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CNN Today

Election 2000: Bradley Likely to End Campaign After Super Tuesday, McCain After March 17th if Poor Showing Tomorrow

Aired March 6, 2000 - 1:30 p.m. ET

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

DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: More voters will go to the polls tomorrow than at any other time before the November election.

And joining us now with some insights is the executive producer of CNN's political unit, Beth Fouhy.

Beth, good to see you.

BETH FOUHY, CNN POLITICAL EXEC. PRODUCER: Hi, Donna.

KELLEY: End of the line for Bradley if he doesn't win tomorrow or anything?

FOUHY: Yes, definitely. I mean, there's a lot of talk right now about what's going on up in New Jersey at his campaign headquarters. Apparently a concession speech is being drafted, there's some job counseling going on for the folks who work up there and where they're going to go after this, so he's not going to talk about that today. He's making a few little sort of veiled references to thanks for fighting the good fight, but he's got to keep his game face up at least for the next couple of days, but I would -- I would suppose probably in the next day or two after Tuesday he'll be gone.

KELLEY: Do they show any hope in any state? That one time he led in New York; he doesn't any more. Any hope anywhere?

FOUHY: Well, there's been so much Monday-morning quarterbacking of Strategic mistakes that he made and that he really probably could have had a good chance in New York had he campaigned there more, had he really sort of strengthened his message there. Instead, chose to go elsewhere. He really didn't spend a lot of time shoring up what would have been a logical base for him. I don't -- I don't see it in New York. I think he -- I mean, if he has a chance anywhere, it would probably be somewhere in New England, but even those polls are not very hopeful for him.

KELLEY: Let's stay with the polls and talk about that with the Republicans. George W. Bush and McCain: how does it look to you in the three biggest. Let's talk about California, New York and Ohio first.

FOUHY: Sure. California, he's way behind among registered Republicans, and that's the biggest problem for him, because I know -- as you know, the only votes that count towards delegates tomorrow in California are going to be those of registered Republicans. He's way behind there. There is a chance that he could beat Bush in the popularity contest. Right now, those polls don't show that either; he's still a little bit behind Bush. Be he's much closer to Bush in the popular vote than he is among registered Republicans. If it were to happen, it would be very interesting to see how people would perceive it and what the state would do about it, because it's never -- it's unprecedented.

KELLEY: Well, the McCain campaign actually is hoping if they can even win the popular vote, even if they don't get the delegates with the Republican vote, that that would actually mean good for them because they would have some momentum out of that.

FOUHY: Definitely. And they could, you know, conceivably mount a legal challenge; it would keep him going for a while. But pretty much at this point it looks like Bush is going to get both or is more likely to get both. So, that's a problem.

Ohio: Bush is way ahead as well, but that's also an open primary, as was Michigan with a similar kind of demographic. So I think the McCain folks think he's got a decent chance there to maybe, you know, score an upset. New York's his best chance. He was ahead last week by, you know, a margin of five points or so in most polls. Now he's running about even with Bush, Bush has really laid on the harsh campaigning in New York, that's been the place that he's really targeted McCain, because I think he knows that if he stops McCain in New York he's stopped him cold. So that's really been his big goal.

KELLEY: If McCain comes on fairly strong or if he loses big on Super Tuesday, is that the end of the line for him, or will he stay through March 14th?

FOUHY: I think he'll stay until March 14th. I think he's got enough money to stay until March 14th. They have a few scenarios that they think bode well for him; they think they're going to win Tennessee because Senator Fed Thompson's organized the state for them; they think they've got a good chance in Florida to do at least passably well, which is interesting since Governor Bush's brother is also Governor Bush, Jeb Bush, and he's kind of got the state locked up. But they think Florida is a place where his message would really resonate. So, I think they're definitely in through until March 14th. I'd be surprised if they could take it much further, unless he does really pretty well tomorrow.

KELLEY: OK, Beth Fouhy, we'll be watching; you know that.

FOUHY: Thanks.

KELLEY: Executive producer of our political unit. Thanks.

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