tv Caught on Camera MSNBC March 5, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
this is what we have the chance to do together, and our time to do is it now. >> we're going to have an amazing day today. >> we have been able to win over and over and over again from the grassroots. >> you know what, i'm really happy with where i am. i'm one of four and the last governor standing. >> welcome to our special msnbc coverage of super saturday. nominating contests today in five states and at least four big reasons we could be in for a surprise or two. already in kansas this afternoon, the doors are closing on the last of the caucuses. we've got some very preliminary results and at this hour nbc news says that the kansas republican caucus is too close to call. you see it's just 4% in so far, way too early to call. way too early to call with 40 delegates at stake in kansas. now 8%. we're going to be following this throughout the hour as we get
more results, but again, kansas too early to call. good afternoon, i'm chris jansing. most of today's voting will be done in caucuses, a format where donald trump and hillary clinton have performed weaker than in primary states. now, also to watch there has been no extensive polling in these states. we don't know where ben carson's votes are necessarily going to land and maybe most telling of all for republicans today, these are close contests. no independents, no democrats crossing over to vote. what will that mean for donald trump? so let's look at what's happening right now. the doors closing in western kansas so caucusing has begun in the state's final republican sites. 40 dealegates are there. a total of 155 delegates up for grabs as marco rubio, ted cruz and john kasich look to chip away at donald trump's delegate lead. democrats holding a primary right now in louisiana.
polls close at 9:00 eastern with 51 delegates and eight super delegates. in nebraska, voters in the caucus there also goes until 9:00 but we're just half an hour away from the end of voting in kansas. so here's the delegate count ahead of tonight's results. trump leads 331, cruz 235, rubio 116, kasich trailing with 27 delegates and really the question is can anyone close the gap with trump. we're not even talking about overtaking him, can they close that numerical gap. on the democratic side, hillary clinton with that strong lead over bernie sanders, especially when you factor in the super delegates, 126 pledged and super delegates are up today. will clinton solidify her front-runner status or will sanders regain some of the momentum that he has lost. so actually it does turn out to be a pretty super saturday. right now marco rubio is on stage in jacksonville, florida, his home state with 99 delegates at stake in ten days. it's winner take all. couldn't be more important for
him. let's listen in. >> i've always done this. when i ran for the house, when i was in the house, when i ran for senate, when i'm in the senate and now as a candidate for president, i have put out real ideas. you deserve to see our ideas. and we've put them there. we have a real plan to fix our tax code. we have a real plan to roll back federal regulations. we have a real plan to balance our budget. a real plan to save social security and medicare. a real plan to fully utilize our energy resources. and on health care, my plan is a lot more than just getting rid of the lines around the states. we have a real plan to repeal and replace obamacare. conservatism is about a strong national defense and if there's a city in america that understands the importance of the u.s. military, it's right here in northeast florida, it's right here in jacksonville.
the commander in chief, that's the most important job -- >> this is his second event today but his first in florida since super tuesday. we all know how critical florida is for him, it's a must-win. gabe gutierrez is in jacksonville. gabe, we heard a little jab there against donald trump, but i also thought we heard some boos. tell us a little bit about the dynamic, what his speech has been like, what the crowd has been like, what's going on there? >> reporter: hey there, chris, good afternoon. yes, marco rubio has kept up a frenetic pace, you can hear his voice is still hoarse but he's continuing to go after donald trump, not mentioning him by name but putting it in stark generic terms about what's in stake in this election and what's at stake for the future of the republican party. this crowd here in florida is giving him a very warm response but he was actually more than an hour late to this event because his speech at cpac ran long. he got a very, very warm reception at cpac, several standing ovations and it's an
event donald trump skipped today. marco rubio, his campaign telling me that they really feel strongly that they may be able to pick up some momentum in kansas. i know right now that race is too close to call, but rubio's campaign cancelled two other events, one in kentucky and one in louisiana yesterday and added those two stops in kansas, so they hope that they can pick up some delegates there. as you mentioned, chris, what is all important right now is this march 15th primary in florida. this is an event -- this is a state where marco rubio has to win. his campaign is saying they will win. right after this event he heads to puerto rico tonight and then back to miami tomorrow. you can hear the crowd behind me chanting marco right now. there's some conflicted emotions within this crowd. some of them had previously supported jeb bush, but now they say they're turning their attention to marco rubio. when you hear over and over again in this crowd is that they need someone, anybody but donald trump. when we keep hearing from people from this crowd that one of the reasons they're so attracted to
marco rubio is that idea of electability. that's a word we keep hearing over and over again here. again, the rubio campaign is putting more resources into florida. they know this is a must-win state for them and they hope to gain some momentum over the next few days and potentially get another boost from the debate in miami next week. chris. >> gabe goutierrez, thank you. again, we'll continue the rolling coverage into the afternoon and evening. the first results from the republican caucus in kansas, too early to call. let's go over to the trump campaign, which is already looking beyond today's contests. he started his day in kansas for a precaucus rally, but now he's made his way to florida. let's listen to him in orlando. >> workers that they knew, workers that from what i hear they liked. they went in and they killed 14 of them. others, like in paris, in the hospital will never, ever be the same. they went in, boom, boom, boom, boom. no guns coming the other way.
the military, the five military people that were killed, in a gun-free zone, think of it. in a gun-free zone on a military base. now, we have soldiers protecting us. why do we have gun-free zones on a military base? that would mean that you never have your soldiers have guns. and all these guys, all these guys that complain about guns, like michael bloomberg, used to be a friend of mine, by the way. no, no, like many of them, they're complaining about guns. so here's what you do. tell them immediately to take the guns away from their bodyguards right now. take the guns away from their bodyguards. >> so jacob, obviously the decision by donald trump to hit hard in florida because he knows marco rubio has to win there, 99 delegates are going to be at stake march 15th, but let's talk about today. what's his message been so far? >> reporter: chris, he's talked
about marco rubio, of course. he's talked about his typical talking points, isis, talking about the wall to build with mexico. but really, really hard on marco rubio. in fact before trump even got on stage there were several prerally speakers, and all of them addressed marco rubio to loud boos in the crowd. and i talked to many of those in the crowd. many of them told me that they supported marco rubio for the senate, but several said they were disappointed with him, that he made certain promises they didn't feel that he kept. when i asked them what's most important to you, why trump? why come out for donald trump? generally the answer i get, and it was no different in orlando, is that they like the idea of an outsider candidate. in fact i talked to one family, a husband and wife and their two children, and they explained how they were on the fence but when they heard mitt romney talk and bash trump in that speech in
utah, they said they immediately drove over to early polling site and voted for trump because they were so upset about how in their mind the establishment is attacking and ganging up on this outsider who they think despite some things that he says they don't agree with, they don't hang on every word trump says, a lot of voters will tell me that, overall they get the sense that this is somebody who will bring real change to washington. >> all right, thank you so much. as you make your way to the next event, our correspondents on the road nonstop. i want to bring in our political panel with me this afternoon as we continue our special election coverage. msnbc contributor and "washington post" columnist e.j. dionne, author of "why the right went wrong." also editor in chief matt welsh. i want to start where we just heard. people feel like -- there are
republicans who feel as though the republican establishment is ganging up on donald trump. if you're a member of the republican party and already disgusted with the republican party, if you're one of those people who feels they have gone to washington and haven't kept their word and now their impression is that you're trying to stop the will of the people, give us the lay of the land, e.j., where do you see this standing right now? >> i think there are two basic problems the stop trump crowd has right now. one is the whole motivation -- one of the central motivations of trump supporters is they're disappointed and angry and feel betrayed because of their economic circumstance or feel that the politicians haven't kept promises they made so the whole movement to stop trump will strike them as absolutely in keeping with everything they feared. even if on the a lot of the people involved, like ben sass, senator from nebraska, it's entirely principled, it doesn't matter. they're going to experience this as bossism of a kind so that
makes it dangerous. i think the other problem it faces is that ted cruz has no interest in being part of this united front because if there is another candidate who doesn't have an interest in a brokered or contested convention, it's ted cruz. the party doesn't want him in there. and so the reports today that ted cruz is going to go down to florida, try to pick up some votes, he doesn't want to throw in with john kasich or marco rubio. he still wants to be the last man standing against trump. if we look at those returns so far from kansas, we don't know if they're final in any way, but cruz is doing pretty well there. >> it seems to me that today somebody has got to make some sort of move. if you have trump running all four of these states, what does that say? >> that says that the establishment, i guess, their plan to take down trump isn't resonating with their voters. "the new york times," we sent out reporters all across the country to california, to
louisiana, and people are really mad at the fact that someone like mitt romney, who they see as a loser, and they're echoing trump -- the way trump had been referring to him, people are mad that the party is saying you're not smart enough to figure out who to vote for and we're going to tell you who to vote for. that's making a lot of people angry. you talked about the fact that this year, this is the insider versus outsider year. while you have two parties, really people are seeing they have the establishment people like hillary clinton and marco rubio and then you have people like bernie sanders and donald trump. people are really saying why would i listen to someone -- why would i listen to a party that has already let me down. >> matt, what are you going to be looking for tonight? i do find it fascinating these are not open primaries so this is going to tell us what republicans who are voting in those states or taking the time to go to caucuses mostly in those states are thinking. >> let's keep in mind that the #nevertrump movement is, what, two weeks old, maybe three weeks oechltd the establishment, even the people running against donald trump didn't start
running against donald trump until recently. the whole marco rubio con man line of attack, which i think is the only successful line of attack by one of his competitors so far only started very, very recently. if you squint really hard at the super tuesday numbers, you'll see that the late-breaking decider voters in most states went towards rubio and cruz. there's a little tiny sliver of momentum there. if cruz does well in kansas, and he's doing well so faurr, and i maine where he's also doing well so far, that could say that the hard core trump supporters are mad at the establishment, they're mad at mitt romney, they're at 35 p%. if it goes down to 32% even, suddenly it's a different ball game because right now he's still not getting the majority of delegates out there and there's a sliver of opportunity for somebody to come in. >> you're all going to stay with us and we're going to continue to talk as these results continue to come in throughout the afternoon but we do want to turn to kansas. 40 republican delegates at stake. the doors for the last caucus
site just closed in the last hour. shaquille is at wichita where ted cruz and donald trump showed up earlier today. shaq, tell us about that and tell us what about you're hearing from voters. >> reporter: yes, it was very interesting. both ted cruz and donald trump showed up to give their pitch to voters here. take a look at the line. we're in wichita, kansas, right now and this is one of the largest caucus sites in the nation. over 8,000 people are expected to come here and vote. i can tell you that organizers said that they were expecting double the turnout from previous years, but they believe they exceeded that. you can see the line still weaving around, as you said, the polls close technically at 2:00 p.m. but they will continue letting people who were standing in line to vote. now, i spoke to one of the people in line, her name as anna ahrens, and she was a trump supporter but she came here illegally. she's an immigrant. take a listen to what she says because i think you'll find it kind of interesting.
>> no. it is firm to the point that's what we lost in this country. when i came to the united states, i came during when george bush was leaving and clinton was coming to the office. everybody was to the point we lost. we want to a gray area too much. >> reporter: so you see she was fully behind her had can. i asked her there if she was concerned about trump's tone and that's mixed receptions based on the people that i had ask. some people said that he is a little bit too harsh, others said he's just fine and like it as he is. so a long line here. it's too early to call. a lot of people still voting in wichita, kansas. >> all right, shaquille brewster, thank you. voters also at the polls in louisiana for that state's primary. delegates on both sides on the table. msnbc's calip perry is coverings from new orleans. you definitely drew the short straw going to one of the best food cities in the world. tell us what's going on.
and you guys have a ways to go. you go until 9:00 tonight east coast time? >> reporter: exactly, exactly. so we've got just over four and a half hours left. 17 wards here in the city, two of them culminate at this polling station. it's been fairly busy all day. what people are talking about is the tone. we spoke to some voters outside just a few minutes ago. >> when bill was originally running for president in i think it was '93, something like that, i wore a button that said i'm voting for hillary and i still am. >> this has been the most entertaining election cycle that i've ever lived through, but yeah, the tone is absolutely just ugly. i mean it's school yard ugly. >> reporter: a few things to keep in mind here, chris. this is a closed primary so you have to be a registered republican to vote republican. same goes for the democrats. and in a state where less than
30% of republicans are actually registered to vote, it will be interesting to see if the voting picks up or if this is just about it. one more thing for you, marco rubio skipped an event in this state last night. a lot of people wurniondering i that's going to hurt him. we'll find out just after 9:00 a.m. your time. donald trump also skipping cpac this weekend, an event once considered a must for many republican candidates but the leading conservative behind that event says he thinks there is still a 75% chance trump will get the nomination. and there's little the wealthy gop establishment can do to stop him. straight ahead, we'll speak with cpac's organizer. will trump may any price for skipping cpac?
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the republican side with 40 delegates at stake too early to call. with 8% in, look at ted cruz, double the numbers of donald trump. and -- there we go. ted cruz 50%, donald trump 25%. also want to make note of the fact that at 4:30 eastern time, so that's, what, nine minutes from now, eight minutes from now the doors will close there so we'll start getting some results on the democratic side. right now outside d.c. some of the most influential conservatives in the country are wrapping up the final hours of cpac. that's a convention that went on this year without republican front-runner donald trump. instead marco rubio was the only presidential candidate to speak today. john kasich and ted cruz were there yesterday. so where was donald trump? he was rallying a crowd in kansas instead. he gave just 24 hours notice he was ditching his speech. matt, good to see you again. good afternoon. >> great to be with you, chris. >> so, matt, politico quoted an
anonymous member of your group who said trump pulled out that he didn't like the rule that a reporter would be asking questions on stage after his speech and cpac wouldn't bend the rule. i'm going to quote from that article. he didn't want to answer questions and he decided he was the front-runner so he didn't need to answer them or even show up. trump thinks everything is goesh -- negotiable but this wasn't. can you tell us your reaction? >> yes, i'll give you something that's not anonymous. i'll just tell you what the answer is. we are not going to bend the rules for any candidate. we have to treat them fairly. i have been neutral in this race, the american conservative union and cpac is neutral in this race. so we were going to treat every candidate fairly. it wasn't up to negotiation. we're very sorry he didn't come, more disappointed than angry. we just think he missed a moment. it's a critical moment of this republican nominating process. right now conservatives are saying do i -- can i go with this guy, donald trump, or do i want to go with someone like ted
cruz, marco rubio or john kasich who might be a safer choice. that's what's going on in their heads and that's what the thinking process is in this room. by 5:00, we'll know where their heads are because the straw poll results will be made public. >> so he refused to answer questions from a reporter. you're confirming that? >> yes. >> and did you try to talk him out of it? >> yes. yes. we wanted him here. look, i like donald trump. i get along with him, i get along with his team. he hasn't been involved in republican politics as a candidate ever before. this is their first time. it's a heck of a first time when you run for the nation's highest office. i think they made a mistake not to be here. i don't think it was malicious, i don't think they were trying to send a negative message, but a lot of people in this room, even the ones that support him, i ran into donald trump supporters in the hallway who were really disappointed. i spent thousands of dollars to be here and he's not here but they aren't mad at cpac, they
were more disappointed donald trump didn't come. there might have been some boos. there was a rumor some people would walk out. but still come here, he's a tough guy, he can handle it. pay respect to conservatives. ronald reagan game here 13 times. it matters. >> why do you think he didn't come? >> just for the plain reason why i told you. i think that for whatever reason, the way we had the format set, they were unwilling to accept it. >> we know the other candidates did answer questions, marco rubio among them. and he didn't, as i understand, directly mention donald trump in his speech but let me play this exchange. >> donald trump was supposed to be here this morning, he backed out. he instead was in kansas. i sense that the crowd has an opinion on that. do you? >> yeah, i mean this is the american conservative union and so, i mean, it's usually reserved for conservatives. >> so what's your sense? we know what the crowd there thought. does this resonate beyond cpac?
>> i think so. i think the straw poll results, i think donald trump will not do as well as he would have had he come here. it's not just about who's in this room. this is the largest room in washington, d.c. and it has been filled to the brim for most of the weekend and will be again when we release this straw poll. there's conservatives watching from all over the country. this whole four-day -- this whole four-day conference. i think it sends a message to all those people who are watching when he doesn't engage them. this is about respecting them and understanding that two-thirds of these primary voters are strong conservatives. >> matt, the chairman of the american conservative union, always good to talk to you. thank you so much for taking the time. we'll see what the straw poll says, 5:00. we're also awaiting preliminary results in kansas. doors close in just a few minutes at the caucus sites there. we've got the countdown clock at
29 past the hour. we are looking at what's happening on the republican side in kansas with 40 delegates at stake. this has stayed pretty consistent as we've gone to less11% in. ted cruz with double the number of votes that donald trump has. we should say caucuses have not been friendly to donald trump. he's only won one out of four so far and has no presence on the ground in kansas. nevertheless, even though all these states today don't have great polling, he has been ahead in polls so that would be huge if he loses, especially by that margin. on the democratic side, also a race that is too early to call. we're going to watch. we're just seeing the doors close now and should start getting preliminary results coming up very quickly. let me bring in my panel now. first of all, let's talk about those numbers. we're still waiting to see exactly what happens in kansas on the republican side, but matt, even given the fact that
he has not done well in caucuses, even given the fact that he doesn't have a presence on the ground in kansas, what would it say to you if ted cruz notches a big win there? >> that's startling. we haven't had much polling at all in kansas but trump was always ahead. last week he was ahead by about six points. it's like 49-25 right now. that is a thumping. i think that leads -- if that is followed by something in maine and if cruz makes a showing in louisiana, which has polled much more scientifically down there and trump has been consistently ahead by a lot down there, if he closes the gap down there i think the broad narrative of this election changes really for the first time, that there is some way to denting that trump roller coaster. >> one of the things we've heard from everybody, just give me a chance. fewer candidates means i'm going to come to the top. i wonder how much of this might be carson voters going to the cruz side. >> the general consensus was carson voters would go to cruz.
cruz was probably underestimated in kansas. this is a state that went to mike huckabee, rick santorum. there's a very strong evangelical movement in that state. of course on these returns a lot depends on which parts of kansas they are coming from. i partly agree with matt that it would be a dent in trump to lose kansas, but i think the question is how well does he do in louisiana. that's the state where he was counting on doing well. it's a closed primary so that works against him. you know, if he is seriously challenged in louisiana, then we can say there's some kind of narrative about trump withdrawing. in kansas, i think it's just another case of ted cruz showing that if you want a guy against trump, i may be the stronger of the other three. >> but i wonder how much of this is us talking around the table and we look at sort of the details of it. but the headline tomorrow for most voters who are thinking about who they're going to vote for coming up in the next week or two, if ted cruz wins
another, or maybe a couple more and he keeps his narrative, which is that i'm the one that has won more than anybody else, that becomes part of the narrative. >> that becomes part of the narrative and one of the things it also does is hurt marco rubio. he says i'm going to win florida, i'm going to win florida. that's your home state, you're going to win florida. >> which he may not win. >> he may not win. if ted cruz gets all these other states, it starts becoming this narrative where he can be the alternative. the problem is that the establishment is saying we need to get an establishment candidate and get unified. he kind of doesn't want to join that. what does that mean for the republican party and that possible civil war we might see? i'm not sure that's going to make a difference if the establishment wants somebody else. >> just to underscore that if i could, that if -- again, we're not sure where all these votes are coming from, maybe there are rubio votes out there. but if rubio runs this badly in kansas, he made a play there.
he thought he might have some votes there. so in the cruz/rubio competition, this would be a blow. >> cruz's way has been to elbow out whole blocks. he started out of the gate by elbowing out huckabee and santorum who won iowa previously. so he gets all the evangelicals. he elbows out rand paul. he attracts some libertarian votes towards him. he wants to get to a point where he elbows out the establishment so the establishment has to go to ted cruz. i saw him yesterday at cpac and he said that i don't want a brokered convention. there will be a manifest revolt if there is a brokered convention. that's very wise. you know what, he does want a brokered convention but he doesn't want to admit it. >> he said he makes all those people who are sick of the insiders angry even more. i also wanting to talk about the democrats. hillary clinton sits on a sizeable lead, as we all know, going into today's contests. she's got more than a thousand delegates. bernie sanders has 429. but today they battle over
another 126 delegates across three states. then they have got sunday night's debate coming up, super tuesday part two on march 15th. kasie hunt and kristen welker are there. let's start with the sanders campaign. momentum really is at stake as we look at what's happening today. let's bring in kasie hunt who's been covering the sanders campaign. she is in flint, michigan. tell us a little bit about what bernie sanders is doing today and what he's been doing to make up for his deficit in delegates. >> reporter: hey, chris. bernie sanders is in the middle of a community conversation in cleveland, ohio, after holding a press conference earlier today strictly on the subject of social security, not wanting to take any questions outside of that particular subject matter, which is something he's been doing a lot of lately. but the struggle that he has is momentum. his advisers feel that he has a better shot at many of these upcoming states today, caucus states like kansas. he held a rally in kansas city a
few weeks ago with thousands of people in attendance. obviously those trademark big events. in particular looking ahead past today to michigan which votes on tuesday, he's going to hold a rally in michigan this evening. he's got a full schedule of events planned the rest of the weekend after the flint debate including a rally at the university of michigan on monday night. trying to gen up that support from young people. they're hoping that they can appeal to african-american voters here in michigan, the thinking goes there's possibly a different set of concerns with them than there might be with african-american democrats across the south. of course hillary clinton doing quite well with those group. he needs to do better with african-americans if he hopes to change the direction of this race. >> let's bring in kristen welker who has been covering the hillary clinton campaign. so she obviously preparing for tomorrow night's debate, which is there.
she goes into it with this significant lead. as we've been listening to her the last couple of days and certainly post super tuesday, she's been sounding more and more like a candidate in the general election, not who's still fighting bernie sanders. give us a little bit of an idea of where the head is of the clinton campaign right now. >> well, there's no doubt that we have heard secretary clinton increasingly pivot to the general election, take aim at donald trump. i just spoke with one of her top aides, karen finney, who said, look, they feel good about where they are right now. this primary race is not over yet and she has been preparing. we got a preview of what her message is going to be on friday. she laid out a new economic policy that calls for scale back tax breaks on companies that outsource jobs overseas and she's girding for some sharp attacks from senator sanders. he of course has been going after her on the issue of trade. that's an issue that resonates here throughout the state of michigan and throughout the rust
belt. frankly, he has been criticizing her for supporting nafta, for example. secretary clinton has been responding to those criticisms saying, look, she's called for reforms to nafta and she said on friday she wouldn't support any trade deal that didn't benefit the american worker, so that's a little bit of a preview of what we can expect tomorrow night. chris, secretary clinton still very much courting voters here in michigan. earlier today she met with a group of african-american ministers. tomorrow chelsea clinton, the mayor of flint will be rolling out a new clean water initiative. it is an issue secretary clinton has tried to own as she courts voters here. chris. >> kristen welker, thank you so much on a snowy street in flint, michigan. appreciate it. the democratic race in kansas still too early to call. same for the republicans although we have more results in. they closed half an hour earlier. the next primary results are in kentucky. those will come in about 20 minutes from now. let's take a look inside a republican caucus location.
just a real person, real fast. whenever you need them. great, that's what i said. so your business can get back to business. sounds like my ride's ready. don't get stuck on hold. reach an expert fast. comcast business. built for business. so the vote totals continue to come in from kansas. you can see on the democratic side too early to call. those doors just closed so we're waiting to get some results on hillary clinton and bernie sanders. but on the republican side we have some more votes in. we are up to what is it now 17%. ted cruz still holding that lead over donald trump almost double the number of votes at the gop caucuses. we're waiting for kentucky at 5:00 eastern time so about 17, 18 minutes from now we should start looking at what's going to
happen there. now, right now republicans are also caucusing up in maine. there are 23 beltindelegates up grabs. caucus doors close at 7:00 p.m. eastern time. joining me from a caucus site in lewiston, maine, is the chairman of the republican party, richard bennett. good to see you, good afternoon. >> it's great to be with you. >> the site where you're at i understand has been vote since 1:00 this afternoon. how's it going there and what are you hearing in terms of numbers? >> it's an amazing turnout here in maine. it looks like we'll be tripling or quadrupling the numbers four years ago when we had a very spirited contest here between mitt romney or rand paul. >> tripling or quadrupling, what's going on? what's resonating with voters there? >> part of it is a change in the process. for the first time in maine history, we've given every maine republican an opportunity to vote directly for their candidate for a president and
have it bind our delegation to cleveland this july. so it's a much more meaningful vote. look, people across maine are just anxious for new leadership for our country. they feel that the obama presidency has failed them and they're ready to turn the page and they're very excited about expressing their views as many people usually are in a very independent way about who they'd like to see elected. >> compare what you saw four years ago to what you're seeing now in terms of investment of time and money and ground game. i know trump and cruz were both there in maine this week. give us a sense of the difference that you see from four years ago. >> well, four years ago we had what i'd call a convention process rather than a caucus process. so what we've created this year uniquely is a hybrid between a primary and a caucus where any person can come in during a three-hour window and vote
directly, so the efforts by the campaigns have been different as well. also the trajectory is totally different through super tuesday and now super saturday so what we've seen is a lot more late participation, a lot more direct voter turnout efforts going to their supporters. we've given all the campaigns access to our activist lists so that they can go court them individually, so it's been a very quick effort here in maine and it's really turning out a lot of people. >> and i know you're not endorsing anyone, but it is interesting to me that with mitt romney winning four years ago, i think he squeaked out a couple of points over rand paul, what reaction has there been among republicans talking to his decision to come out so forcefully against donald trump who your governor now backs after chris christie dropped out of the race? >> well, you know, i've heard
varying views on that. some agree with governor romney, others strenuously disagree. it's so difficult to pin many people down, i'm just going to wait for the election results. the polls are still open here in some of our more populous areas. york county is open until 5:30 p.m. so it's going to be hard to call this. >> richard bennett, thanks so much and good luck with those big crowds. >> thank you. let's check out a caucus site in kansas city, kansas. both republican and democratic caucuses too early to call at this point. kentucky's final republican caucuses kick off in just a few minutes but you may be surprised to learn where they're caucusing there when democrats don't vote until may. plus the issues kentucky voters are focused on straight ahead.
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so here we are. we're taking a look at some of these results. ted cruz has been back and forth between 49% and 50%, double that basically of what donald trump -- i tell you what's interesting too about this is that marco rubio got the endorsements of the governor, he got the representative senator pat roberts, mike pompeo the congressman there. obviously not helping or at least not making enough of a difference. ted cruz continuing to hold a lead there now with 20% in but too early to call and too early to call on the democratic side as well. we're watching for those doors that are closing in the final republican caucuses in kentucky and we'll be looking to get some results in from there. we are back now and voting is continuing as we have said in a number of these states.
let's see what we have going on today. it started at 10:00 a.m. in many of these places local time. republican voters caucusing for the first time since 1984 in some states. they have been holding primaries ever since until today. sometimes, though, the change doesn't go over well with voters. joining me to explain it all, joseph girth, a reporter with the louisville curier journal. >> good afternoon, chris. >> i want to look at some of the posts we pulled from the official facebook page of the republican party of kentucky, what voters are saying. can't believe i won't be able to vote just because there is no place to vote in this caucus set up in my county. have to travel to another county just to vote. how many hundreds of votes will not be cast just because of this. another post said i will not be voting in this caucus because when i called about my absentee ballot the first thing i heard was one day too late to get the ballot for the caucus. i think this is a very bad idea. tell us a little bit what's
going on in your state. >> well, this is the first time republicans have ever caucused here. the last time they did use a primary was 1984 when they used a convention system. the republican party didn't spend a lot of money to advertise this, to get word out. and what is now happening is that some voters are now learning that, hey, we've got this caucus coming up and they're upset about it. part of the problem was that the rips we republicans were expecting a lot of candidates to come in and campaign and run television ads and things of that nature but that didn't really happen. we saw ben carson come in on monday, donald trump come in on tuesday, but beyond that we have not seen hide nor hair of a candidate here in this cycle. so -- but the fact of the matter is from the anecdotal reports we're getting, there is a pretty good turnout around the state at this point. we hadn't seen hard numbers yet,
but we're hearing long lines. the problem is most counties there's just one voting location and in some counties there are none. you have to drive to the adjoining county. now, kentucky has 120 counties so in a lot of cases the drive is not a real far drive. >> but some people obviously feel like it's keeping them away from it, nevertheless, if you're getting these big numbers, what's motivating voters there? >> you know, we -- a colleague of mine was out at some of the polling places today and every voter that he talked to, donald trump came up. either they were voting for trump or voting against trump. and he seems to really be powering the vote out there on the republican side. there is discontent in kentucky. kentucky voted against barack obama in two elections. there are a lot of kentuckians, especially rural kentuckians that feel like the nation and its policies have kind of left
them behind. they don't like gay marriage, they don't like the epa's rules on coal and on farming, and so a lot of that is behind some of the republican turnout also, i would suspect. >> joseph girth, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. fascinating stuff. either for trump or against trump and big numbers turning out, as we've seen in some of these other states. lots and lots of people coming out to vote. coming up in our next hour, the doors will close on the final kentucky gop caucuses. we do expect preliminary results in just a few minutes. the republican and democratic races in kansas still too early to call. we're also going to speak with the cruz campaign national spokesperson. cruz trails trump by 96 delegates. can he close that gap tonight? we'll also talk about his strategy to take on marco rubio in florida. we'll be back with more after this.
we are back live at msnbc on this super saturday, and at this hour we have two races that are in but too early to call. both the kansas democratic and republican caucuses. we're also awaiting preliminary results in kentucky. doors closing on the final republican caucuses there in two minutes. for the republicans, 46 delegates are at stake in kentucky, about a third of the overall dealts tonight. for democrats 109 delegates will be pledged across three states. there are also 17 super delegates that are in play. let's start off with the trump campaign. after two precaucus events in kansas today, donald trump is now in the march 15th primary state of florida where he wrapped up a rowdy rally in the past hour. a rally interrupted numerous
times by protesters. let's go to orlando, nbc's jacob rascon joins me on the phone. jacob, hard to know where to begin, but let's talk about all the territory he covered and what was going on in that audience. >> reporter: right. he went to more places today than he was initially planning on. he skipped the cpac conference, usually a must attend for presidential candidates, front-runner like him but he skipped it and then went to orlando. as you said, lots of protesters. we're seeing more than usual. there are always a few protesters, a few interruptions, but there have been more than usual the last several days and today was no exception. also something interesting today that we hadn't seen before, he had all of the people at the orlando rally, thousands of people, he asked them to raise their right hand and solemnly swear, quote, no matter the conditions that they will vote for donald j. trump on or before march 12th. the funny thing about that, there may be more than one, but
one of them is that he got the date wrong. march 12th, it's actually march 15th. >> details, details. >> reporter: during the rally he did get the date right. he mentioned several times during the rally if we win florida, it's over. if we win florida and ohio, it's really over. we know where trump's focus is. he's moved on past the four states making their decisions today and he knows that if he can win florida, the winner-take-all state, all 99 delegates to him, that he can push marco rubio out of the race and is that much closer to securing the nomination. so that's where his focus is. and tonight of course he has a news conference where he hopes to give a victory speech and we'll see. chris. >> jacob, thank you very much. and we are starting to see that the doors have closed in kentucky. first time again that they have ever held a caucus. too early to call, but we're going to be keeping a close eye on that