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Seth McLaughlin

Seth McLaughlin, a reporter on the Politics Desk, can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @SethMcLaughlin1

Articles by Seth McLaughlin

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has received credit for making changes necessary to help the GOP win a special congressional election in Florida last week. (Associated Press)

A year after RNC postmortem: GOP outreach advances, but key voters still distant

Republican officials said Monday that they have improved their nuts-and-bolts campaign and are making big strides in voter outreach — but there is little evidence that it is making a difference in reaching the minorities, women and young voters who are key to winning national elections. Published March 17, 2014

Midland University president and Republican Senate candidate Ben Sasse is pictured on campus in this photo from June 5, 2013, in Fremont, Neb. The Senate Conservatives Fund, a national conservative group, has endorsed Sasse in Nebraska's U.S. Senate race on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, setting him up as the race's tea party candidate. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

No clear-cut leader in Nebraska Republican primary

Tea party and conservative groups have been able to pick a clear favorite in most of this year's Senate GOP primaries — but that's not the case in Nebraska, where four candidates, all claiming conservative bragging rights, are running. Published March 16, 2014

Republican David W. Jolly won Tuesday in a Florida congressional race in an election emblematic of the new reality of money in politics. (Associated Press)

Florida election emblematic of new reality of money

So much outside money poured into this week's special election in Florida that the battle in the Tampa-area district felt more like a fight for the presidency than a congressional race. Published March 12, 2014

Iowa Republican Party chairman A.J. Spiker.

Former Iowa GOP chief takes post with Rand Paul PAC

The former head of the Iowa Republican Party has taken a job with Sen. Rand Paul's political action committee — providing more evidence that the Kentucky Republican is laying the foundation for a 2016 presidential bid. Published March 10, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held at the Gaylord Hotel, National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 7, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

CPAC 2014: Straw poll signals Paul-Cruz showdown for conservative voters

The one-two finish of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz in The Washington Times/CPAC straw poll over the weekend cemented their rock star status among grass-roots activists — and signaled that the two tea party favorites are destined for a showdown over which senator will carry the conservative flag in the contest for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Published March 9, 2014

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, March 6, 2014. Ryan said GOP leaders and conservative activists should "give each other the benefit of the doubt" in the debate over the party's future. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Poll shows GOP discontent, Congress frustration

Last week's Conservative Political Action Conference did little to dispel the notion of a deep rift between grass-roots activists and national GOP leaders, with CPAC's three-day straw poll showing frustration with Congress and a growing discontent with "establishment" presidential candidates. Published March 9, 2014

** FILE ** Former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin addresses the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Saturday, March 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Palin dings Obama, calls for conservative reinforcements in Washington

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called on conservatives Saturday to strengthen their limited government ranks in the midterm election - even if it means replacing GOP lawmakers that have been reluctant to take a more aggressive stance against the Obama administration. Published March 8, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 7, 2014. Friday marks the second day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which brings together prospective presidential candidates, conservative opinion leaders and tea party activists from coast to coast. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Rand Paul urges conservatives to fight with him for liberty

Sen. Rand Paul urged the thousands that turned out for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to imagine electing a "friend of liberty" to the White House who will defend the Constitution and push back against a federal government that is trampling over their individual rights. Published March 7, 2014

Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times

Despite GOP push on immigration, doubts rampant

Despite a year of pressure from top Republican leaders saying it's politically necessary for the party to pass an immigration bill, rank-and-file conservatives at CPAC are unconvinced, saying they want their party focus to be on border security rather than working with Democrats to legalize illegal immigrants. Published March 6, 2014

At a Crossroads: Sen. Ted Cruz (left) of Texas, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (center) and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida are among the conference speakers grappling with the question of how to govern while sticking to conservative principles. (Associated Press)

GOP optimism, agenda emerge at CPAC

Gov. Chris Christie fired up the crowd at CPAC Thursday with his call for Republicans to present a positive agenda, while Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio laid out the outlines of what that kind of agenda could look like — and Rep. Paul Ryan sounded like a man who's seriously thinking about running for the White House. Published March 6, 2014

**FILE** Rep. Ed Royce, California Republican (Associated Press)

Rep. Ed Royce: Way to weaken Putin is to mess with his money

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Wednesday that a couple keys to ending the crisis in Ukraine is to freeze the assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin's deep-pocketed pals and open up LNG exports to Europe. Published March 5, 2014

FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2014 file photo, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. listens on Capitol Hill in Washington. Striving for unity among Democrats rather than compromise with Republicans, President Barack Obama unveils an election-year budget on Tuesday that drops cuts to Social Security and seeks new money for infrastructure, education and job training. Congress will likely approve a smaller amount based on last year's budget deal. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Obama's budget doesn't bode well for compromise: Rep. Paul Ryan

The chairman of the House Budget Committee says he is concerned that President Obama's budget blueprint is going to lead to more legislative gridlock on Capitol Hill over spending, entitlement programs and the national debt. Published March 5, 2014