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Hotline Sort: Preparing for Perry

7) CNN's first Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire on Monday drew in an impressive 3.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen Fast National data. The debate also helped CNN top Fox News in the 8-10 p.m. hours in both total viewers (3.1 million vs. 1.9 million) and the key 25-54 demographic. Monday's debate was up 54 percent in total viewers from CNN's first Republican debate during the 2008 election cycle: 3.1 million vs. 2.0 million, and was up 23 percent in the 25-54 demographic: 918,000 vs. 747,000. 6) Here at The Hotline we watch hundreds of political ads every cycle, ranging from the serious spots to the funny ones to the downright bizarre commercials. But we haven't come across anything quite like the new web ad from the PAC "Turn Right USA" that attacks CA-36 Democratic candidate Janice Hahn. The surprisingly inflammatory spot charges that Hahn "hired hardcore gang members with taxpayer money to be gang intervention specialists" and features a stripper and the refrain "give me your cash b--ch so we can shoot up the street." EMILY's List called the ad "the most vile, racist, sexist ad we have ever seen." The state Democratic Party's executive director is calling for Republican candidate Craig Huey to condemn the spot: "Until we hear Mr. Huey loudly and forcefully condemn this sexist ad, and the extremist Super PAC behind it, we will be forced to believe that this is but a small window into the dangerous coalition behind the Huey campaign." 5) Hotline Executive Editor Josh Kraushaar interviewed ten veteran Democratic and Republican strategists to find out which states will be toughest for President Obama to hold onto in 2012. The results: Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio and Nevada. Read the full column here. 4) Early fundraising reports show Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., with some momentum in his gubernatorial campaign, bringing in more than $300,000 from large donors alone, including a $100,000 contribution from a northwest Indiana businessman, the Louisville Courier-Journal notes. 3) The Wisconsin Supreme Court reinstated the measure pushed by Gov. Scott Walker and state Republicans to curtail collective bargaining right for public employees -- overruling a Dane County judge who had halted the legislation. 2) A new Quinnipiac poll of Pennsylvania Republicans finds that former senator Rick Santorum isn't the frontrunner in his home state. That title goes to Mitt Romney , who leads the GOP presidential field with 21 percent, followed by Santorum with 16 percent, and Sarah Palin at 11 percent. Meanwhile, Obama gets a 48 percent job approval rating in the state among registered voters, with 48 percent disapproving. That's an improvement for the president from an April poll, when Obama had a 42 percent approval rating in the Keystone State. 1) Texas Gov. Rick Perry addressed local Republicans in New York, delivering what the New York Times called an anti-Obama, anti-Democrat stemwinder that promoted his stewardship of Texas as a national model and critiqued Democrats for failing to revive the economy. Dave Carney, who resigned from Newt Gingrich's campaign last week accompanied Perry. "People would like to have some other options in the race, obviously," Perry told the Texas Tribune. -- Amanda Munoz-Temple contributed to this report.

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