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tv   Nightline  ABC  January 3, 2012 11:35pm-12:00am EST

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tonight on "nightline," a special election edition. nail-biter. hours after the caucuses end, still no clear winner, in one of the closest races in iowa history. we'll tell you who is up, who is down and what it all means. showdown in iowa. we've got all the latest results from the state that kicks off the 2012 campaign for the white house. and the good, the bad and the downright ugly. >> politicians who supported bailouts and mandates. >> after weeks of fierce combat and an avalanche of negative ads, the voters have finally spoken. and we tell you what they told the politicians. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, and terry
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moran in des moines, iowa, this is a special edition of "nightline," january 3rd, 2012. the iowa caucuses. your voice, your vote. >> good evening, i'm terry moran. and what a night we've had here in iowa. welcome to abc news special coverage of the iowa caucuses. your voice, your vote. iowa has spoken, but not with a clear voice tonight. an incredibly tight horse race. one of the closest in the history of the iowa caucuses. let's go right to the results as of this hour. and you can see just how close this race is. at this hour, rick santorum and mitt romney, locked in virtually a dead heat. look at that. almost 60,000 votes, ca s cast. ron paul coming up a strong third. and the rest of the field, the ones who will have an argument to make to voters that they can go on from here, newt gingrich hammered by negative ads falls
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to fourth place. rick perry there in fifth. michele bachmann, way down in sixth and jon huntsman didn't even campaign here. so, it is a nail-biter. we want to two right to abc news election headquarters in new york where diane sawyer and george stephanopoulos are standing by. and diane and george, what do you make of what the iowans have done here tonight? >> well, this is a season of phenomenal results. this is another one that confounds a lot of people in one sense. you have, yet again, a new front-runner, a tie at the top, with rick santorum pulling it off at the last minute. we've been talking about what a close race these races have become. >> we have never seen a race this close. as terry said just a little bit ago. we have insight from the entrance polls. why it is so close. i want to show, first of all, very conservative voters, they are key in iowa, almost half the electorate. they went big for rick santorum,
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34 to 14. you see that right there. those are the true believers who really went hard for rick santorum in this caucus. on the other hand, big questions for republican voters. who can beat president obama in the fall? about 30% of the electorate and mitt romney that by 37 points. what that adds up to tonight is basically a tie. we don't know who is going to come out of it. 50 votes separate them. >> we've been talking about the tight framing of these two candidates. here you have mitt romney with all his resources, $10 million, he was able to spend, and he's up against, been up against a guy who is now tied with him, rick santorum, who is in a truck, driving around with his daughter. in fact, he said, when he went into some of the sights, some of the places he had to give speeches, people would say, "are you with the candidate?" he had to say, i am the candidate. >> he visited all 99 iowa
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counties. mitt romney this year, up in the last reporting session, raised $32 million, rick santorum, $1 million. they are tied tonight. >> and we have to watch what michele bachmann does tonight and we'll have that answer soon, terry. >> absolutely. diane and george, it feels like the republican coalition here in iowa, as george just pointed out with the numbers, fractured. let's go to the headquarters of the man of the moment, rick santorum. jake tapper, abc news white house correspondent, is standing by. and jake, they have to be ecstatic there about this ride they're on. >> reporter: they are, absolutely. you have to remember that four weeks ago, rick santorum was an asterisk in the poll and now, as of right now, he is leading in the race to win the iowa caucus. it is an astounding turn of events for this candidate, who, as george has pointed out, has spent very little money. did his campaigning here the old fashioned way, running around
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the counties, all 99 of them. kissing babies, shaking hands, talking about his message, appealing to the base conservative christian voters that are so important here. and getting them to come out on caucus night, based on their belief in him and their message. this is the latest in a sere reaps of surges we've had, of conservative non-mitt romney candidates. and rick santorum's moment came at the exact right time, surging right in the last week of this contest. unbelievable turn of events, terry. >> it was, as if jake, he had a ceiling on him.n't think he was electable. as soon as he popped up a little bit, off he went. no question about it. thanks, jake, for that. let's go now to the romney headquarters. it was a state, iowa, that mitt romney did not want to compete in for much of the year but he threw everything into it at the end and david muir is in iowa at the romney headquarters right now. david?
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>> reporter: he certainly did in the end here, terry. great to be here with you in iowa. and as you know, mitt romney is here at romney headquarters tonight, along with ann and four of the five sons. they were trying to get the undecided onto their side and one of the sons tweeted out a photo of the war room. you can see the son there by the wall. i can tell you, a senior strategist told me tonight they feel very good about these numbers. and they've been saying this all day. if they can simply tie santorum or ron paul, they could consider this a victory. here is why. this is the spin you'll hear tomorrow morning, is that in taking the long view, they are not concerned about santorum and paul as candidates up against romney. they are looking forward to new hampshire. romney's own backyard. this campaign knows come tomorrow morning, they are going to have significant questions. the number he's garnered here tonight is not that different from four years ago. he's been campaigning for president here and after his loss four years ago, why hasn't he been able to up that number, if he's electable. have they not closed the deal
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and earn a number higher than we saw here simply four years ago? terry? >> no question, david, as you point out, the romney campaign with the kind of lethal efficiency, did knock down the two candidates they believed would be most formidable, newt jipg ri gingrich and rick perry. those are the questions now. ron paul, the passionate voters in iowa, and jonathan karl is at ron paul's headquarters. jon? >> reporter: well, terry, ron paul came in third, but it was a close third. amend as he told supporters here, there are three tickets out of iowa and he got one of those three tickets. he also said he's one of only two candidates with the resources to run nationally. he and romney. and he's the only candidate, he said, that has the kind of fervent supporters that we have seen with these ron paul brigades. mostly young supporters that are out there to support ron paul and nobody else. this is about shaking up the republican party and ron paul,
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make no mistake, has what it takes to go further and at the very least, become a real pain for the rest of the republican candidates going forward. terry, one of the other candidates, i can't tell you which one, but one of them told me in the last few days that ron paul is crazy. they have no respect for him. he is somebody that's really trying to move the republican party in a different direction. and based on the results tonight, he will at least be able to continue on. >> absolutely, jon. and that is one of the takeaways from tonight. the ron paul brigades, they are going to be at the convention in tampa and could cause a ruckus there. thanks to jon karl, jake tapper and daicvid muir. and we'll be back with more of our special coverage of the iowa caucuses, it's your voice, your vote. back in a moment.
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welcome back to "nightline" for our special abc news coverage of the iowa caucuses. your voice, your vote. i'm terry moran. we're going to go back to abc news headquarters in new york, diane sawyer and george stephanopoulos standing by for a roundtable on guys, what is now not just one of the tightest races in iowa caucus history but the biggest turnout in the history of testify iowa caucuses. take it away. >> that's right. but not by so much. it's 3,000 more than four years ago. we've been talking about what this means for november. >> we're going to bring in matthew dowd and leslie sanchez. my question is, who wins a tie tonight? is it mitt romney, the candidate
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with the national organization, the money, the resources to go forward, looking forward to new hampshire, or is it rick santorum, the guy who came out of nowhere and has tied the front-runner? >> well, this race has been about one thing the whole time. it's been about romney maintaining his stable lead. he got the same percentage, it looks like, that he did four years ago when he finished second. and who was going to be his competitor? five different candidates have had a shot at it. we've had six different fro front-runn front-runners. we now have a new candidate who is going to take a shot. i think the winner tonight, if you can say there's a winner in a basically tied race is rick santorum, the new person with his time in the sun, to see if he can be that and have staying power to be the non-romney candidate. >> and that will depend if some of the other candidates who have fallen back, gingrich, perry, bachmann, get out of the race. doesn't look like they are going to. >> absolutely. and it sunt so much about who wins tonight as much as, who doesn't win, who is going to
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survive and continue to be moving. if you consider the fact that speaker gingrich, you had him, rick perry, all the people that were front-runners and now they are not. it's almost like a gain of musical chairs. >> i wonder if we can cue up that tape. it is worth pointing out that michele bachmann, who came in at the bottom of this voting, after having won the straw poll, back in august, she came in with 5%, was seen dancing earlier, on the podium, with her husband and vowing to stay in, saying, our interest are those of the american people but we'll see what happens. >> what a fall she's had from wink the straw poll back in august to coming in sixth place. doesn't look like it's bothering her too much. but looking forward now, again, to the general election, matthew, the obama campaign has been hoping for a long, bloody nomination fight. the fact there's a tie in iowa, better sign they're going to get it. >> the obama campaign knows they're in a vulnerable position. president's job approval numbers
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are not high. consumer confidence is low and the wrong direction of this country is high. and the republican voters out there and the candidates know this is a nomination worth having. but the longer it goes and the more bloody it gets is a gift to the obama campaign, because it prevents a candidate from coe ellessing the republican support. it's not a huge problem but it is a problem for the republicans. >> what is the number one thing romney has to do now? >> he has to show he's authentic. people know he has the resources, the dollars, the ground game. he's put -- >> he's been trying to do that all along. so what does he do? >> he's been trying to do that but really not making the case. it shows the fluidity and that there is that opportunity. i can't say it would be a santorum, but there's definitely viability and this may be a case where the second half of the ticket, who that vp candidate, the combination is going to be more important than maybe in years past. >> and how much blood is going to spill before he gets there, matthew dowd? we've already seen newt gingrich
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in his speak tonight take off on mitt romney, again, he's putting up an ad in the big new hampshire paper tomorrow attacking mitt yrom nooney, cal him a liar. >> he's got to prove that he can take a consistent punch, which he's not had to do. everythi everybody that's risen had to take the negative attacks and have fallen. we hear jon huntsman is about to start a campaign against him in new hampshire, as well. the other thing he has to prove is, he's got to prove he can get more than 25% of the vote. he did not, even though he tied or may pull off a squeaker. he has not proved he can get more of 25% of the vote outside new hampshire. >> if i can make a shakeless plug, we have a debate on saturday night. >> we do. >> coming up in new hampshire and it could be a real crucible debate. >> already signs that everybody is going to be going after romney. and will he then have to go
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after rick santorum? a lot to look forward to saturday night. thanks to all. terry? >> and thank you, george and die yap. listening to the round payable there, it feels here, as well, it's almost the kind of none of the above caucus. no one quite captured the imagination of majority of the caucus go eers, obviously. and we will be right back with more of abc news' special coverage of the iowa caucuses. it's your voice, your vote. sergio! christina!
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welcome back to "nightline," the abc news special coverage of the iowa caucuses, your voice, your vote. we had a barn burner here in iowa tonight, and the candidates are already, however, with the mixed verdict out of here, looking ahead to the next battleground, the next primary, next tuesday, the new hampshire primary, where candidates can try and build on the momentum they might have or make a last stand. john berman, our colleague, is in new hampshire, with a look at it. >> reporter: here in new hampshire, they like to say iowa picks corn, new hampshire picks presidents. want proof? just ask past new hampshire winners presidents pat buchanan, john mccann and president hillary clinton. >> thank you. thank you.
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>> reporter: okay, so, maybe it doesn't always pick presidents. but it is the next great step on the emerald city of the nomination. and guess who has a lake house by the yellow brick road? >> well, i have a summer home here. it's right next door. a lot of friends here. >> reporter: mitt romney, the former massachusetts governor, has a vacation house here and has been campaigning here since 2007 and will be very hard to beat her. >> good to see you. >> reporter: also waiting for the candidates here? >> welcome to new hampshire. >> reporter: former governor jon huntsman skipped iowa and has been camped out here for months. he knows that if iowa is the place where candidates leave licking their wounds, new hampshire is a place where they come to pour salt in them. do you an tis pace sharper elbows in this state starting tomorrow? >> hard to know. i think it started a long time ago. that will i think that's all part of the differentiating candidate by candidate. >> reporter: how sharp are
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yours? >> sharp enough to get where we need to be. >> reporter: remember, what happens in new hampshire never stays in new hampshire. it goes right to south carolina. i'm john berman for "nightline" in manchester, new hampshire. >> new hampshire up next. thanks to john berman for that. once again, a mixed verdict out of iowa tonight. let's look at the leaderboards right now, as of this hour on the east coast. it is just too close to call, still, with 60,000 votes in. that's just absolutely too tight to call right now. and so the candidates go forward, rick santorum with the big momentum. romney, questions hanging over him. and the others coming in. governor perry has said he will turn to texas to think about things for a minute. so, down they go. thank you for watching. stay tuned for jimmy kimmel. watch "good morning america" tomorrow morning. they are working while you're sleeping. i'm terry moran.

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