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Presidential Candidates Racing Across the Country as Election Day ApproachesAired November 6, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And the message that I'm getting from you is: Tomorrow, we're going to carry Missouri.
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: W. does win Wisconsin
GORE: This is about Iowa.
BUSH: He may win Washington, D.C., but he's not going to win Tennessee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: State by state, hour by hour, the presidential candidates are on the go this election eve. And we're covering it all.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: We'll map out the dream Electoral College scenarios of the Bush and Gore campaigns.
SHAW: Bruce Morton helps us explore where we've been and the decision ahead.
ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition of INSIDE POLITICS, with Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff at CNN election headquarters -- and analysts Jeff Greenfield and Bill Schneider.
WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us.
It is not unusual for presidential candidates to race across the country in the final hours before Election Day, as if their campaigns depended on it. Well, in this squeaker of a contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore, all those last-minute rallies and rope lines may actually make a difference when voters go the polls tomorrow. Gore is zipping through the battlegrounds of Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, and Florida, before flying to his Tennessee home base overnight.
Our John King is on the road with Gore. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
GORE: I feel confident. I feel good.
JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The beginning of the endgame in a cold, raw rain: a vice president with everything on the line, urging union workers to make the difference.
GORE: I need your vote tomorrow.
KING: It was Al Gore come full-circle. Iowa gave him a big caucus victory to open this year's campaign. And he asked his wet, but eager volunteer army for an encore to end it.
GORE: And all of the items that are on the agenda and part of the stakes of this campaign, once again, it's in your hands.
KING: Waterloo, Iowa, St. Louis, Flint, Michigan, then Miami, Tampa, and on to Tennessee: a 30-hour non-stop finale: a campaign too close to call. A few last attempts to persuade the persuadable, like this:
GORE: I don't go along with a tax cut for the very wealthy. I think we need middle-class tax cuts for the people who have the hardest time paying taxes, making ends meet, making car payments and house payments, and doing right by their kids.
KING: And this...
GORE: I want all of our seniors to get help with their prescription drugs. Governor Bush is opposed to that. He is opposed to that. Why? Because the big drug companies don't want it.
KING: But mostly a day to preach to the converted, and ask them, at the close off a grueling campaign, to knock on a few last doors, make a few more phone calls, find a few more votes.
GORE: I want you to use your head to persuade the undecided voters. Tell them Missouri is the state that may very well make the deciding difference in this election.
KING: Iowa: seven. Missouri: 11. Michigan and Florida: a combined 43 more -- 270 is the magic number in the Electoral College -- the vice president very much in need of some final-day addition.
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's going to be real close, both here in Minnesota and throughout the country.
KING: Running mate Joe Lieberman joined a Minnesota phone bank to help the cause.
LIEBERMAN: This is a last lap around America. It's a thank-you lap for the extraordinary warmth and respect and opportunity that we have received. But, you know, it's also with your help in Minnesota, tomorrow going to be a victory lap that is going to take Al Gore and me to the White House.
KING: Methodical is a Gore trademark: eight years in the House, eight in the Senate, then eight as vice president, all the while his eyes squarely trained on the presidency.
KING: The vice president just now stepping off Air Force Two here in Flint, Michigan: stop three on this 30-hour marathon. His stops here will be a union hall -- the United Autoworkers -- then an African-American church -- no surprises there: organized labor and the African-American community the two key components in the Democratic turnout operation -- the vice president campaigning today short on sleep, but with a sense of urgency: his dream of becoming president within reach.
But when you are ever so close, Judy, you can also come up just short -- back to you.
WOODRUFF: John, how do the people around the vice president view Governor Bush's stopping in Tennessee and Arkansas today: the home states for Mr. Gore and President Clinton? Do they see this as overconfidence on the part of the Bush campaign or a real threat?
KING: Oh, they view it as a real threat. They thought that Dick Cheney spending the other day out in California was a mistake. But right now, the Gore campaign concedes it is trailing in both Bill Clinton's home state of Arkansas and the vice president's home state of Tennessee. The Republicans very much would like to embarrass Mr. Gore, of course, and pick up Tennessee's electoral votes.
If Mr. Gore loses Tennessee -- and the Democrats think it is quite likely he might -- they are looking to pull off an even bigger surprise by taking Florida and its 25 electoral votes -- more resources going into Florida than Tennessee, although Mr. Gore did order some aides, extra volunteers into his home state, extra money into the television war. He would be embarrassed with a loss at home. But remember: Tennessee only 11 electoral votes. If you could win Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida, you would more than make up for the loss -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right, reality over all. John King, thanks very much. And we'll be talking to you a lot -- Bernie.
SHAW: Governor Bush's campaign finale also is upbeat and fast- paced. As Judy alluded, he's charging through Tennessee, Wisconsin, Iowa and Arkansas, before returning home to Texas tonight.
Our Candy Crowley is logging miles with the Bush campaign.
BUSH: I feel so optimistic.
BUSH: I like what I feel. I like what I feel.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is confidence in the words and brashness in a schedule which brings him home to Texas after a final stop in Bill Clinton's Arkansas, and a first stop in Al Gore's Tennessee.
BUSH: My opponent vows to carry his home state. But he may win Washington, D.C. But he's not going to win Tennessee.
CROWLEY: There is some history to be had here. It's been 28 years since a presidential candidate lost his home state. Hoping to break the dry-spell, Bush has used a central campaign theme to exploit the gap between Al Gore used to live and where he built a career.
BUSH: He forgot his roots. He forgets where he's from. He trusts Washington. We trust the people.
CROWLEY: Beyond history and bravado, there is strategic reason to bookend the final tour with Tennessee and Arkansas. Leaving Florida aside, state polls indicate they are the only two Southern states up for grabs. A solid South, along with Bush's Western base, is a sizable start on any electoral map.
Filling in the final day docket: Wisconsin and Iowa, two of the states the Bush camp refers to as "the Dukakis six," states that have not gone for a Republican since Ronald Reagan in '84, and now seem ready to jump the line. Bush has worked both Iowa and Wisconsin aggressively.
BUSH: Laura and I have been here enough to maybe pay a few taxes.
CROWLEY: The rally speech has been essentially the same for weeks now: different paragraphs put in different places. What has changed is the urgency of the tone.
BUSH: But I want you to understand that I can't win without you, that this great land of democracy requires not only a candidate, but a campaign of people -- people who are willing to take the extra step to turn out the vote.
CROWLEY (on camera): The standard speech gets thrown out about midnight Austin time when Bush addresses a gathering of family, staff, and friends, who began this journey about a year-and-a-half ago, and will be there with him Tuesday as they wait it out to see where it leads.
Candy Crowley, CNN, Green Bay, Wisconsin.
WOODRUFF: And where it all leads is to the electoral map, the place where each campaign hopes to put together a winning scenario. Now joining us: CNN political analyst, Hal Bruno.
Hal, you've been talking to the campaigns about what is literally their dream scenario. What would they love to see happen? What do they have to see happen in order to win?
HAL BRUNO, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: They have got a dream scenario. And then each one has got their squeak-by scenario. And let me rattle it off to you. Al Gore, for example, he is ahead in 13 states right now: those 181 electoral votes. Now, these are his base and the states that are leaning to him. In order for him to get the magic number of 270, he's got to win Maine, Pennsylvania in the East; Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin in the Midwest; his native Tennessee in the South; New Mexico, Oregon and Washington in the West.
WOODRUFF: A lot of these yellow states that we're looking at.
BRUNO: Exactly. Oh, that's where they come from: the toss-up states. Now, that would give him 278 electoral votes. Now, his dream scenario is if he actually takes Florida away from Bush, and that would give him 303. Now, for the Bush campaign, they're ahead right now: 26 states, 224 electoral votes. So they start out...
WOODRUFF: A little bit of an advantage.
BRUNO: They start out with an advantage there. But he must win Florida -- that's 25 electoral votes -- West Virginia, Wisconsin, Arkansas and New Mexico. And that would give him 276. Now, his dream scenario is to take Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Oregon. That would give him 317 electoral votes.
WOODRUFF: How realistic, Hal, are these scenarios, the dream scenarios on the part of each candidate?
BRUNO: Yes, I think -- I think the squeak-by is probably more realistic than the dream scenarios. But you know, they're all -- they all realize it doesn't take much of an advantage in the popular vote to get you a lot of electoral votes. For example, the closest election we've had was John F. Kennedy and Nixon in 1960. Kennedy won by only two-tenths of a point: 119,000 votes nationwide.
Nevertheless, he had 303 electoral votes.
WOODRUFF: So, that's what I wanted to ask you about: the connection between -- the popular vote, in other words, doesn't have to go up that much...
WOODRUFF: ... for either one of them to take it with the electoral.
BRUNO: You know, it only takes a couple. Jimmy Carter won by only two points. He still had 297 electoral votes.
WOODRUFF: That's what I want to ask you about, the connection between -- the popular vote, in other words, doesn't have to go up that much...
WOODRUFF: ... for either one of them to take it in the electoral.
BRUNO: You know, it only takes a couple. Jimmy Carter won by only two points and still had 297 electoral votes.
There also a nightmare scenario, and that's where it gets to be 11:30 at night, everything's in except the state of Washington, 11 electoral votes, somebody needs those to win. And Washington is 50 percent mail ballot, and they don't start counting until all of them are in the next day. And it could be days then before the country would know. That's what you call the long-week scenario.
WOODRUFF: In which case, we'll all be sitting here, day -- hour after hour and day after day.
BRUNO: The whole country.
WOODRUFF: Hal Bruno, great, and we'll be seeing a whole lot of you tomorrow night.
SHAW: Thank you, Judy, Al.
Our daily tracking poll indicates just how close this presidential race is nationally in these closing hours of campaign 2000. George W. Bush leads Al Gore by two points in the CNN/"USA Today" Gallup survey, when interviews conducted Saturday and Sunday are averaged. Bush had a slightly wider lead in recent days.
More now on the numbers from Bill Schneider.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Bernie, the polls show Gore within striking distance of George W. Bush. Well, OK, so what are the critical constituencies that could turn this race around, the ones we'll be watching closely tomorrow?
In 1996, remember, Bill Clinton got 49 percent of the popular vote. Right now, Gore's at 45. Women can help Gore get from where he is now to where Clinton was then. Clinton got 54 percent of the women's vote. OK, where is Gore with women? Just 50 percent.
Given how badly Gore is doing with men -- and it's very bad -- he has got to boost his standing with women.
Now the same with independents. Independents have rarely gone to the Democrat, but Clinton did get 43 percent of independents in 1996. Gore's getting 40. He's reclaimed some independents from Nader, and that is why the race has tightened up.
Gore is doing well with seniors -- no problem there. Social Security and Medicare have made Gore as strong as Clinton was with voters over 65, and that is why Florida is so competitive. But Gore does have a problem with Catholic voters. Clinton got a majority of the Catholic vote in 1996. Gore is underperforming among Catholics. You know, after the Bob Jones University flap back in February, the Bush campaign made a big push among Catholics, and it looks like it's paying off.
Gun owners? One-third of voters have a gun in the household, and they have got big problems with Al Gore. In 1996, Clinton got 38 percent of the gun-owner vote. Gore's doing a little worse: 35 percent.
Good news for Gore: The percentage of gun owners has actually gone down slightly since 1996.
Bad news for Gore: The National Rifle Association has a well- financed campaign to get out the gun owners' vote.
Can Gore counter gun owners with union voters? Now the rule of thumb is that if a Republican gets 40 percent of the union vote, the Democrat is doomed. Now how is the union vote going this year? Gore is actually doing very well with union voters, just about as well as Bill Clinton did. Just one-third of them are voting for Bush.
Gore's problem is the number of union voters. The number of them is dropping. Union leaders have the same problem as the leaders of gun organizations. Both of their constituencies are getting smaller, so they have to counter with a bigger get-out-the-vote effort.
We'll see how both of those groups do tomorrow.
SHAW: We certainly well. See you later.
SHAW: And still ahead on this extended edition of INSIDE POLITICS, fighting for control of the Senate. Chris Black on the competitive races that could turn the tide.
Plus, David Peeler will look at the ad spending.
SHAW: Even as party leaders watch the presidential returns and carefully tally the likely electoral votes, they will also be keeping a close eye on the Senate races around the country. Democrats need to pick up five seats to take majority control from the Republicans.
Our Chris Black takes a closer look at some of the key races to watch tomorrow night.
CHRIS BLACK, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice-over): The most unpredictable Senate race in the country finds GOP Senator John Ashcroft running against the ghost of Governor Mel Carnahan, who died in a plane crash last month. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, CARNAHAN CAMPAIGN AD)
JEANNE CARNAHAN, WIDOW OF MEL CARNAHAN: His vision for Missouri can still prevail if we want it to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACK: The fact that Carnahan may still win this seat, clearing the way for his widow, Jeanne Carnahan, to serve in his place, has made control of the Senate impossible to predict. Ashcroft and some of his classmates, swept in with the GOP revolution of 1994, are trying not to be swept out by Democrats this year.
In Minnesota, incumbent Rod Grams is trailing Democrat Mark Dayton, a former state auditor and heir to a retail store fortune.
In Michigan, Spencer Abraham, the only Arab-American in the U.S. Senate, is in a neck-and-neck race against Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Stabenow.
More senior Republicans are also fighting back tough challenges. In Washington state, Slade Gorton is in a close race against Democrat Maria Cantwell, a high-tech executive calling for change, just as Gorton did against an aging incumbent 20 years ago.
In Delaware, Senate finance Committee Chairman Bill Roth collapsed twice in recent weeks, making his age of 79 an issue. He is trailing a younger rival, Governor Tom Carper.
In Montana, Republican Conrad Burns is struggling against cattle rancher Brian Schweitzer.
And in Virginia, the only endangered Democratic incumbent, Chuck Robb, is counting on women and African-Americans to catch up to his conservative challenger, the popular former Republican governor, George Allen.
To take back the Senate, Democrats also need to hold New York, where most polls show Hillary Rodham Clinton ahead of Republican Congressman Rick Lazio.
And in New Jersey, the Republican Congressman, Bob Franks, has been closing on Jon Corzine, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, who is spending tens of millions of dollars on his own campaign. Both sides say this could be the surprise of the night.
And Nebraska, where former Governor Ben Nelson is trying to keep the Democratic seat against Republican Attorney General Don Stenberg.
Republicans expect to pick up a seat in Nevada, where former Congressman John Ensign is running ahead of trial lawyer Ed Bernstein.
But Democrats are favored to offset that loss with a gain in Florida. Democratic state insurance commissioner Bill Nelson is favored over Congressman Bill McCollum, one of the impeachment managers. (on camera): Everything needs to break the Democrats' way for them to take back control of the Senate. But the night could also end in a 50/50 tie, increasing the influence of the tiebreaker, the new vice president.
Chris Black, CNN, Capitol Hill.
WOODRUFF: Well, more now on some of those Senate races and the ad spending involved, joining us from New York, David Peeler of Competitive Media Reporting, which tracks ad spending in the top 75 media markets.
DAVID PEELER, COMPETITIVE MEDIA REPORTING: Hi, Judy.
WOODRUFF: Looking back at just a few of those races that Chris Black mentioned, how much did the candidates spend on ads?
PEELER: Well, Judy, you know, this is going to be the look-back story that we go through when we do the post-election analysis: The statewide Senate seats, the amount money it costs to run a statewide election continues to go up.
And let's take a look at some of those states. In the state of Washington, for example, Cantwell has spent $5.6 million to Gorton's $2.4 million. You know, Washington not a very big media market state.
Moving onto the state of Virginia, George Allen has spent $14.3 million through Saturday to Chuck Robb's $9 million. Again, a state that doesn't -- doesn't have a lot of very, very large media markets.
Missouri, which we talked about, John Ashcroft has spent $3.9 million to Mel Carnahan, now his widow, Jeanne's $2.7 million. And that also includes the fact that during the tragic plane crash both candidates were off-air for about a week and a half.
Moving onto the state of Michigan, you know, I'll tell you, the people in Michigan have been inundated with political ads: 7.7 million for Abraham, Debbie Stabenow has spent over $6 million in that state.
And we couldn't leave without talking about the New York Senate race. Look at those numbers, Judy: 21.4 million for Hillary Clinton versus Rick Lazio's $20.3 million.
It's a very, very expensive state, particularly with New York City in the mix. But that is a tremendous amount of money that these candidates have to raise in order to run a competitive race in these elections.
WOODRUFF: It's almost real money. Well, we'll take a closer look at the New York Senate race a little bit later this hour. Now let's look at Florida, where Republican Bill McCollum, as we mentioned, is running against Democrat Bill Nelson for Connie Mack's seat, an ad war marked by negative ads.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, NELSON CAMPAIGN AD)
NARRATOR: Now, "The Wall Street Journal" has revealed Bill McCollum is using his position in Congress to target banking and financial corporations to underwrite his campaign. Trading favors for cash. Bill McCollum, paid for by the special interests.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MCCOLLUM CAMPAIGN AD)
REP. BILL MCCOLLUM (R-FL), SENATE CANDIDATE: Bill Nelson and his special interest supporters have started a typical negative campaign: mud and distortions. It's ridiculous and demeaning to both you and me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: David, how much are these Florida candidates spending?
PEELER: Well, McCollum's spent $7.1 million and Nelson's spent a little over $6 million, and that's not also including some of the independent expenditure money that's coming to that market. So it's a tremendous, tremendous amount of spending at this point.
WOODRUFF: David, I'm not going to let you wrap this discussion up without talking about what looks like a record-setting race.
PEELER: Well, there is one hands-down winner, Judy, and there is no second place. It goes to the state of New Jersey, where Jon Corzine has -- and I'm no day trader Jon Corzine -- has spent $31 million for the general election on top of $30 million that he ran -- that he used to win the primary against Bob Franks' $2.7 million. But you know, interestingly enough, in the closing days of this campaign, Bob Franks has come on pretty strong. So this may be a case where somebody spent $60 million to win a job that pays $150,000. I'm not sure it's the best trade he ever made.
WOODRUFF: Well, we shall find out. David Peeler, thanks very much.
PEELER: Thank you, Judy.
WOODRUFF: And there is much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS.
SHAW: Still to come, that New York Senate race...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RICK LAZIO (R-NY), SENATE CANDIDATE: I felt like the underdog throughout the entire race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: ... where the candidates stand as the much-hyped race in the Empire State draws to a close. Plus...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If all goes well for the Democrats Tuesday night, House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt could become speaker of the House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: ... Kate Snow on the Democrats' effort to take the House and Patty Davis on the Republican push to stay on top.
SHAW: ... from the mouths of babe, Jeff Greenfield on campaign forecasts, including the youngest predictors of the presidential race.
SHAW: We will have more of this day's political news coming up, but now a look at some other top stories. The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers about an ingredient used in many cough, cold and diet medications. The FDA says the drug known as PPA could create a stroke risk with heavy use. PPA is used in many over- the-counter medications, including Alka-Seltzer, Comtrex, Contac, Robitussin, and the diet aids Acutrim and Dexatrim. The FDA is urging drug companies to stop selling products containing PPA. But the agency has stopped short of ordering the removal of those products from store shelves.
Tens of thousands of Ford Mustang owners will be getting letters from the automaker advising them of a recall. A parking brake problem is to blame. The recall involves about 430,000 Ford Mustangs with manual transmissions. It includes 1994 through 2001 models. Ford says the parking brake could slip, allowing the car to roll. There's no word of any accidents or injuries caused by the brake.
WOODRUFF: Three more Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank and Gaza today. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak rejects the idea of putting international peacekeepers in the region. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is expected to propose such a force when he meets with President Clinton in Washington on Thursday. Mr. Barak is expected in Washington for a similar meeting Saturday.
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments today in a Missouri case over term limits. Missouri voters in 1996 required congressional candidates to support limited terms. That initiative is being challenged by A Missouri Democrat who says it's not constitutional. Candidates who don't support term limits are labeled on state ballots as ignoring voters' wishes.
WOODRUFF: When INSIDE POLITICS returns, the final push to hold the power on Capitol Hill.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SHAW: In the battle for the Hill, control of the House of Representatives also is very much in play. We have two reports on the Democrats fighting to reclaim the majority and, of course, the Republicans trying to hold on to power.
First, to CNN'S Kate Snow with the Democrats.
SNOW (voice-over): If all goes well for the Democrats Tuesday night, House minority leader Richard Gephardt could become Speaker of the House.
REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D), MINORITY LEADER: Well, it has a good ring to it, but I don't count anything until it's done. And I don't assume anything.
SNOW: Gephardt is hoping his party can pick up the seven seats they need to regain a majority in the House of Representatives. Technically, all 435 House seats are up for grabs, but only a handful are truly competitive. The battle for the majority could come down to what happens in places like Lexington, Kentucky, New Castle, Pennsylvania, and Waterbury, Connecticut.
GEPHARDT: We've done everything we could do. We've recruited good candidates. We've got the right issues out there. They're running good campaigns. We may or may not win, and that's just the way it always is.
SNOW: Gephardt has traveled the country, stumping for Democrats in tough races. One, in West Virginia, where trial lawyer Jim Humphreys poured more than $5 million of his own money into his race. But that's just a drop in the bucket. Nationally, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has raised more than $90 million to wrest control of the House from the GOP.
REP. PATRICK KENNEDY, CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE: We are not going to let them outspend us like we did in past elections, and as a result, I think we're going to be more competitive than we ever have before.
SNOW: The Democrats' strategy: protect their incumbents and take back Republican open seats. Twenty-six Republican House members this year have retired or left to run for higher office. That's almost triple the number of open Democratic seats. Democrats seized on those openings.
In Chicago's northern suburbs, Democrat Lauren Beth Gash could pick up what's been a safe Republican seat. And Rick Lazio's run for Senate in New York has left his old Long Island seat vulnerable.
Beyond open seats, as many as 12 Republican incumbents could be in trouble, like representatives James Rogan and Steve Kuykendall in California. President Clinton campaigned Thursday with Kuykendall's opponent, Jane Harman.
Democrats think they might pick up three or four seats in the Golden State, maybe some in Florida, Pennsylvania or New Jersey.
(on camera): But it all comes down to the math, and those gains may not be enough to offset Republican wins. Democrats are less confident than they once were, and they admit even if they win the House, it will be by a slim margin.
Kate Snow, CNN, Capitol Hill.
PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Patty Davis reporting.
Ric Keller, Anne Northup, James Rogan, they may not be household names, but they are crucial to the Republican's party's effort to keep its razor-thin majority to the House of Representatives.
REP. DENNIS HASTERT (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: We are going to pick up some and we're probably going to lose a few. But I think that when you put the mash together, I think that we are in pretty good shape and we will stay even or maybe even pick up a seat.
DAVIS: Despite his public confidence, House Speaker Dennis Hastert has a big job to do: protect his 26 open seats while shoring up some vulnerable incumbents...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have today the speaker of the House joining us. Please give him a warm welcome.
DAVIS: ... like Anne Northup in Kentucky's third district who is struggling to hang on. And Don Sherwood in Pennsylvania, welcoming popular Arizona senator John McCain to bolster his chances in a tough re-election. The GOP's top worry in James Rogan in California's 27th, whose role as an impeachment manager has been controversial.
REP. TOM DAVIS, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE: This is basically an incumbent's year. This is not a year when you are going to see a lot of them turned out of office and we recognize that. The open seats are where most of the action is.
DAVIS: Republicans say only six open GOP seats are truly competitive. Analysts say those seats include Florida's 8th, where Ric Keller is making his first foray into politics and Utah's 2nd, where Internet businessman Derek Smith faces the son of the state's popular former governor. And Republicans have their eyes on some vulnerable Democratic incumbents, including New Jersey's Rush Holt and the veteran Connecticut lawmaker Sam Gejdenson.
CHARLES COOK, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: If I had to bet, it would be that the Republicans hold on to the House very narrowly. I think in mid-September, third week of September, Democrats seemed to have a half-step advantage over Republicans. But I think that they have lost that advantage.
DAVIS: Republicans, though, are taking nothing for granted.
(on camera): In the last 10 days, the House Republican campaign Committee is spending $10 million to reach voters with direct mail and phone calls and is running TV ads in expensive markets, such as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, firepower where races are tight.
(voice-over): In the end, the speaker and party strategists don't expect any sweeping gains or losses by either side. They're confident that Republicans will keep their majority in the House.
Patty Davis, CNN, Chicago.
WOODRUFF: At times, the bigger battle for control of both chambers of Congress has been overshadowed by a single Senate race: the Hillary Clinton versus Rick Lazio showdown in New York. A new Marist poll today gives Mrs. Clinton a four-point lead, while a new Quinnipiac survey shows her ahead by 12 points.
CNN's Frank Buckley is covering that race.
FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First lady Hillary Clinton stepped up the tempo as her quest to become a U.S. senator charged into its final day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's done it the old-fashioned way. She's earned it.
BUCKLEY: Mrs. Clinton calling on New York Senator Chuck Schumer and entertainer Bill Cosby in an appearance at Buffalo State University. The first lady is also enlisting local hero Doug Flutie, quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, to rally her team.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK SENATE CANDIDATE: He is there. He never gives up. I want to use that as an inspiration. I'll never give up on western New York, on Buffalo, or Erie County.
BUCKLEY: Mrs. Clinton spent the day in upstate New York on a multi-city fly-around, a region where Mrs. Clinton has become a fixture during the past year and a half. The first lady hoping her next visit here will be as a U.S. senator.
CLINTON: Because I will stay with you. I will fight for you. I will stick with you. I will go to the United States Senate to work my heart out for you.
BUCKLEY: Mrs. Clinton's opponent, Congressman Rick Lazio, was also on the road, concentrating on his base: the suburbs, working the commuter crowd early in the morning and appearing with two heroes to some voters in the suburbs: New York Governor George Pataki and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. They called on voters to support their fellow Republican. REP. RICK LAZIO (R), NEW YORK SENATE CANDIDATE: This is a team, a philosophical team, people that believe the same thing. If you like the philosophy of George Pataki, if you believe in the philosophy of Rudy Giuliani, then you'll love the philosophy of Rick Lazio.
BUCKLEY: While Lazio continues to predict victory on election night, polls released on election eve show Mrs. Clinton leading, the Long Island Republican facing the difficult task of overcoming a voter registration base in New York that favors Democrats over Republicans five to three, and an opponent who had a year's head start.
LAZIO: I do feel like the underdog. I've felt like the underdog throughout the entire race.
BUCKLEY: Giuliani adding, however:
MAYOR RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK: Underdogs win in New York.
BUCKLEY (on camera): Both campaigns continue to believe this race could go either way and neither candidate intends to let the other have an advantage, right up to the minute the polls close. An indication of that: election day, when both Clinton and Lazio plan to vote in the morning and campaign one last day.
Frank Buckley, CNN, Albany, New York.
WOODRUFF: When INSIDE POLITICS returns, scrambling for every vote in the final hours of the campaign: Will it make any difference? Kate O'Beirne and E.J. Dionne talk to Bernie.
SHAW: Joining us now with their views on just how the election may unfold tomorrow, E.J. Dionne of "The Washington Post" and Kate O'Beirne of "The National Review."
Kate, starting with you, and then E.J., please chime in, tell us what your gut tells you.
KATE O'BEIRNE, "NATIONAL REVIEW": Well, more than my gut, the polls are helping a little bit here, Bernie. And I was out with the Bush campaign and Cheney campaign about a week ago. It feels like a winning campaign. The candidates are confident, the staff is sort of laid back, the crowds are really pumped. It just -- it feels like a winner. So that's what my, both my own experience with the campaign and my gut tell me, that at the moment I think Bush clearly has to be favored.
E.J. DIONNE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Bernie, my gut has ulcers. I am very confused, because you had what looked like a trend to Bush in the last week that seems to have stopped. And if anything, there's a small trend to Gore. And what struck me about last week is that the Bush people were running this very smart, momentum campaign, trying to say, we're going to win this, we're going to win this. And the bottom never fell out of Gore's vote.
And now, as Bill Schneider has been saying, you've got some evidence of the Nader vote starting to peel back to Gore. I think, for example, the state of Minnesota, which was in deep trouble a week ago, now seems to be in the Gore column. And then you look at the three big ones. You look at Florida, you look at Pennsylvania and you look at Michigan. And in all those states, the numbers that we hear about suggest they're even or perhaps with a slight Gore advantage. If Gore wins all three of those, it's very hard to see how he loses the election. So you have the evidence of last week, and then you have what seems to be happening now.
And the last thing, the best thing for Gore is there was a Washington consensus that Bush was going to win the election. That's a killer for any candidate.
O'BEIRNE: Well, except, E.J. there was a poll this morning I was struck by. Seventy-four percent of Republicans thinks Bush is going to win. Fifty-two percent of Democrats believe Gore is going to win. That is going to be a problem with turnout. Ask Bob Dole in 1996.
It goes to, again, how Republicans are pumped. They can't wait to get to that election booth. Obviously, they've been out of power for eight years. It's what happens. And it appears it's going to be much harder beyond just the liberal base and black vote, as Bill Clinton has been trying to help with, a broadly Democratic vote if they don't think that their guy is going to win.
DIONNE: Well, I think Kate is absolutely right in the sense that if you ask Republicans or Democrats these days, Democrats sounds less confident than Republicans. I don't think there's any doubt about.
I think the question is on turnout, you have a very, very organized effort for Democrats, especially with the labor movement, which is very pumped out there and very active, and also with African- Americans stacked up against, what as Kate says, is a kind of natural desire of Republicans to take back the White House.
And I think that the balance in all of these close states will hang on whether that organized effort Democrats are mounting will outweigh the enthusiasm Republicans have for just taking this back after eight years in the wilderness.
SHAW: This is live picture of Vice President Gore campaigning in Michigan, Flint to be precise, not far from Detroit, at the moment. And shortly past 6:00 Eastern time, we'll be looking for Governor Bush in Davenport, Iowa. We're told, however, that right now he's running a bit late.
SHAW: I want to the take the remaining time to extract from each of you what you will be looking for tomorrow night, starting with you, Kate.
O'BEIRNE: Well, we're going to look at some of those East Coast states that will be reporting fairly early. In the very early evening, I think George Bush is going to be favored, with some of the smaller states reporting. And he looks pretty strong in all of them.
Florida clearly is going to make a big difference to either campaign. The Bush people think their internal polls tell them that they have it. If he loses Florida, it becomes a little more difficult for him, although he can still do it. If Gore wins Florida, obviously things are easier for him. And in a lot of those East Coast states, the control of the Senate is in the balance. You know, in Delaware, in Virginia, in Florida, Georgia, there could be a runoff there if Zell Miller doesn't win by enough.
There going to be plenty to look at, and it's going to begin pretty early, Bernie.
DIONNE: Yes, I agree with Kate on all of that. I think Florida, which closes -- the polls close early in Florida. And that will be a good indication. If Gore wins Florida, he's got a very good shot at winning the election. If he loses Florida, it's going to be very difficult for him.
In Kentucky, you have some interesting congressional races. They close early. I think, as Kate says, the New Jersey and Delaware Senate races are going to be very important to watch. A lot of people are saying that Jon Corzine, who has been ahead, who spent all that money, a lot of people say that's the one race the Democrats had counted on that might go the other way. They're doing very well in the rest of the races.
I think the funny thing that's happened in the last couple days is that Democrats always thought they had a better chance of taking back the House then the Senate. The Democrats I talk to now think maybe they will end up having a better chance of taking back the Senate than the House.
SHAW: All exciting, isn't it?
DIONNE: It's a great election.
SHAW: Kate O'Beirne, E.J. Dionne, thanks very much.
O'BEIRNE: Thanks, Bernie.
DIONNE: Good to be with you.
SHAW: Quite welcome.
Coming up next on INSIDE POLITICS, senior analyst Jeff Greenfield, who's putting on his earpiece, on the tricky game of election predictions. Greenfield takes a seat.
WOODRUFF: Well, if the polls are right, this presidential election is going right down to the wire. That said, dare we even try to predict a winner?
Well, for that we turn to CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield, someone who says he never makes predictions.
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Not me. You know why? I'll tell you why. Because "predictions are tricky," the old saying goes, "especially about the future." Now, that usually doesn't stop folks from trying. There are lots of formulas that try to bring science to politics. They usually use economic measures, and this year, they are all predicting a Gore win. But if you're for Bush, you will take heart from a series of other predictions: as they used to say in the '60s, "listen to the kids."
GREENFIELD (voice-over): The Nickelodeon cable channel, for instance, recently ran a "Kids Vote" poll. Three hundred thirty thousand youngsters participated. It came out Bush 55, Gore 45. This poll called the winner accurately in '88, '92, and '96.
Scholastic, Incorporated, publisher of classroom magazines, polled more than 600,000 1st through 12th graders and they chose Bush by a 54-41 margin, with 4 percent going to others. This survey has called every election right for the last 50 years, except for the 1960 photo finish. Gore supporters note there was a late move to the vice president.
And Weekly Reader, another publisher of classroom magazines, polled more than half a million K through 12 students. They picked Bush 65.8 to 32.6. Now, they've gotten every election but one right since 1956, but it's safe to say this time their margin is probably off a bit.
Now, there are a host of other predictors: hemlines, popcorn sales, how the Washington Redskins do in their last pre-election home game -- good news for Bush with this one. But the more serious question is why this race is so close as to make predictions impossible.
The truth is, it is sometimes possible to predict the outcome. One instance, if much of a candidate's party really didn't want him to run at all -- Goldwater in '64, McGovern in '72, Ford in '76, Carter in '80 -- that candidate will likely lose.
GREENFIELD: But this time, forget about it, and here's why: first, both candidates are winning their bases. There is no big move of Republicans for Gore, or Democrats for Bush.
Second, some basic assumptions turned out to be unreliable. Surely, Gore would win all of the states Michael Dukakis carried in 1988 -- uh-uh. Six of those states are in doubt. Well, of course Bush will carry Florida. As you've been hearing all day, not so fast. You cannot raise questions about Social Security in a campaign. Younger voters actually seem intrigued. Gore's environmental record will cost him Michigan -- it's dead-even -- which leaves us with a notion almost heretical in this age: after all the polls and formulas and analysis, you'll have to let us know.
WOODRUFF: So that's the way it works?
GREENFIELD: You know, for the first time in about 25 years, nobody is going to be sitting around at noon saying, well, you know, we knew in September how this was going to end. That's right. This is going to...
WOODRUFF: There may be some who try to do that anyway.
GREENFIELD: Yes. I frankly enjoy this a lot.
WOODRUFF: Me too. Jeff Greenfield, thanks a lot.
And there is still much more ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, including Ron Brownstein's take on the electoral outcome.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When did it start? It seems so long ago. So many months, so many memories.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: An election more than one year in the making. Bruce Morton's reflections as the voters prepare to go to the polls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD (shouting): One more day! One more day! One more day!
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WOODRUFF: Less than one day left and many miles to go, the presidential candidates dash to the finish of campaign 2000.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RALPH NADER, GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The two parties need a jolt. They need a civic jolt and they need a political jolt. And the Green Party intends to give them that jolt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: Green Party candidate Ralph Nader remains defiant despite indications his support may be slipping.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Douglas County, Georgia, near Atlanta, they are voting already, by absentee, and in record numbers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Brooks Jackson on an early voting trend that extends well beyond Georgia.
SHAW: And welcome back to this extended edition of INSIDE POLITICS on this day before election 2000.
At this hour, Al Gore is in Flint, Michigan, and George W. Bush is preparing to hold a rally in Davenport, Iowa. Bush's busy campaign day began in Gore's home state of Tennessee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: It is time to give this nation a fresh start after a season of cynicism, and that's what this campaign is all about. That's what we're about, and I'm so proud to have you on my team.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: While Bush played it somewhat low key and serious, his opponent got a bit theatrical talking about the morning after the election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORE: And you dance your way to the front door and you fling open the door to the warm rays of that sun, and you pick up the newspaper and it says, Gore-Lieberman win, Missouri win, let's do it, let's vote tomorrow! Thank you!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAW: Gore offered that scenario while campaigning in St. Louis.
Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader also is making his final campaign push this day, and essentially he's thumbing his nose at Bush and Gore along the way.
CNN's Pat Neal has an update on Nader and the issues he raises, especially for Al Gore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ralph Nader!
PAT NEAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Down to the last minute, Ralph Nader remains defiant. In his final campaign swing through the Northeast, he asks Americans to vote their conscience.
RALPH NADER, GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The only difference between Gore and Bush is the velocity with which their knees hit the floor when corporations bang on their door!
NEAL: But in the waning hours, he's more strategic, urging voters in states where George W. Bush and Al Gore have solid leads to vote for him.
NADER: They can have their least of the worst win and they can cast their vote for the Green Party as a viable watchdog on both parties.
NEAL: Polling shows Nader's support has slipped in recent days, but Democrats continue to watch seven states where Nader is doing well and could dilute Gore's strength: Maine, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington.
NADER: Tells them what to do!
NEAL: But Nader says his campaign has galvanized those who don't normally vote and those frustrated with the corporate influence in politics. He's also fired up young Americans by organizing on 800 college campuses.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I can vote for Nader as a vote against the -- against the establishment, a vote against some things that I don't like in the Democratic Party.
NEAL: Nader continues to blast Gore and Bill Clinton, saying they've moved too far away from the ideals of the Democratic Party.
NADER: Under the Clinton-Gore administration, the regulatory agencies have been as bad, if not worse, than under Reagan-Bush in the 1980s.
NEAL: Nader predicts he will get more than 5 percent of Tuesday's vote, allowing the Green Party to receive federal funding in the next election in 2004. This campaign, Nader has accepted only individual donations, and they've topped $7 million.
(on camera): Nader is on the ballot in 44 states and the District of Columbia. He likes to point out he's run his campaign with only 1 percent of the money the major parties have spend. And he says no matter what happens on Tuesday, his watchdog party is here to stay.
Pat Neal, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: By some accounts, turnout in this close presidential election is not expected to be much different than it was in 1996, when a Clinton victory was widely expected. But there does appear to be a surge in early voting.
CNN's Brooks Jackson reports on the trend of casting ballots before election day.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Douglas County voter registration.
JACKSON (voice-over): In Douglas County, Georgia, near Atlanta, they're voting already by absentee and in record numbers.
LAURIE FULTON, CHIEF REGISTRAR, DOUGLAS COUNTY, GEORGIA: As of close Friday, we had 2,018 absentee ballots that we've issued, which is about 800 more than what they had done four years ago in the last presidential election.
That's just what we've done in the last 45 minutes.
JACKSON: It's a national trend: More and more voters taking advantage of the convenience of casting votes by mail or in person on a day they choose. In Iowa, you can even vote at the supermarket now, and many already have.
But absentee votes often take days to count. Two years ago, Republican Congressman Bob Dornan was leading on election night, but lost to Loretta Sanchez when absentees were counted.
MARK BRADEN, GOP ELECTION LAWYER: It would not be a surprise Wednesday to still be counting votes, or even Thursday, to still be counting votes in many races.
JACKSON (on camera): Including the presidential race?
BRADEN: I think that's possible. Absolutely.
JACKSON (voice-over): Nationally, about one voter out of eight is likely to vote absentee. In the last presidential election, more than 10.6 million votes were cast absentee, not counting three states where absentee votes aren't tabulated separately. Absentees were estimated to be almost 12 percent of the total. In nine states, more than 20 percent of the vote was absentee topped by Texas, 32 percent; Washington, 36 percent; and Oregon, where nearly half the vote was absentee. And the trend is up: In Oregon, all voters now vote by mail, thanks to a 1998 referendum. In Washington state, more than half the votes are expected to be absentee this time. California officials say absentee voting there could hit 30 percent of the total.
One reason: both parties are now spending millions to encourage absentee voting.
JENNY BACKUS, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: A lot of our voters work one or two or three jobs. They have a lot of pressure, cross- pressures on them. We try to use this kind of voting to pick up voters who may have missed -- we may have missed somewhere along the line.
JACKSON: But convenience for voters could mean ulcers for candidates. Hillary Clinton might have to wait to learn whether her Senate bid succeeded against Rick Lazio: A judge has ordered absentee ballots locked up at least until Thursday. And if George W. Bush comes close in California, for example, the presidential race itself could be decided by absentees. (on camera): That could set up a network news executive's dream: election coverage where the suspense lasts not for hours, but for days.
Brooks Jackson, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: It's a dream for news reporters, too, Brooks. Well, when voters in nine states do go to the polls to cast their ballots tomorrow, dozens of federal observers will be on-hand to ensure that the voting rights of minority groups are protected. The Justice Department says that it has dispatched 317 observers to monitor the ballot in 18 counties in Alabama, Arizona, California, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Utah.
SHAW: Still ahead on this extended edition of INSIDE POLITICS, we're going to go to Ron Brownstein for another scenario on how the electoral college vote might shake out. Plus, David Peeler will be back with more ad spending: a look at the millions spent on the TV ad wars.
WOODRUFF: On this election eve, we turn now to Ron Brownstein of "The Los Angeles Times" for his perspective on the presidential race and the electoral college outlook.
RON BROWNSTEIN, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": Hi, Judy.
WOODRUFF: First of all, electoral college. What is all of your reporting and all of your thinking putting it at right now?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, I begin this exercise mindful of the fact that our friends at "Sports Illustrated" this spring put Pedro Martinez on the cover and said this was the year, at last, that the Red Sox would make the World Series, which is another way of saying nobody knows anything, as William Goldman once said of Hollywood.
But having said that, I think if you look through the polls and the states right now, there are about 233 electoral votes that are reasonably solid for Al Gore, and 230 that are reasonably solid for George W. Bush.
When you get beyond that, though, there are another 11, Maine and Iowa, that are sort of leaning toward Gore, and toward bush there are another 64 that are leaning toward him: Arkansas, Oregon, Missouri, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and the big one, Florida. You can even throw New Mexico in there possibly.
So if all of those sorted out that way, you would have a 294-244 result for Bush. But many of those, at least half of those, I think, that are in the Bush category on the squishy side. The 64 electoral votes that are sort of squishy are still really there for Gore. Florida is still in play, Oregon is still in play, and Missouri is certainly still in play. Even Arkansas can't be ruled out. So we could have a very long night tomorrow night trying to sort all this out.
WOODRUFF: That's a very red map you were just showing us.
WOODRUFF: Ron, tell us how you go about -- how you went about doing you divide the so-called battleground states?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think, you know, at this point it is just a matter of looking at the polls and talking to the professionals in each party. I don't think anyone would be shocked, certainly it would be a surprise, if some of these shifted. California is much closer than anyone thought, largely because the Gore campaign has allowed Bush to spend a $1.5 million or so a week on television unresponded.
Michigan is something that Republicans still think they may pull off, although no public polls really support that perspective at the moment.
And Florida is looming out there as something that could really scramble a lot. You know, on the one hand, almost all the polls -- not all, but almost all -- have a national Bush lead here at end.
On the other hand, most polls, public polls, have shown Gore winning Florida. Now if Gore can win Florida, which I should caution to say Republican polls are not nearly as optimistic about, it is conceivable he could squeeze out an electoral college majority of some sort while narrowly losing the popular vote.
WOODRUFF: Ron, you've been doing some thinking about surprises in this campaign. Share them with us.
BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think the biggest thing -- I think the big message that we can lose sight of, as we're trying to, obviously, for obvious reasons, sort out which state is going where, is the big picture is one of parity between the parties. I mean, look at what we're talking about, possible electoral college majorities in the 270s, a split verdict between the popular and electoral vote, very narrow majorities in the House and the Senate.
What this is really telling us, Judy, I think, is that the parties are at a position of position of parity greater than at any point probably since the late 19th century. And what that means is that whether Gore or Bush wins, their overwhelming, I think, task is going to be to build bipartisan support in the Congress and the country for their agenda. And that means some of the most ambitious things they want to do, whether it's partial privatization of Social Security for Bush, or a government-run prescription drug benefit under Medicare for Gore, may have to be sanded back.
WOODRUFF: So you're suggesting that these are things that they haven't thought about yet? Well, I think that the scale of the agendas have gotten out of whack with the scale of the congressional majority and popular mandate that is likely. Now it may be that this breaks open for one side or the other, but I think the overwhelming likelihood in that in the next congress you'll see smaller majorities than we have even now. And we really weren't able to get very much done in the last two years.
I think it's going to challenge both of these men, whoever is the next president, especially if they have a narrow electoral college majority, to really build bipartisan support. Because I think the prospects of going ahead with a very partisan and ideological agenda, the Bush tax has written for instance, I think is going to be very, very difficult in this climate. Because the real, real lesson of this election, I think, will be that the country is fundamentally divided between the parties. The parties are at as even footing as they have been for a very long time.
WOODRUFF: All right, on that note, Ron Brownstein, thanks very much, and we'll see you soon.
BROWNSTEIN: Thank you, Judy. OK.
SHAW: And joining us once again to talk about ad spending in the presidential race: David Peeler of Competitive Media Reporting.
Welcome back, David.
PEELER: Thank you, Bernie.
SHAW: What significant changes did the candidates make in their spending over these last few days?
PEELER: Well, Bernie, I agree with Ron Brownstein, none of us can predict anything. But what we can do is we can see where the dollars are going, or the valuable resources that the campaign spends, so we can infer what they think, anyway.
And if we look at first Bush and the RNC, we see that they've combined to spend almost $12 million in the last week. They've increased their spending in the states of California; the critical state of Florida; Illinois, which is a little bit of a surprise given that most of the polls I've seen show that in the Gore category; Minnesota, which came into play last week with the Nader issue; Nebraska which is new this week, we hadn't seen Nebraska in any of the buys for either campaign up until last week; Pennsylvania, obviously a swing state; Washington, a battleground; and the home state of Al Gore. The RNC and Bush reduced their spending in both Missouri and Ohio.
Gore and the DNC countered with almost $6 million in spending which, you know, just on the surface shows that the Republicans had a 2-1 edge last week -- they increased spending in Florida, they're making that competitive; Illinois, which I guess was to probably counter the Bush spending there; Michigan, which they are feeling better about; Minnesota, which we said was in play; Nebraska, also to counter Bush's spending; and also in Al Gore's home state of Tennessee. They reduced their spending in Minnesota -- I'm sorry, in Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
So clearly, you see some of these tactics going on, on a state- by-state basis and that's really what we can look at and see what the campaigns are doing.
SHAW: David, I'm wondering about the big picture. We've seen millions of dollars spent each week. How much have these candidates spent in the top 75 markets over the course of this general election?
PEELER: Well, it's been a very expensive race, let's take a look back since June. We've seen the RNC and Bush spend $85 million, the DNC and Gore, $64 million, and Ralph Nader spend $1.3 million. But I think what's interesting -- because if you are a Democrat and a Gore fan you say, we are being outspent -- let's look and see what the independent expenditure groups combine to do: pro-Democratic issues, pro-Gore issues, $20 million; pro-Republican issues, $3.3 million.
So clearly, it's been a balance in terms of spending -- different in terms of tactics: the Republicans and Bush have kind of concentrated on five or six issues, controlled their creative elements out in the states, where the Gore campaign and the DNC has ceded some of that control to some of the independent expenditure groups in order to get their dollars, but perhaps not control exactly as tightly the message that those groups wanted out there.
So, whichever one wins tomorrow, I can clearly guess that, that will become the new tactic for the next cycle.
SHAW: Interesting. Well, you are in New York right now in our bureau, but we're pleased to know that you're going to be right here in the big CNN newsroom at headquarters tomorrow night.
PEELER: I look forward to seeing you and Judy.
SHAW: Same here, thank you.
And when we return, only hours to go in the presidential marathon, Bruce Morton looking back at some of the many twists and some of the many turns.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: First, let me talk quickly about Social Security. It's an important issue...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: This is the scene in Davenport, Iowa at this hour: George W. Bush speaking at a rally in Davenport at the Adler Theater, working on pulling out Iowa's seven electoral votes. Well, joining us now, our senior White House correspondent John King. He's traveling with Vice President Gore in Flint, Michigan, and our Jeanne Meserve, who is in Austin, Texas.
Hello to both of you.
John King, to you first. There's so much talk at this late hour about turnout, give us some examples of what the Gore campaign is doing now to turn out its people.
KING: Thirty million dollars being spent by the Gore campaign and the Democratic National Committee. That involves some 50,000 volunteers, as many as 50 million telephone calls over the past week, and of course, up until election day, the volunteers, 40,000 e-mails.
But the key reason I'm standing outside a union hall, United Autoworkers hall, is the key engine of the Democratic turnout effort, especially in the big battlegrounds -- Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, even Florida to a degree -- is organized labor. Labor mounting an unprecedented effort -- millions of dollars, thousands of volunteers, calling up all the autoworkers. Steve Yokich, the UAW president, just mentioned here in their last contract they got election day off. He said in here there's no excuse for them not to vote. Obviously, Al Gore hoping labor makes the difference tomorrow.
WOODRUFF: And Jeanne Meserve, what about over on the Bush side? What are they doing to get their people out?
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're trying to match the Democratic effort. They've put out something like 62 million phone calls in the last two week; 110 million pieces of literature have gone out.
These people are very confident here. They believe they have Florida. Their polling shows them up. One official told me it is in the bag. They think Tennessee looks good. They think they've got West Virginia. If they can take Arkansas -- and George W. Bush was there trying to put that one away -- they would have a solid sweep of the South. They acknowledged a tougher time in some states like Iowa and Pennsylvania. They claim that California is going to come down to turnout, and they point that almost every survey says their voters are more energized and more likely to get out to the polls.
One Republican pollster told me keep history in mind that late- breaking undecideds almost always go to the party that is out of power, and in that case, this would be the Republicans. But also keep in mind there's a lot of spin going on here. Nobody wants to look like a loser at this late date -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right, Jeanne Meserve in Austin and John King in Flint, Michigan. Thank you both. We'll be talking to you both a lot over the next day or two -- Bernie.
SHAW: Well, it's been a long time coming, but our national election day is almost here. Bruce Morton now on the campaign, how it all began, the highs and not so highs, and what it finally all comes down to.
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When did it start? It seems so long ago. Hell, it was so long ago. Bush declared his candidacy atop a hay bale in Iowa in June 1999, 17 months ago. Gore announced that month, too. So many months, so many memories.
Elizabeth Dole, dancing with members of her old sorority. Gary Bauer, flipping over a flap jack.
Funny moments, yes: Bill Bradley did chat with a mannequin while seeking votes in Nashua, New Hampshire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL BRADLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do you want to shake hands or not?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORTON: You need a little humor in the snow. The real star of New Hampshire was John McCain, of course: the bus, the town meetings, the stunning upset. Months later, when he released his delegates at the Philadelphia convention, they wouldn't stop cheering him.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will never be able -- I will never be able to thank...
MORTON: Other candidates glowed briefly. Pat Buchanan captured the Reform Party and its federal money, and then vanished from the polls. Ralph Nader didn't vanish and may be a spoiler in some states. But it was at the conventions that Americans could first say, OK, it's down to these two.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: And I will lead...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORE: I stand here tonight as my own man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORTON: We've had all the jokes. Did Al Gore really pay a consultant to tell him wear earth tones? Does George Bush really not know Social Security is a government program? You decide.
We've had the debates, we've had the blizzard $3 billion, one think tank says, that candidates and lobbyists and special interests and parties spent to get you to vote their way. And now it's over.
Now, for all the things -- money, mainly -- that foul the system, it really is up to you, up to as many of you as will take the trouble to vote.
Adlai Stevenson, a defeated presidential candidate almost half a century ago, had some words for the nonvoters, the bored and apathetic. "Whose fault is it?" he asked, "that the honor and nobility of politics at most levels are empty phrases? Maybe it's the fault of you, the people. Your public servants serve you right. Indeed, often, they serve you better than your apathy and indifference deserve."
(on camera): If you do vote, you can do what Washington and Jefferson had in mind: make your democracy work the way you want it to. Government of the people, by the people, Abraham Lincoln called it. And for all its failings, it may be the best system anybody's come up with yet.
Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.
SHAW: And that concludes this special edition of INSIDE POLITICS. We will all be back tomorrow evening at 5:00 p.m. Eastern for the start of our continuous election night coverage. We will be here until everything is decided.
I'm Bernard Shaw.
WOODRUFF: And I'm Judy Woodruff. The "MONEYLINE NEWS HOUR" is next.
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