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CNN NEWSROOM

Candidates Back In Campaign Mode; Waiting For Absentee Ballots; Superstorm Sandy's Devastation; Recovering From A Superstorm 1.3 Million Early Ohio Ballots Cast as Obama Leads Polls; New Yorkers Deal with Transit Troubles, Power Outages; AT&T, T-Mobile Share Network so Storms Victims Can Use Cell Phones; Campaigns Target Coveted Voters, Suburban Denver Moms Registered Independents

Aired November 1, 2012 - 13:00   ET

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


JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART": For those fortunate enough to make it through, still dealing with the after effects. Millions tonight still without power and water. Thousands displaced from their homes. Here in Manhattan, the power is still out downtown or, as we refer to it now, little North Korea.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Suzanne Malveaux. This hour in the CNN NEWSROOM, new video now of Superstorm Sandy's destruction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need help down here, I mean, it's a lot of people out -- you know, that don't have a home to go to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: And can the storm push the presidential election? That coming up this hour next.

The state's hit -- hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy are just beginning what is sure to be a very long and difficult recovery period. Nowhere is that process more daunting than the Jersey shore. The destruction there, it is massive. Parts of the shoreline look like war zones. Almost two million people are still without power. Six people were killed in that state. Emergency teams, they're going house to house now in these devastated communities. They are looking for people who might be trapped.

Steven Van Zandt, he is one of the more well known Jersey shore natives. He is a member of Bruce Springsteen's e E Street Band. He grew up along the Jersey shore, making music that has become symbolic of the region. Van Zandt is also known to millions of T.V. viewers as the mobster Sylvio in the HBO series "The Sopranos." On CNN, he's joining us by phone from Rochester, New York. Steven, good to have you here. Obviously, you are -- in some ways, people call you Mr. New Jersey, the face of Jersey shore. Where were you when this storm hit? How did -- how did you fair? STEVEN VAN ZANDT, E STREET BAND (via telephone): Well, I have been living in New York for a while now, and I was there downtown where our power is still off, and, you know, it took me a day or two to tune in to actually see all the devastation of our hometown there, our whole home area, and it's extraordinary. It's just shocking, you know, and, you know, you have to be very, very proud of the volunteers and fire department and police and our governor and everybody who is working so hard to try and salvage what they can. It's just amazing to see the entire -- you know, every place you went to as a kid is just gone.

MALVEAUX: It's interesting you say that. John Stewart had just made a joke about it, really, saying that every place you know as a kid, everything you love is now under water, that that is in some ways how people are looking at this. What are your family, what are your friends saying to you? What kind of conversations are you having now as you've reached out to people in your community?

VAN ZANDT: Well, you know, I have spoke to several people down there, and, you know, it's just as bad as it looks. Everyone is just trying to get through this, you know, obviously the power coming back is the main thing right now, to get people started back towards rebuilding their lives. And we are, of course, talking about what we can do to help, you know, we're very proud of our record as far as the music business, you know, always finds a way to help, and we will find a way for help with this as well.

MALVEAUX: I want to talk about that because it really is amazing. This is a storm that hit just days ago, and already NBC is airing a benefit concert that features The Boss and Jon Bon Jovi and Christina Aguilera. Are you going to be performing with the E Street Band. Can you give us a sense of how this came together so quickly?

VAN ZANDT: Yes, this -- the telethon on NBC, it was announced this morning, and, yes, we're going to be a part of it, and we're proud to be a part of it. And I think Johnny Bon Jovi and -- that's what I've heard. I haven't talked to Johnny, but I talked to Billy Joel, and I know Billy had his hands full out on Long Island as well. So, it's not just New Jersey, obviously, it's Long Island, it's parts of New York, it's all, you know, up and down the coast. So, yes, I'm glad NBC is going to do this thing, and we're going to be a part of it, yes.

MALVEAUX: Why did you decide to participate? I mean, clearly this seems like this is a very emotional connection for you when you -- I mean, you've experienced this. This is your home.

VAN ZANDT: Well, very much so. I mean, we literally grew up there, and, you know, all these pictures you are seeing on the news, that's where we grew up and learned our craft. You know, I mean, we would be helping anyway. You know, we -- again, I'm very proud of the fact that the music business was always there when something happens and, you know, attention is needed. But we know, in this case, of course, it's doubly so because it is -- it is where we grew up and, I mean, it's just amazing. You know, it's always been -- there's been floods from time to time, but there's nothing quite like this. And we have to start thinking about the future here. You know, this is probably not going to be the last of this type of storm.

MALVEAUX: Yes.

VAN ZANDT: You know, it's the classic situation that everybody has been warning us about --

MALVEAUX: Yes.

VAN ZANDT: -- for 20 years with all this global, you know, climate change, and this is exactly what it looks like, you know? I think it's something that we need to really start seriously thinking about

MALVEAUX: Sure.

VAN ZANDT: -- and, you know, start looking at just, you know, our infrastructure. This cannot continue to be this fragile, you know? I mean, I don't know, you know? I just feel government does have a role to play, you know, in spite of what we hear from some of these politicians. You know, yes, the government needs to protect us, it needs to, you know, create a vision for the future and organize that future, and organize that vision, but also create the infrastructure --

MALVEAUX: Right. And Steve --

VAN ZANDT: -- of our country, you know? And we need to really look at that and, you know, this idea that this role goes back to the state, you know, it is not a -- it is not a schedule government role is absurd and this is the proof of it, you know?

MALVEAUX: Steven, let me -- yes. Let me you ask you this, because we saw, you know, your governor Chris Christie and the President touring together these devastated parts of your community. What did you make of that when you saw that this, you know, Republican and Democrat working alike. And --

VAN VANDT: Well, that's exactly what should be happening and that's why we're proud of Governor Christie and we're proud of President Obama. I mean, these two guys, you know, they put politics aside, they realize that this is something that -- this is what should be happening, you know, as far as government relations between the parties. And everything else is just properly put aside, you know?

And, you know, I'm glad Governor Christie can -- you know, I understand his party loyalty, you know, he's out there on the stump for Romney, and, you know, that's totally understandable as far as the party loyalty goes, but also to understand that, you know, you can't just get rid of FEMA. You know? I mean, you know? There are certain things that Romney is talking about that is absurd, you know?

MALVEAUX: Steven, I want to ask you a final question here. I mean, do you think the president -- do you think he's done a good job in handling this? Do you think he deserves another four years?

VAN VANDT: Yes, yes, I do. You know, I think it's a very difficult situation for everybody, but I think it's going -- it calls for a president who understands that there is a role for the government to play, you know? And this is -- this is it. We're looking at it right now, you know? And that's the bottom line. I think, you know, as disappointed as we all may have been and what got accomplished these last four years, you know, there's reasons for that, and the opposition has been just not playing by the old political rules of compromise and that's been really unfortunate, so Obama is going to have to find a way around that, but the truth of the matter is he is the only one that has the vision of what a government's role is and should be.

MALVEAUX: Steven, I want to -- we are going to be looking out for you, obviously your performance that's coming up there to help generate funds and awareness for the victims and for the survivors of this storm. We all loved you on "Sopranos." You got any other projects that are coming up?

VAN VANDT: Well, thank you. Well, I have the "Lilyhammer" show on Netflix that we talked about last time I talked to you.

MALVEAUX: Yes.

VAN VANDT: That's still there. That's doing very well on Netflix actually. And I have this big "Rascals" reunion -- the "Rascals" from a the 1960s. No one has seen this band in 40 years, and I am very proud to bring them back. They are one of the groups that got me into the -- into the business, the first rock and roll band I ever saw. And we're doing six shows with them at the newly restored Capitol Theatre in Port Chester in December.

MALVEAUX: OK.

VAN VANDT: And we're very proud of that, because they were very involved with the civil rights movement and they got me very much potent (ph) and made me politically aware back then in the 1960s, and we're bringing back the four original members of the "Rascals."

MALVEAUX: Oh, great.

VAN VANDT: So, that's my big project for the year.

MALVEAUX: All right. Well, Steven, good to talk to you, again. Yes, we failed to mention we had talked before earlier in the show, so really appreciate it. We hope you get your power back and then everything works out for you and your family and your friend, and, obviously, we'll be supporting the money that you're going to be raising for awareness and to help those folks who are out there in your region.

VAN VANDT: Thank you, Suzanne. And thank -- you know, thank you, CNN, for supporting this very, very worthwhile cause.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Steven. Appreciate it.

Here's what we're working on for this hour.

(voice-over): Just five days until the election. Will it come down to Ohio? Plus this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNICDENTIFIED MALE: It's kind of like dog-eat-dog world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Manhattan, partially paralyzed after Superstorm Sandy flooded parts of the city. The fight for taxis, buses, and subway rides as people start returning to work.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Superstorm Sandy disrupted a campaigns of both the President and Mitt Romney, but the election just five days away. The candidates, they are shifting back now into campaign mode. President Obama, he held a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. That was just a short time ago. Now he is headed to Vegas and on to Denver.

Mitt Romney, he's rallying with supporters in Roanoke, Virginia, and he's got two other stops in that crucial battleground state today. Both the president and Romney express concern for the people who are now struggling from that storm, but they also renewed their attacks. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A lot of people lost their lives. A lot of families have been devastated. A lot of homes have been lost and property lost and our hearts go out to the people who are suffering. I know the Obama folks are chanting four more years, four more years, but our chant is this. Five more days. Five more days it's our turn.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's no Democrats or Republicans during a storm. There are just fellow Americans. Leaders of different parties working to fix what's broken. Neighbors helping neighbors cope with tragedy. Communities rallying to rebuild. A spirit that says, in the end, we're all in this together. That we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Governor Romney has been using all his talents as a salesman to dress up these very same policies that failed our country so badly. The very same policies we've been cleaning up after for the past four years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Want to bring in Candy Crowley, host of CNN's "State of the Union."

So, Candy, we're watching this, right? There are five more days. We're counting them down. It's the president's first day back in the fray. Tell us about this balancing act that he has to do here as role as comforter in chief and, at the same time, he's reapplying for his job, and he's running out of time.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. And I think you -- there are a couple of things going on here. You saw with both of them, they both mentioned the storm victims. Certainly there is still people suffering. There are still all these electrical outages all across the East Coast. People without their homes, people without their lively hoods, et cetera. So they both mention that, and then they go right into campaign mode. I think they are helped, in general, by the fact that the last five days tend to kind of ease voters to the polls. They tend to be when mostly the speeches, as we got closer and closer to that day, become more and more positive, more and more about the vision for America and that kind of thing. So that will help. But I don't think either one of them have had too much of a problem. As we saw in both those -- in all those clips, kind of balancing the disaster of the storm against what's necessary in campaigning.

MALVEAUX: I want to talk a little bit about the optics here, what things look like. You see the president today. He doesn't often wear the leather bomber jacket with -- emblazoned with Air Force One there. It does kind of give a sense, maybe even a look, of somebody who's on the ground, who's getting stuff done, who is dealing with this emergency situation. And then you've got the pictures of him and Governor Christie together as buds almost going through, touring the worst of Jersey shore and some of the other damage there. What do you make of it, Candy? How do you think these images play to voters?

CROWLEY: It always helps with voters being able to imagine somebody in the Oval Office. And clearly you don't have to do that with President Obama. He's been there almost four years. So the imagery around the presidency is awesome. We know that.

We also know that when disasters happen, as both these men said, America comes together. I know that in New Jersey, in New York, in Connecticut, down the East Coast, there will be some problems with voting. They will figure it out. They have known for a couple of days this was coming. I find it hard to believe that on the basis of a president doing his job, essentially, that suddenly it's going to sway huge numbers of votes elsewhere. So while I see this storm affecting the voting in terms of like actual places people can go, actual voting places with electricity along the East Coast, I don't see the overall presidential picture changing because of the storm and because of the president doing his job.

MALVEAUX: OK. Thank you, Candy. Great segue for what we're going to talk about next because it's just five days before the election and we've got a new report that finds that dozens of people in Palm Beach County, Florida, who requested absentee ballots, they're still waiting for them. And Joe Johns, he's in Washington, he's keeping an eye on voter irregularities.

Joe, you're looking at voter irregularities. Candy brought up a good point, too, which is whether or not people are actually going to be able to get to the polls in time to vote because of all the mess from this storm. What are you actually seeing when you take a look state by state or even big picture how this is shaking out? JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, let's start with Palm Beach County, Florida, because, you know, some people will remember, Suzanne, it was one of the flash points in the 2000 election leading up to the Supreme Court decision essentially deciding the election in Bush versus Gore. As you know, we're rolling out the CNN vote watch for 2012 right now, putting a spotlight on the voting controversies and election issues. And we wanted to get on the record with our very latest reporting about Palm Beach. There have been some issues there with absentee ballots, including ballot printing errors, forcing officials there to order the recopying, by hand, of something like 27,000 absentee ballots. This issue's been going on a long time. We're told it's almost resolved.

But now, as you mentioned, there's a new problem. A handful of voters, we don't know exactly how many, have reported that they never received absentee ballots that they requested. A Democratic source on the ground in Palm Beach told us on the phone today that this issue has actually been resolved, that those people who requested the absentee ballots have still gotten them. You know, we've reached out to the Palm Beach officials who have been cooperative with us in the past, I have to say that, to try to get a comment on this.

So, yes, so we're looking into that. But state by state, Suzanne, you know, it's a very mixed bag and everybody's trying to figure out what they're going to be able to do as we move closer to Election Day, especially because of the storm.

MALVEAUX: And, Joe, a lot of us have been keeping a close eye on the early vote process. A lot of people voting before Election Day. Can you explain to us actually how that is count and whether or not that count comes -- the official count comes after everybody has voted. How does hat work?

JOHNS: Right. Well, you know, just about everything, when you talk about these big election days, happens state to state and sometimes county to county. So it's kind of a mixed bag. You talk to, you know, one state, they'll say one thing. Another state will say something else. Bottom line is, they have to get those votes out at least by the end of election night. And they'll do that by downloading whether it's an electronic device or it's a punch ballot device. They'll get those votes and tabulate them by Election Day.

We talked to the folks in North Carolina. We've been using them a lot because they seem kind of cross-sectional and organized with their information. They say their state generally counts votes on election night. They use both punch ballot and electronic voting, and they download from the machines on the close of business then.

Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right, sounds a little messy, but it's probably going to be a messy process to get all the votes in and counted.

Thank you, Joe. Good to see you.

We want you to weigh in on how the storm has actually affected your opinion of the candidates, if at all. CNN has partnered with FaceBook to create a new app called "I'm Voting." So first it asks you to commit to voting this election. We want you to vote. Second, shows you how your friends, your neighbors feel about a whole host of things. Just go to my FaceBook page, facebook.com/suzannecnn. Click on the "I'm Voting" app. Today you're going to see this question. Is it too soon to be campaigning after Superstorm Sandy? You can click "yes, they should focus on helping storm victims," or, "no, the election is just a few days away." We're going to share your responses later in the hour.

Superstorm Sandy's impact on politics just a small hiccup compared to the tragedies that many people are now trying to overcome.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's rough. It's -- you know, emotionally it's devastating.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm so sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going through bouts of --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Just take a look at all the damage.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Sad news. The U.S. death toll from Superstorm Sandy jumped today by at least 20 people. Eighty-one deaths are now blamed on the flooding, the accidents, the devastating wind that all came with this superstorm. Also, in 15 states and D.C., more than four million households still with no power.

Want to get to Belmar, New Jersey. It's a beach town not far from Asbury Park. CNN's Jim Clancy is there.

Jim, you talked to the mayor of Belmar. How are things going?

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): I'm just looking right now. Amazing scene as front loaders are dumping sand, taking it away from the residents' homes, taking it to the beach where it used to be, working on this. And I'm talking about dozens of trucks, dozens of bulldozers working here in order to push the sand back to try to reclaim their city and its famous boardwalk that has now totally destroyed, completely ripped up by Hurricane Sandy.

This town -- and it is a small town of about 6,000 people year around, about 60,000, though, in the summer months. This town is a bowl. And it collects water. As a result, in order to recover from this, it got to save the flooded homes inside the town by pumping that water out. And there's some massive pumps that are working on it. Some of it were deployed during Katrina. They're pumping hundreds of thousands of gallons out of two lakes that are inside, and, therefore, draining that interior bowl.

MALVEAUX: Wow.

CLANCY: So the word today is really reconstruction. And they are tackling this aggressively. That's what the mayor says they plan to do.

MALVEAUX: And, Jim, tell me where all the sand goes. I mean you move the sand and you recreate the beach? I mean, how does that work?

CLANCY: Well, there's a huge problem. Mayor Matt Doherty told me that, you know, if there's any wood in there with nails in it or something, they literally will have to sift this sand with their bare hands. People will have to go through it in order to determine that it's safe. So there's still a lot of work to be done. But, yes, they're shifting it here on Ocean Avenue from one side to the other. They're going to push the debris in the town here to Ocean Avenue then and then truck it all away. That's the strategy that they have. The mayor said it's the aggressive approach that he heard Governor Christie -- Chris Christie wanted him to take, and that was do whatever it takes to get the job done.

MALVEAUX: Do they have enough people to get the job done? Are they bringing in workers from other places? I mean, how on earth do they deal with something this massive?

CLANCY: There are some workers coming in from the upper Midwest. I forget the exact location. There are, of course, crews here, power crews here, from places like Georgia and Alabama that are helping out. There are workers, scores and scores of workers here, that are manning the pumps. Some of them are in the water positioning the siphons, others are positioning new pipelines. They run from this lake. And then had it -- take it right to the sea shore. They're literally cutting the sea wall to make space for these pipelines to go through as the water just pours and pours back into the sea. They're trying to reclaim their town.

MALVEAUX: One of the things, the most remarkable pictures that we've seen, is of this amusement park in the water. The roller coaster in the Atlantic Ocean. How do people respond? How do they react when they see something so huge and iconic and massive just uprooted like that?

CLANCY: Right. That was in Seaside Heights. That's just about, oh, 15 miles to the south of Belmar. Belmar only had a promenade, a boardwalk, if you will, but it was very near and dear to them and well decorated with lighting and all the (INAUDIBLE) with, you know, the stores and the shops across from the sea shore. You know, it's a lot -- it's a big deal for this town too. They may not have as much, like you say. I mean to see a roller coaster sitting on the Atlantic Ocean or a Ferris Wheel in the Atlantic Ocean is truly disheartening. But in talking with the residents here they know they just have to get over it. Suzanne, they have to rebuild. And they're determined to do it. It's a daunting task. I don't know where they summon up all of this courage, but that's all I'm hearing today. MALVEAUX: Jim Clancy. Thank you very much, Jim.

Superstorm Sandy took out homes, tore up lives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In 94 years, I've never seen anything like this ever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you describe what happened when the water came in?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were sleeping, my daughter and I. All this water came in like a river.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Election buzz has already hit the battleground state of Ohio, numbers released by the secretary of state show that almost 1.3 million ballots already have been cast, the vast majority of them by mail. That's about 15 percent of Ohio's eight million registered voters. A recent poll shows President Obama ahead of Mitt Romney in Ohio, 50 percent to 45 percent. Anything can happen in the final days.

Our Don Lemon is in Dayton, a city of about 150,000 people not too far east of Indiana.

Don, great to see you. Tell us what's up.

(CROSSTALK)

MALVEAUX: You talked to early voters. What's the vibe?

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I knew you were going to say "What's the vibe"?

(LAUGHTER)

What's the vibe? I'll show you the vibe. Look, there are people back there voting, Suzanne. And let me show you the real vibe out here. I mean, honestly, look at this place. There's been an ebb and flow all day, but it's mostly been very busy. You know, at times, there are fewer people. But to my right here, which is your left on TV, there is an overflow. There's like a little auditorium so people have been showing up here. And to be honest with you, they're really excited. They come in and ask us, hey, you guys CNN? We love you.

(LAUGHTER)

Some people thought we were from channel 7, the local station. But they are excited to vote. And I think most people, Suzanne, are glad to have it out of the way. It's done. I've done my duty as an American, and my vote is cast. MALVEAUX: What are some of the reasons that they give you for voting early? I mean, is it -- you say get it done, out of the way. Are they looking at other things and thinking, you know, it's going to be a real mess on Tuesday? Why the passion to vote early this go-round?

LEMON: Yes. Let's give you a better picture so you can see the people back here. A lot of reasons. You never know what the weather is going to be like here. Today, it's warm. It's in the 40s. That's warm for here. It's been, like in the 30s since we got here on Monday. They don't know what the weather is going to be like on Election Day. They don't know what responsibilities they're going to have as far as their jobs or what can come up. You know, their car might break down or somebody can get sick or what have you. So, a number of different reasons.

Plus, they're watching the television. They've been watching Sandy. They know what's happening on the east coast. They want to make sure that they get their vote cast before Election Day just in case something happens. That's the truth.

MALVEAUX: And, Don, you have been actually trying to assess kind of the ground game, as they call it. Do you have any sense of who has more momentum at this point? The president's side? Romney's side? Is there any particular candidate that's more organized than the other? Can you tell?

LEMON: I'm glad you're asking me that. First, I'm going start with who has the momentum. What do you think both sides are saying, Suzanne? You've done this. You know.

(LAUGHTER)

The people on the Obama side say we've got the momentum going into it. We're going to win. Early voting. We started it last -- 2008, we started that trend. Then, the Romney people are going to say, well, listen, this is the first time -- we're going to turn this state red this time, and we're going to keep it red.

As far as -- who is more organized, it depends on the game. The Obama people, I think, are more concentrated now on volunteers so that they can get people actually out voting on Election Day. They think -- they sort of have run the course on early voting. They're still trying there, but they think they can get more people -- by the way, when you hear that, Suzanne --

MALVEAUX: Yes, what's that?

LEMON: -- that means a first-time voter when they start applauding.

MALVEAUX: Oh, that's nice.

LEMON: That's a first-time voter. If you come in, yes, it's a big cheer.

(LAUGHER) As far as the Romney people, they think that they have the momentum when it comes to early voting. They think that they have the momentum because they've got the phone banks. They're automated and quick on the phone. They've got it down. The thing is, we don't really know. You don't have to declare here.

(CROSSTALK)

Like in Georgia, you don't have to declare there. No one really knows. But they both say they have momentum.

MALVEAUX: Do they get a sticker, too, the "I Voted" sticker as well?

LEMON: Come here.

I'm glad you asked that.

Mr. Garcia, this is Jorge Garcia.

MALVEAUX: All right, Don.

LEMON: You come here, he gives you a parking pass, and what do you say?

JORGE GARCIA, VOTER: He says, thank you for voting.

MALVEAUX: Yes. All right, Don, we've got to leave it there.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: Thank you for voting, and you get the sticker.

(LAUGHTER)

Don, I'm going to leave it there. Thank you, Don.

MALVEAUX: Thanks again.

LEMON: See you. All right, Suzanne. Bye.

MALVEAUX: All right, take care.

While many people are lining up to vote across the country more than four million people are without power in the northeast.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Getting from here to there. New York, a lot more difficult after Sandy. The city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority say only 14 of 23 subway lines are now running. But 4,000 buses picking up some of the slack, at least.

Rob Marciano is reporting on how New Yorkers are coping with all these transit troubles and the power outages.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ROB MARCIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, it is day three now in lower Manhattan, black-out and mass transit shutdown. Of course, north of 34th Street the subways are running on a limited basis. But here, the green line, the orange line, that's certainly shut down.

The buses have been an issue, for sure. Just getting on one has been a challenge. Long lines, pushing and shoving. People are getting over to lower Manhattan and getting their morning or afternoon snacks here trying to get life back to usual.

But Brooklyn Bridge, a lot of foot traffic coming over. And here's what folks who are making that commute via foot had to say.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today, everybody is trying to get in and get back to the normal thing.

MARCIANO (on camera): Do you normally walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to go to work?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don't, but this morning I thought that was my best bet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Normally, the R-train 35 minutes door to door. Today, I'm expecting a two-hour walk.

MARCIANO: You're OK with the walk?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. I'm worried about getting home.

(LAUGHTER)

That's a long day at work and trying to get home. Hopefully, trains, buses started working. We'll do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Started off walking the bridge. I hope to find a bus on the other side. Then, the subway in midtown. That's the plan. I don't know how long it will take, but that's the plan.

MARCIANO: A cool, crisp sunny day so, for the most part, New Yorkers making that commute by foot in decent spirits. Of course, if this goes on for another week, that situation may change.

This area, of course, without power. It's also the heart beat of the city. Big buildings like the municipal building, which really runs the city. You have the federal and county courts down here as well. City hall is running on generation power. So this area still dark and probably will be for now day and a half, two days.

The issues are with people that live in upper floors, 15, 20 stories up. And if you are old or immobile, that makes it difficult to go up and down those stairs. The survivability issues, get your supplies.

And on top of that, Suzanne, temperatures are going to drop this weekend to near freezing, and surviving the cold at night will be a problem as well.

Back to you, Suzanne.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: Rob.

Imagine losing your car, not having a way to get to work. With some subways down and the buses packed, many New Yorkers finding themselves trapped or either walking long distances just to get around.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I walk from Queens over here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put that in perspective for me. What kind of walk was that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A marathon. A marathon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Like a marathon. We'll have a look at the transportation around New York.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Storm victims in New York and New Jersey, they are scrambling to call loved ones, but they can't because their cell service has been knocked out. But that could change for many of them in a rare move. AT&T and T-Mobile have now agreed to share networks so that customers will have a better chance of actually getting service. Commuters also getting some good news.

Chad Myers is joining us with new information about how folks are getting around some of the difficult areas -- Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: At least uptown is moving. You get down to 34th Street and then below that and it's tough. I mean, I have looked at traffic and the lines are all red, which means cars are barely moving. But let's go uptown and look at the subways, the A, the 1 train all doing very, very well. If we go farther to the south, 34th Street, that's the cutoff. That's where nothing is really going south. There's no power south of here. You get across to the other side, you go over to Brooklyn into Queens, and all of a sudden you do have some traffic coming in going to three separate bus locations and the buses are taking people over to lower Manhattan.

There's another issue down here -- the A-train down towards the Rockaways. There's just going to be an issue here for a long time because that's what the train track looks like to the Rockaways. There's just sloopy right in through here. There's no support. That bridge is gone, and there's so much debris. Boats literally washed up on shore.

Come back over here to South Ferry. We'll show you a picture what this looks like. Yes, that's going down the escalator, and that's where the water is right there. It is still quite a mess there across lower Manhattan.

Traffic is actually moving. Southern Manhattan, the bridges are moving. We're not doing too badly here.

One more thing to talk about. There you go. You see some of the traffic moving around there. I want to talk to you about airports because finally we did get LaGuardia open. And so here, we did get some arrivals here. Delta Air, the 2048 from Detroit arrived already. But when you take a look -- I'm going to scroll up and up. We're going to go to the closer arrivals now. All those words over there, canceled, canceled, canceled. The Air Wisconsin, U.S. Airways, Mesa Air, canceled, canceled, canceled. And, yes, there's probably hundreds of them. And then we get to the delays. Then there are still some en route. We have about 65 planes. This is a miracle. LaGuardia looked like a lake, and now it's moving.

MALVEAUX: Well, at least you have some planes moving.

Thank you, Chad. Appreciate it.

MYERS: You're welcome.

MALVEAUX: Superstorm Sandy's timing really not the best here. The presidential election only five days away, so people in the northeast, they're focusing on recovering.

But this group of women in Colorado, they are working to get the vote out. These moms, they are not just talking the talk. They ware walking the walk.

But first, sneak peek at what you can expect for this weekend's "Next List."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think we have to teach innovation. I think we just have to coax people out of their fear of trying innovation.

(MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody has creative abilities. But people just don't express them. I mean, I see people come in here that are afraid to try anything. We give them some classes and some encouragement, they have some success with their products, and you see them just change. You see them light up. You see them say, wow, I really can do this. This is stunning. They're stunned.

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MALVEAUX: The race of president basically in a dead heat in Colorado. Polls show a virtual tie. Mitt Romney at 48 percent. President Obama at 47 percent. It is no surprise that both campaigns fighting real hard for every last vote. We caught up with the most coveted voters. Who are they? Suburban Denver moms who are registered Independents.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With the crunch of fall leaves beneath jogging strollers, this group of Colorado moms, self described mountain mamas, make the first lap chatting about the final leg in the race for president.

TINA SUSACH (ph), INDEPENDENT SUBURBAN MOM: I'm very torn.

LAH (on camera): You're torn? Undecided?

SUSACH (ph): Definitely undecided.

LAH (voice-over): That makes Tina Susach (ph) the coveted prize by both parties. She's a registered Independent, a suburban mom in the key swing county of Jefferson.

SUSACH (ph): Knocks on the door, mail, TV ads. I put a note on the door that said there are children napping in this house, and I guarantee you, you won't get my vote if you wake them up by knocking now.

(LAUGHTER)

LAH (on camera): They're bothering you?

SUSACH (ph): They're bothering me.

LAH (voice-over): How important is this demographic? Listen to what the candidates said visiting Colorado.

OBAMA: The small business woman in Jefferson County --

ROMNEY: You women who graduate --

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Women's rights.

REP. PAUL RYAN, (R), WISCONSIN & VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: -- small business woman.

LAH: Why the emphasis on women? Pollsters estimate there are still 75,000 to 100,000 uncommitted voters in this swing state, most of them nonpartisan women living in the Denver suburbs. White, affluent and well educated, they voted for Obama in 2008.

(on camera): But 2012 is a different story just a month ago President Obama led Governor Romney by double digits. Today, that margin is razor thin.

SUSACH (ph): It really is still right down the lines of is the economy the important tipping point for you one way or the other or is it really the social issue that is are the tipping point one way or the other?

LAH: For you it was?

SUSACH: For me it was a little bit of both.

LAH: Registered Independent, Laura Welch, is voting for Obama. Her running mates voted early.

(on camera): How did you vote if you voted already?

LAURA WELCH, INDEPENDENT SUBURBAN MOM: I voted for Romney.

I feel like it's a lot of things in our economy that need to be worked on and I feel like Obama has had a lot of great talk but not as much that's been done.

LAH (voice-over): With just days left, there are fewer and fewer Tina Susachs (ph).

(on camera): You feel like they're fighting over you?

WELCH: Little bit more, yes. Yes, I do.

LAH (voice-over): The state's nine electoral votes could hang in the balance and so could the election.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Lakewood, Colorado.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: Really pretty out there.

Election, days away. Candidates back on the trail. We asked, is it too soon to be campaigning after Hurricane Sandy? Your answers up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: So we asked you to weigh in on what the candidates campaigning after Superstorm Sandy. CNN has a new app with Facebook called "I'm Voting." It shows you how friends and neighbors feel about a whole host of issues. And today, we asked, is it too soon to be campaigning after Superstorm Sandy?

Here's how you responded. 67 percent said, no, the election is just a few days away. 36 percent said, yes, they should focus on helping storm victims. It is not a reflection of the whole country but a way to check in and see how you stack up.

Here's some of the comments you left, as well.

Don writes, "As harsh as it sounds you have to keep going. These disasters are not going to break the human spirit until we let them."

Cheryl Lin says, "My personal opinion is to stop all campaigning and use the funds to support the victims of Hurricane Sandy."

CNN NEWSROOM continues with Brooke Baldwin.

Hi, Brooke.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Suzanne, thank you so much.