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The network anchors set the tone for the night

November 4, 2008 |  4:39 pm

At 4 p.m., all the broadcast networks went on the air and offered their preliminary assessments of the race so far. The early calls nearly everyone agreed upon: Vermont for Obama and Kentucky for McCain.

NBC’s Tom Brokaw: “We can say with certainty, based on all the long lines we saw at the polls today…It’s the end of apathy. People want to get back involved in their American political system, because they have a big stake in it.”

ABC’s Diane Sawyer said people are thinking about “the economy, the economy, the economy.”

CBS’s Katie Couric: “America stands at the doorway of destiny as we the people make choices about the future of our nation.”

Couric outlined the 10 key states CBS is watching: Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. Jeff Greenfield noted that Bush won all of those states in 2004, except Pennsylvania. McCain has to win the rest of the states to be in the game, Greenfield said.

“This is not a wind he sailed into tonight,” Greenfield said. “It’s a gale.”

-- Matea Gold