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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

This post has been updated at 12:30 p.m. ET. 

A 527 group associated with Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is airing a new stealth attack ad against former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (D) quoting Democratic politicians in the state.

The ad, which a Florida TPM reader said aired Wednesday night on MSNBC, was released by the independent Let's Get To Work political committee, but doesn't feature Scott's name directly. 

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Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D), the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, brushed off suggestions that the Virginia governor's election was closer than expected because of a rocky Obamacare rollout. 

"I do not think that Obamacare had any impact on the Virginia election," Shumlin said Thursday at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast adding that "really what Virginia was about was not about Obamacare."

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More than 12 hours after polls closed in Virginia, the race for Virginia's next attorney general is still too close to call.

As of midday Wednesday, state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R) had a 965-vote lead over state Sen. Mark Herring (D). According to the Virginia State Board of Elections, 1,100,410 Virginians (49.92 percent of the vote) cast their vote for Obenshain while 1,099,445 voters picked Herring (49.87 percent). 

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Internal polling always showed a tight race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) in the Virginia governor's race, Democratic National Committee Communications Director Mo Elleithee argued in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.

"Ken Cuccinelli made this race in Virginia a referendum on Obamacare. Democrats made this a referendum on the tea party's extremism and the government shutdown. We won," Elleithee said. "And let's be very clear because I know there's been a lot of chatter about whether or not there's been a tightening of the race as a result of the Cuccinelli focus of Obamacare — there was no tightening of the race. The internal polling of the campaign showed from the summer remarkably consistent that the race was anywhere from 2 to 4 points."

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The executive director of the Democratic Governor's Association defended his group's decision to not spend more money in support of New Jersey state Sen. Barbara Buono's (D) gubernatorial candidacy against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).

The comments, by executive director Colm O'Comartun, came a day after Christie won reelection and were in response to Buono accusing "Democratic political bosses" of making deal with Christie to help him get reelected. Buono did not identify who the bosses are by name.

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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a memo Wednesday morning arguing that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's (R) loss in the Virginia governor's race was a referendum on House Republicans' conservative agenda.

The memo argued that the hard right policies Cuccinelli pushed on the campaign trail —and that House Republicans support— are weighing down the Republican party. According to the memo:

When Ken Cuccinelli lost in the swing state of Virginia last night, House Republicans lost a lot of sleep. At the same time, Chris Christie’s victory gave them no comfort, as Christie used House Republicans as a foil, excoriating Speaker Boehner for their reckless shutdown and Hurricane Sandy aid delays. Taken together, the signs point to Congressional Republicans and their agenda being the common weight around the party’s ankles – and there’s no question that Congressional Republicans are part of the Cuccinelli wing of the party.

In the swing state of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli ran on a radical platform of restricting women’s rights, catering to the Tea Party or forcing the wrong budget priorities on voters. If that agenda sounds eerily familiar to Congress-watchers, it’s because House Republicans have echoed the Cuccinelli plan for years, whether it was opposing the Violence Against Women Act, pushing the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan economic plan or opposing bipartisan immigration reform. (See the attached addendum for just how closely House Republicans’ agenda mirrors Cuccinelli’s agenda.)

One year before the 2014 midterm elections, Americans have now seen the most tangible proof that swing voters will reject the Congressional Republican agenda of recklessness and dysfunction that hurts families’ wallets. As House Republicans spend the next 12 months ignoring Tuesday’s results and following Ted Cruz into the brink, Americans will continue to give them record-low approval numbers for their out-of-touch recklessness.

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Former State Sen. Bradley Byrne (R) beat conservative activist Dean Young in the runoff for the special election for Alabama's first congressional district on Tuesday night.

Polls fluctuated before the race was finally called for Byrne. With 91 percent of precincts reporting Byrne had 53 percent of the vote while Young had 47 percent, according to the Associated Press. Byrne's win will be seen as a victory for the Republican business groups that backed him and a loss for the tea party groups that supported Young.

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Updated: 10:51 p.m. ET

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) lost the Virginia governor's race Tuesday evening.

"Despite being outspent by an unprecedented $15 million, this race came down to the wire because of Obamacare," Cuccinelli said in his concession speech in Richmond. "We said this race was a referendum on Obamacare, and although I lost tonight, you sent a message to the president of the United States that you believe that Obamacare is a failure and that you want to be in charge of your health care, not the government."

But in the end, Cuccinelli's hard-right conservatism -- which he flaunted throughout the campaign -- seems to have been his undoing.

Cuccinelli's loss may come as a lesson that simply firing up the base is not a surefire way to get elected.

Republicans in the state who watched the Virginia gubernatorial race closely say that the problem wasn't that Terry McAuliffe (D) was a perfect candidate -- far from it, he'd faced ethical questions for years before running in Virginia -- or that Cuccinelli failed to properly articulate his conservatism. Quite the opposite actually. Rather it was that Cuccinelli was too good at making his staunch conservative views clear which gave McAuliffe an opening and alienated crucial voting groups.

"He's been effectively characterized as some sort of right-wing fundamentalist pastor who if you don't agree with his reading of the Bible you go to hell," said Michael W. Thompson, who has been active in the Virginia Republican Party and serves as the current president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy.

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