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Final Pennsylvania Push; McCain Courts African-American Vote
Aired April 21, 2008 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: The stakes are high and the pressure is on. The attacks and counterattacks are fast and furious and at long last Pennsylvania voters are about to have their say in the presidential race -- 158 delegates are up for grabs, the biggest single prize left in the primary season. And with polls opening only 11 hours from now, the candidates are still going all out.
Let's take a look. This is the "View From 30,000 Feet." For the Democrats, it's all about Pennsylvania. Everybody's there, making as many stops as they can in these final hours. For the first time in a while, Bill and Hillary Clinton are campaigning together. The senator also just smoke with CNN's Larry King. And we're going to hear from her coming up in just a few minutes.
Senator Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, are also campaigning together in Pennsylvania. The senator is speaking to the crowd right now in McKeesport, outside of Pittsburgh. Earlier today, Obama passed up a chance to predict that he will win tomorrow. We're going to more on that, too.
And where is Senator John McCain during all of this? Well, not where you might expect to find him. Instead, think unusual. Think Alabama and a quilting group. And think a spontaneous eruption of Gospel music.
This is day one of Senator McCain's "It's Time For Action" tour. He's targeting places Republicans usually skip, frankly. And we're going to have more on McCain's musical moment a little bit later in the show.
Right now, though, all eyes are on Pennsylvania. For both Democratic candidates, it's been a long six weeks since the last primary in Mississippi. So, let's get right to two members of the best political team on television.
Suzanne Malveaux is watching the Obama campaign. Senior political correspondent Candy Crowley is following the Clintons.
And, Candy, here we are on the eve of the Pennsylvania primary. What is the final closing argument the Clinton campaign is making today?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Frankly, it's the argument she made back in Iowa more than a year ago: I'm the one with the experience.
She has a new ad up. It invokes the image of Osama bin Laden. It invokes Pearl Harbor. It basically is kind of the red phone ad put to different visuals. But it basically is, who do you want to have take care of the crises that come toward the president in the wee hours or any other hour of the night? So, it is still about electability.
And like any good candidate 24 hours before the polls open, she's also about getting out the vote -- Campbell.
BROWN: And, Candy, I do want to play something that Clinton said in Scranton this morning. We will talk about it on the other side. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't want you to take a leap of faith or have any guesswork. We have had enough of that. We, unfortunately, ended up electing a president in 2000, and we didn't have a clue about what he was going to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And, Candy, this is a message that she's sending well beyond this primary, well beyond Pennsylvania voters, right? There is a different target audience here.
CROWLEY: Absolutely. This is about the superdelegates. This is the argument: electability. I'm the one that can get elected. I'm the one with the experience.
And, you know, that remark reminds me so much of an earlier remark from Bill Clinton some time ago, pre-New Hampshire, when he talked about how Barack Obama was a risky choice. So, we're back to that. We're back to the resume. We're back to the experience. And we are back to who can beat John McCain.
So, this is not just about reeling in Pennsylvania voters. She ought to do pretty well tomorrow. This is about those superdelegates, because they understand coming out of here inside the Clinton campaign that they're not going to be ahead in the popular vote. They're not going to be ahead in the pledged delegate vote and that in the end this is still going to be about the superdelegates. So this is about voters and this is about those superdelegates.
BROWN: All right, Candy Crowley for us tonight.
We want to go now to McKeesport. Obama is at the mike right now. Suzanne Malveaux is also there.
Suzanne, today, on a local radio on Pennsylvania, Obama said that he is not predicting a win for himself. He's clearly trying to lower expectations. Polls do show him trailing, but how are they spinning this? Where are they trying to set the bar?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Campbell, really, what they want to do is make sure that he comes in closely behind, that this is not a blowout, it's not a double-digit lead. They want to prove that they're competitive with Clinton.
And that's important to counter the argue, to blunt the argument that she is making to the superdelegates. Essentially, he wants to prove that he's competitive in a large swing state like Pennsylvania. And they also have to show that they're carving out and stealing a little bit of her base, the blue-collar, the working-class, the white Catholic voters, who they have been working very, very hard to win over. Those are the two things that he has to show tomorrow to come out strong.
BROWN: OK. And, Suzanne, if you can, though, be a little more specific. We just heard from Candy that team Clinton is pushing the electability argument. So, how specifically is he countering it?
MALVEAUX: Well, it's amazing what he's been doing, because essentially he's crisscrossed the state. He's been moving through southeast Pennsylvania.
He's been really hitting some of the same areas that Clinton has been hitting, competing for the same voters. We saw both them starting out today in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She talks about this being her roots, home state roots.
He essentially countering, saying he's been out there. He's been shaking hands. He's been bowling, drinking beer, all these things to try to relate to the people here. That's the specifics. And he's been talking about economic plans, things that he thinks really resonates with the voters here.
BROWN: All right. Suzanne Malveaux for us with Obama tonight -- Suzanne, thanks.
And the polls in Pennsylvania close in just under 24 hours, a lot to watch as the results start pouring in.
With our "Insider's Guide," we have got John King over at the magic map to tell how it's all going to play out.
And we know that Hillary is leading in the polls John, but if there's an upset in the making, how would it happen?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's look at the state.
Let's pull out first and look around the neighborhood. Hillary Clinton did win New York. She won Ohio. She won New Jersey. She even won these rural counties in Maryland. Obama won the state. But she is well positioned in a state like Pennsylvania. And let's pull it out.
You say if there's an Obama comeback, where will it be? Well, let's stretch the map out a little bit, because despite where he is campaigning right now, where he is, out in those rural areas, that's about the margins. This is the Obama base right here, the city of Philadelphia. More than half of the electorate, Campbell, tomorrow in the city expected to be African-American. Barack Obama must run up big numbers. It's a little more than 12 percent of the statewide population, hugely important to Barack Obama.
The next question is the four suburban counties right around Philadelphia, another almost 20 percent of the vote statewide. Bucks County began the year majority Republican. Democrats have registered new voters, many of them because of Barack Obama, critical to his campaign.
Montgomery county, another affluent suburb, he's done well in these areas in the past, needs to run up the numbers and beat Senator Clinton there. Chester County, the most affluent, perhaps the more Republican of the collar counties, but still, affluent Democrats there and again here in Delaware County.
So, for Barack Obama, he's out in the Pittsburgh area now. That's about margin ways out there. His base is right here, has to run up big numbers.
BROWN: OK. What about her? Where are her hot spots?
KING: Let's leave this red line up. And I'm going to shrink the state a little bit. You leave this place up here, the red for Barack Obama. We will use blue or Senator Clinton.
This is a blue-collar county, right through here, (INAUDIBLE) corridor, Reading, Allentown, Bethlehem, Scranton. This is the white working-class vote. She has to do very well there. Now let's slide across the state over here to the Pittsburgh area. Much the same. We will stop that from moving, bring it on back. Much the same here. Blue-collar area up in the north, right down through Pittsburgh, a big Catholic vote down in this areas as well. She has to do very well blue-collar in the east, blue-collar in the west, and then among more rural Democrats out here in the middle.
BROWN: All right. John King, you will be back with us later to talk superdelegates as well. John, thanks.
So, on this primary eve, which candidate has the momentum, and what does that really mean if neither candidate can get enough delegates to clinch the nomination? We are going to get into that with the best political team in television -- coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: If there were ever any doubt about how important it is to pick the right president, the last seven years should have disabused everybody of that.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So, what really counts tonight on the eve of this primary? Momentum? Actual popular votes? Superdelegates? With me now to talk about all this in the CNN ELECTION CENTER, the CNN contributor Roland Martin, CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger, and "TIME" magazine editor at large and senior political analyst and star of "The New York Times" Mark Halperin.
Welcome to everybody.
So, let's talk a little bit about momentum. They both spent the weekend crisscrossing the state basically. Polls have been steady, though. She tends to -- Hillary Clinton does tend to be sort of the closer, historically. Do you think that's the case in Pennsylvania? Who has the momentum right now, Mark?
MARK HALPERIN, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, "TIME": Well, I don't think it's clear. Both of them could make the argument they do.
I think one of reasons Senator Obama has been so aggressive is he doesn't want a rerun of what happened in Texas and Ohio, where she put up an advertisement in Texas, got a lot of coverage. She seemed to close strong there. She's closed strong in most states. But I think they have done a very good job of being aggressive on TV, with the candidate. There may be a cost in some ways, but I think it has kept her from breaking out.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think he was closing in on her. He has really narrowed that gap, but then he made some mistakes, like the bitter comments.
BROWN: And that sort of plateaued everything?
BORGER: It froze it.
So, now, when he's throwing stuff at him, he's throwing stuff back, which is what he didn't do. And I think that that's because they don't want to give up any ground that have been gained, because if she wins by over 10 percent, that's going to be perceived as a very big win.
BROWN: How do they define victory? And we're getting spun to no end by both sides right now, but if you look at the polls, she is expected to win. She's favored. But it's a margins game.
And so what's the number? What should we be looking for?
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it hasn't changed from what we had. When he won Mississippi and Wyoming, it was kind of like, oh, he will 18, 20 points, so it's pretty much over. She will win Pennsylvania.
Clearly, for her, she needs double digits. But the bottom line is, her people are going to say, a win is a win. Nothing has changed in terms of the argument they're making. Her argument is still electability because she is saying likely can't pass him in delegates. His argument is going to be, more delegates, popular vote, game over. And so no matter what happens tomorrow night, they are going to stick to that particular script.
BORGER: But she is also going to try to narrow the vote in popular votes, too. That's going to be very important for her, if she can narrow it by a couple hundred thousand, say. He now leaves by about 700,000.
BORGER: She can make that case to those superdelegates.
BROWN: And that's a victory in their mind, quickly, quickly.
HALPERIN: What she is focused on keeping those superdelegates frozen while we go forward. What he's focused on is opening up the logjam, getting a lot of superdelegates. That's really all that happens. What we think the margin needs to be doesn't matter.
BROWN: All right, stay with us, everybody.
The Obama campaign now accusing the Clinton campaign of using tactics from the 2004 Bush/Cheney playbook. Remember terrorism, national security, the fear factor? In a moment, we're going to tell you what they're doing and ask our panel about that as well.
BROWN: Senator Barack Obama speaking now in McKeesport, outside of Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, from the Clinton camp, an 11th-hour ad that is touting her leadership credentials, using images of bin Laden and the post- Katrina devastation in the South and then concluding with this. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, CLINTON CAMPAIGN AD)
NARRATOR: Harry Truman said it best. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Who do you think has what it takes?
CLINTON: I'm Hillary Clinton, and I approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Clearly designed to evoke fear and to paint Senator Clinton as the only person you would want picking up that phone at 3:00 in the morning. So, if you have to ask, will the fear factor help or hurt the candidate? Let's bring back our political panel now, Roland Martin, Gloria Borger, and Mark Halperin.
And, Gloria, the Obama campaign actually fired back in response to that ad with this poster. Let's see if we can pull it up and show you. This is from 1992, a campaign poster of Bill Clinton and Al Gore. "Vote Your Hopes, Not Your Fears." It's a good response.
BORGER: It's a really good response.
BROWN: But the fact is, fear can be an effective weapon.
BORGER: Particularly in the post-9/11 world, as we all talk about.
But, ironically, I looked at that poster, and it's charming, because Barack Obama is running Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign, the man from Hope. It's all about the future. It's not about the past. I mean, it is totally taken from Bill Clinton's campaign book. And here he is and Hillary Clinton now, being the older guys and the folks of experience, who are saying these folks, be very afraid because they don't have the experience to run the country.
MARTIN: I think that's part of -- I think that's one of the reasons why the Clinton campaign has been so bothered this whole season, because you're running against a guy who is using a strategy that her husband used.
BROWN: Well, she had every right to use the strategy, had she chosen to.
MARTIN: She had a shot to actually do it and didn't. And so -- but, from his campaign, I think it's a ridiculous argument to say, oh, you're using the Republican tactic. Well, get used to it, because that's how they're going to run.
It makes sense for her to make that argument because, again, she has no choice but to do so. And so it's smart politics on her part.
HALPERIN: There are people in this primary who I think will find that ad somewhat appealing. But it is a tame version of the Republican version of this ad that will run in the general election if Barack Obama is the nominee.
BROWN: Fair point.
Let me ask you, Mark, about -- there was a lot of sniping over the weekend, but this is something that Obama said yesterday in Reading, Pennsylvania. And then we will hear how Hillary Clinton responded to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Either Democrat would be better than John McCain. But -- and all three of us would be better than George Bush.
CLINTON: We need a nominee who's going to take on John McCain, not cheer him on. And I believe I'm the better person to do that important job come the fall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: I have to admit, I was a little surprised when I heard Obama say that. What did you make of it?
HALPERIN: It's a political mistake in the Democratic primary and maybe even the general election, but I got to tell you, I think it's what he believes.
As much as they're trying to act like John McCain is this big, horrible Bush III, I think on a lot of big issues, they think McCain will be different than Bush. And he blurted out the truth. He shouldn't have done it, but not so much because it will hurt him in the Pennsylvania primary, I think, but it does show once again he's new to this, can make mistakes. And you can't afford to make mistakes.
BORGER: But it's also what Hillary Clinton believes.
HALPERIN: Right, right.
BORGER: She is the one who said he would be qualified to be commander in chief.
BROWN: Savvy enough not to say it out loud.
BORGER: But her husband said Hillary Clinton and John McCain are good friends. You remember when Bill Clinton said that?
MARTIN: Hillary Clinton made the argument that she was better on national security. So was John McCain. So, pretty much, he is not. She said it out loud with her generals. And so I'm like, give me a break.
But I think Mark is right in that -- I made the point even with the bitter comment with Obama -- sometimes, you really don't want to be that truthful. Like it or not, this whole notion of let's really have a conversation, it doesn't really help when you're the guy who is leading and so it can be used against you. Save it for a nice cup of coffee with you and Michelle.
(LAUGHTER) BROWN: Let me ask you real quick. We're almost out of time here. But I -- just Bill Clinton, there's been such an evolution in terms of how he's been used throughout this process. But they're back campaigning together again.
Have they finally figured out how to use Bill Clinton effectively?
HALPERIN: Until they haven't.
BROWN: Until they haven't.
BROWN: Until something else happens.
HALPERIN: But he's logged a lot of miles across Pennsylvania, across Indiana, some in North Carolina, in those small towns.
And when we look at the exit polls tomorrow, if she is really strong in those rural areas, you have got to give him some of the credit.
BORGER: But they kept him away from the press. They have kind of walled him off now, so you can't catch him and he can't get mad at you. And that's been pretty good for him. He is an effective campaigner.
MARTIN: That's the good point. He's a good campaigner. Just keep his mouth shut and just talk to people. That's all you got to do.
BROWN: OK, Roland, Gloria, and Mark, thanks to all of you. Appreciate it.
Senator Clinton's ad is timed for an 11th-hour knockout punch. But did its mark or land squarely where it counts? We're going to have more with Governor Rendell coming up in just a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA: I don't think she's implying he can't take the heat. I think she's implying that she is better equipped by her experience and what she's done to withstand the pressures of the presidency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: We are keeping an eye on this Barack Obama campaign stop in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.
With just hours to go before the polls open in Pennsylvania, it does look like Hillary Clinton has got the edge, or maybe not so much. Have a look at the latest CNN poll of polls. Pennsylvania voters favor Clinton 50 percent to Obama's 43. That's a seven-point split. But there's this. Seven percent of the voters say they're still unsure. That is Pennsylvania for you.
So, let's go now to the national figures. In Gallup's daily tracking poll, the numbers are almost identically reversed, Obama with 49 to Clinton's 42. There again, a significant 9 percent still undecided and teetering on the fence.
But only last week, the two candidates did appear to be locked in a dead heat. So, who truly has the momentum going into tomorrow's vote, and do the numbers add up to trouble for Clinton?
I talked with ardent Clinton loyalist Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell about how things are shaping up right now.
BROWN: Governor, we have been talking about Pennsylvania for a long time now. And you have said yourself that Hillary Clinton needs a big win. And we just saw that the latest CNN poll of polls shows her about seven points ahead of Barack Obama. So, how big of a win is big enough for her to turn this around?
RENDELL: Well, you know, that's really going to be the way the media spins it.
And you have to consider what we have seen here is record TV advertising by Barack Obama. He's outspent Hillary Clinton $12 million to $4 million on TV, and, this past week, the week before the election, spent almost $3 million on TV in Pennsylvania.
Given that money disparity, if Hillary Clinton wins by seven, eight points, I think that's a hugely significant victory. If she wins by double digits, it's an astounding -- against that type of TV money, it's an astounding victory.
BROWN: Right. But what is seven or eight points really going to do for her? Because she won't make up the delegate gap, and he is still going to be in the lead.
RENDELL: Well, she wouldn't make up the delegate gap if she won by 15 points because of the sort of crazy way that we choose delegates.
But I think, if she can win by seven, eight points or six-points- plus, she can narrow the popular vote lead. And given what the polls are showing about Kentucky and West Virginia and Puerto Rico, there's a chance that she can wind up if, especially if you count Florida, which you should, she will wind up having received more popular votes than Senator Obama. And that eliminates half of the rationale that the Obama people are pushing. They say, well, you superdelegates have to vote for us because we won the most delegates and we won the popular vote. Well, if Senator Clinton wins the popular vote, that undercuts the whole theme of the Obama campaign.
Her -- her closing argument, essentially, is that she is battle- tested. She has got this new ad out today that says, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. And it shows pictures of all these crises over the past 60 years, from Pearl Harbor, to bin Laden.
So, let me ask you, are you concerned that -- that Obama can't take the heat? This is what she's implying, isn't it?
RENDELL: No. I don't think she's implying he can't take the heat. I think she's implying that she is better equipped by her experience and what she's done to withstand the pressures of the presidency, not that he can't do it, but that she can do it better. She's never said that he can't do it. She's never said that he wouldn't be a good president.
BROWN: But what's the point of that line, then, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen?
RENDELL: Well, I think it is to say that, look, I'm battle- tested. I have been through it all.
I thought the great line she used in the debate saying, I have got baggage, but everyone's rummaged through it, that's correct. She's been subjected to all sorts of pressures, not the least of which has been in the media, by the media, during the last three or four months. And she's withstood all of that. She's still standing. She's on the verge of a good victory here, maybe a great victory here.
BROWN: Should a Democratic candidate be using Osama bin Laden in an ad against another Democrat in a primary campaign? The Obama campaign says she's basically borrowing President Bush's tactics and playing the politics of fear.
RENDELL: I don't think there was any effort to scare the American people.
But the question is, do you want somebody who's been battle- tested, who has seen those type of pressures up front, who's experienced them? And that's, I think, a legitimate issue to put before the American people. Again, I haven't seen the ad, Campbell. I'm at a tremendous disadvantage.
I think any ad that you run one day before the election is not very much calculated to affect the voters here in this state, probably more for all of you.
BROWN: All right, Governor Rendell, appreciate your time tonight. Thank you, as always.
RENDELL: Thanks. Have a great night.
BROWN: With the release of the Clinton ad and Obama's quick response, it's no wonder that many voters might think this campaign has dropped to new lows, if not carrying now an air of last-ditch desperation.
Well, we're going to talk with one of Obama's most loyal supporters about whether the candidate has been hurt by this perception -- coming up.
BROWN: Hillary Clinton invoking fear and implying her rival is not ready to handle the tough issues of national security. Earlier I spoke with an Obama supporter and the other Democratic senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin.
BROWN: Senator Durbin, over the last few weeks especially, a lot of people out there think that this campaign has degenerated into sort of relentless negative attacks going back and forth, and the fact is both of these candidates came into Pennsylvania as two superstar Democrats, and they're leaving in the eyes of a lot of people as two squabbling politicians. Do you think Obama has been hurt by what's going on in Pennsylvania? Has a little bit of the luster worn off?
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL), OBAMA SUPPORTER: Well, I can tell you that Senator Obama has committed himself to campaign and to bring this campaign to every single state. And, of course, he's even gone into one of Senator Clinton's strongholds.
Pennsylvania is a state that was made for her. Her husband was very popular there. Her family roots are there. She has the support of the Pennsylvania Democratic organization with the exception of Senator Casey. She has the governor and the mayors of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
So we knew at the outset that if we were going to wage a campaign there, it was going to be a hard fought campaign. I think at the end of the day that some of the early predictions about Senator Clinton's margin may not turn out to be true tomorrow.
BROWN: But for someone in particular who cast himself as above politics, as usual, has this been pretty tough for your candidate?
DURBIN: Well, I can tell you that Senator Obama has taken a punch from time to time, has shown that he can handle this.
BROWN: And given a punch from time to time.
DURBIN: Well, as he said when the other side's throwing elbows, there's a temptation to throw some of your own, and unfortunately, some of that has happened in the campaign. But the bottom line is we are still seeing dramatic increases in voter interest and participation, 250,000 new Democratic registered voters in Pennsylvania. That is a dramatic increase, and we worked hard to bring those numbers up.
Same thing is happening in Indiana. Dramatic increases in voter registration. So even though the campaigns are hard fought, a lot of people understand the critical importance of changing this Bush policy in November.
BROWN: You're setting the bar pretty high for Senator Clinton saying that all -- saying she needs to win all the remaining contests by wide margins. But her guys are saying, look, Obama can't win the big states -- Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida. All key general election toss ups. Do they have a point?
DURBIN: No, I don't think so. I think what Barack Obama has shown is that he is not only viable in the big states where Senator Clinton had an advantage going in. You know, the Clinton name, the Clinton reputation through the president, President Clinton's efforts, all of that gave her a very strong starting position. And each one of those, Barack Obama has put on a solid contest winning some of those big states in the process.
But what he has done is to open up the horizon to really change the math, the old blue and red map to open up opportunities here that we otherwise would not have had. So I feel that Senator Clinton has to be honest about her chances but only she can make the final decision. But an honest evaluation will tell you that unless Senator Clinton has an overwhelming win in Pennsylvania by at least 60 points or more, and all of the remaining states by the same margin, there's no way that she can overcome the lead that Senator Obama has in place.
BROWN: Down to the superdelegates as we all know. All right. Senator Durbin, appreciate your time. Thank you.
DURBIN: Thank you.
BROWN: So what has gotten into Republicans today? Check this out.
First, President Bush catches a dancing bug down in New Orleans. And then later, John McCain cuts a rug with some of his supporters.
BROWN: We'll hear from Larry King who just finished his interview with Hillary Clinton in just a moment. But first, Tom Foreman is in Washington, D.C., with "The Briefing" -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Campbell. DNA testing has begun on more than 400 children to determine family relationships in the Texas polygamy custody case. Test were ordered because state officials complained family members were continually changing their names, possibly lying about their ages and sometimes had difficulty naming relatives.
If you want to know what that weird whooshing sound is, it's your money being sucked into your gas tank. Crude oil broke another record today settling at $117.48 a barrel, and AAA reports average gas prices hit a whopping $3.50 a gallon today. That's the highest the auto club has ever reported.
And a lighter moment from President Bush's day in New Orleans getting into the spirit with the Dixieland Jazz Band at a Chamber of Commerce reception. The president is there to discuss free trade with the president of Mexico and the prime minister of Canada, but there's always time for a second line -- Campbell.
BROWN: He's really got some moves, doesn't he?
FOREMAN: He does, indeed.
BROWN: All right. Thank you. Tom Foreman tonight. And tonight on "AC 360," we'll introduce you to one of the most sought after voters in Pennsylvania. There are millions like her. To paraphrase a famous campaign phrase, it's the single women, stupid. Here's Randi Kaye with a quick look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Maria Wing is a Philadelphia lawyer, 28 years old, single and in debt.
MARIA WING, UNMARRIED PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: We are, you know, "on our own." I mean, it's not like I have a husband to augment my income should something happen with my job.
KAYE: Maria is a fleck of gold in the gold mine known as unmarried women voters. They vote overwhelmingly Democratic and in Pennsylvania, make up one quarter of all eligible voters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So what do unmarried women voters want to hear from the candidates? Tune in tonight at 10:00 Eastern time for "AC 360."
So what does it going to take for either candidate to walk away a winner tomorrow? We're back at the magic board to look at how the outcome or impact the all-important superdelegate count.
BROWN: With just a little over 10 hours to go before the polls open in Pennsylvania, Senator Hillary Clinton has just spoken with CNN's own Larry King. Take a listen.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In the last, you know, couple of weeks, Senator Obama's campaign has become increasingly negative. He says one thing on the stump, and his campaign does something else. I'd like nothing better than to stay focused on the differences between our health care plan.
I would be really pleased to talk about a lot of the hard questions that are going to face the next president. But, you know, in a campaign, it does get sometimes back and forth. Actually, I think this has been unbalanced. Pretty civil and positive campaign compared to many that we've seen in the last years. And it is fair to compare and contrast the differences between us, and voters get to make up their own minds about, you know, who they can count on to make the very difficult decisions and bring about the positive results we need.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Negative campaigning? Who, us? No way! Larry, what --
LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": I guess, you know what happens is, I think, Campbell, that time elapses so quickly and we forget that there were some pretty rough campaigns in prior years.
BROWN: You're right. You're right.
KING: It's just we didn't have a woman and a black campaigning never before for the top post in the country so that has crystallized. I remember the Lyndon Johnson/John Kennedy, what they went when they went at each other and then Kennedy wound up picking Johnson as his running mate in which no one would have thought possible. So what goes around comes around, but it's a very interesting half hour coming up at the top of the hour, Campbell.
BROWN: Well, give us a little more. What else did she have to tell you?
KING: Well, she said that she would probably put a Republican or two in her cabinet.
KING: She would a bipartisan administration, and she would make good use of Senator McCain.
BROWN: Oh, can't wait to hear more about that.
BROWN: All right. Larry, we will be watching at the top of the hour. Larry King with Senator Clinton. Thanks, Larry.
KING: Thanks, Campbell.
BROWN: So no matter what happens tomorrow in Pennsylvania, it's pretty unlikely we're going to see a real, clear, definitive smack down, which is what we all want. Right, John King? OK. For a look at why we're not going to get that, we want to go back to chief national correspondent. Explain why it's going to be messy and ugly.
JOHN KING, CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Why do you want a smack down? You want this to be over? This is a great drama.
BROWN: OK, OK, OK. So --
KING: Look, you just heard Hillary Clinton in that interview with Larry talking about essentially her big themes in the road. Is he ready? Is he ready to be the next president? Is he ready to represent the Democratic Party in the general election?
There's a reason for that because she's trying to convince the superdelegates because she needs them.
KING: And here's -- let's take a look at it. Pennsylvania is up tomorrow, right? Here's the delegate math where we stand right now. Clinton over here.
KING: Obama is here, so he is clearly ahead. Let's knock this off. Let's assume she wins Pennsylvania, Campbell. Let's assume she wins it. This is 55-45.
KING: That's a close win. Look what it does. He still moves out. Because of the Democratic rules, she catches up a little bit. I'm going to go back and take that off and go back to her.
Even if she blows him out, 65-35, if we do it under this scenario, she gets Pennsylvania, she catches up a little bit. But he still stays out here. So if they split the final states, the 10 states left, if they split them, and let's just do it for the sake of argument.
Let's say let's go back to 55-45 which is more realistic. Senator Clinton wins down here. Senator Clinton wins over here. Let's give her Indiana. It's a very tight state right now, but let's for the sake of argument give her Indiana. Let's give her Puerto Rico down here.
And now, let's say, Senator Obama wins where he's favored out here, up here, over here in Oregon, and let's give him North Carolina. He's ahead there right now. Big African-American vote. Let's give that to Senator Obama. If you gain that out to the very end, look what you get.
Even if Clinton wins half, she catches up some and Obama is still ahead. So what Senator Clinton has to do now, this is much more about psychology than math. Even if she does well, even if I gave her seven or eight of those 10, she would still be a little bit behind him.
So it's about psychology. I'm winning at the end. He's a weak candidate going into the general election. A very steep hill. So it's not just about the math which is why you hear her saying those things.
BROWN: Conveying momentum to the all-important superdelegates.
KING: The almighty superdelegates.
BROWN: Almighty. All right. John King, as always, thank you.
Another important group of Pennsylvania voters just got a pep talk from their spiritual leader. So we're checking in with Catholic voters and looking at why Barack Obama is having so much trouble connecting with them. That's coming up.
BROWN: When it comes to Pennsylvania politics, the candidate who can win over Catholic voters has the upper hand. But as CNN's Joe Johns discovered, Catholic voters aren't persuaded by faith alone and that could hurt Barack Obama tomorrow as well as in a general election.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Catholics and political power, about one in five voters is Catholic. It's a critical swing vote. As a bloc, Catholics have picked eight of the last nine presidents. It's a special challenge for Barack Obama.
In the Democratic primary so far, he is not winning them over. He lost six of the 10 states with the largest Catholic populations. Even in his home state of Illinois, the Catholic vote has proved elusive for him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How are you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nice to meet you.
JOHNS: And look at the numbers here in Pennsylvania. Catholics are expected to make up fully one third of the vote in tomorrow's Democratic primary. One recent poll shows Hillary Clinton crushing Obama among Catholics, 59 percent to 25 percent. Franklin and Marshall University pollster Terry Madonna says Obama's struggle with Catholics is more about finances than faith.
TERRY MADONNA, FRANKLIN AND MARSHALL UNIVERSITY: Many of them come from families where the earnings are less or at the median income. Many of these Catholics come from conservative cultural backgrounds. Many of these Catholics are less well educated.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Hillary. MADONNA: The bottom line here is that has been the demographics Senator Clinton has done well in since the beginning of the primary season.
JOHNS (on camera): What's more, some of Obama's specific positions on key issues may not have sunk in with the voters, something we heard when we visited St. Patrick's Cathedral in Harrisburg.
DOROTHY HILTON, PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: I'd like to hear more about the families, and especially the rising cost of tuition in colleges.
JOHNS (voice-over): Both Obama and Clinton could also have trouble with more socially conservative Catholics.
PHIL WEINERT, PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: Well, there's issues that I don't hear them talking a lot about. One is the issue of abortion which is a very serious -- it's life and death.
JOHNS: In response, over the past week, Obama's expanded his efforts to talk to Catholics. He's also been joined at the hip to his top Pennsylvania supporter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
SEN. BOB CASEY (D), PENNSYLVANIA: How are you doing, sir.
JOHNS: Senator Bob Casey, Catholic, staunchly anti-abortion and hugely popular with Pennsylvania's blue collar voters.
CASEY: Confidence in him, that they can be inspired by and I think he's doing that already. And more time on the ground in Pennsylvania the better that he will do.
JOHNS: Obama mentions his Casey connection every chance he gets.
OBAMA: Ironically, the first school I went to in Indonesia was a Catholic school so, you know, myself and Senator Bob Casey were sitting here, we had, you know, pretty similar experiences probably.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hello, Beaver County Democrats!
JOHNS: So for Catholic voters in Pennsylvania tomorrow, it's hardly just a matter of faith. When they vote, they will also ask themselves who is best to help my family? Joe Johns, CNN, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
BROWN: The "War Room" is where the top minds in every campaign get together to game out strategies as to how to crush their opponents. And tonight, that means managing expectations.
Well, we have our very own "War Room" here in the CNN ELECTION CENTER. And in it tonight, a pair of veteran strategists, Democrats Tad Devine, was Gore's -- the Gore campaign's chief political consultant in 2000, also a senior adviser to the Kerry campaign four years ago. Here with me in the studio, Republican strategist Ed Rollins, most recently was Mike Huckabee's national campaign chairman.
TAD DEVINE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you.
ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Thank you.
BROWN: Welcome, guys. Tad, let me start with you. Right now, let's see, the day before Pennsylvania is a big expectations game, and last month Bill Clinton said that she had to win big in Pennsylvania. Just tonight, Governor Ed Rendell told me a double-digit victory would be astounding in his words. A little bit of spin going on here on both sides.
Let's say you're working for the Clinton campaign, how are you spinning? What are you telling reporters to tee up tomorrow?
DEVINE: Well, I'm telling them that Barack Obama has massively outspent our campaign. That he's campaigned aggressively through the state. That he's put more resources in there.
DEVINE: And as a result of that, he should be able to close the gap. I'm telling them that a victory is just simply a victory. If she gets more votes after being massively outspent by him, that's a real, big win.
BROWN: And Ed, let's say you're with the Obama campaign. How are you setting expectations?
ROLLINS: Well, he wants to be close. You know, to him the closest is -- this is a state she should have won from day one and may still won't win but the closer he makes it the better it is that he knocks back her argument which is the argument today is not about issues, it's about this guy can't win in the general, can't win a state like Pennsylvania. He comes very close to her, I think that's a victory won.
BROWN: And as we saw just a minute ago, Joe Johns reported about Obama's struggle with Catholic voters in Pennsylvania, working class voters. And he's been out there doing this tour, the beer and bowling circuit, if you will...
BROWN: ... where we've seen him doing these photo-ops or he sometimes looks a little uncomfortable, also running around with Bob Casey as Joe reported in the piece. The polls show, though, he's not making the sale yet particularly with that class of --
ROLLINS: Well, you can't make the sale when you bowl 37. You know, that's for starters.
BROWN: In that sense, is that a problem? He's not bowling it? ROLLINS: And you don't do things you can't do. Equally as important, the problem with Catholics that are very important in the state is and Casey is the perfect example, they're pro-life and they want to hear some rhetoric about where's your position there? And neither Democrat can talk about that. So I think to a certain extent, he has to talk about family values, helping young kids get to schools, doing those kinds of things. And he can't touch the third rail for Democrats which isn't pro-life Catholics, which is the abortion issue.
BROWN: And Tad, working class workers in Pennsylvania, I mean, that's her base. What does she need to do? I mean, she can't afford to lose any of those voters. How does she hold on to them?
DEVINE: Well, I think she continues campaigning the way she's been in recent weeks. I think she talks to those voters by the issues that she brings up in the campaign. She reminds them of her experience. She says she's up to the job.
I think particularly Hillary Clinton continues to appeal to women. That's really been her vote so far in the primary process. She's run up large margin with women, and there are a lot of women particularly older women in Pennsylvania. I think she's going to appeal very strongly to them.
BROWN: All right. Hang on, guys. Stay with us for a minute. I just want to mention a program note. The CNN ELECTION CENTER is the place to be tomorrow. I'm going to be here along with the best political team on television as the votes are counted. Primetime coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time. You will not want to miss it.
So we have seen Clinton and Obama stumping for votes today. Well, John McCain was also out campaigning today. Not in Pennsylvania, of course, but he was in unfamiliar territory at least for a Republican and reaching out to voters who are definitely not a part of his base. The strategy behind that ahead in the "War Room."
BROWN: That is John McCain campaigning in Alabama today, reaching out to people not usually courted by the GOP. Also, not likely to vote for him. We are back in the "War Room" with our political strategists, Democrat Tad Devine and Republican Ed Rollins.
And Ed, so McCain is launching this, I think they're calling it the "time for action tour." Reaching out to people who aren't typically, you know, the target audience of Republicans you might say. What's behind the strategy?
ROLLINS: I don't expect -- I think to a certain extent, anything to do to get free media at this point in time. You're covering, you're obviously talking about it. If he was talking to a bunch of right wing Republicans, which he still needs to do, it wouldn't be much of a show. The show today is Pennsylvania and anything he could do to get some attention to sound like he's not a traditional Republican I think is beneficial to him. BROWN: Do you agree with that, Tad?
DEVINE: Well, yes. He needs attention, that's for sure. I mean, listen, Senator McCain has got a big problem. The show is on our side. All the attention is on our side. He doesn't have the money that President Bush had four years ago.
DEVINE: At this time four years ago, George Bush was engaged in a massive paid media campaign against John Kerry. So he's got to go out and he's got to try to attract attention. And, you know, frankly, the only person I think who has looked worst than Obama bowling was McCain dancing today. You know, that was not good.
BROWN: All right. While McCain was dancing today, his wife Cindy was sitting down with the ladies of "The View." Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA WALTERS, HOST, "THE VIEW": What's the biggest misconception about you and about your husband?
CINDY MCCAIN, WIFE OF JOHN MCCAIN: You know, really, the temper issue. He is passionate about the future of this country. Some people mistake that for temper. It's not. It is a clear passion. I've never ever --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: OK. So Mrs. McCain thinks her husband's temper is not a liability. But the fact is we are seeing this steady drip, drip of Mcnasty stories. If you are running this campaign, Tad, what would you do to take the temper issue off the table?
DEVINE: Well, he's got to be careful. I mean, you know, you got to keep him out of situations where he blows his lid, OK, because if that happens, this issue will be a real issue. "The Washington Post" did a big piece on it just a couple of days ago. And if McCain goes out and blows his lid in public, he's going to be trouble. So I try to keep him out of those situations.
BROWN: Ed, about 15 seconds.
ROLLINS: About the same. I mean, the same thing. Obviously, John has shown great temperament in the course of this campaign, which has been very long and very strenuous, and my sense his fights that he had with the fellow senators in the past, during the past.
BROWN: All right. Ed Rollins for us and Tad Devine down in Washington, thanks to both of you guys in the "War Room" tonight.
DEVINE: Thank you.
BROWN: Appreciate it. That is it for us. "LARRY KING LIVE" with Senator Hillary Clinton starting right now.