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How Republicans Think They Can Win

5 minute read
Updated: | Originally published: ;

Happy Election year. The Iowa Caucuses are four weeks away, with the near year marking the starting gun for a sprint to the finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire. But the race won’t be over on Feb. 9 after voting in the Granite State closes, or likely after super Tuesday on March 1. As fast as they run now, candidates are only vying for the chance to keep running into the marathon that will be the final slog for delegates.

Leading in the polls, Donald Trump is out with his first television ad raising awareness about some of his most controversial positions, including building a wall on the nation’s southern border and a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States. The spot marks the continued professionalization of Trump’s campaign, which is turning to retaining his support during the critical final weeks before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

Chris Christie sees an opening in Iowa after months of focus solely on the Granite State, providing a window at his governor-centric campaign strategy. Christie is betting he can tap in to his unique political network with residual goodwill from his time as chairman of the Republican Governors Association in 2014, when the GOP won a record number of seats. Meanwhile, he and Marco Rubio are delivering dueling speeches on foreign policy in New Hampshire Monday morning. While the pair differ little on substance, they sell their experience differently, highlighting their divergent paths to the White House.

Bill Clinton returns to the campaign trial for his wife, who seeks to hold off a well-organized Bernie Sanders effort in Iowa and New Hampshire. But Hillary Clinton‘s team is not worried — though they are working even harder to organize on their own — believing a Sanders win in the early states would quickly be forgotten once the race turns national.

President Obama is back from his family’s annual vacation in Hawaii, ready to enact new executive actions on gun control. Following a meeting Monday with the Attorney General and other top officials, Obama is expected to announce the new measures—long stymied by Congress—on Tuesday. Clinton is already praising the move, while Republicans, like Rubio, have already promised to repeal whatever’s coming.

Ben Carson’s former campaign manager suggests he see a psychologist. Trump says he’s unconcerned about appearing in a terrorism recruitment video. And Congress is sending Obama a bill to repeal Obamacare.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Chris Christie Shifts Focus to Iowa, Betting Big on Governor’s Team
Looking to place ahead of Bush in Iowa, Christie road-tests strategy for states beyond [TIME]

Ben Carson’s Former Campaign Manager Speaks About Decision To Leave
TIME’s Tessa Berenson goes inside the campaign’s implosion

Five Unknowns That Could Determine the Winner in 2016
How will Trump respond to losing? [LA Times]

Donald Trump’s Provocative First TV Ad Raises the Temperature of GOP Race
Muslim ban takes center stage [Washington Post]

Sound Off

“And he’s right. I will take on that fight. I’m very hopeful and excited that the President is going to take some action with executive orders in the next week or two to try to get more gun sellers to … conduct background checks! But if it’s a Republican who walks into the White House, within the first day the executive orders will be reversed. Whatever the President has done, not only to try to rein in gun violence will be reversed, but what he’s done to try to fight pollution, to combat climate change, to move us toward more clean, renewable energy will be reversed.” — Hillary Clinton in a New Hampshire town hall Sunday on President Barack Obama’s forthcoming executive actions on gun control

“We cannot afford to lose again as a party and our country is crying out for leadership and strength once again. I know our country does not want this chance to pass us by. Bringing our party together is the first task of the next Republican leader. Without that unity we cannot win. And that unity is not possible without respect for the views, the emotions, the principles and the anger and disappointment of all the members of our party. It is in that respect of all and unity aimed towards victory where our greatest chance lies. Let us work together to seize that chance and to seize it starting today.” — Chris Christie’s prepared remarks in a foreign policy speech in New Hampshire later Monday seeking to assuage the concerns of disaffected GOP voters

Bits and Bites

Marco Rubio Promises to Reverse Obama’s Planned Gun Limits [TIME]

Trump Dismisses Appearance in Terrorist Recruitment Video [TIME]

Obama to Discuss Gun Control Plans With Attorney General [NBC News]

Jeb Bush Cuts TV Ad Buys, Redeploys Staff to New Hampshire [TIME]

CNN to Host Obama Town Hall on Guns in America [CNN]

Bill Clinton Begins Campaigning for His Wife in New Hampshire [Associated Press]

House Returns From Break With Plan to Send Health Care Repeal to Obama’s Desk [New York Times]

Calculated Candor Inside Obama’s Off-the-Record Briefings [New York Times]

How Hillary Clinton’s Former Chief of Staff Helped a Democratic Bundler [Politico]

Trump and His Debts: A Narrow Escape [Wall Street Journal]

More Must-Reads From TIME

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