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

Republican challenger Cory Gardner is maintaining a steady lead over Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), according to a new CNN/ORC poill.

Gardner leads Udall, 50 percent to 46 percent, among likely voters, the survey released Wednesday found. It was CNN/ORC's first foray into the race, but other recent polls have found a similar margin. Polls from Survey USA and Fox News last week showed Gardner up four points and six points, respectively.

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Georgia's Democratic Senate nominee Michelle Nunn pulled ahead of Republican David Perdue in a new Survey USA poll released Wednesday.

Nunn leads Perdue, 48 percent to 45 percent, among likely voters, according to the poll conducted for WXIA in Atlanta. Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford took 3 percent. Last week, Survey USA put Perdue up, 46 percent to 45 percent.

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By all the public polling, Democrats should really be sweating the Colorado Senate race at this point. Democratic Sen. Mark Udall trails his Republican challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner, by more than 5 points on average. Election forecasters have pegged Colorado (along with Iowa) as the most likely election to swing control of the Senate.

But Democrats believe they've seen this movie before. In the 2010 Colorado Senate campaign, Democratic nominee Michael Bennet trailed (or was at best tied) in the last 11 polls of his race against Republican Ken Buck. But then on Election Day, Bennet eked out a less-than-1 point win, a rare bright spot in an otherwise tough cycle for Democrats. The win was attributed by the press to his campaign's singular focus on two core Democratic constituencies -- women and Hispanics -- and an unprecedented, data-driven get-out-the-vote effort.

Now Bennet is the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the DSCC has attracted headlines for exporting the Bennet model in 2014 to other tough races like Arkansas and Louisiana in a $60 million effort named for Bannock Street, where Bennet's campaign offices were located in Denver.

But in an ironic twist, the model may be put to its severest test right back where it began, in Colorado, where Democrats are hoping to recreate the Bennet 2010 magic to pull out a win for Udall.

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Can you feel the Mitt-mentum?

The Romney 2016 speculation is the story that nobody -- reportedly including the once (and future?) candidate -- seems to be able to quit. Mark Halperin at Bloomberg Politics reported last week that the losing 2012 presidential candidate had been seen huddling with conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch at a recent Republican fundraiser and had "tongues a-wagging." An upcoming private dinner with former campaign advisers "has Romney intimates abuzz," according to the Washington Post.

"A lot of people in Romneyland are rooting for him to get in," one inner-circle source told CNN in recent weeks, while another added: "I wouldn't bet on it, but I wouldn't bet either."

A Des Moines Register poll released Saturday found Romney leading presumed Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in a (hypothetical) 2016 match-up. Now the Post is out with its report that "his friends said a flurry of behind-the-scenes activity is nudging him to more seriously consider it."

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At the start of a final media blitz heading into Election Day, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall's campaign is going up with a new ad attacking his Republican challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner, over the issue that has been the centerpiece of Udall's campaign: women's health.

Udall's campaign is also rolling out a new ad that touts his criticism of the National Security Agency's domestic spying programs. Both ads are six-figure statewide buys and part of the campaign's plan to flood the Colorado airwaves before the election, with the race, crucial to control of the Senate, looking like it will be one of the tightest in the country.

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New polls released on Monday showed the Colorado Senate race swinging in favor of Republican challenger Cory Gardner in his race against Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO).

A SurveyUSA poll conducted for the Denver Post showed Gardner leading, 45 percent to 43 percent among likely voters. That's within the margin of error, but represents a shift toward Gardner since last month, when the same pollster found Udall leading 46 to 42 percent.

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This is the last thing Larry Pressler needs.

With opponents on the both the right and left trying to make an issue of the former Republican-senator-turned-independent's longtime presence in D.C., an old Associated Press story from the 1990s surfaced on Twitter Monday in which Pressler himself touted how long he'd lived in DC and openly pondered a run for D.C. mayor.

Pressler, whose presence in the South Dakota Senate race has disrupted that race, was weighing a Washington, D.C., mayoral bid in the AP story headlined "PRESSLER MAY RUN FOR D.C. MAYOR" and dated July 11, 1998. The uncovered press clipping follows a report from Politico last week that Pressler's primary residence is still in Washington.

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The National Organization for Marriage, the leading anti-gay marriage group, reported Monday to the Federal Election Commission that it had spent several thousand dollars on robocalls attacking openly gay Republican congressional candidates.

NOM reported it spent more than $2,000 each on calls opposing GOP candidates Carl DeMaio in the California 52nd and Richard Tisei in the Massachusetts 6th. DeMaio and Tisei are both openly gay and support same-sex marriage.

The group is also spending money on calls against Oregon GOP Senate candidate Monica Wehby, who announced her support for gay marriage last month.

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As South Dakota takes its place as possibly the most interesting Senate race in the country, a Republican polling firm has found the Democratic candidate within striking distance.

A Harper Polling survey released Monday found Democratic candidate Rick Weiland (pictured) trailing former Republican Gov. Mike Rounds, 33 percent to 37 percent. The independent candidate, former GOP Sen. Larry Pressler, whom both sides are attacking, takes 23 percent.

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Whole categories of political attacks proliferate every cycle that no one truly thinks matters, if they were honest with themselves. Not the political operatives who push them. Not the political reporters who cover them. Certainly not the candidates themselves. As for the voters, it's just white noise.

After a while, some of these attacks -- how many votes has so-and-so missed, for example -- start to seem like they're generated by some primitive computer programmed 40 years ago that no one bothered to unplug. Does anyone really care?

Every cycle has its own wrinkle on the theme: the political attack that everyone goes through the motions of treating half-seriously, even though no one anywhere gives half a damn.

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