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Seth McLaughlin

Seth McLaughlin, a reporter on the Politics Desk, can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @SethMcLaughlin1

Articles by Seth McLaughlin

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)

Republican kingmaker Phil Cox sets eyes on 2016 race

Republican governors had arguably the best showing of anyone on Election Day last month, and a key mastermind behind their efforts is Phil Cox, who cut his teeth in Virginia politics and has now become one of the most sought-after campaign staffers of the 2016 presidential cycle. Published December 28, 2014

Rep. Steve King. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Iowa's Steve King rules over GOP on road to presidency

Rep. Steve King has summoned the potential field of 2016 Republican presidential candidates to Iowa next month for his Freedom Summit, and they are jumping at the opportunity — underscoring the conservative firebrand's political pull and marking the event as the first major gathering of the next campaign for the White House. Published December 28, 2014

Former GOP presidential contender Sen. Rick Santorum said, "We are putting the pieces together, just trying to build the model and see if it takes off. We are trying to raise money, and we put a good team together in Iowa and South Carolina already, and we are working on one in New Hampshire." (Associated Press)

Rick Santorum retools for 2016 White House run

Rick Santorum is gearing up for another run for president and vows next time he'll be an even stronger candidate — armed with a retooled message aimed at the working class, an established network of supporters and, perhaps more importantly, a resume that he believes dovetails with the issues conservatives care about most. Published December 23, 2014

Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican, who was part of the 2010 tea party wave and who the groups are now rallying around, is hoping to head off an establishment-backed challenge in 2016. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Tea party to defend its small government champions in 2016 Senate races

Sen. John McCain likely has a bull's-eye on his back, but tea party groups have signaled that they expect the 2016 Senate races to be a lot more about defending the small government champions the movement helped win in the 2010 wave election than in headhunting 'establishment' Republicans. Published December 21, 2014

A police super PAC has debuted to draft Mitt Romney for president in 2016, but the former governor insists it was done without his blessing. (Israeli American Council) ** FILE **

PAC forms to draft Romney into 2016 race for president

A "Ready for Romney" political action committee announced its formation over the weekend, paving the way should Mitt Romney make another bid for president — but even some of the two-time candidate's advisers don't know who's behind it. Published December 15, 2014

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus (Associated Press) **FILE**

RNC cap on 2016 debates could give rise to 'new round of sideshows'

The Republican National Committee's push to limit the number of debates in the 2016 presidential primary could end up creating an arms race of sorts, with groups denied the chance to hold "official" debates instead hosting candidate forums that would serve much the same purpose. Published December 7, 2014

Louisiana's Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy met Monday in a debate before Saturday's runoff election. (Associated Press)

Mary Landrieu, Bill Cassidy face off in final debate

Down in the polls and with no easy path to victory in sight, Sen. Mary L. Landrieu looked to land a haymaker Monday in a debate against Rep. Bill Cassidy, demanding that her Republican challenger come clean about whether he billed the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center for a no-show job. Published December 1, 2014

Carly Fiorina, former Chief Executive Officer of Hewlett-Packard, speaks to the Restore America rally in Louisville, Kentucky, Wednesday. Her visits to early caucus and primary states has left an impression that she's testing the waters for a potential dark-horse candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential race. (Associated Press)

Carly Fiorina could shake up a crowded 2016 GOP field

With the 2016 GOP presidential race starting in earnest in the new year, there is a dearth of prominent women candidates. But a number of Republicans say that Carly Fiorina could change that. Published November 26, 2014

With potential candidates including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former Sen. Rick Santorum,  Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, said there's no clear front-runner yet for the conservative Christian vote. (Associated Press Photographs)

Social conservatives eye Christian vote in 2016

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who rallied religious voters in a 2012 presidential nomination bid, this week signaled a possible run for president in 2016, but he can expect a GOP field far more crowded with social conservatives. Published November 12, 2014

Michelle Steel, a Republican candidate for the Orange County Board of Supervisors, is one of many GOP candidates tapping into Democratic-style identity politics to win support among minority voters. (Associated Press)

GOP makes big inroads with Asian voters in midterms

Republicans on Election Day had their best showing among Asian voters in decades, topping Democrats for the first time since the 1990s, according to exit polls that have analysts wondering if the GOP has found a way to make inroads with the fast-growing demographic. Published November 9, 2014

Carson

Ben Carson gets jump-start on 2016, airs hourlong ad introducing himself nationwide

Rising conservative star Ben Carson will be the subject of a documentary set to air over the weekend that with give people across the country greater insight into his life and likely spur more speculation about his presidential ambitions in a week when the midterm elections gave a boost to many of his potential rivals. Published November 5, 2014

The biggest question mark on the Republican side is whether former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will run for president in 2016. (Associated Press)

Race for 2016 begins in earnest

After simmering throughout the 2014 primaries and general election, the feud between tea party and establishment Republicans is set to boil over in the next two years as both factions turn up the heat in the battle to be kingmakers for the GOP presidential nominee. Published November 4, 2014