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Sen. Bernie Sanders Wins New Hampshire Primary; New Hampshire Primary; Four Prosecutors Withdraw from Roger Stone Case; NH Delegate Estimate: Sanders and Buttigieg Both Get 9 Delegates. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired February 12, 2020 - 01:00   ET




CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Chris Cuomo. Welcome to our continuing coverage of the New Hampshire primary, the first primary of the Democratic season and the Republican season almost in the books 96 percent. Now the way these things work, the next four percent, we may not get it until tomorrow morning, but a very clear picture of immerging. Once again, Bernie Sanders strong on top. In Iowa, it was him and Buttigieg. Here, once again, it is Buttigieg overperforming, even though he did well in Iowa, you have to be surprised by this finish.

The story of the night, Amy Klobuchar now in third place, Elizabeth Warren in forth. Way back, people have been thinking Warren may compete here. She may be at the top here. Maybe she needed to be. So what does this story tell us about the emerging picture, Klobuchar coming up? A couple of facts. One, a lot of people decided recently, like 48 hours years ago, and the debate a big deciding factor for a lot of voters in New Hampshire. Who did well on Friday? Amy Klobuchar, by most accounts did well.

So, you see her moving up here. Can she sustain? Joe Biden, not even in this state for this. He's down in South Carolina. His opening statements to them was I hope you guys love me as much as I love you. He needs good results in Nevada and South Carolina, especially after tonight. We've never seen a presumptive favorite finish the way he did.

So let's go over to the magic wall. Phil Mattingly, Bernie Sanders crushed it here against Hillary Clinton, a different set of challenges now. You could make the argument that he could have been expected to do even better tonight based on how he did four years ago. How did he do and how is it different this time?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Based on how he did four years ago, and obviously from a neighboring state as well, from Vermont, right near the border. And if you look back at 2016, as you noted, it was a blowout. Hillary Clinton won I think a total of four townships. And you look towards that border and you see this is all light blue, and light blue means Bernie Sanders. He crossed this state in 2016. And now look, the caveat is 2020 is not an apples to apples

comparison. There were more candidates. There were better organizations. There was a lot of money flowing into this state. But you want to know why Bernie Sanders is up by 1.5 percent, up by 4,000 votes as opposed to up by 20 plus percent as he was in 2016, one of the places that I've been keeping an eye on is strongholds that Bernie Sanders had in 2016.

So how we kind of define this at this point in time was townships that Bernie Sanders were more than 100 people voted, obviously, there's a lot of small towns in the state, but he won by more than 67 percent. So what I've kind of isolated here, anything you see that's colored either in light blue, or light green, or dark, green, maybe Klobuchar's perspective here, were those areas that were strongholds back in 2016 for Bernie Sanders.

And what's interesting is you see the light green of Pete Buttigieg, light green of Pete Buttigieg, dark green and Amy Klobuchar. The idea that these candidates were able to cut into the areas that Bernie Sanders didn't just win, he won by huge margins. And when you could start to cut away at those margins, you start to see why this becomes a close race.

Keep in mind 26 percent for Bernie Sanders, 96 percent reporting, probably isn't going to move a whole lot more than that. That's the lowest vote share for a winner of a New Hampshire primary in modern history. And the reason why is because people like Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar were able to cut into some of the strongholds that you've seen.

And I think again, the top line story, Bernie Sanders won. Delegates right now, Pete Buttigieg is ahead, but the reason why this race was closed and the reason why it was spread out a little bit is because Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar were able to cut into some of those strongholds here, Chris.

CUOMO: So Pete Buttigieg is ahead in delegates overall because of what happened in Iowa. Here, they're going to get an even cut of them. Sanders did very strong in the popular vote in Iowa, but the metric is (INAUDIBLE) those state delegates, and Buttigieg edged him out there.

Klobuchar is a surprise story here. Maybe that goes to people saying they decided most recently. She's done very well. It's very interesting to put it in context. It turned out we don't know yet. But there is a chance that we will see what we thought we were going to see an Iowa which is equal or greater enthusiasm to 2016.


MATTINGLY: Yes, which I think every Democrat was hoping for, and I think that was a lot of the disappointment alongside the fact an app wouldn't work out in Iowa is that turnout wasn't necessarily there. It looks like it's going to surpass 2016 levels. We're not quite sure where it is from a finality perspective right now, aren't sure if it's going to approach what they had in 2008. But one of the things to keep an eye on here, I'm going to quote Ron

Brownstein, a friend of yours and of CNN, obviously, is kind of a great model here. If you're Bernie Sanders, and you're Pete Buttigieg, and you're coming out of the first two states, you obviously feel very good. Look, take a look at the delegates on the hole here. Actually, stick on the National Map. Pete Buttigieg 23, Bernie Sanders 21. As you noted, they tied nine apiece tonight.

But if you go into New Hampshire here, and you look at kind of the demographics -- I want to pull the demographics of Iowa and New Hampshire and get a sense, we broaden this out a little bit, of what we were playing with here. You heard a lot from Joe Biden, he's not even being subtle about it anymore about where he's going and why that matters.

Iowa, 91 percent White, very small Latino and Black population. New Hampshire 93 percent white, very small Latino and Black population. OK, move that away, what's coming next? Nevada and South Carolina. Take a look at the demographics here. Now, this is statewide, this isn't just the Democratic primary, which these numbers are actually going to be higher in terms of minority voters here. But also, you have 20 percent Hispanic and Latino in Nevada. That's statewide, it's going to be a higher number when you get down just to the Democratic primary. South Carolina, 27 percent Black and African American. That's going to be much bigger when it comes to that.

And so I think when you talk about what's next for candidates, and one of the big questions, not just for Bernie Sanders, but also obviously for Pete Buttigieg, when you look at his polling with black voters, Amy Klobuchar, when you look at her polling with black voters, these first two states for Amy Klobuchar certainly in New Hampshire, huge in terms of getting them out of the gate. Momentum matters. Amy Klobuchar has proven that tonight, no question about it.

But what happens next? What are your coalition is going forward? And particularly if you're Bernie Sanders and you're not able to get past 30 percent, you're not able to get anywhere near the 60 percent that you had back in 2016, how you show that this coalition that at least to this point has gotten you the popular vote lead in Iowa and New Hampshire, has put you in a great position right now in the race can broaden out not just through the next two primaries, but into Super Tuesday as well.

CUOMO: Perfect question, because right now, Bernie Sanders, you know, you have to say it, he's the only one who's identified with a major movement, you know, that he is at the head of. Which one of these will be able to do that? You don't find many people who went -- Phil, thank you very much -- to win the presidency without being seen as a proxy for something bigger than yourself and your candidacy. So one window into that is going to be the delegate count.

So here I am with Kirsten and David. Delegates, delegates matter. Earlier, I was talking about Bernie's strength. Two in a row for him. No, Iowa popular vote, yes. But those SDE, the delegate count, no. Buttigieg beat him in that. That's why Buttigieg --

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: By one-tenth of one percent.

CUOMO: Well, but he still -- but he still got the delegates, so he's ahead in the delegate count. Give us the full picture.

CHALIAN: So let's first look at the delegates tonight out of New Hampshire. 24 delegates at state tonight. We've been able to allocate them all now with 95 percent of the vote in. And as you see, Buttigieg and Sanders split them evenly, nine apiece, Klobuchar gets six. You got to remember, Democrats awards are delegates proportionally. You get 15 percent of the votes statewide, you get above 15 percent of the congressional district, you win delegates from that.

CUOMO: Different on the GOP side. They're not that relevant right now --

CHALIAN: Winner takes all. But here's the reality. If you have close contest like this one, you're going to split delegates. It's very hard to build a real delegate lead unless you are either in a two-person contest and you're really winning substantially. But in a multi-person field like this, if it's close, it's going to be very hard for someone to get a real substantial delegate lead.

Now let's look at the delegates to date including Iowa. As you noted, one-tenth of one percent advantage in the SDEs. That actually translated to a two-delegate advantage in the national convention delegates. You see Buttigieg is at 23, Sanders at 21, Warren at eight, which are all from Iowa, by the way. She got nothing tonight, seven for Klobuchar. She got one out of Iowa, six tonight. And six for Joe Biden, the former vice president of the United States who got a third of the vote tonight that Bernie Sanders got in New Hampshire, got no delegates, he's down at six in that -- in that delegate estimate. It is a slight advantage, two delegate advantage for Buttigieg.

But Chris, you know, these first contests are not about delegates. You need 1991 delegates to win the nomination. This is the beginning of a very long road to Milwaukee. And as you were noting before about March, 65 percent of the delegates are at stake. So that's when it becomes a real delegate battle. These early contests are about building momentum, having a reason to run forward, being able to raise money, stay in the game, and bragging rights, no doubt. But it's really a Buttigieg-Sanders race in this delegate hunt at the moment.

CUOMO: Kirsten, let me I ask you a couple of is it fair question. Is it fair to look at Bernie Sanders win tonight and say, oh, he didn't get over 30 percent as the first time, or do you say, well, look at the field, you know, look at his strength, look that he's on top and the person who they thought would be their nominee going into this isn't like 11th place or wherever Biden is?


KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So I don't think it's a matter of fairness or not fairness. I think it's just -- it's not -- I don't think it's the best analysis is what I would say. Because I think it's -- we're in such a different environment than we were when he won overwhelmingly in a two-person race against Hillary Clinton. So that was a very different race.

It's now you know, divided up among other people. But the most important thing is when that race happened, Donald Trump was just a person running for president. No one even knew who's going to be the nominee, let alone the president, let alone as far as Democrats are concerned, an existential threat to the country.

So that's what these people are thinking now in New Hampshire, when they're going in to vote. That's what they're thinking in Iowa. That's what they're going to be thinking in South Carolina, in Nevada and so on, is not who do I like the most, it's who do I think can beat Trump. And that is such a hard thing to figure out.

CUOMO: Well, especially in these two states. I mean, it is so not representative of who the Democratic Party say they are.

POWERS: But I think if you look back and you see all of those votes going to Bernie last time, I think people were just voting I like Sanders and voting for him. That is not how people are voting now.

CHALIAN: I would just also add. The other thing in the exit polls today, and I'd be curious to see how this goes forward -- and it's not necessarily different. We saw overwhelmingly they want a Trump defeater. But we also saw that the quality that most -- that a plurality of voters went for tonight was a change agent. They are looking for a change agent, which of course means change from Donald Trump.

So it feeds right into that notion, but more than somebody who understands my problems, more than wanting a uniter in the country to heal all the submissiveness. That was the second most popular option. But this notion of bringing needed change, and that's and that was part of what helps Sanders win tonight.

CUOMO: It helped him. It helped Buttigieg also. I mean, he's definitely over performing. I don't know how long that'll be the case because you start to have new expectations. And I think Buttigieg two in a row like this, we'll see what happens with Nevada and South Carolina. They are very different states. However, we do have to look at the context of what tonight means in terms of what we've seen in the past.

I agree with Kristen's analysis, but this is something that Harry Enten has to struggle with a lot, which is looking at how the performance now relates to what we've seen in the past that proved to be successful in earlier presidential contest. What can you tell us?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER AND ANALYST: Yes, I mean, look, Bernie Sanders right now is hovering right around 26 percent. Look at all the past New Hampshire primaries in the modern era on the Democratic side, when the incumbent wasn't running in that primary. That 26 percent is the lowest percentage by far. I call it the Mendoza line or the quarter line at 29 percent. That was the lowest previously.

So this is even lower than that. And we can argue about whether or not it's a weak performance for Sanders, but I think you can't argue with the fact that this field is totally, totally muddled, Christopher.

CUOMO: All right, so first, a little bit context and then I have a different question for you.

ENTEN: Yes, sir.

CUOMO: Is it fair to compare this race to the other ones because of the size of the field, the strength of the field, and the existential nature of the question before the field which is they were running against somebody they really feared and the incumbent like Trump.

ENTEN: Yes, I mean, look, obviously, when Bernie ran last time, he was running against one person in Hillary Clinton. But if you look at 1972, for example, when Edmund Muskie won in New Hampshire, that was a very crowded field. Look at Donald Trump on the Republican side just four years ago. That was a very crowded field, and he won that primary by 20 points.

So you know, I think it's important to put these numbers in a context and recognize that this is a crowded field. But also ask yourself the question, why is this field so crowded? Perhaps it's crowded because all of them think they can win because there's no clear front runner and I'm not sure Bernie Sanders answered that question adequately this evening.

CUOMO: (INAUDIBLE) is going to get upset at me, but I'm going to ask you this anyway. The Mendoza line you said, who is the Mendoza that it is named after and what is the line? What is its significance?

ENTEN: Yes, essentially, it's the line in baseball.

CUOMO: Not essentially. What is it?

ENTEN: It's the line in baseball, 200 -- batting 200. And essentially, if you're batting below there, that is a very, very bad percentage to be batting and you obviously want to be batting above there. And it was named for a baseball player. The first name I can't quite remember, but I believe he was --

CUOMO: Don't wait for them to tell you. I know what you're trying to do. They're not going to tell you because --

ENTEN: No, I was not.

CUOMO: They can't Google it that fast. I know this trick in anchoring where you asking --

ENTEN: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire where I'm trying to get the 30 --

CUOMO: Phone a friend. I'm the friend. Mario Mendoza.

ENTEN: Thank you.

CUOMO: But you know why I know? Because I remember that people who were friends of his were so upset because his career batting average was 215, and they didn't like that they said it a 200. But is it -- it is the threshold for competence offense, and here competency in an election. Well done. Here's the other question for you. And I know this is far down, you usually yell at me for this. But the idea of a contested convention. I know there's so much game left to play here. But if you keep seeing that other than Sanders, you have this kind of muddle as Ron Brownstein calls it. What does that take you towards in terms of possibilities that this convention in Wisconsin is going to be spicy?


ENTEN: Yes. I mean, I think it could very well be spicy. Look, this is a very hard thing to sort of game out. And I've looked at my math, I've looked at the betting markets, I've looked at some other friends math, but at this point we're at a 3.5 and 10 chance that yes, we will have a contested convention, which means that no one will have a majority of delegates going into Milwaukee. And that number is climbing higher and higher and higher, Christopher.

CUOMO: Hey, look, we don't know the picture for the Democrats, but at least going into this commercial. You know what the Mendoza line is now. Harry, thank you very much. Bernie Sanders once again, edging out competition tonight. That's the story of tonight. Sanders pulling off a win in New Hampshire. But does this mean he's right, a revolution is coming? Realistic? Next.



SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And let me say tonight that this victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump. We're going to Nevada, we're going to South Carolina. We're going to win those states as well.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Very good night for Bernie Sanders giving his victory speech there in Manchester, New Hampshire happening not too long ago. You can see at the top of the leaderboard, but only a head by 4,000 points, 25.9. To Mayor Pete Buttigieg 24.4, and Amy Klobuchar 19.8, clearly making the biggest rise among the candidates here.

So let's bring back our panel of experts here. And we can talk about what's going on, where we go into next. Listen, you got to get Bernie Sanders. He's due. He won, right? It's 97 percent in, but it looks like he is going to be the clear winner. I think he's declared the clear winner here, but only 4,000 votes. So what do you think? He promised a revolution. Has he delivered a revolution or -- because he is performing not as well as he did in 2016 and bringing in fewer voters. But can you qualify this as a revolution?



JEN PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think no. You know, he deserves credit for winning tonight in New Hampshire, certainly for performing extremely well in Iowa, but he hasn't expanded the electorate. Yes, there are a lot of candidates in the race. I know that's what people will say. But he hasn't -- he didn't even win among people who are first-time voters. According to the entrance polls, Pete Buttigieg won among first-time voters.

So I don't think we've seen the revolution quite yet. Maybe we'll see that in South Carolina and Nevada, but I don't think he's brought an overwhelming group of new people into the system. And he needs to not just do that. He needs to also expand his support within the existing reliable voter electorate as well.

LEMON: Does the party want a revolution?

LANDRIEU: No, I don't think Americans want a revolution. And you know, I'll say it again, the people that vote in the general election and that the same people that vote in the primaries.

LEMON: You keep saying that but Bernie keeps winning.

LANDRIEU: Well, he won the first two. Remember, you need 1991 delegates. And even if you do, then you have to get the majority vote.

LEMON: He didn't win the first but he won the popular vote the first one. Mayor Pete Buttigieg won the first one.

LANDRIEU: Yes, exactly. But if you look at the numbers, if you put the numbers up about who got the votes in this primary on the top five candidates, the people who are self-described as moderates outperform the people that self-described as progressive by four points.

ANDREW GILLUM (D), FORMER GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, FLORIDA: Except when you look at the issues however, college tuition, Medicare for all, these are very, very progressive majority positions that voters came down on?

LANDRIEU: That's true.

GILLUM: I don't actually think that this is as large of a philosophical divide when people are showing up in these early states as a lot of us like to think from this point. I don't draw the conclusion that moderates, when you add up all the moderate candidates, won out over progressive candidates tonight. In large part, you saw some candidates move from Senator Warren to Amy Klobuchar. Nobody would say that they're philosophically necessarily aligned across some of these major issues.

So what I would suggest is that we still have a long road to go here. There are still momentous opportunities for there to be great shift between who's at the leaderboard here. In fact, next week, that leaderboard could be flipped upside down, I mean, quite literally, between who's leading and who isn't. I don't know that for a fact, but it is quite possible as you look at the next two upcoming states that we could see a reverse of things.

LEMON: I hear what you're saying, but it appears to be sort of the battle of the liberals and the battle of the moderates. I mean, if you look at it.

GILLUM: I think that's the nice setup.

LEMON: You think -- well, at this point, Mayor.

GILLUM: I think that's the setup.

LEMON: Come on, give me something.

GILLUM: Well, no, I'm not, because I think that unfortunately is keeping us a little bit, you know, in our corners in some ways. The reason why the revolution, should there be one, hasn't shown up in the numbers that we might think is because largely, the communities under which Bernie Sanders is genuinely talking to are frankly from much more diverse backgrounds. Those folks have not spoken up yet in this process.

This has been a majority white. And even in New Hampshire today are pretty privileged, not everybody, but across the board -- across the board, a higher income, higher education state, so on and so forth. We're moving into more diverse territories. And I do believe that more --

LEMON: So these are the people he speak -- he's speaking to aren't so -- they're not the people he's speaking to?

GILLUM: I think -- I think they are a portion of who he's speaking to. But when you talk about --

LEMON: Yes, but when you talk about --

GILLUM: I think that's great, by the way. I don't want to dismiss that white voters don't matter. They absolutely matter. They know they matter. In fact, they get to choose who actually go forward --

LEMON: They actually do. They're actually the majority of the people who end up voting, right?

GILLUM: For sure, but --


GILLUM: -- I would just close on this point, which is to simply say, there were a lot of issues that Bernie Sanders and his base have given voice to that I think are going to find greater resonance as the constituency diversify.

PASKI: Yes, that's true.

LEMON: Listen, but it is when you hear -- we were sitting, getting ready tonight, and when you heard -- when you heard Bernie Sanders say, we're going to cancel all student debt. I was like, wait, wow.

CARPENTER: Yes. And that's why -- what does revolution mean?

LEMON: Who's going to go for that? CARPENTER: The first time you hear it, yes, sounds good. But when you look at that speech, he's saying he wants dramatic economic transformation. And I question the wisdom, taking the fight to Donald Trump on the economy. The economy is the one thing that Donald Trump has going for him. And yes, you can take up these piecemeal things. Of course, health care is too expensive, college is too expensive, but are the solutions that Bernie Sanders is proposing for that something that the mainstream public is going to accept?

He is on the radical end of the Democratic Party on those solutions. And I think a lot of people are not going to find them workable. And so again, when the Democrats say they want to beat Trump, why would they fight him on this issue he's already proven to be a winner?


GILLUM: Yes, I don't -- I don't think that -- I don't think that that is the fight that is being had right now.

CARPENTER: It will happen.

GILLUM: It is -- it will happen and I wonder if given the fact that most of these voters want change, they want shift, they wanted that with Trump. And they got it. They turned over the table --

LEMON: But his support is testament to the fact that people want change.

GILLUM: They do want change. There's still a great -- there's still a great hunger and thirst for shift, for change. It would be curious to know whether or not Bernie Sanders --

LEMON: I want to -- OK, I have a friend who says this. You guys can weigh in on this


LEMON: When you were talking about a revolution, is this true they love to talk revolution because they have no real idea how dicey socialism is and they have never had to pay for you know what, zero? What do you say to that?

BARRON-LOPEZ: I say that your friend is articulating a fear that a number of House Democrats, people who have -- are older, a fear that they have as well, house Democrats who are supporting Biden. They're supporting candidates more like Klobuchar as well, and they said that they are very nervous today about what they're seeing in the performance of specifically a candidate like Biden, because they are worried about what a candidate like Sanders means for down-ballot Democrats. The Democrats, that one in red districts.

So, but again, when you're talking to voters on the ground, and I know it's mainly that reporters were talking to Democratic voters, but they are itching for dramatic change, and they are constantly talking about -- they're also constantly talking about healthcare and not being happy with the status quo on health care, either. MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, let me just -- I

think -- I think this is very simply answered. And I think the facts are very simple. And I sometimes think we overanalyze this into the ground. A couple of things. When we say, are we ready for a revolution? We don't even know what the definition of the revolution, right? And I think we've all kind of got them, right?

I would argue right now, if you were to look at the Bernie Sanders revolution, he has been successful in the sense that he has raised an incredible amount of money. He has an incredible network. He has pushed the four biggest issues that we are now talking about for the Democratic Party right now as the forefront issues.

The Reality is, though, that he is going to scare a lot of Democrats who would tend to be a little bit more business-oriented. But let's not take back the idea that Democrats are not -- are just as angry as Trump supporters were back in 2016. And I really -- I've just come to this conclusion in the last couple days where I just stopped and said, my God, you know, Trump looks like he's inevitable.

I don't think he is inevitable. I think that nobody is inevitable anymore. And I do believe that someone like Bernie Sanders does have a ceiling, but I also think that he can punch through that ceiling because he is able to harness anger into political activism.

LEMON: Let me just -- let me just -- off of what you said, when you talked about some people being afraid of what he has to offer. And you're right, he has really set the agenda for the issues that the Democratic Party is talking about, right? And Trump did the same thing in 2016. This is from the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein. And he says, if Dems go on to nominate Sanders, the Russians will have to reconsider who to work for to best screw up the U.S. Sanders is just as polarizing as Trump and he'll ruin our economy and doesn't care about our military. If I'm Russian, I go with Sanders this time around.

PSAKI: I mean, if I were the Sanders campaign, I would retweet that and say that look, billionaires don't like me, fine.

BARRON-LOPEZ: The same with Warren.

PSAKI: Right, same with Warren. I do think though, that as Sanders becomes the clear front runner here, people are going to start to dig into what his proclamations and promises mean, and we're seeing that in Nevada, which is the next state. The Culinary Workers Union, which is the most powerful union in Nevada, they endorsing 2008 Obama, didn't endorse him in '16. They have a huge organizational base there. They put out a flyer, a mail piece today that said basically Bernie Sanders will take away your health care as you know it, as a union.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Fact check true.

LANDRIEU: There is --

PSAKI: You know, that's the kind of thing that not just from -- those are -- a lot of them are Democrats, but that will come from Republicans, it will come from other people. And that scares people.

LEMON: It's true.

LANDRIEU: Let me see if I can articulate my point maybe a little bit better. There is --there is -- the only choices are not status quo, and revolution. Anger just doesn't produce a revolution, but the country can have dramatic change, but it doesn't have to be revolutionary. There is a lot of room between those two things.

There is a huge amount of energy to beat Donald Trump. I think that we're going to come out in big numbers to do it. And I think that by the time the election comes around, people are going to be exhausted with President Trump has ditched us too, and they don't want to be exhausted for another four years.

LEMON: By the time the election comes around?


LANDRIEU: Yes. I'm just saying. I think you know, Bernie has done an incredible job of harnessing a tremendous amount of support. But it's not so overwhelming that you would say it's a fait accompli that he is going to be the nominee.

And he is going to scare a lot of people. Things are going to change over time. I think Andrew has made some good points about the next couple and we'll see because I don't think we know until we get to Super Tuesday how this race is going to form, if we know it by then. But what we should know a lot more in three weeks.


LEMON: 97 percent of the vote in -- go on, quickly please.

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I was just going to say, in October Bernie Sanders, and we're talking about his brand, almost died -- right.


PRESTON: And he fought back.


PRESTON: I'm just saying that this guy is a fighter and, you know --

LEMON: We're going to talk about that. Is that an issue? And, you know, Amanda -- you and I were talking about that. It was an issue for Hillary Clinton, her health. If a woman was on the campaign trail and had a heart attack, would we be talking about? Would that be an issue. Would that count someone out?

I don't know, but it certainly hasn't counted Bernie Sanders out. And people aren't talking about his health so much anymore

Anyway, Bernie is the clear winner tonight -- 25.9 -- 97 percent of the vote in. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 24.4; 19.8 for Amy Klobuchar. Those are your three top -- listen, former vice president not even in it and Elizabeth Warren as well.

So don't go away, we've got much more to come on the results from New Hampshire. That is straight ahead.

But next, we're going to have an update on a major story that we are -- we're following this out of D.C. Four federal prosecutors have now quit the Roger Stone case after the Trump Justice Department undercuts him. What is going on?

We're going to have new reaction. That is next.



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, throughout the night we will give you the latest of results from New Hampshire -- about 96 percent in. It takes a long time for the least bit to come in. but the implications will be part of our continuing coverage.

There is another big story that deserves our attention. All four federal prosecutors have now resigned from the case against longtime Trump confidant, Roger Stone. Now, the obvious question is why -- well, here is what happened.

The Justice Department reduced the original sentencing recommendation for Stone following public criticism by the President. Coincidence? Obviously not.

Let's bring in CNN crime and justice correspondent Shimon Prokupecz. Shimon -- walk us through what happened and how we got to here.


So in the last days or so, as prosecutors were getting ready to file their motion, their statements about what they wanted to see the judge sentence Roger Stone, there were discussions, we're told, at the Department of Justice behind closed doors.

Some folks disagreeing, senior level people disagreeing with what the line prosecutors wanted to see Roger Stone face in terms of prison time. So something happens along the way. The line prosecutors, these are the four who investigated Roger Stone, these are the four prosecutors who took Roger Stone to trial, got a conviction against Roger Stone.

They filed the sentencing memorandum where they tell the judge --- they are on the high end here now Chris -- so, you know, keep that in mind, of course. They tell the judge that they would think that Roger Stone should be sentenced anywhere from seven to nine years in prison. Well, that happens yesterday around 5:00 or so.

And then today, we get word that the political wing, the senior level people at Main Justice -- at the Department of Justice decided that the sentencing guidelines, that the recommendations here, were too high. And so they said, you know, well, we're going to undercut these four prosecutors and we're going to file our own motion, our own memorandum saying, you know what, Judge, you shouldn't sentence him to seven to nine -- that is excessive.

And then, what happens is as all of this is developing through the day, we start hearing word the prosecutors -- they start filing notices with the court that they are all stepping away from this case. One by one, all together, they step away from the case. And then one even resigned completely from the Department of Justice.

These guys here, all of them unified in this. This is really a mutiny when you think about this -- Chris. They all got together. They stepped away from the case. One guy resigned, and now we will see.

You know, Roger Stone is going to be in court next week and we will see. There is a lot more to happen here, because ultimately this is going to be up to the judge. And it's going to be interesting to see how she reacts to all of this next week -- Chris.

CUOMO: What it clearly sets up is a question of conscience for these four prosecutors. But it leads to a question of, why did this happen, the change with the sentencing? That leads us from the law to the politics.

Shimon -- thank you very much.

For the politics part, let's go to White House correspondent Boris Sanchez.

The President has been venting about this since it started, mostly on Twitter. What do we track?


Venting is one way to put it. Democrats are accusing the President of perverting the rule of law because just a few hours before the Department of Justice made this decision about the sentencing guidelines public, the President was tweeting critically about them.

The President since then has tweeted that he may pardon Roger Stone. He has criticize these four prosecutors, all while denying that he had any influence over the Department of Justice's friendly treatment of his longtime confidant, Roger Stone.

And there is another aspect of this, Chris -- that is troubling. According to three sources, the President withdrawing the nomination of Jessie Liu to serve in the Treasury Department. Remember that up until last month, she was the top official in the U.S. Attorney's Office overseeing this Roger Stone case.

One of the sources that we spoke to, not dismissing the idea that her withdrawal was connected to this Stone issue, the White House is not really giving us a clear, obvious indication of why the withdrawal took place.

We should point out though, Chris -- Liu was set to testify before a Senate committee on Thursday before this nomination was withdrawn.

CUOMO: Well, that is something that's going to demand further understanding.

Boris Sanchez -- thank you very much.


CUOMO: All right. So we laid out the facts and our understanding. Now let's bring in two former federal prosecutors -- Elliot Williams and Shan Wu.

All right. First -- have you ever heard of anything like this happening before?

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I was first a prosecutor in what 2004, so that was 16 years ago. I have never seen anything like this. It's bonkers. Absolutely never.

CUOMO: Ok. So just to make the record clear. Am I right that this is the way it usually works?

I am a line prosecutor. I am working the actually case. You guys are the bigs. I finish the case. I want to make a sentence and recommendation. You know what that recommendation is, and we discuss in-house. But I do not make that recommendation until you guys have decided that's the recommendation to make. Is that true?

SHAN WU, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: That's right. It actually goes slightly further than that. There are a lot of times when the high power and defense counsel come into appeal some decisions like, this recommendation sentence is going to be too high. Don't do that to my client.

I've sat in a lot of those kinds of meetings -- Chris. They never want to overturn the higher ups. They don't want to overturn the lower people because you want to go with the people that know the case.

CUOMO: So there is a reluctance to do it in general. When you fight the government, you are asking for the high end of the range that is often said by you guys to defendants that if you take us to trial on this and you lose, we go upper end.

But again, just to reinforce this point that Shan is making, the idea that this was organic. Seven to nine you asked for? That is too much. You know what -- let's back this off. What's the chance that it was organic?

WILLIAMS: Right here is the sentencing memorandum. It goes in excruciating detail, laying out -- because a lot of people think it is seven to nine years, we think he is a bad guy, let's throw seven to nine at him. It is -- you know, we think he's a bad guy so let's just throw seven to nine years at him. It's actually almost quite scientific in a way because what happens is

an individual convicted of an offense, and then based on the characteristics of him and the crime, little things tick that sentence up.

So for instance, if there is a threat of violence as we saw on this case. If it is his own case. If it is a pattern that involved a lot of planning. All of these things tick the sentence up. And what the prosecutors landed on here was a seven to nine year sentence. But it wasn't just an arbitrary thing. If you notice --

CUOMO: Is it too harsh?

WILLIAMS: Well, I'm not going to say whether it's too harsh. It's what the sentencing guidelines say. Now, there is a bigger question to be had about are the sentencing guidelines themselves as they are written now, fair? And that is a question for Congress and the U.S. sentencing commission. But it is not for me to sit here and say, well, I think it is just not nice because the calculation --

CUOMO: No, I'm saying does the sentence match the calculation.

WILLIAMS: It absolutely matches the calculation.

CUOMO: Do you agree with that.

WU: It's on the high end of the calculations. When I first heard that I thought it was high. I didn't think the judge will sentence that high. So it is high.

CUOMO: Ok. But the chance that it was put out there, rogue and that the higher ups, they didn't have a chance to weigh in is zero?

So then that has to lead us to one factual conclusion.


CUOMO: They changed their mind for political reasons, not prosecutorial reasons?

WILLIAMS: It's hard to see how it's anything other than that. Just because -- to add to what Shan was saying a little bit earlier, in a case this high profile with a defendant this prominent in a matter of such national prominence there would absolutely be meetings at the highest levels to make sure that all the Is were dotted and the Ts were crossed.

And so the notion that they'd come up with a sentence that not everybody was on the same page and then all of a sudden, the folks higher up either change their mind or weren't briefed (ph), that is just preposterous particularly given the caliber of prosecutors that you're dealing with. Career prosecutors, not political hacks or anything like that.

WU: And not only that, in their watered-down level, the second one, it doesn't change any analysis. It's not like we made a mistake, we didn't take this into account. There's no real analysis.

WILLIAMS: It's just --

WU: It merely just changes their mind.

WILLIAMS: Well not only that. It says we're not going to make a recommendation as --


WILLIAMS: They don't put a number on them, they don't have a calculation.

CUOMO: So just say left (ph).

WILLIAMS: Yes. It's draconian or whatever the word they used was for seven to nine years -- it's too high.

CUOMO: And you know, what's so interesting about this as is many things Trump, it's what is the motivating interest. Ok, let's say he went over there and said I don't like this sentence. He did not pardon him, either. And he's actually said he should be pardoned, as if it was some collective effort.

He does it.

WU: Right.

CUOMO: And here is Stone -- we call him his old confidant. He's more than that. Roger Stone is the oldest political adviser that this president has. He doesn't keep people around here for very long. Google and you'll see what I'm talking.

Roy Cone (ph), his one-time lawyer and longtime adviser has passed. Roger Stone is the oldest one since then. He really wanted to help him. He would not have done it this way.

Gentlemen -- thank you very much --

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

CUOMO: -- for your perspective on how this usually works versus what is abnormal here.

Bernie Sanders declares victory in New Hampshire, the numbers seem to bear it out at this point. But right on his heels, the man who got more delegates in Iowa -- Pete Buttigieg. First two races, wildly over performing, people saying he could be the right choice.

Now, two percent between them. Let's take a closer look at what is fueling Buttigieg's rise, next.




PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I admired Senator Sanders when I was a high school student. I respect him greatly to this day. And I congratulate him on his strong showing tonight.

And I want to congratulate Senator Klobuchar, Senator Warren, Vice President Biden and all of our Democratic candidates and supporters.

And I know that we all share the spirit that we heard from some of our volunteers at the poll site earlier today who welcomed a competing candidate with chants of "vote blue, no matter who". We are on the same team.


LEMON: That young man right there won Iowa and is coming in second in New Hampshire right, 97 percent of the vote in. Pete Buttigieg, number 2, 24.4; and obviously Bernie Sanders is the winner -- 25.9 almost 26 percent of the vote.

Now you see everybody else falling in line right there. But who would've thought a mayor of 100,000 people, a city in the Midwest of 100,000 people, winning the first caucus, coming in second and pretty close to first in the first primary.


LEMON: And here we are, a virtual newcomer coming out of nowhere.

Let's come back to -- let's bring it back to the group here.

JEN PSAKI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Yes. I mean, Don -- we have been talking a lot tonight about listening to the electorate and hearing what they are telling us. And you know, I don't think we can sit and say Bernie Sanders is the far and away frontrunner without saying Pete Buttigieg, as you just said, won Iowa. He came within 4,500 votes of beating Bernie Sanders who won by a huge margin just four years ago.

He also won -- he had very even support among demographic groups, among age, among college educated and non-college-educated. He's benefiting clearly from people being late breakers in this race. And that's what they're betting on. So we will see what happens moving forward.

LEMON: And the people who did make up their minds later on moved --

PSAKI: Made up their minds later on --

LEMON: -- towards him, right.

PSAKI: -- and they're betting on that moving into Nevada and moving into South Carolina. He has a lot of resources. He has a lot of staff on the ground. He's on the air. No question there's a hurdle. He has to do well among non white voters but we'll see. We should not pre- predict the outcome. LEMON: The mayor -- as I was listening to his speech tonight, I kept

waiting for him to say "yes we can", writ large.

PRESTON: Yes. Fired up, ready to go.


LANDRIEU: I think it's amazing that Mayor Pete has done what he's done. Andrew can tell you this as well. You know, we always talk about why we think mayors are really in a good position to actually serve in the presidency because of the kind of work that we do.

And Pete's demonstrated a really smart, keen way of campaigning both in Iowa and New Hampshire that has resonated. So we have talked about the energy that Bernie has. Pete's got game. He's got a lot of energy behind him too. And the numbers tonight reflect that Bernie won -- I think four years ago, he won just really big. He didn't win it as big as he did last time.

And Pete actually is right. It's quite an amazing showing for him.

LEMON: Has he been tested?

ANDREW GILLUM, FORMER MAYOR OF TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA: Well, I mean he's been tested back in his own community, and I think people are still making judgments about how they feel he fared in some of those tests. But clearly there is something to it with him, certainly for these early states.

But I would even go beyond that to say that he's amassed nationwide fund-raising network. I've traveled, you know, given speeches in other places and repeatedly I hear from folks that they find him interesting, they want to hear more, they find him inspirational.

The tests will be, obviously as we move for the south and in diverse parts of this country whether or not he will have resonance in those constituencies.

And I can actually put a finger on the why it isn't working but something about it so far has not gelled well, particularly for folks of color.

LEMON: You bring up something that is a very fair point because also we have to remember also -- remember President Obama, then-candidate Obama even in the African-American community didn't really take him seriously until he started winning.

GILLUM: Well, he had to show -- and again, this is true for black voters -- period, which is we're not going to get behind any old body just because you happen to be African-American. You've got to show and demonstrate that you have the capacity to win, which he did. And once that happened -- the floodgates of support opened.

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, POLITICO: But Obama was also showing already movement in South Carolina --

GILLUM: For sure.

BARRON-LOPEZ: -- among black voters before we got to South Carolina -- even before Iowa voted, he was showing movement. And Buttigieg has not shown any movement with black voters.

LEMON: So let me ask you -- let me pose this question for you, because he brings up a good point. And I use my mother and her friends who are, you know, staunch Democrats, always vote, right. And when I asked them about certain people they go oh yes, that's great.

You know, I ask her about Biden. She loves Biden, she thinks he's great. He served with Obama. I said, well what if it's not Biden. She goes it's definitely Bloomberg.

I said but what about stop and frisk? She said -- she just -- Can he beat Trump? And that is what matters to her.

And then I said what about Buttigieg. She goes I don't know, he's smart but I don't know. And that's what you're saying. But I don't know.

BARRON-LOPEZ: I think that if Buttigieg were the nominee, would voters like your mother probably get behind him? Yes, because as we've talked about this entire night, Democrats clearly want to beat Trump. And that is their number one issue.

And so it appears as though whoever the nominee is, they would be getting behind --

GILLUM: The problem is this as you know. Ok, right. That's exactly right.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Can Buttigieg make up the ground that he is sorely lacking when it comes to black voters as well as Latinos, you know, in November. I was talking to Latinos on the ground in Nevada, who just either had never heard of him or felt as though he wasn't speaking to them at all or making the time to speak to them at all.

PRESTON: You know, when we talk about African-American voting and Buttigieg, let's assume that Buttigieg gets the nomination, you know, for the purposes of this discussion, this part of the discussion.

Are we going to see Barack Obama come out today and say I'm with this guy and I want you all to be with this guy? I'm not saying Barack Obama is turn (INAUDIBLE) and then that's it.

But are we not going to see make that from the African-American -- are we going to see the great mayor of Tallahassee out there?

GILLUM: You will see almost everybody on this who are Democrats. The problem is that there's a base of Democrats who are going to vote yes because they are animated, they are angry about Trump.

LEMON: We're not there yet -- is that what you're saying?

[01:55:02] GILLUM: Well, it's not just we're not there yet. There are people who are pretty down on politics -- four million folks who checked out between '12 and '16. They have not seen the results that they have been promised and they have chosen to refrain from participation.

So we are not in -- guess what, it resulted in an electoral victory for Donald Trump. The question for me is are you adding more to the table that gets you over that hurdle than what it is that you are losing?

And so I'm interested in a candidate who is actually going to demonstrate that they can bring more folks into this process than we are going to --


AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER SENATOR CRUZ COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: And if you're going to use that metric, real quick, you look at the lessons of the 2018 midterm election and you look, for a more moderate type candidate that can go into those red suburbs and make the argument to possibly Republican voters to come over.

That looks like a candidate that is more like Ralph Northam, Doug Jones, Kyrsten Sinema -- it doesn't look like Bernie Sanders.

GILLUM: Not but that's one theory of change. That is if you're only playing with the numbers of people who are on the board in 2016. Were talking about 2012 numbers, 2008 numbers where you had four million more voters who participated in the process and resulted in a pretty transformational leader.

CARPENTER: But you will never have an opportunity to get Republican voters in 2020 like you've ever had before. You will have that chance --

LEMON: That's a very good point.

CARPENTER: -- with a candidate like Pete Buttigieg that you will leave the --


LEMON: Very good point.

GILLUM: If that were true, then why didn't we see more senators, Republican senators crossover on this impeachment vote? Republicans I think are far too -- I think we give them credit for being much more aligned, much more lockstep behind this guy than what they really are.

LEMON: And much more to come. And we're going to also talk a little bit more about Mayor Pete Buttigieg because, as you and I were talking about, the question for a lot of people, and I think you were more eloquent than I was is you are a millennial. What is taking you so long to have a relationship and an understanding of the black experience in this country? And that is the question for many African-Americans when it comes to Mayor Pete Buttigieg. They give the older folks, a little bit more leeway because they're older and they've gone through, you know, maybe -- you know, gone through racial issues, the civil rights movement and on and on, and Jim Crow.

But a younger person they can't quite put their finger on it. They don't understand.

We're going to continue to talk about it.

Bernie Sanders pulls off a narrow win in New Hampshire but he's far from pulling away from the field. Look at those numbers, -- they're up on your screen right now. What are the chances this goes all the way to the convention?