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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT

Bush Wins With Majority of Popular Vote; Gay-Marriage Loses In 13 States; Interview with Mario Cuomo

Aired November 3, 2004 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, America has spoken. President George W. Bush has won reelection with the first majority of the popular vote in 16 years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm proud to lead such an amazing country, and I'm proud to lead it forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: Both the president and Senator Kerry today said all Americans must work together for the good of the country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN K. KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today, I hope that we can begin the healing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo joins me. We'll be talking about the outcome of the election and the future of the Democratic Party.

Former presidential adviser David Gergen joins me. We'll talk about the president's agenda and the likely course of President Bush's second term.

Republicans extend their power in Congress. We'll have a live report from Capitol Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By entering into this marriage...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: And the importance of ballot initiatives. Eleven states ban gay marriage, and the people of Arizona have achieved what national politicians in both parties have failed to accomplish.

And how about all those 527 groups? It turns out many of them were more about bucks than bang.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It should be a loud, ringing wake-up call for the Democratic Party.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: Tonight, our special report.

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT for Wednesday, November 3. Here now for an hour of news, debate and opinion is Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Good evening.

President Bush today declared victory after a remarkable win in the 2004 presidential election. President Bush said his second term is a new opportunity to reach out to the entire nation.

President Bush won 51 percent of the popular vote. It is the first time that a winning presidential candidate has won a majority of the popular vote since 1988.

We begin or coverage tonight with White House Correspondent Dana Bash. She's at the Reagan building in Washington where President Bush delivered his victory speech.

Dana Bash will be here in just moments with that report.

Senator Kerry, meanwhile, declared it is now a time for healing. In a concession speech in Boston today, Senator Kerry said he has abandoned all election challenges in Ohio. Senator Kerry said voters should decide elections, not attorneys.

Frank Buckley has the report from Boston -- Frank.

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Lou, the two-year- long journey for Senator John Kerry of raising money and running for president ended here at the Faneuil Hall in Boston.

Senator Kerry and his running mate, Senator John Edwards, entering the hall to a standing ovation from friends and family and staff members. The announcement following Senator Kerry's phone call to President Bush conceding.

Senator Kerry said here that he would not have given up if he had a chance of winning in Ohio, but he made the decision when it became clear that even if the provisional ballots had been counted, he couldn't win.

Senator Kerry here called for unity in the wake of what has been a bitter campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY: We are required now to work together for the good of our country. In the days head, we must find common cause. We must join in common effort without remorse or recrimination, without anger or rancor. America is in need of unity and longing for a larger measure of compassion. I hope President Bush will advance those values in the coming years. I pledge to do my part to try to bridge the partisan divide.

I know this is a difficult time for my supporters, but I ask them, all of you, to join me in doing that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCKLEY: And it was a difficult time for his supporters. Kerry aides, many of them, in tears today here at Faneuil Hall. Family members and friends. Many hugs, many tears here today.

And we also got some insight later in the day, Lou, on exactly how the decision came down. Late in the day yesterday, the Kerry campaign felt very strong based on the exit polling that was emerging. Senator Kerry did a number of hours of television interviews by satellite and finally retired to his residence at about 7:30 in the evening, was having dinner.

Then it became clear that things were not going as well as they thought. Florida, of course, fell. Then all of the attention went to Ohio. They couldn't get the exact raw number of votes figured out in the middle of the night. So, finally, Senator Kerry went to sleep at around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning.

They woke up at 8:00 in the morning, had a big meeting. They finally had those raw vote numbers. They presented that to Senator Kerry. Some of the lawyers, apparently, from the Kerry team wanted to litigate this. They said we should go to Ohio and file suit right now based on some of the accounting issues of how they count the votes in Ohio.

Remember, the Kerry team had some 17,000 attorneys nationwide ready for that sort of thing. Kerry reportedly said, no, he didn't want to put the country through that, and, a few moments after that, he called President Bush -- Lou.

DOBBS: Frank, thank you very much.

Senator Kerry, obviously, making a political decision, a decision that President Bush described as a gracious decision, and it is nice that in this day and age, often a political scene filled with acrimony, that a presidential candidate, as Senator Kerry has done today, can put the good of the country ahead of partisan interest.

Dana Bash is at the Reagan building in Washington, D.C., where President Bush did refer to Senator Kerry's gracious phone call and their conversation, and it is also where he delivered his victory speech today -- Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Lou.

Well, as you can see, they are now dismantling the president's victory set behind me, and it was really this time last night that this hall was filled with Bush supporters waiting -- what ended up being an all-nighter, a dramatic all-nighter -- for their candidate who never came.

He didn't come, of course, until just a few hours ago. And that speech began coming into the hall with members of his Cabinet in the audience. Of course, members of his family on stage. The president said America has spoken, and then he spoke directly to the some 55 million Americans who voted for John Kerry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust. A new term is a new opportunity to reach out to the whole nation.

We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us, and, when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: And Democrats say they certainly are looking forward to that, noting that the president talked about reaching out four years ago, but it's something that he perhaps did not practice, instead presided certainly over a very partisan Washington.

Now the president did briefly talk about some of the things he will push for in his next term -- tax reform, private accounts for Social Security.

That is a policy agenda that will certainly test what the president talked about today because they are issues that philosophically very much differ from what a lot of Democrats believe in, differ from what John Kerry would have pushed for in his second -- in his term if he would have won.

Now, as much as the president tried to very much look forward in the speech, Lou, his campaign aides are taking some time to look back, look back on what they think provided the success that they saw today, talked about the four-year effort to try to match the Democrats at their own ground game. The Democrats have had an advantage for years.

They had 1.4 million volunteers out in the field, and they say that is a big reason why they were able to match the turnout, Republicans for Democrats, which is something that hasn't happened in quite some time -- Lou.

DOBBS: And heavily relying upon Republican volunteers.

BASH: Absolutely.

DOBBS: Dana Bash.

Thank you very much. President Bush won 3-1/2 million more votes than Senator Kerry in this election. Part of the reason for the president's success: Support from Hispanic and female voters.

Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider is joining me now to tell us how the president increased his support in those critical areas and some other important elements of this election -- Bill.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, that's exactly right. Let's talk about women in a way that won't get us into any trouble. In 2000, Al Gore led among women. He beat George Bush by 11 points.

But, in this election, John Kerry carried the women's vote, but only by 3 points. Look at that, 51-48. Bush made big gains among women, particularly married women, those so-called security moms.

DOBBS: Now, Bill, this is a 3 percent gap. What was it in 2000?

SCHNEIDER: Eleven points. Gore carried women...

DOBBS: So...

SCHNEIDER: ... over Bush by 11 points.

DOBBS: ... absolutely a remarkable improvement there.

SCHNEIDER: Absolutely spectacular improvement.

And look at Latino voters. They voted 44 percent for George W. Bush this time, a big improvement over their vote, which was 35 percent in 2000, and 44 percent support for a Republican presidential candidate among Latino voters is the highest level of support for a Republican ever, beating Ronald Reagan's 40 percent in 1984. How about that?

DOBBS: That is impressive as well. And one -- many Latino leaders did not think that even with their support that he could move that high up, although about 20 Hispanic organizations did, in point of fact, support President Bush, and that -- perhaps that support is part of the reason for that improved performance.

SCHNEIDER: And another reason is a lot of Hispanic voters have ties to the military. Many of them join the military.

DOBBS: Right.

SCHNEIDER: Now there are a couple of constituencies where Bush was a bit disappointed, didn't do as well as he thought. He hoped to make breakthroughs with African-American voters. He got 9 percent of the African-American vote last time. Well, he had a little bit of improvement, 11 percent, but not a lot. He still did not do well among African-American voters, just a marginal improvement.

Another, Jewish voters. Jewish voters -- he's a strong supporter of Israel. Ed Koch and other Jewish leaders endorsed Bush, but, among Jewish voters, his support had been 19 percent. It went up a bit, but only 25 percent. There were some Jewish leaders who expected it to be as high as a third.

Finally, Catholic voters. This is -- Kerry is the first Catholic candidate since John Kennedy. Kennedy got 80 percent of the Catholic vote. How did Kerry do among Catholic voters? He lost them. Bush, a Protestant candidate. Kerry -- the Catholic vote 52-47.

DOBBS: And you hear people talking about today the evangelical Christian vote. I'm not always certain who that is, but the fact is with this kind of performance among Jewish voters, among Catholics, among the so-called evangelical voters and just general Protestant church-going people, how did the president do?

SCHNEIDER: Oh, he did very well, and there was also a higher turnout among evangelicals. That's the Republican base that Karl Rove worked so hard to get to come out. We found that it went from about 15 percent to 20 percent of the vote. White church-going Protestants increased their turnout. That's what -- that's Karl Rove. That's his job.

DOBBS: OK. Bill Schneider -- and this is your job, and you did, as always, exceedingly well. We thank you for the illumination.

SCHNEIDER: Thank you.

DOBBS: The Republicans also won a series of major victories in key congressional races. The Republican success extends the Republican power in the House and the Senate. It also makes it easier for President Bush to push his second-term agenda.

Congressional Correspondent Ed Henry with the report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senate Republicans broke out the champagne after a stunning sweep on election night. Republicans see it as a repudiation of Democratic efforts to block President Bush's agenda. Their biggest prize: Beating the Democratic leader, Tom Daschle.

SEN. GEORGE ALLEN, NATIONAL REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL COMMITTEE: The message to the Democrats is: Stop the obstruction, stop the past interference, stop the delays, stop the filibustering, move forward, get through the elections and act for the American people.

HENRY: A much different scene in South Dakota.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D), SOUTH DAKOTA: My family have been at the base and I have been at the base of Mount Rushmore as the sun rises. Those colors are warm and sweet and optimistic. Having seen sunsets and sunrises, I like sunrises better.

HENRY: Majority Leader Bill Frist flew around the country to celebrate with his winning candidates. Republicans picked up four Senate seats. That gives Frist 55 seats, making it easier to push through the president's second-term agenda: more tax cuts...

(AUDIO GAP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HENRY: It looks like Democrats are going to be taking a more conciliatory approach to their relationship with President Bush. Senator Chris Dodd, who would have been more liberal, more aggressive, was going to get into this Democratic leadership race to replace Daschle. He was looking at the race anyway.

Just in the last hour, he told CNN he will not be running. It's looking now like Harry Reid will be getting that. Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada. He is very likely to become the next Democratic leader. He's somebody who works across the aisle more and is more likely to be working with Republicans instead of being more of a pit bull against President Bush -- Lou.

DOBBS: The very effective senator from Nevada, conciliatory in his working with the party in power, the Republicans, as you say, Ed. Do we see any departure here from the agenda, or do we expect one in the days and weeks ahead?

HENRY: Oh, for the Republicans, they're saying full steam ahead. They're going to plan more tax cuts, tort reform. They feel energy reform as well, that they fell just one or two votes short on a lot of these key issues, especially effecting corporate America. They think now with four more Republican seats, they're going to get those tax cuts. They're going to finally crack down on lawsuit abuse. Republicans are riding high right now -- Lou.

DOBBS: Ed Henry, thank you very much from on high on Capitol Hill.

Still ahead, four more years. President Bush wins a convincing victory. I'll be joined by former New York Governor Mario Cuomo. We'll be talking about the direction of the Democratic Party and the country.

I'll also we'll be talking with former presidential adviser David Gergen about the second term of the Bush presidency.

And 527 groups spent 10s of millions of dollars trying to influence the outcome of this election. Did they? We'll have a special report. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: I'm joined notice by David Gergen -- he is a professor at the Kennedy School of Government -- and our own senior analyst here, Jeff Greenfield, who is -- after a very long night, both of you gentlemen are holding up extremely well. Thanks for giving us some time.

David, let me begin with you. Almost the first words out of Vice President Cheney's mouth today, the word "mandate." Is that what President Bush has earned with this extraordinary victory?

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: I think they have a right to call this a mandate for their conservative agenda, both at home and abroad.

This is a victory of great significance, perhaps of historic significance, you know, going up to 3-1/2 million votes on the popular vote side at the presidential level, but those Senate seats as well, the big pickups in the South, as well as knocking off Tom Daschle in South Dakota, as well as increasing their strength in the House.

This is the strongest Republican powerhouse we've seen perhaps since the days of President McKinley, and, after all, President McKinley was the breakthrough man that Karl Rove has made his role model for President Bush.

DOBBS: And the last president to talk in terms of -- powerfully of a mandate, President Clinton with only -- and a -- very small at that -- a plurality. This president has a majority, the highest popular vote in history. Can he make this mandate in effect stick?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Well, that depends on governance, but you can -- the losing side never acknowledges a mandate unless they have to.

Look, Clinton got five million more votes than the incumbent president. He wins. He got to govern. He got a high popular vote. This president -- the population's bigger, but he got a majority. He gets to govern. There's no question about the legitimacy of his victory.

Now the question is what happens when you put that into policy terms because you can take a huge mandate and kick it away, but the first -- the first President Bush got a huge -- big majority and did nothing with it. You can take a small mandate or a non-mandate and govern powerfully.

So, I mean, the proof's going to be in the pudding on this one, and I think we're going to know very quickly because If Chief Justice Rehnquist is as ill as he is supposed to be, we're going to have an issue that threatens to really make any attempt at unity almost impossible.

DOBBS: I want to get to -- go ahead, David.

GERGEN: I was going to add to that, Lou. The history here is that second terms have almost always been rougher than first terms for presidents, and there's a trap for them, and that's a trap of arrogance, that they can come out of -- their team can come out of a first term and think that they basically own the world and they try to do too much. Hubris sets in.

It happened to Franklin Roosevelt, for example, with his Court- Packing Plan back in 1937 just after he won a huge victory in 1936 and started his second term, and his second term was a mess. It's happened to a lot of presidents. I think that is the danger, that you have to temper that, I think, through appointments, but my expectation -- I'd be interested in hearing Jeff. My expectation is they will very much push forward now with the same agenda they've had.

They won't -- they won't go to the middle on the agenda. They may go to the middle or reach out a bit through the appointments process.

DOBBS: Jeff, you just heard David talk about this -- second terms typically being tougher than the first -- a recession, a stock market crash, September 11, the worst terrorist attacks in the history of the world, not only of this country, two wars. I don't think we could envision being worse and more challenging than this.

GREENFIELD: Well, I could give you one. If the pessimists economically are right -- and I think I'm stepping into your turf now -- the question of long-term unsustainable deficits leading to genuine economic hardships, I mean rapidly higher interest rates, the flight of capital, and what Robert Rubin has publicly been describing as his fear of a genuine effect on the standard of living.

Now, if that were to happen in terms of the political impact, it wouldn't be worse than Iraq and September 11, but it could absolutely throw the Republican Party off the tracks if they don't deal with it.

DOBBS: And I'd like to ask both of you this. David, the president today in his victory speech, I thought, was eloquent in part because he was succinct, but the message that he delivered, to bring Social Security to the floor, this is perhaps one of the least interesting, least sexy discussions that any politician can put forward for consumption, but that seems to me to have spoken to Jeff's point, that he is going to take on some tough issues here.

GERGEN: I think what you see right here today was a gracious speech, and Senator Kerry gave a gracious speech. I -- but I think with the conservatives, you'll see the steel fist and the velvet glove, and I'm not sure they'll do Social Security first, but there's no question they'll push forward for tax reform, moving toward a flat- tax system, and they're going to push very aggressively for that.

DOBBS: And the final question. President Bush reached out to those supporters of Senator Kerry and Senator Edwards. Jeff, do you think, A, he's sincere and, secondly, that he will make a strong effort to back up his words with action?

GREENFIELD: It may have been sincere, but the half-life of that sincerity is fairly short. You -- this is a Republican Party that is more agenda-driven than any Republican or Democratic Party I have seen in a long time. This is the realignment that the conservatives think has come, and the movement conservatives were fairly critical of President Bush in the first term for not controlling spending, for not really moving on education, Social Security reform. We may have some big fights here.

DOBBS: David, a final thought? GERGEN: Yes, I think we should extend congratulations to Jeff and to Wolf and to Carlos and Larry king. They were just really strong. And Jeff has been getting kudos all over the country today for his commentary last night.

DOBBS: And...

GREENFIELD: I fully agree.

DOBBS: And you know what? That makes it unanimous, Jeff. Thank you very much.

Jeff Greenfield. David Gergen.

Thank you, gentlemen.

GERGEN: Thank you.

DOBBS: Still ahead here tonight, record voter turnout in many parts of this country. We'll tell you which states had the highest percentage of the population cast ballots, and the winners and losers in this race extending far beyond the presidential candidates, of course. We'll have that special report coming right up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Republicans in the House and the Senate among the clear winners in this election. But, beyond the headline races, of course, there are some other winners and losers, and Bill Tucker has their story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL TUCKER, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Salazar brothers were big winners out in Colorado. The gentlemen farmers are both headed to Washington. Ken Salazar defeating Pete Coors for the open Senate Seat, and brother John won a congressional seat running on the slogan "Send a farmer to Congress."

California's Arnold Schwarzenegger backed 11 successful ballot initiatives, including his initiative on public funding of stem cell research.

Down in Texas, Representative Tom DeLay was a winner in winning reelection for the 11th time, despite three of us fund raisers being indicted and DeLay himself being unanimously admonished by the House Ethics Committee.

And media exit polls may be losers and may be history after early polling indicated a Kerry victory.

E.J. DIONNE, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Either the media exit polls lost or those who chose to interpret early numbers or overinterpret early numbers were the losers. There were a lot of -- there was a lot of champagne drunk before the polls closed by Democrats because of the exit polls. So probably the liquor stores were the winners. TUCKER: Many political consultants are also winners, but not all.

TERRY MCAULIFFE, CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: President-elect John Kerry!

TUCKER; Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Terry McAuliffe could be looking for work soon, along with Democratic adviser Bob Shrum who continued to fail to offer successful campaign advice.

And organized labor would appear to be a loser for, despite turning out its members, its candidates lost.

At the end of the night, it was enough to leave the losers in search of each other for comfort and solace.

JON STEWART, "THE DAILEY SHOW": It looks very red, and then there's some blue there at the top where many of us will most likely spend the next four years, I would imagine, huddled together and, in fact, weeping.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TUCKER: But let's not forget one final winner down in Washington, D.C., Lou. The once disgraced former mayor of the city, Marion Barry, is back. He won reelection to the city council.

DOBBS: Quite a list of winners and losers. Plenty to go around. Thanks for the snapshot of some of the most interesting.

Bill Tucker.

Coming up next here, a dominant Republican majority on Capitol Hill, how it's likely to effect the president's agenda in his second term. We'll have that story and the future of the Democratic Party. I'll be joined by one who has represented the soul and conscience of the Democratic Party, New York's former Governor Mario Cuomo joins me here next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: LOU DOBBS TONIGHT continues. Here now for more news, debate and opinion, Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: We had a remarkable turnout in this election, the highest, in fact, since 1968.

DOBBS: We had a remarkable turnout in this election, the highest in fact since 1968. Nearly 60 percent of voters went to the polls, some standing in line for hours to cast their ballots. According to Curtis Ganz, the director of the Committee For The Study of the American Electorate, the states, and we want to salute them, with the highest percentage of voter turnout are: Minnesota, 76.2 percent, Wisconsin 73.7 percent, New Hampshire with 71.6 percent, and interestingly enough, all of those states, they're in the blue column for Senator John Kerry. We want to give honorable mention at least right now because the final assessment is not in, the state of Oregon did pretty well, too. So we salute you.

The Republican party has increased its dominance on Capitol Hill, adding to its majority in both the House and the Senate. That strength will undoubtedly affect the president's agenda over the next four years. Kitty Pilgrim has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Can the president launch his own agenda virtually unimpeded? Is it carte blanche at the White House? Historians say he has a limited time to push his agenda.

ROBERT DALLER, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: He knows that he has just two years because after two years, the Congress is going to face another election. He could lose some of the seats in the House and Senate at that point.

PILGRIM: In foreign policy, the self-declared war president is still deeply engaged in bringing stability to Iraq. Iran and North Korea were back burner during the campaign, but now the president must deal with the specter of nuclear proliferation in two other members of the axis of evil.

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: If he succeeds in imposing some kind of stability in Iraq, if the elections are going forward, he's going to have a little bit of a stronger hand dealing with both Iran and North Korea.

PILGRIM: On domestic policy President Bush has already talked about pushing for Social Security reform and favors personal savings accounts. He also wants to revise federal income tax, calling it a complicated mess. President Bush is committed to the idea of a temporary worker program to give legal status to illegal aliens, and his trade policy is clear.

NORMAN ORNSTEIN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: We're going to have a trade agenda, including the promise to get through the Central American Free Trade Agreement. There are a lot of items out there, not many of them can really get done seriously without at least some bipartisanship.

PILGRIM: President Bush also promised to cut the budget deficit in half in the next four years. The Supreme Court could well be in flux. The health of Supreme Court Justice Rehnquist has revised speculation about how President Bush will shape the court.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(on camera): And political experts and historians say because the campaign race was so tight, and the country's so evenly divided, President Bush really doesn't have free rein, he'll have to do his utmost to reach out to all members of Congress to reunite the country -- Lou.

DOBBS: Kitty, thank you very much. Kitty Pilgrim.

My guest tonight, a prominent Democrat who endorsed Senator Kerry for president early in this primary season this year. Mario Cuomo, the former governor of New York, of course, and it is great to have you with us, Governor. I know this has to sting a bit to see the rollback of the House and Senate and of course the defeat of John Kerry in his race for the White House.

MARIO CUOMO (D), FMR. NEW YORK GOVERNOR: There's no question it was a disappointment, and even for me, and I was able to ward off those early exit polls, because I remembered 2000 when some of them were off eight points, 10 points, so I didn't take them as seriously as a lot of my friends did, but nevertheless it was a disappointment.

DOBBS: The idea that the Republicans now have so much power on Capitol Hill, and obviously in the White House, while as Kitty Pilgrim reported, there will be constraints, but they're certainly less fettered than they might have otherwise been. The inverse of that is that the Democratic party is diminished as a result of this awesome performance in terms of 3.5 million victory in the popular vote. Where does that leave the Democratic party going forward?

CUOMO: Well, the burden is now -- the burden of proof is now entirely on the Republicans, with a clarity that is unavoidable. They're talking about a mandate, they don't describe what is a mandate to do, but a mandate, which is to suggest that we've won great support. So now you have both Houses, you have the presidency, and you have established issues. Two years from now, you'll be running on those issues without an opponent that you can beat up. It's a little bit harder to avoid dealing with the issues. There are issues that are very good for the Democrats here. For example, Iraq proved to be a very good issue for Kerry, and it seems to me what Nancy Pelosi and Reid or Dodd, whoever is there in the Senate should do is stay on that issue, Iraq. It seems to me almost impossible for the president to do well over the next two years in Iraq. I think that's going to be a continuing problem.

On terrorism, the Democrats have a lot of space. They can point to Blair, who said today what the president should do on terrorism. He should expand his area of weapons to fight it. Right now it's all military. All he talks about is war. What Blair reminded him of is that economics and diplomacy are part of this fight as well. He shouldn't have waited for Blair to tell him but he's going to have to go in that direction.

And then you have the whole domestic agenda. The president said today he's going to reach out and earn the support of the Democrats. He doesn't mean that. Gergen is right. He's going to stand fast with his conservative agenda. That means he's going to do nothing about outsourcing, that means he's going to do nothing about those tax cuts that he's given that incentivize outsourcing. That means he'll probably do more tax cuts for the wealthy people. That means a Social Security program where he's going to need a trillion dollars to do it and can't explain how, so the Democrats, it seems to me, have a lot of issues, as long as they don't budge. What the Republicans will try to do is bring the Democrats to their knees, and that's a mistake with Nancy Pelosi. What they're going to say is, the president says I want to earn your support. I don't think he means it, respectfully. He's won, he's entitled to congratulations, and I give them to him, but what he's really saying as defined by Gergen, is you're going to have to do it our way or we'll beat you the way we've beaten others. And that's not going to happen. Democrats will stand fast, and I think they'll do well two years from now in the congressional elections.

DOBBS: Let me read something to you, in which I sense, Governor, that you still feel strongly about this campaign, you're still fully engaged on that basis.

CUOMO: I can't wait for 2006.

DOBBS: The governor of Nebraska, the Republican governor had this to say -- on values, today, referring to the Democratic party, really noncompetitive in the heartland, this kind of elitist eastern approach to the party is just devastating. And as we look at that map -- I don't think we have to put it up, I think everyone can still visualize blue on either side and a sea of red in between, is there something to what the governor says?

CUOMO: I have a problem. The report is moral values is 21 percent or whatever of the people who voted. You'd have to define moral values for me. I suspect what they mean is religious values. I suspect that with 40 percent of the people in this country being evangelical, when you say moral values, you're not talking about culture generally, what you wear, the way you talk, what sports you like, NASCAR or basketball. I think they're talking about religious values. If it's religious values, I think there's a lot of space for the Democrats. What they're talking about are basically negative religious values -- you can't do this, you can't do that, this is wrong, this is a sin. The largest part of most religions is the positive agenda. The agenda, for example, for Christians, Catholics specifically -- I happen to be a Catholic -- is an agenda that says take care of the poor, take care of the sick, provide for the working man. That whole area is a very strong one for Democrats to seize.

DOBBS: But did not President Bush here, too, accomplish something relatively unique? Because the stereotype, as some of those elitist eastern types talk about, this President Bush/Republican party is a white evangelical base that is conservative, but he won the Catholic vote in this country in this election. He beat out a Catholic for the Catholic vote. 40 percent of the Latino vote. 25 percent of the Jewish vote, not much, two points better with the black vote in this country, but it's obvious that it was a broader appeal than just that.

CUOMO: I don't think he got the Catholic vote on Catholic issues because he's not a Catholic.

DOBBS: That was actually my point.

CUOMO: Well, see, but this is why it's so tricky, Lou. The one issue on the Catholic side would be abortion, OK? All right. Abortion, if President Bush had a Catholic position on abortion, he would have to ask for a constitutional amendment barring abortion the way he approves of a constitutional amendment on gay marriage. He's never done that. And so in effect, he's never taken the Catholic position, which is no abortion under any circumstances, not even to save the life of the mother. He's never gone that far, he never will.

DOBBS: Governor Mario Cuomo, please come back soon, as we talk about the direction now of not only this administration and a Republican-led Congress, but the future of the Democratic party.

CUOMO: Thank you, Lou. I will.

DOBBS: Thank you Governor Cuomo. The 3 largest pro-Democratic 527 groups raised more than $125 million in this election. Despite that funding, the Democrats failed to win the White House, they failed to maintain their position in the House and the Senate. Now, the question is whether or not the efforts of those 527s had any impact at all? Lisa Sylvester reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KERRY: Earlier today...

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senator John Kerry was not the only loser today, billionaire George Soros pumped $27 million into 527 groups with the sole aim of defeating President Bush. 527s were supposed to be the Democrats' answer to President Bush's well-built fund-raising machine, but the Republicans beat the Democrats at their game.

ARON PILHOFER, CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY: The Republican's group, particularly the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and Progress for America Voter Fund outspent the Democratic groups in the final weeks of the campaign by a factor of 3 to 1, at least.

SYLVESTER: The Democratic groups, America Coming Together raised $61.8 million. The Media Fund $51.6 million, and Moveon.org, $12 million. The group spent more money in Ohio than in any other state on media ads and getting out the vote efforts. But Democrats still failed to win Ohio. Florida came in second in Democratic 527 spending, another state that Senator John Kerry did not win.

But money was not the only problem, according to political experts.

FROF. ALLAN LICHTMAN, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: It should be a loud, ringing wake-up call for the Democratic Party. There is a pretty crystal-clear vision out there on the part of the Republicans, the Democratic vision right now is as clear as mud.

SYLVESTER: 527 groups say they were an important part of the Democratic effort, but argue they could only do so much. Ohio, a state that went solidly to George W. Bush in 2000, became a competitive race in 2004. SIMON ROSENBERG, NEW DEMOCRAT NETWORK: Sometimes you lose elections and sometimes the other side just beats you. And I think in this election, George Bush and Karl Rove just beat us. They were a better team in the last week of the election than we were.

SYLVESTER: In the end 527s were a secret weapon, just not for the Democrats.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER: The Progress for the America Voter Fund, a Republican 527, spent more than all of the Democratic 527 groups combined in the last two weeks before the election -- Lou.

DOBBS: Incredible. I was about to say outsourcing doesn't work in politics either, but then again there are some exceptions to that as well. Lisa, thank you very much. Lisa Sylvester.

Coming up here next, controversial ballot initiatives all across the country. We'll report on how voters weighed in on gay marriage, and the invasion of illegal aliens into this country.

And I'll be joined by 3 of the nation's top political journalists right here, right now. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Now joining me, Casey Wian and Christine Romans, covering the ballot initiatives that had some a remarkable impact on this election. Proposition 200 passed in Arizona requiring proof of citizenship to vote. And of course the ban on gay marriage. Casey, let's start with you.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, supporters of the Protect Arizona Now initiative are relieved tonight. Despite an intense 11th hour media campaign by opponent, 56 percent of voters approved proposition 200. It requires new voters to prove their citizenship and blocks illegal aliens from receiving state and local welfare benefits. Government welfare workers who fail to report illegal aliens, are subject to criminal penalties.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATHY MCREE, CHMN. PROTECT ARIZONA NOW: It feels so good to thing that over half the citizens in this state saw through this despicable campaign against us that called us names. And it was based on nothing but smear tactics, smear campaign and scare tactics, misinformation and outright lies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIAN: Now, the anti-200 campaign was funded by Arizona's Chamber of Commerce, immigrants rights' groups and labor unions. And joined by leading politicians from Democratic governor Janet Napolitano to Republican senator John McCain. Opponents claim the measure is poorly worded, does nothing to prevent illegal aliens from crossing the border and unfairly targets Arizona's growing Latino population. But almost half of Latino voters voted for proposition 200, apparently ignoring claims the measure was racially motivated. While legal challenges could still delay or derail the measure, Governor Napolitano today said she would put the law into effect in a couple weeks, Lou.

DOBBS: I think the governor understands she better, because this is a carefully worded initiative. This is not going to be child's play here.

I think it's fascinating half of the support coming from the Latino, or Hispanic population. Some of these rights groups who are in the service, frankly in my view, of either the Chamber of Commerce, the corporate America or those trying to hire illegal aliens or organize them, the fact is they're American citizens, the Hispanic and Latinos. They're the ones being every bit effected as any other citizen. It's remarkable.

WIAN: The supporters say it shows the Latinos value their right to vote as much as any other American citizen does.

DOBBS: I would hope to shout. Thank you.

Christine, bring us up to date on what was a firestorm of activity on gay marriage.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It really was. Just 6 months after gays legally began marrying in Massachusetts, a national groundswell to opposition to gay marriage and civil unions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN MATSUSAKA, INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM INST: I've never seen -- I don't believe there's ever been a case where 13 measures with almost exactly identical language all passed by such strong majorities across the country. So, this is as clear a message as you're going to get from the ballot process.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: It wasn't even close. In most states, the amendments passed with at least 60 percent of the vote. In Mississippi, it was 86 percent. Even Oregon, where gay rights group spent heavily to defeat the ban, the amendment garnered 57 percent. Support was evenly spread among men, and women, blacks and whites. And political analysts say it proves that voters are taking moral values into the voting booth.

The bans keep gay couples from walking down the isle, but it doesn't keep this issue out of the courtroom. Civil liberty and gay rights' groups already preparing lawsuits in several states to challenge these amendments. But conservative groups are galvanized and protect growing support for a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Lou.

DOBBS: Remarkable, 11 states with that margin of victory. Christine Romans, Casey Wian, thank you both.

Still ahead here, this election, the concession, and 4 more years, three of the nation's top political journalists join me next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Joining me now covering the presidential election, from Boston Roger Simon, "U.S. News & World Report," Washington, D.C. Karen Tumulty "Time" magazine, New York, Marcus Mabry, "Newsweek." It's over, the president has accomplished a remarkable political feat, Roger, as a matter of fact, I remember you talking something about, wasn't it about 51-48?

ROGER SIMON, "U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT": Didn't I also say George Bush was going to win yesterday? I mentioned it. I made a note to myself. I got the margin. I didn't know who was going to win, but it is a big victory, it is a huge victory. It is a victory not only for -- a number of things, one of which I write about a lot, which is likability. Given a chance, Americans usually pick the most likable candidate, and I think they did it again yesterday.

DOBBS: Do you agree with that, Karen?

KAREN TUMULTY, "TIME": I think I do. Because if you look at the forces going into this election, the president was running with a 49 percent approval rating, 55 percent of the country was saying that it was going in the wrong direction, you go down a list of issues, and the country was much closer on most of them to John Kerry's position than it was to George Bush's. So I do think that the president was reelected not so much for what he was promising, but for who he is. And also for who John Kerry was, at least what the voters perceived him to be.

DOBBS: The guys -- you know, I love you and respect you all so much, but I just got to ask this question. I mean no disrespect, I assure you, but if Senator Kerry had been elected, would he have been more likable?

SIMON: No. I think he would have broken the rule. We would have been talking about Iraq, we would have been talking about a whole bunch of issues.

But seriously, if you go back, just in your mind, Lou, in the last election, pairing up the candidates, Americans like to vote for someone they feel comfortable with, whether it's someone they have a beer with or not, I don't know, but it's someone they feel safe and comfortable with, and George Bush fulfilled that more than John Kerry.

MARCUS MABRY, "NEWSWEEK": I think there's something else here, Lou. And we've talked about the exit polls, they weren't very right early on, they never really are as far as predictability of percentages, but they were right about the electorate and the values that they cared about.

This issue, the No. 1 issue coming out of exit polling was moral values. That topped terrorism, that topped Iraq, that topped the economy. I don't think any of us saw that coming. And I think that provided the margin in Ohio, I think it also provided the margin for what Karl Rove hoped would be a Republican majority party, and I think that's what they're going for now. And I think that is the key.

TUMULTY: These values, I think, are in fact the new political divide. It's not so much anymore along the lines of class, along the lines of economic interest. It is in fact the great political divide in this country I think is on values.

SIMON: I think that's true. Even issues like Iraq and terrorism were seen through a value prism. It is the simple value of patriotism. People backed the president, because they wanted to back his patriotic effort, and they were not about to throw a wartime president out of office during a war.

MABRY: But I think there's another issue here, too. I think this president who already governed as if he had a mandate, even though he didn't have a mandate at that point. Will he governor even more conservatively now? I think the conservative agenda will be more at the forefront of the administration now. And I think that could actually lead to problems within the Republican Party.

As a majority party, they have Arnold Schwarzenegger Republicans, Chrissy Todd Whitman Republicans, as well as Tom Delay and George Bush Republicans. I think they eventually could have a problem as a majority party, just like the Democrats did when they were the majority party.

DOBBS; The Democrats have got, obviously, a host of much larger problems and more immediate problems, I don't think they want to trade. But the fact is 40 percent of George Bush's support, Latino, 25 percent from the Jewish vote, taking away sizably from a typical Democratic constituency. Women, for crying out loud, winning -- George Bush won the Catholic vote against a campaigning Catholic candidate for president. This is saying something, is it not, about a change in both the appeal of this president and the Republican Party, Roger?

SIMON: Yes, I think it indicates that the Democrats, to a certainly extent, have lost their way. Their future is changing the constitution so Bill Clinton can run again. I mean, what they need, obviously, or I think it's obvious, is a more moderate candidate who can appeal to those southern and western states where they're getting hammered now. They're not going to retake the presidency by being these little fringes of blue on the continent and everybody in between red.

DOBBS: Guy I've got to break. We're completely out of time. Karen Tumulty thank you very much, Roger Simon as always. Marcus Mabry, thank you very much. I look forward to talking to you soon. We're going to have a lot to talk about. Thank you all.

Still ahead, we'll take a look at what's ahead tomorrow. Please stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Thanks for being with us tonight. Please join us tomorrow. For all of us here, good night from New York. ANDERSON COOPER 360 is next.

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