CNN INSIDE POLITICS
Mondale Kicks Off Senate Campaign; Schwarzenegger Pushes For California Afterschool Child Care Proposition
Aired October 31, 2002 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. From Minnesota to Maryland and all across the nation, we are all covering the pre-election action. I'm talking to actor and political activist Arnold Schwarzenegger.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, ACTOR: I can tell you all about action because I was the action hero.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jonathan Karl in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where the Fritz blitz is on, as Walter Mondale kicks off a five-day campaign for U.S. Senate.
DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm CNN technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg. I'll be demonstrating some of the new and hopefully improved voting systems making their debut this Election Day.
WOODRUFF: Also ahead, musical chairs in the White House briefing room. We'll tell you who came out ahead.
ANNOUNCER: Live from Washington, this is INSIDE POLITICS with Judy Woodruff.
WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us.
Well now that Democrat Walter Mondale's Senate bid is official, President Bush has confirmed his penciled in plan to stump for Mondale's GOP opponent Norm Coleman. Mr. Bush will be in Minnesota on Sunday.
Today, former Vice President Mondale's campaign was up and running. With so little time left until Election Day, our Jonathan Karl reports on Mondale carrying the torch for the late Senator Paul Wellstone.
KARL (voice-over): They're calling it "The Fritz Blitz." Mondale's five-day campaign tour started with a radio interview. He told listeners he spoke to his old boss Jimmy Carter before deciding to run again.
WALTER MONDALE (D-MN), SENATE CANDIDATE: He urged me to run.
KARL: Next up, Mondale's first press conference, where he talked up an emerging campaign theme: his extensive experience. MONDALE: I think I know how to start being effective on the first day in the Senate. I've been there. I know the rules. I helped shape them. I was the president of the Senate for four years.
KARL: Mondale hasn't always put such faith in experience. He decided against running 13 years ago, telling reporters he worried about the appropriateness of yet another Senate campaign.
"I've watched too many friends that stayed there too long. I vowed when I was in the Senate that I would never be among them. I don't want to make a fool out of myself."
Back then, the 61-year-old Mondale joked he once considered a bill banning people over the age of 60 running for Senate.
Now a candidate yet again, Mondale announced a couple of decisions. Yes, he will debate Republican Norm Coleman once. No, he will not actively raise money for his campaign.
MONDALE: I'm not going to make one phone call for money and I guarantee you this: we'll have a lot less money.
KARL: But he's got enough money to cut his first TV ad, which will be on the air tonight.
Republican Norm Coleman is sprinting to every corner of Minnesota in his final push. He's not directly attacking Mondale, but he repeatedly says his campaign is about the future, suggesting his opponent's is about the past.
NORM COLEMAN (R-MN), SENATE CANDIDIATE: Our challenge is now to move forward. Our challenge is to build on it.
KARL: Coleman is back on the air waves. One ad features a testimonial from his daughter. In another, he talks about Wellstone.
COLEMAN: Today all of Minnesota grieves. The prayers of Gloria and I go out to the families of Paul and Shelia and Marcia and all those that lost loved ones.
And now I have to ask you to look with me into the future.
KARL: And right now, Walter Mondale is holding his first town hall meeting. It's here in Saint Paul at Macallister College. It's -- this is the place where he went to college and it's also the place where he married the chaplain's daughter. He's here -- this is the first of many town hall meetings, this campaign says. They will go around the state and have town hall meetings at places including, I am told, Carlton College, the place where Paul Wellstone served as a professor before running for Senate.
Also, the campaign is distributing a letter from Mondale's physician. It's a letter that says that Mondale's last physical exam was just about a month ago on September 25. The doctor gives him a clean bill of health, saying that he walks two miles a day, takes good care of himself, keeps his weight down. And listen to this line, Judy. He says, most importantly: "You are certainly in good shape to perform all the duties of an United States senator and I have no doubt that you will be able to fill a six-year term." So he's got a written guarantee from his doctor that he will be able to serve until he's 80- years-old in the United States Senate.
Now Judy, the letter also says that there is one physical incident that he wanted to point out and that is that he has lost partial vision in his right eye due to an emebellism he had in February of this year -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right. Jon Karl, thanks very much.
Well, if Mondale is elected once again to the Senate, he would enjoy several perks as a former vice president, including a special leadership position no matter which party has the majority. A special resolution was passed when Hubert Humphrey served in the Senate after his tenure as V.P., giving him the title, deputy president protempore. It applies to any former president or vice president serving in the chamber.
Mondale presumably would get other perks that Humphrey got including a leadership level salary and a car and driver.
FYI, if elected, Mondale would be the only sitting senator whose bust is displayed outside the Senate chamber. All vice presidents eventually are honored that way.
For some inside buzz on the Minnesota contest and other races to watch, let's turn to our senior political correspondent Candy Crowley. Candy, you've been talking to a lot of folks today. What are they saying about Minnesota?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, for the Republicans, not over yet. You know, we've talked a lot about this race between Norm Coleman and now Fritz Mondale. And here's what we have.
According to the Republicans, they say take a look back to the last time we were in a similar situation. That would be the Carnahan funeral, when Mel Carnahan, running for Senate Missouri died in a small plane crash. What happened after that, was they had a very somber funeral. You know, walking, you saw, dignitaries walking behind the casket. That sort of thing. And they say it set the tone. Republicans say it set the tone. So when Ashcroft went back up, he was running against John Ashcroft, with commercials, everybody was mad at him.
But they say now contrast that to what happened in Minnesota where it looked like a pep rally. They say it gave us some running room. We're, you know, we're going to treat Mondale with respect but we can really hit him hard on some of those issues.
WOODRUFF: All right. Let's broaden it out a little bit. Which -- you've also been talking about the other campaigns going on out there. There are a lot of close ones. Which ones are you hearing are going to go down to the wire, and which ones are going to be, you know, in other words, the real squeakers here?
CROWLEY: Well, we don't have enough time to talk about all the squeakers. So stay tuned. But let me give you three of them.
WOODRUFF: We will on Election Day.
CROWLEY: Yes, like we know.
First check the Mississippi River runs through Missouri. That's one of the real squeaker races. I can tell you right now, the race for Jean Carnahan and Jim Talent in Missouri is very close. I can also tell you that on both sides, Republican and Democrat, they say to me, We're going to win this race. So stay tuned on that one.
South Dakota, this is an emotional race as well as a close one. It's been framed as Tom Daschle versus George Bush. It's really Tim Johnson versus John Thune on the Republican side. Really close in the polls. Nobody is willing to make a guess on that one. All comes down to turnout.
Want to turn to a governor's race, Maryland. Bob Ehrlich, a Republican Congressman challenging Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and making a race out of it. It is very tight. This is the tighter than the lieutenant governor's race -- one of the closest and that's pretty much one of those that you really want to watch because Maryland hasn't been Republican since Spiro Agnew.
WOODRUFF: And she's a Kennedy.
All right, given all that what races do you think at this point may surprise us?
CROWLEY: Let me tell you the ones that they tell me, like, on both sides that would happen.
Arkansas, Democrats say, You watch this Arkansas race for governor between Jimmie Lou Fisher and Mike Huckabee. They really think Jimmie Lou will go ahead and win and this race, which will be another one of the governor's race that Democrats expect to take and we of course expect the majority of seats to go to Democrats.
And Republicans, Georgia. They really think they have a shot at unseating Max Cleland with Saxby Chambliss. Now, Cleland's led in the polls but they like the way the trajectory is going.
WOODRUFF: Is the president going back in there? Do we know that?
CROWLEY: I believe he is.
WOODRUFF: OK. Candy Crowley, thank you very much. We'll be talking to you a lot in the next few days.
WOODRUFF: Well in California, were Democratic Governor Gray Davis is ahead in the polls, more than a few Republicans had expressed disappointment in the campaign of their candidate Bill Simon. Some are even wistful about a gubernatorial campaign that might have been, by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Well, the actor and political activist is campaigning for his after school program initiative on the ballot in California. Arnold Schwarzenegger joins us from Los Angeles.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, is this initiative going to win?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, we have more than 20 points ahead right now in the polls, and so I think that we are definitely going to win. And I think the smartest thing we have done is just to make it a bipartisan issue. To make sure that the Democrats and Republicans both come together on this issue, and face the fact that our children have a serious problem. And that we have a serious problem. Because we have a lack of afterschool programs and there's millions of children out there that are unsupervised in the afternoon between 3:00 and 6:00, and this gets them into some serious trouble.
WOODRUFF: Let me read to you something that the head of the California teachers' federation is saying. She says this initiative is bad government. She says if we were to get to a point where everything was sequestered, as this calls for money to be sequestered, she says we're going to have more funds sequestered than we have money. And she also says you've got people cowed.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, first of all, we are very happy that the CDA, the California Teacher's Union, the teacher's association, has endorsed us right from the beginning. That is the most important union there is because those are the teachers, this is the union that deals with this issue every day because those are the teachers that are from elementary schools through middle school and through high school. And those are the people that we are trying to speak to here because we have to keep the kids in school in the afternoon and we have to provide really good programs. So the teachers' union has endorsed this. The CTA and also the Parent-Teachers Association has endorsed that. All the law enforcement community and the organizations have endorsed this, including the business organizations, all the way to the right through the Howard Chavis Taxpayer's Association. So, we have more than 80 organizations that have endorsing this, all the way from the left to all the way to the right. That you're mentioning now one organization that didn't endorse us I think is typical of the way the media works.
But, I mean. we are very, very happy with all of the endorsements we have gotten and because of working together, we're going to go to victory for the children and for California.
WOODRUFF: Well, you can count on the press to ask these nasty questions. $500 million -- $550 million it's going to cost every year. But let me turn you quickly to the governor's race. You obviously were supporting Dick Reardon (ph). He lost to Bill Simon. Can Bill Simon win?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, first of all, let me just tell you that the Californian voters will haves to ask themselves, on the day of election, Are we better off today than we were four years ago? And the answer is, no. That in everything, no matter what you're thinking of and what you're talking about, we went downhill.
This -- we are much worse off today and therefore, I think they're going to look at it seriously and they're going to maybe look at Bill Simon as the guy to vote for. And so I think that's the way to go. So I think that California voters smart enough not to listen to the negative campaigning that Gray Davis is doing and all these kinds of things. I mean, he has not been what he promised that he's going to be.
WOODRUFF: Are you disappointed that Mr. Simon has not drawn more support from independents, from moderate Republicans?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, you know, I'm -- you know, voting for him, No. 1. And No. 2, I'm not going to be presumptuous here and try to say that I know more about campaigning than he does or than his staff does. I they have done, in general, a good job and I think the important thing is just for him to get the message out there that he could do a better job than Gray Davis.
WOODRUFF: You are working for this Proposition 49. You've a got a team together, the same team that helped work to get Pete Wilson elected. He was the last Republican elected governor in California.
They also, we know, put a question out. They were polling for Proposition 49 and they put a question on that poll asking whether people would support a write-in for you. Are you now wishing that you had run as a write-in for governor?
SCHWARZENEGGER: No. I'm very happy at what I have done. My battle and my crusade is for the children and not for myself. I mean, I wanted to win this election. I wanted to win with Proposition 49 because the most important thing that we have to do here in this state is to get the kids off the streets and not to arrest the children but arrest the problem. To say, "Hasta la vista, baby," to the problem that we have here.
WOODRUFF: Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is working very hard these days to get Proposition 49 passed, we thank you very much.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Thank you very much.
WOODRUFF: And good to see you.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Thank you. It's good to see you. I can't really see you but I hope to see you soon.
WOODRUFF: But we can see you. And thanks very much. We'll be talking to you soon.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Thank you.
(INTERRUPTED BY CNN COVERAGE OF BREAKING NEWS)
WOODRUFF: And we'll be back with more INSIDE POLITICS after this.
WOODRUFF: Since the 2000 Florida election mess more than 30 states have reformed their election laws and nearly a dozen have purchased high-tech new equipment. With me now from Atlanta, CNN technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg. He has several of the new voting machines that will be being used on Tuesday.
Daniel, tell us about them.
SIEBERG: That's right. Thanks, Judy.
And, well, need we be reminded about election 2000, all those dimpled and hanging chads. Well, this time around the most apparent reminder of the trouble we had two years ago is the technology voters will see at the polls.
Around the country, more and more counties are making the leap to high-tech voting systems and we've asked the four leading manufacturers of electronic voting equipment to bring the machines to our studio. OK.
So let's start off with the firs tone. It's from -- it's called Ibotronic Machine, made by Election Systems and Software. Miami-Dade and Broward counties in Florida, which were in the spotlight during the Florida recount, have invested in this technology. They're not taking many chances with the voters' ability to operate this machine.
First, a poll worker has to insert this cartridge to activate the unit itself. As you can see here, you have your choice of five different languages programmed into this machine, including Vietnamese. Once you select the language, you can then see the page of the ballot as it comes up. Then you can make selections on the screen just simply by touching the screen itself. Now, one thing it does take care for is not to overvote. You see that the other one disappears as you touch it. There's also a spot for you to write in your ballot if that's what you choose to do.
And the next one here is a device called eSlate by Hart InterCivic and it also looks like a Palm Pilot on steroids, in a sense. It weighs about five pounds and it's like a legal pad with a color screen. This one, however, is not a touch screen but rather it has a little dial in the corner that you use to scroll through and navigate the various pages on the ballot.
In this case, we're going to input a code that the poll worker has to give to the person as they come in to activate the machine as we type in the last number here, the 2, it brings up the ballot itself. The code is printed on a piece of paper that we can see here. It expires after a certain period of time so it can't be used by someone else. You will see these machines in the Houston metro area and Charlottesville in Virginia.
OK, and moving over here we're going to look at this Diebold, it's a stand-alone unit. Diebold, as you know, is a big maker of ATM bank machines and the now have the largest contract for touch screen machines ever. In fact, all around the state of Georgia, this is the machine you're going to see in every single precinct, this AccuVote Diebold machine. Georgia's the first and only state to have uniform touch screen technology. And Diebold puts a little more faith in the voter by giving you this card that allows you to activate the machine yourself. It's a little different from the iVotronic we saw earlier where a poll worker has to turn it on. And this one here you would just slide in and activate the machine in that manner like that.
Now, moving on to the next one, we also have another touch screen machine. This is one that's made by Sequoia. CNN did a report on this machine back during Election 2000. It was in place back then in Riverside County in California. We're going to see it in Florida, as well, this year. This AVC Edge machine will be in Palm Beach, Indian River, Pinellas and Hillsboro County, Florida.
How's it work? Well, similar to the last machine from Diebold, a poll worker activated this smart card for you at the registration. Then you insert it into the device, just like so. It pops in. And again it registers everything you want to put in. You want to type in your language, you make all your different choices. And you go through and select all the different issues or candidates. When you get to the very end, you can review your ballot, once you go back here, you review it.
And once you decided to do that, you would actually finish it, of course, by casting your ballot, in a sense, virtually dropping it into the ballot box. You're not actually getting any paper after you drop it in. And, once you've done it, the card pops out and it tells you that your vote has been recorded.
Now, finally, Sequoia also makes a larger device. This one looks like a conventional voting booth but it's actually electronic. You can make selections by pressing on the mat here and there are sensors on the back the record your touch. You might be curious to know why this machine is so big. Well in places such New York state where you see machines like this, state law mandates that the voter actually see the entire ballot in the booth, not just go page by page or screen by screen. So that's something else entirely.
Oh, and I just wanted to mention that like -- that many of the machines are actually equipped with audio instructions, headphones and braille for the blind. Also, the companies say that the size of the letters on these touch screens just make it easier for those with poor vision, like me, to read the ballot -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Well my first reaction is I'm glad voters only have to get to know one of these machines...
SIEBERG: That's right. Exactly.
WOODRUFF: ...rather than having to get to know all of them as you did. Daniel, are there obvious down sides, though, to these devices?
SIEBERG: There's certainly. Well, cost is a big factor, Judy. And these devices run about $3,000 a piece. And it's fair to say no technology is infallible. It really depends on if you have more faith in human error or computer error. It's a leap of faith to trust a microchip to record your vote, especially when we're used to seeing physical evidence of a vote by seeing a punching holes on a paper or marking pieces of paper. But we know what happened the last time with that -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Let's hope there's some forgiveness here somewhere built in.
WOODRUFF: All right. Daniel, thanks very much. We appreciate you talking with us.
WOODRUFF: Donna Brazile and Bay Buchanan debate the day's top stories next.
Also, ahead, Florida's Governor Jeb Bush gets some positive news from a new poll and fires back at the Democratic National Party Chair.
But first, let's turn to Susan Lisovicz to New York Stock Exchange for a market update. Hello, Susan.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: All right, Judy. Well, October is known as a bear market killer, and it looks like that reputation could ring true this year. First it was a mix session for Wall Street. The Dow Industrials falling 30 points. The Nasdaq gaining a couple of points. A couple of reports out on the economy tomorrow kept trading choppy today. Investors will get key reports on October employment and manufacturing.
But despite a loss for the Dow today, it was a strong month for the average and the rest of the market. The Dow scored it's first monthly gain since March, it's biggest monthly increase in more than 15 years. And it's in a statistical dead heat right now as the best monthly gain on record.
We have some big news out of Houston to tell you about. A federal grand jury there has indicted former Enron Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow on 78 counts. It alleges Fastow master minded a scheme to artificially inflate the bankrupt energy company's profits. The indictment today is essentially a formal restatement of a criminal complaint brought earlier this month, but it's notable for the huge number of charges which include fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. If convicted, Fastow faces hundreds of years in jail and millions of dollars in fines.
That's the latest from Wall Street. More INSIDE POLITICS after this break including an update on President Bush's marathon campaign swing on behalf of Republican candidates.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WOODRUFF: Time for an update on the tight Florida governor's race. A new poll finds incumbent Jeb Bush has a widen his lead to eight points over Democrat Bill McBride. The Mason-Dixon survey puts Bush ahead 51 to 43 percent with 5 percent still undecided.
Well, campaigning today with Rudy Giuliani, Governor Bush scoffed at recent comments by the DNC chairman that defeating Jeb Bush was his party's No. 1 goal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: When Terry McAlf (ph) -- is that his name? McAlf or McAllif (ph) the guy that runs the Democratic National Committee -- when he started saying about three weeks ago that I was their No. 1 target, I was going down, all this trash talking, and they would put whatever it took in terms of resources in the state, I didn't -- I'm happy Rudy Giuliani's here and he was planning to come before that. But it only made it clearer that to have someone of his stature -- I guess, what I'm telling you, I'd rather have one Rudolph Giuliani than 20 Terry whatever his names is. McAllifs?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Terry McAuliffe, that's his name.
Well with us now, former Gore campaign manager, Donna Brazile and Bay Buchanan, president of American Cause.
Donna, we know the politicians are energized. They're -- some of them are angry, some of them have things they want to say to the voters. What about the voters? What kind of a turn out should we be looking for next Tuesday?
DONNA BRAZILE, FORMER GORE CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, I think we're looking at a traditional turnout during midterms, anywhere between 37 to 40 percent.
That's because I think, over the last 40 years, midterm elections become real partisan debates in terms of getting out the vote, talking to voters who believe in some of the same things that political leaders believe in. But I believe that we'll have a historic turnout in several communities across the country. People are fed up and sick and tired of not getting their paychecks. They're worried about the economy. And I think turnout will be good in some areas.
WOODRUFF: What's your read on turnout?
BAY BUCHANAN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CAUSE: Well, Judy, what we're hearing is, it could be far less than, even down into the numbers 35, 36.
And I think the reason is, there is no motivation whatsoever for the individuals to vote. And there's no national reason that they've been given. This economy issue is not working as a motivating force. Neither is the war. But I think where the Democrats, why they're excellent and have outperformed Republicans in getting the vote out, they have a disadvantage this year.
In my personal opinion, not only have Republicans learned how to do it here, and they've got a terrific program going on, but, secondly, their base is motivated because of the judges. Their base is pro-life, traditional conservative. And they're outraged that the president can't get his judges through. That alone will get them out in those close Senate races. And I think, for that reason, we'll win most of those.
WOODRUFF: Donna, if that's the case, how do the Democrats counter that in the races that they most care about?
BRAZILE: Well, I think many Democrats will ask question, Bay, can you afford two more years of Republican leadership on the economy? And the simple answer is no. I think, when you go into the base community of the Democratic Party, many of the base voters believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.
And, therefore, they will be motivated. The Democratic Party also has a real good program of going out this week into barber shops and beauty salons and car washes and going out to malls and shopping centers across America to energize and mobilize people. And, of course, we're going to go to churches on Sunday, and, on Monday, go to the schools, and get people out, knock on the door, drag them out on Tuesday.
And, once again, Democrats will be able to put anywhere between 3 to 5 percent on the ground by Election Day.
BUCHANAN: No question they know how to do it. But I believe that the Republicans have finally learned how to do it. They've been out there for two years, polling. They're implementing it. They have a 72-hour program here.
But in addition to that, their base is already motivated. So it's easier to get them in the car and take them to the polls than it is going to be for Donna here, who is an expert in this area, to get her minority friends out.
WOODRUFF: But your point is, if it's the economy that's motivating the Democrats, you're saying it's judges and others issues
BUCHANAN: In poll after poll, Democrats and Republican pollsters have said the economy is not working as a motivating force today. And we're only a few days away. So I don't believe -- if it were, Donna would be right. But that is not the case.
And I do know that my friends will be voting just because of the judges. They're waiting for a chance to give the president the Senate.
BRAZILE: Many of your friends have lost their retirement security. They have lost their pension security. And they will be coming out to vote in record numbers for Democrats because...
BUCHANAN: But they want their judges.
BRAZILE: ... they're sick and tired -- well, many of our friends don't want those judges, because they know that those judges will set the clock back on civil rights, on equal opportunity, on a woman's right to choose. And if that's the issue, Then you will see more Democrats, not just minorities, but women and others getting out to vote on Tuesday, November 5.
BUCHANAN: Not happening.
The interesting thing
BUCHANAN: ... used to tell me years ago, the get-out-the vote effort is worth 3 percent. And that 3 percent a lot of people have ignored for years, especially Republicans. But this year, if Republicans are smart, they do have a good program, because that's going to decide it.
WOODRUFF: And there are very close races and it might make a difference, on either side.
BRAZILE: Republicans have the money, but Democrats have the hustle and the motivation to get out the vote.
BUCHANAN: We will see.
WOODRUFF: We're going to leave it there. It's always great to hear from you, Donna and Bay. Thank you. We'll see you next week, if not sooner.
We will hit the road with a campaigner in chief ahead on INSIDE POLITICS.
Plus: Hillary Clinton makes a somewhat surprising appearance with one Republican and wags her finger at another.
WOODRUFF: In just about one hour from now, President Bush is due to leave Indiana for West Virginia, the latest stop on his final massive preelection push for GOP candidates.
Our White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux is along for the ride.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Bush's final campaign blitz, 15 states in the next five days, a grueling and unforgiving hopscotch schedule, meant to accomplish one thing, to ensure Republicans seize control of both the house and the Senate.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I look forward to working with John to deal with some of the high hurdles we have to cross as a nation.
MALVEAUX: In the final stretch, the president is hitting states with critical races too close to call in the days before the election: South Dakota, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.
In the South Dakota Senate race, the stakes couldn't be higher. Here, Republicans believe they could pick up that one coveted seat needed to win control of the Senate. But the White House knows, at this stage of the game, it's not about war talk, tax cuts, or even big fund-raising dollars. Now it's all about voter turnout.
BUSH: Make sure that you do your duty, not only to vote, but if you believe in the character and the vision of these candidates, turn out your neighbors to the polls come next Tuesday.
MALVEAUX: A victory in South Dakota in Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle's home state would be especially sweet for Mr. Bush. The White House blames Daschle and the Democratically-controlled Senate for blocking much of Mr. Bush's legislative agenda, most notably homeland security, terrorism insurance and permanent tax cuts.
For this reason, the Bush administration defends the president's record breaking fund-raising, nearly $140 million for Republican races and dozens of campaign trips.
(on camera): But history shows the Bush administration has an uphill battle. Usually, the party that controls the White House loses congressional seats in the midterm elections. But President Bush is determined to campaign up to Election Day in an effort to buck the trend.
Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, Aberdeen, South Dakota.
WOODRUFF: And just to update the story that our Art Harris reported just a few minutes ago, the Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle that was used in the Washington-area sniper shootings has now also been identified as the murder weapon in the killing of a shopkeeper in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. That's according to law enforcement sources there who talked to CNN -- the Louisiana murder occurring on September 23. That was just about one week before the sniper spree began around the nation's capital. Art Harris will have more at the top of the hour.
And now checking the headlines in our "Campaign News Daily": A new poll finds the North Carolina Senate race between Elizabeth Dole and Erskine Bowles has tightened. The Mason-Dixon survey finds that Dole leads Bowles 48 percent to 42 percent. Dole's lead was 14 points back in September. She led by 10 points just two weeks ago. In the Massachusetts's governor's race, backers of Democrat Shannon O'Brien are accusing Republican Mitt Romney of stereotyping. In their last debate, which we reported on Wednesday, Romney told O'Brien that her attacks on him were -- quote -- "unbecoming." O'Brien said yesterday that Romney would not have used that word if his opponent were a man. Senator Hillary Clinton, who campaigned yesterday with O'Brien, said the word "unbecoming" has often been used against women who tried to run for office.
Now, Romney's spokesman says the word is gender-neutral and says it was used to describe O'Brien's -- quote -- "rude behavior."
Still ahead: a shake-up in the White House, not within the administration, but among the reporters who cover it.
WOODRUFF: In the White House press briefing room, it's all about location, location, location. So, when the seating chart suddenly was changed this week, some members of the press corps got a new sense of where they stand with the Bush administration.
The president of the White House Correspondents Association, Bob Deans, is here with us.
Ari Fleischer consulted you, I gather, before he went ahead with this. First of all, who are the winners in this changing of seats that are allocated in the press room?
BOB DEANS, PRESIDENT, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS ASSOCIATION: Well, you'll forgive me if I refer all of our correspondents not only as winners, but champions.
But in terms of mobility, what happened was, "TIME" magazine moved from here to here.
WOODRUFF: A loser.
WOODRUFF: My term.
DEANS: Your word, not mine.
DEANS: "Newsweek" moved from here to here. And "U.S. News" moved from here to here.
WOODRUFF: All three newsweeklies.
DEANS: All three newsweeklies.
WOODRUFF: Moved back.
DEANS: Correct. WOODRUFF: Now, who were the winners? Who got to move up?
DEANS: Well, some of the folks who moved up were: Bloomberg News, which had been back here, moves up to here; Fox News, which had been here, moves here. And Cox News, my organization, moved from here to here.
WOODRUFF: Does this make any difference?
DEANS: It makes a difference a little bit in terms of being able to get your questions answered. We go there every day. And that's makes this place important, to ask questions on behalf of the American people. And the White House correspondent take that pretty seriously. So, when you move these chairs, people get a little bit antsy.
WOODRUFF: I gather that, not just antsy, but some of the ones who didn't like where they ended up are saying they didn't get much notice, that they were told that it was under consideration, and then, suddenly, it was a done deal.
DEANS: What was important to us, we were consulted on it. And we immediately notified everybody who was going to be affected. There was about a week interim before the changes were made.
What was important to us, Judy, was that this was done fairly, that it made sense, that it was not being used to manipulate news coverage, and that no one was being rewarded or punished. We think these changes met that task. And, if they hadn't, I wouldn't have supported the changes.
WOODRUFF: So you feel this was a fair thing overall?
DEANS: Everybody I've talked to, with the exception of one person who suffered adversely, has agreed that it was fair, it made sense, and that it reflects who we are and how we do our jobs.
WOODRUFF: All right, Bob Deans, president of the White House Correspondents Association, thank you very much.
DEANS; Thank you, Judy.
WOODRUFF: Good to see you. Thanks for coming by.
Well, Bob Novak joins us now from Manchester, New Hampshire, with some "Inside Buzz."
All right, Bob. You're there on the scene. Tell us where this crucially tight Senate race between Sununu and Shaheen stands.
ROBERT NOVAK, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Congressman John Sununu, Judy, when he won the primary, defeating Republican Senator Bob Smith, was 10 points ahead of Democratic Governor Jeanne Shaheen.
Now, polls show that maybe there's a slight Shaheen lead, but within the margin of error. It's really a toss-up. But I find the optimism is with the Democrats. The Republicans tend to be worried about the outcome of this race, hoping for a bump when President Bush comes in tomorrow and the first lady the day after that.
WOODRUFF: Well, let's talk about who are some of the heavy hitters coming in there to try to salvage this for John Sununu.
NOVAK: Well, the president and his wife, and then Rudy Giuliani on Monday. They hope they can get a point or two, because what Congressman Sununu needs is to firm up the Republican base, including some of the diehard conservatives who were not happy about Bob Smith getting defeated.
WOODRUFF: Bob, I was in New Hampshire at the end of last week. From your reporting, what are the issues that are really making a difference here in the state?
NOVAK: Jean Shaheen is just a terrific candidate. I was at a press conference this morning. And she never mentions the D-word, Democrat. This is still a predominantly Republican state. She doesn't call herself a Democrat.
But she is just brutal in her attack on Sununu. And she has used a very obscure issue which has really hurt them. And that's the so- called Bermuda loophole in the taxes. Now, I don't know how many people on the street of Manchester can explain it. But the Republicans are worried that she has made him look like he's part of the corporate corruption scene.
He is trying to make her a tax-raiser. Republicans are leading by a wide margin for governor, with the income tax very unpopular here, a big issue. But, in all the other races, the Republicans stand very strong. The U.S. Senate race is what the rest of the country cares about, maybe a slight edge at this moment, in a very close race, to Governor Shaheen.
WOODRUFF: Well, if Sununu loses, a lot of irony for the Republicans, Bob, because it was Sununu who took this away from Bob Smith, the incumbent, in the Republican primary.
NOVAK: Yes. but I think it's generally agreed Smith would lose by a huge margin. So he's the best they can do.
WOODRUFF: All right, we heard it here, Bob Novak in Manchester, New Hampshire.
INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.
(INTERRUPTED BY CNN COVERAGE OF BREAKING NEWS)
WOODRUFF: And we'll have more INSIDE POLITICS after this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of my friends is going to be Ronald Reagan. That's his big thing every year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Political masks are easy, because you just put on a suit and put your mask on and you walk into a room and everybody knows who you are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been selling lot of George W.s. The scariest political figure mask that we sell in the store is probably the Barbra Streisand.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jesse Ventura was popular once.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want your vote.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now he's just gathering dust.
WOODRUFF: That's it for this Halloween edition of INSIDE POLITICS.
I'm Judy Woodruff. Thanks for joining us.
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