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New Polls: Clinton, Sanders Neck And Neck; Hillary Clinton With Family Makes Final Push; Will Email Scandal Hurt Clinton; Sanders: Clinton Emails "Very Serious Issue"; Sanders Raised $20+ Million In January; Sanders Campaign On Caucuses' Final Frenzy; Trump Downplaying Expectations?; A Trump Favorite: "We're Gonna Win"; Trump Tempers Language Ahead Of Iowa; Caucus Clues; Democratic Battle: The Key To Winning; What Exactly Is A Caucus, Anyway?; Candidates Spent More Than $7M On Iowa Ads; Candidates Spent More Than $7M On Ads In The State. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired January 31, 2016 - 21:00   ET



[21:01:40] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey good evening, it is an exciting night, and get ready. Iowa, the first contest of the 2016 election just a few hours away. We're focusing Republicans in the last hour. Now the Democrats and the race there could not be closer.

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, a statistical dead heat according to late onlay (ph) throughout there campaigning as we speak.

Dueling events tonight in Des Moines, Secretary Clinton leading ever since narrowly, bringing out her husband, the former President and acknowledge campaign big dog facing big questions though about her State Department e-mails at least from the media and others. Senator Sanders hoping to maintain his surprising momentum for another 24 hours.

Joining us now, Brianna Keilar at the Clinton rally in Des Moines. What's the latest there tonight? Has she spoken yet or she have to counted out?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: She has not spoken yet Anderson. She's actually scheduled to speak right now. And of course at this point in the evening, candidates normally are running a little bit late. But we should be seeing her here very soon along with her husband and her daughter Chelsea.

A very enthusiastic crowd. And actually talking to folks who were part of the Clinton campaign back in 2008. They said that this was a very different feeling in 2007 going into 2008 that they are much more optimistic about how things are shaping up. Hillary Clinton has been emphasizing today, that she'll be a more effective president than Bernie Sanders. That she'll able to get things done.

But Bernie Sanders has a lot of enthusiasm and he's been talking about making history and really telling people that there -- it's time for a political revolution and it's something that certainly Anderson, many of his supporters connect with. COOPER: We just talked to someone from the Clinton Campaign who said look, you know, they're not hearing any questions about the e-mails that on the campaign trail. Has Hillary talked about the email issue on the campaign trail today though?

KEILAR: She did. She was asked about this on ABC by George Stephanopoulos. And there was emphasis, one of the things she said was Diane Feinstein, who is the top Democrat on the intelligence committee has had a chance to look at these 22 e-mails that the State Department is not releasing because they're top secret. She said Diane Feinstein confirmed that they do not have classified markings on them and that they didn't originate with Hillary Clinton.

This is pretty important because we also said, saw Hillary Clinton say, you know, these were things that did not have markings, if you're sending something that's classified, it should have a marking on it. And so it seems that she was sort of indicating that if there was some mess-up where someone sent classified information, she didn't know about it and that it wasn't she who sent it. It was someone else.

COOPER: All right Brianna Keilar, thanks very much, we're waiting the Clinton event over the Sanders side, a change in tone for the candidate. When it comes to Clinton the e-mail issue or non-issue depending on who they talk to. Remember Senator Sanders once said that he was sick and tired of hearing about her damn e-mails, now he's saying something else. Jeff Zeleny has got more of that in his closing drive tonight. He joins us.

So Bernie Sanders on the Morning Shows today addressed the Clinton e- mail saga. Exactly what was he saying?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well Anderson he did say this is not an issue that voters care about right now. He said that Iowa voters should not be burdened with this. But he did change his tone and he said it is a very serious issue. Those were carefully chosen words, Anderson. He said it's a very serious issue. He said there's a legal process under way they will have to play itself out. So the translation of that is that, you know, look she's under investigation by the Justice Department. And this is not over.

We've asked him and his advisers if there's any change in, you know, his tone from when he told you at that debate. Enough of the damn e- mails.

[21:05:03] They say he is not going to bring it up on the campaign trail because Democratic voters quite frankly don't care about it. Democratic voters are not concerned about it. But that's not saying it's not an electability issue overall. So as this campaign moves forward, as it moves forward from a, you know, if there's an independent voters and it moves across the country, if this becomes an electability concern we may hear Senator Sanders talk more about it. So him saying it was a very serious issue today is an interesting development in his language, Anderson.

COOPER: His campaign also announced they've raised $20 million in January online. And I think I saw him, correct me if I'm wrong that a huge majority of those donations were very small amounts of money. I mean $20 and the like. Not from huge big donors, what does that say about his national roots

ZELENY: Anderson, it's extraordinary and I'm at the rally right here you can see him speaking behind me there. And he announced that to the rally not too long ago. And he said the average contribution was $27. The crowd cheered. He made a direct contrast to the fact that there's super PACs supporting Hillary Clinton.

Now, everyone is maxing out to her. So this shows that he has incredible reach. He's had more than $3.2 million individual contributions, if he wins the Iowa Caucuses tomorrow night. Some of his advisers believe he can raise $25 million in one or two days. That changes the game here in terms of how he'll finance his campaign. This is way more than Barack Obama ever did. So it's a new moment of campaign financing. And this is for a candidate who, you know, a few months ago no one thought would be this competitive at all near. So this is going to ensure that this campaign is going to go on for a very long time. Republican campaign was actually worried about how they can compete with this fund raise. Anderson.

COOPER: Jeff Zeleny, thanks very much. We've been hearing from campaign strategists throughout the evening hearing from all sides. And by the way we've played some Bernie Sanders at that rally a little bit earlier in the last hour.

Joining us now is Sanders campaign Manager Jeff Weaver. Jeff, first of all, how significant on this fundraising this more than $20 million average donation, $27 each, pretty extraordinary, given the kind of donations we've seen to other candidates.

JEFF WEAVER, BERNIE SANDERS' CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Yeah, no, Anderson he's revolutionizing how one a funds a presidential campaign this time. He's demonstrating in fact when you speak to the needs of working people, of middle income people. You don not have do beg money from millionaires and billionaires and Wall Street in order to fund your campaign. If people support you, you can fund a presidential campaign that's competitive with small dollar contributions from people all across the country.

COOPER: So, Jeff at the first democratic debate, Senator Sanders famously said the American people were sick and tired of hearing about the damn e-mails. Is that still Senator Sanders opinion because today on CNN he said it's a very serious issue?

WEAVER: Well, let's be clear. So that's what he said then. And in his interview with Chris Cuomo after the debate, he said look it's a process going on. We're going to process a work itself out. You know, the media, whether it's CNN or ABC or whatever, they keep asking about this, over and over and over and over again. It's not an issue he raises. And when they do, he says look it's a serious issue, there's a process going on, we're going to let it work itself out. I'm going to talk about the issue facing a middle income and working people in this country.

So, you know, I mean it's interesting that the media ask the question. He gives them an answer that's basically like no, I don't want to talk about it. And then they said, oh, look his talking about it. So, I mean that -- seems to be what's going on here.

COOPER: Good to put it in context. Jeff I've got some other folks, I know, want to ask you the questions. John King.

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Jeff, it was John King. Let my try to keep away.


KING: Obviously you're planning your campaign, you know, about these headlines. Senator Sanders has been very blunt in saying he questions Hillary Clinton's judgment when it comes to her vote for the Iraq war comparing her to Dick Cheney at one point. In your meetings, with the senator with the senior staff, have you raised that question, should we make the e-mail issue, having a private e-mail server against the adviser of her boss, the president? Should we make that a judgment issue?

WEAVER: No, we never have. We never have had that conversation, and it's always been the position in the campaign about the e-mail issue, look there's an investigation going on being carried out by the Obama Administration, it's going to go where it goes. And we'll just going to let it go let's not politicize it. Let just let them have the investigation, let us talk about the issues, let's talk about a wealth and income inequality. A rigged economy, held up by a corrupt system of campaign finance.

That's what his been talking about and that's why he's tied here in Iowa. That's why we've gone from single digits to almost winning at this point. So, we think that the message we have is right. We're talking to the anxieties and needs and desires of the American people. Talking about the need to make college affordable about making healthcare for all. When these are the issues that people are concerned about. That's what he's talking about and it's resonating.

DAVID AXELROD, FMR OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER: Hey Jeff, its David Axelrod. First of all, congratulations on a ...

WEAVER: Hey David.

AXELROD: ... great campaign. But let me ask you a question, is it possible that you've ...

WEAVER: Thanks David.

AXELROD: ... overshot the runway a little bit here? That is to say, if you don't win tomorrow night, is there a potential for a letdown among your troops who have been charging toward this date?

[21:10:03] WEAVER: Look, David, I would say to you, tonight without having had a single caucus person come in. We have already had a success here in Iowa. Nobody, nobody, nobody, who's sitting with you or is on this television station, if I had told you back in June that we were going to be tied with Secretary Clinton the night before the Iowa caucuses, you would have said I was insane, right?

So look how far we've come? From single digits to almost tied, you know, are we going to get over the top? I think if people come out and caucus tomorrow, we will go over the top. Is it possible we'll be a couple of points sure? That's also possible. But I'm going to tell you, if we've come a long way, this is a tremendous victory already. We're going to go into New Hampshire, where a recent polls show us is way ahead and we're going to continue on this campaign. As you've seen, we have the resources to go all the way to the convention.

COOPER: Jeff, always good to talk to you, thank you very much.

WEAVER: Thanks Anderson.

COOPER: Jeff Weaver. Next as we look at the Clinton event which appears to be rolling along there, we'll look at what actually happens when voters get together to caucus.

Coming up next also, Donald Trump and expectations, Jeffrey Lord says if he wins tomorrow, he could run the table. Hear how he's changing his own tune on winning. And we'll talk about the possible strategy behind that.


COOPER: Welcome back, tonight as we watch the candidates make their last pitch to voters before the Iowa caucuses, we're looking closer at another kind of sales job. The act of setting expectations, mostly that means not raising them too high in order to survive falling short.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't have to win it and right now you and I are sitting in New Hampshire, and as you know I have a very substantial lead in New Hampshire.

[21:15:02] But I think it would be really good to win Iowa. I'd like to win Iowa, I'm doing really well with the evangelicals in Iowa. But I'm also doing tremendously well all over the country with the evangelicals, I'm leading by a lot of doing great with the Tea Party. I'm doing well with all groups.

I now have my fairly substantial lead in Iowa. I think we have a good chance of winning Iowa. I'd like to.


COOPER: It was Donald Trump yesterday. We chose that sound by for a simple reason, downplaying expectations is something that most candidates do all the time but some that Trump hardly does at all. In fact it's just the opposite. Watch.


TRUMP: I will win. I'll bring in states that nobody ever thought of. Honestly we're going to win so much. We're going to win on trade. We're going to win with our military.

I want to win, OK? You know, we like it win, we know how to close deals, I close, I'm a closer.

We will beat ISIS very quickly, folks.

I beat China all the time.

We're going to win and then we're going to beat Hillary or whoever the hell they put in front of us.

We're going to win so much.

We are going to win so much. We're going to have win after win after win. You people are going to get sick and tired of winning.

You're going to say please, please, President Trump, we can't take this much victory. Please, stop. We don't want anymore wins. And I'm going to say to you, we're going to win, I don't care what you say. We're going to make our country great again. We're going to win, we're going to win, and we're going to win.


COOPER: Wow. That's a lot of winning. Donald Trump as we've come to know him leading some opponents and some election watchers to speculate that he's got a glass jaw that all it will take to defeat him is one or two defeats in the face of all that boasting. But of course, people have been wrong about Donald Trump the entire time. So really, who knows?

Joining us now is Timothy O'Brien, author of "Trump Nation: The art of being the Donald". He wrote about Trump. Trump sued. I think Trump lost, full disclosure on all of that. That's the back story.

So, Tim, the fact that Trump who has maybe set the world record for use of the word "win" and winning over the course of last eight months, now he's kind of tempering his language a little bit on the Iowa, what do you make of that?

TIMOTHY O'BRIEN, "TRUMP NATION: THE ART OF BEING THE DONALD" AUTHOR: Maybe he's just hedging his bets. You know, Anderson, he'll stay in the game even if he doesn't win Iowa. I think he's probably going to be the Republican nominee based on what all the polls look like. He's got a good chance to run the table throughout the month of February.

So I don't think he's going away any time soon. But I think he's got a closer race right now in Iowa with Ted Cruz than probably either of the unexpected.

COOPER: And just for accuracy sake, was the lawsuit a dismissed or was it did you win?

O'BRIEN: It was tossed out of court. COOPER: It was tossed out of court?


COOPER: OK. When it comes to Trump approach, this kind of almost binary universe consisting of winners and losers, in your experience, has he always sort of operated like that laid life out in those terms or is just specific to this campaign?

O'BRIEN: Well, I mean he's a -- he, you know, I think Donald begins exaggerating the second he steps out of bed in the morning.

He's a profound narcissist. And he gets a lot of traction out of repeating themes time and time again. Like he's a winner, he said in the clip you just showed, that he's beaten China all the time. I actually can't think of a single major deal that he's ever been involved with that involved beating China.

But I think, you know, we're in an era on social media and in political campaigns where candidates clearly are getting away with saying a lot of things about their own track record and their own effectiveness as a candidate or in his case as a businessman that actually aren't true when you look at the record.

COOPER: But he does -- I mean there is a certain sort of hypnotic power to repeating a phrase over and over and over again even if it is not factually correct. I mean if you commit to it as he does time and time again. It does bring, it certainly has a power of its own.

O'BRIEN: It sure does.

COOPER: Whether that's fair or not true, you know, true or not.

O'BRIEN: There's no question if that's effective. I mean he's a -- what he is very good at is he's an effective self-promoter and he stays on message and he's been able to simply pound the same kinds of themes across two voters and it's clearly gotten traction. And he can't be dismissed because of that. He's touched a nerve.

But the reality is he, you know, he's had a very poor track record as a businessman and he hasn't been an effective administrator or an executive and that's essentially the run -- the office that he's running for.

COOPER: But is that really true? I mean, because, you know, to all outsiders it seems he is incredible, he's hugely successful. He's obviously or it appears to be a billionaire or multiple times over.

O'BRIEN: Well. I mean let's just simply look at the facts of the matter. He ran a publicly traded casino company and during the decade or so that he ran it was never profitable. He ran into the ground. He put it through four bankruptcies.

He lost all sorts of real estate holdings, because he wasn't financially disciplined. He didn't manage the debt that he had taken out from a large number of very gullible banks. And the person who emerged after those failures is someone who's a reality T.V. star, a golf course developer and a human shingle who licenses his name out for everything from, you know, mattresses to underwear.

[21:20:11] COOPER: It's -- as president, I mean you don't always get what you want. You have to compromise. Is compromise, according to Trump the same thing as losing or is he a guy who, you know, I mean he has said time and time again, look, I make deals. I can make deals with everybody. I get along with a lot of different people.

O'BRIEN: Well, you know, we're certainly in a political era now with gridlock in Washington where the art of political compromise, I think unfortunately has been lost.

I do think that the president has to be someone. He or she has to be someone who is an effective negotiator with a good temperament. He or she will have their finger on the nuclear button and whether or not Trump is that person is something not only Iowa caucus goers have to pay attention to but voters in the general election.

COOPER: All right, Tim O'Brien, appreciated you being with us.

O'BRIEN: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Thanks you very much.

I want to get the panel's take on this. You know, Donald Trump has repeatedly said as president, you know, I'll be -- I'll modify myself. I'll change a little bit, you know, I won't be quite so aggressive, my personality.

Do you think voters believe that? Do you think and/or -- and do you think voters want that?

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure. I think they believe it. You know, he has built with all due respect to this gentleman. He has built this enormous business organization which beyond doubt is successful.

Can you go through and cherry pick a failure here or there? Sure, of course you can. You can do that with anybody, anybody who has been a governor or a senator or anything else has had failures in their career and they learn from them when they go on.

I mean, Hillary Clinton is running a second time for president, right. I mean she failed the first time.

AXELROD: That was Axelrod's fault.

LORD: So, yeah. I do think. I mean, he's got a good record with this and I think people really do believe him and they trust him.

COOPER: But there are those who are concerned. We heard some from the evangelical voters who are concerned that he'll say, he says one thing right now but are his core belief is really that or will he kind of hive it in order ... VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The big question is, is this a strength or a weakness? And ordinarily, this would be a weakness. This guy is so much of a flip-flopper. He needs a trampoline in his backyard to practice in the morning. But it doesn't hurt him because there's some reason, let's say, well it's just Trump being Trump.

I've nor seen that he get maybe like this. Ordinarily, this level of flexibility. So what it does, it lets people who like Trump's attitude but don't like his mistreatment of this group, whatever, it kind of excuse him. They'll say, well he's just playing with the crowd but inside he's really this way, he's lead that way.

It's this projection on to Trump that makes him very dangerous and to me very scary. I don't like Cruz, but I know where Cruz is coming from. Cruz is bad, Trump is scary. No idealism.


S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICS COMMENTATOR: It's like and that was ...


BORGER: ... what evangelical voters are worried about with Trump is that he's not a true evangelical. And that is precisely Trump's appeal to the establishment is that they think maybe he's a little more malleable because he has taken these assorted positions and he does want to cut deals.

And so from their point of view, that kind of flexibility if you want to call it that, it's appealing.

CUPP: ... but it's still -- but it's been so interesting on the evangelical front because he's tried to play it both ways. He's tried to suggest I'm not scary like Ben Carson with that Seventh-Day Adventist religion that I don't even know about. Well, it's Christian and Iowans know what Seventh-Day Adventism is.

I'm more, I'm more down the road. I'm Presbyterian. It's very simple. But at the same time, he's obviously trying to impress evangelicals on their home turf at Liberty University with the -- I mean with staunch evangelicals trying to recite from 2 Corinthians, talking about taking the little cracker when he goes to church.

I mean he's missing but you can see he's going for both camp.

AXELROD: He has probably the broadest support.

CUPP: Yeah.

AXELROD: He's leading among moderates.


AXELROD: He's tied among Tea Party voters in Iowa and he's second among evangelicals. And I think one mistake we make is to assume that evangelicals vote all of them on a narrow set of issues.

CUPP: Right. Right.

AXELROD: And many of them are among those that cadre of voters who he has appeal to on economic grounds.

CUPP: You know, now ...

AXELROD: So they're cross-pressured.


PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: A big part has appealed evangelicals is strength.



BEGALA: A lot of evangelicals feel like they are under assault. OK. I don't agree. I'm a person of faith myself. I don't think if there's anti-Christian is this country. But a lot of fundamentalist Christians believe that.

CUPP: Yeah.

BEGALA: I hear a lot from people and friends of mine who were evangelicals, who will say, we know, obviously, 2 Corinthians. OK. He doesn't go to church with me. I get that. But he will stand up and fight for me and for my oppressed Christian religion. And that has real -- George W. Bush that resonates.


AXELROD: Back to your point, Paul. I'm looking at the Des Moines register poll and there are several -- they ask several qualities and they test it against the Republican candidates and the ones that Donald Trump led on was he'd be the strongest leader by overwhelmingly he'd be most feared ...

BORGER: Most feared.

AXELROD: ... by U.S. enemies.

BORGER: Most feared, right.

AXELROD: And so, yes he is selling strength. You know, I wrote a piece last week. I think that he is selling himself to Republicans as sort of the antithesis of Barack Obama.

[21:25:07] BORGER: Yeah.

AXELROD: I think he is in every way the opposite of Obama and this sort of muscular I'm going to kick their butt kind of thing ...

(CROSSTALK) LORD: This is what the Fox debate situation was all about.

BEGALA: Right.

LORD: Forget the internals of the fight. It was message, I'm stronger.

KING: And I think, let's not over stereotype these evangelicals, yes they care deeply about the life issue. They care deeply about the marriage issue. They care deeply about religious liberty.

But a lot of them have decided that their number one issue in this campaign are not those issues. They're willing to push them down a little bit like a lot of Americans, they're voting on whether it's strength or even more so when you talk to them dysfunction.

They don't trust President Obama.

CUPP: Right.

KING: They don't like President Obama. But guess what? They don't like their own leadership. They think their own leadership has given them a shaft and turned them down, but they want to send a -- this is the China shop, Washington, D.C. They want to send the bull in and break everything. And I think Donald Trump is that guy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And nobody suffer in China than Donald Trump.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yeah. And if you talk to voters, I talked to a woman when I was in Iowa, and she said, she felt that Donald Trump was crazy and might get us into another World War. But she liked him anyway. She felt like she was going to vote for him but as John said, he was a disrupter. He was something completely new.

And so, it's amazing. I mean, a lot of these Trump voters and I know you talked to some too John, can make sort of a separation, with all of these things that they don't necessarily get for.

BORGER: I think Donald Trump is to religion what Ben Carson is to foreign policy to a certain degree. He kind of tried to study up to say, "I love the evangelicals, I'm like you. I get you just the way Ben Carson ...

CUPP: Let me Wiki them. Let me do a little Google search.

BORGER: Right and -- but somehow it doesn't on that particular front, it doesn't come across as authentic. And we saw that in Randi Kaye's piece before, you know, this voter, evangelical voter ...

COOPER: And yet leading the polls among evangelicals.

BORGER: Yeah, right.


COOPER: A lot more to talk about ahead. We're going to look at a number of things tomorrow obviously Democratic battle in Iowa, by the numbers guide, coming up next.


[21:30:46] COOPER: We showed you a little bit about that Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail earlier. We're waiting right now for Hillary Clinton to take the stage tonight in Des Moines.

Right now, former Iowa Senator Tom Harken and his wife Ruth, warming up the crowd. By this time tomorrow, we're going to be bringing you live coverage of the caucuses as they unfold.

We're be reporting the results as they come in late into the tonight. Tonight a guide of sorts what to look for as the first numbers in Democratic race begin to roll in.

Back with us, John King, Chief National Correspondent, anchor of CNN's "Inside Politics" he is seen new share of Iowa caucuses. John.

KING: Anderson, by this time tomorrow night, we'll know if the new software works, we'll see the results coming in by then. We'll look at the three-way race, right, Sanders, Clinton and Martin O'Malley, no results.

That's why the map is playing great now. So, let's go back to David Axelrod's favorite map in the history of American politics, Iowa 2008, the results that put Barack Obama on the map and launched him.

Look at this out here in Eastern Iowa. Almost exclusively when Hillary Clinton count down, they're almost exclusively to Barack Obama. Look here in the center part of the state, the college town remains and the major population center of Polk County all for Barack Obama.

This is what Hillary Clinton has to change. And this is important to remember, we forget this sometimes, John Edwards, you had a three- candidate race, really. This time, unless Martin O'Malley shocks us, it's a two-candidate race and that could make all the difference when you look at the margins in some of this county as you see.

John Edwards actually one of there among the county especially down here in the Southern rural areas, why are these important? Let me take this out for a second.

Look at the margins, Senator Obama, relatively modest Martin, but still a win in Dubuque.

Hillary Clinton has a much better organization at this time, down here in Davenport. Major popu -- oops, we went to County over, let's come back in here. Just like the Illinois, how do you like that?

Come down here, this is part of the state here and the population centers, we'll come up if we want. There we go, Scott County, 5 percent of the population.

Look at the margin here, in the Eastern part of the state. I visited some Hillary Clinton organization offices in this part of the state, they're working much, much harder this time with the help of some people, who work for Senator Obama eight years ago.

She has to perform better in the East. Bernie Sanders has been a lot of time out here and then here. In Polk County, which is the largest piece of the state, Hillary Clinton ran third last time. The united, Senator Obama and Senator Edwards.

So, with two candidates in the race, the college towns, aims and over here in Iowa City. This is where Bernie Sanders is expecting the young people to turn out for him on the campuses. But look for the major population centers.

Remember in the Republican race, we saw the Romney Map, it's the same for the Democrats, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Davenport.

If Hillary Clinton can hold around in those places, she expects everybody in Iowa. And I can tell you Anderson, when you visit the offices on the ground, they get it. They understand how they were out hustled and outperformed unorganized in 2008.

They say they have the better organization this time. And we'll see what happens with the passion of Bernie Sanders campaign.

But the big difference this time, remember, in the two-candidate race, they think they have the organization to do better.

We'll know this time tomorrow night how it is starting to look.

COOPER: John, stick around, I want to go to our panel. Van, you still think people underestimating Bernie Sanders?

JONES: I do, I do. I think that early on. If this were just an anybody but Hillary moment. Martin O'Malley would be up to the numbers and it would be Bernie the excellent.

He has tapped into some discontent that is huge. If you look at the social media numbers, he has been dominating everybody except for Donald Trump the whole time, nobody notices.

If you look at his individual donors, small donors, more individual donors than anybody in American history, nobody notice it. If you look at his ability to get the sizeable crowds, it was almost like a black out on him for a long time.

I think it was a blessing in that blackout. Because what happened was he was able, he didn't get the help of the media, but the media also didn't turn on him and the establishment tried to ignore him.

Now, you've got somebody who is a real contender, and I think this still this view out there, that, you know, the rebellion on the Republican side, that's the crazy thing.

But on our side, this is kind of continual thing. He has tapped into some real frustration. You have some disappointment in our party.

People love Obama, in our party, they don't always love the Obama years, there's some pain and some disappointment these past couple of years, is a sense that the establishment still has not gotten a lesson.

Whether he wins or loses tomorrow, the establishment in this party needs to listen to Bernie Sanders and his supporters.

CUPP: Well, and I think you have an indication of just how seriously he is being taken finally now, because coincidentally in the week leading up to Iowa, you had a Washington Post editorial really scathing attacking Bernie Sanders. You had a box, they called it his fiction-filled campaign. You had a piece on the exorbitant cost of his single-payer health plan.

These are, these are outlets I think that would not have, you know, run very rigorously against Sanders a couple of months ago. And now I think people are wondering, "Wow, could Hillary really lose it to Bernie Sanders?" Let's get all in and make sure this doesn't happen.

COOPER: Listen Paul, I mean, earlier, Hillary campaign -- the Hillary Clinton campaign seems very confident, saying, "We're going to win."

BEGALA: Sure and I like that they didn't try to spin and diminish expectations a lot. It's their job to win. And there was one little synapse that fired when Van said "Well, win or lose", no, you're in this to win.

Trump said this, he was right, "If I don't win then all of this has been wasted effort. Hillary learned from losing the last time.


BEGALA: But it was very expensive education.

COOPER: Right.

BEGALA: I disagree with Van about the depth of the rebellion on the Democratic side. It's not equal and opposite with the Republicans. Look at the data, Iowa Democrats have a 91 percent approval rating of our president.

And Democrats love their president, they love it. And then maybe you can find nuances when they don't like the years this scar, I don't agree. Democrats love the president.

Bill Clinton has an 86 percent favorable. Bernie has an 82 percent favorable. Hillary has 80 percent favorable. She's bringing up the roof. Nobody in the Republican side, anybody has a number that high. So, it is different.

COOPER: I wanted to bring in John because the poll was taken primarily before the e-mail controversy on Friday. At this point, we -- I mean, do we know much about how that might affect into Iowa voters' minds? KING: No. As Jeff Weaver on the Sanders campaign said and if you look the polling data, most Democrats don't care about this. And Hillary Clinton benefits, I'm not saying it's not a serious issue but Hillary Clinton benefits when Republicans say, she should be indicted already and thrown in jail already because it allows her to say look at the Republicans coming after me.

But I will say this, when you're out in Iowa, Anderson, the polls point, you don't find a lot of Democrats, even Bernie Sanders most are the supporters and say, "I dislike Clinton." That's not the point. Democrats just like Republicans have fair amount of them want change.

And Hillary Clinton is in many ways, campaigning for the third term. She says "I'll be the continuity of Barack Obama." And a lot of Democrats, not that they dislike President Obama either, but we just live in these times where everything is churning in our politics. It run for a lot people who want change. And that's why you've seen Bill Clinton in the last few days saying, "Hillary Clinton is a change agent."

Lot of the younger voters who love Bernie Sanders and you'd find them here on the college campuses again in Iowa City. They don't really remember the Clintons, but they know they're yesterday to them.

And Bernie Sanders is talking about change. That's the dynamic. It's not just like of Hillary Clinton among Democrats as much as some Democrats saying, "Let's try something new."

BORGER: So, if Bernie Sanders were say to lose, but just by a tiny amount, would that still be a win for Bernie Sanders because he over performed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I say, I think, he's ...

BORGER: Or does he have to win now.



AXELROD: ... that he's overshot the runway. Now, I think anything short of a win ...


AXELROD: ... will be -- the win will be given to Hillary Clinton.

BORGER: Hillary Clinton, yeah.


JONES: I get shocked when you guys did it in 2008. I remember -- my son was a little burrito baby and we were in our little condo watching and we thought that we were for Obama. We love the Obama. But we've thought, he came in second that would be great. We assumed that Hillary Clinton was going to somehow pull off the Clinton magic. And when he came in first and she came in third, everybody in my world, our lives changed. Bernie has squandered that opportunity by saying he could get there.

BEGALA: But because of the Obama's win there was so impressive because it wasn't a home game for him.


BEGALA: He's was from the neighboring state but he is from Chicago, he's a community organizer, he's African-American. Des Moines is only a big city in Iowa and the rest of states, it's all rural and he rock and rolled there. It was so impressive.


AXELROD: The point about that election was, he was not the populist candidate in that election. John Edwards was the populist candidate in that election.

Van, you know, on your point about Bernie and the things he stirred up, that the register asked a really interesting question which was, do you think the system is rigged against people, everyday people where do you think it works reasonable well.

Well Democrats by a large margin said rigged against people. But Bernie was only leading by like 11 points among those voters. SO she was crushing him among those who said they thought the system was working reasonably well.

COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. Just ahead, what exactly is a caucus? What happens? We'll take you to a mock caucus to find out what goes on inside.


[21:43:04] COOPER: On the eve of the Iowa caucuses with all the polls and all the final campaigning and all the analysis. We don't want to neglect one important question, what the heck is a caucus anyway?

Randi Kaye went to a mock caucus to explain it all.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You all in that's violated we would like to get started.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to call this Republican caucus to order.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to caucusing as a Republican. If you wouldn't mind filing in and taking your seat.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's caucus night in at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Calling causes Democratic caucus to order.

KAYE: Not the real thing yet, just a mock caucus to teach first-time caucus goers how it works. This training session is called WTS a caucus.

How many times have you asked yourself that? What WTF is a caucus?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot. I Googled it. I mean everything more confusing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could somebody here help the situation.

KAYE: It's easy to get confused. Republicans and Democrats caucus on the same night. But they do it differently.

On the Republican side, voters hear a pitch from the candidate's surrogates. Jeb Bush Jr. surprised everyone at this mock caucus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With that, we'll start with Jeb Bush.

KAYE: Practicing his own selling skills before the big night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good evening, my name is Jeb Bush Jr. It is an honor to be here tonight on Drake, the Bulldogs, hope you guys come out and caucus on Monday night.

KAYE: Then Republicans simply fill out a piece of paper, with the candidate they want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once you have voted, please fold the paper in half and return it to the secretary.

KAYE: Next, the votes are counted and a winner named for that caucus site.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a winner. Looks like Jeb Bush.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Democratic caucus, as you can see, because you have no chairs, it's a little different from the Republican caucus.

KAYE: Now it's the Democrats turn.

JOSH LEVITT, IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Our process on the Democratic side, it's a very active process and it's very dynamic. There's a lot of engagement and enthusiasm.

KAYE: The Democrats divide themselves into groups, each one supporting a different candidate.

[21:45:06] So if you like Martin O'Malley, you caucus with his supporters.

Drake student Lara Cox told us she's voting Democratic but was still undecided. LARA COX, UNDECIDED VOTER: Well, first the nominations got everyone kind of watching and then, it goes away and they don't choose for Iowa any more. So, I think it's a lot pressure.

She is not, you know, a candidate seem out of nowhere.

KAYE: Lara first caucused with Hillary Clinton supporters.

COX: I think that Hillary is so deep in the establishment that I don't know if she really wants to change things or if she just wants to be president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, the whole goal of this thing is to get 15 percent ...

KAYE: Then she caucused with Bernie Sanders' group.

COX: It's the race ends up with Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Do you think Bernie Sanders could get any moderate Republican votes?

KAYE: She feels pressure from both sides and time is running out.

COX: How much time do we have?

KAYE: This is exactly what makes the Democratic caucus so interesting, so much pressure from friends, neighbors, even roommates to get others to vote their way.

COX: One of my roommates is over here, she was trying to convince me and one of my roommates over here. And either way, I have to go home to one of them and they're going to be mad.

KAYE: In the end, Lara decides to caucus for Hillary Clinton, mainly because she likes her experience.

COX: Here I am.

KAYE: Randi Kaye.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thank you all for coming out again.

KAYE: CNN, Des Moines, in Iowa.


COOPER: Well, just ahead, the candidates have flooded the air waves with ads in Iowa. More than $77 million worth, take a look at what Iowans have been seeing at the candidates try to win their votes, next.


[21:50:42] COOPER: Welcome back. Candidates are doing their final campaigning the night before the Iowa caucuses.

Meantime, off these dump the attempt to win voters has been going on for quite awhile with quite a big price tag.

Candidates who spent more than $77 million on advertising just in Iowa up through this week according to a leading ad tracking firm.

Take a look at some what Iowans have been seeing and hearing nonstop.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want you to know how much it has meant to me as I traveled across the state to hear about people's hopes and struggle and I know that because of that, I will be a better president if I'm elected.

MARCO RUBIO, (R-FL) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This election is about defeating Hillary Clinton and about saving what makes America unique.

TRUMP: I am pro choice in every respect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what does Trump think about Iowa?

TRUMP: How stupid are the people of Iowa?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump, New York values. Not ours.

TRUMP: I'm Donald Trump and I approve this message.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: Sounded like he wanted the bill to pass.

TED CRUZ, (R-TX) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Of course I wanted the bill to pass.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My qualifications for president of the United States are rather narrow, is he or she godly? Does he or she love us? Can he or she do the job? And finally, would they kill a duck and put him in a pot and make him a good duck gumbo?

I looked at the candidates, Ted Cruz is my man. He fits the bill.

CLINTON: We can make real progress right now.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm caucusing for Hillary Clinton.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT) DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know we can create that America. If we listen to our hearts and that journey begins here in Iowa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time we get someone in the White House who represents me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Someone like Marco Rubio.


SANDERS: I'm Bernie Sanders and I approve this message.


COOPER: And back now with our panel. I mean, these things have been emendating the air waves, different ads for different shows.

And tonight, Marco Rubio was about, 30 minutes ...

KING: 30 minutes, he's running footage of his town halls. Since that could essentially what TV town hall ad.

No, you can't escape them. You know, when I was at there last week, he watch the news. Of course, you want to watch during the news programs and see what the running goes (inaudible) and I would go to the gym and put on college basketball and think I can escape. No, they get you there too.

AXELROD: I think Rubio is running this big town hall conclusion thing because he spent less time there than anybody else and he's kind of creating a virtual reality, Iowa campaign ...

COOPER: Do you think that's effective to buy a 30 minute spot?

AXELROD: We did it. I think it can be effective because it stands out from these 30 second ads that just fly by so you might catch people's attention.

I wonder given the intensity of the coverage however which Trump has keyed. I wonder how much ads have generally had an impact here as opposed to the earned media.

I do think the negative ads that Trump and Cruz have run against each other have had some effect though because you look at the numbers in the Iowa poll and they've seen a real sharp decline in their favorable rating just in the last two weeks.

BORGER: Although the birther stuff according to the Des Moines register poll really hasn't had that much of an impact.

AXELROD: Right, that's what Trump had talk about, but he's been advertising at something that.

BORGER: That's right. I think the 30 minute ad allows you to kind of cut through all the clutter to a great degree. Put your biography out there in your words the way you want it out there and it's probably worth the expense. I don't know. Do you think it was worth the expense?

AXELROD: Well, I'll let you know tomorrow for that. Help for us.

Oh, by the time we did it, we did it in the general election and we were in such a strong position that I think it just augmented what we had. BORGER: But the negative ads have the impact, particularly with Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio of Republicans saying, "Why are we eating our own? Because and they're upset at Jeb Bush because they believe that Marco Rubio has a future with the party and could well become the nominee and they are, why are you attacking him?

AXELROD: Yeah. You know what, because if you're Jeb Bush, your only chance is to do well in New Hampshire. And if Marco Rubio does real well tomorrow night, he's going to do well in New Hampshire and that's the end of the Bush campaign.

So, from the standpoint of Jeb Bush, I understand why they're running those ads.

BORGER: Right. And he said, well, he's running, I asked him about it, he said, "Well, Marco is running negative ads about me."

[21:55:02] AXELROD: Right, right.

HENDERSON: I think the Bernie Sanders had probably the best ad of the season. I was in Iowa. I was ironing my shirt and the song came on and you're drawn to the television to see that ad in a way that I think for the other ads you kind of tune them out ...

AXELROD: Did you burn your shirt?

HENDERSON: I did ...

LORD: Just kick out the burn, not the burn.

AXELROD: Check the expense accounts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One have felt the burn?


LORD: One of the things I think we're missing in terms of ads, Donald Trump like Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and in Iowa put Randi who was a TV star was a major -- when a major cultural figure does this they're coming into a race with decades of free advertising for them.

I mean, whatever it is, you know, there brand, whatever. And I somehow think that this is helping a fuel ...

COOPER: And also Donald Trump to his credit, and has said this, he has given more interviews than anybody else. I mean, he has been more accessible. You can't say that Donald Trump has not put himself out there.

LORD: He is everywhere.

COOPER: Right.

LORD: Everywhere. And he goes on the networks hostile to him, he goes on the ones friendly to him. AXELROD: What does it say about our culture that Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fred Grandy and Donald Trump are major cultural figures?

COOPER: We're going to ponder that as we take a short break. We'll be right back.


COOPER: That does it for us. Thanks for watching.

[22:00:00] We'll see you again at 11:00 p.m. Eastern for another edition of 360.

Our countdown to Iowa continues. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.