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:

DSCC Outraises NRSC in Jan.; Crossroads Hits Sink in FL-13; Chamber Ad Boosts McConnell in KY SEN DSCC Outraises NRSC in Jan.; Crossroads Hits Sink in FL-13; Chamber Ad...

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


DSCC Outraises NRSC in Jan.; Crossroads Hits Sink in FL-13; Chamber Ad Boosts McConnell in KY SEN

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


  • President Obama's "quest to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would eliminate about 500,000 jobs by 2016 but increase pay for millions of Americans and lift nearly a million out of poverty, a Congressional Budget Office report found. The estimates released Tuesday by the nonpartisan budget office add fuel to the debate among economists and politicians about the impact of raising the minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour." (Wall Street Journal)
  • The DSCC raised $6.55 million in January and has $15 million on hand and $2.5 million in debt. (Hotline reporting)
  • In KY SEN, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce "will begin running a new television ad ... starting Wednesday that describes" Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) "as someone who is fighting against 'Obamacare' and for Kentucky's future." (Lexington Herald-Leader)
  • In MI SEN, Americans for Prosperity (R) launched a new TV ad "featuring a Michigan woman's personal account of how she has been [negatively] affected by the health care law." (release)
  • In NC SEN, physician Greg Brannon (R) "owes two investors in his failed startup company more than $250,000 after a jury found Tuesday that he provided them bogus information about a potential deal. ... As he left the courthouse, Brannon said he would appeal to 'defend my integrity.'" (Raleigh News & Observer)
  • In the FL-13 Special, American Crossroads (R) released a new TV ad on Tuesday featuring seniors from the area criticizing former state CFO Alex Sink's (D) record in office and as a bank executive. "The ad, which starts Tuesday and runs through March 11, is backed by a $357,000 buy." (The Hill)
  • In CA-35, Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D) "announced Tuesday ... she was giving up her congressional seat after one term to run for the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors." (Riverside Press-Enterprise)
  • In NJ-12, Rep. Rush Holt (D), "a research physicist who became Congress's chief advocate for scientific research over eight terms, announced on Tuesday that he is not seeking re-election this year. ... Holt's retirement is not expected to affect the Democrats' chances in 2014; a seat that he barely wrested from a Republican in 1998 has been made reliably Democratic in two redistrictings." (New York Times)
  • In NY-21, 2012 nominee Matt Doheny (R) "has announced he intends to challenge the party favorite," former Bush administration aide Elise Stefanik (R), "for the GOP line." (
  • In AR GOV, Jobs and Opportunity (D), a DGA-affiliated nonproft group, launched a new TV ad on Wednesday casting former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R) as a "Washington, D.C. lobbyist," while painting former Rep. Mike Ross (D) as an independent. (Washington Post)
  • In IL GOV, Treasurer Dan Rutherford (R) "has sent notice to television media outlets that he is pulling his campaign ads. The statewide cancellation is effective immediately. However, campaign officials will decide to resume advertising later in the month, sources said." (
  • Also in IL GOV, businessman Bruce Rauner (R) fended off "criticism from Republican governor rivals of his vilification of 'government union bosses' and apologizing for how he initially characterized an effort to get his daughter into an elite Chicago high school. The front runner ahead of the March 18 primary election found himself on the defensive Tuesday during a forum sponsored by the Citizens Club of Springfield." (Chicago Tribune)
  • In MD GOV, a new Washington Post poll of Democratic and Democratic-leaning independent RVs, conducted Feb. 13-16, shows Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown leading the Democratic primary over Attorney General Doug Gansler and Del. Heather Mizeur, 34-15-8%. (release)
  • In OH GOV, a new Quinnipiac University poll, conducted Feb. 12-17, shows Gov. John Kasich (R) leading Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald (D), 43-38%. In the previous poll, conducted Nov. 19-24, Kasich led FitzGerald, 44-37%. (release)
  • In PA GOV, Gov. Tom Corbett (R) "will debut his first television ad" Wednesday. "Two sources with knowledge of the buy said" Corbett's "campaign will air on cable in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh regions." (


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• McLeod's retirement after just one term in the House follows a trend of lawmakers leaving Congress without spending much time in Washington. (She's the first member of Congress to retire after one term -- without running for higher office -- since 1992.) She joins Republican Reps. Tim Griffin (AR) and Jon Runyan (NJ), who left office after only two terms. Others have sought quick promotion to the Senate after a term, including Tom Cotton (AR) and Steve Daines (MT) this year, and Rick Berg (ND) in 2012. -- Josh Kraushaar

• Arkansas is the true toss-up gubernatorial contest of the cycle, and TV ad time is relatively cheap here compared to states with bigger markets. The combination of the two is offering fertile ground for an early ad war. The DGA went up with their first ad Wednesday, making it the first state where both the DGA and the RGA have gone on the air. Hutchinson is the only one to remain dark at this stage; Ross launched his first ad back in January. Ross's head start on TV and early fundraising edge — boosted recently by help from former President Bill Clinton — offer what appears to be the only competitive advantage so far in this otherwise deadlocked race. -- Karyn Bruggeman

• The committees are also wise to go on the air early in Arkansas because the Senate race could soon suck up most of the oxygen, and dominate the airwaves. With Sen. Mark Pryor (D) highly vulnerable, expect a significant amount of outside money to pour into the state on both sides as his battle with Rep. Tom Cotton (R) heats up. -- Julie Sobel

• Here's some more context for Tom Steyer's $100 million midterm spending plan: The biggest pro-Democratic outside spending effort of the Citizens United era was about $65 million from Priorities USA on behalf of Obama in 2012. This time, more money will be going into smaller races — though it's possible some fraction of it will be aimed at "Democrats who waver on climate issues." -- Scott Bland



  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), "who has been eyeing a 2016 presidential run since his battles with labor unions made him a Republican star, is in the midst of dealing with the fallout of two criminal investigations at home that could complicate his move to the national stage. One is ongoing, and while the other is now closed with no allegations of wrongdoing by Walker, it has the lingering potential to embarrass him. That could begin as early as Wednesday with the release of more than 25,000 pages of e-mails from an ex-staffer that were gathered as part of the now-concluded investigation. The probe focused on Walker's time as Milwaukee County executive before his 2010 election as governor and led to convictions of six former aides and allies." (Washington Post)
  • "Firewall Between Candidates and Super PACs Breaking Down" (Roll Call)
  • "The Tea Party is something I don't really know a lot about. It's a free country. We have open opportunities for people to participate in the election process." -- Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS). The Club for Growth, which is backing Cochran's primary challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), quickly seized on the remarks and used them in a new web ad (WLOX-TV)
  • "Look at what we wound up with: Some bimbo who decided not to run again." -- CA-31 candidate/former Rep. Joe Baca (D), on McLeod's to retire at the end of the term. Baca later apologized for his "poor choice of words." (The Hill)
  • "Obama's Vote-Getting Tactics Struggle to Find the Uninsured" (New York Times)
  • "Let me apologize for my off-the-cuff remarks. I was making a point about the jobs market, not the value of art history. As it so happens, art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school, and it has helped me take in a great deal of joy in my life that I might otherwise have missed." -- Obama, in a handwritten letter to University of Texas at Austin professor Ann Collins Johns. Johns sent an email to the White House after Obama suggested in a speech last month that workers could make more money if they had manufacturing skills rather than an art history degree. (
  • "A year in, Rep. Kennedy charts his own course" (Boston Globe)
  • "There is no American leadership in the world, and that's just a fact." -- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (The Hill)
  • Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), "a frequent presence on Fox News, is no longer under contract with the widely watched cable station, a development sure to fan flames of speculation about his potential" NH SEN bid. "The Fox News development came on the same day the New Hampshire GOP announced that he is set to speak at the high-profile Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua in March." (Boston Globe)
  • "I'm a Texan. We Texans don't need a beltway turtle telling us how to fight." -- TX SEN candidate Dwayne Stovall (R), in an ad attacking Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) for working with McConnell (YouTube)



  • Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Patchy fog this morning. Cloudy with rain likely this morning, then partly sunny with a chance of rain this afternoon. Highs in the mid 50s. South winds 5-10 mph, becoming west 10-15 mph with gusts up to 30 mph this afternoon.
  • Olympic figure skating: The ladies short program begins. (NBC Sports Network, 10 a.m.)
  • The U.S. men's hockey team squares off against the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals. (USA Network, noon)
  • Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz delivers a National Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon address on domestic supplies of energy and efforts to increase energy exports. (12:30 p.m.)
  • Men's hoops: George Mason hosts No. 10 Saint Louis. (Patriot Center, 7 p.m.)
  • Obama holds a joint newsconference with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, at their trilateral meeting in Toluca, Mexico. (8:15 p.m. ET/7:15 p.m. CT)
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • Wallace McCammant of Oregon nominated Calvin Coolidge for vice president at the 1920 Republican National Convention.
  • The winner is Joe Luchok, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Who was the first sitting President to fly in an airplane on official business and what was the year?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"The Democratic Party is not going to lose the Senate, in our view." -- White House press secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday (Roll Call)


"Come election night, I think we will retain control of the House and Senate." -- Then-White House press secretary Robert Gibbs (Roll Call, Oct. 17, 2010)

Adam Wollner, Editor

Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief


Steven Shepard contributed to this article.

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories

Sign up form for the newsletter
comments powered by Disqus