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Jan 29, 2016

The first actual votes of the 2016 presidential election are (finally) just days away.

On this edition of the Watchdog Podcast, we preview next week's primary election kickoff, as Eric Boehm sits down with Matt Kittle to talk about the Iowa caucuses, Donald Trump and what one famous Founding Father might think about the current Republican frontrunner.

"Of all the founders, (Alexander) Hamilton had the gravest doubts about the wisdom of the masses," wrote Ron Chernow in his biography of Hamilton (which inspired the super-popular Broadway musical). "Hamilton's besetting fear was that American democracy would be spoiled by demagogues who would mouth popular shibboleths to conceal their despotism."

As Boehm and Kittle note, Trump is hardly the first American politician to rise to stardom by fulfilling Hamilton's populist fears (we're looking at you, William Jennings Bryan). But in this new age of media saturation and reality-TV-style-campaigns, Trump has a chance to ride that populism all the way to the Republican nomination -- or perhaps even the White House.

Trump's fate will be decided, for now, by the people of Iowa.  As a veteran of the "Hawkeye Cauci," Kittle gives his insider view on how the process works, what makes it so unique and why voter turnout is so essential in Iowa.

All that, plus our Nanny State of the Week and our Watchdog Picks of the Liter, on this edition of the Watchdog Podcast.

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