Iowa caucuses tonight

Tonight the presidential campaign, that has seemingly been going on for so long, gets started in earnest with the Iowa caucuses.  Then things will happen fast, with the New Hampshire primary on February 9 and the Nevada caucus and the South Carolina primary both on February 20.  The others will come right after another.

As of today, polls show Trump and Clinton with narrow leads, but polls don’t mean that much in Iowa.   This is a caucus, in which people go to other people’s homes, try to persuade each other, and then choose delegates.  It all depends on who shows up.  And often, not many do.  (Only 6% of eligible Republican voters showed up in 2012).   So the results are pretty much up in the air.

While it’s true that the number of delegates will be small, the stakes are large:  Lots of Republicans are waiting to see from these early caucuses and primaries who emerges as the best alternative to Trump, whereupon they will rally around him.  And a Saunders victory–or even a very good showing–will send more money his way, making Democrats think Hillary Clinton isn’t inevitable after all.

Do you live in Iowa?  If so, please tell us what these things are like.  Also, what do you think will happen?  Make your predictions here.  (After the jump, Politico gives 6 reasons why the Iowa polls don’t necessarily tell us much.) [Read more...]

Bernie Sanders is a “none”

Bernie Sanders finally said where he stood on religion.  He is Jewish by birth, but, more precisely, he is a “none,” claiming no involvement with organized religion.  He told an interviewer that he believes in God in the sense that “all of us are connected.” [Read more...]

Debate night post-mortem and the Iowa caucus

Well, where do we stand after last night’s debate (plus the boycot, the non-debate, the undercards who complained about not getting enough attention because of Donald Trump going to Donald Trump’s non-debate, etc.)?  Who came out the best?  Did anyone jump the shark?  Did any of you change your mind about any of the candidates?

And on Monday, the Iowa caucus elects actual delegates.  How do you think the Iowa caucus will go?  I’d especially like to hear from our valued readers in Iowa.

Live-blogging tonight’s Trumpless Republican debate

This may be a crazy night.  Donald Trump is boycotting the debate on Fox because of Megyn Kelly, but he is holding a non-debate event of his own, which is being carried by CNN.  And two of the undercard candidates, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, after their kind of humiliating debate with Jim Gilmore and Carly Fiorina, are going to appear at Trump’s event.

So let’s see what this debate amounts to.  I’ll comment, but you comment too.

Ben Sasse calls out Trump on the adultery issue

Sen. Ben Sasse (R, Neb) has called out Donald Trump for all of his bragging about his sexual exploits, including adultery with married women.  He asked him, in a stream of questions on Twitter:

You brag abt many affairs w/ married women. Have you repented? To harmed children & spouses? Do you think it matters?

Sen. Sasse–a fellow Lutheran whom I know personally–is raising an issue that Christian supporters of Trump like Rev. Jerry Falwell, Jr., have been steering clear of.  Why is that, do you think?  Doesn’t that sort of thing matter to Christians anymore?

Having set aside the requirements of being a Christian and being a conservative, many of our Christian activists are now also setting aside the requirement of good character.  So what is left for a distinctly Christian political activism to support?  Has being against immigration become the new single-issue voting criterion, replacing opposition to abortion? [Read more...]

Republican debate tonight

The next Republican presidential candidate debate will take place tonight on Fox News at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  This will be the last debate before the Iowa caucus on February 1.

Donald Trump is boycotting the debate because Fox refused to replace his nemesis Megyn Kelly as a panelist. Rand Paul made the cut this time, joining Cruz, Rubio, Carson, Bush, Christie, and Kasich.

On the undercard, at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, will be Fiorina, Huckabee, Santorum, and Gilmore.

As is our custom, we will liveblog the proceedings, so see you here tonight. [Read more...]