5 Days Until the New Hampshire Primary
After so much waiting, waiting, waiting, it's finally Iowa Caucus Day.
But for anxious campaigns, journalists and political junkies, the day has only brought more waiting, waiting and waiting.
The Iowa Democratic and Republican caucuses really do not begin until 8:00 pm ET tonight so today allowed for plenty of time to discuss who will win, place and show and to hit refresh on the ABC News' Political Radar (http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/) and monitor all of the candidates as they did one last event, meet and greet, and rally, denied striking any deals, or pushed back against rumors of their impending departure from the race.
Some nuts and bolts of the caucuses…
Iowa Democrats will gather in 1,781 precincts:
--Call to order: 7:10 pm – 7:30 pm ET (Anyone in line by 8:00 pm ET allowed to participate).
--Presidential preference begins at 8:00 pm ET
--Results could begin to come in as early as 8:15-8:30 pm ET (more likely: 8:30 pm ET)
--Democratic outcome will likely be known at 10:00 pm ET.
Iowa Republicans will gather in 1,781 precincts:
--8:00 pm ET: Iowa Republican Caucuses get underway
--8:30 pm ET: Precincts begin reporting
--8:45 pm ET: Bulk of precincts report
--9:00 pm ET: Outcome of Iowa Republican Caucuses will be known.
Things to look for tonight: 1. Second choices With all due respect to Madonna, second best may be enough for one of the Democratic frontrunners looking to leap frog an opponent in the standings.
ABC News' Teddy Davis reports that the main difference between the Iowa Democratic Caucuses and the Iowa Republican Caucuses is that the Democrats require candidates in the vast majority of precincts to reach a minimum 15 percent level of support in order to qualify for any delegates. One byproduct of the viability requirement is that it pays to be the second-choice candidate of those rivals who do not reach viability.
So today the stories were flying about possible deals reached between campaigns. The New York Times has an Obama/Richardson deal, the Washington Post has an Obama/Biden deal. No campaign has acknowledged any such deals.
2. Who drops out -- if anybody -- and who they decide to support Fred Thompson has spent some time over the last 24 hours beating back rumors of his impending and imminent departure from the race. But even as his campaign is saying that he has no plans to get out, his language on the trail doesn't seem to reflect an "In it to win it" attitude.
When asked today if it's "on to New Hampshire" regardless of the Iowa results, Thompson said that that some of the candidates "may get shellacked."
"We've got to recognize the signals that we're given and respond accordingly. I expect a strong win. We'll see."
Stay tuned to ABC News throughout the evening for special reports with Charlie Gibson as caucus results become known. Wrap up your night with a special one-hour edition of Nightline with Gibson and Terry Moran from Iowa.
And of course, you can't hit refresh enough at ABCNews.com and the Political Radar LINK
ABC News' senior political editor Rick Klein will be live blogging the caucuses from Des Moines here.
ABCNEWS.com will provide real-time results in a searchable database, updated minute-by-minute with the latest entrance polling information. The ABC News Political Radar blog will be continually updated with dispatches from off-air reporters traveling with the candidates, ABC News correspondents, and anchors in the field.
Go East Young Men (and Woman)! The winners (and losers) have no time to waste before pivoting and turning their attention to the New Hampshire primary (Tuesday Jan. 8)
John McCain has had the state almost entirely to himself over the last few days as his rivals and the Democratic candidates barnstormed Iowa. But tomorrow the Granite State gets very crowded
(We expect to be able to hear the growing rumble of the approaching stampede of campaign staffers, reporters, and supporters heading back east.)
Romney and McCain are not wasting any time to get at it in New Hampshire. Both campaigns released ads in the Granite State today, with Romney putting out another "polite contrast" (negative) ad painting McCain as against tax cuts, for amnesty for illegal immigration and, in perhaps the sharpest blow, past his prime.
McCain's ad is positive and reminds New Hampshire voters that he won there in 2000 and needs them to once again turn "convention on its head" and prove the experts and media wrong.
McCain, who flat out declared tonight in New Hampshire that he will win Tuesday's primary, picked up a solid local endorsement today in New Hampshire from Senate Republican Leader Ted Gatsas.
"John McCain is the only candidate with the strength, experience, and character to lead as commander in chief from day one, and that's why I'm so proud to support him," said Sen. Gatsas in a statement. "As president, John McCain will cut taxes, eliminate wasteful spending, drive economic growth and win the war on radical Islamic extremism. America needs a leader who knows his core values and will never waver in the face of the prevailing political winds. America needs John McCain."
On the campaign trail…
-- 2:00 am ET: Arrives in New Hampshire, Portsmouth, NH
-- 7:30 am ET: Meets with voters at event, Portsmouth, NH
-- 5:45 pm ET: Meets with voters at event, Concord, NH
-- 7:00 pm ET: Holds town hall meeting with voters, Manchester, NH
-- 4:00 pm ET: Attends rally with Chuck Norris and voters, Henniker, NH
-- 12:45 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Hollis, NH
-- 1:45 pm ET: Attends town hall meeting with voters, Nashua, NH
-- 5:45 pm ET: Holds town hall meeting with voters, Hudson, NH
-- 4:00 pm ET: Attends town hall meeting with voters, Salem, NH
-- 5:45 pm ET: Attends town hall meeting with voters, Nashua, NH
As for the Democrats…
-- 8:45 am ET: Attends event with voters, Portsmouth, NH
-- 12:30 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Concord, NH
-- 8:00 am ET: Attends event with Bill Clinton and voters, Nashua, NH
-- 7:00 pm ET: Attends event with supporters, Milford, NH (Closed to Public)
-- 6:15 am ET: Attends rally with voters, Manchester, NH
-- 2:00 pm ET: Attends organizing convention with supporters, Nashua, NH
-- 6:30 pm ET: Holds town hall meeting with voters, Portsmouth, NH
-- 9:00 am ET: Attends event with voters, Manchester, NH
-- 9:30 am ET: Holds media availability, Manchester, NH
-- 10:15 am ET: Attends event with voters, Salem, NH
-- 11:00 am ET: Attends event with voters, Salem, NH
-- 11:45 am ET: Attends event with voters, Salem, NH
-- 12:45 am ET: Attends event with voters, Hudson, NH
-- 1:30 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Merrimack, NH
-- 2:45 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Manchester, NH
-- 6:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Manchester, NH
-- 7:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Nashua, NH
-- 8:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Milford, NH
-- 9:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Nashua, NH
-- 10:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Nashua, NH
-- 12:00 pm ET: Speaks to voters at event, Portsmouth, NH
-- 1:30 pm ET: Speaks to voters at event, Durham, NH (Closed to Public)
-- 3:00 pm ET: Appears for a radio interview on WUNH, NH
-- 3:30 pm ET: Appears on Manchester Community Access, NH
-- 6:00 pm ET: Appears on Manchester Community Access, NH
At the White House. . .
- 1:00 pm ET: Meets with Working Group on Financial Markets, Roosevelt Room, White House, Washington, DC
POLITICAL NEWS STORIES ON ABCNEWS.COM
ABC News' Eloise Harper Reports: Clinton's Last Push LINK
ABC News' Sarah Amos Reports: Richardson Criss-Crosses Iowa in Last Pre-Caucus Pitch LINK
ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf Reports: Paul, Stephanopoulos and 'The Bet' LINK
ABC News' Brian Wheeler Reports: Biden Targets Edwards on Troop Training LINK
ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: Obama's Last Pitch LINK
ABC News' Brian Wheeler Reports: Biden Kicks Off at Local Pub LINK
ABC News' Sarah Amos Reports: Richardson Get the Last Laugh LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Today, Cauci LINK
ABC News' Gary Langers Reports: In Iowa, Somebody's Wrong LINK
ABC News' Raelyn Johnson Reports: Crunch Time for Edwards LINK
ABC News' Tahman Bradley and Teddy Davis Report: Romney-McCain N.H. Ad War Heats Up LINK
ABC News' Brian Ross, Avni Patel and Rhonda Schwartz Report: 2008: 'Dirtiest Presidential Campaign in History' LINK
ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf Reports: Paul: The Ground Game in Iowa LINK
ABC News' Christine Byun Reports: Thompson: Others Trying to 'Suppress' Vote LINK
ABC News' Raelyn Johnson Reports: Edwards Pleads for Second Choice Among Non-viables LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Notes from the Huck-a-trail LINK
ABC News' Rick Klein Reports: Live Caucus Blogging from Des Moines LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: The Richardson Shuffle LINK
POLITICAL VIDEO ON ABCNEWS.COM
Richardson Gets Last Laugh Bill Richardson pleads with ABC's Sarah Amos for 'national media' coverage. LINK
This Week All Week Webcast Countdown to the Iowa Caucus. LINK
Will Weather Affect Voters? Cold weather in Iowa could keep some voters home. LINK
Iowa Voters Discuss Hot-Button Issues Chris Cuomo discovers what's on the political menu at Iowa's Drake Diner. LINK
Nightline Video "Caucus: The Musical" LINK
Strategists Sound Off on Candidates James Carville and Matthew Dowd weigh in on Republican and Democratic parties. LINK
Caucus 101 An explanation of where the term comes from and what it means. LINK
The Keys to Victory in Iowa George Stephanopoulos has the bottom line on the Iowa caucuses. LINK
Fatigue in the Final Hours The presidential candidates' final moments before votes are cast in Iowa. LINK
Mitt Romney One-on-One The former Massachusetts governor fights for the front-runner position. LINK
Barack Obama One-on-One The Democratic contender comments on his opposition. LINK
Republicans Plot Final Push The key moments for the Republican contenders before the Iowa caucuses. LINK
Democrats Plot Final Push The key moments for the Democratic hopefuls LINK