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The Senate's second highest ranking Democrat lent his support today to a growing effort, spearheaded by more junior members, to eliminate or diminish the power of the minority to enforce a 60 vote requirement on Senate business.

"I think there is a high level of frustration and a feeling that we missed many opportunities," Durbin told reporters this afternoon, in response to a question from TPMDC. "And also a lot of us have been completely worn down by a requirement of 60 votes on everything. This was rare when I got here 14 years ago and now it is rare otherwise".

Durbin used as an example one of his own initiatives, which was nearly killed by the supermajority requirement.

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Polling on Proposition 19 -- a California ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana -- has started to pick up. Three polls from July, including a PPP poll (PDF) released Monday, bring the total number of Prop 19 polls up to six. So, what's the verdict thus far? Will California be the first state to legalize non-medicinal weed?

At the moment, it's still anyone's guess -- the polling is enough to make anyone dazed and confused. Monday's PPP survey found voters supporting the initiative 52%-36%, and a SurveyUSA poll from two weeks ago showed support outweighing opposition by 10 points. But a Field Poll released earlier this month showed support lagging 44%-48%, while a Reuters/Ipsos poll from late June found support statistically tied with opposition, 48%-50%. What gives?

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Sharron Angle has made some new pronouncements in the Nevada Senate race, this time on campaign finance regulations. She first approved of the failure of the DISCLOSE Act to pass through the Senate -- and then later said that we already have the DISCLOSE Act in place and on the books. Here's the only problem: The DISCLOSE Act, which Senate Dems were attempting to pass but failed to overcome a Republican filibuster, is, in fact, not yet a law.

As Jon Ralston reports, Angle was asked her position during an appearance on the Heidi Harris talk radio show today.

"Well I think that the Supreme Court has really made their decision on this, they found that we have a First Amendment right across the board that was violated by the McCain-Feingold Act. And that's what they threw out, was those violations," said Angle, referring to the Citizens United case. "The McCain-Feingold Act is still in place. The DISCLOSE Act is still in place. It's just that certain provisions within that they found to be definitely violating the First Amendment. If we didn't have the DISCLOSE Act there would be a lot of different things that people wouldn't be able to find out. And certainly you can go to and see where Harry Reid is getting most of his money from special interests."

The TPM Poll Average currently has Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ahead of Angle by 44.5%-42.8%.

On a conference call with reporters today, Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) said that national support from Democrats will help him defeat the advertising onslaught from billionaire candidate Jeff Greene in the Democratic primary for Senate. Meek said that despite his tough poll numbers and Greene's seemingly limitless spending, Meek still has the support of the national party and that that could be the difference maker on Aug. 24 when voters head to the polls to choose which Democrat will go up against Gov. Charlie Crist (I) and Marco Rubio (R) in November.

Meek said White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel will be in Florida Aug. 2 to help raise money for his campaign, and he said that "we've also heard that there may very well be members of the administration coming down before the primary."

He'll need some help from the Democratic party's big guns if he wants to keep up with Greene's ad spending, which has gone essentially unchecked since Greene got in the primary race on April 30. Meek just went up with his first TV ad of the campaign this week, attempting to blunt Greene's push with a negative attack on Greene's past as a Wall Street trader who cashed in on the collapse of the housing market.

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The campaign of businessman Jeff Greene, who is running for the Democratic Senate nomination in Florida, is shaking up its operation heading into the August 24 primary.

As the St. Petersburg Times reports, Greene's campaign manager Josh Morrow has left the team, replaced by Jessica Vanden Berg. He also has a new media consultant, the firm of Devine/Mulvey.

The little polling that exists of this primary shows Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek just barely edging Greene, but with "undecided" as the faraway winner against both of these relatively unknown candidates. In the general election, both of them run in a distant third place, behind ex-Republican and now independent Gov. Charlie Crist and Republican Marco Rubio.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has pledged to appeal the judge's ruling against portions of her new immigration law, telling reporters today that it was "a little bump in the road."

Brewer said "the federal government got relief from the courts to not do their job." She said the federal government must "step up ... and do the job that they have the responsibility to do for the people of America and the people of Arizona."

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Rick Lazio, the Republican frontrunner in the primary for New York governor, has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged Democratic nominee and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to a debate...a debate that focuses solely on the controversial plans to build a Muslim community center near Ground Zero.

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Sen. John Thune (R-SD) -- the fifth highest ranking Republican in the Senate -- has a new plan for lowering deficits, and as you might expect from GOP leadership, it involves zero tax hikes. It does however, involve math and, if his appearance on Fox News last night is any indication, Thune finds math rather difficult. There's really no other way to explain his utter failure to remember the law of diminishing returns when he talked about the benefits of his deficit reduction plan.

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Tea party groups in Missouri are furious that national tea party icon, Rep. Michele Bachmann, endorsed the strong frontrunner for the Senate nomination Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO). Bachmann will join Blunt for a fundraiser and to make campaign calls in his St. Louis headquarters Saturday.

Given that Bachmann has emerged as a tea party hero and formed the brand-new Tea Party Caucus in Congress, the groups said "we were shocked" that she is backing Blunt since he voted for the TARP bailout funds and "Cash for Clunkers."

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