Other than Chicago or Phoenix, I can't imagine anyplace one would rather be on this historic Election Day than that nucleus of all things political, CNN's Election Center in New York. That's exactly where our MTV News crew was Tuesday afternoon, shooting a segment with correspondent Soledad O'Brien.
MTV News and CNN don't often cross paths, but we are always happy to do so. We recently partnered with the network on our "Night for Vets" concert, and with the youth vote a driving force in what looks to be an unprecedented turnout today, it made sense for us to meet up once more.
I am not sure what I was expecting as we made our way to CNN's fifth-floor newsroom — frantic, frenetic energy, maybe, with the first polls set to close in a few hours? What we got was, you might say, the calm before the storm: a buzz of activity to be sure, but it was controlled, businesslike and, at times, even relaxed.
We observed a sea of cubicles, cameras, cables and cranes, and red, white and blue as far as the eye could see. At the renowned set, rehearsals were under way. As a longtime VMA veteran, I can tell you that you can only rehearse so much for a live show — particularly one with the volume of breaking news that an election night offers — but they were well into run-through mode.
We saw the heavy hitters — Wolf Blitzer (carrying one of what I can only imagine will be many cups of coffee), John King, Gloria Borger, Donna Brazile (eating popcorn) and, of course, O'Brien, whose election-night beat includes breaking down the all-important youth vote. We had just gotten word from Rock the Vote that even by early afternoon, at several college campuses nationwide, vote totals had already surpassed those of 2004 and were on pace to do so at other schools. Soledad gave us her thoughts on the significance of that development, predicting big things to come from young voters by the time the night is over. Speaking of which, CNN was nice enough to invite us back to crunch some youth-vote numbers with them later tonight, when things really get rolling.
MTV News is at the polls in all 50 states — check out our coverage all day long on MTV and right here on MTVNews.com. Then, tell us why you voted! Comment below, upload video at yourhere.mtv.com, or text VOTE to 66333 with your first name, age, state and a comment about your experience. Your message will appear on our election map and could appear on TV today!