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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

Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) warned that if Republicans take control of the Senate the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee could be a "farmer from Iowa who never went to law school."

Braley's comments refer to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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The North Carolina Senate race -- a prime pickup opportunity for Republicans -- has shaped up to be a bit messier than it probably should be.

With a little more than a month before the Senate primary, the GOP still lacks a de facto nominee. There's a social conservative favorite, Rev. Mark Harris; a Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)-backed candidate, Dr. Greg Brannon; and a GOP-backed establishment candidate who's supposed to have locked up the whole thing by now, State House Speaker Thom Tillis, among others. Most observers say Tillis is the frontrunner, but he's far from a lock on the nomination and there's a chance he could be pushed to a runoff.

"I don't think there's any question that the person who is best positioned to defeat Kay Hagan is Thom Tillis," North Carolina-based Republican strategist Brian Nick told TPM. "And he's the best candidate in the Republican field and the Democrats are certainly cheering on someone else to possibly pull off an upset."

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A new ad by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) re-election campaign accidentally included a clip of the Duke University basketball team instead of the University of Kentucky's team.

The new ad, titled "Rebuild" was released Tuesday and included a clip of Duke players Lance Thomas and Jon Scheyer jumping and hugging in celebration during the 2010 NCAA Championship victory. The players appear at around the 1:00 minute mark.

The confusion is understandable. Both Duke's and Kentucky's colors are white and blue.

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An Iowa GOP Senate candidate argued in a new ad that her experience castrating hogs on a farm makes her ready to cut pork spending in Washington D.C.

"I'm Joni Ernst. I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm so when I get to Washington, I'll know how to cut pork," state Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) said in the ad, titled "Squeal."

The ad, released Tuesday, features Ernst describing her conservative bona fides. A few clips in the ad are of pigs in a barn.

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A press conference call for Florida Gov. Rick Scott's (R) re-election campaign was cut short after reporters asked multiple questions about the departure of billionaire Mike Fernandez as finance co-chairman for the campaign.

The conference call on Monday featuring Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R) was ended abruptly after reporters asked questions about Fernandez's decision to leave the campaign following campaign staffers reportedly making jokes in crude Mexican accents.

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Two Michigan elected officials are urging Attorney General Eric Holder to recognize same-sex marriage in the state after a federal appeals court issued a stay order on a ruling overturning the state's same-sex marriage ban.

The officials, Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum and East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett sent the letter to Holder on Monday, according to The Detroit Free Press.

"Their marriages complied with Judge Friedman’s order and all relevant provisions of Michigan law and should be recognized as such by state and federal authorities without delay," Byrum and Triplett write in the letter to Holder.

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The campaign arm for Senate Democrats have a new memo out carefully pushing back against polling guru Nate Silver's recent analysis that Senate Republicans are looking more likely to take control of the chamber in 2014.

The Monday memo, written by Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee executive director Guy Cecil, is full of praise for Silver but also picks out four Senate races where Democrats won even though Silver said Republicans would claim the seats: Montana and North Dakota in 2012 and Colorado and Nevada in 2010.

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The Tea Party Express, in a new email to supporters, crowned Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), the most "vulnerable of the old GOP senators" who's likely to go the way of former Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN).

The scathing new fundraising email on Saturday came a few days after another prominent tea party group, Tea Party Patriots, endorsed Cochran's tea party primary challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-MS). Tea Party Express groups Cochran with a number of other Republican senators as as Republicans In Name Only (RINO).

"While many of the RINO Republican U.S. Senators that are in the cross-hairs of their more conservative Republican primary challengers have tried to shore-up their right flank by at least trying to portray an image that they are conservative, Senator Cochran has not followed that savvy political strategy," the email read.

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