CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
America Votes 2002: Norm Coleman Defeats Walter Mondale
Aired November 6, 2002 - 06:13 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And we are back with our continuing look at America Votes 2002 this morning.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We are looking at specific races, but also the big pictures, including the balance of power in the U.S. House of Representatives. That pretty much is unchanged, not necessarily in the numbers, but in the fact that the Republicans controlled it before the election and they will control it after. The bigger story being with the Senate because they will now control that as well.
As we go ahead and look at some specifics of -- oh there we have the House, but -- the House. Five still -- races still undecided, but that will not change the outcome in terms of the Republicans continuing to hold power in the House of Representatives.
HARRIS: Just might make the margin bigger before the night is over.
KAGAN: We're going to go ahead and look at some specific races. Unusual trend in that here are some races where the incumbent lost, including in House District 5 in Florida, Thurman losing to Brown- Waite. That is a pick up for the Republicans.
In New York, District House -- District 1 House race, Tim Bishop defeating Felix Grucci. He's a Long Island congressman. Grucci fails to win reelection in his second term.
HARRIS: And now going across the country to California in the District 18 House race there, Dick Monteith verus Dennis Cardoza. There right now we have Cardoza ahead. We're not prepared to call this race just yet. However, Cardoza, as we know as -- now running in this district that was once represented by Gary Condit.
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DENNIS CARDOZA (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Just over a year ago, I announced my candidacy to represent this part of the Central Valley in Congress. At that time, I promised all of you that I was going to run a positive campaign, one of -- free of personal attacks and one that was going to win. We did it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: Well Dennis Cardoza wins, and he holds that seat for the -- for the Democrats, rather. Now in Colorado, District 7 there in the House race, Bob Beauprez versus Mike Feeley here. Again, we are not ready to call this race. And as you can see here, you can tell why, it's very close still. Only two percentage points now separating them with 88 percent of the precincts reporting.
Now to Hawaii, the District 2 House race there, Representative Patsy Mink versus Bob McDermott in this race. And Pasty Mink here, this is a very significant gesture here by the state's residents there in Hawaii, Patsy Mink unfortunately passed away and they decided that they wanted to keep her name on the ballot. And as a show of support and appreciation for her years of service there, the voters came out and supported her by voting for her there.
KAGAN (?): Yes.
HARRIS: And there's going to be a special runoff -- a special vote coming up. When is it, another month now or...
HARRIS: ... there in Hawaii.
KAGAN: Actually, I think it's this month...
HARRIS: Can't remember the date, but there is -- will be a special election there to fill that seat.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We want to head live to Minnesota again because VNS and AP projecting Norm Coleman has won the Senate race and CNN is now projecting -- actually has now called that race. Norm Coleman is the winner for the Senate seat in Minnesota.
Let's go to Bob Franken to check in with him.
Morning, again -- Bob.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Carol.
And as we talked just a moment ago, the -- it looked like the trends almost made that inevitable. The lead was widening ever so slightly in this race. It gives new meaning to the term too close to call. And one almost paradoxical confirmation of what I've called some of the Mondale people asking them if they were aware of the projections, and they said no, they weren't, which of course means that they were aware of it and they're trying to decide now exactly when it is they're going to bring their candidate out. All they will say thus far is that they're planning to hold a news conference some time this morning.
But as I said, it looked like it was starting to spread out ever so slightly. Spread out very, very, very slowly because of the recount, which was taking so long because they had to go to the paper ballots, supplemental ballots in the Senate race. That was necessitated by the death of Senator Paul Wellstone and the sudden emergence as a candidate of Walter Mondale. And even though this is a race that did not have any ultimate impact on the balance of power in the Senate, it is, of course, going to widen the Republican's lead just a little bit and give President Bush somebody in the Republican Party very, very grateful to the support he got. The president was here several times, including last Sunday, campaigning on behalf of Coleman. That might have made the difference in this race -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Yes, Bob, I'm just playing devil's advocate, and shall we speculate for just a time, since this race was so very close and since there was that peculiar problem with the absentee ballots since Senator Wellstone died, could there be legal action taken?
FRANKEN: You bet. As long as there are lawyers, there will be legal action. And somebody's going to have to sit down and decide whether it's going to really make a difference. If it -- if it is just an infinitesimal number of votes that are being contested and if the lead is wide enough, then the legal action becomes futile and somebody may decide that it is only somebody who is acting in bad form. Minnesota is a state that likes to do things in a very orderly way and the legal action would go against the traditions. But if it's that close, given some of the legal questions that have been raised, sure there could be a court case.
If I were to guess, and I may regret doing this, I would guess that there would not be legal action.
COSTELLO: OK, thank you very much, Bob Franken. He put it on the line, didn't he? Thanks.
HARRIS: And in losing that race does -- that intensifies the hangover the Democrats are going to feel today when they bring out a former vice president, a person who even in Norm Coleman his own words was like Mt. Rushmore there in Minnesota and his at one time was a close double-digit lead there in the polls with Mondale ahead, evaporating like this and the Democrats losing after that gambit, you have to think that the hangover for them is just going to be rather intense.
COSTELLO: Yes. Oh yes.
KAGAN: And actually, well all the people in Minnesota. I mean they have been through so much...
HARRIS: Oh yes.
KAGAN: ... over the last couple of weeks losing...
HARRIS: No question.
KAGAN: ... a senator. And for Norm Coleman and his supporters, this has been very difficult as well.
HARRIS: Yes, he's got to -- he's got to feel a heck of a lot of relief. And he had to tread some very, very thin ice there and determining how he was going to -- how his demeanor and how he was going to approach it, he kind of campaign and that debate with Mondale as well, and it appears that the Coleman strategy was a success -- successful (ph).
COSTELLO: And he had to be -- he had to be respectful.
COSTELLO: And he couldn't -- I don't know. I thought Walter Mondale did pretty good in that debate,...
COSTELLO: ... but apparently not good enough.
HARRIS: Yes, Norm Coleman apparently successful.
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