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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  February 20, 2016 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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decision 2016. here is lester holt. >> good evening, everyone. we are watching, of course, two major votes in race for the white house tonight. south carolina gop the polls have closed in south carolina. right now, it is too close to call. we can tell you it's a three-way race. appears to be a three-way race among trump, cruz and rubio. are well behind. too close to call in the south carolina gop primary. also today, the democratic caucus in nevada. nbc news projects
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win. hillary clinton holding back a charge by bernie sanders who came out of new hampshire with a lot of momentum. again, it looks like hillary clinton will carry the day. let's bring on moderator of "meet the press" chuck todd right now. walk us through what we have seen in nevada and this tight race in south carolina. >> i think we got the news out of nevada. this will be known as sigh of relief saturday nor hill for hillary clinton. this was the best chance sanders had to prove he could win. he came close. but he could not win. now when you look at the calendar, hillary clinton has a real victory under her belt. she could string together a bunch of them and take control of this nomination in a way that people thought she would a few months ago. on the republican side, i think those results show us our future for a while, lester. we could be seeing those three candidates, those three names fighting for every contest from here to june.
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we're looking at a three-way race for some time, no matter what the order of finish is in south carolina. >> chuck todd, we will have upday tes throughout the evening. reports as warranted throughout the night and coverage on nbcnews.com. i'm lester holt, nbc news, new york. on this saturday night, high stakes. a big night in politics. the results coming in on a critical test for the democrats in nevada. the republican showdown in south carolina. with some on this night fighting for survival. final farewell. the large outpouring and tribute at the funeral of supreme court justice antonin scalia. thousands of students at public universities worried about their future. caught in the middle of one state's budget politics. race for equality.
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germany. a new film about jesse owens reminds us of the enduring struggle. "nightly news" begins right now. decision 2016. this is "nbc nightly holt. >> good evening. on this day, voting day in two key presidential contests. nbc news projects hillary clinton will defeat bernie sanders. able to hold back sanders' charge that followed his win in new hampshire. complicates his path to the nomination. the polls have closed in south carolina's republican primary. in recent days, ted cruz has been closing ground with donald trump. that race considered too close to call. we can tell you at this point it appears that be a three-way race among trump, cruz and marco rubio. with everyone else far behind. we will go to south carolina in just a moment. our team is in place
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let's get to the big story out of nevada. nbc's kristin welker is in las vegas. >> reporter: lester, good evening. it was electric here at caesar's palace in las vegas tonight. secretary clinton delivering her victory speech. there was a lot of concern amongst her supporters she would lose this pivotal state. it was a nail biter until the very end. this is a decisive victory. it will give her big momentum moving forward. in addition to thanking all of her supporters, she also spoke directly to some of those younger voters who were giving senator sanders a serious look. take a listen to part what have she had to say. >> tens of thousands of men and women with kids to raise, bills to pay and dreams that won't die. this is your campaign. and it is -- it is a campaign to break down
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holds you back. we're going to build ladders of opportunity in their place so every american can go as far as your hard work can take you. >> reporter: this is a big loss for senator sanders. it raises questions about his ability to win the larger more diverse states. tonight, he told his supporters not to give up. take a listen. now it is on to the next. senator sanders heads to south carolina. secretary clinton heads to texas for a campaign event. then she will spend two days fund-raising in california trying to max the millions
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has raised online. >> thanks. the outcome in nevada will set the stage for what's next for clinton and sanders. andrea mitchell joins me for more on that. you have been looking at the path to the nomination. >> it becomes tougher for sanders. he needed this to show he could play well and strong in more diverse states. going forward, she has huge advantages in south carolina. they have conceded they can't do well there. then you go to super tuesday. yes, massachusetts, vermont, his home new england area. but aside from the minnesota caucuses and colorado, perhaps, he has to go to georgia, texas, win a big state. he has not yet proved that he can do that. she now has the momentum having lost badly in new hampshire to him and basically tied in iowa, this is the first time she has proved she can stabilize her campaign. >> andrew a mitchell, thanks. as the vote come in in south carolina,
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with trump, cruz and rubio with a race too close to call. >> reporter: donald trump has gone dark today. no public appearances. the candidate and the campaign hunker down hoping to eek out a win, which is a surprising turn of events given that a week ago he was up by double digits here. this is a tributed a little bit at least to his debate performance saturday when he accused george w. bush about lying about weapons of mass destruction. george w. bush is still a very popular figure here in south carolina. sources within the campaign have told me advisors told him to back off from that, even phone bank volunteers working the phones told donald trump that they were hearing push back from voters. donald trump has drawn massive crowds here in south carolina. it is where he has been saying that water boarding isn't enough enough. he recounted a hoax about about a general where he dipped bullets in blood to kill terrorists.
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that this country isn't tough anymore. donald trump saying he is a leader to make it tough. we will see if the voters here in south carolina agree with him. get him over the line tonight. lester? >> thank you. we want to go to hallie jackson in south carolina. following the cruz campaign. >> reporter: hi, lester. the cruz campaign has been downplaying expectations of an upset victory. cruz should finish strong here. the polls have closed a couple of minutes ago. there's a sense in the campaign that cruz already notched a win in one early state, iowa. now he will finish in the top tier here. it looks like. and move on carrying momentum in nevada and the march 1st dates. that's important to his strategy. he had as to prove tonight that he can contend in the south to play in the sec primary states down the road. all of this is coming as the chair of the state republican party tells me many precinct
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records by midafternoon. prediction that 650,000 people will have voted in the republican primary today. how does that affect the cruz campaign? at this point, it looks as they they can look to iowa, look to history where they broke records and where ted cruz came in first. >> hallie jackson, thanks. marco rubio hoping to do well in south carolina tonight. gabe gut air gabe gut air ez following his campaign. >> reporter: the rubio campaign hoping to rebound from new hampshire. they are looking for a strong finish in south carolina. one aide telling me the finish in the top tier here would be a huge comeback. this campaign secured major endorsements throughout the state, including senator tim scott and perhaps most importantly, governor nikki haley. together, the trio campaigned across the state as the nut faces of conservatism. now the rubio campaign hopes that his other candidates in the
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out. the gop will coalesce around rubio to take on donald trump. new hampshire, had been so devastating. but could south carolina be the turning point? the question now is where exactly rubio finishes in relation to donald trump and ted cruz. >> thank you. let's bring in our political director chuck todd. he has been looking at some of the exit polling of voters today in south carolina and nevada. what are you seeing, chuck? >> let me walk you quickly through nevada. it will show you how clinton won. she won narrowly. here is how she won. first look at the age breakdown. once again, this party is divided by age. clinton winning big among older voters. sanders winning among younger voters. you see there, clinton did a little better among younger voters, slightly than before. the big difference for her and why she won, she won union households. one in four nevada caucus participants belong to a union household. she won by ten points. think las vegas, casino workers.
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that was the difference. call it the establishment if you will. inside the south carolina exit poll, there's a reason why it's so close. we like to break things down ideologically about one -- about 40% of voters are very conservative. among very conservative voters, you have a win there by ted cruz. cruz is winning those. among moderate voters and somewhat conservative voters, donald trump wins among both of those categories. lester, those two categories make up 60% of all republicans that voted today. if that is how things turn out and those exit polls are shown to be similar to that, that's why trump and cruz and rubio are so close. rubio, second in almost all of the categories. >> chuck, thank you. as a political battle over his successor heats ups a funeral was held for justice antonin scalia who died a week ago in texas. several thousand people attended the service in washington. we get more from our justice correspondent
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>> reporter: justice scalia wanted a simple funeral in a parish church. as it turned out, more than 3,000 came to the massive basilica of the national shrine of the immaculate conception. it was celebrated by his son paul, a catholic priest, part of the notably large scalia family. >> he is the father that god gave us for the great adventure of family life. sure, he forgot our names at times or mixed them up. but there are nine of us. >> reporter: like scalia himself, the service was deeply spiritual but marked with humor such as the time he got a surprise going for confession. >> he found himself in my confectional ssional line. and he quickly departed it. 's
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like heck if i'm confessing you. >> reporter: fellow catholic, justice clarence thomas read from scripture. >> god proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners, christ died for us. >> reporter: among the mourners, vice representing the white house and ted cruz, a former supreme court criticized the president for not attend they paid their respects friday as justice scalia lay in the other seven of the court's remaining justices were here today. as were two retired justices, john paul stevens and david suitor. justice scalia's spot will did he drap raped in black for another month. the white house showed the president walking with an arm full of background materials assembled by his staff. this was a day for remembering a man devoted to the law, to his faith and to his family. pete williams, nbc news, washington. when "nightly
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budget crisis that has gone on for eight months. blake mccoy has our report from chicago. >> reporter: charles preston is a senior in friend american studies. this year he is getting a crash course in politics. >> i feel like my government has failed me. >> reporter: preston and his classmates of university are in limbo, caught in the middle of a state budget battle, unsure if they will graduate. they got 30% of their funding from the state. this year, hasn't received a dime. neither have the state's 11 other public universities. >> this is a tremendous distraction. it's a level of irresponsibility i have not seen. >> it's harmful. >> reporter: to you and your future. >> and the community. i'm fighting for the future of others as well. >> reporter: preston has led demonstrations from chicago to the state house in springfield. >> we just want to graduate. >> reporter: where the
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deadlocked. a new republican governor, who wants to cut spending and weaken unions. on the other, a democratically controlled legislature wanting to raise taxes and protect unions. the result, illinois has gone without a budget for eight months. would you call this a crisis for illinois? >> it's beyond a crisis. yes. the state has been damaged. i hope noter irreparably irreparably. >> everyone is it's not just the students. >> reporter: back at chicago state, this graduate this december. >> i have worked so hard. >> reporter: you are so close to graduating. >> i am so close. start over again. >> reporter: a cloud of uncertainty over a state of dysfunction. blake mccoy, nbc news, chicago. up next here tonight, celebrating the life of an olympic trailblazer
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they secured the place in the games with a 5-0 victory. the u.s. will be going for its fourth straight olympic gold medal. it was another summer olympics eight decades ago when a young american caused a sensation that reverberates to this day. not only did jesse owens win four gold medal, but in doing so he made a powerful statement about race. this weekend, a new film opens about the life and times of jesse owens. we get more tonight from ron mott. >> jesse owens was the fastest human of his day. >> reporter: this summer is 80 years since jesse owens dominated the olympics. the focus of " race." he. >> you want to win a gold medal? >> sure. >> you want do it in berlin? >> reporter: his four gold medals stunned hitler. >> the competition was grand. we're very glad to come out on top.
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performance made headlines and him a household name, to many he was the wrong color. >> your friends will have to use the service entrance. >> reporter: the actor who plays him says the movie is more than black and white. what do you want people to get out of it? >> people can look at him and say, if co-do what he did at a time and place where did he it, you know, there's really no excuse for me not to be great. >> reporter: it not only highlights the athletic prou wess of owens, it shows his humility against racial injustice and his commitment as family man, something his daughters say was most important to them. >> it had to make it in about the true story of my father. and all of the things that he went through after the olympics. and how he survived them. >> the expectation was that we would finish school. sglf >> go to college. >> go to college.
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go to ohio state. >> reporter: before clay rose to prominence, or jackie robinson, carl lewis, even joe lewis reached their pinnacle, there was jesse owens. white. there's only fast and slow. >> reporter: blazing a trail for others who followed in his tracks. >> owens! >> reporter: in the race to greatness. new york. up next here tonight, we will meet people who did something today that hadn't been done in years. they will tell you why they voted. done in with the pain and swelling of my moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis... ordinary objects often seemed... intimidating. doing something simple... meant enduring a lot of pain. if ra is changing your view of everyday things orencia may help. orencia works differently by targeting a source of ra early in the inflammation process. for many, orencia provides long-term relief of ra symptoms.
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finally tonight, as we have seen, this presidential campaign energized some voters looking for alter alternative to candidates they consider mainstream. as kerry sanders reports, they include voters who had pretty much dropped out. >> reporter: today, 51-year-old lori bins did something she hasn't done in a long time, she voted. her return to the voting booth for one reason, donald trump. >> i felt good. i mean, i felt like i was voting for somebody that might actually do what they say they're going to do or try to. >> reporter: according to a survey, one in ten voters who went to the polls in south carolina today is a so-called lost voter. apathetic americans who had given up on the process until now. who is the last president you remember
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>> ronald reagan. >> reporter: that was 36 years ago when charles was a firefighter. indifferent since reagan left office, he says he is back, involved in polly itics because of trump. >> the man is a billionaire. what is it for him to gain? you could say more power perhaps. maybe. i mean, the man is already powerful. to me, he is more apt to do the right thing for the country. >> reporter: surveys show 27% of the lost voters break for trump. rubio draws only 4% and cruz even less. experts say because they are drown to trump's outside status. >> most of the lost voters we believe are coming back in will vote for donald trump. >> reporter: the trump affect among lost voters may explain what could be a record turnout today. a wild card yet to be
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kerry sanders, nbc news. columbia, south carolina. before we go tonight, late information out of south carolina. nbc news projecting that donald trump wins the south carolina republican primary tonight. more on nbcnews.com and updates throughout the eepg vening. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, good night.
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