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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Nevada Senate Race

Aired November 3, 2010 - 03:00   ET

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


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: It's amazing what -- what has happened for the Republicans in the House of Representatives. John, thanks very much.

I just want to update our viewers one more time. Some Senate races before I throw it over to John Roberts and Kiran Chetry. Alaska right now, take a look at this. Scott McAdams, we projected, he'll come in third with 24 percent. It's either going to be Joe Miller or Lisa Murkowski very close, but it's going to take a while to resolve that.

In Colorado, still very close between Michael Bennett and Ken Buck, 83 percent of the vote is in. Washington State, the same thing, 50 percent for both of these candidates, Patty Murray and Dino Rossi. We don't -- we can't yet project a winner in Washington State, but it's very, very close there. We're watching it very closely.

Normally, I wake up every morning and I watch John Roberts and Kiran Chetry. Tonight, I'm going to go to sleep watching John Roberts and Kiran Chetry. A pleasure to let you guys pick up the -- thanks very much.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Good to see you in person for a change.

BLITZER: Good to see you. I'm on the treadmill. I'm working out with you guys every single morning.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: I know. You never miss a day.

BLITZER But pick up our coverage. Tell our viewers in the United States and around the world what is going on.

ROBERTS: Wolf is going to be going on the treadmill in about five minutes. That's the first thing that you need to know. Good morning to you.

CHETRY: Good morning to you as well. A bright and early morning. 3:00 a.m. Here on the East Coast, and we still have a lot of races where we don't know the outcome yet. A lot of nail biters, and we're going to continue to update you throughout the morning as we find out more of how these midterm elections went down.

ROBERTS: Yes. Good morning to you. Let's get you updated on some of the races that were called very early this morning, in some that have yet to be called. Let's go over to the wall this morning.

In the state of Nevada, we projected that Harry Reid has been returned as the Senate Majority Leader, 99 percent of the vote is in. He leads Sharron Angle 50 percent to 45 percent. As Wolf was saying a little earlier, a few minutes ago, Sharron Angle has yet to concede. Some notion that in past races where she's lost, she hasn't conceded either.

Let's go to the state of Illinois. This was a big pickup for the Republicans as well. This was the seat that was vacated by President Barack Obama. Mark Kirk declared the winner there with 48 percent of the vote, 93 percent of the vote in. Alexi Giannoulias falling to 46 percent.

Let's go to Pennsylvania, and this one as well, another big pickup for the Republicans. Pat Toomey 51 percent over Joe Sestak 49 percent with 91 percent of that vote counted.

State of Colorado, tea party candidate, Ken Buck, in a very, very tight race with Michael Bennett, the incumbent senator. 83 percent of the vote in. This one, too close to call.

And in Washington State as well, this one too close to call. Patty Murray and Dino Rossi, just 54 percent of the vote in. So, this one is going to go well into the morning.

And in the Florida governor's race, this is a very hard-fought contest between Alex Sink, the state controller, and Rick Scott, health care billionaire, 49 percent to 48 percent. So, that one, still too close to call at this point.

The balance of power in this country has shifted this morning. Republicans rode a wave of voter anger, took at least 60 seats. They gained control of the House of Representatives. That means that John Boehner most likely is going to be the speaker of the House. That's more seats than were taken during the Republican revolution of 1994. of course, you'll remember the contract with America.

It's the biggest swing since 1948. So, we're talking here about a historic shellacking that the Democrats have taken. The Democrats do keep the Senate, despite a key loss by Russ Feingold in the state of Wisconsin. As we told you, Harry Reid will remain the Majority Leader even though that majority is shrinking.

Tom Foreman is up with us here in the data cove, and it's been a long night. It's going to continue to be a long morning as we try to get some of these races sorted out. But you've been watching the top 100 races across the country. How have those races turned out?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, those races -- and I think it's important. Exactly what we said yesterday morning when we stood here, John. If you look at these top 100, these were the ones that were on edge that could really go either way and they could flip. Yesterday, so many of these were Democratic seats. We were watching to see what would happen, and now, look today. Look at this, all the red that has come in here. We divided this by class as we mentioned before.

2008, for example, this was the crowd that President Barack Obama came in with. These were all the people who he was hoping to make things happen with. And look what's happened in race after race after race, you've seen what's happened. The folks who came in with the Democrats were all fired up, who are going to come in with Barack Obama.

You see what happened with the support. These were the people who supported Barack Obama, supported these candidates, and now, that's flipped all around. As you see that big change, in effect, I mean, I hate to say it this way because I know a lot of people find this sort of depressing, but the truth is that people who voted for this big change, this is sort of the tattered remains of the army that came with President Barack Obama.

They really have been decimated by this election. It doesn't mean that he can't go on with what he wants to do, but it's going to be tougher.

ROBERTS: Can we just want to pause for a second here in our coverage of the House, and let's go to Alaska where Lisa Murkowski is speaking. Let's listen to what she has to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Listen to this. Listen to this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love you so much!

LISA MURKOWSKI, ALASKA: Listen. Listen. Listen to where we are. Forty-six days ago, 46 days ago, we were right there. We were right there. And we came together as Alaskans, and we said we can make history.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

MURKOWSKI: We -- they said -- they said you can't do it. You can't win a write-in campaign. Not in Alaska, not anywhere. They said we can't do it. Do they know Alaska? Do they know Alaska?

(CHEERING) Yes, we can! Yes we can!

MURKOWSKI: How did we do it? How did we do it? We showed them how smart we are. What did we come up with? Wristbands. What did we come up with?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: All right. So, again, it's too close to call in Alaska right now. So, we're going to continue to follow how that shakes out. Meanwhile, let's check in with Nevada and Sharron Angle, the tea party favorite. She's speaking as well tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARRON ANGLE, (R) NEVADA CANDIDATE FOR SENATE: The credible journey from being asleep to being awakened to constitutional principles and to love of country I've never seen the kind of patriotism that I've seen displayed over the last --

CHETRY: So, we're not showing the --

ANGLE: You are incredible, and I'm so proud of you.

(APPLAUSE)

ANGLE: I want you to see that I'm still smiling. And it's because I still believe in American exceptionalism. And you are the example of that. So many of you came to me and you said, I've never been involved in politics until now. Well, I'm glad you got involved because that's what freedom is all about.

You came out and you fought for those principles and those policies that we hold dear as Americans. And tonight, we've seen some incredible victories right here in our state. We have elected a new governor. We're looking forward to --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: All right. There we go. We just heard a little bit from Sharron Angle, sounding a little bit like a concession speech this morning, but we are going to figure out whether or not that is, indeed, the case.

Meanwhile, we want to check in with our Jim Acosta who is there. He's in Las Vegas. He's been following this race. Sounded like she was conceding and saying that she still believed in American exceptionalism. It's amazing just how close this race ended up being in the end.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was close, Kiran. It could have been much closer. And I think there are going to be some Republicans who are going to argue in the coming days that they could have won this race had they gone with a different candidate. Sharron Angle didn't do herself a lot of favors during the course of this campaign. As you know, we've gone over her many gaffs during the course of this campaign.

And many of those gaffs became Harry Reid commercials in this state. And so, tonight, you heard there just a few moments ago that she's still smiling. She didn't exactly concede to Harry Reid there. We are hearing that she did make a call to the Senate Majority Leader, but asked whether or not this was a concession, we're still waiting to hear that at this point. So, we don't know exactly whether or not Sharron Angle has conceded.

So, you know, there might be a little bit of a tea party hangover here in Las Vegas. Not a -- not a stealing Mike Tyson's tiger type hangover here in Las Vegas, but there are going to be some Republicans who'll argue that had they gone with a more traditional candidate during the primary instead of Sharron Angle that they might have won this race.

And the tea party went for a knockout punch for Harry Reid, the former boxer, and now, Senate Majority Leader, but they swung and they missed. A little while ago, earlier tonight, Harry Reid addressed his supporters and used some boxing terminology to say he is still in this fight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HARRY REID (D) NEVADA: It's always been my honor to represent the state, to serve the state, and to fight for the state and to fight for each of you.

(APPLAUSE)

REID: And, friends, I'm not finished fighting. In fact, tonight, I'm more determined than ever.

(APPLAUSE)

REID: You see, I've been to some pretty tough fights in my day. They've been in the street, then in a boxing ring, and they've been in the United States Senate. But I have to admit, this has been one of the toughest. But it's nothing compared to the fights families are facing all over Nevada right now. This race has been called, but the fight is far from over. The bell that just rang isn't the end of the fight, it's the start of the next round.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: And in the end, it may have been Reid's legendary get out the vote operation that is well-known, well-regarded in the state of Nevada that really delivered this race for him. It may have been one other thing. In the final days of this campaign, Sharron Angle did alienate a lot of Latino voters in the state with some videotape that came out in the final days that showed her telling a group of Latino students that they looked Asian.

She was also running ads in the state against immigration reform saying that Harry Reid was allowing illegal immigrants to come into Nevada and those -- those ads showed images of Latinos. And as I remember, covering this race a couple of months ago, I was out here talking to the Senate Majority Leader at one of these events.

The event was almost entirely attended by Latinos. So, as of a couple of months ago, he was working very hard for that vote. And that in the end may have helped him win this race -- Kiran and John.

CHETRY: Right. As you pointed out, it started with that ad. She got a lot of criticism for, and then as she was trying to address and almost, you know, explain the ad, she made another gaff, as you pointed out. They got a lot of play. Jim Acosta for us this morning in Las Vegas. We'll check in with you throughout the, I guess I should say, night for you. Thanks, Jim.

ACOSTA: I don't hear them.

CHETRY: All right. John.

ROBERTS: I think it's actually morning there in Las Vegas finally as well.

Coming up here this morning on a special coverage, we're digging deeper on why Americans voted the way they did. Our Christine Romans looks at voter reaction to the tea party in our exit polling. Stay with us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: It was a big night for the tea party. One of their big wins, in the state of Florida, Marco Rubio is going to be the new senator from Florida. Let's listen to what he had to say last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA SENATOR-ELECT: Our nation is headed in the wrong direction, and both parties are to blame. And what Americans are looking for desperately are people that will go to Washington D.C. and stand up to this agenda that is taking us in the wrong direction and offer a clear and genuine alternative.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: Best political team on television is here to talk about with this this morning. We got Ed Rollins with, Erick Erickson, Joe Johns, Candy Crowley, Errol Louis. Good morning to you as well. It was good to see you Hilary Rosen, although, it's not such a great night for you.

HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I've had better morning- afters.

ROBERTS: It was a great night for the tea party not only that Marco Rubio wins. They had five wins in the Senate, two races in the gubernatorial elections, 13 races in the house. Is the tea party now a big force in American politics?

ED ROLLINS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure it is. First, it was extraordinary to Republicans because I'm going to try to be a very gracious winner. I've sat here many nights when my side has lost. Two years ago, I thought we'd be in the wilderness forever. I think we're back in the game. We have a tremendous opportunity to move forward.

The tea party gave us the energy, in some cases, gave us candidates that were good candidates. In most cases, they were the energy, though. And I think that they're going to be a part of this process. And if we don't take them in and we don't listen to them, they'll turn against us.

ERICK ERICKSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, it's not just the tea party movement has a lot of energy. I think going forward, the Republicans are going to have to be careful because the tea party movement, one thing that all the polling shows is that they don't really like the Republicans. No one really likes the Republicans or Democrats. And the tea party will turn on the Republicans if they don't have some deliverables, if they don't have some spending cuts. The most fascinating thing I've seen this year, though, about the tea party movement is that for all the slurs against them, I had a friend of mine send me an e-mail that was circulated among Democrats. They were called racist, homophobic, bigots, gun-toters, Christ (INAUDIBLE) whatever that means. Tonight, we're all calling them winners. And in addition to call them winners, we have to recognize that the tea party candidates fielded the most diverse field of Republican candidates ever.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One of the things I do think that the tea party folks are going to have to deal with is specifics. And there's been a lot of talk all the way through this election about ideals and things that you can't quite put your fingers on. Now, though, as they begin the business of governing, they're going to have to tell us where to cut and what's going to go away and what's going to stay. That makes it a much more difficult proposition than it was on the campaign trail.

ROSEN: It remains to be seen whether they're really in charge, because, in my view, the best thing that the tea party did for the Republicans was it created a narrative that didn't exist before. And essentially, created messaging that sounded fresh, sounded like change. And so, you even saw that moment in September when John Boehner and the Republican leadership got out there with the pledge to America. And it had the old, you know, same old, you know, tax cuts and --

ERICKSON (ph): It was horrible. Let's just say that. As a Republican (ph), I think it's lame.

ROSEN: And for about a week and a half there, the polling -- Democratic polling went back up because old mainstream Republicans had gotten back there and people saw it was just the same old stuff. You know, now, what we're seeing is actually those are the guys who are in charge.

The tea party, you know, new members are going to be fairly junior and whether John Boehner is true to them or true to, essentially, the business lobby, which funded, you know, his ascension to the speakership is going to be a big challenge.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It's an opportunity not just to take some of the reins of public policy, but as Erick has been saying all night, the -- the next generation. I mean, there are going to be doing redistricting. They're going to have a whole team of people rising up through the state legislatures where they made a lot of inroads. And where they go, the tea party is showing they're not going to be country club Republicans.

They're going to be Sunday school Republicans. They're going to be unorthodox Republicans. That's what the party is going to look like. That's what the leadership is going to have to respond to. That's where the future of this party is going. And they've shown that they can win at the polls.

ROBERTS: So, do you expect, Candy, as we see this evolve over the next two years, that there might be some intraparty fighting? We talked yesterday with Rand Paul and said, yes, I'm going to agree with Mitch McConnell on some things, but I'm going to disagree with him on a lot of things.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I would guarantee that there'll be in fighting. There always is, particularly, when you're in the majority. It's, sometimes, a lot easier to be in the minority. It's not as much fun, but it's easier to be cohesive if you're in the minority. So, yes, of course, they will. And you're going to have fights between the House and the Senate just as you did with the Democrats in charge on both sides.

Listen, the -- the tea party is a strong movement. They gave the pulse to this election. There is just no getting around it. They still remain the minority within the Republican Party. So --

ROBERTS: But a very vocal one.

CROWLEY: Yes, a very vocal one, but you also have tea party -- I mean, I tell you, Marco Rubio gave an extraordinary speech after he won. I don't remember when it was, earlier this morning or yesterday or whatever it is, whenever he won. And, you know, he said, listen, this is not an embrace of the Republican Party. This is a second chance. So not only --

ROBERTS: And Mike Pence said the same thing.

CROWLEY: Yes. There was a very definite coordination. I mean, you understood going in that that was how they were going to approach this. And I think that goes for the tea party, and I think it goes for the mainstream Republicans.

ROLLINS: The important thing, we have a whole new field of people, both in the state legislature, the governors. It's not just John Boehner. John Boehner will be a very progressive leader because he lost his leadership both (ph) once before. He's learned the lesson. But I promise you in my lifetime as a Republican, which is four decades, we have the best opportunity to bring new people to the game. And I think that's a very positive -- we have to govern.

ROBERTS: One of the things we definitely want to talk about is the enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats and what the president has to do in the next two years. Does he move to the center? Does he go further to the left? We'll find out. Lots to talk about this morning. Right now, let's throw it over to Kiran.

CHETRY: Right. And also, we're going to be talking more about what voters reacted to. What they said when they came out of the polling booths last night. How they feel about the tea party and many other issues. We're going to be speaking to Christine Romans about it. She's just going to breakdown the numbers for us. Twenty-three minutes past the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Welcome back. It is now -- let's check it out. 3:26 on the East Coast, and we're continuing to follow some of these races across the country where, in fact, we do not know the winners yet early this morning. Right now, though, we want to check in with Christine Romans who is giving us a look at what voters said.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Right.

CHETRY: And you said we're going to hear this. In the exit polling, about how they feel about the tea party. We're talking a lot about the tea party this morning because of them helping move so -- control of the House.

ROMANS: Right. We're looking at how, overall, people felt about the tea party, whether it was a factor in their vote, how young people felt about the tea party and how independents felt about the tea party. Let's look first at tea party feelings nationwide. As you can see that 23 percent of all respondents in the House votes said that they were in favor of the tea party. 18 percent against the tea party. And Kiran, this is interesting, 56 percent said the tea party was simply not a factor at all in their vote.

Let's take a look at how independents felt. It's a little different here. Independents, 45 percent supporting the tea party, 24 percent neutral, 28 percent opposing the tea party, sort of cut both ways, inspired some independents and alienated others. Finally, we looked at the age here. Of all respondents in the House votes, do you support the tea party? As you can see, 18 to 29-year-olds, 26 percent said they did, 30 to 59-year-old, 38 percent, 60 and older, 47 percent said they supported the tea party.

So, the age breakdown there, also very interesting. You know, we spend so much time ahead of the game, ahead of the election, talking about what people say they're going to do. These exit polls are a good way to see sort of what they say they did in the voting booth. And it's, of course, a sampling of respondents, but then extrapolated by pollsters to be representative of what happened there in the voting booth.

CHETRY: The other number that caught my and I'm sure it did for you as well as 9 out of 10 people that came out of the polling booth said that they were concerned about the economy. We knew that that is what, in a midterm election, brought out so many people.

ROMANS: And a lot of these tea party voters were inspired by health care part of this whole thing, very concerned about health care reform, also very concerned about the job situation. Many of them saying, look, you know, health care reform is something the Democrats passed, but we still need jobs. That was something that was a very clear message as well.

CHETRY: So, even though, there are winners and losers, very tempered message from both parties as well. This is more of a protest vote to the direction of the country as opposed to a ringing endorsement of Republicans. So, that's also interesting to note. Christine, thanks so much.

ROMANS: You're welcome. CHETRY: John.

ROBERTS: All right. Thanks, Kiran.

Colorado Senate race is too close to call right now. Republican, Ken Buck and incumbent Democrat, Michael Bennett, in a virtual dead heat. We're live coming up in Colorado right after the break. Stay with us as our election coverage continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Let's take a look at the state of Colorado. This is a very big race, and it's a very big one for the Republicans. If we look quickly at the balance of power here, so far 51 seats of course needed for a majority. Democrats have those 51 seats, Republicans, 47.

Still two races yet to be decided, Washington State and Colorado. Right now, it's a neck and neck race between the incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennett and Ken Buck, who is the Tea Party backed candidate there on the Republican side, 47 percent to 47 percent.

There is only about 534 votes that are separating the two of them with 84 percent of the vote counted. So this one is a real nail-biter. And it might not be decided this morning. This one could go on for a couple of days, particularly with margins that close. Again, 534 votes are separating the two.

Our Mary Snow is live in Greenwood Village, Colorado, this morning where things, I guess, are -- Ken Buck headquarters there, it's quiet right now. Where did everybody go?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. John, the last of the blurry-eyed supporters just recently filed out. It was six hours after the polls closed in Colorado, that both of the campaigns addressed crowds saying, you know, it was clear that no more votes were going to be processed so they both -- both campaigns calling it a night. No concessions in this race.

Going into Election Day, the polls showed that this was going to be a very tight race against Republican Ken Buck, who had been backed by the tea party challenging incumbent senator Michael Bennett. Michael Bennett was appointed to the Senate in 2009. He was replacing Ken Salazar, who became interior secretary.

Now, coming into this race, Democrats had been saying that they expected a razor-thin margin. Republicans, however, were sounding more optimistic. And Ken Buck had said that he thought he would have a comfortable lead and that this wouldn't be such a nail-biter. Clearly that didn't happen.

But, you know, John in the past two days there's been talk about a potential recount, and lawyers on both sides have been bracing for that possibility.

Now, both of these campaigns are predicting victory when every vote is counted. Exactly when that will happen, though, is unclear. Here at the Republican headquarters, a campaign official said maybe in the next day or two, maybe in the next 12 hours we'll have an answer. John?

ROBERTS: In the next day or two we'll have an answer as to how long this process is going to take? Is that what we're saying?

SNOW: No, the Republicans are saying -- the Republican campaign official here is saying in the next day or two or 12 hours or so that there will be a winner in this race. Democrats are not really projecting how long it will take to have a clear winner.

ROBERTS: With only 500 and some odd votes separating now -- now we have buck just attracting a bunch more votes. So we'll see how the night continues to go. But if the margins are very, very close, it may take longer than a couple of days.

Mary Snow for us this morning, thanks so much. Keep tabs on things. Kiran?

CHETRY: Coming up next, we have "The Best Political Team on Television." They're talking to us about the big upsets. We're focusing on key governors races. We'll give you the update on the numbers and also break down what it means. It's 34 minutes past the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: The state of California was a big prize in the midterm elections 2010, the Republicans launching a campaign that was really marked by the amount of money being thrown in. Carly Fiorina battling against Barbara Boxer for the Senate, Meg Whitman battling against Jerry Brown for the governorship of California.

Barbara Boxer winning 54 percent of the vote counted. We are counting her the winner. CNN projects that she will be the winner.

And take a look at this. Look who is back. Jerry Brown is projected to be the winner of the gubernatorial candidate. It's interesting that you had two Republican women, both of them CEOs, both of them who dumped millions and millions of dollars into this campaign, both of them coming up short.

Dan Simon like in Oakland for us this morning covering the races in California. This was a big hang-on, Dan, for the Democrats. Had they lost these races, it could have really been bad tonight.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're right about that, John. You look at a guy like Jerry Brown. He was 36 years old the first time he became governor in California back in 1975. All these years later, he is 72 and the oldest person to become governor in the state of California.

Not quite sure how you can put your finger on it at this point, but he had to overcome two major obstacles. First of all, the conservative wave that swept the nation. Plus, as you put it, the money that was spent by Meg Whitman in this race, the former CEO of eBay spending $140 million of her own money.

He comes to Sacramento, goes back to Sacramento, really facing an unprecedented crisis in the state of California, a $12 billion deficit. That's what's forecast to come when he takes office, and also a record unemployment rate, 12 percent unemployment. And also just some fierce partisanship that really plagued Governor Schwarzenegger, whose approval rating is hovering in the 20s. And Jerry Brown addressed the environment when he took the stage just a little while ago. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JERRY BROWN, (D) CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR ELECT: I'm hoping and I'm praying that this breakdown that's gone on for so many years in the state capitol, and we're watching it in Washington, that the breakdown paves the way for a breakthrough.

And that's the spirit that I want to take back to Sacramento 28 years later, full of energy, full of creativity, and ready to serve you the people of California.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIMON: California does have term limits, two terms for the governor. Why can Jerry brown go back to Sacramento? Well, he was governor before 1990. 1990 is when the term limits kicked in. So Jerry Brown now headed back to Sacramento. John?

ROBERTS: These problems that they have in California, most of them budgetary, they seem so intractable. Can Brown do better than Schwarzenegger did?

SIMON: You know, that's a really good question. You know, given the fact of where the economy is, and Jerry Brown said that he's not going to go and ask the public to have their taxes raised.

What he has said, he's going to try to get Democrats and Republicans together and try to sort of live within our means, if we can. Whether or not he can be successful is really the challenge here, but Jerry Brown thinks that he can do it. He thinks he has the ability given that his track record, given the fact that he's served so long in public life.

He's basically held every office there is in California. He says he is an experienced politician and he hopes he can do it. But it's really an open question there, John.

ROBERTS: Dan Simon, thanks so much, following that all-important race in California. Kiran?

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, John.

Coming up next, we've got "The Best Political Team on Television." We're talking about the big upsets in key governors races across the country. What are the implications at the state level? We'll tackle all of that in just a moment. It is now 3:42 a.m. here in New York this morning. We're wide awake.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Welcome back. It's 45 minutes past the hour. It was a big night for the GOP on the state level as well. Republicans regained the majority of governorships, knocking Democrats out of ten states last night.

We'll take a quick look at the wall. We'll show you the seven states that are still undecided right now for governor. This could be developing into the day today as we try to figure out the vote counts here. We'll show you later.

Meanwhile, "The Best Political Team on TV" is back to talk about it. We have CNN senior political analyst Ed Rollins with it, CNN contributor Eric Erickson, also editor in chief of redstate.com. We have Washington correspondent Joe Johns, CNN contributor John Avalon, CNN contributor Errol Lewis, and CNN political contributor Hilary Rosen. Thanks for being with us.

We talk about the governors' races, ten changing hands, going into Republican hands. How significant is that?

ED ROLLINS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It's very significant. The governor is the testing ground. They're the ones that have to make the system work. We won a bunch of big ones that are going to be very important as you go into reapportionment and when you go into 2012.

Someone that John Kasich that won in Ohio, former congressman, former chairman of the budget committee, could be a very significant role model for how you basically get states out of trouble.

Equally as important, we won a bunch of legislatures, which is a dramatic story. We went deep. We have a new crop of Republicans beyond what we have at the national scene who will become national players over time.

ERICK ERICKSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, adding those two points together. For the long-term effect for decade effect for the Republicans, it's significant here. They have won ten. Of the 18 states that will be reapportioned based on the census, the Republicans will control a majority of those.

They'll control a significant portion of the legislatures, and 17 legislative houses at the state level flip to the Republicans tonight, which didn't happen in 1994. That's huge.

CHETRY: Do you think voters -- is any of this internalized in the voting booth or are you just voting on the feeling you have about your own situation? You don't go in and say, I'm thinking about the redistricting situation in Ohio so I have to pick Kasich.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ohio is a very good example actually because I'm from Ohio. And talking to people and also knowing John Kasich and knowing about Strickland, the people I talk to even Republicans said -- many of them said, you know, Strickland wasn't that bad a governor, quite frankly, but it's a very negative environment. He had a bunch of bad breaks. And I'm going to vote for Kasich.

The other thing about Kasich was he was actually a very good candidate. He's a very good talker, very personable, very likable, and has great name recognition because of what he did in the Congress. So you know, there are a lot of multipliers there that end up sort of turning for the Republicans. It's not just one thing. It's a bunch of things, I think.

CHETRY: You're eyeing two races, John. Lincoln Chafee, the independent out of Rhode Island, he's won tonight. We're still taking a look at Maine right now. But an independent could possibly win Maine?

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely. Elliott Cutler is the independent candidate in Maine. And Maine has a history of electing independent governors. The first one was in the 1970s and then the 1990s. So there's a precedent here.

Elliott Cutler was lagging behind in the polls, but he's obviously had a very significant late-inning surge. The Republican nominee is Paul Lepage. He's been leading in the polls, but he's been a polarizing force, saying he'd tell Obama to go to hell, and other things like that, which don't fit the Maine electorate as well.

So this is neck and neck. This is literally virtually tied right now. It's going to go down to, you know, counting every vote and really distinguishing. So this will go late.

But we know for a fact we've got an independent governor in Rhode Island with Lincoln Chafee, first independent governor elected since the 1990s, and in a state that has more independents than Democrats or Republicans. It's exciting.

JOHNS: John now has six electoral votes.

(LAUGHTER)

CHETRY: Congratulations. Keep on trucking.

When you talk about concern for Democrats, how big of a concern is this flipping of at least ten governorships?

HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: It's big. In many ways it's devastating because for a presidential campaign, it's often the governors that you depend on for your political operation, not necessarily -- senators don't tend to have very good political operations. So not having that is very big.

Plus, this shift in the rustbelt, Ohio and Pennsylvania, those are states that going to lose seats in redistricting. And the legislature and the governor are going to decide who loses seats. So is it going to be Republicans or Democrats? So obviously now we haven't just, you know, lost a significant number of our congressional delegation, but we're going to lose more seats because they'll be in control. That, you know -- we're holding out for Florida, but I think Florida is gone, too. Those are three very big states that Democrats won in 2008.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A huge problem for the president in 2012. He's been to Ohio a dozen times these last two years. He needed Ohio. He's going to need Pennsylvania and Michigan, all now run by Republican governors.

So he won't have the political operation at his beck and call. He's going to have to try to really re-imagine a scenario for himself for 2012. And that starts today.

CHETRY: So these implications move beyond the midterm elections into 2012. It's very fascinating. Thanks to all of you. We'll check back in. Meanwhile, back over to John.

ROBERTS: Thanks very much, Kiran.

President Obama suffers losses not seen in 62 years. He'll be waking up with an awful hangover at the White House this morning. Democrat control of the House is gone, gig losses in the Senate. Where does the president go from here, and how does he have to govern in the next two years? Our Ed Henry live in Washington coming up next.

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ROBERTS: Well, any way you cut it, it was a terrible night for the Democrats -- 60 seats at this point have switched hands in the House, a bunch in the gubernatorial races across the states. The Senate, they barely hung on to that.

Not quite as bad as it was in 1994 when total control of Congress went to Republicans. Ed Henry is live in Washington for us this morning. Ed, despite that small saving Grace for Democrats, any way you say it, it was just -- they got the stuffing beaten out of them tonight.

ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, not much of a silver lining, John. What the president tried to do quickly late last evening was to place a midnight phone call to John Boehner and both sides trying to say all the right things, the president congratulating John Boehner. You see the official White House photo there.

His staffers are saying he wants to work with the Republicans. Boehner's aide said the same thing.

But a reality check, the fact of the matter is these two men have been shadow boxing in a pretty bitter campaign, divided on issues like the Bush tax cuts. And over the course of the first almost two years now of the Obama administration, they've agreed on very little.

Boehner has led this strong opposition, no on just about everything the president has proposed. Likewise, the president hasn't always reached out to folks like Boehner. He says he's tried, but when you talk to people like -- I was speaking yesterday to former Senate Republican leader Trent Lott. He said there's got to be more communication between both sides. The president promised in the state of the union to have monthly meetings with leaders of both parties, hasn't quite lived up to that.

So both sides saying we'll try a new start here, but in the early hours there may be a little bit gamesmanship. The president will have a news conference today in the east room, kind of lay out where he stands. What do the Republicans do? They're going to have a news conference before the president, about 90 minutes before that, get a little ahead of him, John.

ROBERTS: In the run-up to the election, Ed, the pundits were talking about the president would like to keep control of the House, but losing control of the House wouldn't be the worst thing for him because for the next two years as he prepares for his reelection he will have a foil. Everything that goes wrong, he can potentially blame on the Republicans.

Will that be part of the calculus in the next couple of years for the White House?

HENRY: There's no doubt about it. When you talk to the president's advisers, they say, look, now the Republicans have some responsibility to govern here. They didn't get both chambers, but with at least one chamber, now having control of the House, they'll have to step up.

And they believe that while the president will have to make changes, the Republicans on the Hill are not just going to be able to say no anymore.

And the other potential positive out of all of this for the president, you remember full well after Bill Clinton took a shellacking in 1994, he made adjustments, got reelected in '96, John.

ROBERTS: We'll see where it goes because the 2012 presidential campaign begins today.

HENRY: Right now.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBERTS: Ed Henry in Washington, thanks so much. Kiran?

CHETRY: We're talking 2012. Still, there are undecided races. The polls have closed, but we're still looking at the count and trying to figure out who won in some key races. Seven governors races still up and Senate ones as well.

It's 57 minutes past the hour. We'll be back with much more coming up.

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ROBERTS: We're crossing the top of the hour. It is 4:00 in the morning on the east coast on this Wednesday, the 3rd of November, the day after the midterm elections. And what an election it was.

CHETRY: Yes. It really was. We want to bring you up to date on the key races that were called early this morning. Let's get right to it.

Some of the things still going on this morning and some of the things that have taken us into overtime here we're still trying to figure out, some governors' races and Senate races as well. But lket me tell you about ones we know.

First, this was a highly contested and closely watched race for Senate in Nevada. And Majority Leader Harry Reid will keep his Senate seat.