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CNN Live Event/Special

First Results Coming In From New Hampshire Polling Sites. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired January 23, 2024 - 19:00   ET



JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: But bringing it back to New Hampshire, it all matters the margin here. This could be an academic discussion, or it could not be, but -- look, I think any polls now are essentially outdated. So what happens tonight, this race potentially starts new, or it doesn't.


Jake, I'm going to toss it back to you.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: It's the top of the hour, and it's a high stakes night in New Hampshire, as voting winds down in the Republican presidential primary. Most polling places are closing right now, and we could get results at any moment.

I'm Jake Tapper in the CNN Election Center with our special live coverage. We're getting closer to a critical moment, our first chance to potentially project a winner -- project a winner. That could happen about an hour from now, after all voting ends across the Granite State.

The fight for the Republican presidential nomination is now down to just two major candidates, Donald Trump and Nikki Haley. Trump is hoping, of course, to follow up his Iowa landslide with another overwhelming victory with the goal of knocking Haley out of the race. This is a make-or-break moment for Governor Nikki Haley.

She's been counting on New Hampshire as her best shot at slowing Trump's march to the nomination and getting some much needed momentum. And this all hinges on the outcome of tonight's primary, once the very last votes our cast and counted.

Let's go to John Berman. He's at that polling place in New Hampshire, Manchester.

John, with voting ending, what's going on there now?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right. It's very interesting what's happening right now. They have shut the doors here in Manchester ward six. But before the doors shut, a couple of voters walked in here and they're actually registering to vote, which you can do on primary day. Now, what has to happen now is once they're registered, they will

vote. They will walk down. They will pick up their ballots. Ill show you where that will happen down here. They will cast those ballots in once these two final voters cast those final ballots, we will get a readout of the election results here in Manchester ward six.

We're trying to gauge just how long it will take. I can tell you the election workers here, they were eager to get this count started because there are so many write-in ballots, but they have to wait. By law, they've got to wait if you were on the gym floor by 07:00, they've got to wait for you to get through the process. And right now, they are filling out the paperwork work down there.

Let me bring you up to speed of how we got here. Once they show up, they get to choose which primary they want to vote. And if they want to vote in the Republican primary, they grab one of these things right here. If they want to vote in the Democratic primary, sorry about that, they grab a blue slip right here Republicans obviously vote in the Republican problem how many Democrats and Democratic primary undeclared voters can choose which primary they vote in.

Once they pick up those slips, they go to those booths right there. They fill out their ballot and then it goes to the machine. I'm going to point right down the camera right here one more time so you can see they are still filling out the paperwork to register, so it could take a few minutes before they cast that ballot now, that final ballot in Manchester ward six and it is fed into the machine and counted.

A few minutes ago, as of a few minutes ago, there had been 2,800 votes cast here. The record is 3,700, but what is unclear is how many Democratic votes are. About 2,100 will be a Republican record. So, we'll try to figure out how many votes were cast in the Democratic primary, including those write-ins for Joe Biden.

Jake, I will shout the minute that these two voters cast their ballots there, and we will get a full readout from Manchester ward six, which could be a good barometer of where things are headed tonight -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. John Berman in Manchester, New Hampshire, thanks so much.

I'm with John King here at the magic wall.

Give us an overview of Manchester.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I was looking forward to letting voters see --

TAPPER: Sorry.

KING: -- my really bad scribble for the first time, but well bring it back if we get there.

Look, Manchester is the largest city of the New Hampshire. There are no giant cities in the state of New Hampshire. But if you ever been through right along the river, former big mill town, more diverse now with mill jobs are gone, but this is your blue collar gritty center of Manchester. It is very important to Donald Trump because a lot of blue collar Republicans there. He is remade the Republican Party in many ways.

It was critical back in 2008. Again, Obama had an early lead in New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton turned out voters here to the latest second. That's why it was interesting, kind of amused to see people showing up in the last second, because that's, you know, this is why you wait.

And let's look back to 2016, and let's look at Manchester in the Republican primary, Donald Trump got 37 percent of vote. If you round that up, the difference, the difference, and this is going to make to that interesting, remember, most of his rivals dropped out.

Now, DeSantis, Christie, Ramaswamy, DeSantis and Christie definitely, I believe Ramaswamy also still on the ballot, right?


So people can still vote for them. But back in New Hampshire then, you had, you know, Kasich, you had Jeb Bush. You had Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio. You had Christie, you had Carly Fiorina, you had Ben Carson. You had Rand Paul was still on the ballot. Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee still on the ballot, the former Virginia governor, Jim Gilmore.

So you had a lot more candidates then and yet Donald Trump won the state with 35 percent and he won the city of Manchester. That's Concord, excuse me, let me draw up and down, that's the capital, but Donald Trump won that as well. And he won the city of Manchester at 37 percent.

This is why John says that the early bellwether, right? Were going to count, we're going to go on for a while. Sometimes the count New Hampshire, by the way, I go slow, not because anything the various is a foot. It just takes time, especially when you have all those right in balance because Joe Biden's write-in campaign.

But just I want to remind people, yes. This is Nikki Haley's best shot. Some people think the last best shot to prove she can beat Donald Trumps somewhere. It's a good state for him.

TAPPER: I'm going to interview a good state for him, John, I'm going to interrupt you right now.

Sara Sidner is in Concord, the capital, right now,

Sara, tell us what's going on, where you are?

SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So what you're seeing is you're seeing the moderator there, J. White Law. She is an attorney. She's very serious about her job. She has also having a good time.

It is 7:05, so polls are close here and she's getting taped. You'll see that ballot box and you hear that sounds like ticker tape. You hear that tape sort of coming through the ballot box there. And as it comes through, and then when she pulls that, it will give her the numbers. She will then make a phone call to the secretary of state.

There are three different tapes that come out of that box that gives her the numbers of the people who voted and who they voted for. And then she will give that information to the secretary of the state and to the city as well, and then keep one. It will be checked several times to make sure everything has been done properly.

So far, there are more than 1,855 people who have voted. That includes absentee ballots as well. And so, you will see this process happening now.

Eventually, she will go over, she will pick up the phone. They will have the conversation with the secretary of state and then she will announce who won, basically, who got what votes to the folks in here.

But the polls have closed. There is no one that I see left in line. Everyone has been able to vote. And so as you're seeing here, this is the last bit of what happens here in Concord.

This is ward ten, a very high voting districts, according to all of the folks here, people are very, very, very much into making sure that democracy works and they're taking part in it.

She is now going to call up the city and call it the secretary of state. We may hear this phone call a little bit as she is making that call. Let's listen in.


SIDNER: If you can hear us, she just said, I'm calling you. My name is J. White Law (ph) and I'm calling in the results.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay. What would you like first? You want red Republican. Okay. Under votes, too, if you care.

Okay. Mary Max. Oh, okay.

Donald Journs (ph), zero. Mary Maxwell (ph), three. Glenn McPeters (ph), zero. S. Peterson Merrill (ph), zero. Darius L. Mitchell (ph), zero.

Mike Pence, four. Vivek Ramaswamy, six. Tim Scott, zero. Hersh Zing (ph), zero. Samuel Howard Slump (ph), zero.

David Zuckenberg, zero. Rachel Swift (ph), zero. Donald Trump, 467. Scott Allen Ayers (ph), zero. Ryan Pinkly (ph), one.

Doug Burgum, one. Robert Carney Jr. (ph), zero. John Anthony Castro (ph), zero. Chris Christie, six. Ron DeSantis, nine.

Nikki Haley, 739. Asa Hutchinson, zero. Peter (INAUDIBLE), zero. Perry Johnson, zero. Wydens (ph), three.

TAPPER: Yeah, we have some votes here from Concord, New Hampshire ward ten, strong showing in this one ward for Nikki Haley.

KING: Yes, 739 votes for Nikki Haley, 467 votes for Donald Trump. Interesting.


It's pretty easy to get on the ballot in New Hampshire. So you heard a lot of names you've never heard of before.

TAPPER: So I gather.

KING: People do that every four years and they get on the ballot.

But also interesting to you, one of the challenges for her, especially if she says she finally got the two-person race that she wanted was to pick up all the other anti-Trump votes. And I know it's only a few votes, but you heard a few votes for Pence, a few votes for Christie. You heard a couple of votes for Ramaswamy. Trump will be disappointed he didn't get those.

Go ahead.

TAPPER: Let's go to John Berman, who is in Manchester, New Hampshire, right now.

John, what's going on where you are?

BERMAN: All right. You're looking at Louise Gozon (ph) right now, who's the moderator here in ward six in Manchester. And she's going to print out the tape. She's going to print out the tape from this machine and she's going to read us the results from this tape in Manchester ward six.

The last vote has been cast and what you're seeing her do is get the preliminary numbers from it. Now, one of the things I've been told obviously, is they won't have the results from the right in ballots themselves, but they will know how many right in-ballots have been cast. As you're listening to her speak and read out the numbers, remember, Donald Trump won by about 20 percent here in the 2016 Republican primary. So that's a little bit of a gauge of how he's doing here.

One other thing, the record Republican turnout here as were watching her go through this was about 2,060, so more than that would be a record Republican turnout here. We'll try to get a sense of what that is.

This is the tape. When it's done printing out, she'll read the names out loud for us and we'll hear what it is.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four hundred and fifty-four write-ins.

BERMAN: Four hundred and fifty-four write-ins. It's almost done printing. And Louise is going to read the Republicans first? All right. Hang on one second. Here we go. She's got to sign it first, I'm told. I don't want to get in the way of the actual legal process here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It'd be nice if you gave me a pen to write.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Took it off the table. There's two down.

BERMAN: We have a little bit of a pen issue in ward six here in Manchester.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait a minute here, my was writing this paper.

BERMAN: I think I have felt tip, is it legal?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's underneath that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had it like carbon.

BERMAN: All right. Louise has now found at pen. It was the fourth pen that worked. She has signed the short tape here in were about to get the results read here in Manchester, ward six.

Again, remember Donald Trump won by about 20 points here. So if Nikki Haley is within single digits of that, it is a much closer race.

All right. I'm told right now that there are people -- had different people have to sign this to verify that it is in fact the tape from the ballot counters here, a lot of signatures with pens that don't work so well.

All right, this is the final signature second, the penultimate signature I am now told. Okay, last signature.



BERMAN: All right, here we go.


BERMAN: Louise is going to take a look at the tape.



BERMAN: OK, go for it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, we have zero overvotes and six under votes.

Mary Maxwell (ph), one. Glen Peters (ph), zero. S. Peterson Marrow (ph), one. Darius Mitchell, zero. Mike Pence, two.

Vivek Ramaswamy, three. Tim Scott, zero. Hersh Qin (ph), zero. Samuel Howard Sloan (ph), zero. Davids Bachenberg (ph), one.

Rachel Swift (ph), two. Donald J. Trump, 1,169. Scott Ayers (ph), zero. Ryan Pinkley (ph), zero. Doug Burgum, one.

Robert Carney (ph), zero. John Anthony Castro, zero, Curtis Christies (ph), 14. Ron DeSantis, 15. Nikki Haley, 849.

Asa Hutchinson, zero. Peter Genic (ph), zero. Perry Johnson, one. Donald --

TAPPER: All right. We've gotten the results we wanted there from the moderator at Manchester ward six.


John King, a better showing for Donald Trump in this ward, ward six in Manchester, but still, Nikki Haley within spitting distance.

KING: Right, about 300 votes. There are 320 votes if that's the quick math there in Manchester.

Again, it's one ward in blue-collar Manchester, as John Berman noted, it was a ward that was strong for Donald Trump in a much more crowded field. Important to remember that it much more crowded field eight years ago in 2016, when he got his first one in New Hampshire and then it was over. I said march on, it took a while, but that was the snowball got started.

Now, Manchester, Nikki Haley running behind Donald Trump, but you could say respectable, but still he's ahead.

TAPPER: Still behind, absolutely.

KING: That's the math he needs to do. So sorry, I kept my turn that off a second. Just come back here. Just want to point out where we were earlier with Sara Sidner. That's Concord. I'm going to move this out of the way a little bit.

Concord, where you had the other math where Nikki Haley was ahead here, this is -- this is where she has to do that. Manchester, blue collar city, Concord, the state capital, of the suburbs around it. This would be a more moderate area for Nikki Haley.

So, you're just watching these two glimpses, two precincts, within two key places. Haley starting off in Concord, that's what she needs to do. Is that enough? We have a lot of counties due tonight. And in Manchester again, Donald -- part of Donald Trumps blue-collar base.

We always think of Donald Trump's blue-collar base is being mostly rural in Manchester. Remember he won there in 2016, worth watching there. Blue-collar workers, it's a very gritty city. People who work with their hands. They like Trump.

Is that the right margin? We'll have to see as more precincts come in in Manchester. Just to go back, just -- again, that's here. That's Manchester. I want to move this out the way so it doesn't distract people a little bit, and I need to get a completely other way so I can go back in time. Here we go to 2016 citywide, right? That was one precinct.

He got 40 percent of the vote. The expectation is in a two-person race. He was president of the United States. He was a nominee. He should do much better than that.

TAPPER: Right.

KING: But this was key. Manchester was key. One of the places where a lot of places, it was close, right? The margins -- when the candidates were closer than this. This is one of the places where Donald Trump had a lopsided win over the eight or nine other people on the ballot back then. So, it will be interesting to watch as we get more results in Manchester, how that holds up, and just one other key quick point about the value of having these great reporters on the ground.

You see -- Concord votes, Sara Sidner was there, right? She gave me that one on precinct it was for Nikki Haley. Here it is here right now coming in this way, could be a little bit more than that but you're getting your first vote. So we're -- because we have people in the on the ground, in right places, sometimes you are seeing results and I'm scribbling them down with my messy handwriting before they actually get fed into the system. Because as you see the phone calls happening, they call this secretary of state and then they go into the efficiency.

TAPPER: Yeah, this is not the Sara Sidner's number.

KING: This is not.

TAPPER: This is official. This is actual real votes.

KING: Right. Those are -- those are official votes coming in. And again, we have some votes. Let's go check over here in Keene, this is where you're going essentially, you know New Hampshire well. You start over the sea port and you're driving west toward Vermont essential so this is a long southern New Hampshire. And again, it's 22 percent of the vote. Keene, 2024, not a lot of votes. You're going to see a lot of this as we go through these towns.

We're going to go through these small towns where you're seeing, you know, 300 votes, 800 votes, couple of thousand votes. That's the nature. You've got. 260 towns that were going to be counting -- cities and towns were counting votes into that. Some of them is a lot of math. But if you're Nikki Haley, anytime you can see anyone of these townships filled in with your yellow, you're happy. The question is, we are very early in the county.

TAPPER: Yeah. And just as a general measure, we just weeks. She needs to do really well down here. And then around Hanover, but that's basically -- but that's basically and north of Conway. But that's basically her area, right?

KING: Yeah. And Donald Trump did very well here in 2016. She needs to take that away from him essentially, if you look at 2016 to tonight, she needs to take that away.

TAPPER: All right. We're getting deeper into this primary night of New Hampshire. Soon, we're going to get a critical early read on the Trump-Haley showdown, once the last polling places close. We're tracking every vote as they are all cast and counted across the state. We're going to get results from two more locations next.

Plus, I'm going to talk to the New Hampshire secretary of state.

This is CNN's live coverage of the New Hampshire Republican primary 2024. Stay with us.



TAPPER: It's time to bring you our key race alert. We only have 1 percent of the vote in, but these are actual votes. Let's check it out.

Nikki Haley right now is in the lead with 54.3 percent of the vote. She has 2017 votes. She is 333 votes ahead of Donald Trump, who has 45.3 percent of the vote.

Remember, this is just 1 percent of the vote in. We still have 99 more percentage points to come in, but as of this second, with actual votes coming in, Nikki Haley has the lead, 54 to 45.

Let's go to Boris Sanchez right now. He's in Belmont, New Hampshire, at that polling place, were voting has ended.

Boris, tell us more about what's happening.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, so the vote tally has been completed for the Republican primary, and with us, we have Alvin Next. He's the moderator of this location, the town of Belmont.

What are the results?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to welcome you all to the town of Belmont, January 23rd, 2024 presidential primary based on guidance provided to me and moderators of the state to announce the Republican results, while the Democrat results are still being tabulated.

Based on the results of today's vote in the town of Belmont, New Hampshire, we have the following: Hersh V. Sing (ph), zero votes. Samuel Howard Sloan (ph), one vote. David Stuckenberg (ph), zero votes. Rachel Swift (ph), zero votes.

Donald J. Trump, 1,244 votes. Scott Allen Ayers (ph), zero votes. Ryan L. Binkley (ph), three votes. Doug Burgum, two votes. Robert S. Carney, Jr., zero votes.

John Anthony Castro, zero votes. Chris Christie, two votes.

[19:25:01] Ron DeSantis, 12 votes. Nikki Haley, 640 votes. Asa Hutchinson, one vote. Peter Gedic (ph), zero votes. Perry Johnson, zero votes. Donald Quorns (ph), zero votes. Mary Maxwell, one vote. Glenn Jamie Peters, zero votes. S. Peterson Merrill, zero votes.

TAPPER: About Rachel Swift versus Samuel Howard Sloan, I think we got the numbers we need which are Nikki Haley about half the number of votes that Donald Trump got in this one ward in Belmont, the township of Belmont.

KING: Belmont, so it's almost two-to-one for Donald Trump for the question is, what does that mean, right? You what -- let's just go back in time and take a look and look at 2016. Trump got 40, 40 percent of the vote again and much crowded field. So, you're going to see this a lot tonight where the numbers are off, he won with 40 percent with 654 votes, as a lot of candidates down here. We don't need to go through all the names again, but everyone remembers the crowded field back there.

So, you come back now and you look at Belmont again, let me come back to 2024, so we don't confuse people. Belmont is right here. In Belmont comes up. It's a small town. And so you have these numbers. And so the question is, if you're Trump in the places that you one last time, you want to keep winning them, you want to win a to every township you can.

I think the question just is can he keep doing this up here. If you go back to the map and again, were going to get more votes already, more towns they cut, they trickle in slowly at first in New Hampshire, but then they come in. You see him starting to pull in here.

So you see right above Belmont, we already have some results that are made it into the computer that's from Laconia. I put that just right place, didn't I? So again, it's only 9 percent, so we have a way to count here, 15th large population center of the 260 towns, with a lot of votes here. Trump was an early lead. That's what you want.

We have a long way to go in the count. I just want to remind people as we go back, this is Nikki Haley's best chance because of moderates voting undeclared voting this was a very pro-Trump state by smaller margins obviously before. So she is trying to beat him with a more moderate open to undeclared voters electorate in a place that launched him in 2016.

TAPPER: All right. Let's bring in New Hampshire secretary of state, David Scanlan, who is in the capital of Concord.

Mr. Secretary, thanks so much for joining.

So before today, you predicted a record turnout of more than 320,000 voters. Did your prediction come true? How's turnout today?

DAVID SCANLAN, NEW HAMPSHIRE SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, it certainly appears that there was a really strong vote in New Hampshire in the Republican primary. It became clear towards the late afternoon when some towns were asking for more balanced, they were getting concerned that the Republican ballots were getting low.

So we do have an inventory of extra ballots that we were able to ship to about a dozen towns in New Hampshire. But based on that, I think my number is in line and it's possible that it will get exceeded.

TAPPER: Any -- any reports of any serious irregularities or any problems at ending the polling sites?

SCANLAN: No, it was a very smooth election today and obviously, there are minor problems in every election. Those were dealt with quickly. And this was a very smooth election and hopefully, the results will come in equally smooth.

TAPPER: What's being done to make sure the ballots are secured and counted accurately? What's the process there?

SCANLAN: In New Hampshire, counting the ballots is a continuous process, in the open. So anybody that's interested can observe a polling place that observation begins when the polls open and it ends at the end of the night after all of the ballots have been counted. And the results posted at the polling place and announced by the moderator. And then those, those vote totals will be sent to the secretary of state my office tomorrow morning, very early and take those numbers and aggregate them so that we can come up with the official statewide totals.

TAPPER: All right. Secretary of State Scanlan. Thanks so much for joining us. I appreciate it.

There's only about a half-hour left until all voting ends in New Hampshire. Remember some of the townships allow voting later than others. That will be our first chance to potentially project a winner of the New Hampshire Republican primary. More votes are being counted, more votes are being reported, and we're going to bring you all the updated numbers after this quick break.



TAPPER: And I got another key race alert for you. There's only 4 or 5 percent of the vote in, but right now, Donald Trump has taken a slight lead. He has 51.1 percent of the vote. He's 473 votes ahead of Nikki Haley, who has 48 percent of the vote.

Again, it's only 5 percent of the vote. But right now at this hour, it's a neck and neck. Our exit polls are offering some clues about how the rest of the night might play out. Let's go back to David Chalian with that.

And, David, you're getting more on the ways that Republican primary voters don't see eye-to-eye?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, that's right, Jake. In these exit poll results, you see a Mars and Venus universe for Haley and Trump coalitions here. Take a look at the numbers among Trump voters, 70 percent of them, according to our exit polls, are registered Republicans. Donald Trump, his support, 27 percent of his voters are registered undeclareds or independents. Three percent were unregistered before today.

Looking how that compares with Nikki Haley, it's a complete reversal. It's an alternate universe. Among Haley voters, 70 percent are registered undeclared. Only 27 percent are registered Republicans.

We also see this when asking people, did Joe Biden legitimately win the 2020 election, which he did? Among Trump voters, 80 percent say no. They say it wrongly. No, Joe Biden did not legitimately win the 2020 election.

Haley voters, it's the complete opposite, 83 percent of Haley voters say correctly that Joe Biden was the legitimate winner in 2020, only 15 percent of our voters say wrongly that he was not.

This is the Trump-Haley, Mars-Venus election tonight in New Hampshire.


TAPPER: All right. David, thank you so much. Interesting stuff.

Anderson, quite a thing to behold.


TAPPER: All those people who believe something that is not true.

COOPER: That is true.

Scott Jennings, actually, you -- Scott, you made the point earlier that the President Donald Trump would be elected by actual anybody, whoever the nominee is, they need Republican support.


COOPER: I mean, they're going to be elected by Republicans.

JENNINGS: Yes. And this -- this tells the tale. Trump's winning 70 percent of registered Republicans, which is interesting because a lot of folks thought this particular Republican Party is more moderate. Well, the last five national surveys that have been released on this race have all had Trump at, or slightly above 70 percent. So if these exits hold and he gets 70 percent of the Republicans who are registered Republicans in New Hampshire, but he's going to hit the number that he's hitting among the party at large.

I say all this and I've done a complicated algorithms tell you -- Republicans support Donald Trump, even if the unregistered Republican -- unregistered voters don't.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What's the margin of error on that?


JENNINGS: The Republican Party, and, look, this may be a huge -- let me be walking into a huge folly here. But the Republican Party wants to rerun this thing because they believe they are on the cusp of euphoric vindication. They may be wrong, but that's what were seeing among the actual party members.

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But, Scott, I hear you. I see you. You are not wrong that Donald Trump is by and -- by and far away, the dominant force in Republican politics. That is a fact. But even in Iowa, nearly half of the people voted for someone other than Donald Trump.

Now, tonight, this is independents and this can be Republican independents who lean Republican, people you need an a general election or skewing so strongly to Nikki Haley. If you're looking in the vacuum of the primary, I think we know the direction is very likely could go, which is Donald Trump is favored to win. But these are horrifying numbers for him in a general election, which is Nikki Haley's best-selling point, in what she needs to tell donors to stay alive and stay in this race.

CORNISH: Exactly. Only therapy actually for her party and this does pretty much sum it up, right? Like those folks that are like its over, this is his and the people were like, there's a fighting chance or some of us, were going to magically show up and say, no, we want to be the Republicans we were in 2002. I don't know if that's the case, but certainly this is the kind of moment where people are sending a message one way or another. They are making the call.

KATE BEDINGFIELD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. And I looked at Scott's really complicated algorithm and I created one of my own, weak in the general election.

That's what these numbers show us. And there are -- there are numbers here that indicate, I mean, look, you've got a 50 percent of -- 47 percent of voters today who say that Trump wouldn't be fit to be president if you were convicted of a crime.

So, you're 70 percent of Republicans who are embracing him wholeheartedly are putting somebody forward who is -- has massive general election --

AXELROD: I'm blown away by all you mathematicians, your complicated, but the fact is that among Republicans, and this is one of the reasons why Trump has advanced -- I think the notion that he can't win has receded over time. And so among that 70 percent on Scott's complicated algorithm there, they're convinced that Trump can win, and that's one of the things that's happened in this race.

Like I do think that these are cautionary numbers for him and we don't know what's going to happen during the course of these next ten months. He may be convicted over the course of this next ten months. And there's clearly a body of voters who are supporting them now who may not be. JENNINGS: You have a point, you -- totally agree. There is a cohort of Republicans. My guess is they skew older, they remember the before times and they don't want to vote for a convicted felon for president. They don't want the president to be a convicted felon.

BEDINGFIELD: They're old fashion in that way.

JENNINGS: And so and so, yes, and so, if you're -- Trump, he's never gotten more votes than a Democrat. And a few of those folks peel off, it is a huge problem, if -- if he's convicted and not pushed or acquitted.

AXELROD: Well, that's a whole different story.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But I do think that what David's point is important. Part of what were looking at as Trump's strength, his resilience is really a reflection of Biden's fragility. Republicans are not afraid of Joe Biden. They're not afraid. They don't think that by putting up somebody this damage, frankly, this derange with this many deficits is going to hurt them at all because the polls show over and over again that even with 978 felonies, he's still neck and neck with Biden.

And so, it's a worrying sign. You're correct. There's some worrying signs for Trump. There's to be worrying signs for Democrats that they're not afraid -- they're e not afraid to --


AXELROD: Go ahead.

BEDINGFIELD: But they're also so many unknowns, right? I mean, so there's this question of Trump going through the legal process. And if he's convicted, I think there are concerns about timeline and but there's also -- you know, we've seen over the last couple of months, the economic indicators are getting better. Consumer confidence is going up. Inflations coming down.

I mean, to put forward a nominee with the kind of vulnerabilities that Trump has in a world where things can change dramatically, people are going to maybe feeling better about how their pocketbook is come October, November, that's --



AXELROD: This is -- this is just why I do think that this is a kind of a mixed -- if Trump wins tonight and if he ultimately prevails whether Haley goes on or not, I think that he's going to enter a different world. We talked Mars and Venus, but he's entering the whole galaxy when he gets out of these races. And it's not as friendly as these Republican primaries.

Right now, he looks like a world-beater because these operating within his own universe. But that's not going to be the case when he gets to the general election.

COOPER: Lets go back to Washington with Jake and John -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, thanks so much, Anderson.

John King, we get were getting a few more votes in right now at 8 percent of the vote is in overall, Donald Trump still has a narrow lead, 51 to 47. Now its 10 percent of the vote in, but he does, he does have a lead. It's pretty close. I have to say, but still he's winning.

KING: And it's very early, as you noted, we just clicked death from 8 to 10 percent. So if you're watching at home brew some coffee or get your beverage of choice, would you coffee in here at least for now.

So, you're looking at the map and you're trying to figure out, are there any early clues? This here, the big answer is not yet, but the small answering campaign headquarters is, well, what about the places that are most important to us? So if you're Donald Trump, that's here, that's Manchester.

And you're looking at the early results there. You're seeing, you're 54 percent. This is the largest city, largest area of the state. And you say, okay, were running ten points ahead, a little short of that little shy of that with about 40 percent, little more than that vote. And so that's good, right? A lot of people --

TAPPER: Is that what he needs to do in Manchester?

KING: Well, he would like to be higher, he had a bigger margin last time with more candidates, were space between him in second place, is it a two-point race now so that's in campaign war rooms are analysts tables. That's what they're sitting around debating.

That's enough if he keeps that and he starts -- and wins in some of the other places, its enough to get them a win. Then the question is, what's the margin will have that conversation as we get higher than that. But you're looking at that. If you're Donald Trump and you say, okay, so if you're in the Haley campaign, you're saying, wait, the second largest city, the third largest city, forgive me, Nashua is second Concord is third.

Well, wait, we're ahead there. That's up to about 95 percent of the estimated vote, and she's beating Donald Trump there. What's that, eight points.

So, you know, you're saying, okay, this is one of the places where if were going to win or come really close, we need to get votes here and so that's a good sign for the Haley campaign early on. We're going to spend a lot of time, Jake, as the night goes on over here, right?

So this is Portsmouth right here. Donald Trump carried Portsmouth in 2016. Little shy of half the vote in so far. Nikki Haley are running well ahead right here.

Again, not a ton of votes in a Republican primary in Portsmouth. Portsmouth is likely to be blue, come November. Not a ton of Republicans there, but you want to win it, if you can. If you're in the Haley campaign headquarters, you're looking at that and you say, okay, that was one of the places we need to take away from Donald Trump. That was a place we needed to get some votes. We're not there yet. We have more votes to count, but you're encouraged by that.

You come up here even more encouraging, perhaps Dovere, you're moving more of that goes, this is an interesting mix. One of the fishermen in my piece, Andrew Konchek and his wife, they vote here. It my all over the map series, they vote here, blue color, Trump voter, Andrew is.

But you also have suburban voters here, people who have moved up the Haley campaign, about 70 percent in, carrying Dover again, if you're in the Haley campaign headquarters, you say, okay, that's one of the places we took a good look at. If were, if our math is to work, we need Dover. Is that enough? We have a lot of votes to count when we 30 percent still to count here as we go on.

But that's what they're doing in campaign headquarters right now. Then they're calling around to their people. What's still out as we go. The rest of the map, you know, that's Dixville Notch, with the symbolic victory she got at midnight.

TAPPER: What's this?

KING: They were just up -- and you're climbing up toward the White Mountains here. Hart's location, right? This like Dixville Notch, you sometimes.

TAPPER: They usually do early voting, too.

KING: Used to early -- look, there's 19 votes and you're halfway there. So not a lot of math, but I'm a broken record on this subject, not a lot of math in many of these small towns, however, Donald Trump tends to win them and when most of them, and so that not a lot of math adds up when its 20, 50, 100, 200, 300, 400, it adds up.

So when you're looking at this, remember what he did in 2016, but look down here, look down here. That's all Donald Trump, right? The suburbs of New Hampshire, the biggest population centers in New Hampshire are inside that green line. And so that's 2016, come forward to 2024.

There's a little yellow in there right now. If there's more yellow in there, as we get through the night, then Haley is in play. That's what we need to watch.

Right here in eastern New Hampshire, along the coast and then go across central New Hampshire along the Massachusetts border, if she can fill some of that in yellow, she's in play. But we've got ways to go. We're at 10 percent but that's a close race.

TAPPER: Yeah. And if these numbers hold out and who knows if they will or not, we're only at 10 percent. But if these numbers hold out, one of the arguments you're going to have is, is that strong enough for a man who is essentially running as an incumbent and really has the power of the establishment behind him or does that indicate weakness? [19:45:01]

But this is not the final numbers, so we shouldn't pretend it is.

We're going to throw it to Anderson. We're going to -- we're going to -- we're going to go to Dana Bash in Manchester right now -- Dana.

BASH: Thanks, Jake.

Just watching the numbers on the map there and getting information from my sources that I know you guys are as well. They are -- particularly in the Haley campaign right now, they're watching some very important suburban towns or well-populated towns, towns with more traditional as you call them, country club, Republicans are earlier and they're just hoping and praying that their numbers really are pumped in those areas in order to even come closer at all, close to Donald Trump?

CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST: Yeah. I mean, there were certain places, obviously, a place like Bedford. I mean, there are as they are in every state, every electoral, there are certain parts that are more moderate, certain parts that are more conservative certain parts or more independent, certain parts that are more Republican.

And you can go talk to the advisors for both camps and they'll say, well, this is where we got to do strong. This is where we after underperform. This is where we hope to -- talking to the Trump people this afternoon, you know, their first line was a win is a win. And I suppose they'll take it.

But they were really counting and they are really counting on a double-digit win. I think they're feeling is if it's in double-digits, that would be a significant win, particularly in a state like, like New Hampshire that is not typical, that is much more favorable to Haley than a lot of the other states, and lot of the other contests. And you know, this is going to be interesting to see you as the night goes on and were very early in the night as to whether or not they are able to exceed that double-digit number or not.

KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Right. And New Hampshire sometimes counts a little bit slowly, so we have some suspense here, right?

So the smart Republicans that I'm talking to, people that have run these races for years in the past. They've kind of got two lists going and I was I was really interested to see when John put up those pink counties that went for John Kasich because that's one group of them.

One group of them are the places the towns were John Kasich won in 2016, right?

BASH: Yes.

HUNT: So Nikki Haley really has to outperform in those towns, is like a list of 14, Jackson, Bartlett, Easton, Orford, Lyme, it goes on. Then there are towns where Trump performed under 30 percent and Kasich came within striking distance and Nikki Haley really needs to overperform there.

And the key one, we've talked about this a lot already tonight, is Concord, which is about an hour north of where we are, 45 minutes.

BASH: And where she is tonight.

HUNT: Exactly. And I think that tells you everything you need to know.

ZELENY: Speaking of where she is, she was in Salem last night and Salem is in Rockingham County, which was along the eastern side there that John was showing us that as the yellow part of the state where he -- where she has to do well and that is exactly why she ended the night.

A lot of former Massachusetts residents have moved to New Hampshire, of course, and they live around Salem. There's a very fast growing area --


ZELENY: We will not -- we will not. It's a two-syllable word.

BASH: It's also where the governor grew up.

ZELENY: Exactly. And speaking of the governor, they also have been looking at where Trump underperformed Governor Sununu. That is a key thing.

I mean, Trump won the New Hampshire primary in 2016, but he lost the general election very narrowly to Hillary Clinton and buy pretty wide margin to Joe Biden. So they are looking at all these counties.

But look at Salem, that is one thing that the Haley campaign is looking at right tonight. They think they can ring out a lot of those undeclared voters. And twice she closed her campaign in a packed rally last night. We'll see if it paid off.

WALLACE: I don't know that we can specifically say though, that its Trump versus Kasich from 2016, and that that's what the key is because remember, it was a crowded field. Jeb Bush was in the field. Chris Christie was in the field. One would assume the more moderate goals like that would be going the Haley, conversely, Ted Cruz was in the field. You'd assume his vote.

So, you know, you have to kind of add up all the conservatives or more MAGA Republicans of 2016 versus all the more country club Republicans of 2016.

HUNT: Well, I mean, they are -- I mean, I've got some numbers that they're looking at in that case to their assuming kind of exactly as you broke it down, but its still gives us a little bit of a map, right? To kind of look in these interesting places where maybe there's more willingness among people who are still in the Republican Party to actually vote for someone that isn't Donald Trump. I mean, that's really the big question. ZELENY: One number in the exit poll that does worry the Haley folks,

the feelings of Trump wins 56 percent say they're fine with that. So that's the bottom line to all of this. And it should be a worrying sign of the Biden campaign is well because some of these people voting for her tonight may vote Republican in the general as well. So, but keep an eye on southern New Hampshire, we're all hearing that from sources.

BASH: You know, that number really give us even more of a hint of why she has been teetering on the edge of really going after Donald Trump.


She certainly stepped up her comments about him across the board, but hasn't gone into high gear. And that number is very likely why.

ZELENY: Exactly, despite the governor trying to urge her direction.

BASH: Yeah. He was trying to do it for her.

WALLACE: I got to say one quick thing. Chris Sununu, if she does well and has a victory, whether its literally a victory or single-digits, she yells a lot of the to the governor. Chris Sununu has been a better campaigner for her than she's been for herself.

BASH: All right. We're going to toss it back to Jake in Washington -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Dana, thanks so much.

Let's get a new key race alert with 11 percent of the estimated vote in, Donald Trump is still in the lead with 52.2 percent of the vote. He has 19,185 votes. That's roughly 2,000 votes ahead of Nikki Haley, who is in second place and a two-person race with 46.8 percent of the vote. It's only 11 percent of the vote in, but as of right now, Donald Trump has the lead.

The last New Hampshire polls close in just a few minutes from now. That's our first chance to potentially project a winner in nine minutes, 29 seconds. The final two major Republican presidential candidates have obviously a lot riding on his primary, Donald Trump seeking total dominance over the race an early lock on the Republican nomination.

Nikki Haley staking her campaign on New Hampshire as she's tries to find a path forward in an uphill battle against Trump and the Republican establishment.

Let's check in with Kristen Holmes at Trump headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Kristen, as of now, the number is tighter than probably the Trump team wants them to be. But still he's in the lead.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right, Jake. Thing to keep in mind here is that they did say they thought that he could win by double digits. Obviously, the margin is smaller now than what they expected the big goal for them was to win by a definitive margin and put this to beds that they could hit it to the general election.

I was told that if the margin was decisive enough, that they would start reaching out to these critical swing states to expand their infrastructure there, talking about states like Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, as they have their eye on a potential rematch with President Biden. Those, of course, are states that Biden won in 2020, but they view as very competitive.

The smaller the margin, the like were likely it is that Nikki Haley stays in the race and that's going to cause more difficulties for Trump. Now the one thing I will note that the campaign doesn't see a scenario long term in which Trump is not the GOP nominee. They are tracking polls in several states in which they believed that he will win the delegate count for him.

And one of the things that we have reported is that they've actually worked with state parties to change delegate systems in a way that will end up favoring Donald Trump in the long run in this primary season. But that doesn't mean that if Nikki Haley does well tonight, that that's going to be an easy process. It's something they're watching obviously very closely. They think that this will, of course, prolong the fight, right?

TAPPER: All right. Interesting stuff. Now lets go to Kylie Atwood at Nikki Haley's campaign headquarters in New Hampshire, in Concord, New Hampshire.

And, Kylie, you're getting a new read on Governor Haley's expectations tonight. What is that?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. I mean, Nikki Haley has been saying over the course of the last few days, she wants a strong showing, not defining it, but I'm told by her aides that they think that the that the results are going to be closer than recent polls have shown. I'm also told that they believe that if there's high turnout, it's going to be a better night for Nikki Haley. That's something obviously that you guys have been talking about.

And Nikki Haley herself has been texting with people close to her today. I'm told by a source close to her and one of the things that they've been discussing in a positive light are what they see as reports of high turnout and campaign aides for their part have also been talking to their teams in the field throughout the entire day, and they were welcoming reports coming in of high turnout in places that they were looking at incredibly closely.

Now, another interesting thing, Jake, is that Nikki Haley stayed up quite late last night, according to one campaign aide, she stayed up past midnight to see those results come in from Dixville Notch, which opens its doors to voters at midnight, all six of those voters in that tiny town in northern New Hampshire voted for Nikki Haley. And so they obviously felt good about that. And I just want to bring you inside the room here at the campaign

headquarters, where are we have all of these Haley supporters who are cheering in the background. CNN is on and every time that there is a positive development for Nikki Haley's campaign, they're cheering, putting their hands up, a lot of energy right here.

TAPPER: All right. Kylie Atwood, thanks so much.

Lets go to Nashville right now and Kate Bolduan, who is at -- it looks like its closing time there, Kate Bolduan.

What do you still do in there?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are -- well, I'm staying until the last minute to -- for you -- you the record, Jake. We are minutes away now from Nashua ward three, hitting that 8:00 p.m. mark. Nashua ward three is one of by our count, 32 locations in the state that is staying open until 8:00 p.m.


I'll say from about the 7:00 p.m. mark until now, the traffic has really died down, but we still are seeing people coming in voting in these final minutes. The last vote count from the machine that you just got from my friends, 2,235 ballots cast. Again as a reminder for context in ward three, there are just under 5,000 registered voters. We're going to know very soon what all of that means.

Come with me though. Let's go outside. We have another new friend of voters that has been kind enough to stay out in the cold for me to speak.

Paul --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not called compared to Iowa.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. Paul and I are just officially best friends.

Talk to me about your vote tonight. Who did you vote for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did end up going with Donald Trump. I did say to Carolyn that on it was close to a flip of a coin between Trump and Haley.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think Haley's a little bit closer to the middle. I felt that more recently she kind of her message came across more negative and I felt that Trump has left some of the past behind him and were not hearing like vengeance language.

BOLDUAN: Do you have you voted for Trump before?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, both elections. And I, unfortunately, like most of the country, I feel like we have polar opposite candidates. And there's no one in the middle. I think there should be. I'm registered undeclared and a question was asked to me. Would I vote

Democrat or Republican? And I would vote either if they were a little closer to the middle because it's policies --

BOLDUAN: That matter to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- that matter to me and it's great to vote that way.

BOLDUAN: That's -- a lot of people should vote that way, and in our voting that way, we're going to find out much more in just minutes from now.

Paul, thank you so much.

Back to you guys.

TAPPER: All right. Kate Bolduan in Nashua, New Hampshire, in one of the voting locations that is still open at this hour, but its going to shut down in just a few minutes there.

And there's a -- you know, vox populi, that's -- that's he's voting. Nashua where Kate Bolduan, is that Nikki Haley really needs Nashua to go her way.

KING: She certainly would like it. It's right here along the Massachusetts border. It's the second largest city, 6.6 percent of the population. We don't have any official votes yet.

TAPPER: It's still open.

KING: Let's just go back in time. Let's go back and time and, look, Donald Trump won with 35 percent of the vote -- again, with so many candidates. One of the things you're looking at tonight is like, right now, Nikki Haley's close to the former incumbent president of the United States. So that's a big deal. You're six points behind Donald Trump.

That's -- that's pretty strong race. The question is, is it strong enough? And can you narrow the gap? But one thing we have to remember throughout the night when we do these comparisons is you had ten candidates on the ballot. And so some of the gaps in the areas were different.

But Donald Trump won Nashua in 2016. You're coming back. And I'm going to come back to this just -- I'll probably go back to this several times throughout the night, but I just got to draw the strip like this way down here. Actually come inside a Manchester, right, I come inside, look at the inside line because Manchester's Trump country, more gritty city. We'll see how well she does there.

And then just come forward to 2024 and then lets just bring this up a little bit so we can see it.

At the moment -- at the moment, we're waiting for more votes to commend, but at the moment you see some yellow inside the inner line. That's what Nikki Haley has to do. And that's in Portsmouth? That's in Dover here where I'm waiting to see if more votes came in there up to 70 percent. So if you're in the Haley campaign headquarters and you're looking town by town, you know you have a long way to go. But at least at the moment, so the places you need to fill in yellow are filling in yellow for her.

So you watch it, but again, 12 percent, six point race, you raised the question earlier, if she ends like that, what does that mean, right? Were nowhere near there, but that'll be the analyst conversation, the fundraiser conversation, and everything like that. That's it. You're running a strong race right now against the far away, front runner in the Republican Party.

Just a little quirk of history, we'd like these counties that we look at -- the counties that tend to get it right, or the cities that Hampshire, I'm going to say counties because that's normally what were doing.

TAPPER: Townships.

KING: Townships and cities, they're within counties, but we counted by township here. Rochester, 2.3 percent of the population, the sixth largest township in the state, birthplace of the gadfly presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche. I know these little things. They've gotten it right in the Republican primary for 70 years. Donald Trump is leading there right now.

Records die. Vigo County, Indiana, went down in the last presidential election. Records die, but its just one of the places you look at that have a history and at the moment, Donald Trump is leading there and more important for Donald Trump, he's leading at the moment in Manchester, we're up to 57 percent of the vote to 10-point, little above 10-point lead there.

This is his blue collar urban base in New Hampshire. Most of Trumps blue-collar support you think of rural, but at the moment Jake, he's doing quite well there. You pull out to the map and you look, you also get late votes in Manchester. They -- they get, you get early reports but then they tend to fill in late as we get through it.

If you are looking elsewhere on the map, we're just -- it's one of those hard-to-knows, right?