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The Situation Room
Election Night in America; Exit Polls: Americans Angry, Worried; Behind the Scenes at Dems' Headquarters; Polls: Voters Disapprove of Ebola Response, Approve of ISIS Response;
Aired November 04, 2014 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: CNN is now saying that we will pick up a net of 50 seats in the House.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: Today, we have made history.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It's clear tonight who the winners really are, and that's the American people.
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Let's come together. We know what the issues are. Let's solve them.
BOEHNER: We will never let you down. God bless you and God bless our country.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Happening now, it's Election Night in America.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The races couldn't be closer and the stakes couldn't be higher.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, it's America's choice.
Will Republicans win the keys to the Senate?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:But we have to fix a few big things.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:It will not happen unless we gain control of the Senate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or will Democrats stay in charge?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Who's going to fight for you?
That's what it boils down to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president's record is an issue in some of the hottest contests. UNIDENTIFIED MALE:We need a senator who will stand up to Barack Obama.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE:That's the biggest bunch of hogwash I've ever heard in my life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the Senate's top Republican has a lot to win or lose.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: The races across the country are about Barack Obama's agenda.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Barack Obama is not on the ballot, I am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN's coverage of Election Night in America. The fight for Congress, the battles for governor and the warm-up for 2016.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I need to you do this. Your country needs you to do this.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: We're in the home stretch.
It all comes down to who is going to show up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The polls are open. The nation is choosing and anything is possible until the last vote.
BLITZER: We're live in Washington and we're just moments away from getting the first exit poll information on this Election Night in America.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world.
I'm Wolf Blitzer in the CNN Election Center with a special edition of THE SITUATION ROOM.
We're also counting down to the first real results in this fight for control of the United States Senate. Many polling places in Kentucky close in less than an hour. That state has one of the most high profile Senate contests of the night.
A young and charismatic Democrat named Alison Lundergan Grimes is challenging the most powerful Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell. If McConnell can hang on, he may also get a new title, majority leader, if his party wins control of the Senate.
Kentucky is one of 13 states with key Senate races that will decide whether Republicans can take control away from the Democrats.
These are the contests where the seat might flip from one party to the other. The best political team on television is covering all of the action in all the key states. We have more than two dozen correspondents in the field.
Let's check in with some of them right now.
First to Brianna Keilar.
She's over at Mitch McConnell headquarters in Kentucky -- Brianna.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Wolf.
You know, every candidate in one of these tough races has written the two perfunctory speeches -- the victory speech and the concession speech.
But if you want to know how it's going here In Kentucky, know this. The speech that Mitch McConnell was editing and finalizing earlier today was the victory speech, not the concession. Polls show him up several points. Even so, his competitor, Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic secretary of state in Kentucky, is promising a surprise. On the flip side, Wolf, one McConnell aide joking to me that there may be a run on bourbon at the hotel bar here at McConnell headquarters tonight. We'll see who is right very soon.
BLITZER: All right, Brianna, thanks very much.
Let's go over to Martin Savidge.
He's covering a very high profile Senate race in Georgia.
He's over at the headquarters of the Democratic candidate, Michelle Nunn -- Martin, set the scene for us.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, important to know here in Georgia, any winner has to get 50 percent of the vote plus one, otherwise we're headed for a runoff. This race is incredibly tight. Four points separate the two candidates. Michelle Nunn, I talked to her, she believes they're going to win outright. Interesting, her opponent, David Purdue, says the very same thing. We'll see how it goes. It could be all of this is just a dress rehearsal for January.
We should point out that both candidates can say that they're political unknowns as far as politics, but their names are very widely known. Sam Nunn, the father of Michelle Nunn. And then you've got Sonny Perdue, who is related to David Purdue.
The voters know their names. We'll see how it turns out in a few hours -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Martin, thanks very much.
Let's go to the Senate race in New Hampshire right now. It's another critical contest.
Brian Todd is standing by -- Brian.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, another long line building here at Ward One in Manchester, New Hampshire. Voter turnout is key here in Manchester and all over New Hampshire, because heavy voter turnout, according to analysts, will favor the Democratic incumbent, Jeanne Shaheen. But the razor thin margin is there going into the polls. Shaheen, in some polls, had a very narrow lead. In other polls, Scott Brown, the Republican challenger, had a narrow lead. So this is razor thin coming into this vote tonight. And it's just -- it's really up for grabs here.
These -- this is where the voting station is here in Ward One. People come in and register, they get their chit and they get their paper ballot. It's old school voting here, Wolf. And this is going to decide this very crucial Senate race, a must-win tonight for the Democrats.
BLITZER: Brian, thanks very much.
Brian will be with us, obviously, throughout the night.
New Hampshire will be an early test of whether Democrats have a serious chance of holding onto the Senate.
Let's bring in Anderson right now.
He's got more with our analysts -- Anderson, I know we're all going to be watching this very closely.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: No doubt about it. I'm here with Peter Hamby, our national political reporter for CNN Digital, also CNN political commentator and senior political writer for Politico, Maggie Haberman -- Maggie, what race are you going to be watching as kind of the bellwether?
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, POLITICO: I am watching New Hampshire and I am watching North Carolina. North Carolina, I think, is looking better for Democrats than they had thought a couple of weeks ago. New Hampshire is what I'm looking for if the bottom is basically falling out. If you see that Jeanne Shaheen is losing in certain key counties, like Keene County in particular, if she is doing very poorly in Keene in New Hampshire, you will know that the Democrats are in for a rough night all over the place.
COOPER: Also, you say a bellwether because those are states that President Obama won.
HABERMAN: Correct. And states that President Obama won. New Hampshire is funky because it's a bit of a quirky state. It is a state that is moody in terms of how it votes for federal races versus statewide races. But she has been in office for a long time, so there's an anti-incumbent sentiment there. She's done a good job of defining Scott Brown as a carpetbagger. It is still one that I really important to watch tonight.
COOPER: Peter Hamby, how about for you?
PETER HAMBY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean I am looking at Iowa and Colorado. I mean, obviously, North Carolina is really important and fascinating. There are so many dynamics --
HABERMAN: Yes. HAMBY: -- and cross currents with, you know, the anti-incumbent sentiment. Thom Tillis sort of reflects that --
HAMBY: -- because he's tied to the state legislature. You know, Kay Hagen is an incumbent tied to Obama.
But looking out West, it's really interesting to look at Iowa and Colorado, because, you know, these are two states that have really been trending toward Democrats for over a decade now. So --
COOPER: But, again, President Obama did very well in both (INAUDIBLE) --
HAMBY: Exactly. Both swing states, but trending blue. Democrats have been very confident about their field operations in both of those states for a long time.
Go back to 2012, a presidential year, a different dynamic, I remember talking to Iowa Republicans and they were confident that they had that state in the bag.
Boom, polls close, Obama wins by 6.
HAMBY: So a little bit of caution there, but Republicans think they've fixed the ground game problem and that Joni Ernst has momentum and they'll probably (INAUDIBLE) --
COOPER: Well, that's what's interesting --
COOPER: -- I mean you -- we've heard from Democrats so often, especially in the presidential election, when President Obama was running, about the vaunted ground game that the Democrats had. It seems like the Republicans have certainly learned the lessons from President Obama in that.
HABERMAN: Yes. The reason I actually disagree with Peter on this one, not that they -- I'm -- I'm watching both of those, because they're really important races and because Democrats have often cited those two states as part of their firewall out West.
But the reason that I would asterisk both of those is candidate quality is incredibly important in both of those races.
You have Cory Gardner, the Republican in Colorado, who was seen as -- as good as you could get, basically, for the Republicans in terms of a candidate.
And in Iowa, Joni Ernst has run a really good race, but Bruce Braley has made a lot of mistakes. HAMBY: And when you -- when you talk about field, GOtv, targeting, modeling, all that geeky stuff that Sasha Eisenberg wrote about in this book, that will get you 1 point --
HABERMAN: A couple of points.
HAMBY: -- 2 points, 3 points --
HAMBY: But, you know, once the campaign is sort of drifting in one direction and if you have sort of a drag at the top of the ticket, it becomes harder and harder to sort of get -- using GOtv, to overcome that final margin.
COOPER: But how essential is turnout today, particularly for Democrats, among African-Americans, among women, among others (INAUDIBLE)?
HABERMAN: It's vital. I mean both sides, it's going to -- it's going to -- I hate that it all comes down to turnout, but it all comes down to turnout. Realistically, this is going to be who gets their side out. Democrats are working very hard to make this an unusual midterm year. Democrats don't vote as well in midterm years, when there is not a presidential at the top of the ticket.
And so they are trying to use their data advantage and their GOtv advantage to try to outweigh what Republicans have.
We'll see in races like Iowa and in Colorado if it works.
HAMBY: But it will really be tested in North Carolina, where they're trying to get --
HAMBY: -- African-Americans and sporadic voters out early. And the numbers show that Democrats are doing well there. But also in governor's races in Florida and Wisconsin, where it's a total jump ball. In Wisconsin and Florida, in particular, they're very sort of polarized states, Wisconsin especially. So -- so that's why it's completely about mobilizing supporters.
HABERMAN: That's right.
COOPER: We're also going to start getting exit polling information relatively soon.
Are there key questions that you're going to be looking as sort of a indicator of how things are going to go?
HABERMAN: I think that I -- what I expect it to be is going to be the economy is going to remain the most important issue for everybody. And if that is true -- and I think how the president is viewed in exit polling, I think that will be a key indicator. I think if it is incredibly low and if that is a top line, then you know they're in for a rough night.
HAMBY: One thing, Maggie, whenever we travel and you talk to voters and just regular people, they're just kind of fed up with everything.
HAMBY: -- institutions, banks, politicians, Washington, the media, whatever --
HABERMAN: Trust in nothing.
HAMBY: Trust -- yes, trust nothing. So I'm interested to see if there's anything in the data about just sort of how much that is a factor, that Washington is broken and they're just kind of done with everything.
A lot to watch for, Wolf, certainly.
And it's definitely going to be a long night, so grab the popcorn and get ready.
BLITZER: It will be exciting, for sure.
President Obama spent this Election Day concentrating on his day job, as well, a little bit, at least on politics.
Let's go to our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta.
He's got an update for us. He did at least one radio interview, right?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As it turns out, Wolf, he did a bunch. The president has stayed behind closed doors for almost 48 hours. But he's been quietly working on behalf of some Democrats, recording a radio spot that we know of for North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan.
But he also did a dozen radio interviews over the last two days. That was just released by the White House, four of those in North Carolina.
And despite assurances from the White House that Democrats would hold the Senate, the president began to explain in an interview with a Connecticut radio station today why the GOP might have a big night.
Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: In this election cycle, this is probably the worst possible group of states for Democrats since Dwight Eisenhower. There are a lot of states that are being contested where, you know, they just tend to tilt Republican.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Now, as for Vice President Biden, he has been busy, too. But he may have handed Republicans an Election Day gift, telling a radio station that Democrats have a chance of picking up Independent Senate candidate, Greg Orman. Orman has insisted he could caucus with either party.
But Orman's opponent, GOP Senator Pat Roberts, he's already blasted out Biden's comments. An aide to the president told us earlier today, Wolf, there have been no conversations between the White House and Orman that they know of.
As for the outcome tonight, the White House sort of gently distancing themselves from the overall result that we may see several hours from now. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said it will be, quote, "The quality of the candidates that will make the difference tonight" -- Wolf.
BLITZER: We'll see what that quality happened -- what -- how it unfolds tonight.
Thanks very, very much.
We're just beginning to get results from today's exit polls.
Stand by for our first look at who's voting, what's on the minds of voters.
Later, the surprising role that animals, including some alligators, are playing in this year's election.
BLITZER: It's election night in America. Welcome back to this special SITUATION ROOM. I'm Wolf Blitzer in the CNN Election Center. We're just getting in the first results from the CNN exit polls. John King is over here with me. He's over at the Magic Wall.
I take it the voters out there, they've got some strong views on the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They do. And it's safe to say they're worried about the economy, Wolf, and they're mad at everybody when it comes to their politics. Midterm elections usually a referendum on the president. Let's look at the first exit polls and add this up.
Your opinion of the Obama administration, this is nationwide. People as they voted today telling exit pollsters -- add this up -- 58 percent dissatisfied or angry when it comes to the Obama administration. That's not good for the president in a midterm election year. Thirty-one plus 30 plus 11. So 41 percent are satisfied or enthusiastic. But a negative number for the president there. But -- this is an important but -- what's your opinion of the Republican leadership in Congress? Thirty-six percent dissatisfied; 23 percent angry. So that is a whopping 59 percent when you add that up. So they're mad at the Obama administration, but they're also mad at the Republicans who run the Congress.
Let's move this over again. Opinion of the Democratic Party, the president says he's not on the ballot, but his policies are. We're waiting to see how vulnerable Democrats do. Fifty-three percent of the voters -- again, this is nationally. We'll look more closely at individual states later. Fifty-three percent actually have an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party. Again, if you're watching, you might think, "Whoa, that's not good news for the president and his Democratic Party."
However, what do voters think of the Republican Party? Slightly bigger number. Fifty-six percent of the voters say they have an unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party.
Just one more look as we'll take a peek here. So how is Congress doing its job? We know the president's approval ratings are low. That's a big number, Wolf. Seventy-nine percent. Eight in ten voters today as they went to the polls to decide, do the Republicans keep their House majority, will they grow the House majority, will the Republicans get a Senate majority?
As they answer that question, 8 in 10 of them are disapproving how Congress is handling its job. So a look at other numbers as we go. There is a lot of information about their views of the president, their views of the economy, their views of terrorism, Ebola and the like. But you can say when it comes to their politics and what they think is happening in Washington, Anderson, the voters today, they're not happy with anybody.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Seventy-nine percent disapproval, a huge number here. Let's talk to our political commentator Jay Carney; S.E. Cupp; Cornell Belcher and Alex Castellanos.
Alex, what do you make of those numbers? I mean, 79 percent.
ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the country's on the wrong track. The country's desperate for change. If they could fire both houses of Congress and both parties in it, Americans probably would right now.
But the guys in charge right now are the Democrats, and the president is Barack Obama. And he lifted this country's hopes way up six years ago. The higher you go, the higher you can fall.
Right now, this country is not only angry that their government doesn't work, that the economy doesn't work, they're scared. And they're looking for strength.
I think the only problem is, the Republican Party has disappointed them because of the previous lapse. So they've got to get out of where they are, but they have nowhere to go. COOPER: Cornell, what do you read into those numbers?
CORNELL BELCHER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR:-- those numbers, I agree with Alex. But the problem is, this is why the Republicans can't have a way. We talk about all the electoral map, demographics. History should say they should have a way. They should have a fantastic night. They're probably going to probably have a good night, because they' re lined up to do so, but they won't have a '94, and they won't have what we had in '96 because -- because of those disapproval numbers.
And look, you guys talk a lot about Obama's disapproval. Again, Obama's numbers are a lot better than Republicans in Congress and Congress overall. That's why you have such dissatisfaction. And that's why I don't think you'll see thewin tonight.
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, but there's actually -- there's actually good news to talk about. I don't think Democrats have done a really good job talking about the good news. You've seen in states like Colorado where Mark Udall is running a singular refocused campaign on women's issues so much that they've nicknamed him Mark Uterus, almost at the exclusion of all of the male voters. It doesn't seem like Democrats have done a great job in talking of low gas prices, you know, a better job economy.
BELCHER: Amen, sister.
CUPP: And so that's on the Democrats. And Republicans, to their credit, have run very credible, disciplined, smart candidates. So they've exploited that weakness, and they've offered an alternative that I think a lot of people who are afraid of the incompetence and some of the failures of government are seeming to tap into.
COOPER: Jay Carney, the Republicans are trying to paint this as a referendum on President Obama. Is it?
JAY CARNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, in the way that six-year elections in a two-term presidency are almost always referendums on the incumbent, the answer is yes, of course.
It's hard when you're president to see your party do well in six years. History shows in the past 100 years only three times has the incumbent president's party done well in the midterms, and tonight will be in keeping with past precedent and will not break any of those precedents.
What I think we have to resist -- and I think everybody here has been onto this -- is reading a Republican takeover of the Senate, which is, I think, likely as something historic, which is what the RNC chairman said earlier on the air, on CNN tonight. It won't be historic if the Republicans pick up six seats, because the average number of seats that the out party has picked up in the sixth year of a presidency is six. So instead it will be average; it won't be a wave.
CASTELLANOS: But Republicans, though, I mean, beating Democratic incumbents is very hard. It rarely ever happens. And tonight, Republicans may beat as many Democratic incumbents as we've beaten in the last 12 years. So that's a big evening.
BELCHER: Here's the problem with that. And here's the pushback on that. The "Washington Post" did a poll a couple weeks back. Six percent of voters said their vote isn't actually about Obama. And if you had to -- right now tonight, you have more Republican governors, you know, in really tough races. Probably going to go down to a Democratic Senate -- senators. So I reject the idea that it's all about -- it's all about the president, because it's not.
COOPER: You see optimism on the government -- on the governor front?
CUPP: Well, look, there will be -- there will be a sort of historic delivery if Republicans can turn out wins in blue states. Massachusetts governor, that's no small feat.
Rhode Island governor could go Republican. Maryland governor could go Republican. These would all be surprise upsets. I'm not predicting anything, but that would be historic, that at a time like this, a Republican in really blue, monochromatic states could unseat a Democrat -- a Democratic governor (ph).
CARNEY: I think that's something to watch.I think in the purple states, where we have Senate races, in the blue states, where Republican gubernatorial candidates are running well, that's where we'll begin to see whether or not Republicans are making inroads as opposed to just winning states the president lost by huge margins two years ago.
And I also think it is worth noting, as Alex did, that the Republican Party, unlike in the past two cycles, ran a really good cycle. They put up candidates who weren't crazy, who didn't, you know, say crazy things that made them unelectable, by and large. And when they did that in the past, it really prevented them from making gains.
CASTELLANOS: We had a rule this year: you couldn't believe that trigonometry was evil and run as a Republican. You had to be a normal person.
CARNEY: That's a good one.
COOPER: Jay, as someone whose job was a spokesman for the president, I mean, your job was to try to get the president credit for the lower gas prices, for unemployment numbers being down, for good news on the economy. Why do you think -- I assume, in your opinion, he doesn't get the credit he deserves for it. Why?
CARNEY: Well, I think there's one fundamental reason why. And that is that the economic anxiety that tends to dissipate when you see unemployment drop as precipitously as it has, when you see the economy grow as steadily as it has lately, has not diminished. And that's because median income hasn't gone up. The middle-class families and those striving to get into middle class have seen their wages stagnate. So they have more job security.
But they don't feel --
CARNEY: There's been a reduction in that. There are a number of reasons for that, though. But I think that there's an anxiety about the economic future that is born out of the economic collapse in 2008, and it hasn't been erased by even the positives that we've seen. Now, it is worth noting that Mitt Romney ran in 2012 promising to bring the unemployment rate down below 6 percent by 2016. It's below 6 percent, and it's November 2014.
COOPER: A lot to talk about tonight. Let's go back to Wolf.
BLITZER: Anderson, we're getting more exit poll information. John King is with us over at the Voter Analysis Center, or as we like to call it, our Magic Wall.
KING: Let's pick up on the conversation Anderson was just having -- having, excuse me, with Jay and the other analysts. Because the exit poll data supports that conversation. And even people who feel relatively OK about the economy right now have long-term doubts. The economy was by far the No. 1 issue as the American people voted today.
Again, this is our national exit poll. Forty-five percent of people saying the economy was their No. 1 issue. Healthcare for 25 percent; foreign policy for 13; illegal immigration for 14. But look at that: nearly half of the electorate saying the economy is the most important issue facing the country today. This is stunning.
For a president who, as Jay just said, would like to say the numbers are getting better, 78 percent of the American people, nearly 8 in 10 voters going to the polls today, say they are worried about economic conditions. So those lower unemployment numbers aren't reaching the American electorate. They just don't trust it just yet. Seventy- eight percent. That's a stunning number.
And yet, look at this. Look at the split here. The United States economy is -- a plurality, 35 percent, say it's getting better. Thirty-one percent say it's getting worse; 33 percent say we're treading water. Just about the same. So there's sort of an even split about is the economy getting better, worse, or just the same. But it's the long-term view that has people pessimistic.
Look at this: national economic conditions not so good or poor. So again, 30 something percent are saying things are getting better, and yet, nearly seven in ten describe conditions as poor, because they're worried about the horizon. That's a tough number for all incumbents, especially the president of the United States.
The country is going on the wrong track. Again, if you're an incumbent, that's a bad number for you. Normally, voters take this out on the president's party. We talked a bit earlier about the Republican brand being damaged, as well. That will be a key test today: Did they take it out just on the president and the Democrats, or did they take it out on incumbents across the board?
And here's what we'd like to call the American dream question. Life for the next generation of Americans will be -- and this is where the long-term anxiety kicks in -- worse than today. Really, half of the American people, 49 percent, saying life in the future economically will be worse than today. Only 22 percent are optimistic that the next generation will have it better. Twenty-seven percent, Wolf, think it will be just about the same.
So you have this, even people who think the economy is going OK for them right now, they have long-term doubts, especially when they look over the job's horizon and when they look at their children.
BLITZER: And these are national numbers. They're not numbers in battleground states. These are nationwide, and this is the first wave. We're getting more information. Polls are open in a lot of places still.
KING: And these exit poll numbers, even nationally could be updated, but we don't want to go into the individual states and break down numbers like this until the polls close, because sometimes they give you a hint of how the vote is going so far. We want to wait, just to be safe, until all the polls are closed before we dig deep into the individual states.
BLITZER: Which is smart. All right. We'll get a lot more information from these early exit polls. We're share them with our viewers. In the meantime, Anderson, back to you.
COOPER: Yes. I want to talk with our political analysts and also political reporter Maggie Haberman; also national political reporter for CNN, Peter Hamby. How much of this election, do you think, I mean, looking at those election polls, is being driven by fear? You look at these numbers, 78 percent worried about economic conditions? Forty-nine percent believe the life of the future will be worse economically.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's what we were talking about before where nobody trusts anything. That is the fear factor, and that is what you're seeing. You know, the economy is getting better. The data shows the economy is getting better. But voters do not feel it is getting better. And that is what you're seeing. This is why it makes it so hard to predict in a lot of these close races. This is why you have so many within the margin of error races, because people hate both parties. And people hate what both parties seem to stand for.
PETER HAMBY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And a lot of the national narrative has been about the Senate, obviously, but these governors' races, it's really -- it's really a good place to get the temperature of these sort of crosswinds, as well. You know, S.E. was just talking about Maryland, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. You know, Democrats are confident they'll hold on, although narrowly.
But Republicans are running hard. They're on taxes and things like that, things that -- the type of issues that frustrate people. But that's also where you're seeing that throw everyone out, anti- incumbent. I mean, if you're in the Senate race, you're tied to Obama, you're an incumbent, chances are you're in rough shape.
But if you're a governor and you were elected just four years ago, Republican or Democrat, you're in big trouble, too.
COOPER: It's interesting. You have, certainly, the news cycle. Ebola has been very big, the rise of ISIS, the difficulties there in the Middle East and across the Middle East. You don't see that necessarily in the exit polls, but it's got to contribute to that overall sense of fear and uncertainty.
HABERMAN: I think that's right. And I think if you look at it in a broad category of sort of fear of terrorism, something like that, you are going to see a higher number as we get along further in the evening and you start seeing more individual states, especially, coming in.
You've got a couple of races where you have people tie all of this together. Scott Brown is particularly who I'm thinking of.
HAMBY: Yes. And there are a lot of factors. I mean, look back to 2006, which is kind of remembered as, you know, the Iraq war. That was sort of driving a lot of anger. But it was a lot of things. It was Dubai ports; and it was, you know, scandals in Congress; and it was Katrina. All of these little things sort of build up to just a general kind of permeating anxiety, and that's, I think, what's driving things other than one single issue.
HABERMAN: I think that's right. There's a general sense of -- it's anxiety and also disgust. And that is why you can say to your point about why governors are in trouble. Everybody us in trouble. People who will be able to pull off -- incumbents who can pull off staying in office are going to be the surprise.
COOPER: How did something like Ebola in the last couple of weeks -- did you see it out there in the campaign trail? I mean, were people asking questions about it?
HABERMAN: They were. I mean, they certainly much less so on the East Coast and on the West Coast, but in the middle of the country, especially when you have a lot of people listening to conservative radio, where there was a lot of discussion about it, a lot of discussion about how terrorists are going to sneak across the border; and they're going to cough Ebola on you. There literally was some version of this.
This obviously did not fit with science. This did not fit with what was being discussed among the medical community. But there was this sort of low-grade fear that began bubbling up. It's abated somewhat, because you have seen -- you haven't seen widespread outbreaks. You haven't seen it going all over the place.
But there was a flash there where it took hold, and you started seeing numbers. If you talked to strategists on both sides and both parties, you have numbers in various states started kind of going all over the place, and that was when.
HAMBY: Yes, and both campaigns sort of -- we were talking earlier about the get out to vote early stuff. I mean, they're not able to sort of target and track among their universe of voters, you know, how these things are registering and target specifically people who might express more anxiety or less anxiety about Ebola.
One interesting thing, not to get ahead of tonight's results. These exit poll numbers present a real opportunity for whoever is running for president to get out there, to be authentic, to not be conventional, and to really tap into the economic anxiety that the country is feeling. I think candidates who go out there, whether it's Iowa or New Hampshire, are going to be punished if they are cautious, if they are seen as too close to Washington. This's going to be a real factor, and all of this is going to start happening tomorrow.
HABERMAN: You just described one person who that's a real problem for, Democratic --
COOPER: Popped into my mind, as well.
HABERMAN: But that's a real -- this is a real issue.
COOPER: But it's interesting. When you've seen Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton out on the campaign trail significantly for a number of Democratic candidates.
HABERMAN: Yes. And she has actually been giving speeches over the last two months. And she's been on the trail for people. That she has been much more like the 2008 version of herself than the 2007 version of herself that we saw in this primary. And she's been trying to form sort of an aspirational forward-looking message.
But she still is not talking -- A, she's not a candidate yet and, B, presuming she is eventually, and B, she's not doing her own message. She is going to have to talk very clearly about the economy. It's going to be very difficult to do that without sounding like she is either criticizing or separating from him.
HAMBY: Maggie was there in Massachusetts and she was campaigning for Margaret Cokely (ph), and Elizabeth Warren was there. And she almost tried to bear hug Elizabeth Warren, leaning a little bit too far into the kind of economic populist anxiety that's sort of taken hold on the Democratic base, suggesting when she said corporations and businesses don't create jobs, they said that was about corporate tax breaks. But I suggest it's not really in her comfort zone.
COOPER: And certainly, she can walk that back.
HABERMAN: She doesn't walk that back. The sentence by itself made no sense. The language of the populist left as it has gone from sort of 2010 to 2011 until now really has changed dramatically. She is clearly trying to catch up to that.
COOPER: We'll be watching these exit polls number closely. Let's go back to Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. As part of our comprehensive election coverage, Anderson, we have some exclusive access to the Democratic Party's war room. Let's go to our chief congressional correspondent, Dana Bash.
Dana, tell our viewers what you're seeing where you are? DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I am behind
the scenes inside what is effectively the Democrats' nerve center, where they are tracking campaigns and elections all across the country. I have to tell you, Wolf, I've covered politics for a long time now. I think it's cool to be in here, because I've never been through, behind the curtain. And that's where we are.
Just take a look. We are basically seeing people at their desks doing incredibly difficult and important work. And that is they are collecting data from all over the country. But it's not just that, especially right now, when the polls are still open across the country. What they're trying to do is not just gather the results but effect the results.
For example, I was just told -- I can't tell you -- I was told that I can't say which state, because it's still active. But there's a swing state, a very competitive Senate race where they got word that there was one particular area where Democratic turnout was very low. So what they did here is they used the tools that they have, e-mail list -- not just the e-mail list they have now, but also the sort of vaunted Obama e-mail list, to shoot out all across this particular state to get their volunteers, to get their motivators out and encourage votes in that particular area. So that's happening as we speak right now.
And I just want to show you one other thing on the wall here. You see a big "D" there. Here we go. That's sort of a projection there. What is going to happen there when the results start coming in, is they're going to compare the actual results with the turnout models that they have created to figure out whether the results match what they think that they need to win any particular district or state -- Wolf.
BLITZER: It looks like they're watching CNN over there at the Democratic Party war room. I assume they're watching CNN in the Republican Party war room, all over the country, as they should be, Dana.
BASH: They were.
BLITZER: Thanks very much.
Now let's go back to John. John, more exit poll information coming in nationwide.
KING: Nationwide. Let's look at two big questions in the electorate right now: their trust in government and their fear about some major issues in the news.
And again, remember, this is our national election poll. We'll go through some individual battleground states. National numbers for now. Which's your view of government? We asked voters just as they entered the polls -- after they exited the polls, excuse me.
Fifty-three percent say the government is doing too much. Forty-one percent says the government should do more. So it tells you a conservative electorate. Not necessarily anti-government. That government should do a little bit less. That's the view of the electorate. We'll watch how that plays out in the ballot math.
You trust the government in Washington? Sixty-one percent, more than six in ten Americans, a lot of skepticism, cynicism here. Only -- 61 percent say only some of the time. Eighteen percent say never. Eighteen percent say most of the time. Three percent -- I'd like to meet them -- say just about always. Sixty-one percent saying only some of the time do they trust the United States government.
Here's where we see some fear in the electorate, Wolf. The federal government's response to Ebola, 50 percent disapprove; 40 percent approve. All the conversations about quarantines, about U.S. troops going into West Africa, about how to handle the crisis here at home and the mistakes at that Dallas hospital reflected in that number. Fifty percent disapproving of the federal government's response to Ebola.
Do you support U.S. military action against ISIS forces? A big number here for the president. Fifty-eight percent approve his actions so far against ISIS forces. A third of the electorate, a little bigger that that, 35 percent disapprove on this election day as people cast their ballots for a new Congress.
Here's a big number. Are you worried about a major terrorist attack in the United States? Seventy-two percent say yes. Twenty-eight percent say no. So a little fear in the electorate, Wolf. If you look at the support but concerns about ISIS, obviously, concerned about a major terrorist attack here. And those numbers about not so much about trust in the government, a reflection of years of polarized politics and dysfunction in Washington. People out there don't have a lot of faith, especially in this town.
BLITZER: You'll be spending a lot of time at the Magic Wall here. The United States of America, 2014.
Guess what viewers out there can do right now? They can do the same thing that you're about to do throughout the night. We've made it possible for you, our viewers, to try to get your own hand at our Magic Wall. Just go to CNNMagicWall.com, CNNMagicWall.com. You'll find an interactive map like this one. You can see it right there.
You can zoom in on your favorite state, hit that state. You can see what's going on county-by-county results. You can also find the same county-for-county results, by the way, for every election going back to 2006.
The address again, CNNMagicWall.com. Find out what's going on at any state you want. Just like what John King can do. How cool is that?
KING: Works all ready, doesn't it? I mean, as you said, you go back in time, look at Senate races in this last midterm cycle, look at the last presidential campaign if you want to do that, as well. Go back in time, zoom into a county. Have a lot of fun. You actually learn a lot. It's a great way to learn. BLITZER: I feel very John King-ish doing this, and you can do it throughout the night. If it's a close race, people can go in, see what's going on.
KING: That's the best thing about it. You'll get the live results in these close races just as fast as we do.
BLITZER: We're both going to be having -- having some fun tonight, as well.
We're only minutes away from the first poll closing and the first results from one of the most closely watched races.
Plus, political animals. It's a jungle out there on this election day.
BLITZER: Welcome back. We're getting more exit poll results here at the CNN Election Center. John King is over watching what's going on. We're learning more about who actually showed up and voted today and what their inclinations were.
KING: Yes. We'll give you a pick here at the political leanings of the electorate. This is our national exit poll. And their views on some of the big issues, at least the issues we thought would be big issues in this election campaign.
Vote by party I.D., fairly even split: 37 of the electorate -- remember, this is nationally -- identified themselves as Democrats, 34 percent as Republicans, 29 as independents. So pretty even split. That's pretty representative of the country. We'll see in different states whether these numbers hold up when you go state by state. But 37 percent, a plurality, of Democrats. Close behind, the Republicans.
Vote by ideology, this is interesting. Only 23 percent of the voters described themselves today as liberals. The biggest chunk, 40 percent, described themselves as moderates as they voted today; 36 percent describing themselves as conservatives. So the party -- the candidate that wins the middle, obviously, in most races is going to win the election.
Let's move on to what people think first about the president. Fifty- four percent disapproving of how the president is handling his job in this six-year itch referendum, as they call it, the midterm elections. Forty-four percent approve. This is pretty consistent with the recent national polls. The latest CNN national poll, I think, had the president a 45 percent approval rating. So the exit polls showing the electorate disapproving of the president, but the president's numbers a little bit better than they were a couple of months back.
We thought, remember, at the beginning of the year, that Obamacare, the president's signature healthcare law, would be the defining issue in the campaign. Didn't work out that way, especially at the end. But 47 percent, nearly half of the electorate voting today, think that law went that far. Twenty-two percent said it was about right. Twenty-six percent say it was not far enough. These are the folks who think perhaps it wasn't liberal enough. Remember, that has been a big part of the opposition, has always been even if the majority opposed, a lot of it has been people who think it didn't go far enough. But 47 percent today voting say it went too far.
Here's one more for you. Most illegal immigrants working in the United States now should be -- 58 percent, nearly 6 in 10 Americans say should be offered legal status. Thirty-eight percent say deported. This will be an interesting number to watch, especially if the Republicans build on their House majority and if the Republicans take control of the Senate. Their leadership has had a hard time convincing their caucus to deal with this issue.
But nearly 6 in 10 Americans today, Wolf, in this national election poll say illegal immigrants working in the United States should be offered legal status. We'll see if the exit polls have any impact on that contentious issue. First the president will use his executive action pretty soon, we're told. Then we'll see if it comes up in Congress.
BLITZER: Fascinating numbers. John, thanks very much.
I want to quickly check in with Jim Sciutto. He's over at the headquarters of the Kansas independent Senate candidate, Greg Orman.
Jim, tell our viewers what you're seeing over there, because Greg Orman, he could be a pretty powerful guy if, in fact, he goes on to defeat the long-time incumbent Pat Roberts.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No question, Wolf. This is really a remarkable race. Here we are in Kansas, the reddest of red states, and then you have Senator Pat Roberts, 34-year Capitol Hill veteran running neck and neck, at best, with Greg Orman, an independent, as you say, a political novice. A bit of a curveball thrown in the race today, because you had Vice President Joe Biden seeming to say in a radio interview that he was confident that Orman would caucus with Democrats. Orman has been very coy about that, not saying which party he'd commit himself to.
The Orman campaign pushing back very strongly against that comment from the vice president, saying, quote, to CNN, "Greg has never spoken to the vice president in his life, and he's not going to Washington to represent the Democrats or the Republicans. He's going to represent the people of Kansas." To be fair, that's been a very consistent message from the Orman campaign throughout.
And one thing driving that message, he says, is voter frustration, frankly, with both parties in Washington. And CNN's exit polls have been reflecting that. I managed to catch up with Greg Orman this morning as he cast his ballot. Here's what he had to say to me about what's driving his support.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Why do you think you can make a difference if you win today? GREG ORMAN (I), KANSAS SENATE CANDIDATE: Well, it's really the voters
of Kansas who are going to make the difference. The voters of Kansas are going to send a really strong message to Washington with this -- with this election that you can't hide behind your party label.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Well, if Orman pulls it out tonight, cue the courting by both parties, offering him powerful committeeships, perhaps leadership positions, et cetera. All of that coming down to the math, Wolf. As you know, a real possible shakeup coming out of Kansas.
BLITZER: We'll see what happens. We'll be watching it every step of the way. Jim, thanks very much.
Let's check in with Anderson once again for a little analysis.
COOPER: Let's talk about that race with political commentators Jay Carney, S.E. Cupp, Cornell Belcher and Alex Castellanos.
Jay, what was Vice President Biden thinking?
CARNEY: Well, I think that was optimism speaking, not knowledge.
CARNEY: In the sense that he obviously hopes, the Democrats hope, the White House hopes, that is the Democrats are able to, you know, keep it 50-50, maintain a majority that if Orman wins, he's available to caucus with the Democratic Party.
I think as others on the air on CNN earlier, I think it's certainly just as likely if the Republicans prevail that he would caucus with the Republicans.
You know, I was in Kansas this morning, actually. I was with the fine students and faculty at Fort Hays State University where I gave a talk last night and Kansas is feeling pretty unusually fortunate this cycle because it has an extraordinarily unlikely Senate race with an independent threatening an incumbent Republican.
COOPER: Right. So fascinating.
CARNEY: And it has a very close gubernatorial race with an incumbent Republican governor who's threatened by a Democratic challenger. This doesn't happen that often in Kansas which as you know is a pretty reliable red state.
COOPER: Do you think Vice President Biden did damage to Greg Orman? Because his opponent was trying to use this in calls out today, trying to mobilize voters.
CORNELL BELCHER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think he did damage. Look, one thing is you've got to give credit it, you seldom see it as a political hack. Some see this, they are so disciplined on message. I mean, his response was spot on to how they should respond. They run a sort of a campaign that you seldom see from independent candidates.
The other part of this is, going back to what all these numbers that John King has been giving us about how frustrated Americans are with both politics and how frustrated they are with the politics. I think it's a unique opportunity for a lot more independent candidates to get in there. Of course, you know, they take a lot of money to pay guys like Alex. But that's part of the problem.
But I think given the frustration with Washington, I look to see a lot more sort of independent -- viable independent candidates out there.
COOPER: You think we'll see that two years from now?
BELCHER: I think you might. The problem is with people like me, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, with such strong infrastructures that it makes it real hard unless you're rich.
BELCHER: Unless you're Bloomberg. It makes it real hard to get in there and spend that sort of money and generate that infrastructure.
ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I doubt you'll see many more independents. The country's so polarized. You know, you're either wearing a Redskins jersey or a Dallas jersey. There are almost -- is no in between. What we're seeing, though, is both parties moving forward a bit.
The Democratic Party is becoming, I think, moving to the left. It's losing moderates like tonight maybe like Pryor in Arkansas. So it's going through what the Republican Party went through a few years ago. It's distilling into a very --
COOPER: But to Cornell's point, I mean, you look at those exit polls, the majority said that they were moderate.
CASTELLANOS: The majority said and both parties are going to the ends. Both parties are now fairly much at the extreme. That really doesn't leave voters -- you know, voters have really stark choices.
CASTELLANOS: I think which party -- there isn't a new Democrat left in the Democratic Party.
BELCHER: But that's --
CASTELLANOS: Even Hillary Clinton is preparing she's Elizabeth Warren.
BELCHER: But if that goes to the point, if both parties are moving to their ideological corners, I think -- we know most Americans are, in fact, in the middle ground. And don't give this -- I mean, what's happening in Kansas, an incredibly, incredibly red state, an independent is kind of important.
S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, but --
CASTELLANOS: And what will happen is someone like Cory Gardener in Colorado will smile and paint a vision of the future, and one of these two parties will see that future --
BELCHER: That's your candidates --
CUPP: I actually think that the lesson of this -- of this election for Republicans is sort of the resurrection of the establishment Republican candidate. I mean, with the exception of Dave Brat in Virginia, you saw establishment candidates in Thad Cochran and Mitch McConnell swat away Tea Party candidates and I think Pat Roberts is going to hold it out in Kansas as well. So, I mean, I think --
COOPER: You think Roberts will be?
CUPP: I do. I do. It's going to be tight but I think he's going to pull it out. So I think while the ideologue was important in 2010 for sort of course correcting the GOP, I think what the GOP is looking to do now is prove it can govern again and so I think that's why you're seeing high turnout among Republican voters voting for moderate Republicans.
CARNEY: Here's the problem. I think that is the goal and it would be a good goal and wise goal for the Republican Party. What is true still about the House of Representatives is what Alex said. It's less true about Senate races and gubernatorial races, but essentially if you're a Republican, your only fear, if you're an incumbent, comes from your right.
CARNEY: Which encourages you to be more conservative and more, you know, beholden to the right wing, same if you're a Democrat. You're looking to your left all the time because you're generally safe. This is the biggest problem in our politics, I think, and it cries out for political reform --
COOPER: And already you're hearing from --
CARNEY: There in Ohio, think about this. In 2010 in Ohio, 52 percent of voters voted Democratic for the House of Representatives. Republicans won three seats for every one seat of the Democrats.
COOPER: And already you're hearing --
CARNEY: In the House. That's because of gerrymandering. That's because of the way the districts are drawn. COOPER: You're hearing from some very conservative Republicans
already talking about hearings on the president, hearings on Obamacare.
BELCHER: Ted Cruz.
COOPER: Ted Cruz.
CASTELLANOS: You're hearing from one.
COOPER: He's very loud.
CASTELLANOS: And I think, in my view, understands very clearly what he's doing and how it benefits him, but maybe not at the cost of the party.
CUPP: Yes, I would --
CASTELLANOS: Here's the good news for Republicans. The presidential race starts right after this commercial break.
CASTELLANOS: That leadership is going to dwarf, I think, the noise coming out of the House.
COOPER: All right. We'll see about that.
A lot more to cover -- Wolf.
BLITZER: I want to check in with CNNPolitics executive editor Mark Preston. He's over at our CNN Decision Desk.
So, Mark, explain to our viewers out there how we're making these decisions. When to project, for example, when I'm going to say -- be able to project a winner in Kansas or Louisiana or North Carolina or any other state.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Well, Wolf, as you know, the most important thing is getting it right, not going too early, and making sure all the information is lining up correctly. You know, off to my left here we have our exit poll desk right now, working, they're crunching the numbers. These are the numbers that John King was just talking about. Talking about sentiment right now in the country.
I'm surrounded right now by the decision desk. These are the professionals, mathematicians who are crunching all these numbers. They are looking at over 12 different mathematical models right now to try to make sure that they get this information correct.
Now, Wolf, let me tell you how we call the race. We could call the race or rather project the race just on the exit poll data. When the exit poll data starts to come in, it comes in different waves, we could use the exit poll data and start to match it up with the raw vote. That is the real vote. Those are people actually casting that at their polling places. Or we can just call it basically on the raw vote because we feel like that is the most important and the safest thing to do.
Or, Wolf, as you know, we might not call it at all. The races might be so close. There are so many races out there right now that are razor thin at this time. We might not be able to call it at all, and, Wolf, the last polls close at 1:00 a.m. in Alaska. It looks it's going to be a long night.
BLITZER: It certainly will be. We're getting closer and closer to the first polls closing in Kentucky. At least some parts of Kentucky right at the top there. We'll get those numbers. We will report those numbers to our viewers, Mark, but at the same time, we won't report the exit polls numbers, the specific numbers in a state until all the polls in that specific state are closed.
PRESTON: Correct, Wolf. And we do that because we don't want the vote to be siphoned. We want people to go out there and continue to vote. And we want to make sure that the waves that are coming in are strong enough for us. Actually talk about the sentiment of how people voted as well as who did they vote for. That's really important.
So when people are leaving the polls, we're using this information. People go up, they're asked surveys, asked specific questions. We cure (ph) that with telephone polls that took place before Election Day. We crunch all that data together and that's when we start to release it and talk about it, Wolf.
BLITZER: That's because a lot of people voted in advance. Early voting by mail or whatever, and as a result, we want to be precise when we finally release those exit poll numbers.
Stand by, Mark. We're going to have a lot more on this story coming up as we project winners and losers in the hours ahead.
I want to also take a look at some of the ads, the commercials during this midterm election. You can say that the election has gone to the dogs, and the chickens, and the alligators.
Here's CNN's John Berman.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR, EARLY START: It was a famous doctor, Dr. Doolittle, who once wondered what might happen if you could --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walk with the animals, talks with the animals --
BERMAN: Now we know the answer. If you can do those things -- walk with the animals, talk with the animals -- you can run for Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because Louisiana needs a senator that will stand up to the career politicians and the alligators.
BERMAN: Because judging by the ads, animal management is a big issue in this year's campaign.
JONI ERNST (R), IOWA SENATE CANDIDATE: I'm Joni Ernst. I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm.
BERMAN: Call it the midterm menagerie. Alligators, hogs and dogs.
REP. JOHN BARROW (D), GEORGIA: I'm John Barrow. Somebody once said if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: You know, maybe this isn't such a bad idea. I'm Mitch McConnell and I approve this message.
BERMAN: Maybe not such a bad idea, Senator Mitch McConnell. After all with congressional approval at 13 percent, animals can only help.
Creatures have been around campaigns for a while. The donkey and the elephant, political symbols since the 1800s. In 2010 there was California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina's demon sheep. And maybe the most famous, 1984, and Ronald Reagan's bear.
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT: There's a bear in the woods.
BERMAN: But those were largely symbolic. This year it isn't as much a metaphor over what a bear does in the woods. No. The animals have been central to the debate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 820,000 of our tax dollars were spent studying how monkeys respond to unfairness.
BERMAN: In Iowa, Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst ran hard on hogs.
ERNST: Because Washington is full of big spenders, let's make them squeal.
BERMAN: Democrat Bruce Braley checked with chickens.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We didn't hear a peep.
BERMAN: And Republicans countered with their own chickens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not very neighborly. It's not very Iowa.
BERMAN: Of course the biggest advantage of most animals, they can't vote. The mammal that can vote seems pretty angry this year. Maybe instead of focusing on them, it's easier to talk about wrestling an alligator, petting a dog and cutting off a hog's -- you know.
So in the end, after this midterm, even if Congress can't get its act together to vote on whether to support war in Syria, they could run a sweet petting zoo.
John Berman, CNN, New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BLITZER: Thank you, John.
In just minutes, the first polls will begin closing. We'll be getting our first look at the results on this "Election Night in America."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: CNN is now saying that we will pick up a net of 50 seats in the House.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: Today we have made history.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), MAJORITY LEADER: It's clear tonight who the winners really are. And that's the American people.
SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: Let's come together. We know what the issues are. Let's solve them.
BOEHNER: We will never let you down. God bless you and God bless our country.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: And this is it. Voters are casting ballots all across the country. And we're getting close to the first midterm election results.
COOPER: Which party will control of the U.S. Senate? Right now it is America's choice.