TPM News

The new congressional redistricting map for Minnesota handed down on Wednesday could allow Democrats to pick off one, maybe even two, seats from Republicans in November. The court-appointed redistricting panel pushed more swing districts toward Democrats in redrawing the districts.

The Susan B. Anthony List, which endorsed Rick Santorum, has put $117,050 into a radio spot in Michigan to support him, reports Politico. That’s one of the larger radio ad buys in Michigan less than a week away from the primary.

As the last men standing in the GOP nominating race took to the debate floor for what might be the last time the last time, it was an emotional evening all round.

Rick Santorum confirmed to Ron Paul that he was real, while Romney told him to look in a mirror.  Others tried to get their messages through, including a "cheerful" Gingrich talking about the concerns we should all have about nuclear weapons in our cities.  

All in all, it provided a cathartic and cataclysmic setting for possibly the last of what has been a very, very long series of debates....

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If we've learned one thing through this turbulent Republican primary, it's that the debates really matter. Newt Gingrich rose and fell on his debate performances, Rick Perry knocked himself out entirely on the debate stage and Mitt Romney crawled back into frontrunner status in part by hiring a new debate coach and stepping up his game.

On Wednesday in Arizona, Rick Santorum needed to bring his A game to the debate to keep his momentum into the big Feb. 28 primaries in that state and Michigan. He didn't do it. Instead, he left a trail of moments that will likely haunt him in the press, in his rivals' speeches and in attack ads.

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In the CNN debate Wednesday Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney mixed it up over earmarks, with Santorum accusing Romney of hypocrisy for attacking his own budget items while requesting the same federal dollars himself.

Santorum defended earmark spending in general, saying he was proud to support projects that Congress deemed were important when the White House disagreed. But he said Romney had no grounds to attack him at all given that the Olympics requested and received federal dollars through the same process while Romney was running the 2002 games.

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After a bruising night on the debate stage in Arizona, Rick Santorum appeared on Greta Van Susteren's show where he talked a little more about contraception. Adding to his controversial statements on the topic -- which conservatives have warned are hurting the GOP -- Santorum told the Fox News host that there was less teen sex before contraceptives were widely available.

Watch it:

Last year Fox News reported on this study showing sex among teens is on the decline. 

Foster Friess has made a name for himself as the major financial benefactor for the pro-Rick Santorum Super-PAC, and a vocal champion of good old-fashion ideas about family values (and pharmaceutical methods). But he might just be getting started.

In a profile in The New Republic, Friess reveals that in addition to his support for Santorum, he also plans to spend big on this year's Senate races.

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House Republicans have refused to televise a Democratic-led hearing on birth control that features the testimony of a female witness the GOP spurned in a recent hearing, says House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). And Pelosi wants you to know it.

The hearing Thursday is set to have as its sole witness Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student whom House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) forbade from testifying at his contraception hearing last week despite requests from Democrats. Issa's hearing instead included an all-male panel of religious authorities, partly in an effort to convey his claim that the issue was solely about religious freedom, and not really about women's rights.

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Answering a question by CNN's John King about what the candidates think the biggest misconcenception is about them, Mitt Romney started to hedge a bit. King asked him to stay on topic, to which Romney fired back the following:

"You get to ask the questions you want, I get to answer the questions I want."

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