updated 11/3/2004 2:31:39 PM ET 2004-11-03T19:31:39

Guest: Bill Richardson

DAN ABRAMS, MSNBC HOST:  You the government made a mistake by not having me on your voter roll.  And so, they said, OK, here is a ballot.  Go ahead and fill it out.  If it turns out you‘re right, we‘ll count your vote.  But if you are wrong, we won‘t count your vote.  And so, there is no way you are talking about actually 200,000 votes.

In fact, in Illinois one of the few states that used provisional ballots in the past, remember, new law, only 11 to 20 percent or so of the votes actually counted.  It is expected that number would be higher in this election.  But again, we have to be very careful—We are talking about these numbers—to not assume 200,000 provisional ballots is 200,000 votes.

Right now with 98 percent of the vote in, President Bush up by 137,000, even if that number goes down, as Pat was pointing out a minute ago, you still have a major hurdle to overcome if you‘re going to avoid litigation.  Meaning if you are just going to count on having those provisional ballots counted and not deal with lawsuits, boy, do they have an uphill battle.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  Let me ask you about the reasons for issuing a provisional ballots.  I could think you could come to the poling both and not realize you are registered.  You hadn‘t gotten around to it and let your registration slip away, right?

ABRAMS:  Well, that‘s one reason—Well, no.  Presumably you are a registered voter.  A provisional ballot is given to someone who is a registered voter.  It is not to say, oh, you didn‘t register and you can vote.  It‘s to say, I am registered, I don‘t know why you don‘t have me down as a registered voter.  And then there are other rules, meaning, for example, the court of appeals in the sixth circuit said you have to vote in the right precinct.  For example, if you went to a different precinct and said give me a provisional ballot to vote with.  They gave it to you and it turns out you were supposed to be at a different precinct, your provisional ballot wouldn‘t count at all.

MATTHEWS:  So, how do you make the leap of faith that a certain percentage of these provisional ballots will in fact be accepted as true voters and legitimate voters?  How do you go about this? There is no real history, is there?

ABRAMS:  No, there is not.  There is no way to predict what percentage of them will be accepted.  There will be battles, I am certain, over whether some should or shouldn‘t.  But one thing is for certain, there is no way all of them will be, nothing like all of them will be.

And so, you have to keep this in mind you are talking about possibilities, probabilities.  You can‘t have a firm statistic but you have to assume in a whole lot of these cases that the government was right.  That these people weren‘t on the voter roles, they hadn‘t registered, they already votes or for whatever reason they were not entitled to vote again.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Boy, we are in new territory here, Patrick.  Stay with us, Dan.

PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC HOST:  Dan is right on the money.  Dan, correct me if I‘m wrong.  There are some 200,000 provisional ballots.  Kerry is down by 137,000 votes.  Two-thirds of the provisional ballots would have to be permitted and Kerry would have to get every one of them.

MATTHEWS:  Right.  It is a real problem.  Let me ask you to compare this to the situation we faced in Florida four years ago.  Is this a cleaner question?  You simply decide whether the state—let‘s forget what we say tonight, wouldn‘t the state look at all the provisional ballots and assess their validity?

ABRAMS:  Yeah, they would.  That is part of the new law.  You have to have this out there as an opportunity and then you have to go back and assess how many should be considered as real votes.  There‘s no question that would be done.  And remember, as Dee Dee pointed out before, you are talking about 11 days before they are going to really get to the process of counting the provisional ballots.  But again, the question is, are we even in the ballpark of reality when it comes to the numbers?

MATTHEWS:  Yeah.  I guess the question is whether the normal process within the state jurisdiction of Ohio where they have to make these decisions, it is not us to make the decision, or either candidate.  They are going to count the provisional ballots after they complete the formal count of all the ballots and they‘ll count these and see if they cause any change in the final verdict of the electoral votes of Ohio.  But it seems to me that is a lot of time to pass before, Patrick, we get it.  Another issue that has nothing to do with the law.  Aren‘t we going to get results from these other states in time to make the real difference here?

BUCHANAN:  Well, I think the results we‘re going to get in with the other states are going to leave us with Ohio as decisive, Chris.  That would be my projection of what‘s going on here.  But I think—Given the fact what Dan just told us, 200,000 provisional ballots.  He said 10 percent to 20 percent in Illinois were the only ones allowed.  He would have to get 67 percent allowed here in Ohio and Kerry would have to get every single vote.  It‘s going to come to pint somebody will say, John, it is not doable.  And they are probably going to say, my guess is, it ain‘t gonna be a Florida.  This could be over by noon tomorrow.

MATTHEWS:  I‘m not sure you know the culture of the Democrats.  Let‘s go right now to Joe Trippi, who knows is people and they are the bloggers, the people out there on the Web sites.  Many of them political zealots.

Let me ask you, Joe, what are the people you know in the world of the Internet saying to the Kerry campaign about fighting this?

JOE TRIPPI MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  They are saying a strong, strong message not to concede.  In fact, probably the best example of this is dailycause.com, which is a very big blog on the progressive side saying “The networks have central called this for Bush.  There are still votes to be counted that Kerry better not get it in his head to concede before they are counted.”

We‘re also getting a lot of remarks from citizen journalists who have questioned the networks calling this race—calling Ohio for Bush and I think we are playing into some fear out there about this coverage in the election not being legitimate.  I want to read a couple of them.

Shane Adams from Daytmills (ph), Ohio:  “I think it was completely irresponsible to call Ohio so early.  Lucas is sizable,” it‘s a county out there, “heavily Democratic and hardly closed as of yet.  Cuyahoga, where I live, was a disaster as far as disenfranchised voters were concerned.  Provisional ballots might very well decide this election.  Your station is only giving legitimacy to not counting all the votes here in Ohio.”

Kim Walker in Los Angeles, another citizen journalist, says:  “How can you call Ohio for Bush when there are people still in line waiting for a vote?  Why aren‘t you covering Michael Moore entertaining the people who have been waiting in line for hours in Cleveland to cast their votes?  You must not help Bush steal another election by not letting all the votes be counted.  And where were the paper trails in Florida?  I will not believe that Bush can win this election without hard proof of every single vote counted, otherwise he will never be recognized as legitimate.”

And when we look at what happened in 2000 and the issues around Florida, it is clear that on the Net there is this legitimacy issue of having every vote counted before we call the race and everybody out there, particularly on these blogs like dailycause is saying, Kerry, don‘t give into this.  Make sure every vote is counted before you even think about conceding.

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you, Joe, do you think personally as a political activist, you have been following this campaign since you were involved with Howard Dean, do you think Kerry would be well advised to hold of on any kind of concession?

TRIPPI:  I think the problem here is that you have all these people who did do a lot.  I know we have been talking about whether young voters voted a lot today, but they really did give this guy $80 million online.  A lot of them were out there pounding on doors.  And they want every vote counted.  And I think it is pretty important for Kerry.

I mean, Kerry is sort of in a box, he wants—I mean, you want to have every vote counted for these folks and make sure this is the result of—at the other time, yeah, if Ohio keeps moving away from him, it‘s not going to play out that well and it is going to look bad.  So, I mean, he is sort of juggling these two things.  Obviously they have got lawyers on the ground and they are going to think about this long and hard tonight.  Maybe that‘s what they are doing, but on the Internet it is “don‘t concede.”

MATTHEWS:  OK.  I guess it‘s back.  It reminds me in a very different time of Dick Nixon‘s problem in 1960.  He hadn‘t lost the race when he went on to bed.  And yet he had to be a citizen and keep the republic together and he did what he did.

BUCHANAN:  Exactly, and they were real -- 8,000 votes in Illinois and everybody knew it was a crooked situation there.  The votes in Texas with a landslide...

MATTHEWS:  But he could never prove it.

BUCHANAN:  Well, they probably could have investigated it, proven it, Earl Mazo probably would have ...

MATTHEWS:  Sure, I‘ve gone through those numbers in the book I wrote.  But the problem is you had Texas with a one-party situation back then.  You didn‘t have poll watchers.  You didn‘t have anybody to check.

BUCHANAN:  And there were problems in Missouri which was 8,000.  Nixon felt, look, we go through this, we tear the whole thing apart, you discredit the presidency, divide the country.  Let it go.

MATTHEWS:  What about Kerry‘s situation?  Do you think he has the same moral situation?

BUCHANAN:  I think you and I, I think we ought to watch Ohio and see it go 98, 99 percent, 100 percent in and then we are down to the provisional ballots.  It seems implausible to the point impossibility that two-thirds of the provisional ballots will be qualified and Kerry would get every single one.  At this point I would look at it, call in my advisers, I would get this thing done at noon tomorrow if that is the situation that we find.  But I would not do it tonight.

RON REAGAN JR., MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Are provisional ballots the same as the alternate ballots that they were talking about.  All these people that were on-line when the polls closed ...

DEE DEE MYERS, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  I don‘t think they are.  I think that is a separate category of votes.

REAGAN:  And we don‘t know how many of those are out there.  And they are saying they won‘t count them tonight.

MATTHEWS:  What is an alternate ballot?

REAGAN:  The polls were supposed to close and they‘re were still people online and instead of waiting they handed out a paper ballots.

MATTHEWS:  They were paper ballots, an alternate form, but it is in constitutional equality it counts as an actual ballot.  People waited in line that day and they voted.

MYERS:  The question is how many of them are there and have they been counted.

REAGAN:  We don‘t know if they have been counted yet.

MATTHEWS:  We don‘t know how many there are, do we?

REAGAN:  Yeah.  You know ...

MATTHEWS:  Let me go to Martin Savidge where there is another state where there is a possibility of a conclusion or not a conclusion.  Let‘s take a look at Wisconsin which is out there.  Let‘s go to Martin Savidge out there in Madison, Wisconsin.  How does it look for a Kerry victory tonight?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  It is looking pretty good at this particular hour.  The way it breaks down is 90 percent of the vote has been counted in the State of Wisconsin and with 10 percent left it looks like it is Milwaukee County that is the last to come in because of very heavy voting, very heavy voter turnout in areas of the city and that is a Democratic strong hold.  So, it looks like the last 10 percent should break in the favor of Kerry.

However, that being said, let me point out an interesting fact.  There are some areas in the City of Milwaukee where they say they had a voter turnout today of 115 percent.  Now how do you get that?  Well, essentially what happened was you had to pre-register people who came up and everybody voted and those who showed up and registered.  This is the state that has same day voter registration.  You can show up today, register and vote today.  And they believe a lot of people did just that.  115 percent.  That is pretty doggoned good.

MATTHEWS:  When you have same-day registration,, I am not familiar with what happens, but when you do, how do you make sure a person is from the area, from the precincts?

SAVIDGE:  The way it is supposed to work is number one, you show up with a valid ID of some sort, preferable a driver‘s license and then you need some sort of utility bill and the utility bill is basically to say you have been a resident of the State of Wisconsin for last 10 days.  And that is it.  That is all you need, essentially, to say that now you will register and you cast your vote at the same time.

MATTHEWS:  If it‘s that rigorous, how can you have over-voting, then, if it is that rigorous?

SAVIDGE:  Well, a lot of people are saying in some of the areas, specifically around the city of Milwaukee, that the registration to begin with was perhaps not, well, under the best of conditions or that they had a full understanding of how many people they had in their ward or precinct.

MATTHEWS:  Oh well.  Tonight, you would think the Kerry vote is moving toward a majority in that state in Wisconsin and will have at least one state marked up.  Do you have any sense when it is going to get done tonight?

SAVIDGE:  No.  It should be done within a matter of hours, but then, I would have to say, no.

MATTHEWS:  I hate to tell you, a matter of hours is about 10:00 tomorrow morning.  Thank you very much, joining us, Martin Savidge from Madison, Wisconsin.  It‘s great to have you.  Let me know—so there is one state that could finish up in the next six or seven hours.  But I tell you, it is amazing the silence we‘re getting.  We have a lid on the Kerry campaign.  How about a lid on Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico, Nevada, Hawaii, New Hampshire.  They are still voting in New Hampshire.  My God.  You could go door to door with a clipboard and have it done by now.  I don‘t know what is going on up there.  We don‘t know about Tom Daschle fighting for his life, apparently he is several votes behind out there in South Dakota.  Again, a state that is so small you should be able get a tabulation early.

BUCHANAN:  Daschle apparently brings out the Indian vote from the reservation.  My guess is this is probably what they are working with right now.  He is behind by a few thousand votes out there.

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s take a look right now.  There it is right now.

BUCHANAN:  What have they got?

MATTHEWS:  He is down by two percent -- 183.  He is trailing by 8,100 votes.  That would not be a lot of votes except in South Dakota that is a lot of votes, 8,000 votes that is two percent.  As I said, that is more than a CD, much more than a congressional district.  There it is.  So, that is at 97 percent.  Three percent of votes to be counted.

BUCHANAN:  That looks like a loss.

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s do the math while we‘re up there.  Three percent of 400,000.

BUCHANAN:  12,000.  He would need all the votes, wouldn‘t he?  You have to get three-fourths of the votes.  Four-fifths, yeah.

MATTHEWS:  We are getting good at this, aren‘t we?

Three-fourths of the votes for tom Daschle.  He probably knows their name and is calling them up.  Where are you?  Because it is in fact...

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Aren‘t you the guy who should pay the tip tonight...

MATTHEWS:  What‘s that?MITCHELL:  Can you also calculate tips?

MATTHEWS:  No.  I know how to do it.  It is easy.  Anyway, we have a situation developing where people who have joined us now recognize that Michigan with 17 electoral votes, Minnesota with 10, Wisconsin with 10, Iowa with seven, New Mexico with five, Nevada with five, Hawaii with four and New Hampshire with four.  They haven‘t reported.

BUCHANAN:  Hawaii has been called for Kerry.

MATTHEWS:  Hawaii has been called the Kerry.  So, we have one, two, three, four, five six, seven states, holding 27, 37, 43, 48, 53, 57, right?  57 electoral votes.

BUCHANAN:  I think that is 58.  But right up there.

MATTHEWS:  Nine, 14, 21, 31, 41 -- you are right.  Fifty-eight.  OK, we have 58 electoral votes which is clearly enough to elect either one of these guys, right?  Isn‘t that interesting?

BUCHANAN:  It is enough to give Kerry a tie.  Assuming Bush keeps Ohio.

MATTHEWS:  So, there are two reasons for Kerry to stay in the race and not concede.  One is the overall—look at the states we have that still haven‘t reported a winner.  They are still out there.  And of course, the contention by the Kerry folks that somehow they can pull out a victory in Ohio thanks to either a recount, a complete count or these provisional ballots.

BUCHANAN:  The likelihood of a tie is fairly remote given Bush‘s lead in New Mexico and Nevada which will take him over and Ohio would take him back and throw Kerry over.

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s go now to Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico.  One of the states we haven‘t heard from.  Let me go to Governor Richardson.  Thank you for joining us, governor.  What happened in New Mexico today?

GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D), NEW MEXICO:  Well, Chris, right now we have just gotten reports, Santa Fe County, which is a very Democratic county we‘ve picked up close to 24,000 votes in the last few minutes.  That gives us probably 10,000 down from the president.  If you look at your projections I think you had New Mexico down 30,000 votes.  We‘re down maybe 7,000.

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s put up the board for New Mexico.  Governor, let me get it up there.  There it is.  We have 279,968 to 251,524.

BUCHANAN:  It‘s 28,000.

RICHARDSON:  We picked up about 20,000 in the last few minutes from new vote counts in Santa Fe County which previously hadn‘t been counted.  Now some of the precinct in the Navajo Reservation, heavy turnout in the Indian areas, so I would expect New Mexico won‘t be settled tonight, but most likely early in the morning.

So, I wouldn‘t count New Mexico out for Senator Kerry.  I think we may squeeze it out as we did four years ago.  I have been in many elections in the state and those rural, Hispanic, Democratic counties, Native Americana, Santa Fe come in way at the end.  There is also some votes in Las Cruces, which is southern New Mexico where president Bush has been strong.  But if there is one area that is strongest for Democrats it is Las Cruces with a large Hispanic population.

MATTHEWS:  I see.  So, you still think there is a prospect to make up this deficiency, governor, and win it for the senator from Massachusetts.

BUCHANAN:  Yes, I do think so, Chris.  I think that it‘s too fluid out here.  There are too many votes haven‘t been counted.  Some absentees, some early voting.  It is not over yet here.

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you before we leave you, governor, on the phone.  Do you think politically it is important, not just numerically, but politically for John Kerry to keep the fight open and not to concede tonight?

RICHARDSON:  Yes.  Because there is no certainty in all of these numbers that are floating out there, Chris.  I think four years ago there was basically a concession too early by our candidate.  And Senator Kerry is right to basically say we need to wait until tomorrow.  That is what John Edwards said.  That makes sense.  I can just tell you in New Mexico it is just not over yet.  Most everyone will agree with me.  Those votes are being monitored by both sides of Santa Fe County, for instance, the one that I mentioned where we picked up close to 20,000 votes in the last 30 minutes.

So, in Ohio, I look at those numbers.  You just don‘t know.  There‘s no question the president has a lead there.  But Nevada, I do think these are the states that I concentrated on in registering Hispanics, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, very competitive.  These are areas where Democrats need to spend more time cultivating.  Again, that Hispanic votes moving our way, at least in those three states, I don‘t know about the rest of country.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  It is great to hear from you.  Thanks for the call tonight.  Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico.  Let‘s go to Josh Mankiewicz, who is in Santa Fe.  Josh, what do you think of that report from the governor about these new votes that just came in, the 24,000.  Is that news to us all?

JOSH MANKIEWICZ, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  It is news to us at the secretary of state‘s office.  That, of course, does not mean that it is not true.  Governor Richardson probably knows his state better than the rest of us, certainly those of us just covering the election.  But this race has been 29,000, 30,000 margin for President Bush for a while.  Governor Richardson always predicted if the Kerry forces won it would be a one percent victory.  He was never predicting more than that.

The one thing I could add is that of the 191,000 absentee ballots that were out, still about 70,000 still have to be counted.  So, there is a good chance that some of that margin could be made up, if not all of it, particularly if Governor Richardson is correct and that margin has been cut from 30,000 to 10,000, Chris.

MATTHEWS:  Are people, Josh, still counting out there at this time in the night?

MANKIEWICZ:  Oh, yeah.  They are still counting.  In fact, we have been promised some sort of preliminary number.  We haven‘t gotten that.  They are still working at the early vote and the actual returns and the absentee vote which, as you know, they are still really preliminary number, and we haven‘t even got that yet.

I mean, they are still working away at the early vote and the actual returns.  And it will take a while to certify those and add them to the count.  But 70,000 absentee ballots are still out there about a half hour ago when I checked with the secretary of state.  And that is enough out there to influence the outcome, of a race that is at 30,000 votes or if you believe the governor at 10,000 votes.

MATTHEWS:  OK, thank you very much.  Josh Mankiewicz out in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

BUCHANAN:  If you have 70,000, out of those, Kerry would have to win 49,500 leaving Bush with 20,500.  That would make up the 30,000.  That is wining basically 5-2 for Kerry in the ballots that are out there.  It is doable, but not likely.  The last count we saw go up Bush went up about 1,000 votes.  So, they are not coming in the way Richardson said.

MATTHEWS:  Yeah, it‘s coming in more for the president.  These states we are waiting for a final count, nothing seems to be turning in directions...

BUCHANAN:  Why don‘t we look at Nevada?

MATTHEWS:  You want to look at Nevada?  Let‘s go look at Nevada and see how that‘s doing.  Let‘s look at the board for Nevada.  OK.  George W. Bush.  These are so consistent.  This country is so amazing in the way there is a pattern here.  51 percent, 48 percent.  Obviously 90 percent of the precinct reporting, Bush over Kerry 51 percent to 48 percent with these relatively small numbers.

REAGAN:  The question is what the data is.  Has Las Vegas reported yet?  Because that is the blue area and the rest of the state, all of the rest of the state is red.  So, unless we have a bunch of Las Vegas votes yet to come, it is going to be George Bush.

MATTHEWS:  We are going to go to Keith Olbermann for some updates on the governors‘ races and, of course, taking a look once again at the Senate composition that is taking shape right now.  Keith?

KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC HOST:  Chris, I actually have results and ones that are not likely to be contested in any way.  Let‘s start with the governors‘ seats.  The open seat in Missouri.  After Claire McCaskill, the Democrat, the state auditor, had beaten the incumbent, Bob Holden, in the primary, she herself is then defeated by the secretary of state from Missouri, Matt Blunt.  That is called by NBC news.  A Republican takedown of the governor‘s chair in Missouri.

There are also three measures to give final scores on.  In the measure 36 balloting in Oregon, which, again, is a definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, one of 11 propositions nationwide tonight, this one has passed by a comparatively small total.  But now you see it.  It‘s 11 for 11.  Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, now, and Utah, all of them, 11 for 11 approving those same-sex marriage measures.

And one more to report that has been projected by NBC News, in Oregon medical marijuana expanding the existing medical marijuana program has gone down to defeat, according to our projections, with 80 percent of the actual vote in.  So, actual results.  Chris, back to you.

MATTHEWS:  Keith, thank you very much.  Keith Olbermann, my colleague.  And counting tonight, we are going to come right back after this.  Let‘s take a commercial break.  We‘re here from Democracy Plaza.  It‘s getting a little noisy now but we are going to  persist in the vote count tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (voice-over):  It‘s been a long night, but we‘ve waited four years for this victory.  We can wait one more night.  John Kerry and I made a promise to the American people that in this election every vote would count and every vote would be counted.

MATTHEWS:  You just heard the Democratic anthem for 3:30 in the morning Eastern time.  The morning after the presidential election.  We waited four years for this victory.  We can wait another night.  That was John Edwards being the cheerleader in the end game of the Democratic campaign for president.

Let‘s go right now to Brian Williams and find out what happened to this campaign as it moved into Election Day.  Brian?

BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST:  Chris, for sure a lot of Kerry aides were not hoping or expecting to be in this situation at 3:28 a.m.  And so, we have been deconstructing some of the numbers, we‘ve been looking specifically in our exit polling numbers at an erosion in the traditional Democratic base that hurt John Kerry in the polls today.  Latinos have been in the Democratic column for some time, as you know.  And while Senator Kerry won overall in that group, he did not do as well as Al Gore did four year ago.  Both campaigns invested heavily in the Hispanic vote.  Four years ago, Hispanics made up seven percent nationwide.  Tonight they are nine percent of the American total.

And the president, who let‘s not forget is bilingual, is from a border state and has an Hispanic relative in his family by marriage, increased his share of the Hispanic vote from the 2000 race from 35 percent up to 42 percent.  And at the same time Kerry‘s share of the Hispanic vote diminished by seven points from what Al Gore took in 2000 from 62 percent to 55.  The president also increased his support in every state with a large Hispanic population, even winning majorities in his home state of Texas and the battleground state of Florida. 

Now, turning to the group:  Women.  Back in the 2000 election there was a big gender gap, as we all remember, in the vote for president.  Al Gore won the women‘s vote by 11 percentage point gap.  Today John Kerry was only able to win women as a group by five points.  Part of the reason for that, we talked about this before this election.  Married women went for Bush by a significant margin, 54-45, and a lot of those have been dubbed so-called security moms.

On the other hand, single women were largely behind John Kerry with close to two-thirds of that vote going for him and about one-third supporting Bush.  The issues that matter most to women tonight also linked to marital status.  Married women ranked moral values as the most important issue compared to single women, who thought the nation‘s economy, job situation, was the most important issue.

Notably, Iraq was not one of the top three issues for women at all as they cast their votes and then answer questions from our exit pollsters.  Chris, back to you.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Thank you, Brian.  That was fascinating and I think I do want to talk about something I have often been fascinated by over the last 23 years, since Ronald Reagan.  The gender gap and how it continues to play a small part but not a big part of our lives and specifically single women.  Ron?

REAGAN:  Yes?

MATTHEWS:  Explain.  Single women are Democrats.  Why?  Married women tend to be more conservative.

REAGAN:  Yeah.  They‘re younger.  I think you get married you have kids.  You have kids, you start worrying about kids.  You start worrying about kids‘ future.  You‘re not thinking about yourself so much.  One thing about that, though, is that you would think that married women with children, particularly older children, would be concerned about the war in Iraq because they would be worried about sending their kids to fight in Iraq.  But apparently, not so much.

MITCHELL:  This is the smallest gender gap—male/female gender gap we have seen in decades for a Democrat and a Republican.  This is extraordinary that he only won women by five percent.

MYERS:  What‘s interesting is that single women, it doesn‘t matter whether they have never been married, whether they are divorced or widowed, how old they are, they tend to be more Democratic because they tend to be more economically vulnerable.

MATTHEWS:  And while we‘re having this conversation, which I consider protein (ph) and we‘re going to be running it in front of your screen right now...

MYERS:  Never mind.

MATTHEWS:  The victories by the president and by the challenger in the Electoral College.  Let‘s watch—I‘m sorry, Dee Dee, your turn.

MYERS:  No.  I didn‘t know where that was going, Chris.

MATTHEWS:  Where it‘s going is where I want to take it because I do love this process.  I love it.  I mean, it used to be you could say safely that education, women are always the ones most attentive to the homework, most attentive to enriching the children‘s lives, thinking about how they are becoming full adults.  They are worried about medicine.  They are worried about the shots the kids have had.  Husbands tend to be out to lunch on these topics.

Men, on the other hand, lock the door at night because they are the line of defense if anything happens.  Men are very conscious of lights being turned off at night because they are the ones who are supposed to have the loot (ph) at the end.  You‘re supposed to have it when you are 90 years old, so they turn off the lights hoping that they‘ll save a few nickels.  Women are thinking about...

MYERS:  Not in my house.

MITCHELL:  This is true.

MATTHEWS:  And I can imagine that.  I have turned off 30 lights at night.  I am so concerned about—because I figure it‘s my retirement plan, I will have some money leftover if I turn off enough lights.  Women worry about children today, they worry about their parents today.  They worry about you if you‘re the husband, lucky enough to be one.  They know what‘s in their healthcare program, they know what‘s in everything.

Men know nothing except how to turn off the lights, how to lock the doors at night and if there‘s a sound in the middle of the night nobody ever says to the husband, “I just heard a noise, let me check.”  They always say, “Did you hear that?” like in a monster movie and you‘re supposed to say, “Yeah I heard it.”  And you‘re supposed to go downstairs and die because you‘re not supposed to have a gun, right?

REAGAN:  Your baseball bat.

MATTHEWS:  Your baseball bat, yeah.  It‘s a traditional notion of insanity.  But this is why men like Reagan, the old man, and men like—Alan what‘s-his-name, he‘s the guy who used to be on “M.A.S.H.”

MITCHELL:  Alan Alda.

REAGAN:  Alan Alda.

MATTHEWS:  Alan Alda.  They like sensitive men.

BUCHANAN:  When women get married to men, the two of them tend to start voting very much together and get very close in their politics.  Sure, I mean—and I think when the women get married and the men, I think are ...

MATTHEWS:  That‘s a debate your wife can campaign like you did.  That‘s ...

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  No, no, there are more.  When you meet them, say, in college, as you grow older you grow more together in your politics and I think the men are much more Republican so I think the women tend to move toward it.  When they are single and more independent, they are voting their own minds, they are voting their independence.

MATTHEWS:  You are so ‘50s.  You are so ‘50s.  Does anybody believe that here?

BUCHANAN:  You don‘t think women vote like their husbands?

MITCHELL:  Single women are more vulnerable economically.

BUCHANAN:  You don‘t think women vote like their husbands?

MYERS:  Well, some do, many do, and what we saw in this election was a tremendous number of ticket-splitting families where the women were voting Democratic and the men weren‘t.  But.

REAGAN:  Husbands do bully their wives into voting their way.

MATTHEWS:  They do?

REAGAN:  Yeah, they do.  I think.  More than the other way around.

MATTHEWS:  But how do you know how they vote?  Do they go in the booth?  This is so fascinating.

REAGAN:  Please.

MATTHEWS:  This is—you‘re just being silly.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  I don‘t know about that.

MATTHEWS:  I think it‘s getting more ridiculous here than outside.  Are you really saying men bully women into voting their own way?

REAGAN:  I don‘t mean literally, but yeah, there is more—Oh come, on, honey, a lot of strong, strident arguments and...

MYERS:  Men do tend to pontificate about their views, I‘ll give you that one.

BUCHANAN:  Talk it over.  Who are you going to vote for?  And then they come to a conclusion.  As often as not it‘s the man‘s conclusion.  It‘s the world, Chris.

MATTHEWS:  What, stubborn?

REAGAN:  I think it‘s more important for men, for husbands that their wives vote with them than it is wives that their husbands vote with them.

MATTHEWS:  Dee Dee, I want to ask you this.  Does Todd tell you how to vote?

MYERS:  No.

MATTHEWS:  I am not going to extend this any further because I disagree with...

MYERS:  Right.  I think it‘s pretty normal (ph) spouses disagree with each other.  I think that increase in the younger couples can have different opinions...

BUCHANAN:  And that‘s a normal thing is that they vote together.

MYERS:  I think it depends.

REAGAN:  But the disparity between married women and single women is 54-45 in married women to 63-36 for Kerry in single women.

MYERS:  Right.  Because there is nobody to lock the door.  There is no spouse to share the income, there is nobody to provide a safety net if something goes wrong.  It‘s that they go to the...

MATTHEWS:  Single women have lights on all night, obviously.

MYERS:  ... They have them on all night, it‘s unbelievable!

MATTHEWS:  They do lock their doors, though, they just don‘t have somebody else to do it for them.

MYERS:  They have to do everything themselves without the government being there.

BUCHANAN:  They look to the government when they don‘t have the man, look to the government to do those functions you describe.  And they depend on government.  Look at women on welfare.  They depend upon it for the income, the education of the kids, all of the things that were once done by the man in the house.  It‘s just more natural.

MATTHEWS:  Let me just suggest something.  Women have to work, most of them work, they do have to work, they have to work anyway.  They work.  Let‘s leave it at that.  I‘m going to get politically incorrect here.  They have to work.  They have to deal with bosses, stockholders, customers, everybody that men have to deal with.  They have to deal with their children.  Then they have to make ends meet because they have to go to work or they have to get someone to take care of the kids.  Childcare.  Number two.  They don‘t make a ton of money so they have to pay for kids—they have to make sure the public schools are good enough.  They don‘t have a lot of money to give their parents, they have to count on Social Security.  They count on the things that most people count on but they...

BUCHANAN:  They count on the government.

MATTHEWS:  But they have more stress than that because they are responsible both to bosses, husbands, kids and stockholders, customers and all that.  It‘s...

BUCHANAN:  The government is indispensable to poor women.  It‘s a simple fact of life.  Poor single women, the government has become indispensable once the man is gone.

MYERS:  Even single women who aren‘t poor who may be one paycheck away from real trouble and they‘ve got kids.

BUCHANAN:  They depend on government...

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Whoever increased the divorce rate increased the Democratic vote.

MITCHELL:  ...for their families.  Women are much more involved in healthcare decisions and rightly (ph) women with children are...

MATTHEWS:  You remind me—remember the guy—what‘s his name?  Sam Levinson who once said that me and my family—I make all the big decisions in my family and my wife makes all the little decisions.  She decides where we live.  Where we go for religious services, where we go on vacation, things like that, what school the kids go to.  I make the big decisions like whether we let Red China in the UN.

But seriously, let‘s go to Nora O‘Donnell because the lid is not on at the White House at the president‘s reelection campaign.  Let‘s go their now to Nora O‘Donnell, NBC News.  Nora?

NORAH O‘DONNELL, NBC NEWS:  Yes, Chris, they are burning the midnight oil here at the White House.  Highly unusual, certainly for a president who likes to get to bed early.  He is still awake.  All the lights still on here at the White House.  The president‘s motorcade still waiting in case the president decides to head over to the Ronald Reagan Building.

Interesting we just ran into Vice President Dick Cheney, who is also here.  He said he was walking back over to his office to await developments so he is still awake here, awaiting things with president.  The last time we saw the president tonight was over six hours ago.  The president upstairs in his residence, invited reporters up with his family, appearing very relaxed, laughing, saying he thought he was going to win and also saying very confidently that he thought it would be over tonight.

He was joined by his mother and his father, his twin daughters.  Just spoke very briefly with reporters, sort of a mood-setting session, if you will, and also an opportunity for this White House to project a sense of self-confidence, certainly at a time when many people thought that the exit polls were not heading in their direction, when the campaign was saying, well, we see results that are heading in our direction.  The mood, however, now has turned from celebration to, as my colleague David Gregory put it, to irritation.

Many people sort of frustrated with the fact that Kerry‘s folks are contesting what‘s going on in Ohio.  In fact, we just got a late press release from the president‘s campaign by Senator Mike DeWine and George Voinovich, the two Republican senators from Ohio.  Incidentally, Voinovich was re-elected today and they put out a statement saying based on our experience in Ohio politics, “We believe the president‘s lead in Ohio is clear and that it can not be surmounted.  Senator Kerry should concede defeat and spare the country the turmoil of another drawn-out election.”

That‘s the word from the two Republican senators from Ohio on letterhead from the Bush/Cheney campaign.  Significant.  They are already starting to send these signals from the president‘s campaign that Kerry should spare this country the turmoil.  Chris?

MATTHEWS:  OK, thank you, Norah O‘Donnell at the White House.  Let me ask you this just to make sure we are clear on that.  Do we have 270 electoral votes for the president yet?

MYERS:  No, 269.

BUCHANAN:  No, 269.

MATTHEWS:  So, why would the other guy concede on that point alone?

BUCHANAN:  Well he ...

MITCHELL:  Reuters has the bulletin that the White House is planning to declare victory if the president wins either Nevada or New Mexico.

MATTHEWS:  Right.  That‘s what we‘ve been hearing for an hour.  But for them to start putting out a test letter now suggesting there is something impolite about Kerry is pushing this thing.

BUCHANAN:  The lead is growing in Ohio, Chris.  It‘s now up to 144,000.  And we‘re down now to two percent of the votes out.

MATTHEWS:  But we don‘t have 270 electoral votes.  You have no right, it seems to me, under common understanding of politics, to demand a concession.

BUCHANAN:  I think that‘s right.

MITCHELL:  The biggest (ph) part of the tactic earlier is to be presumptive about it and to put Kerry on the defensive, which is exactly what they‘re doing with ...

BUCHANAN:  But they oughtn‘t be presumptive.  You don‘t be presumptive until you‘ve got the electoral votes with Ohio.  If you‘re over the top then you say, “we have one Ohio and we are over 269.”  He ain‘t there yet.  You are correct.

MATTHEWS:  You can‘t just because the caterer is getting a little testy over the Reagan Building, right?

BUCHANAN:  It would be interesting.  My vote would be they send somebody, since he sent Edwards, he would send not the president but Cheney, I would think, over to issue a sort of a provisional statement of victory rather than have the president go out there.

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s get a gut check here from Ann Thompson in the decision room.  We‘ve been wrestling for a couple of hours now trying to figure out how these preliminary ballots are going to be.  How are these preliminary—Hi, Anne—ballots going to be tested?  Under what time table?  So, we‘ll know if we‘ll get a clear result at least from Ohio in a reasonable amount of time.

ANNE THOMPSON, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, we will know, hopefully in an hour or so how may provisional ballots were cast today in Ohio, but they won‘t start counting them until November 13th.  Why is this a ten-day delay?  Because during that time they also get in overseas absentee ballots.  There is a ten-day grace period for those ballots and then once all of those ballots are in and the provisional ballots have been certified that they indeed were cast by registered voters, then the county officials open up those ballots and begin to count them and then send their tabulations here to the secretary of state.  But that‘s why there is this ten day delay.

MATTHEWS:  OK, Anne, thanks a lot for informing us on that critical detail of tonight‘s end game.  Thank you very much Anne Thompson, watching what‘s happening out there in Ohio right now.  We‘re going to come right back after this commercial on MSNBC here at Democracy Plaza in Rockefeller Center where we are keeping an eye on this late endgame as we‘ve got to call it as it is not over yet.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS:  Were back here at Rockefeller Center at Democracy Plaza.  It would be nice if we could see—I think that one way we are going to be leaving here in several minutes.  I would like to end by looking at something I looked at through history books through my life and that‘s final votes.  Let‘s take a look, if we can, at the popular vote right now for President Bush‘s reelection and the vote for his challenger.  It‘s about 51 percent plus.

Now let‘s take a look at it right now.  It‘s 51 percent.  You know, it‘s so interesting, that‘s what I thought it would be.  And it‘s so funny, before all this rock and rolling I was thinking to myself, 51-48 because I thought it wasn‘t going to be a really dramatic victory just based upon the mood of the country and then I did thing that the president would wind, and it‘s fair for me to say this now because we say what we think and we thought it would before.  That‘s about right.

I was thinking Nader would get 1, Kerry would get.  But here‘s the interesting thing.  The president campaigned like hell the last year, especially the last couple of months, to get his number above 50 percent, because he was always about 50...

CRAIG CRAWFORD, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  They really wanted to win this...

MATTHEWS:  And he wanted to win and he got it up one point.  John Kerry kept trying to get his vote about 45, because somebody was saying anybody could have got, because it‘s the anti-Bush vote.  It was the hardcore Democratic anti-Bush vote.  So, now you see John Kerry succeeding somewhat in the debates.  Thank God. If he hadn‘t won those debates, thank God for him, he would not be up at 48.  That 48 is probably a function of having kicked it up by three or four points, right, Craig?

CRAWFORD:  The GOP turnout machine was everything they advertised it to be.  And I was cynical, I didn‘t think they had it in them.  They did.  They have caught up with the Democrats in turnout machinery and that‘s what those numbers show.  And that‘s without having big city machines.  They don‘t have those old-time organizations like—they do have them...;

MITCHELL:  They‘ve got governors.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s go around the room.  I want to talk about that number, because we‘ll argue about this electoral vote number for days, now, it looks like.  The popular vote is what the world sees.  It‘s what most people see.  Three point spread for the president, about what you would have checked it (ph), Pat, a couple weeks ago.

BUCHANAN:  A couple weeks ago, before the debates, I predicted—frankly, I predicted exactly this, 51-38.

MATTHEWS:  But I would say, Pat, Vice President Cheney said the other night 52-47, which he has to say, he‘s got to give himself a little more edge.  But I think it‘s about what he would have expected without all this sturm und drang.

BUCHANAN:  Andrea is short of work in the math.  It looks about 112 million votes, Chris.  People talking about 125 million were way, way over.  It would be interesting to see what it would have been if we had gotten a lot more votes.

CRAWFORD:  And this is where it makes it tough for John Kerry to pursue this non-concession strategy, although we still don‘t have 270, so he shouldn‘t concede.  You‘re in the hole in the popular vote.  It‘s not like Al Gore, he didn‘t win the popular vote.

MATTHEWS:  Well, I think that‘s also the case that he—the president won without the advantage of those huge states like California and New York, he can roll up the score, the East Coast and the West Coast states.  He had to roll up that score in the Midwest.

CRAWFORD:  I made a round of calls with Democrats very quickly—those that weren‘t in the campaign that are working for people who might want to run for president in 2000.  I don‘t think Kerry‘s going to have the support of the party around him as much as Al Gore did to contest this election if that‘s how it pans out.  I think a lot of them are ready to run themselves.  Mark Warner, in Virginia, for example, the governor.  Howard Dean, perhaps.  There are plenty of folks in the three-point stance to run for this in 2008.

MATTHEWS:  You raised it and you popped a good question.  If John Kerry doesn‘t find a way to win this in the Electoral College, does that mean he‘s never going to be president because he‘s not going to run again, and he‘s not going to get the nomination again.

BUCHANAN:  I don‘t see them going again with John Kerry.  This was ideal—the president‘s had terrible news for a year.  Abu Ghraib.  All this Iraq thing going on.  The economy, all these manufacturing jobs lost.  If you can‘t win it when you‘re dealt that hand, then you try to get a new hand.

CRAWFORD:  This is great news for political junkies if the president wins reelection.  Because we have two open races in both parties for the nomination in 2008.

MATTHEWS:  In the short run it is good for the president because now he has a mandate of a majority vote.  How many Democrats have had majority votes?  Count them?  When was the last one?

BUCHANAN:  No, I mean...

MITCHELL:  He‘s got a mandate and he...

BUCHANAN:  Carter did against Ford.

MATTHEWS:  I‘m telling you, it‘s a long way back.  That‘s more than a quarter of a century a Democrat has not got a majority vote.  Bill Clinton got up to 49.  This president walks out of the race with a 41, 42 (sic) majority in the popular vote, he has won.  It‘s a victory.  Ron?

REAGAN:  Yeah.  And let‘s remember that this president, even when he lost the popular vote, and won a disputed election, acted as if he had a mandate when he entered office.  He didn‘t go in there and say, “Yeah, gee, maybe I should make some concessions on the environment because I can read the polls and I can see most people disagree with my policies there.”  No, he said, “Screw it, I‘m in here now and I‘m going to.

CRAWFORD:  Now he‘ll be running for the history books now.  Once he gets reelected, he‘s running for the history books.  So, it‘ll be interesting to see if he plays to the right wing of the party like he had been to win this election.  We may seen the compassionate conservative now.

MATTHEWS:  One thing we have learned about second terms.  You have learned it, you have learned it.  Second terms are fraught with peril for the following reasons.  Second rate staff.  Inevitably you don‘t get the guy you got the first time, you get the guy you turned down the first time.  The cabinet gets very hubristic, as Stephanopoulos would say, hubristic.  They get very arrogant and therefore you get into trouble.  Whether it‘s Bernard Goldfine and what was that, the mink coat or whatever it was, the refrigerator.

BUCHANAN:  The vicuna coat.

MATTHEWS:  Or it‘s Watergate or it‘s Iran-Contra or it‘s Monica.  Things happen bad in second terms.

BUCHANAN:  Scandals hit in second terms but they don‘t tend to hit if you control both houses of Congress.

MATTHEWS:  Because, as Richard Nixon would say, the most important price in the race for congress is the subpoena power, right?  And you notice when he run reelection in 1972, everyone else was celebrating, Nixon said, Oh my God, once again I don‘t get the subpoena power.  They‘re coming at me.  Yeah.

MITCHELL:  And they got more support in the House and the Senate.  It turns out that Tom DeLay‘s strategy in Texas turned out to be really, really terribly important but at the same time he has got some big challenges.  The situation in Iraq.  Right now they are not even sure they could hold this election in January as scheduled.  He‘s got some tough things to face.

BUCHANAN:  Your husband might tell you there is a sinking dollar out there, frankly with its trade deficit and current account deficit and fiscal deficit we are borrowing about $1 trillion a year.  There is no way the dollar, I think, can survive that.  Everybody is projecting it is going down.

MITCHELL:  In my area, which is not the economy, in terms of foreign policy, we‘ve got some really big challenges and opportunities.  We‘ve got an ailing Arafat, a power vacuum on the Palestinian side, the potential...

BUCHANAN:  But after he did what he did for the Jewish vote in Florida..

MITCHELL:  He is locked in.

BUCHANAN:  He is Sharon‘s man.

MATTHEWS:  No he isn‘t.  He‘s reelected.  You don‘t know real politics.  He doesn‘t need anybody but he‘ll find a way.  The Chinese curse was you get what you ask for.  We have borrowed so much money from China now we got what we asked for.  We owe it to them.

MITCHELL:  By the way, what about the senator from the State of New York?

CRAWFORD:  You betcha.

BUCHANAN:  Sure.

REAGAN:  Hillary.

MATTHEWS:  She hasn‘t exactly busted her butt for the guy running this time, has she?

We got to go right now to Lester Holt and talk about what‘s going on in Iowa right now.

LESTER HOLT, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, what‘s going on at the decision desk right now is tried looking at these races yet to be called.  I‘m sure a lot of folks are playing along at home, watching the numbers on the screen, wondering why some races aren‘t being called.  Let‘s talk about Iowa right now.  Ninety-nine percent of the vote, and you see that President Bush has a lead there.  But look at some other outstanding numbers that you don‘t see on that screen.

According to the secretary of state in Iowa, there are 20,000 ballots that have yet to be counted there.  On top of that, the secretary of state says there are about 30-50,000 uncounted absentee ballots.  Add in another 10-15,000 uncounted provisional ballots and that leads you to the same decision our decision desk came to, which was this one is way too close to call.

Another one that folks may be watching, New Mexico, the president has a lead there but there is some question in that race as to how many outstanding ballots there are.  We had numbers ranging from 100,000 to 200,000 so, again, with that many ballots that may be uncounted out there, way too close to call in New Mexico.  That‘s the story from the decision desk.  Let‘s send it back to you, now.

MATTHEWS:  Thank you Lester Holt for that latest on this very complicated ending to the evening because neither man, even if you count Ohio, has 270 and that is a fact and some we can‘t expect a concession until one of the men has that by the other guys.

MITCHELL:  And the numbers in New Mexico, Lester, just showed...

BUCHANAN:  That wiped out a 30,000 vote lead, went down to about less than 2,000.

MITCHELL:  Two thousand.

BUCHANAN:  Richardson was right.

MATTHEWS:  Richardson was right about those outstanding votes that had come in at 24,000 and so we have an interesting situation.  We‘re going to come back right afterwards and run the numbers so everybody can write down what they went to bed with tonight.  It may not be what you wake up with tomorrow.  We‘re not going to have a presidential victory tonight.  We‘re not going to have a party, we‘re not going to have a concession.  None of that tonight.  An unsatisfactory ending, by the way, for both sides, so we go to break right now.  A commercial break from Democracy Plaza at Rockefeller Center.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

END

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