George Stephanopoulos' Exclusive Interview with Sen. Hillary Clinton

CLINTON: I think this is what elections are supposed to be about. Caucuses are, you know, a different breed, but it still is how you persuade people to come out on a cold night and actually stand up in public and declare their allegiance to you as a candidate.

CLINTON: But I feel very encouraged by what I see in the crowds and the kind of reports that I'm getting about the support that I have around the state.

STEPHANOPOULOS: David Yepsen writes, in the Des Moines Register, "There's no third-place ticket out of Iowa for a Democrat this year." He calls third place "a dead zone." Is he right?

CLINTON: I think, because it's so close -- you know, when I started here, I was in single digits. I mean, nobody expected me to be doing as well as I'm doing in Iowa.

I was running against one opponent who has been campaigning here for four years, another opponent from a neighboring state. So I believe that this campaign will be bunched up. I think that the history out of Iowa is that a lot of people live to fight another day.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you may not win?

CLINTON: I'm not expecting anything. I'm just working as hard as I can to make the best case, in these closing days, and to try to get the folks who say they're for me to actually be able to turn out.

STEPHANOPOULOS: If you don't win here, how do you recover

CLINTON: I don't think it's a question of recovery. I have a campaign that is posed and ready for the long term. We are competing everywhere through February 5. We have staff in many states. We have built organizations in many states.

You know, George, you and I went through an experience, in 1992, where Bill Clinton didn't win anything until Georgia. He came in second time and time again, in a much less, you know volatile and...

STEPHANOPOULOS: much less compressed, also.

CLINTON: ... much less compressed environment.

So, from my perspective, you get up every day and you get out there and you make your case, and you reach as many people as possible. That's what I intend to do. So I'm in it for the long run. It's not a very long run. It will be over by February 5.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator, thanks very much.

CLINTON: Thanks. Great to see you.

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