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Iowa Democratic Party to Report Results; Doctor Who Warned About Coronavirus Now Has It. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired February 4, 2020 - 04:30   ET




CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: A historic night for all the wrong reasons. No winner to report from the Iowa caucuses. Why? And what it means for the race to unseat President Trump.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Laura Jarrett. Thirty-three minutes past the hour here in New York.

A true debacle for Democrats. Kicking off the 2020 race, there are still no results to report in Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses. The state party said a problem was caused by inconsistencies among datasets.

ROMANS: That delay leaving candidates deeply frustrated, and their supporters waiting late into the night with nothing so to celebrate.

In a call at 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time with party officials, the Iowa Democratic Party chair said he expects to have results today.


TROY PRICE, CHAIR OF THE IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY: We want to emphasize that this is a reporting issue, not a hack or an intrusion. And it's exactly why we have a paper trail and systems in place to uphold the integrity of our process.


JARRETT: So here's what happened. For the first time, precincts were required to report three separate numbers to party headquarters.


Voters' first preference, second preference, and the delegate count for each precinct. Results were then supposed to be reported through a mobile app. But some precincts abandoned it a mobile app. But some precincts abandoned it after problems with that app, opting instead to call into a hotline with their results, as usual. Only to be left on hold on that hotline for hours. ROMANS: The Trump campaign exploiting the Democrats' woes with this

gleeful tweet. Quality control, so to speak.

Our coverage starts with CNN's Ryan Nobles live from Des Moines, Iowa.

And, wow, in the room where it happened, no one knows what happened. It is 4:35 Eastern Time. This really is disruptive for 2020.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It sure is, Christine. This is not at all how we expected the 2020 campaign to kick off. The Iowa Democratic Party was really proud of the new additions and changes they've made to the caucus process to make it a little bit more transparent, to try and include more people, and to also bring it into the 21st century in terms of technology.

And it seems on every single count, those attempts to change this process up have made things even more complicated. And has left serious questions as to how this caucus played out. If I could just walk you back through what the last few hours have been like here in Iowa. I was at Bernie Sanders headquarters last night. That's where we are right now, where they are actually still taking down the material from inside. What he had hoped to be a victory party.

And his campaign was feeling good the entire night but as time went on, as it got into 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time, times when you would traditionally expect to have some level of understanding as to what was happening with these results, they just weren't getting that information. And that's when you saw these campaigns, not just the Sanders campaign but the Buttigieg, Biden, Warren campaigns all starting to raise alarm belling wanting to know why they weren't getting these results in.

Then addition to the concerns from the campaigns, we also started to hear anecdotal complaints from some of these precinct chairs and folks connected to the Iowa Democratic Party talking about the difficulties they were having getting in the results. Countless examples of problems being able to report the results through the app.

And even if they had trouble with the app, that wasn't enough. They were -- ended up sitting on hold at the hotline that was supposed to be the backup to the app for hours at a time. There were even some precinct chairs, you know, saying they had given up for the night and were just going to go home and go to bed and plan to report them the following morning.

In fact, the chairman of the Polk County Democratic Party, which is the Polk County, that's Des Moines where we are right now. That is the largest county in Iowa. He talked about the frustration that he had.

They had all their results ready to go, in boxes. The paper trail backed up. And they literally had nowhere to take them and report them. And that just is, you know, perhaps the biggest example of the issues here.

So the question now this morning is when will we find out the results? And then furthermore, when those results come in, how much stock will be -- will we be able to put into them? Will these campaigns be able to claim victory? That's the big open question right now as we head into Tuesday. Still, with no clue right now who is the winner of the Iowa caucuses.

JARRETT: Just incredible, Ryan.

You know, we saw one precinct chair reports last night of him being stuck on the phone for over an hour and saying he has a doctor's appointment this morning. So he will have to report in after 10:00. It's just remarkable.

ROMANS: By the way, heading into Tuesday, Ryan, it is Tuesday. It is officially Tuesday and we're all still like still in Monday night.

Ryan Nobles, thanks so much.

NOBLES: When you don't sleep, I feel like it's going to be Monday forever for me.

ROMANS: Welcome to 2020, my friend. Thanks, Ryan.

JARRETT: Bye, Ryan.

Well, with no winner or loser in Iowa, the 2020 Democrats are moving on to New Hampshire. They are trying to gather steam and figuring out what to make of this bizarre night.

CNN's Leyla Santiago is live at the airport in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Leyla, you caught up with Joe Biden just a short time ago. What did he have to say?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joe Biden didn't really have much to say. In fact, he only answered one of my three questions saying that he felt great.

But I do want to sort of talk about what a long night it's been. Just in the last hour, we've seen a lot of activity pick up here at this airport, which is where many of the candidates and the press are coming in from Iowa. They've certainly had a long night. They're certainly trying to figure out how they're going to, you know, move forward in their campaign as they await the results from Iowa.

But let's listen in to how they actually closed off the night in Iowa.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You probably heard we don't know the results. We know there's delays but we know one thing. We are punching above our weight.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, looks like it's going to be a long night but I'm feeling good. (CHEERS)

The Iowa Democratic Party's working to get these results -- get 'em straight. And I want to make sure they're very careful in their deliberations.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, listen, it is too close to call so I'm just going to tell you what I do know.




SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I imagine, have a strong feeling that at some point, the results will be announced. And when those results are announced, I have a good feeling we're going to be doing very, very well here in Iowa.

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So we don't know all the results. But we know by the time it's all said and done -- Iowa, you have shocked the nation.


SANTIAGO: And the thing about it is, just hours later, when they arrived here, many of the candidates were repeating the same sentiment, saying, look, it's still too early. We're waiting to see exactly what comes out of Iowa. But time to move forward, focus on New Hampshire.

I actually spoke to one supporter of Amy Klobuchar right before she was coming in. He said the race starts now here in New Hampshire. Although, he admitted he would have said that either way whether the results came in from Iowa or not.

Getting the same sense from the Warren campaign when they came in, saying the focus now on New Hampshire, she'll be spending in the next week, a lot of time in a bit of a conservative county here in New Hampshire that went to Trump, as well as some that flipped from Obama to Trump.

So, clearly, now, they are focused on New Hampshire. But a bit of a disappointment for those campaigns that were hoping to get a bit of a bump from momentum in Iowa. We'll have to see how their messaging plays out over this next week as they are about just one week away from the primary here.

JARRETT: Leyla, thank you so much. Apparently, everybody's a winner. You take a look at those clips, right?

ROMANS: Yes, exactly.

JARRETT: See you soon. ROMANS: All right. Democrats spent a full year and millions of dollars to find the early momentum in Iowa. But there are now no results to report. Who benefits and who loses from the Democrats' debacle?



JARRETT: While you were sleeping, the Iowa caucus wrapped up. Well, sort of. If you want the results, you're going to have to wait. Zeroes across the board.

The Iowa Democratic Party says inconsistencies were found in the reporting of the results last night. Final results, expected sometime today. Exactly when, still TBD.

ROMANS: Yes, sometime Tuesday, from Monday night's Iowa caucuses.

Let's bring back CNN political analyst and "Washington Post" White House reporter, Toluse Olorunnipa.

So nice to see you again this morning.

So I just keep thinking there is no trampoline for a winner here, which is a real negative. There is also, then, no disappointment for anybody who wouldn't have performed well. So I guess these candidates can write their own story lines until there's results.

TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, that's exactly right, Christine. Normally, we expect candidates to drop out of the race after Iowa if they have a single-digit showing or if they're not able to compete, if they're not in that top tier, they drop out and then there is a resorting and people try to go after that endorsement, go after that person's voters.

We are not seeing that this time because even the lower-tier candidates can claim some kind of victory and they can go on to New Hampshire with the same status quo that he had in Iowa. And everyone is sort of grappling with the fact that there is no sense of who is ahead, who's behind out of Iowa and New Hampshire is anyone's game. So looks like the fact that the Democrats have not been able to get any result out of Iowa leaves a lot of the race in limbo. And it has been in limbo for a good chunk of the last year.

JARRETT: Toluse, what do you think that the one person this helps is Mike Bloomberg? Focusing on Super Tuesday where he could get more delegates.

OLORUNNIPA: Well, Bloomberg is looking to have a Democratic race that goes as long as possible. He does not want there to be any big front- runner that torpedoes out of Iowa and gets to the front of the pack and really has a lot of momentum going into the other early states because he's not competing in any of the early states. He is waiting for Super Tuesday and some of those later states where he -- his very large cash stockpile can help him compete against some of these other candidates.

So he wants these candidates to be stuck in a long fight with one another, with no clear winner. So the fact that there is no clear result out of Iowa is to his benefit.

ROMANS: How can, when we look at the entrance polls for Iowa, it's clear that electability is very important to Iowa voters. So is healthcare, frankly. But electability seems like it was the number one thing here.

How can Democrats convince voters that they've got it together here? And that they can beat the president in a general election when they can't bring a candidate out of Iowa in a timely fashion?

OLORUNNIPA: Yes. That electability term is really very fluid. Was something that was very helpful to Joe Biden for the first few months of his campaign. But it seems like that's starting to change. Some voters are starting to give Bernie Sanders and look and say that he has a lot of momentum. He has a lot -- a strong base. He is raising a lot of money.

Some voters who liked Biden are now saying maybe Bernie Sanders is more electable. Elizabeth Warren is also making the electability case, as well.

So we just don't have any numbers out of Iowa to see who is more electable. We have some anecdotal evidence that shows that Bernie Sanders had a lot of energy in some of those caucus sites. Bernie -- or Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren also had some sites where they did very well. Even Amy Klobuchar won in some precincts. Joe Biden did not seem to be doing very well, anecdotally, in very many precincts.


But we'll just have to wait and see what the numbers are, and that's why New Hampshire's going to be even more important because there was no big launching pad out of Iowa on that electability argument. And every candidate is saying they're more electable because there were no numbers to back that up. And everyone is looking to New Hampshire to be the next reset for which candidate's most electable.

JARRETT: Speaking of Joe Biden, he just landed a short time ago in New Hampshire. And I don't know if you saw it but he was not that upbeat. Let's play it if -- if we have the sound there.

Said he was feeling good but not a big rah-rah, you know, performance from him. What do you make of that?

OLORUNNIPA: Yes. Joe Biden had a struggle of a night in a number of these precincts where he was expected to be viable. Where he said he was going to be viable. He did not meet the 15 percent threshold and his supporters were among the smallest groups in those caucus sites.


OLORUNNIPA: And he's the only candidate so far that has really been questioning the actual results. Saying that he may, you know, question what the ultimate results are. His lawyer sent out a letter to the Democratic National Committee saying that these results should not be released unless he gets a chance to look at them first.

So it does seem that he did not hit some of his marks in the state. And he's not as upbeat as some of the other candidates who did well. People like Amy Klobuchar seem to be eating into some of his voters and it seems like voters are taking a look at some of the other candidates and not seeing Biden as most electable.

JARRETT: Such a difference between Biden and Yang there with his boxers bounce coming in.

ROMANS: The last four winners of the Iowa caucus went on to get the Democratic nomination. But one wonders if we are not in normal times. This is an era where history does not necessarily guide what's -- it's just -- it's going to be wild, Toluse. 2020 is going to be wild.


ROMANS: White House reporter for "The Washington Post", nice to see you.

OLORUNNIPA: Definitely not normal times.

JARRETT: Thanks so much.

ROMANS: Not normal times. Thanks, Toluse. We'll be right back.



ROMANS: A doctor in China who tried to warn authorities about the deadly coronavirus is now infected himself. The doctor was silenced by police for trying to blow the whistle on the virus early in the outbreak. A second patient outside of mainland China now has died.

CNN's David Culver live in Beijing -- David.


We know that second patient traveled through Wuhan and made his way to Hong Kong where that patient died. This is the second one. The first one was in the Philippines.

Meantime, we are getting some new information just coming in as to the evacuation flights that are underway involving the Americans. We know that roughly 1,000 Americans call the city of Wuhan home.

There was a first flight last week that arrived in the West Coast of the U.S. the second one was delayed. There were back-and-forths between the two governments. But I am hearing from at least two of the passengers who are confirmed to be on the flight that is scheduled to leave in a few hours, that at least two planes will be taking Americans out of the city of Wuhan, potentially as early as tonight, assuming there will be no delays and complications with the governments.

And according to one patient, there were hundreds of Americans in the terminal along with her waiting to board this flight. They expect it also will go to the West Coast of the United States. But we're working to get more confirmation on that from the state department.

Meantime, China is stepping up containment efforts. We talked about the two hospitals they've built, Christine. They are now expanding to three more field hospitals, including turning exhibition halls and stadiums normally used for sports teams into those hospital facilities.

ROMANS: All right. David Culver for us in Beijing, we know you keep us posted. Thank you so much for that.

The coronavirus is the election year X factor in the Trump economy. Last year, the U.S. economy grew 2.3 percent, missing White House growth targets. Disruption from the coronavirus could trim another 0.4 percent of growth in early 2020.

A strong economy, central to the president's reelection message, of course, but uncertainty is already disrupting the global economy. China is the epicenter of the outbreak and it's the world's largest importer of crude oil. Closed borders, cancelled flights, closed Chinese factories. That kills oil demand, knocking crude oil into an official bare market Monday. That means down more than 20 percent from the recent high.

Taking a look at prices. Right now, bouncing back a little bit but still Brent crude, $55 a barrel. WTI West Texas, $51.

Cancellations may hurt demand for jet fuel. Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta, British Airways and others have suspended all their flights to and from China until the end of February or longer. The coronavirus will be, again, the X factor here for the global economy in the foreseeable future.

All right. Thanks for joining us, everybody, on a wild, wild post-Iowa caucuses morning. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: Maybe tomorrow, we'll have some results to report.

ROMANS: Maybe.

I'm Laura Jarrett.

"NEW DAY" starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is "NEW DAY".

It's Tuesday, February 4th. It's 5:00 here in Manchester, New Hampshire.

And I came here to meet the winner of the Iowa caucuses when they arrived here for that next contest. The thing is, there is no winner. There is just a clear loser.

And that loser is the Iowa caucuses. There are no results. Not anything. Anything at all.

What went wrong? Not exactly clear. We've heard from some officials in Iowa who say that there was a problem with the app that they were using.

And then when the app didn't work, they tried to phone in the results across the state. And that didn't work. People were left on hold. Just a full-on simple mess.

We are now told we might not get the results from Iowa until sometime later today. There is one official telling CNN we might not get them at all today. So, we're just in a sense of stasis and hold right now.

This is what one Democratic official said overnight.


TROY PRICE, CHAIR OF THE IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY: We want to emphasize that this is a reporting issue, not a hack or an intrusion. And it's exactly why we have a paper trail and systems in place to uphold the integrity of our process. We are validating every piece of data we have against our paper trail. The system is taking longer than expected but it's in place to ensure we are eventually able to report results with full confidence.


BERMAN: There is not a lot of confidence left, I have to say, in that system there.

As I said before, there were people across the state reporting problems with the app they were using, left on hold for hours trying to call in the results.