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

Establishment Republicans are increasingly looking like they'll be able to stave off a wave of right-wing challenges in the 2014 Senate races and avoid a repeat of the stumbles that cost them dearly in 2010 and 2012, but the tea party may not come away completely empty handed.

In both Oklahoma and Nebraska, the Senate candidates who are the darlings of the tea-party-aligned conservative outside groups appear to have risen to the level of serious contender in their respective GOP primaries. Polling has been scant but what few surveys there have been have shown Midland University President Ben Sasse in Nebraska and former House Speaker T.W. Shannon (pictured) in Oklahoma as serious contenders for their party's nomination. That puts them in line to take those seats since Democrats are not expected to seriously contend in the general elections in either state.

The addition of two more seats to the Ted Cruz wing of the Senate Republican conference would be a substantial gain for tea partiers and complicate the job of Mitch McConnell if becomes Senate majority leader.

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) lashed out at a Republican Senate candidate in Iowa Tuesday for using the term AWOL to attack one of his opponents in the Iowa Republican Senate primary.

McCain is criticizing candidate Mark Jacobs for using the term on a website his campaign created to attack Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst over her missing votes from the Iowa legislature. Ernst partially missed the votes because of her National Guard duty and partially to campaign, according to the Des Moines Register.

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Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) is taking the extra step against state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-NC), the frontrunner and expected GOP nominee in the North Carolina Senate race, and sending mailers to Republican voters quoting Tillis calling Obamacare a "great idea."

The mailers, reported by The Washington Post, were sent out to Republican voters over the last week ahead of Tuesday's North Carolina Republican primary. The attack strategy is a clear attempt to turn voters off to Tillis by painting him as less than staunchly opposed to Obamacare (a grave sin in Republican primaries).

Tillis is considered by observers to be the stronger general election candidate again Hagan, and the mailers suggest the Hagan camp thinks so, too. Or at least the Hagan camp would prefer to see Tillis endure a runoff rather than win the nomination outright. Tillis needs to get 40 percent support to avoid a runoff and clinch the GOP nomination. The most recent polls of the race have shown Tillis with a comfortable lead above 40 percent in the primary.

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North Carolina Republican Senate candidates Dr. Greg Brannon and House Speaker Thom Tillis are engaged in a war of endorsements a day before the Republican primary.

On Monday morning Tillis was endorsed Mitt Romney, just hours before Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was set to appear at an event for Brannon, Tillis's chief rival in the primary.

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Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) appears to not have enough signatures to get on the Aug. 5 Democratic primary ballot, Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett told the Detroit Free Press Friday.

At issue is whether two of the people in charge of gathering signatures for Conyers were registered voters, which is a requirement under Michigan law. Legal counsel for Conyers stressed to Roll Call that they expected him to make it onto the ballot.

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Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) won't say whether tea partier Milton Wolf is right that Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) shouldn't be allowed the ballot because he doesn't reside in the state, but he does suggest that Wolf's motives for calling that into question are political.

"I imagine that he's raising this as an issue because it's a campaign issue that may have some traction —or it may not, depending on how voters view it," Kobach said in an interview with TPM on Friday. "But as a legal question, there's a very formal process that Kansas law lays out and he's got to follow that process if he wants us to look at it legally."

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Milton Wolf, the tea party candidate challenging Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), is asking the Kansas secretary of State to kick Roberts off the ballot for re-election because Roberts doesn't have a home in Kansas.

Wolf's campaign argues that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) is required to reject Roberts' application under the U.S. Constitution, which requires that a senator “be an inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen."

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has pledged to support whoever wins the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, even if that's McConnell's primary challenger, Matt Bevin.

Kentucky's Republican Party is calling on both candidates to sign a pledge committing to support the eventual Republican nominee, whether it's Bevin or McConnell, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

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