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Super Tuesday; Women`s History Month

Aired March 7, 2012 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, HOST, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz, and today elections take center stage in CNN Student News, but we`re not just talking about the ones in the United States, although that is our first story.


AZUZ: Super Tuesday, the single biggest day on the presidential primary calendar, 419 delegates being awarded, based on the results of primaries and caucuses in 10 states.


AZUZ (voice-over): Let`s run through the list: Georgia, Ohio and Tennessee had the most delegates up for grabs. Voters also went to the polls in Virginia, Vermont, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Idaho and out in Alaska as well.

Here`s what we knew when we produced this program last night: CNN projected that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich would win his home state of Georgia. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was the projected winner in his home state of Massachusetts, and also in Virginia and Vermont. And CNN projected that former Senator Rick Santorum would win in Tennessee.

The contests in some other states, like Ohio, were too close to call, and others like Alaska were still coming in late last night. None of those states had a winner-take-all contest. Candidates will be awarded delegates, based on how many votes they got in each state. Though the results of yesterday`s primaries and caucuses could help determine how the race for the Republican Party`s nomination will end up.

You can get the latest updates and the full results from Super Tuesday on our home page. Go to the "Spotlight" section and click on the CNN Election Center link.


AZUZ: The economy, especially the unemployment rate, is one of the biggest issues in this year`s presidential campaign. A lot of Americans have said it`ll have an impact on how they vote. So we wanted to look at the economic situation in the 10 states holding contests on Super Tuesday. Christine Romans has that breakdown for us.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, HOST, "YOUR BOTTOM LINE": It`s two issues that affect voters most: where you live and how you pay the bills. Let`s start with jobs. In six of the 10 Super Tuesday states, the unemployment rate is lower today than when the president took office. Alaska, Massachusetts -- look at North Dakota, 3.3 percent.

Ohio, Tennessee, and Vermont, now Ohio, the big battleground state, the rate is down from when the president took office, down from its high of last year. But still an uncomfortable 7.9 percent to half a million people there are still out of work.

Tennessee, the rate is above the national average -- 8.5 percent there. Here in Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia, candidates can rightfully say that the jobless rate has risen since Obama stepped into the White House.

In Newt Gingrich`s home state of Georgia, 9.4 percent was the unemployment rate at the end of last year. And in 2010, the state`s jobless rate spiked to an all-time high of 10.5 percent. Idaho, Oklahoma, and Virginia also have higher rates than when the president took office, but in Oklahoma and Virginia, you got 6.3 percent and 6.1 percent. That`s better than the national average.

I want to take a look now at housing because if you`re underwater, it means you owe more on the home than the home is worth, Super Tuesday states have some of the highest rates of underwater mortgages in the country.

I mean, take a look at Georgia -- 33 percent of homeowners in Georgia have a house that`s underwater. In Idaho, it`s one in four. In Virginia, it`s 23 percent. This is according to Core Logic. And the national rate is 22 percent.

And look at Ohio. That battleground Ohio, 24 percent of people who have home loans owe more on the house than the house is worth. An interesting thing about Ohio, it`s one of the reasons why Ohio is almost a proxy really for what the GOP nominee faces in November. Do voters focus on how bad things got? Or how they`re very slowly, slowly improving? Christine Romans, CNN, New York.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Ms. Conn`s Georgia studies classes at Fulton Science Academy Middle School in Alpharetta, Georgia.

About how many people are there in the world? Here we go. Is it around 5.5 billion, 6 billion, 7 billion or 8.5 billion? You`ve got three seconds, go.

The world`s population reached the 7 billion mark late last year. That`s your answer, and that`s your Shoutout.


AZUZ: What`s incredible here is that more than half of the world`s population -- we`re talking about 3.5 billion people -- could be affected by elections this year. Nearly 60 countries are holding some kind of election, whether it`s local, state or national. Some experts are considering how that might impact the global economy. John Defterios explains why ballots could equal big bucks.


JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): This year, all over the world, politicians are gearing up to hit the campaign trail. Voters to woo, promises to be made, elections to be won. About a third of the world`s nations representing nearly half of the global economy go to the polls this year, making choices on local, state or national levels.

Traditionally, elections are seen as good news for investors. So this year should be, in theory at least, a bumper year.

JIM ROGERS, ROGERS HOLDINGS: There`s going to be a lot of good news in the next few months, next year, because there are all these elections. And politicians like to get reelected. So they`re going to spend a lot of money. They`re going to print a lot of money, so you`re going to see a lot of good news coming out.

DEFTERIOS (voice-over): So the argument goes, politicians promise ramped up spending ahead of elections in an effort to create the feel-good factor. And voters like the prospect of more jobs or extra money in their pocket.

Economics is the talking campaigns from the U.S. to Europe, in countries large and small. Vladimir Putin recently won the Russian presidency on a platform of increased government spending on everything from schools to shoring up the military.

Others in the world`s key emerging markets also face elections this year, including Venezuela, where there`s been increased public spending ahead of October`s faceoff between President Hugo Chavez and an energized opposition.

Meanwhile, in China, the transition to new leadership will be watched for any shift in economic policy.

PROFESSOR TIM LEUNIG, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Well, historically, we`ve seen economies get big boosts in advance of elections. We think of LBJ and the Great Society. We think of Britain in the 1970s, or Francois Mitterrand in France in the 1980s.

More recently, we`ve seen southern European governments do what they wanted to do before elections in order to win those elections. But it gets harder once no one will lend you the money and once you can no longer print the money to buy the election.

DEFTERIOS (voice-over): And things are different now. The global economy`s in the doldrums, austerity is the new buzzword. Government finances from Europe to Asia are squeezed. Politicians around the world must balance their election ambitions with the new economic reality.

Promises they make today still have a price to be paid, if not this year, then certainly in the years to come -- John Defterios, CNN, Abu Dhabi.



AZUZ (voice-over): This day in history, March 7th, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell gets a patent for his revolutionary new invention, the telephone.

1933: the board game Monopoly is invented. The game`s properties are named after streets in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

1965: civil rights marchers are attacked by officers as they cross the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Alabama.

2010: Kathryn Bigelow becomes the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director.


AZUZ: Honoring female firsts like Kathryn Bigelow`s Oscar win is part of what Women`s History Month is all about. Our next story is on Ashley Fiolek. She`s no stranger to breaking new ground. A few years ago, she became the youngest champion ever in her sport, and that was just the start of her motocross accomplishments. Check this out.


ASHLEY FIOLEK, MOTOCROSS CHAMPION (through translator): Hello, I`m Ashley Fiolek. I`m a deaf women`s motocross professional racer. And I`m a three-time women`s motocross champ and a two-times gold medal (inaudible).

My grandfather, he`s a big inspiration to me. He`s the one who got my dad into racing, and then my dad got me into racing. Me being deaf, it doesn`t really bother me. I grew up deaf. It`s what I know. I think I struggle more with being a woman in a man`s sport than being deaf. Girls` work is hard, so, guys, we should be out there, too.

HANNAH HODGES, TEEN RACER: Ashley`s helped, you know, women`s motocross a lot, and it just makes me want to ride more.

FIOLEK (through translator): I was the first deaf person who won a gold medal at X Games. I was the first woman to join a factory race team, the first girl on a major motocross magazine cover. I think I`d like to leave a message and say anything is possible.

I would tell any young girl that wants to become a racer or has a goal in their life, you know, work on it and your dream will come true.


AZUZ: All right. Before we go today, we have for you a record- setting robot.


AZUZ (voice-over): We`re going to warn you, though, it looks kind of strange. It looks a lot strange. But you don`t want to get into a race with this thing, because it`s a robotic cheetah, and it can take off at 18 miles per hour.

Now, of course, those of you who know cheetahs know that that`s a lot slower than the actual animal. Cheetahs have been clocked at up to 70 miles per hour. But this is a new record for four-legged robots. Of course, the engineers who designed it have only let it run on a treadmill. It hasn`t been tested out in the wild.


AZUZ: So some folks might say that when it comes to setting this record, the robot`s a "cheatah." But I`m sure this kind of thing is just taken totally in stride. Either way, it`s time for us to run. CNN Student News will return tomorrow. We will have more updates for you on Super Tuesday then. For CNN Student News, I`m Carl Azuz.