CNN INSIDE POLITICS
Candidates Stump Vigorously on Campaign's Final Day
Aired November 4, 2002 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The mad dash with just one day left to rally the vote, and with control of the next Senate up in the air.
In Minnesota, a feisty close to a campaign overhung with sorrow and filled with surprises.
WALTER MONDALE (D), MINN. SENATE CANDIDATE: What you're doing is sticking with the right wing and pretending to change the tone. It's not the fluff of what kind of words you say.
NORMAN COLEMAN (R), MINN. SENATE CANDIDATE: Again, this is the tone that you don't want to see in Washington.
WOODRUFF: Disgruntled Independent Governor Jesse Ventura tries to upstage the debate.
GOV. JESSE VENTURA (I), MINNESOTA: Today, I am making an appointment to the United States Senate to fill the vacant seat of Senator Paul Wellstone.
WOODRUFF: The political stars are out, and the political stakes are enormous.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But when you get in that voting booth here in Iowa, I've got some suggestions for you.
WOODRUFF: Our election team is out, too, covering the hottest races across the nation, spotting trends and watching for upsets, when "America Votes."
This is a special edition of INSIDE POLITICS, live from the campaign trail.
WOODRUFF: I'm Judy Woodruff for CNN election headquarters.
No one I have talked to can remember candidates debating on the day before the election. Under normal circumstances, it would be considered too risky, but the Minnesota Senate race is as unusual as they come after the death of Paul Wellstone, and later, Walter Mondale's entry into the race.
So, today, the former vice president and his Republican opponent, Norm Coleman, squared off, each hoping to swing that tight contest his way. CNN's Anderson Cooper is in Minneapolis.
And, Anderson, Mondale really did come out swinging.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He did come out swinging. And, Judy, as you said, you know, not surprisingly both sides are saying they are very pleased with how they performed in this debate. Both sides saying they did what they had to do.
Mondale, as you mentioned, aggressive at time, perhaps countered and answered the questions of those who said -- those who wondered if he really still has it. And then, he and his supporters say that he does still have it, and he says that he showed that today.
Norm Coleman, being respectful but firm, never losing his composure. As you know, the race here is too close to call. All of the polls say so, and that has generated a lot of excitement here in Minnesota.
All right, Judy, obviously, we had a problem rolling our piece, but there is a lot of excitement here. Supporters were out early to greet the candidates as they arrived for the debate. The debate went on for an hour.
And as you mentioned, Governor Jesse Ventura trying to steal some of the spotlight, if will you -- at the exact same time the debate got under way here, Governor Ventura, just a few blocks away at the state capitol, holding his own press conference. It was a very angry, a vertical frustrated Governor Jesse Ventura, and he appointed an Independent to hold the interim Senate seat until this election is certified, and until Walter Mondale or Norm Coleman is elected.
We're going to try to roll the piece now that we were going to roll before.
This is what happened earlier today.
COOPER (voice-over): Diehard supporters braved brisk (AUDIO GAP) their candidates at this one and only debate between two candidates running neck and neck.
Republican Norm Coleman, two-term mayor of St. Paul, eager to face-off with former Vice President Walter Mondale, icon of Minnesota politics, running in his first election in 18 years.
MONDALE: I've served this state all my life, and I am ready to serve again.
COOPER: In a state still mourning the death of Paul Wellstone, the Democratic senator killed in a plane crash 10 days ago, Mondale said he's the one to carry on the late senator's work.
MONDALE: I think that Paul and I share so much together, the commitment for social justice, the ability to speak independently. COOPER: Coleman, respectful, reminded voters he has the support of President George W. Bush, who campaigned here yesterday.
COLEMAN: It would be kind of nice for a senator from Minnesota to have a relationship with the president and the secretary of agriculture.
COOPER: Separated only by a small table, both candidates stressed they were far apart on the issues.
On Iraq, Mondale saying the U.S. should not take unilateral military action.
MONDALE: We were telling the world, we were going to go on our own. That is strength, Norman. That's weakness. We're strong when we have the world with us.
COLEMAN: Then, what's the best way to get that broad and multilateral coalition? The reality that 77 senators -- 77 senators, a broad bipartisan, both sides of the aisle, said the way to do that is to come together as Americans to show our resolve.
COOPER: The tone was civil; the debate, at times, personal.
MONDALE: I believe in choice. I think these issues should be decided by the women and the family. You have been an arbitrary right-to-lifer. I am not.
COLEMAN: I would take exception -- I'll use a kind word -- to the description of an arbitrary. My wife and I have had two children who were born -- the first, son, and the last, daughter -- that died at very young ages. I have a deep and profound respect for the value of life.
COOPER: Coleman, saying age was not an issue, made sure to paint Mondale as an old time liberal, reminding Minnesotans of Mondale's failed run for the White House in 1984.
COLEMAN: You don't grow jobs, you don't grow the economy by raising taxes. The vice president thought that in 1984, and he was wrong. He proposes now again what he calls rolling back some of the tax cut, that's raising taxes.
MONDALE: You talk about my proposal for tax increase of '84. You know, right after the election, they raised taxes. I was the one who told the truth before the election.
COOPER: While the debate was under way, Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, frustrated that the Independent candidate was not invited, held a protest press conference, naming an Independent, Dean Barkley, to serve as interim senator.
VENTURA: My appointee is as qualified to serve the people of Minnesota as any Democrat or Republican. (END VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Jesse Ventura saying he made that decision over the weekend. Apparently, no one told Mr. Barkley until about an hour before the press conference. He said he was just standing at home with his jeans on, someone called and said, you better put on a suit. You're going to become a senator.
And he said the first thing he was going to do after the press conference was tell his wife and his mother. Both of them had not yet been informed.
Both candidates, Norm Coleman and Walter Mondale, are out busy campaigning, and they are going to keep campaigning up until the polls open -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Anderson, just one more hard-to-believe development in the Minnesota Senate race. Thanks very much. We'll be talking to you a little bit later.
Well, now I'm joined by our analysts, Jeff Greenfield and Bill Schneider.
Bill, you know, what do we have in Minnesota now? We have this last-minute debate. Neither one of them did -- I guess everybody agrees -- badly. But does it move the needle?
BILL SCHNEIDER, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the first thing I thought when Anderson said Jesse Ventura tried to steal the spotlight, I thought, Jesse Venture trying to steal spotlight? How could that happen? Well, of course, he did.
And I think in the debate, Walter Mondale had to prove he was in the game, that he had some fight, and I think that's what he did.
In the argument that he made, it was trying to depict his opponent, Norm Coleman, as some kind of a right wing ideologue; someone who is too dangerous, too extreme.
And Coleman was prepared for that attack. He said, wait a minute, what you're doing is what I'm trying to fight against. You're trying to be harsh, divisive and partisan. I think we ought to change the tone of American politics.
So, I think both men did creditably, but I think Mondale had a lot more to prove, and I think he proved it.
WOODRUFF: And, Jeff, do you agree? Did Mondale prove -- if he had more to prove, did he do that?
JEFFREY GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Well, he answered the threshold question. In other words, he clearly did not show up and, you know, wander aimlessly about in a rhetorical sense.
But I keep puzzling over it, and there's a lot of puzzlement in all of these races. But in this particular one is, look, in another state, I would have said, Coleman came off better, because he is younger, sharper, trimmer, in every way. Mondale has those glasses that reflect back -- that I sometimes do -- that show deep shadows on the face.
WOODRUFF: Let it be known, we're all three wearing glasses.
GREENFIELD: OK, right -- sophisticated.
But this is Minnesota, and I don't mean to make that as like a statement completely outside of the mainstream, but it is a state where flash, where the sizzle is traditionally not only less important, but as Garrison Keeler (ph) keeps reminding us (UNINTELLIGIBLE), is sometimes a little suspect. And you wonder in those areas outside Minneapolis-St. Paul, how that plays? I think any other state, Mondale might have come off second-best. I'm not sure what happens in Minnesota.
WOODRUFF: Well, he did -- Mondale did make the point that he was born and raised in Minnesota, unlike Mr. Coleman, who is from Brooklyn.
SCHNEIDER: He's from Brooklyn, and every now and then, a little bit of Brooklyn comes out in his voice. Now, look, he's been mayor of St. Paul for a long time. He served -- I think he's well-accepted in Minnesota, at least in the twin Cities where most of the voters live, as legitimate Minnesotans.
I think this is a real basic debate between Democratic and Republican principles, and I think that's what it really comes down to. That's why it's so close.
WOODRUFF: All right, now that we've all weighed in here from Atlanta, let's turn to our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, in New York.
Candy, you were watching, too. What did you think?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think what's interesting is, it might be the same debate we would have had prior to when Paul Wellstone died. I mean, this idea of forming of Coleman, trying to make Mondale an old-fashioned liberal, well, so is Paul Wellstone. He was just a younger old-fashioned liberal.
So, I think what they did, of course, I think is what both Bill and Jeff have said, is put Mondale out there, and he showed he can still have a debate.
It will be interesting to see. I think in no other state would Norm Coleman be seen as flashy. I mean, I think he's, you know, young and -- you know, comparatively young and fairly vibrant, but it just seems to me that it does come down to what they talked about, and that was the issues. And you really couldn't have had a clearer divide.
WOODRUFF: There is no question about that. I mean, for an issue whether it was international or domestic policy, they disagreed on just about everything. Let's talk for a moment now about Jesse Ventura's side show, if you will, to this debate. The Minnesota governor clearly was upset that the Independent Party's Senate candidate was not allowed to join the debate between Mondale and Coleman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VENTURA: Today, three very powerful institutions -- the Republican Party, the Democratic Farmer Labor Party and the Minnesota media -- are conspiring to limit the hard-earned rights of ordinary citizens to rise up and compete for elected office without having to be a Democrat or a Republican.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: And to press his point, Ventura appointed Dean Barkley of the Independent Party to temporarily fill Paul Wellstone's seat in the closely-divided United States Senate.
Now, Barkley is a former U.S. Senate candidate from Minnesota. His 1994 campaign did well enough to win the Reform Party major ballot status in Minnesota. The state Reform Party later morphed into Ventura's Independent Party.
We'll talk with Dean Barkley in our second hour of INSIDE POLITICS, but now let's turn back to our analyst.
Candy, let me come back to you in New York. What has Ventura accomplished by doing this? This is, you know, as we heard Anderson say, this is somebody who didn't know about it until an hour ahead of time, and he's only going to be filling this position for a matter of days.
CROWLEY: I think the governor -- the outgoing governor, made his point. He came into office angry. He's leaving office angry. And I think we'll all really miss him. It just doesn't -- I mean, it does put somebody in place for the time between when they have a winner and when they certify the winner. So, I guess that fulfills a need.
But I think the greatest need was for Ventura to let us know how he feels about the Republicans, the Democrats and the media.
GREENFIELD: There is a consequential aspect to the Independent Party and Ventura's effort. Up until the death of Paul Wellstone, Tim Penny, the former Democratic congressman, running as the Independent's candidate for governor, was in a three-way dead heat, and would have been the first Independent to succeed an Independent anywhere in like 70 years.
Because of what happened, apparently, he has now fallen, at least in the polls, to third place. And so, I think part of Governor Ventura's frustration was not just that his candidate wasn't included in the debate, but that what he thought might be a legacy appears to be dwindling.
WOODRUFF: For his party. GREENFIELD: Yes.
WOODRUFF: For his party. But, Bill, what about the reality, though, of someone in Mr. Barkley's position of actually serving in the Senate? I mean, we don't know whether -- there's been a lot of talk about the Senate coming back into session, but is it possible this interim senator, Mr. Barkley, could actually cast a vote?
SCHNEIDER; Not very likely, but now, I'm not an attorney in Minnesota, but I am told that in Minnesota that once the winner of tomorrow's election is certified, that that winner will be the one to succeed and take over the seat for the return of the Senate to finish its business for this year.
So, this is mostly a symbolic appointment. Look, Jesse Ventura is angry at the Democrats because they insulted him as that memorial rally. He's angry at the media. He's been angry at the media for four years, and he wanted to thumb his nose at us. And that's one of the reasons he staged this.
And remember something else. Jesse Ventura got elected because of debates. He was included in those debates, and it was Barkley that got him into those debates by qualifying for public financing.
So, he resents it when third party candidates are out of the debates, because that's the only thing they've got.
WOODRUFF: That's what got him into office.
WOODRUFF: And that's what helped him defeat Norm Coleman four years ago.
SCHNEIDER: Five debates -- five debates he got into, and that's when he sold himself.
WOODRUFF: All right, Bill, Jeff, Candy, we'll come back to you all a little bit later. Thank you.
Well, as both parties count down to Election Day, one thing is uppermost in their mind, and that is turnout. But getting voters to the polls can be difficult if the weather isn't cooperating.
So, the Election Day forecast can be decisive in which party wins Senate control.
(INTERRUPTED BY WEATHER UPDATE)
WOODRUFF: Well, still ahead on this special two-hour INSIDE POLITICS, more live reports from campaign hot spots, including Florida, Texas, New Jersey and South Dakota.
But up next, the sunshine state's governor's race gets another taste of Margaretville. We'll show you the ways the parties will try to push voters to the polls, even if they literally have to drag them there, or practically we should say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm Jim Traficant. Now, they say I can't win a congressional race behind bars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Jim Traficant's strange but true jailhouse campaign.
And in our second hour...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the political world turns.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: ... election 2002, the soap opera.
This is INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.
WOODRUFF: Well, of all of the tight governors' races that we are following, none of them are stirring passions among party loyalists like the Florida race between the incumbent Jeb Bush, the president's brother, and his Democratic challenger, Bill McBride.
For the very latest on the last hours of campaigning, let's go to our John Zarrella down there.
Hi -- John.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF: Hi, Judy. Well, it's beautiful weather here in south Florida, of course.
And you know, Jeb Bush is going to wind up his day down here in south Florida. He is going to be in Coconut Grove for the evening, and then we expect that he will vote in Metropolitan Dade County in Miami -- perhaps Coral Gables -- sometime tomorrow.
The Democratic challenger, Bill McBride, he is going to be voting over in Tampa tomorrow.
Both men crisscrossed the state today. Last-minute campaigning, trying to solidify their base, trying to get the word out that they've got to get people to the polls and trying to get those undecided voters on their side.
Now, Jeb Bush today campaigning up in Jacksonville; he continued to press the issue, which has been effective, that his challenger, Bill McBride, is a tax-and-spend liberal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: Bill McBride doesn't understand that. The one thing I know for sure is if he is elected, your taxes are going to go up and our economy will be hurt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZARRELLA: Now, McBride, for his part, had a lot of help over the weekend, as did, of course, Jeb Bush, with his brother, the president, here. McBride had the former president here, and Al Gore. Al Gore spent some time yesterday here with Bill McBride, and again today, they spent time together.
And McBride got a little bit of help from someone else as well. He actually got some help from Jimmy Buffet, who held two concerts for Bill McBride -- one in Orlando, another one down in Tampa, and one in West Palm Beach down here.
And McBride, for his part, has continued to press the issue that the governor has not been a good governor for education.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL MCBRIDE (D), FLORIDA GOV. CANDIDATE: Our economy has not been as good as it was in 1998. When Jeb Bush was elected governor, we had a lower unemployment rate. Now the unemployment rate's higher than it's been. We've lost ground on every single, meaningful category measuring public schools.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZARRELLA: We expect good weather here in south Florida for tomorrow, beautiful as you can see, Judy. Of course, the question is: Will they be able to get all of the votes counted? Expect some 60 to 62 percent turnout state-wide for this heavily contested race.
And here's an official sample ballot from Broward County, and I just want to let everybody see it. It's 11 pages long, some of them are up to 13 to 15 pages long. This is my ballot.
And the problem is that it's so big, that they're saying if people don't read them ahead of time, it's going to take some 15 minutes for each voter. And that's just not going to work in Broward County. Expect huge, long lines, and potentially some very serious problems getting some expected half-a-million voters to cast their votes by the 7 p.m. Eastern Time cutoff in the closing of the polls -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right, John Zarrella, it makes you wonder, what are all of those items on the ballot? What are they asking people to vote on? But we'll ask you about that the next time we come back to you, John. Thanks very much -- appreciate your bringing your ballot along with you.
With us now, two of our expert analysts, people you're going to be seeing a lot of over the next two days, Stuart Rothenberg of the "Rothenberg Political Report," and Amy Walter of the "Cook Political Report."
I want to ask both of you about what we saw today -- yesterday in "The New York Times," saying that the so-called generic ballot, you ask people and we're going to vote Democrat or Republican. There seemed to be a noticeable switch to the Republican side.
Separately, the Gallup Poll, the CNN-USA Today Gallup Poll, which we first brought out last night, is indicating a significant shift in some of these Senate races -- the tight Senate races around the country to the Republicans. What's going on here, Stu?
STUART ROTHENBERG, "ROTHENBERG POLITICAL REPORT": Well, I'd be cautious, Judy, about over-interpreting and over-reading this. Yes, we have seen some changes in the poll data, and there could be some movement. I am not convinced there is.
When we look at individual races -- individual congressional races around the country, we don't find indications of dramatic movement. More importantly, I don't see events that would explain the dramatic generic change.
So, I'm being very cautious. Yes, there may be some slight movement to the Republicans at the end. But I'm going to wait and see what the voters say.
WOODRUFF: You say you don't see events, but, Amy, the president has been out there the last few days of the campaign hitting state after state, something like 15 states. He's getting a lot of coverage nationally and locally. And on this Gallup Poll that we reported last night, the percentage of Republicans who say they're excited about the election is a good significant bit more than among the Democrats.
AMY WALTER, "COOK POLITICAL REPORT": Well, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) have a good point, too, when you're talking about individual races. Now, remember, the race for Congress, the race for Senate, are taking place in places all across the country, not in certain regions.
So, remember, where the president may be very popular, that's true, or their turnout may be different based on individual circumstances. That's the first thing to remember.
The other thing is that in a midterm election, the most important thing that a president can do is actually to not be a hindrance to these candidates, and he may be able to motivate the base in some of these states, and you might see a little bump in a state for a day or so.
But the thought that that is enough to make such a dramatic shift seems a little dramatic to me.
ROTHENBERG: Yes, if we were to see a move of a point or two, that's reasonable.
WALTER: Yes, and that's the way it should be.
ROTHENBERG: But a 6, 7 point move seems to me to be too dramatic.
WOODRUFF: Which is what we're seeing.
WOODRUFF: OK. Let me ask you about, too, we're going to be watching House races. We're talking a lot about the Senate, we're talking about governors. But let's talk about two specific House races.
Stu, in Iowa, Jim Leach, a moderate Republican, has really been in a dog fight in this campaign.
ROTHENBERG: He has. And this has been a district that the Democrats have focused on, believing that Leach is an incumbent they can knock off. There aren't a lot of vulnerable Republican incumbents. It's just a handful.
Leach has been in Congress for 26 years, a former Foreign Service officer, graduated from Princeton and Johns Hopkins, London School of Economics, has kind of an imperial air to him, doesn't connect really with all average voters on a personal level. But they like his voting record.
He just refused to put in personal money or raise money. He's got a history of being a very poor fund-raiser, although the voters have liked him. He's won in Democratic-leaning districts before.
It looked as though he was about to go down. His Democratic opponent, Julie Thomas, a pediatrician, a very aggressive candidate, fund-raiser; not the well-rounded candidate I think we'd like. She can talk night and day about health care and patient's bill of rights, but not as well about other issues.
The National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee came in, gave some big money into that race to try to help Leach. He may well pull it out now.
WOODRUFF: All right, let's talk about one other race, where you've got a 31-year-old granddaughter of a governor challenging a former governor. This is a remarkable race. It's gotten some attention.
WALTER: Well, certainly, because it defies conventional wisdom. When Governor Janklow, won has been in statewide office for many, many years, won his primary.
WOODRUFF: Which is in South Dakota.
WALTER: In South Dakota, yes, I'm sorry. The conventional wisdom was, well, there's a longtime sitting governor against a first- time candidate. He's 31 years old. This thing is probably over. Nobody paid much attention to it.
And then suddenly, we started to get these calls about polls that people were taking in the state, saying, now, this one is really close. It's tied. Well, she's up by a couple points, or so. I think she had a tremendous amount of momentum over the summer. She ran these wonderful campaign commercials in a state where you see a lot of negative back and forth. She's the one positive force out there. She's very attractive and very articulate. Her ads come across very well.
And so, I think she had a nice, big boost from that. Now, the state is sort of coming back, the voters are coming back to look at the two candidates. Janklow was talking about his experience. That may be in the end -- the Republican nature of the state, his experience pulls it over the edge for him.
WOODRUFF: And one thing is for sure, you know, whatever happens, even if she loses, we're going to hear about her in the future.
WALTER: Absolutely, absolutely.
WOODRUFF: All right, Amy, Stu, thank you both.
WOODRUFF: Thanks. We'll talk to you later.
Well, a tease segment. Am I looking in the right camera here? I'm trying to get used to this being in Atlanta.
A key segment of the American electorate is getting more attention. Who are they?
When we return, we'll find out why the Republicans and Democrats decided to step up their efforts to speak to Latino voters in their native tongue.
WOODRUFF: In Texas, as just about everywhere else, it's a day of nonstop campaigning and a tight Senate race between John Cornyn, the Republican, and Ron Kirk the Democrat. Let's check in with Suzanne Malveaux. She is in Texas in Austin -- Suzanne.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, it's a fierce race for Phil Gramm's seat. The GOP had this in their hands for 40 years, as a matter of fact. The last time a Democrat taking a U.S. Senate seat in Texas was 1970, that's when Benson beat Bush Senior. But President George W. Bush knows the stakes are high here.
He is going to be in Texas later today in Dallas. He's going to be campaigning for John Cornyn, the state's attorney general, a conservative judge who tells voters he's got the ear of the president.
His opponent, Ron Kirk, a two-term mayor of Dallas, a moderate pro business candidate who talks about bringing the parties together in his tenure as mayor. If Kirk wins, it would be historic. It would be the first time an African-American would serve as a senator from Texas. The first time from the south in a century.
Now, neither one of these candidates have really used race as an issue in their campaigns. But both of them acknowledge it is going to be very important in determining who wins.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you see are these candidates making a very clear appeal in south Texas, where you have Hispanics, in Houston, where you have black and Hispanic voters in big numbers to turnout in ways that they've never done before. So without a big Hispanic turnout, there is no way that Ron Kirk could ever be elected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Now, Democrats are hoping that the Texas gubernatorial race, which is showcasing Tony Sanchez, who is behind in the polls, at least will attract enough minority voters perhaps to give Kirk that kick, that bounce that he needs for a victory -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right. Suzanne, I know you are watching that. And we'll be talking to you there tomorrow night. Thanks.
Well, in Texas, and in a number of other states around the country, both parties are stepping up their efforts to get out one block of voters, the Latino vote. They're also trying to get their message across on the airwaves. For the very latest, CNN's Maria Hinojosa has a report.
MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Unless you've been listening to Spanish language TV...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we are. Hola.
HINOJOSA: ... you might not have noticed that this year's Republican Party seems to be speaking in Spanish.
GOV. GEORGE PATAKI (R), NEW YORK: In the past, particularly people in my party, perhaps haven't reached out to the Latino community the way they should have. But we certainly have been doing that, not just during the course of this campaign, but since my first day as governor. And I'm very proud of the support I've gotten from the Latino community.
HINOJOSA: Some New York polls say Pataki may be the first Republican in New York to take the Latino vote by a substantial margin, even though 75 percent of Latinos are registered Democrats, the party of his challenger, Carl McCall. Nationally, Republican efforts to woo Latino votes in Spanish have broken records, as both parties have taken to the airwaves. Jeb Bush in Florida has outspent his Democratic rival by more than $1 million. In New Mexico, Republican Pete Domenici has outspent the Democrats in that Senate race. But in the California governor's race, the Democrat, Gray Davis, has invested $1.2 million to his Republican challenger's $140,000.
(on camera): And that's just some of the $9 million spent this election season trying to woo Latino voters in Espanol. Evidence, say political analysts, that Republicans are determined to break into what has traditionally been a democratic constituency.
RODOLFO DE LA GARZA, POLITICAL SCIENTIST: They don't want to be stigmatized as an all-white party, that's the first thing. And if they don't get the Latino vote, they're not going to get the black vote.
HINOJOSA (voice-over): Whether it's good public relations or good politics, the effort seems to be paying off, leaving even third parties to chase Latino votes in Spanish. New York conservative party candidate, Tom Golisano, has outspent both major parties in Spanish ads.
ERICK MULLEN, GOLISANO CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: We went from nine percent of the Latino support to 35 percent in a seven-day period. We spent half a million dollars.
HINOJOSA: But the Democrats are counting on long-standing allegiances to hold on to Latino votes and argue the Republicans are wrong to assume they can lure Latinos away based on issues.
DE LA GARZA: They believe Latinos are religious. Republicans are religious. They believe Latinos are patriotic. Republicans are patriotic.
(UNINTELLIGIBLE), you're a natural Republican. What they don't acknowledge is Latinos are very divided on abortion, which is a big issue for Republicans. Latinos are strongly supportive of gun control.
HINOJOSA: Whoever is right, Latinos seem to like hearing politicians speak their language.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They take time to put (ph) out. They're actually analyzing that we as people -- it's growing in this city.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We matter to them. They're trying to get our vote. And if they're trying to get our vote, it's probably because within the years we have more and more Latinos who are going to the polls.
HINOJOSA: And getting more voters is, after all, the language of politics. Maria Hinojosa, CNN, New York.
(INTERRUPTED BY CNN COVERAGE OF BREAKING NEWS) Coming up next, a look at the tight New Jersey Senate race. At least it was tight at one point. We are going to look at the people who said, at one point, this is going to be a street fight. But the polls show it could end up being fairly quiet. We'll see.
WOODRUFF: Senator Bob Torricelli's late exit from the New Jersey Senate race was expected to become an instant advantage for Republicans. But Democrats managed to find a proven vote getter to step in when duty called. CNN's Deborah Feyerick has more on the battle between Democrat Frank Lautenberg and Republican Doug Forrester.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He choked back tears. Called society unforgiving. But ultimately, Democrat Robert Torricelli's self-created ethics problems...
BOB TORRICELLI, FMR. SENATOR, NEW JERSEY: I most certainly have made mistakes.
FEYERICK: ... cut short his anticipated life in politics. Torricelli upending the New Jersey race by dropping out a month before the election.
TORRICELLI: ... to have my name removed from the general election ballot.
FEYERICK: But who would replace him? The Republicans went to court saying no one should. Arguing the deadline to change the ballot had passed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me, it's outrageous.
FEYERICK: With the same confusion of the 2000 presidential election, both parties worked their way to the courts until New Jersey's highest court ruled the Democrats could put someone else on the ballot. That person, Torricelli's fellow Democrat, the political and personal arch rival...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Frank Lautenberg.
FEYERICK: ... Frank Lautenberg was hand picked by Democrat party bigs (ph) from Jersey to Washington. The former three-time senator, a political celebrity in New Jersey, came with high name recognition.
FRANK LAUTENBERG, FMR. SENATOR, NEW JERSEY: How are you? Nice to see you.
FEYERICK: Republican candidate Doug Forrester in one poll had a 13-point lead over Torricelli. He ended up virtually neck and neck with the new challenger. Forrester no longer able to define himself as the anti-Torricelli. INGRID W. REED, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: Forrester had to change his tactics quite dramatically, because he was dealing with a person who was well respected, for one thing. And so he really couldn't be as cynical and deprecating. And then he really had to change his tactics, in terms of introducing himself to the voters.
FEYERICK: Forrester came out swinging, challenging Lautenberg to debate, often taking it to the streets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you let me debate? The issue here is why did you transfer $208 billion out of the Social Security trust fund?
FEYERICK: With less than a week to go, two formal debates, with Forrester bringing in his own political star power to sway voters, Senator Arlen Specter.
SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R), PENNSYLVANIA: If you want to be successful, you have to learn how to kiss politicians.
FEYERICK: As for control of the Senate, says one political analyst...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The people who will really make the difference on Election Day usually don't pay attention to that more esoteric concept.
FEYERICK. Both candidates are giving it everything they've got to try to reach as many of those voters as they possibly can. Frank Lautenberg is here in Red Bank, New Jersey greeting store owners. He's pretty comfortable in the polls, the latest of which shows him with an 11-point lead. As for Doug Forrester, today he alluded to his status as the underdog, but he predicts that tomorrow night he'll be declaring victory -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: OK. Deborah Feyerick. Only in New Jersey, right?
FEYERICK: No doubt.
WOODRUFF: Thank you very much.
Well we keep hearing that turnout is key tomorrow. So what are the political parties to get voters to the polls? Our Brooks Jackson takes a look just ahead.
But up next, the Georgia Senate race tightens as Election Day approaches. We'll check in on last night's debate in our campaign news daily.
WOODRUFF: In an election where just the smallest of margins in a few states could make all the difference in Washington, turnout is, of course, crucial. CNN's Brooks Jackson has more on how the parties are working aggressively to get their supporters to the polls.
BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Atlanta, Georgia. Republican volunteers fired up after a speech by President Bush.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hit the streets.
JACKSON: Hitting the streets to get out the Republican vote, one on one, door to door. Georgia party chairman Ralph Reed.
RALPH REED, GEORGIA GOP CHAIRMAN: We're doing the most in our party's history. By the time people go to the polls on Tuesday, we will have mailed or distributed 5.8 million pieces of literature. We will have made 2.5 million phone calls, and will have 3,000 volunteers and 500 paid workers that will be knocking on doors in 600 targeted neighborhoods. And we estimate they'll knock on a quarter of a million to 300,000 doors.
JACKSON: And that's just in Georgia. It's part of a national Republican effort dubbed "72 hours," that party officials say is focusing more time, money and effort than ever on contacting voters personally in the last three days before balloting. In fact, both parties are rediscovering the value of human contact.
In Kensington, Maryland, volunteers for Democratic House candidate Chris Van Hollen prepare get-out-the-vote literature to be hung on doorknobs, reminding supporters to vote.
CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I mean we've been having volunteer phone banks, we've been having people going door to door, knocking on doors, identifying people who we know are supporters. People listed their names, and now we want to go back to them and say, make sure you get out there on November 5.
JACKSON: The Democratic Party is spending more, too. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee quadrupled its ground war budget for this election. Volunteers use neighborhood maps of which voters to turn out and which to skip.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are just Dems (ph) and people that we've ID'd.
JACKSON: Democrats get a big boost from labor. The Service Employees Union is calling every one of its members in Maryland from this mobile boiler room, a truck trailer rigged with a computer dial system. Twelve hundred calls per hour.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some 20 years working in politics and volunteering in politics, I've never had a weapon like this.
JACKSON: Union members talking to union members. Democrats in Maryland and Republicans in Georgia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And remind them that it's their duty to participate in the political process. It's as simple as that. It's the old Civics 101.
JACKSON: Rediscovering the value of shoe leather politics in the Internet age. Brooks Jackson, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: And that's a healthy trend, to see real people out there involved.
We're now checking the headlines in our election eve addition of campaign news daily. A new poll finds Republican John Sununu has opened a slight lead ober Democrat Jeanne Shaheen in the New Hampshire race. And American Research Group surveyed likely voters over the weekend. Sununu got 48 percent, Shaheen, 44.
Senator Max Cleland and his GOP challenger, Saxby Chambliss, hit familiar themes in their final debate. The two disagreed last night over Social Security and taxes, as well as spending on education.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MAX CLELAND (D), GEORGIA: My Republican candidate has voted against all that. He's even voted against the existence of the United States Department of Education.
REP. SAXBY CHAMBLISS (R), SENATE CANDIDATE: Now here we go again. Just making up misleading -- putting misleading information out there. It doesn't even merit an answer, so I'm not going to answer it. But, Max, you're misleading the folks again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: I'll talk more about the Georgia Senate race in the next hour with Tom Baxter (ph) of "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution."
Just ahead, a jail cell campaign. Will it work for James Traficant? He's fighting to regain his former seat in Congress. The story, when we come back.
WOODRUFF: Former Ohio Congressman James Traficant recently hit the television airwaves with his new low-budget ads. Despite his new address, a prison in Pennsylvania, Traficant is in the running for his former seat. And, you know, it's not the first time a candidate has run for office from behind bars. Here's CNN's Kate Snow.
JAMES TRAFICANT, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: If they put me in jail in Ohio, I might just be the first American to win a congressional seat while incarcerated.
KATE SNOW, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: To call it an unconventional campaign is the understatement of the year. Jim Traficant lives at Alanwood (ph) Federal Prison now, not in his old Ohio district, but over in Pennsylvania.
TRAFICANT: Now they say I can't win a congressional race behind bars. Let me tell you something, you want to send a message to Washington, you want to straighten this mess out? I want your vote.
SNOW: They shot that commercial a day before he was sentenced in July, convicted of accepting bribes, taking kickbacks from his staff, forcing some to work on his horse farm. You'd think it would have been the end of Jim Traficant, his league colleagues in the house expelled him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to resign?
TRAFICANT: I've never been a quitter. I don't think I'll quit now.
SNOW: But he's the kind of guy who just won't give up. Neither will his supporters. His campaign manager says Traficant can do the job of a congressman from his jail cell.
JIM BUNOSKY, CAMPAIGN MANAGER: There's only 10 percent that really has to go to the attention of the congressman, the major things. He can do that from prison and he could do it better than 90 percent of the congressmen now.
SNOW: It's sort of been done before. Congressman Jay Kim (ph) of California wore an electronic ankle bracelet to monitor his every move in the Capitol, after he was convicted of taking illegal campaign contributions. Dip back further, you find Matthew Lyon (ph) of Vermont, re-elected in 1798, while serving a four-month jail term for criticizing the president.
(on camera): But it's never been done the way Jim Traficant is trying to do it if he wins, and it's a huge "if." Fellow members and aides say the House would probably just refuse to see him. Even his friends admit he's not exactly welcome in these halls anymore.
TRAFICANT: Are you talking to me?
SNOW (voice-over): To be clear, political watchers say Traficant doesn't have much of a chance anyhow. He could take a big chunk of voters away from the Democratic candidate, but probably not enough to turn the seat Republican. An internal Democratic poll shows Traficant pulling 11 percent.
TRAFICANT: I believe I could do a better job than half of those people down in Washington.
SNOW: Traficant is nothing, if not unpredictable. Some say quirky. Some say crazy. The only sure thing this Election Day, Jim Traficant is not going down without a fight. Kate Snow, CNN, Capitol Hill.
WOODRUFF: So stay with us -- what can you say more about Jim Traficant? Stay with us for another hour of "INSIDE POLITICS." We are tracking any last-minute movement in the close as can be Senate races, from Georgia to South Dakota.
And as the political world turns, election story lines have left us on the edge of our seats. We'll be right back.
(INTERRUPTED BY CNN COVERAGE OF BREAKING NEWS)
WOODRUFF: Now moving on to election news, in Minnesota today, both Walter Mondale and Norm Coleman had something to prove as the two Senate candidates face-off in their first and only debate.
The 74-year-old former vice president came on strong, trying to show that he is not merely a relic from the political past.
Coleman, in turn, tried to exude stature and civility.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MONDALE: You have been an arbitrary right to lifer. I am not and that's one of the big -- many issues that divide us.
COLEMAN: Let me just comment on that, if I may, Mr. Vice president, and I would take exception, I'll use a kind word, to the distribution of an arbitrary. My wife and I have had two children who were born, first son and the last daughter. They died at very young ages. I have a deep and profound respect for the value of life. It's not arbitrary. But even on that issue, I think we can and should look to find common ground. But please, don't describe it as arbitrary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Well voters will judge their debate performances tomorrow when they cast ballots in that neck and neck Minnesota Senate race.
Governor Jesse Ventura already has panned the debate because the independent candidate was excluded. Ventura tried to upstage the show, in fact, by naming an Independence party member to fill the late Paul Wellstone's Senate seat until this election is officially decided.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VENTURA: My appointee is a person of the highest integrity, has a key sense of what is in the best interest of ordinary Minnesotans and will put the people's interest before the parties' interest.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the interim United States senator from Minnesota, Independence party member Dean Barkley. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: And with us now, the Senator designate from Minnesota, Dean Barkley.
Mr. Barkley, you're the designate. Now you have not been sworn in. Is that right?
DEAN BARKLEY (I), MINN. SENATOR DESIGNATE: That's correct. I'll be sworn in officially the first day that Congress reconvenes, which is November 12.
WOODRUFF: All right and now, that is assuming that whoever is elected in tomorrow's election is not certified by then?
BARKLEY: Well, they'll be certified November 19. And then there's a conflict in laws. The Senate rules state that I should be there to the completion of Senator Wellstone's term and there's a state law that the attorney general says that says that the victor of that Senate race should take office once they're certified. So, I'm sure they'll be some lawyers that will decide that issue.
WOODRUFF: All right, well we'll put that aside for the moment. Where were you and when did you find out that Governor Ventura had chosen you?
BARKLEY: Well, it was five minutes to 9:00 this morning when I was starting to leave for work. Stephen Brosack (ph) of the chief of staff called me and told me I better wear a suit because the governor wants me to represent the state of Minnesota. And I was quite shocked. I had not sought the position. I'm glad that Governor Ventura has the confidence in me, but it was about an hour and five minutes before the press conference.
WOODRUFF: Some people are looking at this, Mr. Barkley, and saying this is just a stunt on the part of Governor Ventura, that, after all, an election is being held tomorrow. We are just days away from the new senator being sworn in.
BARKLEY: Well, the governor has the power, under our constitution to do what he's doing. He won the election fair and square. He has every right to appoint the replacement for Senator Wellstone and he's exercised that right. People will say what they say. I am proud that he thinks that I can go and represent the state's -- the interests of the state of Minnesota. I'll do the best that I can and hopefully people won't think it's a stunt once I'm done.
WOODRUFF: But does this in any way, Mr. Barkley, undercut the Independence party candidate running who's for United States senator, who's on the ballot and is going to be, you know, there for voters to choose from tomorrow?
BARKLEY: No, I don't think so. This shouldn't have any effect of the election going on tomorrow. This is a power that was given to the governor. He exercised that power. It has nothing to do with Jim Moore, who is our candidate, who, by way, was just wrongfully excluded from that U.S. Senate debate by Minnesota Public Radio and Carol Levin (ph). I think it a travesty. But I think the governor may have moved up his timetable. But he tells me he would have appointed me after the election or before the election. So whether it was today or it was Wednesday, I don't think it would make any difference.
WOODRUFF: All right. Dean Barkley, who, as he said, will be sworn in on November 12. Maybe will serve for a week or so as the next senator from the state of Minnesota. Thank you very much. Good to see you.
BARKLEY: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: I guess I should say congratulations.
Now we turn to the South Dakota Senate race. It has been one of those too close to call from the minute it started. And it remains that way just a day before the election. With me now from Sioux Falls, our own Jonathan Karl. Jonathan, you're still standing in front of the falls?
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The actual Sioux Falls, Judy.
And this is a state where President Bush has a 73 percent approval rating in the latest USA -- CNN/"USA Today" Gallup poll. That is the highest approval rating for the president in any of the five Senate battleground states surveyed in that US -- in that CNN poll, which may explain why the president has been here twice in the past five days.
REP. JOHN THUNE (R), SOUTH DAKOTA: George W. Bush.
KARL (voice-over): Republicans are betting the ranch, or more precisely a shot at control of the Senate, that President Bush's sky- high popularity here will rub off on Republican John Thune.
But Democrat Tim Johnson has sought no campaign help from big- name Democrats outside South Dakota. He says that shows he's his own man and Thune is not.
SEN. TIM JOHNSON (D), SOUTH DAKOTA: What South Dakotans want is someone who stands on his own two feet, who doesn't have to borrow the popularity of someone else.
KARL: Senator Johnson tells people that you've got the president out here, the vice president, the former mayor of New York, the first lady and on and on, because you can't stand on your own, but he does. He's out here without any help. He's doing it on his own.
What do you say to that?
THUNE: I mean, he's been drafted along behind Tom Daschle for the last, you know, since he's been in office. And he's been running around the state this week with Tom Daschle.
SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: There' bout 40 or 50 undecided voters in Brookings County, and we're going to go talk to them. KARL: In fact, Senator Daschle has been at Johnson's side virtually every step of the way in the campaign's final push, another reminder that this is also a battle between Tom Daschle and the president.
BLEO GROGAN, JOHNSON VOLUNTEER: I'm a volunteer for the Democratic party.
KARL: But in the very final push, people like Bleo Grogan may be more important than the big names. She's part of an army of Johnson volunteers working to get out the vote.
GROGAN: I have 11 children.
KARL: And how many grandchildren?
KARL: So you've made sure they're all going to vote?
GROGAN: Yes, they always do.
THUNE: Get ready to lace then up, guys. Let's go get them.
KARL: The Republicans have their own army of poll workers. Over the weekend, about 500 of them showed up for a training session at this church in Sioux Falls.
Back at campaign headquarters, Thune explained how his operation will work on Tuesday.
THUNE: Well this is Minehaha County, which is where we are here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and we have precinct captains in every precinct in the county and then we have poll checkers who cover three- hour shifts throughout the course of the day, report back to the telephone callers about who hasn't voted, and the callers then begin to call and remind people, and we know where and how to reach them to get them out to vote.
KARL: Both candidates are now barnstorming across the state of South Dakota, hitting -- flying to the various population centers across this vast state. And Judy, once again, Senator Daschle is flying around with Senator Johnson, and some of the places they are hitting are the Indian reservations, which Johnson hopes will provide his margin of victory here. Those are two of the places they'll be heading today.
Shortly before they left Sioux Falls on that flight around the state, I caught up with Senator Daschle and talked to him about the implications of this race, not only here in South Dakota but nationally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: And do you feel you've done all you can do? Or are you having second thoughts? Are you nervous? I mean, where do you...
DASCHLE: No. I don't get nervous per se. But I think that it's that internal peace, that internal sense of belief that you've done everything you can do. We've had great candidates. Our volunteers, our supporters have been wonderful. The resources have been there. I think that Tim Johnson's a good example. I don't know what else Tim could have done. He's done everything right, and I'm very satisfied with the campaign going into the last 24 hours.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: Now, Judy, there are, as we have said before, about 450,000 registered voters in the state of South Dakota. Campaign officials for both candidates say that they have contacted or at least attempted to contact every one of those voters who has a phone. And they know at this point, they know who is voting which way, who is leaning which way and who the undecided voters are. They say they actually know by name, by address, by phone number. Those are the people that are going to be contacted over and over again between now and when polls open tomorrow -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: So, Jon, in other words, if you don't want to vote tomorrow in South Dakota, you can run, but you can't hide? They're going to find you?
KARL: That's exactly the case, which is why they are predicting record turnout here. You know, they do all have caller I.D. A lot of them have caller I.D. now so they can avoid those calls if they really want to.
WOODRUFF: All right, all 450,000 of them. All right, Jon Karl, thanks very much, and we'll talk to you later.
WOODRUFF: Well, in addition to South Dakota, the president has been on the road in a marathon campaign swing through states all over the country. By the end of this day, Mr. Bush will have campaigned for GOP candidates in 10 states just since Saturday.
With me now, our White House correspondent John King. All right, John, after this mega-travel bonanza on the president's part, what is the White House looking to get out of this?
JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, they are actually somewhat optimistic. They are afraid to say so here, but they are somewhat optimistic that the president might end up tomorrow night not only maintaining Republican control of the House, but they believe here at the White House that they have a pretty good shot, 60-40, one aide called it today, of actually picking up the Senate.
Several races in play. Nobody here is confident, but officials here are looking at our latest polling, there is other polling out today. They think they're seeing in that public polling some evidence of a slight shift for the Republicans in the final days of this campaign. They say that is extraordinary, because, obviously, the president's party traditionally loses.
It's a jump ball. That's the phrase we hear over and over here at the White House. And the president is out, as you say, doing everything he can, including some of those phone calls in South Dakota, if those people pick up the phone -- the voice of the president, a recorded message from the president in a number of races around the country urging people to get out to vote. The president's got a stop in Arkansas, a stop in Texas tonight. He'll finish up his campaign; then he gets back here tomorrow night, Judy, to wait. But they do think it is possible that the president could actually get the Senate as well.
WOODRUFF: So, John, it sounds like they think the president is literally making a difference in these races?
KING: They say there's no question he is making a difference. When the president goes into these states, they believe it energizes the Republican base. A key test of this president, not only in this election, but looking forward to 2004, the Missouri race. He was out there today for Jim Talent, the former congressman. Where was the president? He was in the suburban collar around St. Louis. That is swing voter country. In Missouri, when there is a 50/50 race, that's the area of the state that decides it. That's where we found the soccer moms in 1992. Moderate swing voters who tend to vote Republican on economic issues, tend to be more moderate on social issues. If Jim Talent gets over the top, the president will feel very good about those stops.
He's trying to get out the vote here. They're already here planning, Judy, for the economic proposals in the new State of the Union address. They just don't know who will be running the Congress when the president gives that speech.
WOODRUFF: All right, John, as I let you go, I'm told that we have some live pictures of Air Force One landing in Jonesboro. Well, I was told Jonesboro, but the sign at the bottom of the screen says Bentonville, Arkansas. The president coming in there in a last-minute push for Senator Tim Hutchinson, running against Democrat Mark Pryor. That's one of the very last states the president stops in on his way to Texas, where he will spend the night.
So, question, did the president pull off one of the top plays of campaign 2002? Bill Schneider is going to give us his answer later.
But up next, the Georgia Senate race that wasn't supposed to be so close. We'll get an election eve update.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're (ph) more scientific.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WOODRUFF: Will we in the media get it right this year? We're sure planning to try. And I'll talk with Jeff Greenfield about our new and hopefully improved system for calling races on election night. You are watching INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.
WOODRUFF: Now we turn to the Senate race right here in Georgia. Incumbent Max Cleland is barnstorming across the state today with other Democratic candidates, and with the man who is seen as the party's not-so-secret weapon, the state's other United States senator, Zell Miller. But can Miller help Cleland send off a surprisingly strong challenge by Republican Saxby Chambliss?
Well, Tom Baxter covers politics for "The Atlanta Journal." Tom, all of us smart folks in Washington didn't think this was going to be such a close race. But why -- it is, and why?
TOM BAXTER, ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: Well, if you remember six years ago, Cleland won this seat by about 30,000 votes. Very close election back then, and I think a lot of people here in Georgia thought it was going to be close. Nobody could have predicted it was going to be quite this close in the end. The last polling I saw was that Zogby poll over the weekend, which had Chambliss up one point, statistically insignificant, but almost a dead-even race.
WOODRUFF: What has Saxby Chambliss done to make it this close a race?
BAXTER: One word, President Bush. He's had the president in several times, including this past weekend, appearances in Savannah, in Atlanta. And I think that has fit straight into Chambliss' primary campaign plank, which is the homeland security subcommittee that he chairs.
WOODRUFF: So they had a debate last night. Did that change anything?
BAXTER: I don't know if it did or not. If it did change anything, I think that Cleland was on the defensive in that debate, but the one thing that we saw him do was on every question repeatedly refer to Chambliss as "my Republican opponent." And mention Roosevelt in the closing. You know, that tells us that they're really working to get that Democratic core vote activated in Georgia. And I think that's what the Democrats are counting on.
WOODRUFF: Does Cleland have anybody he can run out there to in any way equal the stature of the president? Obviously -- I mean, how do you do that?
BAXTER: Not to equal the stature of the president, but Zell Miller is about as good a hole card as you can get, other than that. And he has used Miller. Miller has been out there campaigning for Cleland very actively.
WOODRUFF: And you just told me, before I let you go, that you've just been talking to the Cleland people in the last hour, and what are they...
BAXTER: And surprisingly, they didn't see any bump for Chambliss out of the president's weekend visit. I'll bet -- I haven't talked to the Chambliss people in the last hour -- I bet they'd have a different interpretation of that.
WOODRUFF: All right, Tom Baxter, with "The Atlanta Journal- Constitution." One more very close one. We're going to be watching. Thanks very much. Good to see you. Appreciate it.
Well, the last time you saw so many competitive contests, you may have been watching a sports network instead of INSIDE POLITICS. If you crave excitement and variety on your television screen, our Candy Crowley says this campaign is for you.
CROWLEY (voice-over): There are eight million stories in the world of politics. Here are some of them.
A child of Camelot, Bobby's oldest, is running for governor of Maryland. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend runs with one of the biggest names in politics in one of the most Democratic states in the country. She could lose.
Republican Bob Ehrlich, a candidate without political legacy, could make political history. He's 44 now. Ehrlich was 8 the last time Maryland elected a Republican governor.
While we're on the History Channel, this man could make some. Ron Kirk, behind but within striking distance of his Republican opponent John Cornyn. Kirk could become the first African-American senator from Texas.
RON KIRK (D), TEXAS SENATE CANDIDATE: My dad used to always tell my brother and sisters, look, ain't that big a deal if you're the first, but it will be a tragedy if you're the last. If you blow it, the door may stay shut.
CROWLEY: And tune in for this.
JAMES TRAFICANT, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: Gephardt has no balls. He's about as (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
CROWLEY: "CSI Youngstown" -- a guy who can't vote is running for office. Convicted felon and former Congressman James Traficant is in the slammer, and on the ballot. He's a distant third and looking for a miracle, but it will be short-lived. "If elected," said a former colleague, we'll swear him in at noon and throw him out by 5:00."
For soap opera, watch "As Arkansas Turns." Senator Tim Hutchinson, a family values conservative, was the first Arkansas Republican to win election in the 20th century. Four years into his term, he divorced his wife of 29 years and married a much younger Senate aide. Will Arkansas forgive him? Hint: Mark Pryor, the Democrat in the race, has yet to be available to join Arkansas' favorite son when he comes to town.
In "Animal Planet" news, the stake could not be higher for these guys. Will Oklahoma ban cockfighting? This is a personal favorite of CNN, where we don't often get to put chickens in political stories.
And if it's horror you want, watch nightmare in California, where many voters will pick a governor by deciding which candidate they dislike the least. Is anybody going to show up for this?
And what's must-see TV without a season-ending cliffhanger? For that matter, what's an election without one?
No big easy for Democrat Mary Landrieu in the Louisiana Senate race. The state with unusual politics has unusual procedures, which boils down to putting everyone who wants to run on the ballot. Landrieu is up against three Republicans, and if she doesn't get 50 percent of the vote or more, there's a runoff December 7. (SPEAKING FRENCH).
CROWLEY: So, Judy, what is there left to say except for that old television cliche, stay tuned.
WOODRUFF: Oh, poor old California. Nightmare, Candy? OK. We'll see you a little bit later. Thanks.
WOODRUFF: Louisiana, not Florida, as you just heard from Candy, could be the sight of the next overtime election. Just ahead: Why all eyes may turn to the bayou state even after all the votes are counted.
But first, let's turn to Rhonda Schaffler. She's at the New York Stock Exchange for a market update. Hi there, Rhonda.
RHONDA SCHAFFLER, CNN FINANCIAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Judy. Stocks ended higher today, but not at the best levels of the session. At one point, the Dow was surging better than 200 points late in the day, when profit taking quieted things down a bit.
Investors cheered the favorable court ruling in the Microsoft antitrust case that came out late Friday. There was also buying on expectation. The Federal Reserve is going to cut interest rates when Fed officials meet on Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ending up 53 points. Microsoft shares up better than $3. And that helped the Nasdaq to a better than 2.5 percent gain.
Another stock that had a good day: UAL. Shares of the parent company of United Airlines soaring about 20 percent, that on news the carrier's closer to saving itself from bankruptcy. The airlines' pilot union agreed over the weekend to $2.2 billion in concessions and give-backs over the next five and a half years. The Transport Workers Union also agreed to some cutbacks. United CEO says he expects the other unions will come through on concessions, which the airlines needs in order to get a big government loan guarantee.
That's the very latest from Wall Street. More INSIDE POLITICS after the break, including a live update on the extremely close Missouri Senate race.
WOODRUFF: Talking about a lot of Senate races today. But the Senate race in Louisiana is one that could literally help swing the balance of power on Capitol Hill. Incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu faces not one but three Republican challengers in a race that could go into December.
CNN's Arthel Neville is with us now from New Orleans. Arthel, you're not on the "TALKBACK LIVE" set; you're back in your home state.
ARTHEL NEVILLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm back in my home state. You know, Louisiana's known for a foot-stomping good time, Judy. Well, today the candidates are out stomping for votes, criss-crossing the state trying to galvanize people to the polls, and it's all in search of a victory.
(voice-over): It's possible that none of the Louisiana Senate candidates will be marching to a victory song come Tuesday night. Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu has a commanding lead, but will it be enough?
SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA: Take someone to the polls, whether you know them or not. Pick them up on the way, and bring them to the polls before 8:00, and God bless you all.
NEVILLE: Turnout is crucial, since the election here is what is called an open primary. Democrats and Republicans all run against each other on the same ticket. In fact, there are nine candidates on the Senate ballot alone. If Landrieu does not get more than 50 percent of the vote Tuesday, there will be a runoff December 7, where the top two vote getters square off. It's something Democrats desperately want to avoid.
JOHN MAGINNIS, POLITICAL ANALYST: I think the disadvantage for Landrieu if she gets caught in a runoff is then the race becomes a national partisan, Democrat versus Republican race. George Bush will be here.
NEVILLE: A recent poll shows Landrieu with about 44 percent support, an encouraging sign to her Republican opponents who are hoping to force a runoff.
Republican Suzy Terrell, the state's elections commissioner, has gained traction by attacking Landrieu's Senate record.
SUZY TERRELL (R), LOUISIANA SENATE CANDIDATE: What happens when you're in Washington in six years, you go back to your home state, tell people that you did this and you did that, and they'll believe you, unless somebody says, well, but...
NEVILLE: With Louisiana's economy out of tune, taxes are a major issue. Bolstered by several million dollars from national Republicans, Terrell has improved her standing by trying to paint Landrieu's record as that of a tax-and-spend liberal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, TERRELL CAMPAIGN AD)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looks just like Hillary Clinton. Both get F's from the National Taxpayers Union.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEVILLE: Landrieu is fighting back.
LANDRIEU: We've had millions of dollars in out-of-state money come to the state to distort my record, and my record is one of working for all people of Louisiana, being very mainstream and very moderate.
NEVILLE: The first-term senator emphasizes how much she has voted with President Bush, such as on his tax cut proposal. She also points out their differences.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was just calling to remind you that the senator is on the ballot for reelection this Tuesday.
NEVILLE: Even though Landrieu is ahead in the polls, Democrats aren't taking any chances.
NEVILLE: Now, the National Democratic Party has pumped in almost $1 million in recent weeks trying to bolster the get-out-the-vote effort. And GOP officials won't say exactly how much money they've put in. But both sides realize that turnout is key in deciding who captures this crucial Louisiana Senate seat -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right, Arthel, I know, in the time you've been there, you've been talking to a lot of people. Are they interested in this campaign? Is it on everybody's lips?
NEVILLE: You know what? I can't say that it's on everybody's lips. I think, in fact, the locals here in New Orleans, they seem to be paying more attention to the district attorney's race.
WOODRUFF: OK. All right, Arthel, we'll see a lot of you tomorrow night. Thanks again.
NEVILLE: OK. See you, Judy.
WOODRUFF: Appreciate it.
WOODRUFF: We'll check in on the Arkansas Senate race just ahead. The president has arrived, as we showed you a minute ago, in the state of one of his final campaign stops. But will it be enough to derail the surging Democrat, Mark Pryor?
WOODRUFF: As we've been reporting, Minnesota Senate candidates Walter Mondale and Norm Coleman met today for their one and only debate in this campaign. The two men clashed over everything from abortion to taxes. They also talked about competence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLEMAN: Who, in your judgment, has the ability to do those things to grow jobs, to provide for quality education, to make sure that we live up to the obligation to our parents, make sure that we have quality health care, who will work tirelessly, who will change the tone in Washington?
MONDALE: The first question, now, that you must ask, about both of us, is who do you trust? Who do you believe will go to Washington and be a truly independent voice for Minnesota? When you make that judgment, you know a lot about me. I grew up in Minnesota. I was educated here. I spent my career representing Minnesotans and our nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: With me now to talk more about the Minnesota contest are two of our "CROSSFIRE" hosts, Bob Novak and Paul Begala, gentlemen, in Washington.
Bob, did this debate move this election one way or the other?
ROBERT NOVAK, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I couldn't answer that, but I could tell you this, that Fritz Mondale was obviously told by his handlers that he couldn't come over as an old man. He's 74 years old.
So what he did is, he came over as a mean old man. He used the tough talking points, in the Begala/Carville style. And it was very nasty, whereas Norm Coleman came over as a sweet moderate. Now, my understanding is that the people who haven't made up their minds really don't go for the tough talking. So maybe Mondale's handlers made a mistake.
WOODRUFF: So, Paul Begala, he was mean and nasty?
PAUL BEGALA, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": No, of course not. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body.
But he was very sharp, in the best sense of the word. He was very tough. I think the race comes down to: Who has got principle? Who has got convictions? And Senator Wellstone, even his most bitter enemies would admit he was a politician of enormous conviction. And Norm Coleman, while a very nice guy -- he did come across as very pleasant -- was Bill Clinton's nice guy just a couple of years ago. And now he's George Bush's nice guy? Whose nice guy is he going to be a few years from now?
We know in Mondale that the people of Minnesota see a guy of enormous conviction and stature. And he conveyed that, I think, wonderfully today.
NOVAK: Judy, Paul knows a lot more about politics than I do, because he actually was on the business end of it.
But I think that the people who haven't made up their mind now are not very much attracted by this hard-nosed attack politics. And when Norm Coleman says, "I like to be bipartisan; I like to get things done," he might appeal to the undecided vote.
BEGALA: He's bipartisan in that he's been with both parties. We don't know where he is going to be tomorrow. We know what we get in Fritz Mondale.
This is going to be exciting. And we've never had a race like this, of course. And I think that people are going to go back and look and see who's got the principle and the commitment and fidelity over time. And that's when Mondale has such strength.
WOODRUFF: Well, they clearly do disagree on just about every issue that came up. Whether it was abortion or the economy or schools, the people of Minnesota have a choice.
NOVAK: What I was impressed with, Judy, was, they asked Coleman if he disagreed with President Bush on anything. He named a couple very important things. And they asked Mondale if he could ever cross the trial lawyers, and he just couldn't say a bad word about the trial lawyers.
BEGALA: Well, God bless him for that.
BEGALA: Sorry, Judy. Go ahead.
WOODRUFF: No, I was just going to say, do you want to make a prediction? I hate to ask you to do that.
NOVAK: I'll make a prediction.
WOODRUFF: OK, Bob.
NOVAK: I think Coleman's going to win in a squeaker.
BEGALA: I think Mondale will win.
WOODRUFF: All right, we're going to leave it there. No surprises, guys. Thanks very much for not disappointing. OK, we'll see you very soon. Appreciate it.
And now we move on to the Heartland: Coming up next, we're going to join CNN's Carol Lin in Missouri for an update on yet another tight Senate race. It's a broken record.
WOODRUFF: Checking more headlines in our extra edition of "Campaign News Daily": We have more details in a new poll in the New Jersey Senate's race. A Quinnipiac University survey gives Democrat Frank Lautenberg an 11-point advantage over Republican Doug Forrester, 50 percent to 39 percent. The previous Quinnipiac poll showed Lautenberg with a nine-point edge.
The United States Justice Department has announced plans to dispatch more than 400 election observers to 14 states on Election Day. The observers will include more than 100 Justice Department lawyers. And they'll be on hand to ensure, or try to ensure, compliance with federal election laws and the Voting Rights Act. Five Florida counties, including Broward and Miami-Dade, are among the places where the observers will be sent.
Well, Missouri was one of those states that merited a last-minute campaign stop by President Bush today. He and other Republicans are counting on Jim Talent to oust Jean Carnahan from the Senate.
CNN's Carol Lin is in St. Louis now -- Carol.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Boy, Judy, this race is so amazingly tight.
And what we wanted to take a look at was the dynamic between the two candidates. We wanted to see how Democrat Jean Carnahan was going to really define herself as a senator and not a grieving widow to her electorate. And we wanted to see how Republican Jim Talent was going to try to take her seat away from her.
And with the Senate race this tight, the Republicans were bringing out their biggest guns today.
G. BUSH: May God bless you and may God bless America.
LIN (voice-over): This is the fourth time President Bush has come to Missouri to campaign for Senate candidate Jim Talent. And they are hunting for votes in Carnahan country, St. Charles, Missouri, where conservative Democrats might, just might, swing Republican and swing this race.
In just the last 72 hours, Missouri voters have seen the president and the vice president.
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't need to tell you about Jim Talent. He's got the kind of experience and the leadership capacity that's absolutely vital in the U.S. Senate these days.
LIN: Their message is not that subtle; 46-year-old Jim Talent, they say, an eight-term congressman, has more experience than Jean Carnahan, appointed to the seat after her husband died in a plane crash.
In a whirlwind weekend campaign, which crisscrossed the state, Jean Carnahan fired back.
SEN. JEAN CARNAHAN (D), MISSOURI: They can come here from Washington and try to tell us how to vote, but they can't vote. You can.
LIN: The 68-year-old widow is trying very hard to prove by Election Day that she can come out from under the shadow of her husband's death.
CARNAHAN: I know that I'm the senator who holds the seat for Missouri. And I'll be the junior senator and I will have won it in my own right.
LIN (on camera): So would you say that your husband is really not a factor in this race, and his memory?
CARNAHAN: I do not want -- it would have been wrong for me to run on that.
LIN (voice-over): The sympathetic outpouring that helped win her Senate appointment can be a political liability today, reminding voters that she was not actually elected to office.
KEN WARREN, PROFESSOR, ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY: She's only been in office two years. She doesn't have a long, long track record, like her opponent, Jim Talent. So she's a pretty big question mark.
LIN: So, Jean Carnahan is running on classic Democratic themes. And she is pouncing on the Democratic core constituency. We're talking about the minorities here in Missouri, the labor party, as well as women, Judy. Women cast the majority of ballots in the last off-year election.
Also, we understand that the outcome, according to several political analysts here locally, may not be known for weeks. What they are saying is that voter turnout is expected to be about 45 percent. They are allowing, for the first time in the state of Missouri, the use of provisional ballots, which need to be checked by hand. And they're expecting some 40,000 people to be requesting those provisional ballots.
And, Judy, as you know, that means that, if you go to the polls and you can prove that you're a registered voter, even if you're not on the docket there at that particular poll, you will be allowed to vote -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Well, that's fascinating, Carol, if that's the case. And that's one more reason why we are less and less likely to know who has taken control of the Senate tomorrow night. It may be beyond that.
All right, Carol Lin...
LIN: Yes, it may very well be.
WOODRUFF: ... thanks very much.
Well, once all the votes are cast, figuring out who the winner is isn't always easy, as anybody who followed election 2000 knows all too well. So, new systems have been installed at many polling places. And we have a new system to call races, too.
Jeff Greenfield and I are going to talk about that next.
WOODRUFF: Well, for any of you who were alive two years ago, you know there were some mistakes made by the news media on election night. CNN is doing everything it can to keep that from happening.
And I should say, Jeff Greenfield, in all fairness, so are other news organizations. Talk about the additional layer, though, that CNN is adding to the information that we're going to be getting.
GREENFIELD: It's a bold, inventive idea to actually go out and look at some real votes to mix in with VNS, the Voter News Service. That's why it's called Real Vote.
In about 700 precincts in some 10 states where we expect close races, we have our own people who will be gathering real votes as soon as they are cast, or as soon as we can find them. They will be sent to our decision desk in New York for analysis. And they will look at them. And it's a backstop. It's like built-in suspenders.
So, if VNS projects a race and our Real Vote numbers say, "We don't think so," we're going to level with the viewers. We're going to say, "They called it and we're not ready yet."
WOODRUFF: Ten states where we think that there are some very close races. Is this foolproof? Does this mean that we're not going to make any mistakes?
GREENFIELD: You mean nothing can go wrong, can go wrong, can go wrong? No, because we're humans and the people gathering it are human.
The other thing that can happen, that I think is more likely election night, is that there are so many states where there are questions about how they're going to count the votes: touch screens in Georgia; provisional ballots you just heard about in Missouri.
WOODRUFF: In Missouri.
GREENFIELD: Minnesota with paper ballots -- that, when voters see us staying our hand and saying, "We can't tell you what's going to happen," it may be not because our machinery has gone kablooey, but the election count itself.
WOODRUFF: And the absentee voting, the early voting in Oregon. And there are all these different issues in so many different states.
GREENFIELD: And there's always Florida.
WOODRUFF: Yes. And then there's Florida.
GREENFIELD: And then there's Florida.
WOODRUFF: OK, Jeff Greenfield, thanks very much.
And when we come back, our Bill Schneider will bring us the "Political Plays" of the entire campaign season. This is the last day of it.
WOODRUFF: So, as we said before the break, this is the last day of the campaign season. What better time, the perfect time, for Bill Schneider to look back and do the "Political Plays" of the entire campaign?
SCHNEIDER: Well, you know, it has been a campaign of twists and turns, shocks and tears and "Political Plays," as each party maneuvers for advantage in the tightest midterm election in memory.
So we crisscrossed the country and found the top plays of campaign 2002.
(voice-over): First to California: Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat, spends $12 million in the Republican primary to defeat his most threatening opponent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)
NARRATOR: For years, Richard Riordan funded the anti-abortion movement, supported anti-choice candidates, and even called abortion murder. Now he says he's pro-choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHNEIDER: It works. Davis gets the opponent he wants and moves into the lead. Polls show Davis would have lost to Riordan.
Clear across to New Hampshire: Republicans get the candidate they prefer. Desperate to hold on to their Senate seat, big-name Republicans line up behind John Sununu against their own Senator Bob Smith. Sununu beat Smith, the only challenger to defeat a senator in his own party in a decade. And a likely GOP loss in New Hampshire turns into a cliffhanger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact is, our party in New Hampshire is more unified and stronger than ever.
SCHNEIDER: Down to New Jersey: Ethically challenged Bob Torricelli is sinking fast in the Senate race. On September 30, he pulls out. His reason? Flat-out partisanship.
SEN. ROBERT TORRICELLI (D), NEW JERSEY: I will not be responsible for the loss of the Democratic majority in the United States Senate.
SCHNEIDER: And who do Democrats get to replace Torricelli? His arch enemy. Former Senator Frank Lautenberg unretires, agrees to take Torricelli's place and moves into the lead.
Up to Minnesota: Walter Mondale unretires and goes on the ticket at the last minute. This time, it happens under tragic circumstances, the sudden death of Senator Paul Wellstone.
MARK WELLSTONE, SON OF PAUL WELLSTONE: We will win! We will win! We will win!
SCHNEIDER: For Mondale, as for Lautenberg, the reasoning is the same. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party.
Down the river to Louisiana: Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu looks vulnerable. But Republicans fail to recruit a top-named candidate like Governor Mike Foster to run against her.
GOV. MIKE FOSTER (R), LOUISIANA: It's my duty really to stay here and do what I was elected to do.
SCHNEIDER: So, instead, Republicans put up three little-known candidates -- yes, three -- because, in Louisiana, the November 5 election is a primary. If Republicans can hold Landrieu's vote below 50 percent, they'll force her into a runoff in December. The polls show it's working.
SCHNEIDER: And if we end up tomorrow with a tied Senate, then it will all come out with a runoff in Louisiana. Imagine the money that will be spent in Louisiana. Imagine waiting another month to find out what happened. Haven't we done this before?
WOODRUFF: Sure we've done it before. All right.
All right, it's only Monday, but have you got any early candidates for the "Political Play of the Week" this Friday?
SCHNEIDER: Well, President Bush put his political standing on the line by going out and campaigning so much. He could perform a minor miracle tomorrow if he sees his party gain seats in the House. Now, Bill Clinton did do that four years ago. But when your own party controls the House of Representatives, it's a pretty impressive feat.
WOODRUFF: Well, if that happens, we're going to be spending a lot of time talking about it.
SCHNEIDER: Yes, we will.
WOODRUFF: All right, Bill Schneider, thanks.
WOODRUFF: We'll see a lot of you over the next day or so.
SCHNEIDER: Oh, yes.
WOODRUFF: And that is it for this special edition of INSIDE POLITICS.
I'm Judy Woodruff at CNN election headquarters in Atlanta.
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