A rush transcript of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” airing on Sunday, November 1, 2020 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.
ANNOUNCER: “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos starts right now.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS CHIEF ANCHOR: The finish line in sight.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It’s time for Donald Trump to pack his bags and go home.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to win four more years in that very beautiful White House.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Closing arguments.
TRUMP: You are so lucky I’m your president.
BIDEN: We need a president who is going to bring us together, not pull us apart.
STEPHANOPOULOS: In this COVID election.
TRUMP: We’re rounding the turn.
BIDEN: He’s rounding the bend.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Trump defending his 2016 turf.
TRUMP: Hello, Michigan. This was the scene of a great victory.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Biden trying to expand the map.
BIDEN: Something is happening here in Georgia and across America.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Flooding the zone in the final hours.
BARACK OBAMA, 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I love Joe Biden. And he will be a great president.
MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Imagine what he will get done in four more years.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Just two days to go. Two starkly different visions for America. More than 92 million ballots already cast in this unprecedented election. We cover it all this morning with our political team, the latest analysis, the newest polls. Both campaigns are here. Nate Silver’s final forecast plus our legal team and powerhouse round table on what to watch for Tuesday night.
Announcer: From ABC News, this is a special edition of “This Week”, “Your Voice Your Vote 2020.”
Here now, Chief Anchor, George Stephanopoulos.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning and welcome to “This Week.”
We are in the final hours now of what maybe the most fraught election of our lifetimes. With two days to go, Americans are on edge and engaged. More than 92 million of us have already voted. That’s two third of the total votes cast in 2016. When all the votes are counted, it is all but certain more than 150 million Americans will weigh in for the first time in history.
That counting may take some time in this election transformed by the pandemic. We are braced for that as well. And everyone watching at home should know that is not a sign that anything has gone wrong.
This morning we’re here to give you our best sense of where things stand right now, what to watch for Tuesday night and beyond. And we begin with our brand new polls with “The Washington Post” from the two most critical battle grounds in this election.
Florida is a toss up with President Trump at 50 among likely voters, Biden at 48. That’s down from a four point lead for Trump in our last poll. In Pennsylvania, the former vice president leads by seven points, 51/44. That’s down from a nine point lead in our last poll.
Trump spent the day in Pennsylvania yesterday. Biden will be there all day tomorrow. And as we head into the final stretch, let’s get the latest on what’s happening inside the campaigns from Jon Karl covering Trump and Mary Bruce covering Biden.
Jon, start us off.
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: George, the president is in an all-out sprint to Election Day. Look where he is just today, rallies in Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Tomorrow another five rallies in four different states. The last one in Grand Rapids, Michigan. That’s where he had his last rally in 2016.
For a guy who was literally in the hospital with COVID-19, on oxygen, this is really something of a marvel. And there’s even talk, George, that he may do one last rally on Election Day itself.
He has — he pulled off a massive upset victory four years ago. He is doing everything that he can physically do to do it again. Although this would be a bigger upset than four years ago.
STEPHANOPOULOS: These huge rallies in the face of warnings from public health officials.
KARL: Yes, no doubt. And because of those warnings, these rallies are outdoors. So he is drawing people by the thousands, going to rallies in some cases bone chilling temperatures, facing the very real threat of getting infected with coronavirus. It’s really a reflection of how deep his support is, how fervent his support is.
Yesterday in Pennsylvania — think about it, Pennsylvania, four different rallies, all packed. And, George, at some of these rallies — really at most of them now, they actually start chanting “We love you” to the president.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And what’s your sense of what the Trump team is really thinking behind the scenes of what their chances are Tuesday?
KARL: Well, they know it’s really tough. They acknowledge first of all that winning any of those states that pushed him over the top last time, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, is very difficult. What they believe is they believe they can hold on to all of the other states he won and then pick off one of those, most likely being Pennsylvania. (INAUDIBLE) —
STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s got to be Pennsylvania.
KARL: But that, of course, means that he has to win in several states where he is now down in the polls.
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. Let’s go to Mary Bruce with the Biden campaign.
Pennsylvania is the epicenter this time, Mary.
MARY BRUCE, ABC NEWS SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is George. And in these final hours, Biden’s team is laser-focused on this key state.
Joe Biden will be in Philadelphia today. And then tomorrow he’s barnstorming Pennsylvania. In fact, every member, all four principles (ph), will be fanned out across Pennsylvania tomorrow.
This state is critical for Joe Biden. But his team does see a path to 270 without it. So at this point it is just an all-out push to get out the vote in this state, where we may not know final results for several days, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Mary, that path to 270 without Pennsylvania runs right through the Sun Belt.
BRUCE: It does. And the — Joe Biden has been spending a lot of time in this final push trying to win back those Trump states that he won in 2016, that Biden is hoping he can flip. We have seen him out in places like Florida, Georgia, even in Iowa. He’s been sending his running mate, Kamala Harris, out to Texas and North Carolina.
And, of course, Joe Biden is always focused on rebuilding that blue wall. So we saw him out in Michigan — or in Wisconsin on Friday and then in Michigan yesterday, in his first joint event with President Obama.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Mary, how would you describe the mood inside the Biden camp (ph)?
BRUCE: They are keenly aware of the dynamics four years ago so they are truly, truly cautious. I think there are glimmers of optimism from Biden’s team, but they are not taking anything for granted which is why you are going to see them out there campaigning so aggressively right up until the final moments, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mary Bruce, thanks very much.
Let’s bring in Tom Llamas now from along (ph) the battle grounds, along with Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight.
And, Tom, let’s take a look first at those six states we’ve been keeping such a tight focus on all year long. That’s where the campaigns are spending the most money and the most time.
TOM LLAMAS, ABC NEWS CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That’s right, George. These are the big six battle ground states. We’ve been monitoring them for months.
In this column right here, here they are, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona and Florida. In this column you have the president’s margin of victory four years ago. And you can see right here in the first three it was less than a percentage point. And in this column here we have our polling average from our friends at FiveThirtyEight. Joe Biden on top in every single one of those six states.
So what’s changed since the last debate? Because some things have changed, minimal but there have been changes.
So let’s talk about where Joe Biden has increased his lead in the polls. Michigan and Wisconsin, part of that blue wall for Democrats. In North Carolina and Arizona the polls have actually tightened a bit. Joe Biden’s come down a little bit, but minimal. But in Pennsylvania and Florida there has been change. Joe Biden has come down a point in nearly each of these states.
Of course, you just mentioned our poll out today, Donald Trump on top in Florida. In Pennsylvania, Joe Biden is on top. But, George, Republicans always say a lot of the polls were wrong four years ago.
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Tom, stand by.
Nate Silver, where’s your forecast this morning?
NATE SILVER, FIVETHIRTYEIGHT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF AND ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: So we have Trump with a 10 percent shot and Biden with a 90 percent shot. So at (ph) 10 percent things happen fairly often. At the same time you could have a polling error, the (INAUDIBLE) 2016 and instead of losing all these states by a point, then Biden would win Pennsylvania by a point or two; Michigan by two or three points; Arizona by a point.
So that little extra cushion, maybe people who didn’t like Clinton and Trump, but can tolerate Biden, might be enough, even if there is a polling miss.
STEPHANOPOULOS: On the other hand, if you had a polling error like 2012?
SILVER: Then you could see Obama over — or, rather, Biden over perform, right? He might win states like Texas, for example. By the way, in the Hispanic-rich states, Democrats have sometimes beaten their polls. It’s a harder group to necessarily get on the phone and so there are like lots of upside cases for Biden. And there are also cases where he wins in a squeaker but like — but I’m sure everyone’s kind of concerned about that 10 percent chance, which will happen.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, yes. You say you spend — you tweeted the other day you spend 90 percent of your time thinking about that 10 percent.
So when you think about that and you’re writing the headline, writing the story on Wednesday that Donald Trump won, what would be the key factors?
SILVER: It think it would come down to Pennsylvania. The fact that, as Tom said, Pennsylvania has not bumped up to a 7 or 8-point Biden lead like we see in Michigan and Wisconsin. It’s 5 points.
It’s not a big early voting state so a lot of the votes have not yet been cast in Pennsylvania. Among the votes that were sent in by mail, there are some provisions about a naked ballot, a security envelope. That could make things more complicated. You could have the courts involved. You have some protests looting in Philadelphia, right?
There’s lots of stuff going on. And maybe a lot of little things add up and Biden loses Pennsylvania by half a point and then he doesn’t quite pull off Arizona or North Carolina. I mean he does have other options, right?
I mean North Carolina is a state where a lot of the vote (ph) is in, Obama won it in ’07 — in ’08 when it looked very similar nationally so that could be a problem for the GOP. Arizona — but still, without Pennsylvania, then Biden becomes an underdog.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s take a look at those options with Tom Llamas down there. Let’s look at the path to 270, Tom. The clearest one, of course, is Joe Biden rerunning 2016 but flipping those blue states up in the northern tier.
LLAMAS: That’s right. So, George, this is the map how it ended up on election night four years ago.
As you mention, if Joe Biden is able to flip that blue wall that collapsed four years ago — look at his election — his electoral totals there. Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, that puts him over the top at 278.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But then show what happens if Donald Trump does then take Pennsylvania.
LLAMAS: If Donald Trump is able to hold Pennsylvania and the rest of the states that he won four years ago, take a look, he’s at 280. He stays president.
But here’s where it gets really tricky, George. If Joe Biden is able to pick off any of these southern states that Nate was just talking about — look over here under the Biden number,
North Carolina he gets to 273. Let’s give Trump North Carolina back. If he can pick off Georgia, look at this number, 274. And, of course, if Joe Biden can pick off Florida, the largest battle ground, 29 electoral votes, 287, he becomes the next president.
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. Tom Llamas, Nate Silver, thanks very much.
Let’s take a look at the issues of election integrity right now. I want to bring in our legal panel — Chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas, our chief legal analyst Dan Abrams, also Kate Shaw, professor of constitutional law at Cardozo Law School.
And, Pierre, let me begin with you. You’ve been talking to Homeland Security, talking to the FBI.
What’s their greatest concern about Election Day?
PIERRE THOMAS, ABC NEWS CHIEF JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: George, with emotions running so high in a bitterly fought campaign against the backdrop of racial tensions and a pandemic, law enforcement is feeling the stress as we raised toward Tuesday.
There are several big buckets of concern. First, there’s a real worry about white supremacists, anti-government extremists and anarchists who might see as such a toxic environment is an opportunity for violence, that recently discovered alleged plot to kidnap and possibly murder Governor Whitmer in Michigan was a wake-up call.
There have been a number of suspected extremists placed under close surveillance by the FBI in recent days, and just last week, George, federal prosecutors charged two men with manufacturing illegal hard to trace guns who are suspected of being neo-Nazis. They allegedly had a list of names to include prominent Black Lives Matter leaders.
And there’s always concerns before an election about lone wolf extremists of all sorts. There have been at least two men recently arrested discussed — who discussed harming Biden. No specific threat identified, but it’s a volatile environment, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Still a lot of focus on foreign interference as well, especially from Russia and Iran.
THOMAS: Yes. Lots of concern about Russia and Iran, and there’s real concern not just about Election Day. There’s concern that they might try to sow disinformation right after the election while we wait for the results. So, law enforcement put out a bulletin in the last couple of days, warning that they might deface websites, create new websites and sow disinformation on social media, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Lots of — thank you, Pierre — lots of questions about what’s going to happen on Election Day, what’s going to happen as the votes are counted after Election Day.
Dan Abrams, let’s start out with this whole question about potential voter suppression, voter intimidation. What constitutes illegal voter intimidation? What should we be looking for on Election Day?
DAN ABRAMS, ABC NEWS CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, look, under federal law, it involves intimidation, coercion, threatening. But it doesn’t just have to be someone showing up with a weapon and threatening someone literally. There are more subtle ways that you can engage in voter intimidation which would be a violation of federal law.
For example, pretending to be a poll worker, asking people questions about, for example, citizenship, making false threats about the results of voter fraud. Anyone who is sort of faking it at a polling place could also be accused of voter intimidation.
The goal, though, when you’re intimidating someone in voting, is not just to prevent them from voting, but also to prevent them from voting for the person that they choose.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Kate, we’re already seeing some efforts to disqualify ballots. You saw that lawsuit filed down in Texas overnight, trying to disqualify 100,000 ballots from people who voted in curb-side voting.
KATE SHAW, CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW PROFESSOR: Right. So, you know, I think that both voter intimidation and voter suppression efforts are under way.
As to intimidation, I have to say the threat is very serious, but so far with 92 million Americans having cast their votes, many of them early in person, it’s actually not something we’ve seen on a widespread basis, right?
I do think that one point to make is that the election is actually going quite smoothly under these very challenging circumstances, sort of the fundamental architecture of our electoral system, again, is performing remarkably well.
So, you know, we definitely will see issues arise on Election Day. There could be voter intimidation. There will definitely long lines. There could be problems with ballots or machines.
And that’s not to discount the seriousness of any of that, but I don’t think any of it will go to the kind of fundamentally integrity of the election results. I think Americans so far can feel really confident about how the election is going, notwithstanding the issues that might arise. But you’re right, these lawsuits, George, in particular the ones that seek to invalidate votes that have already been counted in some ways are the most significant threat that we face in this election and courts injecting uncertainty and chaos into system seems to be the biggest threat we’re looking at right now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, what is the biggest thing you’ll be looking for once the ballots start get counted on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.?
SHAW: You know, I think that I think it all depends on how —
ABRAMS: For me —
STEPHANOPOULOS: Kate and then Dan, answer, too.
SHAW: Sure, sorry, George.
You know, for me, I think it depends on how close things are. I think that if there is a decisive win, the fact that it’s going to take a while to know who won Pennsylvania might not matter because things break in a way that makes the result clear based on other state returns. But if things are very close and if it does, say, come down to Pennsylvania, I think we all just need to hunker down and be patient.
Pennsylvania has over 2 million voters who have voted absentee. None of those votes have been opened or counted yet because they can’t be under Pennsylvania law. So, we’re just — we’ll take a little time and the kinds of challenges that we’ve already arise out of Pennsylvania, challenges say to ballots that arrived after Election Day, which right now are lawful under Pennsylvania law — as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has articulated it, could be subject to renewed challenge potentially, including in the U.S. Supreme Court.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Dan Abrams.
DAN ABRAMS, ABC NEWS CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. Typically before the election, the challenges you would see are, how are the votes going to be counted, what are the rules going to be. But yet in this election, we’re already seeing challenges to actual ballots, actual votes that have already occurred. That’s what you’re going to see after the election is going to be, were those rules implemented correctly and did they execute them properly in the various states?
And as Kate points out, the fact you already have a number of states literally segregating ballots based on when they are going to arrive — so ballots that arrive after Election Day, which they think are going to count, but they’re not 100 percent sure if they’re going to count, particularly in a state like Pennsylvania, will certainly leave everyone on edge and leave open the possibility of major, legal challenges.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And I know you all will be with us all night long on Tuesday.
Thank you both very much.
We’re going to hear from the campaigns next, plus our powerhouse round table.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: You know, our doctors get more money if somebody dies from COVID. You know that, right?
I mean, our doctors are very smart people — so what they do is they say, “I’m sorry, but, you know, everybody dies of COVID.”
But in Germany and other places, if you have a heart attack or if you have cancer, you’re terminally ill and you catch COVID, they say you died of cancer; you died of heart attack.
With us, when in doubt, choose COVID. It’s like $2,000 more. So you get more money. This could only happen to us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: The president on the campaign trail on Friday. Let’s talk about that with Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller.
Jason, thank you for joining us this morning.
The AMA responded to that immediately, the head of the AMA saying it was malicious, outrageous and completely misguided for the president to suggest that doctors are inflating COVID deaths.
Why does the president repeatedly attack doctors, saying — working on the front lines — saying they’re inflating COVID numbers?
JASON MILLER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: Well, George, good morning. It’s Sunday morning, where I would tell you that tens of thousands of people are waking up in Pittsburgh this morning and reading the Post-Gazette and seeing that they’ve endorsed a Republican for the first time since 1972. That’s President Trump, for his re-election. So we’re excited about that.
To your comment about the president yesterday on the campaign trail, I don’t think he was attacking anybody at all. I think he was talking about how most Americans want to safely and securely re-open the country, get back to work, get back to life as normal and defeat this virus…
STEPHANOPOULOS: Jason, we all just saw it. He was talking about doctors inflating COVID deaths for money.
MILLER: George, I’m not going to get into the — the billing aspects, of which there have been many reports on. There have been all sorts of independent things pointing to that.
But the fact of the matter is people want to get their life back to normal. They’re tired of the lockdowns. You look at these Democrat-run states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. We’re seeing this on the campaign trail with the rallies. People are tired of these lockdowns. They want to safely re-open.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you’re repeating that. You believe that doctors are inflating COVID deaths for money?
MILLER: I think there have been a number of reports that have raised issues out there regarding billing and things like that. But again, the choice on the ballot on Tuesday is President Trump and people who want tax cuts or Joe Biden and people who wants tax hikes. That’s what’s on the ballot on Tuesday.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, but the president is talking about doctors on the front lines inflating COVID deaths, which, as the head of the AMA said, is malicious and completely misguided.
The president is also saying that we’re rounding the corner on the pandemic. And this comes as we’ve just come through our worst week yet on cases. Cases are rising in 42 states. Test positivity rates are up. Hospitalizations are up. Deaths are climbing up.
Why does the president continues to say we’re rounding the corner in the fact of this surge?
MILLER: Because we’re right there on the cusp of having this vaccine finalized and ready for distribution. We will have it done and start distributing it by the end of the year.
And, again, if we’d followed Joe Biden’s advice at the beginning of this pandemic, we never would have shut the country down to China, never would have shut the country down to Europe. The leadership that President Trump has shown here on getting these therapeutics developed, the vaccines — COVID is no longer a death sentence for virtually everybody who gets it.
We have made such miraculous advancements in such a short amount of time. That’s the difference between an Operation Warp Speed and being locked in the basement.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re seeing cases surge across the country, as I just said. I just ran through those statistics.
And here is Dr. Fauci’s take on those statistics in The Washington Post this morning: quote, “We’re in for a whole lot of hurt. It’s not a good situation. All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”
He’s the top infectious disease president — specialist in the country right now.
And the White House response to that was to attack Dr. Fauci. Why?
MILLER: George, Dr. Fauci isn’t on the ballot on Tuesday. This is about President Trump and Joe Biden. And the thing that I would point out here that I think is really going to backfire on Democrats and many in the media is the Democrats have spent so many months telling folks that it’s not safe to go out and vote in person on Tuesday. There’s been so much media pressure effectively putting out scare tactics to keep folks away.
Well, guess what? President Trump supporters are going to show up on Tuesday. Nothing is going to stop them. That’s — this is really going to be a vote suppression effort against Democratic voters, and I think Democrats are going to look in the rear-view mirror and say this is probably what cost us the election.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Both (ph) suppression. Ninety-two million Americans, more than 92 million Americans, have already voted. That’s well over half of the number that voted in 2016 and it’s going to continue through Tuesday.
So given all that, what is your clearest path to 270 right now?
MILLER: Well, we feel very good. We think that President Trump is going to hold all of the Sun Belt states that he won previously. And as you look to the upper Midwest, Joe Biden has to stop President Trump in four out of four states; Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota. If President Trump wins just won of those in three of the four that he won last time, he will be a re-elected president.
There’s a really important point here, George, that I want to make, is that the entire electorate has shifted. The coalitions are different this go around. The fact that Joe Biden had to go back to Minnesota, a state that Republicans haven’t won since 1972, just the other day shows how they’re worried about states shifting.
President Trump is going to get well over 10 percent of the Black vote. I think he’ll get over 20 percent of African-American men. President Trump will probably get 40 percent of the Latino vote. The entire demographic shift within these parties, it’s a different world now, George. And that’s why we’re trying to turn out our supporters.
We feel good about it. And the one final thing, George, if you speak with many smart Democrats, they believe President Trump will be ahead on election night, probably getting 280 electorals (ph), somewhere in that range. And then they’re going to try to steal it back after the election.
We believe that we’ll be over 290 electoral votes on election night. So no matter what they try to do, what kind of hijinks or law suits or whatever kind of nonsense they try to pull off, we’re still going to have enough electoral votes to get President Trump re-elected.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, basically, you’re saying the president needs to have a clean sweep of all the states in the Sun Belt that he won back in 2016; Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Texas, North Carolina?
MILLER: I said I believe that we’re going to win all of them. There are multiple pathways.
So for example, if for some reason — and again, the trend lines — you look at Arizona, where I’m very confident, very safe that we’re going to win Arizona. But even if for some reason we didn’t have Arizona, we could pick off Nevada, a place where our modeling shows that we’re going to win on Tuesday, as well as Michigan, and that would put President Trump over the top.
So we have multiple pathways. We feel very good about where we’re going. And the fact of the matter is, is that Joe Biden does not excite his base. So when you take the lack of enthusiasm for Joe Biden and the media and Democratic suppression for their voters on Election Day, we think that our turn-out will deliver President Trump a victory.
And the one thing, George, I got to tell you, we learned this in 2016, Donald J. Trump is a closer. Nobody knows how to close out a presidential race like he does.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It certainly happened in 2016. Jason Miller, thanks very much.
Let’s bring in Anita Dunn now from the Biden campaign. Anita, let me get you to respond there, starting (ph) to Jason saying they have a possibility of flipping Nevada. They’re going to win Arizona, maybe even Michigan.
ANITA DUNN, BIDEN CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: Thanks for having me this morning, George.
Before I respond to the states, I actually just have to say I’m astonished that Jason Miller spent as much time as he did without ever saying that the doctors who are on frontlines in this coronavirus crisis that this country faces, that without ever defending them and without ever basically saying, no, they’re not in it for money. These people have been risking their lives since the beginning of this crisis.
Frontline workers and doctors, nurses, the people who work in these hospitals, have been risking their lives. They didn’t have adequate protective gear at the beginning. No one really knew how it spread. They have been out there every day many of them working double shifts.
And I just want to say, for the record, that it tells you everything you need to know about the difference between the Trump campaign and the Biden campaign and between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Joe Biden respects those frontline workers. He respects doctors. He respects Dr. Fauci. He listens to the scientists. And when he is president, he’s going to put a plan in place to get coronavirus under control.
We saw for the first time over 100,000 new cases in one day this week. A thousand people a day dying on average now. Jason Miller and the Trump campaign may feel that that’s virtually no one but there are a thousand families in this country who lost someone yesterday. There are a thousand more that will lose someone today. And those are not virtually nobodies.
Those are people. And those are the people that Joe Biden is going to fight for when he’s president.
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. I was going to give you a chance to respond to that. Thank you for doing that.
But let’s go now to —
STEPHANOPOULOS: — the electoral map and you’re —
DUNN: I was just —
DUNN: I was just shocked, to be honestly (ph). Yes.
OK. So let’s look at this electoral map. Now, let’s start with the fact that the states that have been the battle grounds from day one in this race have all been states that Donald Trump carried in 2016. Obviously, the three states in the — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, but also North Carolina, Florida and Arizona.
So as — if you look at the map, what you see is that the Biden campaign from the beginning of this general election has been on the offense in these states.
So, the other thing that’s true is as we’ve got closer to the election, instead of the number of contested battleground states shrinking, which is normally what you see at this point in a campaign, George, you know that, the number has actually expanded so that we are now campaigning also in Georgia, in Iowa, in Ohio. Senator Harris was in Texas on Friday. That our map has expanded as we moved into the — closer to Election Day.
And the Trump campaign — obviously, they’re going to say they feel good. They’re going to say they feel like they can carry everything they did in 2016. But if you look at the enormous enthusiasm that we’ve seen in the early vote, these record-setting early vote numbers, people are going to vote.
And we are going to know on Election Day that a record number of people have probably turned out to vote in this election because they want change. They want a leader who is going to unite this country, not divide it.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Do you believe we’re going to have a result election night?
DUNN: You know, I don’t know if we’re going to have a result election night. Obviously, three battleground states may be slower to count their votes, Pennsylvania in particular, which both of us, both campaigns are very focused on right now.
But, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida are all states that I think we can reasonably assume we’re going to hear results from either election night or early the next morning, they all tend to get their votes counted on election night. Arizona is a state that again is a battleground for the first time in a long time for Democrats. And that’s a state that we may very well know results from.
I think if you look at what we’ve done as a campaign, we’ve seen states that we want to protect so that we worked in states like Nevada and Minnesota, Virginia, Colorado, not taking anything for granted. Now, there are the states that we want to win, our path to 270. And then there are expansion states.
So, our map has grown more expansive as we come closer to Election Day. We may know the results election night. We may know them the next day. The one thing that is clear, though, is that we’re going to make sure all the votes get counted.
There’s only one campaign —
STEPHANOPOULOS: And —
DUNN: — and that’s the Trump campaign that thinks they have to suppress votes in order to win.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And should we expect that we’re going to be hearing from Vice President Biden no matter what — no matter where we are in the results and the vote counting on Tuesday night?
DUNN: I think it will depend where we are in the results. Obviously, you don’t want to go out prematurely. But, you know, you’re certainly going to hear from the campaign. You may very well hear from the vice president. I think we’ll all just be concentrating on working up until the moment the polls close to get those votes, and then to make sure every vote gets counted.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Anita Dunn, thanks very much.
DUNN: Thank you for having me, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Roundtable is up next. We’ll be right back.
ON SCREEN TEXT: Who were the last three presidents to lose their campaigns for a second term?
Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush.
Seven other presidents have also lost their campaigns for a second term.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By our projection. James Earl Carter, the next president of the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New York is going for Ronald Reagan.
That does it. That puts him over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We project that Bill Clinton is going to be the next president of the United States.
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GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS CHIEF ANCHOR: The roundtable’s ready to go.
We’ll be right back.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: There he is, the 45th president of the United States, President-elect Donald J. Trump. He has triumphed, proving all the doubters wrong, now has 275 electoral votes. The state of Pennsylvania has gone his way. The state of Wisconsin has gone his way. He has received the call from Hillary Clinton. He will be the next president of the United States.
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That was the moment four years ago. Can lightning strike again?
Let’s talk about it on our roundtable with Chris Christie, Rahm Emanuel, Republican strategist Sarah Fagen and Donna Brazile, former DNC chair, former ABC contributor, now a Fox News contributor.
And, Chris, I want to begin with you, and I want you to get to the possibility for President Trump going forward. But I have to start out by having you explain, if you can, the strategy of the president going after doctors during this COVID pandemic, in the final days of the campaign.
CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR AND ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Let’s talk about what’s going to happen on election night, George. On election night, I think the president, and what they’re focusing on now — because I have no explanation for that, so — I don’t. I don’t understand it.
On election night, I think what we’re going to have to look at, to me, the two most important states for a path to the president’s victory are North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
I think he will win Florida. I think he will win Georgia. I think he will win Arizona. But I think North Carolina and Pennsylvania are the two that are the biggest key for him. And those are the ones I’m going to keep my eye on…
STEPHANOPOULOS: And he needs to win both?
CHRISTIE: He’s got to win both. Yeah, absolutely. He’s got to win both. Because I think that’s the most likely path for him to be able to follow. Arizona, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina and Pennsylvania — he’s re-elected, those are the two states I’m going to be looking at.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Rahm Emanuel, there really is no path for — for the president without Pennsylvania. It does seem like the Biden campaign is taking a lesson from the Clinton campaign four years ago. They are not going to ignore that northern tier in the final 72 hours?
RAHM EMANUEL, (D) FORMER CHICAGO MAYOR AND ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, they’re not. They’re going to be all over that state, from — and they have been, not only advertising-wise, schedule-wise, issue-wise. They’re going to be all over Pennsylvania.
He has many — the vice president has many routes there. But at the end of the day, the Keystone State is going to play a key role in this entire election.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What’s your biggest — what’s your biggest worry as a supporter of Vice President Biden, going into the final stage?
EMANUEL: Well, I think that — I mean, actually, I think — look, in this campaign, style is substance. And I think, on style, in a sense of disrupter versus somebody who is more calm, Joe Biden has won that. On money, he’s won that. On map, he’s won that. On message, he’s won that.
What I don’t have a feel for, and we’ve never done, since 1918, is voting during a pandemic and how they’re going to count ballots and how they take ballots in Pennsylvania versus North Carolina versus Wisconsin.
I think that, to me, is what worries me, in the sense that the Post Office — and if you look at Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, take those three states — is behind everywhere else in the country. And I don’t know how you — you factor that into this process, except for get to the polls and tell all the undecided voters, “If you’re listening out there, decide already; you’re driving me crazy.”
STEPHANOPOULOS: The two that are left.
Sara Fagen, the president got some good news last night from your home state of Iowa…
SARA FAGEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST AND ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes.
STEPHANOPOULOS: … a Des Moines Register poll showing now a seven-point lead.
FAGEN: Yeah, and, you know, the exact same results election eve in 2016, which has a lot of Republicans really excited.
The president got some other good news this week. Gallup polled, “Are you better off than you were three years ago?”
Sixty-one percent of the country says they are better off than they were four years ago. We are in a pandemic. We don’t know how that plays here. We assume it’s going to have the biggest impact.
But if any other Republican were on the ballot with a number like that, they would be cruising to re-election.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, but the tricky thing to remember, though, is, in this, has — this has been an issue that — a paradox we’ve seen for the last several weeks, is people think they’re doing better but the country’s not doing better.
FAGEN: It is. And so the question is are people going to vote in their own self-interests?
And this race does feel like it’s closing. I agree with Chris’ analysis completely. North Carolina is now the epicenter of this presidential race. It’s also probably the epicenter of the Senate. Who’s going to control the Senate?
Joni Ernst looks like she’s going to win Iowa. Tom Tillis, the North Carolina Senate, is the other really important race for Republicans.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Donna Brazile, you’ve spent a lot of time in North Carolina.
DONNA BRAZILE, FORMER DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIR AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I’ve spent a lot of time everywhere, George…
… and I never thought that the state that drafted the Constitution will — you know, may in fact decide the presidency. So let’s get it together, Pennsylvania.
George, I do believe that, on Tuesday night, Donald Trump will be a losing candidate. This will be the first time in 28 years that we’ve seen a sitting incumbent lose the presidency.
And the reason is simple. It’s not just Pennsylvania and North Carolina, Florida. It is the mood of the country. People are tired of this president. They know that he has failed on mitigating the dangers of this virus. They know that he has failed on mitigating the dangers of this virus. They know that he has failed on race relations. They know that he is failing at every metric.
I think that the Democrats have done a completely amazing job based on what I saw four years ago when I heard from Ed Rendell, the former governor of Pennsylvania, when I heard from Jennifer Granholm, the former governor of Michigan, all calling saying, there’s a problem.
This year you know what we’re hearing? We just need more reinforcements in terms of more radio ads, we need more sound trucks, we need more food trucks because people are standing in line. What a difference four years have made in our lives?
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Donna, let me ask you about that point that Jason Miller was making earlier in the program. He was saying that the Democrats have emphasized early vote. There’s been a remarkable early voting — an astonishing early vote, really. But he’s predicting a Republican surge on Election Day itself. And you have seen some lagging indicators, particularly among young Blacks and Latinos in Florida in the early vote.
BRAZILE: Yes. Look, le me just say this, there’s no question that the Trump campaign has put some resources and invested in a message for young African-American, Hispanic voters. But they’re going to get a tiny sliver of the pie that will ultimately go to Joe Biden.
I agree that the Trump campaign is gaining in the last couple days of this campaign. But remember, in 2016 the Clinton campaign left the door open and Donald Trump didn’t have to penetrate the lock because it was open.
The Democrats this year are opening up those red doors. And I am just confident that we’re going to see a Democrat — a Democratic victory in states like Arizona and Texas and Georgia.
Look, if I knew Georgia had that many peaches on the tree, I would have been down there with my bucket a long time ago.
STEPHANOPOULOS: All those states still in play.
Chris Christie, you talked about the states you’re going to be watching on Tuesday night. It could take some time —
CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR AND ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes.
STEPHANOPOULOS: — to count the votes. Separate question though, if it doesn’t go the president’s way, you know him pretty well, is he prepared to accept defeat?
CHRISTIE: Yes. Yes, I think he is. And I think a lot of the stuff you’ve heard him saying at rallies indicate that.
He understands where he is in this race. I think as with most candidates, as you get to the end here, and I think Donna’s right, I think the president’s campaign is surging now. I think he’s comfortable. I think he’s a lot happier then he’s been in a long time. You see that in these rallies that he’s doing. This is his sweet spot.
But he also is not going to be a guy who’s going to sit there and not leave the White House. OK? He will abide by the decision of the voters. I’m confident of that.
And listen, there will be — no matter what happens here there’s going to be a lot of tumult. All right? Because I think it’s going to be a close race Tuesday night. I do not think this is going to be a blow out. I think this is going to be a very close race.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You don’t think we’re going to know Tuesday night, do you?
CHRISTIE: I do not think we’re going to know on Tuesday night, particularly because of Pennsylvania. I mean, with Pennsylvania having the voting methods they have, extending the period, the court, by three days to be able to accept ballots that are postmarked by Election Day, I think it’s going to be close enough that those three days are going to matter. And they could matter theoretically.
But in terms of the president’s mindset, listen, I think he thinks he’s going to win. I really do. I don’t think he always thought that. But I think there also is part of him that knows that not leaving the White House, putting up that kind of stink in terms of peaceful transition just is not the way he wants the leave. And, by the way, if it’s Pennsylvania and it’s close, be guaranteed there’s going to be litigation. The Supreme Court —
CHRISTIE: — have to (INAUDIBLE) for that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: No question about that.
Rahm, there’s also quite — I mean, the president believes he’s going to win according to Chris Christie. The president’s supporters clearly believe he’s going to win as well. Democrats around the country a little bit more on edge. But you are going to be facing —
RAHM EMANUEL, (D) FORMER CHICAGO MAYOR AND ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: But that’s our DNA.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you are going to be facing the situation the day after where it could turn out that the president’s supporters are kind of astonished that he has actually lost.
EMANUEL: Yes. Well, one thing I want to remember and going back now 100 years, whoever has won independent voters has won the presidency. Nobody who’s won independent voters has ever lost. Joe Biden is up by 9 points among independent voters everywhere in the state.
Second data point, everywhere you go Donald Trump nationally or by state is getting exactly his job approval number. And nowhere does it exceed 45 percent. He would have to get an incredible turn out to win any one of those states.
And I think on this one, on (ph) nationally, I think election night you’re going to see a check. Three or four days later you’re going to see checkmate. And so I think —
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you’re not in exactly the same place as Donna? We just heard Donna say she thinks that — I mean, Arizona, Georgia, Texas even, North Carolina are going to fall. Do you see that kind of a blowout for Joe Biden?
EMANUEL: No. Here’s what I think will happen — what happened. I do think Joe Biden’s going to get above 300 electoral votes and I think when you look down the coast and the Sun Belt, you got Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, once one of those flip, which I believe they will — and I think there’s some (ph) demographics to argue why Georgia would, based on both African-Americans, suburban’s votes, and the trends there and you have two Senate races, not one — that you’re going to say, OK, the very narrow path for the president became a tight rope.
And I think that — once that happens, I think people’s psychology will change and realize, yes, Pennsylvania is key, but it then shifted down one or two.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Well, it is true.
STEPHANOPOULOS: If Biden wins one or two states across the Sun Belt, he’s probably going to win the presidency.
SARA FAGEN, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: He’s got, as we heard from Nate Silver, a 90, 99 percent of chance of becoming the president. Yes.
I mean, look, we can’t underscore these Democrat graphic shifts in North Carolina and Georgia, which have happened very rapidly.
Back when I was doing campaigns in 2000, 2000s, early, you know, the share of the white vote was over 70 percent. It’s now down to, you know, 58 percent. That’s been a very massive shift in a very short of period of time.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Donna Brazile, that does raise the question, depending on what happens Tuesday night, we could be seeing a dramatic new political map in the United States.
DONNA BRAZILE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It’s been a long time incoming, and finally, we’re going to see that change.
First of all, I think the white vote is still a little higher. But the good news is that Joe Biden is competitive with white college educated voters. He’s more competitive with white voters.
And while it’s important to understand the demographic shifts, the thing that is pushing people to mail in those ballots — and, by the way, please go to an official drop box. I love the Postal Service, I have relatives who work for the Postal Service, do not put in a mailbox. Take it the official mail drop.
George, there are millions of people holding on to their ballots. That’s why I think this election has shifted towards Joe Biden.
And the second thing is young people — I mean, Joe Biden was struggling with young people a year ago. He was struggling with young people six months ago. Over the last six weeks, he’s been able to ratchet up the support among young voters.
And, you know, if he can pull that group of Americans, probably one of the most diverse group of Americans, then I think it gives him an opportunity to capture those states in the Sun Belt.
So, I’m optimistic. But let me tell you this, I’m not going to light a cigar — open up a bottle of champagne, OK? And I may not even do any of those two things — Chris —
CHRIS CHRISTIE, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I can’t wait, Donna.
BRAZILE: We got a lot of work to do still, Chris, I’m going to open my champagne with you. I’ll open my champagne, because, you know, I love me some Chris Christie.
You know, he’s the only — he’s the only Republican I talk about around the table. So my family is really happy to see you today, Chris.
CHRISTIE: Thank you, Donna.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Chris, I want you to talk to both sides now.
Whoever wins on Tuesday or whenever the votes are finally counted, right towards the end of the week, he’s going to face a difficult job of uniting a divided country. What does President Trump do? What should Biden do if he wins?
CHRISTIE: Well, listen, if President Trump wins out Tuesday night, I think what he’s got to be is the happier warrior he has been in the last week or so. He has to talk to the country finally, we’ve been about this for months about what the second term is going to look like and give people hope.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He didn’t really do that in the campaign.
CHRISTIE: He did not, as I’ve been talking about sitting next to you for months.
If Joe Biden wins, he’s got a fundamental decision to make. Does he want to unite the American people or unite the Democratic Party? Because if he wants to unite the Democratic Party solely, he’s going to move further left and he’s going to lose the rest of the country.
If he decides that he really wants to be what he has said in the campaign, which is — I’m a proud Democrat, but I’ll govern as an American president, what he needs to do is reach out to Republicans and independents with his policies, not with his rhetoric, but with his policies. And that’s going to be the challenge for him.
I’ll give you one upset prediction for Tuesday night. I think John James is going to win the Senate seat in Michigan.
STEPHANOPOULOS: In Michigan. That’s a good — big prediction.
EMANUEL: Look, I think that question I take on Chris’s point is which for the vice president, and one is actually citing (ph) on the premise, I actually think the country and I give — this is not Donald Trump’s intention. Donald Trump ran and said only I can fix it, which is a battle cry of an authoritarian.
I actually think his contribution to American politics is incredible civic engagement.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Like the down ballots (ph).
EMANUEL: Yes, and the voting, but just all over, at a level of civic engagement that I think the country is hungry and in fact I think the country will lead to unity rather than the president lead to unity.
And I think Joe Biden — the question will be to a Biden presidency, will the election and coalition you have be transactional, or will you govern in a transformative way, bringing in what I call Biden Republicans, independent voters and say this is your new home? And that’s why the metropolitan majority between urban and suburban that won every presidency in the midterm in 2018 should be the governing coalition going to —
CHRISTIE: George, one quick point, what I’m saying — I don’t disagree with you on that.
EMANUEL: Thank you.
CHRISTIE: But I think the president can cause disunity. He can cause disunity if it’s Joe Biden if he goes too far left.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Sara, it will depend on which way the Senate goes as well.
FAGEN: Yeah. I mean, look, I think Republicans are underdogs. When you just look at the map, they’re playing defense in so many more places.
But, you know, good news out of Iowa, Joni Ernst looks like she’s going to win. We’ve got to hold the seat in North Carolina. We’ve got to hold those two seats in Georgia. And — and we have some strange rules that are coming around or new rules, I should say. You know, rank choice voting in Maine.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS CHIEF ANCHOR: Maine.
FAGEN: You know, that could become a decisive factor. And in Georgia, you know, it’s possible that one —
STEPHANOPOULOS: Two run-offs.
FAGEN: Yes. It’s possible for two. And holding, you know, Jon Ossoff to under 50 will be very important for David Perdue. So it could come down to January before we know control of the Senate.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That would be January 5th.
RAHM EMANUEL, (D) FORMER CHICAGO MAYOR AND ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: One lesson out of 1992. The election — if you have run-offs in Georgia, one or both, the campaign has — for the presidency has to continue campaigning because you don’t want to create an environment, which happened to (INAUDIBLE), got from 49 percent in 1992. The environment became about — the debate about gays in the military and it actually sunk him.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Donna — Donna Brazile, take on that question that Chris Christie says, that Joe Biden, if he wins, is going to have to choose between uniting the country and uniting the Democratic Party.
DONNA BRAZILE, FORMER DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIR AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the Democratic Party is united. And we achieved that before the convention. And thanks to all of the 24 candidates that submitted their names to run last year. The party is united.
I think Joe Biden is going to keep his word to unite the country, to bring the country together, to heal these divisions and to be an American president once again. I want to say to all of those Republicans who have been just getting on board, who have helped the Democratic Party, who have helped us get our message out, thank you and you have a seat at this table and you don’t have to worry about a folding chair.
But here’s my prediction. We’re going to see more women in the United States Congress, period. We’re going to see more people of color, black and Latinos and Asian American and openly gay Americans serving in the Congress. And, yes, on Tuesday night we’re going to see history made. Jamie Harrison is — is going — Harrison is going to take on and defeat Lindsey Graham. We’re going to see possibly Rafael Warnock in Georgia and Mike —
STEPHANOPOULOS: There’s a lot of predictions there. And we ran —
BRAZILE: I’m — I’m doing it because I do believe that we are going to succeed.
CHRISTIE: Enough, Donna. Donna, stop.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re running out of time for all the predictions.
CHRISTIE: Donna, stop. (INAUDIBLE).
BRAZILE: It’s only coffee. It’s only coffee.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you all very — thank you all very much.
We’ll be right back.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That is all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us.
Tune in Tuesday night at 7:00 for our political election coverage. I’ll be anchoring with our whole political team. And I’ll see you tomorrow on “GMA.”