Return to Transcripts main page


Joe Biden And Bernie Sanders In Tight Race For The Final Nominee; Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Presidential Candidate, Did Not Win In Her Own Turf; A State-By-State Look At Super Tuesday: Presidential Candidates In The Hunt For Delegates Needed To Secure The Democratic Presidential Nomination. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired March 3, 2020 - 23:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We're going to see what happens in the next few seconds. We're watching very closely the biggest Super Tuesday prize. Voting is about to end in California, a huge haul of delegates, 415.

We've got a few alerts right now. We cannot make a projection, but Bernie Sanders is the early leader in California, according to our CNN exit poll. Bernie Sanders, the early leader, remember, 415 delegates are at stake in California. Bernie Sanders, the early leader.

Let's check in with David. David Chalian right now, tell us what we are seeing based on our exit poll information.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes. We are getting a sense of how the electorate is splitting up in California. Take a look. The Hispanic vote, Wolf, makes up about 28 percent of the Democratic primary electorate in California.

This is Sanders strength. He's got 55 percent of Hispanics versus Joe Biden's 21 percent. That's a pretty significant margin there at 30 point with nearly three in 10 voters.

Take a look at young voters, 18 to 29-year-olds, also a huge part of the Sanders' base. They only make up though, about 14 percent of the electorate. He wins them huge, 72 percent. Warren gets 14 percent. And Biden is down at 5 percent with the youth group. But again, they make up 14 percent, so big Sanders' group but they don't make up a ton.

Look at older voters, they're twice as big a size of the electorate. Twenty-eight percent of the electorate in California is 65 and older. That's a Biden strength. Thirty-seven percent of the senior citizens are voting for Biden. Sanders gets 18 percent of them. Bloomberg gets 16 percent of them. You see how age is crucial in this Sanders-Biden fight, Wolf.

BLITZER: Very interesting, you know, Jake and Dana. There is a race underway right now. Biden has done very well in the east. But Bernie Sanders is doing very well in the west that we are saying now he's the early leader in the biggest prize of the night, California. JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: That's right. And again, just because it's

important our viewers understand this. These delegates are allocated proportionally. So, you can win a state and really only end up with one or two more delegates than the other competitors, just depending on how big your margin a victory is.

And so, what we need to see here in Texas and in California is how big the margins of victory are for whoever comes in first.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And what we see tonight could be very, very different with regard to the margin than in a couple of days or maybe even a week. Because California tends to take a while to actually count the votes.

We saw a big change, not in the winner four years ago, but in the margin of the win for Hillary Clinton back then in California.

But Bernie Sanders' campaign, they were feeling very bullish going into tonight about California and Texas, particularly Texas, but California was the one that they were most focused on for obvious relationships.


BASH: It has the most delegates. And there was a concern early on that Michael -- among the Biden campaign that Michael Bloomberg would real -- because he spent so much money there $77 million in just TV ads alone in California. Seventy-seven million dollars. That there was a concern he would eat into the Biden share of the vote there.

That's going to be, I mean, we saw that it happened a little bit maybe but not to a degree that really mattered that much when it came to Biden's victories across the south. It's a much different equation when you're talking about how many delegates are at stake in California.

TAPPER: We should also, I mean, give Senator Sanders his due here. He is really performing very well in some of these states as we move to the west. But there are some warning signs here as I noted earlier when it comes to just how much of a chasm there is between Biden supporters and Sanders supporters.

When you look at the exit polls in California, and you see that Bernie Sanders is winning young voters overwhelmingly, more than 70 percent and Joe Biden is winning 5 percent of young voters, 5 percent.

I mean, if Joe Biden ends up the Democratic nominee. And that is a huge if, he is going to have to do a lot to get out the voter enthusiasm among younger voters, just showing up and being a Democrat and getting Sanders endorsement is not going to be enough.

Conversely, we also see Senator Sanders really, as John was noting earlier, under performing with white the voters in places like Oklahoma and Alabama and Minnesota, people who voted for him last time they are not turning out for him this time. BASH: And the problem as David was noting in the exit poll just in

California alone. And this is true across the board. Young people don't tend to vote in big enough margins compared do older voters and that does tend to help Joe Biden.


TAPPER: Yes. And so, there is going to be a lot of reconciliation that's going to need to happen for whoever is the nominee. But the truth is, that we have a lot, a long way to go before then. I still have no idea what's going to happen.

BLITZER: Yes. I don't think any of us does. We are watching it closely. No one is watching it more closely than John King right now. Let's take a look at the outstanding states right now.

KING: I am watching those states that are still in play. If you want to watch the basic dynamic, I'll step back a little bit.

We haven't called all of these states. We can see Senator Sanders wins at home in Vermont. But Biden leading in Maine, leading in Massachusetts. Won in Virginia, won North Carolina, won Tennessee, won Alabama, won Arkansas, won Oklahoma. You see Biden.

Then we get to the middle of the country where we move west, haven't called it yet. Sanders leading --


BLITZER: Minnesota, too, by the way.

KING: Minnesota. Thank you very much. Minnesota up there. Sanders leading in Texas. Sanders won Colorado. Sanders is leading in Utah, Nevada previously voted.

So, let's just start with and we'll come this way as we wait for California. In Utah right now a pretty healthy lead for Bernie Sanders, 31 percent, Mayor Bloomberg at 19 percent, Senator Warren state wide viability here.

This is the only state I've seen so far tonight where Joe Biden is under, you know, under 15 percent. He didn't campaign here. He was focusing on South Carolina. That was the rebound of his campaign.

If you look at Utah, if those numbers hold up, more at 64 percent, that will be a place where he likely falls underneath the viability.

Let's come back to Texas, we're up to 44 percent now. You see the competition here. You see some Bloomberg on the map, you see a lot of light blue Sanders, you see an awful lot of darker blue Biden. Yet, Senator Sanders now, it's been about 44,000 votes, somewhere in ball park of 44,000, 45,000 for about 38 up to 44 percent here.

So, 29, if you round up, 24 percent there. Five-point lead. We're still counting votes here. Bloomberg getting some viability here. Warren, 13 percent. So, at the moment, at the moment below -- (CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: If it stays like this, they'll split up the delegates.

KING: They'll split up the delegates. There is two ways we have to do this. Number one, the first split comes in statewide delegates, which would be proportional to anyone above 15 percent. Then we talk about congressional districts. A lot in Texas Democratic Party does it through states.

Senate districts it's the same kind of thing. You look, you overlay the district map. You see how they do in the districts and then you allocate the delegates that way. It's a more complicated process. We have a great team there. They work on it all night long. We update it as we can throughout the night.

We're at 44 percent which tells you we have a lot more math to do in that regard. Senator Sanders, as I said earlier, you want to see how he did here right along the southern border. Most of it was good for him. We're still missing some of it there.

Joe Biden has won in the big urban areas. Dallas is number two. Senator Sanders has kept it relatively close.

So, in the urban areas in the closer suburbs, Biden is performing quite well, especially in a place where he did not spend a lot of time before the election because he was so focused on South Carolina in reviving his campaign.

Harris County, the largest county in the state. Biden winning but very narrowly here. This is essentially a tie in Harris County. There's a big fight there. Houston, the closer suburbs, a major Latino vote, professionals as well. The healthcare sector there.

So, we're still waiting on Texas. Then you want to come over here for a minute. You come up to Maine, this one has been fun, a roller coaster all night long, 860 votes right now. Joe Biden ahead at 33.8, Senator Sanders right behind him at 33, Elizabeth Warren dropped down to 17 there.

We got a way to go. You see a lot of empty on the map. Maine traditionally counts slowly. We may be here tomorrow, still counting this one. But right now, we're up to 61 percent but a very, very close race. Eight hundred sixty votes. We're going to have -- it looks like we have to count on just about all here.

Let's just dip down to Massachusetts now and bring it up. Joe Biden stretched his lead out here. We're up to 56 percent. He's at 33.8 so if you round it up that's 34 at 52,872 vote lead.

Senator Sanders second at 26.5, again, round up to 27. This has to be the shock of the night, Elizabeth Warren running third in her home state of Massachusetts with just above 21 percent of the vote. She will get delegates at home but she has no wins. She has no wins on the map. And she wanted her first win to come at home in Massachusetts tonight. She is currently running third. We are at 56 percent of the reporting right now. And if you look at the map, Elizabeth Warren is the lighter blue, Wolf, but very disappointing performance. Again, we're not at the finish line yet, but a very disappointing performance at home.

BLITZER: All right. We have a projection right now. The state of Utah right now as CNN projects that Bernie Sanders will be the Democratic presidential primary winner in the state of Utah, where 29 states -- 29 delegates are at stake right now.

Sanders wins Utah. That means he's won three states so far tonight. Colorado, Utah and Vermont.

On the other hand, Joe Biden, he has won Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia. Impressive wins right there but Bernie Sanders right now on a roll out west, Jake and Dana, as we're watching all of this unfold.

TAPPER: Yes. And this is just adding to more of the confusion as to what's going on here. You look at the map here. And you see Joe Biden just having a great night when it comes to the mid-Atlantic all the way through Tennessee and Arkansas and Oklahoma.


Senator Sanders potentially will have a good night up in the northeast. We don't really know. We don't have Maine and Massachusetts yet. But he wins his home state of Vermont. He won New Hampshire. And now we have Senator Sanders doing really well in the west. And as we head up to the big prize of the night, California.

We are still waiting for Texas and California results to be called. That is 48 percent of the delegates up right now. And it is potentially going to be that they go to Sanders. We don't know. As of right now, we're still waiting for that.

But the bottom line is, it's increasingly a race between two candidates Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. And if they continue to split the vote this way, then it's going to continue to get more and more opaque as to who the nominee will be.

BASH: And for the biggest prizes, Texas and California. Texas with the actual votes coming in, he is the early leaders.

TAPPER: Sanders.

BASH: Sanders. And in the exit polls, Bernie Sanders is the leader in California. And so, that's even more, if that continues, that trend continues, it's going to fill in light blue and so the east-west trend is going to be even more stark by the end of the night even more important for Bernie Sanders when you look at the number of delegates in Texas and in California.

We cannot emphasize that enough, that how many delegates there are. I mean it's almost half of the total haul, which is a third of the complete delegates possible -- TAPPER: Yes.

BASH: -- to get the nomination.

TAPPER: And again, it's really important that people understand that Democrats allocate their delegates according to the proportional representation. So, what really matters is the number of delegates that they get from each one of these states.

We're going to go to Wolf Blitzer right now. Wolf?

BLITZER: All right. We have another major projection right now. CNN can now project that Joe Biden will be the Democratic presidential primary winner in the state of Massachusetts where 91 delegates are at state. Joe Biden wins Massachusetts. That means he has now won tonight, Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia.

So far tonight Bernie Sanders has won Colorado, Utah, and Vermont. We're still waiting for Texas. We're still waiting for California. Those are the two biggest prizes of the night. But another win, you know, Elizabeth Warren was supposed to win in Massachusetts and it looks like she's going to come in third in her home state.

TAPPER: That's not good for Elizabeth Warren. But we should also just note that unbelievable accomplishment, Joe Biden did not campaign in Massachusetts. I don't think he campaigned in Minnesota either. He is winning states that he did not actually even attempt to win.

Now one of that -- one of the reasons for that I have to believe is just the coalescing around him, people, Democrats are so focused on who can beat Donald Trump. Overwhelmingly, poll after poll indicates who can beat Donald Trump is more important to voters than supporting a candidate that they actually believe in, or that shares their values and their priorities and their principles.

And here you have him defeating Elizabeth Warren in her home state. The commonwealth of Massachusetts, without having set foot in the state.

BASH: And just add to that, so Massachusetts is a big one. Tennessee, Arkansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma also states where Joe Biden did not campaign and CNN is projecting that he is winning tonight.

BLITZER: But what does this mean for Elizabeth Warren? She's got to take a very close look at what's going on. She finishes third in her home state.

BASH: It's not good. I mean, in any -- in any scenario, it is not good.

TAPPER: I think you're right.

BASH: Particularly because of, part of the thinking was, well, you could argue that if she loses to Bernie Sanders, it's a neighboring senator and, you know, maybe there's more of a Sanders' flavor in Massachusetts. That didn't happen.

She lost to a man who never campaigned in that state. And she's a senior senator from Massachusetts and, look, even though the Klobuchar campaign insists that she wasn't worried about Minnesota, I was told by Democratic officials that they were worried about winning Minnesota.

She avoided the fate that we are seeing Elizabeth Warren see tonight by getting out of the race last minute, endorsing Joe Biden and saving face. And Elizabeth Warren doesn't have that tonight. She has a very, very big defeat, an embarrassing one in her quest for the presidency.

TAPPER: And we should look there are going to be books written about why Elizabeth Warren, why she is having the election cycle that she is having. And certainly, there are all sorts of factors. And we cannot pretend that sexism is not one of them.

But when she announced that she was running, there were polls in her home state in which voters indicated they did not want her to run.

The Boston Globe, a powerful and well-read newspaper in Massachusetts basically told her in an editorial, do not run for president. We do not want you to run for president.


Ultimately, I think they endorsed her, but it was very late coming. So, like I said it's a much more complicated issue than I think we have time to discuss right this minute. But there was not a lot of support for her from early on.

BLITZER: Anxious to hear what she has to say. Anderson, over to you.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, Wolf, obviously, she's got some decisions to make.

There is so much to talk about. First of all, Governor McAuliffe, you've been involved in this. And, Gloria, you've been looking at the numbers --


COOPER: -- that the money Biden actually spent in a state like Massachusetts. What was it?

BORGER: Let's see, Anderson, Massachusetts, the grand total of $11,672.

COOPER: And what about the grand game in Massachusetts?

TERRY MCAULIFFE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Anderson, I've been helping the party for a very long time. I have in my life seen anything what we are seeing tonight.


MCAULIFFE: You got to understand a week ago Joe Biden was dead.


MCAULIFFE: Then the issue could he win any states?


MCAULIFFE: Then he could win maybe some of the southern states. But the idea that we're seeing here tonight that he's won Minnesota, he's won Massachusetts with no money, I cannot stress this point. No staff really, no money, in Virginia, not a single television ad was purchased by the Biden.

COOPER: There were no TV ads in -- no TV ads in Virginia.


COOPER: For Biden.

MCAULIFFE: Nothing. So, it's extraordinary what's actually happened. There is a lot of enthusiasm. Our turnout tonight in Virginia was up 68 percent from 2016. A million three twenty-two voted, up 68 percent and the one who walked away with it never spent a penny. And you know, it's a lesson for all of us.


BORGER: Can I just add?

MCAULIFFE: Who run for office --


VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, it is a kind of test here. You know, what's better to have. Is it better to have a movement like Bernie Sanders? is it better to have money like Bloomberg? Or is it better to have momentum like Joe Biden?

It's apparently better to have momentum. But I think what's so remarkable we seen in a 72-hour period Joe Biden going from a joke to a juggernaut. That's what's happened. And I've not seen anything like this ever.

I mean, it's like to come from this far back with no money, no machine, no organization. Just based on this idea that he can get it done is unbelievable. I think it's a moment of truth for Bernie Sanders.

COOPER: That was actually Bloomberg's slogan. Wasn't it? Like we can get it done?


BORGER: Right.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: We still don't know how he is going to do in Texas and California.

COOPER: Right.

BORGER: Right.

JONES: Yes. He's struggling --


HENDERSON: We could see -- we could see Bernie Sanders make up some ground really, really quickly in California.


HENDERSON: All those delegates there, 415 delegates, Latino voters going there strong for him in a lot of the early footing.


AXELROD: But it is true that what we're talking about now is who will end up as the leader tonight? That would have been an inconceivable discussion --

MCAULIFFE: That's right.

AXELROD -- a week ago. The notion, the faint hope of the Biden folks, even a few days ago was if we could just hang --


BORGER: Today.

AXELROD: -- within a couple of hundred delegates of Bernie Sanders. And so, you know, it doesn't mean that. I mean, this just means that we're at the beginning of a new phase of the race and there's a two- person race --


BORGER: This is momentum. This is momentum as Van was talking about. We've all been talking about that tonight. This is also about those endorsements. Abdul, you were talking about earlier. Because there were two that really mattered in this race so far. And that's of course, Jim Clyburn and Amy Klobuchar.


BORGER: Amy Klobuchar helped. And this is also an electorate that was searching for something.


BORGER: And it didn't take much. Because once Joe Biden looked like a winner, suddenly they just flipped. Now it could be a sugar high as we were talking about before. But they flipped. Now, he has to continue to earn that in the debates and everything else, but I've never seen this kind of consolidation as Van was talking about ever.

There's no doubt --


MCINTOSH: The factor in Minnesota that we haven't talked about which might also be playing out in Maine which is the switch from caucuses to primary.



MCINTOSH: Bernie did very well in caucus states in 2016. He fought really hard to keep them. Even though it sort of goes against the more people voting progressive platform that he wants to champion. He did not do well in the states where they've switched from caucuses to primaries.

So, I want to give credit to Amy Klobuchar for doing the smart thing and doing what she did and Minnesotans love her. I'm sure that factored a great deal. But the switch from caucus to primary not only increases turnout, which is fabulous.

MCAULIFFE: Which is important.

ABDUL EL-SAYED, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. it seems to have thrown a couple of --

And a very good thing for Democrats no matter who you support. It also seems to have thrown a couple of --


COOPER: Andrew?

ANDREW YANG, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Back to Elizabeth Warren, because I think she is the most interesting decision-maker in many respects going forward. If you asked me at the beginning of the day, I thought Elizabeth Warren was going to be here for the duration. She does raise $29 million in February on the back of a couple tremendous debate performances. She has 14 million in a super PAC that's now come in.


And her entire brand, she persisted. And it was like, like this is the fighter, smart, substantive, serious.


YANG: But this was a really adverse night for Elizabeth Warren. And so, I'm rethinking, even now, what her path can look like moving forward. And if you look at what happened in the other part of the candidates, Pete and Amy drop out, endorse Joe, and then their support goes to Joe. But Elizabeth seems to be heightening her contrast with Bernie instead

of trying to consolidate. And that to me is one of the most important dynamics in the race. Because if you have two front runners in the form of Joe and Bernie, and Joe is consolidating, and then Elizabeth stays in the race, I think it's going to be tougher for Bernie.

And it's unclear to me whether Elizabeth's support all naturally flows to Bernie in the same way --


COOPER: What about an endorsement from her, who do you would she would -- I mean, you would think on paper it would be Sanders. But as you said, people consolidating behind Biden.

YANG: Yes, that's the big question. And I think Elizabeth has been doubling down in terms of saying, look, Bernie has a lot of these great ideas but I can get things done. And that's been the opposite of the movement in the other -- with Pete and Amy and Joe.

So, to me, the decision that Elizabeth makes moving forward is one of the most important decisions in the race.


YANG: And what happens to her support. If she were to endorse Bernie wholeheartedly that's a very, very different dynamic than if she decides to drop out and does not endorse --


BORGER: And that's more -- could she endorse Biden. I mean, would that be shocking? Because it's more predictable say, if she were to endorse Sanders, in a way, coming from the same wing of the party, at first during this whole campaign they were loath to criticize each other, that's not the case anymore from her point of view.


JONES: It's just so sad though, isn't it?

BORGER: Well, yes.

JONES: Isn't it sad, though?


BORGER: But what does she do, though? This is kind of an existential --


MCINTOSH: Electability is still the filling prophecy.


MCINTOSH: We have been --

JONES: I think it's sad.

MCINTOSH: I mean, she has been hearing, her supporters have been hearing since the very beginning of this race that she's not electable, that she can't win. My feeds have been full of Warren supporters in the last few days, saying we can't vote for her, as much as we love her. We care about progressive values we got to vote for Bernie.

Or a few of them, a smaller number but a few of them saying we love her but we can't vote for her, we need to beat Trump, we're going to vote for Biden. And that --

JONES: And can I -- just a point. I mean, she beat Biden three times.

MCINTOSH: She won those debates. She won every one of those debates.

JONES: No. I mean, no. She beat him in Iowa.


JONES: She beat him in New Hampshire. I mean, she beat him. So, you have somebody who was at least doing as well as he was, and now she's -- we're just talking about who do you get out and who do you support.


COOPER: She also almost singlehandedly took out Biden.

JONES: She took out Bloomberg.

AXELROD: Which may -- we haven't talk about that. But when you talk about what happened today, what Elizabeth Warren did to Mike Bloomberg on that debate stage --



AXELROD: -- has a lot to do with it. Because he was on a trajectory up.

COOPER: Yes. And she took him out.

AXELROD: -- and she took the air out of that balloon.

COOPER: I want to get to Abdul and then I got to go to Wolf.

EL-SAYED: Yes. I mean, there's no doubt Joe Biden's had a great night. A lot of that is because of the public service that Elizabeth Warren did by taking out Michael Bloomberg.

I think the other, you know, just to accentuate this point, you've got a guy, there's a sort of unsaid conventional wisdom that in lower races down the ballot, self-funders, folks who put their own money in races just don't often win as much as you think they would. And that's proven true up here.

A lot of that is because of Warren. She's brilliant. She's got some incredible policy chops. I really do hope that she lives to fight another day. My hope, however, is that, you know, in this race, she thinks quite carefully about where she goes. Because she's got this relationship with the left and right now that's starting to consolidate.

I worry because in some ways she's got a lot of Bernie's positions with a little bit more of an institutional empathy, we'll say, and Bernie's always sort of been an outsider, politicking from the outside.

COOPER: I've got to go to Wolf. Wolf?

BLITZER: Anderson, thank you. You know, David Chalian, so far by our estimate Biden has won eight of the states of the 14 tonight, Bernie Sanders three, but Texas still very much up in the air right now. Let's take a closer look.

CHALIAN: It doesn't get much more up in the air in this, Wolf. In Texas, 228 delegates at stake tonight. We have 46 percent of the vote in. Take a look, Bernie Sanders in a close race. He's got 28.7 percent. He is followed by Joe Biden, about 35,000 votes behind him at 25.2 percent.

And Michael Bloomberg is at 18.3. He's above that 15 percent threshold that you look for to see who's going to accumulate delegates. But remember, delegates are awarded both based on this statewide vote which looks like it could go to either Biden or Sanders at this point. We have more than half the vote to count, but also based on how districts vote.

In Texas, it's state Senate districts. There are 31 of them in Texas and so we're looking now to see who has more than 15 percent within the districts.

Take a look, 31 state Senate districts, that's how the state is broken up. And look at the candidates who have 15 percent or more in districts.


Biden is at that level in 14 districts. I know he was behind in the vote count but he's actually ahead in a number of districts where he is viable for delegates. Sanders at 13 districts at that viability threshold. And Bloomberg has 12 districts. Warren has one of the 31 where she's at 15 percent or more.

But that means four candidates here are going to be, if this is where the vote ends up. Again, we only have 46 percent of the vote in, are going to be collecting delegates. And it just shows you in a close race, where you are in each of these districts matter but it is unlikely in a close race that you can amass a big delegate advantage.

BLITZER: It's clearly complicated in Texas right now. So, explain it one more time for our viewers, why Biden, as far as the state Senate districts would have one more delegate, at least, right now, than Bernie Sanders?

CHALIAN: Well, no, it's not a delegate. These are numbers of districts. Right?

BLITZER: Numbers of districts.

CHALIAN: So, there are 31, you see here on the left there are 31 state Senate districts. What we're doing is looking at how many of those districts is Joe Biden at 15 percent or more in the vote?


CHALIAN: How many are Bernie Sanders in? Because that's where they're going to collect delegates. Now some of these, take a look, Biden has 14 of those 31 districts where he is at 15 percent or more. Sanders is at 13 districts, with 15 percent or more.

By the way, some of those could be the same district. They could each more than 15 percent of the vote in a given district. Bloomberg has 12 states Senate districts where he is viable for delegates, he has more 15 percent or more of the vote and Warren has one.

It shows you that you saw how close the race was statewide. It is also close as to who is viable for delegates in these districts and how many districts. It means that somebody is not right now, if this is how it ends up tonight, is going to emerge from Texas with some massive delegate advantage.

BLITZER: So, the 228 delegates that are at stake in Texas, potentially, based on what you're explaining to us, could be split relatively evenly.

CHALIAN: If not evenly, close to it. There's not going to be somebody who can amass a big advantage over the competitors.

BLITZER: That would be -- presumably that would be very good for Biden right now if they are split relatively evenly in Texas.

All right, we've got a key race alert right now. Let's take a look at what's going on in California. Three percent of the vote is now in. Remember, this is the biggest prize of the night, 415 delegates at stake in California.

Right now, Bernie Sanders is ahead at 25.6 percent. He's winning by more than 8,000 votes over Michael Bloomberg who is in second place, 20.9 percent. Biden is in third place, 17.4 percent. Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard they're trailing.

Let's go over to John King who is looking closely at California right now. This is, as I keep saying, the biggest prize of the night.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: By far the biggest prize of the night and we're just beginning to count. We're at three percent statewide. Senator Sanders with an early lead. Mayor Bloomberg in second place early on. Joe Biden at 18 percent, 17.9 percent, Senator Warren, 10.5 if you round it up to 11 percent.

Again, as David Chalian was just going through this. Number one, you're looking at the statewide totals, and number two, then you're looking at are they at 15 percent to get it to statewide delegates. And then we go through 50-plus congressional districts as well.

If you look at the map right now Senator Sanders has the lead. We have no major population centers in yet. The closest we have to a significant population center is here. San Matteo County where Senator Sanders has a very narrow lead over Mayor Bloomberg here. But it's the only major population center we have. Mostly smaller counties.

As you go through you see that one purple. Michael Bloomberg at the moment with 28 percent in, he's leading in Napa County, California, known tourist destination, very important to the wine country in the United States and the state of California with a very tiny lead for Michael Bloomberg in this one county.

He invests a lot of money in California. The question is, does he get a significant piece of the delegate basket tonight? We're only at 5 percent statewide. At the moment he's above viability but we have a long way to go.

I'll just tap on these counties just to show you, Senator Sanders is leading early. This is Riverside County. It's about 6 percent. This is a decent population center here. Six percent of the statewide population. He's starting to run it up a little bit here in this county.

The question is, we're still waiting on Los Angeles where Joe Biden was tonight. Late push for Joe Biden. He was -- did not campaign a lot in California. That's your number one. Then you come down here, we just got votes in San Diego. I said we haven't received population center, big population center.

But San Diego 27 percent to 18 percent to 16 percent. So, as the votes are starting to come in more quickly now, this is important for Senator Sanders, we saw in the Texas example, Biden winning the urban areas in the closed in suburbs. Sanders winning more out.

This is -- if Sanders is on the way to a California victory, this is the way to do it, by running it up where the people live. You start moving up the coast a little bit here, Santa Barbara County here, Sanders winning. Again, smaller population, but up to 35 percent in this county.


Just pull back out and take a look at it. Sometimes over here things pop in. You just see it's filling in light blue, there's a lot of light blue right now, Sanders expects to win the state. The question will be the margin. That's how we divvy up the delegates, based on the margin, also based on the viability of the other candidates.

To open up out of the gates with 27 percent, keep the Sanders campaign happy, just kind of tick through to see what the margins are in some of these places. Pretty close up here with Biden. Close with Bloomberg here. Let us keep moving across a little bit. Come on in. It is more of a bigger win here.

It is a very tiny county, rural county up here as you start moving up to the northern part of the state. Sanders did very well up here four years ago. If you go back in time just to look -- remember, California was a fight, Hillary Clinton ultimately winning by a pretty healthy margin, but California was a big fight between the two candidates then. You see how well Hillary -- the dark blue is Hillary Clinton.

San Diego, I just showed you, Sanders is leading. Los Angeles, she won. Hillary Clinton won big in the big population. That was four years ago. As you watch the map fill in this time, the question is, will Sanders thinks this should be his state tonight? He hopes it's by a healthy margin, just starting to count. Have some fun.

BLITZER: We're going to watch California very closely, Texas also very closely, the two biggest prizes of the night. Texas is shaping up to be a nail biter right now. We'll update you on that when we come back.




BLITZER: Let's go to key race alert right now, the two biggest prizes of the night, California and Texas. In California, right now, nine percent of the estimated vote is in. Remember, 450 delegates at stake. Bernie Sanders is leading at 26.4 percent. Michael Bloomberg is in second place at 19.7 percent. Joe Biden is in third place at 17.5 percent. He is above the 50 percent threshold. Elizabeth Warren is at 11.2 percent in California.

Let us take a look at Texas right now. It is very close in Texas. Less than half of the vote is now in, 28 percent. Remember, 228 delegates at stake in Texas. Bernie Sanders is ahead. Look at how close it is, 28.6 percent. Joe Biden is in second place, 25.9 percent. Nobody else is close right there.

There is a battle going on. It got a little close with 28.5 percent for Bernie Sanders and 26.7 percent for Joe Biden. Let us go over to John King. Let us take a closer look. Less than 20,000 votes separate Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden in Texas.

KING: And this was 35,000 plus just minutes ago. So as they're counting the votes in Texas, it is getting closer. Senator Sanders is still ahead, 28.5 percent. But Joe Biden is on his heels, 26.7 percent. Mayor Bloomberg is just shy of 18 percent. Senator Warren -- so you look at it, it is filling in. Again, light blue is Bernie Sanders and the darker blue is Joe Biden.

One of the things that our desk reporters are just sending around is that half of the polling places in Harris County are still open because of lines at polling places to get people to vote. So we are still counting votes. This is the largest county in the state, fast growing, Harris County, great competition.

You have Houston proper, the city. There's a medical community there. There is biotech community there. There is a big college community there, giant Latino population, growing out into the suburbs, some of the suburbs quite affluent. This is a great mix of voters and great competition in Harris County where Joe Biden currently leads.

This lead got a little bit bigger. Earlier tonight, it was very close. Biden was ahead. It's close. This is four points now, a little more than four points now. So if there's still people voting here and we are still counting votes in a place that has a big population and where Joe Biden is ahead, that's one of the reasons you keep watching as you go through it.

Now, you come back out. I just want to show this, here. I'm going to be a little wary of this number, 81 percent of precincts reporting. But we know that some are still open, so we are going to keep track on this one as we go through the night to see what is still out there.

So then you want to come back. Your other big population center is Dallas and the suburbs right around it, 63 percent here, so still more than a third of the vote out. Again, this is a place where Joe Biden -- 3,000 votes. So you're starting to think, OK, you're down 19,000 votes, where do you make them up?

Here is a place where, as the rest of the vote comes in, if these percentages hold, Biden will make up some of those votes. Is it enough? That's why we have to count them until we get to the end. It doesn't look like he can make them all up there but he could make up a decent piece.

So now you're looking around the state, you're saying, where is Biden? If you're Biden and you're behind by just shy of 20,000 votes, where are you running well and can you get more votes? Down here at Corpus Christi, it's not -- medium size when it comes to the population center but only 28 percent of the vote in.

So Biden stronghold where there's still a lot of votes out, a decent margin there, percentagewise. Not a lot of votes but a decent margin percentagewise. It is an area of potential growth for Biden there. We will just check in next door, off to 100 percent here, so there is no growth to come there.

You look out here, the other thing to look at, the counterbalance to that, if you will. I showed you some places where Biden can make up some votes. You see a lot of empty in here, right? You see we have no votes at all here in an area where, so far, doesn't guarantee it will continue that way.

Senator Sanders is doing quite well, 35 percent here in Webb County, running up the margin. You don't have any votes next door. The question is, do you have a trend? And you're going to see this continue through as you go through. Will what we see down here continue all the way up the southern counties in Texas? So there's plenty of room for Sanders, too. I just have been watching since you've been here. We have been stuck at 49. You come over. Let us just check where Sanders is getting 71 percent, Lubbock County, again, not giant numbers, but Sanders is winning there as more votes come in. He could add a little bit. What that tells you is, especially in these big population centers, we will come back again to Harris County, the biggest of the population centers, we still have some counting to do, Biden has a lead there, 8,000 votes right there as you come through, so room to grow.

Is it enough room to grow? That is down to 17,000. Think about where the people live. The larger the circle, the larger the concentration of population. That's why you see Harris County down here in Houston. This is the biggest area. Dallas, number two. San Antonio and Austin, in San Antonio and Austin, Senator Sanders is doing quite well.

El Paso, out here, we're still waiting to turn this off for some votes out there. We have El Paso proper. Let us see how that's going, only nine percent in there. Sanders is ahead. So again, you're looking and you're saying Sanders is winning here.

If that trend continues with the margins, you'll gain votes here, you come back here, were down to 16,200 votes here now. So the more you come over, the more it gets competitive.


KING: Maybe I will just get you a chair and come back here a little bit.

BLITZER: Fifty-one percent of the vote is now in, so there is still 49 percent outstanding. So it's conceivable. Look at how close it is.

KING: Yeah.

BLITZER: It is 28.5 percent, 27.1 percent. Biden potentially has a chance of winning.

KING: He has a chance. We're going to count these votes to see what is out. One of the interesting things you're seeing happening, just if you're watching at home without any math, there's more Biden blue. Now, these counties are tiny when you go through them. They are tiny. Here, 14 votes to six votes.

You're not talking about major, 22 votes to 15 votes. Come over here. Skip a state. That will do that to you. Skip over to the next state. That will happen to you. There are 98 votes to 77 votes. So you're going through some of these smaller counties. Not a lot of votes there. But there are still some out.

That's what has happened, too. A, Biden is running it up in the big population centers. He has leads -- I shouldn't say running it up -- but he has healthy leads in Houston and Dallas. In these smaller counties that filled in, Biden has been chipping away at this Sanders lead, up to 51 percent. We are counting votes in California. It looks like we are going to be counting for a long time in Texas.

I just want to check. Come way back over here. I wanted to check just for this reason. This one is what we are going back and forth all night. Senator Sanders is now ahead in the state of Maine by a whopping 112 votes.


KING: This one is just -- this is what we've had. We've had a seesaw in Maine all night long, 33.2 to 33.1. Just again for context, though, Senator Sanders walked away with Maine four years ago. He is having the fight for it tonight and we have a long way to go, so a third of the vote to count there. So we're still counting in Maine. We're still counting, 16,000 right there in Texas.

And, of course, you move over here to the biggest prize of all in California, we are up to 12 percent, Senator Sanders with a lead there. Again, it is a long way to go at 12 percent. Joe Biden viable, Mayor Bloomberg viable, but nothing --


KING: But nothing -- like I said, we have some votes in from San Diego, up to 38 percent there. That's the source of the big Sanders lead right there in San Diego. We're still waiting. Joe Biden's biggest hope is a big performance in Los Angeles. We're waiting. We will count them when we get them.

BLITZER: Still early in California. Twelve percent of the vote is in.

KING: Right.

BLITZER: It is getting closer and closer in Texas right now. Those are the two biggest prizes. We will be right back.




COOPER: And welcome back. It has been a fascinating night so far. We're still awaiting obviously Texas and California, among other states. So far, Joe Biden has won eight states. Senator Sanders has won three states. Three are still too close to call. We are going to check in with our Jeff Zeleny, who has some reporting tonight. Jeff?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, good evening. There are a couple of different things here. Michael Bloomberg, as he is flying back to New York City, he is questioning his investment in this campaign and if he has actually gotten a good return on his investment.

We are told that advisers are saying they are going to reassess the campaign coming tomorrow. We do not know what the Bloomberg campaign is going to decide to do. But we do know that this was a very disappointing evening for them.

One thing is clear talking to several of his supporters and advisers that he does not want to be in a position to help Senator Sanders. This is a quote from a top supporter. It says, no, he does not want to help Sanders become the Democratic nominee. So that is one front there, the Bloomberg campaign, reassessing in the wake of a very disappointing finish this evening.

And also Elizabeth Warren, of course, winning third place in Massachusetts. She was pinning her hopes on that, as well as on California. Those votes are still coming in. But now, her path toward the nomination is narrowing even more than it was. Talking to a close confidant of hers as well, says this, there is no path forward for her.

So, of course, this is up to Senator Warren to make her decision. She was hoping going into Super Tuesday that she would emerge as an alternative candidate to Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. She wanted to appear on that debate stage later this month as an alternative. But it's unclear if she'll be able to do so.

They are still, of course, holding out hope for California. But the viability for Texas seems to be slipping away for them, so certainly a disappointing night for her. We'll keep an eye on her campaign to see what she decides to do tomorrow.

COOPER: All right. Jeff Zeleny, I appreciate that. I want to go with our experts particularly those who have ran campaigns, who have been in campaigns. Andrew Yang, let us start with you. Talk about a little bit about what the thought process or at least the situation that Michael Bloomberg finds himself in tonight and Elizabeth Warren.

YANG: For Bloomberg, he's a data-driven decision maker. He looked up and he had a case that has frankly not come together for his campaign. He expected Biden to falter and Biden has actually done the opposite of faltering. Biden is genuinely the new comeback kid. I'm not sure we've seen a campaign gain momentum as quickly as Joe's campaign has the last several days.

COOPER: Especially with no money. I mean --

YANG: Yeah. It does make you question. Terry was joking. It is, like, why are we hiring all these people these days (ph)?



YANG: -- it just takes off on its own. But to me, Mike is a very, very data-driven decision maker. I think the numbers are going to drive his decision tomorrow. To me, the real question is whether he decides to throw his weight behind Joe Biden as part of a decision or whether there is some interim period.

COOPER: And do you think that's an emotional decision or just kind of letting time pass to make that decision?

YANG: You know, I think Mike is going to make his decisions pretty quickly. He's got a very, very advanced team. They have probably already mapped out these scenarios. I think we're going to get decisions from him very quickly.

COOPER: And his team is employed either way, apparently. I mean, they're paid through November.

YANG: They're paid through November. I got to say, having the Bloomberg operation behind you is one of the greatest assets --

COOPER: Mm-hmm.

YANG: -- for the nominee heading into the fall because you cannot say his operation is anything but first rate. It's some of the most impressive --


YANG: -- group of people, impressive technology. And they've taken a lot of my team, given them 150 percent pay raises, and they're good to go through the fall. They've done that with many of our teams, honestly.


YANG: They went around. It's almost like a corporate rollup. It was like the Bloomberg machine came, and just did like MNA (ph) on all of the campaigns.

AXELROD: You don't win American symbol (ph) by doing that.


YANG: You're being rough. As a candidate, though, I was kind of grateful because you have all these hardworking, excellent people working for you. And then they have this very, very soft landing.


JONES: He can turn around and position that to help Biden or to help the party. For me, I want to hear the other people, but I just think if you're Bernie Sanders, this is your worst case scenario because you're now seeing the logic of the revolution beginning to break down.

The idea you're going to have young people coming out in large numbers, it does not seem to be happening yet. You're going to hold off the Latinos. You got a wire fall in Texas and California. It's tough.

COOPER: Wait a minute. Let us look at this right now, 5,000 --



COOPER: -- 5,762 votes are separating Joe Biden and Sanders.

AXELROD: One thing we got to point out about this is that early voting -- in Texas, they have an early voting tradition. The early vote is reported first. The early vote would not have captured this momentum for Biden. So, the fact that Sanders jumped out to a lead doesn't necessarily mean that he was going to hold that lead. And now you see the race tightening.

BORGER: But looking at the Warren number here and if you're Sanders people, you're not happy with Elizabeth Warren right now because you believe that throughout this evening, she has helped Joe Biden. Texas is clearly one place. Talk about the decision that Bloomberg has, there's a big decision that she has got.

COOPER: But I mean, this is --

MCINTOSH: She really helped Joe Biden in the sense that she kneecapped Michael Bloomberg which --

BORGER: Yes, that, too.

MCINTOSH: It was a public service that happened to helped Joe Biden. I don't think we can at all assume that her supporters are going to go immediately to Bernie.


MCINTOSH: I think if that was going to happen, she would have to really make that case. And a lot of them would go because they still love her.

COOPER: He's now 500 votes closer than he was --

MCAULIFFE: Let me tell you this. It's not that Joe Biden won eight states. But if Joe Biden tonight wins the state of Texas --


MCAULIFFE: -- if we see that in the next hour, that is devastating.


MCAULIFFE: You know, several of the Bernie supporters have said that Texas Latino community is the firewall. That firewall will go up in flames. I mean, this would be extraordinary. If Joe Biden wins Texas tonight, I think it changes the whole dynamics of the race.

COOPER: Do you see Bloomberg getting out quickly? Do you see him putting his forces behind Biden quickly? What about Warren?

MCAULIFFE: I do -- listen, Michael Bloomberg doesn't fool around. He's a very decisive individual. He had a great staff put together. He had a plan. I think the process was hard coming in late after people had relationships.

You know, as I said, the guy has been an absolute champ to many Democrats around the country on the issues of climate change and gun safety. He has been so supportive. That's what people want to remember Mike Bloomberg. I don't think he wants to change it. He doesn't want to change that.

COOPER: Let's focus more on Texas. I mean, this is an extraordinary story right now.

HENDERSON: If Biden doesn't win, if he comes close, that's extraordinary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's unbelievable.

HENDERSON: Sanders was running all over Texas. He had huge, huge crowds in Texas. In the Latino vote, he did well with the Latino vote last time at about 30 percent. He had run there before. If he's not able to pull this out tonight byt a fairly large margin --

COOPER: Abdul, what do you think -- earlier tonight, you were saying you were looking forward to Texas. What do you think went wrong here?

EL-SAYED: There's no doubt that Texas will be really, really important and whoever wins it will have picked up a tremendous number of delegates. I will say, you know, we still have yet to hear from California, which is still the biggest jewel in the crown tonight.

COOPER: What do you think went wrong for Sanders in Texas? He was there a lot.

EL-SAYED: To be honest, it is hard to say. He was there a lot. There is a momentum shift that we have seen signalled in the last couple of days. That momentum shift definitely has meaning. I think you have a lot of late breaking votes.

BORGER: This isn't just African American voters. That's the difference. This is Hispanic --

EL-SAYED: I hear that.

BORGER: -- voters in Texas.

EL-SAYED: Although I still want to say that, you know, if you look at how Biden performed among young folks, it's really, really a problem, especially when the goal here is win the presidency.


BORGER: Absolutely.

EL-SAYED: And then the other thing I will say is that we still got about two-thirds of this race to go. I do think that as this race slims down, the clarity and the contrast is going to become a lot clearer. That may have some impact.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got two-thirds to go.

(LAUGHTER) El-SAYED: I think about how fast this race has changed.



JONES: -- to be here where we are tonight.


JONES: -- this happy. He is always happy.


JONES: We said at the beginning that in order for Sanders to have the kind of night that was going to hold -- listen, we said Biden is going to do fine in Alabama and Tennessee. Who cares? Half the vote is Texas. Half the vote is California. Wait until you get there.


JONES: Sanders is going to a big stand and that's not turning out to be true. I think --

COOPER: It's now 4,357.

HENDERSON: It is going to be split, it looks like.

JONES: But look at the difference between what we thought might happen and what will happen, which means if you're Bernie Sanders, you got to look in the mirror tonight and figure out now what is the argument to say that you're going to be able to overcome all this?

COOPER: We are watching the two biggest delegate prizes tonight, Texas and California. Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are now running neck-in- neck in Texas, a remarkable turn in that race. We will get more results after a quick break.


BLITZER: We got a key race alert right now. Look at this. Wow! Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, for all practical purposes, right now, they are tie in the democratic presidential primary. Fifty-six percent of the vote is now in, 28.6 percent for Bernie Sanders and 28.6 percent for Joe Biden. Bernie Sanders is ahead by 450 votes, 450 votes.