Nightly News | October 31, 2010
LESTER HOLT, anchor: We turn to politics now. Just two short days before Election Day as Republicans try to take control of Capitol Hill . What will they need to do that? Let's start with the House . Here's the current makeup. To take control , Republicans would need to pick up 39 seats.
HOLT: Next, where the Senate currently stands. To take control from the Democrats , Republicans would need a gain of 10 seats.
HOLT: So in this final weekend, both parties took off the gloves. We begin our coverage with NBC 's Mike Viqueira at the White House . Mike , good evening.
MIKE VIQUEIRA reporting: Good evening, Lester . The president is back in Washington this evening to celebrate Halloween here at the White House , this after another big campaign weekend of stump speeches, big rallies urging Democratic Party faithful to get to the polls on Tuesday and head off what's expected to be a Republican tie. Today in Cleveland with his second in command, President Obama made his closing argument of campaign 2010 .
President BARACK OBAMA: So, Cleveland , I need you to keep on fighting, I need you to keep on believing.
VIQUEIRA: In the key battleground of Ohio , for the second time in two weeks, Mr. Obama again urged voters to back embattled Democrats in a swing state that will be key to his own political prospects in 2012 . Also in Ohio today, native son John Boehner , the man likely to become the next House speaker , working to build a wave for Republican candidates.
Representative JOHN BOEHNER (Minority Leader): We're going to have a big night on Tuesday night, a really big night , so keep it up.
VIQUEIRA: One of those candidates is Rich Iott , the Republican who wore a Nazi uniform as part of a World War II re-enactment. This weekend Boehner met with Iott and his supporters. The press was kept outside and at a distance. This as another prominent Republican had strong words for the media today.
Ms. SARAH PALIN: Those are corrupt bastards, Chris .
VIQUEIRA: Sarah Palin accused an Alaska TV station of conspiring to smear Senate candidate Joe Miller , and she alleges a press bias against conservatives nationwide.
Ms. PALIN: That's what is wrong with the media today when they have their chosen one, and nine times out of 10, heck, 10 times out of 10 in the liberal media , it's going to be the liberal is the chosen one.
VIQUEIRA: Late today the station issued a statement calling Palin 's charge "absurd." After weeks of presidential campaigning, today Democrats held out hope that all is not lost .
Mr. TIM KAINE (Democratic National Committee Chairman): I'm not going to predict. I believe that we'll hold on to both Houses , but the margins will get narrower.
VIQUEIRA: But experts are predicting big Republican gains, with a takeover of the House likely.
Governor HALEY BARBOUR (Republican, Mississippi): I think that this election will push us back toward the center, but it's because people know that the Obama-Pelosi-Reid policies have been far left.
VIQUEIRA: And, Lester , the president may be finished campaigning, but first lady Michelle Obama has not. She'll be traveling all the way back out to Nevada tomorrow, a last minute push to try to get endangered Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid over the finish line in his race against Republican Sharron