Sam Sanders

Sam has worked at Vermont Public Radio since October 1978 in various capacities â

Since 1972, Iowa has held the first presidential nominating contests in the country. Over the years, the Iowa caucuses have grown in size, scope and importance, sometimes launching underdogs to the presidency or upsetting established political juggernauts.

In just about every stump speech he gives these days, businessman turned presidential candidate Donald Trump can't stop using the phrase "silent majority."

Sometimes he'll ask the audience members if they've heard it before and point out that it's been around for a while. And then he'll say that the silent majority feels abused, or forgotten, or mistreated. And usually, toward the end of his speech, Trump says that the silent majority is back.

Depending on whom you ask, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's State of the Union response this week was either going to save the modern Republican Party or kill conservatism.

This week, those differing responses evoked two different hashtags. Both, in some ways, were about Haley's heritage, and they bring to light the tricky way she'll have to navigate race should she take on a more prominent role in the 2016 election.

#DeportNikkiHaley

Phil Robertson, patriarch of the hit A&E reality show Duck Dynasty, has endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for president. The announcement was made with a YouTube video showing Robertson and Cruz in full camo gear and face paint, hunting ducks.

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