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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Trump Wins Nebraska, West Virginia GOP Primaries; Sanders Wins West Virginia Dem Primary; Standing By For Standers After West Virginia Win; Adviser: Trump Expects Positive Meeting With Ryan. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired May 10, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:02] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: If you are just joining us this is a special edition of AC360 on this primary night in West Virginia and Nebraska. Let's go to Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thanks very much Anderson. At Nebraska, the polls are closing right now in Nebraska and no surprise Donald Trump we can now project is the winner in the Nebraska Republican presidential primary. Donald Trump will get all of the 36 delegates in Nebraska. It's winner take all in Nebraska. He's moving closer and closer to making it official, getting that 1,237 delegates he needs. He's the presumed nominee and it made a little bit closer right here in Nebraska. Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Wolf. Let's go to Sara Murray. She is with the Trump campaign in New York. Sara, no surprise, Mr. Trump running the table this evening. Still they are waiting for the moment when they clench and get the actual key number of delegates.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right, Jake and, you know, the Trump campaign and like many other Republican operatives were caught by surprise to see Ted Cruz and John Kasich both bow out of the race after Indiana and when they were doing their delegate math and sort of trying to figure out how to get to 1,237. Nebraska wasn't event really part of that for them. They expected Ted Cruz to stay in the race. They felt like Nebraska would be kind of a state that would be more amendable to Cruz and his supporters and they still felt like he could get to 1,237 without even winning Nebraska.
Obviously this puts them even further ahead. Now they also feel confident going into this remaining main in primary. Going into places like California, Oregon, some of these western states, but at this point it really it does seem like a matter of time before they hit 1,237 and, you know, you can kiss those dreams of a contested convention to by, Jake.
TAPPER: Exactly. Sara Murray, thanks so much, and we should point out that is the reason that Ted Cruz pulled out of the race a week ago is that he did the math and said I just can't stop him. He's going to reach that magic number of delegates, 1,237 before the convention, so it's no surprise that Donald Trump looks well on his way to achieving that. DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right and if you sort of rewind a week, maybe a week in a day, tonight was a night that we were expecting Ted Cruz to be in Nebraska, to be campaigning in Nebraska to -- from his perspective to get back in the game with Nebraska and the fact that he realized that he couldn't do it, that's what changed everything so rapidly for the Republican Party.
I found that's interesting that he went on his very good friend Glenn Beck's radio show today and talked about the fact that well maybe he could get back in if the people of Nebraska would give him a reason to.
So, you know, I can't even imagine what it's like to give it your all the way he did and then have to just stop it so abruptly but the fact that he sort of had that teaser out there that was interesting.
TAPPER: Interesting. Wolf Blitzer, back to you.
BLITZER: All right let's get another Key Race alert. Jake, right now in West Virginia the Democratic presidential primary Bernie Sanders building up a lead, 49.3 percent over Hillary Clinton's, 40.6 percent about a quarter of the vote has now been counted, 24 percent of the vote is in. He's up by 4,500 votes over Hillary Clinton. Now that's still lots of vote out there for Bernie Sanders, earlier he was behind, but now his lead is growing, and once again we see 24 percent of the vote is in. He's got 49.3 percent to Hillary Clinton's 40.6 percent.
That's a nice lead for Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in West Virginia Democratic presidential primary. Let's take a close look at what's going on in West Virginia right now John King is over at the magic wall. 24 percent of the vote is in. That's a significant number.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPOONDNET: And not just the number Wolf, where a 10 percent we couldn't quite sure what to make of it and you get to 24 percent you're starting to see a pattern develop in this smaller role counties. Is now a lot of vote's out here but Bernie Sanders winning them and winning by healthy margin. Bernie Sanders this one's a little bit closer.
This one Bernie Sanders winning by a pretty healthy margin, 83 percent of vote and you add that up, you do see a pattern starting to develop with Sanders winning and in some cases winning quite conformably in some of these rural counties.
You come down here to Hillary Clinton still winning in the Charleston area here by pretty good margin. But only 16 percent of the vote, we see if that one holds up then you come further to south here and see more for Sanders
So it's a pretty consistent that Hillary Clinton has this one area here in the state, otherwise it seems to be filling in largely for Bernie Sanders and as, you know, and since we've been above 15 to 18 percent it's pretty much held right in this ballpark I give her take so as we wait we come more votes but at 25 percent if you're inside the Sanders campaign, and you think you're going to get the victory that you wanted and needed.
The question though then becomes, remember Democratic rules proportional to delegates, Bernie Sanders will only pick up a handful of delegates. If this is the margin of the end something like this. His net gain of delegates, this 29 at stake, his net gain will be, you know, it come on one hand maybe five or six.
BLITZER: Right, will walk us through between now in California June 7th. He's going to do incredibly amazing in order to beat her mathematically. She's got such an advantage already.
KING: Coming into tonight where she has a 301 lead in pledged delegates. The math is he has to win 66 percent of the remaining pledged delegates to catch her, to beat her by one essentially, to have a tie at the end and pledge that.
[21:05:08] If he were to do something like that and come back, then you would have a conversation, some would say a panic in the Democratic party that the some of those superdelegates who are now Clinton's campaign would switch. But can that happen? I mean, if you play this out, let me just do this, if you're inside
the Clinton campaign, you're pretty convinced you're going to win New Jersey. You think you're going to win Kentucky. We'll see how that would goes. I'm going to leave it there for now.
You also in the Clinton campaign are counting on this. You've been leading consistently in the polls. However, Sanders is closed the gap recently. If it plays out like that, she gets the two biggest prices like, New Jersey and California, Sanders can't catch up.
So what Sanders needs to do is, let's switch it back this way over it this way. Sanders first need to win tonight then he needs to somehow change the math somewhere else and get a state like New Jersey. He needs to pick up Kentucky next week. Today is pretty reasonably to believe, you know, Sanders has done well out here in the west and Oregon as well where he is tonight.
If all that played out and Sanders ran the board, even if -- but this is the calculation. Even if he won 60/40 tonight, which doesn't look like at the moment he's at that margin, and then won 55/45 the rest of the way out, here's where we'd end. I just gave Senator Sanders everything left on the map with the exception of the District of Columbia. I guess we have to pull out and give him the District of Columbia as well.
If we came down here and did that and give that to Bernie Sanders as well, if we do that, even now we're to the end of the race. Even if he ran the board at 55/45, he trails in pledged delegates. That is the problem for Senator Sanders. He needs not only to win out, which again the Clinton campaign would say is most unlikely. But even if he did win out, wining out 55/45, again that would be a huge momentum shift in the race. That would cause a lot of panic in the Democratic Party if Bernie Sanders close by winning the next 11 contests.
But mathematically, if 55/45, even if that happened she would still be in the lead. Now, math and jitters are two different conversations. And again, the Clinton campaign insists that's not going to happen. They say they're going to get some wins in the final stretch here, but this just underscores the math challenge for Bernie Sanders. The very same rules that kept it relatively close so far, even if she has one a bunch of states.
If he were to win, especially these states out here have small of polls of delegates, New Jersey and California are the two big prizes left, by California by far the biggest prize. He's got to be winning these states, that if he needs 66 percent of the remaining delegates of the rules of proportion he's going to win these states with 66. You know, if he wins one with 55 then he going to win the next one with 70. And that's the math for Senator Sanders and his supporters, you know, amen, he's winning, but it's tough.
BLITZER: But his supporters say that if he were to do that and maybe he could convince some super delegates to change their minds and move in his direction, especially if they think he would have a better chance at beating Donald Trump then she will.
KING: And here is the map tonight and again Sander supporters, you're right, these people can all change their minds, but this is pretty overwhelming. 516 super delegates elected Democrats, appointed Democrats who get votes at the convention, 516 for Secretary Clinton and 41 for Senator Sanders, 155 still TBD out there. This math is pretty overwhelming.
Every one of these people can change their mind. That's absolutely right. At the moment there's no evidence they're prepared to. Senator Sanders would have to fill in the map like this with some pretty convincing margins then we'd see if these people get the jitters.
BLITZER: As he himself acknowledges, he has a very, very tough road ahead. All right, Anderson over to you.
COOPER: We've been take a looking at these Quinnipiac polls showing tight races in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Jeffrey and do you think between Hillary Clinton assume she's the nominee and Donald Trump, do you think Democrats are underestimating the strength of Trump?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely they do. I mean, I have felt from the get-go there is in Pennsylvania that he stood a very good chance of winning Pennsylvania. We've been running these moderate Republican establishment Republicans since Ronald Reagan and it's been a quarter of a century since we've won the state. So, yeah, absolutely and this poll that's come out today I think verifies that.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah. I think that poll sent shock waves and shivers through a lot. A lot of people have been saying ...
COOPER: It echoes what you've been saying for a while.
JONES: I've been screaming this over and over and over again. I call him Trumpzilla. And, you know, they're trying to point out that he has a pathway in the rust belt. Even if he loses the Sun Belt, you know, is Florida and Colorado and Nevada, you know, the Latino's quite to keep that away from him, he still has that rust belt opportunity. And you just saw that now in the polling data. And I think that really seriously the fact that he can in the same sentence be on the left and the right of any issue makes him dangerous on trade.
SARAH ELIZABETH CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And what's remarkable is that for decade's Republicans have been looking for a candidate like this who harnessed this kind of excitement and enthusiasm and energy instead of kind of foisting candidates upon the base and begging the base to come around. Well they finally found the candidate for whom there is all of this excitement and enthusiasm. They done at that at the expense of the party, that decent of the party, but they're not having to convince people to get on the Trump train. They're having to convince the party to accept him.
[21:10:03] COOPER: Before you expand, I just want to -- and John is at the magic wall. Let's go back to him, just take a look at some of these battle ground states. John?
BLITZER: You know, its interesting Anderson that if you take a look at the general election, what is shaping up John. You've been doing some configuration over here and it's fascinating.
KING: Also here let's just start with the Obama/Romney map. Because if you're the Clinton campaign this is what you're looking at, if you're the Trump campaign this is what you're looking at. And if you're in the Clinton campaign you essentially think you have the high ground if you will.
Meaning in the last two presidential elections President Obama has won every one of these blue states in the 2008, he also won Indiana and North Carolina. So if look Clinton campaign your goal is to play defense. Protect this and you win, if you're in Trump campaign as he has said repeatedly you going to change and Mr. Trump thinks his best success is up here.
So, we're just talking about the new Quinnipiac polls. If you look at the Quinnipiac polls they do tell you national polls tend to show a significant Clinton lead. We elect presidents state by state. Electoral College that's a dead hit in Florida, that's a dead hit Trump advantage slide advantage in Ohio. This is a dead hit in Pennsylvania and you have to say wow for Mr. Trump because it's been so long since Pennsylvania went Republican in presidential politics.
So if you're Donald Trump and you're looking at this, you think what you've been saying all along is correct, that you can come into the race and like Ronald Reagan did create say Trump Democrats in the State of Michigan, create Trump Democrats in the State of Pennsylvania, be a traditional Republican successful at the presidential level and get Ohio and then if he can win in Florida which he says is his second home sate under that scenario, Donald Trump if nothing else change is the next president of the United States.
Now, those are four very big states. That is a huge lift in presidential politics. So I'm not saying it's easy. Of course it isn't. Traditionally Democratic state, Traditionally Democratic state, classic wing state, classics wing state. And the Democrats have done won all four of them in the last two presidential elections. And, so in this one for a lot longer Michigan and Pennsylvania.
So, I'm not saying it's easy. I'm saying if you're the Trump campaign, you're looking up here first. You want to get, you need Ohio and you want to get Michigan, Pennsylvania you going to look at Wisconsin and Minnesota. Democrats in those states say you're crazy to think about it, but they're going to look across here first and if he can do this, it's a giant if, but if he can do this, win Pennsylvania and win Ohio even and get two here and then the map does change and get more competitive. So at this point in the race Hillary Clinton has a demographic advantage with women with non white voters without a question.
Donald Trump has an advantage with men and even though national polls show significant Clinton edge and it's May -- it's May there's a long way to November, but since we have a presumptive Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton's math is moving forward you do start these conversations.
So it's silly to think anything we know in May is going to apply in November, but inside the campaigns this is what they are doing. Where do we need to spend our money? Where does Paul Begala Super PAC, you need to go after Donald Trump now.
The Clinton campaign realizes the Republicans made a mistake. They didn't take them seriously. They let him do the brand, they let him do the branding so the Democrats want to do the branding. You watch when the Super PAC spending starts against Donald Trump, it's going to start in his ground states up here and down here because Hillary Clinton what she wants to do is play defense. Just keep what you got and you win.
BLITZER: Yeah. You see almost six months to go, but every one of these months is going to be very, very critical in this race for the White House. And these battle ground states are the most, most important right now. Let's go back to Jake and Dana. This is -- there's going to be a lively contest I think it's fair to say Jake.
TAPPER: It will be, will be without question. And one of the things that we talked a lot about the primaries but haven't really talked about since is how much Donald Trump really didn't rely on the methods of getting data and doing models of voters that previous successful campaign have used the Obama campaign, Ted Cruz's campaign talked a lot about how they had this absolutely new revolutionary way of looking at data and maybe it did help, maybe it did carry him fairly far, but ultimately Donald Trump did not. He in fact one time asked why anybody, why any campaign would do polling because the likes of CNN and the other networks they all do polling, why would a campaign do polling, it's out there for free.
But Dana you have some new reporting suggesting maybe -- maybe that tactic is going to shift. BASH: That's right, John was just talking about 270. You know, we've been spending the past six months talking about 1,237 for Republicans, well now it's 270 is the big number because that's the number electoral votes needed of course to be president.
What is happening right now in the Trump campaign in collaboration with the Republican National Committee, the RNC is they're working on the beginnings of laying out a path to 270. I'm told that they're in the process right now of doing voter modeling across the board in key states because as John was just noting a Trump voter is presumably quite different from Republican candidates and who they have been able to appeal to in recent history.
[21:15:01] TAPPER: They might be voters that haven't voted in a few elections.
TAPPER: I think that's one of the Corey Lewandowski who is the Trump Campaign Manager also from New Hampshire, one of the ways that they won New Hampshire is he knows that state very well ...
TAPPER: ... and they won after voters that hadn't voted in a long time.
BASH: That's right. But, you know, what, they certainly did use some data and some basics of campaigning, but for the most part they went with their gut.
BASH: And, you know, that works to a certain extent but they realized inside the Trump campaign that that's not going to work in a general election. And source actually said to me that we need to figure out data wise what's real and what isn't.
What we can actually do in states that are currently blue or have been blue like Pennsylvania, like Wisconsin, like Minnesota and what really can't be done based on the kind of voter Donald Trump attracts. So that is going on as we speak looking forward and the fact that they are beginning to collaborate with the RNC and try to -- and use their, you know, their mechanisms in a way that Donald Trump has never done before is just fascinating.
TAPPER: And another thing that will be interesting Dana is how he tries to appeal to these voters because generally speaking he has not done a lot of television advertising compared to especially the anti- Trump forces ...
BASH: Oh of course.
TAPPER: ... is but also the candidates he ran against. He prefers to use the force of his personality Anderson in these huge arenas. Will he be able to reach 270 electoral votes using that strategy that worked so well for him during the primaries and caucuses?
COOPER: And of course sitting down for interviews which a lot of these other candidates haven't traditionally done as much, Hillary Clinton doing it more than she has in recent times, but still not nearly as much as Donald Trump is. We're going to continue to talk about these Quinnipiac polls, Paul I know you want to get that on data. I mean do you fear Democrats are underestimating the battle ahead?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I do. I certainly do not underestimate him. I take this very, very seriously. This guy -- this what 320 million Americans, only two are likely to become your president and one of them is Donald Trump.
So you look at this data in the heart of Trump's appeal is white people with only a high school education not college whites when you poll.
Well, when Ronald Reagan was running, 65 percent of the voters were non-college white people. Now it's 33. Still a lot of Americans, but it's half the power. So if Trump was running in Reagan's America this would be a landslide. He will win overwhelmingly like he's not.
So what he's running in is that the vestiges where, it is what I do for living, I looked at the states that meet or exceed that 33 percent average. What states have higher than 33 percent non-college whites and it's exactly the states that King was shown us except for Florida which is so close everybody is going to contest it.
And it's right across the industrial Midwest. He has a path. Democrats have to got to unify and they've organize. And I will take this one. I will also note that the same poll four years ago had Barack Obama leading in Ohio by one point and Pennsylvania in one point, losing Florida in one point.
The same essential status as we're seeing today. Obama had -- President Obama had to fight hard to get reelected. It was not a lay- up. And Trump, Mr. Trump has the capacity to command free press in a way that Mitt Romney never did as these guys were pointing out. So this is going to be nail the hard race, but I do think we're going to be storming across the industrial Midwest and now he's got to swing states like Michigan was nine points for President Obama. He's got to overcome a nine point deficit in one cycle. It's hard to do but that's I think where he is in particular.
COOPER: But Van you also think he can appeal to groups which maybe the Democrats don't think he can, I mean even African-Americans.
JONES: Absolutely, I mean part of the thing is that a lot of Democrats -- you are not one of them, but a lot of Democrats expect demography to save us. That you just going to, you know, know African-Americans whatever vote for this guy because of the birtherism, no. And you look at the numbers 70 percent of African- Americans really don't like this guy which means 30 percent are open to his arguments. If 30 percent of his argument if he gets half of those, he can become President of the United States because that's, listen, if you get 15 percent of the black vote as a Republican, you could be president for nine terms.
CUPP: But not if you lose like 50 percent of women. Right?
JONES: If nothing else changes, you're right. That is if you freeze everything else. I just don't like this idea that the African- Americans and Latinos can sort of be taken for granted by Democrats.
COOPER: And what do you think he's ...
JONES: Can I his argument?
COOPER: ... what is the message that reaches?
JONES: With jobs, bling. Does the word bling mean anything to anybody here? Bling.
COOPER: You're not rich, I'm rich. I'm going to show you the world.
JONES: Exactly. I'm rich. You're poor. You've been poor for a long time, give me a chance.
JONES: And I think that has ...
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: And I mean in a dovetails is very nicely with sort of prosperity ministers which I mean are very big.
COOPER: And the number of the preachers who are actually backing Donald Trump are from that political party.
[21:20:04] HENDERSON: Sort of from that degree of the black church. I think particularly in Ohio, I mean that's a fascinating state to look at in terms of African-American voters. If you look at what George Bush was able to do in 2004, he only got about 11 percent of the black vote nationally, but in Ohio he got 16 percent of the black vote. So he was able to target African Americans. He did it there with the help of black ministers on the issue of same-sex marriage. Obviously a different theme going on this go-around, but I think in terms of trade that might be a way to do it.
KING: And that's one of the places where we talked about does it party unity matter or not. That's one of the places where it might because you do have an adult sophisticated Republican Party in Ohio that is competed for the African-American vote. They know they are going to loose but -- getting 16 percent versus getting 10 percent changes the world in the state like Ohio and you have state Republican Party out there that understands that that did not like Donald Trump in the primary its John Kasich's Republican Party. So, when you ask this question does unity matter, in some places maybe not, in some places on Election Day and a close race?
LORD: This is where ...
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It matters because the RNC is working with the Trump campaign to try and identify these voters who are potential Trump voters who may have been non- participants before.
BORGER: And if I always say, you know, this is immobilization election and not persuasion if its mobilization and you see get out the vote.
LORD: This is where Paul Ryan can play a role. Paul Ryan like myself work for Jack Kemp and he believes very strongly go in the black community and go in the Hispanic community and make your pitch and I am sure that that is one of the things that he's talking about. Now this is couched and sort of ...
COOPER: There is nowhere tonight, did you that Donald Trump has said he would ...
LORD: Donald Trump is now on record saying that he would like Paul Ryan to be the chairman of the convention.
JONES: Well, that's good. I mean the smart part I love what you're saying because it means there's going to be more competition of ideas.
JONES: But I do think that a Donald Trump presidency would be very, very,very bad for African-Americans and for other folks because he's all over the place and I don't think a trade is good for anybody, but I fundamentally think that what Paul Ryan has tried to do, as, you know, I used to be the -- I used to hate Paul Ryan. There are few people in American politics I actually say I hated.
CUPP: And then I would get emails from Van. I can talk to, can we talk to Paul Ryan about this? This on to something.
JONES: Yeah. Because, listen when he was going for vice president he said this horrible thing about makers and takers. Some Americans are makers and some are takers and that I thought disqualified him because he doesn't understand that you're done on your luck and you need help that you still in American you're wrong. But he apologized for that then he assist it's for Mr. Trump BEGALA: And then Mr. Trump tries to speak to African-American voters. They're going to ask him about the original sin of his political life which is birtherism and a lot of African-Americans and certainly this white guy thinks it was racist.
COOPER: We're going to take a break. We got a new information about Hillary Clinton's challenges in the weeks ahead. Stand by for that as you monitor the votes in West Virginia.
I'm still coming in a lot more, after the break.
[21:26:43] BLITZER: All right. Our major projection right now, Bernie Sanders is the winner in the West Virginia Democratic presidential primary. Senator Sanders is the winner. The polls closed in West Virginia nearly two hours ago. But, he is now the winner. Bernie Sanders is the winner of the West Virginia Democratic presidential primary.
Let's go to Brianna Keilar. She is covering Bernie Sanders for us. She is joining us from the sail of Oregon. He's getting ready to address, Brianna, a big rally over there right now. We see some excited Bernie Sander supporters behind you.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. I think they're still waiting someone news as they await Bernie Sanders here, Wolf. But they've been very excited. They've been anticipating this certainly. And, you know, that was just someone announcement that Bernie Sanders is on his way.
He has touched down here in Salem, Oregon, so he will be coming in here before this crowd to Salem on the way to celebrate. And obviously it's very, very loud here as you can hear, very enthusiastic crowd.
But, Wolf, you know, publicly, Sanders has said that he is going all the way to the convention, that he's going to Philadelphia. We have learned that he is planning to barn storm through California. He's going to target college campuses. He's really going to push all the way to the end.
But I'm also hearing some more realistic views coming from inside of the campaign as well. One advisor saying, yes, he's pushing to June 7th, but then, they will reassess where Bernie Sanders is in this campaign.
His math right now to the nomination is nearly insurmountable. When he gets to that key point after June 7th, he will look at where he is. He will see if there is absolutely no path to the nomination. And at some point, there is going to acknowledge it. I'm told by this aid that it would be -- that it would be after the June 14th Washington, D.C. primary. Bernie Sanders has said that he wants everyone who wants to cast a vote in the Democratic primary to have a chance and he's obviously going to keep that pledge, but he wants to fight forward going forward, Wolf, because he believes that his message, win or lose, I am told by an aid needs to be incorporated into the Democratic Party platform. He is fighting not just to win, but for influence.
BLITZER: It will be interesting, Brianna, to hear what he has to say. That's coming up. Brianna Keiler in Salem, Oregon with the Bernie Sanders campaign, Jake?
TAPPER: Big night for Bernie Sanders with a projected victory in West Virginia. Of course, this is not a state that Democrats are expected to win in the general election. But I am curious about how these voters plan to vote in the general elections, the ones who voted for Clinton or Sanders this evening. Let's bring back David Chalian, our political director. And David, what are the exit polls saying about how these Democratic voters intend on voting?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: We're going to get to that. But, first, let's look at how Sanders won this state tonight. What was behind the victory here, Jake. We've looking at women voters. Take a look at this, they make up 53 percent of the electorate in West Virginia. He wins them by 14 points, 52 percent to 38 percent. Other than his home state in Vermont, he has not women by this kind of margin anywhere else, only Vermont by a wider margin.
Then we take a look at independents. This has been a traditionally good group for Sanders throughout this nomination season. They make up about 34 percent of the electorate. He wins them 61 percent to 22 percent.
[21:30:01] And then this is the real story of what's going on in West Virginia. Economic anxiety, 61 percent of West Virginia Democratic primary voters tells us that they are very worried about the U.S. economy. Sanders' wins them by 25 points, 55 percent to 30 percent. He has tap in to that economic anxiety there in that is what driving him to victory tonight.
TAPPER: And that's fascinating it's not a surprise really that in a state where so many people are concerned about the economy, a candidate whose message is the economy is rigged against you would do well, but what is surprising is the fact that Hillary Clinton just totally destroyed then Senator Obama in this state, eight years ago and tonight is going to lose it.
CHALIAN: Yeah, without a doubt, Jake. The fact that although her message has been centrally about the economy, it doesn't tap into the anxiety the same way that we've seen Sanders' message that will be able to tap in with Democrats.
TAPPER: And Dana Bash, I should also -- we should also point out this is West Virginia, one of the whiter states in the nation and those are voters that tend to go for Bernie Sanders in these democratic primaries, New Hampshire, Vermont and I believe West Virginia is the third white state in the country and there you have another Sanders victory just like he won in New Hampshire and Vermont his home state.
BASH: Yeah. And on the whole question of the economy and the economic message that Bernie Sanders had that is resonating with so many states, especially those who have been in economic pain, you know, sort of throughout the history like West Virginia, that's important, but it should be said that Hillary Clinton's comments about coal and about coal miners she, you know, seemed to degrade coal mining and the whole coal industry and then she apologized afterwards, that has to be a huge factor there as well.
I mean there is no question about it especially when you're talking about a state where, you know, the EPA, the Environment of Protection Agency and Barack Obama have been kind of enemy number one because they believe that they've been hurting -- the Obama Administration has been hurting their core industry that does and has historically provided jobs. So that's all intertwined in this Democratic primary.
TAPPER: And, what -- Hillary Clinton I think said that it was at the Ohio Town Hall that CNN did. Well, let's not quote her. Let's just play it, here is what he said at the Ohio Town Hall meeting that we had these controversial comments she made about the coal industry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country because we're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: So what she was saying, we're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business and what she went on to say is so we need to bring the green energy jobs ...
BASH: Right, sure.
TAPPER: ... to these communities so that they have jobs, but the quote as we just truncated it sounds awful if you are a coal miner.
BASH: Right. And in the history of course is that the coal community, the coal industry, people who have worked there for generations have already felt under attack in states like West Virginia and they're not going to let it go. Donald Trump is already saying he's going to use this big time in general election because to the point we were talking about earlier of potential new openings on the map for Donald Trump he wants to play it big in Pennsylvania, in Ohio which is a crucial state for Republicans and it's going to be an issue. There's no question about it.
TAPPER: And there's a whole environmental conversation to be had about coal versus the kind of quote unquote "green energy jobs" that the Obama Administration has been trying to create and trying to provide tax credits for ...
BASH: They have. TAPPER: ... and the like. But let's go to Wolf Blitzer right now who I believe has another Key Race Alert.
BLITZER: We're standing by, we're going to get to that, but we're standing by to hear from Bernie Sanders about his win in West Virginia and his battle against Hillary Clinton moving forward. Much more right after a quick break
[21:38:00] BLITZER: Bernie Sanders getting ready to address another big rally in Salem, Oregon. One thing about Bernie Sanders, he always attracts very big crowds. He is the winner of the West Virginia Democratic presidential primary.
Let's go over to John King at the magic wall. John, it's very impressive win by Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. So that it took us two hours to make the projection, but take a look at this, he's at 50 percent, she's at 39.2 percent, 38 percent of the voters is in.
KING: Still at 40 percent. So it's relatively slow count coming in, but clearly Bernie Sanders is going to win West Virginia. And clearly he's going win by a comfortable margin Wolf. And if you're in any other race you would say 50 to 39 there's some uncommitted in there, but you would say 50 to 39 is a wow, that's a good win, but it is a good win.
Look at him, it's an impressive win if look at Bernie Sanders you just walk through some of these counties of 10 points just about everywhere you look, seven points there. You move in here, it's a bigger margin, nine points in that area there. So you look at this, you say it's a very impressive win. The problem for Senator Sanders and this is frustrating to these supporters is we've allocated some of the delegates so far, we still have a half dozen more and so to go.
But as of now based on the results so far Bernie Sanders has cut six delegates. What was a 303 Clinton lead in pledged delegates is now down to 297 with another half dozen delegates to allocate tonight. So even though Senator Sanders gets a win when it comes to the key delegate math, its baby steps in he terms of catching up. And again, he needed to win 66 percent of the remaining pledged delegates entering tonight to catch her in the pledged delegate chase.
He's going to be shy of that in West Virginia even though it's an impressive win. He's not going to get 66 percent of the delegates out of West Virginia. Which means that increases his math, it makes the hill steeper as he goes forward in the rest of these contests. He's confident. He's out in Oregon tonight. He's confident about that.
The Clinton campaign thought earlier on this campaign it would win Kentucky. That one now seems in play for Bernie Sanders, but the Clinton campaign Wolf is counting, even though this is hard to have separate (ph). They're counting on New Jersey. They're counting on New Mexico. This could be the ultimate battle ground on the second last day in the Democratic contest. The District of Columbia is last on June 14th and Republicans and Democrats on June 7th here.
[21:40:02] This could be a key defining contest. Hillary Clinton has led for a long time. He would think with the demographics she could win the state, but Bernie Sanders, as Brianna Keilar said earlier, plans to barn and storm that state, deliver tradition on that state. That would be the final big battle ground. But again, tonight, no doubt an impressive win for Bernie Sanders, but given the Democratic Party delegate rules only modest, very modest gains when it comes to erasing her big lead.
BLITZER: To 29 delegates who were at states at West Virginia and given the proportional way they divide those delegates, he'll get a few more but certainly not enough to really change the math all that much.
KING: That's exactly right.
BLITZER: Anderson, over to you.
COOPER: Yeah, Wolf, thanks very much, we mentioned a short time ago, comments that Donald Trump made earlier tonight about Paul Ryan. Let's bring in Sara Murray who has been covering all of that for us tonight. She's in Trump Tower. Sara, so what did he say?
MURRAY: Well Anderson, we have seen, you know, sort of a tense tone of force between Paul Ryan and between Donald Trump in recent days after Paul Ryan said he just wasn't ready to endorse the GOP nominee, but it looks like ahead of their upcoming meeting in Washington, Trump is trying to smooth things over a little bit. Take a listen to what he had to say tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's a very good man. He wants what's good for the party and I think we're going to have a very positive results. And want him frankly for him to stay and be chairman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: Now Paul Ryan had suggested he might step down as chairman of the convention if Donald Trump asked him to do so and Trump sort of wavered on that earlier this week, but Anderson, that seems clear that Donald Trump wants Paul Ryan to stay, he wants to try to unify the party so we'll see if he maintains that tone having into that meeting in Washington later this week.
COOPER: All right Sara Murray, Sara, thanks very much. As we continue to wait to hear from Senator Sanders, we're going to bring those comments to you. As we continue to talk about this with our panel. I mean interesting, we're talking about Donald Trump trying to reach out, clearly this is sort of an olive branch to Paul Ryan.
LORD: Exactly. You know, I keep trying to say that in building his Trump Organization, meaning his business, Donald Trump has to do this kind of thing a thousand times a day with people, to build, to bring people together, to build all of these projects that get them accomplish, et cetera.
This is a non-sense, no different, you're dealing with human beings who have different situations and you do, you bring them all together in a room, you talk to them and you work it out. And that is what we're seeing here tonight.
CUPP: I agree with you.
LORD: I mean I'm not at all surprised about this.
CUPP: I actually think that this was a very carefully played game of chicken and Trump flinched. Paul Ryan I think masterfully laid the trap regarded. If Paul Ryan has said, you don't want me to be -- I'm not going anywhere at that convention, you know Donald Trump how he would react, he'd go 10 times harder.
Instead Paul Ryan really took the optional way and said that's fine if you don't want me there, I won't be there. And it took Donald Trump's main weapon, you know, his big punches away and Donald Trump had to retreat. I thought Paul Ryan played this perfectly.
LORD: Or you could think that Donald Trump by getting into this in the first place and others on the Trump campaign suggesting maybe he shouldn't be speaker. You could play it that way too.
CUPP: I don't think that's how it's playing out though. Donald Trump said he shouldn't be at the convention.
JONES: It's called t art of the deal and here we are.
CUPP: Don't split.
JONES: Here we are trying to get just trying to get the Speaker of the House is Republicans, into the same room with the nominee requires this level of discussion.
COOPER: And a phone call from Ben Carson.
JONES: And a phone call from Ben Carson.
JONES: I mean, that let's you know how broken this party is. And there's a question I keep saying, maybe parties now to lesson they used to. If in fact though, parties matter this is a big problem.
COOPER: You know, Paul when you were talking during the break you wanted to kind of go back to something that clip that we played of Hillary Clinton and the coal which Jake Tapper rightly pointed what she had said afterward in that clip. But often, what just gets played in that clip, you think that actually points to one of the reasons she is sometimes resonant in her comments.
BEGALA: Sure. I mean, I mean the average sound bite is about eight seconds. Right? And we played it as about eight seconds. The very next words out of her mouth, not the next week, when she claims it up, the next utterance was this, she said we're going to put all our coal miners in coal companies out of business right? And we're going to make it clear that we don't want to forget those people, those people who labor on those mines for generations losing their health, often losing their lives to turn on our lights power our factories.
Now we've got to move away from coal, and all the in the fossil fuels but I don't want to move away from the people would did the best they could that produced the energy that we relied on.
JONES: That sounds good.
BEGALA: That what she said, so you wonder why when she's speaking to the media she's so careful and cautious and scripted, and risk covers, that's why. She said something that I think is inarguably ...
BORGER: But that's any presidential candidate. I mean today when Jake was interviewing Marco Rubio, I sat and I was listening to Rubio and I thought, he's great. And the reason he seemed better to me was because he was relaxed. I mean, you know, obviously Jake was pushing him on being a vice presidential nominee, et cetera, et cetera, but kind of he was relaxed and any presidential candidate understands that what they're saying or doing is going to be replayed and cut.
[21:45:13] I mean the difference is with Donald Trump is that he doesn't care because he can tweet about it or he'll go on TV the next day and say that's not what I meant and so he actually
KING: He says that's not what I said.
BORGER: Is that what I said. Right. But he, so he can, you know, he can, he does that because he's more at home with himself.
JONES: But I do think we have this weird thing with Hillary Clinton. We want her to be more authentic and then when she does we just beat the heck out of her. And I think ...
BORGER: I mean policies
JONES: I think ...
JONES: I do think, listen I try to call this stuff fair. I do think that there is almost a relish and a glee if Hillary Clinton makes a mistake and there's a pouncing that I don't see what and I think that there's an extra attack.
COOPER: Why do you think this is?
JONES: I don't know what it is.
CUPP: Will that's right wing conspiracy?
JONES: I think -- it could be.
HENDERSON: Do you think its gender? I mean do you mean that? JONES: I think that it may have something to do with gender. I don't think we can sometimes get used to this and forget, but we've never had a woman do this. We just never had a woman to do -- and I tell you when I had that conversation with the guy in the cab and he had something great to say about Bernie. He is something great to say about Trump and Obama, but not one good thing to say about Hillary Clinton, the odds of that are weird. And so I do think that she does get, she gets I think she gets treated tougher.
LORD: I will say this that she is trying to do something that is difficult, which is say she is trying to be the third term for the Democratic Party and being the third term for either party is tough. The last person to do this was George H. Bush. It's a very difficult trick to pull. So she's got that going against her and frankly wouldn't matter who the Democratic nominee is it's a difficult thing to do.
BORGER: It's also a difficult thing to do, because she it is potentially and historic candidate, you know, first woman president and I do think, you know, that your point that we may hold her do with different standard, but we don't know that yet. I think what is really is more relevant here is that Hillary Clinton has been around for not say a long time and the reason your cab driver might not have loved here is because there might have been things about the Clintons that he ...
JONES: He likes Bill Clinton.
CUPPER: Polling generally shows that people trust women politicians more than they trust men. I don't know if that's a materialism thing I'm not sure. But her deficiencies with trust I don't think have anything do with her gender.
CUPP: I think it's just a long history of seemingly to a lot of people living by another set of rules, living, you know, above -- above other people, rigging the system. I mean there's a lot in Hillary's past.
BEGALA: We still talk whole evening talking about Donald Trump lives under a different set of rules and how great that is. How wonderful that is. By the way in Quinnipiac poll which is a dead thing.
CUPP: But I don't think you can just dismiss the distrust of Hillary as a gender issue. I think that's, that's not real on.
BEGALA: In the Quinnipiac poll which is not a good news poll for Hillary, she's not leading, she's dead tied, she's seen as having higher morals than Donald Trump. Now low bar ...
CUPP: Right. BEGALA: ... OK like being the sexiest member of the Supreme Court it's quite an honor, but she is seen as more moral is this
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Paul, can I also say overlooked in our discussion about that Quinnipiac poll, Bernie Sanders continues to run stronger against Donald Trump than does Hillary Clinton. And those superdelegates may have to revaluate based on that point.
COOPER: And again we are waiting to hear from Bernie Sanders. You hear the music there. Bernie Sanders the winner tonight in West Virginia. We're standing by I don't know if it's blasting on an ear but its blasting in my ear and I'm enjoying it very much.
We're standing by to hear from Bernie Sanders, plus the states for Donald Trump as he prepares to meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan. Stay with us for more of this special edition of AC360.
[21:52:35] BLITZER: A very nice win for Bernie Sanders in the West Virginia Democratic presidential primary tonight. You're looking at live pictures up from Salem, Oregon. They're dancing. They're getting ready to hear Bernie Sanders
We'll have live coverage of his speech, that's coming up. Very anxious to hear what he has to say, what his main message is going to be on this important day for Bernie Sanders. Jake?
TAPPER: Thanks Wolf. One of the big events going on after tonight is the big meeting between Donald Trump, Dana Bash and the big Republican officials in town. I interviewed Paul Ryan, Speaker Ryan, last week, and he said he was not ready to endorse Donald Trump right now, and seemed to suggest that ...
BASH: That made a little bit of news.
TAPPER: Right. And it seemed to suggest that they're going to have to be some changes in the kind of campaign he was waging. Not necessarily on the issues and policies that he holds. Obviously, they disagree very strongly, for instance, on the issue of trade. But on -- I think it's a lot to do with his tone and his tenor, what are you hearing from your sources on Capitol Hill?
BASH: I'm going to make a prediction. I'm going to get right up to the edge now, maybe a little bit -- a toe or two over it. I think they're going to come out and come close to singing Kumbaya. I mean, I just think that they both are setting up the meeting as a sort of must-win, if you will.
That they both have a desire and a need to have this -- at be a positive meeting. I think the one thing that maybe we all forget is that it is generally what happens, is that the presumptive nominee goes and makes the rounds with the Republican leaders. But, in the past, either that nominee has been a member of Congress ...
BASH: ... so he knows everybody, or somebody who has worked with Congress because he has been an elected official.
These guys really don't know Donald Trump. I've been communicating with some members of the leadership, Republican leadership. See, I met him at a cocktail party, I met him at a fund-raiser, but they really don't know him. And so, I do think that that's a big part of the issue here. They just want to get to know. And that speaks to what you just mentioned, the tone and tenor.
Is he really that different as Ben Carson, I guess now, famously said, behind the scenes as he is in public. And I think that's probably -- the answer is probably yes. And that's probably why they're going to come out and say that it was a productive meeting.
TAPPER: Ryan underlined in the interview last week that he wants to endorse Trump, he wants to be there ...
[21:55:04] TAPPER: ... he just isn't yet. We'll see how much Republicans ultimately fall in line. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, did say that it's time for the party to get behind Donald Trump. But there are a lot of Republicans, especially Republicans up for re-election,
TAPPER: ...in swing states and blue states, who are worried what Donald Trump might do. Although, I know Jeffrey Lord will argue that they should embrace Donald Trump, because he'll help them win.
BASH: Yeah. And look, everybody has been told, even before Donald Trump did become the nomine, that if that were to happen, they've got to do what they've got to do.
And my understanding is that was a part of what Paul Ryan did with you, by withholding his support, to give running room to the members who are worried about him being a negative and not a positive.
COOPER: OK. Thanks very much. Bernie Sanders is going to speak in just a matter of minutes about his win in West Virginia and much more.
We are going to carry his remarks, of course, live. This has been a special edition of AC360. More of our election covers just ahead.
BLITZER: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in the CNN Election Center.
Bernie Sanders is the winner of the West Virginia Democratic presidential primary. He won over Hillary Clinton, another important win for Bernie Sanders in his quest to win the Democratic presidential nomination.
[22:00:08] Now, take a look at West Virginia, Nebraska, on the Republican side, no surprise here.