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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

New Hampshire Decides

Aired January 8, 2008 - 22:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Again, a remarkable night.
Gloria Borger, as we watch, what are you looking for as these numbers come in? Again, 57 percent of precincts reporting, Senator Clinton 39 percent, to Barack Obama's 37 percent.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, one of the most interesting stories of the evening, Anderson, might be this -- the women's vote. Hillary Clinton didn't deliver the women in Iowa, the way she had anticipated. So far this evening...

COOPER: She was getting a lot of older women, but younger women...

BORGER: Right.

COOPER: ... overwhelmingly going for Barack Obama.

BORGER: But she basically split with Obama.

Here tonight, we see 47 percent of women going for Hillary Clinton, 34 percent for Obama. But what is really interesting, we have had a lot of talk about whether Hillary's tearing up the other day made any difference.

Of women who decided today who they were going to vote for, Hillary Clinton got 43 percent of those women, and Barack Obama got 36 percent of those women.

(CROSSTALK)

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: I would like to just raise this turnout issue.

This is consistent with Iowa, an absolutely huge turnout among Democrats. Democrats, in the '04 race, there were 219,000 who voted -- 280,000 voted. That's an enormous increase.

John -- John McCain won in 2000 when 238,000 people voted, Republicans voted. Today, it was only 220,000. Republican turnout is actually down since 2000. That's a big change. And that just shows what we have seen in fund-raising, what we have seen in turnout, which is that Democrats are wildly motivated to win this election.

COOPER: I also want to bring in CNN contributor Donna Brazile, who's studying numbers, looking at her BlackBerry, talking to a lot of people. The Clinton campaign dispatched Bill Clinton to Durham today. There are many in the campaign who feel that was a good move to -- a very effective use of the former president.

How has he been used in New Hampshire? You think he has been a factor?

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Oh, no question.

Look, what people don't understand is that Democratic primary voters like Bill Clinton. They love Hillary Clinton. They dispatched him to an area where Obama was surging. So, I think it had the effect of tamping down Obama's support and giving Senator Clinton a real reason to come back in this race.

COOPER: Is it possible, Bill Bennett -- Bill Clinton has been saying that Barack Obama has not received the kind of scrutiny certainly that his wife has received or that other candidates have received. A, is that true? And do you think that is that fair?

BILL BENNETT, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, I think he has received scrutiny. He's going to get a lot more, obviously, as he moves along. And, if he wins tonight, he will get a lot more.

I have got to tell you, though, how quickly things move, how quickly things change. Six hours ago, Bill Clinton was the goat. Everybody was tying everything to his tail, saying he wrecked the thing. And now maybe he's the guy who...

COOPER: That was -- that was Toobin.

BENNETT: I know. That was Toobin.

(LAUGHTER)

BENNETT: Now he's the guy who saved the day, as these -- as these changes occur.

The one thing that is very interesting, viewed as a Republican, when I look at Obama, is, this is a guy who's more liberal than Hillary Clinton. I understand about the lift. I understand about all the idealism, but this is a guy who's considerably to the left of the Democratic establishment.

And this will be -- if he's the nominee -- something that we really will get our teeth into. So -- and that, I think, has not been much emphasized or talked about.

COOPER: It was interesting on the -- Bill Schneider, Ralph Reed, earlier, was saying that, on the Republican side, those who were voting based on issues were going for Mitt Romney. Those who were going more for personality, character, were going for John McCain.

I'm not sure if the same can be said on the Democratic side. I haven't heard the exit polls on that. But, as we move forward, do issues take a greater and greater importance, or does personality continue to play a huge role, authenticity, realism?

RALPH REED, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think that, certainly, on the Republican side of the ball, issues are going to move to the forefront.

If you look at tonight, for example, John McCain's winning independents big. That was the wave that he rode. He's winning moderates. He's winning self-identified liberals. And he's splitting somewhat conservative voters.

But he's losing very conservative voters about 3-1. And he's losing conservative voters by about eight points. So, for McCain, as he heads South, where the percentage of conservative voters and issue- oriented voters goes much higher, and they're voting less on style and more on where do you stand on immigration, where are you on the moral issues, where do you stand on taxes, I think that -- that hurts him.

Now, on the Democratic side of the ball, I think it probably, in the end, helps Hillary Clinton. If you look at the exit polls tonight, she's less popular among Democrats than Obama, and fewer Democrats think she can win. But they're voting for her anyway. That's pretty remarkable.

BENNETT: Slight disagreement. He's heading to Michigan before he heads to South Carolina. You're right he's heading to South Carolina.

But he should go with Kemp because of this tax question. He should go with Phil Gramm, these guys who are supporting him, Joe Lieberman as well.

Republicans -- you talk about the distinction between issues and personalities. Republicans also like winners. And John McCain won here tonight. And that is going to help him in Michigan.

COOPER: Given that it is a close race, does -- I mean, six hours ago, there was all this talk about Hillary Clinton revamping her entire campaign, bringing in new people in different areas. Would all of that go away if she places first or a very close second?

BRAZILE: Look, there's no question that Senator Clinton is going to re-launch her campaign. She's going come out with a stronger, tougher message in terms of a contrast with Obama.

She's going to start talking about the economy. Perhaps a win tonight will allow her to compete effectively in South Carolina, Nevada. But Senator Clinton is a strong candidate. Democrats want a leader. They want a winner. And, tonight, while it's not over with, one thing we should look at is where organized labor is going.

We know, tomorrow, the culinary union will endorse Barack Obama.

COOPER: Very important union.

BRAZILE: That's very important in Nevada. But Senator Clinton still has the support of the teachers union and some of the state and county municipal workers.

COOPER: A man who's received a lot of union support over the last couple of months is John Edwards. We're anticipating him speaking at any moment.

We, of course, are going to bring that to you live, but, first, let's go to John King, who again is looking very closely at the state of New Hampshire and where the votes so far have come in and where we have not heard from -- John.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And, Anderson, that math is critical as we start to try to answer the question, can Barack Obama make up Hillary Clinton's lead, but a small lead at the moment?

So, let's look first at where she's getting that lead. Part of it is here in Manchester. Let's pull Manchester out. It is the largest city in New Hampshire. And, as you see up here, Senator Clinton has 45 percent of the vote to 31 percent for Barack Obama. You win by winning where the people are. It's the most populated city in the state. Hillary Clinton, that margin is what is making the difference right now.

Second largest city in the state of New Hampshire is right down here. It's Nashua. Again, Senator Clinton at 48 percent, Barack Obama at 31 percent. At last count, 55 percent of the vote in, in Nashua. So, if she can keep that margin up, she's going to rack up -- hold her lead, and 75 percent of the vote in, in Manchester.

Interesting to watch as those -- rest of the precincts come in, in Nashua and here in Manchester, does she continue to keep that big margin? If she does, it's hard for Obama to catch up. Why? Because there are fewer people who live in the places where he needs the votes.

One of those places is right over here. That is Durham. It's a college town. It's the University of New Hampshire, only 1,600 registered voters here in Durham, 2,100 Democrats, about 3,000 independents. That's the potential pool of voters for Barack Obama, so 2,100 Democrats, 3,000 independents, a potential pool for Barack Obama. But he would have to win very convincingly to start narrowing the gap.

That's one of the college towns we're waiting for. That's Durham. Another one is down here along the Massachusetts border. This is Rindge. This is the home of Franklin Pierce College. It's a very small college, but, again, one of the places Barack Obama hopes to win with the young voters who propelled him out in Iowa. Again, it's a very small potential pool of voters, about 2,400 independents, just fewer than 800 Democrats.

Barack Obama needs those votes, not just the Democrats, the independents as well. And he's going to need most of them if Hillary Clinton keeps those margins up in the city.

And, lastly, one more place that we looked at before -- and, again, we're -- none of the votes are in, in any of these places I have just mentioned -- in Durham and in Rindge, still no votes in. So, that is Barack Obama's hope.

One more place we want to go -- here is the state capital of Concord. Let's go up here. That gets you to Hanover. This is a Dartmouth College, a liberal town, a college town up in Hanover, about 8,000 registered voters; 3,200 of them are Democrats; 3,400 of them, or almost 3,500 of them, are independent. Again, so there's a pool there of 7,000 votes. Barack Obama wants most of them.

And, again, the reason we're still -- we can't call this race, even though Hillary Clinton has a lead, is because none of the results are in. So, none of the results in, in Hanover, none of the results in down here in Rindge, a college town, none of the results here in Durham, a college town. That's what the Obama campaign and, you can bet, the Clinton campaign is watching very closely.

And now, for more on the underlying factors behind this election, let's go back to Soledad and Bill.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thank you very much.

You know, I think we should really look a little bit closer at why this race is so close. And let's break down our candidates on the Democratic side right now.

Big things that Barack Obama has going for him among the voters?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Uniter, that's Barack Obama's theme. And that shows up.

O'BRIEN: Campaigned on that.

SCHNEIDER: Look at this. Among respondents, Democrats, who said who -- we asked, who is most likely to unite the country? Obama 50 percent, Clinton only 29 percent. He's the uniter in this campaign. She's seen as a far more divisive candidate.

That's really steaming him to what could be a victory. We don't know yet.

O'BRIEN: All right, now, for Hillary, for people who say the economy is their top issue, this is a surprise, I think.

SCHNEIDER: This is a real surprise. The economy was kind of a sleeper issue. It turned out to be number one for Democrats. Look at the voters who said the top issue was the economy. Clinton is leading Obama by nearly 10 points. This is a big lead.

And we didn't really expect the economy to play a crucial role. But, if she wins or comes very close, as she seems to be doing, this could be the factor that does it for her, concern over the economy.

O'BRIEN: All right.

Let's dig a little bit deeper on the economy and literally what it means to people's pockets. How is it dividing between up the two of them? SCHNEIDER: Well, look at Democrats who say they're getting ahead financially, they're doing pretty well. That's only about 20 percent of Democrats.

They are voting for Obama by a solid margin, 48 percent to 31 percent. These are Democrats who are doing well financially. What about the Democrats who are not doing well, who say that they are falling behind in their finances? Take a look at how they voted. They voted for Hillary Clinton, 43 percent to 33 percent.

And there are more voters, more Democrats, who say they're falling behind than getting ahead. So, if there's some unspoken secret factor driving those Hillary Clinton votes, it's concern over the economy. Her husband did a good job, Democrats believe.

O'BRIEN: I was going to ask you that.

For the folks who feel that they are falling behind financially -- and, obviously, this is sort of speculation, but how -- do you think that some of them are hearkening back to the good old Bill Clinton days?

SCHNEIDER: They remember the Bill Clinton years in the 1990s as good times. And a lot of them hope, if they elect another Clinton president, maybe that will come back.

O'BRIEN: More of a reason why this is a nail-biter -- Wolf.

SCHNEIDER: Exactly.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Indeed, very much of a nail-biter. And it could be a long night tonight, as we're watching this story, the Democratic race in New Hampshire, incredibly tight right now.

And we -- we can't project a winner. Take a look at the numbers with 62 percent of the precincts reporting, Hillary Clinton still atop with 39 percent, Barack Obama 36 percent, very, very close numbers in New Hampshire, John Edwards a distant third, a disappointing -- it must be a disappointing 17 percent for John Edwards in New Hampshire.

He barely came in second in the Iowa caucuses. He will come in third in New Hampshire.

We're standing by, by the way, to hear from John Edwards. We're told by his campaign he is going to be speaking momentarily. We expect that his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, will be introducing him.

And, by all accounts, he's going to move on from New Hampshire and go on to South Carolina, Nevada, and the other major primary states and caucuses. He says he's in this, and he's staying put.

South Carolina could be an important state for him. He was born in South Carolina, and he expects to do well there, but, certainly, coming in at a distant third in New Hampshire quite disappointing for John Edwards. But the battle for first and second place in New Hampshire among the Democrats incredibly tight. Look at these numbers, the actual numbers, 63,040, so far, for Hillary Clinton, 58,666 for Barack Obama. That's with 62 percent of the precincts reporting in New Hampshire, a close race. It's been like this, by the way, from almost the beginning, when we first started showing you the numbers. With 10 percent of the precincts reporting, Hillary Clinton was atop. And she kept that lead. It's been a steady lead for her. But it's been a very close lead.

And it's surprising. Given almost all of the polls that were taken after Iowa, before tonight in New Hampshire, it looked like Barack Obama had a significant lead that he was developing. But guess what? The actual voters can surprise people out there.

And there's no doubt that this is emerging as somewhat of a surprise, too close to call. We can't project a winner based on the actual numbers or our exit polls.

As we watch and wait for John Edwards, he's going to speak -- we're going to check in with our reporters.

And, remember, at some point, after the dust settles, after the precincts have reported, after we know who wins in New Hampshire, we will be hearing from Barack Obama. We will be hearing from Hillary Clinton. We will be taking their speeches live.

Whatever emerges, though, whatever happens, if Hillary Clinton comes in first in New Hampshire, or Barack Obama comes in first in New Hampshire, we have a fight. We have a real battle that's emerging right now, a real battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as they move on to the next states.

The Edwards family is walking in right now into their campaign headquarters in New Hampshire. You can see David Bonior, one of their top strategists, the former congressman from Michigan, standing there, a lot of their supporters walking in, the Edwards family coming in, the young kids, as well as their daughter.

Elizabeth will be -- we're told, is about to introduce John Edwards. And we will be listening carefully to hear what he has to say. Will he go negative in his remarks? Will he continue to tell us the differences between himself and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama? Or will this be more of an uplifting, positive speech? We will watching this very closely.

Jessica Yellin, by the way, is there at Edwards campaign headquarters.

Jessica, give us a little flavor, as we -- actually, I think Elizabeth Edwards is about to speak right now, introduce her husband.

Let's listen in.

(MUSIC)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

ELIZABETH EDWARDS, WIFE OF FORMER SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS: Thank you all. Thank you.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love you.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

E. EDWARDS: Thank you all.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

E. EDWARDS: The people behind those cameras may not know it. The people who are watching on television may not know it, but you all are family.

We love you.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

E. EDWARDS: Thank you so much for everything you have done.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

E. EDWARDS: It is so fitting that this -- that this is taking place at an old mill.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

E. EDWARDS: John's story starts in a mill. It starts when he worked, sometimes, in the summertime and after school, in the mill in which his father worked, sometimes sweeping floors around men and women who worked hard to try to make a better life for their children, which is exactly what America has been all about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes!

E. EDWARDS: We stand on the -- on the shoulders of our parents and our grandparents and try to keep the promise that they kept to us, to make a better world. That's what John plans to do as president of the United States, to make this world as good for his children as it has been for him because of the hard work of his parents and grandparents.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

E. EDWARDS: And this is one of the things he learned. And you -- every one of the people in this room knows this: You never get anything you don't work for.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

E. EDWARDS: No one ever promised Wallace Edwards it was going to be an easy job to try to work his way up from when he got out of high school, going to that mill, to work his way up to a supervisor. But he knew that, if he kept plugging at it every day, making a little bit of progress every day to that goal, he would one day be able to achieve it.

This day, we have taken steps, not as big steps as we wanted, but steps of which we are enormously proud, not only of John, of the message, but of you...

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

E. EDWARDS: The goal is still in sight. And what is that goal? To make as our next president of the United States John Edwards.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(MUSIC)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. And thank you all so -- thank you all so much for being here tonight.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: You know, last week, last week, I congratulated Senator Obama when he finished first and I finished second in Iowa. One race down. Tonight, I congratulate Senator Clinton and Senator Obama, two races down, 48 states left to go.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CROWD: Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: So, up until now, about half of 1 percent of Americans have voted. Ninety-nine percent-plus have not voted. And those 99 percent deserve to have their voices heard, because we have had too much in America of people's voices not being heard.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: I have met too many -- too many Americans whose voices have not been heard in this democracy.

Just this past week, I spent time with the family of Nataline Sarkisyan. Nataline is a 17-year-old girl who, just a few weeks ago, desperately needed a liver transplant. Her parents had health insurance with one of the biggest insurance companies in America.

They asked for that -- for the insurance company to pay for her liver transplant operation. And they rejected them. Then, the doctors came to her -- to her aid. They spoke up on her behalf. The nurses spoke up on her behalf. And then the insurance company said no again.

Finally, the family stood up and fought. They started to march and picket, along with many other Americans, in front of the offices of this insurance company.

And the insurance company finally gave in, but it was too late. And, a few hours later, Nataline lost her life.

A few months ago, I met a 51-year-old man in the mountains of Virginia named James Lowe. James had been born with a severe cleft pallet. Because he had a cleft pallet, he could not speak. A simple operation would have fixed his problem, but he had no health care coverage. And so he couldn't pay for it.

Finally, someone voluntarily fixed his cleft pallet, and now he can speak. The problem is, they fixed it when he was 50 years old. James Lowe lived for 50 years in the United States of America not able to speak, because he had no health care coverage.

Tonight, a man or a woman whose name is unknown, who served this country patriotically and wore the uniform of the United States of America, will go to sleep under a bridge or on a grate, homeless.

You know, we have had too many Americans whose voices have not been heard in this democracy. That's what this battle is about. It is not about me. It is about the cause of giving voice to all those whose voices are not being heard in this democracy.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CROWD: Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: And, tonight, tonight, we stand at a crossroads in the history of America. It is not that we don't know what it is we aspire to. We know exactly what we aspire to: universal health care; attacking global warming; and protecting the environment; ending poverty in the United States of America; standing up -- standing up for American jobs and for the creation of American jobs.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: The question -- the question is not what we aspire to. The question is, how do we get there? What will it take?

Four years ago, I spoke a great deal about the need for hope and inspiration in America. During this campaign, I have spoke about the need for principled action and the need for change in the United States of America.

We know what needs to be done. The only question is whether we have the backbone, and the will, and the determination to go there.

And here's what I have to say about this.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) J. EDWARDS: Because -- because of people like Alexis, who's a young woman who spoke to me this afternoon who has a serious health condition, and who has made thousands and thousands of phone calls on my behalf, because...

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: ... because of the men and women of organized labor, the carpenters, the steelworkers, the service employee workers...

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: ... because of those who have called, and knocked on doors, and worked tirelessly on behalf of this cause, this cause to create the America that all of us believe in, because of that, I want to be absolutely clear to all of you who have been devoted to this cause, and I want to be clear to the 99 percent of Americans who have not yet had the chance to have their voices heard, that I am in this race to the convention, that I intend to be the nominee of my party.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: And -- and I am in this race until we have actually restored the American dream and strengthened and restored the middle class of America.

And, so, I ask all of you here and all of you who can hear the sound of my voice, the 99 percent whose voices have not yet been heard in this democracy, to join us in this grassroots campaign to create the kind of America that all of us believe in.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: God bless you. Thank you for being here. It's my privilege to be with you. Thank you.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: John Edwards making it clear he's not going anywhere. He's in this race, he says, two races down -- that would be Iowa and New Hampshire -- 48 states to go. He's in it. He says he's remaining a candidate, not going anywhere, despite what must be a disappointing third-place finish in New Hampshire -- John Edwards moving on to his native state of South Carolina.

John McCain the big winner on the Republican side tonight -- John McCain coming -- making a major, major comeback, winning the Republican nomination, the Republican primary here in New Hampshire tonight, a big win for him.

But he's got a long way to go. He won eight years ago in New Hampshire, didn't move on in South Carolina. And, obviously, that was a setback for him. But he's -- he's got some life. And he's moving on as well -- Mitt Romney coming in second in New Hampshire tonight, an important story we're following. But, right now, the most important story we're following is on the Democratic side, because this race is a nail-biter, too close to call so far. Sixty-three percent of the precincts have now reported on the Democratic side in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton maintaining her slight advantage over Barack Obama, 39 percent to 36 percent, Edwards coming in so far with 17 percent.

If you take a look at the raw numbers, 65,974, almost 66,000, votes so far for Hillary Clinton, just more than 61,000 for Barack Obama. That percentage remaining pretty consistent over these past two hours, since the -- two-and-a-half-hours, almost, since the polls closed at 8:00 p.m. Eastern -- Hillary Clinton slightly ahead of Barack Obama.

We're in no position yet to project who the Democratic winner in New Hampshire will be, because this -- this race remains close. It could be a very long night. We're going to have to wait, perhaps, for all the votes to be counted on the Democratic side.

The precincts are reporting, 63 percent so far. Still got a way to go in New Hampshire -- much more of our coverage coming up.

By the way, don't forget CNNPolitics.com. If you want to see the tally change minute by minute, go to CNNPolitics.com on your laptop. Keep watching us here on CNN. We will keep these tallies, by the way, on the screen even during the upcoming commercial.

Stay with us -- much more of our coverage coming up. At some point, we will hear from Hillary Clinton; we will hear from Barack Obama -- those speeches coming up live once the political dust settles in New Hampshire.

We're live at the CNN Election Center. We will take a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: It's now been more than 2 1/2 hours since all the polls closed in New Hampshire. We know that John McCain has captured the Republican presidential victory, the primary in New Hampshire. We know that John McCain has won a major comeback for him.

But the story on the Democratic side remains too close to call, at least so far between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, with 66 percent of the precincts now reporting. Hillary Clinton remains atop, 39 percent to Obama's 36 percent.

It's been a consistent 3 or 4 percent advantage for Hillary Clinton, going back at least two hours, since about 10 percent of the precincts have reported. She still remains atop over Barack Obama.

We're watching this story unfold very, very closely. We're going to make sure that we get it right before we project a winner in New Hampshire. But we're watching the numbers very, very closely right now.

No one is watching these numbers more closely than our own John King.

You've got a good understanding of that state of New Hampshire. A small state, but a lot of nuances there. What's going on, John? What are you looking at right now as this battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama unfolds?

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, in a word, wow. You just mentioned that her lead has been relatively consistent. And often, that's enough to call a race. But the reason we can't call this race is because it's a narrow lead.

And let's look here. We're going to pull out to the state of New Hampshire. We're going to get you the Democratic primary for president. That's right here. Now, anything white has not reported at all yet.

Here's what we know: 39 percent for Senator Clinton, 36 percent for Senator Obama. That's about a 5,000-vote margin. It's held pretty steady. And sometimes you can say it's been consistent. It's holding steady. We can call this race.

But here's why we can't. Because let's look at some of these areas. Let's stretch the state out a little bit. Up here in the north, very poorly, low population areas could come into play. If it's a very close race, they could come into play. Hundreds of votes up here. Probably not in most races, but if it's very, very close we'll be watching this late into the night.

And here's what we're watching right now. We're watching down in here. Here's the sea coast in Portsmouth. You see Barack Obama won here. He is this shade of blue. So what about in here? We want to see what happens there. That's one place to watch. Anything that's white, no precincts have come in. Some are more important than others. This -- Wolf, go ahead.

BLITZER: John, I just want to interrupt you, because I want to alert our viewers that the Associated Press, the Associated Press has now projected that Hillary Clinton will win -- will win the New Hampshire primary. CNN is not prepared -- repeat, not prepared to make that projection yet.

The Associated Press, based on their information, based on their exit polling, the actual numbers coming up, has now projected that Hillary Clinton will emerge the winner of the New Hampshire Democratic primary tonight. You're looking at Clinton campaign headquarters over there. And as we're reporting what the Associated Press is reporting, you can see her jubilant supporters out there very excited.

They're already calling her the Comeback Kid, referring to her husband Bill Clinton when he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination back in 1992. He came in second, actually, in New Hampshire. But that was enough for him to call himself the Comeback Kid.

Once again, the Associated Press projecting Hillary Clinton will beat Barack Obama and capture the Democratic presidential -- and the Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire. CNN is not yet ready to make that projection. We're still going over all of these numbers.

John King, let me go back for you. I interrupted you. But obviously, you used to work for the Associated Press. You're familiar with that organization.

KING: I am, and I may get interrupted again as we crunch these numbers, Wolf. I want to reset this a little bit and go back to say one of the reasons why I know my friends at the Associated Press made this call. Now we're not ready to make it yet, and I'll explain that in a second.

One of the reasons they did make it is something like this. You look in here to Manchester, the largest city. Let's come over here to Manchester, the largest city of the state of Manchester. You see the gap she has. She's held that gap all along. This is where the votes are, in the big cities. She's winning big. That's one of the reasons they feel comfortable.

Second largest city in the state of New Hampshire is Nashua. Again, Senator Clinton winning and winning by a large margin. That margin has held up as the other precincts come in, so you can make an argument that, in the big cities where the people are, she continues to win by wide margins. You would expect that to continue.

The reason we're being cautious is because Barack Obama is such a different candidate. He proved it in Iowa with young voters. So we want to see what's happening in places like this.

Let's stretch the map out just a little bit. Anything white on our map has not reported at all. You'll see the light blue, Senator Clinton, the dark blue, Senator Obama. Anything white, we have absolutely no votes counted.

Now we want to see some places more than others. One of them is right here. We were talking about this before the AP made the call. This is Durham. This is the University of New Hampshire. This is a place where Barack Obama thinks he can win. And with the margin right now, if he wins big, there are enough votes still at play that he could start making a comeback with Durham.

Let's try to get this to come out. Come out for me. OK. Let's press and hold. OK. There we go. Finally comes out. We want to go a little more south of that. Sometimes the map plays with you. Come on out. That's Hanover. That's Dartmouth College as well.

Now, Bill Clinton went out there to campaign just in the final hours to try and help out Senator Clinton. But again, there are enough votes here between Democrats and independents, and if Obama can run the board and post huge margins, he could come back.

So we're going to continue to watch this. It is clear, as you watch the votes here. This is statewide. Senator Clinton is holding a lead. But it's still a narrow lead. And in the white areas, we have no votes at all. And we have one, two, three and a few other college towns in here. Plus still some votes over here in the sea coast area of Portsmouth where you have Senator Obama wins here. We're still waiting for the votes here. So we're going to crunch these numbers, Wolf, a little bit longer.

Senator Clinton is holding up in the big cities of Manchester and Nashua. Significant leads, bigger leads than the Obama campaign wanted her to have there. They wanted it to be closer there.

Senator Clinton also came in very close in Concord, a city Obama won. It's a more liberal city. But he only won it by about 500 votes in the end. So if you're looking at these numbers now, they are favorable to Senator Clinton but there are still enough places out here that we still want to count the votes.

Now, as we continue our coverage, if you want to count the votes and watch them come in, go to CNN.com. You can get access to this fascinating information in real time. Look at the map. Look at all these towns yourself.

But for now, let's turn it back over to Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, John, thanks very much. I know we're crunching all of the numbers.

I want to go out to Candy Crowley. She's over at Clinton headquarters. Candy, they're excited out there. The AP reporting that they project Hillary Clinton will win the New Hampshire Democratic primary. We have not been able to do that yet.

But go ahead. Set the scene. What is about to happen, assuming that holds tonight? At some point Hillary Clinton will be speaking to those supporters and to all of us, in fact.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I mean, they are expecting, for the first time this evening, I can tell you the campaign officials do believe that she has won here tonight. High- fives being exchanged all around. You can hear this crowd behind me. I must say, they have CNN on, so that's part of the reason.

But they're obviously very jazzed here. I mean, they came in. They had five days to try to turn things around. They say that, in some districts, they saw as much as a 13-point swing in the last five days. So they are very excited. But they expect Senator Clinton will, in fact, obviously come here and talk to this crowd.

She will do a round of TV shows tomorrow morning. Then they do expect to kind of sit back, at least take that one day to try to figure out what next. They are going to beef up their staff as they were planning to do, win or lose, they say. They have to bring more people on.

They said, look, a lot of these people now that we're bringing on, we're with other campaigns who have dropped off. So that's how campaigns build. They were, obviously, looking at a campaign they thought was going to lose, but I can tell you right now, Wolf, this crowd and Clinton campaign officials believe that this is over and that they won in New Hampshire.

BLITZER: And hard numbers, Candy, with 68 percent of the precincts reporting. Senator Clinton remains ahead with 39 percent. Barack Obama 36 percent. It's been consistent almost from the beginning, approaching three hours since the polls closed.

This is a surprise because, as you and our viewers know, Candy, the polls, almost all of them, were projecting going into today, that Barack Obama would emerge the winner. And Hillary Clinton, obviously, if the Associated Press is right, if that projection holds, she will emerge the winner in New Hampshire.

CROWLEY: Absolutely. And let me tell you what they think made the difference here in New Hampshire. They say they made a mistake in Iowa by concentrating too much on older women.

They say, you know, they knew from the results there two things. First of all, that they had to make a bigger effort towards younger voters. And that they had to court women across the board, not just the older women who are the natural constituents of Hillary Clinton.

They said they didn't have much time to do it, but they really made a concerted effort to reach out to those voting groups. Younger and female younger in particular. See, they think that's what made the difference here.

BLITZER: About 6,000 votes now separating Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Six thousand with 69 percent of the precincts reporting. It's now 40 percent so far for Hillary Clinton, 36 percent for Barack Obama. So that underscores why they are so excited.

But I suspect that Hillary Clinton will wait awhile until more of these precincts have reported. Then she will come in, assuming she does win, if the Associated Press is correct in their projection. She will deliver a speech looking forward to the next process, the next state in this process.

Suzanne Malveaux is standing by over at Obama headquarters.

What's the feeling, Suzanne, as we let you tell us what's going on over there?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're announcing that Obama is going to come out shortly.

BLITZER: All right. Suzanne, I don't know if you can hear me, but if you can, you're saying that Obama is going to come out pretty soon. Is that what you are saying?

MALVEAUX: That's right, Wolf. They are saying, just at the podium just a moment ago, that he will be coming out shortly to speak to his supporters. She says that he's going to be talking about his vision for the future. She did not say that he would be conceding, but we know that he's in the building, he's been in the building for about 20 minutes or so. They've been keeping a very close eye on all of those different areas and the results. And we expect that he'll be coming out speaking to this crowd.

Obviously, I've been speaking with aides throughout the evening, and it is not the kind of results that they were thinking of when they saw the polls and had assumed that perhaps it might even be in double digits, a lead. So this is somewhat of a disappointment.

But again, we're not saying that Obama is conceding. We are saying that he's going to be coming out shortly to address the crowd. Many people I spoke with, the D.C. mayors is here, as well as Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick out here, talking about a new kind of New Hampshire, a new kind of voter, those who are going for the young vote.

He did a lot of work. We saw a lot of work in those college towns. Even this morning at Dartmouth College where he was trying to get out that last-minute vote and, really, pump up the crowds and pump up the young people.

But looking at some of the results, we see disappointing numbers when it comes to the young voters. Disappointing numbers when it comes to the women and also that fierce fight for the independent vote -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And you can be sure that when Barack Obama does speak, we'll be sharing his remarks with our viewers in the United States and around the world. We'll be watching Barack Obama. We'll be watching Hillary Clinton once she speak, as well.

Still a lot to unfold here as we watch all of this coverage go on. But give us a little flavor. Are they explaining behind the scenes, Suzanne, what might have happened between yesterday and right now? Because the earlier polls were showing a pretty decisive, pretty decisive lead for Barack Obama going in.

I want you to drink a little water because, clearly, you're losing your voice, a little bit, but that's understandable. You've been working really, really hard. All right. Clear your throat. Take a deep breath. I want to just let our viewers know what's going on.

And as we look at these numbers right now, 71 percent of the precincts have now reported. Hillary Clinton 39 percent. Barack Obama 36 percent. Still a close race. The Associated Press projecting that Hillary Clinton will capture New Hampshire tonight. We are not ready to say that yet, based on what we know.

Right now, though, raw numbers. The hard numbers, 71 percent of the precincts reporting. Hillary Clinton with 77,000 votes so far; 71,300 or so for Barack Obama.

And Barack Obama is about to walk out. It will be interesting to see whether or not he concedes, what he says. We remember his victory speech only the other day in New -- in Iowa. There's no doubt that many regarded that as a simply brilliant speech. And we'll hear what he has to say now. Barack Obama speaking before Hillary Clinton, speaking under the backdrop of the Associated Press projecting that he will come in second in New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton will come in first.

At the bottom of your screen, you can see him. He's beginning to walk up. He's getting some hugs from his supporters out there. Pretty soon he'll be walking up those stairs to the podium and addressing his supporters. In fact, addressing the nation right now.

To a certain degree, these candidates want to get out there and speak out earlier rather than later, because there's more people still awake, especially on the East Coast right now. And so they have an incentive to get out there and speak, even though all the precincts have not yet reported.

CNN has not yet been able to project a winner, even though the Associated Press has projected that Hillary Clinton will capture New Hampshire. Barack Obama captured Iowa. And, as you can see, this is a contest. This is a contest that's emerging right now. And it's going to go on into South Carolina and beyond.

Still, remember, a lot of major states on February 5, the big -- the big states, including -- including in California and New York.

Let me pause for a moment. We have our own projection.

And CNN is now ready to project that Hillary Clinton has won the New Hampshire primary. Hillary Clinton will emerge the victor tonight in New Hampshire. A huge comeback for her after a disappointing third-place finish in Iowa. But she managed to do it.

That is Hillary Clinton headquarters over there, campaign headquarters where they're cheering. They must have heard our projection right now, following the Associated Press' projection only minutes ago, that Hillary Clinton has come back. Hillary Clinton has emerged as the winner in New Hampshire.

A dramatic win for Hillary Clinton, setting the stage for a strong fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

And certainly, let's not count John Edwards out by any means. He's vowed to stay in this fight. They're moving on to South Carolina, his native state. So the battle continues between these Democratic presidential contenders.

Hillary Clinton will be addressing her supporters shortly. Barack Obama, we believe, will be speaking momentarily to his supporters. First, we're going to bring you his remarks. We'll bring you Hillary Clinton's remarks. All of that is coming up here from the CNN election center.

Excitement, enthusiasm and, even if Barack Obama does come in second, still a major accomplishment for him. He's getting ready to speak. Let's listen in to the junior senator from Illinois.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama! Obama! Obama!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama! Obama! Obama!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama! Obama! Obama!

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama! Obama! Obama!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama! Obama! Obama!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama! Obama! Obama!

OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you, guys. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Oh, thank you, New Hampshire. I love you back. Thank you. Thank you. Well, thank you so much. I am still fired up and ready to go. Thank you. Thank you.

Well, first of all, I want to congratulate Senator Clinton on a hard-fought victory here in New Hampshire. She did an outstanding job. Give her a big round of applause.

You know, a few weeks ago, no one imagined that we'd have accomplished what we did here tonight in New Hampshire. No one could have imagined it. For most of this campaign, we were far behind. We always knew our climb would be steep. But in record numbers, you came out. And you spoke up for change. And with your voices and your votes, you made it clear that at this moment, in this election, there is something happening in America.

There is something happening when men and women in Des Moines and Davenport in Lebanon and Concord come out in the snows of January to wait in lines that stretch block after block because they believe in what this country can be. There is something happening.

There's something happening when Americans who are young in age and in spirit, who have never participated in politics before, turn out in numbers we have never seen, because they know in their hearts that this time must be different.

There's something happening when people vote, not just for a party that they belong to but the votes -- the hopes that they hold in common. Whether we are rich or poor, black or white, Latino or Asian, whether we hail from Iowa or New Hampshire, Nevada, or South Carolina, we are ready to take this country in a fundamentally new direction. That's what's happening in America right now. Change is what's happening in America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want change! We want change! We want change! We want change! We want change!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want change! We want change! We want change! We want change! We want change!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want change! We want change! We want change! We want change! We want change!

OBAMA: You -- all of you who are here tonight, all who put so much heart and soul and work into this campaign, you can be the new majority who can lead this nation out of a long political darkness. Democrats, independents and Republicans who are tired of the division and distraction that has clouded Washington, who know that we can disagree without being disagreeable. Who understand -- who understand that if we mobilize our voices to challenge the money and influence that stood in our way and challenge ourselves to reach for something better, there is no problem we cannot solve. There is no destiny that we cannot fulfill.

Our new American majority can end the outrage of unaffordable, unavailable health care in our time. We can bring -- we can bring doctors and patients, workers and businesses, Democrats and Republicans together, and we can tell the drug and insurance industry that while they get a seat at the table, they don't get to buy every chair. Not this time. Not now.

Our new majority can end the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas and put a middle class tax cut in the pockets of working Americans who deserve it.

We can stop sending our children to schools with corridors of shame and start putting them on a pathway to success. We can stop talking about how great teachers are and start rewarding them for their greatness by giving them more pay and more support.

We can do this with our new majority. We can harness the ingenuity of farmers and scientists, citizens and entrepreneurs to free this nation from the tyranny of oil and save our planet from a point of no return.

And when I am president of the United States, we will end this war in Iraq and bring our troops home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!

OBAMA: We will end this war in Iraq. We will bring our troops home. We will finish the job. We will finish the job against al Qaeda in Afghanistan. We will care for our veterans. We will restore our moral standing in the world.

And we will never use 9/11 as a way to scare up votes, because it is not a tactic to win an election. It is a challenge that should unite America and the world against the common threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear weapons, climate change and poverty, genocide and disease.

All of the candidates in this race share these goals. All of the candidates in this race have good ideas. And all are patriots who serve this country honorably. But the reason our campaign has always been different, the reason we began this improbable journey almost a year ago is because it's not just about what I will do as president. It is also about what you, the people who love this country, the citizens of the United States of America, can do to change it.

That's what this election is all about. That's why tonight belongs to you. It belongs to the organizers and the volunteers and the staff who believed in this journey and rallied so many others to join the cause.

We know the battle ahead will be long. But always remember that, no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics. They will only grow louder and more dissent in the weeks and months to come. We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

For when we have faced down impossible odds, when we've been told we're not ready or that we shouldn't try or that we can't, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people. Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Yes, we can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

OBAMA: It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation. Yes, we can. It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail towards freedom through the darkest of nights. Yes, we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness. Yes, we can. It was the call of workers who organized, women who reached for the ballot, a president who chose the moon as our new frontier and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the promised land. Yes, we can to justice and equality.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

OBAMA: Yes, we can to opportunity and prosperity. Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can repair this world. Yes, we can. And so, tomorrow, as we take the campaign south and west, as we learn that the struggles of the textile workers in Spartanburg are not so different than the plight of the dishwasher in Las Vegas, that the hopes of the little girl who goes to the crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of L.A.

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