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tv   PBS Newshour Special- Election  PBS  November 2, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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republicans have won control of the u.s. house in this mid- term election of 2010. based on projections by the major broadcast and cable networks. we have full coverage on this pbs newshour election special just ahead. major funding for the pbs newshour special report has been provided by:
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>> lehrer: good evening. i'm jim lehrer in washington. weomeou to election night 2010. our entire web newshour team will be here for the next hour. reporting and analyzing this big night for the republicans. as many of you know, they've been updating this developing story online all evening. the republicans needed 39 seats to capture the house. network and cable projections say they've done at least that well. the associated press will has yet to make that call. our overview shows in the house the rublins' gains 26 although the projections are by the networks and others that more than 50 have actually now gone to the republican side. in the senate republicans have
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picked up four so far in wisconsin, north dakota, arkansas-indiana. they of course needed 10 in order to regain control of the senate. the governor's races, there have been seven republican pick-ups of democratic governorships. for the details thus far, here is hari sreenivasan in our news room. >> sreenivasan: good evening, jim. let's ju try to geteople up to speed on someof the latest results. let's start out with the south carolina governor's race. nikki haley becomes the first woman and indian-american governor of south carolina. to new mexico in the governor's race there, we've got sues ann martinez who woman the first latino-american. this is a big state with a lot of hispanic voters. this has been a close race for quite some time the entire evening with 84% of the precincts reporting ale sk the democrat isehind rick
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scott by about 3%. the republican rick scott again leading there. in ohio, in the governor's race another very, very close race. not enough information to project the winner. 3% of the precincts reporting. john kasich the republican is up by 2% over ted strickland. we'll check back in on that race later tonight. in the senate wisconsin's russ feingold handed a defeat tonight. ron johnson will become the next senator of wisconsin. then in illinois, al ly giannoulias is in a very tight race. the democrat is trailing republican mark kirk by just about 1%. finally in colorado, we see a little bit of a gap emerging here with i think 22% of the precincts reporting if i read that correctly. michael bennett at 50% over republican and tea party supported canned dade ken buck. those are some of the latest results that we have. we'll try to keep you up to date later in the hour. >> lehrer: here with me now are shields and brooks.
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syndicated columnist mark shields, "new york times" columnist david brooks. mark, is it just my imagination or are there more close races this time? if so, why are they so? is that a reflection of just how divided the country is? is that going too far? >> i don't know if it's an indication of just how divided it is but.... >> lehrer: how closely divided. >> it is in fact the pattern that when the close races usually go to the party that is winning. and a couple of exceptions so far. joe donley in the second district of indiana. that was one the republicans had their eyes on. apparently he's held on. in so many of them, the tip has gone to the republicans. that's what is accounting for their running up the... such an impressive margin this evening. >> lehrer: how do you see it? >> even some they're walking away with which i thought would be close.
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the republicans have won those reasonably handily. if you step back, we've all because of the polls the last couple of weeks we've become accustomed to the idea that the republicans are going to do well. 50 seats mbe. how many times has is happed the century? not that many that one party or another picks up 50 seats. it's a rarity. this is a big election. you know, it happened in '94. it happened in '74. it happens but it does not happen with great regulate that one party picks up that many seats. that's in the house where you're seeing big republican gains especially in ohio, indiana, tennessee. in the senate it's a much more complicated picture. as mark has said on the newshour, that's a lot more personality driven. some of the democrats in the senate in west virginia and other places have run good campaigns and are emerging victorious. >> one consolation to the democrats tonight. very few really in the returns but three times since world war ii a president has had
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control of the congress in his first mid-term lost that control in the house. all three times in his first midterm election had become president and all three times the president was re-elected. harry truman in 1946 lost the house to the republicans. he was re-elecd in 194 dwight eisenhower lost control of the house to the democrats in 1954. he was re-elected in '56. of course bill clinton in 1994. so, you know, there is at least a precedent for bouncing back. >> lehrer: the truman example is interesting because the reason truman was able to win is because he ran against the congress. he didn't cooperate with them. he ran against them. >> there's some talk that obama has the truman model of running against congress and the clinton model of compromising. obama is taki a different model which is steady as she goes at least from my conversations. some adjustments. he'll go his own way.
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>> more pressure for adjustments when the reality of dawn sets in and 50 seats are lost. >> lehrer: also we'll see what the president himself has to say tomorrow at 1:00 eastern time in that news conference which will give pretty good indications. >> that's right. >> lehrer: now we have some excerpts from some of tonight's victory speeches iveny four of the newly elected senators. republicans rand paul of kentucky and marco rubio in florida, and democrats joe manchin in west virginia, and chris coons in delaware. >> they say that the u.s. senate is the world's most deliberative body. well, i'm going to ask them to deliberate upon this. the american people are unhappy with what's going on in washington. >> yeah! 1% of the peolepprove
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of what's going on in congress. but tonight there's a tea party tidal wave, and we're sending a message to 'em. ( cheers and applause ) >> americans believe with all their hearts, the vast majority of them and the vast majority of floridians, that the united states of america is simply the single greatest nation in all of human history. ( cheers and applause ) a place without equal in the history of all mankind. we also know that something doesn't seem right. our nation is headed in the wrong direction. both parties are to blame. and what americans are looking for desperately are people that will go to washington d.c. and stand up for this agenda that is taking us in the wrong direction and offer a clear and genuine alternative. >> i want to thank all the people of west virginia for believing in me. i really truly appreciate every one of them. u k know, we never thought we would ever lose our beloved
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senator byrd but the good lord had other plans. and leaving the governor's office was one of the toughest decisions i had to make. we achieve so much as a state working together, but i can tell you i'm proud of what we've been able to do. i have been proud of every one of our accomplishments. but when i look at what challengers we have ahead of us in washington, i know it's time to take that fight there. >> i cannot tell you how grateful we are tonight. thank you, delaware. >> yeah! >> after nine long months of traveling up and down this state and hearing the concerns of thousands of delawareians, today, today you sent a message. you sent a message that the politics of no, the politics of division, the politics of
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negativity have no place in this great state. >> lehrer: now to judy woodruff. >> woodruff: jim, let's get the obama administration's take on tonight's results so far. our own kwame holman is at the white house. kwame, it is late. 11:00 in the east. what are they saying there? good news for the republicans. five television networks have called the house of representatives and said that it will change hands and be republican controlled. >> judy, we just emailed the white house officials we've been talking to all day. he just kindly emailed us back to reiterate that everything the white house has to say it has said. for now. until the president speaks tomorrow at 1:00. the feeling here at the white house has been from officials that long ago, months ago, they recognized that they could lose seats.
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they talked in this building about seats that were marginal for democrats in the first place. talked about seats perhaps thinking about those long-time democrats who have been in difficult seats and in difficult races before who might get taken out on this night. the president in his road swing talked about courageous votes. referring to the health care and the stimulus bill, perhaps not thought to be courageous votes at the time. courage us votes democrats have taken. and his appreciation for their having done that. he has worked in these last ten days before coming to retire quietly in the last 48 hours into the residence and await the results. he has tried to bring out some of those 2008 voters who swept him into office and used as political director david
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chalian has reminded us some of the $30 million of the $50 million the democratic national committee raised to bring those people out and part of the post mortem will be how much that helped and which seats that might have helped save for democrats. but it's quiet here, judy. it remains so. we'll hear from the president tomorrow afternoon. >> woodruff: we'll hear from him at his news conference 1:00 tomorrow indeed. kwame holman at the white house. thank you very much. the president was not only campaigning but been making radio... calls into radio shows as late as this afternoon. all right. now let's hear from the republicans for a bit of their take. we'll go to our own geoffrey brown. he's standing bi- g.o.p. election night headquarters in downtown washington. jeff, there are some people there. how are they reacting? what are they seeing. >> they're quite pleased here. the crowd has grown.
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the band... it's not a band but the music has gotten louder here. i've been trying to keep track as the results come through to listen for who gets the biggest cheers. here's my list of the last hour or so. biggest cheers. nikki haley's victory in south carolina. russ feingold's defeat in wisconsin. then when they flashed at one one point that john dingell was losing, i don't think it's been called, but they flashed on the screen he has been losing, that got a big cheer. a long-time lion among the democra in the house. i just ha ju very interesting talk with one of the young rising stars among republicans in the house. that's kevin mccarthy of california. one of the so-called young guns. newshour viewers will recall perhaps that recently i think within the last couple of weeks ray suarez talked to him and eric cantor. he has sort put an interesting spin on this. he referred to this as a generational changeing election.
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he's talking about all the candidates who we're seeing win tonight who have no or very little electoral or governing experience. many of them young. many of them coming, he thinks, with pressure ideas. he says this signals a rude awakening for seniority in washington. i said rude awakening for both parties? he didn't want to go all that way. he said yes really, both parties need to take stock about who is coming in and especially the sort of young energy that's going to be at work. and then i asked him about and kwame was just referring to this, president obama's press conference tomorrow, prident obama is going to come out at 1:00. i asked kevin mccarthy, what do you want to hear him say? very brief answer. very quick. the era of big government is over. >> woodruff: i believe we heard a democratic president say that about a decade ago. >> they want to hear it again. >> woodruff: they want to hear it again. jeff, very quickly, we are
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supposed to hear from the speaker-to-be assuming republicans do take over the house, john boehner. is that still coming tonight? >> yes, it was supposed to be at about 10:30 a little while back. that's what we were told. we were told itt was pushed back about an hour. we think about 11:30. our understanding is it was pushed back for him to wait for an official-- and i'm not exactly sure when that means-- an official reaching of the 219 house republicans to officially take over the house. but again that's what we're told. we expect it to come sometime soon. >> woodruff: just curious, jeff. how big a press presence there. >> brown: a good size press presence. when you and i started talking at whenever that was at 6:00, it was all press and there was nobody else here. now we're surrounded by hundreds of young republicans and operatives and people from the house. but a pretty good size press
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as well. clearly, yes. >> woodruff: jeff brown reporting from the rep republican headquarters for the night in washington. thank you, jeff. >> lehrer: now to gwen ifill. >> ifill: i'm here with david chalian and stewart roth rothenberg. gent manymen, we have been sitting here for some hours now. we still do not know the outcome of some of the most closely watched races in the nation. i want to take us through some of them starting in illinois. the president's old senate seat or i should say the senate seat he used to hold now alexei giannoulias running against mark kirk the republican. we still don't know the outcome there with 87% of the precincts in. >> we don't know the outcome and alexei giannoulias was not the first choice of house. they had hoped a stronger democrat will get in there. after talking to democratic sources across town and in
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illinois as well, this race, although it looks razor thin right now, the democrats are not hopeful they'll be able to keep it. they think that kirk lead is going to hold potentially for the rest of the night but watching it very closely. >> ifill: a very narrow lead. >> remember giannoulias has ahead very early on in the evening. this is one of the states where the numbers depend entirely on where the votes are coming from. >> ifill: do we know where they're coming from? >> the democratic votes were dumped in very, very early. that's why i think we're seeing kirk rack up his.... >> ifill: a lot of personal investment made not only by the president but by michelle obama going into illinois to campaign for him. let's move to pennsylvania where we have also watched this sea saw between pat toomey the republican, the club for growth republican, the tea party embraced republican against joe sestak, a retired rear admiral and congressman who beat arlen specter in the primary and now we see 50-50 in that race with
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94% of the precincts reporting. >> democrats and republicans expect this one to be closer than illinois when all the vote is counted. but i will say that some democratic sources don't think they have enough to rack up the score in the counties around philadelphia. those key sub urban counties. runningback the suburbs are are a huge part of this story overall. >> ifill: sns isn't that sestak's home turf? >> it is indeed. montgomery county. but if you take the four color counties in philadelphia itself, sestak reallyneededed to have a margin of 40% or more in that area. they don't know if he's going to be able to hold that kind of big margin. the rest of the state is where the republican pat toomey picked up the vote. >> two interesting points. one in pennsylvania the republicans are winning the governorship. you can't discount that as having a fact or the senate. >> ifill: that's already been declared. >> as david has pointed out to me throughout the evening multiple times the republicans
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are are probably going to pick up as many as five congressional seats in pennsylvania. strong republican vote at the congressional level. normally we think of the top of the ticket pulling congressional races. it could well be that pat toomey is being held by strong republican showing in a number of congressional distringts around the state. >> ifill: possible that joe sestak is running better than expected given the other counterveiling winds. in colorado michael bennett who is the appointed incumbent for that seat. he's defeated the person who ken salazar now the interior secretary. ken buck the tea party candidate who surprised everybody by beating the establishment candidaten the primary in colodo. they are now 50% for michael bennett, the democrat. 45% for ken buck. with 22% of the precincts reporting. >> we saw a lot of votes. going into tonight several sources said that this might be the most likely candidate for a recount. they thought it would be that razor thin. >> ifill: the law are already on the ground.
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>> the lawyers are already definitely on the ground. although some democrats were heartened by the early vote that they were looking at going in here. colorado along with nevada in that harry reid race are the two places that the democrats felt strongest about their ground game, about their efforts. >> i think the race is going to tighten as david. just 22% of the vote in. i think it will be much closer. >> ifill: let's move on to ohio governor's race. a couple governor's races where we still don't know the outcome even though polls closed some hours ago. john kasich a republican 50% of the vote right now with 91% of the precincts reporting. it appears to be maintaining a narrow lead over ken strickland the incumbent democratic governor. >> like you mentioned about pennsylvania earlier the congressional democrats are taking a blood bath in ohio as well. they could lose as many as five congressional seats in ohio. it seems hard to imagine that strickland, the governor.... >> ifill: i called him the
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wrong first name. >> governor strickland will be a hard time i think for him to overcome if five democratic congress people are losing their seats it seems to me diana portman.... >> exactly. rob portman rolling up a huge margin in the senate race. quite a burden for strickland to overcome. >>fill: one more governor's race and that's in florida. i promise to get their names right. alex sink is the democratic nominee who is neck and neck with rick scott the republican businessman. they don't seem to be very far apart. 47% to 50% but 85%. >> the chief financial officer of the state. scott is a businessman who has ca a lot of baggage in terms of business practices. democrats felt they could demonize rick scott. felt that his past business problems might disqualify him. this is the year of the outsider particularly the republican outsider. the race is close. scott may have a slight edge. >> ifill: how much was this race affected by the senate race which we saw decided so
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much earl yes tonight with marco rubio with that impressive win? >> i don't think that the races were all that connected. actually if you talk to the campaign strategists that workd both the governor's race and the senate race they didn't see much tie between the two because of the bag and associated with rick scott. a guy who ran a hospital corporation that received record medicare fraud fines. the democrats wnt afterim for that. it may not be enough. >> ifill: thanks, guys. back to you, jim. >> lehrer: gwen, thanks. now back to mark shields and david brooks. in addition to the senate races that they were just talking about obviously pennsylvania and illinois and colorado which are still up for grabs or at least the polls are closed and we still don't have any firm results or in fact any results of all in terms of any projections, winners or losers. out west we still have nevada the big one between harry reid, senator harry reid and sharron
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ang, the republican. of course democratic incumbent patty murray being challenged by dino rossy a republican and of course in california barbara boxer, incumbent democrat senator being challenged by former hewleltt-packard ceo carly fiorina. somebody said earlier when they were talking about, i told judy spencer michels told judy earlier california is a little bit different. it is, is it not politically? you go across that line, that long line because california is such a, you know, a long state, it is going to another world. >> it is. it's the most cosmopolitan of our big states. one quarter of the population was foreign born. 37% latino. and they've become a very important voting con sti yensy in that state. republicans have struggleed ever since latino voters were
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largely alienated by pete wilson's 1994 election campaign when he put proposition 187 which was seen as quite punitive. since then it's been a very blue state. it's been uphill. they have not elected a republican to the united states senate since 1988. >> it feels different. i was out there for 10 or 11 days a couple weeks ago. everywhere else in the country there's just this hostility to the government. you feel the anger. you just feel this wave of emotion. in california people are very fed up with sacramento. but you don't feel the same visceral distrust of government as a whole. there was a little less sort of that tea party feel that spread out to a large section of the population. it existed in some places in california for sure. but it was not the same feel you got in so many other parts of the country. >> lehrer: you mentioned sacramento. of course i would call a hum dinger of a race for governor there between meg whitman,
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former ebay ceo challenging jerry browne. he had been a governor before. he has come back. it shows brown leading at least in the opinion polls coming in. so what's always been so interesting about california is they elect a governor and, out of here. schwarzenegger was so popular they were worrying about how to change the constitution of the united states so he could be elected president he was so popular. now what is he? 30% of the approval rating? >> i mean california really was the golden state in our youth. i mean it was the leader in public education, best public education system in the country. best higher education certainly. public education in the country. later in highways and transportation, water. i mean really. it is no longer that. i mean it's a state with a lot of problems. i mean they've cut the budgets
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badly at berkeley and other states. great universities of the state. they're struggling with public schools or continue to be a problem. >> lehrer: schwarzenegger became governor because they recalled gray davis which was very unusual to recall. they said get rid of this guy. >> they have structural problems. theyve a state legislature that is very entrenched and has its own special interests and term limbs which have been harmful. they have the referenda process. they have all sorts of impingements so it makes it very hard for a sgof nor. one of their issues in this campaign was okay you have ideas. how are you going to enact them? and meg whitman's case was i've played hard ball. jerry browne's case was i've always been parsimonious. i like to make a dime go a long way. i would say neither of them answered that question. you have ideas. how are you going to enact them through what exists in the structure of california state fwochlt?
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you know, so that's going to remain a problem. >> california is an example historically of unintended consequences. it was a state that was run by the railroads. i mean the railroads dominated the legislature, dominated the governorship and the united states senate. so hiram johnson and the progressive reformists came up with the idea that we had to have a way of overcoming the political structure which was totally owned. so they came up with the ballot initiative and referendum and the questions. david is right. the ballot questions have become, shall we have all day kipder garthen, universal? a wonderful idea. well, we'll adopt it and there's no way of paying for it. i mean it's always you order off the menu but there's no price tag. >> lehrer: just not that long ago when they released hundreds of prisoner from the state prison just because they early release because they couldn't afford the keep the prisoners in there anymore sneeb the prison guards making
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$90,000 retiring with six-figure pensions. that's the pension commitments. as in many states many p are running for governor are going to face horrendous problems in illinois and new york state because of the pensions. >> lehrer: those little towns outside of los angeles when they pay $800,000 a year to the city manager or something like that. they've had other little corruption problems in some of the other suburbs. >> like that california is the only place with corruption. >> lehrer: i agree. i'm just trying to flush it out a little bit. before i say let's go back to judy. >> woodruff: jim, while we talk about all these races and everybody is watching the united states senate, we're going to go right now back to nevada to our own ray suarez. he is at none other than senate majority leader harry reid's election night headquarters in las vegas. ray, this is as we've been saying one of the closest most closely watched senate races in the country because of who
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harry reid is and because he's faced this remarkable challenge from sharron angle. what are you picking up? i'm hearing a little more noise there in the room where you are. >> after the polls close, judy, people started to trickle in from around clark county and around the state so watch the returns come in. now it had been expected that this would be a rather rapid affair since so much of the vote was actually in before the polls opened this morning. because of two weeks of early voting. here in nevada. well, what happened was minor power failure in clark county and extremely long lines in elco and a few precincts in northern counties where sharron angle is expected to be strong. some of the republican counties in the state. the secretary of state promised that anyone who was online when the polls closed at 7:00 would be allowed to vote as is customary on election day.
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they stopped the line at a certain point and said everybody from here on, we will keep the polls open until you have all voted. and once that decision was made, all that hard vote that is tabulated is sort o damning up waiting to be released until every last polling place in the state is closed. but just in the last few minutes, a trickle of returns began to come in. it's hard to know where in the state they're from but harry reid is ahead handily with a tiny amount of the vote in. everyone is very nervous. no one wants to hazard a guess on which way this thing is going to go. harry reid's internals show him ahead even though he was behind in the statewide polls leading up to election day. but we went to a tea party war room here in the same hotel complex. they're showing a dead heat between their candidate sharron angle and the sitting senator harry reid. >> woodruff: ray, remind us what some of the arguments
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have been that sharron angle has used against harry reid. we should say that she was not originally the favorite candidate of the republican party. she ended uptingng someone who was the chosen candidate, if you will. there was consternation in the republican camp. a number of prominent republicans in that state have endorsed senat reed the democrat but still she's coalesced a significant conservative and tea party presence behind her. >> suarez: you know, it's a funny thing the way sharron angle has split the republican party. the former rnc chairman who now lives in reno supported harry reid for re-election. the republican leader in the state senate has supported harry reid for re-election. the mayor of reno, a republican, and sharron angle's mayor supports harry reid for re-election. in the just-released exit
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polling where they ask nevada voters where they favored or opposed the tea party and the movement in the state of nevada, four out of every ten said yes they supported the movement. four out of every ten said they were against it. so the tea party may not end up being a decisive factor in the race. but sharon angle has managed to capture a lot of the disaffection here in this state because the economy has fallen so hard, so fast, and is in a really still a precarious situation. the glimmers of hope that you're seeing in other states around the country you're not seeing here. >> woodruff: ray suarez reporting for us from las vegas from harry reid's headquarters. ray, thank you. >> lehrer: thank you, judy. o to hari with more results. >> sreenivasan: thank you, jim. we just wanted to take this
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opportunity to show viewers a few of the nail-biter races that are so close here. let's start with the pennsylvania senate race. we're talking about representative joe sestak, the man who beat arlen specter in the democratic primary. he's trailing by about 4% to republican pat toomey. we're going to switch gears to the illinois senate there. alexei gee newell yaus... alexei giannoulias is trailing 2% to republican mark kirk. in colorado, the tea party-back insurgentandidate ken buck th republican is 4 and michael bennett the democrat is at 50%. that is about 25% of the precincts reporting. we'll try and check in on these races and a few others throughout the night. jim, back to you. >> lehrer: back to mark and david. david, we talked many times leading up to this and earlier tonight and now we're getting close here to an end result. we still have 30 minutes just
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on this special. how does it feel to you tonight as to what this election is about? i've asked you that before. any change? >> no, i haven't changed in the last half hour. unlike of tc
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once said it was between the men and the boys in politics and the boys run for president to be something and then run for president to do something. nancy pelosi was a grown up.
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she did a lot. david listed it as political liabilities but they were really significant public achievements. >> lehrer: things that the democratic leadership ide senate could not get done. >> could not get done. no democratic speaker before her could do. i mean great speakers, ray burn and o'neill and foley and all the rest of them that could not get health care through. she did. she did it through her own skillful leadership. that obviously is over now. democratic control in the senate i think is an oxymoron. i mean,. >> lehrer: nobody controls the senate. >> they have 51, 52. we have a senate now where anybody can put a hold on anything. i mean, you know, any piece of legislation. it's kind of a silly thing. sometimes not even be held accountable for it in public. you know, someone who repaired
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40 years ago chairman of the house appropriation committee. why are you retiring? i'm tired of trying to explain to people the rules of the united states senate. why we can do things in the house and the senate it just goes over there and dies. >> lehrer: is this likely to change as a result? i mean is the senate going to be affected by what the house has done tonight? >> well, they'll be... they'll be catching a lot of bills that will be thrown over there. there are new members. that will be an interesting case. there are real stars coming in. i think some of them, you know, marco rubio big star, a big future. a lot of the people coming in don't for get if mark kirk pulls it out illinois he'll join people like rob portman and dan coats. these are not strangers to washington. these are pretty practical men in this case. so there may be, who knows? there may be more of a centrist block. there is the case we'll probably pick up a few moderate republicans and lose
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a few moderate democrats. in the senate that could create a culture of the gangs. we used to have the gang of 14. you could see some of these new members joining a gang here and there and maybe breaking the sharp polarization. i wouldn't bet on it over the next two years. mark kirk and someone like that is used to working across the lines. >> lehrer: back to judy. >> woodruff: jim, we want to get a closer look at one of those very hotly contested senate races. that is the state of washington. the polls close there at 11:00 eastern. we want to speak now with a man from public television station kctf in seattle. this is a state where i guess months ago people thought patty murray wouldn't have a problem. she's clearly in the race. you could argue of her career. what are you hearing right now? how does it look? >> well, you're right. dino rossy her challenger got
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into her race very late in may. he's very well known because he's run for governor here twice. one very close race first time around went to court lost to governor chris agreeing wire in a recount. secone around was beaten. this time around it's close. it's still a bit early in the evening. i just talked to our pollster from the washington poll from the university of washington. and the one thing that he said to me is that right now patty murray is doing very well here in king county. the most populous county in the state of washington. in fact her numbers are pretty similar to where the governor was when she defeated dino rossi in 2008. he's only at about 38%. he needs to be over 40% to be able to do well in this county because it is more progressive. it's more of a democratic county. so it's early but it's still leaning to murray at this point. but it could be tight. the other thing to keep in mind here is we're pretty much all male mail ballots in the
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state of washington. we have one county in pierce county south of seattle that is doing... where people still go to the polls. but since it is via mail if this is real close we might not know for several days who the winner is. and it's likely that they'll be counting votes here for several days. it's very early in the evening but right now it looks like the polling is trending toward murray. >> woodruff: remind us why patty murray has had such a difficult time in this race. is it the same story we're hearing everywhere else? the economy? jobs? flush it out for us. >> it's pretty much that. you know, she has been in the senate for 18 years. i think that, you know, people would argue as to how well she's done but one thing that hehe state.e is she's brought she has not been shy about, you know, saying that and that
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that is part of her role as a senator. but in these times with the economy bad, i think that there is, as we're seeing elsewhere in the country, that shift toward, you know, where the jobs and the economy are bigger issues. dino rossi very well known guy in the state because he's run for governor twice in this race as well. he has that built-this... that built-in awareness from all the voters throughout the state of washington. plus he was really hitting patty murray throughout this campaign very hard. on the whole issue of earmarks. he made a pledge that he would not do earmarks if he got into the senate. murray had to defend herself on all of these things. you know, but he's been very strong, conservative republican in the sense that he's, you know, not going earmarks. the jobs and the economy. so i think because the democrats are struggling elsewhere she's been feeling that as well. the other thing, it's been a nasty campaign.
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the ads here have really ugly. today there was a report in the herald that they talked to the people from i believe it was the sunlight foundation which tracks spending throughout the country. and 20 million dollars in outside money was poured in to by independent groups into this race. president obama came here. michelle obama came here. so they want to hold that seat. >> woodruff: thank you for joining us from kctf in seattle. thanks very much. >> you bet. >> woodruff: we're going to go right now to jim. >> lehrer: house republican leader john boehner has just begun speaking at the party's congressional campaign committee headquarters in washington. let's listen. >> it's clear tonight who the winners really are. and that's the american people. ( cheers and applause ) with the american people's voice was heard at the ballot
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box. the american people's voice. listen, i'm going to be brief because we've got real work to do. frankly this is not a time for celebration. not when one out of ten of our fellow citizens is out of work, not when we've buried our children under a mountain of debt and not when our congress is held in such low esteem. this is a time to roll up our shreves. a time to look forward with determination and to take the first steps toward building a better future for our kids and our grand kids. across the country right now we're witnessing a repudiation of washington. a repudiation of big government. and a repudiation of politicians who refuse to listen to the american people. of course, this campaign is not over yet. to the folks out west where the polls may still be open, this is the time to sees that moment and make sure your moment is heard, to reject the
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spending sprees, the bailouts, the back room deals, the takeovers and all the nonsense and to join your fellow americans in putting washington on notice. because for far too long washington has been doing best what's best for washington not what's best for the american people. tonight, that begins to change. ( cheers and applause ) >> lehrer: of course that's john boehner. republican congressman from ohio, currently the house minority leader, about to become the speaker of the house. assuming everything goes according to everything that's being said at this moment. the associated press has now joined with all the television networks to declare that in a.p.'s case that at least 40 seats have now been declared expected to be won by the republicans and of course they only need 39 seats to take control.
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let's go back now to mark and david. john boehner said the american voters and he kind of em fa sisesed that. what's that all about? >> the real winners tonight are the american people. >> lehrer: right. >> that's a line that i've heard at least 412,000 times. but, you know, i don't know if somebody thought it was the canadians and the mexican people who won tonight. john it was not john boehner's strength as a political leader is probably not in the spoken word. >> lehrer: he's not an orator. both of you said he's a legislator. >> he is a legislator. he's a mid western republican. anti-tax and anti-regulation. pro business. but he's a legislator who does believe in reaching a consensus and forging a deal. >> lehrer: you know, the other thing you can't help but keep in mind john boehner is still speaking. he was speaking for a few
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minutes even before we picked him up. he may have said a lot more than just what we heard. but this term repudiation of washington. washington only does what's good for washington. washington this, washington that. when did that... this has always worked. republicans use it and it works. democrats out it and it works. liberals use it and it works. why does it always work. >> andrew jackson used it. it worked for him. well, it reflects, you know, i've said this before on the program but to me the most important political polling results of our lifetimes is they ask the question do you trust government to do the right thing most of the time? starting in 1932 straight through the '60s, 70 or 80% trusted government should do the right thing most of the time. that was easy to govern. now it's like 19, 20, 23%
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percent trust. that trust just isn't there. that's one of the things i think the obama administration misread and now realizes that. they're playing with something real. that doesn't mean people don't want to trust washington. i think they do. it means there's an incredible hostility. there's an assumption that there's corruption in washington and self-dealing. that may be partly the result of reality and partly a perception. that's what people are playing off of but also trying to solve. >> i think it's impossible. you're right. president obama certainly didn't run against lobby i haves and insiders and so forth. i think it's impossible on a sustained basis for the democrats to be the anti-washington party. that really has been the republicans' theme. the democrats whether they want to or not, david mentioned roosevelt or johnson, kennedy, they are the party of government. they believe government is an instrument of social justice. they believe it can make a positive change. i think if you're going to pick an anti-washington party that's where you're going to look at. you're going to vote republican.
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>>lehrer: two key races have just been called. in california and the u.s. senate barbara boxer the incumbent democrat has been declared the winner against carly fiorina. the republican challenger. in pennsylvania just the opposite. the republican pat toomey has been declared the winner over joe sestak the democratic member of the house whoted arlee democratic nomination. now we've got a republican net gain of five out of the ten that the republicans need to... needed to get control of the senate. there are only a few left. patty murray is one. e've justbeenalking about inrc state of washington. of course harry reid.
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and in colorado. in terms of those that are... and illinois. so there's one, two three, four. even if they win all four of them, there still wouldn't be ten because the great mathematical mind that i have, that adds up to nine. did you follow that, mark? >> it means they only have 37 (laughing) only get to 49. >> lehrer: the polls have turned out to be exactly correct. the polls said the republicans would get the house big time. very close. but the democrats would maintain control of the senate. impediment
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to getting things going. a lot of interesting things in california which we'll be analyze for a long time to go. >> woodruff: we love doing the analyzing. spencer, we thank you. >> thank you, judy. >> lehrer: that ends our pbs newshour election night special. our coverage with those great pundits shields and brooks and others will continue online including results and vote
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tallies from the associated press. we'll see you there and again here, of course, tomorrow evening on the newshour. for now, i'm jim lehrer. and for all entire pbs newshour election team, thank you and good night.
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