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It's A Free Country looks to the 2012 elections by going directly to the voters that will be deciding.

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Live Free (of Taxes) or Die

New Hampshire voters dis Big Government, but they equally reject the idea of Big Church. The libertarian streak is long and wide here.

—Arnie Arneson, Former New Hampshire Democratic candidate and political commentator Read more»»

Recently in It's A Free Country: Primary Sources

GOP Hopefuls Give Iowa Presidential Pitch

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

WNYC

The Iowa Caucus is a little less than a year away and some Republicans who are considering a run for president have been spending time in Iowa to test the waters. On Monday night, the conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition hosted five likely presidential candidates at the Pointe of Grace Church in Des Moines — and the house was packed.

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Trump to Iowa: 'I'll Shake Hands with Everybody'

Friday, March 04, 2011

Donald Trump's continuing to lay the groundwork for a presidential run, and talking big about his grassroots outreach.

"I will meet many, many people, maybe all of people," Trump told The Des Moines Register. "If I decide to run, I will be shaking hands with everybody."

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Newt Gingrich: Preparing for an Iowa Harvest?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich is announcing today that he's launching an “exploratory phase” to test the waters for a presidential run in 2012. His spokesperson told an Georgia radio host on Thursday that he’s launching a website, NewtExplore2012.com, but Gingrich is not forming a formal federal exploratory committee yet.

The rumors of Gingrich’s yen to take the oval office after a single Obama term have been swirling for over a year. He has been planting seeds in Iowa, a state whose early caucus is often a soothsayer for winning the Republican primary. For that reason, Gingrich has visited Iowa nine times in the past two years.

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Colorado's Tea Party Lessons

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Recently, I blogged at InsiderIowa.com about trouble in the Colorado Republican Party. I wrote that although the Tea Party mobilized Republicans at the base for the 2010 election and managed to create momentum sufficient to give the GOP a big victory, not all is well in elephant land. Colorado could be a lesson, and a warning for Iowa’s first in the nation test for 2012.

Saying he's "tired of the nuts who have no grasp of what the state party's role is," Colorado Republican Chairman Dick Wadhams won't run for re-election. He warned that if the Tea Party continues to high-jack the larger Republican agenda and veers more sharply to the right, the GOP stands a good chance of losing Colorado's "large unaffiliated voter base."

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Kicking the Tires in New Hampshire

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Presidential political wheels have been turning much more slowly here in New Hampshire than past cycles. This is good news for candidates who have been slow to engage and better news for candidates who are not well funded. While there may be many reasons for the sluggish start, one very possibly is that candidates are trying to assess what voters are looking for.

The 2010 November election showed New Hampshire turning from Blue (most Republicans tried to argue purple)  to being staunchly Red with only one token Democrat left standing….Governor John Lynch. The swing to the right was historic with super majorities elected in both chambers.

One would think that super conservatives would have a lock in New Hampshire for the Presidential primary, but wait; one would have to read the tea leaves. Many of the newly elected members came out of the tea party movement voted in by energized tea party activists and disenfranchised former Republicans.

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Live Free (of Taxes) or Die

Monday, February 14, 2011

Welcome to Live Free (of Taxes) or Die New Hampshire — the sixth oldest state in the nation and the proud protector of the "first in the nation" primary.

Unlike the last presidential primary cycle, when the candidates began making their move hours after the 2004 election ended, it has been relatively quiet in the state.

We are in the early dating phase. The Santorums, Romneys, and Pawlentys may be organizing, but for the most part no one has even reached the hand-holding stage. Yeah, the GOP tried to generate some buzz about the current conga line of candidates out there by imitating Iowa's Straw Poll, but in New Hampshire’s first flirt with a straw poll on January 22, the results were boringly predictable.

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CPAC Debate Is Not What Will Get You Elected

Friday, February 11, 2011

On the opening day of the conservative lovefest CPAC, who would show up but Donald Trump. Trump attacked President Obama's leadership and said that the United States is "becoming a laughingstock" around the world.

I can’t resist but to suggest that the self-inflating loudmouth billionaire has now made CPAC the laughingstock of many Republican voters who may not be in the mood for yet another unqualified, preposterous gazillionaire toying with throwing his hat in the ring.

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In Iowa, a Year of Glad-Handing and Far Right-Leaning

Monday, February 07, 2011

We’re a year out now, and candidates are starting to trickle in. A presidential debate with the Iowa GOP and Fox News will open the season on August 11, followed two days later by the GOP Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa. Although largely a beauty contest with no meaning for the 2012 presidential selection, the straw poll is an important fundraiser for the party and a “county fair” (the caucuses are the State Fair), where the media and voters get to look at, pinch, stroke, and evaluate the “beef” that wants to lead the party in November.

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Iowa Caucuses: America's Political Dinner Bell

Monday, February 07, 2011

American democracy, in a nutshell: Every four years, a bunch of Iowans gather in public schools, libraries, and homes across their great state to decide who will get to be the most powerful person on Earth.

Okay, not quite, but it’s something like that. Since 1972, Iowa has had first dibs on picking the names that will appear on presidential ballots across the nation come November.

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The Iowa Tea Party Plan for Holding Candidates Accountable

Monday, February 07, 2011

Coordination among Tea Parties also means trouble and embarrassment for candidates who try the same old political trick of “tell’em what they wanna hear” on the campaign trail. What will be different in 2012 is that instead of flocking to a candidate and attempting to attach our principles to a candidate, we will ask the candidate to say “your principles fit with mine and this is why."

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In Iowa, Tea Party’s Influence Limited So Far

Monday, February 07, 2011

Joyce Russell will appear on the Brian Lehrer Show today at 11:06 am.

For the next 12 months, Republican presidential hopefuls will be courting the state of Iowa, where first-in-the-nation caucuses can make or break a campaign. Tea Party groups across the state are already making one thing clear: they expect to feel the love.

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Primary Sources Iowa: Where Does Your Vote Come From?

Monday, February 07, 2011

Because of its position at the start of the primary calendar, Iowa voters have a chance to set the national agenda for the 2012 elections. But we at It's A Free Country know that you vote on what matters to you, not what you think the nation wants. So, we're asking: Where is your vote coming from? What are the issues that matter in your life? Once you submit your story, it'll show up on our interactive map.

Explore the Map and Story Archive»»

(or add your story using the form below)