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- "A year after President Obama's pledge to address voting problems, a commission he established recommends expanding early voting and online voter registration to improve efficiency at polls nationwide." (National Journal)
- In AR SEN, Rep. Tom Cotton (R) raised $1.24 million in the fourth quarter of last year and has $2.2 million cash on hand. (release)
- In MS SEN, state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) raised "more than" $500,000 in the fourth quarter and has "more than $350,000 cash on hand." (Jackson Clarion-Ledger)
- In NE SEN, Midland University president Ben Sasse (R) "has launched his second statewide TV ad as he attempts to build name recognition before TV screens become clogged with ads from a throng of Senate and governor candidates." (Lincoln Journal Star)
- In ME-02, state Sen. Emily Cain (D) raised $158,000 in the fourth quarter. (Kennebec Journal)
- In MA-06, 2012 nominee Richard Tisei (R), "who narrowly lost a bid to unseat" Rep. John Tierney, (D) "said he will officially kick off his second campaign" on Thursday "with a hometown rally" in Revere, Mass. (Boston Globe)
- In MN-07, state Sen. Torrey Westrom (R), who "announced his candidacy in early December," raised $84,000 for the quarter, even though "he didn't have the full fundraising period ... to rake in donations." (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
- In VA-10, state Sen. Dick Black (R) "has made the surprise decision not to run for the seat," just two days after announcing his candidacy, "helping Republicans avoid a contentious nomination fight that could have highlighted splits within the party" and maintaining the 20-20 split in the state Senate by remaining there. (Washington Post)
- Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) "ended months of flirtation with running for" MD GOV "and announced Wednesday that he would seek reelection to Congress instead." (Washington Post)
- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) raised $6.8 million in 2013 and has $7.5 million cash on hand. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- According to a new Fox News poll of national RVs, conducted Jan. 19-21 by Anderson Robbins Research (D)/Shaw & Company Research (R), 42% approve of the job Obama is doing as president, while 53% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted Dec. 14-16, 41% approved of Obama, and 53% disapproved. (release)
- According to a new Quinnipiac University poll of national RVs, conducted Jan. 15-19, 40% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president, while 54% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted Jan. 4-7, 41% approved of Obama, and 53% disapproved. (release)
- According to a new Rutgers-Eagleton poll of New Jersey RVs, conducted Jan. 14-19, 53% approve of the way Gov. Chris Christie (R) is handling his job, while 41% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted Oct. 28-Nov. 2, 68% approved of Christie, and 26% disapproved. (release)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Is it reasonable to declare an incumbent senator an underdog nearly a year before Election Day? Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor surely looks like one, facing dismal poll numbers and now being outraised by Cotton in the fourth quarter.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Justin Bieber arrested in Miami Beach over DUI, drag-racing" (Miami Herald)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) "will announce Thursday that he believes the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and that Virginia will join two same-sex couples in asking a federal court to strike it down, according to an official close to the attorney general with knowledge about the decision." (Washington Post)
- "House Majority Whip: Legalize undocumented immigrants" (KBAK-TV)
- Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) "says in a recently released book that a wife is to 'voluntarily submit' to her husband, but that it doesn't make her inferior to him." (Washington Post)
- "NC Republican Senate Candidate's Organization's Old Website Full Of Conspiracy Theory Blog Posts" (Buzzfeed)
- Stop Hillary PAC, "a super PAC aimed at stopping" former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) "from becoming president filed a complaint with the Federal Election Committee on Wednesday against" Clinton "and Ready for Hillary." (Buzzfeed)
- "The Gut: Running GOP campaigns since 1854" (Campaigns & Elections)
- "Leaning Right in Hollywood, Under a Lens"(New York Times)
- "Sources: Alleged Bonanno Crime Family Members Charged In Connection With 1978 Lufthansa Heist" (WINS-AM)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Partly sunny with a 30% chance of snow showers. Highs in the mid 20s. West winds 10-15 mph.
- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) speaks at a luncheon at the RNC Winter Meeting. (Renaissance Washington, 12:30 p.m.)
- Obama delivers remarks at a reception for the U.S. Conference of Mayors. (White House, 5:15 p.m.)
- The Lakers are in Miami to take on the Heat. (TNT, 8 p.m.)
- House Speaker John Boehner appears on "The Tonight Show." (WRC-TV, 11:35 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- Sen. Rudy Boschwitz (R-MN) operated a "flavored milk" tent at the Minnesota State Fair.
- The winner is Philip Hays, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Which former congressman's child is a well-known actor and is currently on the series "Cougar Town?" The 2nd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- GOP Cracks Down on 2016 Primary Calendar (and, Florida, This Means You)
- Will Obama's Final Years as President Be Half-Empty or Half-Full?
- Harry Reid's Power Line
- How a Weaker AIPAC Makes It Easier to Vote Against Iran Sanctions
- Musical Chairs at SOTU Hasn't Inspired Congressional Harmony
"I think Denver. You know, everybody is such a Manning fan and that loudmouth from Seattle sort of epitomizes the Seattle team to me." -- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on his Super Bowl XLVIII pick, referencing the Seahawks' Richard Sherman (KFYI-AM)
"[A] Republican senator tells this story: at a GOP meeting last fall, McCain erupted out of the blue at the respected Budget Committee chairman, Pete Domenici, saying, 'Only an a--hole would put together a budget like this.' Offended, Domenici stood up and gave a dignified, restrained speech about how in all his years in the Senate, through many heated debates, no one had ever called him that. Another senator might have taken the moment to check his temper. But McCain went on: 'I wouldn't call you an a--hole unless you really were an a--hole.'" (Newsweek, Feb. 21, 2000)
Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief
Adam Wollner, Editor