President Trump. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday that "Iowa and New Hampshire will not be moved from the Primary Schedule as long as I am President," a decision he does not actually have direct control over.

Why it matters: Critics have argued Iowa and New Hampshire are not demographically representative of the entire nation, and some have called for a change to the primary order. February's presidential primaries and caucuses in four small states contribute 155 pledged delegates of the 3,979 Democratic total, giving early voting states "an outsized role in the narratives that can determine the eventual nominee," the Washington Post notes.

  • "Taken together, though, the unique qualities of each [state] mean several key blocs of voters get at least one opportunity to have an outsized role in the early nomination process," the Post writes.

The state of play: Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez called for a recanvass in Iowa in light of software malfunctions and other issues that have caused a delay in the results from Monday's caucuses.

Reality check: It is unclear what Trump is suggesting he would do to preserve the tradition — which he has no direct control over.

Go deeper: Iowa's hanging chads

Go deeper

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"I stood up for that": Pope Francis voices support for same-sex civil unions

Pope Francis at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Photo: Vatican Pool - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Pope Francis voiced his support for same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope in the documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival, per the Catholic News Agency.

Why it matters: The pope’s remarks represent a break from the position of the Roman Catholic Church, which has long taught that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered" and contrary to natural law.

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Countries waiting to see if Trump wins before moving on Israel normalization

The delegation lands at Israel's Ben Gurion airport. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty

The White House is attempting to leverage momentum from Israel's normalization deals with Bahrain and the UAE to get more Arab countries on board before the U.S. election.

Driving the news: President Trump wants Sudan's removal from the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list to be accompanied by a pre-election announcement on Israel.

Poll: 92% of battleground state voters are "extremely motivated to vote"

Voters stand in line at the Metropolitan Multi-Services Center in Houston, Texas, on Oct. 13. Photo: Mark Felix for The Washington Post via Getty Images

91% of likely voters nationally say they are "extremely motivated to vote," including 92% in battleground states Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to a Change Research/CNBC Poll.

Why it matters: The 2020 election could see record-breaking levels of voter turnout. Voters last week cast ballots at nearly five times the rate they did at this point in the 2016 election, per the U.S. Elections Project. Over 39 million ballots have been cast in early voting states as of Wednesday.