Wake-Up Call! is Hotline's daily morning briefing on campaigns and elections. Click here to subscribe.
- "All the attack ads and campaigning end today, as voters in" the FL-13 Special "send a new representative to Congress. An unprecedented $12 million has poured into the hotly contested race between" former lobbyist David Jolly (R) and former state CFO Alex Sink (D), "with politicos split on who will claim victory, what it will mean for the political parties, what it will say about Obamacare and what it will signal for the nationwide congressional elections later this year." (Tampa Bay Times)
- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) recorded a robo call for American Crossroads (R) in support of Jolly. (Tampa Bay Times)
- The polls close in FL-13 at 7 p.m.
- In IA-03, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) "will headline an event ... on March 26 for" Secretary of State Matt Schultz (R). (Des Moines Register)
- In ID-02, Club for Growth Action launched a new TV ad attacking Rep. Mike Simpson (R) as "just too liberal," highlighting his vote for the Wall Street bailout. (release)
- In IL-16, Main Street Advocacy (R) launched a new radio ad supporting Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R), saying he is "fighting to bring jobs back to America." (release)
- In WV-03, House Majority PAC (D) launched a new TV ad defending Rep. Nick Rahall (D). The spot, which will run for a week at a cost of $65,000, features a retired coal miner saying Rahall saved his job "and 500 others when he stopped Washington from closing" a mine. (release)
- In AR GOV, the RGA released a new radio ad tying former Rep. Mike Ross (D) to President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to the tune of blues music. (Hotline reporting)
- "Ending speculation about a possible entry into" CO GOV, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers (R) endorsed former Rep. Bob Beauprez (R) "on Monday." (KUSA-TV)
- In FL GOV, former Gov. Charlie Crist (D) raised "almost" $1.2 million in February between his two committees, while Gov. Rick Scott (R) raised $772,000 between his two committees. (Tampa Tribune)
- In MD GOV, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) launched his second TV ad, which is another biographical spot highlighting his experience in the military and public office. (release)
- In NY GOV, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) "is expected to unleash a $10 million package of TV attack ads designed to 'define' his newly announced ... challenger," Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (R). (New York Post)
- According to a new CNN/ORC International poll of national adults, conducted March 7-9, 43% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president, while 53% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 45% approved of Obama, and 50% disapproved. (release)
- A Public Opinion Strategies (R) poll of KY SEN Republican primary LVs, conducted Feb. 24-26 for Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, shows Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell leading businessman Matt Bevin 61-23%. (Politico)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Outside advertising may dominate House races these days, but Republican strategists eyeing FL-13 point out that there's still no substitute for candidates introducing themselves like Sink did in the special election. GOP groups helped even the score on the airwaves for Jolly, but the positive message from his side wasn't as coherent, a GOP concern heading into today's final voting. Dems, meanwhile, are thinking about how to overcome what will be a GOP-leaning electorate today.-- Scott Bland
• Today's FL-13 special election isn't a referendum on Obamacare, but it's awfully close to a test for the parties' messaging on the issue in the fall. If Sink prevails, it's a sign that the Democratic "fix, don't repeal the law" health care messaging can work -- at least in swing states and districts. But if Jolly, despite his lobbyist background and mediocre campaign, it's a sign anger towards Obamacare is more powerful than Democrats expect. -- Josh Kraushaar
• Even if Democrats can't unseat Scott Walker or John Kasich this year, these races offer the party an opportunity to get a head start on attacking two of the GOP's top presidential hopefuls far in advance of 2016. Republicans have the same opportunity with Andrew Cuomo in New York, and Cuomo seems to know it: he's reportedly considering launching $10 million in attack ads against Rob Astorino, who despite his lack of funds, appears poised to run a far more disciplined campaign than any other Republican has run statewide in New York over the past few cycles. Exiting this race diminished in stature when it should be a show of strength would be a loss in it's own right for Cuomo. -- Karyn Bruggeman
HAIR OF THE DOG
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) "had detailed knowledge about an illegal fundraising operation that helped him capture the 2010 election and personally asked a prominent D.C. business executive to finance the scheme, prosecutors said Monday. At a court hearing likely to roil the current mayoral race, prosecutors for the first time alleged that Gray ... knew about businessman" Jeffrey Thompson's "conspiracy to pump more than $660,000 in illegal donations into the campaign." (Washington Post)
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "is putting the strength of his formidable political machine behind a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor whose fate could have major implications for Reid's own three-decade congressional career. The race is rapidly becoming a proxy war between Reid and popular" Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), "who is viewed by both parties as the toughest potential challenger to Reid in 2016." (Politico)
- "I support the ultimate objective of helping elect Republicans in general elections. But at this point, I disagree with the approach they've taken, and so I don't intend to facilitate that approach." -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), on the NRSC (National Journal)
- "Colorado collected slightly more than $2 million in taxes on the sale of recreational marijuana in the month of January ... If the figures remain at that pace, sales and tax revenues would fall below previous estimates of what Colorado could reap from the sale of marijuana." (Denver Post)
- "61% of Republicans and Republican leaners under 30 favor same-sex marriage while just 35% oppose it. By contrast, just 27% of Republicans ages 50 and older favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry." (Pew Research Center)
- "I feel a little like a pedestrian in a Godzilla movie." -- CO-06 candidate Andrew Romanoff (D), on the effect of outside spending (Hotline reporting)
- "A year before launching his" NC SEN campaign, physician Greg Brannon (R) "urged people not to vote for the" Republican Party's "presidential nominee, saying a vote for Mitt Romney would 'advance tyranny.'" Brannon "is standing by his statements." (Charlotte Observer)
- "Joe McGinniss, the author who reported on political campaigns and murder cases in the books 'The Selling of the President' and 'Fatal Vision,' died on Monday. He was 71." (New York Times)
- "Oh, I'm probably .01 percent." -- IL GOV candidate/businessman Bruce Rauner (R), when asked if he is among the 1% of the wealthiest Americans (Chicago Sun-Times)
- "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: President Barack Obama" (FunnyOrDie.com)
- "What is absolutely moronic is you suggesting that you don't understand that there are limits to the free exercise clause. And you know there are, and you know that there are balancing tests that are imposed." -- AK SEN candidate/2010 nominee Joe Miller (R), to a reporter (Salon)
- "CPAC 2014: Steve Stockman's Awesome Hot Tub Party" (Slate)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 60s. West winds around 5 mph.
- The House returns at noon.
- Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) delivers a speech titled, "Maintaining America's Global Leadership in Innovation and Discovery." (Center for National Policy, 10:30 a.m.)
- The Capitals travel to Pittsburgh for a rematch with the Penguins. (NBC Sports Network, 7:30 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- John Quincy Adams lived in Russia from 1809-1814, serving as the first-ever U.S. Minister to Russia.
- The winner is Jayson Spiegel, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Which president had an ancestor who was captured and tortured by pirates?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Spending in Florida's Special Election Is Only the Beginning
- The Massive, Mysterious Redaction in the Crossroads Case That Is Roiling the FEC
- Time for Truth in Labeling: Obama Is Not Centrist
- Where Are the Party Gatherings for Moderates?
- Marco Rubio: Higher-Ed Makeover Would Improve Upward Mobility
"I am a very different person from Mitt Romney. I drink beer. I smoke a cigar." -- Rauner (Chicago Sun-Times)
"I tasted a beer and tried a cigarette once, as a wayward teenager." -- Romney, in a 2011 interview with People Magazine (Politico)
Adam Wollner, Editor