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Bill Richardson Dropping Out of Presidential Race; Can Clinton and McCain Ride Post-New Hampshire Wave?

Aired January 9, 2008 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We have got a whole new campaign ahead of us, with new battles already under way and two breaking stories tonight.
One breaking story: a candidate, Bill Richardson, reportedly getting out of the race; the other, a potential game-changer, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg doing the groundwork, we have learned, major groundwork needed to make a presidential run.

CNN's John King is working that story. He joins us now.

John, what have you learned?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we have learned that Mayor Bloomberg has asked his pollsters and other political advisers to assemble a vast database of information, voter registration, who might vote for an independent, voter trends, what they call micro-targeting in the political bases.

Now, why does he want all this information? He is, of course, debating -- even though he says he's not in public -- he's debating running for president as an independent. And they want the data together to analyze his potential chances.

It's a 50-state volume of information that has been collected by his pollsters and political advisers. We are told the analysis of that information has not yet begun. Mayor Bloomberg has a deadline in the early weeks of March, probably by March 3, to make his decision.

We know, in the past, his political advisers have talked to experts about ballot access, talked about the other legal and official hurdles they would have to face to do this. This is more of a political collection of information, Anderson, to see if he can study this data, the polling data, to see what the chances are, where you would target people, what your campaign message would be, what advertising message you might take.

So, Mayor Bloomberg now has that data. We're told the analysis, though, has not begun yet. A decision, again, from the mayor, a final decision, due the first week of March, we're told -- Anderson.

COOPER: And, John, do you know the timing of this decision? Does it have anything to do with Hillary Clinton's win last night?

KING: The timing does not. It has been months in the making. We're just learning of this data collection. But it's been ongoing, the process, for months.

But what happened in New Hampshire last night could impact the mayor's decision, because we are told he is be less likely to run if an apolitical, unifying figure, like Barack Obama, is the Democratic nominee, more likely to run if a more polarizing figure, like Hillary Clinton, who has very high negatives with independent voters. If she is the nominee of the Democratic Party, we are told, Mayor Bloomberg would take a much harder look at running.

COOPER: All right, we will have more with John King shortly.

John, thanks.

If you thought any candidate might take a break after the drama of New Hampshire, you would be wrong. With important battles in Michigan and South Carolina approaching, no one, at this stage, no one, can afford a day off.

Tonight and all today -- day today -- the candidates were running hard, and still trying to figure out exactly what happened last night. Hillary Clinton hit the morning shows fresh from her surprise New Hampshire win, then spent part of the day fund-raising.

Barack Obama has been fund-raising as well, after hitting a rally in New Jersey and scoring a big endorsement today from the Restaurant Workers Union in Nevada, where caucuses are coming up. John McCain, fresh off his big night, started the day in Grand Rapids, Michigan, capped it off in Charleston, South Carolina, an important battleground for him.

Mitt Romney, with two second-place finishes, also hitting the stump in Michigan, his home state and, of course, the state where his father, George Romney, was a popular governor in the 1960s -- polls there giving him a slight edge over John McCain and Mike Huckabee. But, hey, what do polls show?

And Mike Huckabee now funneling more resources into Michigan -- he spent the day in Greenville, South Carolina, and Spartanburg, closing out his hectic day in Myrtle Beach -- also in South Carolina, John Edwards, Fred Thompson. Rudy Giuliani campaigned in Florida.

We have a lot to focus on tonight. We begin, however, with Hillary Clinton, whose campaign was rebooted and reborn last night. When we were in New Hampshire on Monday night, you heard us say that the pollsters won't decide the race; neither will the experts; the voters will.

And, boy, did they ever. Nobody yet knows why exactly they voted the way they did. There are theories, of course, but no hard answers. The effect, however, is simple, and it's striking. New Hampshire gave the rest of the country a race on both sides, instead of a rush to a coronation.

CNN's Candy Crowley now with the "Raw Politics" of Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire comeback.




CROWLEY (voice-over): Election-night numbers tell a simple story. Fifty-seven percent of New Hampshire's Democratic voters were women. She won them by a 12-point margin.

Hillary Clinton was pulled back from the brink by the sisterhood of politics, drawn to Clinton's side in a mix of empathy, strategy, policy, and history.

CLINTON: I think I am an agent of change. I embody change. I think having the first woman president is a huge change.

CROWLEY: Clinton's strategists believe New Hampshire's turn towards her began in a debate held the weekend before the primary. They also believe she won them over with policy.

But, in the five days between losing the Iowa caucus and winning New Hampshire, something about Hillary Clinton connected with female voters in a way she did not in Iowa. There were what one Clinton strategist called a lot of women moments, situations familiar to female voters.

There was the debate moment.

CLINTON: Wait a minute. Now, wait a minute. I'm going to respond to this.

CROWLEY: It was scrutinized as a flash of anger, praised as a show of passion. And there was the protest moment. A two-man team stood up at an event shouting, "Iron my shirts."

CLINTON: Oh, the remnants of sexism alive and well tonight.


CROWLEY: And there was the poignant moment in the answer to a single question from a woman, how do you do this day in and day out? Clinton was tired and under the gun.

CLINTON: I just don't want to see us fall backwards, you know?

CROWLEY: It was endlessly analyzed on TV and questioned for its authenticity or praised for its spontaneity.

Beyond those apparently organic moments, there was the full-bore effort to correct what Clinton strategists say was a mistake in Iowa, a singular focus on turning out older women. Clinton broadened her outreach in New Hampshire, offering ride-alongs with Chelsea by her side, singling out young questioners in town hall meetings.

CLINTON: What other questions? Yes?

CROWLEY: She was backed by a savvy staff and thousands of volunteers who identified and wooed female voters for nearly a year. On election night, the biggest margin Clinton held among female voters was single working women. Their issues, job security, education, child care, form the base of Clinton's domestic agenda.

It's hard to tell the difference between campaign strategy and authenticity, but, in New Hampshire, a lot of things worked for Hillary Clinton.

CLINTON: I want to thank my entire family, particularly my mother, who is watching tonight.


CROWLEY: The woman moments probably didn't hurt.


COOPER: Candy joins us now, along with CNN senior political analyst David Gergen, and Ralph Reed, GOP strategist and former executive director of the Christian Coalition.

Candy, so, clearly, the key here for Clinton was women. How do they retool their campaign to continue to reach out to them?

CROWLEY: Well, they did a number of things.

I think they would tell you that, first of all, those moments that we talked about, when she appeared to be vulnerable, but, also, they talked about, listen, she needed to explain her experience, that they felt that the voters didn't have a real grip on what Hillary Clinton had done before. So, they feel as though she began to build, as they call it, that story arc.

And, so, she could link what she has been doing, who she is, to the policies that will affect the lives of the woman voters. And, again, those are home-and-hearth issues, Anderson. That's about education and that's about health care. So, they feel that she really made that connection.

Lastly, I had one of her advisers say to me that she was suffering from front-runner-itis, and that she obviously lost that coming out of Iowa, and she was much looser and much better on the campaign trail here in New Hampshire.

COOPER: David, she talked about last night finding her voice. Do you have any doubt, moving forward in the days and weeks ahead, that we're going to see more sort of sensitive moments from Hillary Clinton?


And I think -- I think we will see more moments like that, because they so clearly work for her. Anderson, in a presidential campaign, it's important to speak from your head, but it's also important to speak from your heart. And she wasn't doing that. And, in New Hampshire, she started speaking from her heart, and she reached the hearts of a lot of women who came out for her.

So, I think we will do -- see more of that. The delicate balancing act is how -- there's also been talk about a really aggressive campaign against Barack Obama, a very negative campaign. And, if she starts speaking from her heart, it's -- it's difficult to also be shrill about Obama or to go be too heavy-handed.

So, that's where she's going to find some balancing that may well be tricky for her.

COOPER: Well, I want to ask Ralph about that.

Obama commented on how formidable Clinton will be going forward, and -- and her husband as well. He said -- and I quote -- "We have to make sure that we take it to them, just like they take it to us. I come from Chicago politics. We're accustomed to rough-and-tumble."

There is a danger, though, for Democrats fighting against each other. I mean, there are a lot of supporters out there who would probably, you know, either vote for Clinton or vote for Obama. They are Democrats. Is there a danger of scaring off independents by -- by this kind of infighting?

RALPH REED, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No question, I think for both parties.

And I think, you know, what you really boil down to, Anderson, is you end up with the law of unintended consequences. You know, in the 1980s, when the Democrats created Super Tuesday, it was supposed to nominate a conservative Democrat from the South who could win a national election. Instead, the two top vote-getters on that day were Dukakis from Massachusetts and Jesse Jackson.

I think what you're looking at today, in terms of the dynamic of the primary process, is an accelerated, truncated, front-loaded primary calendar, 29 primaries in 30 days that was supposed to settle on a nominee on February 5.

If this thing remains this competitive, this nip-and-tuck, this fiercely fought, it's possible we could come out of February 5 with neither party having a true front-runner or consensus candidate.


REED: And that would mean you would -- you would fight and claw and scrap all the way to the convention.

COOPER: Candy, there's -- there's also news tonight Governor Bill Richardson is going to announce he -- he's dropping out of the race. Who benefits from that, if anyone? I mean...

CROWLEY: Well, hard to say anybody really benefits from that. He had, I think, 4 percentage points here in New Hampshire. He barely registered in Iowa. So, I don't think that really helps anyone at this point.

Listen, obviously, John Edwards is still in it. They do believe, in the Obama camp, that, in fact, John Edwards does pull votes away from Obama, if you look at both those campaigns as being about change. So, there's that going on. But this is, at this point, a two-person race.

Now, the Edwards people can lay out a scenario by which they -- they come back and, you know, they emerge the nominee. But the more likely scenario is that we really have the sort of megastar battle. And they will go at each other. Both camps have promised that.

They will say, oh, we're just contrasting opinions; this isn't personal. But, you know, it always gets a little person. And it almost has to, because it is so tight.

COOPER: David, to Ralph's point, do you see this going past Super Tuesday?

GERGEN: I'm sorry?

COOPER: To Ralph Reed's earlier point, do you see this going past Super Tuesday, this thing remaining this close?


GERGEN: Exactly. I think there's a very -- I think there's a very good chance of that.

And, if I may say so, Anderson, whether you like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, I think that's good for the candidates and good for the country. You know, we were in a rush towards a coronation just a few days ago. And now there's going to be a much longer time to really test these candidates, for the country to get to know them better.

We -- I think we now realize we didn't know Hillary Clinton quite as well as we thought we might, and we certainly don't know Barack Obama very well. And I can tell you, in the rest of the country -- I'm out here in California tonight -- and people here are very, very enthusiastic about the fact that they are now going to have a chance to express their voices. And it could be a pivotal election out here.

So, I think -- I think this is fundamentally good for everybody. And the candidate who emerges from this on both sides will be a stronger candidate for a longer campaign.

COOPER: Man, it's going to be a long, long campaign.


COOPER: We are going to have more from our panel in just a moment.

GERGEN: It's going to be a long time.

COOPER: Yes. We're going to have more from our panel in a moment.

The polls got it wrong, of course, last night. You could always get your predictions elsewhere, from bookies, for instance. Believe it or not, they are gambling right now on a much bigger victory ahead for Clinton. Here's the "Raw Data"

While you can make this kind of bet in Vegas, Ladbrokes, which I'm told is the biggest bookmaker in Britain, gives Clinton 5-4 odds that she will be the next president. Barack Obama is 2-1. The Ladbrokes line on John McCain shows him at 7-2. For Rudy Giuliani, it's 7-1, and 10-1 for Mike Huckabee.

Place your bets.

We will focus more on the Republican side when we come back, but also on the roots of Hillary Clinton's surprise win, why those polls predicted one thing, and the voters did something else.


COOPER (voice-over): The science of polling. It wasn't supposed to look like this. How did so many pollsters, pundits and pooh-bahs end up so wrong by so much? We're "Keeping Them Honest."

Also, they talk a good game.

CLINTON: I found my own voice.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is something happening in America.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I will be the next president of the United States with your help.


COOPER: How the candidates are selling themselves -- 360 tonight.




MCCAIN: Not often is my name associated with the word kid, but, as I said last night, we certainly showed them what a comeback is all about.




COOPER: A good night, a busy day earlier today on the campaign trail in Michigan. The 71-year-old John McCain can joke about being called the comeback kid, but his victory in New Hampshire was commanding. It is a whole new day for John McCain.

Mike Huckabee is still close by. And Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and Fred Thompson, well, they are in pursuit as well.

Again, here's CNN's John King on what is still a very wide-open Republican race.


KING (voice-over): In boxing terms, it's rematch time. New Hampshire's Republican winner sees the stakes as enormous.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We won New Hampshire. We will win Michigan. We will win South Carolina. We will win the nomination, and I will be the next president of the United States, with your help.


KING: Michigan is the next piece of the jumbled Republican nominating puzzle, so McCain celebrated, but also moved quickly to address the dominant issue in a state where the unemployment rate is 7.4 percent.

MCCAIN: We are a Judeo-Christian-valued nation. And we cannot leave these great Americans behind. I want to tell you, I will help you create new jobs.


KING: Romney arrived a few hours later. His dad was governor here, so Romney says he takes Michigan's struggles personally and claims the necessary fix-it skills from his days in business and as Massachusetts governor.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I'm going to use all those years of experience and my love for this state to go to work for Michigan to end the one-state recession and make sure Michigan has a bright and promising future.


KING: Romney had hoped to win Iowa and New Hampshire, but placed second in both. And, after spending $70 million, including $20 million of his own fortune, Romney is pulling TV ads from South Carolina and pouring more money into what could be a do-or-die push in Michigan. ROMNEY: I'm going to get a big gold right here in Michigan, the first really big state.


KING: McCain would take command of the race with a win here. But, while his comeback brings new energy, it also raises old questions, among them, whether McCain's new emphasis on immigration will satisfy conservatives, who revolted last summer when the senator pushed to give legal status to millions here illegally.

He acknowledged the political toll on the flight from New Hampshire.

MCCAIN: I think it's hurt me everywhere. But we will continue to send the message that we have to secure the borders. The borders will be secured first.

KING: After Michigan, all bets are off. The race heads south, South Carolina, to be exact, where former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee hopes the evangelicals help him match his win in Iowa.

Huckabee barely mentioned his social conservative views while in libertarian New Hampshire, where he finished third, and immediately returned to his anti-abortion message in South Carolina, a state he says feels just like home.

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I want you to know, I'm not confused about the value of a human life. And it's not something I have had to wrestle with and change my mind over.

KING: The wild card remains Rudy Giuliani. He finished fourth in New Hampshire and continues to bank on a risky strategy. The former New York City mayor headed to Florida, insisting again he can afford to lose early, as long as he wins the Sunshine State in three weeks.


COOPER: A very tight race.

John King joins us again, along with CNN senior political analyst David Gergen and Republican strategist Ralph Reed.

John, what are the unknowns for John McCain in South Carolina?

KING: Well, in South Carolina, Anderson, that's where he went off the rails in 2000. He's hoping for momentum here out of Michigan. Then he goes into South Carolina.

Mike Huckabee has the evangelical support. To be honest with you, the McCain campaign is hoping that Fred Thompson, on what his campaign calls his last stand, peels off some of that social conservative vote. And then McCain hopes to win the establishment Republicans, which seems a bit at odds with his maverick image. But he does have, on paper, most of the Bush organization from four years ago. They more or less went dormant when McCain fell in the polls over the summertime. But he's hoping, with momentum, the Republicans will look -- senior Republicans will look around and say, this is our best shot.

COOPER: And, Ralph, you agree, Fred Thompson -- this is Fred Thompson's last -- South Carolina is Fred Thompson's last stand?

REED: It sure looks like it.

COOPER: I think you have called it, his campaign, sort of the greatest implosion in politics. And I'm sure the -- that's not the exact quote. But, I mean, what happened?

REED: Well, I think that it's a lesson of why this is a marathon, and not a sprint.

I think, in the end, he waited too late to get in. He's a very attractive candidate. He's got a lot of very compelling qualities. But, when you wait until after Labor Day to get in, you have basically got 100 days between then and the turn of the year to raise your money and build your organization. It's tough.

What I -- what I think will be the -- the narrative coming out of South Carolina, no matter what the result is, is: Is John McCain able to make the transition from being a maverick contrarian sort of backbencher within his own party, to being a leader of the coalition that would lead to a majority?

COOPER: And do we know the answer to that question?

REED: I don't think we know it today, but I think, if I were John McCain, I would be worried about the fact that, in South Carolina, you're going to be looking at somewhere between 45 percent and 60 percent of the vote is going to be self-identified evangelical, born-again.

If Mike Huckabee does as well with that vote in South Carolina as he did in Iowa, and if -- and if Romney can pull out a victory in -- in Michigan, then it's going to be hard for McCain to do very well among that group.

COOPER: David, Romney now redirected his resources in Michigan, after two-second place finishes, and basically a retooling of his message. What does he take away from New Hampshire? What kind of a campaign does he run now?

GERGEN: Well, he's grievously wounded.

You know, he's -- he's now going to try go -- in Michigan, he will live off the memories of his father, who was a wonderfully popular governor of Michigan some 40 years ago. And he is -- you know, his strength is on the economic side. So, he may have a shot there. But, if he doesn't win in Michigan, he ought to pull out. There's no point in going on. And, if I may say so, I -- I think this race -- it's good for the Republicans to go on here, too. And I -- I have a soft spot for John McCain. I -- whether he wins or loses this, he now, a man who has given enormously to this country, can walk away from this race with much more dignity than he had only a couple of months ago. So, you know, this was a nice victory for him last night.

COOPER: Ralph, does the tenor of the race on the Republican side change noticeably, you know, over the next couple weeks?

REED: Well, one thing is for sure. And that is that the rather informal compact between Huckabee and -- and McCain to beat Romney in New Hampshire will now come unraveled in South Carolina.

They both want to win there. They probably both need to win there in order to get the kind of ticket into February 5 that they want. But I think what will be interesting to see is who is able to build the kind of grassroots ground game in South Carolina to turn their vote out.

I expect it to be very hard-fought, very competitive. I think that -- without counting anybody out, I think that Huckabee and McCain will be battling for the lead. And, if Romney can pull out a victory, as I said, in Michigan -- the reality is, Anderson, that right now anybody who tells you they know what's going to happen in the Republican Party is lying.

COOPER: Right.

REED: This is the political equivalent of a physical world without gravity.


REED: We have never seen anything like this. We have never had a wide-open presidential contest in the Republican Party, without a true front-runner, since at least 1952, and maybe since 1948.

COOPER: And, John, I mean, after Michigan, there's -- there's Nevada, South Carolina -- and then South Carolina.

As -- as Ralph was talking about, we may have four or five different winners from the first five contests, which is exactly what the Giuliani campaign had kind of hoped for, or at least said they had hoped for, chaos going to the Florida primary.

Is Giuliani still alive?

KING: He is still alive if he gets that chaos. If Romney wins Michigan, South Carolina goes to somebody else, then Giuliani is potentially still alive.

But, if McCain wins Michigan and Romney is pushed to the sidelines, then it's a much, much different equation, because Rudy Giuliani would have lost five contests in a row, six if you count Wyoming, Anderson. And psychology takes hold at some point. If you look at the polling even in Florida, his lead has narrowed significantly. His support among conservatives is dropping a lot. His rationale was that he could beat Hillary Clinton. Republicans aren't so sure she's going to be the nominee anymore.

So, yes, he's still alive, but I would say he's on life support depending on fracture until we get to Florida.

COOPER: We're going to have to leave it there.

John King, Ralph Reed, David Gergen, gentlemen, thank you very much. Good talk.

We're going to have more on the race for the White House coming up, including the polls and why they were so wrong.

First, Erica Hill joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the Pentagon says it may send 3,000 more Marines to Afghanistan in the coming months, as it prepares for a spring offensive against the Taliban.

Meantime, in Iraq, north of Baghdad, six U.S. soldiers were killed in a house explosion. They were on patrol when the IED exploded. Four other soldiers were wounded.

In Dawson County, Georgia, bond denied for the 61-year-old man suspected of killing a hiker. Meredith Emerson's body was found on Monday night, almost a week after she disappeared. Authorities say Gary Hilton led them to Emerson's body. Police are now looking into whether Hilton may be linked to other hiking murder cases in North Carolina. And, also, he's been named the prime suspect in a murder of a woman in Florida.

In L.A., federal prosecutors now considering whether to charge a woman with defrauding MySpace by allegedly creating a false account and using it to harass a Missouri teen who ultimately killed herself. A federal grand jury has issued subpoenas as it looks into the suicide of Megan Meier. The 13-year-old thought she was communicating with a boy on that MySpace site, but police say it was actually the mother of one of Megan's former friends, who was sending her cruel messages.

And U.S. Marshals say the second of two inmates who escaped from a New Jersey jail last month has been captured in Mexico acting on a tip. The other inmate was caught last night just six blocks from the jail. Authorities say the men pulled off a daring prison escape by digging a whole through a cinder block wall, jumping onto a roof, then over a 20-foot-high razor wire fence.

But, again, both now in custody -- Anderson.

COOPER: Well, that's certainly good news. It's like something out of a movie.

Erica, stay right there. I got to tell you how -- about an incredible story here in New York. A man is found dead, but not until after police say his roommate and another guy tried to steal his money in a very creative, but highly illegal way. "What Were They Thinking?" That's next.

Plus, more on Hillary's big win last night in New Hampshire -- the pollsters were dead wrong. She didn't lose, so why were the numbers so off? We're "Keeping Them Hones."


COOPER: Erica, time for "What Were They Thinking?"

This is just crazy. Two men have been arrested here in New York City after police say they wheeled a dead man through the streets in an office chair to a check-cashing store and then tried to cash his Social Security check.

HILL: That is wrong on so many levels, Anderson.

COOPER: Bizarre.


COOPER: According to police, witnesses say the dead man was flopping around from side to side on the chair. The two suspects kept trying to prop him up.

At first, police say the suspects left the body outside the store, but the store clerk knew who the checks belonged to, and asked the suspects where he was. At that point, a police detective who was eating at a restaurant next to the cash-check store...


COOPER: ... noticed a huge crowd around the dead body propped up in the chair, and he called for more police on the scene.

When they showed up, investigators say the two men were getting ready to wheel the body into the check-cashing store. And that's when police decided to arrest them. They never got their hands on $355.

HILL: I mean, really?


HILL: What is wrong with people?

COOPER: Only in New York.

By the way, investigators say it appears the man died at the age of 66 of natural causes. The suspects are the dead man's roommate and another guy.


COOPER: They now face check fraud charges, and could star in a revival of the movie "Weekend at Bernie's." HILL: Maybe.

COOPER: Their alleged moves are right out of that movie.


HILL: Wasn't there -- wasn't there always a "Weekend at Bernie's II"?

COOPER: I think there probably was.

HILL: I don't think I ever saw it. I mean, clearly, not as good as the original.

COOPER: Netflix, that's what it's all about.

HILL: But here we go, number three.

COOPER: Still ahead: the New Hampshire surprise. How could the polls be so wrong? Was race a factor? We will take a closer look next.


COOPER: All right.

New Hampshire and Iowa were just the beginning, of course. The candidates still in the race now face a grueling four-week marathon. More than a half-a-dozen primaries and caucuses stand between them and Super Tuesday on February 5. It could even go longer than that, every contest, of course, a potential opportunity or obstacle.

CNN's Jeffrey Toobin joins me now with a look at what is ahead.

What is ahead?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: So, it's just been -- it's going to be an extraordinary month.

Just to keep in perspective, here we are, on January -- on January 9.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: Next up is the Michigan primary, only for the Republicans, in -- and, you know, it is Mitt Romney's last stand. He has canceled his advertising everywhere else, as you have reported. And, you know, it's do -- it's do or die for him.

Next up is the 19th, and there we have two events. In the afternoon the Democrats in Nevada have a caucus, and that -- that will be over by evening. And then at night we'll get the results of the South Carolina Republican primary, as you've been talking about, Fred Thompson's only chance, Huckabee, McCain. South Carolina is always critical on the Republican side. Then on Monday, the 21st, the Congressional Black Caucus will have a Democratic debate in South Carolina, which we'll be covering. And then the 26th, the Democrats go to South Carolina. And this is the first time the black vote is going to matter.

The DNC, Democratic National Committee, scheduled this debate, scheduled this primary because African-Americans hadn't really had a voice in the nomination earlier -- in earlier years. Half the black -- half of the Democratic vote is -- is black in the -- in South Carolina.

COOPER: This is a pretty dumb question, but why don't they have the primary on the same day for Republicans and Democrats?

TOOBIN: You know, South Carolina is different from all other states in that the parties finance the election, not the state. So the parties decide when they want to have it, and they decided for other -- you'll recall, this calendar has been in chaos for the past year.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: So after the 26th we have Florida. Again, only the Republicans. And this is where Rudy Giuliani is putting all his chips. I mean, he has got to win here. He's had no showing at all in Iowa, New Hampshire. He's not making an effort in Michigan. He's not making much of an effort in South Carolina. He's -- he's betting on Florida. McCain will be there, Huckabee will be there.

COOPER: And the 30th, there's the debate at the library.

TOOBIN: Debate at the Reagan Library, 31st debate in Los Angeles for the Democrats, and that takes us to Super Tuesday.

COOPER: I don't even want to look at that.

TOOBIN: It's just extraordinary. It's easier to tell what's not being -- having their primary than what is.

COOPER: This could go on even past Super Tuesday, as Ralph Reed was talking about.

TOOBIN: Starting to look that way.

COOPER: Jeff, thanks a lot.

As Jeff mentioned, the stakes are certainly high in South Carolina. CNN joins the Congressional Black Caucus for the Democratic debate on January 21. And (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Wolf Blitzer, Suzanne Malveaux, Joe Johns will moderate. It is at 8 p.m. Eastern, followed by a special edition of 360 at 10, of course.

And coming up tonight, crunching the numbers: will you ever trust a poll again? Should you?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COOPER (voice-over): The science of polling. It wasn't supposed to look like this. How did so many pollsters, pundits and poobahs end up so wrong by so much? We're "Keeping Them Honest."


COOPER: Well, political polls are hardly an exact science. Still, for the most part they have been reliable, but then came yesterday. Across the board the pollsters and the pundits had Barack Obama with a wide lead over Hillary Clinton. Even her own campaign had her losing. So what happened?

Well, "Keeping Them Honest," here's CNN's senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.


BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): All the pre- primary polls predicted an Obama victory in New Hampshire. Why did they get it wrong? The blogs are full of speculation.

ABBI TATTON, INTERNET REPORTER: Some of the things out there, how can you trust polling in the age of cell phones when the pollsters aren't reaching all these people? Was it the weather?

SCHNEIDER: Much was made of the theory that white voters lied to pollsters, saying they will vote for a black candidate but not doing so. That doesn't seem to have happened in New Hampshire, where almost all the voters were white.

Eight New Hampshire polls taken after the Iowa caucuses all showed Obama beating Clinton by seven points on the average. To keep them honest, we compared those polls with the actual vote. The big discrepancy was in the Clinton vote. She got nine points more support than the polls predicted.

Edwards' vote was close. Obama's vote was right on target, 37 percent in the polls, 37 percent in the primary. Obama got exactly what the polls predicted. No evidence of a racial effect.

What the polls did not detect from the voters is whether they would vote for Hillary Clinton, a hidden Hillary vote. What brought it out?

Concern about the economy, for one thing. That was the top issue for Democrats. Senator Clinton did well among voters who said their big concern was the economy and among those who said they were falling behind financially.

Another theory, Clinton's troubles prompted greater numbers of women to come out and support her. They were told over and over that, if Senator Clinton suffered a big loss in New Hampshire, her campaign might be over. Did they really want to vote against the first woman with a serious chance of becoming president?

There's a lot of speculation that late-deciding women, especially older ones, came out for Clinton because of her show of emotion the day before the vote.

TATTON: One idea that I'm seeing out there today is the idea that women voters saw the media playing those clips of Hillary's tears again and again and again in the last few days, and they didn't like it. And the women voters voted not just for Hillary but against the media and what they were doing.

SCHNEIDER (on camera): Polls do make mistakes, but it's rare that eight polls all make the same mistake, and the polls did get the Republican race right.

Something actually happened at the end of the New Hampshire race. The hidden Hillary vote came out of hiding.

Bill Schneider, CNN, New York.


COOPER: As you just heard Bill Schneider saw no apparent racial effect in Clinton's win over Obama yesterday or in the answers to polls, but some did, insisting that the pollsters were lied to by people who said race wouldn't be a factor in how they voted when it really was. The theory is called the Bradley erect. It's happened to candidates in the past.

Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown University professor joins us now. He's the author of "Debating Race" and an Obama supporter who believes it did play a part yesterday. CNN political analyst Amy Holmes says it did not. Both join me now.

Michael, I want to start with you. You say that race was a factor in the surprise results in New Hampshire. How so?

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: Well, I'm saying that it was a potential factor here. I don't have any empirical evidence to substantiate my claim. I'm saying that not only the Bradley effect so to speak. There are many factors here. The female vote was incredibly increased. The weather may have played a part. The late, you know, assault upon Hillary Clinton and her response to it, her rebuttal through tears were all critical factors.

And I think that it would be silly to deny the legitimacy of a potential racial factor here, even though I think Barack Obama obviously has the ability to transcend those racial differences to unify the country in a very powerful way.

So I'm saying it is -- it is likely. It is at least potentially real that race played a factor. I'm not suggesting...


DYSON: ... that racial animus played any factor here.

COOPER: Amy, your take?

AMY HOLMES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, I think that there's a theory to suit every flavor here. If you think that women just like a good cry, then you'll think that those clips of Hillary tearing up might have made the difference, if you like the theory of a damsel in distress.

But you know, I think, actually, the least persuasive argument was that race played a part. To believe that you'd have to believe that those women who put Hillary over the finishing line had some hidden racial animus, more so than men, who Obama was able to win in New Hampshire last night.

A second thing: if those voters were lying to the pollster going in, why would they then all of a sudden tell the truth in coming out and saying that they did vote for Hillary? If they had this shameful racial hidden secret, wouldn't we see, like, some bizarre discrepancy between the exit polling between people who said that they voted for Obama, in the final tally?

COOPER: Amy, the Pew Research Center -- the Pew Research Center, as you know, did an analysis of high-profile sort of bi-racial elections stretching back to the early '80s. They did find that, until recently, white candidates often end up doing much better than polls suggested, while African-American candidates did about the same as polls suggested, which was exactly the scenario last night.

DYSON: Yes. And I think...

HOLMES: You know, Anderson, that's the question that we answer. Marist (ph) also just today did research into this and cited the example of, you know, Dinkins versus Giuliani. What happened was there was a late-breaking story of corruption, and the polling that they had done on Dinkins came out exactly that way.

You know, Anderson, I think the problem wasn't that there were too many polls. I think it was that there weren't enough. And you didn't have polling on that very day of the election of those late- breaking deciders to show you where they were headed.

DYSON: Well, I think that, aside from the hyperbole that Any has engaged in, Anderson...

HOLMES: I don't know why you're calling that hyperbole. It's simply a fact.

DYSON: Hyperbole in this sense, that there is empirical evidence, as you've already substantiated, Anderson, that there's been a pattern here. So it seems to me that you have to go out of your way to deny the legitimacy and the credibility of a common-sense understanding. Let me finish, a common sense understanding that race might be a variable.

I find it interesting that you go out of your way to deny the legitimacy. All I'm saying is that race is one among many variables that could have potentially played an impact upon the outcome of this election.

HOLMES: Yes, but you're also saying that you don't have any evidence of that. I haven't heard any reporters drag out any of those voters to say, "Yes, I did..."

COOPER: Are you saying that there's no way that race was a variable in this?

HOLMES: I'm not suggesting that there's no way. But I'm saying that the burden of that explanation is on the people that are proffering that theory. And I would say that there are many different theories to explain this discrepancy. That's one of them that could be possible.

COOPER: Michael...

HOLMES: If you're actually interested in the answer to this question...


HOLMES: ... I would suggest that you study it with empirical evidence. You have those tools at your disposal.

COOPER: Well, Michael, you said that some comments made by both Hillary and Bill Clinton recently about Obama are perhaps suddenly injecting race into the election. How so?

DYSON: Hence I think Amy's disingenuous comment about empirical verification, when we know that implicit and tacit arguments about race abounds, such as Bill Clinton suggesting be careful here, because you know, we've got to get this country back in control, in the sense that we're playing dice with the country or that this is the greatest fairytale.

Amy should know, and if she doesn't, we would be happy to instruct her, that racial signification happens in many ways and that the Morse Code of racial intent is, in one sense, communicated very powerfully.

I think Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, whether intentionally or not, play into an existing body and sentiment and racial passion in this country that will be enflamed when you imply a black man can't run the country. Now, the empirical information for that would be there's been no black president in the history of this country.

COOPER: Amy, I want you to be able to respond to that.

HOLMES: You know, I've had these sorts of argument with the professor where he tries to impugn my character, tries to impugn my agenda here. I'm simply suggesting if race is a factor that burden of proof is on the person who's trying to assert that. And I would also suggest -- hold on.

COOPER: So Amy, do you believe that Bill Clinton has been using a Morse Code to bring race into this?

HOLMES: Well, you know, I don't know if that's Bill Clinton's intent. Perhaps it could be read that way by voters. But I would really suggest, Anderson, that this is a very dangerous territory to get into for suggesting that this is going on, because it does the work of the racist who would be suppressing the black vote.

DYSON: Not at all. It calls him to account for it. All I'm doing is calling him to account for...

HOLMES: Professor Dyson, let me finish.

DYSON: ... the consequence of in the culture.

HOLMES: Take your advice (ph) and let me finish. Let me finish, please.

COLMES: Let her finish.

HOLMES: Let me finish.

DYSON: That's clearly an example.

HOLMES: Let me finish. Which is that we know going into this election that there was a lot of concern among black voters that white voters would not vote for Barack Obama, and thus, black voters were reluctant to cast their votes behind him.

If we go down this path, without any evidence, we are telling those black voters that those fears are legitimate and that, in fact, suppresses their vote. And I think that it distorts this election in very unfortunate ways.

DYSON: I think it's unquestionable that Barack Obama is able to leapfrog ahead of all of the race-denying factors that are here. I think he's been an incredibly powerful transcendent figure who's been able to unify the country beyond the animus of racial discourse.

On the other hand, I think it would be ludicrous and, you know, preposterous to deny the legitimacy of race as a credible factor. All I'm suggesting is that, among many variables, race plays a role. The history of this country...

HOLMES: You're suggesting race may play a role and you have no evidence of that.

DYSON: I'm saying the evidence is the history of racial animus in this country, the denial of opportunity to African-American people to serve at the highest level. And Barack Obama has already -- let me finish.

Barack Obama is now an example of a person who would be able to do so, and that's why I applaud his own candidacy for the presidency of the United States, which I think he'll be successful at.

COOPER: You both stated your opinions very well. Michael Eric Dyson, I appreciate it.

Amy Holmes, appreciate it, as well.

Moving on now, we're going to talk about the candidates talking about themselves. Barack Obama's "yes, we can," New Hampshire speech inspired the faithful, but who are his oratory inspirations? Maybe a little JFK, a little MLK?

And while John McCain is pulling from Reagan's playbook, perhaps, Hillary Clinton, well, she sounds a little like another Clinton. That's coming up.

Plus our "Shot of the Day." Extreme surfing Pacific Northwest style, and we're talking about extreme. An 80-foot wave. Wait until you see the top of that thing.

Stick around. We'll be right back.


COOPER: On the campaign trail, all the presidential candidates, Democrats and Republicans, are under the microscope. It's not just what they are saying that's being noticed. It's how they're saying it. If you're feeling a huge wave of deja vu, well, you're not alone. In 2008 everything old is new again.

Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is something happening in America.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What is happening is an explosion of inspirational words that some pundits say rival the best stump speeches ever, and the senator who sounds like a preacher is leading the revival.

OBAMA: Yes, we can. It was the call of workers who organized, women who reached for the ballots, 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we can. Yes, we can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we can. Yes, we can.

FOREMAN: All the superlative speech-making is no accident.

REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: And I've seen the promised land.

FOREMAN: Obama is channeling Martin Luther King Jr. and John Kennedy.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is the beginning of a great new day.

FOREMAN: And other candidates are drawing on the past, too, specifically through their choice of words. SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My friends, I didn't go to Washington to go along to get along or to play it safe to serve my own interests. I went there to serve my country.

FOREMAN: John McCain is clearly making a link to President Ronald Reagan, who said, "my friends" all the time.


MCCAIN: My friends.

REAGAN: What I promise you, my friends.

My friends, the wall is crumbling.

MCCAIN: Thank you, my friends.


FOREMAN: Bill Clinton took the White House from the first President Bush talking about health care, oil profits, the cost of education, the collapsing middle class, and Hillary Clinton's campaign echoes many of his issues and words.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to rebuild a strong and prosperous middle class. And to me, that is the most important job the next president will have here at home, because if we don't begin to pay attention to the people who do the work and raise the families and make this country great, we will not recognize America in a few years.

FOREMAN: John Edwards was saying much the same thing a full four years ago, but as many political observers have noticed, at some point almost every candidate borrows ideas, words and even their speaking style from someone else.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think you have to have somebody from outside Washington who has proven that he can get the job done.

FOREMAN (on camera): In some ways it's unavoidable. If your background is in business like Mitt Romney, of course, you sound like past campaigners who talked about a business-like approach to government.

(voice-over) If you're a former minister like Mike Huckabee, well, praise the Lord and pass the familiar folksiness.

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We just sense that we were going to do better than a lot of people thought that this old unknown southern boy could possibly do up here in New England.

FOREMAN: So is all of this adding up to the best season of political speeches in decades? Maybe. And then we've heard that before, too.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Up next on 360, President Bush's war of words with Iran and the search for a pregnant Marine who vanished right before she was supposed to testify about something she saw at Camp Lejeune.

Also ahead, a woman caught on tape stuffing a Chihuahua in her jacket. I know we've asked this a few times tonight, but what was she thinking? It's all ahead. It's "The Shot" tonight on 360.


COOPER: Just ahead, walls of water 80 feet high. Most us would be terrified. I certainly would, but check out this guy. Four of the world's best surfers had the ride of their lives. It's "The Shot" tonight.

But first, Erica Hill joins us with a "360 Bulletin."


ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Anderson, it is real. President Bush beginning his Middle East trip with tough words for Iran just one day after the Pentagon released a video showing Iranian boats confronting U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf. It happened over the weekend. No shots were fired.

Today Iran claimed that video was a fake. President Bush in turn called Iran a threat to world peace and warned of serious consequences if Iran does attack any U.S. ships.

In Alabama, authorities say a father has confessed to throwing his four young children off an 80-foot bridge a day after he reported him missing. The relative said the suspect has a drug habit and had argued with his wife before taking the children from their home on Monday. Searchers, meantime, are still looking for the bodies. The children range from 3 years to just 1 month old.

In North Carolina authorities are concerned about a 20-year-old pregnant Marine who's been missing since mid-December. Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach was reportedly expected to testify about an incident she witnessed at Camp Lejeune. On Monday her car was found outside a local bus station. Her cell phone was actually recovered last month at Camp Lejeune's front gate.

And a woman is seen stuffing a Chihuahua puppy under her jacket. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) The 26-year-old woman stole the tiny dog, said to be worth $1,600, from a Florida pet store on Monday. Yesterday she return the little guy unharmed and was charged with grand theft.

I mean, really? I've got two issues with that. No. 1, she's trying to steal the puppy by shoving it under her shirt. Clearly, honey, there's something in your shirt. It's obvious. And it's not you're, you know, it's not like a nursing baby or something.

COOPER: Right, right.

HILL: And the other thing is $1,600 for a dog?


HILL: I'm appalled.

COOPER: There's that.

HILL: Save the dog.

COOPER: That's just not right.

HILLS: It's wrong.

COOPER: Stay ahead -- stay around, Erica, for "The Shot" just ahead. Some of the biggest waves ever surfed and walls of water. The pictures are incredible. You're going to want to check them out. That's next.


COOPER: Time for "The Shot." The west coast got pummeled last weekend by one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the northern Pacific. For some, obviously, it was a disaster, widespread flooding, but for some world-class surfers it was paradise.

Take a look at this. Forty-two-year-old Mike Parsons, one of the most experienced big wave surfers in the world. And check out the wave that he is riding. It is simply huge. Parsons and three friends of his surfed waves more than 80 feet high in the wake of the storm.

That wave is just incredible. They had just a short window to work within. A second storm was bearing down.

HILL: Wow.

COOPER: They had some serious wipeouts. No one was hurt, though. And now they have very major bragging rights.

HILL: Yes, indeed they do. Which actually reminds me of another extreme surfing moment. Perhaps you recall, Anderson. South central Alaska, remember this.

As you know, glaciers can produce monster waves like this one, which world champion surfers Gary McNamara and Kealii -- I know I'm mispronouncing that -- Mamala rode into surfing history. And I remember at the time we last talked about it there was question as to whether or not the video was real.


HILL: But I believe, in fact, they did come out and say, "Yes, it's real." COOPER: Well, if they came out and said it's real, it is real.

HILL: Exactly. Anyway, it makes -- if nothing else, it's good to look at.

COOPER: It must have been cold.

HILL: Just a little chilly. I recommend the wet suit.

COOPER: Yes. We want you to send us your "Shot" ideas. If you see some big waves some people surfing them, tell us about it:

Up next, Clinton's comeback, her victory in New Hampshire almost everyone said wouldn't happen. So how could the pollsters get it so wrong? We're "Keeping Them Honest" continues. It continues after the break.