Sarah McCammon

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

As the Republican primary moves to South Carolina, political observers are predicting that the race could get nasty in the state that historically plays a major role in choosing the party's nominee.

"South Carolina is brutal. It's bare-knuckle. It is the toughest of tough political environments to play in," says Hogan Gidley, a former director of the South Carolina Republican Party.

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Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is known for being one of the most disliked men in Washington. As he tries to win over voters, his wife Heidi Cruz is trying to vouch for his character and show people that he has a softer side.

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The presidential primary has now reached the final two-week stretch before Iowans meet to caucus on Feb. 1, but Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is spending some of those precious final days making a swing through New Hampshire.

Unlike Iowa, where Cruz is neck and neck with Donald Trump, New Hampshire is a state where Trump dominates, leading the rest of the pack by nearly 20 points in recent polls.

But Cruz said he believes the campaign is entering a "different phase," where voters will take a closer look at candidates' records — particularly Trump's.

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New Hampshire Republicans have a track record of picking presidential candidates who often go on to win their party's nomination. Usually, that means bolstering establishment candidates. But this year, billionaire Donald Trump is polling far ahead of the rest of the pack. That leaves his rivals fighting amongst themselves in the hope that one of them can take down Trump in the state that holds the first primary.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has a lot of qualities her party needs: She's a rising star who is young, female and the daughter of Indian immigrants.

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