TPM News

Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes, who was in a photo-finish Democratic gubernatorial primary against incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn, has now conceded the race to Quinn, officially clearing the way for Quinn to fight the general election against the Republican nominee -- a matter that is itself yet to be determined since both parties' primaries yielded close results.

The winner was not immediately clear on election night. Quinn declared victory with a lead of about 7,000 votes, though Hynes did not yet concede. The most up to date results have Quinn winning by 8,090 votes, out of a total of 912,662 votes.

At a Hynes press event (streamed on the ABC affiliate in Chicago), Hynes spokesman Matt McGrath announced that Hynes had called Quinn about a half an hour earlier. Hynes then took to the podium. "Well, the people have spoken, and the votes have been counted. And I'm here to report that we rose up, but fell just a little short," said Hynes. "And if democracy means anything, it means that the campaign with the most votes wins. We did the right thing, we made sure all the votes were counted, and now we know for sure that it wasn't us. And now let's do the right thing again."

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Republican Rep. Mark Kirk enters the Illinois Senate race as the member of the House who has consistently reaped the biggest contribution totals from pro-Israel PACs, making a name for himself through five terms in Congress as a hardline leader on legislation relating to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Kirk, who is considered a moderate Republican on most issues, sailed to an easy victory in the GOP primary this week and goes into the general election race as a strong contender for Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

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Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-MA) is scheduled to become Sen. Scott Brown at 5 p.m. ET today.

The White House announced a schedule change to the vice president's schedule today: he's now scheduled to swear Brown in at the Capitol at 5 p.m. ET.

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Senate Democrats want to vote on the first installment of a jobs package as early as Monday, amping up the pressure on Republicans to get aboard. But for the moment, they're not biting.

"We'll have a vote on a jobs bill on Monday," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said at a press conference today.

There's just one wrinkle: According to the Senate's top vote counter, there is currently no Republican support for the proposal Democrats are putting forth--and with Scott Brown to be seated today as the 41st Republican Senator, they'll need at least one member of the minority to come aboard.

"You need two to tango. And you need Republicans for bipartisanship," said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL).

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A new Rasmussen poll supplies a very interesting data point in the ongoing debate about the budget deficit: As it turns out, Republican voters would prefer having a deficit if it meant they can get more tax cuts, instead of raising taxes in order to balance the budget.

The national poll of likely voters asked: "Would you rather see a balanced budget with higher taxes or a budget deficit with tax cuts?" A 41% plurality would rather have budget deficit with tax cuts, with 36% calling for higher taxes and a balanced budget. The internals of the poll show Republicans favoring deficits and tax cuts.

"The partisan differences on the questions are notable," says the pollster's analysis. "While 50% of Republicans would rather see a budget deficit with tax cuts, a plurality (46%) of Democrats favor the opposite approach - a balanced budget with higher taxes. Voters not affiliated with either party are evenly divided on the question."

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The little-known pawnbroker who won this week's Democratic primary election for Illinois lieutenant governor was arrested in 2005 after his prostitute girlfriend alleged that he put a knife to her throat and pushed her against the wall -- an incident that could create a major headache for Governor Pat Quinn.

Scott Lee Cohen denies that he laid a hand on the woman, and says he didn't know she was a prostitute -- he thought she just worked in a massage parlor.

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Yesterday, we wondered: If Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has based his support for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," on the support of men like Gen. Colin Powell, and Powell has come forward in favor of the move to repeal DADT, would McCain change his stance?

The answer: No.

"Senator McCain has no plans on revising his stance until the policy review has been completed," and military leaders have made their official recommendations, his spokeswoman, Brooke Buchanan, told TPM.

Earlier this week, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Michael Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced the military will begin a study on the effects of repealing DADT. The study could take up to a year. Both, however, expressed support for a repeal.

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