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America Votes 2002: Projections and Results

Aired November 6, 2002 - 04:30   ET


LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: This, as we said, too close and we're going to have to wait and see until they go over the results with a fine tooth comb there.
And then in Oklahoma,...

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: This one was not supposed to be close.

HARRIS: ... not supposed to be close at all.

KAGAN: Alabama was.

HARRIS: Steve Largent, who was the congressman and former NFL star, Hall of Famer as well, you would think it would have been a walk for him, not the case here. We show here Henry ahead of him and in the raw vote total there with more votes, although we're still calling it a dead heat between the two.

And in Arizona, Napolitano there with a slim lead, very slim at this particular point. Again, still too close to call over Salmon with that -- with 97 percent reporting.

KAGAN: Let's go ahead and check in on Hawaii. We know this will be a women -- a woman governor. Maui Mayor Linda Lingle,...

HARRIS: Keep saying it.

KAGAN: ... we just like to say that name, a slight lead at this point over Mazie Hirono. We will keep tracking that one.

As well as in Oregon, Ted Kulongoski very close race with Kevin Mannix.

HARRIS: And again, now back to the biggest surprise of the evening...

KAGAN: It was a jaw dropper I think when it came out...

HARRIS: ... to pretty much everybody here. I haven't met -- hadn't talked to one person who was not shocked by this. Sonny Perdue, who wasn't even on the radar screen in this race, not even but two weeks ago, three weeks ago, comes out from behind and defeats incumbent Governor Roy Barnes here. And he does so handily and does so despite the fact that Roy Barnes probably outraced him 10 to 1 perhaps. A huge war chest that Roy Barnes had been able to build up over the past four years. However, Sonny Purdue was the one tonight giving the victory speech. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SONNY PERDUE (R), GEORGIA GOVERNOR ELECT: You have stunned not only me, you've stunned Georgia, you've stunned the nation tonight.


HARRIS: Shocked the world. Shocked the world.

KAGAN: That pretty much says it.

Here's one though that went pretty much as expected, at least not this big of a -- of a landslide there,...


KAGAN: ... but the result is pretty much I think what was expected, the president's brother, Jeb Bush, winning a second term as governor of Florida.


GOVERNOR JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: Fifteen minutes ago, Bill McBride called me and graciously conceded the election and...


BUSH: ... I told him that he ran a hard race and I look forward to working with him to build a better Florida.

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


BUSH: 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.



KAGAN: We move on to Massachusetts, a man that many believe helped save the Salt Lake City Olympics will now be leading the way in Massachusetts as Mit Romney beat Shannon O'Brien the state treasurer there. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

HARRIS: And in...

KAGAN: It's also Massachusetts...

HARRIS: ... the other two.

KAGAN: ... these are the other candidates.

HARRIS: Exactly.

KAGAN: The Green and Independent candidates. Sorry.

HARRIS: Kind of threw us off there (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

But now going to the governor's race in Maryland, this and again something of a surprising turnaround, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend was not able to maintain whatever slim lead she had going into this Election Day and Bob Ehrlich came up and he has made this a pick up for Republicans.

KAGAN: On to Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, which was a lot easier to say when it wasn't...

HARRIS: Say that one four times fast.

KAGAN: ... 4:30.

HARRIS: It was easier to say about midnight.

KAGAN: This is pretty much how they expected this one to go. This is a pick up for the Democrats. The Republicans had been in office for some time in the governor's office. And Tim Ryan having the unfortunate luck of having the same last name as the outgoing governor...

HARRIS: Who was not very well...

KAGAN: Respected.

HARRIS: ... respected going out, yes.

Now in California, though, what an evening for Gray Davis. I don't believe that he had this expectation coming in that it would be able to be called this soon. However, we have now with 93 percent of the precincts reporting we're calling this race for Governor Gray Davis, maintaining his seat there and beating Bill Simon there. And this was -- this was the governor just moments ago.


GOVERNOR GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: Politics is a very humbling business. And I am -- I speak from the heart when I tell the voters I thank them for the opportunity to finish the job. I thank them for the opportunity to keep working to improve our schools, to keep making sure more people have health insurance, to keep improving the lives of young people, of working people, of business people, of seniors, of veterans, of all the great people in this state. And I leave you with this thought, with all of our challenges and all of our problems this is still the greatest place to live on the planet Earth.


HARRIS: And the governor still has a challenge of reconnecting the voters in that state. We'll be watching that. Now in New York, not that much of a surprise here at all. We see here Governor George Pataki maintaining his seat over Carl McCall there and with a very wide margin.

KAGAN: And here's one in Texas, can you say caching (ph), because Tony Sanchez spent about $63 million of his own money not to win however. It will be Perry -- Governor Perry who holds on to his seat there in Texas.

HARRIS: And in Minnesota, and we're calling this one for Pawlenty, and this was called a while ago here. We made this projection over Moe. And this is still with some precincts yet to report, but we were able to make this call a while ago.

KAGAN: But interesting, Minnesota will go from Independent to Republican governor.

And in Wisconsin, it looks like it's a pick up for the Democrats, Doyle winning over the incumbent McCallum and also an Independent running there, Thompson.

HARRIS: All right, at this point, I would like to go back and talk some more about Georgia. And that was...

KAGAN: With our Stu Rothenberg.

HARRIS: Yes, Stu Rothenberg, as you can tell, joins us here.

I mean we're looking back on this and trying to make some, I don't know, I shouldn't say make some sense of it, but try to figure out exactly what happened here in this state. Sonny Perdue, is there any lesson that any candidate can take from the race that Sonny Perdue here actually ran, because he was nowhere to be seen, if you were to look at the landscape here, and then out of nowhere he comes up and beats a very well entrenched incumbent?

STUART ROTHENBERG, "ROTHENBERG POLITICAL REPORT": The lesson is it's better to be lucky than run a good campaign because he -- not that he ran a bad campaign, Sonny Perdue ran no campaign...

HARRIS: No campaign.

ROTHENBERG: ... compared to Roy Barnes. I mean Roy Barnes had the money, he had the name ID, he was an incumbent. Yes, this race came out of absolutely nowhere. I mean I remember a number of years ago, '94 when Dan Roskinkowski (ph) was defeated by Michael Flanagan (ph). It was one of those wow,...


ROTHENBERG: ... you know, what happened here? Who -- you know who got hit by this truck? What happened though was more than this race, Leon, this was all about Georgia. And Roy Barnes tried to push the envelope, not just in this race, but with redistricting. Very few states did they push the envelope and try to create more districts than they really could handle for a particularly party. The Republicans tried in Michigan and Pennsylvania. They lost one of the Pennsylvania congressional districts. They did well in Michigan. Maryland, the Democrats pushed the envelope, created two Democratic seats, won them both.

But here, here the Democrats thought they were creating a whole bunch of Democratic seats. They lost the Senate race, the governorship, they lost two congressional seats, the 11th congressional district and the 12th congressional district. I haven't seen numbers in the third congressional district, Saxby Chambliss' old district, and south central Georgia, I don't know how that ended up. That race was close. But this was another disaster for Georgia Democrats. And in fact 10 years ago when redistricting, Georgia Democrats tried to do the exact same thing, they pushed...


ROTHENBERG: ... the envelope and they lost all the districts as well.

KAGAN: They...

ROTHENBERG: So this has backfired on them and it backfired on Roy Barnes.

KAGAN: You brought up Saxby Chambliss who will be the Senator- elect. The congressman went after Max Cleland and had incredible success tonight. How much do you think his success rubbed off on Sonny Perdue? In other words, people who were fired up to go to the polls to help President Bush and put Saxby Chambliss in the Senate instead of Max Cleland, while they were there they pushed the R for Sonny Perdue.

ROTHENBERG: Well I think somebody had to drive this Republican victory. Part of it may well have been poor Democratic turnout -- Democratic base turnout, possibly a minority community, as we have talked, but somebody had to drive this agenda and I -- and I think it was clearly Saxby Chambliss. He had some money. He was the person who was leading the Republican charge. So -- we were talking about this earlier, and you're the analyst on this one, you're the Georgian, I think there's no question that Saxby Chambliss was the -- was the driving engine behind the Republican victory there (ph).

HARRIS: But you know one thing we haven't talked about with either that race or any of the other ones tonight is how the advertising, the political advertising and the -- and some of the campaign commercials we saw in these -- in these two races that we just got finished talking about were particularly ugly. There was some very nasty, mean campaigning going on.

KAGAN: Especially in the Senate race.

HARRIS: Yes, and in fact at one point, as I recall, there was a charge that was made by Chambliss in his campaign against Cleland where you know he said something that he attributed to -- I'm sorry, Zell Miller who was the other senator from Georgia where Zell Miller had to come back and say no, I didn't say that and I do -- I'm endorsing Cleland. There was nasty stuff going on back and forth. Is there any sense at all as to -- as to how many races that may have had an impact in because we've been seeing reports like this all across the country?

ROTHENBERG: Well, Leon, there were plenty of races where one candidate was far behind and the way to get back into the race from charative (ph) advertising, what's called negative advertising, attack advertising. Saxby Chambliss started way, way back. He's a congressman. Now he's a U.S. senator so we think he's famous. We think everybody in the state knows who he is after millions of dollars of advertising, but he represented one congressional district.

He was not known -- well known in the Atlanta media market. He had to get back in this race. He had to attack Max Cleland. Those of us that kind of handicap races thought well how the heck do you attack Max Cleland? How do you run against him without seeing -- seeming too negative, too vicious? This is a very polarized state. And six years ago, Max Cleland barely won, I believe it was Guy Milner...

HARRIS: That's true.

ROTHENBERG: ... who had run...

HARRIS: Yes, Guy Milner.

ROTHENBERG: ... many times and lost and almost won this race. This was a race where if a Republican spent enough money, runs an ideological race, he can get close. In this year, it was a really good year for the Republicans, he did better than get close, he won it.

KAGAN: Republicans smelled an opportunity and they took advantage of it. Good for them.

Stu, thank you so much.

HARRIS: All right, thanks -- Stu.

ROTHENBERG: Sure (ph).


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