tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN February 1, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
right now, a very special edition of "the lead" live in des moines, iowa, on caucus day. it is down to every last vote and literally anything could happen. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." good afternoon, america. from des moines, i'm jake tapper with a special iowa caucus edition of "the lead." it is too close to call here as voters across the hawkeye state begin to head out to caucus with
their friends and their neighbors. many, many eyes will be on donald trump tonight. trump appears to hold a lead over his nearest rival, ted cruz, with marco rubio a solid third. this will be the first test of the billionaire businessman's enormous appeal to a segment of the republican party on the trail. the big question, will these devoted fans follow through and become devoted voters? trump taking nothing for granted today, campaigning with former vice presidential nominee sarah palin in cedar rapids, iowa. earlier today i spoke with governor palin who said she is all in for trump and ready to go door to door. >> i've been knocking on doors for a couple of decades now with my start in politics, running for a city council seat, and that's how we would get elected. >> more of that interview coming up in just a few minutes.
and in one of his last appeals to iowans, ted cruz today saying it's now down to a two-man race. >> this race right now, it's neck in neck. it's all about turnout. this race is a statistical tie between me and donald trump. it all comes down to turnout, who shows up tonight at 7:00 p.m. >> it's a cliche, but it's true. it all comes down to turnout. it is a crowded republican field and all hands are on deck. the republican candidates fanning out today all across the state. on the democratic side, hillary clinton and bernie sanders both taking the time today to thank campaign workers and spending much of the day trying to reach voters through television and radio interviews. our correspondents have also spent months in every corner of iowa's 99 counties, and tonight sara murray is with the trump campaign, sunlen serfaty is at ted cruz headquarters, brianna
keilar is with the clinton campaign and jeff zeleny is with bernie sanders election night headquarters. we begin tonight with sara murray, who is with donald trump in west des moines. sara, a lot has been said that donald trump avoided the face-to-face politics that usually in a normal year wins iowa. but the same cannot be said for his family, perhaps his secret weapons. >> jake, i think you're absolutely right. that's why we are seeing his family on a full-out blitz across the state today. they are doing retail politics stops, visiting caucus sites and doing things that they think donald trump can't do himself, like talk about the softer side of the billionaire businessman that we've come to know as a pretty brash individual. now, i caught up with donald trump jr. at one of his many stops of the day today and asked him if it has fully set in for his father that tonight people are going to show up at those caucus sites and write his dad's name in for president. here's what he said to say. >> this is his first time on
this side of the table, right. it's a different experience. he wants to win it badly and we want to win this early. we want to start going up against the other side right away. we don't want the infighting within the party. >> now, this is a family that is pretty new to politics. of course donald trump has been a donor, but his kids are now joining his team, doing this retail politics stuff. what i found is when voters meet his kids, they really do seem to walk away with a different idea of who donald trump is as a machine in terms of his generosity and in terms of what he behaved like as a father and grand father and that might just be the final push he needs in a place like iowa where family is so important to the stalwart evangelical voters here. >> now let's go to sunlen serfaty who's at cruz headquarters. a big milestone for senator cruz just hours before the first votes. >> that's right, jake. ted cruz has now completed the full grassley meaning he has hit each and every one of iowa's 99
counties. this is a badge of honor for candidates here in iowa, something that iowa voters do pay attention to. what it's really given ted cruz in these final hours is the ability to really argue that he is the one that has made the effort here and draw a very distinct contrast with donald trump and his untraditional style of campaigning. ted cruz a few hours ago declaring that he has been the one that faced scrutiny, he's the one that has looked iowa voters in the eyes. but it's interesting to note and important to note here that this happened very late in the game. and in the final days leading up to today, this strategy took ted cruz away from big populated centers and really made him be in really rural, small towns, populations 200, 400, so the post mortem within the cruz campaign if he loses iowa may very well be centered on this strategy. >> interesting, sunlen serfaty, thanks so much. now to the democratic side. brianna keilar is live at
hillary clinton's campaign headquarters. is the clinton campaign worried they'll face a repeat of 2008, strong and then a loss? >> they absolutely are, jake, but it's not actually based in any of the indicators that they're seeing. they're looking at the trajectory of the polls. they're looking at what they expect turnout to be. and they think that this is going in their favor. but at the same time so many people who were involved in her 2008 effort where she was delivered such a stinging third place defeat here in iowa remember that going into caucus night they felt good. they felt like they feel right now. but i did just bump into secretary clinton in des moines on my way to headquarters and she seems in very good spirits, so that's sort of something, an indicator of how she's feeling. certainly how the campaign is feeling. they feel good. they feel like they're going to be able to beat bernie sanders, but they're also anxiously awaiting the results tonight.
>> brianna keilar, thank you so much. let's talk about sanders. jeff zeleny is live in des moines at sanders headquarters. jeff, is there a magic number that they're looking for in terms of turnout that would tell them that they're likely to have a successful evening? >> yes, jake, there absolutely is. the sanders campaign believes if their turnout is north of 170,000, that is a good night for them. let's put this into a bit of perspective for you. let's look at these numbers from the last two competitive iowa caucuses on the democratic side. in 2004, there were 124,000 people who participated. in 2008, 239,000 people actually attended. so the higher the number, the better it is for senator sanders. they believe that will be an indication that they brought in new voters to this process, new people who have never caucused before, so watch for the lines at caucuses, new people register to vote. if the number is higher than 170,000, that is good for senator sanders.
we also bumped into him just a short time ago. he and his wife jane were having a quiet lunch before this big storm. as you can see behind me, they are setting up what they hope will be a victory party, but again, jake, it all gets back to the turnout number. if it's more than 170, the sanders campaign believe they will pull off an exceptional win here in iowa. jake. >> the clinton campaign has a similar number with the same similar projection. jeff zeleny, thanks. the winner of the democratic race could of course go on to face donald trump who has won two of the most highly sought after endorsements in this race, jerry falwell jr. and former alaska governor sarah palin. trump had palin join him on the trail today, banking on her star power, especially among evangelicals, to rally the troops one last time before the caucuses begin tonight. >> because mr. trump promised me that he will make america great again, and that's the only thing
i'm asking. >> earlier today on the campus of drake university here in des moines, i sat down with governor palin. >> governor palin, thanks so much for doing this. >> thank you. >> the last time you and i spoke, you were torn between ted cruz and donald trump. torn. and now you've gone with trump, very enthusiastically. what made the difference? what tipped the scales? >> well, it became a much less difficult decision once some inconsistencies started coming out about cruz's position on amnesty, on building that wall and securing our jobs and our homes via tighter borders. you know, i just started looking a little bit closer and realizing we just don't need more of the same, we need that fresh, energetic, can-do spirit that trump has brought with him from the private sector, which i love. so at the end of the day, it wasn't a tough decision. >> ted cruz told me on sunday
about trump's decision to skip the debate, quote, if i was doing a job interview with you and called you up and said i'm not willing to show up at the job interview, you wouldn't hire me and i think that's what donald said to the people of iowa. >> a, it's no reflection on mr. trump's opinion of the great, great people here in iowa. that's a funny perspective that ted cruz has because donald trump, if anyone, has the record to prove that he, as the businessman who is so successful and wants the rest of america to be successful, he's kiebnd of t epitome of the job interview. he has gone through the job interview and he has proven himself via that very successful record of strength that's made manifest in not just materialistically but where he is in our culture, where he is politically. he's at the top. so yeah, no, he passed the job interview. >> as you know, a caucus is much more complicated than just a
primary vote or election vote. people have to come, they have to devote a little time. >> yes. >> a lot of mr. trump's support, they're first-time caucus goers, theoretically if they turn out. are you concerned at all about whether or not they're going to turn out tonight? >> you know what i've been concerned about in terms of this process of the caucus, you're making a good point that it is kind of difficult and we hear that weather may move in and make that a cumbersome situation for people, maybe they can't get to the caucus. what i've been concerned about is what the cruz campaign has done to previous voters, potential voters who weren't able to make it to a caucus maybe because it's a difficult process. >> you mean that literature. >> they were shamed. they and their neighbors being sent report cards saying, you know, you got an "f" because you didn't do what we think you should have done. that to me is very reflective of politicians thinking that they know best or that they know the intricacies of your life so they can make decisions for you.
so that's what i'm concerned about with this whole caucus process. >> what did you make of it other than politicians telling people. did you think it was offensive? did you think it was -- >> very offensive. however, it's been done before. i don't know if necessarily in these parts it's been done before, but i know that elsewhere people think that they're clever. political parties who get out of hand think that they're clever by shaming people and by trying to intimidate voters. i think that's very shapefmeful. man, i'm just such a freedom-loving gal i don't even want government to know what my voting record would be. i certainly don't want and don't think it's necessary for a political party to collect the data from government, about who votes, who doesn't vote, and then rub it in their face. >> a few months ago when i interviewed you, i asked you what position you might want in the trump administration and you said the department of energy,
you would be secretary of energy and then you would shut down the department of energy. have you actually talked to donald trump at all about a possible position in his administration if he were to win? >> i've been very, very clear with him that i'm not asking for anything. he's in a position in life i'm sure where he is asked every day from everybody for something and i'm not going to be one of those asking for anything. >> you talked about inconsistencies among the votes and the positions of senator cruz. donald trump is somebody who has clearly had different positions on issues that he has today, including an issue very near and dear to your heart, the issue of abortion and life. have you talked to him about that? he used to be, he called himself very pro-choice. now he says he's very pro-life. >> i am so glad that mr. trump has seen the light and understands the sanctity of innocent life and how a baby in the womb should be most protected. what has been kind of sad about this situation, though, politically speaking, are groups that are pro-life and they say
they want to bring more people into the fold. they giving trump a hard time for his past views on abortion where they're celebrating others, like i was going through a list. like justin bieber and, gosh -- >> justin bieber. >> yeah, yeah, who has made statements, understanding the sa sanctity of life but in the past said it was no big deal to him. it's just one example. i've heard these same groups celebrate people -- i've been to their fund-raisers and spoken at their events and there's usually someone in the crowd, every single one of these crowds, who will testify to having seen the light, you know, to understand, oh, i get it. i get it that god has created life with purpose. >> so you believe mr. trump when he says he's -- >> and then to see that they're celebrated but for political reason, mr. trump is condemned for changing his views to the right side. man, that's politics.
>> coming up next, more of my one-on-one interview with sarah palin. >> candidates who campaign one way and then govern another way, i think that's what people are sick and tired of in this country. >> making it clear that she's itching to get back in the political arena and run for office again. plus sarah palin telling me she's not supporting ted cruz because of his, quote, inconsistencies. the cruz campaign responds, next. parking is hard to find. seems like everyone drives. and those who do should switch to geico because you could save hundreds on car insurance. ah, perfect. valet parking. evening, sir. hello! here's the keys. and, uh, go easy on my ride, mate. hm, wouldn't mind some of that beef wellington... to see how much you could save on car insurance, go to geico.com. ah! (car alarm sounds) it's ok!
karen: "she's single." it also supports wonderfully high levels of humiliation in her daughter. karen: "she's a little bit shy." in just 7 days, your joint comfort can be your kid's discomfort. osteo bi-flex. you were made to move. so move. is this heaven? no, it's iowa. welcome back to a special edition of "the lead." we're live in des moines where earlier today on the campus of drake university i chatted with former vice presidential nominee sarah palin, who's here to try to help donald trump. >> when you came out and started supporting donald trump, a lot of people said your word is gold with evangelical voters in iowa.
but according to the latest poll, 56% of evangelicals in iowa still have a negative view of donald trump. what's your message to those voters who look at him very skeptically. >> i appreciate what jerry falwell jr. said the other day when formally endorsing donald trump. he said -- like his dad used to say, when he goes to the voting booth, he's not looking to elect the most, subjectively speaking here, godliest guy out there running. he wants in the case of the president of the u.s., the strongest ceo. thankfully, as far as i know, each one of the candidates on the gop side, each one of them, they do have god in their hearts. they do serve the lord. you know, i appreciate that. but i'm never going to be one to judge somebody's level of christianity, you know. who am i to judge that? >> you still sound frustrated
with politics as usual and talking points. is it over for you or you still might run for something some day? >> no, it's not over for me because my frustration maybe some day will lead to being in the position to change that so that we're not frustrated about the ole politics as usual. but candidates who campaign one way and then govern another way, i think that's what people are sick and tired of in this country and the electorate then is making that known via the poll numbers that are showing the outsiders doing so well. bernie on one side, trump, people with a lot of respect for carson. that's -- you know, it is that manifestation of people going, oh, man, the status quo has got to go. that's what's gotten us into the problems we have today. we need those outsiders to get in there, so maybe some day that will be me. >> maybe some day. how is your family? how's todd, the kids? >> family is doing great. thank you for asking. i know the elephant in the room
has been my son having returned from iraq. he was there twice, from afghanistan, going through some kind of tough times, as so many of our warriors do, trying to kind of get back in the groove of the real world without a lot of transition and knowing that, you know, a lot of our soldiers, a lot of our troops, they do go through so much and i haven't been shy about telling people that, yeah, our family goes through that too. we are like so many other families in america, and it really to me sheds light on the need for the american public to understand how important it is that the leaders of this country respect our troops and what they go through and what they bring home from the battlefield. you know, there's a reason that ptsd is very prevalent in our society and that 22, 23 wounded
warriors or vets kill themselves every day. they go through tough times and i see that. not just my son, i see it with his buddies, i see it with just a lot of people that i come in contact with across the country, and people want to make sure that our troops are respected and they get the help that they need. thankfully, my son will get the help that he needs. i want to make sure that others also receive. >> it all right, governor sarah palin, thanks so much for your time. appreciate it. >> thank you. trump supporter sarah palin with some tough words about ted cruz. joining me now is congressman steve king of iowa, the national co-chair of ted cruz's campaign. congressman, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me, jake. >> earlier you suggested palin may have been swayed to join the trump team because trump has a, quote, massive amount of assets and resources that he can deploy when it comes time to convince someone. that's an explosive charge, and palin addressed it at a rally. let's listen to that. >> that just doesn't sound like the heartland of america.
maybe he's forgotten some of his heart in the heartland. he got a touch of that potomac fever there in d.c. maybe he's been -- i don't know, maybe he's been hanging out in a cornfield too long huffing ethanol or something, because his accusations here are way off base. >> that's an explosive charge and that's an amazing rejoinder by her. do you have any evidence of this? >> i like sarah, and i get a kick out of her. i like her style and you can tell by the way i respond to that how this is. >> you have not, for the record, been sniffing ethanol? >> maybe they'll want to do a little test on me on the way out of here, but i can walk and drive. but i'll just say that it was to a direct question, how do you explain this? i'm speaking in broader terms. there have been a number of endorsements that have come to
donald trump that some would be surprised at. so i know how persuasive donald trump is. and there's a star factor there. there's a resource factor there. and then it's the carrot and the stick. so ask a direct question, i give as direct an answer as i can but i don't want to pick a fight with sarah palin. i really like her and i did say also that her political ideology is much closer to ted cruz than it is to donald trump. >> the spokesman for the trump campaign, rick tyler, tweeted a few days ago a chart comparing ted cruz with trump on a number of issues. one of them was number of marriages. ted cruz 1, donald trump 3. is that fair game, do you think? >> any of that is, although the cruz campaign has not made an issue out of that. that's the first i've heard of that. so i think that there's been a hands off of donald trump. people have looked into his private life very deeply, although there are a few things
out there that have trickled through that i see on the internet. so i think they have been very velvet gloved with donald trump when it comes to his personal life. >> but you think it's fair game? >> it is fair game. and we're about choosing the next leader in the free world. everything is fair game as long as it's true and right and factual and just. >> your congressional district here in iowa, probably the most conservative and very interesting in the recent "des moines register" poll showed that trump and cruz were neck in neck. that surprised a lot of people. they'd think with all the evangelical voters and religious conservists -- >> i think there is a misinformation campaign on the ethanol argument. >> about opposing subsidies. >> what they have put out has been false. cruz phases down the renewable fuels standard but also eliminates the subsidies for petroleum. the industry has been asking me
to eliminate, tear down the 10% blend wall so they can mark it up to an e-25 or e-30 and eliminate the subsidies that come on petroleum. >> that's how you explain these negative ads. >> cruz gives them almost everything they ask for but they set this ad campaign up early in this process and they're not willing to change. >> you mean the ethanol industry? >> the arf group that's put together of a consortium of the ethanol industry. >> good luck tonight. really appreciate it. next, can new york's very liberal mayor help the clinton campaign in the boiible belt? my guest, bill de blasio. and bernie sanders, ahead the man running the sanders campaign. plus my guest today, the man who was the surprise leader in iowa not that long ago, dr. ben carson will join us. rootmetrics, in the nation's largest independent study, tested wireless performance across the country.
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welcome back to "the lead." we're live from iowa, where voting in the 2016 presidential race will begin just hours from now. new york city mayor bill de blasio has a long history with the clintons. he managed hillary clinton's winning senate run in the year 2000 and now he's here in iowa knocking on doors for the clinton campaign. joining me now from iowa city, iowa, is new york city mayor, bill de blasio. mr. mayor, thanks for joining us. >> you're very welcome, jake. >> so, mr. mayor, how is the reception for a big city boy like yourself among the small town folk of iowa? are they greeting you well or eyeing you warily? >> no, it's been a great reception. iowans take the caucuses very, very seriously. they care about people coming to
the door talking about the issues. i came out here with a team from new york. we've knocked on 1,800 doors since friday and a lot more today we're going to be doing. the great thing is that people are so focused on the meaning of this state. they understand that they're the first in the nation, they understand they're making a big, big impact. really believe that changes people want, this is a very progressive electorate, as you know, jake. if you're progressive, you want to see greater taxes on the wealthy, higher wages and benefits for people, paid family leave, paid sick leave, hillary clinton is the person who can get that done and get it done now. that, i think, is a message that resonates now. >> that's interesting, because i think there are probably a lot of voters out there, progressives, who wonder how you, as a very strong progressive who is focused so much on income inequality, how you're supporting hillary clinton and not bernie sanders, who i think is probably, i think it's fair to say, more liberal
than hillary clinton. >> well, let me tell you a couple of things. first of all, i respect bernie a lot and i think he's contributed greatly to the discourse in this country. that's what i hear from iowa democrats, they respect all three of the candidates. but what i talk about is who's going to get the job done. and hillary clinton's agenda, the actual platform, includes higher taxes on the rewealthy, closing the loophole, the buffet rule. it includes paid family leave, higher minimum wage. that is a really strong progressive blueprint and exactly what we want to see in the democratic nominee. walking in the door of the white house, she would have the most progressive platform of any democratic nominee in, i would say, decades. so i feel great about where she stands. and the second question is who can get it done. who knows how to navigate all of the obstacles and stand in the fire and get it done. hillary clinton has proven that.
i talk about the health care reform fight of '93 and '94. she had all of the power of the american health insurance industry against her. she stuck with it. i think what she did helped pave the way to obamacare later on. and that's the kind of fortitude that's going to be needed to make progressive change in this country. >> your predecessor, mike bloomberg, is talking about maybe running as a third party candidate. i know you're a strong clinton supporter. hypothetically do you think a bloomberg candidacy would hurt the democratic nominee more or the republican? >> i think it's hard to say. it is hypothetical, as you say. i think the bottom line is i don't think people will turn to a billionaire to fix the problems that were largely created by billionaires. i think that's the contributiadn here. this election is about the economy, the decline of middle class, the needs of the working people and need for a fairer economy. i'm not sure what a billionaire
can contribute in that context. so i'm not sure there's space for him. >> all right. new york city mayor bill de blasio, thank you so much. have fun out there. >> thanks, jake. joining me now, jeff weaver, the campaign manager for the sanders campaign. thanks for being here. >> happy to be here, jake. >> are you surprised that bill de blasio, this national spokesman for progressive causes who has made income inequality and combatting it one of his major issues isn't supporting sanders? >> it is a little surprising. clearly senator sanders is the person who's been talking about this issue most consistently for years and years as the vice president pointed out not too long ago. if income inequality is your top issue, bernie sanders is the obvious choice. >> we reported earlier that the magic number for the sanders campaign that you're looking for is 170,000 caucus goers. if you get above that number, you'll feel like you're having a pretty good night because bernie does so much better with the first-time voter caucus goers
than hillary clinton does. is that accurate, do you think, 170,000? >> well, without giving a precise number, i would say the larger it goes, the better it is for senator sanders. he's always been a proponent of large elections. if we see a large turnout here in iowa, first-time caucus goers, i think you'll see him do very, very well tonight. >> senator sanders prides himself on not running a negative campaign. he has made some tough calls when it comes to goldman sachs and speaking fees. there's an ad that doesn't mention secretary clinton but targeted at her when it comes from taking money from big banks. >> it's a systemic problem. if you look at people who have taken speaking fees and money from big banks, you can put jeb bush in that category and a whole host of people. it's not just secretary clinton but it's an establishment politics that is run with money from wall street and other big interests. >> i know the sanders campaign
is often very sensitive to the idea that the establishment is with clinton because she's the establishment candidate. has this race in iowa so far been above board? have you seen anything that you think has been unfair when it comes to how the democratic apparatus has operated? >> no. listen, the people of iowa, the democratic party here in iowa have been great. they have been very welcoming. obviously the secretary had relationships with some people at the beginning that we didn't have, but i think we've built good relationships. i think the people on the street, the rank and file people have been warm and receptive of senator sanders' message that we're dealing with a rigged economy. if you look at an early bernie quote when he first came to iowa, he came home and talked to jane and said i think i'm going to like iowa, they're very much like vermonters. so we have a lot of affinity for the folks here. >> thanks. appreciate it. good luck. in just two days when the focus shifts to new hampshire, cnn will host a live town hall with all three democratic
candidates. that's wednesday night, 8:00 p.m. eastern. coming up, a few months ago he was way ahead in iowa, even topping donald trump. what happened? we'll ask dr. ben carson. and donald trump, the latest polls give him a slim lead in tonight's caucuses. if he wins, could he then run the table to the nomination? stay with us. from bank of americash bk to help pay for her kids' ice time. before earning 1% cash back everywhere, every time. and 2% back at the grocery store. even before she got 3% back on gas, all with no hoops to jump through. katie used her bankamericard cash rewards credit card to stay warm and toasty during the heat of competition. that's the comfort of rewarding connections. apply online or at a bank of america near you.
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liberty mutual insurance. digestive core.r so choose ultimate flora by renewlife. it has 30 billion probiotic cultures. feel lighter and more energized. ultimate flora. more power to your gut. welcome back to a special edition of "the lead" live from america's heartland, iowa. we're just three hours away from the start of the iowa caucuses in a night that could forever change the political landscape. tonight republicans will decide if donald trump, the brash billionaire businessman and reality tv star adds another title to his list of credits. winner of the iowa caucus. will this turn trump into the prohibitive favorite? joining us now, dana bash and the chief political reporter for
the "des moines register," jennifer jacobs. so republican senator joni ernst, conservative republican from iowa, was asked how ted cruz gets along with his u.s. senate colleagues. she said the endorsements are telling. explain what that means. >> she is very delicate and considerate. she does not like to criticize her fellow republicans, so she was trying to say very gently, look at the endorsements that ted cruz has received and that will tell you how popular he is with his fellow colleagues in the u.s. senate, and the answer is none. >> he has none. he has none. dana, donald trump is running as the outsider in this race. he's the furthest thing possible from a politician. all the rules have been changed by donald trump. but if he wins tonight, does that change it at all? does that change the equation? he's no longer an outsider, he'll be the front-runner officially. >> possibly. look, i think that he's so unique to politics and such a
unique character in politics that -- and he hasn't been in an elected office before. yes, he will officially be the front-runner and you could argue we'll have more ownership over the party. but he still has a lot of bragging rights as somebody who's never been elected and doesn't have to take money from contributors and so forth, which is a big part of the reason why his supporters like him. >> jennifer, as i just said, the rule book has been thrown out. if he wins tonight, this is a guy who has not pulled the full grassley, visiting all 99 counties. i don't know how many counties he's visited, but he's not going into cafes and shaking hands and meeting iowans. he's doing huge rallies. he has not spent anything on polling. he has not run that many tv ads, just a cursory number of ads. he's just come here and attacked his rivals and held these huge rallies. does this change iowa politics forever, you think?
>> we asked senator chuck grassley about that as well because essentially someone pointed out he's had more than 40 rallies around the state and iowans from every county have probably come to him so i asked if that's a reverse grassley and he said, well listen, the reason i go around the state is to actually engage with people and encourage government participation, hear what my constituents are thinking. he gave donald trump an out and said when you're running for president, you have different purposes. if he can win iowa by doing it differently, that's fine. but you've got ted cruz who just finished in the down of jefferson in green county. our records show he's missing two, so there's a little bit of a dispute there. >> discrepancy. >> we have some rules for ours. you have to have some advance notice and it has to be open to the public. a couple of events didn't meet our criteria so we show only 97. but the point is when you go to all these counties, it's not
about just stepping foot in the counties, it's to engage with voters and talk with voters and that's what ted cruz is doing. >> and it's been really stunning, obviously i'm not an iowan, but coming in as much as i have and to watch that the iowa voters don't seem to be demanding from donald trump what they do from other candidates. >> yeah. >> to have that one-on-one time, to raise their hand and say, senator cruz, you don't support ethanol subsidies and here's why i think you're wrong and have a back-and-forth dialogue. sure donald trump has question-and-answer time but it's a question and then sort of an answer and move on. >> you can't compare it. but if it wins, if it's successful, what can you argue with? stay here, guys. next, hillary clinton trailing sanders by double digits in new hampshire. does that make tonight a must-win for her?
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welcome back to "the lead." we are live in des moines, iowa. tonight hillary clinton is fighting to avoid a bad case of deja vu. the cnn poll shows hillary clinton clinging to a slim three-point lead over bernie sanders in iowa, but a loss is sure to draw comparisons to 2008 when clinton lost to barack obama in this state. does that make iowa do or die for hillary clinton tonight? our panel is back with me. dana bash, jennifer jacobs. dana, there's a big difference between clinton/sanders and clinton/obama. that is new hampshire was still up for grabs with obama so she could go there and beat obama so it was level playing field. bernie sanders, who's from
neighboring vermont, is double digits ahead of her in new hampshire. >> it would be shocking if clinton would use any momentum that she got from here, assuming that she wins the iowa caucuses, to be able to beat bernie sanders in new hampshire. the difference is that large. that's why if you're looking forward, it's south carolina that the clinton campaign is looking towards. that's the place that they hope to really stop any potential momentum that sanders has from new hampshire. they feel like south carolina democratic voters are more her kind of voters, it's more urban, less white, frankly, than iowa and new hampshire. >> and more moderate democrats. >> yes. >> so democrats in the state are very liberal. did i see a state -- tell me if i'm getting this wrong -- where the democrats identify with socialism more than they identify with capitalism? >> yes, yes. they're very open to the idea of socialism. >> is that right? >> yes. it's not a threatening topic to them. they like it, they embrace the idea. >> why is bernie sanders doing
so well here? why is he doing better that zigs months ago we would have expected. >> because two-thirds of our democratic caucus electorate thinks that the system is rigged to help the rich and powerful. and those voters, you know, go to hillary clinton. she gets some of those voters, but she gets more voters who think it's the opposite, that the system is fair and anyone who works hard can get ahead. it's that deep-seated frustration with government and the feeling that the rich and powerful have everything under control and they get nothing. >> very interesting. dana bash, something else very interests in the "des moines register" poll, the big determinant is not gender, it's age. women under the age of 45 support bernie sanders. >> that's right. >> she's got to turn that around if she wants to win this nomination. >> yes, she does have to turn that around because i think there are lots of reasons for that. but just actually speaking as a woman -- >> under 45. >> thank you, under 45, there's
just not the kind of ooh-ah factor of having a female president. gender doesn't matter as much to younger women as the older women who couldn't imagine seeing a female president in their lifetime. there are lots of other factors, i'm not saying that, but when it comes to the question of gender that speaks to part of it. >> what has been the most surprising thing about this contest so far? >> oh, it's just been interesting to see how rubio is now predicting that he could come in first or second. one of his top surrogates predicted he could come in first or second. he should. he's cut out to win the iowa caucuses. wouldn't that be a fun one? >> it's been great. jennifer, dana, thanks very much. more of our special coverage coming up next.
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was not able to get here on time but hopefully he'll show up in the next hour with wolf blitzer. that's it for "the lead." i'll be back with special coverage at 7:00 eastern. i now turn you over to mr. blitzer in a place we like to call "the situation room." right now in iowa, candidates are making their closing arguments as voters get ready to make their opening statement in this, 2016 presidential election. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." >> i'm anderson cooper. i've always want to be in the situation room. thanks for inviting me. >> what do you think? >> it's ice cold and minty fresh. together we have the latest developments along with the best analysis in this crucial first in the nation contest. >> with the doors opening at caucus sites now in less than two hours, the final push is on. republicans stumping acros