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tv   Am.s Choice  CNN  February 7, 2012 4:00pm-7:00pm PST

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they can play there this time? >> they are insistent they can because of the surge in registered latinos there. they're convinced they can. i don't talk to many outside operatives who are as persuaded as they are, but they plan to invest a lot of resources in arizona, john, and fight to win it. >> a fascinating night to watch not only for republican race but the race for fall. stay with us all night long. we haven't seen anything like this. in the 2012 presidential race. >> get ready. a very business hecy night. and maybe some upsets. >> tonight the republican
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candidates compete on three battle grounds at once. >> this president has failed. that's why he has to go. and we need a new president. >> it isn't good enough to nominate obama. >> this could be a moment when the underdogs steal the show. >> not a household name like mitt romney and newt gingrich. >> sounds like the revolution has already come to minnesota! >> will there be a dramatic upset in minnesota, colorado or missouri? it's "america's choice." mitt romney's been on a winning streak but his momentum could stall again. >> i'll stand for our rights and stand for our values. >> newt gingrich is angry and determined to hit romney where it hits. >> i have never before seen a person who i thought i was a serious candidate for president be that fundamentally dishonest. >> rick santorum and ron paul may be romney's biggest threats tonight. >> money is not going to buy the presidency. >> once you become a ron paul supporter, you remain a ron paul supporter. >> who might surge or stumble once the results are in tonight?
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>> the contrast between obama and romney is not going to work for us. >> all four candidates are signaling a bitter fight to the finish. >> i am a candidate for president of the united states. i will be candidate for president of the united states. >> three states are voting, big contests around the corner and this race is spreading all over the map. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer at cnn election ter. we're counting down contests, and maybe surprises in three battleground states. the first important event begins one hour from now when caucus doors close in minnesota. more delegates are at stake for the four republican presidential candidates than on any other night in this campaign so far.
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cnn caucus cameras are inside sites across minnesota where voters should be gathering very soon. we have the most crews and the most locations. our correspondents are certainly out in force, including jim acosta and joe johns. how are they feeling at obama headquarters looking at there's three contests? >> reporter: wolf, mitt romney is sounding very confident. he will score a victory here in colorado. team romney is not predicting a trifecta. instead, talk of a long haul to the nomination. >> joe johns at newt gingrich headquarters on this night in ohio. doesn't have a contest there until super tuesday, march 6th. but what's your sense? how are people in ohio republicans assessing the former speaker? >> reporter: honestly, wolf, much smaller crowds. we're seeing with the speaker, former speaker of the house here in ohio, certainly than just about three weeks ago when he was in south carolina, where he won it all.
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very interesting today, though, up in dayton, ohio, we got to see the former speaker being the historian and giving a history lesson to the crowd that was well received. >> we'll check back with you. i'll be speaking live with the speaker, the former speaker, in columbus, ohio. that's coming up very, very soon. as always, aren't son cooper is with us throughout the night. >> yeah, there's a lot happening in the next few hours. at 8 p.m. eastern minnesota caucuses begin. that's also when polls close in minnesota primary. not a binding voted but it is an important test for one of the top swing states in the fall election. at 9 p.m. eastern time tonight, caucuses begin in colorado. another important general election battleground. as results come in, john king will be at the magic wall with all the results. aar . >> the first thing we're looking for is can front-runner mitt romney hold down the state he must win, colorado. this is an absolute must win for governor romney.
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how will underdogs do? senator santorum is recounting on creating magic from iowa, both in minnesota and missouri as well to send a signal this is not a romney/gingrich race. huge night for rick santorum. will ron paul make a show tonight? no entrance or exit polls but we've done something uniquely at cnn. we've gone back to the five states that voted so far and put the results all together. on far, for example, 57% of those who voed in the five states so far say, no, they're not evangelical christians. we'll not only look at these races but deep into the republican race through our polling into what we've learned so far. >> john, we'll be checking in with him throughout the hours ahead. what are you watching for? >> we've been talking about how much money has been spent. numbers have been stupendous. three states we'll be focusing on tonight. you're getting familiar with these numbers and how enormous. mitt romney, alone, $22 million,
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just shy of that, on ads, broadcast ads, this election season. of the three states, the one with the most, minnesota. shockingly, tiny, not very much money spent at all in a very different tenor in these ads. i'll be playing them as we go state by state tonight. back to you. >> our analysts will break down the results tonight like no one else can. gloria borger and david gergen are working their sources ahead along with the best political team, here, along with wolf blitzer, identically dressed as i am. >> you came from new york, i came from washington but great minds think alike. >> it's as if we were up thinking together last night. >> jim acosta at mitt romney headquarters. joe johns is covering newt gingrich in columbus. let's go back to jim right now. it's an important night because this era of inevitably was so important for the mitt romney folks. if rick santorum or ron paul for that matter surprises him tonight that could set it back a bit.
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>> reporter: mitt romney has not spent a lot of time talking about his gop rival this is week, ever since he left the state of nevada with that big victory in caucuses, he's focused on president obama and the record on economy. that's what he did earlier this morning at an event here in denver. here's what he had to say. >> this has been a really failed presidency. he was on tv on the "today sh" w just yesterday morning saying he deserves a second term. no i don't think so. as a matter of fact, he said in his very first days in office that if we let him borrow $787 billion, that he would keep unemployment below 8%. it has not been below 8% since. we've now gone 35 straight months with unemployment above 8%. it's time to get a president who understands how to get this economy working again. >> reporter: but make no mistake, team romney is thinking about rick santorum. they are bracing themselves for
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the possibility that the former pennsylvania senator will win one of these contests tonight. and earlier today, a campaign, political director for romney put out a memo to reporters talking about the path ahead to the nomination. i'll sum it up this way. you win some, you lose some. wolf? >> good point. how is he handling this very sensitive issue? all of a sudden that surfaced in the last several days of contraception? >> reporter: as you know, the obama administration's recent announcement of a regulation to require catholic hospitals to provide contraceptive services has come under fire in this gop race. but earlier today, newt gingrich and rick santorum tried to tie mitt romney to that issue, pointing out that when romney-m was governor of the massachusetts back in 2005, he also required hospitals to provide emergency contraceptive care to rape victims. it's a very sensitive subject. mitt romney did not talk about this particular issue that
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happened back in massachusetts when he was out on the campaign trail earlier today. but he did say that if he becomes president, he will end that obama administration regulation. so, this is becoming an issue for mitt romney out here, no question about it, wolf. >> thanks. joe is over -- joe johns in columbus, ohio, far away from the three contests that are happening actually tonight. i take it he and his folks don't expect him to do very well in colorado, minnesota or missouri. he's not even on the ballot in missouri. >> reporter: right. right. that's pretty clear that he decided he was going to come over here to ohio, the buckeye state, and just try to get ahead start on super tuesday. that's part of the strategy here to both do well in the state of ohio and also in his home state of georgia, which is seen pretty much as the big apple, if you
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will, on super tuesday. we saw the speaker in dayton, ohio, wolf, and it's very interesting how it was sort of a different side of him, frankly. this time it was the historian. we know he's a history professor. giving something of a history lesson to the crowd there in dayton, which is the birth place and the hometown of orville and wilbur wright, the pioneers of aviation. while giving that lecture he was sort of tying himself to their legacy. let's listen to what he had to say. >> and they knew they didn't have enough smarts to get a heavy airplane off the ground. so we discussed, there were 500 flights that didn't work. can you imagine in the modern era the cynicism, the number of congressional hearings that would be held? i mean, this is why you can't have a government bureaucracy do
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this. around flight four you have bad flights, around flight 11 you have a congressional hearing and they fire everybody trying to develop the plane. >> reporter: newt gingrich really connecting there with that crowd in dayton, ohio. it's hard not to, considering the pitch. and the people he was talking about, wolf. >> i'm going to be speaking live with newt gingrich shortly, joe. thanks very much. rick santorum and ron paul certainly have a good shot at doing well tonight. possibly even scoring a win. dana bash is covering the santorum campaign in missouri. shannon travis is with ron paul's campaign in minnesota. dana, first to you. why is santorum in missouri if this is really just a beauty contest, the delegates won't be given out tonight? >> reporter: it is a beauty contest. there will be zero, zero delegates given out tonight. the reason is because he's been looking for a way to show conservatives that he is the conservative to go head to head
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with mitt romney. people are looking for someone who's an alternative to mitt romney. one of santorum's senior aides told me this is a place they feel they have credibility and viability against mitt romney. so, that's why they're here. i'm saying this because, of course, newt gingrich is not on the ballance ballot here. he's not even a factor. they realize this is a glorified public opinion poll but they say, so what? that matters in items of what they're trying to achieve which is getting momentum and getting off the ground and finding a path to stay in this race for a long time, which they hope to do this month. let me show, we're in the show me state, let me show you also what they're doing here that is different from what we've seen just even last week, wolf. i was at their headquarters in nevada, santorum headquarters. it was a shoe string. they opened it a couple days before. barely turned the lights on. look at where we are here. this is a big ball room, looks much more official, like an official campaign, not so much of a shoe string like campaign.
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they haven't spent a lot of money on thing but this is the kind of setup where they want to give off a certain vibe. in fact, come over here. this is minor but i think it tells you something. this is where reporters are. we didn't have anything close to this before. even little signs here that say, have santorum's placard here, reserved for radio. this is what you've seen, you've been on a lot of campaigns but this is the kind of thing we haven't seen at the santorum campaign before. i want to also mention that this is just one of the states he is hoping to do very well in tonight. another is a colorado and minnesota. earlier today rick santorum was in colorado and he was chastising mitt romney for suddenly trying to downplay these three contests. >> colorado is a state that four years ago romney won 61% perform the vote. he wanted to campaign hard here pep didn't pass it off like he's done the last couple of days and saying, oh, well, these are just
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nonbinding caucuses. they don't really matter much. well, they mattered four years ago. when he came out here and he campaigned in these very same states. you have an opportunity to reset this race you have an opportunity to put the best person forward who can defeat barack obama tonight. >> reporter: that is what you're likely to hear right here tonight. whether he actually wins this state, this beauty contest, so to speak, in missouri or any other, he'll still make the case, rick santorum, that he's staying in this race but he certainly does hope and his aides hope that i've talked to tonight, wolf, that he does well enough that he can raise more money and keep the campaign going easier. >> we'll hear what he has to say later tonight. dana, thanks very much. anderson, back to you. i know you can resolve this burning question for all of our viewers out there, because you're a new yorker. is it missouri or missouri? >> as a new yorker i feel fully
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qualified. we can alternate, depending if we want to act as if we're from that state. if rick santorum is to have a path forward, i mean, is tonight critical? >> yeah, this is it. this is why they have the big ball room, as dana was showing. look, they have to win one or two states tonight in order to get enough juice to continue. minnesota is very fertile ground for them, for example, because there are evangelicals there, they organized there, and they feel they have a real shot with those conservative caucus goers. missouri without newt gingrich running, they say this is a match-up for conservative voters. we're the alternative to newt gingrich. we're the true conservatives in this race, which is why he's been going after mitt romney all week long saying, you know what, on health care he's not the guy to go up against barack obama. >> anderson, it's fascinating that only a week or two ago we all thought this was going to be a sleepy night. romney would roll through three
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more. and he'd be on his way to super tuesday as the inevitable nominee. and tonight, you know, he could lose two out of these three. suddenly he could be rolling toward super tuesday with two flat tires. this is -- the dynamics could change tonight in ways that i think are very unpredictable and unexpected and we'll have to wait and see how the night comes out. the party will be partly if santorum wins both, it will be about his elevation and the story will also be, wow, romney really lost a couple of them. >> and where is newt gingrich? third or fourth. >> that's true. >> also the question of how long people stay in. if santorum doesn't have a big win, what happens to him? >> if he doesn't win anything tonight, he has a big problem. >> nobody gets out before super tuesday. if you're rick santorum there's no reason to get out. >> particularly if you have a super pac and a sugar daddy that will keep funding you. rick santorum has a super pac -- >> and he'll be hitch hiking a lot -- >> does he call them his sugar
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daddy? >> no. >> just wanted to make sure. >> but in this race, because of super pacs there's less incentive to get out, because if you can still use the money for advertising in those states, why not -- why not stay? >> in items of a sugar daddy, a las vegas magnet who's given all that money to newt gingrich's super pac, he's made it clear behind the scenes, mitt, i'm giving it to you. >> but if you run a casino, have you to change your bet. >> you look at the $10 million to him, average american worth about $100,000, that's $40 campaign donation -- >> unbelievable to contemplate. >> the caucuses in minnesota tonight might have been a shoo-in for michele bachmann if she were in the race. she'll join us live to talk about the battle for her home turf tonight. a new snapshot of how mitt romney might do against president obama if he's the nominee. all energy development comes with some risk,
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[ female announcer ] only from aveeno. as we await first official results to come in, let's talk with michele bachmann joining us live from washington. congresswoman, thanks for coming in. you represent an important district in minnesota, i guess, the key question, why aren't you today in minnesota participating in these caucuses? >> i wish i was. i would be if i could. i'm here doing my job in washington, d.c. we were voting tonight, wolf, so i was here on the house floor of representatives and doing my job. but my family members and friends and all the great people back in minnesota, they're out in mass. this is a fun night in minnesota because our state, with our caucuses system is very grassroo grassroots, very bottom-up. it's politics at it's best. that's what you'll find in
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minnesota. >> you haven't publicly endorsed anyone yet. you still have a little time. are you ready at this moment, congresswoman, right now to reach out to your fellow minnesotans and tell them who you support? >> no, i'm not. i'm not endorsing anyone yet. i may at some point but i haven't made that decision to do it. what i really want to be, wolf, is a unifying voice for our party. we have a lot of factions that are out there. we need to all come together. minnesota tends to be more of a democrat state. we have a lot of independents in our state. but there's a lot of diseffected democrats and a lot of diseffected independents. they're looking for an alternative to president obama. someone who actually can turn the economy around and keep the nation safe. so, they will -- are looking very strongly at these four candidates. they want someone who can defeat barack obama. and, honestly, i think that it's wide open tonight. any of the candidates have a possibility of winning. for instance, mitt romney is
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endorsed by former governor tim pawlenty and former senator norm coleman. but then look at newt gingrich. he has a lot of his former staff that have organized for him in minnesota. rick santorum, very strong evangelical base. he appeals to that base. if you look at ron paul, ron paul and i held a joint meeting at northrop auditorium, we had 3,000 people come out that night. there's a lot of support across the state of minnesota for all four candidates. i think the results may actually be fairly close. >> well, give us your assessment because you're a minnesotan, you know the republicans in your home state. who do you think will win? >> honestly, i do think it's a toss-up. ron paul has a very strong base of support in minnesota. and they are very well organized. they've been organizing in the caucuses really for the last several years. so, this is not a late item for them. but also rick santorum has also
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demonstrated in the last ppp poll he's actually number one. but within the margin of error of mitt romney. mitt romney is very well organized. i had mail coming to my house, for instance, from mitt romney. television isn't as important in the minnesota market because it's so very grassroots. have you to get exactly to the people who are likely to come out. and newt gingrich has been to minnesota many, many times as a speaker. and he has a lot of deep roots there. so, when i say it's up for grabs, i mean it. it literally could go to any of these four candidates. >> we're out of time. do you wish you would have stayed in the race? >> oh, i wish i could have. what i like most of all were the debates you moderated. cnn did fabulous debates. and i miss the debates most of all. >> you still got your -- you're still a very young woman, eight years from now, a lot of time to rethink your strategy down the road, congresswoman. thanks very much. >> thanks. niese that's nice for a 55-year-old to hear. >> okay. congresswoman michele bachmann,
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pretty young lady still. anderson, back to you. >> wolf, we're keeping our eye on a big problem for the current president and possibly the next one, crackdown by syrian goth. we have new information about the possibility of u.s. military action.
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today. u.s. officials making it clear they have lost patience with syrian president bashar al assad. let's go to barbara starr. what have you learned tonight? >> good evening. there's no question the focus is on diplomatic and economic action but for the first time, two administration officials are confirming to cnn that the administration, the pentagon and the u.s. central command, are now conducting a preliminary review of possible military capabilities for syria. now, here's what they tell us. they tell us that they're basically looking at what could be possible if the president was to ask for some ideas. one official saying to me that this is what we do. we will put ideas on the table, but emphasizing no decisions have been made about what he calls military support for syria, but still, anderson, today this is the first time we're even hearing about the concept of military support for syria. think of it as scoping things out. what is out there?
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what military options are out there? what could the military do if the president was to ask? you know, it's what the military does. they plan ahead. they don't wait for the president to ask. this is a signal of the growing concern, even as they pursue the diplomatic and economic options, they are very concerned about what they are seeing unfold. >> bash remarks most experts i've talked to say it's unlikely there would be direct nato military involvement but the possibility of, for instance, arming the so-called free syrian army, which has begun by defk tors from syrian army now operating in some area in homs and elsewhere throughout syria. that might be an option. >> right. there are a lot of possibilities, a lot of military capabilities before you would ever get to that ultimate one of any kind of strikes. humanitarian assistance, the situation is getting very serious. as you say, arming the opposition, providing any kind of aid to the movement that is
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opposing the syrian regime. >> barbara starr, appreciate the breaking news. the situation on the ground in sir ra syria is desperate. danny has been giving us a remarkable look at what's been going on. he's posting videos on youtube. he's outside a medical clinic in homs. >> look at these houses. civilian houses. a doctor's clinic. we're asking for humanitarian to help us. we're asking for the u.n. to help us. we're asking for the arab league to help us. anyone. anyone. any kind of humanity in their heart, do something about this. this assad animals, assad regime are killing us. our promise as people, pieces of people in the street. snipers shooting us like we're animals. we have to cut the street, run, so we don't get killed by snipers. >> danny joins us via skype.
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we've talked to you for several days. what you've seen is hoer rrific. what is the lateest? what did you see today? >> the army was actually surrounding these two areas, where i'm living right now. what the army is doing is going to civilian houses. civilian still living there. they take the houses and break wall by wall so they can move from building to building. they don't move in the street because the free army is protecting these areas. what the syrian army is doing, they go in in buildings, breaking wall to wall to go from building to building. they've been bombarding us from 5 a.m., like yesterday, with rockets. what's new today, they're hitting us with antiair tanks, four have been shooting at buildings. tanks, with shells, the army's been shooting with mortar bombs
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and rockets like yesterday as well. only one hospital. no one can leave. no one go in. as usual, no doctors can leave, no doctors can come in. they shot at red cross ambulance today. >> you were in a makeshift hospital the other day in a report that i saw that people can see on youtube right now. there were bodies laying in the hallways in this makeshift hospital. explain why you can't bring the wounded to actual hospitals, to real hospitals. >> i'll explain to you. we have one private hospital in an area right next to babar al amr. we used to take the really injury there had to do operation in that private hospital. the army took it and it's become their barracks. they're sitting there. the army is posted in that hospital. before they went to that
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hospital, they hit the operation room while doctors are doing operations. they kicked the doctors out of the hospital and all of the nurses out of the hospital and left all of the people in there. now the syrian assad army are living in that hospital. if we want to take bodies to any government hospital, we have enter -- you come out with injury in the head or leg, you have injury in head or you're taken by security forces and tortured to death or they let you bleed to death. >> what do you want the world to know about what is happening in homs right now? >> okay. well, what has happened in homs, we have for the last six months is massacre. people are saying 6,000 dead, 7,000 dead. our promise is more than 40,000 people dead. everyone who's missing, dead. over 64 -- people from the
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syrian army know where they are. they can't tell us where they are exactly. syrian army say we are lying. we're going to be kidnapped. [ inaudible ] brought across the street, you have to run. you can't walk. >> danny, i appreciate the risk you're taking in talking to us and the risk you have taken over the last several days to inform people what is going on. continue to stay safe. thank you for talking to us tonight. again, the situation is changing rapidly. it seems to be intensifying in the city in homs in particular, in one neighborhood where he is saying that he is now. that's the neighborhood, wolf, we've seen over the last several days being bombarded in a way which is far more aggressive than we have seen in the weeks and months before. >> anderson, we'll continue to update our viewers throughout
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the night on what is happening in syria. these are critical moments. we just heard barbara starr report the u.s. military now beginning the process of considering, considering some military options as well. that young danny, a very courageous young man. now, we'll stay on top of this story. also what's happening here in the united states. we'll return to our political coverage coming up. newt gingrich is looking ahead to a super tuesday battleground state. we're talking about ohio. we'll talk to him in our next hour about his hopes tonight and strategy for staying in this contest. also, we have new information on how the ad war is changing the race tonight. [ sniffs ] i have a cold. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ deep breath ] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth!
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america's choice on a very busy night in the presidential race. we're back at cnn election center. we're counting down to the contests and the results in three battleground states. less than half an hour from now, caucuses begin in minnesota. also at 8 p.m. eastern, the polls close in the missouri primary. one hour later, caucuses begin in colorado. we'll be watching the voting as it happens inside these important caucuses. we have caucus cameras inside minnesota republicans are starting to show autopsy cross the state right now. let's go over to john king. he's watching all of this. a lot of focus in the calendar right now because what -- we're in february so it's relatively early in the process. sometimes republicans have wrapped it up by now. >> four years ago you could make the case they wrapped it up by now. what's dramatically different by now, by the end of the night when we fill in missouri, minnesota, colorado, eight states would have voted by now. missouri doesn't count.
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another process down the road. let's say eight states. by this date in 2008, 30 states voted. eight by the end of tonight. 30 four years ago. here's another way to look at it because the calendar was so advanced. super tuesday was february 5th four years ago. another way to look at it. back in time to 2008. john mccain wrapped up the nomination in 2008 when he won the florida primary. after florida in 2008, a lot of people are asking, what if governor romney loses one of these states? what if he loses two or three? is he punctured as a front-runner? yes, it will hurt him but, no, won't kill him. after florida in 2008 john mccain lost 13 of the next 28 states to vote. lost 15 after the florida win. look at these states. huckabee won in the south. huckabee had already won iowa, oklahoma. mitt romney won in colorado, out here, up here in mountain west. look at all this up here. this is romney. this is romney. it's important governor romney keep his momentum but a little
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history, a little context again. john mccain wrapped it up four years ago in florida and lost 15 states in all after florida. so, yes, governor romney hoped to sweep the month. let's not put that under the carpet. he hoped to win them all. if he loses one or two, it's a wounding, raises question if the republican party will rally around him but john mccain's own history tells you, you can recover. >> the romney folks would love to focus in on president obama but they don't are that luxury, at least not yet. >> no, they won't after tonight. >> anderson, back to you. >> one of the thing that's been so fascinating is that almost every round of primaries in caucuses has affected the candidates' standing among voters nationwide. newt gingrich was the leader in national polls more than two weeks ago after he won the south carolina primary. that was two weeks ago. the race tightened after that. gingrich and romney were running neck and neck nationally. romney jumped back into the lead boasted by primary victory in florida a week ago. he still has a double-digit advantage. electability is a big yir in
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this republican presidential race. president obama comes out ahead of mitt romney when registered voters nationwide were asked whom they'd vote for if the election were held today. does newt gingrich do any better? no, he does worse. trailing a little farther behind. the president, then mitt romney, the romney campaign took issue with that latest poll. but it was interesting, when we asked you guys earlier how many think this may actually go all the way to the convention, i think roland was the only one who said, well, when do you see somebody dropping out? >> i think march 6th, super tuesday. that's the big one. romney probably has a bad night tonight. gives santorum a second -- or a chance. the next two states you go to, arizona and michigan are probably going to be very good states for mitt romney. that takes you to march 6th. ten states vote that night. the night newt is hoping for a southern strategy. here's the problem with it. there are only two southern states he's competing in out of ten. virginia is on but newt didn't
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make the ballot. two southern states are georgia and tennessee. other states nonsouthern and i don't except newt is a winner in southern states. he has to fight for it. i think after march 6th either newt has to drop or santorum has to drop if a conservative, viable opponent can emerge to take on mitt romney. >> marafter march 6th you have votes. texas, indiana, pennsylvania, north carolina, other states there. so, i just don't see with newt gingrich absolutely -- look, the guy is showing us he can run with no money. let's not act like if he has no money he's going to drop out. with his ego he'll keep saying, i'll go. santorum has evangelicals backing him. we'll see in minnesota how they're using their infrastructure to keep him going. ron paul, his folks are going nowhere. so, i think it goes on after march 6th. i think all four stay in. >> i believe that the
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republicans will close this down after april 3rd, after texas. again, later on in april, when you have new york, pennsylvania, other large states. can you run a campaign without money but you need media up. need other forms of momentum. >> debates. >> absolutely. there's only one debate this month in february. >> and you need one contest a night instead of ten on one day or five on one day. >> we have three tonight. >> i think when we stretch it out further, my sense is it's going to be a while before anyone drops out next. my guess would be that santorum would be before gingrich because when you look at the states, gingrich has texas that he thinks he can win in. the governor has endorseed. he has state legislators. the governor is no fan of mitt romney so he thinks he can drive this up. i'm not sure santorum can sustain himself as long as gingrich with a live off the land campaign. can any of them sustain themselves? not over the long haul but can
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they keep romney from getting to 144? >> let's say rick santorum wins minnesota and missouri. he need to create a springboard, convince conservatives, i'm the only one to stop mitt romney. tonight is his chance to get that springboard. >> we'll be watching the ads as well. erin, you've been watching all these ads in the three battleground states unfold. a significant amount of money, not necessarily by florida or nevada. >> $32 million in broadcast ads spent so far this election is stunning. when you look at colorado and minnesota, not as much. just to make the point here, colorado, ounl, everyone talking about important state. zero, zero, zero. just about $24,000 for mitt romney. this has been a very different campaign up. heard michele bachmann talking about how broadcast ads were not as important in minnesota. you can see that as well when you look at the numbers here. it was really a romney versus santorum race. not a lot of money in the context again of that $32 million. but i wanted to play a couple ads because they really say a lot about the tenor of the race.
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rick santorum, obviously, trying to position himself as the real conservative, the person who can really be the conservative against mitt romney. this ad says it all airing in minnesota. >> supporting big government that strangles our nation's ability to create jobs. bailouts, government-run health care. who can we trust? rick santorum. >> so, it's gingrich, romney and president obama all on the screen together. which is just -- you know, makes the point. mitt romney trying to set this whole tone as he's running against barack obama and you see that in minnesota. >> how many jobs did barack obama create as a community organizer? as a law professor? maybe now you see the problem. mitt romney turned around dozens of american companies and helped created thousands of jobs. >> so, obviously, that really shows you the tone of what we're seeing. also, wolf, just the numbers here were very different. 136 plays. in florida, that ad where they were using tom brokaw reporting
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on the censoring of newt gingrich and it had only aired a couple days and it aired 2,000. >> these are super pac ads. that's a pro-romney and the red, white and blue is pro-santorum super pac. they're using unlimited sums to get to score some political points. >> absolutely. >> and we see that unfolding all of the time. erin, thanks very much. we're watching all of this unfold. we'll go back to john king shortly. much more of our special coverage right after this. americans believe they should be in charge of their own future.
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we're only eight minutes away.
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you can see from the top of the hour, when the caucuses start. we have three battleground states come peting tonight. we have cameras in some of these caucuses and we will show you democracy in action on this important night. joining us is republican candidate newt gingrich, the former speaker of the house. thanks very much for coming in. correct me if i am wrong, you have basically given up on these three important battleground states, is that right? >> i haven't given up on them. we were in colorado yesterday and minnesota last night. we had a huge crowd in minnesota. over 700 people showed up. we gave an energy speech at the college of mines in golden, colorado and town hall meeting and a rally. i think we're looking forward to ohio, which is where i am now, started early voting and arizona begun early voting. tennessee starts next week with early voting.
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we are trying to look at the whole country at the same time. i stayed in florida and fought it out and senator santorum went on. we're having a great time in ohio and i think have a real chance of winning ohio. it's exciting to be here. >> march 6th, ohio, important battleground tuesday. all our viewers no. your campaign or the super pacs supporting you really didn't spend any money at all with these three states, is that right? sn>> missouri is entirely a beay contest, no effect at all, an accident of the legislature. missouri, we'll be aggressively for the caucuses and in missouri to get as much support as we can. we came in second in nevada, second in florida and first in south carolina. i think we're going to do very well on super tuesday.
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we will compete very intensely in arizona and michigan. everybody has to figure out their own campaign strategy on a nationwi nationwide basis. i think the big story coming out tonight, it's very hard for the elite media to portray governor romney as inevitable after tonight is over. you have seen a steady decline wherever he's dumping his negative ads and in nevada, a drop in the number of votes he got. we split the total delegates between the romney not romney side in a state he was supposed to carry. tonight, he may be as much as 20 points behind in colorado where he was four years ago. he may be similarly behind in minnesota from where he was four years ago. i think after tonight, you will see, this is a wide open race and you will see a lot of people out there campaigning. we had a great time. were in dayton today and visited
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orrville wright's home and the evening nuty of the airplane all in the private sector and a total cost of $500, it was great fun. >> everything you're say, you're not going anywhere, you're staying in this contest as long as it takes, you have no intention no matter what happens tonight or arizona or super tuesday, you're in this race. >> we're in the race all the way. i talked to governor rick perry, we have a very strong operation in texas and georgia. our goal is through super tuesday, we go to alabama and mississippi and texas. our hope is by the time we get to texas on april 6th, we'll basically be pretty close to a tie with governor romney. the positive ideas we're developing, the dramatic contrast. he talks about not caring about the poor because they have a safety net. i want to create a springboard to help them get jobs and work and a chance to pursue
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happiness. they ridiculed my ideas about us competing in space. i don't want to let the chinese and russians dominate space. when you go to the wright brothers' home, you look at what they did and how they did it. they discovered how to fly for 500 bucks while the u.s. government was flowing away 50,000 in the same cycle failing to fly. what i want to do, liberating space from democracy and getting entrepreneurs to come in and doing exciting things for america's future, things that will create jobs in america and make us once again the technological leader of the world which is, i think, what we have to be. we will only be a successful country if we are consistently the most innovative and most advanc advanc advanced technological country in the world. >> i don't know if you saw this you want more debates or you want no more debates. do you want a lot more
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presidential debates or over all these debates? >> i'm happy either way, wolf. we've done very very well. most people believe i won 15 out of 17 debates and tied one and you could argue i lost one. i'm happy to debate. i'd much rather have a lincoln douglas style debate and head-on with romney no moderator, just a timekeeper, take a couple big ideas, talk about them together. i have a very bold tax plan to create jobs. the "wall street journal" said the boldest plan. he had a plan so timid, they said it was comparable to obama. have a tax debate over obama, his attitude towards the very poor and my idea trying to create a springboard to give them a chance to become middle class, work hard, have a better future. i'd love to have those kind of debates. you call one, wolf, i'll show up whether he does or not. i'm happy to do it either way. >> let me ask you about syria.
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the slaughter is continuing right now. it's a brutal situation. i don't know if you heard john mccain saying the u.s. should start thinking at least of providing weapons to the opposition of bashar al assad, barbara starr saying the being beginning to think of potential contingencies out there. if you were president of the united states and you saw thousands of innocent people, protesters slaughtered by this regime, what would you do? >> the first thing you have to ask yourself, wolf, what has happened to the obama administration we are months into this and they're starting to think? you would have thought by now they would have covertly work with our allies in the region to be funneling all sorts of assets into the rebels. it's clearly in our interest for assad to be kicked out of power, is the clearly an ally of iran and we frankly want him to be replaced if we can. i'm amazed they're starting to
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think something they should have done five months ago. >> if you were president, would you actively start providing at least weapons to the opposition? >> well, i would actively have -- first of all, as president, i wouldn't tell you, i would seek to have genuinely covert operations in which we worked with our allies in the region that had people who are fluent in arabic, who were deeply engaged in helping them, and i would ensure that those folks had adequate weapons. weapons in that part of the world aren't hard to get. that's pretty easy to obtain. the trick is to also have advisors, i don't think they should be american but i think it would not hurt if we were helping a group of advisors from the region go in and help organize to defeat assad. is it definitely in our interests to get rid of assad as dictator, because he is an ally of iran, it would be a major blow to iranians if he were kicked out of power. >> you remember 1976, reagan
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challenged gerald ford, went all the way to the convention, you remember what happened. are you in this at least until the convention? do you think it will go that far? >> i don't know yet. i'm certainly in it all the way to the convention. we'll see what happens. you could have -- at the rate we're going, you could have the first open convention since 1940, which would give you something to cover you would just love. i have no idea how this will evolve. i know i stand for the growth oriented reagan wing of the party that wants to see us be very dynamic and very different. that fight with the establishment, as you pointed out, just like reagan ford in 1976, i think we will probably go a long way in distinguishing between governor romney's position and my position over the next couple months. in addition, i think it's not harmful -- remember, barack obama and hillary clinton were in a contest all the way up to mid-june. it didn't seem to hurt them. john mccain won early, didn't seem to help him.
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so i think having us out here testing out ideas, showing people that there are genuine -- not just personality difference, there are philosophical differences how we approach america's future, i think that's very healthy for the republican party and i think we're going to be a party of better new ideas and better solutions as a result of this process. >> mr. speaker, as usual, thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks. good to see you, wolf. >> thank you. our coverage continues right now. the action is getting under way right now on this very busy and important night in the republican presidential race. caucuses are beginning in minnesota, one of three states holding contests tonight. our exclusive cnn caucus cameras are inside to show you the voting and results in realtime. chris welsh, shannon travis,
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david manningly, all inside caucuses right now. let's start with shannon in maple grove, minnesota. set the scene for us. we want to see democracy in action. >> reporter: that's right, wolf, democracy in action. we're in maple grove, the suburb of minneapolis. the anticipation is building because the caucus is about to start moments way from now. i will have my cameraman pan over and show you a shot of the room. a couple minutes ago, there weren't that many people here and now filled up to starting the program right now. we're expecting for ron paul to come in, in about 10 or 15 minutes to speak to these people. the campaign told me today, part of the new strategy going forward for the ron paul campaign is have the candidate himself come to caucuses like this to try and shore up support. they realized they have a lot of support, thousands of people at rallies but they want him -- for that to translate into votes, part of that strategy iing to have him show up. >> shannon, we'll get back to
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you. david mattingly in stillwater, minnesota. what's happening behind you, david. >> wolf, this is grassroots party politics at the local level. it can't get any more simple than this. you have friends and neighbors gathering here, all of them united only in one thing. that's to see someone voted as a republican into the white house. they're going to be discussing issues and having a straw poll later tonight. that straw poll is not binding but the winner will have bragging rights out of minnesota. let's talk to some people here. excuse me, sir, is this your first caucus? >> yes, it is. >> reporter: who are you voting for tonight? >> ron paul. >> one wrote for ron paul. >> who are you voting for tonight? >> rick santorum. >> reporter: one vote for rick santorum. >> who are you voting for tonight? mitt romney. >> reporter: there you go, three different candidates and three different votes. to show you the basis, this is
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the ballot everyone is using. take a close look. notice at the top, there's a space there, where michele bachmann would have been. in alphabetical order and a newt gingrich and a space where huntsman dropped out, ron paul. rick perry's name is still there, didn't get it crossed off. they crossed it off with pen, very basic and then mitt romney and rick santorum. in the palm of your hand, it fits, this is the ballot, grassroots level of national politics playing in front of us. snow they put an x or check in front of the name where the little line is? all they have to do? >> reporter: it's all they have to do. checkmark or x, all very no non-technical here. examined with human eyes. >> i'm surprised they still have rick perry's name. you would think they have time to print up ballots without his
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name. stand by. we will get back to you. they said the pledge of allegiance. you have folks you want to talk to, shannon in maple grope, minnesota? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. i will keep it down because they are starting up the program, interrupting with bursts of applause. is the a caucus site at maple grove, minnesota, after the speeches is down, ron paul will speak, there will be surrogates from the other three campaigns represented and the family members and neighbors will break into different groups according to precinct and caucus. want to take you to two people i spoke with a short while ago. they had interesting things to say. i will try and crouch down a little bit. we're here with christine and phil. a moment ago, i asked you who you were here to support? ron paul all the way. >> reporter: why ron paul? >> we're for liberty. that's what we're for. >> and phil? >> obviously from your shirt? >> ron paul. >> reporter: why for ron paul?
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>> he's the only candidate that defends the constitution and stands up for our civil liberties all the time. >> reporter: ron paul hasn't won a contest. what do you think his chances are tonight? >> very good. he has lots of support in minnesota. >> reporter: hopefully, ron paul has two supporters here, i'm sure the campaign thinks he has more. we'll send it back to you now so they can finish the beginning of their program and start the caucuses. >> thanks very much. once ron paul starts speaking, we will listen to what he has to say. as you know better than most, he has a lot of devoted ardent supporters out there. stand by. chris welsh is joining us from minnesota. tell our viewers where you are an what's going on. >> reporter: wolf, i'm actually in a suburb in minnesota 20 miles south of the twin cities. republican officials in the state pride themselves on the fact this is a conservative county.
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>> looks like we have a little technical issue at shakopee, minnesota. we'll fix that up and speak to chris wells shortly. the democracy in these three states, at least two of them is beginning and we will watch it unfold. >> that is certainly true. i think i just saw a tweet from you asking is there an enthusiasm gap among republicans this year. do you think there is? >> absolutely. >> turnout was down 15% in florida. 25% in nevada. one of the things the republicans thought they had going for them this year is turnout would be higher because of all the candidates, the debate, money, et cetera. what we've seen over the last few weeks is turnout is actually low. this has to worry republicans because several states are battleground states in the fall. >> does it worry you ari? >> it could be worrisome.
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south carolina was record breaking and florida was unique because there was a ballot initiative four years ago that brought people out. 400,000 more people voted in the ballot initiative than presidential contest. nevada was a drop, something to keep an eye on. i've said this before. i still think the unifying event for republicans is the desire to beat barack obama. manufacturer has a problem with the base. a lot of conservatives don't trust or believe in mitt romney and can depress turnout. the other issue brings people out we saw in the obama-hillary race, people think it's such a close race, who knows who will win. that's the reason south carolina is like that. to the degree people think mitt romney has this sewed up, it depress turnout. >> i think there is some degree and going into this season, there was an air of inevitability for a lot of people and decided not to do out. i do believe, i hate to sound like a broken record, in iowa,
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take out the independents who came out just for ron paul, it actually wasn't a record breaking turnout in iowa and one thing that has to have republicans worried and it does, i talked to some worried, you look at nevada, florida, iowa, the counties that had lower turnout, mitt romney won and those with higher turnout, mitt romney lost. >> i want to get to jessica yellin, who also covered the clinton-obama race. do you see a difference in enthusias enthusiasm? >> reporter: no question. the type of enthusiasm between hillary clinton and barack obama is unprecedented in modern history. there was this intensity, it's hard to rival that. i wasn't home for four months for a stretch just covering them. it's also something in this instance the obama campaign is pointing to, eric erickson is
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saying in the states mitt romney is winning the turnout is the lowest. this was a season republicans were saying their base was so excited to beat barack obama, it would be a massive turnout. there should be some concern on the republican side there is not the kind of turnout they were expecting. >> what about concern by the white house about a lack of enthusiasm among democrats? a lot of first time voters, a lot of people brought to the polls voting for then candidate obama who hadn't voted necessarily before, hadn't been as involved. do they feel that same enthusiasm exists? >> they're doing everything in their power to get them engaged. have you noticed the we can't wait initiative. initiative to get summer internships paid for college kids just entering the workforce. do you think that might energize the youth vote. a bunch of contraceptive
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measures. do you think that might energize the women's vote? i don't think any of this has been lost, the fear these special interest groups might be demoralized is not lost on the obama team and finding ways to reengage them, looking ahead. bottom line for the obama side, they think as soon as there is a nominee, that will lock in the enthusiasm, what each side says about each other. >> we heard a lot of news about the super pacs and the news today about president obama and his decision to send people out and encourage people to raise money for the super pac. were you surprised to hear that? >> i'm sure they were alarmed by the tremendous amount of money republicans are raising and the amount of money mitt romney spent and i'm sure they looked up and saw the negative ads against gingrich in florida. >> is it hypocritical? >> he had to make a fundamental decision. do you go into the race with the super pacs stacked up against
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you and your super pac out there trying to raise a few crumbs. you have all these non-profit groups that will not disclose their contributors also raising money against you. >> are you afraid the super pacs are only going to raise a few crumbs? >> i'm not out there raising money, with these young men. >> is it hypocritical the president was saying he was not for the super pacs. i was on tv with paul begala that said he was helping a super pac for president obama. whether official or not, he knew they would. >> in 2008 when he said we're not taking lobbyist money and said don't give money to outside groups, democrats said, fine, we'll go your way with this one. what happens in 2010? they got their butt kicked when it came to raising money. a major democratic donor said, take the gloves off. is it hypocritical? yes. he'll get tagged on it.
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you have to suck it up and do it. why? you cannot lose an arms race, i was a purist, democrats are saying, no, we have to play to win. >> the truth was the democratic super pacs weren't raising a lot of money, barack obama's super pac, correct me if i am wrong, donna -- >> has the blessing of the president. >> they were out there in the wilderness. they had to get the blessing of the president they got because you see the kind of me on the republicans super pacs are racing now. interesting, republicans are raising a lot of money. they don't have the large turnout to show for it but they're raising an awful lot of money and super pacs are doing the negative advertising a lot of people would think could suppress voter turnout, one thing object turnout, newt gingrich, his calling card, he came on tv saturday night and accused mitt romney of suppressing voter turnout, everywhere he won, he suppressed
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voter turnout. south carolina, newt gingrich won, turnout up 33%. >> this issue does matter. in 2006 and 2008, the democrats were hungrier than republicans and won both elections, in 2010, it was the republicans who were hungrier. watching this turnout tonight does matter. i think the difference has been in the first three states that voted out of the five, independents could vote and turnout was up in all three states. in the last two states, florida and nevada, republicans only and turnout was down. that is a sign republicans are watching with some distress. >> who's hungrier this year? >> the republicans thought their voters would be hungrier, been counting on that and that gave them advantage going into this, one more republican advantage more clouded or threatened? eric, to your point, in a general election when the focus is president obama, that's where the hunger comes in? >> i think there will be some.
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it's difficult to sustain hunger against someone, you have to have hunger for something and you have the supreme court with the obama decision coming this summer. if it goes the way conservatives hope it will go, if anthony k kennedy sides with this liberal court, you will see an impassioned base you have never known if they side with the president, the left will be energized. >> what if chief justice roberts goes with the majority and says it's constitutional. that is possible. people think that is possible. >> you have 70% job approval on inauguration day, the democrats base lost a huge amount of enthusiasm, it is 40% now. the massive the turnout in 2008 is not going to happen again. >> i'm the only one that can speak on this stage about turnout in a presidential race. let me tell you. >> i don't think so. >> we got more votes.
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>> it's called a trump college. >> please don't do that. >> electoral college. >> the supreme court decided that. please. >> martini and wine. >> you know -- i talked about newt gingrich trust problem. mitt romney has a trust problem with conservative voters. you need people like eric and eric forgive me for saying people like eric, i'm talking about, he needs campaign people enthusiastic, go door-to-door and not say vote against obama, vote against america and job creation and vote against everything this president has done the past three years. he needs people apostles for him and not just against obama. that's where mitt romney is having a little bit of difficulty at this hour. we'll see what happens later. >> you have to run for something. it doesn't matter whether municipal or -- you have to run for something. >> he has run neck and neck and
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each week he has opened up a gap. you can't dismiss mitt romney with his problems on the right legit doesn't have appeal that gets him equal with barack obama. >> that's the economy, i think and his sole rationale is i'm the reason ffixer for the econo. >> we'll see how it plays out for governor romney and the other candidates. wolf. >> thanks very much. votes are beginning to come in. missouri, let's show you what we have right now. two precincts coming in very early, the first numbers we're getting so far in missouri in the primary. 41% for mitt romney, 26% for rick santorum. 13% uncommitted. ron paul, 8%, caucus numbers coming in from missouri, remember, newt gingrich not on the ballot in missouri, this is a beauty contest, see how few people have registered their
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opinions. minnesota, caucusing right now, caucus cameras inside. ron paul also the republican presidential candidate in minnesota getting ready to speak. we'll go there live once he speaks, you'll hear from ron paul as well. we're watching what's going on. who will take the edge in these three contests tonight. our special coverage from the cnn "election center" will continue in a moment. c'mon dad!
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i'm here to unleash my inner cowboy. instead i got heartburn. hold up partner. prilosec can take days to work. try alka-seltzer. it kills heartburn fast. yeehaw! it kills heartburn fast. weight loss programs can be expensive. so to save some money, i just got the popular girls from the local middle school to follow me around. ew. seriously? so gross.
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ew. seriously? that is so gross. ew. seriously? dude that is so totally gross. so gross...i know. there's an easier way to save. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. very early in the process. we're getting actual votes in missouri between mitt romney and rick santorum. 37% for mitt romney, 35% for rick santorum. 10% uncommitted. ron paul, 9%. newt gingrich not on the ballot very very early.
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we have caucus cameras in minnesota watching what is going on. shannon travis is in golden valley, minnesota. david mattingly joining us in stillwater, minnesota. shannon, we're waiting to hear from ron paul. i take it he's where you are, right? >> reporter: he is here. i just got off the phone with ron paul's campaign manager. he is here in the building. we expect him in six or seven minutes. they're letting surrogates for the other campaigns speak first and then ron paul will come out. i'll have my cameraman pan out and show you the room. a lot of caucus goers in the precinct, area of minnesota, the stage where ron paul will be speaking. a lot of elected local efficiency speaking first. i'm told the main person presiding over this caucus site here after the elected officials speak and dr. ron paul speaks,
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they will break out in different groups, neighbor to neighbor and friend to friend and stranger to stranger in some cases and express who they're supporting and convince other people to come on board to that chosen campaign. we will actually see the vote counting in this room. we'll bring that to you also as part of our democracy in action. wolf. >> we'll obviously hear what ron paul has to say at this meeting. he will try to convince everyone there to support him. the private conversations, as you say, among these citizens, friends and neighbors, will we be able to hear that as well? >> reporter: we'll try and definitely get up close to some of these conversations to see if some people are leaning, some people are convinced, if some people came in here unconvinced. we'll try to get you inside these conversations. this is a process a lot of people around the country are n unfamiliar with. most are familiar with going in a ballot booth and casting a ballot and no one knows the wiser.
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a caucus is different and we will get up close personal and show you what they're talking about and how the process works. >> we will come back to you once we hear ron paul start speaking. david mattingly has one of our caucus cameras in stillwater, minnesota. you can hear me. what's the status over there? >> reporter: everyone just got a brief i briefing on the instructions and agenda. earlier, i showed you the ballot to the straw poll they're voting on later tonight. this is the list of instructions and explanations. caucuses can be a little bit confusing. they made sure everybody took a lot of time to show how things will go tonight. most people are here to participate in the straw poll non-binding. they will be coming here to indicate their support for a particular candidate. later, they're going to break up in small groups where they're electing delegates to go to a state level convention and from there, the delegates for the
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national convention will be elected. everything they're picking tonight, in terms of a candidate is not binding. so minnesota is going to be a place where a candidate is going to be getting bragging rights, not so much of an actual delegate count tonight, official delegate count tonight. this room really filled up tonight. a couple hundred people here. there are 480 something precincts throughout minnesota where something like this is going on tonight. this room contain ed people fro eight of those precincts. after they get their briefing, have their straw poll, they will break up in smaller groups and talk about issues important in their communities. their voice is important in determining where the republican party stands on the state level and national level in the years to come. right now, it's just a lot of talking from the podium, a lot of explaining how things are going to work tonight and what tonight's participation from all
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these people actually means. the one thing about minnesota when you register to vote, you don't have to label yourself as democrat or republican. all you have to be is eligible to vote in the november election to participate in this caucus, not only vote but actually run as a delegate for the november election. so a lot of people here, some of them here for the first time, some of them long time political veterans. a lot of people here looking forward to what this represents. again, that is grassroots party politics minnesota style. wolf. >> it's a good style indeed. thanks, david. we will get back to you. we have numbers coming in from minnesota. the caucuses unfolding very very early. you see how few the numbers are. 77% for rick santorum. ron paul, 40%. newt gingrich, 6%, mitt romney, 6%. you see six votes for ron paul,
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newt gingrich and mitt romney, 1. let's look at missouri right now. we have more people that already -- these are official numbers that have come in from missouri right now. a few people voted. rick santorum, 42% to mitt romney's 33%. ron paul, 10%, newt gingrich not on the ballot in missouri at all. let's go to john king. i spoke a while ago with newt gingrich. he agreed way back in 1976, when reagan was challenging the incumbent republican president, gerald ford, he took that contest not through super tuesday, not through texas but all the way to the republican convention that summer and newt gingrich said he's ready to do the same thing now. >> the question is, can he? is he a viable candidate all the way through the convention? one point worth noting, no cable television back then. and political races tend to be accelerated because of the 24 hour television. rick santorum has won iowa, you
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mentioned. 1% in minnesota and 1% in missouri. stay tuned and stay with us several more hours. if the map turns out like this and rick santorum has three states at the end of the night -- >> that would be a huge upset and potentially a setback for mitt romney. >> just look at this. i want you to remember this, if santorum takes a few states. this is is gingrich in south carolina, romney in nevada, and any else wins colorado, that would be the biggest upset. if he doesn't, that's trouble. let's look at this reagan race with jerry ford in 1976. they didn't have magic walls then. gerald ford, the incumbent president, the light color and reagan challenged him. in those days, it took 1130 to win the nomination. remember this. reagan won in the south, not all of them.
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ford won in florida and here, reagan won the south and texas in the west and mountain west. jerry ford won the midwest and what i call the rockefeller in the northeast. remember that map, jerry ford in the end won. reagan came up short. >> an incumbent challenged. >> two candidates. that's why that santorum vote matters. two candidates went all the way to the convention. let's look at our own delegate map. here's where we are tonight. three states voting. play this out. this is what the romney campaign wanted. let's say this happens tonight. santorum, change that to purple, there we do, let's say santorum does both of these state, leading now. we will award some delegates based on what we think will happen at results. let's for the sake of argument, romney wins colorado. spe speaker gingrich hasn't done anything. i will fast forward, maine, give
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that to ron paul for the sake of argument take delegates away from governor romney. everyone's delegate counts are going up, these are proportional states most of them. now, you get to super tuesday. this is when speaker gingrich must make a statement. he's pink, only won south carolina. i thinke i gave him maine. speaker gingrich won only one contest so far. it's early. you need 1100. he's well behind. santorum almost even. if you play it out on super tuesday, remember, gingrich is not on the ballot in virginia. remember the reagan ford contest, you have to start winning states. this will most likely go to romney. a romney paul race there. even if you keep playing it out, we split these states, give him both southern states here, missouri then comes back to the point this is when it matters, caucuses down the road. the romney campaign thinks in
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that environment, it will be more organized and you will see more spending. i will give him that. this in missouri and ohio, if gingrich wants to prove he's viable, that's where he needs to do it. not let romney get ohio, why he's there tonight and do this. >> fascinating stuff. ron paul is speaking in minnesota. i want to hear what he's saying. >> sounds like there are plenty of friends of freedom in this audience. i'm delight to be here. thank you for inviting me and permitting me to come and visit. there's an important election going on, as you know. i feel like i'm very honored i can come and visit with you before this election occurs. most people know a lot about me. i thought i would start off by saying a lot of things people don't know. i'm an ob doctor and delivered about 30,000 babies over a 30 year medical practice. [ applause ] >> also, i am the only candidate
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that's served in the military. i was in the air force for five years as a flight surgeon, both on active duty and in the international guard. [ applause ] >> but i want to briefly, in the short period of time i have, is to go over in general the platform i've been running on. i've been campaigning, of course, for what i call the cause of liberty for a long time, i got involved in politics in the 1970s because i believe we're embarking on something that would lead to an economic disaster. that was the destruction of our currency. it was back then we lost our last link of our dollar to gold. the predictions then, which have been carried out, the predictions would be it would lead to print doing much money, spending too much money, running up too much debt, having an entitlement system out of control and foreign policy that
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would lead us to do more things overseas than we should be doing. [ applause ] we've gotten ourselves into this mess because we have been too careless. the people have been careless. our representatives in congress have been careless and careless in this sense we have not taken the oath of office seriously. i believe most of our problems have come because we have violated the constitution and we would solve almost all our problems if we would only send people to washington who took the oath of office seriously and obeyed the constitution. [ applause ] our deficit is over a trillion every year, 1.4, 1.5 trillion dollars a year. there's no serious attempt in washington, and quite frankly, if you listen to the other candidates, there's no serious attempt to cut spending.
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i believe if you want to get our house in order, our country back on track again, we have to cut spending, so i have proposed to cut 1 trillion dollars out of the budget in one year. [ applause ] >> you might say i heard they were going to cut spending, congress was lax and turned it over to the super committee and there's automatic cuts of over a trillion dollars in 2013 and stretching over a 10 year period and they will cut a trillion dollars out of a 10 trillion dollar proposed increase. that is not decrease. [ laughter ] >> that's $100 billion a year over a 10 year period. we spend $100 billion in debt every single month. that's how serious it is. we have a chairman of the federal reserve board who has promised that he would use your dollars to bail out all of europe who bought too much greek debt, and they're in trouble and
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he's promised to bail them out. that is why i emphasize the federal reserve, we have to get control of the federal reserve, get control of our money. we need sound money and we are not -- we should never allow an organization like the federal reser reserve -- they created in the midst of the big bailouts $15 trilli trillion. congress was derelict in their duty. they spent a trillion but the federal reserve 10, 15 trillion and they did it in secrecy and resent it when i ask questions and say, we need to audit you and find out what you're doing and who you're baling out and who are the privileged customers. [ applause ] >> this is certainly where we've made a lot of progression bringing attention to the american people the seriousness of the monetary system. the federal reserve has been around for 100 years. it's only been in the last three or four years it's gotten the
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attention it deserves. i will continue on that. i do not believe we can have a healthy economy with unhealthy money. therefore we have to do something and the first thing we should do is have a thorough audit of the fed and make sure they're holding the gold they claim they're holding. [ applause ] >> the reason the federal reserve is so important is it generates big government. the bigger the government, the smaller our liberties. our government is way too big. that is why i believe we're at a point now where our liberties have been severely eroded and we need to curtail that trend. [ applause ] >> we had various pieces of legislation that have been very abusive to our liberties. you take the patriot act passed in 2001. it sounds wonderful. if it had been called what it really was, repeal the fourth
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amendment act, it wouldn't have been passed and it ought to be repealed, to tell you the truth. [ applause ] >> just recently the national defense authorizationing at was pass. buries in that provision was a very very serious provision that gives the president now the authority to use the army to arrest any american citizen, deny him a trial, deny him a lawyer and put him in prison indefinitely. that is not what america is all about. [ applause ] >> we will break away briefly for a moment. ron paul. i want to go to stillwater. david mattingly, we see people mulling around. what's going on. >> reporter: wolf, remember that gymnasium of people a minute ago? they've all cleared out, breaking into smaller groups now. there were eight voting precincts represented in this room earlier. they're now going into smaller
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rooms where they will discuss issues related to the republican platform and have their straw poll where they will vote their preference for the republican nominee. there will be a few people standing by staying in this room. one precinct out of the eighth will remain in this room. we will watch as they go through the steps of this caucus, this grassroots democracy in action in party politics. we will be seeing every step of the way, wolf. >> david, we'll get right back to you and update our viewers on the actual votes coming in from minutes and missouri very very early in the process. minnesota first 132 votes for rick santorum. it's very early. 1% of the vote in, 48% for rick santorum. 24% for ron paul, 16% for mitt romney, 12% for newt gingrich. this is minnesota very early in the process and these numbers no doubt will change. we have votes in from missouri,
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1% of the vote in, mitt romney slightly ahead of rick santorum, 38% to 36%, uncommitted, 10%, 9% for ron paul. only 1% of the vote is in. these numbers will change as more and more of these numbers come in from missouri, minnesota-colorado is getting ready to start their caucuses at the much to the hour. we'll go there live as well, where mitt romney is located. at some point he will be speaking to his supporters in colorado as well. we will watch the caucuses unfold. they're getting ready to vote. actually, they're voting right now in stillwater, minnesota. we'll go there. stay with us.
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we're going to get back to our election coverage in a moment. we have breaking news about the bloody government crackdown in syria. cnn has learned the being has begun a review of its options if president obama should call for some kind of military action after many months of deadly violence at least 35 people were killed just today. opposition activists are calling it a massacre. i spoke to syrian activist about the situation in his country and he broke down. >> the entire world is watching us so silently. we are getting killed every moment. we are not able even just to get some basic medicine for injured peop people. children are really hungry. i swear, children are hungry. no power, no fuel.
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so cold. it's too much, for god's sake, this is too much. >> let's bring in cnn's arwa damon covering the syrian crisis from beirut. when you talk to activists inside syria, remarkable despite the violence and thousands dying and many more in prison, they continue to say they will continue to fight, that they cannot go back. >> reporter: that's right, anderson. that is quite simply because they don't have a choice. you heard the emotion in that activist's voice right there, especially how he was breaking down in the end. that is the same type of emotion, ang grish auish and pa hear from syria saying they're in it until the end. one has to remember both sides in this current uprising, whether the government and those who support it or those
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vehemently opposed to it, they are in this in a fight for their very survival, both sides so hardened at this point against one another and both sides firmly believe it is a situation where they either somehow have to survive it or they will be x exterminated. when it comes to the activist's position they are at this stage no might for what the syrian regime has at its disposal and we are seeing images depicting the sheer horror of the bloodbath unfolding inside that country. >> you are in damascus and we are seeing increasing diplomatic pressure brought to bear and the u.s. closed its embassy and a number of countries have taken out their ambassadors or kick out the syrian ambassadors inside their country, is any of that having an impact on the ass assad regime itself? >> reporter: no, it's not. despite those actions by
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international players and despite various pledges we have been hearing from the syrian government itself, the crackdown has not eased up. as long as the syrian regime knows it continues to have fairly reliable powerful international allies in the likes of russia and china, it is unlikely to feel as if the international pressure is significant enough to need to alter its current course of action. one has to remember, this is a regime that continues to approach this as being a domestic disturbance, a battle against so-called armed gangs and continues to approach thes from a fairly confident position of power. >> arwa damon, appreciate you reporting tonight. wolf, russia and china continuing to block efforts internationally and the united nations for stronger action by the u.n. >> a dramatic situation unfolding in syria. we won't leave this story long. we have other drama unfolding in the race for the white house at
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the united states. let me update you what's going on. in minnesota, very early in the process, rick santorum with 1% of the vote in, 44% to 25% for ron paul. mitt romney coming in third with 17%, 14% for newt gingrich. very very early. you see the few numbers of folks who have actually voted. these are the first numbers coming in from minnesota from the caucuses in minnesota. we will go back to those caucuses shortly. let me show you what's going on in missouri right now. it's fascinating. 2% of the vote in missouri. look how close. what a contest between santorum and mitt romney. 37% for santorum. 36% for romney. 11% for ron paul. newt gingrich not on the ballot in missouri. if rick santorum were to hold on very early, that would be a huge upset for rick santorum. he needs a win either in minnesota or missouri. most people think mitt romney
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will do well in colorado, where he's getting ready to speak later tonight. you see the caucus cameras we have unfolding in minnesota right now in stillwater, and shakopee, minnesota and maple grove, minnesota. david mattingly is still with us in stillwater, what's the status over there. >> reporter: come a look at this table. people are signing in for this precinct. they have to sign in, the only requirement. they have to sign in and be a registered voter. after everybody is signed in, they handle their straw ballot. they asked everybody to pull their seats in closer, a very close very personal experience. you think about elections these days, it's very impersonal, you go to a voting booth, go to a computer ballot, push a button and you're done. here, people get a chance to talk about what's on their mind and get to talk about who they're voting for. this is about to get started.
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here has the ballot, very simple. this looks like a ballot you would be voting for class president on. instead, these people are expressing their choice for the republican nominee. we will step back now and let this group get on with their work here. wol wolf. >> i want to listen in and hear what they're saying. >> he's your temporary secretary for the caucus. a precinct is required to convene by minnesota state law. the qualify goings of participants and business conducted. we hope to operate in an informal friendly manner so opportunity to express a point of view is available to everyone. a person may vote be elected to party officer delegate if you're eligible to vote in the next election in agreement of the principles of the party voted for or affiliated with the party at the last general election. >> they're giving instructions in minnesota. they're getting ready for this
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process to unfold. shannon is in maple grove, minnesota. what's the status of the procedure over there, shannon? >> reporter: similar about to happen here as is happening at david mattingly's location. this room has just emptied out from all the caucus goers, split up into the individual caucus rooms. we will be going into one showing you the same process you just showed a lot of caucus goers evacuating for one candidate, some people undecided, trying to figure out who to caucus for. we'll take you inside to see will there be arguments or pretty much agreement who to coalesce around. that starts in a few minutes. they'll tally the votes in those rooms and come back here and announce results. we'll show you all of that as part of our democracy in action. >> we certainly hope so. sh shannon is also in minnesota,
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shakope. what's happening there? >> reporter: this is a very conservative district. the room you're looking at right n now. there are about 14 different classrooms around the building and each has a different precinct. each supporter made their speeches for their chosen candidate. they're right now doing a little bit of local business before they get to the vote. a couple other smaller precincts around the building have already cast votes. i stuck my head in and rick santorum leading there. a lot of people watching to see what happens in this bellwether part of the state. wolf. >> thanks very much in shakopee, minnesota. in eight minutes, they will be caucusing in colorado. we'll update on the actual votes
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in minnesota and missouri, three contests tonight. we're all over the story. stay with us. there could be a major upset in the works tonight. yeah, i'm married. does it matter? you'd do that for me? really? yeah, i'd like that. who are you talking to? uh, it's jake from state farm. sounds like a really good deal. jake from state farm at three in the morning. who is this? it's jake from state farm. what are you wearing, jake from state farm? [ jake ] uh... khakis. she sounds hideous. well she's a guy, so... [ male announcer ] another reason more people stay with state farm. get to a better state. ♪
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we're counting down to the top of the hour. the caucuses will start in colorado at the top of the hour in five minutes. jim spellman is standing by over there, one of the caucuses where they're getting ready. what's happening right now as we meet? >> reporter: it's getting really exciting here, wolf. a lot of excitement in these caucuses, much different than a primary. they are arriving at buffalo elementary school. in just about 10 minutes exactly, they will begin filling out their ballots. they just arrived a short time ago. this is a classroom of the elementary school. it's such a local feel. a lot of people caucusing have kids at this local school. who are you here to caucus for? >> ron paul. >> reporter: definitely a lot of ron paul supporters.
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>> reporter: who are you here to caucus for? >> santorum. >> santorum. >> reporter: any romney supporters? >> a couple romney supporters. people are excited to be part of this process in colorado. they had a rough midterm re-election two years ago and trying to reunify this party. kendall will be counting the ballots and circle the name of the candidate they want, pass them to the front. do her precinct. six precincts total. tally them up, send them to the county and those go to the state and hope in a matter of a couple hours they have their candidate, their preference for president of the united states in the republican party in colorado, wolf. >> let me see that sample ballot? does it still have names of those who dropped out? jon huntsman, michele bachmann. what's this matter with these people?
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why can't they print up ballots without those who dropped out. >> reporter: wolf wants to know how come you have old candidates. they have to print them up at some point but they can still vote for these people if they choose but i haven't spoken to any planning to vote for herman cain or michele bachmann. >> can you ask the folks in that room are they still open to changing their minds or 100% settled in on their candidate? are they willing to hear their friends and neighbors? >> reporter: sure. does anybody here feel like their mind is not made up, they talked to anybody here tonight or they're open to changing who they will caucus for tonight? anybo anybody? one or two people over here, raise your hand. just a couple of people, wolf. i think everybody here has pretty much made up their mind. a lot of ron paul supporters out front shaking hands, trying to do last minute, bringing people to their side. i think most people here have decided who they're going to vote for. >> stay in close touch with you,
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jim spellman, he's in castlerock, colorado. let me walk over to john king. maybe it's just me. in this day and age you can print out ballots without jon huntsman or herman cain's money on it. what's taking them so long? >> they're conservative, don't want to spend the money. they expect them to circle the na names. not a protest vote, they can do that but i suspect it's because of the costs. one of the controversies tonight, meaningless because of delegates will cost the state in the ballpark of $6 million. people say, why is the state wasting that money. i am debating what we will call this. rick santorum won iowa and very early in minnesota and missouri. what will we call the purple?
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the sweater states? i will go back to the state of iowa an pull up the demographics and show you something. this is unemployment and evangelical. why does rick santorum think he can match the iowa magic in minnesota and missouri. see the darker color. high higher number of evangelicals in mour missouri as well. this is why he feels good. he put the magic together in iowa and trying to match it in minnesota and missouri. and you go to colorado, a decent amount of evangelicals in colorado springs. this is important state for governor romney. he did win it if you go back to the map four years ago. that's the main race. let's go to the colorado republican caucuses, governor romney carried this state with 60%. one of the questions asked tonight if romney wins, in a four-way race four years ago, he
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got 60%. how close does he get tonight. a lot of people in his campaign say it's not relevant to say why was turnout up or down but that is a conversation we'll continue as we go on. we're watching the map four years ago. we will watch it tonight. stay with us, our coverage continues america's choice 2012 right now. >> the presidential race has been won by governor reagan of california. >> george bush. >> the race is too close to call. >> here it is, george w. bush re-elected. >> barack obama, president-elect of the united states. >> this is cnn. >> the republican contest in three states tonight. results are just starting to come in. >> we could see an upset in the heartland. tonight, the republican candidates compete on three battle grounds at once.
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this president has failed and that's why he has to go. we need a new president. >> it isn't got enough to nominate obama light. >> this could be the underdogs steal the show. >> i'm not a household name like newt gingrich and mitt romney. >> sounds like tleflution has already come to minnesota? >> it's america's choice. mitt romney has been on a winning streak. his momentum could stall again. >> i will stand for our rights and our values. >> newt gingrich is angry and determined to hit romney where it hurts. >> i have never before seen a person i thought was a serious candidate for president be that fundamentally dishonest. >> rick santorum and ron paul may be romney's biggest threats tonight. >> money will not buy the presidency. >> once you become a ron paul supporter, you remain a ron paul supporter. >> the contrast between obama
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and romney is not going to work for us. >> all four candidates signalling a bitter fight to the finish. >> i am a candidate for the president of the united states. i will be a candidate for the president of the united states. >> this race is spreading all over the map. this could be a suspenseful night in the republican presidential race. right now, caucuses are getting under way in colorado, when we're getting the first results from the contest in missouri and minnesota. let's go to the boards and see what we have first in minnesota. 2. of the vote is actually in very very early. look at this, rick santorum with 49%, ron paul, second with 22%, mitt romney, third, 15%, newt
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gingrich, fourth, 14%. once again, very very early. 4% of the vote is in in missouri, look at this. rick santorum ahead. 51%. you saw it just change. 8,304 votes to mitt romney's 28%, ron paul, 11%. uncommitted, 6%. newt gingrich was not on the ballot in missouri. we're watching the caucuses unfold in minnesota right now. we have our reporters standing by. david mattingly in stillwater, minnesota, shannon travis in maple grove. david, first to you, walk us through what's going on. >> reporter: wolf, just this very second, there was a group here that were counting the ballots cast in this room. i want you to look around this room. you see 40, 50 people here. i'm told this is about double the number of people they normally have in this precinct. now, they're going to be announcing the results of this precinct's vote. let's listen.
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>> of the straw vote? >> let's hangton that. we have other business going on right now. >> we'll table discussion on the motion. >> the way we will elect our delegates? okay. very good. >> is there a motion to vote? >> we will vote method to be adopted. so all those in favor? >> reporter: they're actually taking care of a little more party business until they get to the results, wolf. back to what i was saying, this room has about double the number of people they typically have during a presidential cycle. that could tell you about the enthusiasm in this district. this is actually michele bachmann's congressional district. this is a blue spot in what typically has been a red state in the presidential elections. these are all republicans. they may all have preference for different candidates but at this point they are all committed to seeing a republican nominee in the general election. so we're just waiting right now to find out what this district,
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this conservative district, this precinct has decided for this go round in the presidential politics, wolf. >> so we're going to get the actual results of this precinct momentarily, david, is that what you're suggesting? >> reporter: that's right. they're doing some other party business right now, going through some motions about other things they need to do. they will be getting to those votes shortly and we will alert you when that happens. >> i want to go to shannon in maple grove, minnesota. you're at a door there. what's going on? >> reporter: at the top of the hour, you mentioned lots of suspense tonight. we're here at precinct 17 at maple grove. i will take you back here a short walk but possibly a long process for these caucus goers here. we will turn the corner and listen in for a moment at what's going on. some voters have put in votes. let's take a moment to listen in. >> we can talk about the precinct officers this summer
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having a lot of activity. >> reporter: those yellow ballots you see going into the envelope, they're putting ballots into the envelope and they will be counting them in this room. joy, at the front of the room is the convener of these caucuses. this is a rather small group, only a few people here and they seem to be taking care of local caucus issues right now. we will see if we can get a question in to the people about who might have been an undecided coming into this process. >> thank you, dave. >> all in favor of dave, say aye. >> reporter: they're voting on one of the issues right now.
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>> if that's okay, dave -- >> reporter: and joy is the convener for this caucus site, to allow me to interrupt very briefly and ask the crowd here how many people were undecided coming into this room tonight? by a show of hands. only a few people. so most of the people came in, didn't need any convincing from any of your spouses, neighbors, friends, family members, anything? okay. we will step out of the way and let joy continue with the caucus. thank you for letting us interrupt. >> ask her when they're going to read the vote total. >> reporter: one last question, joy, from wolf blitzer on right now. when do you expect to read the vote total? >> we've taken it already. we have a crew. and one person represents each candidate and they're on their way right now. so within three minutes. >> reporter: within three minute minutes. >> it won't take long. we have like 30 people here. >> reporter: pretty fast
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process. pretty fast process they will have it wrapped up. >> will they do it where you are in that room? >> reporter: no. they will put it in the envelope you saw they put the piper ballots into and will do it in the other room, auditorium, a few feet away from here. >> we won't be able to see them actually count the ballot, is that what you're saying? >> reporter: that's right. not in this actual room. in the room adjoining. >> you can't go with them with your camera and watch them count the ballots? i'd love to see that if we can do that. >> reporter: absolutely. we will go over to the other room once all the different precincts of assembled and try to bring you some of that. >> thank you. see what you can do. i love seeing democracy in action in maple grove where you are. stand by for that. to david mattingly. give us an update where it stands where you are in stillwater. >> reporter: this is really great, wolf. you're right. this is democracy in action. what we're seeing right now, this is one precinct out of
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eight meeting and casting their votes. they're going around to the other seven groups that have scattered across the school. they will collect all those votes and announce them all at once. we could be a matter of minutes away from finding out how eight different precincts in this part of minnesota have voted in the straw poll for president. we'll be sure to let you know when they come back in to do that. >> we can hear the voting as it unfolds, right? hopefully we can do that live. thanks very much. i want to check back and see what the votes are right now in missouri. look at this. 8% of the vote is now in. this is a dramatic development. if it holds, still a big if, 50% right now, 16,747 for rick santorum. 28% for mitt romney, almost 9500. ron paul, third, 12%, almost 4,000 uncommitted, 6%, remember,
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newt gingrich not on the ballot in missouri. rick santorum, the former pennsylvania senator doing very well in missouri right now. he's doing very well so far very early in the process in minnesota. we don't have any numbers yet from colorado. they're just beginning the caucuses in colorado. this could be a very very huge upset if in fact this were to hold out, we would see what that would mean going in. i want go back to colorado right now. jim spellman is over in castle pine -- castlerock, where you are right now. an paul joining us from aurora, colorado. jim spellman, first to you, what's going on, the caucuses under way in colorado right now? >> reporter: the caucusers have just finished voting and filling out their ballots. we willful the ballots right in here where they will be counted. it only took about two minutes for everybody in this room to fill out their ballots.
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definitely extremely exciting for everybody. guys, is this the vote right here, the counting? >> this is the counting. >> how many of the precincts do you have there? >> just one. >> just 259? >> precinct 259, wolf, that's the precinct we watched vote. are you going to go ahead and count them right now? >> yes, we are. >> reporter: wolf, you can take a look here, this is the tally sheet, where they are going to add up how many votes. you can see here, still, the names for the candidates that are no longer in the race, still on here, just in case any of those people did vote for it. we have one for newt gingrich, one for mitt romney, here has the ron paul pile, about three there and rick santorum is the final pile on the left. it's pretty low tech, wolf. looks pretty effective so far.
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don't see any confusing ballots. everybody circled who they're going for. a lot of mitt romney votes coming in on this ballot. we also have right over here, these are bell watchers from various candidates. who are you with? >> we're from mitt romney. >> mitt romney. >> reporter: you're here to be sure what? >> just want to see the process. we went to the rally last night. wanted to see how it worked. printed up my representative information and wanted to see what it was all about. >> reporter: you see any irregularities so far? >> not so far. >> reporter: let's go back over here and see how the tallying is goin going. >> jim, hold on for a minute. they're going to count the votes. i'll come back to you. i want to go back to david mattingly in stillwater, minnesota. they're counting the votes over there, right, david? >> reporter: they have counted them. they're compiling them right now. it's happening right in front of us. the votes taken in front of this
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room and seven other groups around this school broken up into their own different precincts. they are preparing to announce what those results are. >> anybody have any resolutions? >> reporter: i'm looking away to see what they're doing here. >> if there's any other business to come before -- yes. >> we're looking for -- >> reporter: as you see, wolf, this is all a very informal process. they have their procedures, they have their rules. it's a bunch of neighbors and friends getting together, all like-minded, all pushing the republican agenda. and all behind particular candidates. i just heard a motion to adjourn. they're going to allow them to go before the final results are posted here. >> thank you for participating in the process. >> reporter: and that's it. wolf, these people are going to be going home tonight unless they want to stand around and wait to see how the final results were for everyone staying here. we're going to have those
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results soon, it just isn't going to be read out loud to this room. again, we will be coming back to you as soon as we have hard numbers for you. >> can you ask her when they will actually give us the vote tally in that district? >> reporter: it should be minutes away. they collected those and it's just a matter of compiling all eight of those and putting them on some kind of poster board on the wall where it could happen. >> they won't read it aloud to the folks there, is that right? >> reporter: no. they don't want to keep people here any longer than they can stay. the people that want to stay and await the final results can do that. right now, you can see, they're putting their chairs away. this evening of democracy is pretty much done for the people of this district. they will go back home and talk about their straw ballot. not binding but tonight, people will be looking how groups just like this, meeting in places just like this very informally
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sat down and decided who they want to see as republican nominee. as those numbers are compiled, the candidates will be watching closely to see who comes away with the bragging rights to say i was the favorite tonight in minnesota. wolf. >> thanks very much, david mattingly in stillwater, minnesota. jim spellman is in castlerock, colorado, they're counting votes where you are right now. have they finished? >> reporter: they're counting votes right now. we have -- what do we have here so far? who has 19? >> rick santorum. >> reporter: rick santorum 19 votes so far. there are about 48 people in this caucus, between 45 and 50. we have 19 for rick santorum, it doesn't appear any of the stray candidates that dropped out received any votes at this point, wolf. we should hear in a matter of minutes, have this final tally and take the vote in the caucus room and write it on the board in the front of the classroom and let everybody know who won.
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looks liq a pretty tight race between -- 18 votes for mitt romney, 19 votes for rick santorum. they're counting newt gingrich's votes right now. six for newt gingrich. and our final tally here is for the ron paul ballots here. and eight for ron paul. eight for ron paul, six for newt gingrich and 19 for rick santorum. a good night for rick santorum at the gop precinct in colorado. >> it's one precinct out of many. interesting to watch it unfold. jim spellman is in castlerock. here are numbers very early. you can see how early it is. what was just reported, the numbers that just came in from castlerock. 19 for rick santorum, 18 for mitt romney, 8 for one paul, 6
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for newt gingrich. these are the first votes in the colorado caucuses that actually came in. you saw it live on cnn. you saw these votes, the first votes in colorado. there will be a lot lot more. we will go back to minnesota, back to missouri, more numbers coming in. much more of our special coverage, potentially an upset in the making on this day, where there are three contests. we're watching it together with you. stay with us. [ male announcer ] the network. a living, breathing intelligence that is helping business rethink how to do business. in here, inventory can be taught to learn. ♪ in here, machines have a voice... ♪ [ male announcer ] in here, medical history follows you... even when you're away from home.
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gingrich. still early in the process but looks potentially like rick santorum could have a good night in minnesota. he's worked hard. 13% of the vote in missouri is in. once again, look at rick santorum, the former pennsylvania senator, 52% to only 27% for mitt romney, ron paul, 12%, uncommitted, 5%. newt gingrich didn't make the ballot in missouri. 12,963 ahead of mitt romney, 27,100 or information rick santorum, only 14,000 or so for mitt romney. you see the purple counties in missouri. it's looking like a good night for rick santorum in missouri and minnesota. we're watching all this unfold. let's look at some of the caucus cameras we have throughout the state. i want to bring in our correspondents. david mattingly in stillwater. shannon travis in maple grove, minnesota. to shannon first, tell us what's
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happening in maple grove. >> reporter: hey there, wolf. they're still caucusing in this junior high. we've been walking the hallways seeing what's going on, if they voted. we found one room that is done with their voting, room 18. we will take you inside. seems like they're talking about a few things. sorry to interrupt. we talked to john earlier. john is convening this caucus and has vote totals for us. would you like to reveal those live on tv? >> we have 12 votes for ron paul. [ applause ] >> we have 12 votes for rick santorum. [ applause ] >> we have 6 votes for newt gingrich. [ applause ] >> and 15 votes for mr. romney, governor romney. [ applause ] >> reporter: so governor romney won here in this particular precinct, governor romney hasn't actively campaigned in minnesota
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that much. can i get a romney supporter, any here, one of the people that voted for mitt romney? no one wants to say right now? okay. we spoke with you earlier. apparently a few shy people don't want to talk about the numbers that are actually on there. those are some of the raw numbers making up the results that you're seeing there back at headquarters. >> love seeing that. thanks very much. david mattingly in stillwater, you have some numbers over there, david? what happened? >> reporter: that's right, wolf, we have the numbers from inside this room, you talk about rick santorum having big numbers inside the state. he had a very big night inside this room. you see the few people still here but a the paperwork. this is how it shakes out, 4 for newt gingrich, 15 for paul, 7 for romney and 22 for santorum. that's just one precinct in minnesota that was just one
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precinct going on in this room. as you can see, there's still other groups still working, still expressing their opinion about who they believe should be the republican nominee. stay tuned, wolf. >> i don't know if they have microphones there, david. can we hear what they're saying right now? >> reporter: let's walk in closer. we will get a microphone in close so we can hear what they're talking about. i can't hear it from where i'm standing. we'll get closer for you. >> just go by the first name or -- >> that's a good question. >> reporter: it sounds like they're just taking care of regular party business, making sure everyone's names are correct on the records, making sure everything is happening the way it's supposed to tonight. this is all very very casual. you're so used to in political, presidential elections, watching the ads where people are calling
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each other names and raising issues that really unsettle you. here, it was a very reassuring type of thing to see so many people, friends and neighbors getting together. maybe they didn't have a lot in common except maybe just their political views and they're all here tonight to decide who they want to see as the republican nominee. they're writing something up on the board right now. is that the tally? no. those are the delegates. they've selected delegates for the state convention. that's what they've been going through right now. we're just a little bit away from finding out how the votes shook out. >> i love the low tech process. thanks. i want to go to colorado. the caucuses started there. we have initial results coming in. jim spellman is in castlerock and paul is in aurora. you're first. what's happening where you are? >> reporter: they just handed out the ballots and we had
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pretty quick counts. in arapaho county, a bellwether, evenly divided between republicans, democrats and independents. here are early results. to table 421. they went 5 for mitt romney, and 2 for rick santorum. another precinct, number 423, all arapaho county, 4 for gingrich and we also had 15 for romney, 1 for paul and 1 for santorum. a third precinct, 419, arapaho county, 6 for gingrich, 8 for romney, and 10 for santorum. so all the candidates being represented to a degree here so far. 22 precincts in all here in ar r -- aurora, colorado, independents very important in colorado. they make up 1 million 200,000 voters in colorado. many independents say not only
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do we need to hold our ground and come out enforce in november we have to convince independents to come our way. let's talk to a santorum supporter. you voted for santorum. what do you like about him? >> a strong conservative and more than the others. >> reporter: you're an obama supporter. >> you bet. i want him to beat obama. >> reporter: what do you like about romney? >> i think he's honest and good businessman and can turn obama-care around. >> reporter: you heard it, a smattering of independents in aurora, colorado. >> these are real focus groups because these are actual people voting. i love hearing from them. jim spellman is in castlerock, colorado. where does the process stand there, jim? >> reporter: wolf, i've come to the next classroom at buffalo ridge, colorado. they just completed counting the ballots. they put them in this ziploc bag
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and will get sent ultimately to the state office in case there are any irregularities. they just finished county. gary, one of the republican officials is about to make the announcement of the tally. >> the results of our straw poll ballot. mitt romney, 18 votes, rick santorum, 9 votes, and ron paul, 2 votes. that's a total of 29 votes. >> reporter: no votes for newt gingrich? >> zero votes for newt gingrich. >> reporter: mitt romney winning in precinct 258. rick santorum in 259 and mitt romney in 258. i think it might be a close call in this community. >> jim spellman in castlerock, colorado. i want to update you what's going on in missouri. looks like potentially an upset. rick santorum, in way ahead of mitt romney, 52%-27% for mitt
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romney. 12% for ron paul, 5% uncommitted, newt gingrich didn't make the ballot in missouri. looks like a very good night for rick santorum in missouri. dana bash is over at rick santorum headquarters. s she's joining us now. you're in st. charles, missouri, is that right, dana? >> reporter: that's right. i'm here. i want to make sure you can hear me, wolf. i'm in st. charles, missouri, this where is rick santorum chose to spend the night, there's a good reason for it. he has done very well. it is early but already feeling pretty good according to aides i talked to. he's watching the returns and people are coming into the ballroom. we should emphasize that the results here tonight really mean zero in terms of delegates rick
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santorum will get. none are awarded tonight. this very much for the santorum campaign would be a moral victory if he were able to beat mitt romney in this state because not only is it an important state in a general election, more importantly for him in this primary season, he was looking for a head to head matchup between himself and mitt romney without newt gingrich in the way, to be able to make the point he is a real conservative in this race, he is the conservative alternative to mitt romney, if he can do that here, he hopes that will help in terms of momentum and money in the bank to keep going. >> any idea when we will hear from the candidate behind you? >> reporter: probably around 10:00 eastern but a lot depends how quickly we get the results here and how comfortable he feels in his standing in missouri and minnesota and
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colorado. >> looks like a good night. might get really noisy and you might want to get a hand-held microphone when they start screaming. >> reporter: i have one. >> i know you do. it sounds corny, anderson, every time we see these little actions, caucuses unfold, democracy in action, as we're speaking, people are dying in syria because they would like to have a caucus, they'd like to have a primary. they can't have one. we're having ours here in the united states. let's keep some perspective on what's going on. >> we do have breaking news tonight, u.s. reviewing options for syria, looking forward to military options, unlikely a strike but perhaps one option would be arming the free syrian army, just beginning to explore options right now. you've been talking to some santorum people or what they may be talking about. >> i started talking to them
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earlier in the week and been feeling very good for some days now and it was planned for rick santorum tonight and the fact newt gingrich not on the ballot and use it going forward if you only let us get mitt romney one-on-one, we can delivery a victory against mitt romney. >> that's been their message all along. >> this is a proof point. >> the other thing interesting in rick santorum's speech tonight, pay attention, it will be different. he will only talk briefly about mitt romney and a lot about barack obama. he wants to show republicans he can make the case against barack obama better than mitt romney or newt gingrich. why they're saying keep your eye on rick santorum, give him a chance. he's the one that can take the campaign against barack obama better than anybody else. >> donna brazile, you look wistful. >> i spend most of these nights listening to republicans trash the president and deny successes
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of all good things he has done. this is politics. that's all right. rick santorum spent 23 days campaigning in these states, nine days in colorado, eight days in minnesota and five days in missouri. he's put a lot of face time and people have gotten to know him and he spent a lot of money. i wouldn't be surprised if he has a great result tonight. one of the things we talked about is delegates. the rules on both sides allow states begin their contest on march 6th. if you decide to start your contest or caucus prior to march 6th and did not get the privilege of going early, then you're sanctioned. what they're doing tonight in these states, i know cnn will allocate delegates, they decided to wait until sometime in mid-march before they allocate all the delegates on the republican side. we'll take a quick break and our coverage continues in a moment. we'll be right back.
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still early in the process. rick santorum would be happy if it ended like this. it won't necessarily. let's go to minnesota and colorado and missouri. only a few votes counted 1%. rick santorum ahead, 50-24%. mitt romney, 17%, 9% for ron paul. only a few votes have been counted in colorado. those will change very quickly. in minnesota, 7% of the vote in, rick santorum ahead with 43%, ron paul, xxvii%, mitt romney, . looks like a good night for them. and missouri, a good night for
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rick santorum, 53%, 26% for mitt romney, 12% for ron paul, newt gingrich didn't make the ballot. 47,390 for santorum to 23,000 or so for mitt romney. looks like a good night for rick santorum in missouri and minnesota and we'll see what happens in colorado. i expect mitt romney will end up doing better than he is, so far very early count. david mattingly in minnesota in stillwater, you have the votes in that precinct caucus where you were, right? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. we have results from 7 of 8 precincts voting here. the caucus person, cindy wrote it down. >> i'm surprised we have a game changer, newt gingrich with 23, ron paul with 53 votes and
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romney with 24 and rick santorum with 87. ron paul >> reporter: you have rick santorum with the most. >> so far. >> we have a lot more people tonight and a lot of new people. people wanting to come out and support their candidates. they found out in minnesota, to get involved, you meet with your neighbors at precinct caucuses and you can make a difference and vote for your candidate. >> reporter: do you think it was a particular candidate pushing them to get involved where they might not have done before or something that happens? >> it does happen. i did see it in 2008 where we had a lot of new people come out in support of a particular candidate. tonight, a lot of new people again but in support of two different candidates. >> reporter: earlier tonight we were talking how the election process is impersonal, pull a computer ballot and push a button and you're done. people here came and talked
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about it and see what each other is doing. what makes it better? >> it's better in minnesota and more fun in stillwater, minnesota, meeting with our neighbors on the precinct level and get to talk about who we want for president and who we want to represent us among our neighbors and choose among our neighbors to be delegates and alternates at the next level, senate district convention. we choose among our neighbors which is nice. we know who we're talking to, sitting next to us, live in the house next to us. >> reporter: that's right. these were the results. a big night for rick santorum in this part of minnesota. >> he's getting a big night in several other parts of minnesota and missouri and colorado so far. we'll stay in close touch. thank you very much. still early, john, rick santorum could be upsetting a lot of folks tonight as we go forward. looks like he will have a good night in these three states. >> purple is rick santorum, dark red is mitt romney and this is newt gingrich.
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iowa is decided already. look at this. is the not the map mitt romney was expecting. they hoped at one point to run the board in february. tonight, they concede, he will win at least one. the romney campaign is saying, missouri doesn't matter, we didn't spend money. what rick santorum wants is momentum. if he weather in missouri and minnesota, he would be making a run but if he wins colorado, he would be making a statement. we just have 1% so we will see how it plays out. look at this. this is encouraging for rick santorum. you had david mattingly in minnesota, filling it in pretty good. this is evangelicals. stretch out the map. iowa, rick santorum won. minnesota, excellent large evangelical vote and missouri, the primary is meaningless for delegates, look down here, the
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bible belt area, minnesota here, and the community, joplin we visited after the horrible tragedy in may. evangelical, tea party vote, rick santorum making a statement as we go forward. we don't expect the map in colorado. the romney campaign is saying romney won florida like john mccain won florida four years ago. many people after the romney win said he's now all but certain the nominee and john mccain went on to win the next 31 states. it wouldn't be a disaster but the biggest boost is colorado from romney's standpoint, the biggest prize. stand by for that. >> we have news we're about to make right now. we will report some news. take a look at this. cnn now can make a projection, the first of three in the states that are having contests
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tonight, rick santorum cnn projects will win the missouri primary, the former pennsylvania senator, cnn projects will win the missouri primary. they're watching cnn right now at rick santorum headquarters in colorado. dana bash is standing by. i hope you have that hand-held microphone. >> reporter: i do. i'm sure you can hear me well and probably perhaps more importantly hear the people cheering behind me very well. they are very very excited in missouri because of the fact this is something rick santorum hasn't had, as you said, since the first of the five contests and he had that belatedly. this is something the santorum campaign said they thought was essential. they actually raised expectations pretty high which is something you don't do normally in politics. they did today because i understand the feeling out there that rick santorum needed a win, even if it is just a moral win, like you're seeing tonight, as
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we said many times, there are no actual delegates being allot tonight. newt gingrich is not on the ballot. he is going to say, i am sure, when he comes to speak here in a little while he is now seen as the conservative alternative to mitt romney because he beat mitt romney in a contest where newt gingrich was not here and newt gingrich has not been able to do that. >> it's interesting, because four years ago, mitt romney did very well in missouri, not so well tonight. rick santorum, how active was he campaigning in missouri? looks like he will have a good night in minutes and potentially, this would be a huge upset if he wins in colorado. >> reporter: you bring up a really good important point. rick santorum was campaigning here, not that hard because they have been going from state to state to state. he was the only candidate that stepped foot in this state of missouri. that's important to underscore. mitt romney was not here.
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ra wah ron paul was not here and newt gingrich was not here. he put all his eggs in this basket. again, at least symbolically, it paid off for rick santorum. the other states, the other candidates were and have been campaigning. if rick santorum pulls it off in minnesota and more importantly in colorado, that would absolutely be huge, particularly because as you said, mitt romney did very well four years ago, extraordinarily well in colorado and pretty well in minnesota. he did okay here, got about a third of the vote, didn't win but still did pretty well in the contest four years ago. >> at some point fairly soon, he will show up and speak to his supporters where you are, dana? >> reporter: waiting to hear on the exact timing. earlier, we were told it would be 10:00 eastern. obviously, they have some crowing to do and victory to claim. i think they will probably wait to see a little bit more what happens in the states of
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minnesota and colorado before they come out. >> we'll check back with you. i'm anxious to hear. if in fact santorum wins -- we projected he will win in missouri and if he does well in colorado, will the other candidates actually call him to congratulate him on an occasion like this because there's been some sensitivity on issues to congratulate the winners of these states, as you well know. all of a sudden, a huge night unfolding for rick santorum. he said he was in it, he wasn't going anywhere and probably from his perspective, anderson, a good thing he didn't. >> the hope is this will somehow change the narrative this week. do you believe it is enough to do that? >> i think it's enough -- it will definitely change the whole sto storyline, narrative what's going on. there's something we're seeing unfold. the midwest is the breadbasket of american politics, a big
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swatch of industrial states, some people measure pennsylvania through iowa, about 95 electoral votes. if you're a republican candidate you have to do well in the midwest. here's mitt romney the front-runner. he's lost two out of three midwestern states so far and we don't know about the third, looks like he's behind in the third. that is not good news for a republican front-runner. obviously great news for rick santorum. >> it's a very symbolic win for rick santorum, a beauty contest. it interrupts mitt romney's march toward the nomination, exactly what rick santorum wanted to do. it gives him another story line, you talknarrative, which is i'm the real conservative in this race and says to voters, there's an alternative if you're really conservative to both newt gingrich and mitt romney. santorum blew off florida and nevada and this is the reason why this evening.
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>> you talk about what john has been going through four years ago super tuesday already done, 21 states decided, more than 1,000 delegates. now, you have it dripping out bit by bit in 10 states, it enables someone like rick santorum to get in the states and the only one, like dana said, and take away the grassroots campaigning where pretty much everything is decided, four years ago, john mccain had it. >> we thought a little while ago, this would be a romney romp, run the boards, john king was saying. i think it's a surprise for a lot of us in the press as well. >> if he todoes well in colorad that would be huge. >> that would be a shocker? if he wins minnesota and missouri, at the very least, it's an embarrassment for mitt romney. if mitt romney loses colorado, it's something more. >> four years ago, mitt romney won colorado with 60% of the
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as you saw cnn projects the winner of the missouri primary, rick santorum, the form eer pennsylvania senator. he needed a big win. he got it in missouri. we're awaiting results in minnesota and colorado. we know he's doing well in minnesota. we'll see hi well he does in colorado. we expect mitt romney will do well in colorado as well. let's show you the votes as we have them right now. let's put them up on the wall right now. we'll update you on the numbers we have in missouri. we projeblthed the winner was rick santorum. 33% of the vote is in. look at this, 70,820 for rick santorum. 25% for mitt romney. only 32,906 votes. 54% for rick santorum, 25% for romney. those are hard votes that have been counted. ron paul with 12%. in minnesota, 5% of the vote is in. rin santorum is ahead in
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minnesota. 44% to 27% for ron paul. mitt romney is third right now with 17%, newt gingrich fourth, 12%. you can see what is going on. in colorado, very, very early. only 1% not even in so far, but again, rick santorum, 50%. newt gingrich, 21%, romney, 19%, 10% for ron paul. we're joined from castle rock, colorado right now. what's happening where you are, jim? >> at the buffalo elementary school, six presinks have all voted. this is the area captain. she has called in her final total. 181 votes for romney, 416 for santorum, 51 for gingrich, and 23 for ron paul. >> there you go, wolf. a big night here for mitt romney. 181 for mitt romney.
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santorum, beaten by 116. so exciting, all of the people who came to caucus are having fun, a good time watching the poll process unfold. >> stay in touch. we'll stay in touch with you as well. anderson, back to you. get some analysis. >> as you look at what happened, what do you think made the difference for santorum? social issues, what drove this? >> conservatives. missouri is a socially conservative state, and they're the folks who don't trust mitt romney on social issues predominantly. >> i said on sunday night, this would be the first series of elections that soledad o'brien would be factored ip. it was too soon to happen on sunday in nevada. they're now factoring in. >> you think that did have an impact? >> it did have an impact. remember, with the gingrich win in south carolina, it was too soon after the abc report for the marianne gingrich report to be factored in.
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since then, they have been factored in. the poor comments are now being factored in. channeli channeling, the reason santorum is doing well is the same reason he did well in iowa. he did well because he did so badly. he never called on anyone else who completely destroyed themselves and dropped out. romney and gingrich have destroyed each other. santorum is the only republicrepublican republicans believe can beat president obama. he's the only guy with a happy word or message. the optimist wins. >> we don't care wes welker dropped the ball. he still won the super bowl. the job of the candidate is to run your race and not worry about everyone else. santorum was smart by saying, let me focus on the states i know i can do well, where i know i can win. i always believed from day one that this was going to be in many ways a regional campaign, a regional election.
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you keep focusing on, if we look at one state and all of a sudden, this one state, that's what it all means. we had five different narratives on five different election nights. if you can win two, three states that are strong for you, you go to the south, the midwest, get the west, that's what it boils down to. you run your race the best you can. >> there are 52 dell gets taken. tonight, one would be allocated, but on march 17th, those delegates will begin to, you know, go ahead and go to santorum. it will give him enormous momentum, a chance to get money, and perhaps give him an opportunity to unify the base. >> if he's still in the base. >> i believe he will be in the base. >> if you're romney, you will pay to keep them in the race. tonight could be shown, once it gets down to a one-on-one race, mitt romney could have big trouble. he needs to keep the two of them in there, and they're blocking each other with the fundamental
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problem. romney needs a three-person race, and ron paul, too, to keep it going. >> i believe with the poll, and i realize it goes against this, but rick santorum's voters go to romney. the evangelical voters who trust santorum have issues with gingrich and his personal issues. they go to romney. if you're romney, you want santorum out. >> we're awaiting results in minnesota and colorado. we'll take a short break. our coverage continues. ♪ a refrigerator has never been hacked. an online virus has never attacked a corkboard. ♪ give your customers the added feeling of security a printed statement or receipt provides... ...with mail. it's good for your business. ♪ and even better for your customers. ♪
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