were talking about the caravan. And that is were Marcus Moore is right now with these traveling migrants of poor and impoverished many Hondurans Mexicans traveling up to the US forward the president has made a part of this campaign Marcus. Out tell us where you are now and what's happening there today. Well DeVon good afternoon to you this caravan has made it to Mexico City the capital. Of this country and I just behind do you concede. The other people who are lined up to get booed here at this a sports complex. That has been turned into a shelter a refuge. For the up thousands of migrants have been in the midst of this out this caravan. This is an area where just last week they helped evict a Formula One race was that huge international event where thousands of people show up is also concerts that are held here. And Dick's sporting events and I bring that up. Because it is the place that cannot handle a lot of people. And we talk about this caravan we're talking literally about thousands of people who this afternoon. Have found refuge here at this out this exports complex in Kansas in Mexico City. And I wanted to get off in the distance there were people are getting clothing. This is where a lot of people have been. Recoup rating again and refreshments. And I do want to talk to a one of them migrants. Who we met along the way David Mendoza and he's from El Salvador and David. A you made it here to Mexico City yesterday. How how important and you thought it was to it to make it here to Mexico City and why. Oh I think this is really important for all look the people you because. Is the boat did did Disney where they can update. It about this because what you're gonna go to either to what border either to. You know tour saw Texas or California. Absolutely MM in Seoul as we've described this as a fork in the road this is where where people like David and families would decide. You know whether or not they will stay here in Mexico perhaps or continue north and I do want to askew Davis. I've heard that that that some people have heard some of the things the president trump has set and they also know about the soldiers at the border. And because of that they don't want to go to the US any more because they don't but like it will be safe. Is that is that how you feel or be used to wanna go to the. No no no I was already thinking in. Well when I got the party I knew that I wasn't gonna go back because I got punished for ten years. Somewhat the way the state you're here in Mexico. In and not because trump and the Marines in America's and that's because. No I want a father though what they told me you know the rules. About the way the ten years here Mexico. So you wanna do it the right way yes the legal that legal way via. And so so there you go a DeVon hearing from David thank you very much for your time appreciate it. And David one of the many of migrants who we've met along the way who says he wants to make it to the US but he wants to do the right way and because of the rules have to wait so are we here. Here to do that David thank you it's good to see you com. DeVon I want to Saudi around just a little bit because I can tell you that that the mood here is very different we've been to a number of towns where the Mike where the migrant. I caravan has come to a stop for the day. And here in Mexico City. It is much more relaxed if it is very column here. And much more festive if you will and we show you very quickly. No have a lot of time markets that you're doing let let me ask you if you can hear me they give us a sense of located on your Hoffa how far away are they from. From the US Texas border is that we talking days weeks months. We're yet we're talking. At the rate they've been going we're talking weeks dampened absolutely weeks. Companies whose properties in it was typical. Yes yes. We're talking weeks worth of about a thousand miles away from the nearest port of injury. Into the into the United States and that would be Texas on the Reynosa area the Holocaust. Let's take a look at what you can see around the but the people here does look somebody entertainment. That they are trying to give the out migrants here who have been in the midst of a very long journey. And out this the first I've seen of entertainment for the for the adults we've seen it DeVon for the children. And of it's certainly gives you a sense of this being a major milestone for them on this journey. And in fact you're asking about how far away they are from the US Mexico border there are people here who are thinking they'll stay in Mexico City here at this shelter. At least for the next few days as they figure out what their next steps will be and there are a number of agencies here to help them not figure that out. All right Marcus Moore force in Mexico traveling with the caravan of migrants thank you so much for that Marcus you've been under tremendous job down there. You know I'm struck by how much this is in our consciousness can headed into tomorrow and how quickly it seems almost everybody that watches politics closely thinks this will go away. After tomorrow and then in the conversation do you do you I buy that. This is this is only let the president simply is fixated on but but for the fact. Election Day is tomorrow there is I don't think there's any possible way troops would have been sent two months earlier seven weeks early to the border in order make some demonstration of strength. And the reality evidence as he it was shown. This is actually a humanitarian problem this isn't a invading. Group a horde of people with guns that are coming to storm the border it's a humanitarian problem that each country they pass through has tried to deal with in this. I actually think the calculation of political calculation. And Rick and I were just talking. We're not gonna know until tomorrow night as the results come in. But I think for every base voter that trump thinks by doing this he's Costa have more passion and go vote. He's actually offended. 22 independent voters by doing it because I think most of the independent voters in the country we're gonna decide this election look at this assays are poor people are starving people I don't see a criminal element. I don't see this. Let's treat them humanely this figure a way to secure our border do that we'll know tomorrow night but from my sense of things and watching the polls and all of that I see no. Movement to the present and movement to the Republicans in the course it. And speaking of tone in speaking of turning off independent voters women voters there is a new act that president from. Has been running that's been gaining some extraordinary blow back furry its treatment of immigrants let's take a look I think we just have. A little snip of it. About Nolan. The war. We have a lot of ads. And they certainly are effective based on the numbers that we're say. A lot of things are offensive. Your questions or offensive a lot of times I get out. And I think you seem. Do the two parties make a play to do two different Americas here at the close. They may both be right you can see the situation we're Democrats take the house Republicans holder to expand into joining the senate. Because of the same set of messaging because of the same president at the top of the ticket and because these issues hit. But as Matthew says it's a big gamble because we don't know what this electorates want to look like we think. We have we have some indications about it being younger and more diverts and larger than a typical ms. from electorate. But if we're talking about an election that the truly changes that connect plea to the base will not end up being a Smart one it's on its sacrifices of the house and may even jeopardize. Some other potential Republican pick ups in the senate. Speaking of public a program like I was gonna say Brad are scale who was the one in charge of this and who president Trump's campaign manager his campaign manager after 20/20. Who's never run a campaign before. Tweeted out this this afternoon saying he was offended by the fact that MSNBC NBC FaceBook and now Fox News won't run the ad. So I treated at him I say listen I don't I know you're not might not be familiar with this. But -- have to contain both facts and they can't be racist so in the future. You might want to do I respond decade he did respond Arafat from the but I think that's the problem is is is factually incorrect was both factually incorrect as they told the story that's fundamentally wasn't true about what the Democrats did or didn't do in this. And for most people are watch the and it felt. Clearly racist and one of the places that is tracking immigrant sentiment tracking the president's adds certainly is Texas. Everything's bigger in Texas I think in the turnout there certainly has been take a look at some of these graphics. About the turnout in Texas mats from Texas he can attest to this we have some of the numbers just in. Extraordinary. Levels of early voting they have surpassed. All of us to between fourteen the last mid term voting total total already in total total vote in early vote is exceeded total vote. In the voting continues our Paula Ferris is there she's been tracking. Voter turnout and of course that he senate race Ted Cruz better or worked for Democrat. Paula. There she is. Oh my on how do you feel the I don't like men against spots I'm in new York and you're standing in front of the lone star flag this you know right. I I actually feel like I'm CNN and the sun is so hot right now but you guys this is a hot race. And Matt you know this better than anybody any dis should've been a slam dunk race for tanker is this particular seat has been read. Since 1988. Or since Ted Cruz was seventeen. I'm not could indict any of us as to how well we were back in 1988 but. No tonight at the demographics are changing here. In the state of Texas I spoke with Ted Cruz and he's not taking anything for granted he believes that the momentum. Is on his side right now and he says he's confident that if his people show up to the polls. He will prevail take a lesson. I think momentum is very much with us mercy and record turn giant is great but we always an apartment to show they were ticked off. This election was all about. Ordinary text shown up don't know about some were seen. In and you look at that enthusiasm that the bedrooms person to deals which was seen all the tax system fair do you think that early voter momentum. Is leaning your way but I do. Tom this was all about getting. Texans to focus on this race and focus on the issues you know two months ago. Every other day we had these media profiles that were. Just puff pieces they were all puppy dogs and rains and in the last two months on the back till O'Rourke yes yes and an end and the national media was in love with. Because he was running hard left campaign is running away Bernie Sanders was born campaign. A lot of national borders Exide. But it's not what people texts can. Sick sick Devin you wrap up the numbers here the early voting numbers which today that the numbers are just mind boggling five million. What an early which surpassed the total amount and 2014 he would think that those numbers would lean towards that tell work he's running a really strong ground game. He's been president and campus says he's targeting young voters minority voters and a Tel 254. Counties I was surprised when I was. At the attack that Ted Cruz rally last that he talks about the enthusiasm. And I spoke to somebody overflow crowd he says this is the type of thing we're seen consistently at our rallies people can't get and since he said don't dismiss our enthusiasm and and I asked. Damn how many of them voted early take a listen. Our so as an alien act would happen. People. And a rally I'm talking probably fifty people out we haven't now here you go. Critics Ted Cruz rally could hear raise your hand if you voted early. All of a pretty much all of you voted early this. Okay why did you utterly. Don't mind a certain why did you what did you apparently does it. Mark words. Anger anybody else can't why did you vote early streets rails they should be loans. Right I used it Friday how many people have come to the polls early surprises in record numbers now. There's a lot on and each other's. That. And needs to candidates. Edu that they couldn't be any more different in personality and policy. Ted Cruz is going out there on the stock and he's preteen job security and freedom con verse late better O'Rourke. Is pre teen health care. Dreamers and no while A vis the guys are literally night and day different. But about O'Rourke was in Houston this morning he and has just and it running a breakneck speed he was at a rally. And he talked about the enthusiasm that were seen so far in terms of the early to Gillis and. In his stated she's in rent and did dead last in the country in order for now. Yeah where our democracy less than anyone else. After 100% on purpose behind us. The most alternative station. Kind of song we brought. Obama and congressional district solely based on their race or their ethnicity. Shenzhen. Those errors those obstacles remain short it counted at all. He's got up and he counted. So that was Houston now he's headed to Dallas and then tonight he's going to be here at a campus at bag you tap which says. Where is gonna hold his final rally as he makes his final push and then he's going to be watching the returns come in. That stadium here tomorrow night in Al paso as well but. I talk to both of these candidates. They're both exhausted they're ready to cross the finish cited both admit this taking a tour on their mailing me have young children and that as for Ted Cruz he's going to be watching those returns tomorrow ratings used and which is eleven hours awake. Matt Dowd I had no idea how large the status. By the way he really didn't give me any sort of forewarning if you if you listen country in an avid self. Yeah so paso in your car and drove to Beaumont it would take you eighteen hours. And it got this yeah. I don't. And that's some that's what's remarkable about the race and you can understand the pure exhaustion at these guys are feeling as at this point you know particularly bad overwork who has canvas and Criss cross its latest have a voice anywhere but tankers to me he's having. Safety town halls and just the last couple of weeks at these guys. Are gone for it. We'll see what happens my night. All right Paula Harrison Texas we know you're there to the finish Paula thank you so much for that it is it is extraordinary scene is playing out attacks you know. I admit my age just something TK because she said 198827. Years old then and I was running Lloyd Bentsen's campaign it was a Democrat. Was a Latin with took their one net seat then resigned to become. Bill Clinton's trip as secretary of treasury and that the last time that seeing what's behind this what's behind this turnout is in a better or effect does this trump a fact what what do you it has asked the whole environment I think it's AH I think it's a combination of a better off lights less trop. It's a better when Ted effect. And that Ted was always. Vulnerable in this race because after his presidential campaign his numbers were low in Texas he was vulnerable in a red state but a red state that's trending towards lighter red and ultimately. We'll be purple because of the growth in Latino population so it's ten was vulnerable. Because of how we spend perceived as state. But also expect -- run a campaign it's been aspiration only in many ways and turned on the question I think comes down to I think the race will be close I think it's still favors Ted. In this but I think it's going to be really close. Is ten Bechtel. He's gonna turn out a whole bunch of people into turmoil which in new people. Is can he get enough of them white vote in Texas in order overcome I can see you getting to 45% of the vote has bets or 46% of the vote. Can you get the last 45%. Of the vote. It's almost all going to be among white suburban mothers. The fascinating. To watch you know you're obese keeping your close eye and Texas tomorrow night meanwhile. We know group of young people in this country are watching the returns come in nationwide those into the park when survivors in March for our lives kids if you will. That launched a campaign nine months ago to a list an army. Of millennial youth voters ought to vote in this campaign and by all accounts they have succeeded here we see some picture from march when they. I had that very impressive gathering in Washington in March for our lives. Let's bring in one of those co chairs now Renault and contreras joins us and have Ramon we're at nine months into this campaign. It's all coming to fruition for you guys where do you think you'll have the most impact. All of your efforts youths. Traverse the country this campaign where you think you'll have the most impact comes running. Well I think we're gonna see a huge impact in America in a whole across the country. This summer we toward a country over 65 cities over twenty plus states. And we have seen young people rally we've seen young people march through some young people come out of town halls. And young people have had enough and everywhere every state in this country any city in this country young people are gonna go out and vote they're gonna volunteer at the polls. An initial americanized kind of up corruption out of holes are congress. Our ever moan and we we had a little bit of trouble hearing you but don't. Tell us what's next for you guys you in your colleagues said he had poured so much into this campaign traversing the country. What's next for your organization in your group will Wear what's ahead. Well right now we're focused on November 6 which is tomorrow Election Day. And we're focus on getting out the vote we have recently been traveling to college campuses he got hit me yet we hear. OK we haven't traveling to college campuses for the last twelve days coming storms storms British thing young people to vote. I'm interstates and are still able to and we've been telling people are reminding them down November 16 out possible. And you know and terms of what's next after Election Day you know there's still work to do whether Democrats or write a Republicans. Keep the majority. We still have work to do we need to urge our elected officials knew or not to continue to do to work in congress and continue to pass legislation that would save the lives of Americans. And that's the work I'm mark from lives of young people across the country are committed to his making sure that we keep our elected officials accountable for the work. They promise us. All right Ramon contreras of march for alive thank you so much for coming in and for your efforts to get people out to vote guys and hope you all voted I voted voted what a year this is final thoughts mapped out I. This going to be a man I'm amazed at what the turnouts going to be over it's probably going to be over a hundred million nationwide huge turnouts in many different places we've seen in an early vote. I'm gonna watch independence because independence how they break in already racist is gonna side. For all of our talk about immigration and according to our latest poll fifteen out of America fifty members and Americans do think it's a big issue. But seven 8% of Americans think that health care. Is a top issue so it's hard TV we don't always cover it but still people are really worried about the cost of health care and that tends to break in democrats' favor. History is being made guys we just don't know what direction it's gonna be we don't know if this is a ratification or rejection something in between we do know at this record numbers of Americans are engaging in this political process that people are dialed in. To this election season. We talk about this is a nationwide referendum on president trump and his brand of politics and it's all of those things but I think bigger than that it's it's it's giving voice to the people this is a big moments in the country. We're going to be tough enough for a long time. We sure are we're going to be talking about a lot tomorrow night it's well we'll have full special coverage or ABC united in his life started at 4:30 eastern time the game with a big vote. Continuing on its way AM eastern time all of us will be playing. News and analysis throughout the night he of course you can get that on your apple TV your roku you FaceBook. You name it you've got it I of course on your on your traditional tube the whole ABC news team member George Stephanopoulos can be viewed there. Firm Rick Mary Alice not I'm Devin Dwyer in New York with NX.

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