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The Iowa GOP caucuses, the home field of the social conservative -- where former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee turned out the evangelical vote on his way to a victory, and where noted religious activists can be just the endorsement a campaign needs to win the first state in the primary process. In 2008.

The evangelical vote in Iowa this year has been hard to pin down. Or rather, it's been moving from candidate to candidate during the various surges in the state, mirroring the more general faction of GOP voters that would like to nominate anyone but Mitt Romney. But as the January third caucuses approach, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) has moved to the top of the heap...presenting pundits with a problem. The conventional wisdom is that Paul can't or won't make a play for those voters -- that they are strictly the territory of Christian firebrand candidates Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R).

Except, the numbers show evangelical voters haven't coalesced around any of those candidates. And Paul, who has never actually suffered with this voting bloc, is picking up more and more as he rises to the top in Iowa.

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In an unusual move, GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul is expected to step away from the campaign for this coming New Year’s Day weekend just days away from the Iowa Caucuses, CNN’s Lisa Desjardins reports.

Paul is reportedly stepping away to spend the weekend with his family in Texas.

A new super PAC called Leaders for Families has popped up in Iowa to support Rick Santorum, reports The Daily. The PAC has made ad buys in Des Moines and Sioux City. So far, the group has spent $110,000 on ads for Santorum. The group has ties to The Family Leader, the evangelical group run by Bob Vander Plaats, who is featured in the groups ads, saying: “Like Mike Huckabee four years ago, you don’t have to worry about Rick Santorum flip-flopping or changing his values.”

With only four days to go before the Iowa GOP caucuses, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney continues to move into a small lead as new public polls surface. An NBC/Marist poll out Friday shows Romney in the lead with 23 percent, locked in a battle with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) who sees 21 percent support. Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who has moved up in the race over the last week, gets 15 percent and is locked in a battle for third with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who sees 14 percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 13.

From NBC’s First Read:



Although just 7 percent of likely Iowa caucus-goers believe that Romney is the true conservative in the GOP field, he has two variables working in his favor, according to the poll. One, only 21 percent of likely caucus-goers say he’s unacceptable as the Republican nominee (compared with 35 percent for Gingrich and 41 percent for Paul). And two, the conservative vote appears to be splintering between the various candidates, and are no longer coalescing around a single Romney challenger.

GoDaddy was for SOPA before it was against it.

GoDaddy's new CEO Warren Adelman on late Thursday issued a statement acknowledging the negative effect an online boycott has had on the company's total domain registry numbers, and clarifying that GoDaddy is now vehemently opposed to the House of Representative's maligned Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

Adelman's statement provided to TPM reads as follows:

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2011 was an eventful and, at times an emotional year. As we draw it to a close with the final Campaign In 100 Seconds, Thomas Lane (with apologies to Monty Python) switches his attention from the GOP hopefuls, to the other side of the aisle and ponders the question that has some already looking to 2012 for more.

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Twitter must comply with a formerly secretive subpoena and hand user account information over to the Boston Police Department as part of a criminal investigation, according to a Massachusetts superior court judge's ruling in a closed hearing on Thursday, the Boston Globe's Metrodesk reported.

The ruling from the Suffolk Superior Court judge was a blow to one of the Twitter users named in the subpoena, @p0isAn0N, aka Guido Fawkes, and his lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union in Massachusetts, who filed a motion to overturn the subpoena originally served by the Suffolk District Attorney on December 14.

In the subpoena, the Suffolk DA requests that Twitter hand over all of @p0isAn0N's account information and the account information of other users no later than December 28 as part of an unspecified criminal investigation by the Boston Police Department. Specifically, the subpoena requests "all available subscriber information, for the account or accounts associated with the following information, including IP address logs for account creation and for the period December 8, 2011 to December 13, 2011: Guido Fawkes, @p0isAn0N, @OccupyBoston, #BostonPD, #d0xcak3."

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A judge in Wisconsin has ruled that Democratic recall organizers cannot challenge a lawsuit brought by the state GOP against election officials -- a suit that claims Gov. Scott Walker's constitutional rights are being violated by the state's petition review process.

This means that barring a hypothetical appeal, any continuing litigation in this matter will be conducted exclusively between the state GOP and the election board's attorney, without the Dems themselves being able to participate and present legal arguments.

"I was a little surprised," said Jeremy Levinson, the attorney for the recall committee, in an interview with TPM. "It's the first time I can recall -- let me rephrase -- it's the first time I'm aware of a recall-related lawsuit where only the official who is being targeted for recall gets to be a party, and the folks who are working to recall that official are shut out of the process."

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And then there was Mitt Romney. Or rather, there's always been Mitt Romney.

The former Massachusetts Governor is the focal point of new polling ahead of the January 3rd Iowa caucuses, which shows Mr. Inevitable moving from his second place position to the leader in the TPM Poll Average of the Republican race in the state.

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