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America Votes 2002: Live Coverage of Election Results From Around the Nation

Aired November 5, 2002 - 22:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back to our coverage at the top of the 10:00 hour here this evening as polls close in Iowa, Montana, Nevada and Utah. We first want to take you to South Carolina, where CNN can now project that Lindsey Graham will be the senator from South Carolina. Any thoughts on who he's succeeding?
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN ANALYST: Lindsey Graham is familiar to many of you. He was an impeachment manager on the House floor during the Clinton impeachment. And what is significant about this is there were four open Republican races in the south, open races, open seats are generally more vulnerable.

In North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, Republicans have held all of them with only Texas yet to be decided. That is good news for the Republicans' hopes for the Senate.

ZAHN: On to some races in Iowa that we're going to keep our eye on this evening, where you have incumbent Tom Harkin against the Republican Greg Ganske. And then on to the governor's race here of Iowa. The incumbent Vilsack against the Republican Gross.

And in Montana, the incumbent Max Baucus, the Democratic Senator, against the Republican Taylor.

GREENFIELD: Mike Taylor is the gentleman who dropped out of the race because of the commercial they found where he was a hair stylist. He got back into the race and he accused Max Baucus of trying to -- I guess question his...

AARON BROWN, CNN HOST: Insinuate that he was gay.

ZAHN: It's also interesting to note that Max Baucus did not distance himself from the president on a number of issues, including homeland security.

And let's look at this governor's race in Nevada, where you got the incumbent (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BROWN: So that's where we are at 10:00 tonight. Votes now starting to come in a little bit in the West. Votes being counted in the East and in the Midwest. Overall, Jeff, do you have a feel yet for how this thing is breaking? Because I'll tell you, honestly, I do not yet. GREENFIELD: This is all prelude. You talked about marquis match-ups, but so far there's been nothing in which anyone would sit up and go, oh, boy, that tells us something critical about the Senate. As far as I can tell -- I've been trying to follow these boards -- I haven't seen an incumbent congressman or woman lose yet, which goes to your point about how secure a job this is.

So, no -- this is like setting the scene for the races we're all waiting for.

BROWN: And some of those we should start to see. We should start to see vote out of Minnesota and the Senate race there. We should start to see vote out of South Dakota, the Senate race there. Those two states in the upper Midwest have become so critical in all of this. But we haven't seen any numbers yet.

And so perhaps the most interesting -- surprise doesn't feel right -- is Georgia, and the numbers that have come out of the Georgia Senate race, where Max Cleland was struggling -- I think it's fair to say struggling to defend the Senate seat and it wasn't going well.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN HOST: What I'm told, and I just was talking to someone on our political unit staff a minute ago, is that most of the numbers in Georgia that have come in so far are numbers from rural Georgia -- or I should more accurately say the area outside Atlanta. And it is believed the incumbent, Max Cleland, will do better inside the Atlanta city limits and the immediate metropolitan area than he will do in some other parts of the state. But we don't want to generalize too much.

GREENFIELD: We're talking about an old fashioned election, where we're sitting here, polls in new Hampshire, polls in Georgia. Critical Senate races, they closed one or two hours ago, three hours ago, I think, in the case of Georgia, and we're counting votes.

WOODRUFF: But we are told -- and I don't even know -- I probably should be careful about this. I'm told that the Republicans are saying that at this point they're pleased because Saxby Chamblis is running well in those counties where George Bush ran well in 2000. In other words, he's holding his own in places that led George Bush to a significant victory in Georgia. So all kinds of little tea leaves that we're reading here.

BROWN: Yes. And it's just you keep -- I think we're all, and probably you are, too, we're all looking for that one race that says that's the one the Democrats had to have or that's the one the Republicans had to have. And there are, in fact -- it would be crushing in many respects for the Democrats who have now, we believe, lost in North Carolina, to also lose Georgia. That would be a crushing set of circumstances, but not necessarily a decisive set of circumstances, because they can win in Minnesota, they can win in South Dakota, they could win in Colorado.

There are -- Arkansas absolutely is in play, maybe a little bit better in play for the Democrats. But to lose those two, if that were to happen, would make the night at the very least very difficult for the Democrats to hang on to the Senate.

WOODRUFF: It's still early. I mean we know the White House is happy certainly about Jeb Bush in Florida. We know they're happy about Elizabeth Dole, which we've projected in North Carolina, but there's still a lot out there, which is what you're saying.

BROWN: A long way to go. This is how they used to do it, huh? They used to actually count the votes. Son of a gun.

It's better this way in some respects, at least from where we sit. Yes, we would like all that exit poll information, how this group, that group voted. That honestly makes it -- if you're a political junkie -- makes it a little more fun. But ultimately the drama is who wins and lose, who controls the Senate, who controls the House. And that really is going to play out by computers and by hand counting in some places.

And it's 10:00 and we're waiting on it. That's the truth.

WOODRUFF: This is the kind of election a lot of voters have probably wanted for a long time. And we heard them say for years, why don't you wait until the count the votes.

Here's a number we can show you. We've already projected that Elizabeth Dole, because of our "Real Vote" ability, will win in North Carolina. But here with 63 percent of the vote you can see just where the numbers stand, 63 percent of the precincts reporting. She's at 53 percent. Erskine Bowles at 45 percent.

BROWN: The Democrats had hopes here. They thought maybe they could sneak one away. A seat that was Jesse Helms seat and they had hopes that maybe they could sneak one.

Elizabeth Dole headquarter there in the large part of the screen. We wait for the candidate and her moment.

GREENFIELD: Along with Lamar Alexander, she has a consolation prize. She sought the presidency, didn't get it. Lamar Alexander twice sought the presidency, then both headed to the U.S. Senate. Not a bad consolation prize.

BROWN: No. Well, in my view, that's the best political job there is. A job in the U.S. Senate is just -- you're not out there raising money every hour of every day because you don't have to run every two years. It's a terrific job.

WOODRUFF: And this would mean two spouses of the presidential nominees in 1996. Both of them are there, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Dole.

BROWN: And, Jeff, when's the last time that happened?

GREENFIELD: I can tell you that, because it's never happened.

(CROSSTALK) ZAHN: ... Bob Dole has hit the road with former President Clinton, maybe the relationship between the two female senators might be warmer than some people predict.

BROWN: Someone wrote yesterday that with Frank Lautenberg going back to the Senate and perhaps Fritz Mondale going back to the Senate, and the Senate being a better place for it, was the argument this person was making, that maybe Bob Dole should consider going back to the Senate as well. That maybe this is the year of the elder statesman.

GREENFIELD: Well, we did have once a husband-wife congressman team from two different states. The Murzinskys I think? Marjorie Margolis and...


GREENFIELD: We've never had two senators, you know, because women haven't gotten to be senators until recently. Maybe someday, I'll bet you were saying two men will enter the Senate as spouses of presidential women.

WOODRUFF: That was the point I was going to make. Eventually we're going to have men serving who are in the Senate as the spouses of...

BROWN: Right, the candidate spouses enter the room here in North Carolina.

ZAHN: And we just spotted a spouse now, haven't we?

BROWN: The candidate's spouse is in the room in North Carolina.

WOODRUFF: He's a pretty -- he's got to be a pretty happy man. Bob Dole did a lot of campaigning for his wife. He's very proud of her. He talks about her every chance he gets. This has got to be a great night for him.

ZAHN: Although, early on in that race, wasn't he pretty critical of some the moves that were made by her staff? (UNINTELLIGIBLE) made a comment that got picked up that didn't go down well.

BROWN: And there's the candidate. And we project the winner Elizabeth Dole. We project the next senator in North Carolina.

ELIZABETH DOLE (R-NC), SENATOR-ELECT: Oh, wow. What a night. Oh, my word. Thank you so much. What a wonderful, warm welcome. I'm thrilled to see you all. Well, I am just as thrilled as you are. We'll never forget this night, will we? This is a great one. Great. Thanks so much.

And I want to tell you that just a few moments ago, I had a call from Erskine Bowles. And he was congratulating me on tonight's victory. He was very gracious and he had strong campaign and certainly he cares about the people of North Carolina. And I want to ask those who voted for Erskine Bowles to please give me a chance because I intend to be a senator for all of North Carolina.

Thank you. Thank you. Thanks so much.

And tonight, of course, we're enjoying every moment. But this is a night for heart-felt thanks for all of those who put their trust in me. For 14 months we've been working hard. And I think about all the people, you know, the dozens of tremendous staff in Salisbury and all across the state and the hundreds of volunteers who have just worked their heart out. Yes, go right ahead.

And the thousands of contributors and supporters who have been to the rallies and urged their friends and neighbors to get out and vote. And to each and every one of you I will never be able to thank you enough because you're the ones who have made this possible tonight, this tremendous victory. And obviously I'd like to thank each person individually, but we can't do that tonight. But I do want to mention a few people who must be thanked.

First of all, my husband, Bob Dole. Let me tell you, he's the best surrogate a candidate could have. He was hoping to get to all the 100 counties and he got darn near close. He did real well. Also he was on the phone calling all the hundred county coordinators and cheering people on. So he's been a great, great surrogate.

And then I want to thank my precious mother and my brother and sister-in-law. Oh, my.

And then I want to thank Senator Jesse Helms.

Yes. You know, Senator Helms, I appreciate so much, not only his support in the campaign, but the tremendous job that he has done for North Carolina and for this nation in the United States Senate.

And you know, my dad used to say that Jesse was a relentless watchdog for North Carolina. And I remember Bob Dole saying, "You always know where Jesse is, you don't have to look under the table."

Because he says what he means and means what he says. And I'll tell you, he's had constituent service second to none. And I intend to emulate that and stand just as tall for the people of North Carolina and have really good constituent service all across the state. So we'll really work hard.

And there are two former senators who've worked mighty hard. Lauch Faircloth, as a senior adviser; Jim Broyhill, who's been working very, very hard. Appreciate it so very much. Yes, indeed.

Now, I certainly want to mention my wonderful chairman of the campaign, Margaret Kluttz. I'll tell you, Margaret has been like a rock, like a rock and a guiding light to our young workers at headquarters. And what a wonderful, dear friend, and her husband, George. I mean, they've been there since day one.

Margaret, I love you. You're a precious friend.

BROWN: We have a "Real Vote" projection we can make. To the "Decision Desk," Candy Crowley -- Candy.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Aaron, thanks. That big sigh of relief you hear is Republicans in New Hampshire. The CNN "Real Vote Decision Desk" now can project that representative John Sununu, Jr. will be the next senator from New Hampshire defeating Governor Jeanne Shaheen. Back to you.

BROWN: Thank you very much -- Jeff.

GREENFIELD: You were asking where are the big ones? This is the first big one. This is the most hopeful seats the Democrats saw as a pickup. The Republicans were worried about it enough to all but openly dump sitting Senator Bob Smith, the White House covertly helped. John Sununu took that seat away from Bob Smith because the Republicans thought Smith couldn't beat Governor Jeanne Shaheen. On the list of Democratic pickup possibilities that was probably two or three. The Republicans had held it. Very, very good news for the Republicans.

BROWN: So the Republicans defend a seat of theirs in New Hampshire tonight.

WOODRUFF: And they were scared about this one. I mean, there was a point when Jeanne Shaheen was doing very well. She had a very good organization on the ground in New Hampshire. She's a popular former governor in the state, but, you know, it didn't come together.

Sununu, the Republicans poured everything they had, the president was in there. You just heard Sununu's father was a former White House chief of staff. There was a real dog fight on the ground in New Hampshire.

ZAHN: Just mentioned, last time we checked in with Bill Delaney, he had just gotten that hopeful prediction from the father of the candidate. Let's check in with Bill Delaney now that the "Real Vote" projection has come through that John Sununu will indeed be the next senator of New Hampshire -- Bill.

BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it was a month or so ago, and that's not so long ago, that Congressman Sununu seemed to be well ahead here. But then Governor Shaheen, the Democrat, began to trend upward rapidly and this became a very, very close race.

We thought we'd be up very late into the night here tonight, but I got to tell you, at the Sununu Campaign Headquarters here for about the past two hours, as soon as the earliest results started to come in, people here at the Sununu camp were very confident that things looked good for their man and that's because in New Hampshire's urban areas, Governor Shaheen was expected to do extremely well.

Well, she didn't do as well as she needed to it seems now for her to defeat Congressman Sununu in places like the New Hampshire Coast and Portsmouth. Yes, Shaheen will probably carry those precinct but not by enough to make up for the very strong showing that you go typically get from Republicans here in the rural areas which dominate most of New Hampshire. And that's what happened here tonight. Congressman Sununu did very well where he was supposed to do well and Governor Shaheen, it seems, did not do -- we don't have all the results, but it seems did not do as well as she needed to do in the places where she was expected to do well.

Now, there was a big looming factor out there. We talked a lot about it, outgoing Senator Bob Smith, the Republican John Sununu defeated in the primary. A write-in campaign Republicans feared could bring 2, maybe 3 percent of votes that in a tight race could have thrown it to Governor Shaheen.

But all indications are tonight that that write-in campaign for the outgoing Senator Smith did not amount to quite enough for Congressman Sununu to be disrupted by it. We've heard a chant already here of "Senator Sununu." People are very happy here. Congressman Sununu, Senator-Elect Sununu, it seems now is in the building. We expect to see him within half an hour. Back to you.

ZAHN: When he takes the podium, we will come back to you live. Bill Delaney, thanks so much for the update -- Aaron.

BROWN: We have a number of other races we can now project winners on, beginning in New Mexico. Bill Richardson, the former secretary of energy, the former ambassador to the U.N. can now add, we project, will be able to add governor of the state of New Mexico to his resume.

Pete Domenici, the long-time incumbent, 70-year-old incumbent Republican senator in New Mexico we project will win again tonight.

And also tonight in the state of Colorado -- make that Ohio -- nice one -- Bob Taft over Tim Hagan there. Bob Taft the Republican, the long line -- we talked just a couple of hours ago, we talked about how long a line the Tafts run in the state of Ohio, back to great grandfather, I believe.

Bill Owens, the Republican governor in Colorado. Winner again tonight. CNN projects that at the end of the night, he will be the winner in the state of Colorado. What we don't have yet out of Colorado, among other states, we are waiting to see our first numbers on the Colorado Senate race. This is one of those marquee races, but we don't have it yet.

WOODRUFF: We should mention ink inklings of some good news for the Republicans in some important House races. I don't know if we're ready to call this yet, but we do know that President Bush at least thinks there is a reason to. Our John King is telling us that the president has already placed a congratulatory phone call to the Chris Chocola, the Republican running in Indiana, Indiana's 2nd District. This is a Tim Roemer's seat, a Democratic seat that was left open because of Roemer's resignation. A very hard-fought contest between Chocola, the Republican, and Jill Long Thompson, the Democrat, and Jeff, the president was in there in Indiana a number of times making this one -- making it clear that he wanted to win this one.

GREENFIELD: Aaron Brown is starting to get his wish to come true, in that there are races that people have paid particular attention to about which we're beginning to learn stuff. This is a pickup -- you know it's an open seat -- it's a pickup for the Republicans in the House. I think it may be the first one we can actually document if this holds up.

I was in there a few weeks ago. It was a race that was absolutely down to the wire. You're quite right. Bush made a special effort in there. It is -- Tim Roemer was a conservative Democrat. Almost lost two years ago, and the Republicans apparently, if President Bush's information is right, pick it up.

BROWN: I'm sorry, right, Judy, go ahead.

WOODRUFF: Just a couple of calls that I'm told we can now make, and that is two governor's races. One in New York, George Pataki. This is one the Democrats, I think can you say they had a distant hope, but it never came together. Carl McCall, the Democrat, trying to knock George Pataki off; it didn't happen. And in the state of South Dakota, Mike Rounds winning that one, defeating the Democrat Jim Abbott.

It's really the Senate race in South Dakota that's been in the biggest suspense, and remains in suspense.

GREENFIELD: Just one second about New York, because there is an interesting note here. It is a state where there are two million more Democrats than Republicans. Four years ago, the Democratic candidate got 33 percent of the vote, and I'm not sure Carl McCall is going to make that, because Tom Golisano spent tens of millions.

BROWN: And the reason, I mean, if you lived there and you lived through it in New York, as we do, is that it was a very sloppy campaign the Democrats ran. The incumbent, Pataki, in many respects was riding the crest of his performance, his leadership after September 11. He certainly basked in the glow of that.

But nevertheless, it is -- it's a little bit hard to explain. Former President Bush. This is in Miami at Jeb Bush's headquarters. Former first lady Barbara Bush. It's a little hard to understand how the Democrats cannot do better than something around somewhere between 28 and 35 percent in the state of New York.

WOODRUFF: You know, after 9/11 it was hard to see how George Pataki could ever lose. I mean, he came out of that almost as popular a figure as your mayor.


WOODRUFF: In spite of the fact that this great anniversary erupted over Carl McCall, perhaps writing letters on state stationary, some of his critics suggesting, asking for jobs of friends.

GREENFIELD: And Governor Pataki, who ran eight years ago as a tax-cutting conservative cut some very generous deals with traditionally Democratic unions. He had the backing of teachers and he had the backing of the most important black minister in New York, Calvin Bucks (ph), in a race where the first African-American nominee was on the other side. Extraordinary.

BROWN: And by and large, has governed moderately, by and large, which is how you have to govern in the state of New York. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, taking the podium. And we projected some time ago that he would serve a second term. His third run, but a second term.

WOODRUFF: And that's a proud mom and dad. And they campaigned for him. They were down there in Florida, both Barbara Bush, who has become a pretty able campaigner in her own right over the years.



G.H.W. BUSH: Ladies and gentlemen. It is my distinct honor, and privilege to introduce to you the current governor of Florida and the next governor of Florida, Jeb Bush!


GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: Thank you.

Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you very much.

Fifteen minutes ago, Bill McBride called me and graciously conceded the election. And I told him that he ran a hard race, and I look forward to working with him to build a better Florida. Now is the time to unite us as a state, and I appreciate Mr. McBride's contribution to the political process.

First, before I start, I want to thank Almighty God for giving me a chance to serve. I want to thank my great lieutenant governor who has been a great partner.

Frank, always looking for the dramatic moment, has some other news today, which is that he is -- he announced that he is engaged to Courtney.

I want to thank my mother and dad for being my inspiration in life.

And I want to thank -- I want to thank our great president of the United States for coming down and lending a hand to his little brother.

I'm so lucky to have a great first lady in my life, Columba. She's a great first lady for the state of Florida.

And to have my family here, this special night, means a whole lot to me. George and Jeb, thank you for coming. Where did you go? Those two guys, thank you.

I want to thank the thousands and thousands and thousands of volunteers that brought out a massive turnout to make sure that we were elected.

I'm so humbled and grateful for the support that existed all across this state.

I want to thank our great team, the greatest state party chairman of all of the 50 states, Al Cardenas, Republican Party finance chairman, Al Austin (ph), Al Hoffman (Ph), who gave up a lot to make that we had an adequately funded race. My co-chairmen, Julia Johnson (ph) is one of them that was here. And a great campaign team lead by Karen Unger (ph) and Ann Herberger (ph), I thank you all so much.

We have done, we have done a lot in the last four years. We have rising student achievement now. Our crime rate is the lowest it's been since 1972. Florida is on the right track as it relates to our economy. And we have a proud tradition of protecting our environment.

But there is more, there is so much more that we need to do. My passion and belief is that if we can make sure that every third grader is reading at third grade level, incredible things will happen to our state.

And I intend to work hard over the next four years to assure that happens. And that means more family literacy. That means a focused approach to make sure the research that we know exists is in the hands of all of our great classroom teachers. It means enhanced readiness programs, more mentors, more focus on assuring that children can read.

And we will protect limited government and individual freedom in ways that you can't even imagine.

Over the next four years -- over the next four years, I will work hard to fight for Florida's jobs and diversify our economy to make sure that people can pursue their dreams and have the opportunity to do so in a way that will enhance their families.

And finally, over the next four years, I want to create a climate where strong families can prevail and their quality of life will enhance. We need to protect, we need to make sure that working moms struggling to make ends meet for their children have the best child support they can possibly have. We need to lessen the abuses of domestic violence. We need to protect the developmentally disabled. We need to create a climate in this state that is the envy for the rest of the country about how families can grow and prosper together.

I am so grateful for your support, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will not let you down. I will work as hard as I can on behalf of this state.


Thank you all very much. God bless you all.

BROWN: Jeb Bush. I think we can fairly say a landslide winner in the state of Florida. It was a race that, for a time at least, people thought might be close. Bill McBride, the Tampa lawyer. It didn't turn out that way tonight. When the votes were cast, Jeb Bush has a second term as governor...


BROWN: ... in Florida, the president, of course, has talked to his brother. The president loves all Republicans, but John King, our senior White House correspondent, probably fair to say he loves some more than others.

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He does indeed, Aaron, and you were talking earlier about politics is often a family business. No better example than what we could see right there, former President Bush, 41, as he's called around here, on the platform, on the dias (ph) there as Jeb Bush claiming a landslide, quite an enthusiastic and emphatic speech right there by the governor.

As you noted, the president did call him earlier tonight when it was clear his brother would win reelection. The president has also called two other winners in Florida tonight, a reflection of how important that state is in presidential politics.

A reminder tonight, I think, that it was just a few years ago many Republicans thought it would be Jeb Bush that would be the first of the Bush brothers to run for president. Obviously, things turned out differently, but keep an eye on the newly reelected Republican governor of Florida. This president will be running for reelection in two years, George W. Bush, still open question mark as to whether someone else in the family might want to live here someday.

BROWN: Now, part of the reason that it turned around for Jeb Bush is ran -- he ran a non-winning campaign -- I am not sure it is fair to say it was a disastrous campaign, its first time out, but he ran a very hard, conservative campaign the first time he ran in Florida, and that did not work for him at all.

KING: It did not, and you heard him there stressing the themes of education, stressing the themes of the economy, and another factor we will see tonight, Aaron, in a number of these races, Democrats complaining about it most of all in the competitive House races across the country, but it is fair to say the Democrats were not happy with their slate of candidates in the state of Florida.

Attorney General Reno -- former Attorney General Janet Reno was a novelty candidate during the primary. Most Democrats thought she would have lost in a landslide to Jeb Bush. Some had hoped the surprise victory of lawyer Bill McBride might give him some momentum and carry him to victory, but most believed that he, too, would be a weak candidate against Jeb Bush. In the state of Florida, there has been a generational passing, if you will of the Democrats. You have Senator Bob Graham, Senator Bill Nelson, Democrats in their upper years, you might say. They would say middle aged, I am sure I will get a phone call about that one -- but the Democrats would say they have a weak bench in the state of Florida right now, and it is something they need to address.

BROWN: I'm about to turn 54, I think I'm with them. It's middle age. Thank you very much. Our senior White House correspondent, John King.

Middle age keeps moving on me is what I'm learning -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Aaron, we've been talking about what a good night the Republicans are having, at least in some of these Senate seats that they really wanted to hold on to. And they have open seats that they have managed not to lose. A lot of happiness over there. Let's talk now about the House of Representatives, because there are some early signs right now that the Republicans are not only doing well, that they'll not only hold the majority in the House, but they may very well pick up some seats, which would be something different.

Amy Walter with the "Cook Political Report" is -- she's been in the middle of the CNN Newsroom all night, watching this -- Amy, let's get specific. A little while ago, we said the president had called Chris Chocola in Indiana. What's the significance of that? CNN has not projected Chocola yet.

AMY WALTER, "COOK POLITICAL REPORT": No, he's currently leading, and that it has not been projected that he's the winner yet. But let's look at this. This is a Democratic seat, it is an open seat in Indiana, South Bend area. This is a seat Democrats really, really needed to hold on to if they had any chance of either winning control of the House, or at least holding their margin, maybe even picking up a couple of seats.

So that's a big problem for them. There's another seat that's looking really problematic for Democrats down in Florida. Karen Thurman, she is an incumbent, she was redistricted out. It's sort of interesting, this is what goes around comes around sort of deal. In 1992, when she was in the state legislature, she helped draw her district that she ran in. Ten years later, Republicans redrew her into a very difficult district. She's currently -- by about 1,000 or 2,000 votes now behind. So, it hasn't been projected yet, but that's not looking so good.

WOODRUFF: And a good sign for the Republicans. And another race, Kentucky, three?

WALTER: Kentucky three, with Anne Northup and the Democrats had put a big target on her for a long time. They thought they might have a shot here. She's probably one of the most vulnerable Republicans. She won...

WOODRUFF: Now we have projected Anne Northup, but when you put all of these together, what does it tell you?

WALTER: Well, it tells me that Republicans right now look like they're having a good night. Now, I don't know if it means they're going to pick up a number of seats. They certainly are, right now, looking like they're going to hold their own and potentially pick up some seats and let's wait to see how some other states come in, but it could be a pretty good night for them.

WOODRUFF: All right. Amy Walter with a quick political report. Amy, as you can see, is right out here in the middle of the newsroom, working alongside our colleague Stu Rothenberg, you can see his back to the camera -- with the "Rothenberg Political Report." We've got experts tonight, they understand this a whole lot better than I do, and we're glad that they're here to back us up. That's Stu in profile. Hi, Stu. OK. Back to you guys at the desk.

BROWN: Well, this is what we call a working newsroom, and it's working tonight behind me. Realistically, Democrats' best hope was not the House anyway.

GREENFIELD: They knew going in -- the most optimistic Democrat I spoke to said, well, maybe we can pick up the seven or eight seats that we need to gain control. Nobody was talking about the kinds of traditional 25 or 35-seat gains. The Senate -- keeping the Senate was, and still is the Democrat's beg hope, and as -- we have to say, since a lot of people think experts are wrong, most of the experts said it was going to come down to a few close races in a few key states, and it sure looks that way tonight. We're waiting on Arkansas, we're waiting on South Dakota...

BROWN: Hang on to the thought. John Sununu, who we project will be the next senator for the state of New Hampshire has entered his headquarters, or at least where they're celebrating his victory tonight in New Hampshire, and he's making his way to the podium. Go ahead, Jeff, finish up.

GREENFIELD: Well, it means that if -- whatever happens in the Senate, the margin, we can even now say is going to be no more than two, tops three seats one way or another, and even if the Republicans take, which will be a huge victory politically, the fact -- that does not mean, given the rules of the Senate, they can ram through whatever legislation they want.

That being said, a Republican takeover of the Senate, and taking control of both branches of the Congress and the executive is -- would be a huge political story.

ZAHN: In the absence of exit polling, it's really difficult for us to understand exactly what has driven many of these victories this evening. I'd love to, before Mr. Sununu speaks, talk about this whole notion of this mid-term election being the "Seinfeld" election, the two "Washington Post" reporters, I guess, have dubbed it. The election where there didn't seem to be one compelling national issue that drove voters to the polls.

In the end, what do you think we're looking at? An election purely driven on local issues, as we saw in the Florida race, the issue of education?

GREENFIELD: Largely local issues state by state, overlaid by the fact that there is a president who, in historical terms, is unusually popular for a first-term president.

BROWN: Overlaid by the fact that a year ago and change, the country was hit by a terrorist attack, and three or four months from now, the country may well be at war. These are all -- seems to me all factors in why we are where we are right now.

John Sununu -- behind the signs. You can only get so high on these risers, as it turns out. There we go. They are doing him no favors.

ZAHN: No, they aren't.

JOHN SUNUNU (R), SENATOR-ELECT, NEW HAMPSHIRE: All right now. All right now. All right now. We'll never get out of here. We'll never get out of here.

All right. Wow. Thank you. This -- this -- Senator Gregg was pointing out this -- so far, this is the best speech I've ever given. Thank you. Listen. What a great night. What a great victory. This is your victory. This is the victory you made possible. We were outspent in this election, but we weren't outworked. This is a tremendous grassroots organization that made this victory possible for New Hampshire. Thank you!

BROWN: And John Sununu, a projected winner in the state of New Hampshire tonight, a seat the Republicans hold on to. The question becomes at the end of the night, who will control the Senate or at lease at the end of this election. There's certainly no guarantee that that will come at the end of this night.

And will Tom Daschle be the majority leader or the minority leader? He joins us from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Senator, it's good to see you.


BROWN: What can you tell us about South Dakota and the Senate race there that you have been working so hard on?

DASCHLE: Well, Aaron, right now the South Dakota race looks very good for us. Senator Johnson is leading somewhere by between 5 and 6 points. And we've got 30 or 40 percent of the vote right now. It's still to early, anything can happen. But we feel encouraged and increasingly optimistic.

BROWN: So not to be the one that rains on the parade here, it looks like the Democrats are having a tough go of it tonight in Georgia. We believe that you have lost in North Carolina. Overall is your sense that the Democratic party will hold on to control of the Senate when this election is over?

DASCHLE: I believe we will, Aaron. I think we've got a real good opportunity in Arkansas, another good one in Colorado. We're holding our own in Minnesota and in Missouri. So at least right now we think that there's still a possibility we could pick up another seat.

BROWN: Just to orient our viewers here, your old friend and colleague, Frank Lautenberg, has just entered his celebration in New Jersey. That must have been a sigh of relief, not that Senator Lautenberg won because I think you probably expected that for the last couple of weeks. But it did not look good for the Democrats in New Jersey a month ago.

DASCHLE: Well, a month ago, you're right. This was a very difficult time. Frank Lautenberg stepped up to the plate. He did an outstanding job of campaigning all over New Jersey and, as you can see on your screen, he's celebrating tonight and we're all celebrating with him. It's going to be great to have him back in the U.S. Senate.

BROWN: Senator, do you think the Democrats have a generational problem that they have had in two instances now to turn to men well in their 70s? is there a problem finding young I attractive Democratic candidates?

DASCHLE: Oh, I don't think so at all, Aaron. These were both very unique circumstances where you had to go to somebody who has had some experience, who could step up without any real opportunity to prepare for something like this. And you generally turn to those who have had that experience like a Lautenberg or a Vice President Mondale.

But you look at Mark Pryor and Tom Strickland and candidates like that and there's no doubt that we still have a lot of real opportunities with younger candidates, with the new generation and we're excited about the possibility of their leadership in the Senate beginning tomorrow.

BROWN: Have you given much thought to the fact that it is at least possible that when the Senate reconvenes in this period between the election and the first of the year that the independent candidate named yesterday by Governor Ventura next door in Minnesota may vote with the Republicans and you're back in the minority?

DASCHLE: Well, we'll have to cross each of those bridges when we get there. But I have to say I've been trying to reach Mr. Barkley, I know others in our caucus have and we're looking forward to working with him. But that's for another day.

I think that regardless of what happens in that regard, I think that we know that we've got some work we can do if we do it in a bipartisan way. Nothing will get done at all if it's a partisan confrontation because there just isn't enough time. The only things that will get done will be those things for which we can find common ground. And I am hopeful that will include a number of issues that we were unable to resolve before the election.

BROWN: Senator Daschle, thanks for your time tonight. I think come tomorrow, most of your fellow residents in South Dakota will be glad that the glare of national attention is off them for a while. It has been a long pull for the citizens of North Dakota. We appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

DASCHLE: Thank you, Aaron.

BROWN: From current Senate Majority Leader Ton Daschle in Sioux Falls to Candy Crowley in New York and a projection there -- Candy. CROWLEY: A real vote projection out of Texas. Put that one in the Republican column where it has been. CNN now projects that John Cornyn will take over the Senate seat of Phil Gramm defeating Democrat Ron Kirk.

BROWN: Thank you very much -- Jeff.

GREENFIELD: Well, the second half of the Democratic dream team in Texas has now gone down to defeat. There was a belief among Democrats that between Sanchez and Kirk hordes of new voters would come to the polls and upset all the conventional wisdom.

Ron Kirk, a centrist, mayor of Dallas. John Cornyn, the attorney general. But it now means that all four of those open seats are Republican.

BROWN: Jeff, thank you. Over to the "CROSSFIRE" group over in the other corner of the room. Gentleman?

TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Aaron Brown. Looks like, I must say this is shaping up to be a national trend. I heard the smarter Democrats I know say a moment ago Democrats might have done worse if they had run against a tax cut and Iraq but doubtful.

PAUL BEGALA, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": You got to stand for something or you fall for anything. And now my party has lost in New Hampshire, they've lost in North Carolina and South Carolina and now in my beloved home state of Texas. A lot of those places candidates didn't run, I think, as aggressively as they should have on fiscal policy or on foreign policy. When you surrender those kinds issues, it's kind of hard to mount a campaign.

ROBERT NOVAK, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": But the most devastating loss, Paul, may be here in Georgia, if indeed Saxby Chambliss has defeated Max Cleland, which nobody expected that to happen.

I got to say, we still have some races, South Dakota where Tim Johnson's running pretty well, Missouri is very close. You got chances for Democratic takeovers in Colorado, Arkansas.

But the Democrats have to come from behind and maybe the Democrats ought to think they're doing something wrong. You think they're not putting out the old time religion. Maybe the old time religion is not what the people want.

JAMES CARVILLE, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well, speaking of religion, I think we're probably three candidate short of holding a Senate about this time. It's the father, the son and the Holy Ghost. Tell you the truth, I was looking for some good spin here but thus far I can't find any.

CARLSON: Well how about answer this question, then. Who's going to pay? I mean who is going to be the whipping boy in your party? Is it going to be Terry McAuliffe, it's going to Tom Daschle, it's going to be Dick Gephardt? I want to know...


CARVILLE: I expect there'll be a lot of people there tied up to the hitching post. These are one of the nights where I'm glad I that got out of domestic political consulting because I would have (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

I think that one of the things you're going to watch after tonight is there'll be a thousand symposium op-ed pieces, and you know what I mean? People scratching their chins about what the Democratic Party needs to do. And, hey, it -- I think it will cause -- we had a big defeat in '94, came back and won in '96.

So I wouldn't take this. And I'm hopeful that, look, I'm hopeful we do well in South Dakota and Missouri. Let's just wait and see. I don't want to throw the towel in but have I to be honest here, I haven't seen anything tonight that gives me a lot of hope so far.

NOVAK: James, the thing that a lot of people I'm talking to are speculating on, we have to crunch the numbers before we're sure of it, but it looks as though the African-American vote did not come out in the numbers that if did in 2000.

I think that is an endemic problem for the Democratic Party that reliance on the African-American vote to such an extent that unless you get a huge vote with a 90 percent approval, you're not going to be able to win these states.

BEGALA: But the Democrats have -- my party has its base, Republicans have its base. Often, particularly mid-term elections, are about exciting your most loyal voters. And that's why I come back to this point. You say it's the old time religion, it worked pretty well for Bill Clinton as a new Democrat.


BEGALA: Clinton stood for economic change, he stood for a change in foreign policy, principly an economic driven election, though, and he won. He won convincingly. And if Democrats learn from guy who is win and learn from those who have lost, I think the lesson is you got to take them on.

CARVILLE: I think I've always said this, the American people won't trust a party to defend America that won't defend itself. I think part of the problems with the Democrats is timidity. And I don't think the question is should we move to the left or just stand for something.

CARLSON: But I wonder if tomorrow you'll hear Democrats say as the losing party in a midterm often says, Well, it was all local. And, you know, just didn't...

CARVILLE: They might say it but I won't. I won't say it.

BEGALA: We have not heard a final word from Georgia. There are still a lot of Democratic parts of the state.

NOVAK: I think you're going to lose Georgia.


BEGALA: We haven't heard anything significant from Colorado, from Arkansas, from Minnesota, from South Dakota. And then Missouri and Louisiana which were tough states to begin with for Democrats.

NOVAK: But, Paul...

BEGALA: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) having said that, if they only say -- if the trend continues, they only say this was local or this was tactical, they will be doing themselves and their voters an enormous disservice.

NOVAK: Let me just wonder whether the dogs don't like that dog food if the dog food is high taxes and big government.


CARLSON: I think the dog have spoken it seems.

BEGALA: Who let the dogs out, by the way?

CARLSON: Yes, absolutely -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, it wouldn't be a "CROSSFIRE" segment without Bob Novak talking about high taxes.

As we go to our dear friend Larry King, we want to point out once again that of the five open Republican seats in the Senate, the Republicans have held on to all five of them. So that's very good news for the Republicans.


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