TPM News

Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton has been projected by the Associated Press as the winner of the Democratic primary for governor of Minnesota, setting up an amazing comeback as he faces Republican state Rep. Tom Emmer in the race to succeed retiring GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty. But it's not quite over yet -- in a state that already had one high-profile recount in the last few years, Dayton has not declared victory, and his main opponent has not conceded.

With 98% of precincts reporting, Dayton has 41%, state House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher 40% -- a raw vote lead of only about 5,000 for Dayton -- and former state House Dem Leader Matt Entenza 18%. Kelliher was the officially endorsed candidate of the state Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party convention -- an endorsement that should have traditionally given her the nomination with her opponents dropping out. But Dayton and Entenza fought it out in the primary, with each aided by his personal wealth.

The polls going into this primary gave Dayton a double-digit lead. However, Kelliher clearly benefited immensely from the state DFL's get-out-the-vote machine, which is well organized for winning primaries for an endorsed candidate through the work of the state party and organized labor, and she swept through the Twin Cities area. However, Dayton had the endorsement of the steelworkers union, which delivered him a big margin in the Iron Range region up north, and he won other areas of the state as well.

As of late last night, Kelliher had not conceded, telling her supporters to wait for the final votes to come in. Dayton told his own supporters, "We're definitely not declaring victory," and also added: "I totally respect Speaker Kelliher wanting to wait until all of the votes are counted."

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In 1999, after refusing to take the seat he won in the 1998 elections, Newt Gingrich left his second wife, Marianne, for a much-younger staffer with whom he'd been having an almost-ignored affair. As in his first marriage, he did so shortly after Marianne was diagnosed with a serious illness; as in his first divorce, he fought Marianne tooth and nail over any financial settlement. And then he had the Atlanta archdiocese inform Marianne that their marriage was invalid in the eyes of his fiancée's faith; 9 years later, he completed his conversion to Catholicism.

Given his popularity among Republicans, one would think there is little left to say about Gingrich's personal foibles that could hurt his political career. But sandwiched in between snippets from his campaign to return to popularity in yesterday's Esquire profile are tidbits from the still-supportive Marianne that portray Gingrich in a far-from-pleasant light -- and hints that his personal foibles took quite a toll on his political fortunes behind the scenes.

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There's not much that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (I) and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio (R) agree on anymore. That wasn't always the case, of course -- they used to be members of the same party before Crist bailed on the GOP after Rubio was leading him in the Republican Senate primary. But it seems that the pair are back on the same side once again when it comes to the nascent GOP crusade to repeal or alter the 14th Amendment to the Constitution: Both reject the idea outright.

As the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports, Crist and Rubio "have both now declared their opposition" to the plan, supported by many top Republicans, to alter the Constitutional right to citizenship for any baby born in the United States.

The two Democrats battling it out for their party's Senate nomination, Rep. Kendrick Meek and billionaire investor Jeff Greene, have also said they're opposed to any plan to change the constitution.

The unity in feeling here in Florida likely means that "whoever wins in November isn't likely to join with a growing group of Republicans trying to repeal the 14th Amendment of the Constitution in the name of immigration reform," the Herald-Tribune reports.

The TPM Poll Average shows Crist leading Rubio and Meek 37.8-33.2-14.7. When Greene is the Dem, the TPM Poll Average shows Crist leading 37.5-32.9-16.4.

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We'll have to wait a little longer to sort out whether Dan Maes or Scott McInnis has won the Colorado Republican gubernatorial primary.

With 76% of precincts reporting tonight, McInnis and Maes are locked in a virtual tie, 50%-50%. Maes currently leads by barely more than 1,000 votes, out of more than 300,000 already counted.

"We felt good coming in tonight," Maes told The Denver Post.

"The numbers are confirming what we thought. The numbers just need to stay there."

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The results are almost all in from Georgia's GOP gubernatorial runoff election -- and it's still too close to call.

With 99% of precincts reporting tonight, Ex-Rep. Nathan Deal leads Karen Handel 50.2%-49.8% -- a difference of just about 2,500 votes out of nearly 600,000 ballots counted so far.

The Associated Press has reportedly announced that it will not call the race tonight, as it remains too close to call.

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Former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley has won the Republican nomination for governor of Connecticut, in the race to succeed retiring GOP Gov. Jodi Rell.

With 81% of precincts reporting, Foley has 43%, Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele has 38%, and businessman Oz Griebel has 19%. Foley has been projected as the winner by the Associated Press.

Foley will now face former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, who won the Democratic primary over businessman and 2006 Dem Senate nominee Ned Lamont.

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