tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN January 3, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
caucuses going back 20 years and more. mitt romney the prediction from governor terry brom stead. i want everybody to stay here for the minutes and hours ahead. we'll see if the governor called it right as we count the first official votes of the 2012 presidential campaign. "america's choice 2012." stay tuned. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com election history is about to be made again. >> certainly is. iowa takes the first step on the road to the white house. tonight, the first test of the republican presidential candidates that counts.
anyone could win. >> what should the role of government be? >> and everything could change. >> we are not going to spend more money than what we're bringing in in this country. >> it's iowa's choice. will iowans embrace mitt romney? >> i want to restore america. i want to turn around america. >> make ron paul the spoiler? >> i think we have too many laws is what the problems are. >> turn back the -- >> the establishment witches i'd go away. >> choose rick santorum? >> if we don't have strong family, we won't have a strong family. >> or another come-from-behind candidate? >> we will repeal obama care, it will happen. >> only one republican will face off against the president. >> i believe in america. >> in a new year of challenges and economic pain. >> there's no more important task for the next president. >> the candidates have spoken. >> vote for me on january 3rd. >> thank you all very much. >> god bless you.
>> good luck and god less you. >> god bless the united states of america. >> now it's time for the people to be heard. i'm wolf blitzer at the cnn election center. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. no one knows what will happen within the next few hours. one of these seven republicans could take a step closer to the white house. others may be forced to drop out of the race after iowans have their say. tonight cnn caucus cameras will take you inside the places where voters are gathering right now. take a look. crowds are already forming inside the halls in various caucuses. you'll be able to see exactly how this contest works. >> we have the most cameras in the most locations.
anchors, krocorrespondents are live. soledad, first to you. >> all right, wolf. i'm at the seven flags events stephanopoulos in clive, iowa. two precincts will be caucuses here tonight. expecting in the next 20 minutes people to start showing up en masse. folks are representing the campaigns, but there is a sense of anticipation that is growing. of course, this is happening at hundreds of caucus locations, sites around the state right now. >> history unfolding. soledad stand by. candy crowley, go ahead, tell us where you are. >> reporter: i'm at romney headquarters at least for the evening tonight. mitt romney has been up and he's been down. he goes into this evening up. the question is has he been strong enough to hold off big challenges from rick santom and ron paul? it's show time. >> certainly the, candy. let's go to anderson cooper. he is, of course, going to be
with us every step of the way. >> wolf, we're counting down to the first votes in the presidential race. less than one hour from now. the decision team is crunching if numbers. we'll give you the results in three distinct ways, you'll see where the candidates are doing well with the magic wall, you'll see which iowans are supporting them and you'll see why with our entrance polling center. john king is ready to map out the numbers for us. >> we know the 2012 map will be different from the 2008 map. the question is how much and tonight is our first test f. you go back to 2008, if mitt romney is to win, he must replicate his success in the eastern part of the state, he must prove he can win out here in conservative country in the western part of the state. in the middle of the state, this is the key test. this is where you find the evangelical voters, the tea party voters. they're critical if we're going to have a rick santorum surge. will they split between perry, bachmann and others.
ron paul won just one lonely county four years ago. can he expand the map? >> we'll continue to watch that. erin burnett is tracking how the candidates are doing. >> that's right. we'll be having 19 categories here. who is voting for whom and why. this is from 2008, born again or evangelical chrisians. the 2008, 60% of republican caucus-goers identified themselves as evangelicals. take a look at this. what did that mean in 2008? that ruz the huckabee surge. if that happens again this time, it could be a night for santorum. it's going to be all about evangelicals. we'll show it to you every step of the way. >> ali velshi will be looking at candidate support in another way. >> we're tracking tweets in iowa and across the country in a new way. when someone tweets about a particular candidate like ron paul, you'll see these pink dots. each one of these dots corresponds to one of the
background colors ton candidate. over here we can see the number of tweets each candidate is getting right now. it ace snapshot of public opinion in realtime, anderson. >> cool. ali, we'll check with you later. here are gloria borger and david bergin. wolf, back to you. >> anderson, it's going to be a busy night for all of us. we're watching everything going on. let's check in with reporters at various campaign headquarters. candy crowley is admit romney headquarters. rick october coos that and dana bash. first to you, romney headquarters a critically important night for mitt romney. if he can win in iowa tonight, it's a huge, huge potential bonanza. >> reporter: it certainly is. i asked mitt romney that very question today. if you win tonight, is it over?
he holds such a big lead in new hampshire. he said, oh, no, it's a long race. by i tell you it would real grease the skids for him. first, do not harm, this is a hugely cautious campaign at this point. we sought newt gingrich try to engage mitt romney today when gingrich called romney a liar. romney basically tossed it off. reporters being kept somewhat at arm's length while on the campaign trail, very controlled audiences today, taking no questions. this is just a campaign that doesn't want to make any mistakes. the rhetoric very mild and quite familiar. >> candy stand by -- american hims i love. one is "america the beautiful." i think i like each of those versus. oh beautiful for spacious sky skies, for amber waves of grain.
if corn counts, amber waves of grain right here in iowa. >> reporter: wolf, what could be wrong with that. the motto in the romney campaign, don't rock the boat. it's going very well. >> certainly is. jim acosta is at rick santorum headquarters. we see the sign behind you, rick santorum, faith, family and freedom. a couple weeks ago he was apparently nowhere. all of a sudden he's near the top. what's going on? >> reporter: that's right. rick santorum has been the marathon man of the iowa kuxs, held 360-some-odd town halls across iowa's 99 counties. unlike the other mitt romney alternatives on the conservative side of the spectrum, his surge came at the right time n the days before the iowa caucuses. i had a chance to talk to rick santorum earlier today, he said he's not predicting victory but feeling cautiously optimistic.
he said if he can crack the top three out of iowa, he will feel good going into new hampshire. even though mitt romney is a very heavy favorite there. >> let's go to ron paul headquarters. dana bash is standing by. ron paul could win the whole thing in iowa tonight. his supporters recognize that, dana. >> reporter: they certainly do. they're hoping that. i'm standing on the stage where ron paul will appear later this evening after the caucuses are done, of course. he's going to come here, speak at the podium. just to give a sense of how excited they are and how optimistic they are about doing well here, i want bill, our photographer, to pull out and show you this jib camera the campaign has hired. they're shooting it for a potential ron paul commercial, actually calling it a hero cam so they can shoot ron paul in what they are assuming will be victorious. now, what is victory for ron paul? last time around four years ago, he came in fifth with 10% of the vote.
now, of course, in recent days and weeks, he has been polling in a statistical dead heat for first with mitt romney, they tell me inside the campaign their internal polls show him doing well. they have a vaunted organization here. they have lots and lots of young people that say they're going to go out for ron paul, maybe caucus for the first time for him. the question is whether or not they can actually turn all those calls that they're making into actual votes and get them out to the caucuses. that is the question. >> we'll see if they can. they have the balloons ready. dana, thanks very much. we have a unique opportunity tonight to see inside a caucus as it happens. we have live cameras across the state of iowa. as the results come in, you'll get constant updates at the bottom of your screen. you're watching cnn's live coverage of america's choice 2012, the iowa caucuses.
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welcome back to our continuing coverage of this very exciting, really the first night that really platters in this election, the night of the caucuses in iowa. shannon travis is standing by in cedar falls at a site where some 6,000 people are going to be caucusing tonight. michele bachmann is already there. we're going to be addressing the crowds. shannon, what is the scene there? having a problem get together shannon. we'll check in with him a little later. over the past six months it seemed there was a new republican front-runner every few weeks or so. let's take a look at the trend lines in this volatile race. we'll start with the national polling beginning in june. back then mitt romney was the leader, then rick perry, then herman cain. then newt gingrich soared. by december, mitt romney was back where he started at the top
of the pack. even more ups and downs in tie wa polls. first romney, then bachmann, then herman cain, then romney again, then newt gingrich, then ron paul. now mitt romney heading into the caucuses. a lot to talk about with all of our contributors. ari fleischer, what are you looking for? >> one, how energized are the republicans and, of course, who won? that's really key. the other is who is going to be the first ones to drop out? that's going to be a huge issue going forward affecting mitt romney, if he can continue to divide and conquer. >> it's often said there's three tickets out of iowa. in this case fourth place matters as well. >> fourth place matters because you give ron paul a pass. you assume he's going to be in the top two or three. it doesn't matter because he's not going to go on much longer from here. you could say the top four. i think whoever rins, if rick santorum beats mitt romney, it's big news out of iowa. >> dana bash, what are the big
questions you're looking the have answered? >> sort of looking at intensity to see who comes out, and also the definition of the nonromney candidates. who are the conservative candidates out of this? who is going to be the nonromney. this is testing the waters of that. >> shannon is talking to michele bachmann. let's check in with him. >> standing here with michele bachmann who may be able to convince undecideds. >> as you can see there's people all around us right now. it's a wonderful reception. for me this is home. i was born and raised in waterloo and cedar falls, iowa. i'm thrilled to be in my own back yard. it's exciting for me to be here. this is the very first night beginning the book on who will replace barack obama as president. >> have you spoken with anyone in the crowd that's undecided? >> a there's a lot of people undecided. we've been here shaking hands
and talking to people. i'll speak for about four minutes and we'll continue to meet with more people. >> reporter: how do you try to get them off the fence into your camp? the caucus vote is is about to start any moment. >> it's about to start. people are looking for the one true core conservative that can take on barack obama and win. that's what i've demonstrated without the campaign, i have an unassailable record whether on cutting standing, standing up for human life and marriage or standing for national security. i'm the only candidate with current experience in security. i'm the one that's demonstrated the fortitude to stand up in washington. it haven't caved. i remained a real person. that's what they want in the next president, someone that will stand up, take it to barack obama and win in 2012. i won really tough elections. i can win again in 2012. >> thank you so much, congresswoman. good luck tonight. >> she was in front at one point, as everybody was at one point. >> just like the rest of them,
improbable nominee. if it was donald trump, if it was cain, if it was perry. huckabee was the first front-runner. if he ended up running, he would probably be doing pretty well. she's just not up for the job. >> if she doesn't finnish the top four, is this her last night? >> it doesn't matter. she could stay in. if she doesn't finish in the top four, she's done. she can hold her own for late while. it doesn't matter. i think she's done anyway. >> she put everything on iowa. part of the probable is she didn't do well in the debates. she had some moments where she was pretty good. then she would make a statement. people would say she flat-outlined about it. it destroyed all of her credibility. in the one debate where she got a really good response against
mitt romney, then she comes out with the hp vaccine. the debates showed also, i think, what happens when you are not on your game consistently. romney was consistent throughout, a couple of stumbles. for the most part showed who was the strong candidate, who was the weak candidate. >> the debates have been very important this season. we'll talk about that tonight. wolf, you did a bunch of them. i did one as well. it did play an important role so far in this primary season. >> a lot of people think, anderson, it was the year of the debate f you will. there are plenty more, assuming this race continues and i think it will. we're taking you inside iowa caucuses tonight as they happen. you're watching cnn's live coverage of america's choice 2012, the iowa caucuses. my name is ron orsini,
call our entrance poll. they're telling us not only their backgrounds and a lot of personal information, but also telling us who they're going to vote for going in. you know what? they could change their minds. at these caucuses there are representatives of the six candidates who will be speaking, making pitches and they can always change their minds. you know what we should do, anderson? >> what's that, wolf? >> let's look how the caucuses really work and explain to the viewers. >> if only we had some new high-tech thing that had never been seen on television before? oh, look at this, the weebles. >> imagine iowa republicans showing up in more than 1700 precincts across the state, about 900 locations. this is going on in schools, church basements, even private homes. you see what's happening right now. take a look at this. this is supposed to be representative of mitt romney. he's going to the front of the room to promote his candidate appeal for their support. representatives from all the candidates, if they want, they can have their say, they can
make an appeal to the people at that caucus. then comes the really important part. listen to this, anderson. the caucus-goers get a chance to vote. they can write it down on a piece of paper. they can do it publicly, a show of hands sometimes. >> they're waffling. >> representative caucus, you see all those party officials over there. once they get all the results, the representative of the caucus counts all those votes, old-fashioned way. they say one, two, three, four, five. they count the votes and actually get what's called a telephone and call des moines. >> larry: party headquarters. >> are they zapping them with a laser? >> they can make a call and give the results of that caucus. it's pretty cool. >> if you miss any of this, you can see it later on "the daily show" with jon stewart when he mocks you. >> look, there's a little wolf
blitzer weeble. >> pretty cool, don't you think? >> yes. >> i hope the weebles will show up through out the evening. >> this is not the last you've seen. >> hold on a second because i want everyone to appreciate that we just showed everybody in the united states and around the world how a republican caucus works because it's different. >> are those the undecided voters. >> that's what's interesting, you can show up and be independent as long as you reregister at this site. the rules are made up by the republican party. >> and you can change back the next day. that could be the key to ron paul's success because he'll attract -- >> hold on one second. i'm going to go over and check something out. >> this is off script. >> joe johns is standing by at one of the caucuses right now. he's in ankenny, iowa. what are you seeing there? >> this is the campus of des
moines community college. right down here at the end of the hall is where this process really begins and ends. this is the check-in table. as you can see there are people signing their names and addresses, what have you. and if their name isn't on the list but if they want to participate in the caucus, they can simply sign up, register as a republican and then they're eligible to do so. right across the hall here, chris, unfortunately, it looks like somebody turned off the light for us, but this is the room where they're actually going to count the votes after all those votes come in. it's a computer room, not particularly impressive. that's the room that really counts, as we say. this light here is a sample ballot. it's actually green, very small as you can see. just a piece of paper, no names printed on it, just a seal of the republican party of the state. no names because they didn't want to decide whose name goes first, whose name goes last, whose name gets left out.
all you have to do is write a name down, turn it in and it will be counted. with me right here is one of the people who is actually caucuses. your name is greer sisson? >> correct. >> who will you caulking for tonight? >> mitt romney. >> did you caucus for him last time? >> no, i didn't. yes, i did support him last time in the caucus. this time i'm going to be speaking for him. i didn't do that last time. >> did you go to classes? did they send you a speech, how did you end up deciding you were going to do this? you're also going to speak, correct? >> i am going to say a few words on behalf of mitt romney, and the campaign headquarters called and asked if i wanted to do that. i said sure. >> thanks so much, ms. sisson. nice meeting you. >> we'll be checking back with you often. let's go to indianaola. they expect about 2,000 people to show up there.
>> this isn't as big as the other spots. indianol safrnlths the center of warren county, a conservative part of the state. it's going to be a good petre dish. take a look over here. people are started to arrive. you can see what a precinct actually looks like in the caucuses. right here we are in the fourth ward of indianola. they're expecting about 200. you can see they're signing in. over here to my right they're preparing some of the secret ballots that are going to be counted tonight. this is actually what they look like, wolf, right here. so probably not a lot of jon huntsman votes coming out of this district tonight, wolf. >> in some of those caucuses, folks can do it secretly. other caucuses they do it publicly. in indianola, these are secret.
is that what you're say? >> they vote by secret ballot. they count them publicly. there's a table in another section of the room after the precinct leaders speak for their chosen candidates. then the ballots are going to be counted out and we'll all be able to watch. there will be representatives, volunteers from the campaign that will be observing the vote. the initial vote, secret ballot, stick in an envelope and someone else will count it. >> peter hamby. soledad o'brien is in clive, iowa. where exactly is clive, iowa, soledad? can you hear me, soledad? >> reporter: yes. can you hear me? >> i said you're in clive, iowa, and you'll tell our viewers where clive, iowa is? >> reporter: it's an area that's very populated. what's interesting is there are two precincts caucusing here. i want to show you the size of
the spice and the size of this line wolf. it really goes on -- the last couple minutes, it has grown very big. one of the reasons they had to go to a space this size is because the suburban areas caucusing here, west des moines one and west des moines two, they've grown so quickly, they have to grow out of the churches and come to a rented space like this. this is the receiving line basically, where people will be checking in. i'm going to cut around the back. a couple of things happen right here. two things happen. one, you get a volunteer form, this is an area that you cannot only put your personal information, but also if you want to host a yard sign or hold a meeting. more important is this one, this is the presidential preference ballot. this is what is going to be stuffed in the boxing up front when they do the voting. before that happens, there will be speeches from people representing the candidates, kept to five minutes apiece.
then people have an opportunity to talk with their neighbors and then putting these ballots into the boxes and eventually telling them, and they will count. let me show you one final thing, wolf. look at the size of this crowd now. literally this has happened, i would say, in the last five or six minutes, the line has grown. they're expecting maybe as many as 150 people. an interesting thing they did, because they wanted to keep the neighborhood grassroots feel, they removed a lot of chairs that would normally be here. they want not as many chairs as the people because they want people to mingle and talk and have conversations about the candidate that they're supporting so that even though they're in a big, giant space, they keep the homey feel they think is so important to the caucuses. >> and representatives of the candidates will speak before they actually vote in clive, is that right, soledad? >> that's right. they've been limited to a very tight five minutes. i've been told that they will be yanked off the stage when they
get beyond five minutes. they're expecting to hear from every representative of the candidates for five minutes before people can come up, put the ballots in and vote. >> soledad, thanks very much. let's go over to cnn's john king over at the magic call for us. john, give us a little flavor of what we should expect to see in the course of this evening. >> let's pick up off of what soledad said. she said she was in the west des moines suburbs. that's right here. this dark red, this is four years ago. if mitt romney does well where soledad is, that means he's replicating what he did four years ago. four years ago huckabee 45%, mitt romney 35%. small town evangelical christian conservative, tee party iowa is the orange. this is why we're so excited, the first votes tonight, they begin to fill in this map. you watch it happen live as the vote results come in. one of the things we'll look at,
we've talked about it a lot, the evangelical vote. the darker the area of the state, the higher percentage of voters that define themselves as evangelicals or born-again christians. this is the biggest spliced four years ago. that's why huckabee won. will they turn out in as high numbers? will the evangelicals have the same percentage of the vote? that's a huge question. it's very important. the evangelical slice is important and we'll also show you the tea party vote. it's not about how many republicans turn out tonight, it's which piece of the party they come from. >> michele bachmann is speaking the the folks in cedar falls. let's listen. >> -- have sacrificed of us. my father signed up to serve honorably in the united states air force here in black hawk county. it is for them, for their memory that we are here tonight because
we are here to reclaim the greatness of this country. we are unwilling to allow barack obama to implement socialism in the united states of america. that will not happen on our watch. we won't let it. that's why as a member of congress i stood up against obama care. i stood up and was counted and led 40,000 americans to washington, d.c. to say no to the crowned jewel of socialism which is socialized medicine. we cannot allow the federal government to run the housing in this country. we can't allow the federal government to run the automobile industry in this country. we're better than that. we're america. barack obama continues to treat us like we are a third world banana republic. we aren't. we're the united states. he continues to make decision
after decision for unilateral -- >> you hear michele bachmann, making literally a last-minute appeal to the folks at that caucus to vote for her. newt gingrich, by the way, is getting ready to speak as well. much more of the iowa caucuses coming up. all energy development comes with some risk, but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives...
some 6,000 people expected in cedar falls. we heard from congresswoman bachmann speaking to those already there. speaker gingrich is now talking. let's listen in to some of what he has to say. >> -- of his administration may cripple america for several generations. so the decision you are making is very, very important. in considering my candidacy, i
ask you to just think of four things. first, i am the only candidate who worked with ronald reagan to turn around the economy, to grow jobs and at the same time to defeat the soviet empire in the 1980s, and who then went on taking the reagan playbook and in the 1990s reformed welfare, cut taxes, brought unemployment down to 4.2%, helped create 11 million new jobs and balanced the budget for four years. this is not a time for another amateur. we've had three years of an amateur. washington is too complicated. the problems are too hard. second, i ask you to consider who can stand up to obama's
billion dollar campaign, meet him in debate in october and decisively repudiate his policies, his principles, his values and his ideas and win despite every smear, every attack and every distortion which you know their billion dollar campaign will launch. i would suggest that being the debates you've seen i will come far closer to being able to decisively defeat him. third, we've run a relentlessly positive campaign. we've done -- our ads have been positive. the speeches have been positive. you have a chance tonight to send a signal to america that the consultant-driven, viciously
negative campaigns are totally wrong for this year when america is in these kind of problems. and you can do that by refusing to vote for anyone who has run negative ads, and you can insist on voting for someone who has been positive. finally, the conservative movement has an opportunity to take advantage of all of obama's weaknesses and win one of the great historic victories of the 21st century with your help. we will try to lead that movement to a decisive change in washington for our children, our grandchildren and the future of our country. thank you very, very much. >> former speaker newt gingrich addressing the crowds in cedar falls and the caucus site there. david gergen, gloria borger standing by. what has happened to newt gingrich? what does he need to accomplish
tonight? is anywhere in the top four, does that give him new life? >> it helps. what we saw tonight was a smoldering newt gingrich. he's very angry. he's run a positive campaign. >> he called romney today a liar. >> by the way, that's an old taboo in politics, to go after someone in your own party. that really breaks a taboo. >> bob dole did that, stop lying about my record. didn't work out so well. >> didn't work out so well. i think he has to finish in the top four. there's a fairly good chance he will. he's clearly going to go to new hampshire. the question becomes, is he going to go after mitt romney in the way he went after him today? this is going to be a very, very tough campaign. >> does he have the money to run counter ads? about half the ads run in iowa were aimed in gingrich and clearly took a toll. >> i would argue that's one of
the reasons he went positive. he made virtue out of necessity. he didn't have the money and said okay, i'm going to go positive. he's faced $3.5 million of negative ads from romney's super pact,ry romney doesn't direct. >> he says clearly these are his millionaire friends doing this and he could tell them to stop. >> romney said i can't tell them the stop. gingrich says you're lie sglg we have debates coming up. it will be interesting to see if he attacks him in these debates and says stop lying about my record. >> what is the hope for him out of tonight? >> to make south carolina the firewall. if romney can win tonight and in new hampshire, he will have momentum and many think he will win south carolina. >> but for gingrich? >> gingrich would say the top four. he came out the other day and said he wasn't going to win
iowa. >> but if he does fourth place, he can make the argument that ron paul is not sustainable, that santorum is not sustainable, but he's in the lead in south carolina and, therefore, can win the mini caucus. >> actually, when you talk to the romney people, they will tell you it's rick perry and newt gingrich who can raise the most money, so they would rather those guys finish way back because those are the people that they believe have some sustainability in terms of raising the money. >> that's right. that's exactly right. the romney people have said very clearly they think there are only two people in this race who could potentially beat them, one is gingrich, one is perry. they would like to have both disposed of tonight. if gingrich is way back in fourth or even fifth, that makes it harder for him. he's shown an, anderson, he's one of the candidates who can live off the land. >> live off the debate. >> if debates were the first primaries, you could argue that
newt gingrich rode those to the top of the polls. >> you're saying he can live off the land, does haven't a big campaign infrastructure, doesn't need to raise a lot of money to continue on to south carolina? >> exactly. he has to defend himself in south carolina. that's going to be a really interesting state. the critical thing tonight is how angry he is. >> and how long that continues. we'll talk more with david gergen and gloria borger, we're monitoring social media as well, getting your reaction to this first decision day in the presidential election. erin burnett is standing by at our polling center revealing the latest set of entrance poll numbers, talking to people as they talk about as they enter the caucus sites. power consumption in china,nn impact wool exports from new zealand, textile production in spain, and the use of medical technology in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy.
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there. there r there indications they're gearing up for a massive celebration, balloons and things as you see at the ron paul headquarters, candy? >> reporter: i think they'll have a celebration whether he comes in first, second or third. i think it's hard to argue a third place is a win, but nonetheless, they feel pretty good. yes, they're hoping for a celebration. it's a good friething i'm close friends with donna brazell and republican strategist monica matlin. it's my experience that candidates about whom there's kind of a muscular question, a barack obama, can go negative and people go ya, ya. people like newt gingrich, there's no question that they can have a sharp tongue. when they go negative, there's a risk. >> of course. with so many voters undecided, he needs to be positive, optimistic, go in there and be
convinced and persuade the undecided voters to come over to his side. that face of bitterness and anger won't help on a night like tonight when tonight where they looking for someone who is electable and looking for somebody that can go the distance. >> can newt gingrich sell a fourth coming out of here? can fourth be the new third? >> never say never in this new cycle. it's totally prin diktable. positive, negative, positive, negative, it has been more harmful about the presence of no strategy. mitt romney came in with a strategy. they never came in here wanting to win iowa. that's good enough victory for their strategy. republicans started out wanting a consistent conservative. they're leaving having seen a consistent candidate. everybody else went up and down. everybody else is an example of that. romney has stayed steady and solid and become a stronger candidate. >> and somewhat removed.
i would say consistent and cautious. he's not been out there in the fray, so to speak. it's kind of as though the motto was like, if you stand back, everyone else will implode and we can get out of here with a win. >> perhaps more patient than the other candidates. remember, he's been at this rodeo before. the people here in the state, they know him. he really came in second place four years ago. his organization is pretty tight. and he can hold some of his organizational muscle for the next contest. >> it was cautious, but it was disciplined. the only time they broke the discipline was for good reason. when newt was a real problem. and he took off the gloves and changed the strategy of his campaign and jumped in here and was a tough fighter. >> mary matalin, donna brazile, we'll be back with you later tonight. >> you can see the believe in america romney banner right behind him. he'll be presumably giving a speech. we see the teleprompter going up there already, candy, thank you very much. we've been asking iowa
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we are nearing 8:00 p.m., the time that the doors at the iowa caucuses are closing. at cedar falls gingrich had just completed speaking. we're very close to where the speaker is. shannon, the doors have not closed there yet, but the speaker is finished with his speech? >> that's right, anderson. he just got off the stage. he's making his last appeal for votes. let's see if we can get a word with him right now. speaker gingrich -- >> some day we'll write a sequel. >> about how many people do you think you were able to help decide of the undecideds? >> you have to ask these folks. >> what do you think your chances are? >> well, pretty good. we'll see. >> and what about going negative? do you think you'll have to go negative? >> no, we'll just tell the truth. >> and mitt romney -- and you'll stay with that pledge, speaker? >> sure. we'll just tell the truth. >> there you have it, anderson.
the speaker saying that he'll basically stay positive and keep that campaign mantra even as some of his competitors go negative against him. >> shannon travis, appreciate it. obviously, wolf, it will depend how he does tonight. but hard to believe that speaker gingrich, given his anger today, that he would not try to respond to some of the attacks. >> i was surprised the last several weeks. i covered him for 20 years. i know him. he took all that pummeling, all those negative attack ads and tried to take the high road. he didn't take the bait until the last few day, the last week. >> but it was about money, he didn't have the money. >> he didn't have the money. but you can go on television and really pummel your adversaries for free. he can do interviews on all the cable channels, whatever he wants to do and he could have pump would them and decided not to and it probably was a blunder. >> we'll give aw snapshot of how tonight's entrance polls work. we'll talk to people before he go into the polls.
we have a virtual animation to show you how they work. so the first caucusgoers to show up, we're calling them the early birds, appear, and they look oddly like weebles, they wobble but they don't fall down. they're highly motivated. they showed up an hour ago. they're followed by the late arrivals who are now getting in right before the doors close. the doors close about three minutes from now. some of these people will have a chance to answer questions from survey attackers before they enter soon after the caucus doors close, we'll bring the results of those entrance polls in two sets. one with just the early birds. and one that includes the late arrivals as well. now, why this matters is what's interesting is these two groups have historically voted differently. that's why with each set it's possible the leading candidate could change. let's look back. in 2008, let's look at the early birds. they went for hillary clinton and mitt romney. the later arrivals went for
barack obama and mike huckabee. of course, obama and huckabee won because we were in our election center all that night. when somebody arrives, it gives you a sense of how motivated they may be and we'll be watching that closely with erin burnett for who the early arrivals are and who they like. >> you know who else is just arriving with all these nice people on the table here? >> i do not know. >> take a look. >> i have my own little -- >> i like the tie. nice tie. >> very handsome. gray hair, beautiful -- >> this is all going to show up on the "daily show" later. what would this be without some new technology in virtual reality. why have reality when we have virtual reality? >> remember will i. am? >> oh, very nice. we're two minutes away from the top of the hour. >> we're getting ready to see what's going on. at the top of the hour, just to reset for our viewers, they're
going to start closing the doors at about 900 locations. there's about 1700, 1800 precincts in the state of iowa. some double up in various locations. if somebody arrives a minute or two late, there might be a line, they'll let them in. they will go inside, they'll hear speeches from the six candidates who have been campaigning aggressively in iowa. and at some point they'll start passing around a ballot. and people will be able to write the names -- the name, i should say, of the person they want to see win the republican presidential nomination. after that they'll count all the ballots and tell des moines, republican party headquarters in des moines, they'll call in and tell them how many votes went for x, y, z, et cetera. we're also standing by, we hope, to be able to report, to give you a little bit of an indication of what's going on with the entrance poll results. normally we have exit polls, but in a caucus we ask people who are going in for their