REPUBLICANS

Republicans Debate Whether Trump or Cruz Would Have Worse Impact as Nominee

The final GOP debate before Iowa will feature an undercard event.

Jan. 22, 2016, 9:54 a.m.

With real estate mogul Donald Trump (R) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “battling for the Republican nomination, two powerful factions of their party are now clashing over the question: Which man is more dangerous?  Conservative intellectuals have become convinced that … Trump … poses a dire threat to conservatism. … However, the cadre of Republican lobbyists, operatives and elected officials based in Washington is much more unnerved by … Cruz, a go-it-alone, hard-right crusader who campaigns against the political establishment and could curtail their influence and access, building his own Republican machine to essentially replace them.” (New York Times)

“In private, some veteran conservative Republicans have been reaching out to Trump. And Trump himself called … Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell … for a talk late last year. … Perhaps most notably, parts of the establishment are starting to think Trump can win.” (Washington Post)

DEBATE CLUB. “The last Republican debate before the … Iowa caucuses will again feature a prime-time debate for the leading candidates and an undercard forum for the long-shots. In criteria announced by Fox News … on Thursday, the Republican debate in Des Moines on Jan. 28 will also use national, Iowa and New Hampshire polls to determine which candidates are invited to participate. … GOP candidates who poll in either the top six nationally or the top five in Iowa or New Hampshire will be eligible for the prime-time debate. … The network will look at an average of the five most recent national, Iowa and New Hampshire polls when making its determination.” (USA Today)

GAME CHANGER! Former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) could make an endorsement in the GOP race on Jan. 29 in New Hampshire. (Wall Street Journal)

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