1. In Washington Post, Jenna Johnson talks about Trump’s campaign in Iowa.
With the Feb. 1 caucuses quickly approaching, Trump made seven major appearances in seven days in the state last week, spending two nights and trying out retail politics.
The overnights gave the billionaire real estate developer a closer look at life in Iowa, beyond what he sees out the windows of his private plane and motorcade. He marveled at how Iowa has good steak and how the television airwaves are packed with so many attack ads.
“I like it. I like it,” Trump said Sunday morning. “I like staying, it’s really nice. The hotels were beautiful; they were clean, nice. I’ll be here next week. I’ll be here a lot.”
2. In The Boston Globe, John Wagner reports that Sanders is ready to face a new presidential rival.
“My reaction is, if Donald Trump wins and Mr. Bloomberg gets in, you’re going to have two multibillionaires running for president of the United States against me,” Sanders told host Chuck Todd. “And I think the American people do not want to see our nation move toward an oligarchy, where billionaires control the political process. I think we’ll win that election.”
Sanders would first have to get past Hillary Clinton in the contest for the Democratic nomination before such a race could take shape.
3. In MSNBC, Alex Seitz-Wald explains why geography favors Clinton in Iowa.
Clinton’s team, which includes many of the people who engineered Obama’s 2008 win, has been on the ground in more places longer than Sanders’. And organizers say there’s no way to make up the lost time when it comes to volunteer training and relationship building.
Sterzenbach expects Sanders’ enthusiasm-driven machine to dominate in the 15-20 counties with larger cities or universities — but for Clinton’s blood, sweat, and time machine to pay dividends in the 50-60 more rural counties.
For instance, Clinton won almost every county along the Missouri River in the western part of the state, which Democrats tend to ignore in general elections because the area is so heavily Republican. While each county on it’s own is not worth many delegates, they add up.
4. In CNN, Eric Bradner talks about Trump’s “conservatism.”
Asked about his strategy when he's accused of not being a "consistent conservative," Trump said on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday: "Well, usually, I just evoke the name Ronald Reagan."
"I mean, Ronald Reagan was a fairly liberal Democrat and he evolved over years and he became more and more conservative. And he was not a very conservative person, but he was pretty conservative and he ended up being a great president," Trump said.
He acknowledged that he has evolved on some issues, but also said he's held firm on others.
5. In Huffington Post, Jennifer Bendery reports that Sanders doesn’t supports reparations.
"Well, for the same reason that Barack Obama has and the same reason I believe that Hillary Clinton has," Sanders said. "And that is, it is absolutely wrong and unacceptable that we have so much poverty in this country and it is even worse in the African American community."
As Sanders listed off statistics about African American youth struggling with unemployment and poverty, Todd noted that he didn't answer the question.
"Well, again, it's the same reason that the president is not. And I think that Secretary Clinton is not," Sanders said. "We have got to invest in the future. What we have got to do is address poverty in America, something that very few people talk about, and especially poverty in the African American community and the Latino community."
6. In CNN, Brian Stelter reports that Trump will likely be the GOP nominee, according to David Brock.
"I may have spoken too soon in predicting in December that the Democrats would face Cruz in November," Brock said in an email to CNN. "I now believe the GOP nominee is likely to be Donald Trump."
Brock is the founder and chairman of American Bridge, a well-funded Democratic super PAC that supports Clinton and opposes prospective opponents. He said American Bridge is "adjusting its program accordingly," meaning it is targeting Trump more forcefully.
"I don't agree with some Dem thinking that Trump would be easy to beat," Brock added. "He's rewritten all the rules and I would expect a tough race with Hillary."
7. In CNN, Dan Merica reports that The Boston Globe endorses Clinton.
The paper, which backed then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008, wrote that Clinton is "more seasoned, more grounded, and more forward-looking than in 2008, and has added four years as secretary of state to her already formidable resume. Democrats in the Granite State should not hesitate to choose her."
And in endorsing Clinton, the Globe Editorial Board slammed Sanders on both his credibility and his stance on guns.
"Clinton's assertive record on guns stands in contrast to that of her main Democratic opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who voted against the Brady background-check bill and, his claims notwithstanding, is not a convincing champion of gun control," they wrote. "Sanders presents himself as an avowed foe of big business, but his vote to protect firearms corporations from legal liability tells a different story. Clinton is simply more credible on what for too many Americans is a life-and-death issue."
8. In CBS News, Anthony Salvanto and Sarah Duttonreport that Trump has regained his lead over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the state of Iowa.
Just over a week before the first votes are cast in the Iowa caucuses, Donald Trump has regained his lead over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the state of Iowa. Trump now holds a 5-point lead over the Texas Republican, with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio lagging far behind in third place.
In New Hampshire, the race remains unchanged at the top, with Trump holding a commanding double-digit lead over his two closest-but-still-distant rivals Cruz and Rubio, who are locked in a tight battle for second place. Further down, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has edged past New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie into fourth place.
Looking ahead to South Carolina, Trump continues to hold a double-digit lead over Cruz, his closest competitor in that state.
9. In Politico, Katie Glueck reports that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry endorses Ted Cruz.
“Of those individuals who have a chance to win the Republican primary, at this juncture, from my perspective, Ted Cruz is by far the most consistent conservative in that crowd,” Perry said. “And that appears to be down to two people."
Perry, who is famously skilled at retail politics, will campaign with Cruz Tuesday across Iowa, and will join Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King to stump for Cruz again Wednesday. Perry and King will both join Cruz at a Des Moines rally Wednesday night.
The endorsement gives Cruz the blessing of the longest-serving governor in Texas history, just as the senator faces intensifying heat from other veteran politicians, including from his colleagues in Washington, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole.
10. In The New York Times, Patrick Healy writes about the campaign of Clinton and Sanders in Iowa.
The race between Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders, which voters will begin deciding a week from Monday, is not just about the White House anymore. It has intensified into an epochal battle over their vastly different visions for the Democratic Party.
Mr. Sanders, a New Deal-style liberal from Vermont, last week became the party’s first top-tier candidate since the 1980s to propose broad-based tax increases. He argues that only muscular government action — Wall Street regulations, public works jobs, Medicare for all — will topple America’s “rigged” economy.
“Something is grotesquely wrong in America,” he said Thursday in New Hampshire, urging voters to deliver a landslide in November that would cow Congress into enacting his agenda.