TPM News

BRUSSELS (AP) — If Scottish voters this week say Yes to independence, not only will they tear up the map of Great Britain, they'll shake the twin pillars of Western Europe's postwar prosperity and security — the European Union and the U.S.-led NATO defense alliance.

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INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton's third-place finish in the 2008 Iowa caucuses seemed but a fading memory when the former secretary of state took the stage in front of roughly 10,000 loyal Democrats at outgoing Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin's annual fall fundraiser south of Des Moines.

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough went on a bit of a rant on Monday saying that Hillary Clinton has been too much of a "robot" as she hints plans to run for President in 2016. Scarborough, in a tangent on Morning Joe, said politicians like Clinton need to stop teasing out whether they're going to run for President and just say so.

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Lack of “maternal instincts.” That is what local Ravalli County deputy attorney Thorin Geist dubbed it when he spoke about Casey Gloria Allen, a 21-year-old Montana woman being charged with criminal endangerment of a child.

The “child,” in this case, was a 12-week fetus, and the “endangerment” was that Allen tested positive for narcotics.

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Arguably the most significant consequence of a Republican Senate takeover in 2014 is absent from the campaign trail, and hardly registers in any polls asking Americans what their top election issues are.

It's not Obamacare. It's not taxes or spending or immigration. It's not the ISIS terrorist threat.

It's judicial and administrative nominations: who gets to be a lifetime-tenured federal judge, and who gets to run powerful government agencies.

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Within political circles, the big question for the 2014 midterm election is: Who's going to control the Senate for the rest of Obama's presidency? Will Republicans get to be a fully formed thorn in the president's side? Or will the deadlocked status quo that's been so maligned over the last four years simply continue?

But are the people who will actually decide the outcome -- voters -- seeing the same storyline?

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent took a enlightening look at this question last week. In particular, he examined with the help of a Democratic pollster one of the key constituencies for the November elections: Democratic voters who don't usually turn out in midterm elections. It is widely believed that those voters need to show up for Democrats to give their party its best chance of keeping the upper chamber.

But, according to Sargent and some focus grouping and polling by Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, at least some of those voters don't see the election in those terms.

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