Thank you to all of those who joined us in Michigan or followed along with our National Leadership Conference this past weekend. We're happy to be back with Countdown as the election race heats up. With 377 days until the 2016 Presidential Election and less than 100 days until the Iowa and New Hampshire caucuses, both the Republican and Democratic parties are starting to see some changes in the polls. After failing to increase their popularity on the democratic side, democratic presidential candidates Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee dropped out of the race last week, leaving only three candidates left. Even better news for the remaining democratic candidates came from Vice President Joe Biden who finally silenced inquiry on whether or not he would run for president in 2016. The Vice President concluded “the window on mounting a realistic campaign… has closed.” With fewer candidates, Democrats can focus on the upcoming primaries, the first being in Iowa on February 1, 2016, and the second being in New Hampshire on February 9. Republicans, on the other hand, have not narrowed the field since their last debate. The most recent shift in polls taken by Republican primary voters shows Ben Carson taking the lead with 26% support and former longtime front-runner Donald Trump falling close behind at 22%. The rest of the Republican candidates “lag far behind in single digits,” but seven out of ten Republican primary voters say that it’s too soon to make up their mind about which candidate to vote for next year. With only 96 days until the Iowa Caucus, voters will soon have to make a choice, which will give the nation a more accurate understanding of who could really be the next president.