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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  March 7, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EST

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all right. this is what we know right now. let me update our viewers on what's going on. i'm wolf blitzer at the cnn election center. you can see ten states were voting tonight and we have the results in most of these states right now. but let's go to ohio first. in ohio right now, 93% of the vote is now in. mitt romney slightly ahead of rick santorum. but it's going to be difficult for rick santorum to catch up by all accounts. 38% for romney. 37% for santorum. it's a significant lead right now. we'll see what's going on. let's take a look and see what happened in oklahoma. earlier in the night 99% of the vote is in. rick santorum wins in oklahoma with 34%. romney coming in second, 28%. gingrich, third. ron paul with only 10%.
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tennessee, another important win for rick santorum tonight. 37% going for santorum, 28% for romney. 24% for gingrich. only 9% for ron paul. let's take a look at alaska though. within the past few seconds the caucuses were winding down in alaska. there's no votes officially counted yet in alaska. we're going to be updating you right now -- we'll be uprighting you on what's going on in alaska. 24 delegates at stake in alaska. you get a sense of what's happening, the winners and the losers. look at this. ten states, romney so far has won four. in virginia, vermont, massachusetts and idaho. those are all romney wins. rick santorum's having a pretty good night as well. he's got three major wins. tennessee, north dakota and oklahoma. newt gingrich won his home state
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of georgia. the largest delegate state of the night. 76. but we still have three states that are outstanding right now. ohio right now, alaska. we're waiting for two states i should say. idaho we projected a win for mitt romney as well. we're still waiting for ohio and for alaska. we have been following all of this what's going on and you know what? a lot of folks are saying there could be some sort of deadlock, open convention in tampa at the end of the summer when the republican party meets. remember, you need 1,044 delegates to secure the nomination. tom forman is taking us on a virtual convention tour right now. >> reporter: all evening as we have watched the trends from voting right here on our virtual convention floor, we have been tracking what that will mean to the array of delegates at the actual convention to mitt
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romney, rick santorum and newt gingrich and ron paul. let's take a look at the latest and we'll take our camera up high so you can see what's happening here. as we said calculating the exact allocation of delegates is difficult so soon with the complex formulas the states use, but newt gingrich had a good start to the night winning georgia. we're showing his new delegates over on the left. ron paul grabbing a few on the right. the war however is happening in the two middle sections. rick santorum with his wins in tennessee, oklahoma, north dakota has been trying to close the gap on mitt romney. he'll get more before the counting is is done, but here is the problem. mitt romney by taking massachusetts, vermont, idaho and virginia, santorum and gingrich were not even on the ballot is still expanding his lead. we said he grabbed a whole block of seats earlier. now he has some more. so the picture of the convention
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floor is growing clearer but it's far from conclusive and let's not for get there's whopping prizes coming up, including california and texas with well over 300 delegates between them. that means even though each one of these candidates would love to have the balloons dropping for him on nomination night, even with these super tuesday results they will have to keep waiting and watching to see if someone can truly break free and become the prohibitive favorite. >> tom forman, with the virtual balloons. let's show you what's going on in ohio right now. this is the very latest information that we're getting. 93% of the vote is in. romney's lead growing a little bit. 7,264 votes ahead of rick santorum. let's be specific. 436,278 votes for romney.
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429,014 vote for santorum. right now 7% of the vote is still outstanding. it will be difficult for santorum, john king, to make up that 7,400 vote difference. if you look at where the outstanding votes remained. >> again, 93% statewide as you said. you have the lead out there. you look a lot of purple filled in on the map. here's one of the urban areas lucas county and santorum is winning that just barely. the big dots and where the big cities are, the biggest thing for governor romney he'll be thanking the voters at hamilton county. and a huge, huge 20 point win in hamilton county. those votes more than the statewide cushion right now. you move up given into the central part of the state. franklin county. again, a win for romney and the suburbs around column bus. smaller margin there, but key votes for governor romney there.
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this is -- where there's a vote outstanding. impossible for santorum to make up the math. k cuyahoga county, it's huge there. we don't expect senator santorum to make it up there. romney winning in the blue collar areas of youngstown and akron. senator santorum is winning big in smaller rural areas but a smaller percentage of voters there and all the counties are in. if you go through here. 100% of the vote in. 100% of the vote in. 100% of the vote in. i can go on and on. so a sweeping win for santorum in the rural counties of ohio, but the big victories by governor romney in the cities and the suburbs have him ahead. not a huge win. but romney will get the most dell gatds out of ohio, because senator santorum didn't qualify for all of them. this is what it's all about. looking at the map going
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forward, governor romney desperately wants this to be romney red coming out of super tuesday. if it is the case, he will have 13 wins on his side. seven for santorum, two for speaker gingrich. a lot of conversations why isn't it bigger, why can't you win in tennessee? prove yourself in the south. there will be a lot of question marks. a lot of question marks, a lot of talk about money, money. however, winning. winning. winning matters in politics. it gets you some momentum. the probably going forward, you mentioned alabama, mississippi among the contest next week. you don't see -- don't consider florida a deep southern state and speaker gingrich, senator santorum tend to be favored there. if you look at this part of the country, you can see, look at the colors. this is more romney country. out here is where santorum has been doing well. the west is romney county. as we go forward a lot of question marks but again, the delegate math starts to add up in governor romney's favor. if he can hold ohio both from the delegate and the psychological perspective.
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it's a narrow lead tonight, but winning counts. >> you think santorum would have spent more money in ohio because romney spent a ton of money in ohio. obviously paying off for him. if santorum would have spent some significant money there, it would have made a difference in the big media markets. >> i want to come back -- i want to show you the tv count ads. bringing us back to state of ohio. you see the pie charts. this is the romney color right here. the romney color is the darker red. overwhelmingly outspent everybody. the purple is santorum or the pro santorum super pac. there's no question the money matters. let me close this down. again, major tv market. major tv market. the only place where you have the tv market that santorum is carrying toledo. in the central areas where
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people are being inundated would it have made a difference? that's one of the big question marks for santorum. they were late to organize and raise money. why not spend more in ohio? their answer most likely would be we still have much less resources. a lot of states to fight on that they have to be more careful with the resources. these states are expensive. if you're going to start getting competitive on television here, some money doesn't do it for you. if you have to get in, you have to get in. that gets expensive. >> reminds me of ohio 2004 when john kerry lost ohio barely. he had millions of dollars left over, didn't use it in ohio. he might have been president of the united states pack in 2004 if he had spent more in ohio. he left the election with cash on hand. look at how close it was in ohio in 2004. he didn't spend the millions that he had -- you remember that, john. >> oh, they pulled the money out. a huge debate within the kerry
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campaign about pulling out in the final weeks. they spent a lot in florida. didn't work out. they spent it in some other places as well. but yeah, ohio, in a close election, ohio is always a central battleground. and a lot of people go back to 2004. i know our democrats on the other side of the room would look at 51/49 and think if we left money in there things might have been different. >> i don't know why he needed all those millions after the election. but that's historians can reassess what's going on at that point. all right, we'll take a much closer look at ohio. we're standing by. new information coming in. what happens if romney wins ohio, gets the delegate vote there, where do we go from here? a lot more coming up. we're waiting for the results from alaska. ron paul so far has not won one state. can he win in alaska? we're also learning sarah palin has now disclosed who she voted for in alaska. we'll share that information with you as well. stand by.
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in addition to the republican race for the nomination for the white house, there's a key congressional election in ohio as well. in the cleveland area. take a look at this. congressman dennis kucinich the long-time democrat from the ninth congressional district loses in a runoff election. they were redirecting that district. as a result, kucinich loses his seat in congress. you can see the results here. 56% going for marcy captor to 40% for kucinich. himself a former candidate. 85% of the vote is in. but we projected now that marcy kaptur will win that key congressional district race.
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dennis kucinich no longer a member of the house of representatives. we are watching all the news for you here at the cnn election center. let's go to anderson for more. >> talk to the contributors a little bit. if you look at the vote in ohio, i mean, can you call newt gingrich a spoiler for rick santorum? >> i think if you look at the exit poll and the way it's shaped up there's an argument to be made there. i find it fascinating that 6,900 people people that cast votes for rick perry. you have a 7,000 vote gap between romney and santorum now. between santorum and gingrich, the santorum people have been saying that gingrich held them back. they could have gotten some of gingrich's votes. i think yes -- >> i suppose the gingrich people say that santorum is a spoiler. >> exactly. gingrich shows no signs of getting out. as long as this super pac money holds up i guess he can stay in. i don't see a path to victory for newt gingrich at all winning
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just two states. >> also for ron paul, it really is time for him to drop out. i understand he's leading a movement, leading a cause. but after 20 states and no victories and even if he takes alaska he's a canadidate for president. >> why wouldn't you say about that newt? >> on march 13, alabama and mississippi primaries. next tuesday. i think if he doesn't win those, he's going to have to face that same question. it's time. >> you thought ron paul had a chance in north dakota. >> i did. that was the big surprise to me. north dakota and alaska i thought he had a chance. but let's say he even took those two. he can't win the presidency. he's running for president. i understand about wanting to get exposure for his ideas. he's had that. i don't know why he's staying in other than exposure. >> you know, i guess my question on the ron paul strategy, why not make a go at it for virginia. and he wrote off virginia. he could have won a sizable state in virginia, capitalizing
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on the non-romney vote. i have no idea what his campaign strategy is. i don't know that his campaign really knows what his campaign strategy is at this point. he's winning no states. the sound and fury of the ron paul supporters has gotten him nothing. >> remember, it's not about states anymore, but winning delegates. you know, if you're not getting the threshold, 15%, 25%, then you're not picking up delegates so ron paul's problem if he's not winning states and he's not winning delegates then the next question is what is he doing in the race? >> you know -- >> go ahead. >> -- the thing about this race is it's being sustained on super pac money. not on voter's money. and that is something that is terribly frightening when you think about the next eight months and what that means for a general election. because, you know, you look at newt gingrich. he's in there because of super pac money. rick santorum the same thing. mitt romney, spending, you know, four to one. actually mitt romney is raising
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some individual contributions. i'm frightened literally for the future of elections in this country when you can have primaries and campaigns completely funded by super pacs that have nothing to do with voter intent. >> i want to go back to something about hillary and eric interestingly you picked up. a protest vote against romney in virginia. i saw in oklahoma which has a democratic primary today, barack obama got 57% of the vote, 43% of democrats in oklahoma voted for other candidates for president in the democratic primary. so that's why i think virginia really isn't the factor when you say anti-romney vote and neither is oklahoma. these things happen when nobody turns out to vote. >> get ready i'm going to saying in nice about mitt romney. the thing about romney is, as ugly as the wins have been and every time somebody else comes on, he does keep wins. democrats would do well to remember that in the fall. that this is a guy who you don't think is running a very good campaign because intuitively he
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doesn't seem to have the smoothness of a political candidate, but he's got a good organization, a lot of heat behind it. this is a very tough election. >> gloria or david, do you think romney is getting better as a candidate? >> in the last week maybe because he hasn't made so many gaffes. but the problem for mitt romney and it's reflected in these exit polls tonight is that well, people think he might be electable against barack obama. when you ask him who best understands my problems which is really important question that you ask in a presidential campaign, he's beaten by rick santorum in ohio and in tennessee, for example. so mitt romney has a problem. now, the good thing for mitt romney if he becomes the nominee is that barack obama is not considered the warmest candidate either and so, you know, they could both have that same kind
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of a deficit. and also, you know -- yeah, i said barack obama, right? all right. barack obama is not considered the warmest candidate. and to hillary's point on super pacs, the beneficiary of super pacs could be barack obama. >> we've got to go to a quick break. we're still awaiting results in ohio. we'll be right back. i love that my daughter's part fish.
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mitt romney's lead in ohio over rick santorum guess what? it's expanding right now. 95% of the vote in, and romney is ahead by 10,761 votes. with 95% of the vote in, 38% to 37%. gingrich and paul way, way behind. only 5% of the vote left outstanding. it's going to be really difficult if not impossible for rick santorum to come back and
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overtake that 10,661 vote lead that romney has right now. john king is here to explain what's going on. we have not made a projection, cnn. but it's looking like it will be hard for santorum to make up the 10,000 votes. >> let's show you why. we told you why we were counting in hamilton county, we had numbers from dana bash that had governor romney come back and take the lead. a huge cushion for governor romney. let's go up to the northeast corner of the state, cuyahoga county where cleveland is. at 95%, now the numbers have meshed up. they hadn't been updated on the board yet before the break. the earlier numbers before the break, romney was leading in cuyahoga county because 11,609 votes. this math right here the new numbers 16,029 votes. a net gain of 4,400 votes in cuyahoga county. 99% of the vote now in there. if you pull this out, go back to statewide map at 96% now, wolf, this is where you see this lead,
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it is now -- that's 12,040 votes. i'm going to blank the other numbers. 12,040 vote lead for governor romney. look at the map at 96%. you say what's left, what's out there? some of the votes are going to come from cuyahoga where romney has the big lead. if you look around the area, 100%, 100%. so most of the vote count is in there. >> take a look, because we got a little bit more vote right now as we say 96% of the vote is in. you say 12,000 votes. 12,040 votes. where is the 4% outstanding where potentially there could be a change. it doesn't look like that 4% is going to be able to overcome that significant 12,000 vote advantage for romney over santorum. >> i say impossible. we're being very careful at cnn. if you click around you'll find a small county where you're below 100.
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so sometimes you're -- we do know this. we know there are some provisional ballots, we need to count those. are there enough to make up the gap? the argument is unlikely. but if you look around the state right now and you're trying to find places, remember how big this is. so 1% of this county is a big chunk of the vote that's still yet to be entered in this state. otherwise, you find the tiny counties it's not enough. >> i'm wondering if they refer to early ballot, absentee ballots. i assume they count those right away. >> there's the first votes with egot. remember when we had a tiny percentage here and there. those are the absentee ballots. if you go into the heart of the states, maybe a thousand people have voted and they're harder to find as the night goes on. and they have done a good job of filling in the vote. so it's very, very hard. again, 96% statewide. when the rest of this vote comes in, that could gin that right up to 99% statewide because this is up is a big chunk of the state.
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if you keep coming around, 100% just about everywhere. again, i say i cannot see a mathematical way for rick santorum to come back in this win. narrow win for romney. the state looks like that and if it looks like that, romney will have a hefty night. that was the heavily contested battleground. the only state we're awaiting for, alaska. >> we'll go up to alaska shortly. there's no doubt that romney even if he wins the popular vote he'll win the delegate vote because santorum didn't get on the ballot in some of the congressional districts. all right, we're checking all the sources. we want to cross all the ts and dot all the is. we'll show you what we know about ohio and going up to alaska to see what's going on right there. stay with us. our coverage will continue in a moment. all energy development comes with some risk, but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy,
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most of the voting in ohio is done with. there's still a few precincts remaining outstanding. here's what we know right now with 96% of the vote in. mitt romney seems to have a relatively comfortable lead. 12,040 votes ahead of rick santorum. 38% to 37%. 12,040 votes. newt gingrich, ron paul way behind as i have been saying it's going to very, very difficult for rick santorum with the outstanding vote in ohio to make up that 12,040 vote advantage that romney currently has. let's go over to john king. we have been looking and looking where that 4%, john, is the outstanding vote that hasn't been counted in ohio. where is it and could it potentially make a difference? >> since we're about to go to alaska after we figure out ohio, i'm going rogue on you. as you see this math at 96%, you
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can't get senator santorum back into this. again, john king going rogue here. 96% in cuyahoga county, big lead for romney. we assume where that will go. to summit county, here's more of the missing vote. stark county, suburban and exurban area. 89% of the vote. that's most of the missing vote in the state of ohio right now. romney winning in the county. not enough votes there for santorum to come back. >> all right, john, stand by for a moment because we have got some news. we're going to report right now. all right, cnn you makes the projection in ohio. look at this, mitt romney wins the ohio republican presidential primary. we have just made this projection based on all the voting that's coming in, where the outstanding voting remains, based on everything we have seen. mitt romney the former massachusetts governor wins
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ohio. it's a big, big win for mitt romney. if he would have lost ohio, would have been a disaster for him. it would have raised questions about his electability. there's no doubt this is a real, real important win for mitt romney. rick santorum to his credit he got very, very close. a lot of people are go to be second guessing should he have spent more money or more time in ohio today and in recent days fighting to get this win? presumably he didn't because he wasn't even on the ballot in some congressional districts and he wasn't eligible for some of the delegates. maybe that's why he didn't spend the money or time in ohio. let's show you what we know. nine of the ten contests so far on this super tuesday have now been resolved. the big win in ohio for mitt romney. we're waiting for alaska. we're waiting for alaska to come in. we presumably will get some results from alaska very, very soon. but let's go to cnn's anderson
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cooper right now. he's in the cube. he's going to explain to us how we finally were able to make this projection in ohio the romney win. >> that's right. i'm with political director mark preston. how were we able to do it now? >> it came down to simple mathematics. and we're looking at right now about 30,000 outstanding ballots that won't be counted tonight. in order for rick santorum to come back and overcome mitt romney, we would probably need double that number. so that's why our decision team as we have talked about in every election night when they sit down and take the models and crunch them together. they're looking at the real vote. bottom line they don't think rick santorum could come back. >> that includes absentee ballots? >> and provisional ballots. >> do we know know anything about alaska when we can call that? >> no, but let's hope it's not at 4:00 a.m. >> mark, i appreciate the hard work on that. continue to watch alaska, wolf.
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>> alaska, we'll stand for that. paul vercammen is there. now we know what has happened in ohio. why we were delaying our formal projection, you heard mark preston our political director say there's 30,000 votes outstanding. it would have to be lopsided for santorum to make up that difference. >> they're cautious, i'm extra cautious. go back in history and time, not here at this network, but some get called the wrong way. how did governor romney do it? if you -- look at the map here, wow, a lot of purple. you'd think that santorum won ohio, however, most of the places what's winning are tiny rural areas. the capital of columbus, a decent margin there, five percentage point lead. but the biggest success comes in the corners. hamilton county, and a whopping 20-point win for governor romney
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there. 16,000 votes almost his margin of victory up there. then come up to the top, look at this, in the bigger areas, cleveland, akron, the suburbs around them. romney winning big including cuyahoga county. this vote came in relatively slowly, but nearly a 20-point win. hamilton county, 20 points. in cuyahoga county, 19 points that's huge. that's where the biggest vote cocounts came in for governor romney. and the evangelical voters, a lot of tea party voters out here for santorum. and gloria borjs was saying earlier, these are the places that republicans have to win. just because romney didn't win them tonight doesn't mean he won't win in november. and you look again, summit county at almost a ten-point lead there. so it took a while. santorum was leading early on. but the big margins of victory
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in cincinnati and the cleveland area, wolf, giving mitt romney what he needed tonight. the psychological boost not only the delegates but the psychological boost of winning what was the biggest contested super tuesday battleground. >> fair to say, it would have been a disaster for the romney campaign if he would have lost ohio. would have raised all sorts of questions. he narrowly beats stoantorum. by 12,000. still a win. let's bring in our correspondents to assess where we go from here. candy crowley is over at romney headquarters. where does romney go from here? we know a week from today, mississippi and alabama, two important races. >> but it's interesting when you talk to the romney campaign. what are they looking at, move and illinois? they did not mention southern state to me when i said where do you go next? this is earlier in the evening before, but nothing has changed between then and now. their intent is to go to some of the states that's proven friendlier to mitt romney.
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they see that the south is a tough row for them to hoe. and obviously are going to play there. but the fact of the matter is they're looking at some of those mega states, missouri and illinois. and that's where they're headed after this. maybe not geographically the candidate, but that's what they'll concentrate on. for them it's still a delegate count. romney wins ohio. that's a great head line for them. but at this point, they are counting just like everybody else how do you get to 1144. >> when you say romney is going to play in mississippi and alabama, are they going to spend money there advertising? do we know if they'll spend a lot of time there? >> i don't know that at this point, wolf. there's money there to spend. he has a pac that can -- that can help him out in that score if he needs helping out and has been in all of these states. i just know that these states that they bring up are not the southern ones that are coming up
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next tuesday. >> jim acosta, he's in ohio, covering the santorum campaign. they were outspent an enormous amount. they came close in ohio. didn't come close enough as we now know, we know that it will go to mitt romney. where does santorum focus his attention tomorrow? >> well, not a moment's rest for the santorum campaign, wolf. they're heading to kansas tomorrow. and then mississippi and alabama over the next 24 to 48 hours. so they're hitting the next states. kansas and mississippi and alabama which have primaries coming up on tuesday. and they see all of those contests as being very favorable to rick santorum. you know, we heard sort of a pugnacious santorum campaign earlier this evening. they were emboldened by sort of this conventional wisdom busting night they had on super tuesday. john braybender for the santorum campaign and he was talking to
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reporters and he said, look, if we had a one-on-one shot at mitt romney, if conservatives out there could somehow pressure newt gingrich to get out of this race, look what happened in ohio end to. look at the margin of victory for mitt romney in ohio. they feel with newt gingrich of the race, they would have won ohio. looking back to michigan look at that margin of victory in michigan. they would have won michigan. they also point out look at the map in terms of their victories tonight. yes, they won in the south. in tennessee. yes, they won out west in oklahoma, but they won out in north dakota. mitt romney played very heavily for north dakota. made a stop in just the last week up there. was sending his son josh romney up there a couple of times over the last week or so. so they feel like they have mitt romney on the ropes right now. you heard rick santorum earlier in the night going after mitt romney on healthcare reform and the individual plan date. they're going after that over and over again. in the campaign stops coming up
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in kansas, mississippi and alabama. >> a week from today. let's go over to peter hamby. you have spent a lot of time in the south looking at these various races. does romney have a significant opportunity in either mississippi or alabama or should he just forget about those southern states? >> a troubling trend emerged tonight. it's not just about the south. tonight was mitt romney's first test in appalachia of this whole cycle. look at the ohio river. look at the first district of tennessee. look at north georgia, southwest virginia. mitt romney won in southern virginia just against ron paul. he did not do well among those kind of culturally conservative voters, economically down scale. the kind of folks who cling to guns and religion as barack obama inartfully said in 2008. these are the kind of voters that mitt romney needs in
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november. he lost them tonight in the appalachian counties. this is reminiscent on the democratic side, a different context of course. but remember if you look at a red/blue map in the general election there was a long red strip that cut down from pennsylvania all the way into northern alabama and that was appalachia. barack obama could not connect them with those people. and mitt romney might have problems connecting with them. if you look ahead to some of the states in the south he'll have problems. but speaking specifically of the appalachian counties look ahead to west virginia, western pennsylvania, wolf for mitt romney as he moves forward in the race. >> western pennsylvania should be a good material for rick santorum since he's from western pennsylvania. peter, stand by. we'll get back to you. we're still waiting for the results from the tenth state that had elections tonight. the caucuses in alaska. we know the nine other results.
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alaska. we're going there. we'll check in and see what's going on in alaska. see what's happening up there. stand by. we're here at the cnn election center for you. ♪ ( whirring and crackling sounds ) man: assembly lines that fix themselves. the most innovative companies are doing things they never could before,
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to get yours, go to all right. welcome back. we have projected the big win in ohio for mitt romney. we're watching what's going on. he's won five states tonight. rick santorum has won three. newt gingrich won his home state of georgia. we're still waiting for alaska to see what's going on. you've got the big map of the united states. what do you want to show us? >> number one, romney is winning and lot of questions about weakness, but if you start looking at the states filling in. 13 of them have now for mitt romney. seven for rick santorum again. missouri gets an asterisk because it was a beauty contest. go back to missouri. two for newt gingrich. i want to make a point quickly.
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peter hamby talked about appalachian. as the more states vote, we're getting results. the states that are all filled in we don't get county results. caucus states we don't get county results, but peter was talking about along the ohio river and appalachia. these are areas where republicans need to win in november. we don't have west virginia yet. yes, romney won in appalachia and the mountains. ron paul only on the ballot. let's go back to the 2008 race. the race in november. those are republican areas. those are all republican areas. if you're going to win those states, that's very important for the republicans. is it a weakness for mitt romney? yes. does it sustain itself? that would be an interesting question. and if he is the general election nominee. so let's go to the electoral projection. a bit early for this.
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let's say hypothetically that mitt romney is your nominee. this is the map from 2008 based on the census results, barack obama with today's electoral votes than he would have won in the last election. most people believe that new hampshire will be a swing state this time. we'll take it away. republicans hope to put pennsylvania in play. for the sake of the hypothetical we'll take it away. let's make these swing states. florida swing state. ohio a swing state. most people think indiana will go back to republicans. you have some republicans who say we can play here and here. i'll do it for the sake of argument. ohio is a swing state. nevada the highest unemployment in the country, you have to make that a swing state. arizona could be a swing state. new mexico i'm going to leave that in president obama's now. some republicans will argue with me. let's start right here. 13. right? there will be more.
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there will be more people at home might think so that gets obama down to 207. i think our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is listening to us as we go. prove it to me, republicans. keep these in the democratic column until you can prove otherwise. we were in florida for a debate. even the democrats think this is tough for president obama. let's give it to the republicans. let's for the sake of argument split the difference. let obama keep virginia. and give north carolina to the republicans. where are we now? the president is getting close. that was a pickup for the president. i'm convinced just now. prove it to me republicans, look at this, you have nevada, indiana most go back to the republican fold. watch this. that hasn't voted republican for president for a long time. prove it to me. ohio does swing. you could have a scenario, wolf, look at that.
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right. >> you need 270. >> nevada let's say the latino vote right now convinces me that one favors the democrats. where did we start this campaign? that would be iowa and new hampshire. is it going to come down to this? probably not. it comes down to ohio or florida, but you have can a scenario where you fight state by state and you come down to the tiny state if the president wins iowa he gets to 268. then we fight it out. does mitt romney or president obama get new hampshire? this has taken a toll on the republicans. president obama has the advantage right now. but when you go state by state which is how you do presidential politics you could have a dozen swing states and could have the scenario go anyway. these stories -- the bigger states, tend to be the big states. but some of the tiny states could make all the difference. >> here's a scenario that is potentially.
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269-269. neither gets the 270. it goes to the house of the representatives where the republicans have the majority. it's a possibility. >> i went through all the states. i know democrats at home and republicans a at home are arguing with my hypothetical. but when team obama looks at the map, they have to assume ohio is a swing state. they have to assume florida is a swing state. they have to put new hampshire in places like that in the swing state category. do think they think can surprise us? nine bush 2004 states red and do they see surprises in this map? >> well, the biggest surprise is arizona where they think that they argue they that they can pick up arizona because of the latino vote. what i find interesting tonight, conventional wisdom has been that the obama team believes that they can win the presidency and while losing ohio.
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that they have made no secret of the fact that they're mapping out alternative routes to 270 without ohio. which as you pointed out is not something that's frequently done. >> and without florida. >> and without florida. they probably -- they say that both can be done, but would like to get one or the other. more scenarios include florida wom winning florida and losing ohio. what's shifting now is that because of romney's weaknesses during the primary, there's -- noticing among democrats increasing optimism that maybe the president can compete more aggressively in ohio than they thought before because romney seems to have equal problems with these disaffected, noncollege white working class voters as you have been pointing out all night. they cancel each other in some ways and vice president biden is
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headed to ohio next week. he's the president's best surrogate in that state. >> i think that's an excellent calculation. and as you go for it, jess, we have a couple of big question marks. does anything unexpected in the world, with energy prices and where's the economic data? some bright spots for the president, but we're in early march. is the economic data in a place, can he fight and play in ohio? florida as well? i always consider iowa a swing state and wolf, i do think the latino vote makes an interesting calculation out here in the hypotheticals early on. might default is prove it for a state that's voted for one way or another. this is a hypothetical, this is a narrow victory for the president. and we do know this, the map will be more competitive than last time. how much more? we can't answer that yet. >> all right. john, thanks very much. you know what, nine states have now made up their minds. one state to be determined.
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that would be alaska. i want to go to alaska right now. paul vercammen is standing by. are you in anchorage right now and tell us the vote count as we know it. >> well, let me set the scene for you. we are at gop headquarters here in anchorage. they will get the numbers by any means possible. some via e-mails, some faxes, some phone calls. if you look over the left shoulder, you will see randy reedrick, the state gop chairman. romney is off to a good start with just 2 1/2 districts in. he has 300 some votes. i know randy has some numbers in his hands right now. step in here if you could please. in alaska they'll receive their votes in all sorts of means. tell me who's reporting. i guess kodiak. >> from the city of kodiak. the island down south. gingrich 36, paul 68, romney 67,
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santorum 61 and one undecided. >> we have got a very even split here in some ways. i mean, everybody is getting votes tonight. >> everybody got votes. the three leaders are separated by one vote. and gingrich has roughly one-seventh of the vote where the other two have each two-sevenths. >> we are talking about the three leaders in kodiak, not overall in alaska. >> that's right. >> if you were to guess when you'd have the numbers in, when would that be? >> hopefully 10:00 alaskan time, 2:00 a.m. eastern time. we had those who had to finish voting people on the premises. they will probably not start counting ballots until 8:15. and we'll have more results coming in. >> give me the kodiak numbers.
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>> 36 again griffin, 67 santorum. >> and ron paul stopped by the other night. >> it motivated some people to participate who probably wouldn't have shown up. i had one gal say to me today that the only reason she voted for ron paul is he cared enough to come to the state. >> we'll see how that plays out. he just edged out mitt romney. >> by one vote. >> he's got to go back to work. as we speak, you can see also over my right shoulder if you have any numbers, please let us know. the numbers are starting to trickle in just barely, wolf, and stay with us. we could be here for a while. back to you now in the studio. >> paul vercammen, we'll watch closely together with you. we saw a tweet earlier, sarah palin the former governor of alaska said she voted for newt gingrich in alaska.
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her husband formally endorsed newt gingrich. much more of our coverage after this. because they don't take it with food. switch to citracal maximum plus d. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. that's why my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption. how they'll live tomorrow. for more than 116 years, ameriprise financial has worked for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one. together for your future. ♪ to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes, from the eye-care experts at bausch + lomb. as you age, eyes can lose vital nutrients.
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