The start of the new year will initiate the closing-arguments phase of the Democratic primary, with the first nominating contest, in Iowa, now only about a month away.

Several of the candidates are banking on strong performances in Iowa for the momentum and financial resources needed to stay in the primary, meaning January could also be the last month for some competitors in the still crowded Democratic field. Polling in the state has shown a less stable primary field compared with national polls, which have consistently had…

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