(CNN) - A few high-profile conservatives and potential White House hopefuls who weren't invited to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference nevertheless made it onto the ballot for the closely-watched 2016 presidential straw poll at the annual gathering.
While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell are notably absent from the speakers list, both appear on the 23-name ballot obtained by CNN for the next GOP presidential nomination. (McDonnell will still appear at CPAC on a panel but will not be a featured speaker.)
(CNN) - Not wasting a minute, Democratic campaign groups in Congress are bringing Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan–which he's set to release Tuesday–into the line of fire, attempting to make it a wedge issue in the 2014 midterm elections.
But Republicans are hitting back, attacking Democrats for their lack of a balanced budget one day before Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray is expected to make public the Senate's budget plan.
(CNN) - Sen. Orrin Hatch's political future rests in the hands of 4,000 delegates who will select the party's nominee at Saturday's state Republican convention.
In the last year, the six-term incumbent spent millions of dollars to fend off challenges from candidates and outside groups seeking to drive him out of the Senate - a fate that so far looks unlikely for Hatch.