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Sound of Sunday: Most intriguing quotes

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Sound of Sunday with Candy Crowley
  • Dems, Republicans both optimistic in final days before the election
  • "I'll be surprised if the House doesn't have a Republican majority," Barbour says
  • "If our voters turn out, we win," says DNC chairman Tim Kaine
  • "The status quo, the establishment in Washington -- they'll get used to me," Steele says

(CNN) -- Here are some of the most quotable sound bites from the Sunday morning shows:

On Election Day predictions:

"If we get 39 seats and take the majority, that's success. If we get 37 seats, that's success. ... We have battled our way back here, so to have the kind of night that we're anticipating on Tuesday is not just a blessing, but it comes from the hard work of our candidates out there engaging with the people." -- Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, CNN's "State of the Union"

"People aren't going to be voting for generic candidates on Tuesday. They'll be voting for actual candidates. And what I found as I traveled around is that in many of the states that I visited, when people listen to the candidates and know them and directly ask them questions and trust them, you get a much different outcome." -- Majority Whip Dick Durbin, "State of the Union"

"I don't know what the headlines are going to be the day after the election. I don't think there's much doubt because of public opinion polls that Republicans are going to take over control of the House of Representatives. That's almost a foregone conclusion. I hope they won't get Senate as well, and I don't think they will. But this, I think, may have some benefits in the long term." -- Former President Jimmy Carter, CNN's "Reliable Sources"

Carter: Tea Party forebears elected me

"I think it's going to be a political earthquake and the message will have been sent to the left that they blew it, and Americans are waking up and they're saying, 'No, smaller, smarter government is the only way that the country can get back on the right track.' " -- Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, "Fox News Sunday"

"I think all these Washington pundits are going to be surprised, just like many of them were surprised very recently in a special election that we had in Pennsylvania, where everybody predicted the Republican win. Didn't happen. We're seeing strong early votes for Democrats, which means that this idea that the Democrats are not energized is just not true." -- Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, "Fox News Sunday"

"I'll be surprised if the House doesn't have a Republican majority. I think it's harder in the Senate. I think we'll probably make big gains in the Senate. And of course for my particular line of work, I think we'll have at least 30 Republican governors." -- Republican Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, NBC's "Meet the Press"

Video: What does GOP want from the election?
Video: Democrats' closing argument
Video: Brennan on possible future threats
Video: Pres. Carter on FOX News and Tea Party

"Despite Republicans' assertions 'Oh, there's an enthusiasm gap!' we're seeing strong Democratic performance in early voting and we're seeing significant turnout all over the country that the field efforts are kicking. And we're seeing polls, the poll today that I saw shows that if you just ask registereds, Democrats have an edge over Republicans this time. Likely, they still have an edge by about four points. That's what we've got to do between now and Tuesday. If our voters turn out, we win." -- Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, "Meet the Press"

"We understand that people are hurting in this country. But our goal is to have them understand and channel their anger on Election Day against the Republican Party that brought us to the verge of economic collapse in November of 2008, when financial institutions in this country were ready to collapse." -- Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, ABC's "This Week"

"I think we'll make a lot of headway. I'm not predicting that we will get the [Senate] majority this cycle. I think it probably is going to take two cycles, but there is certainly a potential there, depending on just how high and how broad this wave election is." -- Republican Sen. John Cornyn, "This Week"

"I think the seats that we're going to win, if we do win them, it's going to be because we're pledged to cut back on spending. If we ever reneged on that pledge, then we just look like another group of politicians coming in. We have to make this year different from others." -- Republican Rep. Pete King, CBS's "Face the Nation"

"I've been out campaigning the last couple of weeks. I've sensed that if this is a Republican tidal wave, I've sensed a Democratic undertow going against it. Democrats are much more fired up in the last two weeks than people would think." -- Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, "Face the Nation"

"I feel good about the Senate right now in terms of what's going to happen at the end of this election. .... I think people have just stepped back a little and said, we want to continue to govern and move forward. And we're concerned about the extreme views of some of these candidates." -- Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, "Face the Nation"

On what the election says about President Obama:

"There's no question that this midterm election is a referendum on Obama's policies. He talks about it. The public talks about it. The dominant issues in America are all of this spending, outrageous spending, excessive debt, skyrocketing deficits, joblessness and what the American people are looking at, and they're saying the Obama policies aren't working." -- Barbour, "Meet the Press"

"I think this is a choice, a clear choice. It's not a referendum. It's a choice between a Democratic Party that is doing heavy lifting to turn a shrinking economy that the Republicans left us into a growing economy, stopping combat operations in Iraq and so many other key achievements." -- Kaine, "Meet the Press"

"I don't think it's about communication. I think it's about the product. They're trying to sell something that isn't any good. And what we have now is an economy that remains in the doldrums. ... So people are angry. They're also worried about the future. And they're saying this is not what we thought we were getting when we elected President Obama and the Democratic Congress." -- Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, "Face the Nation"

On Steele's GOP detractors:

"Look, not everybody plays well with others on the playground. We understand that. I'm a different kind of chairman. I said I would be. I'm not a status quo guy. I believe in shaking the system up. I'm a grass-roots, bottom-up kind of activist. And I think the party needs that kind of leadership right now. The status quo, the establishment in Washington -- they'll get used to me." -- Steele, "State of the Union"

On 2012:

"If the country needed me -- and I'm not saying that the country does and that the country would ever necessarily want to choose me over anyone else, but I would be willing to make the sacrifices if need be for America." -- Palin, "Fox News Sunday"

On potential terror threats:

"Some very good work was done both overseas as well as here in the United States to find those two packages and to make sure that those devices were made inert. Very close in strong partnership there. So we don't know whether or not that's the extent of it, so we're going to continue to pursue all possible leads in the event that there are some other devices that are out there." -- John Brennan, Obama's assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism, "State of the Union"

Brennan says cargo plane explosives could detonate on their own

"So the underwear bomber, as well as these packages, are showing sort of new techniques on their part. They are very innovative and creative. We need to stay one step ahead of them." -- Brennan, "This Week"