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AMERICAN MORNING

Critical Vote for Kennedy's Seat; Looting Breaks Out in Haiti; Woman Rescued After 50 Hours in Rubble

Aired January 19, 2010 - 08:00   ET

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


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. Welcome to AMERICAN MORNING on this Tuesday, January 19th. I'm Kiran Chetry.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. I'm John Roberts. Thanks for being with us.

Here are the big stories that we'll be telling about in the next 15 minutes here on the Most News in the Morning.

The vote for one State Senate seat today could send shockwaves across the entire nation. Polls are now open in the Massachusetts special election to fill the late Ted Kennedy's seat, and a GOP win could stop President Obama's health care reform plan right in its tracks.

We're live in Boston, coming right up.

CHETRY: Food, water and medical help agonizingly slow to reach the people of Haiti. It is estimated that the number of dead from last week's earthquake could top 200,000. But, still, there are survivors that are now dying in the streets as doctors plead for help and more supplies. And looters -- now they're are finding for what's left of Port-au-Prince.

ROBERTS: And a new trend in today's economy. More men are getting an economic boost from marriage. That's according to a new study that found one in five women now earn more than their husbands do. Our Christine Romans breaks down the economics of marriage and who's wearing the pants in the family these days.

But, first, a developing story.

Right now, voters in Massachusetts are picking their next senator in the special election to fill the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat could change the way that you get your health care delivery. Polls show the Republican candidate in the lead. If he wins, Democrats on Capitol Hill will lose their 60-seat filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and the president's plan for health care reform could go out the window, right along with it.

Our White House correspondent Dan Lothian is live from a polling station in Medford, Massachusetts.

Dan, obviously, turnout is really going to be key in this special election. DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It really is, John. And, you know, it's difficult, we're told by the secretary of state, to tell exactly how many voters will turn out, whether it could be a factor, although this is New England, but the snow is coming down. Also, this is a special election. The only numbers that they could give us is that they expect about a million of the state's 4.1 million voters to turnout to the polls.

We're here, as you mentioned, in Medford, Massachusetts. It's northwest of downtown Boston. We've seen a steady flow of voters showing up here since the polls open at 7:00.

You know, what's interesting about this race is that, just a couple weeks ago, most people probably would not have heard about it on the national stage, at least. Scott Brown, who's the Republican candidate, no one probably knew his name. He is a state senator and has really seen a surge in the polls lately.

I mean, this was someone who was a long shot on anyone's count, but he has been working very hard, very aggressive, going door to door, shaking hands whenever he can, and has made this a real race that has gotten now a lot of national attention.

On the Democratic side, you have Martha Coakley. She was considered the front runner. She is the state attorney general. But she has been criticized for running a lackluster campaign, not being very aggressive, and, of course, now, we see this double-digit lead that she enjoyed a little bit more than a week ago has all but evaporated.

Then, there's another candidate as well running today as the independent candidate Joseph Kennedy, no relation to Ted Kennedy, but he had been urged by some to get out of the race, believing that perhaps those votes could either help the Republicans or the Democrats. But he is staying in right to the end.

Now, why is it that this race has gotten so tight? Well, a lot of people here say that it has to do with the fact that the jobless rate, a lot of people unemployed and they are concerned about what's going on in Washington. There's a lot of frustration and anger. And we heard that from one voter this morning.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody is tired of what's going on in Washington. We want to make a difference, and it's going to happen in this state. We want to make a -- go on and take a stand for the country and in the state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LOTHIAN: This race really has been all about health care reform. Scott Brown, the state senator, the Republicans say that if he wins this race, he will vote against the president's health care reform plan. And so, that's why there's so much concern. That is why this race is getting so much attention, because it will impact the 60th vote that will stave off a Republican filibuster, John.

ROBERTS: You got to wonder, too, just the name recognition and people who aren't fully informed about the election may look at the name Joseph Kennedy, and say, oh, there's another Kennedy running for the seat and maybe take a couple votes away from the Democrats.

Hey, more important, if Brown were to win this special election, the Democrats lose that filibuster-proof majority, what do the Democrats plan to do about the health care reform?

LOTHIAN: Well, that's the very big question this morning, John. You know, the White House is saying that there is no Plan B. That they're not working on some backup plan in case they do lose this.

But, clearly, there is a lot of concern, and the options that are being thrown around out there are not very good. First of all, perhaps Democrats would have to lean very heavily on Republicans, to see if they can get some Republican senators on board. The other option is to get this done before Scott Brown. If he were to win would be certified.

But then, again, you know, that's something that Republicans would cry foul that this is being rammed through, and even some Democrats have suggested that this is -- they might not back this plan because it would not look good at home to their voters.

So, at the -- you know, at the very least, this is a very, very uphill fight for health care reform if Scott Brown is able to win here.

ROBERTS: Dan Lothian for us this morning outside a polling place in Medford, Massachusetts -- Dan, thanks so much. We'll be hearing from Dan throughout the day, by the way.

The polls across Massachusetts will be closing tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. So, tonight, at 8:00 p.m., join Wolf Blitzer and the best political team on television. They'll bring you the results live right here on CNN -- a very, very, very important special election there in Massachusetts.

And we're not done with this race yet, though. Still ahead on the Most News in the Morning, we'll talk with one of the best political minds around, CNN senior political analysts and former presidential advisor, David Gergen, will be joining us at 8:30 this morning.

CHETRY: And now, to the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It's been a week now since that powerful earthquake leveled the city. It is now believed up to 200,000 were killed. More food, water and medicine are still desperately needed. Some relief is finding its way to the victims, but the airport there is badly backlogged and many roads leading into the city of Port-au-Prince are still impassable.

The Americans are doing their part, donating more than $7 million during a celebrity telethon last night on CNN's "LARRY KING LIVE." And as Alina told us, those numbers could go up. They keep the phone lines open and continue to take calls throughout the night.

Well, if medicine, food and water piling up at the airport just a short distance away, the streets of Port-au-Prince are turning violent. Looters, many of them armed, tearing apart what's left of the capital, desperate to find anything of value, and willing to go to extremes to get it.

Our Anderson Cooper is in Port-au-Prince, has seen the danger and the panic firsthand.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Haitian police fire in the air trying to scare off looters who broken into a damaged store (ph) through the roof.

(on camera): There are two Haitian police officers on the street corner but they're kind of just standing by and watching. They're protecting a building over there. They don't really want to get involved on what's going on over here at this point. They just don't enough police officers on scene.

So, it's become kind of a free-for-all, kind of word is spreading in this neighborhood that there are items available. They are climbing up and grabbing whatever they can. This could turn ugly very, very quickly.

(voice-over): They are not taking food. They're stealing boxes of candles. The young man on the roof takes control and start charging others on the ground to receive the stolen goods.

Tony Bennett, an American businessman, tries to keep the looting from spreading.

TONY BENNETT, AMERICAN BUSINESSMAN: I think they're (INAUDIBLE). This is why I came down with some weapons. You know, we're just trying to shoot into the air. I will have them shoot a couple rounds just in the air. Yes, this is getting a little out of hand.

COOPER: Tony signals for the police officer to fire in the air. It seems to work for a few seconds, but not much more than that. And then the policeman then tries to use a piece of wood to control the crowds.

(on camera): This police officer is trying to insist that they return the candles that they've been stealing, that they come down, but they're not listening. The looters are just sitting on top of the building, basically waiting for this police officer to leave.

It doesn't take long. The block is now in the hands of the looters.

The American businessman, Tony, has blocked off the street in front of his business, which is just about 300 feet away from where the main looting is occurring right now. So, he's used whatever debris he could find here -- you know, an old table, some crates, pieces of vehicles, and they've closed off this entire street. He has the two Haitian police officers with him here protecting his store, and look, they've been able to bring in a truck and they're quickly loading as many of the food supplies from his store into that truck and then they're going to take it away before the looters can get to it.

Now, I don't know how widespread this is in this commercial area of Port-au-Prince. I've only been on this one spot. But -- from here -- I can tell I can see 400 feet in that direction, and they're looting there as well.

(voice-over): As supplies start to dwindle, the store with the candles, the looters become even more determined to get what they can.

(on camera): The mood here is definitely starting to shift. Early on, there are a lot more women. Now, it's really young men. And we're starting to see people walking around now with weapons, which we weren't seeing before.

(voice-over): A fight breaks out between a gang of men trying to steal from another man. One looter uses his belt to whip the man.

(on camera): Now, if somebody takes away something, others will try to grab it. It's basically a battle between to see who is stronger.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHETRY: It's just amazing. And, you know, they feared what happen if aid and those supplies couldn't get into the city of Port- au-Prince fast enough.

ROBERTS: Yes. You know, there are some people who are simply criminals and then there others who are desperate to get anything. And we saw similar scenes, too, in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina when people get desperate.

CHETRY: Yes. And as we've been talking about -- the people of Haiti are clearly feeling desperate. And the situation for doctors is also a little bit tenuous right now.

We turn to our own Sanjay Gupta. He is live in Port-au-Prince this morning.

And as we understand it, there really seems to be a block when it comes to getting those supplies that may be at the airport or maybe ready to flown in to the people on the ground that help professionals on the ground that need them.

What's going on?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it's a really hard question to answer. And I don't think anyone knows for sure what's going on or if there is some person or some particular organization that's coordinating all of this relief.

But you're absolutely right, personnel in terms of health care workers, and the supplies that they often use, we hear a lot of those things either want to come in to Port-au-Prince or are here at the airport, but actually getting those things into some of these devastated areas, places that need it most, it's just -- has proven really challenging. And, you know, I don't really know the answer to why that is. And I think a lot of reporters have been trying to figure that out.

At first, we thought it was simply logistics, trying to get from point A to point B; roads were filled with -- filled with debris from houses crumbling into the roads. But that has gotten better. You know, some of these roads are cleaned up now. Even bigger trucks can get through.

So, was there more of an emphasis on security? More of an emphasis on sort of policing the area, to try and prevent some of the looting that you just saw and less of an emphasis on medical relief? I don't know.

But clearly, unfortunately, with medical relief, you measure the time line in minutes and hours. And people have not been able to survive over the last week because some of the medical relief has not gotten in, and that's just a shame.

ROBERTS: Yes. Sanjay, we were talking with Senator Bill Frist a little earlier about all of this. And he's down there with the charity Samaritan's Purse. He actually pitched in, as you did, and performed surgery on a few people.

His suggestion was that even though there seemed to be a dearth of medical teams down there, the more important problem is a lack of medical supplies. He says you could throw more people at this problem, but until you get those medical supplies, you still are not going to be able to adequately treat people.

What do you think about that?

GUPTA: Well, there's no question about that. And, in fact, I think the personnel in terms of the looking at the shear shortages, the supply shortage is worse than the personnel shortage. Again, I think people who came in. They can get around by smaller vehicles. The supply trucks were larger and they took longer to get in.

But, you know, I agree with him. And I think that -- you know, one of the hospitals I was at, for example, last night was a hospital that started to get staffed up in part by an organization called Partners in Health. It's a well-known organization that serviced Haiti for a long time -- as well as many other countries.

You hear a lot of helicopters hovering (ph) above me. These are assessments that are going on and they're trying to still assess the situation on the ground, which also is part of the issue. The assessments are still on going, the answer people get when they're asked when they can come in and when they can start helping. But, anyways, this hospital that I was at, they came in and they had to go to one of these supply stories. They buy hack saws and vodka.

And I hate to sound morbid and I'm not making this up, but they bought hack saws and vodka to able to -- vodka to sterilize the hack saws, hack saws perform amputations. That's what they're using at some of these hospitals suppose to take care of the patients. Doctors -- well-trained doctors -- that's the type of equipment that they have down here.

ROBERTS: You know, we keep hearing the word civil war medicine being thrown. That would seem to prove that.

Hey, Doc, just in a personal note...

GUPTA: Yes.

ROBERTS: ... you've been doing an amazing job down there. You're making us all proud.

GUPTA: Thank you very much, John and Kiran. I really appreciate that. Thank you.

CHETRY: We think about you all the time and everybody else who is there for sure, doing great stuff. Thanks so much, Sanjay.

ROBERTS: Trapped in the rubble of the Hotel Montana for 50 hours. Yesterday, we talked with one of the survivors. Coming up next: you're going to meet Sarla Chand and hear her ordeal and how she survived that harrowing time buried beneath the rubble.

Thirteen and a half minutes after the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. Thankfully, there have been a few memorable stories of heroism and survival in Haiti this week. Doctor Sarla Chand is one of them. She had just finished meeting with two colleagues at the Hotel Montana in Port-Au-Prince, when the earth began to shake and the walls came tumbling down.

CHETRY: She was actually trapped in the rubble for fifty hours before her screams for help were finally heard and she, along with those in her group, were rescued. And Doctor Chand has been reunited with her family, thank goodness, in New Jersey. And she joins us this morning to talk a little bit more about your ordeal. Thanks so much being with us. I know that you are a little bit sore. You hurt your hand and perhaps some chunks of debris, you think, fell on your head. How are you doing overall, though, after surviving fifty hours in the rubble?

DOCTOR SARLA CHAND, VICE PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR IMA WORLD HEALTH: I think on the whole I would say I am doing very well. Some of the reality has not quite sunk in, even though the body is so achy and sore, that I know I have been through some rough times.

ROBERTS: You cannot imagine going through what you went through, just sort of standing there in the lobby of the Hotel Montana, talking about where we will go for dinner, suddenly the ground begins to shake. You look up, you see the chandelier swaying back and forth and then the walls come tumbling down on top of you, and you described yourself, at the best of times as being, extremely claustrophobic.

CHAND: Yes, absolutely. I am and I still cannot figure out why that word never came into my mind. I never felt claustrophobic until the very end when I found the right opening and I had to decide whether I put my head through it or my legs through it, and I said I will put my legs through it because I don't know if I can put my head.

CHETRY: Right. And we also talked about it. You also talk about -- we spoke to Richard Santos yesterday who also told us his survival story. He is the CEO of the company that you are vice president of.

CHAND: That is correct.

CHETRY: You guys were all together. But, where he was, with a couple of your other colleagues, you were in a separate area. And he talks about how you were the only one that was able to move around. He actually said that you were the one really that eventually saved everybody because you were the one who was able to scream for help. What was that like being separated and also being able to move around and knowing your colleagues were in a different area and you could not reach them?

CHAND: What kept coming back to my mind at that moment was I had to find an opening to the outside world. I was not thinking that people were depending on me, because that would have created panic. I never panicked. I had a single purpose in mind, which was find the daylight, find the fresh air. And after finding, like, two openings and then discovering neither one was good for me, I kept looking, and at the third opening I did put part of my body out and then discovered that it was not the right opening because there was a solid wall behind it.

I pulled myself, and that is the point at which I started saying, god, lead me to the right opening. And then I found a fourth opening and I went almost up to my chest into that opening, and then discovered that I couldn't put my head all the way down to slide out, so I had to pull myself out again and it took a lot of time. And that is when Rick Santos said to me, Sarla, only two more hours of daylight, and that put a lot of pressure. And I said, well, I'm sorry, we might have to spend another night. I could hear groans.

ROBERTS: Oh, my goodness.

CHAND: I just felt at that moment I had to do something, and I looked back and I saw another opening and I immediately crawled to it, put my face and told everybody let's shout for help, and we started shouting, help. Help. And then I said, well, we might have to spend another night.

And then I saw light and heard words. And that's when I said, are you asking for help? Or are you here to help? He said something I could not understand.

CHETRY: Was it French?

CHAND: It was French. And I said, I am an American. I need help. I am trapped. And that's when he said, where are you? I said I will stick my leg out. And I stuck my leg out and he says, I see you. Those were music to my ears.

ROBERTS: You cannot even imagine being in that situation for a few minutes, let alone fifty hours. You occupy your time with trying to find a way out. But, how did you keep up hope for that amount of time? How did you stop yourself from going crazy?

CHAND: I can't explain it. I heard my colleagues who were trapped together. Especially Sam, who is no more with us, saying he is not going to make it out of this, and that we should tell his wife he loved her.

I would not even listen to that conversation. For me, there was one purpose, find daylight, find an opening with daylight and fresh air. So I was not going to even go there. One time the thought did come to my mind that I may not survive, but the way it came was if I don't make it, my sons and my family are going to be so mad at me for papers that are so disorganized to find my assets. And I said, no, but I will go back and organize them now.

CHETRY: So you had a lot of hope?

CHAND: Tremendous hopeless.

CHETRY: In what seemed like a hopeless situation.

CHAND: I never sort of felt that I will die. It was like, I have to find the way out.

ROBERTS: Sarla, stay with us. We want to continue this conversation. We have to take a short commercial break. We'll be right back with more of Sarla Chand. It's twenty-two minutes after the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Twenty-four minutes after the hour. Typically we would do be doing Minding Your Business right now, but we want to talk more with Sarla Chand who was trapped in the rubble of the Hotel Montana for fifty hours before she was rescued following the earthquake.

Sarla, there are many other people who are still trapped in the rubble. Give the folks at home some idea of what those people might be going through now, you know, in terms of how to deal with the dehydration, the loneliness, the fear. CHAND: I think it's very, very scary. You are thirsty. You have no way of getting any water. For us, the positive piece was that we could feel some fresh air. That is what we talked about when we were trapped. There is air coming in. And everything else became secondary. For my two injured colleagues, water was very important. They kept calling out for water. For me, water was not important at that moment. Only thing that I kept looking for was daylight and fresh air.

CHETRY: You talk about eventually the French rescuer came to you. How did you physically get out? How did they finally get all of you out?

CHAND: My first reaction was, I said to him, I'm going to lie down, and you pull me by my legs. And he says no. He said, Sarla, wait there. We will get you out. It will take two or three hours. And to me that was not acceptable.

ROBERTS: You needed to get out right now.

CHAND: I needed to get out.

CHETRY: So what did you say?

CHAND: And I said, no, no, just pull me out by my legs. He says, no, I am going to go and bring my team. I said don't go. And he says, no, but I have to bring my team back. I will be right back. I said, would you know where the opening is. And he said, of course I know where you are now. And few minutes later, he was back with his team. And they were the most wonderful people.

These young men, Michael (ph), who was 26 was the lead for my team. He came in through that small opening, pushed himself in to look at the inside of that wall before they would start breaking it to make the opening bigger. So I have no words to thank them, because they saved us.

ROBERTS: How much did faith help you get through this?

CHAND: It is my faith. And I grew up as a Methodist, but I believe in all faiths. If you come to my office or my home, I have artifacts from every faith in this world, because I think those are all different paths to the same god. That's all I kept repeating. God, lead me to the right opening. And He did.

CHETRY: How about your sons? How relieved were they knowing that you are back? They are in their late twenties right? Twenty-six and twenty-eight? What did they say to you?

CHAND: Welcome home, mama. To me, they are my life and they are everything to me.

CHETRY: I am sure that you mean so much to them and they are just relieved that you are able to make it through.

CHAND: Yes. ROBERTS: What are you going to do to make the next years of your life very special with your family?

CHAND: Spend a little more time with them. I have not, especially the last three years, I spend most of my time in Africa, traveling most of the time. I will make sure that I spend a little more time. But my younger son, similar to my older son, said to my sister, if you wanted anybody in that situation, it's his mother, because she will find a way out.

ROBERTS: And you did.

CHAND: And that means a lot.

ROBERTS: Sarla Chand, happy to have you here.

CHAND: Thank you very much. I am very pleased to be alive and be with you.

ROBERTS: Thanks for sharing your story. Twenty-eight minutes after the hour. We got the big Massachusetts election on today. David Bergen our senior political analyst joins us to break it all down. Coming right up. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Thirty minutes past the hour. Time for this morning's top stories. And some financial news just in to CNN. Citigroup says it lost nearly $7.6 billion dollars for the last quarter of 2009. These losses are tied to customers still struggling to repay loans, also and Citi's debt to Uncle Sam from the federal bailout, but while the number sound bad, Citi says the rate of losses are actually improving from earlier last year.

ROBERTS: Google making another move in a war over censorship with China. The big launch of two new cell phones running Google's Android software has been cancelled in the country. Google tried to completely fall out of China after they accused Chinese hackers have breaking into some e-mail accounts that were used by human right activist.

CHETRY: And President Obama's first State of the Union Address set for next Wednesday. The timing has been up in the air. The president was hoping to include health care legislation and the nation's report card, but decision now hinges on the outcome of the Massachusetts senate race like we said (ph).

ROBERTS: And voting has been going on for about 90 minutes now in Massachusetts. Today's election will fill the seat of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, but in the bluish to blue states, poll show the States Attorney General Democrat, Martha Coakley trailing her Republican challenger, State Senator, Scott Brown. A GOP win would mean that the Democrats will lose.

Their filibuster proved 60-seat majority in the senate and could jeopardize President Obama's health care reform. Here for the AM break down this morning, CNN senior political analyst and former adviser to several presidents, David Gergen. David, great to see you. The question that everybody has on their minds is that seat has not elected a Republican senator since 1972. That seat has been occupied by Kennedy for 53 years. How the heck is this happening?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It's a doozy of a race, John. No one expected this. Martha Coakley, the Democrat was 30 points ahead in the early polls, and I don't think that she saw the title wave of discontent that was coming, that Scott Brown, the Republican is riding so effectively.

She run a complacent campaign in the beginning only, really began impressive here in the last few days. The democrats were laying back, but they thought they had it in the bag. He was fueled by a lot of the T.E.A. party folks, and others who were intensely opposed to what's going on in Washington, and he has been very effective and attractive candidate. Now, you know, the early voting suggests the turnout maybe heavy, which would favor her, but certainly, the momentum has been on his side in the last few days.

ROBERTS: He is leading specifically among men and independents. He is leading her 2 to 1 among independents. Why that particular appeal?

GERGEN: It is striking, and the independents make up about half the electorate in Massachusetts. They tend to lean democratic, if you ask many guy on the poll who they are, but they are the ones who were out on the cutting edge of these issues like homeland security, jobs, the health care bill.

Scott Brown has turned this into a referendum on what is going on in Washington, especially with health care, and his campaign began to gain traction when he said that, you know, I am going to be the 41st senator, the one who can stop a lot of this, and he got attention for that, and that has given him some of the traction, and I must say that, you know, the Democrats do not have a strong candidate as they wanted in Martha Coakley; she is not only complacent, but you know, I live in Red Sox nation these days, and the feelings about the Red Sox are pretty strong there, and when she was clueless the other day about Curt Schilling was, and called him a Yankee fan.

You can imagine what that did, so there's a - but, this should not -- if Scott Brown wins, in fact, either way, this should be seen not so much as a statement about the candidates, their strengths and weaknesses, although important, but I think more than that, what is driving that is the discontent that is so pervasive in Massachusetts.

ROBERTS: And the discontent often drives in what we call intensity or enthusiasm for voters to come out to the polls. Public policy polling at the North Carolina did something a couple of days ago, found that Republicans are more enthusiastic, more excited about getting out than Democrats by about 20 points. Do you know if that still holding or had the Democrats began to get more enthusiastic about this as they realize for them what's at stake.

GERGEN: That's a very good question, John. I think one issue is he was creeping up on her, and I don't think Democrats understood how close he was getting. Then they woke up and saw that he had a real race on their hands, and since then, they have gone into over drive to try to mobilize their voters, and I can tell you in some parts of Liberal Boston, there is going to be a heavy turnout today because they are so scared of losing the seat.

I also had Democrats who told me, John, it's everything that they normally vote Democratic. They thought they would vote for Scott Brown, the Republican, in order to send a message to Washington, but if they concluded at the end of the day, Scott Brown might actually win, then they might have to go back to Martha Coakley, because they didn't want the Republican to win. They just wanted to send a message. They didn't have to (INAUDIBLE).

You know, there are a lot of uncertainties, but I'll you this, for the National Democratic Party, this is not a good day, even a race to this close is not a good day, and either way, I think on health care, they are sort of dammed if they do or dammed if they don't now in Washington.

ROBERTS: All right. David Gergen it's always great to talk to you. Thanks for joining us.

GERGEN: Thank you, John.

ROBERTS: Eight p.m. tonight Eastern, join Wolf Blitzer and the best political team on television. The polls in Massachusetts will close then, and they will bring you the results of the race live right here only on CNN.

CHETRY: Still ahead, we are going to talk more about just how dangerous it is in Haiti's tent cities that have cropped up all over after the sun goes down. Jason Carroll takes a look after nightfall next. Thirty-five minutes passed the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. Thousands of people now in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, are fearing what is next, and they are spending desperate hours in tent cities. There is little fresh water or food in the makeshift communities. and now safety is the growing concern as the desperation mounts for supplies for the necessities of life. Our Jason Carroll is live in Port-au-Prince this morning, and he visited one of these tent cities after dark. Good morning, Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Kiran. We have been visiting these tent cities throughout my time here. We talked about the need for water. We talked about the need for food, and one time, when I was out there during the day, they said, you know, the problems really exist at night, so what we did was we went out there to take a look at exactly what the need is for at night.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CARROLL (voice-over): This is one of Port-au-Prince's largest camps for survivors. A former golf course now home to thousands. Daytime, it is hot and uncomfortable. Nighttime presents even more serious problems.

UNKNOWN MALE: They steal it.

CARROLL (on-camera): You know, the people here tell me that the overwhelming number of survivors who end up in tent cities like this one are good people. They're just trying to make due night after night, but there is that small element that exists here that makes life miserable for everyone.

CARROLL (voice-over): Incidents of sexual assaults and stealing food and water are now being at camps like this all over the city.

PRISCA LABRANCE, SURVIVOR: I have to sleep on the floor and sometimes I am afraid.

CARROLL: Prisca Labrance is 13 years old. At night, she shows me how she does not go far from her family's tent.

And so you sleep here?

LABRANCE: Yes.

CARROLL: And is that your bible over there.

LABRANCE: Yes, it's my bible.

CARROLL: Her family and the bible, her only comfort now.

LABRANCE: I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid, because God is with me.

CARROLL: Because God is with you.

LABRANCE: Yes.

CARROLL: So for you, you use God as your protection?

LABRANCE: Yes.

CARROLL: So, your family is here?

Not far from Prisca's tent, Gene Roman sits and wonders why police are not doing more to protect his family.

Have any of you seen police around here to help protect you.

GENE ROMAN, SURVIVOR: I don't see the police.

CARROLL: You don't see the police.

ROMAN: The police are on the street. I see the police on the street. CARROLL: On the street, but not here?

ROMAN: Not here.

CARROLL: Roman isn't seeing many police at the camp because many of them were victims of the earthquake, too.

MARIO ANDRESOL, NATIONAL POLICE CHIEF: It's clear that, you know, we do not have enough people.

CARROLL: Haiti's National Police Chief, Mario Andresol, telling me before the quake, Port-Au-Prince had more than 4,000 officers, and now less than half that.

It's going to be incredibly difficult and an incredible challenge for you to try to enforce crime in these areas at night.

ANDRESOL: Exactly. It's right. And in this hour at night, there only has the patrol.

CARROLL: Andersol says the International Community needs to provide reinforcements, because the tent cities are not going anywhere, and people like Prisca Labrance and Gene Roman are waiting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARROLL: And Kiran, today the U.N. security counsel is expected to improve an increase in peace keeping forces here to help boost security at these tent cities, especially at night, and you can tell from listening to the people there, the help cannot come soon enough.

CHETRY: Absolutely.

CARROLL: Kiran.

CHETRY: Absolutely. Jason Carroll for us this morning in Port- au-Prince. Thank you.

ROBERTS: It's Election Day in Massachusetts. A little, light, fluffy snow falling. Our Rob Marciano has the election day forecast coming up. If you live in the south, you are going to like today. If you live in the West Coast, not so much. Forty-three minutes after the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Hello, Boston. And take a look at that. That's snow coming down. It's 32 degrees right now on election day; later on today, snow changing to rain a high of 36 degrees. And Rob Marciano is tracking the election day weather there in Massachusetts, as well as what's going on in the rest of the country. He joins us now from Atlanta. Hey Rob.

CHETRY: Hey Rob.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey good morning guys. Yes, a little snow for all bean town and all of Massachusetts, they got some wet snow yesterday. And it's coming out again today. It's a pretty weak system. So an inch or two, maybe three inches tops here. But it'll come down from now pretty much through the lunch hour. So that's going to be the call there. But I think folks it shouldn't deter folks who are getting to the polls.

Temps will be right around the freezing mark. It's not like it's going to be caked on there and really freeze over.

I want to show you this video out of Portland, Maine over a foot of snow yesterday falling. So Massachusetts has got some snow and Boston got snow much yesterday. And Maine got the brunt of it; we're seeing over a foot down east.

All right, let's go out to the West Coast, where these storms continue to battle the California coast line, waves pounding Pacifica, taking on that pier and also taking on some of the bluffs there. And homes are at stake. There is an ongoing battle with an apartment complex there trying to keep it above the ocean.

All right, Phoenix, Albuquerque -- these are areas that don't see a lot of rain typically, it's a rainy season in some aspects but seeing three or four or five inches of rain would do a lot of damage for those folks and that is possible.

The next wave of rain coming in to San Francisco, it will driving south into Los Angeles and waves will be a big thing in as well. And winds 80 miles an hour in parts of Washington, last night and parts of the higher country of northern California seeing 65-mile an hour winds and Crescent City also seeing some winds. And rainfall also yesterday in some spots was record-breaking in places like Burbank, California.

Sub tropical surge of moisture kind of El Nino like here; so several pieces of energy coming in so flooding rains and potentially mudslides. We saw a threat for that yesterday in that area near the station fire. But they were allowed to go back into their homes but still a flash flood to watch out for today. And really I think it will be posted through Friday morning. John and Kiran, back up to you.

ROBERTS: Rob thanks so much.

CHETRY: All right and now it's time to check in with Kyra Phillips in the "CNN NEWSROOM" for a look of what's ahead coming up in the next hour.

Good morning, Kyra.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning.

Michelle, let's go ahead and bring up the graphic, if you don't mind. I'm leaving John out of this, Kiran, I just want to talk to you about -- I don't know about you Kiran but I am paying closer attention to the Massachusetts race today. How about you?

CHETRY: Yes, there you go, wow. That would be a new addition to the senate, let's put it that way, no offense.

PHILLIPS: Yes, it would. But you know, seriously, I mean, we were talking about this, this morning that, let's say Martha Coakley did something like this in college, I mean, would she be treated differently in this race. I don't know, you guys weigh in, what do you think?

ROBERTS: Well, let's first -- first of all fully explain what you saw because that was a very definitely-cropped photograph. That is a full frontal nude photograph of Scott Brown, as a 22-year-old college student, Cosmo. He does have his hands strategically placed in somewhat-- human fig leaf. But if a woman were to have posed like that, even if it was that long ago Kyra, would she be able to run for anything greater than dogcatcher?

PHILLIPS: Well, which is the discussion that we want to have. I actually had not seen the photo, which I think is interesting, because I think something like this would have appeared a lot earlier possibly if indeed it involved the female candidate.

So we're going to talk about that and of course, the seriousness of the race. It comes down to two words, our health care. And it's a big day today in Boston. And we'll be talking about the implications on the national level.

ROBERTS: And you'll be talking about -- to Elizabeth Cohen down there in Haiti as well and the situation that she's run into in some of the medical centers?

PHILLIPS: That's right. I got a pretty powerful e-mail from her this morning talking about donations that are being made. And that even body parts for surgeries. And they are dying, because they don't know what to do with them and they don't know how to keep care of these parts for the surgeries.

It just brings out the bigger picture of so many people are giving so much money and so many supplies more than we've seen in decades. And it's so chaotic, they don't know how to distribute properly because they just don't have the people on the ground to do it.

So we're going to talk about that and try to give viewers a little bit more of a better direction on how to donate.

ROBERTS: We're looking forward to that. See you at the top of the hour. Thanks.

PHILLIPS: Thanks guys.

CHETRY: It's a one week out and we're talking about the logistical troubles when all of those supplies had made their way there in country. It's just getting it to the places they need it that's proving to be troublesome. And we are going to explore that more today here on CNN.

Meanwhile, a little bit of a bright note: stars, A-listers from Hollywood rallying to help Haiti. There was a star studded event; Larry King hosted it last night. They raised millions and we're going to tally up just how much.

It's 50 after the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: It's 52 minutes past the hour. Welcome back to The Most News in the Morning.

Here at CNN we've been using or global reach to answer Haiti's call for help. And last night many, many joined in that fund.

ROBERTS: Yes. An A-list of stars and humanitarians joined Larry King for one of the most shows in his long career. Our Alina Cho is here now with the highlights. How are you?

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there guys, good morning. You said it, John, a real A-list last night, Ben Stiller and Benicio Del Toro, J Lo and Seal, all of them coming together for one special night right here on CNN, making a difference one dollar at a time.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They described it as a nuclear bomb going off.

MICK JAGGER, MUSICIAN: This is like a huge massive disaster for one of the poorest, poorest countries.

PAULA ABDUL, ENTERTAINER: Overwhelming despair and families not knowing who is alive.

CHO: J Lo, Mick Jagger, P. Dee Dee, Snoop Dogg, Ben Stiller, even Ringo Starr; a consolation of stars with so much to give helping people with so little.

Larry King welcomed all of them for a telethon and tweetathon called "Haiti: How You Can Help" and they raised millions in a matter of hours.

RYAN SEACREST, HOST, "AMERICAN IDOL": The need is immediate.

CHO: And what is more immediate than Twitter. Ryan Seacrest, an avid tweeter, was on hand in Larry's tweet suite with Jared Leto who lived in Haiti.

JARED LETO, SINGER: I saw through Twitter that people are actually building houses around the world. Some of our fans are kind of joining in and helping the cause.

CHO: Some of the first images of disaster came in through social media. Now it's being used to prevent a humanitarian aftershock.

SEAN COMBS, RECORDING ARTIST: Haiti for me was such an inspirational country. They were the first people to take back their freedom. And the first people to say that we will not be slaves any more.

GARCELLE BAUVAIS-NILON, HAITIAN-AMERICAN ACTRESS: My cousins are okay. My aunt is still missing but my cousins are ok. And I got to speak a few Haitian callers, and we got to speak in Creole. And I can't tell you how moved I am that everybody cared.

CHO: Even Larry King's signature suspenders are helping.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Herbal Grand says Larry should auction off his suspenders tonight.

SEACREST: Jared Leto's at 400.

CHO: And Ben Stiller who I sat down with just a few weeks ago says he hopes Haiti remains in everybody's heart, long after the plane leaves.

BEN STILLER, ACTOR: A month, two months, six months down the line when people are not doing specials on it, when the new cycles moved on, the support they're going to need and I think that's what -- we have to all sort of work towards keeping attention.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHO: I spoke to Ben Stiller by phone after the show last time and he told me he does plan to go back to Haiti eventually, that's after the cameras are gone. Also his own charity, Stiller Strong has redirected its focus now. All donations that come in will go toward emergency relief in Haiti -- that's a good idea.

The biggest need right now, of course, is money and the dollars certainly poured in last night. Listen to this guys, between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Eastern time, CNN helped raise $7.75 million, that money for UNICEF and the American Red Cross.

And just incredible sweet stories; I got an e-mail from a spokesperson at UNICEF and she said one little boy was very excited to give all of his tooth fairy money to this effort. He saved it all up. A 103-year-old man celebrating his birthday gave away his birthday money. And an elderly woman actually burst into tears. She was so thrilled to give, she doesn't have a computer, she doesn't have e- mail. And she was just so happy that they had opened the phone lines last night and she was able to call and give.

ROBERTS: That's incredible.

CHETRY: Doing it the old school way.

CHO: So just really, really -- doing it the old school way, that's right.

CHETRY: You know Alina, though, the other interesting thing. We talked about all of this money and all this aid -- record amounts of aid pouring in, and we are still seeing logistical problems on the ground for these organizations that has been in Haiti even before this tragedy struck. CHO: That's absolutely right. I mean you look at UNICEF, for example. I visited that head quarters last week. They've been on the ground there since 1949. Their headquarters in Haiti were obliterated. They're lucky that they didn't lose anyone but that is true.

I mean they want so desperately to bring in this aid, which really costs like -- you think about a water purification tablet, it costs a penny. I mean really, every penny does count.

(CROSSTALK)

CHO: That's right. But to not be able to get it there and also obviously all of the problems that Sanjay is seeing with the doctors and security there, a real, real big problem and I think that's really frustrating for people, but the good thing is that they are giving.

CHETRY: Absolutely.

CHO: Yes.

CHETRY: Alina thank you.

CHO: You bet.

CHETRY: By the way, remember that you can still help. You can go to cnn.com/Haiti and there is information on the charitable agencies you can donate to. Also cnn.com/impact. You can also find stories and images at cnnireport.com and also follow the latest news #haitiCNN on Twitter.

It's now 58 minutes past the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Continue the conversation on today's stories; go to our blog at cnn.com/amfix. And that will wrap it up for us. We will see you back here again bright and early tomorrow morning.

CHETRY: That's right. Thanks for being with us today.

Meanwhile, the news continues. Here's "CNN NEWSROOM" with Kyra Phillips -- good morning Kyra.