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Delay of Iowa Results Due to "Inconsistencies"; Biden Campaign Calls Out Iowa Democratic Party. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired February 4, 2020 - 02:00   ET




CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Welcome to CNN's continuing coverage of the Iowa caucuses. If you're tuning in right now to get the results, can't give them to you. Not because it's so close. Not because it's too close to call. It's because the apparatus didn't work.

There's confusion as to why. There are no ugly insinuations, no scary insinuations. It seemed to be about the party structure.

Either it was an app or, according to some campaigns, the reporting wasn't done right, the rules weren't understood, we don't know. The state party has had two calls with the campaigns. The first was found to be very unsatisfying. The second one, was noticed that they will release the results and this is about quality control.

That's no small way of being ironic, given the fact they didn't get the results done. It will be released Tuesday morning. So when Tuesday morning, we still don't know. So in this vacuum of information and all of this harsh criticism from the state party and the apparatus, not the people involved. We know they're trying their hardest but it didn't work.

The different campaigns had to find ways to work the opportunity of the unknown. This is what it was like for the different candidates.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We know there's delays. But we know one thing. We are punching above our weight.

Somehow, some way, I'm going to get on a plane two nights in New Hampshire.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Looks like it will be a long night. But I'm feeling good. Indications it will be close. We'll walk out with our share of delegates. We don't know exactly what it is yet but we feel good about where we are.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is too close to call. So I'll tell you what I do know.



SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Have a strong feeling that, at some point, the results will be announced. When those results are announced, I have a good feeling we'll be doing very, very well here in Iowa.

ANDREW YANG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have to say, I am a numbers guy. We are waiting on numbers from tonight.

We're looking around, saying, what's the math?

But the math I care most about is the fact that this movement has become something that has already shocked the political world. And it's going to keep on going from here. It will keep on growing from here.

TOM STEYER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We still don't know what the results are from tonight. But we came to Iowa for a reason. That was to start. This is the start of every campaign. This is the start of our campaign. We came here late. I think we did a fantastic job.

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So we don't know all of the results. But we know, by the time it's all said and done, Iowa, you have shocked the nation because by all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious.


CUOMO: Now Buttigieg came out last. But he really went the furthest in terms of putting out the message he believes he won in Iowa. If you think about it, it will be tough to rebut that notion.

Winning or coming in second, how can we trust these results?

That's the problem that this inconsistency and the inability to do the one job they had to do will create.

Another winner from tonight may be Joe Biden. If this was, as you saw there, he's going to get a fair share of delegates.

But let's say he's a real fourth or third. That's not good for him. But he will escape the scrutiny between now and New Hampshire because he bought time with this. There's a lot of implications.

But the question remains, when will we know what they know?

Phil Mattingly has some reporting on who knows what and when it will come out to us.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The second call that the Iowa Democratic Party had with the campaigns was another call of frustration. Basically, the campaigns were asking for any kind of details.


MATTINGLY: What were the problems?

Can you tell us the problems?

They wanted the specifics about the problems.

How much information do you have right now?

What numbers do you feel solid about?

They wouldn't answer that. The Democratic Party chair made clear, this is about the integrity of the process. This is about making sure that everything is right, checks and balances and whatever phrase they've been using throughout the course of the night.

They promised the campaigns they would be transparent and keep them looped in. What they were not given, is how much data they have and when they're going to get the answers and when they'll be released.

I think part of the confusion, is you can pull up the chairman of the Democrats, Polk County, a Democratic stronghold, tweeting, "We're still not sure what is going on with the app and the phone lines for state reporting. But rest assured all of the Polk County results have been turned in and are secure. Our thousands of volunteers did absolutely amazing work tonight."

They put a picture up of the results as well. So some of the campaigns are hearing some have turned in their results. They believe that the state party has them.

Why can't they release some of the numbers now?

CUOMO: Save the frustration. And Mark Preston was sitting there he is right now. He threw his glasses in disgust and walked off.

No, Mark had to get a little bit of sleep. He's been doing this all day. We'll have the team up first thing in the morning, which is right now. So Mark has to get a little bit of rest to have a clear head on this.

Those people gave so much time, the individual campaigns, the state workers. We all know how hard it is and how involved it is. And that apparatus was supposed to be better and supposed to be its best ever, in its ability to tabulate and streamline the rules and the redundancies they had.

You say, though, no matter what they said, this was always waiting to happen.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Iowa has been teetering on the abyss for many years. I think it fell over tonight. Yes, good people. They care about it a lot. But this is too important and it has too much impact to allow it to be run in a haphazard manner.

The last four Iowa winners in the Democratic Party have won the nomination. It has had a huge impact because by going first in the modern media environment, there's enormous value in the first rock in the pond.

The thought that there aren't voting machines, that people are using white boards to count from one column to another, leaving aside the diversity issues and all of the questions it faced, it just lacked -- I remember in 2000, in Florida during the recount, there was one county election supervisor, who said, we finally have an election where the margin of victory was smaller than the margin of error.

And I think Iowa has put itself in that position, where the margin of error is too big for the stakes involved.

CUOMO: We have to have confidence in the results and the systems. That's one of the things that's played on.

What are the implications here?

Let's take Pete Buttigieg first. He said, we believe we won, essentially. Every day that he is not declared the winner, let's say it doesn't happen until late tomorrow, it's not just what we talk about or not just what people feel in the field, it could be millions of dollars of fundraising.

Is that a fair point?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: If people are going to take his word that he won. But I don't know how many people are going to --


POWERS: So people are going to wait, I think, for the results. So if he won, there's so many ifs, we don't know, right?

Yes, it hurt him. But we don't know that he won. I think one of the big problems here is, before Trump became president, people were losing faith in institutions. Trump has made that much worse. There's already so much suspicions around institutions, particularly with the Bernie Sanders people.

This is also feeding into that, into the sense that we can't even trust the Democratic Party to do the one thing that they were supposed to do.

BROWNSTEIN: Can I throw in a different angle?

I think muddle is going to be the message even after getting the results. Leaving aside the cloud that's hanging over this, when you think of how this is likely to end up, the winner will have the smallest share of the delegates of any winner ever. We will have four and maybe five candidates in double digits. We've only had four once but never five.

What do both of those things say?

And I think the answers say the same thing. None of the candidates are yet building a coalition that spans the party. All are operating in niches. Sanders does well with young people, Biden does well with older people, Buttigieg did well with liberals, Sanders did well with very liberals, Biden with moderates.

None of them are talking to all people of the party. Buttigieg had the most support in Iowa.


BROWNSTEIN: But that's in Iowa, where everybody is white. You get past Iowa, there's issues with Latino and African American voters. No one at this point, when we get the results, no one is commanding a coalition to pull away from the others, which points to a long and grinding fight to produce a nominee.

CUOMO: Phil, I heard each of you at some point in this early process, not tonight necessarily, but the Democrats say it's all about who can beat this president.

To Ron's point, they are nowhere in terms of figuring that out, not because this is the first step. This has been chewed on and they are out there trying to raise money.

How big an issue is it, that the people in this party don't know if any of these can beat Donald Trump?

MATTINGLY: It's almost like a paralyzing fear, to some degree, right?

There's no perfect candidate if their minds. Whatever you say, Joe Biden isn't this or Pete Buttigieg isn't that and Bernie Sanders isn't all-of-the-above, because of that. You go on the trail and you're out a lot. You find there's a paralysis to it. We can't lose to Donald Trump again.

How can we not find a great candidate?

I agree with Ron that whatever the results of tonight, this morning, it will not clearly send one person above the rest. It takes away the first opportunity for people to point to results and say, OK. This doesn't answer all of our questions. But at least we have a better idea.

CUOMO: Even with Ron's qualifications, it allows you to start to build the case with actual data.

Let's take a quick break. When we come back, we have an update for you. The Iowa state party has put out a message for the media. We'll let you know what it is.




(MUSIC PLAYING) DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: We're back with CNN's coverage of the Iowa

caucus. We're getting new information that is coming in from the Iowa Democratic Party.

And also, from my reporters out on the field, one of which is Dan Merica.

You were on that second call that wrapped up a short time ago.

What did the party chair say happened?

Did he offer conclusions about anything to the folks on the call?

DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: The short answer is no. It was a heated call, where the Iowa Democratic Party chair, Troy Price, faced some intense incoming from Democratic campaigns, most directly Bernie Sanders' campaign, about the transparency of the Iowa caucus process.

Price continued to defend the process, saying they were trying to, quote, "ensure the integrity of the process," and promised to, quote, "keep campaigns in the loop" throughout the entire saga.

That did not quell any concerns. When Price was pressed by the Warren campaign, about what percentage of information the party has, he wasn't able to give a direct answer. He said he'd get back to them on that because they are, quote, "still gathering information."

When he was asked how confident they were, that every single caucusgoer filled out a preference card, he said, yes.

Then that sparked criticism from the Bernie Sanders campaign, especially from Jeff Weaver, the long-time adviser to Bernie Sanders, who called what Price was saying, quote, "bogus."

He accused Price of saying it was a reporting issue and said, if it were true, all of the issues were going on, quote, "the whole process has been a fraud for 100 years."

That's a criticism of Price and the entire Iowa caucus from the Bernie Sanders campaign. Price repeatedly fell back on they were trying to protect the integrity of the process. And he ended the call, saying, we'll be transparent as we go forward through this process. We're want to make sure we're protecting the integrity of the process and the result. We'll keep you in the loop.

It's safe to say that the campaigns are not happy.


LEMON: Let me jump in. This is Troy Price, chairman of the Iowa Democratic Committee.

How many people are physically doing this counting, did they tell you?

MERICA: They did not say at the time. A number of Iowa Democratic Party officials have been holed up here at an event space in Iowa, away from the press. Some have left over the last few hours. There's still some that we believe to be up there.

In all honesty, we don't know how many people are up there. We don't know what percentage of the vote they have in at this point.

LEMON: Let me ask you a couple of things as well.

Did anyone talk about the system at all being compromised?

MERICA: No, repeatedly, the Iowa Democratic Party repeatedly said, there was no hack, no intrusion. On the call on the campaign, the app did not come up. But the party has been very, very repeatedly claiming there's no hack. There's no intrusion into the reporting process.

It was more of an issue with getting the information to the party and not that someone had hacked into the system.

LEMON: A couple more questions; sources are texting me, saying, on the call with campaigns that they would release results on Tuesday. That's been reported. They provided no specificity when that would be. They provided no information on how they would verify the official results.

Did you hear that?

MERICA: Yes. On a later call, shortly after this call I was able to listen to, that was supposed to be just with campaign aides, Price had a call with the press, where he read a statement. He did not take questions from reporters.

LEMON: That was the one where they didn't take questions and hung up, right?

MERICA: Very, very short. He said, quote, "We expect to have numbers to report later today." I assume that means at some point on Tuesday we will get some numbers from the Iowa Democratic Party; when that will be is anyone's guess at this point.


LEMON: So the campaigns believe it's not just the app that didn't work. There are numerous reports that precinct chairs did not gather preference cards from every caucusgoer. Precinct chairs left because they couldn't report the results.

MERICA: One of the bigger concerns is the call-in system. In previous caucuses, it has been used. If you're head of a caucus, you collect your numbers and you get the count and then you call in to the Iowa Democratic Party. That's how you report the numbers from your precinct.

According to a number of people, campaigns and different precinct chairs, that number was backed up for hours on end. So the point that, according to the head of the Polk County Democratic Party, the largest county here in Iowa, they, at some point just kept all of the paper ballots. He has the paper ballots.

When they would get patched through to the Iowa Democratic Party, that sometimes the calls would just drop out after waiting for sometimes hours.

LEMON: They used an app in 2016.

This is not the same app or is it?

MERICA: I'm not sure.

LEMON: We were told they wanted to use newer technology, rather than going about this the old way. They used an app in 2016. But I'm not sure if it's the same one. But apparently, it worked in 2016.


MERICA: We'll hear from Iowans -- I went to a caucus this evening. The woman who is running that caucus had been doing so for over 20 years. They enjoy the call-in system, that they could keep their numbers and call in.

For some people, the app added a level of difficulty, which is obviously -- added to the fact it didn't work, added even more difficulty to it.

But you talk to Iowans here and they appreciate the call-in system. But it seems, even tonight, that system didn't work.

LEMON: Dan, thank you. Good reporting. We appreciate it. Do stand by. We may be getting back to you. Maybe there's other calls throughout the evening here.

I want to bring in Rick Santorum and get your response here.

A critical question is, we've been talking about the integrity of the campaigns, of the votes, how do people have confidence in this?

RICK SANTORUM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I think they've taken the situation that --

LEMON: How do you verify?

SANTORUM: -- well, look. There may have been some problems in the transmission of these votes. But the fact they're not providing any detailed information is a real problem for them because it just leaves open your mind to -- if there was a problem, identify the problem.

Tell what happened and give details to give confidence of what's going on. But the fact they're hiding the ball this late at night with the campaigns -- and this just has, I'm sure, everybody worried that there's more to it than that. And that could be a real, real big problem.

(CROSSTALK) MITCH LANDRIEU, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is a perfect example of how not to handle a difficult problem. No matter how complicated it is, it has so many parts to it.

Somebody could walk out and say, this is what was supposed to happen. This is why it didn't happen. This is why we can't tell you the information. This is what's being done to fix it.

LEMON: That leads me to the question that, are we sure that nothing was compromised?


SANTORUM: An hour ago, I would have said that. But now, I'm not sure --

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, "POLITICO": -- the Iowa Democratic Party, that Dan just said, that nothing was compromised. They have the paper ballots. Now we have --

LEMON: They can still have the paper ballots. But I'm saying, the technological part of it, that could have been compromised.


BARRON-LOPEZ: -- we'll have to see if they change the statement, based on what they're saying recently. "Politico" is reporting that an Iowa Democrat told us that people for the party are literally knocking on the doors of precinct captains, who didn't call in their results to try to get --


SANTORUM: In 2012, I lost by eight votes. But at 1:00 in the morning, I was up by 12 -- I was up by 14 votes.

LEMON: And someone went to a precinct?

SANTORUM: There was one precinct in Clinton County, Iowa. And they called the county chairman.


SANTORUM: The county chairman had to go to the woman's house, get the results. CNN covered it on the air and I lost by 22 votes.

LEMON: Well, history is repeating itself right now because --

SANTORUM: Yes, but there's no votes out.


LEMON: We have to get a break in. We'll continue our conversation.

Don't go anywhere. There you have it. This is where we are at this point. Don't go anywhere. We'll be right back, after this break. (MUSIC PLAYING)



CUOMO: The state of play here is a waiting game. The Democrats held out for a moment and the moment is gone. Whoever won is not going to get the bump.

Even if the results come out, later today, there's going to be controversy about why it happened this way, what was the real problem. We want to talk about that. Welcome back to join our continuing coverage with the panel.

If this were an app, the two good reasons they gave on the phone call for the media, two reasons. There's a lot of tabulating we had to use to get to, three different metrics now, to get to the number and the rules may not have been construed.


The pushback on that is you've always had to tabulate all three numbers to release the delegate number that is what we use to create a victory here. That's the main metric. The other one is the app.

Phil Mattingly, this app is supposedly the same app that they use in Nevada. So what happens now if we look forward to that caucus, which is right after New Hampshire?

MATTINGLY: The company behind the app is the same. I don't know if it's structured the exact same way, but obviously a caucus process as well. Look, it raises real questions. And I think the reason why is this, and I'm not a technology whiz, I know you are, and you know all the apps and all of these things.


MATTINGLY: But you guys hit on this earlier, I think this is a really important point. How people view this going forward is important. And how people have trust and faith and what the results are and what they mean, and perhaps most importantly, how when these numbers come out tomorrow, whenever the -- today, I guess, whenever they're finalized, people are still able to say well, I don't know what you were doing there.

There's a lot of stuff that came out in 2016 in both primaries, where people cast a lot of doubt about what things meant and how accurate things were. And I think the problem here, whether it was an app, whether it was human error, whether it was all of the above is that there will always be people now who will point to this and say, we don't know what was really going on out there.

BROWNSTEIN: It wasn't like the Nevada caucus was so clear last time that people --


BROWNSTEIN: You know, I mean, it's -- caucuses I think have outlived their usefulness. I mean, the stakes in this are so enormous, the amount of effort that the campaigns put. Iowa got a year of attention that could have been devoted to Wisconsin or Arizona, states that actually have a chance of winning that could decide the 2020 --

CUOMO: And arguably a more reflective metric of what your relative strength is.

BROWNSTEIN: Absolutely, right. Again, in this -- in the poll, over 90 percent of the voters in the caucus were white, which is pretty amazing given that Iowa has up to about 15 percent non-white population overall, that a Democratic primary caucus would be less diverse than the state overall just goes to show you what a kind of an unusual process this is.

CUOMO: And the turnout is a little low. We don't know the number yet, but historically, it's not a big turnout.

BROWNSTEIN: You know, I just think that the caucus -- the idea of relying on a caucus for an event that is now this consequential just seems to be antiquated. And it's hard to imagine how any of them should go forward after this.

CUOMO: But you made a big point, you know, a structural point. You know, our institutions are being attacked. And there's been an interesting reversal. The media usually questions and quality checks the institutions. We've been put into a position largely by a hostile president to defend institutions, but that's people's decision, ultimately.

This can't help because what do you think anybody who finished at the bottom is going to say, when the results come out sometime later today? They're going to say, I don't know that I believe that. Why wouldn't they say that?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Well, I think they're going to say that, but I also think people watching, just regular people are going to say that. They're just going to say this is just another institution that I can't trust, right?

CUOMO: That's right.

POWERS: And so, I think -- I think, Phil is right. I mean, I think no matter what happens, these results are always going to have a cloud over them, right?

CUOMO: Right. They could have handled this better. People make mistakes, systems make mistakes.

POWERS: Rights.

CUOMO: We all do that in our lives every day. But you come out strong and early, you're transparent about it, you let people know why it's happening, and then it makes it very different for this. POWERS: But I think it's particularly bad because Bernie Sanders was

leading the polls there. And so there was this expectation that Bernie Sanders was going to do well there and there's all this bad blood from the last presidential election between the Sanders voters and the DNC.

So this is just meeting into something that is already causing a lot of division and it's just making up -- some of this already a problem and too much of a problem.

BROWNSTEIN: You know, on the other hand, I get a more -- slightly more positive. I mean, I think this clearly is going to dilute the impact of the Iowa caucus. It's not going to have anywhere near the kind of the forward thrust that the other ones have had. But one thing that's been true in these -- in these presidential primaries really for at least 30 years is that the grooves get cut really early and don't change very much.

And that means that the kind of patterns of support that we saw in Iowa where Biden was weak, very weak with young people, where he's a little stronger with older, where Sanders was stronger, those are likely to occur very quickly in New Hampshire, in Nevada, in South Carolina, as these new constituencies come in, Latinos, and African Americans.

So the basic structure of the race that is kind of hidden, you know, under the shifting sands of this debacle, I think will reassert itself sooner than later.

CUOMO: So where does that leave you on Super Tuesday, if you have this kind of disparate turnout? I mean, literally, everybody has got their favorite flavor.

BROWNSTEIN: A niche, they have a niche.

CUOMO: So what's Super Tuesday look like?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, that's really interesting, because, you know, we have not had candidates win an appreciable number of contests who didn't first win Iowa or New Hampshire in this century. In the -- in the four contested democratic races in the 21st century, 2004, '08, '16, the total number of states won by candidates who did not first win Iowa or New Hampshire is five out of 200 chances.

Now, this may be the year that breaks that precisely for the reason that you're saying if in fact, they're all kind of operating in relatively narrow kind of pools and are not able -- no one is able to go beyond that. Plus you got this other guy out there spending, you know, a million dollars an hour.

It is entirely possible that you'll see the results, a splinter and fractionate more than we have in the past and the winnowing and consolidation won't happen as quickly.


CUOMO: We'll take a break, but that's something that's going to be discussed at this table. And I'm sure Don's also which is, this is going to mean something to Bloomberg. This indecision, these different little silos, it gives Bloomberg an opening to make a case along with this big bank account. How will that look? Stay with CNN.


LEMON: All right, so we're back now without reporting on what happened in Iowa. What happened at that caucus? There have been several phone calls with the campaigns from the head of the Iowa Democratic Campaign. Now there's been a call with the press. And I just want to give you what Troy Price said in a statement.

Here's what he said. "He said, the integrity of our process and the results have always -- will always will be our top priority." At this point, he says the IDP -- they're manually verifying all the precincts. We expect to have numbers to report later today. And I also want to tell you guys this before I bring in my experts here, is that we want to emphasize that this is a reporting issue. It's not a hack or an intrusion issue. But again, they're not saying exactly when they're going to have the results sometime later today, but they're saying it's a reporting issue and not an intrusion issue.


ANDREW GILLUM, CNN COMMENTATOR: Can I just say, I hope that we can all -- there's a lot of conspiracy theories that are moving out there and I realized that we're not getting this thing when we want it something terrible happened. Clearly, it failed. Probably the reporting, the technology didn't work.

But I do think we should pump the brakes a little bit on some of the conspiracy theories that are going out there whether or not Russian hacks or whether this happened whether you know it get intercepted. Maybe it is that this is about a 100 percent volunteer-run system. Maybe they didn't do the due diligence that was necessary to check -- to make sure this thing worked out completely.

And that, unfortunately, it isn't happening on the news hour that we would prefer that when the results ultimately come out that these will be honest, that they will be accurate, and that they will be results that we can have some faith in.

LANDRIEU: But Andrew --

LEMON: To that point there let me read this.

GILLUM: Yes, please.

LEMON: And that is exactly why we have a paper trail and systems in place to uphold the integrity of our process.

GILLUM: And if they have a paper trail, then they're doing better than about half the counties and cities and states around the country who don't actually have paper that you can go back to and look. They've got that as verifiable.

LANDRIEU: I expected as exactly as Mayor Gillum guess it as it is, but it doesn't excuse their lack of willingness to come out --

GILLUM: For sure.

LANDRIEU: -- and just have a very clear press conference that says this is what the process is, this is what we did, we confirm that it wasn't a hack. These are the things we're going to fix. We know what was broken and we will tell you what the results are tomorrow and then we're good to go.

GILLUM: I agree.

LANDRIEU: This is just adding, you know, a lot of room for people to have conspiracy theories unnecessarily. But it seems like they're starting to clear it up now.

LEMON: Well, don't you think, Jen, he should have come in from -- in front of the cameras?

JEN PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, absolutely. Every time you're on the 10th try with a statement or a press conference call, you're doing something wrong. And they've just left a vacuum open for conspiracy theories on Twitter online, even from some of the campaigns.

You know, it was striking in some of the reporting from the second call how it was Bernie Sanders' campaign manager who suggested everything was a fraud. Now, that was their position in 2016. It has long been their position that they're fighting against the institutions, but he may win Iowa. So there's also this awkward kind of meaning kind of spinning and undermining coming from some of the campaigns as well.

We don't know who won. We don't know who the nominee will be. And some of them are already undermining the process, which I think is dangerous.

LEMON: The question that we ask, have you ever seen anything like this, Mark, in all of your years of reporting and doing this stuff?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No, I mean, of course not. But then again, this is unique because this is a unique situation with a unique election. I mean, look, we could go back to 2000 and say, well, yes, could have we ever seen anything like that. You know, I mean, there's -- you know, we can go back in time.

You know, what Mayor Gillum is saying I do think is important, though I just have to emphasize. We're talking about an all-volunteer organization, right, when I say that, that are putting together the caucus. I think there would be more of a surprise that there weren't any problems tonight in some ways.

Now, it doesn't excuse the situation we're in. Clearly, they should have came out, you know, as Mayor Landrieu said, and said, listen, here's the situation. We're going to wait one day. Everyone just back off a little bit. But it is important to note that past problems in caucuses in 2016, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and back in 2012 was Rick Santorum who was sitting in this chair explaining his problems, that's because the state party got involved and they declared a winner. We have not seen that tonight.

LEMON: OK, but listen --

PRESTON: We have not seen a rushed winner.

LEMON: I understand. Listen, I get what you're saying. But that's a problem in this precinct over here, there's a problem in that precinct. We have a little error in reporting here. We have -- it is 2:40, almost 2:45 in the morning, and there are zero result. That is -- is that -- should that not be qualified as a system failure?

PRESTON: I'm not dismissing the fact that this is -- this has been another failure tonight. But what I'm saying is that we don't know how bad it is. Tomorrow, they could say, here's all the paper ballots, here's who won. We're glad we took it. And by the way, everybody that was questioning us overnight, you know, went through the night. There you go.

LEMON: Is this going to change the caucus process going forward do you think?

BARRON-LOPEZ: I think there's potential for that because already leading up to the caucus. You -- I have talked to a number of Democrats, especially Democrats of color, you know, who for other reasons, want a different state to go first. So there's the potential again, each go around for the DNC to change rules, whether it stays in Iowa, or to decide, hey, this isn't working anymore and we want to reorder the primary states.

So I think that this definitely raises questions about whether or not Democrats in the future will want Iowa to go first. They've already been talking about that, a great amount --


LEMON: I got 30 seconds, Mayor. You say you tweeted this out. You said, you think the Iowa caucus delays are bad, wait until you hear about what happens in black and brown across the country. We're used to waiting.

GILLUM: Look, I'm telling you, you go to Miami Dade, you go to Broward County which all of us know well, Palm Beach County, you got long lines, you got folks who get in there and have their identification checked -- not just checked, but in some cases said this -- your signature doesn't match the one that was on file five years ago, and therefore your entire ballot is being rejected.

I mean, the idea being that this thing gets a lot more -- we're almost looking at the limousine model. It didn't go well tonight, but compare that to the pinto model that a lot of black and brown communities find themselves in counting --

LEMON: But again, to my larger point, earlier that is -- those are precincts. GILLUM: Sure.

LEMON: You know you have a problem in the precincts here, and problems in the precincts there. This is a system-wide failure.


LEMON: There is zero results that are in right now.

GILLUM: Well, I'm from Florida so it's always this.

LANDRIEU: And I'm impressed that you remember the pinto is.

LEMON: I got to get to a break right now.

LANDRIEU: A pinto.

LEMON: We're getting -- we're getting new information coming in. We don't have anything to project, we have -- we don't have any votes or any ballots or any accounts for you but we're getting your information as to when they're possibly going to come in and what happened. Don't go anywhere. We'll be right back.



CUOMO: All right, welcome back to our continuing coverage. The story of the night is the unknown. The caucus process may have worked but the tabulation process and the reporting process from the state party did not. And we are now being told by them in the latest reporting that they will release results they believe or expect to -- it was qualified language -- later this morning. We'll see what that means and when there are actual numbers.

But regardless, there are some things that we now know that really matter for the Democratic field. Let me bring the panel back in here. First lesson is, this party is very fractured. It's not polarized, it's both denied. There are at least five different groups working in competition.

BROWNSTEIN: But you only have one caucus before where four candidates got into double digits on the final result. It could be four, it could be five for the first time. The winner -- you know, all of this is kind of obscured by the mess, but when we get the actual results tomorrow, it is possible that the winner will have the smallest share of the available delegates of any winner ever, you know.

And I don't think that's a coincidence. I mean, I think -- I was in Iowa last week, and you really feel that each of these candidates are swimming in very distinct pool by independent older and moderate voters, Sanders, younger, more liberal, Buttigieg and Warren both depending largely on white-collar white voters, but him on the more moderate side and her on the more liberal side.

I think that what we're going to see tomorrow is that none of them are really spanning, expanding beyond their own little niche, building a coalition that can pull away from the others. And that means you can have a race that goes on without a clear definition for longer than we have seen in the last four or five contests.

CUOMO: Now we've heard this never as articulately --


CUOMO: -- but when you hear Democrats discuss this dynamic, and they throw in the comment and say, but that's OK because -- what's the best answer for how all this stratification can be a good thing for their party?

POWERS: Well, I think the thing about it is, it's all complicated by the fact that we actually don't know what happened tonight, right? Because what -- that may be true, but people will take something from that information, right. So I think when people start getting some information, seeing how people are performing, then I think you're going to start seeing things moving a little more -- and my microphones coming off -- you'll see -- you'll see -- I think you'll start seeing people deciding well, maybe this other person is electable and I didn't think they were electable so I think you'll see less of that possibly.

CUOMO: More consolidation.

POWERS: Yes. You see more consolidation once people -- because we all know the number one thing is can the person being elected.

BROWNSTEIN: That's been the history, clearly. I mean, the power of Iowa, New Hampshire to winnow has been extraordinary in the last four races. But it's -- when you look at Joe Biden, according to the entrance poll, five percent or less among people under 45, and then Sanders in turn, very weak among people over 45, and it kind of mirror image on moderate liberal.

Buttigieg, the only one who really showed consistency across the party, but it was an all-white electorate. You know, he is -- he is pulling sometimes under two percent among -- he had polls with zero among African-Americans.

POWERS: But to that point, though, let's just say that we -- let's just say that Biden came in -- let's just say that Biden came in at a very weak fourth, people would probably move to Buttigieg or Klobuchar, right? So that's what I'm saying. We don't have that information. And so that's -- and so I think once we have that information, then we start seeing where --

CUOMO: So put it in the context also of the rule about Iowa historically has been it probably picks the winner, but it definitely picks the losers. I don't know. Obviously, we don't have the information but they that may not be as true this year.

MATTINGLY: It seems like there may be more tickets to ride to New Hampshire to paraphrase another candidate from another time. And I think that goes to Ron's point, right, that this is just a different -- you know, they're sitting in 23, 24, 25 percent, not crossing over the 30 percent threshold, not getting anywhere near what the two candidates got back in 2016. And this is just a very different field.

And I'll tell you one quick thing. What do you lose by not having the results tonight? Keep in mind what's coming next. The State of the Union is coming tomorrow night. The impeachment vote is coming on Wednesday. You missed that burst that allows people like Kirsten is saying to see you as OK maybe I wasn't sure about this candidate.

But even if it's modeled, if you put up a bigger number than maybe people expected, if you did better with different coalitions than maybe people expected, you have four or five days, six days going into New Hampshire, where you're the story or two or three people are the story. It dissipates because of what we saw tonight. That's the important thing about --

CUOMO: Who will the President decide to attack in the State of the Union? Who's the next one to get a foolish nickname that debases the entire process. Now, right now, obviously, we're live because we've been waiting on results and CNN will continue to cover this live throughout the course of this process.


We have live picture up in a second. We're waiting to see who gets to Manchester, New Hampshire first, not just because we're desperate for some way to measure a winner in this, but because to show it has to move on. But remember now, in New Hampshire, the catalyst of coming out of Iowa is gone. And it doesn't just mean media, it means money. It means enthusiasm. It could mean you know, little shifts that could make a big difference. So every moment we wait matters.

To the panel, thank you very much. We're going to do a break here. But remember, we're not going to know for a while. CNN will be live throughout. It is too important to take any chances. The coverage will be up and going. Please stay with CNN.


LEMON: All right, just sort of the top of the hour, we'll be up on 3:00 a.m. here on the East Coast and just seconds away. But we're covering the caucus, the Iowa caucus where it apparently not much went right because we have zero results in at this hour. That is why we're on live right --