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Betsy Johnson, Oregon’s non-affiliated gubernatorial candidate, poses in her campaign office in downtown Portland, Ore., on Friday, May 27, 2022. The former lawmaker will be in a three-way race for the governor’s seat in November. (AP Photo / Sara Cline)

The Republican and Democratic parties have dominated politics in America since the 1850s. These days, they’ve staked out sharply opposing positions on gun control, abortion rights, policing, climate change and much more, leaving a lot of middle-ground opportunities for independent and third-party candidates.

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger talks with supporters during an election night party on May 24, 2022, at a restaurant in Peachtree Corners, Ga. (AP Photo / Ben Gray, File)

An Associated Press analysis of early voting records from data firm L2 found that more than 37,000 people who voted in Georgia’s Democratic primary two years ago cast ballots in last week’s Republican primary, an unusually high number of so-called crossover voters. 

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a Get Out the Vote Rally, on May 23, 2022, in Kennesaw, Ga. (AP Photo / Brynn Anderson, File)

After incumbent GOP Gov. Brian Kemp refused to accept Donald Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in Georgia, he sought retribution by personally recruiting former Republican Sen. David Perdue to mount a primary challenge. 

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters alongside, from left, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., during a press conference regarding the Democratic party's shift to focus on voting rights at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. (AP Photo / Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)

Despite his late push, Biden has been unable to persuade two holdout Democrats, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, to change Senate rules so the party can overpower a Republican filibuster that is blocking the voting bill. 

Measure Called a 'Lifeline' for Social Services

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State Republican leaders unveiled a $1.3 billion spending plan Thursday that they say will be a “lifeline” for social services and other programs that have struggled financially in the ongoing budget impasse.

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White House hopefuls are getting their first test with voters tonight in Iowa, where caucusing is in full swing. Joining us from Des Moines, Iowa to talk about that and more is "Chicago Tonight's" Carol Marin.

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Christine Radogno

Gov. Bruce Rauner and Republican leaders officially announced on Wednesday their ambitious agenda to allow for an emergency financial authority appointed by the Illinois State Board of Education superintendent to take over Chicago Public Schools in the wake of a $500 million funding shortfall.

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Republican state leaders want to take away mayoral control of the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools. Instead, they want the nation's third largest school district under the purview of a state emergency board. Democratic legislative leaders in Springfield immediately opposed the plan, with some calling it "dead on arrival." We speak with state legislators from both parties.

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As summer turns to fall, time seems to be at a standstill in Springfield. With the House not scheduled to meet anytime soon, is now the time for state lawmakers to break ranks and come up with a plan B? And if so, what practical options do they have? We talk with a group of so-called rebel lawmakers.

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A new state budget that both Republicans and Democrats say is out of whack goes into effect tomorrow, with a few new wrinkles. Paris Schutz has latest. 

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Senate President John Cullerton hints a deal has been reached to reform the state's pension system. But are Republicans on board? Paris Schutz has the details.

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We hear from three Republican hopefuls looking to fill Jesse Jackson Jr.'s vacated seat.

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Congressman Aaron Schock says he's interested in running for governor, then slams his potential competition. Will the infighting hurt the already beleaguered Illinois GOP? Paris Schutz has the story.

Now, What's Next?

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In its final hours last night, the 112th Congress passed a carefully orchestrated fiscal cliff deal despite staunch House Republican opposition. We discuss the deeper meaning behind the deal, and the way it came together, with a panel of economists.

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We continue our discussion with the two Republican candidates vying for the 16th Congressional District in our web-exclusive video.