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Until recently, the Common Core initiative looked to be the most successful assessment-based education reform effort in many years, with 45 states plus the District of Columbia signing onto set of English and math standards and assessments due to be implemented beginning in the 2015-16 school year. Its most important political secret was its careful sidestepping of conservative hostility to national educational standards (which eventually made the George W. Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind initiative toxic on the Right). Drafted and promulgated by the National Governors’ Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, Common Core had powerful backing from business interests and most Republican governors.

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The Hillary Clinton leviathan presents a real problem for Republicans.

A shadow campaign infrastructure has been created, laying the foundation for a presumed run. If she jumps in, most insiders expect the Democratic field to clear quickly. Meanwhile, the Republican primary looks wide open. Another bloody internal fight could be coming.

The GOP has seen this movie before, when, by the admission of its own operatives, they were whupped in the opposition research game during the 2012 cycle. So how could they stop it from happening again?

Enter America Rising, the most public face of the budding Republican fight against Clinton 2016.

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This is a story about a little political front group that maybe wasn't.

When fliers paid for by a group called Progressive Choice Florida arrived in mailboxes around the state late last month, the local press started asking questions. The fliers aggressively attacked the record of former Gov. Charlie Crist, the erstwhile Republican now running for his old office as a Democrat. The fliers were so aggressive, some wondered whether they hadn't been paid for by Republicans looking to hurt Crist in his primary fight against Democrat Nan Rich.

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Fittingly, all four Republican candidates in the North Carolina Senate race were asked on Earth Day if they believed climate change is a proven fact. And all four candidates said "no."

The question was asked during a GOP primary debate on Tuesday night. The candidates, House Speaker Thom Tillis, Rev. Mark Harris, Dr. Greg Brannon, and nursing practitioner Heather Grant, in response to the question, said "no."

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Businessman Curt Clawson won the Republican primary for former Rep. Trey Radel's (R-FL) congressional seat, putting him into a good position to win the general election and succeed the congressman who was ousted from office for cocaine possession.

The Associated Press called the race for Clawson less than an hour after the polls closed. When it was called, Clawson had about 36.8 percent of the vote while Sarah Palin-endorsed Lizbeth Benacquisto, the Republican majority leader of the Florida state Senate, came in next with 27 percent of the vote. Former state Rep. Paige Kreegel came in third with about 25 percent of the vote.

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Politifact is calling foul on a recent attack ad by Sen. Kay Hagan's (D-NC) reelection campaign that attacks House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-NC) for calling Obamacare a "great idea."

The ad, released a week earlier, clips Tillis saying in a radio interview that Obamacare is a great idea. The problem is, as Politifact noted, that the attack ad only included part of what Tillis said. He actually said that Obamacare is a "great idea that can't be paid for."

Tillis has, nevertheless, taken hits by his opponents in the North Carolina Republican primary over the remarks.

Politifact noted that prior to making the "great idea" line Tillis discussed ways to repeal the bill. Politifact ruled that the ad focuses on a "severely edited quote" and said the ad was "Mostly False."

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House candidate and Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R) on Tuesday said he would reintroduce legislation to ban affirmative action in the state following Tuesday's Supreme Court decision upholding Michigan's ban on factoring race into college admissions.

"People do not realize — the average person does not realize — how extensive race and gender preferences are in our society," he told the Journal Sentinel.

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