The Daily Digest (Iowa caucuses will thin GOP field, Bachmann makes final push, Political parties at a crossroads,

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The Iowa caucuses are today and the big question is whether Mitt Romney has the Republican nomination sewed up. Both CNN and Politico say he was exuding confidence on the eve of the caucuses.

Romney may not win today’s caucuses but the results will start to thin the field of candidates.

The danger for the GOP, as Politico points out, is that there isn’t real excitement about the GOP field.

Recent polling shows Romney, former PA Sen. Rick Santorum and Ron Paul all battling it out for first place.

The polling shows Santorum picking up steam in the final days before the caucuses.

Ron Paul says he doesn’t see himself as being president.

Iowa Congressman Steve King decides not to endorse anyone – dealing a blow to Michele Bachmann’s campaign.

MPR says Bachmann heads to her hometown of Waterloo today to mobilize support for her campaign.

Bachmann says she’s pressing on to South Carolina.

Bachmann releases an ad called “Iron Lady.”

Rick Perry says Bachmann is not viable in other states.

Newsweek takes a look at President Obama’s organization.

The Washington Post says the RNC is planning to use President Obama’s own words against him in the general election.

Romney is also using the tact but The Washington Monthly says he may be doing it by stretching the truth.

Party politics

MPR says the state’s political parties are grappling with fundraising at a time when donors have more options.

Political consultant Pat Shortridge was elected MNGOP Chair over the weekend. He’ll have the difficult task of keeping the party politically viable at a time when the MNGOP is facing $2 million in debt.

Former MNGOP Chair Bill Cooper has stepped back a bit from his political giving because he’s “disgusted by politics.”

Under the Dome

Newly elected Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem has to appoint his Deputy Majority Leader and another assistant majority leader today.

Forum Communications says Gov. Dayton and GOP leaders want to make 2012 the year of “reform.”

The Star Tribune says a majority of schools and teachers are without union contracts.

The Met Council approved $1.2 million to help lure customers to businesses on the Central Corridor rail line.

Rest in Peace

Duluth’s Michael Colalillo died on Friday. He was the last living Medal of Honor recipient in Minnesota.

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