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The Final Lap of the Presidential Race;

Aired November 3, 2008 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome to our second hour at the CNN Election Center here in New York. This is a special edition of "AC 360." We're on the verge of history for the candidates and country. The longest and most expensive presidential race ends tomorrow with less than and hour before Election Day and the hopefuls are spending every last minute in a frantic rush for votes.
We've got all the late developments over the next hour. Senator Barack Obama in Manassas, Virginia this evening, we brought you some of his speech live, he's speaking right there.

We're also following Senator John McCain campaigning this evening in Henderson, Nevada and his rally should start any moment now. We're going to bring that to you as well.

And his running mate, Governor Sarah Palin will be at a rally in Reno, Nevada. We'll also bring you some of her words live. We've also just received a summary of her medical history, it was sent out a short time ago, it says she is in good health.

More details ahead.

We have new polls out tonight, the latest "CNN Poll of Polls" has Obama holding a seven-point lead over McCain.

And some sad news for Obama, his grandmother, Madelyn Payne Dunham has died of cancer in Hawaii. Obama spoke about her often; he learned of her passing today. Ms. Dunham was 86 years old.

And also tonight we're also keeping a very close eye on the battleground states; right now the contest is getting closer in Pennsylvania and Florida.

CNN's John King is going to be at the "Magic Wall" for the latest, but we begin with Obama on message on the eve of the election. Candy Crowley "On the Trail," live from Manassas, Virginia -- Candy.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we started out this day, which really was sort of a Democratic wish list, is what we've been doing. Barack Obama started out in Florida, nice crowd there, several thousand in an indoor venue.

He gave his standard stump speech. What we learned later of course, was that two hours earlier, approximately two hours earlier, he has learned that his grandmother had died. The first time we actually knew of that was when we landed in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is in fact another on the wish list, sort of a gateway to the south that the Democrats would dearly love to bring home.

And we got an e-mail from the staff with a statement from both Barack Obama and his sister noting the passing of his grandmother. We went and I have to tell you, Charlotte, North Carolina, it was pouring down rain. People had waited as they always do because they have to go through security, several hours.

And I mean, it was drenching rain just from start to finish. People were soaked, and some of them didn't have umbrellas. But they waited. And when he got there, he said to the crowd that his grandmother had died, called it a bittersweet moment, gave a very moving tribute to her saying she's one of those people that was a quiet hero, that wasn't ever in the headlines, nobody knew her name.

She wasn't one of those national but she quietly, like so many other Americans did her job and was a hero in her own way. We at the time couldn't see it because we were fairly far back, sometimes where these cameras are. But some of the still photographers got just amazing shots because it really showed the bitter sweetness of this campaign, with Barack Obama crying when he was talking about his grandmother.

He recovered very quickly, got back on message. He has mentioned her briefly here in Manassas, Virginia, basically a Republican area. I'm going to ask our cameraman just really briefly to look around, although now he can't actually do it. But I have to tell you, as far as I can see, and it is several football fields away, you just see people crammed-in.

There are a lot of people here. I'm not going to try to estimate for you. But it has been that kind of day. This is, in fact, I think we're going to see a little of this, Anderson. It is one of the amazing, and perhaps frankly, that we have come to expect because people came out -- when they came out first it was curiosity, some of them came for the history. A lot of them obviously came because they support Barack Obama at this point.

It has been that kind of campaign. I remember being with him in Springfield, Illinois, when he announced and there were people for blocks and blocks and blocks. So he's just been that kind of candidate, charismatic. He is obviously able to bring this crowd to a frenzy, frankly. And we've seen that quite a lot.

So it's been, as he said, a bitter sweet day for Barack Obama. At one point he said, you know what no matter what happens tomorrow, you gave me more than I gave you.

So wrapping it up, this is it. This is it -- this is his final big campaign rally. You've just heard it end.

From here, he's going back home to Chicago. One last trip tomorrow and he'll go to neighboring Indiana; it'll be a small trip. He may go to a voting booth or polling place to talk to people. But this, right now, the final rally of Barack Obama's bid for the presidency, Anderson. COOPER: Candy, tomorrow, there's no big rallies, there's not -- he's not campaigning all throughout the day, he's basically just got one small appearance?

CROWLEY: He's going to -- yes -- he's just going to fly over to Indiana, in which quite a way tells you something about this campaign, that's an incredibly Republican state there. At least at the presidential level, they haven't elected a Democrat into the White House since 1964 in Indiana.

But he's going to hop over there. They are familiar with him there because it obviously shares a TV market, very close to Chicago. And do some work, shake hands. They talked about maybe taking to a factory. They really haven't decided on it but it won't be like this, it won't be a rally, it'll just be a smaller event we're told.

COOPER: Candy, we were talking with our panel in the last hour about the differences in these campaigns in terms of how they are ending their campaigns. John McCain and Sarah Palin still hitting at Barack Obama over this week and it was the issue about coal; a comment he made several months ago about the future of coal plants in the United States. Obviously, there have been the Ayers issue and lots of issues that they've been bringing up.

He's really been trying to give a closing argument, as you said, over the last couple of days. Is he still has he been, still mentioning John McCain a lot or is he now going to kind of talking big picture?

CROWLEY: No, absolutely. Well, both. Actually I mean, yes he's totally still goes after John McCain. I mean, he started out saying, thanking actually John McCain for what the McCains said about the passing of his grandmother but then, flowed right easily into, listen, he's done some things right but the fact is he's really George Bush, he still hits his policy.

I talked to one of his advisers not too long ago and said, is he going to go all positive in the final days. And he said, listen, they're not letting up on us and we're not letting up on them.

So they made a decision to keep going, so yes, there's high flying rhetoric, there's a lot of big picture very much back to the change issue which really brought him to the table and brought him here tonight. That one word, change, has been such a dynamic for him.

He seized on it, there was this almost subterranean wish from voters as we saw all along the way, just something new. He tapped into that. So in this final round, he has definitely been going back to some of those old themes but he's also been continuing to hit John McCain, Anderson.

COOPER: Candy Crowley has been reporting this entire campaign on the Barack Obama campaign. Candy, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Again, we're waiting to hear from John McCain, we want to give you each candidate equal time tonight. Senator McCain with a lot of ground to gain, mostly in red states and no time left to do.

"On the Trail" with the McCain forces tonight is Dana Bash.


DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In his frantic final push, John McCain is closing not so much with an argument but an urgent plea.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We need to win Virginia on November 4th and we've got to take this country in a new direction, and we will win. Volunteer, knock on doors, get your neighbors to the polls.

And we need win in Pennsylvania. Tomorrow, with your help, we will win.

With this kind of enthusiasm, and this kind of intensity, we will win Florida and we will win this race.

BASH: The mantra inside camp McCain is that polls are tightening, but privately, McCain advisers admit, winning would be nothing short of a miracle.

The itinerary for McCain seven-state sprint says it all: Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona. All but one are red states he's trying to keep Obama from winning; a game of defense big time.

MCCAIN: We need to bring real change to Washington and we have to fight for it.

BASH: At McCain's first stop in Florida's critical I-4 corridor, about 1,000 people showed up, lots of empty space in a place George Bush drew 15,000 four years ago. But what some of his crowds lack in numbers they make up with enthusiasm, fired up by lines like this.

MCCAIN: Senator Obama is in the far left lane of American politics, he's the most liberal senator in the United States Senate; more liberal than the guy that used to call himself a socialist.

BASH: And as he has his whole life from prisoner of war to politician, McCain is drawing his energy from being an underdog.

MCCAIN: They may not know it but the Mac is back. And we're going to win this election.

BASH: McCain ends his marathon day with a midnight rally here in Prescott, Arizona, on the courthouse steps behind me. It's where Barry Goldwater launched his 1964 presidential run and for that reason, McCain ends all of his senate races here.

It was supposed to be symbolic and even sentimental but it's actually going turn into more of a campaign rally because Barack Obama is gaining ground on McCain right here in his home state.

Dana Bash, CNN, Prescott, Arizona. (END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Our sort of super-sized political panel is next. We're also mapping out the shape of the next House and Senate delegations and whether Democrats can build on their gains from 2000.

We're also going to take you live to two rallies: John McCain, we're told he's now on-site at his rally in Nevada; we're also going to take you live to Sarah Palin rally tonight in Reno all that and more ahead on this hour with "360."



CINDY MCCAIN, WIFE OF SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: She's been an inspiration to women all over the world, and absolutely, I think she was treated very poorly in the press. She is truly a unique and a very gifted woman in all the things that she has done and what a great vice president she will make.


COOPER: Cindy McCain on "Larry King Live" earlier this evening. We're waiting for her husband to speak tonight in Nevada. We're told he's on the site. We'll bring that to you live.

Let's talk "Strategy" now with CNN political analyst and Obama supporter, Paul Begala; political analyst and Obama supporter, Roland Martin; CNN senior political analysts, David Gergen and Gloria Borger; CNN senior political contributor and McCain supporter, Ed Rollins; and GOP strategist, Bay Buchanan who also supports John McCain.

I like that David Gergen is sort of right in the middle with Gloria Borger.

What do you think tomorrow, what are you going to be looking for in terms of early results? What should our viewers at home be looking for, Paul?

PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, actually even before results, those East Coast state, particularly Indiana -- which is not that East Coast -- and Virginia they close relatively early. There's another thing that I'm terribly concerned about, and that is intimidation.

And I don't mean in the sense of whether people will be allowed to vote inside the polling place, although I'm worried about that. There was an event in Fayetteville, North Carolina a couple weeks ago, and Barack Obama had a big rally.

Voters went to go vote then to vote early as they're allowed to do in North Carolina. And the African-American polling place, a large African-American, group of white people came and started yelling at them, cursing them, calling Obama a terrorist, really, really intimidating them.

And this is a violation, I believe, of the Voting Rights Act. And 30 people, 30 had their tires slashed. Well, my hope is voters on both side of this will heed the proverb, that is a soft word to turn away wrath or the gospel of Matthew where Jesus said turn the other cheek when a man strikes you on your right cheek, offer him your other cheek.

And my greatest fear for tomorrow is that rather than the historic day it should be is that some people will give in to terrible impulses and try to intimidate voters because there will be a lot of people crashing into these voting places.

COOPER: And it brings up an interesting question which is after this election, I mean, can this country come together? I mean, I guess the country is always polarized after an election like this, but given all the problems that we face, the economy, the wars that we're involved with, I mean, is the country so polarized now that governance will be difficult, that coming together will be possible David?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, only a few months ago, we were asking if the Hillary Clinton supporters would actually come around and support Barack Obama there. So I do think some healing is possible and think it will happen. I think the Republicans will find it in their interest in the Congress to work with Obama on some issues as long as he reaches out to them and is ready to compromise to some degree.

But I do think that -- I think the big issue coming out of the election will be governance. And this is where Roland and I part company. I think tomorrow, he's looking to see if Obama wins. I think Obama is likely to win. And the question to me is how big. Because I think it makes a big, big difference how strong he would come as president.

If he were to come in with like 53 percent as Ed Rollins suggested he might just a few minutes ago, that would be a big, big victory and help him with governing. If he were to win a lot of red states, he would be a national victor. He would no long be the candidate from the two coasts and the upper Midwest. He would break out of these red/blue that he's been talking about since his convention speech in 2004; that would be big.

If he were to come in with a large number of Senators and Congressmen, we last saw this with Ronald Reagan and Ed will remember; it made a huge difference to Reagan's capacity to govern in that first year. That he had those allies, those partners and some coast to coast heads.

COOPER: And we're going to continue this discussion, I just want to show that we're going to put on the screen in Henderson, Nevada, this is the McCain event that we're told he's on-site for and he's not gone on the stage yet.

We're going to bring you some of his comments live just as we did with Barack Obama. We're going to bring you equal time for John McCain.

Tonight, we'll also hear from Sarah Palin, coming up.

Roland go ahead.

ROLAND MARTIN, TALK SHOW HOST AND CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Anderson I was talking about the polls here and my fear is that voters will be so turned off by the process tomorrow, in terms of the time it takes, that they'll get so frustrated and go home.

I do commentary during the morning show, eight million listeners. And every morning I've been saying, look, in South Africa, pure and simple, there are people who stood in line for two days. People vote in Zimbabwe --

COOPER: I was there on that day in '94, and standing in line in the hot sun. And it was the most remarkable day. But people stood in line for I mean 10, 12 hours.

MARTIN: I will never forget there was a 90-year-old woman who died waiting in line to vote. And I'm sorry, in this country, I know we don't like to wait, but there are some things that are so important it happens every four years, stand in line if you have to, bring water, bring food or whatever.

I mean, that's the fear of people saying, I'm just getting frustrated, I will go home.

BEGALA: People waited in line four, five, six, eight, ten hours in Ohio, particularly in '04 to vote for John Kerry. He's a wonderful man but doesn't inspire the same sort of passion as Barack Obama. I don't worry about people waiting patiently.

I worry about the kind of people who go to McCain rallies and Palin rallies and called Barack Obama a terrorist or shout out, quote, "kill him." I'm worried about those people going to those polling places to intimidate good Americans.

BAY BUCHANAN, GOP STRATEGIST: We're seeing this on both sides, Paul.

BEGALA: Not on both sides.

BUCHANAN: It most certainly is.

COOPER: We are watching John McCain just getting on the stage right now. There's his daughter Megan and also Joe Lieberman there behind him and his wife, Cindy McCain and also Lindsey Graham we are seeing. And we're going to bring you his comments live at this event in Henderson, Nevada.

Sarah Palin will be speaking in Reno, Nevada shortly also within this hour. All of which we're going to bring to you live just as we did at Barack Obama event.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Anderson, in terms of governance, what David was talking about, I don't have to remind Paul about this, but when Bill Clinton was elected he won with 43 percent of the vote which meant that every member of Congress had run ahead of him in their districts, they didn't owe him anything.

With Barack Obama, if he wins and he wins by a 53 percent margin and if he wins with more than -- with 300 electoral votes or whatever it is. Members of Congress are going to feel beholden to Barack Obama, which means even in red states, which means that there is a shot at getting things done.

And by the way, we're in the middle of a financial crisis in this country. There is no luxury of time, and there is no luxury of waiting.

COOPER: We've got to take a quick break, John McCain is going to be introduced, we'll bring you his comments as soon as they start and bring those live.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: Right now, Senator John McCain is about to start speaking at a rally in Henderson, Nevada. Joe Lieberman is going to be introducing him. We'll bring you John McCain's event live as he begins to speak.

Ed, you wanted to say something before the break.

ED ROLLINS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: The only thing that -- this election is very different. The Republican intensity is not necessarily just about John McCain, it's more of an anti-Barack Obama.

The Barack movement is an extraordinary movement. And I think to a certain extent, come Wednesday if McCain loses, there's nothing he can do to basically heal his side. I think it becomes up to Barack to show he could lead and I think that becomes a very important part of it.

COOPER: You don't think there's anything McCain can really do?

ROLLINS: I think McCain goes back and he will basically, if we lose seven, eight senators, he's never going to be the player he was three or four years ago again.

COOPER: So can Barack Obama govern?


ROLLINS: Sure he can. He'll have the numbers.

But the key thing here is, is he has to prove to these people who are anti-him today that he really can be more than they think he can be. And that's a totally different place and --

BUCHANAN: It's much more difficult than it's being said here; 90 percent of the country wants a different direction. They're unhappy where the country has been going, Anderson.

So clearly, they're going to be looking at whomever this new president is to see where he's taking us. And the country is right to center or center to right I should say, center to right OK. And he is not, he's from the left. And the people he's beholden to are from the far left.

So the key is how does he govern? He's going to either upset Middle America or he's going to upset his own. We do not know.

GERGEN: We don't know he's beholden to the left.

BORGER: Right.

GERGEN: I think that's a big question.

BUCHANAN: Well, he's certainly did not get where he is without them.

GERGEN: No, no, I think the one of the things he's done in this campaign -- one of the things he's done has been very smart as he hasn't cut any deals. I don't think he's beholden to anybody --

BUCHANAN: He would never have won the primary without the left.

MARTIN: John McCain would never have won without the right.

BUCHANAN: I happen to agree with you. But at the same time, you owe something to those who bring you in the party.

MARTIN: But the whole point is in terms of how he has been able to run absolutely, in terms of how he deals with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will play a huge role. I'm sorry, it's not the same as the left is going to just run a rampant.

COOPER: John McCain is about to speak. Let's listen in.

MCCAIN: Thank you, Las Vegas, thank you, Nevada. We're going to win tomorrow. We're going to show the country and the world, and it's going to happen here.

Joe was saying what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas, my friends. What happens in Las Vegas is going to go throughout Nevada and is going to go through this country and what starts here is going to end with us winning this election tomorrow.

But I ask you to welcome my daughter, Meghan and the next First Lady of the United States of America, Cindy McCain.

Joe Lieberman, a man of courage, a man who stood up for what he believed in and crossed party lines because he puts his country first. Thank you, Joe and God bless you.

A great senator from the great state of North Carolina, who's been working, and drove 4,500 miles around the state of North Carolina on my behalf, Richard Burr and his wife, Brook, from North Carolina. A great Senator from the state of Florida and his wife, Kitty, this man came to the United States of America from Cuba, without his parents, without anything, and he was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and now a Senator from the great state of Florida, the American Dream, right there, Senator Mel Martinez and his wife Kitty.

Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina, a Reserve Colonel of the United States Air Force.

Thank you all. Thank you all for being here. This momentum and this enthusiasm convinces me we're going to win tomorrow. And you've got to volunteer, you've got to knock on doors, you've got to get your neighbor those in the polls. I need your vote. We need to bring real change to Washington and we have to fight for it.

And I bring the best regards and the warmest affection and appreciation, and that's from my running mate, the great Governor of the state of Alaska, Sarah Palin, who has ignited this country.

And, no, she's never been to a Georgetown cocktail party, but she knows how to lead her state and this nation. I'm so proud of Sarah Palin and her whole family and everything she's done.

And by the way, she's in Alco and she's going to be in Reno and we're going to have record turnouts. And we're going to win the state of Nevada tomorrow.

Now, my friends, I've been fighting for this country since I was 17 years old and I have the scars to prove it. If I'm elected -- if I'm elected President, I will fight to shake up Washington and take America in a new direction from my first day in Office until my last. I'm not afraid of the fight; I'm ready for the fight.

So, what are we going to do? We're going to cut taxes for working family, we'll cut business taxes, we'll help create jobs and keep American businesses in America. Senator Obama's massive new tax increase would kill jobs, make a bad economy worse. I'm not going to let that happen. We need pro-growth and pro-jobs economic policies not pro-government spending programs paid for with higher taxes.

Senator Obama has asked for nearly a billion dollars in earmarked pork barrel projects, three million dollars for an overhead projector in a Planetarium in his Chicago.

My friends, my friends if I'm elected President, I won't spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money, Senator Obama will. I'm going to make government live on a budget, just like you do.

And I promise you this; I will veto every pork barrel bill that comes across my desk with an earmark on it. And I'll make them famous. You will know their names.

And my friends, I'm not going spend $750 billion of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers that got us into this mess. Senator Obama will. I'm going to make sure we take care of the working people who are devastated by the excesses, greed and corruption of Wall Street and Washington.

COOPER: John McCain speaking in Henderson, Nevada; he goes on from there tonight to Prescott, Arizona where he's going to wrap up his long, long day sometime around 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. We also want to show you Joe Biden on the right, speaking in Philadelphia. Sarah Palin is going to be speaking in Reno there on the left. She hasn't gone onto the stage.

We're going to listen to Joe Biden in Just a moment.

CNN's Dana Bash is already in Prescott, where John McCain is next headed. Dana, what is his day like tomorrow?

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's really interesting Anderson. This was supposed to be the final event where I am now this 2:00 a.m. Eastern event here in Prescott, Arizona but he is going to campaign tomorrow now. He's going to campaign in the state of Colorado and also New Mexico, because the campaign basically says, look, he's in the neighborhood and they insist -- although public polling seems to show something different -- they insist internally, their data says that it is tightening a little bit in some of these key states in the southwest.

He's going to just take one more shot in Colorado and have a couple of stops in the state of New Mexico before coming back to Arizona for election night. We'll see if it's going to be worth it. They figure, why not, he's in the neighborhood, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Dana Bash. Thanks very much. Down to the wire.

Dana, actually, before we go to break, in terms of what he is saying on the trail, we were just listening in a little bit, he's mixing basically a message of talking about Barack Obama probably more than Barack Obama is talking about him. Is he also trying to make sort of a closing argument like Obama has been making the last couple of days?

BASH: He has been saying the same thing over and over again, which frankly is a little bit unusual for the McCain campaign. I think at this point he's finally -- it's fair to say he has finally got a consistent message.

His closing argument is basically to try to convince any undecided voters or late breakers at these campaign polls that Barack Obama is maybe a guy who says he wants change and certainly in this change election that he understands that those undecided voters may be leaning towards Obama but he's trying to plant those final seeds of doubt in those undecided voters' minds.

So he's doing it with two themes, I think you heard some of it tonight. One is using the "l" word, that he's just too liberal on a host of issues particularly the economy and he's hitting that experience thing as well.

But I think, big picture what he's been trying to do at the every single one of these six stops so far is get out the vote. Just convince people it is not over, he needs their help; he needs them to get out and work for him. That's pretty much the basic bottom line for John McCain at all of these events today -- Anderson.

COOPER: And we're going to talk about that ground campaign that both candidates have later on in this hour. We're also going to show you live events. Sarah Palin we're expecting her in Reno, Nevada. You see Joe Biden there on the left side of your screen talking in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We'll bring you both live events right after this break.


COOPER: You're watching Sarah Palin about to start speaking at a rally in Reno, Nevada.

GOV. SARAH PALIN, (R) VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Thank you so much. And to Heidi, thank you for that kind introduction and thank you all for the warm welcome to Reno, Nevada. It's so great to be back in this biggest little city in the world.

It is so great to be here on these final hours on the campaign trail, with some of the most important people in my world, that's my parents, my in-laws, my brother, and somebody who might want you to give a warm welcome to, also, Alaska's first dude, my husband, Todd Palin.

Up there in Alaska, Todd is a commercial fisherman and he's an oil field production operator up on Alaska's North Slope, producing oil for all of you. Todd's also the four-time world champion snow machine racer winning the Iron Dog 2,000 miles across Alaska.

So it is very, very good to be here, sharing these final hours on the campaign trail with all of you, Nevada. No place that I would rather be. Thank you so much for allowing us to be here.

Nevada, you are so welcoming, so patriotic also, walking out here today, recognizing some of you who have served us in uniform, you're wearing your hats. Let me ask you to raise your hand, those of you who have served in uniform in the past or serving today, we're going to thank you and honor you.

We do, we thank you for your service and your sacrifice. It is you who we owe for the free and fair election that's coming up in just matter of hours, for protecting our constitutional rights and protecting our freedoms. God bless the United States Military.

So, Nevada, Election Day is just hours away, the time for choosing is near. Nevada, are you ready to help us carry your state to victory? Are you ready to make John McCain the next president of the United States? Are you ready to send us to Washington to shape things up? Nevada, we're talking about an American hero. Are you ready to send him on his last mission for all of you; John McCain as president?

COOPER: Sarah Palin, asking the American people to send John McCain on his last mission. She is speaking in Reno, Nevada right now.

We're going to bring you Joe Biden, who just finished speaking in Philadelphia. We're going to quickly turn the tape and bring you the same amount of time. We want to give equal time to all the candidates tonight.

But while we are turning that tape, let's talk to our panel a little bit. As you watch Sarah Palin and as you watch in the days ahead, as you look back, Ed Rollins, how effective do you think she's been?

ED ROLLINS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think she's very effective at mobilizing the base. I think she's a great communicator; I think she's a performer. Did she help the pick at the end of the day? I think by energizing the base, she may have. I think at the end of the day, she has a career ahead of her and she's going to be a very popular Republican. Whether she ends up being a presidential candidate in the future is only up for her to know.


BAY BUCHANAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: There's no question, she's one of the most remarkable vice presidential candidates we've ever had. We were down seven or eight points prior to the convention, going into the convention.

The Party was not unified at all. There was no enthusiasm, no excitement and overnight, all of that turned around. We come out of the convention of which she was a major part and we're dead even if not a few points. And for two to three weeks we continued to climb.

The only thing that turned it around was the complete collapse of our economic system, ten points overnight. That was not Sarah Palin.

COOPER: That's the only thing that stopped (ph) Sarah Palin?

BUCHANAN: Almost overnight. We were three points up when that happened.

COOPER: Gloria?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I just have to say, I think when this election is over and we look back on the important moments and we say what hurt John McCain, I think we're going to see that Sarah Palin hurt John McCain.

You look at the polls where almost 60 percent of the American electorate believe that she's not qualified to be vice president, much less president. That she didn't help with independent voters and that she became a problem in the McCain campaign when she started a little rebellion there.

ROLLINS: I just challenge how many Republicans and how many Independents did Joe Biden bring to Barack Obama's ticket?


BORGER: Look at Joe Biden --

BEGALA: White Catholics of which Joe Biden is one have broken from being against Barack Obama before he picked Biden to being for him. Biden has a 60 percent approval rating, even the (inaudible) were a tough campaign; Governor Palin about 40.


BEGALA: I think Biden has been a huge plus and Palin's been a big minus.

COOPER: We got to take a short break. We're going to have more.

We're going to hear from Joe Biden on the trail, just moments ago finishing up in Philadelphia.

We'll also talk to John King; he'll be at the "Magic Wall" showing us where the race stands and what will happen tomorrow. Take a look. We'll be right back.


COOPER: We're less than an hour from Election Day now and the candidates have been making the most of every minute. A short time ago, John McCain and Barack Obama appeared live on ESPN during Monday night football; a last-minute chance to get their message out to more than 12 million voters. Take a look.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I don't get too high when things are going well and I don't get too low when things are going tough. And I think that has helped me and the organization stay steady.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Now, to be one step away from the presidency of the United States, it's an incredible ride, I'm humbled and honored, and please people know I'll always put my country first.


COOPER: Well, the presidential race may be tomorrow's main even. But there are also 435 House seats up for election and 35 Senate seats at stake.

CNN's John King is at the Magic Wall. So John hours until Election Day kicks off; the state polls are still changing. What's the latest?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's show you state polls in the presidential race, Anderson. And first just light it up as we see it; 291 electoral votes for Barack Obama we have projected so far. 270 is what it takes to win. So John McCain, obviously, has to win all the tossup states we have on our map, he has to take something away from Barack Obama and take quite a bit away.

Let's look at the most recent polls. Senator McCain and Governor Palin in Nevada tonight -- well, a close race there. But right now trending for Barack Obama, the Latino vote -- a significant reason why Barack Obama is ahead by five points in our latest and last poll of polls in the state of Nevada.

You heard Dana Bash mention earlier, he will also campaign in Colorado tomorrow. This is another tough state, twice for George Bush; but 51-45 Obama at the moment in that state. Again, McCain not only has to get all the undecided but get that to break another way.

And quickly we'll come east and look at three other key battleground states that are toss ups at the moment -- two of them toss ups, excuse -- that McCain has to win. Florida, pretty close but Obama with a slight advantage there in a critically important state and we'll go to the north Ohio, the state Republicans always have to win, and again a slight advantage for Obama going into Election Day.

McCain needs to turn out the vote in a way better, superior than the Democrats at a time when even many Republicans can see Obama has a great ground operation.

The last of our new poll of polls is in the state of Pennsylvania; that one is leaning blue, Obama with an 8 point edge. That's a smaller edge than we had just a few days ago, but still an edge in a state the McCain campaign, Anderson, has said he needs somehow to win.

COOPER: Let's talk about the balance of power in the House and Senate?

KING: This will be interesting to watch tomorrow night. Most importantly, we see the Senate up. Right now the Democrats have a majority in the House. Most Republicans concede the Democrats will gain anywhere from 25 maybe even as many as 30 seats. The Senate will be quite interesting.

This is the Senate as it now stands; 51 Democrats, 49 Republicans, two of these are independents actually but they caucus with the Democrats. Here's what's up tomorrow night. There are 35 seats up tomorrow night and notice all these red borders. The republicans are defending 23 of the 35 seats up tomorrow night.

In all, Anderson, both parties agree that a lot of seats are safe. If we click these and we accept the general judgment, you have 13 states where we think the Senate races are potentially in play. Look at this, only one of them Democratic seat, Mary Landrieu in Louisiana is the only Democrat on the ballot considered at risk.

Some amazing races here. You talked about this man a lot, Ted Stevens, just convicted last week of seven counts up in Alaska, that should have been a Republican seat. That one right now many believe will go Democratic. Other races to watch; in New Mexico, you have Juan Udall brother picking up, running against Udall here -- a cousin, a famous name in the southwest expected to win in New Mexico and another Udall expected to win in Colorado. Those are going to be two pickups for the Democrats if they get those.

Many other races we will watch Anderson, starting very early on to see if there's six or seven Senate seats, many Democrats think, some think if there's a wave could go as high as nine.

COOPER: All right. John King. We'll be watching tomorrow.

Just minutes from now, the polls are going to open in two tiny villages in northern New Hampshire, Dixville Notch and (INAUDIBLE). It's a traditional story, you have to do it.

Since 1948, the villages have been first to announce their results on Election Day. They only have 115 residents between them. CNN's David Mattingly joins me now from Dixville Notch. Is there a big line there, David?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right now, all of the voters are filing into this one room, this voting room. There are about 19 registered voters in this town. There might be a couple more before the evening is over.

I'm going to give you a quick walk around the room, show you what's going on. All of the registered voters are here. We're having some of the election officials giving some last minute instructions. You see over here on the right, those are some of the voting stalls that have been set up. There are some on this wall over here on this side.

Every individual has their own individual voting booth, this is a very communal thing, everybody votes at the same time; and then those ballots are then cast in that wooden box right there on the table. There's so few people here everything is going to be counted so quickly, this small town is going to have a very big voice at the very beginning of this election.

But something else I want to show you, Anderson, with the 19 registered voters and plus a couple more coming in tonight, look at the crowd that's gathered here, all the media and observers, there are probably three times as many people watching this vote as there are voters here -- Anderson.

COOPER: David Mattingly, live in Dixville Notch.

Up next, Joe Biden speaking tonight in Philadelphia. We're also going to look ahead with our panel; some observations about this historic election. Stay tuned.


COOPER: Bringing you the final push tonight, all the candidates on the trail. We just heard of Sarah Palin stumping in Nevada. Just moments ago, Joe Biden wrapped up his late, late show in Philadelphia. We want to listen to some of what he had to say.


SEN. JOE BIDEN, (D) VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: You know, folks, when a man or woman loses their job or their house is foreclosed on, it's not just an economic crisis. It is an emotionally devastating event.

It's about those parents that have to take that long walk up a short flight of stairs like my dad did when I was 10 to their child's bedroom and say, honey, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. But we lost our job. You're not going to be able to go back to the same school next month. Daddy, what's foreclosure mean? Well, honey, it means we can't live in this house anymore.

Folks, in Pennsylvania 36,000 parents have made that trip up those steps this year alone. And it's got to stop. Folks, if we can help Wall Street, we can help Broad Street and every other street in the state of Philadelphia. It is time.

Look. At the end of the day, though, if we want to strengthen the middle class, we want to regain the respect of the world, we have to do one more thing. We have to unite this country. We cannot remain red and blue. A country divided cannot lead the world. A country divided cannot bring back the middle class.

Folks, over the past few weeks, John McCain's campaign in my view, has gone over the top. They have decided to take the low road to the highest office in the land, and folks, it is not just that they have bought on to George Bush's economic policies. Ladies and gentlemen, they also bought on to Karl Rove's politics of division and lies.

I never thought -- I've known John for 34 years -- I never thought I'd see a McCain campaign engaged in the same tactics that were used against him in 2000.

Folks, they're calling Barack Obama every name in the book. Tomorrow night at this time, they'll have to call him something else; the 44th president of the United States of America.

Yes, we can. Folks, folks. My dad -- my dad who was a wonderful guy, God rest his soul, like your fathers, he had a saying. There's a saying I bet you can repeat for me that you heard your parents use a thousand times. My dad was any time he got knocked down, he'd look and say, "Champ, when you get knocked down, just get up. Just get up."

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I've never seen a time when more Americans have been knocked down with so little regard on behalf of their government. It is time. It is time for us together to get back up, to bring the change we need to the country we love.

Folks, America's ready. South Philadelphia's ready. You're ready.


COOPER: Joe Biden speaking in Philadelphia.

Tonight, we're going to have some quick final thoughts from our panel and a live edition of "Larry King."

We'll be right back.


COOPER: All right. In the remaining minute and a half with our panel, let's kill the music. Gloria Borger, any final thoughts?

BORGER: I don't want to be Miss Pollyanna here but my thought is, what a great election.


BORGER: Roland what a fabulous election. Nobody around the table has ever been a part of anything like this or covered anything like this. It's been terrific for democracy.

COOPER: What are we going to do like two days from now?

BORGER: Sleep.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I can't even remember what life like before this?

BUCHANAN: Two days from now, we get back on the field just in different positions.

BEGALA: That's right.

MARTIN: Come on, Bay. Celebrity rehab on VH1.

COOPER: That's what's going to happen.

GERGEN: I bet five years from now, ten years from now, we'll look back and say, "That's the best campaign, the most interesting campaign we've ever had."

BORGER: And transformative. And transformative election.

GERGEN: We'll wait and see about that.

ROLLINS: Everyone's going to use this as the model. The McCain campaign state of the art 1996 as Bob Dole, too. This is the revolutionary campaign.

COOPER: In terms of fund raising --

ROLLINS: Everything, everything.

BORGER: Ground up. Ground up.

ROLLINS: Ground game.

BEGALA: And it's also, I think, candidates of the future. Not only is Barack seen as candidate of the future, I think there can be more than one future president in this race. In 1980, you had Carter, Reagan, Bush; three presidents. You could have --

COOPER: That's it. Thanks very much.

Our entire panel is going to be here tomorrow night. Our coverage continues now with "LARRY KING."