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  • FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2013, file photo Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington after House leaders reached a last-minute agreement to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown. Cruz made a name for himself by leading the tea party charge toward shutdown. About half of the respondents in a recent Associated Press-GfK poll knew enough about Cruz to form an opinion, impressive for a senator elected less than a year ago. The bad news for Cruz? Their opinion was negative by a 2-1 margin. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

    Republican candidates are proud of comparisons to Ted Cruz

    The competition to be the next Ted Cruz is extremely hot within the Republican Party, where a number of emerging challengers are hoping to capitalize on the newest brand name in conservative politics.

  • Ted Cruz thanks his wife, Heidi, in front of a cheering crowd after he defeated Republican rival, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, in a runoff election Tuesday for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the retiring Kay Bailey Hutchison. (Houston Chronicle/Johnny Hanson via Associated Press)

    Tea party basks in Cruz’s win in Texas

    Ted Cruz's stunning 14-percentage-point victory over Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in Tuesday's runoff for the Texas Republican Senate nomination gives the tea party explosive momentum heading into the remaining primaries nationwide and the November general elections.

  • Gasoline prices are shown at a local gas station in Miami, Wednesday, April 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

    Gas prices imperil Obama re-election bid

    Voters are giving President Obama an emphatic thumbs-down for his handling of gas prices — 68 percent disapprove of his response to the problem in the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll.

  • Gasoline prices are shown at a local gas station in Miami, Wednesday, April 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

    Gas numbers game is a loser for Obama

    President Obama's poll numbers are up and the country's unemployment figures are down — but $4 gas poses a potent threat to the incumbent's re-election bid, polls show.

  • "The ideal is somebody that is beloved by the tea party who holds statewide office in a swing state and, oh, is Hispanic and young," said Jennifer E. Duffy, of the Cook Political Report. "He [Sen. Marco Rubio] pretty much fills that bill, doesn't he?" (Associated Press)

    Frosh senator ignores 'Rubio for VP' push

    While the field for the Republican presidential nomination is crowded and up for grabs, many pundits and politicos are ready to proclaim a front-runner for the ticket's second spot — Florida's Sen. Marco Rubio.

  • Associated Press
Former Sen. Dan Coats, Indiana Republican, casts his ballot in Indianapolis on Tuesday, en route back to the Senate.

    Republicans net at least six Senate seats

    Republicans held all of their Senate seats left open by retirements and picked off several seats held by Democrats to capture at least six seats in the midterm election, giving them a louder voice in the legislative chamber most likely to shape President Obama's agenda for the next two years.

  • *FILE PHOTO* ASSOCIATED PRESS.
Joe Miller is seen in his Fairbanks, Alaska, law office on Thursday. Sen. Lisa Murkowski conceded the GOP primary to him in late August.

    GOP cash fills coffers of 'tea party' hopefuls

    Eager to present a unified front before the midterm elections, the GOP's congressional campaign committees say they are rallying their financial and political muscle behind "tea party" candidates who knocked off some of their hand-picked Republicans in the primaries.

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