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Huge Bernie Lead In NH

Sanders up 2-1 on Clinton in NH poll. CNN: “…the Vermont senator [is] leading the former secretary of state by 27 points, 60% to 33% … But the Vermont senator’s support rests heavily on groups whose participation in New Hampshire primaries is less reliable — notably younger voters and those who aren’t registered Democrats.”

Sanders “gaining steam” in Iowa reports LAT: “… Sanders has spent nearly twice as much time in the state as Clinton has. Sanders said he has spoken in front of about 40,000 Iowans, and he hopes to make it to 50,000 by the Feb. 1 caucuses.”

Politico questions Hillary’s viability in Iowa…: “She isn’t an Iowa kind of candidate, never has been, and isn’t going to shape-shift into one by the end of the month. Part of it is Iowa, a state where roughly four in 10 Democrats self-identify as socialists … Hillary ’16 is essentially the same mixed-bag candidate she’s always been: amply informed but often uninspiring, more focused on the tactical task of fileting her opponent than the strategic imperative of delivering a succinct, appealing message…”

…and Sanders’ ground game: “…the Vermont senator’s support is disproportionately concentrated in a few college-oriented counties … 27 percent of Sanders’ backers are located in just three central and eastern Iowa counties (Black Hawk, Johnson, and Story) though those places make up just 21 percent of likely Democratic caucus participants.”

Clinton ally David Brock attacks Sanders on socialism. WSJ: “Appearing on Bloomberg TV’s ‘With all Due Respect,’ Mr. Brock got a question about how to stop Mr. Sanders’s momentum … ‘He’s a socialist,’ Mr. Brock said. ‘… He’s got a 30 year history of affiliation with a lot of whack-doodle ideas and parties. Think about what the Republicans will do with the fact that he’s a socialist in the fall.'”

As do some elected Democrats. NYT: “‘Here in the heartland, we like our politicians in the mainstream, and he is not — he’s a socialist,’ said Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri … ‘The Republicans won’t touch him [todau] because they can’t wait to run an ad with a hammer and sickle,’ said Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri…”

Questions whether South Carolina’s African-American electorate will stick with Clinton. The Hill: “‘In an election year when just about every narrative, every piece of conventional wisdom, has been turned on its head, I’m at a loss for words when the media talk about a firewall,’ said an influential black Democrat who requested anonymity. ‘There is no wall no more.'”

SCOTUS Takes Up Immigration

Supreme Court will take up Obama’s immigration executive actions. New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin: “…the Court’s decision today to hear the case was a victory for the President. If the Court had put off its decision for even another week or two, the clock might have run out on this year’s Supreme Court term, and the President would have left office next year with his immigration plan still on hold … But will Obama win? Here the case scrambles some of the usual ideological positions…”

Supreme Court passes on Obamacare case. LAT: “Matt Sissel, an artist in Oregon, sued the federal government because he doesn’t want to buy health insurance … his lawyers argued [that the law] violated the clear constitutional requirement that tax legislation originate in the House … The Supreme Court denied Sissel’s petition for certiorari Tuesday without comment.”

Obama not expected to fare well in this Supreme Court term. Politico: “With at least five core Obama policies on the line — collective bargaining, abortion, affirmative action, yet another Obamacare challenge and more voting rights laws — Democratic insiders are bracing for the Supreme Court to dismantle huge chunks of core issues for the president and other Democrats.”

Breakfast Sides

Mayor de Blasio gets a poll boost. NYT: “But support for Mr. de Blasio, who garnered a 50 percent job approval rating, remains polarized along racial lines, and voters are split on whether he deserves to win a second term in 2017. Black and Hispanic voters approve of the mayor by large margins, but two-thirds of whites disapprove.”

Economists don’t see liftoff. WSJ: “Most Federal Reserve policy makers and private forecasters are giving up on the long-awaited breakout and instead predicting little change in 2016 and beyond: an economy growing a little faster than 2%, just like it has for years.”

Michigan governor apologizes for Flint water crisis. AP: “…the Republican governor again pledged a fix Tuesday night during his annual State of the State speech … ‘I am sorry and I will fix it.’ Snyder committed $28 million more in the short term [to] pay for more filters, bottled water, school nurses, intervention specialists, testing and monitoring.”

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