March 4th, 2008
06:59 PM ET

What explains record voter turnout in ’08?


A voter drops off an absentee ballot at the Franklin County Memorial Building March 3rd in Columbus, Ohio.(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES) Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The 2008 primary election will go down in the history books for many reasons: the first serious female candidate, the first serious African-American candidate, record-shattering fund-raising, and record turnout.

Americans have been stampeding to the polls in record numbers ever since the Iowa caucuses. And it looks like today will be no exception. Heavy turnout is expected at the polls in Texas and even in Ohio, where they're being hit by heavy rain storms. In Texas, an estimated 60% of voters, that's about 2 million people, cast their ballots early.

Even the smaller New England states of Vermont and Rhode Island are expecting record crowds. Usually these primaries don't matter all that much since they come after Super Tuesday, but that's not the case this year.

Vermont's secretary of state is predicting a record number of voters. In Rhode Island, officials think they'll see turnout levels double those of the 2000 primary. They're expecting so many people that they've opened extra polling places.

This is all very encouraging for our democracy. Over the last couple months, we've seen huge numbers of first-time voters and young voters revved up and eager to make their voices heard in this election.

However, some suggest this is a troubling sign for the Republicans come November. In state after state, the turnout of Democrats has dwarfed the number of Republicans voting.

Here’s my question to you: What is it about the 2008 election that’s generating record turnouts around the country?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: 2008 Election
March 4th, 2008
05:54 PM ET

Huckabee helping or hurting the GOP?

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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

John McCain could seal the deal today when it comes to the Republican nomination... but that doesn't seem to be slowing down his rival, Mike Huckabee.

The former Arkansas governor has staked his future in this race on Texas. Despite polls that show McCain leading in all 4 states voting today, Huckabee has been spending a lot of money and time campaigning in Texas. He insists, "Texans are a stubbornly independent people. You don't tell 'em what they're going to do."

Huckabee has often questioned whether McCain can energize the base of the party, and yesterday he warned that that would be one of McCain's toughest tasks if he becomes the Republicans' nominee.

Although he remains hopeful about his chances in Texas, Huckabee says tomorrow will be the day to sit down and see where he goes from here.

Meanwhile, McCain is acting like he is already the party's nominee. He says he respects the right of Huckabee to stay in the race as long as he wants to. But, McCain is spending his time going after his Democratic rivals and focusing on things like foreign policy.

Here’s my question to you: By staying in the race, is Mike Huckabee part of the problem or part of the solution for Republicans?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: 2008 Election • Mike Huckabee
March 4th, 2008
02:16 PM ET

Obama under scrutiny?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The days leading up to the crucial Texas and Ohio primaries have been full of questions and scrutiny for Barack Obama.

First, there are his ties to Chicago businessman Tony Rezko who's now on trial for political corruption. Obama isn't implicated in the case at all, but Rezko contributed 150-thousand dollars over the years to Obama's campaigns, money Obama says has since been donated to charity. Rezko also helped him buy a home and sold a strip of land to Obama – a purchase the candidate characterizes as "boneheaded."

Obama is also denying a report that a senior campaign official assured Canada that the candidate's tough talk on NAFTA is more about "political positioning."

The Canadian Embassy has backed up Obama's version of the meeting, saying that there was no intention to convey that Obama and his campaign were taking different positions on NAFTA in public and private.

But politics is a contact sport, and Hillary Clinton has jumped all over Barack Obama – challenging his credibility and accusing him of deception. It's interesting when you consider that Obama hasn't brought up any of the past Clinton scandals during the campaign… you know, all of the stuff that's part of Clinton's experience like: Whitewater, Travelgate, Monica Lewinsky and impeachment, renting out the Lincoln bedroom, the loss of the Rose Law Firm billing records for nearly 2 years until they were miraculously found in the White House living quarters, removing files from Vince Foster's office following his suicide and before investigators could get there.

Maybe it's been a mistake for Obama to run a campaign about hope and change and not to touch any of this.

Here’s my question to you: How much will Barack Obama's relationship with Tony Rezko and his adviser's meeting with a Canadian official about NAFTA hurt his chances today?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Barack Obama