Gore and Bush Dominate in Super Tuesday Primaries and CaucusesAired March 7, 2000 - 7:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: Long lines for some, long odds for others as the presidential campaigns finally reach Super Tuesday.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: From New York to California, voters decide close contest or no contest.
ANNOUNCER: From CNN election headquarters in Atlanta, this is CNN's coverage of Super Tuesday, the largest day of primary and caucus voting in the nation's history, with 16 states and one territory going to the polls in caucuses to select more than 1,900 Democratic and Republican convention delegates.
Now, from the CNN anchor desk, here are Bernard Shaw, Judy Woodruff and Jeff Greenfield.
SHAW: Good evening, and welcome to our domestic and international viewers on this extraordinary Super Tuesday. This is going to be a fateful night for some candidates and a springboard for others. We have our first calls tonight.
In Georgia, Texas Governor Bush has defeated Arizona Senator John McCain. The polls are closed here. On the Democratic side, Vice President Al Gore an easy winner over Senator Bradley.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: In the state of Vermont, in the Republican primary, John McCain, CNN estimates, will defeat Texas Governor George W. Bush. This is a state that typically rewards -- that independents and Democrats have been known to cross over, and they clearly did today.
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: You know, folks, I was just thinking that it wasn't that many primaries ago when March 7 preceded the start of this process. New Hampshire hadn't even happened in 1968 or '72. Now today, the first effective national primary, we may be seeing the end of one and perhaps both parties' nominating contests on this extraordinary day, as all of these big states, California, Ohio, New York, moved up to let their voices be heard, a very different kind of calendar.
WOODRUFF: Exactly. And as we pointed out, Jeff and Bernie, this is the biggest number of delegates in one day. We've never seen anything like it in American -- the American primary process.
Speaking of delegates, there's a member of our team who's going to be keeping a close eye not just on delegates, but also on ballot initiatives, on some Congressional races, but on the money and the advertising in this campaign. His name is Wolf Blitzer, hand let's go to him now -- Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Judy, we're going to have a long night, but let's begin by taking a look at the latest delegate count based on these projections which we've just received involving Georgia and Vermont. On the Republican side, George W. Bush, he needs 1.034 Republican delegates to capture the nomination. Right now, CNN is estimating he has 263 compared to John McCain's 117 as a result of what's happened in Georgia and Vermont.
On the Democratic side, Al Gore, he needs 2,170 to capture the nomination. He now has, we are estimating, 546 compared to Bill Bradley's 63.
Joining us now to take look at what all of this means -- and we do want to point out that in Georgia, George W. Bush, we're estimating, will capture 48 of the 54 delegates that are at stake in that state. In Georgia, Al Gore, we are estimating, will capture 58 of the 77 delegates that are at stake in Georgia. In Vermont, with the McCain victory there, we are estimating John McCain will capture all 12 of Vermont's delegates.
Joining us now to look at some of the analysis of what all of this means, Scott Reed. He was the campaign manager for Bob Dole four years ago, very intimately involved in delegate counting, and Stuart Rothenberg. Stuart Rothenberg is the editor of the "Rothenberg Political Report," a newsletter on politics.
First of all, to you, Scott Reed, a split decision so far: McCain capturing Vermont, George W. Bush taking Georgia, an indication of what we could expect tonight?
SCOTT REED, FMR. BOB DOLE CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Vermont is not surprising. It's a state with a great independent streak, a state which was very close to New Hampshire and got a lot of the spillover from the New Hampshire primary, where John McCain was victorious. He'll get all 12 delegates. Georgia, big win for Bush, and what it really says is that Bush is going to be strong throughout the South. Georgia is a state with a lot of growth. He'll probably pick up two new congressional districts. He'll get close to 50 of the delegates. And it's troubling for McCain because he's now lost in South Carolina, Virginia and now Georgia, leading up to next week, where they're all southern states.
BLITZER: On the Democratic side, Stuart, what can we take from these initial delegate counts?
STUART ROTHENBERG, "ROTHENBERG POLITICAL REPORT": Well, Wolf, you have to remember in addition to these that we're reporting, there are superdelegates, and Al Gore is way ahead there. You add them to the showing tonight and it suggests that Bill Bradley has huge mountain to climb. Vermont is an interesting case. This is a case people used to think of it as an old-style Republican bastion. In fact it has changed dramatically. It is the perfect state for Bill Bradley. It should be. This is a state where Gary Hart swamped Walter Mondale in 1984. It's a state that has a Democratic governor and the like. This is the kind of state that Bill Bradley has to do well in order to compete against Al Gore and really win the nomination.
BLITZER: All right. If Bill Bradley can't win in Vermont, unlikely he's going to do well in any other state. But we're going to be staying with you, with Scott Reed, throughout this evening.
Let's go back to Jeff on the anchor desk.
GREENFIELD: Thank you very much, Wolf.
What we have ahead tonight is a long, long process, 16 states, literally from coast-to-coast, border to border. We want to show you a road map of what's ahead over the next several hours.
GREENFIELD (voice-over): The night's third biggest delegate prize Ohio -- McCain is hoping to repeat his Michigan triumph in this open contest, but the latest polls show him far behind Bush. At stake: 69 Republican and 146 Democratic delegates. At 8:00 p.m., the polls close in Connecticut, Maine and in Massachusetts, where McCain is strongest. If he's going to survive the night, McCain needs to win big here. Also at 8:00, the polls close in Maryland and in Missouri, the state where Bill Bradley was born. 9:00 p.m., New York. The Empire State primary is second only to California in terms of delegates, but could be the most significant contest of the night. John McCain desperately needs to win most of New York's 93 delegates to offset Bush's anticipates wins elsewhere.
As for Bradley, if he can't win on his home court and most of its 243 Democratic delegates, he's likely finished. Polls close in Rhode Island at this hour as well.
The biggest prize comes at 11:00 p.m. Eastern when the polls close in California. All four major party candidates will be on one ballot, but only the votes of registered Republicans will count toward allocating the party's 162 delegates, more than a quarter of the Super Tuesday total, and they're allocated winner take all. Bush is expected to win the Republican-only part of the California primary and thus all the delegates, putting him well on the way to the nomination. McCain's best hope, finish ahead of Bush in the state 's popular vote. McCain would win no delegates, but he would bolster his case for being the strongest Republican in the general election.
Add to the 11 primaries party caucuses in five more states. In all, 605 Republican and 1,315 Democratic delegates are at stake, roughly 60 percent of the total needed to win the nominations in each party.
SHAW: Now all night long, Bill Schneider is at our exit poll desk to explain tonight's outcome and what it's likely to mean -- Bill.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Bernie, let's compare the fights within the two parties. Do Bradley and Gore really differ on anything? The most recent debates have sounded a lot like, well, a love-in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL BRADLEY (D), DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: My view also is that if Al were the nominee, I would support him. My view...
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Bill made a good point. I agree with Bill Bradley. I agree with that statement. I think it was a very fine statement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHNEIDER: All that good feeling is showing up in today's vote. We are not seeing much ideological division today among Democrats. Liberal and moderate Democrats in Georgia both supported Al Gore by about the same margin, but on the Republican side, McCain and Bush are also virtually indistinguishable on the issues. But oh boy, look at the donnybrooks in the GOP.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We asked Governor Bush to do what he refused to do and tell his sleazy Texas buddies to stop these negative ads, take your money back to Texas where it belongs.
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He tried to compare me to Clinton in earlier primary states. This is a man who claimed on the one hand he's going to run a positive campaign. That may be OK in a Democratic primary, but in a Republican primary, that's about as low as it gets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHNEIDER: And that showed up in today's vote, too, and it took the form of a stronger split in the GOP. In today's Georgia primary, Bush took almost three-quarters of the votes from self-described conservatives, but among moderate voters, he did a lot worse, getting less than 60 percent of their votes. It's amazing, two look-alike conservatives are running for the GOP nomination, and the voters are responding as if it were a fight between Ted Kennedy and Jesse Helms. McCain has been challenging conservative domination of the GOP, and conservatives are not going to give up without a fight. On the other hand, Bradley tried to rally liberal opposition to Clintonism in the Democratic Party, and he got nowhere. The right hold sways over the Republican Party, while in the other party, New Democrats reign supreme.
Jeff, what party do you think that leaves in a stronger position? GREENFIELD: I'd like to call a friend, Bill.
SCHNEIDER: You may.
GREENFIELD: We're going to be back with Bill throughout the evening for lots of numbers. But beyond the numbers, we want to take you now to kind of a watchlist, what are we going to be looking for throughout the night? We'll start with the Republicans. First, the Religious Right turnout, as Bill mentioned. Did McCain's attacks on Pat Robertson and company energize the Christian conservative base for Bush? Second, can McCain sweep the New England primaries? His campaign has said that is a critical decision they'll make in terms of whether to go on. Can Bush hold the Republican votes? He has been winning the lion's share of the Republican votes in almost every primary. Will he do that tonight?
And what about Republican women? Is there a gender gap in the Republican Party where Bush appeals more to women, McCain to men?
Is there a Catholic backlash against Bush? The reverse of the first question we asked. Did the work in New York on the part of the McCain forces energize Catholics who are almost half of the New York Republicans?
Can McCain win enough crossover votes? This is particularly important in Ohio, an open primary with -- that is also a Democratic primary. Did he beckon Democrats to his side even though there's a Democratic race?
What about voter reaction to a negative campaign? Did they feel it was a negative campaign on either party's side and did it have an effect on the vote?
Did Bush appeal to California Hispanics? One of his major selling points was that as Texas governor he had attracted a big share of the Hispanic vote which is traditionally Democratic.
Now we go to the Democrats. We have some questions there. Can Bradley win any of the key New England states, or will it be a wipeout? Did Bradley make any progress in reaching out to core Democrats, African-Americans, environmentalists, union members who have been such a key to the Gore success so far?
Conversely, did labor deliver for Gore? The AFL-CIO endorsement of Gore in October was a critically important asset to his campaign. Will it show up tonight in states like Ohio, California, New York?
What about the voter turnout in general? McCain and Bush together have had huge increases in the Republican voter base. Will we see that tonight?
And last, what is the impact of the man that we might not hear about too much tonight who happens to be president of the United States? Throughout the evening, we will be looking at those questions trying to give you some answers.
WOODRUFF: And as you can tell from Jeff's list of questions, there's a lot to talk about tonight. There's a lot to consider. It is going to be a very busy night. We are just getting started.
When we come back, we're going to go live to all of our correspondents with the four leading presidential candidates. We'll be right back.
SHAW: In the Texas state capital of Austin, Candy Crowley is at Bush headquarters. Candy, air of confidence there?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: An air of confidence, Bernie. Certainly if yesterday's polls turn into this evening's results you're looking at a very good evening for George Bush, and if indeed he is triumphant you will be able to trace the roots of that victory back to a strategy set in the summer of '99.
CROWLEY (voice-over): From the sunshine days of summer when he was flush with cash and endorsements, through the grim reviews and returns of early winter, the North Star of the Bush campaign has been a 50-state strategy. It was his mantra when he lost New Hampshire.
BUSH: We are on plan, and I think I have a good chance of winning because I'm in every state.
CROWLEY: It was his hope when his firewall collapsed in Michigan, and it kept him on course.
BUSH: I'm disciplined and focused on one thing and that's winning the Republican nomination.
CROWLEY: And it has brought him to this day, 605 delegates, 13 states and not a lot of time. The 50-state strategy was made for days like this.
Beginning last June with fund raisers, events, or both, Bush has been in all of the Super Tuesday states at least once. He had organizations in all 50 states before the year began. Many were up and going long before John McCain moved out of the single-digit candidate category.
By the time the polls close across the country this evening, Bush campaign organizations will have made more than 2 million phone calls into Super Tuesday states. This, said a top aide, is where all the investment pays off.
CROWLEY: The governor will watch the returns come in for the first time from the governor's mansion in Austin. Of course, he has never been here during the primary results. It is either a sign of confidence, or fatigue, or maybe a little bit of both -- Bernie.
SHAW: Thank you, Candy.
Now let's quickly go to Los Angeles where correspondent John King is at the McCain headquarters. John, is the watch word of the night there figuring percentages?
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly figuring the delegate math, Bernie. Senator McCain has said all along that March 7th, Super Tuesday would be the decisive day in the Republican race for president. He's here in Los Angeles awaiting the results. His campaign already saying he will go to Colorado on Thursday and Illinois on Friday.
One senior aide telling CNN Senator McCain will stay in the race no matter what, but two others close to the senator telling us there could be a serious reassessment of that if Governor Bush has a big night.
KING (voice-over): Confident candidates don't speak in the past tense.
MCCAIN: We're doing fine, we've had a great run.
KING: For John McCain, the glow of New Hampshire is gone, Super Tuesday a fight for survival.
MCCAIN: Get out the vote today and we'll win. Every time we've won it's because more people have turned out than anybody expected.
KING: The senator's strategy banks on a sweep in the five New England states and winning New York, and the majority of its 93 delegates. But that's the bare minimum. Most advisers believe it would take much more to make it worth soldiering on, in part because the primary calendar takes a dramatic turn in Governor Bush's favor.
Next Tuesday's choices for McCain range from bad to worse: the governor is heavily favored in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Oklahoma and his home state of Texas. If McCain survives Super Tuesday, he'll try to pick up delegates next week in Florida and perhaps Tennessee. But he'd focus most of his attention on the March 21st primary in Illinois.
Money is beginning to matter as much as momentum. McCain aides tell CNN they have only $4 million more to spend before hitting the $40 million primary spending cap imposed on candidates who accept federal matching funds. McCain's relationship with Bush has been severely strained in recent weeks, but top aides say that won't be a factor in the senator's decision making.
(END VIDEOTAPE) KING: The biggest factor they say will be simple delegate math. Senator McCain will sit down with top advisers late tonight and again in the morning to see if there's any realistic scenario under which he can win enough delegates down the road to deny Governor Bush the nomination and to win it for himself.
Back to you at the anchor desk.
SHAW: John, Candy, after the nomination is decided there has to be an end game and I am wondering has there been any kind of cross- pollination between the Bush and McCain campaigns talking about what happens if Governor Bush gets the nomination? How do we bind up our wounds?
CROWLEY: Bernie, I can tell you that there has not been at this point what you call cross-pollination, but the seeds are out there if I can torture this a little further. Senator Gramm, as you know, from Texas, ran for president last time around. He was supported by John McCain. He of course comes from the same state that the governor does and they see in that a man who maybe can help to begin to heal the wounds.
You will not see a first step coming out of the Bush campaign, not out of any animosity, but because if Senator McCain is to back out of this now and is to go ahead and quit the race, they want to give him as much room as possible, let him do that the way he wants to do it. The governor is always ballyhooed to us as someone who likes to move on, who likes to unite people. They don't see that this is going to be any personal problem between them as far as the governor is concerned, but I would look to Senator Gramm as playing some sort of role there and I would look for Senator McCain to take the first step.
GREENFIELD: John King, can you tell us what the McCain folks are telling you about what their scenario is for McCain to prevail? Let's assume he survives tonight, goes to Colorado, goes to the South next week where by universal expectation Governor Bush is going to get the lion's share of the delegates. What's their theory? Just hang around and hope for something, or do they have something more than that?
KING: Well, it is literally a theory, and the biggest thing would be to defeat Governor Bush here in the popular vote in California. They don't expect to get any of the state's Republican delegates, but they would like to make the case that they are the stronger candidate in the fall.
Next week, some 300 delegates in the South, Governor Bush heavily favored to get them all. If Governor Bush picks up the lion's share of the 600 up tonight, the 300 next week, the math gets very difficult.
They would like to get on to Illinois, beat him in another big Midwestern state, and argue that in the states that matter most, the fall battlegrounds -- the Republicans win the South, they'll say; the Democrats win the Northeast -- they want to make the case that in Michigan, in Illinois, Senator McCain is the strongest candidate. If Governor Bush wins in Ohio tonight, though, it would take some of the steam out of that argument.
GREENFIELD: Thank you, John. We want to bring in Bill Schneider to talk about Vermont. We almost never talk about Vermont because it's so small. But it's a state, Bill, where you have a congressman who's a socialist with a Brooklyn accent, the most liberal Republican in the Senate in Jim Jeffords. So how did McCain win it? Is it just the quirkiness of that state?
SCHNEIDER: I'll tell you exactly how McCain won Vermont. We looked at our exit poll and we found that Vermont was a state in which the majority of the voters in the Republican primary were not Republicans. That's exactly how John McCain won Michigan last month. Most of the voters were not Republican voters; they were independents and Democrats who crossed over to vote in that state's open primary.
Self-identified Republicans in Vermont, they voted for George Bush, but that wasn't most of the voters in that primary -- Jeff.
WOODRUFF: And it's Judy.
WOODRUFF: We're sitting right next to each other, so it's all right.
GREENFIELD: Often mistaken for each other.
We've been talking a lot about -- in fact we've been talking pretty much only about the Republicans so far. When we come back, we're going to talk to our correspondents with the Democratic candidates. It's Jeanne Meserve with Bill Bradley, Chris Black with Al Gore. We're going to hear from them when our election 2000 coverage continues.
WOODRUFF: We've heard what the Republican presidential candidates are up to tonight. Now we turn our attention to the Democrats. First we go to New York City, to the headquarters where Bill Bradley is spending this evening, and to our own Jeanne Meserve.
Jeanne, take us there.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, I just ran into a top campaign official who described himself as realistically optimistic with the emphasis on realistically. That would seem to be a tacit admission of the fact that Bradley's strategy over the past week has not worked. It's been a strategy that has taken the focus off Al Gore and put it on Bill Bradley and what he stands for.
BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let's go out in the next two days and send a message to the rest of this country that we don't want politics as usual. We want to realize our destiny.
On to victory tomorrow, the next day, victory! Thank you!
MESERVE (voice-over): Since his drubbing in Washington State, Bill Bradley has expended most of his effort on the East Coast where he believes his chances are best: Maryland, New York, New England.
Bradley sounded the inspirational themes which ignited so much enthusiasm for him early on, particularly among the young.
BRADLEY: And so I would ask you today what is your dream for yourself, for your family, and for your country.
MESERVE: Instead of defining himself in contrast to Al Gore, he has defined himself by his issues: health care, gun control, campaign finance reform.
BRADLEY: The rich have every right in the world to buy as many houses or as many cars or as many yachts as they want, but they do not have a right to buy our democracy.
MESERVE: Despite gloomy predictions about his campaign's future, Bradley kept his foot on the gas with a busy campaign schedule. His considerable financial resources were used to buy five minutes of national broadcast time and a barrage of advertisements concentrated in California and New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, BRADLEY CAMPAIGN AD)
SPIKE LEE, DIRECTOR: There are a lot of things Ed and I don't agree upon, but both of us want Bill Bradley.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MESERVE: What happens now? Well, they're talking mechanics; they're not talking strategy. We are told that come what may tonight, Bill Bradley will not be dropping out of the main race, but we are told tomorrow we will expect an announcement about the schedule for Thursday and beyond. It doesn't take much imagination to read those tea leaves -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right, Jeanne Meserve, you're going to be with us throughout this long evening. And we want you to stand by because now we're going to go to the place where Al Gore, the vice president, is watching tonight's returns, in Nashville, Tennessee, his home state, and to our own Chris Black -- Chris.
CHRIS BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, the Gore campaign is cheering the results in Georgia and hoping it's a sign of things to come. The vice president has come home to Tennessee to wait out the election results and what he describes as a decisive moment in his quest for the presidency.
BLACK (voice-over): Vice President Al Gore owes his success to the loyalty of the most loyal Democratic voters, African-Americans, organized labor and women. These three pillars of the party carried Gore through the roughest days of his rivalry with Bill Bradley. He also got some help from an unexpected source, John McCain, whose insurgent campaign attracted independent voters and dominated news coverage in the weeks following the New Hampshire primary. That effectively denied Bill Bradley the chance to capture any momentum after his narrow loss to Gore in the Granite State.
GORE: I wanted to call and remind you to go to the polls today.
BLACK: Now the vice president is planning to reach out to swing voters who occupy the political center and tend to be more suburban and independent than primary voters.
GORE: I represent change. I want to keep the economy growing and changing in the right direction, and then use that continued prosperity to make sure nobody is left behind.
BLACK: The vice president is expected to call for a ban on soft money in the fall campaign, set out his policy agenda and highlight differences with the Republicans on issues like prescription drug coverage for seniors, steps toward universal health insurance, a 50 percent increase in federal funding for public schools, and mandatory photo IDs for new handguns.
BLACK: In this primary campaign, Gore advisers say the vice president needed to move out from the shadow of Bill Clinton and stay in the political center. In their view, he succeeded and he's well- positioned to take on a Republican nominee in the fall -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: So Chris Black, does that mean that the vice president wants to continue to, in so many words, stay out of the shadow of President Clinton?
BLACK: Well, it's -- it's a -- for this particular phase of the campaign, Judy, not only Al Gore but also Bill Clinton himself felt that it was very important for the vice president to establish himself. They do feel that he has done that to a large degree. He needs to continue to do it, particularly in states where he hasn't campaigned a lot.
But he appeared publicly with Mrs. Clinton in New York twice in the last two weeks. In the upcoming months, we understand that the president and vice president will appear together at Democratic fund- raisers.
SHAW: Chris Black, thanks very much. This evening is becoming ever more interesting. We've got our first call in the Midwest tonight. In Ohio, exit polling tells CNN that Governor Bush is the winner over Senator John McCain, Ohio one of the big three states up for grabs tonight.
Over on the Democratic side -- look at this -- Vice President Al Gore defeats Senator Bradley by a huge margin.
WOODRUFF: Recapping now some results and estimations that we gave you earlier in Georgia in the Republican primary -- and we've already declared George Bush the winner, but this is a look at the raw vote -- with 6 percent of the precincts reporting, George Bush beating John McCain by better than two to one.
On the Democratic side in the Georgia primary, an even more lopsided win for Vice President Gore. Again, this is just a few votes counted, just 7 percent of the precincts reporting, but you can see what a huge margin the vice president appears to be winning by.
GREENFIELD: And as we've already told you, in Vermont, it's Senator John McCain who we predict, based on key precincts and exit polls will beat Texas Governor George Bush. That's one small piece of what he hopes will be a New England sweep. As we will be reminding you throughout the night, we'll be looking at numbers. There are just 5 percent reporting. And Al Gore has a lead over Bradley -- I'm sorry this is the Democratic primary. We've already declared in this one, or will, that Al Gore is probably going to be the winner. We haven't called that yet. We will not have the numbers to call that yet. These are raw numbers. I apologize for that. Usually I don't confuse Republicans and Democrats.
But for delegates, let's go back to Wolf Blitzer.
BLITZER: All right, Jeff.
For those of our viewers who are keeping a score card on the delegate count, let's take a look at the Republican side first following the results in Ohio tonight. And on the Republican side, take a look at this: George W. Bush we now estimate has 323 delegates compared to John McCain's 117; 1,034 needed to nominate. On the Democratic side, as a result of Al Gore's victory in Ohio, we now estimate Al Gore has 648 to Bill Bradley's 96; 2,170 needed for the nomination.
In Ohio, we now estimate that Governor Bush will capture 60 of the delegates, some nine delegates still undecided, still up in the air. Also in Ohio, we estimate that Vice President Gore will receive 102 of those delegates -- of those 146 delegates, Bill Bradley 33, 11 of those delegates still up in the air.
Scott Reed, as you take a look at the -- what happened in Ohio on the Republican side, what do you make of it?
REED: Big night for George Bush. You can't compare it to Michigan where, two weeks ago, McCain was hot. Ohio is a lot like Michigan. Clearly this was good for Bush because a Republican cannot get to the White House without going through Ohio. It's impossible in the fall. This was an open primary. By Bush running up the numbers as strong as he has, and the delegates, it shows he's ready for the general election.
BLITZER: And it's a huge win in Ohio by the Democrat, Vice President Gore, Stu.
ROTHENBERG: Wolf, it's a pummeling. This is a state where there are a lot of African-American Democrats, labor union members. Al Gore just swamping Bill Bradley by about three to one at this point in the delegate count. And, again, if you go back to 1984 when you had another quirky insurgent candidate against then a former vice president, Gary Hart actually beat Walter Mondale in 1984 just by a couple of percentage points in Ohio, but that's something that Bill Bradley apparently has been unable to do this time.
BLITZER: OK, we're going to be keeping track of that critical delegate count. But for now, back to the anchor desk.
WOODRUFF: All right, Wolf. And we're going to take a closer look inside some of those numbers when we come back with much more in our election coverage, "Election 2000." We'll be right back.
GREENFIELD: We have a call to make where our analysis desk has apparently cleaned up my premature evaluation of what was going to happen in Vermont. Indeed, Vice President Al Gore will defeat Bill Bradley in the state of Vermont. That was one of those New England states where Bill Bradley hoped to do well. Al Gore has beaten him there. We should also point out that we may now have a preliminary answer to one of the questions we posed at the very beginning of this, namely: Will McCain win enough crossover votes in a state like Ohio, a state with an open primary but where both Republicans and Democrats had their own primaries?
Bill Schneider, it appears as if McCain's hopes to win crossover Democrats in Ohio certainly didn't come true. Can you take us into the numbers on that?
SCHNEIDER: Well, let's take a look at the Ohio vote. Can you win the Republican nomination without carrying Republicans? Well, that sounds pretty silly, but ever since New Hampshire, John McCain has been running way behind George W. Bush among Republicans in state after state. Did McCain break into the Republican vote today? The answer is, no, not even in Massachusetts where McCain is doing very well. Even there, most Republicans have been voting for Bush.
So, you know, wait a minute. How did McCain carry Michigan last month? He lost Republicans there, but Michigan was an open primary. McCain won by getting strong support from crossover Democrats and Independents. Ohio, which voted today, is right next door to Michigan, and Ohio, like Michigan, has an open primary. Moreover, in Ohio, as in Michigan, about two-thirds of Republicans voted for McCain -- two-thirds of the crossover voters voted for John McCain.
So why did McCain win Michigan and lose Ohio? Well, here's the answer. A majority of the Michigan vote last month was cast by crossover voters, Democrats and Independents. There was no Democratic contest on the Michigan ballot, but there was a Democratic contest in Ohio today. So what happened? That crossover vote shrank to about a quarter. Fewer Democrats and Independents bothered to vote more McCain because they had a race in their own party. They voted for Gore or for Bradley, and that left Senator McCain at the tender mercy of his own fellow Republicans.
GREENFIELD: So he got the votes that did cross over, but there just weren't enough of them to make any difference?
SCHNEIDER: There was only about half as many crossovers in Michigan as there were last month -- in Ohio as there were last month in Michigan.
GREENFIELD: OK, Bill Schneider, thank you.
And now to see what this means in terms of delegates and more, Wolf, all yours.
BLITZER: As far as the more is concerned, Jeff, we are going to take a look, specifically, at Ohio and as a result of the ad buys that were going on.
Joining us is David Peeler who spends a lot of time looking at the ad buys.
How did George W. Bush secure this big win in Ohio?
DAVID PEELER, COMPETITIVE MEDIA REPORTING: Well, Wolf, I think George W. Bush, who had declared this a battleground state for him, spent significant dollars in this state in the last two weeks. We had the number at over -- close to a million dollars, $965 million in the past two weeks. He was also helped across the goal line by an independent expenditure group that we've talked a little bit about in the past, the Wyly brothers. They spent in the past week alone $160,000 only in the market of Columbus, which is a very conservative area. So I guess the question you might ask is, will the Wyly brothers claim credit for bringing him across the goal line.
BLITZER: And as far as the campaign finance situation, Dwight Morris is joining us from our Washington bureau. He looks at the money trail where these candidates get their money, spend their money.
What can you tell us, Dwight, looking at the amount of money that George W. Bush has spent so far to secure these gains?
DWIGHT MORRIS, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR BOB DOLE: Well, it -- to call it unprecedented is an understatement. The Bush campaign, at a most conservative estimate, has spent between $60 and $63 million. My guess is it's closer to $65 million. That is far, far and above what Bob Dole spent to win the Republican nomination throughout the entire primary process.
BLITZER: And if you're taking a look at -- to see how much more money you think he might be needing in the next few weeks in order to -- if, in fact, he gets the nomination -- in order to be viable against Al Gore in the coming months, how much more money does he realistically need to gain?
MORRIS: Well, I think he'll be able to raise just about whatever he wants if the past is prologue. The Bush campaign will probably need anywhere from $15 to $20 million to carry them through to the conventions, although a lot of the spending for both nominees is going to begin to shift to the main political party committees -- the Democratic Committee and the Republican National Committee.
BLITZER: All right, we'll be watching the money, we'll be watching the ads for now.
Back to Bernie at the anchor desk.
SHAW: Thank you, Wolf.
Well, in Washington Mike McCurry and Tony Blankley are watching all that's happening. When we come back, we're going to check in with them. Back in a moment.
SHAW: This is an extraordinary day in this presidential election year. More votes cast today than in any other day before November 7, when the general election is held. We're calling it "Super Tuesday." It is the result of a front-loaded primary process, a process that Jeff Greenfield was talking about just a few minutes ago in our election 2000 coverage.
We do have two folks in Washington who've been thinking a lot about whether or not these candidates have taken advantage of the so- called front-loaded process. They are analyst Tony Blankley, former press secretary to Newt Gingrich, Mike McCurry, former press secretary to President Clinton.
Take it away, guys.
TONY BLANKLEY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Mike, you know, it's interesting, there's been a lot of talk about this front-loaded primary and whether it would be an opportunity to close off the election quickly. It looks like it's going to. But more interestingly, both McCain and Bradley had their chances, even though there was a compactness of the primaries, and I think probably blew it. Bradley had his chance last fall, and McCain had it after the New Hampshire primary. And I think they had their chance, and they've lost it, and we're beginning to see the effect of that.
MIKE MCCURRY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Tony, you know, both parties wanted exactly this. They wanted to kind of consolidate around a nominee early so they could get on with the business of making a general election pitch.
Now I'm not going to rush as fast as you do in judgment on this. I think in some ways, both Senator McCain and Senator Bradley awakened something in this electorate that said, we want some change in the way our politics is conducted. And that exists; that constituency is still out there. Governor Bush and Vice President Gore are maybe not the best people to tap into that message, but part of the contest now is about who goes and gets that voter.
BLANKLEY: Well, what's interesting is they did awaken. They had a great first act, which was to note the public that this was something worth considering. Then they didn't have a second act. And I think neither Bradley nor McCain really had a second act. And now there's going to be a struggle, as you say, between probably Gore and Bush to try to get that constituency. I'm not sure that that's constituency gettable by either of the likely standard bearers.
MCCURRY: I think one of the telltale indicators to watch tonight are how do they do in those critical swing states like Ohio, where we're starting to hear a little bit more what was behind that from Bill Schneider. Missouri coming up in a short while. Those are the states we know historically both parties have to contest. They've got to be in the winner's column election night in November.
The other thing I'm struck by, I don't know about you, it is a long way now until the conventions and until the elections.
BLANKLEY: Well, that's a good point, because right now, all the passions are hot, but there's a lot of space in the two parties to organize themselves. I don't sense -- I mean, you and I have both been through a lot of campaigns. I don't think either party is badly situated to pull together. If McCain had looked like he was going to win it, I think it would have been harder for the Republicans to pull together. With Bush looking to do very strongly, Republicans for McCain won't make a difference.
MCCURRY: Well, one thing -- and you know this so well, because you and I have both been on the losing side of campaigns.
BLANKLEY: Oh, yes, yes.
MCCURRY: The true believers that have been in this process so far probably arguably work for Senator Bradley, work for Senator McCain. They were the people who really dug and worked their hearts out. The conventional thinking sort of goes more with the front- runners. They're going to be hurting tonight. It hurts to lose a campaign. And I think how both sides work now to consolidate, go ahead and move ahead, that's...
BLANKLEY: That's what I was saying, at the professional level, obviously, the two parties are going to consolidate. At the voter level, I think there are a lot of people who have had their expectations raised. I'm not sure they're coming back. We could be looking at a low voter turnout come the fall.
MCCURRY: Well, part of that test is now I think for both of these parties, whether they tap into that, sort of, part of the electorate that really was awakened by the McCain campaign, by the Bradley campaign, and how they get drawn in.
Now I think right now Vice President Gore is better positioned. I know you'll disagree with it. But I think he's better positioned because, in a way, the rhetoric, the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that hasn't been a strong on the Democratic side.
BLANKLEY: While I think Gore has got a good opportunity on the issues, on the theme of the outsider and reform, I think Gore is not well positioned. I think Bush is a little bit better, not strongly positioned. Bush has already started to burrow McCain's lines on reform. So he started that a couple of weeks ago, and he's going to be stealing as much as the McCain tone as he possibly can.
MCCURRY: I think it's going to be hard for either one of these guys, who now are merging as front-runners, stacking up the big delegate counts, the wins tonight, it's going to be hard for either one of them pitch themselves as an outsider. Would you agree with that?
BLANKLEY: Well, I mean, winners always ultimately are insiders, but at least Bush has the argument that he is from Texas right now. He hasn't been to Washington. I think you have to go back to Atlanta now.
MCCURRY: Yes, Jeff Greenfield, you take it away.
GREENFIELD: Thank you, gentlemen. We'll be hearing from you throughout the evening.
We are going now out to Los Angeles right now, where John King is with the McCain campaign, with a preview of what the senator is going to tell his supporters and the rest of us in a few hours -- John.
KING: Jeff, we're told in his speech tonight, Senator McCain will talk about how important he believes his reform message - - campaign finance reform, reducing the role of lobbyists -- how important he thinks that is to the state -- the future of the Republican Party. Aides say it will be a chance for McCain to frame one last time, one of them just said -- that's significant -- what he thinks the American people should be thinking of and what Governor Bush should be thinking of as the campaign goes ahead.
Aides say they don't want to overreact here. They want to wait and see when California comes in. But we are told that they're very disappointed already by the projection that Senator McCain will not only lose Ohio, but lose it significantly. That was one of the states where they hoped to have a surprise. Senator McCain in his hotel suite watching the results come in with his family.
His aides divided now. Some saying he will fight on no matter what. Others, though, and those closest to the senator, saying when he returns to Arizona tomorrow, there will be a serious reassessment of whether to continue. That, of course, based again on waiting for the results here in California -- Jeff.
GREENFIELD: OK. And to Judy.
WOODRUFF: And of course we don't want to prejudge anything. And we keep saying that all night long, even as we are able to call some of these races as the polls close.
Candy Crowley is with George Bush in Austin, the capital of that state.
Candy, you have been talking to some of the people around the governor about where he turns his attention next.
CROWLEY: And it won't surprise you to know that it's Al Gore. Increasingly, aides say, over the next week, you will see the governor's attention turn toward Al Gore. It will begin tonight with his speech. What they believe is this, that on education, one of the primary issues when you talk to voters, Al Gore is vulnerable. One of the -- Bush's aides said to me, flatly, "We're going to take the education issue away from the Democrats." You know, it's bold talk right now. We'll see what happens.
But they really do believe that in Texas, Bush has a record, and that he can run on that record of education. They will paint Al Gore as a guy who is a defender of the status quo, that after seven and a half years as vice president, he hasn't done anything to change education. They will also talk about the company that he keeps. One of the loudest applause lines, as you know, when George Bush goes around, and for John McCain as well, is when he talks about the let down of this current White House in terms of moral values. So, that will continue.
Basically, what they believe is that by next week, at the very least, if not tonight, George Bush will look unstoppable, so continually they will begin to put Al Gore in their sights.
GREENFIELD: Candy, I was told a short while ago by one of Bush's aides that in fact, to just underscore your point, he will be introduced tonight by a former teacher and principal from Texas named Phyllis Hunter, so it sounds as if they are really going to try to make education and the reform of education a way to go at Gore, painting him as a figure from the past. Is that your understanding, that education is going to be kind of the wedge?
CROWLEY: Absolutely. Yes, yes, that they are looking -- first of all, at Bush's record and also how he is seen here in Texas. They will continually point to the kinds of people that he has attracted across party lines, as well as the large Hispanic and sizable minority votes that he got in his second run for governor. So you will begin to see that.
We are told that the teacher tonight you're referring to is also an African-American. That speaks very powerfully to what George Bush wants to put out there, which is, look, I am trying and I am reaching out -- I've reached out here in Texas, I intend to reach out here nationally. So you will see the beginnings of that national campaign here tonight just in that one person. It speaks volumes about where they want to go with this campaign.
SHAW: OK, Candy Crowley.
On deck, Bill Schneider when we come back. He's going to take a look at the impact of campaign advertising in all of these races. Back in a moment.
SHAW: We all know that millions upon millions of dollars have been spent on advertising in this campaign. Let's turn to Bill Schneider. Bill, the question of the hour, what has been the impact on these races of all this campaign advertising?
SCHNEIDER: Well, Bernie, in case you hadn't noticed, the ad war in the GOP this year has been intensely bitter and personal. Take this ad run by John McCain in South Carolina which caused such a sensation, McCain was forced to pull it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MCCAIN CAMPAIGN AD)
NARRATOR: This is George Bush's new negative ad attacking John McCain and distorting his position. Do we really want another politician in the White House America can't trust?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHNEIDER: Meanwhile, McCain has been raging about this radio ad questioning his commitment to cancer research.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP, BUSH CAMPAIGN AD)
NARRATOR: McCain is even against funding for breast cancer mapping, which is essential to breast cancer research. John McCain calls these projects, quote, "garden variety pork." That's shocking. America deserves better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHNEIDER: Now how much damage has all of this done to the GOP? let's take a look at how McCain voters in Maryland today felt about Governor Bush. More than 60 percent negative. I would say that's pretty bitter. Now, let's see if that hostility was reciprocated -- oh, yes.
We don't see nearly as much ill feeling among Democrats today. Bradley voters in Maryland were divided in their opinions about Al Gore, while Gore voters were split about Bill Bradley. Most Bradley voters say they would support Al Gore over George Bush. Most McCain voters are not yet ready to support Bush over Al Gore.
The split among Republicans is not just ideological. It's personal, and that kind of division is going to take some time and some effort to heal.
Back to the anchor desk.
SHAW: Thank you, Bill.
And when we return, lots of calls to be made, and we'll do that in a moment.
WOODRUFF: So far, Super Tuesday looks like a day for front- runners.
SHAW: Bush and Gore rake in the delegates in Georgia and Ohio.
GREENFIELD: It is 8:00 on the East Coast, 5:00 on the West Coast, and New England is starting to report in and we have some calls to make. Let's get to it.
In the Connecticut primary, John McCain has defeated George W. Bush. Bush's grandfather, Prescott, was a senator. Bush's father grew up there. Bush went to college there. Didn't help. John McCain took it.
On the Democratic side -- you'll be hearing this a lot tonight it looks like -- Al Gore defeats Bill Bradley.
In Maryland, George W. Bush has beaten Arizona Senator John McCain and Alan Keyes, who hails from Maryland.
On the Democratic side, Vice President Gore, an easy winner over former Senator Bill Bradley.
SHAW: In Massachusetts, John McCain, a winner over Governor Bush.
Also there, Vice President Gore defeats Senator Bradley.
In Missouri, George Bush defeats Senator McCain.
Also in Missouri, Senator Bradley has lost in his home state as Vice President Gore continues winning tonight.
WOODRUFF: And in the Republican primary in the state of Maine, CNN estimates the winner, George W. Bush defeating John McCain and Alan Keyes.
On the Democratic side, still too -- not enough information to call this with not very many votes in. In fact, 14 in all. You can see it's 41 percent each. That's hardly enough to show you but we want to show you what we've got. The polls have just closed in all five of these states. So much to keep an eye on, so much to talk about. But before we go much further, we want to look to our Wolf Blitzer, who is keeping an eye on the delegate count -- Wolf.
BLITZER: The all-important delegate count, Judy. Let's go right to the boards. Let's take a look and see where they are nationwide.
First of all, on the Republican side, here's the count as we have it right now as far as the delegate count is concerned: 391 it said over there -- but the Democratic side, 828 for Al Gore, 193. Obviously we're having some technical problems on that delegate count. Right now, though, Al Gore way ahead on the delegate count over Bill Bradley.
On the Republican side, George W. Bush well ahead. We're going to fix that delegate count board and we'll get right back to it.
For now, back to the anchor desk.
GREENFIELD: OK, one quick point to make, that victory in Maine for George Bush means one of our questions has been answered. McCain will not sweep New England, as his campaign had hoped.
Now to Bill Schneider for more about the where and why-for.
SCHNEIDER: Well, Jeff, there's big question in this campaign: Did John McCain's attack on religious right leaders Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell pay off or did it backfire?
Let's take a look at what voters today told us in Ohio. A quarter of Ohio's Republican voters today were identified with the religious right. Now that was about the same as it was four years ago. But let's look at how they voted. Almost 75 percent of those religious-right voters in Ohio voted for George Bush. McCain was virtually shut out. That suggests a backlash.
But there was a -- was there, in fact, a compensating "frontlash" for John McCain among nonreligious-right voters, some of whom may resent Robertson and Falwell's influence over the Republican Party.
Well, the answer is not so you'd notice. Nonreligious-right voters were actually split. So there's no evidence here of a big McCain surge outside the religious right. It looks like McCain made the religious right angry, but he did not win any converts from those on the other side.
Now, here is what really clinches the argument: We asked Ohio Republicans whether McCain's remarks had any effect at all on their vote. Now, when we look at those who said the senator's criticisms of the religious-right leaders had a great deal of effect on how they voted, what we find is that they voted overwhelmingly for George Bush, virtually nothing for John McCain.
That suggests that the voters who really cared about McCain's attack were those who disagreed with him. In other words, his attack backfired. Remember, McCain called Robertson and Falwell -- quote -- "agents of intolerance," comparable to, he said, "Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton on the left."
Republicans who resent the religious right's influence over their party may also resent McCain's incendiary rhetoric and his effort to divide the Republican Party by religion. That's wedge-issue politics, and Republicans don't like that sort out of thing in their party.
Back to the desk.
SHAW: Thank you, Bill Schneider. Well, we're going to be hearing from Pat Robertson rather soon, looking forward to hear what he has to say as he evaluates the voting tonight.
WOODRUFF: It's been interesting. You know, John McCain, it was almost as if he had his hand slapped after that speech that he made in Pat Robertson's hometown in Virginia. But this past weekend he's gone back to talking about Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as being people who are not representative of the Republican party.
GREENFIELD: The Democrats believe, I think, that Pat Robertson is a tremendous help to them. They would argue that Pat Robertson is a -- is a figure that alienates the centrist voters. But clearly, at least as far as this primary has gone so far, as Bill Schneider just told us, the attack on Pat Robertson did energize voters, but unfortunately for McCain, the people it energized were people who feel an attack on Pat Robertson is an attack on their values.
WOODRUFF: Many people say that's because McCain didn't do a good enough job of separating his criticism of some of the leaders of the Christian right from the followers, the people who are part of them.
SHAW: Judy, Jeff, just one observation about what's going on, what's happening to Senator Bill Bradley, who we know that he has been losing consistently so far, but he lost especially in Missouri. From Crystal City, down the River Mississippi from St. Louis, he lost in his home state tonight. We shouldn't lose sight of that.
WOODRUFF: It's a tough night all around for -- so far.
GREENFIELD: To quote Bill Russell, another great basketball player, "When things go bad, they go bad."
GREENFIELD: I think we're going to go back to John King now with the McCain campaign, who has in fact been talking to the senator quite recently.
John, what do you got for us?
KING: I just wanted to join the conversation you were just having about the senator's criticism of the Christian right. I asked him about this at length the other day, whether he regretted that, whether indeed he was now motivating Christian conservatives to vote against him and for Governor Bush. He said no and he was very adamant in saying so.
He said that he had a message to give the Republican Party that was more important than his personal candidacy for president. He said that he thought it was critical for the Republican Party to repudiate the leadership of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell.
He did go on to draw the distinction, though, that he was not trying to criticize Christian conservatives, that he thought he had perhaps made a mistake in not making that distinction more clear. And he certainly knows and acknowledges he made a mistake when on his campaign bus -- he says he was joking -- but he used the term "forces of evil" to describe Mr. Robertson and Mr. Falwell.
That certainly backfired. His own supporters in the Christian right movement, people like Gary Bauer, criticized him for that. But the senator says he will continue that criticism, and indeed, he has here in California. He says that he will continue it whether his campaign for president lives past Super Tuesday or not.
WOODRUFF: All right, John King, who is of course covering the McCain campaign.
The gentleman we've been talking about, the Reverend Pat Robertson, joins us now in our election 2000 coverage, joins us from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Is that right?
REV. PAT ROBERTSON, FOUNDER, CHRISTIAN COALITION: That's where I am, yes.
WOODRUFF: Well, we're delighted to have you with us.
ROBERTSON: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: Thank you very much.
ROBERTSON: Good to be here. Thank you.
I want to begin by asking you about John McCain's comments. Agent of intolerance, went on to use the term "evil," although later he pulled that back and said that that was a joke, he didn't mean it.
Are these criticisms, which he says he's going to continue, are they undermining your efforts to do what you've been doing with the Republican Party for so many years?
ROBERTSON: Judy, I don't think they're undermining at all. Frankly. I think this vote today, where the Christian conservatives are coming out in such strong numbers, that what I'm seeing is about 83 percent of the evangelicals are voting against McCain for Bush. And in Ohio, much of the same: It's about 80 percent. In Washington and Virginia, it was eight to one.
I think he's energized the religious base in a way that George Bush couldn't possibly have done. So McCain has handed George Bush a very nice gift last Monday when he made that attack.
I was in Mexico. I was on a humanitarian mission with our flying hospital. We were treating the poor in Puebla, Mexico, and then I met with President Zedillo, and I was just frankly astounded when I heard about what the senator had said.
GREENFIELD: Pat Robertson, hi, it's Jeff Greenfield here in Atlanta.
ROBERTSON: Yes, Jeff.
GREENFIELD: How are you doing? Clearly that analysis is confirmed by what our Bill Schneider found, that McCain's attack energized the core of faith-based conservatism, if I guess I can use that term. But one of Bush's senior strategists told me just a few hours ago, talking about what happened to George Bush, he said that they got stuck with symbols, including the phone calls that you had made in South Carolina -- "We got stuck with them. Our symbols were beyond our control."
Do you have any reason to believe that as they move toward a general election strategy, the Bush campaign would desire that you ceased and desisted from being quite so visible?
ROBERTSON: Oh, I think they would probably be very happy, because what they want, Jeff, is -- is -- is to run a so-called "centrist" campaign. But they do need the Christian conservative base. I mean, that makes up about 30 percent of all the Republican votes. And if it isn't energized and mobilized in the general election with Pat Buchanan coming in as a third-party candidate, George Bush is going to lose.
So I don't know what senior staff is talking about, but I do know that this brouhaha that started here in Virginia Beach a few days ago, and maybe with a few telephone calls into Michigan, has resulted in what seems to be a -- an incredible victory today for George Bush.
SHAW: Pat Robertson, how do you address Senator McCain's contention that in his judgment Christian conservatives are taking the Republican Party in the wrong direction and they are detrimental to what should be party's message?
ROBERTSON: You know, Bernie, I had worked very hard the last 10 years to build the Republican Party. You know, in Virginia for the first time since Reconstruction we have Republican control of the legislature. We have Republican control of all the top offices in the state. I have personally spent of my own resource over $500,000 bringing that to pass. We've worked like beavers for the last few years here in Virginia and in other states.
And in 1994 I doubt very seriously if the Republicans would have won a majority if it hadn't been for the work of the Christian Coalition and other of the religious conservatives. There wouldn't have been a Chairman McCain in the Commerce Committee if it hadn't been for us.
And you know, in these last presidential elections I supported Bush in '88, I supported Bush again in '92, we supported Bob Dole in '96. I mean, these are about as central, middle-of-the-road guys, and we didn't have anything to do with their losses. They ran their own campaigns pretty much without taking any advice from us whatsoever. So we were out there trying to help, but that -- to say we're taking the party in the wrong direction, I mean, the chairmen of the committees up there in Washington are making the decisions, not the Christian Coalition.
WOODRUFF: Mr. Robertson, when you say that you think maybe the George Bush campaign wants you to cease and desist because he's going to move to the center, you have that sentiment which you must be getting that message from somebody in the Bush campaign. On the other hand, we have John McCain saying that George Bush is a Pat Robertson Republican. Which is it?
ROBERTSON: I think that George Bush is a very fine man. He's done a good job in Texas. He's been able to unite people. He's united the Democrats. He's united women, united the Hispanics. It is just astounding what he's been able to do in Texas and I think we'll have the same thing in the United States.
McCain has come through as a divider. Did you see that editorial cartoon, you know, showing him as Moses parting the Republicans? I mean, he's trying to separate Catholic from Protestant, Protestant from other kinds of Protestant, that kind of stuff doesn't go in presidential politics. I think George Bush is a uniter and I think that he's not Pat Robertson anything. He's his own man. He's George Bush -- George W. Bush, governor of Texas.
GREENFIELD: Pat Robertson, if you'd be good enough to stand by for a minute, we want to bring in Candy Crowley with the Bush campaign who can tell us their view of why the McCain attacks on you may have backfired -- Candy.
CROWLEY: Let me tell you, Jeff, just in a word they believe it really wasn't the message so much as the stridency, the tone of what John McCain had to say, and they believe that when you look at the women -- the woman's vote and the females who came out for George Bush, that beginning with John McCain's concession speech in South Carolina which, as you will recall, was very in your face, and on through his speech in Virginia Beach and from then on, what the public was seeing was a strident tone that turned off a number of women voters, and the Bush campaign maintains that that's why that they're attractiveness to female voters has gone up.
GREENFIELD: OK, thank you, Candy.
Mr. Robertson, just one question about a general election strategy of Governor Bush if he turns to be the nominee, he has not said that he would appoint pro-life judges, he has not said that he would pick a pro-life running mate, you've described his approach as a centrist campaign, but is that OK with you? Are you content with a centrist campaign from your political perspective?
ROBERTSON: I would be very happy if George Bush won the general election. I think he will. I think his main message is going to be, I'm going to restore the dignity of the White House to its former glory, and the second message will probably be, I'm going to maintain the prosperity of America.
I mean, these are going to be two major themes and he will play them very strong, but I think he's also announced his faith. He has a strong faith and I think that's a very great plus. What he has done for education, what he's done for minorities, what he's done for tax reform, et cetera, in Texas has been very good, and I'm quite content with what I think he will be when he becomes president.
WOODRUFF: All right, the Reverend Pat Robertson joining us from Virginia Beach, Virginia, the man who has become a big factor in the Republican race for president this year. Well, let's quickly now go -- thank you again, Mr. Robertson.
Let's go quickly now to our own Bill Schneider who has his own comment on what we've been talking about -- Bill.
SCHNEIDER: Well, Judy, I have discovered a scientific law right here on our air. In those states where the religious right made up at least 15 percent of the voters in the Republican primary, Bush won. That was Maryland, that was Missouri, that was Maine.
But where the religious right was less than 15 percent of the voters, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, McCain won. In fact, Massachusetts was a very strange place, there the religious right voters voted for McCain, but they were only 8 percent of the vote. My guess is the religious right -- I used to live in Massachusetts -- the religious right in Massachusetts, that would probably be the witches of Salem -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: And how many would fit into a phone booth?
SCHNEIDER: Just 8 percent of the voters.
WOODRUFF: More than a phone booth.
GREENFIELD: I see another exit poll shaping up here, Bernie.
We have bottled water, we have iced tea, we have coffee, we have everything because we are going to be here for a long time. There's lots more to come, as CNN continues covering this extraordinary Super Tuesday. Back in a moment.
WOODRUFF: The polls have closed in eight states so far on this Super Tuesday and we are going to show you the calls that CNN has made.
In Connecticut, in the Republican primary, John McCain defeating George Bush. In Connecticut's Democratic primary, Al Gore defeating Bill Bradley. In Maryland on the Republican side, another win for George Bush over John McCain. And on the Democratic side in Maryland, the vice president, Gore defeating New Jersey Senator Bradley.
SHAW: Moving onto Massachusetts, McCain is the winner over the governor. On the Democratic side, Vice President Gore scores another one in Massachusetts, Bradley has won nothing tonight so far. In Missouri, Governor Bush defeating Senator McCain. On the Democratic side, it's the vice president again over Bradley in his home state.
GREENFIELD: In the Republican primary in Maine, George W. Bush breaks through in New England, defeating Senator McCain.
And in Ohio, we have already called this race for George W. Bush handily defeating John McCain, an open primary, but the Democratic primary, you've seen Democrats vote Republican. On the Democratic side, we've called Vice President Gore by a huge margin over former Senator Bill Bradley. These numbers with 1 percent in are just trickling in, but are key precincts say it's all Gore's.
WOODRUFF: In the state of Georgia, a big win for Governor George W. Bush. This is with 41 percent of the precincts reporting. You can see 68 percent to John McCain's 27.
On the Democratic side in Georgia, an even more lopsided win for Vice President Gore over Bill Bradley, again with about 43 percent of the precincts reporting.
SHAW: And in Vermont, Senator McCain winning over Governor Bush. Thirty-three percent of the precincts in so far. This is the raw vote total as it stands at this hour.
And over on the Democratic side, 34 percent of precincts in; Vice President Gore declared the winner in Vermont over Senator Bradley.
GREENFIELD: You know, there are gangs that roam the streets of the nation's capital inflicting violence on unsuspecting citizens, but there's a gang in one of the suites of the nation's capital inflicting analysis on unsuspecting citizens. It's the "CAPITAL GANG," and it's all yours.
AL HUNT, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": Thank you, Jack.
This is a special Super Tuesday edition of "CAPITAL GANG." I'm here with -- I'm Al Hunt. I'm here with Kate O'Beirne and Robert Novak and Margaret Carlson. We will do some analysis on unsuspecting citizenry.
Kate, if you look at these returns that are in so far tonight, John McCain has not done quite as well as he hoped. He didn't carry Ohio. He didn't carry Maine. The two big ones that are out, of course, California and New York -- if he doesn't win at least one of those, isn't it all over?
KATE O'BEIRNE, "NATIONAL REVIEW": Yes, absolutely, Al. And (UNINTELLIGIBLE), one way the McCain camp has minimized what George Bush has already won -- in South Carolina and Virginia, for instance -- was by saying, oh, he's a regional candidate, George Bush can win in the South, acting as though he's running a Jefferson Davis presidency run. But George Bush is showing that he can win in Ohio, a very strong win in Ohio. He even won veterans in Ohio, strong support from women. And Maine, he cut into McCain territory in New England. So he's showing George Bush's ability to unite the party and run in places other than the South.
HUNT: Margaret, any bright spots for McCain?
MARGARET CARLSON, "TIME": Connecticut, Connecticut, Vermont.
You know, we thought he was going to have all the Volvo-driving states along the Eastern seaboard, and as Kate said, Bush got into that in Maine. So there doesn't seem even to be a region where McCain can call his own.
Before McCain, even when he was losing, was coming from way back, like 40 points, and then 26 points in Virginia -- at least he got to nine. Now he -- we knew who he was. He had a surge. And now, the ones he's losing, he hasn't come from behind to narrow his lose.
So the McCain momentum seems to be gone with these votes tonight.
SHAW: Gang, let me get in for just a second -- Al, Margaret, Bob, everyone, Kate O'Beirne.
CNN now is making a call in Maine on the Democratic side. Here it is. You see him smiling. Vice President Al Gore defeats Senator Bradley again tonight.
Back to the "CAPITAL GANG" in Washington.
HUNT: Not exactly a surprise that Al Gore...
CARLSON: Big news!
HUNT: Al Gore wins everything. But let's stay on the Republicans for a second.
Robert, you've got terrific sources in that Bush campaign. Tonight must be a delight to them.
ROBERT NOVAK, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": It is a delight. I think they're worried about what comes afterwards. That's another story. They'd like to have some cordial communication between the two camps. There are people in the McCain camp who feel the same, because they do -- it is going to be a long, long general election campaign, and they want to clean up this nastiness.
But I want to say one thing about the problem with Senator McCain, which became clear to me and to all of us very early: He can't get Republican votes, which seems to be an insuperable problem for somebody wanting the Republican nomination.
Now I think the most fascinating think tonight, Margaret, was Vermont, where in Vermont, "The People's Republic of Vermont," Bush won a majority of the Republican vote, a majority of the Republican vote, but he lost the non-Republican vote, which I guess was about 54, 55 percent of the turnout. Terrible problem.
HUNT: All of those Marxist -- all of those Marxist Republicans up in Vermont.
CARLSON: Turned out they want tax cuts.
HUNT: I think it was an impressive showing, what we've seen so far at least, for Governor Bush tonight.
One point I'd make, though: Bill Schneider pointed out in states where 25 percent of the electorate was Christian conservatives, that's where Bush did very well. In the general election, it's only going to be about 15 percent of the turnout is going to be white, Christian conservatives, and there are indications from these exit polls, Kate, that George Bush is not doing nearly as well among Catholics as he'd like to do.
O'BEIRNE: He seems to be splitting in many places.
HUNT: Running behind his overall percentage.
O'BEIRNE: Right. So there might be a little repair work to do there. But it's also clear, because voters were asked what they thought of McCain's comments on the religious right, I found it interesting that even people who didn't identify themselves as members of the religious right reacted negatively to John McCain's comments. George Bush took people who were concerned with them overwhelmingly, those comments.
NOVAK: I was fascinated by the exit polls in Ohio on the religious conservatives and others. And religious conservatives, Bush has over 80 percent of the vote. With non-religious conservatives, which is 75 percent of the votes, he has only 49 to 45 percent of the vote. So this speech by Senator McCain attacking Pat Robertson and poor Jerry Falwell -- I say poor Jerry Falwell, because I haven't heard of him in 15 years -- I think really was a major political blunder.
HUNT: I think it hurts McCain in the primaries, but it's going to hurt Bush in the general election.
Quickly, before we do that, Margaret, Al Gore, we have to mention, I mean, he has just -- it's unbelievable the margins he's winning by, isn't it?
CARLSON: Yes. I mean, he's winning big, and as it turns out, he won kind of clean. Remember when we were saying on this program not too long ago...
CARLSON: No, as compared to Bush. He didn't run any breast cancer ads.
CARLSON: We were saying that there was going to be this long, drawn-out Democratic primary, and Gore would limp into the general election if he won. And it turned out that the Republican was longer and more protracted and uglier than what happened in the Democratic, and Gore is in a stronger position now as he goes into the general.
HUNT: This gang will have to figure out what we're going to do now for the next eight months, but I'm going to toss it back to Bernie and Judy and Jeff right now.
GREENFIELD: Actually, a question for you folks back at the "GANG." While ago I talked to Karl Rove and said, don't you have a problem, assuming you're the nominee, with the state of the economy, because it is as good as it's been in decades -- the Bush campaign, I'm sorry. And he said, no, we're going make the argument that the Clinton/Gore administration really didn't have that much to do with the economy, that the Republican Congress restrained spending.
I mean, given -- given the notion that generally the people in power get credit or blame, whether they deserve it or not, how tough do you think the good economy will be for the Bush campaign in the fall, assuming they're the nominee?
NOVAK: I don't think it will be a big problem. I think this is going to be a beauty contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Now you say those are two booby prizes, but as a matter of fact, I think it's going to be strictly on who they want to be -- I don't think people are worried about the economy, and they certainly don't give politicians credit. What they say is, who do I want as the president? And I think that this race is to be won or lost, and I think, Al, that they'll forget about Pat Robertson about the middle of May.
HUNT: Well, that's certainly Bob's hope, but I'll tell you something, if they do forget about the economy, Jeff, it'll be the first time in American history that's the case. It's never been true before.
O'BEIRNE: I think that the party in the White House gets credit for the economy, whether it's fair or not, and frankly, in this case, I don't think it's fair. I make the case that it was the Reagan economy. I make the case that congressional Republicans had something to do with it.
HUNT: Kate, Bob makes the case it's Coolidge economy, so you're...
O'BEIRNE: But I have troubling selling that to a lot of voters despite the truth of that assertion, and so I do think that this White House and Al Gore gets credit for this economy.
But gas prices -- I mean, there are issues like that that percolate even in the midst of a good economy, and that's an issue that could help Republicans.
HUNT: All right, we're out of gas right now. We'll go back to Bernie Shaw in Atlanta.
SHAW: OK, thanks very much. Mary Matalin and Bill Press are not out of gas. When we come back, we'll here from them on a segment of "CROSSFIRE."
WOODRUFF: There's more money spent in this campaign on radio advertising and television advertising than you can shake a stick at, and somebody who's been taking a look at along with some of his colleagues, our own Wolf Blitzer -- Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Judy, and in the next hour we'll be getting the -- some of the results from New York State, which is going to be closing in about 30 minutes, the polls will be closing in New York State. Some of the negative advertising that has been going on in New York State has been, according to most observers, exceptional. In fact, the John McCain campaign has gone out of its way to complain foul play on an issue very close to the senator's heart.
BLITZER (voice-over): It started with a radio ad criticizing McCain for voting against breast cancer research projects.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP, BUSH CAMPAIGN AD)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I looked into his record. What I discovered was shocking. John McCain opposes many projects dedicated to women's health issues.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BLITZER: McCain did oppose some research projects, but he said, only because they had been slipped into a defense bill. McCain felt they belonged in a health bill. Beyond policy, the argument turned personal. McCain's own sister is suffering from bush cancer, but when told of her illness, Bush was far from apologetic.
QUESTION: Had you or your campaign known that, would you have been reluctant to put the ad out? And part two, why is...
BUSH: All the more reason to remind him of what he said about the research that goes on here.
BLITZER: McCain was on his bus watching the news and saw Bush's comments. McCain grimaced, shook his head, and said nothing. New York Congressman Peter King, a McCain ally, said the Texas governor has quote "a heart of stone."
As for the woman who made the ad, fellow activists are reportedly furious at her for politicizing cancer. Geri Barish (ph) told "Newsday" she now regrets making the ad and is considering resigning as president of an influential breast cancer advocacy group.
BLITZER: This whole issue of the breast cancer ad only one of several that has caused some controversy, especially in New York State.
Joining us now, David Peeler, who spends a lot of time looking at the ad buys. How negative, David, in your assessment, have these ads been?
PEELER: Well, this particular ad that we're talking about, the radio ad, has been as negative as anything we've seen in the primary. What's interesting here is that there is kind of a rule in campaigns, if you're going to go very negative, go very negative on radio. You do that so you don't have to see the clip run on CNN and all the nightly news networks over and over for weeks to come. My suspicion is we'll know in the next 30 minutes if this tactic worked. If George W. Bush does well in New York and people ascribe some of that win to this negative attack ad, I suspect we're going to see a lot more of it in the general election this fall.
BLITZER: Is it a general assumption among political analysts that negative ads, as unpleasant as they may be, generally do work?
PEELER: I don't think you're going to see the political inside media consultants go away from negative advertising any time soon. It does work in a couple of ways. It can dampen turnout and it can clearly change and shift the issues that the candidates then have to respond to on the stump. So for two reasons, it can be from a paid standpoint, change the campaign, from a non-paid standpoint it can change the debate.
BLITZER: OK, David Peeler, you'll be with us through the rest of the night.
For now, let's go back to the anchor desk. And remember, coming up in less than a half an hour, the results in New York State and Rhode Island.
GREENFIELD: Thank you, Wolf.
When we come back we will bring you up to date on what's been happening and we will go and bring you into the middle of the "CROSSFIRE" in a moment.
GREENFIELD: Welcome back.
We want to recap what we know so far about what has happened on this Super Tuesday, who's won what. Among the states won, Al Gore has won every Democratic contest we've called so far, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Vermont; and the Republican side, George W. Bush has won Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, and Ohio, while Senator John McCain in New England has won Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont; Bill Bradley so far a shut out.
Now, great feuds in history, Athens versus Sparta, Hatfield versus McCoys, Yankees versus Red Sox, Press versus Matalin. It's "CROSSFIRE."
MARY MATALIN, CO-HOST, CNN "CROSSFIRE": Oh Lord have mercy.
BILL PRESS, CO-HOST, CNN "CROSSFIRE": It's great company.
MATALIN: You know what? If you're sitting in the Bush campaign tonight -- well, besides celebrating, popping those corks and all that business -- you're not just celebrating the arithmetic victory, counting up the delegates, you're looking at those states that the guys just went through and what they portend for the general election. Ohio, big swing state, Maryland we barely won in 1998, Missouri, big swing state.
So what the Bush campaign has to do tonight, which it's pretty tricky and you've been in campaigns, they have a foot in limbo land, one foot in the primaries, have to finish them off, not taking anything for granted, but they're also moving into general election mode, which Bush had been doing in the final closing days of these campaigns. So he will be in that -- so you'll be seeing tonight in his victory speech.
PRESS: Well, first of all, I have to say I don't want this thing to be over tonight, although it looks like it may be in terms of deciding the nominees, because I don't think neither you nor I want to hibernate for the next six months and have -- and not be able to talk about politics.
But if you think the Bush people are looking ahead, I mean, the Gore people that I've talked to today are really feeling good, to state the obvious, one, about their campaign, which they should, because you know, they had some very rough days. We were all making fun of them, we said it looked like a campaign that was being run by Dan Quayle. They made the changes and they worked.
But the other thing they are looking forward to is that they feel they got lucky. They got the lucky draw, they got the weakest opponent, they got a chance to win -- to run against a Pat Robertson Republican, Mary. So they're looking ahead to solidifying the Democratic Party and a big victory in November.
MATALIN: You know what? This is exactly what the Bush campaign needs. One of their problems from the beginning were these stratospheric expectations. I don't -- and you guys bought them, like it was going to --which attests to the weakness you felt the Gore candidacy provided for you, this 50 point lead, as if that was going to happen. It's going to be a very close race. Both candidates -- the front-runners have both gotten better.
Gore was terrible, now he's better. Bush was good, got better, better, better, and he has a great record to run on. He's going to talk about tonight, starting with education. He's going to take it to Gore, and it's also an issue of reform. He's moving on to the general election, looking forward to running against Gore. If you think he's weak, keep thinking that.
PRESS: No, no, no. I mean, look, it's going to be a tough race. But you look at these candidates, Novak just said, it's going to looking at which one of these guys you want to be president. You have Gore, probably the most experienced person that has ever run for president in this country, well, maybe since Thomas Jefferson, and then you have George Bush, who is the weakest of the weak governors in the state and has proven himself to be a weak candidate.
But I just want to say one thing, the big question may be, you know, whatever happened to John McCain? You have to admit he was a very effective candidate, brought out a lot of new people, but I think what happened is not so much that Bush was the stronger candidate, but that McCain had this tendency to shoot too much from the lip. He was -- he let the Bush people get him off mesh at the end and slowed himself down.
MATALIN: We have a very strong candidate, we look forward to beating you in the fall, Bill Press.
PRESS: Dream on.
MATALIN: Let's go back to the anchor desk, all our friends in Atlanta.
GREENFIELD: Thank you, Bill. Thank you, Mary.
We should caution our viewers that while some of us may be tending to talk about this Republican race as though it's over, the big states are still yet to call tonight. We really don't know and won't know for a while. In about 20 minutes, the polls in New York will close. That Republican race, according to pre-election polls, was very close. We will be looking at that.
And when we come back, you remember that watch list we gave you at the beginning of this program, what to look for, we will update that in a moment.
GREENFIELD: As I mentioned a few minutes ago, we want to actually answer some of the questions we posed a couple of hours ago or answer those that we think we know the answers to on this watchlist -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Based on what we know so far. Jeff, first question on the Republican list, has the religious right turned out? Well, based on what we know in the state of Georgia, the answer is yes and it's turned out for George W. Bush.
John McCain, has he swept New England? The is answer is no, because George Bush broke through in the state of Maine.
Is Bush holding the Republican vote? So far the answer is yes. We still have some big states to come in, but so far it's looking like he's holding the core votes in his own party.
Bush carrying Republican women? We really are not in a position to answer that yet. We're going to have to take a closer look with Bill Schneider at some of our exit polls. And finally, on this part of the list, the Catholic backlash against Bush, we just don't have enough information about that, Jeff. But when New York closes, when the polls close in New York a little bit later in just about -- what? -- 15 minutes from now, we may begin to have some answers.
GREENFIELD: That's right, because almost half the Catholics in New York -- I'm sorry. Almost half of the Republicans in New York are Catholics.
Now to answer some other case questions, can McCain win enough crossover votes? In Ohio, he clearly didn't. Democrats stayed within the Democrat Party although the California beauty contest, one ballot, that may be where McCain can show that he can get Democrats and independents. That's his big hope.
A voter reaction to a sense of a negative campaign? From what we've seen so far -- and it's still preliminary -- it appears as if McCain's criticism of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell backfired against McCain.
And obviously, we can't answer the question about Bush's appeal to California Hispanics, because the polls in California are still open, Bernie.
SHAW: Now let's take a look at the Democrats' six item watchlist.
Senator Bradley win any key New England states? No.
Did Bradley carry core Democrats? Since he hasn't won, he can't possibly carry.
Labor: Has it delivered for Al Gore? Well, when you see that the vice president has won everything -- in Georgia, Vermont, Ohio, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri -- you have to figure that labor has been in there helping out.
As for voter turnout, we don't know yet. We're waiting word. Some secretaries of state were expecting record turnouts, but we'll see as the evening unfolds.
The impact of President Clinton? That's a good one. We'll have to wait.
GREENFIELD: Right. And Bernie and Judy, while we poor souls only have our opinions, Bill Schneider has cold hard numbers to back up his opinion -- Bill.
SCHNEIDER: Yes, I do, and I want to make a point about the labor vote. The labor vote, the union vote very, very definitely did go heavily for Al Gore. The unions delivered just like they promised, just like UPS.
Maryland, 77 percent of the Democrats who were union household members voted for Gore. Missouri, 62; Massachusetts, 61 even though Gore did not carry Massachusetts. Connecticut, 57. So they did deliver. But keep this in mind: in every one of those states, the non-union vote -- well, not everyone, except Massachusetts -- but the non-union vote was just a little bit behind in the percentage for Gore so that I think the point is the union vote did deliver for Al Gore but he didn't need it in most states. In most states, he could have won without the union vote anyway.
Back to the anchor desk.
WOODRUFF: All Right. All right, Bill Schneider, as we continue to point out throughout this evening it has been a clean sweep for the vice president: eight for eight. Not very good news, to put it mildly, for the former senator from New Jersey.
Let's go to the place in New York City where he's watching these results.
Jeanne Meserve, as you listen to us go down this list of questions, what would some of the people in the Bradley campaign say about all this?
MESERVE: Well, I can tell you one thing they're talking about a lot tonight is entrenched power. That's a term we heard prior to New Hampshire. They were saying how difficult it was is for them to fight against Al Gore when he had labor, when we had the leadership of the African-American community, when he had the Democratic National Committee, when he had many Democratic elected officials in his corner. They're talking about that again a lot tonight.
A second note, on the state of Maine, the campaign had tried very hard this weekend to get some positive spin out of some state caucuses there where Bradley had performed pretty well. He hadn't won, but he'd come close to besting Al Gore in those. They had hoped that that was an indication that they had a strong organization there, that they might pull out a win. Obviously, it hasn't happened. Back to you.
WOODRUFF: All right, Jeanne Meserve, watching the Bill Bradley campaign. They are obviously waiting for those polls in New York to close. New York a state that Bill Bradley sometime ago put a lot of effort into. And while we're talking about the Gore campaign, let's go to our own Chris Black, who is with the Gore entourage, if you will, in Nashville, Tennessee -- Chris.
BLACK: Judy, it's a very excited crowd here tonight. The vice president and his wife, Tipper, are upstairs in their hotel suite watching the returns on CNN, and the vice president is obviously very excited tonight but not yet ready to claim victory. He says he's not ready to talk about these primaries in the past tense yet. He said -- had some very kind words, however, to say about his opponent, Bill Bradley. He said he had great respect for him and that it would be a mistake to talk about Bill Bradley's campaign in the past tense at this time.
There are a lot of friends in the hierarchies of both campaigns and there's a lot of sensitivity in the Gore campaign to what they feel the Bradley people must be going through now. The Gore campaign was expecting a good win tonight but they're a little bit surprised by the dimensions of this win. They think that they're heading for a rout and they're excited about it, but they're sensitive that their friends in the other campaign are having a hard time this evening -- Judy.
GREENFIELD: Actually, it's Jeff, but as I mentioned before, we...
WOODRUFF: We're kind of interchangeable.
GREENFIELD: We want to switch...
WOODRUFF: In fact all three of us are interchangeable.
GREENFIELD: That's true. We want to switch parties now, go out to John King in Los Angeles. And John, if I can ask you, the McCain folks were talking about a sweep in New England, New York, the California beauty contest. The fact that they've lost Maine, is that a big deal for them? Do they think that that will make the claim of a New England sweep clearly harder to establish or are they moving on to another argument?
KING: It's not a big state but it certainly is a big deal, Jeff. They wanted to sweep New England. Now, of course, 15 minutes from now the results in New York will be most important to Senator McCain. They needed to sweep New England. They said they needed to win New York. And that was the bare minimum.
Obviously, they hoped for a surprise. Senator McCain has been the surprise candidate in this race. His win in Michigan was a surprise to most people. They had hoped to have another one of those in either Ohio or Missouri. Those of course are now by the boards. Those are Bush victories. And as Mary Matalin was pointing out in the "CROSSFIRE" segment, key general election states, the only argument the McCain camp has now as Governor Bush starts to rack up a big lead among Republican delegates is that he would be the stronger candidate in November. It is very difficult to make that case when you are losing the big general election states.
I wanted to add one item to what Chris Black was just saying. In my day job as the White House correspondent I try to keep in touch with the president's people, and they say he now is positioned to help the vice president in two ways. One, he will help him raise a lot of money now in the spring that the Democrats can use for so-called "soft money" issue advocacy ads, much like the president did against Bob Dole in this period back in 1996. And also the president plans to be out of the country about once a month for a week, sometimes two weeks at a time over the next few months. The administration already making plans that when the president is away to give Al Gore the spotlight, the platform of the White House to push his policy agenda.
WOODRUFF: John King, and on that point, Candy Crowley is also listening in. She's with the Bush folks in Austin, Texas. Candy, how did the Bush people, looking ahead -- and again, we don't want to assume anything -- but it is a good night for the Texas governor. Assuming he is the front-runner leading, heading into the position of being the party nominee in the late summer, how do they counter a vice president who can use the trappings of the presidency, the vice presidency in his favor?
CROWLEY: Well, first of all, I think they think that's a problem, that the trappings of the presidency, particularly this presidency, is something that Al Gore may not want to wrap himself too tightly in. Certainly what this campaign is going to do, and what they've signalled they're going to do, is wrap Al Gore around Bill Clinton in two ways, first to say, look, it's been seven and a half years, and there's been no movement on education in America. They will portray Bush, as you've seen over and over again, as a reformer with results, and point out his record in Texas.
The other thing they're going to do is say, look, we need to restore some decency, and honor and integrity to the White House. That's directed at Bill Clinton, but I can assure you, where they have seen Al Gore has fallen, they'll be picking that up, too, and using it point out that it's time for a wholesale change in Washington.
WOODRUFF: All right, Candy Crowley, we want to give our thanks to you, John King, Chris Black and Jean Meserve. We're all going to be -- we are going to be coming back to all four of you throughout the evening, but me sever we will come back to all four of you throughout the evening.
But for right now, we're going take a break. And when we come back, we're going to look at what happened with Bill Bradley and his delegate count.
We'll be right back.
SHAW: Senator Bill Bradley has not won anything in this Super Tuesday, and we've to the to go to Bill Schneider to find out why he won nothing.
SCHNEIDER: What in the world happened to Bill Bradley? That's an important question. He just couldn't cut into the Democrats core constituencies, which are loyal to Clinton, and therefore, to Clinton's man, Al Gore.
Take African-American voters. Bradley is committed to civil rights and made a big appeal for black votes. In fact, he was endorsed by one of the best known and most respected African Americans in the country, Michael Jordan. So what happened? Let's look at the African-American vote today in Georgia. Bradley barely registered, not even 10 percent.
Another core Democratic constituency, union voters, big problem for Bradley. The AFL-CIO endorsed Al Gore last October. Look at union voters in Ohio, a major union state. They delivered, just like Federal Express, three to one for Al Gore.
And there's one other problem for Bradley, John McCain. After New Hampshire, McCain became a national sensation, soaking up all the oxygen available for a political insurgent, and in most of the states that we polled today across the country, we found that voters who liked Bill Bradley also liked John McCain. Bradley only lost the New Hampshire primary by about 6,000 votes. Imagine what might have happened if McCain had lost New Hampshire, then Bradley might have beaten Al Gore, and we might have been talking about the Bradley phenomenon rather than the McCain phenomenon for the last month. In the end, Bradley did best among anti-Clinton Democrats. There just weren't enough of them to give Bradley enough traction in this case.
GREENFIELD: Thank you , Bill.
In just a couple of minutes, the polls close in Rhode Island. And of slightly more interest I would argue, the polls close in New York state, where John McCain's campaign says he has to do well. But right now, speaking of New York, we are going to go to the true son of the streets of Brooklyn, to Larry King and "LARRY KING LIVE."
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