CNN Europe CNN Asia
On CNN TV Transcripts Headline News CNN International About Preferences
powered by Yahoo!
Return to Transcripts main page


Republicans Continue National Gains

Aired November 5, 2002 - 23:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: AMERICAN VOTES 2002 from CNN Election Headquarters with Judy Woodruff, Aaron Brown, Paula Zahn and Jeff Greenfield.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN HOST: And welcome back. We join you just a shade after 11 o'clock tonight to -- as the polls close in California, Iowa, excuse me, Hawaii, Idaho and Oregon. We go straight to some CNN projections here.

ZAHN: we start off in the state of Massachusetts, where CNN is now comfortable projecting that Mitt Romney is the new governor of Massachusetts. Some of you might be more familiar with him as the CEO of the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee, and the son of a three- time governor of -- three-term governor of Michigan. And right now, you can see the percentage of vote coming in. We went by that so I can't repeat that for you. And then we are going to move along to what some will consider a great surprise of this evening. Congressman Bob Ehrlich is the first Republican governor since 1966. What happened to Kathleen Townsend -- Jeff.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend -- I will just go over Robert F. Kennedy -- it was assumed to be the winner. She was handicapped by a couple of things.

An unpopular outgoing Democratic governor, Parris Glendenning, and then a sometimes stumbling campaign style. She was awkward more than we might of thought.

She did not take an African-American Lieutenant Governor, while Bob Ehrlich did, as his running mate. That hurt in that community. And Bob Ehrlich managed to be the kind of Republican that Marylanders -- if that's the right word -- like. He moved center. He moved more moderate, and it is a real disappointment to Democrats. I'd say if you went back two months ago and said this would happen, Democrats would have said 'No way'.

AARON BROWN, CNN HOST: We can also now project that Tom Harkin will return to the U.S. Senate from the state of Iowa. It think we could argue that the senator is a little more liberal than many Iowans, but he tends the fields of Iowa well, and knows if (UNINTELLIGIBLE) matter in the state. The farm issues particularly. Susan Collins, one of two women who represent the state of Maine in the U.S. Senate will go back as well tonight, and we can also project now that Max Baucus, the Democratic candidate in Montana has been -- will be reelected. We can project that as well. That is where we are at just a little bit past 11 o'clock. JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN HOST: And Aaron, here are the other -- the races we are watching at this hour. As we said, the polls have just closed in these states. We are watching the governor's race, that 80 million and counting dollar governor's race, where Gray Davis is -- the polls are showing -- he is doing well, but we will see, as we don't have numbers in yet. Bill Simon, the Republican challenger.

In Hawaii, we are watching that one. Mazie Hirono, the Lieutenant Governor running against the former mayor of Maui, Linda Lingle. Either way they are going to have a woman governor in Hawaii after tonight.

In Oregon, we are looking at a contest for -- yes, in Oregon, a contest for governor between Ted Kulongoski, who is a former State Supreme Justice, a Democrat running against Kevin Mannix, the Republican, former State Representative. That's an open seat. And the Senate race in the state of Oregon, Gordon Smith hangs on to that -- he will be -- he will run -- he will be reelected, we are projecting.

Joining CNN now is someone who has a great interest in all these congressional races, and especially those in the House, Dick Gephardt, the House minority leader -- House Democratic leader. What do you think so far? We've been showing a lot of Republican celebrations tonight so far, Mr. Gephardt. Not much yet to celebrate on the part of the Democrats.

REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT, (D) MINORITY LEADER: Well Judy, it is early in the evening. We got a long way to go. We've had some good surprises, although many of the races aren't finished yet. We are getting some good results that we didn't really expect in Pennsylvania and Maryland and Georgia, and even Alabama. We got to see how they come out. And we are going to have to wait, I think, until we see the western states like New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, before we can really make an assessment of where the House winds up.

WOODRUFF: But we are already seeing -- at least when you look at the House, we are seeing pickups in Kentucky. We are seeing Republicans holding on to seats in some of those early closings, that the analysts, the experts are saying are bell weathers for the rest of the night. Are you -- some of that's got to be significant.

GEPHARDT: Well, you don't want to loose any race that you are trying to win, but there is a pretty large census of races that we were looking at, and no one of them is going to make us or break us. I think we are still in the hunt. I think we got to wait and see how these races come out. There is a lot of races still out there. And even some of the ones that we may not have won. We are still in the hunt. We got to get the last votes in.

WOODRUFF: Let me ask you about you, Dick Gephardt, and a run for the presidency. There has been a lot of talk -- more than talk -- reporting in the last few days and weeks, that if the House does not go to majority Democrat, that you are thinking of stepping down as majority leader -- as minority leader, and focusing on a run for the presidency. GEPHARDT: Well, those are all issues we have to address in the future. Right now we need to know what these votes are and how we come out in the House. I am still hopeful that we can take the House back. We -- our whole caucus has been working over these last two years as a team to try to win these seats. They have done a great job -- every member has done their part in this, and we want to see this through. Then we will figure out the rest of it.

WOODRUFF: So you don't have a plan in mind right now?

GEPHARDT: No. No, not at all. I have been focused on this, and this night and I want to see what the results are. As you are trying to get it out to the people and we got a lot of races out there. We had lots of good domestic issues that I think our candidates were running on. Jobs, pensions, corporate responsibility, social security, prescription drugs. And I think someone on this program a little earlier was saying there is a lot of local content in all these races. It's the candidates, and we had a lot of great candidates out there and I am still hopeful we can win this thing.

WOODRUFF: But the argument is also been made, as I think you know very well, that the Democrats were not able to get together in terms of what they wanted to do about the economy. There were different ideas about that when it came to agreeing or disagreeing with the president about going -- taking military action against Iraq. You were with the president, but many of your fellow Democrats were not. In other words, Democrats not in agreement, not united, making it all the harder for Democrats to come up with some wins on this election night.

GEPHARDT: I think we had a united economic message and domestic message, in all the campaigns I was in. We had good messages on social security, on prescription drugs, on corporate responsibility. Those were the issues our candidates ran on. I think you also saw though, a lot of special interest money on the other side. I've never in my life seen as much money spent on the other side by special interest. So the fact that we are still in the hunt tonight against all that money, I think is a real story in and of itself.

WOODRUFF: You are right. It is still early, and we are going to be here as long as we can. All right. Dick Gephardt, the House minority leader. We so thank you. We thank you so much for joining us tonight. We appreciate it.

GEPHARDT: Thank you.


BROWN: Well, it's early but it I not that early, and in truth, there are some trends have not looked very comfortable for the Democrats in projections we can make.

Jennifer Granholm, the next governor of Michigan. I believe the first woman governor of the state of Michigan certainly, as she is the attorney general, and that's a good win for the Democrats there. That's a pickup of a seat. That's the seat John Engler had. Kathleen Sebelius in Kansas. Another Democratic winner tonight, and another woman who wins. At some point, enough women -- and we may have actually gotten to that point politically, that it doesn't -- we don't note it in the way we do now.

And Democrats have held on to the governor's office in the state of Iowa as well. We project the incumbent winning there. So we can make those projections, and one more I believe, Don Carcieri -- I'm sorry, in Nevada, the incumbent Republican the winner there, and I think we have -- we're ready to do Rhode Island as well. There we go. Don Carcieri in Rhode Island, the Republican succeeding a Republican, so that's a net wash in terms of the two parties that Republicans control.

GREENFIELD: And a third woman going down to the defeat. In (UNINTELLIGIBLE). That was her third time.

BROWN: That's Mitt Romney you see on your screen, and we project he will be the next governor of the state of Massachusetts.

He almost did -- beat Teddy Kennedy in a race for the Senate some years back. He has prevailed tonight in Massachusetts.

WOODRUFF: His father of course, was the three-time governor of the state of Michigan.

GREENFIELD: Fourth straight win for a Republican governor in one of the most Democratic states in America.

WOODRUFF: The Democrats just can't seem to pull off the governorship in that very Democratic state.


MITT ROMNEY (R), MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR-ELECT: What we've accomplished -- what we've accomplished together today, and over the last eight months has been extraordinary. We took on an...


BROWN: That's Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.

That's that. It is, when you think of the makeup of Massachusetts, it is a little hard for me, at least, to figure out how that happens. It is easy to figure out how something happens once, but how it happens time and again in a state that clearly is a Democratic stronghold state. You are wiser. You explain it to me.

WOODRUFF: Well, let me -- I can -- we can all jump in with our theories, but Shannon O'Brien had been the state treasurer, and I think Romney was able to effectively paint her as just part of the old Democratic establishment at the state capital. There was a lot of -- there was a major sense in Massachusetts. They have big fiscal problems, but the cronyism, that the old guard that is just been at the capital a long time, was responsible for a lot of the state's problems, and he successfully tied her to that. She never really broke free of that.

GREENFIELD: You got to stay -- the state legislature is overwhelming Democratic. I believe at this point, every member of the congressional delegation is Democratic. Democrats in the Senate since I think 1978, so I think the idea of a Republican to balance it, and also given the Massachusetts stereotype of politicians who sometimes do well and do good. But the idea of a fresh face guy who didn't even live in Massachusetts the last couple of years, they have had to fight to get him on the ballet.

BROWN: And it kind of (UNINTELLIGIBLE). That's -- there was a lawsuit that the Democrats


GREENFIELD: Maybe keep in...

BROWN: ...but the Democrats tried to keep him off the ballet, arguing that in fact his residence was Utah, and there was some reason in fact, you could make that argument. There were some tax and business issues that he had registered in Utah.

GREENFIELD: So -- but the idea is -- all right, lets get somebody in there to watch these guys, I think is part of what happens in the politics of Massachusetts. Because it -- you know, it's one of those things that's a head scratcher otherwise.

WOODRUFF: It really is. We want to look at the -- what we are calling

The balance of power, because that is what it is all about tonight. We are looking at -- look at the Senate. And here is where we are. We had 29 Republican holdovers, 36 Democratic holdovers. Tonight the Republicans, so far, have picked up 15, the Democrats 9, yet it is early, but you know the trend -- you know, there is starting to be a little bit of a trend. There were five open seats on the part of the Republicans, and they have won every single on of them, and in a couple of instances, the Democrats have really hoped, whether it was New Hampshire, or Texas, even South Carolina. The Democrats had hoped that they would pick it up. And it wasn't to be.

BROWN: Well, there is no -- at this point for the Democrats -- there is no margin. There is no -- they have to now, as they say in Las Vegas, they have to sweep the table.

GREENFIELD: Sweep the table, maybe draw to inside straight. I count six competitive seats out there. Arkansas and Colorado held by the Republicans. Georgia, South Dakota, Missouri and Minnesota held by the Democrats. They got -- Democrats have four tough ones to defend, Republicans two.

WOODRUFF: Bill Schneider, you have been doing a lot of thinking about this, not just tonight, but for days and weeks and months, and how is it shaping up from your prospective?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think we could be seeing something very impressive going on tonight. You know, presidents are not supposed to have coattails in the midterm elections. In fact, they are supposed to have negative coattails in the midterm election. They usually turn against the president.

Look at the last three midterms. In 1990, the president's party lost the seat. In 1994, a huge setback for Bill Clinton. Even in 1998, when Clinton did pretty well, it was a wash in the Senate. It's very rare for a president's party to pick up seats in a midterm. I think what we can say is, despite the claims of Democrats, all politics is local, but President Bush was a very big factor in this race tonight that his campaigning paid off. He put himself on the line. He took a big risk by doing that. And when he went out in the country and made it a vote of personal popularity, he appears to have rallied Republicans.

We don't know yet, but it could pay off if Republicans gain control of the Senate. It seems possible. If they do something amazing, and gain seats in the House of Representatives, which also seems possible, we have to go all the way back to 1934 for a time when the president's party gained seats in the House, when they already controlled the House. This would be truly an impressive feat. I think a lot of it is September 11th, because the president's stature was raised immensely as a result of that episode.

WOODRUFF: So are you saying no Eisenhower jacket maybe, for this president.

SCHNEIDER: Well, that's right. That is exactly right. And there is something else of course. Recently in midterm elections, Clinton picked up seats in 1998 because of impeachment. It was an anti-Gingrich vote, and Gingrich was lost. He resigned. And tonight, possibly the Republicans will pick up seats because of President Bush's coattails.

One reason why presidents don't loose big anymore in midterms is that when they get elected, they don't have many coattails anymore. They don't bring large numbers of their party colleagues into congress with them. When Bush got elected in 2000, he didn't have coattails. He didn't even have a coat. He lost the popular vote. So in the last three new presidents, Bush the father, Bill Clinton, the current president, Bush, they got elected without coattails, so therefore at the midterm like tonight, they did not have to suffer severe setbacks.

WOODRUFF: All right. We are going to be continuing to watch all of that as the night wears on. Bill, thank you very much.



ZAHN: Right now we are going to head to New Hampshire, where CNN projects that John Sununu will be the next senator.

He joins us from his headquarters this evening, with 85% of the precincts reporting.

ZAHN: Mr. Sununu with 51 percent of the votes. Sir, Congratulations.

JOHN SUNUNU (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATOR-ELECT: Thank you very much. Thank you.

ZAHN: You've seen the hard numbers. There were people who were predicting this one was going to be close to call until the very last minute. What went wrong for your opponent, Jeanne Shaheen?

SUNUNU: What do you mean what -- what went wrong with my opponent? Well look, the predictions weren't very good. That's all it comes down to. This is about New Hampshire, campaigning person-to- person and town-to-town. Money doesn't matter. If it did, you would have a President Ross Perot, or President Steve Forbes.

At the end of the day, I think we had a stronger race, better grass root organization, and we had a stronger message on the issues, that really mattered to New Hampshire and the country.

ZAHN: Can you tell us the point of the evening where you ran the strongest?

SUNUNU: A part of the evening where I ran the strongest?

ZAHN: The part of the state.

SUNUNU: Well, I think I ran strong in my own congressional district. I ran strong in the towns, the big towns around the state. I think we ran strong everywhere.

There was probably a little disparity between the first and the second, but I did well, everywhere I hoped to do well, and we minimized our losses in some of the more liberal parts of the state. Hanover, Dern (ph), the college towns. It was a strong race all around. And we knew early on about 8:30 -- 9:00 o'clock that things were going our way, and would prevail.

ZAHN: Your father was at -- well, even earlier than that, and he was predicting good news for you even before that. I know it's very difficult for you to hear right now, and I know you have been campaigning hard. Can you share with us some of what you think will be your most important goals, once you finally get to Washington?

SUNUNU: Well first and foremost, there is important legislation that hasn't been able to move in the Senate. Homeland security bill, Medicare prescription drugs benefits, making the tax cuts permanent. We need to do these things for our economy and to strengthen our national security, given the threat of international terrorism. Here in New Hampshire, I'll continue to be an advocate for our small business economy, permanently repealing death taxes, fighting unnecessary regulations, and working for education reform that lets teachers teach again in the classroom, and give parents more control over where they send their children to school. I think those are important priorities for our state, and I think those are great goals for our national legislation as well.

ZAHN: Bill Delaney spent a lot of time with your father tonight, and before it was officially announced that you were being projected the next senator. He talked about how nervous he was, and as he accepted the reality now, and he's doing OK?

SUNUNU: Ah, well, he is doing fine. It's tough for any parent, any mom or dad, if their son or daughter is running for office. Doesn't matter if it is school board, or president or United States Senate. They are in the position of watching, of worrying. They want their child to do well, their son, their daughter. But they are not on the campaign trail. They are not in the heat of it, they are not getting back all that feedback, all that positive reinforcement, so it is difficult. Even tougher for a husband or a wife that love their spouse. They want them to succeed. But they are -- they don't feel that they are in control of the process. It is as difficult a position as I could imagine.

ZAHN: Senate-elect Sununu. Thank you for spending some time with us this evening.

SUNUNU: Thank you very much.

ZAHN: We'll let you get back to your celebration there -- Aaron.

BROWN: Paula, thank you. We're with Stu Rothenberg. So what are you thinking?

It's not quite as early to me, as it was to Congressman Gephardt in the way this thing is shaking out.

STU ROTHENBERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, there's some Democratic disappointments. And one thing we are looking at that we -- of course we don't have the exit polls. But we are looking at some Democratic performance in Georgia, Maryland and even Florida. And in Georgia, we are looking to close the Senate race, and the gubernatorial contest. So we are concerned, worried about the minority vote. Are the Democrats getting that vote out. Saxby Chambliss is running surprising well against incumbent Max Cleland. He is leading him. And in the governor's race, Roy Barnes, surprisingly is behind at this point.

BROWN: Now again not seen.

ROTHENBERG: The minority vote is very important to the Democrats in this state. And if you look at two House districts, the third congressional district in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Georgia, and the twelfth new district in the eastern part of the state, big minority populations. The Democrats seem to be under performing in both districts. They are running behind in one, barely ahead in the other. You look in Maryland, where Kathleen Kennedy Townsend was supposed to win if she got a good minority vote. It's a problem for the Democrats.

BROWN: Lets start with Maryland and work back for a second. She had trouble. I mean, last week it was pretty clear that she had trouble. She has not the most adept campaigner. She is not -- it does not come easily to her.

ROTHENBERG: That's true.

BROWN: Nevertheless, that is the state that Democrats should be able to go the bank on. Is there a larger message that you see here, that explains the Democratic struggles in a number of places that actually should be a walk, or at least close to a walk?

ROTHENBERG: Well, we are not sure whether there is a -- anything that we can say generally, about this race. It certainly the case that not only does she have some, maybe limited campaign skills, but she had a problem with the incumbent. She's the lieutenant governor. Her governor was not particularly popular. She was kind of the insider. She was the heir apparent. And so Congressman Robert Ehrlich was able to run as the outsider, the candidate for change. In fact, Aaron, in a number of states, the Republican nominee was able to run as the outsider, and pull off victories that were not expected.

BROWN: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's headquarters, and she is about to concede. This has been a tough go for Kennedy's and members of the Kennedy extended family. They have really been on a tough go for a number of years now.

ROTHENBERG: Well certainly in a Maryland congressional district primary, the ACD Mark Schreber (ph) was upset by Kirk VanHollan (ph). Yes, absolutely. Maybe the golden (UNINTELLIGIBLE) parts will go below the mark.

BROWN: Stan, the -- it was the Kennedy nephew Max who essentially flamed out in his aborted attempt for office. It has been a tough go. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the lieutenant governor in Maryland, about to concede defeat for the governorship there.

KATHLEEN KENNEDY TOWNSEND, LT. GOV., MARYLAND: ...ordinary opportunity for service, and I want to thank him. To Senator Paul Sarbanes, to the state team. And I have to tell you a fabulous father. Michael Sarbanes is a great deputy chief of staff. To Senator Barbara Mikulski, a pioneer and a mentor, thank you for your friendship. To Congressman Elijah Cummings (ph) who started with me early (UNINTELLIGIBLE) crew, was an amazing friend and partner. And I have to say, the city of Baltimore, the state of Maryland, the country and the world are lucky to have Elijah Cummings (ph) as their prosecutor.

BROWN: Quickly we will go to New York and Candy Crowley, a real vote projection -- Candy.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A real vote and a real sigh of relief for Democrats, who have picked up a Senate seat in Arkansas,

CNN can now predict that Mark Pryor, a Democrat will take that Senate seat from Tim Hutchinson, a Republican incumbent. So we will pick up, Aaron, for a Democrat.

BROWN: Candy, thank you very much. Of the ones that were still on the table, this was the easiest for the Democrats. I am not sure that Mr. Pryor would think it is easy. We can also tell you that Gordon Smith, the incumbent senator, Republican senator from Oregon, is an interesting state to be -- at least where Gordon Smith started his run in public likes (ph), he was quite conservative, he slid a bit to the center over time, because that is how you have to run if you are a Republican in Oregon. All the great Republican senators from that state, you think of Hatfield (ph) and others too, have all run to the middle, and over time, we have seen Gordon Smith do the same thing.

ROTHENBERG: Absolutely. He convinced voters that he is a moderate, just as (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Collins (ph) in Maine. Those two Republican moderates winning in a big split (ph) of conservative party.

BROWN: Let me just quickly go back. Because I had the feeling you were pulling me back from a notion that you have yet to see the sort of overriding theme of this night.

ROTHENBERG: I don't think we are there yet, but I would certainly say this, Aaron. That when you look at how -- what the Republican expectations were, and the Democratic expectations. But right now the Republicans seem somewhat more optimistic, enthusiastic, believed. The scale is tilting very slightly, but it is tilting toward the Republicans.

BROWN: Well, I -- as -- you just stop me when I mess this up. But in all of these races that we looked at as tight, that might -- where either side might legitimately win. Every one of them so far -- when we say Arkansas (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for a second, that didn't seem that tight to me, has broken for the Republicans. It looks like Georgia has broken for the Republicans. We haven't seen Minnesota yet, and we haven't seen South Dakota yet, and we haven't seen Colorado. Those are big races on the table. But it does seem to me that everything else is broken for (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

ROTHENBERG: You are absolutely right. And that is the only reason I am hinting, there are still four big races. If the Republicans can pull off a big win there, pull Colorado, pick off one or two of those Democratic seats, it will be a very, very good election for the Republicans.

BROWN: Stu, thank you very much. I tried to get you to give me the big theme just as we are ready to do it -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: You can keep working on him. He is only a few feet away from us.

Now that we have projected that in Arkansas Tim Hutchinson goes down to defeat to Mark Pryor. Lets take a look at the Senate overall. This is where it is. As you can see, 29 Republican holdovers, 36 Democrats, picked up tonight, 16 Republican, 10 Democrats, for a total so far of -- you are going to see that next, and they need 51 for a majority. Right now, the Democrats are ahead by one, but we still, 46 to 45, but we still as Aaron and Stu have just been discussing, are still waiting for some very important Senate races to come in. Missouri, Colorado, South Dakota, and others, and until we know what those are, Jeff, and Aaron, we are not really going to know whether -- whose got the majority in the Senate. ROTHENBERG: This is coming down to precisely what we all went into this election night looking at. With that pickup the Democrats have a slight margin to breath. But they are still defending vulnerable seats in Georgia, South Dakota, Missouri and Minnesota. Republicans defending in Colorado that is still four verses one. The Republican need on pickup to control the Senate, and these races out there, those votes are very, very close in those states.

WOODRUFF: Everything has to go just right for the Democrats from this point on, for them to keep control of the Senate. Now -- and we still have the Mary Landrieu (ph) situation in Louisiana, where as we have been saying all night, she has to win at least 50 percent of the vote, because of the way the Louisiana election law works.

BROWN: And -- to me it is -- we should mention, Paula has taken leave, because she has a very early call --

WOODRUFF: She has a good excuse.

BROWN: Right. She will be anchoring "AMERICA MORNING" tomorrow morning. We have a projection we can make and then we'll pick up on some of these themes. Saxby Chambliss the congressman here in the state of Georgia. This is going to be a very bitter pill for the Democrats to lose this seat. This is the scene of one of - there is the congressman now. We'll listen to him briefly and we'll come back and talk a bit about the race.

SAXBY CHAMBLISS (R), GEORGIA SENATOR-ELECT: You told me to come down here and tell you all something. You told me to come down here and tell you that two years from now he wants all of you all on his team. Something like this never happens without a lot of hard work. And you folks have worked awful hard. We've worked hard but you folks have worked hard and as I said on primary night, we believe in grassroots. We believe in putting an organization together in all 150 counties in our great state.

And most of those 159 counties are represented here tonight and it wasn't just one person or two people in each of those 159 counties. It was four, five, six, eight and 10 and it just kept multiplying. And you folks went out and not just went door to door, but you stuffed the envelopes. You made an unbelievable number of phone calls and I just can't tell you how much I appreciate the hours and hours and hours of work that you put in to this race.

BROWN: Saxby Chambliss, we project now the winner in the state of Georgia defeating Democrat Max Cleland. It was to me at least the scene of one of the toughest ads in this campaign. It was an ad that challenged Max Cleland on national security questions. This is a man who literally left three limbs on a battlefield in Vietnam. It was a tough campaign. Politics is played pretty tough these days in the country and certainly was here. We can make one more projection quickly and then we'll come back to some of this and that is I believe from Idaho, correct? There you go, Larry Craig to no surprise. Wyoming, Idaho, Idaho, Wyoming was the most Republican states in the country. It's pretty close and Larry Craig will go back to Washington, the incumbent senator there. But the Chambliss ad attacked Max Cleland particularly on his votes on homeland security, because he was backing the Democratic version. He had an ad in which veterans, combat veterans, medal winners, endorsed him. But the idea that a man who did not serve in the military could successfully run against an incumbent who was a decorated combat veteran and a triple amputee tells you that one of the questions we were asking at the beginning of the night in this race does seem to have been answered. In this race, I think it's fair to say, absent exit polls, national security and defense was a cutting issue that cost Max Cleland his Senate seat and may wind up costing the Democrats the Senate.

WOODRUFF: This is one that just a few weeks ago the Democrats weren't even thinking about. They just assumed that Max Cleland, as you said, triple amputee. There's no way the Republicans could beat him. But you know, the White House focused on this one and Ralph Reed, I'm going to name the former head of the Christian Coalition who is now the head of the Republican party in the state of Georgia, poured a lot of money, a lot of troops, a lot of heart and soul and effort into that and I think he's going to get a lot of the credit, along with the Bush White House.

BROWN: I just think that in close races, one of the things that people thought a lot about tonight is who supports the president. We are post 9/11. We are perhaps on the edge of a war with Iraq. We want people who support the president and that's how some of these broke and maybe I'm inventing a theory or maybe that's in fact what happened, but it feels (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think that Erin is onto something because there is another Democratic senator from the state of Georgia named Zell Miller. He's a Democrat. He does support the president and he played an interesting role in this election. Because Saxby Chambliss ran ads in which he said Democrat Max Cleland doesn't vote like Zell Miller. He doesn't support the president. Now Zell Miller happened to be a supporter of Max Cleland and he ran ads saying that he does support Max Cleland and so you know what, it didn't make any difference. Because the victory of Saxby Chambliss is a clear indication that in Georgia, there are Zell Miller Democrats who look a like Republicans and Max Cleland Democrats and there just aren't enough to carry the state of Georgia.

WOODRUFF: Well, this is, we've been saying it's a good night for Republicans so far. This is one more reason for Republicans to be very happy. Our CROSSFIRE gang is dying to get a word in edgewise here as they think about what's next for the Democrats. Tucker, over to you.

TUCKER CARLSON, CNN CO-HOST: I would say bad night for Democrats. James Carville feels the same way.

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN CO-HOST: Well, I'm not saying that I'm embarrassed (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I kind of got my head in the right place here.

CARLSON: Well I must say James, I can see why you feel that.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN CO-HOST: I've never met this guy. Do any of you know him?

CARLSON: And I don't know him and here you have Democrats with sort of the story nobody's talking about it is that they're not going to get the House back and Republicans have gained, only three times since the Civil War has the Republican party not lost seats during a midterm election and this is the fourth.

BEGALA: The Republicans will certainly hold the House. I don't know if the Democrats can hold the Senate and the Democrats now I think have a three part strategy moving forward, at least for the rest of this week and the foreseeable future the rest of this year. First, finger pointing, then blame assigning and then back biting. I mean the Democrats are going to have to really form of our classic Democratic firing squads in a circle. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) actually figure out what it will happen. I think what happened - I've said this before. I'll say it again, is that you got to stand for something and if they made it as they said earlier, a referendum on who supports the president, the Republicans always going to support...

BEGALA: Can I ask a question of Mr. Carville, if he could take his mask off just briefly. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I have a great deal of admiration, I have a great deal of admiration.

BEGALA: Go to it.

BEGALA: I have a great deal of admiration for you as you know.

CARVILLE: Oh, thank you sir.

BEGALA: But do you think perhaps you were partially responsible for this, that is the whole idea of attack, attack, attack, of not really worry about a vision for America, but just hit those Republicans as hard as you can.

CARVILLE: I think that's probably the most asinine analysis I ever (UNINTELLIGIBLE) What happened is Democrats did well like Senator Harkin or Senator Wellstone was doing before his tragic death. If you look at Senator Kerry, he didn't even have opposition. I think probably the Democrats (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I think you got to stand for something and I think when you talk to Democratic campaigns it was, well tactically we've got this and we got a better operation on the ground and what I think the Democrats did was take issues off the table as opposed to put issues on the table.

BEGALA: ... speak for accomodationist wing of the Democratic party, people who said let's go along with Bush on fiscal policy. Let's go along with Bush on foreign policy. Well, hell, when a party surrenders fiscal policy and foreign policy, what the hell...

ROBERT NOVAK, CNN CO-HOST: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) lesson out of this because...

BEGALA: So we should surrender (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

NOVAK: No, no, no, let me (UNINTELLIGIBLE) you tried, they tried to demonize Saxby Chambliss to turn this very - just a minute - deter this very intelligent, thoughtful, our congressman, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, many times a guest on CROSSFIRE. You know he's an intelligent guy. We tried to demonize him and my dear friend Bob Schrum (ph) just did this attack in Maryland on Bob Ehrlich, trying to turn him into some right wing fiend. That kind of stuff just doesn't work anymore

CARLSON: Let me ask you two a question. If this is a terrible night for the Democrats and of course it is, it seems to me just a taste of things to come. Because the fact is, you're going to have to pick a presidential candidate really soon. Gore says he's going to decide by the end of the year. It seems to me the results tonight kill any chance that Gephardt has of winning that. So the question is, who is left in the Democratic party to lead, apart from Al Sharpton?

BEGALA: No, I'm not going to start naming names, because every time I do, I leave somebody out and I get a bunch of calls. I'm not so worried about that. I am (UNINTELLIGIBLE) right now and this will be the first issue in the primary. Who's going to be tough? Who's the toughest one?

BEGALA: That's your standard?

BEGALA: Look, let me get to this point about Saxby Chambliss getting viciously attacked. That's a load of crap. I'm sorry to use that kind of language. It was Max Cleland who was viciously attacked. His courage was impuned, a man who served this country with great honor, a man who never (UNINTELLIGIBLE) also said he didn't have the courage to lead. Now that's a vicious attack. I didn't see anything Max Cleland did that I would say (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

CARVILLE: I think when you look at this election, I don't know. Let's wait and see. I think you're going to find out that a lot of Democrats didn't go out and vote and I think that one of the reasons they did is they didn't feel like they have a stake in here because all that you heard, we're going to take this off the table and we're going to have a better (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

NOVAK: Just a minute. Just a minute. Just a minute Paul. I want to ask both of you this question. Terry McAuliffe came in here as the hand picked national chairman of the Clinton's, Bill and Hillary. He immediately, I remember very well his acceptance speech when he was nominated. He said we are going to attack them on voting, on stealing the presidency from Al Gore. They steal the president. They stole the presidency. Can you say that doesn't work and you need somebody a lot different than Terry McAuliffe as chairman?

CARVILLE: Look, the question who's chairman, I don't think the problem, again, I think the problem is we did not offer an alternative and I keep coming back to it. I think if you look at the people who didn't offer the alternative, who said, gee, we're just the same, if it was on fiscal policy... You know what, why don't you let me finish telling you. I've said OK. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) middle of all these scandals and I'm answering the question. It was a combination of these candidates that didn't do well and the candidate that actually (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

NOVAK: I'm asking you a question James.

CARVILLE: All right.

NOVAK: I'm asking you when do you think it was an intelligent thing to continue this, they stole the election? Didn't go over with the public (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

BEGALA: Any campaign's run on whether or not Florida was stolen two years ago. That was not the central election. A midterm election is about firing up your base and to his great credit.

BEGALA: Well your base out to be fired on this subject, yes they should and what happened since (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Florida. Democrats went along with Bush on the tax cut, too many of them. Democrats went along with Bush on Iraq. That dampened any kind of fire. To his credit, President Bush traveled the country, got a lot of criticism and he (UNINTELLIGIBLE) He fired up his base. Hats off to President Bush, to Karl Rove for doing what they needed to do in the midterm and shame on my party for accommodating (UNINTELLIGIBLE) run around the country saying I want to be for the Democrats (UNINTELLIGIBLE) .

BEGALA: We'll just take Georgia. Just take Georgia.

BEGALA: We're going to go back, although I'm afraid we have to cut off and go back to Aaron Brown for probably more good news.

BROWN: Well, that's my business. I'm in the good news business.

BEGALA: Thank you Aaron.

BROWN: I'm sitting here worrying if I step on one word, Judy of yours. These guys are stepping all over. They don't seem to ever feel bad about it. It's a great deal. One of the races we have not looked at in a while is the Senate race in the state of Louisiana. This is important - they're all important given the balance of power.

This one is a little more complicated than most. Mary Landrieu, the incumbent is also family business. There too her father was a former mayor of New Orleans and I think a congressman, Moon Landrieu. But she needs to get to 50 percent or 50 percent plus one to avoid a run off and in about three weeks, Arthel Neville has been covering the race in New Orleans. Some people get better assignments than others.

ARTHEL NEVILLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're right about there. I'm very glad to be here. Listen, you know what, and so are Mary Landrieu supporters. They're very glad to be here tonight. They certainly don't consider this as a loss at all. As you just reported, 91 percent's reporting. Mary Landrieu has 46 percent of the vote. Her Republican challenger Susie Terrell has 27 percent.

And Mary Landrieu's camp wants to point out that she was up against eight opponents and three tornadoes. As you know there was some bad weather here in Louisiana earlier. And again Mary Landrieu says she is very much looking forward to December if necessary. In fact just about 30 minutes ago, she already began her next campaign.


SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA: When the waters get high and they deserve a senator that will fight for them and put their interests first and that's what this campaign has been about. It will about and we're going to claim victory tonight and if not, we're going to take it to them in four weeks, yes.


NEVILLE: And now as I said Susie Terrell, Mary Landrieu's Republican challenger is also feeling very optimistic tonight. She acknowledges she has a long way to go. She says tomorrow is only the beginning and she's looking forward to engaging Landrieu town by town, person by person and she told our supporters to have fun in the process and she says she's on the road again. So Aaron, if we're waiting for Louisiana to determine the balance of power, looks like we could be waiting for about four more weeks.

BROWN: Arthel, thank you very much. Dinner in New Orleans sounds like a pretty good deal on election night or any other night. Thank you. As that was going on, it's the first time I'd seen any numbers out of the Minnesota Senate race and there weren't very many, like about 20,000 votes, 40,000 votes total, but Norm Coleman had a slight lead there. Keep an eye on that and coming up in about six minutes or so, Rudy Giuliani joins Larry King. We take a short break first and our coverage continues in just a moment.


WOODRUFF: It's just about quarter to 12 in the east. More results coming in and we are able to project winners in first of all, the South Caroline governor's race. This is a pick up for the Republicans. Mark Sanford, the Republican, defeating the incumbent Democrat Jim Hodges. Mark Sanford, a former congressman from the state of South Carolina. You can see we've waited to call this until just about all the votes are in, 96 percent of the precincts reporting. The numbers are right there as plain as they can be.

And this is a congressional race that, anybody who's paid attention to politics has been watching, Connie Morella has served several terms in the House of Representatives, probably one of the two most moderate Republicans in the House, fighting off a very tough challenge from a young Democrat named Chris Van Hollen and she has gone down to defeat.


WOODRUFF: And no question and a big disappointment for her. She's very well liked. We've been talking about Florida and about whether we're going to have any problems. The problems have been minimal as far as we've been able to tell so far. Jeffrey Toobin, our CNN legal analyst is down there. He was going to keep a very close watch on it. Jeffrey, what are you seeing so far?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, something extraordinary happened in Florida tonight, an ordinary election. There was really almost no controversy. I'm here at the Broward County canvassing board. People in Moscow were worried about the Broward County canvassing board two years ago. This year no controversy, a landslide for Governor Bush. Some voting machines by and large worked exactly as advertised. A big nonstory in terms of the voting itself here in Florida.

WOODRUFF: And Jeffrey, why is that? I mean we saw they had problems in the Democratic primary.

TOOBIN: Well, I think they changed all the machines overnight in a lot of these counties, especially these big counties like Broward and Miami Dade and they needed one election to work out the kinks. But I think the most important difference is that this is not a close election so that if there were a few mistakes here and there, as there are in any election, it really doesn't matter. But two years, you had a 537 vote margin out of 6 million cast. You had about 1700 vote difference out of 3 million cast during the primary. Here you have a landslide so a handful of votes here and there just don't matter.

WOODRUFF: So in Florida tonight, we not only have a happy Jeb Bush, who's just won reelection. We have a lot of happy county election officials and a happy state election board and anybody else involved in elections. Jeffrey Toobin, thanks very much.


© 2004 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.