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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Election 2002 Analysis

Aired November 6, 2002 - 03:30   ET

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

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to go ahead and look at race, as we were mentioned just a little bit ago, has yet to be decided, and that is the governor's race in Arizona -- Janet Napolitano and Matt Salmon.
Now, this is a state that clearly is comfortable with having women in power. Whoever wins this will be succeeding Jane D. Hull, who I think is term-limited. That's why the office is opening up.

STU ROTHENBERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: But the top five offices in Arizona recently were all being held by women.

(CROSSTALK)

KAGAN: I used to live there.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes.

KAGAN: OK.

HARRIS: I get this quite a bit.

KAGAN: Yes.

HARRIS: I hear this quite -- almost, what, twice a morning?

(CROSSTALK)

KAGAN: If it's not Arizona, then it's California.

HARRIS: Arizona or California...

(CROSSTALK)

KAGAN: Yes. But it's still an interesting race, so (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I think.

ROTHENBERG: Absolutely. Jane Hull, the sitting Republican governor -- in this case, Janet Napolitano, the attorney general. Democrats have been trying to get her to run statewide for a number of cycles now.

Interestingly, this is a three-way race. Congressman Matt Salmon -- former Congressman Matt Salmon is trailing very narrowly.

But there's a third candidate, a former secretary of state, Democrat Richard Mahoney, who is running as an Independent, ended up attacking both major party candidates, drew a chunk of the vote, may have actually affected this race and given it to Janet Napolitano.

KAGAN: He's been on the scene on Phoenix at least, on the political scene for a long time.

ROTHENBERG: He has.

KAGAN: He was once married to a local anchorwoman.

HARRIS: Gee, how would you know that?

(CROSSTALK)

KAGAN: That was a long time ago.

HARRIS: How would you know that?

KAGAN: I was here. I am a wealth of information.

(CROSSTALK)

KAGAN: This is what you talk about at 3:30 in the morning.

ROTHENBERG: Well, we should just keep talking Arizona.

KAGAN: No, we won't. A lot of people (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Arizona.

HARRIS: Now let's talk about something bigger than ever right now...

KAGAN: OK.

HARRIS: ... if you don't mind.

But what occurs to me as I listen, I remember hearing Bill Schneider say something a little while ago about there not being a clear presidential contender from some of these gubernatorial candidates that we just saw. But if we were talking now about how what we may be seeing as a natural evolution of politics, as you said the other day when we talked about this, about all of these women now who are -- some 10 women who are competing for gubernatorial seats. If you had to look at the results that we saw tonight, is there any potential presidential contender there?

ROTHENBERG: Well, I don't think you can say with this class, right now, that any of them are prepared to run for the president of the United States. But you know, you just don't become presidential material overnight.

HARRIS: Overnight...

ROTHENBERG: Now, it takes some time.

HARRIS: ... now, but down the road.

ROTHENBERG: So, I think we'll have to see how they perform. Are they re-elected? Do they then run for the United States Senate? Do they build up some significant credentials, fund-raising ability, some sort of national scope? It's always possible, but actually, women gubernatorial candidates did not have a particularly good night.

KAGAN: No, they did not.

ROTHENBERG: Did they?

HARRIS: Oh, that's true. Was it 5 to 4, was it four victories perhaps possibly?

KAGAN: Possibly with Arizona still out.

HARRIS: And four not making it, OK.

Well, we shall see, because it still isn't over yet.

KAGAN: It is not.

HARRIS: As we say.

KAGAN: Either the night is early, or the day is long...

HARRIS: It has...

(CROSSTALK)

KAGAN: ... or depending on the time -- I don't know how you're going to solve that. But we're going to look a lot more and many more results just ahead. Right now, we'll take a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAGAN: And welcome back to our continuing coverage of Election 2002, and we do mean "continuing." We will continue all the way up until 7:00 a.m. Eastern, so we hope you'll stay up and stay with us.

HARRIS: All right, let's get right to at some more of the results that we've got coming in right now.

KAGAN: Oh, going over to me -- that would be me.

HARRIS: That would be you.

KAGAN: That would be me.

OK, we're going to start with the Senate, and that is the Republican winning John Cornyn over Ron Kirk, the former Dallas mayor. That's going to a Republican.

HARRIS: And that was one-half of the dream -- to the Democrat dream team, which apparently did not pull off anything near a dream there in Texas.

KAGAN: They were hoping to send an African-American to the U.S. Senate. That is not going to happen there.

HARRIS: As well as the governor seat, Sanchez said they were trying get more of the minority vote out of those two camps.

KAGAN: This one right here in Georgia a pickup for the Republicans -- Saxby Chambliss, as he beats the incumbent Max Cleland.

Also from the Senate, this one a pickup. This is what we're calling the one (UNINTELLIGIBLE) basically for the Democrats in what was just a dismal night for that party. Mark Pryor beating the incumbent Tim Hutchinson as a pickup for the Democrats.

HARRIS: Right now, we want to look at some of the House races, and these races are all an incumbent vs. incumbent, as a result of redistricting in all of the states.

Here in Pennsylvania, the House 17, here we've got Holden -- we've got Tim Holden-George Gekas right now, and at this point, we're calling this a pickup for Democrats with Holden coming in with 51 percent to 49 percent -- a very tight race here, as we've been seeing across the board here.

And moving on to the next one, we have in Mississippi, the District 03 there, we have got there Chip Pickering. We've got him winning as a matter of fact, reporting at least -- that's what we're projecting here, as a pickup for the Republicans over Ronnie Shows.

KAGAN: He's significant because of his father, isn't he, Stu?

ROTHENBERG: His father, absolutely, the judge...

KAGAN: Judge Pickering?

ROTHENBERG: ... judge nominated and rejected by the Senate.

HARRIS: All right then, next in Illinois, a House race there, District 19, here we've got John Shimkus over David Phelps right now with a pretty strong lead, and that's one reason why we're able to project this one here as a pickup for the Republicans.

KAGAN: Let's go ahead and take some governor races.

This one -- the first one from Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, former mayor of Philadelphia, as he beats Mike Fisher. That is a pickup for the Democrats.

Also from New Mexico, one of the few former Clinton associates that had some success in this race, and that is former Energy Secretary Richardson, now the governor -- or soon-to-be governor of New Mexico, as he beats Sanchez.

And in South Carolina, this one, the incumbent Hodges beaten by Sanford. This one goes no to the Republicans.

HARRIS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the Clinton administration.

Do we know how the other ones did? Rahm Emanuel, he was running in that.

ROTHENBERG: Rahm Emanuel...

KAGAN: For Congress.

ROTHENBERG: ... was certainly one, but obviously Erskine Bowles lost. Fred Duvall lost in Arizona, the Democratic primary, the first district...

KAGAN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) lost early.

ROTHENBERG: ... in Massachusetts, yes.

KAGAN: Yes.

ROTHENBERG: It was...

KAGAN: Janet Reno in Florida.

ROTHENBERG: ... not a great year...

KAGAN: Yes.

ROTHENBERG: ... for the Clinton administration.

KAGAN: You were pointing out that Mark Pryor didn't really want Clinton to come along and...

HARRIS: Exactly.

KAGAN: .. campaign for him in Arkansas. You can kind of see why.

HARRIS: You can see why, yes.

KAGAN: Yes...

(CROSSTALK)

HARRIS: All right, now, we're still waiting on the result in Minneapolis -- I'm sorry -- Minnesota. Again, the candidates we hear at least check have decided perhaps to just cool their heels for a while, because things are -- it's going to be a long night for them, as they have to go through all of these ballots by hand, since we had basically a write-in ballot with the addition of Walter Mondale on the ticket.

Let's go down to our Anderson Cooper, who has been keeping a long, long night there, and it looks like the activity level hasn't really dropped that much, Anderson, since last we checked with you.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, they're making a little bit of a statement behind me now, but it has actually dropped off a lot. In fact, a spokesman for the Mondale campaign came out just about 10 minutes ago, and said, look, you know, this thing is too close to call. We are simply going to call it a night. They encouraged people just to go home. They said they were going to have some sort of a press conference tomorrow, perhaps around 9:00 a.m. Central Time. It's not really clear exactly what time it's going to be.

Certainly -- excuse me -- certainly, the Mondale camp can't be too happy with the numbers that they have been seeing all evening long. About a million voters -- a million votes still to be counted, roughly half the votes that were cast. So, a lot of votes still out there in some very particular and very important counties -- Hennepin County, Ramsey County -- some areas that the Democratic Farmer Labor Party says will come out strong for them.

So, they're trying to put a good face on this, but the percentage is roughly 4 to 5 percent. Norm Coleman seemingly in the lead right now. Walter Mondale trailing by about 4 or 5 percent. And it's been that way pretty consistent. There it is, 3 percent we're saying right now, 50 percent Norm Coleman, 47 percent Mondale.

And you can see, about a million people voted. They expect about another a million votes to be counted yet. So, they just said, look, let's just go home tonight. We'll regroup tomorrow morning and see where we are at.

This has been a very long campaign. It's been a very long campaign really for Norm Coleman, but not, of course, for Walter Mondale, who entered the race just Wednesday night after the tragic death of Senator Paul Wellstone on October 25.

Both candidates basically cooling their heels, as you said, Leon, and ready to pick things up tomorrow.

There had been some talk that there might be some sort of a speech made by Mondale in about half an hour. That does not seem to be the case; that is not going to happen. We may hear -- we will probably hear from him, but not until the morning.

You see there the ballots still being counted. It is a supplemental ballot, because of the late entry of Walter Mondale into this campaign. The ballots had to be done by hand. They have to be counted by hand now, and that is what is happening in precincts across the state of Minnesota right now.

It's been a tough campaign for both, a very civil campaign in the last couple of days between Norm Coleman and Walter Mondale. It was certainly uncivil at times between Norm Coleman and Paul Wellstone, a very divisive campaign, a bitter -- some bitter debates between the two candidates. That all changed, of course, after the death of Senator Wellstone, and it's been a whole different race in the last four -- the last five or six days -- Leon.

HARRIS: Well, Anderson, you talk about the debates between Wellstone and Coleman. I want to know if you've been hearing any talk at all there in the aftermath of the debate between Coleman and Mondale, and if whether or not anyone there thinks it made a difference with the voters there.

COOPER: I think absolutely a lot of people will say -- tell you it made a difference on both sides. Both candidates felt very good, at least publicly they said they felt very good about how they did in those debates.

And if you watched those debates -- I mean, I have watched them twice now -- and it was rather extraordinary how civil a debate it was. And how sort of human it was. It's unlike really any debate I've seen before. These two candidates sitting across a small table from each other, often kind of ignoring the moderator, just talking one to another, taking turns, really not giving sound bytes, really just talking, two people. And the exchange of ideas was evident I think to many voters here in Minnesota.

The difference between the two candidates was made very clear, and Norm Coleman made a very big point of aligning himself with President Bush on many of President Bush's policies, particularly toward Iraq. And Norm Coleman certainly received a big boost on Sunday when President Bush came and appeared a rally with Norm Coleman. Laura Bush, the first lady, appeared the day before that, and Vice President Cheney appeared the day before that, and the former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, appeared after the debate on Monday with Coleman.

So, he received a lot of national Republican support -- Leon.

HARRIS: All right, OK, the pot still stirring up there in Minnesota. All right, Anderson Cooper, we'll check back with you later on -- thanks much.

Stu, I've got to ask you about this, because now we're seeing this race is still so tight now, and perhaps now Walter Mondale seeing numbers that he doesn't really like right now.

ROTHENBERG: Right.

HARRIS: We were talking coming into this thing, and wondering what kind of -- what this was saying about the Democratic Party if they had to reach back into the old -- you know, into the drawer behind them back in the day, if you will, to bring out candidates like Lautenberg and Mondale. And we saw Lautenberg basically come up and have a pretty strong showing here and wrapped his race up pretty quickly, not the case here.

And this is a case where we're talking about a former vice president with a huge name recognition and tons of esteem there in that particular market there.

What do you make of the difference between those two experiences?

ROTHENBERG: Leon, this is what we call special circumstances. This is not a run-of-the-mill campaign. And I think what happens and what you have to understand about Minnesota is the Democrats didn't have a lot of choices. They just had to make a decision within a few days to put a candidate in there to replace Paul Wellstone.

There were not a lot of options, but think back -- think back five, six, seven days ago of what the conventional wisdom was. I talked to a lot of people who said, there is no way Norm Coleman can beat Walter Mondale. The support, the outpouring of affection, not only for Walter Mondale, but Walter Mondale as a person who was carrying the banner of the fallen Paul Wellstone. There is no way Norm Coleman is going to come back and win.

And over the last few days, we've understood that this race is very close, and now it's very possible that Norm Coleman can win.

This is -- this would be quite a blow to the Democratic Farmer Labor Party in Minnesota, and to the Democrats nationally.

KAGAN: We want to also focus on another race that the Democrats put a lot of effort into, as did the Republicans, and that is the Senate race in South Dakota. That is one that also amazingly is still too close to call at this late hour.

Our Jonathan Karl begging us to let him go and go to bed, but not yet, my friend.

HARRIS: What is he, a hostage?

KAGAN: That's it. We're holding you -- one last report, and then we'll cut you lose.

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is something else. Both candidates now -- both candidates have headed to the locker rooms. They're not going to be coming down until tomorrow, because they don't expect to know the results until tomorrow.

Right now, you have a mere 2,000 or so votes separating the Republican, who is in the lead, John Thune, and the Democrat, Tim Johnson. But as I was explaining to you before, we are still waiting to hear from two counties -- two critical counties.

One, a county that is on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation, Shannon County, a county that has about 3,500 people that cast a vote today. About 90 percent of those are expected to be Democratic votes. So, there could be enough votes there for Tim Johnson to go back into the lead.

But then you also have another county, you have Davison County, which is a county with more Republican registration, and they've got about 10,000 registered voters, and they have not reported yet, because of a little computer glitch. So, they're waiting on those counts to figure out where this race goes.

Now, if the margin ends up being one-quarter of 1 percent, which would be about 600 or 700 votes, then there would be an automatic recount triggered here in the state of South Dakota. So, get ready for that possibility, because that is a real possibility, depending on how those last two counties turn out.

And of course, what makes this race so interesting is that this is a race that that George Bush took a personal interest in. The president visited here, South Dakota, twice in the past five days, and a total of five times, smashing all previous records for presidential visits to the state of South Dakota. He has now visited by far South Dakota more than any other president in history since South Dakota became a state.

So, the president clearly put a lot into this, but so did, of course, Tom Daschle, the majority leader. He is the senior senator from South Dakota.

And I traveled around this state over the last several days with Tom Daschle and with Tim Johnson. They were virtually inseparable. Daschle was at Johnson's side every step of the way, and everywhere Johnson went, he made the point that a vote for Tim Johnson is a vote to keep Tom Daschle as the majority leader.

Well, now, as we know, Tom Daschle will no longer be the majority leader, because he's lost his majority in other states. This has been a bad night for Democrats, a bad night for Tom Daschle, but he certainly doesn't want to make it a disastrous night by losing in his own back yard.

So, Tom Daschle, like the president, has a lot at stake right here in the state of South Dakota -- Daryn.

KAGAN: And Jon Karl, you're sitting there thinking, and they're not going to let me go until they recount all of those votes. You're thinking that. Not...

(CROSSTALK)

KARL: You know, I was in Nashville -- I was in Nashville on election night in 2000, so...

(CROSSTALK)

KARL: That recount lasted how many weeks?

KAGAN: So, it's you -- it's you (UNINTELLIGIBLE) cover their campaign coming up. We promised this would be a late night.

We're going to let you go, though, this time. We do appreciate your late hours.

KARL: Thank you.

KAGAN: And I'm sure we'll be seeing you early tomorrow.

Stu, let's look at South Dakota. As Jon Karl was pointing out, a lot of resources poured into this. When I was reading up on this race, it said, South Dakotans look at presidential visits in terms of years between visits, not weeks or even days as it has been with President Bush making his visits.

ROTHENBERG: And let's remember that the president started very early in this race by recruiting John Thune. He was going to run for governor, changed races, decided to run for the Senate, because of the president's intervention. That brought George W. Bush in South Dakota politics, and of course, he's been there a number of times. Let's also remember, this is fundamentally a Republican state. They elected a Republican governor this year, they elected a Republican to the House seat that John Thune gave up.

In addition, the Republicans have decided that they don't want to get beaten in the ground game on Election Day as they have in the past. When you talk to strategists and handicappers, they said, oh, if the race is close, Tim Johnson has the best ground game in the entire country. He knows where every Democratic (UNINTELLIGIBLE), he's going to get every Democrat out.

But I've been talking to Republican insiders in South Dakota, who were involved in the Thune race, and they said, we're ready to match this, our ground game with their ground game. If we go in exactly even, we think we're going to win.

We don't know yet who is going to win, but it looks like the Republicans have a pretty good operation in this state as well.

HARRIS: Yes, let me ask you this. We've been talking this evening about the coattails, and we just mentioned moments ago. And then you come up here and you talk about how the fact that President Bush has been there an unprecedented number of times in this country.

Let me ask you this for arguments sake here. Is it kind of comparing apples and oranges to look at historical trends with these mid-year -- or midterm elections, rather, and see how presidential parties have done? When you -- in this case here, we've had things that have never, ever happened before in a midterm. You've got a president who took almost a month off to do nothing but campaign. We've never seen that happen before -- taking five trips to South Dakota, we've never seen that before; $900 million spent on these campaigns by all of the parties. We've never seen that before.

And so, isn't that in a way sort of comparing apples and oranges when you look at it that way?

ROTHENBERG: I think you're exactly right. You know, I don't know exactly on the presidential coattails, but I think it depends on the cycle, the year, and it depends on the state.

You take South Dakota. That state has about a 9 percentage point Republican registration edge. If George W. Bush goes in South Dakota, that's very different than if he goes in a Democratic state or a more moderate or a liberal state. This is a conservative state.

So, he's going in there. He's trying to energize a pre-existing Republican base, and that's something that I think he was able to do, and remember, he went in right at the last minute. So, if there was a bug (ph), it probably lasted through today.

KAGAN: We also want to focus again on this idea of George Bush going in and doing a little bit of matchmaking about which candidate he thinks goes with the right office. As you were saying, here it was Thune, and also with Norm Coleman.

ROTHENBERG: Norm Coleman.

HARRIS: That's right.

KAGAN: I think Norm Coleman wanted to run for governor...

(CROSSTALK) .

ROTHENBERG: He was in the governor's race.

KAGAN: Yes.

ROTHENBERG: He ran for governor four years ago, finished second behind Jesse Ventura. He was planning on running again. George W. Bush made a phone call, Carl Rove made a call as well, he switched races.

KAGAN: Very good.

HARRIS: Interesting the precedent that is being set here, if it is a precedent, to me is just fairly significant.

ROTHENBERG: Well, this is a very active political operation in this White House. The president obviously bought into this entire cycle, as you noted. He devoted weeks to campaigning. People thought that Bill Clinton was active politically. George W. Bush I think may have exceeded that. And Carl Rove is a very, very smart political operative, and obviously very intellectual.

HARRIS: Yes.

KAGAN: All right, and...

HARRIS: Five trips to South Dakota, 13 to Florida. There you go.

KAGAN: And no frequent flyer miles...

HARRIS: And it worked.

(CROSSTALK)

ROTHENBERG: And we're ready for Florida now I think.

(CROSSTALK)

HARRIS: As a matter of fact, that's a good point.

KAGAN: We're also ready for a quick break, and we're going to do that and talk more after this -- stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: Well, now, it's not so much America votes as it is America waits now and America counts. They're continuing the vote count in certain states no less.

KAGAN: One for you, one for me.

HARRIS: But we're continuing to track the results, and we've been having -- that have been coming in here across the country.

Let's get right now to the latest results in some governors' races here.

Here, CNN is projecting here that Frank Murkowski, the former Alaskan senator, is now going to be the governor of that state there.

And in Hawaii right now, we can't call this one, but as you can see there, Lingle over -- it's Maui Mayor Linda Lingle...

KAGAN: That's Bill Schneider's favorite name in the entire election.

HARRIS: Exactly.

KAGAN: Maui Mayor Linda Lingle.

HARRIS: Right now holding a slim lead over Macy Hirono.

And in California, a relieved Governor Gray Davis now has learned that he will probably -- he will be -- continue to be Governor Davis for another four years there.

KAGAN: Well, let's look at some other California races. This is Dennis Cardoza and Dick Monteith. This is the seat that Gary Condit used to hold or is in the process of wrapping up. Dennis Cardoza will be the next congressman from that district.

And here was a before and after school -- OK, this was concerning kids and extra funding to provide these programs. The reason this got a lot of attention, none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger put a lot of effort and support behind this initiative.

And let's bring Stu Rothenberg back in here. I know Arnold loves the kids, but there's got to be a lot more than just that -- the love of children behind being such a...

(CROSSTALK)

ROTHENBERG: Well, I don't know that, and we shouldn't be too cynical about...

(CROSSTALK)

KAGAN: Oh, yes, we should. At 3:56 a.m. Eastern, yes, we absolutely should.

ROTHENBERG: Certainly everybody is talking about the fact...

KAGAN: Yes.

ROTHENBERG: ... that he is looking at the governor's race. The Republicans are looking for a star, even though Bill Simon did reasonably well, even though he came apparently within a few percentage points of Gray Davis. This is a state with a relatively weak Republican Party. They're looking for somebody with star quality, somebody who can raise money or has money. They're looking for a new face, and Arnold could well be that face.

KAGAN: He is well-known.

ROTHENBERG: He is.

KAGAN: He has political ambitions. He has spoken out before kind of tested that, and he's married into a political family even though it's probably the most famous Democratic political family.

ROTHENBERG: And this is a state that has elected actors before.

HARRIS: Yes.

ROTHENBERG: And you know, he's got that star quality, and that's really important these days.

HARRIS: I'm sure he could raise money with no problem whatsoever.

ROTHENBERG: Sure.

KAGAN: Or perhaps write his own check (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

HARRIS: And he could do that as well. He's been raising votes, as you can see there with that proposition.

KAGAN: And that's just one of the many propositions on the ballot. In the next hour, we'll go ahead and look at some more of those, including...

HARRIS: Some very interesting ones are out there, too.

KAGAN: ... the effort to legalize marijuana, a certain amount of that in Nevada, universal health care in Oregon, among some of them.

HARRIS: And some education ones as well, about what language kids should be educated in. Lots of stuff like that coming up just ahead, so stay with us. Much more coming up -- don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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