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Starting Lineup: McConnell's Moment

Alaska -- Sooner Than Later: It looks like we'll know whether Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) pulled off the Herculean task of winning a write in campaign sooner rather than later. "Write-In" ballots currently have nearly 41 percent of the vote in Alaska, while Republican Joe Miller has 34 percent and Democrat Scott McAdams has almost 24 percent. The Anchorage Daily News reports that that Murkowski is "confident" she's won and that the state will begin reviewing the ballots next week, a week earlier than planned. 2012 Starting Gun: Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) heads to New Hampshire for the sixth time on Thursday. Parsing The New House: Currently the Republican have still picked up 60 seats and have a 239-member caucus. Ten races are still uncalled, and Democratic Reps. Solomon Ortiz (Texas) and Melissa Bean (Ill.) are trailing. The Cook Political Report's David Wasserman breaks down just how devastating the Democratic destruction was: "In fact, a hallmark of this 'parliamentary' election was just how little candidate or campaign quality mattered in the end. Voters were willing to overlook pretty glaring candidate flaws to send a message to Pres. Obama and Congressional Democrats. Lightning rod Republican rabble-rousers like Allen West (Fla.), Raul Labrador (Idaho), Joe Walsh (Ill.), Renee Ellmers (N.C.), and Blake Farenthold (Texas) were the worst nightmares of Democratic (and even several Republican) operatives, but all of them are on the precipice of taking oaths of office in January. Need proof that the playing field of House races was so large neither party could control it? The NRCC spurned Labrador, Walsh, and Farenthold for most of the cycle, and Ellmers actually thumbed her nose at the NRCC 'establishment' when it offered her its assistance." Here's Ellmers' ad that particularly raised eyebrows: Talk About A Good Night: Republican pollster Public Opinion Strategies handled the polling for nine winning Senate candidates, four governors and 27 new members of Congress.

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