tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC February 9, 2016 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
breaking news tonight. a dramatic fight to the finish. crowded polls in new hampshire. can donald trump score a big victory? our interview and a sign you haven't seen. why he says he'd act differently as president. also, the rest of the gop crowd, rubio, kasich, cruz, and bush. are we headed for a surprise? is bernie sanders headed for his first victory against hillary clinton? olympic fears. tonight the american star who says right now she wouldn't go to rio because of concerns over zika. lessen your bills and saving
the brothers who made their entire business just that, now sharing how i do it with amazing results. and tom brokaw joins us to talk about something important that suddenly has gone missing. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening. we're 90 minutes away from the last of the poll closings here in new hampshire. to begin. do trump and sanders become the big stories of the night, or will new hampshire's independent-minded voters defy this game? as we look in on a polling precinct, this one in hudson, we can tell you officials have been predicting a record turnout. lots of folks there this hour. as is tradition, voting began at midnight. and a handful of communities providing results so far.
votes each. for the democrats, sanders leading clinton 17 votes to nine. our team has been out with the candidates covering the final push. katy tur is covering donald trump. [ cheers ] >> reporter: as most of the other candidates criss-cross the state to visit polling sites, donald trump was criss-crossing the airwaves. >> a heroin problem, drug problem. we're going to solve it. we're going to build a wall, stop it up. last night, said who's going to play for the world -- going crazy, mexico, mexico. >> how much will the wall cost? >> sure. it's probably $8 billion. >> reporter: the billionaire pitching himself and spinning headlines made last night while criticizing ted cruz on water boarding. the showman sending a crowd into hysterics when he repeated a woman shouting from the floor. >> she said, "i never expect to hear that from you again." she said, "he's a [ bleep ]. "that's her. her. >> reporter: new hampshire is
far less religious than iowa, it's where trump can be trump. the billionaire is comfortable here. he's led in 75 polls going back to june, relying on his broad message, big audiences, and brash insult. >> jeb bush? >> loser. >> ted cruz? >> i'll say nasty. >> hillary clinton? >> in a certain way, evil. >> reporter: his daughter trying to get out the vote. a lot of people coming out so far? >> absolutely. >> reporter: nine month pregnant, she was playing ambassador for her dad. >> ivanka trump. >> reporter: stopping at five polling stations and working the phone bank with volunteers. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> reporter: as the minutes wind down, trump is shaking hands and hoping his moment is now, not never. and donald trump has up-ended this race, he's broken all of the rules. if he wins here, it will be a big deal. dare i say huge, especially considering he'll be able to say that all of this enthusiasm
votes, lester. >> all right, katy. away from the boisterous rallies and his speeches brimming with confidence, i discovered a much more reflective donald trump when we sat down for an interview today. one who acknowledges the trump we've been seeing on the campaign trail is not exactly the one you'd see in the white house. but i began by asking him if he believed the polls which have him leading here by double digits. >> no, i don't believe anything. i mean, i really want to see -- there's only one poll that counts, and that poll is being taken today. we'll see what happens. i think we're doing well. we have great popularity. i go around, and everybody is liking what we did. 5,000 people. it was during a blizzard. so we'll see what happens. i mean, it's going to be soon. >> sound almost nervous about -- you don't know. i mean, i have wonderful polls numbers. but as you know, lester, it doesn't mean that much. although it is certainly an indication that you're doing okay.
well here, what does that say about the american electorate right now, the mood of the country? >> well, it's very opposite. although they're very much the same on trade. the difference is, he can't do anything about it. what a showing on -- what it's showing on both sides is people are fed up with the people that are governing, with republicans, with democrats, the people governing. they've done a terrible job. and they look at him as an outsider, i guess, another word. they look at me as an outsider. and they look at me as somebody that's had great success and that can turn the country around. >> you have said a lot of shocking things on the road here. i'm not going to go through them all. it no longer shocks us. last night, you used a pretty vulgar term, repeating something someone in the crowd had said. and i'm wondering to myself, would you say that as president of the united states? >> no -- >> with the seal on the podium? >> much different. much different. >> are you going to be a different guy as president than the one we see -- >> i went to the best school. his -- was a good student.
the top professors at mit. there's a good gene pool right there. i have to do what i have to do, right? that's -- >> is that an act? >> no, it's not an act. last night we had thousands. it wasn't my word, it was a word a woman kept shouting. i only repeated the word. and the place was wild. it -- standing ovation, everybody -- >> that doesn't mean it was good. >> no, i'll tell you what, when you're president or about to be president, you would act differently. right now, i'm running against -- i started off with 17 people. now we're down to a smaller number. soon down to five probably. a lot of people. and you want to do -- it's not a question of acting, i want to be different. you're being hit from 15 different sides. i want to be different. when you're president, you act in a different way, no question about that. and i would do that. >> so the man we see behind the podium now in the campaign who pretty much says whatever comes to mind -- mind.
it wasn't my word -- >> you said allot lot of things that shock. >> along the way. that's fine. >> any undecided voter in new hampshire thinking i like him but -- >> some are saying i love him because he's not politically correct. it wasn't a particularly bad word, by the way. some are saying, i love him because he's not politically correct. lester, people are so tired of correct. >> there's political plain-old rude. >> i don't think it was rude. i got a standing ovation. it wasn't my word. i said -- the standing ovation is for you. i got a standing ovation. time. we're having a good time. we have to have a little bit of a good time in life. >> some of my conversation with donald trump earlier. if his numbers hold and he wins in new hampshire, who will place second with that all-important momentum? that could be the most suspenseful storyline coming out of this evening. the latest tracking poll shows marco rubio in a second-place tie with ted cruz.
rubio's much-criticized performance in the last debate. and as nbc's hallie jackson candidates are seeing an opening. [ chanting ] >> reporter: in new hampshire, cheered by supporters and chased by robots, it's marco rubio with the most to lose looking less certain to pull away from the establishment pack now. >> we're going to do really well. more delegates than we came in. >> reporter: his campaign had been hoping new hampshire would win on the field. but stronger than expected showings from the governors could keep them in the race longer than expected. john kasich telling me he's ready to trade snow boots for flip-flops in south carolina and beyond. do you have the money, do you have the organization there? >> we're going to be just fine. we'll have the money and the organization, just like we always do. sometimes we put it together with wire and duct tape, but we always seem to get it done. >> reporter: if jeb bush surprises with a top-three finish -- >> jeb!
the comeback kid carrying momentum and resources into later states. >> that's what this is about. it's not being disrespectful to someone to point out that you have a better record. >> reporter: bush hoping undecided voters will show up for him like jeff wheeler did. >> and my initial gut reaction, that's the beltway happened. >> reporter: and chris christie polling in single digits today pushing back against the idea new hampshire is make or break for him. >> we'll know it when we see it. we want to do really well, but i don't think anything is do or die tonight. >> how you doing? >> reporter: under the least pressure, ted cruz. more moderate new hampshire, not seen as a natural fit for the social conservative. >> i think a week ago a lot of people were predicting that trump and rubio might be right at the very top. we'll see what happens today. >> reporter: cruz already has a win under his belt in iowa. but for the rest of the candidates bunched up behind donald trump, what happens tonight could be all important.
moving on to south carolina. there could be little incentive for them to get out of the race unless there's obvious separation tonight. lester? >> thank you. there's no shortage of drama on the democratic side where bernie sanders and hillary clinton are locked in a bruising contest that has turned increasingly ugly in recent days with poll numbers showing sanders possibly, possibly headed for a big victory in the state that famously made bill clinton the comeback kid. we get more from nbc's casey hunt. we love you, bernie! >> reporter: bernie sanders isn't used to being the front-runner. >> usually i like to take a nice, quiet walk. apparently not today. >> reporter: he's the favorite in new hampshire. skipping the handshakes and sticking to his quirky campaign style. planning to meet voters, but instead meeting reporters on a walk around the block. >> i haven't had a chance to do much walking. >> reporter: are you still the underdog? >> well, what i think is if there is a large voter turnout, a lot of folks come out to vote,
[ cheers ] >> reporter: rival hillary clinton starting her day early, the old-fashioned way. >> cardio. >> reporter: clinton had a double-digit lead this spring but went into primary day far behind sanders in polls. >> we're going to keep working literally until the last vote is cast and counted. and go from there. >> reporter: it's a wrenching turn of events in a place where she bounced back with a win eight years ago. and in 1992, voters here resurrected bill clinton. >> new hampshire tonight has made bill clinton the comeback kid. >> reporter: this time hillary clinton hoping for a comeback in nextum nevada and south carolina -- next up nevada and south carolina, where she's hoping to turn out african-american voters. >> you have to face up to the systemic racism. >> reporter: the question now, whether the sanders campaign is capable of going big. the sanders campaign is a small team. are you ready to expand across the whole map? >> we actually have a big team. it's a grassroots campaign.
ground, and we had them in iowa and new hampshire. we're redeploying in the states. >> reporter: the sanders campaign is already planning to air tv ads in four super tuesday states. if this turns out to be a big night for him, expect the clinton campaign to escalate their attacks. lester? >> all right, thank you. we want to bring in chuck todd and andrea mitchell. chuck, you have seen some of the new exit polling data. what are we learning? >> reporter: we're learning that the democratic electorate in particular looks like an electorate that bernie sanders should do well with. let me start with the age gap here. this is something we tracked in iowa. look at this. among voters under 30, bernie sanders, 86% to 13% for clinton. voters 65 and older, clinton won a majority. that's not nearly a large enough gap for her to be able to win if those numbers hold. let's look at the issue make-up. most important issues among democratic voters, it sounds
income inequality, economy, health care third, terrorism a distant fourth. now look on the republican side of the electorate top issues. the economy, one. government spending, two, at 27%. terrorism, national security issues, three at 25%. this was a surprise to me, lester -- 15% picked immigration. maybe not so hot if you're donald trump who has made immigration such a big deal. then of course there's time of decision. and this sometimes can tell us if there was momentum at the end or not. among republicans, nearly half of the electorate told us they few days. that's good news for people with last-minute momentum like a john kasich. among democratic voters, more than half, 55% made their decision more than a month ago. that's good news if you're bernie sanders. >> all right, chuck. let me turn to andrea. if bernie sanders leads new hampshire with a big victory, clinton? >> reporter: if these trends
hell on wheels the next couple of weeks for hillary clinton. bernie sanders has the money, he outraised her in january. he will come out of here if he has a big victory with more money that he will raise in february. she is eventually going to be hard-pressed for money. she's already outspending her on television ads. and now he's going to go right to the heart of her constituency. he's going to leave here and i'm told go to harlem for breakfast and get a big endorsement from harry belafonte, trying to hurt her with the african-american vote she's counting on in south carolina. lester? >> okay, andrea mitchell. thank you. we've got more of the day's other news ahead including customer service calls that drive you nuts. a clever pair of brothers will fight your battles for you to slash your bills. and they're sharing their secrets to savings. also, the star american athlete who says if she had to decide today, fears over zika would i accept i'm not 22. i accept i do a shorter set these days. p i even accept i have a higher risk of stroke due to afib, a type of irregular heartbeat, tnot caused by a heart valve problem.
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it's reached a whole new level. new hampshire is the quintessential new england state. picturesque, polite. this year, new hampshire is different. can the trump style win the state of traditional values? >> you have this clown, marco rubio -- jeb is a lightweight. really a nasty person. people don't like him. >> reporter: as he has so often, donald trump set the bar repeating this about ted cruz just last night -- >> she said he's a [ bleep ]. >> reporter: we've never seen a presidential candidate use this kind of language and tactics before and prosper. no one thought trump could keep this up, and now the others are pushing back. >> got to get this off my chest. donald trump is a jerk. >> reporter: for his part, trump says he's having fun. of course, he won't behave this way as president. >> my uncle was a professor at mit for many years. >> reporter: how do we know? what does an uncle at mit have to do with the campaign?
>> the memorized speech -- >> reporter: chris christie going after marco rubio for repeating the same talking points in the debate. >> this isn't the student council, this is election for president of the united states. let's get the boy in the bubble out of the bubble. >> reporter: or bill clinton attacking bernie sanders -- >> attacks that are literally too profane often, not to mention sexist, to repeat. >> reporter: but in trump world, that's softball. >> they're losers. they're losers. >> reporter: it is hard to imagine any other candidate lasting a week using his language and style. but it is working for him. helped by the echo chamber of social media and cable television. by tonight, we'll know if the trump take-no-prisoners style add up to a big victory. >> tom brokaw tonight. that's going to do it on this tuesday evening. a reminder, we will have continuing coverage. new hampshire primary tonight on this nbc station and on nbcnews.com.