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Voting booths close in swing states as tally begins

Voting booths close in swing states as tally begins

The World Today - Wednesday, 5 November , 2008 12:10:00

Reporter: Eleanor Hall

ELEANOR HALL: And let's go straight to the United States where voters are right now making their
choice for President in what many are calling an historic election day.

BARACK OBAMA: Are you fired up? Are you ready to go? Fired up? Ready to go? Fired up? Ready to go?
Virginia, let's go change the world.

(Crowd cheering)

JOHN MCCAIN: I feel it, and you feel it, we're going to win this election. We're going to win it.

ELEANOR HALL: The voter lines were long and they formed early for what voting analysts say will be
a record-breaking turnout in the 2008 US Presidential election.

MALE VOTER: I felt that voting was a pleasure, it was something I've been doing for years, but
today seeing all the people there was a joy to my heart.

FEMALE VOTER: I read up on my stuff, and even when it comes to voting for Senate and stuff like
that, I wanted to make sure I knew exactly who I wanted to vote for so.

FEMALE VOTER 2: I'm really excited to vote in this election, I kind of feel like Christmas is
tomorrow and I'm waiting until tomorrow so I can finally go and open my presents. Anyway you look
it, this is an historic election and I'm excited to be part of it.

MALE VOTER 2: I couldn't sleep, you know, something that gets me excited to vote.

MALE VOTER 3: It feels historic, it's a beautiful fall day and I feel invigorated. I've got my
sticker which I'm going to wear all day, it feels really exciting and like something really
important and new is going to happen, whoever wins.

ELEANOR HALL: Just some of the 130-million voters expected to turn out today.

Much of the country is still voting, but booths have closed in the swing states of Florida,
Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. And if the opinion polls are right, Democrat Barack Obama could
clinch the election in these key eastern states alone.

It will be a pivotal moment in US history if Barack Obama wins the White House today. He would be
America's first black president.

But history would also be made with John McCain, who would become the oldest candidate to be
elected. And if he won, America would have its first female Vice President.

This race has also broken records for the amount of money spent. And it is being conducted in the
midst of the biggest economic crisis in the US since the Great Depression.

In our coverage we'll talk to pollsters and analysts in the United States as the numbers come in.

Obama set to claim victory or concede defeat

Obama set to claim victory or concede defeat

The World Today - Wednesday, 5 November , 2008 12:14:00

Reporter: Michael Rowland

ELEANOR HALL: But first let's go to Chicago where Barack Obama is set to return to greet his
supporters to either claim victory or concede defeat.

Joining me now from Chicago, is our correspondent Michael Rowland.

Michael, what is the mood in the Obama camp at this early stage?

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Well there's a mood of early jubilation based on those opinion polls that suggest
that Barack Obama is going to win this election, I'm sitting about 50 metres from the stage where
Barack Obama will be appearing in a few hours time.

And they've just let, what's estimated to be a crowd of about 100,000 people flood into this park,
and people (inaudible) to get their poll positions, at the bottom of the stage and every time the
US networks project Barack Obama winning, what has been traditionally Democratic states, huge
cheers have erupted from the ground here.

So at the moment the mood is one of optimism, but given how slow the count is going and how close
the contests are in some of those key battleground states, it could be a long night.

ELEANOR HALL: Michael, it's a difficult phone line we've got with you there, but the results from
some states are just coming in, are you hearing anything from campaign strategists about what they
think the night is looking like?

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Well the campaign strategists are saying that it's basically going with the flow,
not surprisingly we've seen Barack Obama winning traditionally blue states, like Vermont, New
Jersey, he's just picked up his home state of Illinois, and similarly John McCain is picking up
traditionally Republican states like Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

The results are in critical states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio are still too close to call, but
Indiana is shaping up to be a very close contest with only a few percentage points separating John
McCain and Barack Obama so that may suggest the scales are tipping ever so slightly in the
Democratic candidates favour.

ELEANOR HALL: It has been a gruelling campaign, how busy was Barack Obama today? We heard some talk
that he might have actually got to the basketball court?

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Yes, well this is something of an election day tradition for Barack Obama,
Eleanor, he likes to shoot some hoops to release a bit of stress on Election Day, he's done it
every day this year of the Democratic Primary and he found time for about an hour or so of
basketball practice this afternoon.

But he did fit in some campaigning, and in Indiana where he was supposed to be calling voters to
urge them to get to the polls, and he is now watching these returns come in from a hotel not too
far from where I'm broadcasting from.

ELEANOR HALL: We can hear something going on behind you Michael, is that the crowd cheering or is
that security?

MICHAEL ROWLAND: No, that's the crowd cheering, every time, they're watching CNN on one of the
biggest TV screens I've seen in my life, and every time CNN projects, not projects but shows Barack
Obama ahead in any given state, not necessarily projecting him the winner of that state, you'll
hear what we just heard then, and we're hearing it again now, just a wave of cheering erupting from
what is a very very enthusiastic crowd.

ELEANOR HALL: Michael Rowland in Chicago, the hometown of Democrat candidate Barack Obama, thank

McCain campaigns to the wire, despite mid-air scare

**Please note temporary audio loss during interview, transcript available in full.

McCain campaigns to the wire, despite mid-air scare

The World Today - Wednesday, 5 November , 2008 12:18:00

Reporter: John Shovelan

ELEANOR HALL: Let's go now to Phoenix, Arizona where the Republicans are gathering, our reporter
John Shovelan is there.

John, Senator McCain has been campaigning right up to the last moment but he had a frightening time
in the plane at his final campaign stop in New Mexico I understand, tell us about that?

JOHN SHOVELAN: Yeah, it was about to land in Albuquerque, and you know, the plane, the wheels we're
down and they we're heading in to land and they had to abort the landing, the plane shuddered as it
pulled away and people on board talked about getting a bit of a fright.

I dare say, for an old fighter pilot it probably wasn't much of a scare for Senator McCain, but the
plane went back around and safely came in to land for what was his last election campaign rally
before returning to Arizona.

ELEANOR HALL: Senator McCain has been sounding remarkably relaxed in the last few days, he's made
much of being the underdog and he's been sounding upbeat I guess, but is there an optimistic mood
in the Republican camp tonight?

JOHN SHOVELAN: Well, you know firstly, I think there's a resignation about Senator McCain, I think
he feels that he's done all he can do and that's probably true for both candidates.

As far as the officials with his campaign go, there's an aura about Senator McCain and his ability
to come back, and I think a lot of them are living on that, they believe that he's done it before
and he can do it again.

But they're realistic enough to know that the chances of him winning are still very slim, the early
count even points to some of the problems that he's got. There's battleground states like North
Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, Indiana, they're very tight, they're very close to call, and he
needs to win just about all of those to win the White House.

So they're still hopeful, they're certainly not down in the mouth, it's certainly too early in the
night to be down in the mouth, but certainly they know it's an uphill task for him, but they're
still hopeful.

ELEANOR HALL: And has Senator McCain given any indication of when he will join his supporters

JOHN SHOVELAN: No, but you know, it will be certainly much later in the night, I mean, a
substantial, states are still voting and so there's no suggestion of anything until much much later
in the night, and after all polling booths have closed right around the country.

You know, he's a bit of an old fashioned kind of guy, and that's the kind of thing he would insist
on and certainly he won't appear, I wouldn't imagine until sometime, perhaps if we get a result, a
clear result tonight around midnight which tends to be tradition.

ELEANOR HALL: John Shovelan in Phoenix, Arizona, thank you.

Budget surplus revised to $5.2-billion

Budget surplus revised to $5.2-billion

The World Today - Wednesday, 5 November , 2008 12:22:00

Reporter: Sabra Lane

ELEANOR HALL: The Federal Treasurer has unveiled the Government's Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal
Outlook, and it's dramatically revised down the size of Australia's surplus for the current
financial year.

In the May budget, it predicted a $22-billion surplus, but Wayne Swan says the global economic
crisis is buffeting the Australian economy, and the surplus has being revised to $5.4 billion.

Mr Swan says the Government is determined to increase pension payments but aside from that, it's
reviewing all its spending commitments.

The Treasurer says it will have to cut its cloth, to suit the circumstances.

In Canberra, Sabra Lane reports.

SABRA LANE: For weeks the Government hasn't wanted to specify how the global financial crisis had
affected the Australian economy, this morning Treasurer Wayne Swan admitted it's given the country
a walloping.

WAYNE SWAN: But what has been absolutely dramatic, in driving the surplus' down have been the
changes to revenue.

The global financial crisis, has smashed $40-billion out of projected surpluses. It's hit
$40-billion worth of potential tax revenue.

SABRA LANE: In short, the budget surplus for this financial year has been slashed from $22-billion
to just over five-billion.

Growth has also been revised down three quarters of one per cent, to two per cent.

Unemployment will rise, by the end of June next year it's expected to be around 5 per cent, jumping
to five and three quarter per cent by June 2010.

The media was given only a two page briefing note before Wayne Swan held a press conference this
morning to detail the figures.

He was asked about revised inflation figures, as the briefing note contained no information about

WAYNE SWAN: Well all of our forecasts are there for you to digest Laura.

(Sound of commotion from reporters)

WAYNE SWAN: Okay, well it's coming out, okay.

REPORTER: Why have we not got the statement?

WAYNE SWAN: The statement's coming out, and you're going to get a briefing from Treasury and I'm
happy to make myself as available, this is a statement that is delivered at a normal time, six
months from the previous budget within a few days, and you're welcome to go through everything in
great detail.

SABRA LANE: He fumbled for a minute before finding the answer.

WAYNE SWAN: CPI (Consumer Price Index), three and a quarter in the budget, 3.5 MYEFO.

The drastic revision down of the surplus is due to a drop in demand for Australia's commodities, a
drop in company tax and a huge fall in capital gains tax, because of the share market plunge.

Mr Swan says some families will find the coming months tough. And it'll be tough going too for the
Government too, with the Treasurer promising to quarantine only one promise into the future.

WAYNE SWAN: Firstly, we are committed to pension reform, we made that clear, but as regards what we
can do, whether it comes to infrastructure, whether it comes to reform of Federal-State relations,
or a whole host of other areas, there are tough decisions that must be taken.

SABRA LANE: But the Treasurer made it clear the Government was keeping its election promises to

WAYNE SWAN: Oh look, we've got to go back and have a look at everything, but we have implemented
all of our election commitments in the context of the last budget, we do have ambitious plans
across a range of areas, we are going to have to cut our cloth to suit the circumstances.

I've made it clear that the commitment to pension reform is one that we are proceeding with in the
timetable that we indicated we were following and that remains the case, but there are a large
number of other areas which we are ambitious to proceed in, in which we will have to take tough
decisions and make tough choices.

SABRA LANE: While Mr Swan says the nation's growth should remain positive over the cycle, he says
he doesn't know if the global financial crisis will have a further impact on the nation's fortunes
and send the budget into deficit in any quarter.

WAYNE SWAN: Well we're not forecasting going into deficit in any single year, but I've made it very
clear if international conditions were to further deteriorate, that would have an impact on future

But it's not my job to speculate about that.

SABRA LANE: The Government had promised to set aside $76-billion over coming years for its three
investment funds, for infrastructure, health and education.

But because of the downturn in terms of trade and tax takings it may have to revise down the size
of those funds and re-think its much promised COAG (Council of Australian Governments) reform

WAYNE SWAN: There is the, the COAG agenda, that'll be tough, there is a variety of other reports
before the Government, and of course there is infrastructure expenditure as well, we've made it
pretty clear that-

REPORTER: So a scale back?

WAYNE SWAN: Well, I'm not going to forecast what we're doing in each individual case.

SABRA LANE: Shadow Treasurer Julie Bishop.

JULIE BISHOP: The Government is blaming everything on the global financial crisis, now of course
Australia's not immune from the impacts of the global financial crisis but conditions have been
made worse in this country because of the Government's misreading of the economy throughout the
year, and the Government says everything is on the table, well that's just code for saying that
they're going to go back on whatever they said that they would do and they are now going to say
because of the global financial crisis they are permitted to move a long way from responsible
fiscal management.

ELEANOR HALL: Shadow Treasurer Julie Bishop ending Sabra Lane's report.

MYEFO analysis by economies

MYEFO analysis by economies

The World Today - Wednesday, 5 November , 2008 12:26:00

Reporter: Stephen Long

ELEANOR HALL: Our economics correspondent Stephen Long joins us now to analyse the Treasury's
update on the economic outlook.

Stephen, how would you describe the forecasts in the mid-year economic outlook?

STEPHEN LONG: I would describe them Eleanor as aspirational, more an expression of hope than a firm
target. Clearly this is what the Treasury wants to achieve and they don't want to spook people by
giving a negative outlook.

Forecasting is very difficult at the best of times, particularly difficult in these circumstances,
with that caveat though, these forecasts do look optimistic, particularly on unemployment, if we
get through this crisis with the unemployment rate peaking at 5.75 per cent, up just 1.5 per cent
on what it is now, I think most people would consider that a stellar result.

ELEANOR HALL: Well how does this stack up with the kinds of forecasts we're getting from market

STEPHEN LONG: It'd be at the very top end of market economist's forecasts and well above the
consensus forecast, particularly on unemployment where most people think we'll go above six per
cent and could end up above nine per cent according to JP Morgan, which is sort of more at the
bearish end of forecasting, so even though we are looking at three quarters of the budget surplus
being wiped out, I think most people would consider that that is optimistic and we'll be lucky to
get through this without the budget going into deficit.

So really it doesn't stack up with what the market is expecting, and if we do achieve what the
Treasury is saying then people will think we've got through this well.

ELEANOR HALL: Now the Reserve Bank yesterday when it cut rates said that it now appeared likely the
economy was weaker than expected. Is it using the same numbers as Treasury?

STEPHEN LONG: Well no in a word, I mean we haven't got the latest Reserve Bank forecast, we'll get
them when they release their statement on monetary policy the latest one next week, but they
clearly have signalled that they are revising down their outlook for economic growth and if you
look at the last statement on monetary policy, quarterly statement on monetary policy we had, they
haven't got aggregated annual economic growth figures but they've got quarterly breakdowns and they
were looking at growth ranging between two and 2.5 per cent going through to June 2010.

So they were already looking at growth, fairly pared back and they clearly going to revise that
down sharply. Now I think, that you're going to see a situation where the Treasury forecasts are
very much at odds with what the Reserve Bank is going to be expecting which is an interesting
situation given that Ken Henry the Secretary of the Treasury is on the Reserve Bank Board.

ELEANOR HALL: Stephen Long our economics correspondent, thank you.

Victorian Police Commissioner announces resignation

Victorian Police Commissioner announces resignation

The World Today - Wednesday, 5 November , 2008 12:30:00

Reporter: Jane Cowan

ELEANOR HALL: In Victoria the state's chief commissioner of Police Christine Nixon has announced
she's quitting.

Christine Nixon has ended months of speculation by revealing she'll step down at the end of her
contract in March.

She was the first woman to head a police force in Australia and the Victorian Premier John Brumby
has declared her the best Chief Commissioner the state has ever had.

Jane Cowan reports.

JANE COWAN: To a room packed with Melbourne's media, Christine Nixon picked a few minutes of air
time between yesterday's Melbourne Cup and the US election to reveal her plans for the future.

CHRISTINE NIXON: After several months of consideration, today I am announcing that I will not be
seeking another term as the Chief Commissioner of Police.

Despite the offers from the Government to continue, I believe it's time that I hand over.

It's been an incredible journey, it's been a privilege and it's been an honour to lead such a fine

I hope I haven't let you down, I remember Steve Bracks, at one stage when he appointed me said he
thought that I was a bit of a risk, I didn't think so.

JANE COWAN: The Victorian Premier John Brumby is glowing in his praise of the chief commissioner's
almost eight years at the helm.

JOHN BRUMBY: I think back and look at all of the chief commissioners we've had in this state, all
of them have had different strengths, different personal styles, but I think Christine has been the
best Chief Commissioner that we've had in Victoria.

JANE COWAN: Christine Nixon became chief commissioner in 2001 and her tenure has been a tumultuous
one. Her time at the helm has been characterised by efforts to root out corruption, the fallout
from Melbourne's gangland war and most recently revelations that some of her closest officers
within the organisation had allegedly plotted to unseat her and leak confidential information.

The chief commissioner admits it hasn't been a quiet time and that she could have enjoyed a much
quieter life if she'd let many things go by.

She agrees corruption has been major issue while she's been chief commissioner but says the ethical
health of the organisation has improved dramatically.

CHRISTINE NIXON: And I think our culture has changed, I don't think it's ever going back, and there
are some who said they would outlast me, and some of them might, but I don't think that they will
be able to go back to what is was like previously.

JANE COWAN: Recently Christine Nixon came under fire for accepting a free luxury flight from Qantas
to Los Angeles, an airfare she later repaid.

But she says the Qantas controversy didn't figure in her thinking when deciding to leave.

CHRISTINE NIXON: It wasn't anything like that, that's just a matter, I mean, you think of all the
things that have happened over the last eight years in Victoria Police, it's a very minor matter in
comparison to the very many significant issues we've been challenged with over the last while.

JANE COWAN: Christine Nixon has also had a testy relationship with Victoria's Police Union.

She's particularly butted heads with the organisation's former secretary Paul Mullett who accused
her repeatedly of interference.

Today she had these parting words for the union.

CHRISTINE NIXON: We certainly had our ups and downs, but I respect the role that the Police
Association plays but I think that we are on the same track, and that is to make it better for our
members in Victoria Police.

JANE COWAN: When asked about the toll the last eight years have taken on her, it was the relentless
media attention that sprang to mind.

CHRISTINE NIXON: I have to say my favourite is one that was, I happened to go overseas for four
days and was, and my media director said don't go swimming, and I didn't. But there was a cartoon
of me in my uniform on a float, in the hotel pool.

JANE COWAN: Listening in the crowd were a throng of senior police and Christine Nixon's parents.

CHRISTINE NIXON: They've been great supporters to me and often people have said to me how do you
manage to survive, and I said well if you had parents like mine, you too would survive.

I have a mother who occasionally, you know, when I think about staying in bed I hear her saying
Christine, you got yourself into it, get yourself out it, get up and get on with it. And she still
says that.

JANE COWAN: As far as successors are concerned, Christine Nixon's Deputy, Simon Overland has always
been named as a contender.

But today the Premier John Brumby and Christine Nixon were both careful not to give any indication
of anointing him, indicating there will be a wide national and international search for a

ELEANOR HALL: Jane Cowan reporting.

Zogby International conducts final election poll

**Please note partial audio broadcasting failure, transcript still available in full.

Zogby International conducts final election poll

The World Today - Wednesday, 5 November , 2008 12:34:00

Reporter: Eleanor Hall

ELEANOR HALL: Now returning to the United States where polls have just closed in the eastern
battleground states of Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Indiana.

The results in these states hold the key to whether, as the opinion polls have been suggesting for
weeks, Democrat candidate Barack Obama will romp to victory or whether, as the Republican's John
McCain insists, he is closing the gap in the critical swing states in the final moments of this

Zogby International is one of the major political opinion pollsters in the United States and it
conducted its final poll in the swing states overnight.

The Communications Director at Zogby International, Fritz Wenzel, joins us now from Washington.

Fritz Wenzel, thanks for being there, the polls have now closed in some of these swing states
you've been monitoring so closely, before we come to your opinion poll are you getting any
significant exit poll numbers yet?

FRITZ WENZEL: We haven't seen exit polling and we're a little reluctant to rely on exit polling in
America for this cycle for a couple of different reasons. We've seen so much trouble in the last
couple of presidential elections projecting the correct winner based on those, and this year we
have early voting, it's something new.

Early voting in many states, many of these states in particular and so with perhaps as much as a
third of the voters already casting their ballots before today, the exit polls at the official
polling places today are missing a significant proportion of the voters and so we feel there's a
reliability problem with that. We're not relying on those numbers.

ELEANOR HALL: Now yesterday when we spoke you had Obama ahead in almost all of the critical states
on the eastern seaboard, but what do your latest results show, is that lead now tightening?

FRITZ WENZEL: Well it has tightened in a couple of those races, and it's very interesting, Florida
was a very tight yesterday, it remains so, same with Missouri, North Carolina same case. Yet Ohio
yesterday we had Obama up by six points, today he is up by only two, it's too close to call.

There's an interesting issue in America, boiling over because of this, I'll get to that in a
minute, Virginia very close, but Barack Obama up by 4.5 points or so, again too close to call. And
Pennsylvania, Obama's lead has dropped from 14 to 10.

What's happening is that Obama, a tape with Barack Obama saying that he would essentially oppose
new coal electricity plants in America has really struck hard in Ohio and Pennsylvania, because
they're very big coal states, very big producers and consumers.

We believe that's perhaps behind why Obama has lost a big part of his lead so quickly.

ELEANOR HALL: So this coal issue is driving this switch to McCain at this late stage?

FRITZ WENZEL: Yes you wouldn't expect it in many states but those are two states where it could
particularly be difficult for Barack Obama and in fact the little bit of, little snippets of
sampling we've done internally today show that McCain has made up all that difference and it's
going to come right down to the wire in Ohio.

ELEANOR HALL: Now what about Pennsylvania, it's a Democrat state that John McCain is eyeing off,
how are the numbers looking for him there, is that coal issue an issue there?

FRITZ WENZEL: Yeah it is, and we've seen it close after our polling finished last night, we
continued to do some today and just anecdotally I can tell you that it was continuing to have a
serious effect to the point where Pennsylvania polls are closed now but it's still too close to
call, so McCain has certainly benefitted from this issue it appears.

ELEANOR HALL: Of course many of the numbers still don't favour John McCain, let's look at Virginia,
if Obama manages to take this normally strong Republican state, what sort of a sign is that of how
long this election night might be?

FRITZ WENZEL: Well it may not be long at all if Obama takes Virginia because it's hard for McCain
to find a way to make up those 13 electoral college votes, because he's already very likely to lose
other votes out in the west.

Colorado, typically Republican looks like it's going Democrat, same with New Mexico, same with
Nevada, those three states alone add up to merely another Ohio in terms of the number of electoral
college votes, so he's in tough shape, he has to win something and Pennsylvania would be nice, but
Virginia he can't really afford to lose it.

ELEANOR HALL: What if he were to lose Virginia but pick up Ohio and Pennsylvania? Would that put
him back in the race?

FRITZ WENZEL: Yeah it sure would be, then I think we're going right down to the wire and it's going
to be a real battleground, particularly in the western states. The one state hanging out there that
again is too close to call yesterday we had it down to a tie to the tenth of one per cent that's

So it may be that whatever happens in Missouri, determines the next president.

ELEANOR HALL: Now of course, all the focus is on the presidential vote, but congressional voting is
important too. What's your polling showing about whether support for Barack Obama nationally is
translating into support for Democrats in the House and critically in the Senate?

FRITZ WENZEL: Well it clearly is, and it's not so much the momentum with Obama, but it is the money
and the energy that the Democrats have been able to develop and use in these key Senate races.

They've already picked up three or four and it looks like they could pick up another three or four
before the nights out. They could get close to sixty, which would be a filler buster proof majority
which would give them free reign to pass legislation in the Senate, but it's not clear they're
going to get there, at least not tonight.

ELEANOR HALL: Pollster with Zogby International, Fritz Wenzel, thanks very much for joining us on
what I know is a very busy night for you there in Washington.

Ohio closely watched as counting begins

Ohio closely watched as counting begins

The World Today - Wednesday, 5 November , 2008 12:38:00

Reporter: Eleanor Hall

ELEANOR HALL: As we've been hearing, Ohio is going to be a very closely watched state tonight.

It was the state where at the last election the Republicans mobilised a large number of religious
conservatives on issues like abortion and swung Ohio and the election for George W. Bush.

And it is a critical state for John McCain too, no republican has ever won the Presidency without
winning Ohio.

Director of the Ohio Poll, Dr Eric Rademacher joins us now in Cincinnati, where voting closed an
hour and a half ago.

So Eric Rademacher, we've just been hearing from Fritz Wenzel at Zogby's that he sees the gap
narrowing in Ohio, what is your latest polling showing?

ERIC RADEMACHER: Well the polls are closed here in Ohio, as you say, but we're really in waiting
mode right now, just 10 of the 88 counties have begun to report votes so far, which means that most
of Ohio's votes have yet to be counted, in fact millions of votes right here in Ohio have yet to be

And when you look at the electorate from the final polls that were out there, the one thing that
you have to take into account is that many people are already saying that they had voted, so it
would be very difficult for a single issue, an issue like Mr Wenzel was talking about, to change
minds of a large number of voters, because upwards of 25 per cent of the voters that we speak with
in our final polls actually already cast their votes.

ELEANOR HALL: Voting in the United States is of course voluntary, and it's very important to get
voter turnout for each of the campaigns, do we know yet the size of the voter turnout there in

ERIC RADEMACHER: Well you know this is one very encouraging sign for someone like me who teaches
political science on a college campus and typically we go into the classroom and we talk to people
about how Americans often turn away from the political process during tough economic times, during
policy times that are tough because they become more sceptical of government, and what we're seeing
in Ohio but also across the country is a situation where instead it looks like very high turnout is
reacting to some tough economic and foreign policy times here in the US.

So today we've got high turnout which is somewhat different than I think it's the typical picture
that people have about Americans, in high numbers they are turning to the political process here in
America today.

ELEANOR HALL: Now you might be pleased to see that as a political teacher but does it favour one or
other party?

ERIC RADEMACHER: Well that's difficult to say, you know, we're watching very carefully and our
final polls was that Democrats had a decided advantage in the composition of turnout here in Ohio.

If it is the case that Republicans in the final days, decide to come out in higher numbers than
perhaps they were thinking over the weekend, that would have an impact on the electorate, but going
into today what we saw with our final polls was an electorate that was decidedly in the favour of
the Democrats and that certainly favoured Senator Obama.

ELEANOR HALL: And can John McCain win the election if he doesn't win Ohio?

ERIC RADEMACHER: I think it's going to be almost impossible for John McCain to win the election if
he does not win Ohio. It's critical to his electoral vote map, certainly he is looking at some of
the states that also have already closed, I think you've just touched on states like Pennsylvania
that are very important, perhaps a state like Virginia, but without Ohio I don't think there's a
way that John McCain can make it to the White House.

ELEANOR HALL: Dr Eric Rademacher from the Ohio poll in Cincinnati, thanks very much for joining us.

And we will be crossing back to our pollsters as the numbers come in throughout the afternoon.

US presidential election campaign revisited

US presidential election campaign revisited

The World Today - Wednesday, 5 November , 2008 12:42:00

Reporter: Brendan Trembath

ELEANOR HALL: Let's now have a look back at what has been one of the longest and most tightly
contested election campaigns in US history, and one that hasn't all been an easy run for the

Brendan Trembath prepared this report.

BARACK OBAMA: Look at all of you. Goodness!

BRENDAN TREMBATH: One by one, the presidential hopefuls came forward.

The Democrat Barack Obama declared his intention to run in February last year in Abraham Lincoln's
hometown of Springfield, Illinois.

At times the candidate sounded more like a preacher than a would-be president.

BARACK OBAMA: Oh praise and honour to god for bringing us here together today. Thank you so much.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: A large crowd had braved the cold to see him.

The following month in New York the Republican John McCain declared his intention to run.

He chose a less formal setting, David Letterman's late night talk show.

DAVID LETTERMAN: Are you going to announce that you're running?

JOHN MCCAIN: The last time we were on this program, I'm sure you remember everything very clearly,
but you asked me if I would come back on the show, if I was going to announce. I am announcing that
I will be a candidate for president of the United States.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: So, John McCain was in the race.

Though not officially.

JOHN MCCAIN: By the way I'll be making a formal announcement in April.

DAVID LETTERMAN: So this was not the formal announcement?

JOHN MCCAIN: This is the announcement, and you drag this out as long as you can, you just don't
just have one rendition, you know.

DAVID LETTERMAN: So you're saying this was not the formal announcement?

JOHN MCCAIN: This was the announcement preceding the formal announcement.

DAVID LETTERMAN: Well how do you think that makes me feel?

BRENDAN TREMBATH: This election provided many comic moments, especially when John McCain picked his
running mate.

SARAH BERNARD: You know fortunately he picked a vice presidential candidate who has been a perfect
storyline for everybody.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Sarah Bernard is the President of the satirical website and she says
Sarah Palin's an intriguing character.

SARAH BERNARD: She's from a very small town, she totes a gun, she's a hockey mum, she wanted to
charge Americans for their rape kits I mean it's the story that keeps on giving.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Sarah Palin made several appearances on the comedy show Saturday Night Live.

Of course it wasn't really her but the impersonation was pitch perfect.

TINA FEY: You know John McCain and I we're a couple of mavericks, and gosh darn it, we're going to
take that maverick energy right to Washington and we're going to use it to fix this financial
crisis and everything else that's plaguing this great country of ours.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: When the Vice Presidential candidate did appear in person it was hard to tell the

SARAH PALIN: Thank you, now I'm not going to take any of your questions, but I do want to take this
opportunity to say live from New York it's Saturday night.

SARAH BERNARD: I think these days coming on a comedy broadcast shows makes these candidates more
approachable, more real, more lifelike to people and they think that it'll improve their image.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Before the presidential race tightened there were contenders like the New York
senator Hillary Clinton, one time North Carolina senator John Edwards and the former New York Mayor
Rudy Giuliani.

Senator Clinton would bow out but only after a sustained campaign to get her party's nomination.

Democrat took on Democrat.

HILLARY CLINTON: I have a great deal of respect for Senator Obama, but we have differences.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: The campaign of Democrat John Edwards fizzled out with less of a fight.

His higher profile opponents raised more money and had a lot more media time.

John Edwards was still a possible vice president until he was named in a sex scandal.

The Republican Ruddy Giuliani dropped out too and endorsed John McCain.

This campaign has been widely watched in America but also around the world.

George W. Bush, wallowing in the opinion polls, is leaving the White House after two terms. president Sarah Bernard again.

SARAH BERNARD: Well we've got some time to give him a very nice send off, so there's times for
jokes there, and I think that we'll fine some good humour in whoever's the next new president. As
long as there's human screw ups, there's room for comedy.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: The departing president kept a relatively low profile during the campaign.

So did his Vice President Dick Cheney.

But the television satirist John Stewart still hunted the VP down.

JOHN STEWART: In the final days of the presidential campaign, you know who had to weigh in, the
evil mastermind has resurfaced to release another grainy disturbing videotape featuring his sickly

DICK CHENEY: I believe the right leader for this moment in history is Senator John McCain.

JOHN STEWART: Why can't we capture that guy?

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Generally the Republicans have been lampooned more than the Democrats.

Sarah Bernard from says the gap is getting attention.

SARAH BERNARD: Often times you're hearing American comics being criticised right now that they
haven't found the perfect line for Obama, but I think time will change that, should he become the
president, he's promised a lot of change and let's see if that change happens.

ELEANOR HALL: Sarah Bernard, the President of the satirical website, ending that report by
Brendan Trembath.

US political analysts join The World Today

US political analysts join The World Today

The World Today - Wednesday, 5 November , 2008 12:46:00

Reporter: The World Today

ELEANOR HALL: It is being called historic. It could see the first black American in the White House
and it is being held in the midst of the biggest economic crisis in the United States since The
Great Depression.

We'll know the results in the next few hours, or the next few days, but to talk about the
significance of this election - not just for the United States but for the rest of the world -
we're joined now from the United States by three political analysts.

Michael Fullilove is the program director for global issues at the Lowy Institute and is also a
visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Danielle Doane is the director of congressional relations with the Heritage Foundation and has
worked for many years for Republicans in Congress. She's also in Washington.

And Simon Jackman Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, is on the other side of
the country. He joins us from his University outside San Francisco.

Thanks to you all for being there.

First to you Michael Fullilove, is this as Barrack Obama says a defining moment in history?

MICHAEL FULLILOVE: I think it is for a couple of reasons, first of all the scale of the challenges
facing the next president are awesome, bloody conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, nuclear programs
in Iran and North Korea, terrorists networks, the financial meltdown, a cooling economy, a warming
planet. So I think it's historic in that sense.

And secondly, if he is elected president then it will be an amazing full stop to the last century
of race relations in the United States, to have a black man in the White House if he's elected in
the next couple of hours, I think will shift international perceptions of the United States and
maybe even dislodge some of the prejudices against this country.

ELEANOR HALL: Danielle Doane do you see this as a defining moment in history?

DANIELLE DOANE: Oh absolutely. I think that this just shows that the, the entire nation is starting
to look to different changes. However I do want to point out from a conservative institution that
the programs that Obama's presidency has been running on, the campaign, is more conservative.

It's tax cuts, it's you know, nuclear energy solutions, things that resound more with the
conservative base, and so I think to some extent that doesn't point to a problem for Republicanism,
for conservatism as much as it does for Republicanism.

ELEANOR HALL: And Simon Jackman, what do you see as at stake in this election?

SIMON JACKMAN: Well I agree with the symbolic importance of electing an African-American to the
presidency, that's going to do wonders for America's image abroad and Americans' sense of

I still though, continue to wonder about the extent to which this new president takes office and
finds himself just tremendously constrained, despite the great challenges facing the United States
and the great expectations Americans have for their next president, that nonetheless the next
president inherits a trillion dollar budget deficit.

And despite some of the mighty promises Obama has made over the course of this campaign I do wonder
on the extent he'll be able to follow through and the political pressure he'll face from this vast
constituency he's rallied and mobilised over the course of the last 12 months or so, the extent to
which he'll actually be able to deliver to their satisfaction, over the medium-term.

ELEANOR HALL: Now you're talking about a vast constituency that's been mobilised; already it's
clear the voter turnout in this election has been phenomenal and people are still voting as we

What is it that's switched so many people on to voting? Is it anger with George Bush, is it the
charisma of the candidates, is it simply the organisational machines?

First to you Danielle Doane.

DANIELLE DOANE: Well first of all I think that the Obama president, campaign for president actually
tapped into something very early which is a need for change.

I absolutely agree that I think, everybody in the nation is looking for some kind of difference,
that it is sort of the anti-Bush; but it's also the fact that they're unhappy with the way things
are and so I think it's kind of a combination of things that have caused such a great turnout.

And you know, hitting with hope, now there's no real specifics beyond that, it's just the idea of
hope and giving people the chance to actually feel like they are making a difference in the
long-term direction of the country.

ELEANOR HALL: Michael Fullilove, what do you think is driving this big voter turnout?

MICHAEL FULLILOVE: Well, I think both the candidates speak to the better angels of the American
nature actually. I mean Obama has this incredible story of his origins, he's bested the Democrat,
the dynasty that dominated the Democratic Party for the last 20 years and he's remarkably
articulate and intelligent. McCain is a war hero and an independent person, so I think both of them
in some ways stir up, in some ways reflect the best aspects of the country.

I might say Eleanor that I can tell that Danielle is a fan of the Monty Python song 'Always Look on
the Bright Side', I think it's a nice argument to make out that Barack, if Barack Obama is elected
today that's bad news for Republicans but not for conservatives.

But I would read it a little bit more negatively for the conservative cause, especially if
Democrats solidify their majorities in both houses of Congress, I mean, Danielle herself admitted
that change has been the mantra of this election and in many cases, it's changed from the kind of
conservative foreign policy that President Bush has run and a kind of conservative economic policy
as well.

So I think this will cause a big re-think or at least it should on part of not only the Republican
Party but the conservative movement in general.

ELEANOR HALL: Danielle Doane, I'll let you come back on that in a moment, but let's hear from Simon
Jackman, I mean there is talk of a seismic shift in policy driven in large part by the economic
crisis, are we looking at something big in economic policy along the lines of a new deal and are we
also talking about massive changes in foreign policy or is it more as Danielle Doane points out,
not such a big shift to vote for Barack Obama?

SIMON JACKMAN: I tend to think it won't be a huge shift, I think there's a few things Obama's
signalled that he will do; he'll reinstate tax levels for the richest Americans back to where they
were under the Clinton administration, that will be an important gesture.He may be able to get
through the congress in short order.

There will be another hugely symbolic act, I think, starting to wind down the American presence in
Iraq, although there will be a considerable re-deployment to Afghanistan.

But in terms of, you know, we're staring at the breach of a new deal type complete upheaval of
American domestic policy, American foreign policy, for that matter as well, I tend to think that's
going too far, I just don't see Obama himself perhaps wanting to go that far despite some of the
rhetoric of the campaign.

And nor do I see frankly, even if Democrats are on track to increase their majorities, I just don't
see a lot of these new comers in the Senate or the House being willing to sign on to something
completely radical, a radical re-shift to the left on both domestic and foreign policy, I just
don't think that's on the cards in the next year or two.

ELEANOR HALL: And Danielle Doane, we have been hearing earlier in the program from our pollsters
that it does look like there will be a move towards Democrats again in the congressional vote as
well. Would you be concerned should there be concern about increased Democrat control in the
Congress, particularly in the Senate if they get that magic 60?

DANIELLE DOANE: Well yes, that actually does create some problems, especially in the Senate, about
if they get close to 60 just because the fact that that kind of eliminates some of the basic checks
and balances that were created in our government to kind of keep things in more control.

Back to the discussion before though, I think one of the reasons why Obama's going to be a bit
constrained if he gets the presidency in the initial couple of months is that, you know, everybody
is calling for change but nobody really knows what that is.

Every single person that voted today thought that they heard something that resonated with them,
whether it was getting completely out of Iraq, and Afghanistan, you know, tax cuts, or tax
increases, that doesn't apply to me that only applies to people in a certain range.

You know it's a lot harder when you get in and hope and change and these kind of words that have
been used as buzz words throughout the campaign actually translates into actual legislation,
actually translates into things that are going to affect to people in their everyday lives, then
you're going to see the problems begin and you're going to have to see what actually can be
translated into legislation and into real policy changes.

And I just think that that's going to be more limited than people expect.

ELEANOR HALL: Now of course we haven't got a result in this election yet, but how critical is the
size of the mandate? Will it be important in giving extra power to a new president, Michael

MICHAEL FULLILOVE: I think the mandate will give, I mean if Obama wins and if he wins big, then he
gets a strong mandate of course, it's not like the Australian system, he can't take that into the
Parliament and push his legislative agenda through, but I think that will give him some gravitas to
bring Congress along with him.

I mean back on the issue, back on the debate about change Eleanor, nobody's saying the America is
going to turn around on a dime and become a sort of Scandinavian country with a welfare state,
that's not the issue. The issue is, is the tone and the texture of Washington's policies across the
whole spectrum of policies likely to change.

Just going through some of the issues that the other guests mentioned, a drawdown of forces in Iraq
which has been the biggest discontinuity in the international system in decades, a, moving closer
to a global deal on climate change after the macabre dance of climate change denial and delay from
the Bush administration, a real shift in international perceptions towards the United States.

A different kind of foreign policy strategy on the use of force, on multilateralism, on some of
these issues, it's not that they're going to become a small power, they're going to remain the
United States. But this is a big shift and if Obama wins and if he wins big, I think we're fooling
ourselves if we say, oh this is not a big deal. This will be a big deal.

ELEANOR HALL: Simon Jackman, the challenges, the environment for a new president, Michael
Fullilove's already talked about it being a very tough environment. I mean, how important is a
change in leadership for the direction of the US given the constraints that are there anyway with
the economic crisis and the Bush legacy in foreign policy?

SIMON JACKMAN: Yeah, look I have to agree to some extent with Michael, look every time the party of
the presidency changes in the United States, it's associated with this great theme of renewal, it
was morning again in America when we switched from the Democrats to the Republicans back in 1980
under Reagan.

Bill Clinton was building us a bridge to the 21st Century when we went from 12 years of Republican
presidents to the Democrats in 1992. So make no mistake there will tremendous rhetoric and
tremendous push for change.

My only point here would be to point out that with the US on the brink of a deficit next year in
the neighbourhood of 10 per cent of GDP - a trillion dollar deficit - there's sort of an orthodoxy
developing among a lot of economists that this is the time to run up the deficit, if you've ever
got to do it, now's the time.

The question is where in the midst of that do we find the hundred billion for education, or the
extra 250, 300-billion, you know, these sums of money that at one point seemed feasible and within
reach. Now I just get the sense it's going to be very very difficult for this ambitious agenda, I
mean, there will be tremendous symbolism, the inauguration of an African-American president, make
no mistake about the signal that will send around the world and what it will send domestically, the
way it will empower Democrats and people on the left more generally in the United States and the
tremendous national unity that will prevail in the weeks and months after that.

But then I think when we get down to brass tax, we've still got this tremendous, we've got this one
trillion dollar deficit confronting us and nervous new members of Congress wondering where does
this road end and how far down this road do we go with this new president, and I think it could
start to get very difficult six months, 12 months in.

ELEANOR HALL: Now we're running up right to the end of our program, we've only got about a minute
left, but Danielle Doane, how much does depend on the character and the personality of the

DANIELLE DOANE: Well obviously he, whoever the president is, they're going to have to be able to
sell a lot of big ideas and I think you're absolutely right, the previous speaker about the
trillion dollar deficit and the fact that the baby boomer generation is about to retire.

Huge problems that are facing this country and you need somebody who can take them on in a very
strong way that also doesn't bankrupt the country.

ELEANOR HALL: Michael Fullilove do you think the character and personality of the president is as
important as the environment?

MICHAEL FULLILOVE: Look I think it is, I mean a lot of academics put a lot of weight on the sort of
structural factors in determining which ways countries go, I think particularly in presidential
systems like the United States, the kind of personality, the direction they chart and of course the
individuals that they appoint, because unlike our system the next president will have a huge say,
will basically appoint most of the senior officials in his administration. So yeah, the personality
matters a whole lot.

ELEANOR HALL: Thank you very much to you all for joining us, I'm going to have to wrap it there.
Michael Fullilove from the Lowy Institute who's there at the Brookings Institution, Danielle Doane
from the Heritage Foundation and Simon Jackman from Stanford University.

Thanks very much to you all.