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- Former lobbyist David Jolly (R) won the "nationally watched" FL-13 special GOP primary "by a wide margin on Tuesday, setting the stage for a costly and intense general election battle" with former state CFO Alex Sink (D). (Tampa Bay Times)
- In TX GOV, state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) raised $12.2 million in the second half of 2013, while Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) raised $11.5 million and has $27 million cash on hand. (Dallas Morning News)
- Americans for Prosperity (R) on Tuesday released TV ads attacking SEN candidates/Reps. Bruce Braley (D-IA) and Gary Peters (D-MI). (release)
- Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) raised $1.1 million in the fourth quarter of last year and has $4.7 million cash on hand. (KDVR-TV)
- In MT SEN, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana endorsed Lt. Gov. John Walsh (D). (release)
- Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) "will retire after 23 years in the House, according to multiple Democratic sources. ... Moran's northern Virginia seat is heavily Democratic, and is unlikely to be competitive in November." (Politico)
- Rep. Bill Owens's (D-NY) announcement Tuesday that he will not seek reelection "has left previously declared and potential candidates trying to figure out what it means" in NY-21. (Watertown Daily Times)
- In FL-26, the LIBRE Initiative (R) launched a new TV ad on Wednesday that "goes after" Rep. Joe Garcia (D) on health care. (Politico)
- In IL-13, Rep. Rodney Davis (R) raised $280,000 in the fourth quarter and has $1.05 million cash on hand. (Roll Call)
- Also in IL-13, former Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis (D) raised "more than" $250,000 in the fourth quarter and has "over" $500,000 cash on hand. (Carbondale Southern)
- In IA-03, 1998 GOV candidate/former Branstad chief of staff David Oman (R) said Tuesday he won't run. (Des Moines Register)
- In IL GOV, Treasurer Dan Rutherford (R) raised "more than" $392,000 in the fourth quarter and has "nearly" $1.37 million cash on hand. (Quad-City Times)
- In IA GOV, Gov. Terry Branstad (R) "is expected to kick off a historic, juggernaut campaign for re-election" Wednesday night "that many political analysts suspect will be a cakewalk." (Des Moines Register)
- In NV GOV, Gov. Brian Sandoval (D) raised $3 million in the second half of 2013 and has $3.1 million cash on hand. (Ralston Reports)
- "Five days after he announced the firing of a top aide implicated in a scandal that continues to threaten his administration," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) tried to move beyond the turmoil Tuesday in his State of the State address, promoting "the 'spirit of bipartisanship' underlying the accomplishments of his first term, while again acknowledging that 'mistakes were clearly made' in an apparent scheme to jam traffic on the George Washington Bridge in September." (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- A new Washington Post poll of D.C. Mayor Democratic primary LVs, conducted Jan. 9-12, shows Mayor Vincent Gray leading Councilmember Jack Evans, 27-13%, with Councilmember Muriel Bowser at 12%, Councilmember Tommy Wells at 12%, Councilmember Vincent Orange at 7%, restaurateur Andy Shallal at 5% and former State Department official Reta Lewis at 2%. (release)
- According to a new Quinnipiac University poll of New Jersey RVs, conducted Jan. 10-13, 55% approve of the way Christie is handling his job as governor, while 38% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted July 2-7, 68% approved of Christie, and 26% disapproved. (release)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Polls from Monmouth and Quinnipiac Universities show Christie's image has taken a hit in New Jersey since the scandal broke, but it would be more instructive to wait until the end of the month -- not just because of the potential for new details to emerge -- for voters to process the information already out there.
• Davis's year-end fundraising haul gets her campaign started off on the right foot, proving she's able to go toe-to-toe with Abbott financially. But the real challenge will be if she can keep the money flowing up until Election Day, and turn those dollars into actual votes. The last polls on the race in November had Davis trailing Abbott by between 6-15 points, and it remains to be seen if she can translate her fundraising success into a message or mobilization operation that moves red-state voters into her corner.
• Owens's retirement now makes three two-term House members that have abruptly called it quits this Congress. (Reps. Tim Griffin (R-AR) and Jon Runyan (R-NJ) are the others.) Owens says gridlock wasn't the main reason for his decision, but these retirements among the House's new guard are a pretty telling indictment of congressional performance the past few years.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Kittens break in to prison, overpower staff with cuteness" (Glens Falls Post-Star)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "Democrats are increasingly anxious about the onslaught of television ads hitting vulnerable Senate and House candidates for their support of the new health law, since many lack the resources to fight back in the early stages of the midterm campaign." (New York Times)
- "The Republican National Committee is largely getting out of the advertising business and instead will defer to super PACs and campaign committees to have a greater role during this year's midterm election, senior GOP officials said Tuesday." (AP)
- "Super PAC, Outside Spending Chiefs Make Big Bucks" (Roll Call)
- The NRCC "announced Tuesday that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be the keynote speaker at the group's annual fundraising dinner in March." (National Journal)
- "We all know nothing brings people together like the Miami Heat." -- President Obama, honoring the Heat's NBA championship Tuesday at the White House (CBSSports.com)
- Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY), a GW alum, was spotted Tuesday night cheering on his alma mater as they defeated Va. Commonwealth in men's basketball. (GW Hatchet)
- "You got Wall Street masters stuck cheek-to-cheek with blue-collar truckers / And, man, I really gotta take a leak / But I can't / I'm stuck in Governor Chris Christie's Fort Lee, New Jersey, traffic jam" -- Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Fallon parodying "Born to Run" for the Christie scandal ("Late Night With Jimmy Fallon")
- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) "will be sharing a spotlight with" FL GOV candidate Charlie Crist (D) "at the Gridiron dinner on March 8" in Washington (Dallas Morning News)
- "New Evangelical Movement Seeks Split From Pro-Israel Line" (Buzzfeed)
- Former Kentucky state Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer (R) "was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months in prison for misusing state resources." (Lexington Herald-Leader)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service:
- The House and Senate both return at 10 a.m.
- Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and former Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) are among the witness testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee. (CHOB 311, 10 a.m.)
- Golden Globe nominee John Ridley, screenwriter of "12 Years a Slave," delivers remarks on newsmaking pursuits, today's political landscape and recent award recognitions, at a forum sponsored by the National Association of Black Journalists. (National Press Club, noon)
- Obama delivers remarks on the economy from the campus of N.C. State in Raleigh, N.C. (1:05 p.m.)
- The Wizards host LeBron James and the Heat. (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
- Men's basketball: Maryland hosts Notre Dame (Comcast Center, 7 p.m.), while George Mason faces a big home test against No. 16 Massachusetts (Patriot Center, 7 p.m.).
- The Caps renew their rivalry with the Penguins. (NBC Sports Network, 8 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- Merlene Joyce Ottey now represents Slovenia.
- The winner is Joe Luchok, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "It's well-known that Gerald Ford played college football at Michigan, but which three other presidents also played college football?" The 1st correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- "Conservatives Form Their Own Caucus Because the RSC Isn't 'Hard-Core' Enough"
- Can Chris Christie Still Be the GOP's Rainmaker?
- How Chris Christie Lost His Way
- Inside Boehner's Election-Year Immigration Strategy
- Long-Term Unemployed See Lives as 'Scary,' 'Nerve-Wracking,' 'Falling Behind.' They Don't See 'Recovery.'
"Paul Ryan has such pretty blue eyes, sometimes it's easy to forget he's Satan incarnate." -- Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) reading a "mean tweet" about himself (NowThis News)
"Paul Ryan is the Jesus of our conference." -- A senior Republican leadership aide to Buzzfeed last December
Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief
Adam Wollner, Editor