Scott Detrow

Harry Rubenstein is deep in a thought about a log cabin when he pauses, mid-sentence, and disappears down a corridor.

He returns a moment later brandishing a large wooden ax.

Rubenstein is the chair of the political history division at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, and he's standing in a room that's packed with about 100,000 items from previous presidential elections. The collection, he says, ranges "from a little bit before the American Revolution, to probably last week."

Four days before the Iowa caucuses, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign has released a doctor's letter declaring Sanders "in overall very good health."

The letter, from Dr. Brian Monahan, Congress' attending physician, states that Sanders' last physical was "normal." The exam included a blood pressure exam, cholesterol count and electrocardiogram.

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Four years ago, the Iowa caucuses were very, very good to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

In a race where seemingly every Republican candidate took a turn at the head of the polls, Santorum peaked at just the right time. He won a razor-thin race in Iowa, proclaimed "game on" to a caucus-night crowd, and went on to be 2012's GOP runner-up.

Things are different this time for the 2012 caucus victor.

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The race between a former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is getting tighter.

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With just hours to go before the end of the year, presidential campaigns are blasting supporters with emails in an attempt to boost their fundraising totals for the fourth quarter of 2015.

But one Republican presidential campaign is already eagerly promoting its haul.

On Wednesday night, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's campaign distributed a memo touting a total of $45 million raised over the course of 2015.

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Data collection and analysis is a central aspect of a modern political campaign. It's just that usually, campaigns don't really talk about it.

But on Saturday night, the very first question in the Democratic presidential debate was all about the voter files that the Democratic National Committee maintains for its candidates to use.

That's because earlier in the week, several of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' staffers had accessed, viewed and saved sensitive files belonging to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's campaigns.

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This post was updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign has filed a lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee to regain access to the committee's voter file. The DNC blocked the campaign from the resource Friday after a Sanders staffer accessed data collected and organized by Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Unless you've spent the past year or so in an ice cave on Hoth — or have the misfortune of living on a planet farthest from the bright center of the universe — you're probably aware there's a new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, coming out on Friday.

If you've given money to a political campaign, brace yourself.

You're going to be seeing a whole lot of emails in your inbox over the next couple of weeks, asking for money as the year draws to a close.

Those emails will take many different forms:

Until this week, presidential candidates have mostly stayed away from discussing the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. That's quickly changing.

The Paris attacks have reframed the debate between electronic privacy and national security, and also brought that debate into the Republican primary.

Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is really, really into bipartisanship. So much so that the word appears more than 100 times in his new book, If that doesn't hammer home the point, just glance at the title: Seeking Bipartisanship.

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