CNN's Super Tuesday-plus


NEW YORK -- CNN is going around the clock with political coverage in the hours leading up to and past Super Tuesday in early February.

The network plans to devote an unprecedented 40 consecutive hours of live coverage to the primaries and their aftermath beginning at 6 a.m. EST Feb. 5, when the polls in two dozen states open and concluding around 11 p.m. Wednesday.

"It won't really stop," said Sam Feist, CNN's political director who is coordinating the coverage from the channel's election headquarters in New York and on the road with the candidates and at the polls.

CNN plans to begin its coverage of Super Tuesday with "American Morning," though the results won't start to come in until after 7 p.m. Eastern, when Wolf Blitzer, Lou Dobbs, Anderson Cooper and Campbell Brown will work with others from CNN to report and analyze the results. Sometime early Wednesday, the New York-based on-air team will get some rest and two Atlanta-based anchors will take over for the overnight hours before 6 a.m. rolls around and the New York team returns to action.

Feist said the overnight anchors won't lack for things to do. Because this is a truly national primary, with results from all over the country, there will be results from remote regions trickling throughout the night, and margins will need updating even when all the winners are known already.

"We want to be there to show them," Feist said.

Not that CNN is resting on its laurels in the week-plus leading up to Super Tuesday. It's going full blast the next two weekends on its so-called Ballot Bowl -- live coverage of candidate appearances that runs Saturday and Sunday. Saturday night is the South Carolina Democratic primary, and Tuesday is the Florida primary. And to add to it, CNN has a GOP candidates debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., on Wednesday and a debate among the Democratic candidates the next night in Los Angeles.

"Each of these you could work six months to get ready for," Feist said. Because the debates come right after the Florida primary, Cooper and several of CNN's political analysts will be doing their job from California on Tuesday night.