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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Countdown to Super Tuesday

Aired February 4, 2008 - 22:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And get ready. If the polls are right, get ready, on the Democratic side, for the closest Super Tuesday in history.
Even if they're wrong and it's not the closest, it's the largest Super Tuesday ever. Take a look, 24 states, plus American Samoa, 44 primaries or caucuses, more than 1,600 delegates at stake on the Democratic side, about 1,000 for the GOP.

The candidates today chasing each other across the electoral map. Check it out, Hillary Clinton in New Haven, Connecticut, Worcester, Massachusetts, and then back to New York.

Barack Obama, East Rutherford, New Jersey, Hartford, Connecticut, and a rally tonight in Boston.

And now Massachusetts, once thought a lock for Hillary, up for grabs. The same with Connecticut.

For the Republicans, John McCain, Boston, Hamilton, New Jersey, and New York. Mitt Romney pursuing a Southern strategy, Nashville, Tennessee, Atlanta, then a late flight to Long Beach, California, just in time for the late evening news.

The only candidate not venturing far from home, Mike Huckabee, with two stops each in Tennessee and home state Arkansas. As for where they all stand, well, according to our latest national poll of polls, John McCain is sitting on a big lead, 21 points over Mitt Romney. But Governor Romney appears to be making gains in California and holding a strong lead in Massachusetts.

The Democratic race on the other hand razor-thin nationally, a slight advantage for Senator Clinton in the poll of polls, two points, but big momentum for Senator Obama, both nationally and especially in California over the last week or so.

Now, with things so close, neither candidate of course is letting up.

CNN's Candy Crowley is here in New York, where Hillary Rodham Clinton held a televised town meeting.

And CNN's Gary Tuchman is at an Obama rally in Boston.

Gary, let's start with you.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, here in Boston, Barack Obama will be trying to cheer a lot of very unhappy New Englanders, because their football team lost the Super Bowl last night. But he probably won't have a hard time of doing that in about 10 minutes or 15 minutes, when he takes the stage, because there's a mosh pit atmosphere here right now. And he has two very high-profile surrogates who will be taking the stage, campaigning for him, the two U.S. senators from Massachusetts, Edward Kennedy, who ran for president himself 28 years ago, in 1980, and also John Kerry, who ran for president just four years ago against George W. Bush.

Now, Edward Kennedy, just before this event in Boston, was in Hartford, Connecticut, with Obama. And he was quite excitable.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Tonight, here in Connecticut, I'm asking each and every one of you to do for Barack Obama what you did for John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

KENNEDY: Will you do that? When you do, we will elect him as our next president of the United States, Barack Obama!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUCHMAN: I told you he was excitable. He sounds like the World Wrestling Federation emcee.

Either way, a quieter morning today for Senator Kerry. He was at a senior center in Quincy, Massachusetts, which is just south of Boston. Many of the seniors there are concerned that Obama doesn't have experience. Kerry told them that Obama is older than Bill Clinton when he became president, older than John F. Kennedy when he became president.

Now, before Boston, before Hartford, there was New Jersey today. There was an Obama rally near the Meadowlands. And the Meadowlands is where the New York Giants, the Super Bowl champions, play football. So, Obama decided to use a sporting metaphor about the Super Bowl, about football, when he was talking about Edward Kennedy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For me to be able to bring a Patriots fan to the Meadowlands the day after the Super Bowl is like bringing the lion and the lamb together.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: We can bridge all gaps and all divisions in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUCHMAN: Also on the stage at that rally, Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, and also actor Robert De Niro.

Now, Barack Obama will stay in Boston overnight, will be in Illinois tomorrow for the Super Tuesday count, while the two U.S. senators here with 68 years of Senate experience between them, they say they will continue to campaign for Obama today, tomorrow and in the days and weeks to come -- Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Gary, how big have the turnouts been today at these events?

TUCHMAN: This event is one of the hugest turnouts I have ever seen at a political event in this stage of the campaign. There are a couple thousand people here right now. But there were lines down the streets along the waterfront here in Boston. And it took a couple of hours for some of the people to come in, with all the security, so, very elaborate security. And that's why this event is starting late. It was supposed to start about an hour ago.

COOPER: All right, Gary Tuchman, thanks for that.

Now to Candy Crowley with the Clinton campaign here in New York.

Candy, how did Hillary spend the last day before Super Tuesday?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Kind of a mix, Anderson.

There was a roundtable in her old stomping grounds, Yale Law School, kind of an intimate affair. It is where she began work for the Children's Defense Fund early on in her career briefly. She was talking about women's and children's issues, something that really sort of hits on what she wants to do right now, which is sort of emphasize those home-and-hearth issues.

The Clinton campaign figured, after Iowa, when they looked back at what they did in Iowa, they knew that they had to put her out there in a way that connected her policies to people's problems. So, one of her themes has been, since New Hampshire: I not only get your problems, but I can solve them.

And that's the sort of second message that they put out here today in a rally. And that is, you know, this is about electability and this is about who can actually make change. So, it's that, yes, we're about change, but we need the experience to make change.

So, those were sort of the two main themes that she took as she went throughout the Northeast and then of course landed back here in New York.

COOPER: Candy, earlier today, at a campaign event, she made reference to the differences between -- or what she said is the differences between herself and Barack Obama are.

Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But there are differences between me and my opponent, differences in approach and vision, an understanding of what it's going to take to make the changes that we want. You know, change is hard. I wish it were easy. I wish all we had to do was just say it's going to happen and it would materialize. But it's going to take hard work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: She's been kind of hammering this message, but doing it in a more low-key manner. Obviously, the campaign has adopted this approach, thinking it's the right message going into Super Tuesday.

CROWLEY: Absolutely.

And, from the get-go, that is one thing that they really have run on. And that is, she's the one with the resume. And, so, she's trying to draw contrasts, saying, listen, he's a nice guy, as her campaign is always saying, but we have got to have someone that can get things done.

The idea here is to kind of back off from that bitterness that we saw in South Carolina, more the mode of what we saw in the debates in California and yet still deliver that message.

I was talking to one of her advisers today. And he said, listen, we understand that Barack Obama has had a bump. But when people begin to look at this race, what they always come back to is her experience -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Candy Crowley with the Clintons -- thanks, Candy.

We are going to get more analysis after the break. David Gergen joins us, along with CNN's Gloria Borger, Amy Holmes, and Donna Brazile.

And later, the Republicans and Mitt Romney's strategy of going after California and conservatives, will it be enough to stop John McCain? Rush Limbaugh is certainly trying.

We will have that and more -- when 360 continues on the eve of Super Tuesday.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I don't think that children should be considered little test-takers and teachers as big test-givers.

(APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: I think we ought to be looking for ways to help each child live up to his or her God-given potential. And we need to redesign our public education system to be part of our future, not our past.

Too many times, our public schools look the same way they have looked for 50 years. We need more technology. We need more individualized instruction. We need to let students study in areas that will light up their imagination and give them a lot of reward for what they are learning and doing.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: All over this hour, we are going to be looking at the front-runners. And you will be hearing a lot of comments from the front-runners all throughout this hour, from Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the Republicans as well.

Hillary Clinton today, that was in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Until recently, the Bay State was thought to be a gimme for her. Now the polls are all over the place, showing everything from Senator Clinton up by 17 to Senator Obama leading by two.

Digging deeper now on this remarkable day ahead, which, ironically, might not even settle anything, our CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger, analyst Amy Holmes, senior political analyst David Gergen, and contributor Donna Brazile.

Donna, as we mentioned, there's new polls suggesting Obama and Clinton are in a virtual tie nationally. Just two weeks ago, she had a pretty comfortable lead over him. Why is Obama seemingly on the rise?

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, the four early states did their job in winnowing the field. And now we have two amazing, exciting candidates.

So, Senator Obama is surging among men. He's also surging among some groups of women. He's picking up endorsements across the country. He's electrifying. He's exciting. He's energizing.

But Senator Clinton has also been able to put in place in many of these early states a terrific organization, which has led many voters to already cast their ballots absentee, by mail, in California alone, which will make up 18 percent of the total tomorrow. Many of those voters have cast their ballots.

So, this is going to be a split decision tomorrow night. They will come out with a substantial number of delegates. Nothing will be decided tomorrow. This race will go on beyond Super Tuesday on the Democratic side.

COOPER: Wow.

David, even in California, where Clinton has maintained a lead for months, Obama now seems neck and neck with her. I mean, does she have a lot to worry about? Or do you think she's going to pull out California?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, to go echo what Donna just said, one of the issues that Barack Obama faces is as many as half of the ballots may already have been cast in California, Anderson. Voters started receiving their ballots after -- just after the New Hampshire results, when Hillary Clinton was riding high.

And some of them started voting. Many of the ones who we know, from past experience, are likely to be women. Many are likely to be older voters. Those are her kind of voters. So, half the ballots may already be in and not reflect this surge that he's been in. And I think the surge has been absolutely remarkable. It's been an extraordinary rise on his part.

But, if you look at the numbers, you would have to say she's still likely to win it because she has all those early ballots in, and they're probably tilted heavily in her favor.

COOPER: You were saying, Gloria?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: But, because it's proportional, the question is, she can win the state and he could get almost as many delegates as she gets.

So, the question for all of us tomorrow night is, what do we consider a victory? Is a victory a win of a state? Is a victory a win of the number of delegates, which would a lot of people would say it is? Is a victory a win in the popular vote?

You know, we have all these kind of landmarks here. We have to figure out which one we use.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: It's interesting, Amy. On the trail today, Obama is arguing that -- that Clinton would lose against John McCain.

I want to play some of what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: When I'm debating John McCain, he won't be able to say, "Well, you supported the war, too," because I didn't.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: He won't be able to say that, "You went along with the Bush/Cheney doctrine of not talking to your enemies," because I don't.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: He won't be able to say, "Well, you have given the benefit of the doubt to George Bush on Iran," because I haven't.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Do you think it's an effective argument with Democratic voters?

AMY HOLMES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't know if it's an effective argument with Democratic voters.

And echoing what Gloria was saying about California, people are really going to also looking also at that Latino vote. In Nevada, Hillary won, I think it was 60 percent of the Latino vote, even though Barack Obama walked away with more delegates.

We heard John McCain first -- I'm sorry -- John Edwards first raise sort of the specter of John McCain, trying to bolster his own candidacy. It didn't work. And, if Barack Obama were the candidate, John McCain, he could be able to say, I might -- you know, you may be able to come against me on all of those, but I have served my country with -- you know, with duty, honor, distinction.

I'm not sure that goes over with Democratic voters, because what they're really looking at Hillary vs. Obama.

COOPER: So, Donna, you were saying before this goes on after tomorrow. I mean, tomorrow doesn't really settle anything on the Democratic side.

So, what does it look like? I mean, how does this thing get settled?

BRAZILE: Well, look, we may go to the convention, which, hopefully, the party will coalesce around someone in March and they decide, the voters decide, and not superdelegates.

Look, Anderson, I'm a superdelegate, and I believe that the voters should decide this. They are turning out in record numbers. They want change. They want experience. They want a Democrat in the White House. If we go to the convention, a brokered convention, I envision a lot of chaos.

But let me also say something to Amy. What Obama is trying to do is make the argument of electability. He's saying that he can win in red states, that he is appeal to the independents and moderates and perhaps Republicans who are turned off by their choices.

He's putting resources in Idaho and Colorado and Alaska to -- to show that he can win not just in blue states, but also potentially take some of the red states from the Republicans.

HOLMES: Donna, sure. Sure, Donna, I would agree with you on that.

But you would -- you would also see a fight between John McCain and Obama on independents. And the argument that Obama can't make -- he can't make it directly -- is that Republicans would rally around John McCain in order to defeat Hillary because she's so disliked by Republican voters. BORGER: Well, the argument Obama can't make, but his appearance makes, is, he looks like change. If this election is about change, and it turns out to be Barack Obama vs. John McCain, you have someone of one generation vs. someone of another generation.

And the contrast could not be more stark. Forget about their differences on the war and on everything else. I mean, this would be a real change, if voters in America decided to vote for someone like Obama.

COOPER: We're going to have more from our team, David Gergen, Gloria Borger, Donna Brazile, Amy Holmes, coming up later on the program, talking about Republicans now.

But this could be so close, we have got a quick reminder. Stay with CNN tomorrow for Super Tuesday results and analysis, the best political team on TV covering every race all day, all night, literally, 40 non-stop hours of coverage tomorrow.

Get your coffee, folks. Tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. Eastern is when it starts.

Still to come tonight: the GOP showdown, McCain vs. Romney. What is at stake for them tomorrow?

First, a check of some of tonight's other headlines.

Randi Kaye joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Aruba's chief prosecutor wants to reopen the Natalee Holloway case after a new stunning undercover video aired on Dutch TV and ABC. On it, former prime suspect Joran van der Sloot says Holloway after they had sex on a beach in Aruba. He says he asked a friend to dump her body in the sea after that. Van der Sloot admits he made the statements, but says he was lying.

A 360 follow now: A con woman accused of stealing a missing woman's identity to attend Colombia University is behind bars. Esther Elizabeth Reed was arrested outside Chicago, after telling cops -- quote -- "I am who you think I am."

And New York Giants fans looking for a way to gloat for just one more day can talk about Super Bowl ratings. More than 97 million people watched the Giants beat the New England Patriots last night. That's the most-watched Super Bowl ever.

And, Anderson, only one television program ever, just a regular program, had more viewers. Give it a guess. Come on. Which one?

COOPER: I don't know. I don't know. Final episode of "Seinfeld"? I have no idea.

KAYE: That's a good guess.

COOPER: No. KAYE: Actually, it was -- it was the final episode of "MASH."

COOPER: Oh, really?

KAYE: Twenty-five years ago this month.

COOPER: Wow.

KAYE: Yes, I know, hard to believe.

COOPER: Who knew?

KAYE: One hundred and six million viewers.

COOPER: Wow.

KAYE: Yes.

COOPER: All right, Randi, up next, a story that's going to make any parent's hair stand on end. You will not believe what one driver is accused of doing, put a case of beer's safety over that of a baby girl. "What Were They Thinking?"

And, later, the Republican race for Super Tuesday. What are the keys to victory for John McCain or for Mitt Romney? And which one has a better shot of pulling it off?

Ahead tonight -- on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Randi, tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" just makes you mad.

OK, here's the mug shot. Tina Williams, a charming lady from Saint Augustine, Florida, cops say she was driving erratically when they pulled her over. They noticed a strong odor of beer coming from inside the car and they say from Ms. Williams herself.

So, she had no license, but she did have an infant girl in the backseat, not belted in and a case of Busch beer in the front seat, which did actually have a seat belt around it.

KAYE: That is hard to take. That does make me mad.

You know, but, if it was a six-pack, it might be have been legislated it would have to be in the back seat, because it was too small to be in the front seat.

COOPER: Probably so, yes.

Up next, we're on the trail with the Republican front-runners, John McCain campaigning on Mitt Romney's home turf, Rush Limbaugh going all out against McCain, and Mike Huckabee says, hey, don't count him out. Also ahead tonight: new technology that takes us inside the minds of voters. Randi Kaye literally wires them up to see why people say they're voting for one candidate, but end up voting for another.

That's when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: His name is Osama bin Laden. He gets out a message of hate, of destruction. He recruits, he instructs, and he motivates these evil people.

And I want to tell you -- I'm looking you in the eye, and I will tell you, if I have to follow him to the gates of hell, I will get Osama bin Laden, and I will bring him to justice. I will bring him to justice.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

MCCAIN: I want to assure you of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: John McCain campaigning today in New Jersey on a final swing through the Northeast, a choice that surprised some. Recent polls show McCain with an edge heading into most of tomorrow's 21 Republican contests, most, but not all. He's running neck and neck with Mitt Romney in California, tomorrow's biggest prize.

Today was crunch time for both men.

With that, here's CNN's John King.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Historic Faneuil Hall is in Mitt Romney's home turf, this a John McCain show of confidence...

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, all. Thank you for being here.

KING: ... and a defiant rebuke of Romney and others who suggest his eagerness to work with Democrats betrays the conservative cause.

MCCAIN: I will preserve my proud conservative Republican credentials, but I will reach across the aisle to the Democrats and work together for the good of this country.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: McCain sees a big Super Tuesday in the offing and knows an upset victory here would be devastating to Romney. MCCAIN: I believe we have every good shot at carrying the state of Massachusetts tomorrow and winning this state and sweeping the East.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

KING: Romney backers, though, dismiss McCain's chances in Massachusetts and mock him as too fond of liberal Democrats, a message Romney himself echoed as he campaigned in Tennessee, Oklahoma and here in Georgia.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do you want somebody as our nominee somebody who fought for McCain/Kennedy, which is an amnesty bill for illegals?

CROWD: No!

ROMNEY: And so, you guys, we're going to hand the liberals in our party a little surprise on Tuesday evening, when we take California and we take Georgia, we take states across the country and we get this nomination.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

KING: But Romney's Southern strategy is complicated by more than a rally-around-McCain movement.

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know Mr. Romney has been trying to do a little voter suppression by telling people that a vote for me is really a vote for John McCain.

KING: In Tennessee and elsewhere, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee vowed to fight on and yet again took sharpest aim at Romney.

HUCKABEE: A vote for me is exactly what it is. It is a vote for me, a vote for somebody who hasn't just decided this year where he stands on the Second Amendment. I have stood there, always have, always will. It's a vote for somebody who knows where he stands on the sanctity of life. It's somebody who knows where he stands on the federal marriage amendment.

KING: Super Tuesday features 21 Republican contests, with 1,020 delegates at stake. Just days ago, McCain was predicting he would effectively clinch this week, now more caution. And even some allies worry there were better choices than a final day spent in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

(on camera): Senator, where is the line between confidence and cocky?

MCCAIN: You hop around the country. You try to get to as many states as you can. I'm trying to be very careful about -- I have seen more than one election go against what the polls show before. And we're guardedly confident. We think we can win. But that's why we're campaigning hard, right up, literally, until the polls close.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, Senator McCain is in New York tonight.

John King in as well.

Mitt Romney says conservatives need to rally against McCain. We saw that in your piece. There were some new developments in the fight today. What happened?

KING: Several new developments, Anderson.

It's quite fascinating. That is the dividing line in the Republican race right now. Earlier today, Bob Dole, the former Republican presidential candidate, the former Republican Senate leader, sent a letter to Rush Limbaugh. He has been harshly critical of John McCain on the radio, Bob Dole saying, look, Rush, I'm not endorsing anyone in this race, but look at John McCain's record. It matches up pretty evenly with the conservative icon, the former Senator from North Carolina Jesse Helms.

And, tonight, at a book party, Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, said Republicans need to shrug off their differences with John McCain. He said he would be a very strong candidate against Hillary Clinton. And he also said -- he described Barack Obama as someone who would be, in his view, the most liberal Democratic nominee since George McGovern.

And, in a sign that this argument is getting under the McCain campaign's skin, on the eve of Super Tuesday, they launched a new TV ad tonight, Anderson, using Mitt Romney, in his own words, saying that he did not, when he was running for Massachusetts governor, want to go back to the Reagan revolution, also shows Mitt Romney on camera saying he was once a registered independent who voted for a Democrat for president.

So, clearly, this argument getting under the skin of the McCain campaign. They say they need to respond to Romney's suggestion that he is more conservative. McCain camp says, that is ludicrous. The Romney campaign says the McCain camp must be worried -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right.

John McCain is of course hoping to seal the deal tomorrow. There are no guarantees tomorrow. Mitt Romney is not giving an inch.

Digging deeper now, CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger, analyst Amy Holmes, senior political analyst David Gergen, and contributor Donna Brazile.

OK, so, Amy, you have the anti-McCain conservatives going all out against McCain, Rush Limbaugh devoting his whole program today. Is it working? I mean, is that message resonating with Republicans, that McCain's not conservative enough?

HOLMES: Well, it's working in so far as that those voters are not, at this very moment, leaning towards McCain and that he does have to do that work.

But, between now and tomorrow, it looks like, you know, McCain, this is his Super Tuesday to lose. And I think we are going to see him doing a lot more outreach after tomorrow and in the future states and in the future months. This constant drumbeat, it's not helping McCain, but I don't think it's hurting him at this very moment.

COOPER: Gloria, does Bob Dole coming out for -- not for McCain, but at least telling Rush Limbaugh to give him a second look, does that help?

BORGER: Well, it doesn't hurt. Newt Gingrich saying look at McCain I think would help even more.

Look, John McCain is a smart fellow, Anderson. After Super Tuesday, as Amy said, he is going to do outreach to conservatives in the party. But, you know, he's never going to kiss and make nice with people who disagree with him on certain issues, like immigration, like campaign finance reform. I mean, those are -- those are his trademark issues.

And, if John McCain were to sort of say, OK, I don't believe that anymore, then the maverick that's John McCain would not be as attractive in a general election. So, it's a really fine line.

COOPER: David, I want to show our viewers some of what McCain said about these attacks by Romney as not being conservative enough.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAIN: I am confident I can unite and will unite and am uniting this party, because we look at the state of Florida, we look -- which was a Republican-only primary -- you look at South Carolina and New Hampshire, a majority of Republicans supported me, Republican conservative, of our conservative base.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: David, I mean, isn't it inevitable that the party would unite if he is the nominee?

GERGEN: Yes.

But this is a very unusual time for Republicans. And, you know, we -- we asked this question last week, would they unite around him? We knew there was going to be a split. Actually, I think he's doing very well in this split. He's got the support of most of the establishment conservatives.

When Newt Gingrich comes behind him the way he has, so many others have come behind him, I think he's doing pretty well there. But you have to keep an eye tomorrow -- tomorrow night on California. If Mitt Romney were to pull an upset there -- and there are a couple of polls out of California showing that, contrary to what's happening everywhere else in the country almost, that Mitt Romney has got a surge going on there, and he could win that. Now, if he were to beat John McCain in California, I think that would throw the race back, certainly lengthen it. And a longer race is not what Republican establishment types want, for the very reason what you're seeing now. The longer this kind of controversy or the ripping goes on among conservatives against and for John McCain, the weaker that makes them in the fall. That's why a lot of conservatives hope they're united behind John McCain. They'd like to wrap it up tomorrow night.

COOPER: Donna, how much do you think Huckabee's presence in the race eats away at Romney?

BRAZILE: It's eating away at Romney, clearly, in the south, in Georgia and Alabama, where, if Huckabee was not in the race, I think Romney would win those two states. But with Huckabee still fighting, he appears to be drawing votes that would normally go to Mr. Romney.

Look, on the Republican side, there's only a small difference in delegates. John McCain has 97 delegates. Mitt Romney has 92 delegates. Huckabee has 29 delegates. Ron Paul, six delegates.

John McCain has to win -- John McCain has to win pretty -- pretty decisively in the northeast, in those winner-take-all states in New York and New Jersey and Connecticut, 183 delegates. He has to do well in Illinois and Missouri and hope that Mitt Romney is not going to have a surge in California, where it could cause the Republican primary to go on another week or two, as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But doesn't that...

GERGEN: John McCain is way, way ahead in the northeast. I mean, I just don't think he's -- I think the only state in question is Massachusetts. And there, he's really tweaking Romney. If he pulls it off in Massachusetts, he's going to have real bragging rights.

HOLMES: Something that I would add to that, as well, as a senior adviser to McCain told me a week ago, that they could lose California. They weren't sure that they would have picked that up. In fact, California is looking much, much brighter for the McCain camp. And they felt pretty confident they could move past Super Tuesday, even without California.

BORGER: The irony here is New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, California, those were supposed to be the Rudy Giuliani states. This was Rudy Giuliani's winning strategy. Only, Florida didn't quite work out that way.

Now, who is by McCain's side but Rudy Giuliani, campaigning in these states. And I think that's going to be very important for John McCain.

COOPER: If there is -- Donna, if there is a Republican nominee after Super Tuesday -- say it's John McCain or Mitt Romney, whomever -- how much of -- and there's not one on the Democratic side, which seems inevitable at this point, how much of an advantage is that for Republicans moving forward? BRAZILE: Well, given the fact that the Republicans will have to unify. Someone will have to get Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and all of the other talkers to sort of shut up for a while. I think it will give the Democrats an opportunity to continue to build excitement, to raise more money, and to really put together a very good operation.

HOLMES: Donna, I think that's wishful thinking.

GERGEN: I agree.

HOLMES: I think we know that if the party -- if John McCain is the clear front-runner, the party gets to consolidate. They get to start running against who they think will be the nominee on the Democratic side.

BRAZILE: You think Rush Limbaugh will put his sword down?

HOLMES: For a long time they thought that was Hillary.

BRAZILE: Rush Limbaugh will not stop. He's not about love.

HOLMES: And I would also tell you that the RNC -- the RNC plans for the Democratic to pick their nominee and the Democrats to be beating up on Republicans all this time. Now, it looks like the tables have turned.

BORGER: Yes, but it does give Republicans an opportunity to kind of make peace. If John McCain is the nominee, they can -- they can smoke the peace pipe and get their act together.

(CROSSTALK)

BRAZILE: Rush Limbaugh is not ready to make nice for anyone.

GERGEN: Here's the point. Here's the point, if John McCain can wrap it up tomorrow night, his danger right now is that, in wrapping -- and trying to wrap it up and trying to win the conservative vote, he will be seen by -- as pandering by the independents and Democrats. So he wants to wrap this up so he does not have to play that game -- continue playing that game.

COOPER: We will see what happens tomorrow night. It's going to be fascinating. Gloria Borger, Donna Brazile, Amy Holmes, David Gergen, thank you.

You can read more of David Gergen's thoughts on Super Tuesday on the 360 blog, CNN.com/360blog.

Up next tonight, new technology that claims to tell what is really on voters' minds and why the polls often seem to get it so wrong.

Here's tonight's "Beat 360." Cue the cheesy music. John McCain posing with a Benjamin Franklin impersonator at the Green Dragon Tavern in Boston, a bar once frequented by Paul Revere.

Here's the caption from our staff winner, Joey: "It's all about the Benjamins, baby."

I know you can do better. So if you think you can do better, go to CNN.com/360 and send us your submission. We'll announce the winner at the end of the program tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: By years in office, experience is defined by wisdom and by instinct...

COOPER: John Kerry speaking live on the podium in Boston at a waterfront rally tonight for Barack Obama. The polls show that Obama and Hillary Clinton in a tightening race in Massachusetts and even more so nationwide. But we don't know -- actually, we all know that polls don't always get it right. Look what happened, of course, in New Hampshire, where the question now is, where do polls go wrong? So we wanted to look at that tonight. And maybe they're actually missing what our brains are really saying.

Up close tonight, a cutting-edge tool that measures the lies we tell ourselves. With that, here's Randi Kaye.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Half a cycle per second. A hundred cycles per second.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We gathered eight undecided California voters to measure how people really vote. Voters may say they prefer one candidate, but the brain actually knows better. Lucid Systems, a cutting-edge market research firm, calls it the unspoken truth.

DAVE REMER, CO-FOUNDER, LUCID SYSTEMS: Rather than take someone's word for it, we look directly into their mind and body and see what's going on that they can't control.

KAYE: Lucid's team measures science like perspiration and facial muscle movement, tapping into the emotional reaction, which really shows what we like or dislike.

So when voters tell pollsters one thing, and their brain shows another, it's not a lie but an inarticulated truth. In some cases, what our voters say do match what they feel.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You are looking at that next...

KAYE: But watch what happens during Hillary Clinton's opening remarks. The group says they don't like it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Clinton tends to be a more, you know, kind of embodies the old school of politics. KAYE: But their brains do like it. The red graph is arousal. The green, emotion. Big waves in green and red say they are moved by it. A positive response.

(on camera) How can this be? The folks at Lucid say our brains are bombarded with 11 million bits of information per second. The problem is, the conscious brain can only process about 40 pieces per second. So, we have to decide pretty fast which of those 11 million bits to do something about.

FERNANDO MIRANDA, CO-FOUNDER, LUCID SYSTEMS: You don't get to think about how fast you're going to run away from a dinosaur. You really have to run.

KAYE (voice-over): This voter is a good example. He tells us he likes both Clinton and Obama equally. But when we read his brain, he's very negative toward the New York senator. Notice the flat line on the bottom. He isn't even aware of it, until we ask him to dig deeper.

ELI GIROD, UNDECIDED VOTER: I didn't feel like anything was new was brought to the table. So, when she was speaking, I kind of zoned out. I was like, "Uh-huh. Heard this before."

KAYE: Another way we measure the brain: this cap, packed with electrodes. Voter Katie Roberts tells us she favors Clinton and Obama equally. But when we show her images of candidates, her brain image turns blue, negative, for Clinton. And the beige color here shows she didn't feel much of anything for Obama.

The biggest surprise, for John Edwards, her brain turns red. She likes him very much.

Call it a neurological lie-detector test. The takeaway here: it may prove to be better than polling at determining what a voter does in the voting booth.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: It's interesting. I'm not sure I buy it exactly. But these folks at this company, what do they say, that people vote the way their brain thinks, or they vote the way -- what they say they think?

KAYE: In the end, the folks at Lucid, Anderson, say that the brain will actually win out, because people react before they actually feel. And the isolation of the voting booth, they'll have more time to feel. And they'll go with what the brain actually wants.

Another interesting note is that they told me that they have been contacted by one campaign. They won't say which one. They have a meeting with them in New York.

But this is such cool technology. It responds to absolutely anything. We watched the Republican debates from California, clips that, which you moderated on Wednesday night. And the voters, our group, actually reacted to you, too.

COOPER: Uh-oh.

KAYE: Looking at the peaks...

COOPER: I don't know if I want to hear this.

KAYE: Looking at the peaks for arousal, which we measure, and emotion. We're not going to go there. When for emotion, you had twin peaks. You were off the charts for both.

COOPER: Really?

KAYE: Very positive reaction. They were emotionally moved by you.

COOPER: Oh, yes.

KAYE: They liked your humor and responded very well.

COOPER: Wow.

KAYE: You're not running for office but, you know...

COOPER: I don't want to know about the arousal part.

KAYE: All right. We'll keep that secret.

COOPER: Randi, thanks.

Up next, it all gets put to the test -- maybe later you can tell me. Super Tuesday, just hours away. Twenty-four states. Thousands of delegates up for grabs. We'll map it out and show you exactly where the front-runners need to win to lock in the nomination of those all-important delegates. Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Some say, we're going through a little bumpy phase in our economy. It's more than that. We got a bumpy phase. But it's more than that. The long-term trajectory is of real concern.

And unless we change that long-term trajectory, we could become the Great Britain or France of the 21st century. Still great nations. But not the most powerful nation on earth. And right now, the world needs America's strength and does not need to see China or someone else become the world's superpower.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That was Mitt Romney earlier in the day in Atlanta. And here he is live, in Long Beach, California, about to make an address to an enthusiastic crowd right there. Restoring America's power, that was one of Mitt Romney's messages during that rally in Atlanta today. He also campaigned in Nashville before that campaign you just saw there in Long Beach.

For weeks, the candidates have been crisscrossing the country, bombarding states with ad after ad, all of them betting on tomorrow. Now joining us again to see what is at stake, CNN's John King.

John, wrap it up for us.

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this is at complicated as it gets, essentially a national primary. Let's start with the Republicans.

When the night begins, we'll get the first results, of course, in the east. Senator McCain is looking to build a big early lead here in New York and New Jersey, a winner-take-all. He is heavily favored in both. Romney's home state of Massachusetts here, but those are the big one here.

We're also going to learn pretty early on if Mike Huckabee is going to reassert himself in this race. If the former Arkansas governor is to reassert, it will be by winning his home state and also Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. Those are critical for him.

The big early bellwether, as we get about halfway across the country, Missouri. Winner take all. It is a bellwether in national elections. McCain, Huckabee and Romney have all competed there. If Mitt Romney is making a comeback on Super Tuesday, we will know it when we learn the results in Missouri.

And then, of course, as we go west, the mountain west is Romney territory. The southwest tends to be McCain territory. The biggest prize of all -- that's why Mitt Romney's out there tonight. John McCain is on his way tomorrow. The polls have tightened up significantly in California. That's where most of the delegates are. That's where most of the TV ad spending has been. And that's where the fight will be in the final hours.

Now, let's flash into the Democrats in blue. Again, a very similar scenario. Hillary Clinton is the senator from New York. She needs to start off big in New York and New Jersey. Watch Massachusetts. Remember, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and the governor, there for Barack Obama. That's a place for Barack Obama to get started in the northeast.

Barack Obama won in South Carolina, Anderson, with all those African-American votes. These are the only states where you'll have any similar African-American turnout. Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. Those are critical for Barack Obama. She wins big up here, he has to win big down here.

Now we come to the Midwest again. Two big bellwethers: Illinois. Hillary Clinton was born there. It's the state Barack Obama represents in the Senate. And Missouri. And again, Missouri. They're both hotly-contested states. Barack Obama needs to win big here. If he can break even or win here, he's on his way to a good night. You come out here, Latino votes matter down here.

But again, the giant prize is California. Remember how popular Bill Clinton was throughout his presidency in California? Hillary Clinton thought this was hers, the mother lode of delegates. The polls now, essentially, a dead-heat. If Barack Obama can break even with Hillary Clinton in California or better, we're going to wake up the morning after Super Tuesday, with wow, a projected Democratic race on our hands.

COOPER: Where do you see some surprises?

KING: We could see surprises. We're going to switch the map and go to our delegate map here. So this is a little bit interesting. We'll be having fun with this tomorrow nigh.

I can paint you a surprise scenario in just about every state across the country. McCain was in Massachusetts today. That's Romney's state, again. Hillary Clinton went up there today, even though it's big for Barack Obama.

But let's look at one place that will tell us a lot about tomorrow night. And that is the state of California. Now I'm going to make this a McCain victory, just projecting a McCain victory. But remember, the rules are proportional in California. So this can happen in any number of ways.

Watch this number. Watch this number up here. California is 53 different contests, one in each congressional districts. So watch what happens to that number. If you start winning congressional districts, you can win the state with 51 percent of the vote and get all those delegates. Or get these delegates. And so, you have 53 different contests, which is why you see Mitt Romney out there tonight. And why you see his competing in certain congressional districts. And that's where his TV ad movie is going.

So we could have a number. You could say somebody won California with 55 percent of the vote. Well, you could win with 55 percent of the vote and still get fewer delegates than the other guy.

So on both the Republican and the Democratic side, California is the big mother lode of the delegates. We'll be watching not just the statewide vote tomorrow night. Don't see a number up there and think Clinton is winning California. You need to know all 53 of those congressional districts.

COOPER: It's all boiling down to delegates. John King, thanks very much.

Up next, more on California. All the candidates vying for a piece of it. We've got the "Raw Politics" of that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMNEY: Americans spent their time looking at their shoes, because we felt that... COOPER: Mitt Romney right now at a campaign event in Long Beach, California, just south of Los Angeles. Let's listen in for just a moment.

ROMNEY: We're a good people. We're a shining city on a hill. And we still are. And we will always be. Ronald Reagan -- Ronald Reagan knew. Ronald Reagan knew that...

COOPER: He's fighting for the biggest prize, of course, on Super Tuesday, California. What happens in that state tomorrow could make or break his run for the White House. He's not alone. CNN's Tom Foreman now has the "Raw Politics."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hillary Clinton once owned California. But polls say Barack Obama has now taken joint custody. So, both camps are scrambling to secure the primary season's biggest prize.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The choice we have today is to pick the best president.

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: I'm just following my own truth. And that truth has led me to Barack Obama.

FOREMAN: More than 36 million residents, one in eight Americans. California offers more delegates for each party than any other state.

MCCAIN: From the state of California...

ROMNEY: Here in California...

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In California...

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Across California...

FOREMAN: For Democrats, the power is in the cities, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Clinton has been strong among traditional working-class Dems and Latinos, who are almost one-half of L.A.'s population.

Obama appeals to more educated, affluent Dems. There's plenty of them here. And yet, in this 11th hour, he's steadily chewing at Clinton's base, too.

Politico's Jeanne Cummings.

JEANNE CUMMINGS, POLITICO: He was undoubtedly helped this weekend, when he was endorsed by the biggest Hispanic paper in the country, in L.A., because he has not done well with Hispanic voters. And that was a major get for him in California.

FOREMAN: As for the Republicans, they tend to do better in the suburbs and countryside, where Mitt Romney needs California conservatives. And Mike Huckabee needs them even more. Both men and Ron Paul trail John McCain in national polls. And though Romney is running even with the senator here in the land of Reagan, moderates appear to be leaning McCain's way.

(on camera) So, a showdown is shaping up in the Wild West. Is it possible to win either party's nomination without the California delegates? Sure. But with them, it is so much easier.

(voice-over) That's why, just as the 49ers went to California for gold, the campaigns are all now mining the state ferociously. They know this is where political fortunes, too, are lost and found.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And Barack Obama, right now, trying to find some voters and some delegates in a campaign event in Boston. Let's listen in.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to thank great friends and outstanding members of the House of Representatives. Congressman Capuano and Congressman Delahunt. Give it up for them. I'm grateful to have their support. They just do outstanding work each and every day.

I -- I want to thank somebody who has been a great friend for many years. You know, we first met when I was running for the United States Senate. And...

COOPER: And Barack Obama thanking a lot of his supporters.

Up next tonight, "Beat 360." Ben Franklin, John McCain, and your winning caption. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And now, Randi, tonight's "Beat 360." You may have heard how it works. We put a picture up on the 360 blog. We ask people to come up with a caption that's better than the caption that someone on our staff came up with.

So here's the picture tonight. Picture of Republican presidential candidate John McCain. He was in Boston today, posing with a Benjamin Franklin impersonator at the Green Dragon Tavern.

Joey, our staff winner, his entry was, "It's all about the Benjamins, baby."

All right, all right. And our viewer winner, "Rudy, I told you no one would recognize you in that outfit."

I liked that one. That was posted by Bill in Fayetteville, Tennessee.

KAYE: I don't know. You've got to wonder how a guy dressed in that outfit got that close to a possible presidential candidate. But, hey.

COOPER: You never know.

Check out the other ideas at CNN.com/360. And always, feel free to play along.

Randi, thanks.

Up next tonight, it is the closest thing we've ever had to a national primary, and it is just a couple hours away. We're going to take you on the trail with the candidates as they crisscross the country. And we'll have analysis and predictions with the best political team on TV. Stay tuned.

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