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tv   Iowa Caucus Decision 2020  MSNBC  February 3, 2020 2:00pm-6:00pm PST

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we are out of time but we have three quick announcements. thank you for watching. it is nice to be back on a semi normal schedule on a semi northerlial day.
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my thanks to my guests. don't go anywhere. mtp daily with chuck today is coming to you from iowa right now. tonight, the opening contest of 2020. >> hello, hello, hello, iowa! >> iowa. >> iowa. >> caucus day. >> always exciting to be in iowa. >> hurricaneses of thousands of voters. >> sounds like to me iowa is ready. >> the decision is going to begin right here in iowa. >> after months and months of campaigning. >> if the turnout is high we're going to win. >> the first votes are about to be cast in the 2020 iowa caucus. >> you have to love that grask. really excited. we took months getting that iowa
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caucus thing on the white house south lawn. i swear to god. music says it all. opening day of the presidential season. i'm chuck todd from java joe's in iowa, kicking off the msnbc special coverage of the first elimination presidential contest. the iowa caucus as the battle for the democratic nomination for president officially gets under way and as we come on the air tonight senators bernie sanders, elizabeth warren and amy klobuchar are all iowa bound again from washington where the impeachment trial adjourned for the day. on the senate floor, senators begun to deliver speeches previewing how they might vote later this week. moments ago, west virginia democratic senator joe manchin formally called far censure of the president. the results of that impeachment vote in washington are not in doubt. the results tonight in iowa are in totally different wild card. what bides them both together? a focus on joe biden and perhaps no one has more at stake than he
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does. a first place finish putts him in the driver's seat. a poor showing could end his political career. the sanders campaign is setting high expectations tonight and could set off alarm bells inside the establishment. don't count out warren, buttigieg or klobuchar here in iowa. all of them put a lot of effort here hoping a big turnout and big operations help them tonight. speaking of turnout, the expectation is that it will be massive. democrats are preparing for a night to break the night of 2008 when nearly 240,000 iowans participating making caucuses feel like a primary that night. they will be spread out more than 1,600 precinct locations including a number of satellite caucuses outside of iowa taking place already. who will win is, of course, the big question and the answer may be more complicated. in addition to a change in some of the caucus rules, iowa democrats are going to be releasing three sets of results.
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but, folks, only one winner. the winner is determined by what is called state delegate equivalence because amassing delegates is how you within the nomination. raw vote? it's sort of like the popular vote in a general election. maybe it's bragging rights but it's a statistic. we are talking with the campaigns this hour and we have our team of reporters tracking the action across this great state and got a great group on set. kasie hunt, cathy abodovich, jen paulmari and karin jeanne pierre. katy tur is at a caucus location. mike memoli, ali vitale with warren. let me start with you, katy tur. you're at drake university. this is going to be the site i think of multiple caucuses.
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around here and polk county, what's interesting is it should be where we find out how well pete buttigieg or elizabeth warren, this is supposed to be their strength right around polk county. >> these caucuses around here could be key indicators of where they might place at the end of the night. i'm at a satellite caucus inside a college gym where candidates hope that they're going to hurdle on the campaign trail and pole vault over the others. get it? behind me. it's basically a site for -- sorry, that was a terrible joke. >> no, you know the only thing to miss -- what's the big thing that you throw? the other one. you do that, too. big ball. >> javelin? >> shot put. that was the only pun you missed. >> shot put. okay. i'll try for next time. satellite location, people who are going to work later who have child care or prior commitments
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an can't go to the regular site come here little bit earlier to caucus for their particular candidate. tonight at drake university 11,000 people expected to show up and it's interesting because the caucus is different this year. they release three different results which could mean that three different candidates say they have won this race. release the basically popular vote. everybody that caucused in the first round for each individual round, the second round realignment after some are not viable and then who gets the delegates and cob at the end of the night talking about three different winners. who knows? and that could make a real difference in what happens in new hampshire and who's able to use that momentum going off for the rest of the primary season. >> well, i think, we'll try that. i have to admit. i'm stubborn. count the result that actually counts. insane but that's me.
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>> i don't think that's wrong. >> katy tur -- >> you know what? why not make it more complicated? >> thanks very much. let's check in with team biden. mike memoli is there. the stakes are pretty high. basically moved financial resources from other states to double down here. they see an opportunity. but there's risk. >> reporter: yeah. absolutely, chuck. in talking to the biden campaign, talking to his outside allies, they're either doing a convincing job of lowering expectations or there's genuine concern of what will happen here in i want to. it was only a few months ago they were really signaling maybe to write off iowa but around november they felt the numbers strong enough here and a real opportunity to really step on the gas and put this nomination fight over early with the strong win here and things felt different, a little more concerning to the team and i think has to do with how the
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ideological lanes played out. early on we talked about how the biden team is comfortable. in fact, optimistic about the fact and happy that a lot of competitors were seeming to think there's more bernie sanders democrats than biden democrats, happy the own that middle lane and what we have seen is a lot of candidates that played to the left and didn't succeed are now in the joe biden lane and that's why you see this bernie sanders strength late and joe biden now trying to fend off these other crowded folks in the moderate lane and ultimately i think they hope to talk about was donald trump and now it's this concern about whether bernie sanders is about to take over this party is really one that's on their mind, as well. >> yeah. i don't think that is ideological warrior is not something biden is training to do and not something i guess he looks forward to anyway. thanks very much. let's check in with the sanders campaign. shaquille brewster, shaq, is there a point of being too
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confident? >> reporter: it's starting to feel leek that. expectations continue to go up. it was on your show this morning when you were talking with jeff weaver, the senior adviser in 2016 campaign manager to senators bernie sanders, who said if it's not a first or second place finish it's a bad night for them and seeing data and the polls coming in as senator sanders marched in with excitement and like what they're seeing and confidence in the numbers. where there is uncertainty and in the conversations with the advisers is what happens after that first ballot? after people go in and separate in their corners, what happens with realignment? that's where it's genuine uncertainty and cannot predict this point. the focus is completely on turnout. we have been here at this field location, field office for the senator sanders' campaign and carpools taking people to the sites. mailers going out.
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volunteers from all over the country. we talked to people from california, from new york. who are here to help boost that turnout. senator sanders says if there's historic turnout he will win but if there's not there will not be and what the cam pane is focused on right now. chuck? >> we should see there. shaq, i think they're in a unique situation. low turnout probably helps them. there's a point high turnout may hurt them but we'll see how high that has to get. thank you. let's go to ali vitale with team warren. ali, this feels like she is closing pretty strong. the question is, i think the question with warren is never how many ones she has one how many twos does she have that she can actually recruit and make the number birgt on the second realignment? >> reporter: that's what ground game is so important and they
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have a ground game on the ground here that a lot of other campaigns even would say are formidable and clearly they have been churning out knocking as many doors as they can trying to persuade those kinds of twos voters who may not be solidly in the warren camp yet and hope to put them there tonight in caucus night and in talking to advisers, this is a group of people who put a plan in place, execute the plan and then sort of put faith in the plan that they have created to work identity the way they hope it does. i get the sense they're confident in the organization they have built, the ties built here with iowa voters and important influencers in the state but not overhyping expectations. they're surrogates, honestly, asking them over the course of the last week or so, does elizabeth warren need to win iowa, there's down playing of expectations here in the state but i got off the phone with a senior adviser giving me the overview of the strategy here which is they are expecting high
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turnout, potentially higher than 2008 and the strategy across the board, never assuming this person said who the voter was and makes sense with elizabeth warren's closing message all about unity trying to broaden the tent because they see the voters as people who in 2016 caucused for a 50/50 split of bernie sanders and hillary clinton and clearly trying to make that unity pitch and hopefully it pays off tonight for them. >> there's no doubt. ali, a busy, busy area where you are there. i think we'll know if. >> reporter: just pulled away from us. >> there you go. go follow your candidate. thank you all. a quick programming note, brian and rachel will pick up the nbc coverage of the caucus at 6:00 right after us. you get to watch me on nbc news now with live streaming coverage at 7:30 p.m. eastern. nbc news coverage on nbc news
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now. on apple tv, roku or nbc news.com. much more to come this hour. hearing from the biden camp, the sanders camp, expectations are setting for the night. we're live from des moines. the caucus is set to begin in a few hours. keep it here. we made usaa insurance for members like martin. an air force veteran made of doing what's right, not what's easy. so when a hailstorm hit, usaa reached out before he could even inspect the damage. that's how you do it right. usaa insurance is made just the way martin's family needs it - with hassle-free claims, he got paid before his neighbor even got started. because doing right by our members, that's what's right. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. usaa
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if biden, for instance, wins iowa and new hampshire, do you
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foresee yourself staying in the race? >> absolutely. i'm not running against joe biden or bernie sanders or elizabeth warren. i'm running against donald trump. and whether they win in one of these states or both of these states or not, it just doesn't influence what i'm going to do. >> welcome back. joe biden hopes for a strong showing here in iowa. from establishment democrats, may be starting to look elsewhere. perhaps michael bloomberg. with me now are kasie hunt, cathy abrodovich and also karin jean pierre. cathy, your home turf. it feels as if and i've said this before, we have two big
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chunks of voters. big chunk for sanders we are not sure how big it is and then everybody else. and can you tell us what the hell will happen with everybody else? there's candidates that would like to figure that out. >> so it feels like we are flying blind a little bit. a lack of a des moines register/iowa poll brought tears to my eyes and probably reporters. >> i think it is great. love it. great you don't have conventional wisdom. >> canceled. >> it was. it was. you know? so we rely on that poll to kind of come out and sound smart and know what's going to happen but so i think that there's a lot of different moving parts here. you have got biden and warren who, you know, you would think are pulling from the same group of voters but when i talk to people on the street saying elizabeth warren but maybe also amy klobuchar or maybe bernie sanders but maybe also biden. they are not sticking in these ideological lanes that we have all been talking about for a
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year. >> yes. i have heard that quite a bit, especially older voters. bernie and something i think the establishment didn't realize, bernie is viewed by many democrats, just more liberal. >> i think that's right in some ways but a significant chunk of bernie sanders supporters in the process because they're bernie people and some still here in the caucus but i do think that cathy's right in the time i have been here, the way when you talk to voters about what they're thinking through and making this decision, it's not necessarily as clear cut as i'm a progressive or i'm a moderate and just frankly the one thing that interests me is the crossover or lack thereof of warren and sanders supporters and how the gender question cuts. >> i'm skipping over you because i have a feeling your job is how you put this party back together. because i think -- no.
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i say that move ones of the world are the ones if we are in the ideological fight. are we headed there, jen? headed for a huge cleave tonight? if it is bernie and everybody else? >> yeah. >> is this the establishment freakout? >> i don't think it has to be a catastrophe. this is how the democratic party sorts out what we want to get behind a ten leader to get behind. we have debates, policy debates and we have ideological fights, resolve it within the presidential primary and sort out who we will be for. on the right, you know, they don't do that. on the republican -- >> they had a robust fight four years ago. >> they have but i think it was too late at that point. i think at that point they have for tax cuts for rich people and not much else and sort of bankrupt in terms of ideas and donald trump comes in and hijacks the party and see them follow him in lockstep. not willing to engage in the
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interparties i feel like that's what you are going to be. people are super motivated to beat donald trump. that's why they're polarized. >> right. >> that's what i was going to say. >> you have an ideological like tent. you are stretching this material. i keep thinking there's a rip between bloomberg and sanders. that's a large tent. >> i'm just going to pretty much echo what jennifer was saying. that is democratic primary and when the drimpbss come out and putting them under a magnifying glass they are probably bigger than they really are. the thing to remember. and i think that's why when you look at the polls the undecideds so high and fluid for iowa and rare. we have not seen that. >> isn't it just because there is no obvious person who has clearly demonstrated they're capable? >> wait a minute. >> no. i think that they're trying to figure out who can beat donald trump.
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>> isn't that supposed to be joe biden? >> isn't that the el fapt in the room? >> i think they are -- >> isn't that the elephant in the room? >> we are all still disoriented from 2016 and not sure -- >> i don't think the party agrees, there is not universal agreement as to why folks -- why you lost in 2016. there is a lot of different theories. isn't that part of the problem? >> when win by 3 million votes and yet fail to -- >> win by losing by 3 million votes. >> and a small margin and wrestling with politics changed and not sure what the new rules are and why you find that there are some -- somebody talks about i'm thinking about biden and bernie. >> electability. >> cathy, voters are really scared of making a mistake. >> they are. yes. >> running away with it. seems like such the safest bet.
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former vice president. on paper. it's an older electorate. they should be flocking to him. >> so i'll address the age question in a second but every four years we play this out in the caucuses. progressive wing in the party convinced that only a pure progressive who is the greatest possible contrast to the republican candidate date, that is the candidate to win. you have another part of the party that believes just as fervently somebody in the middle to draw independents into the party and bring over those that voted for the wrong party last time are the only party to win. the republican party does the same thing. we have that argument. who's the most electable? who is? the candidate elected. that is who is electable. >> i just feel like, though, that there's a whole electorate looking for an electable
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candidate. one candidate says that's me and he -- how do you -- if you can't narrate here that's a big problem. >> i think that, yes, it is a problem. i think that there have been weaknesses in biden's candidacy and he has not come out of the gate in a way to convince everybody that the weaknesses don't exist and the president is essentially running the same strategy against hillary clinton in 2016 to try and undermine joe biden to the point where voters are starting to hear this day in and day out. hunter biden, burisma over and over and over again and sinking in to a certain extent and makes democratic party voters nervous and bernie sanders and i agree with you on the constant back and forth on the moderate and progressive wings of the party but bernie sanders is different and frankly the supporters are so angry of what they perceive happened to them in 2016 and if you play with what you started the block with, a billionaire tries to steal the democratic
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nomination from bernie sanders? the party is going to tear itself in half. >> every time a billionaire attacks another socialist gets its wings. no. >> i know. might as well write a check. any time you do an ad or a super-pac ad, just write him a check. save everyone a bunch of effort. >> really turned out here. >> only way to beat bernie sanders is candidate talking about him from their own mouth. it has got -- the candidates have to make the arguments themselves. cannot -- >> none of them will. >> how clinton ultimately, he was a competitor in '16 and she won because we made policy arguments against him from her mouth and that's -- >> also african-american voters in the south. >> but again -- but i mean the shadowy groups and that business is ridiculous. >> only going to -- yeah. all right. going to pause it here. you guys are i think all sticking around with me for a long time today. i'm sorry about that.
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up next, talking to two of the top campaigns battling to gain the edge in iowa and avoid being an asterisk in presidential candidate history in iowa. more from java joe's. proof i can fight moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. proof i can fight psoriatic arthritis... ...with humira. proof of less joint pain... ...and clearer skin in psa. humira targets and blocks a source of inflammation that contributes to joint pain and irreversible damage. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores.
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welcome back to java joe's in des moines where we are a few hours from the start of the 2020 season. the big story line to watch in
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the first contest in iowa is the battle of the moderate wing of the party bed by biden and progressive wing by sanders. we have both campaigns represented here at java joe's. we'll hear from the biden campaign in a moment. right now is senior adviser to the sanders campaign jeff weaver. big difference from four years ago. you are the candidate everybody's saying everybody's chasing. how do you like the expectations work that way? >> when you are in first all the targets are on your back and tough for a week or so. we have had a super-pac coming in from the outside and trying to derail us but that's a difference. >> what is keeping you up at night right now about the kau caucuses? >> it is all about turnout and getting the people out and much more so than a primary. night before a primary you have a sense of where things go. iowa caucus is up in the air. >> certain campaigns talk about culting certain deals.
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what is -- what kind of -- do you have -- is that something you are engaged in? >> we have not cut any deals. certainly conversations with the campaigns. everybody who participates in the iowa caucuses have the discussions and no deals currently. >> is there something to look for during the realignments? in the speeches? >> i think every campaign looking about how to maximize the advantage for their candidate. that's the case. we're able to communicate with the folks in the room and doing that. >> it's opening day. it's a first contest. it feels like the party's doing this right now. that's what a primary can be like but how do you prevent this campaign from getting ugly snast. >> if candidates go out, talk about the issues, let voters decide who's the winner without manipulating the system, whoever is the nominee everybody will rally around and want to beat trump. on the other hand, there's a
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converse of that. if people decide to engage in unfair behavior, that makes it harder to come together at the end. >> i feel like you guys have bad feelings of the establishment does advertising. the establishment says, you know, your twitter army doesn't play fair. doesn't play by the rules. there is this bad faith on both sides it feels like both sides. >> no. i don't think there's bad faith on both sides. that's not true. everybody online has a bunch of strident supporters. we happen to have more because bernie is much more popular with young people and overrepresented online but that's very different than a group of shadowy figures calling a few rich donors and pounding iowans with dishonest ads. that's different. >> say you come out with momentum tonight and win new hampshire. we know the history. very hard to stop to be the nominee. how do you reach out to the establishment, the moderates to
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say like bernie's passion, socialism is too much? democratic voter. >> yeah, yeah. look. our theory of the case which is true in the obama administration is bring new people into the party, young people in large numbers. barack obama won indiana in 2008, the only demographic is young people. young people of color. latinos here in iowa. now the largest minority bloc in the united states and vote in lower numbers than the numbers suggest. >> i get that you excite that. do you worry that you depress or you lose suburban voters that cannot stand trump? >> no. bernie sanders has a history. people talk about vermont being blue. bernie beat a republican in a seat for decades. >> pat -- >> in a rural republicans in particular. they believe that he's honest
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about what he is saying. may not agree but he tells it like it is. >> issue of guns, one issue that's popped in the democratic primary, the senator does not align with the majority of the party. is he prepared to make concessions? >> he is very clear. supports common sense gun legislation. he supporting universal background checks. >> sounds like a talking point. >> absolutely not. just listen. universal background checks. ban on assault weapons. ban on likt protection. >> fair enough. you get grief for first or second or bust? >> no. look. you know, the media raised expectations high on us frankly. we have a lot of support. bernie sanders always connected with iowans and hoping to have a good night tonight. >> we'll be watching. >> a pleasure. >> hope you are safe out there.
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it is nice weather. ing turning to the biden campaign, joining us, good to see you, sir. >> good to see you, chuck. >> what caucus? >> 1976 the first. carter. >> uncommitted or carter? >> peanut farmer of georgia. i'm true to agriculture all my life. >> you have unlike my friend tom brokaw covered every single one of the caucuses. >> pretty much. >> i know you -- which year does this feel like to you? >> actually it's somewhere between 2008 and 2016. i don't think there's quite the level of passion that we saw in 2008 that was attached to a single candidate barack obama. on the other hand i think there's more energy than 2016 so somewhere between '08 and '16. >> expect a higher turnout than '80s? >> no. >> something in between? >> yeah, yeah. >> why is that? because of the anxiety? do you think people wringing their hands and makes them stay
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home? impeachment? wet blanket? >> there's interesting consumer research on the fact of too many choices they just have a hard time making that choice. and i think that's basically what we have here. started with 35,000 people and down to a handful of folks and number two, i do think that there is a concern about people making a mistake. i think they are deeply concerned about the state of this country. they're very, very interested in defeating donald trump thinking he is bad for the country and four more years is disastrous and same time not quite comfortable yet with where to go. >> let me ask you this, though. if more democrats show up to the caucuses today saying they're looking for a candidate to beat trump more so than agrees with them. >> looking for joe biden then. >> what does that say? look. look at it this way. electable guy. the caucus goers say i'm looking for the electable guy.
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what does that tell you? >> this is the first quarter of the first game. if we decided things at the end of the first quarter they would be dancing in the streets in san francisco and not kansas city today. this is the first game. four contests. iowa, new hampshire, nevada, south carolina. talk to me at the end of those four and i'll give you a better sense of where folks are on the electability issue. i think that is unique to him. some candidates are stronger in new hampshire than joe perhaps but i think joe is very, very strong in south carolina. no doubt about that. nevada, interesting opportunity there. i think you have to basically give the first four states the opportunity to play this out. >> what does michael bloomberg's presence mean? >> michael who? >> does it feel like it gives you -- put more pressure that you need to score more than just a win in south carolina these first four to essentially make him less relevant? >> you know i don't think that that's necessarily the case but you have to continue pounding your message and i think joe
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biden has the message that many, many democrats are looking for. most electable. provide the most and safest if you will, secure vote against donald trump. i can beat him in states that we lost last time, beat him in pennsylvania. third senator of pennsylvania. beat him in michigan. i saved detroit. beat him in wisconsin and so you make that case and you make it strong. i do think joe has the ability and heard this at almost every one of the meetings with him, seen republicans holding up signs saying i was a republican, i am a republican, i'm not voting for trump. i'll vote for biden. >> iowa still a swing state? >> it is, it is. with the right candidate. >> it's been 2012 the last time a democrat won statewide here, barack obama, right? >> that's -- well, unless you -- >> tom miller. you get my point. on the big competitive races -- not winning governor's races.
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>> here's why because we have not messaged folks out in the rural communities and written them off. i'll say this about this group of candidates. virtually every single one of the folks still in the race today made a concerted effort to go to small communities and campaign and speak directly to small town voters. >> viewers should know i have multiple memo that is you wrote democrats in 2014 and 2016 about missing not campaigning in rural america. this is something that you have been harping on for years. >> we can win it. >> good to see you, sir. >> thank you. >> stay safe out there. coming up, your guide to watching the results tonight in the first in the nation caucus state. we'll try to help you sort it out. >> man: what's my safelite story? i spend a lot of time in my truck. it's my livelihood. ♪ rock music >> man: so i'm not taking any chances when something happens to it. so when my windshield cracked... my friend recommended safelite autoglass.
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special coverage of the 2020 iowa caucuses. i'm live in des moines, iowa. doors set to close at caucus sites in just over two hours. we'll turn to a couple of experts. joining me now is dave wasserman and david plouffe. also a msnbc contributor. and as i believe been doing iowa caucuses i think since '88. >> '92. >> '92 was the first one, fair enough. welcome to you both. first, mr. plouffe, let's start with you. you've been in this moment before. 2008, at this moment in time, we knew there were three candidates and we -- it felt like there were three different possibilities. and we didn't quite know where it was going and then all of a
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sudden one candidate did get momentum. it was yours. what do you expect to watch tonight? >> it's fascinating, chuck. in part, we didn't get the last des moines register poll. i agree with you. the only number that counts is the state delegate equivalence. ultimately i want to be looking for that. and so, i think there's a bunch of different scenarios here. we could have four candidates bunched up, maybe even five within five or six. maybe somebody opens up a lead like we did in 2008 so i just don't think we know. and i do think ground game's going to be important here because there's a lot of candidates who aren't viable in a lot of precincts so the still of precinct captains is incredibly important and bernie sanders did very well in 2016 along the rivers. the mississippi and missouri rivers. can he replicate that again this time or more competition
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particularly in the eastern side of the state which i'm going to be watching very, very carefully. >> just so over your shoulder, david, showing right now live look at the caucus site katy tur is at and they need help with child care or work issues. david wasserman, you are good at helping guide folks to watch election returns geographically. i feel like the biggest unknown geographically are these rural precincts on the western side of the state. and to me, that's going to be where this thing is won or lost. >> yeah. keep in mind those rural areas often get outsized influence coming to state delegate equivalence and tonight's the night that polls start matter less and delegate math starts getting real and the brutal reality of the 15% thresholds as david knows better than anyone
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else is if you're below that you have to recommit. your supporters have to spread and if you have been in a caucus room you know how much horse trading goes on. tonight is on equine steroids and i think only two candidates speaking nationally not just iowa who have 15% consistently across geographies bernie and biden and so much on the line for those whose support skews against highly college educated whites. >> right. sticking with you, david wasserman, how likely do you think it is to have two different -- the person that brings the most people to the caucuses will not win be the top state delegate equivalent holder? in your mind the likelihood of that? >> it's quite possible. it's hard to put a number on but look. bernie sanders has a lot of support in rural iowa, a
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household name from '16 and well i think in the west. the key for elizabeth warren, going to dominate iowa city and johnson county and the question is hitting the thresholds elsewhere. i expect pete buttigieg to do well west of des moines higher income and more moderate and then amy klobuchar to do well along the minnesota border and really up for grabs. >> yeah. david plouffe, the winner tonight, especially if it's bernie sanders, there's a reason why the establishment folks maybe already starting to freak out. the way this calendar is set up, if bernie wins iowa and new hampshire and also that momentum carries him to nevada, it's pretty much impossible to stop him from being the delegate leader come the end of march. is that correct? >> i think if bernie wins iowa and new hampshire, that point biden's -- the only other
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alternative, getting the bloomberg scenario in a minute. if bernie wins iowa someone else is going to have to win new hampshire. if not, i think the rest of the field is going to really struggle. people can stay alive these days because it's easier to raise money online and this is about delegate and a path to the nomination and if biden were to not win the first three he is greatly disadvantaged but if he was able to win south carolina, he does have strength, her and bernie are deep everywhere, what you need to win. so i think, listen, a lot of people, particularly if the race is bunched up tonight, somebody in fourth or fifth place five or six points away from winning but their ability to sacred bring to become the democratic nominee is going to be i think really, really diminished so, you know, there are some people whose candidacy may not be declared dead but did living dead without a chance to make it through to march as you said.
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>> well, maybe yogi berra said it. it will get late early as soon as iowa is over. dave and david, i'm going to let you go for now. seeing both of you later tonight on the nbc news special coverage there. we'll see you a lot on msnbc, as well. we'll be back with more of msnbc esahead of tonight's iowa caucus.
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imagine what would happen when the american people go out and vote and send a mandate back to congress and all of the lunatics on the left who have been taken over by the come my division of the party and say we want you to actually get things done. >> i'm telling you, we're going to have the greatest victory come november 3rd that any president has ever had in this country. >> welcome back. even though the republican contests are a forgone conclusion, president trump is running for reelection, the trump team is still making their presence known in iowa today. as you saw th, that was the tru sons plus brad parscale marty, frankly, making sure that their message is getting out. kasie, kathy, the only one to not have her name begin with a
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k. kasie hunt, it is interesting that the trump campaign, and that is the president, constantly watching the democratic primary, and it's almost like any other reelect we would say, they're too involved. and yet i don't think trump knows any other way. >> no. he's obsessed. you've seen it in all of his comments, even the super bowl interview that he did where suddenly michael bloomberg suddenly getting under his skin. >> nervous about bernie trying to call him a communist now, which tells you he is a little nervous. >> perhaps. they've gone from socialist to communist. and started talking about his trip long ago to russia. >> i do think it's ironic if president trump tries to play the russia card against bernie. >> i don't doubt that we'll see it, though. >> i don't either. >> i think they would prefer to run against bernie sanders if they had to choose from this field. i do think iowa is a little bit of a sore spot for the president because he didn't start strong here in 2016. so it's still rubs him the wrong
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way. >> kathy, a year ago did you think that all these sort of other stars of the democratic party that all started running for president, that none of them made it here. when i think of the people who didn't make it, kamala harris, cory booker, beto o'rourke, julian castro, some people we all thought were going to be the future of the party. >> the polls were like a thermometer for a while, a fever meter were people were up and down, up and down. and i really did think that somebody like a cory booker, for example, because of his great retail political skills would be a natural for the iowa caucuses. i don't think there is any person in iowa who doesn't have a cory booker selfie on their phone, including me. so it is a surprise. but i think that had a lot more to do with the dnc rules than it did for iowa. that's what was driving people out of the race here, not people not warming up to these candidates in iowa. >> jen, what's one thing that we're missing? >> i think trump has really got his act together. i went to the rally on thursday
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night here in des moines. he had a very tight -- i mean for him -- reelect message. >> i thought the super bowl ad. what they did. >> why hawaii quality and very savvy. they're clearly looking to extend their reach to the american voters. he was good. he walked on the stage and iowa, i have done so much for you. and it was a little lighter than his -- these are happy days. >> a lot of democrats still judge the trump campaign from four years ago, karin. >> it's not. they've raised a boatload of money. every quarter the numbers they're putting out is amazing. but also, they don't really have anyone they're running against. and with that money they've been able to put together a pretty decent operation. that's what we can't miss. he is going to be hard to beat. >> here is one thing we learned. it is really easy to raise money if you have a grievance. grievance money online. kasie, kathy, carine, jen, thank you. they're under way. not getting under way. they're under way.
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welcome back to des moines. be sure to stay with nbc news and msnbc tonight. we got the iowa caucus results covered always. catch me on nbc news now, live streaming coverage beginning at 7:30 p. watch apple tv, roku or msnbc's great coverage continues right now. brian williams, nicolle wallace. >> when i am president -- >> when i am president -- >> when i am president -- >> as your president -- >> when i am president -- >> all eyes on iowa. the first contest of 2020. >> we shoes hope over fear. >> it is time to turn the page. >> people want change. thinking moment is our time to win. >> in the shadow of donald trump's impeachment -- >> he is guilty. is there really any doubt? >> it's a hoax. it's a scam. >> tonight for the first time,
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americans vote, leading our coverage brian williams, rachel maddow, nicolle wallace, chris matthews and joy reid in des moines. steve kornacki at the big board. our political team at caucus sites across iowa. katy tur in des moines. chris jansing and cal perry in iowa city. and our road warriors tracking the candidates every step of the way. plus ari melber, chris hayes, lawrence o'donnell, former senator claire mccaskill, you european robinson, and david plouffe. msnbc's special coverage starts now. ♪ >> well, good evening, and you're looking at this live. a cold night at the state capitol in des moines, iowa. brian williams here with you at our nbc news election headquarters in new york,
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alongside nicolle wallace. and rachel maddow will be here a bit later on to join into the coverage, lead our coverage into tonight and into tomorrow of this american political tradition. a rite of passage for those who hope to be our next president. our first true measurement of voter support from a state that is proud to be first in the nation. and tonight across iowa, voters in every county are gathering. they're preparing to be counted. no secret ballots here tonight. quite the opposite. iowans will take a stand before their friends and their neighbors to choose a candidate in this perilous time for our country. >> and whatever the outcome tonight, it is impossible to separate the energy on the ground in iowa entirely from the impeachment of donald j. trump. and even as they made their closing arguments today, the threat to this upcoming election has never been more clear. chairman schiff arguing that trump has compromised our elections and that he will do it
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again, saying this, quote, you can't trust this president to do the right thing, not for one minute, not for one election. it's another split screen day in america. >> our friends and family are gathered here at the desk and across iowa, but let's begin in des moines and the knapp center on the campus of drake university. katy tur, a veteran of the campaign trail, who last time lived to tell about it and write about it is standing by at a satellite political caucus there. katy, good evening. >> this is my first time at a caucus, brian, so we're all going to learn about this together. they have done now the first alignment. only bernie sanders and elizabeth warren are viable, which means that everybody's crossing this room trying to convince people to come over to their side. mostly, though, the buttigieg supporter, because they were not viable. so what we're hearing are folks going over here and trying to convince them. these guys are doing it right now, to come over to their side. biden's team has only one guy, so he is going to go somewhere else. klobuchar has zero.
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yang only has three. so bernie and warren want all of these voters. are you guys staying or are you going to move? >> i'm not caucusing you're caucusing. are you going to go to warren? >> i think i'm going to stay here for now. >> you're going to try to convince some warren people to come here? and if it doesn't happen, what you going to do? >> they can't move. >> so we have to get -- that. >> one biden guy and the three yang guys. >> yes. >> so let me -- you are the biden guys. so you're going to stay here with buttigieg. >> well, not if it's not viable. >> if it's not viable, where are you going? >> definitely warren over sanders. >> definitely warren over sanders. you can't stand sanders. what about you? >> same. >> if all of the buttigieg people make it over to warren's folks, i'm not sure they have as many people as bernie. you guys are here with warren. what are you doing to convince sanders supporters or those who are considering him in this room
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to caucus for warren. >> it's a good question for somebody. >> not much? you tell me. why not much? >> because i think they're thoroughly convinced it's going to be sanders to the end of this. >> why not? >> why not? >> well, why aren't they coming here? >> i don't know. >> oh, they can't realign. when you're talking to buttigieg supporters or yang supporters or biden supporters, what do you tell them in order to get them into warren's camp? >> well, i haven't talked to any of them. >> you show them that dog? that's going to convince them? >> i think i'm the only person who came from klobuchar. >> so why warren? >> the two are close in their outlooks, and i'm also -- i really was thinking warren, between warren and klobuchar to think with. i came with a second choice thinking probably about half the candidates, and i didn't know
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which ones wouldn't make it. >> brian and nicolle and everyone, this is so important. when you look at polls from 40 to 60% of voters who say they weren't sure. so coming into this room and being convinced by your friends and your neighbors to vote for or to caucus for the other candidate is so important. and it can be so persuasive. here in polk county, we're really watching out for what happens with warren. she should do well here. so second in the caucus is not bad for her. but if it's emblematic of the rest of the county, we could see the that sanders ends up with a little bit more momentum going out into new hampshire. it's going to be exciting. this is just the first one. it's a satellite caucus. it's small. we're going to be across the street a little bit later, and there is supposed to be a thousand people here. it's going to get rowdy, so stay with us. >> so katy, behind you, to the left, the little marker that marks off each section for each candidate, is it a metaphor alert that it's an actual
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hurdle? >> you know, i made this joke a little earlier with chuck and i roll his eyes at me. so i was hesitant to do it now. but yeah, they're actual hurdles. they're hoping to get over the hurdle. there was a pole vault that candidates want to pole vault. i think bernie is going to win this caucus, guys. >> all right. go down there and tell what's you find and we'll lighten up chuck todd. >> i like the hurdle. look, i actually think she made the case for how high those hurdles are. she is in there. it's 5:00 there. and there are already candidates that we've been talking about for more than a year who aren't viable in that room. now you can't extrapolate that beyond the room katy tur is standing in. but i think it shows why iowa is so hard and why candidates spend so much time on the ground. >> earlier today i told steve kornacki he would have the highest word count of our coverage tonight, and that's exactly the way it ought to be, because he's going to start out by explaining this mess, the
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first of many times we're going to ask him to explain this mess tonight. and steve, starting with i heard someone say we can't realign. what does that mean outside of an autobiography shop? >> get ready for a crash course in chaos. these are going to be the most transparent iowa caucuses you've ever seen just in terms of the information and the numbers that we're going to be showing you all night. we've got numbers we've never had access to before in a half a century of iowa caucuses. it also, though, could be chaotic. i'm going show you why. here's what's involved in the process. take a deep breath before we begin. so this is the last iowa caucus. this is what the results looked like. you remember clinton, sanders, 2016. these were the closest caucuses ever. traditionally, this is what iowa caucus results look like. you see these numbers. 7301, 697. those are not votes. what those are state delegate equivalents. remember that term. you're going hear it about a thousand times tonight. this is how it works. folks have gathered in precincts
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all around the state just like you saw there with katy tur in that report there is about 1700 precincts across the state. and each precinct is assigned a number, a very exact number of state delegate equivalents. and that number has 20 do with how democrats did in recent elections, recent performance, that sort of thing. so you add up from all the precincts across the state and you get your statewide winner, whoever has the most statewide equivalents. that's how it's been done in the past. tonight here's what we have coming at you. first of all, when folks show up at the precincts, like you saw with katy tur, the first thing they do is they break themselves into groups. biden supporters over here. sanders supporters here, warren supporters here. they're going to tally up the size of the groups. the first choice of everybody in the room. and they're going to report back. they're going to report the initial preference, the raw vote, almost the popular vote. it's the first time this number is ever going to be available in the iowa caucuses. so we are going to have, keep an eye out for this tonight,
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initial preference first round. the total you're going to be seeing is what people said when they showed up at their caucus site. who they said their first choice was. the process you were just watching, when they do this in the precincts and the candidate doesn't get 15% in that precinct, those supporters in that room become free agents and they can realign, they can realign themselves with a different candidate. and so they take a tally after that second round. that number is going to be -- that number is going to be available to us too. you will see the real located, realigned preference. you'll see the first round and the second round. and on top of, that you will continue to see that state delegate equivalent total we've always had. this is the one that has the do with who gets the most national convention delegates out of iowa. it's their traditional measure, but again, it's the possibility tonight that somebody may win the traditional measure. somebody else may lead in initial preference. it's possible. it's never happened before. we've never had this much information before. this is a grand experiment tonight, and you're going to be
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a part of it. >> steve was just laughing at his own material. >> it's going to be one of those nights. i feel like we're starting high-tech. i feel like this has the potential to go low tech. by the end of the night, he is going to have a pad. >> and a whiteboard. cards, ready to go. >> can i ask you a question? it seems to me it's not a terrible thing to come in second, right? because there is a potential because sanders and warren are strong enough to remain viable in most of these spots. it's not a terrible thing to be a second choice and maybe coalesce a moderate vote, right, if you're buttigieg and klobuchar, if you coalesce around a moderate candidate. >> this is going to be the most fascinating thing to watch tonight. again, i can show you, we're going to get to see what the second choices were. >> right. >> i'm going to show you throughout the it in. we'll be in any one of these counties, we'll be looking at results. first ballot, say biden led, sanders came in second, warren came in third. and i'm going to show you when they realigned, oh, wow, look
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out. warren took the lead. buttigieg took the lead. you will see this play out. so you'll get a sense in realtime how that sort of strategic thinking on the part of these caucus participants is playing out. and if one candidate is benefitting, if one is being hurt by it. you'll finally get to see it. >> steve kornacki at the big board. senator mccaskill, you asked to be recognized. i think i'm curious because i thought somebody told me that the other thing that's different this year is if you initially get in a group that has more than 15%, you can't move. >> yes. >> you are stuck there. >> that's right. >> so if you walk to elizabeth's group or bernie's group or buttigieg's group and they have more than 15 and there is no point talking to you because you can't move over to amy's group or anybody else's group. that right? >> that's right. famous last words here, but this could make the process faster than we've seen in the past when we've had multicandidate races for that exact reason. if you have 100 people in the
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room and the biden group has 30 people out of 100, 30%. they can go home. they're going to fill out a preference card. they're not call it a ballot. they're calling it a preference card. remember, we have to treat these as caucuses and not primaries. they fill out the preference card. they're over 15%, they can go home. they can stick around and try to recruit people from the other candidates if they'd like, but they can go home. you don't realign the whole room. it has the possibility to make this a quicker process than we've seen in the past. >> and the other thing i'm curious about, the doors don't close until 8:00, right? whatever katy is reporting on, that's just people who have gotten there way before and are really the ones that want to hang out for a while tonight. >> i can show you the math on this. basically, the baseline, if we go back to that first screen, i can show you how this will work. >> was this one of the caucuses for shift workers? they did have early caucuses for people who were prevented by work from voting later.
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>> so what that will do in real terms, i say the state delegate equivalents. there will be at least 2,000. they've increased at least 2,107 state delegate equivalents. they're assigned by precinct all around the state. these satellite locations, we don't know the exact number they're going to add up to. the state party will tell us. but the expectation is probably in the dozens. so it will probably increase that number, i don't know, 20-30, 21-40, that's what is going on when you look at the satellite row lowe indications. >> everyone rest your brain. we're going plug into a charger. so much time happily, luckily. >> for us. >> as we go on through the night, the iowa caucus coverage 2020 just getting under way. you try hard, you eat right... mostly. you make time... when you can.
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♪ we are back. this is the caucus on the campus of drake university for those who can prove that because of shift work they could not caucus at regular hours, there are these satellite caucuses for them and other folks across the state. katy tur covering for us. i understand in the interim there has been a development. >> you guys missed a lot of
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energy and a lot of excitement just one moment ago as the second realignment ended. so now there is only warren and sanders left. and i want to talk to this one woman over here who just realigned from the buttigieg camp. you went over here from buttigieg. why did you choose sanders? >> climate change is a big -- sorry. >> climate change. >> climate change is a big issue for me and bernie i think has the best, is one of the biggest supporters of it. >> warren is big on climate change. why did you not choose her? >> just the supporters of bernie were the ones who approached me first and were the most vocal about it. >> see? that's what's so interesting. the supporters approached her first and convinced her to go caucus. and as you can see, they just said 46. 46, is that the number he said? is 46 the number he said? >> yep, 46. >> how do you feel? >> feel fantastic. >> you feel good about your ability to convince the buttigieg supporters to come over here? >> i think we have a pretty personal crowd here. >> clearly. they were able to convince the buttigieg voters. 46 for sanders.
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warren is down here. she is still viable. as you can see, her crowd is slightly bigger than it was a moment ago. and this gentleman right here who was for buttigieg is now officially for warren. why did you make the final decision to go over here? >> warren, i felt she was the most sensible choice. i'm wanting somebody to be able to work both sides top aisle, and i think warren can do that better than bernie sanders. >> you think she is a larger bridge between the progressive and more moderate? >> absolutely. >> as the night progresses, if bernie sanders wins iowa, if he wins the nomination, will you support him? >>ly support whoever wins the democratic party nomination, yes. >> got it. guys, i think it's important. the lesson we learned here today is it does come down to your ability to convince those who are not viable. congressman ro khanna is here as well. he is supporting bernie sanders. he was having a one-on-one with a voter a moment ago, talking about climate change. and that voter just told him he thinks it's a big deal, but ultimately what he wanted was
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buttigieg's medicare for some, medicare for those who want it priority. ultimately, though, buttigieg was not viable. it's going to be an interesting night. very interesting indeed. and one more thing. people might be wondering why you can talk to voters during this. this is not a regular primary. this is a caucus. so you're able to talk to people as they're making their decisions. and that's why this is particularly exciting and also so confusing. >> katy tur covering the organic political process on artificial turf. >> no metaphors in there. >> no, not at all. >> i believe we are lucky now to be joined by dr. jill biden. we've been sitting here, i don't know if you could hear much of that, but our colleague katy tur in the room with some of the party's activists and the excitement. it's just one room. i know it's not fair to come on after that, but i worked for john mccain and a lot of what we heard is that the energy in the party was around figures like sarah palin. i wonder what your rebuttal is
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to any sort of claim on the energy in the party being anywhere other than for your husband, vice president biden? >> all right. we have lost -- biden. we're going get her back. >> it was an unfair question. i guess, claire, my question, i think you can answer this too. it's so unfair. and have i ptsd from this. because when john mccain was the nominee, it was really his running mate, which is sort of weird which is sarah palin. and there was this contrast. we just saw it in the human form, katy tur talking to the activists who were torn between sanders and warren in that one room in iowa. biden wasn't even part of the conversation. how do you combat that? how do you rebut that? >> first of all, this whole caucus thing is unfair. it's designed by republicans. >> they said it, not us. >> no, seriously. >> its craziest thing i've ever seen. and it just got crazier because now this year you don't even get a second choice if your candidate is viable in the first
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round. so you good. you go into the bernie corner or you go into the warren corner. you're stuck there all evening until you decide to go home. you don't get to change your mind. i thought the whole point was that neighbors are convincing neighbors to come over. but a lot of the people don't even get to change. what's the point? why not have a primary, just a have a vote? >> republicans have spent a lot of time figuring out a way to keep us from voting. they want fewer people to participate. so i'm looking at this. i'm going yeah, they have a small little sideline thing for shift workers. think of the single mom who has three kids in school. she has to hire a baby-sitter. she is trying to figure out if she can afford for her kid to go to soccer camp this three months and she has to hire a baby-sitter. why couldn't she go on her lunch hour and vote? and honestly, in that room, there were a few people that maybe are up close and personal with medicare, but not very
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many. those were a lot of kids. >> answer to the question you asked joe biden that was not joe biden's demographic in that room. there are a lot of young people. >> but to both of your point, it really seems to be moving in the opposite direction from making these marks. these interest most active activists and the ones with the most free time. >> well, we'll see. we will get a figure presumably. i don't want to presume on kornacki's corner. but we will get a turnout figure at the end of the evening and we'll see if more or fewer people participated than four years ago. i think it was the obama year. >> was the heist. >> was the highest. so let's see how it compares to last time around. but it's nothing like it could be if you just had a day when people went to vote. >> or most states now it's like two weeks you can vote. >> right. >> you can take over a two-week period and declare who you would like to see be the president. and listen, i love the people of iowa. they're our neighbor up north and they're great people.
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and i'm not saying they shouldn't have a turn at being first. but i really do think caucuses are designed for the party elite. i don't mean the rich people. i mean like you said, the people who d do this almost 24/7 or very young people or retired people. and there is a whole swath of people in the middle that need to have flexibility of when they can state their preference. in small town, let me throw this in, in small towns in the midwest, if you are big for a democrat in a small town in missouri, there aren't very many like you. and going to a caucus where everybody sees who you're for, that has social consequences in your community. >> it does. >> people you go to church with, yeah. >> joe biden's strength, the reason why he is so inside donald trump's head is that his strength is with white working class voters who i'm guessing don't have a ton of time to avail themselves to caucuses. >> right. >> this seems sort of
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structurally to disadvantage someone like biden. >> i think so. >> ari melber, it strikes me among all of us, you're the one with field experience in caucuses. your caucuses are under fire. >> that's true. >> shots fired, ari. >> tell us when you worked there, what you did and if you have any defense for the valid points your colleagues make. >> well, i think the senator makes a great point that if you want to do democracy, the systems that encourage more participation are better. i think that's a great point. in terms of how it works, yeah, i worked as a field organizer in polk county which is where katy tur is right now. i lived in des moines. i worked the phones every night. this was on the 2004 john kerry presidential campaign. he won the iowa caucus but went on the lose the entire race to someone you used to work for as we go through all the history. i think what's important to keep in mind that goes the other way is you cannot caucus alone. you need the 15% to count. and so you are testing other things. you're testing candidates who have broad appeal and you're testing organization and you're testing collaboration.
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and those are all really interesting things for the party to keep an eye on, although they don't cancel everything else out. the other point i would make which is really interesting and everyone is going to be able to see in realtime tonight, primary campaigns always involve a process where some people drop out and then what happens to their supporters? what the caucus does, however clumsy live and perhaps even yes, unfairly is slam that into a night. so we know there are people who did support harris or booker or others. and with them out of the race, they are realigning over time. what happens tonight, it takes people -- if they can't get one out of ten people in iowa after millions of dollars spent and events all over the state, in the same night you actually get this democratic bonus you can argue where then you get to see who are their second choices. and the answer sometimes can surprise you. we have a democratic establishment right now that is afraid of bernie sanders, that reviles bernie sanders, and they say for good reason, because he has never been down with the party. he has never been a democrat. they're going to learn tonight real quick as kornacki walks us
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through these numbers over the course of the night, bernie sanders a lot of people's second chance in the party? that's news you can use. that's interesting. or is he not? does he have a ceiling? bernie sanders got 49% in this state the last time there was a two-way race. it's going to be fascinating to watch tonight. >> break for our coverage as we go to a break, this is one of the satellite caucuses as in wide orbit outside of iowa. this is san tan valley, arizona, registered iowa voters gathering to voice their preferences and stand up quite literally for their candidate. break out the butter lobsterfest is on at red lobster if you've been dreaming about tender wild-caught lobster, dig in to butter-poached, fire-roasted and shrimp & lobster linguini. see? dreams do come true. or if you like a taste of new england without leaving home, try lobster, sautéed with crab, jumbo shrimp and more, or maybe you'd like to experience the ultimate surf and the ultimate turf... with so many lobster dishes, there's something for every lobster fan
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♪ cold streets of the indicate capitol in des moines because everyone is inside caucusing. that's why. we're about 90 minutes away from the first results. our live coverage of the iowa caucus. special guests standing by from des moines. >> we're going to try again to start our conversation with dr. jill biden. can you hear us this time? >> yes, i can. thanks. >> thank you so much for spending some time was. i know this campaign is really -- you've been in the center of the beginnings of the primaries, but also of the national story in washington, the impeachment trial of donald j. trump. how have those two things collided for your family on the
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campaign trail? >> well, you know, it's been a little difficult. i'm a mother. i know you're a mother. it's hard when you see your kids attacked. but i think that voters realized this is about donald trump. it's not about my son hunter or my husband and i think it's disgraceful what i think donald trump has done. and we know this is all a distraction. >> it's also a sign from people that know trump best that the person who he fears running against the most is your husband. how do you harness that and try to get some energy and action out of the grassroots of the democratic base around that idea of electability? >> listen, the bottom line i think for most iowans is they want to beat donald trump. that's the bottom line. and so if donald trump is doing this because he is afraid of my
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husband, then that turns out to be a good thing for joe, because they're getting behind him and they're supporting him. >> dr. biden, thank you again for being with us, and sorry about the technical glitch earlier. chris matthews in this very studio last week said about this time during impeachment that your husband has the opportunity right now to deliver the speech of his life countering all of the biden mentions we hear almost every 15 seconds on the well of the senate, countering the narrative that's been placed out by the other side. has there been any support on the inside of your organization to do just that? >> of course, of course. they're asking joe to speak out and, you know, joe has been out there every day telling people it's a lie. these are lies. this is a distraction. and i think people are hearing his message. >> have you been advocating for a more pointed countermessage
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from your husband? >> i think that's pointed enough. i think the people understand, americans understand who donald trump has shown himself to be. and he is afraid to run against joe biden because my husband is going to beat him. >> what do you make of our colleague overheard bernie on the phone saying if bernie ends up prevailing, bernie is going to come in and save the party. what do you make of the sort of lack of faith in your husband's ability to carry this, not just tonight, but this the first contest of the democratic party? >> you know, john kerry has been a friend for a long, long time. i was with him all day yesterday. we were going into a lot of our headquarters. we were talking to our supporters, and so john's a good friend. >> it's just a wild and weird part of the cycle that's all
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beginning tonight. best of luck tonight to your husband, to your campaign and in the contests that follow. >> thank you, dr. biden for your time. >> thank you so much. thank you. >> sharp-eyed viewers have noticed we have a kornacki cam this year which during other segments, steve allowed no privacy for this -- well, for every election cycle. steve, what do you have that you may be able to share with us? >> thanks for the warning too. it's very good to know. let me show you where the race stands. about an hour and a half from now, we're going to start getting actual results to set the bar in terms of what folks might be expecting. what you see here coming into tonight, this is the average of all the polls, basically from the final week. we had a flurry of polls showing sanders on average a couple of points up on biden. buttigieg and warren very much in the game. klobuchar back at 9. the biggest news on polling in the final days of this iowa race, the one everybody was anticipating, the des moines register correctly called the winner in a bunch of recent caucuses was supposed to come
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out saturday night, 9:00, didn't come out. they had some issues that they said they didn't feel confident releasing it. so we don't have the final poll. we don't have the one that is known as the gold standard. while we do have an average here, i think we're flying blind coming into tonight more than we have in the past. it adds a little more suspense to it maybe. one thing we're looking for that we have seen in the polling consistently. we have seen this in iowa. we have seen this nationally. there is just to say a divide when it comes to age is understating it. there is a chasm when it comes to age between sanders and biden in particular. check this out. monmouth poll of iowa last week, 18 to 49. under 50. sanders is at nearly 40%, and biden is back in single digits. we've seen numbers like this for months now. let's work our way up the age stale skail here. 50-64, suddenly biden jumps to the lead, from single digits to the lead and sanders plummets down to 12%. go one step further, 65 plus, now it's a runaway.
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biden at nearly 45%. there is that cliche chen it comes to elections and caucuses where it's all about the turnout, but really, that's one of the things we're looking for tonight. it's specifically do you have a disproportionate number of younger folks turning out, especially in and around those college turns. do you have a traditional older electorate turning out because the outcome could swing on which one of these groups shows up. >> steve kornacki, keep it coming. another breck for us. we are back shortly, and we will -- we're what, one hour, 21 minutes away from having the first relative humidities. results. during wayfair's mattress markdowns event
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what's going on? it's the 3pm slump. should have had a p3. oh yeah. should have had a p3. need energy? get p3. with a mix of meat, cheese and nuts. 1 in 4 of us millennials have debt we might die with. and most of that debt is actually from credit cards. it's just not right. but with sofi, you can get your credit cards right by consolidating your credit card debt into one monthly payment. including your interest rate right by locking in a fixed low rate today. and you can get your money right with sofi. check your rate in two minutes or less. get a no-fee personal loan up to $100k. there is real anger out there. hillary clinton is not happy. there is real bitterness. how do you bridge that divide? how do you fix that? >> when i talk about turning the page, this is part of what i'm talking about. why would we want to relive 2016? i didn't much like living through it the first time.
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>> that moment from "meet the press" yesterday morning from des moines where our own chris matthews is standing by with a person of interest with the buttigieg effort in iowa. hey, chris. >> person of interest. >> good morning. i mean, it's afternoon, isn't it, already. brian, thank you. thank you, nicolle. i want to say my own thoughts about this race is that i learned if you predict somebody is going to do well, predict they're not going to do well, they're mad at you. but it's the same thinking that goes into it. this is a unique form of election out here in iowa. it's not exactly a primary. it's not a general election. it requires going to a meeting basically for up to three hours, and it does have certain advantages for candidates like bernie sanders, because as oscar wilde beautifully put it once, socialism is going to be hard to catch on because it takes too many meetings. but a meeting is perfect if you're a bernieite. this is a perfect setting for
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him, and therefore he should do well tonight. that's my thinking. it's a unique home game for people on the socialist side of things because they like meetings, according to oscar wilde. but i want to go to anthony brown. sir, why did you pick pete buttigieg? because you were probably sought after like hell. >> i picked pete because america is yearning for change and democrats have never sent someone to the white house in the last 40 years that has been either new to or spent time in washington, and that's pete. i love the fact this he put the uniform on. even though he is navy and i'm army, i still love pete buttigieg. he has made the sacrifice and service for our country. i think he has the character and experience to do the job. >> he is railroad good at talking about being mayor. one day he took me to some sewer manhole and opened up up and showed me how high-tech his sewers are in south bend. interesting to some people. and the other he took me to an old packard plant in the '60s and six floors of iron and steel and talked about the history of
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midwest industry. and it's pretty romantic stuff. has that gotten across in the campaign, that romance of american industry and what we can be again? >> certainly what's gotten across is he has worked with a very diverse community in south bend, a community that ten years ago a lot of people wrote off as dying if not dead. and today is not just surviving, but it's thriving. it's doing well. they've done a lot in terms of affordable housing, bringing jobs. they've reduced poverty in the african american community by 70%, which is much better than what's been done at the national level. yeah, he's used that experience as mayor. he has conveyed that mayors don't just have good ideas and there are a lot of good ideas in washington and he'll bring many of them with him, but they have to get results by working in their community with their community. >> a quarter of the democratic electorate i'm told is from your ethnic background, african american. >> yes. >> talk to them now. why should they vote for pete buttigieg? because this election is ahead of us. >> pete is the only candidate
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that has a very intentional plan to uplift and empower the african american community. and whether it's fighting -- it's criminal justice reform, whether it's increasing black employment and black entrepreneurship, education investments in historically black colleges and universities, he's got a plan for medicare for all who want it, also health equity zones that pours resources into underserved communities. so there is no other campaign that has laid out such a comprehensive plan to address the needs of the african american community. >> good luck. >> thank you. >> congressman from maryland. in fact, prince george's county right here by my own house. >> yes, indeed. >> back to you brian and nicolle. >> do you ever work in beat navy at the end of a conversation with pete and then hang up before he can respond? >> no, i don't do it that way. but every time i introduce him at a town hall i make sure i say while i love pete buttigieg, i'll never stop saying beat navy. >> i was worried. i thought you lost your head there for a second.
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thank you, congressman, very much forivitying down and being with chris in des moines. on the left-hand side now on the full screen, queen creek, arizona, these are iowa registered voters who have sought the sun of the southwest and who can blame them this time of year. >> smart. >> very smart iowans. and they're standing in groups for their declared candidate. >> can i say i get a little bit -- you and i share a love for aaron sorkin scripps. there is something awesome about -- and i know it's flawed, claire. i take all your points, yours too, eugene, but there is something awesome about taking the time. i can totally see that not everyone has the time. but it's still a cool thing to see to take the time, put this on your to do list, go and stand for your candidate. it still gives me chills when i see it. >> please note people are getting along. >> who are not residing in iowa right now, but who still feel the connection to the state. >> yeah. >> participating.
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>> it's a form of absentee ballot. >> correct. >> which is kind of nice. i made a mistake earlier. i want to correct it. since i'm in new york, i was saying 8:00 p.m., that caucus closes. but this is central time. so for everyone who is in iowa, the doors close at 7:00 p.m., not 8:00 p.m. i apologize for saying 8:00 p.m., in case any iowans think they have until 8:00 p.m. they don't. >> mary, are you tired? were you up late last night? >> i was. >> what were you doing? >> i was cheering my chiefs. >> i was cheering them for you. >> i think most of america was. it's a pretty amazing team. >> mahomes is is only slightly bigger than the commissioner of the nfl today. >> yes, he is. it was really fun. >> i was thinking of you, and all the people of kansas. [ laughter ] take a quick break. we're back with more right after this. we made usaa insurance for members like kate.
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cold waters this time of year, the beautiful des moines river tonight on this iowa caucus night 2020. so, my friend here hosts say broadcast every day at 4:00 eastern time. her first shift on a day like today. and during today's broadcast, she had frequent guest steve schmidt on who said something on the topic of a race that would come down to the president
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versus bernie sanders, and what steve said stopped a lot of people in their tracks. >> whether democrats in iowa believe that socialism is better than capitalism or not, the country we live in, the united states of america, my view would be that the sociopath beats the socialist every day of the week and twice on tuesdays in november. >> you heard me groan? i groan again this evening. it makes me break into a sweat, this idea that as beautiful as this exercise in democracy is, the early reports is there is much enthusiasm about bernie sanders and your assessment is quite possibly spot on. >> look, i think that the democratic party, we live in a country with two political parties. and my sense is that one of them, the republican party, our party, our former party, has been badly corrupted in this age of trump. and we see that play out every day of the week.
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and so the democratic party is called again, as it has been in the past, to be a sentinel of our democracy, to stand for the checks and balances, to stand for the institutions, to stand for the system that has endured for more than 240 years. and so it would be institutionally shattering for the democratic party to lose a second election to donald trump. think about the possible magnitude of that failure, to not be able to offer something better than what we see playing out every day. and so the question is, as you go through this nominating process, who is the candidate that can bring the country together, that can put together a coalition of enthusiastic democrats, no small number of independents, and, yes, some number of republicans? and i think it's important to understand that the election victories in 2018 that gave
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democrats the majority in the house were fueled in the suburbs by millions of republican voters, not the majority, but an important part of the coalition that voted to put a check on donald trump at the mid point of his presidency. and so bernie sanders, i would argue, is unlikely to be the candidate that's able to put together a broad coalition and in a base election, in an economy -- and i understand the 42% of the country does president have $400 cash available. but in a zero unemployment economy, the candidate talking about economic revolution in the way that bernie sanders does, i think it's profoundly naive to believe that that isn't the candidate that donald trump might like to most run against. >> safe harbor republicans, let's call them. how big a percentage do you think they represent coming up in the presidential?
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>> steve bannon made the point that a defection of 3, 4, 5% of republicans would have a decisive effect on the outcome of this election. and so when you look at the states that donald trump won narrowly, who are the candidates that can put michigan, put pennsylvania back into play? and that's the singular question that the party has to answer and the voters will have to answer over these weeks and over these months ahead. one thing is for certain. as we look at the voters today in iowa and we look at the voters in new hampshire, it could be that bernie sanders wins the first two contests, iowa and new hampshire. but the electorate in both states looks nothing like the electorate that makes up the democratic party. we won't be able to see that electorate start taking shape until we get to nevada and until we get to south carolina. so you have to win. in order to be the nominee of your party, you have to win.
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joe biden, for example, has to win one of the first three contests. he has to win by south carolina, should he not win in iowa or new hampshire. bernie sanders could win the first two, but we know from four years ago he wasn't able to translate those early victories into wins in states that had majority black voting age populations. and that will be the determinative demographic as we look forward deeper into the race where the democratic party's electorate becomes much more diverse than these early states are. >> has bernie made any headway in states like -- >> if you look at the numbers of his african-american support, they have gone up some, but they're nowhere near biden's at this point. i see no evidence that he's made significant inroads in south carolina. there is an added factor out there which is you have
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african-american mayors all around the country who are endorsing mike bloomberg because of the sort of -- he has mentored many of them in his sort of mayor's academy that he's been running, which is just another interesting factor. he doesn't figure into these first four primaries, of course. i think perhaps a response from the sanders camp to the points that steve is making would be that they believe he puts into play some trump voters in those states, wisconsin, michigan, pennsylvania even, that other democratic candidates might not put into play and they cite some indication that that might be the case. i just think we've got a long way to go. this is an exciting start, but we've got a long way to go in this process. >> i'm being told another break in our coverage because if we take them now, we can have more fun with our things later. we'll be right back with more.
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looking at the statehouse and across the great state of iowa in close to 1700 locations, the doors are opening for caucus night. we go to eastern iowa now, the town of clinton along the mississippi river. chris jensening with us at a caucus site at clinton community college. hey, chris. >> reporter: hey there, brian. and we've got people who are walking in, as you can see. look, this night is just getting started. we have pete buttiegieg getting all set up. joe biden. behind us amy klobuchar. elizabeth warren. andrew yang. but the reason that we're here -- and you mentioned it -- is the mississippi river. this is the place where all up and down the mississippi river there was industry.
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there were businesses that had high-paying union jobs that went away largely now. there are still a few industries along the mississippi. i took a drive there today. but what you see is what you see in so much of the industrial midwest, brian. that is a lot of boarded up shops downtown, a lot of homes, in fact, that are boarded up because when the jobs went away the population went down as well. so what we're looking for here tonight, and believe me, people who are looking at these different candidates and saying, who is it who can win back those swing voters in places like michigan, in places like pennsylvania, places like wisconsin are going to be watching clinton county. this is a place that for 30 years had gone for democrats. it swung 28 points from plus 25 for barack obama to plus 3 for donald trump. and here in clinton county, every single precinct voted for
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donald trump. it was shocking, according to the people i talked to. so they're watching tonight to see the people coming out, how many people will rally here. four years ago, 188 people came. the precinct chairman here told me he thought maybe in the mid 200s, but they were worried that they could get as many as 400 just based on the real feeling among democrats here that, yes, change is needed here. they thought, many of them, donald trump would bring it. they don't think he's bringing it now. we're going to get a sense when we see this filled up just how big the push is here in clinton county. and as i said, it's not just folks in iowa who are watching, it's elsewhere in the industrial midwest, brian. >> we'll come back to you. i'm curious myself to see how that fills up. chris jensening, clinton, iowa. >> one of our friends joins us, cal perry on the campus of the university of iowa. what are you seeing so far, cal?
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>> reporter: hey, nicolle. well, the doors are open. new voter registration happening now. important to note. and we do have an overhead camera, try to get that thing going to let viewers know how this is going tonight. this is being run by the students of the university of iowa. tiegen doesn't know what he's bit off and trying to chew. he's going to get there. this is the thunder dome area, the areas between these two curtains. this is where people will actually caucus. around the walls you can see in sort of yellow post-it notes, big post-it notes. each individual candidate, this is the joe biden area here. i did not know he had sunglasses for biden on his poster. you can see buttigieg here. this is run by the students of the university of iowa. this will be a gym full of students from the university of iowa. new voters often here for their first caucus, true for the organizers as for the students. this area was won by bernie sanders handily four years ago in the last caucus.
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the anticipation is bernie will have a good showing. with so many more candidates, with ten candidates here, the undecideds will go right in the middle. the question is going to be viability. who could get to the 15%. how candidates will be above 15% and does that start to take a chunk out of bernie sanders's total, guys. >> cal perry, thank you. we'll be coming back to the gym to watch how it all shapes out. >> i like that overhead. >> we haven't warmed it up yet. we're trying to keep some of the excitement for later on. steve kornacki at the big board with the state of iowa behind him. >> we want to give you a sense of what to look for as this map starts to fill in tonight. county by county. 99 different counties in iowa. when it comes to, we mentioned the state delegate equivalents that the winner is determined by, not all these counties are created equally. let me take you through a couple things we're looking for here. first of all, let's look at the least densely populated part of the state. population wise, western iowa what we'll draw a line here to the west. this is where it gets interesting with the formulas we
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talked about earlier. if you go from here to the west, you would expect that about 10% of the turnout -- this is based on what we saw in 2016. 10% of the turnout statewide came from this entire region. 10% of the democratic turnout. but under the formula that the iowa democratic party uses for the state delegate equivalents, in 2020 this area would account for 13% of the state delegate equivalents. you see when we get into these two different formulas, there's the possibility that there is a bit of a bias in favor of the rural counties. so now the flip side of that, that's western iowa. that's one end of it. now check this out. i'm going to give you five counties here. winship county, the home of luther college. iowa city where cal perry just was. the home of the university of iowa. this is jefferson county, the home of maharishi university. the home of grinnell college. all of them won by bernie
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sanders in 2016 by overwhelming margins. 72% in jefferson. these accounted in 2016 for 20% of the turnout statewide. but their state delegate equivalent share tonight is 14%. so this is -- when we see there is the possibility tonight, this is what we're going to be looking for, the possibility tonight that one candidate's winning the initial preference and another candidate is winning in leading in those state delegate equivalents. this is what makes it possible. you can have 10% of the vote, but 13% of the delegates. you could have 20% of the turnout, but 14% of the delegates. there are some imbalances like that in this map. a little bit like the electoral college vote, popular vote nationally, again, this is an experiment. we've never had these numbers. we don't know what's going to happen. >> how many people wish they had paid attention in school. >> i was just thinking a lifetime of being mad at math is catching up with me tonight. i'm stressed.
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thank god for steve kornacki. our friend chris mathews has been joined by tom steyer. chris? >> i sure am. i have tom steyer here. a couple questions. you have two contests this week. your fight for the primary tonight in the caucuses, and getting impeachment on wednesday. give me your outlook for both. >> well, let me start with impeachment. i started the need to impeach movement. >> you put money into it. >>20 million people signed that petition and they called their congress people and wrotesaying the most corrupt president in american history to account. they dragged the congress to impeach him. now we have a trial in the senate and the republicans are refusing to let any administration officials testify. we're having a trial without witnesses. >> do you want to revert it back now? >> absolutely not. we stood up for what was right. >> will this hurt them in the general? >> they put their party ahead of the american people. everybody knows they're hiding the truth. everybody knows they've given up on their oath to the constitution. what they're doing is shameful.
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everybody, democrats and republicans, independents, we all know it. yes, they're going to pay for it. you can't do that. >> you're the john brown of the civil war. you led the fight. what do you have to do -- moving forward after tonight's results which are unclear now certainly, all the way to super tuesday, one month from today when 14 states vote including the big texas. all that's on the table. can you get there? >>t went through the four early primary states, which are iowa, new hampshire, nevada and south carolina. in that poll, which they do every week, i was at 19% and in third place, up 2% from last week and last week was up 2% from the week before. if you need somebody who can build a diverse coalition to bring out democrats in the fall and beat donald trump, that poll says i can do that, and that that strength is getting
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stronger every single week. get to super tuesday. you need somebody who can take on trump on the economy. i can do it. he's a fake. he's terrible for the american people. i'll go -- >> you're also rich. how much are you going to put into this? i keep watching mike bloomberg. he's apparently willing to spend as much as he makes. i'm just kidding. >> let me put it to you this way. i believe that the united states is at stake. you know i'm the person who says climate is my number one priority. we've got to get it done. >> is this -- >> look, there's nothing -- this is more important than anything i've ever seen in my life. >> can you catch mike bloomberg with the money? >> it's not a question of money. do you have a message that's different, can people trust you, do you have a lifetime of commitment. i can back up what i'm saying with decades of work. i have a lifetime of work that says i can win, i mean it and do bhafr it takes. >> you muput your money where yr mouth is.
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your thoughts? >> chris mathews in des moines. >> one of the most interesting things about tom steyer's candidacy is i think he is the only one that merges the impeachment conversation that has gripped washington and national media and what he hears on the campaign trail. i haven't seen anyone else mash those things together the way he has. interesting candidacy. >> we should bring in -- >> our friends. >> david plough. donna edwards, former republican strategist steve schmidt remains with us. >> you know, people -- we were having this conversation about iowa and what iowa means. iowa changed everything for president obama. >> it sure did. we would have not been a footnote in history had we not won it. i think the thing -- what i'm excited about with this race we generally don't know what's going to happen tonight. >> yeah. >> you could have one candidate actually win by 7 or 8 points, you could have four or five of them bunched up. i think the key thing, though,
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is we've already had some winnowing with people dropping out. whether people drop out or not, who's actually got a credible chance to be the democratic nominee after tonight. that number i think is going to be reduced. and i will be interested to see who is building strength in parts of the country, parts of iowa that may send signal about what they might be able to do as a nominee. bringing out new people, republicans, who is showing strength in 99 counties. that also means that person can probably build their coalition. whoever wins iowa tonight, maybe their mid 20s, maybe high 20s. to be the nominee you have to get into the 30s and the 40s and ultimately to 50. also who is showing signs of building out of their initial coalition. but iowa was everything for us. i think for some candidates tonight it's everything. for others they can probably withstand, you know, a negative outcome, but not for too much longer. >> name names. for who is it everything, who can withstand a negative outcome? >> biden is the one person.
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i think if he comes in fourth or fifth he's going to find himself in real trouble. but because he has south carolina which they hope is their propulsion and he ends up being a firewall if he under performs. bernie looks like the front runner going into it. other candidates need to finish one or two. this isn't about giving a speech tonight and feeling good about what you did. it's about can you win the nomination. and i think that things get real tonight. and iowa is like -- it's almost sleepy and romantic. you're running for governor of iowa. you have new hampshire in eight days. nevada after that, south carolina after that, then the whole country. this entire race changes. and it gets meaner and it gets nastier. >> and more expensive, right? >> more expensive. >> donna edwards, so much ink has been spilled over what iowa is and is not when laid against the rest of the electorate in the united states, especially for democratic candidates. >> well, it's true. although tonight iowa is
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everything in the scheme of things. you know, iowa is clearly very important, but when you talk about the demographic groups that really build and strengthen the democratic party, they're not necessarily represented in iowa. although i do think that, you know, i describe this as candidates who need to win, place and show. and there are several who fit in that bucket and they can -- he'll be able to move on. there are others as david described who are just going to be left in the wings and that's good. we wanted the caucus and primary process to finally narrow this field of candidates. and we're going to get that. but then you get to south carolina and south carolina is different. south carolina has a majority of african-american voters and, you know, they span the spectrum in terms of their income and all kinds of other demographics. it's going to be important for candidates to play there. there are some candidates right now who have not demonstrated
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that they can win over that slice, that big chunk of the democratic electorate. >> steve schmidt, tonight is -- has a cruel edge to it, the other side of what the new hampshire.as talking about. expensive. expensiv field operations are expensive. if it dries up, it dries up. >> we begin the winnowing process tonight. we'll see the field bifurcate into two sides. you'll see the candidates that have a legitimate shot as david said about being the democratic nominee, but there will be some candidates that retain the residual strength necessary to keep going on and will play maybe the determinative role in shaping the outcome of some of these other contests. so, for example, in 2008, john mccain had to win in south carolina in order to become the republican nominee. he would not have won south carolina had fred thompson not remained on the race and divided
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the conservative vote in the greenville area and that part of the state from mitt romney. so, a mayor pete, an amy klobuchar, for example, an elizabeth warren, they can still play even if they don't have anyplace where they can win in the first four contests and i'm not saying they won't. but let's say they don't. not getting out of the race, they would have an ability to shape the outcome by dividing votes in some of these other states. so we have a long, long way to go tonight. but when you look at this field hampshire where he's surging, a good performance tonight, you could see bernie sanders winning three of the first four contests. that means that south carolina becomes do or die for joe biden. and, of course, these other candidates have to win. you can't get to the nomination by being perpetually second or third place. this is like the nfl. the end of the day, to be in the super bowl, you have to win the game. and so when you look out after tonight, the question for all of
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these candidates who fall short of first place is where can they win next. >> we're going to take another break because -- all eyes are on the top of the hour. 43 minutes away. when we get the first inkling of what's going on inside those caucus rooms. and the mathematics, that results. a lot of excitement tonight across the state of iowa. they get to have first dibs. ♪ limu emu & doug [ siren ] give me your hand! i can save you... lots of money with liberty mutual! we customize your car insurance so you only pay for what you need! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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we are back. this is what democracy looks like in the form of the iowa caucuses. as we will say all night, the exact opposite of a secret ballot, you are standing up to be seen to caucus for your candidate of choice, which doesn't have to be your initial candidate of choice. it's a unique system. steve is over at the board with the predictive quality of the iowa caucuses. what's their record in picking what the man or woman that goes on to be the winner? >> you know, honestly, in this century iowa has not missed yet. check this out. there have been four contested democratic nomination races in the 21st century. 2016 hillary clinton, we showed you. she won iowa narrowly, but she did win it. she went on to become the democratic nominee. 2018 obama nominee.
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kerry '04, al gore same thing. is it fair, demographically representative? one thing we've seen is whether it's fair or not, winning iowa can in some cases dramatically change the way candidates are viewed in other states. you talked about obama a minute ago. winning iowa then watching his fortunate reverse in south carolina against hillary clinton. john kerry was even more dramatic in 2004. you know, three weeks before the 2004 iowa caucuses, there was a poll of black voters in south carolina and john kerry was at 1%. and he won iowa. he rolled into new hampshire, he battled for a tie with black voters in south carolina. so we have seen dramatic changes. when you look at these candidates, sanders, warren, buttigieg, that's what they dream of. win iowa and watch everything get transformed for you afterwards. 1972 was the first time iowa was the front of the line in the democratic race.
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nine contested races. 7 of the 9 times, the two misses, george mcgovern lost to ed musky. michael dukakis won. >> steve kornacki at the big board. >> such a big part of that. i wonder if it hurt any of the senators to not be able to be in the state or last weekend is it automated through surrogates and ground game. >> if they lose by a point or two. they missed out on seeing thousands and thousands of people. their organizers were working, they had surrogates. i think it was a disadvantage. we also see so many people in iowa, literally people in those lines still haven't decided who they're going to caucus for. so very late breaking. >> how do you sort of operationalize the undecided or being someone's second choice -- we saw a little of it in the room, but it isn't clear to me how coming in second might end up helping you in the final result. >> first of all, you want to
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know -- because you're dealing with 200,000 people, 250, 260, theoretically you can know how a lot of those people are leaning. you want that data in your database and you want to know what it is about you that makes you the second choice. so if the first choice is not viable, you can say, okay, your first choice wasn't viable, but you care about climate and you care about this issue. you need skilled precinct captains and staff. a lot of it is volunteers who are making that pitch. it's a crazy process. it's like amy klobuchar or joe biden ore bernie sanders, any of them have less than 15%, then each of those people are going to be talked to by someone saying, you need to come with us because we're the one that can beat trump. >> your fate is in the hands of your surrogates and your activists really. >> the best organization has the best intelligence on the people to caucus and the ability to execute. super important. we may have two different numbers tonight. my view is it doesn't matter who wins the popular vote. you have to win the electoral
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college. this is a delegate process. whoever ultimately comes out with the most delegates is the winner. i think the media will play a big role deciding whether there will be two winners. hopefully there will be one. this race is fluid enough that you could have very much -- this could be decided by that reallocation. i don't know how to assess the likelihood, but it's much higher than 10 or 20%. >> katy tur has changed locations, though remaining in des moines. she is at a different caucus location now. katy? >> reporter: i'm literally across the street at the university's arena. trump had a rally here on thursday. now they're caucusing. i want to talk to some biden folks. there was only one guy at the last caucus and i'm curious if we're going to see more here. all eyes are really on bietd ento see how he's going to do. hey, folks. caucusing for biden? >> yes. >> reporter: why? >> i think he can go into the oval office on day one. he knows exactly what to do. >> reporter: did you see him at an event? >> i didn't.
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>> reporter: you did not? >> no. >> reporter: i just didn't. i hope you edit this. >> reporter: it's interesting because his events haven't been as big as the other events. so we were curious, did people need to go to his events to see him or did they know who he was already. what did you think? >> i think we do know or we feel like we know him better than some other candidates. and i think he can beat trump. >> reporter: this is going to be a really big caucus site. expecting around a thousand people. if for some reason joe biden is not viable, do you have a second choice? >> yes, pete. >> reporter: pete buttiegieg? >> yes. >> reporter: do you agree? >> yes. >> reporter: what about you folks here? >> i agree pete buttiegieg would be my second choice. >> reporter: are you expecting -- >> yes. >> reporter: you think biden is going to get it? >> yes. >> second choice would be amy klobuchar. >> reporter: here's the thing about iowa. so many are undecided.
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those second choices could be really important to a number of different candidates. klobuchar is one of them. it's going to get started here in about an hour, right? >> yes. >> reporter: about an hour. it's wild and crazy. there are stairs. when you have to reassilign, yo have to go up and down stairs. i'm going to try not to trip and fall. thank you, guys. >> she asked an important question. this has sunk into the consciousness. this is one of the anecdotal data points when people trot out this idea that biden isn't as strong as some of the other people in that top tier. it's because of the attendance or lack of robust crowds at his events. i think you heard from the mouth of the iowa voters there, the reason they didn't go to any events, and he's been in iowa plenty, over many, many months, they know him. he was president obama's vice-president. there isn't the go out and check out the merchandise factor there is for mayor pete or other candidates.
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>> we hammer this and will keep hammering this. how unique it is to hear that conversation. when was the last time you went to vote in a state, federal or local election and had to be prepared going in, if the lever doesn't move, i have to have a back-up lever ready. >> pull instead. >> antithetical to the notion of casting a vote. >> and it's such an important place. even for the candidates to learn about this democratic primary voter. >> congresswoman, hold that thought. i'm told we have to take a break now. we'll pause in our conversation and our coverage. we've got it all covered as gymnasiums and community centers fill up across the great state of iowa. we're back with more after this. [ distant band playing ] have you ever wondered
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we are back. live pictures of iowa city as folks come in, get registered and stand or sit for the candidate of their choice. fascinating evening of retail organic american politics and they get to go first in the country. a word about us. we're going to have a couple of -- they call them line changes in hockey. we're going to have some shift changes. so everybody comes and has a chance to be on the air. rachel maddow will arrive at the
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top of the hour. jason johnson has arrived. friends and family stopping by. it will be -- >> open house. >> yes. and you will stand with the anchor of your choice. congresswoman, i started to ask you a question. i cannot ignore the fact of what else is going on in the background. first of all, this week we're going to have a president walk down the aisle of your former house chamber. today and just today, some democrats in the senate opened the door to a censure resolution against this president. and i wanted to hear you out on that. obviously when claire mccaskill comes back, we'll talk about it with her tonight as well. >> look, i think there are at least a couple of democrats and more than a handful of republicans who are looking for an out to explain why it is that they are going to vote on wednesday to acquit this president when they know that he did something wrong. he did the dirty deed and
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there's no accountability for it. and so i think this notion that joe manchin is shopping around -- shopped around. he said it on the senate floor today, of censure being issued. i can understand why there would be a significant number of democrats and republicans who would like that as an out to hold the president accountable, but also that enables them to vote to acquit on wednesday. >> it's like getting points on your license. you're still driving. if you're corey gardener, if you're martha mcsally and you've already hitched your wagon to donald trump, you're not looking for this. you made it clear nothing this president does is wrong. i think it's a good idea for joe manchin who has a tendency to do these sorts of things. i don't see that getting much traction. who is the person who really wants to do censure? it's not people who have electoral needs. the people who made principles said so, murkowski, and lamar alexander already said i think
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he did it wrong. i don't think it's impeachable. i don't see it going anywhere. >> you know, the door is open and i think four people like murkowski and lamar, how do they vote against censure? they said their reason for not voting to convict, they want to leave this up to an election in november. censure doesn't impact the vote in november one iota. i think this puts republicans on the line for backing up their words with a very doable action. if it's good enough for joe manchin in west virginia, it's good enough for retiring lamar alexander and lisa murkowski of alaska who does a whole lot of this hand wringing and susan collins and corey gardener. i think it puts republicans on the spot. i think, you know how i feel about the substance of all this. the republicans have gone from oh, yeah, might have been perfect to he's guilty as hell. we just don't have the you know whats to do about it. if you don't vote for censure, what are you doing in the senate? >> this is why i thought i would just raise the issue and have a
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conversation about it. wait till i ask claire during the 10:00 eastern hour because we truly are just getting started, what her friend chuck schumer believes and where he stands on the question of censure. chris mathews, i digress. chris mathews in des moines with another special guest. chris? >> i'm here with one of the top surrogates for bernie sanders, senator sanders. anita turner, state senator from ohio. thank you. so, here's the thing i'm trying to be consistent with everybody tonight when i get a chance to ask them these questions. how do you get from here to what i consider the big casino day one mo frnth from now, when you have to win california, texas, you may have to take on mike bloomberg then. how does bernie win enough states to win the nomination? >> he's doing well in california now. there was a poll that came out in texas, a snapshot in time. that shows the connecticut is doing better than any democrat in the red state of texas.
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his mobilization is building a movement which the senator has been solidifying, chris, as you know, since 2015. he's never stopped. so unlike any other candidate running, he has been a candidate the people since he first ran in 2016. >> what i like about the california thing is i always think -- excuse me, everybody here. we should start in california. the weather is really nice. there's a lot of diversity out there. huge population. i used to call it the rose bowl primary. let's go there, but we're not. that's not the real world. if your candidate gets in there, to me he is historically the perfect candidate of the california party. the california party is fairly left, a progressive party. way back to stevenson, a tough party for the senator. then you have a guy who can buy media in an l.a. market which is the biggest market. not the -- if not the second biggest market. jerry said you can buy the points. they keep going up.
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>> or get the democratic party to change its rules for you because you are buying off the party as well. >> what would the rule be under the constitution? >> get him on the stage. >> i want to ask you about this money thing because under the constitutional ruling, a guy or woman who has all the money in the world and can spend all that money -- i bet mike bloomberg makes enough on a daily basis to finance this campaign. how do you beat him? >> well, he's doing that, chris, already. and we should not -- we should be ashamed of that as americans. people who believe in democracy, that the oligarchs, if you have more money you can buy your way. to your point -- >> do you think mike bloomberg is an oligarch? >> he is. he skipped iowa. iowans should be insulted. buying his way into this race period. the dnc changed the rules. they didn't change it for senator harris. they didn't change it for senator booker. they didn't change it for secretary castro. >> did he buy his way into the debates? >> he absolutely did.
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it's a stain on democracy. back to your point, money can buy you -- >> buy you love? >> get you a whole lot of likes. the way bernie sanders is going to win this election is by building a grassroots movement. >> starting tonight. win tonight? >> starting tonight. that is my prediction. our senator is going to win. >> i join you in that. state senator, one of the greatest surrogates i think ever. >> thank you, chris. >> back to you, brian and nicolle. >> thank you, chris. and because jason johnson had such a reaction to something just said, i'd like you to react to something just said. >> calling mike bloomberg an oligarch has implications in this country are unfair and unreasonable. i disagree with a lot of things mike bloomberg has done as a mayor. oligarchy in our particular term makes you think of a rich person who got their money off of royal in russia, who is taking advantage of a broken system. mike bloomberg is a rich guy. just because you're rich doesn't mean you're an oligarch that
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abuses power. mike bloomberg was given power by the voters of new york. it's great in the iowa caucuses. the supporters are going to love that thing. it ain't the kind of language you should be using. it's dismissive, unfair and the kind of thing that blows up in your face if you become the nominee and you have to work with mike bloomberg three or four months from now. that's the issue sanders people never want to remember. >> we are 19 minutes 50 seconds away from having results in iowa, though we're going to -- >> getting closer. >> we're going to get to steve kornacki looking at the first entrance polls. what we're asking caucus goers on their way in. in what with results miowa resu. we're back with more after this. . . so we know how to cover almost anything. even a "gold medal grizzly." (sports announcer) what an unlikely field in this final heat.
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the number of uninsurising.ricans, the cost of prescription drugs, rising. the threat to people with pre-existing conditions, rising. the good news, so is support for the one candidate who'll do something about it. as mayor, mike bloomberg helped expand coverage for seven hundred thousand people, including hundreds of thousands of kids. including hundreds of thousands of kids. as president, he'll lower drug costs and ensure everyone without coverage can get it. that's a promise. and unlike him, mike actually keeps his. i'm mike bloomberg and i approve this message. hi with the world'se first invisible trailer. invisible trailer? and it's not the trailer right next to us? this guy? you don't believe me? hop in. good lookin' pickup, i will say that. oh wow. silverado offers an optional technology package with up to 15 different views - including one enhanced view that makes your trailer appear invisible. wow. - that's pretty sweet. - that's cool. oooohh! that's awesome. where'd the trailer go? i love it. it's magic.
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so much going on. first of all, chairs are becoming scarce on the left side of the room there in clinton, iowa, as town folk come out to
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their precinct to make their -- for their choices during the caucuses. over to steve kornacki we go because you have some exit poll -- entrance poling information. everything is upside down. >> that's right. folks are going into their caucus meetings and so people are there trying to get them to fill out surveys, talk about what they intend to do tonight. i want to caution you before i show you the information we have right now. there's going to be a couple of waves of this throughout the night. not everybody is at their caucus site yet. not everybody has filled out surveys yet. there's going to be a few waves. the numbers are going to change. i can show you, though, right now preliminarily what we're looking at in terms of some of the composition of the electorate. etiology, things like that. let's take a look, start here. a new look, i have to go through it. le let's start with age. we were talking about the importance of age in the democratic race. here's what we're seeing in the first wave of the exit poll. to put this -- entrance poll, got me there, too.
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put this in some perspective, pie chart, different age groups. in 2016, the break down was this. you see 17 to 29 sitting at 20% right now. it was 18% in 2016. the next group up 30 to 44, this was 19% in 2016. 17% in this initial wave right here. 45 to 64 was 36% in 2016. 27 tonight. this is number right here, 65 plus is the one that's higher. it was 28% in 2016. it's 36% right now. this is why i caution you, though, this is the initial wave. the first wave. we have seen numbers, especially among older/younger, we have seen those numbers change in the course of things in the past. there is certainly a possibility, especially around the college campuses that these will change again. but again, this number where it lands tonight is probably going to be key in these things. we talked so much about the importance there of the different appeal these candidates had by age. this is how the democratic
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caucus goers are describing their etiology in the entrance poll. pardon me. so start there. moderate and conservative, it's 34% right now in our initial wave. back in 2016 the number calling themselves moderate or conservative was 32%. folks who call themselves somewhat liberal, that's 40% right now. guess what. that's where it was in 2016, 40%. and then very liberal, 26% right now. you can do the math. it was 28% back in 2016. so etiologically, you're seeing a limb lar electorate to what you saw in 2016. age wise, this is the big variable. we want to see what that lands on age wise in the initial wave. you're seeing something different. but again, i stress, let's see what the subsequent kwachwaves . >> viewers in the last segment may have heard bernie surrogate
quote
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call bloomberg an oligarch to which jason took exception. state senator turner from ohio is still listening in des moines because she wanted a moment to respond. nina? >> senator. >> thank you. thank you so very much. it's ironic to me that somebody would defend the wealthiest people in this country over the working people in this country. we need real campaign finance reform to the extent that a mayor bloomberg can totally finance his campaign. he doesn't have to go out to the people. he doesn't have to build a movement. he doesn't have to talk to people. he can buy his way. it is the same attitude that the elites, maybe jason likes the word elite over oligarch, but it's the same attitude the elites had in 1930 over f.d.r. all of them lined up against them. he said, i welcome your hatred because he was standing up for the people. that is the same message bernie sanders has to the everyday people of this nation, that i welcome the hatred of the elites because i am standing up for
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you. call me a whiffer for the wealthy people in this country. >> you work for a candidate of the 1%. i have no problem criticizing the system. the system that allows mike bloomberg to make the money he makes, buy what he wants to buy, buy himself into the debates is a problem. but to call him an oligarch is a misnomer in this environment. you're working for somebody that's part of the 1%. do you call him an oligarch? no, you don't. you say he's a rich guy. >> he just got there at this late age. >> if you want to use the term shall -- use whatever term you want to use. at the end of the day, the enemy of this country, the enemy of the poor is not just everyone who happens to be rich. it is a capitalistic system that abuses people. if you want to speak about that, that's fine. but if you want to name call people that's not going to help bernie if he becomes the nominee. >> who is name calling? i'm not name calling anybody. i'm a laying it out the way i see it. >> this is all i'm talking about. >> you're defending somebody
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defying his way through democracy. yes, you are defending him. >> that's how you guys operate. when it comes to campaigning it makes sense to describe people for the positions they have. >> is this about a word, jason? is this about a word? >> no, it's not just about a word, it's the implications of it. it's when criticizing the system versus criticizing individuals. he happens to be part of the 1%. i would say he's somebody who is wealthy. but he's dedicated him -- let me say -- because i do like this debate because it's a debate, i like debates. number two, do you want to change your word for oligarch? >> no, he doesn't tell me what to say, my word stands. >> that's the decisive conclusion of this back and forth. >> can i say something? jason johnson is a frequent guest on my show. i think this is a really important debate and i'm really glad you didn't let it get boiled down to the use of a word. it is not about a word.
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here's the other -- and i understand different views about the system. the enemy is the guy in the oval office who thinks there are good people on both sides in charlottesville. the enemy is the guy in the oval office who got a permission slip to cheat in presidential elections. the enemy is a guy who calls his generals dopes and losers. i am nauseous when i see democrats fight amongst themselves. i know that republicans get no say -- i've said i'll vote -- if you pick an automobile, i will vote for it. i feel so wary when i see these really, really intense fights around someone trying to help y'all win. >> my thing is this. like i said, i am an american citizen. i have no particular loyalty to the democratic party or any other party like that. but what i do think is this. if you're trying to build a coalition to get donald trump out of office, this sort of cute red meat stuff is fine on twitter. but it's not how you're is beingly supposed to be operating
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a campaign. fight bloomberg on the issues. talk about stop and frisk. talk about how they had to sign an nda so they can't talk about things he's done. that is fair and reasonable. but when you reduce this to name calling instead of policy, you're doing the exact thing bernie supporters complain about. it's like calling him a socialist. >> a republican would take mike's money and say help me kill trump. >> look at the time. 7:51 eastern time. the candidate elizabeth warren has arrived at a caucus location. we are 8 minutes 41 seconds away from our first results. >> break in our coverage and then we're back with more. into a smaller life?
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good evening and happy iowa caucuses night. i'm rachel maddow, joining nicolle wallace for our ongoing special coverage of the caucuses tonight. we are very excited. brian williams will be joining us again a little bit later to take us through the night and likely into the early morning hours. >> working shifts. >> sort of. we have a union -- >> we finally organized. >> we are coming up on the moment we have been waiting for all day, and some might say all year. at 8:00 p.m. eastern time, which will be 7:00 p.m. local time in iowa, that is when they close the doors and officially start the caucus process in the more
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than 1600 precincts across that state. iowans will be gathering to state their preference for the democratic nominee for president and the fun part, to try to talk their neighbors into joining them in that stated preference. with the doors closing within the next four minutes and the caucuses getting underway, we'll be watching for the first results to start coming in, we think, in a matter of minutes. some caucuses will certainly take a long time to get through the entire process, but some of the smaller ones will likely start reporting right away. one of the complicating factors, one of the black box factors here is this is a big field on the democratic side. 11 candidates still in the race. while that is gigantic, it's not as big as you might think when looking in the rearview mirror. it's actually smaller than the 12-person republican field that ran in iowa four years ago. iowa caucus brownie points to anybody who remembers without looking it up.
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which republican candidate won iowa four years ago amid that giant field of 12 candidates? it was not donald trump. do you remember who it was? >> was it ted cruz? >> it was ted cruz. >> what do i get? >> nothing. on the democratic side in 2016 it was basically a tie. clinton tipped sanders by the tiny est margin. the two candidates had almost exactly equal amounts of support. it was an incredible night in iowa. tonight senator bernie sanders is back with what he built so powerfully in that state four years ago. the polling heading into tonight says senator sanders may indeed be the favorite to win tonight, but number one, iowa polling is very difficult. number two, the best iowa poll was aborted at the last minute this weekend. number three, competition is stiff. there are a ton of candidates still in the mix. and frankly, what it all boils down to is nobody is betting anything they can't live without
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on the outcome tonight. it is going to be a long night. it is potentially going to be a suspenseful one. i'm happy to tell you we can start this hour by talking with one of the candidates, one of the candidates in tonight's democratic caucuses who had the additional dhal of having to rush back from washington after the senate impeachment of president trump was adjourned today at approximately 3:00 p.m. is minnesota senator amy klobuchar who joins us live from des moines. senator klobuchar, what a day. >> hey, rachel. i'm like magic. i've transported myself. i'm here in iowa now. and we're in johnston. and i got to tell you, rachel, the -- literally the cars are lined up trying to get in the parking lot. you know why this is exciting? this is actually a swing district that a democratic legislator just recently won and it just goes if we have this kind of turnout at a democratic caucus, wait till the general election. >> in terms of how you and your
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campaign have been coping with some of the last-minute curve balls that life has throne you, how has it been to have surrogates and endorsers and your family members speaking for you that you expected to do yourself? what was it like to have to rush back on zero notice and zero time to get there just before the caucuses open? >> well, it has really meant so much to me we have the grassroots. we resorted to interesting things like the winning coach of the olympic curling team came to speak for me in addition to my husband and daughter. >> woot! >> yeah, that's one thing you didn't know. a grassroots operation. >> senator, you are -- "the new york times" picked you and elizabeth warren. a lot of caucus goers were walking with the first and second choice. do you have a strategy? we heard already from some caucus goers who were there
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already that you are a couple of biden voters' second choice. did you have a strategy for being someone's second choice? >> no. my strategy was to be their first choice. but as you know with caucuses, people move around and i've been able to maintain good relations with all the candidates and the campaigns and i think that's really important. that's how i'll want to lead the ticket and how i'll want to lead as president. so we'll see what happens here, but we're just seeing an outstanding turnout, and we're feeling good about the operation. we don't have as big a bank account as some of the campaigns, but we've made up for it with hard work. >> senator klobuchar joining us from johnston, iowa. thank you so much. we know it's going to be an exciting night. good luck to you. >> thank you. >> it's our technical difficulties. >> the blurring. >> our colleague cal perry is in iowa city. cal, what are you steeg?
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>> reporter: hey, nicolle. the gym is filling up. we'll see if we can get the overhead camera working. people have arrived. take a look at the bernie crew, packed. undecided we'll go in the middle. undecid undecideds, not a great look for joe biden. this is a look at this gym of this school, of this precinct. they're going to shut the doors in a few minutes. i don't know if this is going to work. if it fails, you can blame me. there are two women who look suspicious. i want to ask them what's going on. what's your name? >> i'm chelsea. >> i'm megan. >> do you know who you're going to caucus for? >> i have an idea who i'm leaning towards but i'm open. >> i came in open minded to get persuaded. >> reporter: good luck. do you have a second option if the first one doesn't come through? >> yes. >> reporter: yes? >> no. >> reporter: some people are getting settled. like when you sign up for meal sports and there are options. there is a little bit of bartering going on already. people trying to get to the
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group at the middle from the edges. again, not representative of the state of iowa. certainly that bernie corner which is what we expected here is packed, guys. >> it's amazing. and it's in line with everything that you sort of read about in terms of his support being vibrant and robust in college communities. that's what you're seeing there? >> reporter: yeah, absolutely. and that was the talk going into this. as you talk to people going around campus. bernie did great four years ago. we want him to do even better now. the hope is some of these candidates won't be viable like the biden candidate. this area is very, very pro bernie sanders. it went bernie 60/40 in the last caucus. that's the expectation here. the hope is this will carry the state, that the numbers will be massive, nicolle. >> cal perry in the city of iowa. we'll check in with you shortly. we want to go to our data guru steve kornacki. something we haven't seen in
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terms of the entrabs poling. people talk to them about their preferences. steve? >> the doors have now closed. nbc news not surprisingly here at all says this race is too early to call. we can tell you very broadly the entrance poll shows four candidates. biden, buttigieg, warren, sanders vying for first place. the order unclear. a celtics cal read on it right there. we can show you a little more we've gotten from the exit polls. i keep saying exit polls. it is, of course, the entrance polls. i can show you we talked about age right here. call that up. we can show you now 34%. we're getting these in waves. you notice that number of older voter, 65 plus has come down to 34%. you can see here 45 to 64 at 29. 30 to '3417. in fact, i can show you inside the youngest group. this is the youngest group right now. this is what our entrance poll is showing. again, this matches what we talked about coming into
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tonight. the strength of bernie sanders, 51% here. we have more waves to come. 51% initially under 30%. you can see biden, buttigieg, warren, that matches what we've been seeing in the polls. we'll wait for more waves to come in on this. that is something we talked about as a dynamic here. the young vote potentially being there for sanders. >> steve, let me ask you to underscore that and make it as simple as possible. we saw when the clinton and sanders tie happened in 2016, that sanders had more support for voters under 45, clinton had support for voters over 45. it was basically a tie to the extent she got any advantage there. it was because they were more older voters. when you're looking at this dynamic, it obviously feels the same way. he's getting the support of younger voters. how does the proportion of younger voters tonight compare to the proportion of younger voters in 2016? it's the same kind of electorate. >> we can show you the numbers. let me get it out, make shuri get it right. if you go back to this screen
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here, you're seeing 17%, 17 to 29. you see what sanders did with the voters. in 2017 that number was 18. that is running slightly higher. again, the other thing we're seeing right here, 65 plus right now is running at 34. that number was 28 in 2016. so we've seen this number come in older. now, i should say when we got that first wave about 20 minutes ago, that number was getting close to 40%. it's come down to 34. if it continues to go down, you would say that's probably good news for bernie sanders. we'll see. if that number holds, that's good news. the most dramatic thing we're keeping our eye on is the difference between 65 plus and under 30. >> steve kornacki, thank you very much. now i get it. >> i don't. from the numbers to the caucus goers themselves, we're joined by our colleague chris jansing
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in iowa for us. chris? >> reporter: they've been taking care of procedural business. i'll going to let them do that. it's fascinating. we've been watching people moving around talking to each other. they elected a chair. you can see there's about six rows for pete buttiegieg. when i talk to folks there, elect ability was a big one. they thought he could stand on the stage with donald trump and debate him, larger group from joe biden. firefighters, other unions have been very busy organizing. but that's the group at the very front, if you can take a look where there are empty chairs, it's been getting a lot of attention. that's because it's yang. it doesn't look like he would have the 15%. we're going to find out. what we've seen is the folks over from the left side talking to them trying to get that second choice from the folks who are voting for yang. the bernie folks came in late,
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but they have a solid group here. bernie sanders won clinton county four years ago, and we have with us now, caitlyn, you have never caucused before? >> no, not before. >> reporter: why now and bernie sanders? >> i like what he stands for and i think he's the person for the job. >> reporter: i can say you were 30. it never occurred to you before to come out and caucus? >> no. >> reporter: some new ones are here. in fact, this is an older population. but i will say that the younger ones who are coming out, not surprisingly, have tended to be in the bernie sanders group. also here, leslie, leslie, when i walked up to you and asked why you were here tonight, you said, we are hurting. >> yes. >> reporter: we talked about this is where a lot of jobs have left, the population has gone down. why amy klobuchar? >> she has western values, she's
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been in the senate and passed a lot of bills there. and she's a very strong woman. >> reporter: you also said you wanted for her to be able to continue. you wanted her to make that 15% threshold. if she doesn't, do you have a second choice? >> mayor pete. >> reporter: why pete? >> a lot of the same values. he's young, i like that, too. he's also another midwestern -- has midwestern values. so i think he can show great leadership, too. and i love the fact he is a soldier. >> reporter: thank you so much. we have talked to, i think, probably 30 or 40 people here, and the one theme that keeps going through, brian and nicolle, electability, electability, electability. who they think can beat donald trump. the guy talking in the front, guy by the name of tom gibb inchons, he's been doing this 20 years. as a caucus goer himself, he said he usually has a gut about
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these things. i asked him what's your gut telling you? this is the direct quote. my gut sense is very confused. >> chris jansing for us in clinton, iowa. thank you very much, my friend. >> fair enough. that's the professional pundit on this. >> they stripped our punditry and fancy language. this number is interesting. we got this from our entrance poling, that according to the entrance polls, they would rather see a nominee who could beat trump 63% than agrees with him on the issues 35%. >> how does that compare with what you saw in l.a.? >> that reminds me of '04. that's more pronounce. the reason people are confused, they understand what they do tonight is going to set the table. if they get it right, maybe we beat trump. if they get it wrong, it may be two terms. so i think the electability question, there is conventional wisdom that might help with biden. it probably does to some degree. people define electability
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different. we heard some say it's midwestern, who can motivate me and inspire me the most. the electability question doesn't cut for one candidate or not. the interesting numbers we'seei in the data, you mentioned bernie sanders had the lead with young people. that was a two-person race. if he's racking up massive leads in the urban younger precincts in a divided field, it's going to make it difficult for the others. it is a it's not like he's facing off against one person. he's clearly viable. >> while we were talking we had a live shot of andrew yang personally working the crowd himself at a caucus site in des moines. one of the things unusual we were talking about with senator klobuchar, it's great to have the candidate him or herself there. that has not been available to four of the candidates who are in this race. four of the 11 are sitting u.s. senators who have had to be
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there and they obviously can't be everywhere. their surrogates are important and everything. this is last scramble for last shot at viability in any caucus where they can take it. iowa will probably be the last stop for many of these candidates. so tonight it's do or die. yeah. i mean, when we are looking ahead in terms of how this night is likely to go, for me the confusion, i guess the lack of clarity is driven by the large field, driven by some of the curve ball things that have happened at the end of the race. also the fact in the polling, people are telling pollsters they are not decided or they've made their decision in the last few days. or that they're not super firmly decided. i mean it seems like the electorate is in that place as well. >> i asked the senator about "the new york times" editorial. the first time "the new york times" couldn't pick one. they were confused. two women, god bless them. but i think some of it is maybe this is just from where we sit, is covering the storm that was
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the trump impeachment. it was angry. it was all-consuming. and even if it isn't something -- i know you've said it a lot, it doesn't drive these democratic primary voters to one candidate or the other, it hung over the national mood. i can't separate that from this feeling, one, that we need to win. do you think that contributes to the uptick in electability, we have to win? >> i think so. people in iowa -- i think this is true in every state and territory. iowa has a particular burden here. they're petrified they may get it wrong. and i think in different weeks or different moments other people look more electable than another. we just saw two young women in iowa city who were sitting at the caucus and still don't know who they're going to caucus for. so this is as fluid a situation as we've seen. by the way, i don't think we're going to see it necessarily change heading into new hampshire, nevada and south carolina. the field will winnow, if not in numbers in reality. but i still think you're going to see quite a bit of fluidity
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which is fascinating. >> in past elections people used the primary to vote with their heart. they go in with their candidate they want to see. right now what's driving folks is this electability question, can you beat donald trump, which is trumping this idea that you can just go in and vote your heart during a primary election. and i think that's why you're seeing a lot of this indecision going in and people say, oh, my goodness, i could decide what happens in november and it's weighing on me. >> it's because a decision about electability is not about how you feel, it's how you think everybody else feels, which is a bad choice to make, right? none of us have that understanding. >> i think what's interesting about this really is that i think at the end of the day you may have people who try to play pundit and go with their heart today. but this is something where the electability question -- i do think to your point, during impeachment, during the fall,
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during health care, there's different times when people look stronger than the other. so i think that is fascinating. this is something where what happens tonight very well may have a direct line between tonight and november 3rd, 2020, which is an historical election. nobody is a political savior that has all the attributes, all the super powers. i think what you're also seeing is people are concerned that, well, i'd like to take a little bit of this from one candidate, a little bit of this. there is nobody that looks like -- they've got this. this is going to be a hardee alexis. >> thinking about your debates, you guys ask -- you went deep on all of the issues. the debates were substantive. you've had all these candidates on your show. it's never really about the stuff that we're talking about now. not just electability, but what electability is. it's who my neighbor will like.
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democrats are different from republicans in this way, they are addicted to substance. their debates are substantive. they're not cheap shots, political talks. when they do, they harm them politically. >> thanks for telling us now. >> listen, but it's so interesting to hear these voters with more substance from the debates you've moderated. they heard from the candidates on the issues and now they're stumped by electability. it's ironic. >> it's the difference in how the republicans -- >> they burn everyone to the ground. that's how trump won. nasty. >> you're saying how -- >> i'm saying the loyalty, the feelty among democrats to understanding where -- and the campaigns they spend more time on policy than attacking each other. the attacks almost seem like, oh, god, i didn't really want to do that, but everyone told me i had to.
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i don't know. you moderated debates. don't they look uncomfortable attacking each other? they'd rather mix it up about the health care policy. >> yeah, about the third -- >> you're right there with them. >> as long as i have the same temperament. let's go to katy tur talking with the caucus goers. >> reporter: hey there, rachel. they're trying to do the first alignment. when you see people stand up, they're trying to fill each individual row. they have 14 seats across and i believe there's about 16 seats up. what they're trying to do to make this easier and faster is fill in the individual row, that way they'll be able to count into the math row by row. this is the bernie sanders crowd here. they are relatively full in this section. in the pete buttiegieg campaign, it is also quite full. and you can see these voters are here, all waiting, moving along to the ends of the rows to make it easier. they're going to try not to count the kids. the kids are adorable.
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they can they cannot caucus. they're going to try. what i found interesting, amy klobuchar section is quite full. she's not poling as high as the others, but she is somebody whose name i heard over and over again at various events, biden events, sanders events. these are the amy klobuchar caucus goers. what you'll see is the biden section over there relatively full. the warren section, just by the looks of it -- i'm not calling any races. by the looks of it, the warren section is the largest so far. so what happens when they do these counts? each individual voter has their caucus card. they're going to hand them over and then they're going to individually count the sections. if there is a candidate that does not have 15% of the support in this room, that candidate is not viable, and that is where things are going to get really interesting and exciting.
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so, say amy klobuchar's section doesn't have 15%. if amy klobuchar doesn't make it -- you're wearing a bernie sticker in a klobuchar section. >> i'm split. >> reporter: she's iowa right now. i'm split. everyone i talk to has one or two or three contenders. if amy is not viable, you're going to bernie? >> bern other. >> reporter: not to say klobuchar isn't going to be viable. but say pete buttiegieg isn't viable, where are these supporters going to go? ma'am, if pete buttiegieg is not viable, where are you going to go? >> i can't answer. >> reporter: it's a moot point, not going to happen. >> right. i like that attitude. it is positive thinking. thank you guys very much. they're counting now, handing up
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their caucus cards. when the second alignment happens, you're going to see people from the sanders campaign, or the biden campaign, whoever is viable go over to those who are not viable and they're going to make individual pitches to individual voters. why don't you come over to bernie sanders, why don't you come over to joe biden. he supports this, he you supports that. what is so interesting, you were with me when i was at the satellite caucus a moment ago. we were talking from one woman who went from buttigieg to sanders. she likes sanders' climate policies. i said warren has similar climate policies. her answer, the sanders folks got to me first. think about that. the sanders folks got to me first. that tells you how much persuasion is going to go into the caucuses. does iowa matter? iowa matters for momentum going candidates, not just for bernie sanders. it matters in terms of financial support, who are the donors going to give money to, how much money will you have to move from
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iowa, new hampshire, nevada, south carolina and so forth. it's going to be interesting. it's going to be exciting. come to me in like 20, 30 minutes when everyone is screaming at each other in this room. >> katy, can i ask you while you're there, is there persuasion? is everybody going to their initial assessment location on those rows? are they hitched or moving without preferences? >> reporter: not now, they aren't getting pitched. they got pitched when they walked in the door. they have chosen their individual sections. here's what's interesting and different this time, rachel. if their candidate is viable, they cannot move in the realignment. that's who they chose. they can go home after that. they are done if their candidate is not available. also at the end of this, we're going to get results -- across iowa. we're going to get the first alignment results, how many
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voters were for which candidates, the second, that's okay. we're going to get how many delegates -- it's crazy. everyone is trying to be a superstar including myself. we're going to find out how many delegates they get. they're counting right here, watch. we're getting live in the moment caucusing. so you're holding up your card. what have you done with your card, have you signed it yet? >> we get these when we register. so this is showing that we're registered for the caucus, that we're eligible. >> reporter: so do you start filling it out in the first alignment? >> later on. >> they told us not to fill it out until -- >> reporter: do not fill it out -- where is my camera -- until you are instructed to do so. i'm going to throw it back to you. see what happens. >> everybody is trying to be a
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superstar, but you are. that's the difference. >> katy, those voters are officially my favorite thing. >> reporter: rachel maddow called me a superstar. >> i'll do it every day. whenever you need it. we'll be back to you soon, katy. i love having bubbles where you can see which groups meet. >> her voters tell her everything. i think to go up to a voter with a bernie pen and say, are you moving? no u. but if you have to -- she's like -- >> sitting in the amy section. >> all right. we're going to take a quick break. when we come back this is going to move fast. as you see the caucuses are underway. doors are shut. iowa wh iowa is caucusing. we'll be right back. stay with us. (vo) parents have a way of imagining the worst...
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the doors have been closed at iowa caucuses across the state for about 25 minutes now. what you're looking at here is an iowa city caucus. iowa city, of course, home to the university of iowa and cal perry is there monitoring that ongoing caucus for us. what are you seeing, cal? >> reporter: hey, rachel. they just gavelled in. they're going through
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parliamentary ploe sie parliamentary procedure for lack of a better term. here's the buttigieg group. joe biden numbers not great. in this gym probably not a surprise. your hourly reminder this is only reflective of the gym i'm standing in, not the state of iowa. andrew yang gang a good showing. that corner, elizabeth warren. we'll walk over in this direction. we'll show you what we are not surprised with, the bernie sanders crew. by our count, about half of the folks here are here for bernie sanders. what's going to happen now is this viability test, which candidates meet that 15% requirement. the folks standing around here, and there are very few of them, are the undecideds. this group here, we'll get this in a bit. the joe biden group probably not going to be viable. those folks will go into the middle and they will be approached by everybody else. that should happen the next 15 to 20 minutes. but what we're seeing here is indicative of what we saw four years ago, strong showing from bernie sanders.
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>> cal, are you in terms of the undecided voters, the voters who are in that group where they have agreed to get together to say they don't know, are they being lobbied at this point, are they intreated by some to move over to other candidates? >> reporter: they're not supposed to be lobbies, but they were lobbied the moment they walked in. they're gone now. there was a small group -- there on the bleachers. some undecided folks haven't moved to the middle. they're avoiding being targets. it's like inter mural sports. folks are suspiciously looking at the other groups. they were being petitioned as they walked in. again, not a lot of undecideds. we saw some folks move from the bernie corner from the middle before this started. a >> cal perry in iowa city. thank you, cal. we'll be back with you earlier than you're expecting. thank you for being with us. >> now we go to cedar falls to
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nbc's trymaine lee. what are you seeing there, my friend? tremayne, do you hear us? >> reporter: for many folks this is game day. i can hear you. do you see in this corner right here? the buzz you're hearing is from the bernie sanders crew. over here pete buttiegieg. the fact -- far side is elizabeth warren. you kept hearing those three names. pete buttiegieg, bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. you look over here, no surprise, this is the joe biden section here. not too much. a question whether they will be viable or not. folks are still coming in. [ inaudible ] >> we lost his mic there. there's obvious story line on college campuses. bernie is really exciting to them. elizabeth warren as well. not a surprise, claire mccaskill has rejoined us.
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>> yes. as steve kornacki has lectured us time and time again, the demographic that is bernie -- the meat of the matter when it comes to bernie sanders is, in fact, the young voter. he does terribly at the other end of the age spectrum, closer to where i hang out in age. he doesn't do as well. but with the young folks. so the college campuses, that's where he's going to run up the score. now that we're getting this popular vote along with the delegate, that it's all going to be reported at the same time, that's why everyone is so interested to see if you could get two different results. that you could get someone winning the raw vote but not getting the most delegates out of iowa. >> there's been -- the proof of the pudding is in the eating in terms of the case bernie sanders has. the theory is there are a lot of young voters or infrequent voters, tuned out people who can be marginalized with the combination of organizing. to the extent you can do that, this is a test pilot of the
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undertaking, right? if you can do that in these circumstances, that at least shows a proof of concept. if you can't, the whole thing that you're kind of electoral viability rests on as an argument comes up short. i think for him there is this sort of extra lash tri quality to the iowa caucuses. that was true of barack obama in 2008 as well who in a different way had a similar theory of the case about organizing and mobilization. >> every single person -- i think these voters in a way that is really unique, '04, '08, 2016. i always assumed either it's going to be pete or bernie sanders. the question is how does this second round work? with the klobuchar voters, if mayor pete doesn't win, the early andrew yang people, where are they going to look in the second round? are they going to be terrified
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and go in another direction? >> let's go to dubuque, iowa. what are you seeing? >> reporter: hey, guys. there's quite a big upset here right now because warren and klobuchar did not reach viability. let's see. there were 29 in the warren camp and 27 in amy's group over here. i'll walk you that way right now. and 29.4 rounding up to 30 was the minimum needed for viability here. so a lot of people now not sure what to do. buttigieg way ahead of everyone with 53. there were about 195 people total here. so buttigieg with 53 at the top, bernie sanders , biden 43.
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hey, guys, are you surprised you didn't get viability? >> we're close. we need one more. >> reporter: you need one more. you think you can get there? >> we can get there. >> reporter: what are you doing to convince people? >> probably get up. >> reporter: get up and go, all right. you got one? >> we already got the one. >> reporter: you think you're good to go? we're going to check in with amy klobuchar over here and see what's going on. >> what i like about pete is the ceiling. >> reporter: are you with pete buttiegieg? >> yes, ma'am. >> reporter: let's watch it unfold. >> we need new blood. bernie and warren, they're old. the biggest problem is the democrats and republicans. >> joe has a lot of experience? >> he has a lot of experience. i just worry. >> that doesn't mean i'm right
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on everything. >> how about joe and amy on the ticket? >> reporter: there's another conversation again on here. joe biden fans trying to convince other folks. >> joe and amy on the ticket. that's what i'm saying right here. >> reporter: this guy wants joe and amy. we'll see what happens here. definitely a big surprise. it looks like warren will likely be viable after this round, but we'll see where this whole thing lands. >> tasha, you are able to figure that out in the moment, we've seen it evolve as you're talking to us. is it clear in the room what stage of the process here at? has the initial preference been tallied and is done or are they on to the second preference? it feels a little fluid. >> reporter: it was fluid. there was confusion from the beginning. it was a bit of a free for all in terms of who went where. as soon as we got here we saw a
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fight break out over some chairs. the biden folks showed up late and they didn't get the spot they wanted. from the start it was a little confusing. as you see know -- hard to tell who is for who unless they have a sign up with them. when we got that first count some people didn't fully understand. warren had 29. she wasn't fully viable. they tried to immediately get some more people over to their side to reach viability in that first alignment. the precinct chair said, that is an a no go, still a little confusion around the rules here. >> dasha for us, a very exciting process underway there. we're going to take a quick break. we are expecting the results to come in in a torrent. for every precinct, there are 1600 precincts, we saw tally
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sheet from dubuque. we are expecting another set of results, which is basically what people went to after they had a chance to reallocate their support after viability was established with the first vote. and then we will get what ultimately counts which is the real result, the state delegate equivalent which will actually go toward who becomes the nominee of the democratic party to run against donald trump. so, we are going to get all of those numbers, but ee seeing it in live action across the state. we'll be back with more coverage of msnbc's coverage of the iowa caucuses. aisle in stores everywhere. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. a clear plan for retirement to help cover the essentials, as well as all the things you want to do. because when you have a retirement partner who gives you clarity at every step,
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♪ this is a very exciting time of the night. it has been 40 minutes since the doors closed at caucuses all over the great state of iowa. this is a live shot right now. some of the discussion happening in iowa city, iowa, which, of course, is home to the university of iowa. i want to bring into the conversation, though, savannah sellers who is in clive, iowa. specifically she's at the heartland presbyterian church, a suburb of des moines. i hear at this precinct site they have set a new turnout number. it sounds like an exciting
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experience. >> reporter: that's correct, rachel. this is the biggest they've had. particularly for klobuchar not making any calls, but she does have a large turnout here. they moved from the main room into the sanctuary of the church because they couldn't count -- i'm going to bring in her captain right here, precinct captain tim. tell me about what you thought about your turnout tonight. >> it's been fantastic. everybody keeps walking in and comes in our corner. it's been a little crowded. it's a little chaos, but we're now getting them seated. >> reporter: are you happy with the turnout so far? >> it's incredible. the way it should be. >> reporter: i've been talking with people whoer excite ed about their candidates who say they are not going to change, even if their candidate is not viable. if you look right over here, we have one person who is here caucusing for gabbard. he said he plans to stay that way. sanders supporters have come up to him to try to get him to come over to them. he said he's not planning to do that so far.
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someone who is a self-described old one said she is sick of all of the old guys. she said they need to quit. she's caucusing nor klobuchar char. they said to make a statement she would move to mayor pete, rachel. >> savannah, can you give us a vibe in the room? talking about the determination and reasoning of some of the people you're talking to. overall, that's a crowded room. they're breaking records in terms of their turnout. they're engaged in a collective process to do something for the country. are people anxious or worried or happy or what's the feeling? >> reporter: people are very, very excited is the word that i'm hearing most. i am hearing excited, excited, excited. right now going going on back here that's the biden group. the excitement is here. the caucus chair said at the beginning as he was trying to
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get the room riled up. will everyone in this room vote for this party and the candidate in the room, everybody is pointing out to me. they're here with their neighbors and frebz. they're seeing people they know. everyone was lining up outside, so breaking records. >> at the heartland presbyterian church, the most people that have ever come out for a caucus so far. savannah, we'll be back to you. >> i want to be there. >> sounds like a happy place. i lived in a town in massachusetts. every time we would have a town meeting, i would cancel everything. >> you get to see your neighbors. it is the spirit -- weather is such a big deal. we haven't talked about that at all. >> a beautiful day in iowa.
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>> nice day probably changes the outcome. cal perry, our colleague in iowa city joins us. he has an update. cal. >> reporter: hey, so we're now in precinct 4. we were in precinct 3. this is the adult table. this is a new record for precinct 4. 481 people were registered, 106 new registrations. your viability number for this field house is 108. so what's happening now for the next 25 minutes, people are breaking into groups. if you have 108 people, you're viable. if you have 107, you're not viable and you're desperate to be on tv. >> i'm desperate to talk to you. >> reporter: who are you supporting? >> i'm supporting elizabeth warren because i think she has the best chance to beat donald trump. the last year all these people have come to town. if you live in iowa and you want
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to meet somebody running for president, it's easy to find somebody. i think i met everybody at least once and i got to see elizabeth warren talk twice. both times i thought she was really good. >> did she win you over by meeting you? >> she won me over by meeting me. there are people undecided. if you pay attention, you can win them. >> reporter: do you have to lure them, an undecided people? >> i don't think people are undecided. they're waiting for someone to w orca o them. there's been a lot of enthusiasm for this. joe biden's group was not viable. >> reporter: thank you very much. what's your name? >> liz. >> reporter: thank you, liz. that was the story in the other gym, the joe biden folks were not viable. here they're doing better. your hourly reminder this is
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only reflective of the gym i'm in. no voting machines. i wish you could be here. >> we're going to hire liz. >> she's going to have a show by the end of the month. >> that's amazing. i will say, he mentioned -- you might have missed it. cal mentioned the precinct he was covering right there, what he called the adults table, there's multiple precincts meeting in the same location at the facilities. er he said it was record turnout. the iowa democrats told people in advance of tonight's caucuses they expected record turnout. i was a skeptic. it looks like anecdotally -- >> and the same vibe savannah sellers described. maybe this is what's happening in the country. >> let's go to steve kornacki. we don't have exit poll data because stuff is still exiting. we did poll people as they entered the caucuses, steve.
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>> we've been watching this take shape in real time. like i said, waves coming in. the latest wave just came in. if you're monitoring this, the numbers are changing in a significant way. when we got our first wave of the entrance poll, the 65 and older category was nearly at 40%. in this last wave it's come down to 30. there is more data to come, but the trend is clearly moving down on the oldest group. remember it was 28% in 2016. it's at 30 now. why is that so significant? let me show you. i have to click this one to get inside. take a look, what we're seeing 65 plus. we're seeing biden leading by double digits. er we're seeing sanders get wiped out. this is consistent. a gaping age chasm.
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as you see the 65-plus number come down, the biden campaign certainly when they saw an entrance poll 65 plus nearly 40, they were doing cartwheels. when you see it get down to 30, that starts to change the picture a little bit. take a look at the other end of this if i can get this up. 21% age 17 to 29. the number in '16 was 18%. this number has gone up in the latest installment. it was 20, now it's 21. the biden group -- biden's best group has come down to 30. sanders group has come up to 21. we can show you this again. sanders is hovering 50%. joe biden, 3% under 30 years old. again, that is something we've been seeing in polling. we talked about this coming into tonight. the cliche is always coming into these things. it's all about the turnout. but when you have such a clear
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divide between the oldest and the youngest group, that's been the question, how much of each of these would show up. again, the numbers are not complete. we're getting more waves to this. but you're seeing how the changes in the composition can affect this. >> it's trrks too, because this may be determinative in terms of who wins the iowa caucuses tonight. it's the bernie sanders electability. i can turnout people who wouldn't vote for anybody other than me. >> it is remarkable the generational division has been the biggest and most enduring across different places in this race throughout. for me there is an interesting question, an age effect or cohort effect. when you're young you're a woolly headed pragmatist. you get more conservative overtime. there is a kind of generational trauma of people who came out of
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the worst depression in many years. exposure of a system that didn't look like it think that generatt had a huge impact on the way people formulate politics and one of the thing that shows up. >> claire, do you think -- maybe it's an older person alarmed by socialism. >> i don't think there's any question that's part of it. both, if you look at the numbers steve just put up, they are splitting more evenly, biden is still ahead but pete buttigieg gets a big chunk of those voters. it's all bernie with the young folks, more than 50% or right around 50% that were for him and i'm going to throw this in here. i understood, you know, that hillary clinton felt she had earned the right to say what she thought about bernie sanders but i have kids the age of these voters that are all for bernie and there is something that when
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they're told by someone that nobody likes someone, there is a collective kind of circling of the wagons and the hashtagilikehim was a huge trending hashtag for days after that and that is helping bernie with these young people and had the reverse impact. will it save the day? can he win with young people? i don't know that he can. but he certainly has them right now -- >> katy tur is amongst them. do we have katy tur in her des moines site? let's go to katy for what's happening. >> this is jeff, the caucus director and about to announce who is viable and not. 127 is the nurmagomedmber neede viable. jeff, what's happening now? >> we completed the initial head count. we know there's 849 people in the room.
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viability is 127. so now we're starting the second count or the first alignment. this will test the relative strength of who is viable and who isn't. if there are any preference groups that are not viable, that's the next step. >> so i saw you do a count already. is this a second to be sure count. >> now we are counting heads in each presidential preference group seating area. we're now counting strength for the candidates. >> a moment ago -- >> this is not the final count. a two-step process. >> a moment ago you told everybody make sure you are in the right place, last-minute deciders, those who might be on the fence go to your section right now. >> that is just to be sure we don't have any stragglers. believe me, i had someone come in at 7:42. he got my letter.
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he was confused. i said, 7:42. i can't have you this late so i have to be prepared for all contingencies. >> jeff is prepared for all contingencies. a couple more minutes but we'll know. one last eyeball of the crowds. you can see for yourself who has the bigger crowds. biden right here. this is biden section. over there is andrew yang. watch out for the andrew yang supporters in a few minutes. where are they going? warren's crowd right here. pretty big. pretty big spilling over onto another section. up there. tom steyer supporters. bernie sanders over here. i feel like i'm like directing a wave or a cheering crowd. these are bernie sanders supporters, everybody. pete buttigieg's supporters. they have their caucus cards.
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they're standing like they were a moment ago. and finally, again, guys, amy klobuchar. this is awkward. this is -- these are out-of-towners, democracy tourists, there's a lot of them here. people come from sweden, from canada, from kansas to see this. it's interesting. all right. before this gets out of hand i'll throw it back. come to us in a couple minutes and know who is viable in the crowd. >> that was very well done. you have to be aware of the effect you may have on the surroundings. what do they have to get. >> 127. >> of the more than 800. >> 849 in the room. >> one thing that is different about this compared to previous iowa caucuses if on that first count you are in a group that's viable you cannot leave that viable entity, that viable campaign and go support somebody else.
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you can't say, elizabeth warren crushed it here and got 60% they don't need me she'll get all the delegates, i'll help amy klobuchar stay alive. you can't. once you're in a viable group you're off the table. that makes that first allocation, that first count a more do or die sort of thing for a lot of these campaigns. if you don't make it on the first cut that's it. >> i have to say we were talking about this before, the success you see for mayor pete at least in this particular section where katy tur is, every single place we've gone everybody is enthusiastic about their person. also when you look at the age splits, i'm not just thinking of iowa, bernie sanders will always do well with young people. mayor pete is a 65-year-old man in a 38-year-old's body. he brings his hub over. the neighbor, the son-in-law you always wanted. these splits extend regardless
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of demographics. bernie sanders doesn't do well with older black people, doesn't do well with older latinos. it could be a problem for some of these candidates when you get to nevada and south carolina. >> a quick break. when we come back at the top of the hour we believe we will have a viable update on the caucus we're watching closely. the iowa caucuses are under way. results and viability thresholds being made. this is the time you want to be watching. stay with us. ♪ buckle up for some insurance themed fun ♪
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this is a live shot of an ongoing iowa caucuses in des moines, iowa, the doors closed in the caucuses more than 1600 across the state almost exactly one hour ago and all of these patriotic iowa voters are making their preferences known in presymptoms large and small. i'm rachel maddow in new york city with our iowa caucus coverage crew. we are bed

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