tv Americas Election HQ FOX News January 2, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PST
election special from iowa live now. >> welcome, everyone to des moines, iowa. we're now 48 hours away from the start of the 2012, iowa caucus, i'm megyn kelly. >> bret: i'm bret baier and we're coming to you from inside the impressive state capital building in the rotunda. in the next 60 minutes we'll show you why tuesday's voting is so important to the presidential campaign. >> megyn: we'll hear from fox news correspondents and political experts about the state of the race tonight. >> bret: that and much more on this, america's election headquarters special. ♪
>> tuesday night. tens of thousands of iowa republican voters will take a blank piece of paper and write their name with their pick for the republican presidential nomination and the latest polling shows 41% of expected caucus voters who don't know what name they're going to write down. we have fox team coverage tonight and carl cameron has today's news on the campaign trail and shannon bream tells us what the caucuses are all about and how they work and bill hemmer, tells us about the different regions in iowa and keys for success for a candidate and the man who won here in 2008. normal governor mike huckabee tells us what it takes to come out on top. >> let's begin though tonight with chief political correspondent, campaign carl cameron and following the candidates as they rang in the new year on the campaign trail. good evening, carl. >> happy new year to you, megan. despite the biting iowa wind nothing has slowed down the candidate in the quest for caucus support and ticking in
the 48 hour mark, this is going down to the wire and the race is wide open. the finish line is in sight and no one is in front of mitt romney. >> thank you. >> the des moines register poll shows romney barely ahead of ron paul with santorum third and he blasted romney. >> this is an election driven not by money raised, but by message, connection with the voters, debates, and experience, and i think, i think those are the features that are driving the campaign so far. >> the real clear politics average of recent polls shows romley and paul deadlocked and a three-way time, santorum, perry and gingrich. in a low turnout he could win, but outside on his g.o.p. mainstream on a host of issues. >> the country has to change. to elect me the country has to change and go back to believing in the constitution
and different liberty policies. >> and with a wave of last minute support from christian conservatives who may get passed the caucus vote. >> do what you believe is right for the country. >> rick perry went to church in iowa and looking ahead to carolina. and short-lived. >> we're going to be able to go forward and some of the other candidates may do okay in iowa, but when it comes to running a national campaign they're going to falter. >> newt gingrich to led the polls a month ago and michele bachmann the first woman to win the aims poll are struggling not to be dead last. >> iowa's caucuses are traditional low turnout for undertaking if they get 120,000 people to show up on tuesday night. that will break the record. this time one out of four went into the caucus didn't know who they were going to support when they arrived and the poll
suggests that about 40% of all likely caucus attendeeses could change their minds. >> and you've heard us talk about the caucuses for weeks now, but exactly, how do they work? correspondent shannon bream is live in iowa with an explanation. >> hi, bret. this is one of roughly 800 spots, where folks show up and cast the simple ballots. they expect about a thousand to be here on tuesday night to show up and cause cuss. here is how it works. it starts at seven o'clock local time and people show up. if there are surrogates on hand to speak about the candidates they can make a final pitch why you should cast a ballot in favor of their candidates and they're announced and formally submitted to the iowa g.o.p. and officials say it takes some patience and commitment to participate. >> and it's not necessarily
easy to get to a caucus location and support your candidate. they're going to have to turn out on a cold, january night this week, and say, i'm here to support my particular candidate. and this is after months and months of rue viewing their issues. seeing their mailers, watching their ads and most importantly, seeing them in person. >> so, churches like this, schools and gymnasiums and basements. what does it take to cast one of those votes? you have to be 18 by november 6th the date of the election and a republican. and it's great for procrastinators and you can show up on the night of the caucus if you've got the right precinct and photo i.d. you can register outside as a republican and within minutes you can be casting your on important first vote in 2012 at least in the primary season, bret. >> bret: shannon, thank you. >> megyn: that's a beautiful church, going all out for this. we're going to talk about some of the big issues in iowa this year and what we can learn from what happened back in
2008. my friend and colleague bill hemmer has that from the touch screen. hey, bill, happy new year. >> and to you as well. i think it's been 21 hours. good to see you both and good evening. we're brg back the billboard and show you on the touch screen. we want find out how u.k. mike huckabee won and what was the success. and you tried to figure out what happened during the iowa caucus here. on the map behind us you'll see huckabee was the winner, and behind him was mitt romney. so we took the state and broke it down based on county. the counties that huckabee won is the deep red here in the middle. what romney did, he won the corners. romney won everything on the west side, which tends to be a little more conservative. and he won everything on the east side, all of these counties here, which tends to be a little more liberal. so he book-ended the states. one exception in this entire map from three years ago and this county here is jefferson
county. ron paul won jefferson county, he's going to make up some ground this year or somebody, say like rick santorum, look to see their votes coming from the middle part of the state. on the issues, we've been talking about jobs for three and a half years. they are very important, everywhere, and as well as in the state of iowa. and this is what we find interesting. the state unemployment rate, right now innee -- iowa is 5.7%, that's well below the average, it doesn't mean that jobs are important in iowa, but may be more significant as we move later into the month of january, in states like new hampshire and south carolina. and eventually into florida. quickly, just want to show you what happened in 2004. the presidential level. and red is republican, blue is democrat and this was a state really you could argue may be a bit of a swing state. look how close it was in 2004. and george bush beat john kerry by only 10,000 votes, a difference of one point.
in 2008, it was a very different story. barack obama beating john mccain handily by 9 points and see you in 48 hours when the iowans go to caucus, how much the map behind us changes or does not. bret and meg megyn, back to you in des moines. >> bret: as bill said, a baptist preacher turned governor from arkansas came into iowa and turned into the caucuses. >> megyn: mike huckabee is working for us on fox news channel and he's here with insights, what it takes to win in iowa. welcome, governor, all right. so, you had a big win here 2008 and unfortunately, for your candidacy back then, we're not able to parlay that into winning the nomination. what lessons do the candidates need to learn from that experience you had back in '08? >> well, one of the things they can learn is that iowa is a great launching pad, but it's not the finishing point.
what i will tell you, winning iowa put me in a completely different play because people weren't paying that much attention to me. i win iowa and took third in new hampshire and barely lost to mccain in south carolina, swept the south and midwest on super tuesday and stayed in longer than anybody and came in second. i would contend that that would have never happened and i wouldn't have ended up as a runner up to john mccain had it not been for iowa. for the people who says that iowa doesn't matter. that's nonsense, it matters a lot and the fact that every single major political report in the world has been cast out of iowa in the past month indicates something must be important there or they wouldn't all be follow these candidates around. >> bret: governor, happy new year. listen, you know, when the caucuses happen, the republicans do it differently. they do have the ballot as we've talked about and shannon talked about, but each one of these precincts, people stand up and they advocate for a candidate. how important is that ground game-wise and what did it mean
for you in 2008? >> well, it's a big deal, because when you go and vote in the typical primary, you quietly sneak into the voting precinct and you walk into a booth and you close the curtain and mark the ballot. nobody knows who you stood for. when you go to a caucus, you're going to have to stand up and be counted. standing up with people i can making speeches, might be your child's teacher, your best friend from high school or your church pastor makes a passionate plea for a candidate. it's very, very different in terms of the dynamics of that experience than most people can comprehend and a lot of people will change their mind once they get there and hear a strong speech either from the candidate or a surrogate and that's why the surrogates and strong surrogates are very important on talking points. >> megyn: governor, one of the reasons you won in iowa back in '08 you had the support of the evangelical community here
in iowa which is a big voting block and an important endorsement for you, as it was a few years ago. they seem to be coalescing to some extent around rick santorum. and there's a question if he does well or wins in iowa, whether he could parlay that into something more, in states like new hampshire and parts of the country that are not strong when it comes, as strong when it comes to evangelical voters. what are your thoughts on that? >> i think there's always been a perception that iowa is only a state that matters for evangelicals and that's not the case. even four years ago, a lot of the support i had was also from, i would say a broader category than evangelicals. and people for whom the pro-life issue is important and that includes a lot of catholics and that would be a big issue in the northeast, with a lot of catholics in many of the states. so, i don't think that, it marginalizes the iowa vote and if someone like santorum crests just at the right time
and pulled in some very significant activists on his half that i think are clues to why he's doing so well, plus, he's spent the time there, when a lot of other candidates were in other places. if he does well, a person can raise an enormous amount of in a very short period of time because of internet giving and it's possible that this whole thing could be turned on its head within a matter of a few days. >> bret: governor, back in 2008, 60% said they were evangelicals in your race and we'll see what it turns out to be this year. >> when we come back we'll talk about what we can expect to see with the political strategists. >> bret: and fox news sunday host chris wallace, that's on this america election headquarters special, the iowa caucuses.
>> some analysis what we've seen so far tonight and what to expect tuesday with fox news sunday anchor, chris wallace. hey, chris. >> hey, megyn. we want some insight from the caucuses from two insiders who know it well. ed rollins and mike huckabee's campaign when he won four years ago and joe has a mixed record with a mondale win and howard dean lose in 2004. welcome. >> happy new year. >> ed, you have gone through the des moines register poll and i wanted to know what you make of that, what do you think of romney's lead. what do you think of the late surge from rick santorum. >> romney has the same
position he's had fours years ago and today. and he's not expanded that, but it may be enough to win this thing this time, but his vote was been pretty steady and no erosion. >> santorum is a guy who is hot, he has got the momentum. not as hot as mike huckabee was, not as good a candidate was mike huckabee was four years ago, but the guy that's basically got this solid organization, the best organization by far is ron paul. and in spite of getting beat up a little last week, his people are not going to go away. now, it depends on voters turnouts and he could easily, in the second place today and those are the three that really are players, gingrich and bachmann are all behind and at this point in time one of those three will come in first and the other two will be very close i'm sure. >> joe, we kept hearing that this year would be different and you could win in iowa just with the national debate and tv commercials and yet we see rick santorum making this late
surge and he's been living in iowa and travelling around the state in a pickup truck, 350 plus events. does this prove that the way to win iowa is the old-fashioned way of politics? >> it's been the way a lot of people have done it. jimmy carter won the state that way back in '76. dick gephardt another candidate i worked for won iowa by living there and moving his mother and entire family there and a lot of the way that rick santorum did it. the interesting thing, i think, is going to be what does the organization do on election day. with the other candidates, what does happen to gingrich's folks, to the perry folks? they're going to show up, they're going to see in this room a lot of romney people, a lot of santorum people, a lot of paul people. they're going to applaud, people are going to applaud laud for those three people when their guys come up and you're going to have four people, maybe, be for pr perry
let's say, in that caucus. those people are not going to stay, and what those people do, the organization has the right spokes people in the room and is the one that's going to pick off those people and probably win this thing. on that score, i give the edge to both paul and i think santorum may have the kind of enthusiasm in that room to pull some people in. >> gentlemen, we've got less than two minutes left and i want to get to both to get an answer to that. the des moines register poll has this number we're making a big deal. 41% of the likely caucus goers say they could be persuaded to change their minds. starting you with, ed, again, each have got about a minute. do you believe 41% could change their minds? if so, as a campaign manager, how do you get them to switch and vote for your guy. >> they're a fickle voter and committed voter. i want to say committed, participate in the process. this is the kind of numbers we
dealt with four years ago, and in the end, they want to be with a winner. and evangelicals, if it's not santorum, to be the banner carrier and you'll start to see it fold in pretty quick. >> joe? >> i think that iowa is pull of surprises and they will surprise you every time. there are going to be a lot of people that go into that caucus, it's a situation where things move in that room. and they move in unexpected ways and i-- i really believe something disruptive is likely to happen on tuesday. >> gentlemen, thank you both so much for the expert analysis, we'll see how the world turns tuesday night. bret. >> bret: all right, chris, thank you. they say all politics is local. we'll examine the iowa economy and what the iowa voter is looking for when we come back. ♪
>> welcome back, folks, here at the state capital building in iowa. the economy has been the major focus of attention in the run-up to the iowa caucuses, not just the national economy, but the financial situation here in this state as well. senior national correspondent john roberts has that story. >> thank you very much. >> reporter: in 2008 they voted on values and mike huckabee won the caucuses. and while values are still important in this town, this year the focus is different says the pella mayor. >> everybody is happier when everybody is employed and working and it gets down to it, jobs is the king. >> reporter: the big mro i remember here, pella windows and doors is struggling. the housing crisis, led to
shutdowns. and they worked at pella for 14 years. loretta one of nearly 200 employees shown the door in november. and tim has a job there, but with one child in college and another about to go. fiscal discipline has become issue number one. at home and caucus night. >> if we can find somebody who can do just exactly what my family is doing and that is to control our spending and live within their means, overall the economy here is better than most places. the town's other big employer, premier corporation, is booming. adding 100 jobs to make farming, mining adrilling equipment. >> and that's helped buoy up other businesses that might have suffered. smoky rose coffee is brewing up profits and the meats had the best year in decades. we've had one company lessen and the other increase, and that helps to keep it stable around here. >> this is a small town, almost everyone knows someone
who has lost a job and many will keep that on tuesday night. >> you're looking for someone who is a good leader, a strong leader, willing to blaze a path and set some goals and get some stuff done. >> reporter: the big question here in pella and across iowa for that matter are those concerns so strong they'll propel a ceo type candidate like mitt romney to victory on tuesday or as they did in 2008. vote their hearts and go for, say, rick santorum? mike huckabee won in a landslide four years ago, but megyn, a lot has changed since then. >> megyn: john roberts, thank you. >> bret: let's talk about what the people of iowa are thinking two days before the caucus and no one would have a better idea than david who spent 34 years covering politics with the des moines register and the policy institute at southern illinois university and it's the nine caucus and let's talk about this. the des moines register poll,
a lot of people focus on it and it's the gold standard. and two questions really interesting in this poll. could you still be persuaded to support another candidate? n be persuaded at 41%? now, the other question that caught our eye, is this your first iowa caucus? and that was, first caucus, 27%. what does that tell you about the caucus goers going into tuesday. >> tells me a lot of ron paul people, are out there. and they've not participated before. that's a lot for ron paul. >> what about the santorum surge here. how does he have to make it real in all of these precincts? what does he have to tell the 41% to get them over the top? >> well, you know, the caucus is a neighborhood meeting. and it's actually a native american term for meeting of tribal leaders, so this is your friends and neighbors and they get together and santorum as people are talking to other
people and make a pitch to other neighbors why they think that rick santorum would be good. he's done a lot of spade work here and he's built a good base and now light a fire to it. >> bret: the splits in evangelicals, as i mentioned to governor huckabee. the poll has one in three. what does that tell you and if there's gelling behind one candidate. >> there's an interesting fall off between four years ago and what's it's projected to be this year and i think that part of what's going on, religious conservatives and value voters that governor huckabee mentioned they care a lot about jobs and the economy and you had the piece here and not just values portion of religion or gay rights, for example, they're concerned about jobs and electability. these are republican activists and looking for a candidate and take their sweet time who they want to go for.
>> bret: the des moines register poll has a margin of error and if you believe that poll. 41% undecided. for other candidates who may, you know, have been discounted in this talking in the final days, they can still make a move? >> that's right. that's what people, they want to go and talk to their neighbors and friends, what do you think, bret? what do you think, dave? and get a sense of what they want to do as republicans. a lot of opportunity here. >> bret: as always, thank you so much. >> megyn: earlier in on the show we incorrectly identified a party official, tim allbrekt. story about that. which put together the best field o operations here? some insights next.
>> much of the battle for iowa voters has been waged on television. in debates and advertising. and still, correspondent steve brown tells us the candidates had to put together a solid ground game. it's a frigid sunday, new years day still rick santorum's campaign continues grounding a way. while volunteers man the
phones, the caucus goers in iowa's team hope some supporters of inspired to act on their own. >> this is where you have to have faith that all of this hard work you've done will pay off because these people will go off and organize themselves. >> yes, a little do it themselves campaign organizing, if you will. there have been open questions whether newt gingrich could get to the caucuses in iowa and the iowa team says they have with a little help. >> as i walked into the building, i saw license plates from georgia, from arkansas, i know san diego, and we've got people from all over the country as well. >> and gingrich's iowa hq we found this man. >> and went on my own dime. >> bring in this guy, he looks like he's ready for the game. >> the king of campaign migration to iowa is rick perry. >> there's going to be about 350 texans show up this weekend that know me best and the mighty texas task force is
on the way. >> reporter: perry's strike force includes some all out here to coax folks to the caucuses. if you're looking for the ground game opponents respect the most, hands down it's ron paul. >> i think that ron paul is going to win on january 3rd and it matters, really, we're talking what the margin will be. >> and rally for the veteran. >> the paul campaign is stingy with details how it's put together a ground game other campaigns envy. >> for example, in some of the other iowa campaigns they've shared contact or excuse me, shared internal polling data and how many caucus captains they may have or campaign shares. none of that really from the paul campaign. they've been playing is close to the vest. i'm at gingrich headquarters and as you can see, bret. pretty active tonight. >> bret: steve is live from urbandale. >> megyn: let's get information from the other side. and pat joins us live from new
york. good to see you, my friend. i want to ask you about santorum, he seems to be the story of the day in this des moines register poll and we talked about his ground game with the reporter earlier. do you believe that santorum actually has a chance here in iowa, yes, but also to secure this nomination on the g.o.p. side? >> i think it's an unlikely nomination, because he doesn't have any money or organization. there's no doubt that he can win iowa, that's a story unto itself. megyn. we've had in the last several months. three improbable front runsers out of nowhere in iowa and first herman cain, remember him, 9 9 9 and then newt gingrich, a dead man walking, come to life and go up in the polls and collapse a couple of weeks after attack and rick santorum, the least likely person of all. lost his home state reelection by 9 points and now surging in iowa. the problem is, megyn, we have a process where we're talking
the regular politics of how it works and in the environment of an election year that may rival 1968 in terms of a year that we never imagined, and i remind you that on january 1st, new years day, 1968. which is probably the worst political year of our lives. for those of us old enough to remember, historically. the united states is winning the war in vietnam. lyndon johnson was certain to be renominated and likely to be reelected. richard nixon was at 43% and i think that romney strikes me in this race with all the volatility, with all of this anger, with 69% of the people believing your country's in decline. all of that is royally, a very basically homo gennous and ideologically a fairly consistent party. and romney is steady eddie. richard nixon was at 44% of the vote in january according to the gallup poll and ended up getting 43. he was steady.
never shook up the race and never the big favorite, but he won. and right now romney takes on that aspects for the republicans. santorum represents the possibility of total chaos to the republican campaign. if he wins iowa it may not benefit him, it may benefit others. >> megyn: now, i know you believe that if mitt romney wins iowa, you say he's going to run the table. >> oh, yeah. >> megyn: why do you believe that? why? >> because he'll certainly win new hampshire and none of the others candidates will have the money and resources and in south carolina he has the governor and if he wins those two and at least two other candidates in, and i think he'll survive florida and the money and organization, and on the other hand, it's not that republicans dislikeham or conservatives are against him looking for something, but he does not inspire anyone as a candidate of the big moment and they're still looking for in the republican party, and if they're looking for it in the republican party. i guarantee you out in the country, the country is
looking for someone, a candidate of the moment and that moment is not being spoken to. >> and is there a chance that, you're the architect of momentum coming out of iowa, back to the carter days, where you know, he won technically, i mean, you know, for practical purposes he won iowa and came in second, no commitment. >> he beat everybody else, that came out of iowa. there's a long distance between iowa caucus and new hampshire, and not so now. does that change who winsee aye. >> back then we didn't have the process and or jam everything into each other or christmas and new years. and loading up the system in 1984 is joe who ran the mondale campaign who was on earlier and we went back in iowa and gary hart finished second and used that in one
week to knock mondale out and almost run the tables in super tuesday in 1984. and the iowa could be either a place to emerge and disappear and propellant. but romney right now, if he takes it and wins it, he will win new hampshire and i think he's pretty close to wrapping it up. >> megyn: thank you, sir. >> anything could happen. >> megyn: thank you so much. and folks, part of our will have email@example.com on caucus night this tuesday. remember, get the latest on the race for iowa over at foxnews.com/politics, your front row seat to the iowa caucuses. >> bret: well, the president and his political advisors are no doubt keeping an eye on what's happening here in iowa and the senior white house affairs correspondent wendell goler joins us tonight with that part of the story, good evening, wendell. >> good evening, that doesn't mean the campaign staff is taking the weekend off and won't be watching the rose bowl tomorrow. they'll use the caucus to organize and build enthusiasm
for the general election and the president won iowa in 2008 and even if he can't count on winning the state this year, he'll make it competitive annal' address them by video on tuesday night, with the true messages that appear to have brought his numbers up in recent months and republicans are more interested in keeping him from having a second term than in working for the american people and more interested in protecting tax breaks for the rich than those like the payroll tax cut that helped the vast majority of americans. his campaign has eight offices in hawaii, nearly two dozen paid staffers and hundreds of volunteers, they'll have no trouble fund raising and that will help them as will the fact that the jobless rate at several points lower than the national average. his aides expect mitt romney will probably be his challenger as the republicans who have passed romney have slipped back down again and they expect a negative campaign, and david axle rod says that when newt gingrich threatened romney, the super pact came in quote, with shock
and awe, millions in dollars of negative ads against newt and obama 2012 doesn't expect an easy campaign against romney, but expect they can easily show he moved to the right to try and win the nomination and flip flopped when it was convenient. bret. >> bret: and live from the north lawn, wendell, thank you. >> megyn: a special edition of the fox allstars awaits on the other side of this break. hear from steve hays, juan williams, kirsten powers when the election special returns.
a nice guy is not getting beat up. >> there's a lot of differences between myself anl rick santorum. as michelle talked about he's got a spending problem and earmark problem. >> bret: well, it's time to break down what we know, what we expect about the iowa caucuses and joining us tonight, chris wallace anchor of "fox news sunday", steve hays, writer for the weekly standard and juan williams columnist with "the hill" and daily beast and kirsten powers. >> bret: getting a lot of focus and shows rick santorum with the biggest surge. is this real from what you've seen anecdotally around the state and can he sustain. >> i think it's real, first of all, and you saw in the poll when you break it down the first two days versus the last two days as you discussed he picks up steam in the last two days at about a pace of about 3 points a day over the course of four days, if that continued he'd be above 30 by
the time they went to caucus on tuesday. and he has one thing that's important, that's momentum. a second finding in the is an i am poll that hasn't gotten nearly as much attention and speaks to the intensity of the support behind santorum. 58% for mitt romney, 56 for ron paul, which is a surprisingly low number and suggests that he's got both intensity and momentum. >> bret: kirsten, the real clear politics average of the polls has romney up just slightly over ron paul and then rick santorum back at 14.2%, and factors in the recent polls and gingrich still hanging around there at 13.7. despite, really, an onslaught. >> yeah, i think that the gingrich campaign hopes he can do what john mccain did in 2008, a respectable fourth place and ties maybe with third place. i don't know if that he is going to happen because he has
been on the down swing and not necessarily moving up and the one with motor momentum is rick san tore-- santorum. and i think his hope he'll see some gingrich report and bachmann support break for him. >> it seems like gingrich is trying to pin this on romney, his slip in the poll and he came out and suggested that mitt romney is trying to buy this election and came out and said even more than that. take a listen to newt gingrich today. >> you calculate tuesday night, and in the five years he's been campaigning, the total number of dollars romney has, per vote, it may be greater than the amount that bloomberg spent getting reelected as mayor. >> do you feel short voted? >> no, i feel romney voted. >> and he feels romney boated, fair? >> chris? >> i think it's a lot of
whining and that speaker gingrich ought to spend more time talking about the problems that people of iowa has and less about the problems he's got. he's got a strong message and distinguished record. what did romney do wrong? he's run tough ads in which he's talked about gingrich's record. i don't know what the complaint is. they're running for president of the united states. >> you've got to pin it on something, juan. his fall in the polls, and his rise in the polls was shocking and drault. right before the last fox news debate. he was the front runner, 28% and a couple of weeks later, half that and fourth in iowa. and he'd like to pin it on romney, do you believe that ads on romney and supporter, do you believe that's hyped the fall. >> i don't think any question, i think that's the precipitating event in all of this. i mean, it was the case that at the end of november you were just saying, megyn. newt gingrich said i am the nominee and today as we sit here, he's clearly not the
nominee. what has changed in between? the assault on his good name that's taken place over the airwaves in iowa and it's been an incredible thing to watch because it has been an assault, as i say. and i don't think there's any question-- >> let me finish my point. i don't think there's any question here that when you look at the number of people who were searching for an alternative to mitt romney, that they had somehow settled on newt gingrich as the repository of all of their anti-establishment republican anger. and today, that energy now has been captured by rick santorum. >> bret: you say an assault. >> do you think that anything said about him has been unfair or over the line? >> no, i think -- well, some of it you could question, chris, but i think that the point that i'm making is that it has been focused 0en newt gingrich. >> 4 million dollars in negative ads, he's taken a huge hit. >> megyn: go ahead. >> kirsten we went to this event today in ames and a number of people in the bar showed up for newt gingrich
and i talked to him afterwards, he said, listen, there might be five tickets, might be six tickets out of iowa he's trying to prepare for what's ahead. >> and the rule is three tickets out of iowa and every now and then, three and four and tied. and at the event it was mostly reporters and it wasn't exactly overflowing with gingrich supporters. people are shifting. gingrich had nis moment in the sun. he was attacked rightly or wrongly and you know, and sns santorum has the luck of peaking late and isn't recipient at this point of onslaught and people who are moving are probably going to move to santorum. >> megyn: coming up, more insight from our panel straight ahead. we'll be right back with that. don't go away.
>> this is an election, however, that's not being driven by money raised, it's being driven by connection with voters, debates, experience and i think, i think those are the features that are driving the campaign so far. >> we've been everywhere and people really appreciated that. people told us no other candidate has come here. you're the only candidate. that is not reflected in polls and i think that's what people are going to see on tuesday night. >> the tide has changed. now, the opportunity is there and now, i'm a serious contend er. >> megyn: some final thoughts on the candidates now from our panel, 48 hours out from the iowa caucuses. bret. >> bret: rick perry spent a lot of money here in iowa, more than 2 million dollars, he spent the most for a campaign, super pacs have spent more than him for each candidate, but he could be potentially a dark horse, could nt he, on tuesday?
>> yeah, he could. i think is had biggest problem is rick santorum and the momentum that santorum has with him. he sort of sucks up not only votes that could have gone to rick perry among evangelical christians, but also, potentially, if rick perry were getting a bang for every one of his dollars you would see him higher in the polls now. the problem he's facing you don't see that yet and it's hard to imagine undecides, given with rick santorum and given the way that they've talked about an issues, suddenly flocking to rick perry. >> bret: if rick santorum had rick perry's money or perry had santorum's momentum. >>-- >> on the bus tour and spending time with people, rick santorum has been camped out in iowa and accounts for support he has and perry has been running an ad dawr where you need to be on the ground more and running a relationship.
>> perry has, baggage is probably not the right word, but he's made mistakes and people have concerns about his debating style, can he debate barack obama in a one-on-one. and they don't have those with rick santorum. nothing is stopping rick santorum for the caucus. >> ron paul, on the other hand is doing well, but the momentum seems to be going in the wrong direction going into the iowa caucuses. does he have a chance to come out first? >> absolutely, a chance to come out first and a chance for top two. if there are three tickets out of iowa he's definitely going to get one of the tickets. he's got a lot of support. and you've got to remember, four years ago, he got 10% of the iowa caucus and this year's he going to get 20% and a lot of that is because not just because the country has come to his message on limiting government and the constitutionality, and constitutionalism, if you will, and the other point to make, and you heard this from u.k. had--
mike huckabee, he has the strongest followers and they'll turn up. >> what is happening with his poll numbers? >> he's still a 12 second and seems to hurt him, conservatives after last week, showed a surge to santorum and as if all of them said look, we've got to get behind one person and seems to be surging behind santorum, but, you know, relatively speaking, paul is holding pretty steady around 20%. >> megyn: michele bachmann saying i always perform better than i poll and don't believe the poll numbers at that put me last. could she possibly be one of the three? if not, would it be over for her? >> you know, i've been watching the des moines register poll for a long time and pretty reliable and she's clearly fallen off the table here. you recall she won the iowa straw poll and she barely beat ron paul in august and she won it. should have been a harbinger of things to come, but clearly she's demonstrated to the voters of iowa in most recent
polls she's lacking in the knowledge and they don't believe she can win against barack obama. which is really the heart and soul of this whole republican exercise, who has the best chance to beat barack obama. i would point out to you, not only with regard to michele bachmann, to all of the candidates if there was a change who was going to participate in the iowa caucuses coming up. you have fewer seniors according to the des moines register poll and fewer evangelicals, and they're important, but not nearly the 60% you saw when mike huckabee came along and i think there are more independents and evident in the fact there's an unsettled field and people aren't sure what's going to go on and on caucus night, people may be, again, open to being persuaded. >> and talking more about the register poll. it's a pretty good measure in the final days and steve, also the surging candidate in this poll seems to outperform on caucus night. >> no question, especially for
republicansment and it's abouten true historicalically, true in 2008 on both sides and mike huckabee outperformed his final number by 2 1/2 points and barack obama outperformed his final poll number for 5 1/2 points. >> bret: although the democrats have a second choice and in caucus they can move around. >> the way that the caucus unfolds is different, but the point is, surging candidates usually continue their surge and again, especially if there's nothing standing in the way. i mean, mitt romney is not going to be dropping negative ads on rick santorum right now. he may mention him as he did today. >> bret: tonight he praised him. said he's a good guy and not surprised he's doing well. >> yeah and-- >> for romney, if santorum or paul do well, that's a good thing for rit romney. >> well, santorum is good and bad. if he won the evangelicals, rallied around and the anti-romney. he doesn't want that he wants them splintered and broken up
among as many people as possible. the good news, mitt romney is not gingrich. and he would take santorum over gingrich. do you believe if mitt romney wins iowa, he's got it? >> and a lot-- >> we've got a lot of bases to cover. >> if he wins iowa and goes on and wins new hampshire, he's still got to face south carolina, a tough road for him and one place he could hit a pothole. social conservatives. evangelicals, not necessarily good place for-- >> and we're hitting a pothole in our time, but thank you, panel, as always. we'll have some final thoughts
the caucuses might predict the nominee as they did for the democrats in 2008. >> megyn: or they might not. >> bret: john mccain finished last time. fourth in the state. we will be with you through the next two days and all the late news in iowa i'll be on special report each night at 6 eastern. >> megyn: and american live 1 to 3 p.m. eastern time and we'll both be here tuesday night 8 p.m. eastern for caucus night coverage and live results and analysis, all evening, this is it. the first contest. >> bret: exciting. >> megyn: it is. >> bret: and the u.s.s. iowa bell behind us in case you want to know. >> megyn: isn't that pretty? thanks for being with us tonight. i'm megyn kelly. >> bret: i'm bret baier, good >> bret: i'm bret baier, good night from des moines, iowa. captioned by closed captioning services, inc.