Sam Sanders

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

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

NPR's Sam Sanders spoke with Democratic voters in Des Moines earlier today, and he found that as things get down to the wire, many of them are relying on their emotions to guide their decisions.

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I'm David Greene in Des Moines, Iowa, at Smokey Row, a coffeehouse in Des Moines.

Renee, you should really see this. It is - I mean it is hundreds of people, I think, just packed in here.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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What does The Internet call a woman who scares Donald Trump out of a presidential debate?

a) Bitch
b) Slut
c) Whore
d) Bimbo
e) Megyn Kelly
f) All of the above

This week, the answer was F. Let us explain.

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.

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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.

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The silent majority is a phrase with a long history in politics. And those two words have been used a lot on the campaign trail by Donald Trump. NPR's Sam Sanders recently asked Trump supporters want silent majority means to them.

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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.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage is responsible for this week's meme. During a town hall in Bridgton, Maine, Wednesday night, he spoke about Maine's drug problem, positing a theory on how some of the narcotics in the state make it in. He said the following:

Everyone agrees that Hillary Clinton is a grandmother. But some aren't so sure she's an abuela.

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Over the last few days, the Democratic candidates for president have not stopped talking about Donald Trump. Even the country's top Democrat had a go at him. NPR's Sam Sanders has been tracking all of the trumping.

In a wide-ranging interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, President Obama had some advice for college protesters across the country.

It seems everybody loves Beyoncé. But not everyone can say her name.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was asked about the performer Wednesday by an audience member at a town hall in Iowa: "If you could choose, would you rather be the president or Beyoncé?"

A day before the last Republican presidential debate of the year, two Republican candidates held rallies near the Las Vegas strip, less than a mile apart. In spite of their proximity, the events had almost nothing in common.

Marco Rubio was in a medium-size hotel ballroom, with a few hundred people in attendance. It seemed, at first, that Rubio might struggle to fill the room, as supporters came in slowly. But fill it did.

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