THE BIG IDEA:
-- The Narrative after Iowa:
The GOP now has a three-way contest: Cruz vs. Trump vs. Rubio.
The Democrats are settling in for a marathon, not a coronation.
-- The Iowa Democratic Party called the caucuses for Clinton at 3:30 a.m. ET, while Hillary and Bernie Sanders were on chartered flights to New Hampshire. She has been awarded 699.57 state delegate equivalents and Sanders has been awarded 695.49, according to a press release. Martin O’Malley, who dropped out last night, got 7.68. “We still have outstanding results in one precinct (Des Moines—42), which is worth 2.28 state delegate equivalents,” said state chairwoman Andy McGuire.
--Republicans had record turnout. Edison Media Research estimates 187,000 Republicans came out. The Democrats said they had 171,109 participants.
-- Groundhog Day for Hillary? In Pennsylvania this morning, Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow. Traditionally, that means spring will come early.
Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign will spend today trying to reassure supporters, donors and the mainstream media that last night does not mean a reprise of 2008. She avoided losing, which would have been devastating, but the story line coming out of the night is that she failed to bury the ghost of eight years ago.
“I stand here tonight breathing a big sigh of relief,” she told supporters before leaving Iowa.
Early this morning, the Clinton campaign sharpened its messaging—saying Iowa was “tailor made" for her opponent. “Sanders has been saying for several weeks that if this caucus was a high turnout affair, then he would win,” press secretary Brian Fallon told traveling reporters. “He was wrong.”
Sanders called the outcome “a draw” and “a virtual tie”: “Nine months ago we had no political organization, we had no money, we had no name recognition and we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the country.”
Speaking to reporters aboard his plane, somewhere above the Great Lakes, the Vermont senator reiterated that he is “in this for the long haul."
“We’re going to win states all over the country,” a beaming Sanders predicted around 3 a.m., per John Wagner.
“The powerful showing by Sanders … was more than enough for him to claim a moral victory,” Dan Balz declares.
Why it matters: “Sanders’s rise in Iowa exposed weaknesses that could haunt the Democratic front-runner,” writes Karen Tumulty. “A self-described democratic socialist who was running 30 points behind her in the polls as recently as November, Sanders drew support from young people, liberals and independents. The photo finish showed that Republicans are not the only voters looking for qualities beyond experience and electability.”
-- Hillary’s electability pitch fell flat. Half of voters said being “honest and trustworthy” and “caring about people like me” were the most important factors in deciding who to support. Less than a third said “having the right experience” was most important. And less than 20 percent said being able to win in November was most important to them.
There are clearly a lot of Democrats who are not ready for Hillary: At the Sanders party, a live feed of Clinton’s “sigh of relief” speech froze, eliciting cheers from the crowd. When it resumed and she said “I am a progressive,” there were boos. And then the crowd started chanting “Feel the Bern” to drown out the audio.
-- But, but, but: A very promising nugget for Clinton's long-term prospects: She won non-white voters by 18 points in preliminary entrance polls. But these voters only made up a tenth of the electorate in Iowa. Something close to that will be true again in New Hampshire, where Bernie leads big in the polls, but it is certainly not the case in Nevada and South Carolina– the two states after that—and even less so in some of the Southern states that vote March 1. (Click here to study the full results from the entrance polls and read all the caveats, including why the numbers may still shift slighlty.)
--On the Republican side, the story of the night is that Trump is beatable and his candidacy is now punctured.
His whole brand is about winning. And he lost. In fact, he barely held onto second place. Cruz won with 28 percent, to 24 percent for Trump and 23 percent for Rubio. Only about 2 thousand votes separated them.
The clearly-disappointed and uncharacteristically-subdued Donald spoke for less than three minutes before fleeing the Sheraton. His supporters flooded out of the ballroom too, stunned and devastated.
Only 4 in 10 Republican caucus-goers identified themselves as “angry” with the way the federal government is working, with slightly more calling themselves “dissatisfied, but not angry,” according to the entrance poll results.
Now that the Band-Aid has been ripped off, watch for the pile-on. A lot of miscellaneous groups were trying to claim credit for bringing Trump down a notch last night. (Victory always has a thousand fathers…)
-- Trump cannot count on his lead to hold in New Hampshire. The polls can swing fast. There is precedent. On the other hand, Granite Staters HATE to ratify the results in Iowa. Just ask George W. Bush about his loss to John McCain in 2000. Some in the state might actually be a little more willing to have Trump’s back, and if he’s not seen as the inevitable nominee they might decide that voting for him is a way to send a message.
-- The billionaire was incredibly weak among late-deciding voters. This should set off alarm bells in Trump Tower: “Just 14 percent of Republicans who decided in the final week supported Trump, compared with 23 percent of those who decided earlier in January and 40 percent who made their decision in December or earlier,” per Post pollster Scott Clement.
Here is the cover of today's New York Daily News:
-- Rubio, who legitimately over-performed, will get a big bounce out of Iowa. His finish shows he belongs in the top-tier of the field, and his surge in the final days gives credibility to his pitch that he is a bridge candidate who can unify the Republican coalition. Tellingly, he made no mention of Trump in his speech. His strategy is still premised on outlasting everyone else but Trump and then winning a two-man race.
Today Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) will endorse his Florida colleague. The Rubio campaign’s publicly-stated goal was to finish third in Iowa, second in New Hampshire and then first in South Carolina – which would give him momentum going into the SEC Primary on March 1. Many of Rubio’s top aides cut their teeth in the Palmetto State, and he already has the backing of Trey Gowdy, a prominent congressman from the state best known as the chairman of the Benghazi inquest.
While Cruz won those who describe themselves as “VERY conservative,” Rubio won a plurality among those who call themselves “SOMEWHAT conservative.” Dan Balz notes that this constituency has been of critical importance in recent elections, and these were the voters who made Mitt Romney and John McCain the last two nominees.
In many ways, Rubio followed the playbook that let Joni Ernst win the crowded Republican Senate primary in Iowa in 2014. Her strategist, Todd Harris, is advising Rubio. “We went fishing where the fishes are,” Harris told Bob Costa and Phil Rucker. “We knew exactly who the voters we wanted to talk to were. A lot of them were suburban. It's no surprise [Rubio] was dubbed the 'mayor of Ankeny.' People made a lot of fun at that, but we knew what we were doing.”
Another nugget from the entrance polling: Republicans who said they care most about winning the general election broke for Rubio over Trump, 44 percent to 24 percent. Trying to bolster this number next week, his super PAC will launch an ad today that says "Rubio is the conservative that can win." The tagline of the commercial is, "If you're not with Marco, you're electing the Democrats."
--The flood of new voters did not materialize for Trump or Sanders. “In 2008, Barack Obama’s caucus win was powered by a surge of new voters in Iowa who accounted for a majority of the electorate. Had Sanders seen a similar surge, he’d have been the clear winner, as he got the vote of about six in ten of those who’d never caucused before. But most voters in this year’s caucuses had done so before, and a majority of them favored Clinton,” pollster Scott Clement and The Fix’s Philip Bump explain.
Clinton, as the polls predicted, fared much better among more reliable, higher-propensity voters: Sanders won 8 in 10 of the voters under 30, but that’s only a fifth of the electorate. Clinton got about 60 percent of those 50 and older.
Republicans actually saw a higher rate of new voters than Democrats, BUT they did not all break for Trump. Only 3 in 10 first-time caucus-goers supported Trump in entrance polls, compared to 1 in 5 for Cruz and 1 in 10 for Carson. There was also not a spike in voters without college degrees, Trump’s core base of support.
-- Make no mistake: There is a strong yearning for an outsider from the base of both parties.
About half of Republicans said they want a nominee from outside the party establishment, compared to 4 in 10 who said they prefer experience.
About two-thirds of Democratic voters identified as liberal. One-third of those who showed up last night called themselves “very liberal.” Both those numbers are up double digits from 20008.
-- Evangelicals fueled Cruz’s victory, the Iowa way still works and organization matters.
Going to all 99 counties and putting in the time on the ground paid off handsomely for the Texas senator. So did having 11,986 volunteers and training more than 1,500 precinct captains.
One of the reasons I predicted a Cruz victory ahead of the caucuses was that the sample in the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll from the weekend was 47 percent evangelical. But that group made up 57 percent of the electorate in 2012. Well, our preliminary entrance polls show this group actually made up 60 percent of the electorate. And Cruz won a third of it. (Compared to 2 in 10 each for Rubio and Trump.)
Maybe Trump trying to put money in the communion plate on Sunday finally raised some doubts in the final hours?
Radio host Laura Ingraham chalked up the win to Cruz's ground game:
Retail politics ended up mattering in Iowa. @TedCruz hit all 99 counties-the "Grassley" worked like it did for Santorum in 2012.— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 2, 2016
-- Last night was a rejection of the traditional Republican Establishment.
Chris Christie and Jeb Bush blundered by investing as much as they did in Iowa, and it could devastate their hopes in New Hampshire. The governors, including John Kasich, received less than 7 percent of the vote.
As Fox News digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt put it, Christie’s 10th place showing “will dry up support in upcoming states quicker than a roll of Bounty.”
Bush’s Right to Rise super PAC spent about $2,710.55 in Iowa for each of the 5,200 votes Jeb earned, Ed O’Keefe tabulated.
“New Hampshire voters reset elections. That’s what you all do,” a defiant Jeb told 300 supporters at the Alpine Club in Manchester. “The reset starts here tonight.” He dismissed Cruz and Rubio as “two back-benchers, who have never done anything of consequence in their lives.”
Chris Cillizza predicts that Rubio will now likely to benefit from a push by the party establishment -- read: major donors -- to get some of the other establishment candidates out of the race: “If it doesn't happen before New Hampshire, a second strong Rubio showing in the first-in-the-nation primary could well force it."
-- In that vein, it was also a big blow to Terry Branstad’s prestige and another nail in the coffin of federal support for ethanol. The longest-serving governor in U.S. history went all-in against Cruz, a highly-unusual move. He appeared in the final days with Christie and Bush. His son ran the effort, funded by the agriculture industry, to kill Cruz because of his desire to get rid of the Renewable Fuel Standard. They bird-dogged Cruz around the state, and they ran ads and very negative mailers. It didn’t work. No matter who wins the nomination, Republicans in 2020 – or 2024 – will not feel the imperative to kiss the ring that they have for decades.
Another reason the night was bad for Branstad is that social conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats, who challenged him in the 2010 GOP primary, is now in a position to try taking over the state party during the convention process. The governor painstakingly wrested the state GOP central committee away from the Paul people in 2014, but the Cruz people might take it back.
And to Cruz’s credit, this really was a genuine upset. Victory was not preordained. A Morning Consult survey conducted in the final days leading up to the caucuses, for instance, found that only 13 percent of GOP voters thought Cruz would win in Iowa. Most believed Trump would win.
I am officially suspending my campaign. Thank you for all your loyal support. #ImWithHucK— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) February 2, 2016
-- Ben Carson and Rick Santorum may not be joining Huckabee in quitting the race – yet – but they are now total non-factors. So is Carly Fiorina.
Carson is leaving the campaign trail to go to Florida. An adviser said he wants to get a change of clothes and rest for a few days and will be back out on Thursday. To put it politely, that is not the way to win…
Santorum, who won the caucuses four years ago, is completely bypassing New Hampshire. He’s going to South Carolina to start a tour of each of the state’s 46 counties. But no one cares.
-- Rand floundered, too: Paul got fewer votes than his father in either 2008 or 2012. His 8,300 votes was short of the 10,000 votes he hoped to win from college students alone. But he was happy that he outperformed Christie and Bush. “Tonight, the liberty movement beat four sitting governors from the establishment,” he said, per David Weigel.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will give him another week, but after New Hampshire he will ramp up the pressure on his junior senator to pivot back to his reelection campaign in Kentucky.
Last night, though, Paul was feisty and unbowed in defeat:
We are not trading our liberty for anything. Not now, not never. Hell no.— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 2, 2016
We fight on! Thank you for all of your support.— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 2, 2016
-- Next up, New Hampshire: Bush, Christie and Kasich were already in the Granite State as results came in. Clinton and Sanders are now on the ground.
The Secretary of State predicts huge turnout next Tuesday. The Union Leader quotes several experts in the paper this morning saying that turnout should exceed the half a million record set in 2008.
The big question now is where the independent voters go. They can choose whether to take a Republican or Democratic ballot. After last night, both races look unsettled and could be attractive.
GET SMART FAST:
- The World Health Organization designated the Zika virus and its suspected complications in newborns as a public health emergency of international concern. The action, which the international body has taken only three times before, paves the way for the mobilization of more funding and manpower to fight the mosquito-born pathogen spreading "explosively" through the Americas. (Ariana Eunjung Cha, Lena H. Sun and Brady Dennis)
- Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) announced he will not seek re-election. (The Tennessean)
- The House will likely fail to override President Obama's veto of Obamacare repeal passed last year, but the vote kicks off a new round of budget fights between Congress and the president (Kelsey Snell)
- A D.C. government audit of ex-Mayor's Vincent C. Gray's 2010 election campaign shows it "paid thousands in cash to poll workers and kept incomplete records of more than $800,000 in contributions." It could expose his campaign committee to fines. (Aaron C. Davis)
- The CDC announced that the Chipotle e.coli outbreak is officially over, but no source was ever found. (Elahe Izadi)
- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the SEC announced that two of the largest operators of opaque stock trading venues called "dark pools," Barclays and Credit Suisse, will pay a combined $154.3 million after being accused of lying to customers about their operations. (Renae Merle)
- The NTSB suggested human error may be to blame for the 2015 Amtrak derailment near Philadelphia. Officials released documents showing "no problems were found with the train or with the tracks and signals at the site of the accident." A full report will be released in a few months. (NYT)
- Boko Haram killed 65 people in a brutal raid in northeastern Nigeria over the weekend, with twice as many injured. (New York Times)
- Syrian peace talks began in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations auspices for the first time in two years. (NYT)
- A student from a Roman Catholic seminary was arrested for allegedly seeking to have relations with "multiple infants" in Mexico. (Lindsay Bever)
- A Delta flight was grounded after two flight attendants got into a fistfight. (Peter Holley)
- Yesterday we accidentally included a dead link to the story about alleged child molester "Mr. Wonder" apparently being arrested in California. Read it here.
-- Sneak peek at Defense Secretary Ash Carter's FY2017 budget request: The Pentagon wants to boost spending on advanced weaponry and the U.S. footprint in Europe, Missy Ryan reports. Carter will today make a case for why China’s rapid military buildup and Russia’s intervention beyond its borders pose a larger threat to U.S. security, and merit larger investments, than do extremist groups like the Islamic State. Carter wants to broaden the military’s focus to include not just the insurgent conflicts of the post-2001 era but also “higher-end” threats from Russia and China, whose military innovation U.S. officials acknowledge has at times out-paced the United States.
-- “How Sanders caught fire in Iowa,” by Karen Tumulty: Strategist Tad “Devine had told Sanders that he had to raise at least $40 million — and preferably $50 million — if he wanted to be competitive by the Iowa caucuses. By the end of last year, they had raised $73 million. In January, an additional $20 million poured in, almost all of it from contributions that averaged around $27. That was enough for Sanders to put an additional 139 organizers in Iowa in January, more than doubling the total the campaign was saying publicly.
“Sanders’s operation tried to seize on opportunities presented by the unlikely sensation that the gruff 74-year-old senator was creating among young voters. Organizers got a list of 25,000 high school seniors to target, aware that anyone who would be 18 or older in November is eligible to caucus. In the tiny hamlet of Underwood outside Cedar Rapids, the campaign signed up 35 12th graders — potentially enough to tip the balance on caucus night in a town of only 932 people.
“He did not hire a pollster or set up a voter modeling operation until October. In retrospect, his campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, said, ‘If I had known the money would be there, I would have scaled up bigger earlier.’”
-- “How Cruz outfoxed Trump in Iowa,” by Robert Costa and Philip Rucker: “It was on a hot July day in 2013, six months after he joined the Senate, that Ted Cruz began what would become his winning campaign in Iowa. At a faith gathering at the Des Moines Marriott, the Texan bowed his head as pastors laid their hands on his shoulders to pray. Meanwhile, the senator’s aides collected their names and email addresses, starting a database of evangelical leaders that would swell over the following months and years.”
“To run his Iowa campaign, Cruz interviewed several seasoned consultants but settled on a former Baptist pastor named Bryan English who had deep ties to the evangelical networks led by Rep. Steve King and Bob Vander Plaats, head of the conservative group the Family Leader. English was an unusual hire, but the move underscored Cruz’s strategy. ‘Do you set up your operation with a bunch of khaki-slacks, blue-blazer clowns?’ Jeff Roe, Cruz’s campaign manager, asked. ‘Or do you set it up with an activist?’ ... Sitting in his office last week, with war-strategy tomes by Sun Tzu and Carl von Clausewitz stacked on his desk, English looked out at the bustling phone bank … ‘If anybody goes to caucus and says, ‘I haven’t seen Ted Cruz,’ I want it to be their fault, not ours,’ English said.”
--"With Iran nuclear deal in place, key senators look to slap new sanctions on country," by Karoun Demirjian: "Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and at least one other senator are crafting new measures to address everything from Iran’s recent ballistic missile tests to the country’s human rights violations to a reauthorization of the soon-expiring Iran Sanctions Act (ISA). The measures, which are likely to come up in February, will be Congress’ latest attempts to ensure President Obama punishes Tehran for bad behavior in the wake of the now-implemented nuclear deal ... Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) is also planning a package of 'actions that we should be considering against Iran outside the nuclear portfolio' ... Their actions mark the first significant move by lawmakers against Iran since the pact took effect as they seek to keep Tehran on a tight leash."
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
— Pictures of the day:
This card was "littered all over" GOP caucus locations (via @bennyjohnson):
Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was painted with a swastika (via @LAist):
Bernie monitored the returns with his wife, Jane (via @TeddyDavisCNN):
Trump visited a caucus site with wife, Melania. Here's how he looked upon spotting Carly Fiorina walk in (via @jdelreal):
Bernie's Iowa headquarters featured this oil painting (via @grace_lightning):
The caucus was about to start in a small working class neighborhood in Ottumwa and not a single O’Malley supporter was in sight, not even a precinct leader. “Is anyone here for O’Malley?” a representative from the city’s Democratic Party asked the crowd. “I think that one person,” a Sanders supporter said, pointing to a lone man sitting in the corner. “No, that’s an observer,” someone said. The crowd laughed. (Ben Terris)
These are the emojis mentioned most often with O'Malley's name on Twitter last night, per our analytics partners at Zignal Labs (not the skull as O'Malley dropped out):
— Tweets of the day:
Not quite wheels up yet aboard the Cruz NH charter - champagne has been popped and Caroline Cruz is dancing to "All I Do Is Win" in aisle— Betsy Klein (@betsy_klein) February 2, 2016
Winning by tying, @SenSanders takes full advantage of his platform, delivering a passionate jeremiad about economic fairness.— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) February 2, 2016
Cruz wins seems like the maximum chaos scenario.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) February 2, 2016
Did a haircut make the difference?
Iowa hairdresser called to Cruz hotel at midnight last week texts me: "Must've been the haircut."— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 2, 2016
(12a was only time in his sched) #iacaucus
Trump's conservative opponents were ecstatic. National Review Editor-in-Chief Rich Lowry chanelled The Donald's style of tweeting as he fired off a series of celebratory missives:
Donald Trump pandered like crazy, played the Canada card from the bottom of the deck and still lost Iowa. Sad!— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) February 2, 2016
The executive editor of The Weekly Standard:
FWIW, me on 1/25:— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) February 2, 2016
WAAAYYY out on a limb! My prediction, a week out, of IA results: Cruz 30, Trump 25, Rubio 22, no other candidate above 6%.
A conservative radio host who has hardened against Trump in recent days:
Iowa results demonstrate that the conservative movement & Reagan coalition are strong & poised to take back the... https://t.co/rxUPZqM7CX— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) February 2, 2016
The Nebraska freshman who went to Iowa to campaign against Trump last week:
This is the Headline:— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) February 2, 2016
By 3-1 margin, Iowa Rs reject @realDonaldTrump
He should now answer real policy& exec power questions OR exit the race
Liberals pundits also had fun at Trump's expense:
Trump maybe should've dropped more $$ in that communion plate.— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) February 2, 2016
GOP operatives spun the results for their respective candidates. This is the strategist behind Jeb's super PAC. He's mocking Rubio for wanting to keep Trump strong so that he can force a two-way race with The Donald.
Rubio is now canceling :60 spots in NH. Probably switching to :30s to launch new attacks on Christie, Jeb, JK, anybody but Trump #TrumpLover— mike murphy (@murphymike) February 1, 2016
The woman running one of the Cruz super to PACs mocked Rubio for giving what amounted to a lengthy victory speech:
Rubio's campaign manager noted that only a small number of delegates were actually at stake in Iowa:
Some perspective from former Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.):
Congratulations to Ted Cruz on winning the critically important primary state that also gave us President Santorum and President Huckabee.— John Dingell (@JohnDingell) February 2, 2016
Something to think about:
Notable: At this hour, 60% of Iowa Republicans have voted for a Cuban-American or African-American tonight.— Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost) February 2, 2016
NBC's Chuck Todd had a historical analogy:
This may be the closest IA Dem caucus result since 1988 when to this day, Simon campaign vets believe they were robbed by Gephardt.— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) February 2, 2016
Mother Jones D.C. editor was among those amazed by how tight the Democratic contest was:
When HRC calls this an "unbelievable night," I don't think anyone can argue with that. #Iowa— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) February 2, 2016
CNN's Wolf Blitzer had this to say:
"O-M-G as they say" - Wolf, of course— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) February 2, 2016
— Instagrams of the day:
Celebrities were out in force for Bernie:
Check out American Gothic Mika and Joe:
This Bernie cat meme went viral as returns came in:
Bernie Sanders is your new bicycle pic.twitter.com/rxUwK7hi4X— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) February 2, 2016
It was Sen. Mike Enzi's (R-Wyo.) birthday (he's 72):
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) snapped a selfie with the outgoing Senate page class:
GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:
--CNN, "Bill O'Reilly's and Megyn Kelly's rivalry felt in the halls of Fox News," by Brian Stelter: "The animosity between O'Reilly and Kelly is an open secret in the halls of Fox. People there disagree about its origins, but they agree the two prime time hosts are highly competitive with one another. 'He's never had a serious challenger like her before,' said one high-ranking source at Fox. The channel's ratings and brand haven't suffered as a result. But the tension between the two stars is a source of intrigue and sometimes a cause of headaches for Fox News chief Roger Ailes. Both hosts' contracts will come up for renewal next year. The strained relationship was most recently visible on the air when O'Reilly interviewed Trump on Wednesday night ... when Trump said he had 'zero respect' for the 'highly overrated' Kelly, O'Reilly was silent ... Ailes was not happy. One Kelly supporter went so far as to call it a 'betrayal.'
--Politico, "GOP class of 2010 is deserting the House," by Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan: "In the past few months, 12 of the 45 remaining members of that historic class have announced they’ll forgo election in November, marking a substantial exodus of the lawmakers that gave the GOP the majority. When the next Congress is sworn in in January 2017, the class will be just half the size it was when it was sworn in in 2011. Thanks to redistricting, there is little likelihood Democrats can win back the House, even if Donald Trump or Ted Cruz is the Republican presidential nominee ... erving in Congress simply isn’t as much fun as it used to be. Even as this Republican majority turns the corner toward greater productivity, it still faces intraparty battles and has had to contend with a president of a different party."
--USA Today, "Obama meets with GOP congressional leaders to hash out an agenda," by Gregory Korte: "Obama will host House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority LeaderMitch McConnell, R-Ky., at the White House Tuesday. White House Press SecretaryJosh Earnest described it as 'a good opportunity for the leaders to discuss their priorities heading into 2016.' Vice President Biden is also expected to attend the Oval Office meeting. Afterward, Obama and Ryan will have lunch in the president's private dining room off the Oval Office. The last documented White House meeting with both top GOP leaders was in November 2014." On the agenda with Congress this year, Earnest said: criminal justice reform, trade, cancer treatment, taxes (earned income tax credit specifically), ISIS. Puerto Rico's debt and the heroin crisis.
HOT ON THE LEFT
Hillary Clinton wins Iowa precinct by coin toss. From
HOT ON THE RIGHT
Why do top conservatives pardon Trump, but condemn Rubio? From National Review: "Rubio has been a stalwart conservative, both as a state legislator and as a member of the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. But that means nothing when it comes to forgiving him for his one act of apostasy — his membership in the bipartisan Gang of Eight that attempted to reform America’s immigration laws."
Kasich, along with Christie and Bush, bracketed the caucuses with town halls in New Hampshire:
On the campaign trail:
Everyone's in New Hampshire. Here's the rundown:
- Trump: Milford, Amherst
- Clinton: Nashua, Hampton
- Sanders: Keene, Claremont
- Cruz: Windham
- Rubio: Exeter
- Bush: Rindge, Keene, Henniker, Hanover
- Christie: Nashua, Bedford, Epping, Manchester, Londonderry
- Kasich: Newbury, Claremont, Plymouth
At the White House:
President Obama meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and then he lunches with Ryan.
On Capitol Hill:
The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to resume consideration of the Energy Policy Modernization Act. Senators also meet for their weekly caucus lunches.
The House meets at 12 p.m. for legislative business and is expected to consider the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act, the Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act and the veto message on the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Reconciliation Act.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"Iowa, we love you. We thank you. You're special. We will be back many, many times. In fact, I think I might come here and buy a farm. I love it!" – Donald Trump, being gracious in his concession speech
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- "A sliver of high pressure visits today to provide a bit more sunshine and warmer-than-normal temperatures. A big cold front approaches tomorrow bringing even more warmth, heavy rain and the chance of thunderstorms," the Capital Weather Gang reports. It also predicts an up-and-down February, with a mid-month snowstorm.
-- The Wizards lost 114-98 to the Thunder.
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Susan Sarandon talked about Bernie at his Iowa headquarters:
A Trump supporter dressed as a piece of corn explained his choice (click to watch):
Watch: a Donald Trump supporter dressed as a piece of corn explains why he's caucusing for him tonight pic.twitter.com/5DxCYGZiug— Sebastian Payne (@SebastianEPayne) February 1, 2016
Take a peek inside a Republican Iowa caucus, in 360 degrees:
Advance fail -- Check out this Hillary supporter behind her as she spoke last night:
Trump encouraged supporters to "knock the crap" out of anyone who throws tomatoes at a rally. He even offered to cover their legal fees:
Katy Perry urged fans to vote for Clinton:
Watch a panel of 6-, 7- and 8-year-old children react to clips of Cruz, Trump, Clinton and Sanders: