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Super Saturday Coverage: Trump Maintains Lead in Kentucky; Bernie Sanders Wins Kansas; Ted Cruz Wins Maine. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired March 5, 2016 - 20:00   ET


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ten percent have already been counted. Donald Trump maintains his lead.

He maintains his lead but I want to stay right at the top, just 10 percent have stayed in, but almost nothing from the major population sent us through away.

If you're Marco Rubio, you're looking at the early numbers and you are surely disappointed, just as you were in Kansas, 13.7 percent.

Right now, this is a Cruz-Trump race with Trump. That's a healthy lead right now but I just want to make clear. You've got here, you know, in the middle of the state, Fayette County. It's about 17 percent of population. Lexington, nothing in. And you come over here to the largest county in the state, by Louisville/Jefferson County, 17 percent of the state population, absolutely nothing in.

If you're going to see better numbers for Marco Rubio, you're going to see them in the Suburbs of Louisville, the Suburbs of Lexington and appear in the coming scenario the scene scenario (ph) Ohio Suburbs in northern Kentucky. This number has to improve or we'll be having a very disappointing night for Marco Rubio.

Where is Trump winning right now? You see the map going in. Predominantly rural county is coming in right now. And this is what we've seen in other states. So primary, not a caucus, we've seen this in other southern states where you have Trump essentially cutting into what could be Cruz' country, where you have more Tea Party voters, more evangelical voters.

Trump has had very good success essentially of reaching in what we thought the beginning of the race is Ted Cruz's basket and pulling votes out. And that's what you see in these rural areas, one county for Trump, one county for Cruz, more counties for Trump here.

Again, it's very early, it just come in. Historically, this doesn't offer us much of a test to go back in time. Because remember, this was moved up for Ron Paul, the Senator from Kentucky thought he was going to be a player in the presidential race, thought that this would be his day if he was still in the race.

And if you go back in time, this state was won hugely by Mitt Romney in 2012 and hugely by John McCain because it was later in the calendar, by then the race was in a different position.

So, as we watch this tonight, Kentucky, in an unusual place of being a very important early contest in the race, its senator, now he voted today. Ron Paul didn't tell us who he voted for. He voted. He's not running for a senate seat again.

We already have the results obviously coming to us out of Kansas for a Cruz win. So if you're Donald Trump, you want this tonight. As the Kentucky result is coming, you're hoping to hold this and then get this, that would be a signal to Donald Trump that he'll do well in Louisiana, which doesn't close until 9:00 Eastern. So we're waiting here.

Just one quick footnote, since we're in the neighborhood walk (ph). Let's check on Maine again up to 9 percent now. We just have the 9 percent now and you have Cruz still holding onto that lead. Again we don't know what's missing but Cruz has been holding lead from the beginning. We'll keep on eye that. That would be an exclamation point to Ted Cruz's day, if he can do that.

I just want to say a lot of people are asking me on twitter, "Where are the democratic results?" You just show the gill mark is (ph). We're getting that from our report is on the scene. But the official results, simply, just not in yet. We just have no reporting. When you look at Kansas or you look up at Nebraska, we don't know officials results are coming in. And so we'll just wait and see.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: A little bit slower in Kansas from the Democratic side. As supposed to the Republican side we know Ted Cruz won.

Very quickly on Kentucky right now, 11 percent of the vote is now in Kentucky. 11 percent in Trump's lead has just grown a little bit of to 40.5 percent, Cruz, 32.9 percent. 11 percent of the vote is now in.

KING: Yeah, starting to pull in as what you see, more of the results came in up here. And this is county, our lowest county, it's a small county but you see 43 percent there. You see these counties along the border, another 43 percent, another 40 percent there.

So, Donald Trump as these rural counties come in, remember significantly, again, you don't make too much of this, but Ohio comes up on the 15th. This is a slugfest between Donald Trump and the Governor John Kasich in Ohio.

So, one of the things we watch and (ph) to see how Donald Trump and all the candidates, do right along the border here because often the smaller county is just on the other side as well. This a very conservative area, Cincinnati, along the river to the west -- to the east, I mean. To the east, a very conservative area, interesting swing area in some case.

So, we'll watch these results tonight to see who gets the big price of Kentucky of whether we get hints of what might happen in Southern Ohio. BLITZER: One contest down. Cruz wins in is Kansas, 6 contest to go.

Back to you, Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: All right, well thank you very much. And again to iterate a point from earlier, one of the reasons we're waiting on results is not just because of the timing differences because of the process involved.

This is a really sloppy process, no matter whether it's a primary or a caucus, especially if it's a caucus. We see it again and again and that something that maybe will be dealt with on a different day.

The system as it is still leaves us with the same universe of reality today, which is whether you're looking at Cruz's move or Rubio's lapse, Kasich's kind of inertia as so far tonight, it's all about Trump, right? That's what this is tonight.

Now, people, they'll be some eye rollers on that. Well, of course it always is with you guys. He has the prohibitive favor. He has an entire party looking to unseat him, which many people may think will create some kind of an insurrection at the convention. There is a reason that he has all of this energy around him and ain't just the media.


NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Right, it's not just the media. It's that he has captured at least leading to the intrusive to debate. 35 percent of the votes of 3 million voters, he's beating everybody.

Rubio likes to talk about how he is underdog. Well, he was an over dog coming into this, the entire of calendar, who was designed to help an establishment candidate. He hasn't been able to live up to all the potential in a hype that greeted him as he got in.

So, you know, in Trump, I think, has gotten better as a candidate and I don't think you can say the same of Marco Rubio for instance.

[20:05:03] CUOMO: Channeling Ron Brownstein. Ron Brownstein, not since 1960, has a Republican candidate for President won the states that Donald Trump has across geographic and ideological boundaries.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: And it's because he is slicing the party along a different fissure than we have seen before. And thus, I think, is embodying an historic shift of power within the Republican Party. I mean, the key divide for Trump -- the key divide in recent races has been ideology in religion, evangelical, non- evangelical very conservative, moderate. Those are not the key divides for Donald Trump. As you point out, it crosses those divides.

The key divide has been education. He is dominant among blue collar Republicans. He's competitive among college-educated Republicans. But in every state, his voting (ph) on college-educated Republicans has lagged behind his vote among blue collar Republicans. This is the first time I think, Chris. When we are seeing the blue collar wing of the party, fundamentally drive the nominee. If you think about Romney and McCain, they were more white collar, kind the middle manager, somewhat can mainstream conservatives. Trump really is embodying the effort decades of realignment with the white working class moving more into the Republican Party. I think this year, for the first time, we are seeing those voters drive the train and I think that is part of the reason that you are seeing somewhat ...


CUOMO: So why isn't it -- why does it keep being spun as Trump is somehow corrupting the party and not what Ron is laying out, which is the party has changed?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMNMENTATOR: Not -- well, a couple of things. Those very same voters that Ron is talking about are also coming from the left. They feel they've been abandoned by a Democratic Party that, for example, in the last cycle, talked all about stuff like free contraception, giving someone like, Mark "Uterus" Udall aloof in the place like Colorado.

If you are a union worker in Roosevelt, you don't think that this party is speaking for you anymore. So, you might turn out and you might vote for Trump this year.

CUOMO: But why go after Trump? Why? I want to say, is it? If why is the party -- why is the question, "Oh, we should find a way to get rid of Trump"? Why don't they listen to their voters, and say "This is who we are. This is who we are voting for. Don't kick out our guy."?

CUPP: No, I hope the Republican Party does not listen to Trump and say we need to start bringing back operations west.

CUOMO: Listen to your voters.


CUOMO: Listen to your party members.

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The reason this happens. I hate to say this, but when Ronald Reagan picked George H.W. Bush as his Vice President, my friend Ron (ph), and we've talked about this before, later wrote these memoirs that he felt that Reagan had mistakenly cut the fuse in Reagan revolution by setting up a succession for these first establishment Republicans.

That is in fact, what's happened. Every nominee, after Reagan, was a member of that establishment and these folks, God bless them, are tone-deaf a lot of times.

I mean, Reagan changed the Republican Party, brought in blue collar folks and brought in Democrat support and brought in independents, et cetera. And the country club Republicans took it back.


BROWNSTEIN: George W. Bush doesn't really fit that nerve (ph) because he appealed to both wings of the Republican Party, and he also ...

LORD: But he couldn't put it together in any sort of -- I mean, those 537 votes in Florida in the Supreme Court.


CUOMO: And he would have gotten a beating (ph). In this primary, you could speculate, as a sitting governor from a family that had a president in it. You know, he could have been really charged.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: This conversation assumes that the GOP composition has been static since the time of Reagan and it hasn't been. Not only has it changed, Ron, it has diminished.

There's a reason that 42 percent of the country, according to Gallup, are now Is, not Rs, not Ds and most to that has come at the expense of the Republican Party.

CUOMO: Right.

CALLAN: Who is left behind? The folks who buy in (ph) the Trump's message.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: You know. I think a lot of this is motivated by the fact that you had eight years of President Obama and the Republicans who have been out of power and economic, they haven't had a raise in 15 years. They're really upset about it and republicans, the voters that you speak about are angry or the democrats like Obama. The democrats' poll (ph) always points out, are happier this year than republicans and that anger and the frustration of not being able to raise your income over the last 15 years is by the way what drives voter ...

CUOMO: It's like 30 years if you adjust or do right call of that.

BORGER: What drives people to Trump and to Bernie Sanders.


CUOMO: All right, quick point and we have to go to wall (ph).

SALLY KOHN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTTATOR: All of this was the potentials. This is something that I liked about Trump at the beginning and I'll say it. It was the potential to sort of re-change the politics in America from traditional left/right to elite versus populous.

I think that is the one thing that we could all, maybe align on, I mean, bear in mind, the Tea Party began not as a social right movement, it begin as opposition to the taxpayer of the big banks. But Trump's danger has (ph) recombines that with this xenophobic, you know, ugly strain of nationalism and that I think scares the party. That's true. CUOMO: That is one perspective on him.

[20:09:55] The other is one is that there seems to be a double-edge virtue to him that he is an elitist, who at the same time, is harnessing the angst and potential for deliverance of those who are in the ...


[20:10:06.] BROWNSTEIN: Not only in the elite's, he's elite at the distinct groups in the society now (ph).

CUPP: Correct.

CUOMO: That's true. Now all of these at theoretical that luckily with elections it gets played out in the practical and that comes in our results, and that's why we go back to you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Thanks very much, Chris.

With the discussion, it's Super Saturday. By the end of the night, 22 States will have weighed in and as it stands right now, Marco Rubio will have won precisely one state. That's as it stands right now.

CNN projects Ted Cruz will win the Kansas Republican caucuses.

Today, he could very well win another state before the night is out. If he does, Cruz could use that as more evidence that the Republican race is now really a two-man fight between Cruz and Donald Trump. The Republican vote in Kansas is the only race CNN has projected so far tonight.

But we're getting hard numbers coming in from across the country. Democrats in Kansas, Republicans in Kentucky, Republicans in Maine, Democrats and Republicans in Louisiana, Democrats in Nebraska, we're going to be able to project all those races over the next few hours.

So, here's the news. Stay right here for CNN special coverage.


BLITZER: We got a Key Race Alert. In Kentucky, the Republican Presidential Caucuses, 16 percent of the vote is now in Donald Trump expanding his lead over Ted Cruz.

[20:14:57] Trump now at 43.5 percent, Cruz is 30.6 percent, Rubio and Kasich, a distant third and fourth, only 12.9 percent for Rubio and 11.1 percent for Kasich.

In Maine, it's the same. Still 9 percent of the vote has been counted. I'll review for our viewers who may just be tuning in. Cruz is at 43 percent. He's ahead of Donald Trump. In Maine right now, 36.6 percent for Trump. Kasich is in third place, 11.1 percent. Marco Rubio is down in fourth place with only 7.8 percent.

The numbers by the way have just changed in Kentucky. Again, let's go back to Kentucky, 18 percent of the vote is in. Trump is at 41.9 percent. Cruz is at 30.6 percent in Kentucky. It looks like Donald Trump is doing much better in Kentucky right now than he had been doing earlier in Kansas, which Cruz won.

BASH: It's right and you'll be -- we're talking earlier in the night about how Ron Paul had these rules changed because he couldn't technically or legally be on the ballot for president and for senate.


BASH: In a primary which is why he made these caucus and helps pay for it. I was actually in PollHouse because I interviewed his wife back when he was running. So, I have this vision right now of them sitting in the living room with him throwing things at the television saying, "This is what I created." Because he went out really rallying on Donald Trump and now he's winning.

CHALAIN: He did, indeed.

Listen, I think Kentucky is a State that it is clearly hospitable to Trump's message and if you look at his other victory across the country thus far, it would not surprise many people, I think, to see Trump doing well in Kentucky.

Our Kyung Lah (ph) said something interesting. We have no votes yet from Jefferson County, the largest county in the state where Google (ph) is.

But she has heard from an official there that in 2012, which was a primary, 26,266 votes forecasted the Republican primary in 2012 in Kentucky. Today, which is a caucus, which usually does not get the turnout that our primary does, 34,184 votes have been cast in the caucuses today. Now, of course, the primary, Mitt Romney and all -- but wrapped up the nomination by May in the Kentucky primary last time. This is still the sign of a very engaged Republican contest but it's surprising, you go from a primary to a caucus and you see an increase of 8,000 votes.

BASH: So maybe -- well, maybe a signal of why Donald Trump is doing pretty well, at least at the early count, because he seems to be really getting a lot of people out to the caucuses and to the primaries and people who have not been as engaged in recent years.

TOOBIN: Yeah. And if he emerges with the victory in Kentucky -- we don't know -- we have a lot of votes to count obviously but if he does emerge on the victory in Kentucky -- you know it -- Donald Trump's one of his biggest talking voices that he is increasing Republican Party participation this year and that he says that a sort of a warning to those and that sort of never-trump-stop-Trump (ph) movement when he says, "I'm bringing in voters to the party."

BASH: Right, and that the warning is I'm going to take my voters, Wolf, but I'm going to -- who knows what.

BLITZER: All right, guys, standby. Once again, we're getting more results coming in from Kentucky and we're watching that closely. Hopefully we'll get some more results very soon from Maine as well in the mean time.

Lets' take a quick break.




BLITZER: All right. Let's get another Key Race Alert right now in the Kentucky Republican Presidential caucuses. 19 percent of the vote is now in.

Trump maintaining his lead to stand from 41.4 percent, 31 percent for Ted Cruz, he's got a lead about of 4,079 in 16,132 for Trump, 12,053 for Cruz, Rubio and Kasich a distant third and fourth.

In Maine, still only 9 percent of the vote has been counted. Cruz is ahead of Trump there, 43 percent to 36.6 percent. Kasich is in third place. Marco Rubio in fourth place. We should be getting more numbers from Maine and Kentucky coming in very soon.

I want to walk over to John King. Kentucky is a key state, a key state for the Republicans right now. Donald Trump is doing well. He wants to win the state badly.

KING: He sure does. He wants to make a statement, especially after the Ted Cruz winning Kansas and a convincing Ted Cruz win in Kansas. Donald Trump wants to cause any conversation out there that maybe there's a pause at the Donald Trump movement and he wants to pick up another Southern state as we moves forward (ph).

You know that we just have 20 percent in account. This has been a lead that Donald Trump has been holding for some time but as a caution, a largest county in the state, Jefferson County right here, Louisville, David Chalian just said a little bit earlier. You know, our reporters in the ground hearing about high turnout there. They've got absolutely nothing.

So we're still missing a huge chunk about there, also missing huge chunk of vote here in the middle of the state, Fayette County, you know, only 17 percent of the state population, we have absolutely nothing in the city and suburbs around here are very important. And then the republican contest in the state in.

We have some of the Cincinnati suburbs right here, Campbell County. Ted Cruz is winning this particular county. It's all in but we're over -- if you move over one county here, we're coming to this Cincinnati that just shy of 4 percent. These are the fast growing Cincinnati suburb during Kentucky just across the river from Southern Ohio. So we're waiting for votes up there as well.

But at the moment, because of his support in the rural areas, you have Donald Trump pulling up a lead. And again, this is like something we've seen walk across. I want to just bring up a map here toward (ph) evangelical population across the United States of America. The deeper the shading, the higher of the percentage of the evangelicals in these areas.

Six months ago or even more than that before Donald Trump got in the race. When you look at this nationally, this was supposed to be the Ted Cruz's country. This was supposed to be Ted Cruz's Foundation from South Carolina all the way across to Texas that brought him the nomination.

We come back now to the map of what's happened so far in the states. It's been Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump. The only Texas and Oklahoma, as Ted Cruz delivered here.

So if Trump can add to Kentucky to his numbers tonight, not only is he making a statement on Super Saturday that there might be a couple of Cruz wins but the shift is just fine, but he's making a broader statement about the state of the race.

And, again, Cruz delegate-wise will be making the case for days that I'm the closest guy to Donald Trump and Marco Rubio is way, way, way behind me. But Donald Trump will be making the case, this is the base of the Republican Party across the south and I'm winning big.

BLITZER: Yeah, we're still waiting for Louisiana close over there. That's a primary, that's not a caucus. 9:00 p.m. Eastern, that's when Louisiana closes. We'll see what happens there.

Let's go back to Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Thank you very much, Wolf. We left you with a very thrilling question, a long, long time ago and now we'll have it asked and answered.

Go ahead, Professor Brownstein.


[20:24:56] BROWNSTEIN: I've asked (ph) Mike a long time ago, "If did you get to the situation of a broker's convention, if you didn't get to appoint where no one had a majority going in, would the convention, if they did in fact try to passover Donald Trump, would they be more likely to go to someone who finished behind him like 400 or 500 delegates say or go to someone completely off the playing field, someone who had not run at all?

CALLAN: Well, I've had nine hours to think of an answer.


CALLAN: If you've heir (ph) two of the other candidates and if conceivably they have as many delegates as Donald Trump or exceeding Donald Trump then I think you can get away with the ...

BROWNSTEIN: The Ruiz ticket (ph) of Rubio and Cruz. CALLAN: Yeah, otherwise, Ron, you have to go to someone who is not a candidate and you know who those suspects would be, right?


COUMO: Wait a minute. To Begala's point, what is the outrage that comes if you do with there (ph)?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This happened in 1968. That was before we did all a lot of primaries, made about (ph) a dozen primaries in 1968. A Democratic Party, about Kennedy won half (ph) then he was murdered, Eugene McCarthy won the other half.

McCarthy's entire campaign was based on antiwar. Lyndon Johnson was conducting that war. He was going to stand force (ph). Lyndon Johnson, the party bosses, forced Hubert Humphrey on the Democratic Party who had campaigned in zero primaries and won zero primaries. They forced him on. They were riots of the street.

Now, the central mission, I think, of Trump's voters is to take down a party establishment. If they are overwhelmed that the convention by that establishment and then a Paul Ryan establishment turns -- put in their place, I mean, I don't -- I hate to sound too apocalyptic, but these people are armed man. They were (ph) Democrats. You know just like strongly word up head (ph).


BEGALA: Quicken Loans Arena will be gone free. Thank god.

LORD: This was done in 1912 and Teddy Roosevelt and his fans thought that they were cheated out of that nomination by winning Howard Taft. The walked out.

CUOMO: What they did do?

LORD: Rented a hall and said, you know, "We stand at Armageddon and battle for the Lord."

CUOMO: So, if you want to tiptoe back (ph) why isn't this a repeat of the Know-Nothings in 1850 or whatever? Why is in that what Trump has going on right now?

LORD: Well because they're not Know-Nothings, they're, you know, good solid Americans.

CUOMO: Well, the Know-Nothings weren't bad Americans. They were just highly nationalistic who use to say, they know nothing about the movement.


CUOMO: They were anti-establishment.


CUOMO: But I'm saying, isn't that similar in terms of there was a fear of the unknown? They were trying to close ranks.

CUPP: Completely. Although, their Know-Nothing candidate lost and greatly benefited the democrats, right? So, that was a more traditional three-party kind of an election.

But again, you know, the 1880 reference is also similar in that, you have 14 guys running in that primary, 14, just like this one. And the front-runners, there were three front-runners going into this. They went through 35 ballots, 35, and then the two of the front-runners ended up throwing their support behind a guy who wasn't even running, Garfield.

KOHN: Why?

CUPP: Why because he had not won his big lost.


CALLAN: They are deliberative bodies. Now they are confirming bodies.

CUPP: Right.

CUOMO: That's right.

CALLAN: It should at least is to confirm. It's like you go to a wedding and the priest says, "Do you take this man?" There's no suspense, we hope.

CUPP: Yes.

CALLAN: It's the confirmed ...


CUOMO: All right different question.

BORGER: Yes. I have a question now.

CUOMO: Different question. Go ahead. What's your question?


BORGER: Why wouldn't Trump pick somebody from the, you know, he said he's got to broaden out (ph). And he even said that I would pick a politician as my Vice President.

LORD: What if he picks Ryan?

BORGER: Well, he could pick anybody ...


BORGER: Let me -- So, Kasich has not attacked Trump.

LORD: But he said he would be the worst vice president in the world. (CROSSTALK)

HENDERSON: He did. He says. So, what is a Trump move he can make?

BORGER: Picked somebody?

HENDERSON: Would you think like he might do that?

CALLAN: I, in fact, think that's what is going to happen.

CUOMO: Is S.E. Cupp happy if that happens?

CUPP: Yes,

LORD: I think he is going to be somebody ...


LORD: Somebody who ran or somebody who's except ...


CUOMO: All right, hold on, guys. We have important news.

Lets get to Wolf we have a winner on the Democratic side and announcement to be made. Wolf?

BLITZER: Thanks very much, Chris.

According to the Democratic Party, the official statement coming in, Bernie Sanders has won the Kansas Democratic Presidential caucuses.

Bernie Sanders is the winner in Kansas. They say 90 percent of the vote has been counted. Forty thousand people participated. Bernie Senders picks up another win tonight. He wins Kansas in the Democratic caucuses.

Let's go back to Dana and company. Dana, very important win, psychologically, politically for Senator Bernie Sanders.

BASH: Absolutely and Jeff you were reporting earlier that the Sanders campaign and even Clinton sources were saying this was a likely outcome and they were right.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINTON CORRESPONDENT: Right, and he campaigned in Kansas, she did not.

He went to Lawrence, Kansas this week for a big rally. But t what the Sanders committee is also pointing too is to look at the turnout. The turnout actually was higher tonight than it was in 2008 with Barack Obama, whose mother was from Kansas, his grandparents were from Kansas and we all know we talked to that so much.

So, the Sanders can make believe that this is the sign that there is energy and enthusiasm out there for him. Now, important to keep in mind, he does not get all of these delegates. BASH: Right.

ZELENY: It's still proportional. These are democratic rules that how they set it up.

[20:29:59] So the Clinton campaign believes that they will lose some certainly but it's a good win for Senator Sanders, no question. Continues that upward climb from Oklahoma to Kansas and possibly Nebraska will find out in just a couple or a half an hour's time the results there will begin to come in.

So for Senator Sanders, they believe that, you know, it's another win in the basket. What does it mean overall? That's still to be determined.

BASH: And David, it's also -- get another indication of how different their appeal is within the democratic electorate, right? I mean ...

CHALIAN: It depends on the states, right?

I mean, in certain states that are predominantly white, Bernie Sanders tends to put together something that looks akin to a Barack Obama that was able to do in those states.

But in the states where there are heavy African-American populations as we saw down in South Carolina and across the South of Super Tuesday for Hillary Clinton, she looks more like the Barrack Obama candidate in terms of the coalition.

One note on 2008 that I was looking up the results, Barack Obama won that 73 percent to 25 percent. We have no numbers yet from the Kansas Democratic Party.

So, yes, Bernie Sanders may have generated enough enthusiasm to get a larger turnout but it will be interesting to see what the split of the vote is but of course is that that determines the delegate allocation.

BASH: Exactly and I'm sure you all have been hearing from the Clinton camp, as I have, throughout the night reminding that she going into tonight was at a higher number of total delegates than Barack Obama was at the same point in 2008.

ZELENY: That's true. And one of the reasons for that there was the calendar was different that year.

BASH: It was.

ZELENY: California was early. Other states were early. So it's not exactly apples to apples. And if you talk to the Sanders folks, they say, look only after tonight, only 28 percent of the delegates have been picked. 70 percent are still to go. The reason Bernie Sanders says I'm going to fight until the convention, some of those big states this year, are at the end.

California is in June, New Jersey is in June, New York is in April, Wisconsin is in April. So, that's why a lot f delegates. So, March is a bit of a drought for Bernie Sanders but his team says if you want to know why Bernie Sanders is staying in, that's why the map is different this time.

We'll see if the party allows it. He'll definitely raise money tonight. We'll see what happen if there's a call for him to sort of exit the stage left.

CHALIAN: A collective delegates and overtaking the delegate lead is the different thing.


BASH: But at your point, he can because even if the party elders or donors they (ph) don't want him to be in there, that's not his financial base. It's the small donors out there.

BLITZER: Let's not forget tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern in Flint, Michigan, the Democratic Presidential Debate between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders the second raise of the night that we have (ph) Democratic Party in Kansas says, Bernie Sanders is the winner there. Cruz is the winner in Kansas as well. Two down, five to go.

Much more of our coverage right after this.




BLITZER: CNN has reported based on the official announcement from the Kansas Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders is the winner in the Democratic caucuses in Kansas. This is his sixth win so far in all of these contests.

Hillary Clinton has won 10. Ted Cruz we projected earlier, he is the winner in the Republican caucus in the same state of Kansas. Let's take a look at the latest Key Race Alert we have on other caucus, we're watching right now.

In Kentucky, first of all, 21 percent of the vote is now official. 42 percent for Donald Trump. Ted Cruz in second place with 30.4 percent. Rubio and Kasich lay down in the third and fourth place.

In Maine, still only nine percent of the vote is in. Cruz ahead 43 percent. Trump in the second place with 36 percent. Kasich is in third place down at 11 percent. Marco Rubio adjusted in fourth at 7.8 percent. We've got two contests down. We've got several more to go. We're going to be making projections throughout the night.

In the meantime, let's go back to Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Interesting look there. In Kentucky you have both of Rubio and Kasich careful there but good on the threshold, Maine, not so much. That will be interesting, too. Remember, it's proportional but you need to be gaining all the time to stay competitive.

All right. So we just got the word about Bernie Sanders and he won a race tonight.

So, let's look at the Democrat side in terms of what this means. When you look at Sanders doing well, not unexpected but there continues to be a movement. A movement. What does that mean on that side?

BORGER: Right. This is where the sort of prairie populism of Sanders really plays well in the states. I mean, he's been talking about it in the states, a lot of appeal. These are former Obama states. So, I don't think it's much of a surprise tonight that Bernie Sanders will do well there.

I think the Clinton campaign is, as Dana was mentioning before, talking about their huge delegate lead and also, of course looking later tonight as we are on the Republican side because that so important to Donald Trump. But on the Democratic side, looking at the margin by which Hillary Clinton is expected to win in Louisiana.

Also, one other thing, Clinton had the endorsement in Kansas. You were talking earlier about the importance of governors or are they lack of importance of governor.

CUOMO: How could every race so far gone the other way in the governor's endorsement.

HENDERSON: Well, yeah, yeah.

BORGER: And Kathleen Sebelius ...

HENDERSON: South Carolina all the -- a lot in the 15th ...


HENDERSON: I think the Democratic race is going to look close in some ways because of the way that the delegates are allocated.

What's interesting is Clinton or whoever, won't be able to really pull ahead but it's also true that it's hard for Bernie Sanders to overcome that lead. If you remember, back in 2008, I think it was like 30/20 in terms of the states that Obama won versus Clinton. So it's going to be a muddled race but I think the underlying kind of factor is that Clinton is ahead and it's going to be difficult for Sanders.

BROWNSTEIN: And we're going to know a lot more in a hurry because, I mean, the Sanders' campaign, he was facing the reality that they cannot establish a consistent or big enough lead among white voters and overcome her lead among African-American voters.

What they have said, is they believed that African-American voters in the Midwest might be more culturally and economically open to them and we saw in the south. We got Michigan followed by Illinois and Ohio.

Sanders have shown that he can compete, the white working class voters so the states are not totally out of reach for him. But if he's losing 80 percent of the African-American voters in the Midwest, the same top the south, you know, we're done in hurry.

CALLAN: What's the difference between the Rs and the Ds is that if you're Marco Rubio and you don't win, your money dries up.



[20:39:58] CALLAN: With Bernie Sanders, the $37 amounts continue to flow on ...


BROWNSTEIN: As Paul remembers in the 80's Jesse Jackson went all the way to end.


BROWSTEIN: As well, you can do that but you can't break out of a pattern where you're winning 35, 38, 40 percent, sure, you can run but you're not going to change anything.


HENDERSON: The hope with Jesse Jackson in 1988 was that he could bring together blue-collar blacks and white-collar blacks and for moment there he won the Michigan caucuses. And that was something that people thought he was curious (ph) on the cover of magazines.

CUOMO: The question that gets asked all the time and never really answered to my satisfaction is "Why doesn't Bernie Sanders do better with African-Americans?" It doesn't make sense in terms of his message. I don't know why it wouldn't resonate.

BEGALA: It's not his weakness. It's Hillary's strength. I think we're looking at the wrong side of the equation.

CUOMO: But what is her access to that community?

BEGALA: But first we give Bernie his due. He ...

CUOMO: (inaudible) when you get Bernie as doodle (ph).

BEGALA: Not being just a generous as a 20-year-old, he got arrested trying to integrate housing at the University of Chicago. He has a terrific record. Hillary has a better record in the eyes of those voters and she's got long standing ties this manage you come from New York.

CUOMO: All right, hold on a second. Lets ...

BEGALA: She got elected twice in New York.

CUOMO: I'm not cutting you off for a bad reason. It's good for reason. Let's go to the Maine, we have an official getting ready to speak right now and let us know what is happening. Here it is.


MIKE VIOLLETTE, AMERICAN PRODUCER: Yesterday, it's been phenomenal. And I'm about to introduce the chairman of the party here. But before I do that, this event is sponsored and I want to mention and recognize the sponsors.

Beginning with Associated Builders and Contractors, please, a round of applause for them.

Thank you, Associated Builders and Contractors, also, the Retail Association of Maine, thank you Retail Association of Maine and also the Dental Association of Maine. A big round of applause for all of them, who have helped make this really special night even more special.

And, you know, there are a lot of reasons why the Republican Party has risen to the place where it is now in the state of Maine. What a great candidates. We're right on the issues, and the leadership at the top of the party. It starts from the top and really works its way down, and that's the way it's happened in Maine.

This party has come back to life so that now we're kicking ass and taking names, and the leader of the PAC, the Chairman of the Maine Republican Party, Mr. Rick Bennett, ladies and gentlemen.

RICK BENNETT, MAINE (R) PARTY CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mike.

What a great honor to have Mike Violette with us tonight and thank you for taking your time.

First, I just want to say a big thank you to the Maine Republicans and a lot of new main republicans across this great state.

Today's success is due to the enthusiasm across this state for people coming out and exercising their franchise.

I want to say thank you to the candidates who competed here in Maine.

We've had a couple of visits recently and all four of the candidates left were campaigning in some way in this state and I appreciate that.

I also wanted to just say a shout-out, this is the first time that we've tried this new approach and I have to say, you know, there're wrinkles and there are challenges, of course. But the participation level, the phenomenal organization and the extraordinary results in terms of raw people coming out and exercising their franchise is amazing. I just want to say a big thank you to the key architect of our process here, our chief caucus warden, Kim Pettengill -- thank you so much, Kim. And also I want to say a big shout-out to our Executive Director of Maine GOP and the rest of our staff. Jason Savage, our Executive Director and the rest of our staff.

Now, for the results, the firs results I want to tell you about is that four years ago we had a spirited contest between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. And people will member that.

There were 5,585 votes cast in 2012. This year, four years later, we saw a turnout of 18,650 Manie Republicans.

[20:45:08] The Republican Party is back in Maine and we are resurgent. And most terrific of all we have literally thousands, thousands of newly enrolled registered Republicans, in the last month alone, in the State of Maine.

Now, without further ado, we are going to show you the results of each caucus location and then I will give you summary information and reveal the percentages and the delegate allocation.

So, here are the numbers. Androscoggin County. The northern part of Arista County. The central part of Arista County. The southern part of Arista county. Cumberland County from Greely Middle School. Cumberland County from Westbrook High School. Cumberland County from Windham Middle School. Franklin County. Hancock County. Kennebec County. Knox county. Lincoln County. Oxford County. Penobscot county from the Bangor region. Penobscot County from Northern Penobscot. Piscataquis County. Sagadahoc County. Somerset County. The other food section. Waldo County. Washington County. And finally,York County.

Now, what is that all mean? Let me tell you the nine people on our ballot. The results were as follows and these numbers include the military absentees. Jeb Bush, 31 votes. Ben Carson, 132 votes. Ted Cruz, 8550 votes. Carly Fiorina, 17 votes. Mike Huckabee, 10 votes. John Kasich, 2270 votes. Rand Paul, 55 votes. Marco Rubio, 1,492 votes. And Donald Trump, 6070 votes with 27 write-ins.

So, the percentages. And as I will remember, if any candidate achieves 50 percent plus one, they win all 23 main delegates. If no candidate achieves 50 percent plus one, then the delegates -- the 23 delegates will be allocated to those who get more than 10 percent of the vote on a proportional basis among those candidates. So, coming in first, in the Maine caucuses is Senator Ted Cruz with 45.84 percent of the vote. Second is Donald Trump with 32.55 percent of the vote.

[20:44:52] Coming in third is Governor John Kasich with 12.17 percent of the vote. And fourth, with 8.00 percent of the vote is Senator Marco Rubio because of that three candidates will achieved the delegates to the National Delegation in Cleveland.

Ted Cruz is awarded 12 delegates. Donald Trump is awarded 9 delegates. And John Kasich is awarded 2 delegates. Thank you, everyone, for your participation and enjoy the party.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER: All right. So you heard it, Richard Bennett, the Republican Party Chairman speaking from Lewiston, Maine.

Ted Cruz picks up his second win of the night, earlier he won in Kansas and now he wins in Maine. He's got seven wins right now. A six wins right now coming into tonight, he had four wins, two more today.

Dana and David an important impressive win, decisive win, they didn't get the 50 percent but he got close. He's going to get the most delegates in the state of Maine.

BASH: That's right, a very important win for Ted Cruz. And there's so many things to look at here but one of the things that immediately struck me, David, is you heard the chairman they're talking about the overall turnout last time around, four years ago whether was a pretty spirited contest there between Romney and Ron Paul.

Last time, 5,580 votes total, Ted Cruz in his win got 8,850 votes to almost 3,000 more that only he got than the total who went. So it just shows enthusiasm is way up. It's not just about Donald Trump because he got more.

CHALIAN: That is key.

BASH: It's about the people who are going out as sort -- as part of the Tea Party win.

One other quick point I want to make before I ask you what you think is the Governor Lepage. He endorsed Donald Trump and it didn't get him over the top.

CHALIAN: That's right, remember he had first, he endorsed Chris Christie in the race and then after Chris Christie put his endorsement to Donald Trump. So, to Governor Lepage follow, despite all of the criticisms that Governor Lepage had made about Donald Trump and got behind Trump but it was not able to deliver in some sort of a Republican machine kind of way.

BASH: Not at all.

CHALIAN: For Trump, perhaps that endorsement came too late. Perhaps Lepage just doesn't have the sway. But I think what is so key of what you're saying about turnout, if Ted Cruz has just robbed Donald Trump of one of his big talking points, which is that only Donald Trump is responsible for this enthusiasm.

BASH: That's right.

CHALIAN: And now Ted Cruz, he, too, can claim mantle to some of that enthusiasm. You know it's not uncommon to see the party out of power when one -- when the, you know, the democrat of the White House for eight years in Barack Obama, that's a pretty motivating factor for the Republicans right now.

So, you see enthusiasm from the out party normally, when some of the other party has had the White House for eight years add the Trump component. And now Ted Cruz gets to claim some of this.

And that's a big deal and I just think this state of Maine, it is not like other places Ted Cruz. He is a different kind of state now to show that he can win in a different part of the country with a different set of voters right now. And that, to me, creates a bit of a halt for a moment of Donald Trump's momentum. And I know we have Louisiana to go tonight and he may have a big night there.

I'm not suggesting the Trump rise is done with or somehow his candidacy is in peril. He's by far the delegate leader, many good state to had for him but Ted Cruz now has an argument that this is a two-person race.

BASH: He just won in New England. Ted Cruz just won in New England in the Republican race which is ...

BLITZER: Won in New England and in Maine, yes, almost every county.

BASH: Exactly.

BLITZER: Every precinct he was ahead of Donald Trump. Two big wins for Cruz tonight in Kansas and in Maine, we're still waiting for the Republican caucuses in Kentucky.

And the Louisiana primary, Republican primary there, they're about to close in Louisiana. We'll see what we can do at the top of the hour.

Stay with us. Much more of our special coverage right after this.




BLITZER: It's Super Saturday. The first test for the GOP since Mitt Romney called on Republicans to stop Donald Trump.

Ted Cruz has just scored a big win in the Maine caucuses, this follows his victory in the Kansas caucuses, where he doubled Donald Trump's vote total.

On the democratic side, Hillary Clinton is looking to pad her lead over Bernie Sanders but she'll have to do it some place besides Kansas since Bernie Sanders has just been declared the winner of the caucuses in Kansas.

There are still races that have to be called for both parties as the votes come in.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. I'm coming to you from the CNN Election Center.

Votes are being countered right now in Kentucky, in just a few minutes, Louisiana and Nebraska will weigh in as well. And we could be on the verge of making some major projections.

On this Super Saturday, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders they are battling for 109 delegates, a whopping 51 of which could be decided in a matter of minutes. 51, that's how many delegates are up for grabs in Louisiana.

And the Clinton campaign has done everything to make sure it takes the lion's share of the votes there.

Hillary Clinton has a big lead over Bernie Sanders in the polls. Bill Clinton campaign for his wife in Baton Rouge this week alone on that have the number of African-American voters in Louisiana both well, for her chances but we shall see.

On the republican side, is anyone's guess who will win tonight, there is no reliable polling data in the State.

Back in 2012, Republicans there voted for Rick Santorum. So could they rally around a Cruz campaign tonight or will Donald Trump to add another state to his coalition.

We're watching all of this very, very closely.

I want to go to CNN'S Jim Acosta, right now. We're getting reaction. So far we're standing by, also, Jim, to hear Donald Trump by he's where you are in West Palm Beach so far, two states have gone for Cruz. He's waiting for the two more Republican states to weigh in.

[20:60:01] JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf, we're inside the Ritzy Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, where Donald Trump will be out here within the hour, we believe, to get give reaction to Super Saturday. It has not been a Super Saturday for Donald Trump.