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Iowa Caucuses

The Takeaway

A Look at the GOP Field Before the Iowa Caucus

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Iowa caucus is a week away, and it seems that Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul are the front-runners for taking this crucial victory. Yet none of them have a distinct lead. Recently revealed newsletters that Paul published in the 80s and 90s contained racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-gay messages. Gingrich recently failed to qualify for the Republican primary in Virginia after he could not get the 10,000 valid signatures necessary to be placed on the ballot. And Romney, despite remaining near the top of the polls over the past few months, has never been able to distinguish himself as a front-runner.

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It's A Free Country ®

Iowa Searches for the Anti-Establishment Pick

Friday, December 23, 2011

"On caucus night, it's our job as Iowans to tell the rest of America which of the presidential candidates has the message that the rest of America needs to listen to,” David Fischer, co-chairman of the Ron Paul campaign in Iowa, told a crowd of around 200 supporters at a ...

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The Takeaway

Days Before Caucuses, Iowa Voters Uninspired by GOP Candidates

Friday, December 23, 2011

With less than two weeks until the caucus, many voters are unenthusiastic about the Republican presidential hopefuls. Ron Paul, a libertarian Texas congressman, is in the lead, but many voters don't believe his unconventional politics will get him elected. Tea Party members and evangelical Christians don't feel they are properly represented in any of the candidates. No candidate has a solid core of voters, so aggressive campaigning will continue until January 3rd.

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The Takeaway

Ahead of Caucus, Paul Surges in Iowa

Thursday, December 22, 2011

With less than two weeks before the January 3 Iowa caucus, the GOP presidential hopefuls are making their final push in the Hawkeye state. Recent days have seen libertarian candidate Ron Paul surge to the front of the pack, a position most recently held by Newt Gingrich. With his popularity among young voters, his consistency on issues, and populist rhetoric about "ending" the Federal Reserve, Paul has formed a broad coalition that has made him the latest front-runner in Iowa. But will it be enough to sustain a national campaign to beat presumptive nominee Mitt Romney?

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Inside Iowa and New Hampshire

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Andrew Smith, professor of politcal science at the University of New Hampshire and director of its Survey Center, and Steffen Schmidt, professor at Iowa State University, discuss how Iowa is gearing up for the GOP caucus. 

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The Takeaway

A Review of the Iowa Republican Debate

Friday, December 16, 2011

Republican presidential candidates held their final debate last night in Sioux City just weeks before the Iowa caucus takes place on January 3. In the Fox News debate candidates attempted to draw distinctions from one another and defend their record to conservative voters. The latest New York Times/CBS News poll shows Newt Gingrich gaining ground on consistent front runner Mitt Romney. But some voters are still undecided.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Iowa Debate Report Card - Newt Wins by Not Losing

Sunday, December 11, 2011

GOP Drake University Debate Results – Steffen Schmidt Saturday night's GOP debate in Des Moines, Iowa consolidated Newt Gingrich’s front-runner status. Although targeted by all the contenders and directly attacked by Rick Perry, who lectured the audience that "if you cheat on your wife, you will cheat on your business ...

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The Takeaway

Social Conservatives Still Looking for a Candidate in Iowa

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

With less than a month until the Iowa Caucus, social conservatives still do not have a clear choice for in the GOP primary. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have been leading in polls, but both candidates have come under fire for their lack of conservative bona-fides. And as for Bachmann, Santorum, and Perry it's an open question whether they can gather enough conservative voters to pull a win. To make matters worse the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition has declined to endorse any candidate. What is a social conservative to do?

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: Iowa Caucus, Payroll Tax Cut, Euro Zone Crisis

Monday, December 05, 2011

After an eventful weekend, GOP presidential candidates are gearing up for the influential Iowa caucuses. Democrats on Capital Hill hope to pass a payroll tax cut in the face of Republican opposition. Abroad, the euro debt crisis continue to loom over the world economy. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are meeting ahead of the Brussels summit on Friday to discuss greater fiscal coordination between European countries, and Italy's new government looks to pass austerity measures to ease their debt.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Does Mitt Romney Have a Mormon Problem?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The burning question of whether Mitt Romney’s faith will be a liability in his quest for the 2012 Presidential nomination is plaguing Iowa pundits as we try to predict the GOP caucus in January.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Cain's Flukey Win in Iowa Poll Says More About GOP Shuffling

Monday, October 31, 2011

The latest Iowa Poll has 23 percent of likely caucusgoers saying Herman Cain is their first choice, with Mitt Romney trailing with an indistinguishable 22 percent. Romney gets the vote of just 10 percent of those who say they definitely plan to vote in the caucuses, while Cain has a ...

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It's A Free Country ®

Highlights From Herman Cain's NPC Appearance: Yes, He Sang

Monday, October 31, 2011

In case you missed it, Herman Cain sang on demand at today's National Press Club luncheon. It was a hymn, and it wasn't about pizza.

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It's A Free Country ®

Monday Morning Politics: Cain Stained, Super Committee Struggles

Monday, October 31, 2011

This is part of a vetting process for a candidate who has done better than any of us expected. Herman Cain has really defied the expectations of political reporters who didn't take him seriously even as he was rising in the polls. We were slow to recognize the appeal he had with the Republican electorate. Now he's beating Rick Perry in a poll in Texas.

USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Axing NH and Iowa From the Calendar Would Mean LESS Democracy

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

If another state moved to replace Iowa and New Hampshire at the top of the heap, the small, grassroots aspect of presidential selection will be discarded. Only candidates who come loaded with big money and a professional organization will have any chance.

-Steffen Schmidt, It's A Free Country blogger.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Think NH Will Let Another State's Primary Go First? Think Again

Thursday, October 20, 2011

When will the primary and caucus season for 2012 officially start? Ask Bill Gardner, the Secretary of State of New Hampshire.

Gardner started his career in New Hampshire politics as a state representative, and was elected Secretary of State in 1976 by the state legislature and has remained in that ...

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Palin's Out, and Bachmann's Star Dims

Thursday, October 06, 2011

We can barely keep up with the unfolding political events in the past week.

The big panic is that with Nevada setting its caucus date for January 14 the whole calendar has been trashed. Iowa has to have its caucuses one week before New Hampshire so we are now faced ...

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process is Political: Caucus vs. Football, Bachmann's Campaign Cash Flow

Monday, October 03, 2011

Our daily look at the details that can change everything.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Why Iowa Still Matters

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Being partly an agricultural state we also watch to see if the candidates are smart enough not to step on the political cow pies that litter the Iowa landscape.

-Steffen Schmidt, It's A Free Country blogger.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Why Ames was a Win for Ron Paul (Not Bachmann) and Where the GOP Race Goes Now

Sunday, August 14, 2011

All Bachmann did was hold on to a tenuous first place in a rapidly changing and dangerous environment. Ron Paul may have actually “won” the straw poll because it’s an expectations game.

-Steffen Schmidt, It's A Free Country blogger.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Iowa Straw Polls of Years Past Offer Few Predictions. Here's One Anyway

Friday, August 12, 2011

The straw poll allows minor and far-fetched individuals to run in a visible contest and have a good time, but doesn't mean much. The 2007 Poll was an especially good example of this where Mitt Romney won the Poll, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee took home the caucus victory, and Sen. John McCain got the nomination.

-Steffen Schmidt, It's A Free Country blogger.

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