One of the highest-profile political matchups of the season is playing out in Virginia, where two former governors with powerful friends and big-money backing are battling to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb.
The dead-heat matchup pits Democrat Tim Kaine, 54, a favorite of President Obama and a former Democratic National Committee chairman, against George Allen, 60, namesake of his legendary Washington Redskins football coach father and a U.S. senator until undone in a re-election bid by what has become known as his "macaca moment."
The House and the Senate are once again at odds: This time over a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
The Senate passed a beefed-up version of the bill and the House removed those new protections in their version. With that, the conversation has shifted into the controversial areas of immigration and identity politics. The House debated the bill — H.R. 4970 — today and a vote could be scheduled for this week.
The partisan divisions on Capitol Hill are numerous — but Wednesday morning, about two-dozen members of Congress did something entirely nonpartisan. They ran in a 3-mile race for charity, along with their staffs and teams from the executive and judicial branches and the media (including NPR).
The ACLI Capital Challenge is an annual tradition that dates back to 1981, and one senator has run the race every time: Dick Lugar, R-Ind. But Wednesday's race was also his last.
Some other news. Yesterday was primary day in Nebraska and voters delivered a surprise. Both parties were choosing candidates for a Senate race.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And the Republican primary started with a pattern that has become familiar. The leading candidate was backed by traditional Republican leaders but was challenged by another candidate with Tea Party support and a lot of outside money.
INSKEEP: It became a fierce campaign, but here's where the pattern was broken. Neither contender won.
In Ohio, a new congressional district that stretches along Lake Erie between Toledo and Cleveland has become a political portrait of polarized America.
The 9th District is one of the results of Ohio's loss of two representatives following the last census. The primary for the redrawn district pitted two longtime Democratic incumbents against each other. Now the victor, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, is taking on a Republican known for his role in the 2008 presidential election.