CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
America Votes 2002: Interview with Ron Faucheux
Aired November 6, 2002 - 06:40 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to talk to Ron Faucheux, the editor of "Campaigns and Elections" magazine to sort of analyze this race.
Good morning to you.
RON FAUCHEUX, EDITOR, "CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS": Good morning to you.
COSTELLO: Let's talk about the new balance of power in the Senate.
COSTELLO: What will that mean for the Republicans?
FAUCHEUX: Well it's certainly a big personal victory for President Bush. By any estimation, it's an impressive win. Not only did the president's -- did the president's party win enough races to get control of the Senate, win enough races to continue and even to increase their majority in the House, but they won a lot of these races by much bigger margins than people thought. So I think it's a big personal win for the president, but I'm not so sure it's a big mandate from a policy standpoint to do anything. So that's one of the things that they're going to have to refigure and re-look at exactly how they're going to use these wins and where are they going to go with it.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, Ron, you know let me ask you this one -- good to talk to you again, by the way. I haven't talked to you in a good while.
HARRIS: Let me ask you this because we've asked pretty much everybody else whose brains we've picked overnight about this and I haven't heard you weigh in yet, any other big surprises jump out at you from last night, aside from Georgia? We've talked about that one and beat it to death, but any other big surprises for you?
FAUCHEUX: Yes, there were some surprises. For instance, I thought the Oklahoma governor's race was something of a surprise. The Republican candidate Steve Largent was favored in that race for a year and a half and apparently he lost.
I also saw that there was a -- it looks like there's a projected victory for the Republican candidate in Rhode Island. Rhode Island is a very heavily Democratic state, and it looked like Myrth York, the woman who ran as the Democratic candidate for governor three times, now has lost a third time. That was a surprise. So there are some other surprises along the way.
I haven't seen the final figures on Hawaii. It looked -- the last thing I saw showed it very close, but perhaps Linda Lingle, the Republican,...
COSTELLO: Yes, she won.
FAUCHEUX: ... may have -- may have won that.
COSTELLO: She did won. Yes, she won.
HARRIS: Yes, well we did cover -- we did sent back...
HARRIS: We saw her come out and give her victory speech a little while ago, too.
FAUCHEUX: And that's -- and that's also an impressive Republican victory, because four years ago she was running ahead right until the last couple of days of the elections and the Democrats took the lead with a big turnout effort.
I think what happened this year is the big vaunted Democratic turnout machine didn't deliver. And the president, by making this a personal campaign, particularly in the last week of this campaign, was able to mobilize the Republican base and get a very, very good turnout of Republicans...
COSTELLO: So, Ron, what's a Democrat to do?
FAUCHEUX: Well I think the Democrats really have to look at their leadership. I think this -- as this was a big personal victory for the president, I think it was a stinging defeat for the Democratic leadership. I think it was a defeat for the Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate. I also think it was a defeat for the Democratic symbols and faces of leadership. Al Gore, for example. The Clinton's, for example, in addition to Dick Gephardt and Tom Daschle. Gore and Clinton have not been doing well in terms of national polls over the last six months.
And the Republican leaders, the face of the Republican leadership, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, they have all done very, very well in the wake of September 11. So I think there was really a sense on the part of a lot of voters that the Democratic leadership had been overly partisan and overly hungry for power. And I think the president won the persuasive battle in terms of saying, look, I'm in this for the country, the other side is in it for partisan politics.
COSTELLO: Yes. Yes. May I ask you one more question before we have...
COSTELLO: ... to let you go for this segment? The Republicans now control the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House, what will this mean for the country and is it a good thing for the country?
FAUCHEUX: Well, obviously the Republicans will think it's a good thing and the Democrats will think it's a bad thing. I do think it gives the Republicans an opportunity to demonstrate what their program is, what their vision is, to get some things done, to confirm their judges and to sort of fulfill the promise that was made back two years ago when they won the presidency and the -- and the Senate and the House, but now they will have a little better margin to do something with it. But it does put them on the line. Now they have to perform and delivery.
COSTELLO: All right, Ron...
FAUCHEUX: Thank you.
COSTELLO: ... Faucheux, thank you very much for your insight this morning.
HARRIS: Take care, Ron.
KAGAN: We will be hearing analysis throughout the day and I imagine much beyond that as well.
HARRIS: Oh, you're going to hear it for some time to come.
HARRIS: There's a lot of to-do.
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