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Trump and Sanders Lead in New Hampshire Primary; Analysis Of Political Focus Group In Charleston, South Carolina; Post-New Hampshire Primary Analysis. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired February 9, 2016 - 23:00   ET


[23:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump said this.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going to make our country so strong. We are going to start winning again. We don't win anymore. As a country, we don't win on trade, we don't win with the military, we can't beat ISIS. We don't win with anything.

We are going to start winning again and we're going to win so much, you are going to be so happy. We are going to make America so great again, maybe greater than ever before. I love you all. Thank you, New Hampshire. Thank you, thank you, New Hampshire. Thank you. We are going now to South Carolina. We're going to win in South Carolina. I love you all. Thank you very much. Thank you.


BLITZER: Very impressive win by Donald Trump.

On the Democratic side, right now Bernie Sanders, he also has an extremely impressive win over Hillary Clinton's almost 70 percent of the vote is in. Take a look at this. He's 36,000 votes ahead of Hillary Clinton. He's got 60 percent of the vote to Hillary Clinton's 39 percent.

Bernie Sanders just a little while ago in his victory speech said this.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Nine months ago we began our campaign here in New Hampshire. We had no campaign organization, we had no money, and we were the most powerful political organization in the United States of America.


SANDERS: And tonight with what appears to be a record breaking voter turnout --

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) SANDERS: Because of a huge voter turnout. And I say huge. We won because we harness the energy and the excitement that the Democratic Party will need to succeed in November.



BLITZER: Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont, with a very impressive win over Hillary Clinton.

John King, you're taking a closer look. Let's look at the Republican side first. This battle for third place that is really under way, Bush, for example, can he take third and beat Cruz?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Can he? Yes. But if you look at the results now, 72 percent of the vote is in. Trump with that big lead, he's going to win and he's going to win convincingly. Overperforming his last poll number. Very interesting there. In Iowa he underperformed, Donald Trump overperformed.

John Kasich, impressive second place there. No one is going to catch him for that. But now I should look right here. So what are we looking at? There are less than 700 votes or so to get Jeb Bush in. Can he get there? Yes. Why? Because you have some places out, John Kasich thinks he's going to do better out there than Jeb Bush, but you have places out here where you have more moderate Republicans. We'll see, we haven't gotten any votes from Hanover. This is right along the Connecticut River separating Vermont and New Hampshire.

And, Wolf, curiously, one of the larger Republican suburban areas, Salem here, right along the Massachusetts border, no votes at all. This is -- this is if you go back in time, this is Mitt Romney country, we got to bring down the leaders up here. This is Mitt Romney country 56 percent of the vote, establishment Republicans, a decent size population chunk and at the moment we have nothing from Salem. So we expect Governor Kasich to do OK here, but Governor Bush could get some votes there.

But as you can see this map going in, just look at it. That is Donald Trump everywhere. Because of the fractured field Donald Trump is getting, whether it's 28 percent, 25 percent, as high as the 30s in some places, he's winning where Mitt Romney won impressively, he's winning where John McCain won impressively. If you go back in time, you see this is Ron Paul. The coral collar up here.

Remember these collars right here and take a peak when we come forward, he's winning everywhere. Because of the splintered vote, he's winning across the entire state. You have one town for Jeb Bush, about a half dozen or so, maybe six or seven for Governor Kasich. At the moment, thought, this is -- Trump is filling in this map. But again as we look for the second and third, 72 percent, it's doable, we've got some math to do. And it's conceivable, it's conceivable if Marco Rubio has a strong performance in a town or two that he could jump up. But as you look at that 10 percent number, you need 10 percent in New

Hampshire to get any delegates. If you're below 10 percent, you get no delegates. So watch to see if that's rounded up or whether he can crack above 10 percent.

Just quickly on some of the conversations going on tonight he has gone home. I'm told from two advisers he is well aware. He gets no delegates out of New Hampshire tonight. He knows it's going to be very tough to raise money. He wants to go home and talk to his wife but the conversation among top Christie advisers is there is no viable path to the Republican nomination. Now he has to decide whether he wants to press on despite that realization.

The Cruz campaign tonight is very happy. If they can stay here, what they think third place does is the bronze medal out of New Hampshire but more importantly, if Rubio stays down here, what the Cruz campaign wants to say to Tea Party conservatives, evangelicals who might be with Rubio in South Carolina it's time to coalesce against Donald Trump.

[23:05:09] So we're going to watch a little chess game play out in this race because, remember in our tracking poll, Wolf? Just before the debate he was at 18 percent. The final tracking poll had him at 17 percent. That's a big drop. And that is the conversation in Republican circles tonight. And I've talked to two fundraisers in the Rubio campaign who say their job got a lot harder tonight to keep the money coming in.

So we're going to watch this play out as we look for -- this might seem a little silly, you're looking at this here, several hundred votes, right? Jeb Bush wants to be here. Inside the Bush campaign tonight, they think third, even if it's just by a couple dozen votes, would be much better than fourth. And there's even some talk among some of his advisers maybe you should have skipped Iowa and spent all that time in New Hampshire, trying to get into a stronger third or even second place. He'll be heading out there the last week.

BLITZER: Bush has a super PAC, they still have a lot of money. Money is not necessarily a problem.

KING: He's not going anywhere. He is in this race, whether he's at fourth place. You know, he won't -- it doesn't look like he'll slip down. He's in this race without a doubt. He would like to be up here, just third place gives you a little more moral high ground.

The Bush family history in South Carolina is a good one. His father won there, his brother won there. President Bush, George W. Bush will be on the campaign trail this week. But just for fundraising purposes and sort of chest pumping purposes, he would love to --

BLITZER: Take a look at the decisive win that Donald Trump had if you take a look at that. He's got 70,500 votes. Kasich is second with 33,000, more than double the second place finisher.

KING: More than 2-1. And look at the map. Look at the map, these are towns, the cities, you see the big cities. New Hampshire's mostly small towns. Where did Donald Trump win? Almost everywhere. Almost everywhere. Just went across the state. Compare this to Mitt Romney. Very similar in the sense Mitt Romney did very well -- I don't know if we can go back in time -- yes. Romney, see that? Donald Trump actually carrying even more of the state than Mitt Romney did in 2016 when you look at the Trump map.

It's a very impressive win. And again the conversation among Republicans is well, he wouldn't get it if we didn't have all these candidates in the race but you know what, they are in the race and he got it.

BLITZER: A decisive win for Donald Trump.

Let's take a look at the Democrats. How did Bernie Sanders manage to really crush Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, a state she won eight years ago?

KING: This is a -- this is a shellacking or more. It's a total rout, if you look at the state of New Hampshire. 60 percent of the vote in again. There was criticism of our CNN/WMUR tracking poll. I have to tell you, I was a little skeptical myself at some point. Dead on. The poll was dead on. The poll was pretty good. At the top of the Republicans race, too. The debate shook out 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in the Republican race. That is dead on. 60 percent for Bernie Sanders, I think our last poll had him at 58 percent, Hillary Clinton at 39 percent.

You know what's interesting about that 39 percent. It's the same number she got in 2008. But you're in the two-man race now and Bernie Sanders is winning everywhere. Let's go back in time. Again, you can't compare these two races. It's a -- there's a difference. Two candidates as opposed to a more crowded field. But if you're the Clintons and you've won all this dark blue to Hillary Clinton, and you won all this eight years ago, that's a message.

That's a message from Democratic voters in New Hampshire now. Predominantly white electorate here. She's moving on to battle in South Carolina where you have African-Americans and Latinos. The Clinton campaign says it will get better as we move on. If you look at the exit polling just among Democrats, a virtual tie between Clinton and Sanders. They will take some solace in that in the Clinton campaign. But again, as you move on, often mostly closed primaries, only Democrats can vote, not independents, but no matter how you try to spin it, if winning in Iowa by that much was a win, well, then losing New Hampshire by this much is a thump.

BLITZER: Only seconds when you said those polls that we did in New Hampshire on the Democratic and Republican side pretty much spot on right now.

I want to walk over to Jake and Dana, that we're watching this battle that's underway, Jake, for third place on the Republican side. It's pretty intense, it's pretty close still right now, what, about 25 percent of the vote is still out.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: That's right, Wolf. And when we've talked about Donald Trump's colossal victory. Right now he's on track to tie John McCain's 19-point victory from 16 years ago. And we talked about John Kasich, his surprisingly strong second place finish but if you look at the three next in line. Cruz at 12 percent, Bush at 11 percent, Rubio at 10 percent. That is a tight, tight contest and there is still -- there are still many votes outstanding.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. There's so many things to unpack and so many sort of plots and sub-plots in there.


BASH: Right? I mean, first of all, let's just talk about Ted Cruz. He seems to be the beneficiary of all of those others, Bush, Rubio, even Christie, though a lesser extent or more, John Kasich kind of splitting the mainstream or the vote and he kind of rose to the top. And this is not really his natural habitat.

TAPPER: No, it's not.

BASH: You know, that there are a lot of independent voters. There aren't that many strong conservatives.

TAPPER: Religious conservatives. Yes.

BASH: And he did pretty well. He did have a very strong ground game here, kind of under the radar. But it's the Bush-Rubio drama frankly that's just so fascinating. Right?

[23:10:01] TAPPER: Yes. Mentor and protege.

BASH: Right.

TAPPER: Of days past.

BASH: And -- exactly. And the fact that Bush at least now seems to be eking out a better finish than Rubio, there are a lot of people in Bush camp who are very, very happy about that because it got really, really personal. And they were very upset that Rubio seemed to have, like, sort of eclipsed him especially after his strong showing in Iowa, don't you think?

TAPPER: Jeb Bush will go on to fight another day, no doubt. He has too much money behind him. Too much motivation but, boy, he would love a third place finish more than a fourth place finish.

Let's go to the third -- likely third place finisher Ted Cruz. We haven't called it yet but that's where the standing is right now.

Sunlen Serfaty, she's in Hollis, New Hampshire at Ted Cruz headquarters.

Sunlen, the campaign probably feeling pretty good. They did not put a lot of energy or money into the state compared to the guys who are in fourth, fifth and sixth place. SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I can tell

you, even though Ted Cruz lost here, I can tell you it is absolute jubilation behind the scenes within the Cruz campaign and that is for two big reasons. One this battle for third, that is very good for them. This is better than expected. That it exceeded their expectations, too. And then secondly, it's much ado about Marco Rubio's positioning. They are very eager tonight, the Cruz campaign, to really cast this as a big blow to Marco Rubio and really make the argument going forward that he is not the establishment candidate that can coalesce the establishment wing of the party.

So they're very happy that Jeb Bush kind of had a revival tonight. One campaign official saying that they love the position that Jeb Bush is in tonight. So they feel that they can take these two things going forward and push that into South Carolina -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Sunlen Serfaty.

Let's turn now to the Democratic race. Brianna Keilar is in Sanders headquarters in Concord, New Hampshire.

And Brianna, the big question of course is what does Bernie Sanders do from here? We knew that he had a good game, a good ground game here in New Hampshire. We knew that the very liberal Democrats in Iowa liked him. He did win here but he came close. Where does he go from here? What next?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's right. I spoke a short time ago to his campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, about that very thing, Jake. He said this win here in New Hampshire was crucial when it came to building momentum. But, you know, definitely the campaign realizes the terrain changes when you get into these next early contests, Nevada and South Carolina. I asked him how they're going to make sure they perform well in those states as well. Here's what he told me.


KEILAR: How do you push through to Nevada and specifically South Carolina when the demographics really favor Hillary Clinton because of who she has supporting her in African-American voters and Hispanic voters?

JEFF WEAVER, SANDERS CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, I think you've seen in recent days an increasingly large number of African-American leaders who are coming to our campaign, Ben Jealous, the recent past president of NAACP, people like Nina Turner, state senator -- former state senator from Ohio, Dr. Cornell West and other people who are coming forward, state senators and reps in South Carolina who are stepping forward to support Senator Sanders' call for a political revolution that will deal with issues of institutional racism, police violence and much of the poverty, the lack of opportunity we find in many African-American communities.

KEILAR: Is it enough to stand up against some of the endorsements -- a lot of endorsements that we have seen from prominent African- Americans for Hillary Clinton?

WEAVER: Well, I think you've seen here in New Hampshire, we had a few endorsements from a few brave state legislators. But most of the political staffers who worked for Secretary Clinton I think in Iowa, I know we have a single state representative in Iowa, the entire political staffers from Secretary Clinton. This campaign is speaking to people at the grassroots level of all races, all ethnicities, so, you know, we're very gratified to have the endorsements we do have but this is ultimately a people's campaign and we're speaking to people one-on-one.


KEILAR: So key to Bernie Sanders' message tonight. Some of his big applause lines coming -- talking against Wall Street. And I asked Weaver about reports that first were broken on CNN but really gained some traction today about Bernie Sanders raising money from big dollar donors, from Senate Democrats, also accepting tens of thousands of dollars from the Democratic Party at a time when Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, other banks were donating.

Weaver dismissed those reports as smears from the Clinton campaign and from her backers and he said he expects the things are going to get very negative and nasty here in the weeks and months to come between his campaign and the Clinton campaign.

And, Jake, I also just asked him, are you going to win Nevada? And he said we're going to try. That is a sign that he knows it is a tough road ahead.

TAPPER: That's right, Brianna. Thanks so much.

And, Dana, a few days ago I was speaking with a former Clinton adviser who said, you know, Iowa and New Hampshire are just not made for her. I said, why not?

[23:15:05] And he said too liberal and too white. And now the terrain shifts, more moderate Democrats plus African-Americans in South Carolina especially, Latinos in Nevada especially.

BASH: That's right. And -- actually probably shouldn't say and. But the problem for Hillary Clinton is even if she does as well as expected in South Carolina because it is more favorable terrain, Bernie Sanders has money.

TAPPER: Right.

BASH: He's got a lot of money and it's money that keeps coming in. And the next set of contests are a little bit mixed and muddled and so some of the states on Super Tuesday, March 1st, are favorable to him. Some are favorable to her. So what this means is it could be a long haul.

TAPPER: It could be a long haul. We're going to have a lot more nights like this.

Anderson Cooper, back to you in Washington.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Jake, Dana, thanks very much.

We have a new panel here of political commentators. Kevin Madden is joining us, Republican strategy, Amanda Carpenter, former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz, Bill Press, the author of "Buyer's Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down," the host of the "Bill Press Show," and Donna Brazile, Democratic strategist and political commentator.

Donna, let's talk about on the Democratic side. How the race does change now moving forward. Obviously you have Nevada then South Carolina on the Democratic side.

DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: First of all, tonight after the results are probably in, the delegate count will likely be that Senator Sanders pick up 13, Secretary Clinton 11. Because we apportion it based on the results. 15 percent is a threshold. The delegate count will continue to be close until one of the candidates pulls out. We go to -- 11 days from now, on the Democratic side, we go to Nevada, the Republicans go to South Carolina.

COOPER: And the demographics change a lot in Nevada and in South Carolina.

BRAZILE: Absolutely. You have a more diverse electorate. You -- the electorate could be upwards of, what, 35 percent, 40 percent more diverse. We also have a closed caucus in Nevada where you have to be a registered Democrat in order to participate. Unlike tonight independents --

COOPER: We had independents.

BRAZILE: Could walk in and get a Democratic ballot. South Carolina has an open system, of course, that will also benefit -- I mean, so -- and then of course Super Tuesday, March 1st. The political terrain is vastly different from the political terrain that we just saw in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

COOPER: Bill, I mean, can Bernie Sanders compete in Nevada? In South Carolina?

BILL PRESS, HOST, "THE BILL PRESS SHOW": I think absolutely. And I think he showed tonight he can compete nationwide. I mean, I -- this is, to use his word, huge, you know, for Bernie Sanders. It really is. I mean he showed I think he's a very serious candidate, he's a national candidate. He's going to get tons of money from his grassroots supporters. It's not going to be probably $27 maybe anymore. Maybe that average is going to go up. You know, he's got these resources. He's definitely going to be there for the long haul.

This is going to be more challenging terrain for him, no doubt. But he demonstrated tonight this turnout. A lot of it. His message is, I can get people excited, I can get people out. The party needs that. He delivered on that tonight and he delivered across the board. I mean, in income groups, every group income except those over -- making over $200,000. He won, she won that one. With young people, with -- and middle age people. He won every group except those over 65. And Hillary won those.

COOPER: And those making more than $200,000 --

PRESS: That's what I said. $200,000 a year so I think the breadth and the depth of support. Don't underestimate him moving forward. That's what I'm trying to point on. Take too much time but -- difficult in the South, yes, we recognize that because of what his constituency has been. But as he moves into the Midwest and the Illinois and Ohio, Michigan, he starts talking jobs, he's the economic populace. And he's going to talk TPP. That's a big problem for Hillary. Keystone and NAFTA. So I think there's going to be some very promising territory.

COOPER: Also problematic for Hillary Clinton and good for Bernie Sanders is when you look at those exit polls, the people who are looking for trust in a candidate.


COOPER: I mean, overwhelming --

PRESS: Overwhelming.

COOPER: I mean, I think above 80 percent, I don't have the exact number right in front of me but I think above 80 percent or 90 percent.


COOPER: 93 to 5.


COOPER: I mean, that's extraordinary.

PRESS: Right. Exactly.

COOPER: On the Republican side, Amanda, Kevin, what do you think changed tonight?

AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, SEN. TED CRUZ: I mean, I think we do have to spend some time talking about Ted Cruz. You have a guy who only spent less than $600,000 in the state by some figures. You have Bush between his campaign and the super PAC $36 million, Rubio $15.2 million.

This was supposed to be the state where the establishment could prove that they could take down Trump. They had to show that they can flex their muscle and they failed.

COOPER: And that there would be a clear establishment candidate coming out.

CARPENTER: Yes. They're still muddled. It's still a mess. They're going to go into South Carolina with no consensus, and meanwhile Ted Cruz barely spent any money and had a third place finish.

COOPER: And --

CARPENTER: I mean, that's phenomenal. It speaks to the discipline of the campaign and that they're going to have the capacity to go the distance.

[23:20:06] COOPER: And moving forward when you start to look at the map, certainly among evangelical populations in South Carolina, the whole southern region is very good for Cruz.

CARPENTER: Yes. South Carolina is very similar to Iowa where Cruz already beat Trump. And then going into SEC Tuesday, he has a lot of money in the bank that has been on reserves waiting to go and the other candidates don't have that.

COOPER: Kevin, I was thinking about you when you work, obviously, with Romney when John was at the board showing the Romney map and now the Trump map. I mean, Trump getting a lot of those -- all those areas that Romney got.

KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's right. So he's appealing to not just your very, very conservative voters but those voters that are more tend towards the middle and independents. And they're more upset, I think, with the establishment. And so that's -- that's the odd thing, is he's put together a pretty compelling coalition so I think that ought to worry a lot of the folks as we start to -- as we start to head south.

The other thing, too, is I would agree with Amanda that one of the underreported stories here tonight is Cruz's third place finish. I think in New Hampshire, in a state that's not very well suited to his profile, that's pretty impressive. But this race is about to get very expensive. Iowa and New Hampshire, they're states that really -- they tend to reward those that do the retail politicking.

COOPER: Right.

MADDEN: Now we're starting to get into a more of an air war. And we're also getting to the part of the calendar where we're going to have a number of states on March 1 where we're going to have to compete. So folks like John Kasich, while he had a great night tonight, he's going to have to wake up tomorrow and raise a ton of money. He's also going to have to really draft off of this enthusiasm that he has with this newfound attention that he's gotten, start to build more of an infrastructure where he's going to be able to compete in some of these other states.

COOPER: And --

MADDEN: Otherwise --

COOPER: And some of the other campaigns are already saying --

MADDEN: That's right.

COOPER: Look, he does not have the ground game in South Carolina.

MADDEN: Right.


CARPENTER: If he can replicate the New Hampshire model in South Carolina.

MADDEN: That's right.

CARPENTER: And then in March 1st.

MADDEN: That's why with Bush tonight, you know, it is going to help him because he actually is still well funded. And he does have probably as impressive a ground game as anybody in -- in South Carolina so the fact that he's got a super PAC that's well funded and a good ground game, it's starting to tilt towards him.

COOPER: You just pointed out with 75 percent of the vote, I think now Bush is within 500 or so of -- actually yes, within 500.

MADDEN: Look at that, like a virtual tie.



COOPER: It's been about 600 so it's actually a little bit closer right now.

BORGER: Don't you think the big funders, though, on the Republican side are going to continue to hang a little bit back?


BORGER: Because they were kind of waiting for this to all settle out before they put up their dough and now it's not settled at all. So you're going to -- aside from Kasich maybe being able to fundraise off of this, I think the big funders --

MADDEN: And that's why those with -- yes.

BORGER: Don't know where they're going to go.

PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The danger, at what point do they hang? Do they hang as long as it becomes a two-person race?

AXELROD: Well, that's --

BEINART: I mean, if you think --


BEINART: When you think about how many delegates the two of them can get on March 1st in those southern, deep southern states, they could be so far ahead of these guys. It could be too late. (CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: It just may be that Donald Trump ends up as the establishment candidate.


CARPENTER: That's right. Yes.


COOPER: We got to -- let's go to Wolf, who is looking at more numbers -- Wolf.

BLITZER: You know what, a lot of people in South Carolina were watching very, very closely. Specifically two groups of voters we invited, Democrat and Republican, two separate groups they've assembled at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. We're going to get an indication where they come out as a result of what happened in New Hampshire tonight. They've been watching our coverage all night.

When we come back, we're going to South Carolina. That's the next big contest. Together with Nevada, we're watching this race for the White House, our first indication about South Carolinians are reacting when we come back.


[23:27:24] BLITZER: Two very impressive wins tonight. On the Democrat and the Republican side. On the Republican side Donald Trump impressively wins with 34 percent of the votes, 60 percent, number two John Kasich, the Ohio governor. There's a fight underway right now for third place. Ted Cruz is at 12 percent. There you see it's changing a little. Jeb Bush just behind at 11 percent. Marco Rubio just behind Jeb Bush at 11 percent. Chris Christie, a very disappointing, only 8 percent in New Hampshire.

And we're looking at Donald Trump, he's almost 40,000 votes more than double John Kasich in new Hampshire.

On the Democratic side, also a very impressive win by Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont. 60 percent to Hillary Clinton's 39 percent. He beats her so far by almost 40,000 votes. Still plenty of votes left outstanding. But this is an impressive win by Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. A very impressive win by Donald Trump in New Hampshire as well.

The next big contest are going to be in South Carolina. I want to go to Randi Kaye right now.

Randi, you've assembled groups of voters in South Carolina to get an assessment. They were watching our coverage. And we're going to get the initial indication of how they responded.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Wolf. We are here in Charleston, watching with a group of undecided voters, about 65 undecided voters. We could show you the big group here. On this side of the room, we have the Democratic voters, on the other side of the room, we have the Republican voters. We'll get to them in just a second.

But I want to ask the Democratic voters here, Bernie Sanders did so well tonight. Winning New Hampshire, did he change any of your minds? Has anyone decided to vote for Bernie Sanders tonight? Raise your hand. That wasn't going to vote for him before? All right. So we have a small hand about five. About a handful of our undecided voters there have now decided.

So let me ask here on the Republicans side, John Kasich, also a big surprise in New Hampshire. Raise your hands. Did John Kasich win any of you over tonight? Not one person raising their hand. OK. How about Donald Trump? Did Donald Trump coming in first, win anyone over tonight? You decided, you decided, four people decided on Donald Trump.

Now we were able to see their reaction tonight in real time because they all had in their hot little hands, Wolf, one of these, it's a dial tester. So right now it's neutral on 50. But when they like what they were saying in their speeches, they would turn it up, so there it is at 83. And then they would turn it down if they didn't like it. So at one point Donald Trump was speaking tonight, and this group had a big reaction. Watch this.


TRUMP: We are going to preserve our very sacred Second Amendment. There's not going to be anymore chipping away at our Second Amendment. If we had protection in California recently, and so many other places.

[23:30:00] You could even look to Paris. If there were bullets going in the other direction, believe me, it would have been a whole different story, folks. But nobody had protection.

KAYE: So, the dial really spiked there for Donald Trump when he was talking about the second amendment and having people be armed with their own guns. Hope, what do you think? I know you said, coming in tonight, that you sort of felt like you aligned with Donald Trump, but he's not your guy.


KAYE: What's the problem?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even though he says he's a winner, he's not my winner, and he just doesn't tell us how he's going to it. He says he's going to eliminate ISIS, but he's just going to do it. He's going to build a wall, but he's just going to do it. And, it's a simple wall, too. But --

KAYE: All right. So, let me ask -- let me ask Sam, next to you, who's a big fan of Donald Trump, and you've already decided on him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like Donald Trump more than all the other candidates.

KAYE: What do you like about him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says he's a winner, and he won.

KAYE: And you think he can get it done, right? You like all the promises and all his plans?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I like the fact that he's not a politician, and I think that he can do much better. The country needs to change and he's the man for it.

KAYE: So, you think you're getting close to deciding on him 100 percent?


KAYE: All right. OK. Well, let's move back over to the Democratic side because they had a big reaction, of course, to Bernie Sanders, who was the big winner in New Hampshire tonight. And they, especially, reacted to this soundbite during Sander's speech. Watch this first.


BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, we will not allow huge tax breaks for billionaires. We will not allow packed -- huge cuts to Social Security, veterans' needs, Medicare, Medicaid, and education.


KAYE: All right. And let me ask Becca, here, because you came in tonight as a Bernie Sanders supporter. You have a few doubts, but you still really like him. What do you think of his big win in New Hampshire?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was, actually, a lot bigger than I expected, and I still really like a lot of his ideas. But, actually, was swayed by Hillary's speech.

KAYE: Really? So you've changed your mind?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I'm still undecided, but I -- while I still -- I love what Bernie had to say. I love what they both had to say, definitely. Maybe more undecided tonight than I was when I came in.

KAYE: You're going in the wrong direction.


KAYE: But you're a college student --


KAYE: -- and you think -- you really do like what Bernie Sanders has to say, which you could see he was surrounded by young people tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. Yes, and I think, again, you know, obviously, as a college student I love all of the -- all of the ideas that he has that focus on higher education and making that easier on people. But, as I've said, I'm also concerned about how those things can be implemented. So, in that respect I might a little more interested in what Hillary has to say.

KAYE: All right. Anybody else here decide on Bernie Sanders? Anyone? Anyone? Anybody here decide on Bernie Sanders? All right. Well, oh, oh, here. Let me just ask this gentleman quickly. What made you decide on Bernie Sanders, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Specifically, his commitment to do something about mass incarceration of African-Americans and Latinos. That really impacted me, and I didn't feel that he had those kinds of sensitivities before. But, he said it with such passion and such conviction tonight, he won me over.

KAYE: All right. Well, we like the sound of that. We want voters to be decided, not undecided, but it's always so interesting to hear all these opinions. And I can tell you tonight, Wolf, that of our group of about 65 undecided voters, I'm told that 23 have decided after watching the speeches tonight and all of the debates that they've seen so far. Wolf, back to you.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Very good focus group in Charleston, South Carolina. We're getting ready to head down there for the Republican and Democratic contest. Randi, thanks very much. Thanks to all the people who assembled there at the College of Charleston. Let's go over to John King right now. John, we're getting more information. Seventy-seven percent of the vote is now in. What an impressive win for Donald Trump tonight.

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As I think many have said it before me, he would say it's huge, right?


KING: Look, it is an impressive win. Polling above his last poll, so he over-performed tonight. The big criticism of Trump after Iowa was that he underperformed. Different caucus to primary system, but he over-performed tonight. Kasich has second place locked up, Wolf. This is an interesting battle right now. Jeb Bush trails 800 votes there. Ted Cruz -- can Jeb Bush make up those votes? The answer is yes. It won't be easy, but it's possible. Let me show you why it's possible.

There's two decent-sized places still out. This is Salem, right down here, a suburb right along the Massachusetts border. It's a little more than two percent of the state population. And if you go back in time -- let me move this down so you see the top of the pack here -- slide that down. Mitt Romney won with nearly 60 percent of the vote. And if you go back to 2008 it stood between Romney and McCain. So -- and really, Giuliani was third. These are establishment, mainstream Republicans there. So, it's

possible when the Salem votes comes in you expect Trump to win because he's running everything around it, but Bush could make up some ground there. We'll see as it goes out. One other place I want to show you is Rochester, right up here, right along the main border. Rochester, again, a little more than two percent of the population. So, about five percent of the population's still out. We have -- they're alphabetical here because we have zero percent of the vote in. Rochester's, actually, an indicator of how New Hampshire goes from, since in 11 cycles -- 11 presidential cycles for 44 years, Rochester's gotten it wrong only once.


BLITZER: Really?

KING: In 1992, it picked Bill Clinton over Paul Tsongas. But, otherwise, in every Republican and every Democratic primary, except for that one in 1992, Rochester wins. So, you can expect that to fill in for Donald Trump, but again, it's a place where, if you go back in time, it was big for Romney, it was big for McCain, so there are establishment Republicans. It's possible Bush could pick up some votes there, but Trump and Kasich expected to get some, too. But for Bush, the challenge is, can you make up the now 800 or so -- 830 votes separating him from Ted Cruz.

BLITZER: Well, there's still 23 percent of the vote outstanding.

KING: Right. So in -- you know, some people will think that's so silly. Why are we focusing about that? This is for conversations with donors. This is for conversations heading on to South Carolina. And, Bush would much rather, even if it's just by a few dozen votes -- much rather be third than fourth as this plays out.

And, just to go down the line and look, very important for Marco Rubio on a disappointing night that he blames on himself in that debate, to stay above 10 percent. If you don't stay above 10 percent you don't get any delegates, which is why this is a crushing blow to Gov. Christie, and there will be conversations, as well, about whether Carly Fiorina should stay in the race because she draws establishment votes. Dr. Carson, last place at two percent, but he's already said see you in South Carolina, which is -- where the next stop, Wolf.

And you wanted take a quick look to South Carolina. Let's stay on the Republican side for a minute. Why does Ted Cruz want to go to South Carolina? Remember what happened in Iowa. The darker the area, the higher the percentage of evangelicals. Let me shrink this down a little bit. Let's come out to the national map first. Here's New Hampshire. Not many evangelicals. Here's Iowa. A good chunk of evangelicals. But, when you get down here, South Carolina is next -- especially up here.

Interesting. Donald Trump launched today in Greenville, right up here in the most conservative evangelical part of the state. Donald Trump, today, launched a vicious ad attacking Ted Cruz. It is a hard-hitting ad, hitting on immigration and other issues, saying Ted Cruz can't be trusted. Donald Trump knows this would be his wheelhouse.

If you go back to the 2008 Republican race -- let me come out the demographics for just a second -- turn those off. If you look at it here, McCain wins the state by winning in here and winning along the coast -- the more moderate coast. But, this is Mike Huckabee up in evangelical country. A race could be very much like this as we go forward here. The question is, is it just Trump and Cruz or do we get somebody else viable. Bush is very well-organized. The other states, as we go forward.

But, if you look at that, that map is why Ted Cruz is happy that this race -- let me come back to the evangelical population. Ted Cruz is very -- March -- most of March -- not all of March, but most of March is fought out down here where Ted Cruz thinks he can do very, very well. And unlike Santorum and Huckabee, the guys who won Iowa the last two times, Cruz has money. Cruz has organization. Cruz has a database.

So, he's looking at this map and he's looking a weakened Marco Rubio and questions about whether Kasich can compete in the south. Questions about whether Jeb Bush can recover. Ted Cruz is looking at the map ahead through March, and you have to be very eager to get south if you're Ted Cruz.

BLITZER: South Carolina, as you point out, very different on the Republican and Democratic side as opposed to New Hampshire, and Iowa, for that matter. Let's take a look at South Carolina and the Democratic contest. A very different Democratic electorate in South Carolina than we just saw in New Hampshire.

KING: And remember, everything changed in 2008 when Barack Obama won Iowa. Hillary Clinton had most of the endorsements in the African- American community -- the establishment African-American community, because they didn't think Obama was viable. They didn't think he could actually be the nominee. Once he started winning everything changed. And look at what happened in South Carolina.

Fifty-five percent for Obama, 27 percent for Clinton, John Edwards at 18 percent. And, if you look at what happened there, the white vote was 43 percent. Obama actually came in third behind Edwards and Clinton, but 55 percent of the vote was African-American. And as we've seen in every election since with Obama on the ballot, boom. Nearly eight in 10 African-Americans in South Carolina voted for Obama. Clinton at 20 percent. Edwards just two percent. That was the difference.

And that is what Hillary Clinton is counting on now, that more than half of the electorate will be African-American. She thinks that's votes in the bank for her, but as the folks across the room have been discussing, that's a great conversation going forward. And, Wolf, again, just to show you if you come out to the national demographic map here, you look at the African-American population, you know. As the map goes south for Hillary Clinton, as well, because we spent a lot of time down here in March -- the darker the area, the larger the African-American population. Hillary Clinton is hoping -- and again, let's see if Bernie Sanders

can make inroads -- Hillary Clinton is hoping the demographics help her. And just one more to show you quickly -- take this one off -- we also go to Nevada next. And, of course, if you come down and find the Latino population -- this is New Hampshire -- again, the darker the area, the more Latinos. New Hampshire has very few. You come out here to Nevada, you see, obviously, a higher Latino population. That's Hillary Clinton's hope. You're into the traditional Democratic base now. The question is, after this big defeat in New Hampshire, can Bernie Sanders make some inroads.

BLITZER: Great stuff by John. Thanks very much. I want to go over to David Chalian, our political director right now. You're getting some more insight. And, on the Republican side, right now, it's fascinating how all of a sudden Donald Trump -- six, seven months ago, who would have thought -- decisively crushing the rest of the Republicans.


DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: That's right. And you know, Wolf, we've been talking for the better part of the last year about, sort of, that outsider lane, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and that establishment lane. And we've seen, sort of, that muddled middle in the establishment lane tonight so we took a deeper dive into, sort of, what is helping them to see if we could figure out the arguments that they now are going to be making as they take on Trump and Cruz in South Carolina and beyond.

Take a look at this. Among voters who said that they wanted their next president to have experience in politics, and that was about 45 percent of the electorate. That was a John Kasich stronghold. Twenty-eight percent of them voted for Kasich. Twenty percent for Bush. Eighteen percent for Rubio, and 14 percent for Cruz.

If you look at those voters that said that leadership qualities was something that was important to them -- more important to them than outsider status -- that's 40 percent of the electorate. Trump won, then, 31 percent, but Kasich over-performing his number at 20 percent. Bush over-performing his number at 14 percent. And, if you look at shares their values, this is really interesting. Cruz and Kasich are tied here. Twenty-one percent for Kasich, 21 percent for Cruz, 15 percent for Bush, and 13 percent for Trump.

You see some Kasich-Bush stronghold here. It's not necessarily in every category are they beating Donald Trump, but they're over- performing their vote totals there. It's the kind of areas that I think you're going to go to and you're going to hear the importance of political experience. You're going to hear what their values are versus Donald Trump's values. You're going to hear those arguments going forward because they see that are big chunks of vote there that they can make some inroads on Donald Trump on.

BLITZER: We're going to be watching South Carolina now very, very closely and Nevada, the next contest coming up. Also, coming up, how will Donald Trump run in South Carolina? That's, as I said, the next big battleground. He's already going after Ted Cruz in the state with a very, very tough new ad. How will it play with voters? We'll be right back.



BLITZER: All right. Let's go to another key race alert. Eighty-one percent of the vote is now in on the Republican side. Donald Trump with an impressive win, 35 percent. John Kasich, the Ohio governor, second place with 16 percent. There's a real fight underway for third place right now. Still plenty of votes out there. All of them have 11 percent. Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio. Very, very close race for third place. Not so much for Chris Christie. He's only at 8 percent. Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson -- they are way down on the Republican side. We'll watch very closely, this race, for third place in the Republican primary in New Hampshire.

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders crushing Hillary Clinton 60 percent to 38 percent, 44,000 votes ahead of Hillary Clinton. A very, very, impressive win. A very impressive win for Bernie Sanders. I want to go back to Jake and Dana. They're in Manchester, New Hampshire watching all of this right now. Guys, what could I say? Two political outsiders, shall we say, non-establishment, crushing the rivals in both of these contests.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: An incredible night for politics, Wolf, no doubt. And one of the things, of course, that we're looking at is we're looking ahead. And we're looking at the next race, South Carolina, where they like their politics a little edgier. A famous Republican consultant, Warren Tompkins, once said, we play it different down here. We're not dainty, if you get my drift. And already, Donald Trump has launched a really tough ad against Ted Cruz playing in the Palmetto state. Take a look.


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

ANNOUNCER: What kind of man talks from both sides of his mouth on amnesty for illegals on national television, and still denies it? Who took more than $1 million in sweetheart loans from Wall Street banks and failed to disclose them, as required by law? Who runs a campaign accused of dirty tricks that tried to sabotage Ben Carson with false rumors? Ted Cruz -- the worst kind of Washington insider, who just can't be TRUSTED.


TAPPER: That's tough stuff. Of course, Ted Cruz is not one to sit back and let that happen. He released this ad earlier tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, I got the Trump action figure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, way, it's huge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does he do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He pretends to be a Republican.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like bailouts for the banks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Too big to fail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I gave money to Pelosi, Reid, and Anthony Weiner.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Hillary. I'll give you money to be my friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at my house, Mr. Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a lousy house. I'm going to take your house with eminent domain and park my limos there.


ANNOUNCER: We wouldn't tolerate these values in our children. Why would we want them in a president?


TAPPER: Well, that is the most interesting interpretation of eminent domain that I have ever seen. Dana, I have to say, we are now entering a truly new phase of the campaign. Anyone who thought it was negative before, well, you ain't seen nothing yet.

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, absolutely, and that is definitely a memorable ad that Ted Cruz has up. But, I thought that the Donald Trump ad was particularly potentially devastating for a lot of reasons. But, if you saw at the end there, he uses Ted Cruz' own term, which is TRUSTED, you know. That he uses the word trust and his first name in all of his ads, and he uses it on banners and so forth -- can't be trusted. I mean, he's really going straight at what Ted Cruz is selling hard to conservatives, which is I'm really one of you. I'm out fighting for you. I'm always going to be your guy. And that's what Donald Trump was trying to chip away at.

TAPPER: He calls him a Washington insider.

BASH: Yes.

TAPPER: Very, very tough. Let's go back to Anderson in Washington at campaign headquarters. Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Sure. Let's talk to some of our folks who actually have been involved with campaign commercials, like David Axelrod. DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I'm a trained professional, so let me tell you that was a negative ad.


AXELROD: A Ted Cruz elective? I think, you know, it wasn't very subtle, it wasn't very artful, but I think it probably was effective. I think back to some of the polling going into the Iowa caucuses and the issues that he raised in that ad were, actually, quite effective in that polling. Trump didn't work them very hard in Iowa. He's obviously taking a different tact in South Carolina. He's just going to go for the throat right from the start and try and keep Cruz from getting airborne.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, that notion that Trump is not a conservative is something that Republicans have been saying on, and on, and on. And, Cruz is clearly sticking to that and he thinks it's going to work for him in South Carolina. I must say the Trump ad was kind of vintage, negative ad, right? Circa 1960, sort of thing?

AXELROD: Yes, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I think it could be effective.

AXELROD: Yes. I think the other one -- can I say one other thing, Anderson?


AXELROD: I don't -- I'm not sure about the Cruz response. You know, it was cute but it's sort of undocumented. It's kids making assertions. Sometimes in this business I can tell you that you can fall in love with creative and you do things that aren't particularly effective.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But, that is a classic Cruz response. Trump goes for the throat, has unsubstantiated attacks easily proven wrong. Cruz doesn't want to get in the mud with him and just answers it with humor. The substance of that ad, what I saw, do you want your kids to grow up with a president Trump? A guy who calls people names, who doesn't have good values, and teaches your children to act like a bully. The answer is no. So, I liked that ad. It worked for me as a parent. It just didn't work for other people.

AXELROD: Well, I think it works for me as a parent, too, because I like -- I also like negative ads that don't seem negative. And it does it in a way -- delivers a message that I think is relatable to a lot of the folks that are going to be considering Trump.

COOPER: Donna, what do you think?

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, first of all, I'm enjoying it. It's -- some of my best moments in politics is watching the Republican race when it gets really dirty. Of course, we go back to 2000 -- the Bush campaign, of course. We Democrats go there with a little, you know --


BRAZILE: Yes, South Carolina. And, the Republicans, they just rip each other apart. I mean --

COOPER: The Democrats never do that? Is that what you're saying?

BRAZILE: Oh, no. I mean --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bill Clinton was tossing bouquets at Bernie Sanders.

BRAZILE: We seem like field flies compared to what, you know, those bumblebees on the Republican side is. No, but's it's going get really nasty. South Carolina's just this marker of when you're heading down south for Republicans going after the real conservative vote. And the notion that Donald Trump is going to allow anybody to get to his right, he's going to try to knock Ted Cruz down.

COOPER: Bill, what do you think on the Democratic side? I mean, you heard from Sanders earlier tonight say they've thrown everything but the kitchen sink, and I expect the kitchen sink to be coming in very shortly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't think the kitchen sink.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, it got a little nasty in the last week, I must say. But, nothing compared to what we've seen online. They -- I mean, the Republicans are calling somebody loser, cheat, liar, you know.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But no, this actually showed up in the exit polls. What you're seeing -- because in the exit polls 79 percent of Democrats said they would be satisfied with Sanders. Sixty-two percent said they'd be satisfied with Clinton. On the Republican side the high man was Trump at 49 percent of Republicans saying they'd be satisfied. Cruz and Rubio, they were -- a majority said they would not be satisfied with them. They've got a big problem in their party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. What really worries me going into South Carolina is, I mean -- the most shocking statistic from New Hampshire, for me, is the fact that two-thirds of Republicans support Cruz' ban on Muslims coming to the United States. And, New Hampshire is a considered Republican --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry, Trump bans. Sorry, Trump bans on Muslims coming to the United States, right? And, that's New Hampshire, which is considered a slightly more liberal Republican electorate than South Carolina. Given what we've already seen in this Republican race in terms of rant bigotry towards Muslim-Americans, I think it's actually pretty frightening to think what we're going to see in South Carolina where we have a history of racialized appeals.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've just got to say, I mean, have you watched the news lately? I mean, we just had the director of national security, or excuse me, testify on Capitol Hill saying that ISIS was trying to infiltrate the west through refugees. I mean, this is a recognition of that and Trump made -- has an extreme stance. But clearly, we have to do something in terms of refugees making sure that the right people come to this country. So the -- he says, is being racist and bigotry for people that just want to protect our country? I think it's completely off the wall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, wait a second. There are lots of things we need to, but calling for a religious litmus test on who can come into the United States, in my view -- that is bigoted. And we've seen that already in the states that are relatively tame. There's a history of things getting a lot nastier in South Carolina, and I think that's a legitimate concern.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Well, can I just make a clinical point about this without, you know -- my views are more associated with your views, but just as a clinical matter, that sort of point of view -- nativism of Donald Trump, I think, makes him a potent candidate. You know, we say, well, they've got a lot of evangelicals down there. But those evangelicals don't just vote on that one thing.


COOPER: He's been leading with evangelicals nationwide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And I think that he is going to hit those issues very hard because of his sense of the history of South Carolina and what he can do to motivate voters. And that is his hedge against Ted Cruz' vote among evangelicals.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And, having that issue for Republicans is terror and fear of terrorism. And so, of course, this plays into it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Much bigger issue for Republicans than for Democrats.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. Democrats, the economy, et cetera, et cetera.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I do think in South Carolina, Donald Trump is going to be able to tap into, sort of, this sense among many white southerners that they've kind of been looked down on. That they've been forgotten. That they've been ridiculed. He will go in there and say -- I mean, not quite the south will rise again, but that sort of bumper sticker message that you do see on pick-up trucks all over town.

COOPER: Also, kind of, abandoned by the GOP.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Abandoned by the GOP. Abandoned by the rest of the country. This kind of --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our economic national plays big down there with -- you have a downscale, white voters who are numerous in that primary.

COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. Donald Trump celebrating his win tonight, obviously. Talking to our Jake Tapper about the battle ahead in South Carolina and who he sees as his biggest threat. There's more of our coverage ahead.