November 3rd, 2008
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 11/3/08

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We're just hours away from election day and tracking all the candidates last moves to get out the vote.

Tonight on AC360°, we'll take you live to several rallies. Senators Obama, McCain and Gov. Palin are all expected to be holding events during AC360°. We're also tracking reports of voting problems. So far, 32,500 complaints have come into the CNN Voter Hotline. The most are out of Florida, with more than 1,500 complaints. The biggest issues: voter registration and absentee ballot problems.

We want you to share your thoughts on this historic election.  Just scroll down below and post your feedback.  AC360° is live from 10pm ET to Midnight ET.

But don't forget our rules. Just like election officials we have rules, too.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short
2) NO CAPS!!!
3) Stay on topic

Don't forget to watch Erica Hill's webcast during the commercials. LINK TO WEBCAST.

And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA

Filed under: Live Blog
November 3rd, 2008
09:13 PM ET

Evening Buzz: The Last Lap

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/03/marquardt.cake.jpg caption="A cake awaiting weary reporters and staff at Joe Biden's Zanesville, Ohio rally, his second of four on Monday.(CNN/Alexander Marquardt)"]
Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

T-minus 3 hours until election. Go ahead, celebrate. After all, this has been a long 22 months on the campaign trail. But, hey, don't forget to vote (if you haven't already).

Tonight on AC360°, we take you along as the candidates fight for your vote to the last minute. Oh, yes. They'll still be on the trail tomorrow.  There's no break for them on election day. This race is so tight the candidates aren't giving up the fight. We'll bring you the latest developments.

We're expecting three rallies tonight on AC360°. Sen. Barack Obama will be speaking with supporters in Manassas Park, Virginia. Sen. John McCain is in Henderson, Nevada. And, his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin is more than 400 miles north in Reno.

Earlier tonight, Obama spoke about his grandmother's death at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"She died peacefully in her sleep with my sister at her side. And, so, there's great joy as well as tears," Obama said.

And, Sen. McCain mentioned Obama's loss tonight on the trail in Roswell, New Mexico.

"He is in our thoughts and our prayers. And we mourn his loss, and we are with him and his family today," McCain said.

We'll also take you to the small town of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire where voting starts at midnight ET. It won't take long for the votes to be counted. The town only has about 19 registered voters. It's unclear who has the advantage. But over the years the town has been leaning Republican - the last Democrat it picked was Hubert Humphrey over Richard Nixon in 1968. Of course, Nixon won the national election.

All that and more tonight on AC360° starting at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
November 3rd, 2008
06:11 PM ET

Beat 360° 11/03/08

Beat 360° 11/03/08

Ready for today's Beat 360°?

Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too.

Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite!

Here is the 'Beat 360°’ pic:

Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (R) embraced by Calfornia Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger during a campaign rally at Nationwide Arena October 31, 2008 in Columbus, Ohio.

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions!

Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.


Beat 360° Challenge

But wait!… There’s more!

When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
November 3rd, 2008
05:45 PM ET

California voters should reject Proposition 8

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Hilary Rosen
AC360° Contributor

There is a controversial but important initiative on the ballot for California voters to consider tomorrow. It is called Proposition 8. Prop 8’s purpose is to overturn a recent California State Supreme Court decision that determined that gays and lesbians deserved equal protection and rights under the state constitution and that includes the right to avail them of state sanctioned marriage. Prop 8 would amend the state constitution and eliminate the right to marry for these citizens.

This is an extremely important issue and it has gotten a lot of attention in California. Almost anything that happens in California can be important given the fact that the state represents more than 10% of the US population, but important principles are also at stake for all Americans.

In my view, the most important reason to oppose this initiative is the concern about fairness. When voters are given the opportunity to take away another citizen’s constitutional rights, aren’t we all at risk? Why should the government be empowered to interfere in the privacy of someone’s relationship?

November 3rd, 2008
05:01 PM ET

Discovering Senator Stevens in a church lobby

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/03/art.stevens.jpg caption="Sen. Ted Stevens campaigning in Alaska."]
Senator Ted Stevens has never been known as a big fan of the news media. So we knew getting him to talk to us on camera following seven felony guilty verdicts against him would be a bit challenging. He hadn't done a TV interview since the verdicts. Ultimately, he did do an interview with us. But making that happen took us on an unusual journey.

On Sunday, we went to interview his Democratic opponent in the Senate race, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. The mayor was at a candidate forum in the entry way of a large Baptist church that was full of candidate posters, pamphlets, and balloons. As we were getting ready to greet Begich, we saw to our surprise that Senator Stevens was also shaking hands about 30 feet away from his opponent.

I came up to the 40-year Senate veteran, introduced myself, and asked him on camera if he was angry about the guilty verdicts. He told me "not that angry. I'm angry at you guys 'cause I'm trying to visit with friends; I just see them once or twice a year." I then mentioned because he was campaigning we wanted to see if he would talk, and he objected since we were doing this in a church. I mentioned to him that there was some lively campaigning going on in this entry way, but that didn't seem to matter to him.

Gary Tuchman approaching Sen. Ted Stevens in the Baptist church.


Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Raw Politics • Ted Stevens
November 3rd, 2008
04:32 PM ET

For Obama, bigger is much, much better

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David Gergen | BIO
AC360° Contributor
CNN Senior Political Analyst

With victory almost in his grasp, the looming question for Barack Obama is whether he will squeak by or whether he can roll up the score. It will matter enormously to his leadership as President.

For Obama supporters, just climbing to the top of the mountain with 270 electoral votes has always seemed daunting enough. And they are right. After all, Democrats have seen triumphs slip away from them so often - they have lost 7 of the past 10 presidential elections - that they are extremely uneasy that the Republicans can pull an upset this time, too. It seems unlikely after a raft of national polls this weekend showed Obama with a national lead of around 7 points - and by some estimates in double digits. Still, there were also unsettling state polls last night by the Mason Dixon firm showing McCain closing in fast in North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and Missouri. Who can say for sure that Pennsylvania will remain blue. It ain't over 'till it's over.

But when the dust clears and if the Democrats have pulled it off, the Obama team will care a great deal about the size and breadth of victory. Much of his early presidency will hang in the balance.

There are three keys to watch on Tuesday night:


Filed under: Barack Obama • David Gergen • Raw Politics
November 3rd, 2008
04:31 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: The Final Countdown

(Duh’nah nah nah, duh’nah nah nah nah…)

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

Election Eve and I swear I can feel the energy and excitement in the air, and not just from the CNN folks ready for a day off! NYC is always alive and thumping, but today I am noticing it even more, and I don’t think it’s all in my head. The “discussions” on the street today were more animated, the hand gestures more pronounced, and the voices a bit louder and more emphatic. When I took our dog out this morning, a neighbor had posted a notice with the location of our polling site and the districts we belong to on the front door of our building. No excuses! I’m ready for my “I voted” sticker. The ones in Georgia had peaches on them…wonder if I’ll have one with an apple in NYC?


Would you like to have the option to vote early? Some experts say the strong turnout in states with early voting could put the pressure on the rest of the country to make it available. I wouldn’t mind having the option, though I’d prefer early voting without the crazy lines.


If those lines make you crazy, a little help from the folks on CNN’s medical team: anger management for election day.


Filed under: Erica's News Note
November 3rd, 2008
01:43 PM ET

Signs of a fierce battle

Jennifer Donahue
New Hampshire Institute of Politics

The eve of the election, the New Hampshire Democratic Party has rolled out a lawn sign campaign where they have copied the style of Senator John Sununu's re-election campaign logo and are actively posting the signs in front of his campaign signs.

In a two-hour period on Monday morning, the "Social Security" sign appeared; joining the "stick with Bush" and "Stem Cell research" signs that sprouted up sometime Saturday night in what appears to be an aggressive last-minute attempt to sway voters undecided voters against Sununu.

Filed under: Jennifer Donahue • Raw Politics
November 3rd, 2008
12:03 PM ET

McCain in Florida today

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/03/art.mccain.tampa.jpg caption="John McCain speaks at a rally in Florida on Monday."]

Ed Henry
White House Correspondent

- Sen. McCain’s first rally today in Tampa outside Raymond James Stadium only drew about 1,100 people. Local reporters noting that at almost the same spot just before the 2004 election, President Bush drew about 15,000 people.

- May mean lack of enthusiasm in key state, or maybe not since CNN’s poll of polls now has this state at just a 2-point advantage for Obama, and that's within the margin of error.

- Also interesting that Florida Republican Gov. Crist had previously agreed to do interviews with CNN and various local affiliates, but just bolted right after the rally with no explanation, didn’t do any of the interviews. Odd to pass up a chance for free media on eve of election.

Filed under: 2008 Election • 360° Radar • Barack Obama • Ed Henry • John McCain
November 3rd, 2008
11:43 AM ET

Cue The Ramones: “Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go”

Jack Gray
AC360° Associate Producer

So everyone keeps saying “tomorrow is the big day.” And I’m all like, “wait, how do you know I’m getting a tattoo of Larry King doing the Electric Slide?” Then I realize they’re talking about some sort of election, which is apparently also happening tomorrow.

You’ll excuse me if I don’t cry at the conclusion of our electoral process. I don’t cry at weddings, either. I’m the guy hanging out by the open bar, checking his watch and begging the caterer for dessert. Which, come to think of it, has basically been my experience during the campaign. Just replace caterer with Anderson Cooper and dessert with Post-It notes.

I love the pundits who point out with great flourish that the window for a so-called “October Surprise” is closed. Congratulations on being able to read a calendar.

The Republicans attempted a Hail Mary over the weekend by revealing that Barack Obama’s aunt has Jimmy Hoffa tied up in her basement with a “Change We Need” sticker slapped across his mouth. Or that she is in the United States illegally, I forget which. Anyway, it was a understandable move by the GOP because – as history tells us – undecided voters are often swayed in the waning days of a campaign by what they learn about candidates’ aunts.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Jack Gray • John McCain • Raw Politics
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