Return to Transcripts main page
CNN Live Event/Special
CNN Projects Trump Wins NH Primary, Haley Vows To Stay In Race; Biden Looking Ahead to General Election; Exit Polls Show Trump Dominating in Key GOP Issues. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired January 24, 2024 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back to our coverage of the New Hampshire Republican primary. The Granite State just catapulted Donald Trump closer toward a rematch with President Joe Biden. Trump winning the second Republican nominating contest of 2024 by a rather wide margin and a potentially crippling defeat for his last major Republican opponent, Nikki Haley.
Let's take a look at the vote board right now with 76 percent of the estimated vote in. Donald Trump still with a significant lead, 54.3 percent of the vote, that's 135,836 votes. That is almost 27,000 votes more than Nikki Haley who has 43.6 percent of the vote. Haley acknowledged her loss and Trump marked his victory. And the gloves quickly came off. Trump seemingly fuming after Haley told supporters that he has not won the Republican nomination yet. And she is fighting on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We won New Hampshire three times now, three. She didn't win. She lost.
NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: New Hampshire is first in the nation. It is not the last in the nation. This race is far from over. Now, we're the last one standing next to Donald Trump.
TRUMP: Who the hell was the imposter that went up on the stage before and like claimed a victory, she did very poorly actually.
HALEY: The worst kept secret in politics is how badly the Democrats want to run against Donald Trump. A Trump nomination is a Biden win, and a Kamala Harris presidency.
TRUMP: Let's not have somebody take a victory when she had a very bad night. She had a very bad night.
HALEY: Most Americans do not want a rematch between Biden and Trump. The first party to retire its 80-year-old candidate is going to be the party that wins this election. TRUMP: Just a little note to Nikki, she's not going to win. We're going to have the greatest election success. We're going to turn our country around. We are going to win this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: All right, I'm back here at the magic wall with John King. And John, 76 percent of the vote in, Donald Trump with an 11 point lead almost. Where are we still waiting for votes?
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: I'll show you in one second. I just want to make a very quick point. Donald Trump won Iowa and New Hampshire. You noticed he doesn't complain about elections when he wins. Just throwing that out there.
TAPPER: Right. In 2016, he lost Iowa to Ted Cruz and he's -- and accused Cruz of stealing Iowa.
KING: Just an instructive point for Republicans watching the people of Iowa, Republican governor who supported another candidate counted the votes Trump won. New Hampshire counted the votes tonight and Republican governors support another candidate, Trump won. The system works. I'm going to leave it there. It's not perfect, but it works when it comes to counting votes. So you asked me where are we still out? And that's the big question.
Look, Trump is going to win New Hampshire tonight. He has won New Hampshire tonight. The question for Nikki Haley with a month to go to South Carolina is can she convince people that she's, you know, look, this is better than Iowa, right? If you go to Iowa, let's zoom out the map and go back to we were just a week ago. Look at that. That's one county, right? So you look at that map. You look, she's in third place.
You can make a visual argument and you can make a math argument. She's a 43 percent here. That looks better. That looks better. Second is better than third. Second is still second, right? And so part of the challenge here is can she get that under 10 points, some people that's meaningless. To the voters in South Carolina future states, I'm not sure that matters. It matters to donors. It might matter to staff morale. Can you prove that you got into single digits against, you know, the far away front runner that is Donald Trump? Can it happen?
TAPPER: And staff morale just to make one note here, staff morale matters a lot when you're relying on people working for free, traveling from Iowa to New Hampshire to South Carolina, and only doing it because they believe in the candidate.
KING: Right. And again, whatever your politics, you know, people work in these campaigns, most of them are young people. Some of them is actually, I shouldn't say it, some of the older people, but they're doing it for -- they're doing it for what they think is the right reason. And they're great to meet when you're out there, no matter who they support, whether it's Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, or anybody else. Those people doing the work, you know, they believe in the cause. So what are we looking for, right? So let's just come here and look, where are the outstanding votes, the bigger the circle, that means more votes are outstanding in that area, right? So you see most of the bigger circles are down here in the lower part of the state. You'll see here where it's shaded red that means there's outstanding votes in places, a decent amount when you see a circle that says in places Trump is winning right now up. Here that means we have no votes at all.
If it's grey, we have no votes at all, some outstanding votes in these places here. We're heading this way. But see your big circles right here. So let's blank that out and see and come back to where we are.
TAPPER: Which should theoretically be a Haley area, but it's not.
KING: It's been back and forth. Donald Trump won this area in 2016, right? But, you know, this was Haley's big target tonight. If you look in the grey, meaning no vote towns that I circled inside here, especially those right in, it's about 20 percent of the state population when you add them all up. So again, that's not a ton of votes. It's not a ton of votes. This is not a huge state.
Is it possible if she runs the board here, that she can get that below 10 percent? It's possible, but I just want to go through the math for you what we're talking about here. So one of the places she's going to look at here is Derry, 2.5 percent of the population. So a place that if you, you know, won by a decent margin, you close the margin. But look, Trump won here. Trump won here. Trump is around here. So Trump's out running.
Let's just go to a place that we talked about earlier, stretch it out against other people at home can see it better. The Haley campaign said Hollis was one of their targets, right? So let's bring that back up here and coming to Hollis. That's national right along the state line, it gets interesting. So here's Hollis, this is one of their targets. That's great, right?
Fifty-seven percent against the former president of the United States, 41. But look, it's only a little more than 400 votes, right? So you look at the percentage, you say that's great. But when you're trying to come back against the lead, number one, it's not going to happen. He's going to win. But number two, you're trying to shrink a percentage. So even in a place where you're getting 50 something percent, you're only shrinking it down a little tiny bit.
TAPPER: Yes. He's up by almost 27,000 votes in a state like New Hampshire, that's a lot of votes.
KING: Yes. And a lot of this up here is going to fill in again. They're small, right? So you come up to a place like this, you know, 91 of 37. So, you know, 50 plus votes there. It's not a lot, but you pick another one here, you know, that's a couple -- that's, you know, 100 plus. And you just keep going through and you see that one's a lot closer here. And you kind of know. But we're the outstanding vote is, there's a possibility to narrow the gap some. But this is going to be most likely a 10-point race. It might be an 8-point race.
TAPPER: Isn't Lancaster, the county that always predicts?
KING: Yes. And so we went through this a little bit earlier. This is Lancaster here. It's a town not a county in New Hampshire. It's a mistake I make too. But Lancaster, there's five or six of these towns that have been right for 70 years. Lancaster is one of them. It's been right in the Republican race and it picked Donald Trump tonight. I'll show you another one down here. Just outside of Concord is Pembroke. I missed it again. Let me come back to Concord and stretch it out as we go on. Here we go. It's right here.
Pembroke has been right for 70 plus years. It had Donald Trump. And then you come out more toward the coast. And you come up in here. And Rochester is somewhere in here. I think it's around here. There we go, right there. Rochester is to get one of these for 70 plus years. They've been right in the Republican nomination race. And they are right tonight. So the streak continues.
TAPPER: How about Hanover, what's going on there?
KING: So Hanover, you come in here, again, one of these places where, wow, 85 percent of the vote that's big, you know, that's 1,200 votes. You know, that's a place where you're making up some which gives you we're still waiting for Lebanon to come in next to it here. This is -- this was John Kasich country, right along the Vermont border right here, an area you know well.
So again, if you're looking for places for Nikki Haley to get more votes to shrink the margin, so they're there. Now again, some of these other small ones are going to fill in red and Trump will pick up there. But the main point is down here, right down in here and there's Salem, Derry, and a couple other small towns very close to the national border that are essentially suburbs. They're not big by if you live in the Pennsylvania suburbs, or you live in the Cleveland suburbs. They're not big by them. But by New Hampshire standards, you know, 2.5, 2 percent of the population, there's a chance.
But, you know, Donald Trump's going to win. The question is what's the margin in the end? Is it a little above 10 or a little below 10? That's the question.
TAPPER: So my conclusion is Nikki Haley did what she needed to do in Hanover but not in Nashua. Let me throw it to Dana Bash.
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Jake. And I want to bring in Kristen Holmes, who is still at Trump headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire. Kristen, what are you hearing from Trump's sources in the campaign, which you talk so often about how it's a very different campaign, it's run in a very methodical way particularly compared to what he did in 2016. What are you hearing from them after the speech that their candidate gave?
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Dana. That's really been the most interesting thing about covering Trump in this cycle is just the team. It's not necessarily Donald Trump himself. He is still Donald Trump. And then we saw that tonight when he gave a very angry victory speech. He had no teleprompter, he went after Nikki Haley almost incessantly even after we had cut out of the speech he had given time to Vivek Ramaswamy to go after Nikki Haley.
Then he even brought up Senator Tim Scott saying, you know, you -- they work together, so you must really hate her if you endorse me which of course was an awkward moment given that's not really Tim Scott's political brand. He had to then say, no, I just love you. We're talking to his team. They think that their strategy here in New Hampshire worked. They were very concerned several weeks ago about the rising poll numbers from Nikki Haley.
They were understanding that it was likely that Nikki Haley was going to get a big swath of the independent voters, particularly after Chris Christie dropped out of the race. That's when they started targeting her with millions of dollars worth of television ads. This is between the campaign as well as the Super PAC. And they hit her on two things, both immigration and Social Security, immigration to shore up the Republican voters and Social Security to secure some of those independents, or at least lessen some of her appeal.
And now they feel like it was very successful. And that's what they're looking at going into this.
BASH: Kristen, thank you so much for that great reporting, as always. And now to Kylie Atwood at Nikki Haley headquarters in Concord. Kylie, what are you hearing?
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, Nikki Haley came out very clearly tonight saying that this campaign is far from over. Saying New Hampshire is the first primary, it's not the last. And committing to competing in our own state of South Carolina, where the primary is about a month from today. But there are obviously questions about how she's going to be able to effectively do that.
She herself is headed to Charleston tomorrow. She's got a speech there tomorrow night. We know that her campaign has put resources on the ground in Charleston, and across the state already. They have about five offices that are open there. They have folks that they have sent staffers from Iowa, to South Carolina to begin working there.
But there are questions about how well she'll do there, particularly given the fact that she has promised that South Carolina will be her best showing to date. And her campaign for that matter has not actually said that there are any specific states in the primary process that they believe she can win.
Now they point out that the actual campaign hasn't started in most of these states. And they do think eventually she'd be able to win. But in order to actually see a path forward for her, there are questions about where she could win, if she's going to able -- going to be able to actually effectively challenge for President Trump going forward.
BASH: Yes, and that is the cold reality that her campaign is facing. Speaking of cold, get out from the cold there. It's snowing again here. It's kind of hard to believe. Thanks, Kylie. Appreciate it.
And back here, Kasie, the just kind of going back to the big picture --
KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes.
BASH: -- of what we saw tonight, first and foremost, with Donald Trump's win. Nikki Haley's speech that Jake played some of it the beginning and the way that Donald Trump responded as the victor. That was his victory speech.
HUNT: Right. I mean, it's a bit classic Donald Trump in many ways. But, you know, as I'm thinking about this, Dana, the main question is going to be how is -- what is Nikki Haley going to do over the course of the next couple of weeks. And we got it because we got a taste tonight of what Donald Trump is going to do to her. And I was kind of going back through, you know, as he was running against her here in New Hampshire. I mean, he misused her given name, he intentionally misspelled it, called her Nimrata.
He did a very, you know, deliberately unflattering portrait mashing her face together with Hillary Clinton's at face. He brought Vivek Ramaswamy up to basically trashed her after he had, you know, done so much against the debates, against her during the debates. She is going to be in for a very rough few weeks, with Donald Trump throwing everything. And he is willing to do things that most politicians aren't willing to do.
BASH: And that's another thing that he said very clearly, during his speech tonight, warned her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And just a little note to Nikki, she's not going to win. She's not going to win. But if she did, she would be under investigation by those people in 15 minutes. And I could tell you five reasons why already, not big reasons, a little stuff that she doesn't want to talk about. But she will be under investigation within minutes. And so would Ron have been, but he decided to get out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: What do you make of that?
CHRIS WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR: Well, I'm certainly not surprised. I mean, it's not the first time that, you know, this is the man who talked about Ted Cruz's father being involved in the Kennedy assassination. So it's not unusual for Donald Trump to make allegations and completely unwarranted allegations against his opponents. You know, it's an interesting thing.
I feel that the speech he made tonight was a real, really a totally unforced error. It wasn't what his campaign expected they wanted to act like he's a general election campaign candidate already, the nominee. Friday, he's going to be an Arizona. Saturday, he's going to be in Nevada. You know, these are going back to something that John was talking about, John King a while ago. Those are key swing states that he's going to have to win, or may need to win to go up against Biden in November.
So I think he's going to -- two things are going to be going on. On the one hand, he's going to be beating the heck out of Nikki Haley. But on the other hand, I think he's also going to be making moves towards a general election campaign against Joe Biden.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: And Nikki Haley said tonight, our fight is not over. And that is true tonight. I mean, that's how she feels obviously coming after this. She told you today that she has to do stronger here than she did in Iowa. And she did. She lost by 32 percentage points there or 32 points. And here it's about 10, maybe 11. So she reached that metric. But the reality is this race is moving along.
So yes, she can stay and we will see. It often takes a couple of days for that. But she was making an electability argument tonight that really has fallen flat with this Republican base. Ron DeSantis made it she's been making it. It just hasn't worked. And really one of the stark things over the past year is the weakness of President Biden or perceived weakness has strengthened Donald Trump.
And now that electability argument that was used against him by all of his rivals, it just does not ring as true. So if she goes into South Carolina, she said the people there know me, he can attack my record. A lot of new voters in South Carolina did not live there when she was governor that could cut both ways. So we will see what she does. Let's give her time she has a rally scheduled tomorrow. She's on the air. Her campaign says they reserved $4 million in television time. That can always change but for now she's in the race and if she is the race goes on. We'll see for how long.
HUNT: If she's going to win, you got to put up a W somewhere.
BASH: That's true. Very well said. Thanks one and all.
Just ahead, the GOP nomination all comes down to delegates in the end and putting a W up somewhere. We'll tell you where that race stands, plus, the anxiety among some congressional Republicans about Trump's impact on their futures.
TAPPER: Some more votes have been counted. So let's bring you a key race alert with 78 percent of the estimated vote in. Donald Trump maintains his commanding lead of 54.2 percent of the vote. That is 140,315 votes. He is about 27,000 votes ahead of Nikki Haley, who has 43.7 percent of the vote. New Hampshire may supercharge Trump's momentum. But let's see where he stands now in the all-important fight for delegates, the key to locking up the GOP nomination. David Chalian has those numbers. David, 22 delegates at stake here in New Hampshire. And where are we?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: That's right. As you noted, Iowa and New Hampshire really more about momentum than they are about the raw delegate counts. But those 22 delegates at stake, we've been able to allocate all but one of them based on the results tonight. Donald Trump has 12 in tonight's New Hampshire results. Nikki Haley got nine.
We have one left to allocate based on proportionally how the vote comes out. But, Jake, if you look at what that means, added with Iowa and the delegates that we allocated there. Remember, overall, you need 1,215 votes, delegates, to win the Republican nomination. Right now our estimate has Donald Trump with 32 delegates between his Iowa and New Hampshire victory, Haley with 17, DeSantis with nine, Ramaswamy with three. And by the way, DeSantis and Ramaswamy, Jake, they get to hang on to those delegates up until the convention.
TAPPER: Right. And while Ramaswamy and DeSantis, we should point out have both endorsed Donald Trump, a little food for thought for our friends at the panel over there, Erin Burnett.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Absolutely. So let's start here with, I'm doing some math here. And something David Chalian is going to say she's actually really fascinating. But hold on as he walks over here. Manu, I know you have something new.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, there's some real fears among top Republicans about Donald Trump even though even as we're seeing more and more Republicans sort of line up behind his candidacy, something that we have seen really since Iowa. There's -- you talked to a number of Republican members, there are still fearful about his impact down the ticket.
One member from a swing district or House Republican from a swing district told me, yes, he frankly believes that Donald Trump will cause them the House in the fall saying 20 percent of Republican voters will not vote for him. Independent voters think Biden is weak, but they hate Trump. Dems, he said he motivates them to vote in the election. That's the view of this individual member who the Republicans frankly will need in order to keep the House.
But it's not just this individual member. There are members who talk who on the record about their concerns, as well. This is Senator Todd Young in Indiana Republican today was asked by reporters about whether or not he is going to be part of this Trump establishment or the Trump people were rushing to Trump's side. He said, hell no, that was his response.
And I asked Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell today, I asked him whether he has to repair his frayed relationships with Trump. Remember, McConnell has excoriated Trump in the aftermath of January 6th. He said, I'm not going to -- I don't have any news to make. I'm not going to comment about it. He refused to say if he will endorse him or not.
So you're seeing the real divide within the party. It's something that they have really had to live with, since Donald Trump first came on the stage, but one in which could have a real serious impact down the line, if you see me against inauguration.
BURNETT: And they're all rushing. I mean, you know, I know they say they're not running but the rushing and running, I mean, Nancy Mace tell the person according to Trump, now one of the first two, you know, pound the table in his favor.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR & SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: A lot of Republicans are absolutely rushing to Trump side, but the evidence is in the favor of the Republicans, Manu has been talking to. To quote Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis, Trump has lost the House and Senate and the presidency multiple times at this point. And so there's not a whole lot of evidence that Trump helps anyone but Trump. And even the last time around he couldn't even really help himself.
In spite of that though, there are I think the reality for the rest of the Republican Party is that they have not been able to capture Trump's energy for themselves. And they're afraid of what happens if they abandon him. Trump has successfully brought a lot of new voters, non-traditional Republicans into the party.
And the real reason I think we're seeing so much of this is that Republicans that the ones who are left who are not named Trump are still trying to figure out how do you get those people to engage, you know, and you can't. It's a non-starter that they will not engage with you if you abandon Trump.
BURNETT: So I was doing, this as the math I was doing. OK. Because you were pointing out, David, how many people are making this decision for the whole country?
BURNETT: One hundred and ninety two thousand, so.
CHALIAN: I think that we're up to 196,000.
CHALIAN: So Donald Trump, I'm combining Iowa and New Hampshire votes so far.
BURNETT: Of how many people have voted so far for Trump?
CHALIAN: Voted for Donald Trump.
CHALIAN: So he is collected between two states, 196,000 votes with New Hampshire still counting.
BURNETT: I'm going to update the math here. CHALIAN: OK, 196,000 votes, and it's all been over. And he is like demolished the competition. To me, it just speaks to not only his grip on the party, his pseudo incumbency, and the strength of that, I think, is on display here as well. But just watching so few people actually cast a ballot for him in these first two states overall, compared to 330 million that this is a contest to ultimately represent and sitting in the Oval Office. It's just astounding how quickly the party completely came around.
BURNETT: Infinitesimal, OK. So the map is that's 0.59 percent of the U.S. population. It changed from point 0.58 to 0.59, when you gave me the updated number, but I had to check it. But that's --
PHILLIP: I don't think that was the intention of the way that this primary process was supposed to go, obviously. I mean, it is supposed to run its course in which many more states are supposed to have their say. And those states get bigger, and they get, you know, more complex, they have different needs, they have different priorities. But this particular contest, it could very well end here. And that decision gets made by such a small, unrepresentative, even for the Republican Party, a small but unrepresentative portion of the population.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, it's probably -- it's the first time since 1976, that someone who's not an incumbent Republican won both Iowa and New Hampshire. We're seeing this play out. And obviously seeing how there's only one opponent left. And you would think that for someone like Donald Trump, who, you know, two years ago, politically was in a lot of trouble with all of those very Republicans that you were just citing even a year ago, they weren't ready to get behind him. They wanted to see how the primary process played out.
You would think that on that night that Donald Trump would emerge victorious in this sense, and that's not what you heard in that speech there. And I've been talking to sources in Trump world who have been speaking to him or around him in the last several hours. He's continuing to see about Nikki Haley. There was this moment after Iowa where everyone was kind of just on cloud nine and Trump world they were all celebrating, they were so happy that they didn't have to fear Ron DeSantis or whatever they thought it was going to be eight months ago.
Tonight is not like that. Trump is going after Nikki Haley, claiming that she said she won when she congratulated Trump on his victory, criticizing her outfit, criticizing his White House press secretary for commenting on the race. And privately he seems baffled. People have told me that she is not dropping out of the race that she's staying in this race. He doesn't understand why she is not also bending the knee and letting him have the entire grip on the GOP nomination, which he may very well have in just a few days. But instead of being victorious, he seething --
RAJU: Yes, I mean, strategically, you would make sense to completely ignore him, Nikki Haley, and just say that this race is over. The party needs to unite behind me and take it to Joe Biden directly. But Trump is just unable to do that. He takes the bait every single time. BURNETT: you have been going through so many of these exit polls and looking through so many different, you know, tabulating. What has stood out to you the most so far tonight?
CHALIAN: Just what stands out to me is that the strength of Republic -- of Trump with Republicans on issues that he will run on in a general election, immigration, the economy, in it -- he has a lot of support on these big issues that he's going to run on. But I think some of his vulnerabilities are also getting exposed here as a potential general election candidate, when you look at how independents voted.
And I understand I agree with you, most of them will put on their our jersey if they are Republicans, but we are seeing some vulnerabilities here while we also see his strengths. That's what I'm learning from these numbers.
BURNETT: One half of 1/10 of 1 percent.
BURNETT: Just another way of saying it. That's who's making this decision so far.
All right, President Biden thanking New Hampshire voters for writing his name in on the Democratic ballot, saying Republican voters did deliver a clear message of Donald Trump. We're going to go to the White House after this quick break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A Trump nomination is a Biden win and a Kamala Harris presidency.
DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have beaten Biden. You could almost say, who can't? Who the hell can't?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well to be clear, Donald Trump has not beaten Joe Biden. He has never beat Joe Biden. But Trump and Nikki Haley are both looking ahead to the prospect that there could be a Biden-Trump rematch after Trump's decisive win in the New Hampshire Republican primary today.
President Biden is already looking ahead to the general election, saying it's clear that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. CNN's M.J. Lee has details.
M.J. LEE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The Biden campaign is making it fully clear tonight that they are making the full pivot, the hard pivot to the general election. And that they expect that the November race is going to be between President Biden and former President Donald Trump.
President Biden saying in a new statement tonight, "It is now clear that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. And my message to the country is the stakes could not be higher. Our democracy, our personal freedoms, our economy," all of those things, he says, are now going to be at stake, come November.
To that end, we are also learning about some big changes that are coming to the Biden campaign. We are learning that two top advisors that are in the West Wing to the president, they are going to be moving over to the campaign full-time.
This is Jen O'Malley Dillon, who of course, ran the president's campaign back in 2020. She is currently the deputy chief of staff at the White House.
She is going to be moving over to the campaign to be the campaign chair and mostly is going to be focused on overseeing the campaign's efforts to get to 270 electoral votes.
We also have news of Mike Donilon. He is one of President Biden's closest advisers. He, too, will be going over to the campaign in the coming weeks to be the campaign's chief strategist and focusing on issues like messaging and the campaign's paid media strategy.
Now, another, just a clear data point that we are also seeing from the Biden campaign tonight. They have put up on their website for sale the first merchandise from the campaign that explicitly mentions Trump.
There's a T-shirt that says the words "Together we will defeat Trump again."
Now, as for what the campaign will be doing in the coming days, for starters, they've announced that they are going to be holding a press call, come tomorrow morning. This is going to be a call, I'm told by officials, where they lay out what they see as their path forward and just describing a little bit more in detail, now that they have acknowledged that they see Donald Trump as being their general election competitor, how they see the path going forward for the Biden campaign.
So this is something that we are going to be monitoring tomorrow morning, as well.
Back to you.
(END VIDEOTAPE) TAPPER: All right. Our thanks to M.J. Lee. I'm back here at the Magic Wall with John King. So according to Joe Biden and team, it's over. That's it.
Where do we go from here? Where are we?
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR: A very rare night of agreement. Donald Trump thinks it's over. The Biden White House thinks it over. Nikki Haley says, not so fast.
She is right by the math. We will see, as we go forward.
David just pointed out a few minutes ago the delegate count. Two point five percent of the available delegates have been awarded after tonight. Two point five percent, right? You need 1,215 to win. The front runner has 32. So yes, by math, we're not even close. We're just starting.
However, the momentum thing, right? Donald Trump wins two. Nikki Haley says, as we move on, I can do better, right?
So we go to Nevada. That's -- there's a primary and caucus. The caucus is what gives the delegates Trump has at wired. Then you go her home state of South Carolina. One of the arguments they're making is its one of the open or semi-open primaries, meaning in South Carolina, have no party registration. So if you're a registered voter, you can vote. OK.
But history says that's a very conservative electorate. We'll see if Nikki Haley can expand it or change it. But our history tells us that's a pretty Republican electorate, and even the independents tend to be more conservative. But it's a shot.
Michigan is an open primary. I've been in Michigan. Republicans there, very Trumpy. Again, there are suburbs. There's a chance. Joe Biden won Michigan in the general election. There's a chance.
So you're looking at this map and you say, where's -- where's a win for Nikki Haley? Well, if she can sustain herself, if she can sustain herself past her home state of South Carolina, then you come to Super Tuesday, where there are 874 delegates.
There are some open primaries here, so some of them are down here. Texas is open. Donald Trump versus Nikki Haley in Texas. OK. Yes. I wouldn't go to Vegas on that. What about California?
Virginia is open. California is not -- California is a state where -- you think California is a blue state. It is a blue state. Look at the last ten and the history of the California Republican Party. I'll let you do this on your own at home.
This is -- this is a -- you know, this is a pretty Trumpy party right now. Let me say, again -- again, in a primary, people in the suburbs get to vote. People who don't vote for Donald Trump get to vote -- who might still be Republicans get to vote in the party. So there's a lot of "we can see." But -- but you just look at this list, right? That takes money. That
So the challenge is to prove yourself, and she has to do that. We'll come all the way back. She has to prove herself by then, but that's a long ways off. There's a long ways off. This is going to be a lot of talk as we get the final result here, whether she can even sustain herself to there. She says she will.
TAPPER: Especially with Donald Trump refusing to debate her, as he's refused to debate every single one of his opponents, which I guess it's a strategy that's worked. I wouldn't say it -- shows the most confidence in one's debating skills -- Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Nikki Haley will, no doubt, be bringing that up quite a lot.
Let's take a look at how President Biden did in New Hampshire with the write-ins. I think we have the numbers on. Or not. There we go: 67.1 percent. Dean Phillips, 19 percent.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Listen, this was a really awkward situation, because Biden wanted to have South Carolina kick off the campaign.
He finished fifth in New Hampshire four years ago. The party rules were changed. So if he actually participated in this primary, he would have been penalized by the party for participating.
Dean Phillips, a congressman from Minnesota, came along, felt that Biden should move on, wanted to make that point; and quit his congressional seat to become a candidate in New Hampshire; spent $5 million there in a grassroots campaign from Democrats there. And a super PAC cropped up, and they ran a pretty effective campaign against him.
I mean, a three-to-one win on a write-in, I think, checks the box for Biden.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And it's so embarrassing and weird that we can't just have a normal primary. I love South Carolina. I'm glad that South Carolina is going first.
But there's something wrong in a party where you have this much discontent with the candidate, and nobody can figure out a way to vote or do anything that counts, or send a signal, or sed up a smoke signal, get a carrier pigeon, do something and listen to the fact that people in this party are very worried that Biden's not the right person.
And so -- and by the way, he can't give a speech now, because these kids are so upset. In 1968, there was an unpopular war with very scary images, and it mobilized a generation and hurt Democrats in '68.
AXELROD: Well, that was happening -- that was the example that Dean Phillips chose.
AXELROD: He thought he could be Eugene McCarthy --
COOPER: I that.
KATE BEDINGFIELD, FORMER BIDEN WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Yes. I mean, there was an opportunity for a candidate other than Joe Biden to make moves here and for voters in New Hampshire to say, we want to see somebody different than Joe Biden. And Joe Biden won in a write-in, three-by -- three to one.
JONES: But you feel good about -- Do you feel good about the fact that these people who did go for Dean, their stuff doesn't count anyway? There's no way for anybody in this party to register an effective, even protest vote, because the DNC Ziplocked this thing before anybody had a chance.
BEDINGFIELD: You don't think if there had been an unexpected level of support for Dean Phillips in this process today that there would have been more of a reckoning? There was absolutely the opportunity for people to make their voice heard, but people want to see Joe Biden be the nominee. Joe Biden beat --
AUDIE CORNISH, CNN ANCHOR: What are you saying --
BEDINGFIELD: -- in 2020.
CORNISH: -- in terms of people not -- like what part of it makes you feel they were cut off from the process?
JONES: Well, the fact that, first of all, I think Dean Phillips begged everybody to run. Begged Gavin to run, Gretchen to run. The people who were basically managing themselves for 2028 didn't want to run. So he had to kind of kamikaze himself.
But the way that the DNC is operating, it's sending the signal that this is -- this is Joe Biden's party -- perfectly fine -- and that no dissent is welcomed. And that's the message being received.
COOPER: Well --
AXELROD: I think here's what -- here's what I think --
CORNISH: He's also -- he's also the president, though.
BEDINGFIELD: I mean, he is the head of the party. It is Joe Biden's party. He is the head of the party.
JONES: It's up to the party.
BEDINGFIELD: You may not want to see him -- you may not want to see him be the nominee. But --
VAUSE: Tell that to all -- tell that to all these young voters.
BEDINGFIELD: -- a lot of Democrats.
AXELROD: Here's the -- here's the reality. A lot of people have expressed concerns. I've expressed my own concerns.
But I think that there's such a focus. There is affection for Joe Biden in the Democratic Party. But -- but there's also a great fear of Donald Trump. And I think that there are a lot of people who sit, who thought about running, who quietly thought about running and thought, I don't want to do something. He's going to be the nominee of the Democratic Party, and I don't want to damage him in that cause.
And so that is -- that is the reality of what happened. As long as Joe Biden wanted to run, he was going to be the nominee of the party.
CORNISH: But I do --
BEDINGFIELD: There's always -- can I just say really quickly? I mean, look, there's always -- historically, there's handwringing, right? There's always handwringing around the reelection. There's always concern.
I think, Axe, you could speak to concerns in 2012 about Obama's candidacy. Of course, when you're looking at a president who has had four years in office, and you know, people have zeroed in on their lines of attack.
And, you know, this is not an unprecedented political moment. It does not mean that Joe Biden is, in some way, historically vulnerable. I don't think that's true. I don't think that's true.
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He is -- he is historically vulnerable.
BEDINGFIELD: I don't think that's true.
JENNINGS: He is historically vulnerable.
BEDINGFIELD: Well, look, why did Democrats overperform in 2022? Why did they were overperform --
JENNINGS: We're talking about 2024, and you and I read the same polls. You know he is historically vulnerable. That doesn't make Donald Trump a world-beater. But he ain't getting any younger. And these numbers haven't been getting any better.
And you're not -- you can't fix any. You might be able to fix some of it with Trump, and that's why you want Trump so bad. You say he's -- he's a threat to democracy, but you've been begging to put them on the ballot, which I still don't understand.
But he is historically vulnerable for exactly the reasons Van just pointed out. You've got tons of constituencies who are mad about what's been done for them or not done for them. And you've got a bunch of people who don't think he's got the mental capacity to hold the office.
It is historic vulnerability.
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It is also historic that he's the oldest presidential candidate in history. And yes, Donald Trump is old, as well.
But the reality is the two largest voting blocs going into 2024 are Gen Z and millennials, two generations that are going to feel completely disenfranchised by two octogenarians running against each other.
Unfortunately, for Democrats, those voting blocs tend to trend to Democrats, and they are not energized under Joe Biden.
I do think that you're running into a number of different constituencies that are core to the Democrats to get by. And they're just not lining up behind Biden.
AXELROD: It's also -- I mean, yes, it is true that there was some -- you know, Bernie Sanders and others raised some issues in 2011. There were concerns about Obama, but he was 30 years younger. And he was stronger in polls.
And so the concerns are legit. I think it's water under the bridge now, because Joe Biden is running. He's going to be the nominee of the party. And I think the party is going to try and unify behind them.
COOPER: Coming up, we're going to take a look at how the problems the voters are facing factored into their vote for Trump and what that means for the presidential race in the months ahead. Be right back.
TAPPER: And we're back with a key race alert. Let's check out the big board.
Eighty-two percent of the estimated vote in, and Donald Trump is still in the lead: 54.2 percent of the vote, 146,589 votes. He is almost 29,000 votes ahead of Nikki Haley, who is pulling up the rear with 43.7 percent of the vote.
It's been about a ten- or 11-point lead for several hours now.
Voter dissatisfaction is feeding Donald Trump's support in New Hampshire and beyond. Let's go back to David Chalian with more from our exit poll -- David.
AXELROD: That's right, Jake. There is no doubt that Donald Trump sort of tapped a vein here in the Republican primary electorate among those dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country.
So if you combine people who say they are dissatisfied and angry about the way things are going in the United States, that made up 80 percent of the electorate, basically, in New Hampshire tonight.
And Trump won those voters, 61 percent over Haley's 38 percent.
Another big swath of the electorate were those that say the economy is not good or poor. So combining those two together, that's three- quarters of Republican primary voters today who say the economy's not good or poor. Trump wins them two-to-one; 67 percent to Haley's 32 percent.
Among those who say that life for the next generation is going to be worse, a majority of voters, 57 percent, believed that. Trump wins them by nearly 20 points: 59 percent for Trump, 40 percent for Haley.
And among those who said the candidate quality that they were looking for the most in the candidate was somebody who fights for people like them, looking for a fighter, about a third of the Republican primary electorate was looking for a fighter. And Donald Trump fits the bill: 86 percent of those voters went to Trump; 14 percent went to Haley -- Jake.
All right. Because he fights, as they say. Erin Burnett, there is the Trump electorate, right?
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. I mean, it's a dark view of the world, right? And you're looking for someone to bail you out of a dark perspective. And that's what you see, right? Abby, I mean, people who are angry, people who see things going in the wrong direction. That's where they gravitate.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR: Well, who think Trump tells it like it is. People who think that Trump, even though he might offend you, at least he's saying what he thinks. And all the other politicians are just kind of telling you what they think you want to hear.
There's a personality element to Trump, that that's been the thing that I think a lot of his opponents have never been able to crack. That's going to be probably one of the biggest driving forces of support for him going forward, especially in the Republican Party.
I don't think it's going to turn all that much on a bunch of issues. I think it's going to turn on Trump. Who is he? What is his demeanor like? Do voters find that repelling, or do they find that attractive?
And I don't know that we really know fully the answer to that question, because it is going to be on the margins. And Trump over time has become such a part of the firmament here that people are getting used to Trump. They're not as outraged by it anymore. And how much of that is going to change the way that he's received by
the marginal voters who are going to decide this race in a handful of states in this country.
BURNETT: In seven states.
MANU RAJU, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Look, I mean, I think one of the things I thought was interesting in all of the numbers that have come in over the last two states is just how much immigration and the border is really driving Republican voters.
It's such an animating issue. And it comes to the critical time, too, This is something that they're trying to resolve right now in Washington, is tied to the desperately sought aid to Ukraine.
But if Republicans decide to go forward with that, it takes away that central issue, which add complicates things here in Washington, but that is -- if you're talking about issues that could drive the campaign, that drive the GOP election. That's one of the ones clearly from tonight.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: But what's amazing about that is what, when it comes to Trumping a fighter and what you've heard, how the other GOP rivals talked about Trump throughout this campaign, was they talked about his failed policy achievements, the fact that he did not achieve what he promised to do on the campaign trail.
One of the biggest ones was building the border wall. And Trump will push back on that all day long and say he did, but he barely built any of the new border wall. Certainly not what he was promising.
And as Ron DeSantis would often say, he did not make Mexico pay for it, which was obviously a signature campaign promise. And I think when they tried to attack him on that, you know, GOP voters did not hold him accountable for that. They were not upset with that. It doesn't show up, even though immigration is one of their No. 1 concerns.
And Nikki Haley has made the argument, you know, if he did build the wall when he was in office, then the immigration numbers would not be as high as they are now. They would not be dealing with the influx, because it would already be there. No president would have torn it down.
So it is this interesting conundrum where you see where the voters are not punishing Trump for not having followed through on that promise. And yet he's promising to do it again in a second term.
And I think what you hear from a lot of the skeptics is that why do you believe that he's going to do it now if he didn't do it the first time.
TAPPER: Something that's interesting also about the immigration issue, which is, look, obviously there is a crisis at the border. And obviously, it's indicative of a failure of the Biden administration and every previous administration and Congress, as well.
But the degree to which voters in Iowa and New Hampshire can blame their economic discontent on that crisis, I think is -- there's very little evidence for it.
Now, you can say that there's plenty of reasons for border states to be upset or plenty of reasons for people in inner cities, where Governor Abbott and Governor DeSantis have sent a lot of these migrants, and they've been sapping the social services systems. But I don't know that this is a true crisis in Nashua or Des Moines.
PHILLIP: It's not an economic crisis.
TAPPER: Well, that's what I mean.
PHILLIP: It's a cultural crisis.
TAPPER: A cultural crisis, and it's indicative of an administration not functioning.
PHILLIP: But that's what Trump is tapping into. It's not -- I mean, the policy is what it is. But Trump is tapping into immigration as a cultural issue, about the country being taken over by brown people and people from other parts of the world. That's what his appeal is all about.
BURNETT: But Abbott, by sending those migrants to the Northern cities, Jake, has transformed this issue in this country.
TAPPER: He has absolutely. And our coverage of the New Hampshire primary continues, next.