Bush Wins In Iowa; Gore Wins by 2-to-1 Margin; Forbes and Keyes Beat ExpectationsAired January 24, 2000 - 10:00 p.m. ET
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ANNOUNCER: From Des Moines Iowa, this is CNN's coverage of the Iowa caucuses, with Bernard Shaw, Judy Woodruff and Jeff Greenfield.
BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: The Democratic and Republican parties tonight taking the first major step on the road to choosing a nominee for their respective party tickets. Al Gore, the winner of the Democratic side. Now let's look at the Republicans, with Texas Governor George Bush on top, winning tonight. We have roughly 90 percent of precincts -- 86 percent of precincts reporting. This is the percentages we see: For Governor Bush, 41 percent; Steve Forbes, 30 percent; Keyes, at 14; Gary Bauer at nine percent; John McCain, who only appeared here twice in debates, never campaigned here, five percent; Utah Senator Orrin Hatch at 1 percent.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: And among the Democrats, this is CNN's estimates of what the percentages will be: a 2-1 for Vice President Al Gore. We are estimating 66 percent for Vice President Gore, 33 percent for New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley, just 1 percent uncommitted.
Let's go quickly now to John King, who is at the headquarters of Al Gore.
And, John King, they've now had some time to digest not only the fact that they won, but the proportion of the victory, the fact that it's 2-1.
JOHN KING, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Judy. A cheer just went up here at the Gore celebration when you showed those projected results. The vice president back at his hotel in Des Moines. He's due here in about an hour to speak to this victory party. He has told aides he's encouraged by 2-1 margin here in Iowa, also told them, though, to redouble their efforts in New Hampshire. New Hampshire has a history, of course, of going the other way, of saying no to Iowa's winner. The vice president hoping back-to-back wins can bring an early end to what for him has been an unexpectedly tough fight for the Democratic nomination.
As the vice president prepares to come here tonight, we're told in the next hour he will get a phone call from one of his most prominent supporters, President Clinton back at the White House, keeping track of the results. Senior administrative officials telling us he is very happy with what he sees on opening night of the 2000 nominating contest and will call the vice president to say congratulations very soon. There's also a party at the vice president's office at the White House complex, those aides left behind to do the official government work celebrating, just as the celebration gets under way here at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: John, just quickly, any disappointment at the size of the turnout, that we heard Jeff Greenfield say just a little while ago, looks like maybe 75,000 Iowans, a much smaller number than the last time there was a contested Democratic caucus?
KING: Well, Judy, the vice president earlier today, he began his day at a high school in Cedar Rapids, and he talked about this very issue. The Gore campaign was not so worried about low turnout, because it believed it would get its supporter out. It had the support of organized labor as well as the major industrial unions here, and the teachers union very important. Gore, speaking to high school students, said it was up to them, the next generation, to get more involved in the Democracy.
The key contest now, though -- this a caucus setting, where organization matters most. Gore, of course, had a big advantage here on that front. Now we go to a true primary eight days from now in New Hampshire, another test of the Gore operation and test of whether the Clinton loyalist in New Hampshire who are working for the vice president can turn out to vote there.
WOODRUFF: All right, John King -- Bernie.
SHAW: Well, a man packing his bags tonight with a mission in New Hampshire is former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley, finishing with 33 percent.
Jeanne Meserve is at Bradley headquarters.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bernie, the Bradley camp is acknowledging the loss, but accenting the positive. He had done better apparently than any other insurgent has done in Iowa. The campaign also says that they are doing a private vote tally, and that indicates that Bradley may do better than the numbers that we are currently hearing and putting on the air.
Bill Bradley told reporters early this week that when he was a professional basketball player, he was thought one to sit down and look at old game tapes and speculate on what might have been, and that apparently holds true for his political contest as well. His campaign chair, Doug Berman (ph), was down here a short time ago talking to reporters, and he said, "It's time to turn the page on Iowa and start a new page in New Hampshire."
Realists in the campaign, Berman, says never expected to win here. They said the situation in New Hampshire is a lot more fluid, a lot more competitive and a lot more promising for this man, Bill Bradley. The themes of the campaign we can expect to stay largely the same, but you can expect perhaps a difference in tone, a quicker and sharper response to Al Gore. Back to the anchor desk.
SHAW: Jeanne Meserve.
Judy Woodruff, you are going to be the co-moderator in Manchester, New Hampshire next Wednesday night with Vice President Al Gore and Bill Bradley, debating once again.
WOODRUFF: That's right. CNN will carry a debate among the Republicans, which you will be the co-moderator of, along with Karen Brown, of WMUR, there in Manchester. And I will co-moderate along with Tom Phillips the Democratic debate, a half an hour after your debate ends. And given the results tonight, I think both debates are going to be worth watching.
Jeff Greenfield, let's talk about these numbers, and the results on the Democratic side.
JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Well, I'm glad you mentioned that debate, apart from the shameless plug for CNN, because you are going to be, particularly, Judy, at ground-zero of one of the most -- the most dramatic event of the whole campaign so far. Here is Bill Bradley, coming out of Iowa 48 hours from now, having suffered an undeniable defeat that will then be six days before the New Hampshire primary, and if you are sitting there in Bill Bradley's campaign, if you are the candidate yourself, you're thinking, what do I do, what do I say, how do I convince this electorate there are sharp differences without being seen as too mean? You're really going to be in the middle of a fascinating political event.
WOODRUFF: Yes, I have a quick apology to make. I called my co- moderator Tom Phillips, and of course I know it's Tom Griffiths, and that's my mistakes. My apologies, Tom. I know your last name.
SHAW: Bill Schneider, you've had a chance to pause. I saw on you the phone downstairs. I saw you at the computer. What are you doing?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: We're looking at the profile of the voters. We did an entrance poll today, as people went into those caucuses, and we are finding out why they voted for the candidates they chose.
Now here's something interesting -- Iowa -- one of the things associate with the Iowa Republican Party is a heavy presence of the religious right. Now the religious right, let's look at how the religious right voted. They voted for George Bush. Don't try to dispute the claim that George Bush is a social conservative. He got 35 percent of the religious right vote, followed by Steve Forbes and Alan Keyes. Gary Bauer did rather poorly, came in fourth among religious right voters. Among those Republicans who are not members of the religious right -- the religious right is about 40, and those who not religious right is close to 60 -- bush had an even bigger lead, 48 percent.
Now what this suggests is that George Bush has a rather spectacular breadth of support in the Republican Party. He was doing very well among those who are not part of the religious right, but he also managed to have just as much a claim on the religious right as Steve Forbes, as Alan Keyes, as Gary Bauer.
SHAW: But -- that "but" will have to wait.
Let's go to Candy Crowley at Gov. Bush's campaign headquarters.
Candy, quite a night.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, absolutely. We haven't seen the governor yet, although he has appeared on LARRY KING, as you saw a little earlier. We did have a minute with him in his hotel room where he was watching the caucus results come in. He called it a record-shattering victory. By that, he means that in previous Iowa caucuses, the best Republican has done in a heavily contested race is 37 percent. This now coming in, around 41, 42 percent.
So he will take this. This victory parsed in a lot of ways. I can guarantee you that the Bush campaign will see it as a good victory, a double-digit victory over Steve Forbes, and he has, indeed, broken that 37 percent mark of previous Republicans.
This campaign also looking forward into getting back into New Hampshire. As you know, John McCain has spent a lot of time there. Bush now wants to go back and be there for the next eight days, hit as many spots as he can. He says he is looking forward to that contest. Now he can concentrate solely on New Hampshire and try to begin to turn those numbers around as well. As you know, he has a very tough race there. It is John McCain, I can tell you, that he is focused on. Obviously, Steve Forbes gave him a big run here, but the Bush campaign believes that Forbes will be less of factor there than, of course, John McCain -- Judy and Bernie.
WOODRUFF: Candy, we know that one person who hopes that prediction is wrong is Steve Forbes himself. Let's go to his headquarters here in Iowa. He has just come out with his wife, Sabina, and other folks in his campaign. His daughters here on stage with him. Our own Jon Karl is there.
Steve Forbes, big smile on his face, 30 percent with most of the votes counted. In the preference poll taken when the caucuses got under way tonight, he came in a pretty impressive second to Gov. George Bush, who is on top right now, we project at 41 percent, Steve Forbes 30 percent.
STEVE FORBES (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Thank you.
FORBES: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much, very much for that very, very I'll be polite and warm welcome.
(LAUGHTER) FORBES: But seriously, this is a great night.
Let me introduce...
FORBES: Let me introduce several of the reasons why I was able to do with your help what we've done tonight and what we're going to do in the weeks and months ahead. I'd like to introduce first our daughters, We've got Katherine here.
FORBES: Moira (ph) just finished her exams, so give her a nice round.
FORBES: And our youngest daughter, Elizabeth.
FORBES: Let me say about the next introduction -- as I've told some of you before, we have five daughters. Four of them made it through the teen years. We have one more to go. And I figure anyone who can help guide young women through those treacherous, and dangerous, wild adolescent and teenage years successfully is ready for the adolescent politicians in Washington -- my wife, Sabina.
FORBES: I want to thank our great campaign staff, who never paid attention to the polls and pundits and realized this was a campaign of principle and ideas. Your faith has been vindicated tonight, and thank you very much.
SHAW: Steve Forbes addressing his fateful tonight, calling it a great night because he finished number two behind Texas Governor George Bush.
Let's take a quick look at our latest vote totals: The Republican caucuses in Iowa tonight find Governor Bush with 41 percent, Forbes at 30 percent, Keyes, 14 percent. You see the vote totals as they're coming in. This is with 89 percent of precincts reporting. Gary Bauer has pulled ahead of John McCain, who never campaigned here, although he debated twice. Bauer with 9 percent to McCain's 5 percent. And the man from Utah, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Orrin Hatch, with 1 percent.
WOODRUFF: And, Bernie, we can say we're able to show these numbers because this really was a poll done -- more than a poll, a ballot -- done of Republicans, which was the first order of business as the Republicans went into their caucuses around the state tonight. So these are real numbers. We don't have these sorts of numbers on the Democratic side.
GREENFIELD: Can tell you what we do have, though. We actually broke a precedent, actually talked to some real Iowans tonight. We went to some counties where Pat Robertson in 1988 and Pat Buchanan four years ago did well. We wanted see whether Bush was able to stem the tide, and the answer seems to be, sort of, but not exactly. In Allamakee County, Bush got 44 percent of the vote.
WOODRUFF: What's the county again?
GREENFIELD: Allamakee County, where Robertson and Buchanan both won. Steve -- Alan Keyes, 35 percent of the vote in those precincts. In Hancock County, among three townships, Forbes 29, Keyes 25 percent. So what Alan Keyes did I think with some of those last-minute buys and those performances in the debate was to convince a fair number of the Robertson/Buchanan voters, stay with me, I'm speaking to you, which I think kind of held George Bush's totals down from -- he got a good victory, but it wasn't blowout, and this may be one of the reasons why.
SCHNEIDER: What's interesting is George Bush's 41 percent, it's not what he wanted; he wanted to get closer to 50 percent. The closer he got, the more it would have been a substantial victory. Forty-one percent is good. But what it indicates is there's still a lot of conservative Republicans out there. Right now, Steve Forbes is the leader of that wing of the party. He beat Alan Keyes 2-1 in the final vote totals.
The questions is, will conservatives -- social conservatives around the country -- rally to Steve Forbes as an alternative to George Bush, or will they agree to support George Bush because he seems perfectly acceptable to them?
SHAW: Right now, here in the Hawkeye State, in Des Moines, wherever reporters and staff members of all these campaigners are, Cedar Rapids, wherever, there is a lot of packing of bags going on, people rushing for the airports in the morning because the roadshow moves to New Hampshire, the next stop on campaign 2000.
And right there, ground-zero, our own Wolf Blitzer. We'll go to him when we come back.
WOODRUFF: Those are another look at the numbers from the Republican and Democratic contests here in Iowa. Again, the Democratic numbers still an estimate based on our poll of Iowa Democrats as they went into the caucuses tonight. The Republicans are raw numbers from the actual count, as the Republicans took a secret ballot when they went to their caucus places.
There's probably no state in the country, Bernie, that is watching the results here in Iowa more closely than the state of New Hampshire. And by the miracle of modern air travel, our own Wolf Blitzer, who was right here in Des Moines yesterday, is now in Manchester, New Hampshire at CNN's election 2000 headquarters. Wolf, are they all sitting on the edge of their seats watching these Iowa results?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, they're very interested, Judy. Of course they're very interested in what happened in Iowa. But I have to tell you, based on a lot of conversations today with people here in New Hampshire, they pride themselves in being very different than the caucus-goers in Iowa. For one thing, there are different issues, different economy and very different activists.
BLITZER (voice-over): They've been coming to New Hampshire for months, some even for years.
DICK BENNETT, AMERICAN RESEARCH GROUP: It hasn't been a campaign of issues here. It's really been a campaign of personalities.
BLITZER: Pollster Dick Bennett has been tracking presidential politics since 1980.
BENNETT: This race this year, it's the little stuff that has meant a lot. Some people said, well, for example, Elizabeth Dole endorsing Bush wouldn't really mean that much, it's only a few points. Well, he needs every point he can get.
BLITZER: On the Republican side in this state, the front-runners are George W. Bush and John McCain. The Arizona senator has focused all his attention on New Hampshire, skipping Iowa, and it appears to have paid off.
BENNETT: McCain is here now, and when he's here, he does very well, very positive word of mouth really; voters respond to him when he's here. When he leaves, his numbers get little weaker.
(on camera): One thing going for McCain is his appeal to independent voters, who can casts ballots in either the Democratic or Republican primary. In fact, there are more independent voters in this state than either registered Democrats or registered Republicans.
(voice-over): On the Democratic side, Bill Bradley is searching for many of those same independent voters. They may be his last chance for a second chance against Al Gore. But Joe McQuaid, the publisher of "The Manchester Union Leader," which has endorsed Steve Forbes, questions whether independent voters can be counted on.
JOSEPH MCQUAID, PUBLISHER, "MANCHESTER UNION LEADER": I don't think independents turn out that much over that much force in either primary, even though they can. Typically, the committed party faithful turn out.
BLITZER: And those party faithful made a statement in '92 and '96 in the Republican primary with strong support for Pat Buchanan.
MCQUAID: I think in 1992 and 1996, Republicans conservatives up here, who voted strongly for Buchanan were saying, Bush hasn't got a clue and Bob Dole isn't the guy you want either. New Hampshire says stop and take a look, maybe there's somebody else out there.
BLITZER: But that was Buchanan's high water mark.
BLITZER: Here's one historical fact: Only one candidate has won the Iowa caucuses and the primary here in New Hampshire in a contested race and gone on to win the presidency, and that's Jimmy Carter in 1976 and 1980.
Back to you guys in Iowa -- Bernie, Judy.
WOODRUFF: And, Wolf, that's one more than here in the state of Iowa. If I'm not mistaken, there has never been a winner of a contested Iowa caucus that has gone on to win the presidency.
Let me check with my two experts.
GREENFIELD: Jimmy Carter.
SCHNEIDER: He came in behind uncommitted.
Didn't he win against Kennedy?
GREENFIELD: But he didn't win the presidency then.
WOODRUFF: So, Wolf, you're one up on us.
SHAW: I want to ask a question, because frankly, it's important to interpreting what plays here in Iowa and what's important in New Hampshire. Wolf just explained to us the importance of independents, who outnumber registered Democrats and Republicans in New Hampshire. You reported tonight, and we've reported tonight, that social conservatives accounted for 54 percent of the vote going to Forbes, Keyes and Bauer.
My question is this: If social conservatives are dominant here in the state of Iowa and weigh heavily politically, does this play in New Hampshire?
SCHNEIDER: Well, social conservatives are less influential in New Hampshire than they are here in Iowa. New Hampshire is more of a libertarian state. But remember the important thing about the social conservatives: 54 percent of the vote went to three different candidates. They don't have a single dominant leader. And among those three, George Bush is just as acceptable to them as Forbes, Keyes and Bauer.
GREENFIELD: Wolf, it's Jeff Greenfield. Can you tell us about how the tax issue play out in the Republican primary? Since 1980, supply side tax study has been kind of Republican mantra, and this year, John McCain is challenging it. With the state of the New Hampshire economy as good as it is, is the tax issue going to cut as well for George Bush and Steve Forbes as it might've four and eight years ago?
BLITZER: Well, the McCain people think that McCain's relatively modest position on tax cuts is going to attract those independent voters, and they're also encouraged, even though they;'re not saying this publicly, they're encouraged that the relatively poor showing by Bill Bradley might discourage those independent voters turn out for Bradley. To a certain degree, the McCain and Bradley camps were competing for those same fiercely independent voters here in New Hampshire, and Bradley people are going to be disappointed if they don't show up for them. If they do show up for McCain, that will, in part, be for the position he's taking on tax cuts, which is sort of similar to the Democratic position, even though he won't say that publicly. As far as the Bush position is concerned, he's going for a much broader tax cut, but he can't compare on that issue with Steve Forbes, whose position on the flat tax and abolishing the IRS is, of course, much more sweeping.
WOODRUFF: Speaking of Steve Forbes, Wolf, we have joining us now from his own headquarters here in Iowa Steve Forbes, who has come in second by our account, 30 percent of the vote.
Mr. Forbes, you spent a lot of money here and a lot of days in Iowa. What does this 30 percent mean to you?
FORBES: I couldn't be happier and more excited about it, because I think it demonstrates that ideas matter, that principles matter, that if you have a strong conservative message you can get broad-based support within the Republican Party.
So I think this portends very well for New Hampshire and subsequent primaries. I think it shows that bold and constructive proposals are what people want after seven years of sizzle and spin in Washington, they want an outsider -- an independent outsider to make these sweeping and bold ideas come to fruition.
SHAW: I don't know whether you could hear the discussion we had just before Judy introduced you, Steve Forbes, but we talked about social conservatives splitting 54 percent of their vote between you, Alan Keyes at 14 percent and Gary Bauer at nine percent. What does that mean in New Hampshire? As Bill Schneider points out here, the Bush people are hoping to knock you out next week.
FORBES: Well, I think to be polite, they're dreaming, because I think that people now realize that we have a good, dramatic three-way contest in New Hampshire. I've got those bold conservative ideas. The other major candidates don't. So I think conservatives are going to close ranks around me because I do have that broad-based message, a policy of real substance, of real boldness, and that's what people want.
WOODRUFF: But, Mr. Forbes, we've looked at how the Christian conservative vote broke down here in the state of Iowa. Most of it -- if I'm not mistaken, 35 percent of it went to Governor Bush. How do you make the argument that you're a better representative for your party than he is? FORBES: I think people are going to see now, just as they started to do in Iowa, that I do have the bold message. You see it on the life issue. You see it on the tax issue where I want to get rid of the IRS as we know it, put in a simple flat tax. The other two candidates just do the usual Washington politics as usual, trimming around the edges. You see it on education where I want to put parents now in charge of the schools rather than having a big role for Washington.
I've got very bold ideas on Social Security, which are exciting working people. On health care, the same thing, putting patients in charge. This is what people want, they want to be in charge of their lives again, and I've got the ideas and proposals to do it.
SHAW: Help us better cover you by telling us what your playbook has for New Hampshire. You really hammered away at Governor Bush on abortion here. What are you intending to do in opposing the governor in New Hampshire?
FORBES: I'm going to do in New Hampshire what I've done in Iowa, and that is to take every opportunity to get my message out to the people. That's how we got people coming to these caucuses who hadn't come before. They believe in this cause, they see it as a cause, they believe in these principles. And that's why the pollsters missed what happened tonight.
FORBES: These are people who want to do right by America and that's why they're coming to my candidacy. I can do -- make those changes in Washington because I am the independent outsider.
GREENFIELD: Mr. Forbes, it's Jeff Greenfield. You mentioned...
FORBES: (OFF-MIKE) Jeff.
GREENFIELD: How you doing? You've mentioned that in the past the pundits and polls have underestimated social conservatives in Iowa, but it's also true, as you know, because you're a student of politics, that in caucuses, where intensity counts, social conservatives can often do very well; they come into a first primary state and they don't do nearly as well as they did in a caucus state.
How do you make your appeal broader than to the true believers in a state where people don't have to sit in caucuses for four hours, they just show up and vote?
FORBES: I think you can see that I have the true broad-based conservative message. People like my views on life, bringing people together and moving towards the life amendment.
They like it on taxes where I get to the heart of the problem, which is the IRS, and immediately giving people a real tax cut.
You see it on Social Security. A lot of people like the idea of working people having their own personal accounts and take them out of the grasping, wasteful hands of the Washington politicians. And most Americans like the idea of being able to choose their own doctor, and I've got the proposals and ideas on the table on how to achieve that.
And that's why we're going to do well in New Hampshire. People like these broad-based, bold conservative ideas. It's something that cuts across lines.
WOODRUFF: Well, Mr. Forbes, speaking of New Hampshire, we want to bring into this conversation our own Wolf Blitzer, who is reporting tonight from Manchester. He has a question for you.
BLITZER: Mr. Forbes, you campaign manager, Bill Dal Col, said on CNN Saturday night that he made a bold prediction, he predicted that George W. Bush would come in third in New Hampshire behind John McCain and you. He wasn't predicting who would come in first or second, he only predicted that George W. Bush would come in third in New Hampshire. He also predicted that you would have a very strong second in Iowa.
Are you prepared to make that flat prediction this evening?
FORBES: I trust the wisdom of Bill Dal Col.
And I think that the Bush people who laughed when he made that prediction a day or two ago, their smiles are off their faces now. I think we are going to do very well in New Hampshire and he -- I think he's probably right that George Bush will finish third.
WOODRUFF: All right. Steve Forbes joining us here in Iowa. Wolf Blitzer in New Hampshire.
Again, Mr. Forbes, congratulations on your 30 percent showing here, number two -- coming in number two behind Texas Governor George W. Bush.
FORBES: Thank you very much, Judy.
WOODRUFF: And again, thank you for joining us. We'll see you in New Hampshire.
Well, we are going to will take a break. When we come back, we're going to be talking with our political analysts Tony Blankley and Mike McCurry. We're going to be looking ahead not just to New Hampshire, but to what happens in this presidential contests after New Hampshire.
We'll be right back.
SHAW: CNN continuing its live coverage from Iowa tonight, the Iowa caucuses. Here are the latest figures we have, with 89 percent of precincts reporting. Governor Bush now holding at 41 percent, winning tonight; Forbes, 30 percent; Ambassador Keyes, 14 percent; Gary Bauer, nine percent; Senator McCain, five percent; Senator Hatch, one percent.
WOODRUFF: And on the Democratic side, we are still -- this is still an estimate based on our interviews with Democrats going into their caucuses tonight. We are projecting Vice President Gore with 66 percent of the votes tonight in these caucuses, a 2-1 lead over former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley, just one percent uncommitted.
Clearly, Al Gore is the story, the big story on the Democratic side.
And let's go right to the vice president's headquarters here in Iowa to John King, who has a little news to report -- John.
KING: Judy, the cheering and the celebrating under way here at the Gore headquarters in the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
Let's bring you up to speed on two very important phone calls relating to the Gore campaign. First, a phone call the vice president initiated. A short time ago, at his hotel here in Des Moines, Al Gore, thinking ahead to the next contest, the primary in New Hampshire eight days from now, he called his top supporter in the state, the Democratic Governor Jeanne Shaheen. His message to her, he said, that was he's looking forward to coming to New Hampshire and that we've just begun to fight, the vice president said.
After that phone call, the vice president was on the receiving end of a phone call, this from his boss back at the White House, the president of the United States. A senior administration official telling us the president spoke to the vice president for about five minutes, congratulating him on his victory here, saying that he thought Gore was in good shape as the campaign headed out to New Hampshire. The president we're told giving the vice president this advice: Focus on the economy, just like I did in 1992 in New Hampshire, and you'll be just fine. The vice president due here in about 15 or 20 minutes to speak to his supporters. Major statewide figures already here. Sen. Tom Harkin came in. The celebration here at Gore headquarters. But early in the morning, actually overnight, the vice president flies on to New Hampshire, where he is in the lead now, but still a very tough race with Sen. Bradley -- Judy, Bernie.
SHAW: President Clinton might have been on the telephone tonight, but he also was on the minds of Iowa Democratic voters. Bill Schneider has something on that.
SCHNEIDER: Well, Bill Clinton turns out to have been a major factor in the Democratic campaign, even though Bill Bradley and Al Gore rarely talked about him. Democrats, over 80 percent of them, thought he's doing a good job. But when we asked Democrats, do you have a favorable or an unfavorable personal opinion of Bill Clinton? The division was a lot closer. Take a look at this: 49 percent of Democrats, about half, favorable, 44 percent, unfavorable. Did that have an impact on the way they voted? Absolutely. Among Democrats who had a favorable opinion of Bill Clinton, Gore wiped out Bradley 4- 1 -- a big margin. But now take a look at those with an unfavorable view of Clinton. That was a tie. Bradley did a lot better, but Gore did pretty well. He split the vote with Bill Bradley among Democrats with an unfavorable view of Clinton. Where did Bradley's vote come from? Well, he did very well, in fact, he won, he beat Gore 2-1 among Democrats who disapproved of the way Bill Clinton is handling his job. But you know what? That was only one Democrat in eight.
Clinton clearly made a big difference for Gore's victory. Bradley was sort of trapped in the anti-Clinton vote. He got the anti-Clinton vote, but there really wasn't enough of that vote for him to beat Al Gore.
SHAW: All of this is to say what?
SCHNEIDER: To say that Bill Clinton is a big defining factor in this Democratic race, that Bill Bradley has to break out of the anti- Clinton vote and find a bigger message, and so far, he hasn't really had much success in doing that.
SHAW: Nor does he have much time.
SCHNEIDER: That's right. That's exactly right.
And in New Hampshire next week, they're going to be watching the State of the Union speech, where Bill Clinton is going to rally Democrats, talking about the record of his administration, his bold visionary agenda. And who's going to be sitting behind him? Al Gore. If this race is about Bill Clinton, that speech could be a pep rally for New Hampshire Democrats.
SHAW: I just can't get out of my mind the fact that earlier tonight on CNN, one of our respected analysts, Mike McCurry, sitting in the Washington bureau of CNN, wondering aloud, almost praying, please, Bill Bradley, don't go negative.
SCHNEIDER: Yes, that's right. Well, Bradley hasn't gone negative on Clinton, knowing perfectly well, that among Democrats, you're not going to get anywhere by doing that. Gore hasn't mentioned Clinton very much, because he knows that once he gets the nomination, he doesn't want the election to be about Bill Clinton; yes, economic record and his policies, but he doesn't want to be tied to Clinton personally.
WOODRUFF: All right, speaking of Mike McCurry, and President Clinton, and Al Gore, and Bill Bradley all of these folks, let's go to Washington to our political analysts Tony Blankley and Mike McCurry.
And Mike McCurry, I want to bring it right back to you, with some of the analysis we've just now been hearing from Bill Schneider. Bill Bradley has a problem. You're clearly saying he shouldn't attack Al Gore, but he really hasn't and can't start to criticize President Clinton. What does Bill Bradley do?
MIKE MCCURRY, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think you saw it in some of the numbers that Bill presented. What the dilemma is for the party, if this really turns into a nasty fight at this point -- and look, I'm not predicting that it will be, but I've been there, been inside one of those campaigns, and you know when you are up against it, at a moment like this, the temptation really is to a the gloves off. My old boss, Sen. Bob Kerrey, gave us maybe a little hint of what that would sound like, in some of the remarks he made earlier today. I think that is, as those numbers showed us, very dangerous for Democrats, because there is some ambivalence about the legacy of President Bill Clinton. He's a president that all Democrats admire for many good, positive things that he did, and the trick for the vice president will be to talk about that in New Hampshire. That is a state much different from the one that Bill Clinton campaigned in in 1992. It's got a strong robust economy, a lot of high-tech jobs. The vice president has a chance to associate himself with that.
But I think for Senator Bradley the dilemma will be, how do you really hone that message down? How do you get at the loft of your ideas that he's talked about it? And he can do it. I think by know means is Sen. Bradley outside of this race. There's a long way to go at this point. But the tonal quality of how these Democrats go at each other is very important.
One point for Jeff Greenfield on the question of turnout, because it came up earlier tonight -- you know, back in 1988, when we did have 100,000-plus turnout, remember, there were five Democratic campaigns with organizations in the state turning their troops out on caucus night. This was a race between two candidates with two good organizations, but it wasn't really a contested race in the end. I think that has something to do with the turnout number.
WOODRUFF: All right, Tony Blankley, I want to turn to you with this President Clinton question. Is he going to be -- can Bradley and Gore avoid talking about President Clinton in New Hampshire?
TONY BLANKLEY, FORMER NEWT GINGRICH SPOKESMAN: Can they avoid talking about President Clinton? Well, yes. I mean, they've been avoiding talking about him up to now, so yes, they could continue to avoid talking about him.
WOODRUFF: Even with the State of the Union and...
BLANKLEY: Well, the State of the Union presents an interesting, I think, largely an opportunity for Gore, because I assume the speech is going to be a pay-on the success of the Clinton/Gore years, plus support of policies that are very much like the one that Gore is proposing. The challenge for Gore in that setting is that he's going to be in-frame, standing right behind the president. And I know when I worked for Newt Gingrich, we had the same questions -- when do you applaud? How much do you applaud? Do you stand up? Do you sit down? Gore's got the challenge of not looking too sycophantic, and yet not wanting to look too separating either. So he's got sort of a visual challenge coming up Thursday night.
But I think overall, State of the Union is an opportunity that's going to be a plus for Gore going into New Hampshire. I don't think there's too much of a doubt about that.
WOODRUFF: You mean, you actually discussed how much the speaker should applaud, and when and for how long?
BLANKLEY: There is a general discussion about -- and I'm sure that Gore has gone through this every time he's had to sit behind there. Because you don't know exactly -- on some issues, you're going to have to be relatively respectful of a positive position, but you don't want to cheer too loudly. There's a really minor science involved in when to stand up, when to applaud, when to sit our hands, and we can be watching that with some fun, I think, this Thursday night.
MCCURRY: Judy, I suspect that as Vice President Gore is sitting there Thursday night, he will be thinking more about how the debate went the prior night, that you're going to be at in New Hampshire. I think that's going to be far more central to what happens in New Hampshire next Tuesday than the president's State of the Union Address. The president's State of the Union Address will be masterful, it will good, it'll be a reminder, by the way, that there is some work that Congress and the president could do this year that could shape debates that come along the road later in the contest.
WOODRUFF: All right.
Tony, quick point.
BLANKLEY: Yes, the one analytic point that I don't think is resolved tonight, is whether McCain's camp is happy that Forbes and Keyes did well or whether they're sad. My sense is that inside the McCain camp, if they're like the camps I've been inside in the past, that you'd rather, as the number-two challenger, you'd rather clear the field and be able to go one on one against the number-one guy, in this case, Bush. Now the field is filled. Although the other analysis, that he somehow having more people in the field are going to help him, I don't completely reject. But normally, the analysis inside a campaign is. we want to get one on one with the number-one guy.
WOODRUFF: All right, Tony Blankley, Mike McCurry, thank you both.
We are going to take a break. When we come back, we're going to look beyond New Hampshire, and we're going to talk with -- from "THE CAPITAL GANG."
We'll be right back.
SHAW: That to the second is how both party's candidates stand tonight, as CNN continues its live coverage from Iowa.
You know, these Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary a week from tomorrow get an awful lot of attention, because, why? Simply put, they're first. In this front-loaded primary season, both parties presidential contests are likely to be over by mid-March.
Let's look at the highlights after New Hampshire on the road to the Republican nominating convention in Philadelphia.
SHAW (voice-over): South Carolina, February 19, the next important stop for Republicans after Iowa and New Hampshire. John McCain is banking on South Carolina to propel his campaign, after what he hopes will be a win in New Hampshire. The former POW has been targeting South Carolina many military veterans.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Obviously, it's very important, and we have to do very well here.
SHAW: But South Carolina voters tend to favor front-runners, and George W. Bush hold a sizable lead in state polls.
Three days later, it's on to Michigan and Arizona. In Michigan, Bush has strong advantage, in the polls and in the backing of Governor John Engler. If he has stumbled in other contests, Michigan could prop Bush back up. If McCain is on the ropes, his home state of Arizona could boost our break him. Polls show McCain and Bush in a tight race in Arizona.
Thirteen states hold Republican contests on March 7. By day's end, nearly half of all the delegates to the GOP convention will have been chosen. The top prizes, New York, Ohio, and the biggest of all, California. California's earlier-than-ever primary is likely to help seal the nomination.
BUSH: You can't win unless you carry California.
SHAW: Six Southern and border states hold GOP primaries on March 14, including Texas and Florida. Bush is widely expected to win his home state and Florida, where his brother Jeb is governor. At that point, nearly 2/3 of the delegates will have been chosen, more than enough to lock up the nomination. Nineteen contests come after that. But it's likely the Republican's presidential choice will already be on track for the July convention in Philadelphia and his party's nomination.
WOODRUFF: All right, that's the Republican road.
Now let's look at what the Democratic presidential candidates face after the lead-off contest here in Iowa and New Hampshire next week. They have about a five-week break, and then the pace moves rather quickly on the road to the Democratic convention in Los Angeles.
WOODRUFF (voice-over): After a lull in February, March 7 is literally the mother lode for the Democrats. With 16 contests that day, including the primary in California. Right now, Al Gore has a strong lead in the Golden State, one of several key states that moved up their primary dates to enhance their campaign clout. Knowing that there are 367 convention delegates at stake, Gore stumped in California early and often.
New York is the other top delegate prize on March 7, and the state where Bill Bradley played professional basketball. But polls currently show Bradley trailing Gore in New York. By most accounts, the former New Jersey senator needs to score in the Empire State to keep his campaign viable, and in other Northeastern states that hold their primaries on march 7. Almost 40 percent of pledged delegates to the Democratic convention will have been chosen by the end of that day.
The next big round of primaries, a week later on March 14, are dominated by Southern states. From Texas and Florida to Gore's state of Tennessee, polls show the vice president has the advantage in the South. After the 14th, two-thirds of pledged delegates will have been chosen, more than enough to lock up the nomination.
There's two dozen Democratic primaries and caucuses after March 14, but chances are the party's presidential choice will already be clear. Only the formalities needed down the road at the party's August convention in Los Angeles.
WOODRUFF: In other words, it moves really quickly. You better fasten your seatbelts.
You have a point to make.
GREENFIELD: Yes, 24 years of history in 10 seconds. Even though we assess about Iowa and New Hampshire, Reagan in '76 had to wait until mid-March, North Carolina, to turn the primary season around. Ted Kennedy had to wait until New York in 1980 to turn the primary season around. Walter Mondale lost New Hampshire, won in Illinois and New York. That's how he got the nomination. Dukakis and Clinton had to wait until New York. The big states, the later states, still matter very much when it comes to the small detail of who gets the nomination.
WOODRUFF: And it is no small detail that we are going to now directly to "THE CAPITAL GANG," sitting on the other end of this studio, and to our own Mark Shields -- Mark.
MARK SHIELDS, "THE CAPITAL GANG" HOST: Thank you, Judy. Welcome to "CAPITAL GANG." I am Mark Shields in Des Moines, with Margaret Carlson and Robert Novak. And in Manchester, New Hampshire, Al Hunt.
Quickly, big winner tonight -- everybody claims a victory, everybody pretends that this is the happiest night of their life. Who really means it? Who was the big winner tonight?
ROBERT NOVAK, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES:" Huge win by Al Gore. I mean, he really crushed Bradley. I thought it was a big win, too -- a sizable win, not a big win, for Bush and for Forbes. I think the secret winner, and this, I sound like the typical liberal on this, was McCain, John McCain. I'll tell you why. Because in New Hampshire, the Bradley lost drives the left-leaning independents into McCain's corner, and the conservatives, with the revival of Forbes getting 30 percent may be attracted away from Bush.
So the results here were not all that good for Bush, not that he didn't do well, but because of those two factors.
SHIELDS: The old billiard shot reasoning of Robert Novak -- Margaret Carlson.
NOVAK: Did you follow that?
MARGARET CARLSON, "TIME" MAGAZINE: You know, actually, Bob, I did, because I agree with you that McCain does benefits from this in New Hampshire.
SHIELDS: Big winner.
NOVAK: You always say he's a winner, not matter what happens.
CARLSON: You gave me a good rationale, which I'd already thought of. You know, it's un-pundit-like to say the winners are the winners. Bush and Gore won. And Gore just gave a real pasting to Bill Bradley here tonight. I mean, there's no way to spin a 2-1 as anything but a loss for Bradley.
Bush not getting more than 50 percent, and getting the 40, means that there's a whole group over here. The beauty of Iowa for them, is that while they'll never have the final thrill of victory, they get a taste of it here tonight. And it was wonderful to see Steve Forbes, for a moment, with his family, because I think this is all he will get out of it, is this 30, 31 percent showing in Iowa, for his $10 million.
SHIELDS: Al Hunt, what about in New Hampshire, does Steve Forbes get a bump out of it tonight?
AL HUNT, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": Maybe a slight one. But you know, I was with John McCain for much the day. And for once, Bob Novak got it right. If he could have picked a result tonight, he would have picked exactly what happened. It slightly pierces the inevitability of George W. Bush, a slight disappointing performance. Steve Forbes did well, but on the other hand, what he really hoped to do was have all those other conservatives, Bauer and Keyes, out. Alan Keyes is going to be here in New Hampshire. John McCain is the beneficiary.
On the Democratic side, I will predict in 48 hours, no one in New Hampshire will remember what happened in Iowa. Bill Bradley's been having problems the last couple of weeks; he's fallen behind Al Gore. Wednesday night is a critical debate for him. But I don't think Iowa will have much affect up here.
SHIELDS: Let me just say, I agree and disagree with my colleagues, which is a frequent occurrence on this show. I will say this, the key event of this campaign is the Wednesday night debate in New Hampshire. Campaigns are about differences. Bill Bradley better be able to draw those differences and define those differences with Al Gore. If he doesn't -- Margaret's absolutely right, he took it on the chin bigtime. They can talk about Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, and all the rest of them -- this is a 2-1 defeat. He better -- he lost this race in large part, in my judgment, and the judgment of Gore's people, by his performance in "The Des Moines Register" debate, where he was lackadaisical, unaggressive. He better be a different Bill Bradley come Wednesday night and be defining differences.
NOVAK: Let me say something about the Republicans here. There's a couple of unusual factors, I think. One factor is that there's a tendency by the McCain lobbyists to say, oh, this was a disappointing performance by George Bush. It was a pretty good performance. It was a record performance, the most any Republican candidate has ever gotten among a candidate field. Granted, the field was pretty weak, pretty weak field. But it was still a good performance. If you would have said six months ago that he was going to get 43 percent, you would say that was pretty good.
The important thing about the Bush thing is he is the conservative candidate. According to the entrance polls that we did, he got the majority of the religious right vote. He got the majority of the conservative vote.
SHIELDS: What majority? He led. He led.
NOVAK: He led. He got a plurality. He is not his fathers' son. His father's son did not get 20 percent of the vote in 1988, when he was vice president of the United States, because he was the liberal Republican candidate. This Bush is not the liberal Republican candidate. Secondly, I think nobody ever thought that Steve Forbes would get 30 percent. That was a very good performance.
CARLSON: ... Thomas Jefferson, who ranks 50 percent, and nobody did thinks that Forbes -- maybe Bob did, at one point, that Forbes would get this. But what Bradley has to do is what you say, is exactly right -- he can no longer be the Oxford don, saying that, you know, we're all searching for a better way to go than our materialism, and he has got to come out and say, boom, boom, boom. You don't want a man who's searching to be president.
SHIELDS: Al Hunt.
HUNT: You know, I find remarkable that Bob finds all of the Republicans won tonight. That's really a -- that's terrific, Bob.
NOVAK: I didn't say that.
HUNT: But let me tell you something, there's one thing that's different up here, that's never happened before, Mark, and that is that about -- I talked to John Zogby, the pollster, and he thinks about 30 percent of the turnout a week from tomorrow is going to be independents. We've never seen that before. That's why there's a tremendous variance some of the polls up here. And if they all break -- if all those undecided independents break from McCain, it's going to be a huge win. If they split, Bradley still has a shot up here.
SHIELDS: Last word, Al Hunt.
Now back to Bernie and Judy.
SHAW: Thanks very much, folks.
Bill Bradley, in his own words. We're standing by to take his remarks live, as are the remarks to be coming from George Bush and Al Gore. You see Bill Bradley, lips pursed somewhat, standing behind his wife. When he steps up to speak, we'll step up to listen. Well, he's...
WOODRUFF: And there he is right now.
BRADLEY: Pomeson (ph)! Well, what can I say? First of all, let me congratulate the vice president for his strong showing tonight. He's an opponent that is tough and I know I'll be seeing a lot of him in the coming weeks.
I've always said that running for president requires a mixture of humility and confidence. Humility because you're only one person and you're running for the most powerful office in the world, confidence because you have to know that you can lead this country in a world that's still dangerous. Tonight, I have a little more humility but no less confidence that I can win and do the job.
The job of president is to be president of all the people and that's why I came to Iowa. Iowa's a special place. There's so much here that's wonderful, the candor of the people, their solid values, their appreciation of hard work and justice. In many ways it epitomizes the best of America. And I'll never forget the enthusiasm of supporters who gave me their warmth even on the coldest mornings. I want to thank you and the thousands of supporters who, in a matter of months, organized on my behalf. You, I think, truly represent the voices of the people.
I want to thank you also for your tremendous hospitality to Ernestine during this whole campaign. I want to thank you for your commitment to our cause and considering where we started, you've done extraordinarily well. We've brought so many people into the process, so many young people that are out there today, so many young people. In the college precincts we won big. People knew that there was something here that dealt with their future.
A year ago I was happy with a room full of a dozen people and look at all of us here tonight. What I'm trying to do takes time. I'm trying to do politics in a different way, respect the people, listen to them, give them something to vote for. Well, at this time of unprecedented prosperity, this is the time we should be fixing our roof because the sun is shining.
And that's why I proposed big programs to guarantee access to health insurance for all Americans, to eliminate child poverty.
SHAW: Bill Bradley, estimated by CNN to finish behind Vice President Al Gore with 33 percent of the Democratic vote total. Over at his headquarters, Texas Governor George Bush.
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am humbled and I am honored by your outpouring of support. Tonight marks the first election night of the new millennium, the beginning of the process by which America will choose the president to lead us into the 21st century. And tonight also marks the beginning of the end of the Clinton era.
Tonight's record shattering victory is the victory of a message that is conservative and is compassionate, a message that seeks to unite our country and offers hope to everyone who's lucky enough to be an American. Our message is one that resonates beyond Iowa to New Hampshire and South Carolina and all across our great land.
For the values of the heartland are ingrained in the hearts of America -- faith, family, freedom and responsibility. These values shape our conviction that the promise of America is available to all who are willing to work hard for the American Dream. Our conviction says we will not rest until every child of every race receives a great education. Our conviction that we will not retreat within our borders because America has a responsibility to promote freedom and peace all around the world.
That we must change a tax code that takes more money than a limited government should. And that we must keep our obligations and pay our debts.
My priorities are to bring local control, high standards, character education to our public schools. My priorities will be to restore morale and shape a military of the future. My priority will be to continue our prosperity and make our tax code more fair by cutting rates for every taxpayer, from the entrepreneur who creates jobs to the single mom working hard to put food on the table for her children.
My priorities are to save and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, to keep our commitment to the greatest generation and to enact reforms so that commitment is secure for generations next.
Seven months ago I came to Iowa on a plane dubbed "Great Expectations." Well, tonight Iowa has exceeded them. And what I've learned in these seven months is how much America has in common. Our faces and our landscapes are diverse and different, but the spirit of hope and renewal I saw at work in a drug rehabilitation program called Teen Challenge in Colfax, Iowa is also that same spirit at work in food pantries and after school programs and crisis pregnancy centers all across America.
These months have reconfirmed my belief that the strength of America is not found in the halls of government but the strength of America is found in the hearts and souls of our people. And that our people deserve a government that respects and reflects their values. The Americans who began choosing our next president tonight took a stand for a leader who unites and an agenda that inspires, a messenger committed to bringing people together and a message meant for every American. As I television this land I'm going to have this call to Americans. If you're tired of the bitterness that poisons our politics, come and join us. If you think that government should be less partisan and more results oriented, come and join us. If you're wary of polls and posturing, of scandals and alibis, come and join us.
I promise a campaign that will bring out the best in America. We will stand the ground of compassionate conservatism and tonight Iowa has clearly said it is fertile ground that can unite our party and lift the spirits of this country.
Senator Grassley, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your campaigning with me. Congressman Ganske, the governors, the former governors, the great state senators who are standing with me, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for lending your prestige to this great campaign.
I want to thank all my volunteers. I want to thank the precinct leaders, the farm leaders, the team captains, the county chairmen.
SHAW: Texas Governor George Bush telling his supporters tonight that tonight marks the beginning of the end of the Clinton era.
Well, that man with his back to us reaching into the crowd is going to have an awful lot to say about that.
Jeff Greenfield, Bill Schneider and -- it just occurs to me that its interesting that we saw the juxtaposition of Bush speaking, Gore coming and working the crowd and potentially if their aspirations and claims hold up, we're looking at the standard bearers for the two major parties.
GREENFIELD: And I think you heard Governor Bush clearly addressing himself to the two fights that he has to worry about. That speech tonight was in Iowa, but it was aimed clearly at the McCain and Forbes strengths in New Hampshire. Look what he talked about -- reforming the military, protecting Social Security, paying down the debt. Those are John McCain's themes in opposition to Bush's tax cut proposal.
He's talking, but he's also talking about a tax code that takes more than it should. That's the Steve Forbes message that we need a flat tax. And at the same time, echoing the tradition of compassionate conservatism, which is his way of speaking beyond the Republican Party to what he hopes he will be doing in the fall.
So it was a rather compact effort to get a lot of different messages out.
SCHNEIDER: Bernie, both George Bush and Al Gore would like to have this thing wrapped up by New Hampshire, which is amazing because really the campaign season hasn't even opened. New Hampshire is a preliminary event. They believe that if Gore beats Bill Bradley again by a reasonably decisive margin in New Hampshire next week and if Bush beats McCain, then their view is it's all over. But, you know, McCain and Bradley are going to continue to run, but in different ways. McCain has a lot of charisma. He appeals to people and he's relying on the press to carry his message. He doesn't have much money. Bill Bradley has a lot of resources and clearly he can go on even into the big states, but he doesn't have quite the charisma of a John McCain.
It seems to me that if you somehow could combine John McCain and Bill Bradley, McCain's charisma and Bradley's resources, you'd have a pretty good candidate.
GREENFIELD: One of the top advisers to Al Gore told me they don't want it wrapped up by New Hampshire because they think the more Gore fights, the better he's in shape for the fall. They don't want it to go on forever. They'd like to wrap it by mid-March and have a string of victories to wrap it up.
On the other hand, if Bradley withdrew maybe they wouldn't cry too much. But he's not going to.
SCHNEIDER: I think they'd cry thin tears.
SHAW: Judy, isn't Al Gore a changed campaigner?
WOODRUFF: Well, for exactly the reasons that Jeff Greenfield has just outlined, he has become a better campaigner because of the challenge from Bill Bradley. He started out this campaign with missteps. He had to end up having to move his whole campaign operation from Washington, D.C. to his Nashville, Tennessee. He had to change the people at the top of his campaign organization and he came out fighting. You know, he started wearing earth tones. He started taking off his coat and tie.
He is a different campaigner. He's a better campaigner and you see it tonight. We've just watched him hug, I think, 300 people, you know, every one of them is his best friend here in the state of Iowa. I'm not sure that the Al Gore who talked about no controlling legal authority would have felt natural doing what we're watching him do right now. His wife Tipper, of course, is there talking, introducing her husband, and maybe we even want to hear what she says in just a minute.
SHAW: Well, you know, you, to paraphrase what you just said -- well, I can't say that on the air, can I, what Bill Bradley, in effect, did to Al Gore.
SCHNEIDER: I don't know. I don't know what he did to Al Gore. Do you know something?
GREENFIELD: You might make some history here.
WOODRUFF: All right, here he is.
GREENFIELD: Here's Al Gore.
WOODRUFF: We can listen. SCHNEIDER: Saved by the bell, Bernie.
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you! Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. On behalf of my wife, Tipper, who is by far and away the best campaigner in the Gore family, for Christian and all of our children and our family to the people of Iowa, thank you for the biggest victory in the history of the contested caucuses here in Iowa. Wow! Thank you. Thank you.
My message to you this evening is very simple. We've just begun to fight. This evening at midnight we'll take off for New Hampshire. We'll arrive at 3:30 in the morning and at the crack of dawn I'm going to hit the ground running and campaigning hard in the state of New Hampshire.
And I'm going to take with me the resolve that I have just stated to you that we, we've just begun to fight for our prosperity, for universal health care step by step starting with all children, for revolutionary improvements in education to treat teachers like the professionals they are.
You know, Senator Bradley is a good person and a tough competitor and he asked the question here in Iowa are you better off than you were seven years ago and the answer is clearly yes. But that's not, that's not really the question that the American people are addressing in this election in 2000. The question is can we do even better?
I believe the answer is yes and I ask you to join with me to fight for a better future. I want to thank the people of Iowa for not only a much bigger victory here this evening than anybody thought was possible, but also for the experiences that I have had here during this campaign because the people of Iowa and the people of New Hampshire have allowed me over the course of the previous year to learn what this campaign means to all of you at a much deeper level.
This has been an experience that for me personally has been extremely gratifying just in what you have taught me about running for president in an era when we need sweeping change for the better. And I'm going to go to New Hampshire understanding very well that this race and the first primary in New Hampshire are very different. I don't think there's any such thing as a so-called balance. That race must be won on its own terms and going into the final week in New Hampshire I make the same pledge to the people in New Hampshire that I have made to the people of Iowa, I want to fight for you, for your family, for your community, for your future.
I believe that we have an opportunity to really transform this election year in all respects because we do not have to choose between revolutionary improvements in education and moving toward universal health care. We don't have to choose between child care and saving Medicare. We don't have to choose between protecting the environment and strengthening our economy and keeping the prosperity going.
You know, I must say this because I watched the Republican race tonight and I truly believe that the irresponsible risky tax giveaway schemes that both George W. Bush and Steve Forbes were proposing would be harmful to our economy and harmful to the people of this country. For our part, we've just begun to fight to preserve our prosperity. We've just begun to fight for better schools and more teachers, respected, rewarded better. We've just begun to fight for better health care.
Let me say this also, my intention if you entrust me not only with this victory tonight but if, with the judgment of the American people, you entrust me to go on to other victories and to win the presidency, it is my intention to come back to Iowa as president and have the kind of open meetings that I had during these caucuses here.
And I want to say, I want to say to the family farmers of Iowa that I understand full well that in this victory this evening you have trusted me not only with your support but also with your hopes for a better day. And I pledge to you that even though these caucuses are over tonight in Iowa, I have just begun to fight to restore prosperity to the family farm. Get rid of the provisions of the so-called Freedom To Farm Act. We need to save the family farm throughout our country.
Now, tomorrow morning bright and early the final week of the New Hampshire primary begins and the fight there is going to be in some ways similar. But it's going to be a new phase of this fight. And I pledge to you to do my utmost to take the trust and confidence that you have given me with this overwhelming victory here in Iowa and take it not only into this next week but with the help of the people of New Hampshire on to New York and California and Ohio and Georgia and all across the United States of America. And with your help we'll win the election in November and we'll make this a better country. We'll fight for our future together.
SHAW: Vice President Al Gore tonight in Des Moines, Iowa, ebullient and obviously stuck on the word fight.
WOODRUFF: That's right, Bernie. If anybody thought that Al Gore was going to talk tonight about resting on his laurels, he's got a huge, well, an impressive win over Bill Bradley, virtually two to one. If anybody thought he was just going to ride that wave, he's saying no, it's a new fight. I pledge that I'm going to give it my all and, you know, we've said earlier that George Bush had something to say for everybody, I think there was a little something for everybody here from Al Gore as well.
GREENFIELD: Well, I mean John Paul Jones told us a couple of hundred years ago he had not yet begun to fight. I think the vice president is very clear. But I also think it makes sense. Al Gore, I think, had a very bad 1999 in part because of the sense that people felt that he had a kind of entitlement. He was the vice president, he'd earned a promotion. Nobody gets to be president by being promoted. Every sitting vice president, one way or another, has to prove to the public not only that I want to earn this on my own but I'm asking for your vote. I'm going to fight for you because I'm something other than this -- particularly given the vice president's background -- I'm not some aristocratic backgrounded guy who thinks I win it. I've got to go out and earn it. And to strike that grace note on the night of a big victory is just another way of saying OK, I've got your message from last year.
SCHNEIDER: Yeah. I was struck by the degree to which this vice president is fixated on the word fight. It started back in October in his very first debate with Bill Bradley when he defined himself as a fighter. To fight is a very old Democratic word. It's a Kennedy word. It's a Walter Mondale word. Dick Gephardt won the Iowa caucuses with the theme it's your fight, too. And, in fact, it's a labor union word. They're always talking about fighting for the rights of working people.
But you know what's interesting? There's a large constituency of Democrats who don't like a lot of fighting. They're the people who, you know, I asked the Democratic chairman here in Polk County, Des Moines what kinds of people are voting for Bill Bradley. And he said they're the people who once voted for Gary Hart. They're the people who liked Paul Tsongas. There's a lot of Democrats who say all this fighting is bad. We want someone who's a problem solver, who can bring people together, who's more visionary. They're responding to Bill Bradley, but the point is the real word that gets those Democratic juices flowing among partisans is the word fight.
WOODRUFF: And there are almost twice as many of the folks who liked the idea of fight. I remember talking to a voter in Indianola the other day who said I listen to Bill Bradley, I think he's a decent man, but I just didn't get the sense that he was going to get out there and assert himself and fight. And you're seeing that right now again with Vice President Gore.
We're going to take a break. We've got more analysis, more to talk about tonight's results in these Iowa caucuses. We'll be right back.
SHAW: Vice President Al Gore winning the Democratic caucuses tonight here in Iowa. Look at the percentage, 63 to 35 percent for Bill Bradley, with 64 percent of the precincts reporting.
WOODRUFF: And on the Republican side, here are the numbers. These are based on a count when the caucuses got underway, 94 percent of the precincts reporting, 41 percent George Bush, 30 percent Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes 14 percent followed by Gary Bauer at nine percent, John McCain five and trailing in sixth place, Orrin Hatch.
For all the discussion tonight about who wins, who loses and what it all means, the fact is the history of these Iowa caucuses shows that they don't always necessarily portend the winner on through the year, either the nomination or the person who wins the White House.
Our own Bruce Morton has taken a look at the meaning historically of these caucuses. Let's watch.
BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (voice-over): Iowa first held early caucuses in 1972. George McGovern, who'd headed a commission studying the Democratic Party's nominating rules, knew about the caucuses and campaigned in Iowa against the party front runner, Senator Edmund Muskie. A dozen or so reporters showed up and we all wrote about McGovern's surprisingly strong second place finish. He went on, of course, to become the nominee.
In 1976, so many reporters came to Iowa that Democrats had a fund-raiser, cash bar, pay 10 bucks and watch the media file. Look, John Chancellor, look, Roger Mudd. But ex-Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter had come much earlier, stayed over at our house, people will tell you, and went on to be the nominee.
It doesn't always work. George Bush, the Texas governor's father, beat Ronald Reagan here in 1980 but Reagan won New Hampshire and the nomination. Walter Mondale trounced Gary Hart here in 1984, 49 percent to 17, but Hart won New Hampshire and Mondale got the nomination only after a hard fight.
In 1988, Congressman Richard Gephardt won here. Michael Dukakis, the eventual Democratic nominee, finished third. That's sort of the rule. No one finishing worse than third has ever won the nomination. George Bush was third in '88, too, behind Bob Dole and the Reverend Pat Robertson, but he won the nomination.
In 1992, nobody campaigned here. Bush was the Republican incumbent. No Democrat challenged Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, who was running.
In 1996, Bob Dole, the eventual nominee, won Iowa but he lost New Hampshire and some other states and it was South Carolina that really turned his luck around.
What Iowa usually does is not pick the winner but narrow the field. We'll see if that happens this time.
Bruce Morton, CNN, Des Moines.
WOODRUFF: And we will see, indeed. We're going to have to call it a night for our coverage from Des Moines. But Bernie, there's much, much more in store.
SHAW: Indeed. Coming up in a matter of two minutes, "MONEYLINE." But in 32 minutes, another one hour edition of "LARRY KING LIVE." More guests including Jeff Greenfield, Bill Schneider. We're going to start packing our bags for New Hampshire. Our coverage from Iowa continues. Thanks for joining us.
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