5) Attorney General Eric Holder
telegraphed his intention to have his department review new voting laws
. There is already a heated partisan debate over the matter, and if the Justice Department enters the fray in a major way, expect things to grow even more contentious.
4) Following the Supreme Court decision to grant a stay on an interim redistricting map in Texas, Republicans and Democrats have come to an agreement on extending the filing deadline -- which is Thursday -- by four days
. There is still the question of whether next year's primaries will be split between two dates, with statewide, unaffected races going first, and affected races going next.
3) Check out my colleague Jessica Taylor
of the newly released congressional map in Pennsylvania which shores up vulnerable GOP members. The biggest beneficiary: Freshman Republican Rep. Lou Barletta
, whose once Democratic-friendly district is now solidly in the GOP column.
2) The House passed legislation that would extend the payroll-tax cut 234-193
, with just ten Democrats voting yes on the measure that the White House is not in favor of.
Politically, the vote is holds some interesting clues. Notable Democratic yes votes included: Reps. Joe Donnelly
(IN), who is running for the Senate in the Republican-leaning state, and Jim Matheson
(UT), who is considering a gubernatorial bid in Utah. Many of the other Democratic yes votes were from members facing potentially tough re-elections, like Reps. John Barrow
(GA), Leonard Boswell
(IA), Dave Loebsack
(IA), and Tim Walz
One notable GOP no vote: Rep. Jeff Flake
(AZ), who is running for the Senate and has been an outspoken fiscal conservative throughout his Congressional career.
1) Notice how quickly the bombthrowing in the Romney-Newt Gingrich
battle has escalated. Last week, team Romney began to engage by having prominent surrogates raise questions about Gingrich's stability. Fast forward to Tuesday, and you get this line form the former Bay State governor, in an interview with the Washington Post
: "He has been an extraordinarily unreliable leader in the conservative world -- not 16 or 17 years ago but in the last two to three years."
According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll
, Gingrich leads Romney 40 percent to 23 percent. But he trails Obama in a general election, 51 to 40 percent.
Jessica Taylor contributed