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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Special Coverage of Super Tuesday
Aired February 5, 2008 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HILLARY CLINTON (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I also want to congratulate Senator Obama for his victories tonight, and I look forward to continuing our campaign and our debates about how to leave this country better off for the next generation, because that is the work of my life.
That is why I started my career fighting for abused and neglected children, children who had drawn the short straw in life because this nation gave me every opportunity, and we can do the same for every child.
We must continue to be a nation that strives always to give each of our children a better future. A nation of optimists who believe our best days are yet to come, a nation of idealists holding fast to our deepest values, that we are all created equal, that we all deserve to fulfill our god-given potential, that we are destined for progress together.
It's the ideal inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty in this great city that has overlooked our harbor through wars and depression and the dark days of September 11th. The words we all know that give voice to America's embrace, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free;" a constant reminder that here in America we face our challenges and we embrace all of our people.
So today we say with one voice, "Give us the child who wants to learn, give us the people in need of work, give us the veterans who need our care." We say give us this economy to rebuild and this war to end. Give us this nation to heal, this world to lead, this moment to seize. I know we're ready. Thank you all and God bless you.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Hillary Clinton speaking to her supporters here in Manhattan. This is where her campaign headquarters have been. They're very enthusiastic. She's scored several important victories, including in her home state of New York tonight.
But everyone is gearing up for California where the polls have just closed. It's just after 11:00 p.m. out on the West Coast. We can only tell you this, what we know about California right now, based on the exit polls that we have is that it's competitive on the Democratic side between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. We can also tell you that it's competitive on the Republican side between John McCain and Mitt Romney.
We cannot -- repeat not -- project a winner in California. There is another projection we can go forward with. CNN can project that Mitt Romney will carry North Dakota. The Republican caucuses in North Dakota, 23 delegates at stake. North Dakota, put it down in Mitt Romney's column. That state going for Mitt Romney.
Mr. Giuliani had been paying a lot of attention to North Dakota. But Rudy Giuliani had dropped out of the race. Mitt Romney, the winner in North Dakota; the Republican caucuses there.
There are still several other Republican contests that are up for grabs. I mentioned California a second ago. It's competitive on the Republican and Democratic side right now. That's the big prize, the biggest prize of the day in California on the Republican side, as well as the Democratic side.
Let's take a look at the states that the Republicans have won so far.
We'll begin with Mike Huckabee. He's done very impressive work tonight. So far he's carried, according to our projections, Alabama, West Virginia and his home state of Arkansas.
John McCain has scored several major wins tonight in the popular votes. His home state of Arizona, Delaware, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Illinois and the biggest prize so far on the Republican side, New York state and its winner-take-all delegates there.
Mitt Romney so far, we've projected he will carry his home state of Massachusetts, Utah, and as we just reported, North Dakota.
But all of these three candidates are waiting for California. And we'll see what the results are then.
We've heard, by the way, so far from Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney. We just heard from Hillary Clinton. We're waiting to hear from Barack Obama. Once he starts speaking to his supporters, we'll go there. We're also waiting to hear from John McCain; haven't heard from him yet as well. We'll see what they have to say.
Let's go out to John King. He's looking at Missouri. We haven't been able to project a winner on the Republican or Democratic side in Missouri yet. It's a close contest.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's start with the Republicans, Wolf. And wow! On the Republican side, look at how close this is. We're up at 80 percent of the vote, just about 78 percent.
Look at this. Very close race. John McCain has just passed Mike Huckabee. Huckabee has been ahead for a long time. And if you're watching this trend, this is one of the reasons we haven't heard from John McCain yet. They want to see this because despite this close margin, the winner of this gets all the delegates from the Republican side. It is winner take all.
This is a sign of Mike Huckabee's strength. This is the Bible belt. Look at that. That's all Mike Huckabee. Up here rural areas as well but this vote has changed in just the past few minutes, Wolf, because of this. The people live here; almost 20 percent of the population in St. Louis County. If you're Mike Huckabee, we're now up to 65 percent here, that was at 30 not that long ago. As this vote comes in, this is why John McCain has passed Mike Huckabee in the state of Missouri, right here in St. Louis County, a key Republican county.
The votes are starting to come in and John McCain has passed Mike Huckabee. If that trend continues, then this state will go to John McCain. But there's still some counting to go. And even, Wolf, in places like this; St. Charles County, a bedrock Republican suburban and ex-urban county; Mitt Romney is winning that county but John McCain coming in second in that county, picking up some votes there.
We're still waiting for some votes to come in out here in the Kansas City area; but again 71 percent. Yes, Romney is winning that county, but McCain has a sizeable margin over Huckabee. So if that trend continues as the rest of this vote comes in, Romney is winning the county, but McCain goes up on Huckabee there. So fascinating to watch. McCain has just taken the edge there, but it is ever so narrow. So we'll keep watching that.
BLITZER: One of the things I want to make sure we point out, this Republican primary in Missouri is winner take all. There are 58 delegates at stake there. That's a huge prize.
KING: Winner take all and with 80 percent of the vote, look at that; a little more than 1,000 votes, even under 1,000 votes separating these two candidates. John McCain narrowly ahead right now. This state is coming right down to the wire, again, at the moment because this is what is still out. McCain is winning big there. You have to be nervously optimistic in the McCain camp as you watch this.
That's on the Republican side. As you said --
BLITZER: These three counties down here, I don't know how populated they are.
KING: That's the problem for Huckabee if you're looking. There's nobody -- very rural, small-population counties where we assume he'll have the advantage but not much population.
And then we go over here. This is fascinating. Hillary Clinton is winning the state but the count right now, 80 percent in. She is the lighter shade of blue. She is winning almost everywhere in the big state of Missouri, but the people, again, live here. It's almost 20 percent of the state population; 65 percent of that vote in. Barack Obama is beating her by a large margin.
He needs to keep padding that margin there, Wolf, if he's going to have any chance. The state at the moment has a Clinton lead, St. Louis City, notoriously slow counting its votes, now up to 60 percent; Barack Obama getting 71 percent there. As the rest of that vote comes in, a chance to make up some ground.
Let's pop it back out to statewide again, 79 percent of the precincts in. Barack Obama needs to make up that ground fast in the St. Louis area. Let's see how much of the percentages in now in Jackson County, 71 percent. So he's winning in the cities. Barack Obama is winning in St. Louis, winning out in Kansas City by a pretty good margin, 71 percent in.
Not much time left as the vote comes in to make up ground. So a very nervous -- both of the campaigns quite nervous; this is so close. Remember, the Democratic rules are proportional. On the Republican side, win by a vote, get all the delegates. In the Democratic side, the winner gets bragging rights. Looks like a reprieve; we'll have to go through the congressional district by congressional district once we know the final results to see where the delegates go there.
But it is the bellwether battleground in presidential elections in November in a competitive race. And it sure is proving to be a battleground for both parties tonight.
BLITZER: If Huckabee manages to win in Missouri, that would be a huge, huge win for him.
KING: That would be a huge win for him. As you go west, there are fewer states where Mike Huckabee is a factor. But where he could be a factor tonight, he's doing very well in the south. Got that surprise win in West Virginia with the help of McCain forces. If he could pull off Missouri, he's a player in this race. And he's somebody Wolf. Republicans win the presidency by winning the state of Missouri. To do it, they have to win it down here strong.
Mike Huckabee, if he does not win the nomination, will have a pretty strong case based on these states tonight to be high on anybody's list to be considered for a vice presidential ticket.
BLITZER: And I want to remind our viewers, they can go cnnpolitics.com and they can see what's happening right now, county by county in Missouri. It's a key battleground.
We're watching it on the Democratic and the Republican side. Once again, we're also watching California very closely right now as well; very competitive contest out there.
Lou Dobbs is joining us, once again.
That's going to be the big prize of the night, California. If Romney, for example Lou, manages to win in California, that all of a sudden propels him. Huckabee is doing well. You know what? We go forward with a real contest, despite all the gains that John McCain is scoring tonight.
LOU DOBBS, CNN HOST: That's right, Wolf. I think the headline at this late hour and early hour on the West Coast, the headline is the Republican race is now a three-man race.
We just heard Mike Huckabee in his celebratory speech talking about it's a two-man race, referring to himself and Senator McCain. The reality is these three candidates still have a very, in my opinion, viable opportunity to proceed in the next month or so of this primary season. On the Democratic side, the story is Senator Obama and Senator Clinton. They're in a dog fight, David Gergen.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, they are. If you look at the states that Hillary Clinton has won, she's won six. He's won eight at this point. She had a couple of punch-throughs that she can really be proud about. One is Massachusetts, the other is New Jersey. Everybody thought she would take New York, and she did handily.
But he has a couple of bragging rights in Connecticut and in Minnesota. We just were talking about Missouri; everybody thinks Missouri is this hugely important state. It is. Gloria and I were just talking about this. You know, Minnesota and Missouri actually have the same number of delegates.
For Obama to win the Minnesota caucus was important for him tonight. Everything we're waiting for now in the Democratic side is west of the Mississippi and starting with Missouri.
DOBBS: Is -- I'm sorry, go ahead, Jeffrey.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, SENIOR ANALYST: I just wanted to disagree, if I may, with you and Wolf about the Republican side.
DOBBS: In that case, we'll move on to Gloria. No, go ahead.
TOOBIN: I think it's over. I think the -- I mean, it's interesting that Huckabee did well in the south and McCain won a, you know, only his own state and Utah -- i'm sorry, Romney only won his home state of Massachusetts and his semi-home state of Utah.
DOBBS: Taking your exception, so noted, we'll return to you in just one second. We have another projection. Wolf, bring us up to date.
BLITZER: CNN can now project, Lou, that Mitt Romney will win the Minnesota Republican caucuses tonight. Mitt Romney, score another win for him. 38 delegates at stake in Minnesota, three super delegates; it's proportional in that state, not necessarily winner takes all. Delegates run as individuals; not officially allocated to a presidential candidate; gets very complicated in Minnesota. But score another win for Mitt Romney in Minnesota right now.
Back to you Lou.
DOBBS: A timely projection by CNN. David Gergen and I can't wait to turn to our colleague Jeffrey Toobin. And Gloria wants to join David and myself.
TOOBIN: As I was saying, I don't think it makes any difference. Really, the math isn't there for these other candidates. There is just no way for them to catch up. And I just think --
DOBBS: Is there anyway, Mr. Toobin, mathematically - arithmetically, as you attorneys like to put it -- that Senator McCain can emerge from this with a certain cinch lock on the nomination? TOOBIN: Not mathematically tonight, but if you look at the states that are outstanding, there doesn't appear to be any state that is really going to turn things around, you know, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas. Why should McCain do badly there?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN ANALYST: I think we have to look in California. We have to wait till California comes in. If Mitt Romney were to beat John McCain in California, that's a very big story because that, you know, that is going to matter in the total delegate count. By the way, Huckabee has done very well for himself this evening. I'm not saying that he's going to be the Republican nominee by any stretch --
DOBBS: We should all get out of that business right now.
BORGER: Right. As my colleague Dana Bash pointed out to me in an e- mail, she said we ought to point out that Mike Huckabee spent all his time in the southern states while these other candidates were in Florida campaigning. And that seems to have made a large difference for him.
DOBBS: Rollins, managing chairman of his campaign did pretty well with that southern strategy in previous campaigns, as I recall.
GERGEN: He did. I think that John McCain is probably going to win this nomination, but it's a sobering night for Republicans tonight because so far 14 states are in. McCain has only won half those states. He was the presumptive winner of almost everything. He was going to sweep tonight.
He hasn't won a state in the south other than Florida. He lost all the other southern states tonight. He did well in the northeast. That's not normally where you go. I think Bill Bennett will tell you that's not normally where you go to win a Republican nomination.
DOBBS: Well, you know where we go for further counsel on this. Mr. Gergen, we're just going to turn to Carl Bernstein.
First of all, Carl, give us your thoughts. Is the Republican race in your judgment over?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Probably. McCain is going to get the nomination ultimately. The question is, one, what is it worth, what does it mean and all of these candidates are trying to satisfy Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham rather than the people of the country.
GERGEN: Well, that's noble standard.
DOBBS: There are two noble standards
BERNSTEIN: So the question becomes, is the Republican Party going to come out of this thing in a shambles that either Obama or Hillary Clinton can really exploit?
I think the big story tonight is as follows. Look, we thought up until a couple months ago, all of us learned people, that Hillary Clinton was going to be coronated tonight and was going to get the nomination tonight on Super Tuesday. That's what they thought, that's what the press thought until things started to change in Iowa.
Finally, what she was able to do tonight was at a moment of great peril to punch through a couple states that have kept her campaign not only viable, but have given them a kind of tableau that they like to run on.
They're looking toward Texas. They're looking toward Ohio. At the same time, you have six, seven states coming up, including the District of Columbia, not a state, Washington, Maryland, Virginia, where Obama is going to run very strong. So this thing is going to go on. It's going to break about even tonight.
But Amy Holmes has something to say.
AMY HOLMES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Another big story for tonight is Republicans -- the RNC expected during the holidays that Democrats were going to pick their nominee by Iowa and New Hampshire. That nominee would be Hillary and then Republicans would have to be taking incoming fire from a unified Democratic Party. Now it looks like it's going to be just the opposite; the tables have turned.
But in an interesting finding - just looking at Missouri, for example, late deciders, people who decided Republican voters today, who to go for, were evenly split between McCain and Romney. What does that tell you? It tells you it was a hard vote to cast. It was a hard decision to make.
DOBBS: Do you concur -- let's put it another way. Do you believe that the Republican choices here are winnowed down now to a two-man race, or does it remain a three-man race? Or is it a one-man presumptive nominee.
HOLMES: I agree with Jeffrey, even though his prediction was a little premature. But Huckabee, he did well. He has something to be very proud of and it might be able to persuade the front-runner who looks like it's going to be John McCain to consider him on the short list for a VP slot.
In no way is Mike Huckabee going to be getting the Republican nomination. And one more thing I would say about that but I think it's interesting is that it's proof that voters like to vote for who they like. That Republican voters who voted for Huckabee did not vote because they expect him to get the nomination but because they feel he shares their values and they like the guy.
DOBBS: We're going to be patient and Carl please --
We'll come back to the pre-imminent twosome here in just a moment.
Let's take a look at some of these numbers coming in early from California, again I can stress early. We're going to turn to Bill Schneider and Soledad O'Brien.
I'm sorry, Wolf, we're going to turn to you first. BLITZER: Well, I'll go to Bill and to Soledad in just a moment. Lou, let's take a look at California right now. 2 percent of the precincts have reported on the Democratic side.
Right now Hillary Clinton has 57 percent to 32 percent. This is very, very early. We have simply been able to project that this is a competitive contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Right now with 2 percent of the vote in, Hillary Clinton has 104,994 to Barack Obama, 58,265. 441 delegates, total delegates in California are at stake.
So far we've been able to allocate based on our estimate, and this is a CNN estimate. 22 of those delegates will go for Hillary Clinton. They're all super delegates. 12 super delegates will go for Barack Obama. We have not be able to estimate obviously any of the elected delegates based on the election today; the primary in California. But a total of 441 delegates at play. 2 percent of the precincts reporting.
On the Republican side, only 1 percent of the precincts have reported. McCain has a lead over Romney, 46 percent to 23 percent, Huckabee 12 percent, Ron Paul 4 percent. If we drill out on the numbers, you can see 46,377 for McCain; 22,700 or so for Romney, 12,000 for Huckabee. This is a competitive contest, we're told based on our exit polls, between McCain and Romney; 173 delegates are at stake in California. That's not one of those Republican winner-take-all states. It's more complicated in terms of the congressional districts.
Soledad and bill Schneider, you guys have been looking at California. Soledad O'Brien and Bill Schneider shall we say.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: We're just Soledad and Bill now. It's late night. You're absolutely right. The truth is you want to cut a drill down in what's really going on in California. One of the factors there that is making this race so close is race, frankly, on the Democratic side, certainly.
So let's start with what white voters are doing?
BILL SCHNEIDER: What are white voters doing? They are a majority of the Democrats. They're voting for Barack Obama by six points over Hillary Clinton; white voters for Obama in California. And, as you might expect, so are African-American voters. Let's take a look. They're also voting very heavily for Barack Obama.
Look at that, 81 to 16 -- Clinton not doing well among African- American voters. If whites are voting for Obama and African-Americans are voting for Obama. How does Hillary Clinton have a chance?
O'BRIEN: The Latino vote comes in.
SCHNEIDER: Yes, the Latino vote. Let's take a look at that. Here in California where about 29 percent of the Democrats are Latino voters, Clinton is carrying two-thirds, two to one for Clinton over Obama. And one more group we don't pay a lot of attention to.
O'BRIEN: We haven't talked about it tonight but it is Asians in California, a big, important group, certainly for Hillary Clinton.
SCHNEIDER: That's right. They're about 8 percent of the Democrats and Hillary Clinton very well among Asian-Americans, almost three to one. So if Hillary Clinton carries California, it won't be because of whites and it won't be because of African-Americans, it will be because of Latinos and Asian-Americans.
O'BRIEN: Right, let's talk about some of the issues when you're looking at the Republican side. People who said their top issue was the economy, McCain got their support.
SCHNEIDER: Yes, that was a surprise because Mitt Romney advertised himself as a business executive with a lot of skill in managing the economy. Here it is over here. McCain beat Romney by a solid margin, 46 to 33 among voters who said their top issue was the economy.
O'BRIEN: If they said their top issue was illegal immigration, which is a huge issue in California -- totally different story.
SCHNEIDER: Very different story - California, illegal immigration is a big problem. Romney 53 percent, beating McCain by 30 points. This is not John McCain's issue. This is one of the main reasons why he is struggling in California. And that's one of the big things that Romney has going for him; not the economy, immigration.
O'BRIEN: For people who said they strongly approve of Arnold Schwarzenegger, they actually had a big impact on who would take the lead.
SCHNEIDER: That's right, Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed John McCain. Among those Republicans in California who said they have a strong approval, they strongly approve of Arnold Schwarzenegger, their Republican governor, McCain wiped out Romney by 50 points. McCain, 68, Romney, 18; wasn't even close. So it looks like Schwarzenegger delivered.
O'BRIEN: Yes, he certainly did. So in a nutshell, that's why it's so close.
We're going to take a short break. We'll continue to crunch the numbers for you. We'll be back right after this. Stay with us.
BLITZER: Welcome back. We're at the CNN election center. We're watching the results come in. Several states have projected winners, but several others have not.
John King is here. Let's talk about some of these Democratic states. I'll remind our viewers, John, that the dark blue is Barack Obama. The light blue is Hillary Clinton.
Let's take a look at Arizona right now. We have not been able to project a winner yet; 48 percent of the vote is now in in Arizona - 67 total delegates. Clinton has 51 percent so far to Barack Obama's 40 percent. This was always seen as a pretty competitive state. KING: And a key test of Latino support for each of these candidates. Senator Clinton in previous states has done better among Latinos. We'll have to see when we get to the other board which vote is still out; obviously only half of the vote in but if you're Senator Clinton, 51 percent is a good place to start. But it all depends on what's missing.
BLITZER: Let's talk about Utah right now as well. Utah is a state that Democrats don't necessarily do well in a general election, but this is a Democratic primary in Utah. Right now with 11 percent of the precincts reporting, it's very close. 45 percent for Obama to 44 percent for Clinton; 29 total delegates.
KING: This is the one and only night of the election year in which we will use the words Democrat, competitive and Utah in the same sentence. Enjoy it while we can.
In the general election, that one is going red. Look, we're in a delegate battle among the Democrats. And again if you split a state 45/44, then we have to lay the congressional districts over, look through all the proportion rules. This is another very competitive state between these two candidates. Look at the margin up there.
BLITZER: Less than a hundred or whatever, a little bit more than 11 percent of the precincts in.
Let's take a look at Missouri. You've been looking at it, studying it. Right now, 87 percent of the precincts are in. Hillary Clinton maintaining a slight edge - 50 percent to 47 percent for Obama. This is one of those bellwether states, 88 delegates at stake.
KING: The cities are notoriously slow counting, especially St. Louis. She is maintaining a lead, but it is shrinking. As more votes come in, her lead is shrinking. We can take a closer look on the other board. She's ahead, but this is getting tighter and tighter. Again, St. Louis and Kansas City, still not at 100 percent.
Obama is winning in the cities. That's what he needs to do to make up that gap.
BLITZER: Kansas City and in St. Louis.
Let's walk over and take a look at the Republican side, see what's happening in Georgia right now. Look at this. 89 percent, almost 90 percent of the precincts are in.
Huckabee is winning so far with 34 percent to McCain's 32 percent; Romney at 30 percent. This has been neck and neck. The polls in Georgia closed at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. That's hours ago and we haven't been able to project a winner yet.
KING: The vote that's still outstanding. It's Fulton County, which includes the city of Atlanta, some of the places right around it; some of those suburbs - votes still coming in. Most of the rural vote is in so most of Huckabee's vote is in. If McCain is going to make up that gap, it has to be right in that area right around Atlanta. This is a proportional state, Wolf. No matter how it ends up, it's going to be fairly close between the three Republican candidates -- all three, again we have to look at the districts when it's over. But all three will come out of Georgia with at least some delegates.
BLITZER: Our experts right now are crunching the numbers in Georgia. Let's see what happens.
Tennessee - let's take a closer look at Tennessee, another state we haven't been able to project the winner. And yet right now with 88 percent of the precincts reporting, Mike Huckabee maintaining a slight edge over John McCain; 34 percent to 32 percent, 24 percent for Romney.
In these southern states, it's becoming an almost familiar refrain. Huckabee is doing remarkably well for a guy some thought was out of this already.
KING: Mitt Romney spent the entire time between Florida and today talking about how he is the conservative alternative to John McCain. But across the south tonight, in what is the ideological and the geographical base of the Republican presidential Party, it is Mike Huckabee and John McCain who are doing most of the battling.
BLITZER: All right. Standby, because we now, John, have a projection.
CNN projects that Mike Huckabee, you see the check, Mike Huckabee will carry the state of Georgia; 89 percent of the precincts are in. A big win, huge win for the former Arkansas governor - 34 percent; right now with almost 90 percent of the precincts in. But based on that, based on our exit polls, CNN now projects that Mike Huckabee will carry the state of Georgia. Right now he's got 308,000 or so votes to 293,000 for McCain, 269,000 for Romney.
John King, we were just talking about Georgia. A moment ago, I said our experts were crunching the numbers. They've crunched and they've declared; projected a winner.
KING: A narrow victory for Mike Huckabee but he's winning in the southern states. Again, as we move west tonight and we look at the later contests on the calendar there aren't that many places you look at and say, "That's a Mike Huckabee state."
But he proved himself still to be a factor and a player in the race tonight. The long-term prospects aren't so great.
But Wolf, he's winning in the rural areas. He's winning among the evangelicals. He's selling his economic message in the rural conservative areas, very critical to the Republican Party. Again, this is a man, if he doesn't find that lightning in a bottle and find a way to get to the nomination, which is very unlikely, he is proving himself a very likeable candidate in places Republicans need to win to win national elections. BLITZER: You've got to give him credit. He's got a limited amount of money but he's got a lot of passion, a lot of excitement. He's carrying some of these important southern states.
Let's go back to Missouri right now; 88 percent of the precincts reporting. McCain right now with 33 percent, Huckabee, 32 percent, Romney, 29 percent; this is extremely close. 58 delegates are at stake. This is a winner-take-all contest for the Republicans.
Let's walk over to your board and get a closer look. Before we do, look at this - 170,399 for McCain; 169,999, what a slight difference that is; Romney with 150,000, 88 percent of the precincts reporting.
Let's walk over and take a look at Missouri because this state is really important for the Democrats, even more important for the Republicans because it's one of those winner-take-alls.
KING: Because it's a winner-take-all, essentially the margins are similar to Georgia, but Georgia is proportional. Missouri is winner take all.
You'll see the Democrats come up first. But let's switch over and do the Republicans first because we're up at 88 percent. So most of the vote is in; and you see this tiny margin right now. Governor Huckabee is actually ahead by fewer than a thousand votes.
But Wolf, here's what you're thinking. As you watch these votes come in. This is Mike Huckabee, this is the Bible belt. Look how well Mike Huckabee did here; more rural conservative areas here.
What is the vote that is out? That's what we need to see. John McCain is winning in St. Louis - 66 percent. There's still 33 percent of the vote in this county to come in; about 20 percent of the state population.
Look at the margin that John McCain has over Mike Huckabee over here in this county right here where there's still a lot of the vote out.
So we come back to statewide look, Mike Huckabee, again, has a very narrow lead. But where the votes are out are places where John McCain is beating Mike Huckabee. Even out here in the Kansas City area, Mitt Romney is winning this county. Let me clear this up so it's not confusing. Mitt Romney is winning this county, John McCain coming in second. But again, John McCain is beating Mike Huckabee.
So as the final votes come in, this is why you're looking at this state and both campaigns are saying, wow, because it's winner-take- all, incredibly narrow; Mike Huckabee with a narrow edge right now. But if I'm trying to figure out where the votes are, the votes that are still out have not been counted are in places where John McCain is winning. So they're going to watch that.
Let's switch over to the Democratic side. Hillary Clinton is winning most of the state.
BLITZER: She's the light blue. KING: She's the light blue. And if you look at it, she's got 50 percent and 47 percent. She's holding that lead, but it is shrinking. She's winning most of the state but the people live in the cities. St. Louis County again, almost 20 percent of the state population.
And Wolf, look at this - still a third of that vote out. And Barack Obama is beating her 60 percent to 38 percent. Still a lot of votes to come in there in St. Louis County and in notoriously slow to count St. Louis City. They're now up to 83 percent of the vote there. And he's winning big time, 70 percent to 29 percent.
So as you watch the vote that is still outstanding, that is why we have one county out here with no votes at all, we're looking at a very small county - less than 1 percent of the state population. In a very, very close race, a small county like that matters.
But Kansas City out here, you pull out Jackson County, 85 percent of the vote in. Again, Barack Obama is winning in the cities. So as we watch the vote come in, Senator Clinton had a much bigger lead early on. Now that St. Louis and Kansas City are slowly coming in, the lead is narrowing and we want to watch. We're up at 88 percent right now.
This is where we want to watch the votes. This is where the people are; only two-thirds of the vote in here. Barack Obama running up good margins. You can trust me, in both the war rooms of the Obama and Clinton campaign headquarters, they are calling out the St. Louis County to see what precincts are still out. Where are they? Are they African-American precincts?
In here, you have more African-American areas in the city. In this other counties at here, it's more suburban. Barack Obama remember --
BLITZER: On the Democratic side, it's largely though, correct me if I'm wrong, bragging rights whoever wins because they're going to divide up the delegates given the nature of the Democratic system.
KING: Given a margin like that, they will be dividing up the delegates. However, in the cities, you have more congressional districts because you have more population. But yes, they'll be dividing them.
The person who wins the cities tends to get more of them just because there're more congressional districts where you have more people. But that will be a margin somewhere around 50/50, you're dividing the delegates.
And this is just -- Wolf, we talked about this -- how much of a bellwether it is in both of these hotly contented races. Missouri is proving to be a huge state. And you see now we're up to 88 percent. We're in a holding pattern for the slowest area in the state always to count, which is right here in St. Louis County, St. Louis City; waiting for those votes to come in.
BLITZER: We can't stress as important as it is for the Democrats, the winner-take-all nature of the Republican contest so much more important for Huckabee or McCain. Did you think going into tonight that the battle for Missouri would be between McCain and Huckabee. Because a lot of ;the experts were suggesting this state was up for grabs between Romney and McCain.
KING: This is tailor-made for Mike Huckabee. This is the evangelical Bible belt. You know what this is, Wolf? That's Arkansas.
Bill Clinton did well in Missouri, Hillary Clinton did well in this part of Missouri because that's Arkansas.
And very, very strong here for Mike Huckabee and Mike Huckabee has proven -- he's spent time here. He's proven he's a good candidate all week long he complained everybody is forgetting about me. He promised he would make a statement.
Again, even as we look at a strong night for Huckabee, when you move west tonight and then when you look at the calendar after tonight, there are fewer opportunities for Huckabee. He's proven himself to be a player again and we'll see how Missouri goes in the end.
That would be a great victory for Mike Huckabee if he can get it. We're holding at 88 percent. It's just way too close to call, Wolf. Again, the votes that are out are in places where McCain is winning. So we'll watch.
BLITZER: And we're still waiting to hear from John McCain. He's going to be speaking to his supporters at some point. We'll go there live once he does. He's at his campaign headquarters in Arizona right now.
We're also waiting to hear from Barack Obama; he's in Chicago. We haven't heard from him yet. Once he speaks, we'll go there live to Chicago.
In fact, we're taking a look right now. There he is, John McCain and his wife Cindy. They're out in Arizona right now. He's getting ready to speak to his supporters.
It's been a pretty good night for him. You can't complain at all if you're John McCain. You're still waiting for the big prize in California. That's going to be a huge, huge prize for either John McCain or Mitt Romney; our exit polls show it's very competitive out there.
Let's listen in.
JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Tonight, my friends, we've won a number of important victories in the closest thing we've ever had to a national primary.
We've won some of the biggest states in the country. We've won primaries in the West, the South, the Midwest, and the Northeast. And although I've never minded the role of the underdog and have relished as much as anyone come-from-behind wins, tonight I think we must get used to the idea that we are the Republican Party front-runner for the nomination for president of the United States. And I don't really mind it one bit.
I'm so grateful to so many people for what we accomplished tonight, all the staff, supporters and volunteers who stuck with us through thick and thin - and it was thick and thin - and worked so hard on my behalf. I owe you all a debt I can never fully repay, but I promise I'll never forget it. And I'll work every day of my life to prove myself worthy of your faith in me.
I want to especially thank those of you who have recently joined our campaign; and were so indispensable to our success tonight. Thank you, of course, to my family, my wife Cindy, my children Megan, Bridget, Doug and Andy, and my children who could not be here and my wonderful, wonderful mother Roberta McCain who in two days will be 96 years old.
We're taking her everywhere. It's obvious to me, as it is to everyone, that I couldn't have done this without you.
And finally, thank you, Arizona. It's wonderful to be home tonight among so many of our friends to celebrate this night. You know, I was over 40 years old before I could claim a hometown. And I can't express how fortunate I feel to have found a home in this beautiful state that has come to mean so much to me.
You know, I am, as is often reported, a little superstitious. So I don't want to make any exaggerated predictions, and there's still a long road ahead. However, I think it's fair to say that we might have come a little bit closer to today to the day when mothers in Arizona might be able to tell their children that someday they could grow up to be president of the United States.
I want to congratulate Governor Huckabee and his supporters for their success today. Not for the first time he surprised the rest of us and proved, again, his exceptional skills as a campaigner and the extraordinary commitment and determination of the people who believe so passionately in him. I salute you. I salute Governor Huckabee.
And I want to congratulate Governor Romney as well on his wins today. You know, he and I have been going at it pretty hard over the last few weeks, and he's a tough competitor. The closeness of the contest in California is testament to that; and to the dedication of his supporters. And I salute them too.
This election, like any election, is a rough-and-tumble business. We all want to win, and we fight as hard as we can to do it. But I have respect for people who are willing to accept the extraordinary demands, all the ups and downs of such a tough and long contest. And Governor Romney has mine.
We still have a ways to go, but we're much closer to the victory we've worked so hard to achieve. I am confident we will get there.
And I am mindful that I'm not only running for the highest office in the greatest country on earth, but that I'm also running for the great privilege of leading the party that has been my political home for a quarter century. I'm grateful for it and humbled by the prospect, and I promise you if I am so fortunate to win your nomination, I will work hard to ensure that the conservative philosophy and principles of our great party, principles that have done so well by the country that we love, will again, win the votes of the majority of the American people and defeat any candidate our friends on the other side nominate.
BLITZER: Senator John McCain from his headquarters in Arizona. Going now to Senator Barack Obama's headquarters. He and his wife Michelle had just stepped on to salute and thank their supporters.
Let's listen in.
BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senior senator and our great senator from the state of Illinois, Dick Durbin. I have too many friends to mention each one of them individually. But it is good to be back home. It is good to be home.
It is good to be home. It is good to have Michelle home. The girls are with us tonight, but we asked them, did you want to come on stage, and Malia, our 9-year-old said, "Daddy, you know that's not my thing." So they're upstairs doing what they do.
Before I begin, I just want to send my condolences to the victims of the storms that hit Tennessee and Arkansas today. They are in our thoughts and in our prayers, and we hope that our federal government will respond quickly and rapidly to make sure that they get all the help that they need.
The polls are just closing in California. And the votes are still being counted in cities and towns across America. But there is one thing -- you know I love you back. But there is one thing on this February night that we do not need the final results to know. Our time has come. Our time has come. Our movement is real. And change is coming to America.
Only a few hundred miles from here, almost one year ago to the day, as Dick said, we stood on the steps of the old state capitol to reaffirm a truth that was spoken there so many generations ago, that a house divided cannot stand; that we are more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and always will be the United States of America.
What began as a whisper in Springfield, soon carried across the cornfields of Iowa where farmers and factory workers, students and seniors stood up in numbers we have never seen before. They stood up to say that maybe this year we don't have to settle for politics where scoring points is more important than solving problems. Maybe this year we can finally start doing something about health care we can't afford. Maybe this year we can do something about mortgages we can't pay. Maybe this year, this time can be different.
The voices echoed from the hills of New Hampshire to the deserts of Nevada where teachers and cooks and kitchen workers stood up to say that maybe Washington doesn't have to be run by lobbyists anymore. Maybe the voices of the American people can finally be heard again. They reached the coast of South Carolina when people said that maybe we don't have to be divided by race and region and gender. That crumbling schools are stealing the future of black children and white children. That we can come together and build an America that gives every child, everywhere the opportunity to live out their dreams. This time can be different.
And today on this Tuesday in February in states north and south, east and west, what began as a whisper in Springfield has swelled to a chorus of millions calling for change. It's a chorus that cannot be ignored, a chorus that cannot be deterred.
This time can be different because this campaign for the presidency of the United States of America is different. It's different not because of me. It's different because of you; because you are tired of being disappointed and you're tired of being let down. You're tired of hearing promises made and plans proposed in the heat of a campaign only to have nothing changed when everyone goes back to Washington.
Nothing changes because lobbyists just write another check or politicians start worrying about how they'll win the next election instead of why they should. Or because they focus on who's up and who's down instead of who matters.
And while Washington is consumed with the same drama and divisions and distractions, another family puts up a "For Sale" sign in their front yard. Another factory shuts its doors. Another soldier waves good- bye as he leaves on another tour of duty in a war that should have never been authorized. It goes on and on and on.
But in this election at this moment, you are standing up all across this country to say, "Not this time. Not this year." Mistakes are too high and the challenge is too great to play the same Washington game with the same Washington players and somehow expect a different result.
This time must be different. This time we have to turn the page. This time we have to write a new chapter in American history. This time we have to seize the moment.
Now, this isn't about me, and it's not about Senator Clinton. As I've said before, she was a friend before this campaign. She'll be a friend after it's over. I respect her. I respect her as a colleague. I congratulate her on her victories tonight. She's been running an outstanding race.
But this fall, this fall we owe the American people a real choice. We have to choose between change and more of the same. We have to choose between looking backwards and looking forwards. We have to choose between our future and our past.
It's a choice between going into this election with Republicans and independents already united against us or going against their nominee with a campaign that has united Americans of all parties from all backgrounds, from all races, from all religions, around a common purpose. It's a choice between having a debate with the other party about who has the most experience in Washington or having one about who's most likely to change Washington because that's a debate that we can win. It's a choice between a candidate who's taken more money from Washington lobbyists than either Republican in this race and a campaign that has not taken a dime of their money because we have been funded by you. You have funded this campaign.
And if I'm your nominee, my opponent will not be able to say that I voted for the war in Iraq because I didn't. Or that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran, because I haven't. Or that I support the Bush/Cheney doctrine of not talking to leaders we don't like because I profoundly disagree with that approach. And he will not be able to say that I wavered on something as fundamental of whether or not it's okay for America to use torture because it's never okay. That is the choice in this election.
The Republicans running for president have already tied themselves to the past. They speak of a 100-year war in Iraq. They talk about billions more in tax breaks for the wealthiest few who don't need them and didn't even ask for them. Tax breaks that mortgage our children's future on a mountain of debt in a time when there are families who can't pay their medical bills and students who can't pay their tuition. Those Republicans are running on the politics of yesterday.
And that is why our party must be the party of tomorrow. And that is the party that I intend to lead as president of the United States of America. I'll be the president who ends the tax breaks to companies that ship our jobs overseas. And start putting them in the pockets of hard-working Americans who deserve them and struggling homeowners who deserve them and seniors who should retire with dignity and respect and deserve them.
I'll be the president who finally brings Democrats and Republicans together to make health care affordable and available for every single American. We will put a college education within the reach of anyone who wants to go. And instead of just talking about how great our teachers are, we will reward them for their greatness with more pay and better support. And we will harness the ingenuity of farmers and scientists and entrepreneurs to free this nation from the tyranny of oil once and for all. And we will invest in solar and wind and bio- diesel; clean energy, green energy that can fuel economic development for generations to come.
That's what we're going to do when I'm president of the United States. When I'm president, we will put an end to the politics of fear, a politics that uses 9/11 as a way to scare up votes. We're going to start seeing 9/11 as a challenge that should unite America and the world against the common threats of the 21st century; terrorism and nuclear weapons, climate change and poverty, genocide and disease.
We can do this. We can do this. But it will not be easy. It will require struggle, and it will require sacrifice. There will be setbacks, and we will make mistakes. And that is why we need all the help we can get. So tonight, I want to speak directly to all those Americans who have yet to join this movement but still hunger for change. They know it in their gut. They know we can do better than we're doing. They know that we can take our politics to a higher level. But they're afraid.
They've been taught to be cynical. They're doubtful that it can be done. But I'm here to say tonight to all of you who still harbor those doubts, we need you.
We need you to stand with us. We need you to work with us. We need you to help us prove that together ordinary people can still do extraordinary things in the United States of America.
I am blessed to be standing in the city where my own extraordinary journey of service began. You know, just a few miles from here down on the south side in the shadow of a shattered steel plant, it was there that I learned what it takes to make change happen.
I was a young organizer then. In fact, there are some folks here who I organized with; a young organizer intent on fighting joblessness and poverty on the South Side.
And I still remember one of the very first meetings I put together. We had worked on it for days. We made phone calls, we had knocked on doors, we had put out flyers. But on that night, nobody showed up. Our volunteers who had worked so hard felt so defeated they wanted to quit. And to be honest, so did I.
But at that moment, I happened to look outside, and I saw some young boys tossing stones at a boarded-up apartment building across the street. They were like the boys in so many cities across the country. Little boys but without prospects, without guidance, without hope for the future. And I turned to the volunteers, and I asked them, before you quit, before you give up, I want you to answer one question. What will happen to those boys if we don't stand up for them?
And those volunteers, they looked out that window, and they saw those boys. And they decided that night to keep going, to keep organizing, keep fighting for better schools, fighting for better jobs, fighting for better health care. And I did, too. And slowly but surely in the weeks and months to come, the community began to change.
You see, the challenges we face will not be solved with one meeting in one night. It will not be resolved on even a super-duper Tuesday. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. We are the hope of those boys who have so little, who've been told that they cannot have what they dream, that they cannot be what they imagine. Yes, they can.
We are the hope of the father who goes to work before dawn and lies awake with doubt that tells him he cannot give us children the same opportunities that someone gave him. Yes, he can. We are the hope of the woman who hears that her city will not be rebuilt, that she cannot somehow claim the life that was swept away in a terrible storm. Yes, she can. We are the hope of the future, the answer to the cynics who tell us our house must stand divided, that we cannot come together, that we cannot remake this world as it should be. We know that we have seen something happen over the last several weeks, over the past several months. We know that what began as a whisper has now swelled to a chorus that cannot be ignored, that will not be deterred, that will ring out across this land as a hymn that will heal this nation, repair this world, make this time different than all the rest.
Yes, we can. Let's go to work. Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Thank you, Chicago. Let's go get to work. I love you.
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