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Donald Trump Wins South Carolina Republican Primary; Hillary Clinton Big Winner of Democratic Presidential Caucuses in Nevada. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired February 20, 2016 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[22:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Hillary Clinton is the big winner of the Democratic CNN election center. The two big winners tonight here in the United States. Donald Trump, he wins the South Carolina Republican primary relatively easily.

In Nevada, Hillary Clinton is the big winner in the Democratic presidential caucuses. Big wins for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump, let's take a look at the votes right now. Almost all of the votes have already been counted. 99 percent of the vote is now in. Donald Trump with a very impressive win. He beats Marco Rubio right now who's in second place, Ted Cruz in third place.

Look at this, 32.5 percent for Trump, 22.5 percent for Rubio, 22.3 percent for Cruz, Jeb Bush comes in fourth but he drops out of the race, John Kasich, Ben Carson, they're at 7 percent.

But I want to listen very quickly, listen to Donald Trump, who delivered a rousing victory speech tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will never, ever forget South Carolina. We will never forget our great volunteers. We love our volunteers. We'll never forget all of the people that have helped us so much, my family. And folks, let's go, let's have a big win in Nevada, let's have a big win at the SEC. Let's put this thing away and let's make America great again. Thank you very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Donald Trump are surrounded by his family.

Let's go over to John King over here at the Magic Wall. Almost all of the votes are now in, you know. He's got, what, 75,000 more votes than Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The map speaks for itself. This is a thumping by Donald Trump winning everywhere, winning up here, upstate in the evangelical heartland of South Carolina, winning most of the area. You see Marco Rubio winning in the Charleston area here, but winning most of the area along the coast where you have retirees, you have military installations, a lot of transplants here, winning in the center of the state again, except for Richland County as the center of the state there, but even running competitive though.

The thing about Donald Trump is even where he comes in second, he runs reasonably competitive and picks up votes, so a very impressive win for Donald Trump.

Well, one thing I'm looking at is we're at 99 percent. The question, this will be a minor thing. The question will be for a moral victory, perhaps, but Marco Rubio at the moment in second place, Ted Cruz in third place with 99 percent of the vote and can Cruz pass Marco Rubio?

Again, it will be essentially a tie anyway, but a little bit of morale boost, maybe.

If you look here, in Marlboro County, only 94 percent of the vote is counted, so there's still votes out. It's a small county, but Ted Cruz is running second. So if that trend continues, he could pick up a few votes here.

Now, we come over the middle part of the state here, York County, only 76 percent of the vote counted here, Ted Cruz running second. So, again, if the trend continues in those two counties, Ted Cruz is likely to pick up some of those votes.

If you're Marco Rubio, you're hoping down here in Beaufort County, where Donald Trump is winning, but Rubio is running second and Cruz is actually running in fourth place in that county. So, you could expect Marco Rubio to pick up some here.

So as we look at those final counties, Wolf, as we're looking for the -- again, the moral victory of second or third, it'll likely be by a few dozen votes, maybe 50 or a couple hundred votes either way. There is still some math to be done in the Rubio-Cruz race for second and third as we await the final results. But, if you look at the map overall, a huge victory for Donald Trump.

And again, all the rules are being broken this year, so I'm not saying this one will last, but no one has ever won New Hampshire and then South Carolina and not gone on to win the Republican nomination.

BLITZER: Now, the way they divide the delegates in that state, he may wind up, Donald Trump, with all 50 delegates, the other candidates with zero, based on what we see right now.

Marco Rubio says it's now a three-man race. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN MARCO RUBIO, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If it is God's will that I should serve as the 45th president, if it is God's will that we should win this election ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. RUBIO: ... then history will say that on this night in South

Carolina, we took the first step forward in the beginning of a new American century. Thank you, South Carolina. Thank you. God bless you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Dana Bash, David Gergen and Mark Preston. John Kasich, the Ohio governor, says it's a four-man race, and maybe Ben Carson says it's a five-man race, so not necessarily a three-man.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And as Marco Rubio was making that argument that it's a three-man race, I got a phone call from one of John Kasich's top advisers, John Weaver, who wanted to push back on that, saying, just as you said, that they believe it is a four-man race, and saying "Rubio's only accomplishment was running at world-record speed away from his immigration plan".

And by the way, he spoke to me and called me from Massachusetts, where they are tonight, again, trying to look ahead already to March 1st, the Super Tuesday, where he is trying to play in places that maybe have a more moderate Republican electorate, like Massachusetts.

The other thing that he argued, and it's part of what we've been talking about tonight, looking ahead, the states until March 15th are proportional, meaning there are lots of people who can win delegates in each state. But after March 15th, it's a winner-take-all, and that John Kasich believes that after that, the calendar such that he has some benefits, Midwest states, for example, Ohio, for example, where he's from, where he thinks that he can stay in this race.

[22:05:11] He said, no, it's a two-man race between Kasich and Trump. They all want it to be a two-man race.

BLITZER: And before the Super Tuesday, there's Tuesday night, the Republican caucuses in Nevada and all the polls show Trump is doing really well there.

DAVID CHALIAN. CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yeah, that seems like really fertile ground for Donald Trump. There's no doubt about that, Wolf.

Even though, of course, Marco Rubio grew up, spent some time growing up in Nevada, obviously, there's a big Latino population in Nevada, and both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz may try to court some of that vote.

Dana's right about the proportional representation. As you were noting tonight, due to the quirky way that South Carolina awards its delegates, the statewide winner gets a big chunk of them, 29 of them, and then the other 21 delegates are allocated by congressional district.

And as you saw on John King's map over there, Donald Trump is winning everywhere right now. So he may walk away 50 delegates to zero, zero, zero, zero delegates for the night to the other candidates. There's one primary that John Kasich has won, and he gets a clear victory on this, and that is the primary of the governors. When this race started, George Pataki, Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bobby

Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, all these governors were in this race.

And for a long time in presidential politics, we have talked about the success of governors in presidential politics, especially modern-day presidential politics, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush being the fine examples from recent history.

That is now down to John Kasich as the guy that is owning the lane of governors of the executive leadership. And, you know, we don't see it resonating in the electorate as an all that important attribute, but it is a small victory for John Kasich.

BASH: Just to quickly add to that, what Kasich's top advisor said to me was, could you imagine six months ago that John Kasich outlasted Jeb Bush and even Scott Walker, who, of course, had the shortest campaign. It is when you take a step back and think about it, kind of remarkable, but I think it also speaks in large part to what you just said, that the appetite for governors is not what we thought it was going into this election.

BLITZER: At least 10 Republican candidates, Mark Preston, they've dropped out, and Trump is still doing well with now five candidates left.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Right, so let's go back to June of 2015 and who would ever have thought that Donald Trump right now would be the leader for the Republican presidential nomination. And right now seems to have the wind at his back.

You know, to Dana's point, we talk a lot about the SEC primary, we talk about this turn to the south, we talk about how March 1st is so important, but you know what? There are a lot of other states, you know, in play, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, which you could claim as SEC, you could not at all, depends what you think.

Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming. So if someone like John Kasich, while he's trying to get to the Midwest, is looking at states like that, on the Democratic side, it's the same thing with Bernie Sanders. While Hillary Clinton is going for the African-American vote down south, Bernie Sanders is trying to get these white Democrat liberals to be on his side.

It will be interesting to see what Marco Rubio does right now because his appeal, he's trying to broaden it. Will he try to take his appeal up north to the northeast a little bit and see if he can try to grab some wins?

CHALIAN: But don't -- we shouldn't just think of the south as the only place Donald Trump can compete either, because I think, you know, your home state of Massachusetts -- certainly, yeah.

PRESTON: Right.

CHALIAN: But like Donald Trump is going to do very well in some of those non-SEC states.

BLITZER: Did really well in New Hampshire.

PRESTON: Yes, no question, no question. In fact, oftentimes when he would go to New Hampshire to campaign, he would stop off in Massachusetts and do a campaign event.

The one thing Donald Trump has done successfully is that in his whole campaign, he would jump ahead two or three states. People would wonder why is he doing that and he would try to build a base. But again, with Donald Trump right now, he's clearly the leader. The question is, can somebody like Kasich or someone like Rubio go in and try to pick off some of these states? Because someone needs to start picking up wins.

BLITZER: Yeah, Trump did have a big crowd in Lowell, Massachusetts, when he was there not that long ago.

You broke the story, Mark, that Jeb Bush was going to drop out of the race just before he spoke. He made that announcement. Let me play the clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEB BUSH, (R) SUSPENDING CAMPAIGN: I'm proud of the campaign that we've run to unify our country and to advocate conservative solutions that would give more Americans the opportunity to rise up and reach their God-given potential.

But the people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken, and I really respect their decision. So tonight, I am suspending my campaign.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: It was a sad moment. We saw his wife start to cry.

Is there any indication at all any of you are getting if he might endorse someone, if he might decide he's going to support one of these Republican candidates?

PRESTON: Let me go out on this limb, OK? And the tree is going to break. He is not endorsing Donald Trump.

BASH: No.

PRESTON: It's not going to happen. You know what, I think he's going to be torn and conflicted between Kasich and Marco Rubio. But in the end ...

BASH: I don't know.

PRESTON: ... there's so much bad blood right now ...

BASH: So much bad blood. PRESTON: ... between Bush and Rubio. But I wonder if a lot of that

bad blood, though, exists more between the staff than it actually does the principals. Oftentimes, it does. But I do think that Jeb Bush ...

BASH: That's a good point.

PRESTON: ... looks at Rubio and thinks that the apprentice, so to speak, knifed him in the back.

CHALIAN: You certainly heard Marco Rubio making the appeal tonight in his remarks, a very, very glowing language about Governor Bush, clearly trying to reach out his hand and seeing if he can heal those wounds.

[22:10:11] I -- my sense from talking to folks is that Jeb Bush is in no rush to endorse whatsoever right now. So, I don't know that this will be something that's coming immediately.

BLITZER: Were you surprised, Dana, Ted Cruz in his speech made it sound like he was the big winner in that speech, when he at least comes in second, maybe third, well behind Donald Trump?

BASH: You know, if somebody just came out from Mars and hadn't watched the speeches beforehand and tuned in, they would have said, "Wow, Ted Cruz won the South Carolina primary."

You're exactly right. He did declare victory. Unclear why, since he possibly came in third, possibly second. But, you know, that's what you do when you want to keep your volunteers and your supporters enthused. You kind of give them a reason for hope, even though it was maybe one bridge too far.

PRESTON: Right, but Marco Rubio did it in Iowa and John Kasich did it in New Hampshire, which is amazing in and of itself.

BASH: Right, but John Kasich wasn't supposed to come in second and he actually did in New Hampshire, but yeah, this was a little bit unusual.

CHALIAN: It's an odd thing this cycle, where the second and third- place finishers. It's because of the Donald Trump phenomenon that so many in the party seemed so reluctant to accept for some time that there's always this conversation going on of what's happening underneath Donald Trump, instead of -- if some other candidate, not named Donald Trump, had put on the scoreboard what Donald Trump has put on the scoreboard now, a second-place finish in Iowa, a first- place finish in New Hampshire, a first-place finish in South Carolina, we would just be declaring the end of the nomination.

PRESTON: Game over, right.

BASH: And, you know, that's -- an that's what Donald Trump's aides say, and they have maybe a little bit of a chip on their shoulder, but they should, because they're right. It is true. And it's because people are still having a very, very delayed reaction to wrapping their minds around these kinds of wins. Donald Trump winning New Hampshire, winning South Carolina, a Republican primary.

PRESTON: Yeah, and he's still coming in second in Iowa. Let's not forget about that as well.

BASH: Wolf?

BLITZER: You know, it's interesting, Gloria, if Donald Trump does really well in Nevada in the Republican caucuses Tuesday night, that's going to help him, that's going to bolster him dramatically.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIED POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah. Yeah. And by all accounts, he looks to do very well.

BLITZER: If he wins big time in Nevada, can he be stopped?

BORGER: Well, I think he looks like -- look, if this were anybody else, and this is what the Trump campaign always says, we'd be saying he's well on his way to the nomination. I think you have to say that about Donald Trump.

I want to point out one thing. I was just looking at our numbers from 2012. Newt Gingrich won the Republican primary in 2012 with 40.4 percent of the vote. So, Gingrich had more than Trump, more than Rubio and more than Cruz.

Mitt Romney, who, as we know, came in second, had 27.9 percent.

So, just look at what this big race has done to this and look at, you know, Donald Trump has not done as well in this race as Gingrich.

However, it's a big field.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, that points to the real question, right? To channel Donald Rumsfeld, I mean, we have two big known-unknowns in this race. Does Donald Trump have a ceiling?

BORGER: Yeah.

BROWNSTEIN: There's some evidence that he does. But the second question is, will anybody consolidate the rest enough that it matters if he has a ceiling? Because right now, it doesn't.

And as we've said before, Rubio and Cruz each have different problems that prevent them from fully ...

(CROSSTALK)

BROWNSTEIN: ... maybe the limits ...

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: To channel Donald Rumsfeld ...

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah.

AXELROD: ... will all those who oppose Trump go with the army they have ...

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah.

AXELROD: ... and not the army they want?

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah.

BORGER: Right.

AXELROD: Who will they consolidate around, one candidate? And because they have such distinctly different profiles. I'd also say this, these guys, you know, I think look so much like politicians ...

BORGER: Yeah.

AXELROD: ... right now. We talked about how warm Rubio was tonight to Jeb Bush. Everybody remembers that it was just days ago that they were going hammer and tongue against each other. Donald Trump in this exit poll was given huge vote by people who say he tells it like it is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.

AXELROD: OK? They look like a couple of politicians arguing with each other, and for ...

BORGER: And they are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.

AXELROD: Yeah, for very base, political ...

BLITZER: And so David, the fact that Donald Trump in his speech tonight didn't even mention Jeb Bush, even though Jeb Bush earlier had announced he was ending his race for the White House, what does that say to you?

AXELROD: Yeah, I know, yeah, I know, Van, you were critical of him, but it's completely consistent. I mean, he -- the truth is, he doesn't like Jeb Bush. He doesn't like Jeb Bush and he wasn't going to pretend that he likes Jeb Bush.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think, yeah, you know, and this is my great, great fear, is that we'd start to adapt to his standard.

When my kids play soccer, they don't like the kids on the other team, but we expect them to go over and shake hands at the end.

[22:15:00] When we start saying somebody could be president of the United States, but they don't -- or they're not going to be held to the same standard as you hold children to in little league, something is wrong. Something is wrong.

AXELROD: Well, and I -- for that reason, you wouldn't vote for Donald Trump. JONES: Right.

AXELROD: And a lot of people won't vote for Donald Trump. I mean, I think one of the issues here is there are a lot of people who feel very negatively toward Donald Trump. He engenders more negative reaction as well as positive reaction than any of the other candidates. He's a very vivid character. And that's why if there was ever a coalescence, there's -- you know, he could be beaten. The question is just whether that'll happen in this kind of a divided field.

JONES: I have a question. For those people who are part of the Republican Party watching this happen, you know, is there a strategy to just, maybe just prevent him from getting the nomination or try to get -- what can be done about this?

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, this is the thing, you know. This is the reason why we're not talking ...

JONES: It's done, it's over.

CARPENTER: ... about Donald Trump as the presumptive winner. There's a number of people in the Republican Party, I include myself in that camp, who, you know, I did work for Cruz. I also find Rubio very acceptable.

I think Rubio would have been the Republican front-runner, had he not signed on to the Gang of Eight.

And so, like -- I mentioned this earlier, Republicans are going to have to recognize that we are going to have to unite and stop Donald Trump, who is a threat to Republican values and civility as a whole, because you have a guy on stage in his victory speeches, taking gratuitous shots at Nikki Haley. That was completely unnecessary.

And so, there's going to be some heart-searching, whether we can come together or not. This is the big test.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Hold on one moment. Because there was a moment, and I want to replay that moment right now, when Donald Trump was speaking and he asked his wife, Melania, to say a few words. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELANIA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S WIFE: Just want to say an amazing place South Carolina. Congratulations to my husband. He was working very hard, and he loves you. We love you. And we're going ahead to Nevada, and we will see what happens. He would be the best president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: And Nia, we -- I never really heard a lot ...

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yeah. BLIZTER: ... from her in the past.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.

BLITZER: But she's obviously very enthusiastic about her husband.

HENDERSON: That's right. Really stunning in some ways to hear from her in that way and then his daughter also talking. It was a different, I think, image of Donald Trump tonight.

BLITZER: Hold on, guys, one second. Let's take a quick break. There's a lot more to assess. We're going to preview Super Tuesday. We're going to take a look at what's coming up in the Republican caucuses, Tuesday night, this Tuesday night in Nevada.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Now, we've got a Key Race Alert. Almost all of the votes now have been counted in South Carolina.

Look at Donald Trump. He is way, way ahead, by 73,398 over Marco Rubio, who's in second place with 164,770, Ted Cruz in third place, 163,818. And then Jeb Bush, who has now dropped out, he's down with 7.8 percent, Kasich 7.6 percent. Ben Carson 7.2 percent.

Both Kasich and Ben Carson say they're staying into the race.

[22:20:04] I want to look ahead to Super Tuesday, that's coming up a week from this Tuesday. Before Super Tuesday, there's Nevada, the Republican caucuses this Tuesday, Donald trump, at least in the polls, is doing really well there, just as he was in South Carolina and New Hampshire.

KING: So Cruz wins Iowa, Trump wins New Hampshire and South Carolina, this number will go up. This is delegates so far. Donald Trump will get at least 41 more tonight, he could get all 50 in South Carolina. We're still waiting for the final calculation.

But then you mentioned, on we go into Nevada next. Here for the sake of this hypothetical, we're assigning this to Donald Trump, saying he's going to win essentially with the margins we had tonight, 35 percent, the other candidates getting 20, 20, 20, splitting up the delegates there. That's what you would have after South -- after Nevada, excuse me, four states in. Then you come ahead to Super Tuesday ...

BLITZER: Which is a week from Tuesday.

KING: A week from Tuesday, when you've get a dozen states voting and you watch this now. Under this scenario, Trump wins them all, again, essentially 35/20/20/20. I know some of you at home are saying, "No way."

But let's just say if he won them all under that relatively close to that split, he would start to pull away in the delegate chase.

So let's say, you're a Ted Cruz supporter, you say, "No, way, Ted Cruz is going to win in Texas." So let's give Ted Cruz first in Texas and give the -- oh, sorry, keep him at one, and three and four, assign it that way, Cruz catches up a little bit.

Dana just mentioned a few minutes ago, Governor Kasich tonight is in Massachusetts, it's a more moderate state. We'll see what happens there.

But let's say for the sake of argument, either Kasich or Rubio wins, that we'll give it to Kasich here. Two, three, four, the two, three, four don't matter to Kasich because the delegates come in easy. So it doesn't mean (inaudible).

Even if you do that, if Trump wins most, he starts to pull away a little bit in the delegate chase. So this is where it gets really interesting as we go forward, because the map, you have so many states voting at once. Donald Trump has such an advantage.

These other candidates who say they're still in the race, Cruz has a decent amount of money, Rubio's trying to raise money fast, Kasich doesn't have that much money. Donald Trump has celebrity, 100 percent name ID and money, if he wants to spend it. So this is where it gets interesting, because with the momentum he has right now, you assume Trump is in the lead just about everywhere.

And the question is, can the other candidates -- they're going to have to pick and choose. And if you're Ted Cruz, you're going to have to worry about home.

BLITZER: They call it Super Tuesday, what, about 11 or 12 contests. A quarter of all the delegates are awarded on the Republican side, they're awarded on Super Tuesday, March 1st. That's going to be a huge, huge prize.

KING: Right, that's a big prize. And if you run it out, and again, this is a hypothetical where we're assigning these states to Trump on a 35/20/20. If you run it out, well, that's Super Tuesday. By the end of March, 50 percent of the delegates on the Republican side who have been decided.

So, if you assign them all out to Trump this way, he could pull out a stretch. And even if you took a few states away, Trump would still have a big lead. Doesn't mean he's going to be the nominee, but at the moment, the challenge for the other candidates, as the calendar gets crowded, Wolf, and as the calendar gets busy, pick your targets, and for several of the candidates, they've got to raise money and raise it fast because you need resources to win when the map expands so quickly.

BLITZER: It's going to be a huge, huge Super Tuesday.

Dana, as you know, we have a debate coming up Thursday night, the last Republican debate before Super Tuesday. So, it's going to be an important debate that we're going to be in Houston for. All of us are going to be there, but it's an important moment right now just to assess about the Bush campaign.

BASH: Right.

BLITZER: The decision by Jeb Bush to drop out.

BASH: That's right. Houston, of course, is Ted Cruz's hometown, but it also Texas is Bush country. And, we just got a statement from George W. Bush, former president and former governor of Texas, talking about his brother, saying that he is proud of Jeb and his staff for running a campaign that looked to the future. And he said, "Jeb's decision to suspend his campaign reflects his selfless character and patriotism." And he went on to say how moved he was by Jeb's concession speech.

And just reading this and thinking about, I don't even remember how many days ago it was, a few days ago, when George W. Bush came out of his self-imposed political exile, went to South Carolina, had his one- day speech for Jeb Bush. And, you know, the hope was that he was going to give his brother a boost, and it didn't happen.

CHALIAN: To rave reviews. And there was a ...

BASH: Sure.

CHALIAN: ... large crowd there to see the former president. It's just that it didn't translate in those five final days of the contest to support for Jeb Bush.

I think it was hard for anyone, brother or not, to observe the Jeb Bush statement and not be moved by it in some way. There was a ton of emotion on that stage.

BASH: You know, we have some new numbers looking at the issues that drove voters in this primary.

CHALIAN: Yeah, so, we started looking at sort of those bread-and- butter issues that voters care about the most. And let's start with the economy. We all know that people vote on their pocketbooks, right? So, look among voters who were very worried about the direction of the U.S. economy, Donald Trump is the antidote to their fears.

He wins 36 percent of those voters, 23 percent for Rubio, 22 percent for Cruz, 8 percent for Carson.

Another thing that got to the Trump victory, terrorism, 32 percent of Republican voters in South Carolina today said terrorism was their top issue of concern. Trump wins them, 31 percent, Cruz 25 percent, Rubio 23 percent, and Jeb Bush at 9 percent.

So, when you look at the economy and terrorism, Dana, Mark, two major issues, and this helps drive the Trump victory.

[22:25:02] And, another note that is really interesting, when you compare that to the issues set in the Nevada Democratic caucuses tonight, terrorism was nowhere basically on the list. It was all the way down at the bottom of the list of issues important to Democrats.

BASH: And, you know, you would think that somebody who was a billionaire, who made his name and fortune on the economy, would be doing well with people who are driven to the polls by the economy, but terrorism?

PRESTON: You know, it's interesting. A friend of mine owns a landscaping company in northern Virginia, and he's been texting me all night incessantly. And, what he keeps telling me over and over again is that this is a bread-and-butter election. That's why Donald Trump is winning. People are so angry right now.

And this is somebody, mind you, who while he lives near the Beltway, is not inside the Beltway. He's somebody that the John Kasich voters candidates going after. He's somebody Bernie Sanders is going after. He's somebody Donald Trump is going after.

And he made a point, which I thought was interesting. You didn't see Donald Trump out in Iowa fielding camo (ph) and going out shooting. You've seen his sons do it, but Donald Trump didn't do it.

All Donald Trump talked about was making America great again and trying to redo the economy. He did talk about religion, but not nearly as much as Ted Cruz and what have you. And I think, clearly, we know what this election's about, right? And the voters know what it's about. And that's why the likes of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump clearly aren't doing well.

BASH: Yeah, and ironically, in the last few days, his talk of religion was defending himself from the Pope, suggesting that he's not a Christian, so.

CHALIAN: Which probably worked in his favor.

BASH: 100 percent, no question. No question.

CHALIAN: But the economic anxiety is real and Trump's message speaks directly to it.

BASH: Absolutely, and we see it in every rally that we go to from Donald Trump. I saw it just yesterday in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Wolf?

BLITZER: Continues to get huge crowds, there's no doubt about that. In his victory speech tonight, Donald Trump actually said something nice about Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Ted and Marco did a really good job and they got -- they did quite well, as I understand and no, come on. Just one minute. Come on. One second, right? Good.

OK, we go back to that tomorrow morning. Tomorrow morning, we'll be back, but I just want to congratulate the other candidates. There's nothing easy about running for president, I can tell you. It's tough, it's nasty, it's mean, it's vicious, it's beautiful.

When you win, it's beautiful. And we're going to start -- we are going to start winning for our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: It was a nice little gesture, Amanda, from Donald Trump to Cruz and Rubio, right? We'll go back to that tomorrow, but tonight, he congratulated them for coming in second and third place.

CARPENTER: Yeah, that was nice. And it does look like it is becoming more of a three-person race. And, you know, as someone who -- I've expressed my concerns about Donald Trump. But, as someone, is looking for a new generation of conservative leadership to come into the fray, certainly, the prospect of Trump, Rubio, Cruz, I mean, this is really momentous.

Seeing Jeb Bush drop out of the race, the guy that had everything, all the resources, all the high expectations at the beginning of it. We are stepping into a totally new world. We don't know what it will look like right now. That'll be another contest that will continue. But this is a new era for Republicans. We'll see where it goes.

BLITZER: And Jeffrey, what do you ...

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Interesting, in terms of Jeb Bush and his Super PAC. And you have Bernie Sanders over there saying Super PACs are the issue. And this Super PAC spent a bundle on Jeb Bush, and he's out tonight.

The other thing I'd like to say is, at least as I'm understanding these figures, folks in the military, veterans voted for Donald Trump in strength in South Carolina. And for somebody, his opponents tried to tag him as not being good to veterans, veterans responded to him, and I think that's a good thing.

AXELROD: Can I ask you guys a question? Wolf, can I ask a question?

BLITZER: Yeah, of course.

AXELROD: One thing that struck me in this data is that a majority of voters in South Carolina in this Republican primary said they favored a legal path for ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.

AXELROD: ... undocumented workers who are here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So in New Hampshire.

AXELROD: So, the question is, what is this hard-edged position that Trump has taken? How's that likely to play in a general election when he has to turn to a broader electorate, if even the hard-core Republican believes that there should be a path to citizenship? CARPENTER: I would say, the question has always been, and this has

largely been Marco Rubio's problem, is that they've tied the legal status to a border security solution. I mean, I think there's probably more agreement that if they can convince voters that the border will be secure, they'll take care of visa overstays and all those other things, you could have a conversation about that.

But that's the reason we haven't gotten to have that conversation, because those things that people want more than a legal path haven't come first.

BORGER: So Rubio won with those voters ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he did.

BORGER: ... by the way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

BORGER: Who want illegal immigrants working being offered a pathway ...

AXELROD: But we know what the Trump position is ...

BORGER: Right, Trump is on the other side.

AXELROD: The Trump position is we're going to deport them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, right.

[22:30:01] AXELROD: This was rejected even as he won the primary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.

MIKE ROGERS, CNN NATIONNAL SECURITY COMMENTATOR: Yes, but here is where I think that they connected with it. Most of those voters who say even if they wanted a legal pathway for citizenship, want security first on the border.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly.

ROGERS: We have seen this for the last five or six years. So, what those voters, I think, identified with is he's basically saying we are going to secure the border. Everybody in Senate, matter fact for President Obama talked about it early in his first term. Now George W. Bush talked about it, and they never quite had success securing the border. And I think they're attracted and believe he is the candidate that will secure the border. And I argue America isn't going to have a conversation about what happens to those undocumented workers until you secure the border.

BORGER: By the way, 74 percent also supported a temporary ban on Muslims.

BROWNSTEIN: Again, at the New Hampshire.

BORGER: At the New Hampshire.

BROWNSTEIN: Right.

BORGER: Exactly.

BROWNSTEIN: Same pattern, Muslim ban, majority support, deportation is not majority support.

BLITZER: The question on undocumented workers speak about legal status ...

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, legal status ...

BORGER: Yes ...

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Legal status is different than a pathway ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, right

BORGER: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly.

BORGER: Right and legal status, the majority wanted to offer legal status.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Van, you wanted to weigh in.

JONES: Well, I just -- I wanted to actually go back to your original point, the importance of today for the Republican Party. Today is also an important day for the Democratic Party. There's a rebellion in both parties. There's an insurgency in both parties. In the Democratic Party, I think that Hillary Clinton was able to blunt the rebellion. She was able to begin to show a pathway for her to be victorious and force Bernie Sanders to think about, how is he going to be able to relate to African-American voters?

So, the rebellion in our party, I think you can begin to see a plateau. The rebellion, the insurgency, the outsiders have won across the board. If you put Cruz plus Trump together in every one of these races, you have a majority race, super majority. So, I think that you're seeing a transformation of both parties, this one to today is an important day for Democrats and Republicans.

BLITZER: Mike Rogers, do you agree with that?

ROGERS: Yeah, certainly. I think it's important for Republicans for a couple of reasons. One, if you look at the slate of candidates, it's giving minorities across the country permission to vote for Republicans. We've been working for this for a very long time. And that economic message, the message ...

JONES: Can we go commercial? ROGERS: No, no, no, no this is good. This is good. You should be worried about this, Van. And you know what, we're going to welcome you in the Republican Party, we really are. And I'll pay your first- year dues. So it's going to be great. You'll love it.

But what you see happening is a shift, it's a fundamental shift, because people do think that congress is broken. And so, even when you see the numbers on Hillary Clinton, it's a lot of these same old same old. They've heard this promise before. I've been told this before. And when you see this kind of unique slate of Republican candidates, what we're finding is, Trump is attracting minorities. We can -- everybody says this is about angry, white men. If you look at ...

(CROSSTALK)

HENDERSON: There is certainly no proof of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. We could name them.

ROGERS: Yes.

HENDERSON: Yes. I mean.

(CROSSTALK)

ROGER: Yeah, because of the primary, but I'm telling you just what Van has picked up on. The reason that he's worried about them in a general is because his message will resonate, and I think other Republicans ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've heard that before.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we've heard that, yes.

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: With some labor leaders have said that, although it is -- if this doesn't necessarily mean a whole, but the data suggest there isn't anyone who's more unpopular among Democrats among these candidates than Donald Trump.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And independents. And independents ...

(CROSSTALK)

ROGERS: We're saying it with union members I'm from Michigan. When you talk to senior union leaders, they're telling you that minorities are telling them, I think I'm for Trump.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: I'm afraid some data may actually coming before -- actually let me just add to the anecdotes and you can chew that down with some data. I'm starting to hear that as well. I'm surprised to hear that there are people of color who are more open. And when you say well what about these horribly offensive things that he said? They will give him this weird pass. Well, he's saying that now but I don't think he really believes it. He's saying that now if he was President who might be different. So I do think we need to be a little bit less dismissive of the idea that Trump could pull some voters that you don't expect him to get.

BROWNSTEIN: And historically, there's been concern in the African- American community about economic competition from immigrants. I mean that has shown up in polling over the years and again, in polling we've done this spring. But I want to go back to your other point because I think you are seeing a shift in the change, in the balance of power in both parties in this election.

JONES: Yes.

BROWNSTEIN: I mean, you're seeing on the Republican side, they've relied on blue-collar whites for about half of their vote in every election since 1996 but they've never really produced a candidate powered predominantly by the support of those voters. McCain and Romney were much more white-collar creations. And I think on the Democratic side, you really are seeing the millennial generation come into its own.

In this election, they will equal, baby boomers as a share of eligible voters for the first time and they are powering the Sanders campaign even more than they powered Obama. By the way, non-whites under 30 in Nevada today, he won two-thirds of those voters.

[22:34:59] So I mean, his advantage, much as Trump's advantage in the blue-collar's extending into evangelical, Sanders advantage among young people is crossing the kind of a racial and ethnic boundary.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Hold on a second but David Axelrod, having said all that about Bernie Sanders, he came in second with the Nevada caucuses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.

BLITZER: But Donald Trump may have been the big winner on the republican side, but Hillary Clinton, she won in Nevada.

AXELROD: Well, there's no question about it. I mean, I think this was a big win for her. We discussed this earlier. Because there was some real doubt as to whether she was going to win and she pushed back hard. She campaigned hard at the end. And she did the things that she -- some of the things she hadn't done in 2008 in terms of campaigning in places she hadn't campaigned. Now, she showed some real strength here. And the question about the Sanders' candidacy is can it broadened out? And I think that that question remains tonight.

BLITZER: Next Saturday is the Democratic primary in South Carolina. She's going to do well there too, presumably.

BORGER: Right, presumably, she will I might ...

BLITZER: More than half of the vote, to Democratic vote there is African-American.

BORGER: Right and well, and my big question coming out of all of this evening is whether given the fact that both Democratic candidates have moved to the left and given the appeal of Donald Trump. The question is whether you're going to see a rebirth of the Reagan Democrats ...

AXELROD: Yeah, right.

BORGER: ... or the Republicans, because you can see that sort of in the works.

AXELROD: You will.

BORGER: As we look at all these nominees.

BLITZER: Let me look at a clip or actually, we'll take a quick break. When we come back, we'll hear a little bit of Hillary Clinton in her rather emotional victory speech tonight. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Two presidential contests tonight, two big winners, Donald Trump the big winner in South Carolina, Hillary Clinton the big winner in Nevada. She spoke emotionally after her win.

(BEGIN VEDIO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Americans are right to be angry but we're also hungry for real solutions.

[22:39:58] In the campaign, we've heard a lot about Washington and Wall Street, we all want to get secret, an accountable money out of politics that starts with appointing a new justice to the Supreme Court who will protect the right of every citizens who vote, not every corporation to buy elections.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Bernie Sanders may have come in second, but he reminded his supporters where he was in the polls only a few months ago.

(BEGIN VEDIO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We began in Iowa. We were 50 points behind. When we began in New Hampshire, we were 30 points behind. And we were way behind here in Nevada. But what I think is happening is that as people hear our message -- and it's a tough message because it speaks to the truth of an American society today that a lot of people just don't want to address.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Ron Brownstein, the next big Democratic contest is next Saturday in South Carolina primary. Iowa causes doing well there?

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, absolutely when you'll see for a further see the biggest participation by African Americans where she won about three- quarters of them tonight in Nevada as well. There was one bit of I think very good news for Bernie Sanders tonight, which is, as I said before, his advantage among younger voters extended into the minority community, always according to the exit poll. There is some question whether his Latino support was as strong as the exit poll said based on the actual voting. But he still -- I think he has two big problems that come out of here. One, is that Hillary Clinton's advantage among older minority voters tonight was even bigger than her advantage among older white voters was in Iowa and New Hampshire, and that is definitely an issue moving forward.

The other is he's still not winning Democrats in most places. He didn't won a majority of Democrats in New Hampshire, but tonight he only won 40 percent of Democrats, based on the same number as Iowa. And as John McCain learned in 2000, ultimately, you have to get people in the party whose nomination you want to vote for you because you're going to be the nominee.

BLITZER: But to me, he does really well with young people ....

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

BLITZER: Although the young people don't vote as big a percentage as older people.

HENDERSON: That's right which is a problem. It will be a problem in South Carolina. He's also isn't changing the electorate as much as Obama did in 2008 not bringing in enough new voters. I think it was something like 80,000 voters ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As opposed to 120,000 in 2008.

HENDERSON: Yes, it supposed to that in 120,000. So that's something. I think tonight we also saw a significant shift in terms of Hillary Clinton.

AXELROD: Yes.

HENDERSON: She is often the narrator of the Hillary Clinton experience in some of these speeches she gives. Tonight she was the narrator of the Democratic coalition's experience. She immediately pivoted from sort of beating up on Wall Street to voting rights. She said, we, we, we, a lot more in this speech than she has before so I think that's critical to what her message will be moving forward. AXELROD: And very few barbs aimed at Bernie Sanders, that sort of edgy, kind of attack language was not there tonight. And she -- this was a good night for her ...

(CROSSTALK)

AXELROD: ... by her performance.

BLITZER: Did you say barbs or barks?

AXELROD: Barbs.

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: She sounded to me tonight much more like a general election candidate. I mean, I think she really pivoted away from Bernie Sanders, as you were saying, didn't attack Wall Street as frontally as she has. And you know, I think it was her way of saying, OK, I'm going to get another one under my belt next week, and then I'm moving on from this. And so ...

BLITZER: And there was a nice gesture when Bernie Sanders actually called Hillary Clinton to congratulate her to concede. I don't know if that happened on the Republican side ...

AXELROD: He did call ...

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Let's go quickly to John King, he's over the magic wall. He's getting more information over there, John?

KING: So Wolf, let's look at today's races and try to project what we learn today as we go forward and let's start with the Democrats. First, just the score, Hillary Clinton wins narrowly in Iowa. Bernie Sanders wins big in New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton wins in Nevada by a decent margin. If you look at the map, you think it's pretty evenly divided, right? The dark blue is Secretary Clinton, the light blue is Senator Sanders but more than seven in 10 Nevada live in poor economy. Las Vegas and the suburbs predominantly she wins by 10 points there just as she did in 2008 took care of the state of Nevada.

Now, let's move on to the Republican race, they come to Nevada next. They were in South Carolina tonight. The map speaks for itself. The dark red is Donald Trump. The lighter red is Marco Rubio. He wins two counties. Donald Trump sweeps the state, dumping Ted Cruz up here in the evangelical heartland of the state, winning here in most of the areas where Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich won. Rubio getting a little bit and looks like this will hold by a narrow marginal, just looking at the two counties with outstanding votes. Ted Cruz about 1000 votes away there are -- about 1000 votes away there. But it looks like that will hold for Marco Rubio, who will get the more victory of that.

So what's happens next? Now let's stay with the Republicans. One of the reasons this has to be disappointing to Ted Cruz is that this is a state, the deeper the area, the higher percentage of evangelicals. [22:44:58] If you bring out the map, Super Tuesday, which comes after Nevada for the Republicans, they go to Nevada. Then, March 1st is Super Tuesday. Not all of Super Tuesday but most of Super Tuesday is fought out down here. If you look at this evangelical vote, this is what Ted Cruz thought would be his wheelhouse and he wanted more momentum than a third-place South Carolina finish to get into here.

The question for Ted Cruz is can he regroup in a place where you have a high percentage of evangelicals and also a lot of Tea Party voters, a big challenge for the Cruz campaign going forward. I want to leave up the same map up a switch.

The Democrats now come to South Carolina., the deeper the color, the higher the percentage of African-Americans. Hillary Clinton did very well with African-Americans in Nevada tonight. She's going to come into South Carolina where you have a high percentage. Let me just take this up a little bit. High percentage of African Americans, will without a doubt be the majority of the Democratic electorate in South Carolina.

BLITZER: That's next Saturday.

KING: Next Saturday. And they will be a majority or plurality in many of the Super Tuesday states together. There are a couple Super Tuesday States North of this but in most of the Super Tuesday States down here, you just look. You have a huge percentage of African- Americans. So, some people will question the margin of the Clinton win today, but she's now moving into what should be more favorable territory. And so, opportunity for Hillary Clinton, once South Carolina and then beyond, and questions for the Republicans as they move into that map as well, Wolf, where you have more states on the calendar every Tuesday, bigger challenge, but also bigger opportunity.

BLITZER: But both of these remaining two democratic presidential candidates. They are well funded and they have strong organizations right now, presumably suggesting this contest could go on well after Super Tuesday.

KING: It could. Let me give you an example of that. If you come back to the race to the nomination chart here on the delegates now we're talking about, we've given this is a projection, a hypothetical that gives Hillary Clinton South Carolina. This is based on 55/45 going forward. As you look if you go through just to Super Tuesday, if Hillary Clinton won them all but only by 55/45, Senator Sanders stays in play, and he's got a lot of money. He raised a lot of money after New Hampshire but his campaign is trying to raise more tonight. There is no question, the Sanders campaign, at least through Super Tuesday, and they say beyond, is staying in, which means we've got a lot of fun.

BLITZER: This could go on and on and on. And remember, eight years ago it went on until June before Hillary Clinton conceded to then Senator Barack Obama. Let me go back to Dana, David Chalian and Mark Preston, who are also picking crunching some of this numbers this inside numbers. Dana, it's really fascinating how well they did. But Marco Rubio right now, if he comes in second place in South Carolina, that's going to be nice for him because he could have come in third or maybe fourth. But after that setback in New Hampshire, he's done relatively well.

BASH: He has done relatively well, but he hasn't won. He hasn't won in Iowa. He hasn't won in New Hampshire. And he hasn't won in South Carolina, which was the place that his campaign aides really thought was his best bet for lots of reasons. So, the question moving forward, even a Rubio adviser said to me a couple days ago, admitted to me, the question tonight would be for them from their donors, where are you going to win? I just texted another top Rubio aide asking that very question, and I said, where are you going to win next? And the answer was, "Oh, well, the place we get most votes.", which is sort of a clever way of not answering my question. So, what do you guys think?

CHALIAN: I don't know where they're going to win next. First let's look at where they're going next. Getting on a plane tonight to Tennessee, then going to Arkansas, all before they go to Nevada. And so, Nevada's Tuesday, but as you know, Tennessee and Arkansas are two of the states on March 1st. So, Marco Rubio going there first, and then you know, I look at this list of states on March 1st. If Marco Rubio really does, now that Jeb Bush is out of the race, consolidate the establishment lane support, you have to remember, in many of these states, establishment, Republicans will make up a big chunk of the electorate. And so, he's going to be able to play in ...

BASH: In Massachusetts, Minnesota.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: ... is going to be potentially get some of that establishment vote as well.

CHALIAN: He is, indeed. That the Rubio-Kasich face-off now that we're going to see, I'm sure we'll see it on our debate stage in Houston, is going to be a key race to watch in that way.

PRESTON: I also think that once we look past Super Tuesday, past the first, is that we're going to head into March 15th, and we're going to head into Rubio country in many ways in Florida. Jeb Bush is out of the race now. He's gone. Question is what is Donald Trump's lay to claim in Florida? He seriously has done a good job of connecting to a very angry electorate, and I'm sure there are very many angry people in Florida right now whose economy has been racked as well. And as somebody said to me tonight, it's not the employment number, it's the underemployment number that is really the big problem. Now, Donald Trump's second home is down in South Florida. But Marco Rubio went in Florida.

BASH: And he employs a lot of people in Florida.

PRESTON: And he employs, he does simply, he will tell you that many times over.

CHALIAN: And some of his largest rallies that he's had just campaign ... (CROSSTALK)

PRESTON: But if Marco Rubio can win Florida on the 15th, new game. Just like John Kasich. If he can win Ohio, it would be an interesting game.

[22:49:57] BLITZER: Yeah. A lot of people from the North, the Midwest, they've moved on to Florida. They may be open to Donald Trump as well. As we point out, he has a second home in Palm Beach, a modest place called Mar-a-Lago (ph). That's Donald Trump. All right, let's go back to you, Jake.

TAPPER: Thanks, Wolf. You know, we had -- the Republicans had record, a turnouts in Iowa. They had record turnout in the New Hampshire primary. And just a few minutes ago, we learned from a state election commissioner in South Carolina that there was record turnout for the South Carolina Republican Primary, more than 700,000 ballots cast. And Van Jones, this is kind of a canary in a coal mine for democrats, because the Republican turnout has been huge and the Democratic turnout has not.

JONES: Yeah. That's true. And there are two ways to look at it. If you want to ...

TAPPER: Give us the honest way to look at it.

JONES: OK. If you want to sleep well tonight and you're a Democrat, you say it's because they have many, many candidates, and so, many, many candidates are going to give you many, many more people, dragging people out.

TAPPER: OK, you did your due diligence as a democrat.

JONES: Yes, yes. Now, what's actual effect?

TAPPER: He's terrified.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: We're terrified! Because it looks like the hunger on the part of republicans to get that White House back, to get it away from the Obamas, get it away from Clintons, is very, very palpable. And yet, on the other side, as much as there is this Sanders surge, as much as there is this Clinton machine, it just does not seem to be that same level of passion.

BLITZER: The passion vote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not yet.

LORD: Not yet. I keep talking about this, passion vote. When you talk to these Trump people, they are passionate. I'll give you an example. When I came home from CNN the other day, at my doorstep in Pennsylvania, it was a young woman with a petition to sign to put her brother on the ballot for Donald Trump. It was 19 degrees out there. They were going door to door. They didn't know who I was. They were canvassing the neighborhood, and there they were all revved up to go at 19 degrees. I mean, that's passion, and that's what we're seeing.

AXELROD: In Chicago, we'd call that balmy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, yeah.

AXELROD: But I think Trump, look, there's no doubt that he has infused some energy all by himself in this process, and he is bringing new voters into this Republican process.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I think Hillary ...

BROWNSTEIN: But there is a solution to the problem. Trump is both, you know, sort of the cause and the effect, because it's clear that there's not going to be the positive energy on the Democratic side that there was in 2008. I mean, that is a clear message. If there is an opportunity for big Democratic turnout, it's going to be that as popular as Trump is among Republican constituencies; he is equally unpopular among the core Democratic if that he is and then coming out, yeah.

BORGER: Two more polarizing candidates ...

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah, that would be it ...

BORGER: ... then Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump. Each would motivate their base, right.?

BROWNSTEIN: The other base.

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: And the other base, I mean.

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah, right.

BORGER: And you might have, look at it this way, you might have great turnout.

BROWNSTEIN: You would.

TAPPER: And also by the way, two of the most, you know, two years ago, two of the most famous Americans in the world, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

BORGER: Right.

TAPPER: Who right now are on track to be the nominees of their ....

AXELROD: And a couple of New Yorkers, which is what America wants.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They love New Yorkers.

(CROSSTALK)

BROWNSTEIN: The last time two New Yorkers (inaudible) against -- Dewy and Roosevelt?

AXELROD: 1940. Well, Dewy-Roosevelt?

BROWNSTEIN: 1904, also.

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: Supreme Court

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he wins.

JONES: I want to say one thing about Hillary Clinton, because I've been strong sticking out for the Bernie Sanders crew, and I think it's important. I was impressed and really moved by her today because she seems to be listening. She seems to be learning. It was a very different speech tonight. She was about the "we." Now she had this phrase about, imagine a tomorrow. Like, at the end of the speech, is going to pair ratio imagine a tomorrow where. And you could see that she is listening, that this is a party that needs to be inspired. Fine, we can be impressed by a good resume, but we need to be inspired. So, I want to say, tonight I think that Hillary Clinton and the Hillary Clinton you saw tonight, the Hillary Clinton I think that can win a general election but also can win over this party.

CARPENTER: Yeah I think Van is right, Hillary Clinton has learned from Bernie Sanders. And I do think one of the lessons from South Carolina is that both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz do need to learn a little bit from Donald Trump.

I think there's a reason Donald Trump congratulated both Cruz and Rubio, because he's going to turn both of them into Washington. Think about a three-person race. It's going to be Donald Trump against two senators. Those two senators need to stop talking like senators, got to drop this vague talk about the new 21st century, got to stop lawyerly arguing your case like you're going to be a Supreme Court Justice. They have to talk they are talking like a real person and pocketbook (ph) issues to take on Donald Trump.

TAPPER: Because it is true when Van Jones, after the Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire speech, we did a count of what the pronouns were we and us versus me and I. And Bernie and Hillary have the exact opposite result, 2-1.

And tonight, we haven't done the pronoun count, but she did sound -- they seem to be sounding a lot of we and us.

JONES: And I think it's very, very important, because when you have young people who want to be a part of something -- and young people around the world want to be a part of stuff.

[22:55:01] If you say, "Look, I'm the smart person. I can fix it for you." that's deflating. If you say I need you, we can do this together. That yes, we can. I think that work a little bit.

AXELROD: Yes. What's interesting, though, is Trump has the opposite appeal. He's saying, "Yes, I can." Let me take care of it." JONES: It's interesting.

AXELROD: "I'll deal with it."

TAPPER: But its interesting Amanda said that, Ron, because she's saying that Cruz and Rubio need to take some lessons from Donald Trump as somebody who's been studying the appeal or surface of appeal in some cases of these two. What would you advise Cruz and Rubio?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, first of all, they've already moved toward him on policy, on trade and on immigration. They've each ended up much closer to him than where they wanted to started. And both, you know, it was striking. I remembered in 1996 when Bob Dole went to South Carolina immediately after Pat Buchanan won New Hampshire, he went to the BMW plant outside of Greenville to make the case for free trade. Even with Nikki Haley there, no one did that this week, so they're not differentiating that way.

Look, I think that ultimately, Donald Trump is strong, he is showing strength in all corners of the party but there are two areas that have been less attractive. One or evangelicals but the other one that's bigger are the white-collar, center-right, college-educated Republicans who had 25 roughly 25 percent among them tonight. Unless, someone can consolidate a big chunk of those voters against them and they are the voters who powered Romney and McCain, this is going to be -- the numbers just don't add up.

PRESTON: One big problem Hillary Clinton is going to have -- we've got it written off, she won in Nevada, a good speech, she is now the President of the United States. There's a big gap in there.

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah.

PRESTON: And one of that is ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think we did that.

(CROSSTALK)

PRESTON: Certainly not on the demand.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: If you're listening to Van ...

(CROSSTALK)

PRESTON: But the biggest problem she has is honest and trustworthy. That translates into a general election. She is going to have to fix that problem and it's really hard to do because it's so baked in. It's really baked in.

AXELROD: She's got to dig very, very badly on that man measure.

BORGER: Can I get back to your question about Cruz and Rubio, which is the more they fight each other, the smaller they become and the larger Trump becomes?

TAPPER: We're going to take a very quick break. When we come back, more on election coverage. Stay with CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)