ABC News POLITICAL STOCK MARKET: The stock market continues to reflect a very close race among Republicans – and how very unclear the outcome is in Iowa right now. Mitt Romney edged up 4 points today to 64 points -where he has been hovering since before the holidays. Newt Gingrich edged slightly down to 54 points – again about where he was before the holidays. Not far behind him is Ron Paul – the other Republican candidate expected to land in the top 3 in Iowa, with 47 points in the ABC Market. The battle for 4th place will surely include Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry – trading well below 40. But look at Jon Huntsman, betting the farm on New Hamsphire. He gained six points today to climb into the low 40s. A holiday blip in the market or a sign he is starting to make national traction? We shall check in again at how he fares in the market tomorrow.
After a brief holiday weekend break, the candidates were all over Iowa again today – attacking each other and trying to gain traction in what has become a wide open race with only a week to go before the Caucus.
EURO ZONE: Newt Gingrich is accusing Mitt Romney of being a socialist for contemplating the ‘Value Added Tax,’ as Jake Tapper reports. The VAT has earned the ire of the American Enterprise Institute and Grover Norquist as well.
OCCUPY CAUCUS: Protesters from around the country are setting their sights on Iowa this week, as Shush Walshe and Amy Bingham report, with protesters planning to split into “affinity groups” and pick which presidential campaign headquarters they will be occupying for the next few days.
HIGH BAR: Rick Santorum says if he finishes dead last in Iowa, he will pack it up and go home. But he doesn’t think he will.
READY TO RUMBLE: Rick Perry started his first day on the campaign trail after the break by pounding all of his opponents for being insiders. And then, OOPS: in Clarinda, Iowa he was introduced to a crowd as the Governor of California. Make that Texas.
WRITER’S BLOCK: And while the Republicans continue to battle it out, is the Obama campaign ready to leap out of the gate with a catchy new slogan, designed to move the electorate as YES WE CAN and CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN? Not quite yet. Devin Dwyer reports that in his interview with Barbara Walters last week the president explained he’s still not quite settled on a slogan.
TURNING THE PAGE: It’s been pretty quiet here in Washington – with both wealthy houses of Congress out, the President in Hawaii and the Vice President getting ready to head to the Virgin Islands. But that doesn’t mean your state lawmakers haven’t been hard at work. A number of controversial new laws passed this year are ready to go into effect in 2012 – from tanning bed regulations to immigration to tuna and voting, Huma Khan reports.