Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced Monday via Twitter he was dropping out of the 2016 GOP race, following a disappointing showing in the Iowa caucus.

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Caucusing got heated on live television Monday as a young caucusgoer dropped an F-bomb on MSNBC while grilling Bernie Sanders supporters on the his plan to fix the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

"I get V.A. I am V.A. I am a vet. My mom's a vet. How is he going to fix it? Because I can tell you right that the V.A. is more screwed up than it has been in a while," she said. "The fact that I haven't gotten benefits in three months because the V.A. is so fucked up really makes me concerned."

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Ben Carson's campaign clarified that Carson's plan to leave Iowa Monday night for his home in Florida was not a sign that he was ready to throw in the towel nor even take a vacation from the trail.

His spokesman Jason Osborne tweeted that Carson was leaving Iowa a little early to avoid a winter storm heading for the state and stopping in Florida to "get fresh clothes." In an email to TPM, he said Carson will be in Washington, D.C., Wednesday and Thursday for "campaign events," and then on to New Hampshire.

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It’s a cliche at this point to say a primary election will all come down to turnout. But in Monday’s Iowa caucus, turnout is expected to play a big role not just in terms of who wins but in how early in the evening the major news outlets will be able to project the winners. Those staying up to see who won the first electoral contest of the cycle could be in for a long night if 2012 -- when Mitt Romney's tight victory was declared in the early morning hours (only to be reversed days later) -- repeats itself.

A big turnout could have an opposite effect on the two parties. For Democrats, it means a closer race to watch between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. For Republicans, a big turnout signals Donald Trump is primed to pull away from the rest of the field.

“If Sanders' folks don't turn out, it's clear Clinton wins," said Timothy Hagle, a political scientist professor of University of Iowa. “If Trump's folks don't turn out, it's not clear who wins."

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Even as the arrested leader of the Oregon standoff has called for those who remain at the federal wildlife refuge to leave, an outside patriot group has issued a new "call to action" for "any and all Americans" to join the anti-government occupiers still at the facility.

Citing the shooting death of one of the standoff leaders in an encounter with law enforcement earlier this week, the Pacific Patriots Network posted the call to action on its website Friday.

"Come stand together with other Americans, and express our Constitutional right to PEACEFULLY assemble and air our grievances," the call to action said. It called for the arrest of the law enforcement officers involved in the shooting that killed occupier LaVoy Finicum on Tuesday night, as well as for the departure of the federal authorities who have staked out the Malheur National Wildlife Center and for the resignations of some of the local officials in Harney County, Oregon.

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said at Thursday's Fox News debate that he didn't think Hillary Clinton was "responsible" for her husband's sex scandals, but argued that she "can't be a champion of women's rights at the same time she's got this that is always lurking out there -- this type of behavior."

Asked by Megyn Kelly if one should "hold the sins of the husband against the wife" in regards to Bill Clinton's conduct, Paul insisted he never brings the topic up unless he is asked about it, and said he wouldn't "blame Hillary Clinton at all for this."

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After months that the 2016 GOP field has been vague on plans to replace Obamacare, despite their relentless chorus that they will repeal it, the moderators at Thursday's Fox News asked a candidate --namely the candidate who shut down the government over Obamacare -- whether he would be willing to let Americans lose their coverage without it.

"Today there are millions of people who gained health insurance from Obamacare and they now rely on it," Megyn Kelly said, in a question directed towards Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). "If you repeal Obamacare, as you say you will, will you be fine if millions of people don't have health insurance? And what is your specific plan for covering the uninsured?"

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Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) kicked off Fox News' undercard debate Thursday by complaining about Fox News' lack of promotion for the undercard debate in favor of covering Donald Trump's decision to boycott the main debate later that evening.

"You know, listening to what your network was talking about prior to this debate, reminded me of the coverage that many on this floor are getting. This debate was called the undercard debate. The undercard debate," Santorum, who squeaked out a win in Iowa in 2012, said with disgust. "It wasn't advertised significantly. In fact, the entire hour lead-up to this, there was no conversation about any of the four people on this debate stage."

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