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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
Tornadoes Strike in Arkansas; Polls Just Closed in Guam: Who Did Voters Want?; Who Can Afford to Gamble in This Economy?
Aired May 3, 2008 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They said, "Get out right now. There's a tornado heading towards there. Get out right now."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Deadly storms strike. Forecasters say 25 suspected tornadoes touched down. And the extreme weather is on the move right now. Tornado watches have just been issued for three southern states.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And Americans voting. We've got results this morning, hopefully. The polls have just closed in Guam. Every delegate, of course, counts right now in this dramatic and tight Democratic race. We'll bring you the results as soon as a winner is announced.
NGUYEN: Also, betting on a recession. Who can afford to gamble on this economy? Well, apparently, a lot of people. We're going to take to Las Vegas this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mommy, oh, my God, I'm scared I think we're being robbed, I'm hiding help me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Can you imagine being at work and getting that text message from your teenage daughter who happens to be home alone when robbers come busting in? It happened, we will hear from the mom and the teenager this morning.
NGUYEN: What a story.
HOLMES: Yes, the text messaging comes in handy for a lot folks, doesn't it?
NGUYEN: Doesn't it?
HOLMES: Hello there, folks. We are at the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia. It's Saturday, May 3rd, I'm T.J. Holmes.
NGUYEN: Yes, good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen. And we do want to thank you for starting your day with us.
So, let's get it right to it. Straight to CNN meteorologist, Reynolds Wolf, in the severe weather center for the latest on these storms. We've heard about it for a couple of days now. And these are serious, Reynolds.
REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You're absolutely right. I mean, still very dangerous situation especially in parts of Alabama into Mississippi and Louisiana.
We're going to zoom in right now where we have a tornado watch in effect for these three states just in the sliver of the part of Alabama but into Mississippi and Louisiana, it's where the storms are at their worst. And no tornado warnings at this point, near Baton Rouge, just south of Marco (ph), the storms where are at there strongest. Hattiesburg, you have some strong activity where you have even more developing farther out to the west and in Birmingham, Alabama, get ready, the worst of it is on the way.
Here's the scenario for today. It's going to be these parallel boundaries sifting (ph) through to parts of the southeast, severe storms, large hail and possible tornadoes will be in order.
That's a look at your forecast. We'll send it back to you, guys.
NGUYEN: Oh, and what a forecast it is. OK, we'll stay on top of it as well. Thank you, Reynolds.
HOLMES: We do want to turn now to politics and that tight Democratic race and voting happening in Guam.
NGUYEN: Yes, the important vote in Guam. Now, that's something you probably thought you probably would never hear, right? But it just proves that every caucus and primary counts in this tight Democratic race. The U.S. territory in the Pacific has four delegates up to grabs. Polls closed just about an hour ago. And as soon as CNN can project a winner, we are going to bring that straight to you.
HOLMES: Momentum as always is up for grabs in this tight race. Also, we're heading into the bigger contest in North Carolina and Indiana.
CNN deputy political director and friend of ours here at CNN SATURDAY MORNING, Paul Steinhauser with the Election Express, joins us now live from Indianapolis this morning.
Every vote counts, not many delegates up for grabs in Guam, not a whole lot of attention. The candidates didn't really go there, if you will, all that way out there in the Pacific, but still, if there is a win, it's a win. Can they really expect to grab any kind of momentum or anything coming out of Guam?
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Probably they're going to grab any momentum coming out of Guam. But, T.J., just the fact that we're talking about Guam, it shows how close this race is and as you guys mentioned, every delegate matters. I mean, we started way back in January in the snows of Iowa and New Hampshire, but now, the campaign trail already reaches 4,000 miles southeast of Hawaii, to Guam.
As you guys said, four delegates at stake there. Eight delegates overall actually, but they only get half of vote. So, four, neither candidate wins there. But yes, both candidates, both campaigns advertising in the state, I mean, in the territory. And even a couple of campaign aides from Barack Obama's campaign went out there to try to get the vote out.
HOLMES: Give us a real -- and you talk about that, a couple of campaign aides, they put some ads out, give us, I guess, quantify this for us in some descriptive words you can find. How much attention did they really give to Guam?
STEINHAUSER: No, not a lot. They didn't spend a lot of money. A couple of people went out there they did -- but you know, T.J., it matters though. Four delegates do matter. And so, give Guam its day, and its day is right now and when we get the results out, we'll talk about them.
But the real action though, the real action is not in Guam, T.J., it's right here in Indiana and North Carolina. That's where the candidates are this weekend and you got those primaries coming up three days from today, T.J.
HOLMES: And we finally have, it appears, Paul, something that these two disagree about. They've been going back and forth and back and forth about this gas tax. We see all these press conferences, photo ops happening at gas stations, how is this playing out with the voters there? It sounds great -- hey, you're going to give any kind of a relief from this gas tax, but then Obama comes back to Hillary (ph) and says, it's not going to help at all.
STEINHAUSER: Yes, and they've been battling over this for about a week now. And why they're doing it -- because the economy is issue number one and what's the most important economic issue? Inflation, high gas prices, that's the most obvious thing in some people's minds.
Everyday when they drive down the street, they see those signs -- those big $3.60 or $3.70 or $3.80 a gallon signs, and people, you know, they're going to understand that right away. They can't -- it takes money out of their pocketbooks and wallets. There's a lot of middle class workers in this state, and you know what -- that gas tax, that relief from the gas tax may actually help. And that's what Hillary Clinton is doing. She's going after those voters who could be crucial in the state of Indiana.
Barack Obama is saying -- you know what -- it's all a gimmick. It's more Washington stuff and I'm trying to get away from it. And as you've said, they've been battling over this gas tax and John McCain as well for about a week now, T.J.
HOLMES: All right. Paul Steinhauser there in a beautiful Indianapolis, it looks like a great morning you have there with the Election Express. We appreciate it. Good to see you, as always, know we'll be talking to you again soon. Thanks so much.
STEINHAUSER: Take care.
HOLMES: And at the bottom of the hour, we will be talking to the chairman of Guam's Democratic Party for more on the vote count there and also the importance of the island territory and possibly get the final tally of the voting out there.
NGUYEN: We'll also have CNN's Brian Todd, you know, he cut his teeth as a journalist in Guam in the 1980s. He's going to join from Washington to talk about Guam and the impact the island nation is having today.
And as you just heard a little bit earlier, Reynolds Wolf just minutes ago, telling us about the violent weather out there. Well, we do have reports of damage in Nashville, Tennessee. That happened overnight. Heavy rains, strong winds, hail, even lighting kept residents on edge, but so far there are no reports of injuries or serious damage.
HOLMES: Well, we will turn back to our Reynolds Wolf. Reynolds, a tough, tough day for the people in Arkansas, is there a possibility we will see that kind of an outbreak and that violent weather again in some different states today (ph)?
WOLF: You know, it's happening right now. In fact, we have a new tornado warning that just came in moments ago right up the printer (ph), this one for Central Forest County in southeast Mississippi and East Lamar County, also in southeast Mississippi, here's the town of Purvis, here's the possible tornado that we have moving to the northeast, doing to quick left (ph) around 45-50 miles per hour. If you're tuning in from Purvis or maybe even to Hattiesburg, you need to take cover immediately, not 20 minutes from now, right now, you need to take shelter. No question about it.
In New Augusta, same story for you as this storm moves from back from west to east, you're going to be dealing with the same kind of issue. Right now, this is not a visual confirmed tornado, but as Doppler indicated, so, you certainly need to take cover immediately. Again, T.J., your question was: Are we going to see more of this, the answer is absolutely yes.
In Baton Rouge and back to the communities (INAUDIBLE), we have seen some strong storms. In New Orleans, you have a few scattered showers and we have a live image of New Orleans right now that shows the skies, as we expected, cloudy, you can see the rain drops coming done down. We can't see anything really, showing you the wind in terms of flags or what have you but I can guarantee, the winds will be picking up in French Quarter.
Back to the weather computer, let's go back as we can back from Mississippi and into Alabama, right along parts of I-65. You're going to be seeing these storms in northern Birmingham. Much of the activities back towards (INAUDIBLE) and in places like Red Mountain, I would expect the stronger showers, a few more storms move through I'd say in the next 10 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, back into Tennessee, we're seeing these storms also a little bit weaker than they were this morning. We have damage of course in Nashville. It's going to be a busy weather morning. It always is here on weekends.
Let's send it back to you.
NGUYEN: All right, Reynolds. We'll prepare for that and keep us posted if anything else happens out there. As we know, people are really just trying to take shelter in some of these areas that see that tornado warning. All right, thank you.
HOLMES: Reynolds, thank you. And I see what you are talking about. As many as 25 tornadoes cut through four central states yesterday.
Arkansas, the hardest hit, seven people killed, four them, children. One victim, a teenage girl, she died when a tree crashed into her bedroom while she was sleeping.
NGUYEN: iReporter Tim Kukuk took these photographs after a storm swept through the Kansas City area. Look at that. Tim was visiting his brother-in-law and they walked around the neighborhood, at least what's left of it, taking photos of this damage.
Now back in Arkansas, stunned residents, well, they did what they had to, begin cleaning up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They said, "Get out. There is a tornado heading towards there. Get out right now."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm so glad you are alive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not real. When you watch it on TV it's not real.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Until it happens to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe declared seven counties disaster areas including two that had tornado deaths back in February. Well, Van Buren is one of those counties dealing with a second tornado -- listen to this -- to strike in just three months.
CNN Sean Callebs is there near the town of Damascus. And, Sean, talk about bad luck, I mean, how prepared were these folks for this latest tornado?
SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's interesting because we heard the warning going out of Mississippi -- the fact, get out of the way now, take cover now, don't wait a few minutes. People here had a warning, but such little time by the time the storm like that forms, and then punishes an area.
I want to show just how tough these winds were. Look at this tree. This was a healthy, large tree. Simply uprooted and tossed down. People here did have a warning, we are coming in last night and we're at the airport. We see Chad Myers on the air last night, talking about tornado was on the ground last night at 10:00 o'clock Eastern Time.
So, it's just a very, very difficult day in this section of the country. Look at this house. This house was actually picked up off of its foundation which is actually about 20 yards back that way and just tossed right by the side of the road here. We're very close to Highway 65 -- driving in on that this morning, we saw big rigs that have been blown off the road as well, a large church devastated, some grain elevators as well.
And where we are right now, Betty, up that way, maybe about 50 yards, Scroggins Creek road and right now, members of the National Guard from Fayetteville, Arkansas, are at the end of that road, keeping people from going back in that area. That is where three people were killed when the tornado ripped through this area yesterday afternoon.
As I mentioned, people said they had some warning, but simply, not enough warning to take cover, get out of the way, and you can just see, you're humbled by how powerful these winds are and how suddenly something like that can just crop up in this section of the country.
NGUYEN: And the damage is just so extensive there. Sean, let me ask you this: As people try to get back into their homes and pick up what's left, do you have any idea when that's going to be able to happen?
CALLEBS: You know, it had to be a long, long day for people here yesterday because the storms blew through this section of Van Buren County in the afternoon. It's just after 6:00 o'clock in the morning here now, the sun came out just a short time ago. We haven't seen any homeowners out in this area.
We can tell you though, if you look back this way, there was a home clearly devastated by the tornado winds yesterday. That's an industrious individual, he got out, put some blue roof on that yesterday afternoon, to protect it from the rain that came down throughout yesterday.
It's a very, cool, crisp, light windy morning here. And it is going to be a long day for people in this area, Van Buren County in Central Arkansas, as they begin the effort to try and clean up and just hope they can get the rest of the season without another punishing tornado.
NGUYEN: Yes. It's just really hard to believe. It's the second twister to strike in just three months. Sean Callebs, thank you so much.
HOLMES: All right. We will be talking about weather all morning long. What's happening in Arkansas, what happened yesterday would also got a mess going today, kind to be under the gun in a lot of southern states.
All right. Well, we will talk about rolling the dice during a bad economy, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): You're spending money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
LEMON (voice-over): And according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, a lot of other people are spending money, too.
(on camera): With this economy, who can afford to shop and gamble?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Yes, business is never bad in Las Vegas, is it?
NGUYEN: No, especially if you're winning.
HOLMES: We will discuss luck lady during tough times.
NGUYEN: Also: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama kickoff the latest weekend of campaigning before Tuesday's crucial primaries in Indiana and North Carolina. So, who has the advantage and where? We're going to tell you.
NGUYEN: Storms moved through yesterday, deadly storms, and today, folks are not out of the woods just yet.
HOLMES: Not at all. Our Reynolds Wolf has been busy all morning. He's going to be busy all morning. Reynolds, what do you have for us with those storms (ph) happening right now?
WOLF: Yes, indeed it is. Right now, we have a tornado warning in effect for parts of Central Forest County in southeast Mississippi, also, East Central Lamar County in southeast Mississippi. The place we're looking at this spot right here, that would be Purvis, Mississippi, places like New Augusta, towns like Hattiesburg.
It is -- this cell that we see now just northeast of Purvis, that is drifting to the northeast and doing so at a very quick rate. One thing we've been seeing with all these storms is that of yesterday and today, although that line of storms is moving fairly quickly from west to east, the storms in themselves moving very rapidly inside the lines of the storms at a very quick rate around 50 miles per hour. So, people are not going to have a great deal of time to react and take cover.
So, if you happen to be Hattiesburg or New Augusta, you need to take cover immediately -- lowest floor of your home, away from outside windows certainly your best bet. That is the latest we've got for you. of course, we're going to have more all morning long. We're keeping a sharp eye on this unfolding weather situation. Thank you.
NGUYEN: We'll be talking with you very often, Reynolds. Thank you.
WOLF: You bet, guys.
HOLMES: We will turn back to some politics and, where oh where is John Edwards? You remember him, don't you? It's been three months since he dropped out of the presidential race, haven't heard much from him. You know, like, who he might be endorsing.
NGUYEN: Well, but now, there's a little more urgency with his home state, North Carolina, voting on Tuesday. So, this could explain the kind words from both camps.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And let me say what a great fighter North Carolina and working Americans everywhere have in John Edwards. John ran with compassion and conviction.
CLINTON: And his courageous fight to end poverty is a fight I will see to the finish.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to make sure that I say a special thanks to John and Elizabeth Edwards, because they really set the tone for this presidential race with their courage, with their ideas, with their passion and their commitment to working people and to making sure that we focus our attention on -- not just to have, not even to "have a littles and lot mores" but the have-nots in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: All right. So...
HOLMES: Where was all that when he was in the race?
NGUYEN: Exactly, a whole different story these days. So, let's get down to North Carolina, Indiana and what they really mean because they have a total of 187 delegates combined.
HOLMES: That's a whole lot. But looking past the polls, who has the advantage really and why?
The host of CNN's "THIS WEEK IN POLITICS," Tom Foreman takes a look for us.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN HOST: If you are an Obama supporter, if you like the senator from Chicago then keep a close eye on the northwest part of Indiana. This area is heavily influenced by Chicago TV, particularly Gary which is only about 25 miles from downtown Chicago. These folks have known about Obama for years and he's built a lot of support here.
But if you are a fan of Senator Clinton, you'll find much of the rest of Indiana tilted demographically in her favor.
Indiana is 89 percent white. That's above the national average, just a bit more than half the state is female, 52 percent -- that's another tiny edge that she might be able to exploit. And this could hurt him, 42 percent of the voters consider themselves conservative Democrats. So, they may not buy his message of change, they may prefer Clinton's message of experience.
When we fly over to North Carolina, the other primary state on Tuesday however, the tables and the demographics turn. The African- American population rises to 26 percent, more than twice the national average. North Carolina voters overall are slightly younger, that matters because the age gap has been profound in this race. Simply put, people under 45 more often vote for him, above 45, they go for her.
And North Carolina is a little bit better educated than average, in large part, because of the presence of some top universities, and more educated voters tend to back Obama. But even if Clinton does not win there, she needs to do pretty well because North Carolina is by population, one of the 10 biggest states in the country and her sales pitch for weeks has been "I can win the big states and he can't."
HOLMES: And Guam right now, in the spotlight this morning when it comes to presidential politics. We are waiting for the results from today's Democratic caucuses there. The tiny U.S. territory, that's west of Hawaii has four delegates up for grabs in a race where, of course, every delegate counts. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been making their pitches through campaign commercials and interviews and ads but neither has stopped by Guam in this presidential race.
NGUYEN: And you can join the best political team on television for a complete coverage Tuesday night, May 6th, starting at 7:00 Eastern only on CNN: Your home for politics.
HOLMES: Recession or no recession, some people are still rolling the dice heading to Las Vegas.
NGUYEN: Feeling lucky.
HOLMES: Feeling lucky during the tough, tough times.
NGUYEN: Plus: Listen to this -- a candidate offering free gas? HOLMES: I'll go for him.
NGUYEN: There's got to be a catch though and we're going to tell you about it.
HOLMES: All right. Free gas and politics. Yes, OK.
NGUYEN: That's where it gets a little messy here.
OK. Here's the story. An Indiana congressional candidate hopes a gas giveaway will pump up support. Luke Puckett gave away five gallons of gas to the first 25 cars to pull in to an Indiana service station yesterday.
HOLMES: That ads up to about $18 per car.
HOLMES: He's a Republican candidate who wants to drum up support for his plan to drill for oil in the Arctic and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. Isn't there some law against -- you can't buy a vote, that's kind of buy a vote, isn't it?
NGUYEN: In a way. But it wasn't the whole tank. That's why he just gave five gallons of gas.
HOLMES: There's a loophole I'm sure.
NGUYEN: I guess. I have no idea. All right. So, speaking of gas, you know, it's not much, but prices are inching down, believe it or not, just a bit.
HOLMES: How much, Betty?
NGUYEN: All right. Listen up because it's not. This morning, AAA indicates the national average for a gallon of unleaded regular is $1.61. So, what does that mean, T.J.?
HOLMES: That's a penny, Betty.
NGUYEN: Yes, exactly.
HOLMES: From yesterday.
NGUYEN: Hey, we'll take it, right?
HOLMES: We'll take anything. However, the problem here is it is still up 60 cents compared to this same time last year.
NGUYEN: You had to remind to this.
HOLMES: I did.
NGUYEN: Take Las Vegas. Why not, right? The "city of lights" has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation.
HOLMES: However, that is not stopping millions of people from rolling the dice on the Strip.
Here now, CNN's Don Lemon.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Are we in a recession or not in a recession?
CLINTON: We are sliding into a recession.
OBAMA: We're moving into a recession.
LEMON (voice-over): Everyone has an opinion.
PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH, UNITED STATES: We are not in a recession, we are in a slowdown.
LEMON: Whatever it is, it hasn't stopped millions of gamblers from betting on Las Vegas.
(on camera): You're gambling, you're shopping...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tanning, everything.
LEMON: You're spending money.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
LEMON (voice-over): And according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, a lot of other people are spending money, too.
(on camera): With this economy, who can afford to take shop and gamble?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can.
LEMON (voice-over): At least 3.1 million people visited Vegas in February, up slightly from a year ago. Well, with gas and food prices at an all-time high, foreclosure rates hitting a peak, can Vegas diehards continue to afford to spend as much? Don Soenoker is with the group from Kansas.
DON SOENOKER, LAS VEGAS TOURIST: We're just the average American. We don't make a lot of money. It's the rich that do all the gambling.
LEMON (on camera): So, why are you at Las Vegas?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tickets were bought a long time ago for a softball tournament.
LEMON: And have they not been, would you have come, do you think? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why not.
LEMON (voice-over): According to this group, it's simple. The basics like gas tanks always one (ph) out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a 15-passenger van and it costs over $100 to fill it.
LEMON (on camera): So, you think Vegas will be fine even with the economy?
SOENOKER: Yes. They'll still survive. There are people who will come to Vegas no matter what.
LEMON (voice-over): Millions still rolling the dice, still counting on lady luck in the midst of a fickle economy.
Don Lemon, CNN, Las Vegas.
NGUYEN: Well, we do have some severe weather to tell you about this morning.
HOLMES: We need to turn back to our Reynolds Wolf -- has a warning now -- a tornado warning and people need to listen up.
WOLF: Second warning, we have -- the first we have, of course, is in Mississippi that we have near Purvis. Here's the possible tornado moving well south of Hattiesburg. Just to the west of the city of New Augusta, a new warning has just popped out now right along parts of the Mississippi and Alabama border for the communities of Waynesboro, if you're back in Silas, Gilbertown, Toxey, or even Shubuta, at this point, you need to take cover immediately. This is the spot where the possible tornadoes are taking place.
We, again, jive visual confirmation, just Doppler implication but still, on this -- both these locations, you need to take cover immediately. We, of course, will be keeping you up to speed with this information. We'll send it back to you at the news desk.
NGUYEN: All right. Reynolds, we do thank you.
HOLMES: We are keeping an eye on weather, also keeping an eye on politics this morning in a tiny U.S. territory that's playing a big role in presidential politics today.
NGUYEN: Yes. Voters on the island of Guam are having their say in the race between Clinton and Obama. And we're going to have an update on the Democratic caucuses.
WOLF: Welcome back to CNN SATURDAY MORNING.
Keeping a sharp eye on some of the breaking weather stories we have in parts of the southeast especially in Mississippi where at south of Hattiesburg, a possible tornado now is moving east of Purvis and getting closer to the Alabama state line.
Anyone who happens to be tuning in from Hattiesburg area, perhaps the community of New Augusta, you need to cover immediately. Further to the northeast, we go right along parts of the Alabama and Mississippi state line in Waynesboro, Shubuta, back over to Toxey, Gilbertown, even in Silas -- you need to take cover, a possible tornado forming just to the southwest of Waynesboro at this time.
We're going to have more coming up in just a few moments. For now, let's send it back to you, T.J. and Betty.
NGUYEN: Serious weather out there. OK, thank you, Reynolds.
WOLF: You bet.
HOLMES: We are waiting right now for caucus results from Guam. The polls closed there about 90 minutes ago.
NGUYEN: Yes, with four delegates up for grabs, the U.S. territory in the Pacific is getting a whole lot of attention all of a sudden. And that just shows you how every single contest is critical in this tight Democratic race.
So, we're going to bring you the results just as soon as we get them in to CNN, but first though, let's explore this phenomenon, shall we? Guam is a political power house? Did you ever figure it will come to this?
CNN's Brian Todd joins us now live from Washington this morning. Whoever thought that Guam would play such an important role?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Betty, no one did. That's the short answer. Now, Guam has long been a strategic hub for the U.S. with a huge military presence there. A large naval base is in there, an Air Force base, and the marines will arrive there in a few years from Okinawa. But the island has largely been off the political path until now.
TODD (voice-over): Score one for the little guy. For a few hours, Guam becomes the epicenter of the Democratic presidential race. Guam?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Normally, no one even the porter (ph) in the campaigns would pay the slightest attention to what was going on in Guam. There hasn't been this much attention to Guam since World War II.
TODD: That was when the U.S. lost the islands and then won it back from the Japanese. Though this remote American territory, nearly 4,000 miles southwest of Honolulu, population, 175,000, is drawing unprecedented attention from the Democratic hopefuls for its caucuses, which are more like a primary. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama took out radio and print ads. Obama's had three staffers on the ground for weeks. Neither candidate has set foot on the island during this campaign, but Senator Clinton did stop there as first lady, a connection she cited in a recent video conference for a rally on Guam.
CLINTON: I so fondly remember my visit to your beautiful island in 1995. When I got home, I told my husband that if he went he would not want to come back.
TODD: Clinton and Obama are spending this energy for a total of eight pledged delegates from Guam who only have half a vote each. In addition, five superdelegates each get a full vote. So, Guam sends 13 delegates to the convention, but carries nine total votes. With the Democratic race so tight, a former governor of Guam who supports Obama, says, "Those votes matter."
CARL GUTIERREZ, (D) FMR. GOVERNOR OF GUAM: Now is the time for Guam and on the other territories to be able to select and maybe their votes maybe the ones that would put one of these two candidates over the top.
TODD: But the actual vote for president is another matter. For the general election, Guam does not have any votes in the Electoral College. So, essentially, its votes for president don't matter. These caucuses today, and I guess, last night, are really where the territory has political juice. And, Betty, right now, it's got more political juice than it ever has before.
NGUYEN: It is really hard to imagine and this, too -- that you cut your teeth as a journalist in Guam, we're going to take you down memory lane next hour. So, don't think you're getting off the hook.
TODD: All right.
NGUYEN: All right. Brian Todd, joining us live from Washington.
HOLMES: We want to know now how the people of Guam are handling all this attention. And joining us on the phone is Tony Charfauros, he's chairman of the Guam's Democratic Party, also a Democratic superdelegate.
Tony, we appreciate you're giving us some time. We'd just have our reporter there say that Guam has some political juice right above now. So, how are the people there handling this? Are you certainly seeing a lot more people getting involved in the process and a lot more voting in the caucuses this time around?
VOICE OF TONY CHARFAUROS, GUAM DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN: Oh, yes. I mean, you know, compared to four years ago, caucuses for the convention. I mean, I think with maybe even triple the amount of people that have come out to vote for the delegates and for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. HOLMES: And, Tony, is there a lot of confusion as well? I guess, you don't have a lot of experience, like you said -- maybe triple the number of people. So, a lot more people involve in the process, do they even understand the process?
CHARFAUROS: Well, you know, I guess -- all the attention that we're getting, I think, that it's just the participating process that I think the people really are so enthusiastic about. And I think, you know, being involved and, you know, voting for one of the most powerful man or person in the world, I think it's really important for our people here. So, and you get Democrats, independents, and Republicans voting.
HOLMES: And, Tony, quickly for me here, tell us -- there are a couple of issues unique to that island and unique to the people. They're not just going out and voting for somebody, they think might be popular, they do have issues they are voting on there in Guam. Tell us a couple of issues really that people out there were really judging these candidates on.
CHARFAUROS: Well, you know, the issues that really are dear to the people here is the war reparations, the war claims issue right now where our congresswoman has a bill in the Senate that is -- it's getting so close to getting it through, and that's important for the people here. They have waited for over 60 some years. I know a lot of them have beneficiaries have passed away but they got their descendants.
The other issue is the military bill that's coming up in the next four years. And I think it's important that the people understand that we want to know from the presidential candidates that if the military build up is going to come about, I think they want to make sure that the people here benefit outside the fence and not just within the fence. And it's important that the federal government assists us in terms of providing some federal dollars to infrastructure.
HOLMES: All right. So, now, I got to...
CHARFAUROS: The issue is the political status for Guam. I think that more people have waited so long for their quest for Guam's self determination. And I think those issues are important. And we're watching the candidates as they present themselves with this issue.
HOLMES: All right, Tony. Tony, thank you I've got to let you go here and, of course, like we said, you are a superdelegate. Just give me a name. Have you decided how you're voting for?
CHARFAUROS: I'm getting close to it. I just need to make sure that, you know, after all of this is said and done, that they don't just disappear and nothing happens that I want to see some follow up.
HOLMES: All right. I appreciate it. A typical superdelegate speech there, Tony Charfauros, chairman of Guam's Democratic Party. We appreciate you giving us sometime this morning.
NGUYEN: The answer is -- I'm not telling you, T.J.
NGUYEN: OK. So, let's talk about something else, may we get some answers to.
Saving money or just playing politics? They presidential candidates are still sparring over a gas tax holiday. Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain say they favor a summer suspension of the federal gasoline tax and they say cutting 18 cents off each gallon of gas would give drivers relief at the pumps.
Senator Clinton proposes a tax on oil company profits to make up for the billions lost, but, her Democratic rival, Barack Obama, says the gas tax holiday is a political gimmick and it's not going to work. Some economists agree. They say if gas prices drop, people would drive more, demand would increase, and then, gas prices would go right back up.
HOLMES: Well, are Americans actually driving less because of high gas prices? Are you?
NGUYEN: Yes, I am.
HOLMES: I think you are because...
NGUYEN: I'm starting to consolidate what I want to do and make sure that, yes, if I take a trip, I get a lot of things done.
HOLMES: You know, I think it's just, you make me drive everywhere, you pick me up, T.J.
NGUYEN: That's true. And you have an SUV. Burn your gas.
All right. Josh Levs is here with the reality check on gas prices and driving habits.
JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, guys.
HOLMES: Yes, we have to go through that.
LEVS: I do. Did you guys see the story about the guy who has said he's taking the horse to work now?
NGUYEN: Yes. And he says if the gas prices are not dropping, he's going to camp out?
HOLMES: He's going to camp out at city hall.
LEVS: He camp out of city hall so he can just walk back and forth there. OK. (INAUDIBLE).
So here is the thing, I started to wonder: are a lot of people really starting to make this lifestyle changes like this two over here? The reality: not so much.
BUSH: High gasoline prices.
CLINTON: This increase in fuel prices.
OBAMA: Gas prices.
MCCAIN: Our dependence on foreign oil.
LEVS (voice-over): While the president and those vying for his job debate what to do about the soaring gas prices, there's something individual Americans can do.
PETER BEUTEL, OIL INDUSTRY ANALYST: At this point, really, our only way of getting prices down is for us to voluntary cut demand.
LEVS: Is that happening? Not really. The Energy Information Administration reports that demand in the second and third week April was higher than for the same time last year. In the final week of April, it was slightly below last year but still about the same amount, nearly 400 million gallons a day.
So, does this mean Americans by and large are not responding to this sky-high gas prices in a tangible way? Actually, no. There is a way Americans are responding with their pocketbooks. They're buying smaller cars that require less fuel. GM is reporting a 27 percent drop in its truck and SUV sales in April compared to the same month last year. Ford said its SUV sales are down 36 percent. Toyota said its SUV sales fell 8 percent, while sales of its hybrid Prius were up 67 percent.
These changes had not yet translated into major changes in gasoline demand but they do show Americans are taking action. One expert says, "If Americans don't decrease demand for gasoline, the only other possibility may be...
BEUTEL: For a recession to cut demand without really our permission.
LEVS: And of course, nobody wants to see that. Now, in the mode of reality check here, I'm going to point out that we're not the most expensive gasoline in the world. This is the list of the most expensive gas all over the world. These are how much people are paying for a gallon of gasoline by now.
NGUYEN: Look at Sierra Leone, $18.42. Sierra Leone is the second poorest country in the world and yet, they got the highest gas prices?
LEVS: I know. Well, OK, but one thing to keep in mind is that they buy less gas than we do. They don't need it as much. There's a dollar change. Even so, it's ridiculous. I know it's extreme.
And look at the cheapest over here. I mean, some countries subsidized it so much, look at that. Venezuela, 12 cents a gallon all the way up to -- Swaziland where you got 54 cents a gallon. I mean, a lot of it does have to do with refining and taxes and those kinds of things that can affect in every country. We're like 111th on the list of most expensive nations there.
NGUYEN: And yet, we complain everyday. But it seems like it's going up everyday.
LEVS: Right. It could hit $4 a gallon. If it does, then, a lot of people (INAUDIBLE).
NGUYEN: Don't say that.
LEVS: I know. Sorry.
NGUYEN: All right. Yes, Josh, we're done. Thanks.
HOLMES: Right. We need to turn back to our Reynolds Wolf who's keeping an eye on some extreme weather this morning. What do you have now, Reynolds?
WOLF: Well, we're watching, of course, the tornado watches and warnings that we have scattered throughout parts of the southeast. And coming up, we're going to be bringing the very latest. Also, we're going to have a live report out of Nashville, Tennessee on the storm damage that occurred during the overnight hours.
That and more are coming up. You're watching CNN SATURDAY MORNING.
NGUYEN: We're trying to get to the pictures of those horses, speaking of church hill down.
HOLMES: Yes, they'll get the idea. You know, a little bit of confetti, just hours now before the running of the 134th Kentucky derby.
NGUYEN: And before you reach for your Mint Julep and that fabulous hat, we have a few derby fun facts for you, all right. So, listen up.
Every year, more than 100,000 Mint Juleps are served during "Derby Weekend."
HOLMES: Yes, and in case you're wondering...
NGUYEN: It's a lot of drinking.
HOLMES: Early Times is the official whiskey of those Mint Juleps. I did not know that.
NGUYEN: All right. Yes, me, neither. But, let's get to the horses and the jockeys because the jockeys actually started wearing those brightly-colored racing silks to help distinguish horses and their riders from each other.
HOLMES: All right. And as you know that Adriano is in trouble today?
NGUYEN: Who's Adriano?
HOLMES: That horse is in the 15th starting post position.
HOLMES: And no horse has every won a derby from that 15th post position.
HOLMES: Ever in life. Adriano, do not put your money on that horse.
NGUYEN: No, don't say that. You know what, put all your money on Adriano because you're kind of make some cash if he wins.
HOLMES: OK. Yes, I'm going to give people your...
NGUYEN: We're totally opposite.
HOLMES: ... where to start writing into you when they lose their money today.
NGUYEN: No, don't come to me.
HOLMES: Our guy Pretty Ricky, our sports business analyst, Pretty Ricky, you know what's his name, his nickname -- that sounds like a pretty good name for a horse. Rick, are you paying attention to us this morning?
RICK HORROW, CNN SPORTS BUSINESS ANALYST: Yes, I'm looking at the field. I got a couple of bucks. So, Adriano is 15th.
HORROW: You want (ph) a couple of bucks, you're going to tell me that -- you never come (INAUDIBLE).
NGUYEN: Well, what are the odds on that -- Adriano horse 15 to one?
HORROW: Adriano 15th spot, forget it. So, the favorite obviously is Big Brown, (INAUDIBLE), Kernel John.
NGUYEN: You know what, take those dollars put it on Adriano for me, OK?
HORROW: For you? All right. Good, fine, you'll never see it.
NGUYEN: Especially if you win.
HOLMES: And speaking of money, you got the cash there. Today is all about money. Right?
HORROW: Yes, it is. And it's not just the $1.4 million first prize for whoever wins, but also the dollars for the horses that don't get in. Look, how expensive it is. There is a horse called Green Monkey, a couple of years ago, it would have been the favorite. He was won for $16 million at auction.
Not good enough, some bad luck, didn't make it this year. $16 million buys you a triple A baseball team, buys you part of the movie investment, buys you a soccer team, but it doesn't buy a horse that could win the derby, let alone even get in.
HOLMES: Is this race still going stronger than ever? People just seem to love this. We're talking about the 134th running. Is it losing any steam, is it gaining steam?
HORROW: Well, the race only takes two minutes. The excitement is all day. It's $40,000 for a VIP package per person. It's $4,000 for a millionaire's row ticket. For you and Betty, which is kind of demographic, for you, $45 gets you infield (ph) ticket. By the way, you two, both who have a context (ph) for the CPO, chief party officer, if you're in the infield, you're eligible for that and there's a new...
NGUYEN: Is it a big mosh pit down in the infield?
HORROW: A huge most pit by the way. It's like Daytona or NASCAR race, same kind of thing. You ought to go down there one day. But not on your high heels by the way, not the heels.
HOLMES: What about TV? People seem to tune in to this thing? What are the TV ratings these days? Do we know?
HORROW: Well, they're good. The issue is we haven't had a triple crown in a long time and that was the excitement, that's the sponsorship, that's the tick. The beauty about the Kentucky derby, it's almost like the first two games of NFL season, everybody is undefeated and the winner automatically has a chance for the triple crown the next week. So, nobody's disqualified in essence.
But the bottom line is, secretary, Barbaro (ph), all of those horses created that folklore for TV, on TV, because of their wins to the derby. You have Smarty Jones, you have other horses as well, who were the people's horses. Remember, the off track betting about $150 million on the derby, at the derby itself, about $100 million of gambling, you buy a hat by the way for $2,500, one of those big floppy hats if you want, in addition to one of those 100,000 (INAUDIBLE) that you talked about.
HOLMES: You would look good in one of those hats. But why aren't you at the derby, we thought that we're going to see from the derby this weekend? HORROW: I got a whole bunch of other sporting events to go to, OK? So, you know, I can't be everywhere at once. I can't be everywhere at once. And the bottom line is, I would rather watch it on television it is over in two minutes and then I can go and play golf.
NGUYEN: At least he's honest.
HOLMES: We appreciate you as always, buddy. See you again soon.
HORROW: All right. Bye.
NGUYEN: All right. Listen to this story: hiding from invaders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAUREN DURNBAUGH, STOPPED HOME BURGLARY: It was like at times when they were so close to me that I could not breathe, I was scared. I didn't do what to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: But she did know what to do. So, she let her fingers do the talking.
NGUYEN: Here are some of the other stories that we are watching for you this morning
HOLMES: This, a year ago today, Madeline McCann vanished from her parents' hotel room in Portugal. The little British girl has not been found and Portuguese police say they are still investigating leads there. Church services today to mark the anniversary in Portugal and in England where the McCann family lives.
NGUYEN: Well, the Olympic torch relay is in Macau, China today -- the gambling capital of the world, did you know that? Runners are carrying the flame past the glimpsy (ph) Las Vegas casinos as well as old colonial buildings and so far, there have been no protests reported.
HOLMES: Well now, let's take a look at Cape Canaveral, Florida live -- a beautiful look this morning to the space shuttle Discovery. It reached the launch pad about two hours ago, made the slow trek down the 3.5 mile strip to get there. The NASA begun rolling out the shuttle early this morning, Discovery is set to take off for the international space station at the end of this month.
NGUYEN: Well, right now, folks are dealing with some severe weather outside. We're talking tornado warnings. So, let's get it straight to Reynolds Wolf who has been watching this all morning long. I know it's serious, you've got those sleeves rolled up, who is affected right now?
WOLF: Right now, a good part of the southeast, in fact, we've got a tornado watch that is in effect for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and even into just a sliver of Alabama. Let's go right to the weather maps, I'll show quickly. We have some good news and the good news that we have at this point is that one of the tornado warnings for the areas near Purvis, into south of Hattiesburg, are no longer in effect. That some great news.
However, we still have a tornado warning to contend with near Waynesboro. And I'll tell you, places like communities like Silas, back over to Gilbertown, Coffeeville, even into New Orleans (ph). Certainly, you have to take cover immediately, no visual confirmation on these tornadoes as of yet but there is the possibility that we may see more of them.
Now, it is, again, jazz fest in New Orleans, we're expecting these storms near Baton Rouge right through parts of the French Quarter by certainly be advised. And that the storms will extend back into Alabama, in fact, into Tennessee, where we saw some storm damage in Nashville.
On the other side of the system, it's not a rainmaker but snowmaker in parts of well -- now just east of Minneapolis and to the west of Green Bay. Again, another big weather day for us, and make sure you stay tuned. We'll give you the very latest right here on CNN. Back to you, guys.
NGUYEN: Well, they'll do that for sure. OK, thank you, Reynolds.
WOLF: You bet.
NGUYEN: So, thinking fast and texting faster.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DURNBAUGH: Mommy, oh, my God, I'm scared, I think we're being robbed, I'm hiding help me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: A lady actually got that text message from her teenage daughter. Mom was at work at the time. The kid was at home alone when robbers came busting in. It happened. We'll hear from the mom and the teenager.
HOLMES: A teenager caught home alone when burglars target her house.
NGUYEN: So, thinking fast, she found the place to hide and then found a modern day method to quietly call for help.
Here's Brittany Westbrook with affiliate WBNS.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRITTANY WESTBROOK, WBNS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Lauren Durnbaugh was alone, her mother was at work and someone was turning the knob on the front door.
LAUREN DURNBAUGH, STOPPED HOME BURGLARY: He opened it just a little bit and said, "Is anyone home?" And that's the point where I ran to my room.
WESTBROOK: She thought the closet is where they will look first. So, Lauren went where many kids go when they're scared, under the covers.
DURNBAUGH: I grabbed my covers and (INAUDIBLE) like this and for like at times when they were so close to me that I could not breathe, I was scared. I didn't do what to do.
WESTBROOK: Call it a teenager's instincts, but at that moment, she let her fingers do the talking, in a text message to mom.
DURNBAUGH: It says, "Mommy, oh, my God, I'm scared. I think we're being robbed. I'm hiding, help me.
MARGO ROBY, LAUREN'S MOTHER: I was scared to death. I thought, "Oh, my God, do they have her?"
WESTBROOK: Margo called 911 and sped home where she found this car, the thief's car still in the driveway. She rammed her car into theirs.
ROBY: And my instinct was to stop her. So, I got out. And that's when, again, you know, you have the white all over my jacket where I was pushed against the wall.
WESTBROOK: Seconds later sheriff deputies arrived and arrested the suspects. And finally, she was able to get to her little girl.
ROBY: I'm amazed that she held on like that.
WESTBROOK: Under the covers until she knew she was safe.
DURNBAUGH: My mom yelled in here and said, "It was OK, come out," and I got up and I can barely (INAUDIBLE), I was so happy.
NGUYEN: That is one lucky little girl. I mean, I just wonder how long it took to text that message.
HOLMES: You know, you have -- that Razr, you've got to type it a couple of times.
NGUYEN: Right. A couple of times before you get the actual letter that you want. But then she hid under her covers.
HOLMES: It's a natural reaction. It's not -- it might not seem like the best place but it worked. NGUYEN: It doesn't, but when you saw the video there, if that was her underneath it, it did, it looked like someone just threw the covers over and there you go.
HOLMES: It all worked all.
NGUYEN: Good for her.
HOLMES: And the next hour of CNN SATURDAY MORNING begins right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not normal. We outrank Oklahoma for tornadoes now and Arkansas has never seen nothing like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: A deadly day in Arkansas, tornadoes cause major destruction there and several other states. We have new tornado warnings that have just been issued. All of the latest on the extreme weather straight ahead.
NGUYEN: Americans voting this morning. The polls, they have closed in Guam. That's right. Every delegate counts in this close Democratic race and we're going to bring you the results just as soon as a winner is announced.
In the meantime though, good morning everybody on this Saturday from the CNN center here in Atlanta. I'm Betty Nguyen.
HOLMES: And hello. I'm T.J. Holmes, glad you could start your day with us.
We will start with tornadoes and powerful winds ripping across Arkansas. At least eight people killed, possibly more injuries to tell you about, hundreds of homes damaged.
NGUYEN: This morning, some counties are cleaning up from the second tornado in three months. Our Sean Callebs is in Damascus, Arkansas and is that correct? This is the second one to come through in just three months.
CALLEBS: Exactly right. We actually got to talk to some local residents a short while ago and there was one that hit just to the north of this area, less than two miles from here within the past three months.
Just look at the damage from yesterday afternoon's tornado. This house ripped off of its foundation, picked up, slammed down right by the road here and just to show you how much the landscape has changed here dramatically since yesterday afternoon, I want to point out to that house just in the distance there. You see that the intrepid owner of that house has already got some blue tarp up on there.
Well, we're going to talk with him right now. His name is Doyce Stevenson. He's 69-years-old, lived in this area basically your whole life, right. Doyce, thanks very much for coming out and chatting with us this morning. You told me just a moment ago, you've lived there for 20 plus years. A year and a half ago, he decided to build a storm cellar.
How important was that to you yesterday afternoon? Tell me what happened.
DOYCE STEVENSON, TORNADO SURVIVOR: That's the only thing that saved me because I was in there holding the door closed.
CALLEBS: You went down there when you knew the storm was coming. Your son-in-law called you, said get to safety.
STEVENSON: I was on my way when he called.
CALLEBS: What was it like? Tell me what it was like.
STEVENSON: You don't want to go through it. It's just unbelievable.
CALLEBS: You said before you went in, the sky was so dark, you couldn't see anything. Debris was flying everywhere.
STEVENSON: Rain, wind, you couldn't hardly see nothing. Once I got in there and it hit, you could put your hand up against your nose, still couldn't have seen it.
CALLEBS: Well, look at this house here. You can see the damage here. When you came out of the storm cellar yesterday after the tornado came through here, what did you think? Did you believe the devast (ph) ...
STEVENSON: I knew it all gone. I knew just from the sound of it there wasn't nothing left.
CALLEBS: Well, Doyce, you told...
STEVENSON: I've been in two or three of them, but not that close.
CALLEBS: Don't ever want to be in another one.
STEVENSON: I wouldn't want to be, no.
CALLEBS: A lot of heavy hearts in this area today because the Bramley's (ph) who lived just down that road, three people perished in the tornado yesterday. Tell me about those people and how difficult this community to know that you've lost some friends.
STEVENSON: It's hard for everybody to believe because they had a storm (INAUDIBLE) but they didn't use it.
CALLEBS: Unbelievable. Well, Doyce, thanks very much for joining us out here. I know you got a lot of work to do to try and pick up from this area. Incidentally, he told me this house here was actually for sale. It was on 18 acres of land out here Betty and T.J. and just the damage as the sun really begins to come across this whole area. We're getting the full picture. National Guard still at the end of the road, Scroggins (ph) Creek Road, just about 50 yards from where we are which is where the Bramley family was yesterday when the tornado hit. They are going to continue to be on that. That road remains closed to the public.
But what a very, very tough day for the folks here in this area -- Betty.
NGUYEN: And it's just the beginning. They have so much work to do. Sean Callebs, thank you for that.
HOLMES: Listen to this close call in Tennessee. A storm blew a mobile home across the street last night, the family still inside. They were shaken up a bit, as you can imagine, but nobody hurt. A few of the homes in the Montgomery County area were also damaged. Heavy rains, strong winds and hail also struck middle and western Tennessee last night.
NGUYEN: We're getting pictures of storm damage from many of you today. I-reporter Steve Craft sent us these photos that he took in his driveway in Liberty, Missouri, at least what's left of that neighborhood there. You can see a house destroyed by a tornado. Craft says houses down the street were damaged, but his home luckily was not.
Check this out, the snowstorm in South Dakota. Get that picture up for you from I-reporter John Longoria in Rapid City, all right, we're having a little trouble with that. Yeah, there's the snow. You can barely make out the house for all the white stuff. He said two weeks ago he was wearing shorts and sandals, but not today.
HOLMES: Wow. How is that working out? Shorts and sandals. Can you believe that?
NGUYEN: Just a turn of the wind and storms and your house is filled with, at least outside, all of that snow because of the accumulation.
HOLMES: And we appreciate our I-reporters as always helping us tell the story. Our Reynolds Wolf has the bigger picture and the most important picture right now because of what's happening in several other states right now under the gun.
NGUYEN: Let's move to politics right now and the battle for every single Democratic delegate. This morning, that fight moves into the tiny U.S. territory of Guam and we're waiting for those results at this moment. As soon as we get them, of course, we're going to bring them to you. As soon as we have a winner, we'll announce it.
But in the meantime, CNN deputy political director Paul Steinhauser is live in Indianapolis this morning with the election express. You may be in Indianapolis but right now it's all about Guam, Paul.
STEINHAUSER: You know, this is just a sign of how close things are right now in this battle for the Democratic nomination we're talking about Guam. It's a U.S. territory about 4,000 miles southwest of Hawaii in the Pacific, large military base there, four delegates at stake.
We are talking about Guam because you know what? Right now, every delegate matters. Once we get those results, we'll talk more about that. But, you know, Barack Obama, his campaign sent a couple of campaign workers down there. Both campaigns were advertising in Guam. Neither candidate went there, but Betty, Guam matters.
NGUYEN: Yes, it does. But at the same time though, a lot of focus is still on North Carolina and Indiana. We have those big primaries coming up on Tuesday. How important is this in the race? Is this going to be the deciding factor and could we see someone bow out after it?
STEINHAUSER: It is very important for both candidates. Both candidates need to do well on Tuesday when both North Carolina and Indiana hold primaries, 72 delegates at stake here in Indiana, 115 in North Carolina, both candidates yesterday campaigning in North Carolina and both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama last night attended a Democratic dinner in North Carolina. It's interesting, they both said they would support the eventual nominee whoever it is.
One person who wasn't there, former presidential candidate and former U.S. senator from North Carolina John Edwards, both candidates spoke about John Edwards last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I want to make sure that I say a special thanks to John and Elizabeth Edwards because they really set the tone for this presidential race with their courage, with their ideas, with their passion and their commitment to working people and to making sure that we focus our attention on not just the haves, not even the have little and want mores but the have nots in America.
CLINTON: And let me say what a great fighter North Carolina and working Americans everywhere have in John Edwards. John ran with compassion and conviction. And his courageous fight to end poverty is a fight I will see to the finish.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER: We don't expect John Edwards to endorse either candidate before Tuesday's primary. Clinton is down about 10 points to Obama right now in the polls in North Carolina. Here in Indiana where both candidates will end tonight, it's about dead even -- Betty?
NGUYEN: All right, Paul, thank you. HOLMES: And we don't get to say this much, but this is Guam's time to shine. The small island getting the chance to be on the big political stage, first time for that island. Guam is a little ways off here, out in the Pacific Ocean, 14 hours ahead of Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. is where Brian Todd is standing by.
Brian, good morning to you. We've been waiting all morning to talk to you. We're going it to get into some of that video of you in a little bit. You had some experience in Guam.
TODD: Maybe I should pay you not to run it.
HOLMES: We can negotiate here in a second. But today, certainly a big day for Guam.
TODD: It is T.J. It really is the time for this island to shine pretty much more than it ever of has in the political spotlight in America. Before as you heard Paul Steinhauser mention earlier, there are four pledged delegates at stake here. The island also has five super delegates. So a total of nine votes will be headed to the Democratic convention, so not insignificant in this very, very tight Democratic race.
That's why these candidates have actually put more resources on the ground there than they ever have before, than any candidate has really before in the presidential race.
Hillary Clinton has taken out radio and print ads there, as has Barack Obama. He has taken the additional step of putting three staffers on the ground now for three weeks, not an inconsequential amount of money to spend to send people out there, costs a lot just to fly to Guam, so they realize what's at stake here and they're really fighting for every delegate.
HOLMES: Can those three -- he has three people on the ground there? Can they make some kind of a difference? I guess any advantage is an advantage right now.
TODD: They can make a difference actually. The island is only 30 miles long. It's got 19 villages, which make up essentially its constituencies. These people can do a lot in three weeks to reach out to them. You can essentially go to a village a day and then keep going back to them and talking to people on the ground. It really is a great place to kind of connect on the grassroots level. You know, who knows, depending on how Obama does tonight, it may have been a very good investment.
HOLMES: And I know, we're talking to you about it and people can tell that you know your stuff about Guam and it's not just because you got on Wikipedia or something this morning. You have some experience with this place. Tell us, you know a lot about it and we can show people why. You were there.
TODD: Yeah, I was there.
HOLMES: Let's take a watch and listen to you as well. Look at this guy.
TODD: That's -- I was covering a bicycle race there. I was a reporter for Guam cable TV in 1986 and '87 and that's kind of where I got my on-air start. I was really hoping you wouldn't run that video, but there it is anyway, you got to love the ...
NGUYEN: What are you wearing there? Is that a jersey? I mean is that standard attire for reporters in Guam?
TODD: I was riding in the race while I was covering it. But actually it was interesting in the anchor desk at the station, whether you're reporting from the anchor desk or elsewhere, you are actually allowed to wear Hawaiian shirts, so pretty informal.
HOLMES: We will try to get that policy here at CNN soon.
NGUYEN: He'll be wearing the hula skirt, though. Thank you, Brian.
HOLMES: Thanks so much this morning, Brian.
We will turn to those gas prices, the outrageous gas prices.
NGUYEN: We're going to show you how you can conserve gas and actually save some cash. We are going to take a trip to the gas station. That is straight ahead.
HOLMES: And a little later, "HOUSE CALL" with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, guys.
It's all about things that might make you sick this morning. First up, we take a peek inside a home to see where potential allergens could be lurking. You might be surprised by this. Then we go to the doctor to get better, right? But you could leave with an infection. Tips you can't afford to miss.
Plus, unhealthy eating habits sent one man to almost 400 pounds. Details about his amazing turnaround on "HOUSE CALL" at 8:30.
NGUYEN: All right. Those dreaded gas prices on the rise, yet again. There's not much we can do about it, right?
HOLMES: But there are some things we can do to conserve and maybe save you a little money. CNN's Kathleen Koch has some tips for us here. She's joining us from the service station in the nation's capital.
Let us see the numbers behind you there.
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the numbers here are a little bit higher than they are in much of the rest of the country, T.J.. Average gas price right now is about $3.61 a gallon, here as you see it's $3.71. Obviously drivers around the country are trying to find ways to squeeze every mile they can out of every gallon of gas.
We started talking to the experts last week, this week and let's run down their list of tips. First of all, they say check your air filter. A clean air filter can boost gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. In other words, changing a dirty air filter can save the equivalent of 35 cents a gallon. That will carry you an extra 23 miles on a typical gallon of gas.
Another tip -- get an alignment. Poor alignment not only causes your tires to wear more quickly, but forces your engine to work harder and that reduces your gas mileage by about 10 percent. So if you fix that alignment, you can save another 35 cents a gallon.
Another tip -- get a tune-up. A properly tuned engine will improve your mileage by as much as 4 percent. That's the equivalent of saving 14 cents a gallon.
The Energy Department says you can also save gas where the rubber meets the road.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID RODGERS, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY: Don't forget to check the pressure on your tires. Driving around on tires that are under- inflated is going to cost you an extra 7 cents a gallon at the pump. To find the right pressure, be sure and check your vehicle manufacturer's recommendations which can be found in your owner's manual or on the inside of the driver's door because pressures do vary by vehicle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOCH: Another tip -- get rid of the junk in your trunk. Every 100 pounds you carry in the trunk of your car cuts your car's energy efficiency by one to two percent. If you drop that weight, you'll save about four cents a gallon.
Don't speed. For every five miles an hour that you reduce your highway speed, you'll cut your fuel consumption by 7 percent. If you normally drive 70 miles an hour on the highway, cut it down to 65 and then you'll save 25 cents a gallon. So lots of ways that if you're smart, you can stretch that gas dollar just a little bit, guys.
Back to you.
NGUYEN: Good tips. I've really got to lay off the gas though. I've got a lead food. I've got to get there as quickly as possible. OK, I do, save some money, keep that in mind.
Thank you, Kathleen.
HOLMES: Also keep you from getting a ticket.
NGUYEN: I know. I've gotten plenty of them.
HOLMES: She's not kidding, folks. Well, fueling (INAUDIBLE) gas prices, the soaring cost of oil. The price hit a record of almost $1 or rather $120 a barrel this week. They did fall back just slightly.
NGUYEN: But not that much. So where does the U.S. get its oil? Where does it all come from? Josh Levs is here with a reality check. Hey Josh.
LEVS: Is that you with that screeching noises I hear in the parking lot?
LEVS: She's coming, she's coming.
NGUYEN: Get off the road.
HOLMES: The screaming, the pedestrian.
NGUYEN: I'm not that bad.
LEVS: Just a couple quick facts for you guys about oil and where we actually get our oil from. You might be surprised by this. We hear a lot about dependence on foreign oil and our economy is dependent. That is true. But take a look at this. About 40 percent of the oil that the U.S. uses is from our domestic supply. The rest, about 60 percent, is imported.
Now, the top provider of oil to the U.S. is actually Canada. Show you here in the latest figures, Mexico is second right now. Then comes Saudi Arabia. Now Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil producer and they're a founder of OPEC. So that's when you get into OPEC. Then come Venezuela and Nigeria which are also members of OPEC.
Also, this is interesting. The U.S. is the biggest customer there is. We're the world's largest oil consumer. We produce about 10 percent of the world's oil guys, but we consume close to a quarter. This country alone consumes about 24 percent of the world's oil.
HOLMES: And we hear all the time, reduce the dependence on foreign oil. But what about imports? Talk about where we are here now, but we expect that to go up, go down?
LEVS: This isn't what a lot of people to hear, but they expect this not to change at all. Over the next 20 years, they think it's going to stay exactly the same.
I was just looking at this from the Energy Information actually. They were saying for the next two decades, they expect it to stay exactly at 60 percent. They're hoping -- this is going to depress some people -- they're hoping that by 2030, they can reduce the amount that's imported just slightly from 60 percent to 54 percent. So they're looking way, way out.
NGUYEN: Even with these hybrids and all these other cars on the roads, it's not going to reduce the amount that we're importing? LEVS: They're expecting consumption to keep going up a little bit because of the economy. There's more people driving, more people buying cars and they're saying that we're still going to have this need for oil. And the way we're building and drilling right now, they are expecting the majority to keep coming from overseas.
LEVS: They don't think it will go down substantially until 2030. It's really far away.
NGUYEN: It is.
HOLMES: We'll see you back for that realty check in a few years. Appreciate you. You can stay right here with CNN. Our money team has you covered where we're talking about oil, jobs, debt, housing, savings, whatever it is. Join us for a special report, "ISSUE #1," the economy, all next week noon Eastern.
NGUYEN: Grab your best hat and your lucky picks.
HOLMES: We're talking about the Kentucky Derby. That's today and we are off to the races.
NGUYEN: Checking stories on our radar this morning, we want to start with a soccer death at the YMCA.
HOLMES: Police say an eight-year-old Phoenix boy was killed while playing. Witnesses say he was swinging from the goalpost crossbar when it toppled over on him. The boy's older brother and cousins were on the field when it happened.
NGUYEN: The Olympic torch is moving closer to Beijing. The torch passed through the southern China city of Macau today and there were demonstrations of patriotism compared with the protests against China's records on Tibet and human rights in other countries. The games, they begin 8/08, August 8, 2008.
HOLMES: Horse racing's biggest event is beginning shortly. Just hours away now, we're talking about the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby, the first jewel in the triple crown.
CNN's Ray D'Alessio live on the first turn at Churchill Downs. There's so much talk about these mint juleps and I'm told they have like a big glass out there that's supposed to have 200 or something gallons of this stuff in there. Have you seen that yet?
RAY D'ALESSIO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I have not T.J. and take it from me, stay away from those things if you can. They're an acquired taste. I've had a few sips here and there, but they're kind of strong. So if you don't like bourbon, I would stay away from them.
But of course the big story out here is the weather. We had a major thunderstorm go through here yesterday and throughout the night, so right now the track is extremely wet, but really it's too early to determine right now how much of that is going to affect the race.
In preparation for this year's Kentucky Derby, I had a chance to watch the documentary entitled "The First Saturday in May," which followed six trainers in their path to the 2006 Kentucky Derby. One of the trainers in that film is Michael Matz who of course won the derby that year with Barbaro.
Now after missing the run for the roses last year, Matz is back, this time with a horse named Visionaire who was not considered a favorite to win in today's race. Nonetheless, Matz still he likes his chances. When you talk about Michael Matz, he is very respected amongst his fellow trainers.
And however, to horse racing fans, he's mostly known for two thing: A, the fact he survived the 1989 United Airlines plane crash in Sioux City, Iowa and, B, yes of course, he was Barbaro's trainer. Now with all that said, it begs the question is, will the day ever come when Matz is known strictly as just another horse trainer?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MATZ, TRAINER, VISIONAIRE: Maybe we will after Saturday. Who knows? I've been called worse things than those things, that's for sure. I don't mind either of them I mean, it's not such a bad thing to be the trainer of Barbaro. I'll go with that. That horse touched so many people's lives and it's just amazing. You'll never forget that, will you? I mean, he was a great horse, and, you know, you've got to think of the good times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
D'ALESSIO: Now again, the documentary "First Saturday in May," a lot of scenes in there with Michael Matz and Barbaro. We actually asked Matz about the movie. He has said that he has not yet seen the edited version, but what he has seen he thought the directors did a fantastic job.
Speaking of Visionaire, his horse, he will go off from the eighth spot today, which T.J., just so happens to be the same spot Barbaro won from back in 2006. So maybe history might repeat itself. We shall see. Again, the big story right now, this weather and will this track stay like it is now, completely wet, completely muddy, still too early to tell right now -- T.J.
HOLMES: Could change the game up today, Ray D'Alesio, you enjoy yourself out there. Stay away from those mint juleps. We'll see you again soon.
NGUYEN: He's having a good time, isn't he?
HOLMES: He is, of course. We're having a good time here this morning as well. We're going to take a quick break, be right back.
HOLMES: And a reminder, we are awaiting the results from Guam, that tiny U.S. territory in the Democratic race. That announcement we expect to come soon. When we have it, we will bring it right to you.
NGUYEN: Absolutely. But first, "HOUSE CALL" with Dr. Sanjay Gupta starts right now.