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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Super Tuesday: Clinton Wins New York
Aired February 5, 2008 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Coming up at the top of the hour, Anderson, we're taking a look at the polls that are closing in seven states Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota. You see the D at that -- behind Kansas, New Mexico and North Dakota. Those are Democratic contests only in those three states. The other states -- Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota and New York -- have both Democratic and Republican caucuses.
We're ready to get to the top of the hour.
CNN projects that Hillary Clinton will carry her home state of New York. Hillary Clinton carrying New York State. A lot of delegates at stake in New York. But remember, she carries the state, but those delegates will be distributed according to Congressional districts proportionately. It doesn't necessarily mean she'll get all of those delegates. Two hundred and eighty-one delegates are up for grabs in New York State.
And there you can see Hillary Clinton headquarters right here in Manhattan. They're celebrating that she has carried New York State. She has represented New York State since she was elected in the Senate and then re-elected to the United States Senate. Barack Obama had been making some inroads in New York State, but Hillary Clinton manages to hold on. We project she will carry her home state of New York, just as she carried her other home state of Arkansas within the half hour -- within the earlier half hour.
Hillary Clinton needed New York. It would have been hugely, hugely embarrassing for her if she had lost New York State, just as Barack Obama carried his home state of Illinois in the last hour.
Hillary Clinton carries New York State right now. And we'll see how those delegates are distributed over the course of the next few hours. Another win for Hillary Clinton in New York State right now.
We cannot -- we cannot make other projections in these states based on the exit polling information that we've received in the course of this day -- meaning we can't make any projections right now in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota or New Mexico. Interesting that we can't make those projections yet. We're going to have to wait to get some real numbers from the ballots coming in from those states. And hopefully we'll be able to make some projections at that point.
Right now, I want to take a closer look at Tennessee.
On the Republican side right now, John King is watching this state for us -- John, show us what we're seeing happening in Tennessee, with almost 10 percent of the precincts reporting.
KING: Wolf, this map is going to look a lot like the Georgia map. We showed you before, where you had mostly McCain and Huckabee counties filling in. And as you said, we're just about to get 10 percent we're at 9 percent reporting. Right now you have Senator McCain with the lead, Huckabee in second place, Governor Romney running at third here. This is one of the places, of course, if you're Governor Huckabee and you want to get back in the game, you want a big night here in Tennessee.
But look at what's happening. You have -- down here, you have Knoxville over here. Knoxville is in this part of the state. Senator McCain is doing very well over here. Chattanooga is down here. And then you go to the home of country music and the home of the blues over here.
So we're still waiting to see. But, again, you see Romney is winning in the suburbs around Nashville, but they're simply not big enough, Wolf. There's not enough people in these counties. It's only 2 percent of the population here. So we need to see what happens in Davidson County. That's 10 percent of the state. But as you look at the state so far, you're seeing this just like we saw in Georgia -- mostly McCain and Huckabee counties. A lot of the vote is out in here, so we're still waiting on it. And we've got to come back to the statewide numbers, because he was just up at 9 percent.
But this is looking good for John McCain right here. Governor Huckabee wanted Tennessee. Of course, Governor Romney would like to have it. At the moment, with 10 percent, the numbers are trending the way McCain likes because of where he is getting the vote. But it's very early here in Tennessee.
We'll pull back out to the national map. You were just talking about one of the places we'd like to take a look here. Look at Massachusetts. This is the Democratic race here in the blue now. Obama is the darker blue, Clinton the lighter blue. Just starting to come in -- just starting to come in now. with 16 percent reporting, Senator Clinton running ahead. But we're at a place where, of course, the votes are in here -- almost 10 percent of the population in the City of Boston. We have nothing there yet.
Worth noting, as the night goes on, if this is close, while Barack Obama had most of the big name politicians in the state -- had Senator Kerry, had Senator Kennedy, had the new governor, Deval Patrick, the mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, was working for Hillary Clinton. So we're still waiting to see what happens in the City of Boston. She campaigned there yesterday.
Again, Wolf, we just saw it on the Republican side in Tennessee, now we see it here on the Democratic side, filling in. These states are incredibly competitive, which is one of the reasons we have to wait and wait and let the votes come in. You see them filling in as we go. The vote count starting to come in.
But what you want to see in Massachusetts is here, where most of the people are. It could be interesting up here. Remember, in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton won in Manchester among blue color collar workers. You have up in this area up here, in the Lawrence, Massachusetts area, a lot of blue collar workers up there. We'll see how she does up there.
And then smaller pockets of population out here in the City of Worcester, the City of Springfield out in the western part of the state. We'll see how that shapes up.
But this looks like a very competitive contest. And if you're Senator Clinton, you would love to take this away from Senator Obama. There's been so much buzz about the Ted Kennedy endorsement and how much that means. She would love to win Massachusetts.
So we're up to 16 percent and she is ahead, but still a lot of counting to do. We'll keep watching.
BLITZER: Well, let me ask you, John, if, in fact, she does carry Massachusetts, how much of an embarrassment would that be for Ted Kennedy, the senior senator from Massachusetts, who's endorsed Barack Obama?
KING: Well, certainly, if Hillary Clinton carries Massachusetts, it is a great psychological and symbolic victory for Senator Clinton. Not a lot of delegates in Massachusetts. And, again, the Democratic rules, so they will be awarded proportionately. But she would love to say that she won Massachusetts and overcame all those endorsements that went Obama's way.
Senator Kennedy's counterargument might be that he was used mostly out in other parts of the country, campaigning out in California, campaigning in places where they thought he could help with the union vote and the Latino vote.
So the Kennedy impact, if there is one, has yet to be fully assessed until A, we get the final numbers in Massachusetts; but then when we get further out to the west in California. But no doubt about it, if Senator Clinton could win this state, she would love that for bragging rights.
BLITZER: And as important as the popular votes are in all of these states, the delegates potentially could be even more important.
John, thanks very much.
I want to remind our viewers, if they want to see the results coming in county by county, state by state, they can go to CNNPolitics.com and click on the right little tab over there and you'll get all this information -- real time information.
Let's also take a look at what we know right now. Super Tuesday wins on the Democratic side right now. If you take a look and you see the yellow, those are the states in play on this Super Tuesday. And we have not been able to project winners yet.
The dark blue are the states that have been won by Barack Obama so far on this day. That would be Illinois and Georgia.
The light blue are the states that have been carried by Hillary Clinton and in this -- the top of this hour we just projected that she will carry her home state of New York, which has a lot of delegates, potentially, there, although they'll be divided proportionately.
We have earlier projected she will carry Tennessee, Arkansas, as well as Oklahoma.
So we're watching all of this.
Let's pause for a second.
We can now project that Senator Barack Obama will carry the State of Delaware. The total delegates there, including the super-delegates, 23 delegates. But Barack Obama will carry Delaware --, a state that was earlier represented in this contest by longtime Senator Joe Biden. He dropped out. He hasn't endorsed any of the candidates -- at least not yet. But Barack Obama will be added to the winners column in the State of Delaware, a state that both of these candidates had competed in -- Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But based on the exit polls that we have right now, based on the actual numbers that are coming in, Barack Obama will carry Delaware.
You can see his headquarters out in Chicago, where they're getting this information right now. Maybe they're getting it from us. And they can see that Barack Obama will carry Delaware. So add Delaware to column, as well -- the winning column for Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. And there's a lot of enthusiastic faces you can see out there in Chicago right now getting ready.
At some point later tonight, we expect to hear from all of the candidates -- the Republican candidates, the Democratic candidates. And we're going to try to bring you all of their remarks as this long night goes on. But it's way too early right now to hear from these candidates, because they're waiting, as all of us are, for more and more of these states to come in.
Let's take a look and see what we have in terms of the race for the nomination right now in terms of delegates. Remember, on the Democratic side, to be the Democratic presidential nominee, you needed 2,025 votes right there -- 2,025 delegates, I should say. And right now, our CNN estimate is that Hillary Clinton has 279 delegates so far. Barack Obama has 210.
And if you look a little bit closer, you can see that in terms of the delegates that she has won, we've projected she has won 86 delegates so far. She has 193 super-delegates, as they're called. Those are delegates who are high-ranking party officials, members of Congress, governors and others.
Barack Obama -- his 210 delegates comprised of 104 that he's actually won and 106 super-delegates.
Remember, this is a close contest so far -- 2,025, that's the magic number to be the Democratic presidential nominee. There's a different magic number on the Republican side. They need 1,191 delegates to their convention in St. Paul to be the Republican presidential nominee.
And so far, this is the CNN estimate for the race. Huckabee so far has 54. We've listed all the candidates in alphabetical order from top to bottom. McCain has 208. Ron Paul has six delegates; Romney, 99; and uncommitted, nine.
If you take a look at McCain, though, he's got 192 delegates. We've projected estimated that he estimated that he has won 16 super- delegates. By the way, there are far fewer super-delegates on the Republican side than the Democratic side. And Mitt Romney is so far second, with 99 delegates. He's won 90. He has nine super-delegates. Mike Huckabee third, 51 delegates. He's won three super-delegates, for a total of 54. And Ron Paul has so far won six delegates, no super- delegates.
Remember, though, the magic number -- 1,191.
You can keep track of all of this online. Once again, I can't stress it too much -- CNNPolitics.com.
These numbers are going to be changing very quickly, as we're able to determine who is going to be getting those proportionate delegates on the Republican and the Democratic side.
We'll take another quick break.
Much more of our coverage coming up from the CNN Election Center. An exciting night unfolding right here.
BLITZER: Welcome back to the CNN Election Center.
We're watching these results come in -- the votes come in from states all over the United States. And I want to alert our viewers who are lucky enough to be watching us in high definition right now. We're going to put some numbers on the sides of your panel. Only the viewers watching this in high definition will be able to see it.
On the left side, you'll see the Democrats -- the estimated -- the estimated delegate count that we are having for the Democrats.
On the right side, you'll see the Republicans -- the estimated overall delegate count.
Those numbers will be changing. And remember the numbers they need in order to be -- get the -- to get the respective Democratic and Republican presidential nominations.
Just an added bonus for those of you watching us in high definition right now.
Let's take a look at some states right now where we have not yet been able to make some projections.
In Connecticut, on the Democratic side, it looks like a relatively close contest, with 29 percent of the vote now in -- Barack Obama with 51 percent to 47 percent for Hillary Clinton -- 54,900 or so for Obama, 51,100 for Clinton. That's in Connecticut. Too close for us to make a projection right now.
In Massachusetts, 25 percent of the vote is in. Look at this. Hillary Clinton maintaining her lead in Massachusetts, 58 percent to 38 percent -- 39 percent for Obama -- 173,000 or so for Clinton, 115,000 for Obama. We're still waiting for some votes in Boston -- a significant number of votes in Boston. But that's Massachusetts.
Alabama right now, 17 percent of the precincts have reported. Sixty delegates at stake. Obama with 69 percent to Clinton's 30 percent -- 17 percent, 100,000 or so for Obama, 43,500 for Hillary Clinton.
And in Missouri -- this is a major prize. The candidates have been campaigning aggressively here. Six percent of the precincts reporting. Hillary Clinton with 56 percent to Barack Obama's 37 percent. We haven't projected a winner there yet.
Twenty-four percent of the precincts in New Jersey have reported. Hillary Clinton with 56 percent to Barack Obama's 42 percent -- 148,000 votes for Hillary Clinton, 110,000 or so for Barack Obama. A hundred and twenty-seven delegates at stake right now in New Jersey.
Let's move over to the Republicans. And we've been watching this Georgia race now for the past several hours. The polls there closed at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Almost half of the precincts have now reported, 45 percent or so. Mike Huckabee is still maintaining his edge, 35 percent to John McCain's 32 percent. Mitt Romney at 29 percent. Look at the real numbers -- 147,500 for Huckabee; McCain, 133,500 for him; 121,400 for Mitt Romney; Ron Paul with 11,000.
Missouri -- we have not been able to project a winner in Missouri yet. Either -- six percent of the precincts are in. Mike Huckabee with 36 percent to McCain's 30 percent; Mitt Romney, 24 percent. Fifty- eight delegates at stake. Missouri is very important for the Republicans -- winner-take-all.
Tennessee -- haven't been able to project a winner there, with 15 percent of the precincts now in. Fifty-five delegates in play. McCain a slight advantage over Mike Huckabee, 34 percent to 30 percent; 34,400 for McCain; Huckabee, 30,800; Mitt Romney, 21,600; Ron Paul, 5,600. That's Tennessee.
In Alabama, 15 percent of the precincts have now reported. McCain with 42 percent to Huckabee's 33 percent; Mitt Romney, 20 percent. We have not been able to project a winner in Alabama -- 15 percent of the precincts. Look at the hard numbers -- 38,000 to 29,000, McCain over Huckabee; 18,000 for Romney.
Oklahoma -- another close contest emerging right now. Forty-one delegates at stake. Almost 30 percent of the precincts have reported. McCain maintaining a slight advantage over Huckabee, 37 percent to 34 percent. Romney coming in third so far, with 23 percent. If we take a look at the numbers, though, in Oklahoma, you'll see the actual numbers coming in -- actually, we don't have that right here, but you can always go to CNNPolitics.com and get these numbers. They're changing minute by minute.
Here they are -- 27,500 for McCain; 25,100 for Huckabee. Oklahoma a very close contest emerging right now.
Anderson Cooper has got the best political team on television.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: A lot of numbers to watch and a lot of states to talk about.
Gloria Borger in New York, obviously for this time projected for Senator Hillary Clinton. Not really a big surprise. It would have been a major loss for her had she not won the State of New York, which she represents.
BORGER: Sure. Not a big surprise. But if you take a look at these numbers, Anderson, what was really -- just jumped out at me was the Latino vote. New York is an interesting test of the Latino vote. Hillary Clinton got 64 percent of the Latino vote in Nevada. Tonight in New York, she got 74 percent of the Latino vote to Obama's 25 percent.
So the big question is could he make inroads with the Latino community?
This is a number I'm sure they're not happy with.
Also, women. If she's going to win, she needs to win with women big. And tonight in New York, she almost doubled Obama's vote with white women. And if that continues to be a pattern, that's going to be very good for Hillary Clinton.
ANDERSON: That was certainly also something we saw in the State of Georgia, where Obama did well with white men...
ANDERSON: ...with white women, Senator Clinton did much better. And, of course, the Latino vote very important in California.
BORGER: Very important.
ANDERSON: We'll see what happens there. Those polls close there at 11:00 p.m. Eastern time.
Jeff Toobin, you were saying for McCain, not an overwhelming night, but slow and steady.
TOOBIN: And inexorable. I mean he wins -- he keeps winning these states that have winner-take-all. And there simply aren't enough states out there to catch up. At the end of tonight -- you know, the outstanding big states are Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas. But most of those states are done. And I just -- even though he's not really winning overwhelmingly, he is winning. And he's winning in almost -- in most of the state states. And I just think his opponents are running out of time and there is no one single opponent. Huckabee and Romney are splitting the anti-McCain vote.
GERGEN: I wanted to follow up on something that Gloria was saying. You know, we've long talked about the Democratic Party being the mommy party and the Republicans being the daddy party. But what's really striking in these numbers that I've seen so far tonight is...
ANDERSON: David, I'm sorry.
We have a projection. I just want to give that to Wolf.
BLITZER: CNN now projects that John McCain will carry the Empire State. That would be New York State. A huge bonanza of potential votes -- delegates out there. It's a winner-take-all state -- 101 delegates at stake for the Republicans in New York. This was an important victory for John McCain. He worked hard. He had a lot of endorsements, including from Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor, who dropped out of this presidential race.
John McCain -- John McCain our projected winner in New York State. A very important win for him tonight.
Take a look at the votes that have actually come in -- 0 percent -- a little bit less than 1 percent of the precincts reporting. It's very, very early, but McCain already at 52 percent to Romney's 24 percent; Huckabee's 12 percent. A tiny, tiny number are in, of actual hard numbers -- 621 votes for McCain to 281 for Romney. But based on our exit polls, based on what we're seeing right now, CNN projects that John McCain will carry New York State -- another win for John McCain.
Anderson was just talking about
Jeff Toobin, who was just mentioning how McCain is racking them up. And certainly New York is a big prize.
ANDERSON: It's certainly a big prize -- 101 delegates there.
David Gergen, let's go back to.
I interrupted you.
You were saying?
GERGEN: Yes, well, I think Jeff was right about that. He's marching.
The mommy party and the daddy party deal. If you look at the exit polls in almost all these states, on the Democratic side, the people who are voting -- only about 42, 43, 44 percent of the people who vote are men. Most of the people who vote are women.
On the Republican side, it's just opposite -- about 53 percent, 54 percent in most states are men versus women.
And that percentage -- that heavy tilt toward women voters on the Democratic side, is a huge strength for Hillary Clinton tonight.
GERGEN: Consistently in state after state, she does really well among women, especially white women. And I think that is, more than anything else, is propelling her forward in this race.
BORGER: And that's what was so interesting in California, where you had the governor's wife, Maria Shriver, come out, Oprah Winfrey, Caroline Kennedy, trying to say to women it's Ok to change your minds and vote for Barack Obama at the last minute. And we'll see if that works.
GERGEN: But in the general election, you've got a closer gender break on the voting.
ANDERSON: Let's go to Bill Bennett.
BENNETT: Yes, two things.
Well, one, yes, I agree with the up front panel, panel number one...
BENNETT: ...I guess -- about the seeming inexorability -- though it's not there yet. But no -- I mean notice if Romney were chalking up these states, you know, we'd be saying wow, holy smokes.
May 21st -- I just checked the date in my Blackberry. I was in New York. I was asked to kind of emcee the New York State Republican Party dinner. All the candidates were invited.
Rudy Giuliani came. It was Giuliani central -- I mean, signs, everything, everything. One other candidate showed up -- John McCain. He came in and he gave a talk. People were polite. He walked out. People said it was nice for McCain to come, kind of sad, you know, a lonely figure. He came in by himself.
Tonight, he wins the -- I mean they're going to cut down forests writing the story of this election with all the players on both sides. It's extraordinary. I mean that was Giuliani -- it was Giuliani central. John McCain wins that primary tonight big time...
(CROSSTALK) BENNETT: Yes.
MARTIN: And we talked earlier about Latino voters. In the debate in Los Angeles, Senator Obama really tried to hone in on Latino voters. Look at Illinois, his home state. According to our exit polls, he won 52 percent of the Latino vote. They made up 16 percent of those that voted. That is a serious problem.
One of the issues they've had is that they have not been able to really get any inroads there. He tried to make -- get inroads with the comment about supporting driver's licenses. They...
ANDERSON: He did get a major endorsement from a Spanish language paper in California.
MARTIN: Based upon that issue. But, again, they have not had a successful strategy and been able to break through that barrier.
Now, the question is, with the states moving forward,, when you talk about the District of Columbia, when you talk about Virginia, when you talk about those (ph), Louisiana and Mississippi, will that matter?
But, again, they have a Latino problem. When he only wins 52 percent of Latinos in his home state, that's a problem.
ANDERSON: Jamal Simmons, (INAUDIBLE), what does that mean for California?
SIMMONS: Well, one of the issues here, though, is time. You know, Barack Obama does better over time, as people get to know him, as they get to see him. He's airing ads. People start to get comfortable. So what you'll see over the next round of states going up -- coming up, is that he'll have more time, he will have been out there longer and I think those numbers will change...
SIMMONS: And we'll see what's (INAUDIBLE).
MARTIN: He's from Illinois.
MARTIN: He's from -- he is from -- he is the junior senator from the State of Illinois. If you only win 52 percent of the Latino vote in your home state, you have a Latino problem.
SIMMONS: Sure he does. Sure he does.
SIMMONS: And nobody doubts that. But I mean I think they're addressing it. And I think over time -- and we also get -- we hit a lot of those states already today.
ANDERSON: But, Paul Begala, is Obama running out of time?
BEGALA: No. No. And nor is he running out of money. And this thing is going to rock on.
But there are Latinos and there are Latinos, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's...
BEGALA: There are no monolith of Latinos.
SIMMONS: Very true. Very true.
BEGALA: It's like saying the Catholic vote. The Catholic votes include people who are right on everything, like me, and people like Bill Bennett, who are wrong on everything, OK?
BEGALA: And we're both in the same Holy Mother (ph) church, right?
BEGALA: Latinos -- in New York, they tend to be disproportionately Puerto Ricanos, Dominicans, Central Americans...
BEGALA: In Carolina, they tend to be more Mexican-Americans and from Central America.
So we've got to be very careful about these facile -- you're right.
BEGALA: Barack still has a problem in his home state.
MARTIN: What about Texas?
MARTIN: It's going to play a role in Texas, though. In Texas, you talk about West Texas, you're talking about Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Houston, Dallas. You've had some brown -- black/brown friction there over the last 15 years in school districts and (INAUDIBLE) to city hall. Trust me, they needed to watch out for that in the State of Texas.
ANDERSON: We've got to...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's greater tension in California. ANDERSON: We've got to take a quick break.
ANDERSON: There have been some serious tornadoes in the Arkansas/Tennessee border area. We're going to talk about that with Chad Myers when we come back from this short break.
BLITZER: CNN projects that Alabama will go for Barack Obama. Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, will carry the state of Alabama, an important win in the South for Barack Obama. This coming on the heels of his win in South Carolina, his win in Georgia. Barack Obama will carry Alabama.
Right now we have 24 percent of the vote in Alabama is now in. He's got a decisive lead, 64 percent for Obama to Hillary Clinton's 34 percent. He's been doing very, very well in the southern states that have large African-American populations, Alabama being one of them. And Alabama a state going in Barack Obama's corner. An important win for Barack Obama in Alabama right now.
We're going to continue to watch all of this, but there is an incredible weather unfolding along the border between Arkansas and Tennessee right now. Chad Myers is watching this story for us. And it's having an impact on voting out there as well, Chad. First of all, tell our viewers what's going on, tornadoes.
CHAD MYERS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Tornadoes. So far, Wolf, 24 confirmed reports of tornado damage. One of the biggest ones was Jackson, Tennessee. Jackson, Tennessee, 86 people injured, 50 at a retirement home, 36 at Union College.
Now, the whole thing started really in Memphis. Here are some pictures from northeastern Memphis, as the storm began to roll through. This is what one of our storm spotters, our i-Reporters saw as he was traveling actually away from the storm -- that was a good direction -- but could see the funnel cloud there in the path.
Now, about an hour later, the real storm came through, with at least an EF-3, maybe larger tornado, that hit a mall. This mall, the Hickory Ridge Mall, took a direct hit right near the Sears Store. People were trapped inside, but now they believe that everybody is out. That's great news.
But we still have ten tornado warnings going on right now, and this number here behind me, the number of lightning strikes in the past hour, over 30,000 lightning strikes in the past hour. Now, we do know that highland, Arkansas, the fire department completely destroyed there. Other tornadoes have been on the ground for a long -- these are long, live tornadoes on the ground, very large tornadoes. Memphis, especially the south and the southwest side, hit first and then the south and the southeast side picked up. One town we're worried about right now is Centerville, Tennessee. They're about 25 minutes from a major tornado that's on the ground right now. Now, the next destination, if it keeps going, Wolf, is Nashville. That's an hour, maybe an hour and 15 minutes away. This has been a long-track tornado. Here's the storm that rolled through Jackson, Tennessee. You'll see how close it is to Memphis.
Memphis has already been hit twice, and there is more weather, more tornado warnings still to your southwest, more weather headed your way. If you're out there trying to clean up, realize, more severe weather with more tornado warnings on the way in the next 25 or 30 minutes. Can you imagine, Wolf, getting hit three times in one night by tornado warnings?
BLITZER: And Chad, we've got a statement from the Tennessee secretary of state, saying that he was forced to close some polling places in the western part of the state after severe destruction from tornadoes. Local authorities were able to relocate workers. A couple of precincts, he says, were affected. I don't think it affected, he says, a large number of votes.
We also have a statement, Chad, from the former governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, who's watching all of this unfold; the news of these deadly tornadoes, he says, brings back many memories of dealing with numerous tornadoes during my tenure of governor. And Janet and I know all too well the horrors faced by those in a tornado's path. While we hope tonight is a time for us to celebrate election results, we are reminded that nothing is as important as the lives of these fellow Arkansans and our hearts go out to their families.
Chad, we'll stay on top of this weather story, severe weather tornadoes.
MYERS: I'll be here all night.
BLITZER: You'll be with us all night for that. Let's walk over to John King. He's watching Georgia unfold right now. It's a real horse race there in Georgia between Romney, McCain and Huckabee.
KING: Just a remarkable race, Wolf. Let me pull the Georgia map out a little bit. You see the cities pop in as we stretch the map out a little bit, 53 percent in. It's a very close race. Governor Huckabee is winning right now, but look at the map. Remember the colors, the dark is Romney; the bright red is McCain; the more peach color would be Mike Huckabee. County by county, Mike Huckabee and John McCain.
We're at an interesting point in the Republican race. Governor Romney is making the case to conservative Republicans that he is the conservative alternative to John McCain. Well, the south is the ideological and the geographical base of the Republican party. If you want to make the case that you are the more conservative Republican candidate, one of the key proving grounds is the south. And look at this, Governor Romney is winning just a smattering of counties so far in Georgia. These are the key suburban counties around Atlanta, but he's only winning a smattering of the counties in Georgia.
South Carolina, of course, has already voted. He didn't carry any counties in South Carolina. He's winning just a few counties so far in Georgia. Let's come over to Alabama, no Romney counties anywhere on the board, as of yet. And if we shrink the map down and go to Tennessee, Romney doing fairly well up around the Nashville area, but still mostly Huckabee and McCain. So mostly Huckabee and McCain in Tennessee, mostly Huckabee and McCain in Georgia. It was all Huckabee and McCain in South Carolina.
If you are Mitt Romney and you're trying to make the case that you are the conservative candidate for the Republican party, it is a much harder case to make if you can not rack up any victories in the south, which is the ideological base of the party. So still some votes being counted, but increasingly a tougher case, Wolf, for Mitt Romney to make going forward, if he cannot show any success in the south.
Again, as you watch Georgia, we're up to 55 percent now, Governor Romney running third. It's a fascinating race. The key to this race right now, if you're looking at it, John McCain is winning where he needed to, along the coast and in the military communities. Right now the key, as we watch Georgia, Fulton County, which is where Atlanta is. It's 10 percent of the population. Only five percent of the precincts in so far. Senator McCain running a big lead in that area right now. We need to watch to see if this holds, because if there is a comeback -- again, we said this earlier, 25 percent of the state's population lives right there in that circle.
We're still waiting on Fulton County for results. Right now Huckabee is leading statewide when you pull on out. If that is to change, it will happen when the results come in up in Fulton County, Wolf.
BLITZER: John King, we'll watch Georgia, a very, very important state for this Republican contest. We'll watch it together with you. On the Democratic side, Georgia went for Barack Obama. We projected that shortly after 7:00 p.m. when the polls closed in the state of Georgia. In about 23 minutes, three more states will be closing their polls, Idaho, where there is a Democratic contest under way, Utah and North Dakota, where there is a Republican contest under way.
Much more coverage from the CNN election center. Remember, go to CNNPolitics.com. That's where you can get all the information state by state, county by county, the hard numbers coming in all the time. CNNPolitics.com. We'll be right back.
COOPER: In less than 20 minutes the polls close in Idaho, Utah and North Dakota. Alabama now, we have called for Obama, as well as New York, Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois all for John McCain. For Senator Clinton, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas and New York. Mike Huckabee, West Virginia and Arkansas.
Gloria Borger, any surprises for you? What are you watching right now?
BORGER: I'm just kind of watching a trend that's developing in these -- on the Republican side. And while John McCain seems to be being slow and steady, slow and steady, slow and steady, the one thing you see is the people who care about personal qualities vote for John McCain. In the state of New York, the people who cared more about the issues voted for Mitt Romney. People who identified themselves as conservative, 41 percent for Romney, 39 percent for McCain.
This is something that we have seen replayed throughout these primaries, and it's clear that McCain does have a problem with the base of his party, and it's something he's got to fix.
TOOBIN: Just -- about delegates, I'd just like to say one thing. McCain is not winning overwhelmingly, but he's amassing a terrific lead in delegates. The Democrats, that's not happening. Even if by the end of the night we resolve all these primaries and we decide who wins, no one, clearly, is going to come away with this with a big delegate lead.
COOPER: You're talking about on the Democratic side.
TOOBIN: On the Democratic side. So I think the Democratic side is just going to be wide open, which is exactly the opposite of what all of us expected when this enormous set of primary was scheduled six months ago.
GERGEN: It's less clear it's going to be wide open. It does seem to me when you look at the totality right now, Hillary Clinton is moving to an advantage for the evening. She's doing very well in Massachusetts. We haven't called that yet. She's doing very well in New Jersey. She's doing very well there. She looks like she's doing very well in Missouri. We don't know anything about California.
But if she were to take those other states, you'd have to say she's had a very good night. But what's important about it also is she's not taking them convincingly. Even in New York, she won New York by 15 points. He won -- Obama won Illinois by 30, his own home state. So it's going to leave them closer in the delegate camp, but she is moving. You just sort of sense their wagon is continuing to roll.
COOPER: But Obama supporters say time is on his side. They say the more he's out there, the more he's campaigning, the more he gets.
TOOBIN: And if you look at the schedule ahead, you have Louisiana on Saturday, then the Potomac Primary next Tuesday, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, all --
BORGER: We call it the Beltway primary.
TOOBIN: See, I was corrected earlier. Whatever you call it, it shakes up well for Obama.
COOPER: And it keeps going on. Bill Bennett, if you were Mike Huckabee tonight, what do you think about going forward? BENNETT: I think you keep going forward. You're doing fine. He's got momentum. It's very interesting. The advice from a lot of corners of conservative influence today was dump Huckabee, vote for Romney. Everybody's got to coalesce around Romney to stop McCain. Looks like people may have heard the opposite. He's doing quite well in a lot of states.
His position for either vice president or bargaining position at the convention has been enhanced. But, again, it just -- you know, Romney has got to show here soon, Georgia, Missouri, of course there's California -- he's got to do this.
COOPER: For Alabama for Barack Obama, an essential win?
MARTIN: Absolutely. A couple of things that are interesting, Anderson. I got an e-mail and text last night from a county commissioner in Alabama. African-Americans supporting Senator Hillary Clinton who said that north Alabama, rural white voters, are not going to vote for a black man. That's what's going to put us over the top. It was interesting, you had a black county commissioner supporting Clinton, hoping that white voters would not vote for a black man.
But also, the person who is probably not feeling too good right now, Joe Reid, the president of the Alabama Democratic conference. He basically promised the state to Senator Hillary Clinton. African- Americans 82 percent for Obama. Sounds like Joe might have a problem with some black folks in Alabama going forward.
COOPER: Paul Begala, you're a Clinton supporter. What went wrong for Hillary Clinton in Alabama?
BEGALA: Well, she got beat. There's enormous African-American population there. Obama has consolidated that. I think Roland makes a very good pint. And there's no campaign that should hope that people will vote on their prejudices. The truth is, there has been, you know, some voters, I'm sure, who vote based on racism or sexism or, in the other party, anti-Mormonism or ageism. McCain is I think 97 or 98, I'm not sure.
But Republicans -- I'm kidding. He went to high school with my great-grandfather, I love him.
BENNETT: It starts. It's started. It's started.
MARTIN: Oh, man.
BEGALA: Here's the thing where McCain's lucky. Always in Republican parties, it seems to me, there's a fight between a conservative and a moderate. There is Goldwater and Rockefeller. There's Reagan and Bush. There is Bush and McCain. This time there is one moderate, McCain, and two conservatives. And so Romney wants to be the conservative, and the conservative poobas, like Limbaugh and Coulter and Dr. Dobson of Focus on the Family, they have all anointed Romney to try to stop McCain, but the voters got in the way. I love it! Sometimes the voters just don't listen to the big shots.
MARTIN: McCain is more conservative than Romney --
BEGALA: Nobody's more conservative than Huckabee. He doesn't believe in evolution or gravity or photosynthesis.
BENNETT: Not on other issues. You remember, Huckabee was being scored by the other candidates as being a liberal early on, being socially liberal, the populism and so on. Can I just say something else? Let's wait and see what happens. But Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee right now are looking pretty strong for John McCain. If he's not a conservative, why's he doing so well in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.
: Anderson, here's what I like about what's going on right now. The Republicans right now can't decide who they like the least or who they dislike the least. So what you've got is a conservative, a Republican base that's not happy with its candidates. While the Democrats, 71 percent say they'll be happy with either one.
COOPER: We have another projection to make. Wolf Blitzer. Wolf?
BLITZER: CNN is now ready to project the state of Massachusetts, or as they call it there, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will go for Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton will carry Massachusetts, despite the endorsements that Barack Obama received from several of the major political heavyweights in Massachusetts, including Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry, the two senators, as well as the Governor Deval Patrick. A big, big win for Hillary Clinton tonight in Massachusetts.
These are the votes that have actually come in so far; 38 percent of the precincts reporting, 59 percent so far for Hillary Clinton, 38 percent for Barack Obama. If we zoom in and take a look at the actual vote that's come in for Massachusetts, so far with 38 percent of the precincts, 266,800 or so for Clinton, 173,000 for Barack Obama. This is a state that has 93 delegates at stake today, 28 super delegates, although they will be divided up proportionately based on Congressional districts, which is the case for all the states on the Democratic side.
And you see Clinton headquarters here in Manhattan. They're celebrating that Hillary Clinton has managed to overcome the endorsements of the Kennedy clan in Massachusetts, John Kerry, who was the Republican nominee in 2004. She will carry, John King, your home state of Massachusetts.
It was close. Let's talk about this, John. How did she manage to do it?
KING: She's going to carry the state of Massachusetts, despite rooting for the Giants in the Super Bowl, Wolf. So this is a big deal. How did she do it? Remember New Hampshire? I want to start in New Hampshire. New Hampshire already voted. Come back to Massachusetts. Look at this, Barack Obama wins most of the counties in New Hampshire, remember? But we talked about it all night long. Hillary Clinton won where the people are, in the city of Manchester, blue collar, lunch bucket Democrats.
BLITZER: A lot of whom commute to Massachusetts.
KING: Let's come down south. Same dynamic, OK? Barack Obama's doing OK, but in the city of Boston, yes, Barack Obama had Ted Kennedy, had John Kerry and had the new Governor Deval Patrick -- and that's the most significant of the three, because he was just elected and he turned the state party apparatus pretty much over to the Clinton campaign. But lunch bucket Democrats live in my hometown of Boston, blue-collar workers -- she is splitting the city of Boston, despite the fact that all the endorsements went to Barack Obama.
She had one endorsement, the endorsement of the mayor of this city here, Thomas Menino. And you can bet he's getting a congratulatory phone call tonight because they are pulling out a win in a big symbolic place. We'll see how the delegates play out, Wolf. The delegates, Democratic rules, remember, it's proportional, so they will play out in another way.
But as you look at the state, she's winning, Boston, blue-collar town, Worcester, blue-collar town, Springfield, blue-collar town. Getting the votes of traditional, working-class Democrats. You can see this playing out. If you come down to Connecticut where you have a more competitive race, Obama running ahead 50 to 47. This is a much more suburban state, not the traditional blue-collar Democrats that Hillary Clinton is getting in Boston and got to her victory in New Hampshire.
Connecticut more of a suburban place. He is actually competing with her down in the New York suburbs quite well. If we pull back a little bit more, we're watching this very same thing play out in the state of New Jersey, where you have Clinton winning right now by a pretty comfortable margin, including in the Philadelphia suburbs right here.
So in the northeast she's doing -- in the big states she's running well. In the one symbolically she won in Massachusetts, a big win for them.
BLITZER: We're now ready to make another projection in the state of New Jersey. Let's get that up on the board. In New Jersey, CNN can now project that Hillary Clinton will carry the state of New Jersey. Hillary Clinton the winner in New Jersey. This was also a fiercely fought battle. Hillary Clinton serving next door in New York state, but another important win for Hillary Clinton in New Jersey right now. This coming on the heels of our projection that she will carry Massachusetts, despite all those other endorsements in Massachusetts.
New Jersey, put that down in Hillary Clinton's camp right now. And you can see her supporters here in Manhattan celebrating as we watch this unfold. New Jersey was closely fought, but in the end, Hillary Clinton manages to carry this state. Let's walk over to John King and take a little closer look at New Jersey right now. We've got, what, almost half of the precincts reporting, John?
KING: We're up to half the vote in, Wolf. You can see she's got a pretty good lead. How did she get it? The mayor of Newark, Cory Booker, he was for Barack Obama. Union County, African-American population, New Jersey center there, Barack Obama did quite well there, but not by a great margin.
Look at this, he had the mayor on his side. I want to clear this off. This is where Barack Obama needed to run up big margins, here in Union County, here in Essex County. In Essex County, he has almost a ten-point margin, but down in Union County, he's winning by a much smaller margin. You have to rack up votes where the people are, if you're him, and she is doing quite well down here in the Philadelphia suburbs. People down here, Hillary Clinton winning the counties just in New Jersey, over from the Philadelphia suburbs.
So Wolf, another impressive win for Senator Clinton in a northeast state neighboring to New York. People expected her to win, but she's won it. Again, we'll see how the delegates spread out, but she's getting that victory. As the Clinton campaign looks at the northeast, they'll be very happy, especially with the symbolic victory in Massachusetts and we're watching this one play out here. The Philadelphia suburbs helping Senator Clinton there. And Barack Obama did not get what he needed up here in the Newark area.
BLITZER: Mrs. Clinton had the support of a lot of the state's party establishment. Barack Obama did have the support of the popular mayor of Newark, Cory Booker. One hundred seven delegates at stake in New Jersey today. They will be divided up proportionately based on Congressional districts, based on how Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama did in those congressional districts.
But overall, Hillary Clinton will carry New Jersey, just as she is carrying Massachusetts. Let's go back to Campbell Brown. She's also watching this story. Campbell?
BROWN: Wolf, we want to get reaction from the two campaigns and go first to Candy Crowley, who is at Clinton headquarters here in New York. As you know, Candy, we've called New Jersey now. What's been the reaction there? Have you talked to the campaign?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the campaign thinks that things are going pretty swimmingly, actually. You know, the northeast they always saw as someplace that she would do well in. They are particularly happy about Massachusetts. I have to tell you, the reason they're screaming is that we're on the TV behind me.
But nonetheless, the Clinton campaign seems to be happiest about Massachusetts. They thought when Teddy Kennedy came in and endorsed Barack Obama that Massachusetts might be, in fact, in some difficulty. But as you see, they pulled it out. Obviously, they're happy about New Jersey, but New Jersey was always a part of their kind of four- pillar delegate count. They wanted New York. They wanted New Jersey. They wanted Arkansas. And they wanted California.
So New Jersey less of a win for them. They won it, but they expected to. Massachusetts is the one that they think is their best win of the night so far.
BROWN: Candy, but overall, no major surprises so far yet. And so, obviously, it's -- you know, things are going to go well beyond tonight. Are they already thinking about, talking about even tonight, strategy for the next steps forward?
CROWLEY: Oh, they already have sort of done that. They have moved forward. There were conference calls all today about what happens next. So absolutely -- I mean, they have already accepted four debates, trying to kind of pressure Obama to do a debate a week as we move through these next contests. So absolutely, they are also looking probably most closely at the Beltway Primary, Maryland, Virginia, and the District Of Columbia. So that's where they're kind of focusing on right now, although, as you know, there are some contests on Saturday.
BROWN: All right, Candy Crowley for us at Clinton headquarters. And we want to go now to check in with Suzanne Malveaux, who is in Illinois, in Chicago at Obama headquarters. Suzanne, how are they defining success tonight, and in particular, what's been the reaction to the New Jersey call?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Campbell, they're certainly trying to look at the bright side of all this. Bill Burton just sending me a message on my Blackberry, saying we were down 30 points two weeks ago. We're happy for a close result when it comes to Massachusetts. But you've got to wonder about the psychological impact of this loss. Clearly, they had senators Ted Kennedy, the Kennedy clan, Senator John Kerry, as well as the Governor Deval Patrick, all campaigning very, very heavily for Barack Obama, even up until the last minute, just last night, just rounding out all the rallies.
You can hear the folks behind me trying to generate the type of enthusiasm and support. But clearly, a disappointment for them. They did manage to close in that gap, but not enough. So they're going to be hoping for the numbers, the numbers of delegates here, because this is a tough state, a tough state to win. Look at New Jersey as well, 107 delegates. That was really a place where they could point to a possible victory, because it was really a semi-open type of process, primary. The independents allowed to participate. That would have allowed Obama to say he actually got some of those independents.
You look at the population, 13 percent African-American and 13 percent Latino. Losing out today and also somewhat disappointing. Campbell?
BROWN: All right, Suzanne Malveaux for us at Obama headquarters in Chicago tonight. Suzanne, thanks very much. Still a lot more to come. We have polls closing at the top of the hour. We are still waiting to hear from the candidates who have not yet come out. So stay with us. Much more ahead. We'll be back after a short break.
BLITZER: We're less than a minute away from the top of the hour where polls will be closing in three more states. We're watching all of this very closely with the best political team on television. We've got them right here at the CNN election center. Soledad O'Brien and Bill Schneider are watching all the exit polls. They're updating us on the information as they come in. Anderson Cooper is here with the best political team on television, the best analysts that we have.
Campbell Brown is here. She's talking with all of our reporters out in the field at all of the headquarters. We're watching this story unfold. We've been able to make several projections tonight for the various Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. But a lot more activity is going on. We expect to hear, potentially this hour, from some of those candidates themselves.
And as we await those candidates -- they'll be speaking to their supporters -- we'll let you know what's going on in the all-important delegate race. It's 10:00 p.m. on the East Coast.
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