Show: POLITICS NATION Date: January 31, 2016 Guest: Rick Tyler; Karen Bass; John Campbell; Rich Galen; Sabrina Siddiqui; Abby Phillip; Bill de Blasio
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Showdown in Iowa. The last full day of campaigning before the caucus is finally here.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Please come out and caucus!
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So important is Iowa, your caucus.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We cannot fail. Let`s win on Monday.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Caucus for us. Speak for us.
TRUMP: The whole concept of caucus is something beautiful about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is Donald Trump for real? Can Ted Cruz knock him down? And will Hillary Clinton hold off Bernie Sanders?
It all comes down to this. From pork chops on a stick in the summer heat to the deep freeze of an Iowa winter, the first votes of 2016 just hours away.
A special edition of "Politics Nation" with Al Sharpton starts right now.
REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good morning. I`m Al Sharpton.
This is crunch time. The last full day of campaigning before the Iowa caucus. The candidates are exhausted. Racing from one event to another. Looking for every vote they can get. The new Des Moines Register poll shows Donald Trump at 28 percent. Ted Cruz at 23 percent followed by Marco Rubio and Ben Carson. Trump, taking shots at Cruz right to the very end.
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TRUMP: Ted`s got a big problem. Other people have different problems. Me, I have no problems. You know, Ted Cruz may not be a U.S. citizen. But -- but he is an anchor baby. No, he`s an anchor baby. Ted Cruz is an anchor baby in Canada.
CRUZ: I like Donald. And he`s welcome to say whatever he likes. I like and respect him. That`s all I`ve got to say. And right now it`s up to the voters to decide.
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SHARPTON: This will be the first real test for Trump. We know he can hog the microphone. But can he get people out to caucus for him on a cold, winter night? Turnout is the key on the democratic side, too. Bernie Sanders can draw a crowd. But will they vote?
The "Des Moines Register" poll shows Clinton with a slim lead over Sanders. As they draw differences on everything from wall street to guns to health care.
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CLINTON: We now have 90 percent coverage. I don`t want it repealed. And I don`t agree with senator Sanders that we start all over again.
SANDERS: I am disappointed by the tone of her campaign. It is not true to suggest that she will be the stronger candidate in November.
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SHARPTON: Let`s start with NBC`s Kerry Sanders in Council Bluffs, Iowa following the Trump campaign. Kerry, that new poll shows Trump leading in Iowa. But will his supporters actually turn out to tomorrow night? That`s the question.
KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It`s a really good question. And of course, we can`t answer it until it`s actually time for folks to go caucus. It is interesting. The five-point percentage lead in the latest poll is really a dramatic turnaround from December, where Donald Trump was 15 points behind Ted Cruz.
So, certainly something is happening in the electorate. If those people, as you point out, go out and vote. Now, one of the more important things on this Sunday morning to remember is that the evangelical vote is just so important in Iowa. In 2008, 60 percent of those who went to caucus were believed to be evangelicals. They had self-identified as that. And in 2012, it was 57 percent evangelicals self-identified. So it`s really an important vote here.
One of the things I think that`s perhaps most interesting is, when you ask the question, will people go out and caucus, forget about the weather, Iowa stands cold weather. They understand even some snow, and the blizzard that`s coming will likely be gone after the caucus. It will just be snowing initially. So I`m not sure weather will be such a huge factor.
But whether the people will go out and caucus, because the one thing Donald Trump has done is he has energized people who have never participated in politics, have been somewhat apathetic. But now they are showing up in very large numbers. We expect that likely will happen again here today. Interestingly, during the last caucus, four years ago, 40 percent of the people who went to caucus had never caucused before either. So, we keep talking about these new people participating. That`s really not a new occurrence here in Iowa. That was, of course, for Obama. This, of course, will be for, potentially, Trump, Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio or Chris, you know the whole list here. There`s a lot of people running. A lot of people with their names who potentially could come out with at least they believe holding their hands high, saying we won in Iowa and then move on to New Hampshire almost immediately -- Al.
SHARPTON: Kerry Sanders, thank you for those details.
Now, let`s go to Rick Tyler, communications director for Ted Cruz`s campaign.
Rick, first of all, thanks for joining me.
RICK TYLER, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR TED CRUZ`S CAMPAIGN: Good Sunday morning to you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: How can Cruz catch up with Trump?
TYLER: Well, you know, we think we are even. And we have a superior ground game here. We have got about 12,000 volunteers. We have got nearly all of our precincts covered. Over 1500 precinct captains covering some 1600 different precincts. We also have someone speaking at almost every caucus and we are not knocking on about 2,000 doors a day. Yesterday from our headquarters we made over 27,000 phone calls to Iowa voters. So the game is to turn them out.
SHARPTON: Twenty-seven thousand calls, 12,000 people on the ground. I know the caucus -- the caucus process very well. But are you hearing anybody in your opposition having a significant ground game? Because, the question is, with Trump ahead in the polls, does he have a ground game? By now you would be feeling it.
TYLER: You know, I think that`s exactly right. We have been very open about our ground game. We have press coming through our headquarters every day so see what`s going on. They go out with us door knocking. We have about over 100 people living in a place we call camp Cruz, which is an old college dormitory that`s just full of people, tripled up on air mattresses. They get up every morning and they start working, they head toward the headquarters about 7:00 in the morning. They get their marching orders and we just don`t see the same kind of activity in the other campaigns.
You know, back in 2008, Reverend, Barack Obama turned out a large number of new caucus voters. But you could feel it here on the ground, you could measure it in the voter registration. You could measure it in the data. And we don`t see that type of activity. So we will probably get a record caucus still. But it won`t be some of the projections that are driving some of these polls so I`m pretty comfortable about where we are.
SHARPTON: Are you concerned that some reports say that your campaign is about Marco Rubio?
TYLER: Well, look, Marco Rubio in the "Des Moines Register" poll placed about third. That`s where we`ve seen him. It doesn`t look like he`s really going to break out of that. And really, the reason is because in the Republican Party he was a supporter, a chief sponsor of the gang of eight bill which was a pro-amnesty bill that gave illegal aliens a pathway to citizenship. Our party rejects that. And if our party is to nominate someone who is pro-amnesty, I really think we will lose to Hillary Clinton or now looks like Bernie Sanders. Bernie did very well in the poll yesterday, as well.
SHARPTON: A little dig in there but I`ll let it go.
TYLER: Trying to be kind.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you, what is the real significance of a victory in Iowa to Ted Cruz? What will it mean if you can pull it off tomorrow night and what will it mean if you don`t pull it off?
TYLER: Well, let me sort of list the opposition. We have two former caucus winners running against us. We have a lot of people running in our lane, which is the evangelical lane, including at one time Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal. Ben Carson is still running in that lane. Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee. We had the sitting governor call openly for our defeat. We had the secretary of state attack us yesterday. We have had millions of dollars spent against us. But even after all that we really think we could win.
It would be very significant, because about 11 states that go before March 15th have a 50 percent evangelical turnout or more. And on March 1st you have states like Tennessee, the 70 percent or more. Texas is over 50 percent. Georgia is over 60 percent. Alabama is over 60 percent. So if we can show that we can turn out evangelical voters here, and they kind of say in the process we should do very well in South Carolina. And we should do very well in the March 1st states.
But by the way, we are also doing well in New Hampshire where we have been tied for second place. I wouldn`t have predicted that. I don`t think anyone else would, either. So we seem to have a very broad appeal.
SHARPTON: Rick Tyler, thank you very much for your time this morning.
TYLER: Thank you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Let`s turn now to the democratic nomination fight. Hillary Clinton is leading in a new poll, but also dealing with new questions about her emails.
NBC`s Kristen Welker is in Des Moines.
Kristen, thanks for being here. What`s the mood in the Clinton campaign one day before the voting starts?
KRISTEN WELKER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think they are feeling confident to the extent that they do have a slim lead in this latest Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll. She is leading Bernie Sanders 45 percent to 42 percent. It`s a slim lead, though, Reverend Al. So it`s still really anyone`s game here.
She is not taking anything for granted. Bernie Sanders all right letting up. They both campaigned late into the night here in Iowa crisscrossing the state. We will see that again today.
Secretary Clinton got some other good news yesterday. She was endorsed by "The New York Times," and also 28 African-American ministers. She met with them earlier in the week.
At the same time she is still dealing with new questions about her emails. We learned on Friday that the state department decided to withhold 22 of her emails from her private server when she was secretary of state. They say those emails were top secret. Secretary Clinton insisting she`s never sent or received emails that were marked classified at the time. Here`s what she told our Monica Alba. Take a listen.
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CLINTON: This doesn`t change anything about the fundamental facts. I never sent or received any email marked classified.
MONICA ALBA, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Did you generate any of these email - -?
CLINTON: No, I did not.
ALBA: Are you concerned that this withholding of the emails makes it so that people`s imaginations can run wild? What can you do to alleviate that?
CLINTON: I`m really not concerned. Because it`s the same story that has been going on for months now.
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WELKER: And it all comes down to turnout, Reverend Al. Both campaigns have built up armies, ground troops who are out trying to get people out to caucus on Monday. If young voters turn out in force, Bernie Sanders could win. He has a wide lead in that age group - Al.
SHARPTON: Kristen Welker, thanks. There`s a lot more ahead. So stay with us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll look at what could be the difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
You`re watching a special edition of "Politics Nation," one day to Iowa.
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CLINTON: Go to the caucus Monday night because if you stand up for me then, I will stand up and fight for you as hard as I can to make sure we go forward together in America.
SANDERS: This is the fight that we cannot afford to lose. And together we will not lose.
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SHARPTON: Just one day out from Iowa, the tone is sharpening on the democratic side. Throughout the campaign, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders mostly held their punches. But at this late date, that may be changing. Clinton went after Sanders this weekend over Wall Street. Saying, he`s not telling the whole story.
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CLINTON: I have a bigger set of concerns, because, when you listen to my friend senator Sanders, his main argument is, we have to break up the big banks. But here`s what you`re not told, that`s in the law that was already passed. That the president signed. The Dodd-Frank law.
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SHARPTON: The Clinton campaign has also gone after Sanders over gun control. And his comment last week that Planned Parenthood is part of the establishment, in quotes. But Sanders is firing back.
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SANDERS: Don`t tell me that I`m defending or protecting the gun lobby. Don`t tell me I`m attacking Planned Parenthood. Those are inaccuracies. And we can do better than that. Secretary Clinton and I have differences of opinions. Let`s debate those differences of opinions. But let`s not go around distorting a record that I am very proud of.
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SHARPTON: Joining me now is Congresswoman Karen Bass, who is campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Iowa.
Congresswoman, thanks for being here.
REP. KAREN BASS (D), CALIFORNIA: Thanks for having me on, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you, what are you hearing on the ground, and what are you feeling? You have run for office and you know the difference between polling and the actual on-the-ground feeling. What are you hearing? What are you feeling in terms of Mrs. Clinton`s chances to really do what some of the polls are indicating?
BASS: Well, I think she`s going to do very well. And I`m certainly hearing a lot of excitement, and enthusiasm from her supporters who`ve been working for months, and I believe there`s going to be a good, strong turnout. And we`re going to win tomorrow.
SHARPTON: What about this new email controversy that has come up. Are you hearing anything about that? Will that impact the caucuses?
BASS: Well, you know, I really don`t think it will. I mean, we have seen the Clintons be hit over the years on everything under the sun, and I know certainly when you have done polling among Democrats, 76 percent are not concerned about the emails. They`re concerned about good jobs, they`re concerned about affordable education. They`re concerned about the continuing health care, and expanding resources. And so I have a hard time believing that another email controversy is going to keep people away from caucusing tomorrow night for Secretary Clinton.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you, congresswoman, what would a loss in Iowa, and in New Hampshire, and she is way down in the polls in New Hampshire, or considerably behind -- I should say considerably behind senator Sanders, what would a loss in both mean to the campaign, and mean to secretary Clinton?
BASS: Well, I think a loss would certainly be a setback. But I also know right after New Hampshire, South Carolina, and a number of states where she`s running really strong. But I actually think we are going to win tomorrow. I know New Hampshire is going to be a more difficult hill to climb, but I am very confident about how Secretary Clinton will do, especially in the south, and southern states.
SHARPTON: Polls indicate senator Sanders is doing very well among young people. Are you finding that to be true on the ground? And explain why that is the case if you agree with it.
BASS: Well, I think that senator Sanders has certainly been strong with young people. He has had a lot of turnout, especially on college campuses. But I also think that there`s a lot of enthusiasm for Secretary Clinton, as well. So we`ll see tomorrow. You know, I know young folks sometimes don`t turn out. I certainly hope that they do turn out. And I hope that they turn out for Secretary Clinton.
SHARPTON: Congresswoman Karen Bass, always great to see you. Thank you for being with us this morning.
BASS: Thanks for having me on, Rev.
SHARPTON: Now let`s turn to the Sanders campaign. And the fight for labor support. The national steel workers union hasn`t made an endorsement yet. But Sanders got a strong reception when I spoke to the local chapter this week.
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SANDERS: Every person in this room, because the steelworkers are one of the great unions in our country. You understand the history of the trade union movement. And you are understand that change, real change, never comes from the top on down, it always comes from the bottom on up.
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SHARPTON: John Campbell is a member of the steelworkers local 310. He helped put that event together for Sanders, and he joins me now.
John, thank you for being here.
JOHN CAMPBELL, STEELWORKER: Thank you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you, what do you say to those who say that Sanders can`t win nationally?
CAMPBELL: I would say they are wrong. That President Obama, people said that about him. They said that about the labor movement. You know. They said slaves would never be free. Yet I stand a free man, you know. So, change is inevitable. It`s just which direction we want that change to go.
SHARPTON: Sanders is neck and neck with Secretary Clinton in the polls. She is slightly ahead with the last poll this morning. How are you guys going to make a difference, and push the voters out, and push them to support senator Sanders and put him over the top?
CAMPBELL: Well, I`m going to work tomorrow in the factory and I`m going to talk to every guy I talk to, in my local, about caucusing. And caucusing about our issues. And that is, trade, good jobs, the right to organize. And, you know, here`s the one thing that nobody is saying in this campaign when we talk about equality, and we appeal to minority communities, where in this country do women, blacks, and other people get the same wage? That`s under a union contract. And that`s the uplifting factor. If you look at the decline of the middle class, it will correlate with the decline of organized labor in this country. So --
SHARPTON: But they -- split between Clinton and Sanders. How do you make the argument that a vote for Sanders is more to sustain unions than a vote for Clinton?
CAMPBELL: Well, I think it`s important to know that yes, we have that split, yes, we have people in the hierarchies, you know, our leaders, our national organizations may have endorsed Secretary Clinton. But, the rank and file ultimately decide where we go. And in our union, we have had a pretty hand on this. They have said go where your herd is. Do the work. Come out in November, and do the right thing for the right reasons.
And so, I think right now the enthusiasm amongst labor and my local is, that Bernie Sanders came to us. He addressed our issues. He addressed our concerns. And he`s moving our movement forward, you know.
SHARPTON: All right.
CAMPBELL: Bottom up.
SHARPTON: Thank you, John Campbell. Thank you so much for your time this morning.
CAMPBELL: Certainly. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still ahead, the first real test for Donald Trump. Will his supporters turn out to caucus?
Also, a special Iowa edition of gotcha.
SHARPTON: Turnout is going to be a big factor in Iowa tomorrow night. But, there`s a group who would be turned away if they tried to caucus. Ex- felons, people who have served their time, and paid their debt to society, but they are still paying a price. Thanks to Iowa`s Republican governor, Terry Branstad. In 2014, then-attorney general Eric Holder spoke about it.
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ERIC HOLDER, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: In Iowa, action by the governor in 2011, caused the state to move from automatic restoration of rights following the completion of a criminal sentence, to a very arduous process that requires direct intervention by the governor himself in every individual case. That`s moving backwards. That`s not moving forward. It is unwise. It is unjust. And it is not in keeping with our democratic values.
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SHARPTON: That`s right. Ex-felons now have to personally apply to Iowa`s governor to regain the vote. It`s one of the strictest policies in the country. And, in fact, has been severe. In the half decade before the move, roughly 115,000 people had voting rights restored. In the next three years, just 64 regained the franchise.
Governor Branstad is denying thousands the right to vote even as he pays lip service to democratic ideals.
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GOV. TERRY BRANSTAD, IOWA: We are very blessed to live in the United States of America, where we have a history of government of, for, and by the people. I think it`s a good system, and I certainly support the right of the people to choose their own elected officials.
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SHARPTON: Yes. People should have the right to choose. And that means all people.
Nice try. But did you really think we`d forget about those who can`t vote tomorrow? We got you.
SHARPTON: A big question tomorrow night, can Ted Cruz recover from the last debate? Without Donald Trump in the room, this one was Cruz`s to lose. And if you read the headlines, he did. Still, it`s a razor thin margin between Cruz and Trump. Less than 36 hours from the start of the caucuses, the Des Moines Register poll was taken both before and after Thursday night`s debate, and it shows Cruz five points behind Trump. But nearly half the voters say they could still change their mind before tomorrow night.
Let`s bring in our panel. Abby Phillip from "the Washington Post," Sabrina Siddiqui from "the Guardian" and Republican strategist Rich Galen.
Sabrina, you`ve been covering Rubio and Cruz. Is all this talk of Rubio momentum real or not?
SABRINA SIDDIQUI, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE GUARDIAN: Well, I think that Marco Rubio`s campaign currently feels strong about, you know, at least finishing in third place and that would give him some momentum going into New Hampshire to emerge as the clear alternative to Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. I will say he`s been drawing really large crowds here in Iowa. He also earned the endorsement of "the Des Moines Register" as well as the "Sioux City journal." So he had positive news at the right time. Iowa senator Joni Ernst also appeared with him. And although she didn`t endorse him formally because she is staying neutral, she gave a very strong show of support for his candidacy. So obviously, at the end of the day, a lot of it comes out to turnout, but I think his campaign, he feels good about where they are going into these finals days before the caucuses.
SHARPTON: Abby, how much did the debate hurt the campaign of Ted Cruz, if at all?
ABBY PHILLIP, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, Ted Cruz says it himself, everyone was attacking him. Everyone was going after him. And that has really played a toll.
Here in Iowa on the airwaves, there are some really tough ads going against him. And I think that, you know, Ted Cruz is suffering from this competition with Donald Trump. Donald Trump is, in some ways, dealing with it by not backing down, as he always has. And so, we will see how this goes. I mean, the ads on the airwaves right now are attacking his evangelical credentials. That goes to the heart of his support here in Iowa. And you know, we will see how they respond to the barrage of negativity.
SHARPTON: Rich, will the Trump voters turn out? We have seen the big crowd, we have heard a lot of the noise, are there real indications that these voters that support Trump will actually turn out and caucus?
RICH GALEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes, I think they probably will. And I think they will also for Bernie Sanders, who is, remember, he had the first gigantic crowds. Trump came in later and started building those sorts of crowds, too.
But going back to the Cruz situation, John Feinstein, sports writer formerly with "the Washington Post," wrote a back about professional golf. And he said, on Sunday, golfers know it`s not how many strokes you`re behind the leader, it`s how many guys between you and the leader. So you can be five strokes behind, if there are four guys between you and that leader, they`re not all going to have a bad day.
And I think what we saw at the debates is that everybody, there`s no sense in attacking Trump, because if you attack Trump all it does is drag him back toward groups. You need to drag Cruz back to the rest of the pack. I think that`s what we were seeing on Thursday night.
SHARPTON: All right. Well then, let me ask you this, this question Sabrina, how much do we -- how much do you think of the fact that Ben Carson is still polling pretty well? We thought that he kind of like, got knocked out of this. But he is still getting double digits. How much will that be a factor?
SIDDIQUI: It`s certainly a factor in the sense that it draws support away from some of these candidates who are competing in a somewhat overlapping lane. Ben Carson voters could deflect to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio. So depending on what the margins look like at the end of the caucuses, it really could play a factor. If Ben Carson took away support from Ted Cruz, you know, who was obviously competing with Donald Trump and there`s a lot of expectations in particular here riding on Cruz to win Iowa. I think he certainly, if he doesn`t win, wants to be a very, very close second.
And again, even with Marco Rubio he needs to be a strong third going into New Hampshire if he were to come in fourth or be, you know, just one or two points removed from Ben Carson. That would certainly put at odds the narrative you asked about earlier, whether he actually has momentum or not. So I think Ben Carson could help a spoiling effect but of course we`ll wait and see what happens.
SHARPTON: Abby, does the people, the Cruz people, seem worried about the rise or supposed momentum of Rubio? And should they be?
PHILLIP: Well, I think that Ted Cruz believes that he and Marco Rubio are operating in different lanes. Marco Rubio is in that establishment lane and Ted Cruz is in the outsider lane. He has a little bit of competition there with Donald Trump and Ben Carson. But, they`re operating on separate but parallel channels.
I think the rise of Marco Rubio is a concern for Ted Cruz only in so much as what it means down the road. I don`t think here in Iowa the Cruz people feel particularly strongly that they`re competing for the same universal voters. Marco Rubio has other competition, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and so on. And he needs to really consolidate the votes that are kind of milling around at the bottom of the electorate right now. In order to push himself higher up on that leader board.
SHARPTON: Rich, you know, if Donald Trump can win the debate without even showing up, is there really any stopping him? If he wins Iowa tomorrow night, if he goes on and wins New Hampshire, is he unstoppable?
GALEN: Probably. I would say that he probably is. But going back to what we were just discussing about the division of the vote, I`m almost positive, I`m not there, but I`m almost positive that there have been chaps between representative Kasich, of Bush, of Fiorina, maybe even Rand Paul, all the votes the establishment candidates to kind of work out some kind of deal, if this happens.
If Bush ends up with two percent of the vote, there is no good case for him going on and just keeping those. And what you do is you trade names. You say OK we`ll give you our South Carolina support names. So I think a lot of that is going on right now, and we`ve -- the biggest surprise might be who decides to call it quits after we get the results tomorrow night.
SHARPTON: So if, Sabrina, we see the field narrow down, does that then change the scenario of the inevitability of Trump if they begin uniting behind one quote "Republican establishment candidate?"
SIDDIQUI: I think a lot of that largely depends on New Hampshire. You know, obviously what happens in Iowa will have some bearing in that primary coming up on February 9th. But you have this five-way competition over in New Hampshire to be an alternative between Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie. So we don`t know, you know, how Iowa will affect those results. But it could also be an entirely different situation where John Kasich pulls off a surprise second or third or Jeb Bush, who has been gaining slowly in New Hampshire, actually gets a little bit of life or signs of life over there. And that could really change dramatically the shape of the race.
I don`t think you`ll see any drastic winnowing down of the field until we get past that competition. But again, you know, there could be this unstoppable fact if Donald Trump wins Iowa and goes into New Hampshire where he`s polling upward of 30 percent, and if he`s able to turn out the vote there, too, this could be over a lot sooner than the Republican establishment is hoping.
GALEN: That`s exactly what I was thinking.
SHARPTON: Just a minute. Stay with us. I have a lot more ahead. I`ll be back with you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ahead, who is the real heir to the Obama legacy? How that key question could decide the democratic winner in Iowa.
SHARPTON: The democratic race in Iowa is within the margin of error this morning. Both campaigns bringing out the big guns last night. Hillary Clinton and her husband and daughter. And Bernie Sanders had the rock band vampire weekend.
Back with me is our panel Abby Phillip, Sabrina Siddiqui, and Rich Galen.
GALEN: You wonder why I`m not in the demo.
SHARPTON: Abby, you were at the Clinton event. It was a full family affair. Is that working for her? Because I saw "New York times" story saying that bill Clinton is losing his magic out there. Are you sensing that? Is the family and the presence of former president Clinton working for her or is it underwhelming?
PHILLIP: Well, I think President Clinton has a style that has really evolved over the time. He`s a little bit more subdued. But honestly this crowd last night really didn`t seem to mind all that much. They were extremely enthusiastic. Cheering, chanting, screaming. It was one of her more energetic crowds, and I think as you go in to the final weekend, that`s extremely important.
Caucuses are, especially on the democratic side, are very much about bringing out your universe of supporters, your most energized supporters. You have to get them to show up. You have to get them to stand up for you and to stick with you in that sort of back and forth that happens in the caucus room.
And I think that we`re seeing now last night, the night before, and tonight again, President Clinton is drawing a more energetic crowd, I think Democrats in general are pretty happy to see the Clinton family. There don`t seem to be many worries about any political dynasties here in Iowa, at least among Democrats.
SHARPTON: Sabrina, we hear how strong, at least in the polling, that senator Sanders is among young people. Will they show up? Is there any way of measuring whether that youthful fervor, if you agree that it exists, as the polls indicate, will actually deliver voters to the polls? Or to the caucus?
SIDDIQUI: Traditionally, younger voters are not overwhelmingly likely to caucus or to vote in a primary. But you know, we remember that Barack Obama was successfully able to turn out a lot of first time caucus goers in 2008. I think Bernie Sanders is looking at a similar strategy. We don`t know ultimately what that number is going to look like until tomorrow itself. But I think that certainly it would be hard to imagine that the polling would just consistently show that a lot of these likely caucus goers who are on the younger end of the spectrum, that they wouldn`t be going out to turn out. That it wouldn`t turn out for senator senders at the end of the day.
But I do think that, you know, when the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll showed us yesterday which has accurately predicted, of course, as we know the results of these caucuses really well in the past, Hillary Clinton has a slight up on Bernie Sanders here in Iowa. I think in New Hampshire will be a lot more difficult for her to defeat him. And again, the younger voter issue is something that might be a longer-term did
SHARPTON: I`m almost out of time Sabrina. Sorry to cut in. But I want to ask Rich, as the Republican on the panel. What are you going to be looking for tomorrow night?
GALEN: Well, as Abby`s colleague at "the Post" (INAUDIBLE), wrote right after the midterms we`re about to find out if this is a new democratic coalition, or an Obama coalition. Specifically what Sabrina was just talking about, that will be partially answered tomorrow night by how many young people come out and what the mix is on both sides. But you know, we`ll know the answer to that 40 hours.
SHARPTON: Always great to hear Rich quoting Sabrina.
Abby Phillip, Sabrina Siddiqui, and Rich Galen, thank you for your time this morning.
GALEN: You bet, thanks.
SIDDIQUI: Thanks, Al.
SHARPTON: No question there`s a political storm brewing in Iowa tomorrow night. But there`s also a snowstorm in the forecast. How might that affect voter turnout? Let`s get a closer check on the timing with MSNBC meteorologist Bonnie Schneider.
In our weather center Bonnie Schneider. Bonnie, how is it looking out there?
BONNIE SCHNEIDER, MSNBC METEOROLOGIST: Reverend, it`s interesting to note there is a blizzard watch that will go into effect as early as tomorrow night, for areas towards the western part of the state, and then much of Iowa. So we`re looking at the snow coming in, mainly in the overnight hours. It looks like after the caucus, most likely it`s over. But people that are going to be traveling into the evening hours will be impacted by blowing and drifting snow throughout the day, especially on Tuesday.
Going back in history it could have been a lot worse. Back in 1972 temperatures dropped down from 25 in the morning to negative four at midnight and that was in Des Moines, 60-mile-per-hour winds. They called whiteout conditions in northern rural areas. This had a huge impact of the Iowa caucus and that particular year. In fact, at least a quarter of the people that were voting actually had to postpone their voting because it was too treacherous out there and that`s the way it was impacted. So a quarter of Iowa`s 99 counties postponed the voting. That`s not going to happen this time because we`re not looking at the storm impacting right at the time of the caucus. But it`s going to be very, very close. We`ll watch it hour by hour.
SHARPTON: Thanks, Bonnie. We`ll be right back with New York mayor Bill de Blasio, live from Iowa.
SHARPTON: Tomorrow, Iowa will start to answer a big question in the democratic fight. Who can win the Obama coalition? Early last week, some thought the president sounded like he was leaning toward Clinton. But later in the week, he said he`s not putting his finger on the scale.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Bernie came in with the luxury of being a complete long shot, right? And just letting loose.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
OBAMA: I think Hillary came in with the both privilege and burden of being perceived as the front-runner.
Everyone`s scouring my every word to find some deeper meaning to see if I`m trying to put my finger on the scales. So let me simplify things. Democrats will win in November and we will have a democratic president succeeding me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Joining me now is New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. He is in Iowa campaigning for Hillary Clinton.
Mayor, thanks for being here.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK: You`re welcome, Rev.
SHARPTON: You waited awhile before endorsing Clinton. What persuaded you?
DE BLASIO: She put together a platform, Rev., that really speaks to the question of income inequality. It speaks to how we are going to save the middle class in this country and support working people.
Look, this election more and more has been about economics. And when you think of what`s happened over the course of the last year, more and more focus on the need to deal with the concentration of wealth and power in this country. More and more focus on the need to tax the wealthy in a progressive way, to raise wages, raise benefits, do things like paid sick leave, paid family leave. This is what this is election is becoming and she has put together a platform that will be the most aggressive going into the White House of any president in our memory.
I think, for me, that`s what`s energizing. And I think it`s energizing to people here in Iowa. I have seen a real sense of urgency in the Clinton campaign here. I`ve been knocking on doors, making phone calls. I`ve seen an urgency amongst her supporters could turn out this vote tomorrow night. But I think that urgency is derived by the situation in this country. By the fact that the middle class is stuck and people are frustrated and they need change now -- and for a lot of us, we believe Hillary`s the person who can best deliver that.
SHARPTON: Vice president Biden said she came to the issue of income inequality late. You waited to see whether the platform that you are now extolling would come into being. How important is it, and how are you being received. How significant is it for a progressive New York City mayor to stump for her? Do you have impact, you feel, with Iowa caucus goers?
DE BLASIO: Well, I think I don`t have any assumption about what kind of impact I have. I`m out here to knock on doors and make phone calls, connect with people. Some of them know the work I have done. Some don`t. But the most important thing is to have these people-to-people conversations about why we need progressive change. Why we have to change at what`s a very unfair economy, and why Hillary is the person who can get it done and get it done now.
That`s my message. And I think people are listening for that message. Some know who I am. Some don`t. But the point is they want to talk about that. Because they feel the unfairness in this economy. Now, the very same issues that Bernie Sanders has raised so eloquently, so powerfully, immediately beg the question, how are we going to get it done? If we need to tax the wealthy or paid sick leave, paid family leave. These changes we need, higher minimum wage, how are we going to get it done? And I think that`s where the discussion tips very favorably to Hillary because of a whole history of actually knowing how to get something done for a progressive cause.
I was surprised at Biden honestly because I never questioned that she had a rich, progressive tradition. I`m surprised he didn`t remember what she did on health care reform in 1993 and 1994. I think this is the perfect lesson about who she is. Remember at that time she was accused of being strident. But she stuck with it against the health insurance companies through thick and thin.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you quickly, I had breakfast this week with one of Michael Bloomberg`s top lieutenants. He proceed you. What do you think about him flirting with coming in and running independent?
DE BLASIO: I have a lot of respect for Michael Bloomberg and some of what he did as mayor was very good for New York City. Some other things as you and I know he really missed the ball on. But here`s the bottom line. The people of this country are not going to turn to a billionaire to fix the problems created by billionaires. It`s just not going to happen. There`s such frustration. You can feel it here in Iowa. You can feel it all over the country. Such frustration about the unfairness in our economy. They`re not going to turn to a guy who symbolizes the status quo to fix it.
SHARPTON: Well, Mayor Bill de Blasio, thank you for being on the show this morning. And stay warm out there.
DE BLASIO: Thanks, Rev. Be well.
SHARPTON: That does it for me. Thanks for watching. Tamron Hall picks up coverage next. I`ll see you back here next Sunday.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END