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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Voting Just One Day Away in Iowa; Candidates Criss Cross Iowa in Last-Ditch Effort; Interview with Donald Trump Jr. And Eric Trump; Interview with Gov. John Kasich; Martin O'Malley: King-Maker?. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired January 31, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:01] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Next, a special edition of OUTFRONT. We are live in Iowa tonight. Just one day before the caucuses: deadlock between Trump and Cruz, and Clinton and Sanders. Tonight Trump making one of his final pitches, live in this hour. Plus Donald Trump's sons on New York values, their family's religion and why their dad never sleeps.
And with the Clinton/Sanders race too close to call right now -- could it all come down to Martin O'Malley?
Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening everyone. I am Erin Burnett and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world tonight who are watching in this countdown to the Iowa caucuses. This is a very special edition of OUTFRONT. We are live from Des Moines, the capital of Iowa.
After more than seven months of one of the most unpredictable presidential campaigns in history. I don't even know if we need to put the word "most" there. I think you can just say -- it's not one of -- it is the most. We are one day away from the first real votes.
And tonight the race between the front-runners of both parties is simply too close to call. Donald Trump holds a 5-point lead over Ted Cruz according to the latest Des Moines register poll which is widely seen as the gold standard here of these polls. The latest CNN poll of polls -- which measures all the polls out there -- is in close agreement at this hour showing Trump ahead of Cruz 31 percent to 25 percent.
And we are looking right now at live pictures from Sioux City here in Iowa. We are awaiting Donald Trump to be taking that stage momentarily -- about to hold one of his last rallies before the actual voting begins.
In the closing days, Trump has been battling for the evangelical vote in Iowa, winning a very important endorsement from Jerry Falwell, Jr. and thanking him for comparing Trump to his late father, a major evangelical figure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I most resemble his father from the standpoint of my ideas, my attitude, my way and I thought that to me was the greatest compliment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Ted Cruz is fighting for those same voters. And today, the "Duck Dynasty's" Phil Robertson introduced Cruz at a rally, making some highly controversial remarks about gay marriage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHIL ROBERTSON, "DUCK DYNASTY": It's nonsense. It is evil. It's wicked. It's sinful. And they want us to swallow it. You say we have to run this bunch out of Washington, D.C. We have to rid the earth of them, get them out of there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. And on the Democratic side, it's even closer when you look at the actual numbers in the polls: Hillary Clinton with a three-point lead over Bernie Sanders in the latest "Des Moines register" poll. And statistically that's a tie because it's within the poll's margin of error. So that's called a dead heat.
All right. The candidates are fanned out across the state making their last-minute pitch to voters at rallies at this hour and late into tonight. They don't want to miss a moment. You don't want to look back with regret come late tomorrow night.
We begin with the Republican race. Phil Mattingly is here in Des Moines and that is where Ted Cruz will be holding a major rally tonight. Our senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta is in Sioux City, Iowa -- that's where Donald Trump is about to speak live at any moment.
So Jim, let me start with you, how confident is he about winning Iowa? The polls show him ahead but it all comes down to turnout. Does he actually think in a state where caucus-going seems to be an inherited thing that people are actually going to show up for him?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well that's the million-dollar question. And we're finally going to get that answer tomorrow night. Erin, I asked Corey Lewandowski the campaign manager for Donald Trump whether or not they feel confident on this caucus eve and he said I'll tell you tomorrow at 10:00 p.m.
So you might say there's some cautious confidence inside the Donald Trump campaign right now. All you have to do is look at that "Des Moines Register" poll that you mentioned, he's the only candidate surging into the Iowa caucuses this time around. Last time around that was Rick Santorum and things worked out pretty well for him, at least in that race.
The other I think key metric out of that poll, 71 percent say they've made up their minds when it comes to Donald Trump. That's 10 points higher in that regard than Ted Cruz.
But still Donald Trump is not taking anything for granted at this point. He has been savagely attacking his archrival here in Iowa -- Ted Cruz -- earlier today saying that he was a liar. Saying he was being dishonest with this new attack that Ted Cruz has come out with essentially recalling a moment that Donald Trump had when he told 60 minutes that he supported universal health care.
Ted Cruz is saying if you like Obamacare, if you like Hillary care, you're going to like Trump care. That set Trump off earlier today when he called Ted Cruz a liar.
Now the other thing that's happened out here and Donald Trump was having a little bit of fun in Council Bluffs earlier today when he suggested that perhaps the Republicans in Iowa aren't always good at picking an eventual president.
Here's a little bit of what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[19:05:06] TRUMP: You have a lousy record. 16 years and you haven't picked a winner. Please pick a winner this time, ok? I'm going to win. 16 years -- You can't go another four years, you got to just get it done, get it done right. We're going to win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: So that's why Donald Trump is pulling out all the stops in these last 24 hours before -- almost before these results are going to be tallied up. He's had Jerry Falwell, Jr. out on the campaign trail all day today. He's going to have him out here tonight here in Sioux City in just a few moments.
His sons, Erin, you mentioned his sons-- three of the four campaign stops that they made today were at Pizza Ranches. So when in Iowa you go to the Pizza Ranch that even applies to the Trump sons as well -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. And of course, everyone, you're going to see the Trump sons only OUTFRONT tonight coming up later this hour.
I want to go now to Phil Mattingly. He's live at the Ted Cruz campaign rally, also in Des Moines. Phil, it has been a rough home stretch for Ted Cruz -- right. I mean he was -- a couple of weeks ago everyone said he was having the surge. He was going to be the leader.
He's been attacked by Donald Trump. He's now trailing in Iowa. His favorability rating in that "Des Moines Register" poll has fallen 11 points in one month. Do they believe the ground game? The Cruz campaign -- do they believe that ground game is strong enough to overcome all of that and have him come out a winner?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From the outset Erin, the ground was the bet the campaign was willing to make. We're talking 10,000 volunteers, more than 800 of whom are staying in Camp Cruz -- dormitories where people are rooming two and three to a room. Senator Cruz himself has hit all 99 counties, they've got 250 endorsements. And Erin, they've spent millions on digital and data operations.
Now, what does that mean when you have a week like Ted Cruz has had? Where he's being constantly attacked? Where his favorability is dropping the hope from the Cruz campaign is their ability to turn out voters, especially those are inclined to vote for Ted Cruz, but might not really normally go to caucusing -- that is going to be their differentiator.
I think one of the things though Erin, that we've seen over the last 48 hours is Ted Cruz' outside focus has changed. He's really shifted both his political advertising and his attacks on the stump towards Marco Rubio.
Now his campaign behind the scenes saying that doesn't mean that they're not trying to win in Iowa maybe just shifting expectations a little bit. But Erin, the investments they've made on the ground are to win -- period. To win Iowa and while the polls are been moving away from Ted Cruz, a strong second place finish or a victory will really be the only thing that justifies the investments they've in this state over the last probably nine or ten months -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much -- Phil.
I want to go now. We've got them all -- we've got the co-chair for Donald Trump's campaign, Sam Clovis sitting with me here with me here in Des Moines; the national co-chair for Ted Cruz's campaign, Bob Vander Plaats here in Des Moines; and the communications director for Marco Rubio's campaign Alex Conant.
Marco Rubio, of course, has been rising in these last-minute polls. So thanks very much to all three of you.
Ok. Let's get straight to the heart of today. It's been a rather nasty day with you and I know you're all sitting next to each other, right? I suppose we'll have some sort of a detente on the set.
But Bob, let me start with you and what we saw today from Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" -- right. Same-sex marriage came up in that speech where he's talking about Ted Cruz. He called same-sex marriage "evil" at the Ted Cruz rally. Cruz then took the stage and praised Robertson for his quote "voice of truth". Should he have condemned those comments?
BOB VANDER PLAATS, NATIONAL CO-CHAIR FOR TED CRUZ CAMPAIGN: You know the people in the Republican primary and what, what Ted Cruz believes is that marriage is fundamentally between one man and one woman. That's the way God designed it. That's the way nature builds it. That's the science backs it up.
So we're thrilled to have Phil Robertson's endorsement. And I think Ted Cruz is not going to back away from the institution of marriage.
BURNETT: But, people may disagree with a lot of what you just had but I'll put that aside for a moment. Evil?
VANDER PLAATS: Well, that it is -- what Ted Cruz is doing, he's going to affirm marriage. He's not going to walk away from marriage. Ted Cruz didn't say evil. That was Phil Robertson. That was Phil Robertson's words. But Ted Cruz is going to affirm the institution of marriage as one man and one woman.
BURNETT: Are you both all right with that? Are you all right with --
SAM CLOVIS, NATIONAL CO-CHAIR, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Well Bob speaks for himself and I'm sure that Ted Cruz speaks for himself and Phil Robertson is speaking for himself.
BURNETT: So let me ask you about what --
CLOVIS: That ought to have earned a question.
BURNETT: I know, look when you're talking to Republican primary voters it's not a question any of you really want to take on directly right now. Sarah Palin was expected to be a big boost with the very same voters that Ted Cruz is trying to reach with Phil Robertson. That's the evangelicals -- ok.
She has been campaigning with him. Jerry Falwell Jr. has been campaigning making his endorsement not about faith but about Donald Trump's business acumen. Here's the problem for you. 56 percent of evangelicals in Iowa -- 56 percent in that "Des Moines Register" poll have a negative view of Donald Trump.
CLOVIS: Well, I think that for a lot of people it's a matter that Donald Trump appeals across a broader spectrum than probably any candidate has for maybe the last 30 years. I think if you see the number of people that show up at our rallies, it's not like going to a Republican rally.
[19:10:02] Most of the time when you go to a Republican rally it's a middle-aged white people; you go to a Donald Trump rally you see people of every color, of every station in life, of every socioeconomic status. You see lot of Democrats come in and want to be part of that.
And I think that this is something, it's a phenomenon that defies the conventional wisdom, Erin. And I think this is something that we've seen. I've been to these rallies. I was in Dallas when we had 20,000 people at the American Airlines Center down there.
And I can't tell you, when he brought up illegal immigration a third of the people there were Hispanic. They all got on their feet so there's something happening. This is a movement. This is not about anything else. This is a movement that's taking place. We're broadening the voter base and I think on Monday we're going to find out just how much.
BURNETT: All right. So let's talk to you about Monday night because Marco Rubio has been rising in a lot of polls, and that's momentum that you all have been very excited about. In the "Des Moines Register" poll coming in 15 percent; third but a distant third. And I know maybe you were hoping to do a little bit better than that.
What do you expect for tomorrow night? What is a really good Marco Rubio can go on and fight here finish.
ALEX CONANT, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR MARCO RUBIO CAMPAIGN: I expect, I hope that we'll come in a solid third place. You know, Sam's candidate1 Mr. Trump he's is the greatest showman on the planet. And Bob's candidate, Ted Cruz has built the best ground game we've ever seen in Iowa. He got my friend Bob's endorsement. He got every endorsement he wanted here in Iowa. He has to win her.
For us we just want to come in a solid third, have a little bit of momentum coming out of the state. I think it's fitting that you have the three of us on the stage because coming out of Iowa I think it will increasing look like a three-person race.
BURNETT: Do you all agree with that. You think it is a three-person race?
CLOVIS: I think you know Iowa it's a two-person race.
BURNETT: In Iowa, yes.
CLOVIS: And I think the (inaudible) of separation because if it's Cruz and Trump neck and neck and a distant Marco Rubio, because I've been hearing about the surge for Rubio. But the polls I read, even the "Des Moines Register" poll doesn't back that up.
He was declining for four days, there's a media surge for Marco Rubio. But there's not a polling surge for Marco Rubio. If it comes out Cruz and Trump neck and neck, what's going to happen is going to be a two- person race.
CONANT: And I can see that Bob's candidate -- Ted Cruz is likely to win here. He should win here. A couple of weeks ago he was at 40 percent in the polls and Cruz's campaign said he hadn't peaked yet. So if we can come in a solid third here and have distance between us and some of the other governors, that gives us a lot of momentum coming out of here and that's the reason you have our three campaigns on the stage tonight.
BURNETT: You're on together.
CLOVIS: And we're all getting on airplanes on Tuesday and going to New Hampshire.
VANDER PLAAT: Go to New Hampshire -- exactly.
CONANT: Or Monday night even.
BURNETT: So let me ask you, Bob, something about Donald Trump personally because it is personal between you and Donald Trump. Today he went on Twitter and he talked about you. He said quote, "Bob Vander Plaats is a total phony and a dishonest guy. He asked me for expensive hotel room free and more. I said pay and he endorsed Cruz." VANDER PLAATS: That shows you a lot about the character of Donald
Trump. I still consider Donald Trump a friend. But when he saw me on "Fox and Friends" this morning, and because I didn't say all nice things about Donald Trump, he took on the Twitter war.
The fact is nothing could be further from the truth. The "Des Moines Register" has my back on this. The "New York Times" has my back on this. The "Washington Post" has my back on this.
BURNETT: So what he's saying is not true?
VANDER PLAATS: It's totally illogical. As a matter of fact, it doesn't show the judgment and temperament for someone to be the President of the United States. Think that's what it's going to come down to here is judgment and temperament not only in Iowa but across the country.
For him to go on a Twitter war after something on "Fox and Friends" I just think is absolutely ridiculous especially with the falsehoods that he alleges there.
CLOVIS: I think Mr. Trump speaks for Mr. Trump and I think that all of this going to be borne out tomorrow night and then eight days later we're going to see in New Hampshire.
BURNETT: That's a pretty tough thing that you just said though. Mr. Trump speaks for Mr. Trump. You're not directly defending what he just did.
CLOVIS: What do you mean?
BURNETT: You're not defending the tweet.
CLOVIS: I think Mr. Trump speaks for Mr. Trump. And I think that that's between him and Bob. And that as far as I'm concerned, like I said, we're late in the game -- if it was basketball the elbows get up; Bob is a basketball player. He knows about that.
CONANT: And Erin, like this is the silliness between these two, last couple of weeks, think we're about to elect the next president of the United States. Iowa has an important role here. This is an important decision.
I think if Marco Rubio has seen a surge in the last couple of weeks, we're coming into the caucuses with a lot of momentum because people have seen how serious he's taking it. While these two campaign candidates have attacked each other the last couple of weeks we've stayed focused on Hillary Clinton. At the end of the day we have to unite this party. We have to beat Hillary Clinton in November. And hopefully --
CLOVIS: That will happen because the Republicans will come together.
BURNETT: Thanks to all three of you. And of course, collegial camaraderie here on our set.
VANDER PLAATS: We're glad to have you in Iowa.
BURNETT: It is wonderful to be in Iowa and to be a part of this. Thanks to all three of you.
And our special coverage from Des Moines on the eve of the Iowa caucuses continues.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton locked in a virtual tie. Could Martin O'Malley be the king-maker?
Plus Donald Trump's last-minute pitch to voters in Sioux City. We're going to take you there. And my guests tonight, Donald Trump Jr. and his brother Eric -- they will talk to me on life with their famous father.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[19:15:04] DONALD TRUMP JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: The worst thing for us when we're doing something with him if there's a moment of down time, that's what we're worried about. That's what he's what am I doing here? Why am I not working?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: We're live in Des Moines tonight.
In the final hours before Iowa vote, kicking off crucial 2016, the race everyone around the world will be watching.
We're watching several live events across the state of Iowa where I am this hour -- Hillary Clinton rallying support in Sioux City, Bernie Sanders speaking to his supporters in Ames, Iowa. Clinton and Sanders are in a statistical dead heat according to the latest poll.
Brianna Keilar is OUTFRONT in Des Moines, Iowa with the Clinton campaign tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the home stretch in Iowa Hillary Clinton positioning herself as the defender of President Obama's legacy.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're at 90 percent universal coverage right now. Senator Sanders wants to start all over again. He wants to plunge the country into a contentious debate.
KEILAR: Sanders pushing back.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am disappointed by the tone of her campaign. She is talking to the people of Iowa and saying, Bernie Sanders wants to dismantle health care. Dismantle health care? I've been fighting for universal health care my entire life. [19:20:01] KEILAR: The Clinton campaign is criticizing Sanders for
his endorsement of a new book, "Buyers' Remorse: how Obama let progressives down" even as he meets with the President and courts his supporters.
SANDERS: It's also important to remember how far we have come in the last seven years under the leadership of President Obama and Vice President Biden.
KEILAR: A key confidante of the President's who has endorsed Clinton, his former top aide David Plouffe, tweeting, "Be honest then, Senator. Run firmly against Obama record." Despite the attacks, Sanders refusing to hit Clinton on one of her biggest vulnerabilities -- the controversy over her State Department e-mails. The administration announcing it will not release 22 e-mails because they are top-secret.
SANDERS: There is a legal process taking place. I do not want to politicize that issue. It is not my style.
KEILAR: This is Sanders' style.
SANDERS: Join the political revolution. Thank you all very much.
KEILAR: Rallying a crowd of almost 4,000 college students this weekend in Iowa City. If he has enthusiasm on his side Clinton is arguing she will be a more effective president.
CLINTON: I am a progressive who likes to get things done. I'm a progressive who actually likes to make progress.
KEILAR: The latest "Des Moines Register" poll showing Clinton and Sanders neck and neck here, one day before the crucial Iowa caucuses.
SANDERS: We're feeling great. I think we're going to win this.
KEILAR: Now Bernie Sanders is relying, Erin, very much on first-time caucus-goers especially from the young people who support him. They may be more unreliable in turning out but when they do, they can make all the difference -- just ask President Obama.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much Brianna. And I want to go to Joel Benenson, Democratic pollster, who worked on the winning campaigns of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and is now working for Hillary for America chief strategist. Ok. We're just hours away. Do you have it?
JOEL BENENSON, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: Do I have the results yet? No. The last day is always kind of very eerie in the sense of you feel like there's not much can you do to change anything at this point. You got 24 hours to go. You just want everybody --
BENENSON: You want everybody out there -- you want everybody out there voting, caucusing and doing it and getting it done. Here it won't start at 8:00 in the morning, it will start at 7:00 tomorrow night. So there's just that anxiety, that waiting period of let's get this thing rolling already. We feel pretty good about where we are right now.
BURNETT: All right. You feel pretty good. The e-mails are back in the news. This isn't the time you wanted them to be back in the news but nonetheless they are. Several withheld by the State Department with the highest level of classification.
Republican candidates are coming after her hard for this. Here's Marco Rubio in Iowa this weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary Clinton is disqualified from being president. She's disqualified. This thing with her e-mails is a big deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And here's Ted Cruz weighing in on Hugh Hewitt's radio show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: I would find it hard to believe that they would be eager to nominate someone who is under indictment and could well face felony incarceration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: What do you say to this? This issue has not gone away and it's not going to go away.
BENENSON: I think we've seen a Republican party and a line-up of Republican candidates, who were just increasingly not just out of touch but outrageous in most of the things they say.
Look, the fact of the matter is, and especially these senators know and that's what's so astonishing is that they just continue to peddle this stuff. But nothing that Hillary Clinton ever sent or received in her e-mails was classified at the time they were sent.
BURNETT: Well, there's an investigation though on that at the State Department right now as to whether that's true.
BENENSON: Erin, I get that. But it is not possible on the classified system to take anything off that and send it or receive it on any other e-mail system. What's happened here is what has happened before -- things that afterwards, are being classified retroactively.
Secretary Clinton has asked for these e-mails to be released. She wants them released. Her understanding is also, you know, one of these include a news account of some things that we were doing. And that's been retroactively classified. It wasn't classified, nothing was, at the time it was sent. This is much ado about nothing. It's like the Benghazi hearings. They hammered it, they hammered it, they hammered it. They brought her in. She testified for 11 hours. And at the end of it they said we didn't learn anything new.
BURNETT: All right. Well Joel, thank you very much. As he said, waiting and waiting and waiting.
I want to go now to the Sanders campaign -- Tad Divine, senior adviser for Senator Bernie Sanders in these final hours.
And you just heard Joel say it's an eerie feeling in this last day because you just want it to get started and you have to sit around all day tomorrow and wait until tomorrow night.
Bernie Sanders said he's going to make history tomorrow night. Is he right?
TAD DIVINE, SENIOR ADVISER FOR BERNIE SANDERS: I hope so. Listen, we've got a great campaign. We started off about 50 points behind here in Iowa. We've made tremendous progress. This weekend we've knocked on over 100,000 doors, we have 15,000 volunteers right here in Iowa. We've got 2,600 precinct captains covering the state.
[19:25:07] And Bernie Sanders will have appeared before more than 60,000 people in person here in Iowa. So I think we've run a great campaign and we're hoping we can close the gap and hopefully finish ahead tomorrow.
BURNETT: So I've been watching the ads here in Iowa and they're all very positive by Senator Sanders. It's the uplifting music and it's a positive message. Do you have any regrets when it comes say to whether it's the e-mail issue or Hillary Clinton's Wall Street ties, things Republicans have gone after? Do you have any regrets that you didn't go negative?
DIVINE: No, not at all. Listen I've worked for Bernie Sanders for 20 years, he's never run a negative ad and I believe he never will. He thinks people deserve a debate on the issues. Our campaign is about the fact that America has a rigged economy that sends most new wealth to the top. It's held in place by a corrupt system of campaign finance, that's the message and delivering that is the way to win this election.
BURNETT: And looking past Iowa, past New Hampshire, what's his path to the nomination, Tad? Does he have a plan and a ground game in those other states or not?
DIVINE: We do, Erin. The path to the nomination is clear to us. We're leaving here to go to New Hampshire. Couple of polls came out today with 20-point leads in New Hampshire for Bernie Sanders. We're on to Nevada, we've cut Hillary Clinton's margin in half there in just a month since we've started advertising. We're going to South Carolina. We've seen public polling there that says we're moving as well.
On Super Tuesday we have people on the ground in every single March 1st state and states beyond.
We announced today that just in this month of January we've raised $20 million. So we've got the resources to make the long run.
BURNETT: All right. Tad, thank you very much. And of course, our thanks to Joel Benenson of Hillary Clinton's campaign.
OUTFRONT next: Donald Trump's sons on their father's late-night Twitter obsession and the advice that they give their dad.
And the man who's skipping Iowa to get a jumpstart in New Hampshire -- I'm going to ask him about his high-risk, high reward strategy. Governor John Kasich is OUTFRONT tonight.
[19:30:01] BURNETT: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world watching the U.S. election tonight. We're live in Des Moines. It is a special night for us and our special coverage of the Iowa caucuses here on CNN.
Right now Donald Trump is firing up supporters. He's at a rally in Sioux City for his second event of the day. It's still neck and neck in Iowa. It is an incredible race, this 2016 presidential race according to the latest "Des Moines Register" poll, seen as a gold standard of polling here in Iowa.
Trump holds only a very slight lead over Ted Cruz which is why he needs all these new voters who have never caucused before to go out and vote. His daughter, Ivanka, pitching in, she actually made a video that actually shows people how to caucus. And she's not the only Trump helping her dad campaign. His oldest sons, Donald Junior and his son, Eric, have been stumping for their father here in Iowa.
I had a chance to sit down with them today and ask them what this experience has been like.
ERIC TRUMP, SON OF DONALD TRUMP: We've gone around to everywhere. Everywhere from the Des Moines gun show to local farmers to car dealerships to you know, different radio stations. The amount of people coming up and literally giving us a hug and saying tell your father to go all the way. Please tell him to go all the way.
DONALD TRUMP, JR., SON OF DONALD TRUMP: It's great going around actually shaking those hands and just hearing people who say "I haven't caucused in 15 years, haven't caucused ever. I'm in my mid 40s, I'm going out there and doing this for your dad. Because I love it that he's changing the dialogue."
BURNETT: So Christian conservative voters are crucial, obviously here in Iowa but around the country. It's an important part of the Republican base, it's going to be important all the way through the primary process. An Iowa pastor told CNN -- I'll just quote him. "Donald Trump is a wolf in sheep's clothing and evangelicals know what that means. He has stood for everything that we have been against." What do you think when you hear that being preached, this was a Baptist?
DONALD TRUMP, JR.: I don't like hearing it. But there's plenty of other guys that have come out. I mean Jerry Falwell came out with a great endorsement. He even talks about it. He says listen, it may not be everything you almost want. But Jimmy Carter was this great evangelical but was a horrible president.
Ronald Reagan had his issues, you know, perhaps in his personal life but he was an incredible president.
BURNETT: So people are fascinated by both of you and of course, by your sister, she's about to have a baby. She has an excuse --
TRUMP: A baby in Iowa. You never know.
BURNETT: A citizen of Iowa.
All right. What you guys grew up with. You weren't just rich kids, it was on steroids, it was a whole lifestyle. People see that and then they see you, and see what you've accomplished. You're right even people who hate him say look at his kids. What was it that he did specifically that made you all not be on the gossip pages? Not be in rehab. Not be those kids.
ERIC TRUMP: Well, he made us work. Let's start there. So many kids in our situation, they never worked. My father gave us literally a sledgehammer. Saying kids, guess what, you're going on to a construction site. You're going to demo the wall. You're (INAUDIBLE) the electrical conduit. You're going to do whatever it was. I mean, we were working from a very young age. There was no free time in our family. He really demanded that. We also had very blue collar grandparents.
BURNEET: What would you say it was he did.
DONALD TRUMP JR.: It's similar. We again my grandparents on my mother's side were blue collar people. My grandfather was an electrician from Czechoslovakia. From the age of five, I mean, he saw -- they had conversations about it, the pitfalls -- both the benefits and the pitfalls of growing up in our lifestyle in New York. So we spent six to eight weeks every summer with him in what was then, you know, the communist Czechoslovakia in the early '80s, where if someone made $5,000 a year it was big money. It was really grounding and it was an important lesson from a young age that we just learned. We have it really good, don't squander that.
BURNETT: So you guys go to bed at night, your normal people. Your dad is not a normal guy, he doesn't seem to sleep.
DONALD TRUMP JR.: Well he doesn't sleep but he's a normal guy. That's what he doesn't get enough credit for. He's much more I say it very affectionately, he's a blue collar guy with a very big balance sheet. I mean he's done really well but he love to watch a ball game and eat a burger. He's much more of an ordinary guy that anyone would ever give him credit for. Not enough people see that side of him, I mean the sense of humor, the opportunities he's given executives within our organization over the years. (INAUDIBLE) start as doormen, drivers, but he saw something in them and he gave them an opportunity to take on a much bigger task. They thrived and they did it and they had street smarts. They didn't have Harvard MBAs but they are street smart.
BURNEET: He's become known for his nighttime tweets. And so he'll tweet, you wake up, you don't know what people are going to ask you about. There's a new tweet that's going to be out there.
Does he take your advice, do you ever say, you know, hey, dad, maybe you've told him he should apologize for something that he didn't. Does he listen to you? How does this work?
ERIC TRUMP: He'll ask everybody in the world their thoughts, and he ultimately makes his own decision. That's what's nice about him. He's talked about this before. You see so many of these campaigns, they have 100 different pollsters, if I go out and I say this, is it going to be liked by 51 percent of people, is it going to be liked by 49 percent of people? They kind of script their whole lives around that.
BURNETT: You know, one of the questions people have is -- OK, he says what he thinks. And a lot of people like him for that. Some people though say well when you're in the White House, you need to listen to people. You need to not be impulsive. You need to be a person of judgment. Does he, does he really listen when you say wait, let's talk about this.
DONALD TRUMP JR.: 100 percent.
BURNEET: Is there a side of him that isn't impulsive?
DONALD TRUMP JR.: 100 percent. I mean, like I say he'll hear everyone out. You don't get to where he is in business, you don't have a 35-year track record of success and build the kind of companies that he's built by doing it by yourself on impulse thought.
You bring in the best person for a given job. You watch them. That's the difference. He watches them. He understands, he's not going to accept mediocrity in those positions.
ERIC TRUMP: And he also has amazing intuition. You've probably seen it throughout the whole campaign. We've seen it kind of as we work with him every single day. Everybody is swimming downriver, right? And he's going the exact opposite way of everybody going the exact opposite way and it always for some reason works in his favor.
BURNETT: So when you sit here and people look at you, they can see your faces, you both have similarities, you look like him. Obviously you have his name. When you look at yourselves and your siblings, who is most like your dad? Which of you is most like your dad?
DONALD TRUMP JR.: Well, I think you know if you look at it, I think we all probably share a lot of traits, we all diverge quite a bit. I mean, you know I would say Ivanka is very much like him in many ways, the meticulous nature of things. I mean I sort of have a little of his sense of humor and the way I like to rib.
Eric's got his natural sense of just construction and spatial visualization. And I think there's a lot of commonalities, I think we all have his work ethic and no one's going to outwork him. You see it.
BURNETT: You're both married. You have five kids.
DONALD TRUMP JR.: I do.
BURNETT: Five kids.
DONALD TRUMP JR.: Five kids. A lot of kids. Five kids, eight and under. So --
ERIC TRUMP: I have a lot to live up to.
DONALD TRUMP JR.: Get to work. In the Trump competition, I don't know if he's going to be able to beat me.
I'm going to send them your way a couple more weekends a month.
BURNETT: What is your dad like as a grandfather? Is he different than he was as a dad, is he more hands on?
DONALD TRUMP JR.: He actually is. I think when we were younger he was so focused on building a business. He was so passionate about it. I mean, he always made himself available to us, I remember just playing with trucks. In his office as a child when he's meeting with the biggest guys in the world at the time and whatever it was, it didn't matter who it was. He could be in there with Jack Welch. If I called him from school or whatever it was, "hey, dad, how's it going?" He would pick up the phone and he would talk to us, and that guy, whoever it was, would wait. He was amazing with that he always made himself available.
BURNETT: All right. OUTFRONT next, could Martin O'Malley decide who wins in Iowa? Yes, you heard me right. It's an amazing question. Because you won't believe the answer. He's passing on Iowa and pinning all his efforts on New Hampshire. I'm talking now about John Kasich. Can a surprise showing there by the Ohio governor vault him to the top tier? That governor is my guest, next.
BURNETT: Welcome back. From Des Moines, Iowa, we're coming to you live tonight. In the final hours before the Iowa caucuses. Tonight turnout, turnout, that's what this is all about at this point. Who could play the better game. That's what we'll decide. If Donald Trump or Ted Cruz come out on top in Iowa. Can Trump's rock star style enthusiasm beat Cruz's old-school ground game? Sara Murray is OUTFRONT tonight.
ROBERTO GONZALEZ, TED CRUZ CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER: We drove 1,000 miles on Monday to be here to make a difference.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Tomorrow night, Ted Cruz's vaunted ground game.
And Donald Trump's enthusiastic crowds are finally put to the test. After months of delivering stump speeches, trekking across Iowa, and lobbing attack inevitably, it all comes down to who shows up.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It all doesn't matter If you don't caucus on Monday.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If everyone in this room brings nine additional people to caucus on Monday night.
We will win the Iowa caucuses.
MURRAY: Cruz has built a ground game that's unrivalled in Iowa. More than 800 volunteers have passed through camp Cruz. Spartan Des Moines dormitories housing out of state supporters. Volunteers like Roberto Gonzalez of Leak City, Texas, are putting in 12-hour days. Phonebanking and door-knocking for Cruz.
GONZALEZ: The ground game the phone banks and going out in block walking is the most important thing. We're talking 1,000 votes can make or break somebody here.
MURRAY (on camera): At the Trump campaign we get a very different reception. His staff has repeatedly declined to let us visit their headquarters or speak to the volunteers working there. When we stopped by a new Trump campaign call center we were kicked off the property.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: I've been told to turn all media away. We have no comment on any matter.
MURRAY (voice-over): team Trump is secretive about its ground operations.
But even if his supporters aren't hearing from the campaign they're inundated with Trump.
SUSAN ZUDE, IOWA RESIDENT: Not cold calling but the twitters and I get all of that and Facebook and notifications and things. My sister is a big Trump supporter in Colorado, she keeps me updated on everything.
MURRAY: She's posting everything to Facebook all the time?
ZUDE: She's burning my phone up.
MURRAY (voice-over): Trump is sticking with his unconventional playbook until the end.
Inviting children to play on his private jet and tapping his daughter, Ivanka, for a glossy video on how to caucus.
IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: Hi, Iowa, I'm Ivanka Trump and I am really excited to tell you how to caucus for my father, Donald J. Trump on February 1st.
MURRAY: With crowds and momentum on his side, Trump may not even need a traditional turn-out operation to win.
MURRAY: Now Ted Cruz is turning to some controversial tactics to help boost his turnout this week. His campaign sent out a mailer that is warning voters about voter violations. It suggests that if they don't turn out, that will be public information to their neighbors and it's led the Iowa secretary of state to slam Ted Cruz and say look, there's no such thing as a voter violation.
We're not going to publish a voter score about your turnout. That suggests that they know the race is tight and they want to try to get people out no matter what it takes. Erin.
BURNETT: It's just going to be very exciting and I mean I have to say I chuckle. I couldn't even go to a call center. I mean it is incredible to see.
All right. Thank you very much, Sara Murray who spent so much, talk about shoe leather on the ground here in Iowa.
Breaking news, a new CNN poll with WMUR showing Donald Trump with a massive lead in the state of New Hampshire. That of course is the state that votes right after Iowa. The poll showing Trump with 30 percent support followed by Ted Cruz with 12. Marco Rubio with 11 and the governor of Ohio, John Kasich in fourth place with nine.
Governor John Kasich is skipping Iowa altogether. He is campaigning in New Hampshire tonight. Betting on that state. Will a major endorsement from "The New York Times" give him the momentum he needs? I spoke with Governor Kasich right before the show.
BURNETT: All right. Governor, thank you so much for being with us tonight. "The New York Times" endorsed you and in that endorsement they wrote "Governor John Kasich of Ohio, though a distinct underdog is the only plausible choice for Republicans tired of the extremism and inexperience on display in this race." Do you think you can still pull this off, governor?
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, yes, we absolutely can. My problem, Erin, is I'm not a celebrity, I'm not well known as the governor of Ohio and now we're running up here in New Hampshire in second place, the average of all the polls. We have the best ground game that Senator Gordon Humphrey said he's seen in 40 years. And we feel very, very good. We're getting big crowds, I've been endorsed by seven out of eight newspapers up here in New Hampshire.
The "Boston Globe," "The New York Times" and last night by the way I got the "Quad City" newspaper, the third largest in Iowa. So we feel very good about what's happening up here. And you know, I will see you here soon.
BURNETT: Yes, we're going to be coming there. Everyone will be descending upon New Hampshire in literally hours. Now "The New York Times" though, obviously, that's an important endorsement for you. Perhaps one you would really want in the general election. But of course, it's a liberal editorial page. They endorsed you on the same day they endorsed Hillary Clinton. Does an endorsement from "The New York Times" help you or hurt you right now, governor?
KASICH: It's absolutely a help. I mean I announced to people in New Hampshire as I was in my 86th town hall meeting tonight. When I tell them I got endorsed by "The New York Times," they clapped. Because the paper is iconic. And secondly, we're getting messages from all over the country. And you know what it says, Erin, is maybe this is a guy that has a certain appeal. That maybe he has the ability to have a broad appeal. Even though he's a conservative, you know? And the "New York Times" says he's certainly no moderate so as a conservative, with tone, with experience, with bringing people together, my judgment is that it sends a signal that this may be somebody who can do the kind of things that Reagan did in putting his coalition together in 1980.
BURNETT: Now if you combine the support for the so-called establishment candidates, in our, in our just-released New Hampshire poll, the numbers are actually fascinating, governor. If you add up Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and yourself, as I said that establishment lane that everybody talks about. Combined you have 34 percent. That is a huge number. It is four percentage points more than Donald Trump.
By attacking each other, you know, you've had the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan referring to it as a circular firing squad. By all of these attacks that are going on within that group, are you all guaranteeing that Donald Trump is the likely nominee?
KASICH: Well, Erin, first of all one national reporter said there's three lanes in this. There's the establishment lane, the anti- establishment lane and the Kasich lane. You know, the media has been fascinated by their inability to be able to label me one thing or the other. I've always been sort of an anti-establishment guy in a way, but been able to work with the establishment to get things done by balancing budgets, cutting taxes, reforming welfare, fixing Ohio. That's why these papers are saying what they're saying, Erin. They're saying this is a guy who can get it done. He knows the inside game and the outside game.
By the way, I'm running the most positive campaign of everybody and people acknowledge it across the board. We're running positive ads, we're going to continue to. I'm going to tell you, if somebody attacks me, we will fight them back. But I'm an optimist in this race.
BURNETT: All right. Well Governor Kasich, thank you very much. I appreciate your time. We'll see you in a few days in New Hampshire, sir.
KASICH: All right, Erin, thank you. God bless.
BURNETT: And next here on the special edition of OUTFRONT from Des Moines. He's never been out of the low single digits in the polls. But Martin O'Malley could be the king-maker, making all the difference here in Iowa between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Our special report on that, next.
BURNETT: And we're coming to you live tonight from Des Moines, Iowa. Voting is just one day away. Tonight, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are taking no voter for granted. But whether they win or lose, and this is fascinating. Could ultimately be decided by the other democratic candidates still in the mix. Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT with tonight's America's choice 2016.
MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Fight for viability and fight for country that you carry in your heart.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, all eyes are on Martin O'Malley.
O'MALLEY: There is no place on the planet that plays a greater role in determining the trajectory of this race than here in Iowa.
ZELENY: He's still running a distant third, but in the quirky rules of the Iowa caucuses, he's a potential king-maker. In places where he falls short of 15 percent, his voters will be asked to pick their second choice. Which could tip the balance for Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.
(on camera): Some of your supporters, governor, are viewed as the most important commodity in Iowa right now.
O'MALLEY: Because of their discerning judgment in candidates. ZELENY: So if they're not viable in some precincts across the state,
do you urge them to follow their own instincts? Or should they go one way or the other?
O'MALLEY: I urge them to hold strong and fight for viability. That's what I encourage people to do.
ZELENY (voice-over): In Iowa, the second choice can be nearly as important as the first. It helped propel Barack Obama to victory here eight years ago.
BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: If I'm not your first choice, make me your second choice.
ZELENY: The rules are different for Republicans. Their voters don't have to pick a second choice on Monday night.
But the democratic race is deadlocked.
Tom Henderson, the democratic chairman in Iowa's largest county is an O'Malley supporter. He said one of the biggest mysteries about the Sanders-Clinton fight is where O'Malley's supporters will go.
(on camera): For most O'Malley supporters, is their second choice Sanders or Clinton?
TOM HENDERSON, O'MALLEY SUPPORTER: We don't know. That's always a big question
ZELENY: But today in Iowa, O'Malley urged voters to deliver a surprise.
O'MALLEY: I know you feel like you have a birthright on caucus night of upsetting the apple cart. And surprising the pollsters and surprising the pundits. That's what I need you to do now.
ZELENY: O'Malley's campaign is running out of money and time. For at least another day he's the center of attention.
(On camera): How well do you have to do here, governor?
O'MALLEY: I don't know. I have to beat expectations and fortunately the national press has kept it very low for me.
ZELENY: Do you feel like a king maker at this point?
O'MALLEY: No, I don't, I feel like a candidate for president of the United States and the only one that has a track record of being able to bring people together and get things done. Those are two things that neither of my opponents can say.
BURNETT: All right. Jeff Zeleny is here with me, along with Ron Brownstein, CNN's senior political analyst and editorial director of the "National Journal." I mean, it's fascinating the complexity of Iowa. The rules are different for Democrats, different for Republicans. I mean it is just fascinating. I mean have you ever seen a race like this? I ask both of you, but you first, where you had no idea the night before?
ZELENY: No, it's very close and the iPhone is going to play a role because Clinton precinct captains have a device and app that allows them to calculate the delegates and sort of get O'Malley people over to their side. It's fascinating. They've planned for this moment.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Or the opposite to go to O'Malley side. Go to support O'Malley to deny Sanders a delegate in some cases.
ZELENY: It's planning for the scenario. He is key in this race.
BROWNSTEIN: One of the points that viewers should recognize, it's really hard to predict what's going to happen because the polls are measuring something different than what we're going to get as a result on the democratic side. The polls are rating voter preference. The results we're going to get is a share of available delegates. You're never going to get a voter vote total on the democratic side as opposed to the Republican (INAUDIBLE).
ZELENY: Which is a touch in the weeds. But I 'm still struck by how many people, I met voters out there today who were taking a look and still not sure. O'Malley has more support out there than we sort of assumed he did. It's a fascinating thing but the Clinton campaign and Sanders, they know all of the supporters. They know who has plan b is, if you will.
BURNETT: It is fascinating. I have to say I think if you can use iPhones to figure it out, maybe we should just be changing the rules altogether in Iowa. But putting that aside. What are you looking for tomorrow night. At what point, Ron, are you going to say, this is going to be a really good night for --
BROWNSTEIN: Turnout. Turnout. You have a very distinct dynamic on both sides, you have Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, candidates who do better with less frequent, less regular voters, the more people who show up, it's likely the better it is for both of them. I think it's unlikely to get anywhere near we were in 2008 with the democrats when they doubled the previous turnout total. But the higher we go over that 120, which is the roughly kind of normal number, I think it's better for Sanders and Trump.
BURNETT: There's a few million people that live in the state. People watching around the world, Jeff, are going first of all, these rules are from the middle ages. Secondly, they're saying are you kidding me? You guys are going to start to elect the president of the United States with that few people voting? BROWNSTEIN: It is crazy. But it is supposed to be the beginning of
the process, not the end of the process. It feels like the Super Bowl around here without a doubt. But this isn't the end. It is the beginning here. But no doubt some people are not going to survive this.
What I'm watching for, look at the rural areas as well if Hillary Clinton performs well in the rural areas that's going to be a good night for her. But a lot of new people are registering to vote. You can register tomorrow night. If those lines are long, that's a good night for Bernie Sanders.
BURNETT: That's a crucial thing. And in Iowa, it's not usual. You can actually come in, vote, register and vote that night.
BROWNSTEIN: Right. So far there's not been the increase in registration. Through the state. And the polling, the "Des Moines Register" poll, which kind of cut its chops by catching the increase in 2008, is not seeing it again this time. So we'll see, that really is the pivotal question here. It will matter going down the road. Particularly if Donald Trump can turn out voters here where it's hard. It's going to get easier in places like New Hampshire and South Carolina and the rest of the Republican field is looking at a difficult dynamic in that case.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. Get some rest.
BURNETT: All right. And thank you all so much for joining us. Our coverage of the countdown to the Iowa caucuses continues right now.
With a special edition of "AC360."