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tv   The Place for Politics 2016  MSNBC  February 1, 2016 11:00pm-2:01am PST

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welcome back. two parties and two stories tonight. there is the leading story, two close to call as we go into the overnight hours. we had a republican victory comparatively early in the evening with ted cruz taking the iowa caucus, but tonight as we go into the night, it's the democrats that are gathering the attention.
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in his speech bernie sanders called it a virtual tie. hillary clinton used no such wording. and now late tonight, we have something of a protest from the sanders campaign. our correspondent traveling with the sanders campaign with us by telephone. explain what's going on? >> reporter: good evening. we just got off the bus. we're about to board the sanders charter to new hampshire, but there's some concern bubbling about 90 precincts the iowa democratic party did not staff 90 of these precincts. this is on background from campaign aides that they are being asked to help with the count. of course, it's not clear exactly what that means. the sanders campaign is not clear on what they're being
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expected to contribute, whether or not this count will be done fairly and of course with the margin what it is i think we might be able to show our viewers just how close the number of delegates that we're talking about here. these represent about 5% of the precincts still outstanding and that number has not moved over the course of the last hour or so. of course with the race potentially with these delegates down to the single digits under 10, it's just a remarkly close margin. so the sanders campaign feels there's no way to know whether or not all of this is being done fairly and above board and they say privately that they were unaware that the iowa democratic party was not staffing these 90 precincts going into this evening. >> i'm going to jump in here for a second.
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i'm confused as to what it means to staff a precinct. if there's 90 sites where the democratic party didn't have somebody on site and therefore they don't have anybody there to do talying at this late point of night p, that sounds like a lot of places where there was no staff? is it unusual there is no democratic staff there. this assertion sounds like a big one. >> there was some concern racisd in the weeks before the caucus about this. i don't have the total number of precincts immediately, but if 90 of them represent about 5% that should give our viewers a sense of what this means. a precinct in this case the party's role is to make sure that what happens in the caucus is being counted fairly. in this case, the iowan
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democratic party was relying on an app it was a new way of p counting the bodies moving around. we've seen much from the reporters on the ground so i think our viewers had a sense of what a caucus looks like, but in this case is there no independent authority to say we saw with our own eyes there were this many people standing up for hillary clinton and this many people standing up for bernie sanders. one of the concerns in the days and weeks leading up to the primary is whether or not the democratic party was prepared to step into that role, but it was not clear to the sanders campaign the extent of it or whether or not it was actually going to happen that the party itself would not be prepared to do this. now, of course, the campaigns themselves, this is what they focus so much of their energy and effort on, making sure they have a precinct captain whose job it is to make sure they're keeping track of this
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information. once your trying to taly these results you're relying on the party to say we saw this happen, we're nonpartisan -- that's not the right word. we do not have a dog in this fight. they're asking the campaigns to help what happens if there's a diskrep see between what the overers say happened. upds normal circumstances this 5% might not matter, in this case it could matter a lot. >> we'll let you go. we know it is difficult to board a plane from a bus while accurately reporting and a planeful of very tired people. they've already lost an hour as they take off. let's go to steve. 5% of precincts, sounds like it will come down to citizenship
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and peer pressure absent a party representative, but enough to make a huge difference in a tight race. >> it raises the possibilities -- we've been talking about will we have a winner declared tonight, will we go to sleep not knowing how this ended up. this raises the possibility this gets extended for days or weeks. will there be a resolution that satisfies all people when the result is declared. if you think back to 2012 on the republican side mitt romney being declared the winner and then a few weeks later there was the declaration that well it wasn't romney. then they declare rick santorum the winner. it's a reminder in these disputes these are party run events. these are private events. it's not like you have public officials administering these elections so if there's a dispute you can appeal to a
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public official to act on this. in the end these are run by the parties, the parties set the rules, they determine when there are disputes, we're going to settle the dispute this way or that way. these are not the same as -- as elections that are administered by a state. >> let's go out to des moines. it reminds me of the first thing you learn in civicsen and that elections have consequences. this is big boy and girl politics. steve's correct in pointing there's no legal controlling authority, this is happening as a party event. >> yes, and i think we're absent the wide world of sports we had the thrill of victory and agony of defeat. neither were apparent here
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tonight. and of course, steve schmidt. there are two front-runners nationally, hillary clinton and donald trump. >> yes. >> how are they going to progress from this night's business? how do they stay there and win these things? hillary first. >> hillary clinton today is a couple of delegates ahead of a 74-year-old social list senator from vermont. started out the race 50 points ahead. she's likely to lose new hampshire. she has to crush him in south carolina. south carolina, 60% voting age population is african-american. she has to show that his progressive white liberal appeal does not extend into the african-american base in a democratic party. on the republican side, donald trump leaves iowa having lost. he is for the first time in this race no longer in command completely in control of his
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destiny. he must win in the state of new hampshire. if he does not the trump campaign will collapse like an imploded building. now ted cruz will come out of this victory tonight not having to win in new hampshire, but he will be in a contest with marco rubio and marco rubio has to beat ted cruz and get in second position in new hampshire. trumping and cruz will face off against each in south carolina. >> who is the favorite? >> you don't know -- we don't know right now. we don't know right now. but that will be a decisive test. marco rubio will go in that race not having won a primary and not having won south carolina. he has to be the candidate left standing against cruz and donald trump. his strategic imprerogative is to win the race. the big news is the intense
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pressure by the donors, but the political leadership, by the establishment on the republican party by the jeb bush super pac to layoff the attacks on marco rubio. the path for jeb bush is invisible i think about for everybody except some people on the jeb bush campaign. so you're going to have intense pressure saying enough with the attacks on marco rubio. >> are there three candidates left in the republican race? >> it's essentially to three, but not formally yet because chris christie, john kasich, jeb bush make their last stand in new hampshire, but this race is over for karly fiorina. >> and marco rubio has a chance to meet his strategy. win third here, he did that. win first in south carolina. >> doesn't have to win first in south carolina.
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he can win later. he has to narrow the race to be the last establishment candidate standing against whomever prevails against trump. >> let's talk about hillariry and bernie they come out in a tie, but then we have new hampshire which is bernie's and then they go to nevada. who has that one? >> if you remember in 2008 barack obama wins iowa and that now he's going to roll into new hampshire and beat hillary clinton there. her organization was able to recover and i think that hillary clinton actually fights from that position pretty well. >> she had a lot of strength and also likeable enough to hurt him a lot. >> i think it sent an alarm through her female supporters who were motivated to see a first female president. i think you'll see that regenerated tonight. i think if she lost in iowa i think the establishment would
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rush to her defense because there is a fair amount of alarm and worry about how sanders would fair in an election. i think the party breathes a sigh of relief. >> she still has a double digit lead coming out of this tonight. >> i think it will tighten up, but her core supporters will be alarmed enough by what bernie sanders was able to do tonight that they will kick in for her more and i think new hampshire will narrow and i think the hillary clinton campaign now you can expect to see from them is saying now we have to get serious. they respect bernie sanders and what he's been able to do, but they see him now as a serious threat. i think yuou're going to see among women whether or not they kick in for hillary clinton. for african-americans, bernie sanders, a white older social list is not shocking, it's the shock that barack obama winning here.
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as long as she gets a win out of her i think she's in solid -- >> do you know how many african-americans showed up in the entry poll on the republican side? >> zero. >> thank you. >> i saw some african-americans in des moines. >> can trump still win? >> absolutely. >> and maybe double digit leaders in both cases. >> iowa has not been a great place of being the republican nominee. most of the winners of the iowa caucus go on to be fox news television hosts and after new hampshire we'll have a sense of how this all stands. >> jimmy carter did well here. back to you brian and rachel. >> there is a particular cruelty in politics. you look at a candidate like chris christie who put all his chips in new hampshire and the percentage is -- >> it has not been rewarded. we'll see what happens in new hampshire. karly fiorina did so poorly
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tonight. she didn't speak tonight because she's flying straight to new hampshire. we had kasich and christie and jeb bush all in new hampshire tonight. a lot of these candidates want to be seen as candidates whose campaigns start next week. they weren't even trying this week. it will be interesting to see. i got a second what joy read said there about the expectation for what's going to happen on the democratic side in new hampshire i think it's as likely as anything that the numbers will tighten because this will get the attention of the hillary clinton supporters and democratic establishment types who are counting on hillary at the top of the ticket. they're going to take sanders seriously than they were before tonight. >> sanders may not want to see what that entails. >> i think it's going to change the dynamic of the race. whether or not this come out as a tie or one of them winning, a
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contest this tight is something that hillary clinton supporters did not expect to see, whatever they said about the polls and i think it's going to shake things up in new hampshire. >> all on their game because of course it's early for them. it's only 15 after midnight. >> spring chickens. >> another break for us. we'll be back afterwards. >> i have to tell you that i am suspending this presidential bid, but i am not ending this fight because the fight that you and i are engaged is a tough fight abelieve that the toughness of the fight is the way that god has telling us we're fighting for something worth saving.
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if you haven't seen them, i
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have -- hold on. >> you have the app? >> i don't have the app, but i have -- >> there you go. this is the actual sheet, the tally sheet and santorum, there's an x next to him. >> yeah. >> you didn't vote for him? >> as i was writing down, my pen ran out of the ink and i can't ask somebody for a new pen while i'm doing this. >> you're the santorum -- >> i know. >> failure to launch. >> that's what it sounds like. if it's not a pen running out of ink it's smart phones dying. in des moines beneath the woo y
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woolly. donald trump came out when it was apparent he was going to be the second place finisher in the iowa caucuses and he gave what was pretty evenly reviewed as a gracious speech. here now a portion of that. >> unbelievable. i have to start by saying i absolutely love the people of iowa. unbelievable. unbelievable. so on june 16th when we started this journey there were 17 candidates. i was told by everybody do not go to iowa. you could never finish even in the top ten. and i said but i have friends in iowa and i know a lot of people in iowa. i think they'll really like me. let's give it a shot. they said don't do it. i said i have do it and we finished second and i want to tell you something, i'm just honored. i'm really honored and i want to congratulate ted and all of the
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incredible candidates, including mike huckabee who has been a really good friend of mine. so congratulations to everybody. congratulations. i want to thank all of the folks that worked with us. we had a great team and we will continue to have a great team and we're just so happy with the way that everything worked out. most importantly i have to thank my wife and laura and eric and vanessa and don. they went out and they were doing speeches. in fact, i think you did about six speeches today. i want to thank my family. they have been so amazing and so supportive. we've had every indication we're going now on -- we have a poll we're 18 points ahead. new hampshire, we love new hampshire, we love south carolina. we're leaving tonight and tomorrow afternoon we'll be in
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new hampshire and that will be something special. it's going to be a great week and we're going to be up here next week. i think we're going to be proclaiming victory, i hope. i will say this, i don't know who is going to win between bernie and hillary, i don't know what's going to happen with hillary, she has bigger problems than what she's got in terms of nominati nominations, but we've had so many different indications in polls that we beat her and we beat her easily and he wiwe wil on to get the republican nomination and we will beat hillary or bernie or whoever they throw up there. iowa, we love you. we thank you. we will be back here many times. in fact, i think i might come here and buy a farm. i love it. thank you everybody. thank you. >> that was donald trump tonight
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in des moines prior to jetting east. so the republicans, cruz, trump, rubio. now for the democrats. >> on the democratic side, we still don't know who's won. they're calling this too close to call. we've had a little bit of an emerging mini story. a little while about 25 minutes ago we got word sometime within the last hour i should say we got word that the sanders campaign was claiming that the iowa democratic party had failed to put party staff at 90 precincts. there's 1,600 something precincts. 90 did not have democratic party staffers at them. they said that the iowa democratic party had asked for the campaigns to help count at those precincts. this would be 90 out of 1,600 plus. it wouldn't be a huge proport n
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proportion. we have now had a statement from the iowa democratic party absolutely denying this charge from the sanders campaign. this is a statement from the iowa democratic party. we have just got it in. quote, we are currently getting results from our small number of outstanding precincts. the reports of precincts without chairs are inaccurate. these out standings precincts have chairs. we are in the process of contacting to get the results and they say again just in case you didn't get it the first time, it is inaccurate to report that these precincts did not have chairs. iowa democrat party continues. we have reached out to the campaigns for help in contacting the chairs for outstanding precincts. we are not taking results from the campaigns. we are taking results from the chairs who are in these precincts. >> chair people, less people think they is about ikea.
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>> chairs of these precincts. what's interesting is this little on the way detail, which is that they have called the campaigns for help in getting in touch with the iowa democratic party precinct chairs. >> yes. >> so that's a little weird. >> in the middle of their top to bottom denial. >> they are suggesting that the campaigns know how to reach their presipt chairs and they do not. but the bottom line is they're saying the way the sanders campaign has characterized this, they deny, they say there is democratic parties staffers who are there and that will be the person responsible for reporting the totals. the sanders campaign casting at least the prospect that some of these unaccounted for precincts might be having their numbers reported by workers. >> guess what this call for? >> what.
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>> our des moines bureau is with an election law expert of the other party who thereby will be dispassionate about this. >> let's bring in my friend who is an expert at recounts. you probably watched recount and saw this guy in a movie. you were telling me after camera that is the kind of thing we saw four years ago with that close election with mitt romney and you had late failure to report by precincts just like this and why? >> it's getting late. sometimes the people who are the precinct chairs named by the party go home, go to bed. it's tough to use the micro soft app to get in the results. some places don't have connectivity, the phone lines that are behind it might have been busy. at any rate, we had a similar number four years ago. it's wonderful to see the problem with the democrats this
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time. >> out of 1,700 precincts -- it's funny general problem with elections as we learned in florida. there are always going to be about 100 precincts where the person's old, forgets to do it and goes to bed and they have to wake them up and remind them that they're chairman of precincts and they have to report the results of the caucus. >> usually it's not outcome determinative so the reason it's important now and we're kind of looking under the hood of the democrat's caucus process is that the vote was so close. if this was a big victory like ted cruz you wouldn't be looking at it and nobody would care. >> our election process is always based on a fairly stark result. it's never really good when it comes to hanging chads and all those other notorious aspects of a close election. we've been very lucky. most elections are determined pretty early in the evening. >> what's true about our
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election system is that it's very local. there are at least 8,000 places in the country that have decisions over the elections in their area. a lot of it is staffed by volunteers. you may have two elections a year or every two years so we rely on volunteers. many of them are retired people because they have the time. so the exchange for the volunteer based personnel system is a certain lack of consistency in it. >> in the end when they do report and they wake up and the party is waking them up, do we get an honest count? >> in a case like this i think you do. both parties will have to validate the result so i think you do get an honest count at the end of the day, but the process suffers because there's now going to be this period of not knowing in a very close race that all america is watching. so the republican party of iowa took a big hit four years ago.
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>> was santorum push issued for this system. >> the results were not officially announced until after new hampshire so mitt romney did get momentum out of iowa and was able to cruise to a pretty easy victory in new hampshire. and then secondly, it is the system itself does take a hit from not being able to have accurate results tonight on election night. >> i think we missed the crackle of victory. that's what i like about election night and that's why tonight is unsatisfying. it's unsatisfying to go home and realize we really don't have a clear winner and a clear loses. i like when somebody stands up there and says i lost. it's one of the rare honest moments in politics when you say i blew it. everybody gets that and that's
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why democracy is thrilling. it's vague tonight. thank you, guys. >> it's unsatisfying. >> i find the vagueness a little thrilling. the fact that it is can be a tie is to so unlikely the fact that it means that every person who turned out ended up being absolutely important in this race. if you went and caucused in iowa tonight on the democratic side, boy did it matter that you were there and every decision to move those uncommitted people, all of those things mattered. every iowa democratic caucus goer tonight was potentially a maker. we don't get a definitive result, but from the citizen's perspective this is -- i think this is thrilling. >> what would be definitive about someone winning by 2/10ths of a percent.
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there could no be nothing definitive once you get into something this tight. the numbers right now are indicating hillary is at 49.8, bernie at 49.6. it's not available. >> here is the larger question. why does it always fall upon me to say we'll be back with more right after this break.
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we are back and as we've been saying the story as we go into the late, late hours of the night/early hours of the morning has been a on the democratic side. a lot of our correspondents had to uproot and make their way to the airport and make their way on the campaign planes as the entire apparatus of decision 2016 moves its certain of gravity from iowa east to new hampshire. among them andrea mitchell who is traveling with the clinton campaign who has called in to us with some knowledge of the clinton campaign's thinking about the dust up tonight over campaign chairs, over party chairs at these various precincts. take it from there. you'll probably do a better job than i did. >> reporter: you're doing fine.
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this is absolutely insane. we're on the plane, but the candidate is not here and the staff is. we were briefed the chief top aids and they say we believe we won. we have our intern nal tallies. we believe we have 21, he has 20 and one is in dispute that we think we will win. but they say they think they have more delegates than he. we asked why didn't she say she won, and one said that was because the tally wasn't final and one said she did say she won. when i asked about the 90 precincts that the sanders campaign said were missing and the fact that the democratic party staffers were not there, that's the first they had heard of that. so they are not even aware or were not aware when they got to
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this airplane which is still on the tarmac in des moines of the whole dispute they claim of 90 precincts not having been tallied because they were not staffed by the democratic party as the sanders campaign claims. so this is obviously going to continue, but basically they're saying that they won. they are repeating what we were told earlier, even though no network -- no official tally has confirmed that fact. they said they had their own modeling and when the numbers came in they had confidence they won and that's why they said early and that's why she came out. she's going to be flying on to new hampshire to an event scheduled tomorrow, but this is obviously quite a muddy victory for anyone. it's a virtual tie at best even if they don't find the facts about those 90 missing precincts.
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i don't know how she has any momentum going into new hampshire, but she claim that she does. >> this is not just a disagreement. both campaigns have what they consider proprietary information, versions of the caucus results tonight. a lot is riding on this, but this was not a government election. >> reporter: exactly. it's a party election and so the government has no say over it and basically this is -- if it turns into a 50/50 slit, each side is going to claim victory. he's going to say he came in his statement tonight and came up against the biggest political machine with all of their endorsements behind him and he has a pretty good argument. she is claiming that she had popular support in the caucus
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and she -- and that even though he got a big turnout -- which is the second highest since 2008 that he was not able to produce the enthusiasm to bring more people out. i think it's going to be debated for quite some time. as you were discussing early is the sanders to go to the caucus gate. i've been told by top party leaders in minnesota that right now he would win that state. he is very popular there. >> andrea mitchell, we will let you fly to the east on board the press plane as often happens the candidate goes on ahead, members of the press core trailing behind can all fly together and that is the case tonight with the traveling clinton campaign. we are just unable to tell you with any spec fisty or
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confidence who won tonight's iowa caucus for the democrats. it should be noted the clinton campaign had their own reasons for declaring victory early this evening, another break, we'll be back right after this this just got interesting. why pause to take a pill? or stop to find a bathroom? cialis for daily use is approved to treat
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stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ♪ light piano today i saw a giant.
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it had no arms, but it welcomed me. (crow cawing) it had no heart, but it was alive. (train wheels on tracks) it had no mouth, but it spoke to me. it said, "rocky mountaineer: all aboard amazing". this will be the front page of the des moines register in iowa tomorrow morning. cruz prevails, demes in dead heat. they've divided the vertical space in terms of their columns. cruz gets two columns for his picture because he won, but the democrats are splitting it 50/50 because going to press time the
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democrats are splitting is 50/50. that's the front page for tomorrow. check out the front page of tomorrow's new york daily news. not subtle. new york tabloids never are. the daily news has been spectacularly unsubtle all year long about donald trump. tomorrow they're calling him dead clown walking. he did come in second in iowa. when you look at that from the daily news's perspective that is trump losing iowa to cruz, nearly slipping to third. >> you're speechless. >> i do not think he sounded more rose at his concession. >> he only sounded that way in
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comparison to donald trump. >> that's true. he sounded like a normal candidate giving a concession speech. if he wants to feel better he should think back to another republican who skipped the debate before iowa and lost the iowa caucuses and then went on to do well for himself. his name was ronald reagan. >> that iowa debate that he skipped in 1980 was the night before the iowa caucuses and he thought he had it in the bag, didn't have to worry about it. maybe it was this debate, but i think we're going to know more about the importance of it when we get to new hampshire. >> chris matthews is a romantic about many things and someone tonight is having a good time compiling front pages. >> by the way, i bet on donald trump to out live the new york daily news. just a point of fact. he'll be around a lot longer than that paper. i'm waiting are fo the post
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tomorrow morning. so you're a columnist, you're a great thinker. you're focusing on marco rubio. he's a minor star tonight. he didn't win, but he came out like a winner. >> i think it's a big night for ted cruz, but for the last two months ted cruz has been selling this as a two man race. tonight marco rubio proved this is a three man race and this could help him make the case -- >> who is the opponent here? >> i think kasich has moved up as has jeb bush. maybe john a little more because jeb didn't perform well over here. >> he has to go three, two, one. he has to come in second in new hampshire or not? >> i think he has to be top in new hampshire. i think second would be good for him to carry this forward.
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it's important to know that south carolina, he's going to endorse marco rubio. >> let's talk about the democrats because i think hillary clinton has an amazing place in history. i don't think she's been dislodged tonight from that place in history. as plausibly the first woman president. the clinton's are the democratic main stream. is she still there or has she been shattered by a close call tonight? >> i think she was right to breathe a sigh of relief. i think if she lost tonight i think she probably would have won the nomination had she lost here, but she would have been in trouble because she would have lost here that probably would have increased bernie sanders already big margin in new hampshire and then she goes out with two defeats and has to claw her way back.
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my hunch is if she have her count all these precincts she's more like lie than not to be had and that means a new hampshire loss doesn't look nearly as bad and she might be able to gain a little ground in new hampshire. so i think it was a big deal. a few months ago this would have been a defeat. that's the other thing. the fact that she lost ground here which may have been due to some mistakes she made not closing out sanders early, in the end turned out okay for her because we now decide that even a one vote margin, that's three votes right now is nuch for her. >> i think it's important that she won the right way. she did not say bernie's a essenti social list and that's bad. that's never answered my question because she doesn't want to offend the progressive left. >> bernie sanders got 84% of the vote among democrats under, 30
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who showed. she cannot lose those people. she needs those people to turn out if she's going to win, assuming she wins the nomination. so she needs bernie sanders if she wins to turn his organization into some kind of turn out machine for the democrats to get young people out because democrats can't win without young people. >> let me ask about marco rubio who is the third man. he comes in. is he going to eventually just become the candidate, or is he always going to hedge on that and try to also be the moderate. >> i don't think he's hedging on that. he's been trying to claim the mantle from the moment he started his presidencpresidency >> how about i'm going to take these terrorists suspects -- what does that mean i'm going to get the truth out of them? >> they are potentially suspected terrorists --
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>> what does that mean? >> he voted -- he did not vote in favor of banning torch yur. i think that's a sense of where he stands in terms of his foreign policy. >> he has cheating behind him at some point, right? just kidding. >> you know what's amazing about rubio is that he is a conservative who ran as a tea partier who has become by default as the moderate candidate. when you look at the polls he is the up scale candidate. his votes came from the college grads. >> he's going to get money in the next couple of days. i think sheldon and the other big givers in the republican party are going to go with him. are they? >> absolutely. one of the reasons is that the
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issue on israel. >> ironically it's cruz has gotten more hawk issue and trump is the guy that says the iraq war is a disaster. >> i hate to raise the spec tore of something negative, but success in iowa politics is still a dirty business in many as and that can bring scrutiny to people who are not used to it. thank you from all of us in new york for some great conversations out there tonight. it's been terrific to listen to. with that another break and we'll continue on the other side.
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♪ light piano today i saw a giant. it had no arms, but it welcomed me. (crow cawing) it had no heart, but it was alive. (train wheels on tracks)
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it had no mouth, but it spoke to me. it said, "rocky mountaineer: all aboard amazing". the time has come to thank the team we believe to be the
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very best at this for an amazing night of coverage and yes that involves the people in this room, the people who have cycled through this room. >> poor kid. it's going to be a rough week ahead. >> he's here in the weather position at the end of the desk. the folks in control rooms and behind cameras and scurrying to airplanes, the people who did scurry to airplanes, my friend rachel who is the pilot of all things in this room, thanks. >> this has been fun. let's do it again. >> something tells me we're going to get that chance whether we want it or not.
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welcome back. two parties and two stories tonight. there is the leading story. too close to call as we go into the overnight hours. we had a republican victory comparatively early in the evening with ted cruz taking the iowa caucus. but tonight, as we go into the night, it's the democrats that are gathering the attention.
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in his speech, bernie sanders called it a virtual tie. hillary clinton used no such wording, and now late tonight, we have something of a protest from the sanders campaign. case see hunt, our correspondent traveling with the sanders campaign, with us by telephone. kacie, explain what's going on. >> reporter: brian, good evening. we just got off the bus that brought us over here. we're about to board the sanders charter to new hampshire. there's some concern bubbling about 90 precincts. the sanders campaign received late word tonight that the iowa democratic party did not staff 90 of these precincts, and they were -- the party was in touch with them and essentially -- and now this is on background from campaign aides that they are being asked to help with the count. and of course it's not clear exactly what that means. the sanders campaign is not
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clear on what they're being expected to contribute, whether or not this count will be done fairly. and, of course, with the margin what it is, i think we might be able to show our viewers just how close the number of delegates that we're talking about here. these 90 precincts represent about 5% of the precincts that are still outstanding, and that number has not moved over the course of the last hour or so. and, of course, with the race potentially for these delegates down into the single digits, if we have about 1,400 delegates to distribute, single digits under ten, it's just a remarkably close margin. so the sanders campaign at this point feels as though there's no way to know whether or not all of this is being done fairly and above board, and they say privately that they were unaware that the iowa democratic party was not staffing these 90 precincts going into this evening, brian. >> i'm going to jump in here for a second, kacie.
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it's rachel in the studio. i'm confused as to what it means to staff a precinct. if there's 90 different sites where the iowa democratic party, at least according to the sanders campaign, didn't have somebody on site, and therefore they don't have anybody there to do tallying at this late point of the night, that sounds like a lot of places where there was no staff. were there caucuses at those precincts? is it unusual that there was no iowa democratic party staff there? this assertion seems like a big one. >> reporter: it's something, rachel, that there was some concern raised in the weeks before the caucus about this, and you'll forgive me. i don't have the total number of precincts immediately to hand. but if 90 of them represent about 5%, that should give our viewers a little bit of a sense of what this means. a precinct -- in this case, the party's role is to make sure that what happens in the caucus is being counted fairly. in this particular case, the
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iowa democratic party and the republicans as well were relying on an app that was built by microsoft. it was a new way of counting the votes this time or countying bodies moving around in a jim n gymnasium. i think our viewers have a sense of what a caucus looks like. in this particular case, there was no ostensible independent authority to say, okay, we saw with our own eyes that this many people are standing up for hillary clinton, and this many people standing up for bernie sanders. one of the concerns that was actually raised in the days and weeks leading up to the primary was whether or not the democratic parties with going to be prepared to step into that role. but it was not clear to the sanders campaign the extent of it or whether or not it was actually going to happen, that the party itself would not be prepared to do this. now, of course, the campaigns themselves, this is what they focused so much of their energy and effort on, making sure that they have a precinct captain in every place whose jop it is to
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make sure they're keeping track of all this information. of course once you're trying to tally all these results, you're still relying on the party to try and be an even hand and say we saw this happen, we're nonpartisan -- well, nonpartisan is not the right word in this particular case, we do not have a dog in this fight. what happens, for example, if there's a discrepancy between what the clinton campaign observer says happened and what the sanders campaign observer says happened? and under many normal circumstances, this 5% might not matter, in this particular case, it could matter a lot. >> wow. >> kacie hunt, we'll let you go. we know it is difficult to board a plane from a bus while accurately reporting and a plane full of very tired people winging their way east. they've already lost an hour of course as they take off. let's go to steve kornacki. steve, 5% of precincts. sounds like it will come down to
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citizenship and peer pressure absent a party representative, but enough to make a huge difference in a tight race. >> it raises the possibility. i know we've already been talking about will we even have a winner declared tonight? will we go to sleep not really knowing how this thing ended up? this raises the possibility that this thing gets extended for days, for weeks. will there be a resolution that satisfies all people when the result is finally declared? you think back to 2012 on the republican side. i know we've talked a lot about this where originally you had mitt romney being declared the winner in the republican caucuses. then a few weeks later there was the declaration that, well, actually it wasn't romney. we're not sure we're going to declare a winner. then they declare santorum the winner. it's also a reminder that in these disputes, these are party-run events. these are basically private events. this is not like you have the secretary of state, you know, a
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public official administratoring this. in the end, these are run by the parties. the parties set the rules. the parties determine when there are disputes. they determine we're going to settle the dispute this way, that way. we're going to decree these are what the rules are. these are not the same as primary -- excuse me -- as elections that are administered by a state. >> steve kornacki at the board. let's go out to des moines. chris matthews, it reminds me of the first axiom you learn in civics, and that is elections have consequences. this is big boy and big girl politics. >> right. >> again, steve is correct in pointing out this is no controlling legal authority. this is happening as a party event. >> yes, and i think we're absent the wide world of sports which we had the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. neither were apparent tonight in the democratic fight. we have joy reid here, our
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national correspondent for msnbc. and steve schmidt. i just want to get a sense, there are two front-runners nationally, hillary clinton and donald trump. >> yes. >> how are they going to progress from this night's business? how do they stay there and win these things? hillary first. >> well, hillary clinton is a couple of delegates ahead of a 74-year-old socialist senator from vermont, started out the race 50 points ahead. she's likely to lose new hampshire. she has to crush him in south carolina. south carolina, 60% voting each population is african-american. she has to show that his progressive white liberal appeal does not extend into the african-american base of the democratic party. on the republican side, donald trump tonight leaves iowa having lost. he is for the first time in this race no longer in command completely of his own political destiny, and he must win in the
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state of new hampshire. if he does not win in the state of new hampshire, the trump campaign will collapse like an imploded building. now, ted cruz will come out of this victory tonight not having to win in new hampshire, but he will be in a contest with marco rubio, and marco rubio has to beat ted cruz and get into second position in new hampshire. trumpi trump and cruz will face off against each other in south carolina. that will be a decisive primary. >> who is favored? >> we don't know right now. we don't know right now, but that will be a decisive test in the republican race. and marco rubio can go into that race not having won a primary yet and not having to win south carolina. he has to be the establishment candidate left standing against cruz or donald trump. his strategic imperative is to narrow the race. the big news that will come out of the republican party is the
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intense pressure by the donors, by the political leadership, by the establishment of the republican party on the jeb bush super pac to lay off the attacks on marco rubio. the path for jeb bush is invisible towards the nomination i think for about everybody except some people on the jeb bush campaign, and so you're going to have intense pressure saying, enough with the attacks on marco rubio. marco rubio is the best bet to stop trump. >> are there three candidates left in the republican race already? is it winnowed to three? three tickets out of iowa? >> it's essentially winnowed to three but not formally yet because christie, kasich, jeb bush all at 8%, 7%, make their last stand in new hampshire. but this race tonight is over for carly fiorina and for the rest of the 2%. >> marco rubio still has a chance to meet his strategy. win third here. he did that. win second in new hampshire. win first in south carolina. >> he doesn't have to win first
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in south carolina. he can win later. he has no narrow the race to be the last establishment candidate standing against whomever prevails against trump or cruz. >> he looks strong to do that. let's talk about hillary and bernie. hillary and bernie come out of here in a virtual tie. it may be decided. we'll have the debate thursday. then we'll have new hampshire, which is bernie's. he's the neighbor. then they go to nevada, right? who's got that one? >> i mean i think you shl go back to new hampshire for just a second. if you remember in 2008 s barack obama wins iowa, comes out as the prohibitive favorite, the sort of punditry on it was now he's going to roll into new hampshire and beat hillary clinton there. her organization was able to recover, and i think that hillary clinton actually fights from that position pretty well. >> she had a lot of strength and also likeable enough, hurt him a lot. >> i think it sent an alarm through particularly her female supporters who were really motivated to see a first woman president. i think you'll see that tonight. hillary clinton, had she lost decisively in iowa, i think
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you'd see the establishment really rush to her defense because there is a fair amount of alarm and worry about how sanders would fare in a general election. i think the establishment of the democratic party breathes a huge sigh of relief. >> she still has a double digit lead coming out of this tonight nationally. >> i think nationally, it will tighten up, but i think that hillary clinton supporters, her core supporters will be alarmed enough by what bernie sanders was able to do tonight that they will kick in for her more, and i think you'll see new hampshire actually narrow. and i think the hillary clinton campaign now, the next sort of set of mailers and fund-raising ee e-mails you can expect to see from them did saying now we have to get serious. they say bernie sanders as a serious threat. i think you're going to see particularly among women whether or not they then kick in for hillary clinton and for african-americans, look, bernie sanders, a white older socialist winning in a liberal cohort in iowa is not shocking. like it's not the shock that barack obama winning here was, and he didn't win.
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okay? even if it's by .1%, as long as she gets a win out of here, i think she's in pretty solid -- >> do you know how many african-americans showed up in our entry poll in the republican side? >> zero. >> thank you. zero. anyway, so hillary can still win. trump can still one. >> absolutely. >> and main still double digit leaders in both cases. >> iowa has not been a great harbinger of being the republican nominee. most of the winners of the iowa caucus go on to be fox news television hosts. and after, you know, after new hampshire, you know, we'll have a sense of how this all stands. >> jimmy carter did out here. anyway, back to you, brian and rachel. >> wow, there is a particular cruelty in politics. you look at a candidate like chris christie, who put all his chips in new hampshire, and the percentages just can be fatal. >> it has not been rewarded. we will see what happens in new
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hampshire. carly fiorina did so poorly tonight in iowa. she didn't speak tonight because she was flying straight to new hampshire. she wants people to know her campaign goes on. we had kasich and christie and jeb bush all in new hampshire tonight. a lot of these candidates want to be seen as candidates whose campaign start next week. they weren't even trying this week. it will be very interesting to see. i got a second what joy reid just said there about the expectation for what's going to happen on the democratic side in new hampshire. i think it is just as likely as anything that the new hampshire poll numbers on the democratic side will actually tighten rather than getting better for bernie sanders because this will galvanize and get the attention of and in some cases electrify hillary clinton supporters and democratic establishment types who are counting on hillary at the top of the ticket in november. they're going to take sanders a lot more seriously with him pulling 50% in iowa than they were before tonight. >> sanders may not want to see all that that entails. >> i think it's fundamentally going to change the dynamic of the race whether or not this comes out as a tie or as one of
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them winning by a hair's breadth. a contest this tight is something that hillary clinton supporters did not expect to see, whatever they said about the polls. i think it's going to shake things up in new hampshire. >> steve, chris, and joy all on their game because of course it's early for them. it's only 15 after midnight. >> so spring chickens. >> another break for us. we'll be back afterwards. >> i have to tell you that i am suspending this presidential bid, but i am not ending this fight because the fight that you and i are engaged in is a tough fight, and i believe that the toughness of the fight is the way the hidden god has of telling us we're actually fighting for something worth saving.
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>> actually, if you haven't seen
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them, i have -- hold on. >> oh, you have the app? >> i don't have the app, but i have -- >> oh, there you go. this is the actual sheet, the tally sheet. and santorum, there's an x next to him. >> yeah. >> what, you didn't vote for him? >> as i was writing down, my pen ran out of ink, and i can't just ask somebody for a pen while i'm doing this. >> buddy, you're the santorum -- >> failure to launch. >> failure to launch is exactly what it sounds like. >> if it's not a pen running out of ink, it's smartphones dying for lack of battery. we had some failures along the way tonight. chris hayes earlier this evening in des moines, beneath the mastodon or woolly mammoth. we never quite confirmed that. earlier this evening, donald trump came out at a time when it was apparent he was going to be the second place finisher in the
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iowa caucuses, and he gave what was pretty evenly reviewed a gracious speech considering. here now, a portion of that. >> unbelievable. i have to start by saying i absolutely love the people of iowa. unbelievable. unbelievable. [ cheers and applause ] >> so on june 16th when we started this journey, there were 17 candidates. i was told by everybody, do not go to iowa. you could never finish even in the top ten. and i said, but i have friends in iowa. i know a lot of people in iowa. i think they'll really like me. let's give it a shot. they said, don't do it. i said, i have to do it. and we finished second, and i want to tell you something. i'm just honored. i'm really honored, and i want to congratulate ted, and i want
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to congratulate all of the incredible candidates including mike huckabee, who's become a really good friend of mine. so congratulations to everybody. [ cheers and applause ] >> congratulations. i want to thank all of the folks that worked with us. we had a great team, and we will continue to have a great team. and we're just so happy with the way everything worked out. and most importantly, i have to thank my wife and lara, and eric and vanessa and dawn. they went out and doing speeches and i think don and eric, i think you did around six speeches today. i just want to thank my family. they have been so amazing and so supportive. and we've had every indication, we're going now on -- we have a poll. we're 28 points ahead, okay? new hampshire, we love new hampshire. we love south carolina. [ cheers and applause ]
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>> and we're leaving tonight, and tomorrow afternoon, we'll be in new hampshire, and that will be something special. it's going to be a great week, and we're going to be up here next week. and i think we're going to be proclaiming victory, i hope. i will say this. i don't know who's going to win between bernie and hillary. i don't know what's going to happen with hillary. she's got other problems, maybe bigger than the problem she's got in terms of nominations. [ cheers and applause ] >> but we've had so many different indications and polls that we beat her and we beat her easily. and we will go on to get the republican nomination, and we will go on to easily beat hillary or bernie or whoever the hell they throw up there. iowa, we love you. we thank you. you're special. we will be back many, many times. in fact, i think i might come here and buy a farm. i love it. okay? thank you. thank you, everybody.
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thank you. thank you very much. >> that was donald trump tonight in des moines prior to jetting east. so the republicans, cruz, trump, rubio. now for the democrats. >> on the democratic side, we still don't know who's won. nbc is still calling this too close to call. and we've had a little bit of an emerging mini story as we are still waiting for this race to be called. a little while ago, about 25 minutes ago, we got word sometime within the last hour, i should say, we got word that the sanders campaign was basically claiming that the iowa democratic party had failed to put party staff at 90 precincts. there are 1,600-something precincts. 90 of them they say did not have iowa democratic party staffers at them. they said the iowa democratic party had asked for the campaigns to help count at those precincts. again, this would be 90 out of
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1,600-plus. it wouldn't necessarily matter unless it was as close as it is tonight. that was where we left it. we've now had a statement from the iowa democratic party absolutely denying this charge from the sanders campaign. this is a statement from the iowa democratic party. we just got it in. ready, here it goes. quote, we are currently getting results from our small number of outstanding precincts, and results continue to be reported on our public website. the reports of precincts without chairs are inaccurate. these outstanding precincts have chairs, who we are in the process of contacting to get their results. they say again, just in case you didn't get it the first time, it is inaccurate to report these precincts did not have chairs. iowa democratic continues, we have reached out to the campaigns for help in contacting the chairs for our outstanding precincts. we are not taking results from the campaigns. we are taking results from the chairs who are in these precincts. >> chair people, lest people think this is about ikea, chair
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people -- >> yes, chairmen and chair women, chairs of these precincts. what's interesting is this little on the way detail, which is that they have called the campaigns for help in getting in touch with the iowa democratic party precinct chairs. so that's a little weird. >> in the middle of their top to bottom denial. >> they are suggesting that the campaigns now how to reach their precinct chairs and they, the iowa democratic party, do not. the bottom line is they're saying the way the sanders campaign has characterized this, they deny. they say there are staffers who are there, neutral staffers presumably in each of these precincts, and that will be the person who is responsibility for reporting these vote totals. the sanders campaign obviously casting at least the prospect that some of these unaccounted for precincts might be having their numbers reported by partisans, by either clinton campaign or sanders campaign workers. >> guess what this moment calls for? >> what? >> our des moines bureau, chris
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matthews, is with, shall we say, an election law expert of the other party, who thereby will be dispassionate about this. >> let's bring in ben ginzberg, my friend, who is an expert at recounts. you probably watched recount with kevin spacey, saw this guy in the movie. you were telling me off camera that this is a kind of a thing we saw four years ago with that close election between mitt romney that was eventually won by santorum, and you had late failure to report by precincts, just like this. and why? >> well, it's getting late. sometimes the people who are the precinct chairs named by the party go home, go to bed. it's tough to use the microsoft app to get in the results. some places don't have connectivity. the phone lines that are the redundancy behind it might have been busy. at any rate, we had a similar number four years ago.
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it's wonderful to see the problem with the democrats this time. >> out of 1,700 precincts, should we also assume -- it's funny. general problem with elections. we're not good at close elections as we learned in florida. there are always going to be about 100 precincts where the person's old, forgets to do it, goes to bed. then they have to call and wake them up, remind them that they have to report the results of the caucus. and they, oh, yeah. >> usually it's not outcome determine native. so the reason it's important now and we're kind of looking under the hood of the democrats' caucus process is that the vote was so close. if this was a big victory like ted cruz, you wouldn't be looking at it. nobody would care about it. >> our election process, rachel and brian, is always based on a fairly stark result. it's never really good when it comes to hanging chads and all those other notorious aspects of a close election. we've been very lucky. most elections are determined pretty early in the evening.
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>> but what's true about our election system is that it's very local. there are at least 8,000 places in the country that have decisions over the elections in their area. a lot of is staffed by volunteers. you may have two elections or even every two years, so that we rely on volunteers. many of them are retired people because they have the time. so the exchange for the volunteer-based personal system is a certain lack of consistency in it. >> but in the end when they do report, when they wake up or are woken up, do we get an honest count? >> well, in a case like this, i think you do. they're relatively small precincts. both parties will have to validate the result. so i think you do get an honest count at the end of the day, but the process suffers because there is now going to be this period of not knowing in a very close race that all america is watching.
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so the republican party of iowa took a big hit four years ago. chairman -- >> was santorum punished for this system? did he pay the price because he should have been declared the winner early on? >> there are two points to that. number one is, yeah, santorum did not get the bounce. blissfully the results were not officially announced until after new hampshire, so mitt romney did get momentum out of iowa and was able to cruise to a pretty easy victory in new hampshire. and then secondly, it is the system itself does take a hit from not being able to have accurate results tonight on election night. >> i think we missed the crackle of victory. that's what i like about election night. that's why tonight's unsatisfying. brian, it's unsatisfying to go home and realize we really don't have a clear winner and a clear loser. i like concession speeches. i like when someplace stands up there like trump tonight and says, i lost. it's an honest moment. one of the honest moments in politics when you say, i blew it. but go home the loser.
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everybody gets that and it's why democracy is thrilling. tonight it isn't. it's vague tonight. back to you guys. >> it's unsatisfying. >> i find the vagueness a little thrilling, i got to say. i mean the fact that it can be a tie is so unlikely. the fact that that means that every single person who turned out in every single precinct ended up being absolutely important in this race. if you went and caucused in iowa tonight on the democratic side, boy did it matter that you were there. boy, did it matter. and everybody decision to move those uncommitted people, every decision to move those o'malley folks once they were not viable, all of those things mattered. every iowa democratic caucus goer tonight was potential lip a king maker. i know we don't get a concession speech, we don't get definitive bounce heading into new hampshire, but from the citizens' perspective, i think this is thrilling. >> what would be definitive about someone winning by 2/10%. that's a statistic tal
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aberration. that's a few people in aid car that didn't make it into the door by 7:00 p.m. there could be nothing definitive. once you get into something this tight. i mean the numbers right now are indicating hillary is at 49.8. bernie is at 49.6. some indicate they're both at 49.7. you're not going to get definitive. it's not available. >> and here's the larger question. why does it always fall upon me to say, we'll be back with more right after this break?
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we are back, and as we've been saying, the story as we go into the late, late hours of the night slash early hours of the morning has been on the democratic side. a lot of our correspondents had to uproot and make their way to the airport, make their way onto the campaign planes as the entire apparatus of decision 2016 moves its center of gravity from iowa east to new hampshire. among them, andrea mitchell, who is traveling with the clinton campaign, who has called in to us with some knowledge of the clinton campaign's thinking about the dust-up tonight over campaign chairs, over party chairs at these various precincts. andrea, take it from there. you'll probably do a better job than i just did.
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>> reporter: i think you're doing just fine, brian. this is absolutely insane. we're on the plane. the candidate is not here but the staff is. they say we believe we won. we have our own internal tallies. we had high confidence in the evening earlier that we won. we believe that we have 21. he has 20, and one is in dispute that we think we will win. but basically they say they have more delegates than he and that they won. so we asked, well, why didn't she say she won? and one of them said, well, that's because the tally wasn't final, and the other said, well, she really did say she won. i guess that was that breathing a sigh of relief. when i asked him about the 90 precincts that the sanders campaign says we're missing and the fact that democratic party staffers were not there, that was the first they had heard of that. so they are not even aware or were not aware when they got to
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this airplane, which is still on the tarmac in des moines, of the whole dispute they claim of 90 precincts not having been tallied because they were not staffed by the democratic party as the sanders campaign claims. so this is obviously going to continue as a dispute. basically they are saying that they won. they are repeating what we were told earlier even though no network and no official tally has confirmed that fact. they said that they had their own modeling based on an app and that when the numbers came in, they had high confidence that they had won, and that's why they said what they said earlier in the evening, and that's why she came out. she's going to be flying on to new hampshire, as you know, with an event scheduled tomorrow. but this is obviously quite a muddy victory for anyone. it's a virtual tie at best even if they don't find the facts about those 90 missing
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precincts. brian, i don't know how she has any momentum going into new hampshire, but they claim that she does. >> and this is not just a disagreement. both campaigns have what they consider proprietary information, proprietary versions of the caucus results tonight. a lot is riding on this, but this was not a government election. >> reporter: exactly. it's a party election, so the government has no say over it, and basically this is -- if it turns into a 50/50 split, each side is going to claim victory. he's going to say he came from no name recognition as he said in his statement tonight and came up and came up against the biggest political machine with all of their endorsements and all of the establishment behind them, and he's got a pretty good argument. she is claiming that he had
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populist support at the caucus, and she withstood his surge, and that even though he got a big turnout, which is the second highest since 2008, that he was not able to produce some enthusiasm to bring more people out. i think this is going to be debated for quite some time. as you and chuck todd were discussing earlier, the sanders game plan was to go to the caucus state. i've been told by the top party leaders in minnesota is that right now he was very, very popular in minnesota and making inroads in nevada and others. brian. >> andrea mitchell, we will let you fly to the east on board the press plane as often happens, the candidate goes on ahead. members of the press corps trailing behind can all fly together, and that is the case tonight with the traveling clinton campaign. we are just unable to tell you
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with any specificity or confidence who won tonight's iowa caucus for the democrats. it should be noted the clinton campaign had their own reasons for declaring victory earlier this evening. another break. we'll be back right after this. i'm ari melber coming to you live at the msnbc election headquarters in new york. we're breaking in with live coverage because we have an apparent winner any the iowa caucus. hillary clinton is the apparent winner of the iowa caucus tonight. you can see there at this hour, 3:40 a.m. on the east coast, 12:40 a.m. on the west coast. hillary clinton, nbc news
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projects, is the apparent winner of the iowa caucus there. 52 delegates total. hillary clinton there in the closest match-up, the closest results in the history of the iowa caucus there. in percent, according to our calculations, coming from the iowa democratic party, which has been working on this up late into the night, 50% for hillary clinton. 50% for bernie sanders. what might seem like a tie, but we are projecting hillary clinton the apparent winner with 700 state delegate equivalents. that is the math that's used. we have danny freeman now who has been traveling with the bernie sanders campaign joining us on the phone for this breaking news. again, if you're just joining us here on msnbc, hillary clinton named the apparent winner of the iowa caucus according to nbc news projections. danny, what can you tell us here at this late hour on the east coast about this news? hillary clinton also, i should mention, her campaign
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immediately rushing out a statement on these numbers coming from the state party, saying hillary clinton is the winner of the iowa caucus. what can you tell us? >> well, thank you, ari. you're right. it is very late out here but the democratic party working tirelessly to make sure they got these results out tonight and that it didn't wait until tomorrow morning. the thing i want to highlight, you mentioned clinton was awarded 700 state delegate equivalents. sanders awarded 695. but o'malley, who suspended his campaign tonight, was awarded 7.68 state delegate equivalents, so that's 8 sces, which means that his delegate equivalency would have or could have put sanders over the edge. it was greater than the difference. the other thing i'll point out is that the official turnout at this point in that release that the iowa democratic party just
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pushed out was 171,109 people turning out to participate in the democratic caucuses. quite a number. still not as high as obama levels in 2008, but still quite a number. >> danny, you look at that, and you've been out in the field here. you're thinking about this race. the iowa democratic party emphasizing this is obviously the closest result they've ever had. as you mentioned, martin o'malley, the former maryland governor considered by many a nonfactor, a nonentity in this race and he suspended his campaign tonight. yet it was so close that his handful of state delegate equivalents also formed the margin. what can you tell us about the bernie sanders campaign here, which was very aggressive and excited and bernie sanders raucous speech where he said we're tied for delegates at that time. of course now nbc news saying hillary clinton named the apparent winner and will have a slight edge on those delegates. what can you tell us about how the sanders campaign views this
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here? >> well, you know, the sanders campaign, i think as a lot of the coverage has been showing throughout the entire evening, they show that they have the strength to go toe to toe with hillary clinton in the state of iowa, and there was some really interesting things just if you go across the state. the county that houses counselle bluffs, one of the largest cities on the western side of the state, sanders pulled that off, which is surprising because he spent much less time than clinton there. but he had the energy. he had the energy in the cities with a lot of youth. it was quite a startling turnout. one thing i will say is i had a chance to go to a caucus site in des moines prior to going to the afterparty that the sanders campaign held, and there were so many people there, ari, there were so many people that they had to move this outside of the small elementary school gymnasium and put all the people in the parking lot outside in order to hold the caucus. sanders ultimately would take away the majority delegates from
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that particular precinct. so the enthusiasm is there, and as you can see, the race was unbelievably close. >> we're looking at this, and for folks just joining us just in the past few minutes here, nbc has named hillary clinton the apparent winner of the iowa caucus, something that was not resolved even late into the evening. we're speaking with danny freeman who's been out traveling on this campaign. talk about where this heads into new hampshire because i can tell you here in our newsroom, we were hearing all night and late into the night from clinton aides and officials saying they felt the win was with them. they felt this was not a tie. they tried to thread the needle earlier tonight in having aides basically declare a type of victory before the numbers were in. hillary clinton gave a speech that didn't use that kind of definitive language, but i can tell you here as soon as the iowa democratic party put out some of this final tally, saying 171,000 people turning out, a high although not as high as '08, saying this was the closest
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ever as we've emphasized. within a minute, danny, we had the official hillary clinton statement that obviously they had prepared that their numbers, they felt, had already supported, that they feel this is crucial as they go into new hampshire, a place that will be far less close according to the polling. >> that's right. i think you hit the nail right on the head that no less than a minute after that iowa democratic party statement came out, hillary clinton's campaign put out their statement, and the key phrase here that you want to look at is in their statement is that hillary clinton has won the iowa caucus after thorough reporting. in an analysis of the results, there is no uncertainty, and secretary clinton has clearly won the most national and state delegates. again, they want to make sure that even it is such a small margin, it's again one of the most historic close races on the democratic side. they want to drill home the fact that there is no uncertainty that secretary clinton won. of course that comes because as we were reporting earlier, the
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sanders campaign was making noise perhaps unprepared or untrained or poorly trained precinct chairs in different precincts across the state, which might have delayed reporting and delayed reports that perhaps could have aided the sanders campaign. but, again, at this point, reporting that there's only one precinct still out, and the statement by the iowa democratic party makes reference to it saying that even if that precinct comes in, the amount of county delegates that it would give to, say, bernie sanders if he were to win it would not be enough to put him over the edge ahead of clinton. >> we're talking to danny freeman out on the road. you're mentioning the iowa democratic party statement that came out just minutes ago, basically delineating the fact that hillary clinton at the end of their count does have this narrow lead, and nbc news naming her the apparent winner of the iowa caucus. i have john la pin skip from our elections unit, a very late
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night for all of the data crunchers joining us. walk us through exactly what these numbers mean and how you reached this conclusion. >>le w i mean this is actually -- i just want to first say that just to make it clear, that what we actually received information from the iowa democratic party because really what this actually came down to was this was a number-counting exercise, and it was really -- remember, these are party-run events and so these numbers were given to the iowa democratic party in a release that they literally just put out. from essentially what they put out in their release, they showed hillary clinton at just slightly under 700 state delegate equivalents and then they show bernie sanders at essentially 695 and slightly less than a half. and then they also gave us martin o'malley at 7.68, and then as you had said, we still have one precinct out or one caucus location, des moines 42.
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but from what the party provided us, hillary clinton will have the most state delegate equivalents. now the reason why we call this an apparent winner is because first of all, it's extremely close. we're not projecting anything. it's we're reporting out essentially what the party is telling us, and with the numbers the party has provided us, essentially sanders can't catch clinton. but, again, we're reliant upon, because this is a party-run event, from what they provide us. so really often times with the decision desk, what we're really doing is a data driven operation. this really came down to a counting exercise to wait until essentially all of the results came in. but in this case, this minus one precinct location, which can't change the outcome according to the party. >> so, john, you're really bearing down on the precision here and why this is different, why so many people talk about the iowa caucus being different. we've been reporting on that all through the night in terms of
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how it's organized, people getting together, the social nature of the event. you're also hitting on the way the numbers are different because they are handled by state parties, not by a government or a secretary of state, and that changes many dimensions. since you mentioned how close this is, some viewers may be thinking, well, they've seen elections that were not this close that had automatic recounts of course under state law. when you look at this, in your experience and what we have here, do you look at this as a result that pursuant to what the state party just put out is in their view over, or for those who may come along in the morning, including the sanders campaign, do they have any recourse in your view? is there any way any of these numbers according to the state party, the source of these numbers, any way they would change? >> first of all, the party ran the event so the party gets to decide. but you know, i mean this is why we call it an apparent winner. if you go back to 2012, in the sense of on the republican side, the party came out and basically announced a winner, and they
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announced the winner on election night as being mitt romney. then a little bit more than a week later, they actually came out and said, well, you know, actually it was rick santorum. you know, because they had issues in how they counted the votes. so really that would be a question only the party could answer. you know, what they're coming out with now is numbers essentially that suggest that clinton, you know, can't be caught. could they come back and change their mind a few days laterer and say that they're going to adjust the numbers? it's possible. that's again why we have the categorization and why we call it an apparent winner, because, you know, it's a very descriptive title. >> we've been speaking to john lapinski who heads up the election unit. i want to echo what he said. nbc news naming hillary clinton the apparent winner now here around 3:50 a.m. on the east coast, 12:50 on the west coast. hillary clinton the apparent winner based on the numbers the
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iowa democratic state party put out. i am ari melber. i want to thank john as well as danny freeman who joined us on the phone as we follow all of this brand new breaking election news. hillary clinton the apparent winner of the iowa caucus. you are watching msnbc.
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the time has come to thank
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the team we rationally believe to be the very best at this for an amazing night of coverage. and, yes, that involves the people in this room, the people who have cycled through this room, nicole wallace not here but outed herself as an establishment republican earlier this evening. >> poor kid. it's going to be a rough weekend. >> steve kornacki is here in the weather position at the end of the desk. the folks you don't get to see who get none of the glory who are in control rooms and behind cameras and scurrying to airplanes, the people who did scurry to airplanes with names like andrea and kacie. my friend, named rachel, who is the pilot of all things here in this room. thanks. >> this has been a lot of fun. let's do it again. >> yeah. something tells me we're going to get that chance whether we want it or not. thank you for joining us. thank you for being with us tonight.
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we are back with special live breaking coverage here with news on the iowa caucus. i'm ari melber coming to you live in the nbc newsroom. i can tell you right now hillary clinton has been named the apparent winner of the iowa caucus. we now have all numbers in according to the iowa state democratic party. 699.5 state delegate equivalents for hillary clinton. 695.5 for bernie sanders. also brand new this hour, we are hearing directly from the
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hillary clinton campaign declaring victory now decisively given these numbers from the iowa state party. hillary clinton has won the iowa caucus. the clinton campaign says, and they emphasize statistically there is no outstanding information that could change the results and no way that senator sanders can overcome secretary clinton's advantage. that brand new from the hillary clinton campaign here live, 4:00 a.m. on the east coast. we have danny freeman, from nbc, who has been traveling with the bernie sanders campaign and out in iowa for this entire show. danny, let's start with the obvious and the dramatic here. no tighter race in the history of the iowa caucus ever. this was a squeaker. >> it's absolutely incredible. as you said, i've been following the bernie sanders campaign a lot in recent days. i went on a bus tour with him all throughout the eastern side of iowa, and one of the things that he continued to press on in those final days leading up to
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the caucuses i guess earlier this evening was that look at where he started and where he came. when he started, he had almost no name recognition in this state. he was down 40 points to secretary clinton, and now to come and compete essentially the closest caucus race on the democratic side in history is quite a feat. i think that is how they will be characterizing this essential loss now moving forward. they said at the end of the evening, it was a virtual tie, and already the clinton campaign is saying that, no, it's not a virtual tie. they are saying that they won. but sanders will be characterizing that, as i said before, as -- >> just to be clear, we do have official reaction from the clinton campaign in writing in our newsroom about what they call the victory, and hillary clinton being the apparent winner from the new numbers that came in here over the last half hour. do you have any official written or on the record response yet from the sanders campaign or because of the time, we haven't heard from them since the iowa numbers came out?
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>> so i personally have not heard from the sanders campaign yet. i reached out to them, and hopefully they'll be getting back to me in the near future. but they did give a statement to "the des moines register" just moments ago on the fact that there still is one precinct left in des moines out, and they're saying that they're not sure yet. they're not saying whether they -- they're not conceding yet the race at this point because there is still one precinct out that still wants to see this through perhaps past where it is right now. >> that's what so amazing about this is for folks up late into the night. on the democratic side, the speeches from hillary clinton and bernie sanders both made different claims to success without claiming a full victory. now the clinton campaign going all the way. they put out press statements, but she, in her speech, struck a sort of a middle line. so it will be interesting to see as people wake up whether the bernie sanders campaign, as you say, wants to contest this inny way or is riding along with it
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and wants to move toward new hampshire where they think they have a big lead in the polls. as for that outstanding precinct, i want to make sure our viewers understand, it's basically one precinct left that the state party doesn't have numbers but would not change the outcome, would not account for the five state delegate equivalent. i think we have a little bit of sound from hillary clinton's speech as she talked about taking on senator sanders, someone who we now can say according to the state party she vaz vanquished in iowa. let's hear that. >> i am excited about really getting into the debate with senator sanders about the best way forward to fight for us and america. [ cheers and applause ] >> in the last few weeks, we finally began to have what i think is one of the most important, substantive conversations that the democratic party could have.
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and i am thrilled at all of the people who are playing a part in that. i know that we may have differences of opinion about how best to achieve our goals, but i believe we have a very clear idea that the democratic party and this campaign standing for what is best in america, and we have to be united. when it is all said and done, we have to be united against a republican vision and candidates who would drive us apart and divide us. >> great. we're listening there to that sound from hillary clinton speaking earlier tonight. here's the breaking news. here's what's so interesting about that video we just played for you. that was hillary clinton threading the needle when it was too close to call, when this
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race, as of last night, could not be called, not by the news media, not by the iowa state party that has been building up for this of course for years. this is iowa's big day. well, now, as of about 3:45 a.m. on the east coast, the iowa democratic party releasing the numbers. hillary clinton now is the apparent winner of the iowa caucus in the closest finish ever. just five state delegate equivalen equivalents. i've been talking to danny freeman who's been out in the field about all this. i also want to tell viewers hillary clinton's plane has landed in new hampshire. we have, of course, reporters who have been there on the inside talking to clinton officials, who are, we can tell from early indications, very excited for what they say shows the end, the statistical complete answer to her victory. so we are efforting to get some of those folks in touch as that plane taxis. danny, you look at this. you look at how tight this race was. you look at also what we know about from the entry polls last night that nbc conducts in a
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consortium, that there was diversity here across both of these coalitions that obviously came so close. 50/50 in the percent, and hillary clinton up by the delegates. i wonder what you thought about some of those numbers we've been crunching, for example, hillary clinton doing better than bernie sanders in union households. hillary clinton doing better than bernie sanders among democrats. and now her getting, as we've been reporting, the victory here in iowa. her folks are going to say that she still has the right coalition even on the liberal part of the democratic party to beat bernie sanders in a long race. >> i think you're absolutely right, ari. those are two very important demographics that hillary clinton did pick up in iowa that will absolutely be crucial to her in a general election. however, bernie sanders also did very well among younger voters. in fact, did considerably better among younger voters under the
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age of 25 than hillary clinton did according to our polls. across the state of iowa, you can see in a lot of those heavy college and university towns, sanders in some situations blew hillary clinton out of the water. so that is going to be one of the areas that hillary clinton will have to make up if she of course is the nominee in order to carry the progressive and democratic flag across the general election. i do want to also mention an interesting bit of color. when we were inside of the sanders afterparty, it was before sanders had come out on stage. hillary clinton had taken the stage, and they were showing hillary clinton in that room making her speech live. there was a line that hillary clinton said when she said, i am a proud progressive, and the sanders crowd that was again made up of mostly young people, they booed her. they booed the line that hillary clinton said, i am a proud progressive. that's indicative that for some
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of these younger people, some of these truer progressives, in their minds, hillary clinton still has some work to do with them. >> you mentioned that and it's so interesting. i want to play a little bit more here from the bernie sanders speech, because this was a portrait of two different campaigns reacting to something you don't always see, which is the same situation. sometimes we want politics. you saw ted cruz came out and gave a big, big victory speech. he went long, so long that both hillary and bernie spoke during his address whereas donald trump, someone we know to be long-winded, came out and spoke very briefly because they had different nights. and yet danny, what i want to play now from bernie sanders illustrates how these two candidates evinced such different reactions to the same situation. a tie in iowa at that point in time. a no idea exactly where it was going to do, and hillary struck a very careful tone while bernie, as we're about to see, uses the chance to really call out his critics from wall street to the washington post to talk about what he stands for even if he didn't know whether he was
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winning or not. now we know the breaking news here early this morning. hillary clinton the apparent winner of the iowa caucus. but let's look at bernie's emphasis here. >> let me conclude by saying what no other candidate for president will tell you, and that is that no president, no bernie sanders, not anybody else, will be able to bring about the changes that the working families and the middle class of this country, that our children, that the seniors, our seniors deserve. no one president can do it because the powers that be, wall street with their endless supply of money, corporate america, the large campaign donors, are so powerful, that no president can do what has to be done alone. and that is why what iowa has begun tonight is a political
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revolution. [ cheers and applause ] >> a political revolution that says when millions of people come together, including those who have given up on the political process, they're so dismayed and so frustrated with what goes on in washington, with young people who before had never been involved in the political process, when young people and working people and seniors begin to stand up and say loudly and clearly, enough is enough, that our government, the government of our great country belongs to all of us and not just a handful of billionaires. whether th when that happens, we will transform this country. thank you all very much. [ cheers and applause ]
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>> bernie sanders there wrapping what was a dramatic speech, and we should note, not a concession speech and not a victory speech. in fact, bernie began that speech talking about how he at the time felt he was tied for delegates and ended it basically as you just heard there. bernie sanders saying he wanted to kick off a political revolution and speaking here still with us is danny freeman out in the field. danny, part of bernie sanders' emphasis is he shouldn't have been there. he shouldn't have been tied with hillary clinton. he shouldn't even have gotten this far to be in a position to be doing this well in the first two states. and yet, what has changed since people may have gone to bed last night or gotten back up, this race, however tight and however close, according to the democratic party now, is a race that hillary clinton won in iowa. and so i wonder if you think anything that bernie is saying will look different in the light of day with hillary clinton's team claiming this victory and whether it matters that it was so darn close because a lot of people basically know it's that
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close because they went to bed without a winner. now they're going to wake up in the morning and hear hillary clinton won by a squeaker. >> well, again, i really do think that the sanders campaign is going to paint this as much as they can as a virtual tie. but the thing that's amazing just listening to that clip and i was noticing that while i was there in that room in that afterparty tonight is that in terms of changing his tone or how to modify what he is saying, that is, bernie sanders, when he's on the stump, when he's campaigning, he had this virtual tie at that time with hillary clinton. there was no clear winner, and bernie sanders came out and delivered almost line by line his normal stump speech. itunbelievable. he would say these lines that always he says on the trail, no matter where he is, and the audience, who's heard these lines before, whether it be "enough is enough" or taking on wall street, they loved it. so, again, while the sanders campaign, i think you're going
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to likely see them try to paint this now loss as a tie and as close as they possibly could get and comparing to where they first began, i don't think you're going to see his message change. i don't think you're going to see his rhetoric change because he hasn't changed in the past six months as i've been following him out in iowa, and i don't see it happening in he goes to new hampshire. but i will tell you that this now makes new hampshire really a must-win state for bernie sanders. a lot of people have been saying that he needed to win both iowa and new hampshire in order to go forward into this nomination process, but without a doubt, all the weight for him is on new hampshire right now. he has to come out with a win there. >> do you think that folks were surprised to have it so close there last night? >> you know, it was interesting. i talked to jane sanders, bernie sanders' wife, on sunday night, the night before the caucus. i asked her that. when there was a huge auditorium at grand view university, the last event before the day of the iowa caucuses.
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i said are you surprised? she said, you know, i wasn't surprised that we got the votes, buff i was surprised that we got the votes and the hearts of people. i think that really speaks to what their goal is on this campaign. it's to not only spread the message and hopefully pick up those votes but also now to inspire, in bernie sanders' words a new generation and a political revolution. >> at the same time, as we look at hillary clinton coming through as the apparent winner of the iowa caucus, the breaking news we've been covering here live, the inspiration message is going to go her way to some degree. she is showing up in manchester. her plane landed within the last ten minutes and she's going to be able to say she's onward with a big victory here of a small margin. i'm ari melber. i'm live in the newsroom. we're going to continue with our live coverage of hillary clinton just being named the apparent winner of the iowa caucus. you see it there. stay with us. and hydrated
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welcome back. i'm ari melber coming to you live in the nbc newsroom with some news. hillary clinton has been named the apparent winner of the iowa caucus here just in the last half an hour. the iowa democratic party releasing the numbers. you see there. 52 delegates total. 29 awarded to hillary clinton there in iowa. what can we tell you? well, you may know it was a close race, but you may not know how close. according to the new numbers from the iowa democratic party in the last half hour, 699 delegate equivalents for hillary clinton compared to 695 for bernie sanders. this is a race that went down to every precinct, and there was one precinct uncounted even when these numbers came out, but it only controlled about two delegates, which means it won't change the outcome. hillary clinton, i can tell you, has just landed with her staff and traveling press corps in
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manchester, new hampshire. our own alex mow from nbc news has told us that the press charter touched down, and there was applause throughout the plane from the staff. alex seitz-wald, who's from msnbc is also on that plane. so we're efforting to speak with alex. can you hear me, alex? >> hey, ari. just landed in manchester. >> what did you see on the plane? >> well, there was no wi-fi on the plane, so the staff was flying blind along with the press corps here. they gave a little bit of a gaggle before we took off. the communications director and the press secretary saying that they were confident they had won based on their internal modeling, but of course we had no initial results. we took off. we had no information in the air and then touched down, and there was applause as soon as people turned on their cell phones and saw that we had called the official recalls as clinton is the winner. >> did anyone on her team yet
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relay how she's feeling, or have you seen her yourself? >> we have not seen her. she's not on the plane. this is just her senior staff. she flew separately. but, you know, they've said she's in a positive mood. of course they're going to say that. and they're really trying to spin this as a win despite it being very narrow. they're saying that iowa is tailor made for bernie sanders, that if there was any state he should be winning big, it's the iowa caucus process with its demographics with the amount of time he spent there. they're saying the fact that he wasn't able to win it big, even after saying that if there was going to be a big turnout, he would do well. and there was a big turnout. they're saying that he doesn't have a path to the nomination. apologies for the announcement here as we're getting off the plane. >> that's fine. i can hear you. i want to delve into what you were telling us is that you got on this plane last night after hillary clinton's iowa speech when it was still apparently a
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tie with senior staff and press, and with no wi-fi, you then flew to new hampshire basically in a dark zone. and when you landed, you got all this news. so what was it like before the landing? what were you picking up, if anything, in the mood of either the senior staff to the extent you saw them or other reporters who have been waiting months for this night and then to take off with no answer? >> it is pretty incredible that after all this time, to leave the state, you know, with neither candidate declaring victory, with no official result. there was a blizzard on the way to iowa, as you know, so everyone wanted to get out as quickly as possible. they were trying to be confident, but one funny thing that happened, the announcement was being made by the press secretary who announced that nbc news had called the race for hillary clinton. so there you go. you know, this is a -- they feel very happy. they feel very confident.
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>> right. you mentioned -- say again. >> it's obviously not as big as they would have liked it to be. the state of the art political campaign, everyone agreed that no one in iowa had ever built an operation as big as the one that they had there, as effective as the one they had there. bernie sanders, 74-year-old democratic socialist never given much of a chance. so they're going to spin this as a big win. >> alex, you said it's not as big as they might like. i'll do you one better and say if this win were any smaller, it would cease to be a victory. we're talking about a difference of five state delegate equivalents out of the 699. this is razor thin. the iowa state party saying it's the thinnest in their history. with that in mind, i want to read to you what one of the staffers said about it. they just got wi-fi when you landed in new hampshire.
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here's what the iowa state director said. quote, statistically, there is no outstanding information that could change the results, and no way that senator sanders can overcome secretary clinton's advantage, end quote. i should mention for those watching, at this juncture, we have not seen anything like an announcement or concession from the sanders campaign although it's obviously early, 4:30 a.m. on the east coast. but, alex, speak to that. the part here where members of the clinton campaign are saying that even though this is razor thin, that government elections as we know would have automatic recounts in some states for far wider margins, they are basically saying, quote, statistically they see this as a done deal. >> well, the way they look at this it's not about the margin, it's the delegates that you have to make up the democratic nominee. and they are leaving the state with more delegates than bernie sanders even though it's close. it's not quite as close as the
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margin of the state delegate equivalents. they're calling that a win. they always knew that sanders was going to be strong in iowa, and they're saying that this is a victory. but this is the game that we're going to see playing out over the next 24 hours. i mean the reason you might not have heard from the sanders campaign yet is i'm not sure if their plane has landed. we're sort of chasing each other on the way to new hampshire. >> it's sort of an amazing part of politics at this waking hour, alex. let me read to you something in fairness that bernie sanders did say on his campaign plane before hillary clinton was named the apparent winner of the iowa caucus here in the last 40 minutes. he basically pitched whatever happened last night, a tie or a slight edge, he pitched it as a ratification of his electability. let me read to you what he said. quote, i think today we took a giant step to overcome that kind of doubt in many voters. what has always bothered me,
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people saying, i want to vote for you but i don't think you can win. alex, you and i both know, and i worked out in the iowa caucus before covering it, and you've been out there in the field this whole year. we both know there's what happens, and then there's what people think happens. talk to us about the clinton strategy to counter what i just read to you from bernie sanders. he's saying he wants people to think what happened, five votes this way or that, what happened was a ratification from a midwestern style state that he is a mainstream electable candidate. >> right. i mean, you know, it's all about the expectations game here, and i think the sanders campaign did an effective job of lowing expectations going into this. the last couple days they were saying that they were not super confident. they focused on how far they had come rather than how well they were doing whereas the clinton campaign was much more bullish. i wonder if they're going to regret that now. but in the larger scheme of things, you know, no one gave
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bernie sanders a shot of giving a run for the money to hillary clinton here. so the way that they're going to try to deal with this is by saying that sanders should have done even better than he even did. they're going to say that iowa was the dream state for him, and if he can't do it in iowa, there's no way he can do it in south carolina or nevada or the super tuesday state on march 1st and the states beyond that. you know, whether that convinces people or whether it muddies the water or not, the numbers are on their side when they move on into the deeper states which have large minority populations where bernie sanders doesn't do as well. this is exactly the argument you're going to be seeing play out over the next 24 hours. >> now part of what you're talking about to widen our lens a little bit and for folks just joining us, hillary clinton has been named the apparent winner of the iowa caucus just in the past 40 minutes based on numbers
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out of the iowa democratic party. so nbc has named her the apparent winner. separated by just five state delegate equivalents. we're talking to alex seitz-wald. alex, if we widen the lens to your point about expectations, in this outsider year, one of the arguments that you just e echoed from bernie sanders, well i shouldn't have even been this close, was also what donald trump hit in his brief runner up speech as well. are we seeing outsiders who basically lit what they would call movements in both of their parties that were so bright, people thought they would actually come in first which, when you think about it, six months ago if anybody had told you we would wake up with bernie a strong number two in his party, people would be impressed. >> i think that's such a huge point, and that's one of the weaknesses that hillary clinton
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faced in this race is she is a politician's politician. she has spent a lot of time in washington, obviously married to a former president, and it's a year when people didn't want that. they wanted authentic or people who they felt were authentic insurgents. they waented anti-establishment candidates in the form of bernie sanders and donald trump, and those are the people who outperformed expectations, who dominated the race, who really set the tone for the race on both sides in a way that no one really expected. and it was, to compare the two in iowa, i think you get a great example of how important having a good operation and a good ground game is. bernie sanders really did that well, you know, maybe not quite as good as the hillary clinton campaign, but still a very good operation. donald trump never quite did, and that's why you had bernie sanders coming in very, very close second behind hillary clinton with donald trump doing not quite as well despite the
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polls showing him in first place, you know, as recently as this week. >> so, alex, i want to do what we always call the look ahead here. you just landed for viewers just joining us, you just landed on that staff plane with hillary clinton in new hampshire. with the wi-fi flipped on, you were telling us the applause rang out, brian fallon who some viewers may recognize from being on tv, making the pitch for hillary clinton, you said got on the loud speaker. a dramatic moment here for hillary clinton being named the apparent winner. what happens next in this early morning in new hampshire, a place where having eked out this five-state delegate edge in iowa, she's got an uphill battle? what happens this morning for you guys? >> well, let me just paint a picture for you a little bit. i'm standing on the tarmac now. we've stepped off the plane, and there are three planes, three charters all lined up, all straight in from iowa. there's the hillary clinton campaign. there's the one, i believe, from the bernie sanders campaign, and then there's another filled with reporters. there are about 50 or 60
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reporters pulling their bags off the baggage claim, and we're going to go to our hotels, maybe get a couple hours of sleep, and then get right back on the trail because it's so important to these candidates to show with iowa just barely hours behind them, that they're committed to new hampshire. they're going to go all in in new hampshire. so we've got events starting bright and early in the morning, all through the day, and it's going to be another sprint to february 9th, the critical new hampshire primaries. >> well, alex, i want you to hang with us here if you can, as you say, out on that busy tarmac. we also have kacie hunt who has been out reporting for us every which way, has also made this jump from iowa to new hampshire and has been with the bernie sanders campaign. kacie, are you there? >> reporter: hi, ari. i'm here. actually, i am, i think, standing on the same tarmac as alex seitz-wald although we cannot see each other. i was just stopping to snap an
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iphone photo of these three planes lined up on the tarmac. we just came in behind them. senator sanders' plane, apparently unlike air clinton, did not actually have wi-fi. so the entire flight, no one on board was aware that at some point this race was, in fact, called for secretary clinton. so we did speak at some length with the senator himself. he and his senior and junior staff traveled on this plane overnight from des moines. and sanders said that regardless of where this outcome actually landed, that what he accomplished in iowa was proving to people that he's capable of winning, that he's capable of being someone who can legitimately take on hillary clinton. he said in particular -- and i'm quoting here -- what has always bothered me is when people say, well, i like you, bernie. i want to vote for you, but i just don't think you can win. then he goes on to say, today i
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think we took a giant step to overcome that kind of doubt in many voters. now, ari, i will also say he notably did not say that he was going to win the new hampshire primary outright. instead, insisting that he was going to compete across the map, go all the way to the convention. so he has -- >> kacie, let me ask you this because we're just -- this is just amazing. if you like politics, this has been an amazing night and an amazing way to wake up. and yet there are people who are going to be watching and think, well, i've seen elections that aren't this close that go to recounts. now, that's in some states where there's an automatic law and the government does that. this is a state party. i've been reporting before you joined us here that the clinton campaign has said there's no statistical wiggle room here. this thing is over no matter how tight it is. i know as you said when you landed they had just started to learn about this. but can you give us from your reporting any sense of whether the sanders campaign might see this as anything less than a
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done deal, this five-state delegate equivalent edge for hillary? >> well, don't forget that when we took off, the sanders campaign was focused on and talking about this issue of these precincts where the votes were still out and where they said that they had gotten a call from the iowa democratic party, asking for their help in tracking down the final votes. so that, of course, was still an outstanding issue for them. now, i asked senator sanders whether he trusted the iowa democratic party to keep this count accurately and to be fair, and he said that, you know, he could only hope that they will be honest in making this decision. and i hope you'll excuse me me for one second. the senator is actually coming down off the plane. let me see if i can run over and get a sense of what he's got to say, ari. >> go ahead, kacie. we'll take you back after that. speaking there to kacie hunt from the tarmac in new hampshire. she was relaying something that has been unfolding over the
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course of the night, which is there were concerns voiced by the sanders campaign that there were still problems in this voting process. they even alleged at one point that multiple results were somehow missing. what we can tell you today is that the iowa democratic party, as i've said, just within the last hour put out what they say are the final numbers. that's why hillary clinton's the apparent winner of the iowa caucus with just this five state delegate equivalent edge. so what we're going to do here is reset a little bit. kacie hunt literally walking over to senator sanders right now. alex seitz-wald and other reporters also there in new hampshire as this very interesting morning begins and the sun rises on a big day in politics. again, hillary clinton the apparent winner of the iowa caucus. that confirmed by the state democratic party within the last hour. msnbc's live special coverage continues. keep it right here.
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to the families and friends across this state, i am deeply grateful. [ cheers and applause ] >> well, i love all of you. >> hillary clinton speaking there last night, not in a concession speech and not at the time until a victory speech because it was simply too close to call according to all news
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organizations as well as the iowa state democratic party. well, what's changed, here we are within the last hour, the iowa state democrats put out their final numbers. hillary clinton is now the apparent winner of the iowa caucus. hillary clinton having come through a very tight race, one that was far too close to call. the 52 delegates in that state now, 29 awarded to her. delegates and super delegates. hillary clinton got a five-delegate edge when you estimate them out essentially. that means that bernie sanders and her finished the tightest, closest race in iowa caucus history. alex seitz-wald has been with us in new hampshire. he was in iowa as of yesterday, but took that flight into new hampshire and is back with us now. alex, your thoughts on this early morning. hillary clinton eking out something that many people were doubting at certain points last night and something that her campaign says is a statistical complete victory. no more questions. no debates, she says, even
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though of course some last night were raising questions. >> well, i'm thinking about this time, famous trip from 2008 when hillary clinton had a similar charter flight from des moines to manchester. of course that time she finished third. there was humiliation, derailed her presidential campaign, and the flight is more because her senior staff sort of broke down, and it was an ugly press conference they had as they were leaving des moines. certainly not the same today. much better victory. but it's not quite the victory they would have liked. i think the best way to look at this is not a loss, but not really a full victory. something that will help them muddle through and carry on, which is exactly sort of the way that they've been trying to run this all along. you know, you would obviously, as somebody said on the plane, you would obviously not like to win by .02% or whatever the final number is going to be, but a win is a win, and they're
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going to take it and try to spin it the best they can. >> well, a win is a win, alex, but more importantly for hillary clinton, she wants to present this as her firing shot, as her start that basically as you just said, she came in third last time she had to run in iowa o. she was behind edwards as well, and she's going into new hampshire. we were just putting up earlier the cnn poll where the new hampshire gap, 57-34 is tough. right now we've got the 50-50. that was last night. in new hampshire where they're headed, where you're speaking to us from the tarmac in manchester, you're talking about potentially a 20-point gap there. we see it in the cnn poll. she really needed this. in some sense, you could say bernie sanders, six months ago, wasn't supposed to do this. but, you know, six hours ago, this is what hillary clinton needed more than him. >> yeah, it's a great point, ari. the stakes were always much higher for sanders going into
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iowa than they were for hillary clinton. she can withstand a loss in iowa and new hampshire back-to-back, and it looks like she's not going to have to do that, but she could have withstood those and still won the nomination, you know, more or less with a clear path. it just would have been a more expensive and uglier, a slower path, but she still could have gotten there. for bernie sanders, he really needed to win iowa and new hampshire to have a real shot at winning the nomination. that's essentially the argument the clinton campaign made tonight. we'll see because this win is so narrow and really eked out, can the sanders campaign effectively make that a win of their own given the expectations game and still salvage their path to the nomination? you know, it's ugly, but i would still rather take the clinton narrow win over the sanders narrow loss any day. >> absolutely.
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and yet at the same time, this was a caucus that was bedevilled, as you know, by real concerns about at least some aspects of how it was administered, of whether the data was coming through right. now, that does happen in elections, and it's equal opportunity. no one is accusing hillary clinton of any problems there, but more the sanders campaign was raising questions about the state democratic party. then there were things that were not by any means wrong but just have people around the country going, is this how we choose our president? i'm thinking specifically of the coin toss, alex. i mean there were more than one precinct where things were so tight that there was an absolute tie, and it was resolved through a coin toss, who was going to get the delegates. i've got some of that on the screen for viewers who may not have caught this last night. that is a remarkable scene. that is american democracy or american gambling depending on your point of view. a caucus is not an exact count like normal votes. so when there is this tie and
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somebody is going to get the delegate, they're using this coin toss method. some folks are looking at that -- i want to be clear because i like to be careful -- not an allegation against hillary clinton. just how this process works and saying wait a minute. if it was this tight and some of these were decided by chance and some of these precincts weren't counted well and it was this close, is it really just a wash? >> i think you're going to see a lot of those kinds of questions raised not just by the sanders campaign or sanders supporters but by people in general. i mean, you know, the iowa caucuses are -- have a storied reputation. they're quaint. they're a great spectacle, but there are very serious questions about whether they are really democratic and whether they really represent a party that is committed to expanding the vote, the franchise to everyone. these are things that you have to participate in for two hours on a week night. you have to get off work or get child care.
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you have to be in the room. there's no secret ballot. it's all very public, and it has all these quirky things like coin tosses and volunteer-run. it's not run by the state. it's run by the parties. so you have nonprofessionals running these things, and it does raise these kinds of questions. so iowa is very sensitive about their status as the first in the nation caucus. naturally the parties, both the republican and the democrat parties are very sensitive and they work very hard to protect it. but when you have a really, really narrow outcome like this and you have questions being raised by one side, and then in 2012 we had the republican caucus where they initially called it for mitt romney and then they went back for rick santorum, these are the kinds of things that add up and make people start to question whether this really is the best way to do it. one final point on this. i went to a caucus earlier tonight or yesterday, i guess, democratic caucus site 113 in
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west des moines, and i talked to an o'malley supporter. he only four cohorts in o'malley camp had to realign, and after a complicated, confusing moment of where they were trying to figure out what's really going on, he turned to me, and he said, i can't think of a stupider way to elect the president. there you go, from the ground. >> and that's the question you have. the issues are iowa going first and having an arcane system, and then having so much power even though it has a small number of delegates. those delegates heading more towards hillary clinton, the new apparent winner. alex, as you were speaking, i just learns that our own kacie hunt, who's over on the same tarmac as you in manchester, has just spoken with bernie sanders. she asked him about this news that he's just learned from landing. she asked him does this feel final to you? do you think this is where it sits, or do you reserve the right to potentially challenge
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this? bernie sanders having just spoken to nbc on the tarmac there, and when we come back from break, we're going to tell you what he said and try to get that video up. breaking news here. stay with us. msnbc special election coverage.
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welcome back. i'm ari melber coming to you live in the msnbc newsroom.
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4:58 on the east coast. we have some breaking news to report. earlier in the hour we announced that hillary clinton is the apparent winner of the iowa caucus. now, senator bernie sanders, who lost to her just narrowly, just landed in new hampshire, where it is dark, before sunrise. our own kacie hunt speaking with him on the tarmac as he got off the plane, asking about these results, which he just learned of because we know from our reporters he didn't have wi-fi on his plane. this is all basically brand new sound. we're going to air it for the first time in the new hampshire darkness. take a look. >> is capable of running and winning in any state in this country. we look forward to doing well here in new hampshire, and after that, we're off to nevada and then south carolina, where i think we're going to surprise a whole lot of people just as we did in iowa. >> do you anticipate contesting this vote count at all? >> honestly, we just got off the plane and we don't know enough to say anything about it. >> thank you very much, sir.
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>> bernie sanders speaking to kacie hunt. that was moments ago. we just turned the video around. i have evan san toro joining me. if you heard that, and you see senator sanders' first reaction. your thoughts. >> hi, how are you? sorry, i'm just getting off the plane. >> i know. we had reporters all over the place. i was asking what you thought of senator sanders' there if you heard it. >> i heard on the plane senator sanders talked about what, at the time they were calling a tie. now it looks like a physical win for hillary clinton. i heard alex earlier explaining what good news that is for clinton. the sanders campaign also feels very good about the night they had in iowa. i mean what they like to talk about this in a longer termed way than the clinton campaign does. we talk about the last couple wins, they talk about the last few months. they say, look, we started out down 40%, and now we're, you
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know, coming within a tie level now. so the feeling among the sanders campaign is that what happened in iowa is a great success to their campaign and will carry them forward to what the senator said on the plane will be all the way to the convention. so that's the words from the sanders campaign right now. >> do you think it matters to them how close to this was, that we've been reporting for folks the narrowest caucus results in democratic state history. that's why it wasn't called last night, and that gives everyone something to say, but hillary clinton ultimately able to say, according to her advisers here, this is a victory that can't even be statistically challenged because it's a state party result and it's done. >> right. well, there is actually some talk about maybe would there be some challenges and all this stuff, and that was not something that seemed very appealing to the sanders people. you know, the honest truth is about this particular result is there's two sides to it.
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one, it's better to win than not to win, so that's for sure. the other side is it fits a certain kind of existing narrative with the sanders people that there's going to be a lot of sanders people poring through these results, talking about these results. you're going to see people on the internet questioning some of these reports we had at the end of the day, the coin flips you talked about, things like that. in terms of rallying sanders' base, this is going to be a great success, i'm sure. it's going to raise a lot of money. they're going to have a lot of activist people that support them talking at length about sort of whether this iowa caucus is completely valid or not or whether they think it is or not. but the answer from the sanders campaign is that they -- many aides and top people for sanders thought that they weren't going to do as well in iowa as they did. so they're focusing on the bright side, which is they did much better than they thought they would do, and that is sort of the central narrative that they're trying to put forward.
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now, whether or not, you know, that means a lot in the final delegates is an open question. but in terms of the narrative of the momentum question out of iowa, they feel like they got it. >> well, delegates matter, but it's very clear that at this juncture, that fight into late last night and the fight spilling here into the early morning hours was not about the delegates that will ultimately decide this race. it was about the bragging rights. it was about hillary clinton being able to say she pulled this out, eked this out, and she did here just narrowly. evan mcmorris san toro, joining us from new hampshire off the plane. appreciate that and all the other reporters who have been part of our special coverage. i'm ari melber from the nbc newsroom. first look continues up next.
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it's tuesday, february 2nd and coming up on "first look" after spending hours in a dead heat with bernie sanders, hillary clinton is named the apparent winner in the iowa caucuses. while ted cruz deals a humbling defeat to donald trump. "first look" starts right now. and good morning, everyone. thanks for being with us. i'm shannon mulaire. iowa voters have spoken and ted cruz is the winner of the republican iowa caucus. while nbc news has named hillary clinton the apparent winner for the democrats. she has pul

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