Politics & Government

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With New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary less than a week away, the publisher of the state's largest paper, the Union Leader, told NPR's Robert Siegel his assessment of how the Republican presidential race has played out thus far in a single word: "Extraordinary."

And the reason he describes the GOP campaign that way boils down to Donald Trump, who, despite coming in second in the Iowa caucuses this week, enjoys a double-digit advantage in most New Hampshire polls.

The Justice Department has named a veteran prosecutor from Philadelphia as the new leader of its pardon office, which is trying to review more than 9,000 petitions in the final year of the Obama presidency.

Robert Zauzmer, 55, has worked since 1990 at the U.S. attorney's office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Justice Department leaders said Zauzmer represented a "natural choice" for the pardon job, in part because of his experience training prosecutors all over the country in how to evaluate prisoners' requests for early release.

For the first time, top Army and Marine Corps leaders have testified that they think women should register for the draft.

"I think that all eligible and qualified men and women should register for the draft," Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Both Milley and Marine Gen. Robert Neller said women, like men, should be required to register for the Selective Service at age 18.

The NPR Politics Podcast team has a lot to discuss in the wake of the Iowa caucuses. It was a record-breaking night, with more than 180,000 people, and 22,000 young people, participating in the Republican caucuses. Ted Cruz walked away victorious while Donald Trump claimed second place and Marco Rubio finished a strong third.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is suspending his campaign for president after a disappointing finish in Iowa, turning his focus now to his Senate re-election bid.

"Across the country thousands upon thousands of young people flocked to our message of limited government, privacy, criminal justice reform and a reasonable foreign policy. Brushfires of Liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I," the Republican said in a statement.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Hillary Clinton got lucky Monday night. Very lucky.

But not for the reasons some are alleging.

Some have attributed her squeaker of a victory over Bernie Sanders in the Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses to an improbable lucky streak of tiebreaking coin tosses.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

New Hampshire is now the focal point of the 2016 presidential campaign. After last night's Iowa caucuses, candidates from both parties headed east, including the Republican winner in Iowa, Ted Cruz.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Here's what Donald Trump might be thinking this morning.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROLLING IN THE DEEP")

ADELE: (Singing) We could have had it all.

Donald Trump thought he could upend Iowa caucus traditions. The gamble didn't pay off.

Hillary Clinton hoped she could wipe away her campaign nightmares of eight years ago by posting a solid win over an insurgent Bernie Sanders.

Instead, her margin of victory over Sanders was vanishingly small.

Those were just some of the surprise twists from Monday night's results. Here's what the numbers and results tell us about how and why they happened, according to our analysis of the entrance/exit polling and the county-by-county results.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Iowa has once again proved its perennial resistance to political inevitability and the power of personality.

In this year's iteration of the Iowa caucuses, national polling leaders Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had their campaign momentum slowed in significant ways by party activists who preferred their rivals.

A big win in Iowa might have set either leader on the path to a relatively easy nomination. But that was not to be, and now both Trump and Clinton face difficult and perhaps protracted struggles to overcome rivals they had hoped to dismiss.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And, Renee, I loved being at Smokey Row, this coffee shop in Des Moines, Iowa, so much yesterday, I thought I would come back this morning. And there's a good crowd here, again - a room full of people watching us here.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

At the start of the Democratic caucus in Earlham, Iowa, there were 40 Hillary Clinton supporters, 40 Bernie Sanders supporters and 11 Martin O'Malley supporters, all massed around their respective tables in the concrete-floored town community center.

O'Malley was — in the language of caucus rules — not viable: He needed at least 14 supporters to get a delegate in this Madison County gathering. It was time to see if O'Malley's 11 would move to someone else.

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