updated 11/3/2004 2:02:26 PM ET 2004-11-03T19:02:26

Guest: Willie Brown, David Boies, Jonathan Alter 

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST:  We‘re right back now. 

Unfortunately, once again, we have been stymied a bit.  We don‘t have any dramatic news, if that‘s what you are looking for.  And, by the way, the best information on this election has been coming for weeks now.  We know which states are going to be close, and they are close. 

The reporting on this election because of the very good polling for weeks now shows where the difficulty is going to be in getting the votes counted tonight because it‘s so darn close. 

Let‘s take a look at Utah.  That‘s no surprise.  The president is the projected winner in Utah, a stalwart Republican state. 

In Iowa, no call, too close to call.  That‘s a state just like Ohio, just like Pennsylvania, just like Florida.  The states we have been watching are so close, they cannot be called at this point.  You are going to have to be patient tonight to get a result. 

Nevada, another state on the longer list of battleground states, Nevada, where the Democrats have been hoping to pick up that state, to poach that state.  And they may have to do it by necessity if they want to get the 270 votes for John Kerry tonight. 

Montana, too early to call.  Don‘t bet that‘s a close one.  Historically, Montana is Republican state, a reliably one.  No projection there, because it‘s simply too early with the numbers. 

Again, we reiterate—and how is this for bad news for those who want to go to bed tonight -- 77 percent of the vote in, still too close to call in Florida.  We are waiting to hear—we don‘t have the Miami vote in there to count with the other parts of that incredibly interesting state of Florida.  We‘re going to have Joe talk about that in a minute.

Too close to call in Ohio, as I said.  We‘re reiterating that, with about a quarter of the vote in.  Kerry struggling with the president there in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida. 

Missouri, too close to call.  That‘s a surprise, I think.  Most people would have thought by now that Missouri, which is culturally conservative and really hasn‘t been on the list of any of the Democratic advertising buys, they haven‘t been spending money out in Missouri, yet, with almost a fifth of the vote in there, still, 19 percent of the precincts, I have to keep reminding you, not the actual vote, and too close to call in Missouri. 

In Colorado, another state on the long list of battleground states, too close to call.  Too close to call in New Mexico, another state which is going to be with us on the battleground list throughout the evening.  And too early to call in Pennsylvania, with 35 percent of the precincts in.  It‘s still too early to call there.  I am not sure what that is about.  It may be about some of these irregularities, because I hear that Philadelphia is turning in a superlative performance for the Democratic Party and John Kerry. 

Tonight, Michigan, another state too early to call.  We will have to figure out why that‘s the case.  Those polls have been closed for a while now.  Michigan, too early to call. 

Minnesota, too early to call.  We don‘t have enough votes there to decide who is the projected winner.  Wisconsin, too early to call, again, not that they are close.  It‘s too early, not enough numbers in yet. 

And Arizona, another state where we have got polls closed, but we still don‘t know enough information to begin to make a projection. 

Arkansas, where President Bill Clinton, former President Bill Clinton campaigned for John Kerry, too early to call down there. 

New Hampshire, with 38 percent of the precincts in, too early to call.  It‘s a small state, but an important one.  Many people have said here earlier tonight, including Ron Reagan, that John Kerry better win that state if he wants to win tonight, for all kinds of reasons. 

So, now we are looking at a map, which, despite what seems to be a slowness of reporting the more tricky states to call, is growing in filling out that continent of the United States, Kerry, 112 electoral votes, President Bush, 176 votes.  And, by the way, if you are looking at that, we will reiterate, no surprises yet.  These are the states which have been clear in their results.  We have been able to project them rather clearly and rather early. 

The hard part tonight will be projecting the states that have been embattled now for weeks.  That‘s, of course, Nevada, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, all going to be hard to call tonight.  You are going to have to bear with us, drink some coffee, have a snack, and stay up late tonight, because these are not going to come in early. 

Now let‘s go the United States Senate races, which are turning out to be a bit easier to call.  Iowa, Chuck Grassley, a veteran senator out there, the projected winner.  According to NBC, when all the votes are counted, Chuck Grassley will be reelected. 

Harry Reid, a man—by the way, watch this fellow.  He‘s the projected winner in Nevada.  If Tom Daschle loses in South Dakota, he will be the next Democratic leader.  He‘s No. 2 right now, the deputy leader.  Everybody figures he will be easily elected should Tom Daschle take a tumble tonight, and that‘s very much open to question at this point.

Let‘s go.  Robert Bennett, Utah senator, son of the former senator out there, projected winner in the state of Utah. 

South Dakota, too close to call.  There‘s no surprise here.  Tom Daschle, very strong in terms of bringing the pork home to South Dakota, but, let‘s face it.  He is a liberal Democrat in a very conservative state, up against John Thune, who is a conservative Republican in a conservative Republican state.  And that always makes it easier.

John Thune, by the way, lost a close one two years ago to Tim Johnson, handled it like a man and scored some points out there for his gentlemanly conduct in taking defeat. 

Too early to call, United States Senate race in Colorado.  There‘s a very well known to anybody who drinks beer, Pete Coors.  He‘s the chairman of that company up against the—I should say the Latino attorney general of the state.  He‘s very well known.  And he is going to be a very prominent member of the United States Senate, simply because he will be one of the few Latinos. 

Jim Bunning, too close to call, extremely well known.  With 99 percent of the vote in, in Kentucky, this incumbent senator has not been able to beat a political unknown just two weeks ago, Daniel Mongiardo, who many Republicans were openly mocking just until recently. 

Let‘s go to Pennsylvania.  And what a surprise this is.  Joe Hoeffel, with very little money, taking on the incredibly powerful incumbent, Arlen Specter, who, by the way—this is very important—has enjoyed huge support from organized labor, despite his Republican affiliation.  He had everything going for him.  And yet that race is still too close to call. 

Another one too close to call, Mel Martinez, the former HUD secretary, battling Betty Castor.  With 77 percent of the precincts reporting—that is a pretty strong report, and yet we can‘t call that one.

North Carolina, Richard Burr, as I said before, too very impressive candidates, Erskine Bowles, the former chief of staff to President Clinton, in a very close race, 38 percent of the precincts reporting there and still too close to call. 

This Senate battle tonight is very interesting, so many races too close to call. 

Here‘s one too early to call.  This is Louisiana, a very interesting state, not exactly the typical Southern state.  They have a rule down there, by the way, which is—so much of Louisiana is unique.  They have a rule down there that you have to have 50 percent in order to avoid a runoff. 

Let‘s go right now.  We have a presidential call in the presidential contest.  Let‘s take a look at what we have got right now. 

Arkansas, the president has become the projected winner in the Razorback State.  You know, it‘s so interesting that Bill Clinton went down there and campaigned.  He thought he could carry it for his friend, John Kerry.  Unsuccessful.  Times change quickly in politics. 

Let‘s look at the numbers, 182 votes, electoral votes, for President Bush, projected.  They‘re all projected, now.  And 112 votes for John Kerry.  This is very interesting.  The president is clearly taking a lead here in the electoral votes.  You cannot deny that, but, that said, but, that said, nobody has poached on anybody‘s territory. 

Nobody has pulled up a blue state.  No Republican won—the Republican president hasn‘t won a blue state, and the Democratic challenger has not won a red state.  Look at these opening gray states.  We call them the gray states for good reason.  They are gray tonight. 

Let‘s look at this.  This is fascinating.  Look at—I think this is the window washing equipment we have got going up and down the wall here, pulling these tapestries up, these drapes that are moving up.  There‘s the vote, as you see it, with Kerry behind at 112, trying to catch up.  Interesting to watch that right now.

Let‘s go to something a little—no, just as dramatic, Keith Olbermann, who has got all the governorships, as well as the Senate tote board right now.  Let‘s go to Keith right now.

KEITH OLBERMANN, NBC ANCHOR:  Chris, if you wanted to give it a score, it‘s 2-1 in the Senate in favor of the Republicans trying to take seats away from the Democrats. 

And we have talked previously about how important that is, in terms of committee chairmanships and other important aspects to it.  With the apparent victory, projected victories of Isakson in Georgia and DeMint in South Carolina, and the Democratic projected taking away of the Illinois seat away from the Republicans Obama, 2-1.  So an improvement by one, a net improvement by one for Republicans. 

All right, let‘s go through the governorships.  We have some calls to make. 

Jon Huntsman, the man who beat incumbent governor, Olene Walker, is projected to be the winner in the Republican race for Utah governor over Scott Matheson, son of a former governor himself. 

In Montana, an open seat after Judy Martz retired, the Republican, Bob Brown, and the Democrat, Brian Schweitzer, this one is too close to call with a bunch of zeros on the board to this point. 

In Missouri, as we keep mentioning, too close to call here again.  The secretary of state, Matt Blunt, the Republican, against the Democratic state auditor who knocked off incumbent governor, Bob Holden, in her primary, Claire McCaskill, 20 percent of the vote in, less than 20,000 votes separating the two. 

Delaware, Governor Ruth Ann Minner trying to stave off Judge Bill Lee.  She did that in 2000 and is seeking to do it again.  But even though 86 percent of the vote has been counted, it is considered too early to call. 

Indiana, once again, Joe Kernen and Mitch Daniels, the former OMB director, against the man who took over when the revered governor of Indiana, Frank O‘Bannon, passed away more than a year ago, this one too early to call at 67 percent. 

In Vermont, also too early to call, with 38 percent in, just 23,000 votes separating the incumbent governor, Republican Jim Douglas, who‘s been in office since 2002, and the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Peter Clavelle.

And continuing in the Northeast in New Hampshire, and this one still too early to call with 41 percent in and a 3,000-vote difference between Craig Benson and the Democratic challenger, businessman John Lynch. 

Let‘s check a few of the congressional seats of import.  The speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, seeking reelection in District 14, this one a little bit too early to call to this stage, although he has a significant lead over Ruben Zamora in the early counting. 

And now Tom DeLay, the incumbent House majority leader since 1984 in District 22 in Texas, NBC News has projected his reelection, and, more importantly, perhaps the impact that he may have on the redistricting in Texas, where five incumbent Democrats were rendered vulnerable by the redistricting at Mr. DeLay‘s insistence in Texas. 

Before we turn it back to you, Chris, let‘s run some of the propositions, and particularly the same-sex marriage bans on the ballot in 11 states.  Seven of them have now, according to our NBC News projections, passed.  Arkansas, Amendment 3 has passed with a 73-27 majority so far.  In Georgia, it‘s Amendment 1, asking whether the state constitution should be amended, and it would, in fact, be a man and a woman defining as the only people involved in a marriage, this one supported by the senator, Zell Miller, who is going out, and this is passing. 

In Mississippi, again, the perfect record continues with a huge majority with the early stage in here on Amendment 1.  It would define marriage as a constitutional amendment, marriage as a union of a man and woman, heavy victory in Mississippi projected by NBC News.  It is also amendment one in Ohio, defining marriage as between a man and woman.  Ohio, that‘s going to pass, too, by two-thirds, it looks like. 

North Dakota‘s marriage definition, Amendment 1.  No other domestic union will be given the same legal effect in North Dakota.  And this one, we are projecting it is also going to pass. 

And just in, perhaps the most significant of the ballot measures tonight, that Amendment 36 in Colorado which would split the Electoral College vote between the winner and the loser, in all practicality giving the winner, the presidential winner, including the presidential winner tonight, five votes in the Electoral College and giving the loser in the state four votes, that one is on its way to defeat, according to our NBC News projections.

So none of the controversies, Chris, that we would be expecting if Colorado decided to change the electoral vote rulings there tonight will apparently be dealt with.  And we will go back to you. 

MATTHEWS:  OK, Keith, thank you. 

Let‘s go back to a political, smart observer we haven‘t had on yet tonight, Jonathan Alter of “Newsweek.”

Jonathan,it‘s kind of frustrating, because the elections we didn‘t think would be close have all been decided, and the ones we thought would be close are too close to call. 

JONATHAN ALTER, “NEWSWEEK”:   Absolutely. 

You know, the president said about 15 minutes ago that he thought this was going to be decided tonight, that he would win tonight.  He could be right.  But, with all due respect to President Bush, he is in a distinct minority.  Most analysts on the ground in these states on both sides believe this will go into tomorrow, at the earliest.

It will be, therefore, one of only five elections in the last 50 years that have not been decided on Election Day.  You know, you have 1948, the last time an incumbent was in a really tough race; 1960 wasn‘t decided until the next day; 1968, until the next day, ‘76, and then 2000, so this joins a very small group of elections, Chris, that are not decided on Election Day. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you think we will get results in those states where there‘s not a lot of litigation, like the Midwestern states? 

ALTER:  Yes, I think we will get a lot of results in the next couple of hours. 

And it‘s possible—I shouldn‘t rule out this getting resolved in the next couple of hours, but if you add up the challenges in Miami-Dade with the absentee ballots counting being delayed, the challenges in Ohio, the long lines you are still seeing in polling places, all of the lawyers on the ground, if you take that all and bundle it together, it suggests delay.  It doesn‘t necessarily mean it‘s 2000 all over again, but it‘s going to be at least into tomorrow by most sensible speculation now. 

MATTHEWS:  OK, thank you.  We will be back to you later, Jonathan Alter.

Let‘s go right now to the two top lawyers we have got working with us tonight who really do know the answer to this question.  And let‘s go to David Boies, first, then Ben Ginsberg. 

David, do you think—I hate to say the two words, Supreme Court—but do you see any litigative situations right now in either Ohio or Philadelphia or elsewhere that might suggest that they might be arriving on the scene, the Supremes?

DAVID BOIES, AUTHOR, “COURTING JUSTICE”:  I don‘t, really. 

I don‘t see any litigation that‘s now on the horizon that would end up in the Supreme Court.  Now, of course, I said that in 2000.  And I was wrong.  But even looking at the kind of issues that we have in the courts right now, I don‘t see any of those getting to the United States Supreme Court. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you see this extending, as Jonathan Alter just mentioned, do you think this could extend, these situations we have in Philadelphia with the absentee ballots, with the problems in Cuyahoga County and elsewhere in Ohio, do you think they could hold off us knowing who won those states for more than tomorrow, for example? 

(CROSSTALK)

BOIES:  If the number of provisional ballots, plus the number of absentee ballots are larger than the margin of victory, then it‘s going to drag on for a few days, because you know that those are not going to be counted until a few days from now. 

So if the margin of victory is that small, it‘s going to drag on. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Ben, your view of the same question. 

BEN GINSBERG, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Yes, I agree with David. 

I think that any cases that end up in the Supreme Court are really a function of the margin of victory in specific states, and that really is up to the fickle finger of fate, Chris, that we know really only starts to point in the wee morning hours, usually. 

MATTHEWS:  Do we have any creative state Supreme Courts that might be knocking down statutory laws that caused the problem last time?  We had a problem in Florida where we had a Supreme Court that said certain rules apply.  Certain other rules don‘t apply.  Is that a problem we might face again, Ben? 

GINSBERG:  Well, it‘s always sort of the chance of litigation, that you never quite know the answer to. 

Hopefully, other state Supreme Courts saw what happened in Florida and would learn some lessons from that instance. 

(CROSSTALK)

BOIES:  Yes.  I think I really ought to take issue with the premise of your question, though.  And that was that the Florida Supreme Court did something different last time. 

MATTHEWS:  I thought you would. 

(LAUGHTER)

BOIES:  The Florida Supreme Court did exactly what they did for 80 years.

MATTHEWS:  Hold on, David Boies. 

BOIES:  OK.

MATTHEWS:  We have to do what we do first tonight here.  That is make a call.  And here it is right now. 

Missouri, no longer a contest, according to NBC.  George W. Bush, the president of the United States, will carry the state of Missouri.  As I said, that was not long on the list of battleground states.  The Democrats stopped running advertisement in there several weeks ago, and not a state they still hoped to win. 

That said, let‘s look at the numbers on the tally right now.  We have got 193 right now for the president, 112 for Kerry.  It‘s moving up towards 2-1 again.  Again, look at that map with the gray states on it, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, lots of states to be deciding tonight.  NBC has made no projections in any of those states. 

Here‘s one of the bright lights in one of the political parties, Barack Obama there being congratulated on his projected victory in the Senate race in Illinois.  He beat Alan Keyes, not a big surprise.  But certainly this fellow is going to be a figure in the U.S. Senate when he speaks.  For one reason, he knows how to speak.  There he is with—I hope it‘s his wife. 

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  Little joke there. 

There here he is with a statement.  Here he is with a victory statement, Obama.  This is a fascinating guy.  He grew up in Hawaii. 

(JOINED IN PROGRESS) 

BARACK OBAMA (D), ILLINOIS SENATORIAL CANDIDATE:  Thank you.  Thank you, Illinois. 

I don‘t know about you, but I‘m still fired up. 

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA:  I am fired up.  Look at this crowd.  Thank you, Illinois. 

Let me begin by thanking all the people who have been involved in this effort, from downstate to upstate, city, suburb, from every community throughout the state.  Let me say how grateful I am to all of you for the extraordinary privilege of standing here this evening. 

Let me thank, because I will forget later on—it‘s a thankless task

·         let me thank right now the best political staff that there has been put together in this state.  They are wonderful. 

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA:  You know who you are.  You guys have been outstanding.  I appreciate all of you. 

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA:  Let me thank my pastor, Jeremiah A.  Right, Jr. (ph) of Trinity United Church of Christ. 

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA:  Fellow Trinitarians out there. 

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA:  Let me thank all of the elected officials who have stood by me through thick and through thin. 

But most of all, let me thank my family.  I am so grateful to my nephew Avery (ph), my niece Leslie (ph), my mother-in-law Marian (ph), my brother-in-law Craig Robinson, his wonderful girlfriend, Kelly (ph).

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s go back to the attorneys. 

That was Barack Obama, who is going to be, I think by most estimates, a major figure in the United States Senate when he takes his seat in January. 

Let‘s go right now to David Boies, who is the Democratic attorney who fought the good fight in Florida last time. 

You were saying about the credibility of the Florida Supreme Court and the fact you were implying they weren‘t really ideological.  They were actually following the books down there when they made their decision. 

BOIES:  Right. 

And even the lawyer that argued against me in the Florida Supreme Court, Barry Richard, has said, both in writing and on television, that he believed the Florida Supreme Court was not acting in a partisan way, that they were simply applying the law that had grown up over 80 years. 

You can argue whether you like that law or don‘t like that law, but I think in fairness to the Florida Supreme Court, they were applying the same law that they had applied for 80 years. 

MATTHEWS:  Then you don‘t believe that the Supreme Court was brought into the election process last time around because of the decision-making of the Florida Supreme Court? 

BOIES:  Well, they were brought in because, if you take the majority opinion, they viewed the Florida law as violating the Equal Protection Clause.  That would be true whether it was a new law or not.  And Florida law I think was consistent. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Let me go back to Ben tonight. 

Just both of you—you start, Ben, because we have worked together so much.  I want you to start here now.  Give us what you think might hold up, a clear result tonight.  Do the geography. 

GINSBERG:  Well, certainly the question of when you are going to count the absentee ballots in Florida, if it‘s close enough.  The number of provisional ballots in any of the gray states that you mentioned could conceivably hold up a count. 

There are some administrative questions in some of the states involving particular incidents involving poll watchers and the right to challenge that could cause problems potentially in Florida or Pennsylvania or Ohio. 

MATTHEWS:  OK. 

Let me go right back. 

We‘re going to have—let me go here. 

David, your thought.  What do you think is the problem tonight that would prevent us from a getting clear victor in the presidential race tonight? 

BOIES:  I agree with Ben.  I think it‘s simply a question of whether the provisional ballots, the absentee ballots exceed the margin of victory.  I think one of the good things about this election is, it went much more smoothly than I think a lot of people predicted. 

MATTHEWS:  You were predicting worst-case scenario for Florida, for example? 

BOIES:  Well, I think we still had what I was concerned about, which were the long lines, and I think you particularly had that in Philadelphia in Pennsylvania and Ohio, as well as in Florida.  And I think those long lines are something that we have got to work on correcting for the future. 

There‘s no reason why we can‘t make voting easier and more efficient, but I think that, in terms of the concern about widespread fraud or widespread voter intimidation, I don‘t think either one of those two things materialized. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you think that long lines are something that the municipalities and precincts should fix? 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  So we don‘t have these four-hour waits? 

BOIES:  Absolutely.  And that‘s not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue.  That‘s just a good government issue.  That‘s the kind of thing that both parties ought to unite to correct. 

GINSBERG:  Yes, I would agree would... 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  I want to thank David Boies for joining us.

And you will be back, Ben Ginsberg, both of you, as the evening progresses. 

Let me go right now to what‘s happening right now. 

We were talking with the two attorneys about provisional ballots. 

Let‘s go to our own expert, Dan Abrams. 

Dan, the legality of these provisional ballots and their relevance if we get a close vote later tonight. 

DAN ABRAMS, NBC CHIEF LEGAL CORRESPONDENT:  You know, Chris, this is all new stuff. 

This came as a result of a law in 2002 that was supposed to remedy some of the problems from 2000, saying, look, we want to have this as a backup.  So when people show up at the polls, and they say, I should be registered or I was supposed to get my absentee ballot or I know that I am allowed to vote, they can say, all right, you know what?  Fine.  Here‘s a provisional ballot, but it doesn‘t mean that we are necessarily going to count it. 

That‘s also the way they have dealt with some of these extremely long lines.  They have said, for example in one county, fine, fill in these provisional ballots and then they can decide later, if there‘s a challenge, for example, and someone says, those should never have counted.  That‘s why this is going to become so important when it comes to the litigation.  In a sense, what they have done is, they have delayed the fights, because rather than fight about whether these people are eligible now, they are saying, take these ballots, vote.  We will deal with the problems later. 

And that‘s why it‘s so important, as Ben Ginsberg and David Boies are pointing out, how many of these provisional ballots come in could determine whether there‘s going to be a fight.  For example, there‘s a voter in Ohio who is suing, saying, look, we ought to know how you are going to go about counting these provisional ballots.  What is going to be the standard for whether you use it or you don‘t, saying, we ought to know that at this point. 

And, of course, remember, there was another ruling in Ohio earlier today, a federal judge saying, if you had asked for an absentee ballot, you didn‘t get it, you came in, you still get a provisional ballot—Chris.

MATTHEWS:  Is this simply kicking the can down the road, giving provisional ballots out? 

ABRAMS:  Absolutely. 

I mean, look, it‘s important in the sense that it protects you from having problems you can‘t remedy, but there‘s no question that it‘s just delaying possible fights if it‘s going to come down to these provisional ballots. 

MATTHEWS:  Tom Brokaw was talking to both presidential candidates, including the president recently, and they seemed to both show a strong sentiment—they both showed a strong sentiment for fixing our system and finding some way of unifying, uniformizing all the voting in the country for federal elections.  Is that constitutional? 

ABRAMS:  Sure. 

MATTHEWS:  Can we do that or do we have to change the Constitution to do that? 

ABRAMS:  No, you wouldn‘t have to change the Constitution to have a unified system. 

Now, you might have some problems if there were mandates as to how states had to do things, because, generally, the way we do these presidential elections is, we say it‘s up to the states.  But we could certainly reach agreement where all the states say, look, here‘s how we are going to do it.  For example, the winner-take-all system in the Electoral College. 

Sure, there are a couple of states that don‘t completely do it, but basically all of the states have said, we want to play by the same rules.  And I don‘t think there‘s any reason they can‘t come up with a system, a uniform system, throughout the country, and they could eventually eliminate the Electoral College. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, maybe after tonight, things will change. 

Anyway, thank you very much, Dan Abrams, for that. 

ABRAMS:  All right, Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s go to Lisa Myers right now for a report on how the Bush camp is looking at the numbers right now—Lisa. 

LISA MYERS, NBC CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT:  Hi, Chris. 

Well, the Bush campaign continues to crunch the numbers, comparing the exit poll data with the actual votes as they are coming in.  And what they have concluded, according to senior campaign official, is that there is a 3 percent to 4 percent undercount of Republican votes across the board in the exit poll data. 

Now, specifically, their analysis is based on the votes in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.  But they have concluded there is a much broader problem, that 3 to 4 percent of their vote is not getting counted in the exit poll data. 

They are also feeling increasingly good about Florida.  They believe they are doing better than expected in the swing areas.  They are doing better than expected in the Democratic areas, and they are seeing very large turnout numbers in the Panhandle, which is traditionally Republican territory.  Now, no one is doing high-fives here, but there‘s a lot more smiles than there were two to three hours ago. 

There‘s still no predictions here about Ohio, but they are feeling much better about Florida and also about the race nationally, because of what they see as a significant flaw in the exit polls—Chris.

MATTHEWS:  OK, thank you very much, Lisa Myers, reporting on the Bush campaign. 

Let‘s go to Lester Holt, who is in Ohio, and is going to give us a sense of what‘s happening there—Lester. 

LESTER HOLT, NBC ANCHOR:  All right, Chris, the situation in Ohio right now is it‘s going to take some time.  Here‘s why. 

This is the decision desk behind me, the NBC News decision desk, where they are looking at a number of different scenarios, as they look at all the computer models.  And they have come up with two models right now.  One swings towards President Bush.  The other swings towards Senator Kerry. 

Two different stories.  Each campaign can take some optimism and some pessimism there.  But all this means right now it could be a very long wait as we wait to see the results in Ohio, two models, two different stories—

Chris.

MATTHEWS:  Thank you very much, Lester Holt.

Let me start with Joe.

You had thoughts about Florida.  What are your thoughts about the numbers down there? 

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”:  Want to talk about the numbers.

With 77 percent of the vote in.  George Bush is 256,000 votes ahead.  As David Shuster said earlier, Broward County has already come in, for the most part.  Republicans have always called Broward County, home of Fort Lauderdale, the killing fields, because they always lose by up to 200,000 votes.  What that means is they have got to pick up 256,000 votes from George Bush from Palm Beach County, where two hurricanes went through, and also Miami-Dade.  The Bushes usually do better in Miami-Dade than most Republican candidates. 

One final thing, Northwest Florida, my home area, that really gave the election last time, still not being counted yet.  Those votes are just now starting to come in.  They are going to come in 60, 65 percent. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Joe, look at the board.  What do you make of that board right now, 3 million for the president, a couple hundred thousand less than John Kerry? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  So, we are 200,000 votes.  Broward has already come in.  Northwest Florida is being counted.  They haven‘t counted absentee votes in South Florida, which usually trend Republican. 

And he is outperforming Mel Martinez by about—well, by about 200,000 votes right now.  They wanted Martinez obviously to help with the Hispanic vote.  I think that‘s probably worked for George W. Bush.  It doesn‘t work the other way.  Broward County, again, known as the killing fields.  If George Bush is 200,000 votes ahead without them counting North Florida and with Broward already in the bank, it‘s going to be awfully tough for them to carry Florida. 

MATTHEWS:  You know what‘s interesting, Joe?

I just got the word that if you look at that number—hold that board up there -- 85 percent that voted in your state of Florida, that‘s how many votes were total in the presidential last time around.  So you are going to get a big turnout.  What does that do to the state, if these big numbers keep coming in? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, it really does. 

And, again, a lot of it‘s going to depend on what happens in Northwest Florida, whether they get the vote out the way they wanted to get the vote out.  Again, there are still people standing in line in Northwest Florida to vote.  Of course, we have got the issues in South Florida also, but the most heavily Democratic county, in.  Palm Beach County, the second most Democratic county, again, hit by two hurricanes over the past month or two, again, as the polls that Keith was talking about before told us, that obviously had a significant impact on people that were voting. 

MATTHEWS:  Mayor Brown. 

WILLIE BROWN (D), FORMER MAYOR OF SAN FRANCISCO:  Well, I would tell you this, that I would assume no one has yet measured the Jewish vote.

And I think, frankly, the numbers that Joe has just talked about evidences itself as a result of the Jewish vote gone away from Bush—away from Kerry in greater numbers than anyone ever expected, and not being as solid for Kerry as it was for Bush. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

BROWN:  And I think that really is the difference. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And Joe Lieberman made such a huge difference in 2000 in South Florida.  And that may not have been there in time. 

And I am not saying it‘s over.  I am just saying, right now, if I were in this situation, I would be very nervous, because, again, you count on Broward County as a Democrat to carry you over the top, and you don‘t want them to start counting—you don‘t want to be 200,000 votes down when they start opening up ballot boxes in North Florida. 

MATTHEWS:  Thoughts, anyone?  Andrea. 

MITCHELL:  Well, it‘s definitely true. 

(CROSSTALK)

MITCHELL:  And we don‘t know yet how that vote is breaking, but clearly the president‘s position on Israel, his strong embrace of Ariel Sharon, has helped him with the Jewish vote around the country, at least anecdotally.

And we will have to see what happens in Florida.  This has got to be very encouraging, though, especially to the White House.  This may be one of the reasons why they had so much...

MATTHEWS:  You know, I look at these numbers, and I see Florida, perhaps—I noticed Lisa Myers in her report from the Bush camp, that they are more optimistic about Florida. 

But there‘s no word there about Pennsylvania, no word about Ohio.  We could have a very split result.  If the president were to carry Florida and were to lose Pennsylvania and lose perhaps Ohio and then go on and debate or divide up the Midwest, you could have something very close to a split decision here tonight. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What he has to do at that point, then, is, he‘s got to win the seven electoral votes in Iowa.  He‘s got to win the five electoral votes in Nevada.  He has got to win the five electoral votes in New Mexico. 

And when that happens, at that point, he will have enough to get over the top.  But, you know, it‘s way too early.  Even if Florida drops in the president‘s category, it‘s still a long, long way to get there, but Iowa at this point, with Ohio and Pennsylvania being pushed to the side tonight, Iowa‘s seven electoral votes all of a sudden are playing an important role. 

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s all take a look. 

We have been watching the Jim Bunning race, the problems he has been having out there winning a victory for reelection to the United States Senate from the state of Kentucky.  Of course, I grew up with this guy as one of my baseball heroes in Philadelphia.  He was a Hall of Famer.  And everybody remembers him well.  Here he is giving his acceptance speech.  He has won reelection. 

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SEN. JIM BUNNING ®, KENTUCKY:  ... opportunity.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) 

BUNNING:  We know there are people out there who want to destroy our very way of life. 

We also have to remember that there are many, many more millions and millions of people who want to come to America and do nothing more than build a better future for their families.  That is because we remain the beacon of hope and freedom for the world.  America is still the land where one can arrive with nothing and work hard and with determination build a better life for themselves. 

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  We‘re back at beautiful Democracy Plaza trying to get the election count as fast as we can get it to you and as accurately as we can get it to you. 

Let‘s go right now to show that Jim Bunning, the former pitcher for Philadelphia Phillies, as I know him so well, did in fact get declared the projected winner in—he has not been, actually?  I am looking at that.  Isn‘t that interesting?  Isn‘t that interesting?  His victory speech was given.  I was a little confused there because it‘s the first time I have seen this happen. 

He gave a victory speech before being projected the winner in that state.  We are looking at numbers that are in.  A lot of votes are in, however, but he hasn‘t gotten the projected victory from this network.  He may have gotten it somewhere else, but he clearly took the initiative. 

Let‘s go right now to Norah O‘Donnell to get another report.  She spoke with the first President Bush tonight.  That should have been interesting.

Norah, what did he say? 

NORAH O‘DONNELL, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  That‘s right, Chris.  I spoke with the 41st president, President George H.W. Bush, just a short time ago, who is arguably very nervous tonight that his son will suffer the same fate that he did, and that is a one-term presidency. 

The former president telling me—quote—“I am feeling good now,” emphasis on the now.  I think there was a great deal of concern here at the White House earlier with those first wave of exit polls.  In fact, the president‘s top media strategist telling NBC News that they had a near-death experience after looking at some of those initial exit poll numbers, which suggested that the president was doing very poorly compared to Senator Kerry in those three mega-states, Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania. 

The president‘s campaign and his top media strategists now predicting that they will win Ohio and Florida.  That‘s what they say.  They say that the exit poll numbers, some of which had been posted on the Internet, they said, were dead wrong, that the sample size was wrong.  They are looking at now at the turnout in parts of Florida, parts of Ohio they say don‘t track with what those exit poll numbers are.

So, there has been somewhat of a reversal of fortune, if you will.  And even though publicly they were trying to put a good face on things earlier, some are now admitting that they, in the words of one of those advisers, they had a near-death experience earlier.  And the former president says he is feeling good now. 

And, arguably, Chris, when we saw the president invite us up to the White House residence to say that he was feeling upbeat, I don‘t think the president would have done that if they thought that they were going to lose this election.  There has clearly been a change sort of in mood here, if you will, feeling a little bit better from this afternoon, but acknowledging, of course, it‘s still not over.  Not all the votes are counted. 

They are still looking at some of those key counties, certainly, where Kerry can do well in Florida and also in Ohio—Chris.

MATTHEWS:  What about Pennsylvania?  Did they mention that? 

O‘DONNELL:  No, not specifically, Pennsylvania.  I think Pennsylvania is still too close to predict that.

But, remember, all this president needs is holding on to what he won in 2000, and winning Florida and Ohio, and they believe that will be enough for victory.  They had—we had spent so much time campaigning up in those Upper Midwest states.  They think they are doing well in Iowa, but we had spent so much time in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, because those were the insurance policy, if you will, if they had lost Ohio. 

We‘re hearing tonight they feel very good about what they are seeing in some of those counties as the vote keeps on coming in RICHARDSON: 

MATTHEWS:  OK, Norah, we are still counting.  By our projections here, we‘re still calling, at NBC and MSNBC, we‘re still calling it too close to call in any number of states, beginning with Florida on through Pennsylvania, on through Ohio, and then we expect to have a lot more too-close-to-call situations developing and sustaining themselves throughout the evening.

So no matter the White House optimism expressed through the former president, these states are very, very close, too close to call.  We are looking at a number of them right now.  Look at them all, from east to west, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, on to the Great Lakes states, and out West there, even a couple out there in Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona.  A lot of close states to call tonight, which will be, of course, decisive in who gets 270 electoral votes. 

Let‘s go—for balance sake, right this moment, let‘s go to Carl Quintanilla, who is up in Boston with the Kerry campaign. 

What is the—we just heard Norah say that she just reported that she spoke with President 41, President Bush 41, so-called.  What are you hearing from the inside there about their hopes? 

CARL QUINTANILLA, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, it‘s interesting, Chris. 

Just as optimism has clearly some gained steam as the night has gone on, the early enthusiasm on this end probably dampened somewhat by the numbers that are beginning to show.  Actually on screens here in Copley Square in Boston, they just showed the Florida numbers.  And it got very quiet here very quickly, although the posturing does continue. 

Joe Lockhart just talked to reporters a few minutes ago and continues to insist that they will win Florida, saying that there‘s limited counting so far in heavily Democratic counties, that they were heavily favored on the early vote in Florida, and they think Ohio, too, will flip to the Democrats as well.  So, obviously, we don‘t know a lot, but the Kerry campaign continues to insist those two big states will fall to them.

And Pennsylvania, they are very confident about, especially given the action and the heavy turnout in the Southeastern part of that state.  John Edwards is actually across the street right now.  He just came to the Westin Hotel a few minutes ago.  He is going to spend some time with his family.  Elizabeth Edwards‘ family is there, said to be in a very good mood, teasing aides today.

The reason you haven‘t seen John Kerry is, he is still at his residence on Beacon Hill.  He took a nap today here.  He‘s working off about three hours sleep all day long.  He took a brief nap, had a very quiet dinner with his wife, Teresa, watching the returns, we‘re told, not making a lot of phone calls, a very subdued evening for Senator Kerry. 

Eventually, Chris, he is going to make his way here.  There will be some video of that.  At that point, we expect to see him upstairs at the Westin Hotel.  And Joe Lockhart says tonight, Chris, we do expect Senator Kerry to speak tonight—Chris.

MATTHEWS:  OK, thank you, Carl Quintanilla, who is with the Kerry campaign up in Boston. 

Let‘s go right now to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Josh Mankiewicz, where they, unfortunately, have another absentee ballot situation developing. 

Josh, what‘s happening?  Why, it‘s daytime out there.  What‘s going on out there, Josh? 

JOSH MANKIEWICZ, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, you know, it‘s going to be a while before we know anything here.  The vote is starting to come in.  The polls have closed, but all polls leading up to the election show this race to be within the margin of error. 

And just about an hour ago, the secretary of state for New Mexico told us that there are still 191,000 absentee ballots out there.  Now, election workers have started counting some of those, to be sure.  But what she told us was that it will probably be not just tonight, but probably tomorrow and maybe tomorrow night before all the absentee ballots are counted.

Add to that the large number of provisional ballots, which New Mexico is handling for the first time, like so many other states, and you have some time before the final results come in here.

And in a state that Al Gore won by only 366 votes four years ago, 191,000 votes still counted and that may still be not fully counted by tomorrow night, that‘s a lot of votes and it could totally sway the way this election goes out there.  So we may be in for not just a long night, but a long day tomorrow and maybe another long night tomorrow night—

Chris.

MATTHEWS:  Was this foreseen a couple of days ago, or is this just the madcap reality of election night 2004? 

MANKIEWICZ:  Well, yes and no. 

Everyone predicted a huge turnout, but, of course, you don‘t really know whether there‘s going to be a huge turnout until people actually show up at the polls.  Almost 40 percent of the state‘s 1.1 million registered voters voted early.  So that‘s a huge number of votes that they could start working on early, but there were incredibly long lines today, particularly in places like Albuquerque, where a huge amount of the Democratic vote is cast. 

And there were still people in line when the polls closed.  Those people were ushered into the polling places, and the doors locked behind them.  So all those people will eventually vote.  But there were definitely more people coming to the polls than election workers maybe had anticipated.

And you got to remember, somebody told me here, somebody on staff here at the elections office told me this.  Poll workers, they are generally volunteers.  They are in their 60s and 70s in a lot of cases.  They work late into the night.  They get tired.  The count slows down.  And I think the secretary of state‘s office here and I think most of New Mexico‘s 33 counties would be very happy to sacrifice speed for accuracy. 

MATTHEWS:  OK.  It‘s great to talk to you, Josh Mankiewicz, reporting from Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

We are going to be talking more with our panel right now. 

And the question is, what are we learning? 

Dee Dee Myers is all of a sudden sitting next to me. 

DEE DEE MYERS, NBC ANALYST:  She appears. 

We are learning that this is going to be a long night, that there are a lot of questions, that there are a lot of uncertainties as we go forward.  It seemed like it was breaking one direction earlier in the evening, and that conventional wisdom has clearly dissipated. 

MATTHEWS:  What is this spin coming out of the White House that they are going to win Florida, are going to win Ohio, they may not win Pennsylvania?  Then the spin coming out of the Kerry campaign or whatever you want to call it saying the same exact thing? 

D. MYERS:  This is a reaction to four years ago, which is that both campaigns want to be in a position to declare victory if things get tight at the end, because the Gore people really feel they suffered from the final call being that Bush had won, and Gore looking like a sore loser throughout that 35-day overtime four years ago.

So both campaigns are setting it up so that they can plausibly declare victory. 

MATTHEWS:  I love it.  We‘re learning.

So, when the president spoke with his family surrounding him, that was to set up, we won. 

(CROSSTALK)

D. MYERS:  Absolutely, and to replace the pictures earlier, because, clearly, this morning, they can say he was tired.  They can say a million things.

But the truth was, he was looking anxious.  He was looking nervous.  Kerry looked a lot more confident this morning than the president.  They wanted to replace that picture, that image, with the president looking like he feels like he is going to win, first time all day he‘s looked that way. 

MATTHEWS:  So we‘re going to see a man with a vanilla barn jacket showing up some time tonight in Boston. 

D. MYERS:  In the next hour, he will wade through that crowd. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Red Sox cap, smiling. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Claiming victory. 

(CROSSTALK)

D. MYERS:  The four-leaf clover.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  We can‘t even got on count on victory statements anymore. 

By the way, we just heard from Jim Bunning.  I found that fascinating.  I misspoke, because I looked at the picture, that board, as we call it, coming up with the results, thinking, my God, of course, he got the check mark, because, look, he is out there.  What did you make of that?  You are an old veteran. 

SCARBOROUGH:  That may be one of the reasons why one of his local newspapers suggested in editorial that he seek psychiatric help. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  I sure wouldn‘t go out there under that case.  Let me say this, though, about George W. Bush, though.

And we all remember four years ago, when they took cameras in there.  George Bush ain‘t a good actor.  I mean, four years ago, when they took the cameras in there, and Jeb was in there, looked like they had put a stun gun on him.  George Bush is feeling comfortable tonight.  He doesn‘t hide his emotions very well on election night. 

I am not saying that as a Republican or a Democrat.  I am saying as somebody that‘s observed George W. Bush, he does not let you into the inner sanctum unless he feels good, like Norah said, unless he felt very comfortable that he was going to win, because usually, when he does that, like I said...

(CROSSTALK)

D. MYERS:  ... back in the hunt.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, they are back in the hunt. 

D. MYERS:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  They found out these tracking polls were off, and they are feeling great about Florida. 

MATTHEWS:  Can I suggest a middle case?  Remember the old joke about the guy who was hitting himself with a hammer and somebody, said, why are you doing that, and he said, because it feels so good when I stop?

Could it be that he has just gone through a hell of a couple of hours, and then all of a sudden it feels a little better? 

D. MYERS:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I think they thought a couple days ago, when the Osama bin Laden tape broke, they were going to win by three to four points.  I think they woke up this morning.  They were up by one point.  They were very nervous about Florida.  They were very nervous about Ohio. 

They are feeling very good right now.  They would rather be where they are than where John Kerry is.  This beats the hell out of getting a hammer over your head. 

MITCHELL:  They have been nervous since Sunday, Monday.  They changed their schedule. 

(CROSSTALK)

MITCHELL:  Dick Cheney was sent to Hawaii. 

RON REAGAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Hawaii.

MITCHELL:  The first lady went off separately to go to battleground states.  And today... 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  And look at the states, though.

(CROSSTALK)

MITCHELL:  Today, on the way back from Texas, the president stopped in Ohio.  It is not normal. 

(CROSSTALK)

D. MYERS:  ... actually turning out to be stronger for Bush than they expected. 

MITCHELL:  Exactly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  These are the states we are waiting to come in though, all right?  Iowa, obviously Florida and Ohio, but Iowa, a Gore state they think they can win, Minnesota, Wisconsin, a state they think they can win.  New Mexico, another Gore state they think they are going to win.  I mean, right now, the numbers are looking...

MITCHELL:  I am not so sure they think they can win those states. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  What state don‘t you think they can win?  New Mexico? 

(CROSSTALK)

MITCHELL:  No.  I am not so sure that they think that they can win Wisconsin. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Iowa? 

MITCHELL:  Wisconsin.

D. MYERS:  Wisconsin, Iowa and New Mexico are all in play right now. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘m saying—and that‘s all I am saying.  All I am saying right now is—I don‘t know why you are shaking your head, because, if you look at the map, you have got Florida, Ohio, and then you‘ve got states that Al Gore won four years ago. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Joe, we‘ve got—we‘ve got a new one.  Let‘s join in—let‘s put in some news now.  We‘ve got a presidential call to make this moment. 

In the state of Arizona, the projected winner, George W. Bush, the president of the United States, has won in Arizona.  Big call there. 

And have we got another one right now to give you right now, right on the heels of that one, a big one.  Pennsylvania, John Kerry is the winner in Pennsylvania, by our projections.  That removes—by our projections, when all the votes are counted, a win in Pennsylvania for John Kerry, very interesting, because that now leaves two of the big three.  The deal-maker for the president now is probably having to win two, maybe having—what do you think, Joe?  He has to win two now, the president, to get reelected?  Does he have to win Florida and Ohio or just one? 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  The president needs to win Florida and then he needs to win a combination of those states that I talked about.

He needs to win Iowa, New Mexico, Nevada, some of these other states that are still hanging out there.  As Pat Buchanan pointed out several hours ago, because of redistricting, I think about eight electoral votes went from the Gore column to Bush column over the past four years. 

MITCHELL:  I don‘t either of these results are very surprising, though, Arizona or Pennsylvania.

SCARBOROUGH:  No.

(CROSSTALK)

D. MYERS:  Nothing has been surprising. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Nothing has. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  And that‘s the most surprising...

(CROSSTALK)

D. MYERS:  Everything is exactly as we expected. 

MATTHEWS:  Nobody remembers—and this is three days ago—

Pennsylvania in a lot of polls was leaning toward the president.  I read these polls every day.  So it wasn‘t surprising given the last 24 hours, but given a week ago. 

(CROSSTALK)

D. MYERS:  Well, but people on the ground were...

(CROSSTALK)

MITCHELL:  ... talking to people on the ground that Pennsylvania—and we said so on the air.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Right, because they‘re going to dump a million dollars in street money and turn the thing...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  And they had so much money in Philly, they poured it into Montgomery County. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  We know too much here. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  There‘s been no poaching so far.  The interesting point tonight, the president of the blue party is carrying blue states.  The challenger of the red party is carrying red states.  And the no-man‘s land of these states we have called the battleground are still there. 

And we are going to come back.  And we are going to come back and talk about whether or not, and maybe not, the youth vote failed to weather the storm today and get out there and vote.  We will see the good news or the bad news for the Kerry campaign.  If it didn‘t get out there, they‘re going to have a problem tonight.  We‘ll be right back with the big question.  Did the kids vote?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s go look right now and see where the campaign stands right now. 

Let‘s go right to Brian Williams.  By the way, he‘s been looking at exit polling, and he has figured something out about the youth vote, whether it did or did not show up in the numbers projected—Brian.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC ANCHOR:  Well, Chris, I have the answers to the questions you have all been asking about this.  Most of the political pros in the business, this will be the single most interesting set of exit poll figures, with all the hype about the potential of the youth vote, a whole lot of time, energy, money spent targeting young voters in the hope of getting younger people, who don‘t usually vote, to the polls this time, making this year different somehow. 

NBC News exit polls suggest these efforts did not pay off in the end;

18-to-29-year-olds, the fact is, made up 17 percent of voters nationwide.  That is the exact same percentage as four years ago.  Many thought the war in Iraq would push young voters to the polls.  A lot of the preelection polling, remember, showed them tipping in the anti-war direction.  We didn‘t find any evidence of this today. 

Among voters ages 18 to 29, 49 percent said they approved of the decision to go to war; 49 percent said they disapproved.  It‘s the red vs.  the blue.  As for how the young voters were breaking in the presidential race, they are going for Kerry.  In the choice, they are going 56-42 Kerry over Bush.  That‘s a departure from 2000, when the younger voters split pretty much evenly between Bush and Gore.

So, Chris, there you have it.  A coveted category, a talked-about category, and the answers appear clear, at least from exit polling tonight. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, there it was.  That was a brilliant and brutal debunking of previous opinion by the exit polling information we had. 

REAGAN:  (AUDIO GAP) ... also declined voting. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, I know last night, I was called the cynic for repeating it over and over again. 

MATTHEWS:  No, you were doing it tonight as well. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  And I was doing it tonight as well.

MATTHEWS:  You were the cynic tonight as well.

SCARBOROUGH:  Before these numbers came in—and, again, I said it, and I warn all of you that are running for office—I talked to Dee Dee about it.

Every two years, we always hear, the youth are going to go out.  They are going to vote.  They are going to make the difference.  And that‘s why I said last night when, everybody else on the planet was saying the youth were going to be motivated, that they weren‘t.  It‘s not that I am smart.  It was just a reality check.  Dee Dee will tell you, the youth leave you at the altar every time. 

MITCHELL:  It‘s that you are smart and cynical. 

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Perhaps.  Experience.

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s go to Chris Jansing out in Cleveland.  This is a state we are all watching, Ohio—Chris.  

Chris Jansing.

CHRIS JANSING, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Thanks very much. 

I was just talking to Bob Bennett, the GOP chairman here.  He has been watching very closely here.  This is an area that the Democrats have targeted.  In fact, Cuyahoga County, the Cleveland area, Chris, has its own organization.  It‘s almost like a state organization.  It has its own communications director.  It has its own staff.  That‘s how seriously they take the Cleveland area among the John Kerry campaign. 

Here‘s why.  This is a heavily Democratic area.  They wanted to get the numbers up, particularly among African-Americans.  But with half of the precincts reporting now, John Kerry has 60 percent of the vote.  That is below what Al Gore had four years ago.  And he lost Ohio, as you know, by about 3.6 percent.  One of the key goals of the Democrats this year was to get up those numbers. 

They needed to keep their margins high, so that, in the rural areas, where George Bush is strong, they could offset those numbers and still win in Ohio.  So, right now, half the precincts reporting, 60 percent of the vote for John Kerry, the Democrats will tell you, they are going to have to bring those numbers up when the other 50 percent of the vote comes in if they are going to look strong here in the Buckeye State—Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  OK, thank you, Chris Jansing.

Let‘s go right now to Keith Olbermann, also looking at the results.  Let‘s get some more results from Keith on the governorships and the Senate, how it stacks up right now—Keith. 

OLBERMANN:  Chris, 11 governorships up for grabs this evening, and we have now three each for the Democrats and the Republicans. 

First to Indiana, where Mitch Daniels, the former OMB director, has unseated Joe Kernen, the incumbent Democrat, who had taken over for the late Frank O‘Bannon upon the latter‘s passing in 2003.  That‘s the projection by NBC News, Mitch Daniels in what looks like a significantly large margin of victory over Indiana in the governor‘s race.

And in Delaware, this one also called as a probable by NBC News.  The projection there is that incumbent Ruth Ann Minner, the Democrat, will retain the office that she won by defeating Bill Lee in 2000, and going against Judge Lee again today and defeating him once more.  So three each, and five still pending—Chris, back to you. 

MATTHEWS:  Thank you, Keith. 

Just a quick thought here.  I want it from you, not from me.  This problem with getting out the vote in Cuyahoga County, heavily ethnic, black, but also ethnic, Eastern European, all kinds of people out there, is this the Catholic thing kicking in?  Why would that vote be down?  The blacks are probably voting Democrat.  What happened to the whites? 

D. MYERS:  Well, we will have to wait and see. 

One of the things we have been hearing is that African-Americans aren‘t turning out in as large of numbers.  And, remember, there was that ballot issue initiative banning gay marriage, which is something we have seen splitting off some of the African-American votes.  So that could have been it.  It could be white Catholic voters, ethnic voters.  It could be that the second half of the vote will come in stronger and raise Kerry up. 

We just don‘t know enough yet, but there‘s certainly a lot of factors in play at that.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, African-American voters are—so many of them are culturally conservative, so many—there are so many stereotypes out there.

And you put, as Ohio had, Amendment 1 on the ballot, and it‘s about gay marriage, I am not saying that in and of itself is what moved them, but again, they are—so many African-Americans are culturally conservative. 

MATTHEWS:  That‘s a very important point.  Let‘s get back to that.

Let‘s—we are going to be making some big announcements right now as we go to 11:00, Oregon, Washington, California, Hawaii, and Idaho.  Let‘s get those announcements out in just a couple of seconds. 

Once again, we‘re at that spot to make some news.

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