Sarah McCammon

Sarah McCammon worked for Iowa Public Radio as Morning Edition Host from January 2010 until December 2013.

There's a fierce political debate underway about how the U.S. should respond to refugees fleeing terror.

Presidential candidates have weighed in, with many Republicans calling for keeping refugees from Syria, or other countries with an ISIS presence, out of the U.S.

There will be a few empty seats around one Thanksgiving table this year: Donald Trump and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are among those skipping Friday's Presidential Family Forum in Des Moines. The event is hosted by the conservative Christian group the Family Leader. President Bob Vander Plaats is seen as an evangelical kingmaker in Iowa.

This weekend marked a revival of sorts on the Bob Jones University campus in Greenville, South Carolina – but not the religious sort. It was the first time in more than a decade that a presidential candidate had made a major public appearance on the conservative Christian college campus.

One year from today, voters will decide who becomes the next president of the United States. Over the past several days, we asked people around the country what they want to hear — and not hear — from candidates over the next 12 months.

Brenda Alston is a retiree from Orlando, Fla.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



In this presidential campaign, political outsiders are outshining experienced politicians.

To succeed with the conservative Republican base in the early-voting state of Iowa, Ted Cruz will need to win over supporters of both outsiders and insiders vying for the nomination.

At a restaurant in the Mississippi River town of Keokuk, Iowa, this week, the Texas senator addressed a full room over a loudspeaker.

"God bless the great state of Iowa," Cruz said. "I spent most of last week in Washington, D.C., so it is great to be back in America."

Iowa is undergoing a demographic shift. The first-in-the-nation caucus state is overwhelmingly white — Latinos still make up less than 6 percent of the state's population — but their numbers have more than doubled since 2000.

That means Latinos are an increasingly important group for both Republicans and Democrats to win over. Activists are stepping up efforts to engage Latinos in the 2016 election.

But they face some obstacles. The state's caucus system can be tricky for newcomers to navigate.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit