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Election 2000: Iowa GOP Chairman Discusses Possibility of RecountAired November 14, 2000 - 12:25 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FRANK SESNO, CNN ANCHOR: Florida not the only state that's dealing with a close presidential vote. We take you to Oregon now. An unofficial tally there shows Gore ahead by about 4,700 votes. That would be enough to avoid an automatic recount.
Also, in New Mexico where the race remains much too close to call, but a 500-vote oversight by an election worker could put the state back in Gore's column. Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Iowa are also extraordinarily close.
Taking a closer look at Iowa now, Gore's lead over Bush has narrowed to about 5,100 votes after county officials began counting absentee votes and ballots that were challenged on Election Day.
CNN's Jeff Flock is in the capital, Des Moines, with the very latest from there -- Jeff.
JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Indeed, even narrower than that now, Frank. We have reason to believe after some of these canvasses -- there are 99 counties, more than half have now been completed -- it's down closer to 4,000 votes.
We just finished the county canvass here in Polk County. It's the most populous county; it includes Des Moines. Took place in that room behind me back there. It's still going on for the lesser offices, but they finished for president. In this one, Al Gore picked up about 140 votes, but obviously every vote very close, and war is being prepared to be waged here in Iowa as well.
I'm joined by the state Republican Party chairman.
And, sir, you were in there going over every single vote with your calculator out. This is an extraordinary effort.
KAYNE ROBINSON, IOWA GOP CHAIRMAN: It is. It's going to be very, very close here in Iowa. We're down to about three-tenths of 1 percent of the vote, and so we're looking at what's being done in every county.
FLOCK: You will make a recommendation to the Bush campaign tonight whether or not to go recount here.
ROBINSON: That's correct. FLOCK: If you had to make it right now, what would you say?
ROBINSON: There'd be no way I could make it right now. We have to look at all the counties. About half of them did their canvass yesterday and about half today. Bush came up about 1,000 votes yesterday, and so we'll have to see what the result is at the end of the day today, and then we'll make our advice to them.
FLOCK: Is there any way in your mind you could see flipping around 4,000 or 5,000 votes and turning this state to your man?
ROBINSON: I think it's entirely possible when you saw just in one county about 900 votes yesterday. So it is certainly possible. And that's without challenging anything that's really unusual, that's just finding clerical errors and mistakes. We've got a pretty clean system here in Iowa, so we don't expect to find nefarious things and people cheating, but there can be mistakes. There are literally millions of digits, individual numbers that could be transposed and changed.
FLOCK: He's got three business days -- the conclusion of the canvass is today -- to decide on recount. If you decide to go with that...
SESNO: We've got some activity happening on Capitol Hill. We want to take you away from there. We apologize for that abrupt departure from Jeff Flock and his interview, but we want you to hear Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle and, from the Gore campaign, William Daley.
(INTERRUPTED BY COVERAGE OF BREAKING NEWS)
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