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. Pat Roberts (R-KS) held a one-point advantage over independent Greg Orman in a CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday, his first lead since the Democratic nominee dropped out of the race in September.

Roberts leads 49 percent to 48 percent among likely voters, according to the new poll. It was CNN/ORC's first poll of the Kansas race this year. The poll did not include libertarian candidate Randall Batson, who has been drawing up to 5 percent of the vote in other recent polls.

Former Democratic nominee Chad Taylor was formally removed from the race on Sept. 18.

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Bloomberg Politics reported Wednesday that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to spend $1 million on the South Dakota Senate race, as the race starts to draw unexpected attention as polls have shown the presumed GOP frontrunner, former Gov. Mike Rounds, failing to pull away.

It is a huge infusion of money into the race. As TPM reported earlier on Wednesday, the campaign-finance-focused MayDay PAC is also planning to spend $1 million to support Democratic candidate Rick Weiland. Outside groups had spent only $350,000 in South Dakota since Sept. 1.

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Democrats have already pulled off one unthinkable ploy this year in Kansas, dropping their own candidate and leaving an independent (who sounds a lot like a Democrat) who is currently holding a solid lead against the GOP incumbent.

Now things are getting interesting in South Dakota, where Sen. Tim Johnson (D) is not seeking re-election and which until now had been written off as a Republican gain in November. Big money from an unexpected source is starting to spill into the race to give Democratic candidate Rick Weiland a boost, and polling shows that Republican candidate Mike Rounds hasn't been able to build a foolproof lead with an independent candidate muddying the campaign.

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Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), a vulnerable incumbent who like many of his fellow Democrats has faced attacks over Obamacare, is attempting to counter with a new radio ad that trots out the tried-and-true Democratic rebuttal: "Fix it."

In the spot, which debuted Tuesday, Begich acknowledges frustration with the law, but points to proposals -- like a bill that would allow insurance companies to offer a cheaper plan than currently allowed -- as evidence that he is working to improve it.

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Conservatives aren't sure what to make of a single case of Ebola appearing on American shores last week. But they are quite certain that they can't trust what President Barack Obama or any other liberal elites tell them or do about it.

The lines of thought range widely. Is the scientifically verified claim that Eloba cannot be transmitted through the air a "canard"? Is the government so inept that it can't contain Ebola now that it's here? Is Obama's refusal to issue some kind of comprehensive travel ban for the African countries where the current Ebola epidemic started an indictment of liberal dreams of diversity and political correctness? These and more have made appearances on the right in recent days and weeks.

But the one common thread is that -- one way or another -- Obama and company have clearly done something wrong. Or they will.

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UPDATE: 5:34 p.m. ET: The AFP tweet using the post-Aurora image has been deleted, and Freedom Partners Action Fund told BuzzFeed that the image would be removed from its ad.

The Koch brothers behemoth Americans for Prosperity got in some trouble earlier this year when it used a photo of Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) and President Barack Obama standing side by side after the Aurora shooting in an attack ad against Udall. But BuzzFeed reported Tuesday that another Koch-backed group is up on the air with another attack ad that uses part of the same image.

Freedom Action Partners Fund, another entity in the Koch empire, is using Obama's likeness in the post-Aurora photo in a new TV ad against Udall, according to BuzzFeed.

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This post has been updated.

Last week, numerous news outlets, national and local, reported on a huge increase in registered voters in Ferguson, Mo., following the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown. But it apparently didn't actually happen.

The St. Louis County elections board reported that 3,287 Ferguson residents had registered to vote. That is a huge surge for a city of 21,000, particularly as controversy swelled about the racial make-up of the city government after the shooting. Ferguson is two-thirds African-American, but its mayor and all but one member of the six-person city council are white.

But apparently that first report was in error. There was no voter registration spike. The county elections board reversed course on Tuesday and said that, actually, only 128 people had registered to vote since the shooting.

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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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