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

Articles by Dylan

National Democrats won't be advertising on behalf of independent Kansas Senate candidate Greg Orman, who is positioned to challenge the Republican incumbent now that the Democratic nominee has stopped campaigning, but they don't sound like they've categorically ruled out any kind of role in the race.

Guy Cecil, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said Tuesday his organization "would not advertise on behalf of" Orman in his race against Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), according to the Washington Post.

But he added that the DSCC would "continue to assess" the situation, seemingly leaving open the possibility of some kind of participation down the road.

"This race has a long way to develop and it's one we're going to continue to assess as time goes on," Cecil said during a panel discussion in Washington, D.C.

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Kansas is the most interesting state in the (political) union right now. And one man is right in the middle of it: Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

It was Kobach who ruled that Democratic nominee Chad Taylor, who wants to drop out of the Senate race, must remain on the November ballot. That decision could quite literally swing control of the U.S. Senate, depending on the winner of the contest between Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and independent candidate Greg Orman, whose emergence preceded Taylor's withdrawal. Kobach has also been inevitably allied with Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, who is currently trailing his Democratic challenger in what could be the upset of the 2014 cycle.

So Democratic eyes are fixed on Kansas. But they aren't just looking at Brownback and Roberts. They want Kobach, too. He has the tea party resume that liberals loathe, and he's also up for re-election. Now it looks like Democrats have a realistic chance to unseat him.

The KSN News/Survey USA poll released Monday found Democratic candidate Jean Schodorf leading Kobach by three percentage points, 46 percent to 43 percent. That is within the margin of error, but it is a significant reversal from June when Survey USA found Kobach leading Schodorf, 47 percent to 41 percent.

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Chad Taylor, the Democratic Senate nominee in Kansas, has sued Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) to get his name removed from the ballot in November.

Kobach ruled last week that Taylor's name would not be removed from the ballot in November despite his announcement that he would withdraw from the race. Taylor had previously said that he would challenge Kobach's decision, and the Associated Press reported Tuesday that he had filed a petition in the Kansas Supreme Court naming Kobach as the defendant.

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Can Hillary Clinton's presumed 2016 frontrunner status be reduced to her chromosomes? That view seems to have penetrated the D.C. punditocracy, as relayed by NBC's newly christened "Meet The Press" moderator Chuck Todd on Monday.

Todd said in an interview on the Charlie Rose Show that the former secretary of state and U.S. senator would not be the prohibitive favorite "if she were running to be the second woman president."

"If she were running to be the second woman president, I think she would not even be considered a frontrunner," he said, according to a transcript provided to TPM. "She'd be just considered another candidate."

Rose and Todd referenced the "historical narrative" that Clinton would have in 2016 -- one that wasn't as prevalent in 2008, when she was running against another historical candidate in Barack Obama. "This time hers seems that kind of powerful," Todd said. "It does feel that powerful."

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A spokesman for the family of murdered U.S. journalist Steven Joel Sotloff said Monday that the relationship between the family and the Obama administration was "very strained" while criticizing the administration for its treatment of the family during the ordeal.

Sotloff, who was beheaded by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, had been missing since August 2013. Barak Barfi, a family spokesman and a research fellow at the New America Foundation, told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday that the Sotloff's family contact with the administration had largely been limited to two FBI agents.

"The administration could have done more. They could have helped us. They could have seen them through," he said. "These are people of modest means. They are not cosmopolitan. They don't have college educations. They don't understand the larger ramifications in foreign policy and we just cannot believe that they were afforded the opportunities and the respect that they should have by this administration."

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After a monumental shake-up last week in which the Democratic nominee attempted to drop out of the Kansas Senate race, incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) trails independent candidate Greg Orman by 1 percentage point, according to a poll released Monday.

The KSN News/Survey USA poll found Orman narrowly edging Roberts, 37 percent to 36 percent, though that is well within the margin of error.

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The GOP opponent of Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) is criticizing him for using the names of the two U.S. journalists beheaded by Islamic militants during a Saturday debate. Udall invoked James Foley and Steven Joel Sotloff while arguing against an "impulsive" response to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and the atrocities it has committed.

“I can tell you, Steve Sotloff and James Foley would tell us, 'Don’t be impulsive,'" Udall said, in a brief clip published by National Review Online. "Horrible and barbarous as those executions were, don’t be impulsive. Come up with a plan to knock (ISIS) back.”

Udall's comments came during his debate with Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), the Republican nominee, while discussing how to respond to ISIS.

Gardner rebuked Udall in a Monday statement.

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Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) effectively started his Senate campaign in March by backtracking on his past support for "personhood" -- the anti-abortion position that defines life's beginning as the moment of conception. But liberal groups aren't letting the issue go. and NARAL Pro-Choice America released Monday a new TV ad slamming Gardner for his support for "personhood" initiatives. It plays on a recent Gardner TV ad that touted his support for making birth control pills available over the counter.

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Cornell University professor Ed Baptist told TPM last week that the criticism lobbed (and subsequently retracted) at his new book on slavery by a reviewer at The Economist magazine -- that the book portrayed all blacks as victims and all whites as villains -- was nothing new. He had heard it for a long time in history circles.

Well, here is another bit of evidence of the pervasiveness of The Economist's line of thinking. Slate's Dave Weigel turned up Monday (thanks to historian Rick Perlstein) a 1977 quote from soon-to-be-President Ronald Reagan discussing the television miniseries "Roots."

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After Virginia Republicans blocked Medicaid expansion under Obamacare in June, Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe was defiant. He pledged to return in the fall with an alternative plan that would unilaterally help cover low-income Virginians. "We're moving forward," he said.

But the plan McAuliffe announced Monday falls far short of pushing through the Medicaid expansion his state's Republicans have fought so hard.

McAuliffe's plan, formulated after extensive discussions between state and federal officials, will directly cover only about 25,000 Virginians -- a fraction of the 400,000 low-income residents who would be covered by Medicaid expansion. So for now, it seems, the GOP has won in its showdown with the governor over this key provision of Obamacare.

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