tv Caught on Camera MSNBC February 20, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
the nevada caucus and the south carolina primary. >> and good evening, 6:00 p.m. eastern time on a saturday night. if you've been watching, then you know we have already projected the winner in the caucus this evening in nevada. that is hillary clinton. it is being projected by nbc news. when all the caucus votes are counted up, it will be hillary clinton over bernie sanders and the punditry is already coming at full bore. saying she eked out a victory, imagine what we would be saying had it gone the other way. more on that in just a moment, but in south carolina, just to keep you updated, they are still voting for another hour. so it will be a while yet before we can announce any projection or results. south carolina gop primary still going to the polls.
they have an hour to vote and they've all been told, look, if you're in line by 7:00 p.m. eastern, you will get to vote. you may have noticed, joining me, rachel maddow, welcome again. >> hi, brian. >> good to see you. >> this is exciting. >> mr. ralston of our staff is already reporting harry reid picked up the phone a few days ago, called nevada and said to the restaurant and beverage workers union, we know you're not going to endorse hillary clinton. if you could get your folks out, though, and help out, it would be appreciated. mr. ralston is saying that made the difference. >> it will be interesting to see the overall turnout numbers. turnout is always interesting in every race. in this race between hillary clinton and bernie sanders is particularly important. that is bernie sanders' theory of the case. he's saying, listen, i may not look like your typically viable general election candidate but the reason i'm viable is i will excite new participation in the democratic process. i will get new people out, i will get people involved in politics who usually aren't.
and watch me do it. that's how i can win. if i win, that's how i'll get my policy platform enacted. so far, turn wroout for democras down in iowa compared in 2008, down in new hampshire compared to 2008. we have to wait and see if it will be down in nevada as well. if it is, you know, that may tell us something about who, you know, why hillary clinton won, but more importantly, it's going to be a challenge for sanders going on in terms of whether or not he needs a new theory of the case for how he could win and how he could be an effective president. turnout is always fascinating in nevada, it may be crucial in terms of the overall state of the democratic race. >> it may chill you to hear that chris matthews is heading up our las vegas bureau today, but chris, it was having watched hours of you that i heard ralston say that the casino caucuses, the dayshift workers who were allowed to come out and caucus, those were coming in clark county. the envirens of las vegas for
hillary clinton, that, it turns out, turned it for her. >> you know, i think it's an example that we have to pick up on ourselves which is not all politics happens on television. it's not all speeches. it's not tv ads that are paid for. it's not free media. we give interviews to people. it's not debates. things happen on the telephone. they happen in backrooms, happen in labor halls where labor leaders still have strength, they can engage in polling operations and get people out of their homes on a beautiful saturday like out here in this gorgeous weather, to spend several hours inside involved in this kind of wrestling match to see how you actually vote. off the screen is what happened here. harry reid is not mr. charisma but he is one forceful figure. why do you think he's leader of the senate democrats? he can work the phones, work relationships and has a great set of antenna to what's going to happen. hillary clinton put together a great organization she's done
many times before to make things happen and that included the working people here. if you come out, you see people seeing their jobs. it's an amazing place. you see them dealing their cards, the pit bosses standing over them with brim faces, watch the waitresses, the soconcierge. they showed up today. three-minute breaks, mgm grand. our host here. you saw democracy in action. it wasn't a tv event until our guy, jacob soboroff and of course chris hayes showed us a bit of it. what was going on, people, almost this physicality kind of thing, under a basket, an nba game or college game, you have to work your way physically to the corner you're going to. being pulled back, wooed back by the other side. it is bracing to watch. the hillary clinton people backed by, in farkts led by harry reid who said he's not
part stan in th partisan in this baby, fat chance, they won, rachel, in an inside game. it was not tv spectacular. it was good backroom politics. >> i think that's always true in nevada, i think that may be particularly true here. the culinary workers specifically technically staying on the sidelines but then as ralston has been reporting, maybe at the last minute getting in there to drive up turnout. chris, that is exactly right. we had a shot a moment ago of the -- >> his forehead. >> in the lower right corner. an excellent forehead it is. we expect hillary clinton to speak fairly soon. the hall is full there. she's going to give a victory speech. we have a statement from senator sanders already. "i spoke to secretary clinton and congratulated her on her victory in nevada. five weeks ago we were 25 points behind and wound up in a close election and probably will leave nevada with a solid share of the delegates." as we wait for this hillary clinton speech, on set nbc's
andrea mitchell, friend nicolle wallace, republican in good standing though she sits with me, we're going to talk about this in a moment. still winter even if it's a mild winter. i want to go first to steve kornacki, looking at specifically the way hillary clinton pulled out this victory today in nevada, compared to her victory of a certain kind in 2008 over barack obama. how did it look this time, steve? >> well, short answer is very similar. although there's some surprises in that, too. in 2008, eight years ago, there it was, hillary clinton by about six points won this state. now, a lot of big candidates here geographically, that's a little misleading. more than 70% of the action in clark counties, where las vegas is, big suburbs are. the only real population centers in the state, reno, carson city a little bit south there. and you got elco. the rest of this is extremely, extremely rural. what happened in 2008 is hillary
clinton rolled up a big number, had huge support from latino voters. barack obama did well in the northern part of the state, not well enough to catch her. the question was how would that look today? now, if i can get that to advan advance, here's what the map looks like today. a couple poithings to point out. this is the surprise of the day. the numbers are coming in from clark county. hillary clinton is running where she ran in 2008. 7 00% in from clark county. bernie sanders if he's going to catch her, if he's going to win, he needs big numbers out of reno. right now he's leading up there by seven points. eight years ago barack obama won there by nine points so he didn't hit the obama number there. how about elco? elco eight years ago barack obama beat hillary clinton by 32 points. tonight, the margin nine points currently for bernie sanders. he is doing well as barack obama did in northern part of the state. he is not doing well enough to overcome the significant
advantage hillary clinton had there, quickly we can add, this is interesting and debated in the days ahead. we have entrance polls. entrance polls break things down every which way. the racial breakdown in this thing very interesting. bernie sanders winning by two points among whites. hillary clinton winning by 54 among african-americans and here's one that's going to be debated. the entrance polls still showing bernie sanders ahead by eight among latinos. >> interesting. >> all right. steve kornacki at the board. steve, thanks. chuck todd standing by to talk to us. chuck, you know what i'm going to say, first of all, east coast media types don't understand the economic situation right now in nevada. fourth worst unemployment in the entire country. >> that's right. >> and second, what chris was saying, the power of old-school labor organizers and their friends. >> well, look, you know, we joke about the establishment. it's been used and thrown around so much, we forget sometimes how to even define the word anymore. we know sanders is running against the establishment. trump is.
but there is an establishment and sanders ran smack dab into a brick wall named the establishment. and i think that the culinary -- when you look at these numbers in clark county, it's a union-heavy county. when you look at how she did among union households, look, three-quarters of the participants weren't in a union household. those that were, she won that fairly comfortably. same margin essentially as she won in clark county. the largest county there. so i think it's a reminder, that's why i said overall, this is an important day for clinton beyond just winning one state. this is what i would -- i think it's going to be known as sigh of relief saturday. because now the pressure turns to sanders. where's he going to win? this was his best shot early on at winning a state with a diverse electorate to puncture the myth that he can't win in states that have diverse electora electorates. if he couldn't win here, where does he win next? and he has got the next ten days, got it figure that out. south carolina doesn't look so good. look at those african-american numbers in our entrance poll in nevada, he can't have a similar
type performance and come with etch striking distance in south carolina and then there's super tuesday, and right now, they're only concentrating on the two caucus states, two new england states and oklahoma. he's got to find a place, a way to beat her in a texas, in a georgia, tennessee, virginia. the bigger states with some diverse elect raorates but majoy still non-african-american electorates at least in three of the states he has to find a place to win now. that's why it's so important for clinton to win. she could run off a streak of victories now that give her a durable, maybe not quite insurmountab insurmountable, but a durable delegate lead that will be very tough for sanders to catch. >> chuck, can i just ask you about the delegate picture here. obviously one of the strange things to describe and explain about the race thus far between sanders and clinton is he absolutely blew her out in new hampshire with a 22-point lead. they ended up basically almost tied in terms of the delegates out of new hampshire. we saw something a little bit
similar in 2008 in nevada where hillary clinton won in nevada, won the popular vote by five or six points. barack obama actually got one more delegate out of nevada. is it possible we're going to see something like that in terms of delegates tonight in nevada? >> not no nevada. here's why. they changed a couple rules from 08's to prevent that from happening. so barack obama more delegates, the clark county area, the first congressional district is worth more delegates this time than it was eight years ago. obama won that one, one less between clark county. i'm getting a little arcane. for what it's worth, rachel, i had the same question. i went and researched this. you and i did not talk beforehand. i did find out. they changed the delegate allocation enough that guaranteed if you win this state level delegate process you're
going to have a swroimajority o convention delegates in nevada, too. >> you're doing this so you'll have a lot to talk about tomorrow. >> hey, man, south carolina, we don't want to give anything away. it's going to be a fun night. that's all i'm going to say. it's going to be a fun night, brother. >> i don't know if it's an official characterization by nbc news, it's going to be a fun night? our political director, best game he can bring. nicole and andrea are here, separate topics for you. i want to get your call, your take on clinton before we preview south carolina. what do you make of the victory she's managed to pull out? >> this was a firewall for her because if she had lost nevada after virtually tieing or losing iowa basically a wash in iowa, and getting clobbered in new hampshire, what was she going to go going into south carolina? she had huge advantages there especially with jim clyburn
joining us and that was carefully o carefully orchestrated as well as the not so hidden hand of harry reid. the establishment is coming around her, and the other piece of what rachel was asking about is the superdelegates and they are all in her advantage. he has three members of congress. she has all of the others. more than 150. they all are voting delegates. they're not pledged. they're not tied down, but they are at this point committed to her unless she were to implode somewhere down the road then they could legally under convention rules go elsewhere. she needsed nevada, needed to prove she could do this. we have to see how the ethnic breakdown plays out. she's still losing young voters. that's a problem down the road in a general election in particular. what you all were inquiring about, is he bringing in new people? so far we don't know that about nevada. that's going to bt key thing. if he can't prove he has this magic, call for revolution and
excitement we saw on the trail, i was there until last night. her closing argument was flat and restrained. i was at the backrooms in the casinos talking to their workers, not to tell me on camera who they were for. after the camera was off i said, where are you? they said, la hillary. la hillary is -- >> then bernie -- you do see tangible real nonanecdotal evidence of the enthusiasm. bernie turned out -- excuse me, senator sanders turned out nearly 3,000 people in sparks, nevada, last night. the crowds are there. the enthusiasm is there. >> and they're young. >> caucuses a e es are tough. they're not primaries. maybe not investing the time and showing up and voting. >> nicole, south carolina is where the gop race takes on a cruelty both in nature of the campaign, the modern post-atwater hit riff of tstory
campaign, many people believe the race narrows after tonight. how do you think the -- >> chuck called it pfun. he can speak for himself. this is like nails on the chalkboard for anyone invested in the future. this battle for the heart and soul of the republican party is reaching a point where denial is unhealthy. donald trump is our front-runner. should he have a wildly successful night tonight, which is what all the polls predict, they've never all been wrong before -- >> not the nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. >> it is tightening. >> you're lucky i can't call you on the months of denial you went through because we're going to go to las vegas. >> hillary clinton about to give her victory speech tonight. >> thank you. thank you so much. >> hillary! hillary! >> you know, i am so, so thrilled and so grateful to all of my supporters out there.
some may have doubted us, but we never doubted each other. and this one's for you. i want to congratulate senator sanders in a hard-fought race here. and i want to thank each and every one of you. you turned out in every corner of this state with determination and purpose. hotel and casino workers who never wavered. students with too much debt and small businessowners who never go off the clock. tens of thousands of men and women with kids to raise, bills to pay and dreams that won't die. this is your campaign. and it is -- it is a campaign to break down every barrier that
holds you back. we're going to build ladders of opportunity in their place so every american can go as far as your hard work can take you. and to the thousands of volunteers and organizers who work so hard in this state, to the more than 750,000 people who've gone to hillaryclinton.com and contributed what you could the vast majority giving less than $100, and to the millions of people across our country who are supporting our campaign, thank you from the bottom of my heart. we hear you, we see you, we're incredibly grateful to you because we're in this together. we look at our country and see so much that isn't working the
way it should. we see grandparents forced to choose between paying rent and buying medicine because a prescription drug company has increased prices 5,000% overnight. we see african-american families denied mortgages at nearly three times the rate of white families. we see small towns and rural communities hollowed out by lost jobs and lost hope. we see a rising generation of young people coming of age in a world where opportunity seems out of reach. and worst of all, we see children growing up in poverty or pain or fear. here in nevada, a brave young girl told me how scared she is that her parents could be deported. in south carolina, i met kids trying to learn in crumbling classrooms and neglected communities. and then there's flint, michigan, where children were
poisoned by toxic water just because their governor wanted to save a little money. so, americans, americans are right to be angry. but we're also hungry for real solutions. in the campaign you've heard a lot about washington and wall street. we all want to get secret unaccountable money out of politics. that starts with appointing a new justice to the supreme court. who will protect the right of every citizen to vote, not every corporation to buy elections. and we also agree that wall street can never be allowed to threaten main street again. no bank can be too big to fail,
no executive too powerful to jail. but if we listen to the voices of flint and ferguson, if we open our hearts to the families of coal country and indian country, if we listen to the hopes and heart aches of hardworking people across america, it's clear there is so much more to be done. the truth is, we aren't a single-issue country. we need more than a plan for the big banks. the middle class needs a raise and we need more jobs. we need jobs that pay well and
can't be outsourced. we can do it by the entrepreneurs and small businesses. we can do it with new investments in manufacturing, infrastructure, and clean energy especially here in nevada, the center of solar power. somebody, some country is going to be the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. it's probably either going to be china, germany, or us, and i want it to be us and it will be when i'm president. we also have to do more to make it easier for parents to balance work and family and to break down barriers that keep so many people on the sidelines of the economy, especially women. don't you think we've waited long enough? it's time for equal pay for equal work. don't you think it's time to face head-on the reality of systemic racism and invest in communities that have been left
out and left behind? that means reforming our criminal justice system, our immigration systems. ensuring that people with disabilities have the same opportunities to work and fully participate in our society. it means to make sure that nothing holds you back, not debt, not discrimination, not a decked stack for those at the top. now, no one can get this done alone. not even the president of the united states. it's got to be the mission of our entire nation. i have never believed in dividing america between us and them. we are all in this together. we all have to do our part. so let me say this to the men and women who run our country's corporations. if you cheat your employees, exploit consumers, pollute our environment or rip off
taxpayers, we're going to hold you accountable. but if you do the right things, invest in your workers, contribute to your communities, help build a better america, we're going to stand with you, we're going to go into the future together. we need more jobs. we need more opportunity. [ cheers and applause ] and i want to say this to all the young people out there, i know what you're up against. if you left college with a ton of loans, it's not enough just to make college more affordable. you need help right now with the debt you already have. that's why i have a plan to cut your interest rates and cap payments so you never have to pay more than you can afford. but i want you to -- i want you to think about this. it can't be just about what
we're going to give to you. it has to be about what we're going to build together. your generation is the most tolerant and connected our country has ever seen. in the days ahead, we will propose new ways for more americans to get involved in national service and give back to our communities because every one of us has a role to play in building the future we want. washington is never going to have all the answers, but for every problem we face, somewhere, someone in america is solving it, and we need you to be part of that exciting journey we can make together. we need the community activist who decides to run for school board. the entrepreneur who stays instead of leaving a hometown who has seen better days.
we need millions of teachers, nurses, police officers and firefighters who get up every day and do quiet heroic work to make our country a safer, fairer, better place. it's going to take each of us working together, growing together, looking out for one another and lifting each other up. because there is a basic truth about america. it's something that bill and i have been the beneficiaries of, that we have tried to contribute to and do all we could to continue. america can only live up to its potential. when each and every american has the chance to live up to your potential, too. so imagine, imagine a tomorrow where no child fwrou grows up i shadow of discrimination or under the specter of deportation. and every child in every zip code gets the education he or she needs and deserves.
imagine a tomorrow where every parent can find a good job and every grandparent can enjoy a secure retirement. where small businesses thrive and big businesses play by the rules and give more back to the country that has given them so much. where hard work is honored, families are supported and communities are strong. with your help, that is the tomorrow we will build for our country. so please join us, go to hillaryclinton.com, become a part of this campaign or text 27246, join, right now. now i am heading on -- [ cheers and applause ] i am on my way to texas. i'm on my way to texas.
bill is on his way to colorado. the fight goes on. the future that we want is within our grasp. thank you, all. god bless you! >> hillary clinton from the ballroom at cesars palace joined by her husband the former president. really the first pure victory speech she has been able to give in this still young campaign. and yet it became quite a recitation there at the end. she has worked flint, gn fmichi into the speech where it hasn't been in the past. she has worked college education costs into the speech where it hasn't been in the past, perhaps, perhaps in reaction to senator sanders who we expect to hear next. she was out ahead and out first tonight. people watching closely saw still suppressing that cough she's. she's had a cold for a long time which has become its own cause on many websites, especially this past week.
john ralston is standing by to talk to us. perhaps the best known veteran political journalist in the state of nevada, and, john, i was watching you all afternoon into the evening with chris. your reporting on harry reid, your reporting on the ka secasi caucus locations. critical saturday afternoon dayshift. the men and women who make las vegas go came out to fuel her victory in the county that makes nevada go politically. >> yeah, it's really true, brian. amy of "the new york times" first reported this phone call that harry reid made to "the union leader detailer," i don't think you can underestimate how much difference that made. before that phone call was made, the culinary union was going to do nothing to organize workers for those caucuses on those six sites. they may have just gotten 100 people to show up at all six sites combined. now looks like it's hundreds of
people at each site. she crushed bernie sanders in those sites. i don't think it was an accident. i think the culinary was always leaning toward hillary clinton. i think harry reid was very worried about hillary clinton losing the nevada caucus, one that he thought that he thought he had wrapped up. he hasn't endorsed anybody, of course, but harry reid was worried about bernie sanders turning the momentum of the race toward himself and hillary clinton, he and i think others in the democratic establishment think is a much stronger candidate. harry reid asserted, again, today that he is the state democratic party, that he really can change the dynamic of an election in this state. >> john ralston, it's rachel maddow. it's great to see you on the big day. i'm so excited you get to sleep sometime after tomorrow. after a week straight on television. john, let me ask you about something we talked about heading into this caucus which is the prospect of shenanigans. there's this weird loophole in
the registration deadlines in nevada this year which made it theoretically possible for, you know, i guess excitable or excited republican activists to be registered as republicans but nevertheless show up and caucus in the democratic caucus tonight and then still be able to caucus with the republican party on tuesday. nobody knows exactly what kind of effect that would have if it happened. is in athere any sign that it d happen? >> i think it happened in scattered ways from what i can figure out, rachel. it's a very difficult thing for somebody to do. there was a lot of press attention to this after it became clear what they could do. and i think to the point where it was even being condemned by state and county republican parties. i think it made people nervous. i never thought it was going to be much more than a few hundred people. i doubt it was even that much. by the way, we do have an estimated turnout now in nevada. it was about 80,000 or so of my state democratic party sources tell me it was -- if you recall, it was about 120,000 in 2008. that number really would have
had to go north of 90,000 is what people told me for bernie sanders to have a really good chance to beat hillary clinton, but this is just -- this was always the hillary clinton machine versus the enthusiasm that clearly was building here especially after new hampshire. bernie sanders kind of rag tag but lots of energy here, organization, and the machine won and harry reid won. >> john ralston who was out ahead of this story all afternoon into the evening as we said, thank you so much. eugene robinson has joined us here, nicolle wallace remains here. we're going to get in a break. remember, in 28 minutes the polls close in south carolina where we have by all indications, what did chuck todd call it? a fun night ahead. >> he said a fun night, brother, which means it's going to be really fun.
we are back and that is henderson, nevada, that is the bernie sanders event unlike the hillary clinton event which was in a hotel ballroom. this is an outdoor amphitheater. they were hoping for word of what did not come. in fact, they have been defeated today by the clinton campaign, but we will hear from senator sanders coming up. also, south carolina, we are 20, what, 24 minutes aw wawa waway closings there. an eventful night ahead. >> yeah, it's going to be -- getting a doubleheader at any point is always good in sports, it's triple good in politics particularly when you can speak with the national chair of one of our two parties, congresswoman debbie wasserman-schultz, democrat national committee chair, joins us from miami. congresswoman, thanks for being with us. it's nice to have you here tonight. >> my pleasure, rachel.
pleased to be with you. >> let me ask you about not the result between bernie sanders and hillary clinton in nevada, but -- >> thank you. >> -- let me ask you about the turnout. this is only the second time the democratic party has managed to contested caucus in nevada, as an early state caucus. it looks like the numbers suggest that the voter turnout is down. maybe as much as 50% from 2008. the democratic turnout estimate right now, we're hearing, is 80,000 people turned out in nevada. are you worried that turnout numbers are down so much in each of the first three states for democratic voters? >> no, you know, we had a different sort of election and i think you have to judge each election based on, you know, the dynamics that occur in that election. i mean, 80,000 is a really good turnout. it's something that the nevada party really emphasized. we had electronic tools that we used this time, 31,000 people were able to preregister going
into the caucuses. we had an online tool that helped people find their caucus site so they could more easily get there and just generally i think we tried to make what is a process that teems with tee moxmoc democracy easier for folks to participate. >> madam chair, i have to interrupt you there. we're going to go to bernie sanders' speech in henderson, nevada. we'll be back with you. bernie sanders did not win the nevada caucuses. nbc news projects the winner is secretary clinton. secretary clinton has already given her victory speech. here's senator sanders in henderson. >> thank you very much. >> bernie! bernie! >> thank you. thank you. thank you, nevada, for the extraordinary support that we have received today.
you know, five weeks ago, we were 25 points behind in the polls. and we've made some real progress. a little while ago, i called up secretary clinton and congratulated her, her staff for the victory here in nevada. they ran a very aggressive, effective campaign, and i applaud them for their efforts. [ applause ] what this entire campaign has been about is the issue of momentum, is the issue of bringing more and more people into the political process. when we began in iowa, we were 50 points behind.
when we began in new hampshire, we were 30 points behind. and we were way behind here in nevada. but what i think is happening is that as people hear our message, and it's a tough message because it speaks to the truth of american society today that a lot of people just don't want to address, and that is the fact that we have a corrupt campaign finance system which is undermining american democracy and -- [ cheers and applause ] we will not allow billionaires and their superpacs to continue to buy elections in the united states of america. and the american people are a
catching on that we have a rigged economy. ordinary people, working people, working two or three jobs longer and longer hours and almost all new income going to the top 1%. and together we are going to create an economy that works for all of us and not just the top 1%. and the american people are catching on that we have a broken criminal justice system. a system which says today that some kid in nevada or vermont gets picked up with some marijuana, that kid will have a police record staying with him his entire life. but if you are a wall street
executive and your illegal behavior destroys the economy and the lives of millions of people, somehow nothing happens to you. [ booing ] and our job is to bring justice back to the criminal justice system. [ cheers and applause ] i want to thank all of our supporters here in nevada. i want to thank our thousands of volunteers including many of you for working tirelessly. i want to thank -- [ applause ] i want to thank our staff for the great job that they have done. i am -- i am especially proud
that here in nevada, we're seeing this all over this country, we are bringing working people and young people into the political process in a way we have not seen for a very long time. in a short while, i'll be on a plane to south carolina and then we're going to be competing in 1 11 states all across -- on super tuesday. and i believe -- i believe that on super tuesday, we have got an excellent chance to win many of those states. but i also know that on super tuesday and before, we are going
to be taking on a very powerful and well-funded superpac, a superpac that receives significant amounts of money from wall street and wealthy special interests. so as we head to super tuesday, we would very much appreciate the support of the american people who have been so kind and generous. we have received at this point over 3.7 million individual contributions. and if people want to help us out, they can do that at berniesanders.com. lastly, as i think everyone knows, taking on the establishment, whether it is the
financial establishment, whether it is the political establishment, whether it is the media establishment, is not easy. we have come a very long way in nine months. it is clear to me that i think most observers that the wind is at our backs. we have the momentum. [ applause ] and i believe -- i believe that when democrats assemble in philadelphia in july, at that convention, we're going to see the results of one of the great political upsets in the history of the united states. [ applause ]
>> bernie! bernie! >> so, nevada, nevada, our volunteers, our supporters, our staff, thank you all very much and now it's on to super tuesday. thank you! >> senator bernie sanders giving his concession speech tonight in nevada, henderson, nevada, be embraced by some of his volunteers and supporters. the senator saying "we have the moment momentum" and predicting one of the great political upsets in the history of the united states. both senator sanders and secretary clinton tonight talking about going on not just to south carolina, but on to the super tuesday states on march 1st where so much of the race will be decided if only because such a high proportion of the
overall delegates needed to win the nomination will be allocated on that one night on march 1st. still with us now the national chair of the democratic party, congresswoman debbie wasserman-schultz. obviously, congresswoman, nobody is expecting this race to end any time soon. you got two candidates, the races so far have all been very close. the thing that's different, though, between the democratic process and the republican process is this issue of superdelegates. and so we have had some hard to explain -- it's -- results that are hard to explain to people who don't care that much about politics without it seeming drastically unfair. for example, the fact that bernie sanders won by 22 points in new hampshire but the delegate count came out of the race basically even. is there an internal dialogue in the party about the superdelegate process and whether or not the party is going to stick with it? >> the superdelegates, i'm glad you're asking me about this, because the way the media has
been reporting this is incorrect. there aren't pledged delegates, i.e., superdelegates earned at any of these primary or caucus contests, rachel. those unpledged delegates are elected officials, party leaders, people who have spent years and years in the democratic party, members of congress, our dnc members, our superdelegates, and they have the ability to decide who they choose to support at the convention at any point. so they are not actually -- whatever they're saying now, most of them presumably would remain committed to who they're committed to now, but they haven't all committed to a candidate and they're really free to decide up to july. if you didn't have superdelegatsuperdelegate s -- keep in mind we created superdelegates in 1984. this wasn't suddenly developed this election cycle.
we do that so we make sure we can maximize the ability of real people to participate in our convention. if you look at our convention, it looks like the rainbow that is america. if you look at the republican convention, they put a little bit of the rainbow in front row then the rest of their convention is not so diverse. so it's really important that we make sure we separate the types of delegates. today in nevada, in new hampshire, in iowa, before it, the pledged delegates which are 85% of the delegates that participate and cast a vote at the convention, those are what are earned in primaries and caucuses and the rest of the 15% that are so-called superdelegates, they have up until july to decide who to support. so combining them at each phase of this contest is really not an accurate picture of the way this works. >> so you would say that no superdelegate, even if they have said who they're going to support, we shouldn't take them at their word, shouldn't consider them -- they're not
just a symbolic role, they get to actually participate in the process of who gets picked as the nominee. >> i mean, i'll just give you an example so i can speak for myself. i don't -- you know, i am obviously not supporting any -- either one of the candidates but i'm a member of congress which makes me a superdelegate. i'm also the dnc chair which would make me a superdelegate. i get one vote at the convention. but i am -- if i were pledged to a candidate, i, as a superdelegate, i can pledge now, i can pledge in a month. i can wait all the way until the convention and decide and there were, if you remember in 2008, there were superdelegates through the primary as the candidates winnowed down to then senator clinton and then senator baobama who changed their minds. it's important for the media at least in our case and the republicans have superdelegates as well but don't calculate them in the same way, it's really important to report these in a
completely different way. and not add them mathematically adds each contest unfolds because of the way that our unpledged delegates can make their decision at any point. >> dnc chair debbie wasserman-schultz. thank withdryou very much. you know that's what democrats fight about at cocktail parties with each other. >> absolutely. it happened in '08 and will again. >> it is right now. trust me, thank you, ma'am. appreciate having you here. >> thank you. >> there's something different about the way republicans and democrats do this. i don't know how sustainable it is for democrats to keep using the superdelegate process. whoever they support, it makes people so mad there might be vip votes decided some way other than the primary or caucus process. i get that's the best explanation i've heard of why the democratic party has it. boy does mat make your run of the mill democrat mad at the process. >> luckily we get to change the topic to republicans in short order. we're just inside nine minutes until polls close in south carolina and at the top of the
five minutes now until poll closings in south carolina, and we will all find out together what our nbc news characterization is at the top of the hour. what's going to be in interesting tonight is finding out what the polling was like versus actual in this new state, in this new territory, as the race moves to the south. and late deciders, because so much happened in these past few days. >> and what are the dynamics, what is still a six-person race on the republican side, are people starting to make strategic decisions now, voting not necessarily for their first choice, but somebody who they see as their most viable choice.
we'll also be looking again at turnout. the republicans have been enjoying record turnout. record turnout for them in iowa, record turnout for them in new hampshire. they've been bragging into the evening tonight about how good the signs look for south carolina turnout, that's got to be food for republicgood for re fall, yet alone who turns about tonight. >> there is a larger gap to rachel's point, it has decidedly been with the gop contest in this still young election season. so just to recap, a final break here. when we come back at the top of the hour, we will find out how our election unit decides to characterize this race at the top of the hour when we can make a characterization when the polls are closed in south carolina. please stay with us. >> very exciting time. oh remotes, you've had it tough.
seconds until the top of the hour, 20 seconds until the signal goes out closing the polls in south carolina where folks have been told if you're in line by 7:00 eastern, you will get to vote. vote, rather. let's talk about what we do know. that is our call earlier tonight. the nevada race for hillary clinton. we have heard her victory speech and sanders' concession. it is now 7:00 p.m. in south carolina. we can report the following language from the nbc news election unit. this race is too close to call. the top three, trump, cruz, and rubio. the other candidates are well behind. so, too close to call at poll closing. 7:00 eastern time. it is a three-way race between donald trump, ted cruz, and marco rubio. the remaining field well behind. to chris