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In a recent poll of likely 2016 Republican presidential candidates, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ranked well ahead of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney. (associated press)

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GOP political operative Phil Cox, who helped former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell get elected, has called Gov. Chris Christie the party's "best communicator." (Associated Press)

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GOP Base Obstacle Course (Illustration by Dana Summers of the Tribune Media Services)

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If Jeb Bush — the younger son of the 41st president and the brother of the 43rd commander in chief — is to blaze his own path to the nomination, it may have to follow the script of another famous Republican who fell from conservative grace yet captured the GOP's seal of approval: the 2012 version of Mitt Romney. (Associated Press)

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With a new Congress set to convene in January, Republicans are casting their lot with Democratic New York Sen. Charles Schumer, whose more moderate policies the GOP believes it can work with over the far more liberal beliefs trumpeted by Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. (Associated Press)

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in and out of favor: With a new Congress set to convene in January, Republicans are casting their lot with Democratic New York Sen. Charles Schumer, whose more moderate policies the GOP believes it can work with over the far more liberal beliefs trumpeted by Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. (associated press)

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Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, tried to take a stand on immigration enforcement and scuttled a deal arranged by Senate GOP leaders, thus allowing Democrats more time to approve key nominees before they lose control of the Senate at the end of the year. (Associated Press photographs)

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Iowa House Speaker and incoming chair of the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee Kraig Paulsen said the GOP takeover at the state levels "translates to better public policy [and] greater opportunity for middle-class families." (Associated Press)

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Current and former Republican National Committee members are launching a private effort to leverage President Obama's amnesty for illegal immigrants into a campaign to lure independent voters and disgruntled Democrats to the GOP, The Washington Times has learned. (Associated Press)

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Ashton Carter, President Obama's nominee for defense secretary, is expected to cruise through his confirmation hearings, though the GOP is preparing to hit at the president's security policy and lack of vision. (Associated press)

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Florida civil rights activists are calling on Duval GOP Secretary Kim Crenier to resign after she tweeted Monday night that officials should blast fire hoses at "thugs" in Ferguson, Missouri. (WJAX-TV)

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Despite the GOP takeover earlier this month, the honeymoon for Republican leaders may be over, according to polls. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Asian Americans Favoring the GOP Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

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Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, has called on Senate GOP leaders to refuse to confirm almost all of President Obama's nominations to judicial or executive offices until the president rescinds his amnesty order. (Associated Press)

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is stepping down in January after 14 years in Austin, said that although voters sent a message of approval to GOP state leaders, the electorate's favor must nonetheless be earned. (Associated Press)

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Sen. Barry Goldwater, then the GOP presidential nominee, and his vice presidential running mate, Rep. William E. Miller of New York, appear together on Capitol Hill, Aug. 14, 1964. In the fall election, the Conservative Party took the lead in promoting Goldwater after word went out that the state GOP was not to lift a finger for its presidential nominee. Although Goldwater lost New York by nearly 3 million votes on Election Day in 1964, he had a lasting impact on the state's fledgling conservative movement. (Associated Press)

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Barry Goldwater, the GOP presidential candidate four years ago, waves to the delegates and spectator during his speech to this year's Republican National Convention in Miami Beach August 5, 1968. (AP Photo)

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Barry Goldwater, the GOP presidential candidate four years ago, waves to the delegates and spectator during his speech to this year's Republican National Convention in Miami Beach August 5, 1968. (AP Photo)

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Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, returns to Capitol Hill for the lame duck session following a sweep for the GOP in the midterm elections that will shift the balance of power in January, giving Republicans control of the Senate as well as the House, in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Illustration on the new faces of the Republican party by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times