George W. Bush Wins Easily in Virginia PrimaryAired February 29, 2000 - 7:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I am Wolf Blitzer in Washington.
George W. Bush is now rolling to an easy victory in the commonwealth of Virginia. Based on exit polling at key precincts in Virginia, CNN is now ready to report the winner, George W. Bush in his contest against Arizona Senator John McCain. With this win in Virginia, Bush will win all of Virginia's 56 delegates, 56 delegates in the winner take all. That will bring his grand total now -- George W. Bush we are projecting will have 187 delegates, John McCain, 95. Steve Forbes, who has dropped out of the race, with two delegates. One-thousand-thirty-four delegates are needed to capture the Republican nomination.
Joining us now from Los Angeles is CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider. Bill, what does this win for George W. Bush mean? How did he capture this victory tonight?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Wolf, Virginia looks a lot like South Carolina, but with a very interesting twist. Remember how the religious right was the key to George W. Bush's victory in South Carolina? Same in Virginia, only more so.
Let's take a look at religious right voters today in the Virginia primary. Over 80 percent of them, over 80 percent of the religious right voted for Bush in Virginia today. He carried the religious right by three to one in South Carolina and by eight to one today in Virginia. Now, that has to be the fallout from Senator McCain's attack on Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell yesterday, both of whom live in Virginia.
But wait a minute. The religious right is not as big a force in Virginia as it is in South Carolina, is it? No, it isn't. The religious right was a third of the vote in South Carolina, under 20 percent in Virginia. McCain may have been expecting some payoff from non-religious right voters in Virginia who were, after all, almost 80 percent of the voters. But you know what? He didn't get it.
Voters outside the religious right split their votes between Bush and McCain almost exactly as they did in South Carolina. The bottom line: McCain's attack on Robertson and Falwell earned him the solid opposition of religious right voters, but in Virginia at least, it did not gain McCain anything among non-religious right voters -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Bill, that decision to lash out at Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell obviously didn't have much of an impact in helping John McCain in Virginia, but it potentially could help him elsewhere around the country, is that right?
SCHNEIDER: Well, we'll be watching to see what happens in the state of Washington, which is also voting today, where polls won't close for a couple of hours, and it may pay off for him among non- religious right voters in New York, California, and some other primary states. Remember, Virginia is a Southern state like South Carolina. He might not have been expecting a payoff among non-religious right voters in Virginia.
BLITZER: OK, thanks, Bill Schneider.
We will have much more on the Virginia primary and the other contests still tonight, Washington State and North Dakota, including at the bottom of the hour on "CROSSFIRE," that's at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, as well as the top of the hour on "THE WORLD TODAY" with -- we will have complete details with Bill Schneider and Jeff Greenfield. Much more ahead.
For now, I am Wolf Blitzer in Washington. "MONEYLINE" is next.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|CLICK HERE FOR TODAY'S TOPICS AND GUESTS|
CLICK HERE FOR CNN PROGRAM SCHEDULES
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.