tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC February 2, 2016 3:37am-4:07am EST
april with a 40-point lead here. >> hi, everybody. >> reporter: hand now she's neck and neck with bernie sanders, her campaign sidetracked by the e-mails. >> bernie sanders! >> reporter: and by a surging sanders tapping into voters' hunger for an outsider. clinton even left iowa to fund raise in philadelphia with the threat of a long battle ahead dollars. her campaign haunted by what happened here eight years ago when another insurgent outsider, barack obama, turned a seemingly inevitable victory into defeat. this time her campaign is using obama's playbook. nearly 9,000 volunteers, more than 1,600 precinct captains, one for each caucus location, and tonight with the help of an app using complex data and math to steal a delegate here and there from sanders. >> so the great thing about this app is it will give you suggestions on the best way to try and gain another delegate. >> reporter: clinton looking for
anyone's to win. kristen welker, nbc news, des moines. >> bernie! bernie! >> reporter: i'm casey hunt with the bernie sanders campaign where against all odds he has a chance to beat hillary clinton, spending the day pushing for one last charge from a young volunteer army. >> we will win tonight if the voter turnout is high. >> reporter: boarding the pus that's helped carry him from 14 to 42% in iowa polls. he said today he has no regrets. did you do everything you could do to win? >> i think not doing ugly negative ads is the right thing to do, and you know what i think, i think it's good politics. >> reporter: it's an improbable rise for a 74-year-old from brooklyn with unusual politics, from a quirky campaign announcement nine months ago. >> we're in this race to win. >> reporter: to thousands of people packing his rallies this summer, part of what supporters say is not just a campaign but a movement powered by young,
iowa neighborhoods. small $5 and $10 donations adding up to millions, and even the rock band vampire weekend. for you and me >> reporter: singing along with his wife jane. >> i didn't expect the fervor of support which has been wonderful. >> reporter: but sanders may have missed an opportunity in the first debate. >> the american people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails. >> reporter: changing his tune this weekend. >> you know, i think this is a serious issue. >> reporter: the independent senator now hoping his issues are enough to win in an upset the democratic party establishment never saw coming. the sanders campaign just setting up here. they tell me that they know that the democratic party establishment is very against them and that even if they win in iowa and new hampshire winning all of those donors, activists and others over is going to be another long and difficult battle ahead. lester?
let's bring in chuck todd and andrea mitchell here with us. andrea, you were here eight years ago, that devastating loss for hillary clinton to barack obama. how does 2016 compare? >> reporter: well, you know, she described, lester, that as excruciating in her book, that night when she not only lost to barack obama who she at times considered an upstart freshman senator, she came in third behind john edwards. she was determined not to let that happen again, show this time she's drove out here by launching her campaign, going on a listening tower and talking to iowans and hiring a lot of the obama strategists who knew iowa a lot better than she did. that said, this could have happen. history could repeat itself. they underestimated the college students. she probably didn't pay enough attention there. she underestimated bernie sanders. this time he is, as you say, not even a democrat. he's an independent, a democratic socialist. he's 74 years old, a lifelong
stunned them with the vigor of this campaign and with his fund-raising ability, so she is now in a neck and neck fight, and if he were to win, she is going to be in the fight of her life. lester. >> and, chuck, let me bring you into this on the gop side, trump and cruz. what are you going to be watching for tonight that we should all be looking at? >> reporter: well, one thing is if past is prologue the candidate of the evangelicals, the more christian conservatives usually under polls and overperform, and so if ted cruz -- it wouldn't be a shock if ted cruz wins because a lot of times evangelicals don't show up in the polling. rick santorum and mike huckabee ended overperforming their results, but lester, let's take a bigger step here and realize both political parties tonight could be staring into the abyss. donald trump and bernie sanders, if they both squeak sweep, this is such a rebuke to the american political system and the two
andrea brought up the fact that bernd isn't even a registered member of the democratic party and donald trump hasn't voted in the republican primacy since the '80s. that's how frustrated members of both parties are and victories for sanders and trump here, this is an earthquake that i don't think we've quite comprehended yet. lester. >> all right, chuck and andrea, thanks. we'll be hearing from both of you tonight in our coverage. for all the importance placed here in iowa, it's very difficult to understand what the process is inside the caucus room. it's much different than a primary, and there are different republicans. nbc news national correspondent peter alexander explains it all for us. >> reporter: as the sun sets on iowa tonight from downtown des moines to the sprawling farms across this state, iowans gather for the first in the nation votes. here caucus day is more like caucus hour. be there by 7:00 p.m. or get left out. more than 1,600 precincts in all, churches, schools, even a gun shop and a grain elevator. simple.
sides and then write your candidates's name on a secret ballot. the winners announced and delegates divvied up but for the democrats it's a different deal. a representative from each campaign first makes their pitch to everyone in the room and then caucus-goers break into groups by candidate with an area for those still uncommitted. at most locations the candidate needs at least 15% in that room to reach what they call viability. if your candidate doesn't make the cut, things get messy with two choices, realign with another campaign or join the uncommitted and get re-recruited from there. professor rachel caufield is an exabout pert on caucuses. >> people get up out of their chairs and they move around the room. there's bargaining and interaction, family members maybe trying to persuade each other. >> reporter: this is likely where the heaviest jockeying will begin with the clinton and sanders campaigns in a dead heat. whichever side can scoop up martin o'malley supporters could gain a significant advantage. when only viable candidates with 15% remain, delegates are awarded.
7:00 p.m. cutoff explain why even the all-time high turnout eight years ago was still so low. just 16% of iowans. that means only a few hundred thousand people in this state set the political table for the rest of america. peter alexander, nbc news, des moines, iowa. still ahead tonight, the excitement building here in iowa. we talked to voters shortly before they go into caucus as they prepare to cast the very first votes in the nation in a
welcome back to our headquarters for the night, west end architectural salvage cafe in demoifnlt many of the people here right now will be caucusing tonight so let's take a moment and talk to a few of them. first of all, how many of you folks are tired of politicians and the media right now and are ready for this to be over? now that i'm feeling the love, let's talk to -- renee, let me talk to you, renee hartman, a small business owner. you've caucused before. you're a democrat. explain to me this process. what it's like to go into a room with a bunch of people and declare your allegiance and almost horse trade. >> well, it's a fun process. it's very interactive. it's very engaging, and you are really standing there convincing undecideds that the candidate that you're there for is the best candidate for the job. >> does it get testy at all? >> it can, but my experience is that it hasn't, but you have to be real tough to kind of stand in there and really fight your
person that you're there for is the most experienced and can do the job. >> let me turn across the table to dave nagle, 74, lived in iowa your whole life. >> that's correct. >> different in the republican side. you cast your vote but just give me your observation what have it's been like here for the last several months and why this may be different. >> well, it's always been a meeting process that has a caucus rather than going and getting in a voting booth and drawing the curtain and all of that which makes it more personal, and -- and discussion and opportunities to visit with your neighbors, co-workers, et cetera, that come together. nature. >> mm-hmm. >> caucusing. why now, why this year? >> there's a lot at stake. a lot of issues that i'm hearing year. i think before i would say i don't -- i didn't care that much about politics and i was kind of
i'm in my 40s and there's a lot of issues that are really concerning. >> gotten pretty exciting. >> and finally sam hoyt, you're 21, a student. this is -- was there any doubt that you would caucus? >> not really. i go to drake university just down the road and it's been a huge center for politics this year, and they have done a really great job getting students involved. >> a lot of passion. >> have any of you seen any of the candidates, by the way? >> been at any of the rallies in. >> hard to escape them? >> they are everywhere. >> they are everywhere. >> look. we appreciate you spending time with us tonight. it's a wonderful process to watch, and i'll be watching the results. >> great. >> thank you. >> we're excited. >> going to take a break. in a moment we'll have other news of the day including world health officials sounding the alarm about the zika virus.
in a rare move the world health organization today declared the zika virus an international public health emergency because of its suspected link to serious birth defects. also today, the cdc added american samoa, costa rica, krursow to its growing travel alert over zika and the pentagon is offering to relocate pregnant service members, civilian employees and families from zika-affected areas. a teacher who was arrested in that jail break in southern california will be released. prosecutors say there's insufficient evidence to charge her just days after authorities claim she had a, quote, significant role in the escape. all three inmates who escaped ten days ago from the jail where she teaches are now back in custody. authorities also revealed today the fugitives took a cab driver hostage and argued over killing
drove off with him and spared his life. good news for chipotle tonight. the fast food chain, beleaguered by headlines of food-borne illness outbreaks at some of its restaurants, the cdc now says the outbreak of e. coli that sickened about 60 people appears to be over, and the agency has closed its investigation. chipotle has also taken steps to change its food preparation methods at over 1,900 locations. when we come back, our tom brokaw joins us. what he's expecting tonight
after all the months of buildup, tonight we timely find out what the people of this state, the voters who get out to caucus really think. next to the candidates probably no one is more eager to find out than our own tom brokaw who has covered every caucus since 1980. what are your thoughts on what we've been witnessing? >> first of all, i've got my chair under control so i'm okay. look, what's going to go on here for the first time we'll hear from real voters which is critically important. on the republican side, this is what we want to look for. if at the top it is cruz and donald trump, the republican establishment tomorrow morning will wake up with a big hangover
their hope is that other candidates will drop out and then they will begin to consolidate around somebody like marco rubio or chris christie or one of the other survivors. on the democratic side the big fear is that this will go on for a long time. what looked like a year ago a lock for hillary now could be a fight that becomes a family feud and then the party is destroyed from within. there's an old saying, politics ain't beanbag. this year more than ever it ain't beanbag, lester. >> all right. tom, good to see you. thanks very much, and that's going to do it for this monday night. we are going to be back on the air throughout the night with updates from here plus continuing coverage on nbcnews.come and msnbc. we are finally here, we'll see real votes and we'll get our first indication what have voters are thinking as we start down this long road to the white house. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank
it's tuesday, february second and coming up on "early today," after spending hours in a dead heat with bernie sanders, hillary clinlt ton is named the parent winner in the iowa caucus caucuses. "early today" starts right now. and good morng everyone. thanks for being with us. i'm shannon mulaire. iowa voteers have spoken, ted cruz is the winner of the iowa caucus, while nbc news has named hillary clinton the winner of the democrats.
caucus sites, clinton won by an actual coin toss. after the results were at a stalemate they flipped a coin to decide who to support. very interesting. on the republican side, donald trump finished second behind cruz followed closely by marco rubio and then a massive drop off for the rest of the field. of the 30 gop iowa delegates, carson three, rand paul, jeb bush and mike huckabee each won one. and tracie potts joins us live with the latest. >> reporter: let's talk about these results starting with the democrats because it's not clear if anyone really knew it would be quite this tight between hillary clinton and bernie sanders, both sort of declaring victory before all of the votes
it was just about 20 minutes ago that we got word that nbc called it after the democratic party here in iowa declared this a historically close race. in fact, singing fight song there, clinton's camp declared her the winner earlier in the evening, before the networks did, before she even came out and spoke and a lot of people were questioning that but she iowa. we also heard from bernie sanders who called it a tie at that point. now, the big story for the republicans is ted cruz and the fact that he sailed to victory over donald trump who had been favored in the latest pole and the other big story with the republicans is marco rubio. he was the first major candidate of the evening to come out and declare victory. a third place finish but extremely close. for a while we thought he might
donald trump. but what does all of this mean going into new hampshire? first all of, it means donald trump, who's doing much better in new hampshire than iowa, could see a split between iowa and new hampshire. we could see at least three candidates on the republican side moving on from there. bernie sanders, who has been doing very well in new hampshire moves forward into that state with a lot of momentum because frankly, a lot of people didn't think it would be quite this close here in iowa. >> it was a night that did not disappoint, that's for sure. tracie, thank you. and of course, the announcement of clinton's parent win happened moments ago. it was a dead heat throughout most of the night. and it didn't stop her from giving a victory speech even without the final numbers in tonight.
breathing a big sigh of relief, thank you, iowa. [ applause ] i want you to know i will keep doing what i have done my entire life. i will keep standing up for you, i will keep fighting for you. i will always work to achieve the america that i believe in where the promise of that dream that we hold out to our children and grandchildren never fads. >> and called the sanders campaign the little engine that could. the vermont senator stunned by having hillary clinton feel the burn until the very last minute. >> the no president can do what has to be done alone. and that is why -- and that is
is a political revolution. [ 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. >> all right. so, how did kroousz cruz pull off the victory? he drew strong support from those who call themselves very conservative and got 32% from evangelical supporters and from those who say their values
and he thanked curaged conservatives for their support. >> tonight is a victory for the grass roots. tonight is a victory for curages conservatives across iowa and all across this great nation. when the washington lobbyist settled on other candidates in this race, when the media ine said a conservative cannot win, nation wide, over 800,000butions poured in to ted cruz.org as curages conservatives said yes, we can. >> the precaucus pollsdonald trump in the lead.