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- Pres. Obama is "preparing to send lethal weaponry to the Syrian opposition," but admin. officials "emphasized that they are stil pursuing political negotiation" (Washington Post). Obama also said Tuesday that he "would recommit himself to closing the Guantánamo Bay prison" (New York Times).
- MA SEN Special: Rep. Edward Markey (D) defeated Rep. Stephen Lynch (D) in the Dem primary and will now face ex-Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez (R) in the June 25 special election (National Journal Daily).
- NJ GOV '13: Gov. Chris Christie (R) released his first TV ad of the cycle, a 60-second spot that will run statewide through May 12 (On Call).
- VA GOV '13: Ex-DNC chair Terry McAuliffe (D) released his first statewide TV ad of the campaign, which places a "heavy emphasis on family" (Washington Post).
- GA SEN: Rep. Jack Kingston (R) will hold two press conferences on Thursday and a "kickoff" fundraiser and other statewide events on Friday, though his campaign would not confirm what he "will announce" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
- WV SEN: Rep. Nick Rahall (D) will not mount a bid, but will run for reelection instead (On Call).
- NC-12: Obama will nominate Rep. Melvin Watt (D) to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Wednesday, according to a WH official (AP).
- NY-18: Ex-Rep. Nan Hayworth (R) "filed a statement of candidacy and a statement of organization" ahead of a rematch with Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D) (Bloomberg).
- NM GOV: '12 SEN candidate Hector Balderas (D), who was considering a bid, announced that he will run for AG instead (Albuquerque Journal).
- WH '16: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is "considering" a run, according to "friends and confidants" (National Review).
- According to a new CBS News/New York Times poll of nat'l adults, conducted 4/24-28, 47% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as POTUS, and 45% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted 3/20-24, 45% approved of Obama, and 46% disapproved (release).
- According to a new Quinnipiac Univ. poll of nat'l RVs, conducted 4/25-29, 48% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as POTUS, while 45% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted 3/26-4/1, 49% approved of Obama, and 45% disapproved (release).
- The Quinnipiac poll also shows Dems leading the '14 House generic ballot, 41-37%. In the previous poll, Dems led, 43-35% (release).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Scott Brown's win in 2010 was as much about the toxic political environment for Democrats as it was about his own strengths as a candidate or Coakley's weaknesses. National Republicans are excited about Gomez, but Bay State GOP strategists privately question his ability to compete with Markey under the current conditions.
• Pennsylvania isn't the only state where Republicans are worried the governor's race will be a drag on House candidates in 2014. There's also concern that Rick Scott's unpopularity could drag down challengers to Florida Dem frosh Patrick Murphy and Joe Garcia, though Scott's big spending may help. And no one on either side in California knows quite how that nascent governor's race will affect turnout in 18 months.
• The more the merrier -- for Paul Broun. Jack Kingston's decision to get in the Georgia Senate race gives Republicans a solid recruit, but the fact that Phil Gingrey is already in leaves the door open for a split GOP establishment, and for the ultra-conservative Broun. Georgia could be a harbinger of heartburn to come.
• Yes, Dems hold a slight lead on the generic ballot in the Q poll, but that isn't all it's cracked up to be. The generic ballot usually understates GOP support -- even right before Election Day -- and Dems face structural impediments to regaining the House, even if they win the popular vote in '14, as they did in '12. Besides, this time four years ago, Dems led by 7 points, and that ended up as a 63-seat loss 18 months later.
• The increasingly ugly ethics scandal surrounding Michele Bachmann excites Dems eager to see her demise. But if -- as recent whispers in MN have it -- that demise comes via her retirement, the GOP might actually boost its chances of holding MN-06 with a baggage-free candidate.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"Invasive predator fish that can live out of water for days to be hunted in Central Park" (NBC News).
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "The bill that's in place right now probably can't pass the House" -- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), on the Gang of Eight's immigration proposal (CNN).
- VP Biden is back in DC "after spending the weekend in Arizona," but Air Force Two remains stuck in Flagstaff (Arizona Republic).
- "He's been great. Usually they get a lobotomy when you go from one side of this building to the other. I haven't seen that yet" -- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), on how his colleague, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), is adjusting (BuzzFeed).
- Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney (R) has turned down an offer to head San Diego's bid for the 2024 Olympic Games (CNN). Romney also opened up about his Mormon faith during a commencement address last weekend (Washington Post).
- "J.L.'s job is to make the trains run on time. My job is to get some trains" -- NE Dem chair Vince Powers, on the distinction between his job and NE GOP chair J.L. Spray's (Lincoln Journal Star).
- Hustler founder Larry Flynt endorsed ex-SC Gov. Mark Sanford's (R) special election bid on Tuesday, calling him the "sex pioneer of our time" (Daily Caller).
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews has signed "a new long-term deal that will keep him at the network into the next presidential election," but "will retire from his syndicated Sunday show in July" (Hollywood Reporter).
- "Senator calls on Interior Dept. not to use drones to count sheep" (Daily Caller).
- "Otter hops into car, refuses to leave" (Washington Post).
- Former Duke guard Chris Collins, whose father coached in the NBA, was recently hired as the head basketball coach at Northwestern Univ.
- The winner is Larry Goldzband, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "In what body of water will the 2013 America's Cup be contested, and how does this venue differ from previous venues?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- How Democrats Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Super PAC
- The U.S. Has Much, Much More Gas and Oil Than We Thought
- Obama Appears at a Loss to Define the Way Forward in Syria
- The 'Obamacare' Rollout's 'Glitches and Bumps' Won't Doom Health Reform
- 6 Revealing Quotes From Obama's Potential New FCC Nominee, Tom Wheeler
"I am stalking you :)" -- L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel (D), in a text seeking atty Kevin James' (R) endorsement for her mayoral campaign (Los Angeles Times).
"You don't know me that well. My angry face and my happy face are the same" -- Pam ("True Blood").
Sarah Mimms, Editor