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Wednesday, February 3, 2016
6 Days until the New Hampshire primary
279 Days Until Election Day 2016 I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
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- Iowa Onward: DEM With Martin O’Malley out, the Democratic race is now officially a two-person affair between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. After the two virtually tied in Iowa, with Clinton winning the delegate count by just 0.3%, Sanders still refuses to concede the caucuses, citing coin tosses that broke ties in multiple precincts.
- However, the race keeps marching on New Hampshire, where next week’s primary is currently seen as favoring Sanders. Clinton still plans to compete in the state, in hopes of minimizing a Sanders victory due to his residence in neighboring Vermont, although Clinton is also attempting to bring down Sanders’ margin in the Granite State, deploying at least 150 staffers from Clinton HQ in Brooklyn to campaign in New Hampshire.
- Meanwhile, despite double-digit leads in New Hampshire polling, Sanders will still campaign there to ensure Clinton cannot claim underdog status and come from behind, while building a presence in the next two states on the primary calendar: Nevada and South Carolina, which both heavily favor Clinton. Even if the post-New Hampshire calendar looks bad for Sanders, he’s not going away: as his fundraising operation continues, having raised $3 million in the day after losing Iowa.
- Currently, however, the debate that’s captivating the Democratic race is over debates, with Sanders’ participation in Thursday’s unsanctioned New Hampshire debate still unconfirmed, as he sticks out for agreement from Clinton on more debates in the future. Thursday debate or not, both Democratic candidates will attend a forum Wednesday: another CNN town hall, this one moderated by Anderson Cooper in New Hampshire. At the event (which will last from 8pm to 11pm Eastern Time), both Sanders and Clinton will separately field questions from New Hampshire voters.
- Iowa Onward: GOP The large Republican field heads now to New Hampshire as well, where clear battle lines have already been drawn. The group of contenders who will be most interesting to watch in the Granite State are those occupying the “establishment” lane: Marco Rubio, and the three former/sitting governors in the race (Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and John Kasich).
- After a strong third-place finish in Iowa, Rubio heads into the first-in-the-nation primary with the most momentum, which also makes him the prime target for that gubernatorial trio. A key strategy for the Floridian going forward will center on endorsements, in hopes that they will convince voters he is the most serious member of the field. After getting support from South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott on Tuesday, Rubio is attempting to steal lawmakers who’ve endorsed other candidates, although no onslaught of endorsements is imminent yet.
- Donald Trump, meanwhile, is focused on proving he can win, after a second-place Iowa showing. Trump also rolled out a key early-state endorsement Tuesday: former Sen. Scott Brown, who is vying to become a kingmaker in the New Hampshire primary.
- Finally, Iowa caucus winner Ted Cruz is already looking past New Hampshire, to the South Carolina primary, which is made up of more pro-Cruz conservatives – although he will still compete in the Granite State, if only to place well enough that he can prove widespread viability.
White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule President Obama will visit a Catonsville, Maryland mosque today, in light of hostility to Muslim-Americans growing to an all-time high.
- In his first visit as President to a U.S. mosque (Obama visited a Jakarta, Indonesia mosque in November 2010), Obama will “celebrate the contributions Muslim-Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life,” a White House official told CNN.
- While there, Obama will hold a roundtable with community members and deliver remarks to “reiterate the importance of staying true to our core values – welcoming our fellow Americans, speaking out against bigotry, rejecting indifference and protecting our nation's tradition of religious freedom,” the official said.
- Following the 9/11 attacks, when anti-Muslim sentiment was high as well, President George W. Bush visited a Washington, D.C. mosque to urge tolerance.
Question of the Day
- Yesterday’s Answer On Tuesday, I asked for the only person to lose both the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary (since the advent of the modern primary system) and still go on to win the Presidency.
- The answer…Bill Clinton, who won 3% of the vote in the Iowa caucuses, losing to favorite son Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, and took 25% of the vote in New Hampshire, coming in second place but still championing a “comeback kid” narrative which allowed him to 35 more primaries, the Democratic nomination, and the White House.
- GREAT JOB…Brad Chotiner, Janice Goodman, Madge Treeger, Steve Gitnik, Joan Zucker, Bobby Frauenglas, Andrew Windsor, Devon Morris, Dafna Revah, Rebecca Hatlelid Boester, Maddy Smith, Joe Bookman, Randy Fleisher, Walter Street III, Jack Molho, Gail Smith, and Sheryl Sharp!
- Thank you all for answering (there were a lot of you)!
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light