Daniel Strauss

Daniel Strauss is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He was previously a breaking news reporter for The Hill newspaper and has written for Politico, Roll Call, The American Prospect, and Gaper's Block. He has also interned at Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and The New Yorker. Daniel grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in History. At Michigan he helped edit Consider, a weekly opinion magazine. He can be reached at daniel@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Daniel

The Arizona election official who once apologized for embarrassing the state because of his flirtation with birtherism announced Tuesday he'd be running for governor.

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett (R) jumped into the race for governor after more than a year of exploring the run.

Bennett, the state's top election official, made national headlines in May 2012 when he said he would consider keeping President Obama off the ballot unless the President proved he was a natural born citizen of the United States. The move came after birther conspiracy theorists had approached him alleging without any legitimate evidence that Obama's birth certificate was a fraud.

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The race for Sen. Kay Hagan's (D-NC) Senate seat has tightened and now the Democratic senator leads each of her Republican challengers by only a few percentage points, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday. 

The PPP poll found Hagan leading state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) 44 percent to 42 percent, a decline of 15 points from when PPP last polled the race in September. The new poll also found Hagan leading tea partier Greg Brannon 44 percent to 42 percent. Similarly, in a head-to-head matchup with announced Republican challenger Heather Grant, Hagan leads 43 percent to 40 percent. Finally, against Republican Rev. Mark Harris Hagan leads 43 percent to 41 percent. 

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Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) will decide whether he's running for re-election by the end of the month, according to WTVA in Mississippi.

If Cochran decides not to run, the race would open up for state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) to be the likely inheritor of the Senate seat. McDaniel is currently running in the Republican primary against Cochran and has been endorsed by FreedomWorks, the Tea Party Express and the Senate Conservatives Fund. He's also made headlines for attending at least one neo-confederate gathering.

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The latest tallies in the Virginia attorney general race has flipped the lead in state Sen. Mark Herring's (D) favor. 

As of Monday evening, the unofficial results at the Virginia State Board of Elections had Herring leading state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R) by 117 votes. Herring has 1,103,610 votes while Obenshain has 1,103,493 votes. That's in contrast from earlier in the day on Monday when Obenshain lead Herring by 17 votes. 

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Tea party challengers to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) may inadvertently be helping to cement his reelection.

Primary contenders for Graham keep coming. As of Friday there were a total of four Republicans hoping to take Graham's seat in 2014. The problem for them is that that the bigger the field, the more the vote against Graham will likely be split, preventing a strong tea party challenger from posing a serious threat to the senior senator from South Carolina.

Here are the candidates running from the right for Graham's seat so far:

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Friday ratcheted up the tension in an increasingly visible cold war between the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Senate Conservatives Fund, which has relentlessly hammered McConnell as a fake conservative.

McConnell said he was "prepared to be specific about" the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), which has "elected more Democrats than the Democratic Senatorial [Campaign] Committee over the last three cycles," he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

"Right now they're on the air in obvious coordination with Harry Reid's super PAC -- Harry Reid's! -- in the same markets, at roughly the same amount, at the same time," McConnell added.

McConnell's beef with the Senate Conservatives Fund is both personal and general. The group has endorsed McConnell primary challenger Matt Bevin. The feud between SCF and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) -- which amplifies a war between the tea party conservatives and more mainstream Republican base -- has become increasingly public in the last few weeks as attention is shifting to the 2014 primary season. The Senate Conservatives Fund backed four Senate primary challengers and one running for the house House so far this cycle. It plans to deploy endorsements in more Senate races soon.

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