2nd Update: Live Chat started, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad giving opening remarks.

Update: At Drake University, the debate is a little over an hour away.  The press setup in the Knapp Center is pretty nice… they’re feeding this hungry blogger.  I’m joined by Brian Myers who is here already.  David Shedlock will be joining us as well.  Looking forward to the debate… please be sure to come back and follow-along.

Original (1:00p): Tonight we have the ABC News-Republican Party of Iowa debate, other partners are The Des Moines Register and local affiliate  WOI-TV 5 (ABC).  This is going to be held at Drake University in Des Moines at 8:00p (CST).  I’m doing something a little different.  The Des Moines Register asked me to participate tonight in their live chat.

Joining me tonight will be:

  • Tim Hagle, associate professor of political science at the University of Iowa.
  • Steffen Schmidt, professor of political science at Iowa State University, is a featured blogger on politics at DesMoinesRegister.com.
  • Graham Gillette, a public affairs and communications consultant, worked in the George W. Bush administration but caucused for Barack Obama in 2008. He’s a featured blogger on politics at DesMoinesRegister.com.
  • Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University

Yes, I will be the token conservative so it should be fun.  You can check out the live chat right here as The Des Moines Register has given me permission to embed it here for my readers.  I will also be tweeting the debate as well.  You can follow along at @shanevanderhart, the hashtag is #IowaDebate.

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