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New Hampshire Primary; Intel Official: ISIS to Attempt U.S. Attacks This Year. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired February 9, 2016 - 18:00   ET

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


[18:00:01]

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Once again, we want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Thanks for joining us.

Right now, New Hampshire voters are turning out in potentially record numbers. In just a couple hours, we will know for sure which Democrat and which Republican they want to see on the presidential ballot in November.

BLITZER: And we're getting early hints already as these exit polling numbers begin to come in, the latest on that, the candidates' expectations and the final pitches, the mood of the polling places and much more as we check throughout the hour with our team of correspondents who are on the ground. The best team of political professionals, they are with us as well.

A very, very full hour ahead, starting with the Republican front- runner, Donald Trump.

Let's go to Jim Acosta. He's joining us from Trump headquarters in Manchester.

Jim, how has Mr. Trump spent these final few hours as he waits for the primary results to roll in?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, interesting, Wolf.

Donald Trump just returned from a couple of brief stops at polling places here in Manchester where he talked to voters. Trump said he's feeling good about tonight, but obviously he's anxious to see these returns come in. Trump was asked about his second-place finish in Iowa at one of these stops.

The real estate tycoon pushed back on the notion that Iowa was some kind of setback for him. He said he was a strong second place there, blamed Ted Cruz once again for dirty tricks on Ben Carson in that outcome. He was also asked about his final message to voters, and Trump right on cue said he's going to build that wall on the Mexican border. Now, I also talked very quickly with campaign manager Corey

Lewandowski, who is a New Hampshire native, we should mention. He echoed the candidate's comments, saying at this point he just wants to watch these numbers roll in, Wolf. And after Iowa, who can blame them?

BLITZER: It's an hour or so until most of the New Hampshire polls close. The rest close two hours from now. What's the mood like at Trump headquarters?

ACOSTA: Well, Wolf, we have talked to you from so many Trump events at big arena, big auditorium events where they have 5,000 to 10,000 people crammed in.

I can tell you, earlier, I walked inside this ballroom behind me. It is a fraction of the size of that, and right now there is a very large stream of Trump supporters in line waiting to get in. And it got so hectic at one point, in just the last several minutes, Wolf, there were people at the front door where the supporters were trying to go in sort of pushing people back, saying, hey, wait a minute, keep calm, we're trying to keep things under control here.

There is such a huge demand to get into this election night party, Wolf, that they're actually pushing people away from the door at this point. Nothing serious, nothing physical happening there, but obviously a lot of excited supporters who want to get in and may not be able to get in because it is fairly tight quarters for a Trump campaign event, Wolf.

This is going to make for a very exciting and pretty spirited night, I think, Wolf.

BLITZER: I'm sure it will.

All right, Jim Acosta, thank you.

Coming off a very strong performance last week in Iowa, the Florida Senator Marco Rubio seemed to have a full head of steam. Then after his debate performance over the weekend, critics, late-night comedians, among others, they began saying it was more like a head full of malfunctioning circuit boards.

The question now, can he prove the critics were wrong with a strong showing once again?

CNN's Manu Raju is with the Rubio campaign in Manchester.

Manu, how confident is Rubio's camp right now feeling as we head into these last couple of hours of voting?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, I can tell you they're confident they will end up in the top tier of candidates, but they're not as confident as they were coming out of Iowa that they would have been perhaps number two right behind Donald Trump.

And it's largely because of this relentless media coverage after that debate performance in which Marco Rubio repeated the same line, repeatedly going after Barack Obama. And his critics said, look, this is a candidate who will fall under the spotlight. And that's something that has potentially tripped up Marco Rubio heading into the final days.

Now, I can tell you that the Rubio campaign, no matter what happens here, still feels pretty confident going into South Carolina. They have spent a lot of money on TV. They expect to at least have a good showing tonight, be in the top tier, so they can get enough delegates to say, look, we can still become the nominee, because at the end of the day, this is going to be a delegate race. This is going to be a long race.

And they have the resources and the organizations to go in for the long haul. So, even if this is not a one -- second-place finish for him tonight and if he falls behind the governors, they believe that they can continue on for a long time to come. But make no mistake, Wolf. If they were at number two right now, after tonight, they could more easily make the case that they are the unity candidate, they're the candidate that can bring the party together.

And that's the case they have been wanting to make to voters after the very strong showing in Iowa.

BLITZER: All right, Manu, thanks very much, Manu Raju reporting.

And with turnout running high, let's head next to Joe Johns. He's at a polling place also in Manchester.

Joe, you have been talking to a lot of the voters over there. What have they been telling you?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Well, first, I got to tell you, 2,125 voters have come through this place, McDonough School, in central Manchester.

[18:05:04]

Now, they started out with a universe of about 3,900 people who were registered in this very location. That means more than half of the registered voters who are registered in this location have already been through. And that does not count absentee ballots.

It also does not count unregistered voters. And that seems to be the story here, a large number of individuals flowing through this building all day long. We took some pictures of them, as a matter of fact. The unregistered voters coming in to register and then to vote at some times actually outnumbered the people who were already on the rolls.

So, watching that very carefully. We have asked some of these people why they came to vote. They talked about their civic duty, but they also talked about the candidates. And that seemed to be the key, liking this candidate or another candidate very much or disliking a certain candidate. That is what has brought them out. So now the race is on until 7:00

Eastern time, when this polling place closes. People have to get in the door and in line before that hour -- Wolf, back to you.

BLITZER: All right, Joe, thanks very much.

We have been getting new exit polling data throughout the program. The newest batch focusing in on the Republican candidates and their personal qualities.

Once again, let's bring in our CNN political director, David Chalian, to walk us through these latest numbers right now.

What are we seeing?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Wolf, we're doing sort of a deep dive on what the mood was of the Republican electorate showing up to the New Hampshire polls today.

We asked voters as they were leaving the polls today, do you feel betrayed by the Republican Party? This is unbelievable. Look at this -- 50 percent of Republican primary voters tell us they feel betrayed by their own party's politicians; 48 percent say no.

Then we also asked, are you looking for somebody with experience in politics or are you looking for an outsider? This splits about half and half; 47 percent want somebody experienced in politics; 48 percent want somebody outside the establishment.

And what's key to note there is that in New Hampshire, of course, you know we have been talking about that establishment lane. That's the more crowded lane that has to split up that 47 percent who want experience. That has to split among a lot of candidates. The 48 percent that want an outsider, there are just probably a couple of candidates that fit that description.

BLITZER: And you're getting some more information also about what the voters really want in these candidates.

CHALIAN: Yes, this is amazing. Take a look at this.

Electability is nowhere. That is not of a high interest to Republican primary voters in New Hampshire. Only 11 percent are looking for the candidate they think can win in November. What they do care about, somebody that shares their values, 34 percent. Somebody who can bring about change, 30 percent. And 21 percent you see there say they want somebody who can tell it like it is.

BLITZER: Wow.

I know you're going through more numbers and you're going to be sharing them throughout this hour as well. David, thank you.

Anderson, clearly lots to discuss. Wow.

COOPER: There is a lot to discuss. It's interesting.

Let's talk to our Republicans here, Amanda, Jeffrey.

The distrust within the Republican Party of the establishment and of the traditional leaders.

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: All summer long, when we would read the internals of these polls, CNN polls, Quinnipiac polls, there was one poll -- I think it was Quinnipiac -- that showed that something like 87 percent didn't want anybody, anybody who had anything to do with government.

I mean, this feeling has been there. It is constant. This has been being played out. This has been played out on talk radio for the last two or three years. There is a steady drumbeat of this, and now it's finding expression.

COOPER: Which so goes against -- there was that criticism of President Obama that he had been a community organizer, that he had only been in the Senate for a short amount of time. We don't really hear that. I mean, it's certainly not reflected in what Republicans say they're looking for from a fellow Republican.

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, but I think this is huge backlash from losing the White House two previous cycles.

When they say only 11 percent care about electability, that's because Republicans were -- said you have to go with McCain because he's electable, you have to go with Romney because he's electable. And that didn't work. So people are rejecting that outright. And 50 percent say that they are betrayed by the GOP.

And I think those are naturally going to be Trump voters, Cruz voters and maybe Ben Carson voters at the end of the day.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Also, I think she's right about losing the White House twice in a row, but Republicans also have been winning. They have a big House majority. They have a Senate majority, and they have 30 of the governorships.

When you go to these Republican rallies, Republican voters say, we're not getting anything for it. Where's the smaller government? Where's the tax cuts? Where's the fight on our issues? And so you have Republicans who think even when we're winning, we don't get anything. So they look at candidates who have -- if you have a title, if you're a senator or you're a governor, that's sometimes -- especially governor in presidential politics used to be the great brand.

Forget it this year. Mr. Trump benefits because he doesn't have senator or governor before him. He's Mr. or businessman. He's not a politician.

LORD: Right.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Remember The Who, won't be fooled again? This is it.

These voters are saying we won't be fooled again. Stop telling us that we have to support who you tell us is the only person who can win, because we're telling you we don't -- we don't believe that anymore.

[18:10:02]

And this, of course, benefits Donald Trump. By the way, I think it also benefits someone like Bernie Sanders. I mean, they're the flip sides of the same coin, right?

COOPER: David?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I do think there's a strong contrast between the Republicans and the Democrats.

Hillary was valued heavily in Iowa because she was the more electable candidate and it was really a driving force in Iowa. But the other thing about this is the person who's going to emerge from this on the Republican side is likely to be of one camp or the other. Can that person bring people back together?

Rubio was saying that was his great strength. He may be fading now. There may be a lot people on the Republican side who wind up at the end of this nomination process and say, I didn't really get what I was looking for.

COOPER: That's interesting.

CARPENTER: But I do think when we're faced against a Hillary Clinton, nothing will bring the Republican Party of all stripes together like facing Hillary Clinton and trying to take her down in 2016.

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What struck me about this, at first, when I saw these numbers, I thought, only half feel betrayed by the party or only half want an outsider, but then I realized, these are just the Republicans, if I read the--

(CROSSTALK)

PRESS: -- correctly.

I'm sure the undeclareds, it's a lot higher on that percentage, which means -- I think this is Donald Trump land.

COOPER: Also, it argues -- yesterday, again, on the broadcast, Paul Begala was on talking about the idea that -- of Mike Bloomberg entering the race, and that Paul's argument was that Bloomberg takes away Democratic voters from Hillary Clinton, but not necessarily from the Republican side, that he doesn't win over a lot of Republicans.

If you look at those poll numbers, that would tend to support what Paul was saying, that if folks who want somebody who tells it like it is, who feels betrayed by the establishment, are they going to turn to a Mike Bloomberg? I don't know. (CROSSTALK)

PRESS: Not if they have a Donald Trump. Why would they need Mike Bloomberg?

(CROSSTALK)

GERGEN: I think a lot of people on the Republican side and the moderates will go -- will say, if it's Cruz or Trump, I think I might go for Bloomberg.

COOPER: You think he would get moderate Republicans?

GERGEN: Yes, I think he would, especially in the Northeast.

(CROSSTALK)

MIKE ROGERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think the whole purpose here is to take it into the House of Representatives for a vote. He's trying to deny enough delegates -- he's talking about spending a billion dollars. Name a state that he can win. He can't.

But he can win some delegates. Can he win enough to deny a candidate the necessary delegates to get the nomination? If that happens -- it happened in 1825 -- it goes to the House of Representatives and the Senate, one person, one vote. I think that's what Bloomberg is up to. I think that's what he's seriously considering.

(CROSSTALK)

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: The problem is, Anderson, I know we're getting ahead of ourselves, but the problem -- and I appreciate the fact that Republicans are angry and they want to burn the house down and they want to destroy the establishment.

(CROSSTALK)

BRAZILE: Just go ahead. I have won a few matches. I will give you a box.

But the problem is, of course, the general election. In order to win, you still need independents. You got to the middle and you got to find those swing voters. So it might work right now when they are rallying to the cause, but in a general election, it's a far different thing.

(CROSSTALK)

BRAZILE: We were talking about Republicans.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: We have got to take a quick break.

Thankfully, we have eight more hours, so plenty to talk about. We will check in with another polling location shortly. (LAUGHTER)

COOPER: Yes, we're on until 2:00.

Get more exit polling data, and we will see what Democrats are saying, again, as we look at pictures of voters lining up, officials calling the turnout strong and steady, saying it could pick up in these final hours, and they believe set a new record. Stick around for that.

We're talking about final polling, final pitches, expectations, what constitutes doing well in this first primary of the 2016 campaign -- back in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:18:00]

BLITZER: It's the last leg of the final stretch in New Hampshire.

Looking there at Trump headquarters in Manchester. Supporters lining up outside, they're waiting to get inside. About 40 minutes from now, most of the polls in the state will close. Tomorrow morning, life will go back to normal in the state, but tonight all eyes are on that state.

CNN's Kate Bolduan is at a polling station in Chichester, not far from Concord.

What's happening where you are right now, Kate?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this is a very special place.

This is Chichester, New Hampshire, as you mentioned. This is also an old schoolhouse built in 1889. And this is the polling place. What we are seeing here, voting still happening. Polls have been open since 7:00 in the morning. They close at 7:00 tonight. They have seen a steady stream, a lot of people turning out, long lines, especially starting just after 4:00.

Now, here is what we know anecdotally. Historically -- let me show you this first, actually. What also makes this place special is this is a town that hand-counts its ballots. After they vote, they bring it over here to Ewan (ph) and Evelyn, and they check off their names, they put it in that box.

Pink are from Republicans. Blue are for Democrats. Historically, I'm told that this is a place that most voters vote in the Republican primary. But for the first time in 30 years, Evelyn tells me, the town clerk, that she had to print more Democratic ballots. And the number that they just told me is that right now it looks like they will surpass the total turnout that they saw in 2008, which was a very big number, because they're telling me the numbers they have of ballots that they have handed out, and it's already well past that number if that all comes through.

But no one knows until they unlock that box once the polls close -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And once the polls close, Kate, how long does it take for them to get the final results?

BOLDUAN: The way they described it to me is that's when the real action happens.

If you back over here, the chains will likely go away. They pull out the tables. Ten teams of two people will be at the tables to tally up the votes. They are going to separate all the ballots first, get the total count, and then they will start tallying the results.

[18:20:04]

They hope that they can get it all counted and tallied and have results by 9:00. That is, of course, they say, if everything goes as planned. And we are talking about hand ballots and they will be hand- counting all of this. And that starts right at 7:00 -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, we will be watching, together with you. Thanks very much for that, Kate -- Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: All right.

Jeffrey Lord, there's so many things to watch in the hours ahead. It's obviously going to be interesting to see how closely the polling matches what actually happens for Donald Trump tonight, because there's been so much talk about whether or not his voters were going to turn out, whether it's going to -- whether we're actually going to them out at the polls.

LORD: Through the wonders of mass communication or computer communication, I have been able to be in touch with them. They are feeling very good about the evening. So, I assume they may be seeing some things here as they go along.

COOPER: Did they learn lessons about a ground game from Iowa?

LORD: I'm sure they did. I'm sure they did.

This is Donald Trump, by which I mean somebody who learns as he goes here in terms of building projects and all of that kind of thing. He really does, I'm sure, want to know what happened and what were we doing wrong and how do we correct it, and let's get on with it.

CARPENTER: But even if he wanted to correct it, going from Iowa to New Hampshire, you have a week. You can't just all of a sudden buy a campaign in a box and put it in New Hampshire. You can't get that infrastructure up and going.

LORD: His campaign manager is from New Hampshire, though.

CARPENTER: Well, no doubt, but he didn't have that infrastructure built in place in Iowa, and you can't just build it in New Hampshire overnight. But that said, I do think Donald Trump is attracting a lot of people

to the process, not because they love Donald Trump, but because he's a disrupter. He makes so many different things possible. If you're on the Republican side, there's probably a candidate for whatever type of Republican you want. There's so many people in the field.

And that's why I'm not surprised by that poll earlier that showed that there's fewer undeclared on the Republican side, because no matter what kind of Republican you are, there's somebody to like on that side of the ledger.

COOPER: Has Senator Cruz focused a lot of his resources in New Hampshire or is he -- he's looking beyond?

CARPENTER: Well, I do think he has a good network of supporters there, but he's got his win under the belt. He's going to be much more competitive in South Carolina.

COOPER: He's going to take it forward no matter what.

CARPENTER: Yes, he wants to keep a lot of gas in the tank for SEC Tuesday.

BRAZILE: But, Anderson, as of last month, Senator Cruz spent $580,000, Donald Trump $3.7 million, Chris Christie $18.5 million, Jeb Bush $36.1 million. That tells you a lot.

(CROSSTALK)

PRESS: I was just going to say, I think Trump wins another way. It looks like he's going to win tonight, but wins in another way too, which is the Republican Party, at least the establishment, really hoped that New Hampshire was going to narrow the field down to one guy vs. Trump and Cruz, and it's not going to turn out that way.

The more -- I believe the more candidates on the Republican side, the better it is for Donald Trump.

CARPENTER: Without a doubt.

PRESS: Because then he can go to South Carolina, and he can win again with just 30 percent or something.

ROGERS: And worse, worse, if the other candidates sort of said, OK, we have to get out and pick one, that would make it look even worse.

COOPER: Right.

GERGEN: Can I change the subject and go back to something?

(CROSSTALK)

GERGEN: Well, no, this is beginning to smell a bit like from the turnout that Bernie Sanders may do very, very well here with all these independents, the number of people showing up. I want to go back to the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Paul Begala

notion just play it cool and it's going to be fine. At the same time, we have all these stories about Bill and Hillary -- and Donna, this is directed at you -- Bill and Hillary very dissatisfied, thinking about shaking up the staff.

COOPER: Which Hillary Clinton denies publicly.

GERGEN: Yes, she denies publicly, but the story is still -- news stories have come out since then.

Where are we with this Clinton -- what's going on in the Clinton campaign?

BRAZILE: Well, I talked to John Podesta, and I saw a lot of the Clinton people. And there's no question, when you start getting involved in the primaries and caucuses, you begin to add new people.

You have got to add people because the goals have changed, taking out Bernie Sanders, and, of course, they need to bring in more seasoned people who can actually go out there and work the fields in a more diverse part of the country. So, will they add people? I'm sure they will.

GERGEN: Yes, but are they dissatisfied? That's the question.

BRAZILE: You know, I wouldn't characterize it as dissatisfied, as much as, you know, you have donors, you have people around you that are frustrated. They're not involved, they're not making a decision.

But here's something that we all should know, because I respect the kind of operation that Robby and Marlon and others have put together. They're running a traditional Democratic campaign, where you have an operation. They have a lot of people who are doing absentee ballots. Absentee ballots are up 12 percent.

I'm sure that a lot of that is a result of what the Clinton campaign is doing. They have reached more households than Bernie Sanders have reached. Now, at the end of the day, when you see long lines right now one hour before the polls close, new voters, you know, getting involved, that's a benefit to Bernie Sanders.

BORGER: But I reported yesterday that the Clintons were upset that, in the summer, they felt that they were slow off the mark to recognize the real threat that Bernie Sanders posed, that he wasn't just some fringe candidate out there, which, by the way, all of -- myself included, all of us probably thought at the beginning of this race, that he wasn't some fringe candidate, that he posed a serious threat to their campaign.

[18:25:17]

And looking back on it, it's always easier in hindsight, they're sort of like, why didn't -- in the summer of Bernie, why didn't we do more to oppose him?

COOPER: John?

KING: My first campaign, presidential campaign was covering Mike Dukakis in 1988. And the day it was over and he went from leading in Atlanta to losing 40 states, he had the courage to say, when everyone was saying, your staff let you down, they blew it, he said, you know the fish rots from the head. It's an old Greek saying, I guess.

And he took responsibility for his campaign. So, to borrow a George W. Bush-ism, so they misunderestimated their opponent again. They did that in 2007. They didn't go to South Dakota. They didn't go to these other places. Delegates? We're never going to be in a delegate race with Barack Obama. He's a nice kid, but he's not ready.

Bernie Sanders, they misunderestimated him. And they misunderestimated -- look, this is not all her fault. I said this last night. Just ask Jeb Bush. We're in an environment where brands are not selling. People don't want the old brands. They want new brands. They want different.

BORGER: But Bernie is not new.

KING: But you have to know that environment. But he's made himself new. But you have to know that environment and try to adapt to it as best you can.

BORGER: Right.

COOPER: Let's talk to Bill, because you're--

(CROSSTALK)

PRESS: Just quickly, I have got to say, look, I know that Secretary Clinton has denied it, but Glenn Thrush is a damn good reporter. And he wouldn't have put story up if he didn't have really good sources inside the campaign, number one.

Number two, I don't know what the truth here is, but if I had all those resources and all that pedigree and all that head start and all that money and only won by 0.25 in Iowa, and then lose by double digits in Iowa -- in New Hampshire, I would shake up my campaign, for sure.

(CROSSTALK)

CARPENTER: Yes, which is why if you're a Hillary Clinton supporter, I mean, I would want her to reevaluate how things are going. Things are not going as she planned. She should do some recalculating.

COOPER: We have got to take another quick break, but let's -- first, let's go to Wolf -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, guys, thank you.

Just ahead, the final scramble to get out the vote, how Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders spent the final stretch of a very hard- fought battle -- our exit polling coming in from Democratic voters, what they have to say.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Decision day in New Hampshire has turned into voting evening. Less than 30 minutes left to vote at most polling stations throughout the state.

[18:32:11] The last few weeks have seen a frenzy of campaigning across the Granite State. CNN's Jeff Zeleny shows us how Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders spent this high-stakes primary day.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks for being here.

ZELENY (voice-over): A final push from Hillary Clinton. Coffee...

CLINTON: Hi, how are you today?

ZELENY: ... handshakes and more selfies, luring supporters to the polls one by one in her Democratic duel with Bernie Sanders.

CLINTON: Hi, how are you today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shake the hand of the president.

CLINTON: Well, with your help we'll make it happen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope so.

ZELENY: Voters lined up before dawn today. The first-in-the-nation primary will set the tone for the rest of the campaign. A strong Sanders showing will guarantee a long race ahead.

He stayed behind closed doors with advisers most of the day but made a brief stop at a Concord polling place.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Love you, Bernie!

ZELENY: The Clinton campaign is running from behind in a state that famously made Bill Clinton the Comeback Kid in 1992. Her aides are bracing for a strategic shakeup if things don't go well tonight.

CLINTON: Of course. It would be malpractice not to say, OK, what worked, what can we do better, what do we have we do new and different that we have to pull out?

ZELENY: The campaign's chief strategist, Joel Benenson, told CNN's "AT THIS HOUR" that any top of a shakeup was overblown, but he acknowledged it may be time for a fine tuning.

JOEL BENENSON, CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHIEF STRATEGIST: We have to challenge our assumptions. Challenge what you think you know. ZELENY: Sanders' strength has stunned the Clinton orbit. His wife,

Jane, told CNN's "NEW DAY" that any margin of victory would be welcome.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We hope to win by at least one vote.

ZELENY: Sanders supporters fanned out across the state today, his message from election eve fresh on their minds.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The eyes of the country and a lot of the world, by the way, will be right here in New Hampshire.

ZELENY: The race hinges on New Hampshire's independent voters, famous for staying undecided until the end.

We met Julie Carignan a week ago at a Clinton rally, but she was thinking about voting Republican.

JULIE CARIGNAN, VOTER: I don't even know whether I'm going to pick up a Republican ballot when I arrive at the booth.

ZELENY: Then she asked Clinton a question at the CNN presidential town hall.

CARIGNAN: I'm the proud mother of five girls, two of my own, three stepdaughters. I would like to know what you would do to convince them to vote for you.

CLINTON: I'm going to try to break the highest and hardest glass ceiling. I hope it splinters completely. And -- and I hope for your daughters it opens doors that might not be open right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: And Jeff Zeleny is joining us now from Clinton's primary night headquarters.

Jeff, I understand you've been following that undecided voter at the end of your report just there. You've been following her all week, Julie. Has she finally made up her mind about who to vote for?

ZELENY: She did, Wolf, and she voted for Hillary Clinton, but it wasn't because she was won over in that town meeting. It was actually because of a knock on her door Sunday evening from a Clinton staffer who had come up here to New Hampshire from Brooklyn to talk to a lot of voters.

[18:35:11] And he talked with her, and she was thinking about going -- supporting a Republican, but he talked to her about the environment, social issues. So she decided at that point to support the Clinton campaign.

But this is what the Clinton campaign is hoping on -- hoping for, a ground game. A strong ground game to narrow what they believe is a strong Sanders lead here. So it might be closer than we think tonight if all those ground efforts actually work -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Jeff Zeleny, thanks very much.

Let's get some more on the breaking news now. The exit polling information we're getting, we have new information right now about what voters said they were looking for in a Democratic presidential candidate.

Our political director, David Chalian, has been going through these numbers. What are they telling us?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, this is a really interesting finding about the Democratic electorate, because we asked voters as they left the polls today, Wolf, if they wanted to continue Barack Obama's policies or move in a more liberal or less liberal direction.

Take a look at these numbers. Forty percent of the Democratic primary electorate today in New Hampshire wants the policies to be more liberal than president Obama's policies. Forty-one percent wants to continue Obama's policies; 14 percent less liberal.

We also asked about candidate qualities. What are you looking for? Here again, just like the Republican side, electability not a factor. If you are a candidate making the case that you're the one that can win in November, voters just aren't interested. Only 13 percent of the electorate is interested in electability. They're interested in an honest candidate, one who shares their value, one who has the right experience much more so than they are about electability.

And I'll say, Wolf, the more liberal on Obama's policies, that's even more than we saw in Iowa. In Iowa, 33 percent of the Democrats wanted more liberal policies than Obama's. Here, now it's up to four in ten voters want more liberal policies than Obama's.

BLITZER: That's pretty amazing. All right. Thank you very much for that, David Chalian.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Yes, it's fascinating to compare those exit polls to the entrance polls that we saw in Iowa. I can't remember the exact numbers of those who said -- who were looking for honesty as No. 1. But they overwhelmingly, if my memory serves me correct, went for Bernie Sanders.

BORGER: And this -- I think that it will likely be that way this time, because...

COOPER: We're talking about Democratic voters.

BORGER: Democrats, when you look at these two numbers, "cares about people like me" has been a real problem for Hillary Clinton. Trust, honesty, also another problem for Hillary Clinton.

And you see those numbers being very high among the... GERGEN: Yes.

BORGER: ... Democratic electorate in New Hampshire, which also believes, by the way, that the Democrats believe that Barack Obama is not liberal enough.

You know, you see this pot being made right now, which is Bernie Sanders kind of. It's almost the perfect storm for him to a degree.

GERGEN: It's 60 percent in the Democratic are for either cares or is honest, and only 40 percent is for electable or experience. That's not good news for her.

COOPER: Right.

GERGEN: It's good news for Bernie Sanders.

KING: The ideological shift also, look, the Republicans are searching for their soul and where their party should plant its flag. You have to know where you want to go before you can pick who you want you to lead you there.

Look at the Democrats. Bill Clinton became president of the United States challenging the liberals in this party. Right? We're too beholden to the unions. We're too beholden to Jesse Jackson. We need to be more centrist. We need to be more moderate. That was Bill Clinton's formula for election.

Hillary Clinton is running in a campaign in which 40 percent of the Democrats say, "Great, we love Barack Obama. We've had him for two years [SIC], but we want to go more to the left," and that's a fascinating dynamic. The Democratic Party is moving more left, and she's competing with a challenger she underestimated who's going to keep tugging her left as we go on.

CLINTON: Also the generational divide within the Democratic Party. That woman who Jeff Zeleny was following was at our town hall. I remember, she was talking about her five daughters -- stepdaughters and daughters. If memory serves me correct, they were all voting for Bernie Sanders and were, in fact, trying to convince their mom to vote for Sanders; and that was part of her question. And that's what we saw in Iowa, younger females went overwhelmingly...

BORGER: Yes.

GERGEN: Younger people are more liberal just in general. And I think that's always been the case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But this generation is very split.

COOPER: Generational divide and among young females.

GERGEN: Yes.

COOPER: I mean, Hillary Clinton is talking about breaking the glass ceiling. That's not a message which seems to be registering with this generation of young females.

PRESS: It seems first of all, I believe, these numbers, I believe, really look good for Bernie Sanders, as we've all said.

But I think it reinforces two things we've talked about. One is, I hate to use the word "shakeup," but there's something about Bernie's message that is resonating; and her message, it appears, clearly is not. Which gets back to something I said earlier. You cannot just excuse Bernie's looks like a good showing in New Hampshire because he happened to come from the state next door.

He is speaking to middle-class people and their values, and he cares about them. He comes across as authentic and as working, and it's working. And she's not meeting the mark.

COOPER: The question is, though, come Nevada, come South Carolina and if it goes for Hillary Clinton, is -- you know, are people going to be arguing the exact opposite?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly.

[18:40:09] KING: Everything on paper tells you advantage Clinton when you move on, because she has historical relationships with the African-American community. She has historical relationships with the Latino community. She did very well with those constituencies until Obama became viable in 2008. Once the African-American candidate became viable in 2008, by winning, well, then it shifted.

But she has the relationships, no question. And Bernie Sanders, just because he's from Vermont, it's not his fault. He's never had to compete for those votes, and he's trying very hard now to catch up.

The question is how big is the margin tonight? Because then, I do think if Bernie wins a convincing victory -- Senator Sanders I should say -- is he wins a convincing victory in New Hampshire, people are going to give him another look. Even people who think, "I was for Clinton," they'll stop a moment and pause, and he'll get a look.

And the question is, Can he then take advantage of that? That's the challenge for him. We've been talking about has Clinton not adapted to this campaign? Well, if Bernie wins big tonight, he's going to have to adapt, too, to try to take advantage of that.

GERGEN: Even if she goes down by 15 or 20 points, she still be the strong front-runner for the Democratic Party to get the nomination. What this is doing is just raising questions about her general electability in a campaign you wouldn't normally assume if she was running against a Cruz or a Trump or someone like that, she would win decisively. That's increasingly in play now.

BRAZILE: But as somebody -- but as somebody who's worked on more Democratic campaigns than probably all of us combined, because I'm old. But there's no question there's a very healthy, very strong, very vibrant liberal, progressive base within the Democratic Party.

GERGEN: It's stronger than it was. BRAZILE: And often that base is told to, wait, hold on, help is on

the way. And what you see in Sanders' campaign, especially the people who are managing the campaign and the message, is that we want to move the future faster.

GERGEN: Now. Now.

BRAZILE: Right. But look, there's no buyer's -- there's no buyer's remorse.

(CROSSTALK)

CARPENTER: As a Republican watching this going on on the Democratic side, the longer that Bernie Sanders stays in the race, the better it is for us, because in a general election we can say, "Look, we got criticized for calling President Obama a socialist. You have a real live one right there beating Hillary Clinton for the nomination."

LORD: Bring it on.

BORGER: That way nobody pays attention to what's going on in the Republican Party which, by the way, is having its own issues.

GERGEN: Yes, absolutely.

COOPER: We've got to take a break here.

There's been in the news a troubling new assessment of where ISIS is likely to attempt an attack sometime this year, and a new warning from top intelligence officials. More on that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:47:09] BLITZER: There's more breaking news tonight. Top U.S. intelligence officials now say ISIS is likely to attempt direct attacks on the United States this year. They delivered that sobering prediction at a Senate hearing today.

Our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, is with me here.

What are you hearing about this very candid assessment?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, the ISIS threat central to this campaign from Ted Cruz, talking about carpet bombing to John Kasich supporting ground troops in the fight.

Now, a blunt sobering assessment of the terror threat from the nation's top spies. They testified that ISIS will attempt to attack the U.S. homeland in 2016 and its global foot print is expanding in eight countries and counting, taking of advantage of the collapse of states in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and beyond, and that there are more terrorist safe havens today, DNI Clapper said that, quote, "than any time in history," Wolf.

BLITZER: And he also said, another intelligence official said that ISIS will try to exploit the refugee crisis right now to score more terror attacks.

SCIUTTO: That's right n his words he says ISIS is taking advantage of the torrent of migrants to insert operatives into the West. He said something we've reported at CNN that they are skilled at manufacturing passports -- passports and identities so that they could get them into these countries.

Of course, the primary concern for U.S. intelligence remains Europe. That's where those big flows of tens of thousands of coming from Syria and Iraq, but I can tell you that U.S. law enforcement and U.S. counterterror agencies are looking at the Mexico border, the Canada border to make sure it doesn't happen here as well.

BLITZER: Political ramifications of all in this election season, enormous, right now.

Jim Sciutto, thanks very much.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, the threat from ISIS has been a big issue obviously in the presidential campaign. National security has been a major topic on the trail and at the debates.

Let's go back to our panel, particularly Chairman Rogers.

How seriously do you take the idea of a direct attack against the homeland? And what does mean -- that's beyond just people who are already here, correct?

MIKE ROGERS (R), FORMER HOUSE INTELLIGENCE CMTE. CHAIRMAN: Yes. If you look at what happened last year, 60 disruptions. So that means that there were 60 times that the U.S. government interceded in an operation at some level being carried out in the United States, 60. Huge. That doesn't include, obviously, San Bernardino, that was a successful attack in the United States.

So, we knew that that was a brewing problem. To have both the DIA, General Stewart, and the DNI, the national director, both confirm today in as forceful terms as they have used about the possible attack tells me that there is operational phases that they're detecting out there. They call it chatter. So, there -- somebody overseas is talking about directly striking targets within the United States. That's beyond saying, I hope somebody does something.

COOPER: But the question is, then, does that mean ISIS personnel who are currently in the Middle East or elsewhere overseas coming to the United States, getting on a plane, carrying some sort of explosive device, or does it mean people, American citizens who are already here who are in contact with people who ISIS sends?

[18:50:03] ROGERS: It probably means all of the above. So they will try to get operational cells to infiltrate the United States. And what worries me about how forceful they were given the political events surrounding the migrant issue that they forcefully talked about the fact that they know ISIS was trying to infiltrate those migrant flows, and they're doing it with what they were called good paper. Meaning, they have mastered to both steal and reproduce passports that look real, which gives people an unprecedented amount of freedom, including by the way, travel to the United States.

COOPER: Right. The idea once obviously they're in Europe, it's a lot easier for people to travel to the United States.

ROGERS: To get here. And it means -- again, this is pretty forceful talk from two very senior intelligence officials you would not normally hear be as aggressive to say, we believe they will attack in the United States. Again, that's a pretty serious statement. That means they are likely to be something happening.

COOPER: It also brings into a release of what we learned after the attacks, most recent attacks in Paris, the Bataclan attacks and others, known operatives who were already op the European watch list, were able to get from Syria back into Europe, even into London and then later Paris.

ROGERS: And they've also bragged they can get into the United States. Now, we have -- certainly, they haven't shown any real indicator they can do that, but what worries you is that we've seen them do it in Europe, they said they're going to do it, now they said they're going to do it here. It's likely they have an opportunity to do it.

COOPER: Let's go back to Wolf.

BLITZER: Anderson, thank you.

Up next, what to look for when the results start coming in from New Hampshire. The keys to victory. John King will break it down by the numbers when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:56:17] COOPER: After much of campaigning, hundreds of rallies, thousands of handshakes, millions of dollars, it all comes down to a single day, primary day in New Hampshire. And that day is coming to quite a finish.

As it unfolds, we'll start seeing indicators of final outcomes.

John King is back with what to watch for by the numbers.

So, let's talk about the Republican side. What are the keys to watch?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just moments away, Anderson, from the first results. The map hasn't filled in yet, but it will soon. So, these are the candidates in alphabetical order, once the numbers start to come in, it will flip up the leaderboard.

Let's go back in 2012 and take a look for where to look on the Republican side. Most competitive Republican races in New Hampshire are settled down here, essentially from Concord down. The largest city is Manchester. So, any Republican to win the state, you want to run up the vote total here. You see Mitt Romney did it four years ago. It was key. This is where the most votes are. Run it up as much as you can.

And then right around Manchester, Bedford, a big suburb, but we've seen Kasich, and Christie and Bush competing all the time. Dropping south toward the Massachusetts border, another big suburb, Merrimack. So, for Republicans, down here, south of Manchester, along the Massachusetts border, that's the rich area for votes.

One other thing I would point out for Republicans, though, see all that peach color? That's Ron Paul, who ran second four years with 23 percent of the vote. Libertarians, Live Free or Die as the state motto. If Ted Cruz is to have a strong showing, second or third, you'll see a lot of these counties lighting up for him. If Ted Cruz doesn't get those votes, it could have a big impact on who wins and what the margins.

COOPER: And on the Democratic side, obviously, Bernie Sanders has been leading in the polls.

If Hillary Clinton is to have a good performance here, whether even not a win but just be closer to sanders, where should we look on the map?

KING: Let's look at the keys. And let's remember, in 2008 when she came back to win, 39 percent, 37 percent. Most of the night President Obama was ahead. Hillary Clinton came back to win.

No John Edwards this time. So, 39 percent won't be good enough. That's a key point, number one. She needs to outperform where she was in 2008.

Just look at the map. For Bernie Sanders, let's start with him, Hanover, that's where Dartmouth is, a college town. Critical for Bernie Sanders. Also happens to be right along the Vermont border.

Down here, another college town is Keene, down in this part of the state. Bernie Sanders wants to run it up in Keene. You see Barack Obama did as well.

And also, over here, Durham, where the University of New Hampshire is. For Hillary Clinton, she was the dark blue last time. Look what she did, again, just like the Republicans, most of the votes were in Manchester.

Look at the big margin here. This is where she came back late. Blue collar, gritty, Democratic workers. She needs to run it up against Bernie Sanders, an interesting test of the economic argument in Manchester, which is the key.

And just like the Republicans, Anderson, if you go down to the suburbs, south of Manchester, down to Nashua, which is the second largest city, this is where Hillary Clinton did damage last time and caught up with a great turnout operation to beat Barack Obama largely among traditional Democrats. She needs to match her map from 2008, but she needs to do better, because again, in a two-way race, 39 percent won't be good enough.

COOPER: That is a lot to watch for. Is there any short-cut for Clinton?

KING: Well, if you want to be lazy, there's a short cut for both races. Let's do this. Let me just show this country right here.

This is Laconia, right? It's up in the center part of the state. It's only 1.2 percent of the population. But look at this, in Laconia in 2008, 38, 37, 19. Let's look at the statewide results, pretty close, right? Laconia tracks them.

So, what about on the Republican side? Let's switch over to the Republicans. Let's come back over to Laconia -- 42 percent, 22 percent, 14 percent. Not bad. Pretty close to the statewide results.

Laconia has a very good track record of getting both races right. So, if you want to be lazy, that's one place to watch.

I'll give you one other, Anderson. Over here, right along the main border of Rochester. It is not only the birthplace of (INAUDIBLE), she runs for president all the time, it is the county that since 1972, that's 11 presidential cycles, 44 years, all but once Rochester has picked both the Democrat and Republican winner. Only in 1992 Democratic race did Rochester get it wrong.

But they've got it right when Mitt Romney won. They got it right when John McCain won. And they got it right when Hillary Clinton won.

So, if you want to be lazy, watch Laconia and Rochester. But then you'll miss all the fun, because it's going to be a good night.

COOPER: All right. A lot to watch for. Thanks, John.

Not long from now, we could be seeing some results, whether the polling was accurate or this being New Hampshire, whether we've got surprises in store in the nation's first primary. Big night either way. We'll be taking you through it all.

Our CNN primary night coverage continues.