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- Former lobbyist David Jolly (R) "won the nationally watched, stunningly expensive and relentlessly negative battle" in the FL-13 Special "Tuesday, signaling possible trouble for Democrats across the nation in the fall elections. The loss could be a career-ender for" former state CFO Alex Sink (D), "65, who ran a well-organized and hard-fought campaign, but lost her second close race in a row. It means Jolly, once an obscure aide to the late" Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young (R) "will fill the seat occupied for more than four decades by his former boss." (Tampa Bay Times)
- Unofficial FL-13 results, with 100% of precincts reporting: 48.4% for Jolly; 46.6% for Sink; 4.8% for Libertarian Lucas Overby. (Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections)
- "Tonight, one of [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi's most prized candidates was ultimately brought down because of her unwavering support for Obamacare, and that should be a loud warning for other Democrats running coast to coast." -- NRCC chariman Greg Walden (release)
- "Democrats will fight for FL-13 in the midterm, when the electorate is far less heavily tilted toward Republicans. Despite those millions from Republican outside groups, they underperformed because the only message they offered voters -- repealing the [Affordable Care Act] -- is out of touch and failed to bring them even close to their historically wide margins." -- DCCC chairman Steve Israel (release)
- "Tuesday night's special election in Florida should be a serious scare for Democrats who worry that Obamacare will be a major burden for their party in 2014. ... Special elections don't necessarily predict the November elections, but this race in a bellwether Florida district that both parties aggressively contested comes as close as possible to a November test run for both parties." (National Journal)
- In IA SEN, businessman Mark Jacobs (R) launched his second TV ad, touting his experience as a CEO and a CFO. (Des Moines Register)
- The RNC "is beefing up its political operation in Colorado, a state the GOP was all but writing off just a month ago before" Rep. Cory Gardner's (R) entry into" CO SEN. "The RNC is hiring 11 new field workers, as well as a director of Hispanic Outreach and two additional Hispanic field staffers. By the end of the month, the RNC expects to have 20 national staffers working in Colorado out of an eventual 12 field offices the party is planning to open." (KDVR-TV)
- In NE SEN, the "four Republican ... candidates took lots of shots at" President Obama "during a Tuesday night debate. But they shied away from directly criticizing one another." (Omaha World-Herald)
- In IL GOV, Illinois Freedom PAC, a "union-backed political action committee that had run a month of television campaign ads critical of" businessman Bruce Rauner (R) "said Tuesday it was ending its TV blitz against the front-runner. But several of the public unions involved in the Illinois Freedom PAC also gave" state Sen. Kirk Dillard (R) "$400,000, allowing" him "to buy his own TV ads to promote his candidacy." (Chicago Tribune)
- In FL GOV, Gov. Rick Scott (R) launched a new biographical TV ad, highlighting his family's humble beginnings. The cost of the ad buy is $2.2 million. (Miami Herald)
- Senate Conservatives Fund endorsed five House Republican primary candidates: Attorney Bryan Smith in ID-02, Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz in IA-03, former Maryland Republican Party chairman Alex Mooney in WV-02, state Sen. Barry Loudermilk in GA-11, and orthopedic surgeon Chad Mathis in AL-06. (release)
- In PA-13, Bill Clinton "is scheduled to be the special guest at an April fundraiser for" former Rep. Marjorie Margolies's (D) "effort to reclaim the ... seat she lost two decades ago after providing the decisive vote to pass Clinton's budget." (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of national adults, conducted March 5-9 by Hart Research Associates (D)/Public Opinion Strategies (R), 41% approve of the job Obama is doing as president, while 54% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted Jan. 22-25, 43% approved of Obama, and 51% disapproved. (release)
- The NBC/WSJ poll also shows that 44% of RVs prefer a Republican-controlled Congress, while 43% prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress. In the previous poll, 45% preferred a Congress controlled by the Democrats and 43% preferred a Congress controlled by the GOP. (release)
- A new Bloomberg National poll of adults, conducted March 7-10 by Selzer & Co, shows 48% approve of the job Obama is doing as president, while 48% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted Dec. 6-9, 42% approved and 55% disapproved. (release)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Between last night's victory for Republican David Jolly and this morning's NBC/WSJ poll showing Obama hitting a new low in job approval, there are growing signs of a GOP wave emerging in 2014. The most worrisome poll number for Dems -- nearly as many voters said they support GOP candidate backing repeal (47%) versus a Democratic supporting fixes (48%). That was the key message tested in the FL-13 special. -- Josh Kraushaar
• In Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D) announced they've agreed to five debates. Frontrunners don't commit to five primary debates: Don't believe either side when they say they're ahead. Polling has been all over the place recently, and while Schatz is outraising Hanabusa, it looks like anybody's game right now. -- Julie Sobel
• Now that the FL-13 Special is over, the next big election to watch is next Tuesday's GOP gubernatorial primary in Illinois. Unions are dropping their attacks on Rauner in favor of a last ditch effort to boost Dillard, who was running closest to Rauner in last week's Chicago Tribune poll, trailing him 36-23%. The key things to watch for will be how Dillard handles his new-found momentum in the final week of the campaign, and which candidates ultimately pick up support from the 13% of voters that remain undecided. -- Karyn Bruggeman
HAIR OF THE DOG
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "A longtime adviser to" former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) "personally sought and secured the funding for what prosecutors say was an illegal shadow operation to boost Clinton's 2008 presidential bid, according to court papers released as part of a wide-ranging campaign finance investigation. Washington businessman" Jeffrey Thompson "told federal prosecutors that Clinton aide Minyon Moore asked him to fund pro-Clinton efforts in four states and Puerto Rico costing $608,750 during the hard-fought 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign." (Washington Post)
- "I think it's horsesh--. I think the Washington Post is acting like some kind of an Internet blog or something instead of doing real reporting. ...I think it's pretty clear through everything that's come out that [Moore] didn't do anything wrong and has been exonerated and has been fully helpful in the case, and that's the bottom line." -- Longtime Clinton aide Burns Strider, reacting to the Post's story (National Journal)
- "I say this to all of you, clearly and unequivocally: I didn't break the law. ... Who do you believe? A greedy man attempting to save himself? Or me, a public servant who has dedicated his entire career to giving back to our communities?" -- Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D), in his State of the District address, responding to Thompson's allegations that he was aware of an illegal fundraising operation during the 2010 campaign (Washington Post)
- "A federal jury convicted" former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner (D) "on 14 extortion and bribery charges Tuesday after deliberating a little more than three hours. ... She faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced at a later date, after a pre-sentence investigation is completed." (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
- Ready for Hillary was "on the ground in New Hampshire" Tuesday "trying to help a Democratic candidate in a special election" for "the state's five-member Executive Council." (WMUR-TV)
- "They needed a token non-wealthy person, so I was there. They called me in." -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), referring to a fundraiser he attended with Obama Tuesday night (New York Observer)
- The Utah House passed a bill on Monday that "would allow Utah to hold a presidential primary a week before any other state — conducted solely by online voting. However, the early date could bring punishment from national political parties." (Salt Lake Tribune)
- "There is a bogus poll out there. I can sense the people of my state. When I travel around, which I do constantly, they like me, and I am very grateful." -- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), when asked about a recent poll showing he has the lowest job approval rating in his state of any senator (The Hill)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Cloudy. Highs around 70. South winds 15 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 40 mph this afternoon. Chance of rain: 90%.
- The Senate returns at 9:30 a.m., while the House is back at 10 a.m.
- Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies at a Senate Budget Committee hearing on Obama's budget proposal. (Dirksen Senate Office Building, 10 a.m.)
- Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the HHS budget. (Longworth House Office Building, 10 a.m.)
- Secretary of State John Kerry testifies at a House Appropriations Committee State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee hearing on the State Department's budget. (Rayburn House Office Building, 10:30 a.m.)
- Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Vice President Biden will also attend. (White House, 2:45 p.m.)
- The Wizards host the Bobcats. (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- Millard Fillmore's ancestor was captured and tortured by pirates.
- No one answered correctly. Here's today's Swizzle Challenge: "Who was the first president to have previously served in two different cabinet positions? And which two cabinet posts did he hold?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Who Scares Democrats More Than the Koch Brothers? Nate Silver.
- Obamacare Missed February Enrollment Target
- Republicans Target Mary Landrieu Over Dems' Climate Talk-Fest
- Accused of Spying on Congress, CIA Director Tap Dances
- Who's Playing Games With Unemployment Insurance?
"I have very good news tonight. No more commercials." -- Jolly, at his victory party Tuesday night (Tampa Bay Times)
"Jolly ... will have to face the gantlet once more when the seat is up again in November." (Tampa Bay Times)
Adam Wollner, Editor