tv 2012 Washington Caucuses CNN March 3, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
least 29 suffered significant damage and at least four were destroyed. don? >> all right. thank you very much, sir. i'm don lemon at the cnn world headquarters in atlanta. i'll see you back here at 10:00 p.m. eastern. live with wolf blitzer begins right now. thanks for watching. see you at ten. the presidential race has been won by governor ronald reagan of california. >> governor clinton is now president bill clinton. >> too close to call. >> george w. bush re-elected. barack obama president-elect of the united states. this is cnn. tonight a new region of the country weighs in on the republican presidential race. >> tonight a western warmup for the biggest event of the republican presidential campaign. >> here in washington state, you can reset the election again heading into super tuesday.
>> all four candidates trying to tap into a new gold mine of delegates. >> i just need you to go out and vote. you will you do that for me? >> who will get a shot of momentum heading into the super tuesday slug-fest. it's washington choice. >> mitt romney avoided an embarrassing defeat in michigan. now they're taking the grudge match into neutw territory. >> he's trying to savage and beat up on the other opponent and it's wearing thin. >> ron paul and newt gingrich are refusing to be ignored. >> we have a real chance to win next tuesday. >> still winning a lot of delegates and that's what counts. >> will an underdog seize the day or will one of the frontrunners chock up a new victory? >> i'm not writing off any state right now. >> your voice is going to be heard. >> the tension is building, the stakes are rising and this is just the start of a frantic sprint to super tuesday.
i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. mitt romney has the lead of the early results coming in from the washington caucuses. but it's a very tight race for second between rick santorum and the texas congressman and ron paul. we're expecting more numbers any moment now. voters across the state gathered this afternoon. you're looking at a live picture right now, the republican parties' headquarter where they're busy tabulating the votes and set to announce the totals. the early numbers, not so early now. 29% of the vote in washington state and the caucus now in. mitt romney with 36%. ron paul and rick santorum are tied for a second, virtually --
actually, exactly the same 24%. newt gingrich a distant fourth with 12%. only ron paul chose to be in washington state tonight. he's planning to address his supporters this hour. our reporters tracking the republican candidates have been busy all day as well as the washington state parties headquarters and the caucus sites. here with me tonight are chief political analyst, gloria bore ger, john king of cnn's john king usa. they're ready to assess and analyze the results. we'll get perspective from ari fleischer and hillary rosen. let start out with paul at state republican party headquarters in bellevue, washington. set the scene for us, paul. what's the latest? >> well, we just had three more counties trickle in. i'm going to bring in the gopwi. we have 26 of 39. >> 26 of 39.
>> we should node the big counties not in yet. tell us what the last three counties were and what the count is in them. >> we had woodman and cal at and i can't remember the third one that was -- >> franklin. >> franklin. what we have now total, we have mitt romney at 36%, we have rick santorum and congressman paul tied to the vote 42.56%. and newt gingrich behind at 12 and about 3% undecided or other. our record attendance, 17,100 votes in already and these are the smaller counties. we had a total of 14,000 people in 2008. so we've got record attendance without the big counties. i think this shows a high level of enthusiasm and excitement and shows how important the straw poll has been. we moved it before super tuesday to get he can siemt going. we've had incredible press. the candidates have visited for the first time ever. they've been here and it shows with the turnout. this is incredible for us. >> characterize this for us.
paul and santorum do better in the rural counties and perhaps the numbers aren't as great as they would have liked. >> i think that's probably true. he has pockets of strength in king county and spokane county is ron paul country. those should help him. rick santorum didn't have much of an infrastructure. he visited. there's still a couple of counties to turn in. they should do better or hope to do better at least. i tell you, mitt romney is showing surprising strength in the outside areas. we thought he would do well in the population centers, but he's shoep pretty well outside. we'll wait to see. he has a pretty solid lead. paul and santorum close for the second place. they're tied to the vote. >> you have a rare insight into the vote. you had a caucus at your house. how did it go? >> we had five precincts, 56 people in our house and we found room for all of them. most of these people never been involved before. it went overwhelmingly for mitt romney. they want to get involved, they
wanted to have a say. they're very enthusiastic. it was kind of exciting to see these new people involved in the process for the first time. >> we appreciate you taking the time out. >> thanks very much. >> you got it there from the gop chairman, 26 of 39 counties reporting. the numbers just starting to come in. we're waiting for the populous counties, wolf, and some indications that it could take maybe more than an hour of the we'll have to see. back to you, wolf. >> we are expecting 100% or nearly 100 percent of the vote in within an hour, is that right? >> well, i'm not positive about that. the chairman has said that they expect 100% but i checked around with some of the counties and i'm not sure they'll all be able to make those calls and have all of those i's dotted and t's crossed. let's hope for that. as you know, wolf, as we saw in colorado and other states, sometimes what's promised doesn't come true at the time we want. >> to paraphrase somebody else, stuff happens.
we'll see what happens. thanks very much for that. paul, on top of the situation in washington state. unlike the secrecy of primary elections, the caucus process is wide open. cameras and reporters, they are allowed in. they can watch everything. and there's give and take as voters explain their choices and try to persuade others to change their mind. here's some of what our caucus cameras saw during today's meetings. >> these fine folks are getting ready to caucus just a few short moments from now. they're expecting between 400 and 600 people. i want to draw your attention to something different. the people who are basically at this table now, they're walking through the door and immediately casting their ballot for who they want to win in this caucus in washington state. after that, they'll go just a
few short feet back to a cafeteria where the caucus process will continue. >> pleased to see this great turnout. >> finally, one of the most important parts of this caucus process here in lakewood, washington, electing delegates. the prizes that all four of the presidential candidates are after here. take a look around at the different tables. they're basically people separated into different precincts. the delegates that they're elected, by the end of the night, cnn will be estimating which candidates, how many delegates that they each get. >> they want the president, whoever is president to focus on the deficit and get americans back to work. >> oliver and shannon travis earlier in the day. let's find out why washington state is such an important state in this republican race for the white house. chief national correspondent john king is joining us at the magic wall with a closer look.
john, washington state very important in this contest. not only for the republican nomination but in november especially as well. >> could conceivably be battleground state. the democrats have had good luck in recent cycles. if you go back a little bit, washington state used to be a swing state. hasn't been that way in a while. mitt romney says if he wins the nomination, he would take a good look at washington state. let look at the map. it's lit up romney because of the early results. that's not final. what governor romney is hoping for, this is to springboard into super tuesday. governor romney has momentum. he won michigan, arizona and wyoming. he has momentum now. it was senator santorum, the purple state, the purple had the momentum not long ago. romney hopes to get more. 30% of the results in, mitt romney leading, ron paul in second place, tie for second place with rick santorum and ron paul. this would be number one. a big disappointment for ron paul. we keep saying caucus states are his strength states.
he hasn't won one yet. washington state could be his first win. let's watch and see. he has time to come back. kr do i say that? >> king county is almost 30% of the state population. that's the big county where seattle is. this is the biggest most populous county in the state. it's critical in any washington state. we're waiting for the results there. if you come to spokane, as well, major population center. we've got a ways to go. you see the state filling in at the moment. if governor romney can win again, he thinks he has momentum going into tuesday. >> it's your assumption, i think a lot of people believe the big county, king county, where seattle is, that's romney territory. he could extend his lead once that county start reporting. they haven't started reporting yet. >> they have not reported yet. what we may be seeing this this race, a lot of people have said, where is this romney organization. senator santorum has won with passion. as results come in being you see results coming in, error in the wallace data comes into the
wall. now, not that long ago, people who said ron paul may win washington state. we're beginning to see organization matter. he came back in michigan late, turned out to vote. has he done that in washington state as well? if he proves it, wolf, two or three states in a row, we'll watch it on tuesday night. >> it's building up towards tuesday. john, stand by, let's bring in chief political analyst, gloria boreger, along with ari fleischer. former press secretary for george w. bush. set the scene, gloria for us. >> assuming mitt romney is in pretty good shape now. >> yes. >> assuming he wins, this will give him momentum into super tuesday. >> absolutely. we're waiting for spokane county who has a lot of ron paul supporters. approximate romney wins, who is number two, santorum or ron paul? this this is a very important win psychologically. let's put the delegates aside. for the romney campaign.
because what they believe is that this shows for the f. irs time that they're actually getting a bounce out of their previous wins. and that there is something called momentum in this campaign and that voters may be paying attention to something called electability. you see in the caucuses and primaries, where mitt romney has done very well with voters who believe that he is the most electable candidate in the fall. and so i think that maybe his calling card here, because nothing succeeds like success. so the more you win, the more you win. >>ari, one thing that's surprising, newt gingrich. he's probably at least he's ahead of the polls in his home state of georgia, which votes this coming tuesday. but he's a distant fourth in washington state. he's not doing well in these other states. what happened? >> you know, wolf, it's increasingly looking like what propelled newt gingrich were the debates. and his performance take on
reporters. absent that, i'm not sure who would have won south carolina. newt may have won it. certainly by a smaller margin. that's what propelled him. that was it. otherwise, he's been the thoughtful grandfather of the other debates. he's been more thoughtful than i thought. fundamentally, newt was a candidate who very few people took seriously enough to think he has presidential mettle. he wasn't able to go on on the basis of his name, solutions of things he says he's for. he faded a long time ago. it's hard to see him coming back. >> as we take a look, hillary at what's going on from the democratic perspective of another win x three wins over the past few days, if he wins in washington state going into super tuesday, that does propel mitt romney in a significant way. >> it gives him momentum. i don't think democrats are particularly worried about washington state. president obama won it handily in 2008. i think he would again in this -- >> in november, you're talking. >> in november.
the thing that we should talk about with mitt romney is the point that john made which is really he has an organization and he has paid for it. he has spent over $60 million to the next biggest spender is rick santorum at $8 million. that's where money comes in. the super pacs are paying a lot of money for ads on tv. romney's organization and the funding he is doing on the ground, he is powering through his party's unhappiness with hip. he's powering through it with that kind of organization with money. >> when you talk to people in the romney campaign about washington state, they say that if they win tonight, it was actually unexpected for them. this isn't one of their target states. yes, they spent some time in washington state after they won the last primaries because they saw it as an opportunity. but it's not a place they really expected to win. so it may be the start of some kind of a snowball effect. >> inevitability. >> exactly. >> ari, this is the first contest we've seen -- we've had
something in arizona, but in washington state, it moves it to a different level really out west to northwestern part of the country. there are indications that we'll learn from what happens tonight. >> yeah. new region of the country and that's the interesting thing in the primaries, it forces the candidates to have a national appeal not just regional appeal. that's a good thing. here's something else to keep an eye on. turnout. approximate turnout is low, it will favor ron paul. as you pointed out earlier, he's supposed to do well in a caucus state. he has a passionate following. if a lot of people turn out because they're motivated or organized, then turnout is higher and that's going to favor mitt romney. so the numbers actually are coming in so far are better for mitt romney than they first indicate because they're coming in from the western part of the state. i'm sorry, the eastern part of the state first. it would be surprising approximate mitt romney is doing that well in the eastern part of the state. but it looks like he is. i would expect him to do better
in the populated counties. this looks like a strong turnout for mitt romney. you heard the chairman say it. >> 30% of the population in king county where seattle is. everyone stand by. we'll be going back to washington state to the caucuses. we'll hear from the republican party chairman. it will be announced the final result from the podium. we'll have live coverage. you're looking at the cameras of the podium where the announcement will be made. we expect it to be made within the hour. get more political analysis like this any time. by clicking on cnn politics.com.
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welcome back to live coverage of the washington state republican presidential caucuses. early results show mitt romney with a comfortable lead right now. but a tight race for second place between rick santorum and ron paul. also under way, we're expecting new numbers any moment now. we have yet to hear from the state's big city, seattle. tacoma and spokane. stand by. new numbers about to come in. let's check in with paul. over at republican party headquarters in bellevue, washington. what are they saying now about more numbers coming in and wrapping this thing up? >> they are basically in a holding pattern right now, wolf. they're hoping to get some of the numbers from the bigger counties in a moment. don't forget, the other counties. some of the voting in an upscale voting in king county, i was at a caulks, here's eight precincts. i'll give you a sense of it. they were debating a lot about the economy.
they felt that was issue number one. they felt the deficit was extremely important as well. deficit reduction. with the eight precincts, it was romney 42, santorum 17, paul 6 and gingrich 2. they call this neighborhood the plateau. as you can imagine, microsoft executives, boeing and amazon and others. so for them, number one most important by far and away, the economy and put people back to work, wolf. >> pa paul birkett on the scene for us. congressman ron paul had high expectations, but so far he's tied for second place with rick santorum. let's bring in shannon travis in seattle right now as well. at some point, we're going to be speaking with congressman paul. but he was really hoping for his first win in all these contests tonight. so far doesn't look like that's necessarily going to happen. >> indeed. i mean, the ron paul campaign is
hoping for their first win in the caucus here. a few feet from me, there's a party. they certainly are anticipating really good results. a few hundred people that are gathered here and expecting for dr. paul to come out and speak at any moment. you're absolutely right, if he pulls this out, this will be his first win in a major contest. but, keep in mind, wolf, that dr. paul and his campaign, their strategy is to rack up as many delegates as possible. in all of these contests, they have been doing that. so they're in it for the long haul. that's their strategy and expectations. i spoke to a few people, they hope to rack up more delegates as they try to execute that strike that skri. >> money is not necessarily a problem for the ron paul campaign. they're raising money. >> absolutely, wolf. they have a loyal passionate following. i've been following his campaign for months now. you go to his event and arguably, he has more followers,
more supporters than some of the college campuses and events than some of the others. the problem is translating supporters who come out to the events and to actual votes. yes, money is not so much of a problem for them. they absolutely -- obviously, have loyal supporters. but it's translating into votes and that's going to be key. >> shannon travis on the scene for us in seattle. while the candidates are watching the washington results, they're looking ahead to super tuesday and it's ten, repeat ten crucial contests. ohio will be the biggest prize on tuesday. let's check in with jim acosta, he's following mitt romney. he's in cincinnati, ohio right now. how did it go for romney on this day, jim? >> wolf, signs of confidence from the romney campaign. i can tell you that this evening. just a few moments before mitt romney addressed this crowd in cincinnati earlier this evening. he handed the microphone over to his wife ann who told his wife they were feeling confident about what's happening in
washington state. that's not something the candidate's wife does when there might be a razor-thin margin. that is one sign that they're feeling pretty good about. then also, we saw mitt romney who sort of returned to a pattern that we've seen in the past when they've been feeling good before a big contest. he did not talk a lot about rick santorum today. he really went after president obama. at one point at an event earlier today, wolf, mitt romney asked how president obama can sleep at night with all of the turmoil that is now going on in afghanistan and a few moments ago, inside this room here in cincinnati, he talked about the president's economic record, saying it's time to collect from the president. here's what he had to say. >> the president back as candidate obama, he said he would cut the deficit in half. he's doubled it, all right? he's doubled it. he said he would get this economy going in three years. he was on the "today" show, he said if i can't turn around this economy in three years, i'll be looking for -- we're here to
collect. all right? let's take it back. >> couple of other good positive signs for the romney campaign, he picked up the endorsements two newspapers. the cincinnati enquirer and another. the other sign they're feeling good about ohio, mitt romney is leaving the state tomorrow to go down and campaign in georgia and tennessee, two states that a lot of people didn't think the romney campaign would have much of a chance of winning. one final point. even though they're maintaining a confident posture on the campaign trail, behind the scenes they were keeping their eye on rick santorum. they held a conference call with reporters talking about the fact that the former pennsylvania senator has failed to file the necessary paperwork to collect any delegates, any and all delegates that he may win on tuesday night. there's a good number of delegates. he may lose as many as 18 delegates on tuesday night because he did not file the necessary paperwork in the state.
the romney campaign referring to that in the conference call as a sign that santorum kont go up against president obama in the fall. he simply in the romney campaign's characterization does not have the organization to take on an incumbent president. they're feeling good about ohio and super tuesday. but i think there are indications that they're not out of the woods yet. wolf? >> we'll see what happens. there's a lot up in the air. we know that santorum and newt gingrich for that matter aren't eligible on the virginia balance lot. they couldn't get the necessary paperwork in place. all the signatures that they needed. only ron paul and mitt romney are on the ballot in virginia. we'll see what happens there as well. we'll get back to you. thanks, jim acosta. joe jons is keeping track of the rick santorum campaign. they're in bowling green, ohio now. let's look ahead, joe to super tuesday. what are you hearing from the santorum folks? >> well, number one, i got to tell you, they're both here in this building behind me on the campus of bowling green
university and newt gingrich just finished speaking a while ago x santorum getting ready to step to the mic. it's been tough for santorum today as jim talked about. of course, they're saying about this controversy over the delegates and the inability or failure to file and being potentially out of as many as 18 out of 48 congressional district delegates. they're saying, look, this is an indicator of a slow start by rick santorum, the fact of the matter is he didn't have much money at the very beginning and he didn't have much organization. so they're saying that doesn't mean he wouldn't be a good nominee should he get the nomination going forward. newt gingrich, obviously, is a guy who right now is looking at the south, putting all his eggs in one basket there in the state of georgia, the state he represented when he was in the congress. he, of course, is doing very well in the polls there. and rick santorum is doing very
well in tennessee. but the interesting thing i think about newt gingrich is that he continues to push his $2.50 a gallon policy plan to try to get voters. this is a poster they're putting out. you see the three numbers. the most important three numbers to a presidential campaign, if you will, since 9-9-9 and herman cain. he's pushing that very hard. he's got new ads out and some of the other southern states trying to get people angry about this. even though a lot of economists and others have said, presidents do not have the ability to affect world gas prices. but newt gingrich things he can do it with a variety of different proposals and he's banking on that to get him votes in the south. we'll see, wolf. back to you. >> critical for newt gingrich if he doesn't win his home state, he probably will drop out. i want to show you the numbers
right now. 41% of the vote is in. 41% of the washington state caucuses. 37% for mitt romney, 24% for ron paul and 24% for rick santorum. they're virtually tied. senator santorum is speaking out in bowling green, ohio, right now. i want to listen in briefly. >> if you're going to understand the constitution. and that is, where our rights come from. when in that declaration our founders did something unique in the history of man, they all came from countries where whites were held by the king or the queen or the emperor or the dictator. the military ruler. and then they decided who got what. spread the wealth around or impose certain responsibility and gave others certain rights. but in our country, we were going to try something
revolutionary. we were going to declare the truth. we were going to declare the truth. as we clearly saw it. you see, the greatness of america is we're willing to say what we believe is right and wrong. we've been able for many, many years to be able to tell the difference. we declared the truth that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. unalienable. means you can't take them away. they're given to you because you were created by god and each one of you has dignity and value because of that. you're equal because of that. not because he is equal to her. [ applause ]
not because any two of us are equal because we're equal. i love it when the left says equality. equality. where does that concept come from? does it come from islam? does it come from other cultures around the world? are men and women treated equally? are adults and children treated equally? no. it comes from our culture and tradition. from the judeo christian ethic. that's where this comes from. the sense of equality. [ applause ] if we understand that, if god gives us rights, we're -- as parents and children, with rights come -- this is a truth. so when god gave us rights, he gave us responsibilities and laws which to follow. and so as a society, try to
follow that. try to follow those laws. the higher law. we fall short all the time. but it's important to have those higher laws, to have faith in the public square, to hold man accountable for something that is bigger, more responsible than their wants and passions. you see, to compare what happened to the united states and compare it to a very similar time, what happened at the french revolution, they had a document similar to our constitution, but their constitution was not tethered to the rock of the declaration. it was tethered to three words, liberty, good, equality, good. but fraternity, brotherhood, not paternity. fatherhood. [ applause ]
as a result of that, rights were not unalienable. god did not endow you, gift you those rights. you didn't earn them. they're yours. they were a gift and the government respected that endowment. in france, there was no such end endow. only what the state is willing to give you is what you will have. so when we hear, well, they need to keep faith out of the public square, we need to disregard the declaration, understand what's happening. you see it happening right now. with obama care. when the state can create rights, it can tell you how to exercise those rights. it can force you to do things you don't want to do, like buy health insurance. and it can force you to do
things like you don't believe in. like catholics who are forced to take coverages that the church believes is a grave sin. whether you believe it's a grave sin or not doesn't matter. they do. they shouldn't be forced by a government of the united states to violate their religion. [ applause ] >> all right. so senator santorum delivering a speech that clearly a feeling to social conservatives on the role of god in the public square. this is a constant theme that he's had throughout this election cycle. we're going to discuss that, continue to monitor what he's saying. we're getting more results coming in right now. let me quickly update you in the washington caucuses. let's put the numbers up on the screen right now. 42% of the vote in, almost half, mitt romney continues to maintain a lead. ron paul and rick santorum continue to be virtually tied with 24% and newt gingrich at only 11%. we'll take a quick break.
we're expecting more of washington's state's republican party results coming in fl we'll update what's going on and continue to hear from the candidate. much more of our special coverage coming in right after this. 20 pages. boom! the other office devices? they don't get me. they're all like, "hey, brother, doesn't it bother you that no one notices you?" and i'm like, "doesn't it bother you you're not reliable?" and they say, "shut up!" and i'm like, "you shut up." in business, it's all about reliability. 'cause these guys aren't just hitting "print." they're hitting "dream." so that's what i do. i print dreams, baby. [whispering] big dreams. imagine if you could always see life [music] in the best light. every time of day. outdoors, or in. transitions® lenses automatically filter just the right amount of light.
let's go right out to paul at washington state republican party headquarters. we're getting more results, aren't we, paul? >> we'll call it the trickle in theory of numbers. they're just starting to come in a little bit from pierce county. we'll listen to the gop chairman, mr. wilbur. >> we've got two counties, also a portion of king county, there are 16 legislative districts in king county. we have four of them. we're about a quarter of the vote from king county and a portion from pierce county.
in the 29th district. the numbers are currently governor romney 37% of the vote. he leads. close second between congressman paul just over 24% and senator santorum, 24%. they're within 40 votes of each other. newt gingrich is a distant third with just over 11% and less than 4% undecided or other. the populous counties starting to come in. we're still waiting to hear from two others and continuing reports from king and from pierce. but we're doing pretty well, i think, in terms of having the total votes in. if you look at the numbers participating without the big possible lus counties. over 21,000 people. way ahead of 2008 in terms of participation. i don't know if there are any questions with what the new numbers we have. but we wanted to update you guys as quickly as possible. i'd be more than happy to take them. >> there you have it. the latest an update from king
county. romney showing strong here. i don't want to interrupt this press conference. we'll listen and see if other numbers trickle in again, wolf. i'll send it back to you. in a little while, we'll grab the party chairman. we have a relevant question for him. hang on to that. >> the gop chairman in washington state. thanks very much, paul. i want to go to john king at the magic wallment four years ago mitt romney dropped out of the republican race for the white house only a couple of days before the washington caulks uses, john mccain beat him and huckabee. >> it's a different situation now. >> very different. is romney the front-runner we thought and then santorum surged and romney won the last three. you could say he's the front-runner. can he prove it and sustain it? he's the only one on ballot and mitt romney with -- you raised questions about newt gingrich. in tennessee santorum has not filed. romney may come in second in the
state of tennessee. still break even or come close in the delegate. at the moment, he's in washington state. 42% of the vote in. that's a healthy lead right there. pretty fierce fight for ron paul and santorum. the question is not only win, place or show, delegates in washington state as well. you see the purple counties are rick santorum county. lincoln county is tiny, just barely with -- senator santorum not going to win the congressional districts. congressman paul a very small county, winning with nearly half of the vote. only 162 votes. you start to watch this play out. we've said this in other states. organization matters. romney wins where the people are. in the major population centers. king county, about 30% of the state. a quarter of the vote in now. romney is about 50%. just drop down below, ka tacoma, a lot of the vote to count. this, wolf, matters. this is where all the money and
organization and all the local endorsements that we sometimes say don't mean much. in a case like this, especially when you're looking to make a statement, it does matter. those people on a saturday afternoon, get people to turn out to vote, the local endorsements, four people in that van, ten people in the next van, you see the map filling in. it will give the romney campaign a boost. the white states, that's super tuesday. every part of the country. massachusetts and vermont, the big battleground in ohio. romney plans to winnow owe they're hoping tonight for ha they call in politics the big mo. the big moment. like in sports too. you're absolutely right, once the big counties come in, in washington state, king county where seattle is, potentially a better result for mitt romney who is winning with at least half the vote in. stand by. we'll have full coverage of washington caucuses, the results, the impact, the fallout. we're looking at the super tuesday as well.
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welcome back to our coverage of the washington state republican presidential caucuses. mitt romney, you can see, has a comfortable lead. right now it's a tight race for second place between rick santorum and ron paul. i want to go to cnn's paul vercammen out at republican party headquarters in bellevue, washington now. we're getting more numbers, right had. >> that's right, wolf. the county to the north, snow home ash county, officially, romney 1,841, paul 1,081. so that's 1,081. santorum, 973 and we have 443 votes for newt gingrich. so romney is still running well, paul doing well in that county. one of the most populous counties in washington state. i'm going to bring the chairman back in, kirby wilbur. we have a question. this is interesting. you are an unpledged delegate.
>> correct. i'm state chairman. >> whoever wins here tonight, do you then go ahead and endorse that candidate? >> i am uncommitted until we have a nominee. i have to be the referee and judge and baby-sitter of this process. i have to remain uncommitted and have the appearance of being fair to everyone. i won't commit until we go to tampa and have a nominee. >> we appreciate you telling us that. the numbers are starting to come in. when do you think we'll wrap things up? >> as soon as the numbers come in. i'm hoping to get them quickly. we only have a few counties left. they're the big ones, the most difficult to count. we hope to have them soon. i would suspect spokane and others, we get the rest of pierce, we'll have a good idea soon. we'll have a pretty good idea where the numbers are. still a chance in spokane. a lot of ron paul supporters there. we don't have all the pierce. there's still a chance to turn it around. it's close. not that far apart. we'll see. >> it was a very diplomatic answer that you gave.
>> that's why i'm state chairman. because i'm diplomatic. i don't know. >> perhaps an ambassadorship in the future. >> we'll see how soon i come back and who is elected. kirby wilbur, being a good sport here as we continue to button hole him and try to pin him down. as you saw, he wouldn't commit being undeclared delegate right now. back to you, wolf. stand by right now. we've got news. cnn projects that mitt romney will win the washington state caucuses. the winner tonight in washington state, mitt romney. based on the results that have come in. where they've come in from and what we still expect. we can now project with the numbers that you just heard live here. reported by paul vercammen on cnn. we're going ahead and projecting that mitt romney is the winner in washington state. take a look at this. we'll show you the latest
numbers. the official numbers right now with 42% actually reporting. 37% for mitt romney, 24% for ron paul. 24% for rick santorum. they're virtually tied for second. fourth place, a distant fourth place, 11% for newt gingrich. but you can see what's going on. let's get some reaction to what's going on. you know, i'm sure the mitt romney folks are thrilled. >> they are. >> we're not projecting that he is the winner of washington state. only a few days ago there was uncertainty. >> very much uncertainty. in talking to the romney folks, they say it was unexpected. about two weeks ago they thought he were down by double digits. now, suddenly, they're winning. i think this may be the first sign of the electability argument really taking hold. i shouldn't say the first sign. but another sign the electability argument is taking hold. this would be his fourth win in a row and pretty soon it starts to snowball and people begin to
think you're the inevitable candidate and want to be with a winner. that kind of psychology can really affect him as you head into super tuesday. >> ari fleischer, it's clear that an organization and he has an excellent organization, mitt romney, they have money. although, i don't think they spent much if anything in washington state. certainly does pay off. >> all four candidates did visit washington state, ron paul was there the most. it also showed how much attention was paid to this caucus. but wolf, it is important to point out, no delegates are at stake tonight. the delegates in washington state don't get decided until june 2nd, until the state convention. it is a big win for mitt romney. it's a beauty contest win like rick santorum and it is three beauty contests wins of colorado, missouri and minnesota three weeks ago. having said that, you'll be feeling good if you're a mitt romney supporter tonight. it gives him more wind at his back. plus the fact that cnn is able to call it so early, it probably shows that mitt romney had more
strength in the eastern part of the state and as i said earlier, he's going to do well in the western parts of the state and the western more populous counties. that, too, is a good sign, i think when the romney people crunch the numbers, they'll like what they see. it shows conservative strength in all likelihood. >> i want to be precise right now when we project that mitt romney is the winner in washington state, we project on the basis of the actual official vote that is coming in as well as the statistical models that we have in place to take a look at what we expect in the next few minute and hours as they continue to count the remaining ballots. cnn projects mitt romney the winner. >> what do you take from this important win hilary rosen. >> the point that gloria is making about momentum matters. the majority of states on tuesday are going to apportion their delegates proportionally. romney already has a significant delegate lead. so even if santorum and gingrich
win a couple of state, they're not going to win all of the delegates. romney will get a significant amount of delegates. that's the sort of march to the nomination that will take hold after next week. and that's the piece that's going to keep n going. >> he's got money, too. >> kirby wilbur is the chairman of the republican party in washington state. he's got to be a neutral observer. he's got to moderate what's going on. he can't really inject his own personal feelings. when he said, just before we made our projection that mitt romney is the winner, when he said look, we'll see what happens, ron paul has a big organization. he can't show what he really knows in this situation. >> sure, he can't. but his point is interesting. which is that we want to see who comes in second here. because ron paul has spent an awful lot of time in this state, the only candidate actually in the state this evening. caucus states are important to ron paul. this was a real place where he had the potential for a victory
and it didn't happen. i think that's got to be a disappointment for the poll people. but heading into super tuesday now, mitt romney in ohio. again, that's the big crown jewel of super tuesday, is outspending rick santorum. mitt romney and his super pac i should say. outspending rick santorum 4 to 1. he comes in with momentum, he comes in with money. he's going to raise more money after this. you know, you have to say the obvious. >> he's got momentum, hilary, going into tuesday. >> he does. because he has a significant financial advantage, the stakes are higher for him. you know, the fact that santorum and gingrich are still ahead in a significant portion of these super tuesday states means there's still a nagging dissatisfaction with mitt romney and the fact that he is spending maybe 5 to 1 means that he's going to underperform if he doesn't win the states. >> he doesn't wrap anything yet but he's moving certainly in the rye direction. stand by. we're going to continue our
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mitt romney wins in washington state. the caucuses still final numbers coming in. but we projected mitt romney is the winner. let's assess what has just happened. where we go from here. a quick final thought. john king. >> mitt romney has won five states in a row, wolf. he hopes to win five more. idaho, ohio is the big challenge, massachusetts, vermont and the state of virginia. >> big important races om coming up. gloria borger, it sets the stage for an important super tuesday. >> it sure does. the thing i'm looking for in ohio, whether romney can attract the blue collar voters, conservative voters and tea partiers. >> ari fleischer, what do you think this means the romney win on the heels of the earlier wins
in the last few days? the romney win going into super tuesday? >> if this was a tennis match, it's advantage romney. i think he'll walk into the ten states super tuesday with four in the bag. vermont, virginia, massachusetts and idaho. that puts him in pretty good stead to fight in the rest. >> what about ohio, ari? if he loses in ohio, what does that say? >> it's a delegate chase. it depends on the amount of the loss, what the margin is, how many each gets. santorum has a problem -- at the end of the night, you'll add up who got most delegates, not just who won one state. that's how you win a primary nomination for president. number of delegates. >> hilary, if he does lose ohio. >> if he only wins half the states on tuesday, this is still a republican party deeply divided and dissatisfied with their nominee. >> let me go back to john king. he's got the number over there.
you're looking at all of the ten contests coming up on super tuesday. we all agree that ohio is the biggest prize. >> sure is, wolf. mitt romney gets washington state, if you bring it up here. here's the ten state. ohio is the biggest. santorum has been -- romney has been gaining. they think they can win it. they hope to win five, also hope to make the point that ari is making, hoping for tell gats, vermont, massachusetts, they think virginia, idaho and north dakota, tennessee and georgia. s that's their hope on tuesday, huge night. >> were you surprised that ron paul did not win washington state tonight? >> i wasn't completely surprised. i thought he would o do better than he has done. he's got a lot of organization and support there. you have to say, he's got the momentum. mitt romney has the momentum heading into super tuesday now and a win is a win. he's racked up another one. >> they're spending a ton of money in ohio right now. all of the candidates, but