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Hotline Sort: A Claire Message

4) The week did not get off to the best start for Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), who found out that a GOP redistricting plan unveiled Monday would make his district more Republican. But redistricting worries can help a candidate pick up the fundraising pace, and Donnelly did get a little bit of good news this week: His campaign announced its strongest fundraising quarter since he took office in 2007. Donnelly raised over $363,000 during the first quarter - slightly more than he raised at the same time two years ago. Donnelly continues to mull a Senate bid and says he will make a decision on his future in the coming weeks. 3) The Republican National Committee raised over $7 million in March, and brought the committee's debt to just under $20 million. The committee ended the month with $3.2 million cash on hand. New RNC chair Reince Priebus has raised more money from major donors in the first quarter of 2011 than the first quarters of 2009 and 2010 combined. 2) McCaskill's campaign said she raised $1.05 million during the first three months of the year and had nearly $1.8 million cash on hand -- a welcome figure, considering the recent criticism she has faced over the use of a private plane. Republican Ed Martin, meanwhile, has some catching up to do, bringing in just $162,000 during the first quarter of 2011. Meanwhile, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who is mulling a run, ended last year with $532,000 in his campaign account. 1) Obama will describe his plans for long-term deficit reduction in a speech Wednesday, in a move likely to kick off a months-long debate with Republicans while alienating some members of his own Democratic Party. Obama is expected to praise the work of a deficit-reduction commission he created last year and pledge support for a bipartisan group of six senators working on legislation that would implement the panel's recommendations. People familiar with the matter said he wouldn't fully endorse either approach, but instead would lay out his own formula for deficit reduction, the Wall Street Journal reports. Obama will also propose a plan that includes cuts to entitlement programs such as Medicare. The president is already facing heat from the left, as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee circulated an email Tuesday urging supporters to sign a pledge saying "President Obama: If you cut Medicare and Medicaid benefits ... don't ask for a penny of my money or an hour of my time in 2012. I'm going to focus on electing bold progressive candidates -- not Democrats who help Republicans make harmful cuts." -- Jessica Taylor contributed to this post.

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