Polls show Trump gaining ground in Arizona after falling behind

This is a rush transcript from “Special Report” November 2, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Good evening, I’m Bret Baier. We are coming to you live tonight from New
York, America’s Election Headquarters. Breaking tonight, we are just hours
away from what is officially Election Day in the U.S. finally here.

But with almost 100 million Americans already voting early, we’re in for an
unprecedented Election Day experience because all those early ballots may
actually delay learning who has one, we will see.

All four candidates on the two presidential tickets crisscrossing the
country looking to capture every possible vote in what pollsters indicate
is a rapidly tightening presidential race in the battleground states.

Right now, President Trump is speaking at a rally in Traverse City,
Michigan, part of the whirlwind five city final day tour.

Former Vice President Joe Biden also speaking at a handful of events in the
key battleground state of Pennsylvania, hosting a drive-in rally right now.
Putting his mask on or his hat on at a rally in Pittsburgh as we speak.

We have Fox team coverage with journalists found all across the country and
there they are. But first, we begin tonight overseas with some breaking
news, what appears to be a coordinated terror attack in several spots in
the Austrian capital of Vienna. Police and media there are reporting
injuries and some fatalities. It’s been breaking over the past hour. We’re
getting new information by the minute.

Correspondent Benjamin Hall has been following all the breaking
developments tonight from London. Good evening, Benjamin.

this is very much still a fluid situation and this attack is believed to be
on going. They’re looking for suspects but we’re hearing some conflicting
numbers at the moment.

But the Interior Minister has said that this is a terror attack. There are
a number of suspects and it’s been carried out in at least six different
locations all in the city center of Vienna.

At least, one person, a suspect is confirmed dead although other reports
suggest the death toll is higher, at least 15 and are wounded, including
seven seriously.

A major police operation is now underway, and the military have been
deployed onto the streets. People are being urged to stay indoors and the
city center has been evacuated.

This was a night when people have flocked out on the streets of Vienna. The
last night before a new COVID lockdown was being brought in.

Social media videos show significant exchanges of gunfire and at least one
attacker walking through the cobbled streets carrying a long gun before
being shot. We do not know what the target or the motive was or is.

The attack however started at around 8:00 p.m. local time near a major
synagogue. Although, the Jewish community president has said the synagogue
is now secure and was empty when the attacks started.

This of course comes at a time when Europe is beyond heightened alert.
France in particular has seen three attacks in the last two months
including last week’s brutal attack at a church at Nice that left three
dead. Among them were church warden and an elderly lady who was

President Macron has been on the phone with the Austrian prime minister
offering his assistance and his condolences.

But this is as I said, an ongoing situation. The attackers, there are still
believed to be some out there and the U.S. State Department now looking to
see whether any Americans have been caught up in it, Bret.

BAIER: Benjamin Hall live in London. We’ll had back for any breaking
details. Benjamin, thank you.

Now, back to the election here in the U.S., chief White House correspondent
John Roberts is in Avoca, Pennsylvania tonight where the president spoke a
few hours ago. Good evening, John.

evening to you. Hard to believe that four years has gone by already but
President Trump tonight in Wisconsin and Michigan is holding the last
campaign rallies of his presidency. The president banking that hard work
and voter enthusiasm will lead lightning to strike twice with another come
from behind victory.


second place finish.

ROBERTS: President Trump making his final campaign stop in Pennsylvania,
just outside Joe Biden’s birthplace of Scranton. President Trump predicting
the keystone state will live up to its name.

TRUMP: We win in Pennsylvania, we win the whole deal. You know that, right?

ROBERTS: The president again touting an endorsement from the Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette, the first time the paper has endorsed a Republican since
1972. An endorsement that came with its fair share of criticism.

TRUMP: They said, we don’t love his personality, we don’t love — he’s
tough (INAUDIBLE) but I have to be tough.

Look, I’ve been under investigation for before I ever became president. I
have to be tough. If I was soft, I wouldn’t be here right now.

ROBERTS: With each 20 electoral votes, Pennsylvania is a big price, one
that could insulate the president against losses elsewhere.

The president making an economic appeal to voters, continuing to slam Joe
Biden’s talk about ending the oil industry.

TRUMP: Biden’s plan to ban fracking is an economic death sentence for
Pennsylvania. Biden’s energy shutdown will wipe out your jobs, decimate
your downs, eliminate your factories and send your state into a nightmare
of crippling poverty.

ROBERTS: President Trump today keeping up the drumbeat against mail-in
voting, blasting the Supreme Court for allowing extended deadlines in
states like Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

TRUMP: What a ruling, what a ruling. What a horrible thing that they’ve
done. You know that puts our country in danger.

ROBERTS: And the president alerting that he may challenge mail-in votes
before election night is even over.

TRUMP: As soon as that election is over, we’re going in with our lawyer. We
don’t want to be in a position where he’s allowed to everyday watch ballots
come in. See if we can only find 10,000 more ballots.

ROBERTS: President Trump also indicating Dr. Anthony Fauci may not be long
for his job after a crowd of 12,000 in South Florida started up this chant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci.

ROBERTS: In an interview with The Washington Post, Fauci contrasted
President Trump’s response to coronavirus with Biden’s plan. Saying, Biden
is taking it seriously from a public health perspective while the president
is looking at it from a different perspective. Focused on the economy and
re-opening the country.

President Trump almost taking the crowds’ chant as a suggestion.

TRUMP: Don’t tell anybody but let me wait until a little bit after the
election period. I appreciate the advice.


ROBERTS: Now, as to where we go from here, the Trump campaign is already
shifting its focus to post-Election Day at what might happen in the various
states that have extended mail-in ballot deadlines.

If President Trump is doing well on election night, the Trump campaign
expects the Democrats were dismissed that as a so-called “red mirage” that
will disappear if only Democrats are allowed to keep counting ballots,

BAIER: We get to stop guessing tomorrow. John Roberts in Pennsylvania.
John, thanks.

The Democratic challenger concentrating on the Rust Belt today with events
in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Correspondent Peter Doocy is with the Biden
campaign in Pittsburgh.


the next generation of Democrats, but he does represent something

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My message is simple, the power to
change the country is in your hands.

DOOCY: The Biden team is bracing for a long Tuesday but they aren’t bracing
for a loss Tuesday.

Trump be declared a victory — a victor on election night and we think that
that’s really fundamental to how we want to approach tomorrow.

DOOCY: There’s an easy way to avoid confusion if President Trump
prematurely declares victory tomorrow according to Kamala Harris.

we plan to decisively win this election. So, I don’t — I don’t think we’re
going to need to get to that point.

DOOCY: At Biden H.Q., officials are reading the tea leaves and a ton of raw

DILLON: We see that roughly 50 million people have voted across our
battleground states. We believe that that puts the vice president and
Democrats in a real advantage.

DOOCY: Even if results remain inconclusive, Biden is set to speak in
Delaware after polls close.

DILLON: My expectation is that the vice president will address the American
people probably late.

DOOCY: For the first time in more than a month today, Biden visited Ohio.

BIDEN: Ohio in 2008 and 2012, you’ve placed your trust in me and Barack. In
2020, I’m asking you to trust me again.

DOOCY: Then he stopped in the state he’s been the most by far.

BIDEN: We’re going to win Pennsylvania.

DOOCY: The closing argument, the COVID-19 can be handled differently.

BIDEN: Trump said, he was going to fire Dr. Fauci, isn’t that wonderful? I
got a better idea, elect me and I’m going to hire Dr. Fauci. And we’re
going to fire Donald Trump.

DOOCY: And a pre-COVID-19 argument remains central to his pitch.

BIDEN: The character of America is literally on the ballot.

DOOCY: The biggest problem he has with Trump’s character, grows from a
disputed Atlantic article that claimed the president once called service
members suckers and losers.

BIDEN: My son came home, and he died of cancer but he came home, and guess
what? He was no loser. Trump’s the loser.


DOOCY: Something just happened that was unthinkable early in the primaries,
Lady Gaga who over the weekend posted a video seen as controversial because
she was dressed as a parody of rural Americans, joined Joe Biden to greet
canvassers at a nearby college campus who are holding signs that said,
we’re Gaga for Joe and Kamala. You can see the video right there.

From here, Biden is heading to a larger drive-in event at Heinz Field where
the Steelers play. He says that at this next event, Lady Gaga is going to
be speak while he sings. And if he was joking, then he’s got quite a poker
face, Bret.

BAIER: Well done. See what you did there. Peter, thank you.

The Texas Supreme Court and a federal judge have both denied a Republican
led effort to toss nearly 127,000 ballots cast at drive-through voting
places in the Houston area. Conservative Texas activists have railed
against expanded voting access in Harris County where a record 1.4 million
early votes have already been cast.

Many analysts predict the presidential race will come down to one state,
we’ve mentioned it a couple times tonight, Pennsylvania.

Tonight, correspondent Bryan Llenas in Harrisburg tells us it could be a
while before we find out who wins the keystone state.


GOV. TOM WOLF (D-PA): Because of the coronavirus there were millions of
votes cast by mail, so it may take longer than usual to count every vote.

appearing in an ad urging patience. The state’s top elections official also
warning candidates not to declare victory in the keystone state prematurely
on Tuesday night.

unsubstantiated in every way, shape or form where somebody to declare
victory when at — you know, fraction of the ballots are counted.

LLENAS: Pollsters warn of what’s called the red mirage. President Trump
will likely appear to be ahead on election night in Pennsylvania because
most Republican voters are choosing to vote in-person and not by mail.

be surprised to see Donald Trump up by 20-25 points on election night in
Pennsylvania because of the Election Day vote being counted right away.
It’s the rest of the vote, the early vote that came in nearly three million
votes are ballots were sent out. Those are overwhelmingly Democratic.

LLENAS: A record three million mail-in ballots have been sent in the
Commonwealth, 2.4 million have already been returned.

By law, Pennsylvania’s 67 counties cannot begin processing the ballots
until Election Day morning. The majority are expected to be counted by
Friday. Philadelphia will sort through some 400,000 mail-in ballots.

JIM KENNEY (D), MAYOR OF PHILADELPHIA: Getting a tally of mail-in ballots
will easily take a few days.

LLENAS: Pennsylvania’s 20 critical electoral votes could come down to a
legal fight between President Trump and Pennsylvania’s Democratic Attorney
General over the validity of mail-in ballots.

the votes are added up here in Pennsylvania, then Donald Trump is going to
lose this election.


LLENAS: Trump’s campaign believes they have the momentum to win. Josh
Shapiro is now facing criticism for saying the president will lose
Pennsylvania. Critics say, it gives Trump voters the perception that
Pennsylvania’s process is somehow rigged given that the Attorney General
has chosen a side in such a contentious election, Bret.

BAIER: Bryan Llenas in Harrisburg. Bryan, thanks.

There are now more than 9-1/2 — 9-1/4 million COVID-19 cases in the United
States. Reuters is reporting 31 states set records in October for increases
in new cases, 21 for hospitalized COVID-19 patients and 14 states for
record increases in deaths.

The public school system in Washington D.C. is canceling plans to return
some students to classrooms November 9th. Negotiations with teachers failed
there to come up with a way to reopen the facility safely.

Cities and states across the country are adding restrictions or pausing the
reopening process in Massachusetts where Governor Charlie Baker has issued
a new stay at home advisory and mask order. Governor Baker is also limiting
indoor gatherings in Massachusetts to 10 people in your house and the
outdoors at 25.

Much of the rhetoric and logistics of the campaign have been dictated or
influenced by the coronavirus pandemic. Tonight, correspondent Kevin Corke
has that part of the story from Columbus, Ohio.


this spacious state, there are growing concerns about the possible spread
of the coronavirus. Indeed, Governor Mike DeWine took to Twitter, warning
Buckeye State voters to remain vigilant. Noting that 78 percent of them
were living in counties with very high exposure and spread of the virus.

GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): We also share a common enemy. One that cares not
whether we vote for Donald Trump or Joe Biden. An enemy that is relentless
and now clearly on the march.

CORKE: And the numbers back up his concern. With Ohio hitting a new 24-hour
record this past Friday, with more than 3,800 positive cases. But it’s
important to point out, there’s been a surge of testing here too.

With over a hundred thousand test state wide on Thursday and Friday alone,
compare that to daily rates of just 31,000 a few days earlier and fewer
than 18,000 on a Monday in early September.

Voters here ignored long lines today and some ignored their fears about the

JOE LANIER, VOTER, OHIO: As long as you wear your mask and stay socially
distant, I believe it’s pretty safe.

JOSEPH BERGMAN, VOTER, OHIO: I feel pretty safe, I’m not real. This COVID
thing doesn’t really bother me that much.

Oh, not safe at all. I think I’m going to go get tested.

CORKE: It’s not just Ohio that’s battling a new wave of cases, the virus is
spreading nationwide. With faster upticks in Florida, Georgia, Iowa,
Minnesota, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Texas
according to new data from Johns Hopkins University.


CORKE: Ohio has been planning since spring for this election day in their
nearly 4,000 polling locations across the state.

FRANK LAROSE, SECRETARY OF STATE, OHIO: We’re following a 61-point
checklist that we devised with the Center for Disease Control, as well as
the Ohio Department of Health.


CORKE: So far, Bret, here in Ohio, there have been more than 4.5 million
COVID-19 cases and a state that’s already had more than 200,000 cases and
over 5,000 deaths. But most of those deaths, by the way, occurred with
comorbidities. Bret.

BAIER: Kevin Corke, live in Columbus, Ohio. Kevin, thank you.

Up next, Brit Hume on what the race looks like tonight on election day eve.
But as we head to the break, let’s listen in to President Trump. He’s
speaking to supporters in Traverse City, Michigan.


TRUMP: — running against a lot of very talented people. And then we had a
run against a very talented crooked machine. Joe Biden is bought and paid
for by big tech, big media, and powerful special interests. You saw that
over the last couple of weeks.

All the corruption and they refused to even talk about it. Could you
imagine if I got 3-1/2 million from the mayor of Moscow’s wife? Or one of
my kids took 3-1/2 million from — can you imagine that?

And they refuse to even discuss it. They don’t want to discuss it, where
there is no proof. They now say, the laptop from hell was produced by
Russia. This was Schiff, watermelon head, right?

The laptop was produced by Russia. And we say, oh, no, not again. Now, John
Ratcliffe came out immediately. He’s great, he’s doing a great job. He said
it was not produced by Russia, so — but that’s what they try and do, they
do disinformation. They’re the biggest disinformation group, I’ll tell you.

They owned him. They control Biden —



BAIER: We brought you President Trump in Traverse City, Michigan. We’ll dip
back in there in a bit, and we’re also going to take you to Biden event in
Pittsburgh later on here on Fox News Channel.

We welcome in senior political analyst Brit Hume, always part — an
integral part of our election coverage for years and years. Good evening,


BAIER: What’s your thought, you know, on this election eve and where things

HUME: Well, it appears to me that Donald Trump has made up some ground, but
it’s impossible to tell at this stage, Bret, whether this is simply the
natural tightening that we see in presidential races and many other races
as well as you get down to the very end of the campaign.

Probably that’s what it is, but it’s not impossible that what we’re
witnessing here is a surge of support for him that might be enough to carry
him through to victory.

Obviously, there’s no way to tell, but we see these signs of things that we
haven’t seen before that summit. That Iowa poll on Sunday that came from
the highly reputable Des Moines register pollster that had Trump suddenly
seven points up. What’s that all about?

And then, of course, we have these spontaneous demonstrations of support
for Trump in the form of these motor caravans that are happening all over
the country not organized by the campaign.

So, there’s an enthusiasm factor here but it’s — you know, it’s really
unclear what it would be enough to bring him from behind.

BAIER: Yes, it seems like the window is there for President Trump, it
depends on the electorate that shows up tomorrow.

HUME: Right.

BAIER: But the possibility that it ends in phil — in Philadelphia, I say,
Harrisburg or Pennsylvania in some kind of legal battle brings us back to
Tallahassee, Florida in 2000. You sent me to cover that. Let’s take a
little listen to that.


BAIER: New development tonight in the fight for Florida’s 25 electoral
votes and the White House. Sources close to Florida Secretary of State
Katherine Harris, say she has decided to stand firm on a Tuesday 5:00 p.m.
deadline to certify all county results. Which means, counties not finished
with their hand recounts would be voided, and this race could be over.


BAIER: Who is that guy bouncing around courtroom.


HUME: Yes, exactly, (INAUDIBLE). You look more like yourself then than I do
like myself then.

BAIER: But were you — are you thinking that we could have another

HUME: Well, it looks like there could be legal challenges in Pennsylvania.
Of course, as you recall, Bret, when that happened in Florida, they broke
out all over the state as results were being — had been counted. But that
recounts were being sought by the Democrats in these parts of the state,
where they thought they would harvest some previously undiscovered votes.
They didn’t want to recount in the places where they didn’t think that.

And the — and the battle raged for — as you remember, Bret, for 37 days,
before it was finally settled when the Supreme Court said this is not being
done properly and called it all off.

At that point, George W. Bush who had been declared the winner on election
night was the winner, and all later recounts done by private organizations,
and so forth, vindicated that decision by the Supreme Court.

But it was a tense and intense time, and it was a big day as you may
recall, Bret for Fox News. Because we thought early that this was a big
deal and we sent you and Jim Angle to do the legal cases, which you guys
did a great job of. And we sent others to the state of Florida and we, you
know, we just about dropped covering the campaigns, and it did a lot for
our audience response. Then, and it was a — and it was a — it was a — it
was a good job well done that I think helped us with the — with the

I remember it vividly. I remember staying up late at night reading florida
case law on the Internet which may sound slightly insane, but it was an
insane time.


BAIER: That’s right. Well, get your Pennsylvania law ready, who knows.
Brit, as always. Thank you. See you tomorrow.

HUME: Yes. Thank you, Bret.

BAIER: Up next, we take you to the second largest voting jurisdiction in
the country as campaign surrogates make their final push before election
day. First, “BEYOND OUR BORDERS” tonight.

Gunmen in Afghanistan storm Kabul University as it hosts a book fair
attended by the Iranian ambassador. That sparked an hours-long gun battle,
leaving at least 22 dead, 22 wounded there at war-torn — that war-torn
country’s largest school. most of those casualties were students.

Rescuers have pulled two children from the rubble of a deadly earthquake in
the Turkish coastal city. The quake has left at least 93 people dead in
Turkey and Greece. U.S. geological survey rated the quake as magnitude
seven, though other agencies recorded it as less severe.

And the driver of a metro train in the Netherlands escapes injury when the
front of a carriage rams through the end of an elevated section of rails.
It’s caught by a sculpture of a whale’s tail. It happened near the Dutch
port of Rotterdam.

Images broadcast on dutch media show the metro suspended on the whale’s
tail several yards above the ground.

And obviously, “BEYOND OUR BORDERS” as well, following those terrorist
attacks over in the Netherlands, we are watching that for “BREAKING NEWS”.

Just some of the other stories “BEYOND OUR BORDERS” tonight, we’ll be right


BAIER: You may be surprised to learn, the second largest voting
jurisdiction in the country is Maricopa County, Arizona. Presidential
campaigns are very aware of that fact and have flooded the zone with

Senior correspondent Alicia Acuna shows us tonight from Glendale.


DONALD TRUMP JR., PRESIDENT TRUMP’S SON: Things are worth fighting for,
right, folks? And that’s what we got to do today and tomorrow.

Arizona by 91,000 votes in2016. The narrow win spooked Republicans and
energized Democrats.

JULIAN CASTRO, (D) FORMER HUD SECRETARY:  Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are
going to fight for every single vote. They know that we can’t take anything
for granted.

ACUNA:  In the Real Clear Politics average, Trump and Biden were nearly
tied in Arizona for the first couple of months in 2020. But as coronavirus
cases surged, so did Biden’s lead. But after seven visits here by the
president, the race is once again close.

safe that we are going to win Arizona. But even if, for some reason, we
didn’t have Arizona, we could pick off of Nevada.

ACUNA:  Recently, two prominent Arizona Republicans, former Senator Jeff
Flake and Cindy McCain, the wife of the late Senator John McCain, said they
will support Joe Biden. In Maricopa County, more than 90 percent of voters
have returned their ballots, m Many of them at touchless drop centers like
this one in the parking lot of the stadium where the Arizona Cardinals

SEN. MARTHA MCSALLY, (R-AZ):  Everything is the line!

ACUNA:  Turnout will matter in another crucial race underway in the Grand
Canyon state, where incumbent Republican Martha McSally is fighting to
maintain her seat and help her party hold onto its upper chamber majority.

MCSALLY:  It’s all going to be who gets their ballot. And the only part
that matters is when they are counted up with the final vote count.

MARK KELLY, (D) ARIZONA SENATE CANDIDATE:  This is where the rubber meets
the road.

ACUNA:  Challenger, Democrat Mark Kelly, who is targeting seniors, Latinos,
and young people, leads in most polls.

KELLY:  Washington has failed the state of Arizona and this country on so
many issues.

ACUNA:  In the final hours, the Trump campaign is counting on Arizona
Republicans to stick to tradition and vote on Election Day.


ACUNA:  And the Real Clear Politics average has been changing by the hour
at times. Latest check, Biden leads the president at 0.5 percent. Bret?

BAIER:  Alicia, thank you.

There are growing concerns tonight about election-related protests,
possibly even violence in the coming days. We saw some of it over the
weekend. National correspondent William La Jeunesse is in Los Angeles
tonight with the story.


police in North Carolina used pepper spray to disperse a get out the vote
rally blocking traffic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They didn’t tell anybody, but you’re supposed to be
behind these cones or either behind that fence, so not in the roadway.

LA JEUNESSE:  In New York, Trump’s caravans blocked roads.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We shut it down, baby. We shut it down.

LA JEUNESSE:  While in Texas, Friday, Democrats blamed Trump supporters for
causing an accident near a Biden campaign bus, though police now say video
shows Biden staffers in a separate vehicle appear at fault.

GOV. KATE BROWN, (D-OR):  I want to be very, very clear that voter
intimidation and political violence will not be tolerated.

LA JEUNESSE:  In Oregon, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and New Jersey, the
National Guard will help police keep the peace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I’m anxious, honestly.

LA JEUNESSE:  Across the U.S., cities brace for trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No matter who wins, I think there is going to be some
unrest. So I’m a little scared.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I’m nervous about that, too.

LA JEUNESSE:  Merchants are boarding up storefronts, hoping to stop looters
and vandals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If somebody breaks your windows, that’s more than a
couple thousand dollars for these windows. So you could have paid for some
plywood and not had a problem with that.

LA JEUNESSE:  Beverly Hills hired 80 private armed guards to help secure
its famed Rodeo Drive, where officials banned vehicles and pedestrians on
Election Day and beyond.

AARON PESKIN, (D) SAN FRANCISCO SUPERVISOR:  Every police officer in San
Francisco will be on duty this coming Tuesday night.

LA JEUNESSE:  Most police departments are on tactical alert, meaning no
vacation AND 12-hour shifts. In D.C., officials told university students to
stockpile food and medicine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We I went to the grocery store on Saturday just to make
sure that we had a week, week-and-a-half’s worth of food. I think we might
be on the more cautious side, but it’s better safe than sorry.


LA JEUNESSE:  Because some states don’t even begin counting mail-in ballots
until Election Day, we could see that initial lopsided, then seesaw results
that feed doubt, anxiety, and maybe protests, and for some, an opportunity
for crime. Bret?

BAIER:  William, thank you.

Stocks were up today. The Dow surged 423, the S&P 500 gained 40, the Nasdaq
finished ahead 46.

Up next, we talk to a panel of political reporters in different
battleground states about what to expect on Election Day. As we had to
break, we’ll listen back in to President Trump in Michigan.

loser. I mean, he loses the first time.


TRUMP:  And he goes back. He’s like, no hard feelings. He loses the second
time horribly, the way they took — the Democrats took advantage of Bernie
Sanders and everybody that he represents. But they are looking to take over
Joe. They agreed to the manifesto, I call it. You have to see what’s in
that one. Joe Biden is promising to delay the vaccine and turn America into
a prison state. That’s what he wants, locking you in your home while
letting the far-left rioters, so they can — so the rioters and the
looters, the anarchists, Antifa, they can go knock the hell out of you,
roam your streets, set your stores on fire. No problem. That’s called
protesting. We must protect our protesters. But you are not allowed to go
to church. You are not allowed to have dinner, right? The only one allowed
to have dinner in this state is the husband of your governor.



BAIER:  All right, let’s bring in a panel of political journalists tonight
from the battleground states, the key ones, Steve Contorno, political
editor of the “Tampa Bay Times,” Scott Bauer is Associated Press state
house reporter based in Madison, Wisconsin, Candy Woodall is a reporter for
USA Today Network, Pennsylvania Capital Bureau, and Travis Fain is a
political and state house reporter, WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina. I
used to work there. Good to see all of you. Thanks for being here.

Candy, I want to start with you, because there’s a lot of folks, I mean a
lot of focus on Pennsylvania. If you look at the Real Clear Politics
average of polls, it’s getting narrow. It’s Biden by 2.9. If you look back
to 2016, this was Clinton by 1.9 heading into Election Day. What is it like
on the ground there?

CANDY WOODALL, “USA TODAY”:  It’s a very close race, and that’s evident
pretty much anywhere you go. I’m actually watching the margins in the red
counties right now, which might seem different than what you usually hear,
but Democrats for decades were able to win Pennsylvania by winning
Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and the Philadelphia suburbs alone. President
Trump turned that campaign strategy on its head in 2016 when he drove the
margins so high in the red counties, the Democrats couldn’t make up the

BAIER:  So Candy, we only know the ballots out were requested, right? It’s
like 2.4 million. We don’t have a sense of either party breakdown or what
came back in.

WOODALL:  Sure. So about 3 million ballots have been requested at this
point, and about 2 million have been returned. So we’re expecting a large
turnout of Republican voters at the polls tomorrow.

BAIER:  Yes, OK, Steve, lets head down to Florida, your neck of the woods.
Again another tight race, the RCP average has Biden plus 1.7, again,
Florida, Florida, Florida. It’s always Florida. What are you seeing?

STEVE CONTORNO, “TAMPA BAY TIMES”:  Yet, like we saw in Pennsylvania, a
very close race here as well. We’ve already had 9 million people vote,
which is breaking every early voting record that we’ve seen. And really,
the question is, how many people now turn out tomorrow? Is it just a lot of
people have shifted to voting early, sending in mail-in ballots? Or is
there going to be a high turnout tomorrow as well where we get 75, maybe 80
percent turnout in some of these very large counties?

BAIER:  Steve, “Politico” writes this about Florida strategies, “There’s a
high degree of worry among Democratic insiders than Republicans because the
GOP has won more top of the ticket races in Florida despite having fewer
registered voters overall and despite a spate of pre-Election Day polls
that show Biden with a narrow lead.” You buy that?

CONTORNO:  Yes, Democrats haven’t done very well in statewide races that
don’t include President Obama on the ticket, which is why I think you have
seen President Obama spend so much time in Florida this past week. He was
in Miami today. He was in the Orlando area earlier. And there is just a lot
of emphasis on bringing that Biden-Obama connection back, trying to
convince that 2012 coalition of voters to come back home and vote for Joe
Biden this election.

BAIER:  OK, Scott, let’s head over to the badger state here, Wisconsin. A
little bit more heading in of a spread for Joe Biden, 6.6 in the average of
polls. But the president spent some time there on the ground in Wisconsin.
What are you seeing?

SCOTT BAUER, ASSOCIATED PRESS:  Yes, the president is on his way here right
now to Wisconsin for one of his last stops of the campaign. We have 1.9
million votes in already, about nine times more mail balloting than we did
in 2016. The president won Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes. Democrats
and Republicans, frankly, both feel like at this point it looks like Biden
is ahead here. But the president has made multiple stops in the past week.
Biden was here on Friday. It’s definitely a state that no one is taking for
granted at this point.

BAIER:  Yes, and is there a sense that to get out the vote operation on the
ground is different between the two parties, and that’s making a

BAUER:  Republicans feel really confident about their get out the vote
operation here. Democrats also feel like their early vote operation was
highly successful. The numbers coming in, a lot of huge numbers from
Democratic counties. We don’t know what parties people return their ballots
are from, but we do know that the Democratic counties had a huge early vote
turnout. So as in these other states, a lot of it is going to depend on who
shows up tomorrow at the polls, will there be enough Republicans who show
up on Election Day to counter what a lot of people think is a very heavy
Democratic early turnout.

BAIER:  Yes, OK, Travis, you’re up here. North Carolina, again, this has
Trump 0.5 in the average of Real Clear Politics, 0.5 percent. And obviously
you also have a very tight Senate race down there. What are you seeing on
the ground?

TRAVIS FAIN, WRAL-TV:  It’s extremely tight, kind of the tightest of the
tight that we’ve talked about right here. And The 0.5 percent for Trump in
the Real Clear Politics average, that was 0.7 percent for Biden at the end
of last week. So this is probably going to come down to the wire in the
presidential race.

The Senate race is not quite as close. It’s close, but the average has been
I think about two percent for Cal Cunningham, the Democrat facing Senator
Thom Tillis here. And the numbers really have not moved much against
Cunningham, even though an affair was exposed that he had had. That was a
little bit surprising. But that one, the numbers just have not moved a ton
in that one.

BAIER:  So when you look at that early vote, you have got mail-in at
937,000, in-person, 3.6 million. Those are huge numbers. But what does that
tell you, where it’s coming from, and can you divine who is benefiting from

FAIN I’m cautious about trying to divine things, especially, since people
will know if I was wrong or not by tomorrow. But I think we’re still going
to have pretty good turnout tomorrow. If we get a million voters tomorrow,
I won’t be surprised. And will get us kind of getting close to record
turnout territory. And we are just going to have to see.

BAIER:  I love saying that, because we will see tomorrow, finally. Scott
and Steve, Candy and Travis, we really appreciate your time, the local
perspective. Thanks a lot.

When we come back, our other panel on what to expect when the polls open in
just a few hours.



power, they will collapse our economy and send our nation into a
depression. Biden will raise your taxes $4 trillion, massively increase
your regulations.

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  We are going to start rewarding work,
not wealth. We’re not going to raise taxes on anybody making less than
$400,000 bucks a year. But if you make more than that, guess what. You are
going to start paying your fair share. You’re going to start stepping up.


BAIER:  There it is, the two candidates, final pitches. Let’s bring in our
panel, Josh Kraushaar is politics editor for the “National Journal,”
pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, and Chris Stirewalt is politics editor
here at FOX News. I have the election nerd with me, is that what you said,


BAIER:  All right, Kristen, what are you looking for when we get to
tomorrow? It’s finally Election Day tomorrow.

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, POLLSTER:  Well, I’m going to look to see what
types of counties are seeing the biggest surges in turnout. We know that in
states like Texas and Georgia, places that we didn’t think of as swing
states not too many election cycles ago, are suddenly in question in part
because so many people have decided they want to participate this year.

And even though this has been in some ways an incredible presidential
election where President Trump’s job approval has stayed pretty flat all
year, where the national polls have stayed pretty flat for the last couple
of months, this huge surge in turnout and where it’s coming from is adding
a level of uncertainty into this process. So I want to see where votes are
coming from.

BAIER:  Josh, we’ve noticed the Biden campaign seems to be zeroing in on
Pennsylvania. Two more stops today from the former vice president. This as
“The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette” endorsed President Trump. The newspaper has
not supported a Republican for president since 1972. But it goes on to say
“we believe Mr. Trump, for all his faults, is the better choice for this
year.” Your thoughts about Pennsylvania, and what are you looking for?

a lot of time spent counting votes in Pennsylvania. So if it’s a close
race, we could be spending days in Pennsylvania just like we did in Florida
in 2000. But I’m looking closely at the sun belt, the southern states,
Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. And if Democrats have a good night,
and we’ll know early, we’ll be counting a lot of those southern states
quicker than we do those midwestern states, if Biden wins any one of those
sunbelt states, it’s a very, very good sign for Democrats across the board,
especially Joe Biden. Especially those seniors in Florida, that’s a
demographic I’m looking very closely at. If Joe Biden does well in Florida,
makes inroads with seniors in Florida, that’s a very encouraging sign for
the Democrats.

BAIER:  Chris, you are on our Decision Desk. We have been waiting for this
day to come. It’s now, what is it, five hours and something away? What is
it like to finally get numbers, and what are you looking for?

have been preparing for this moment since 2016 when we left the exit
polling consortium that frustrated and disappointed everybody in every
election night for so many years, and we made our own mousetrap, the FOX
News voter analysis. That gives us more data, more information than anybody
else. It puts us in the catbird seat.

We didn’t know there was going to be a pandemic, and we didn’t know that
early and absentee voting was going to go up 50 percent this year. But boy,
are we happy that we did it. So the way we feel is like we have tried it
out in 2018, we’ve tested it out, we have this great thing. And we’re just
excited to get to turn it on. We are like the Death Star. We are excited to
have a fully operational space station.

BAIER:  But it’s a benevolent Death Star.

STIREWALT:  We’ll see. We’ll see how you do.


BAIER:  Kristen, early in the night, we will get Florida, Georgia, North
Carolina. It is so close in those states. But we should have a picture from
some of those key places inside those states as you were talking about.

ANDERSON:  That’s right. And I’m going to be looking at countries like
Sumter County in Florida, for instance. It’s where The Villages is. As Josh
was mentioning earlier, the senior vote is so important to both of these
coalitions, for Republicans to sustain their leads, and for Democrats to
make big inroads.

I will also be looking at a county like Seminole County which is just
north, it’s like the north Orlando suburbs. It’s the type of place that
Republicans typically do fairly well in but Democrats have been trying to
make inroads there.

But in those exit polls, rather FOX News’ voter analysis, the question I’m
going to be looking at is, what our people’s top issue? There tends to be
this interesting gap between voters who say they approve on Trump on the
economy but they are not sure they are going to vote for him. If a lot of
voters are saying the economy is my number one issue, that’s a good sign
for Trump early in the night.

BAIER:  I found it interesting talking to those reporters in the different
battleground states, John, and talking to the guy from, Travis from North
Carolina, suggesting maybe the Senate race is a little bit further apart,
at least in his view, than the presidential race. How much do you think
President Trump lifts some of those Senate races, the GOP, because that’s
obviously going to be a big part of the night as well?

KRAUSHAAR:  Yes, these Senate races are all nationalized. They’re all about
President Trump. And if you don’t like President Trump, a lot of the
Republicans thought that Thom Tillis had a really good chance to emerge in
the lead after the sex scandal for his Democratic opponent. But what a lot
of Republicans are seeing is that everything is so nationalized, that
people are just casting straight ticket ballots more and more. So while
they’re could be a surprise in North Carolina, Thom Tillis, their campaign
has hoped that they can break out at the very end, but straight party
tickets are so much more common these days. So it’s really hard to see
senators running ahead of the Trump ticket. In fact, Republican senators
need Trump more than ever even no matter what his job approval rating ends
up being.

BAIER:  When will we know, Chris? When will we know, some picture tomorrow?

STIREWALT:  We’ve got to think about it this way. If it’s a big Biden win,
it will be pretty clear pretty early, right. If he has met or exceeded his
polls, you would expect to see stuff shape up pretty soon, we’re talking
about Florida and the Carolinas. If it’s close, we could be talking about
days. If this comes down to Pennsylvania, which it very well may, it may be
the end of the week before we really know.

BAIER:  Harrisburg is really nice this time of year.

STIREWALT:  It’s lovely.

BAIER:  All right, thank you all.

When we come back, a preview of tomorrow night. Keep it here.


BAIER:  Finally tonight, 24 hours from right now, some polls will be
closing in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont, and
Virginia. And we will be off to the races in a long night, possibly days,
of election coverage. I hope you join us for that. It will be something.

We start at 6:00 we just don’t know when we end. Thanks everybody for
letting us into your home tonight. That’s it for the SPECIAL REPORT. Fair,
balanced and still unafraid.

Martha, are you ready?

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