tv Americas Choice 2016 Nevada Republican Caucuses CNN February 23, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm PST
registration for republican voters. >> that's right. it speaks to their enthusiasm. there's a big enthuch in a place like nevada where in the general election has gone more republican laetly but you never know. it is moving toward swing state territory. >> barack obama won it twice. i think that if you look, iowa, new hampshire, nevada, three. four states now already, those are general election battleground states. to your point about republicans being able to turn out, big numbers have record breaking turnout in these key general election battleground states, that's something that they can work from now till november. >> speaking of enthusiasm, an unexpected moment has happened and that is the death of antonin scalia that has really led to a motivation on both sides of the aisle, which is who is going to be the next supreme court nominee. what are we learning about what the people who are going to the caulk uses tonight say about the importance of the nominee. >> it's really important. take a look at this.
the most important factor or an important factor? 16% say it's the most important factor, 62% say it's an important factor. only 13% say it's a minor factor or not a factor at all. so the supreme court vacancy a driving force in the race right now. >> this is the republican side. we're talking earlier about what kind of ultimate driver it could be on the democratic side because the republicans are so determined here in washington to not even -- never mind give whoever the nominee is hearings, but even have meetings. >> the senate republican leader mitch mcconnell announcing no hearings and they doesn't wan't have a nominee come up for a
meeting. >> i think it's a huge risk. i'm well aware of the old statement by then senator biden in his capacity of senate judiciary chairman, that was june. there was no a vacancy then on the supreme court of the united states. i think it shows a level of confidence. it's the fourth straight contest where passion seems to be on the side of the gop. it a very big risk for republicans, while thumping their chests and saying we are the constitutionalists, we're are not going to give an audience to your nominee to fill justice scalia's -- >> i think that is on both sides of the aisle. we always say in elections be, you hear candidates say the supreme court is at stake, we have to vote -- it never
happens. i think the supreme court because of what the senate has done, because of the nature of this particular pick being the swing vote on the court is going to galvanize the base of both parties. >> and is that part of president obama's strategy in putting season forward, too, if it is rejected to help that? >> well, i think the president intended or what have liked for his candidate to get a hearing and a vote. but obviously he understands what this plays to his base and it will help the democratic nominee and particularly those senators who are up for election in blue states. there are a lot of republican senators up for reelection in plu states and that this could potentially back fire. >> in fairness i think he would like to have his appointee confirmed. >> of course, of course. >> but the fallout from a stone walling by the senate i think could be profound.
>> i think it will affect whom he desides to choose, by the way. if they're not even going to get a hearing, you can ask the question who would want to do that and who would the president decide to pick so that if they were chosen next time around should a democrat get elected that, they, you know, they wouldn't ruin their chances at some point in the future. >> this is a huge deal. very, very big deal. when this you are good marshal stepp stepped down, he was replaced by clarence thomas. that's a big loss for liberals. the replacement of scalia is a huge deal for both sides. so assuming the stone wall works, on one day in november the fate of the congress, the presidency and the supreme court had be decided on one vote. one election. so both sides are going to pull out all stops. i think the president should put
forward someone it's very tough for the republicans to say no to. i think they have to take this anti-constitutional position because the stakes are so high emotionally and politically for both sides. >> they can't back down. >> for the senate to exercise its authority to decline to hold hearings for a nominee. they feel their power -- there doesn't have to be a precedent for it to be constitutional. the senate can decline to hear the nominee. it's their job to provide -- frankly, this is the most positive sign i've seen of republicans sticking to their principals and showing fight against the unprecedented power that has been shown by the obama administration. >> the constitution is it clear, the president nominates. he has an obligation. >> excuse me for talking. if he failed to nominate
someone, he would be outside of the constitution. the republicans are making a constitutional mistake and more importantly as a political hack, they're making a political mistake. >> let's go to jake tapper. >> sunlen serfaty, what are you hearing from the cruz people? >> reporter: it has been intention, jake. senator cruz himself really took a very cigarette tore call turn to theed to while out on the campaign trail here, pushing back much more aggressively against donald trump, arguing almost a personal term saying he's not willing to gamble his daughter's future on donald trump. i'm told the campaign has
reached a boiling point and expect for ted cruz stand up for himself more forcefully in the day ahead. he said thoo th is a preview of the arguments he will bring going forward. and the campaign seems particularly incensed about this label around their campaign that their campaign is one that's dishonest. cruz visors telling me it has reached the point of absurdity and they're not going to stand for it. if you think it has been heated thus far, very clear the cruz campaign there s going to bring the fight into super tuesday. >> let's go to mr. john king. give us the lay of the land about nevada in general tonight. >> let's hope it's not like last night when it took 36 hours to get a final count. >> we'll be the whole 36 hours. >> if necessary. >> tr so as you go out to
nevada, trum p wants three in a row as we head into the big crowd ot super tuesday. often we go back to super tuesday. not so much in this case. mitt military won in 2012 and won in 2008, significant mormon population in nevada. mitt romney spent a lot of times in the olympics next door in utah. but why do we care so much this time? number one, as i just said, trump wants momentum. if he gets that momentum, jake, it's very early in is only contest number four. but if donald trump wins nevada, the question is what is the margin? the theory has been if you keep him in the 30s -- this is at about 33%, 34%. trump would start to pull away a
little bit in the delegate game. still very early after four contests but then next week, we get super tuesday. i'll not saying trump wins them all but if something like that happens, this is how he starts to pull away. if if he gets vaefd nevada, he's got three in a row and a head of steam heading into super tuesday. even if ted cruz who is losing in the polls to texas to trump, let's say he comes back and wins his statement, trump still has a pretty good delegate league and the defining question since marco rubio has had some success, is where does rubio win? you keep asking the descendants, where do you place pick a mason this map? people will say it's only contest number four, it's only one state. >> and then later on they become
winner take all states. right nouchl they're proportional. but winner take all. good night irene if -- >> that's a great way to put it. this is a hypothetical. for the sake of argument, trump's way ahead in the poll here, let's give. >> just a little more forward in march. again, that's you'll p assume being trump wins them all. again marco rubio is trailing in the polls right now. we'll try to be kind here and take a few away. even if rubio wins there florida and kasich wins massachusetts, look where he is. he's starting to -- because you can win if -- why the kram be g
being. >> so the best way to beat trump is to beat trump. >> you cannot come out and say i made second and third in history today. >> some precincts are ready to count their votes. we'll be coming to you live from the silver state all night. stick with us. back after this quick break. hundreds of crash simulations. thousands of hours of painstaking craftsmanship. and an infinite reserve of patience...
welcome back to cnn's live coverage of the nevada caucuses. let's talk about how this odd processing of caucusing works at the nevada party. brian, what exactly is this process all about? >> reporter: well, jake, in 15 minutes a crucial part of this process is going to begin. these are the tables that represent each precinct. three volunteers from each table are going to count the votes for what particular precinct. three volunteers will verify the count at each table. aaron friedman, one of the volunteers, is going to hold up something here for me. when they count it, they're going to put the numbers for each candidate on that sheet. when the number is tallied and
verified, the precinct captain is going to come and take a picture of that number for each precinct and he e-mails that picture to the county gop. later when all these are tallied up, the master numbers on each precinct are put on a sheet and they send that to the state gop. all of that begins in 15 minutes, jake. leading up to this point you had caucusi caucusing. in that room more that be a hundred people were gathered, talking about the candidates, a candidate surrogate was here, lieutenant governor of texas, dan patrick was here stumping for ted cruz. he gave a speech in here. it's been a very dynamic situation, leading to when the ballots were cast starting in about 15 minutes, jake. >> let's talk about this with david chalian and dana bash. a very different practice than the democratic caucuses on saturday. >> that's right. there you had people standing in
the room, standing in their places for hillary clinton or bernie sanders. but this is just traditional voting but doing it out in the open but not in booths. >> it's basically a straw poll. we saw this in iowa as well. it's not nearly as complicated as the democratic process is. >> and the republicans are secret ballot and the democrats are not. >> that's right. >> the caucuses are quite different from primaries in that the caucuses are return by the parties. if this were a primary instead,
it would be run by the state government. >> in the primaries, it the local parties that do set up the sites and are responsible for the entire chain of custody of the ballots throughout the process. >> let's talk about more numbers you're getting in these entrance polls. one thing you cannot miss particularly on the republican side is how angry the electorate is at washington. i'm assuming ilt baring out in these polls? >> it is indeed. it is the anti-washington election. your feelings about the federal government. that's what we asked voters tonight as though shey showed ue caucus sites. 36 percent said dissatisfied, 57% said they're angry. this the angriest electorate
we've seen so far. and they take a look at this. outsider versus insider. voters tonight, 61% of them wanted somebody from outside the political establishment. 33% said they wanted somebody experienced in politics. i don't know about you guys but to me a very angry electorate that wants somebody from the outside is built for donald trump. >> i wonder who that is. again, those of us who have covered politics for a long time people try to make their way, punching their ticket on the various levels of government to try to get to the piece placed where they're experienced enough to run for office, that is like out the window now on the republican side. even ted cruz, who has tried to maintain an outsider status and point of view, even though he has a senator in font of his
name, he has a senator in front of his name and that makes him different. >> they don't want with experience in politics. >> have you seen this level of anger in prior elections? do you remember a time when there was this anger? >> you could go back to 1980 when ronald reagan ran. that was kind of a revolt among the rank and file voters. but this is obviously hively unusual and trump has seized the moment in a way that none of the office holders had. ted cruz has spent the tlas four years or five years in the united states senate systematically antagonizing everyone in hopes of emerging as the guy who was really laying siege to the system. you wonder whether he is now being lumped in with that system, that he's too much of a part of the system for some of these folks looking for someone from completely outside to
challenge. >> to david chalian's point, unsatisfied voters, anti-establishment voters, it does scream donald trump. >> you have to wonder how rubio is able to adopt to this environment, if he's able to. >> it's good news for rubio is he's the establishment candidate. the bad news is everyone hates the establishment. >> but also if you look at the numbers that david was just talking about, about a quarter of the caucus-goers are interested in electability. that's a higher number than we've seen in previous contests that we've looked at and that may be good for marco rubio because he's been presenting himself as the electable candidate. on the anger issue, i think anger is the enough change,
right? barack obama are about change. >> on the republican side. >> thank you. but i do think what we're seeing is a pattern emerging in of contest we're looking at, which is on the republican side, believes that government doesn't work for them, they care about the economy -- >> one question on the electability issue is if donald trump keeps winning primaries and caucuses, he's going to look a lot more electable. >> and the delegate math at some times seems to not matter. >> it becomes very hard to make
the electability argument when you haven't won any contests. >> right, right. >> if he's driving new voters out to the polls, there's an enthusiasm argument. >> one of the things that's so interesting is we're seeing the numbers in nevada near those in south carolina. in nevada, 94% of people are angry in the federal government. in south carolina, they showed 92% of people angry of the forecast. ? social security we saw 53% of people who feel betrayed by the republican party. what happened in south carolina? donald trump swept the tables. the numbers in south carolina, a very different electorate being near the numbers we see out of nevada. >> some of those questions are muddled about who shares values and electability. but there is certainly clarified
about whether people are either dissatisfied or angry and that they want somebody new. i think that's indicator -- >> that's so interesting. maybe a month ago talking about not giving in to anger. and donald trump embracing it saying i am the candidate of anger and i'll be the can't. >> donald trump is ultimate protest candidate. he will embrace the ainge exshow the anger. it just to be bill clinton. donald trump, i feel your anger and look at how angry i am. >> we're going to take another jump and close in on about 40 or so minutes we'll be right back. ♪ (cell phone rings) where are you?
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across the state. we've got several reports of that giving some places fits, hoping that some places don't run out of ballots. boris, what have officials told you about the number of people who came out to vote tonight? >> reporter: jake, that number exceeded expectations at more than a dozen caucus sites. the chairman said he had to leave this site to visit ballots at locations because there was concern they may potentially run out. we've seen more than 1,500 voters could in and cast their ballots. there's only a few people trickling in just minutes before the cutoff point, 8:30 local time. the people behind me are counters, volunteers waiting for the ballots to be delivered to the 30 tables behind me, 30
tables for 30 precincts at this location. one person will read them allowed, two people will tally. they'll write down the winner on the back of an envelope, take a picture of it and send it over to the state party. that process getting under way in a few minutes. >> they're going to write ton the back of the envelope, take a picture of it and e-mail it to the gop. >> seems pretty state forward, right? >> doesn't seem like the highest tech software in the world but if that's the process they're going with, okay. >> let's go to tom foreman at centennial high school in las vegas. marco rubio, the senator from florida, didn't lay a bigger stake to nevada. he spent some of his childhood in nevada. for a while he even went to a mormon church and 25% of the
republican caucus goers in the past were mormon. >> these are the volts being sealed up to be cast for more than 40 previous sints in this high school. a former bishop from the mormon church told me a few minutes that the number of people that showed up, he said he had a tremendous rush of people late in the date that were mormon people in the neighborhood. many of them seem to be coming in to support marco rubio. that is a development here. in any event, the time is coming right down to the fire. here's another envelope being stuffed. the ballots are being sorted out on this table right here, right now to be put in the envelope and the final counting is just about to begin to see who managed to get an edge where, as
you noted, the turnout has been much, much higher than expected. >> thank you very much, tom foreman. alina, how are things going where you are? >> p. >> reporter: jake, they just started counting here. we have the captain, a first-time caucus goer, counting out the balls. you can see the live results on your screen. looks like trump has 28%, cruz 50%, rubio 21%, which is pretty much what we've opinion hearing just from talking to people here, a lot of people saying they're coming out for trump and rubio and cruz. those are the three names we heard pretty much throughout the night. we're going to sit here and watch this happen live. these results come in. you can see a lot of votes here in this particular precinct for
cruz. cruz right now is at 50%, rubio 19, trump at 30%, jake. >> let's go to brian todd at desert oasis high school in las vegas. how's it going where you are? >> reporter: very electric moment. bob strauss, the precinct captain has given final instructions. these people here you can see them tallying up the votes. at this table here, let's move down this way. we have a counter here, one of our producers feeding the count into our tally here. this is a very busy precinct. they've had a lot of voter turnout in this particular precinct. we've got trump with 66% of the vote in this precinct followed by rubio at 16%, cruz at 12% in this particular precinct. again, very early reading of how it's going just in this
precinct, doesn't reflect how the state is going to go. this is the counting. you can hear these people in realtime giving the count. take a listen. >> donald trump. donald trump. donald trump. donald trump. >> and, jake, three people from each table, three volunteers from each table representing each precinct are there to verify the count. when they're finished, the count is put on one of these manila envelopes. if you'll swing to your left, we'll show them another. the count goes on there, a picture is taken and sent out to the chair. >> tom, what's going on there at centennial high school.
it's jake tapper, tom foreman. can you hear me, sir? >> reporter: i can't. >> brian todd, let's go back to because we're having problems with tom foreman there. we have 25 minutes -- or 24 minutes until the ballots come to a close, the caucuses come to a close. we're going to take a very quick break while we sort all this out. we'll be right back with more live coverage of the nevada republican caucuses. thanks very much for staying with us. thy california walnuts. the best simple veggie dish ever? heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple dinner ever? heart healthy california walnuts. great tasting, heart healthy california walnuts. so simple. get the recipes at walnuts.org.
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the votes. kelly -- kiley rowe, who is a first-time caucus goer is reading the instructions to make sure she follows them carefully. she's going to seal this envelope and then she's going to sign it and another person is also going to sign it here and then they're going to hand it over to the site manager. the final tally, donald trump 32, cruz, 27%, kasich 8%, carson 7% and others 1%. there was one vote cast for bush. so that is the final tally here at precinct 1010. >> 37 for cruz. if you paid your fee, would you be on the ballot and they didn't take people off the ballot in nevada, even if they dropped out of the race as so many have done as of now.
let's go to brian todd to see if the vote count where he is is coming to a close. brian, how's it going there? >> it is a progressive -- this wrapping up here. that was taken -- there was a picture taken of this. they mailed this to the county gop, then they put this on the master list. the assistant precinct captain and bob strauss the captain are tallying things up. when they are finished, jake, and, ken, if you can just show us this master list here one more time, this is going to be the key list. they're going to take a picture of this master list and take it to the straight gop chair. ken, follow me. precinct 6610 is completing their count right here. this is one of the busiest precincts. we have a counter here doing a count and feeding it into an app
that we're tallying this up. we have trump winning this, 64% of the vote for trump, to rub r as 9%. here as number right here we can show you. how many votes did trump get here, 84 to rubio's 42 to cruz's 17. this has been kind of the pattern in these precincts throughout the night. trump carrying some of these precincts. this is the tally for these precincts. it's got to be put on a master list, finalized by the state and counted by the party chairs. >> this is merely anecdotal, it doesn't necessarily mean anything. let's check in with jim acosta
at trump headquarters in vegas. oh, look there i am. >> there you are. >> if i were an individual donald trump supporter, i would be heartened by some of these precinct-by-precinct tallies. >> that's right, jake. as brian todd was just talking there a few moments ago, they were in fact cheering in this room. they're liking what they're seeing. they're preparing for an early speech from the gop front-runner later on this evening, perhaps within the hour. they're feeling that confident about things right now. but i do think we should also point out what i heard from a top trump campaign official earlier this evening and that is they are pumped in the words of this person about what they're seeing at these different precincts, at these different caucus sites. they're saying precinct by precinct they are seeing record turnout and that nearly all of those caucus goer are for donald
trump. the same is saying they do have some concern, not because of reports of irregularities, there are some people who are frustrated so the key at this point is to keep these people motivated so they stick it out. again, the trump campaign just feels that maybe nevada was just not prepared for this flood of people going into these caucus site, the infrastructure just wasn't there but right now they're feeling very, very good about where they're positioned. >> i don't know how you can say the infrastructure is not there. they're taking pictures of the ballots and e-mailing them to the gop. tom, we've been keeping track and trying to follow reports of irregularities and complaints that the other voters have had. so far no official complaints have been registered.
anecdotally and where you are things seems to be smooth sailing. >> smooth sailing in the sense there's been no complaints but as far as a lot of scrambling going on here. they're dealing with an awful lot of flow of people here and the vults been jumping all over because we've been counting these precincts one at a time. you'll see one candidate go up for a moment and another one go down and come back until we get to the final numbers here. jake, it could very well be a nail biter for the campaigns watching it right now if they saw all these numbers. pretty sool they'll have the final number. at this moment, they'll doing the numbers with all these different precincts coming in tonight. jake? >> those are good problems to
have, a lot of voters and a big turnout. we're going to take a quick break. the polls are actually going to shut down in just a few minutes. we're going o have hard number s for you, 14:06 seconds. we'll be right back with you after this next break. >> rubio. trump, trump. you totalled your brand new car.
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welcome back. you're looking at live picture from the nevada caucuses. people are actually counting ballots at caucus sites. exciti exciting. politics in action. in nevada, they are finishing up the counting process. boris, what's going on there? >> reporter: they just finished in precinct 1039. as we heard all day, donald trump dominating at this caucus site. he took this precinct 58% to rubio's 28%, cruz at 9% and kasich at 5%. no votes for ben carson in this presibt. again, this is just a snapshot
of this precinct at this caucus site but i spoke to a lot of voters today and the sentiment overall is anger. many of them are angry at washington, d.c. and angry at the republican establishment. they believe donald trump will turn things around not only in the party itself but for the country as a whole. the main issues that they're focused on that drove their vote, the economy and foreign policy. they believe donald trump would be the best representative of their own beliefs and address their interests within those issues in the best possible way. donald trump winning big here in precinct 1039. right now these folks will sign these forms, put them back in the nfl. as i mentioned earlier, they will fill out the tally of the envelope, take a picture it have and send it to the state party and then we'll get a bigger picture of all the results here in nevada. jake? >> 58% at precinct 1039, boris
at durango high school in nevada. let's go to tom foreman at centennial high school. are they coming to a close? >> reporter: it looks like they're coming to a close. they have a little bit more counting to go. it does seem like we're down to the last few tables. we talk about being a snapshot. this is a snapshot of more than 40 precincts that have met here in classrooms throughout the school. so an awful lot of voters in this one area and right now they also seem to be tilting decisively toward donald trump. >> let's go to brian todd at
desert oweasis high school. >> reporter: we love showing this to you in realtime, on live tv. in this precinct, they are still counting the votes. their count is still going on. you can see them doing the ballots right there. at least 10 of the 21 precincts are final now. here's one that just came in. this is precinct 6538. in this precinct trump won it with 18 votes, cruz and rubio tied at 4 votes each and the assistant precinct captain is writing them all down here puch see him taking a picture of this one here and he mails that to a county gop chair. they do a master list here. count that. we're almost done here. we'll bring you the final count when we have it. >> the state election party said it is okay for precinct workers
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you when the caucuses are official live closed in 2:13. let me go to brian todd, who is at a caucus site in las vegas, nevada. brian, they're still counting there. >> reporter: still counting. they're just verifying some numbers here. they may be going over it to make sure. this is the only one outstanding. 20 of the 21 precincts are in here at desert oasis high school. donald trump with 25 votes, cruise 2 -- 11, rubio 4. without getting specific numbers in all these precincts, jake, donald trump is carrying the evening, dominating all the precinc precincts. 20 of the 21 in so far, he has
carried. >> at desert oasis high school, looks good for donald trump. we're not going to have a final projection for one more minute and five seconds. this is a big contest. this either could slow the momentum for the front-runner or keep it going even stronger. >> absolutely. and at this point we're getting to the point where it really is going to be all about delegate math, which is going to start to happen on march 1st, super tuesday. but now it really is about momentum. the question is whether the early polls who showed trump, whose name literally looms over the las vegas strip because he's the hotel owner and casino owner who is out there even when he's not. >> or licenseor of his name, as it may be. >> or that. >> this closes one phase of the campaign. this is the fourth early state in the month of february.
then a week from tonight this race goes national in a way it hasn't yet. this is that last moment for someone to catapult out of this early phase and into that national race. >> it's very exciting. we're going to have something for you in ready to make a projection. cnn is projecting that donald trump will be the winner of the nevada republican caucuses. this is based on exit polls and results in sample precincts across the state. we do not know the order yet, we do not yet have enough information to say where the others will be, but we do know that marco rubio and ted cruz will be in the top three, but donald trump, the big news, donald trump, projected to win the nevada caucuses. let's go to jim acosta now if we can, who is at trump headquarters in nevada. new