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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Discussion of Results of Indiana and North Carolina Primaries
Aired May 6, 2008 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Wolf Blitzer, do you think the Clinton camp, if this turns in Indiana, is going to complain about the way these votes came in?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Well, I think they're very, very nervous right now. They're going to have to take a very close look at Lake County in Indiana because it did take a long time, four or five hours, to get even the first votes coming in from lake county. I'm sure they'll be looking closely at that. They've got lawyers, all these campaigns have lawyers, Larry. They're watching all of this very closely.
And still, only 28 percent of the vote in Lake County has reported so far. So we'll see what happens as we're still waiting for another 70 percent to come in. And this contest, Larry, in Indiana is not over with by any means. But knowing both of these campaigns, they're going to take a close look at what -- how they did it and the lawyers are going to be looking at it. Maybe they will want a recount. Maybe not. We'll see.
L. KING: John King, did any forecasts say it would be this close?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Larry, the final polls in the end did have the poll of polls was about four points, Clinton lead by four points. If you're inside single digits, number one, especially if you're inside four or five points, ten it comes out to turnout on Election Day. You hear that cliche, it all depends on who gets out their vote. This is a state, I'm going to shrink it back down. This is an interesting state.
Number one, let's remember history. Let's assume that this is what we're going to see come November. This is a Republican state. This is Bush/Kerry four years ago. And to remind you why we think Barack Obama has the math to pull this off, these are the democratic centers come November. Bloomington, Indianapolis, and Gary up here. And guess what? Barack Obama is winning tonight in Bloomington, Indianapolis and Gary up here based on early returns.
So, history tells you this is where the Democratic votes are. The math is possible because of the history of the state. Now, let's pull back out. This is a pretty sweeping win for Senator Clinton. But Larry, we have seen this elsewhere in competitive states. She is winning huge in rural counties. But they're not very populous places.
So the question is, can Barack Obama maximize his potential in Indiana, his potential was here, Marion County where Indianapolis is where you do have a significant African American base, also some upscale Democrats in the suburbs there. They traditionally have been his voters. College towns, Bloomington. If there's a surprise or at least a strong performance for Obama, it is right here, South Bend, Indiana, University of Notre Dame, on the one hand, a college town, Barack Obama territory.
On the other hand, a Catholic community, Clinton has done dramatically better than Obama among Catholics. They both did very well where they needed to, and now we are in the waiting period. And it is a mystery that is going to have many questions, even after the results continue to come in.
But Larry, we've got one dump of 28 percent from Lake County. We are told it all comes from the city of Gary, which is an African American community, strong. So we're waiting for the 72 percent still out. And we'll keep looking.
L. KING: We're going to check in now, John, and Wolf with Mayor Tom McDermott. He's in Chicago but he's the mayor of Hammond, Indiana. Did you see this happening, mayor, and what do you think is going to happen?
TOM MCDERMOTT, MAYOR, HAMMOND INDIANA: Hi, Larry. How's it going?
You know, we didn't think the entire country was going to be focusing on Lake County, Indiana. I mean, we're on the border. Hammond actually touches Chicago. So we make no bones about it, Hillary Clinton knew that it was going to be a tough row to hoe in Hammond, Indiana.
And I can tell you that as of 7:30 our time, we had turned our numbers in. And I could tell you right now that I know for a fact Hillary Clinton won Hammond, Indiana, by over 600 votes. I mean, and I talked to other mayors. And I had talked to other town chairmen and city chairmen and we all turned our numbers in around 7:30.
L. KING: You're a supporter of Hillary Clinton.
L. KING: Could she lose this tonight?
MCDERMOTT: I hope not. The city of Gary is going to be strongly pro-Obama. I'm not sure what the status is of the early voting and absentee votes are. Make no bones about it, Larry, Senator Obama's going to do well in Gary.
L. KING: John King, are they counting the absentees, too?
J. KING: Well, they're counting the absentees, Larry, but I think a question for the mayor is if he turned in his votes early and he knows the other mayors he's spoken to turned in their votes early, who did they turn them in to, and what is that person's excuse for not reporting them, and why are we only getting the results now which will raise questions perhaps unnecessary questions. But as this goes on now, this is going to raise questions about the integrity of the process. And it sounds, from what the mayor said, his homework was given in on time.
L. KING: John, before the mayor responds, just to clear this up, you mean Hammond did not report? He reported it in, but we didn't get it?
J. KING: We didn't get anything from this county until moments ago. And we are told the 28 percent we did get is largely, if not completely, from Gary.
L. KING: Mayor?
MCDERMOTT: I don't control the dissemination of information from Lake County to the media or to the state party. All I do in Hammond is we counted up our numbers and we submitted to the county because the county runs elections. I'm not sure what's going on in Lake County government.
I do want to defend Lake County in this respect. There were 11,000 absentee votes. There's no easy way to count those ballots. I'm sure there's a lot of that going on. But I'm just as frustrated as America right now because this has been a tough race. We've all worked very hard and we all want to know what the results are. I want it just as bad as you all do.
L. KING: Wolf, anything you want to ask Mayor McDermott?
BLITZER: I'd be interested, what excuse are they giving you, the county officials, for delaying releasing votes in Hammond, your city, and other communities in Lake County? What's the problem?
MCDERMOTT: I was told the number of absentee votes, you know ...
BLITZER: But why don't they release the numbers short of the absentee? Normally they release the numbers, and then later they'll release the absentee ballots. But there are tens of thousands -- hundreds it of thousands maybe of other votes that they could be releasing.
MCDERMOTT: I agree with you, sir. I'm not defending what they've done in this case. I think it's a shame that Lake County's being focused on like it is right now. I do want to tell you that I've talked to a lot of mayors, I've talked to a lot of city and town chairmen, and I know the results from most of the cities in lake county.
You know, for instance, I know in Whiting, Hillary Clinton won Whiting, she won Hammond, she won Lake Station, Hobert, she won Crown Point, in south lake county. I think she lost in East Chicago by a couple thousand votes. Nobody knows what's going on in the city of Gary at this point.
L. KING: I want to bring in some of our panelists, Kelly Ann Conway is with us, so is Jamal Simmons, the Democratic strategist. In Washington is Kiki McClean, senior adviser to the Clinton campaign and Seattle, Ron Reagan, political independent who has not endorsed anyone in this race. Jamal, what do you think?
JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Looks like it's going to be close in Indiana. We thought it was going to be a six-point margin. Getting down to a two-point margin. We'll see what happens when all these votes get in.
L. KING: Are you surprised?
SIMMONS: You know, this whole campaign's been a surprise. What we do know, though, is Barack Obama had an extraordinary night in North Carolina. And here now in Indiana, looks like it's going to be tighter than anybody thought. Senator Clinton, as recently as last weekend, was supposed to be six or seven points out. Maybe that closed down to four. Maybe now we're down to two. This is going to be pretty close.
L. KING: Wolf, if -- you've been around politics so long, and nobody knows it better -- if Obama wins this tonight, is it over if he wins in Indiana?
BLITZER: If he does squeak out a win, I suspect Clinton will continue and go on to West Virginia next week. She'll say it's close, let's let this thing play out and she'll also be focusing on Michigan and Florida and will argue, you know what? There are millions of voters there. They have to be counted as well. I'd be surprised if she were to drop out, although it would be a huge, huge, painful sense of loss if she were to lose not only North Carolina but Indiana.
L. KING: Kiki McClean, a senior adviser to the Clinton campaign, she's in Washington. Are you worried?
KIKI MCCLEAN, CLINTON ADVISOR: No, I'm not worried. You know, look. Jamal and I agree on things tonight. And that is that there are always surprises in this campaign. What's not a surprise is that Barack Obama won North Carolina. He said he was going to win North Carolina. He predicted Senator Clinton would win Pennsylvania, and he said Indiana would be the tiebreaker. It's a tight race there.
In North Carolina, Barack Obama had a good night. He outspent us two to one, three to one in some cases. We closed that gap a little. He had a 20-point lead going into Indiana. He at one point predicted a seven-point win for himself, and actually a lot of his aides said that and planned on it, so I feel good about our performance there tonight. This is one more step in a process.
We have more states, more votes to count. This is a close race across the board. It's what we've known for a while now, that this is a very close primary battle.
L. KING: Kellyanne is a Republican onlooker. What do you make of all this?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, SUPPORTS MCCAIN: I think the night belongs to Barack Obama. Even if Clinton is to win Indiana, Barack Obama's led her by 220,000 votes in North Carolina, a state which has a Democratic governor certainly, but also has Elizabeth Dole up for re-election this year.
It's a good state for John McCain perhaps. In the case of Hillary Clinton, she has had the best one or two weeks of her campaign and still wasn't able to make tonight the game changer she predicted. Barack Obama has arguably had some of the worst weeks of his campaign, and yet it didn't really affect the results tonight.
L. KING: Ron Reagan, you're the independent of the group. What do you make of it?
RON REAGAN, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Kiki's making a brave attempt. I don't think there's a way you can spin this as a win overall tonight for Hillary Clinton. Yes, she may prevail in Indiana, but the loss in North Carolina is significant. With a win in North Carolina, with 57 percent of the vote, Barack Obama will virtually negate the popular vote total or the popular vote net win that Hillary Clinton had in Pennsylvania.
She was looking for a game changer. She might get it in a way she hadn't anticipated if Barack Obama does come back in Indiana. Barack Obama, I have to say, does not get the knockout punch he was looking for, I don't think, unless he really does seal the deal here in Indiana. She will go on. She's got West Virginia next week. Then Kentucky and Oregon. She'll win West Virginia and she'll win Kentucky. She'll go on, but this is not a good night for her.
L. KING: We have another mayor with us from Evansville, Indiana. Mayor John Weinzapfel. Have I pronounced that right, mayor?
MAYOR JOHN WEINZAPFEL, EVANSVILLE, INDIANA: Weinzapfel.
L. KING: Mayor Weaizapfel, what happened in Evansville?
WEINZAPFEL: Well, actually, it was a pretty close finish. Senator Clinton won by about 1,300 votes in Vandenburgh County.
L. KING: What do you make of this slow process west of you, and we're still waiting. Why?
WEINZAPFEL: Well, actually, Evansville's about as far away from lake county as you can get in the state, yet we're brothers in another sense because we're both in the Central Time Zone. You know, obviously, our results came out on time pretty early here in Vanderburgh County. I can't speak to the delay in Lake County, though.
L. KING: Are you surprised at how close it is in your state?
WEIZAPFEL: Well, yes. You know, the polling I had seen showed Senator Clinton up by five points or so heading into really into the last weekend. I thought Senator Obama did a great job, built some momentum over the last four or five days, repudiated Reverend Wright, an endorsement from Congressman Barron Hill. Joe Andrews' switch and really that opportunity to fixate on one specific issue with the gas tax. And I think you've got a lot of traction headed up into the election. I think if it was up to the Obama campaign, they could have used a couple more days and made sure that this was a clear-cut victory. But we're still hopeful that results in Lake County are going to put Senator Obama over the top.
L. KING: We'll get back with our group. Let's turn things back over to Anderson Cooper and his gang. Anderson?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Larry, thanks very much.
It is fascinating, Jeff Toobin, given what happened in Florida, given all what we have learned about recounts and stuff to watch this happening, to watch these votes coming in in this one county in northwest Indiana. If it stays where it is, two percent, I mean, no one's going to be calling for a recount, do you think?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think so. There are not that many practical matters at stake. There's probably one delegate either way. And under Indiana law, the candidate that seeks the recount has to pay for the recount. And given the fact that the Clinton campaign is so low on money, if they lose, I can't believe they think it will be useful. It will be a wise expenditure of funds for them.
But Indiana also has three different voting technologies including the new touch screen which does not have a paper trail. So it's far from clear that there would be anything to recount. That is one of the problems with touch-screen voting is that there is not a paper trail that can be -- that can be recounted. I don't think there will be a recount, but it is extraordinary that we may be in that range of possibility even.
COOPER: Mayor McDermott is standing by from Hammond. Mayor, I know you said Hillary Clinton won in Hammond, but how did the process go from your perspective?
MCDERMOTT: Well, I mean, I hear a lot of people talking about whether or not this is a victory for Senator Clinton. I do want to point out that Illinois -- everybody in Illinois knows Senator Barack Obama very well, especially in Lake County where I'm from. I look at it differently. I think Hillary Clinton came into Indiana, which was not her home turf, battled Senator Barack Obama in his home turf, so to speak, and came away with the victory.
I look at it differently than you all. I know for a fact, the fact that she won Hammond, Indiana, which touches the city of Chicago, I think that's significant. I look at it differently than a lot of people are talking about on the panel.
ANDERSON: Some observers have said a lot of folks know Barack Obama there, it being in the Chicago television market, the replaying of the Reverend Wright stuff. Do you think Reverend Wright had a big impact on voters in Hammond? MCDERMOTT: I think it had an impact and it's going to continue to have an impact, and that's what makes me nervous about Senator Barack Obama possibly getting the nomination. This seems to be an issue that hit home with a lot of voters and the city that I'm the mayor of. And I don't know if the story is over yet. And I'm scared that if he is the nominee for the Democratic Party, that we're going to be sending a weak candidate to the convention.
COOPER: Aside from the politics, let's just talk process, of the actual vote itself, what time did polls open? What time did polls close in Hammond?
MCDERMOTT: 6:00 a.m. Central Time. 6:00 p.m. we closed. It was a very smooth, beautiful day, very few problems. Really perfect Election Day.
COOPER: And after 6:00 p.m., how long is it before you report your results to the county?
MCERMOTT: I knew within an hour and a half that Senator Clinton had won Hammond, Indiana, by over 600 votes.
COOPER: So then how do you send those votes to the county?
MCDERMOTT: We send it to the county.
COOPER: Do you literally call them up? Do you physically send the votes?
MCDERMOTT: No, we send the books from the polls, we send the numbers to the county chairman, and at that point, it's in the county -- the hands of the county election board and the county chairman. And the cities have done their job at that point. I just figured once we turned over, we started going to the celebration parties and figured that everything would be reported in a timely manner. But, obviously, it didn't get reported.
COOPER: And John King, how many counties in Indiana -- I don't know if you know this -- how many counties in Indiana report all at once? Do the vast majority of them report in drips and drabs as the results come in?
J. KING: The overwhelming number Anderson, have reported, as you put it, as the votes come in, counties report them as quickly as possible. If I'm confusing anybody, I'm trying to trace the lines of the congressional districts roughly, emphasis on roughly, in Indiana to try to get a sense of the Democratic delegate rules award based on the vote and also based on how you do in congressional districts. So I'm trying to figure out how the delegates will break down roughly in my head.
Let me clear that so I don't confuse people looking at my squiggly lines on the map. Almost everywhere else, again, we're still waiting on the very small rural Union County. Everywhere else in the state -- sometimes you see a chunk come in like in Lake County, we saw 28 percent come in all at once. That's all come in so far. Sometimes you do get big chunks.
But in many places we started with one percent, then two percent, then four percent, then maybe 15 or 18 or 20 percent. They come in certified as valid results from a number of precincts. They are released as long as all polls are closed. For example, we'll come down Monroe County where Bloomington is, 60 percent of the vote, we've been stuck on 67 percent for some time, but Barack Obama has a lead there.
I remember in this county, I started looking early on because it's one of the college towns, one of the places you want to look for Obama, is he holding his place? Is Clinton making inroads, I remember when it was two or three percent, it is now up to 67 percent. There are other places to do this. You see in Marion County where Indianapolis is in the center, we've been at 98 percent for some time.
I remember when this was at two, four percent when the vote first started to come in. They have trickled in almost everywhere in the state, the exceptions being this tiny rural county out here and this very, very significant, mostly urban, and then down here, more rural and suburban county up close bordering to Chicago. You've been talking to the mayor of Hammond, he knows this area quite well.
COOPER: For those viewers who missed it, you were at the board literally when that chunk of results came in. That 28 percent, that's what it is, right, 28 percent from the county?
J. KING: Twenty-eight percent from the county.
COOPER: Is all of that from the city of Gary itself?
J. KING: We are told that all of that is from the city of Gary.
COOPER: Does that mean all the results from the city of Gary are counted?
J. KING: I don't know. I don't know whether that is 100 percent of the vote in Gary or whether this 28 percent is 100 percent from Gary, if you get the distinction. And that is a significant question because Gary is the most African American city in the district. And again, as you get more out here, this area, you have the mayor on right now, he can describe it to you a lot better than I can, but this is literally a stone's throw from Illinois and not too far from Chicago.
This is more Chicago suburbs. This here is a city into itself Gary, Indiana, where you have a more significant African American population. Then down here, you're suburban along the state line, down here tends to get much more rural, fewer population in this part of the counties. You see Senator Clinton did very well in the surrounding, more rural, areas. It is in the urban areas and the Chicago suburb areas -- and I'm going to show you by taking this off -- I just want to bring you over here to Illinois just to show you the Illinois primary results.
This is Barack Obama's home. But he did, in these surrounding areas, the cook county suburbs just around there, Obama got 63 percent of the vote there. John Edwards was still on the ballot at that moment. Barack Obama did extraordinarily well in the city of Chicago, urban Chicago and in the suburbs just around it. The question is how much of that carried over into neighboring Indiana?
COOPER: So the bottom line is try to figure out this 28 percent, is that all the voting from Gary? We don't know the answer to that question, nor do we know the results, obviously, from other towns.
I want to talk to Mayor McDermott. Assuming -- and this is an assumption -- but Mayor McDermott, assuming that we have the results for Gary and the results right now with 28 percent say, you know, 75 percent in Gary for Barack Obama, what is your guesstimate on other towns? Are there other areas that would go for Barack Obama, or do you think the rest is for Clinton?
HAMMOND: I can tell you I know the machine vote. I can't tell you the absentee or early voting numbers. I can tell you Maryville immediately south of the city of Gary went for Barack Obama by 1,000 votes, I believe it was. East Chicago, which is next door to Hammond, between Hammond and Gary, went for Barack Obama. This is machine vote numbers I'm talking about.
Hammond went for Hillary Clinton by about 600 votes. Whiting went for Hillary Clinton by about 500 votes. Shertville (ph), Crown Point south of U.S. 30, they both went heavily for Clinton, the more suburban area of lake county. It seems she did very well down in the south. But right now I can tell you i know for a fact that Barack did well in Gary, decent in East Chicago and decent in Maryville. Those are the machine numbers I'm talking about.
COOPER: For our viewers, John King has been showing our viewers where some of those towns and cities are in the general location. We have to take a short break. We're going to continue with Mayor McDermott who's providing really firsthand knowledge of the situation in that part of the state. Also with John King and our panel and Larry King, Wolf Blitzer, our coverage continues. We'll be right back.
COOPER: And our coverage continues, a pretty exciting night, much longer night perhaps than many people had anticipated. The results right now with 92 percent of precincts reporting in the state of Indiana. Senator Clinton, 51 percent, Barack Obama at 49 percent. But it all boils down to the math which John King is at right now, trying to analyze what is happening in the northwest part of the State of Indiana. John, just for our viewers who are joining in now, what are we looking at?
J. KING: Anderson, this is Lake County. You see it's eight percent of the population statewide, it is the source of a great drama this evening which the question is, who will win Indiana? Twenty eight percent of the vote in Lake County, and Barack Obama with a 75 to 25 advantage. This came in just in the last hour or so. The polls have been closed sometime. Why are we waiting for the other 75 percent in this county and 72 percent in this county, and why is it so significant? Let's pull out to statewide. Ninety two percent of the statewide vote counted in Indiana. And you have this 20,000 margin. Senator Clinton up 51 percent, 49 percent for Senator Obama. A 20,000-vote margin. And all of the votes that are out in any significant population areas, a small amount out here down in Bloomington, but that's a pretty small area. A very small amount out in Marion County which is where we find Indianapolis.
But Barack Obama winning big there. This is a very small two percentage points of that out. The big drama is, as the rest of the vote comes in up here, the second largest county by population in the state of Indiana, are there enough votes here for Barack Obama to make up that now 20,000-vote gap?
And we know there are enough votes in the county with 28 percent of the votes in. Barack Obama, 75 percent to 25 percent. The question is, we are told that 28 percent from the county we received in one dump was from the city of Gary, Indiana. What we don't know is what is happening in the surrounding communities and whether that is all the vote from Gary, Indiana, or whether there will be more votes coming in.
And so as we wait for the votes, it is a significant drama, Anderson, because it could determine whether Senator Clinton can hold on to this narrow lead in the State of Indiana. Obama won North Carolina and won it with a significant victory tonight. Senator Clinton already has very daunting and difficult math going forward. She cannot afford to lose the State of Indiana.
COOPER: With us now, we have a wide panel across the country tonight. Kiki McClean, supporter of Senator Clinton, is joining us via satellite from Washington. Kiki, we have heard reports Senator Clinton has call times scheduled tomorrow with superdelegates. A, can you confirm that, and B, what is the message that the Clinton campaign is trying to push to the superdelegates?
MCCLEAN: Well, I'll tell you, I don't know exactly the details of tomorrow's schedule. Usually the day after an election night, we have a lot of flexibility. Obviously delegate outreach is part of the work she does constantly and continually will do through the end of this process. So that's pretty much where you are in a campaign like this, day by day, continuing to outreach, continuing to have a conversation with delegates and voters as you move through the nomination process.
COOPER: But what is the conversation? What is the sell at this point?
MCCLEAN: Well, I think any -- the conversation is what it has been. What does she want for America? What kind of solutions does she have to offer when it comes to the economy, when it comes to national security? What does she think she offers as a candidate in the fall as the nominee of our party? What makes her more electable? We saw research last week that shows she's ahead in the big battleground states during the general election. And I think it's about an ongoing relationship with leaders in our party she's had for some time. That's important as is the ongoing conversation she'll have with folks in West Virginia, in Kentucky, in Oregon, Puerto Rico as we move forward.
COOPER: On the money front, how tight is the money? At this point in her speech tonight, she was basically making a pitch for donations right at the top of the speech. How bad is it? How much cash on hand does this campaign have?
MCCLEAN: Well, I like to think of it as how good we're doing. We're in this race and we continue to be. You know, coming out of Pennsylvania, on one night we raised $10 million with 80 percent of contributors there to be donors.
COOPER: That was almost a 10 percentage point win. This at the least right now it's two percentage points.
MCCLEAN: Well, I have to tell you Anderson, I'm sitting in a studio talking to you so I haven't been monitoring the money. I don't know that's a question I can answer at this point.
COOPER: At this point do you know how much cash they have on hand?
MCCLEAN: I have not been looking at the checkbook today. I can tell you we clearly have the resources we've need. We closed the gap in North Carolina. Senator Obama had a good night there. We moved points there. We're clearly in a good race in a state that Senator Obama predicted he'd win by seven points.
COOPER: How much do you feel you close the gap in North Carolina? Because you lost right now at this point by 14 percentage points.
MCCLEAN: Well, you'll recall Senator Obama was ahead by 20 points. I think folks all along expected him to win. He himself is the one who said he expected Senator Clinton to win Pennsylvania. He would win North Carolina. Indiana would be a tiebreaker. We're in a close race there. We've closed the gap by state as he even said at one point, he saw himself being up by seven points. So this is a good, close race. It was a close race last week. It's a close race tonight.
COOPER: Why was the Clinton campaign saying North Carolina was a game changer? Did they really believe -- I mean, clearly, they seemed to be sending a message the last couple days that they believed could do really well there.
MCCLEAN: Well, listen, I think that any time, if we had totally upset conventional wisdom, given that Obama was -- the Obama campaign was outspending our campaign by two and three to one, the resources he had in the state, where he began in the state, I think that would have really raised big eyebrows. We closed the gap some. We did well. He had a good night. We're in a tough battle in Indiana. This is a night where the campaign moves forward. We're in a race. It's a close race.
COOPER: Gloria Borger, where does -- I mean, if you're sitting in the Clinton campaign, where do you move forward to? Obviously, West Virginia is coming up. How does that look?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, West Virginia looks good for them. West Virginia, Kentucky, Puerto rice are states that look very good for her. Oregon, South Dakota, Montana are states that look very good for him. But I think there's a different problem right now for the Clinton campaign. And it's a larger issue.
It's a question of tonight she really had to give those superdelegates another reason to be for her and not be for Barack Obama. And I don't think that this night gave those superdelegates a reason to essentially switch or take the nomination away from Barack Obama. That's what she needed. She said she needed a game changer. And she didn't -- she didn't get that tonight.
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Anderson, your question to Kiki was on the mark. That is the money people are going to really decide what's next. Pennsylvania, she wins by ten, they raise a ton of dough, you saw how the attitude was different. It was a big win. A small margin tonight, we'll see how fast -- how much money they raise tomorrow.
That's going to be the key. Because the people who are writing checks, they have to be convinced that you have a shot. The people writing those checks say, you know what? I don't know if I'm going to waste any more of money. I gave you the best I can, but she can't move further, they're going to decide where she goes next.
TOOBIN: I actually don't think the money is the real issue. I think it's more of a political problem because it's all about the superdelegates now. And hey're not going to be swayed by television advertising. They're the ones who have the political argument.
MARTIN: She's going to compete in those states, though.
TOOBIN: Those aren't the most expensive states. It doesn't cost that much to run in West Virginia. It's not like Pennsylvania. The real issue now is how does she change the dynamic? Obviously, a big part of her campaign now is getting Michigan and Florida, those delegates on the agenda.
TOOBIN: Getting some sort of recognition of her victories in those very compromised elections. But that's the only place she can pick up enough delegates to turn this into a horse race again. That's the only place to look. That's where the delegates are.
BORGER: It's not going to end and it may go to the rules committee of the Democratic National Committee.
COOPER: Which Donna Brazile will be on coming up. Carl, where do you see it going?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Someone I just talked to who is a Clinton person said these results mean her big chance has passed, and the superdelegates know that. They know the math. She had expected to do very well in Indiana.
You know, she's from Chicago, too. And she knows Indiana so well because she ran Jimmy Carter's campaign as field director in 1976 in Indiana. She really knows that territory, and she has been coming off her best two weeks, out of Pennsylvania, all that money, wind at her back. At her feet, Reverend Wright. And she found her voice. She became NASCAR Hillary, working-class, blue-collar Hillary.
She was energetic. She had a message. And the gas tax didn't work. It worked against her. So ...
COOPER: You really think it worked against her?
BERNSTEIN: Well, the numbers show that. There's exit polls and things that show that. Really what we've seen is she had all these cards to play. They all came up on the table and all failed her, and that's what the superdelegates are looking at.
COOPER: David Gergen, best two weeks for Clinton, arguably the worst couple of weeks for Barack Obama.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think what's what gives him bragging rights coming out of these two weeks because he's had everything thrown at him. The question for us, we were all asking a week ago, is Reverend Wright going to sink him? Is it going to destroy his candidacy? And clearly he has endured that and come back, bounced back. You know, that lead in North Carolina was around 15 points. It started going down, down, down. It got down to around seven, and he clearly bounced back from that.
So to go back to your point about the fall, I think Barack Obama can argue now, you know, we've been hit by the Reverend Wright thing. We've survived that. We've gone through it. It's been aired. And republicans start bringing it up and up and up. That's sort of stale news. And that's going to be their argument. So I think he's got some bragging rights he did not have 24 hours ago. I think she has some powerful arguments still, but I think he's got more bragging rights coming out of tonight.
ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Those are -- his last two weeks, look at his next two weeks. It would not be unexpected to see Barack Obama bump up in the polls. Why? Because a lot of democrats are going to look and just see that argument that Hillary Clinton gave it her best shot with a strong hand. He took the blows. And I think you're going to see some -- we'd expect to see some movement, independent voters and some Hillary Democrats moving over.
If that happens, then that perception that he can win will feed upon itself. It's not just money. It's surveying numbers. He'll begin to look more like a winner. I would say that the next -- ordinarily, it happened with Senator McCain, when he began to coalesce the Republican vote, he bumped up six or so points. There's enough points out there for a Democrat to have bumped up 10 or 12 points, really, because the race was so contentious.
I'm not sure that right now -- that's what we'll find out. Is Obama wounded enough that he bumps up only five points or six? Or does he bump up 10 or 12? That's going to tell us a lot about the general. But either way it's going to be a good week.
COOPER: But either way he's going to lose West Virginia. She's favored.
GERGEN: He's going to lose West Virginia. I think the question is going to the margin. He's going to lose Kentucky. I think the question is can he hold on to Oregon and get a good, healthy win out there. But the fact that if Indiana -- the closing in Indiana, the significance for him is, he actually did much better than anybody thought, you know, coming into the weekend. He was five, six points down in Indiana. You know, in some ways, she's got an argument that he, after taking all these body blows ...
COOPER: So you don't buy the Clinton campaign argument which is, look, he was favored, he was up seven points in Indiana and was optimistic about winning there.
GERGEN: Well, I would have -- had there been no Reverend Wright, but he went straight down.
COOPER: We've got movement in the votes. I want to go back to John King at the magic map.
J. KING: Look at statewide numbers. We've moved up to 95 percent. Senator Clinton holding a 51 percent to 49 percent lead. It is a narrowing lead. Now 11,000 there plus 6, 17,000 votes, narrowing lead because of what's been happening in Lake County.
Remember, we were stuck at 28 percent for the longest time. We now have twice that in Lake County, 56 percent, Senator Obama winning 65 percent to 35 percent. His margin has slipped just a little tiny bit up there. There you have a 20,000-vote margin, a little more than that, with 56 percent of the vote in. Remember that margin right there, 20,000, a little more than that, with 56 percent of the vote in. Now let's pull back out to statewide.
And there you have about a 17,000 margin there. It's getting late. Check my math, please. I think that's about 17,000 there. So there is the potential, with 5 percent of the vote outstanding, for Barack Obama to make it up. Most of it would have to come right up here. As we get more of the vote in, 44 percent of the vote still to be counted there. And there are a few other areas where we're starting to count votes where Barack Obama is doing well.
One it down here, Monroe County, Bloomington, relatively small, 98 percent of the vote in, Obama winning big. Perhaps a few more votes to be added to the Obama totals there. And then the biggest county in the state, the population center, Indianapolis, Marion County, 98 percent, again, the possibility as the rest of that comes in, whether those numbers, the 67 percent here, the 98 percent here have been holding for some time.
We assume that's an absentee ballot question. We may not get that tonight. We're waiting on that. Almost everywhere else we are at 98 percent or 100 percent especially in these smaller rural counties where Senator Clinton has done so well. One tiny county, Union County, on the Ohio border, we have nothing at all. Very small, but very small could matter tonight as the margins continue to shrink.
And, again, Anderson, the source of the drama just coming in in the last couple hours at all, first 28 percent, now double that to 56 percent, Obama posting a pretty sizeable lead, 65 percent to 35 percent up here. We have to watch for the rest of that vote to come in to see if it comes in. And I'm going to draw a line across here. This is very rough science here, but this part of the county, very pro-Obama in its demographics.
Down here -- and this is where the vote is coming from, we are told -- up here in the northern part of the county, down here is more rural, tend to be more Clinton areas. There's a rough draft. There are some Chicago suburbs in here.
As we wait for the continuing vote to come in, as it comes in up here, we're moving some decent numbers. The question is, again, with a little more than 40 percent of that vote still out, can Senator Clinton change the margins. If the vote is down here, she has the possibility to do that but the drama continues, Anderson. We need to keep watching.
COOPER: Because we simply don't know where the remaining 44 percent of the vote is, correct?
J. KING: I'm being told that most of what we have has come from up here. In the Gary area, which is the biggest Barack Obama base. It's the urban area up here. Most of the vote has come from up here, we are told. And in the northern part of the county, if that is the case, then this is -- would tend to be a more Clinton area.
And it tells you why. This is more rural area, less developed. This is more urban up in here and suburban along the state line here. This is a rough guesstimate. I believe we have a mayor from the area standing by who could describe it better than I could. I'm told that most of the vote we have so far are from up here which would be the biggest area of Obama's strength. But it's an inexact science, as I describe it to you.
Again, with 44 percent of the vote still out, there is plenty of room for Barack Obama to make up the difference. If he continues to keep an advantage like that in this one county, let's pull it back out to statewide, I'll clear that so you can see that a little bit better, it is a very close race in Indiana as we get up to 95 percent of the vote. We'll keep watching for more to come in.
COOPER: Mayor McDermott is standing by as he has been with us for the last half hour or so. Mayor, how do you -- what is the actual process for counting the absentee ballots, and when do you actually start that? MCDERMOTT: I know what when we were driving up to Chicago for the taping of the show they were actually counting the ballots. I was told it was 11,000 ballots. As I said earlier, there's no easy way to count absentee ballots. You can't really shove them in a machine. It's basically a hand count and they're going through that process. As I was driving up here, I was told they were going through that process at that time which was a couple hours ago.
COOPER: There have been problems with -- in some elections in this area before, haven't there?
MCDERMOTT: Oh, yeah.
COOPER: What's sort of the brief history, for those that haven't been following it?
MCDERMOTT: Well, I mean, we're a suburb of Chicago, you know, lake county has a reputation across the state, you know. I'm the type of elected official that likes to dispel those rumors because in Hammond, Indiana, a city of 83,000, we do things by the book. We had our votes counted at 7:30, like I said, Senator Clinton won Hammond, Indiana.
And we're immediately to the east of Chicago. Gary is a little bigger than us. A lot more pro-Obama. I want to point something out about Lake County. Almost every mayor in the entire county endorsed Senator Clinton and worked for Senator Clinton. The mayor of Gary, Rudy Clay endorsed Senator Obama and is a big support of his. I think that you could take that as a clue to how the county's going to go.
COOPER: And he gave an interview earlier to thewashingtonpost.com saying Gary overwhelmingly -- this according to the mayor -- was going for Barack Obama. He felt it might change the nature of the results. But, again, that's exactly what we're waiting for. Where does the county tabulate all the results?
MCDERMOTT: In Crown Point, Indiana, south of U.S. 30. And I know the people on the election board. They're very honest, hardworking people. They do a professional job. This has been a special case because we've had a lot of absentee votes, a lot of early voting. We are an hour behind the rest of the state. Our results are going to be little slower. But I'm not making excuses. It's way too late for this. I hope they hurry up because the entire world is watching us right now and it's not very flattering for Lake County.
COOPER: We appreciate you sticking by with us as we watch these results come in. We're going to take a short break. Our coverage continues. We'll be right back.
L. KING: We're back on our special election coverage on this seemingly endless array of primaries. We're going to check back in with John King. John, this may seem -- I don't mean to be absurd, but maybe because I'm an impatient person -- why can't we call there and get results? J. KING: Must come with the name King, Larry, I'm impatient, too. We have been calling all night long. Our callings at the Associated Press, other news organizations have been calling all night long. What we're being told by local officials, we're reporting the results to you and posting them online and the like as we are ready to do so.
Now, there will be a lot of questions. You heard the mayor of Hammond saying he turned in their results hours ago. Why weren't they reported to the public hours ago? There will obviously be a lot of questions about this. We will try to get the answers as this night progresses and certainly as this debate carries over into tomorrow.
And it is almost certain now, because we are talking about this at 12:45 a.m. East Coast time, hours, more than six hours or just about six hours after the polls closed out here. This is still the source of the drama, Larry. I want to pull out Lake County for you. Fifty six percent of the vote counted, Barack Obama winning handily in this county, a little more than 20,000 votes with about 44 percent in.
And that's very important because if he continues to win in the county at roughly that margin as it comes in, look at statewide, this is just shy of 17,000 votes now, separating, Hillary Clinton still leads 606,000 to 589,000. But by math, 16,600 votes and change separating the two candidates. And most of the votes that are still out are up here in Lake County, still some votes out down in Marion County where Barack Obama is doing very well.
Where there are still missing votes, if you will, votes still to be counted and reported, most of those are areas where Obama is doing quite well. One tiny rural county, the neighborhood you would expect to go to Clinton, but Union County, a very small population. It would have to get very close for these votes to matter in the end.
I think many of our viewers, Larry, and certainly elected officials from the area, one of whom is standing by on the show, share your impatience, wondering by, hours after the polls closed, we're still waiting on such a sizeable chunk of the is vote out here.
L. KING: Do we know, John, after all these years of experience, what the determining factor is, when we will report, how much we'll report, who decides? Is there one person in charge?
J. KING: We have a number of great people in charge. But our basic rule is we don't report results ...
L. KING: I don't mean us, I mean them.
J. KING: Oh, them. You had the mayor of Hammond on that was talking about the history of this area, the Chicago suburb, Gary, Indiana, not known as the most reform-minded city in America. I can already feel my Blackberry going off, angry e-mails, but it has been an area where the count has been slow in state and national elections. It has been an area where there have been questions before. And that's a shame, questions about the integrity of the vote or integrity of the process will be raised. But we have been waiting for hours for a small slice but important slice close to Barack Obama's home base, critical to his chances in the state, and as we wait and wait and wait, this is the deciding drama. And so the questions you're asking are all legitimate questions, Larry.
As soon as we get votes reported to us, as long as the polls are closed, as long as we're getting them from state or county or election officials, and they are the officials who are the keepers of the information, we pass them on to our viewers here on TV, on cnn.com, as quickly as we can. We pass it along. We are waiting and waiting for these decisive votes in Lake County, Indiana.
L. KING: Mayor McDermott, do you expect some sort of official look, investigation into this on the part of your state?
MCDERMOTT: Well, I mean, obviously, we want to see how the vote turns out first. I can tell you that that decision's going to be made by somebody much higher up on the food chain than me, Mr. King. You know, obviously, I'm concerned. I'm a Hillary Clinton supporter. I think she ran a great campaign in Senator Barack Obama's backyard. Obviously, it's a close election. We realize the importance of it.
And I tell you, it's unfortunate that people are focusing on northwest Indiana like this because I can tell you I know just about every elected official in northwest Indiana, I know the people counting ballots right now, they're good, honest people. I hope that this is, you know, just because they're overwhelmed. But they're good people, and we're an honest part of the state of Indiana.
L. KING: Thank you very much, mayor. Let's turn it back over to Anderson Cooper -- Anderson?
COOPER: Larry, thanks very much.
We've lost one of our panel, they're gorging themselves on cornbread, right now, oddly enough, at this late hour. We didn't realize you've been gone so long. Bad planning on our part.
Leslie Sanchez, Republican strategist. Let's talk a little bit about the role unions have played in the city of Gary coming up.
BORGER: I think the endorsement yesterday by the teamsters union for Barack Obama was interesting. The Huffington Post was talking about Service Employees International Union sent out hundreds of folks at Gary, Indiana, starting on Saturday to mobilize folks on the ground. You don't hear a lot about union efforts. But in that particular area, it could be very pivotal in terms of turnout in very tight elections.
COOPER: We have certainly seen the results -- we don't know if they're the complete results -- but overwhelmingly for Barack Obama.
BORGER: No doubt and the Chicago neighbors definitely came over.
CASTELLANOS: In a close race like this, you'd also have to wonder about the Limbaugh effect. Did it, in fact, make a difference? I find it hard to believe personally, but when you're talking about 20,000 votes, maybe there are some Republicans inspired by talk radio.
COOPER: The Limbaugh effect being Rush Limbaugh telling folks to come out, operation chaos, and vote for Hillary Clinton.
CASTELLANOS: And vote for Hillary Clinton. Is that one of the few things keeping her in the race in Indiana? Rush Limbaugh may be Hillary Clinton's margin of victory. Who knows?
BORGER: If you look at the fact that Hispanics kept Hillary Clinton in the race in California and Hispanics and I would say the Limbaugh effect kept her in the race in Texas, it's definitely something to take into consideration.
CASTELLANOS: I think the -- to me the big story tonight is the hunter became the hunted. She was in pursuit of Barack Obama. She had, I think, as the panel said, all the advantages tonight. And it turned completely on her.
COOPER: It's interesting, you're speaking all in the past tense. She was. She had. You're saying that's all gone now.
CASTELLANOS: I think you're going to see some survey movement in the next few days. I think you'll see Barack Obama bump up. I think that will even strengthen his hand further. And I think -- I just don't see that she has either a political argument to make that says he's too weak, or she doesn't have a process argument, hey, count votes that shouldn't be counted.
COOPER: Hillary Clinton people will say it's far too early to be talking in the past tense about Hillary Clinton.
GERGEN: Absolutely. I think most Americans did go to bed assuming she had won Indiana by four or five points. A lot is going to depend on the media interpretations tomorrow and sort of what the people wake up to, sort of a different sense of reality. But I must say, I, again, go back to this. The Reverend Wright really knocked him for a loop in Indiana. And you could see the numbers start changing like that after Monday morning and all of that, in Indiana in her favor.
And her lead started building up, got up five, six, seven, eight. And what has surprised me, frankly, was I thought she was opening up a bigger lead. I thought she might have a really big victory tonight. And to see this now come down to this narrow, whichever way it goes, is, I think, one of the big surprises we've seen so far.
I must say, there's another thing about this, though. You know, it's like going to local courts. Once you get into sort of counties and how they count things and everything like that, one of the wonderful things about America is one of the things that's also so exasperating, it depends on a lot of local folks who are pretty a little confused trying to do the best they can.
Somebody out there may be a rotten apple in this thing, but I love this idea that we're all sitting here in some ways waiting on the citizens to sort of do their duty and do it, and we can't sort of go up and proclaim, you know? We just take our little surveys and say okay, here's reality. I like the fact that, you know ...
BERNSTEIN: We don't know that this isn't nefarious either. This could be they're taking great care for all we know. What really impressed me is one of her counselors said to me tonight, you know, dealing with her psychology is the next step. And she's going to begin thinking about the vice presidential nomination. And this person and one other that I talked to in the Clinton camp said tonight that they believe that she is going to go for the vice presidency.
BERNSTEIN: And one of those two thought that she would demand it. And one of them thought that Obama had no choice but to give it to her, if she does. And the other said Obama will do everything he can to resist. But knowing Hillary Clinton from studying her the way I did -- and I'd be very interested in David's thought on this -- she doesn't want to go back to the Senate.
She wouldn't be the majority leader because, quite frankly, a lot of the Democratic senators don't like her enough. And you know her. And she could get everything accomplished on her agenda if she had it. She'd have great influence. Obama, obviously, as this person said, would not be very pleased to have Bill Clinton following him all over the place in the White House.
And this person thought -- we're speaking really speculatively, except these two people know her really well and she goes to these two people for counsel.
COOPER: What about that, the idea of this so-called dream ticket with her as the vice presidential candidate ...
GERGEN: Or a nightmare ticket.
COOPER: Do you think it's even in the realm of possibility?
GERGEN: Well, it seems like a much more unlikely coupling than the flip. You've got some more numbers.
COOPER: I have Mayor Rudy Clay, the mayor of Gary, Indiana, on the phone. Mayor clay, thanks for joining us. What is the situation going on in Gary?
MAYOR RUDY CLAY, GARY, INDIANA: Well, we're here in Lake County, Indiana, but, of course, Gary was -- played a big role in this early voting. And we voted approximately 11,000 early voters around the county. Of course, Gary, most of those were people out in Gary, Indiana. And you just can't disenfranchise people, so we are counting the early votes methodically.
COOPER: You're talking about the absentee ballots?
CLAY: Right, right. COOPER: OK. When did you report the results for Gary to the county?
CLAY: Well, the people in Gary, Indiana, that were working inside polling places started reporting right after the polls closed. We took our equipment to the airport where we were supposed to do that. Then they brought the equipment out here to the county.
But the big problem was the early voting, 11,000 people, three or four times the number of people that ever voted early in the history of this county. And the early voting stopped Monday. And then we started voting in the precincts today. And so we don't want to disenfranchise anybody.
COOPER: I don't think anyone's talking about disenfranchising anybody. There is frustration and surprise in a lot of observers that here we are now at close to 1:00 a.m. on the East Coast, still waiting for results from this, the only county, really, the biggest county -- there's one smaller county that we're still waiting for results -- but why is it taking so long?
CLAY: Well, as I said before, one of the major reasons is because of the fact that this is the biggest voter turnout that we've ever had in a presidential election in the history of this county. And we've never had this kind of turnout early voters. And the early voters was overwhelming, I'd have to say. And we're still counting those ballots. We're still counting absentee ballots, rather.
COOPER: Mayor, we have John King who's been following this closely, wants to also join in -- John?
J. KING: Mayor, you mentioned the absentee ballots. Obviously, you would count those after the polls closed. And that would take some time. But as Anderson noted, why did it take several hours, a good three, four hours even after the polls closed to get any partial results out of the county? Then we got 28 percent of the vote reported in one sweep.
Then another 28 percent came in, and we're up to 56 percent right now. But everywhere else in the state, we got one percent returns. Then two percent. Then maybe five percent more coming in. Why is this happening so little, so late in Lake County?
CLAY: Well, we're still pumping the numbers out here. In approximately 20 more minutes we're going to have some new numbers. And one of the reasons is because of the fact that we're counting early voters, and we do not want to leave them out of the numbers that we are submitting to the community here.
The election board, they're doing a tremendous job. They're working hard. They're getting the numbers out as we speak. And I think they have done a tremendous job under the fact that we have voted almost four times the people that we usually vote with the same number of staff here.
J. KING: I understand the point about the counting. What I don't understand is why the boxes at the precincts were not counted and tallied and released while the absentee ballots, the early ballots, as you call them, were being counted? We would say we have 6 percent in from lake county, for example. We would know that, and we have 94 percent still outstanding. Then we would have 20 percent. We would know we would still have 80 percent still outstanding. Why would we not get smaller increments of returns earlier in the day?
CLAY: Well, we are getting them. As I said before, you can't stop early voting on Monday at noon and have 11,000 ballots sitting there and then Tuesday morning you're opening up your regular voting across -- I'm sorry, 500 and some odd precincts and say to the community that we can count all of these in a few hours.
But they will be counted. The numbers will be there. We're doing it to be sure that all the Is are dotted, all the Ts are crossed, and the whole world will know exactly what the numbers are here. And I think that once the votes are counted and the numbers are here in front of our director, she'll present them to the community.
J. KING: I don't want to defeat this subject, I want to try one more time. Let me ask it this way. Why is it that Marion County, which is twice the size of your county, that has an urban population, has a suburban population, something like your county, but how is it in Marion County with a larger population that they were able to report results faster incrementally over time starting with one percent to two percent even as they count their early ballots, reporting results as quickly as possible, and that's not happening in Lake County?
CLAY: Well, I can't speak for Marion County, but I can speak for lake county. And we have the election board here that's doing a tremendous job in trying to count 11,000 early voters that has never happened before in the history of this county. So we don't want to present figures to anybody that's not correct. So when we present these figures, they will be correct. We're counting them as we speak. And in a very few minutes we're going to have some more numbers, and this should all be over very shortly.