What a wild night!  The first-in-the-nation voting happened last night in Iowa. Ted Cruz came out the winner, with Donald Trump who had been the front runner in polling coming in second and Marco Rubio getting a late boost to a strong number three.

 

On the Democratic side, it was even closer. It looks like Hillary Clinton pulled out a victory by the tiniest of margins, but most major news outlets still haven’t called the race for her.  

 

 

Gerald Seib writes in the Wall Street Journal today, “Ted Cruz did what he had to do. Donald Trump fell well short of the shock-and-awe moment he hoped would set up a blitz through the rest of the country. Marco Rubio bought himself a seat at the big table. And Hillary Clinton flirted all night with disaster.”

 

Mark Z. Barabak writes in the L.A. Times, “Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas parlayed his socially conservative stance and fervent anti-Washington message into a slim victory Monday night in Iowa's Republican caucuses, dealing a setback to billionaire Donald Trump in the first meaningful test of the 2016 presidential campaign.”

 

Dan Balz in the Washington Post today writing, “Donald Trump dominated the Republican presidential campaign for months. But when it finally counted, when the voters of Iowa finally had their say, they punctured the candidacy of the New York billionaire, delivering a victory to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and elevating Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida into the top ranks of the GOP race. The results scrambled the Republican race as it heads to New Hampshire, giving the GOP a genuine three-way contest that will put Trump to tests he hasn't been faced with and pitting Cruz and Rubio against one another in a contest both have long been anticipating.”

 

Ben Schreckinger and Kenneth P. Vogel write in Politico today, “Donald Trump wakes up Tuesday as a loser. Now, will it matter? After dominating the Republican race and predicting a win in Monday’s caucuses, Trump looks to New Hampshire with his veneer of invincibility shattered and fresh proof that winning in the polls does not prevent losing when it matters.”

 

 

Most analysis this morning suggests Sanders proved himself a viable candidate, though Hillary Clinton wasn’t dealt the blow Sanders probably needed to land.

 

Anne Gearan and John Wagner write in The Washington Post write, “Even if Clinton prevails, the close contest in Iowa confirms that Sanders's anti-establishment message has real muscle and appeal. While a narrow victory for the former secretary of state would make good on nearly a year of dutiful campaigning and heavy investment in Iowa, it would also leave residual doubts about her weaknesses among Democratic voters.”

 

 

David Lauter Chris Megerian writes in the L.A. Times, “The razor-close vote count reflected an intense struggle that had tightened dramatically in recent weeks. But while Clinton's lead was tiny -- and a clear disappointment for her campaign -- it was nonetheless crucial. With Sanders leading in polls in New Hampshire, whose Feb. 9 primary is the next nominating contest, a clear defeat for Clinton here would have resuscitated all the doubts that Democrats have had about her ability to inspire and motivate the party's voters.”

 

Iowa has also narrowed the field.  Mike Huckabee and Martin O’Malley have dropped out of the race.

 

Today the candidates turn their focus to New Hampshire.. where the next voting is just a week away.

 

1030EST -- Fmr FL Gov Jeb Bush holds a town hall meeting. Franklin Pierce Univ, Rindge, NH. LIVE via LiveU

 

1130EST -- NJ Gov Christie holds a town hall meeting. Epping American Legion, Epping, NH. LIVE via LiveU

 

1230EST -- Sen Cruz holds a town hall meeting. Crossing Life Church, Windham, NH. LIVE via LiveU

 

1230EST -- OH Gov Kasich holds a town hall meeting. Common Man Inn, Claremont, NH. LIVE

 

1300EST -- Fmr FL Gov Jeb Bush tours C&S Wholesalers and holds a town hall meeting. Keene, NH. LIVE via LiveU

 

1115EST -- Hillary and fmr Pres Bill Clinton hold a "get out the vote" organizing event. Nashua Community College, Nashua, NH. LIVE via LiveU

 

In other news,

 

President Obama is meeting with Republican leaders at the White House today to discuss both sides legislative priorities for the remainder of the year. After the meeting, President Obama will have lunch with House Speaker Paul Ryan.

 

1115EST -- POTUS & VPOTUS meet with Senate Majority Ldr McConnell and Speaker Ryan to discuss legislative priorities for the coming months. CLOSED

 

1230EST -- POTUS has lunch with Speaker Ryan. Private dining room. CLOSED

 

The Senate Homeland Security Committee is holding a hearing this morning on the threat from homegrown terrorism and the fight against ISIS.

 

A 23-nation conference is underway in Rome on fighting ISIS.

 

Growing concerns today over the rapidly spreading Zika Virus. As we reported yesterday, the World Health Organization is calling it a global health emergency. Honduras says it has more than 3,600 cases. Mike Tobin reports on the huge hits the virus is causing to the travel industry.

 

It could be a tough day on Wall Street with U.S. stocks set to fall along with weakness in oil prices.

 

Alphabet became the world’s most valuable company. The parent company of Google reported earnings after the close yesterday and rose topping Apple’s valuation for the first time.

 

Yahoo reports earnings today and could be announcing more job cuts.

 

BP is cutting 3,000 more jobs after reporting a loss of more than two billion dollars in the fourth quarter.

 

It’s Groundhog day. We’ll keep an eye on the various groundhogs’ shadows.

 

There’s heavy snow predicted today from New Mexico to Michigan. For Mississippi and Alabma that same system could spawn tornadoes.

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@ClintPHenderson