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Clinton: Projected Winner of Kentucky Primary; Doctors Report on Kennedy: No More Seizures Since Admission

Aired May 20, 2008 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: CNN projects that Hillary Clinton is the winner of the Kentucky primary by a wide margin; we project perhaps 30 points, a margin of 30 points. Hillary Clinton will defeat Barack Obama in the state of Kentucky based on the exit polls that have been coming in as well as the actual numbers that have come in over the past hour since the polls closed in the eastern part of the state. All of the polls are now closed in Kentucky and CNN projects that Hillary Clinton will be the winner.
You wouldn't know it if you take a look at what we know right now, 13 percent of the precincts have now reported, 49 percent for Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama's 48 percent, but those were precincts that were showing Barack Obama was doing relatively well. With all of the precincts now closed, especially in the western part of the state, Hillary Clinton will be the winner in Kentucky, we can project that win to be by a wide margin, once again perhaps, perhaps by 30, 30 percent.

Let's take a look at the actual numbers that are coming into Kentucky right now with 15 percent of the precincts having been reported, 60,000 or so for Hillary Clinton, 56,000 for Barack Obama. It looks like a relatively close race with 15 percent of the numbers in, precincts in, but 85 percent of the precincts have not reported. Once they do, this will be a big win for Hillary Clinton in Kentucky tonight.

Let's go to Candy Crowley, she's joining us from Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters in Kentucky. They're getting ready to hear from the senator at some point, Candy, but they're going to be very excited now that we have projected Hillary Clinton the winner in Kentucky.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely and they were because people are beginning to gather here. We don't expect to hear from Hillary Clinton for another hour, maybe another hour and a half, but look this is what they wanted out of Kentucky, not just a win, but a big win, certainly 30 points will fit that bill. Regardless of what happened here in Kentucky, we knew that she was going on.

And as we're watching Kentucky come in, they've just noticed that we're on TV if you can hear the screaming behind me, as the votes come in, in Kentucky, watch the popular vote because that's where Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton have been focusing, saying listen if they can argue that they have the most popular vote, they think they have a real superdelegate argument, so they wanted to rack up a popular vote here.

And of course hat's why Hillary Clinton is going to Florida tomorrow, because they want to use Florida and Michigan's popular votes to add to her total because that's -- they believe that is a very strong argument to those superdelegates, Wolf.

BLITZER: And do we know yet approximately what time Hillary Clinton will be walking in to that building, that room where you are delivering her speech?

CROWLEY: I expect her to be out here some time between 8:00 and 9:00, so hour, hour and a half, maybe a little more.

BLITZER: And at some point later tonight we'll also be hearing from Barack Obama. He's already in Iowa where he's gearing up for a general election campaign. But a dramatic win for Hillary Clinton we have now projected in Kentucky.

Stand by Candy. We'll be coming back to you. Let's get some analysis on what this means. Lou Dobbs is here with the best political team on television -- 30-point win perhaps for Hillary Clinton when the dust settles in Kentucky tonight, that's by all accounts, pretty impressive.

I guess a lot of those voters in at least Kentucky were not paying attention to some of the analysts, some of the experts who were saying it's all over.

LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Well some of the analysts and none of whom of course are on the floor with us here, Wolf, suggesting that this is over, which is precisely the strategy of the Obama campaign and by some accounts the direction that the DNC would like this camp to go. There may as well be built into this, Wolf, something of a backlash and support for their gender among female voters in the state of Kentucky.

We'll be seeing that. We'll also be seeing of course in a little under four hours what's happening out in Oregon, which has one more delegate at stake, of course than Kentucky. But let's get some idea here from our panel of experts as to what's going on.

Senator Clinton, the popular expression is head wind, she's fighting a lot of head winds here from not only the Obama campaign, but from arguably the national press, which has been as quick almost as the Obama campaign to dismiss her, her chances. Your reaction here, what she is struggling against, what her prospects are in prevailing?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well the prospects are not great. She's not just fighting all the things you suggest, but she's fighting the mathematics of delegate counts. That's very difficult to fight. I think if she -- if her victory turns out to be really convincing in Kentucky, I think one thing that's going be very clear, as if we didn't know it already and I think we do is that if this is the movie "Rocky 10" we're going to going into the 15th round here and I think that Hillary Clinton has said that publicly that not only because of her campaign and she thinks there is still a chance that she can convince superdelegates, but also for women, she's now saying, you know I'm not a quitter, I want to take this to the very end, I want to do everything I can. And if I don't win, I don't win.

DOBBS: Well and that is certainly a reasonable posture for the senator to take, Donna, but at the same time this presidential candidate certainly has as her husband puts it, former President Bill Clinton, been counted out dead more times than a cat has lives, as he's put it so eloquently twice.

Where are we in the cat's count?

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well I'm not counting her out, I don't think no should count her out until she reaches or Senator Obama reaches 2, 026, which is now the number of delegates needed as a result of the primary victories in Louisiana and Mississippi over the last two weeks. Senator Clinton is fighting hard.

She has an economic message that resonates with voters who are concerned about the economy. She's taken her campaign directly to the streets, to the rural communities and she's coming back with popular votes as well as more delegates. Now will it be enough for her to surpass Senator Obama, who's leading both the popular vote as well as the pledged delegates?

I don't believe so. But I will never count her out. She's resilient. She's a role model. And she's someone that we all admire.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: But I think she's very much right about one thing, which is that people want to vote in this election. Democrats...

DOBBS: Imagine that.

TOOBIN: Well no, but I mean Democrat...


TOOBIN: You know a lot of people said oh why is it still going on? Why is it -- you know turnout continues to be very high. It looks like it's going to be high in Kentucky. It looks like it's going to be high in Oregon. The people in Puerto Rico, in Montana, in South Dakota are all going to get their chance to vote. Hillary Clinton is not going anywhere until after June 3rd.

And I think she has really proved her point that everybody wants to participate in the process. That doesn't get her the nomination, but it does prove at least part of her message was right.

DOBBS: It doesn't get her the nomination, but it seems like the most obvious point to be demonstrated, if I may say, that Americans, Democrats and Republicans want to vote for their party's nomination. There was a time, say, 2004, recently in which we expected every state and every voter in every party to cast a ballot and to have their votes decided. That's not happening this year in the Democratic Party, is it?

BORGER: Well no, I think that Hillary Clinton has made the point that you're making, which is go vote. You have this opportunity, not only do you have this opportunity but it really matters. And she's saying it really matters to me.

Now look, the math is very, very difficult for her. She's not likely to be the Democratic nominee, but why disenfranchise the people and say you can't go out and vote and by the way, Barack Obama is not saying that the contest shouldn't continue until June 3 either. He is saying...

DOBBS: Well that's wonderful.

BORGER: He is saying let's finish it.

DOBBS: But isn't that sort of a superior and condescending view for a candidate to take? Neither one of these candidates will have the requisite number of delegates, 2,026, as a result of the math, which you were just discussing, Donna...


DOBBS: ... as we move forward, right?

BRAZILE: I think Senator Obama is striking the right balance. On one hand he's still campaigning in all these states, on the other hand, he's trying to prepare for the general election. Look, Lou, he has to walk and chew gum. He cannot just sit back on his lead. He has to continue to fight and get his message out to voters as well.

DOBBS: Jeffrey, do you concur?

TOOBIN: Completely.

DOBBS: Excellent. We're going to turn to Wolf Blitzer with that. That was the most succinct affirmation that we could have asked for, right Wolf?

BLITZER: It was one word. Stand by.

Once again CNN projects a big win for Hillary Clinton in Kentucky over Barack Obama by a wide margin, perhaps about 30 points, you wouldn't know it right now, 16 percent of the precincts have reported 51 percent for Hillary Clinton, 46 for Obama, but that's going to change dramatically as this night goes on.

Let's check in with Bill Schneider. He's looking at the exit polls and some of these numbers on -- what's on the minds of these voters today have been pretty fascinating.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: They have been fascinating and we're going to check in Kentucky to look at why Hillary Clinton did so well in Kentucky. Now Kentucky voters in the Democratic primary were almost 90 percent white. And look at how white voters in Kentucky actually voted. They voted for Clinton over Obama by 50, 72 for Clinton, 22 for Obama. Should we reach the conclusion that white voters are supporting Hillary Clinton? Not so fast. We've got to take a look at what happens in Oregon because Oregon voters are also almost 90 percent white and those white voters may be very different, so let's not leap to conclusions too quickly.

Here's something that does help to explain what happened in Kentucky. Fifty-nine percent of the voters in Kentucky were rural voters and how did rural voters vote? They voted 75 percent, three- quarters of them for Hillary Clinton. And I think we'll see on John's wonderful maps later that a lot of those rural areas throughout Kentucky are going heavily for Hillary Clinton.

Urban areas in Kentucky voted for Obama. Suburbs in Kentucky split their vote, so it was the rural areas of Kentucky that put Clinton over. And finally, Reverend Wright, the voters of Kentucky voters were asked do you think Barack Obama shares the views of Reverend Jeremiah Wright? A majority, 54 percent said yes. They voted very heavily for Hillary Clinton. Forty-four percent said no. They voted for Barack Obama, so it appears that a lot of those voters in Kentucky associated Obama with Reverend Wright and it did not help Obama at all. Wolf.

BLITZER: It may explain this very lopsided win for Hillary Clinton in Kentucky tonight. Bill, thanks very much.

Let's go over to John King. He's at the wall, at the magic wall some people call it. Give us a little better appreciation of what has happened in Kentucky.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well let's look at what's happening in Kentucky right now and then we'll talk a little bit about what the stakes are for both of the candidates, especially Barack Obama in the short term. Just as Bill noted, if you look at this, Bill mentioned the urban areas going for Obama, these are the urban areas right about here essentially.

The largest county is Anderson County. That is where Louisville, out here Fayette County and then that's just to the east of Lexington. And as you can see, Barack Obama in Jefferson County here running up to a very small lead right now, which is one of his problems. You've noticed in other states where Obama hasn't been able to win.

In places where there are at least modest concentrations of African-American votes, he runs up huge margins, a very small population of African-Americans statewide concentrated here, but that is not a big enough margin for Barack Obama, which is why we can say with certainty Senator Clinton will win this state tonight when the rest of the vote comes in, And Wolf, the rest of the vote is out in here.

Most of this is rural areas, we've seen her do very well in these areas in other states nearby and let's just peek in on a couple of these counties. She's winning out here, again very early returns, just three percent but 61 percent to 27 percent. You noticed (INAUDIBLE) percent, Floyd County just one percent of the state population, only a few votes in, but she's up 85 percent out there.

So if you go through all these counties you see 87 percent, very early returns. We need to watch them as they come in. But this is traditional and typical of what we've seen in the neighboring states in rural America, rural white small counties. She is winning and winning and winning huge over Barack Obama, which is one of her arguments to the Democratic superdelegates that she is a stronger candidate in swing states like Kentucky, like West Virginia, states that have gone Republican in the last several elections, but could go Democratic and could change the Electoral College map.

Now what does this all mean as we go forward? This is one of the interesting things to watch tonight. I'm going to show you a number, 1627. Why is that important? That would be a majority of the pledged delegates. The delegates decided by Democratic voters on primary and caucus states. And as the map fills in, Barack Obama tonight will reach this number, which he believes is a big moral threshold.

He thinks how can he be denied the nomination if he has the majority of the pledged delegates? Well let's see where he is coming into the night, 1,613, this matters and it matters big time because if Senator Clinton wins big out here in Kentucky and wins by the margin we think now, watch Senator Obama's number.

Even as I give the state to Senator Clinton by a big margin, he falls just shy right now, Wolf, based on the way we think this is going to go. Barack Obama will likely, out of Kentucky, be just short of 1627. Now if his margins actually improve as the night goes on, if he gets 35 percent of the vote in Kentucky well then look at that, he could cross 1627 and get up around 1630 or so with 35 percent of the vote.

Now there's no question he's going to get more than a handful of delegates out of the state of Oregon. He will pass the 1,627 number tonight, but he had hoped to be able to celebrate that even in losing the state of Kentucky. That is why that margin as the votes come in matters so much over the next hour or so.

BLITZER: And we should just remind our viewers the Clinton people say that number really it doesn't mean much because it doesn't include Michigan and Florida. And the number would have to go up...


BLITZER: ... if the DNC on May 31 decides if they're going to seat those delegates from Michigan and Florida.

KING: Right. This is the majority of pledged delegates under the rules today. The Clintons do want the Democratic National Committee to reopen and include those.

BLITZER: All right, we're going to watch this very closely. John, thanks very much.

By the way, you can go to And you can see the numbers coming in county by county, as John just reported, you can do that yourself That's also by the way where you can get a running commentary from Bill Schneider, our CNN senior analyst. That's coming in as well.

And by the way, stand by because later tonight the other big story we're following. Senator Ted Kennedy diagnosed today with a malignant brain tumor. We're going to use John's wall over here. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to be here to take us inside a brain to see what might be going on in Senator Kennedy's brain right now -- a lot more of our coverage coming up from the CNN Election Center right after this.


BLITZER: Welcome back to the CNN Election Center. I'm Wolf Blitzer reporting.

Hillary Clinton, a very impressive, huge win in Kentucky, we're projecting right now perhaps a win by about 30 points. The results in Kentucky, the exit polls, base on the exit polls, based on the actual results that are coming in, we've predicted Hillary Clinton will be the winner.

Right now about a quarter of the precincts have reported in Kentucky. Hillary Clinton is ahead with 55 percent to 41 percent. If we take a look at the actual numbers from the Kentucky, you can see 102,000 or so for Hillary Clinton to 77,000 or so for Barack Obama. The light blue are counties where Hillary Clinton is ahead right now.

The darker blue are counties where Barack Obama is ahead. He's ahead in the counties where Lexington and Louisville are right now, but once again, once all the counties are reporting in and have reported in we projected a very big win for Hillary Clinton in Kentucky tonight.

Let's go to Suzanne Malveaux. She's joining us right now from Des Moines, Iowa. That's where Barack Obama is going to be delivering his speech tonight and he picked Iowa for a very important reason.

Walk us into the Obama campaign a little bit, Suzanne, and give us the thinking why he shows up on this night of all nights in Iowa.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well sure, Wolf, we're actually seeing the glass plates go up, the teleprompter, you know that that means this is going to be an important speech for the campaign, a defining moment, if you will, and they chose the backdrop of Des Moines, Iowa for very specific reasons. This is where it all began, his really his surprise victory. And this is really meant to show that he is coming full circle, full circle but not full victory, not yet.

His campaign feels he does not necessarily have to declare a victory that it is already simply implied in the tone and the message. And what he's going to say tonight is this is a threshold that we've reached here, we have gotten more pledged delegates from the caucuses and from the primaries. The majority of those pledged delegates. That means to the superdelegates, I am the winner here, I am the person that you need to sign off on. And just simply take the plunge.

He's not going have enough of those delegates to win the nomination, to clinch the nomination tonight. But certainly he's going be speaking directly to those who are going to make a difference in this nomination, the superdelegates. But this is where 95 percent white, a swing state, this is where I won. This is where I'm moving forward and you will hear him take on John McCain on issues of national security and education, economy those types of things.

It is very, very clear, Wolf that they are saying to the voters, for those remaining contests and specifically to the superdelegates we've moved beyond the primary here. We are now focused on the general election, Wolf.

BLITZER: He will get -- he will certainly get beyond that milestone, that threshold when all the votes are counted in Kentucky and Oregon. But he might not -- he might not given the lopsided nature of Hillary Clinton's win in Kentucky, Suzanne, meet that threshold after Kentucky.

The polls in Oregon don't close for several more hours 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 8:00 p.m. Pacific. Does that make a difference in his speech if Kentucky with the results in Kentucky, the delegate, the pledged delegate count? He still falls short of reaching the majority of the pledged or elected delegates?

MALVEAUX: That's one of the reasons, Wolf that he's actually going to giving a speech rather late, as opposed to earlier. They are going to wait for those results to come in. They are gong to wait for Oregon to come in. They really believe that this is something that they're going to be able to declare this evening; that they have reached that threshold and so they are simply going to wait for these numbers to play out here.

If they come up short here, obviously they are going to make the case that the will of the people, the majority of the will of the people have cast their ballots. They feel like the numbers are on -- the numbers are on their side. The other thing that Barack Obama has been very careful to do here is really try to bring in, try to woo Hillary Clinton supporters.

He is not going to talk badly about her. He's going to be very complimentary this evening talking about how she has done well in this race. That she has been a tough opponent, but he is also trying to draw in those supporters. So you are going to hear a real delicate balancing act that he's engaged in this evening.

But the pledge delegates making the point that he believes he's crossed this line. At the same time, he still needs more support. Wolf.

BLITZER: And we'll stand by to listen to Senator Obama. Earlier we expect to hear from Senator Clinton. She's in Kentucky where she's going to have an impressive win tonight. Suzanne, we'll be checking back with you as well. Suzanne Malveaux is already in Iowa for us. Let's walk back to Lou. He's got more of the best political team on television. Lou, I don't know. Some people get bored, but I find all of this exciting.

DOBBS: Well I don't know who would be...


DOBBS: I don't know who could possibly be bored, unless you happen to be a member of the Democratic National Committee. There has not been a closer race between two candidates as between Senator Clinton and Senator Obama. It's going to be interesting to see how that close race, both in terms of pledged delegates and the popular vote plays out in terms of who ultimately the nominee is.

Paul, let me ask you this. The margin for Senator Clinton in Kentucky could influence a lot of people, superdelegates included. To what degree would it have to be a -- to what degree does this victory have to be a blowout for her to have an impact and be, if you will, at least in the short term determinant?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Well she doesn't even need to have -- I mean I think it's too much to ask that one primary, when she's significantly behind like she is to be determinant. But I do think if she scores the sort of win in Kentucky that she scored in West Virginia and it looks from the exit polls like she will, that's powerful message.

I mean this late in this to be closing this strong, and what's really going to be interesting for superdelegates, also for us analysts to take a look at is that both primaries today are in states that are overwhelmingly white, so nobody is going to be able to say well this was a black thing or a white thing.

Barack Obama most people think is going to do quite well in Oregon. There are even fewer African Americans as a percentage of population in Oregon than there are in Kentucky, so Hillary (INAUDIBLE) win in Kentucky because there are not a lot of African American people. It's because she's got a powerful message.

I think the difference is going to be she has retooled her message since about late February when she was stumbling and staggering. Barack won 12 in a row. She became more of an economic populist. She sounded a little bit more like John Edwards who has been knocked out of the race and she appealed to those Edwards' voters.

Now, Edwards has endorsed Barack. Can he adapt and adjust? But I think the reason she is running up such a score there in the exit polling, 44 percent Kentucky Democrats say they are greatly affected by the recession, another 42 somewhat, so 86 percent of Democrats in that state are affected by the recession. She's speaking right to them. It's not about race and gender. It's about jobs and health care.

DOBBS: Jamal, to what degree does this reflect on Senator Obama this kind of as Paul points out, this kind of wide margin in Kentucky?

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well let's remember in Kentucky he's not competed the way he's competed in Oregon or the way he's competed in some of these other states. In Kentucky, he actually in some ways sort of said Senator Clinton you have got an advantage here. I'm going to show up, but you know this is your -- this is one of your states.

So he's -- in Oregon, we're going to see tonight is an 85 percent white state and he's probably going win Oregon in some pretty healthy fashion and that's going to be important. At the end of the say we're going to see Barack Obama get a big chunk of votes, big chunk of delegates, and he'll probably get close to that number, if not cross the threshold of having the majority of pledged delegates, which has been the signal to superdelegates it's time to come on board.

This thing is just about ending. Senator Clinton is going finish the campaign out because she has every right to do it however it is she wants to do it. She'll finish the campaign out and we'll have a nominee (INAUDIBLE) going against John McCain.

DOBBS: Roland, your thoughts?

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Sort of feels like a NBA team guaranteed they're the first seat in the first round (INAUDIBLE) rest your starters, rest up and get ready for the playoffs. That is what this really boils down to. And that is he is completely pivoted to the general election.

His deal is look after the West Virginia win, blowout win by Clinton, what happened with superdelegates, how all of a sudden did those numbers still go his way. So his whole deal is again focusing in on McCain.

DOBBS: It didn't just go his way. For example, in West Virginia where Clinton won by 41 percent, Senators Rockefeller and Byrd endorsed Senator Obama.

MARTIN: (INAUDIBLE) in Nevada, but also when John Edwards gave the endorsement, significant delegates there as well. So again, it's a matter of saying OK, do I give the impression that I am still locked into a protracted battle with Senator Hillary Clinton or do I say OK, you can continue running, but I'm going set my eyes on John McCain. So that's why it feels like that hey, you rest your starters. You move on to the next playoff round.

DOBBS: Rather than immerse ourselves in anymore basketball metaphors...


LESLIE SANCHEZ, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Ice the kicker is about the extent of my, you know, sports analogy (INAUDIBLE) but I will say this is about race and gender, and to walk away from that or to make light of it really kind of misses the point. That's what's interesting about it. You know you can say Oregon is tremendously white. There is not a large African American population. That is not where the divide is. The divide is kind of liberal elites. It is anti-war movement. It is youth voters, you know and you're kind of hearing environmentalists versus your middle class, working, union households that Hillary Clinton has been able to really captivate.

So you have the split in this loosely lined Democratic coalition and how are they going to put those pieces together? And I didn't even mention women. I mean you've got obviously on Barack's side African-American and you have the women, older women support, particularly white women, which includes Hispanic women in that analysis that you don't really know if those groups are going to come together for any one of these nominees.


DOBBS: Split among party or people?


SANCHEZ: It's actually a little bit of both. I mean...

ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Here are some numbers, some real interesting numbers in the exit data. Two weeks ago in North Carolina, Hillary Clinton's voters, half of them were saying you know what, we'll vote for Barack Obama in the fall, not McCain, a week later in West Virginia that dropped to 38 percent, this week in the exit polls in Kentucky that's down to a third from 50 percent to a third.

The longer Hillary Clinton is staying in this race, keeping that wound open with working class, union, lower income, less educated, the Reagan Democrat, the worse it's getting for Barack Obama. There is something to keep an eye on there for the general election.


SANCHEZ: Hillary Clinton today.

SIMMONS: There may be something to keep an eye on there for the general election, but let's just remember Barack Obama is not campaigning, he did not campaign very hard in West Virginia, he did not campaign very hard in Kentucky, what we've seen is that when he starts to spend time in states, those numbers move and he closes on Senator Clinton (INAUDIBLE) finish even when he loses, he loses at a narrow...


DOBBS: Peace, brothers and sisters.

MARTIN: That's why we'll do Kumbaya (ph). But that's why I make the point again is it a question of you had two strong candidates in Obama and Clinton or is it a matter of party? I just don't necessarily see those voters looking at their economic interests and saying OK, well Clinton is not getting the nomination, so I'm going to run to John McCain. I mean I just...


DOBBS: Well that's precisely though...

SANCHEZ: Well --

DOBBS: That's precisely what the exit polls are showing not only in the case of Senator Clinton supporters, but Senator Obama supporters, so it's not a reach at all...


DOBBS: ... nor is it an unlikely problem. And that's why everyone apparently at the DNC wants to get this thing wrapped up. Paul.

BEGALA: Yes and I think that -- this has been good for Democrats. This should go all the way through. An exit poll cast today, conducted today on May 20, a very imperfect predictor of future behavior in November, 51 percent of McCain voters back in March of 2000 said they would never vote for George W. Bush. Well they did. A whole lot of them did.


BEGALA: And you know they got over it and Obama voters or Clinton voters are going to...

DOBBS: So you don't see anything unique about this year.

BEGALA: No, not unique.

SANCHEZ: To be -- he raises a great point, you can't compare it. Apples and oranges. It was not that type of campaign.

DOBBS: They're going continue this as we take a break. We'd like to remind you to follow all that is happening on We're going to be right back with what is an exciting question. How large will Senator Clinton's win be in the state of Kentucky?

We'll be right back.


BLITZER: Big win for Hillary Clinton tonight in Kentucky. We've projected that she will be a big winner by a wide margin, maybe even perhaps 30 points when all the precincts have finally reported. Right now about 32 precincts have reported. She maintains the lead, 54 percent to 43 percent.

If we take a look at the numbers we've already reported tallied in from Kentucky, 177,000 or so for Hillary Clinton, 139,000 or so for Barack Obama. You see these counties that have started reporting in Kentucky. These light blue counties are counties where she is ahead right now. The two counties that are darker blue are the two counties where Barack Obama is ahead right now.

By all accounts, this is going to be a big win for Hillary Clinton tonight in Kentucky. Later tonight it could be a different story out in Oregon. We'll be watching that when the polls close there. Oregon, the polls won't be closing there for a few more hours. We'll go there and check out the situation.

But right now I want to turn to another story that we've been following, the breaking news we've been following this day. Very sad news that Senator Ted Kennedy has been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. I want to go to Dan Lothian. He's on the scene for us in Boston.

I take it, Dan, the family has just issued a statement. Update our viewers in the United States and around the world on what we know.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What we know is based on the information that doctors put out early this evening, essentially confirming what you just said, that he does have a malignant brain tumor. Right now they're conducting additional tests to determine what the best course of treatment option will be. They're talking about looking at the traditional option, which is sort of a combination of chemotherapy and radiation but they do want to perform more tests.

Now Senator Kennedy is surrounded by his family members. We saw his nephew, Joe Kennedy, arrive at the hospital earlier this evening. In newly released photos, you can see Senator Kennedy smiling, surrounded by his son Ted, Jr. and also Patrick, his daughter Kara and also his wife Vicki. By all accounts, he's in good spirits. Those around him are very concerned about his condition.

But nonetheless, here's an example of how he's trying to remain upbeat despite the bad news. One source telling CNN that Senator Kennedy was joking with doctors about wanting to take part in a sailing regatta that takes place this weekend down on the cape. He's been part of this for 30-some years, he knew, obviously that doctors would say no. This gives you an indication of how he's trying to stay positive.

BLITZER: Other than telling us he's got a malignant brain tumor, have they said anything about the treatment, when he might start treatment, anything along those lines?

LOTHIAN: They have not given us any timetable at all other than what I mentioned a while ago, the combination of chemotherapy and radiation but they do continue having more tests. We will learn more information later on, we hope. But we're told by a spokesperson for the Kennedy family that doctors will not be releasing any additional information tonight.

BLITZER: All right. Dan, thanks very much. We'll be checking back with you.

Dan Lothian is on the scene.

I want to walk over to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, our chief medical correspondent, himself a neurosurgeon.

Sanjay, you have very dramatic images that we've received courtesy of G.E. I want you to tell our viewers what we know, what we can see about the diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a very rare look deep inside the brain here. This is demonstration software, not FDA approved. This is not the senator's brain but take a look, Wolf. As you sort of cut through, this is so important for doctors to get a pretty rare look inside the brain. Cut through all these images and you can see, this is a head, those are the eyes, the nose but if you come over here to this part of the brain, it's this area right here known as the left parietal lobe that is so important and is an area of the brain where the tumor is located in the center. That's what we know.

What's so important here and worth point out is that right around here is an area of the brain responsible for motor strength on the right side of the body. A little further forward, the area important for speech. These are the areas they want to avoid. This is where the tumor may infiltrate. This is a rare look inside someone's brain with this particular software.

Let me show you something else very important here. Back in October, the senator had an operation on his carotid artery. That's this artery right there.

BLITZER: Along the neck.

GUPTA: That's along the neck. You can see it there along the neck, near the jawbone. It is right in here where doctors actually went in there, opened up the neck, opened up the artery, and actually removed some plaque. They were first concerned about that, as you know Wolf, that maybe the seizure was caused by a stroke. Now we know it's by the tumor right here in this area of the brain.

BLITZER: When he had the seizure Saturday morning and he was rushed to the hospital, then he was medevaced to Boston to the Massachusetts General, the seizure, the fact he had it already as a result of the brain tumor, what does that say to a neurosurgeon like you?

GUPTA: It's one of the most common ways someone first shows that they have a brain tumor. It's the first symptom in so many patients. More than half of patients will have a seizure, if they're an adult, at the first sign of a brain tumor. See the area get so big. That area the neurons around there get angry. They have bursts of electrical activity. The body goes rigid and starts to shake -- a seizure.

BLITZER: How do they find the tumor?

GUPTA: What they specifically is actually look at an MRI scan. They do it, let me take this back down here. They do these images all the way from bottom to top, looking at every single slice, millimeter by millimeter by millimeter and then they put all these slices together and look for any specific abnormalities.

This is a normal scan. If this were the senator's scan, you would see something white, you would see something abnormal, located in that area there.

BLITZER: The technology is pretty accurate in determining that there is in fact a tumor?

GUPTA: That's right. It is very accurate. It was very suspicious already based on his story. This is basically what they were looking for again. This is demonstration software; you don't see it on TV very often. Doctors start to use this kind of technology in their offices. It's very clear when it's present.

BLITZER: This is G.E. Advantage, the technology you're showing us which is a remarkable opportunity to see what's going on. If you take a look at these images, can you determine whether it's malignant by these pictures or do you have to do a biopsy to find out if it's malignant in terms of a brain tumor?

GUPTA: The only way to really tell fore sure is to actually do a biopsy and look at some of the cells under the microscope. The doctor sees the abnormalities that are consistent with a tumor and in this case specifically a malignant tumor but by looking at a scan like this, you have a pretty good sense, doctors where probably very concerned on Sunday or Saturday when they actually got the scan that something one wrong and it was pretty serious.

BLITZER: Amazing technology. Just to button this up, right now he's looking at surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, all of the above, none of the above. What is it?

GUPTA: Let me show you something here that I think is so important. In this are of the left parietal lobe, if that motor area is too close to the tumor or if that speech area in here is too close to the tumor, surgery probably just won't be an option, especially for someone that so relies on being able to walk and speak. In that case, radiation and chemotherapy are probably going to be the first options. If they don't work, if you don't start to see some shrinkage of this tumor in that particular again, then they may go to some clinical trials, some less tested therapies.

BLITZER: Experimental trials?

GUPTA: Experimental therapies. They actually teach the body's immune system to attack that tumor. They may train a virus to go after the tumor. Again, these are experimental.

BLITZER: Do any of them have a good track record yet?

GUPTA: They're early. You only have a few year data on some of them. One of them, the immunotherapy for example, has managed to double survival in some of the worst kind of tumors. That may only mean Wolf going from nine months to 18 months, it's a difficult prognosis especially again when you get tumors in this particular area. BLITZER: Sanjay, we're going be talking a lot about this. Thanks very much. This has been fascinating material.

GUPTA: We'll have a lot more of it.

BLITZER: I want to thank G.E. too for this technology.

All right. We're going look at the political ramifications of all this as well. That's coming up later.

We're also watching what's going on in Kentucky and later tonight in Oregon. You can go to and see what's going on. Much more of our special coverage from the CNN Election Center right after this.


BLITZER: Big win for Hillary Clinton tonight in Kentucky -- 57 percent to 40 percent for Barack Obama. That's expected to grow at the night goes on. We're about three hours away from the polls closing in Oregon where it could be a very different story for Barack Obama there, we suspect.

Let's go over to Bill Schneider once again. He's looking at the exit polls. These are the questions we asked voters today as they were emerging from the ballot boxes and specifically on religion.

SCHNEIDER: In Kentucky we did that.

In Oregon, there were no ballot boxes because people voted by mail. What did we do? We called them by telephone and asked them the same questions about how and why they voted the way they did and religion was one of the questions. What is your religion?

We found a striking cultural difference between voters in Oregon and Kentucky. Take a look at the voters in Kentucky. Only 6 percent of the voters in Kentucky said they didn't have any religion at all. Most were Protestant and some were Catholic but there was a very different picture in Oregon.

We telephoned the voters in Oregon and asked them what is your religion, an amazing 28 percent of voters in Oregon said they had no religion at all. This is a vast cultural difference between the Democratic parties in these two states.

Remember, there's no racial difference. The voters in both states were about 90 percent white. There was a big cultural difference. You remember there was an R.E.M. song, "Losing My Religion" apparently it was popular in Oregon.

BLITZER: Well, 28 percent of the people say they had no religion. All right. fascinating numbers. Go ahead and crunch some more.

By the way, Bill Schneider will be at and giving us running commentary through the night. If you want to go to it's a good idea to do so but let's get some more analysis from Lou.

That's pretty striking that 28 percent of those who voted in Oregon that voted said that had no religion.

DOBBS: I'm trying to evaluate what is more surprising. That piece of information or the fact that Bill Schneider follows R.E.M. We'll sort that out.

Let's turn to Jeffrey.

Jeff, this contest in Kentucky; the numbers are opening, 19 percent, with 43 percent of the votes being counted. How important is this margin? Will it have any effect or impact or sit simply Clinton pride at stake here?

TOOBIN: I think Barack Obama has an Appalachia problem. That's part of the country where he has not done as well as a Democratic nominee should do. Those are states with the exception of Kentucky that a Democrat almost always needs to win to win the election. The question is how many of the Clinton voters will come home to Obama if he becomes the nominee.

Will enough come in to win the states for him? I don't know. I would be worried if I were him.

BORGER: Well that does seem to be hardening and our colleague, Alex Castellanos, pointed this out to me, in North Carolina, among Clinton voters, Obama was getting nearly half of the votes saying they would switch over. Now it's hardened. Obama is getting only one- third of the Hillary Clinton's voters if she was to drop out. It's hardening positions.

DOBBS: Do you believe that's the effect of a longer campaign as we enter the final three contests?

BORGER: I do yes, I do believe it is. I also believe that a long race shows you the flaws in both candidates as Jeffrey was just talking about. I believe that if Barack Obama is the nominee, he has a lot of fences to mend. He's got a lot of places he needs to go, a lot of issues to talk about.

DOBBS: Is that mendable?

BRAZILE: Absolutely. Look, I think it's the Clintons have a lot of loyal fans out there. People like Senator Clinton, they love Bill Clinton when he was president. They recognized --

DOBBS: Are we talking about the Democratic Party? The vilification of the Clintons time and time again?

BRAZILE: You haven't heard it from me?

DOBBS: No, ma'am.

BRAZILE: Are you talking to me? There's still a lot of love for Bill Clinton. There's a lot of love I have for Bill Clinton. Probably Paul Begala probably has more love, but his heart the bigger than mine right now. Bill Clinton came pained nonstop for Senator Clinton in that area. This is a testament to the Clintons, to their ability to connect with voters and their ability to turn people out.

DOBBS: It sounds like the mending is already under way.

KING: He has to mend the voters with all due respect to my great friend Donna Brazile and Paul Begala. Barack Obama has to mend with the voters in small-town America. I spoke to people that have been in small cities, doing polling and focus groups. They say he has the same problem. Voters support Senator Clinton, but they view Barack Obama as more different from them. I think this will factor into his choice of a running mate if he gets the nomination.

DOBBS: We're going be back. Please go to We look over at the Clinton headquarters. We expect Senator Clinton to appear shortly. Holding a 20-point lead with 47 percent of precincts reporting. Senator Clinton coming up shortly after the top of the hour.

Stay with us. Our election coverage continues.


BLITZER: Hillary Clinton is getting ready to speak to her supporters, a lot of them in Kentucky. She'll have her speech coming up pretty soon. You can see these live pictures coming in from the rally in Louisville. We'll go there shortly. Stand by for Hillary Clinton.

Later tonight, Barack Obama will be speaking in Iowa. Were nearly half of the precincts reporting, Hillary Clinton is at 58 percent, Barack Obama at 38 percent. We expect that gap to grow. We expect a big win for Hillary Clinton tonight.

Let's look at the numbers with about 50 percent of the vote in -- 252,000 or so for Clinton, 162,000 for Barack Obama. This is going to be a big win, a big win for Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton right now.

Right now, we're allocating some delegates for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in Kentucky. The estimate that we have right now, 25 delegates will be going to Hillary Clinton, 13 will be going to, actually, 22 to Hillary Clinton tonight, see the one column, those are the pledged delegates. Eleven delegates will be going to Barack Obama. That's our estimate right now. Look at the results coming in so far in Kentucky. An impressive win for Hillary Clinton.

These are live pictures from the rally in Kentucky. Once Hillary Clinton gets to the microphone, we'll go there live, hear what she has to say on this important night for her.

I want to go in and talk to John King on how are we dividing up the delegates in Kentucky? This is important for Barack Obama. He was hoping to be able to say he's crossed the threshold, a milestone, the majority of the pledged delegates. He may or may not get that based on Kentucky.

KING: We do not believe he will get that. We're waiting for more results. We'll allocate the delegates based on those results. The Clinton campaign disputes the number because they want Florida and Michigan to count -- 1,627 are the majority of pledged delegates.

BLITZER: As opposed to the superdelegates.

KING: The voters decide the proportion more importantly, to the remaining super delegate. It all comes down to the percentages. If you move the number, if the numbers come in hire, if he starts coming in better, he can come in Kentucky. Based on what we believe, he is back here three shy of it. We'll watch for Kentucky.

There is no question. Barack Obama is expected to win Oregon. He could lose and he will still cross 1627 tonight. There is no doubt he will get across. The problem is, that is out on the west coast. We have a while to wait there.