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What We Learned: Newt, For Real What We Learned: Newt, For Real

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What We Learned: Newt, For Real

Meanwhile, we're still waiting for huge decisions on both sides of this race. Nelson has yet to announce his plans on a reelection run. And Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman spent much of the week saying how happy he is in his current job, but failed to give an unequivocal "no" on entering the Senate race. -- Ed Martin's campaign announced Friday he would continue running for Congress in Missouri's 2nd District rather than switch to the gubernatorial race. The decision spares Republican businessman Dave Spence a rough primary - for now. But Spence isn't out of the primary woods yet: Republican Auditor Tom Schweich still hasn't ruled out a bid. -- When it comes to campaigning, former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine's style is looking much more like former Rep. Tom Perriello, than former Rep. Glenn Nye. Despite losing his 2010 race, Perriello over-performed in the campaign, appearing with the president while doing so. Nye deliberately distanced himself from Obama, like Creigh Deeds did in 2009, and got trounced. Kaine defended the president vigorously in his debate this week with former Sen. George Allen and hit Allen as a big spender. However, he did so from the left, neatly walking a line that appeases Democrats while attempting to win over fiscally conservative independents and Republicans. He even made a play for the Tea Party vote, which surely will not materialize but makes a statement about the type of campaign he's willing to wage: one that reaches out across ideological lines. Forget the primaries: in Virginia, the 2012 general election has officially begun. -- Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., may have seemed as though he was taking one for the team this week as he decided to switch back to his current 8th District instead of challenging fellow GOP Rep. Randy Hultgren in what was becoming an increasingly tense primary in the 14th District. In reality, the move back to the more Democratic district was the best option for Walsh, who likely was seeing poll numbers showing him with an uphill climb against Hultgren. No matter where he runs, Walsh, despite his tea party faithful following, will have to overcome the ongoing drama over child support with his ex-wife and his confrontational style with his own constituents. He'll face one of two very well-funded Democrats in the 8th, and despite the urging of NRCC Chair Pete Sessions to switch to the 8th and one local report that says House Speaker John Boehner even promised him $3.5 million in fundraising help if he ran there, don't expect the NRCC to come to his help if he continues to make unflattering headlines and hurt himself in this already long-shot district. They have too many other vulnerable freshmen to try to protect -- including ones who aren't thorns in their side.

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