Posted at 10:35 AM ET, 12/15/2011

Politics Dashboard: More #Shutdown and the last debate before Iowa caucuses

The Republican presidential debate tonight in Sioux City, Iowa isn’t the last debate of the campaign, but it is the last one before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. Stay tuned to PostPolitics for full coverage, including details, what to watch for and the Fix’s live blog.

Debate night

Fox News’s Bret Baier will moderate the 9 p.m. debate. Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Michel Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum will debate in front of an Iowa crowd still searching for the candidate they are sure will beat Obama.

Is this the tweet of 2011?.

Rosalind Helderman has details on the stalled budget negotiations and haggling over extending the payroll tax cut. Federal agencies are preparing workers in the event of a shutdown. Democrats are now giving their proposed millionaires surtax to fund the payroll tax cut extension the “heave-ho,” Jennifer Rubin reports.

President Obama goes to the podium

USA Today has details of a new proposal he will offer in his remarks.

Gingrich’s ceiling showing?

Newt Gingrich has had a good week in many ways. But his campaign’s upswing is causing headaches for others in his party, Paul Kane writes. According to the polls, they have good reason to worry.Count the editorial boards at conservative publications the Washington Examiner and the National Review among the members of team Not-Newt.

’Tis the season for nastiness

The Des Moines Register’s Kathie Obradovich blogs about robocalls from the Grinch: “Rival campaigns want to get their licks in now, assuming they’ll follow the traditional sugar-plum approach of only positive messages during Christmas. The risk of backlash from the scorched-earth approach is unbearable during the holidays and lets up only marginally in the final days of the campaign.”


What must-read stories did we miss? Flag them on Twitter using #CampaignReads. We will feature them in an Election2012 blog post each afternoon.

Yesterday’s featured #campaignreads:

Today’s events

From @PBSNewsHour’s Political Calendar

Rick Santorum: 9:00 a.m. hosts a town hall in Rockwell City, Iowa; 12:00 p.m.; hosts a town hall in Sac City, Iowa; 3:30 p.m. hosts a town hall in Holstein, Iowa

Rick Perry: 12:00 p.m. holds a campaign event in Le Mars, Iowa

Newt Gingrich: 1:00 p.m.: holds a meet-and-greet in Fort Dodge, Iowa

GOP Presidential Debate: 9:00 p.m. sponsored by the Iowa GOP and Fox News in Sioux City, Iowa


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By  |  10:35 AM ET, 12/15/2011

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