Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Cornyn, Sessions Beat Back Tea Party Challengers; Hall Forced to Runoff; DCCC Ad Hits Jolly in FL-13 Cornyn, Sessions Beat Back Tea Party Challengers; Hall Forced to Runof...

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation


Cornyn, Sessions Beat Back Tea Party Challengers; Hall Forced to Runoff; DCCC Ad Hits Jolly in FL-13

Wake-Up Call! is Hotline's daily morning briefing on campaigns and elections. Click here to subscribe.


  • "President Obama sent Congress a $3.9 trillion budget blueprint Tuesday that seeks fresh spending to boost economic growth but also aims to tame the national debt by raising taxes on the rich, squeezing payments to health-care providers and overhauling immigration laws. Congressional Republicans immediately rejected the request for fiscal 2015, saying that the proposal would bust limits on agency spending that the White House endorsed in December. But the blueprint, the fifth of Obama's presidency, was not designed primarily to influence the latest round of Capitol Hill budget talks. Instead, it charts a course for Obama's final years in office, laying out a familiar wish list of significant domestic initiatives that have been ignored." (Washington Post)
  • In TX SEN, Sen. John Cornyn (R) won the Republican primary with 59% of the vote, compared to 19% for Rep. Steve Stockman (R) and 11% for businessman Dwayne Stovall (R) with 99.95% of precincts reporting. (Texas Secretary of State)
  • As for the TX SEN Democratic primary, dentist David Alameel (D) finished first with 47% of the vote compared to 22% for Lyndon LaRouche activist Kesha Rogers (D) with 99.97% of precincts reporting, forcing a May runoff election. (Texas Secretary of State)
  • In TX-04, Rep. Ralph Hall (R) is headed to a May runoff against former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe (R). With 100% of precincts reporting, Hall tallied 45% of the vote compared to 29% for Ratcliffe. (Texas Secretary of State)
  • In TX-32, Rep. Pete Sessions (R) defeated tea party activist Katrina Pierson (R) in the Republican primary 64-36% with 100% of precincts reporting. (Texas Secretary of State)
  • "As much as Tuesday's primary highlighted insurgents vs. incumbents, the Republican intramural contests also tested whether the Texas GOP tent still had room for pro-business, moderate conservatives. The answer: it was a mixed tea bag, but the brew here is still stout." (Dallas Morning News)
  • In TX-33, Rep. Marc Veasey (D) defeated attorney Tom Sanchez (D) in the Democratic primary 73-27% with 100% of precincts reporting. (Texas Secretary of State)
  • In the race for Texas lieutenant governor, state Sen. Dan Patrick (R) finished first in the Republican primary with 41% of the vote compared to 28% for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) with 99.95% of precincts reporting, forcing a May runoff election. (Texas Secretary of State)
  • In the race for Texas land commissioner, attorney George P. Bush (R), the grandson of George H.W. Bush, defeated businessman David Watts (R) in the Republican primary 73-27% with 99.95% of precincts reporting. (Texas Secretary of State)
  • In KY SEN, Senate Conservatives Fund launched a new 60-second radio ad on Tuesday "calling on" Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell "to admit his mistake in recommending U.S. District Court Judge John G. Heyburn II, the liberal judge who issued an order last week requiring Kentucky to immediately recognize gay marriages performed outside the state." The ad will run statewide for a week, and the "total cost of media buy is $29,130." (release)
  • In AZ-09, the NRCC launched a 60-second radio ad saying attacking Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) on Obamacare (release).
  • In the FL-13 special, the DCCC launched a new TV ad attacking former lobbyist David Jolly (R) for lobbying on behalf of "those who want to privatize Social Security." (Tampa Bay Times)
  • In the FL-19 special, former Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) endorsed businessman Curt Clawson (R) on Tuesday, praising his "experience in making tough decisions to cut spending and save jobs." (Tampa Bay Times)
  • In ID-02, Rep. Paul Ryan endorsed Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) on Tuesday, saying he has been "a critical voice in passing our plan to balance the budget and pay down our debt." (release)
  • In IL-13, former judge Ann Callis (D) launched her second TV ad on Wednesday, highlighting her experience as a judge. The ad "is backed by a $27,000 buy on broadcast and cable throughout the district." (Roll Call)
  • In CO GOV, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) "has come out as a supporter of gay marriage." Hickenlooper "has been a vocal backer of gay rights but generally stopped short of formally endorsing same-sex marriage. However, on Monday he provided a statement in support of a gay rights group that kicked off a campaign to bring gay marriage to Colorado." (AP)
  • In IL GOV, businessman Bruce Rauner (R) launched a new TV ad contrasting Gov. Pat Quinn's (D) "failed record ... with his own vision to bring back Illinois." (release)
  • Also in IL GOV, the Illinois Freedom PAC went up with its third TV ad of the campaign, attacking Rauner for his investment firm's management of nursing homes where patients incurred injuries. (release)


  • In VA SEN, a new Roanoke College poll of RVs, conducted Feb. 22-28, shows Sen. Mark Warner (D) leading former RNC chair Ed Gillespie (R) 56-29% in a general election matchup. (release)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• Republicans were quick to trumpet John Cornyn and Pete Sessions's landslide primary victories as a sign of the tea party's weakness, but they benefited from seriously flawed opposition. And while they both won decisively, Cornyn's 59% and Sessions's 64% share of the vote weren't world-beating tallies. Meanwhile, in the lieutenant governor's race, the more-conservative Dan Patrick comfortably leads incumbent David Dewhurst 41-28%, and is headed to a May runoff. That race, more than the Congressional primaries, is more indicative of the conservative grassroots' staying power. -- Josh Kraushaar

• The Center for Responsive Politics puts outside spending in FL-13 at $8.1 million with a week to go. Only seven House races in the last decade, and possibly ever, have seen more outside spending -- and they all came in 2012 . Both parties see the race as winnable, and both are betting big sums on it. -- Scott Bland

Hickenlooper came out in support of gay marriage on Tuesday, a day before an ABC News/Washington Post poll came out showing a record high 59% of Americans support the issue. The most newsworthy thing about Hickenlooper's announcement is that it almost wasn't news at all, reinforcing just how widely accepted the issue is at this point. It's also a reminder that Hickenlooper, who spent 2013 fighting conservative secession efforts and backlash against left-leaning gun control and education policies, still isn't quite the liberal stalwart his opponents make him out to be. Republican Bob Beauprez joined the GOP primary field to challenge Hickenlooper on Monday, but he isn't clearing the field like Cory Gardner has in the U.S. Senate race. Whether it's Beauprez or someone else, Hickenlooper has proven adept at evolving as political circumstances shift and defeating him will be no small task this November. -- Karyn Bruggeman



  • "A judge has granted a temporary protective injunction against" Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) "after his wife filed paperwork accusing the Orlando congressman of shoving and injuring her during an incident this past weekend. ... In a statement, Alan Grayson's press secretary, Lauren Doney, wrote that the allegations 'are absolutely false, completely unfounded, and clearly designed to vilify and harm Congressman Grayson.' ... The incident comes just less than two months after Lolita Grayson filed a divorce petition stating that their marriage of nearly 24 years was 'irretrievably broken.'" (Orlando Sentinel)
  • "Now if this sounds familiar, it's what [Adolf] Hitler did back in the 30s. All the Germans that were ... the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they're not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that's what's gotten everybody so nervous." -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D), on Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent actions in Ukraine (Long Beach Press-Telegram)
  • Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) "said Tuesday that he will appeal a federal judge's order requiring Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages that were performed elsewhere. ... Beshear will pay private lawyers $125 an hour to pursue Kentucky's appeal because a tearful" Attorney General Jack Conway (D) "announced ... that he will not challenge the judge's order. The attorney general's office had been representing the state in the case." (Lexington Herald-Leader)
  • Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) reached "out to the protagonists of recent" Americans for Prosperity "ads in New Hampshire," inviting "state GOP activists Donna Marzullo and Helen DiPrima to sit at his $5,000 table at the March 14 Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua." (New Hampshire Union Leader)
  • "I am not sure who she talked to, but it was not me. I know what the timelines are and when I need to make a decision, one way or the other. I will make my decisions in due course. Until I announce or file with the FEC, it is all just speculation." -- Brown, on a tweet from Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren saying it "is certain" he is going to run for NH SEN (Politico)
  • In the FL-13 Special, former state CFO Alex Sink's (D) "enlisted the help" of Jon "Bowzer" Bauman of the 1970's rock group Sha Na Na. "Bauman, a regular on the Democratic campaign trail," appeared Tuesday "at senior centers across the district ... and recorded a robo call that ends in song." (Tampa Bay Times)
  • "Thank you for taking on this thankless task." -- Obama, to DSCC chair/Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) at a DSCC dinner on Tuesday (pool report)
  • "Sam Brownback: The possible GOP presidential contender no one's talking about" (Yahoo News)
  • "Senate Republicans are addicted to Koch." -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, referring to the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch on the Senate floor on Tuesday (Washington Post)


The Colbert Report suggests methods of proving presidential manliness



  • Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Mostly sunny. Highs around 40. North winds around 5 mph.
  • The House and Senate both return at 10 a.m.
  • Obama delivers remarks on raising the minimum wage at Central Connecticut State University. (2 p.m.)
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) delivers the keynote address at the Coalitions for America's annual Weyrich Awards. (Four Seasons Hotel, 6 p.m.)
  • Obama delivers remarks and answers questions at a DNC dinner in Boston. (7:20 p.m.)
  • The Wizards host the Jazz. (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
  • George Washington hosts St. Joseph's. (Charles E. Smith Center, 9 p.m.)
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • Vice President James Sherman died one week before the 1912 presidential election, but still appeared on the ballot. Nicholas Murray Butler received the his electoral votes for vice president.
  • The winner is Joe Bookman, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Which president had two vice presidents die while he was in office? And who were the vice presidents?" The 2nd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"It appears we came within 8.7% of forcing Cornyn into runoff. Solid margin for him but impressive considering I filed less than 90 days out" -- Stockman, in a tweet following Tuesday's primary


"We almost did it, though, didn't we? We almost pulled it off." -- "G.O.B. Bluth"

"No, it wasn't even close." -- "Michael Bluth," in Arrested Development after failing to build a house in two weeks

Adam Wollner, Editor


CORRECTION: Tuesday's Wake-Up Call! incorrectly identifed Rep. Joe Heck's (R) district as NV-04, rather than NV-03.

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories

Sign up form for the newsletter
comments powered by Disqus