NEW YORK (CNN) - Enthusiasm at the polls continued on Sunday with waits for early voting in some states stretching to six hours. The CNN Voter Hotline got calls this weekend from voters awed at the turnout and others frustrated by the wait.
In Columbus, Ohio, 27-year-old Dana Zoladz and four friends gave up after realizing there was a six-hour wait to vote at the Franklin County early voting center at the Veterans Memorial. She said would try again on Election Day.
Her father, Dan Zoladz, told the CNN Hotline that, "Six hours is ridiculous in terms of waiting in line."
The county spokesman, Michael Stinziano, said people began lining up as early as 6:30 a.m., even though voting did not begin until 1 p.m.
"I think it is fair to say that we had a four hour line before we opened the doors," Stinzi said in an e-mail.
In Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, lines were stretching "about two blocks," said Mike West, spokesman for the county election board.
West said the atmosphere in line was upbeat. His voting location opened up an hour earlier than scheduled to accommodate the crowds.
Both counties said anyone in line by the 5 p.m. closing time at would get to vote.
To date, the Hotline has gotten close to 25,000 calls including nearly 6,000 seeking their voting location and over 8,100 have called to tell CNN about an issue they had registering or voting. CNN's partner, InfoVoter Technologies has also transferred 16,000 callers to their local board of elections so they can get answers to their problems.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNN) – After country singer Gretchen Wilson performed at a Sarah Palin rally in Columbus on Sunday, Palin was sure to give a shout-out to John McCain, who put on a show of his own last night on Saturday Night Live.
“Now speaking of great performances, did anyone catch John McCain last night on SNL, 'Saturday Night Live?'” Palin asked the crowd. “He was such a pro in those skits there with Tina Fey.”
Palin advised Fey not to count on staying with her day job on “30 Rock.”
“And a little advise for Tina,” Palin said. “We want her to make sure that she’s holding on to that Sarah outfit, because she’s going to need it in the next four years.”
“It feels like people have put away their cynicism during this election year," said Eric Olmscheid, 27. “But if I had to bet, I’d say that the cynicism will come back once we have a new president.”
An arts education manager, he is another of the people with whom we’ve been speaking as we have moved through Iowa toward Election Day. As with the others, we spoke with him not so much about his preference in candidates, but his sense of what this election year has been like.
“People haven’t been as cynical as usual because, no matter who wins, there’s going to be a change in Washington for the first time in eight years,” he said. “The voters know that the president and vice president will not be people who have been working in the White House.
“But when I say that the cynicism will probably come back, that’s just because the first time the new president, whoever he is, makes an important decision, some people are going to be happy about it and some aren’t. It’s not going to feel like a campaign– in a campaign, the candidates don’t have to make real decisions for the country. And the people who don’t like that first decision the new president makes are going to go back to their old way of thinking about politics."
Still, he said, he believes most Americans understand that “things don’t happen in this country based just on what the president of the United States wants to happen." And he hopes the energy that has been shown by the electorate all during the campaign doesn’t disappear the first time what happens in the new administration feels like business as usual.
“There won’t be the flashiness of the campaign,” he said. That’s just the reality of governing, he said– the everyday business of running the country is not as compelling and exciting as what our presidential campaign seasons have turned into.
“But so many people have become involved with the campaign, thinking about it and talking about it and really caring about it,” he said. “I hope that doesn’t go away. Because I think the enthusiasm and engagement, no matter who you want to win, has been good for everyone, and I wouldn’t want to lose that."
(CNN) - With Pennsylvania's developing status as a must-win battleground for John McCain, the state GOP launched a last-minute television ad here highlighting Barack Obama's relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
"If you think you could ever vote for Barack Obama, consider this: Obama chose as his spiritual leader this man," the ad's narrator says, before clips of Wright's controversial statements are shown.
"Does that sound like someone who should be president?" the ad continues.
The party did not release the extent of the ad buy, but defended the decision to air it.
(CNN) - It's one of John McCain's closing arguments in his bid for the White House. The Republican Presidential nominee suggests that Democrats will increase their majorities in Congress, and he warns of one party rule by the Democrats if Barack Obama is elected president.
McCain has said that Obama is "working out the details" with Democratic leader to raise taxes, increase spending and "concede defeat in Iraq."
But a new national poll suggests that Americans may not be as concerned about one party if Obama wins the White House. In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Sunday, 50 percent of likely voters questioned say that if Obama wins the White House, Congress should be controlled by Democrats, with 48 percent saying Republicans should control both the House and the Senate.
It appears to be a different story if McCain wins the presidential election. Fifty-nine percent of those polled say the Democrats should control Congress if McCain wins the White House, with 39 percent saying the Republicans should be in charge of Capitol Hill.
The Democrats currently have a 235 to 199 majority in the House of Representatives and a 51 to 49 advantage in the Senate, with the chamber's two independent senators allied with the Democrats.
One of Barack Obama's closing points is that John McCain would carry out George Bush's policies if elected, saying, the Arizona senator has "ridden shotgun" with the president over the economy.
(CNN)—The latest CNN average of polls in Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio shows Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain with just two days until election day.
CNN’s new Nevada Poll of Polls shows Obama leading McCain by 6 points, 49 percent to 43 percent; CNN’s last Nevada Poll of Polls –- released October 31 –- showed Obama leading McCain by 7 points.
In North Carolina Obama is leading McCain by 2 points, 49 percent to 47 percent; CNN’s last North Carolina Poll of Polls –- released October 31 –- showed Obama leading McCain by 4 points, 50 percent to 46 percent.
The average of the most recent polls in Ohio, a must win for McCain, shows the Democratic nominee leading the Republican nominee by 4 points, 49 percent to 45 percent; CNN’s last Ohio Poll of Polls –- released October 31 –- showed Obama leading McCain by 5 points.
A complete list of polls used for the latest CNN Poll of Polls after the jump
NEW YORK (CNN) - Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin will campaign in grand total of 11 states on Monday in their last push in the race for the White House.
McCain will attend seven rallies across the country, coast-to-coast, starting the day in Tampa, Florida with a rally at 9:00 a.m. ET. He then travels to Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Mexico, and Nevada for Road to Victory rallies and ends the night in Arizona. The last rally of the night will be at midnight (local time) in Prescott, Arizona on the front steps of the Yavapai County Courthouse. It’s the same place where former Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater ended his presidential campaign in 1964.
Palin will hold rallies in Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada. Following her rally in Elko, Nevada Monday night, Palin will fly to her home state of Alaska to vote on Tuesday morning in Wasilla.
NEW YORK (CNN) – The Republican National Committee is using Hillary Clinton’s past criticism of Barack Obama to plant seeds of doubt in the minds of undecided voters in the final hours of the presidential campaign.
The RNC will begin an automated telephone campaign Sunday targeting millions of voters in key states that supported Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary or have a large concentration of blue collar voters, a Republican official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, tells CNN. The official was not able to specify which states, but added: keep an eye on Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana.
Listen: RNC uses Clinton in new robocall
“I am calling for John McCain and the RNC. Listen to what Hillary Clinton had to say about John McCain and Barack Obama:
‘In the White House there is no time for speeches and on-the-job training. Senator McCain will bring a lifetime of experience to the campaign and Senator Obama will bring a speech that he gave in 2002. I think that is a significant difference.’
This call was paid for by the Republican National Committee at 866-558-5591 and authorized by McCain-Palin 2008.”
(CNN) - Barack Obama held a campaign rally in Columbus, Ohio earlier Sunday, during which he took aim at Vice President Dick Cheney's recent praise of the GOP ticket.
"George Bush may be in an undisclosed location, but Dick Cheney’s out there on the campaign trail because he’d be delighted to pass the baton to John McCain," Obama said. "He knows that with John McCain you get a twofer: George Bush’s economic policy and Dick Cheney’s foreign policy – but that’s a risk we cannot afford to take. It’s time for change, and that’s why I’m running for President of the United States."
Read Obama's prepared remarks after the jump
ABOARD THE ELECTION EXPRESS (CNN)
“Hectic,” said Ben Bueford, 65.
That’s the word he thinks best sums up what this election year has been like: “It’s been a very hectic year, which I think is wonderful." He’s retired, and works part-time at a YMCA; he is one of the people with whom we spoke about the tone of the long campaign, on our way through Iowa as we move toward Election Day.
“You can tell that there has been a level of interest in this campaign that is different than in years before, and I think it’s that way all over the country, not just here in Iowa," he said. Because Iowa and its caucuses play such an important role in the early stages of the process of electing a new president, he said, it is tempting for Iowans to believe that the interest there is more intense than in other places.
“But I don’t think that's really so," he said. “It may have started here, but the way the country has become involved in this election year, especially so many young people– I’ve seen a lot of presidential elections, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this."
Because he is a supporter of Barack Obama, he knews he may be accused of not being objective about something he has noticed, but he wanted to offer his feelings about it anyway:
“I don’t like the tone of what John McCain’s campaign has been saying about Sen. Obama,” he said. “In my opinion, it’s starting to sound more like slander than a list of the facts. It seems to me that the McCain campaign is trying to make Obama seem to be not quite American. You can disagree with your opponent, but when you try to portray him as not being a good person, you put fear into people.”
He knows that McCain supporters probably feel strongly the other way, and the visceral strength of the feelings on both sides, he said, is what has separated this year’s campaign from some others he has watched in the past. “Whatever you may like or dislike about the campaign," he said, “you can’t criticize the level of energy. I don’t think it could possibly get any more energetic.”