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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
America Votes 2004: Primary Coverage
Aired February 3, 2004 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We're looking at live pictures of John Kerry's campaign headquarters in Seattle, Washington. We're expecting to hear from John Kerry. He'll be speaking to his supporters. That's coming up soon. We'll go there live as soon as that happens.
This is a live picture of Wesley Clark's campaign headquarters, Wesley Clark's campaign headquarters. We're expecting also to hear from Wesley Clark shortly.
A very close race unfolding right now in Oklahoma, with 99 percent of the vote now in, very, very close, extremely close. We expect that when all the votes are now in, Clark probably will win, but by less than 1 percent. We're not ready to call this race in Oklahoma.
CNN's policy is not to project a winner when it's so close, the official vote, less than 1 percent right now, a very, very narrow lead by Wesley Clark over Senator John Edwards, as you can see, with 99 percent of the vote now in, 30 percent for Clark, 30 percent for Edwards, John Kerry not all that far behind with 27 percent, but not a big difference.
We have special coverage coming up throughout this hour as our special coverage continues.
ANNOUNCER: It isn't over yet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And in our country, our America, everything is possible.
ANNOUNCER: For this first time in this campaign, multiple contests and multiple winners.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I think it's a vote for change. And I'm very, very gratified...
ANNOUNCER: Plus, a real surprise in the Sooner State. Who has momentum now? Who's at the end of the line?
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D-CT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... tonight to end my quest for the presidency of...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: And whose campaigns may be running out of gas? This is a CNN Special Report, America Votes 2004. Seven states decide. Tonight, the results.
Now, from CNN election headquarters, Wolf Blitzer.
BLITZER: It's the biggest day yet in the Democratic presidential campaign, and there are a number of headlines. Senator John Kerry went five for seven, he won the primaries in Arizona, Delaware, and Missouri, as well as the caucuses in New Mexico and North Dakota.
Senator Kerry will be speaking to supporters in Washington state momentarily. We'll have live coverage of that. That's coming up.
Also a big night for Senator John Edwards. He called South Carolina a must-win state. He won it, convincingly. He could also win Oklahoma, it's still too close to call right there, the numbers still coming in.
If Senator Edwards doesn't win Oklahoma, Wesley Clark will. He's also notched a second-place finish in Arizona. The retired general intends to keep on going. Clark begins a bus tour of Tennessee tomorrow. That state and Virginia vote next Tuesday.
Howard Dean conceded all seven of today's states in advance. Guess what? He was right. In most of them, he finished far back in the pack. But Howard Dean says he isn't quitting. He says he will fight for the 90 percent of the convention delegates yet to be chosen.
Joe Lieberman's quest for the White House is over. He needed a win today. He didn't come close. In dropping out of the race, Lieberman said, and I'm quoting now, "The judgment of the voters is now clear, and I want to congratulate John Kerry and John Edwards."
Let's take a look at the very latest vote totals right now. First Oklahoma, take a look at this, with 99 percent of the vote, you can do the math yourself, not a big difference separating Wes Clark, John Edwards, less than 1 percent, 30 percent each of them, John Kerry with 27 percent.
Take a look at that.
Let's move on to New Mexico. Right now, we have projected that John Kerry will be the winner in New Mexico with 37 percent of the caucuses now in, 36 percent going to John Kerry, 23 percent for Wes Clark, Howard Dean down at 21 percent, Edwards, Kucinich, Lieberman follow.
In Arizona, an important state, Arizona. We have projected that John Kerry will be the winner with 70 percent of the actual votes in. He's at 43 percent, Wes Clark at 27 percent, Howard Dean, John Edwards, Lieberman, Kucinich, much further behind.
Take a look at North Dakota right now, the caucuses there, not many people showing up to participate, but with 100 percent of the vote now in, half, 50 percent, have gone for John Kerry, 24 percent for Wes Clark, Howard Dean, John Edwards, Kucinich, and Lieberman further behind.
Updating our viewers, Missouri, an important primary, the biggest win of the night, 50 percent of the vote so far going to John Kerry, who will win this state. You see with 70 percent of the vote in, John Edwards has 27 percent, everyone else in single digits in Missouri.
In Delaware, Delaware, the vote is now over with 100 percent of the vote now in, 50 percent going to John Kerry, the winner. Joe Lieberman, John Edwards, Howard Dean, everybody else, Wesley Clark included, much further behind.
A big win for John Edwards tonight in his native state of South Carolina. He's the senator from North Carolina. But with 91 percent of the vote, you see he's got 46, almost 50 percent of the vote in South Carolina, 30 percent for John Kerry. Al Sharpton coming in third so far with 91 percent of the vote in, Clark, Dean, and Lieberman trail in South Carolina.
The candidates are spread out all over the nation. Throughout the night, CNN's reporters have brought you the news from the candidates' campaign headquarters. We'll continue to check in with all of them. That's coming up.
First, though, let's bring in CNN's Judy Woodruff to give us the overall big picture, Judy. What has happened?
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we are still waiting, as you said a minute ago, for the final, final numbers from Oklahoma, because there -- we now know that Wesley Clark's ahead. You said we can't call it because it's so close. But it looks like it's almost a tie there between Wesley Clark and John Edwards, with John Kerry right behind.
But having said that, tonight is a night with more than one winner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDWARDS: It's a long way from that little house in Seneca, South Carolina, to here tonight, but this is a great (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
WOODRUFF (voice-over): For John Edwards, a decisive and crucial victory, scoring a big win in South Carolina, the state where he was born.
EDWARDS: Tonight, you said that the politics of lifting people up beats the politics of tearing people down.
WOODRUFF: So the Edwards Mo builds, but so does the Kerry tidal wave. The Massachusetts Democrat romped tonight, taking delegate-rich Missouri in a landslide, tallying victories in Arizona, North Dakota, and Delaware as well.
KERRY: I'm extraordinarily gratified by the returns tonight. But most importantly, I think it reflects a very significant desire across the country, from one coast to the other, from North to South, for change in our country. People want new leadership...
LIEBERMAN: I have decided tonight to end my quest for the presidency of the United States of America.
WOODRUFF: But heartbreak for Joe Lieberman as he folds a campaign that never caught fire. The one-time vice presidential nominee was banking on a win in Delaware tonight, but it didn't happen.
LIEBERMAN: I offered a mainstream voice, and I still believe that that is the right choice and the winning choice for our party and our country.
WOODRUFF: And more disappointment for Howard Dean.
HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And we're going to have a tough night tonight...
WOODRUFF: A poor showing for the former Vermont governor, who, in fairness, didn't put much effort into today's contest, focusing instead on the looming battles in Michigan and Washington. And hammering away at front runner Kerry.
DEAN: Do you want fundamental change in America, or do you want to have Democrats who behave like Republicans half the time?
WOODRUFF: With that, Howard Dean vowed to go on. He's in this race. He's continuing. And so are all these other candidates, except for Joe Lieberman. Wolf, they're all saying, I got, I see something here tonight that makes me believe I should keep at it. And they are keeping at it, this race is down by only one.
BLITZER: And I assume some of those candidates want to see if John Kerry should stumble down the road, and they might -- may have an opening to pounce, if you will.
WOODRUFF: Don't take your eyes off this one yet.
BLITZER: This is not over with by any means.
Let's tell our viewers what we're waiting for right now. We're waiting to hear from John Kerry, the front runner. He's won five of the states tonight.
We'll go live to campaign headquarters as soon as he's ready to speak to his supporters. We're also waiting to hear from Wesley Clark.
It looks like he's atop in Oklahoma, it's not -- we're not ready to project the winner in Oklahoma, less than 1 percent difference separating him and John Edwards in Oklahoma.
But we'll go to Oklahoma City to cover Wesley Clark's speech once that begins. In the meantime, let's go to CNN's Dan Lothian. He's standing by in Oklahoma City right now over at the Clark campaign headquarters. Dan?
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Wolf. Well, yes, it is a close race here, but at this point, it is a win for Wesley Clark, no doubt the campaign happy about that. They had always said that they needed at least one win and some second-place finishes in order to continue on from Oklahoma into the South.
The campaign expected to come out here in a short period of time, Wesley Clark, to talk to his supporters.
They're already looking to the South, Wesley Clark talking to me in an interview earlier about how they were going to focus on the South, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) specifically, rather, in Tennessee and Virginia. They believe that they can do well there.
This campaign, according to them, is far from over.
Now, this, the Wesley Clark campaign has focused heavily in the Southwest. Of course, they passed up Iowa, had a third-place finish in New Hampshire, and they were really banking all their money, their organization in the Southwest, basing it here out of Oklahoma City, and then going into Arizona and New Mexico, focusing on the Latino vote and also reaching out to the veterans.
No doubt we will hear that message continuing tonight, as they believe that is their base, that it's helped them to be able to pull off a squeaker here in Oklahoma tonight.
BLITZER: All right, Dan...
LOTHIAN: Back to you.
BLITZER: ... Lothian in Oklahoma City.
I want to tell our viewers what we're seeing. You can probably see John Kerry in the middle of this crowd. He's in Washington state. He's getting ready to address his supporters over there.
Let me just qualify precisely what CNN is ready to project in Oklahoma, a very close race, too close to call. We are not ready to project any winner in Oklahoma right now. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the CNN policy is that when it's less than 1 percent difference, we don't project a winner, based on even these hard numbers that are coming in.
We are told that this kind of close race will be required to be certified, obviously, by the state board of election in Oklahoma one week from today. That certification will come forward. They will count the ballots, recount the ballots, to make sure that this very close contest between Wesley Clark and John Edwards is certified.
We're going to await to hear exactly from the board to get the official numbers in Oklahoma before we're ready to project the winner. We're looking at these live pictures. This is Governor Gary Locke (ph) of Washington state, who has endorsed John Kerry. He's (UNINTELLIGIBLE) introducing him. The speaker's getting ready to explain why John Kerry is having such a big night.
Our Kelly Wallace is on the scene for us. Can you hear us, Kelly? And if you can, tell us what you know.
KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, you can imagine, it's a loud and excited crowd here waiting to hear from John Kerry, it's a very excited Massachusetts senator walking in with his wife, Theresa.
And in his speech, which we're expecting moments from now, look for John Kerry to say this, that he's going to continue to fight for every vote, and a line we have heard from him over and over again, that he will not take anything for granted.
Aides are feeling very good tonight, seeing the senator win five out of seven states, coming in close second in South Carolina, doing well as well in Oklahoma.
Wolf, they are saying that the senator showed he can win all across the country, East to the Southwest, the Midwest, and with all ethnic groups. In fact, one aide pointing out, looking at the exit polling in South Carolina, that John Kerry did just a couple of points behind John Edwards in South Carolina, one aide telling me the real test here was, could a Northerner win with Southern black votes? This adviser saying John Kerry passed that test, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, thanks, Kelly, we'll be getting back to you.
Jeff Greenfield, take a look at this picture that our viewers are seeing now from the Kerry headquarters in Seattle, Washington. We see the governor, Gary Locke, introducing him. When you see this picture, what goes through your mind?
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: A visit with John Kerry in Nashua, New Hampshire, about two and a half months ago, when he was running behind Al Sharpton in the national polls. He fired his campaign staff. The Kerry-is-dead story was everywhere. He looked exhausted. He was trying to summon up the energy, he said to me an to everybody else, I'm going to Iowa to make stand here.
And to look at him now, having won seven of nine primaries and caucuses, with all of that power behind him, the feeling that he can almost taste that nomination, you just realize what a mistake it is to make these wide, big judgments before anybody's voted.
This was a turnaround about as impressive as any as we've seen, I think, in modern politics.
WOODRUFF: Wolf, the other thing that's going on here is, you know, it wasn't so very long ago that Howard Dean was drawing crowds in this city of -- in Seattle, in Washington state, 12,000 people showed up. There was all this enthusiasm. But we don't know what's going to happen, obviously, in the Washington state contest this Saturday. But look at the transformation. And it has everything in the world to do with how John Kerry has done in one primary after another, Iowa, New Hampshire, and then Connecticut.
BLITZER: And now five states tonight.
Carlos Watson is here as well. You've been looking at Washington state. Howard Dean says he thinks he can win in Washington state. John Kerry looks like he's going to make a major effort there on Saturday. What are you hearing about Washington state, the lay of the land a little bit?
CARLOS WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very interesting about Washington state. It highlights the evolution of the Kerry campaign. Kerry established his first core base among veterans, and we saw their touching reunion in Iowa. We saw veterans come out to be very supportive in New Hampshire.
But here in Washington, for the first time, you'll see in a substantial way the environmentalist vote, the League of Conservation Voters gave their earliest endorsement ever in a primary to him. And they spent money in New Mexico, Arizona, and now Washington, one of four states that they were targeting to spend money, not only in primaries but in the general, in the hopes of beating President Bush.
So you're going to begin to see the expansion of the Kerry core base, if you will, and in a very significant way, veterans and environmentalists. You don't often hear those two together.
It may be part of the Kerry message that if anyone can unite a diverse party, and put together 270 electoral votes, I can do it.
BLITZER: It was an impressive way he won those five states tonight, Carlos.
WATSON: It was. And a couple of things stand out about it. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) turnout, you saw turnout in places like Oklahoma that were triple the turnout that we saw four years ago. Now, granted, there were only two contestants then, Gore and Bradley, but fairly significant.
The other thing that if you're a Democrat, you're looking at, you're paying deep attention to Arizona and Missouri, two states that you didn't win last time but were in single digits, and that you believe that if you would have win this time, along with the previous 20 blue states, as they're called, that you could have the electoral votes you need for a Democrat to win the presidency.
BLITZER: All right, Carlos.
I want to remind our viewers, we're standing by as our (UNINTELLIGIBLE), as you can see from this live picture in Seattle, Washington, that's where John Kerry will be speaking momentarily, the introductions continuing to unfold right now. Washington state, a very important state, will have a contest next Saturday together with Michigan.
Bill Schneider, you're looking at all of this. What are you seeing?
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: What I'm finding most impressive about John Kerry's victories is how across the board those victories were. In Delaware, he carried African-American voters very strongly, but he also carried white voters. In Missouri, he carried union members, a very big vote for him among union Democrats. But he also carried nonunion Democrats.
In Arizona, the key to his victory was substantial support, half of the voters over 65, the seniors, a big vote in Arizona, voted for John Kerry. But you know what? He also carried nonseniors. The most important thing about John Kerry's appeal is how much it was across the board. It wasn't a niche appeal.
Now, the reason why Howard Dean is going to take a stand in Washington is, Washington state has a number of ardent environmentalists, it's a West Coast state. There are a lot of liberals there. And he has a liberal niche that he hopes to fight from.
But the problem is, John Kerry can fight on every front.
BLITZER: All right. Bill Schneider, stand by.
You see Gary Locke, the governor of Washington state, he was just hugging John Kerry. John Kerry is going to be speaking now, speaking to his supporters, speaking to people all over the country.
Judy, as we see and we wait for John Kerry to speak, that's his wife, Theresa, who's standing right by his side. She's been a very strong adviser, a good friend to him. She's been on the campaign trail throughout.
(INTERRUPTED BY LIVE EVENT)
BLITZER: We're not ready to project a winner, even though 100 percent of the vote now tabulated. We'll wait for the board - the election board - to certify this. Supposed to do it within a week.
Judy Woodruff, General Clark said he needed a win. Apparently he's got a win, although we're not ready to make it official by any means yet. Where does he go from here?
JUDY WOODRUFF, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN NEWS: Well, he does deserve credit, Wolf. He apparently, as you said, is winning. CNN not calling it, because the results between him and John Edwards are less than one percent.
But you raise a very good question. Where does he go from here?
You know, we look at how much money Wes Clark spent, just in the last week, on advertising in eight states. And this is including New Hampshire. Almost $3 million - three and four times as much as the other candidates.
And yet, what does he have to show for it? A win - a close win, and we're not taking anything away from him - in Oklahoma. But no wins anywhere else. He's picked up a few delegates in a couple of other states. Where does he go?
He is going to campaign in Tennessee. But to run in Michigan and Wisconsin, and then the March 2nd primaries, which as, you know, as we call it, Super Tuesday, you've got to have money to get on the air.
And the question is, are people still going to be willing to give him money?
BLITZER: Now, let's show our viewers, Judy, the numbers that we have out of Oklahoma, a very close race. Take a look at this.
With 100 percent of the vote now in, Wesley Clark with 30 percent - 90,469. John Edwards, 89,194. Not a very big difference. John Kerry slightly behind with 81,000 votes.
Jeff Greenfield, he said he needed Oklahoma. He got Oklahoma. All right, so now what?
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN NEWS: Well, yes. See, that's, as the last line of a famous book by Philip Roth says, "Now we may perhaps to begin."
The problem for, not just for Clark, but for John Edwards and Howard Dean is, OK. They each think they have a way to get back into this race.
But the frustrating part of it is, not only that they're going to need a ton of money for Super Tuesday, but everywhere they go, there's a problem.
If Clark goes to Tennessee and Virginia, John Edwards is going to lay claim there, that he's got to have those states to keep his campaign alive.
Howard Dean told us he might make a state (ph) in Michigan and the Washington state caucuses. Michigan seems out of reach. The pre- election polls have Kerry up almost three to one or more, with labor unions kind of just waiting to come out on his side.
And everyone - and John Edwards can't wait to get Dean and Clark out of the race, so he can go one-on-one with this insider. They show no signs of leaving.
It reminds - I think I used this analogy before - of the old roller derbies, where you're trying to get to the front of the pack, and everybody's in front of you and you can't get by.
If there's not a one-on-one contest, the Kerry campaign knows, they're just going to keep on rolling up delegates, whether they win or come in second, and eventually, that margin of leadership in delegates is going to be a mountain too big to climb. BLITZER: Let's, Jeff and Judy, bring in our Bill Schneider. He's looking at these numbers in Oklahoma.
Apparently - we can't say for sure - apparently Wesley Clark will be the winner. We're not ready to say that for sure, even though 100 percent of the vote is in. It's less than one percent. We'll wait for the official certification by the state.
But how did he do it, if, in fact, he does go on to win narrowly over John Edwards?
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, our exit poll shows why the vote in Oklahoma was so close, and what we can look forward to, as these three candidates continue to compete.
Let's look at urban voters. They went for John Kerry - 33 percent over Clark and Edwards.
Now, suburban voters, which is a very large constituency, among suburban voters the vote was a tie, virtually - Kerry, Clark and Edwards all getting about the same exact vote. And rural voters dominated by John Edwards, with Clark just behind.
So what we see here is, you know, urban, rural, suburban majority preferring a different candidate, with the suburban vote, the largest of those three, clearly up for grabs.
BLITZER: Oklahoma - an important state and a lot of suspense there. Thanks very much.
BLITZER: Bill, we'll get back to you.
What ever happened to Howard Dean, the one-time Democratic frontrunner, shut out in all seven states tonight. We'll take a look at whether his campaign can continue, and which candidate is now the new anti-Kerry.
Beating Bush. Why the latest polls show John Kerry and John Edwards both giving the President a tough time in November.
Losing and leaving the trail. Coming to an end for the 2000 vice presidential nominee, Joe Lieberman. A look at where the Joementum has gone. Stay with us.
BLITZER: Let's go now to Columbia, South Carolina. The co-hosts of "CROSSFIRE," Paul Begala and Bob Novak are standing by. Want to bring them in. You've been watching this night.
First to you, Paul. Take a look at this poll, the CNN USA Today Gallup poll. It showed a hypothetical contest between John Kerry and George W. Bush - 53 percent for Kerry, 46 percent for Bush. It's a long time to go. Four percent margin of error. My sense is, what this shows is electability. And for Democrats, this poll, like the Newsweek polls, are very important.
PAUL BEGALA, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well, it probably helps among Democrats. It helps Kerry make his case that he can beat Bush. But honestly, as a guy who's run a lot of campaigns, it doesn't mean a thing.
What does mean a lot in our USA Today CNN Gallup poll, is the question of Bush's job approval.
Matthew Dowd is my old pal. I used to be in business with him. He's Bush's chief pollster at the Republican National Committee. Matthew and I were in business back when he was a Democrat.
But he points out that no president with an approval rating above 50 has ever lost. Well, guess what, Mr. President. You're below 50 now.
Believe me. My pals in the Bush White House are pushing every panic button. That's what they're worried about. Not the hypothetical match-ups, but that the initial referendum, before there is even an opponent is, do we put the job up for bid?
And let me tell you. If we're putting the job up for bid right now, Mr. Bush right now is a very vulnerable incumbent.
BLITZER: Well, Edwards and Bush in a very close race.
Also, Bob Novak, how worried should Republicans be right now?
Bob Novak, if you can hear me, how worried should Republicans be, looking at these hypothetical contests right now, Bob?
Unfortunately, I don't think Bob Novak is hearing us. We'll get back to Bob Novak.
BEGALA: I'm sorry, Wolf. Can you hear me? I can't hear you right now.
BLITZER: And Paul Begala, shortly.
Let's go on to Richmond, Virginia now. There's going to be a contest in Virginia. That's coming up a week from today.
Our Suzanne Malveaux has been talking to voters there, some undecided voters. What are they saying, Suzanne?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT, RICHMOND, VIRGINIA: Wolf, it started off with seven undecided. And now we're down to three. I have a question for everyone on the panel, is essentially, where are you right now?
Let's start with Miss Dorothy James. DOROTHY JAMES, UNDECIDED RICHMOND VOTER: All right. I said before that I like Clark. I'm still with Clark, because I like his issues - the issues of unemployment, and also that war over in Iraq.
If I had to vote tonight, it would be for him.
MALVEAUX: Reverend Jones (ph)?
REV. JONES, UNDECIDED RICHMOND VOTER: I would say I would have to support Kerry. One, electability. He still has strong foreign policy. That my father was a Navy Seal, so I'm going with Kerry.
MALVEAUX: Deborah Barr (ph) - Jennifer Barr (ph), sorry.
JENNIFER BARR (ph), UNDECIDED RICHMOND VOTER: I'm with Kerry. I'd like to see a Kerry-Edwards ticket, based on tonight. And I expect to see a lot less media focus on Howard Dean.
MALVEAUX: Sheridan Johnson.
SHERIDAN JOHNSON, UNDECIDED RICHMOND VOTER: I'm voting for Kerry. Like I said, he's a veteran. I'm an ex-vet. He's addressing the issues I would like to see brought to the forum.
MALVEAUX: Sandra Johnson?
SANDRA JOHNSON, UNDECIDED RICHMOND VOTER: I'm leaning towards Kerry, and I don't think my family or this community could take another four years of George W. Bush.
MALVEAUX: Collins Hellit (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, UNDECIDED RICHMOND VOTER: I'm still undecided, but I am leaning toward Kerry and Edwards. Kerry has a strong record. He speaks well. He looks presidential.
And Edwards has - is a delight to listen to. He has a good program. He represents African-Americans well.
And my decision will be coming in the very near future.
MALVEAUX: OK. We'll be looking forward to that.
Lady (ph), tell us what you think?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, UNDECIDED RICHMOND VOTER: Edwards and possibly an Edwards-Kerry ticket will definitely bring back leadership to not only the White House, but the nation as a whole.
MALVEAUX: OK. Thank you very much. You've been an excellent panel. We really appreciate your time and your long hours that you put in this evening.
Next Tuesday is when there's going to be the open primary here in Virginia, and we're talking about 82 delegates that are up for grabs.
Good night from Fourth Baptist Church in downtown Richmond - Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Suzanne Malveaux. Thank your guests for us, as well.
Let's bring in our Donna Brazile right now. Donna, let's talk first of all about Howard Dean.
Is it fair to say his performance tonight in these seven contests - he didn't do well in Iowa, didn't do well in New Hampshire, certainly did not do well today - can he recover?
DONNA L. BRAZILE, 2000 GORE CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Three weeks ago, Howard Dean was the only one running a national campaign. He had ads up in all of these key states. And all of a sudden, things have just fallen apart.
Look, Howard Dean has to go out there this weekend and win Washington or win Michigan. Otherwise, he's going to continue to lose the vote, is why Suzanne talked to tonight.
BLITZER: That "Detroit News" poll that we saw just come out the other day, had what, John Kerry well over 50 percent, Howard Dean way down, maybe in the low teens.
Michigan looks like it could be very problematic for Howard Dean.
BRAZILE: Well, absolutely. I mean, Governor Granholm is very popular. She has a tremendous organization on the ground. John Kerry has sent the person who ran her gubernatorial campaign to help him out.
So I think Howard Dean is going to have a lot of trouble in Michigan. Therefore, he might want to stay in Washington state and try to win it. I hope he doesn't suffer the same fate that Bill Bradley did four years ago when he went and made his last stand, and Al Gore, as you recall, beat him.
BLITZER: He's got some serious endorsement - John Kerry - in Washington state, including the governor, Gary Locke.
BRAZILE: Not only the governor, but I saw the machinists. I saw a number of other labor unions, including some of the labor unions that I thought were standing behind Howard Dean, supporting John Kerry tonight.
BLITZER: Sad night tonight for Joe Lieberman. What happened?
BRAZILE: Well, Joe Lieberman started off as a frontrunner. He was a guy who everyone knew and liked. But, you know, unfortunately, this was not his year.
They wanted a fresh start and a fresh face. And I think Joe Lieberman ran into a couple of potholes and really couldn't connect with a lot of Democratic voters.
BLITZER: Was he simply too conservative, too moderate, for the liberal side of the Democratic Party?
BRAZILE: Well, early on they made a calculated decision to attack the liberals in the party. And I think that turned off a lot of voters.
But Joe Lieberman will be remembered as a nice guy. He will be remembered as the guy who was appealing to many Democrats in 2000. And I think he will be written off as somebody who will come back and help the Democratic Party in the future.
BLITZER: You heard that woman suggest a Kerry-Edwards ticket. Edwards has said he won't accept it. He said, under no circumstances. But a lot of people talking about that.
BRAZILE: John Edwards was in contention in 2000. And I don't know what the final ticket will look like, but I'm sure that John Edwards will be on one side of that ticket.
BLITZER: All right. We'll soon find out. Donna, thanks very much.
The winners and losers. Voters in seven states have now made their choice. Hear reaction from the candidates, plus the big questions.
What role did race play in tonight's outcome? Stay with us.
BLITZER: Welcome back. When we started our coverage almost five hours ago, we asked Jeff Greenfield to take a look at four questions, Jeff, that we want answers by tonight.
GREENFIELD: Well, you're going to get them. The first question we asked was, what about the race question? Now that minorities are playing a role in these primaries, what would it mean?
And the one thing that South Carolina told us, at least I think fairly emphatically was, Al Sharpton is not going to be the Jesse Jackson of 2004. He was well behind both Kerry and Edwards in that department.
The second question we asked. What about more conservative Democrats? And there may have been an answer out of South Carolina, helpful to John Edwards.
That he seems to have done relatively well with those white and more conservative voters. That's a potential argument he can carry with him into later states, as he argues why he, rather than John Kerry is a better fit to run against George Bush.
The third question we raised was this New Hampshire bounce. And I think this question was answered emphatically.
John Kerry had no operation in these seven states as of a week ago. He put no money into advertising until a week ago. And he won five of these seven contests and came very close to tying in the sixth.
New Hampshire, and Iowa before it, has played an enormous role in the rise of John Kerry.
And last we asked, who would leave the field? And we know that answer already. Joe Lieberman has withdrawn.
Wes Clark, apparently on the strength of a 1,275 vote victory in Oklahoma, is going to stay in the race. And Howard Dean said February 3rd didn't mean that much to him anyway, he was looking beyond.
So we've winnowed the race by one. And I do have to mention that Kucinich and Sharpton show no signs of leaving either.
BLITZER: And that exit poll we showed our viewers the percentages. And Oklahoma turned out to be pretty accurate.
GREENFIELD: Pretty accurate, but it couldn't predict the winners. Too close.
BLITZER: Couldn't predict - we still have ...
WOODRUFF: Well, we assume Clark is going on. He never really flat out said that. We just have to assume that he is.
BLITZER: We're assuming that, because he's ahead. But it's ...
GREENFIELD: Well, he said in his victory speech, you know, "on to Tennessee." That's a clue right there, don't you think?
WOODRUFF: Or something like that. Something like that.
BLITZER: He's continuing, and John Edwards is continuing. So the contest, Judy, is by no means over.
WOODRUFF: By no means over. But, you know, Wolf. I still come out of this evening, Jeff and Wolf, with a question. When is somebody going to really go after John Kerry?
This man has just shot to the top of the pack in the last two weeks. And he's done it without anybody really laying a glove on him yet.
I mean, when are these other guys going to take it to him? You've had John Edwards, who won a primary tonight, still running a positive campaign. Wesley Clark. We're going to have to see what he has to say.
BLITZER: Howard Dean keeps saying he's the king of special interests.
WOODRUFF: Howard Dean keeps saying this, but it's not - doesn't seem to be getting any traction. Howard Dean hasn't won anything yet.
So, when are we going to see this joined? Or is John Kerry going to slide all the way into the convention in Boston, nobody having laid a glove ...
GREENFIELD: We're going to, I think, eventually - and it's going to have to be said much more clearly by John Edwards, I can win where Kerry can't. This is not the guy you want. If you care about beating George W. Bush, I'm the guy you have to ...
BLITZER: Stand by, guys. We've had some excellent coverage. We're going to take a look now at some of the sights and sounds, what we saw.
The candidates have been tested. The voters have had their say. Here's a look back at tonight's newsmakers, in their own words.
Unfortunately, I don't think we have the sights and sounds of the newsmakers.
WOODRUFF: I could have finished my sentence, Wolf.
BLITZER: We thought we had that. Go ahead and finish your sentence, Judy.
WOODRUFF: Now I can't remember what I was saying. No, but ...
BLITZER: We were saying that no one has laid a glove yet on ...
WOODRUFF: Nobody's laid a glove on ...
BLITZER: ... John Kerry. The Republicans are certainly trying already.
WOODRUFF: They are. And they're starting to try. And as we heard from John King at the White House tonight, they're trying out different themes.
They're going to get much more focused on John Kerry as the weeks go ahead - assuming his Democratic friends don't do any damage to him, which they haven't been able to do yet.
GREENFIELD: And the Kerry campaign is already raising the prospect of the Bush campaign pulling a Gray Davis. When Gray Davis spent millions of dollars in Los Angeles to try to defeat Richard Riordan - and did - in the Republican primary, to run against a weaker opponent. It actually saved Gray Davis for 11 months.
BLITZER: Judy, how important is the money factor? Now, the $100 million that the President has in his campaign war chest, the Republicans say, well, there's a lot of third party, pro-Democratic elements out there that have a lot of money that they're going to use against the President.
WOODRUFF: They are saying that. But you know, Wolf, it is the reason that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have been visiting every city in this country across the - I mean, from one coast to the other, raising all that money.
They now have over $100 million. And you can bet that they are going to - and that's before the fall campaign - they are going to pour that money into trying to build up the negatives of whoever the Democratic nominee is.
BLITZER: Three winners tonight?
GREENFIELD: Two-and-a-half. Look, I'm sorry. I'm an old- fashioned guy.
When you win five of seven primaries and get 50 percent of the delegates, yes, John Kerry is a big winner. John Edwards is a winner because he survived and showed he can win. And Wesley Clark, you know, has the rationale to go on.
But I still think the guy who wins five of seven primaries ...
WOODRUFF: And ...
GREENFIELD: ... has to be considered the winner.
WOODRUFF: ... and not only that, Wolf, he did well in the other two states. He came in a strong second in South Carolina. And in Oklahoma, he came in a strong third. He had 27 percent of the vote, right behind the top two.
BLITZER: Judy Woodruff and Jeff Greenfield, it's been a pleasure. Thanks very much.
WOODRUFF: See, we were better than that wrap-up piece.
BLITZER: Much better. That's our coverage.
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