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Special Report

GOP's July 4th Advantage

And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Rain on Their Parade

Attending July Fourth parades is unnecessary for Democratic political candidates, according to a new Harvard University study. The study found Independence Day events energize only Republicans, turn kids into Republicans and help boost GOP turnout on election day.

Attending one Fourth of July event without rain as a child, raises the likelihood of identifying as a Republican by 2 percent, of voting by almost 1 percent, of voting for the Republican candidate by 4 percent and of contributing to a campaign by 3 percent.

The findings suggest Democrats gain nothing from Fourth of July celebrations because preferences only shift to the right.

Big Sky Wedding

Montana Democrat Max Baucus has his Fourth of July weekend plans set. The senator will marry former aide Melodee Hanes on his ranch Saturday.

Vice President Biden is expected to attend.

Back in 2009, Baucus acknowledged he was in a relationship with Hanes when he nominated her to be Montana's U.S. attorney. Hanes withdrew her nomination and now works at the Justice Department.

The couple is postponing their honeymoon since next week's Senate recess was canceled because of the debt ceiling fight. Baucus told The Washington Post his fiancee is a very understanding woman.

Raising the Bar

We told you earlier about the problems many Ohio lawmakers have with their new budget. So perhaps it is no coincidence that they will soon have a convenient place to drown their sorrows.

The first full-service bar will open next month inside the statehouse, serving beer, wine and liquor. It will have flat-screen TVs and be open to the public at certain times.