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

A third candidate in what was long seen as a two-person race for the Nebraska GOP Senate nomination has tea partiers worried.

Sid Dinsdale (pictured), the wealthy banker who has won less attention than Midland University President Ben Sasse or former state Treasurer Shane Osborn, is suddenly under attack from prominent outside conservative organizations just ahead of the Nebraska Republican Senate primary on May 13.

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Opposition to the tea party has returned to its all-time high, according to a new Gallup poll released Thursday.

Gallup, which has been tracking opposition since 2010, found that 30 percent of those surveyed said they opposed the tea party while 22 percent said they supported the movement. A larger 48 percent said they had no opinion.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has relentlessly criticized conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch for pouring millions into right-leaning causes. But with another billionaire Republican funder, Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, Reid said the same criticism isn't deserved.

"I know Sheldon Adelson, he's not in this for money. He's not in this to make money, he's in this because he's got certain ideological views," Reid said in an interview with MSNBC which aired on Thursday. Reid said Adelson's views on certain social issues actually align with Democrats.

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North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, fresh off winning the Republican nomination in the race for Sen. Kay Hagan's (D-NC), said Wednesday he regretted how he phrased his "divide and conquer" remarks in 2011, when he called for pitting poor people who legitimately need government assistance against poor people who made bad life choices.

Just before Tuesday's primary, new attention fell on video of Tillis saying at a town hall in Asheville, North Carolina, that we have to "find a way to divide and conquer" people who genuinely need government assistance and people who are poor by their own fault.

During an appearance on MSNBC Wednesday Tillis said he could have phrased his remarks better but didn't walk back what he was trying to say.

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North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-NC), the frontrunner in the North Carolina GOP Senate primary, told a crowd two and half years ago that we must "divide and conquer" people on government assistance. Tillis proposed pitting those who are legitimately in need against those who made bad choices.

Tillis made the comments in October 2011 in Asheville, North Carolina. They were reported by local press at the time and are being circulated now by the campaign of Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) whom Tillis is vying to unseat. They were highlighted on MSNBC"s Hardball Monday.

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Matt Bevin, the tea party challenger in the Kentucky Senate race, said that he's the best candidate to face Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in the general election because Grimes's candidacy, per Bevin, is really based on the fact that she's a woman.

Bevin, running against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) for the GOP nomination, was trying to argue that Grimes is more vulnerable against him in the general election than against McConnell.

"She runs on four things," Bevin said in comments at a campaign stop this week that were first reported by ThinkProgress on Tuesday. "She runs on some variation of: she’s young, she’s new, is a woman, and she’s not Mitch McConnell. That’s essentially what she’s got, in some form or fashion."

The comments come just a few weeks ahead of the Kentucky primary, as McConnell increasingly looks like he'll safely win the Republican nomination and stave off a primary challenge.

Bevin went on to say that he really cancels out any serious advantages Grimes has as a candidate.

Here are Bevin's full remarks:

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The teen pregnancy rate was lower in 2010 than it was before the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that enshrined abortion rights in the Constitution, according to new findings.

A study by the Guttmacher Institute released Monday found that teen pregnancy has "declined dramatically" since a peak in the early 1990s. The pregnancy rate per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 19 was lower than it was before the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

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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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