The Hawkeye State had another great week as several candidates and media couldn't get enough of the Iowa State Fair. Now that the fair is over, the trail moves to Milwaukee, where the Republicans will face each other during the first debate of the primary season.

The RNC decided that the candidates would have to meet specific criteria, and we'll let you know who made it and who didn't as soon as the RNC publishes their list. It will be interesting to see if businessman Perry Johnson makes the field. Mr. Johnson threw a Big & Rich concert for his donors, along with paying for a weekly show on Newsmax to secure enough donor support.

In honor of the season's first debate, we thought we'd give you a few things to look out for as you're watching the debate on Fox. We hope to be accurate and entertaining as we review what to watch for Wednesday night.


How Many Times Chris Christie Calls President Trump A Coward

It's not an Iowa thing, but folks on the East Coast like to insult one another, and is there anyone better at calling people names than the pugnacious former governor of New Jersey? The governor has tried his best to goad the former president to join the Fox debate. His taunts have failed, as President Trump chose to be interviewed by Tucker Carlson.

Once Governor Christie gets tired of smacking the former president, look for him to take on the governor of Florida. He'll do his very best to give him the Marco Rubio treatment that 2016 ended the campaign of the Florida senator.

YouTube/CNBC Television
YouTube/CNBC Television

How Many Candidates Attack Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

He's not the front-runner, but everyone on the stage will attack the Conservative Floridian. The governor's numbers may have dropped in the last few months. However, he is the only candidate in double digits and has a chance to derail the Trump Reelection Express. Look for Vivek to take a shot at Governor DeSantis regarding the leaked Super Pac memo.

Wednesday night's debate will be a good test for the Florida governor to see how he reacts to the constant barrage he will face. Governor DeSantis will get the 2016 Joe Biden treatment.

Scott Olson and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Scott Olson and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Who Gets The Most Criticism Biden or Trump?

It will be too hard to resist for several never-Trumpers and a few others not to take shots at President Trump. The president has his record to run on and skipped the debate. Will the GOP field focus on the former president so that the current president will escape with limited critical comments?

Finally, Who Will Claim To Be Trump Like Without Being Trump?

YouTube / vivek ramaswamy
YouTube / vivek ramaswamy

Vivek Ramaswamy is the only Republican candidate who has seen his numbers go up. The successful millennial businessman has captivated primary and caucus voters with his passion and his defense of former President Trump. This week's debate allows the candidate to make a case for himself instead of being called 'Trump Lite.'

Dives Worth a Drive in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota

Almost every small South Dakota town has a watering hole. It’s where the locals go to kick back a few brews and engage in conversation.

Some of these establishments are located in buildings almost as old as the town itself. There might be a fresh coat of paint on the walls or new vinyl on the booth seats, but the ambiance is still reminiscent of a good ol’ dive.

If you think a "dive" is all about the sketchy clientele, the smell of the Devil’s lettuce, and stale Grain Belt, you’d be wrong. Not every dive has a bad reputation.

What makes a dive, a dive?

A dive has character. Neon beer signs and local memorabilia adorn the walls.

You might find a pool table, dart board, and a few video lottery machines.

The bartender knows the regulars by name and they know what you drink.

Some dives don't even serve food except for bags of chips and pickled eggs that sit in a jar of brine on the bar.

Dives aren't fancy. You might see 70's-style wood panels on the walls and wobbly tables leveled with a folded napkin.

Finally, the bathrooms. The bathrooms in dives are in a class by themselves and could be a whole topic on its own. 

There are several small-town dives in our area with friendly faces, cheap booze with a burn, and even really good food! We use the term "dive" in the most affectionate way.

Here are some of the best and why you should go there.

25 Eastern Iowa Restaurants We Want on 'Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives'

The Food Network show 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives' hasn't made very many stops in Iowa, so we wanted to give them a few ideas for their next visit! Our list contains diners, hole-in-the-walls, small town staples, places that have stood the test of time, and restaurants that just have that perfect dive-y vibe. Most of our picks come from the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City areas, but we did include a few favorites that are a bit of a drive! Here are 25 of the places we'd love to see on 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives' someday:

LOOK: Where people in Iowa are moving to most

Stacker compiled a list of states where people from Iowa are moving to the most using data from the U.S. Census Bureau.



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