To the end, here is a last linkfest of 2011 for you, focusing on...
The Republican Primary Contest
The Iowa Caucus System Explained
The Iowa caucuses on Tuesday begin the process in that state that will result in 25 delegates being selected for the national convention. At the caucuses, voters will cast ballots in a presidential straw poll, and those results will get the most attention on election night.
Caucus-goers also will elect delegates to county conventions, who in turn will elect delegates to congressional district conventions and the state party convention in June. These are the conventions where delegates to the GOP national convention in Tampa, Fla., are selected.
Each of the four congressional districts will elect three delegates to the national convention. They will also appoint two members to a slate committee, which will choose 13 additional delegates. The slate is voted on at the party's state convention in June.
The system puts a premium on getting the most votes in individual congressional districts. If a candidate's supporters can control a congressional district convention, they can choose national delegates and slate committee members who support their candidate.
[Statesman] Wacky rules complicate race for GOP delegates
[RCP Polls] 2012 Iowa Polls
A full slate of delegate candidates would be forty-one.
So which candidates were able to supply a full slate for Tennessee? Only one:
Michelle Bachmann: 0
Gary Johnson: 0
Rick Santorum: 0
Ron Paul: 35
Newt Gingrich: 34
Rick Perry: 27
Mitt Romney: 48
[Race 4 2012] Romney Proves the Point Again
Ron Paul will hit the trail in Iowa on Monday with his son, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, to make a final pitch to caucus goers in the Hawkeye State.
The father-son duo will embark on a whistle-stop tour, visiting five counties one day before the nation's first Republican nominating contest on Tuesday.
[CNN Political Ticker] Rep. Ron Paul to make final push in Iowa with son
WATERLOO, Iowa -- Rick Perry's events have taken a turn for the crowded. He'll arrive, typically, to find that a coffee shop built to accommodate 75 people is crammed with up to twice that many, spilling out the door and jammed into every available corner.
[CBS News] Can Perry's Recent Crowds Translate to Votes?
"The dumbest thing I've done in the last four years was sit on a couch with Nancy Pelosi," Gingrich said, according to The Hill's Mike O'Brien. "I can't defend it."
In the ad, Gingrich and Pelosi share a seat on a sofa in front of the Capitol and declare that "the country must take action to address climate change."
[Huffington Post] Newt Gingrich: Nancy Pelosi Climate Change Ad Is 'Dumbest Thing I've Done In The Last 4 Years'
To underscore her troubles, Bachmann has spent the past 24 hours trying to spin the fallout from her Iowa state campaign chairman’s defection to the Ron Paul camp — insisting repeatedly that the man in question took a payoff to make the switch. Another longtime staffer, who went public to defend the departed chairman, was gone from the campaign by late Thursday.
[Politico] Michele Bachmann's hard fall
Rick Santorum participated in raiding the federal treasury as an earmarxist, perfectly happy to pork away on Pennsylvania’s behalf. He did not join conservatives who fought against No Child Left Behind. He did not join conservatives who fought against the prescription drug benefit.
Rick Santorum was part of the problem in Washington. He was one of the Republicans the public rejected in 2006. The voters in Pennsylvania rejected him in 2006 because of his and the Republicans’ profligate ways. Along with Tom DeLay, Rick Santorum led the K Street Project, which traded perks for lobbyists for money for the GOP funded with your tax dollars through earmarks and pork projects.
[Red State] Rick Santorum, Earmarxists, and the Pro-Life Statist
Here's hoping that you have a Happy New Year and that the Republican nomination process is over by early March. I don't think the party can take a long drawn out process this year.