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Cruz Leading in Ohio, Second in Michigan; Sanders Wins Michigan, Clinton Wins Mississippi; Interview with Sanders Campaign Manager; Sanders Wins Michigan, Clinton Wins Mississippi; Trump Wins Michigan, Cruz Wins Idaho. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired March 9, 2016 - 00:00   ET




WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: There's a contest in Idaho, 44 percent of the vote is now in. It's a Republican primary. No Democratic contest in Idaho on this night. Right now, Ted Cruz has a solid lead. He's at 41.6 percent to Donald Trump's 28.9 percent, Marco Rubio's 18.4 percent, John Kasich, 7.2 percent.

Ted Cruz has a lead of about 9,300 votes, 44 percent, 44 percent of the vote in Idaho and the Republican primary is now in.

In Michigan, we projected that Donald Trump is the winner, we did that a while ago, 36.8 percent. But look at this fight for second place in Michigan, between Ted Cruz and John Kasich, 24.7 percent for Ted Cruz, 24.4 percent for John Kasich.

Marco Rubio, the Florida senator, he's down at only 9.3 percent. He doesn't get that 15 percent threshold, he winds up with zero delegates from the state of Michigan.

Those are the numbers we have so far. Let's talk a little bit with Dana, David and Mark Preston, our CNN Politics executive editor.

Very exciting night so far. And we're not done yet.

DANA BASH, CNN SR. U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right because we have Idaho and then of course we have Hawaii, which is going to come in quite late East Coast time.

But, Mark Preston, you have been doing some really interesting reporting on the Stop Trump movement and where they're headed now.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Right. So there's been a lot of talk about how are they going to stop Donald Trump from getting the Republican presidential nomination. There's been a lot of theories floated, certainly over the past week. Mitt Romney gave us a little hint of at least what he was thinking.

I'm going to tell you, in the past week, it has accelerated, very much so. Spoke to many Republican operatives tonight as the evening was going on, to find out where we are at at this point. And there really is a belief now that it has to come down to a contested convention now that we've seen what has certainly happened in Michigan and Mississippi.

Why is that so?

It's because Donald Trump right now has so much wind at his back that they do think he is going to go in and he is going to pick off Florida and pick off Ohio. But here is the rub on this.

They need Marco Rubio and John Kasich to stay in the race, which is a very difficult thing to ask two gentlemen if they lose in their own states. Now Marco Rubio and John Kasich will both tell you that they are going to win their states.

But let's look at the scenario that they do not, they do not win their face at this point. They are still very valuable to the process of stopping Donald Trump because as we are looking at what states are still left on the table, we're heading back up into the Northeast. These are states that John Kasich and Marco Rubio could do very well in.

We're talking states such as Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Rhode Island and even out west to California.

Now there's this big misperception that, after that March 15th, every one of these states is winner-take-all, meaning Donald Trump could go in, win a state, take all the delegates and move on. That's not how it works. There's only a few states actually that are winner-take-all from March 15th on.

Marco Rubio, John Kasich could pick up a couple of delegates here, pick up a couple delegates there, enough to stop Donald Trump from getting 1,237 delegates.

BASH: It's such a game of political chess. And it is frustrating for John Kasich and Marco Rubio. And I talked to their campaigns about this because they do feel like the map is better for them later on.

The problem is, that's just not how politics works. And you can't just kind of wait around and hope that you can do better and gobble up more delegates later when it looks better for you.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I'll be curious to see how the voters in Ohio and Florida feel about what Marco Rubio and John Kasich should do, if indeed they lose in their home states because those are their constituents.

The one other thing that I think is so fascinating about the anti- Trump movement, the messaging has been centered on "he's not one of us."

He's not a real Republican. He's not a real conservative. He is not one of us. But what is amazing, tonight, as a perfect example -- and then I'm looking ahead to next week -- Donald Trump is still winning the independent vote. And there are a lot of contests upcoming, where independents can still play. So tonight he won half of the independents in Mississippi, he won a

third of the independents in Michigan. And next week, in Ohio, in Illinois, in Missouri, even in North Carolina, independents can play in these big Republican primaries coming up. That's been a source of strength.

And I don't think that message, the (INAUDIBLE), that is geared solely to Republicans.


BASH: That's right. And that's why even today, you're seeing -- I mean, just for example, we should point this out.

Look at Michigan. Ted Cruz is now in second place in Michigan, not John Kasich, who spent all of his time there, who was campaigning there because it does mirror Ohio a lot in terms of its electorate and the message and what works there.

The fact that Ted Cruz is doing well there, to me, says a lot of things but primarily, that the Stop Trump movement, which has been focused on don't vote for him but vote for another Republican who you can stomach as an outsider, who will shake things up in Washington, that that's working --


BASH: -- but it's helping the Ted Cruz and not the other guys.

PRESTON: Right. And the anti-Trump movement, too, I mean, to put it all on the table, they do not like Ted Cruz. And these are states right now that Ted Cruz, as you're looking at the map ahead, is not expected to do very well in.

You know, one interesting thing that I heard over and over and over again is they have the devil -- the political devil in Donald Trump. They have the political devil in Ted Cruz. They don't like either of them.

And one of the reasons why we perhaps did not see a lot of money go into this movement up until this point, we're starting to see money, is because they didn't want to see Ted Cruz helped out. He would be the beneficiary of anything like this. So we'll see what happens over the next couple weeks.

BASH: And he seems to be the beneficiary and even Rubio sources say that he is the beneficiary of his attacks on Donald Trump. And they don't know how to stop that.

But can you imagine, Wolf?

I mean, that would really be taking one for the team, if, let's just say, Marco Rubio loses Florida, John Kasich loses Ohio and they agree to stay in the race just to keep the nomination from Donald Trump?

BLITZER: Yes, that would be -- BASH: That would be a lot if they agreed to do that.


BLITZER: -- amazing. Let's not lose sight of the fact that, with his two wins tonight, Donald Trump has now won 14 states. Ted Cruz so far has won six. Marco Rubio, two.

And John Kasich, zero states so far going into next Tuesday, which is going to be critical with Ohio and Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, those are really critical states.

Let's go over to John King over at the magic wall right now. Say what you will about Donald Trump, he has got another two wins tonight so far, very impressive.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: He's got another two wins, Ted Cruz hoping to get some delegates out of Idaho to say I'm still winning. He'll make the case, I'm still the only guy who's beaten Donald Trump anywhere.

If you look at the delegates so far, the conversation you were just having about the establishment this is not done yet. We have not allocated all the delegates from tonight yet. But Donald Trump in the lead, Ted Cruz, second, by lopsided margins over the two more establishment guys, Rubio and Kasich at the bottom.

These numbers will change a bit as we get more of the allocations tonight. But Trump and Cruz at the top of the pack, you look at the map, as Wolf just noted, the peach color or orange, depending on your TV at home, that's Ted Cruz.

Look at Donald Trump, very impressive, very impressive. And two very impressive wins tonight, 47.5 percent of the vote down in Mississippi, with 95 percent in. Trump will get a big share of the delegates here.

Ted Cruz, a healthy second place. Then a bit dropoff for Kasich. And Marco Rubio, down here at 5 percent in the state of Mississippi, a very rough night for Marco Rubio, 5 percent in Mississippi.

Then you come up in Michigan, where Rubio -- I'll start from the bottom up -- Rubio is at 9 percent there, short of what you need, the 15 percent you need to pick up delegates in the state. Trump again with a healthy lead on top.

Interesting battle here, as Dana just talked about, about 5,000 votes separating just shy of 5,000 votes separating Ted Cruz and John Kasich.

Kasich wanted second place for a bit of a moral victory, if you will. And that's one of the odd things of this Republican race, a lot of claiming that second is good. I'll leave it to you at home to decide whether you agree with that or not.

But John Kasich wanted, heading into his home state of Ohio, but Ted Cruz is winning out here, Kent County, the Grand Rapids area, western part of the state, conservative. Cruz actually winning these counties out here at the moment, racking up a pretty good margin to keep his second place finish.

But when you pull out to the map and take a look at it, big Trump victory here. Take a peek over on the Democratic side, the surprise of the night, Bernie Sanders, with a narrow victory in the state of Michigan. He's at 50.1-48, holding onto this lead.

It's narrowed a little bit because more of the vote has come in in Detroit. We're up to 91 percent now in Wayne (ph) County. Hillary Clinton winning just shy of 60 percent there. As these votes come in, she is narrowing the gap some. But if you come on out here and look at this, you see right now, as you pull out to the map, that's what Bernie Sanders wants.

It might be by a narrow margin, it might be roughly an even delegate split, but Bernie Sanders gets a win in Michigan as you head into next week. You have Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina.

Now let's take a quick peek at Idaho and switch over to the Republican side, no Democratic contest there tonight. Almost half of the vote in. They're counting pretty fast in Idaho. Idaho's an example to the nation, everybody else write that down. Count pretty quickly like this, 47 percent in, Ted Cruz with a pretty healthy lead there, 10,000-vote lead over Trump, 41.5 percent to 29 percent, 18 percent here so it looks like Cruz is on track. We'll see if he can hold that lead. But it looks at the moment like he's on track. It's a smaller delegate take but at least to say if you look at this map, sure Marco Rubio gets Minnesota and Puerto Rico but right now Cruz will make the case, Wolf, this is a two-man race. You should support me before Donald Trump runs away with it.

BLITZER: I'm sure he'll say that indeed. All right. Thanks very much.

One of the headlines is the big stunning upset by Bernie Sanders in Michigan, beating Hillary Clinton -- Gloria.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I think that the Clinton campaign is doing a lot of thinking about what they missed in the state of Michigan, I think the polling ought to do a lot, thinking about what they -- I mean, the polls were of, Wolf, by about 25 points.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's hard to do.

BORGER: Yes, it's hard to do but they did it.

And I think it puts an awful lot of pressure on Hillary Clinton going into Ohio. I mean, look, she is the -- take a step back. She's the overwhelming --


BORGER: -- favorite. She has got a substantial delegate lead. This was a moral victory for Bernie Sanders, which he had to have or this would have been it for him and he did it. But the delegates will be almost evenly divided, I believe, but this puts a lot of pressure on her.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She'll win the --

BORGER: In Ohio.


BORGER: -- in Ohio. It puts a lot of pressure on her to next week, looking into a state like Ohio next week. And I think it puts some wind behind Bernie Sanders.

BLITZER: Even if they split the delegates roughly evenly, still it's a big emotional win for him and it will generate a lot more revenue.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For sure. His money machine is going to be --

DONNA BRAZILE, VICE CHAIRWOMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: They've already sent one out. They sent one out, Wolf, at exactly 12:01.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you look forward to next Tuesday, the likelihood is she may have a good day in Florida, in Illinois, in North Carolina. He could be more competitive in Ohio and Missouri. Perhaps he wins one or both of those. But then she still -- she keeps adding to her total.

And in certain ways I wonder if there's a little bit of frustration on the part -- this creates frustration within the party that, despite Bernie's sort of emotional wins and symbolic wins and so on, she keeps adding to her lead.

You know, what's happened before in these races is you have a lot of buyer's remorse wins for the challenger at the end and yet the nominee is still chosen. We could see some of that here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elections are not only about choosing candidates. Also kind of a window into where the country is. And I think what's interesting when you step back about this is since the early -- since Bill Clinton was elected in 1982, the Democratic Party has been trying to sell its own people on the idea that we can become a more globalized country economically but we can still do things to cushion the blow so that it will work out for working class people.

And what we're seeing in Michigan tonight is yet another example of that message coming from the elite of the Democratic Party is actually not selling with core Democratic voters.

BLITZER: Donna, that fight they had at the CNN debate the other night over the auto bailout (INAUDIBLE) as far as the result in this --


BRAZILE: I don't know in terms of those who broke in the last couple of days. But I can tell you, looking at the map and knowing the state the way I know it, you can't run a two-, three-city strategy and try to win a state as diverse as Michigan.

Secondly, while African American vote was impressive, it -- she needed a higher total. I mean, when you look at Detroit, it's still coming in. But still, Bernie did very well in Detroit. So I think going forward, her campaign need to stop looking at all these national polls and believing that, oh, my god, we're winning and therefore there's no passion.

Bernie's people -- I mean, I say Bernie, I say Hillary, because I know them -- but Bernie's people, they are passionate. They're sending four or five e-mails an hour. And they're testing. They're getting people out there on Facebook. They're energetic. They want to win this.


BLITZER: And you don't see that from Hillary Clinton's campaign?

BRAZILE: I don't see it as much as -- I saw it on Super Tuesday. I mean, after Super Tuesday, I think somebody must have told them it's over. I'm like, it ain't over. It's far from over.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is good news --

BRAZILE: This is all -- yes --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- point about chaos. We talk about chaos a lot. There was this theory somehow that this was going to be a coronation. And the Clinton campaign said we're going to grind it out 50 states, one state at a time type deal to get to the nomination. And that's what it is. I mean this is truly a grind-out, state-by-state battle. And this is healthy for the Democratic Party. And yes, Hillary Clinton, as much as people want to say that she had a rough night tonight, Bernie Sanders was not supposed to win tonight. He did. He ran a awesome campaign up there. Hillary Clinton still wins the delegates. She still gets closer to the nomination. But this is a grind-out and I think it's very --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's thinking bacari (ph), how much healthy can I take.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tomorrow night.

BLITZER: The debate.



VAN JONES, CNN HOST: That's the thing. Somebody said earlier, do they have another debate in --

BRAZILE: Ali-Frazier.

JONES: Yes, they do. If they didn't, they do now.


JONES: This is going to be Ali-Frazier.


JONES: You're going to see both of them. Now you got a Bernie Sanders who feels like he was held back by a lot of his backers, said do not go negative. Stay out. Other people say, go get her, go get her, go get her. He goes no.

He feels I must feel that he got hit below the belt. So now you're going to have him going back on that same stage.

How does he respond?

Is he triumphant, is he mad, is he bitter?

Nobody knows. We won't know until we get there. And then --



BRAZILE: No, no, no, be very careful. I always tell people, be very careful.


BRAZILE: She's a beloved figure. Republicans may dislike her and distrust her but Democrats like her and mainly trust her. So be very careful about -- the issues --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- trying to get people to watch the debate.

BRAZILE: I understand. And look, me, too.

The issues matter. When you six out of 10 believing international trade is taking away jobs, you better -- Hillary Clinton better address that, not attack Bernie, address that. That's what she has to --

JONES: All I'm saying is that tomorrow night, both of them have to --

[00:15:00] JONES: -- throw the playbook out and come up --

BRAZILE: I agree.

JONES: -- with some new stuff to deal with this, both of them.

BRAZILE: Absolutely.

BLITZER: All right, guys. I want everybody to stand by. We have another projection right now.


BLITZER: And there it is. CNN projects Ted Cruz the winner of the Idaho Republican primary. This is his first win of the night. Donald Trump had two other wins in Mississippi and Michigan. But Ted Cruz is now the winner, the winner of the Idaho Republican primary.

And there you can see the vote right now as it stands, 42.9 percent for Ted Cruz, 28.2 percent for Donald Trump, 18 percent for Marco Rubio, 7.2 percent for John Kasich, 56 percent of the vote is in. A big win in Idaho, an impressive win for Ted Cruz right now.

Mary Katharine, your reaction.

MARY KATHARINE HAM, JOURNALIST: The polling showed that Trump would probably win Idaho. Idaho's a little bit of an odd state, a lot of rural areas, a high LDS-Mormon population that went Trump. The interesting thing will be to see if Rubio can get over 20 percent there because that's the threshold. And that is not a good look for him if he can't get over that.

BLITZER: Andy Dean, what do you think?

You're a Trump supporter.

ANDY DEAN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: A couple things. With what Rubio is (INAUDIBLE) out in Idaho, it's a 20 percent threshold for any delegates. And then if you look in Mississippi and Michigan, the odds are tonight, well, Hawaii's going to come in.

But in the continental United States, Marco Rubio will not win one single delegate. And over the past seven days, all the establishment, Mitt Romney, tens of millions of dollars were spent and the idea was let's give Marco Rubio one last stand. And it's been a very, very bad night for him.

I mean, as for Ted Cruz, congratulations; once again, Ted Cruz performs well in caucus states and then states that border his birthplace of Alberta, Canada --



HAM: I just can't wait for Ted Cruz's acceptance speech, where he'll talk about his steaks and his magazine and --


JONES: Do you think that the Mormons listened to Romney?

Was this a part of this Idaho win?

I just wonder.

HAM: I think that the Mormon population is inclined not to be pro- Trump. And I think they were before Mitt Romney --


HAM: I think he could have turned the tide if he had done it pre- Nevada and changed that caucus --


BLITZER: And, Gloria, I was going to point out, this is Ted Cruz's seventh win so far. He came into tonight with six wins. This is number seven, Donald Trump with his two wins tonight, he's at 14. But still, a win is a win.

BORGER: Right. And that's why he calls himself the alternative to Donald Trump. And he says when it gets -- you know, if it's a two-man race, it's going to be Ted Cruz against Donald Trump.

I think the problem for Cruz -- and this is going back to Mark Preston's point about the Stop Trump movement -- is there is no horse to ride for the Stop Trump movement. If there were one, it might be Ted Cruz. They don't really like Ted Cruz.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that's it.

BORGER: Marco Rubio, everybody likes, except the voters as Paul Begala said the other night, right?

So -- and John Kasich, everybody likes but he didn't do as well as he wanted to do.

DAVID AXELROD, OBAMA CAMPAIGN CHIEF STRATEGIST: That is why Ted Cruz is the only one of the other candidates who hasn't said he'd be cool with a brokered convention because he knows he's not going to be the candidate.

BORGER: Right.


AXELROD: But I don't understand this theory -- I don't understand the theory of John Kasich has already said he'd drop out if he lost Ohio, so it's -- it would be transparently manipulative, I think, to say, well, OK, I'm going to hang around like the walking dead here to try and assist this project. It just seems, you know, I understand why they're encouraged, the

anti-Trump people, because his numbers are going down, his unfavorables are going up. He's taking on water. But I just think it may be too late.

BLITZER: Well, let's not forget, so far, Trump has won with the two wins tonight, 14 states; Ted Cruz, seven; Marco Rubio, two; John Kasich, zero so far going into next Tuesday.

We'll take a quick break. When we come back we'll speak to Bernie Sanders's campaign manager, get his reaction to Sanders' stunning win in Michigan tonight and a whole lot more. We'll be right back.





BLITZER: It's been a very exciting night in this race to the White House. Let's recap where we stand right now. The winners in Mississippi, the Republican primary, Donald Trump is the winner. In Michigan, the Republican primary, once again, Donald Trump is the winner.

The third Republican winner tonight in Idaho, Ted Cruz. We just projected moments ago Ted Cruz is the winner in Idaho.

Let's go to the Democratic side right now. You can see Hillary Clinton much earlier tonight, she was projected the winner. She is the winner in Mississippi. And much more recently only in the last hour or so we projected that Bernie Sanders is the winner in Michigan. Bernie Sanders was not supposed to win in Michigan, if you believed all the polls going in.

But he did win in Michigan, an impressive win for Bernie Sanders right there.

Joining us now on the phone is Jeff Weaver. He is the campaign manager for the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Jeff, I think it's fair to say I don't believe even you guys thought that Bernie Sanders would win in Michigan, did you?

JEFF WEAVER, SANDERS CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, we knew it was closing, Wolf. And obviously, in these types of situations it's hard to know how strongly you're going to close. But it was clear last night we were closing strongly but we didn't know at the end of the day where we were going to get over the hump or not, which we obviously did.

BLITZER: Because clearly, we saw Brianna Keilar at the site of what was going to be your rally. He spoke much earlier, if you thought he was going to win, presumably you would have waited for a victory speech, right? WEAVER: Well, it was a very late night for a victory speech, given how late we've gone, Wolf, but he spoke to a -- many, many thousands of people here in Miami earlier, a very enthusiastic crowd. Everywhere he goes, he's received by these -- crowds of thousands and thousands of people. Certainly was the case in Michigan -- and let me on behalf of Bernie and the campaign really thank the people of Michigan for standing up to the pundits, the establishment, the super PACs, Wall Street and all the corporate interests, who have been trying so hard to stop Bernie Sanders' campaign.

BLITZER: Why do you believe he won in Michigan tonight?

WEAVER: Well, I think there were a few reasons, Wolf. I think this issue of trade, Senator Sanders has opposed these disastrous trade deals that have been devastating Michigan, Ohio and other states for so many years. He has been a consistent opponent of them. Secretary Clinton has been a --


WEAVER: -- consistent supporter. And people all across Michigan know that their state has been devastated by deindustrialization and it's the policies that Hillary Clinton supported and apparently still supports that caused that.

So I think that was a powerful message. And that message in Michigan resonated across racial lines. As you know, Michigan once had a vibrant black middle class, (INAUDIBLE) the pride of the nation and it's really been devastated.

People we met in Michigan, African Americans talked about, you know, the prosperity that used to be there among the African American community, which has been lost. You see that not in personal finances but in places like Flint, Michigan, and Detroit. You've well seen the films of the schools there, how they're falling apart.

And that's because the tax base has been destroyed in those communities because factories have left. I mean, Flint, Michigan, lost 11 automobile-related factories as a result of bad trade deals that's really harmed that community and so many others.

BLITZER: But to make a dent in terms of her delegate lead right, you're going to have to win by bigger margins than 51-49, right?

WEAVER: Look, the calendar clearly was set up in a way that benefited the secretary at the beginning. She's been first lady in Arkansas for over a decade. She had a lot of strong ties across the South. People knew her there. She had developed relationships with people.

But as we move forward, the calendar moves very much in our favor. And I think you've seen in states like Kansas, where Bernie Sanders won by 30-plus points, Maine, where he won by 30-plus points and across the North, you know, other than Michigan, he's won every state by double digits. And that going forward is going to allow him to pick up the extra delegates he needs in these states to put together the delegates necessary to be the candidate who wins the Democratic nomination.


BLITZER: One final question: (INAUDIBLE) tomorrow night in Miami, what's he going to do?

What's his strategy to go after Hillary Clinton?

WEAVER: Well, it's not going after Hillary Clinton, Wolf. It's about laying out his agenda for America, about how we're going to rebuild the middle class, how we're going to deal with the racial injustice in this country and social injustice. That's the message that he took to Michigan that resonated so powerfully with people there and that's going to resonate with people in Missouri and Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida on March 15th.

BLITZER: Jeff Weaver, congratulations to you, congratulations to the senator on the win in Michigan tonight. We'll continue these conversations down the road. We'll see you in Miami tomorrow at that debate. CNN will televise that Univision debate, 9:00 pm Eastern, a very important debate. Jeff Weaver, thanks very much.

WEAVER: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Dana, David and Mark, this is an impressive win, you got to say, given the fact that none of the polls really projecting that Bernie Sanders would beat Hillary Clinton in Michigan. She did win in Mississippi.

BASH: That's right. Impressive win tonight and I think the big question now looking forward is what this means, if anything, for the upcoming states, especially Ohio, which is so similar in many ways, not in all ways but in many ways to Michigan when it comes to the electorate and people still feeling pain when it comes to trade and so forth.

What do you think, David?

CHALIAN: I think Wolf asked the key question there to Jeff Weaver, which is don't you need to win more than 51-49 to actually dig in the delegate lead?

And the answer to that is yes. It wasn't the answer Jeff Weaver gave but the answer to that is yes, you do. And so there is the math here and there is the wakeup call moment for the Hillary Clinton campaign, that they can't put the nomination race in the rearview mirror yet. And they need a strategy to deal with that.

But the delegate map is how you win the nomination. And although this is a big victory for him, it's not going to make a dent. In fact, she'll emerge from the night with more delegates and the debate tomorrow night is on Univision. And I would imagine that it's going to be focused on a lot of Hispanic issues, related to the Hispanic community.

I'm sure it will be broader than that but I'm sure that will be a part of it. So it also is happening in Florida. Those two things probably make Hillary Clinton feel that the day after this loss, she might be on a bit firmer ground.

PRESTON: I certainly don't think that trade in the way that it was discussed up at Flint in our debate, our initial debate, is going to be first and foremost tomorrow night although it is going to be an interesting debate for many reasons because we clearly saw that there was -- there is bitterness between these two, not quite what we see in the Republican side, but there is bitterness.

As far as tonight's win goes to in Michigan, what is very interesting is that the Clinton campaign, when talking to them, they would say, when we win Michigan, although we won't win by a lot, when we win Michigan, it's going to show that our argument on the automobile industry worked.

And that is going to boomerang into Indiana and that's going to boomerang into Ohio, two states that have a lot of manufacturing when it come to the auto industry.

Well, guess what?

It's not going to boomerang in there. At least not to the extent that the Clinton campaign said so.

So listen, there was a lot on the line for the Sanders campaign tonight because they said we're going to the industrial Midwest and we're going to win. And you guys don't believe us. And we didn't believe them. And they won. And now the narrative is that Bernie Sanders win, continue to win. But to David's point, it's a game of math and even for someone like me, who can't add 2+2 because it equals 5, I mean, the bottom line is that there still is some fuel right now in the Sanders car.


BASH: Absolutely. I think you guys are both right. And the other thing looking forward again is what you were describing, all the reasons Bernie Sanders won based on the exit polls, those are all cautionary tales for Hillary Clinton if she does get the nomination going forward against any Republican, especially if that Republican is Donald Trump -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Thanks very much, guys.

Gloria, a very important psychological win for Bernie Sanders.


BLITZER: But as far as the delegate count is concerned, she still has an impressive advantage.

BORGER: She does. When I hear from Hillary Clinton people tonight, that's the message, that, overall, she won the night; she's winning and we understand all of that. But I think as Dana was just pointing out, there are some cautionary messages here to Hillary Clinton that her campaign has got to look at, the questions that we've seen about trust and honesty, cares about people like me.

You have to start asking the question, is this the candidate or is this the campaign?

And in battling Bernie Sanders, she happens to be running against one of the most authentic, kind of honest politicians any of us have ever seen. I mean, even tonight in his so-called victory speech, which wasn't really, he said, well, she'll probably get the same amount of delegates.

So it's not -- you know -- and whoever hears a politician say that when he should be claiming victory and saying we're going to take this all the way to the White House, which he didn't.

So it's hard for her because, as she said to Anderson Cooper at a town hall, she said I'm not a natural. I'm married to natural. But she isn't a natural.

DAVID AXELROD, OBAMA CAMPAIGN CHIEF STRATEGIST: But that actually was a very arresting moment because it was utterly authentic and that's what she has to aim for.

But the reality remains that she's on track to be the nominee. There'll be some highs and lows. She's on track.

The question is, are there vulnerabilities, the ones you mentioned that showed up here that could actually hinder her from winning the nomination?

And is Donald Trump the guy who can take advantage of those?

And that's the thing everybody's going to be pondering.

BORGER: He doesn't do well with cares about people like me.

AXELROD: No, he doesn't. In fact, some of their problems mirror each other. But the advantage that every Democrat has going into the election is that this is becoming a more and more diverse country. And the candidate who can dominate that minority vote wins it.

Donald Trump is weak with women, with Hispanics, with younger voters. These are the elements that Barack Obama used to put together a big victory. So she still has that going for her.

BLITZER: Maybe weak with certain elements but he's really doing well in this Republican contest, at least so far, and did well tonight, at the same time.

We'll take a quick break. As we go to break, a little bit of what Donald Trump had to say earlier tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think I've every had so many horrible, horrible things said about me in one week --


TRUMP: -- $38 million worth of horrible lies but that's OK. It shows you how brilliant the public is because they knew they were lies and it was just really amazing to watch and to get these kind of numbers, where they call them immediately, is just something very special.




BLITZER: Remember there's one more contest tonight at the top of the hour, they'll start counting votes in the Republican caucuses in Hawaii. We're going to watch that as well. That's the one remaining contest on this Super Tuesday.

I want to bring in CNN's Mark Preston. He's over at our decision desk, taking a look at the delegate count right now.

Mark, let's talk a little bit about the Republicans, the all-important delegate count, where does it stand?

PRESTON: Well, Wolf, you need 1,237 delegates to secure the nomination. Let's look at where we are tonight.

Donald Trump picked up 58 delegates so far tonight, Ted Cruz 43, John Kasich 16 and Marco Rubio as we speak right now has failed to pick up a delegate.

Let's look at the numbers year-to-date in this hunt for delegates. Ted -- rather, Donald Trump has 447 delegates right now, Ted Cruz 346, Marco Rubio 154, John Kasich, 53.

Let's look at the Democrats right now. Big win for Bernie Sanders up in Michigan.

But does it really change the tide of where we stand?

Not necessarily.

Right now, as we speak, Hillary Clinton has won 84 delegates tonight, Bernie Sanders has won 67. Year-to-date right now, Hillary Clinton has won 1,234. Bernie Sanders has won 567.

And just to put a little asterisk on those numbers right there, Wolf, that includes pledge delegates, those delegates that they have won in these contests up to this point, and also the super delegates, the governors, senators, elected officials, who have privately pledged or publicly pledged their support to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

BLITZER: Good report. Thanks very much for that, Mark Preston.

Mary Katharine, what does it say that Marco Rubio is not doing well tonight at all?

MARY KATHARINE HAM, JOURNALIST: It's not a good night for him. That's just the bottom line.

I think the way that this is set up, the way the calendar is set up, he has a debate that he can do something in on Thursday. And he can hope that just as the tide turned for him in a very bad way in New Hampshire because of three minutes on that stage, maybe it would turn the other direction because people do react in a split second to these kinds of things. I think it's a tough road to hoe.

But there have been a couple polls that show he could be in shouting distance of this thing.

BLITZER: In Florida, you mean?

HAM: In Florida.

BLITZER: So you think he still might be able to win Florida?


HAM: I think it's probably unlikely but I think there's a chance there. It depends a little bit on what the other campaigns do in Florida.

And then can I talk a little bit about the Trump victory speech tonight?


HAM: We talk about Hillary having these problems with trustworthiness and her numbers are very bad on that, caring about the problems of people like me.

Trump is -- 69 percent think he's not honest. And let me put a reason out there. On the stage tonight, he's talking about his steaks, saying these are my steaks, look how great they are. This business is not defunct.

Reporting on the ground shows that there are labels on the steaks that come from a West Palm Beach butcher. They're not his steaks. He's lying about the steaks.


HAM: And this is a reflection --

VAN JONES, CNN HOST: He's lying about his meat again. I just can't stand it.


BLITZER: Let's let Andy Dean --


ANDY DEAN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Van Jones' meat remark --

HAM: No comment --

DEAN: -- I think that's going to be a YouTube moment. OK.

Well, I will say one thing, getting back to politics and away from Trump Steaks, which I always found when cooked medium well were excellent.


HAM: It doesn't matter that he's just --

DEAN: I don't know about the derivation, if they come from Trump cows or where. I don't know.


DEAN: I will say this, though. Rubio's problem, I think in Florida and next week, is going to be that he so underperformed in Mississippi tonight. He got 5 percent of the vote in Mississippi. In Northern Florida, the population centers like Jacksonville, Panama City Beach, Pensacola are going to vote like Mississippi voted. And he's just not going to do well in Northern Florida. That's going to hurt him very badly.

BLITZER: Northern Florida, similar to some of those other states.

Gloria, do you agree?

BORGER: Yes. I -- look, I think nothing succeeds like success and Rubio didn't have any success tonight, period, end of story. And Florida, he's got to win it.

And he did an interview this afternoon with Hugh Hewitt on the radio and said to Hugh Hewitt that I believe whoever wins the state of Florida is going to be the Republican nominee.

Take from that what you will.


Take from what you will.


AXELROD: All I know is you don't need very big hands to hold zero delegates.


AXELROD: I just think -- Van inspired me. I just -- I think that this is a terrible result for him in terms of

creating any kind of momentum going into Florida.


AXELROD: As I said earlier, I think this is a great result for Donald Trump because Rubio was the guy who was supposed to take Trump out in Florida. He goes in very damaged into next Tuesday. I don't even think he could have imagined the result that he got tonight.

DEAN: When you step back, it's really pretty remarkable. The Republican Party after Mitt Romney did a lot of soul searching. And in many ways, Rubio was the perfect candidate for what they wanted, young, Latino, connected to popular culture, someone who could broaden the party.

And a lot of donors, a lot of elites were really excited about Marco Rubio. It's just that Republican voters never were excited about Marco Rubio. And I think part of the problem -- there will be a thousand autopsies if he doesn't win Florida. But I think one of the central problems is this: there were a lot of intellectuals, a lot of smart people in the Republican Party who were saying the Republican Party has to offer something to blue collar people besides just the government will get out of the way.

There were -- and Marco Rubio never really came forward with that message. He never said anything that made people look twice and say, you know what, this is not the same old Republican, kind of free market stuff that really hasn't worked out for us. He was not innovative on policy. And I think that's one of his problems.


DONNA BRAZILE, VICE CHAIRWOMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: We're giving Marco Rubio more time than the votes. And I just wanted to make that point because when you look at the results in Mississippi, in Michigan, clearly in Idaho, what kind of campaign is he running?

BLITZER: We're still waiting for Hawaii.


BLITZER: We don't have the results for Hawaii.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Marco Rubio, this entire --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a candidate with no strategy. You remember when, it was a month and a half ago, Marco Rubio had the three, two, one strategy. He was going to go into Iowa. We gave him all the air time. He came in third place, everybody thought he won.

He was going to go into New Hampshire, come in second and then come in South Carolina, come in first. But now his path to the presidency goes through Minnesota and Puerto Rico.

BLITZER: All right, guys, hold on. Hold on. Hold your thoughts for a moment. We're going to talk a little bit about Florida, the key race, one of the key races. Next Tuesday, John King is standing by over at the magic wall. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.





SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: -- of Florida can play a profoundly important role in transforming our country, in helping to lead this nation toward a political revolution.

TRUMP: I think we're going to clean the slate. I think we're going do really well in Florida. This is my second home, I love Florida.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're not just going to win the Florida primary. We are going to win Florida in November and we are going to leave for our children the single greatest nation in the history of all mankind.


BLITZER: Welcome back. We're looking ahead right now, next Tuesday, Florida among the five states, Republican and Democratic primaries in those states. John King, let's take a look ahead. Next week, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina, arguably even more important than today.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Yes, tonight this -- tonight sets the table for those big contests. Big states, let's switch, go from the national map over to the delegate map so we can take a look at this. Here's roughly where we are right now. We've got some delegates still to allocate tonight but roughly Donald Trump stretches his lead a little bit over Ted Cruz.

Cruz is winning out in Idaho. But let me come forward, let me come down here for us and we get to today. There we go. We come down to today. Cruz is winning Idaho. Donald Trump stretching his math out. He was 80-something up to begin the night. He's going to end more than 100 up.

We're still waiting on Hawaii to see what happens there. But Donald Trump stretching his lead. Cruz trying to make the case I'm the only alternative. Tough night for Marco Rubio and John Kasich. Let's move ahead to March 15th --


KING: -- because it matters significantly what happens. This scenario, Trump wins the board, runs the board. If Trump runs the board, game over. That means he's winning Florida and Ohio. Rubio and Kasich home turf. He runs the board, he gets pretty hard to stop there. You heard Mark Preston say they wanted these guys to stay in to try to stop him, you don't have to be a rocket scientist. That math is pretty overwhelming.

So let's just say for the sake of argument John Kasich can win at home. It's winner-take-all in Ohio, so take that one away. And if Marco Rubio can come back, the polls suggest otherwise. But let's say Marco Rubio has time to come back and win.

Now what happens there?

Takes Trump back a little bit. He still stretches out -- if he wins everything else, if he wins North Carolina, if he wins Missouri, no reason to think he won't if you look at the map.

BLITZER: Illinois.

KING: Illinois, Trump has been winning in these areas. So he's been winning here. Let's say, for the sake of argument, somebody else wins Illinois.

You want to pick somebody?


KING: Let's say Rubio wins Illinois. They'll be happy with that in the Rubio campaign. I don't think anyone else thinks that's likely but just for the sake of argument, I just want to make the point.

Even if you start beating Trump in a few states, he's pulling out. Now here's the issue, if you beat him in a few states, the problem is, we don't have time to go through it all, then if they stay in and he's winning with 35 percent to 40 percent in the non-winner-take-all states, it's hard to finish. That's the point of everyone says in the Never Trump movement.

So it is important next week that they get a couple of wins. I think at the moment, if you look at the polling, that one's more unlikely. So you switch this one around. And Illinois is a winner-take-all. So by next week, Trump could be somewhere out here.

Is that unstoppable?

No. But the math still is pretty overwhelming.

The question then is, if Rubio and Kasich win, obviously they'll stay. If they lose, it's likely, even though the establishment might beg them to stay in to keep the crowded field, it's likely if one or both loses they would get out because the money would dry up. Then Trump gets an interesting scenario.

So tonight sets the table for a fascinating next week, Florida and Ohio, the key. But how Trump does in the other states important too, because look what he did tonight. Winning those states tonight gets him back in the game.

BLITZER: If Kasich does win his home state of Ohio, he potentially could win Illinois. It's a similar demographic.

KING: Conceivable, although tonight's Michigan performance has to be viewed as a disappointment. They hope for a stronger Michigan performance to give him a boost in Illinois as well because he's going to have to spend most of his time and this week focusing on Ohio. He'll get over to Illinois some; it's not that far of a trip, but now after a disappointing finish in Michigan, he knows he's going to have to spend most of his time.

Cruz did it before Super Tuesday in Texas, Rubio and Kasich are going to be locked in at home, which, again, is the advantage to Trump.

And Cruz, if he can see an opening but Trump is leading in those other states right now. Trump can travel and spread the field.

So it's interesting there.

If you want to take a quick peek at the Democratic side and you come over. Again, we still have delegates to allocate in Michigan, the Mississippi math is coming in. Hillary Clinton's going to win most of them in Mississippi. Michigan will be more or less a split. But we'll see when we get through the districts. But Hillary Clinton began the night with a 200-201 pledge delegate lead, she's probably going to stretch that a little bit, even though she has the embarrassment of losing Michigan because she won Mississippi so big.

And here again, if we pitch this forward, we try to get -- we come up to March 15th. Here's the big test. If this is just a one-state setback and Hillary Clinton rebounds in Ohio, which she won in 2008, Illinois, Barack Obama's home state he won in 2008, if it's just a one-state setback then she gets back into the math game.

The question is can Bernie Sanders -- now, again, if it's 55-45, Hillary Clinton would get a bunch of delegates. But the psychology of the Democratic race will be dramatically different if the Midwest looks something like that next week, if Bernie Sanders can prove this was not a one-shot wonder, I can beat you across the industrial Midwest, including in another state you won in 2008.

This would be a huge message and there's no question, Bernie Sanders made a statement tonight. The question is, can he build on it?

Florida demographics favor Hillary Clinton, North Carolina demographics favor Hillary Clinton. Ohio and Illinois after the Sanders win tonight, going to be an interesting week.

KING: And unlike the Republicans, the Democrats, they are proportionate. Their allocation of the delegates going forward, March 15th on the Republican side, winner take all, that's a significant difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.

KING: Not all the Republican states but most of them.


KING: Even if Hillary Clinton lost those two states she would still have a delegate lead. But the psychology of the Democratic race will change dramatically if that happens next Tuesday.

BLITZER: That's a good point. All right. They're about to start counting votes in Hawaii. Republican caucuses right at the top of the hour. We'll take a quick break. We'll update you on that. All the day's political news when we come back.






SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let's show the world that democracy is alive and well with a huge voter turnout, huge.

BLITZER: On the Democratic side, a very dramatic race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.


I'll tell you what, those differences pale in comparison to what's happening on the Republican side.

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: We're Americans, frankly, Americans before we're Republicans and Democrats and conservative principles will work for the rest of this country.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You believed in me once, I am asking you to believe again. We will win this election and we will.

KING: The math of the race now is getting more and more important. If you're going to stop Donald Trump, you'd like to make a big down payment tonight.

TRUMP: The Democrats would love to have what's happening. We're way up with millions of people. Embrace it. We will win the election easily.


BLITZER: A shocking upset, Bernie Sanders upending Hillary Clinton in Michigan. Hillary Clinton, though, dominated in Mississippi and even with the Michigan stunner, she still will win the delegate race tonight. On the Republican side, a show of strength for Donald Trump, big wins in Michigan and Mississippi for the Republican presidential front- runner. But Ted Cruz would not be denied. He wins in Idaho.

And now our attention turns to Hawaii. It's Tuesday's final prize and it could tell us a lot more about Ted Cruz's campaign.

I'm Wolf Blitzer in the CNN Election Center. We're only minutes away from when officials start counting Republican votes in Hawaii, 19 delegates are on the line right now for the Republicans in that state. Hawaii, by the way, is a caucus state and that could bolster Ted Cruz. He's won seven states so far, including --