Debate Night in a Swing State

ABC News goes inside debate watch parties in New Hampshire and Iowa.
3:00 | 12/16/15

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Transcript for Debate Night in a Swing State
Actually got more as I promise you from here in new York and around the country of our debate coverage I believe how we do have our colleague. I eighty thing is is Josh Haskell who is live in Iowa and Josh tell us where you are and what's going on on the ground there. I'm anyone out there is wondering who. Why is headed through surging in Iowa why's he doing so well as well I found the answer here is Waterloo Iowa headquarters. There's people behind me that have been here for twelve hours phone speaking for Ted Cruz and not all of them are from Iowa I'm not some of them are from Texas New York. Florida and all here working the phones are just trying to get tigers elected to the February 1 Cox. Seles got to meet at the check in with the Pratt county who went. Live from phone bank. More ray Paul and his supporters earlier you told us a little bit about it. The script that they have when they called people what their mission is on the ground there and even listening to implement a call there what if this grants for crude supporter at and the people that there trying to turn this aid in the in the game. This script is this is like Ted Cruz in the duke he's elected. This is why you should vote for and this is why I'm voting for him. And they tell me honestly that some people do hang up or some people pledged their allegiance to another candidate. But for the most part when they do get someone to commit to Ted Cruz these callers who were making again sometimes twelve hours a day phone calls it. They told me that there's nothing like that feeling you can have a long 510 minute conversation with someone. About the issues national security foreign policy and convince them to vote for us senator cruise but on the one illegal over and talk to one of them. Real quickly. This actually map Krause. And he's from Texas he's not even from Iowa matter what brings you know I will protect crew spun in the state legislature in Texas one of the co chairs of the text strike force so don't come together. From the people who don't tend to nest eggs to encourage eyewitness diseases and great things insanity that we song and you're here making calls what are people telling you what's the feedback and other side and had never seen the momentum that tends to bring you along and so they see consistently proven principled conservative message and tell her that's really resonating with the folks are very excited about it. And Matt you're out you're staying at a hotel. Just in for a few days what's it like to be in Iowa and really hear about the moment in the you've been reading out from tax club it's different you can't just read about it you have to experience it yourself in the excitement is palpable taught love being here we have taken it. Can really see what's going on as he's been incredible and standards is going to be very well and Iowa and thanks for talking to us and mom many questions. You don't want to give you win some big debate watch party as here's the crowd that. Crews Waterloo Iowa campaign headquarters gearing up to watch this debate. And that got in the coming into the homestretch now that they believe men's and the final Republican presidential debates when he fifteen before we head into those last crucial few weeks before the first round of voting there. I'm here now is proof his experience this surge in the last few weeks. How does this change the game on the ground there or it or doesn't it all the everyone to think that his message is finally resonating. Board that the momentum changed their approach that voters. They say that nothing's changed they have been kind of behind the scenes. Laying the ground work having county chairs in all 99 counties having precinct captains. Lined up and then that actually lets a pretty big consumer since in the states especially last week. From a social conservative Bob Vander pots of family leader. Then you have congressman Steve King I mean these are some of the biggest endorsements. If someone can get in Iowa Ted Cruz has all of them from the evangelical Christian days though he. They kind of feeling things are certain to lineup for then and although he was ten points ahead and that whole 21 point surge in. From the poll taken two months ago. They see their work is just beginning. It's like the man you just met Mack Krause from Texas there a fifty. People I was attacks in Iraq living out alone I don't want to I don't want our viewers to miss this idea letting go quickly now to Charlie James in Las Vegas I believe Mike Huckabee speaking right now on the subject of his mom but president. Yeah. We recognize there are millions and millions of wonderful peaceful Muslims across the world and I don't think he's punished on drilling. I'm not sure where that would come from certainly didn't say never intending to me anyway I'm always separated. But I have said very clearly don't have confidence Syrian refugees William country the simple reason. We can't really happened. In the same government that three times in the background check on the San Bernardino killer sinking of the game as the bombing here website. Gave us obamacare itself. I don't trust I just don't trust they're gonna need to do the job and save himself save takes on the eighteen must fully that's. So what does that mean where they saved the only thing. I go back to the point why are they refuse consider refugees because our failed. Allowed radical islamists don't want other neighborhoods communities. And destroy them wipe them out and moved to mountain and force them into a refugee status. If we get rid of what we move them out they get to go. Moving them back home makes a lot more sense to me moving to 9000 miles to a country where the jobless and homeless rightist. Reason a lot of years. You mention everything. What's going on. I just think people there right now angry and frustrated and they all must punish people. We're having record. Number I just remind and I've never going to be showing how Washington never live there if you only need one. On but I have worked to get rid of corruption and a government. I thought to work was done people on the other party when he was 9% feel like I know how to lead now wouldn't be an amateur. It would be something I have to learn on the job when I got there and frankly I think most people when they stopped to think about. Residents in. We'll be right yeah. Oscar time it happens. But they are watching Mike Huckabee talked after the simple undercard today. The death issues about some Americans have about a host of other issues that they were discussed in that debate but I do it take you now live. Back to ABC news is Brad milky who is in New Hampshire Bradley did got a few more minutes and you before everyone turned their attention to the main stage debate so what's the feeling that room right now. Among those aboard air. Burton. Or now on nine in a room with several. A couple dozen supporters. For Donald Trump here in Manchester, New Hampshire is the epicenter of the New Hampshire campaign of course there they have thirteen. Parties like this watch parties going on around the state. In fact you can see behind me signs from all of the different cities that they have a campaign and as well as the war room right here and acumen has turned the camera around here you can seek. These reporters during. For this party. And very excited about this debates they think adult substance a great chance if they many it supporters here admit it's been a crazy week for Donald Trump the but it has not. Affected their support anyone in fact many say that his comments on Muslim immigration heavily doubled down their support for Donald Trump despite the controversy that some Billiton this entire week. I'm trump in many ways has been driving the conversation on the Republican side had it not being. An Alaska news event that the attacks and parenting taxes and Bernadine Allen comes comment about expanding looks on from entering the US. Most of the issues that they are being talked about tonight would not to be discussed. So I'm curious what the folks tonight want to hear from their candidate anything vastly different from when he Saturday they just want him to stay on message. Well a lot of them say they did they want more of the same they say what got him here in the first place. With his willingness to engage on topics that a lot of candidates weren't. Weren't willing to touch and in fact I've met one can one. Supporter Donald Trump who actually came over from the Ted Cruz campus and since we're talking so much about it Cruz tonight. I. My number one my number one issue is. In I'm against amnesty might ideology is you come to America to the front door and not the back door. And you know I love Terry crews on a social conservative. But that ship to sail Google's social issues they're pretty much on the table right now the number one issue is national security. And when Ted Cruz basically testified differently gang abatement he wanted to not give these. People who snuck into the country he path to citizenship he wanted to give them a green card or a work permit. That's think things amnesty to me it's all I'm a little bit more a hardliner when it comes to these things I agree that we are a nation of law. Ask and it's so easy right there on exactly what you were saying to national security really has become the centerpiece of this debate. And so right now people getting ready to watch the debates and I enjoy a little holiday spirit as well you see Dave the Christmas tree right here over my shoulder. From what I do know is at a Christmas tree in your background. It. Let's. It's a bucolic state has a lot of Douglas fur around. But any even Brad Miller gave live in new Hampshire at a trump watch party Brad going to be checking review of court as the night continues to see what. Those come supported there have to say we do taking back now live to ABC's Josh Haskell. Got to be got there we via an island. He. What Bryan English he's the state director of the tech crews camped in. I'm that you ask a question about anything she shoots for the take crews campaign here in Iowa. Now that you guys are seeing results in the polls tell us your thoughts on that Brian. Things don't really changed me when something is work and don't change. And so we've got he's very. Concerted effort on the ground game pearl our recruiting people altitude due to our and calls tax cut a little glimpse of detail in today's phone calls coming into the office. We will continue to identify Iowa caucus voters. That are supporting tech crews. And they just didn't rolled in to this evening crews organization precinct loans and we're really going through right now that the grassroots units and we will continue to do exactly what we've been doing the last nine months plus from hand in its workings of life changes and more program. You heard it there on nights working life changing. Dot I am curious though it impossible to talk about any of the candidates without talking about the trump factor. Denise and at trump has never been shy about going after his biggest competitor is out Ted Cruz. How is Cruz expected to handle that and tonight's debate when he's ending. A near few feet from his competitor. It. I. Well tech crew so far is played nice as you know yes it really taken on Donald Trump I've yet that one moment at a private fundraiser was caught on tape but. Publicly or on Twitter he sent out their eighties video. I'm a media and now we're hearing that it could be some crews supporters are wearing me the act T shirts so what want to also pose that question since we have endured Bryan English as a director Brian what do you think the strategy is for your candidate tonight. Dealing with Donald Trump if he comes on the attack served well again what we're probably lightly it seems very similar to casinos and crews all along he's a statesman in these areas. Well collected well you're. And unlike what I just did he's very articulate and the answer is answers very quickly and we'll stay on point continued to you. Focus on policy and on the future of the country and so I had no matter who's coming and I suspect that when your person pulls an Iowa. Their own and it takes shots and he's just gonna focus on his message on to that country it will be positive be really good reflection on the type who lives in the next election. And quickly I'm not just want to show you where we are right now we had to go into the side room. Because. They turned off the light says that crews to cruise crew is getting ready to watch debates were actually in the kitchen. Hat dia crews headquarters here in Waterloo. Parents hope. Some cruel it unattractive and other acts and people getting ready to eat. Oh yes on the that is trash. Well at least we know that the word there are well side. Yes movie night at the crew sex workers. That's if we didn't have a lot of fancy snacks people running cookies in the eighth homer picked up along the way. How does he will learn they're gonna have fun and easy. Well we know that the money on the ground is not going to catering at apple a party that is ABC news it got Cassell live for us. At eight Ted Cruz supporters watch party for tonight's debate let's go live now. To that actual site of tonight's debate in Las Vegas we have Charlie James on the scene for a Charlie what's going on in this been room. Okay on now let me give you a little state of the spin room here snack hear Lindsey Graham he just left. Laura Ingraham. I'm and is over the radio desk now and right behind me on this side governor Pataki is still speaking with journalists here. And we're. Senator Santorum with stealing a hit on CBS and it looked like he has just taken. Why aren't show you this here that deal little sense it's like dean. I looked at Rupp looks like. Around him. Kelly yeah. Are there you mentioned earlier the phenomenon of this company. That people would swarm after Donald Trump after the debate showing. Not just another interest in the candidate but also how much interest other people have seen here in what he had to say so. City extended that physical crowd if any kind of indication of how people are doing on the stage what's it like. In the spin room now who seems to be getting the bigger crowds. Prior debates are any indication he. Day. Now are nothing compared to what's gonna come after the main event. He's not each candidate came out smaller groups going towards them Lindsey Graham who. Many people are saying had a very strong performance in the little bit over runs you down and speak with him but for the most part these problems they're called these. Yelling question. Were on the on the smaller in size but no nothing no trump. I it was in its he's not a little bit earlier. In us from form my pocket needs can heat at a couple interesting interesting things one is he was very happy. These debates as you know after peace CNBC debate there was. Anger and every pound. The debate assignments and questioned by. Heat game great name accident today and other questions are very substantial and that it was very very well done. He graded the previous debates calling it coming team but that meant to him this debate. Harriet yeah behind this scene that what goes on in this manner how people. Heading invalids and drive the conversation for me to their candidates campaign points of view but. So did the actual debate at least in the undercard debate so far. Was about national security and caring for them and and foreign policy to some degree head and in the spin room and talking about any domestic issues and they talk about immigration and they talk about the economy on health care. So and journalists and obviously asked any questions that they want each side. They're standing their performance in the debate the questions and a day usually around when they spoke about in the today it's for example the last question the Governor Huckabee was asked by NBC reporter. Was about one at a high level staffers who recently left his campaign. And he actually got back in the journalists who work and the end that. Just because brightly. Left knee last you're. Yours and network doesn't mean that NBC is infinitely grateful sound journalists ten ounce. Whatever they want but again because they're generally trying to candidates are definitely trying to spin her performances. The question. Ten sue. And he won an outlook that. Tally at the now that that main stage debate with the top nine polling and that it is set to begin any minute now the candidates are just now starting to walk out on stage that. We're gonna be checking back with you in that's. I'm so you're going to be bracing yourself for that kind of heat and spun it though. They hang up my friend we'll feel a little bit down the line. If checking back with Charlie and of course our team of reporters around the country for the latest on their candidates and supporters stick with us here at ABC news digital for now. I'm on the nod in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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