Jeb Bush leaves for New Hampshire ahead of results
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Jeb Bush leaves for New Hampshire ahead of results
Donald Trump has been playing Adele's 2011 hit, "Rolling in the Deep," at rallies in Iowa. But the presidential candidate doesn't have permission to use the song, Adele's spokesperson told Buzzfeed.Trump isn't the only candidate to have used an Adele song while campaigning. Last week, Mike Huckabee parodied the singer's "Hello." Due to copyright infringement, the song was muted, and has since been removed entirely. The Iowa caucuses had not yet even begun before Jeb Bush launched the first salvo of the eight-day fight to come as Republicans battle for victory in the New Hampshire primary.To a modest standing room-only crowd here, the former Florida governor predicted that Iowans would choose  someone who is "insulting his way to the presidency" -- Donald Trump -- and two "backbenchers" - Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio -- "that have not done anything of consequence."Given the failures of President Obama, the stakes were high and required more than that, Bush said."Maybe what we need is someone who can lead, someone who has a proven record," he said.Bush, who entered the race as a front-runner but has faded badly in polls, needs a strong performance in New Hampshire to keep his candidacy alive. But he told voters here that as the focus turns to the Granite State, the "reset" had begun."Next Tuesday we’re going to surprise the world," he said.
Results will stream in live as they're tallied, expected to start around 5:30 PST.Read moreIn Iowa, celebrities are out in full force to campaign for their favorite presidential candidates. Bernie Sanders' and Hillary Clinton's famous supporters have most notably taken to Instagram and Snapchat while visiting the Hawkeye state.Sarah Palin blasted one of Ted Cruz’s top Iowa supporters Monday for suggesting she’d sold her endorsement to Donald Trump, saying Rep. Steve King must be “huffin’ ethanol” in a cornfield.In remarks introducing Trump at his last rally before the Iowa caucuses, Palin said King’s accusation was an example of why politics is “a dirty business because people will say things that they know are untrue.” She described King as a “friend of mine – I thought.”“Why would a good conservative guy like Steve King from the heartland of America want to say something that he knows isn’t true?” she said.In an MSNBC interview Monday, King, a Republican congressman from socially conservative northwest Iowa, said Palin was more closely aligned ideologically with Cruz than with Trump. Cruz and Trump are the top two Republican contenders for president in the Iowa caucuses Monday night.“I don’t know very many people who have been able to say no to Donald Trump,” King said when asked why Palin would back the New York billionaire. “He has a massive amount of assets and resources that he can deploy when it comes time to convince someone.”It was a family affair at the Des Moines headquarters of Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O'Malley on Monday, just a few hours before Iowans headed out to caucus. Jack, the 13-year-old son of the former Maryland governor, was furiously dialing voters, imploring them in his young voice to stand with his father. Another son, 18-year-old Will, had just returned from a long day of campaign stops with his father and two sisters. Meanwhile, Bridget Hunter, O'Malley's sister, was taking care of less glamorous work around the office. "I've cleaned bathrooms," she said. "And I fixed the toilet twice."Hunter has been volunteering on her brother's political campaigns since 1990. She said she and the rest of the family have been disappointed by O'Malley's poor showing in polls — the latest Des Moines Register survey shows him trailing front-runners Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders badly, with just 3% of voter support. But Hunter said she thinks voters may end up proving pollsters wrong. "Iowa surprises people," she said. That was the message O'Malley himself had for volunteers when he stopped at headquarters.   Standing on a chair as supporters chanted his name, O'Malley acknowledged that he faces a daunting challenge. But he repeated a now-common refrain. "The tough fights are the ones that are actually worth fighting," he told supporters.His son Will looked on, smiling. "He's done such an amazing job throughout the course of this campaign," he said. Will admitted that the campaign has been stressful at times, in part because it overlapped with his college-application process. "But whatever happens," he said, "it's been a great experience."Amanda Kreglow and Mary Murray Shelton of Santa Rosa were stunned when they received a phone call from a Hillary Clinton staffer last week offering to fly them to Iowa to meet the presidential candidate and her husband, the former president.
“We actually called the campaign to find out if it was a scam,” said Murray Shelton, a 62-year-old minister and author.After they learned that the call was legitimate, they rose at 1:45 a.m. Sunday, drove to San Francisco and flew to Des Moines. They attended a Clinton rally Sunday at Lincoln High School here.“It was so fun,” said Kreglow, 67, an author and choreographer. “It was absolutely packed. What’s fun is getting to know the people around you because you’re there for hours. You start talking to people, and all the sudden, you're best buddies.”After the rally, the couple was ushered backstage to meet the Clintons.“I was a little gobsmacked shaking hands with President Clinton,” Murray Shelton said.Hillary Clinton greeted them with a hug.“Hilary was really amazing. She’s quite clear and strong and powerful,” Kreglow said.Both women are long-time Clinton supporters, though they did vote for President Obama in the 2008 California primary. They are convinced that Clinton’s experience as secretary of State and senator are crucial for the nation’s future and fear that her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders would not be able to accomplish anything.“I’m a little bit concerned that maybe Bernie Sanders is not going to be able to get people to collaborate with him, which means he won’t be able to advance his ideas,” Murray Shelton said.  “Hillary has experience doing that already. She doesn’t back off, she stays in the conversation and she keeps negotiating.”The couple plans to attend a private reception and Clinton’s caucus-night party Monday before flying back to California on Tuesday. They marveled at the access that Iowans get to presidential candidates, which rarely happens in California. “No one wants to come to wine country? What’s the matter with them?” Kreglow joked.Four decades ago, Des Moines started building a series of skywalks connecting downtown buildings, and today there are four miles of corridors above the city's streets. On Monday afternoon, with the country's entire political establishment riveted by the Iowa caucuses, some Iowans traversing the skywalks said they were planning to stay home.Katie Fenn, a 43-year-old paralegal who generally votes Republican, said she's never gone to a caucus and doesn't plan to start now."There's several [candidates] that I like, but none I want to argue for," she said.Tracy Genger, a 51-year-old Democrat, also plans to sit out the caucuses even as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are locked in a closely watched battle for Iowa."I don't have a strong feeling about any of them," said Genger, an IT worker. "If it was easy like voting, I might be willing to do that."When the results are finally tallied on Monday night, only a relatively small number of people will have participated in the closely watched beginning of the presidential nominating process.For months, Jeb Bush signaled he intended to compete aggressively in Iowa. Allies spent millions here backing his bid.
This afternoon, however, hours before the caucuses began, the former Florida governor made plans to fly out of Iowa -- a tacit acknowledgement that he does not expect to have a good night in the first presidential nominating contest in the nation. Supporters here say that Bush’s chances were derailed by Donald Trump consuming all the oxygen in the campaign.“Trump unfortunately controlled the debates and I don’t think some of the other candidates got to explain their ideas,” said Carol Kent, 71, after attending a Bush rally here Monday afternoon.Still, Kent plans to caucus for Bush on Monday night.“I like his family; I like what he did in Florida,” said the Des Moines resident. “I think he has a good record and I think he’s a strong man.”Trump kinda scares me.Bush railed against Trump during his final Iowa rally, calling him a blowhard and questioning Trump’s knowledge. He noted that Trump was asked about the nuclear triad during a debate and appeared not to know what it was. (It’s the three ways nuclear weapons can be deployed – air, sea and land.)“There are some threshold questions a candidate should be able to answer to give you a little comfort – that would be one of them,” Bush told a few hundred people in a hotel ballroom. Tom Youngwirth, a 49-year-old electrician who attended the rally, agreed. Trump “seems pretty erratic and unpredictable,” said the Urbandale resident.Although he likes Bush, Youngwirth said he is likely supporting Sen. Ted Cruz in the caucuses.“Trump kinda scares me,” Youngwirth said. “Cruz wouldn’t be my first choice otherwise, but I think he has the closest chance of beating Trump.”If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them. … I will pay for the legal fees, I promise you.Hours before the Iowa caucuses kick off, thousands of campaign workers fanned out across the state, knocked on doors and made phone calls in hopes of winning over even one more vote. Hillary Clinton volunteer Jennifer Rusk was deployed to the Des Moines suburb of Clive. She carried a clipboard with a list of the addresses of voters who had indicated that they would likely support Clinton. Her job: make sure those voters knew where to caucus that night, and get them to promise to show up. "We're just touching as many people as we can today," she said. A Des Moines native who spent the last month volunteering for Clinton, Rusk said she had spotted several Bernie Sanders campaign volunteers in the same neighborhood doing the same thing."We're overlapping," she said, with just a hint of displeasure. The sun was out, melting snow leftover from last week. The warm weather and clear sky belied another snowstorm expected to wallop Iowa late Monday night. Rusk said she didn't expect the storm to affect caucus turnout. Iowans are used to snow, she said, and the sunny day was putting people in a good mood. "I actually think the weather is going to play in our favor, " she predicted. Cathleen Decker and I experimented this morning with a podcast, inspired by (and with a technical assist from) our colleague Sacramento bureau chief John Myers, whose California Politics Podcast has been going strong for years.Let us know what you think. Read moreFor the next few hours, Iowa will constitute the center of the American political universe. Before the state recedes back into normality, it's worth focusing on the oddity of its prominence.Iowa has just over 3.1 million residents, of whom somewhere between 120,000 and 140,000 are expected to show up for Monday night's Republican caucuses. With multiple candidates splitting the vote, winning the GOP caucuses likely will require about 46,000 voters.In other words, the winner of the Iowa GOP caucus will have mustered an army just about the size of the average attendance at a Dodgers game last season, or roughly 1.5% of Iowa's population.The Democratic winner will have somewhat more backers since only two candidates will be splitting most of the pie, but as a fraction of the state's residents, the draw will remain tiny.So why does such a small crowd get so much attention? That's a question political activists in bigger states routinely ask, often in aggrieved tones.Some combination of tradition and convenience provides the answer. The nominating process has to start somewhere, and the consensus in both parties has long held that the opening rounds should take place in small states. Starting in a mega-state such as California or Florida would put an even bigger premium on huge amounts of cash, eliminating the remaining possibility of a candidate starting with modest resources and catching fire with voters.Other small states, of course, would be happy to step in, something that officials in Iowa and New Hampshire, the other first-in-the-nation state, stay constantly on guard against.Democrats, in particular, fret about the unrepresentative nature of the two states' electorates, both overwhelmingly white. In recent election cycles, South Carolina and Nevada have taken place in line just after Iowa and New Hampshire, providing two states whose Democratic electorates include large numbers of black and Latino voters, respectively.But any move to take away Iowa and New Hampshire's early slots would run into a big problem: The Democratic and Republican national committees, which actually set the rules for primaries, don't want to have to pick an order every four years and referee the endless disputes doing so would engender. For now, at least, the status quo, however odd, seems fairly safe. According to Facebook's policy communications team, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is currently leading the conversation in Iowa on the social network. Data was pulled from midnight CST until 12 p.m. CST.Here's the breakdown: 

  • Bernie Sanders: 42.2%
  • Donald Trump: 21.7%
  • Hillary Clinton: 13.1%
  • Ted Cruz: 10.7%
  • Rand Paul: 4.7%
  • Ben Carson: 2.6%
  • Marco Rubio: 1.9%
  • Martin O’Malley: < 1%
  • Mike Huckabee: < 1%
  • Chris Christie: < 1%
  • Rick Santorum: < 1%
  • Carly Fiorina: < 1%
  • Jeb Bush: < 1%
  • John Kasich: < 1%
  • Jim Gilmore: < 1%

And when it comes to just those vying for the Democratic nomination:

  • Bernie Sanders: 73%
  • Hillary Clinton: 25%
  • Martin O’Malley: 1%

Trump is leading the conversation among Republican candidates, with 50%, followed by Cruz with 23%.Caucus results will start to roll in at about 5:30 p.m. PST. Follow along here.

11:33 A.M.

What it looks like around Iowa on caucus day

Donald Trump after a campaign rally in Waterloo. (Getty Images)

Donald Trump after a campaign rally in Waterloo.(Getty Images)Speaking to reporters at the Capitol, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) was leery of reading too much into who wins in Iowa.“It’s not over yet. New Hampshire and the others probably have mattered more for who the Republican nominee is than Iowa. The field is probably going to begin to narrow; it’s going to become pretty competitive,” McCarthy said.McCarthy hasn’t yet endorsed a presidential candidate. McCarthy smiled at a question of whether a Sen. Ted Cruz or Donald Trump nomination could hurt Republicans’ chances of holding a majority in the House come November. Republicans currently hold a historic majority — 246 of 435 seats.“I trust the American people. I think they’ll get it right,” he said. “This is a very different political climate year, and nobody can predetermine who is going to come out and no one can predetermine whether someone helps or someone hurts.”Read more

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