4) National Journal's Ronald Brownstein explains the volatility in the GOP presidential contest: it's become two races running along parallel but very distinct tracks. 3) Some serious bet hedging in the Silver State: How close is the Nevada Senate race? Jon Ralston finds that three dozen PACs have given to both Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley and Republican Sen. Dean Heller in 2011. 2) The St. Petersburg Times reports that Republicans are trying to convince state CFO Jeff Atwater to run for Senate. Like Rep. Connie Mack, Atwater would have the ability to make some waves in the GOP race if he enters. 1) President Obama has pledged not to take money from lobbyists, but the New York Times reports today that at least 15 of his bundlers are involved in lobbying for Washington consulting shops or private companies and have raised more than $5 million so far for the campaign. Technically, they are not registered as lobbyists with the Senate. But the technical definition isn't going to satisfy critics. As we wrote on Thursday about Elizabeth Warren's lobbyist ties: The reality in D.C. is that lobbyists play a big role in governing, and in funding campaigns. That creates challenges for any politicians who take hard stances against lobbyists -- it's extremely difficult to be completely separated.
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