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Democratic candidates agree to four more debates

Jim Bourg/REUTERS | Alex Wong/Getty Images

By wire services

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Democrats would hold a presidential debate next week in New Hampshire before the state’s first-in-the-nation primary and three more in the spring, under a tentative deal Saturday between the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns.

Both camps said the agreement was not final and that Democratic National Committee had yet to sign off. The DNC did not immediately comment on the development, first reported by BuzzFeed.

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The Thursday debate would fit in between Monday’s Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9.

In recent days, Clinton has urged the party to add the forums, and Sanders has been willing to appear at the proposed debate next week in exchange for three more in the spring.

Already scheduled are debates in Wisconsin on Feb. 11 and Florida on March 9.

Campaign officials said the new spring debates would be in late March, April, and May.

Clinton and Sanders are in a tight race before the Iowa caucuses, and Clinton trails the Vermont senator in New Hampshire, raising the possibility that the Democratic front-runner could lose the first two contests. Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has trailed them by wide margins.

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At a stop Saturday in Des Moines, Clinton thanked supporters for agreeing to caucus for her and said she hoped ‘‘to persuade some more of you because we've got to keep the progress going. We’ve got to support what President Obama has accomplished for our country.’’

Sanders told supporters in Manchester that the election was likely a ‘‘toss-up’’ and would hinge on whether he could turn out working-class and young voters.

‘‘We will win the caucus on Monday night if there is a large voter turnout,’’ Sanders said.

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John Kasich touts Times endorsement in N.H.

With his Republican rivals half a continent away ahead of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, Ohio Governor John Kasich criss-crossed New Hampshire in his campaign bus hours after receiving the New York Times’ endorsement.

Addressing reporters before a town hall meeting in Keene, Kasich said he isn’t worried the Times’ backing could hurt him in a year when Republican voters seem drawn to outsiders, and the term “New York values” has been used as code for the kind of policy positions Republican voters don’t like.

“When people like the New York Times say ‘this is the guy who can bring people together and solve problems,’ how is that not helpful?” Kasich said after emerging from the bus.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz this month assailed New York billionaire Donald Trump on those supposed values, including the front-runner’s past support for abortion rights. Holding New York values means being “socially liberal, or pro-abortion, or pro-gay marriage,” Cruz has said.

Kasich, 63, a former nine-term member of Congress, is considered part of the establishment wing of his party. He’s made New Hampshire and retail politicking a key to his strategy, and has pulled into second place behind Trump in recent opinion polls there.

“When you get seven out of eight endorsements here in this great state, when you get something like the Times and the Boston Globe, it says you have the ability to win the general election,” Kasich said.

Kasich has jumped in New Hampshire, where he had 13.2 percent support compared to Trump’s 31.4 percent, according to the Real Clear Politics average of recent polling data. He’s struggled to match that level of success nationally, where the same ranking places him eighth in the GOP.

“Governor John Kasich of Ohio, though a distinct underdog, is the only plausible choice for Republicans tired of the extremism and inexperience on display in this race,” the New York Times editorial board wrote in its endorsement on Saturday. The paper endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton in her party’s primary race.

BLOOMBERG NEWS

Liz Cheney to run again in Wyoming

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The elder daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney is running for Congress, following up a failed US Senate campaign tow years ago with another attempt to woo voters in a state where she has been a full-time resident for only a few years.

Liz Cheney filed federal election documents Friday showing she’s running for Wyoming’s lone seat in the US House of Representatives.

Campaign officials said she plans to formally announce Monday in Gillette, a northeastern Wyoming town hit hard by the downturn in the coal industry. The plans suggest she will base her campaign on fears that the Obama administration is waging a ‘‘war on coal’’ with climate-change regulations and a recently announced moratorium on federal coal leasing.

Cheney couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

She ran a brief and ill-fated Senate campaign in 2013. She tried to unseat Wyoming senior Senator Mike Enzi, a fellow Republican, but failed to gain traction among Wyoming’s political establishment. The former Fox News commentator drew considerable nationwide attention but virtually no mainstream Republicans in the state endorsed her — despite the fact that the GOP dominates Wyoming politics at every level.

Many expressed skepticism that somebody who had moved to Wyoming only recently could know and serve the state well.

She quit her campaign seven months before the 2014 primary, citing family health issues. Cheney has five children and lives in Jackson Hole, a wealthy resort town where she moved in 2012.

This time, Cheney seeks to replace Republican Representative Cynthia Lummis, who plans to retire at the end of her current term. Cheney faces a field of eight Republican competitors, including two experienced Wyoming state legislators.

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