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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  January 3, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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it's about our children. it's about our grandchildren. and it's about having a president of the united states who respects the constitution of this country, who understands that we must pass a balanced budget amendment to the united states constitution and do it as soon as we can. we know that we've got to have a part-time congress, cut their pay, cut the amount of time that they're spending in washington, d.c. cut their staff. send them back home. let them work a job like you do. living their constituency under the laws that they pass. we can get our country back on track. we can have this country energy dependent, we can send a message to the world again that america is strong economically and if she is strong economically, she's going to be strong militarily. and the rest of the world is going to respect us. that's what you will get out governor perry.
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the united states supreme court. i will have the type of individuals working, the philosophy that we share, to go into those agencies that are overregulating us, that are killing jobs, that will pull back all those regulations since the '08 and have them audited. if they're killing jobs, they're out of here. we need a president of the united states that not only respects that constitution but looks down at the bill of rights and gets down to number ten where we talk about the powers delegated to the united states by the constitution or or reserved for the states respectively or to the people. and basically says that that federal government was created by the states to be an agent for states, not the other way around. let's work together to get our country back. you have my backing in this
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caucus. and i promise you one thing. for the next four years, i will have your back in washington, d.c. god bless you, god bless iowa. we'll continue to be the greatest country in the world. >> you heard the texas governor rick perry in clive outside of des moines at the caucus there. a pretty big -- it's a pretty big caucus there in clive. it's a suburb of des moines. the map is beginning to fill out a little bit over there. set the scene, john. tell us what's going on. what are we learning with about 8% of the precincts reporting. >> we've used the 2008 map to get a sense of what happened then and what happened now. we're beginning to see these are the first official votes of the 2012 presidential campaign. 8% of the iowa vote is counted right now. you just noticed rick perry still speaking at that caucus. they've got a long way to go. look at the colors and try to remember this for the night. the lighter pink is ron paul, purnell rick santorum, the dark red is mitt romney, the lighter
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red is newt gingrich, rick perry the orange, yellow michele bachmann, jon huntsman he didn't contest iowa. he said when the winner of iowa gets to new hampshire, nobody will care. we'll see how that plays out. but look at this when it starts to fill in. this is very early. this is likely to change. i want you to look especially here in the middle of the state. this up here is where you have -- i've circled des moines. the capital. look what you have, a little purple, a little red, a little orange. the reason that could be significant if it holds up, if you go back in time, this is huckabee country. they consolidated around one candidate and propelled mike huckabee to victory. in 2012 if you see a bit of hash in the middle of the map, that tells you that rick santorum will finish in the top three as our entrance poll suggests he will.
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let's see when they count the votes. but if this is a bunch of different colors in the middle, that suggests to you you have a split among evangelical voters, enough of a split that one candidate is not propelled to victory. we're at 8% right now. if you just heard joe johns talk to matt strong. this state has a pretty good record. once they get to counting, they tend to do it pretty quickly. some of the caucuses behind as we go. we'll watch this fill in tonight. if you see a green county like that, that tells the you we've got a tie. ron paul and rick perry tied in that county. union county already counted. you go county to county you get different results. big for mitt romney, davenport. they're counting their vote. mitt romney with 30% there. this is critical to mitt romney. 30% right now. how did he do? 31% four years ago. that's a test to see where he was four years ago. been waiting a long time to see
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that. we're under way. >> there's been an unexpected development. i want to share it with our viewers right now. we thought we had all of the respondents in the entrance polls coming in, but there's been more respondents, more information is coming in and we're going to share it with you right now. just to recap, as you remember, in the first wave and the second wave, it was a slight lead for ron paul, 24% over mitt romney, 23%. rick santorum not all that far behind with 19%. 13% for newt gingrich. wave one and wave two. do we have the bottom three? no, all right. here's all three waves now. this is a three-way effective tie when you add up all of the respondents, wave one, two and three. look at this 24% for ron paul, 23% for mitt romney, 23% for rick santorum, 13% for newt
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gingrich. let's take a look at the bottom three. this is the entrance poll results. these are not the official results. 10% for rick perry, 6% for michele bachmann, 1% for jon huntsman. in a virtual tie ron paul slightly ahead. when all of the respondents, all of these people who told us what they were going to do as they were walking into these caucuses, they can always change their minds, it shows a very, very close race right now in iowa. lon paul with the slight lead. here are the actual votes coming in, with 10% of the precincts reporting. look at how close it is. ron paul, 24%. mitt romney and rick santorum tied virtually at 23%. 23% for santorum, 13% for gingrich, 10% for rick perry, 6%
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michele bachmann. look at the response of the entrance poll folks who told us what they were going to do when they were going in. they could have changed their minds, but it's a very close race right now. we thought it would be close. potentially a three-man tie out there. >> it doesn't get much closer than this. all the guys in the booth have been crunching the number. ari fleischer former spokesperson for george w. bush. >> here's what is driving this and why ron paul is doing as well as he is. the vote this year is much younger and much more independent than it was four years ago. four years ago republicans made 86% of the republican iowa caucus, this year they're only 74%. four years ago independents were 13% of the caucus. they've doubled to 24%. here's why that's important. ron paul has taken 48% of the independent votes. his closest opponent there romney with just 16. among republicans -- >> that's fascinating. a huge win. >> huge win for independents.
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they almost doubled in turnout. among republicans santorum is winning. santorum 27, romney 25. here's the other big demographic difference. four years ago, those 17 to 29 were 11% of the electorate. this year they're 15%. guess who they're working for? ron paul, santorum. this is interesting about ron paul's base, among those moderate or liberal they're voting for ron paul. he's the winner there. among conservatives they're voting for rick santorum buncht among evangelicals according to the entrance poll ron paul was winning among evangelicals. >> but they're also split. a lot of the independents are the moderate and liberal coming into the republican party. >> dana loesch from big what do you see? >> i've been looking at the top three and looking at some of the numbers coming in for ron paul. i'm genuinely shocked just as
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the sheer number of independents. also that 43% number that's defining themselves as moderate or liberal. you can look at this as this is a candidate who can reach out to independents and reach out to those moderates who will be helping the gop candidate come 2012, or come this election "b" or you can say he's liberal. if you talk about ending wars and legalizing pot. we'll don't see the numbers come in. >> i see one huge screaming story tonight, republicans just don't want to vote for mitt romney. like you're trying to give a dog a pill that keeps spitting it up. they'll eat the pill because romney will eventually be the nominee. he may but it will be 25%. >> something he had four years ago. >> he has a weaker field. they don't want to vote for him. >> two number i'm looking at.
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you need 2,286 delegates to win the gop nomenation. you are not going to bin it tonight. it doesn't matter. it's simply one state. the second number is critical. how fast will it take for republicans to say iowa means nothing if congressman ron paul wins? because for a whole year all we've heard is iowa, iowa, iowa, but if ron paul wins, the first thing we'll hear is it's no big deal, let's move on to the next one. which tells me you can't say it's important if romney wins and not important if paul wins. >> i saw you wincing. >> ron paul won't be the republican nominee. romney is and republicans just don't want to vote for him. they will in the end. >> but won't they be saying he's appealing to independents. >> i'll give him enormous amount of credit, but in terms of -- he's not going to be the republican nominee. i give him credit. he organizes people, he raises money. >> even ron paul -- >> i don't think ron paul will
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be the nominee. but mitt romney? it's too soon to say. we still have new hampshire, he'll take new hampshire, but what about florida. >> you're still on the side of an vikt ris. >> i'm looking for the non-romney. the strongest conservative candidate that can win. i think we have other stronger conservative candidates. >> i want to bring in gloria borger and david gergen. >> she's got to keep looking. the interesting things, let's talk tea party here. i know you're a tea party person. i'm looking at the tea party numbers. rick santorum so far is getting the most support from the tea party. guess who is getting the least support in the tea party, the man that james carville says will be the eventual nominee and that will be mitt romney. and ron paul, they're kind of neutral one way or the other because his foreign policy is something they would disagree with. one thing we need to look at as we look at the results here and
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go on, the tea party has such a huge impact in the 2010 midterm elections, the question is if lom ne does end up being the nominee, will they have as much impact because they clearly don't like him. >> we may make a little history here tonight. this is a very fractured field after a year. what's striking is the iowa caucuses started in 1972. this is 40 years. in all that time, the lowest percentage anybody won and actually won the iowa caulk outs was in 1996. bob dole got 26%. the winner's always got more than 20%. this time a winner who is below 26%. that does suggest to james carville's point that mitt romney hasn't made the impact he has to make. i wouldn't be surprised if we get some calls. >> you'll have people saying let's get another candidate. dana loesch says where is my tea
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party candidate? there are deadlines. you can't just say i'm running for president. you have to file. almost impossible to do at this point. almost impossible to do it in a serious way. let's say romney is first or second. some people say why can't he grow? after tonight our next question is what's next and who is best positioned? mitt romney is way ahead in new hampshire. if he wins tonight or comes in a very close second. it's hard to see the bottom dropping out in new hampshire in one week. you only get one week. it will be interesting the tone. will people go after him in a nasty, negative way. the key test for romney, can he keep new hampshire? then as it was in 2008, south carolina, as it often is in republican presidential primaries, south carolina says iowa or new hampshire win over the field. we pick presidents. >> hot in new hampshire then -- >> he says he will go there because he knows he needs to
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prove he's not just mike huckabee, he is not just a christian conservative candidate. when he won his house district he's become known as this christian conservative cultural warrior. he's been an incumbent just outside of pittsburgh. steel mill blue collar district. >> but issues that he's been hammered by some of his opponents. >> we saw the caucusgoer there saying i picked santorum because of the economy, which isn't what i expected to hear. we have ceos and i asked them which candidate do you prefer. they all said romney. >> that helps you read minds, too? >> that's right. and gingrich generally came in second. but when it came to ron paul and rick santorum, those who would expect the quote, unquote, the establishment, the big donors, the big economic voices to not back them, it wasn't like that
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at all. santorum more support than you would think. frustration on social issues. ron paul the biggest bond investor in the qulit of america, the number one choice. ron paul does have some people saying he's unacceptable. but in that establishment people coming out and saying it is okay. which was surprising to me. >> rick santorum, does he go on to new hampshire? i spoke to somebody in his campaign today they've got an ad up in new hampshire. but you know how much this spent? iowa this past election on mailers, radio and television? a grand total of $120,000. >> new hampshire and iowa, then we get into closed republican primaries. you're seeing a lot of independents tonight. the big surprise could be the people showing up, maybe they're democrats or independents they're signing up to be republicans. remember new hampshire. if barack obama had an opponent,
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if there was a democratic race in iowa, it might be different. in new hampshire independents can also vote. this is what huntsman is banking on. remember when barack obama was winning in new hampshire then hillary charged back and took the state. wow, blue collar reagan democrat types. in places like that there are blue collar conservative democrats who if they want can play in new hampshire a week from now. >> will they vote for ron paul? >> the republican party ig norse ron paul at it peril. you can't win against yes a vulnerable but a very formidable incumbent unless he can change things. >> i'm listening, john. i go back to this. i think you're right. mitt romney is clearly going to win new hampshire, but he won't get a lot of credit for it. it's expected that he wins new hampshire. this came goes on. >> who has the money to take him on in florida?
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>> he's already sending out the ballots. >> i think he's got to get sort of above 28% or around there, because he's got to show -- >> he's polling at 40 in new hampshire right now. >> he's got to show that he can go beyond that threshold. what the romney campaign did very well, almost see how it turns out tonight, they were kind of a model for how you set expectations in a campaign. you know, they got into iowa late. they said we're not really going to compete, then suddenly it looked better for them. then they're in iowa, but their superpac is running the ads they are not. >> i think they've misread their expectations, they've set them too high. >> we'll bring you to a number of caucus sites. watch the voting as it takes place. we polled voters before they went into the caucuses. all energy development comes with some risk,
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here you go. driver's license. past five years' tax returns. high school report cards. and i'm gonna need to see a receipt for that watch you're wearing. you know, you really should provide us with a checklist of documents we're gonna need up front. who do you think i am? quicken loans? at quicken loans, we provide a checklist of the mortgage documents you'll need up front. it helps keep you in the know every step of the way. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. welcome back. we're getting official votes coming in to the cnn election center from iowa. let's take a look at where things stand right now. these are not polls. these are the official numbers coming in from des moines.
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15% of the precincts have now reported. ron paul is ahead with 24%. 148 votes ahead of rick santorum with 23%. 4,292 for rick santorum. also at 23%, just below rick santorum is mitt romney with 4,183 votes. newt gingrich is distant 13%. 2400 votes or so. rick perry only 10%, 1800 votes. michele bachmann a disappointing 6% withh1,000 votes. only 126 votes for jon huntsman. he didn't even campaign in iowa. 15% of the caucus precincts have reported right now. soledad o'brien is in clive outside of des moines. they're counting votes over there, soledad. >> yeah, there are two precincts that they're counting votes for here in clive. over here i'm looking at
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precinct two votes being counted. they're starting to sort them. so first they've got to divide them by candidate. after that they count those piles. once they count them for the first time, they'll switch, count those piles for the second time to make sure they're getting a consistent number. after that they'll start writing on a white board. they're going to write on the white board who has done, who has done well. there are speakers here talking as well. i'm going to let you come through. >> thank you. >> while they're doing the counting it takes 15 minutes. i'm sorry, i apologize for blocking you. there's business to do. speakers will come up and talk about the platform and the planks and things like that for the folks who stayed. they probably lost 800 people, 1,000 people, these are all who are left. these are people interested in seeing these results put up and talking about the business of the party. they're expecting this will take 15 minutes to do this.
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then they'll write it up for everybody to see, they'll also make the official phone call, as they tell me, to give the official results from these two precincts that will be reporting here from clive. wolf? >> soledad is at the seven flags events center in clive. we'll check in with shannon once again, shannon travis is in cedar falls. what's the status there? >> step by step, this process is playing out. the largest kaungous site, 6,000 people you see behind me many of the bleachers are empty. the next step in this process is tabulating these votes. this is taking longer because this is the largest caucus site. i'm joined by justin. he's the chairman. >> the results will be reported by the state party in des moines. but we're right here, as you can see, we're tabulating everything and sending it off to them as we speak. >> can you give us an idea how it's trending?
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>> i actually don't even know myself. we haven't looked at it, we haven't tabulated them. they're entering them by precinct. >> how much longer do you thing this process will take? >> probably in the next 10 or 15 minutes the state party will have all our information. >> thank you, justin. there you have it, wolf, justin, the caucus chairman of the site here telling us in 15 more minutes we should see some results reported. >> then they'll call des moines and give the numbers. we'll get those. in our entrance poll results it looks like a three-man contest. ron paul slightly ahead of rick santorum. and mitt romney as we know right now in the top tier. i want to go to the headquarters of those three candidates right now. candy crowley is over at mitt romney headquarters, jim acosta at rick santorum, candy, first to you. people are coming back from caucuses and getting ready to hear from their candidate at some point in the not too
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distant future. >> right. as it winds down, as the caucuses, it is gearing up here. it is not actually an evening that any romney supporters really expected to have. not so much in terms of results. but they really thought that romney would go on to new hampshire and perhaps say something there. perhaps a forward looking move rather than stay here in des moines overnight to watch these results come in. it was seen as a sign of romney confidence, frankly. this room is beginning to fill up with people who have already gone and done their duty at the caucuses. we're told that the candidate is in his hotel, holed up with some of his top advisers who flew in last night. they're doing what we're doing, which is watching the counting. >> candy, stand by. i want to go to rick santorum headquarters, jim acosta is there. what's going on over there? >> wolf, you can say that supporters of rick santorum are starting to make their way into the site.
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they're waiting to hear his speech later tonight. they're hoping it's a victory speech. supporter who caucused for him. we're here with james and cammy. you were telling me you think that senator santorum would surprise people tonight? >> i really do think he's going to surprise people. the amount of people that turned out to our caucus was higher than expected. and santorum won by a large margin of 56 to the second place of 40. so i think he has a good chance to win. >> and cammy, what do you think? have you been out to see santorum to speak? what it is that's drawing you to his campaign at this point? >> i'm just kind of impressed by -- i don't know, family values are very important to me because i have family. and just what i've heard about what he believes is really positive. >> very good. so wolf, we're hearing that from a lot of santorum supporters. we've spent the last 24 hours out on the campaign trail with
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him. it's striking to see how many social conservatives turn out at his events. he's counting on them to deliver tonight. i'll show you what it looks inside santorum headquarters. this has grown steadily over the course of the night. this is something we've seen over the last 24 hours covering senator santorum. we haven't seen much of following this campaign he's been trailed by not only american press but german press, japanese press, you name it. just goes to show you how this campaign has caught fire in just the last couple of days before the iowa caucuses. earlier you were talking about organization -- if i can just get back to that, very briefly. it should not come as a surprise to see santorum doing well tonight. i spoke to an aide over the weekend who said they expect to have 70% of the caucus sites covered. they had a ground campaign planned ready to go for tonight,
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you know, long before all of this came up this evening. this is something they've been planning for some time. they feel they executed it well. >> i spoke to senator santorum. they said they were really counting on their volunteers. they seem to be doing a pretty good job for him. jim acosta in santorum headquarters. dana bash at ron paul headquarters. it looks like he potentially could be the big winner tonight. he's slightly ahead of the sblans poll resu entrance poll results. i guess that room will fill up big time once those ron paul supporters finish voting. >> oh, that's right. you're starting to see some people come in here. young people coming in here. for the most part young people are the volunteers that came in from out of state. those are helpful to ron paul in doing some things but not in doing what he really needs, which are the votes. if you look at the entrance polls and talk to his campaign
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they're very happy what they've seen in regard to the young vote. we were at the rock the vote. interesting, a 76-year-old candidate, by far the oldest candidate in this race really got the biggest applause from junior and seniors in high school, those who are going to go out for the first time today. definitely i'm hearing from ron paul's campaign chief. he just sent me an e-mail that he's confident that they'll meet or exceed the entrance polls they are seeing. they're raising expectations tonight. they're really focusing a lot on that youth vote thinking that that really is going to help potentially put them over the edge if you listen to their confidence. >> we'll listen to ron paul. that entrance poll did show him slightly ahead mitt romney and rick santorum. ron paul, who would have thought 76 years old, an ob/gyn. he's doing remarkably well. he's got supporters out there, a lot of young people who are bringing folks to those
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caucuses. you're digging deeper. >> interesting dana was talking about age. very important. but these 19 categories, trying to find out what really this best shows this three-way tie with ron paul leading, that it looks like we have at this moment. here are two categories i wanted to hone in. first, vote by party i.d. people that went to the door, identified themselves, switched their affiliation for the night. what really matters is republicans, 74% saying and independents 24%. i'll break those charts down with gloria in a moment because i think it's pretty amazing what they show. but this, ever attended a gop caucus? yes, 60%. i can tell you right now that that yes, 60%, that's where mitt romney has his strength and you see it clearly. but i want to break down and flick over to you, gloria. >> yes. >> is the people who have never attended a caucus before. this is a high number. young people enthusiastic ron paul. >> young people enthusiastic.
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and organization. this also speaks to ron paul's organization. when i was in iowa a couple of weeks ago, spoke with a senior republican in the state who said to me, ron paul has gone out there and done what barack obama did in 2008, which is identify his voters, get to his voters and figure out how to get them to the caucus sites. i think that's where -- >> that's what we see. >> -- that's paying off this time. >> now look at the independents. this is where you see 24% of the voters independent and almost half going for ron paul. >> right. and i bet they're young, of course, and coming into the caucus and may turn around and register as something else some other time. but, but i think this tells you a lot about his anti-war message. >> right. >> i think that appeals to independent voters and also his economic message. >> as we hand it back over, i do
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want to note one final thing. well, there is it. that's independents inspect but in terms of republicans where you saw the split, the three-way split, mitt romney and rick santorum leading amongst republicans ron paul third. >> and santorum will get the social conservative. >> that's right. so we'll watch this, see which way this breaks. >> erin doing the fabulous flick over there on those two screens. more flicking coming up. but these are the official numbers that are coming in right now. 22% of the precincts have now been counted. doesn't get a whole lot closer than this. mitt romney, rick santorum, ron paul all with 23%. mitt romney 43 votes ahead of santorum. 6 a 256 for rick santorum, 6,240 for ron paul. newt gingrich 13%. everybody else 10%, perry,
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michele bachmann 6%, 1% jon huntsman. a quarter of the votes are in and look at how close it is. >> wolf, sometimes we make this overly complicated. politics at the end is about math. 22% of the vote in and 57 votes separating ron paul and mitt romney at the top with rick santorum in the middle. as this begins to fill in, look at this. purple, that's rick santorum. the dark red, that's mitt romney. the pinkish orange, that's ron paul. i just want to show you something. this is a three-way race in iowa tonight. four years mitt romney, mike huckab huckabee, ron paul one lonely county. michele bachmann is leading in one small rural county. newt gingrich leading in one small rural county. the rest of the map, this is romney, santorum and paul. so in a close race, 22% of the vote counted, out here in the middle, you see all those empty counties in the middle, they're very tiny counties. marshall county, 1.3% of the
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population. story county, there's a college campus in here. ames, iowa. that's important to watch the ron paul vote. 0.4% of the population. as we start to count these votes, these smaller counties critical to rick santorum. that's where you have evangelical tea party voters. rick santorum and ron paul will fight it out here. in the end where are the big population centers that are looking for votes. des moines, polk county, a little more than a quarter of the vote counted so far, ron paul running ahead. if he can keep that lead even though it's a small lead, 28% to 22%, this is where the votes are. that helps you in a close race. dubuque, a little more than 3% of the population. this was romney county four years ago. a dead heat five votes separating with 23% of the vote in, this is a place that you have a larger, not a huge, but a larger population center. we need to watch that.
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davenport, this county more than 5% of the population, again 76% of the vote still to be counted, romney's tied here right now. why does that matter? if you go back four years ago this was very important to mitt romney. if he stays tied right there, he could be in trouble with the overall vote. one last point i want to make, look out here, sioux city, woodbury county, 3% of the population not counted yet. just down below, some counties not counted yet. this is a conservative part of the state. four years ago for mitt romney. it has been hotly contested the year. if these counties stay roughly the same, this state could be decided out here. we're still waiting, 3 1/2% of the population here. remember, as we get closer, if it stays this close, the bigger population centers. iowa has no huge population centers, but if ron paul can hold this, then we'll watch davenport, cedar raps, dubuque. here, romney again, if you want to go back in time to lynn
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county there, romney won a little bit last time. more fun matsch mah to come. >> three leaders. mitt romney, rick santorum, ron paul. and ron paul in our entrance poll results slightly ahead of romney and santorum. we're going back inside. there are caucuses where there is still voting and they're counting votes. we'll show you what's going on. at some point we'll hear from these candidates. they'll be speaking to their supporters. [ female announcer ] splenda® no calorie sweetener is sweet... and more. if you replace 3 tablespoons of sugar a day with splenda®, you'll save 100 calories a day. that could help you lose up to 10 pounds in a year. and now get even more with splenda® essentials, the only line of sweeteners with a small boost of fiber, or antioxidants, or b vitamins in every packet. just another reason why you get more...
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and welcome back. our coverage continues with the iowa caucuses. john king just a few moments ago was showing you the map of where the votes are coming in. he was pointing the area out around des moines. it's particularly important votes still coming in from there. at clive soledad o'brien, they are still counting votes. >> in the city of clive, anderson, west des moines
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precinct one and west des moines precinct two are here in live for space reasons. precinct one has finished their count. this is precinct number one with the red ballots. in their count mitt romney is ahead significantly, number two behind mitt romney is santorum. that is what happened with precinct number one, west des moines. over here they're still counting. they're on their second count for precinct number two, which are the white ballots. they've actually at the same time -- we turn around for one second. they're making the official, 79 votes for mitt romney. ron paul third with 42 points, gingrich is fourth, 24. >> we're still working on west des moines two. >> so you heard what christy taylor, who runs this precinct -- christy, will you give us those numbers one more time? >> sure, governor romney has 79, santorum 46, paul 42, gingrich
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24, perry 23, bachmann has 10, then unfortunately none for huntsman and cain. any word on how that's going in the second count? >> it's a bigger precinct. it's taking a little bit longer. high volume. a lot of votes. i'm guessing a similar turnout, but we'll see momentarily. >> so that is what we're standing by for. some folks were able to wrap up their counts early. but this is a place where we had maybe a thousand people. started a little late, the count goes longer. they're wrapping up their second confirmation count in the precinct number one. i'm expecting in just a minute or two, they'll be able to tell us how that went. but in precinct two, mitt romney significantly ahead. >> soledad thanks. soledad showed us in the shot the place is pretty much empty except for what's happening on stage. most of those people have gone home. john king, that's an important area because of the area around
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des moines important to watch those numbers coming in. >> right. here's our live caucus cam. right where soledad is. let's take that away and come back to our map. you come in, you watch the state, again, look at this. we're waiting for this to come in. this is about as close as it gets. soledad is here. this is polk county. 12.8% of the state's population. 13% of the population. we don't say that's going to be 13% of the vote tonight. we have to see how many republicans turned out in this area. romney won that one precinct, but that's what governor romney wants to see. but that's ron paul. ron paul leading. but again 28% to 22%. we're talking fewer than a thousand votes for everybody. 27%. as that goes up, that's the biggest for everybody. but as ron paul goes up, there's that lead. speaker gingrich leading in one
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county, less than 1% of the population. not a huge instance. michele bachmann, a tiny county, not auto huge difference. other than that, gingrich and bachmann, you see this playing out like a checker board. who is green? green is a tie. a tiny county, ron paul, rick perry tied in that little conservative county. this is fascinating. if you look at the open spaces, let me use a little red here, this is a very important part of the state. >> much more conservative. >> much more conservative. and a decent population chunk here. sioux city. 3 1/2%. conservatives here. a debate out here not long ago, a lot of conservatives target this area here. excuse me for reaching across. we'll see if the romney organization can deliver tonight, romney carried this area four years ago. remember conservatives have attacked him saying he's not the true conservative. if you look at the three counties in the west all carried by romney. in woodbury, where sioux city is, he had a decent margin.
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what happens out of the western part of the state, we don't have the votes there just yet. >> conventional wisdom before voting began tonight was the northwest more conservative perhaps more likely to go for santorum. the east more for romney and population centers where there's more young people because of iowa state, ron paul. >> romney's doing okay here. not quite as strongly as he did last time. santorum is winning. >> he's lost ground. >> compared to four years ago, but you have a three-way race this time, you had a two-way last time. a lot of these counties we're talking a few hundred votes. but in a few of these a few hundred votes add up. 23% right now say in dubuque county, in a close election, it's math. you look where the people are. the larger counties, 3% of the population, romney winning by five votes. we'll slug this one out. >> what are the most important population centers we're still
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watching, the area around des moines? >> polk county is the biggest chunk of the electorate. that's where soledad is. >> do we know the percentage of the vote in? >> from polk county 27% of the vote. that's first place to look. davenport, cedar rapids, dubuque and sioux city. we'll watch this fill in. this is critical to romney. that could decide the state right there, the western part of the state. >> fascinating. all about geography. our coverage continues. counting of votes still going on as you just saw in clive. [ male announcer ] what if we told you that cadillac
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almost a quarter of the official votes have now been counted. a three-man race very, very close between mitt romney, rick santorum and ron paul. let's go to clive right now. soledad o'brien. have they finished counting the
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votes over where you are, soledad? >> yeah, just a couple of minutes ago, i told you, wolf, that precinct one was counted. now west des moines precinct two has the results in. here they are. mitt romney the clear winner with 160 followed by rick santorum with 87 votes. that's a very similar result. actually just larger numbers because the precinct is bigger. very similar result to precinct one which reported and closed a couple minutes ago. dr. christy taylor has been running the thing. are you surprised? >> no, actually i'm not. i think this is about what i expected as things have gone on this week. >> what are the interesting things that i saw when i first came here, it was jammed with probably what, a thousand people here? >> probably close to it, yeah. >> the number of undecideds. people literally who were trying to figure out and were on the fence and in lots of cases they were going different directions. >> in the last three o four
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weeks people have changed their minds. i've talked to many people who have changed from two to three to four candidates. >> is it an indication -- people were telling me i'm looking for a composite candidate, this from mitt romney, this from rick santorum, obviously that's not doable. does that spell a and a proble come november against barack obama? >> you know, i don't think it's a problem, i think it's a real opportunity. we have a lot of great candidates to choose from. we like the brilliance and historical knowledge from gingrich. and we like the fact that rick santorum is a real man who seems to be -- you know, he could be your brother or your cousin, the guy next todoor. and we like the bravado of rick perry and the intelligence of mitt romney. i think we just had to choose which of those characteristics was most important to us at this time in our history. >> christie taylor who's running the whole thing, while she also juggles being a doctor, in her spare time. >> i saw she's an md.
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what kind of doctor is she? >> reporter: she's an internist, and actually was on call late last night and it's going to be a late night tonight for her, and she's going to be on my show "starting point" tomorrow morning, early. which we appreciate. i don't know if your staff told her. it's going to be a really busy 48 hours for dr. taylor. >> thanks so much. 31% of the precincts have now reported. look at how close it is. mitt romney, slightly, slightly ahead of rick santorum. ron paul right up there, though. mitt romney with 24%. rick santorum and ron paul, 23%. newt gingrich, 13%. look at how close it is for the top three. the bottom three, let's bring that up and show our viewers. rick perry, a disappointing 10%. michele bachmann, 6%. and jon huntsman, who really didn't campaign in iowa, only 1%. 211 votes. let's go back to the leaders right now. these are the official votes.
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these are not the entrance poll results, these are the official votes and it is a three-man race right now. almost one third of the voting has now been counted. 7,844 votes for mitt romney, 7,726 for rick santorum. 7,655 for ron paul. let's go to dana bash over at ron paul headquarters right now. i guess more and more people are coming back from their caucuses to wait for the candidate. >> reporter: that's right. and we have here somebody who actually did just go vote for ron paul, a first time caucus voter, corporal jesse thorsen, who is 28 years old, and you are active duty u.s. army. why did you vote for ron paul? >> i'm really excited about a lot of his ideas, especially when it comes to bringing the soldiers home. i've been serving for ten years now, and all ten years of those have been during wartime. i would like to see a little peace time army, and i think he has the right idea.
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>> reporter: you've done two tours and you're going to go back for a third tour. you can see an your neck right there, a tattoo, 9/11, remember, and a picture of the twin towers. some republicans have been saying that ron paul would be very dangerous for this country, because he wants to bring troops like you back from your post from all over the world. >> well, i think it would be even more dangerous to start nitpicking wars with other countries. someone like iran, israel is more than capable of -- >> all right. we just lost our connection, unfortunately, with dana. dana, stand by, if we can hear you. we'll get back. i want to go to candy crowley over at mitt romney headquarters. people are beginning to fill up that room over there, candy? >> reporter: they are, indeed. and we're starting to grab some folks here. and i wanted to introduce senator john thune, so i know i don't have to introduce you. you always know when a politician looks this relaxed, it's not your election night. >> that's true!
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>> reporter: but senator thune was at the caucus in ankeny tonight, speaking for mitt romney. listen, we're watching these poll numbers come in. we see romney now at about 23, 24%, less than he had last time around. what does that say about mitt romney in iowa? >> well, i think it's an entirely different race this time around, candy. you've got more candidates that are in contention, you've got sort of a three-way pack at the top, and then you've got a number of candidates were not doing as well, but it's just the vote's divided up a lot different ways -- in a lot different ways than it was four years ago. but i think we're very encouraged by the numbers that are coming in so far. >> reporter: well, you know how this works. if he comes out of here with 24%, even if he wins, people are going to say, he's got a ceiling. there's just something about mitt romney that the republican party does not warm up to. >> what's going to happen, though, is the race, it's going to start to narrow. you're going to have some candidates probably, eventually, are going to drop out. and when the race starts to get down to fewer candidates, then
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people are going to have to make some decisions. and i think the decision -- the reason that i think mitt romney is doing really well here in iowa is because people really looking at the electability issue. i think people realize they need somebody that can win. and if their goal is to defeat barack obama and deny him a second term in office, then he's their best shot. so as the race goes on and there are fewer candidates in the field, i think you'll see those numbers change and i think they're going to change in romney's favor. >> reporter: senator john thune, thank you so much for stopping by. we appreciate it. wolf, back to you. >> thanks very much, and thanks to senator thune as well. social media is abuzz right now. we'll check with ali velshi and see what the buzz is all about. you can tweet me, by the way, @wolfblitzer at cnn. i'll check any twitter to see what's going, when you think about what's happening in iowa. stay with us. you'll save 100 calories a day. that could help you lose up to 10 pounds in a year. and now get even more with splenda® essentials,
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have i helped you with everything you needed ? if your bank doesn't give you knowledgeable customer service 24/7, you need an ally. ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense. all right, let's recap as we approach the top of the hour. right now, it is a very, very close race in iowa. these are official numbers that have now been counted and distributed. 31% of the precincts in iowa have now reported their numbers. mitt romney, slightly ahead, 24%. he's got 7,844 votes, ahead of
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rick santorum with 23%, 7,726. ron paul right up there as well, 7,655, he's got 23%. then all of a sudden newt gingrich slips. he's at 13% with 4,440. and then the bottom three, they're in trouble right now in iowa, with about a third of the votes in if you take a look at rick perry and michele bachmann and jon huntsman, they are not doing as well. there you see it right there. 10% for rick perry, 6% for michele bachmann, only 1% more jon huntsman. but once again, 61% of the precincts reporting. let's go down, anderson, as we're watching all of this unfold, you know, just to give you some perspective, four years ago, we projected a winner in the iowa caucus at 8:35 p.m. eastern. now it's, what, an hour and a half later. and we can't project a winner, it's so cl