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CNN Today

Candidates Try to Make Most of Last Hours of Election

Aired November 6, 2000 - 1:00 p.m. ET

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

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: As the excitement builds, we're on our feet, and we're waiting for results tomorrow. It's now a matter of hours until Americans elect their new president. And both major candidates are trying to make the most of every minute today.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: So let's look at the map behind us. It shows what each man has going for him or against him going into election 2000.

The red states are those that favor George W. Bush, the blue states are leaning toward Al Gore, and those yellow states -- you've probably memorized them by now -- are the all-important toss-ups.

WATERS: These are the very important states. This is not, by any means, a projection of what we can expect after Americans go to the polls tomorrow. This is a mere snapshot of what we know from all the polls so far.

Still, we can point out that the Bush-leaning states are worth 224 electoral votes, the states in red. The 181 electoral votes in the blue, Gore-leaning states, include also the District of Columbia. The states where no candidate, the ones we are referring to, has no apparent edge, are the swing or the battleground states, worth a total of 133 electoral votes. That's the hard-fought battle there because it takes 270 electoral votes to win this thing.

ALLEN: And we all get that electoral thing now, don't we?

WATERS: I think that we thoroughly understand every inch of it.

ALLEN: Not at all. There are changes in the map since yesterday. This we can understand. New Hampshire has moved from the toss-up column to the leaning-Bush column. New Mexico is now blue -- in fact, we just made it blue two minutes ago -- it has moved to the leaning-to-Gore column. And Minnesota as well has changed from a toss-up to leaning Gore as well.

WATERS: So there's still that volatility, apparently, as the poll snapshots inform us, on this final day.

The vice president will be campaigning in Waterloo, Iowa. He will end up in Miami, Florida. In between, he plans events in St. Louis, Missouri, and Flint, Michigan. He'll be waiting for his results tomorrow night in Nashville. Mr. Bush began the day in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Gore's home turf, and then it's off to Green Bay, Wisconsin, for the governor, Davenport, Iowa, and Bentonville, Arkansas. Mr. Bush will spend the night back home in Austin, Texas. The Texas governor says he likes what he feels in the campaign's final hours.

And joining us now from Austin, CNN's Jeanne Meserve, who's with the Bush campaign.

Jeanne, what's happening on this last day?

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, this is a supremely confident campaign. They think they will win, and they think they could win big. They have already scheduled Governor Bush's remarks for tomorrow night at 10 Central, that's 11 Eastern, an indication that they think this race is going to be called early. The reason, they say, all the national tracking polls show their man up and there are indications that their base is much more energized, much more likely to go to polls.

They even think they're going to be able to win Al Gore's home state of Tennessee, and here's one reason why: A Mason-Dixon poll that was conducted on the second and third of this month -- it has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points -- but it shows Bush up at 49, Gore at 45.

Bush appeared in Tennessee, in Chattanooga, this morning, to rally the troops. He gave a speech which has become a bit familiar to us all at this point. He said he would be a uniter, not a divider. He ridiculed the Clinton-Gore record, and he talked about the core issues of his campaign. He talked about education and Social Security, military readiness and Medicare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We've had a long election. I've been saying the same thing on these issues since I got started. I haven't tried to reinvent my campaign when times got tough.

We've run a consistent campaign because I understand the job of the president is to say to the Congress, here's a legislative agenda that has been endorsed by the people of this good land. Now, let's get it done.

Let's get it done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MESERVE: Bush moves on this afternoon to Wisconsin, and then to Iowa, and then Bill Clinton's home state of Arkansas, which they feel good about, the campaign says. And then it's home here to Austin for a rally. He will overnight here and cast his vote tomorrow. No doubt who that will be for --Lou.

WATERS: Jeanne, the Gore campaign also says it feels good about the vice president's chances tomorrow. Is it all a matter of who's reading what poll as to how they believe or feel this thing will turn out?

MESERVE: Well, it's all a matter of spinning. Everybody wants to look like winner, nobody is going to concede defeat, particularly with race to terrifically close. So what you've got here is a lot of people trying to put the best complexion on the situation for them.

However, you just looked at that electoral map. You see how the states are going. Right now, in the count-up, it looks like Bush has a bit of an advantage, but not yet that 270 that he's going to need to go over the top -- Lou.

WATERS: That's the nature of a squeaker.

Jeanne Meserve with the Bush campaign in Austin.

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