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

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) job approval rating is almost the same as President Barack Obama's in Kentucky, a new poll found.

The Herald-Leader/WKYT Bluegross poll released Thursday evening found 32 percent of those surveyed said they approve of McConnell's job performance while 60 percent said they disapproved of the job the top Senate Republican has done. That rating is almost the same as Obama's approval rating in the state, which is 34 percent and his disapproval is about 60 percent.

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Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) started out his campaign for Senate arguing that incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is actually a liberal. Now a Cornyn's campaign spokesman is using National Journal rankings to peg his primary opponent as the "3rd least conservative" House member in Texas.

Cornyn spokesman Drew Brandewie tweeted out facts about National Journal's 2013 House rankings as they apply to Stockman.

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Some supporters might have been confused by recent campaign websites that appear to be soliciting donations to support a candidate, while the literal text of the site is actually about defeating the candidate. It's a trick that's been popping up more frequently, and it's perfectly legal -- even if it looks deceiving.

Earlier this week, the National Republican Congressional Committee set up quasi-campaign websites for House Democrats facing tough re-election battles, including Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Amanda Renteria (CA), Martha Robertson (NY), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) and John Tierney (MA). There was also a site for Alex Sink, the Democrat hoping to recapture the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young's (R) seat in Florida.

The websites were nearly carbon copies of a campaign website to support the candidate right down to the URL; one domain was registered as JohnTierny2014.com. The key detail is that they asked for donations to "help defeat" the candidate -- something only careful readers might catch.

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Newly declared Democratic congressional candidate Clay Aiken predicted Wednesday there's at least one issue that won't come up a lot in his campaign: same-sex marriage.

"I don't think that's an issue in this particular election. It is something that's a settled issue in North Carolina. It's not something that a congressman has anything to do with," Aiken, who is gay, said in an interview with CNN.

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Just a few hours after Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) announced his his plan to retire amidst a congressional ethics inquiry, state Sen. Donald Norcross (D), the brother of arguably the most powerful Democratic Party boss in the state, threw his hat in the ring as a likely successor.

"I am running for Congress because South Jersey needs someone who is going to stand up for us in Washington, D.C., as Rob Andrews has done for more than two decades," Norcross said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

The Democratic state senator is the brother of one of New Jersey's major party bosses, George Norcross, who Philadelphia magazine described as having "enormous political power." The magazine noted that Norcross was able to escape a criminal investigation in the early 2000s.

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