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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

Democrat Terry McAuliffe eked out a narrow victory in the Virginia governor's race on Tuesday night, defeating Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Libertarian candidate Rob Sarvis.

McAuliffe's victory speech focused on bipartisanship. He thanked the Republicans who backed him in the race and said the victory was hard fought.

"This election was never a choice between Democrats and Republicans," McAuliffe said. "It was an election over whether Virginia would continue the mainstream bipartisan tradition that served us so well."

McAuliffe's win ends months of him leading Cuccinelli in most polls. It also marks a victory for a number of outside groups that poured millions in the race in support of McAuliffe and against Cuccinelli like Independence USA PAC and Planned Parenthood.

Democrats see the victory as proof that hitting conservative candidates on their tea party leanings can win elections.

"The Republican brand has become the tea party brand. They are inseparable now," Democratic National Committee Communications Director Mo Elleithee told TPM. "Kind of take a step back from just Virginia. Joe Lhota up in New York, where they haven't elected a Democrat in 20 years, spent the entire general election trying to distance himself from the Republican Party brand, even though he previously called himself a Goldwater Conservative, tried to distance himself from the Republican brand. That didn't work. Polling is showing that for the first time the tea party and the Republican Party are polling at the same abysmal level."

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A man said he'd legislate as a "Ted Cruz congressman" in the Alabama special election primary to fill a vacant congressional seat. But a super PAC that actually championed Ted Cruz when he first ran for office is backing the other candidate in the race.

The super PAC, Ending Spending PAC, is backing former state Sen. Bradley Byrne (R) over conservative activist Dean Young (R). During Cruz's Senate run Ending Spending PAC spent $157,157 on ads in support of the then-Texas solicitor general. But in the Alabama special election Ending Spending PAC, which was founded by the family that started TD Ameritrade, is spending about $100,000 on advertising in support of Byrne, who is generally considered the business-backed candidate in the race. Young is considered the more tea party oriented candidate. Young has also said he would style himself after Cruz is he was elected to Congress. 

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Vice President Joe Biden described Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's (R) policy stances as "from another era." 

Biden made the comments about Cuccinelli, Democrat Terry McAuliffe's Republican opponent in the Virginia gubernatorial race, during a get-out-the-vote kickoff event in Virginia on Monday. 

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The Republican Governors Association marked former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's entrance into the Florida gubernatorial race on the Democratic ticket with a statement bashing him as an opportunist who gave up being a Republican when things got tough.

"Charlie Crist was a failure as Governor and is a pure political opportunist who is out for himself," Republican Governors Association Chairman Bobby Jindal (LA) said in a statement on Monday. "Under Crist, Florida lost over 800,000 jobs, saw their unemployment rate surge from 3.5 percent to 11.1 percent, and experienced a budgetary crisis that left the state sinking faster and faster.

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Former U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright (D-TX) was denied a voter ID card thanks to Texas's strict voter ID law.

"Nobody was ugly to us, but they insisted that they wouldn't give me an ID," 90-year-old Wright said according to the Forth Worth Star-Telegram.

Wright said he previously realized earlier in the week that the identification he had to vote, a Texas Christian University faculty ID and a Texas driver's license that expired in 2010, did not meet the criteria of the new voter ID law.

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Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) will receive the endorsement to Tea Party Express, the nation's largest super PAC on Tuesday.

McDaniel's campaign announced on Monday that the Tea Party Express bus tour will make stops in Tupelo and Jackson, Mississippi in support of McDaniel, who is running in the Republican primary against Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS).  

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Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel's (R) Senate campaign is now disputing that McDaniel was at a neo-Confederate conference that they said he had attended.

In October, Mother Jones reported that McDaniel had attended neo-Confederate and pro-secessionist conferences. Mother Jones reporter Timothy Murphy reported that when he reached McDaniel's campaign he was told "Senator McDaniel has driven across Mississippi to speak to many groups over the past decade" but did not deny that the state senator attended the August event. Murphy also confirmed McDaniel's attendance through a spokesman for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

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Mitch McConnell's chief of staff -- currently assigned as a senior staffer at the National Republican Senatorial Committee through the 2014 election -- compared the Senate Conservatives Fund to a drunk making a ruckus at a bar.

"S.C.F. has been wandering around the country destroying the Republican Party like a drunk who tears up every bar they walk into," Josh Holmes said according to The New York Times. "The difference this cycle is that they strolled into Mitch McConnell’s bar and he doesn’t throw you out, he locks the door."

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