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

Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) has said she's missed votes because of National Guard duty, but a review by The Cedar Rapids Gazette of Iowa suggests that Ernst's National Guard duties actually haven't kept her from attending that many votes in the Iowa Senate.

Ernst, according to the Gazette, has repeatedly cited National Guard duty to defend herself against criticism that she's been missing too many votes in the state Senate. But a report by the Gazette on Monday said there's actually "very little overlap between Iowa Senate votes and her National Guard service."

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Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel (R) is airing a new ad -- her first television campaign ad of the cycle -- on Monday touting former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's (R) endorsement of her in the Georgia Senate race.

The 30-second ad, which features audio of Palin's formal endorsement of Handel in April, is being aired across the state on both cable and regular broadcast television, according to Roll Call.

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The mention of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's (R) name won boos from a crowd of conservative activists over the weekend.

The boos came during a speech Donald Trump gave on Saturday at the New Hampshire Freedom Summit, sponsored by Americans for Prosperity and Citizens United.

"You know, I heard Jeb Bush the other day," Trump said, sparking audible grumbling and boos from the crowd, according to The Hill. The boos became louder when Trump mentioned Bush recently saying that many immigrants who come to the U.S. illegally do it as an "act of love." Bush has been mentioned as a potential 2016 presidential candidate.

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State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-MS) defended the Sons of Confederate Veterans, an organization whose events he has attended, as singly focused on historical appreciation and not "racist."

"We're talking about an organization that our governor is a member of, that in the past that our senators have been members of, that many members of our House and Senate are members of," McDaniel said in an interview with The Weekly Standard published on Friday. "It's not a racist organization. It's a historical organization filled with reenactors and collectors. That's all it is."

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Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis (D) is getting some help from the Red Headed Stranger.

Country music star Willie Nelson, a Texas native, will perform at a backyard barbecue fundraiser for Davis on April 27.

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Democrats are in danger of losing control of the Senate and taking control of the House seems virtually beyond reach in the 2014 election cycle but gubernatorial races are another story. In those races Democrats look poised to claim a few victories.

Earlier in the week the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling survey polled five governor's races on behalf of MoveOn.org. The pollster found in those five races (Maine, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Florida) Democrats lead the Republican governor. In Arkansas, a new Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll also found Democrat Mike Ross ever so slightly leading Republican Asa Hutchinson in the gubernatorial race, 44 percent to 43 percent.

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Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), the tea party candidate challenging incumbent Sen. Thad Chocran (R), ranted that a Libertarian Party's write-in candidate for governor of Alabama used her breasts on the campaign trail.

McDaniel made the comments on his radio show The Right Side around 2005 and 2006. The comments were resurfaced on Thursday by Buzzfeed. McDaniel was likely referring to Libertarian candidate Loretta Nall, who ran for governor in 2006.

Nall, The Associated Press reported in 2006, sold campaign gear showing her smiling in a "low cut dress" with text that read "more of these boobs."

"It's so interesting to see this woman, basically using her boobies —I shouldn't have said that— to using her breasts to run for office," McDaniel said on the show. "If that's not the most typical Libertarian platform I don't know what is. The only thing that could probably make the campaign more Libertarian is a heroin needle in her arm."

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Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-MS), the tea party favored candidate to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Thad Cochran who seems to be in the habit of associating with white nationalists and neo-Confederates, vowed not to pay taxes if they go up because of reparations over slavery and mocked complaints of racism over an ad depicting a white woman holding down a black woman.

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