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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Obama Wins Wisconsin; McCain Inches Closer to Republican Nomination
Aired February 19, 2008 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": Barack Obama appearing before a crowd of some 20,000 people tonight in Houston, after winning in the state of Wisconsin in the primary.
A lot to talk about tonight, also a big victory tonight for Senator John McCain in that state, as we watched Senator Obama before that crowd in Houston speaking for some 40 -- 44 minutes.
Gloria Borger, senior political analyst, obviously a big night for Barack Obama. And we heard some new elements in his speech.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.
I think there was a seriousness about this speech that sort of went beyond your usually rally. Sure, we had the old -- the old lines, but he was -- he was very careful to get specific about what he believes. He knows he's got a national audience. He was very careful to take on John McCain.
And I think there was a sense in this speech that he knows, as we do, that the mountain just got a lot higher for -- for -- steeper for Hillary Clinton to climb and that, if he can wrap this up in Texas and Ohio, and win by some decent margins, that he's going to have the nomination.
COOPER: Jeff Toobin, earlier, in his victory speech, Senator John McCain said, "America is not deceived by an eloquent but empty call for change that promises no more than a holiday from history."
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: And Obama tried to respond to that. I mean, he...
COOPER: But not directly, and not in the beginning.
TOOBIN: Not directly.
But what he did is try to graft the two kinds of speeches that he's being together, the specific policy speech and his inspirational stump speech. What he wound up with, I think, was a speech that was just too long for people to pay attention to.
COOPER: Certainly, no...
TOOBIN: I mean, I think that's -- that's just a long time to listen to someone, 44 minutes.
COOPER: There was also a sort of political etiquette.
Senator Clinton, in her speech, which we're going to show more of in a few moments, not congratulating Senator Obama for his victory in Wisconsin, not even mentioning Wisconsin, and Senator Obama beginning his speech while Senator Clinton was still speaking.
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, absolutely, and the fact that she did not even thank the voters of Wisconsin who even voted for her.
I mean, she spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. A lot of her surrogates were there as well. But you know what? One of the things that jumps out, Anderson, the Clinton campaign said -- quote -- they knew this was "favorable terrain" for Obama.
But the reality is, it was also favorable for her. White women made up 51 percent of all Democratic voters in this primary. She only won by a small margin, eight points. Voters 45-plus, 61 percent of all voters, she won just by three points.
But the key, voters making less than $50,000, 39 percent, he beat her. And, so, what's happening is, his message seems to be resonating with her core voters. That could signal a problem in Texas and Ohio.
COOPER: We are going to have a lot to talk about in the next hour-and-a-half of this special edition of 360 for campaign '08. We're going to have exit polls with Bill Schneider and Soledad O'Brien.
But, right now, let's get a full recap from CNN's Wolf Blitzer -- Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much, Anderson.
Let's take a look at -- see what the actual votes are in Wisconsin. We will go to the Democratic side first.
With 42 percent, almost 50 percent, of the precincts reporting, Barack Obama, who will win this Democratic primary in Wisconsin, has 55 percent to 44 percent for Hillary Clinton. That's pretty decisive, 226,672 votes for Obama, 177,798 votes for Hillary Clinton, a big win for Barack Obama in Wisconsin.
On the Republican side, 42 percent of the precincts reporting, an impressive win for John McCain, 54 percent for him to 38 percent for Mike Huckabee, 5 percent for Ron Paul. The Huckabee folks were hoping they would get about 40 percent. They're getting close to that with almost half of the precincts reporting. It shows that he still has some support, 92,207 for McCain, 64,250 for Huckabee, Ron Paul with only 5 percent, 7,700 or so.
Let's go over to John King and take a look at the state of Wisconsin.
A big win for John McCain, a big win for Barack Obama. How did they do it? JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Now, Wolf, let's start with the Democrats, a big win for Barack Obama. And he is the darker blue shade here.
Twenty-two states now have voted for Barack Obama in the Democratic contest. He is beginning to build momentum, nine straight at the moment, as we wait for Hawaii to come in.
Let's take a closer look at Wisconsin. And remember, again, Obama so far, 43 percent -- 43 point in, a 55 percent margin. Want to switch colors, so it makes more sense.
Wolf, is he winning everywhere. There was a question early on. Senator Clinton was picking up some support out here in the rural areas, simply not a lot of votes up here, Barack Obama running up the numbers where the votes are. Dane County here is Madison, the college population, huge numbers here, 65 percent to 34 percent, as that vote comes in, about 36 percent of that vote in.
To the extent that there are African-Americans in Wisconsin, they are mostly in the Milwaukee area, almost 18 percent of the state's population in Milwaukee County, 54 percent to 45 percent, still a slow count there, s you can look, if this margin holds, for Obama's vote total to actually go up quite a bit.
But, essentially, look at the sweep of the state. And if you are Senator Clinton, who is in Youngstown, Ohio, tonight -- ask that to come back down -- in Youngstown, Ohio, tonight, and you are looking at this map, you're talking about needing to win in Ohio desperately and needing to win in gritty, blue-collar, lunch pail Democratic areas like this, like this, like this, and like this.
And if the votes in Wisconsin carry over to Ohio, Senator Clinton is in trouble. So, she is looking at these blue-collar areas coming in here tonight, the areas she targeted, including over here, coming in for Obama tonight.
Wolf, that has to be a source of serious concern in the Clinton campaign, watching Obama reach into her early constituency.
BLITZER: And -- and she's she's in one of those gritty areas in Youngstown right now in Ohio...
BLITZER: ... two weeks from today.
All right, let's look at the Republican side. How did McCain do it?
KING: Impressive, in terms of the sweep of his victory.
This is -- if you exclude Milwaukee -- and he is winning in the Milwaukee suburbs -- this is the area of Wisconsin that tends to vote Republican in the national elections, right up through there, McCain running strong in Green Bay, in Oshkosh up this way.
Again, the warning sign for McCain continues to be more rural, conservative Republicans still supporting Governor Huckabee, so a continued problem for John McCain, running up pretty impressive margins. He will get a good chunk of the delegates out of here tonight, get closer and closer to the magic number on the Republican side.
But Governor Huckabee says he's still in. And, as you see, as John McCain focuses more and more on the Democratic race, he still has a bit of an issue -- some would call it a problem -- consolidating support, especially among rural, more cultural conservatives in his party.
BLITZER: It's one of those winner-take-all states on the Republican side, so McCain gets all those Republican delegates.
If our viewers want to get the latest count, county by county, on what's going on, almost 50 percent of the precincts now reporting, they can go to CNNpolitics.com. It's an excellent place to get that information, plus a lot of important information what's going on.
And we're still waiting for Hawaii to start registering what's going on there. In the meantime, let's go back to Anderson.
COOPER: Wolf, certainly a lot more numbers to churn over in the next hour and a half of this special edition of 360.
As we watch Senator Obama continue to shake hands in the crowd in this stadium of some 20,000 people, a sold-out stadium tonight. Senator Clinton speaking elsewhere tonight. We actually cut away from Senator Clinton's speech to take Senator Obama's speech live.
When we come back, we will have more of what you missed of Senator Hillary Clinton's speech earlier tonight. We'll also talk to our analysts about where both these candidates go from here and what's happening on the Republican side.
We'll also look at the exit polls with Bill Schneider and CNN's Soledad O'Brien. How Barack Obama managed to cut into constituencies which have traditionally been going for Hillary Clinton over the last several weeks and months.
A lot more to talk about ahead. Stay with us.
COOPER: Shaping up to be another sweet night for Barack Obama, a tough one for Senator Hillary Clinton. For those of you just joining us, you're watching a special election edition of AC 360. Primaries, caucuses today in Washington, Wisconsin and Hawaii.
John McCain almost turns to take the Republican nomination, racking up another winning night. Still being dogged by Mike Huckabee. Hillary Clinton narrowly trailing Barack Obama going into tonight, but with a record of 0-8 since Super Tuesday, badly needing a win in Wisconsin to get off the ropes. It did not happen. And precisely how the night is playing out could bear heavily on the races ahead. We're going to look at how it is playing out throughout this next hour and 20 or some minutes.
But first, let's return to Senator Hillary Clinton. Some of the comments she made earlier tonight that you didn't get to see because we cutaway, as well as just about every other network cut away, to hear Barack Obama, the winner tonight in Wisconsin.
Let's play Senator Clinton, some of her remarks.
CLINTON: Let's get real about keeping jobs right here in Ohio and America where they belong. As president, I will send a loud and clear message to any company shipping jobs overseas. If you take jobs away from the families of Youngstown, you'll pay a price. Because when I'm president, you will never be able to use our tax dollars to help outsource our jobs.
And, finally, let's get real about supporting the working men and women of this country again. I'm proud to be here with so many of my friends from labor. I'm proud to have the support of more than a dozen unions representing 6 million working families nationwide. Sheet metal workers and sanitation workers and stage hands and machinists and bus drivers and farm workers and letter carriers and painters and teachers and nurses and child-care workers and law enforcement officers, and brick layers, and so much more.
I am proud to be a pro-labor candidate, because I always tell people, if you want to know how America got its great middle class, how we got fair wages, how we got benefits and a shot at the American dream, because of unions. Because they stood up, they spoke out, and they refused to back down.
Now, people sometimes ask me, when you're president, will labor have a seat at the table? Well, here's my answer. Labor built that table. You'd better believe labor will have a seat at that table.
You know, in the end, this election comes down to one simple question. When the speeches are over and the cameras are gone, who can you count on to listen to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!
CLINTON: And you know you can. You know you can count on me to stand up for you and to deliver solutions for you, because if you know one thing about me, it's this. When I say I'll stand up for you, I will. And when I say I'll fight for you, I will.
That is what I've always done. It's what I've done fighting for universal health care. We didn't succeed at first, but I didn't give up, and we're going to keep fighting. We've got six million kids insured. We're going to get other kids insured, and we're going to get universal health care when I am president of the United States.
You know, right here, that's what you're doing in Youngstown. I know everyone in this room knows someone who's lost a job. Maybe you're that person. And I know how hard that is. But you're still here. You're still fighting. You're not going to give up on this community, and neither am I.
I'm in this race because this nation gave me every opportunity. And I believe we can do the same for every family and every child here in Ohio and across America.
You know, Ohio was one of our first frontiers. It has always led us to new ones. You gave us the airplane that first graced the skies. You gave us the astronauts who explored the heavens, including my friend and hero, Senator John Glenn.
You gave us the steel from the mills that armed America through two world wars. You put cars in our garages. You built our cities. You created those skyscrapers rushing skyward. And here in Ohio, you've always dreamed big about the future. Now it's time to fulfill those dreams. The question is not whether we can build the future we want; it's whether we will. It is whether we will.
And here is my answer. We will create good jobs. We will provide health care for all. We will leave the next generation better off than the last. We will end this war. We will bring home our troops. We will take care of our veterans and serve them as honorably as they have served us.
And, yes, with your help, we will shatter the highest, hardest glass ceiling, because that's what we do in America. We break barriers. We open doors. We make sure every voice is heard. It will take leadership and hard work. But we've never been short on either.
So I hope you will join with me. Together we will seize this moment, lift this nation, and once again lead this world to peace and prosperity.
Thank you and God bless you.
COOPER: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton earlier tonight in Youngstown, Ohio.
We want to get a closer look now at who voted for which candidate and why this time in the state of Wisconsin. We're seeing some movement on that front since the last round of voting a week ago, changes that would seem to make it that much tougher but not impossible for Senator Clinton to put together a winning mix of voters from here on out.
Now CNN's Bill Schneider and Soledad O'Brien are crunching the numbers from the exit polling in Wisconsin. They join us now. What are you seeing?
O'BRIEN: Right, Anderson. Well, what we're really seeing is Obama dominating, as you mentioned just a minute ago, all the contests since Super Tuesday. We want to kind of drill down and take a look why.
And as John King was showing us on the big map, you can really see, his words, Barack Obama reaching in and grabbing strings. So let's first start with looking at the female vote and the assessment of the momentum since Super Tuesday.
SCHNEIDER: Let's come here. Super Tuesday was only two weeks ago. Now, look at how women voted for Obama, how many voter for Obama on Super Tuesday: 43 percent. Today in Wisconsin, his share of women voters was up to 49 percent. He split them with Hillary Clinton. He's biting into her base -- chomp -- with women voters.
O'BRIEN: For people who said economy was their top issue, what were those numbers?
SCHNEIDER: On Super Tuesday, Obama got 44 percent of the voters who said their top concern was the nation's economy. And that was the No. 1 issue to Democrats. It was the No. 1 issue to Democrats today in Wisconsin, and he got 55 percent. So he's now dominating the economic issue. Chomp on the economic issue.
O'BRIEN: Even before Super Tuesday, we were talking about how critical the white vote was going to be for Barack Obama. How did that lay out?
SCHNEIDER: White voters have always been a question: will they vote for an African-American? How much support can he expect?
Well, among Democrats on Super Tuesday -- this is 16 primaries combined, across the country -- he got 41 percent of the white vote. Today in Wisconsin, he got 53 percent of the white vote. It's one of the few states where he's carried the white vote. He's clearly biting into the white vote. And if Wisconsin starts a trend, it will be a very important and good trend for Obama.
O'BRIEN: An area of strength for Senator Clinton has been voters who didn't attend college.
SCHNEIDER: Yes, those are the blue-collar voters that John King was talking about, the working-class voters. She's in Youngstown, Ohio, right now trying to appeal to them, in Ohio.
On Super Tuesday, Obama only got 42 percent of voters who did not complete college. Today he dominated that vote in Wisconsin, a state with a lot of industrial, blue-collar workers. Obama got 54 percent of the voters with no college degree. So once again, chomp, right into her base. That's what momentum means.
O'BRIEN: These are all areas that she held very strongly. And now seems like the hold is not so strong. SCHNEIDER: Not so strong. That's what momentum is all about.
O'BRIEN: Right -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Thanks very much, Soledad, Bill.
We're here with our panel, CNN's John King, senior analyst Gloria Borger, Jeff Toobin, as well, senior contributor Roland Martin.
The headline tonight, obviously, on the Democratic side, Barack Obama wins the state of Wisconsin. What is the second headline?
KING: That he continues to eat into her coalition, as Bill was just demonstrating, which is huge when you look ahead at where we're going.
If he can carry over his support in those blue-collar areas into the state of Ohio and then if he can make inroads among Latinos, which would be the key element, which is not at play in Wisconsin. If he can do that in Texas, Hillary Clinton is look at the end of the night, assuming Hawaii, which will come in later, goes for Barack Obama, as well, he will then be 23 states to her 11 states. He will have won ten in a row. And she has a fire wall in Ohio and Texas. It looks like it has serious signs of weakness, if he continues to eat into her coalition.
COOPER: Gloria Borger, has something changed tonight?
BORGER: Yes, I think -- I think dramatically. I think the mountain got really steep for Hillary Clinton tonight. And I think if you look at Texas and Ohio, she's got to win by something like 60-40, in terms of keeping up with delegates.
And the question that I'm asking myself, tonight, Anderson is, you wait till March 4, you see what happens on March 4. And at what point do those super delegates that we've been talking about so much, that are so important, go to Hillary Clinton and say, "You know what? If you didn't really win the way you needed to win in Texas and Ohio, maybe we shouldn't go on with this any more," because these super delegates are politicians. They're not kamikazes. You know? They don't want to go against their districts. They don't want to go against their states.
So all the chips are on the table right now.
TOOBIN: She has a more immediate challenge. The day after tomorrow she's got a debate, basically her last chance to change the dynamics.
COOPER: Eight p.m. Eastern.
COOPER: Exactly. Just throwing it out there.
TOOBIN: That's the one I'm talking about. And what's the argument she's going to make? Because she's made a lot of different arguments. First it was experience against change. That didn't work. Tonight it was economic populism. Talking about unions, how much she was invested with unions.
Earlier in the week her campaign was talking about flip-flops by Obama on campaign finance. They also tried the plagiarism charge. I mean, she's got to make one argument that somehow is going to change the dynamic, and we'll find how the what it is on Thursday night. Whether it works is another question.
MARTIN: Ice Cube had a movie with Nia Long called "Are We There Yet?" I think Clinton is saying that about Texas and Ohio. How fast can we get to those two states?
Jeffrey makes an excellent point in terms of what strategy she has to use. You know what? I think she needs to strip away this whole nonsense when it comes to, well, his speeches don't really amount to anything; it's all rhetoric. I think she needs to hone in on the economy. Focus and say, "Look, this is where I stand. Here are my issues," and move forward.
We have all these sort of side issues that even takes her team off focus. So she has to make the case, "Look, this is where I am. I'm going to be the best one to keep you from losing your home, to keep money in your pocket." Because all these other different things, 35 years, you know, foreign policy experience, they're not resonating with the voters. And so she needs to strip it down, be very focused with her message. Otherwise it's over.
COOPER: I was not aware of the political subtext to Ice Cube's work. But very nice to...
MARTIN: I'm here to bring those in and represent.
COOPER: His great work "Are You There Yet," the road film. Some of the finest political statement work.
I want to play something, though, that both -- both Senator Clinton and Senator McCain took ready aim at Barack Obama tonight. Let's listen first to what John McCain said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: Americans are not deceived by an eloquent but empty call for change that -- it's no more than an eloquent but empty call for change that promises no more than a holiday from history and a return to the false promises and failed policies of a tired philosophy that trusts in government more than the people.
Our purpose -- our purpose is to keep this blessed country free, safe, prosperous, and proud.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: John McCain earlier tonight in accepting his victory in the state of Wisconsin.
Amy Holmes, no doubt an argument we will hear more if Barack Obama becomes the nominee.
HOLMES: Certainly. And one quick insight into that. When he says a holiday from history, that's actually a direct attack on the Clinton years, the pre-9/11 years. That's conservative code for when liberals were in charge and they didn't take terrorism and the threat of terrorism seriously.
But going back to Hillary's speech, something that I heard tonight that I found very peculiar was when she wrapped it up by saying that we will shatter the hardest, highest glass ceiling that there is, inferring electing a woman. This is an argument Gloria Steinem tried to make in the "New York Times," and it's preposterous on so many levels, that a white multi-millionairess who is married to a former president would somehow have a tougher time road ahead of her becoming president of the United States than Barack Obama. It was new. I think that it will actually be rejected.
COOPER: Leslie Sanchez, Republican strategist?
SANCHEZ: A couple of different things. I think once we saw that it's clearly a general election debate that's going to be framed on certainty versus uncertainty. With John McCain, you may have a proven candidate. He's talking about that. He had a great line: "I know who I am, and I know what I want to do."
He's casting both Hillary Clinton, who as Carl said, refused to disclose her tax returns, you know, and it puts a lot of caution. It raises a lot of insecurity about what you might get with a Hillary Clinton administration.
But with Barack Obama, there's all his flip-flops on Cuba that he had today, saying you know, in 2003 he believed in normalization of Cuba. And now he says he supports the embargo. There's a lot of sophomoric mistakes he has made. I think they're going to continue to pound on that moving forward.
COOPER: I do want to just jump in to Paul Begala, who's a Clinton supporter, probably, I'm guessing, the only one on this panel.
BEGALA: Apparently the only one on this network that likes Hillary Clinton.
BERNSTEIN: I wrote a book about being sympathetic to her.
COOPER: I'll get to you next. But Paul Begala, clearly a Clinton supporter. A, how do you think she did tonight, and do you want to respond?
BEGALA: I don't want to respond to that. She gave -- she gave not a new speech. We were promised -- some of the pre-show hype from some of her staffers, it was going to be a new speech tonight.
COOPER: Well, wasn't it -- she was on a teleprompter. Barack Obama was not on a teleprompter. That's actually the reverse of what they normally do.
BEGALA: I thought that was good, and I thought she had some pretty good moments in her speech, but what she needs to do is not talk about the economy as Roland mentioned, which is right, but draw contrasts on the economy.
Barack's speech I thought was quite good. It shows why attacks are good. Hillary's been attacking him, saying he doesn't have substance. Well, guess what? He's got more substance now.
Tonight -- he went out and gave a really substantive speech on the economy a few days ago. Today, as Toobin pointed out, he interweaves those serious, meaty proposals with his lofty rhetoric. This is why attacks are good. Either break you or make you better, and it's making Barack Obama a better candidate right now.
And I think she needs to use the debate, Thursday night, 8 p.m. Eastern Time, CNN, to try to draw those economic contrasts. But she also should be using her advertising to do that. And she's got a new ad on now that makes her look much more in tune with middle-class working people.
COOPER: Carl Bernstein, CNN contributor and author of the book, "A Woman in Charge: All About Hillary -- Hillary Clinton."
Is she in search of a message still?
BERNSTEIN: This is a huge defeat for her, and it's a bridge for Obama to go into Texas, which is looking like much better territory for him.
But what's really happened is we had three speeches that give us a real look at these three people. And his speech is full of content tonight, and hers is empty. I was astonished. But I think that's what Paul is saying, a little bit.
BEGALA: I'm not saying -- it was quite good, it was not new.
BERNSTEIN: But there was an emptiness to hers and a tiredness to hers tonight. Whereas the real speech is McCain's tonight.
He laid down what his campaign is going to be, and if the Democrats -- and presuming it's going to be Obama, which I think he's presuming -- have got to come up with a national security rationale that is tough, that really puts Iraq in context and makes it separate from Afghanistan and says, "Look, we're going to fight terrorism. Here's how we're going to do it."
But he's laid down a line that Obama especially, but also Hillary, if she's the nominee, is going to have to answer. His speech, to me, was the most important of the night.
But Obama is really -- he's on a roll. And the super delegates, it's going to be more than them. It's going to be the leadership of the party like Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi.
COOPER: We've got...
BERNSTEIN: And they're -- very briefly. And they're going to say, "Enough, Mr. And Mrs. Clinton. We've got to fold the tent and not have a fight to the death."
COOPER: We've got to take a short break. I want to get more from Jamal Simmons, an Obama supporter, after this break. We'll continue our coverage, also, at CNNpolitics.com online any time, even during the commercial breaks.
We have a lot more ahead. We're going to look at the delegate count, what the super delegates may be thinking tonight. A lot more ahead. Stay tuned.
COOPER: We're bringing you the latest results from tonight's primaries and caucuses as the information comes in. Contests in three states, Wisconsin, Washington, and Hawaii. For Democrats, 94 delegates are at stake. For Republicans, 56.
CNN's John King is here to show us how the crucial delegate count is playing out -- John.
KING: Anderson, Senator Obama is beginning to pull away. Now, for the sake of argument let's assume he wins Hawaii tonight. We're still waiting for the results to come in there. He has won in Wisconsin tonight. And here's the key number to look at up here in the delegates.
Not only is Senator Obama pulling ahead, but among pledged delegates -- I'm going to erase this bottom line. Those are the super delegates. Look at the pledged delegates. He now has more than a 100-delegate lead.
He's going to be -- by the end of the night, if he wins Hawaii, excuse me, somewhere in the 130 to 140 delegates ahead when you come to the pledged delegates. Now what does that mean? It means she must, she must win not only Ohio and Texas but win big. By touching that twice, I assume that she will win by a margin of, say, 60-40. If you give her Ohio...
COOPER: Which is what we have not seen.
KING: We have not seen, and there's no reason to expect it. But if she is going to come back, she needs to not only win, but she needs to win big. If you give her Ohio and Texas, 60-40, she gets back to parity.
So let's come back to where we started tonight. Let's give Senator Obama his victory in Wisconsin. Let us assume he also wins out in Hawaii. And here is the risk for Senator Clinton. This is now giving a 5-45 win to Obama.
If he gets a win in Ohio and he gets a win in Texas, he not only is beginning to pull out here, but again, look at that number. I erased the super delegates. The pledged delegates. And if everyone in the Democratic Party now believes if he can get a 150-plus lead among pledged delegates.
And, Anderson, if you get Texas and Ohio off the map, the only big state left is Pennsylvania. If he can get a lead like that among the pledged delegates and we get to the end of this map, at that point the super degrees will be under enormous political pressure to essentially accept the Democratic will of Democratic voters.
So Ohio and Texas are truly her firewall. And if she wants to catch up in the pledged delegates in the short term, she not only needs to win, but she needs to win big.
Just a very quick glance over to the Republican side tonight and erase this. Governor Huckabee said tonight in Arkansas he was going to stay in. Anderson, he's back here. John McCain is out here. Very difficult for John McCain to clinch with Ohio and Texas coming up, but he can get right out here on the edge of the finish line. That math is daunting.
COOPER: So, on the Democratic side, it's looking as if March 4 is -- is the date. I mean, this thing may not go to the convention?
KING: Well, he can't -- he will -- he cannot -- you can gain him all the way out. Let me try to do this quickly. You can give Senator Obama the rest of the contests. I'm not going in the order they will vote.
But even if he wins them all, Anderson, all the way out -- they sneak in Rhode Island there -- he still is a little short. But the question at that point is -- and again, that's not counting Florida and Michigan. The question at that point is how do the super delegates make the case to vote for Senator Clinton if Senator Obama is at that point almost 300 pledged delegates ahead.
So she needs to win Ohio and Texas to stop this momentum, or else the delegate math becomes incredibly daunting.
COOPER: All right. We'll have a lot more ahead. We'll take a look at more of the exit polls. What we're learning about how Senator Obama was able to cut into some of Senator Clinton's traditional strong support in different communities. We'll take a look at that.
We'll also have a lot more from the best political team on television. Also CNNpolitics.com is the Web site. You can look at the raw numbers as they come in, even during the commercial break. We'll be right back.
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