tv Early Start CNN November 5, 2012 2:00am-4:00am PST
lend us their space this week. and look at the beautiful background behind us. and our fireside chat people have been calling. thank you for joining us tonight on cnn. good morning. welcome, everybody. welcome to our special coverage of the 2012 election coming to you live from the nation's capitca capit capital, just 24 hours to go before voting begins after a 17-month, $3 billion race for the white house. it couldn't be any closer. the final cnn poll shows a dead heat, both candidates making closing arguments in key states that could decide the election. best political team on tv has it covered for you this morning. >> i'm john berman. the candidates cramming to day. mitt romney, president obama and their running mates making 18
stops in eight critical states. we're live in every key battleground state. >> and in the end, this is the only math that counts. i'm christine romans. looking to the race to the states. we'll take a look at the road that each candidate can take to get to that magic number. >> it's been one week since hurricane sandy forever changed the east coast and so many lives along it with. the recovery effort and how the storm is impacting polling stations. that's coming up. >> we've got a packed show for you this morning, four hours. among our guests, rob portman will be joining us, maryland congressman chris van hollen, pat tomby, arizona senator john mccain is with us. former treasury secretary larry summers is our guest. obama campaign deputy manager stephanie cutter, former white house press secretary bill burden all joining us this morning. and we're counting down the final hours of a marathon battle for the white house, just too
close to call today. this morning after 17 months of campaigning and $3 billion spent, it has come down to this. a brand new cnn/orc vote of likely voters released last night shows that mitt romney and president obama are in a tie, 49% apiece. both candidates are targeting the must-win swing states on this final full day of campaigning. the president accompanied by rocker bruce springsteen holding rallies in madison, wisconsin, columbus, ohio, des moines, iowa. governor romney has been in stanford, florida, lynchberg and fairfax, virginia, columbus, ohio, and manchester, ohio, and it wouldn't be an election without a legal mess in florida. voters reporting lines up to seven hours long at some south florida early polling stations. but at the end of the day, tomorrow, it will all possibly be about ohio. the president holding a slim lead in the buckeye state in the polls. in this exclusive interview with
cnn, john boehner of ohio says he believes that his state could just swing red. >> polls don't win the elections, voters do. i've been around ohio. i've done this trip around ohio for a lot of presidential races in the past. and i think ohioans vote with their wallets. that's why i think romney will win on tuesday. >> we're blanketing the battle grounds with our cnn reporters. john berman, of course, following that for us this morning. >> good morning. first up is florida. swing state considered a must win particularly for mitt romney. the most recent polling there has been mixed with some showing a romney lead. some polls showing the president's on top. we're going to turn to cnn's john zor he willa who joins us live from plantation, florida. what's the latest? >> john, you know, it is florida. you know it is going to be very close. in that cnn/orc poll, it shows governor romney at 50% and the president at 49%.
it can't get much closer than that. now the president did come to florida yesterday. he was down here in south florida making one more swing through the state. stopping at mcarthur high school in hollywood, one of the big staunch democratic areas in the state along with miami-dade and pa palm beach county. the president has to carry those areas with huge numbers. now governor romney did not come down to florida yesterday or over the weekend. but he will, of course, be in florida today. and as you mentioned earlier in the broadcast, there have been problems, it's florida, early voting ending on saturday night. but the lines were so incredibly long that a lot of people stood for four, five, and six hours. the democratic party sunday morning filed suit in federal court asking for relief saying that people were denied
meaningful opportunities to vote and they were hoping that offices in miami-dade, broward and palm beach would be open on sunday. in fact, the supervisors in the three counties did on their own open those offices. but in miami-dade county, huge problems. only one printer at the supervisor of elections office where people could go to file an absentee ballot. the office was open, then closed, then opened again. so, john, once again, it's florida. and once again, there are issues. >> so, john, what's the solution here? what's going to happen today? is there any resolution to this problem or is the early voting over and the voters have to show up on tuesday? >> technically, early voting is over and ended. people will still be allowed today to go to the supervisor election offices in many of the counties around florida and file an absentee ballot. that is what they did in the three counties in miami as well as up in the orlando area in orange county. >> all right, thanks so much,
john. now to colorado. the president had a rally there last night. mitt romney had one the day before. the race in colorado is also very, very close. the final cnn/orc poll has the president ahead 50% to 48%. we want to go to our reporter live in denver, colorado. what's the latest there? >> good morning, john. what's interesting here in colorado is the majority of voters have already cast their votes. 1.6 million registered voters out of 3.6 million registered in this state have already cast their vote. so far in that early voting according to the secretary of state's office here in colorado, 38,000 more republicans voted than democrats. but the interesting number is that some 500,000 independent voters also have voted early. that is the key here in this state of colorado. the two-counties surrounding the city of denver is what they call the swing counties here. and everyone you talk to say it will all boil down to the swing
voters in those counties to determine who wins this nine electoral votes. so the push is on. both sides will tell that you they're not so much worried about it at this point trying to flip any kind of undecided voters, sway any undecided voters over to their side. right now the focus is on getting that voter turn out out to the polls at this point. president obama won this state in 2008. he seems to have the ground advantage here in colorado. some 65 field offices compared to 14 for governor romney. john? >> all right. thanks, ed. just one of the swing states we're watching. at the bottom of the hour we'll take you to nevada and wisconsin. first, back to sole dad. at the end of the day, it's all going to be about the math. in order to win, you have to hit the magic number of 270 electoral votes. let's get to christine romans who is crunching the numbers. >> the rose to 270. what if it were a draw at 269? it's possible.
there are four 269 scenarios. statistically, there are 120 different scenarios. four with the swing states. this is hypothetical, remember. the map is assuming that states that are actually leaning go in the direction that they're leaning right now. wisconsin, ohio, and new hampshire, new hampshire with the four electoral votes, if they go for obama and romney wins nevada, colorado, iowa, virginia, and the 29 over there in florida, then you're at a tie. worst nightmare for both parties. 269 each. now a note for iowa here, this is assuming it goes red, it goes for romney with the six electoral votes. recent polls there showing a slight lead, actually, for obama. if wisconsin and ohio vote democrat, you know, technically you could think -- you could conclude that iowa could go in that direction, too. again, this is a hypothetical. if there is a tie, the house decides who's president. the senate decides who the vice president is. imagine the scenario where the house would support romney and
democrats support joe biden. it will be chaos, cats and dogs. 269, 269, four different scenarios with that. a lot of people crunching the numbers. we're having fun as we're one day out. >> that would make a very long election night for all of us and all of america, really. thank you. want to get to some of the other stories making news in this hour. >> good morning to you. so one week after superstorm sandy slammed into the east coast, 1.5 million power customers in 15 states are still in the dark this morning. at least 110 deaths are also blamed on the storm. along new jersey's devastated coastline, cleanup is under way. but it is a long road ahead for them. bulldozers are being used to haul away piles of debris. housing is a major issue in new jersey and new york because of damage, lack of power, and falling temperatures now. new york city mayor michael bloomberg said they are trying to come up with a plan.
>> the magnitude of the problem is we think we could have something between 30 and 40,000 people that we're going to have to find housing for. we are working on it. we will continue to get this done. >> the red cross reports that more than 10,000 people in nine states spent saturday night in shelters. tragedy at the pittsburgh zoo where a 2-year-old boy was killed sunday by a pack of rare african painted dogs. the toddler was visiting the zoo with his mother and friends when he fell 14 feet off the deck and into the exhibit area. the pack of dogs pounced on the boy and mauled him. a zoo keeper was able to quickly clear away seven of the 11 dogs and police actually shot another one but it was just too late to save that little boy. and trouble during nascar's prerace ceremony sunday at texas motor speedway. a skydiver, look at that, came down a bit too close to kevin
harvick's parked number 29 chevy. the skydiver was fine but a sandbag attacked to his texas flag dinged up the car. harvick went on to finish ninth in the texas 500. and with the presidential conditioned dates making the closing arguments to voters, you knew s&l had to get into the action in the closing days of the campaigns. here's how they handled mitt romney's past remarks about fema. >> that was a comment i made during a republican primary debate. okay? that's like judging a person's behavior while they're pledging a fraternity. okay? okay, look, now you can't hold a man -- or a woman, to what he -- to what he -- or she said at a republican primary debate. okay? i want to make it clear. that when i said we should get rid of fema, it was sunny. >> just a little fun in politics
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year than four years ago. >> how so? >> there's a lot more money. mccain ran out of money. one of the big differences for all of the swing states is that romney and obama are fairly evenly matched on the money race. and so we're seeing an avalanche of ads up to the very end. there is money both by president obama and mitt romney for ground game. we're seeing that. we're seeing, i would say, a lot more activity from the romney camp. it's something that they understand is a must-win. but democrats, president obama is still fighting it to the very end. he was there yesterday. we had bill clinton barnstorming. he could have been running for governor just a couple days ago. it's a tossup. >> you also see the ridiculous long lines in florida over the weekend. frankly, governor rick scott should be ashamed for them cutting the early voting days and also him barring voting on sunday. that clearly was targeted african-american churches and
others who turned out in massive numbers on sunday. and so a turnout is going to be the key. you see the exact same thing happening in ohio. decisions made by the secretary of state also that are all about suppression of vote as well. i can hear republicans say anything they want to. but when you're purposely trying to cut hours and trying to restrict folks, you are trying to impact democracy. >> where do we stand on the early voting? maybe it's me. but it seems this year the story of early voting and long lines is much different than 2008. >> early voting is up in general. a lot more people are voting. but democrats' edge in early voting isn't as big as it was. the republicans sort of caught on to the magic of early voting and closed the gap a little. the question is, is it enough? people say nevada, the president won nevada by 12% four years ago. this time his early voting is smaller. there is a need to win by 12%. he only needs to win by one vote. >> when you talk about you're going through the swing states, really it's the state of ohio. is that true all roads go
through ohio for the romney campaign? >> yeah. it's really critical there. you look at the different scenarios you need again for mitt romney to take ohio, there are scenarios that we'll show you. he can win without ohio. but that takes everything else. that means he has to get florida. he has to get everything else basically that is leaning or tossup to make that happen. >> what i thought was interesting, we were talking about this earlier, i read an article where ana is credited on it. it's a latino vote in ohio that you never talk about. this election is so close that we are talking about latinos in ohio. and how they could potentially impact this vote. >> i say is that if we really want to get immigration done, some of us have to take it for the cause, put on coats and move to ohio. >> of course, nationally the problem is president obama is leading mitt romney 50 plus points among latinos. the gop debate we saw when they asked a question what should the gop do to tract attract latino,
started by building a wall. >> that is true everywhere except in florida. in florida, president obama is in trouble. a lot of trouble with cuban-americans. he is not where he was four years ago. four years ago he got upwards of 30% of the cuban-american vote. he has a huge gap this year. if mitt romney -- >> but you're going to ohio, right? >> i'm the american, you're the cuban. >> my people are from new jersey. >> or long island. >> if mitt romney wins florida, he owes it big to the cubans. >> up next, frustration continues to mount in the wake of sandy. long lines for gas, testing patience and the hardest hit areas. lots of conclusion about how to vote if your neighborhood is destroyed. we'll chat with christine romans after this. nson flavor boost. concentrated broth to add delicious flavor to your skillet dish in just one stir. mmm! [ female announcer ] cook, meet compliments. get recipes at flavorboost.com.
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welcome back to special election coverage live here in washington, d.c. "mind your business" now. markets are up ahead of the opening bell and a closer look at what happened in stocks overall. the stock market is up 75% since president obama took office. a lot of folks are talking about the high unemployment rate, 7.8%. 7.9% the unemployment rate. difficulty being re-elected with such high unemployment. stocks have done very, very well. now i want to talk about the long lines in sandy's wake for gas. this is a huge financial story in the northeast. you have these lines still very
long and despite all of the assurances of many, many politicians over the past few days this would be cleared up in a couple days, a few days, it has not been. the lines are still very long for gas. and patience is very short. you have police resources, law enforcement resources being diverted to keep order in these lines. and you have people very upset that because of power outage tez pumps, the pumps can't operate and disruptions from actual deliveries of oil. here's what's so interesting, sole dad, soledad. we have plenty of gasoline. it is in huge facilities below the ground. we just can't get to it. a couple things they're doing in new jersey. they have a system linking your license plate number to the day can you get gas. still lines are two, three, four hours long for gas. and the federal government is going to bring in 12 million gallons of unleaded gas to hard hit areas still trying to really -- still trying to stage kind of a recovery in terms of getting a lot of that gasoline
to this hard hit area. it has been very slow, soledad, getting the lines down. people still very, very distraught over this situation. it continues today in the northeast. >> yeah. especially those areas. you need gas to get around. you need power to get the gas out of the ground. thank you. cnn's special election coverage continues live from washington, d.c. coming up next, we'll tell you how superstorm sandy could impact the election still. two newspapers without surprising endorsements. take a look at those straight ahead. [ male announcer ] when was the last time something made your jaw drop? campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque. see what's new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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good morning. welcome, everybody. one final plea for votes that america decides. welcome back to cnn's special election coverage. we're coming to you live from washington, d.c., this morning, just one day to go until the polls open nationwide. the battle for the white house could not be any tighter than it s take a look at the numbers. a brand new cnn/orc voter of likely voters has mitt romney and president obama in a dead heat at 49% apiece. today both kanld dates acandida targeting the crucial swing states. the president and bruce springsteen will hold rallies in madison, wisconsin, columbus, ohio, and des moines, iowa. mitt romney has rallies in columbus, ohio and lynch bunch, virginia and manchester new hampshire. superstorm sandy has election officials scrambling to relocate the polling stations and also in some cases bring generators to other polling stations and it is not clear how much the storm aftermath is going to impact voter turnout on tuesday.
meanwhile, the daily news and "newsday," two new york newspaper that's backed president obama in 2008 are now backing governor romney. had barack obama done the job of president with the same passion and vision he displayed in seeking it, he would likely deserve another term. did he not. we have a packed show for you this morning. among our guests, ohio senator rob portman, chris van hollen, pennsylvania senator pat tomby, arizona senator john mccain, former treasury secretary larry summers, obama campaign deputy manager stephanie cutter and former white house press secretary bill burton all of our guests this morning. both campaigns now trying to rev up voter turnout with a final push through the swing states. john berman is covering that for us. >> let's start with nevada, one of the key swing states. it is one of the battle grounds targeted by the obama and romney campaigns. here's the thing -- hundreds of thousands of people there have
already cast their ballots. a huge early vote. i'm joined by my friend miguel march gez who is in las vegas. what's the latest there? >> yeah, record numbers of voters here already early voting, john. las vegas journal review, things looking good for the president. "las vegas journal review" has the president up 50% to 46%. usa today has the president up by 7% on the early voters, more democrats came out and requested ballots than republicans by spread of 44% to 37%. paul ryan is back in the state. that is a must win for the republicans in early voting. the democrats are up there as well. obama superior organization here in the state is helping him out at this point. republican national committee has expressed concern about voting fraud here in the state. they sent a letter to the secretary of state who responded to those concerns. but over late last week, a woman was arrested here for trying to vote twice.
as it turns out, she was a republican. it's no the clear who she was trying to vote for. they're making -- taking every precaution possible to assure the voters that the voting machines here are safe and that the vote will go well here. john? >> all right. thanks, miguel live on the vegas strip. now to wisconsin, where president obama holds the first of three rallies today. now wisconsin's voted blue since 1984. some of the margins are razor thin. john kerry won by 11,000 votes in 2004. al gore by less than 6,000. and the romney campaign hopes that with native son paul ryan on the ticket they can take it back. i'm joined by ted rollins who is live in milwaukee. what's it like on the ground? >> to be honest, the romney-ryan folks acknowledge this is going to be an uphill battle. all the polling has the president up. they do think that they can make up that ground. unlike the ground game miguel talked about in nevada, here in wisconsin, it is very strong on the wake of that gubernatorial recall.
i talked to governor scott walker at an event yesterday. he truly believes that turnout is going to be incredibly high and they'll make up that difference. the obama campaign not taking any chances. they're offering volunteers to come up from the state of illinois to help them out, in return, ghetthey get a ticket t tuesday night's campaign party in chicago. the president will be in madison, wisconsin, today. paul ryan will finish his day of campaigning in his home state atten event in milwaukee. john? >> ted rollins live in milwaukee. the presidential race is not the only contest tomorrow. the entire house of representatives on the ballot, also 33 senate races to talk about which is why i'm walking in front of my friend christine romans is who at the magic wall now with a look at the senate. >> you have a couple things we're watching here, not just that big national race. the backdrop here is the presidential results from 2008. i want to go inside one of the most hotly contested house and senate races. let's start in massachusetts. this one is so interesting.
elizabeth warren, scott brown, democrats hope that warren's advocacy will help take scott brown's seat in mitt romney's home state. that will be interesting. let's move down to virginia now. this one, you and i were talking about this one. how are the polls looking for this race? two veterans going for jim webb's seat. >> environment sore slightly tipping in tim cane's favor now. >> it is a really tight race. so let's move on. let's take a look at missouri. this one, wow. this is impossible to ignore. clair mccaskill, she looked like she was in a tight race. this has become a very tight race. she has found new life in her campaign. take a look at a couple of house races. in illinois, this one -- oops. i just lost illinois. let me hit it right there. all right. so tammy duckworth and joe walsh, that is a very competitive race overall. there it is.
tammy duckworth and joe walsh, that's a very -- he's really high on the list of endangered republicans. he came in in that wave a couple years ago. she's an iraq war vet. lost both her legs in the war. she ran in 2006, didn't make it. now she's a rising star overall on the party. let's go to iowa. there is a really interesting race here as well. this one is christy vilsack, the former first lady of iowa. also her husband is very close to the obama administration, steve king. he's going for a sixth time in the senate. it's a redrawn district over here. it's pretty red. >> very red. >> it's pretty red. but it is still a competitive race. >> one thing about illinois, illinois key that democrats want to pick up any house seats in this election, the democrats not feeling as good as they once did about major gains in illinois. >> all right. 36 minutes after the hour. now we have a look at the other stories making news. one week ago today that superstorm sandy slammed into
the oeeast coast. the storm is blamed for 110 deaths in the united states alone. this morning, more than 1.5 million power customers are still in the dark. and with the falling temperatures, housing is a major issue in all of those devastated communities. the red cross reports that more than 10,000 people in nine states spent saturday night in a shelter. now there is a brand new worry, a nor'easter is in the forecast for the east coast. that is this week. the national weather service says the track and timing of the storm is still uncertain. it warns that it could pack wind gusts above 45 miles per hour, bring heavy rain, maybe snow and it could cause coastal flooding and beach erosion on the heels of sandy. tragedy during an aerial search for a missing 9-year-old boy. two police officers were killed on impact saturday night when their helicopter crashed just miles from downtown atlanta. both were fathers themselves. no one was hurt on the ground. the crash knocked out
electricity to 1300 households. the missing boy, well, he was later found safe. and with america less than two months from hitting the fiscal cliff, house speaker john boehner says don't expect a permanent fix from this lame duck congress. in an exclusive interview with cnn, speaker boehner says the best we can hope for is something temporary. >> lame duck congresses aren't known for doing big things. and lame duck congresses probably shouldn't do big things. so i think the best you can hope for is some kind of a bridge. some kind of a temporary push back of the sequester and then we have the debt limit right behind it in february. so i would think that will be the best you could hope for. and even that is going to be very difficult to do. >> congress faces an end of the year deadline before spending cuts kick in and tax breaks begin to expire. sunday night football action. the atlanta falcons beat the dallas cowboys 19-13. atlanta is now the only
undefeated team in the nfl. and they did it the hard way on the strength of four field goals from matt bryant. coming up, husrricane sandy could have a big effect on election day. we'll take you to a high school that is doubling for a sheller for sandy evacuees and come tomorrow, it will also be a polling place. tonight our guest, thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world. professor sargent, can you tell me what cd rates will be in two years? no. if he can't, no one can. that's why ally has a raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally. for a golf getaway. double miles you can actually use... but mr. single miles can't join his friends because he's getting hit with blackouts. shame on you. now he's stuck in a miniature nightmare.
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welcome back. it is 41 minutes past the hour. this is our live coverage from washington, d.c. political fallout from superstorm sandy, some polling sites in new york city are being relocated or combined because of the storm damage. voters in some counties may get an extra day to cast ballots if disruptions from the storm keep enough of them from showing up. we have a reporter at a high school in brooklyn that is doubling as a shelter for sandy evacuees. tomorrow it will be a voting site as well. how are preparations going
there? >> reporter: good morning. we should mention first off that new york city public school students will be heading back to school today for the first time since hurricane sandy except at schools like the one behind me. we're at brooklyn tech high school as you mentioned. right now, it is serving as an emergency shelter for those with special medical needs. i was just inside. i'm happy to report the heat is on. it is working. it is toasty inside, as a matter of fact. evacuees are staying on cots inside classrooms throughout the school. but you're right, tomorrow it will double as a polling site. in that way, it is unique. it is the only school in new york city that will double as a shelter and a polling station. now the city's board of elections in the wake of sandy has been forced to either combine or relocate about 60 polling sites throughout the city. and in a move that could be unprecedented in some new york counties, especially on long
island, voters may actually get an extra day to cast ballots if voter turnout is less than 25%. but for now, mayor bloomberg says the most pressing concern is housing. >> the magnitude of the problem is we think we could have something between 30 and 40,000 people that we're going to have to find housing for. we are working on it. we will continue to get this done. >> reporter: the mayor admits he doesn't know yet how they will get that done. but they will find a way. and the reality is they must find a way. tonight the temperatures will be below freezing. on wednesday, as you know, new york could get socked with a nor'easter. mayor bloomberg says make no mistake about it, you can die from being cold. he says if there is any doubt about where to go, just stop a cop and ask. >> actually, there was somebody who did die because of the cold. they stayed in their home
overnight. i know we're following that nor'easter very carefully. thank you very much. really scary situation there. what are they going to do with all those displaced people? >> so many of them are still suffering. many people in manhattan an new jersey moved on if they were not affected. for lots of people, it's still a terrible scene. still ahead, we'll take a closer look at hurricane sandy and ask this question, did it break governor romney's momentum? the governor says it did. he said president obama will be reaping the rewards of that. we'll discuss that next. this is america.
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welcome back, everybody. you're watching our special election coverage coming to you live from the nation's capital. let's get back to ana navarro. she was a national hispanic chair for the huntsman and mccain campaigns. rollin martin is host of his own show. rollin, hurricane sandy -- >> do we have to get along today? >> you are. haley barbour said he thinks that the storm was able to put a stop to the momentum of governor romney. let's play his clip. >> the hurricane is what broke romney's momentum. >> you think that as well? >> i don't think there's any question about it. any day that the news media is
not talking about jobs and the economy, taxes and spending, deficits and debt is a good day for barack obama. when you have a blackout, you had a blackout on all of those issues that started about last saturday and lasted until about yesterday, that is what really was good for barack obama. now whether it is good enough remains to be seen. >> we discussed this yesterday. we say it, president obama has to be one of the luckiest politicians ever. absolutely a help. it pretty much froze the race for four days, possibly five days. and so for him to have the stage to himself, to be able to again to rise above the political process absolutely it helped him. i think if you're mitt romney, you couldn't do anything. there is nothing you could do campaign-wise to stop that. >> you know, president obama didn't have a stage to himself. he had to share it with chris christie. that in itself was --
>> who helped him out hugely, right? >> i think so. it helped chris christie and president obama because i'm a hurricane survivor. i'm from florida. when you're in a post devastation period, what you want to do is see the feds, state, local officials working together, getting your issues solved. and that's what they did. we've had a couple of big changes in this election. first debate, stopped obama's momentum. second game changer was sandy. it ended up being our october surprise. >> what about the confusion? you heard a few minutes ago about a new polling station and how that's a school and that's also a place where they're putting people up and also going to be polling stations. does that ultimately potentially hurt the election? >> you're dealing with states, new york, new jersey, connecticut, the ones that were the hardest hit which are not up for grabs. >> the u.s. senate. >> it could affect the senate race in connecticut. really, these are states where president obama should be able to win with a large margin.
one state where the media market bleeds into is pennsylvania. so much in new jersey was hit by the hurricane. the president's visit there with chris yisty. a lot of people saw that on tv were in pennsylvania and key media markets there. if that race is competitive, that may help. >> how much do you think it affects the total popular vote, the number of popular vote? how much might that mean for president obama? >> i see 300,000 people may not show up for the polls. >> you've been spending all this time waiting for gasoline. you don't know where your polling place is. >> which you've been doing. you think about all that time waiting in line for the basic necessities of life, it makes you a little less enthusiastic about going out and trying to figure out where you're going to vote. people are just trying to get warm right now. >> you also see why it's important for a governor to have the authority to be able to make changes. governor chris christie said you're able to fax in your ballot. that was critical. my whole point is you have an alternative to being able to
vote. so you're able to create that system, that helps. again, that is the problem, of course, in florida. florida governor doesn't have that authority. again, that's where it helps to have that sort of flexibility any time of an emergency. >> actually, the florida governor does have that authority for national -- for state state of emergencies. it's just a long line doesn't qualify as a stast emergencte o. >> it should in florida. >> that will be our topic later. you can watch our complete coverage and analysis tomorrow night on cnn. we take off at 6:00 p.m. eastern much as america picks a new president, voters in several states will also be deciding some ballot measures for hot button issues like same-sex marriage, medical marijuana. we'll take a closer look next. creamy spinach artichoke dip, crispy garlic chicken spring rolls. they're this season's must-have accessory. lean cuisine. be culinary chic. progresso. in what world do potatoes, bacon and cheese add up to 100 calories?
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welcome back to our special election coverage live from d.c. one day to go before election day. we have lots of important election stories to report including a number of measures. same-sex marriage is on the ballot in three states tomorrow. voters in maine, maryland, and washington will decide whether or not to legalize it in their states. if it passes in any of them, it will be the first time same-sex marriage was made legal through a popular vote. legislation or court orders have made it legal in six states so far. voters in three states, washington, oregon, and colorado will consider measures that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana. the proposals would allow adults to possess small amounts of pot subject to state regulation and taxes. if the plan goes through in any states, it could set up a battle with the federal government. voters in massachusetts will
decide whether to allow physician assisted suicide. the so-called death with dignity initiative is approved, massachusetts will become one of three states to allow it along with washington and oregon. a terminally ill patient is able to obtain lethal doses of medication if a doctor determines they have six months or less to live. voters in florida, alabama, montana, and wyoming will decide on a key component of president obama's health care law. they will consider measures which would prevent individuals and businesses from being compelled to participate in a health care system. so this is considered a symbolic move since new proposals violate existing federal law. california voters will consider a ballot measure that would abolish the state's death penalty. if proposition 34 goes through, more than 700 death row inmates would have their sentences commuted to life in prison without parole. and with all the buzz about the romance between president obama and chris christie and the wake of superstorm sandy, you
knew it would not take long for "saturday night live" to add their two cents. >> so i would like to give a sincere thanks to president obama for how he handled the situation on election day, i'm voting for mitt romney. but if i had to pick one guy to have my back in a crisis, it would be barack obama. he's been amazing. you know, so kind, such a leader, a tree inspiration. again, i'll be a good soldier, i'll vote for romney but i'm going to hate him, too. >> mitt romney also on the receiving end of some spoofing. we'll have that for you a little later this morning. much more ahead as a special edition of "early start" continues right now on cnn live from washington, d.c. good morning, everybody. welcome to our special coverage of the 2012 election. we're coming to you live from the nation's capital just 24 hours to go before voting begins after a 17-month, $3 billion race for the white house it could not be any closer.
the final cnn poll before the election shows a dead heat, a tie. both candidates making their closing arguments in those key states that could decide the election. best political team on tv has it covered for you this morning. >> i'm john berman. down the stretch they come. president obama and mitt romney and their running mates making 14 stops in 8 critical states with polls showing plenty of voters have still not made up their minds. we're live in every key battleground state. >> and in the end, this is the only math that will count. i'm christine romans looking at the race to 270. eight states are still up for grabs in the final day. we'll look at the road each candidate could take to hit that magic number. >> and it has been one week since hurricane sandy and now some shelters in the disaster zone are doubling as polling stations. the recovery effort and how the storm may impact votes. we have packed four hours ahead for you. among our guest this is morning, rob portman, chris van hollen,
pennsylvania senator pat toomy, mario diaz, john mccain, obama campaign deputy manager, stephanie cutter. and former white house press secretary bill burton all joining us this morning. our special coverage begins right now. we start with a little good news this morning. in 24 hours it will all be done. all the talking will be done and the 17-month-long bat am for the white house will be in the hands of the american people. it has come down to this a brand new cnn/orc poll of likely voters has mitt romney and president obama in a dead heat at 49% apiece. both candidates have been targeting those critical battleground states on this final full day of campaigning. the president accompanied by bruce springsteen. he's holding rallies in madison, wisconsin, and columbus, ohio and des moines, iowa. governor romney has devents in
florida, lynchburg and fairfax virginia, in columbus, ohio, and in manchester, new hampshire. wouldn't be a presidential election without some kind of legal snafu in the state of florida. the state's democratic party is now suing to extend early voting hours with voters reporting lines of up to seven hours long at some south florida polling stations. we have cnn reporters all across all of the battleground states this morning to cover this race that appears to be headed for a photo finish. john berman's been following that for us. >> let's start in a state many think will decide this election, ohio. president obama and mitt romney, as you said, both hold rallies there today. the latest cnn/orc poll, has the president with a three-point lead in the buckeye state. cnn's martin savidge is live in cleveland for us this morning. hey, martin. >> good morning, john. let's talk about early voting. because they have been early voting in the state of ohio since october 2nd. we are well into november, and there's early voting again today. early voting could actually pay off very much in the favor of
president obama. take a look at the numbers that cnn has gathered in the latest polling. and it has to do with those people who have either early voted already, or say they plan to early vote, and right now it's all in favor of president obama. that breakdown, 63% in favor of the president. with 35% in favor of mitt romney. but then, go to election day. ask with the same poll who and how are you going to vote on election day and the numbers go greatly in favor of governor romney. 55% to the governor and it would be 42% to president obama. as you pointed out, both candidates were in the state yesterday. what do you know, both candidates are going to be back in the state today. and both of them are going to be in the same city. columbus, ohio. president obama will be first with a rally that will take place this afternoon. you mentioned bruce springsteen. he'll be there with jay-z. romney will be there tonight. john? >> thanks, martin savidge in cleveland where the early vote is so important. is, too, in florida. a state critical to mitt romney's chances.
he holds the first of five rallies on this final day of campaigning today. the latest polls there have mixed results. some showing mitt romney with the lead. some showing the president on top. joined now by cnn's jan zarrella. he is in plantation, florida. hey, john. >> hey, john. that's right. mitt romney with the slimmest of leads in that latest cnn/orc poll. just one percentage point. 50% to 49% over the president. florida once again basically a toss-up state. now, the president did come to florida yesterday. he was in hollywood, into, at macarthur high school. he spoke for about 20, 24 minutes, to 23,000 people, who had gathered for the rally there, and had spent many hours waiting to see the president show up for that rally down here in hollywood, florida. broward county one of the key, key counties the president must carry with huge numbers. now, mitt romney did not come to florida yesterday but he will be
here today. and absentee ballots to be brought in in miami-dade county yesterday because of the enormous lines when early voting ended on saturday, but it was a mess in miami-dade. they opened, then they closed because of printer problems, then opened again. and the lines were once again hugely long there in miami dade county, and the folks will once again today be allowed, john, to go ahead and fill out absentee ballots at the supervisor's office in miami-dade. >> all right, thanks so much john zarrella. it would not be an election without problems in florida. finally to colorado where the race is surprise, surprise, too close to call. president obama and mitt romney held rallies there this weekend. the latest cnn/orc poll has the president on top 50% to 48%. ed lavandera is on the ground in denver. hey, ed. >> hey, good morning, john. we talk to a lot of people in colorado, and they -- a lot of
people out here think as things start to play out on the east coast in states like florida, virginia, and ohio, depending on how things shake out there, that colorado and its nine electoral votes could be a state that plays a significant role in the outcome of this presidential election. as you mentioned, this race very close here. a lot of the candidates, and both campaigns at this point focusing on turning out the vote in these key swing counties that surround the city of denver. that's where they find the majority of the swing voters and many political analysts here in the state say those are the voters that will in the end determine this election. where it all boils down to the economy and the question of whether or not this turnaround in the economy is improving faster than -- as it should be, in fact, when you look at unemployment rates here in the state of colorado, back in january of 2009, when president obama took office, it was 6.6%. in 2010 it jumped as high as 9%. but it is now in the last few months dipped down to 8%. just above the national average. so that's what the question is the voters will decide here.
whether or not the economy is improving fast enough. john? >> all right, thanks so much ed lavandera in denver, colorado. at the bottom of the hour we'll take you to two other battleground states, nevada and wisconsin. the story in every battleground, soledad, it's close, it's close, its close. >> one of the reasons to get through this on tuesday and move on to wednesday. all right, john berman, thank you. let's go back to that hotly contested battleground state of florida. we showed you the latest miami herald poll has governor mitt romney leading in the sunshine state by six points. latest "wall street journal" poll, though, has president obama ahead by two. mario diaz-balart is a republican congressman from florida, he serves on the romney campaign hispanic steering committee. thank you for talking with us. >> good to see you. >> appreciate that. >> in spite of that first poll i show you the obama campaign has said they're optimistic about their chances in florida. let me play for you a little bit of what david axelrod, he's the campaign senior adviser as you well know, this is what he said.
>> we feel very competitive in the state of florida. there've been a spate of -- in fact, in all of these battleground state polls that have come out in the last 48 hours we, i think we're ahead in 90% of them, including florida. >> so he's sounding very happy about florida. how do you think florida is going to go? >> look, it's going to be close. you know, i -- i keep hearing about all these polls. the only poll that matters is the last one, the one that's counted after all the votes are cast. i think it's going to be close. but i do feel, out there, that governor romney's doing well. and i'll tell you why, you do not see that passion that obama had in 2008. you don't see turnout, you don't see the passion that was there for president obama in 2008. i think part of the reason, a big part of the reason, is the fact that the economy is frankly struggling. and you just saw that unemployment picked up, again, it's worse than it was when the president took office. therefore i think the passion just frankly isn't there for him. >> you serve on this steering committee. the senate steering committee for the romney campaign, as i
mentioned, where you don't see the passion if you look at, for example, a pew research poll of likely latino voters, president obama has 66% of that vote, governor romney at 27%. last time you and i spoke where were we? i can't remember where we were -- 9 dnc. we were at the dnc together. we've been on the road a lot. and you know you talked about how this could be problematic down the road if something like these numbers that we're seeing, that's a problem for the gop. >> i think long-term it could be, obviously. i think you're going to see, by the way, in the swing states where the entire campaign is focused, i think you're going to see the hispanic numbers getting much better for governor romney. however, it's an issue that we still have to deal with long-term. the republican party has to deal with long-term. democrats and the president have been very good with their rhetoric. unfortunately their results haven't been great because if you look at, for example, increase in poverty among hispanics. hispanic children now make the largest group of children in poverty. so, the policies haven't been
great, the rhetoric by the democrats has been much better. the policies on the republican side have been much better for minorities, but the rhetoric, unfortunately, has not. >> mario diaz-balart joining us this morning, republican congressman from florida and a romney campaign surrogate and also a member of the romney hispanic steering committee. nice to see you. thank you for talking with us this morning. always great to talk to up. >> good morning, take care of yourself. >> let's get right back to zoraida for a look at some other stories making news today. >> good morning to you, soledad. good morning, to you. one week after superstorm sandy slammed into the east coast, more than 1.5 million power customers in 15 states are still in the dark this morning. at least 115 deaths, as well, are blamed on that storm. along new jersey's devastated coastline, cleanup is under way. but it is a long road ahead. bulldozers are being used to haul away piles of debris. housing is a major issue in new jersey. and in new york. because of damage, lack of power, and now the falling temperatures. new york city mayor michael bloomberg said they are trying to come up with a plan.
>> the magnitude of the problem is we think we could have something between 30,000 and 40,000 people that we're going to have to find housing for. we are working on it. we will to inget this done. >> so this was great to see, hundreds of would-be new york city marathoners volunteered yesterday to help distribute aid to victims of sandy in staten island. yesterday's planned marathon was canceled due to the impact of the storm. that was great of them to do that. and a 2-year-old boy died sunday at the pittsburgh zoo after being mauled by a pack of rare african painted dogs. the toddler was visiting the zoo with his mother and friends when he fell 14 feet off a deck right into the exhibit where 11 of the painted dogs were housed. a zoo keeper was able to quickly clear away seven of the dogs. a police officer shot another one. but it was just too late to save that little boy. nascar driver kevin harvick found himself with a dented car
before he even got behind the wheel on sunday at texas motor speedway. a sky diver came down a little too close to harvick's parked number 29 chevy during prerace ceremonies. the sky diver was fine. but a sandbag that was attached to his texas flag dinged up the car, forcing 30 minutes of prerace repairs before the 29 crew. harvick went on to finish ninth in the texas 500. and in the wake of superstorm sandy, "saturday night live" is spoofing new york city mayor michael bloomberg and his tepid endorsement of president obama. >> i also want to thank president obama for his fast and efficient assistance in our time of need while also reminding him we do not want him to come here. your motorcade causes traffic headaches. i endorse you for president, but if you come here, i will have you arrested. >> what can i say.
>> all right, zoraida, thank you. coming up next, we're going to take a closer look at those battleground states. and which side polls in a dead heat right now. or that printing in color had to cost a fortune. nobody said an all-in-one had to be bulky. or that you had to print from your desk. at least, nobody said it to us. introducing the business smart inkjet all-in-one series from brother. easy to use, it's the ultimate combination of speed, small size, and low-cost printing.
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mccain campaign. roland martin, host of roland martin on tv one. >> good morning. >> i'm ready to jump in and break it up if something happens. let's start with the poll numbers. let's talk about ohio. because it seems like everybody's talking about ohio. we put the poll numbers up on the screen as we look at the ohio polling. yeah, there we go. obama, 50%. mitt romney, 47%. likely voters, choice for president, this is a cnn/orc poll. do all roads, roland, lead through ohio for governor romney? >> no, not necessarily. other states are also critical. you look at the composition in iowa, new hampshire, you look at north carolina, obviously ohio makes it easier. but virginia, 13 elector cal college votes. nevada is 6. i think we can't negate those other states. both campaigns have looked at multiple ways to get to 270. it's not all about ohio. you can lose ohio, pick up other states, and still be the president.
>> ana, zoraida was mentioning latinos in ohio. there are latinos in ohio. >> also in a wa. >> a small number. what will they -- do they really have the weight to swing this election one way or the other? >> i think they could be very significant. maybe not in ohio. but i think they will be very significant in places like colorado, florida, nevada, virginia. we have a lot of central americans now living in the tristate area in virginia. i think they can be, you know, that's where -- but listen, soledad. all the polls are tied. anything can make a difference. anything. that's what we've got to keep in mind. that's why there's get out the vote effort this last minute is so important. not all roads go through ohio. but most roads go through ohio. what you're seeing in the last few days the campaigns try to expand that map. you're seeing them all of a sudden fighting over pennsylvania. iowa. space that wouldn't be expecting. minnesota, to be talking about, we would not have thought of talking about them a month ago. we're talking about them today.
>> is it a turnout game, john berman? >> well, obviously it's always a turnout game. turnout always matters. when you talk about turnout you want to talk about who had the more efficient machine. who can get most of the voters on the fence. the uncertain voters out. and there are a lot of people who have been saying over the last four years the obama campaign never stopped campaigning in states like ohio and virginia they've been organizing not just four years, really for five years, since the primary of 2007. >> zoraida, do you think that the october surprise was, in fact, hurricane sandy? >> oh, i absolutely do. we were talking about that earlier. what were the key moments, the key significant moments during this race and when hurricane sandy first happened we said will this be a defining moment for those undecideds, perhaps? the folks that were waiting for something, to see some bipartisan support, right? i think that that really changed this election dramatically. like the first debate. >> it took an act of god to get them to decide. >> i think the auto bailout is really a big story in ohio as well and how that's been played by both campaigns. on our exit polling we're going
to be asking people in ohio, between your family, do you support the bailout. i think there's a lot of anxiety about what happened in the auto industry, how it happened, and who supported the auto industry more. i think that will be a very -- that will be something that's different in ohio than the rest- >> and that jeep ad, romney folks focused on that jeep ad. we had so many papers across ohio slamming him saying it was false. that's the last thing you want a week out. >> i'm not sure it ever aired. >> but it got a lot of conversation, trust me. i think they messed up with that one, because you already in a tenuous position anyway, you simply made it more difficult. >> we've got pictures of that jeep ad and eventually the head of gm would come out and say that it was basically not true, and also the head of fiat. >> but again you had all these ohio papers slamming him, as well. you don't want that a week out. >> thank you, guys. appreciate that. frustration at the gas pump is something else we're talking about this morning. and that frustration is even louder in the wake of hurricaneson day. lines that are hours long for
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of gas shortage, gasoline shortage, but actually the access to the pumps. the pumps powered by electricity. that's a problem. also you had some problems in new york and new jersey where the gas barges offload. despite the assurances we've been getting from politicians that this is going to ease up, it has not eased up. this is now day six. some analysts say it's also a psychological issue because people need gas, they see these lines and get more concerned, and get in line even if they don't have to. thousands of gas stations are still closed. the federal government is going to bring in 12 million gallons of unleaded gas to the hard-hit areas in new jersey. they're setting up a system linking your license plate number to the day gas is pumped. it's the odd/even system. depends on the day. some newark, new jersey residents are waiting four to five hours to fill up cars with gas cans. that's what people are trying to power their generators. very cold, below freezing last night. and people are trying to keep their -- their homes warm. also people trying to use gasoline to keep their chainsaws
going because they're still trying to clean up after superstorm sandy. a lot of people using twitter and online devices to try to help each other and share where there is gas. but still, soledad, this is still a problem. six days after landfall of superstorm sandy, and it's a real problem for the politicians who are trying to figure out how to ease these lines. >> and miserable for the folks trying to get gas. up next we're going to take you to two more critical battleground states. the state of nevada where hundreds of thousands of people have already voted early. and the state of wit konz which has voted democratic since 1984. but republicans say they're hoping they can take it back. ally bank. why they have a raise your rate cd. tonight our guest, thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world. professor sargent, can you tell me what cd rates will be in two years?
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then, america decides. welcome back, you're watching cnn's special live election coverage. the battle for the white house couldn't be any closer than it is in the final hours of this bruising marathon race. take a look at the numbers. a brand-new cnn/orc poll of likely voters have mitt romney and president obama in a dead heat at 49%. today both candidates are crisscrossing the crucial swing states that will decide the election. the president accompanied by bruce springsteen holding rallies today in madison, wisconsin, in columbus, ohio, in des moines, iowa. governor romney has events in sanford, florida, lynchburg and fairfax, virginia, in columbus, ohio, and in manchester, new hampshire. in new jersey, and new york, superstorm sandy has election officials scrambling trying to relocate polling stations and get generators to other places. not clear just how much the storm's aftermath will impact voter turnout. meanwhile, daily news, news-day, two of new york's newspapers that backed president obama in 2008 are now endorsing governor
romney. newsday's editorial board writes had barack obama done the job of president with the same passion and vision he displayed in seeking it, he would likely deserve another term. he did not. we've got a packed 2 1/2 hours ahead. among our guests ohio senator rob portman, maryland congressman chris van hollen, pennsylvania senator pat toomey, arizona senator john mccain, former treasury secretary larry summers, obama campaign deputy manager stephanie cutter and former white house press secretary bill burton, all joining us this morning on our special election edition. both campaigns had multiple rallies across the swing states today and john berman is following that for us this morning. >> hey, soledad. i think one of the most interesting states in the country is nevada with its six electoral votes. one of the battlegrounds targeted by both the obama and the romney campaign. it's a place where hundreds of thousands of people have already cast their ballots. my friend cnn's miguel marquez is on the vegas strip this morning. good morning, miguel. >> it is a very, very
interesting place here, john. record numbers of early voters here in nevada. and you know the president is very close with romney for some time but it seems to be breaking out a little bit. the las vegas journal review which endorsed romney actually has the president up by four points. "usa today" has the president up by seven points here. and those early voters, 44% democrats, requested ballots as opposed to 37% of republicans. so things are looking up for the president, it seems his organization here in the state seems to be paying off. the president and romney have been through this state probably a dozen times each. paul ryan is up in washoe county in the northwest corner of the state today, so they are still working very hard for this state. people out canvassing as well. now that early voting is done, there are huge numbers of people out for both campaigns knocking on doors, trying to convince those last few percentages of voters to come out and to vote.
at this point, as many as 70%, perhaps 80% of people may have voted in this state. so, by the time dawn breaks on election day, this thing may be over. >> so miguel in washoe county where you were last week that seems to be fought to a tie in the early vote, but it's the margins in clark county that has people buzzing today, right? >> they are. it's a very big -- look, clark county is democratic. it's expected the democrats would break loose there. what the republicans are saying, though, that a lot of those democratic ballots requested are going to go to the republicans, to romney, and a lot of those independents that voted here are going to go to romney, as well, and that's where they will make up the difference. john? >> that's what they need to have happen, that's for sure. miguel marquez live on the vegas strip this morning. now to wisconsin, where president obama holds the first was three rallies today. wisconsin has voted blue since all the way back in 1984 with ronald reagan. but it's almost always close, really close. john kerry won by just 11,000 votes in 2004.
al gore by less than 6,000 in 2000. and the romney campaign hopes that with native son paul ryan on the ticket they can take it back. ted rowlands is live in milwaukee this morning. good morning, ted. >> good morning, john. the romney/ryan folks here on the ground in wisconsin do acknowledge that they have an uphill battle. all of the polling has the president up. one poll has him up 8%. but what the republicans have going here is a very good ground game. that was established during the recall election earlier this year with governor scott walker. they believe they're going to win the turnout game. i talked to scott walker yesterday at an event and they're very enthusiastic that they can take this state. now on the other side of the coin, the obama campaign not taking any chances. they are offering volunteers to come up from the state of illinois to help them get out the vote, in return those folks will get a ticket to tuesday night's election party in chicago. as you mentioned, the president will be here, in madison, with bruce springsteen this morning.
paul ryan will finish his long day of campaigning here in his home state at an event here in milwaukee. john? >> all right. ted rowlands in milwaukee, wisconsin. a state where a lot of the action is today. thank you so much, ted. one of the most important issues in every state in this election is clearly jobs. and i'm here with christine romans at the magic wall to talk about a historical perspective on unemployment. >> i'm looking at unemployment in this country since 2009 since the president took office. the more orange it is the worse the unemployment rate. this is the worst in the country, nevada 11.8%. but the national average is 7.9%. and that's been getting a little bit better. now consider this, four presidents have run for a second term with the jobless rate above 7%. four presidents since the great depression. here's what they looked like. before they ran for their second term, president ford, when he was the last days of his campaign, 7.6%. president carter, 7.5%. president reagan, 7.3 brs. president george h.w. bush 7.6%. and now president obama 7.9%. only one won re-election and
that was ronald reagan. if obama were to win re-election he would be only the second president to win with a jobless rate above 7%. what's really important to remember john is that, you know, ford's jobless rate was coming down from 9% but was still pretty high. carter's very near the high. george h.w. very near the high. president obama and ronald reagan have something in common. in that the jobless rate has come down wherebly from where it was at the peak of the jobless crisis. also you don't look at unemployment rates in isolation. let's talk about stocks. because the stock market has done very well over the past four years. the s&p 500 is up 75%. nasdaq up 107%. the dow up 65%. superinteresting to note these other factors that go into play. not just the jobless rate but a lot of people have been talking about how difficult, how difficult historically it is to have such a high unemployment rate and win re-election. but this is down from 10%, in common with ronald reagan. >> which is why the obama team
wants to talk about the direction because they want to be more like ronald reagan than jimmy carter. >> the trend not the raw numbers. >> the magic wall really is magic. >> it is 35 minutes past the hour. it was one week ago today that superstorm sandy slammed into the east coast. that storm is now blamed for at least 110 deaths in the united states. and this morning, more than 1.5 million people are -- power customers there, are still in the dark. with falling temperatures, housing is a major issue in all the devastated communities there. the red cross reports that more than 10,000 people in nine states spent saturday night in a shelter. now there is a new worry. a nor'easter is in the forecast for the east coast this week. the national weather service says the track and the timing of the storm is still a bit uncertain, but it warns that it could pack wind gusts above 45 miles per hour, spurring heavy rain or maybe even snow and cause coastal flooding and more beach erosion. and today a former vatican
employee, a 48-year-old computer programming analyst, goes on trial for his alleged role in a scandal involving stolen papal documents. pope benedict's pop bodyguard and the pontiff's former butler are expected to take the stand. the former butler is now serving an 18-month prison sentence after being convicted last month of leaking the pope's private letters to an italian journalist. and with america less than two months from tumbling off the fiscal cliff, house speaker john boehner says a permanent fix from this lame duck congress is not likely. in an exclusive interview with cnn, boehner says the best we can hope for is something temporary. >> lame duck congresses aren't known for didding big things. and frankly lame duck congresses probably shouldn't do big things. so i think the best you can hope for is some kind of a bridge. some kind of a temporary pushback of the sequester, and then we have the debt limit in
february. so i would think that would be the best you could hope for. and even that is going to be very difficult to do. >> congress faces an end of the year deadline before drastic spending cuts kick in and tax breaks begin to expire, as well. sunday night football action, with last night's 19-13 victory over the dallas cowboys the 8-0 atlanta falcons are the only undefeated team in the nfl. but this is no easy victory. the falcons kept their perfect record on the strength of four field goals. are you a big football fan, soledad? >> no, i'm not. but i support my husband who is a big football fan. so whatever -- whatever brad likes, i fully support that. zoraida, thank you. still ahead this morning, a senator from the state that could prove to be the most important state in this election. ohio senator rob portman is our guest. that's right after this. president obama: there's just no quit in america...
and you're seeing that right now. over five million new jobs. exports up forty one percent. home values... rising. our auto industry... back. and our heroes are coming home. we're not there yet, but we've made real progress and the... last thing we should do is turn back now. here's my plan for the next four years: making education and training a national priority; building on our manufacturing boom; boosting american-made energy; reducing the deficits responsibly by cutting where... we can, and asking the wealthy to pay a little more. and ending the war in afghanistan, so we can... do some nation-building here at home.
welcome back, everybody. just under 18 hours until election day. welcome back to our special coverage coming to you live from washington, d.c. for the candidates it comes down to one word, ohio. both candidates are going to spend part of the day today in that state. they were there yesterday, as well. there are 18 electoral votes up for grabs in ohio. no republican has won the presidency without winning the state of ohio. cnn's latest ohio poll shows president obama with a three-point lead, within the margin of error. rob portman is a republican senator from the state of ohio. he played president obama in mitt romney's debate prep. thank you for talking with us. appreciate it. >> soledad, good to be on with you again. >> thank you. 24 hours left. describe for me what the final strategy, the final push is for
the gop? >> well, it's twofold. one is to get our voters to the polls. and we're feeling like our grassroots this year is unprecedented. we've made more phone calls, gone door to door more than ever before. and second is continuing to reach out to those voters who haven't decided yet. talk to them about the economy, and about the debt and deficit and about the need for change, and you know, i think the message that mitt romney's ending on is exactly the right one, it's positive, it's uplifting. he's inspiring in the sense of saying we can do better and if we elect mitt romney and paul ryan we'll have a fresh start, we'll have the ability to put these policies in place to get the economy moving. but also to reach out to the other side and find common ground. so i feel pretty good about that. >> we've been showing the polling in ohio, and i'm curious, you were on the list, the short list, for people who could potentially be the vp pick and you ultimately weren't chosing. do you think you'd be polling better in the state of ohio if you happened to be veep pick?
>> i think paul ryan was great. i was with him yesterday in mansfield, ohio. we had an incredibly enthusiastic crowd. we're drawing huge crowds everywhere we go and paul's got a terrific message. again it's a positive message about how we can address these challenges we face. he's been on point on these issues over the years. people respect that. so i think the energy and the momentum is on our side right now. i know the polls are very close. i just heard you talk about the cnn poll within the margin of error. but i do think that at the end of the day, the momentum is from the enthusiasm, and i think we've got that this year. >> 7% unemployment in the state of ohio. which is below the nagtal average. you know for a lot of people they say, in ohio, economically is doing well so people might be less inclined to support governor romney, who's been really pushing an economic message. >> well, 7% is not doing okay. i mean, you know, this is not the new normal for us. we have -- if you add the people who have left the job force since president obama was sworn in, it's closer to 10%. and people don't feel good about
the economy. if you look at the ohio numbers on the question that pollsters love to ask, are you going on the wrong track or the right direction our wrong track numbers are about like the rest of the country. last month we lost 12,800 jobs in ohio. so we're glad our unemployment numbers are about a point below the national average. but we don't think it's good enough. and i think that's the strong message that i'm getting from independents, a lot of democrats, and republicans alike. >> but there's some interesting polling from quinn peay ack i want to put up on the screen there. if you look at how people feel about how ohio's economy is doing, in, you know, it, it looks for people to say better or the same it's 82%. and then when you ask them who deserves credit for the better ohio economy, again quinnipiac, or does the obama administration a lot or some, 67%. i would imagine that that has to that has to work against sort of the the feeling you wish you could have because that was -- i
guess the advantage to another candidate coming in, if you know what i'm saying. >> yeah, i saw those quinnipiac numbers they don't seem to be consistent with the wrong track numbers we see. i wish the economy were doing great. and i think people are hopeful here in ohio that we can begin a turnaround. if you go to small towns i've been at in the last several days here on the campaign trail, there are a lot of storefronts that are closed. you go to our factories, there's a lot of capacity that's not being utilized because our economy is not working at its potential. and again, 7% unemployment, when you add those folks back who have left the workforce, closer to 10%, that's certainly not acceptable. so, we have high poverty rates here in ohio than we had four years ago. we have more people on food stamps. and we have fewer people working. so we're -- we're not feeling like we've turned the corner yet. but i do think that the positive message at the end of the campaign by mitt romney about what we can do with tax reform and regulatory relief and getting health care costs down
and our energy independence, those are the kind of messages that people are hopeful about. i think that's going to be helpful here in the last 24 hours to not just get close in the polls but also independents and undecided voters who either don't normally vote or might not be republicans who are going to say it's time for a fresh start. >> was it a mistake, then, to run that, that yep ad which, which ran in toledo, ohio, as you know christine earlier was talking about how the exit polls have really examined in the state of ohio, the impact of the auto bailout has in the vote of eventually we're showing a little bit of this ad as you known it was seen by politifact to be false. the head of gm came out and said it just was not the case. and the head of fiat also said this was untrue and jeep's not moving production to china. so i'm curious if you look back at that and say probably shouldn't have done that? >> i don't know that they're saying that, soledad. i think the ad is correct in
jeep is planning to move some production to china. i think that's what they've said. that's fiat. that's not general motors. >> here's what general motorss said. i'll give you the verbiage and you can answer me. he said this, this is greg martin and he said this on october 31st. we've clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days. no amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the u.s. and repatriating profits back to this country. it's actually worse than paraphrase it. from fiat they said this, i feel obliged -- >> soledad, just for a second on that on that first one, that's general motors. they have nothing to do with jeep. and i don't know why general motors made that statement. but it had nothing to do with the ad. because the ad -- >> jeep says this -- >> let's hear from jeep. >> unambiguously restate our position. jeep production will not be moved from the united states to china. period. >> well, i think what fiat was saying there, and by the way, we love the fact that fiat has
invested in ohio. as you know i supported a rescue package at the time and it was the right thing to do. but i think if you were to ask fiat about whether they're going to start production in china, that they would say, yes, to serve the chinese market. that's what they've said in the past and that's what that ad indicates. so -- >> well the ad says this -- >> there's a little disconnect here. >> no, i don't think so. the ad says this obama took gm and chrysler into bankruptcy, and sold chrysler -- >> that's correct. >> to two italians who are going to build jeeps in china. >> that's correct. >> the implication being that jobs were taken from the united states, and being moved to china. so politifact said it was untrue. the gm jumped in, that's why gm responded. and the head of jeep also -- rather the head of fiat -- >> soledad -- >> yes, sir? >> soledad, two things. one, it is correct that barack obama and the administration took the two companies to bankruptcy. that's correct. it is true that jeep now makes all of their jeeps in the united states of america. and they actually export jeeps to china, into the asian market.
it is true, i believe, unless something has changed, that fiat is planning on beginning production in china for jeeps that will be sold in china. bill clinton's been talking about it on the campaign. >> but not move from the united states to china. >> hold on, hold on. hold on. but that's not what the ad says. the ad says is that jeep is going to begin production in china. so, look, i don't think that's frankly the major point here. the major point is, who would be better for these companies going forward. but both of these guys, barack obama and mitt romney had a plan. they were different plans. you can debate as to which one would have been better for the company. but both of them had plans that included taking the companies through bankruptcy and having federal assistance and that was something that politifact corrected the president on, as you know, during the debate. the second debate when he said there was no federal help. politifact said that was wrong, there was help in the romney plan. the issue for me is who's going to be better for these companies going forward? as a u.s. senator who gets lobbied a lot by the auto companies as to what they're looking for, they're looking for regulatory relief because they want to be able to compete
globally. they want tax reform very badly along the lines of what mitt romney has proposed. not what the president has proposed because their corporate rate as you know is the highest in the developed world. they're looking for lower energy costs, which was one of the mitt romney marquee proposals, talking about how we get more stable and affordable energy. and they're also looking for better worker retraining. >> it will be -- >> -- level playing field. so those are the proposals that you know, as an autoworker and as a manager of one of these companies, that's what -- that's what you're looking for. >> and i thinked exit polling -- >> -- an important issue. >> it will be interesting, the exit polling as christine pointed out what people thought of that ad was and what their take was -- >> -- if the ads -- >> i'm going to apologize because i've got to head to a commercial break. >> thanks soledad. thanks for having me on. >> my pleasure, always. senator portman joining us. appreciate it.
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morning. welcome, everybody, i'm soledad o'brien. welcome to our special coverage of the 2012 election live from the nation's capital. just one day to go before americans head to the polls, the race for the white house is in a dead heat. and as the candidates make their final push, the best political team on tv has it covered for you this morning. >> i'm john berman. they are sleepless in the swing states. president obama, mitt romney and their running mates making 14 stops in eight critical states, with polls showing, believe it or not, there are still voters who have yet to make up their minds. we are live in every key battleground state. >> i'm christine