JANUARY 18, 2016
Welcome to ANN’s coverage of the 2016 Iowa Caucuses. I am Wolf Blitzer, and I will be your host tonight. With us, we have ANN’s own Anderson Cooper and political analyst and journalist Abby Huntsman in order to give us some insight into tonights events. Later tonight, we will also have a special visit from Governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez.
HUNTSMAN: Thank you Wolf, I am happy to be here.
Tonight will have big repercussions on the rest of the season. Even though Iowa is far from being the chief decider of the presidential race, nobody can deny its impacts. On the Republican side, Ted Cruz and Chris Christie, long considered to be the front runners of the race, have been battling hard for a victory in this race. However, we cannot deny that Rand Paul and the rising star Lisa Murkowski have something to fight for in this race. On the Democratic side, the big names Martin O'Malley and Amy Klobuchar have been sparring for Iowa, but Deval Patrick and Mark Udall have still taken a significant amount of attention and voters. There is also the wildcard Howard Dean, which has the distinct possibility to affect the outcome of Iowa.
Early on in the counts, Christie and O'Malley lead. However, more westward in polling we have found more support for Klobuchar and Cruz, so these leads could be futile. Stay tuned for more.
Martin O'Malley: Let's keep representing, Iowa! #O'Malley2016
Ted Cruz: The night is early, but conservatives in Iowa will have their voices heard! #CruzForAmerica
The first race that we are prepared to call tonight is the Democratic one, and that Senator Klobuchar will be the winner with 29% of the vote at 89% reporting. Governor O’Malley is only a percentage point behind, but at this point it is near impossible for him to make up the percent deficit behind Klobuchar that he has held for most of the night.
Klobuchar was generally considered the favorite to win Iowa due to her appeal to more rural Midwestern democratic voters that O’Malley did not have. Here with us to talk about the results is Abby Huntsman, who I introduced at the beginning of the broadcast.
HUNTSMAN: Thanks Wolf. First off, I think that Klobuchar’s victory is in no way a surprise. O’Malley just did not have the person to person appeal that she has with voters in the Midwest. However, when we look forward to New Hampshire, O’Malley has the edge. However, he will have to watch for Patrick, who could have a breakthrough in New Hampshire. This boost from a victory in Iowa will help, but the race is far from decided.
And we finally have enough information from the Republican race to call a victory for Senator Cruz. Much like the Democratic race, the runner up Chris Christie only lost by a percentage point.
The race was really considered a toss up between Cruz and Christie. Both have shown themselves to occupy very different places in the party. It is also notable that Senator Murkowski passed the auspicious 15% “eligibility” line, marking a significant increase from the 9% she polled upon entry to the race. Here to make an analysis of the results in Iowa for the GOP is Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico.
MARTINEZ: Thanks for inviting me here tonight, Wolf. First off, I must establish that I am not all too surprised to see Cruz win in Iowa. Many Republicans are wary of another urban, Northeastern politician and can relate more easily to Cruz. However, Christie is far more in his element in New Hampshire, and it would not be hard to see him pulling a victory in New Hampshire. However, I think that we all need to watch out for Murkowski. She has a lot of the right traits for the Presidency without being tarnished by the spotlight for a long period of time, like Cruz and Christie have. If they don’t stop her now, she will become a force to be reckoned with for the rest of the season.
Thank you Governor. That will conclude our coverage of the 2016 Iowa caucuses. From me and all of ANN, we hope you have a good evening and will join us again.