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What We Learned: Politics Briefly Put On Hold What We Learned: Politics Briefly Put On Hold

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What We Learned: Politics Briefly Put On Hold

-- After Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) announced this week that she won't seek re-election, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) emerged as a top potential contender and said he will consider a run at the seat. But not all Republicans are enamored with Dewhurst: Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a kingmaker among Tea Party activists, immediately expressed his preference for other candidates.

While Democrats may be happy to see potential rift in the GOP, there are no signs yet they would be able to exploit the division. Former state Comptroller John Sharp (D) appears the likely Democratic option at this point, and would be a decided underdog against any Republican nominee. Former Houston Mayor Bill White (D), the party's 2010 gubernatorial nominee, repeated this week that he won't run, leaving Democratic options limited in the red state.

-- The landscape of the 2012 Massachusetts Senate race shifted dramatically this week when would be frontrunner Vicki Kennedy (D) definitively ruled out a run against Sen. Scott Brown (R). The move throws the field wide open for Democrats, but most of the focus will now be on Democratic Reps. Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch. But Kennedy's announcement is expected to be detrimental to her party: she was widely viewed as the best shot Democrats had against Brown.

-- During the tragic shootings in Arizona this weekend, Fox News was the go-to network for breaking news. The network's wall-to-wall coverage beat out CNN and MSNBC for the entire day on Saturday, Jan. 8, including the immediate, non-stop coverage starting at 1:30 p.m. Overall, Fox was viewed by more than 1.7 million people during the wall-to-wall coverage while CNN only had 1.2 million viewers turn to their network. Fox News was also viewed by more people during Obama's speech at the University of Arizona on Wednesday, drawing in 3.8 million viewers. CNN, who used to be the network viewers turn to for breaking news, has continued to slip behind Fox.

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