tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC January 31, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
on this sunday night, the final countdown. neck and neck polls and high stakes less than 24 hours before iowa voters caucus. the democrats are in a dead heat and the gop front-runners praying for a victory, making church a campaign stop today. tonight it's all about the ground game. turning out supporters and surviving this first lap of the race to the white house. late word that a college student accused of murdering a 13-year-old girl in virginia may have had an accomplice. the front line, we're in brazil with those working to stop the spread of the zika virus as the risk spreads to other countries. tonight, world experts gather for an emergency meeting. noble acts.
desperate migrants make it to the greek islands the push for those who have helped and embraced them to get the recognition they deserved. show of diversity. the pointed message to the people behind the oscars including why diversity should not a trending topic. "nightly news" begins right now. >> this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt, reporting tonight from des moines, iowa. >> good evening. everything up until this point has been jockeying for position at the starting gate. 1,500 rally, 60,000 tv ads and countless hand shakes. but now the real race for the president begins. the iowa caucuses 24 hours from now. a late poll has the democratic race clinton versus sanders a tossup. as for the republicans, trump and then cruz and on the ground, getting out the vote is where this first in the nation battle will be won. our team is in the
thick of it tonight. let's start with nbc's kristen welker. >> lester, good evening. tonight both campaigns tell me they're expecting this to be close. there have been tens of thousands of tv ads. phone calls and door knocks. now it come down to turnout and the final pitch from the candidates. it's the homestretch. hillary clinton and bernie sanders blanketing iowa. a fight for the number one spot in a race likely to be a photo finish. >> monday night could be an historic night for this country. we can make history. >> let's start a storm of movement toward the future that we want to make together! >> reporter: just hours before voters caucus, clinton and sanders in a statistical dead heat. 45 to 42%. getting people out to vote tomorrow is today's top priority. teams of volunteers and organizers knocking on doors one last time. making sure every
supporter knows two things -- where their caucus location is and how they'll get there. and the clinton campaign allowing nbc an exclusive look at their specially developed app which is like a caucus night calculator helping them keep close tabs on caucusgoers and how they're voting tomorrow. >> it allows us to streamline the process and help the precinct be able to move more quickly through the process. so they're spending more time calculating and less time persuading. >> and clinton averaged 125,000 door knocks alone. team members are in place. and sanders ground team equally impressive. 76,000 door knocks, over 15,000 volunteers. today, clinton still playing defense on her private e-mails when she was secretary of state. >> i just have to point out that the timing and some of the leaks that have led up to it are concerning. >> reporter: sanders who's been reluctant to engage in the e-mail issue today
weighed in on "meet the press." >> i think this is a serious issue. i'm not going to attack hillary clinton. the american people have will have to make that judgment. >> reporter: with the clock tickinvoters are now ready to have their say. >> who are you supporting? >> bernie sanders. hillary clinton? >> i think she has the most experience. she can do the job. >> reporter: sanders could win iowa if young voters turn out in force. one campaign official telling me tonight win or lose, sanders is in this race for the long haul. lester? >> all right, thank you. the margin a bit wider in iowa among the republicans although donald trump is leading by five points with ted cruz working hard to close that gap. hallie jackson has the gop field covered for us tonight. >> reporter: in the final crunch before the caucuses, even church becomes a campaign stop. >> i pray that god's will will be done. >> reporter: but the signs of peace giving way to the battle on the campaign trail.
>> donald trump supports expanding obamacare. to make it full on socialized medicine like bernie sanders. >> look, ted cruz is the total liar. i am so against obamacare. i'm going to repeal an replace obamacare. >> reporter: trump looking strong still suitably starting to tamp down expectations. arguing he doesn't have to win this state. >> i'd like to win iowa. i'm doing really well with the evangelicals in iowa. >> reporter: they both know that christian support can be the deciding factor. six in ten caucusgoers identified as evangelical the last couple of cycles. if the same number turns out tomorrow, it will be a dead heat. what's going to be important for you in that caucus room? >> i think what's most important to me when i go to the caucus, i want somebody who obviously shares the same values that i have. as a christian, as a bible believer. >> reporter: pastors at new hope church clear on what they want from a nominee and what they don't. >> i'm disappointed
that people will tell us when they get to washington they're going to do this. i'm disappointed that the republicans and democrats can't work together to make better laws that reach across the aisle and that benefit all americans. >> reporter: that frustration one of the biggest factors fuelling outsiders like trump and cruz here. >> very frustrated with both parties. although i have faith that it can be corrected. >> reporter: that's gary warm bure at a marco rubio rally. it can last long past iowa and the starting line is 24 hours away. >> the real poll is that matters is tomorrow night. the poll matters is what we actually do, right? not necessarily what all the media tells us to do. >> reporter: and late today, a memorable
moment on the trail when cruz's bus got stuck in the mud. they hope that's not a metaphor for tomorrow night. and new polling shows nearly half of likely republican caucusgoers could still be convinced to change their mind, lester. and if they do it's ted cruz who stands to benefit the most. >> hallie jackson, thank you. andrea mitchell has been following the twists and turns and start with the democrats. >> it's an election that you have outsider democrats drawing big crowds but big questions on whether they can deliver the crowds on the caucuses. on the democratic side, hillary clinton had a big head start on organization but she's fighting off that bernie sanders surge. 83% of the clinton supporters have made up their mind compared to 69% for sanders. clinton will be using the playbook that barack obama used to defeat her eight years ago. everything will depend on turnout. campaign insiders say if only 170,000 people
were to vote, then she wins. if more than 200,000 show up, as they did for obama, then sanders would carry the day. it's a lot at stake. if sanders were to win here, he would have big momentum going into new hampshire where he's already way ahead and that would be a real crisis. >> the republican side has the trump surge be real, how will the ground game play out? >> the question is whether that surge is real. he now leads cruz by five points. it's clear his attacks on cruz have taken their toll since cruz was leading trump a month ago. again, the issue is organization. trump has the bigger crowds, but the polls don't suggest a ground swell of new voters. cruz has been on the road more in iowa and by tomorrow night he will have gone to have all 99 counties if he gets that bus unstuck. the party leaders are in a near panic about a trump victory because it will give him a huge start to the nomination. they worry about cruz who has been fighting with the party establishment so top republicans are hoping that marco rubio could
come in a strong third. >> going to be a big day. by the way, there could be snow. a strong -- yeah, the campaigns are closely watching the weather here in iowa. because it could impact caucus turnout. so a swath of snow is in fact heading directly to the state. not expected to hit until late monday night, but iowa is one of 15 states under winter storm advisories. tonight, 3 million people are under blizzard watches or warnings with up to a foot of snow across the plains and midwest. there's late word in the second arrest of the murder of a girl. two virginia tech students are being held without bond as questions swirl about the motive. kristen dahlgren has details. ♪ >> reporter: in blacksburg, virginia, sadness and shock. >> everyone is still trying to wrap their mind around even the news. >> reporter: news that two virginia tech students are now being held in connection with the murder of 13-year-old nicole
lovell. freshman david eisenhauer is charged with abduction and first degree murder. 19-year-old natalie keepers with improper disposal of a body and accessory after the fact. lovell was last seen on thursday, a massive search scouring the area for the teen. a liver transplant recipient, dependent on medication to stay alive. that search led them to eisenhauer from virginia. and then, lovell's body, about 100 miles from home. according to police, eisenhauer and the young teen knew each other before her disappearance. >> eisenhauer used this relationship to his advantage to abduct and then kill her. keepers helped eisenhauer dispose of nicole' body. >> reporter: today, state police searched a pond on the virginia tech campus. this weekend lovell's father posted on facebook, i'm still in shock. i have nothing more to say. i'm broken.
a father's unspeakable pain as an entire community now comes together to mourn. kristen dahlgren, nbc news. in the next 24 hours the world health organization will make a major decision about zika and whether to declare it a global public health emergency. in brazil ground zero for the outbreak the government is struggling to protect and educate people about the virus. our rehema ellis talked to one trying to help protect residents. >> reporter: in a park in haditha, texas native dennis dowling is on a mission. working with poor families he's in brazil for 30 years. his focus is on educating them about the zika virus. how hard is it to communicate this message to protect yourself? >> it's very difficult. a lot of times they don't flow what the consequences are, what the dangers are. >> reporter: for 19-year-old anna payola, the message hits home. two months pregnant
she had zika like symptoms. a fever, rash and body aches. she said she's worried the virus that's been linked to birth defects and brain damage in infants could affect her baby and doctors told her to use insect repellent and protective clothing. but no long sleeves. not surprising in this land of sun and skin. now preparing for carnival later this week. part of the festivities constant reminders to beware of mosquito. this 13-year-old is learning about zika in school. to the north of brazil, colombia is also fighting to stop the spread of zika. fumigation trucks are going street to street in the hard hit northeast corner of the country. colombia reports more than 20,000 cases of zika. among them, 2,100 pregnant women and the government is urging women to delay
pregnancy. the news comes before the world health organization convenes for a rare emergency meeting tomorrow. to decide whether to declare a global public health emergency. back here in brazil, the epicenter of the outbreak, life goes on. but many families worry about the virus and what it means for their future. rehema ellis, nbc news, brazil. when "nightly news" continues on a sunday night, why some people think living on the greek islands and the eye of the refugee storm should get a very important recognition. plus, we'll show you what happens when a woman turns the you what happens when a woman turns the
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deterring these people. 50,000 people have come ashore already this month. a quarter of a million in the last three months. many owe their lives to the island people who rescued these men from their sinking boat, and plus who see tragedy too. >> bodies -- >> yes, many accidents. >> reporter: they have seen many drown, others dying from extreme cold. >> like a war zone we're in. we have had lots of people that have not made it. >> reporter: another rescue, this one a boat load full of children under 12. volunteer medics rush babies to the clinic where the island's doctors despair of a war without end. >> i feel very sad and i'm very angry about this. >> reporter: everyone here has been deeply affected. >> people just walking their dog on the beach don't expect to find the body of an
18-month-old child in the morning on a dog walk. it's not good. >> reporter: for their courage and sacrifice, the islanders are now being nominated for the nobel peace prize. >> when they make such an honor, that means a lot. >> reporter: but not everyone on the island is celebrating their nomination. >> we need to stop this. i don't want the people to be dying this way. >> reporter: the island's lifeblood, tourism is dying too. that -- they fear the nobel prize will bring that back. you're afraid? nothing but a peace prize will stop them, rescuing the victims of war. bill neely, nbc news. when we come back, you totaled your brand new car. nobody's hurt, but there will still be pain. it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do? drive three quarters of a car?
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the reason i pulled you over tod today -- >> a turning of the tables in miami when a driver pulls over a police officer for speeding. you just heard the driver in the video posted on friday. she accused the officer of pushing 90 miles an hour. for the officer, he said he was on his way to work and he wasn't speeding. both agreed to set a good example for drivers everywhere and they parted on good terms. the diverse winners of the screen actors guild awards are a stark contrast. and our steve patterson tells us about the message that they had for academy winners. >> reporter: the night could be summed up with one sentence -- >> thank you,
gentlemen. welcome to diverse tv. >> reporter: one of several statues awarded to the non-white nominee at this year's annual screen actor's guild i nominees. to the red carpet, this was hollywood's night to show case diversity. >> this is what we talk about when we talk about diversity. >> reporter: all in direct contrast to the academy awards. no a single actor of color up for a win. viola davis said it's an ongoing battle. >> we are a society of trending topics. diversity is not a trending topic. >> reporter: but this oscar season it's been a viral discussion. the #oscars so white sparked for the second year in a row, now a hollywood boycott with the academy making change,s to diversify the membership.
>> i think the s.a.g. award winners was a rebuke not to nominate any nonwhite actors. >> reporter: there's a sizable difference in voters. the s.a.g. awards have four times as many members voting. >> i think a message was being sent by the actors that they want a more diverse group of candidates and they want more diverse winners. >> reporter: last night's celebration of color added even more fuel to the fire for critics who say that come oscar night, all will see gold and white. steve patterson, nbc news, los angeles. >> tom brokaw to folks out there whose diabetic nerve pain... shoots and burns its way into your day, i hear you. to everyone with this pain that makes ordinary tasks extraordinarily painful, i hear you. make sure your doctor hears you too! i hear you because i was there when my dad suffered with diabetic nerve pain. if you have diabetes and burning, shooting pain in your feet or hands, don't suffer in silence!
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tom brokaw is with me tonight. he's been to every iowa caucus since 1980. he's met a lot of folks along the way. tonight he introduce us to one man who's never caucused before but in this upside down year he might get out and cast his vote this time. tom? >> that's right. i have been coming here for a long time. iowans are always engaged but never as much as they are this year. typical as the small town businessman by the name of charlie good from iowa just north of here. i spent time with him recently. here is charlie good now in his own words. >> i have a convenience store. full serve automotive repair. and with the gas i sell several different grades of ethanol. and i have been here 22 years, going on my
23rd year. if you asked me would i take anybody from washington, d.c. to run my business in here, no way. no way. because i've got something to lose. they'd have nothing to lose. they're playing with our money. so i think some of them don't even care who we are out here. they want their power. they got their power. they want their way. for iowa, not only for iowa but for the national spotlight as far as i'm concerned this is about national security. providing our own fuel. and not buying from the people who want to hurt us. i made the statement to a senator from texas two years ago when i was in d.c. and i said, i want america to be energy independent and he side, mr. good, he said that's a pipe dream if you ever think that's going to happen. as long as people like you are in charge, that's right. i think a lot of things we're talking about now wouldn't be talked about in a normal election, because we have some outsiders involved in the race, things are being talked about. and in my view, no matter how much you love or hate donald
trump i think some of the reasons we're talking about these things is because he's keeping them up there. >> well, lester, obviously, donald trump is hoping there are a lot of charlie goods out there and there may be. >> people -- i sense there's a restlessness out here in the electorate. >> curiously enough, iowa is doing very well. got 3.4% unemployment, des moines is booming but typically across the country, they feel things are not working the way that they should be. and they really believe that washington is broken. and they think somebody like trump can come along and maybe shake it up. a lot of questions still to be answered. >> but we may see people who haven't caucused come out this time? >> i think we'll have a higher number. it's been low in past, 16% is a low number, but they think it will be higher than that. >> all right, tom brok brokaw. that's "nightly news" for this sunday. we'll be back here tomorrow night when the first votes are cast. thank you for watching.
good night. his arms raised. he grabbed me, i was shaking. i said stop stop. what are you doing? stop! >> reporter: they d a charmed life by the beach. surfer dad. >> he was a stud you, know, i'm not gonna lie. >> reporter: do-it-all mom. >> she would do family-oriented things. >> reporter: and a picture perfect home, tucked away on badger lane. >> this is our little american dream. >> he wanted a lifestyle where he could be there for his family, for his kids. >> reporter: that's what made what happened so startling. >> it was dark when they got there. >> they found the body upstairs