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ITW: Guests discuss Iowa caucuses, civil rights

Posted at 2:49 PM, Jan 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-31 11:42:20-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- On Indianapolis This Week, it was all about the Iowa caucuses. 

The first-in-the-nation caucuses are Monday night. Jason Fechner taught a 4th grade class in Beech Grove how the first major electoral event of the 2016 presidential campaign works. 

Plus, ABC News Political Director Rick Klein joined the show to preview the caucuses, including what happens if Donald Trump becomes a “loser” on Monday, and what could start a “freak out” in the Hillary campaign.

"Iowa is about whittling the field and providing the first semblance of order to the disorder that is campaigning. Up until now no one has voted yet, so the fact that candidates have put this much time and attention on Iowa tells you that it will matter," he said. 

Watch the full interview 

RELATED | College students are a key focus for candidates hoping for a narrow victory in Iowa | Trump looks to grab attention as GOP rivals debate | Clinton, Sanders woo undecided Iowa voters as caucus nears | Hoosiers headed for Iowa caucuses | FACT CHECK: The last GOP debate before Iowa

In addition, Rep. Susan Brooks spoke about traveling to Iowa to take part in the caucus for the first time, and how the outcome could mean Indiana’s primary in May will matter.

"It's very possible that our May primaries, here in Indiana, may make a difference. Often, a lot of times the candidates are chosen before that, I'm not sure that will be the case this time. So I hope that we have, ya know, serious voter engagement this year," she says.

Watch the full interview 

Plus, a full panel of political experts talked about the impact of Monday’s Iowa vote, and explained what campaigns are doing right now to shore up their voters, including Democratic Party chairman John Zody, former Democratic Party chairman Dan Parker, and Republican strategists Jennifer Hallowell and Marcus Barlow.

And Katie Heinz looked at the huge hurdles still ahead for changes to Indiana’s civil rights law. Wednesday, a Senate committee approved Senate Bill 344, a bill to expand the state's civil rights laws to some members of the LGBT community, while carving out exemptions to protect religious freedom.

The bill expands the state's civil rights laws to include "sexual orientation." But, lawmakers would study the topic of "gender identity" or protections for transgender individuals at a later time.

The proposal repeals the religious freedom act. It exempts certain adoption agencies and crisis pregnancy centers.

The bill could be discussed in the full Senate as early as Monday. 

PREVIOUS| Senate committee approves civil rights bill | Senate to hold discussion on civil rights bill as early as Monday


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