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First Exit Poll Results Soon; Live Results of Five Primaries. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired April 26, 2016 - 17:00   ET


[17:00:11] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, a battle of the front-runners. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each looking for a sweep in the Northeast. Will they run away with victories in all five states?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Forging ahead. With one eye on today's votes and other on primaries to come, Cruz, Kasich, Sanders plan, strategize, and try to bend the math in their favor.

BLITZER: Our breaking news: the pulse of the electorate. The first exit polling is starting to come in. In just a few moments, we're going to show you the data and what it could tell us about what the voters are thinking.

COOPER: I'm Anderson Cooper.

BLITZER: I'm Wolf Blitzer. And you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

The voting is under way right now in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, and Rhode Island. Welcome to Super Tuesday No. 4, a showdown in five Northeastern states.

We have our reporters all over the campaigns. They're at polling stations. We also have exit poll data coming into THE SITUATION ROOM in just a few moments. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, they're hoping today's contests bring them one giant leap closer to being the only viable candidate in their respective parties. Clinton has several events today, while Trump has just one on the public schedule. He plans to speak later tonight in New York.

CNN political reporter Sara Murray is joining us now from outside Trump Tower in Manhattan. Sara, how's the Trump campaign feel -- feeling about its chances tonight?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, the Trump campaign feels very confident going into tonight. They think it's possible that they could sweep all five of these states and come away with a number of delegates, and they think that's the kind of momentum that will really help them going forward.

They think after tonight, they can really make the argument that Ted Cruz and John Kasich have been mathematically eliminated, and it's time for the party to rally behind Trump. And they also hope that that momentum could be the kind of thing that even gives them a boost in places like Indiana, where it might be a little bit of a tougher run for Trump than it will be in the five states we're seeing today.

BLITZER: So the Kasich and Cruz campaigns are continuing. They're trying -- trying to to prevent Trump from reaching enough delegates to win the nomination, as Trump had more to say about that today.

MURRAY: Well, Trump has been pretty quiet today. He hasn't had any campaign events, but he was very vocal on the campaign trail yesterday, calling Ted Cruz and John Kasich pathetic, calling them losers, even hitting John Kasich on his eating habits.

The question, Wolf, is what will we hear from Donald Trump when he speaks tonight? Like I said, Wolf, we're expecting him to have a big win, so will he give a gracious speech, or we get kind of classic Trump, see him come out and continue to hit his competitors and essentially say, "Look, it's time for these guys to step aside"?

BLITZER: Sara Murray reporting for us, thank you very much.

Hillary Clinton supporters are hoping for a big night after her commanding victory in New York. She's also campaigning in Indiana today before heading to Philadelphia for a primary night event later this evening. Jeff Zeleny is joining us now from the City of Brotherly Love.

Jeff, five states up for grabs, Secretary Clinton spent the day campaigning in Indiana. What's been her basic message today?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, she's in Indiana campaigning and really pushing forward. I mean, confident about today's outcome, but they know this primary's not over.

So in Indiana today, she was talking about jobs, about the economy. Also, trying to just subtle mention to Bernie Sanders, saying it's not enough to rile up crowds. In her words, you need actual solutions here. So similar message to the one that we've heard, really, for weeks and months.

But, Wolf, I can tell you tonight they are confident about the outcome here in Pennsylvania and in probably all five states, at least four of the five states. One advisor told me earlier this afternoon they believe they can win four of the five states here.

But Hillary Clinton knows better than most anyone else that this is not over until it's over, and we know that there are a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters and fans out there that she still has to win over.

So, Wolf, you can almost feel a sense of turning the page in this campaign, that they are looking forward to the general election, that they are, you know, in terms of messaging, in terms of moment here.

But they are still working hard on the ground here in Philadelphia, still working at this hour, I'm told, to get people to the poll.

BLITZER: Jeff Zeleny reporting for us. Jeff, thanks very much.

Bernie Sanders has a rally in West Virginia. That's set to get under way a few hours from now. Our senior political reporter, Brianna Keilar, is on the scene for us. She's joining us live.

Brianna, new rumblings tonight about the future of the Sanders campaign? What can you tell us?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. The New York Times was reporting that the Sanders campaign was going to be reassessing the Sanders candidacy after today, which is a day that is more advantageous towards Hillary Clinton.

But I spoke, Wolf, with campaign officials, and they say that that is not the case. They will be doing some reassessing, but it will just be about how to move towards getting a majority of the pledged delegates, which they insist they still have their eye on.

To that point, you can see this crowd here wrapping around the block, the big Sandy Store (ph) arena here in Huntington, West Virginia. Voters don't go to the polls here until May 10. So you can see tonight Bernie Sanders trying to look ahead, not only to West Virginia, but especially to California and Oregon, where the Sanders campaign thinks that they have a better chance.

The math, though, Wolf is very tough. If you're just looking at pledged delegates, Bernie Sanders would have to win about 6 out of 10 in order to deprive Hillary Clinton of the nomination. But they insist they're going to keep pushing towards that, try to get the majority of pledged delegates and try to convince super delegates to flip their allegiance.

A lot of difficulty with that strategy, but that is what the Sanders campaign says their plan is at this point, Wolf.

BLITZER: Because on the super delegates, as you know, Brianna, Hillary Clinton has, what, about 500 super delegates that so far have said they're -- they're pledged to her. He has, what, about 50. Has there been any sign at all that he's making inroads at reducing that number of super delegates who are at least for now committed to her.

KEILAR: No, there is no sign. I do think the thinking at this point, Wolf, outside of the Sanders campaign is that it would be difficult to flip those super delegates.

But the Sanders campaign says they would make the case that, if the will of the people is that he is in the lead, that maybe super delegates should continue. But as we have seen going state by state, she has still been picking up more super delegates than him and is actually, though she is ahead of him by about 200 or so pledged delegates, it's the super delegates that give her most of her lead.

BLITZER: Brianna Keilar, thanks very much.

Anderson, over to you.

COOPER: A lot to talk about with our panel here. Let's start, Gloria Borger, in terms of tonight, what are you looking for? I mean, obviously, Donald Trump, Secretary Clinton expected to do very well tonight. GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. And you know, as

Bill was saying earlier, we always say this is the most important night, but is it really?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we go again.

BORGER: Important night tonight, because I think you could be looking at the two nominees tonight.

I think if Donald Trump does really well in all of these states, if he does overwhelmingly well in the state of Pennsylvania, and if he manages to get a lion's share of those congressional districts and those delegates, those uncommitted delegates, then I think it's a huge win for him, particularly heading into the state of Indiana.

For Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, I think he math becomes nearly impossible for Bernie Sanders. And I think we're going to start having to look at sort of next steps and how -- and how they negotiate with each other for the rest of this campaign.

COOPER: So clarity by the end of tonight?

BORGER: Maybe.

KING: Clarity's a great word. Look, it's been an unpredictable year. Senator Sanders has to someone -- he needed it last week in New York. He didn't get it. He somehow needs to win Pennsylvania to say that I could continue the race. That's what Hillary Clinton did in 2008. She won Pennsylvania, gave her a ticket to May. Just winning Rhode Island won't be enough for Bernie Sanders. That's his best state. He has to do it.

I think I want to echo what Gloria said on the Republican side. We are looking. If the polls are right, and what we're hearing anecdotally today, Trump will add 100 plus. He will come away with 100-plus new delegates tonight. We are likely to be able to count the Cruz and Kasich new delegates on one hand with a few fingers left over. That's as important as what Trump gets, is how many fingers do you need to count what Cruz and Kasich get tonight? Because they got wiped out last week in New York. They get wiped out again today, Indiana is waiting next week. It's Cruz's last, best hope.

BORGER: May not be.

KING: And Donald Trump is leading already. We'll see if he gets momentum.

COOPER: Mayor Nutter.

NUTTER: I think Secretary Clinton takes four and takes many of them with pretty decent margins, and then, I mean, the conversations will continue. The campaigns have to figure out what they want to do. But tremendous momentum shift with definition out of the is evening.

COOPER: Bill Press, as well? PRESS: I think by nature, where these states are located, coming off of New York, Hillary has a great advantage tonight in all five states. I really do.

But at the same time, we've seen when Bernie Sanders really focuses or really puts attention to a state, like he did Pennsylvania, he has -- he does well, and he has spent, I saw today, $4.6 million in these five states, compared to Hillary, $2.6 million. So he's really made an effort. I would...

COOPER: He made an effort, though, in New York, though.

PRESS: I know. But I'm just saying, he's made that effort. And I think tonight is really determinative. I would think that Bernie Sanders will win Rhode Island, and it's the only open primary of all five.

I disagree a little bit with John. I think if he comes really close, keeps a close margin in Pennsylvania, if he wins, then it's great for him. If Hillary sweeps the table with all five, it's a different ball game.

COOPER: All right. We'll have a lot more with our panel ahead. We're also getting today's first exit polling information in. We'll have that for you, and we'll see what it might tell about tonight's results, how that's all shaping up, in just a moment.


[17:14:13] BLITZER: Lots of numbers to throw at you today. It's Super Tuesday No. 4, voting is under way in five Northeastern states. There are 172 delegates at state for the Republicans, 384 for the Democrats. The polls closed at 8 p.m. Eastern. Results start to come in soon thereafter.

But we're already getting some exit polling information coming into THE SITUATION ROOM right now. Political director David Chalian, he's going through the numbers. We did exit polls. The three biggest of the contest tonight, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut. We're finding out how Republicans feel if no one gets to magic number of 1,237 on the first round.

CHALIAN: That's right. You know all our attention is focused on Cleveland and the possibility of what would happen if there was a contested convention.

Look at how consistent these findings are across all three states. In Connecticut, when asked, Republican primary voters say that -- 68 percent of them in Connecticut say that, if nobody gets 1,237, the nomination should go to the person that has won the most votes in the primaries and the caucuses. Twenty-eight percent said delegates to the convention floor should be able to select who they think is the best candidate.

Look in Maryland, 66 percent, to the primary winner is where the nomination should go. If nobody gets 1,237, 30 percent to the best candidate.

And in Pennsylvania, again, a similar finding. Seventy percent of Republicans voting today in the Pennsylvania Republican primary say, if nobody gets that magic number, the primary winner, the person getting the most votes in the primaries and caucuses, should be the one that gets the nomination. Twenty-eight percent say they should vote for the best candidate.

BLITZER: All encouraging numbers for Donald Trump.

CHALIAN: Very encouraging.

BLITZER: He's got the most delegates, obviously.

Also, you've got some information, some polling data, exit polling data on how Republicans feel that this whole long primary season, the impact is having on the party.

CHALIAN: Right. This is an important measure to take to figure out how do you piece the party back together for the fall general election. This was a Pennsylvania Republican primary voters. We asked, is this campaign energizing the party or dividing the party?

Similar to what we saw in New York last week, 39 percent of Republicans say, it is energizing the party, by 58 percent. This nomination season has divided the party, Wolf.

BLITZER: Interesting. We're beginning to crunch those exit polling numbers, a lot more coming up. Thank you very much.

Anderson, over to you.

COOPER: Let's go back with our panel. We've got Sanders supporters and we have CNN political commentator Bill Press, who we've talked to before; CNN political contributor and former Philadelphia mayor, Michael Nutter, he's a Clinton supporter; also, "INSIDE POLITICS" anchor John King; Gloria Borger, chief political analyst. Wait, there's more. To my left, as also have CNN political commentators Kayleigh McEnany, who supports Trump; Mary Katharine Ham; Jeffrey Lord, who also supports Trump and Donna Brazile.

So Kayleigh, what are you looking for tonight?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What I'm looking for tonight is to delegitimize the Cruz narrative. Cruz has said repeatedly this is Losin' Donald was what he called Donald Trump. But tonight we're going to see Donald Trump win in five states, probably to the tune of 50 percent or more. We're going to see him win by 20- point margins.

Moreover, we are going to see Cruz likely come in third place in four of the five states. This narrative of Donald Trump has a feeling he can't win. He's Losin' Donald. All of that is delegitimized. That narrative dies tonight, and Donald Trump is looking like the presumptive nominee.

COOPER: Mary Katharine, do you agree with that?

MARY KATHARINE HAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I mean, I think it's going to be a very good night for him. Numbers from the exit polls are very good for him, because the delegates when they get to a convention, if it went to a convention, would feel those numbers. They would know that that's what Republicans want. I think that's part of it.

Here's the other part. You have to earn 1,237. You don't get given 1,237 because you got close. That's how this works.

COOPER: Even though a lot of the people in Pennsylvania seem to think

HAM: I think that's the possibility of how that would go on the first ballot on the floor, even if he didn't, if he got very close. But, the rules are still the rules. And you don't get given the 1,237 because you got close. He's tried this week to change tonally and failed. Tried to change operationally, and the turmoil shows that that's not going real well. So I think how he moves forward and runs a campaign is going to be very interesting, because it's not -- the changes are not working.

COOPER: Jeffrey Lord, I think you think Trump's going to have a good night, because I think you've gotten a haircut, and it's a special celebration.

LORD: How did you know that?

COOPER: I look for these things.

LORD: I think he is going to have a very good night. But the things I'm looking for, we're looking at math, and we're looking at politics. The math is, as I've said earlier, how many delegates does he win of those 54? If he wins the state, he's fine with the at large, the districts. We've got a lot of the uncommitted folks where they are not Trump delegates saying, "I will abide by what the district says so you want to look at that."

And I'm also curious, as to the connection as I said earlier, we've got three phone calls into our home from a group that said they were unaffiliated. I checked them out and, lo and behold, after recommending three specific people, two of whom are friends of mine, they said on your web site, "We love John Kasich." So it was very -- very interesting here. So we really need to pay attention.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they might have been calling the wrong guy.

COOPER: It's actually hard, though, in Pennsylvania, for folks to figure out who these delegates support.

LORD: Yes, yes. And the Trump people set up a website early on so that -- Gloria's got it right there in print form -- that says specifically who are the Trump people in which congressional district. And that's been very helpful. HAM: I think it's interesting that it remains a news story when the

Donald Trump campaign runs a campaign. Putting that website up and handing out flyers is how a campaign is run and it's how people recognize delegates. And it's a news story that that's happening. So when you go to a general election, if that's still a news story, that's a problem.

The real story is he's been able to accomplish all of this, winning the most primaries, winning the most voters, the most delegates without...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop complaining when it doesn't work.

BORGER: I think the real story is the crazy process in Pennsylvania tonight. Because I mean, you were talking about this, Jeffrey. But so people going in to vote in Pennsylvania, Republicans, in certain congressional districts, if you're running as a delegate, Anderson, it will just say "Anderson Cooper." It won't say whether you're Trump or Cruz.

[17:20:15] COOPER: On the Democratic side, though, it tells who you support. But the Republican side...

BORGER: They need a little cheat sheet.

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Republicans are still in the 20th century. Get into the 21st century. They have a loophole primary, where you have a beauty contest on one end, but you have another process, all of these so-called unpledged delegates, that you have to figure out on the other hand.

It makes it more interesting, Anderson, but I think voters are going to come away feeling like they voted for Donald Trump, if they vote. they may have voted for Mr. Kasich, Mr. Cruz. But they voted for one person, and they don't know just who the hell they voted for on the other side.

COOPER: A tweet that Trump sent out today. Bernie Sanders has been treated terribly by the Democrats, both with delegates and otherwise. He should show them and run as an independent.

BRAZILE: Winner take all, we don't have that? I mean, Bernie has received -- if I'm right, Bernie has received 42 percent of the raw vote, but he has 46 percent of the delegates. No.

LORD: That's a guy...

He's going to be the Republican nominee for president.

BRAZILE: He wants a bromance. He wants a bromance.

KING: Listen, if you read the incoming -- if you read the incoming today, if this goes the way it looks like it's about to go tonight, there will not be a shorter list of prominent Republicans who do not want Donald Trump to be their nominee. But there will be a much shorter list of prominent Republicans who

think Donald Trump will not be their nominee. That conversation has changed in the last -- even in the last six hours, five hours, that they still don't want Donald Trump. They want -- they hope Ted Cruz can somehow pull a rabbit out of the hat and stop Donald Trump. But that's the state they're in.

COOPER: All of this talk of an alliance between Cruz and Kasich...

BORGER: Kasich didn't want it. Kasich was ambivalent. I watched the interview. So ambivalent about it. Sort of he said to voters, in Indiana, yes, vote for me still." So it was clear to me this wasn't a big...

PRESS: Can I just weigh in? With all due respect to Kayleigh, Bernie Sanders should not take Donald Trump's advice on anything.

But certainly, not on running as an independent, No. 1. No. 2, Bernie is not running as an independent. Forget it. It ain't going to happen. He has said it's not going to happen. He wants a Democrat to be the next president of the United States. He will support Hillary Clinton. That's just caca from Donald Trump.

COOPER: All right.

PRESS: Maybe he'll run as an independent.

COOPER: I haven't heard the word "caca" used in far too long.

We'll talk more later. We'll have more caca coming up.

And just ahead, Ted Cruz and John Kasich said they were teaming up to stop Donald Trump. And is their alliance falling apart barely two days into the deal? Did it fall apart barely hours into the deal? More on that ahead.


[17:27:39] COOPER: The five Northeastern states holding primaries on this Super Tuesday are not part of the deal that Ted Cruz and John Kasich struck to try to stop Donald Trump. When their campaigns announced that deal, they said that Cruz and Kasich would divvy up Indiana, Oregon and New Mexico. That was the plan they laid out.

But with the alliance barely two days old, the candidates, well, they've been sending mixed messages, raising the question, is the deal, is it gone? Has it all fallen apart? CNN's Sunlen Serfaty has the latest.


TRUMP: How pathetic is it when they use collusion?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's meant to be a "hail Mary" pass, but it may have already been fumbled. GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Is this collusion?

What does that even mean? I don't even know. Does he know what that means?

SERFATY: The alliance between Ted Cruz and John Kasich quickly showing signs that it is starting to unravel. Instead of selling the deal as the way to stop Donald Trump...

KASICH: So what? What's the big deal?

SERFATY: Both candidates have struggled to explain the compromise, downplaying extraordinary political maneuver as just an allocation of resources.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think that made sense from both campaigns.

SERFATY: And dodging questions as to what the pact really means for their supporters.

COOPER: And if you really wanted to make sure Trump is denied the most delegates, shouldn't you instruct your supporters to vote for Cruz?

KASICH: Anderson, we can run our campaign the way we want to, and when you run for president, you can run yours the way you want to.

SERFATY: Kasich, now adding this.

KASICH (via phone): I'm not telling anybody anything in Indiana, because I'm not campaigning in Indiana. But I don't tell voters what to do. Voters are smart enough to figure out what they want.

SERFATY: That, after initially saying his Indiana backers should stick with him.

KASICH: I've never told them not to vote for me. They ought to vote for me.

SERFATY: Ted Cruz, asked by CNN if he expects his supporters in Oregon and New Mexico to now vote for Kasich, replied only with this...

CRUZ: You know, my focus right now is on the state of Indiana, on earning votes here in the state of Indiana.

SERFATY: Cruz has tried to explain the deal as Kasich clearing the way for him to take on Trump in the Hoosier State.

CRUZ: John Kasich announced that he was pulling out of the state of Indiana. He's focusing his attention on other states. What that means is that Indiana gets a straight and direct choice between our campaign and Donald Trump.

SERFATY: While Kasich has canceled his public events in Indiana, the Ohio governor's still attending a fund-raiser in the state tonight. TRUMP: They made a deal. But like every politician, they don't know

how to make deals.

SERFATY: Trump has been quick to capitalized on the mixed signals, slamming both his rivals.

[17:30:06] TRUMP: Kasich this morning said, "What are you talking about? I want people in Indiana to vote for me." In other words, he broke the deal. He broke the deal. This is politicians, folks. They're all talk, no action. They'll never get you there.

SERFATY: Trump has continued the attacks today, declaring the pact is under great strain, not being honored, and is almost dead.


COOPER: Sunlen Serfaty joins us. Senator Cruz seems to already have set his sights beyond these five states today. What's the latest on that?

SERFATY: Absolutely right. The Cruz campaign is really bracing for a tough night. They expect tonight. And Senator Cruz is all about looking ahead. He is almost exclusively focused on Indiana right now, laser focused. He's spending the majority of his week here and will really be setting up shop here in the state until next Tuesday's primary here in Indiana.

And I do think there is an awareness, an understanding on the part of the Cruz campaign about how much the stakes in this state have been raised since making that alliance in that deal with John Kasich. And their efforts to stop Donald Trump to get -- from getting to the 1,237 before the convention.

So we have seen Senator Cruz go out of his way in recent days on the campaign trail to make a very specific and very direct appeal to John Kasich supporters here in Indiana, saying, "Look, I know we don't agree on much, but we do agree on not wanting to have Donald Trump as a nominee and not wanting to have Hillary Clinton as president. So he says, we must unite."

But that said, Senator Cruz admitting that Indiana, for him, is very pivotal -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Sunlen, thanks very much. Wolf, back to you.

BLITZER: Thank you. A lot of conflicting messages going on. Alice Stewart is the communications director of the Cruz campaign. Alice is joining us now live.

Alice, thanks very much for joining us. Five Republican primaries tonight, five states. Can Senator Cruz win any of them?

ALICE STEWART, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, CRUZ CAMPAIGN: Well, Wolf, we're not going to make any direct predictions on tonight, but what we can say is that every state is important, and Ted has spent some time in many of those states. But he tonight is in Indiana. It's a key state for the campaign.

And we'll spend quite a bit of time there moving forward, and the message is very simple. Ted is out there to coalition build and rally and unite conservatives behind him, which is something that Donald Trump has not been able to do.

You have to win the majority in order to achieve the nomination, and Donald Trump has only gotten the majority of votes in one state, in one state only, which is his home state. And the key is about receiving a majority plus one in as many states as you possibly can in order to receive the necessary delegates to achieve the nomination.

And what Ted is doing now is focusing on acquiring delegates in every state we possibly can to -- to achieve 1,237.

BLITZER: I know Indiana, a week from today, is going to be critical for his campaign, Senator Cruz's campaign. Both candidates, Kasich and Cruz, seemingly backing away from that deal that they struck to prevent Donald Trump from reaching that number of delegates, 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. Is the deal over with, or is it still hanging by a thread?

I think it's important to understand, Wolf, what the purpose and what was stated in this deal. It was letting folks know that we are going to concentrate our resources in Indiana, a state that's important for the campaign. It was nothing more than that. We're focusing our resources in that state. He'll spend quite a bit of time there.

It's not an indication of directing voters how to vote or which way to vote. It was more of an indication this is where we're going to spend our resources. And that's exactly what we're going to do, because what's important, as I said, it's about coalition building; and that's what politics is all about.

BLITZER: I just want to be precise, Alice -- I just want to be precise. Senator Cruz says Kasich is pulling out of Indiana. He's pulling out of New Mexico and Oregon. He's given up on those two states. Is that part of the deal?

STEWART: As I said, once again, this was merely an opportunity for us to let folks know we are focusing our time and resources on Indiana. We're also looking further down the map in other states like, certainly Washington State is a key state, and we're looking ahead at acquiring as many delegates as we can.

And look, the key is, is that Ted is reuniting conservatives, because he's focused on important issues that people are concerned with, jobs and economic growth. And he's focusing on the issues that people are concerned with. And not all of this other distraction about process and politics. It's the issues that Ted is out there talking about.

BLITZER: But to be precise. In New Mexico and Oregon, he wants Republicans to vote for Kasich, not for him?

STEWART: Again, to be precise, the pact -- the agreement was nothing more than to let folks know that we are focusing resources on Indiana and hoping to build a coalition. Because the priority No. 1 is electing the Republican nominee that is best suited to, A, defeat Donald Trump, but also Hillary Clinton. Ted Cruz is the proven, tested conservative that can defeat Hillary Clinton. He...


[17:35:18] BLITZER: If he loses in Indiana -- if he loses in Indiana next week, is it over for Cruz?

STEWART: Absolutely not. There's still a pathway. There's, as John has indicated. What we're seeing is the numbers more than likely don't add up for Donald Trump either. And it is more than likely it's shaping up to be a battle on the convention floor.

And if that is the case, that is perfectly suited for Ted Cruz, given that these are the grassroots volunteers across this country that Ted Cruz admires and respects just as much as they do him, as opposed to Donald Trump, who has insulted them along the process in terms of how this delegate process is playing out.

And conservatives understand that Ted Cruz is someone who has been a Republican his entire life and has been tested and true to the core issues that are important to them. And that's why we look forward to a fight on the convention floor, because he will no doubt connect well and do well with Republicans in Ohio.

BLITZER: Alice Stewart, thanks very much.

STEWART: Thanks, Wolf.

BLITZER: Just ahead, we have new exit polling information to share with you. Early clues in some of the races. I'll also talk to the national spokeswoman for the Trump campaign. Much more right after this.


[17:41:11] BLITZER: Voters in five Northeastern states have a couple of more hours to get to the polls. Right now, we've got some more early exit polling data to share with you. Our political director, David Chalian, is crunching the numbers.

On the Democratic side, the whole primary season is energizing or not so much the Democrats out there?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: We see the complete reverse effect that we were just talking about on the Republican side. Democrats are energized by the primary.

Take a look at this. In Connecticut, today, Democrats voting in the Connecticut primary there tell us -- 67 percent say, this is energizing the party, this ongoing battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Twenty-nine percent say it is dividing the party.

In Pennsylvania, it's even more so this case: 71 percent of Democrats there say this has energized their party; 24 percent say it has divided the party.

And, to show you what that energy means, Wolf, we asked, what -- how do you feel if Hillary Clinton got elected president? Well, Democrats in Pennsylvania, 67 percent of them say that they would be excited or optimistic what Hillary Clinton would accomplish in office; 31 percent say they would be concerned or scared.

Same thing in Pennsylvania with Bernie Sanders. Sixty-four percent of all Democrats, no matter who they voted for in today's primary, say they would be excited or optimistic about what Sanders would do in office as president. Thirty-three percent say they would be concerned or scared.

So you see that energy that the Democratic Party believes the primary's giving them shows that no matter who wins, Democrats seem to be excited about what the prospects may be for the presidency.

BLITZER: David, thanks very much. You're getting some more numbers ready for us, as well.

We're going to be talking throughout the night about all these numbers. But as we said, Donald Trump is heavily favored to win all five Republican primaries tonight.

Joining us now is Katrina Pierson. She's the national spokeswoman for the Trump campaign. Katrina, thanks very much for joining us.


BLITZER: So will Donald Trump run the table tonight?

PIERSON: I believe so. Yes, Mr. Trump is doing very well in polls. And these states have been in his corner for a very long time. And I think, you know, this is going to be an interesting night for us. We are very excited. We're going to do well.

And Mr. Trump, once again, is going to show he's that the only candidate that can win in the Northeast, the south and across the west. And we're just really excited, Wolf.

BLITZER: We've seen the flyers that have been handed out at various polling sites throughout Pennsylvania to help voters identify Donald Trump delegates on the ballot. They have an unusual system there.

Is Donald Trump confident he will get not only the win, the majority win in the so-called beauty contest in Pennsylvania but, of the 54 unbound delegates that will be elected, will he get the majority, almost all of them, because it's a complicated process?

PIERSON: Well, that is the goal, which is one of the reasons why a lot of the Trump supporters are handing out those flyers, because they want to make sure that everyone knows who the Trump delegates are. Yes, we have this system where the delegates are going to be chosen later, bound or unbound, for that matter. And we want to make sure that everyone knows who the Trump delegates are. The goal is to get them all. So I think we're going to do really well.

BLITZER: Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader in the Senate, he's a Kentucky delegate to the convention. He wouldn't tell CNN today if he would vote for the candidate who actually won Kentucky. That would be Donald Trump. He said -- and I'm quoting him now -- "If it gets to a second ballot, we will see." Does that worry you?

PIERSON: It doesn't worry me, because this, again, is another institutional candidate who will continue to support the institution.

The majority of Americans know that the outsider candidates are the ones that pose the greater threat to the system. In this case, on the Republican side, it's Donald Trump. He's not beholden to the special interests who want to keep open borders and who want to hurt manufacturing jobs in this country.

But you know what? We're going to get to 1,237. Donald Trump is the candidate that will be the GOP nominee. He's going to beat Hillary in November.

[17:45:00] And the other candidates even know this because just a few days ago, they were saying that Donald Trump doesn't stand a chance, he's not going to make that number, and then all of a sudden you hear about this secret deal to prevent that from happening. Donald Trump is the only candidate, as of today, that has a pathway to the nomination.

BLITZER: Set the scene for us because tomorrow at noon Eastern, he's going to be delivering a major foreign policy address, going into significant detail on national security, international affairs. This is a carefully drafted speech he will presumably deliver via teleprompter. He hasn't done much of that, only once before in this campaign. How important is that speech tomorrow?

PIERSON: Well, it's going to be very important because we do have a party that, for whatever reason, believes that invading sovereign nations, overthrowing governments, creating vacuums for terrorists is a good thing. And Mr. Trump is going to point out where those issues have gone wrong in the past and why we need to change course, and why we need to change the mission like of NATO, for example, so that we can actually address the issues that we're facing today and not issues that were from decades ago.

So it's going to be really important to draw that contrast, not only with the other candidates in the race, but with the Democrat side as well.

BLITZER: We'll have live coverage of that speech by Donald Trump tomorrow here in Washington.

Katrina Pierson, thanks very much.

PIERSON: Great to be here. Thank you.

BLITZER: Up next, much more on the effort to try to make Donald Trump more presidential. A new report claims he's rejecting the advice of a top staffer. Our panel will weigh in on that.

And as we count down to the polls closing in five states on this Super Tuesday 4, we'll have much more coming up.


[17:51:02] COOPER: Well, voters now at the polls in five northeastern states, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. We're going to have more exit polling coming up shortly.

Donald Trump still blasting the Ted Cruz-John Kasich alliance but he may have bigger problems to deal of his own in his own campaign. Politico is reporting that Trump is rejecting his new top advisers' push to make him more presidential.

Back with the panel on all of that. First of all, this Politico reporting, what do you make of it? I mean, Paul Manafort has been brought in, he gave apparently a presentation saying that Donald Trump was going to be making the transition now.

BORGER: To be more presidential and you know spoke privately with people and it was recorded and it didn't go over well in the campaign.

KING: Shocking.

BORGER: Shocking that that occurs. Ask Mitt Romney about that. And I think look, I think there are stresses inside the campaign. They're growing, they're expanding and I think, you know, everybody wants to please daddy in the campaign, and I think Donald Trump is not somebody who likes to be managed particularly and so, you know, one minute he says he's going to be more presidential and the next minute he's talking about the way John Kasich eats his pancakes.

And it's a fine line for the campaign to walk because one of the things people like about Donald Trump is that he is who he is.

COOPER: Right.

BORGER: And he's authentic. And you can't take the Trump out of Trump as Corey Lewandowski was telling Jake earlier. You have to let Trump be Trump, but you also have to try and tame him to a certain degree to appeal to a broader audience.

COOPER: Although the implication, John, of what Manafort was allegedly saying to this group was that Trump wasn't really being authentic, that what he was saying --

BORGER: Right.

KING: Right.

COOPER: -- in public was not the way he would govern.

KING: That this was Donald Trump of "The Apprentice," that he was playing a role, that he was play acting. And that he knew that a lot of this was show business and that don't worry, he's going to evolve into a role you'll all be comfortable with, meaning a general election candidate with a consistent conservative message.

That was Paul Manafort's message to the RNC. And it was of course recorded and I hope he knew better going into the room that he didn't think he was going to have a private meeting.

I'm told that Mr. Manafort is upset today at this story because it suggests in there that now Trump is reshuffling again. And that Paul Manafort is being shoved aside a little bit, Corey Lewandowski has re- ascendant if you will and that he's not happy about that.

I will say this, though, this is not my first rodeo. This happens in every campaign. It is unusual that a guy who is about to win five states tonight it appears has dissention playing out about his staff in the news reports, but I remember when James Carville and Paul Begala were brought into the Clinton campaign, it was a big hullabaloo at the time, Mickey Kantor got, quote-unquote, shoved aside. Oh my god the campaign is going to collapse. Oh my god, there's going to be, you know, dissention and it's -- I think he served two terms as president, so let's not overstate staff turmoil on its impact on electoral politics.

PRESS: I have to say as a talk show host, I don't want Donald Trump to be presidential. I like him the way he is and I think he said it best himself -- I think it was yesterday. That if he were presidential there wouldn't be people turning out on those rallies.

COOPER: Well, let's ask his supporters. Kayleigh, do you think it's a mistake for him to try to be more, quote-unquote, "presidential"?

MCENANY: No, you know, there's room to improve on some regards like giving this foreign policy speech, having that teleprompter speech. There's room to do that and I think that's a great move, but as Gloria said, I think it's important to hammer home authenticity. People like Donald Trump because they think this is someone who speaks at a dinner table the same way he speaks to voters.

And that's by and large true. So it has to be a measured balance of yes, giving the foreign policy speeches, but also not being someone else because we saw when Marco Rubio went from being a buttoned-up politician to a standup comedian. He was out of the race.

COOPER: And worth mentioning, though, Jeffrey Lord, to see what Trump says tonight, because last week on this night he gave a -- it was an eight-minute address. The shortest. He seems sort of -- he was, you know, described as being more presidential. Will that Donald Trump be the one making a speech?

LORD: I don't know about tonight. I imagine tomorrow, I was at his rally in Harrisburg the other day, 10,000 people, he talked about this subject and said something along the lines if I were presidential I wouldn't be here. Historically you go back and the knock against Thomas E. Dewey was that he was presidential. Harry Truman won the nickname "Give them Hell Harry" for a reason. I think Donald Trump is on the right track here.

[17:55:05] COOPER: We got to take a quick break. A lot more ahead. Polls closing in about two hours in five key states. We'll be checking with all the campaigns in the next hour and we'll have more exit polling and see what voters are thinking as they cast their ballots today.


BLITZER: Happening now, Super Two, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each looking for another big night with voting underway in five northeastern states. Can their rivals stop the momentum?