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  • Over the past couple of weeks, a surprisingly large number of mainstream Republicans have started doing nice things for Donald Trump, especially in Iowa, where he is locked in a battle with Ted Cruz. This is especially puzzling for those of us who once confidently predicted that despite congressional Republicans' personal dislike of Cruz, they would ultimately find him more ideologically congenial than Trump. But over the weekend, one political operative floated to me a theory that began to rapidly gain credence on Monday. Establishment Republicans aren't choosing Trump over Cruz because they prefer Trump to Cruz. They are bac
  • The armies of the media are gathering in the American heartland. With each new poll come shrieks of joy, or panic. When Monday night finally arrives, this first test of the candidates will be treated as an immeasurably consequential event, honored by column-miles of type and pixels, and uncountable hours of analysis—almost all of which will conceal the cold, hard reality: The Iowa caucuses have become a blight on American politics.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders is gaining ground fast on Hillary Clinton in Iowa, doubling his numbers in a couple months, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. Clinton still has a healthy lead on Sanders at 52-33, but it's a much tighter race than it was in early May at 60-15.
  • While Hillary Clinton makes her way to the Hawkeye State following her first campaign rally in New York City on Saturday, crowds there are lining up to see Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. A horde of supporters applauded the presidential candidate more than 100 times on Friday night at his town hall, as he laid out his vision for the country at Drake University’s Sheslow Auditorium in Des Moines.
  • Vice President Joe Biden delivered a wonky, populist speech on Monday in Davenport where he endorsed Bruce Braley for Senate and lambasted Republicans for forgetting about the middle class. Biden, who is known for being folksy and prides himself on relating to working class voters, attacked Republicans for what he called attempts to roll back Medicaid, privatize social security and stop any raise of the minimum wage. "What are these guys," Biden questioned at one point during the speech.
  • The unearthed recording of Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst decrying the fact that Americans are insufficiently “self-sufficient” has invited comparisons to the hidden camera footage of Mitt Romney writing off 47 percent of the electorate, and commentary on the candor with which she lumps government health insurance subsidies (which she, too, enjoys as a state employee) together with welfare spending. But the most revealing thing about the comments is how breezily she renders contradictory judgments about the concept of dependency. Because it is apparently not dependency, but rather poverty, that she finds so abhorrent.
  • Less than three weeks until Election Day, Democrats are clinging to last-minute signs of hope in Iowa's competitive Senate race, which is just one of a handful that may determine which party controls the upper chamber in January. According to data compiled by Democrats and shared with The Huffington Post on Wednesday, Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) holds a slight advantage in early vote totals over his Republican opponent, state Sen. Joni Ernst (R). As of this week, of the 26,000 voters who already cast ballots and who did not vote in the 2010 midterm election, 50 percent are registered Democrats, 28 percent are unaffiliated, and 22 percent are registered Republicans. Democrats project this group of voters breaks toward the four-term congressman by more than a 2-to-1 margin.
  • In the exceedingly tight contest to become Iowa's next senator, Saturday's closely watched debate between Bruce Braley and Joni Ernst had the candidates trying to make each other blue by talking green. When it comes to energy, Ernst, a Republican state senator, and Braley, a Democratic congressman, both have controversial positions to defend to voters. Ernst elaborated on her position to shutter the Environmental Protection Agency, a move that critics say will make Iowa more polluted. Braley, meanwhile, explained his flip-flopping on the Keystone Pipeline that has left some Iowans skeptical about his commitment to create jobs.

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