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- "Democrats consider President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday a launching point for a year of sustained assault on Republicans over a populist economic agenda, part of an effort to focus more on bread-and-butter issues and less on income inequality. Party officials say they hope Obama’s speech will set the stage for Senate and House candidates to confront Republicans on issues such as the minimum wage, unemployment benefits and access to college education." (Washington Post)
- "House and Senate negotiators on Monday agreed on a new five-year farm bill that will eliminate or consolidate dozens of agriculture subsidy programs, expand government-subsidized crop insurance and cut about $8 billion from the food stamp program over the next decade. ... The House is expected to vote on the measure on Wednesday. It is unclear when the Senate will take up the legislation." (New York Times)
- In GA SEN, Rep. Jack Kingston (R) "is using his fundraising advantage to make a big investment in television ads, reserving almost $1.3 million in airtime for the two-month span before the June 3 primary." (The Hill)
- In IA SEN, Senate Majority PAC (D) made a $225,000 broadcast and cable television ad buy from Jan. 28 to Feb. 6 "to counter a barrage of conservative TV ads that criticize" Rep. Bruce Braley (D). (Des Moines Register)
- In MT SEN, Rep. Steve Daines (R) raised $1 million in the fourth quarter and has $1.9 million cash on hand. (Billings Gazette)
- In OK SEN, former Gov. Frank Keating (R) "on Monday ruled out a run for the... seat being vacated by" Sen. Tom Coburn (R). (Oklahoman)
- In VA SEN, former Sen. John Warner (R) "on Monday endorsed his Democratic successor," Sen. Mark Warner (D), over former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie "in the race for the U.S. Senate seat he held for 30 years." (AP)
- In WV SEN, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) raised $830,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013 and has $3.7 million cash on hand, while Secretary of State Natalie Tenant (D) raised $647,000 in the fourth quarter. (Charleston Daily Mail)
- In TN-04, state Sen. Jim Tracy (R), who is challenging Rep. Scott DeJarlais (R) in the primary, raised $150,000 in the fourth quarter. (Roll Call)
- In MI GOV, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) raised $5.1 million in 2013 and has "about" $4 million cash on hand. (Detroit Free Press)
- Also in MI GOV, the Democratic Governors Association will run a new TV ad Tuesday "that features" former Rep. Mark Schauer (D) "talking about his own background in education — and slamming" Snyder "for his cuts to education funding." (Politico)
- In WI GOV, a new Marquette Law School poll of RVs, conducted Jan. 20-23, shows Gov. Scott Walker (R) leading Madison School Board member Mary Burke (D), 47-41%. In the previous poll, conducted Oct. 21-24, Walker led Burke, 47-45%. (release)
- Clay Pell (D), "the 32-year-old grandson of the late" Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-RI) "-- and husband of former Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan -- is running" for RI GOV. (Providence Journal)
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) "on Monday called the deadly attack on the United State mission in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 her 'biggest' regret' in the four years she served as secretary of state." (New York Times)
- According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of national adults, conducted Jan. 22-25 by Hart Research Associates (D)/Public Opinion Strategies (R), 43% approve of the job Obama is doing as president, while 51% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted Dec. 4-8, 43% approved of Obama, and 54% disapproved. (release)
- Among RVs, the NBC/WSJ poll shows 45% prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats after this year's elections, while 43% prefer a Congress controlled by Republicans. In the previous poll, 44% preferred a GOP-controlled Congress, and 42% preferred a Democratic-controlled Congress. (release)
- A new Fox News poll of national RVs, conducted Jan. 19-21 by Anderson Robbins Research (D)/Shaw & Company Research (R), shows Republicans leading the generic ballot, 43-41%. In the previous poll, conducted Dec. 14-16, the parties were tied, 43-43%. (release)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie staked all of his political capital on being the Republican who would look the most electable in November. Given that reality, today's NBC/WSJ poll shows how tough it will be for him to rebound. He no longer is viewed favorably by moderates and independents, and his negatives have spiked 12 points in the last three months. Without the electability card, it's hard to see Christie having any path to the GOP nomination.
• Kingston locking in over a million in TV ads that this stage underscores the possible financial gap between him and some of his GOP rivals: We haven't heard yet from Reps. Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey about their fourth-quarter fundraising; nor have we heard from Karen Handel or David Perdue. Perdue got off to a fast (and self-abetted) start, but he's been notably silent about how he ended 2013.
• With Rep. Trey Radel's (R-FL) resignation and a coming special election, the race for FL-19 just accelerated -- but it still might take all year, and even beyond, to resolve. Remember that Radel won the 2012 primary for his safe GOP seat with just 30% of the vote. That's no mandate, and it's a situation that might befall the winner of the special primary, which looks set to be crowded, in a few months. Will that prompt another challenge to the winner in the regularly scheduled August primary?
• Walker's lead over Burke has grown from two points in October to six points in Marquette's latest poll, but only because Democrats appear unsure of the still largely unknown Burke; Walker polled at 47% against Burke in both polls. Despite the wider lead, the opportunity for Burke remains the same.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Colorado's Denver County is adding cannabis-themed contests to its 2014 summer fair. It's the first time pot plants will stand alongside tomato plants and homemade jam in competition for a blue ribbon." (AP)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "In a potential breakthrough for long-stalled immigration legislation, House Republicans will consider a proposal this week that would allow millions of immigrants in the country illegally to gain legal status and, in some cases, to eventually become citizens." (Los Angeles Times)
- Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) "is featured in a new television ad set to air immediately before and after" Obama's State of the Union address. "In the ad, Giffords faces the camera and says, 'Congress is afraid of the gun lobby.'" (AP)
- A Democratic candidate in the Tidewater area of Virginia was declared the winner of a state Senate special election recount on Monday, "giving Democrats an advantage in the chamber that may allow them to seize control of committees and control the fate of legislation." (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- "The last time I actually drove a car myself was 1996. I remember it very well. Unfortunately, so does the Secret Service, which is why I haven't driven since then." -- Clinton (USA Today)
- "Well, I don't think it's the role of the moderator in a debate to insert themselves into the debate and to declare a winner or a loser on a particular point. And I must admit that at that stage, I was getting a little upset at [CNN host] Candy [Crowley], because in a prior setting where I was to have had the last word, she decided that Barack Obama was to get the last word despite the rules that we had." -- Mitt Romney on the second 2012 presidential debate (RealClearPolitics)
- "John Boehner, unchained" (Politico)
- Folk singer Pete Seeger, the "banjo-picking troubadour who sang for migrant workers, college students and star-struck presidents in a career that introduced generations of Americans to their folk music heritage," died Monday "at the age of 94." (AP)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect. (until 10 a.m.)
- Forecast: Mostly cloudy. Much cooler with highs in the lower 20s. Northwest winds 10-15 mph. Wind chill values as low as -4 this morning.
- The House and Senate are back at 10 a.m.
- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee considers the nomination of Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) to be U.S. ambassador to China. (DSOB 419, 10 a.m.)
- The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds a hearing on HealthCare.gov "security vulnerabilities." (RHOB 2154, 10 a.m.)
- It's Media Day at Super Bowl XLVIII. (NFL Network, 10 a.m.)
- The Caps are in Buffalo to faceoff against the Sabres. (NBC Sports Network, 7:30 p.m.)
- Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress. (9 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- Sam Houston (D) served as pre-statehood governor of Texas, then later represented Texas in the Senate and served as governor.
- The winner is Karl Rove, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "What member of Congress who had no predecessor was later charged twice with adultery, then killed by his mistress?" The 1st correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Does the State of the Union Ever Change Anything?
- The State of the Union Is (Yawn) Boring
- A 959-Page Bill. 48 Hours to Vote. Is This Congress's New Normal?
- Trey Radel Resignation Starts Scramble for Safe Republican Seat
- A Pen, a Phone, and a Flailing President
"I consider Senator John McCain an American hero and a friend." -- Sarah Palin in a Facebook post Monday
"John McCain adviser regrets starting Sarah Palin 'freak show'" (Washington Examiner)
Adam Wollner, Editor
Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief
Steven Shepard contributed to this article.