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THE SITUATION ROOM
Indiana Votes; Eastern Indiana Votes Coming In, Western Polls Still Open; Cruz, Trump Trade Accusations; Trump, Clinton Leading in Early Poll Results. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired May 3, 2016 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We're about to get the first vote tallies out of Indiana.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: This is likely to be another defining moment in the 2016 campaign.
NARRATOR (voice-over): In the Midwest right now, one state with unexpected power to shape the presidential race.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Indiana's turning out to be a very, very important place.
NARRATOR: This may be the last chance for anti-Trump forces to get a contested convention.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Hoosier state is going to have a powerful voice.
NARRATOR: Will the front-runners emerge stronger or stumble? It's Indiana's choice.
Tonight, in the Republican race:
TRUMP: Do I look like a president? How handsome am I?
NARRATOR: Donald Trump declaring himself the presumptive nominee, dismissing his rivals as desperate in their attempts to take him down.
TRUMP: How pathetic is it, when they use collusion? How weak does this make them look?
NARRATOR: Ted Cruz putting his all into Indiana with a surprise running mate at his side and his bid to stop Trump on the line.
CRUZ: That is the one thing that stands between us and plunging over the cliff.
NARRATOR: John Kasich standing down in this round, but refusing to give up the fight.
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have decided to keep going. It's not always an easy road.
NARRATOR: In the Democratic race tonight:
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going to come together and we are going to solve the problems we face.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
NARRATOR: Hillary Clinton closing in on the nomination, reaching out to Bernie Sanders supporters as he faces even longer odds.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our job is to transform the Democratic Party.
NARRATOR: Now it's time for voters to have their say.
TRUMP: If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5 percent of the vote.
NARRATOR: The front-runners are pivoting from the primaries and aiming at each other.
CLINTON: This hateful talk about immigrants, about women, enough.
NARRATOR: Indiana is choosing. The candidates are competing to the last vote and the road to the White House could take another big twist right now.
BLITZER: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world to a special edition of THE SITUATION ROOM. I'm Wolf Blitzer in the CNN Election Center.
The presidential candidates of both parties, they are standing by for results from tonight's very important Indiana primary. Polling places in the Eastern Time Zone in Indiana, they are closing right now. We expect the first votes very soon.
Less than an hour from now, voting in the Central Time Zone will end. And once the last polls close, we will have a chance to project winners. Donald Trump is aiming for another big victory tonight. He's hoping to deliver a serious blow to Ted Cruz, as well as John Kasich, and possibly derail their goal of a contested GOP Convention.
Trump now has just over 1,000 delegates. A victory tonight would put him closer to 1,237. That's the number he needs to win the nomination outright; 57 Republican delegates are up for grabs in Indiana. The statewide winner will get 30 of those delegates. The other 27 delegates are doled out based on who wins each congressional district.
On the Democratic side, we may see a tight contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Win or lose, Clinton expects to pick up delegates. That will take her closer to clinching the nomination. Sanders often does well in open primaries, like this one, where independents are also allowed to vote, not just registered Democrats; 83 Democratic delegates are at stake in Indiana. They're split proportionally, so neither candidate will walk away empty-handed.
Jake Tapper, over to you.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: All right, thank you so much, Wolf.
Even as Indiana voters were at the polls today, the war of words between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz escalated to a whole new level.
Let's check in at Trump headquarters in New York.
CNN's Jim Acosta is there.
And, Jim, Donald Trump pushing this ridiculous report from "The National Enquirer" that Ted Cruz's dad was involved with Lee Harvey Oswald.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jake.
But keep in mind, there's a primary that we still have to get results from tonight. And as for that primary, a Trump source tells me they believe tonight's expected win will make the GOP front-runner, Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party.
But the campaign is not shifting totally into general election moderate just yet. They do not believe they will hit that magic number of 1,237 delegates Wolf just mentioned before California coming up in June, so they can't relax at this point basically is the message.
Despite all the chatter about Trump and who his running mate might be inside the Beltway, a Trump source tells me there are no signs a big vetting effort is under way to pick a vice presidential running mate. And as this source put it, they are still trying to get the party comfortable with Trump as the nominee.
Now, that effort may have been hampered somewhat today, Jake. The Trump campaign is not providing any proof that Ted Cruz's father was involved in the Kennedy assassination, a story that was lifted right out of "The National Enquirer" by Donald Trump.
And they're not offering any apologize either. Trump sources tell me they feel Cruz was absolutely knocked off his game today, a huge win, with a Y, huge with a Y, win, as one source described it to me. And just at a time when Cruz was trying to paint Trump as unfit to be president, the real estate tycoon was able to put out that statement, Jake, that described the Texas senator as desperate -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Jim Acosta, thanks so much.
No proof, of course, because it isn't true.
Let's check in with the Cruz campaign.
Sunlen Serfaty is in Indianapolis, Indiana.
And, Sunlen, a lot of eyes on Ted Cruz tonight to see if he can actually pull off a victory in that key state this evening.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jake, high stakes here for the Cruz campaign and really a sense of anxiety within the campaign going into tonight.
Now, a top Cruz campaign official tells me that Senator Cruz has written and prepared two versions of his speech tonight, one version should he pull off a surprise win here in Indiana, a second version if he has a defeat here in Indiana.
But Cruz campaign officials continue to insist that he will continue on in this race even if he suffers a devastating loss here tonight. When talking to Cruz campaign officials, I asked the question, will he potentially consider dropping out? And a Cruz campaign official admits to me that, you know, this is constantly a calculation that he as a candidate undergoes, pointing that he has prepared to drop out at times in the past over this campaign, as we reported back in March when Senator Cruz was able to win Texas.
We reported after the fact he would have gotten out if he had not won his home state, but the Cruz campaign certainly facing a grim reality. The math, the narrative around their campaign is quickly changing. All signs point to some frustration on the part of Senator Cruz -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Sunlen Serfaty at Cruz campaign headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Let's now go to CNN's political director, David Chalian, who has some fresh information from the exit polls.
Obviously still too early to say who is doing well and who is doing poorly, but we do have some information about who turned out to vote today, David, and why they turned out.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: That's right, Jake.
And some of these numbers will shift throughout the night as we get more data in, but we are seeing something that we have seen in previous contests on the Republican side, which is that the electorate is not out there today voting today to express opposition.
Take a look at this. We asked Indiana Republican primary voters, are you voting mainly for your candidate? Seventy-four percent said, yes, they are; 25 percent said they're mainly voting against their candidate's opponents, so not that much of a protest vote, and consistent with what we have seen in several of the primaries now.
Also, we asked folks, who run the most unfair campaign in Indiana? Take a look at this. Cruz and Trump are about even there; 42 percent say Cruz ran the most unfair campaign; 38 percent said Trump, John Kasich, who you know bowed out at Indiana, way down at 8 percent, but pretty much equally split there, roughly so, among Indiana Republicans about who was running the most unfair campaign there, Jake.
TAPPER: David, who are the 8 percent who thought John Kasich ran the most unfair campaign?
TAPPER: He didn't even run a campaign in Indiana.
CHALIAN: That's right. I don't know who those 8 percent are.
TAPPER: Track them down for me. I appreciate it.
CHALIAN: OK. Will do.
TAPPER: You will get back. All right. Thank you so much.
And let me bring in my colleague Dana Bash.
Dana, this is a huge moment for the Republican Party. If Donald Trump wins Indiana this evening, which is certainly a possibility, it's almost going to be impossible to stop him from getting the magic number of delegates he needs before the convention.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It absolutely will.
I just got off a plane from Indiana. I was there yesterday and last night at a Cruz rally. And you can feel -- it's palpable. The voters in Indiana get how important it is. It's not that often that they have such power.
But they understand that this is truly a pivotal moment. If Ted Cruz doesn't win, because he's put all his eggs in this basket, if he doesn't win Indiana, they insist inside the Cruz campaign he's staying in, that he will have a path forward to stop Donald Trump. That's all it is.
But there's no question it changes the dynamic. It changes the momentum. It changes the narrative in every way. It just makes it so much harder for him to say and everybody to say Donald Trump is not going to be the nominee.
TAPPER: Indiana theoretically a state that he should be able to do well in.
Let's go to Wolf Blitzer right now. He has a Key Race Alert.
BLITZER: Thank you.
This is the first Key Race Alert of the night so far. The polls in the Eastern Time Zone in Indiana, they are closed very, very early. Initial numbers right now, see, only less than 1 percent of the vote is actually in, Donald Trump with 61.4 percent, 23 percent for Ted Cruz, 11 percent for John Kasich.
But once again, maybe a couple thousand, if that, votes have been counted so far on the Republican side, very, very early, Trump building up a slight -- a significant lead, I should say, but it's still very early in Indiana.
On the Democratic side, also very early, Hillary Clinton with 63.8 percent, 36.2 percent for Bernie Sanders, but only, what, 900 or so votes have been tallied so far, Hillary Clinton 228 votes ahead of Bernie Sanders, once again, very, very early right now.
We're standing by for more early votes coming in from Indiana. Donald Trump says the GOP race is over if he wins tonight. We're taking a closer look at the delegate stakes, the endgame, as we get closer and closer to possibly projecting a winner.
Stay with us.
BLITZER: Let's get another Key Race Alert right now.
More votes are being tallied, 1 percent of the vote in, in Indiana on the Republican side, Trump maintaining his lead, 55.2 percent, Ted Cruz 29.3 percent, Kasich 12.3 percent. You see, only a few thousand votes have been counted so far. They will be coming in more quickly.
On the Democratic side, also very early. Only a few thousand votes have been counted. Hillary Clinton maintains a significant lead, 63.1 percent, 36.9 percent for Bernie Sanders, once again very, very early.
Let's go over to John King over at the magic wall.
On the Republican side, Trump is doing very well on those delegates, especially if he scores well in Indiana tonight.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. Here is Indiana.
Now, it's colored in for the moment as Trump red because he's leading right now. That could change. But just look at this. This is John Kasich's Ohio. Donald Trump has done very well in this part of the country. He hopes to add to it tonight -- 30 delegates, Wolf, go to the statewide winner.
Donald Trump starts in our count at 1,002. That includes some unbound delegates who have promised to vote for Trump on the first ballot. So some of that is fluctuating. But, imagine, just add 30 to that if he wins statewide.
Then the other 27 delegates -- I'm going to pull up this little overlay for you -- the other 27 delegates are awarded on a congressional district basis, so you can put the rough map up here like this. And we watch this play out. There are no excuses for Ted Cruz tonight as this plays out, in the sense that he has said this is his firewall. This is a conservative state. There's also every reason for a Republican of all stripes to vote. There's a competitive House primary up in this district. There's a competitive House Republican -- both of these are Republican -- primary in this district as well.
And there's a statewide Senate primary. So, there's no reason for Republicans of all stripes not to come out, 30, as I said, delegates to the statewide winner. Then we will look at the results in each of these nine congressional districts, three delegates for the winner of each district.
So Donald Trump hopes to sweep them all. We will see if Ted Cruz can win in here and we will see if Ted Cruz can change the number from the early there, because the winner statewide gets more than half. You get 30 right off. So, the big prize to win the state of Indiana tonight, when we look at the early results at 1 percent, there's not much we can make of this so far, just a very smattering of votes coming in.
Obviously, we will look in the Indianapolis area, the biggest -- where the statewide wants to win Indianapolis, in the suburbs, the population center. But there are a lot of other Republican voters down here along the Ohio River. As I noted, there's a congressional primary, so very interesting to watch on the Republican side.
And, again, if you're Trump, you want this. You want the math, but you also want the message, the statement of that.
BLITZER: And on the Democratic side?
KING: Democratic side, remember, this was a fascinating race.
I'm going go back to 2008 as I pull out the state of Indiana. This was a fascinating night. Remember, Wolf, you and I were talking to the mayor of Gary, Indiana.
BLITZER: I remember.
KING: I think it was 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, because we were trying to get the votes.
This came in so close. This is rounded up. She in the middle of 50 percent. He was at 49. This was about as close as it got. But look at the map. Then Senator Obama won up here in Lake County. Then Senator Obama won in Indianapolis and in Bloomington, in Fort Wayne.
This was then Senator Clinton in all these small rural counties. Inside the Clinton campaign and the Sanders campaign, they think we could essentially have a flip, where she wins in the areas where you have African-American voters. South Bend will be interesting, more a college town. Watch the college towns for Sanders.
But Secretary Clinton needs to win up here and she needs to win here. If we come back to the 2016 map and look at it, the results filling in so far, again, 1 percent, winning some of these smaller rural counties, that would be good news for Secretary Clinton, if she can win the smaller rural counties and win up here.
But let's watch this one play out. But inside the Sanders campaign, they think his trade message, they think his blue-collar message -- they also think, Wolf, that Democrats want to extend this race, that maybe they don't want to have a little buyer's remorse, if you will, for Secretary Clinton, and extend the race deeper into May.
Just starting to count the votes, a little -- Sanders votes just came in there in Bloomington. We're only at 2 percent. We have got a ways to go, but a very interesting state. Remember, you had the very tough Democratic primary in 2008. Clinton wins in the primary. Obama actually carried Indiana in the general election. Democrats are hoping to energize themselves again for a state, with Trump as the nominee, they think conceivably they at least take a look at in the general election.
BLITZER: Yes. We're looking at 2 percent of the vote is now in. About 16,000 votes have been counted so far. She's slightly ahead, 53.6 percent, 45.5 percent. Just changed, 54 percent for her.
John, stand by.
We're going to have another update on the vote count in Indiana. That's coming up. Hillary Clinton has a very early lead, but will it hold? And what it would mean if Bernie Sanders pulls off a win tonight?
The stakes for the Democrats and a lot more, that's coming up after the break.
BLITZER: All right, let's get another Key Race Alert; 2 percent of the vote is in on the Republican side. Donald Trump maintains an impressive lead over Ted Cruz, 53.9 percent to 32.1 percent. He's got a lead of almost 6,000 votes right now. Still very early in this contest.
On the Democratic side, also very early, more votes are in, though. Hillary Clinton maintains her lead, 53.7 percent, Bernie Sanders 46.3 percent. She's up by about 1,300 votes. Once again, very, very early -- Anderson, over to you.
COOPER: All right, let's talk to our panel.
Gloria, I mean, if you are Ted Cruz and you don't win tonight, what do you do moving forward? Do you stay in this?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think the Cruz campaign is saying they're going to stay in this.
COOPER: Saying it, though, before tonight is one thing. (CROSSTALK)
BORGER: That's right.
COOPER: What they say afterwards.
BORGER: And it depends -- honestly, I think they are going to stay in. They -- it depends on how much they lose by, which will affect their fund-raising going forward.
We saw Cruz spend some time in California this week. He believes he has got a shot at California and at the states coming up. But I think that it is kind of a moment, as I was saying earlier, an existential moment for the Cruz campaign, where they really have to take stock and say, look, is this going to get to a contested convention?
Because that's their only shot. The math is gone. And they can't win. So, do they take this to a contested convention?
BORGER: Does it make any sense? Do they start there from a position of weakness, or do they start to try to unite the Republican Party?
COOPER: Because, David, I mean, just a week or two ago, when Cruz and Kasich had that sort of a deal that quickly wasn't a deal any longer...
COOPER: ... Cruz was painting Indiana as a head-to-head battle between him and Donald Trump, clearly invested a lot of resources, a lot of time in the state of Indiana.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: That Hail Mary didn't work, nor has any other one worked out there.
GERGEN: Listen, he was 20 points ahead just a few weeks ago, Ted Cruz.
And if he loses tonight by eight or 10 points, the air goes out of the balloon very quickly in these things. I don't see how he continues after tonight with a serious campaign. What I do think is that we're seeing history in the making tonight, because if Donald Trump wins this, he will have the ground in his grasp.
And it will be the first time in 75 years that we have had a businessman nominated by a party, but more than that, it's the most unconventional choice I think we have ever seen since the beginning of the 20th century. COOPER: Really?
GERGEN: As the nominee for the party.
KING: Wendell Willkie.
GERGEN: Wendell Willkie was a businessman, but he was a very different kind of businessman.
Remember, after he lost, he united with Franklin Roosevelt. He helped him in the war. He was very bipartisan in nature. This is a very, very kind of candidate than we have ever seen.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
GERGEN: And I think it's so interesting.
This is at a time when America last -- since the beginning of the 20th century, kind of a world-class power, the most powerful nation in the world today, and for us over nominate this person is -- I think historians are going to be examining this for years to come.
COOPER: Also a businessman unlike any other businessman, in that he is so of his times and so sort of tapped into the popular culture.
You could say Romney was a businessman too. He was a politician.
HENDERSON: Sort of a celebrity businessman.
BORGER: But what Trump has done is blown up the Republican Party completely.
GERGEN: He's blown apart...
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: He's blown up the entire political process.
KING: I want to stress this.
BORGER: That's right.
(CROSSTALK) KING: I want to stress this again. Trump is a phenomenon, without a doubt.
KING: He's a reality television era, social media era candidate, but Republican voters are doing this to their party.
BRAZILE: That's right.
BORGER: That's right.
KING: The Tea Party came along in 2010, and they said, here we are. We helped you win all these jobs.
The Tea Party came back in the 2014 midterms and said, here we are again. We helped you expand your House majority. We gave you a Senate majority. The response from the Republican leadership was not to invite these people to dinner, not to say we want to meet you and understand you.
It was to say to verbally, publicly say, we will crush you. Those voters have just decided to take what we all thought was the broadest, most deep, most experienced, most talented Republican field in my lifetime of covering Republican politics, my eighth presidential campaign.
You looked at these guys and you said, wow, this is an interesting group, and Donald Trump is cleaning the floor with them. He has mopped eight sitting governors out of the thing. These voters want something different. And they're willing to make a guy -- this is a hostile takeover of the Republican Party that the board was violently against, and the shareholders have said, here you go, Mr. Trump.
What is he going to do with it? I don't know. Where are we going to go from here? This is like being on a roller coaster with a blindfold on. You have no idea what's going to happen and where the next turn is, but it is happening.
And if he wins Indiana big tonight, Cruz is not going to win New Jersey. That's winner-take-all.
KING: Cruz is not going to win West Virginia. It's not winner-take- all, but...
BORGER: ... and lose Indiana and win California? There's just no logic.
COOPER: Cruz's argument made to Dana Bash, I think it was just yesterday in an interview, saying, look, well, Trump's not going to get the 40 percent -- 47 percent of delegates he needs moving forward from here. It is going to be a contested convention.
KING: Says Ted Cruz, who is -- if -- this is not about -- I don't want to make this about Ted Cruz, because, to his credit -- no, to Ted Cruz's credit, he's still in this race because he raised a lot of money, because he put together a good staff, because he has a high- tech data operation, because he's in touch with the Tea Party, even the evangelical base of the party.
Even with those assets, he's losing to Donald Trump. The other guys -- Ted Cruz is still there, so give him some credit. The other guys got blown away, governors like Christie, like Bush, the new star like Marco Rubio, guys who had run before like Huckabee and Santorum. You're supposed to learn from the lessons of politics.
So, let's not all pick on Ted Cruz. But at some point, pick your sport. To beat the other guy, you have to actually beat the other guy.
BORGER: But this is what happens when you have a party that hasn't listened to its voters, that is surprised and stunned by the fact, oh, wait a minute, the voters are angry out there. Wait a minute, the voters feel betrayed by us.
BORGER: This is a testament to Donald Trump and his political skill, I would argue, but also tells you an awful lot about an out-of-touch Republican establishment with its own base.
COOPER: Jeff or Amanda?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Go ahead.
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, certainly, but I think it also speaks to the fact that it's Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, two outsiders, still standing in this.
[18:30:10] But given the behavior that Donald Trump has shown towards Cruz and his family, I think Cruz is going to be in it, at least for one or two more weeks, just to make a point.
MCENANY: He's already ceded two states. You know...
CARPENTER: That's Ted Cruz...
COOPER: Let Amanda finish, and then...
CARPENTER: Ted Cruz is a man of principal, and there are some things that are wrong with Donald Trump on both personality and policy.
And I would advise Ted Cruz, you go ahead and say, "Donald Trump, you're going to have to get 1,237 to get me out of the race. I'm not going to surrender anything to you, because this party is important to me. I campaign on the things I believe in. I don't change what I do from day to day. I don't go to the 'National Enquirer' for advice. So we're going to go in this until the end."
And there's been a lot of people that have voted for Donald Trump. There's been a lot of people that have voted against him, and that somehow has to be reflected if the party is going to come together in any capacity.
MCENANY: I think that's a myth, though, that people have voted against him. In fact, if you look at the polls tonight, 74 percent voted on behalf of the candidate. Only 25 percent voted against.
The problem with the "never Trump" movement is it doesn't resonate...
MCENANY: No, I let you finish. I let you. You've got to let me. So the problem with the "never Trump" movement, if it doesn't resonate with people, because when people go to vote, they vote on behalf of the candidate, rather than in spite of the candidate.
The negativity coming out of the "never Trump" movement, which is all about tearing someone down who the voters are trying to prop up, is the endemic of what is the problem with the Republican Party.
LORD: One of the things -- one of the things that I think Republicans have a problem with, to Gloria's point, is the success of the Reagan/Bush years, if you will, the political success, the fact that they were there for all of that time, bred this whole insider's web of donors, consultants, lobbyists, people who came in as revolutionaries, maybe, and they went out and got settled in this town.
And they lost the ability to stay in touch with the folks out there. And therefore they're totally surprised by this, and they represent something to the folks that they're not happy about.
GERGEN: I think it's more that the leaders of the party led this party to the right and then began making promises on how they would transform the country that people listened to and believed in and found they didn't deliver.
And, you know, the Republican leadership bears a lot of responsibility, the leaders over the years. This race has been an indictment of the people who have been running.
COOPER: John and then...
KING: Part of that frustration is illogical in the sense that you have a Democratic president who is not going to give them what they wanted, but the voters want it. And they believe, to David's point, they were promised this by their leaders. You know, and when the government shut down happened. Everyone said, "How can they do this?" Well, they ran in congressional campaigns, saying, "If you send me to Washington, I will vote no, and if necessary, I will shut down the government." Right? We're supposed to applaud politicians who actually do what they campaigned on.
But we are at a night of choosing, I think, for Republicans and the conservative movement. There are two different things, and there's often tension between the two. Cruz is a testament of that tension. He's a product of the tension between the conservative movement and the Republican Party.
What do you do if Donald Trump is your nominee? This is a question that is going to be asked in every Republican, every conservative across the country, especially if you're on a ballot this November. What do you do? Do you reluctantly embrace it and say, "He's our guy. I'm going to ride it through November? We'll see what happens"? Do you run from it? Do you just say, "I'm going to vote for it, but I won't support it and I won't turn my -- I won't have my people work in conjunction with his people"? At every level of this, running for president is really complicated.
All these other races going on, this is a key moment.
COOPER: ... effort tonight?
BORGER: Well, I think that, as long as Cruz is there, I think the "never Trump" movement remains. Whether they're going to be able to raise the money to continue throwing it away, you know, remains to be seen.
HENDERSON: I think there is a question of whether or not a lot of the people we sit on the stage with and people we talk to privately, are they going to continue in November to talk about Trump in a negative way?
I mean, the people I talk to are dead set against Donald Trump. And it's not like the sort of "Bernie or bust" movement. It's much more sort of visceral and firm. I think that will be the question.
COOPER: We're getting closer to the top of the hour, when we may be able to project one or both of tonight's winners in Indiana. Will this be a good night for both front-runners, as the early votes suggest? More results, more of our election coverage ahead.
[18:38:56] BLITZER: Let's get to another key race alert right now. Five percent of the vote is in. Let's look at the Republican side first. Trump maintains an impressive lead, 53.2 percent to Cruz's 33.3 percent, 10 percent -- 10.5 percent for John Kasich. Right now, Trump is ahead by more than 11,000 votes. Five percent of the vote is in.
On the Democratic side, 4 percent of the vote is in. Hillary Clinton continues to maintain her lead, 54.8 percent to Bernie Sanders's 45.2 percent. She's up by nearly 3,000 votes right now. Let's go over to John King, who's looking at the state of Indiana very
closely. First, on the Republican side, what are you seeing?
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Seeing so far -- again, 5 percent, very early, can't jump to conclusions -- but Mr. Trump, obviously, with 50 percent plus right now. Thirty of the delegates tonight go to the statewide winner. So Donald Trump at the moment, 5 percent in, a long way to go, but it looks like he's happy. They're happy in Trump headquarters right now.
Then it gets a little bit more complicated. I just want to bring this out, because you see those two Cruz counties in the northeast corner of the state. As we go on in the night, we may have to do something like this, Wolf, which is to put a map of the congressional districts overlay, and you see what's happening here.
At the moment, right now, you know, Trump is winning in the Fort Wayne area. Looks like he would win this congressional district right up here in the top corner. But we'll have to count the votes as we go on.
Three delegates for each of the nine congressional districts, so 57 total. Thirty going to the statewide winner, then three for each of the nine congressional districts, so we're going to have to watch this out.
We're at 5 percent right now. Not much we can say, except that Trump is building an early lead. And if you want to get those statewide delegates, that's what you want to do. Build an early lead.
So we'll be using this as we go on. This is a conservative House district right here in the middle and the south. This is a very conservative House district up here. There are Republican primaries in both of those two conservative House districts. That's the place I would look for tonight. If conservatives are coming out in that primary, are they voting for Donald Trump or Ted Cruz?
If Trump is winning here and Trump wins here, then Trump is going to win across the state. So you want to watch and see how that plays out.
On the Democratic side, we come over here, again, we're at 5 percent. So let's just take a breath. We've got a lot of votes to count as we go through. But if you're looking at the map you're going to look up here. Lake County up here. Remember, the very late count, traditionally. We were up to 3 a.m. in the morning last time, still waiting for votes from Gary, Indiana and Lake County.
We'll see how this goes. African-American base up here close to Chicago. You've seen the proximity. Very important to Secretary Clinton.
Also, when we come down in here, I think we've got the county right. Marion, Indiana, here. Our delegate expert, Donna Brazile, can tell you up here and in here they're a bonus, if you will, of Democratic delegates because of the minority community. So we'll see if Hillary Clinton can go here and here.
For Senator Sanders, the key, obviously, you want to cut into Clinton's suspected margins in the African-American communities, and then you want to run it up in the small, rural counties. Let me show you the 2008 map and show you what I mean.
This is Obama, the lighter blue. He won up here. She actually won down here last time. But you see all this. This is Hillary Clinton last time. A very narrow victory, by winning. They're tiny, the population is small, but she ran it up to offset the Obama support in the more populated areas. So as we count the votes tonight, we'll use the 2008 map on the Democratic side to see if Clinton can eke out another one or if Senator Sanders can, if you will, extend the race into May and say, "The math may be against me, but I've still got some juice."
BLITZER: The polls in the Eastern Time Zone of Indiana, they've closed. The Central Time Zone, they close at the top of the hour.
All right. Jake, over to you.
TAPPER: Thanks, Wolf. We're still interested in learning more about the voters that turned out to vote today in the Indiana primary. Let me bring back CNN's political director, David Chalian.
You have information about Republican voters and their government, their feelings about party leaders.
CHALIAN: Yes. This is the stuff that has been making up the driving force behind Republican voters with this entire election season, Jake. So we asked folks, "How are you feeling about the federal government?" Take a look at this: 3 percent say enthusiastic, 10 percent satisfied, but 50 percent say dissatisfied, 34 percent say angry. This is a less angry electorate, the Indiana Republican primary electorate. And then we've seen this sort of an average over all the previous primaries. It averaged out at about 41 percent angry. This electorate a little less angry.
As you said, we asked about how they felt about their own party leaders. This is on track from what we've seen: 53 percent of Republican primary voters in Indiana say they feel betrayed by their own party's leaders. Forty-three percent say they do not feel betrayed.
This has just been one of the astonishing developments of the entire cycle so far, to see majority after majority of Republican primary voters say that they're betrayed by their own party.
TAPPER: Interesting. David Chalian, thanks so much.
Dana, one of the problems with reading anything into the angry with -- feelings of betrayal with GOP leaders or how angry or dissatisfied you are with federal government is that Donald Trump and Ted Cruz both convey a message that might attract both those voters.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: They do, but it's actually still stunning to me, having covered Ted Cruz and the Senate and seeing up close and personal what an outsider he was, even though he was technically an insider; he's a senator. And we've seen that play out, the fact that he doesn't have any...
TAPPER: He's loathed.
BASH: ... friends, close friends there. And it's been very hard for him to get support.
But still, even with that sensibility that people have about him here, I was, again, in Indiana yesterday and at a Ted Cruz rally. And there were voters there who said, "You know, I like him. I sort of like what he stands for, but I am just done. We want somebody who is completely out of the mold, different from anybody we have nominated for a very long time, and you know, Donald Trump has his foibles" -- this is what a lot of voters said to me -- "but he is that person." He is that new person who can really do things differently, and that obviously has been the theme for the past six months; and it continues to be so even now with Ted Cruz.
As you said, the only other guy who's potentially the outsider in the race.
TAPPER: Donald Trump definitely out there, trying to convey -- convey to voters that he is an outsider. He definitely acts like an outsider, not a typical politician.
[18:45:01] When Carly Fiorina, Cruz's "running mate", quote/unquote, came out, one of the things she suggested is that Hillary Clinton, this is her words not mine, Hillary Clinton is a politician up for sale and Donald Trump is the kind of special interest who's been buying politicians like Hillary Clinton. They're trying to draw that sort of connection with Clinton and also suggest that Donald Trump has been part of the system, just not the system in Washington. We'll see if that had any resonance in Indiana during this contest.
BASH: You're so right, Jake. They're trying so hard to do that. Carly Fiorina last night at a rally where I was in Indianapolis, that was the thrust of her message over and over again how Donald Trump is part of the machine, don't let him fool you.
It's why as Ted Cruz has really been the anxiety of this night has been more and more visible on his face and in his demeanor as it's come closer. He has done a lot more of that and, of course, as we talked about last week blamed the media, but not just the media, it's suggested that Donald Trump is part of that whole crowd that Hillary Clinton is part of.
TAPPER: And Donald Trump hasn't denied it. He says yes, that's true, I used politicians. I made contributions to get what I want and that system stinks I'm going to change it. He doesn't deny the charges. He says, yes, that's true and that's why Hillary Clinton came to my wedding because I had given her money and I wanted her there so she came. It's an interesting acknowledgment and then pivot, but that's what I want to change.
Wolf to you.
BLITZER: Thank you. We're closing in on the top of the hour when we may be able to project winners on this critical primary night.
Later, we're going to hear from Donald Trump live. Ted Cruz as well, Bernie Sanders will be listening very closely for the tone Cruz and Trump take after their fireworks earlier today.
Our election coverage continues right after this.
[18:51:42] BLITZER: Let's get a key race alert right now. Take a look at this, just 8 percent of the vote in, the numbers, the percentages remained pretty steady, 53.5 percent for Donald Trump, he's got a 20-point lead over Ted Cruz, 33 percent, John Kasich, 10.5 percent. You see that lead, almost 18,000 votes.
In Indiana, the Republican primary for Donald Trump right now, just changed, 53.6 percent, 33 percent for Cruz.
On the Democratic side, 7 percent of the vote has been tallied so far. Hillary Clinton maintaining her lead, as well, 55.8 percent to 44.2 for Bernie Sanders. She has a lead of slightly more than 6,000 votes right now. Remember, this is only 7 percent of the vote in Indiana, 8 percent on the Republican side.
We're closing in on the top of the hour. That's when the last polling places will close in Indiana and that's when we may be able to project one or both of tonight's winners.
In the Republican race, Donald Trump is looking for a critical victory against Ted Cruz after Cruz invested a lot of time, a lot of resources in this state in hopes of stopping Trump. We heard a frustrated Cruz today hitting right back at Donald Trump with some of the harshest words he's ever used to attack the frontrunner. Kasich has, by and large, let Trump and Cruz duke it out while he looks to future contests.
For the Democrats, Hillary Clinton is hoping for a win tonight to take another step toward the nomination. Bernie Sanders wants a victory to show that he's still in the fight and will keep on fighting through the convention. The finish line is in sight. After tonight -- get this -- there are only nine state contests left for both parties.
Let's go to Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Wolf. Let's check in with our correspondents. They're covering the campaign and this intense battle for Indiana.
First, let's go to Jim Acosta. He's at Trump headquarters in New York, New York -- Jim.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Jake, how is this for confidence inside the Trump campaign? Remember when the Trump campaign said it would reach 1,400 delegates in that internal campaign memo we saw a few weeks ago?
The reaction from Washington was fat chance but now with Indiana, expected to be a big one. I talked to a source inside the Trump campaign today who said they believe they will blow past the 1,237 magic number needed to clinch the nomination once all the returns come in from California and all those states up for grabs on June 7th. Will they get the number tonight? No. They don't think they will get to it by the time June 7th rolls around.
But when they see the returns coming in, Jake, they do believe they will blow past the 1,237 number and start inching toward that goal of 1,400 that a lot of people was really just crazy.
Meanwhile, Wolf just talked about the frustration brewing inside the Cruz campaign, with Ted Cruz that we saw earlier today. The Trump campaign actually believes it won today despite the GOP front runner and his performance this morning when he suggested Ted Cruz' father was involved in the Kennedy assassination, a claim that was lifted right out of the "National Enquirer."
A source inside the Trump campaign told me just a little while ago, they think they saw Cruz' heated reaction that they saw coming considering how he responded to those pro-Trump protesters yesterday when we saw that heated back and forth between Ted Cruz and those protesters yesterday. They feel like that anger was building up to what we saw unleashed today, Jake.
TAPPER: Jim Acosta with the Trump campaign in New York, New York.
Of course, a question for the Trump campaign: can you win the battle but lose the war?
[18:55:04] Is it possible that by citing these unsubstantiated nonsensical, frankly, "National Enquirer" reports, you might be able to get Ted Cruz to react in an angry way, but you also do damage to yourself long-term.
Let's check in with Sunlen Serfaty. She's in Indianapolis with the Cruz campaign.
How are they feeling there as these votes are coming in and as the polls are about to close, are they looking forward to a good night, Sunlen?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's fair to say, Jake, that the Cruz campaign is sweating it out tonight. The campaign is telling me that they are really in essence setting a high bar for what they believe Donald Trump must achieve here in Indiana. The Cruz campaign official telling me that they believe Donald Trump must win two-thirds of the 57 delegates at stake for him to remain on track.
Of course, all of that really underscoring how low of a bar they now have for their own campaign here in Indiana and no one is holding their breath for a win within the Cruz campaign here. Their goal is to remain viable and push this into a contested convention -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Sunlen Serfaty, thanks so much.
Let's go to now to Jeff Zeleny. He's at Sanders' headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.
And Jeff, usually when a candidate has already moved on to a future state that might suggest that he or she is not feeling confident about today but that's not necessarily the case when it comes to Indiana and Senator Sanders.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Jake, that's not the case at all. And here's a couple reasons why. We are in Louisville, Kentucky.
But look behind me here. A, there is a big crowd of Sanders supporters gathering. There's the Ohio River and then that is Indiana just across the way. So, Bernie Sanders was campaigning harder across the state of Indiana was campaigning today, as well. The Kentucky primary comes in two weeks time. So, he was spending his entire day there.
But, of course, looking forward to the next sign. Bernie Sanders wants to remind his supporters, tell Democrats that he is indeed in this race until the end. They are serious about that.
The question here, though, Jake, is if he does not win tonight, already the map is not working out in his favor. If he does not win tonight, the energy will not be, either. Now, the Clinton campaign has been trying to down play expectations all day long, but they have a big absentee ballot program, Jake, that they were running here. They were trying to get people out that way.
So, we will watch these results coming in very closely tonight. She's hoping for another win here. That would be six out of seven contests. Bernie Sanders trying to break the streak tonight in Indiana -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Jeff Zeleny with the Sanders campaign in Louisville -- thank you so much.
And, Dana, in terms of ad buys, the Clinton campaign did not spend money on TV time in and Sanders campaign spent about $1.8 million.
BASH: It does make you wonder why. Why they didn't do that. You know, obviously there are --
TAPPER: To save money.
BASH: You think?
TAPPER: That's the stated reason.
BASH: No, but seriously, I mean, this is a state where she could potentially be competitive.
BASH: Indiana was fertile ground for her. TAPPER: 2008.
BASH: Eight years ago.
BASH: And so, but in this year, in this dynamic, in this election year, this is an open primary. And as we heard from a reporter, we should remind people, this is the kind of place Bernie Sanders has done better than Hillary Clinton across the board because you can bring people who are not Democrats into the polls.
TAPPER: Right, he does very well with independents, indeed.
BLITZER: All right. Let's go over to John King over at the magic wall, getting closer and closer to the top of the hour. We'll see if we can make a production at that time. You're looking closely at the Republican contest, 9 percent of the vote is in.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Nine percent of the vote. It's a long way to go. I should note, we're still waiting for the polls out in the western part of the state to close. So, no reason to jump to any conclusions but from the early results, if you're a Donald Trump headquarters tonight, you're very confident at the moment and you're hoping to make a statement tonight. You're hoping to win the 30 statewide delegates.
And if the map continues to fill in and again, we're at 9 percent but if it continues, you can be on track for a sweep. You could win the 27 or 24, 21 of the congressional delegates as well. So, let's watch as the votes come in. The first is the statewide winner gets 30. Now, we look at the congressional district, see how that plays out.
Donald Trump, Wolf, is looking to make a huge statement, a huge statement here to get this count up above 1,050 by the end of the night. That's what Donald Trump is hoping for tonight.
On the Democratic side, it's for Hillary at the moment, but we're only at 8 percent. Here is a big test. Hillary Clinton wants an exclamation point and another victory, to tell Bernie Sanders this race is over. Senator Sanders trying to get a win in May to say, hey, the race continues to the Democratic convention.
We'll watch on the Democratic side for the delegates. They're proportional last hour. I touched the wrong county, Marion County right here on Indianapolis, a key place to watch for Democrats, as well as up at Gary, Indiana, right near Chicago, Wolf. Vote counting just ahead.
BLITZER: Never too dull. This is one of those moments that we're all looking forward to. The polls in all of Indiana will close in the next few seconds. The Eastern Time Zone, the Central Time Zone at which point, we will be able to make a projection.