--TRUMP RALLY DRAWS HUNDREDS OF PROTESTERS IN BERNIE SANDERS' HOME STATE: Donald Trump’s campaign made every effort last night to prevent protesters and those undecided from entering his rally in Burlington, Vermont -- Bernie Sanders' home turf -- but to no avail, ABC’s JOHN SANTUCCI and BRAD MIELKE report. Protesters who were able to enter Trump's rally chanted slogans like “racist” or “dump Trump,” but the real estate mogul and GOP frontrunner was unfazed, vowing to "take...down" Hillary Clinton. “I knew I was gonna have some in Vermont in all fairness," Trump said. "If we didn’t have that it wouldn’t be Vermont. Why do you think the other Republicans our not coming up here folks. I am the only one." Justin Griffith, 20, a college student, said that he was turned away from the rally despite having a ticket. "I told them I was open-minded, and he tells me I have to leave,” Griffth told ABC News. “They say it’s a private event, and only Trump supporters are welcome.” Those who were not wanted were told by police they'd be trespassing if they stayed. http://abcn.ws/1mGOTMg
--TRUMP STUCK TO HIS HIT LIST attacking all three Democratic candidates. "Time for O'Malley to get out,” Trump said before quickly hitting the guy who started his career in Burlington. "At least Bernie is getting some action," he said. "He gets much smaller crowds than me, but at least Bernie gets some action. Oh would I love to run against Bernie. I would love.” In a statement, Sanders said he wants to take on Trump as well. "Donald Trump and I finally agree on something...It would be an extraordinary campaign and I am confident I would win," he said. But once again Trump's real target was clear: "I have my mind set on Hillary….We’ll take her down.” http://abcn.ws/1mGOTMg
--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Donald Trump doesn’t do anything small. So it is that his campaign strategy – if that’s the word for it – will either wind up succeeding spectacularly or failing with even more splash and noise. Thursday night’s rally in Vermont will go down as a prime piece of evidence proving either case. It was a bold, in-your-face, loud and sometimes messy display of organizing strength in a state with few convention delegates and an extreme liberal bent. Or it was a chaotic and pointless waste of resources that showed the ugly side of the campaign and made a point of excluding undecided voters from the greatest political show of the season. Most broadly, it’s a reminder that Trump is doing something real this year, something that erroneous assumptions about what works in running for president have served to document, not dilute.
--THIS WEEK ON “THIS WEEK”: Sunday exclusive, presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio comes to “This Week.” Plus, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell preview President Obama’s final State of the Union address. And, the powerhouse roundtable debates the week in politics with ABC News contributor and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, radio host Hugh Hewitt, and television and radio host Tavis Smiley. See the whole political picture Sunday, on “This Week.”
TODAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC’s RYAN STRUYK: We’re exactly 10 months from Election Day, and hot off his Vermont rally yesterday in Bernie Sanders’ backyard, where some attendees had to pledge their support to get in, Donald Trump is back on the trail for a rally in South Carolina tonight. Meanwhile Ted Cruz, facing broadening scrutiny over whether he is a “natural born citizen” from fellow Republicans, takes his bus tour to Iowa for a whopping six events. And Chris Christie, whose supporter Maine Gov. LePage is under fire for racially-charged remarks about drug trafficking, has only one appearance tonight in Baltimore. Marco Rubio is on the trail today in New Hampshire and South Carolina with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who we expect to endorse the Florida Senator today. Jeb Bush has a town hall tonight in South Carolina. And Carly Fiorina and John Kasich are in New Hampshire today, while Rand Paul and Rick Santorum are in Iowa. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is off the trail today for fundraising, as is her husband former President Bill Clinton. But her main competition, Bernie Sanders, is in Iowa, hoping to catch some momentum and eliminate Clinton’s lead there. He’s hosting a presser this morning on paid family leave before three more events there this afternoon and tonight. Martin O’Malley is also in Iowa, hosting two events later tonight.
YESTERDAY ON THE TRAIL
BERNIE SANDERS TAKES ON DONALD TRUMP ONLINE. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders took to Twitter late last night, sending a series of messages aimed at Republican front-runner Donald Trump after the businessman spoke in Sanders' hometown of Burlington just blocks from the Sanders campaign headquarters, ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS notes. Sanders’ first tweet of the night came in direct response to Trump’s commenting during his Burlington rally that he would “love” to run against the progressive. “Finally @realDonaldTrump and I agree on something. He and I both want to run against the other. Guess who wins?" Sanders tweeted back, including a link to a recent Quinnipiac poll that had Sanders winning handily in a general election matchup against Trump. Sanders’ final tweet of the night, bookending attacks on Trump, included a graphic demonstrating that the same poll had Sanders, an independent running in the Democratic primary, doing better in a head-to-head race against Trump than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. http://abcn.ws/1JynGW1
CLINTON DOMINATING THE SURROGATE GAME IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. Hillary Clinton seems to have a strategy for trying to chip away at Bernie Sanders’s lead in New Hampshire: Campaign every day, even when you’re out of the state. Clinton sent a battalion of high-profile supporters to the Granite State this week, including her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Minnesota Sen. Al Franken arrived today, while television star Lena Dunham and U.S. soccer legend Abby Wambach will crisscross the state Friday. ABC’S BRAD MIELKE reports despite winning New Hampshire eight years ago, Clinton has struggled against the popular senator from neighboring Vermont. Recent polls have varied; some show the two Democrats in a dead-heat, while another gives Sanders a 10-point lead. http://abcn.ws/1n6gMNW
PLANNED PARENTHOOD ENDORSES HILLARY CLINTON. Planned Parenthood has endorsed Hillary Clinton, with a formal announcement set to come at a campaign event in Manchester, New Hampshire on Sunday, a Clinton spokesman told ABC News -- the first time the nonprofit has backed a candidate in a primary. The group's decision to do so comes amid recent efforts by Republicans to defund the organization ABC’S LIZ KREUTZ reports. “Hillary Clinton holds the strongest record on reproductive rights of all presidential contenders in not just this election, but in American history," Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the political arm of the group, said in a statement. "She doesn’t just support women’s health — she has been a proactive leader on expanding access to women’s health care." http://abcn.ws/1Jxp5MF
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
MARCO RUBIO STOMPS ON FOOTWEAR CRITICS: ‘THIS IS CRAZINESS’. Marco Rubio’s boots may have been made for walkin’. But were they made for campaigning? The Republican presidential candidate caused a stir on the trail this week after sporting a pair of black, high-heeled boots, which have sparked snarky criticism from some of his opponents, and on Thursday, a response from Rubio himself. ABC’S JENNIFER HANSLER, INES DE LA CUETARA and PAOLA CHAVEZ have more on what the presidential hopeful said in Nashua, New Hampshire. http://abcn.ws/1kPR7Hs
THE NOTE INTERVIEW -- HOW PREDICTION MARKETS MAY BE 'AHEAD' OF POLLS. ABC’s PAOLA CHAVEZ spoke to Greg DePetris, co-founder of Pivit, an online prediction market that uses historical data, real-time information and public opinion to predict what will happen during live events, to find out what we can expect in the year ahead in politics.
We hear so much about polls, but do you think 2016's going to be the breakout year for political prediction markets? DePetris: "I think what will turn it into a break out year, frankly, is the notion of critical mass. The answer from our stand point, from what we've seen so far with Pivit the size and the scale is accelerating at a pace and velocity that would be the first time that the data should be taken seriously."
Is there something about this particular presidential race that makes it more interesting for prediction markets? DePetris: "Obviously uncertainty is the driver of all interests. I think that what makes this more interesting is that there's a narrative around the polling process and peoples' skepticism of the numbers that they're seeing there and there's a lot more information points. People will change their minds each time there is new type of information to evaluate and as coverage of the races increases there's more information points to evaluate and so what makes this more interesting is the combination of those two things."
Looking back at 2015, what do the trend lines suggest will happen this year? DePetris: "Just looking at the numbers what that would tell us is that if there are two lanes within the Republican race, one of those lanes is going to be a non-establishment lane and the other would be the establishment lane and Rubio seems to be the consensus in the establishment lane. The markets track not just the nomination likelihood, but also all of the early states primary races you have seen the markets really forecasted the Cruz move higher -- very early on in Iowa. His chances to become the nominee are a function somewhat of how he would perform in the early states. So, when you look at that level of detail I think the markets have been pretty prescient. So Cruz's chances are much higher than would be indicated by his polling results, similar to how Trump's odds are much lower than where his polling numbers suggests."
What have prediction markets already guessed correctly? DePetris: "We are forecasting the chances of something happening. In some cases where we have a market on the chance of a candidate suspend or end their campaign, there have only been a handful of those so far, but the markets have been well ahead of the news or information on those sides. For example, Rick Perry was forecasted as the first one to end his campaign and that ended up being the case. In other cases the markets have been well ahead of what the polls have been saying.”
Why do you think prediction markets are more accurate than national polls? DePetris: "The question of being more or less accurate is not something you really know until later what we can do right now is answer a different question than a poll. A poll will ask you, who you are likely to vote for today if the election were held and for the most part, that is the type of polling data that people will see. What we're asking that same person is who they think will win at a certain point in the future. We are just asking a different question, in our view, is a little more of the point."
Anything else the markets predict will happen this year? DePetris: "Based on today, you would say that there's around a 90 percent chance of Hillary Clinton being the nominee. The markets are pretty confident that will happen, barring some major unknown. On the Republican side the markets are saying that there's an equal chance Trump, Cruz and Rubio could be the nominee and everybody else is effectively discounted at this point. There may be some surprises in early states, but in general what the markets are saying is that there's an equal chance between those three candidates."
@aebrandenburger: Jeb Bush releases welfare reform proposal http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/08/politics/jeb-bush-welfare-reform-proposal/index.html … @KilloughCNN @CNN
@mattklewis: Slouching Toward Idiocracy: What The Fight Over Height Says About Our Politics http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/08/slouching-toward-idiocracy-why-height-matters-in-politics-and-life/#ixzz3wf9iF2ml …