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New Iowa Poll: Clinton, Trump Hold Narrow Leads; Snow Storm Forecast For Iowa Caucus Night; Battle For High-Profile Endorsements; California Fugitives Back Behind Bars. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired January 31, 2016 - 06:00   ET




DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't even think I have to campaign anymore. Why am I wasting my time? I don't have to campaign.

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ted Cruz has been my friend and has decided to run a deceitful campaign at the end. People see through that.

SENATOR TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This campaign is fueled by a grassroots passion and energy that is nothing short of inspiring.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're working hard to get out to meet as many Iowans as we can.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I see myself as an introvert and introverts always win in the end because they are grinders.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For those who are still making up your minds, I hope we will be able to persuade you to join us to make progress for our country.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Obviously a lot going on. Want to wish you good morning from Atlanta, Georgia. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Victor Blackwell live in Des Moines. Good morning to you, Christi. One day to go now until the Iowa caucuses.

In the "Des Moines Register" this morning, this is the front page. Trump, Clinton lead close races. Trump up by five on Cruz, but has little room for error although you heard Trump there say that he doesn't need to campaign anymore.

Sanders down by just three points. Turnout is everything. Let's take look at the numbers. We've got of course up five points now. We've got Donald Trump at 28 percent. Ted Cruz now at 23. Remember he has been leading this poll for the last several weeks. And then for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton up 3 points over Bernie Sanders, 45-42 and Martin O'Malley down to 3 percent. Of course, that's well within the margin of error.

Now we are following all the breaking election headlines this morning. Here with me we've got CNN Politics executive editor, Mark Preston.

Mark, I want to go inside the numbers because anybody who is up watching us and talk politics this hour already knows those.

So let's go to the number that I think a lot of people were surprised by. Trump skipping the last Fox News debate, 46 percent of the respondents said they don't care.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: They don't care and in fact, I think that we saw that that night in the coverage and the discussion the day after the debate, people weren't talking about Donald Trump skipping on the debate.

People were talking about how Donald Trump had won the evening because he wasn't on the debate stage and he wasn't taking any hits from any of his rivals that night.

BLACKWELL: I think for some that was a bit surprising leading up to the debate. Of course, questions about what would be the ram fictions. What would be the consequences? Does that change the calculus moving forward for other campaigns of candidates not in the future cycles, in this cycle?

PRESTON: No, I don't think so. I mean, look that campaigns are about moments in time and I think the moment in time was Donald Trump was able to get away without going to that debate. We got into a very public spat with Fox News.

He was not fighting with the Iowa voters. He came here and says he raised $6 million. In fact, yesterday one of his campaign rallies he started issuing checks.

The first check went to a charity that trains dogs here in Iowa to give vets with PTSD. So Donald Trump seems to have dodged a bullet so to speak by deciding not to go to that debate.

BLACKWELL: There has been this narrative that both for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders as we saw from "Des Moines Register" turnout is everything. The expectation that Donald Trump will have will to turn out new voters first time caucus goers.

Let's listen to some voters likely caucus goers who will be there on Monday night. She spoke with them. This will be their first time. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm guessing by the button you are a Trump supporter.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why Trump. What is it about him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are so many things. No, I just like his ideas about, like, simplifying the tax. You know the tax code, things of that nature, about his immigration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a small business owner. With Trump being a small business owner, his businesses are larger than mine. But that shows that anybody wants to get involved can actually become president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's straightforward.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like in what way? His proposals? What about him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a businessman has experience unlikely Obama we don't even know what he did before he became president, right?


BLACKWELL: And so another interesting number that came out of this poll is that 40 percent of the respondents, the likely caucus goers will be first time caucus goers.

But if you look back at 2012 the number there according to the exit poll, it was 38 percent. So does Trump really need to turn out a remarkable number of additional caucus goers for the first time to win this?

PRESTON: I think so. I mean, listen, we've seen enormous rallies. We've seen thousands of people show up for Donald Trump. That doesn't necessarily mean, Victor, that he's going the get them to come out on Monday night in the cold here, spend two hours of their time voting for Donald Trump.

[06:05:10]So Donald Trump, that number is not necessarily very good for Donald Trump. You would have hoped if you are in the Trump campaign that number would be higher because of the enthusiasm he seems to be generating.

But in many ways his rallies that he is holding could be indicative of folks who are just coming here just to see the spectacle of it all, but we won't know that until tomorrow night.

BLACKWELL: Let's turn to the Democrats now. One thing we found, I think it's probably bad news for the Sanders campaign, is that Hillary Clinton wins with those who say they will definitely caucus.

He wins with those who will probably caucus and her numbers are stronger and her people according to the polling are more committed to her than his are to him.

PRESTON: Right. And I think when you talk to the Sanders campaign, they too will acknowledge that they need to get an increase in the number of caucus goers specifically new caucus voters for them to win.

If you go back to 2008 when Barack Obama shocked everybody by winning here in Iowa, he increased turnout exponentially I think around 240,000 people, roughly, that came out for him.

On a regular caucus night, you are looking at about 120,000 maybe, 125,000. If you are Bernie Sanders you need that number to climb up to about 180 thousand people to come out. Where do they come? From the college towns.

BLACKWELL: So there is also the "cares about you" question there, 51 percent believed that Bernie Sanders cares about people like them, 37 percent believed the same about Hillary Clinton. Is that she's not made that connection after touting her history with, of course, the Children's Defense Fund and work over the last 25 years?

PRESTON: And to that point, has Bernie Sanders attacks on her ties to Wall Street. The ability or the fact that she's gone out, Victor, and had made a lot in speaking fees and that income inequality has really been his rallying cry.

That has been rallying cry, working for the middle class, the blue collar, and the raising wages. That seems to have really worked for him.

BLACKWELL: So you talked about the tone of Sanders campaign. Bernie Sanders says he's unhappy with Hillary Clinton's recent attacks. He takes issue with what he calls the distorting of his record. Listen to Sanders.


BERNIE SANDERS (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am disappointed by the tone of her campaign. She is talking to the people of Iowa and saying Bernie Sanders wants to dismantle healthcare. But it is not true to suggest that she will be the stronger candidate in November.


BLACKWELL: Fair point?

PRESTON: Well, I mean, I can tell you, the arguments that we are seeing right now between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton is starting to come out in the public. And it's starting to get -- it seems acrimonious.

I can tell you behind the scenes it is even getting worse. I think when we leave here in Iowa and we head up to New Hampshire next week. No matter what happens here in this election. It's going to very tight we know that it is going to get even worse.

Because everything is on the line. Let's not forget, people say why can't people in politics, you know, work well together? Why can't they get along? Well, they are running for the most powerful office in the land so I think things are going to actually get uglier.

BLACKWELL: Mark Preston, thank you so much.

All right, more than a foot of snow will hit some areas in this state in just 24 hours. Of course, that is bad timing for the caucuses and people who need to get to those sites. Donald Trump says that should not stop his supporters.


TRUMP: If a lot of people come and they think it could be a record forever. If a lot of people come Trump wins by a lot. If they don't come, I don't win. And if I don't win, maybe bad things happen. Who knows what happens?

You know, they talk about the cascading effect. Don't we all like winning? We got to win. OK? So look, get out on Monday caucus. I think the storm's going to be on Tuesday, I hope.

And suppose it is on Monday. So you go through some snow, OK? You are from Iowa. Are you afraid of snow?


BLACKWELL: If the perfect storm depending upon who you ask and who they are supporting. Let's go to Derek Van Dam joining us now. When will this storm come in, early Monday, late Monday or Tuesday?

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Apparently, Donald Trump has already answered that question, Victor, perhaps he needs a new job. But seriously it appears as if the caucuses will be spared the brunt of the storm.

We are quite confident that the snowfall will overspread the state of Iowa late on Monday and into the early morning hours of Tuesday just after the polls close at midnight. This is the synopsis.

The storm is going to gather some strength after its ejecting out of four corners. It's actually forming just out of Southern California and then it gathers some steam, allowing for snow to form into the Rockies, eventually Nebraska and then again by late Monday.

Maybe the extreme southwestern sections of Iowa picking up a rain/snow mix. But I really do believe the brunt of the storm will hold off until after midnight and that means Tuesday will actually be the particularly day that they receive their snow fall.

So (inaudible) perhaps that's the region that picks up a few snow showers early in the morning hours, but then it really picks up in intensity throughout the course of the day.

[06:10:11]A foot or more of snow is certainly possible just west of Des Moines area. I want to end with this because you got to see this interesting statistic.

There was a study done on weather and how it affects voter turnout on days of presidential elections here in the United States. This particular study says that if there is one inch of rainfall above the normal for that particular day, Republicans get an 2.5 percent of the votes.

With snowfall if they get 1 inch or more above the normal, they get 0.6 percent uptick in their votes. So the old adage goes, I guess, Victor, that Republicans need to pray for rain this year.

BLACKWELL: All right. We'll see if they get a foot or more than normal. Derek Van Dam for us there in the Weather Center, thank you so much.

You know, we've seen an increase in the last couple of days of the name dropping. We've got some family members coming in. We've got some big name supporters coming in. All trying to get out the vote for Monday night. We'll have special coverage all day here on CNN. We're going take a look some of those A-listers here this Iowa.

Plus Donald Trump supporters, first time caucus goers tell CNN they're coming out to vote for the very first time because of Trump.

And all the candidates trying to get those last minute undecided voters. So what does it take to convince someone who is undecided this late into the process?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My priorities as the voter, the issues more important to me are the economic and equality. So my issues more line up (inaudible).



BLACKWELL: Coming up on the quarter hour here. I'm Victor Blackwell. Thanks for joining us. Our special coverage ahead of the Iowa caucus. I'm live in Des Moines this morning.

We've just learned that Donald Trump's sons, Donald Jr. and Eric Trump will be campaigning here in Iowa with their father. But the Republican frontrunner, of course, is not the only person stumping with high profile family members.

We know that Bill and Chelsea Clinton, the former president and their daughter joining Hillary Clinton last night in a final appeal to voters here.

Clinton is also racking up a lot of Hollywood endorsements. We got Lena Dunham from that HBO show, "Girls," Katy Perry, the pop singer, they have been backing her here in the Iowa state.

Let's in now former George W. Bush political director, Matt Schlapp, and back with us Mark Preston, executive editor for CNN Politics.

Mark, what is the impact of these high profile endorsements? Does it depend upon if it is a family member or a celebrity? I mean, how many votes does Katy Perry bring in?

PRESTON: So two things, in a race where Hillary Clinton is losing support among younger folks and younger women to Bernie Sanders, Katy Perry is somebody who can perhaps cause somebody who is younger to say wait a second, if she's for her, would I be for her.

But more importantly what it does is that just generates high headlines and enthusiasm. And Katy Perry was here in Iowa several months ago, did a concert and brings people out.

It doesn't change people's votes but what it does do is creates enthusiasm. In the case of Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton and the two Trump boys, allows them to serve as surrogates in the other parts of the state to generate enthusiasm.

BLACKWELL: Doubling up resources to get across the state. Matt, we look at Sarah Palin here. I mean, that in the last couple of weeks we've seen an eight-point jump for Trump in the "Des Moines Register" poll. Are we seeing that is an important endorsement here when maybe some of the others aren't?

MATT SCHLAPP, FORMER GEORGE W. BUSH POLITICAL DIRECTOR: So you see what you did, on the Democrat side they get all these hot, famous stars. On our side, we get former politicians. Now Sarah Palin is a little bit --

PRESTON: You got the "Duck Dynasty" stars.

SCHLAPP: You know, on our side, every poll shows this, the D.C. insiders, the D.C. elected officials, senators and congressmen. So actually having someone like Sarah Palin who is kind of seen as outside the system is actually really helpful in this primary process.

Those types of endorsements are what these Republicans want to get. They are not driving out all the limousines with all the senators and all the congressmen because all the people that are part of the problem, they are really trying to stay away from them.

BLACKWELL: And we know that one of the Robertsons is supporting Donald Trump. Another is supporting Ted Cruz and you believe they will have an impact on this race.

SCHLAPP: Yes, it's interesting because they both actually like both candidates, both Trump and Cruz. So father and son kind of -- they kind of genuflect to both of those candidates.

But you know, that's -- I lover the Robertsons, but it is close as we get to someone on the top of the charts or a top movie.

PRESTON: One thing to point though is that we saw in the last week where this is effective is Glen Beck was on the campaign trail with Ted Cruz. What Glen Beck is, you know, he is a siren so to speak for the conservative voice and he was able to go out and attack Donald Trump in a way that Ted Cruz probably wasn't able to or would not be as effective and having Glen Beck out there saying that Donald Trump would be a disaster as a Republican nominee, that is effective. BLACKWELL: You know, he may not be a celebrity, at least outside of Iowa, but the governor for life, Terry Branstad and that admonishment of Cruz we saw in the poll from the "Des Moines Register" that that really did not have an impact on voters. Are you surprised by that?

SCHLAPP: No. It doesn't surprise me. No charge at your governor here, but once again those elected officials who have been ensconced for a very long period of time, Republicans are in a fighting mood. And those voices are not as credible as they would have been in past cycles.

Now Chuck Grassley is a little bit of a unique figure and the fact that his numbers are always stout and he is a revered figure. You don't see him out there doing anything in particular.

If he were, I think he actually could be impactful. Steve King, I'm going to go along with Steve King, like Glen Beck is actually a really -- that's a big help for Ted Cruz.

I think he's somebody that actually speaks to the conservative base of our party. But by and large, the talk radio show guys, they seem to be either Trump or Cruz, Trump or Cruz. So it is a little bit of a draw.

BLACKWELL: As we've discussed at length, the Evangelical vote is very important and the endorsement by Jerry Falwell Jr. of Donald Trump. How has that helped him with the Evangelical community if that's something that can be quantified?

SCHLAPP: Well, I think the polls show us that Donald Trump is doing very well with Evangelical voters and in fact the poll bears that. The Jerry Falwell thing kind of confuses me. I don't know how much impact he specifically has here in Iowa, but I will tell you this, I'd rather have him on my side than having somebody out there, you know, against me.

[16:20:10]We saw Falwell and Trump last night campaigning and what's interesting about Trump, he was boisterous and very loud, during the campaign rally he was very set back and allowed Falwell to take the night. Yes.

BLACKWELL: All right, Mark, Matt, thank you both.

Don't miss "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper today. It is a very big show. You will hear from the candidates one more time before caucus voting begins Monday night. Jake has Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio, and Bernie Sanders on the show. "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper at 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Christi, we've got a lot to cover. We'll send it back to you in Atlanta.

PAUL: We do. Thank you so much, Victor. We are following some major developments this morning in California. Two remaining jail escapees have been captured. We have details on what helped police track them down and what happens from this point forward. Also Pluto is full of surprises, I'm not talking about the Disney character. Details on the latest discovery from the dwarf planet that's talking a lot of buzz today.


PAUL: We're going take you back to Iowa here in just a couple of minutes, but I want to talk to you about what's happening in California. After eight days on the run, all three of those fugitives are back in jail now.

The last two were caught yesterday in San Francisco, 400 miles north from where they started in Santa Ana. CNN's Dan Simon live there in Orange County California. Dan, I understand one man is who tipped off police?

[06:25:03]DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christie. One thing you often hear police say is that if you see something, you should say something. Well, that certainly came into play here in (inaudible) Ashberry neighborhood in San Francisco. Somebody who is in the area happened to recognize the prisoners and flag down police.


LARRY GRAY, WITNESSED ARREST: I heard the police tell them to get on the ground --

SIMON (voice-over): Larry Gray originally thought the man police were arresting was a homeless person until he heard the tone of the officers commands.

GRAY: I knew right then there was more than a homeless person. Then I saw the complexion of the guy on the internet and the newspaper.

SIMON: That guy was 37-year-old Hussein Nayeri, the one suspected of being the ring leader behind the escape. Police say an unidentified tipster recognized him and the white van linked to the prisoners.

GRACE SCOTT GATPANDAN, SAN FRANCISCO POLICE DEPARTMENT: A citizen saw someone, saw something suspicious, notified an officer and that notification ultimately led to the apprehension of two armed and dangerous suspects.

SIMON: The second man was 20-year-old Jonathan Tieu who officers found hiding inside the van parked in front of the Whole Foods grocery store. Police say they also found ammunition inside the vehicle.

SANDRA HUTCHENS, ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF: I can say this morning that the entire state can breathe a sigh of relief because we have the other two dangerous individuals back in custody where they should be.

SIMON: A third escapee, 43-year-old Bac Duong turned himself in on Friday at an auto parts store in Orange County. The daring and elaborate escape took place on January 22nd, the men cut through a wall and crawled through plumbing tunnels making their way onto the roof of the jail. Using bed sheets they repelled to the ground. With the men back in custody, the focus now on how. Late last week authorities arrested this woman, who taught English inside the jail. The Orange County Sheriff's Department says she admitted giving materials to Nayeri, including maps and overhead photos of the area around the jail.


SIMON: Authorities had offered a $200,000 reward for information leading to the prisoners capture. The sheriff and Orange County says that the witness here in San Francisco should be entitled to at least part of that reward -- Christie.

PAUL: I would certainly hope so. All right, Dan Simon, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

Well, you know, they are on the fence but their vote could end up making the difference in this caucus and ultimately in the election as well. How do candidates win over the undecided voters? And what do voters look for in a candidate when they make that final decision?

Bernie Sanders planned to win over voters. Gives them a concert complete with rappers, bands, movie stars. We have all the details live for you with Victor up next from Iowa.