'This Week' Transcript 11-06-22: Sen. Cory Booker & Gov. Glenn Youngkin
This is a rush transcript of "This Week" airing Sunday, November 6
A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday, November 6, 2022 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form, may be updated and may contain minor transcription errors. For previous show transcripts, visit the "This Week" transcript archive.
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC HOST: Just two days until the historic midterm elections. What will America decide? A special edition of "This Week" starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ (voiceover): Race to the finish.
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Make no mistake, democracy is on the ballot for all of us.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to take back the House. We're going to take back the Senate. And we're going to take back America.
RADDATZ: With just 48 hours to go, heavy hitters swarm the campaign trail.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Democracy as we know it may not survive.
UNKNOWN FEMALE: The blue fire wall is going to be an ash heap in political history.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: We have to make sure that every voter knows what's at stake.
RADDATZ: As candidates make their closing arguments.
UNKNOWN MALE: The turnout is high, the stakes are even higher.
UNKNOWN FEMALE: Our founding fathers are counting on us right now.
UNKNOWN FEMALE: We have the power to lift up our voices on Tuesday.
UNKNOWN MALE: This is the most important election we ever had in our lifetime.
RADDATZ: This morning, we're live in the states that will determine which party rules. Rick Klein is here with our brand-new ABC/Washington Post poll and Nate Silver with the final FiveThirtyEight forecast. Senator Cory Booker on the Democrats' final strategy and rising GOP star Virginia’s governor Glenn Youngkin, both "This Week" exclusives.
Plus, Terry Moran reports on threats facing election workers.
TERRY MORAN, SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESONDENT: And you have to come to work every day with body armor?
UNKNOWN MALE: Democracy isn't as healthy as it should be.
RADDATZ: And our Powerhouse Roundtable on what's at stake.
ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, this is a special edition of "This Week," "Your Voice, Your Vote 2022." Here now, Martha Raddatz.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ (on camera): Good morning, and welcome to "This Week."
With just two days until the midterms and nearly 40 million votes already cast, Tuesday is shaping up to be a nail-biter. Election officials are preparing for what could be a long night in contests across the country as votes come in, there is a very real possibility outcomes will appear to favor one party at the start, but crown another later on. And election night might like 2020 extend for days. And all of that, it's worth noting, is okay. Not a sign the system has broken.
In this historic election political campaigns and outside groups have spent nearly $3 billion on a record number of television ads as rhetoric has become increasingly toxic, leading to voter intimidation and a rise in violence. It was just over a week ago that Paul Pelosi was brutally attacked in his home and is now in for a long recovery.
We have every angle covered this morning including a brand-new ABC News/Washington Post poll showing widespread economic discontent. Eighty percent of voters say the economy is a top issue, with nearly half of Americans saying that they're worst off financially than they were two years ago. And Republicans have a clear advantage when it comes to trust over handling of the economy. Voters preferring Republicans by 14 points. It's what pollsters call, political poison.
We'll speak exclusionly with top Democratic senator Cory Booker and Republican governor Glenn Youngkin in a moment but first we're fanned out across the country in key battleground states that will decide control of Congress.
We begin this morning with Steve Osunsami in Georgia. Good morning, Steve.
STEVE OSUNSAMI, ABC NEWS SENIOR NATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Good morning to you, Martha.
Some of the latest polling has the race between incumbent senator Raphael Warnock and college football great and Republican nominee Herschel Walker at essentially a tie and this is despite weeks of bad press for Herschel Walker who's essentially been called a hypocrite because of his stance on abortion right, even though woman after woman has come forward claiming that he either helped them get an abortion or paid for one.
There is a libertarian candidate in this race and in Georgia to win on Tuesday night, the winner has to get above 50 percent and right now, many people are expecting this to possibly go to a runoff which, frankly, would be four weeks of more misery for Georgia voters who are, frankly, tired of all the mudslinging.
There has been record voting in this race. About 2.5 million people have voted early. And election officials expect that when the votes are tallied on Tuesday night, the total vote will be higher than the 4 million votes cast in the midterms four years ago, but lower than the 5 million votes cast during the presidential elections. Surprises do happen. One could happen here. Democrats here are hoping that the polling is wrong and that their candidate wins. Herschel Walker’s people are happy that college football is in the air. And UGA could be ranked number one this week and they’re hoping that it helps them.
RADDATZ: Thanks, Steve. Surprises do happen. Let's turn now to Philadelphia where our Eva Pilgrim is standing by. Good morning, Eva.
PILGRIM: good morning, Martha. It's been a very, very busy weekend in Pennsylvania as the current president and two former presidents have all been here trying to get out the vote in this crucial Senate race. President Biden joined former president Barack Obama in Philadelphia to stump for lieutenant governor john Fetterman while former president Donald Trump held a rally in the western part of the state to gin up support for dr. Mehmet oz. Even Oprah Winfrey has now jumped into this race. She discovered dr. Oz, worked with him for years, but now announcing her endorsement of Fetterman and this race is so incredibly close. One poll out on Friday showed Fetterman with a six-point lead over oz among voters who say they will definitely cast ballots in the election but according to fivethirtyeight's polling average, oz has been making gains in the final weeks of this campaign bringing Fetterman’s lead down to less than a point and those close finishes are what we've become accustomed to seeing. The last two presidential races split by less than 1.2 perjury points with Trump winning in 2016, Biden in 2020. Martha, we will be watching voter turnout here. It will really come down to who goes out to the polls on election day.
Incredibly close there, Eva. Thank you. Let's head west to ABC’s mola lengthy for the latest out of Nevada and Arizona. Mola.
PILGRIM: well, good morning, Martha. Nevada looking like it could be Republicans' best opportunity to flip a Senate seat currently held by the Democrats. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is running slightly behind former attorney general Adam Laxalt making her the worst positioned Democratic incumbent in fivethirtyeight's polling averages. Another Senate seat that both Republicans and Democrats are watching closely is Arizona, polls still show Democrat senator mark Kelly with a slight lead over Republican challenger Blake masters, but as you can see, that lead has narrowed from nearly seven points at the start of October to just about two points now. And while the Democrat is still leading in the Arizona Senate race, split ticket voters could hand Republican Kari Lake the governor's mansion. Polls show that race between her and Democrat Katie Hobbs, the current secretary of state in Arizona is statistically tied but lake has the edge in several polls by one to two points. Meanwhile here in Colorado Republican joe O’Dea is one of those rare Republicans who is trying to distance himself from former president Donald Trump as he tries to defeat incumbent senator Michael bennet. With bennet holds a lead but numbers have been narrowing in recent weeks, Martha.
Thank you, mola. The key question which party will win a majority and control Congress? For that let's bring in political director rick Klein at our midterm monitor and Nate silver, editor in chief of fivethirtyeight. Rick, let's start with you, just two days out our new polls shows one issue dominating the rest. It's the economy far and away and the president's standing reflects that.
Yeah, Martha, President Biden’s approval rating now at 41% in our new poll with "the Washington post." now, that's up a little bit from where it was a few months ago Donald Trump's approval rating at the same point in 2018 going into his first midterm, 40%. Keep in mind Donald Trump lost 40 seats this that midterm. Republicans lost control of the House. This time Republicans only need to gain five seats to win control and on that key question, do you support a Republican candidate or a Democratic candidate, voters are essentially tied. Just a one-point edge for the Republicans, same point in 2018 Democrats have a seven-point ed on this as they swept back into the majority. Because of the way districts are drawn, Democrats functionally need to have an edge in this metric on the so-called generic ballot and don't have it.
Let's look at the fivethirtyeight forecast. How are things shaping up?
In the House have you a pretty clear front-runner, the GOP given the history of the opposition party doing well at the midterm, given the polling, the president's approval rating. It's not a guarantee but as though they're kicking a 42-yard field goal and expect it to happen most of the time. The Senate is much closer. We have the GOP with a 55/45 edge, can call it a dead heat if you want. Rather have 55 than 45 but with six or seven races within a couple points you could have fairly big swings either way.
And, rick, take us through the states that each party sees as their best path to clinch the majority in the Senate.
RICK KLEIN, ABC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yeah, these are our battleground states, Martha, that we'll have an eye on Tuesday night. Keep in mind the Senate right now is 50/50. If it stays that way, Democrats stay in control because they have the vice president's tiebreaker.
So Republicans need to get to 51. How? They feel very good about Florida with Senator Rubio; North Carolina, Congressman Budd seems to be in a strong spot; Utah, they’re not really buying into the challenge against Mike Lee; Wisconsin, Ron Johnson seems to have righted his ship; and in Ohio, just a very Republican state despite the strong challenge from Tim Ryan.
Then things get interesting. If they're able to hold on to Pennsylvania, if Dr. Oz is able to beat John Fetterman, all of a sudden, they've got lots of paths to 51. Probably their most likely pick up from there is Nevada. That gets them the majority.
On the other side, Democrats feel very good about their incumbents in New Hampshire, in Colorado, despite a big scare that seems to be coming on they feel good about Washington as well. They think Senator Kelly in Arizona will be fine. And then if John Fetterman is able to flip Pennsylvania to the Democrats, all of a sudden, the Democrats have some opportunities. Their best shot from there might be Georgia.
We heard Steve talk earlier about the possibility of a runoff. It could come down to Georgia to determine the Senate majority.
RADDATZ: Rick Klein, Nate Silver, thanks so much.
Let’s turn now to Democratic senator, Cory Booker. He’s not on the ballot this year but he’s been crisscrossing the country to campaign for his fellow Democrats, helping to get out the vote in key battleground states ahead of Tuesday’s election. He’s been to Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada, North Carolina, just to name a few.
And now he’s here on “This Week”.
Good morning, Senator. It’s great to have you on this morning.
We’re just two days from Election Day. In mid-September, FiveThirtyEight Senate forecast gave Democrats a 71 percent chance of holding onto the Senate majority. Now Republicans have a 55 percent chance of taking it from you.
SEN. CORY BOOKER, (D-NJ): Well, look, the party in the White House usually loses during midterms but the reality is we still have a very strong pathway, not just to keeping the Senate but really picking up seats in Philadelphia -- excuse me, in Pennsylvania and in places like Wisconsin and North Carolina. This election still is in the ballots. And the reality is we’re bucking what are usual trends.
And I think we’re bucking them because folks know at the end of the day do they want to go back to the sort of Donald Trump politics that divided our nation, undermined our democracy, and really preferenced (ph) -- their signature bill was a big give-away to the largest corporations and the richest in America.
And even though our economy is tough, people think about it and say, wait a minute, this is the party trying to protect unions. This is the party that made sure we did things to lower prescription drug costs and lower health care costs. That this is the party at the end of the day that’s trying to protect fundamental freedoms like the right to control your own body.
So I think that this is a tough election season. It’s a midterm election. But I still see a pathway for us to maintain control of the Senate.
RADDATZ: So what are the challenges with that? We know Chuck Schumer said you might even gain seats in the Senate. How does that happen?
BOOKER: Well, it happens by voter turnout. I mean, when I'm going around the country, I see a lot of enthusiasm but at the end of the day, we’ve got to translate to that -- to people getting out. And I see a lot of candidates -- Mitch McConnell admitted that they have a candidate quality problem on the other side. And so from Georgia to Pennsylvania, people have real stark choices. Out in Arizona, they have choices between somebody that wants to preserve our democracy, bring people together versus a type of brand of politics really that undermines our democracy.
There’s a lot on the line and we have to remember after what we saw at January 6, Republican or Democrat, we should be electing people that believe in our democracy, that believe in our traditions, and that ultimately want to unite people and not divide them.
There’s a culture of contempt in this country. You’re seeing election workers getting increased threats. You’re seeing judges getting increased threats. Heck, you’re even seeing members of Congress -- as we saw with what happened to Paul Pelosi.
Something has gone wrong in our country where rising political violence, rising threats are really threatening who we are as a people. And I hope as people go to the polls, they elect folks that want to unite us, not divide us. They want to bring people together to focus on our common cause, not really be about contempt and anger.
RADDATZ: But Senator --
BOOKER: This is the time for us to have sound government.
RADDATZ: Senator, as we said, the economy is the top issue for 80 percent of Americans in our ABC/“Washington Post” poll. And yet this week -- and you’re talking about this too -- you had President Biden give a major speech on saving democracy, barely mentioning the economy or crime.
Obviously, democracy is an important issue but was that the right thing to be stressing at this moment in the midterms when so many Americans are worried?
BOOKER: You know, I’ve stood side-by-side with Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada or Mark Kelly in Arizona, side-by-side with candidates Tim Ryan in Ohio. Every single one of them is talking about kitchen table issues and when things are really stressed, which party has your back. Prescription drug costs, Democrats lowering them. Health care costs, Democrats lowering them. When it comes to creating good union jobs, we were the party that didn’t just talk about infrastructure week, but got the biggest infrastructure bill investments in our communities that we’ve seen in generations.
At the end of the day, one party has shown when they were in power, they’re giving the biggest tax cuts and tax breaks to the wealthiest. The other party, we were one vote shy of passing the biggest middle class tax cut, and working class tax cut, in American history, making the Child Tax Credit permanent. So you want to know who has your back --
RADDATZ: But – but, Senator, the – the polls have tightened. The polls have tightened. What about the messaging? Elissa Slotkin, from Michigan, one of the most vulnerable members of Congress, told “The New York Times,” the truth is Democrats have done a poor job of communicating our approach to the economy. If you can’t speak directly to people’s pocketbook and talk about our vision for the economy, you’re just having half a conversation.
Did Democrats miscalculate just how important this issue is?
BOOKER: You know, again, I'm looking at all -- the Tip O’Neill saying, “all politics is local.” And when I’ve stood with House members who were running for re-election and senators, I know what they’re messaging is. I know what their closing argument is. Is that when this country is going through tough times, whether it’s a pandemic or inflation rising, who is really going to have your family’s back? And I've heard people show receipts of what we’ve accomplished in terms of helping to lower costs and really a firm message that we were one vote shy, as I said, of the biggest middle class tax cut. One vote shy of protecting fundamental rights.
The individual people I see out there campaigning are speaking towards the pocketbooks of this country and reminding people about what Donald Trump’s agenda was when he had the reigns. Not just economic policy that favored the rich, but also things that undermined our very fundamental beliefs as a democracy.
RADDATZ: OK, we thank you so much for joining us this morning, Senator. Good luck.
BOOKER: Thank you very much.
RADDATZ: We turn now to the Republicans and Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, a rising star in the GOP. He triumphed in a race that was one of the first to test voter sentiment after President Trump left office.
Our Jon Karl sat down with Governor Youngkin yesterday to discuss the party's prospects ahead of Tuesday and what Republicans will prioritize if they gain a majority.
JON KARL, ABC “THIS WEEK” CO-ANCHOR: You're governor of Virginia, but you've been all over the country, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Arizona, New York, just in the last couple of week.
GOV. GLENN YOUNGKIN (R-VA): Oregon.
What's the closest argument on why people should vote for Republicans?
YOUNGKIN: Americans are hurting right now and Republican gubernatorial candidates, because that’s who I've been spending a lot of time with, are offering common sense solutions to these most critical issues. Americans are sitting around their tables in the evening and they’re worried about inflation and they’re worried about crime and they’re worried about their schools and they're worried about the border. Every state’s become a border state. And Republicans have clear-cut common sense solutions to all of these. And what they've seen is that the liberal Democrats don't. And it's that clear right now.
KARL: And you’re, obviously, campaigning for – for members of Congress as well. First order of business, if Republicans take over the House and Senate, how do they work with President Biden?
YOUNGKIN: Well, first, I think they will both have majorities. And I think the statement on Tuesday is going to be pretty clear. And I think there will be a larger majority in the House than people may have thought a few months ago. And I think there will be a clear majority in the Senate.
And this is going to be a wake-up call to President Biden. And I hope he answers it because what's happened over the last two years has really caused a lot of problems in America. I hope that President Biden sees what Americans are going to – are going to say to him on Tuesday, which is, we're not happy and we need a different agenda. And – and I think that a Republican led House and a Republican led Senate are going to work to deliver on promises made. And I hope Joe Biden listens.
KARL: You know, I'm hearing a lot, though, of talk about investigations, investigations into Hunter Biden, the FBI, all things Anthony Fauci. Republicans talking about going, you know, all in if they take control of particularly the House. Is that really what – what you're campaigning on to – to have massive investigations into all --
YOUNGKIN: I think that – that the House and the Senate and the White House are going to have to go to work and offer solutions. On top of that, our democracy is better when our Congress exercises its responsibility for oversight. And they can also deliver answers.
I think voters are going to make a statement on Tuesday, and they want their elected leaders to deliver results.
KARL: What about all this impeachment talk? I mean, I've gone through -- I can count at least three members of the Biden Cabinet that Republicans have talked about impeaching. And obviously there have already been impeachment resolutions introduced, many of them, for Biden himself. Would that be a mistake for Republicans, to go in...
YOUNGKIN: Again, I...
KARL: ... with impeachment?
YOUNGKIN: I believe strongly that our democracy is better when our Congress exercises its oversight functions.
YOUNGKIN: The reality of this is that Virginians are going to vote for congressional representatives, and I think that we're going to see a number of seats flip. And they want them to go to work to deliver.
KARL: But let me press you on that, though. I mean, common-sense, kitchen table issues, that's what you've been talking about. Is that what voters have in mind, impeaching -- an impeachment of Joe Biden? Because, I mean, I'm hearing that a lot.
YOUNGKIN: Well, you know, I don't know -- I don't know if...
KARL: Would that be a mistake, is all I'm asking. What that be a mistake, to go into...
YOUNGKIN: I can't speculate on what they're going to do. But what I can tell you is...
KARL: What they should do, is what I'm asking you.
YOUNGKIN: ... is they have done -- well, I'm a governor.
KARL: I know, but you're campaigning for members, you know, for...
YOUNGKIN: I'm a governor in Virginia.
KARL: ... for people to be in Congress.
YOUNGKIN: And my job as governor in Virginia is to deliver for Virginians. And, oh, by the way, I think that Republicans offer answers that Democrats have failed to offer, over and over and over again.
KARL: You were out in Arizona campaigning for Kari Lake. Liz Cheney, who has supported you, was quite critical of that. She said, "Nobody should be out advocating for the election of people who will not honor the sanctity of our election process."
Obviously, Kari Lake talks a heck of a lot about the 2020 election, falsely saying it was rigged, stolen. You don't agree with that, do you?
YOUNGKIN: Well, I've said that President Biden's our president. He was elected our president.
YOUNGKIN: Legitimately. He's done a bad job. He really has. He's done a bad job. The Republican Party is not some monolithic group that all believes the same things. But what Republican governors have demonstrated is they have led so much better coming out of this pandemic, economic recovery, safe communities, delivering in schools. And as I've said, I think every state deserves a Republican governor. And -- and this is a really clear choice.
KARL: Close advisers to Donald Trump say that he's preparing to run for president very soon after Tuesday. Do you welcome that, or would you rather he didn't run?
YOUNGKIN: Let me begin. The only timeline that anybody should be focusing on right now is the one that leads through November the 8th. The former president is going to do what the former president decides to do, and...
KARL: Would you support him?
YOUNGKIN: Well, at this point I'm not supporting anybody.
KARL: But are you looking at running for president? Is that -- is that a possibility?
YOUNGKIN: I'm looking at November the 8th.
KARL: I understand, but, you know -- you know, I mean...
YOUNGKIN: The reality is I'm always humbled by this question because I get it a lot. And yet the reality is what I have done in Virginia over the last year is bring a sense of urgency to deliver. It was a blue state and we flipped it red.
KARL: Would Trump running make you more or less likely to run yourself? Would it affect your decision?
YOUNGKIN: I really have not given it any real consideration. And I have been so focused on making sure that I'm doing a great job in Virginia and supporting candidates that I think will deliver for their constituents. This is a November 8th moment, and the reality is, folks that are talking about things beyond November the 8th, I think, are missing the priority of today's moment.
RADDATZ: All right. Thanks to Jon. The roundtable is up next, and later, Terry Moran travels the country speaking to election workers. Why some are showing up to work wearing body armor. We're back in 60 seconds.
PRESIDENT JOSEPH R. BIDEN, JR.: Three days until one of the most important elections. The outcome is going to shape our country for decades to come. And the power to shape that outcome is in your hands.
FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: If you want to stop the destruction of our country and save the American dream, then this Tuesday you must vote Republican in a giant red way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: President Biden and former president Trump both in Pennsylvania this weekend making their final arguments. The Roundtable’s here to make their own final arguments.
Former DNC Chair, Donna Brazile; Former Trump Justice Department Spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur; Democracy for America CEO, Yvette Simpson; and former New Jersey governor
Spokeswoman Sarah Isgur, democracy for America’s CEO, Yvette Simpson and former new jersey governor Chris Christie.
Welcome to you all and here we are down to the wire.
And, Donna, I want to start with you. The economy far and away the top issue. Our ABC news/"Washington post" poll, 43 percent of Americans say they're now worse off financially in the last two years, that is pretty astounding. Why has that not been the number one issue on the campaign? You even heard Cory Booker this morning not talk about that essentially, not focus on that.
DONNA BRAZILE, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, Martha, so you have to take a look at the entire country, because I do believe that whether you're talking about abortion, which is an economic issue, and why? Because when you are pregnant and I haven't been so I’ll defer to those who have been pregnant, that's an economic issue. You have to go to the doctor, you have got to have health care. So these issues are on the table and by the way, the Democrats have addressed them in Congress where it matters and trying to get the supply chain back in line. Make sure we have baby formula. So it is an issue, Democrats understand that. But this is a very, very serious election. We're not just talking about the economy and inflation and crime and immigration, abortion, voting rights but we're also talking about what took place on January 21st. I have not been able to put this in my recycle bin. You know why, because the same people who gave us this are now on the ballot in all 50 states, so while we're talking about kitchen table issues, which are very important, we also got to talk about democracy itself.
RADDATZ: Is that the right strategy, Chris Christie?
CHRIS CHRISTIE, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, and they're going to lose. I mean, look, when you don't have anything to say about the issues that the people care most about, what you're trying to do is set afire someplace else and distract them. But it's not working. And it won't work. Fact is when people go into a supermarket --
People do care about democracy. They do.
CHRISTIE: I didn't say that. They don't care as much as they care about the other things and all the polling shows that. I'm not splitting the atom here, all of the polling shows that what people care about the most is the economy and inflation. That's what they care the most about. And so in the end, listen, I admire Donna. She brought props this morning. Trying to do everything she can to distract people from what is the issue, which is they cannot afford to go to the supermarket. They can't afford to go to the gas station. They cannot afford to pay their bills and when that happens, everything else goes to second place.
And Republicans have no answer for that. The reality is if you're bad off now, if you can't buy gas, if you can't buy groceries you're going to be worse if Republicans win. They have no solution. I think you're right. I xi Elissa slot kin is right. We should be messaging on the economy. The economy is better when Democrats are in leadership and Republicans --
RADDATZ: You kind of agree with Chris there.
CHRISTIE: Yes, you do. Say yes.
I think we should be talking about it. I disagree his party is a better position to take care of it. We should say that we should say what are Republicans going to do. They don't have to answer the question. They're talking about ending social security. They're going to make it worse. So to everybody out here who is worried about the economy, know you might be bad off but you'll be worse if Republicans win the House or Senate, period.
RADDATZ: What do you think of the strategy, Sarah? What Donna talked about.
SARAH ISGUR, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I don't understand why they didn't say we're talking about the economy. The Republicans are the ones passing laws in the states on abortion. Why they ceded that to the Republican party and, look, on the democracy issue, yes, you look, a majority of Americans think democracy is under threat. 80 percent think that if the opposition comes into power, that America as we know it will be under threat. But when you ask them which party is the greater threat, independent voters by about seven points think it's the Democratic party, not the Republican party. So while joe Biden is talking about how democracy is on the ballot, I don't know that his message is landing the way he thinks it's landing with these voters who are going to decide the election.
RADDATZ: Donna, those are incredible statistics from that poll.
RADDATZ: Each side thinks the other is responsible for it. Where I think that's an issue that Democrats thought was all theirs.
BRAZILE: Look, I’m not running campaigns anymore. I run my mouth on television. Which, you know, sadly I can't do a lot about what's going to take place over the next two days but I want to ask the American people who is on your side? Who's out there fighting for you and trying to lower your prescription drug prices? Who is out there trying to make sure that you get a raise in minimum wage so you can afford the groceries and the gas when you go -- when you leave your House? The Republicans refuse to --
Everything he's done on energy --
They refuse to raise minimum wage. It's poor people being squeezed.
Now you have to pay $20 to the grocery store checkout line.
What drives inflation? It's not just what -- who is in Washington, D.Sc., we're being -- this inflation is being driven by huge demand at a time we had two years of a lockdown. We need to make sure that --
I’ll take Larry Summers' word for it, okay? Larry Summers, Clinton's treasury secretary, told the Biden administration two years ago, you go ahead with the spending you're talking about and you are going to create enormous inflation and it's exactly what happened.
And we can try to blame it on a whole bunch of other things, but when you put $5 trillion that you printed into the economy after all the money that we put in during COVID, that's why you have inflation.
And, you know, the fact is it's got to stop at some point. And the Democrats don't want to talk about that because their constituencies are about paying me more.
In the end, in the end, Sarah is right that they ceded this ground to Republicans because they knew that Joe Biden couldn't articulate the argument as to why he was better, that's why they have him in Union Station talking about democracy. Could you go to a safer large D Democratic place than the middle of the District of Columbia, send him over to Union Station and put him back in the White House before he causes more harm or Scranton, which is the only other place in the country he can go.
RADDATZ: Yvette, earlier in the year, Donna said that abortion would be a defining issue in the fall.
YVETTE SIMPSON, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yeah.
RADDATZ: It has fallen.
SIMPSON: Republicans are running away from it. We didn't anticipate that, right? So they realize it was a problem. They don’t -- they're not wanting ads on abortion. They're not -- they’re not talking about abortion on the debate stage. They're avoiding it.
They realized very quickly and retreated and we let them. I think we just have to continue to remind people that a 10-year-old girl having to carry her rapist's child to birth is inhumane and it’s wrong and that's what's happening. And women who --
ISGUR: Democrats -- Democrats misread the moment.
ISGUR: It was never about abortion.
SIMPSON: No, Republicans are running from it.
ISGUR: Dobbs happened at the same time gas prices went down, you can track the Democrats' poll numbers going up and down with gas prices.
It's not that abortion faded. It's that there's no particular evidence it was ever going to be a meaningful issue when we sorted ourselves over 20 years --
SIMPSON: Show me one Republican that's talking about it.
BRAZILE: First of all --
CHRISTIE: The vote -- wait a second. Why would Republicans -- why would --
SIMPSON: They’re running from it.
CHRISTIE: No, no, Republicans made the decision to do something unique, if you actually want to win elections.
CHRISTIE: No, no, let me finish. If you want to win elections, you talk about the things that the voters care about. And you look at this polling and what they care about is economy, inflation, crime. That's what they care about, and that's why Republican candidates are resonating, not running from anything.
We're running to the voters and what they're concerned about.
BRAZILE: Chris, it's also about a vision. What's your vision of America's future? It's about your value system. And I think while it's important that we follow where the voters are leading us because, absolutely, they decide, that's why so many of them have voted --
CHRISTIE: That's democracy.
BRAZILE: It's also about vision. This is about the vision of our future. Yes, this is a prop for some Americans, but for me and for millions of Americans, it was a reality when people stormed on the United States Capitol because of a big lie.
So, yes, all of these issues are on the ballot and we just are going to have to turn out --
RADDATZ: I want to turn to Yvette here.
CHRISTIE: You’re talking through Tuesday.
RADDATZ: I want to talk about specific race in Georgia. You have been down there campaigning for Raphael Warnock.
What do you -- it is so close down there and you have the accusations against Herschel Walker. Do you feel like people will vote for Herschel Walker because they like him or because they just want to hold on to the Republican --
SIMPSON: It's all about power. Nobody is loving Herschel Walker. I mean, he is not the one and, in fact, I’ve heard a lot of African Americans down in Georgia say he's an embarrassment to us.
I mean, he is a sideshow. He's being used. He has all this scandal. He's a representative of a figure that some Americans think should Black men should be and we don't want that representative.
Raphael Warnock is an amazing human. I can't imagine why people in Georgia are making this choice. I think some of it is nostalgia. We saw what happens with Tommy Tuberville in Alabama. Football matters apparently in the South.
But guess what, he is not fit to be a senator, period. What we have seen in Georgia that I want to comment on is, record turnout in the early vote, 2.5 million people voted early in Georgia. That's more than 2018 and 2020. So I think we're all thinking it's going to go according to the polls. I think new voters and early voters are going to win the day.
RADDATZ: How about African American voters, Donna? Ed Rendell, the former Pennsylvania governor, told "The New York Times" he's worried about African American turnout. That block voters have not been significantly motivated to vote.
BRAZILE: Well, enthusiasm is hard to come by, especially when you don't talk to people that you need to get out until the last two or three weeks. So I’m hoping that African Americans will hear the message, hear the music, get the lyrics and go out and vote, if they do we know what happens especially when Black women vote. Democracy is always on the ballot for us.
But I want to go back to candidates. Candidates matter.
RADDATZ: They do.
BRAZILE: And it’s not just Herschel Walker. It’s Mr. Oz in Pennsylvania, it’s Mr. Vance. And so I do think that Democrats have a fighting chance, both in keeping – keeping the Senate and – and very might well, you know, not lose as many seats in the United States House.
And, Chris, I know I'm going to get to your soft spot. Baby, we're going to get some of them governor seats. And just -- just hold on. Just hold on.
CHRISTIE: Well – well – well, you – you’ll get – you’ll get Maryland and Massachusetts. After that, I'm not so sure.
BRAZILE: OK, I'll take two.
CHRISTIE: But – but let me just say –
RADDATZ: Go ahead.
CHRISTIE: I was in Georgia too on Thursday and Friday. And what's driving the politics in Georgia right now is the governor's race.
CHRISTIE: And – and Governor Kemp is going to be re-elected. He's going to be re-elected by a surprising large margin. And that's what could rally wind up helping Herschel Walker is that Kemp is going to do much better than anybody is predicting he’s going to do all the way through. And the other – the other upset and surprise you’re going to see I think on Tuesday night is Joe O'Dea, the Republican candidate for United States Senate in Colorado, is going to beat Michael Bennet. And that's going to be a huge surprise. It’s going to be either --
RADDATZ: A candidate who does not have the support of Donald Trump.
CHRISTIE: He does not have the support of Donald Trump. He flat out said that he believes that Joe Biden was the legitimately elected president of the United States and – and had Trump attack him. And in Colorado, he is driving Michael Bennet to distraction. He's going to win the race.
RADDATZ: Sarah, I want to see if you think there are going to be any surprises or people have really made up their minds.
ISGUR: So, I think it's important to think about these polls. The undecided voters are still in these polls. So, when you see a 41/45 poll, there's, you know, five, seven points outstanding of folks who haven't made up their minds yet. We don't know how they're going to break, but generally they all break in the same direction. And I think it's a fair assumption that they're going to break toward the Republicans at this point.
So, yes, you could see Colorado where, by the way, Chuck Schumer and Democrats spent millions trying to have a different Republican candidate, an election-denying candidate in that race.
ISGUR: Washington state for Senate, Tiffany Smiley, the Oregon governor's race, and, obviously, those races in New York, the governor and the House races, where you could have the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee lose his seat.
CHRISTIE: I campaigned for Mike Lawler against Sean Patrick Mahoney. He’s going to lose. And he’s probably going to lose by five or six points.
RADDATZ: OK, let’s – let’s – let’s talk about Donald Trump.
Last night in a rally, and earlier in the week, he said, I promise you, in the very, very, very short period of time, you're going to be so happy. And, of course, he was talking about 2024. And since then it's been reported that he will likely make the announcement to run the week of November 14th. We have about 40 seconds here. Got to ask you, Chris.
CHRISTIE: You know, look, is anybody surprised?
RADDATZ: No. But what does it mean? No – no one’s surprised.
CHRISTIE: Like, why should anybody be surprised. I don't think it – look, I don’t think it means anything. When something happens that you anticipated happening, it doesn't make any difference. He's going to run. Everyone always knew he was going to run. He can't miss the attention any more than he does, and he's going to run. Now we’ll see what happens.
RADDATZ: Yvette, does it make a difference?
SIMPSON: He’s got to avoid – he’s got to avoid jail.
RADDATZ: In about 20 seconds, is Joe Biden the best guy to go against him?
SIMPSON: You know, anybody over Trump, I think. You know, anybody over Trump. (INAUDIBLE).
RADDATZ: Anybody over Trump could win?
SIMPSON: Anybody. Anybody. I think Joe Biden has to recover from this year. I mean his – his approval rating has jumped slightly. He still looks a little tired. I think if we can get his energy back, maybe. I don't know.
RADDATZ: OK. Thanks, all of you.
We'll all be holding our breaths this week.
Thanks for joining us.
Up next, Terry Moran reports on the growing threats against election officials and the security of our elections.
RADDATZ: Why some election officials are showing up to work now wearing body armor, and a rare look behind the scenes of the Senate campaigns in Arizona and Florida. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERRE THOMAS, ABC NEWS CHIEF JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: How concerned should we be that many of the people who are pushing this violent extremist point of view are pushing it based on allegations of election fraud?
ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS: This is why it's so important that you and I are speaking, that we are communicating very clearly, that our election infrastructure is safe and secure. People need to have, deserve to have confidence in the integrity of our election system and the meaning of their vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: Chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas with that important assurance from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Our team has been traveling the country, speaking to election officials who suddenly find themselves the subject of threats and intimidation all while they work to keep the election process and themselves safe.
Here’s ABC’s Terry Moran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRY MORAN, SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Across the country, election officials are facing an unprecedented number of threats and potentially dangerous confrontations.
UNKNOWN MALE: You frauded out America of a real election where Donald Trump blew your (expletive deleted) lying (expletive deleted) out of the water. We'll (expletive deleted) kill you.
UNKNOWN MALE: Do you know what happens to corrupt Democrat politicians and election officials? You know what happens? They learn firsthand the hard way why the second amendment exists.
MORAN: Already armed poll watchers in tactical gear have been monitoring ballot boxes in Arizona raising the specter of conflict and even violence in the election. President Biden this week pleading with Americans in a way no president has had to do in generations.
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's no place, no place for voter intimidation or political violence in America, whether it's directed at Democrats or Republicans.
MORAN: We got an inside look at how election officials in some states are trying to the process and themselves safe. In Adams County, Colorado, county clerk Josh Zygielbaum had to overhaul his workplace.
MORAN (on camera): So this is headquarters?
JOSH ZYGIELBAUM, CLERK AND RECORDER, ADAMS COUNTY, COLORADO: Yes, this is the election's office.
MORAN: This area has changed, it’s more secure now then it was?
MORAN: And there's panic buttons?
ZYGIELBAUM: There’s panic buttons underneath.
MORAN: Each clerk has an --
ZYGIELBAUM: I'm really trying to harden the office as a target as much as we could.
MORAN (voiceover): Those safety measures extend way past the doors of his office.
ZYGIELBAUM: And I have had some instances in the past where people followed me back to my neighborhood.
MORAN (on camera): You were followed?
ZYGIELBAUM: That prompted me to start talking with the sheriff about personal safety. He recommended that I wear a ballistic vest whenever I feel necessary. I wear one pretty much every single day.
MORAN: What does it say that you are the county clerk in this county and you have to come to work every day with body armor?
ZYGIELBAUM: It says that, you know, there are -- democracy isn't as probably healthy as it should be right now.
MORAN (voiceover): Donald Trump's refusal to accept the certified results in 2020 let loose a toxic lie in America.
TRUMP: I don't believe we'll ever have a fair election again. I don't believe it.
MORAN: And it's all taking a toll. In Nevada at least nine out of 17 counties have seen their top election officials resign, retire early or decline to seek re-election. And in many states law enforcement officials are sending stern reminders as Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner did this week.
LARRY KRASNER, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, PHILADELPHIA: Extremists of any type who are pondering interfering in any way with a free, fair and final election better be warned.
MORAN: But sometimes the best medicine is transparency. Stephanie Farris joined the Adams County clerk's office just after the 2020 election.
STEPHANIE FARRIS, POLLING PLACE MANAGER, ADAMS COUNTY, COLARADO: I am very proud of this job. I came to Adams County as a skeptic because of what I had seen on the news and in the media and I was very rewarded -- or very excited to find that there's so many quality checks, almost redundancies that we do to ensure the vote and to ensure the quality of the vote.
MORAN (on camera): Interesting. So you came into this job thinking, you can't really trust elections or there's something wrong with them?
FARRIS: Right, yes, how does that happen, you know, all of the bad things that you see? How in the world could that happen? And so --
MORAN: And how do you feel now?
FARRIS: It's almost an impossibility that those things could happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: Somewhat hopeful there and Terry Moran now joins us. Terry, what are the consequences for these poll workers?
MORAN (on camera): It's very real for poll workers, obviously, a lot of them are scared. But more important in some ways for the country, in many places there are shortages of poll workers now because people don't want to get involved. These people, most of them are volunteers, retirees and that will mean longer lines in some places and some places they may consolidate precincts and that means some people may not get to vote.
And so communities are looking to do things like recruit high school students or ask local businesses, give your employees a day off paid or once again calling on veterans to step forward and help the country.
RADDATZ: And there does seem to be signs of hope in these election workers for sure.
MORAN: Absolutely, Stephanie Farris there. I met three people in Adams County who were very skeptical. They were election deniers and once they saw how the process actually works, they became believers that you can trust it. And I think that tells us that most of the people who say elections can't be trusted, don't actually know at the granular level what happens to ballots and how they work.
RADDATZ: And, Terry, of course, Tuesday could be a very long night. It might be a long week. When do you -- when do they think we'll really get election results?
MORAN: Well, it depends on the races. But I know that given the experience in 2020 and the distrust that it sparked to have longer counts, the elections -- county clerks that I talked to say we are going to get this done and we’ll have results as soon as possible.
RADDATZ: We'll hope for that. Thanks for joining us, Terry.
You can catch more of Terry's reporting on election security on “Impact x Nightline” on Hulu.
Coming up, we take you inside the battlegrounds of Arizona and Florida as campaigns there work feverishly to make sure all their supporters get out and vote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R), GEORGIA: We’re going to make it rolling for six more days to make sure that Stacey Abrams isn't going to be your governor or your next president.
BLAKE MASTERS (R), ARIZONA SENATE NOMINEE: Send me to the U.S. Senate. We’re going to retire Mark Kelly.
GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D), MICHIGAN: I’ll take all the ugliness that comes my way and I will stand my ground and fight for the people of this state.
JOHN FETTERMAN (D), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE NOMINEE: I’m running to serve Pennsylvania. He's running to use Pennsylvania.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: Candidates from both parties making their final pitches as campaigns race to election day. Our political embeds were right there capturing all of the action for ABC's "Power Trip."
In the latest episode dropping today, our reporters take you behind the scenes of several key races. Here’s a first look.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: One week to go. How you guys holding up?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It’s like an adrenalin rush right now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re hearing into that point in the final week. That really comes down to momentum and mobilizations. And then there’s that tiny sliver of undecided voters in the middle who still might be making up their minds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're here at Florida Memorial University, an HBCU, where President Biden is going to stump for Charlie Crist, the candidate for governor, and Val Demings, the candidate for Senate.
So what's it like to have the president here on your homecoming weekend?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's kind of like surreal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to get to shake his hand today or anything?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope so. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The midterms are in one week. And frankly here the Democrats are trailing. Charlie Crist is down by something like eight points. Demings is down by five points. Looks like, likely losses for the Democrats here in the state.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, thank you, thank you, thank you. It's great to be with the next governor of Florida, Charlie Crist.
In fact (ph) she's Val Demings. She's the real deal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at this crowd, this energy and the media told us the red wave was dead. Are you guys ready to send Mark Kelly back to space next week?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Blake Masters, Kari Lake, Abe Hamadeh, Mark Finchem, they’re all here. At these Republican events they have been quick to support each other down the ballot. Whereas, with the Democrats, we're just not seeing them together as much as we are seeing these guys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: The latest episode of "Power Trip" drops later today on Hulu.
We'll be right back.
RADDATZ: That's all for us today. ABC's coverage of the midterms begins at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on the network, 7:00 p.m. on ABC News Live. I'll be joining David Muir and our entire political team for what is sure to be a historic night. We hope you'll join us.
Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Have a good day.
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