tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC November 6, 2018 7:00pm-7:30pm EST
good evening. have just closed in six states. we want to bring you the results at this hour. let's first show you the indiana senate race. this is too close to call. joe donally the democrat tto hold on in a tough race for democrats moving now to the state of virginia. m kaine is the -- we project will be re-elected at the end .of the evening, the democr and in vermont, nbc projects that bernie sanders will continue in the u.s. senate. we want to let you know, and we'll be usatching control of the that's the big story of the night. democrats need 23, a net gain ot the
end of the night. we'll be showing you graphicsight long how that progresses, as we try to make our way to the georgia governor's race. a lot of national attention right now. this is too early to call. this is "nbc nightly news with lester holt," the vote, america' ture. power is at stake. so many races a dead heat, and what happens tonight will determine the direction of a country for the next two years. all 435 seats in the house are up for grabs. democrats need to flip a net of 23 seats to take control. and in the senate, 35 seatup r grabs. democrats need to flip a net of two seats to take control. but many of those races are in republican territory. also, there are 36 governor's races, and the results could have
implications for 2020 and beyond. voter rnout has been enormous, potentially the highest for a midterm election in decades. long lines and frayed nerves, but mostly overwhelming us ensm to get out and vote. so overwhelming in some places, the system simply couldn't take it. we have it all covered tonight, reour entire team and fanned out across the country. we begin with nbc's kristen welker in arlington, virginia. we were expecting a heavy enturnout, but it's e. staggering to >> reporter: that is for sure, lester. this is shaping up to be a midterm election like we've never seen before. more than 38 million people cast their ballots even before today. this polling place here in arlington, virginia, just closed. but throughout the day, voters have been turning out here and all across the country. tonight, votdes vering their final verdict. tens of millions of people, long
or lines from newk to missouri, to this threhour naait to vote in a. what could be record turnout for a midterm election. >> oh, my d, this ise election you have to vote for. >> reporter: while division runs deep, one thing is certain, the electorate is energized. in texas, 77-year-old pamela aguirry became io eml, after she voted for beto o'rourke. >> we want him to win. reporter: republicans are fired up, too. including 18-year-old first-time voter joey mestrada, a strong supporter of president trump. >> i wanted to support his agenda aever is going to help him in congress. >> reporter: president trump overnight ending his final sprint towards decision day at a rally in the key state of missouri. >> there is no place i woulth be, for the last stop of this campaign, than right here in missouri. >> rorter: the president frequently calling the election a referendum on him. >> a ve for marsha is really a vote for me. >> reporter: and voters tonight
agree. >> i'm a donald trump supporter. without him, our military would never be strong. >> there's too much in the coervative movement. trump is scary. >> reporter: tonight, exit polls showing nearly half of voters strongly disapprove of the president, and that the top issues for voters, immigration, the economy, and at e top of the list, health care. >> we thk everyone should have health care and food and a quality education. >> reporter: one thing we know, expect surprises. omvolatility has b the new normal. if democrats take back the house or senate, it would be the fourth major power t sh congress in just 12 years. >> i have a voice, and i would like it to be heard. so voting is the best way to do that. >> reporter: millions of voices being heard tonight. kristen wenbc news, arlington, virginia. >> it's been a d of nes stretching out buildings, snaking around blocks, people waiting hours in some cases to vote, and that voting surge comes on top of
glitches and power outages. some lawyerseading to court to get voting hours in some places extended. we'll get the latest williams.ete >> reporter: the clerk in johnson county, indian south of indianapolis, says it's the worst election she's been involved with. long lines caused by super slow electronic poll books used to check in voters. >> it takes five or six or seven minutes just to get their name to comup on the poll book. >> everyone in the world knew we were going to vote today. >> reporter: in atlanta, a machine glitch and the lack of power chords held up voting. that was in two suburban precincts in the same county. it was a lack of power that confronted voters in knoxville, tennessee. a state hit by severe storms. flashlights and paper ballots came to the rescue. in several southern states, the di hu is so high that paper ballots swell slightly, just enough to be rejected scanning machines. but the states say they will be counted. one of the biggest challenges for state officials today has
been voter enthusiasm. many places were simply overwhelmed. not enough voting machines or poll workers, and in a few cases, even temporary shortages of ballots. lester? >> pete willms night, thank you. while many polls suggest the democrats could take the house tonight, rcans are confident they'll hold onto the senate, and maybe even pick up a few seats there. we have it all covered, beginning with gabe gutierrez in hoton. gabe, good evening. >> reporter: republicans are cautiously optimistic. ma the electorais in their favor and they could build on their majority. ten senate democrats are up for re-election in red states soresident trump won, like mi, where josh hawley is hoping to unseat democrat claire mccaskill and got back up from the president. >> he's growing to go down as one ofur great senators. >> reporter: nbc's morgan radford is there.
>> here in st. louis county, the ne liare wrapped around the inside of this pollingat stn, both democrats and republicans saying they understand what's at stake. this is a toss-up race, in a state that president trump won by nearly 20 points back in 2016. >> reporter: another tight race in florida, where democrat bill nelson is faci a strong challenge from republican governor rick scott. here's nbc's gadi schwartz on the dead heat in arizona. >> one way or another, history is going to be made as this state elects its first female senator. you have martha mccallie, kirsten sinema, and these long line of independent voters that could decide this race. >> reporter: among the most watched senate races is in texas, where democrat beto o'rourke raised a staggering $69 million in his bid to upset ted cruz. but democrats haven't won a statewide race here in almost 25 years. en though the president is not on the ballot this election, your vote was in support of the present? he is on the ballot this
election, because he'sad leing the charge. >> reporter: if everything i bigger in texas, tonight, so are the stakes. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, hoton. >> reporter: this is kasie hunt covering the race for the house. where democrats are anticipating sweeping back into power. >> i feel confidt we will win. it's just a question of the size. >> reporter: nancy pelosi, currently th democratic leader, perhaps the next speaker, if democrats gain at least se s. but the question tonight, just how broad is the possible blue wave? if democrats flipped 40 or more states, strategists say would be an exceptional as polls close, watch how democrats are doing these districts in virginia and new jersey. as the night wears on, republicans will look for bright spots in minnesota, where they have a rare chance to pick up two democratic seats. and then there are a half dozen races in california that could flip from red to blue. but no matter the outcome, it or will be a hi night. more than 200 military
veterans are running in the midterms, including over a dozen women veterans in fact, americans could send more than 100 women he toouse for the first time ever. and turnout among women voters may hit historic highs. >> i feel confident in a young woman voter we'rno nger in the minority, we're very much so in the majority. >> reporter: while we have little of the vote in so far, it is very close in this key strict in kentucky, a where democr mcgraph is running against an incumbent republican. t.>> more at stake toni as we mentioned, 36 governor races are happening across the country. that's where we have seen some of the biggest fireworks in this heated midterm. nbc's kerrsanders is in florida tonight. kerry, set the scene from there. >> reporter: there's so much attention on these state races because of what it d mean in 2020. here on this rainy night in tallahassee, in
florida, because slightly more mo ats than republicans were among the early voters, the dems thinkth have an edge tonight. tonight, historic firsts could be seen across the country, with three democratic candidates in georgia, florida, and maryland, be each vying tme the first african-americans to take the governor's mansions in their state. and in vermont, democrat christine hallquist is the first major party transgender nominee. in bellwether florida, eyes on democrat andrew gium. up against trump republican ron desantis. >> us winning tonight would send a message to president trump and mr. desantis. >> we did as much as can be done. i'm happy with letting the chips fall where they may. >> reporter: other states perhaps holding clues to 2020, iow , michigan, neva ohio, and wisconsin, where republican governor scott walker is facing what
he's called the toughest race of his life. and red kansas could see a democratic shift, with republican secretary of state kris kobach, who led the voter fraud commission, in tight contest against democrat laura kelly. in a state energized by oprah -- >> here in georgia, there's been long lines at polling places, and voters could make history tonight, where there's been controversy surroundg the republican candidate. and the woman who could become the nation's first black female governor. >> reporter: with 2020 on the horizon, pitical control of states vitally important.y kenders, nbc news, tallahassee. president trump has been crisscrossing the country in the closing days of this election, trying to put himself on the ballot, telling voters in fact that casting a ballot for his preferred candidate is like ing a ballot for him. now comes the waiting game at jahe white house. hallson is there for us tonight.
what's the mood inside? >> reporter: the ad ne so far, lester, no regrets from president trump. that's what we're hearing from sources,hat the president feels like his closing strategy on immigration was the right way to go in some of those 30 rallies since labor day. that's even despite concern from other republicans that the president's divisive rhetoric may backfire tonight. m told president trump is keyed in on the florida races, with the white house feeling pretty good about the senate. not so much on the house, with the acknowledgement is grim for republicans there. president trump will be watching the election returns here at th white house with friends and family. >> halle jackson at the white house, thanks. we're joined by our team of chuck todd, savaah thrie and andrea mitchell. we heard about the president, but democrats are expressing some cone, which is a bit surprising given what we saw in 2016. >> confidence about the house,st , not the rest of the congress. but nancy pelosi is soco ident about winning back the house,
because democrats expanded their lefield for the first time, putting money into 85 seats across the country, gi ng them multiple paths to get to their magic number of 23. pelosi sd the question today how big their victory will be, whether it's a wave or squeaker. but on the senate side, democrats we optimistic.e not expected to use a handful, maybe lease one. that would leave repuicans in control. but democrats are pinning their hopes on governor races in mid western states. which would improve their chances for retaking the white house. >> andrea, thanks.t turn to chuck and savannah. chuck, you've been looking at some of the exit poll vata. what aers saying are their biggest issues? >> first, i'll tell you what the pollsters will always say is the number one issue they think is midterm election is about, it's about the president. and the president's job rating will tell you more about how -- whichre ion we're going than anything else. the job rating, 44% approve, 55% disapprove. anst
47er le % , disaofpprove of the president's job rating. thatells you the mood of this electorate is negative on the president, and strongly so. th strong disapprove is higher than the overall approve, let alone the somewhat disapprove. >> people obviously concernet health care. how would that play out? >> the exit polls is interesting, because what was the issue that animated you the most. why did you come out? look at this, health bigger vote in our exit polls than the economy, which tells you one thing. ave a really good economy. so health care is more identified with a democratic issue, so that might be a positive sign for democrats. but i like to a ttle math. immigration plus economy, republicans are the preference on. that gets you to a dead heat, e 44% if you pnomy and immigration together, 41% for health caral this tells me is we're in for a really exciting night. >> we talked about this election as a refm on the president. what are the voters saying about the president? th> it does feel as if you sereferendum
aspect of it. i will say this on the issufront. the tiebreaker may be independents. that's what you see in the president's job rating, and whatu e right now, the two parties are polarized. everything is evenly split. tiebreaker and everything i've looked at here has been independents. the number one issue with independents, it was health care by almost 20 points. so independents looking more like democrats than republicans tonight. >> it will be interesting to see if democrats get control of the house. you know what starts tomorrow, don't you? esidential race for 2020. so it starts tomorrow. so the president, if democrats win control of the house, he's got congress to run agains we can think of many presidents for whom that was a winning strategy. >> you have time to get time to get something to eat and rejoin me. >> depending on how the nigh goes, we could see control of the house decided by a
handful of tight races, possibly in california where the polls are still hours from closing. nbc's jacob soboroff is in santa ana, california. jacob, what is it looking like there? >> reporter: it could come down to california, specifically here in orange county, california. usaybe even in this ware of the orange county registrar, where ballots from four differen-up districts will be counted. they're already being counted, record turnout in absentee ballots are still coming in, and in after e to come tonight. tonight, iperson voting, 200,000 people plus are expected to up actually show t the polls. once those votes come ck here, they'll be placed into a tube, shot up in the ceiling sboshgsin to a room where they will be manually counted. this is a process that could take up to 30 days here in california, ifhe election ends up being tight. when you talk out at is hundreds of thousands of voters look like? these are the ballots right here.
lester? >> jacob, a look behind the scenes. also, a head for us, we'll take a look behind the velvet rope. tonight, i'm allowed to go somewhere deep inside 30 rock i've never been before, the decision desk. the beating heart of our election coverage. >> we'll show you how nbc news will project the winners. you'll want to stick around for that. it's going to be a . busy tonight our special primetime el tion coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. here on nbc. stay with us. busy tocopd makes it hard to breathe. so, to breathe better, i go with anoro. ♪go your own way copd tries to say, "go this way." i say, "i'll go my own way, with anoro." ♪go your own way once-daily anoro contains two medicines called bronchodilators that work together to significantly improve lung function all day and all night. anoro is not for asthma. it contains a type of medicine that increases risk of death in people with asthma. the risk is unknown in copd.
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> we're back now with more of our election night coverage. se're taking you insideure room where it happens. the nbc news decision desk, where alraces will be called. nbc's cynthia mcfadden takes us behind the velvet rope, where our team projects the winners. >> reporter: i'm going to take you somewhere at 30 rock. without this i.d. i e an't get in, whve never been to go before. this is nbc's decision desk, the beating heart of our election coverage. hey, john. >> welcome to th decision desk. thank you for coming. >> explain to folks at home what >> we project elections across all of the races. e the main thingnt to do
here is make sure that we're always right. >> reporter: he says being right matters more than being first. and it's complicated. c'it s nbls pex ck10 t0,ol000. >> we have mountains of data, hand we're running all of t data through literally thousands of models. >> reporter: how sure do you have to be, 90% good enough? >> absol enough.good our standards are 99.5%. >> if you're not 99.5% certain, the election doesn't get call on television? >> we use that standard across all of the races. itlw it's more so now than ever. >> reporter: isolated from outside inuences, all the senior people in this room must agree before a race is called. >> we projt ections, we don't predict elections. >> reporter: and those projections can't be rushed. >> how latare we enough done that some folkks sleep. but some of us, we're on rotating shifts, and somebody will be here until everything is called. >> reporter: she means
all night. and now you're outhrowing us out so can do your work. >> and we'll see you in a couple of days. >> reporter: thanks so much. >> hard at work. meanwhile, lester, americans wondering if there are foreign governments messing with the election infrastructure as russia did in 2016. nbc news has learned that a top secret assessment provided to the white house late last week said that there was no evidence of foreign meddling. this evening intelligence and saomeland security source they stand by that assessment. >> cynthia, thank you very much. we're back in a moment with much more of our election coverage and a check of some other news of the day. stay with us. ♪ it's a lier to make decisions when you know what comes next. if you move your old 401(k) to fidelity ira, we make sure you're in the loop at every step from the moment you decide to move your money
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back now with some of the y's other headlines. the man suspected of sending more than a dozen pipe bombs of critics of president trump was ordered held without bail in his first appearance in court today. cesar sayoc faces up to 48 years behind bars. and a jury found a man from bangladesh guilty on federal terrorism charges for setting a ofople bomb in new york's busiest subway in december. after the verdict was read, he said he was motivated by anger at president trump. though his defense denied accusations that he had pledged allegiance to isis. he now faces life inis . a colorado man has cut a plea deal for the shocking murders his pregnant wife and two young daughters. chris watts agreed to plead guilty to nine counts to avoid the
death penalty. watts had gone on tv tossue a public plea after his family disappeared in august, only to be arrested a short time later.we >>e back in a moment with more of our election night 2018 coverage after this. more of more of ♪ inside out got ♪ i'm feeling good. ♪ doing it my own way, ♪ every single day ♪ and it feels good... sunsweetmazin! prunes. the feel good fruit. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered...
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our election night 2018 coverage, just minutes away n from the next round of poll closings. while many americans are still in catheir votes at this hour, stay with nbc news all night long for the up-to-date election results and the big surprises in store this evening. savannah guthrie and chuck todd will join f our
now, decision night in america. >> i have a voice. i'd like to be hed. >> tonight reaches its critical climax. >> vote republican, for a republican congress and republican senate. >> you can be the check on behavior. >> and news reporters are helping you gauge the way. >> we're working for you. >> as voter turnout su
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