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

Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) has been attacked by Republicans for saying that the Islamic State is not an "imminent threat" to the United States, and he is now punching back with his own campaign ad talking a tough game against the militant group that has beheaded American journalists while terrorizing parts of Iraq and Syria.

Udall started to take heat last month when he said in a debate that ISIL, also known as ISIS, was not an immediate threat and invoked the names of the two U.S. journalists killed the group to explain his position (for which he apologized).

Gardner was soon criticizing him -- "I believe that it’s time for Senator Udall to stop hiding behind this President’s lack of strategy and actually step forward and acknowledge that this is a terrorist organization that poses a threat that we must address and deal with" -- the National Republican Senatorial Committee went up with an ad last week ripping Udall for the statement.

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No Senate race has been more interesting in the last month than Kansas. A major-party nominee dropped out, apparently at the behest of the national party, opening the door for an unknown but well-funded independent to challenge the stumbling incumbent. Polling has showed independent Greg Orman with as much as a 10-point lead over Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS).

But you wouldn't know that the fate of the Senate might be at stake with so little money coming in from outside groups.

The committees that must report their spending have expended less than $1 million combined in Kansas since Sept. 3, the day Taylor dropped out, according to a TPM review of Federal Election Committee data. By comparison, in another crucial Senate race in nearby Iowa, outside groups have spent $8.9 million, at a minimum, on television ads over the same period.

The inaction has left some operatives, particularly Republicans, stunned. Some GOP operatives see it as an indictment of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, whose job is to elect Republicans to the Senate. But even beyond the NRSC, the other big name outside groups on the right largely haven't come to Roberts's rescue. Whether that's because he's seen as a lost cause, or merely a lower priority than other races, it's left Roberts particularly vulnerable to the current challenge from Orman.

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On Sept. 29, more than two weeks after Eric Frein allegedly opened fire on a Pennsylvania state police barracks, killing one trooper and injuring another, law enforcement had him in their sights. He was 75 to 100 yards away from their agents. The noose seemed to be tightening.

It wasn't the first time: 10 days earlier, police believed that they had Frein cornered in a house not far from Canadensis, Pa., where his parents live. They exchanged gunfire, but weren't able to nab him in what has turned into a cat-and-mouse game in the wilds of Pennsylvania.

Shortly after allegedly ambushing the troopers, Frein ditched his SUV in a swamp. Evidence recovered during the manhunt suggests he has lived off canned tuna, worn adult diapers so he could keep an ever-watchful eye on those hunting him, and planted pipe bombs in his bid to ward off authorities.

But even when Frein was within sight of his pursuers for a second time, he somehow, some way, slipped back into the Poconos Mountain wilderness and eluded capture.

Now, nearly a month after the shooting, he's still out there.

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The No. 2 official at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., is scheduled to speak Sunday at an event co-hosted by Concerned Women for America -- a group with a long history of fermenting the "creeping Sharia" conspiracy theory.

Reuven Azar, the deputy head of mission at the Israeli embassy, is listed as a confirmed speaker, along with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and CWA CEO and president Penny Nance, for Sunday's Rally for Israel at Upper Senate Park near the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

One of CWA's core issues is support for Israel -- but another pet project for the group has been fighting the alleged specter of Sharia law that is threatening to undermine American values and, ultimately, the existence of the United States.

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Confronted with an unexpectedly robust challenge from independent candidate Greg Orman, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) seems to be playing to the hard right. He has tapped Sarah Palin as a stump surrogate and invoked "national socialism" as recent campaign event.

But is going uber-conservative is the right move for Roberts to save his seat? A new analysis from Gallup suggests it might not be.

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Nate Silver wrote on Thursday that he doesn't see his ongoing dispute with Princeton University's Sam Wang as a mano-a-mano showdown. Rather, it is the entire world that is at odds with Wang's election forecast, he argued.

Silver gave an extended critique of Wang's forecasting model to Taegan Goddard's Political Wire. He started by noting that almost every other predictor, from Five Thirty Eight to Daily Kos to the betting markets, gives Republicans the edge in taking the Senate in November.

Except Wang.

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In an open letter to President Barack Obama, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) said Thursday that he would like to meet personally with him to discuss Pence's proposal to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.

Under Pence and the Republican-controlled legislature, Indiana was one of more than 20 states initially refused to expand Medicaid this year, leaving 182,000 people uncovered. But Pence, like several other GOP governors, has since opened up to the idea -- provided the administration meets his conditions.

Pence has proposed an alternative form of Medicaid expansion, using an existing state program. It includes some provisions that the administration might not be willing to accept. Those would, for example, include allowing coverage to be revoked if an enrollee fails to make payments toward their health care..

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After a Kansas district court ruled on Wednesday that the Kansas Democratic Party did not have to name a new Senate nominee, it seems that Secretary of State Kris Kobach effectively threw in the towel in his bid to force Democrats to put somebody on the ballot in the November.

Kobach's office sent an order to local election officials Wednesday after the ruling instructing them to prepare and print ballots with no Democratic nominee.

"There will be no Democratic candidate on the ballot," the order, obtained by TPM, said. "There will be no position on the ballot for the Democratic Party for US Senate. Remember to include a write-in blank."

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Nate Silver acknowledged that he was doing something a little unusual in a Sept. 17 blog post when he called out fellow forecaster Sam Wang of Princeton University. But it also appears to have been the culmination of a long-simmering -- if largely under-the-radar -- feud.

"I don’t like to call out other forecasters by name unless I have something positive to say about them -- and we think most of the other models out there are pretty great," Silver wrote. But he then labeled Wang's model "wrong" and provided a detailed argument (with footnotes) to explain why he thought so.

And it didn't stop there. Periodically over the last week or so, Silver has continued to take shots on Twitter at Wang's forecasting model, which has consistently been more optimistic about Democratic odds of keeping the Senate than Silver's (or any other forecaster).

That led to a lot of buzz in the tiny world of poll nerds and a series of pained responses on Twitter from Wang. In separate interviews with TPM, Silver declined to say what exactly provoked him but said Wang had been "deceptive" in characterizing their disagreement while, for his part, Wang continued to chide Silver, particularly for refusing to engage with him directly.

Here's a sampling of some recent Silver tweets knocking Wang:

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