Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the moderate establishment candidate, failed to get 50 percent of the vote in yesterday's U.S. Senate Republican primary yesterday. He will face Houston lawyer and Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz in a runoff election set for July 31st.
Just last week, Public Policy Polling had Dewhurst beating Cruz 46 percent to 29 percentage, a 17-point margin. But Cruz managed to close almost half that gap. With 100 percent of precincts reporting Dewhurst ended up with just 44 percent of the vote to Cruz' 34 percent.
Cruz has been endorsed by Tea Party favorites Sens. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Sarah Palin. The Club for Growth chipped in to Cruz's cause late in the campaign with some last-minute advertising slamming Dewhurst for his moderate record.
This race is not necessarily a must-win for the Tea Party to remain relevant -- they did recently knock off Sen. Dick Lugar in Indiana -- but it is a key test of their strength in the party and their enthusiasm for turning out at the polls this November.
Romney: After securing 70 percent of the vote in Texas' Republican primary last night, Mitt Romney now has more than the 1,144 delegates needed for the Republican nomination.
Obama: President Obama angered Poles and Polish-Americans yesterday, when he referred to “a Polish death camp” at a Presidential Medal of Freedom. “The White House will apologize for this outrageous error,” Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted. "A Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland" is what Poles would have preferred Obama say.
Wisconsin: In an interview with The Weekly Standard, Democrat Tom Barrett failed to name a single policy he would pursue to create jobs in the state.
Around the Bigs
The Washington Post, Job recovery is scant for Americans in prime working years: The proportion of Americans in their prime working years who have jobs is smaller than it has been at any time in the 23 years before the recession, according to federal statistics, reflecting the profound and lasting effects that the downturn has had on the nation’s economic prospects.
Associated Press, Consumer confidence plunges in May: Americans' confidence in the economy in May had its biggest drop in eight months as consumers fretted about slow hiring, a big stock market drop and the global economy, according to The Conference Board.
Associated Press, Homes Prices Drop 2% to Post-Crisis Lows: Home prices fell in the first quarter to new post-crisis lows, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index.
The Wall Street Journal, Italian, Spanish Bond Yields Surge: Italian and Spanish bond yields climbed sharply in early trading Wednesday, as central bank opposition to Spain's bank rescue plans piled the pressure onto lower-rated euro-zone debt.
The Washington Post, In Yemen, U.S. airstrikes breed anger, and sympathy for al-Qaeda: Across Yemen, an escalating campaign of U.S. drone strikes is stirring increasing sympathy for al-Qaeda-linked militants and driving tribesmen to join a network linked to terrorist plots against the United States.
Former-Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., announced on his website yesterday that he is switching parties: "I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country.”
At The Volokh Conspiracy, Kenneth Anderson explains who the real audience for yesterday's NYT "kill list" story was.
The Heritage Foundation's Lachlan Markay reports that Dolores Huerta, the 82-year-old labor activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers union who Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday to, is also an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America.
AEI's James Pethokoukis explains why America needs to cut spending in order to spur economic growth.
Mother Jones' Erik Kain warns that "Romney Wants the Biggest Military Ever, Regardless of Cost."
Firedoglake's David Dayen accuses NBC of "willfully undermining" Chris Hayes by running a Today Show segment about his comments on troops and valor.
Talking Points Memo accuses Florida Gov. Rick Scott of suppressing votes purging eligible voters from the rolls.