Return to Transcripts main page


Live Coverage Of Primary Voting In Michigan, Mississippi and Idaho. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired March 8, 2016 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Right now, Donald Trump, he is the winner of the Republican primary in Mississippi. Donald Trump is the winner of the Republican primary in Michigan. Hillary Clinton, she won the Mississippi Democratic primary. So those are the three winners.

Let's get a key race alert on the outstanding race in Michigan right now.

In Michigan, Bernie Sanders maintaining a significant lead right over Hillary Clinton with 86 percent of the vote in. He is ahead by almost 35,000 votes, 51 percent to 47 percent for Hillary Clinton, 439,711 for Bernie Sanders, 405, 343 votes for Hillary Clinton. So 40 percent of the vote is still up. It just change a little bit, but you see Bernie Sanders maintaining a lead of about 35,000 votes. That's pretty significant for Bernie Sanders.

I want to go to Brianna Keilar. She is over at Bernie Sanders what was his headquarters earlier. It is a pretty empty room right now, Brianna. But we just heard from Bernie Sanders. Whatever the final number is, this is still considered a big win for him tonight.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. I mean, the Sanders campaign feels like this gives them a lot of momentum going into these series of contests coming up here in a week, Wolf. And he is really looking toward Ohio, even before seeing his showing tonight, his campaign felt that his message attacking Hillary Clinton for her past support of some trade packs that are very unpopular in places like Michigan and Ohio was working. And they were going to double down on that in Ohio even before seeing how they ended up playing here in Michigan. So that is something that I think we should watch as we go into then new - the next week here.

I do also want to talk about some of the polling. The Sanders campaign on Friday did their final private polling, their internal polling. And what they found was that Hillary Clinton was up by what I was told by one aide was high single digits. That was on Friday. They didn't bother polling over the weekend because they found it is really difficult to get ahold of young people, which are so key to his sort of block of support. So they hadn't poll since Friday. And it is really unclear if what we are seeing is something that have change between Friday and now of if we just weren't really getting a state of the race. But they think overall polling in general in the Nebraska and Kansas before this as well did not reflect his support with young voters and also his gains with minority voters - Wolf.

BLITZER: He is doing very well in Michigan right now.

We go to Jeff Zeleny. He is with the Clinton campaign over in Cleveland right now.

Ohio, one of the big contest as week from today, what are they saying, the Clinton folks, it must be a disappointing night for them in Michigan.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: It is a disappointing night, Wolf. Plus, we moved outside because what was to be a victory party is now over. Secretary Clinton is on her way to Florida. She is flying overnight there. So all this is just coming in to her.

But I talked to one top Democrat, who is aligned with the Clinton campaign who told me this. They said she did not underestimate Sanders. She misunderstood the electorate. And that is something that inside the Clinton campaign, among all the advisers, they are going over right now, how could they have sort of blown or lost what everyone saw was a lead going into this. And one thing that changed was that auto bailout message. So that is something that they are going to be reviewing. As Brianna said, going into Ohio, the electorate of Ohio so much like the electorate of Michigan in terms of white voters. It is the same in Missouri as well here.

So the Clinton campaign is pointing out that they are going to win the night in terms of delegates. She knows better than anyone else. This is a delegate fight. She has been through losses before.

But Wolf, this is a symbolic loss. Michigan is more than any other state. It is about the trade agreements. It is about the auto bailout. It's about Flint. This is a state that she hoped and tried to win. So as she flies to Florida right now, she is going to be down tomorrow, I'm told, preparing for that debate tomorrow night. And boy, I can't think of a debate that's better timed than tomorrow night both of those two rivals still on stage here.

Bernie Sanders is going to, win or lose, even if he narrowly losses Michigan, he is going to race money of this considerably so. But now, I'm told by a Clinton aide that they are modelling is showing them to be slightly pessimistic. They are now preparing for a narrow loss. We'll see what happens. The votes are still coming in as John is watching over there. But the Clinton campaign is now prepared for a narrow, narrow loss in Michigan.

BLITZER: Yes. The won, the Clinton campaign won impressively in Mississippi but not so much in Michigan, I suspect. Michigan more important as far as delegates are concern than Mississippi. But she was impressive in Mississippi.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She was. And that's certainly what the Clinton campaign is arguing tonight on my texts and emails. And I'm sure to your as well, David. That overall they're still going to do quite well in delegates. But as Jeff just said, that she misunderstood the electorate? It's kind of stunning given the fact that you have to be living under a rock not to understand the anger out there and also not to understand that people are both sides of the aisle, they don't like to hear politicians speak. And when she went after him for the auto bailout, may be something that really hurt her.

[23:05:10] DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, it could have. And obviously, it didn't resonate in a positive way for her. There is no doubt about that about that. I also think that you think any candidate, as you know, you covered a lot of presidential campaigns, when you have a string of victories, you are convinced you are fully understanding the electorate and it is tapping into it. And then also of you're faced with this reality.

Jeff mentioned, Ohio and Missouri. And this is true, they are both -- if you look back in 2008, the electorate was about 76 percent white in both states in the 2008 primaries. So that looks like a good area for Bernie Sanders to focus on in these upcoming states. If you add the delegates available in Ohio and the delegates available in Missouri, they equal the delegates available in Florida. So they are big prizes next Tuesday and they are going to be good turf for him potentially.

BASH: They certainly could be. But let's look a little bit more at why we think that this is so close and perhaps Bernie Sanders win in Michigan.

CHALIAN: Let's take a look at the two key demographics that we have been talking about a lot tonight. Let's look at age. Among 18-29 year old, Bernie Sanders defeat Hillary Clinton 81 percent to 18 percent among the Michigan Democrats today. They made up about 20 percent of the electorate. Seniors turned out in the same numbers. So 65 and older, this is a Clinton category, 69 percent to 30 percent. She didn't win seniors by as large a margin as he won young people and they came out and turned out in equal parts.

Now here are the racial breakdowns here. If you have look at white voters, Bernie Sanders wins them 15 points, 57 percent to 42 percent. Among African-Americans, which we have been staying made up about a quarter of the electorate, 65 percent to 30 percent. That is a narrower margin than we saw Clinton win black voters in a state like Mississippi tonight where she I think won 90 percent of the African- American vote down in Mississippi. So a narrower margin. And as we said before, put those two things together among the younger African- Americans, they drew to a tie.

BASH: It's so fascinating. And obviously, the time that Bernie Sanders spent in college towns, Ann Arbor especially, paid off. I mean, he does it in every state, but here it really seemed to have matter.

BLITZER: He is doing remarkably well with young voters out there, college students among others. You got to give him a lot of credit for that.

Let's go over to John King, take a closer look at Michigan right now. Ninety one percent, John, of the vote is now in Michigan. Nine

percent still on standing. Bernie Sanders with 50.3 percent, Hillary Clinton 47.7 percent. He is still got an impressive lead right now. But let's take a look at the largest county, Wayne County in Michigan. Is that vote in yet or are we still waiting?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: More of it is in. But this is why Jeff Zeleny just said at the Clinton campaign headquarters, they're preparing for a narrow loss. Because we are up to 75 percent now. And she is winning 58.3 percent and she keeps as vote's gone up, she's racked up her margin there. And that is a very healthy margin in this county. The question is, is the turnout as high as they wanted? I suspect not if you had access to their targets. And that number there, they would like to be above 60 percent. They would like every last vote. That to be a little higher.

No question, Bernie Sanders made some inroads among urban African- Americans in the Industrial Midwest. Something is not been able to do in the south yet. There is no question. He had a better night. She still won. Got a better night here.

Now, you're waiting for 75 percent. There's still a big chunk of volts to come in here. We will see the final map. But now, you start looking. Where else can Hillary Clinton get some more votes because Bernie Sanders has a pretty big, healthy lead. Macomb county, there's been a tag of war all night long at 93 percent. She is up in a very slightly, but there is not a lot of votes there. Even if she continues that for the rest of it. There is not a lot.

Oakland County where she is winning 100 percent in. You come up here, this is very interesting here. I'm told that among the areas out in Genesee County or in central city, Flint, which is a competition A, about the water crisis, B, for African-American votes. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders essentially tied in Genesee County. We got 40 percent of the votes still to count.

So this one of the places we look for. If it is a big pocket of African-American votes and Hillary Clinton gets them, maybe there is a map here, but Wolf, it is - you are stretching now to try to find the votes to overcome this margin.

Can you find them in Wayne County and some of these areas? Yes. But look. Let's just be - let's go around, 85 percent of the vote in here, on Ingham County, Lancing, Michigan state, center part of the state. But Bernie Sanders you assume he is going to get more vote here, alright. So there's room for Bernie Sanders to grow still.

And you come out here to Kent County, less than half of the vote counted in Kent County. And Bernie Sanders at the moment winning it by a lopsided margin. If that continue there as the rest of that votes come in, that's going to add a couple thousand to his total, several thousand to his total as well.

So, yes, there are some big population centers in Detroit. We are still waiting for a big chunk of votes. But there are many other places where Bernie Sanders' numbers are going to grow, too. So that is not a static number, the 461. And it is getting late and the places are getting short to find enough votes to overcome that.

BLITZER: Yes. More than 25,000 votes they have got to deal with. So that is a significant almost 30,000. So that's a significant number to try to make up with only what, eight percent of the vote outstanding.

Anderson, back to you.

[23:10:07] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: YES. Let's talk about the kind of the warning signs for Hillary Clinton moving forward among white voters, among young voters going for Bernie Sanders. It is not - certainly not - I mean, we talked about this enthusiasm gap. There's not a lot of enthusiasm there for her.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, young voters - I mean, the alarms of this, if she hasn't heard the alarms on young voters yet, she's going to have her hearing checked. Because these alarm bells have been ringing from the beginning of this campaign. This is nothing new. The fact that it's bled into the minority community and particularly African-American here is something that I think would be disturbing.

One thing I want to say, though, is just, you know, exit polls are inexact. But according to this exit poll, she was leading narrowly 51-48 among people who said they decided more than a week ago and she lost narrowly 51-45 among those who made their decision in the last week. So it's not just a Clinton campaign who has to ask what they didn't see in this electorate but pollsters who gave her an enormous lead. There's nothing in this data that would suggest that she ever had an enormous lead.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: And then you have to ask why --.

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It was an open primary. You got to remember, when you have an open primary, you know, your mother said if you left the door open, there's a draft. Well, if you have an open primary, you have independents and Bernie Sanders is winning independents 70-28. That another problem for her.

AXELROD: But, Donna, you think this should be a surprise?

BRAZILE: Of course.


BRAZILE: I'm just saying that you want to know why the pollster may have underestimated. They may have oversampled Democrats and you don't have enough Democrats to offset --

BORGER: You know, Anderson, I just want to say one thing about out debate. I mean, you also we don't know what impact the debate had on Sanders supporters. AXELROD: My point, though, is if it had a big debate, you would have

seen a wider gap and the late deciders. I think she struck a false note on the auto bailout. I have a hard time believing that that is the some polo of the story.

COOPER: Well, let's just pause here. We are now getting some votes in from Idaho. It's the first time we are getting them in - Wolf.

BLITZER: Anderson, thanks very much.

We have a key race alert. This is the first time we have some votes coming in from Idaho where there is a Republican primary, three percent of the vote is in. Ted Cruz has a lead right now at 38.5 percent. Marco Rubio is in second place with 28.4 percent. Donald Trump in third place, 22.3 percent, John Kasich is in fourth place with seven percent. But this is very, very early. Cruz maintained a lead of 447 votes over Marco Rubio right now. But once again, very early. These are the first votes we're getting in from the Idaho Republican primary. The Republicans are voting in Idaho tonight, not the Democrats in Idaho, Anderson. Just the Republicans.

COOPER: Right. Let's continue the conversation, Andy.

ANDY DEAN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: OK. I was saying there's something I'm seeing in the math here that I think is much bigger than any topic we discussed tonight. And I can estimate the -- and don't have a fancy computer at my motel little pad here. But the Republicans are going to have about 1.5 million votes in aggregate, the Democrats are going to have about a million.

This is a swing state, OK. This is even more interesting to think about. Donald Trump is going -- when it finishes just tonight if the math holds about 525,000 votes. The winning candidate on the Democratic side in two-person race is going to get less at about 500,000. So we are seeing Donald Trump with more actual votes in a four-person race than the Democrat in the two-person race.

And then one last thing I will say is that Michigan is a snapshot of the industrial Midwest. So we are going to see Ohio and Pennsylvania go the exact same way. You have got Hillary Clinton losing to Bernie Sanders. I mean, from the Trump campaign, this is shocking and it's a dream because you've got Hillary Clinton doing three things wrong, running badly with blue collar voters, very badly with African- Americans in the north and a depressed turnout. I just do not see Hillary Clinton victory in November.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: First of all, I haven't gotten ahold of them but I've just been watching it on TV for a while. But those are just - those are some false narratives. Hillary Clinton is not getting beat with African-Americans in the north.

DEAN: I said doing badly.

SELLERS: She is not doing badly. She's 51-49 with younger African- Americans.

DEAN: She's losing to Bernie Sanders.

SELLERS: And the second thing is, if we step back and really want to look at the numbers, one thing that we did find out is that Hillary Clinton is delegates closer to the nomination. Hillary Clinton tonight walks away with the delegate basket. She walks away with what's most important.

COOPER: But you don't think there's any troubling signs for a general election in for Hillary Clinton tonight?

SELLERS: Yes, I think there is -- she's going to have some difficulty and she has to recalibrate the messaging when you go through this rust belt. I mean, anyone who watching these polls has to understand that.

COOPER: What does that mean recalibrate the messaging? Because we have seen Hillary Clinton already being criticized for her position on TPP. She is now talking about claw backs, than candidate Obama. It was getting her on flip-flopping on NAFTA back in 2008. Bernie Sanders (INAUDIBLE).

[23:15:10] SELLERS: I don't think it's a question of flip-flopping. And I think what Hillary Clinton is doing and what she has been doing is talking to that progressive streak in the Democratic Party, talking directly to them, going out and talking to those voters. Now, whether or not that was enough tonight in Michigan is still yet to be seen as we still have some votes coming in. But this is now - this is all of - we have to back up a little bit. This is all of a sudden not just -- this is not a total reversal of the Democratic primary.

MARY KATHERINE HAM, SENIOR WRITER, THE FEDERALIST: There shall be no clarity tonight and the Democrats have come through. But here's the problem I think Hillary faces going forward is that Bernie always had enough money and rationale and enough of the chunk of that Obama coalition with young voters to move forward and make his case, right? Well, now when he is a winner, people respond to a winner and even among minority communities there aren't a ton of ideological hurdles to getting to Bernie if he looks like a winner. You could leave more.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is why I think. I think, Andy, you're more right than wrong when you point out that there are some holes in the tire that she needs to be aware of. I don't think that she is running badly with the African-Americans, I think you overstate that point.

DEAN: In the north I think she is.

JONES: She won 66 percent.

COOPER: Van, go on.

DEAN: See, that's what Donald Trump does.

COOPER: Van, go on.

JONES: So look. I think you overstate that she is running badly but I think there are some holes in the tire here. I think if I'm in the Hillary camp tonight, this debate tomorrow is very, very important for her. She is going to be walking out on stage and in all likelihood having actually lost ground with African-Americans and having lost a big fight in the north and with Ohio coming.

So I do think that this is one of those moments where there's a gut check time. I don't think it destroyed her to do that cheap shot on Bernie. But what it did, it made a lot of people, I mean a lot of people say this is the stuff we hate about the Clintons, a cheap shot below the belt right at the buzzer. You don't have to do stuff like that. I hope that they -- if it cost them a point, if it cost them two, that's the kind of stuff you can't afford to do. She's got a big authenticity problem tonight and it showed up tonight.

COOPER: Peter?

PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look. It also remember, the Democratic Party's problem with working class white voters is not new. Barack Obama did terribly with working class white voters, right. The good news for the Democratic Party which is important to remember is every four years there are fewer of those voters as share of the electorate. Hillary Clinton will not win working class white voters.

There was a piece in "Politico," though, which suggested that for Donald Trump to beat her given how miserable he would do with African- Americans, and Latinos and women, he would probably need 70 percent of the white male vote. So, yes, this is a problem for the Democratic Party but it is not a Hillary Clinton problem. It is a problem which has more fundamentally to do with the macro changes in the elections.

AXELROD: I will say, Andy, that as thrilled as you a feel the Trump people are with the result of Michigan tonight on the Democratic side, I'm sure there are people in the Clinton camp who are thrilled with the results on the Republican side, too because Donald Trump, they view as their turnout machine. He is a guy who is going to galvanize Democrats, because he has been such a polarizing figure in this race, at least that's their theory, you know. We will see how it plays out. So I suspect that you guys have offsetting thrilling nights here.

COOPER: But there's a lot of people underestimating other people for a long time. I mean, if can you argue the Clinton campaign perhaps early on underestimated Bernie Sanders and certainly a lot of people underestimated Donald Trump.

AXELROD: For sure. You know, anybody who predicts anything involving Donald Trump after everything we have seen is nuts. I'm out of the prediction business with Donald Trump. So I'm the first to say that. But I do think that the hurdles he has with minority communities are very, very high.

BEINART: When you see the sale of Donald Trump pinatas all over Latino neighborhoods in the United States, you get a bit of a sense and the record breaking registration numbers, you get a little bit of sense they're predicting that he is not going to do well with Latino voters. That's not a bad thing.

BRAZILE: At the end of the day, we might still win. But Donald Trump in my judgment and I have run a national campaign --

JONES: Yes, you have.

BRAZILE: So have you, young man.

AXELROD: You made my night just there. I'm a young man.

BRAZILE: You know I'm sitting next to you for a purpose. But Donald Trump in my judgment will make some of these rust belt states a lot more competitive because of his ability, I do believe, to galvanize and to speak to that anger, as you say, Van that, pain. But don't underestimate black folks. Black folks in the north vote differently than black folks in the south. You can't pander to them. You got have a strong economic message.

COOPER: Let's take a look at the numbers right now. The race is tightly now in Michigan if you look at that. You have 49.9 percent for Bernie Sanders and 48.1 for Hillary Clinton.

We are going to take a break. We continue to follow that and also new numbers in from Idaho ahead.


[23:24:40] BLITZER: Still a key race alert for us about the Idaho Republican primary, the poll is closed a little bit less than half an hour ago.

Ted Cruz, with ten percent of the vote, has been maintaining his lead 36.9 percent over Donald Trump who is in second place with 28.6 percent. Marco Rubio in third place 21.8 percent, John Kasich in fourth place 8.1 percent. Ted Crus maintaining a lead, a lead of about 1400 votes in Idaho right now.

Let's take a look at Michigan right now. It's narrowed a little bit. Bernie Sanders was ahead a little while ago by about 30,000 votes. He is ahead now by with 18,254 votes with 92 percent of the vote in, 49.9 percent for Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton 48.1 percent. So it's a little bit tighter but Bernie Sanders maintaining his lead.

Let's walk over to John King. So John, 92 percent of the precincts reporting, eight percent still outstanding. Here as the question. Can she overcome this lead that he has?

KING: Can she? Yes. We will see. That's why we count them. This is fun. It's not fun if you're sitting in Clinton or Sanders' campaign headquarters or if you're a big supporter of either one because you are getting it to nail biting time. But this is why we count them. And this is why a lot of people a while ago, when Bernie Sanders had that 35,000 lead. Why won't you call it? Why won't you call it? We like to be cautious here and be - we like to count the votes.

What is out, 83 percent of Wayne County, 18 percent of the state population. This is where Hillary Clinton wanted to get a big, big turnout of African-Americans. She is winning the county just shy of 60 percent. We have to see what's still out there and how big of a vote she gets when that comes in. But there's definitely enough math, if you have enough math here if you have some big precincts come in to help her make up some ground.

Now, you started to go from beyond Wayne County, where else are the votes? I think Donna Brazile just made this point a moment ago. If you look out here in Kent County, Grand Rapids, six percent of state- wide population, Bernie Sanders is winning by comfortably in the votes that are in so far.

The question is what's out? I don't have that information in front of me at the moment, 44 percent. The reason I say that because you don't know what is out. If you look at the African-American population, where Hillary Clinton has been running up the score, not as much as in the south, but she tends to win. There is a significant writing where African-Americans population, the deeper the shading, the higher the percentage of African-American. So there's a possibility that even though Bernie Sanders so far is winning quite well in this county, there is a possibility that could -- watch this margin. If this holds up as this vote comes in, Bernie Sanders is likely will have a narrow victory. If that margin starts to go down, could be part of the math that could be part of the Hillary Clinton come back.

So what else are looking for if you come across, 85 percent Ingham County. Again, this is central part of the state, Michigan State University, a healthy sanders lead. More votes for him there. It is not as big of population center, but there is more to commit for him here too. And you could find a few other place like this as you come across. Kalamazoo is in 100 percent.

You come over here. This is the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, again, 27 percent, 28 percent of the vote still to be counted. So there are some Sanders votes there that we assume. As long as he keeps coming is on the trend line. It has becoming in all night.

So you pull out and you look at this. We're up to 92 percent of the state. Most of this is in. You'll find a few counties up here. You look. These are very small. But you keep looking, 100 percent, 100 percent. So you hunt around to find out what is missing.

So in the Marquette area, possibility, again Sanders winning big here. Could be a couple hundred more votes for him up there as that comes in and they may matter in a race this close. But the largest pool of volts still out. Again, we are in 84 percent. This is slowly starting to come in. We're getting chunks every 15 or 20 minutes or so after a long way.

Detroit is a big one, Macomb County, look at that tag of war there, 93 percent of the vote in. So no matter how this one goes, there has been pretty close. It is not likely to affect that much.

In Oakland County is in at 100 percent. One last check up here. Genesee County, Sanders was ahead a little bit while ago. Now Hillary Clinton is ahead. You see, very close here. Again, though, 38 percent of the vote out. If it is down to Flint and it is African- American precincts, could if it matches the statewide numbers among African-American, could be some Clinton votes there as well. This is why we count them, 92 percent.

[23:28:35] BLITZER: Yes, 92 percent.

And he is increased his lead a little bit, 50.4 percent, 47.7. About 24,000 votes or so, 27,000. He built it up nicely a little. So we will see what happens.

But as far as the delegates in Michigan, our concern as Bernie Sanders himself said a win is a win and that would be great psychological momentum going forward, but they're basically going to split the delegates because it's that close.

KING: They are basically going to split the delegates because it is that close. Donna Brazile can explain this better than me. But in some of the African-American congressional districts and state districts, there's a few bonus delegates the Democratic Party awards. So it is possible Hillary Clinton gets, you know, it is possible Hillary Clinton could lose the state by a couple of hundred votes or a thousand votes and either come out in a tie or slightly ahead in the delegates. But it's generally a split when it comes to the delegates, no question about that. Which is why this become so important in the end. Because Hillary Clinton is getting most of the delegates out of Mississippi tonight because she won with 83 percent of the vote there. So she is going to get the bulk of the delegates there. Sanders will get some.

This is what's important to Bernie Sanders, to end the night with this Sanders blue, even if it is by the narrowest of margins. Because next week you have Illinois and Ohio right up here in the Midwest. They are open primaries just like the Michigan primary is. Bernie Sanders wants to send a message, Secretary Clinton, don't celebrate too soon. And Democrats in the Midwest, give me a second look if you haven't give a look already.

Very important despite the margins that stay Sanders blue at the end of the night because of the important psychological message it would send for his campaign. Hillary Clinton, obviously, would like to come back. And we are still stock in 92 percent. The map is there for here. But it's like drawing to an inside straight. It is tough.

[23:30:10] BLITZER: Ohio, Illinois and Missouri next week. Two states with similar demographics.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Yes. I want to play some of what Hillary Clinton said earlier tonight. And this was in the 9:00 hour before the results were quite so clear in Michigan, the race was closer there. She was talking a lot about Donald Trump. Let's listen.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You can't be talking about building walls or turning the clock back. We have to build on what made America great in the first place, our energy and optimism, our openness and creativity. Nobody works harder than Americans. Nobody innovates better. Nobody dreams bigger. And if we work together, I know America will outcompete anybody anywhere in the world.


COOPER: That was Hillary Clinton earlier.

It's interesting that she chose to come out while Donald Trump was giving his speech. Do you think that's intentional? I mean, clear - I mean, all the networks were carrying the Donald Trump speech. Do you think she didn't want to necessarily get a lot of coverage tonight?

AXELROD: Well, I don't know about that. I don't know any politician who doesn't want to get coverage.

COOPER: They usually time these things. They all have television. They know who else is on.

AXELROD: Yes. First, who knows how long a Donald Trump press conference will go.

COOPER: That's also true.

AXELROD: There may have been some (INAUDIBLE). But clearly, she got out there knowing that it wasn't going to be the story that she necessarily wanted it to be. I mean, it is -- I can't stress enough what we have saying all night which is there are two things here, one is the optics and the other is the reality of the delegates. And the reality of the delegates, she is in a very strong position.

On the optics, it really - I mean, if it flips one way, it will be a bigger night for Bernie, if it flips another, but the fact that it's such a close race, a lot of people will go to bed. Hopefully not too many.

JONES: I think a lot of people, you know, tweeting saying, hey, now can Bernie win? Now can Bernie win? I think it's important for people to understand. He can't just do these like winning by a half a percentage of a half of a point. He would have to start winning by 60 to 40. That's tough.

SELLERS: That's why this narrative of everybody piling on and saying, oh, my God, you know, they are shifting. Now Hillary Clinton is all of a sudden the titanic is not the case by any stretch.

But I mean, you got to get through this first. What I mean at this point, she still actually stretches her delegate lead out. She still had a resounding, whopping victory in Mississippi. I mean, she still has some wind in her sails. This reminds me not just New Hampshire in 2008. But New Hampshire, what was that, couple of weeks ago, when she lost New Hampshire by 22 points. Everybody was ready to throw everybody out. Fire everybody.

BORGER: But he has to win tonight in order to continue.

SELLERS: And he continues.

BORGER: We started the evening saying is this Bernie's last stand, right?

JONES: And it could have been.

BORGER: And it could have been and it is not. So he is going to on.


JONES: I hate agreeing with anybody from your camp.

DEAN: Thank you, van.


JONES: But I do think that a sober reflection and you probably see similarly, I do say a sober reflection would have to say, listen. There are some troubling signs here. I think those turnout numbers being low, I don't like that. I would like to think that between having the first woman with a real shot and having a Bernie that our numbers would be coming out bigger.

COOPER: And that's the thing Paul Begala was saying with Clinton super PACs saying that's the thing that keeps him up at night, these little turnouts.

AXELROD: You know, but I mean, I have said this before. It is very difficult for any party to win a third term. There is a certain complacency that steps in. And I think you are seeing a little bit of that here.

But I want to raise a point the Peter - a word that Peter used before, which was authenticity. I was watching Secretary Clinton's speech. And it still the case that Sanders seems very authentic when he speaks. It's almost -- you get a sense that there's no filter through which his words are passing. You don't get that sense many times with Hillary Clinton. She works off of a prompter, a lot of the phrases she uses are kind of typical political phrases. And the more she can get away from that and connect with real language with people, when she does that she can be effective.

COOPER: But how long have people been saying that? I mean, I feel like people were saying that back in 2007, 2008. People said remember when she found her voice - I mean, hasn't that lesson been learned? And yet it doesn't seem to be incorporated.

BEINART: She's not an inspirational figure. She is not an inspiring orator. Maybe Democrats have gotten used to somewhat of a remarkable orator. She's not someone who really inspires. And that is what you are seeing with young people. Young people are inspired by passion and she is not --.

[23:53:02] AXELROD: And authenticity. BEINART: And she's not bringing that. The thing the Democrats have

going for them this time is the high likelihood now that it is essentially a race between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz that they will be able to manufacture that passion in a negative way.

COOPER: Let's take a quick break. We are going to continue this conversation and continue looking at the numbers as they come in, both Michigan and Idaho. We'll be right back.


[23:40:05] BLITZER: We're now ready to make a major projection.

Bernie Sanders is the winner in the Michigan democratic primary. This is an upset. None of the polls going in thought he was going to win. The two campaigns thought Hillary Clinton was going to win. Bernie Sanders, though, emerges as the winner in the Michigan Democratic primary beating Hillary Clinton.

Let's take a look at the vote where it stands right now. Bernie Sanders with 50 percent of the vote. He's 21,539 votes ahead of Hillary Clinton with 96 percent of the vote in. Bernie Sanders has clearly upset Hillary Clinton in Michigan.

Take a look at the map. You see on the right the dark blue states are the states that Hillary Clinton has captured so far in this election cycle. She has now won 12 states earlier tonight. She won in Mississippi. So far Bernie Sanders has won nine states with Michigan. So it's a contest out there.

I want to go to CNN's Brianna Keilar. She is joining us right now from Miami. That's where Bernie Sanders is -- I don't even think the Bernie Sanders campaign, Brianna, thought they were going to win in Michigan, did they?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, they didn't. From the get-go I was speaking to an aide who said, well, it's nice to be ahead, even if it's just for a little while. So that tells you they really didn't expect this.

This is a stunning upset. Just look at the room around me. This is a big campaign event. It was hours ago, that has long since been broken down. Bernie Sanders came out to speak at around 7:30 eastern and was off the stage before initial results even started coming in from Michigan because the expectation is that he was going to lose. It really speaks volumes.

But I think there was a sense among the campaign aides that he was able perhaps to give Hillary Clinton a run for her money if they certainly didn't think that he would win by traveling the states. They felt he would go places and people would respond to him.

And Wolf, it sort of begs this question, even though the delegate math is still very much in Hillary Clinton's favor, it certainly begs the question of if she is struggling in, for instance, Michigan, to perform against someone who has so much energy in their events, is really pulling in a lot of supporters, a big following, how would she perform against, for instance, Donald Trump who has so much energy and has a big following? This is I think the question - this is a question going forward.

BLITZER: You can only imagine, Brianna, what that crowd that was behind you, what would be doing right now if they were still there waiting for Bernie Sanders to deliver a victory speech, what they would be doing right now. But as you correctly point out, they didn't think he was going to win. This is correctly pointing out again, a stunning upset Bernie Sanders beats Hillary Clinton in Michigan.

Anderson Cooper, back to you.

COOPER: Yes. A huge victory for the Sanders campaign. And you can make the argument about delegates. But certainly should not be something that's taken away from Bernie Sanders.

AXELROD: No. And the question is what does it portend for the week to come? You take a state like Ohio where the African-American population is actually smaller than the voting population than in Michigan or a state like Missouri, and you wonder whether he can't make some noise in those states as well. I still think in Illinois, larger African-American vote, a state she has some ties to. Florida, are going to be tougher states for Bernie Sanders. But he's clearly going to be hanging around here and she's going to have to contend with him for some time to come.

BEINART: Go ahead.

BRAZILE: No. I was just going to say it's an open primary, Ohio. And northern Ohio really is like Michigan. So this should scare the Clinton folks, if anything. Maybe they should drink what Axelrod is drinking or have that apple because they're going to have to put a lot more boots on the ground in order to begin to, I think, win back the share of delegates some of the northern states. North Carolina will be good, Florida will be good, Illinois, but Missouri, Ohio --

COOPER: It is also interesting because clearly Hillary Clinton had hoped to start to pivot toward Donald Trump or whoever the nominee is.

BRAZILE: That was a mistake, yes. Wishful thinking.

COOPER: And we have been hearing that in her victory speeches in a number of states over the last several weeks. Clearly that has to be delayed.

BEINART: Right. Because there is larger fundamental problem here. I mean, she has done a good job of recognizing, she recognized a year ago, this party was going left and she got ahead of it. But she ultimately, she grew up in a very different Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is really transforming itself. You know, Bernie Sanders reminds me a little bit of Eugene McCarthy in 1960, a harbinger of things to come. He didn't win but then George McGovern won four years later.

What has happened for a lot of Democrats is they were super excited about Barack Obama. They still love Barack Obama. But even after eight years of Barack Obama, the fundamental structural injustices that they see in society, economic and equality in Wall Street, we will leave much, much team of power. Structural racism have not changed. And so, many have concluded you know what, we need a more radical policy shift if we're going to do something about it. That's what Bernie Sanders is offering. That's what Elizabeth Warren is offering. And I think this is going to be template for the Democratic presidential candidates to come.

[23:45:14] BORGER: With Bernie Sanders, there's no question about what he stands for and when his message is. In many ways, it's the same thing as Donald Trump. There's no question about what his message is on lots of issues. And with Hillary Clinton there has clearly been a shift because Hillary Clinton, I grew up covering politics watching was a very different centrist, third way Democrat hike her husband and she has made this pivot before everybody's eyes over this past year, more so than we have heard because of course she was secretary of state and when she politics were different in the Democratic Party and also when she was a senator.

So this question of who is she and what does she stand for and do we trust her and does she really care about people like me resonates, particularly with younger voters.

COOPER: We're getting some more information about exit polls. Let's go to Wolf.

BLITZER: It is very much in, Dana and David. You're looking closely at amazing win for Bernie Sanders in Michigan. How did he do it?

BASH: Well, David, you can answer that question. And as you do it, explain how exactly the voters broke down in terms of what they were looking for and why that led to Bernie Sanders winning.

CHALIAN: Just before I get into the numbers, we should just note this is a really significant win.

BASH: Sure is.

CHALIAN: I mean, the Clinton camp is correct about the delegates. That this is a psychological boost in a key state and it just means that the Clinton campaign can't shake this nomination season for that much longer now.

BASH: And just to put a button on that point, even yesterday and the day before it seemed as though Hillary Clinton was trying rhetorically to turn towards the general election, talking more and more about Donald Trump and other Republicans. And she still has to make sure she wins the Democratic primary first and that's more abundantly clear tonight.

CHALIAN: Right. So let's take a look at what fueled his victory here in Michigan.

Among those voters tonight in the Michigan Democratic primary who were very worried about the U.S. economy, a little more than a third say they were very worried, he won them by 16 points, 56 percent to 40 percent. Now let's take a look at the next area of his support, which is that international trade takes away U.S. jobs. If you're a voters that believes international trade takes away U.S. jobs, which a majority of Michigan Democratic voters are, Sanders are wins those by 13 percent, 56 percent to 43 percent.

Now let's take a look at some candidate qualities that helped fuel his victory. If you are a voter who said today that you care about people like me, that's the kind of candidate I'm looking for, someone that cares about people like me, 54 percent went for Sanders, 42 percent went for Clinton and, of course, if you're looking for honest and trustworthy candidate, this has been her, you know, deficit all along, 80 percent went to Sanders, 19 percent went for Clinton. Those qualities, the populist economic message on trade, this is what fuels his victory tonight.

BASH: It is so interesting and it is certainly isn't just a warning sign for Hillary Clinton going forward in the primary process, it is also warning sign, Wolf, if she does get the nomination and if she is up against Donald Trump. Michigan the past few election cycles has been pretty solidly Democratic. Not anymore if that is going to be the matchup. She should be very concerned about that state and other states that look like that demographically.

BLITZER: Bernie Sanders' win tonight in Michigan means this is going to go on and on this Democratic contest. It's by no means over by any means.

Alright, Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: It's interesting to see, and again that, honest and trustworthy things comes up in Bernie Sanders' favor whereas in Mississippi it played much better for Hillary Clinton this time.

JONES: Well, she destroyed them in Mississippi. There's no category --.

SELLERS: But she did not win.

JONES: Just destroy him. But that does bring up this issue, which is starting to show up online, as well of her winning red states that Democrats are not going to win anyway and Bernie actually doing well in blue states and swing states. And that's something I would like to hear a little bit more from people know (INAUDIBLE). But if she seems to be stronger in some of these swing states, some of these states are going to actually be the bellwether, she should pay attention to that to the general election, assuming that right now Bernie is not going to start winning 60/40. He is not going to get the nomination.

If you assume that true, some people don't assume it's true, then if you are weak where you have to win against Bernie Sanders, that's a bad sign. Am I wrong?

SELLERS: Well, I think that relies on one premise which is false, which is that the party is going to be fractured going into November which I don't think is the case. I think we still have the unifier in-chief which is the 1600 Pennsylvania when he decides to come out of his bullpen over there to bring the party back together.

JONES: And Michelle Obama.

[23:50:00] SELLERS: That's who I was talking about.

JONES: And if Michelle Obama happens to bring Barack Obama, that's fine, too.

SELLERS: But we still have -so I don't think there is a bigger canyon as there was before.

But I also want to just to talk about the turnout for one quick second. Because people like to harp on this turnout. I have to go back to 2000. It's not that long ago. We had back-to-back Democratic presidencies and in the Republican primary, three million more voters came out during that primary. We know what happened. Donna Brazile knows what happened very well. Al Gore won the popular vote. He may not have won the presidency, but he won the popular vote. So I do think that it's somewhat of a red herring to go down this path of voter turnout when we have an election that is the exact same election, just 16 years ago.

HAM: Let me try to tie these two races together. I think what is interesting in being a surgeons on both sides are running lead story, the banner headline in the newspaper right now. And the establishments are like running side bars and giving you info graphics of how this can all come out. It's not playing to the people who want to be excited about these races, right. So I think that's the problem that the establishment on both sides has.

And then you were talking about Hillary Clinton flip-flopping a lot and people not be sure if she cares about their problems and I'm having deja vu about Mitt Romney over here. But I will say is when you look at Donald Trump's number when it comes to honesty and understanding my problems, he is the only person on the right who underperforms Hillary Clinton.

BORGER: Well, she may have a Romney problem if she becomes the nominee in a general election because she is going to have to run back to the middle which was a real issue for the Romney --.

AXELROD: I'm not really sure that she does. I'm not really sure that she does.

JONES: That's a good point.

AXELROD: And I think one of the things that we see here is that among working class whites, as well as the minority community, there are deep concerns about how the American economy runs. I'm not sure it's a niche issue of the left to say this is a problem. I think Bernie Sanders has actually done her a favor by focusing her on these issues. And she will be a stronger candidate in the fall for having embraced that notion because I think this is the defining issue of our time for many, many Americans.

BEINART: Which is why you're hearing people saying choose Elizabeth Warren. And I'm not saying she is going to do that. But she has - there is - she has to get in front of this issue of economic populism. And she also has to do something to rouse the base because she doesn't do it on her own in the way that Barack Obama did. And so, she may choose someone a running mate to the center as people traditionally do. She may choose someone who actually gives people a reason to be passionate on her own side.

SELLERS: And also, to go, because Van mentioned this red state narrative which is popping up on social media a lot. Barack Obama did the same thing. I mean, let's not get confused. Barack Obama went through the south and dominated and then this narrative came out in 2008 and said, oh, my God, Barack Obama can't win Michigan because he didn't win Michigan before. There was some things going on, a little funky if they are doing the primary process. But that narrative is another red herring. Because Hillary Clinton is taking the same path to the nomination that Barack Obama did in 2008. And I think we have to recognize that as well.

AXELROD: You know, it is interesting that she - her path was through all these working class white areas where she ran a big numbers against Obama.

BRAZILE: And let's go back to the so-called battleground states, Virginia, Nevada, Iowa, Clinton did well. Colorado, New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders, now Michigan. Florida, North Carolina still to come. So we don't know yet that red state/blue state. I would tell my friends just chill out a little bit. But, Anderson, as a super delegate, I love this.

COOPER: You love this.

BRAZILE: The longer it goes on, the more love I am going to receive. I'm going to get love, love, love, so bring it on. More people will participate. I think that helps the Democratic Party, more states will weigh in, more states that the Democrats need in the fall, more people will get, you know, passionate about this, register to vote. So I'm positive now.

AXELROD: So that's the headline "Donna Brazile, big winner."

BRAZILE: I just like love.

BORGER: Can I just ask you? What would or should Hillary Clinton do differently in order to ensure a victory in Ohio --

AXELROD: Well, here's what I would not do. I heard comments around the room here about how she has to refocus on the primary. If that means that she has to go after Bernie Sanders harder, I don't think that's what she needs to do.

SELLERS: No, no.

AXELROD: I don't think she's making a mistake by focusing on the general election. I just think she has to be more also more focus, more authentically focused on these economic issues so that people have a sense that she is really hearing them and feeling their experience.

COOPER: We have to get a break in. We will hear that on the other side.

We are watching the numbers closely coming in from Idaho. Also looking on the Republican side to see who comes in second in the state of Michigan. Ted Cruz right now in second place with 24.7 percent. John Kasich just underneath him. A very close race now for second. We'll be right back.

[23:59:17] BLITZER: Welcome back to our views in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in the CNN election center.

An exciting night in American politics on this race to the White House. Let's take a look at the winners right now. Donald Trump won both of the Republican contests. So far Donald Trump is the winner in Mississippi. He is also the winner in Michigan. Two big wins for Donald Trump.

On the Democratic side, split decision so far. Hillary Clinton won in Mississippi, the Democratic presidential primary. Bernie Sanders in a major upset, he is the winner in Michigan. Bernie Sanders coming really from nowhere, all of a sudden is the winner in Michigan, a very impressive win for Bernie Sanders in Michigan. We projected that.

Let's go to the key race alert on what else is going on right now. There's a contest in Idaho, 44 percent of the vote is now in. It's a Republican primary. No Democratic contest in Idaho on this night.

Right now, Ted Cruz has a solid lead. He is at 41.6 percent to Donald Trump's 28.9 percent.