What to expect from the New Hampshire primary

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," February 8, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


SEN. TED CRUZ, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are here in New Hampshire competing for the votes, and at this point it's a turnout game. It is about turning out conservatives. And we are working very directly to earn the votes one at a time from the grassroots. That's our strength.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: New Hampshire voters are among the most serious voters in the country if not the most serious. They look at the issues of the underlying factors and they want to know candidates that don't just know what they're talking about but have a real plan and a real strategy moving forward. And that's what we've built our campaign on. We feel great about the dividends that's going to pay here in about 24 hours.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Senators Rubio and Cruz today on the trail. The last poll before the real poll, the voting tomorrow, came out, CNN/MUR poll. This is a poll that puts Donald Trump at 31 percent. This is roughly what we've seen. It's important to note in this poll almost three quarters of the interviews conducted for the poll were completed before the Republican candidates debated Saturday night, their final matchup before Tuesday. And it says, although the post-debate sample size is too small to produce a separate estimate of the vote, interviews conducted Sunday and Monday found no drop in support for Rubio and actually showed a slimmer margin between Trump and Rubio. That's the interesting part of that poll.

Let's bring in our panel, expanded tonight, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume, Tucker Carlson, host of "Fox & Friends Weekend," A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of The Hill, and Steve Hayes, senior writer for The Weekly Standard. OK, Brit, do you divine anything from this last?

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Not a lot. You can't find anybody in any camp who doesn't think Donald Trump is going to win this. So two things apply to this. One is how big of a margin? Will it match the very wide margin that he's had in the polling, or will he perhaps fall short? The question is, who's next, who finishes second? The polling that we just looked at has Rubio. But there is a sense that both John Kasich and Jeb Bush even have a chance to make a good showing here, and perhaps eclipse him, and it will remain to be seen whether that can in fact happen.

BAIER: Tucker, what's fascinating about this place is all the undeclared, undecided voters. I mean, you saw it in that piece that we talked to Mike the auto mechanic who said he's still not decided.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: This state has changed so much demographically it's almost unrecognizable from 20 years ago. It's not exactly clear where those voters are going to go. They're less religious. They're probably less strictly conservative in an orthodox sense. They're potentially Trump voters in that they're not evangelical working class voters. Will they go to him? I don't know.

I would say the two really big questions are, one, the establishment is swinging behind Rubio but they're nervous about him and they think the events of the debate night confirmed their preexisting suspicions that he's fragile and not flexible. And two, they always assume -- they assume Trump will get out or meltdown, or whatever. Maybe that's true. They need to be thinking about how to win over those non-evangelical working class voters who are the kind of pivotal trunk that the Republican Party needs to win in November. I don't see any evidence that they're thinking through how to do that.

BAIER: On the campaign bus John Kasich does exude this confidence, and his people seem to be like they're bullish on this, A.B.

A.B. STODDARD, THE HILL: You get a sense from Kasich the most, but also from Jeb Bush, they've done all they can, that they feel so good about what they've done here. No matter the debates or the polls national, Iowa or anywhere else, what they've done right here in the granite state makes them feel so good. The response that they're getting from their teams to go out and canvas, people are solidly behind them in increasing numbers. They're both really the ones to watch tomorrow.

If they surge over Rubio and close to Trump, then Rubio's debate performance actually really did have an impact. If not, it's still going to be jumbled. If you look at just the votes of Christie, Cruz, Kasich, Jeb, and Christie, it's still larger than the share of the Trump vote. So as much as it makes the establishment nervous, it's breathed new life into several candidacies. And they will all go on I think maybe with the exception of Christie if he doesn't do well to South Carolina and beyond.

BAIER: Steve, you spent the day with Rubio?

STEVE HAYES, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I did. It was a very interesting day. We talked. I asked him about the debate, of course, and asked him about his performance there. He didn't back down. He said, look, I'm going to make this argument. I'm going to keep making it because it's what I believe.

But he also had an analogy that he shared with me. He said he's glad his boys are going to play football because when he played football in college, if he was beat on a long pass down, an 80 yard fly route down the sidelines as a cornerback, he knew that he had to forget about it and get up the next play and play well again. And he told the story about how that happened to him in a game, and he recovered, and the next time he intercepted the pass in the end zone.

The interesting thing for me was we went with him to several events. He gave a small speech in a little pub in New Hampshire here. And this idea that Marco Rubio is overly scripted, he blew it up in this one speech. In the speech he cited a poll that he had seen on FOX News as we were driving to the tavern, he raised and answered a question that he had been asked by a radio interviewer a half-hour earlier at a previous stop. And then he told a story spontaneously about his rehab group he had seen at mass with his wife over the weekend, all of it off the cuff some of it quite powerful.

And I guess it just -- it made me think -- this is not a guy who's overly- scripted. He can talk. You might not like what he's saying, but he's not overly-scripted despite the debate moment.

BAIER: Brit?

HUME: Just one thought about this. It's interesting. You can't find anybody that doesn't think Trump is going to win. But When you talk to them about they're contact with Trump voters. John Sununu told me today, John Sununu Sr. told me today --

BAIER: Who is not a Trump fan, we should point out.

HUME: No, no, he's not. That's true. But he said, he doesn't doubt -- he thinks that Trump's support is real, and he expects it to turn out, he expects Trump to win. He says he talks to people all the time. He knows everybody in the state, he was governor here, and he said he has yet to find anybody who's for Trump. I said, maybe, governor, they're not telling you. He said people tell me anything. And just moving around you see yard signs for everybody. I've seen one for Trump. So I think those people are out there, but the mystery of Donald Trump's support and why and who remains up until the eve of the New Hampshire primary. It's interesting.

BAIER: Those rallies are chock full of them, though.

CARLSON: We'll find out whether this is a Pauline Kael moment, whether we just don't know anybody who would support Trump. I do think that's part of what's going on. There's a massive class divide in the Republican Party between the people who run it and pay for it and a lot of their voters and potential voters, and that's kind of the key. There's also a social stigma attached to supporting Trump. I talked to five people, Uber drivers, as soon as someone tells you they're not going to tell you who they're voting for, Trump voter. Will he actually get out to vote or not I have no idea,
but they're there.

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