Will Democrats control Congress? ;
Interview with Senator John Merta of Pennsylvania
On November 6, 2006, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Senator Barbara boxwin of California were interviewed.
20: 00 ETTHIS is a report card in a hurry.
This copy may not be in final form and may be updated.
Paula Zane, cnn anchor: Now, we want to register with John King, who has gone out and, across the country, determined what both Republicans and Democrats are doing tonight--John.
John King, CNN's Chief National Correspondent: Well, John, it's interesting.
Everyone was trying to make the final pitch last night.
But I suspect that most voters have made up their minds.
You saw the president on the road today.
You saw the candidate on the road today.
As Bill has just pointed out, polls show that this year is a year of democracy.
Republicans are counting on what they call 72-
The hour show, that is, identify your constituents and grab their ears if necessary to get them to vote.
They have a mechanical advantage if you like.
Is it enough to overcome the opposition to the war?
It will be--
Anger in Washington?
No polls show.
We're about to know.
ZAHN: Tell us what is being done on the ground-
Encourage people to come out.
For a long time, the grass-roots operations of Republicans have been much better.
KING: They do.
Over the years, they have spent more money on this.
They developed a database.
Democrats say they will catch up this year.
They did not say that they had caught up.
They said they were catching up. It --
It includes simple technology, you have someone--
You know they are registered Democrats or Republicans or you know if they are independents or not.
Many of the calls tonight will be for independents, especially states like Missouri, states like Pennsylvania, although in the Senate campaign most people see this as a Democratic column.
If you have identified your people, you will find some extra people here and there.
Basically, they have their own computer bar codes.
Their name is Paula Zane.
They saw what she said.
They scanned her answer into the computer.
It tells them: do we need to call her back tomorrow to get her to vote?
Or do we think she will vote in another way?
They won't call you back because they want you to stay at home.
ZAHN: take a quick look at the president's schedule today, and what we can gather from the message that is being communicated to voters. . .
KING: Well. . . ZAHN: . . . out there. KING: . . .
The president said: If you vote for the Democratic Party, we will basically surrender in Iraq.
If you vote for the Democratic Party, your taxes will increase.
What the president did not say was: Do you know?
I will be president in the next two years, and if I were president, they wouldn't be able to raise your taxes.
If I were the President, there was nothing they could do about Iraq because the commander-in-chief was responsible for foreign policy.
But he clearly wants to raise the Republican turnout.
You will see the president on the way.
He's in Dallas, Texas.
The president's most interesting event today was when he went to Florida.
He should run with Charlie Crist.
He's a Republican running for governor.
He's a little AWOL, isn't he?
Not only did he leave his job.
He's running for the campaign with John McCain, and it's a curtain if you want --
A questioner of what is going to happen to the president.
The match will start at 4: 00 or 5: 00 on Wednesday, and we will continue with the results.
The match will begin in 08.
The question is, how important is this president?
Will he be a lame duck?
His vice president did not run for president.
Does this reduce his influence on the Republican Party?
And guess what?
Democrats will say leave Iraq.
Democrats will do a lot of things.
But after the election, he will also talk to many Republicans, who said:
Mr. President, unless you change the way you do business, it will be a tough two years.
Many Republicans will say one thing he has to do is to fire his defense minister.
ZAHN: We heard the chorus of these calls today.
Let's talk now about Candy Crawley, her insight into what we can expect now, just ahead of this election.
Candy Crawley, CNN's senior political correspondent: We 've been looking at how we got to this place.
Paula, do you know what they say? Is the political eternity a week?
Well, you can imagine what will happen in two months. year period. (Start Video)CROWLEY (voice-over)
After winning a second term with more than 3 million votes, President Bush's approval rating was 55%.
President Bush: Let me say this: I made capital in the election, political capital, and now I'm going to spend it.
Crawley: if he had the capital, it would disappear overnight as the independents who helped him re-elect began to move.
The approval of 5% on November 5 is an important symbol of the Bush administration's second term.
The past two years have been a long and difficult process, mostly a downward process, which is inextricably linked to the growing suspicion of the war in Iraq, which was exacerbated by Hurricane Katrina.
He seems to be out of this disaster and knows nothing about the crisis that is taking place.
Bush: Also, Brownie, what you did was great.
Crowley: Not only did Katrina drown New Orleans,
It has swallowed up the presidency that has collapsed under the weight of Iraq's death toll.
CNN Poll Director Keating Holland: a big deal George Bush worked for him, even before the age of 9/11, was that Americans thought he was a strong leader.
After Hurricane Katrina and the disaster in New Orleans, most Americans think he is not a strong leader.
Then he lost.
He never got it back.
Crawley: There's a question of trust.
Four months after Hurricane Katrina, 10 marats were killed in Fallujah, and the president said what everyone already knows: there are no weapons of mass destruction.
BUSH: But it turns out that most of the intelligence is wrong.
As your President, I am responsible for the decision to enter Iraq.
Crawley: in the year after re-election, the president's approval rating dropped by 17 percentage points.
Two years later, on the eve of the 2006 election, he dropped 20 percentage points in the political costs of Iraq, Katrina and Iraq.
Dan balz, Washington Post: we saw in 2004 that there was a lot of anger on the Democratic side about President Bush.
What we see in this election is that the independents are now, because of Iraq, and I think, to a large extent, they are implying that they are going to be democratic. -on Tuesday.
Crawley: nonpartisan people who helped re-elect George Bush seem to have disappeared with his capital. And, if pre-
Then, the election vote proves that the president will not go through such a long difficult journey alone.
He will bring his party with him. (END VIDEOTAPE)
Crawley: Paula, as John said earlier, although we may see a very big signal tomorrow, indicating what voters think about Iraq, we also ---
I think when Congress comes back, reality will eventually hit voters, because there is little way for Congress to start withdrawing its troops from Iraq, except for the wallet.
That's why they call the president commander-in-chief.
ZAHN: Today in The Washington Post, the soldiers gave some very heartfelt interviews expressing a different view of what it means to withdraw immediately.
Clearly, this government must be very sensitive to these issues ---
Some soldiers say, you know,-
The rebellion will only get worse if you pull us out, and others say, we--
We don't understand what we're doing here.
Crawley: Well, the interesting thing is,-
In the countryside, and--as --
As you have seen in those interviews, you have not heard people say: we must leave there now.
We want the Democrats to come in and pull them out.
Most of them don't want this.
Many voters say: this is not good.
We need to find a way out of there.
They just don't think the president has a plan.
Nor do they think the Democratic Party will do so.
But at this point they are willing to take a flyer and see if they can come up with something.
So this is not an immediate withdrawal.
The vote did not appear to be about an immediate withdrawal.
It's like, where are we going?
ZAHN: this is certainly a problem in the minds of voters, especially the American public seems very opposed to the war.
We know that Iraqis are also watching the incident closely.
What the hell are they thinking?
Let's take a look at our own national security correspondent, John Roberts, who now reports more with us from Baghdad ---John.
John Roberts, CNN veteran: Hi Paula, good evening.
In the past 48 hours, the country has been consumed by the results of the first Saddam Hussein trial, the death penalty for the former dictator and the impact that this may have on the near future.
But now they're behind.
What they are doing is turning their attention to the possible outcome of the United States. S.
The mid-term elections, as well as the long-term impact on Iraq. (Start Video)ROBERTS (voice-over)
: Iraqis did not vote in the mid-term elections, but everyone we talked to on the streets of Baghdad had opinions and interest in what happened on Tuesday.
Awan Freya (ph)
He said he prefers the Democratic Party because "President Bush destroyed Iraq and all the sectarian violence we are seeing now is caused by Bush.
"On the other hand, the Christian thought it would be better if President Bush retained power.
"At least we know him," he said . "
Whether Congress is a Republican or a Democratic Party, most Iraqis seem to want one thing.
Listen to Ahmed Abdul Wahab (ph), a Sunni.
Unidentified male (
What we care about is seeing the security and stability of the country and seeing the occupi people leave the country.
ROBERTS: U. S.
The forces on the ground are reluctant to speak publicly about politics or discuss the overall strategy of Iraq.
But it is clear from my chat with Captain Jack Wansley that they are thinking about it. (on camera)
Do you need a new plan?
Captain America Jack WansleyS.
Army: Well, you know, at my level, I think we're doing--
Do what we can.
: That's what you heard from most of the soldiers I 've ridden in the last two weeks, when you put your camera on them.
Privately, they do believe in what they are doing at the unit level, but they are also frustrated by the Iraqi government's lack of political will to deal with the majority of sectarian violence among Shiite militias, unremitting efforts to bring Iraqi troops and police to combat standards.
They want to know how much time they have before sectarian violence spreads to all. out civil war.
Colonel Jim Pascal. S.
Down the sectarian problem, if it becomes very scattered, it is the family of the family, there is no way to take--
It will be disturbing to see how you affect the stress points of it.
Roberts: Three days laterand-a-
For half a year, ordinary Iraqis have been fed up with violence, daily death parades, barricades and explosive walls.
They desire a normal life.
For Ali Rahim (ph)
Shia, that means half the change. a-world away.
Unidentified male (
If the Democratic Party wins, then the American troops will withdraw from Iraq because the Democratic Party thinks they have suffered heavy losses in Iraq, which they think is the second Vietnam. (END VIDEOTAPE)
Tain: John, I know you 've been given a lot of different points of view--
From the Army--
You followed this in action.
What is consensus?
What do they think about the debate here about immediate withdrawal, phased withdrawal, or adherence to the end?
You know, Paula, a lot of the soldiers are--
They are stubborn Republicans who, regardless of President Bush's plans for the future, are ready to continue to support him.
But there --
There are a lot of people who are worried, even in those who think they are--
As very strong Republicans, about the way forward and how they can put the country under the umbrella of security.
As I said, in the small pockets of each unit they think they are affecting the situation on the ground.
They think they did a good job.
But, you know, I talked to some commanders, you know,-
What happens now can be said to be the best, the situation is static, neither win nor lose.
Paula, it is almost certain that many people here are crying for some major change.
Whether it's an operational change or a political change, it's up to who you talk.
Thank you very much, John Roberts--
Of course, that concern is reflected in what we see from American voters when we take part in the election tomorrow night.
CNN anchor wolf blitzer: The difference is that they point a gun at them. . .
Zane: of course.
BLITZER: . . .
Because they're thinking about what happened.
Paula, thank you.
Thanks also to John.
There is no doubt that American voters are now concerned about Iraq.
Next, we will talk to senators Lindsey Graham and Barbara bowkser and ask if the change in Iraq's strategy is a foregone, no matter what happens tomorrow.
What if the Democrats take over Congress?
Special moments on Iraq, voter anger and elections-
We will be back soon. (
BLITZER: Let's come back and talk about some of the key issues that we need to pay attention to tomorrow's election.
We're going to talk to two senators who face the war at congressional hearings. -Hill, that is --
Listen to what they have to say.
Lindsey Graham, a Republican in South Carolina, served on the Senate Armed Forces and Veterans Committee.
California Democrat Barbara Boxer is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
I'm glad you both were with us tonight.
Senator Graham, let me start with you.
There's a brand-
According to CNN's latest survey, 6 out of 10 Am Americans Disapprove-
War in Iraq.
In the same poll, 73% of Americans expressed anger and 20% expressed anger.
Will these numbers cause Republicans to lose control of Congress? SEN.
Lindsey Graham (R)
South Carolina: I think we will stick to the Senate.
Republicans will definitely surge.
I think the Republicans will return to the embrace of the Republican Party.
Non-partisan people not only ask, what happened in Iraq?
This is not for George W. Bush.
This is also a question raised by independent voters about the Democratic Party's tax policy and Iraq policy.
I'm not happy with what happened in Iraq, but in my opinion the worst thing we can do is set a deadline or schedule for the withdrawal, because it's not about Tuesday.
In the coming decades of war against terrorism, Iraq will be at the forefront.
So, I think most Americans understand that the Democratic board of directors is all-round. And --
We will see what they say tomorrow.
ZAHN: Senator Boxer, you have to admit that there are all kinds of programs in the Democratic Party.
Some of the soldiers interviewed in The Washington Post today believe that if you withdraw immediately, it is worse than sticking to it, and it will have terrible consequences.
What will you tell those young people? SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D)
California: Some people say that.
There are others who have contacted me saying: Senator, please let us leave here.
It was a disaster.
We are sitting ducks. We're targets.
So, I think it's important that we work together.
This should not be the Democratic Party.
Battle of the Republican Party
I think a good thing will happen after this election when Democrats get seats ---
I don't know if we took over or just sat down. -
It's not clear yet--
I think you will see it on the Committee on Foreign Relations. -and I --
I can tell him. -
There is much more cooperation between the two parties on the Iraq issue because you are Senator Lugar. . .
ZAHN: Senator, why don't you have it now?
Let me finish.
You have Senator Luger.
Senator Biden is here.
They work together.
I work with Lisa Murkowski, Chuck Hagel and others.
The reason you don't have it now is because Republicans in the Senate strongly support the president.
They have rubber.
Stamp the president.
That's why you'll see Rick Santorum and George Bush with a 98% deal and get into so much trouble, as do others, Jim Taine.
So, I think, after this election, when you see more Democrats in the US Senate and in the house, you're going in the direction of Union.
Boxer: I'm really happy because I think it's good for the country.
Senator Graham, I see you nodding your head. But --
But why are you so optimistic? . .
GRAHAM: Mmm-hmm. ZAHN: . . .
Because even if the Democrats control the House, even the Senate, there will be a lot of people who will say that there will be no obvious change as long as Donald Lombard is in charge of the Department of Defense?
Did you really see any changes after this election?
Do you see an increase in bipartisan support?
Yes, I know. Yes, I --
I like what Barbara says.
I think it would be good for the country if we could come together and come up with a reasonable plan to make sure we win in Iraq.
Lincoln Chaffey is back.
He's certainly not the president's rubber stamp.
But the weirdest thing for me is Joe Lieberman.
I think Joe Lieberman will win.
I hope he wins.
When he comes to the Senate, after going through what he's been through, we should all listen to him because, if it's just about war, he won't win.
He is in the bluest state.
Most of the people who voted for him did not agree with him during the war, but they respected him because they thought he put the country ahead of party politics.
We are all smart enough to follow Joe's model and put the country ahead of party politics and we will all do well.
ZAHN: but, in the end, Senator Graham, it's interesting that you'll notice that Senator Boxer is correct, and, in the process of getting more Democrats in, you will have a greater chance of real bipartisan cooperation.
So, do you welcome more Democrats to the House and Senate tomorrow? (LAUGHTER)
Is that what you told me tonight?
GRAHAM: No. No. I'm. . . (LAUGHTER)
GRAHAM: . . .
I welcome what she said, the idea that we can work together.
I think Republicans will lose some seats in the Senate,-
For me, Iraq is not November 7.
It's about the next few decades.
This is part of the war on terror.
If we mess up this country, Iran is the biggest winner.
If Iraq is divided into three parts, we will start a war between Turkey and northern Kurdish.
So, as a Republican senator, I am doing what I can to let my constituents in South Carolina know that the situation in Iraq is not very good, but the failure of Iraq is disastrous for the world and the region, we must win this war, and we must cooperate better in order to win this war.
That means change.
This does not mean exit.
BOXER: Well. . .
ZAHN: a very quick final idea.
I can only give you 10 seconds.
Boxer: Well, change. . .
ZAHN: I had a business breakthrough here.
BOXER: Change. . . (LAUGHTER)
Boxer: Lindsay, change is the order of the day. You're right.
Change means changing Congress.
The Kurds are half. autonomous.
So let's face it.
We need change.
Lindsay, I look forward to seeing you in Congress next week.
Okay, you two. . . (LAUGHTER)ZAHN: . . .
We have to leave it there.
Senator Lindsey Graham. . .
Graham: Thank you. ZAHN: . . .
Barbara Boxer, thank you for your time.
President Bush's favorite sentence now is to ask Democrats: What is your plan?
We will get some answers in a moment.
Congressional Correspondent Andrea Koppel is watching the changes in the Democratic Congress.
You just heard a preview of what Senator Boxer thinks will happen.
I will then speak to one of the president's toughest critics of Iraq's strategy, Pennsylvania Congressman John Merta.
We will be back soon. (
BLITZER: By this time tomorrow, the vote will be over, and the results will come at CNN's election headquarters.
Polls show a possible political earthquake. -
Democrats still want to control the House, even the Senate.
This could be a huge change in Washington.
But what does that mean for Iraq?
What does this mean for America? S.
The troops fighting there?
Iraq is the top priority for American voters.
Tonight, our congressional correspondent Andrea Copel looks closely at how the Democratic Party will deal with the war. (Start Video)
Unidentified men and women: take them home!
Take them home!
Andrei KOPPEL, a reporter from CNN, Congress (voice-over)
Democrats say victory in the vote will give them the mandate to change Iraq. SEN.
Charles Schumer (D)
New York: that's how Washington works.
We will have more influence.
What they will want.
What we want.
Things will have to change.
Many Democrats say they want change to mean America. S.
The troops will begin to go home.
Under a plan, together
Written by Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reid and supported by Senate DemocratsS.
Troops will be evacuated by the end of this year.
But there is no timetable to attract all Americans. S.
Withdrawal from Iraq
Joe Biden of Delaware also hopesS.
He plans to divide Iraq into three autonomous regions, with a strong central government responsible for dividing oil revenues into three autonomous regions.
On the other hand, Penn Democrat Jack Merta and Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts called for all combat troops to leave Iraq.
Still, Vice President Cheney says even if the Democratic Party winsS.
Policy will not change.
S. Vice President Dick Cheney: The president has made clear what his goal is.
This is Iraq's victory.
And it's full speed.
Continue on this basis.
This is exactly what we have to do.
KOPPEL: in fact, the only way Democrats force President Bush to start withdrawing troops is if they stop funding the war, Senator Reid told CNN that the move is no longer on the table. SEN. JACK REED (D)
Rhode Island: of course, one of the concerns I have is, you know, the denial of funding is ultimately, we have to support men and women who have done a good job for us.
But if the Democrats control Congress, if President Bush is just casual, there will be consequences.
Thomas man, senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution: his popularity will continue-
Republicans will see him as a huge burden. (END VIDEOTAPE)
KOPPEL: could cost Republicans the burden of votes-
Vote in the House and the White House in 08.
On top of that, you have other Republicans who say, like Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, she broke with President Bush on the Iraq issue.
Wolf, experts say that if the Republicans lose after tomorrow's election, you will see more Republicans following her. -Wolf.
Andrea Copel, thank you very much.
We'll see if the Democrats will win first tomorrow.
Then they can make some changes if they--
If they have a chance
Andrea, thank you very much. -Paula.
Well, I know someone who thinks they will win.
That's Senator John Merta.
He said he thinks voters will overthrow Congress tomorrow and let Democrats control it for the first time in 12 years. -
The biggest reason is anger at the war in Iraq.
After spending more than 30 years in the Marine Corps and more than 30 years in Congress, these 74-year-
Old Democrats know war and politics very well.
He's with us tonight.
Welcome back, sir.
So, you just heard Andrea Copel report what they might do if the Democrats win a majority.
I know it's out of the box now, but would you consider cutting back on war funding? REP. JOHN MURTHA (D)
Penn: Paula, I don't think there is any need for this, I don't think.
The president wants to leave a legacy. He wants to --
He's a failed president now.
He's at 37%. And --
If he continues his policy, he will-
He will go down in history as one of the worst presidents in American history.
So he will have to deal with Democrats.
You know, he gave the medals to George Tenet and these guys.
Everything is rhetoric and beautiful picture.
He must be responsible.
The government must be responsible for this.
When the Army Times called for resignation,-
It is of great significance to succeed minister Lensfield.
The military lost confidence.
They know that capital flows are key.
This is the key when you talk about capital flow.
When you ask this question, this is all about it.
Muta: The future of the Army, the equipment they buy, everything comes from funding.
There is therefore a variety of methods, not to cut off funds for Iraqi forces, but to reschedule the funds.
This will be a key issue.
ZAHN: you have heard clearly the president's criticism of your party.
He said all you have to do is-
You have all kinds of plans, and that's what's negative.
Does it hurt or--
Or compromise your authority, where Democrats are everywhere?
None of the plans are acceptable to you.
Paula, what is the president's plan?
The president has no plans.
This is not a plan.
Winning is not a plan. That's a goal.
This is all their goal.
They have no strategy.
That's why the military is so upset.
You need a goal that can be achieved, a policy that can be achieved, a strategy that can be achieved.
The military is frustrated.
They are trying to accuse the military.
Let me tell you one thing.
A year ago, when I heard them say it was up to the military when we left Iraq, and I knew they would end up blaming them.
Just last week, the House majority leader, the Republican majority leader in Congress, said the military had made many mistakes, in other words, trying to transfer responsibility to the military.
General Sanchez served as commander in Iraq. -
He said it was a wrong policy for three years.
So, you have Perle, who is the former chairman of the Defense Policy Committee, who abandoned them, and Kenneth Adelman is giving George Tenet--a --a medal.
You know, everyone is abandoning them except Barney.
Barney is the only one who supports these guys.
ZAHN: The last question given to you tonight: If you start withdrawing troops now, what will you say to the soldiers outside, you are belittling what they have achieved in this area, in fact, will you make the rebel movement worse?
Musha: Paula, the opposite ---what the --
That's what the White House said.
The first step in Iraq's stability is to redeploy our troops.
That's what everyone said.
The Iraqis say so.
That's what the American people say.
Let me tell you one thing.
This is not the dictatorship of the United States.
To the secretary. -
Or the vice president and the president said that when people speak, we will continue this policy, which will change.
We build from the bottom up.
The Soviet Union gave orders from the top down.
When he hears the news tomorrow, he will change his policy.
ZAHN: We're going to have to finish at this point.
Representative John Muta once again thanked him for his visit tonight. Appreciate it.
Nice to talk to you, Paula.
As we mentioned, Democrats have high hopes of taking over the house.
But Republicans think they can keep the Senate at least.
In our special election
Eve reports: real-time updates from recent Senate elections across the country.
We will be back soon. (
ZAHN: we welcome you back to our election headquarters in New York and the results of the election will begin tomorrow at this time.
Four key elections will transfer control of the Senate to the Democratic Party.
Tonight, we all have journalists in these four key states.
You can see it in Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri and Montana.
We are starting tonight in Virginia, and the latest USA Today poll shows that Republican George Allen is three points ahead, which is smaller than the margin of error.
Let's update our reporter, Ed Henry.
He joined us tonight from Richmond for the latest game. -Ed.
Ed henry, CNN: Good evening, Paula.
You know, George Allen is on defense, especially with Iraq.
Not long ago, he held a rally in Richmond with only 250 participants.
Meanwhile, his Democratic rival James Webb held a rally with former President Bill Clinton at the other end of the state.
Police officials said there were five to 6,000 people at the rally.
Part of Weber's enthusiasm is on the Iraq issue.
He is a Vietnam veteran.
He was wearing war boots in the campaign, his son's, and he is currently serving in Iraq.
He has been calling for new courses in Iraq, and now George Allen has started doing the same in recent weeks, saying no more to stick to it, saying that mistakes have been made, saying, again, iraq has not made enough progress.
In fact, George Allen took extraordinary steps tonight, buying two minutes of television time across the Commonwealth, talking directly to voters about any time in this election, he said, made a mistake in Iraq, but gave me another six years to fix it.
Very interesting, but I can tell you that I spoke to a senior Republican in the Allen camp who said he wasn't sure it was enough ---Paula.
Ed Henry, thank you very much for the latest news from Richmond.
Now looking at Tennessee, USA Today is talking about another statistical link between Republican Bob Cork and Democrat Harold Ford.
Joe John is now joining us from Chattanooga to update on the game. Hi, Joe.
Joe John, cnn correspondent: Hi Paula.
Candidates for the match are expected to finish at home tonight.
For Harold Ford Memphis, Tennessee, that certainly means.
We had some pictures of him running in Knoxville earlier today, but Memphis is his base.
This is where his constituency is, so he expects to stay in the area after the election, and maybe venture out of 100 miles on election day, but not more than that.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Republican Bob Corker, though three percentage points ahead, is expected to end tonight in Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to the poll.
Of course, this is the city where he served as mayor for a while. A very hard-
To compete for him, he traveled around the state today with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frith.
Of course, if Corker wins the election tomorrow, his seat will win.
Paula, look back for you.
Thanks for the update, Joe John.
Now, Democrat Claire McCaskill is threatening Jim tatter, the current Republican.
The latest USA Today poll shows her leading 4 percentage points in Missouri.
Now let's move to Jonathan Frid, who is holy.
Jonathan Fried, cnn correspondent: Hi Paula.
What's happening in Missouri right now is that it's a game about turnout.
Every election is about turnout, but this time in Missouri, they say they are really serious when a game is as close as this one.
What's happening here is that Democrat Claire MacAskill is really trying to turn this into a referendum on President Bush.
Her opponent, now Republican Senator Jim Dart, was elected for the first time in 2002.
It was before the war, of course, when the president's approval rating was very high.
We all know what's going on in the next few years, and MacAskill is really trying to connect talent to Mr MacAskillBush --Paula.
Thank you, Jonathan.
Finally, under the big, mostly Republican Sky, a surprise--
Very Big Sky-of Montana.
Take a look at this latest USA Today poll, showing Democratic Jon Testers 9 percentage points ahead of current Republican Conrad Burns.
Finally, let's get the story from Chris Lawrence of Billings.
CNN Correspondent Chris Lawrence: Senator burn's campaign called the numbers false and quoted "they don't smell right.
"They said that on the latest Friday, other polls showed that their people were in trouble with Jon Tester, a third-generation peasant Democrat.
Now, in a close match, the turnout was everything, and Montana's Secretary of State reported that he was trying to confuse voters and possibly suppress the turnout.
The secretary said about 50 people reported calling them and asking who they planned to vote.
The person who then called told voters that the state had never received the ballot paper you were absent from and that you had to make a temporary ballot on Tuesday, which was open to challenges.
The problem is that none of these voters asked for an absentee vote.
They should not worry about it.
The secretary of state told these voters to report any similar calls to the authorities and told voters not to let it stop you from voting ---Paula.
We will watch it with you.
Chris Lawrence and our other reporters during the campaign. Thank you all.
Now, we 've just seen the last four states, but Democrats actually need to get six seats to take over the Senate.
We need to see how they put this together.
But before we consider all the possibilities, we will be back in Baghdad, where war comes first in this campaign. (
ZAHN: it's still a few hours from the start of the US vote.
Just a day after Saddam Hussein, Iraq's former dictator, was hanged, two incidents could mean major changes in Iraq.
Let's turn to Michael Ware, who joins us from Baghdad, and let's better understand what it all means.
Michael, we know this sentence will be appealed automatically.
When is the earliest possible execution date at work?
Michael will, cnn correspondent: Paula, this is a big guess.
I mean, there are some completely unconfirmed reports that the appeals chamber has indicated that it may rule as early as January.
No one knows, however, that even the Court of Appeal itself does not.
However, it is important to know here that, in accordance with the Iraqi constitution and the relevant laws, they do not have a set schedule to make a decision.
Obviously, there is a lot of pressure to get the job done as soon as possible, but nothing can force them to do it in a hurry ---Paula.
ZAHN: Michael, we know that some people in this country are ecstatic about the possibility that he will be hanged, but you also have some of his supporters, and we took pictures all day, shout for their loyalty to him.
What impact could this have on the rebel movement?
Could it stimulate it further?
WARE: probably not.
I mean, in general, 99% of the insurgents are fighting for many, many reasons that have nothing to do with Saddam Hussein.
Although the military sometimes likes to use the clumsy term "Saddam", they do not actually exist in the insurgency.
No one is fighting Americans outside to bring Saddam back.
Although there is some lingering support for Saddam in some respects, what you see from the protests is not so much a call for the dictator himself,, this represents how Sunni communities feel about them being attacked.
ZAHN: Michael Ware, thank you very much for your update.
I would like to draw your attention to the left side of the screen.
We now see the president working in the crowd.
We are now a bit losing his image in the dark, but this is after trying to cultivate the party's loyalty, not in the campaign ---
We have been told that there is a controversial Senate campaign going on this time.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson is expected to be an easy re-election campaign.
However, the president tried to vote in the election.
To take over America. S.
Democrats in the Senate will need political stars to line up correctly.
Next, Jeff Greenfield will take a look at it with me.
Win state and possible surprises.
In addition, as our special election coverage continues, some of the country's most watched candidates in the Senate campaign will join Larry King an hour ago.
Please stay with us. (
Welcome back to the CNN election headquarters and the last few hours of the 2006 midterm elections.
Control of the House and Senate depends only on several matches in several key states.
In some states, the question of divided voting is sure to be good or bad for candidates.
Let's take a look at Jeff Greenfield, our senior analyst.
He stands next to what we call smart boards and gives us some examples of key games.
Jeff Greenfield, senior political analyst: You mentioned the voting initiative as a key factor.
Let's take a look at Missouri, where Senator Talent and state Auditor Claire McCaskill got into a pure toss --
Too close to the phone.
Democrats put forward Amendment 2 to the stem cell initiative aimed at getting the state to fund embryonic stem cell research in a vote this fall.
They do so because they think they have a social problem that allows their voters to vote like same-sex marriage brought many social conservatives out in 2004.
Some people think it breaks the balance of Ohio.
What happened in Missouri has also aroused interest among social conservatives.
Those who think this is basically a violation of professional ethicslife attitude.
Louis, Raymond Burke, two years ago, you remember, he suggested rejecting the exchange of John Kerry because he supported
Option, made a record of the information he asked to play in all the parishes of St. Louis.
Thousands of pastoral letters have been sent out.
So the question now is, who of these candidates will benefit from the stem cell program?
If this is Claire's Democrat, or a Republican, or a talented person?
BLITZER: It's not any distance from there.
There are some other key games you are watching.
Greenfield: I think this book has almost caught my interest from a novel perspective.
This is Rhode Island.
Republican Lincoln Chaffey competes with Shelton Whitehouse.
Lincoln Chaffey broke with his party in all possible ways.
He voted against the war in Iraq and against tax cuts.
As you know, in 2004, write to the president in the name of George Herbert Walker Bush.
What's one thing he didn't do?
Senator Jim Jeffers said through the aisle that I am no longer a Republican.
However, Republicans across the country have invested a lot in his primary because they think the more conservative opponents will definitely lose.
So the problem now is Lincoln Chaffey's loyalty to the party, he doesn't agree with that loyalty at all, he's going to let his party lose a seat, or the voters in Rhode Island say, lincoln Chaffey, you know, we admire your spirit of independence.
BLITZER: Ironically, if he were to be a Democrat, he would most likely not be in any trouble because he was re-elected.
Greenfield: if he were to be an independent, it would be like Vermont, where Democrats would not compete with Bernie Sanders, who might be the next senator.
But the attraction of the party kept him going.
I think the last thing I want to see is-
We looked at Missouri. I'm sorry --these initials.
I will study tomorrow.
We should look at Montana.
Sorry, it's supposed to be Montana.
Did I make a mistake?
Conrad Burns and Senate presidential tester
The match was a game when Conrad Burns was knocked out, and it was believed that he made a comeback as a taxi driver by attacking the tester.
The latest polls show testers leading, as well as Burns's campaign, banning newspapers that print the poll from reporting election nights.
Wolf, the mood is high.
It will be an exciting evening tomorrow night.
Thank you very much, Jeff.
You have to stay with us all night on the smart board.
We will be very smart by the end of the evening.
Thank you very much.
I will cancel my plan.
Hey Wolf, I have my own smart board on my side.
I don't even need a touch screen to attract them.
Sitting here, James Cavill is always a pleasure to meet you, Democratic strategist.
Former Congressman J. C. Watts.
Thank you. thank you.
Okay, let's talk about so-
"Bush resistance" known as "Bush factor ".
Look at these statistics.
According to a new survey by CNN, President Bush's approval rating has dropped to 35%. -
I know James is crying with this. -
61% said their discontent with the president's poor performance would affect their vote in tomorrow's election.
How much trouble are you having at your party tonight?
FORMER REP. J. C. WATTS, (R-OK)
I think Paula, as I said earlier this evening, I think you 've seen the president go where he thinks he can help strategically.
Conrad Burns, we just saw Jeff Greenfield say, you know, they think they're counting him in.
About ten days ago, he was in Montana, Florida yesterday, Kansas, Georgia.
If we are to keep the house, we must win a Democratic seat in Georgia.
ZAHN: You said if, if, if.
The salient if.
Watts: Well, I think the wind is on our faces right now.
I think we may lose 18 seats now.
I thought about it 10 days ago, if we wanted to get to the polls, it would be possible.
We're not part of this thing.
James, we just listened to him. -J. C.
Talk about the wind blowing on their faces, yet the latest Pew poll has something inspiring for your party.
This basically shows that Republicans have made some progress in the final stage.
Are you worried about this?
James Cavill, a Democratic strategist: No.
CNN's poll shows that the number of Democrats has increased by 20, and you might think it's a better poll.
If you calculate the average of all the polls published this weekend, Democrats have risen by 11 and a half months.
Obviously, they won't win the election by 11 and a half.
It would be a blow if they did.
We have never seen it.
In 1994, the Republican Party won a vote in Congress with a six-point advantage, resulting in a change of 52 seats.
So I think the biggest number we'll see tomorrow night is the total vote.
The closer it gets to six or more, I think we'll start seeing some pretty big shifts.
You won't make any profound predictions here, will you?
Can I push you?
You can push me.
I think Democrats will have an important night.
I think they will. . .
Don't do that. it's not helpful.
Big night means getting the house back?
Withdraw the Senate?
Yes, they are going to take the house back.
I think Stuart Rothenberg had a forecast in his 30 s.
Charlie Cook is 20 to 35 years old and they all say they don't see any evidence that the Republicans are making a comeback.
They might make a little comeback, which I don't think is enough.
I hope the Democratic Party will get a lot of seats.
ZAHN: Let's go back and look at these real razors. -
What kind of razor is expected
A close match in Tennessee.
You can take a look at this vote.
It can't be tighter than that, can it, James?
Jeff Greenfield and I spoke earlier, and George Will noted that the House has never changed without the Senate.
Now, as Jeff has pointed out, everything is for the first time, and that may be the case.
My guess is that close to 20 seats, the more likely the Republicans are to keep the Senate, the more seats they have over 30. -
The more likely the Democrats will be to get a Senate seat.
You are shaking your head.
Do you agree?
WATTS: Paula, I don't think I agree with this theory.
If it's 30 to 35, I don't know how the Democrats can't win the Senate. That impacts --
The House vote also affected the Senate vote.
But this is not the case, I think.
I think it's all going to be decided by the turnout, these polls. -
I was so tired of the polls that I could hardly bear.
I know you are.
Watt: But I tell you, we can't measure the intensity of the vote, the Republican position is expanding, the Republican grassroots we 've seen in the last ten days.
What does that mean tomorrow? We don't know.
But this time tomorrow night, we will have a good feeling.
Actually, they can--
They measured the intensity decently, and we showed--
At this point in time, I see an increase in the intensity of the Democratic side.
But you're right. -
Cavill's first political rule was that it had to increase by 100 on election day.
You can't end up with two candidates. . .
ZAHN: You are a very agile person. Thank you.
CARVILLE: . . .
It had to add up to 100.
ZAHN: Thank you for your math class.
You have greatly strengthened our education tonight.
Good to meet you, gentlemen. J. C.
See you tomorrow night, James.
We will work together at our lovely new election headquarters.
We have to take a break.
When we return, we will talk about the leaders of the two parties who happen to be one of Larry's guests.
He will join us, too.
We will be back soon. (
ZAHN: We started talking about job security or job insecurity again.
In tomorrow's election, two people were not working on the ballot.
They happen to be the chairman of both Republican Ken Melman and Democrat Howard Dean.
They will be Larry's guests, you know.
This is coming.
Larry, you will have a big show in the next hour.
Tell our audience what we can expect.
Larry King, cnn anchor: Well, we have a lot to do here.
We have David Gergen, James Carville, J. C.
Watt, and you, Wolf.
Because there are wolves everywhere, so you will also participate.
Ed Henry and Jonathan Fried will then join us to cover various competitions across the country.
We will then check in with the Representative Harold Ford, who may or may not be in trouble in Tennessee.
Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic Party, as you mentioned.
We will also have the chairman of the Republican Party.
We will meet with senators in the Senate battle and Senator Rick Santorum, who may be in a lot of trouble in Pennsylvania.
After about a minute and a half, all of this is in front.
It sounds really great.
Paula, one of the things you're going to do tomorrow night is get an exit poll and tell our audience the information we get from the actual voters.
This will be important.
ZAHN: it will be important because it doesn't depend on telephone communication, in which people don't vote and they guess how they will vote.
We actually will. -
We are conducting several different investigations. -
But people are stationed at polling stations across the country.
We're going to pick them randomly after they vote and ask them a very specific set of questions, whether they're voting for Democrats or Republicans, and we want to know about the issues that push them to vote.
In fact, I think it will be the most interesting part of the evening, especially in these very close Senate campaigns.
BLITZER: Larry, let's hope these exit polls will be a little more accurate ---
Many of us remember some exit polls in 2000.
Larry, do you remember?
Of course I do.
So I don't think we will make predictions? Or will we?
We will, of course, predict.
However, we will not only make predictions based on exit polls, but also make predictions based on a lot of information, including actual votes.
We will go.
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