TPM News

Even in a post-Scott Brown world, a special election can still be a foregone conclusion. By an overwhelming majority, voters in Rep. Robert Wexler's old district in Florida chose Democrat Ted Deutch to replace him last night.

Deutch, a state Senator, beat Republican opponent Republican Ed Lynch by a margin of 62-35. Unaffiliated candidate Jim McCormick came got just 2.7% of the vote.

The result was no surprise in the Democratic-leaning 19th District in Florida. Obama won the Palm Beach area district with 65% of the vote in 2008, and Wexler enjoyed strong support during his more than a decade in office.

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If you thought the Republican primary was nasty in Central Texas, get ready for the general election. Rep. Chet Edwards (D) welcomed his newly chosen Republican challenger Bill Flores to the race last night with a to-the-camera video slamming Flores for trying to "buy" the 17th district seat.

Edwards, who has held the seat in the Republican-leaning district for two decades, wasted no time in criticizing his rival, posting the ad within hours of Flores' win.

As we reported yesterday, Flores' voting record was a big sparring point in the runoff election that he won last night. He didn't vote in the 2008 general election in which Edwards prevailed over Rob Curnock (R), and he actually voted in the Democratic primary in March 2008, when Republicans were trying to prolong the fight between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. (Flores beat Curnock last night.)

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Palin To Headline Tea Party Rally In Boston Sarah Palin will headline a Tea Party rally today at Boston Common, marking the tax season in the same city that was the site of the original Boston Tea Party in December 1773. A crowd of up to 10,000 is forecast for the event -- but notably absent will be Republican Sen. Scott Brown, whose upset victory in the January special election was credited in part to these same conservative activists.

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET, and the economic daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET. They will meet at 10:45 a.m. ET with the Congressional leadership of both parties, to discuss financial reform. Obama will meet with senior advisers at 12:30 p.m. ET. Obama and Biden will meet at 4:15 p.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Rick Green, the former Texas legislator who had liberals worried about an extremist religious-right figure making it onto the state supreme court, was defeated in a GOP primary runoff yesterday.

Last week we told you about Green, his religious-right view of the Constitution, and his checkered ethical past (including the time he filmed an infomercial for a dietary supplement in his Capitol office).

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Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) surprised many observers today when she announced she'd introduce legislation to tightly regulate the derivatives market, as part of a broader financial regulatory reform bill. Lincoln's one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate, and the White House had been pressuring her not to cede too much to the GOP on the issue. In the end she not only did as they asked, she took them to task for not going far enough to regulate banks.

"Proposals that I have seen from the administration have not gone far enough to prevent bailouts of 'too big to fail institutions' and could contain loopholes," Lincoln said. "If we pass reform, it needs to be real reform. My proposal will go further than any other congressional or administration proposal to prevent future bailouts."

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House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters today that he sees a bright future for the passage of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act pending in Congress even though it's an election year. Hoyer (D-MD) said he see that measure and the ban on gays in the military being "resolved," though didn't give a specific time frame.

"We passed that through the House, so it is not like this is a new issue for the members. Already a significant majority of members of the House have already voted for this," Hoyer said after a reporter asked about the bill's chances.

Hoyer also weighed in on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, another major issue that gay rights activists want to see completed this year but which may be passed off until after the midterm election.

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Virginia's slide toward extreme conservative governance under Gov. Bob McDonnell continues.

McDonnell wants to change the process by which non-violent felons apply to have their voting rights restored, the Washington Post reported over the weekend. Whereas before, applicants had had to fill out a one-page form, making the process almost automatic, they now will have to submit an essay outlining their contributions to society since their release.

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With the clocking ticking down on the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary, a new poll shows Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Joe Sestak is a dead heat. The poll appears to be an outlier, but it suggests Specter's lead is shrinking in advance of the May 18 primary.

The poll, from Rasmussen, shows Specter ahead by a margin of 44-42. The lead is well within the poll's 5% margin of error.

The poll is well outside the lines of existing polling in the race, which has shown Specter ahead by a comfortable margin. Even with the new Rasmussen poll added in the TPM Poll Average for the race shows Specter ahead of Sestak by a margin of 45.3-30.8.

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Here are some key fundraising numbers from today:

  • Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) may be in a bit of trouble. Between Jan. 1 and March 31, Lincoln raised $1.34 million. That's less than the $2 million her Democratic primary opponent, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, said he raised just in the month of March.

    Still, the TPM Poll Average for the Lincoln-Halter primary on May 18 shows Lincoln ahead by a margin of 46.0% to 30.3%.
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