Foiled Mass Shooting In Milwaukee, Why Iowa Matters In The Presidential Election

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The Iowa caucus is coming up, but have you ever wondered why the state is such an important place in Presidential elections? Our guest explains why Iowa matters to Presidential candidates. We also discuss the FBI’s involvement in a foiled mass shooting in Milwaukee, and what we know so far about the case and the suspect.

Featured in this Show

  • Trump Debate Boycott Could Be Good Move, Says Analyst

    It appears that GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is sticking to his decision not to attend the Republican debate on Thursday night, the last before the Iowa Caucuses on Feb. 1.

    Harry Enten, senior writer and analyst for FiveThirtyEight, said that Trump’s unorthodox move might benefit the candidate.

    “I have long since gotten past the point of trying to figure Donald Trump out. I’ve also gotten long since the point of doubting Donald Trump,” said Enten.

    Trump has cited a feud with moderator Megyn Kelly and the Fox News Network for his decision, however, Enter suggested some tactical planning might have gone into it as well.

    “I think he recognizes that he’s risen in the polls the past couple of weeks. The majority of the polls coming out of Iowa right now show him with a small lead so why should he enter a debate in which he’ll get attacked from all sides and potentially lose support in Iowa when he can try to freeze the race exactly where it is?,” he said.

    Losing out on the kind of attention given to these debates would usually be a negative for a political candidate, but it could be irrelevant for Trump, he said.

    “He’s going to be holding his own event separately. I wouldn’t be shocked if CNN and/or MSNBC cover that event while Fox has the debate going, but again, even though he’s not on the debate stage, all we’re talking about is Donald Trump. Donald Trump has managed to command so much media attention, so much more than any of the other candidates,” said Enten.

    The characterization of his absence does have some down side.

    “If he’s not there, maybe people think he’s a cry baby. He doesn’t want to have to take on Megyn Kelly, but clearly. he’s making the bet that most people will not care,” he said.

    The course of the Republican presidential primary, including this decision, has been unique in substantial ways, but Enten did say the one event during the 1980 campaign is reminiscent of Trump’s boycott.

    “Incumbent President Jimmy Carter refused to debate Ronald Reagan and John Anderson in September of that year because he didn’t want to debate with Anderson being on the stage as well, and that didn’t really help Carter very much,” he said.

    The lesson, however, isn’t necessarily to join the debate, Enten said.

    “I would say not being there is not a as bad as being there and doing poorly,” said Enten.

  • What We Know So Far About The Foiled Mass Shooting In Milwaukee

    News broke yesterday that a planned mass shooting in Milwaukee had been thwarted by the FBI, and we’re now learning more about the plot and the suspect behind it. A reporter discusses what we know so far.

  • Iowa As A Microcosm Of The U.S.

    Writer Richard Manning says that, while many argue Iowa has outsized influence over the American political process, it may not be a bad thing because the challenges facing the state are emblematic of the challenges facing the country.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Galen Druke Producer
  • Chris Malina Producer
  • Harry Enten Guest
  • John Diedrich Guest