Blitzer, Analysts to Lead CNN’s ‘Election Night in America’

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CNN’s “Election Night in America” election coverage next Tuesday begins at 6 p.m.—one hour before the first polls close—with Wolf Blitzer leading along with Campbell Brown and Anderson Cooper from the Election Center headquarters in New York, the network said Thursday. 

As he has throughout most of this presidential election cycle, chief national correspondent John King will use the latest technology as well as his reporting from every battleground state of this campaign to zero in on hotly contested states and provide analysis—down to a county-by-county level—to explain CNN’s projections in each state. 

Using CNN’s “Magic Wall” and a 3-D, 6-foot-long virtual U.S. Capitol, King will break down data about the presidential race and report on updates to the House and Senate balance of power.

In addition, Soledad O’Brien and Bill Schneider will, for the first time, showcase exit-polling data simultaneously from all 50 states with demographic comparisons. By using two 103-inch interactive plasma screens, the team will display a state-by-state breakdown of polling data according to any number of demographic and political groups. The new way of presenting polling information will allow viewers to compare how others in their state voted compared to those in different states.

Throughout the evening, senior analysts Gloria Borger, David Gergen and Jeffrey Toobinand political contributors Paul Begala, Bill Bennett, Donna Brazile, James Carville, AlexCastellanos, Amy Holmes, Roland Martin, Ed Rollins, Hilary Rosen, Leslie Sanchez and TaraWall will provide analysis and commentary. CNN political correspondents Candy Crowley, Suzanne Malveauxand Jessica Yellinwill report live throughout the evening from Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters in Chicago, while correspondents Dana BashandEd Henry will be on the ground at Sen. John McCain’s headquarters in Phoenix. In addition, CNN correspondents will be on the ground reporting from key battleground states.

Adding to what promises to be one of the most technologically advanced events in CNN’s 28-year history, CNN will enhance interviews with remote correspondents and guests using hologram projection. The network has built sets powered by hologram technology at both campaign headquarters making it possible to project three-dimensional images into the Election Center. From the New York set, anchors will exhibit more natural conversations with newsmakers and CNN correspondents in the field by interacting in real time with their 3-D virtual images.

Amid CNN's multi-platform coverage, anchor Lou Dobbs will provide his independent perspective on this pivotal election. Special editions of Lou Dobbs Tonight will air live on Headline News on Monday and Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.

CNN’s live pre-Election Day coverage begins on Monday at 6 a.m. ET and will continue through Thursday. On Monday evening, CNN’s primetime coverage kicks off with Campbell Brown:  No Bias, No Bull and includes two live hours of Anderson Cooper 360  followed by a live midnight airing of Larry King Live. CNN will remain live from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. ET, at which time American Morning with anchors Kiran Chetry and John Roberts will begin its Election Day coverage. On Wednesday, American Morning will follow-up on the election news of the day before beginning at 3 a.m.

On Election Day, CNN will assemble “go teams” of correspondents and producers who will report on breaking election news and voting irregularities. Throughout the day, CNN’s Ali Velshiwill anchor reports on voting irregularities from the “go teams,” and legal experts will track and analyze such issues across the country.

As announced earlier in the month, CNN launched the Voter Hotline at 1.877.GOCNN08 (877.462.6608) to assist voters in reporting any problems or irregularities noticed at the polls. To date, the hotline has received more than 15,000 calls with the expectation to handle hundreds of thousands of calls by Election Night.

CNN.com will showcase real-time election coverage and live results for national and state races, detailed exit-polling data, video and audio feeds, photo galleries and games. Users can customize their online experience by selecting the races they most care about and viewing results by state and county, as well as scorecards, maps and live streams of speeches.

CNNPolitics.com, the site’s political news gateway, will feature complete coverage and analysis as the results are tallied.  Members of the Best Political Team will share their insights on the Political Ticker, the Internet’s No. 1 political news blog according to Nielsen Online. Also, through The Forum, CNN.com’s destination for social and political self-expression, users are empowered to engage in real-time discussions with other registered members and invite their Facebook friends to join in the conversation through the recently launched Facebook Connect.

CNN.com Live will stream “Election Night in America” in its entirety, plus provide real-time election results and commentary from CNN analysts, contributors and correspondents. Throughout the day, CNN.com Live anchor Melissa Long will co-anchor a live Election Special from the CNN Election Center in New York with various guests, contributors and members of the CNN broadcast team. As results start coming in, CNN.com Live will have special Election Night coverage with Long from New York and Reggie Aqui, Naamua Delaney and Nicole Lapin from CNN Headquarters in Atlanta.  CNN.com will also offer users the ability to watch past candidate speeches online through video on-demand, CNN.com Live and full text transcripts.

Building upon the success of the CNN Grills at both conventions as well as 2006’s “CNN Election Nite Blog Party,” the network will open a CNN Grill inside the Time Warner Center Park Café from 6 p.m. to midnight. Internet reporter Abbi Tatton will report live for CNN.com Live from the Grill throughout the night. Comments from bloggers in the Grill will post at CNN.com.

Also on Election Day from noon to midnight, CNN will hold a viewing party in Times Square in conjunction with the Times Square Alliance. The public, on a first-come, first-served basis, will be able to view CNN’s election coverage on Spectacolor HD, ClearChannel Spectacolor’s digital display, located at the corner of 47th Street and Broadway. Similar viewing events for McCain and Obama’s nomination acceptance speeches attracted more than a thousand spectators to the heart of Times Square.

Viewers from around the world also will also have the opportunity to follow the U.S. presidential election as CNN International simulcasts many hours of CNN’s non-stop coverage. The network has teams in place in more than 32 countries with correspondents in Obama’s ancestral home town in Kenya as well as in Iraq, Israel and key capitals of Europe, Asia and Latin America. CNN Español also will provide rolling coverage of America Votes 2008. In addition, CNN-branded global networks and digital services such as CNN IBN in India, CNN Turk in Turkey, CNN+ in Spain and CNNArabic.com, CNN’s Arabic language Web site will provide on-going coverage of “Election Night in America.”  

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