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tv   Election Day in America  CNN  November 6, 2012 9:00am-11:00am PST

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>> sparring every step of the way. >> reduced to petty attacks and silly word games. >> we're live across the country. covering the candidates and the final appeals to swing state voters. >> we can't afford to wait four more years. >> the american people are bringing their country back. >> this is cnn's coverage of election day in america. the fight for the presidency. the battle for congress. and the issues dividing the nation. >> i still believe in you. and if you still believe in me i'm asking for your vote. >> i need you to go out and find people that will come join our cause. >> it's your vote. your future. your country. your choice. >> as we cross high noon in the east, we can now say polls are open in all 50 states. and the first poll closures are
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now seven hours away. hello, good too see you on election day. i'm brooke baldwin live in cnn headquarters in atlanta. >> i'm joe johns in washington. and this is florida, the biggest of the battlegrounds you've heard so much about that almost certainly will decide the next president. don't forget senators representatives, governors, referendums ballots from sea to shining sea. we'll cover them all day and night, as long as it takes. >> republican presidential hopeful mitt romney cast his ballot. here he is with his wife this morning in massachusetts. but right now he's in cleveland, for a meet and greet with campaign volunteers. need i say, folks ohio, later he will be visiting pennsylvania. just outside of pittsburgh. >> vice president biden voted this morning in delaware and once again suggested this would not be his last election. just moments ago, we learned he
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too, has stopped in cleveland en route to chicago. that's where the president is mr. obama cast his ballot early, freeing him up for last-minute phone bank duty at a chicago field office. >> national elections are complicated in the best of times. and in new york city really much of new jersey, these are not the best of times. new yorkers affected by sandy are being allowed to vote at any polling state -- place, i should say, in the state. displaced voters in jersey can vote by e-mail. if you have not voted yet, much of the country has, please do. locate your precinct, grab your i.d. ask for a ride and make your voice heard. that's part of the message from mitt romney to voters and volunteers in cleveland this hour. that's where we find cnn's jim acosta. he's there. jim, before we chat there you are at the cleveland hopkins airport i want to make sure everyone sees this very latest cnn poll of polls and of course the battleground state of ohio here we see the three-point
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advantage the president has over mitt romney. and might that perhaps explain this election day visit by both not romney but his running mate paul ryan? >> that's right. the romney campaign cam saying they're not going to leave anything on the feel this election day. behind me brooke this is pretty remarkable what's unfold unfolding now. the romney plane behind me we just got off of 30 minutes ago, landed here in cleveland a half hour ago. in the background, way off in the background, 15 minutes ago, vice president joe biden's plane, air force two also landed, made a surprise landing here in cleveland for a stop in the battleground state. if the tarmac could not get any more crowded paul ryan's plane just landed pulled up to mitt romney's plane and the vice presidential nominee for the republican ticket am a right?
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ehas gotten off the plane made his way to the romney charter to greet the man at the top of the ticket. all of this unfolding in the last 30 minute on this tarmac in cleveland. needless to say, brooke ohio ohio ohio. that's the name of the game today. >> a picture can mean a thousand words and that perhaps is precisely what that is. if they're not feeling crowded on the tarmac tell me how team romney's feeling now. are they exhausted, pumped hopeful? >> reporter: all three of those things, brooke. they are predicting a clear and decisive victory and that includes in state of ohio. but lie tell you though this event that is happening today is a reflection of the fact they're not taking anything for granted. mitt romney's here in ohio, paul ryan of course landed here as well. both going to be doing a variety of things here in the state. i can't tell you what those things are because the campaign has not disclosed them to us at this point. mitt romney goes to
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pennsylvania. of all battleground states in this election day getting a visit from both mitt romney and paul ryan it's ohio. now, at the same time i will tell you as you pointed out this is a very close race in this state. and even though the polls show a slight edge for the president in a number of recent battleground polls, the romney campaign's confident in its get out the vote operation. i was talking to the finance chair of the campaign over the weekend, sending out fund-raising e-mails as you noticed in the last couple of weeks why are they sending those out? raising money to pay for the vans, to get supporters to the polls, get volunteers out in the neighborhood neighborhoods. they're pulling out all of the stops. i did talk to a republican source that is close to the romney operation here in ohio mo and he said, it is going to be close, quote very close. so these why you're seeing all
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of this out here on this tarmac right now. >> jim acosta, we thank you. we'll be looking for and taping that event live where we'll soobbe seeing paul ryan and mitt romney. where is the president? a busy election day for president obama. we mentioned he did make campaign calls a little while ago in chicago. but he's been in touch with dhs, fema sandy of course still very high on the radar for the administration. let's go straight to chicago to cnn's dan lothian. dan, tell me about barack obama's final election day. >> reporter: well, as you pointed out, this is the balance that the president has had to make since hurricane sandy dealing with the campaign and dealing with the response to the hurricane. the president did take part in a briefing this morning on the latest movements developments with receipt covry efforts surrounding sandy. also updates we are told on another storm system approaching.
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so the president dealing with that. but this obviously is election day. a spoke with a senior campaign official who told me they're feeling confident about the election, how the results will come back tonight. at the same time they believe that it all will depend on voter turnout and that's why there are teams in the key battleground states going door-to-door, working phones trying to get out the vote. we saw the president jump in on that game, stopping off unannounced trip to a local obama office near chicago where they were running a phone bank. the president himself jumped on one of the phones speaking to a volunteer and she seemed surprised, was not sure that the president was actually on the phone. but the president did make a number of calls, thanking volunteers for their hard work. as they continue to try to get more folks out to the polls. but the president also said that he felt good about the day and had some good words and kind words to say about his gop opponent. >> i also want to say to
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governor romney congratulations on a spirited campaign. i know that his supporters are just as engaged and just as enthusiastic and working just as hard today. we feel confident. we've got the votes to win. but it's going to depend ultimately on whether votes turn out. >> the president's doing a number of radio and television interviews focusing on the key battleground states. he did one interview yesterday that aired with ryan seacrest the president talked about how he might be a little nervous about this campaign and the results. >> well there's -- look, i think anybody running for office would be lying if they say there's not some butterflies before the polls come in because anything can happen. that's -- that's the magic of democracy, it's up to the people to decide. but at a certain point you get calm because you know if you've done everything you can do then
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the process is working the way it's supposed to which is power resides with individual voters. >> reporter: now the president and his team are big -- a bit suspicious and one time they did not play basketball before the new hampshire primary the president lost. so they are not going to make that mistake this time around. the president will be taking part in a basketball game sometime today. i'm told that his former body man, reggie love, has been charged with getting this game together. so he will be playing basketball, and of course will be watching the election results from here in chicago. >> hoops for the president. we'll all be watching dan lothian. joining me now from rice university in houston texas presidential historian douglas brinkley. doug good to have you back. >> thank you. >> let me begin with mitt romney. he is, as we were talking to jim acosta in cleveland, add the stop in ohio added the stop in pennsylvania. we talked to dan lothian, the
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president laying low in chicago playing basketball later because he's superstitious, making campaign calls. is this unusual? you have one candidate campaigning on election day the other one pretty much laying low, staying at home? >> usually they lay low stay at home and vote. barack obama made a dramatic event last evening in des moines where he says he began his national campaign to be president and had a great close with bruce springstein and decided to take the day off. i would have thought he would have snuck up to wisconsin and did a few things a little bit of hand shaking. might happen yet. >> historically? >> historically, presidents take the day off. it's usually a day where you spend time with your family heal, get ready to gather. mitt romney going -- it's i find it interesting. romney's doing a flurry of trips into ohio. northern ohio elusive for mitt
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romney because of the article he wrote, let detroit go bankrupt, and because he's promoting doing away with a lot of regulations with epa and all. but the northern tier of ohio had the cuyahoga river on fire. lake erie was dead but it's come back. cedar point by sandusky ohio much more tourism up there. one hand northern ohio people like the fracking message we'll get the natural gas out turn northern ohio into an oil field. on the other hand a lot of people are in the tourist business and people in the automobile industry has a dislike for romney. he's trying to meet as many ohioans to shake away the axlerod image of him. >> we saw live pictures of mitt romney and paul ryan hopping in that suv en route to the appearance which we will take here any minute now. i wanted to point that out to viewer. i want to point out to you we've seen long lines, i'm probably about to get in one in
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two hours to vote myself. it's worth pointing out, voter participation is on the upswing in america, which is great. look back in 1996 51% turned out. participation went up in 2000. went up in 2004. went up in 2008. up to 63%. so, you know, while we hear americans grou ss all of the money involved six races. the past election cycle the ads which many people are griping about, the length of the campaign season, all of that is it just people are complaining all way to the polls? it's a good thing. >> well, it is a good thing. and also good although the lines are too long in florida and we've got to find ways to fix that. there's no evidence that people are walking away. everybody's demanding their right to vote waiting in long lines. country's done miraculous things with early voting. andrew cuomo's trying to find
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ways for people to vote by e-mail if hit by sandy feeling unable to get to a polling place. ever since 2000 and what happened in florida with dangling chads, there's a hyper consciousness to make sure people aren't disenfranchised. >> douglas bringly have you voted already? >> i early vote in a grocery store in austin texas. i felt clean and good doing it. >> thank you. rice university in houston. speaking of florida, and those lines, frustrations are high. take a look at some of the pictures here. some folks were told their bailing, heading home. ashleigh banfield is standing by in the thick of things. we'll talk to her in florida. also speaking of florida ali velshi monitoring voting problems there. and issues across the country. including one scenario we've talked about this in ohio that could, could drag things out. this is cnn's special coverage of election day 2012.
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welcome back to our special cnn election day 2012 coverage. i'm jim acosta, standing on the tarmac at the cleveland airport in ohio where just in the last hour we have seen mitt romney's campaign plane, paul ryan's campaign plane, and vice president joe biden's plane, air force two all land on the same tarmac, not at exactly the same time but within the last hour and it's something to behold in battleground state of ohio. just a few moments ago, the gop nominee, his running mate, paul ryan they met a few moments ago inside the romney campaign plane and boarded some suvs along with rest of his motorcade and sped off to a location that has not been announced yet by the campaign. he is expected to talk to supporters here in this state at various get out the vote
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offices. that's according to his campaign. so we'll be watching all of the developments until we get more information. when we get that information we'll pass that along. now, speaking of battleground states, i want to send this down to my colleague, ashleigh banfield, who is watching long lines at a voting location down in florida. can you hear me? how are things going down there? >> reporter: i hear you. hi, jim acosta. lots of traffic and lots of people. the ventil family arrived, they have have their ipad clock, 7:20, they brought an umbrella. any idea how long you think you'll be here? >> three hours. >> reporter: she's wise. okay, we'll keep checking in with you throughout the afternoon. look at this line. snakes all the way around. shorter than it was an hour ago when i came to you. good golly. if you're out here in the florida sun and have to wait as i go behind cars parked up on
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the grass if you have to wait, you better make friends because luckily a lot of folks here have done so. luckily also 40% of those registered in the state voted early, absentee or voted early. here's the deal. when you break that down, it's 1.74 million democrats, 1.91 republicans. so when it comes to early voting, whether absentee or whether it's in person early more democrats will do that. when it comes to these folks coming out in person going to the polls more republicans do that. what does that tell you? i cannot tell you. because we have no idea what the turnout is actually going to be today. when we talked to the department of state they said we have no idea how to predict the actual turnout today. they did say this chris kate, very good reports high turnouts so far. at 10:30. a report from the "miami
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herald," as i walk you down the long snaking line. how long have you been waiting? >> over two hours i would say. >> reporter: over two hours thank you. so the report came in at 10:30, that all was smooth. and then we heard from the by the "miami herald" 700 absentee ballots thrown out in broward county. sometimes that's a factor of a signature that's missing. in this case we don't know why 700 were actually thrown out. we're trying to table to get you to the end of the line. do you think we can make it before the end of the live shot? i think he's stuck. we'll get a wide shot. you see where the fire and rescue is up sneer these folks are probably half an hour from getting inside the polling place and being able to cast their ballot. once they get in there it's a nine-page ballot which for some people has taken up to a half hour to fill out which might be an indication as to why the lines are so long. and there you have it.
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magical entrance. >> all right. thank you so much. appreciate it. i want to show you something you don't see very much out on the campaign trail. still on the tarmac in cleveland. that is the wife of the vice presidential running mate ryan, janna ryan playing football with her kids. there goes a car at the airport. with her kids and other relatives of the ryan family, riding on the ryan charter all day long. so just the lighter side of the campaign trail that you decent see very often. obviously a moment for the ryan family to let off some steam and some pressure, as this is pressure cooker time in the state of ohio. back to you. >> football for one family, basketball for another here, maybe diffusing nervous energy all the way around. we have to talk ohio. ohio ohio. everyone needs to know about this. we could go -- look, we could be going to bed or waking up tomorrow morning saying this
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thing's not over. ali velshi's with me, we'll talk about a possible scenario. provisional ballots in ohio first explain why would someone get a provisional ballot? >> you get a regular ballot. if you didn't get your ballot or something that doesn't match with your address or whatever the case is wait ohio handles it is you get a provisional ballot and you have ten days in which -- ten days after the election to prove you're really that person or entitled to vote or this is actually you. the secretary of state added a layer to this, and na is if you vote with a provisional ballot you are to spill out a different form. take a look at the form. it's argued it's more confusing than it needs to be. if you fill out the form incorrectly, say you provided driver's license when you provided a different document, they say your ballot is void. this -- last time 200,000 people used provisional ballots, 40,000 voided. if this is a tight race in ohio
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they're going to matter. and they don't get counts for ten days after the election. >> if the margin of victory in ohio look at latest cnn poll of polls, 3% advantage for obama. you mentioned ten days. >> ten days. >> to manually go through these things -- >> it's not even that. you have ten days to prove that you shouldn't have a provisional ballot it should be made a regular ballot. the provisional ballots do not get counted until ten days after the election. you've got -- it's like when you get a ticket for having your headlight out, you have ten days to tell them your headlight's fixed, ten days to prove who i am. >> provisional ballots one story. >> that's -- there are court cases about that now. this won't be litigated before tonight. if ohio's close, provisional ballots matter and that could hold a decision. >> thank you. jim, back out to you in cleveland. >> reporter: brooke, that's right. we have the ryan family playing football behind me on the tarmac in cleveland. political football on this election day. and coming up next here on cnn
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looking at the turning points in this campaign as our cnn special election day coverage continues right here on cnn.
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you are watching special election day coverage on cnn. i'm brooke baldwin in atlanta. jim acosta flanked by planes in the tarmac in cleveland as we're awaiting this event that of course we will dip into live. mitt romney, paul ryan, in cleveland, before they head to moon township outside of pittsburgh here on election day.
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jim, we'll head to you here in a moment. first, an estimated $6 billion on the run for the white house. $6 billion. but we're not going to talk money here. we're going to talk about what money cannot buy. as in the unexpected turn of events that can be game changers for one candidate or the other. we'll go to cnn contribute somewhere strategist maria cardona and cnn contribute somewhere editor in chief of redstate.com eric erickson. happy election day. >> absolutely. >> listen first, i want to play the sound to the october surprise, this is from one week ago. >> and i cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state. and i heard on the phone conversations with him i was able to witness it today personally. >> eric erickson republicans' favorite governor chris christie heaping praise on the supposed political enemy here, barack obama. you say this was a turning point
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for the president? >> yeah. i actually didn't think that hurricane sandy would overall give the president a big bump but it clearly did. if you look at the gallup poll plus five for mitt romney until this past weekend where it was plus one for mitt romney all of the gains that barack obama made in the gallup poll and several other polls came from the east coast. the west and the midwest and the south, they stayed stagnant in the polling. so clearly something happened in the east that gave barack obama a bounce. only thing that happened was hurricane sandy. >> that's something. maria do you attribute potential turning point to the hurricane? do you think it's more than that? >> i think it's more than that brooke. i agree that it certainly gave the president a boost and especially with independents and undecided. this is the stuff that they love. >> i'm hearing a but coming. >> yes. but you can't -- you can't discount, if president obama wins, there are two things. first of all a lot of the polling and the analysts had been saying that when sandy
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arrived, mitt romney's bounce had already stopped, already stagnated, and the president was starting to basically equal what he had lost and he had already made some gains that he had lost in those battleground states. so if he does win if the president wins you also can't discount the 47% remark from romney, the let detroit go bankrupt if he loses ohio. i think those will be key turning points for romney if the president ends unwinning. >> interesting you bring up ohio. the president didn't bring up that 47% comment until the very end of the last debate. eric erickson, talk about the debates. everyone agrees, including the president -- the president jokingly said, yep i was asleep during debate number one -- if mitt romney wins, how much do you think that that first debate will play as a factor? >> i think the first debate was significant for mitt romney. i think there were several factors along the way leading up to the debate. you had this republican caricature of barack obama starting really with clint eastwood, the empty chair thing.
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it didn't seem to resonate with people until the first debate. people thought, wow he really is disengaged and it caused independents in particular to shift their opinion. to maria's point earlier, by the third debate romney captured everything he could from the first debate. when you look at polls between october and september in and that debate there was a huge gap with the president leading by a significant margin and a massive plummet for the president at the debate. >> it was tough. the final debate was foreign policy. and i think a lot of people agree that mitt romney didn't hammer the president as much as expected when it came to that horrendous attack in benghazi. do you think the final debate helped the president, hurt romney? >> yes. there's no question about that, brooke. after the first debate and president joked about it himself, you're right about that the president did not show up. the second debate he was very very strong. and the third debate i think
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sealed it for anybody who had any doubts after the first debate that this was a president who was a fighter, that this was a president who knew his stuff from a foreign policy standpoint and hamrdmered romney the way he needed to if he wanted to enjoy the lead he had before coming into the first debate and i think that's exactly what happened. >> thanks for the chat on the turning points. we'll see what the voters and the electoral college has to say. of course, cnn, we're all over it. covering the election all day long. but be sure to watch our special coverage that begins at 6:00 p.m. eastern tonight. jim acosta, to you in ohio. >> reporter: brooke, i'm going to stand out of the shot so we can show you image of election day 2012. do you need a better amimage? from the romney charter to air force two carrying joe biden this morning, all three campaign planes are on this tarmac now. mitt romney's plane paul ryan's
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plane and air force two in cleveland, ohio ohio ohio the latest polls with our cnn's paul steinhauser in a few moments on cnn. [ male announcer ] when these come together and these come together one thing you can depend on is that these will come together. delicious and wholesome. some combinations
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welcome back to cnn's special coverage of election day 2012. i'm jim acosta standing on the tarmac in cleveland ohio, the ultimate battleground state. watching all morning long mitt
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romney paul ryan, joe biden respective planes landing here. it's a great segue to our next segment with cnn's paul steinhauser. the latest polls obviously, but ohio's very important. the national pictures very interesting, as this race is now winding down. >> jim everybody's saying it's close. you want close. >> take a look at this. cnn's poll of polls nationally, eight surveys out over two days average them together, 49% for the president, among likely voters, 48% for mitt romney. but we both know this is a race that's won in the states as it's a battle for electoral votes and three states stand out in particular. florida, that's one of them. 29 electoral votes at stake. you can see here among likely voters, it's a close race. mason dixon poll in florida shows a different story. it shows the president down by six points to mitt romney. what about virginia? the last poll to come out 24
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hours ago from nbc/"wall street journal." jim look how close that is 48% for the president 47% for mitt romney, 13 electoral votes at stake in virginia. end with ohio where you are. cnn poll of polls. three most recent polls in ohio averaged them together, president three-point advantage. that's very, very close. that's what the public opinion polls say, jim. you're in ohio what are you hearing? >> that's right. what i'm hearing, i talked to a top republican source close to the romney operation here in ohio, and what i was told is that you know they are confident they believe they'll win the state. it's going to be close and in the words of this republican official, very close. and so obviously watching this state. but paul you mentioned virginia also very interesting. mitt romney was on one of the radio stations there in northern virginia and the washington, d.c., area, wmal earlier this morning, and he said that he may know how he's going to do
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tonight embassybased on what happens in virginia, it's crucial to his stakes and what happens in the overall outcome later tonight. virginia's very important. but of course, it is sometimes all about ohio and this election day is shaping up to be that way as well. and, brooke we're going to toss it back to you now. i'm going to let you know na we think within the hour or so we're going to see mitt romney and paul ryan return to this airport at some point. we should have a read on exactly where the gop ticket went off to. they made a campaign stop here in the cleveland area. we should get details. when we do get them, we'll get them to you. >> are they going somewhere without cameras? >> they have a small group of pool reporters with them, there will be cameras with them. so we'll get all of that footage, pictures and the information when they get back. >> jim acosta, nice have a live presence. nice to have you join me in battleground ohio. that state has voted for the winner in every presidential election since 1964. what about 2012? just ahead, john king shows us
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let's break down the buckeye state more for you. ohio critical to deciding this presidential race. keep in mind 18 electoral votes up for grabs. as john king is about to show us, it could come down to one county there. >> the reason ohio's a good bellwether because it is america. it has cities. it has agriculture. it has rural areas. it has small cities. it has suburbs. this state of ohio has been right in every presidential election since 1964 meaning whoever has won ohio in every election since then has gone on to win the presidency. this is the '08 map. president obama cared it 52-47. circle up here lake county outside cleveland. hamilton in the southwest corner.
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northeast to the southwest and i'll circle the middle. other places to watch as well. but let's focus on these three. lake county suburbs outside cleveland. the president carried them last time barely. the suburbs in close elections send a signal. back to '04, president bush carried them barely. one place to watch. bring the state back into full focus, come back to 2008. in the columbus area, where the president, second to cleveland will get a big african-american turnout here. he won 60-39 in franklin, the bush suburbs around columbus. the southwest corner i talk tide republican in hamilton county, in a word how do you feel? nervous the replay. the president carried hamilton county cincinnati and the suburbs, by a big margin last time because of the african-american vote in cincinnati. some obama supporters waited more than four hours to wait today. see the county in the corner in '04, red, it in '08 it was blue.
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my guess the color of the county tomorrow tells you who wins ohio. >> both presidential candidates desperately want to win ohio but somebody has to lose. we all know that. one candidate has to come up with a plan b. that plan b is pennsylvania.he teps t o ac h yos, with us with real advice, for real goals. the us bank wealth management advisor can help you. every step of the way. from big steps, to little steps. since 1863 we've helped guide our clients, so they can take the steps to help grow, preserve, and pass along their wealth. so their footsteps can help the next generation find their own path. all of us serving you. us bank so, what happens if i'm in an accident and need to get my car fixed? progressive makes it easy, because we give you choices. you can pick where to get your car fixed we can cut you a check or, at our service center, we take care of everything for you.
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i want you to take a look at cnn electoral map which, by the way, you can find go to cnn.com, click on different states to see which candidate gets to 270. some of the lighter shades here, pink lighter blue that basically means that while it's not quite a safe bet it's leaning toward one candidate. you have red for romney. and the blue for obama. now, recently some are wondering how light the blue for pennsylvania is. after all the campaign movement going on in the particular state. and of the scores of campaign
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stops romney has done, last one this upcoming afternoon will be in all of places pennsylvania. yesterday the president's campaign big gun bill clinton visited not only pittsburgh but philadelphia as well. >> we'll choose hope over fear, whoos choose kuhn unity over division, neither as selfish as some people think we are. >> let's talk pennsylvania. with alice stewart live in washington. nice to see you. you were the spokeswoman for the presidential campaign of former pennsylvania senator rick santorum. this state, it's been called fool's gold and the holy grail for republicans. you look at the demographics look great for republican but was it keeps going blue. what makes romney think he can turn pennsylvania around? >> well a lot of it has to do with what he's feeling on the ground.
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i've spoken with rick santorum, he's been campaigning vigorously in pennsylvania and across the country. with the obama campaign's all of the above meaning above the ground, wind and solar support, that doesn't sit well with people in pennsylvania. they want somebody to support coal, oil and gas and that's what mitt romney does. he will support energy independence from day one. that's what the people of pennsylvania want to hear as well as someone who will get in there from day one to create jobs and turn the economy around. they feel confident romney can do that. >> he'll be in moon township a half hour drive from pittsburgh, later this afternoon. you were the communications director for santorum an underdog in pennsylvania. what do you think is going on in the romney campaign as they see polls that show romney slightly behind? >> what we're seeing all your guys have been talking with jim and john and joe and paul, they've been out there they've
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seen numbers and seen what's on the ground. but what we're going with is polling data over the past 24 hours where there's unsatisfactory feelings toward the president. and that bodes well for mitt romney in terms of the independents and undecided. polls are closing ever so tightly. the good thing is we've had more than 50 million voter contacts on the republican side. reaching out to not just the base but the low propensity voters and that's critical to getting out to people that ordinary might not have voted. we're making good contact with them and we're turning them out to the polls because they want someone that will do something about turning the economy around. they're not satisfied with what we have right now in terms of someone who won't reach across the aisle and they know that mitt romney will -- has done that in massachusetts and will do that when he gets to the white house. >> we'll see if mitt romney can turn pennsylvania red or night. thank you so much. after today the barrage of tv political ads will end.
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but which states were hit the hardest by campaign ads? christine romans has the breakdown next. it's shocking. but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like. i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. because enbrel, etanercept suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious sometimes fatal events including infections tuberculosis lymphoma, other cancers and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores have had hepatitis b have been treated for heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. [ phil ] get back to the things that matter most. ask your rheumatologist if enbrel is right for you. [ doctor
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to all of you sitti today, voting from the swing states, take a deep breath. the campaigning is over. that means it's safe to turn on your tv and not be bombarded with political ad after political ad. how bad was it this election cycle, you ask? christ e whic rtatensgot t hardest. >> take a look at magic wall of how much saturation these swing states there's been of television advertisements. more than 1 million times these ads have run and there is is where it's been focused. i want to first show you mitt romney. team romney focused ads here. the president has focused his here. you see swing states? add in the republican packs and the democrat and this is what the country looks like. iowa president and his pacts focusing in on the major markets in the swing state. you look at most des moines register poll, the president has
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a lead past the margin of error. florida, you cannot in florida watch television without being inundated with ads. more than 1 million times these ads have run. tallahassee, no commercial break free of lots of ads. and now let's go up here to ohio. this has been a really important battleground. you keep hearing no one's photog get to the white house without getting to ohio all roads to 1600 pennsylvania avenue lead to ohio. what romney's ad saturation looks like in the state. obama's. people in ohio have been hearing nothing but election for the past year. brooke? >> overit, over it over it. christine romans thank you very inch. thousands of people suffering from the impact of superstorm sandy. look at these pictures. very much so in harm's way again. next deborah feyerick shows us how the weather worry could impact voter turnout.
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right now it's up to the voters and america is waiting for the verdict. will it be barack obama? >> we know what we want to do work. we know what they want do doesn't work. >> or mitt romney? >> he's offering excuses. i've got a plan. >> this presidential contest could be a squeaker till the end. >> we're going to win with your help. >> we'll win this election. >> we're live across the country in the swing states where this fight has been playing out for months. >> hope and change has become anger, frustration, divide, conquer. >> they're not sketchy. they're etch a sketchy. >> coverage of election day in america, fight for the presidency battle for congress and issues dividing the nation. >> i still believe in you. if you still believe in me i'm asking for your vote. >> i need you go out there and
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find people that will come join our cause. >> it's your vote. your future. your country. your choice. it is 1:00 p.m. in the east 10:00 in the morning on the west coast. election day from sea to shining sea. for more than half of the country, culmination of weeks and weeks, millions of votes already cast. tonight, they get counted. the very first poll closures now six hours away. hello on this election day. i'm brooke baldwin. i'm in atlanta at cnn world headquarters joined by jim acosta, live on the tarmac in cleveland, ohio. jim acosta we are emphasizing the importance of ohio. tell me who's there today. >> reporter: that's right. we just got off the romney campaign plane, we've been
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covering the romney campaign for a good portion of the year and a half now. and it's all come down to election day. he's here in the state of ohio linked up with paul ryan. you can see the romney campaign plane behind me. over my left shoulder is the ryan campaign plane. way off in the distance, vice president joe biden's plane looming on the horizon. so a picture telling a thousand words here about the battle ground state of ohio. we can report that mitt romney and paul ryan visiting a victory center, a call center for the campaign, get out the vote, make calls to supporters, to people at home making sure they get to the poll. that's the act test there. we've been told by the romney campaign they're not doing a heck of a lot there. it's not a rally. they're thanking supporters and they've told us basically they don't want to get in the wife the operation because it is key they believe to winning this state in the end.
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so, brooke we'll be watching here momentarily to see when mitt romney and paul ryan arrive back at their respective planes. i think i could pass along when i heard from a staffer with the campaign. they're feeling confident about what's going to happen tonight. one of the staffers said, perhaps paul ryan should hop on the plane off in the distance air force two. yeah. they're sounding confident today. >> team romney confident here, jim acrossosta on a crowded tarmac 11th hour showing ohio's key to wib wib winning the election. >> want to talk florida. this tells the story. the aerial shots the biggest of the battlegrounds you've heard so much about that, certainly will decide who the next president will be. don't forget senators, representatives, governors, referendums, all on the ballots today all across america. republican presidential hopeful mitt romney cast his ballot this
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morning. here he is in massachusetts alongside his wife ann romney and met up with his running mate in cleveland for this meet and greet with campaign volunteer. we're just talking to jim about that. jim's been covering this campaign. later on we should point out, mitt romney will be visiting pennsylvania, a town outside of pittsburgh a township there. vice president biden, meantime, he did cast his ballot this morning in delaware. and once more hinted this would not be his last election. biden, too stopped in cleveland. he's there, we saw air force one on the tarmac. he'll be en route to chicago. the president is there and waiting, not nearly waiting we should point out, having cast his ballot early in chicago. the president put in phone time at a campaign field office. imagine being on the other side of that phone call. let me tell you about new jersey and new york. just staging an election at all here in these parts of the country, a rickrykck victory for all
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concerned. new yorkers affected by sandy are being allowed to vote. but here's the thing they're being allowed to vote at any polling place in the state. displaced voters in jersey can vote by e-mail. you know the election could come down to this. the pivotal swing state of ohio. take a look at the latest poll of polls in the buckeye state. president obama has this razor-thin edge over mitt romney. 50% to romney's 47%. and cnn's carol costello is in blue ash, ohio a suburb of cincinnati. and, carol, just set the scene for me there. >> well it's been a steady stream at this polling center in blue ash ohio, right outside of cincinnati. this is normally republican country. 2008 this county hamilton county, swung obama's way the republicans have picked up their ground game here. they're trying to get republican voters enthused to come out to
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polls and vote vote, vote. you heard jim acosta say mitt romney made a last stop in cleveland. it just goes to show you how important ohio is brooke, because combined the presidential candidates visited the state of ohio 38 times. mitt romney makes the 84th. it's just insane. >> wow. >> republicans are glad -- i know -- republicans are glad to see him here because they think he must have some internal polling that shows he has a chance in ohio. and polls might show one thing. you showed that poll with obama with the razor thin edge. but that's of likely voters. mitt romney wants to get voters who are still sitting on the couch right now to get their butts off the couch into a polling center to cast that ballot and maybe he can overcome that razor-thin edge that obama appears to have. >> while they're hoping for that we have to go there with provisional ballots. people talked hanging chads in 2000 heaven forbid talking
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provisional bat lols when it comes ohio. explain why someone would have a provisional ballot and why this could be problematic. >> the big fear provisional ballots. say you come to the polling place, ready to cast your ballot, address has changed or you're going to vote absentee and changed your mind. if that happened you'll be issued a provisional ballot. fill out the regular ballot, put it inside the envelope and answer question on the front of it. normally those questions would be written down and filled in by poll workers. but this year the secretary of state says, voters have to fill this out themselves. democrats are concerned about that because it's a change at the very last minute. and any mistake on this form could mean your vote does not count. they'd have to throw out the provisional ballot. according to ohio secretary of state, might be 200,000 provisional ballots used in this
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state of ohio and you may or may not know that president obama won the state of ohio in 2008 by 265,000 votes. you can see every single vote new york matter how it comes in, is important in the state of ohio. there's already been a lawsuit filed, just saying. >> if it's within that 200,000 margin of victory we will be looking to provisional ballots, won't we? carol, thank you. you may be in ohio for a while. we shall see who is in ohio. who has been following the romney campaign for a while is jim acosta. jim to you in cleveland. >> reporter: that's right brooke. all of the talk of provisional ballots will keep me up at night. i hope we don't hear too much of that. speaking of that i can tell you the romney campaign does have legal teams on the ground on this election day, plan on having teams in place in case legal issues come up. that is something we'll be watching. i want to turn to our randi kaye
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in woodbridge, virginia, which is of course another key important battleground state. a new nbc/"wall street journal"/marist poll the president with one-point edge. prince william county around the nation's capital a lot will be watching later tonight because it can be one of the swing areas. my colleague randi kaye's in woodbridge watching the action there. how it's looking? >> reporter: it's looking busy jim. we are in prince william county. you probably recall that president obama won this county back in '08. we've had a steady stream of voters here. it's about a two-hour wait. -year-old in the day to vote. that's in gone down since then. 2600 registered voters where we are, and they were lined up before dawn, before the doors even opened. what's interesting is the landscape of what's changed here. the political landscape has changed quite a bit. the old virginia versus the new
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virginia. old virginia is religious, republican, white working class. the new virginia is urban and diverse diverse. right now, virginia's about 30% minority, obama does better with that group than the white working class. we talked to plenty of voters here. what one had to say earlier today. what made you bring out the family today? is this a lesson in election politics? >> i think it was -- it's good for the kids to see mom and dad vote. i think it's more important to stand in line. a bit of a sacrifice to vote to show how important it is for the younger generation to know it's not only their responsibility but duty to their country to vote. >> a lot of people say the main issues are health care and education, that's very important to them. jim, as you know we're watching the big senate race here. it's a marquee race between two former governors. you have tim kaine, the democrat
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and george allen the republican. this is one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive race in the country. $53 million of outside spending on this race. allen has been hammering kaine and the democrats on the failure of the debt deal, as he calls it. he's warning people here that if automatic cuts go in and we go off the fiscal cliff it's going to hit the people in the defense industry hard. >> reporter: we heard mitt romney talk about the defense issue on the campaign trail almost at every stop. so that is very good context. randi kaye thanks very much, joining us from the battleground county prince william county. cnn's the only net work of live continuous coverage of one of the most amazing sights of campaign 2012. mitt romney's campaign plane, paul ryan's campaign plane
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parked side by side. mitt romney coming to ohio and last night paul ryan was coming to ohio. off in the distance, the surprise nobody expected. that vice president joe biden would be landing in cleveland. there is his plane in the background being bracketed by the romney and ryan planes. aircraft bracketing in addition to the political bracketing happening during this very, very long campaign that is finally coming to conclusion. from this reporter's standpoint not soon enough. back to you. >> sorry you're not down in sunny florida. it's chilly but h. ohio's key. florida really one of the big of the toss-ups for president obama and governor mitt romney with the largest electoral prize. we talk sod much about ohio but the dmeel floridaeal in florida, 29 electoral votes. both the president and mitt romney, they're in a dead heat. and here's the proof.
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the latest cnn/orc poll out of florida, romney at 50%. obama is at 49%. so there's the numbers. the latest numbers out of florida. but then there's this. the pictures tell the story in florida. voters waiting in line for hours, lines stretching for blocks on end. so, let's go to ashleigh banfield. she has been in the thick of things talking to voters. running out of cable for the photographer to try to show lengths of the lines. ashleigh, let's go to you. you're learning that broward county's rejected hundreds of absentee ballots? >> reporter: yes. >> tell me about that. >> reporter: i'm going to get to that in a moment. a little bit of breaking news. it is warm in florida. these lines are long. in the sun it can be up to 80 degrees. a woman passed out from the heat waiting in line. the point -- right there. that point in the line is about the one-hour 15 to 1 1/2 mark.
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treated by three members of the miami-dade fire rescue. couldn't be a luckier polling place because come over here and take a look where we are, brooke. the fire rescue station is the polling place. they literally had to run over a hundred feet to help treat her. listen, it's not an easy thing. >> thank goodness. >> reporter: right. it's not an easy thing. some people have taken upwards of four hours to get their vote cast. how long have you been waiting? >> 2 1/2 hours. >> reporter: 25 minutes away? >> 25 minutes away. then get to go to work. >> reporter: did you try to vote early? >> no, i had to work. >> reporter: why not an early vote? >> just wait and enjoy the day. it's a beautiful day. >> reporter: what's your name? >> morgan. >> reporter: morgan has a point. we've been here since 5:00 a.m. and the mood has been great. people have been terrific in lean. one most of consternation.
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apart from that and this moment with this woman who had a difficult time in the sun. four hours to vote it can't be too pleasing. >> we feel for that woman. broward county absentee ballots rejected? >> reporter: yes. 700 votes have been tossed out sadly. and that's confirmed by elections official there's. what happens is if you don't sign your absentee ballot, your absentee ballot won't count unless they track you down. they try to do it. chris kates said it happens all the time. whether thats a large percentage. at this point in the county it's half of a percent of the ballots. but this is florida, where it was 500-some odd votes that chose the president in 2000. that is critical. again, absentee ballots and there were 4.5 million early voters are in the state in a state with a population of 19 million people.
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40% of he people voted early whether absentee or early voting. rather 700 absentee ballots tossed in broward county. >> ashleigh banfield thank you. we'll be coming back to you. next find out what president obama and mitt romney are doing this very minute as the challenger campaigns and the incumbent is making phone calls. you are watching cnn's special coverage of election day 2012. well, if it isn't mr. margin. mr. margin? don't be modest, bob. you found a better way to pack a bowling ball. that was ups. and who called ups? you did, bob. i just asked a question. it takes a long time to pack a bowling ball. the last guy pitched more ball packers. but you... you consulted ups. you found a better way. that's logistics. that's margin. find out what else ups knows. i'll do that. you're on a roll. that's funny. i wasn't being funny, bob. i know.
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[ male announcer ] break the grip of aches or arthritis pain with odor free aspercreme. powerful medicine relieves pain fast with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. welcome to a special edition election day in america. i'm brooke baldwin at cnn headquarters in atlanta. we have you covered coast to coast, including smack dab in the middle of country, jim acosta on the tarmac planked by three planes. mitt romney, paul ryan -- >> reporter: three planes. >> and air force two, the vice president. surprise. also in cleveland. we'll come to you and talk the significance of ohio here in the 11th hour as polls will be closing in just about five hours. the first wave of polls i should say. let's talk about what the
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president's doing today. president barack obama finished his second presidential campaign where he began his first, the battleground state of iowa. >> you know the great thing about these campaigns is after all the tv ads and all of the fundraising and all of the debates and all of the electionerring it comes down to this, one day and these incredible folks working so hard making phone calls making sure that people go out to vote and so i want to say thank you to the american people. >> let's go to dan lothian he's live, there he is in chicago. so the president making some phone calls, thanking some people shooting hoops later? >> reporter: that's right. you know the campaign is feeling confident about, you know what will happen tonight. at the same time, there's still aggressive effort by volunteers to get out the vote and the key battleground states, working
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phones going door-to-door. the president also jumped in the game, as you pointed out. he visited a local office here in chicago where there was a phone bank. he thanked supporters, volunteers who have been working very hard during the campaign. he, himself, jumped on the phone, made a number of calls to volunteers in key battleground states. one woman, an interesting conversation where she appeared to not fully believe the president was on the other end of the line but again the president thanking her. he had kind words for governor mitt romney, saying that he had run a very strong campaign and expressing confidence that he will do the president believes that he will do well tonight. confidence from the campaign. but still believing that this race will be decided by a lot of folks getting out to the polls. >> dan lothian, thank you. confidence from the president, jim acosta live in cleveland. confidence from team romney as well. >> reporter: that's right. predicting a clear and decisive
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victory, brooke despite what the battleground state polls show with the president having a slight edge there. i want to get you caught up to speed because of what mitt romney is doing today. reporting in last couple of hours he did get off the plane behind me and go off to a get out the vote site in the cleveland area. there with paul ryan. they will be coming back soon. we might have to leave you before the hour's over because we have no choice. if we don't get on the plane we don't have a ride. but that's right. earlier this morning let's show you the video. mitt romney and his wife ann did vote near their home in belmont massachusetts. he was asked how he was feeling about the state of ohio and he did predict he would win the state. so it seems like as we're watching that video it seems to be coming back to ohio. the polls may not work out that way later tonight. it might be another state virginia colorado that determines this thing. if it's virginia going the president's way, early on this
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evening, it's a very good night for the president. not a good night for mitt romney. if it ends up being something in the hands of the voters in colorado we could be in for a long night. that might mean things are going to drag out for the next 12 to 24 hours. we'll have to wait and see. but just to let you know right now, my producer matt hoy behind the camera, we see a motorcade arriving back on the tarmac in cleveland appears to be vice president joe biden's motorcade circling around air force two. and i think that that probably means that the vice president will be getting on that plane shortly and getting on to where he is headed off to. we understand heading back to chicago at this point to rendezvous with the president and the obama re-election campaign. and as for mitt romney brooke, his day's not done yet either. heading off to pennsylvania next. >> right. >> making a stop in the pittsburgh area and then heading back to boston to watch the returns come in.
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it's quite a night. >> it will be quite a night. we'll get some of the tape back so we can see where the vice president was. apparently at a local restaurant in cleveland. of course we'll see what mitt romney and what paul ryan were up to. jim acosta, we'll keep you there as long as we can before your ride heads off. we'll take you next to another battleground state, iowa a special place for the president because he took it in 2008, where he started his campaign, tearfully thanking supporters late last night. all energy development comes with some risk, but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable cleaner energy while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality
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you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients. plus, there are no networks, and you never need a referral. see why millions of people have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp. don't wait. call now. o president barack obama finished his second presidential campaign right where he began his first, the battleground state of iowa. >> those who haven't done this just for me but for each other,
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for a laid off family member a sick child fallen friend to all of you who have lived and breathed the hard work of change, i want to thank you. >> obama and romney are in a very, very close race in iowa. you see the numbers here. the president slight advantage to mitt romney 48% to his 45. this is the most recent cnn poll of polls. cnn's poppy harlow is in urban dale iowa a suburb of des moines. poppy, tell me you're inside a voting center. what are people tell you? >> reporter: well, they're really split down the plidle. and i think it shows you how neck and neck the race is in this battleground state. fighting for six electoral votes. you showed the most recent poll of polls in iowa. i talked to the president's campaign who told me we'll take it, they'll take any lead they can get at this point in time. what i love about being in iowa and talking to folks here they're engaged and all informed voters. the electoral, over 70% votes
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and that's a very big number. folks differ on who they are voting for. asa. of what we've heard today. what was the number one issue for you in this election in casting that vote for mitt romney? >> the economy. i'm concerned about it. i really think we are in trouble. and i think we need somebody with business background to get us out of it. >> iowa's economy doing better than most states. >> i don't know. there are problems here, too. >> i voted for obama. >> reporter: why? >> just believe that his policies are what i believe in and i just liked him second time around. >> reporter: what was the number one issue for you casting your vote for president obama? >> i liked his views on the gay marriage rights views on the economy. he has us leading in the right direction. i think i want to keep moving forward. >> probably the potential appointment of the supreme court justices. >> reporter: interesting. can i ask who you voted for?
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>> sure. obama. >> all right. brooke, also very important here, early voting. we've seen a record number of early votes cast in iowa. 40% of all votes will have been early votes. that means they're in counted. what we know from the secretary of state's office 282,000 of those from registered democrats about 215,000 from registered republicans. about 174,000 from no party afill iation, critical independent voters both candidates want their votes. democrats have a lead of 66000 in terms of early votes but nothing's over until polls close at 10:00 eastern. >> poppy harlow, thank you. looking for you later on in our special coverage on cnn. now he's known as the texas maverick. congressman ron paul. election day and he hasn't made a presidential endorsement. who does he think will win the election? we'll ask him, next.
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you know politicians they come and politicians go. but very few can claim to give rise to a movement. and my next guest can. ron paul a longtime republican congressman from texas. and before that he was a very busy ob-gyn. you know him best as steadfast champion of small government, i mean small and individual freedoms. inspired millions in his 2008 run for president. edecided not to seek re-election for congress to run full time for president this year and pickeded up 190 republican delegates and has not endorsed mitt romney. ron paul joins me on the phone from texas. congressman paul, nice to have you back on the show here. >> thank you. good to be with you, brooke.
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>> let's get right to it. in the 11th hour, live on cnn ready to close ranks around your party's nominee? >> not quite because i don't think there's enough difference between the two candidates and i i assume the victor will be the status quo because i think the status quo's been up and there's no competition. we'll continue with the same policies that we've had for a long time. i don't see the election as -- the way it's turning out to to be very crucial at all. >> status quo, and which means are you saying the president the president will win another four years? >> i would say either person would carry on the status quo because they essentially endorse, you know, government managed medical you know a little policy of having our troops around the world and doing a lot of things i doesn't believe in endorsed the military system. they haven't addressed the subject of cutting spending.
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>> let me jump in. let's talk money, congressman, because i am sure you are aware this is by far the most expensive election in u.s. history by some estimates hearing $6 billion billion with a "b" raised and spent by all of the candidates and races flation wide americans are shocked by that and a lot of them are appalled by that. should they be appalled? >> no i think we -- i'm indifferent to it. we should be shocked to know people will willing to put that money up. why are they doing it? why are they hoodwinked into thinking there's a real contest going on. the fact that people can spend money and want to invest in politics, that's fine. but -- >> even if it's in the billions of dollars and you are -- >> it doesn't -- >> spending in general it doesn't matter to you if people are spending $6 billion on the races? >> not -- not a whole lot.
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i mean if i spent -- if i were independently wealthy and not involved in the campaign and had a lot of money and people, both parties were undermining my liberties and taking away my 4th amendment rights in pursuing bills like the patriot act and assassination of american citizens i should be able to spend all of the money i want on trying to tell the people that there's something wrong with the system. so it's how they spend it what's wrong is all of this money's being spent to influence and control and own government to be used for their benefit special interests, and that's what's wrong. it's how they spend it not the principle of spending money and being able to lobby and petition, you know, the politicians and trying to change things. >> congressman, let's talk change and let's talk congress because i know, as we mentioned, you are saying good-bye to capitol hill. i want you to hear what one of
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your senate colleagues told "60 minutes" this weekend of the culture of politics. >> best thing that happen all of us lose and send people who care more about the country than the political party or the position in politics. >> how about that? do you agree with that? senator tom coburn. >> yeah, i agree with that because i think everything -- probably not everything, but close to everything is designed for power. i argue the case there's not much difference. you mean these races aren't very important? why do they pretend? they want the control. who has power? whose special interests will be protected? so it is very real. and therefore the party structures are designed to find out which group of people will have the control and who's going to have the benefit. and i think you know, it's the role of government that's gotten out of hand. if government wasn't doing so much there wouldn't be an incentive to invest in. i agree with his statement.
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>> if you agree with him don't you share some of the blame having largely inspired what we know now is the tea party movement? >> well -- >> you laugh. you laugh, congressman. >> we're trying to make the point that this is a broke system and we have to do something else anding something differently. hardly would voicing the opinion point out where the problems are would be make things worse. if we say sit back, let it continue then there's a pretense that they're having a debate. but there's no debate on the important issues. >> okay. >> you know, in the last three months or so when the candidates had been selected. where did they fundamentally philosophically disagree on the role of government, foreign policy, the same thing? monetary policy, the same thing. did they talk about spending and how bad the debt was and about the baseline budgeting, the evils of that. >> i hear your frustration. i asked you in the commercial break if you voted. you said that was top secret.
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i ask anyway. you say yes. you won't tell me who you voted for? >> nobody cares who i voted for. the campaign's over. it's important that people think about the issues. >> congressman ron paul thanks for picking up the phone call. tens of thousands recovering from superstorm sandy. many trying to figure out where to live and where to vote. one polling station people determined to cast their ballots.james. don't you love me? i'm a robot. i know. i know you're a robot! but there's more in you than just circuits and wires! uhhh. (cries) a machine can't give you what a person can. that's why ally has knowledgeable people there for you, night and day. ally bank. your money needs an ally.
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welcome back to our special coverage of election day 2012. i'm jim acosta, standing on the tarmac in cleveland ohio. what is perhaps the ultimate battleground state on this election day. we've been reporting to you fairly dramatic scene for the last couple of hours. mitt romney's campaign plane and paul ryan's campaign plane on this tarmac, and then within last couple of hours joe biden's
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plane, air force two landed on the tarmac. and just a few mom did t and heading back chicago for their election day celebration later on this evening. but want to take you to my colleague alina cho who is taking a look at what is happening in new york right now at polling site there do i have that right, alina? >> reporter: that's absolutely right, jim. great to see you. i'm here at what is really the only school in new york city that is doubling as emergency shelter in the wake of superstorm sandy and a polling station today. polls have been opened in new yorkoris building behind me. in fact the people coming out are telling us that they've been waiting two, 2 1/2 hours to vote. expressing a lot of frustration saying that it's disorganized inside. in the end they are happy they're able to cast ballots. people are voting. except in rare they t anthw >> it's just a very long line
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and probably try around 12:30 or 1:00. >> reporter: might be slower then? >> i don't know. if it's not we'll wait for it then. >> reporter: how long did you wait before you gave up? >> about a minute. just a very long line. >> this is inspiring to see so many people up and out to vote already. and there doesn't seem to be much confusion. i guess people were afraid after sandy people wouldn't have a priority of coming out to vote but they're here. >> reporter: they're absolutely here. it is inspiring to see the crowds inside truly. you know that woman we spoke to voted reearly this morning. she told us she was doing so to spend the day volunteering in the rockaways which is one of the hardest-hit areas after the storm. yesterday, late yesterday at 11th ew cuomo in an extraordinary move issued an executive order saying that if you live in a federal disaster
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area, you can vote today, not just in your district, but in any district in new york. jim, i should mention, that the governor says it's not a perfect solution. it will complicate some of the hotly contested local races. but if you are one of those people voting in a district that is not your own what you need to know is that today you will be able to vote in the presidential race and in statewide initiatives but not local races.ou w in e bor say le to cast your ballot today. jim? >> alina, that speaks to the extraordinary challenges they're facing in new york right now. thank you for that. appreciate it. what is happening with the gop nominee, mitt romney on this election day, he and his running mate paul ryan on their way back to the tarmac in cleveland. stopped at a volunteer center in the cleveland area and a wendy's restaurant we understand from the campaign where both candidates made remarks to the customers waiting inside.
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so we'll hear those remarks we hope, within the next couple of where we're standing in cleveland. after they get pack to where we're standing now, they'll both get back on their respective planes and mitt romney's going head noex pennsylvania boston brooke. our ride business to take off. great dropping in on you. >> it's been fun jim acosta. thank you so much. as jim points out, romney and ryan voted this morning. the president early voted in chicago. he's in chicago today. tearfully thanked supporters last night in iowa. at a field office to be thankful to supporters picking up the phone and calling folks himself. as the president is a tad superstitious, playing a pick-up game of basketball with friends here as the polls begin to close. we'll tuk my talk to my favorite political co. watching for tonight on election day.
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special election coverage here on cnn. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. oh no, not a migraine now. try this... bayer? this isn't just a headache. trust me this is new bayer migraine. [ male announcer ] it's the power of aspirin plus more in a triple action formula to relieve your tough migraines.or
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finally, after all of the political combat after all of the money spent all of the discussion it's time to vote and watch your vote be counted. we have asked married cnn contributors margaret hoover and john avlon to put together a list of things we should be watching for tonight on election night. margaret, you say an the top of your list watching for virginia virginia virginia. >> and the reason i'm looking at virginia, brooke virginia's polls close early 7:00 p.m. eastern time. if you want an early indicator of whether mitt romney really may win the presidency tonight he's got to win virginia. there are other pathways to victory if president obama does not. for mitt romney this is a must-win. have virginia does not have aunngto
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the night. they're quick, they're efficient. we'll know whether mitt romney is a contender late into the night based on virginia. >> looking at demographics, specifically youth versus older folks, black, white, hispanic, is that correct? >> exactly. you start looking at who turns out for elections. you'll get a good sense which of way this election is going to go. what proportion of the youth vote turns out. what proportio he african-american vote, the hispanic vote. these demographic trends will determine the winner of this election. those are very key indicators because these two candidates and this electorate is so polarized along the demographic lines. in some ways it is the future versus the past. it is a fascinating look what the percentage of the key demographics turn out that will determine the winner. >> we talked about this, i was curious for you, you had written that cnn op-ed piece asking during the vice presidential debate, wanting paul ryan to call on the millennials and if i remember correctly, he didn't fully call on them like you
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wanted him to. has team romney effectively reached out to the youth vote? >> i am disappointed. i really wish they could have because i think in terms of debts and deficits and generational theft, they have the superior argument. you haven't seen them reach out to the millennial generation in the way i hoped they would. this is a demographic near and dear to my heart. they went 2 to 1 for president obama last time. we'll see how much enthusiasm that's what i'll be looking for tonight, what is the enthusiasm in the exit polls of the millennial generation. in many ways, they were part of tipping the scales for president obama four years ago. senate races and in particular there are several senate races that could provide you know cushion for either of these candidates. i'll talk about that with our senior congressional correspondent dana bash coming up next. john avalon margaret hoover, my thanks to you both.
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senior congressional correspondent dana bash shows us which congressional races to watch tonight. dana? >> to really get a sense of the balance of pkey number to look at because it means republicans need a net gain of four seats in order to get a clear cut 51-seat majority. let's, first of all, look at what's at stake. all of these white seats, a third of the senate, 33 seats all of those states people are going to the polls to vote for their senator at this point. now, the reality is most of these seats are not competitive. so we filled in the blue and the
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red to show that but still look at all these white seats, about a dozen races that we're going to be watching very, very closely tonight. and what republicans have to do is they have to flip a lot of these blue seats, but the problem is they also have to defend their own turf. let's start with one of those examples indiana. richard mourdock is the republican candidate there, he made headlines by saying he believes that pregnancy as a result of rape is a gift from god. he plummeted in the polls. he's really struggling to hang on to this republican seat. we'll know pretty early in the night whether or not this is going to happen because the polls close in indiana at 7:00. this is another fascinating race. massachusetts, it is a marquis race because senator scott brown is very well known since he surprised everybody by winning what was ted kennedy's democratic seat. he's fighting for his political life and keep this a red seat from his challenger the democrat elizabeth warren. and going into today, republican sources told us they don't think it is likely, but we'll see, because he certainly surprised us before.
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let's go to the democratic seats that we're watching. virginia. this is years ago. he wants his seat ck and democratic candidate tim kaine. this is a democratic seat. jim webb who beat him six years ago, is retiring. this is neck and neck in the polls. over $80 million spent. so far the most expensive senate race here. we have seen the ads over and over here in d.c. the last one i want to point out is montana. it is a red state, but it has a democratic senator, john tester. he's been fighting for his political life since the day he was elected six years ago. his republican opponent is denny reberg. the two of them have been virtually within a one-point difference for a year plus. and we just simply don't know where this is going to come, but republicans really need to topple john tester in order to take control and so once again all of these races are those that are very competitive and we're going to be watching all of them as we see who wins the balance of power tonight.
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just a quick reminder, our special coverage of election day
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