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Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at dylan@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Dylan

Even the Democratic candidate's pollster calls it a "long shot," but progressive groups are pouring money into the Michigan 6th District in the final weeks of the campaign, hoping to score an unexpected -- and still very unlikely -- upset of House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).

They have quite a climb to push Democratic candidate Paul Clements past Upton, who heads one of the more powerful committees in the House and has represented the district since 1987. Earlier this month, Clements pollster David Beattie found Upton leading, 50 percent to 35 percent. The race had narrowed ever so slightly since August, when Upton was up 57 percent to 37 percent, but it is still a huge gap to close in the last month of a campaign.

"Yeah, it's a long shot, but it's not a long shot about changing the electorate," Beattie told TPM. The district voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 and he lost by only one point in 2012. It also supports Democratic Senate candidate Gary Peters in his race, 50 percent to 38 percent, earlier this month, according to Beattie's polling.

There is just a touch of smoke -- Upton's people have reportedly been calling and berating donors to a big-money group that is pouring money into the race in a last-ditch effort to boost Clements, a Western Michigan University professor, to a shocking win over one of the longest-tenured House Republicans.

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Though he has trailed in most recent polling, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) is within striking distance of Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday evening.

Gardner held a 2-point lead, the new poll found, 47 percent to Udall's 45 percent. It is the pollster's first survey in the race, but some recent polling has shown Gardner with a more sizable lead, including another Wednesday poll from Suffolk University that put Gardner up seven points. Others, though, like a Tuesday Monmouth University poll, found a one-point race.

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The FBI confirmed Wednesday that its investigation into the South Dakota immigration-visa program that has ensnared Republican Senate nominee Mike Rounds remains "active," the Argus Leader reported.

"We have an active investigation," Kyle Loven, chief division counsel for the FBI's Minneapolis division, told the newspaper. "As it is an active investigation, I'm not in a position to provide any details."

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Conservative provocateur James O'Keefe, slayer of ACORN, is at it again, this time "exposing" voter fraud in Colorado in a new video released Wednesday.

The only problem? Two days before, Mother Jones published a story quoting Colorado Democrats who said that they had turned O'Keefe and his team away in their undercover bid to show Democrats hankering to falsify some votes in a state with one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country.

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The polling looks pretty grim for Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO). If you take out explicitly Democratic-leaning polls, he hasn't led in any poll since the beginning of October. Udall's campaign believes they can beat the odds by recreating the strategy that led to an unexpected Senate victory in Colorado in 2010.

A big part of that is appealing to women. But another crucial piece is turning out Hispanic voters -- and one Latino pollster told BuzzFeed on Tuesday that there is some evidence that the polls are underestimating Hispanic support for Udall.

And now one Udall-aligned group has made a significant TV buy for Spanish-language spots with early voting underway and less than two weeks to go until Election Day.

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The Republican county clerk who ordered a college newspaper removed from newsstands because it featured a story on Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) -- and thus, in her opinion, violated state law prohibiting electioneering near polling places -- reversed herself Wednesday after she received a cease-and-desist letter.

Larimer County Clerk Angela Myers allowed copies of the Rocky Mountain Collegian to return to newsstands outside the Colorado State University student center on Tuesday evening, the newspaper reported.

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The official autopsy of Ferguson, Mo., teen Michael Brown is consistent with police accounts that the shooting came after Brown reached for the officer's gun during an altercation, according to forensics experts who reviewed the autopsy report for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The full autopsy report was leaked to the local paper and on Tuesday it reported on the report's findings and solicited the opinions of outside experts unaffiliated with the case.

The New York Times reported last week that Wilson told the grand jury that will decide whether to charge him for Brown's death that Brown had reached for his gun during their altercation. The police version of the August incident that ignited long-simmering racial tensions in the northern St. Louis suburb is that the Brown that Wilson stopped Brown and a friend while they were walking in the middle of the street. Brown and Wilson then got into a physical altercation while the officer was still in his vehicle, and Brown reached into the police car for Wilson's gun. Wilson also sustained injuries to his face and neck, according to police accounts.

The official autopsy, conducted by the St. Louis County medical examiner, concluded that Brown had nine gunshot wounds: three to his head, two to his chest, three to his right arm, and one to his hand.

It was the wound to Brown's hand, experts told the Post-Dispatch, that are consistent with a close-range struggle.

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After Democratic nominee Chad Taylor withdrew from the Kansas Senate race on Sept. 3, things looked pretty grim for Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). At his worst moment, in late September, he trailed independent candidate Greg Orman by more than 7 points on average. It looked like it would take a miracle for Roberts to avoid falling victim to the most surprising upset in 2014.

It took some work -- national Republicans cleaned out the Roberts campaign and started over with their own people -- and some time for outside money to come to his aid. But with less than two weeks to go, Roberts has climbed back into the race and holds a narrow 0.5-point edge, according to TPM's PollTracker average.

He's done it by playing hard to the conservative base that nearly ousted him in the Republican primary this summer and relentlessly pounding Orman as a closet liberal who would boost Obama's agenda. But therein lies a risk. Roberts has rebounded by going hard right -- but he has to hold onto some moderates to counter Orman's appeal to the middle and his nearly universal support among Democrats.

It's a narrow path to victory, everybody watching the race agrees. But it's a much more realistic one than anyone would have thought a month ago.

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Larimar County Clerk Angela Myers (R) ordered that copies of the Tuesday edition of the Rocky Mountain Collegian, the student newspaper for Colorado State University, be removed from newsstands at the school's student center

The paper featured a front-page story about Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), who is locked in one of the closest Senate races in the country -- and therefore Myers said that they violated electioneering laws, according to the Rocky Mountain Collegian's own report on the controversy.

Myers cited a state law that said “no electioneering may take place within a 100-foot limit of any polling location."

"When you have a paper that has a candidate on the very front like it does, we will need that to be displayed outside the 100-foot limit," she said.

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