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Posted at 4:59 PM ET, 12/15/2010

Afternoon Fix: Senate passes tax cut bill; more presidential debates set for New Hampshire and South Carolina; Coleman won't back Steele

By Chris Cillizza

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* The Senate passed President Obama's tax cut compromise today, 81-19. The House, where passage should prove much tougher, is expected to take it up on Thursday.

* More 2012 GOP presidential primary debates have been set. ABC News will air a debate from New Hampshire on an undetermined date (CNN on Tuesday announced a June 7 debate), and Fox News will host two debates in South Carolina - one on May 5 and one in 2012 before the primary.

* Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), who had said he wouldn't run against Republican National Committee Michael Steele for the party's top spot, confirmed that he won't run, but also said he isn't endorsing Steele.

* Indiana Republican Party Chairman Murray Clark is resigning, and the man who was expected to replace him, former state GOP Chairman Jim Kittle, won't run for the job after being arrested for a DUI on Tuesday night.

* A new Hart Research poll for EMILY's List shows that, among women who voted for Obama in 2008 but didn't vote Democratic this year (either voting GOP or not voting), 90 percent would support him over Sarah Palin.


* Quinnipiac University is set to release a new poll of Pennsylvania voters on Thursday morning - the first major numbers to measure Sen. Bob Casey's (D-Pa.) 2012 reelection bid.

* Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) has "informally discussed" a run against Casey.

* Indiana Democrats are talking up Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) for a 2012 governor run, now that Sen. Evan Bayh (D) has opted not to run. It makes sense for Donnelly, given that Republicans might dismantle his district in the coming round of redistricting.

* Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) isn't above 43 percent in a matchup with any Republican, according to a new poll from Democratic-leaning automated pollster Public Policy Polling.

* Former congressional candidate Ed Martin is considering entering the GOP primary to face Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). He could run against former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman (R) if former Sen. Jim Talent doesn't.

* The Club for Growth says any Republican member of the Senate who votes for the $1.1 trillion omnibus bill (which contains earmarks) should expect a primary challenge.


Can't read her yogurt face.

With Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake

By Chris Cillizza  | December 15, 2010; 4:59 PM ET
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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