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Inside Politics

New Hampshire Primary: Gore Squeaks Past Bradley; McCain Beats George Bush by Double-Digit Margin

Aired February 1, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET


ANNOUNCER: This is a CNN election 2000 special presentation.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 1917 -- timber! -- the landslide has begun.



GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I always expected a tough battle. New Hampshire puts people through their paces.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Presidential hopefuls face voters and try to meet expectations on this primary day in New Hampshire.


ALBERT GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What the voters say here is going to be extremely important.



BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The people actually do decide, and that's what these votes are all about today.


BLITZER: This is the place for complete coverage of the Democratic and Republican contests. Candy Crowley covering the Bush camp, John King with the Gore campaign, Jeanne Meserve reporting on the Bradley team, and Jonathan Karl with the McCain campaign.

ANNOUNCER: From New Hampshire, site of the first-in-the-nation primary, this is a special edition of INSIDE POLITICS. Here now, Wolf Blitzer, with CNN election analysts Jeff Greenfield and Bill Schneider. BLITZER: Thanks for joining us. Judy Woodruff and Bernard Shaw will be along later to anchor our primary night coverage. Most polling places here in New Hampshire are open for another two hours, but the presidential contenders are pretty much settled in for the evening, waiting for the first results of the nation's lead-off primary, the results which may set the course for the campaign to come.

We begin with a candidate who arguably has the most at stake tonight, Republican John McCain.

CNN's Jonathan Karl has been covering him.


MCCAIN: Good morning. Good morning, guys.

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As usual, John McCain's day started before sunrise.

Even before finishing his one-donut breakfast, McCain was already musing about what a victory over George W. Bush could mean.

MCCAIN: Both candidates did everything they could to win New Hampshire. One of them won. That's really what it's all about.

KARL: Off the bus in Concord at 7:00 sharp.

MCCAIN: Good morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning. Good morning.

KARL: Here, McCain makes a guest appearance on the "Imus in the Morning" radio show before a live audience.

MCCAIN: We have to do extremely well. We have to do extremely well in order to continue.

KARL: A few minutes later, he's back on the bus and again talking to reporters, this time about what happens after New Hampshire.

MCCAIN: Everybody knows that if -- I emphasize "if," OK, that if we win here, that South Carolina will become very, very, very important.

KARL: Back off the bus for a stop at a Concord polling station, where McCain jokes about the overnight results in the state's earliest contest.

MCCAIN: 1917 -- timber! -- the landslide has begun.

KARL: Not a lot of voters to see, just a sea of reporters. And it's back on the road. This time, a relaxed McCain sports his favorite sunglasses. It's not even 9:00, and McCain is making his third stop of the day, a polling place in Manchester. The media turnout is large and disruptive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're stopping our people from voting...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... with this crowd here. I wish you could help me. Please help me.

KARL: A hasty exit, and McCain decides no more polling station visits. But there is a final stop, at Pappy's Pizza for yet another television interview.


KARL: McCain is extremely optimistic about tonight, but he won't stick around long to enjoy the results. He's flying out of New Hampshire and going to South Carolina, where he's hoping that what happens tonight will give him a big boost there, transforming him from an underdog to the front-runner -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jonathan Karl, here in Manchester. Now to George W. Bush's spurt of last-minute campaigning and where he's setting the bar for himself when the votes are counted tonight.

Here's CNN's senior political correspondent Candy Crowley.


BUSH: I appreciate your thanks.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is 7:30 a.m. It is below freezing. This is the second stop of the morning. George Bush is campaigning in a parking lot outside a church polling place. This is New Hampshire -- no single handshake matters, and every handshake counts.

BUSH: I think he's on our side.


CROWLEY: These are the times a candidate flies solo through the rough spots, and this is the roughest spot so far of the Bush campaign. He could lose New Hampshire to John McCain.

BUSH: He's run a good campaign here, but so have I. And I am going to go to the next state and the next state and the next state until I win my party's nomination, and then I'm going to unite our party and lead us to victory.

CROWLEY: That's the thumbnail definition of what Bush strategists call the 50-state campaign. It means that while John McCain campaigned in New Hampshire nearly nonstop, Bush did not. New Hampshire advisers warned the Bush camp that failing to show up enough could be fatal here, but the plan was in place.

BUSH: This is a marathon. This is a long haul. I'm a patient man. I got a disciplined campaign. I've got a view for the future. And so I am ready for what comes.

CROWLEY: Not that they plan to lose New Hampshire.

BUSH: George Bush. How are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got my vote, buddy.

BUSH: Thank you -- one to nothing.

CROWLEY: They did not plan on a lot of things. When Bush skipped a couple of all-candidate forums in New Hampshire, they did not plan on the fallout from voters here who thought it arrogant. And when they amassed more cash than any campaign in history, they did not plan that so many others would dry up and drop out -- Kasich and Alexander, Quayle and Dole. The smaller field left the anybody-but- Bush territory almost entirely to John McCain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would you consider to be a win tonight?

BUSH: First place.


CROWLEY: There will be no way to spin a loss here. The only thing this campaign can do now is turn away from it.

BUSH: I am excited about my chances, and ready to go find some warm place.




CROWLEY: That warm place will be South Carolina. Tomorrow, look for Bush to describe any loss here as a bump along a long road to the White House. That's the thing about a 50-state strategy: At the moment, there are 48 states more to go -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Candy Crowley in Manchester.

In the Democratic primary here in New Hampshire, Al Gore is refusing to publicly predict how he will fare against Bill Bradley once all the votes are in. But as our senior White House correspondent John King reports, Gore's confidence about the outcome is clear.


JOHN KING, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The vice president poured coffee for his poll workers and served up a pitch for party unity.

GORE: Any Bradley supporters here, you're welcome to some coffee.

KING: Gore is confident his organization will deliver a New Hampshire victory and make him the prohibitive Democratic favorite. So in case his point was lost, there was an encore.

GORE: Any other Bradley supporters want some coffee?

Here we go.

KING: Not that the vice president was ready to say anything nice about Bradley himself.

GORE: He's stepped down to the level of personal vilification. I am just not going to do that, nor am I going to comment on his approach.

KING: Primary day meant one more round at the coffee on shops and diners that formed the eager stage for New Hampshire's big event.

GORE: Thank you very much. I appreciate you wearing my buttons.

KING: The vice president said he took nothing for granted.

GORE: I am not looking past the New Hampshire primary. What the voters say here is going to be extremely important.

KING: Yet he looked and talked like a candidate expecting good news, sounding at times like the primary battle was over.

GORE: All the Republicans have is risky tax schemes that threaten our prosperity. All of them take away a woman's right to choose.

KING: But this stop at a Nashua polling place made clear New Hampshire's verdict will hardly be unanimous.

The next big test for the Democrats comes in five weeks, March 7, when California, New York, Ohio, Georgia and Missouri are among the 15 sates holding primaries and caucuses. Bradley has plenty of money for the fight, $8.3 billion on hand at the beginning of the year compared to $5.7 million for the vice president.

FRED YANG, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: It looks like Bill Bradley is going to be in for a long time until he's out of money, which could be a long time.

KING: But Gore hopes to leave New Hampshire with the most valuable asset in politics, momentum.


KING: But to get that momentum, the vice president needs a New Hampshire victory, so his campaign workers were told at their meeting this morning, ignore the late polls, work today as if they're 5 points down. Some 2,000 Gore volunteers out as we speak knocking on doors in Nashua, Manchester and Concord, going to the homes of people who have identified themselves as Gore voters, but have not yet turned up at the polls -- Wolf.

BLITZER: John King, our senior White House correspondent, thanks.

By most accounts, New Hampshire is considered crucial to Bill Bradley's campaign. But if the former senator is feeling anxious about his prospects, he hasn't been showing it today.

CNN's Jeanne Meserve was on the road with Bradley.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How do you feel this morning?

BRADLEY: I feel great.



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you feel optimistic?

BRADLEY: I feel optimistic.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you feel bouncy?

BRADLEY: I feel bouncy, yes.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bill Bradley preaches a new kind of politics, but vestiges of old politics remain, like ritual visits to polling places on Election Day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually I am still undecided.


MESERVE: Like the dueling protesters who greet him, Bradley is in close combat with Al Gore. Just months ago, the polls gave Bradley a solid lead in New Hampshire. What happened here?

BRADLEY: I don't know. It's hard to say why it moved the way it did. I don't have a good answer.

MESERVE: Reflecting on Iowa, where he lost badly to Gore, Bradley acknowledges he moved too late to counter what he calls Gore's distortions of his records and positions. Did he move too late in New Hampshire too? Bradley says no and he rejects the notion that his recent criticisms of Gore dented his man-in-shining-armor image.

BRADLEY: I believe that, that was not in conflict with the way I have run the campaign. In fact, it was consistent. It was having enough respect for the voters to say if something is untrue it's untrue.

MESERVE: Bradley claims to have spent more time debating Gore than he ever has conversing with him and is dismissive of reports that he dislikes the vice president.

BRADLEY: No. I don't dislike him. It's just that I don't know him. I mean, it's -- I think that it's -- much too much has been made of that, much too much.

MESERVE: Bill Bradley has already checked out of his New Hampshire hotel. He is moving on to other states and other primaries, though if he loses here, he has every expectation the Democratic Party establishment will pressure him to give it up and go home.

BRADLEY: I have been running against entrenched power, so should I expect pressure from entrenched power? Of course. But that's not the rationale why I am running, and I think that the key thing is ultimately the people will make this decision.

MESERVE: And what decision will the people make here, today in New Hampshire?

BRADLEY: I think we should win. If we don't win, I think we should do well. And there's no...

MESERVE (on camera): What's well?

BRADLEY: There's no particular number.

MESERVE: That's safe.

BRADLEY: I know.


MESERVE: The Bradley campaign believes it's made up a lot of ground in the closing days of this campaign by making an issue of the vice president, his honesty and integrity. We'll soon see if they are right -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jeanne Meserve here in Manchester.

Now let's talk about the Democratic and the Republican races with David Broder of "The Washington Post" and Joe Klein of "The New Yorker." First the Democratic contest, David: Bradley, Gore. Bradley was sort of late in responding, getting tough with Al Gore. Looking back, a mistake?

DAVID BRODER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Perhaps, and I think it also was a mistake for him to cast it in such personal terms. It sounded as if he felt that there was a personal grievance, and I think the voters of this state are more concerned about their interests than Bill Bradley's personal interests.

BLITZER: Joe, you have spent a lot of time with the Bradley folks. Why was he so late in changing his strategy? JOE KLEIN, "THE NEW YORKER": I think that he just didn't want to play it that way. He thought that the mandate for the year was to be lofty and positive, and -- but he was kind of lugubrious about it. And it's striking to me the difference between the energy level in the Democratic race and in the Republican race, and the enthusiasm level in the Democratic race which seems to me much lower among audiences than it is in the Republican side.

BLITZER: Is that your impression, David, as well?

BRODER: It is. And particularly the contrast between the two insurgent campaigns. When you go to a McCain rally, the walls are bulging out with the enthusiasm. Bradley is much more low-key.

BLITZER: And the competition, though, between Bradley and McCain, that's one of the unique sidebars of this election.

KLEIN: Well, I think that this has been -- it's been a fascinating year. It's been a fascinating campaign and especially because of the role of the independents, and it's going to be interesting to see just how many independents do vote this -- tonight, during the day today, and where they come down.

But still, the most striking thing, the emotional heart of this primary has been the McCain campaign. He's got the best story. He's got the biggest crowds. He's had the most enthusiastic audiences and he's fighting the toughest fight against a Republican establishment that really doesn't like insurgents very much.

BLITZER: All right. Let's get to McCain in a second, the whole Republican contest. But another question on the Democrats, Al Gore got a big bounce presumably, two-to-one win in Iowa. He came here. Did he do in New Hampshire what he had to do in order to, from his perspective, win?

BRODER: I am not sure how big a bounce he actually got out of it. This is a very self-centered state. But what he has done is to just drive the message, which is basically, I'm part of what has given you this wonderful economy.

The thing that's interesting is that if you look at the change in this state over the last seven years and recognize that this has come during the time of an administration of which he has been a central part, you would ask yourself, why is he even in a fight here? It's something about him, I think, that perhaps is holding down what would normally be a big win.

BLITZER: And you have no doubt, Joe, that irrespective of the Bradley-Gore contest, the outcome tonight, Bradley is in it through March, through those big primaries in New York, California?

KLEIN: Probably, but you have to wait and see. The striking thing about this race on the Democratic side is how whiny they both have been. I mean, when Gore attacks Bradley, Bradley's reaction, as David says, was to whine. Over the last couple of days, when Bradley attacked Gore back, Gore pulled a kind of Eddie Haskel from "Leave It To Beaver" and said, you know, me? Me attack him negatively? I have been innocent throughout. And I think people have been kind of turned off by that.

BLITZER: On the Republican side, David, George W. Bush did win obviously in Iowa. Did he get any bounce here in New Hampshire?

BRODER: Again, not that I can see. In some ways, McCain by telling the New Hampshire people, forget Iowa; I'm not playing in Iowa; I care about you, I think he probably was the real winner in that Iowa race.

BLITZER: So at this point, Joe, obviously we don't know what the results are tonight, was McCain wise in skipping Iowa?

KLEIN: It certainly seemed he was. He paid the folks here the ultimate complement. I don't even need to go out and talk with the farmers, I am going to stick with you guys.

And I have to tell you the emotion at the McCain events and the size of the crowds has been remarkable. The guy did 114 town meetings and they lasted for hours, and he answered every question, and it was from Republicans, independents, and Democrats -- the largest crowds I have ever seen here and the most ecumenical crowds I have ever seen here.

BLITZER: A big contrast, in your opinion, also between McCain and Bush in the way the -- the style of their campaigning?

BRODER: Well, Bush is campaigning here the same way that he began campaigning last summer. It's a formula that worked very well for him in Texas, and it's clear that his bet has been, I can do a single speech with three or four basic points and do that speech over and over and over again, so you don't get the same kind of spontaneity and the same kind of emotional reaction that Joe was talking about in the McCain rallies.

BLITZER: You get the impression the handlers, the Bush handlers are much more intense than the McCain handlers, if there are any McCain handlers?

KLEIN: That's right. Well, in fact, there are people who claim to be handlers of McCain, but he proves them wrong every day. I think that McCain has done a very interesting thing in his campaign that may prove to be a style changer for American politics. He's allowed total access all the time. He's been willing to think in our presence. He's been willing to tell people what they didn't want to hear. And at least from what you see on the ground, everybody has kind of liked it.

BLITZER: And you think that's going to be a pattern down the road, the media -- those of us who like to cover politics having that kind of access?

BRODER: I think some of the reporters who have been riding the McCain bus hope fervently that it doesn't become the pattern.

KLEIN: That's right. You know, I'm lucky -- David and I are lucky we only have to do it maybe one day a week. The people who do it every day, I mean, are getting writer's cramp at this point.

BLITZER: Let me just throw a little water on the reporters out there anxious to cover perhaps a McCain presidency. Bill Clinton was very accessible in '92 as well, but once he got to the White House, the doors were shut.

KLEIN: But never like this, never like this.

BLITZER: You're right. But much more than he was when he got to the White House.

Joe Klein, David Broder, always good to have you on INSIDE POLITICS, especially a big day like today, thanks for joining us.

And still ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, supporters take to the streets to rally voters. Which candidates will benefit most?

Plus, are the Democratic hopefuls repeating the past? Bill Schneider takes a look at the strategies of fighters versus problem solvers.


BLITZER: According to state officials, more than 350,000 voters are expected to turn out at the polls today, a record for the New Hampshire primary. For the candidates, the voting is the culmination of weeks and months of campaigning and organizing.

Our Bill Delaney takes a closer look at the get-out-the-vote efforts here in the Granite State.


BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For all the rigmarole that swirls around the New Hampshire primary, polls, promises, paraphernalia and, well, politics, it all comes down to people like 79-year-old Ruth Packet (ph) of Belmont. The Bill Bradley campaign got her to the polls for the first time in a decade.

RUTH PACKET: I wouldn't have come out. They called him, and I had thought of him, so that was it.

DELANEY: But it's all about getting out the vote. The McCain campaign had several thousand volunteers on phones and on the street. Steve Forbes, 68 vehicles running around.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am a senior volunteer with Bill Bradley for president.

DELANEY: Bradley, along with volunteers, 25 phone lines in each of three offices, as well as another 65 cell phones, part of the fever pitch, even in frigid New Hampshire. Noisy, and maybe even more importantly, quiet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we're doing today is called a door-to- door canvass. It's the single most influential thing that we as supporters and volunteers can do to help Bill Bradley.

DELANEY: Edie Bijon (ph), a U.S. citizen who lives on the Caribbean island of Aruba, came to winter for the love of Bill Bradley, inspired by what she read about him on the Internet. This part of canvassing is called waiting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have our envelopes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would check it off and make sure you have the right...

DELANEY: Street-level Democracy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which side is your side?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want to go through it first?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, go through it with me.


DELANEY: To deal with, negotiating your way through those awkward doorways -- and awkward situations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm campaigning for Bill Bradley.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: May I leave some literature for you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not interested, thank you.



DELANEY: What it all comes down to in New Hampshire: one man, one woman, one vote.

(on camera): For all the finely-honed TV advertising and high- tech polling, the politics of the doorbell is still a big part of every campaign here. Political veterans know that personal touch can really help get the voters out. And after all, if they stay home, all of these people running for president may as well have, too.

Bill Delaney, CNN, Belmont, New Hampshire.


BLITZER: Democrats Bill Bradley and Al Gore have adopted two very distinct strategies in their battle for support, who as our Bill Schneider explains, are both working from a tried and true script -- Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Wolf, if the race between Al Gore and Bill Bradley looks familiar, it's because the Democrats have seen it before many times -- it's the fighter versus the problem solver, again.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Last fall, Al Gore turned his floundering campaign around by adopting a new image.

GORE: I want to fight for you. A president can fight for all the people.

SCHNEIDER: The payoff? Gore won the Iowa caucuses and came out sounding like Rocky Balboa.

GORE: We've just begun to fight!


GORE: And I ask you to join with me to fight for a better future.

I want to fight for you, for your family, for your community, for your future.

SCHNEIDER: Bill Bradley presents himself as a visionary who can solve big problems.

BRADLEY: Take big complicated problems, turn them into public issues and then make something happen?

SCHNEIDER: Some Democrats -- affluent, educated, high-minded -- don't go in for fighting. They think that's what's wrong with Washington. They want a visionary leader who can rise above partisan rancor. Adelai Stevenson was once their hero in the '50s. In 1968, liberal Democrats split between the idealistic and visionary Eugene McCarthy and relentlessly adversarial Robert F. Kennedy.

In 1984, it was Gary Hart the idea man versus fighting interest advocate Walter Mondale. In 1988 it was Dick Gephardt the fighter...


REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D), MISSOURI: It's your fight, too!


SCHNEIDER: ... versus Michael Dukakis, the passionless problem solver, who, in the end, didn't show enough fight.

In 1992, populist Bill Clinton promised to fight for the people and feel their pain. Paul Tsongas promised to fix the deficit, and called Clinton a "panda bear." Now, it's happening again.

SUSAN CALEGARI, BRADLEY NEW HAMPSHIRE CAMPAIGN OFFICIAL: The reform-minded voter supported Gary Hart, also supported Mike Dukakis, also supported Paul Tsongas, and probably will support Bill Bradley as well.

SCHNEIDER: By contrast, polls show Gore's support is from union members, minorities, seniors and women, groups that feel economically vulnerable and want someone to fight for them.


SCHNEIDER: But last week, Bradley changed tactics, attacking Gore's truthfulness and electability, in effect, fighting too. Bradley had promised his supporters clean politics. But you know what? When you get into a fight, you're bound to get dirty yourself -- wolf.

BLITZER: Bill, what, if anything, did Al Gore learn from his boss, Bill Clinton, who used to do pretty well campaigning up here in New Hampshire as well?

SCHNEIDER: Well you know, it's interesting, Clinton had to shift tactics in 1992. He thought he was going to run against Mario Cuomo, and he was going to be the centrist Democrat, the idea man. Cuomo was going to be the traditional Democrat. Cuomo didn't run. So suddenly, he's faced with an opponent, Paul Tsongas, who's more to the center than he is, and that's when he took up the populist banner and decided he was going to be a fighting Democrat. I think Gore learned that lesson last fall: When he saw his campaign was floundering, he had to take up the banner of the fighting Democrats, and he transformed himself magically, and maybe successfully.

BLITZER: OK, our senior political analyst Bill Schneider, thanks. And when we return, Jeff Greenfield, on the candidates and the contest.

Stay with us.


BLITZER: Welcome back.

Joining us now, our senior analyst Jeff Greenfield, who's been talking to a lot of people.

We've heard a lot about why Bradley waited so long to get more aggressive. What's your take on that?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Well, it's not so much my take, but one of the senior Bradley advisers gave me a rather pungent answer: He had to lose. Until it became clear to him that not fighting back was going to jeopardize his sense that he was going to get be president, which is something hat he's been told about since he's been in his 20s, it didn't bring home to him how urgent it was for him to fight back. BLITZER: And so you've been fighting back. We've seen a new Bradley all this past week. We also have seen in this state a fiercely independent bloc of voters. A lot of talk about that, and supposedly, they're going to vote for either Bradley or McCain. You've been following the independent vote.

GREENFIELD: Well, it's one of those analyses that tonight is either going to bare or refute, you're right. It's been described as a zero-sum game -- the more McCain gets, the less Bradley gets. What's also possible is that there's a huge independent cohort of voters who may or may not vote. And one of the questions is, if enough independents turn out to vote, to swell the rolls and whether the pollsters didn't predict, there could be enough to help both insurgents. That's not something we're going to know for a couple of more hours. But it's an intriguing possibility.

BLITZER: Now the most recent tracking poll that came out last night, including our own, had McCain beating George W. Bush. If that holds tonight, what does Bush do next?

GREENFIELD: Well, I think Bush and his campaign have been setting the stage for a while the following way: Look, if our opponents spent all of his time in New Hampshire when we were going out on a 50-state campaign, it's possible he'll beat us, we can take that hit. The phrase that Bush used to me, is "I understand pace and perspective." You heard him say, It's a marathon, not a sprint.

And also, he has been sounding all through this campaign general election themes. I think, in one sense, he was willing to take a loss, not wanting one, to keep his position safe for general election. The question is, of course, if all the news tomorrow would be McCain wins and the margin is big enough, maybe they'd want to rethink that strategy. But we'll find out.

BLITZER: Jeff Greenfield, we certainly will find out. In fact, about an hour and a half from now, we'll be knowing a lot more, and there's so much more ahead on this special two-hour edition of INSIDE POLITICS.

Coming up in the next half hour: the conservative candidates -- how will they impact the results here in the Granite State?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning. Good morning, Mr. Vice President.

GORE: Good morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was one of those...

CHARLES ZEWE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's all about getting personal, in a state where candidates are expected to campaign in person and talk directly to voters. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Charles Zewe on campaigning for support on the AM and FM dials. And later, a look at the New Hampshire campaign with our own Jeff Greenfield and our reporters roundtable.


SONIA RUSELER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Sonia Ruseler in Washington, with a look at the headlines. Rescue crews still search for survivors of yesterday's crash of Alaska Airlines flight 261. However, hopes of finding anyone alive are growing dim. Eighty-eight people went down with the plane when it nosedived into the Pacific Ocean near Santa Barbara.

CNN's Jim Moret is at Channel Island Harbor, where the Coast Guard has set up rescue operations.

JIM MORET, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sonia, four bodies have been recovered so far, including one infant. We are at Channel Island Harbor, where several of the Coast Guard cutters which are engaged in this search-and-rescue operation are docked. Let's give you an idea of what's involved right in the search-and-rescue activities which are continuing. About eight to 10 miles off the coast from where I'm standing now, eight Coast Guard cutters, four Navy ships, 20 local and state boats, in addition to several planes and helicopters. The debris field has been identified as roughly 15 square miles.

We've been told by the NTSB that a pinging has been identified and located in a general area, not sure if it is the voice data recorder or the flight data recorder. They are sending in extra recovery equipment from the east coast. We have been told that the depth of the debris field, approximately 700 feet, the water temperature approximately 56 degrees. All of that, of course, playing a factor in survivability. However, this is still being called a search-and-recovery effort. The NTSB concluded a briefing about an hour ago. Here's some of what they had to say:


JOHN HAMMERSCHMIDT, NTSB MEMBER: The controllers then issued a clearance to 17,000 feet. The flight crew acknowledged the clearance to 17,000 and advised they needed a block altitude. And this was the last known transmission from flight 261.


MORET: That last transmission occurred approximately 4:17 p.m. Pacific Time yesterday. The NTSB has outlined a rough timeline, and they underscore, it is rough. At 4:10 p.m., flight 261 notified ground control of a problem. A minute later, they said the plane had been stabilized, but they needed a few minutes to check it out. At 4:15, the crew again radioed, saying the stabilizer was jammed. One minute later, the plane was cleared to land at LAX. At 4:17, lost radio contact. At 4:21, radar contact with the plane was lost.

Again, the search and recovery efforts continue out here and are expected to continue throughout the night.

Jim Moret, CNN, Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard, California.

RUSELER: Thanks, Jim. Baltimore Ravens star linebacker Ray Lewis is being held without bond in Atlanta on murder charges. Lewis appeared in court this morning. He is charged in the stabbing deaths of two men outside a Buckhead nightclub, just hours after the Super Bowl. Lewis' attorney says his client was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.


MAX RICHARDSON, ATTORNEY FOR RAY LEWIS: He states that he's not guilty of these charges, and he believes that the system will ultimately show that he's innocent of these crimes.


RUSELER: Lewis' preliminary hearing has been postponed until February 24.

Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker has been slapped with Major League Baseball's harshest punishment that is related to drug abuse. Rocker was suspended for one month for offensive comments made in "Sports Illustrated." The players' union has filed a grievance, asking the suspension be reduced.

A Senate committee has approved Federal Reserve board Chairman Alan Greenspan for a fourth term. The approval came without any opposition on the committee. The full Senate is expected to approve Greenspan's nomination.

I'm Sonia Ruseler.

And this edition of INSIDE POLITICS with Wolf Blitzer will continue after this commercial.


BLITZER: Welcome back to this special INSIDE POLITICS.

Joining us now, once again, our senior White House correspondent John King. You are hearing about some developing new Bill Bradley strategy?

KING: Wolf, even before the polls close here in New Hampshire we are getting a glimpse of an aggressive Bradley campaign strategy for the weeks ahead.

CNN is told by a senior adviser to the Bradley campaign that in just a few minutes the campaign will challenge the vice president to debate once a week as the campaign goes on now toward the March 7 primaries. Remember, the vice president had challenged Senator Bradley to two debates a week. Now Senator Bradley, we understand, will make his own debate challenge to the vice president. Campaign refusing comment right now until the official announcement a few minutes from now. The strategist, however, saying this part of their plan to take Gore on as you go into states in which Gore has a much stronger organization on the ground. This would give Senator Bradley a chance to directly confront the vice president.

Initial reaction from the vice president's camp, they say they'll think about this. One senior adviser said given that the vice president issued his own challenge first, they'll probably have no choice but to accept.

BLITZER: That's it would be appear to be. It would look hypocritical if they rejected given the vice president's repeated pushes for these debates.

KING: The vice president likes to debate. Although, he was very angry at himself and disappointed at his last debate performance. He did not think he achieved what he wanted to. But again, he challenged Senator Bradley first. The Gore campaign thinking at least initially it will have no choice but to accept, which means more debates in the weeks ahead.

BLITZER: OK. Our senior White House correspondent John King.

And now we focus on the three Republicans who make up the so- called second tier, if you will, of the Republican pack. Steve Forbes traveled to a New Hampshire polling place to visit with voters this morning. At another stop, he was presented with the opportunity to be carried by a group of people forming a mosh pit, as Alan Keyes did only last week. But Forbes evaded the crowd and slipped back onto his bus.

No moshing today for Alan Keyes, either. He stumped for last- minute votes, particularly among social conservatives. Keyes, Forbes, and Gary Bauer all are competing for the support of the so-called religious right. But only 8 percent of likely GOP voters in New Hampshire have said they are religious conservatives. Thirty-five percent of GOP caucus-goers in Iowa identified themselves that way.

Nonetheless, Bauer, Keyes, and Forbes may influence the outcome when the votes are tallied here in the Granite State.


BLITZER (voice-over): Gary Bauer was flipping pancakes, but he got flipped instead. He came back unscathed. That almost certainly won't be the case in New Hampshire. He was a distant fifth in Iowa, and he's expected to do worse in the Granite State. That will raise more questions about whether he can remain on the stage at all.

BAUER: I obviously have to start winning some of these.

FORBES: Well, I'm calling to ask for your help tomorrow.

BLITZER: Bauer's two rivals for the conservative vote, Steve Forbes and Alan Keyes, are likely to do better, though by no means as well as they did in Iowa. Together, those three wound up with more than 50 percent of the vote. In New Hampshire, polls show they'll wind up with perhaps 25 percent.

DICK BENNETT, AMERICAN RESEARCH GROUP: The difference is that in New Hampshire, voters here tend to be more socially moderate and fiscally conservative.

BLITZER: Still, how big a vote they get could determine whether George W. Bush finishes first or second. If Forbes and Keyes do well, it could hurt Bush, since conservatives are unlikely to vote for the more moderate John McCain.

BENNETT: An extra vote for Steve Forbes is a vote for McCain. Yes, it is, and that's just the way it works here.


BLITZER: Four years ago, Pat Buchanan spoiled Bob Dole's effort in New Hampshire by a margin of only about 2,000 votes. In a close contest between Bush and McCain, that kind of relatively small difference could also have a huge impact.

Candidates at the back of the bus often -- at the back of the pack often use radio to try to get their message out. But even the front-runners rely on the medium that is more affordable and more portable than TV.

CNN's Charles Zewe looks at radio's influence on the primary here in New Hampshire.


DAN PIERCE, WGIR RADIO: Joining us right now, Senator John McCain. How do you take whatever happens tomorrow in New Hampshire into South Carolina ?

ZEWE (voice-over): A.M. 610, Manchester. On Dan Pierce's talk show the topic is presidential politics. Arizona Senator John McCain is on the phone from his "Straight Talk Express" bus.

MCCAIN: We have turned this into a cliffhanger and a very close race.

ZEWE: In the frantic struggle to reach Granite State voters, radio has become an essential battleground.


UNIDENTIFIED NARRATOR: John McCain's plan truly secures Social Security.



UNIDENTIFIED NARRATOR: Bradley will tackle campaign finance reform.



UNIDENTIFIED NARRATOR: George W. Bush for president, a fresh start for America.


ZEWE: Using paid spots, the seven men who would be president have blanketed the airwaves.


UNIDENTIFIED NARRATOR: Steve Forbes favors the flat tax, plain and simple.


ZEWE: They've also become fixtures on call-in shows.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning. Good morning, Mr. Vice President.

GORE: Good morning.

ZEWE: It's all about getting personal in a state where candidates are expected to campaign in person and talk directly to voters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What would be your approach to cooperation with the U.N.?

PIERCE: People take radio as an intimate medium, because they feel close to that person who is talking to them in their car or in their home.

ZEWE: Compared to expensive TV commercials, talk shows are free and effective for candidates like Gary Bauer and Alan Keyes, who have limited resources. But even the well-financed top-tier depend on radio, too.

ERIC HAUSER, BRADLEY CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: There's nowhere to hide on the radio. The voice is all you've got, and if you can't convince people through your passion, your ideas, there's nowhere to hide.

ZEWE: They also use radio to clarify misstatements and rapidly respond to attacks.

PIERCE: Did you in fact raise some taxes as well as cut some taxes?

BUSH: No, we cut taxes, Dan.

CLARK HUBBARD, UNIV. OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: The audience for political talk shows is the audience that goes to the polls, so it's almost a guarantee that anyone who's listening to a show like that is probably politically active in some way and probably will vote.

ZEWE: And that's why candidates continued to call in even as voters were going to the polls.

Charles Zewe, CNN, Manchester, New Hampshire.


BLITZER: And still ahead, Jeff Greenfield heads up our reporters' roundtable.

INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.


BLITZER: The candidates, the primary, and the White House race, we now turn to Jeff Greenfield and our roundtable of correspondents -- Jeff.

GREENFIELD: Thank you, Wolf. Joining me tonight: four veterans of CNN's "sensory deprivation" experiment. Just seeing how many hours and how many days without stop they can cover campaigns.

Candy Crowley and John King. Candy has been with the Bush campaign, John with the Gore campaign. Also, Jeanne Meserve and Jonathan Karl. Jeanne is covering Bill Bradley; Jonathan has been with John McCain.

So there is something like the Stockholm Syndrome at this point where you bond with your captors, and I would assume at this point they can begin to let their guard down. What have you heard today from your respective campaigns that you don't think is just the same old spin? What are they telling you? -- John.

KING: Well, I think they're genuinely scared. The demographics of New Hampshire have changed quite a bit since the last competitive primary here. So they have -- even now, they're still out knocking on doors -- about 2000 people in the blue collar neighborhoods: Manchester, Concord, Nashua.

They have lists of Gore voters and they have lists of Gore voters who've shown up at the polls. If you haven't shown up, they're knocking on your door.

GREENFIELD: Let's stay with the Democrats a second. Jeanne, from the Bill Bradley campaign today, the last -- our last tracking poll had him way behind. Are they -- do they think they're going down big?

MESERVE: No, they think they've picked up ground in the last couple of days, and they are presenting a fairly positive image. The candidate himself, I spent 25 minutes with on his bus and he was pretty jovial and upbeat. I didn't get a sense of impending defeat weighing upon them. GREENFIELD: OK. Candy, your candidate has been just this "Mr. Inevitability," for instance -- almost since before he announced. What are they telling you about today?

CROWLEY: I think for the first time at least, if you can be privately open, they believe that -- they will privately tell you they believe they may just lose. If they do, I can tell you it's going to be "bump in the road," you know, "we move on, 50-state campaign."

So, not because it's been -- they genuinely believe that they've got a campaign that sustains itself, minus New Hampshire. And they have known all along that New Hampshire was very iffy; at least, they've known since December.

GREENFIELD: But a couple of days ago, were they privately, openly telling you that they thought they could pull it out?

CROWLEY: Actually, the people around him, the New Hampshire- savvy advisers among them, really did think that they could pull this out, two points, three points. They were talking about that. It's been kind of like this: When he was first here, you got a sense, "Oh, they think they're going to lose." And then, all of a sudden they're going: "You know what? This is doable." But we're back down now to: "bump in the road, move on."

GREENFIELD: Jonathan Karl, your guy, John McCain, has captured, I would think, the emotional headlines of this with the "Straight-talk Express" and candor almost to the point of walking a tightrope. Are they -- our last poll had him well ahead. Is that where they think they are?

KARL: They are, you know, publicly downplaying expectations, saying: "I think it's going to be a tight race." Privately, they are giddy. They think they are way ahead, think that they're going to have a very big victory tonight, and they are already talking about what comes next.

As a matter of fact, McCain takes off tonight. As soon as he gets done with his speeches and his interviews, he is flying out of here and going right to South Carolina, having a rally on the ground there.

GREENFIELD: Let me -- let me see if we can pursue this. I love this phrase, Candy: the privately, openly feelings of the campaign. You just -- you may have added something new to the political dialogue.

But regrets? If there is one regret that you can point to in each of your campaigns or one concern, what would it be? I think we'll go the same way.

John, the Gore campaign have any second thoughts about what they've done?

KING: I think they did not take Bradley serious at the very beginning. The vice president ignored him for months thinking he could play "the anointed" and not deal with Senator Bradley; and they are suffering for that, although there is the alternative approach that he's become a better candidate because of the fight, that ultimately, he will be better off.

But if they get bruised along the way, it will be in part, they think, because their candidates -- some of the staffers early on said, "We better worry about this: only one challenger." All the anti- Clinton, anti-Gore movement goes to one guy. But their candidate did not take Bill Bradley seriously at the very beginning.

GREENFIELD: And Jeanne, when Bradley was sinking in the polls, the regrets were wide open.

MESERVE: About Iowa -- about Iowa.


MESERVE: He told me today that he felt that he had not moved fast enough to counter Al Gore in Iowa when that famous flood advertisement went up that Bradley and some independent ad analyst said was a misrepresentation of Bradley's position. He eventually went up with an ad, and Gore took his off.

But in the final weekend of the campaign, Gore put that ad back up, and that is the thing that got the Bradley campaign furious. And that is why Bradley came out swinging in that debate on Wednesday night and hasn't stopped yet.

GREENFIELD: Just quickly, any regrets about even going to Iowa?

MESERVE: You know, I asked him that. I asked him if he thought that he'd spent too much time there and squandered that big lead that he enjoyed here just a few weeks ago. He said no; he thought Iowa was important too.

GREENFIELD: From the Bush campaign?

CROWLEY: Look, you would think at this point they'd say: "Gee, I wish we'd spent a little more time in New Hampshire; it's really, you know, a grip-and-grin state. We should have been here more often." They won't say that. I think that their regret, if we are going to hear them, will come after South Carolina, because the 50-state strategy, you know, once you hit states, you know, three and four after New Hampshire, if you're not winning there, then you've got to step back and look.

But they still believe that this strategy -- they don't think McCain can come out of here. They think he doesn't have the money or the core support to sustain this. Any kind of, you know, jolt that he gets out of here, they believe that it's Bush that has all that in place.

So if you're going to see a regret, it's going to be after South Carolina.

GREENFIELD: Since this is all post hoc, if Bush loses, any regrets about bringing his family in on the grounds that it made him look like Junior?

CROWLEY: You know, I know that the McCain campaign thought that. No, there isn't. This is a pretty close family. This is a guy who would welcome his dad. As I am told, the parents called and said, you know, we can come up, or you know, we really want to come up. And they let them come up. And that -- there's no regret there that I can see.

GREENFIELD: Jonathan, if your campaign is giddy, the idea of a regret may seem unlikely. So let me...

KARL: Yes. There weren't a lot of regrets over at McCain headquarters, but there is -- there is potentially one. Long ago, when nobody was paying attention to McCain, he was 3 percent in the polls, he decided to let reporters ride along with him around in the state. You know, most campaigns' reporters follow, tag along in a bus behind.

McCain had nobody really paying much attention, so he said: "Ah, come on, ride along, we'll talk." Well, he's kept doing it, and it's become the modus operandi. It's what they do. Reporters go with McCain all the time, everywhere he goes. And you know, we've asked him: "Is that going to continue? I mean, if you come out of here winning New Hampshire, you're going on, are you going" -- he says he's going to continue to do this.

His aides are growing a little weary. They never have any one- on-one time with their candidate.

GREENFIELD: And they're going to have to have a 747 bus, I think, to fit all those reporters.

OK, folks, we'll be seeing you, I don't know, probably 30 hours without stop here. Thank you very much. John king, Candy Crowley, Jeanne Meserve, Jonathan Karl.

Wolf, we're letting them go, but just for a minute.

BLITZER: All right, Jeff Greenfield and our quartet of excellent political reporters. So much more on this night of politics in New Hampshire. INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.


BLITZER: Stay with us for our second hour of this special INSIDE POLITICS from New Hampshire. Up next, what should you watch for when the primary returns start coming in tonight? Our Bill Schneider will have some tips.

Also ahead...


BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Why? Why should such a little place be such a big deal? And can it last?


BLITZER: ... Bill Delaney on the future of New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation status. Plus, how the Granite State has gone suburban. It turns out voters here are more like people in other places than you might think.


BLITZER; Welcome back to our special two-hour edition of INSIDE POLITICS on this primary day here in New Hampshire.

The campaigning is over, and the voters are having their say.

Most presidential hopefuls, including Republican George W. Bush, campaigned outside polling places this morning, hoping, perhaps, to change some minds at the time very last minute.

John McCain sounded optimistic about victory, mindful of opinion polls heading into today's primary, most of which showed him leading Bush.

But that didn't seem to dampen rival Steve Forbes' enthusiasm as he stopped to visit with voters this morning.

In the Democratic race, Al Gore steered clear of making any predictions about whether he would beat expectations and win here in the Granite State tonight.

But his lone challenger, Bill Bradley, exuded confidence earlier today as he too campaigned outside of polling places.

Even before the returns come in, CNN has learned the Bradley camp is set to challenge Vice President Gore to take part in a debate a week. Gore has previously offered to debate Bradley twice a week.

Primary returns won't start coming in, of course, until after most polling places close, which happens about one hour from now. CNN's senior political analyst Bill Schneider is back with some tips on what you may want to watch for beyond the vote tallies -- Bill.

SCHNEIDER: Yes indeed. Watch the New Hampshire primary returns with us here at CNN, and you'll find out a lot more than just who won and who lost. Tonight's results will answer a lot of questions about where this campaign is headed and what it means for the country, questions like these: Is Bill Bradley a serious contender for the Democratic nomination? He says he's determined to carry on whatever happens in New Hampshire. But the worse Bradley does, the more he'll be seen as a spoiler.

Will there be long hand-to-hand struggle for the Republican nomination? The answer is yes if John McCain does especially well today.

Are conservatives going to be a serious force this year? Keep an eye on how many votes Steve Forbes, Gary Bauer and Alan Keyes get. And what happened to the Pat Buchanan vote? Buchanan was a sensation in the last two New Hampshire Republican primaries. The only Republican close to Buchanan's message is Alan Keyes.

Boy, it will be the mother of all ironies if Keyes becomes the candidate of angry white men.

Are voters sending a message? New Hampshire primary voters have done it before: Eugene McCarthy's anti-war message; Jimmy Carter's morality message; Pat Buchanan's anti-establishment message.

If McCain and Bradley both do well today, they'll send a big message that voters are sick and tired of politics as usual and they want a new kind of leadership.

Are voters really engaged in this campaign? Last week's low turnout in the Iowa caucuses suggests they're not. If turnout stays low in New Hampshire today, it'll be a signal that the campaign isn't really connecting with the voters. "Campaign? What campaign? The economy's booming, we're too busy making money."

Now, of course, the spinners will be spinning tonight. Losers will tell you why their loss is really a win and why the other guy's win is really a loss.

But stick with us. We'll straighten it all out.

BLITZER: We certainly will here on CNN. We will make sure the truth is reported and only the truth.

SCHNEIDER: Only the truth.

BLITZER: Thanks a lot, Bill Schneider

And those who do not come out on the top tonight may try to spin their defeat, as Bill Schneider just said. They'll argue that the people of New Hampshire do not necessarily reflect the views of voters across the nation.

But as CNN's Chris Black reports, that is not as true as it once was.


CHRIS BLACK, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every four years, New Hampshire seems to emerge from the mist, a political Brigadoon critics say is unrepresentative of the nation.

The Granite State is still 98 percent white. The largest city is quite small. Its residents are more affluent and better educated than those of most other states. But things are changing here. Once rural, the state is now overwhelmingly suburban.

ANDY SMITH, UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE SURVEY: If you closed your eyes and you didn't see the hills and the trees quite as much, you would think you were in any other suburban area across the country.

BLACK: And suburbanites make up a majority of those who vote in presidential elections nationally.

PROFESSOR WILLIAM MAYER, NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY: The kinds of people who are voting in New Hampshire today are perhaps not that different from the sorts of people who are voting in lots of other states.

BLACK: A sour economy drove thousands of residents away in the late 1980s. A renewed economy in the '90s attracted new people, swelling the population in the southern tier, changing the state's political complexion.

STEVE DUPREY, NEW HAMPSHIRE GOP CHAIRMAN: Forty years ago, this was a Republican state, and we'd kiddingly say we used to register Democrats when they came across the border. Now the largest group of voters is the independents, and that follows a national trend.

BLACK: New Hampshire has the highest concentration of high-tech workers in the nation, a soccer mom for governor, and lots of shopping malls. Once isolated in its chilly corner of New England, New Hampshire has become part of the economic and cultural mainstream and heavily influenced by its next-door neighbor, Massachusetts, where many commuters work.

SMITH: And it's to the point now where you can't tell the difference much between Southern New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts. A lot of Southern New Hampshire is essentially suburban Boston.

BLACK (on camera): And the demographic changes have eroded the Republican stronghold on this state. The Clinton-Gore ticket carried the last two presidential elections, showing that New Hampshire, at least sometimes, is now more in step with the rest of the nation.

Chris Black, CNN, Manchester, New Hampshire.


BLITZER: And up next on INSIDE POLITICS, Margaret Carlson and Tucker Carlson on the first-in-the-nation primary.


BLITZER: Welcome back. Joining us now, Margaret Carlson of "Time" magazine and Tucker Carlson of "The Weekly Standard."

Margaret, you've spent a lot of time taking a look at the McCain style and the Bradley style, two candidates competing for that so- called independent vote here in New Hampshire. Contrast these two politicians for us.

MARGARET CARLSON, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Well, for Bradley, there's a lack of style, because to be authentic is not to be polished; it's to be who you are. And Bradley carries around with him this sense of searching, looking for a better way. He doesn't like politics as usual, which comes across as he doesn't like politics.

On the other side, you have McCain, who campaigns in this joyful way. He's just full of energy and life. And at the Bedford town hall last night, where Tucker and I both were, it was like Christmas and the Fourth of July all rolled into one, and it's just bursting with energy and enthusiasm, and you look at these two independents going after the independent vote, and you say, well, who would the independent vote for? The guy who really loves it and is answering their questions and spending all this time? Or the person who has a sense existential dread about him?


TUCKER CARLSON, "WEEKLY STANDARD": No, it really -- I mean, the interviews this morning. Imus says to McCain.


BLITZER: Welcome back to this special edition of INSIDE POLITICS.

We're continuing our conversation with Margaret Carlson of "Time" magazine and Tucker Carlson of "The Weekly Standard." Tucker, we were talking about the contrast between John McCain and Bill Bradley, two candidates competing for that independent vote. You've seen them both up close and personal.

T. CARLSON: It's a profound contrast. I mean, McCain was up at, you know, 5:00 this morning, chowing doughnuts, making fun of reporters on the bus. He was asked, you know, what are you going to do today, the last day of the New Hampshire primary and he said, well, of course I'm going to be harassing my opponents and tearing down their campaign signs. Bradley when asked the question said something like, huh, kind of growled and then said, I would tell voters to vote for me, and that was essentially it. Bradley's aides were telling reporters not to get close to him, not to ask him questions. In the long run that has an effect.

BLITZER: Margaret, is this -- are we reading too much into the fact that the histories, the biographies of these two candidates so different. John McCain spent five and a half years in hell in a prison camp in Vietnam, no wonder he's so happy now. He has -- he knows what misery is. And Bill Bradley, I guess losing an NBA game is not exactly the kind of misery that John McCain lived through.

M. CARLSON: In one of the books about Bill Bradley it says he would sulk after losing for days and days. John McCain perhaps has answered the question -- the existential questions. He had six years to do it. And Bill Bradley is searching for meaning, he asked voters to find a greater meaning in life than prosperity. And you get a sense with McCain that he's come to the other side, and it's a great feeling to convey to voters, I know what I'm doing. It's more than biography. It's that, I have arrived at a place where I can lead you.

BLITZER: It's the self confidence that he has as well, right, Tucker? T. CARLSON: It is and what's interesting in the relationship between Bradley and McCain, Bradley often talks about the new politics, or at least contrasts it with the old politics of Al Gore, but it's really McCain who is practicing some form of new politics, I mean, this radical openness, this, you know, zero regard for partisan affiliation.

I mean, the McCain campaign is making the case and I think it's sort of compelling that if he wins he will have a huge effect on what the Republican Party is. They're starting up this almost sort of millennial about the effect of McCain on the political sphere and -- I don't know. It's somehow I think more valid than it is when Bradley talks.

M. CARLSON: You know, as a matter of fact, this politics is so new it's old. Jack Germond wrote about having access to candidates in a way that we simply haven't had, because we weren't around back then. John McCain has reinvigorated that. You can have access to him any time in a way that you can't have to Bradley or Bush or Gore.

BLITZER: All right. Margaret Carlson, Tucker Carlson on INSIDE POLITICS, always great to have you on this program, thanks for joining us on this special day as well.

Live free or die is New Hampshire's official state motto, but the slogan, first in the nation, is the pride and joy of many political figures here.

On this primary day, CNN's Bill Delaney looks at the Granite State's leadoff status and whether it will stick.


DELANEY (voice-over): For longer than most people can remember, since 1916, New Hampshire has been the country's first primary, memorialized in at least three museum exhibitions in the state capitol Concord alone. But why should such a little place be such a big deal, and can it last?

DEAN SPILIOTES, DARTMOUTH COLLEGE: What we are seeing this time around increasingly in a sense is a national campaign strategy by candidates on both parties, where they focus in New Hampshire, but they also focus in other states around the country.

DELANEY: They better, say most political analysts, with so many primaries now jammed into one six week or so make or break blitz. No candidate this year has focused more exclusively on New Hampshire than Arizona Senator John McCain, who is in fine shape in this state, but not, according to most polls, just about everywhere else, making the McCain strategy this time around something of a test case.

(on camera): Should McCain win here, as many think he will, and then wind up losing the Republican nomination to George W. Bush's more sophisticated monied-national organization, next time around many will likely be more wary than ever of a New Hampshire-centric strategy. (voice-over): Whoever has won the presidency since 1952 has won in New Hampshire, with the exception Bill Clinton, who came in second. And the fact is, since 1975, it's been state law in New Hampshire that the state is the first primary. Democratic state representative Jim Splaine drafted the legislation which was renewed just this year.

JIM SPLAINE (D), NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE HOUSE: We really just about everything that most of the other states have and the question has to be, if not New Hampshire, where else is better?

DELANEY: Well, Delaware, for one, if you ask election officials there. They say their state is as small and easy to get around in as New Hampshire, but more ethnically diverse. New Hampshire officials respond may be just a might defensively, hey, we have to be first; it's the law.

SPILIOTES: The state officials and state representatives that I've talked to and just people in New Hampshire that I've talked to anecdotally all suggest that they are somewhat upset by the fact that it seems like New Hampshire is no longer the king maker, that there's this intense political drama going on here, and some people feel that it's almost beside the point that the national parties have pretty much anointed Bush and Gore.

DELANEY: Whatever the future of the New Hampshire primary, though, expect a fight to maintain the status quo. This state of about 1,100,000 people is expected to earn about $210 million from this year's first-in-the-nation primary.

Bill Delaney, CNN, Manchester, New Hampshire.


BLITZER: And still to come on this special primary edition of INSIDE POLITICS, Mike McCurry and Tony Blankley offer their analysis of the races here in the Granite State.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a place where you get a chance to try it out. We're like the -- we're like New Haven to Broadway, we're a place that lets you come in early and try out the act.


BLITZER: Bruce Morton on New Hampshire's distinctive spot on the road to the White House.


BLITZER: Welcome back. Joining us now at our primary headquarters here in Manchester, New Hampshire, CNN political analyst, former Clinton White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry, and former Gingrich Press Secretary Tony Blankley. Mike, you've been with winners, you've been with losers over your career.



BLITZER: It's better to be with winners. If -- if you giving some advice to George W. Bush tonight and if our tracking poll from last night and all the other tracking polls that were released showed that he possibly could lose to John McCain, what advice would you give to someone like George W. Bush tonight if, in fact, he winds up losing?

MCCURRY: Well, you know, sometimes losing is not a bad thing. If you're a candidate that needs to establish who you are with the American people -- remember, we're going into a period now where people are finally going pay attention to this campaign. After New Hampshire really the window opens and people begin to take this race seriously. This is a moment for George Bush to demonstrate some gravitas.

If he gets knocked off the horse tonight, and you know, he's got to get himself up, dust himself him off and ride on. And it's, in a way, an opportunity if he takes a knocking from McCain.

Of course, the problem is it's a great opportunity for John McCain.

TONY BLANKLEY, FORMER GINGRICH PRESS SECRETARY: It's an opportunity, but the next several days are going to be the critical days in the Bush campaign. They have to decide. They have to pivot.

The campaign that they're running is not working and they have to pivot to something else. And they're going to be working through.

Already talking to people in Washington this afternoon, you're hearing advice that's being thrown into the Bush camp about, you know, how to go more aggressively, change the style. So we're going to have to be watching closely to see what happens in the next few days, because they've got -- the Republicans have the campaigns coming up in the next several weeks where the Democrats have five weeks before their next campaign.

MCCURRY: Wolf, congressional Republicans are going to get a little nervous now, because they can't have that guaranteed top of the ticket, that strength that lifts all the votes for them. They're going to start wondering whether they should hedge their bets.

I thought it was interesting today -- we haven't talked about it -- that Trent Lott and Denny Hastert were down at the White House to do the annual "let's meet with the president to see what we can get done" meeting today.

My guess is they may start thinking maybe we should try to put some legislative achievements on the record so that we have our -- incumbents have something to run something on.

BLANKLEY: Well, of course, that brings back the remembrance of the 1996 campaign that you and I were involved in from the inside, where the Republicans give the welfare bill to Clinton. And the question is, did that help Clinton or did it help the Republicans?

So I think, you know, one thing we want to watch, I think, also is how surprised the people in Washington are. Within the last 48 hours, there was expectation in Republican circles that Bush was going to win. That is resulting in shock there this afternoon.

BLITZER: And on the Democratic side, Mike, the Gore-Bradley race. The polls show going into today, the polls were showing that Gore was ahead but it was still relatively close. These two candidates are indicating it's not over with by any means. They're going to go to New York and California. They're both going to have to spend a lot of money now.

MCCURRY: You know, in a way, I think tonight is going to be a metaphor for what's coming ahead in the campaign. It's going to be a long time before we have an actual result that we can be certain of. And I think this campaign is going to go on for a while.

The real danger for both the vice president and for Senator Bradley is we Democrats go in kind of a black hole. There really isn't much on our calendar until March 7th, which in effect is a national primary. Over on the Republican side, Tony, you're going to have quite a story develop.

BLANKLEY: Yes, I mean, Bradley is going to have his considerable war chest, whatever it is, $15-20 million to spend in California and New York over the next five weeks. And that's where that part of the campaign is going.

BLITZER: And Bradley is strong in New York, given the fact that he was an NBA star in New York. And California, he's got a lot of support in Silicon Valley.

MCCURRY: Wolf, I strongly suspect Senator Bradley is going to be there all the way to the convention in Los Angeles. I think that's why it's especially important for both these candidates to be careful how they go at each other. They got -- they got down and dirty a little bit toward the end of this campaign here in New Hampshire.

BLITZER: Is that real or is that show? I mean, do you think there is real animosity?

MCCURRY: Well, it's all compared to what. I mean, we've -- we've seen some nasty campaigns before.


MCCURRY: I don't know that this qualifies. It's been pretty tame. In fact, for large measure, Vice President Gore, Senator Bradley have been debating health care, education, issues that I think are very much on the minds of voters. If they keep that up and keep it substantive, it could be pretty attractive compared to what's going on, on the other side.

BLANKLEY: The fact is the Democratic primary here in New Hampshire it appears that negative campaigning worked. When Gore went negative on Bradley, he took him down. When Bradley went negative on Gore, he started closing the gap. So negativity works, even though the electorate says they don't want to have negativity.

MCCURRY: I think it's a question of how negative, and I think if it gets too personal and too nasty, I think voters, and especially Democratic leaders like Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt, as they've already done, they're going to kind of put down a marker and say, hey, let's be careful about the tonal quality of this debate.

BLITZER: Because the real debate will come with the Republicans down the road.

Mike McCurry, Tony Blankley, always good to have you on INSIDE POLITICS, especially on a special INSIDE POLITICS.

And coming up next, our Bruce Morton takes a look at New Hampshire's place in political history. But first, we'll check in with Stuart Varney for the latest in financial news.


STUART VARNEY, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. I'm Stuart Varney, and topping tonight's business headlines, yes, another late- day rally on Wall Street. Stocks followed up on yesterday's strong run-up with more broad-based gains. But all in all, it was a rather quiet session, with many investors opting out of the action the day before an expected decision on the future of interest rates.

Fred Katayama is live at the New York Stock Exchange with more on all of this -- Fred.


Volume was relatively light today as Wall Street awaited word from Fed policy-makers. Still, the rally was encouraging. The Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P were all higher for the second day in a row, the first time that's happened in two and a half weeks. The Dow jumped 100 to 11,041, building on yesterday's 200-plus gain. Volume on the big board, 980 million shares. Winners beat out losers by a ratio of nearly 4-to-3. Thirty-one stocks hit new highs, 130 new lows.

A much bigger gain for the Nasdaq today, up 111, or 2.8 percent, to 4,051. Volume there, 1.4 billion shares. Nasdaq winners included Qualcomm, up after it signed a deal with China's number-two telecom company. And Cisco surged more than 8 1/4. Helping the Nasdaq and the Dow, Microsoft up more than 5. Big gains for blue-chip retailers Wal-Mart and Home Depot as well -- Stuart.

VARNEY: All right. Fred Katayama, thank you. But next question is what is going to happen tomorrow on Wall Street? A lot will ride on what happens in Washington as the Fed concludes its first rate-setting meeting of the new century. As Alan Greenspan headed into the meeting today, most economists agree that the Fed will indeed raise the benchmark interest rates. But will it raise it by a quarter point, that's 25 basis points, or a half point? That is a key question that investors want answered.


JON BURNHAM, CHMN. & CEO, BURNHAM SECURITIES: I wish they would go to 50 basis points tomorrow and then say that that's going to be it for a while, you know, maybe a considerable period of time. But I don't really think that Mr. Greenspan will do that. I think he'll raise them a quarter of a percent probably and then everybody will be worried what he's going to do at the next meeting.


VARNEY: The last time policy-makers raised the federal funds rate was November. That's what banks charge other banks for overnight loans, by the way, and that rate now stands at 5 1/2 percent. The prime rates, that's what banks charge their best customers, that stands at 8 1/2 percent.

Now, to the bond market, which today showed little hesitation ahead of tomorrow's Fed meeting. After falling initially on strong economic reports, the 30-year Treasury ended the day up 25/32, and that pushed the yield down to 6.42 percent.

While the fate of interest rates is unclear, the fate of Alan Greenspan's professional future is not. The Senate Banking Committee approved his nomination for a fourth term as Fed chairman by a unanimous voice vote. Mr. Greenspan is expected to win quick approval from the full Senate as early as Thursday.

In Detroit today, a decision by GM on the fate of Hughes Electronics. The company says it has no plans for a complete spin-off of the communications and wireless company, but it will reduce its stake by exchanging about $8 billion worth of the Hughes' tracking stock for GM's common stock. Hughes, by the way, is a faster growing business and has a richer stock, no surprise then that GM stock jumped more than 4 3/4 points on this news, and Hughes was up 2 1/4 points.

Meanwhile, January was another good month for GM's auto sales. Despite heavy winter storms in the East and Midwest, car and truck sales of the number one automaker jumped 12 percent. Ford also higher, recording a 5 percent sales increases with domestic and import car lines delivering the strongest performances.

However, business dropped off for DaimlerChrysler. Sales there, down 5.9 percent last month.

A record fourth quarter at Sprint. Not enough to boost its stock price today. The long-distance phone company blew past Wall Street profit estimates by 9 cents a share, but net income inched up just 3 percent on revenues of nearly $4.5 billion. Earlier on CNNfn, Sprint's chief executive predicted a bright year 2000.


WILLIAM ESREY, CHMN. & CEO, SPRINT: I think the telecom companies sort of span between the new economy and the old economy, and if you look at the way Sprint and our to-be merged partner WorldCom are positioned, we're positioned in all the fast growing areas, wireless and data and the Internet. So I think you will see companies like ours do quite well over the course of the year.


VARNEY: Fair enough. But investors seem more impressed by the results from its wireless business, that's Sprint PCS. Despite a wider than expected loss, the company said revenues more than doubled to just under a billion dollars. Now here is Wall Street's reaction to all this, Sprint stock down more than 1 1/4 today, while Sprint PCS gained 1 3/4.

That's it for this abbreviated edition of "MONEYLINE." We'll see you back here at 11:30 p.m. Eastern with a complete wrap-up of today's financial news.

This special edition of INSIDE POLITICS and the New Hampshire primary continues right after this break.


BLITZER: New Hampshire's primary status has long been a political tradition. Our Bruce Morton, who has covered many presidential races here, takes a look back now at some of the most enduring moments in the primary's history.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New Hampshire, snow, scenery, and the first primary going back to 1952, when Dwight Eisenhower defeated conservative Robert Taft and went onto the White House. Drama? How about 1964, when William Lobe, angry publisher of the angry "Manchester Union Leader," blasted Nelson Rockefeller as a wife swapper. Rockefeller had remarried.

TOM RATH, NEW HAMPSHIRE GOP ACTIVIST: They really blasted him all the way through and by the end the voters got so tired with both he and Goldwater that they wrote in Henry Cabot Lodge, who was the ambassador of South Vietnam and never gotten closer than about 6,000 miles away.

MORTON: Democratic front-runner Ed Muskie in 1972 responding to a William Lobe attack on Muskie's wife, Jane. Did he cry? Hard to tell in the snow.




DAVID NYHAN, "THE BOSTON GLOBE": It became the symbol of Muskie's indecisiveness and would he be tough enough. The Nixon people used that very effectively.

MORTON: George McGovern became the nominee and carried one state against Nixon.

In 1980, Bush won Iowa. The Nashua newspaper sponsored and the Reagan campaign paid for a Reagan-Bush debate. The other candidates showed up and wanted to play, too. The moderator tried to cut off Reagan's microphone.

NYHAN: George Bush sitting there like an errant schoolboy caught sneaking a smoke in the gym and the Gipper saying...


RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am paying for this microphone.


MORTON: Vintage, got the man's name wrong and the line is from an old Spencer Tracey movie, but it worked.

NYHAN: The day of the primary Reagan fired his entire upper campaign echelon.

MORTON: A penalty for losing him Iowa. 1984, when Gary Hart, a distant second in Iowa, beat Walter Mondale here as other campaigns collapsed. 1988, when Bob Dole asked a TV interviewer to tell George Bush to stop lying about my record. And Bush launched negative ads.

RATH: What was a 6-point lead Saturday morning turned into a 9- point win for George Bush on Tuesday night.

MORTON: New Hampshire is no doubt about it, a special place with a special purpose.

NYHAN: New Hampshire really is a place where the underdog can sort of get his hands on the lapels of the front-runner and just shake him up a bit.

RATH: This is a place where you get a chance to try it out. We're like the -- we're like New Haven to Broadway, we're a place that lets you come in early and try out the act.

MORTON: Whatever it does, it isn't like anyplace else.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Manchester, New Hampshire.


BLITZER: And joining us once again, CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield -- Jeff. GREENFIELD: Yes, Wolf, we're going to turn to tonight's primary with a huge sense of relief, because now that real voters are casting real ballots, it brings to an end an exercise in mass hysteria that is the political equivalent of hell week. Every night, new polls, sometimes directly contradicting other polls, sometimes completely reversing the polls from the night before. And each new poll demands new explanations. Bush is winning back Republicans -- no, no, McCain is appealing to them. Bradley waited too long to answer Gore. -- no, it was a brilliant exercise in strategic timing.

And mixed in with these polls, an overdose of half-baked information. The guy in the secretary of state's office says turnout will be huge. I hear the Democrats in Nashua are split. Keyes had a big crowd in Nashua. And all through today, reporters and politicians swapping the same exit poll numbers -- never reported to you, the public, for fear it would influence your vote or your decision to vote, but chewed to death by us.

Are early exit poll numbers often misleading? Yes. Did it stop us? Please. Now, what we report will be actual, real, honest-to- goodness votes. Yes, we will pick them to death. Yes, we will draw lessons of interplanetary significance from the votes of this one small state. But at least we'll be talking not about guesses or hunches, but about real votes, until tomorrow morning. I hear the mood among South Carolina Republicans is mixed.

We'll be back after this.


BLITZER: Joining me now, our anchor team for tonight's primary coverage: Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff, and once again, CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield.

Bernie, you've been through this so many times. What goes through your mind now, only minutes before you and Judy will be telling our audience what we've learned in the course of today?

BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: The heightened level of excitement and anticipation compared to previous New Hampshire campaigns.

BLITZER: Judy, how do you prepare for this kind of day?

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Well, there is really no way to prepare, Wolf. I mean, every election is different, every candidate is different. All you can do is, you know, talk to as many people in the campaigns as you can, try to talk to the folks who follow the campaigns, and then hope you're ready when we go on the air.

BLITZER: Do a lot of homework.

All right, stand by, in just a couple of minutes, most of the polls close, bringing an end to this unique ritual of presidential politics.

Before we get to the results, one last look at the fight in the first-in-the-nation primary as witnessed by our cameras and recorded by our microphones, with a little musical help from the students of Woodbury Elementary School in Bedford, New Hampshire.


UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN (singing): Washington and Eisenhower, Garfield, Grant and Harrison -- these presidents showed leadership while running our great nation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... if you support medical marijuana.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question concerns...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you hire qualified men and women?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is the one most compelling reason that I should vote for you?

GORE: Thank you for asking that question.

FORBES: Thank you very much for your question.

BRADLEY: Thank you very much for your question.

MCCAIN: Thank you, that is an excellent question...


MCCAIN: ... I would prefer to duck.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN (singing): FDR and JFK, Reagan, Johnson, Lincoln ran our country very well by using their persuasion.

BUSH: And the harder you work, the more money you get to keep under President George Bush.

GORE: I want to fight for your families, I want to fight for your communities.

MCCAIN: Give government back. Take it away from the hands of the special interest.

BRADLEY: I'm not going to settle for nickel and diming on gun control.

BAUER: I'm tired of us being played for suckers.

FORBES: This endorsement is a heck of a milestone in this campaign. Very, very significant. And as the kids would say, I am pumped.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN (singing): Bush, and Adams and Monroe, Coolidge, Taft and Hoover -- these presidents worked very hard; they were our country's movers.

GORE: I've been here so many times they know my regular order. UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN (singing): Buchanan, Clinton, Cleveland, Johnson, they were all reformers. They made changes to our country, reaching all four corners.

BRADLEY: Do I like the snow? I do like the snow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very nice meeting you, sir.

BUSH: Hi, guys. How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Jeb and George.

BRADLEY: Do I have some boots? I do have some boots, but I don't have my boots on today.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I saw you on television?

BRADLEY: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw you on television!

GORE: You did? Me?

FORBES: Kids aren't all the same.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN (singing): Leadership, experience and working hard are all fine. Jefferson, he had them all, for he was one of a kind. Be well rounded is the best. It proves to be affective. Just like Thomas Jefferson, it helps to be elected.

KEYES: Thank you.



SHAW: Our first call tonight is that the Arizonan John McCain has dug out a victory in the snows of New Hampshire. Based on CNN exit polling, by the time everything is counted, CNN projects that John McCain will be an easy winner tonight over Texas Governor George Bush. Trailing far behind tonight, Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes and even farther, Gary Bauer.

WOODRUFF: On the Democratic side of this contest, it is a very different story. At this hour, based on exit polling, too close to call. Still a close race between Vice President Al Gore and former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley. This is one that we could be watching for quite some time. And we will be watching it.

Bernie and I are here at our studios in Manchester, New Hampshire, joined by our colleague, analyst Jeff Greenfield. Jeff, the big story, though, has to be John McCain beating Governor Bush.

GREENFIELD: Once again, the Republican Party continues a 20-year tradition of taking the front-runner and hitting him upside the head in one of the early contests. What Bush's father did to Reagan to '80, what Dole did to Bush in the Iowa caucuses, once again -- and this story is even bigger because of the way that John McCain has campaigned.

SHAW: Jeff, does this mean that as we look at the political context of this race tonight George Bush is not so apparently the heir?

GREENFIELD: I think we're going to have to wait for South Carolina. He still is the favorite, but this -- to use our first sports analogy of the evening, in the opening round the underdog challenger has connected.

WOODRUFF: The aura of invincibility that surrounded George Bush literally right up until today, tonight has begun to be chipped away at, though, wouldn't you have to say that, Jeff?

GREENFIELD: Well, it's a free country, so I wouldn't have to say...

WOODRUFF: You can say whatever you want to say, that's right.

GREENFIELD: I think we're going to have to wait for South Carolina. But clearly that -- our call that this is not going to be simply a win but an easy win against the heir apparent of the Republican Party is a heck of an interesting story for the opening round.

SHAW: Let's analyze how the man from Arizona did this. For example, McCain outcampaigned George Bush in this state more than two to one.

GREENFIELD: That's right. And one of the reasons why I am a little hesitant to draw sweeping conclusions from what is undeniably a dramatic story is that John McCain ran a one-state campaign, while George W. Bush was running a multi-state campaign.

But still, it's not just that he won big -- and according to our estimates he will win big -- but he won with a kind of unusual campaign, this idea of going to 114 town meetings, putting everything on the record, gave him not only the aura of the underdog, but almost a kind of Hollywood style of Spencer Tracey in "State Of The Union." And I think for the next couple of days this is going to be the big story in American politics, because it upsets the assumptions.

WOODRUFF: But you're right about the one-state strategy, 114- town meeting, 73 days by last count in this state, a remarkable effort John McCain has put in. All right.

We want to go now to the headquarters of the man who has to be a little disappointed tonight, Texas Governor George W. Bush. There, our own Candy Crowley. Candy, you're talking to them, I know, at this hour.

CROWLEY: Judy, aides to George Bush have known since mid- afternoon that they were going to lose this. That's when they started writing what will amount to a concession speech. You will hear congratulations to John McCain for running a very fine race here, but you will also hear what Jeff was just alluding to about this 50-state strategy. You will hear from this governor that there are more states to go, that this is a bump in the road, and it's a long road which he expects to end at the White House.

Win, lose or draw, the Bush strategy here really was modeled around the strategy he had when he ran for Texas governor against a very tough opponent the first time, there the strategy was simple, don't get riled and stick to the message. For better or for worse, that's what he did here in New Hampshire.


CROWLEY (voice-over): Two words: tax cuts.

BUSH: I worry about money sitting around in Washington.

CROWLEY: A traditional Republican issue, tax cuts are the core strategy in the Bush primary campaign.

BUSH: I believe if there's extra money in Washington, the way to properly spend it is to give it to the people who pay the bills.

CROWLEY: But New Hampshire voters tell pollsters they favor John McCain's smaller tax plan, his emphasis on Social Security and debt reduction, and they favor Steve Forbes' flat tax most of all. But Bush stuck with his plan and turned up the rhetoric.

BUSH: I think it's important for our party to nominate somebody who is running for president who will have a tax cut plan that stands in stark contrast to the Clinton and Gore people, not somebody who sounds exactly like him.

CROWLEY: The strategy behind the strategy is arithmetic. There are 48 states beyond New Hampshire.

BUSH: I intend to have a plan from the beginning of this campaign that should I be the nominee is going to be the plan at the end of the campaign. It's a plan that says we're going to cut the taxes on everybody who pays tax, not a favored few.


CROWLEY: The fact is that Bush strategists believe beyond New Hampshire that tax plan has some real resonance. And they do not believe that John McCain has either the money or the core support from Republicans that he will need to take advantage of a bounce out of here. A little earlier today, George Bush was asked what he would like, he said a little warmer climate. He gets that, he, of course, is headed for South Carolina.

Of course, the McCain camp has an entirely different view of how they can take advantage of this night.

For that we go to my colleague Jon Karl at McCain headquarters. KARL: Well, Candy, the McCain camp has been smelling victory all day. And I just spoke to John McCain, and he said that if these numbers are true, if this victory is really happening in this way that it is a remarkable victory. And he said, "I never expected anything like this. It's got to give us some momentum from here."

And this victory is especially sweet for John McCain, because he started here as a senator from Arizona relatively unknown in the state of New Hampshire and dramatically underfunded.


KARL (voice-over): John McCain's journey from obscurity to contender came with a relentless focus on a single state: New Hampshire.

MCCAIN: Yesterday, we had our 114th town-hall meeting in the state of New Hampshire.

KARL: McCain skipped the Iowa caucuses, focusing almost exclusively on New Hampshire, having the state virtually to himself while his competitors were nearly 2,000 miles away. In the early days, McCain was unknown here, a mere 3 percent in the polls. But after spending more than 70 days here, more than twice as many as George W. Bush, he emerged as the man to beat.

McCain portrayed himself as a reformer in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt, promising to get big money out of big politics. A war hero, McCain told voters he was the man best prepared to be commander in chief.


UNIDENTIFIED NARRATOR: There's only one man running for president who knows the military and understands the world: John McCain.


KARL: Money helped too. McCain spent about $2 million on television ads with. With his tax plan, he turned conventional wisdom on its head. McCain gambled Republicans would care more about paying down the $5.5 trillion debt than scoring a big tax cut.

MCCAIN: My dear friends, for the sake of these young folks, don't you think we ought to pay down that debt? Don't you think we ought to do that?

KARL: That turned out to be one of the most reliable applause lines of his campaign.


KARL: The McCain campaign is calling this a wallop and saying the word of the day is iceberg. They say that George Bush is the Titanic who hit the iceberg and now with a sense of inevitability, the sense that he would inevitably be the Republican nominee is gone and the opportunity is John McCain's.

Back to the anchor desk.

SHAW: Thank you, Jonathan, also Candy Crowley.

We have got a couple of questions as we look at what is happening tonight. If you're just joining us, John McCain, according to CNN exit polling, wins the New Hampshire primary easily.

Jonathan Karl, take us back to the debate here in New Hampshire Wednesday night. How much of McCain's hammering away at the fact that he is a leader that, he does not need training, he does not need further experience, how much of a factor do the McCain people and indeed the candidate himself think that this was persuasive with these New Hampshire voters?

KARL: They think it was a central factor in their win, in fact, what they were for the last week hammering away relentlessly on that point, saying John McCain -- if you look at the debates, they would say John McCain is the only president on the stage, he's the one with on the job training. The candidate himself, McCain never directly attacked Bush, calling him -- he always said, well, I think my friend is prepared as well, George W. Bush, but I am better prepared. And they thought that was a central factor.

And in fact they thought that when George W. Bush brought his father into this state and put him on the stage with the candidate, they said that, that actually helped McCain, because it reminded people that George W. Bush is somebody who got where he is in part because he has a very famous father and that contributed to that sense that George W. Bush might not be ready for the presidency, but John McCain is. That's what the McCain campaign has been saying.

WOODRUFF: Candy, any concern at all among the people around Governor Bush that the sort of tried and true Republican strategy of rolling out the establishment, rolling out respected figures in the party may not work as well this year as it has in the past?

CROWLEY: Well, look, we know it's never worked in New Hampshire. This was the template they were bound and determined to use, and so they did. I would argue that they do believe in places like Michigan, where John Engler, the governor, has a huge political machinery in place, that that's going to be an advantage.

They look at New Hampshire as a bit of an aberration, as most of us do in terms of how they vote and also how the campaign is conducted. They will point out repeatedly that you can't do a hundred plus town hall meetings in South Carolina, in Michigan, in those places, then you do have to rely at least on the structure that's in place.

You have not heard any talk that George Bush, the president, coming up here, of course with his wife, Barbara Bush, was a hindrance to this candidate, certainly because that speaks to the relationship between the two -- at least not among the closest advisers to Bush. There is -- there are some of those around Bush a little further out of the inner circle that do believe that was a mistake.

WOODRUFF: That it was a mistake to bring his father into New Hampshire?

CROWLEY: That what -- that the -- the accumulation of here's Judd Gregg, a well-known politician in New Hampshire, here's Jack Kemp, here's the president -- the accumulation of all of that may have, you know -- New Hampshirites look at that and their tendency is always to like the maverick. Their tendency is to want to send a message to the establishment, so in that, that may have made George Bush seem like an establishment candidate, obviously that hurts.

SHAW: Candy Crowley.

We call it exit polling, but basically, it's snooping around polling places waiting for New Hampshirites to come out. The man in charge of that -- how did these people vote? Why did New Hampshirites vote the way they did? -- Bill Schneider.

SCHNEIDER: The key to this election has always been independents, we've been told. You know, a hundred years ago they called independents the third sex; who needs them? Well, a lot of people said McCain needs them. Let's take a look at how independents voted, because they could vote in the Republican primary. They were a third of the Republican primary vote, and they went 3-1 for John McCain over George Bush.

So is that the case? Did independents hand McCain his victory in this primary? Well, get a grip. I hops you're sitting down, Gov. Bush, because you just lost registered Republicans. Registered Republicans went for John McCain by 10 points over Texas Gov. George Bush. That has to be very unsettling for the Bush campaign, because they though Republicans -- over two-thirds of the primary voters -- they would be secure for Bush, but maybe independents would give them trouble.

GREENFIELD: If I may -- remember Wednesday night when McCain said to Bush, I can beat Al Gore and you can't at the debate, yes, well he said, because I can take the case against campaign finance, you can't, that was the first time I remember McCain taking his central issue and aiming it not toward independents, and generally, but to Republicans as a political argument. Sounds like it might have had an impact.

SCHNEIDER: That's right. And I think McCain -- you know, this is a real danger to Bush, you just heard Jonathan Karl say a minute ago, the image they use is the iceberg hitting the Titanic. We did a poll about six weeks ago, in which we asked people, If John McCain starts winning primaries and beating George Bush, would you still support George Bush? And we discovered Republicans saying that Bush's support would drop by 30 points. They started abandoning ship, if they heard that Bush would no longer look like a winner. Well tonight, he really doesn't look like a winner.

WOODRUFF: One interesting point about the independents, I went back and I looked at 1996, a third of the Republican vote in the primary in '96 was also independents. They went for Pat Buchanan. It's very interesting to see how independents in one election can do one thing and something very different in the next.

SCHNEIDER: That's right, independents tend to vote for the antiestablishment candidate. In 1996, that was clearly Pat Buchanan, against Bob Dole. In this election, clearly the antiestablishment candidate: John McCain.

SHAW: Thank you, Bill Schneider -- Jeff.

GREENFIELD: First of all, what we call election shorts of this evening, to get a different perspective on this. We want to reflect for a moment on some of the truly important things we've learned about the presidential candidates in this primary campaign. Bill Bradley's childhood nickname was "Monster." George W. Bush's favorite comic strip is "Peanuts." Gary Bauer's hidden talent is flipping pancakes. Eight years after Bill Clinton answered the boxers or briefs question, we know more personal trivia about these candidates than ever, and certainly more than any of us ever wanted to know.

John McCain even weighed in on this issue: Who would he rather be stranded with on "Gilligan's Island," Ginger or Marianne? For whatever it tells you about his qualifications to be president, his answer: Marianne.

Back to you folks.

WOODRUFF: Thank for putting it in perspective.

GREENFIELD: Always keep your eye on the ball.

SHAW: We have -- after you.

WOODRUFF: Just a reminder to our audience: We have called the Republican race already for John McCain, winning easily, substantially. On the Democratic side, we want to state once again, it's a very close race according to our interviews with New Hampshire voters as they were leaving the polling places today. It's one that we're going to be watching, we think, for some time this evening. We'll see just how long. But two exciting races in the state of New Hampshire tonight, much to look forward to.

We're going to take a break -- Bernie.

SHAW: And when we come back, we're going to take you promptly to the Gore and Bradley headquarters, and elsewhere of course.


WOODRUFF: Welcome back.

It appears -- you might say that the straight-talk express has rolled through New Hampshire and left Texas Gov. George W. Bush in its wake. On the Republican side, CNN has called in the state of New Hampshire Arizona Senator John McCain a substantial winner over George W. Bush. SHAW: On the Democrat side, Vice President Al Gore and former New Jersey Senator Bradley are locked in a very tight race with 22 delegates at stake. CNN at the hour, at 18 minutes past 7:00 Eastern Standard Time, we say this one is too close to call.

John King is at Gore headquarters.

KING: I have been in touch with senior campaign officials at the Gore campaign headquarters. They are counting on their organization, their ground game here in New Hampshire, to pull out a victory. They're also preparing, though, for a bruising five weeks. The campaign here in New Hampshire turned bitter and personal in the final days. They expect more of that if Senator Bradley wins or is close here in New Hampshire. The Gore campaign expecting a much more aggressive Bradley campaign out of New Hampshire in the next five weeks.

But as they prepare behind the scenes for a bruising stretch ahead, the candidate himself, the vice president, in public, is the voice of confidence.


KING (voice-over): Coffee, donuts and talk of the fall campaign.

GORE: All the Republicans have risky tax schemes that threaten our prosperity. All of them take away a woman's right to choose.

KING: The vice president still faces a primary challenge, and will for at least weeks to come, regardless of the New Hampshire results. The focusing more and more on Republicans is designed to convince Democrats it's time to bring the nomination fight to an end.

Being seen among the people was another piece of Gore's closing strategy here. And this Sunday salvo was scripted after a slip in the overnight polls.

GORE: I believe the people of New Hampshire are not going to be fooled by Senator Bradley's last-minute manipulative, negative, politics-as-usual campaign.

KING: The next big test for the Democrats comes in five weeks, March 7, when California, New York, Ohio, Georgia and Missouri are among the 15 states holding primaries or caucuses. Bradley has plenty of money for the fight -- $8.3 million on hand at the beginning of the year compared to $5.7 million for the vice president.

But Gore hopes to leave New Hampshire with the most valuable asset in politics, momentum, and is hoping he can get back to his early strategy of all but ignoring his opponent.

GORE: I'm going to let him decide for himself what -- how he runs his campaign. For my part, I am going to keep talking about the issues and the future of our country.

(END VIDEOTAPE) KING: And as they wait for the results to come in at Gore headquarters tonight, they are also mulling a new challenge from the Bradley campaign. Senator Bradley now says he wants to debate the vice president once a week heading into those March 7 primaries. For more on the aggressive Bradley strategy and their hopes in New Hampshire, we go now to my colleague Jeanne Meserve.

MESERVE: John, as you mentioned, a late twist in the Bradley strategy, this proposal for debates before the votes in New Hampshire are even tallied. Officials here are very encouraged by what they are hearing from the exit polls, and at this point, believe me, there's no second-guessing of the strategy in New Hampshire.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How about that weather, Senator?

BRADLEY: Not bad.

MESERVE (voice-over): When the contest moved to New Hampshire, the forecast for the Bradley campaign matched the travel advisories, tough going ahead. But Wednesday in his final New Hampshire debate, Bradley put on the four-wheel drive.

BRADLEY: I just think politics should be a case of belief and not tactics, that it should be a case of saying what you're for, not what you're against. It should be a matter of bringing issues to the floor, not demeaning your opponent.

MESERVE: In the following days, he shifted gears again from defending his own record to criticizing Gore's. On campaign finance...

BRADLEY: What happened in 1996 was a disgrace.

MESERVE: On abortion rights...


UNIDENTIFIED NARRATOR: Of the seven men running for president, only one candidate has been pro-choice for everyone all the time: Bill Bradley.


MESERVE: It was a high-wire act for Bradley to be more aggressive without falling into the mud he says he disdains in politics. So he resorted to surrogates, the sharpest tongues belonged to Senator Bob Kerrey, former labor secretary Robert Reich, and former senator and governor Lowell Weicker, who tried to peel independent voters away from Gore and even Republican John McCain.

LOWELL WEICKER, FMR. CONNECTICUT GOVERNOR: The only independent thinker and actor here is Bill Bradley.

(END VIDEOTAPE) MESERVE: Unions gave Al Gore a big organizational boost in Iowa, but here the Bradley campaign believes it is holding its own with 1,200 volunteers who have been pamphletting and leafletting and trying to get potential voters out to the polls today.

Back to the anchor desk.

GREENFIELD: John King with the Gore campaign, any sense among the Gore people that they're the victim of timing, that is had they steadily closed the Bradley lead of a couple of weeks ago they would have been the late finishers, but now even if they win it looks like Bradley has closed a once wide gap?

KING: Well, they certainly think that Senator Bradley succeeded when he got more aggressive last week in narrowing the gap here and perhaps overtaking the vice president. We'll know that in a few hours. But what they're saying now is that this was Bradley's best state.

Independents, as Bill Schneider mentioned, can turn out in the primaries here and the indications are they did so in good numbers for Senator Bradley. We move ahead now to states where only Democrats can vote, the vice president looking to use his advantages there among organized labor, among elected officials in those states. But as you saw in the report, Senator Bradley has plenty of money. The question now is can he come out of New Hampshire and organize in the states ahead?

WOODRUFF: And, Jeanne Meserve, let's put that question directly to you, what John said is correct, Senator Bradley has raised substantial money, but he is now heading into states where he's not going to be viewed as -- nearly as favorably as he was here in New Hampshire.

MESERVE: Well, what he's hoping is that these debates will help him, I am sure, let him lay out the differences between himself and Al Gore. He has said that he feels those face-to-face situations are the best place for him to lay out his differences with the other candidate. And he thinks the differences he has been underlining here in New Hampshire have been effective. Those have been the issues of integrity and honesty. He has tied those, of course, to issues like abortion, and health care, and also campaign finance.

WOODRUFF: All right. Jeanne Meserve.

SHAW: Our pollmeister, Bill Schneider again, on the Democrats, how they voted.

SCHNEIDER: And why in the world is this race so close? Well, you have heard of the gender gap, we have a gender gap for you, ladies and gentlemen, only this one is between two Democrats. Gore says he's the fighter, but look at how men voted: 52 to 47 for Bill Bradley over Al Gore. What's that about? That's about hoops. Bradley, the Hall of Famer, the former New York Knicks basketball star and Olympic gold medalist. And among women, they voted for -- women voted for -- no, no. College graduates -- these are college graduates, well educated voters in New Hampshire also voted heavily for Bill Bradley. His pitch was as a visionary, a man who had a cerebral approach to politics, and college graduates were a majority of the voters clearly responded. Now on the issue of Bradley's style, we have the one in seven primary voters in the Democratic race who decided their vote today and they voted very heavily for Bill Bradley.

Now, that's important, because there's been a debate among Democrats, was -- did Bradley wait too long to start to show -- to get tough with Al Gore, to fight back, or was it a mistake? He wanted to keep his image as being above the fray. I think the answer is clearly, Democrats responded to Bradley's getting tough and fighting back to Al Gore, because those who waited until the last minute to decide went very heavily for Bradley, and that's what's making this a close race, because Gore has been leading up until now.

SHAW: The Sunday "New York Times" "Week in Review" section, above the fold, a color picture of the shadow of Air Force One preparing to land. What do the results so far tonight say about the shadow of William Jefferson Clinton?

SCHNEIDER: It's a shadow that a lot of voters would like to get out from under. What we are seeing is that voters want change. Look at Democrats. If Bill Clinton was the king of the Democratic Party and Democrats were buying into Clintonism as a philosophy, why are they voting for Bill Bradley? They should be loyal to Clinton's vice president. But he's in a struggle of his life here to survive in New Hampshire.

What this suggests is a lot of Democrats, and we'll find particularly liberal Democrats, are very worried. They're unwilling to buy into Clintonism, not because they don't think Clinton has been a success, but because they think the Democratic Party should aspire to do more, which is what Bradley is proposing.

SHAW: I wonder what Mike McCurry, for example, might think about that.

WOODRUFF: That's right. And we're going to have a chance to ask him in just a moment.

When we come back, we're going to hear from Mike McCurry and Tony Blankley.

I would just make one quick point, though, before we go to a break and that is most of the polls in the state of New Hampshire have closed, about 75 percent. There are still about 25 percent of the polls that will be closed at 8:00. And we want to say there are still some New Hampshire voters out there who are making their way to their polling place to vote, and we want to encourage to them go ahead and vote. This election isn't over yet.

We'll be right back.

GREENFIELD: Might decide the whole race in the Democratic Party. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHAW: John McCain, the man from Arizona, has dug out a victory in New Hampshire snow. The Republican senator has won his party's primary easily. That's a quote, easily defeating Texas Governor George Bush. On the Democratic side, this one too close to call, too close to call, Vice President Al Gore and Bill Bradley.

Tony Blankley, Mike McCurry, they're watching the results as we report them to you. Gentlemen, and, Mike, is there a Clinton shadow in these voting results so far?

MCCURRY: Well, Bernie, I think what Tony and I will tell you as you look at these results, it really appears that there has been kind of a role that independents that are playing. I suspect when we dig into the Democratic results tonight, we'll find that a large part of the Democratic vote was, in fact, independents voting here, and that they voted disproportionately for Bill Bradley. I am not sure that's a verdict one way or another about Bill Clinton.

But this is true, that the thermonuclear device that's in the hand now of Bill Bradley is whether or not you try to go negative on both Bill Clinton and Al Gore and join them together, and I think that will be the interesting thing to watch in the days ahead.

I think the big story tonight, though, Tony, wouldn't you agree, is going to be what's happening on the Republican side?

BLANKLEY: Let me tell you, I've been talking to some of my Republican friends in Washington this afternoon and evening, and the word is "shock." This is not just an independent vote. The sense amongst Republicans in Washington is that Bush has a real problem with Republican voters. And the challenge is, is that he can't wait until South Carolina to decide how bad his problem is. The Bush camp has to make the strategic decision now.

And what people are saying in Washington tonight is, he's got two choices: He can either go negative himself, or he can get his surrogates in the establishment to go negative. And a lot of people have been telling me that they think it would be a mistake to have people come out and do George W. Bush's fighting for him. He's going to go out and fight man to man, and It's going to be tough. It's going to be stuff on Keating and that sort of thing, accusing McCain of hypocrisy.

The trouble for Bush is, is that if he goes that route, McCain is going to get this huge media surge coming out of this evening obviously, and they may start punishing Bush for going negative. So the camp has a very painful decision to be making over the next few nights.

MCCURRY: And substantively, doesn't he have to go more to the right in order to do that? He has to kind up really rev up the regulars in the Republican Party, and that's going to drive him farther from the center. BLANKLEY: The talk I'm hearing is I think more a matter of style and aggressiveness rather than trying to switch and just go to the hardcore right. They don't think that's a path to victory in November.

MCCURRY: Now over in our party, on the Democratic side, it's going to be much same question: How negative do you have to be in order to kind of sustain momentum if you're Bill Bradley?

If Vice President Gore thought he could sit back and coast a little bit coming out of tonight, I suspect that's not going to happen. He's going to have fight this thing all the way to the convention.

BLANKLEY: And as a former press secretary, as I think we both know, the words we're hearing out of the loser's camp tonight, that it's just a bump in a road, is a useful holding pattern to try to calm the troops, but while they're saying that, they are busy trying to figure out, you know, how to get over this next very big bump.

MCCURRY: I think for Governor Bush, that bump in the road is like one of those big potholes on a bridge in Washington D.C., and you just drop all the way through it.

BLANKLEY: It's not a happy night. It is not yet despair, but it's definitely shocking in Washington.

MCCURRY: The next thing I thing I think people should be kind of paying attention to, is where do these candidate go to make news? You know, on the Democratic side, we don't have any kind of event coming up, you know, between now and March 7. So we go into dead airspace. This idea of a debate back and forth between Gore and Bradley -- we'll have to see how that develops.

BLANKLEY: A lot of debates. We're going to have to see.

We're going to kick it back to Judy and Bernie now.

GREENFIELD: Thank you, Michael.

Thank you, Tony.

You know, when politicians and reporters sit around the table late at night here, the stories, and anecdotes and political trivia never stop. Here's one of my favorite pieces of trivia. On two different occasions, candidates in the New Hampshire ballot won without setting foot in the state, and in fact, weren't on the ballot; they won on a write-in vote. In 1964, two citizens put Henry Cabot Lodge on the ballot. The former senator and U.N. ambassador was half a world away, as ambassador to South Vietnam, never campaigned, never even said he'd run, but he swamped Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller with a flood of write-in votes. The result: Lodge said, Thank you very much, I'm staying in Vietnam. Goldwater took the nomination, lost in a landslide.

The second such winner, believe it or not, Lyndon Johnson in 1968, the president beleaguered by a divisive war, racial and generational strife, wasn't listed on the ballot, but no one thought the peace candidacy of Minnesota Sen. Eugene Mccarthy would fly. Top guesses from experts, maybe he'd get 10 percent of the vote. Well, thanks to an army of volunteers and bad news in Vietnam, McCarthy wound up with about 41 percent of the vote. The actual winner of the primary was LBJ, with a write-in total of 49 percent. All the headlines were about McCarthy's surprise showing. Less than a week later, Sen. Robert Kennedy entered the race. Two weeks after that, Johnson said he wouldn't run again.

WOODRUFF: Hence expectations...

SHAW: Fascinating.

WOODRUFF: ... becomes the big monster overlooking so many of these political contests.

GREENFIELD: And it continues tonight and through the morning.

WOODRUFF: And will continue.

SHAW: We are loaded with information.

WOODRUFF: That we are. Just to repeat quickly, John McCain, CNN has declared the winner on the Republican side in New Hampshire. The Democratic race, Gore-Bradley, too close to call.

There's much, much more ahead. We'll be right back.


WOODRUFF: We have some of our first numbers to show you. But first, to underline, CNN has declared John McCain the winner on the Republican side here in the state of New Hampshire. On the Democratic side, too close to call.

Here are some of the very early returns, with only four percent of the precincts reporting in the state of New Hampshire: John McCain with 48 percent, George Bush 32 percent, and you can see on down the line, coming in third, Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer and others. Again, very early numbers, but we have projected McCain the winner.

On the Democratic side, we're saying its too close to call, but again, with very small numbers in, four percent of the precincts, Al Gore 53 percent, Bill Bradley 47 percent.

SHAW: We're going to pause right now to bring you up to date with the very latest on the crash of Alaska Air 261. Here now, from Point Mugu, California, correspondent Jim Moret.

MORET: Bernie, I am actually at Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, very close to Point Mugu. This is where some of the Coast Guard vessels which are participating in search are based. Others are based down the way at Port Hueneme and Port Mugu as well. The investigation has begun into what went wrong with Alaska airlines flight 261.

Even as the rescue effort officially continues, the MD-83 jet crashed off the California coast roughly 24 hours ago. It was en route from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to San Francisco, California. All 88 passengers and crew are feared dead. The search continues. Crews continue to comb the waters about eight to 10 miles off the coast from where we're standing now, looking for survivors. So far, four bodies have been recovered along with debris and personal effects from some passenger.

A Navy sonar ship has picked up pinging, believed to I picked up pinging, believed to be coming from the plane's cockpit voice and flight data recorders.

The Coast Guard says it will continue to search throughout the night.


VICE ADM. TOM COLLINS, U.S. COAST GUARD: We continue to search for human lives. I am not yet ready to make the decision to stop searching. It will remain a difficult decision. I will not make that decision until tomorrow morning. We're going to give this every opportunity.


MORET: Earlier this afternoon, the NTSB released a preliminary summary of the final radio transmissions between that plane and ground crews. The plane's crew had reported trouble with the plane's horizontal stabilizer; that is an area of the tail's surface which controls the plane's pitch to keep the plane level.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: the controllers then issued a clearance to 17,000 feet. The flight crew acknowledged the clearance to 17,000 and advised they needed a block altitude. And this was the last-known transmission from flight 261.


MORET: Debris from that plane crash is scattered over an area believed to be some 36 square miles in waters, more than 700 feet deep. Additional equipment is being sent in from the east coast in order to aid the recovery of the debris which may have settled along the bottom.

Jim Moret, CNN, reporting live from Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, California.

Now back to New Hampshire.

MORET: Thanks very much, Jim.

The story here in New Hampshire tonight, a big headline: Governor George Bush did it to McCain in the Iowa caucuses. Tonight, McCain is turning the tables.

CNN estimates that by the time all the ballots are counted, the man from Arizona will have beat Governor Bush virtually by a margin of two to one. Also at this point, we can tell you that the order of Republican finish will look like this: McCain first, Bush second, Steve Forbes third, Alan Keyes fourth, and a problem for Gary Bauer fifth. He was concerned about finishing behind Mr. Keyes. Double digits there for John McCain.

WOODRUFF: And Bernie, now we want to head right to the headquarters of the man we're declaring the winner here in New Hampshire, to our own Jonathan Karl at John McCain's headquarters -- John.

KARL: Well, Judy, I am here in the ballroom at the Crown Plaza in Nashua, New Hampshire. We've got a seven-piece band playing behind me.

John McCain has been upstairs on the eighth floor here watching the returns come in. Just before we declared him the winner, I went up there and had a few words with him. This is what he said.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think we'll wait until it's declared. I think we'll wait until see. We just heard preliminary reports. I think we'll at least wait until the networks make their predictions and we start getting some returns in.

KARL (on camera): Did you ever expect a victory like this?

MCCAIN: No. If -- if that's true, I don't think we ever expected anything of this level.

KARL: So what, what is it -- I know you want to leave it to the pundits and everybody else. But I mean...

MCCAIN: It's got to be...

KARL: ... in your heart -- what is...

MCCAIN: It's got to be a new message, a new message that it's time the Republican Party came back to its reform roots. We've got to be -- go back to the people of this country and get the special interests out of Washington.

KARL: One of your...


KARL: McCain's aides are saying this is a triumph of message over money and organization. They were outspent here. They were -- they faced a candidate that had endorsements from most of the major players in this state. One of the few people to endorse John McCain, one of the few major figures in this state is former Senator Warren Rudman. And Rudman told me earlier that he has never seen anything like this in this state: that going around the state with McCain the last few days of this campaign, he has never seen another campaign take off the way this one did at New Hampshire. Now that obviously coming from a partisan of John McCain.

Back to the anchor desk.

SHAW: Jonathan Karl, I want to sharpen my reporting. Just a moment ago, I referred to how we project the finish will be in the Republican Party. When it's all said and done tonight, Senator John McCain, Republican, Arizona, will win in double digits: not by a two- to-one margin as I reported earlier -- double digits, not two-to-one.

Let's go to the Bush headquarters and Candy Crowley.

CROWLEY: Hi, Bernie. Win or lose, there's always a band, so let me try and fight over this one and tell you that Governor Bush was told around 2:00, 2:30 this afternoon by his chief political strategist Karl Rove that the numbers weren't good. Bush then turned around and called one of his top aides, Karen Hughes, and said, "Karl tells me the numbers aren't good." And Hughes said, "How not good?" And he said, "Real not good." So they knew early on.

The first thing that Bush did, according to his aides, was to assure everybody that there's going to be no second-guessing, that they're going to move on from here. Doesn't mean that we won't see a more aggressive Bush, because, indeed, his aides say, look, when he hits the ground in South Carolina, we need to tell people what our tax cut is about.

They believe that because McCain was here for so long and Bush was elsewhere that McCain got to define what the Bush tax-cut plan was all about, got to be able to say that Bush did not take a -- care of Social Security. That's certainly not how the Bush campaign sees it.

They're already up with an ad in South Carolina, which, of course, is that Dixie curtain-raiser that is so important to Republicans.

So you will see a more aggressive George Bush. Will you see a negative George Bush?

I think it's going to be in how you define the term. Certainly tonight, you will see a gracious statement. He will thank John McCain for a good race. He'll congratulate him on a good win, and then he will turn the corner and say: Look, we've got these other states to go, it's a very long race, and we're going at it.

One of the things that they will also tell you is that when John McCain started here, he had virtually no name recognition and he got to build it up in the 70-plus days he was here: Bush here about half that time.

Aides say that in South Carolina, the next big one, that John McCain's name recognition is already 100 percent as is George Bush's. They're about even. So they don't expect to see the numbers fluctuate, and they point out that they're very far ahead now in South Carolina.

Do they expect those numbers, that gap to close? Yes, they do, but they don't believe it will be as big of a gap closure out of New Hampshire as maybe the McCain campaign is expecting.

We don't know all of this. This of course is what we call spin out of here, but the fact of the matter is they really do believe that this so-called "50-state strategy" -- that is knowing that there are other contests to come -- they are in place, in North Dakota, in Michigan, in Virginia. They don't believe John McCain has either the money or the organization to compete in all of those states.

So look, a big win. They admit that they did not know McCain would win by this much. The margin was a shock to them. They think it's going to be pretty big. They didn't know that, and so the numbers came as a surprise to them today. But they're going to recoup and move on.

What else is there to do except for to go to South Carolina?

Back to you in the Manchester anchor desk.

SHAW: And just an observation as you come back to us, Candy, one of the things McCain gets out of New Hampshire, aside from a bounce, is more money, more money.

As this story has unfolded all week and last week in Iowa, you know we've been here at ground zero to report the story to you live virtually every hour of your waking day.

This story is going to end tonight in New Hampshire, but our coverage in presidential 2000 is just beginning. We'll be back from Manchester in a moment.


SHAW: The cornerstone said 1898. That's on Notre Dame Avenue across the Merrimack River here in west Manchester.

WOODRUFF: And that's right. We are live here with our coverage, Just to recap for you quickly, CNN has called John McCain the winner by a substantial margin on the Republican side, a winner by double digits. This is the order of finish: McCain first, George Bush second, Steve Forbes third, and on down to Alan Keyes fourth, and finally Gary Bauer.

On the Democratic side, a very different story: a close race, one that we continue to watch, too close to call between Vice President Al Gore and the challenger, New Jersey Senator -- I called him "the challenger." They're both challengers in the sense that neither one is an incumbent, but in the sense that the vice president has been considered the front-runner in this race. You could say that. In any event, too close to call.

Let's go now to the vice president's headquarters, to our own John King. John, are they sweating over there?

KING: They have been sweating throughout the night, Judy, but they say they feel a little bit better now as they begin to see the very first returns come in from Democratic precincts around the state.

I spoke just moments ago to a senior Gore strategist who said they have seen early results in Manchester, Concord and Keene that leave them very encouraged. The strategist said that when the polls closed in one key Manchester precinct, ward six, there were still some 600 people in line, and to keep them there the Gore campaign brought them hot coffee.

One other news to report to you tonight, we are told by a senior Gore campaign official that the vice president will indeed accept Senator Bradley's challenge for a debate a week from here on out.

That proposal will be accepted, we're told, most likely officially tomorrow. Tonight, they're at the Gore campaign headquarters watching the results come in. And of course, they're doing the same at the Bradley campaign headquarters.

And we go now to my colleague there, Jeanne Meserve.

SHAW: OK. We'll be back to Jeanne Meserve in just a minute.

There she is.

MESERVE: There I am, yes. I just wanted to tell you that over here there's no formal reaction to Al Gore's reaction to the debate proposal. They say they want to see it here in writing.

But there is a lot of reaction here to the exit polls. They aren't dancing here. They aren't declaring victory. But they are very happy.

They point out that just a week ago Bradley had a double-digit deficit in the polls. A year ago, the polls said he was down 61 to nine. They say for Bradley to do this well against a sitting vice president is just extraordinary.

So very happy folks here tonight. Back to the desk.

SHAW: Thanks very much. What would our live coverage from New Hampshire be without "CROSSFIRE," without Bob Novak and without Bill Press?

Gentlemen, how are the Democratic and the Republican party leaders likely to respond to what is coming out of this state?

ROBERT NOVAK, CO-HOST, CNN "CROSSFIRE": With pain and anguish, Bernie. There is no question that this is a shock in both of the campaigns. This was a protest vote.

What were they protesting? They were protesting politicians. And I was told over the weekend by the Democrats they were just going to pour these party regulars out into the wards of Manchester and get a huge victory. I was told by the Republican leadership that the Republicans were coming home to George Bush. Instead, they voted for the insurgent candidates in surprising numbers. So it shows that, Bill, that the candidates of both parties are -- the leaders are flawed.

BILL PRESS, CO-HOST, CNN "CROSSFIRE": I think that's true, actually, Bob, and this is why we like New Hampshire, because New Hampshire keeps it interesting. Certainly, on the Democratic side, I believe that whoever wins here tonight is not going to be by much. This contest is going to continue. And it's going to be -- it's going to be close, and I think Al Gore was hurt, particularly, by how he handled the abortion question, not being up front on why he might have changed.

But I think on the Republican side is where the real story is. I mean, John McCain made history tonight, Bob. You've got to admit it. He not only upset the front-runner, but he has just challenged the establishment and shown them that a different message may be necessary to win, Bob. It's a message you don't like.

His message is tax cuts alone aren't enough. We need tax cuts plus Medicare, Social Security and paying down the national debt.

NOVAK: Bill, let me tell you a secret.


There were no issues in this campaign . There -- all the indications are the people were voting on character. They liked John McCain, didn't like George W. Bush that much.

But the thing -- for you to say this isn't a big story on the Democratic side, that this was an expectation that they were going to just trample Bradley here. And Bradley made a little bit of a negative campaign, and Gore fell apart.

How do you think that makes the Democrats feel?

PRESS: I think the Democrats know they've got a challenge. I'm not saying there's not a big story on the Democratic side. That's a huge story.

I'm just saying, Bob, the Republican side is bigger, and you don't want to admit it: that this old supply side story, this old saw that all the Republicans want to hear is tax cuts -- this was a debate about issues, Bob. The town meetings that I went to, the people that I talked to, they were talking about the -- it was basically a battle, I think, for the heart and soul of the Republican Party.

Are we going to change our message for the 21st century or stick to that old Ronald Reagan stuff? McCain had a different message.

NOVAK: Bill, let me tell you, the tax cut issue will be -- it will be debated in a much more conservative state, South Carolina. But we'll have to see about that in a couple of weeks.

SHAW: We'll be there.

NOVAK: From the right, I'm Robert Novak.

PRESS: And from the left, I'm Bill Press.

GREENFIELD: OK, gentlemen, thank you. You know it was 1952, the very first presidential preference primary that demonstrated the charms and the pitfalls of personal campaigning.

Democratic Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, fresh from national exposure as chairman of a Senate crime-busting committee, challenged President Truman here. And with his trademark coon-skip cap, he shook every hand and slapped every back in the state.

President Truman, who disdained the primary as eye wash (ph), never set foot in the state. Kefauver won the primary. Truman later decided not to run.

On the Republican side, though, very different. Ohio Senator Robert Taft, "Mr. Republican," was the odds-on favorite. But General Dwight Eisenhower, then the NATO commander in Europe, allowed his name on the ballot.

Ike never set foot in New Hampshire, but the cold impersonal Taft did. But as this picture demonstrates, informal campaigning never did sit well with Taft.

Eisenhower beat him in New Hampshire, went on to win a bitterly contested fight in the White House.

Guys, today, you'd be asking Robert Taft to jump into a mosh pit.


I don't think he would.

WOODRUFF: He could be another Alan Keyes.

GREENFIELD: There you go.

SHAW: We'll continue our live coverage from New Hampshire as we report McCain beats Bush. TCLC, too close to call, between Bradley and Gore.


SHAW: Arizona Senator John McCain, Republican from Arizona, is looking for his toothbrush, his toothpaste, and his soap, he's beginning to pack his bags here in New Hampshire, headed for South Carolina, because he is posting a double digit win over Texas Governor George Bush. We have some preliminary vote totals for you on the Republican field, also our projection as to how they will finish when all the voting is done. John McCain, the winner; followed by Governor Bush, Steve Forbes trailing in third, Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer. That's what 9 percent of the precinct reporting and, Judy, the polls are closed.

WOODRUFF: That's right. Just after 8:00 here in the state of New Hampshire, at this hour all the polls are closed.

And here's what it looks like on the Democratic side, with 11 percent of the vote counted, CNN -- just to be clear -- CNN is saying this race is too close to call, but here are the raw numbers we have in, not very many, but enough that you can see it is close, Al Gore 55 percent, Bill Bradley 45 percent. We don't know where it's going to end up. Those are the raw numbers as we stand right at this moment.

Let's go now, though, back to the big story on the Republican side in this state, a big win for the senator from Arizona rolling over what some people thought was a Bush juggernaut. Let's go to McCain headquarters and to Jonathan Karl. Jon, are they packing their toothbrushes?

KARL: Hello, Judy, I can barely hear you. It's gotten to be quite festive here in Nashua at McCain headquarters. We spoke to McCain earlier up on the eighth floor watching the results come in. Senator McCain is saying he never expected a victory anything like this. He seems quite genuinely shocked by it. The polls in recent days had bounced back and forth.

This campaign felt confident that they would win here in New Hampshire, but they really didn't expect this kind of decisive victory and they are looking ahead to South Carolina and the primaries that follow. They know they've got a tough road ahead here. The McCain campaign is still wildly underfunded compared to their main rival, George W. Bush. They have got -- they are also underendorsed.

The governor has the support of the party organizations in the states that follow, in states like South Carolina and Michigan. So they are humbled and very, very excited, calling this a wallop, saying that George W. Bush is the Titanic who has just hit the iceberg; and the sense of inevitably, that he would inevitably become the Republican nominee is now gone.

Back to the anchor desk.

WOODRUFF: All right. Jonathan, we want you to stand by, because we are going to move right over to Bush headquarters and to CNN's Candy Crowley -- Candy.

CROWLEY: Judy, if the -- if John McCain is surprised at the size of this victory that makes two of them, because so is the Bush camp. They expected to lose, they didn't expect to lose this big. Still, the candidate himself has told those around him, no second guessings, but they're beginning to squeak around the edges of this campaign, knowing they're going to have to get more aggressive on two points.

First of all, you will hear Bush in South Carolina and the states after that out there defending his tax cut plan, noting that it does save money for Social Security, that he does have a plan for Medicare. They feel that John McCain, because he was here so much sort of overrode and got to define Bush's tax plan. Now Bush wants to define his own tax plan before McCain gets a chance to.

On a second point, the whole point of what John McCain has been talking about the past couple of days that is, I'm the only guy in the race that doesn't need on-the-job training, I'm the only guy ready for the president. You are going to begin to hear George Bush talking about by whose definition is John McCain the only guy ready. He will point out that 35 senators have endorsed George Bush.

The implication here, and he will say it straight out, is that those who have had a chance to evaluate John McCain close up, his leadership abilities and all of those aspects of leadership are the people in the Senate and 35 of those Republican senators have endorsed George Bush. So you will see him hit back at what the McCain people think is very effective in that John McCain is the only one ready to be president. George Bush is about to push back and you'll begin to see that in South Carolina -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. Candy, we are going to -- we want both you and Jon Karl to stand by, but right now, Bernie, we are able to estimate -- CNN is able to estimate what the order of finish is among the Republicans and what the percentages are that we estimate. Look at this, a 16 percentage point advantage for the Arizona senator, John McCain. CNN is projecting 47 percent for Senator McCain, 31 percent for George W. Bush.

SHAW: And, Jeff, and, Bill, and, Judy, this is accurate within one or two percentage points.

GREENFIELD: Two quick points about this, this spread, John McCain over George W. Bush is the biggest margin in a contested presidential primary since Ronald Reagan beat George W. Bush's father in 1980 by a more than two-to-one margin. The second number to look at there is Steve Forbes. They were hoping for a finish somewhere in the 20's. We don't think they're going to come close to it.

And here's a potential cloud on the silver lining for McCain. If George -- if Steve Forbes drops out of race early, if he doesn't go on he doesn't peel conservative votes away from Bush. The McCain camp does not want Steve Forbes out of the race just yet. They would like him in at least through Michigan.

WOODRUFF: But he is not talking about getting out at this point.

GREENFIELD: I understand. You're absolutely right. But those numbers have to be discouraging to the Forbes campaign.

SHAW: But wouldn't you also think in terms of strategy that indeed Mr. Forbes would stay in for the very opposite purpose you stated. Wouldn't he stay in the race to help out McCain?

GREENFIELD: I don't think Steve Forbes is spending a family fortune to help John McCain. I have a feeling, in fact, his family may come to him and say, Mr. Forbes, dad, bro, pop, husband, perhaps it's time to rethink this multi-million dollar effort. These numbers are not the numbers the Forbes camp wanted, but the spread between McCain and Bush -- we've heard this already from our -- it's not just a victory, it's a whomping.

SCHNEIDER: That's right. It's almost a majority in a five-man field. There's almost a majority of the vote, 47 percent for John McCain, which is a remarkable outcome. And George Bush getting 31 percent, not even a third of the vote, a guy who was the choice of the whole Republican establishment, who collected as much money -- many times more money than all the other candidates in the field, this has got to be a big shock.


SHAW: Candy Crowley, I must ask you a question, projecting to the Palmetto State, South Carolina, a very big group of veterans who presumably they will find John McCain very appealing. Governor Bush has been leading McCain in South Carolina.

It would seem that the Bush people have to be very, very concerned that with this spread, his victory tonight in New Hampshire and the anticipated money he's going to get from his New Hampshire bounce, the Bush people would have to be very, very worried. Doesn't this change the complexion of the South Carolina primary?

CROWLEY: Sure. I mean, I think they know that he is going to get a -- that McCain will get a big jolt out of here. They know that he has been down there and that he has sort of a, you know, an organization of veterans, not the official sort of Republican Party organization. But what they keep stressing here, Bernie, is that South Carolina is very different from New Hampshire, that South Carolina is a very conservative Republican state, that there are some issues that John McCain brings up, campaign finance reform is one of them, and the tax cut that they believe sell a lot better in South Carolina where there are more traditional Republicans.

But are they worried? Absolutely. I mean, that's why we are hearing, look, he -- Bush is going to be more aggressive in defending his tax cuts as still being responsible even though it's a bigger tax cut than John McCain's, and he is going to come back at John McCain about McCain's implication that Bush isn't ready to lead by saying, look, 35 senators endorsed George Bush and not John McCain. Sure they're worried, that's why they're changing it.

But are they at the panic stage? No. We will have to see. I think South Carolina, which is always big because it's that Dixie curtain raiser, is very big now. Panic, if it's going to set in, I would judge, would be after South Carolina, if that goes badly for Bush.

I will tell you on the money raising issue they believe that the money raising issue is going to hurt John McCain, because they think he's going to have to go out of state to some of those bigger fund raisers where a lot of the Republican money is and that will take time away on the ground in South Carolina. George Bush doesn't have to go anywhere to raise any money, because he was doing that prior to coming to New Hampshire. So they think that money raising will actually eat up some of McCain's valuable time in South Carolina. And they also point out that you can't do over a hundred town hall meetings in South Carolina. There just isn't the time.

WOODRUFF: Candy, two points well made, just two quick points; the McCain people today pledged that they were going top spend 14 days in the state of South Carolina between today and February 19, when that primary is scheduled to take place on the Republican side.

Second point is that the poll that was done recently by CNN & "Time" magazine showed that by three to one, the people -- Republicans in South Carolina would rather see that surplus spent paying down the debt, securing Social Security rather than on these big tax cuts. So this -- these are some very interesting issues that we are raising and discussing.

GREENFIELD: And in South Carolina and in Michigan, if you want to look ahead, there is no Democratic primary in either state and Democrats and independents in both those states can walk into those polling places and say, I want to vote in the Republican primary. Based on what we are seeing tonight, Bill Schneider, that's also good news for McCain in those two states.

SCHNEIDER: That's right. We found an awful lot of Republican -- awful lot of Democrats who said that they considered voting for John McCain and of course those who were independents might have done so.

They can vote for John McCain, as Jeff said, in South Carolina and Michigan. And with no Democratic contest, they might just do that. I know the White House is very worried about that.

SHAW: Bill, why is Bush in this fix tonight?

SCHNEIDER: Well, we have some evidence about this. And first of all, let me say the Republican voters were split. About half of them were moderates. Well, today to call a Republican a moderate is an insult. Moderates went two-to-one for John McCain. But look at how conservatives. McCain carried conservatives four points over George Bush.

Why did Bush lag among conservatives? Because a lot of their votes went for Forbes and Keyes. As long as Forbes and Keyes stays in this race -- stay in this race, Bush is going to have problems with his hard-core conservative base.

Now, what do they like about McCain? Half of the voters in the Republican primary says McCain is the guy who says what he believes. Both or neither candidate saying what they believe, about a quarter. Only 17 percent said George Bush is the candidate who says what he believes instead of what people tell him to say or what the voters want him to say or what people want to hear.

Saying what you believe was one of the personal qualities that people found very attractive in John McCain. In fact, when we asked the voters today, what was the top quality you were looking for in a candidate, they said they wanted a candidate who stands up for what he believes in. And people who said that went overwhelmingly for John McCain.

SHAW: I ask the question again: Based on what you just told us, is George Bush, Governor Bush, not so apparently the heir?

SCHNEIDER: Well, I'd say the answer is he's not, that there are a lot of voters who have doubts about him. They're not hearing what they want to hear about him. They don't see the qualities that they want to see in a Republican presidential candidate: the stature qualities, the leadership qualities. He's a bit too programmed, and that's the way he came across here in New Hampshire.

McCain worked this state. He showed up in every town. And they saw personal leadership qualities, and they saw a stature in John McCain that that just didn't see in George Bush.

WOODRUFF: But here -- you know, Candy made this point, and I think it's worth repeating, this state of New Hampshire is a state that rewards town halls. If you're John McCain, you can hold 110 or 114 of them, however many. If you're Bill Bradley, you can go out and do that.

When you get to these other states where retail politics are less important, where television and radio matter a lot, money matters a lot, it is going to -- it's going to certainly work to Governor Bush's benefit that he's got more money to spend, he can maybe tinker with his commercials and tinker with the image that he's projected.

GREENFIELD: I just think we should remember that for the next part of the Republican process, unlike the Democrats, who go right to this national primary, McCain can work one state at a time. It's like a guerrilla army. He can live off the land in South Carolina. Three days later, he goes to his home state in Michigan.

WOODRUFF: And today he's dismissing Delaware.


WOODRUFF: He's saying -- a reporter, I was with him today. A reporter said, well, what about Delaware? And he said, who cares about Delaware?

With all due respect to the people who live in Delaware, no Republicans contested it the last time.

SHAW: I just think when the story moves to South Carolina, if we think, if we think that Al Gore and Bill Bradley were tough on each other, wait until McCain and Bush get in South Carolina.

Look, you're talking about a guy who was shot down in 1967, a man who had both arms broken, one shoulder pulled out of the socket, a man who was humiliated for years in a prisoner of war camp, this man is a fighter. Bush is a fighter. It's going to be one hell of a campaign in South Carolina.

WOODRUFF: You are right. But I will quote John McCain today, this morning. When I talked to him sitting on the bus, he said -- because I said to him this very question: Aren't you going to have to get tough in South Carolina, because they're expecting to come at you? He said: "Life is too short. I'm not going negative."

I wrote every word down that he said and we'll see. See what happens.

SHAW: Well, you can be tough without going negative. I mean, look at the debate.

WOODRUFF: He said -- he said, I will respond. But he said, I'm not going to initiate...

SHAW: Look at the debate Wednesday night.


GREENFIELD: But it also should be noted that this Republican primary was very civil compared to the Democratic one.

SCHNEIDER: It was indeed. But remember, McCain is riding media momentum. There is a reason why he has spent about 12 hours a day talking to every reporter in sight. It's because he doesn't have a lot of money. Of all the four major candidates, he's the least well- funded.

He's depending on the free media -- they call it the "earned media" -- to carry his message of big sensation, covers of news magazines going into South Carolina and Michigan.

So -- he was a sensation here in New Hampshire. He wants that sensation effect to carry him through South Carolina and Michigan without a lot of money to spend.

SHAW: Prediction: He will have more money tomorrow night than he has tonight.

SCHNEIDER: Yes, he will. He'll start raising a lot of money very fast, but he won't raise enough money that quickly in South Carolina and Michigan. Those are right around the corner.

WOODRUFF: They're even raising money over the Internet. They've got a big fund-raiser planned in the next few days.

We're going to take a break. When we come back, once again we're going to hear from Mike McCurry and Tony Blankley. We'll be back.

SHAW: Excellent.


SHAW: New Hampshire is alive tonight with politics. These are the headlines CNN is reporting so far. By a margin that we'll get to in just a moment, John McCain is beating Texas Governor George Bush. We project that John McCain will be the winner here.

The GOP vote boards -- these are fragmentary returns so far, but we want to show you, based on our estimates, how these candidates will finish tonight in the Republican column: Senator John McCain followed by Governor Bush, Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes and Gary Bauer.

On the Democratic side, I would use the letters TCTC: too close to call. Vice President Al Gore, Bill Bradley locked in a toe-to-toe battle.

At Gore headquarters, John King.

KING: Well, Bernie, I wanted to make an observation, to follow up on the conversation you were just having about South Carolina.

South Carolina has become known as the "firewall state" in Republican presidential politics: always helping the front-runners out of a jam. In 1988, George Bush, then the vice president, came out of New Hampshire a victor and sealed it in South Carolina. In 1996, Bob Dole lost in New Hampshire then was rescued in South Carolina. But in both cases, there were Republican governors in place: Carol (ph) Campbell back in 1988, David Beasley (ph) back in 1996. David Beasley lost his re-election last time, though. The state now has a Democratic governor, and many questioning whether that Republican establishment organization is as fine-tuned as it once was.

Both Carol (ph) Campbell and David Beasley in Bush's quarter: that organization now to be tested.

WOODRUFF: Go directly to the headquarters of George W. Bush here in Manchester. The governor's about to speak.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you very much, Judd. I appreciate that. Thanks for this huge turnout. It warms my heart.


BUSH: I just placed a phone call to my friend John McCain to congratulate him on the race he ran here in New Hampshire. He ran a really good race, and a strong race.


BUSH: He spent more time in this great state than any of the other candidates and it paid off.

And tonight is his night and the night of his supporters and we all congratulate him.


BUSH: I also want to congratulate my team... (APPLAUSE)

BUSH: ... led by -- led by a good and decent United States senator, my fast friend Judd Gregg.


BUSH: And my friend Charlie Bass, and our great co-chairmen Barbara Russell and Rob Thompson and all of the volunteers, all of the volunteers of this state.


BUSH: We fought the good fight. We fought the good fight. And I'm proud of my supporters and I'm proud of the kind of campaign we conducted here in New Hampshire.


BUSH: New Hampshire has long been known as a bump in the road for front-runners...


BUSH: ... and this year is no exception.


BUSH: The road to the Republican nomination and the White House is a long road. Mine will go through all 50 states and I intend it to end at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


BUSH: Mine is a campaign in every state in America, because mine is a message for every American. We must reform our public schools through local control, high standards and accountability...


BUSH: ... so that every child is educated and no child is left behind in America.


BUSH: We must -- we must teach our children to read and write, but we also must teach them right from wrong.


BUSH: We must restore morale and build a modern military to keep the peace.


BUSH: We must protect our prosperity by cutting the taxes on the people who pay America's bills.


BUSH: Not playing favorites, but cutting rates for every American taxpayer, at every step on the economic ladder.


BUSH: And we must...


BUSH: And we must save and strengthen Social Security and Medicare to keep our solemn to the greatest generation, and preserve the commitment for generations next. And we must change our culture...


BUSH: ... and we must change our culture to a new culture based on personal responsibility, a responsibility that starts with a new president who will bring the highest standards of conduct to the highest office in the land.


BUSH: I am a better candidate for having come to New Hampshire and waging this campaign and because of this competition. I've enjoyed the fire station chats and the citizens' question, the 4th of July parades -- believe it or not, the 4th of July parades when it was nearly 100 degrees...


BUSH: ... and the debates. I've gained respect for this state and its citizens. I want to thank each of you for your thoughtful questions, for your sincere interest and for the important part you play in our democracy.


BUSH: I want to thank -- I want to thank the many friends I've made in the course of coming to this state. I especially want to thank Rath (ph) and Ruthie Griffin (ph) and Dick Flynn (ph), Jesse DeVitt (ph), Bill Zelliff (ph) and one of the best political minds in American, Joel Mayola (ph).


WOODRUFF: Texas Governor George W. Bush saying that just a little while ago, he called Arizona Senator John McCain to congratulate him on a good, strong race here in the state of New Hampshire; but going on to point out that he spent more time in the state than anyone else.

Bernie and Jeff, I would make two quick points. One is, that here, you're looking at Governor Bush, who had more endorsements in this state, both of the United States Senators in the state of New Hampshire, both of the U.S. congressman in this state had endorsed him, former Governor John Sununu -- everybody you could of who was a prominent Republican endorsed him. I mean, you know, there was no way that he could say he was not part of the establishment, and the second point I would make is that just a few days ago, George Bush was predicting he would win here.

GREENFIELD: One of the things about New Hampshire -- and I can stretch it back down -- I can't count the number of times when the machinery of the Republican Party was behind one candidate -- for that matter, the Democratic Party -- and the insurgents comes in. It is absolutely true that this state is a gold mine. It is wonderful terrain for insurgents. They love him. They keep doing this over and over again.

I would point one other thing -- all the front-runners who get knocked off early, they all go on and get their party's nomination, and that's why the Bush campaign probably can legitimately say we're still the front-runner, even with this loss.

SHAW: And one of the most telling things said here by Governor Bush -- and you heard him say it live here on CNN. How did McCain do it? Governor bush said "He" -- referring to the Arizona victor -- "He spent more time in this state, and it paid off" -- unquote.

Our live coverage from Manchester continues in a moment.


WOODRUFF: Less you think the story is over in the state of New Hampshire, it is not by any means over. We've called the Republican race, but the Democratic race very much up in the air at this hour. Based on our interviews with New Hampshire voters as they left their polling places and on very early returns, this race we are saying too close to call. Here are some early numbers, based on 29 percent of the precincts reporting, this one still very close. We are watching it and will continue to watch it.

We want to take you back now to our wise pundits, former Press Secretaries Mike McCurry and Tony Blankley.

And I come to you gentlemen with this question: What about this challenge that Senator Bradley has thrown out today to the vice president, saying let's debate once a week from now on?

MCCURRY: Well you know, Judy, Tony and I have been talking about that, and you know, Tony, the problem now is for the Democratic side, we go into a black hole. We have no contest in South Carolina, no contest in Michigan. For the next five weeks -- we can already see it develop tonight -- the big story is the going to be on the Republican side. So what do you do in the Democratic camp? Well, interestingly, Senator Bradley has gone back to the idea of a debate, once a week, with the vice president, to try to focus the race, to kind of make that the focal point of the Democratic race, but also to kind of help him to find himself, lend momentum he has coming out of New Hampshire. The vice president, I can imagine, would probably like an opportunity to sustain some interest, to find the issues in his race.

Yet I bet what will happen, what will be a very good idea, would be for both of these candidates to go back to Vice President Gore's initial idea: drop television advertising all together. We're going into an environment now where it's practically a national primary -- over 150 media markets, 20 of the largest in the country. There's no amount of money you can have that would allow the impact of the of the race to be affected by TV advertising. So why not agree to do that, and debate an steal a little thunder from John McCain.

BLANKLEY: Look, I'm sure that that's what the Democratic Party wants to have happen, because they don't want to have an ugly fight that reaches outside the core of voters. But as you know, you do advertising to reach the people who aren't watching the news every night. And it just says, back in '95, '96, when we were dueling, President Clinton spent a lot of money advertising, while we were not. We were just talking about -- through the news cycle, and it worked very well. So that's why I think the man who has the than money and has the initiative is going want to spend the money and advertise, even though the party seniors would be love to see no advertising.

MCCURRY: But don't you feel it's going to feel like a -- on the Democratic side like a general election period, because I think, like, tomorrow, the vice president is going to New York, Ohio, and then California. It's like, those are big-ticket states, and a lot of votes, too many media markets, and the only way you're going to be able to do something is create some device that sort of brings it all together for the voters.

BLANKLEY: I mean, you want to have advertising support the new cycle, but to not have any advertising. I mean, Bradley has what, $15 million, $20 million to spend between now and Super Tuesday. I think he wants to spend the money, and you are $8 million or -- $10 million dollars is still real money in California. But I think we'll have to leave it at that right now.

Back you.

BLITZER: Back to you, Judy and Bernie.

WOODRUFF: New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley, and we're going to come back to Tony and Mike in just a moment -- talking to his supporters at his headquarters. Let's listen in.

BRADLEY: But it has already happened.


BRADLEY: Thank you, New Hampshire. We'll be back later.


WOODRUFF: Clearly -- or evidently, I should say not ready to make a statement one way or another, they are seeing the same things we are. This is a close race. It is too early to call, but they're trying to pump up the troops, if you will. They don't want this crowd to get impatient waiting for the senator to come out.

GREENFIELD: They're doing what Bill Clinton did in 1992, when he came in second and declared himself the comeback kid. They want those pictures of the Bradley people celebrating in primetime, so that whatever happens in a few hours, whether they win or lose, we're going to see Bradley and his supporters in an exulting mood, implying visually, whatever the numbers, we won. It's a tried and true political technique, and it often works.

SHAW: Well, wherever you are tonight watching CNN's live coverage, please assure us that you're settled in, that you'll stay with us throughout the evening, because we're going to be here.

When we come back, we're going to go to John King at Al Gore's headquarters, Jeanne Meserve at the Bradley campaign headquarters, and "THE CAPITAL GANG," and much, much more with "LARRY KING LIVE" at the top of the hour, live from Manchester, New Hampshire.


SHAW: Looking at the percentage in the Republican column in this New Hampshire primary tonight, a double-digit win by the man from Arizona. We show him winning tonight with 47 percent of the vote, followed by Texas Governor George Bush at 31 percent, and then Steve Forbes and Alan Keyes.

And for the record, this reminder: There are 17 Republican delegates at state tonight, going to the Philadelphia convention this summer. Each candidate will get the number of delegates related to his portion of the victory tonight, his percentage of the raw vote. So can you see that Senator McCain will get 47 percent of the 17 Republican candidates.

WOODRUFF: We just heard Governor Bush, Governor George W. Bush, talk about New Hampshire long having been a bump on the road for Republican front-runners. Let's go pack to Bush headquarters now and our own Candy Crowley.

Candy, I guess it was not too surprising the governor would want to make that point tonight.

CROWLEY: No, in fact, his aides began making it by mid this afternoon, when they knew that the poll numbers, as George Bush put it, were real not good. They did say, look, this is a 50-state race. It's been a 50-state strategy. That has been there mantra here.

So they move on to South Carolina, where they certainly believe they will do better, and absolutely have to do better in that first- in-the-Southern primaries.

There are also trips, I will add, to Delaware and Michigan this week. So the governor is still continuing on with his 50 states. He wants to go to those who have primaries near, but he is not going spend the full two weeks in South Carolina. He also made note that it was a good night for John McCain, that the night belonged to him, and said, well, look, he won, he's spent more time in the state here, and he got rewarded for it. I mean, that is basically, they believe, that John McCain by staying in the state so long, when Bush was out in other states, was able to define Bush's tax cut as being reckless on Social Security and Medicare.

They want to get into South Carolina, where they can say, we're taking care of Medicare, we are setting aside money for Social Security, there is money for this tax cut as well as the things you're worried about, so you will hear the same message with a slightly different emphasis to try to hit back at McCain on the idea that somehow this big tax cut of Bush's is reckless. You will also hear Bush begin to hit back at the podium on this notion that McCain is putting there that in fact Bush is not ready -- but now I am told that John McCain is there.

WOODRUFF: That's right, Candy, and we are going to slip right over -- we're going ask you to standby and slip right over to John McCain headquarters and to our own Jon Karl. Jon, we are told the senator is about to come out and address the troops.

KARL: That's right, Judy.

WOODRUFF: There he is.

KARL: There he is. He's got his children by his side and he's about to start speaking.

MCCAIN: Thank you my dear friends.


Thank you.


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


Thank you. Thank you.


Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you and God bless. And welcome to our 115th town-hall meeting here in New Hampshire.



And I think we -- I think we finally have a poll without a margin of error.



I'd like to congratulate the other candidates. I received a very gracious phone call from Governor Bush. I think all of the candidates conducted this campaign in a manner in which the people of America and the people of New Hampshire can be very proud, because it was...


... it was conducted with respect and cordiality, and I hope that all future campaigns will be conducted on that level, including the rest of this one. So, I congratulate my friends and I appreciate the chance to participate with them.

My friends, last June I asked the people of New Hampshire to make room in this election and in our party for the forces of reform. I asked you to help me break the Washington iron triangle of big money, lobbyists and legislation, that for too long has put special interests above the national interests.


Well, thanks to you, my dear friends, today we made room. We made room and we have sent a powerful message to Washington that change is coming.


This is a good thing, my friends, a good thing. And it is the beginning of the end, because today the Republican Party has recovered its heritage of reform and this is a good thing, and it is the beginning of the end for the truth-twisting politics of Bill Clinton and Al Gore.


For over a year, in 114 town-hall meetings, we've talked about this moment when we would launch a national crusade to take our government back from the special interests and return it to the people and the cause of freedom it was created to serve.

We've talked about the moment when we would begin to repair the breach between the people and their elected leaders; when we could rally Americans to a new patriotic challenge to defeat cynicism bred from distrust of our political system and begin building a better America.


We've talked about a return to a time of conservative common sense in Washington, when America's leaders act as responsibly as American families do, and start keeping our promises to each other.

Across New Hampshire, you have spoken and I have listened.


You have called for us to use this moment of prosperity to save Social Security and Medicare, to provide tax relief to hard-working American families, and to pay down this huge $5.6 trillion national debt. We ought to pay it down, don't you think?


To use this moment only to further our narrow self-interests would fail both the men and women who built this great nation and the children who now trust in us to set a safe and strong course for our nation's future.

My friends, a wonderful New Hampshire campaign has come to an end, but a great national crusade has just begun.


WOODRUFF: Arizona Senator John McCain saying that he did receive a gracious call congratulating him from Texas Governor George W. Bush, but using this moment to say this was all about reform. He said the party -- the Republican Party has today recovered its heritage. He said this is the beginning of the end for the truth-twisting politics of the Clinton-Gore administration.

GREENFIELD: He is now knowing that he has to now talk to a more conservative state in South Carolina, where Bill Clinton is very unpopular, where Republicans -- even though independents can vote -- are going to count for more. And actually he, John McCain, who appealed so much to independents, was giving a more Republican message tonight -- aimed at more Republicans than George W. Bush was.

SHAW: Seventy-four days spent by McCain in this Granite State and 37 by the governor of Texas.

Standing by, Mark Shields and the "CAPITAL GANG." Take it away.

MARK SHIELDS, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Thank you very much, Bernie.

Welcome to "CAPITAL GANG." I'm Mark Shields, with the full gang, Al Hunt, Robert Novak, Kate O'Beirne, and Margaret Carlson. Every possible group, religious, economic, ideological, philosophical, John McCain swept to victory here in New Hampshire. Yes, it is true. Bob, it is true.

M. CARLSON: It's close.

NOVAK: Close, but not exactly right. You didn't get really descriptive, but the important thing is one of his advisers said to me tonight that in this great moment of happiness and glory for John McCain, he thought this was really a negative judgment against George W. Bush, and that is what scares to death out of the George...

SHIELDS: We've got to go back to Bernie right now. Bernie Shaw has some news.

SHAW: Because we are declaring right now that Vice Presidential Al Gore is the winner tonight of the Democratic New Hampshire primary. It's a win. It's a tight win for Mr. Gore.

WOODRUFF: And, Bernie, that comes just a little after 8:45 in the evening Eastern Time, clearly a much closer race than there was on the Republican side. We are not ready to give you the percentages yet, the numbers. We do have some raw vote totals, but at this hour what we can say is that we project Vice President Gore will win the New Hampshire primary.

SHAW: And John King is at the vice president's headquarters -- John.

KING: You don't need me to say anything at this point. The cheers behind me as they saw you announce our projection that Al Gore is the winner causing quite a bit of relief here at the Gore headquarters. They heard the early exit polls, but there was some concern here. You hear the cheers going up behind me now. They do expect this to be a relatively close win here in New Hampshire, but their argument will be a win is a win. Iowa and New Hampshire are the two places the front-runners fear the most, as you heard Governor Bush say tonight.

Al Gore has now won Iowa and won New Hampshire. He goes on now, 15 states, five weeks from now on March 7, the Gore campaign believes it can put Bill Bradley away there. Look particularly for the vice president to focus on California and New York, those are Bill Bradley's best states in the view of the Gore campaign. Al Gore will try to kill Bill Bradley in those states and hopefully then bring an end then to the Democratic contest, but great relief here at the Gore headquarters tonight. They were a bit frightened earlier today when they heard those early exit polls.

SHAW: Now, quickly over to the headquarters, Jeanne Meserve at Bradley's camp.

MESERVE: Bernie, this is when we can expect is the spinners to go into full spin mode. What they're going to do here is underline the positive. They will do that relentlessly. They will point out after that big two-to-one loss in Iowa that Bradley took a be big dip in the polls here, that he came back, that he made this competitive, that it was close. They do expect the numbers to narrow, from what we saw a little earlier this evening. And boy, you're going be hearing a lot about it in the days to come.

They were hoping that a close race here would give them some momentum. They feel they do have a message. They feel that the harder line stance that they've been taking against Al Gore has worked, and they certainly have the money to go forward from here.

One thing I wanted to mention to you. I heard Jeff Greenfield earlier talking about Bradley's decision to come out here to make a few rah, rah remarks to the crowd, and it might have looked like a good picture, but I want to tell you, that at the Field House here at New Hampshire college, there wasn't of a crowd. It was really only about halfway full.

Also, we heard John King report earlier that Al Gore informally has decided to accept the debate proposal floated earlier this evening by Bill Bradley. No official response here. There won't be until they see the Gore response on paper. But unofficially, one member of the campaign said to me: "Great, let's boogie."

Back to you.

SHAW: Thank you, Jeanne Meserve. And in our reporting, put these words in italics: Al Gore's victory tonight over Bill Bradley is a tight win.

Mark Shields, "CAPITAL GANG," back to you.

SHIELDS: Thank you very much, Bernie. We'll get back to Al Gore eventually, but let's talk about John McCain's historic victory.

Bob, you were making a point. Make it quickly.

NOVAK: The point was that the question has raised questions about the electability of George W. Bush and his capability as an candidate, the anointed candidate; is he not the person for the GOP? That's the question that's being asked around.

M. CARLSON: It's a big enough of a victory for McCain that you can't just say it's a vote against Bush. The enthusiasm for McCain is tremendous, and you could see it building these last couple of days, where George Bush was doing a Woody Allen campaign, which is, you know, 80 percent of life is showing up. He was just showing up at extended photo-ops. And McCain was doing dug the new campaign, which is to on stand there, go to town meetings, answer every question that's asked of you, and it's like the fourth of July and Christmas rolled into one at these events; the enthusiasm is tremendous.

KATE O'BEIRNE, "NATIONAL REVIEW": There's no about it, the voters, the Republicans and independents in New Hampshire, loved John McCain; they could disagree with him on the issues. People who supported abortion rights voted for John McCain. People who were more pro-life in their views voted for John McCain. Internet taxes, they voted for John McCain. Campaign finance reform only mattered to 9 percent of those voting. Them like John McCain. In fact, they admitted that character of a candidate is more important than the issues going in.

SHIELDS: Personal victory, Al?

AL HUNT, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": Yes, this is the ninth New Hampshire primary I've covered, and the only thing that was as stunning was Ronald Reagan's tremendous victory in 1980. This was a land slide, twice as big as strong as George Herbert Walker Bush beat Bob Dole in '88. You know, other guys, like Gene McCarthy and George McGovern, they had a cause propelled by anti-war fever.

SHIELDS: Right. HUNT: Ronald Reagan had a base. This guy McCain had to create his own cause. He created his own base. It was an extraordinary achievement. He's still the underdog, Mark, but I want to tell you, he's changed the landscape of Republican politics tonight.

SHIELDS: Changed the landscape -- I'd say it's the most important Republican victory since Henry Cabot Lodge in 1964. It's that big of a surprise. One is a write-in.

Now back to Bernie.

SHAW: Thanks very much, gentlemen and lady.

WOODRUFF: And just to recap our call, we have just called just a few moments ago that Al Gore will be the winner on the Democratic side here in the state of New Hampshire, but we are stressing -- we are told it is going to be a very, very tight race right until the end, a very close margin, in other words.

And again, on the on the Republican side, at this point, what we're saying is about a 16-point margin, 47 percent to 31 percent, a victory for John McCain.

Much more ahead, Bernie.

SHAW: Yes, and if you keep your head turned too long, you're going to miss something here on CNN and its live coverage from New Hampshire.

Coming up at the top of the hour, "LARRY KING LIVE," and lots of guests.


WOODRUFF: To restate the results here in the state of New Hampshire, CNN has projected a big win for John McCain over Gov. George W. Bush of Texas.

On the Democratic side, we have just a few minutes ago called Al Gore the winner, but a very tight race.

And the question to you, Bill Schneider, is why was Bill Bradley able to do this? I'm sorry, Al Gore -- why was Al Gore able to do this?

SCHNEIDER: And remember, "the economy, stupid" from 1992? Well, it paid off for Bill Clinton, and now it's paying off, interestingly, for Al Gore. When we asked New Hampshire Democratic primary voters how they were doing financially, two-thirds said they were better off. And among those people who said their families were better off, the two-thirds of Democratic voters, they voted by a solid margin over, a majority for Al Gore over Bill Bradley. Now that was a very important factor, probably the most important factor in the Gore victory.

You know, the Democrats were not like the Republicans. Republicans and independents both voted for John McCain. On the Democratic side, not quite the same. The insurgent Bill Bradley did carry the independent vote, but regular registered Democrats did not go for Bradley; they went for the vice president of the United States, Al Gore. That's why it was so close on the Democratic side.

SHAW: And I am struck by a remark, as we close out this hour, made by Mike McCurry in one his analysis earlier. He said that Al Gore -- quote -- "is going to have to fight this thing all the way to the convention in Los Angeles."

SCHNEIDER: It's the going a tough fight, because I think the clear message here is, you don't inherit this title, you're going to have to scramble for it right down the line.

SHAW: Coming up, "LARRY KING LIVE." Among his guests live, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, the winner in New Hampshire tonight.

More coverage continues on CNN from New Hampshire.


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