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McConnell Launches Positive TV Ads; Outside Groups Investing in Fla. Special; McDonnells Indicted McConnell Launches Positive TV Ads; Outside Groups Investing in Fla. S...

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McConnell Launches Positive TV Ads; Outside Groups Investing in Fla. Special; McDonnells Indicted

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


  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released two new KY SEN TV ads on Wednesday, both featuring a Kentucky resident "who suffered from throat cancer after unknowingly being exposed to high levels of radiation while working at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant." (release)
  • Also in KY SEN, FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe "said in an interview Tuesday that the group is endorsing" businessman Matt Bevin (R) and "will help organize grass roots opposition to McConnell." (Louisville Courier-Journal)
  • In the FL-13 Special, the NRCC "has reserved about $725,000 in broadcast and cable advertising from Wednesday until Feb. 10 to support" former lobbyist David Jolly (R). (Roll Call)
  • Also in FL-13, House Majority PAC (D) "is preparing a $650,000 television campaign to back" former state CFO Alex Sink (D). (Tampa Bay Times)
  • In OR SEN, physician Monica Wehby (R) "raised just over $501,000" in the fourth quarter of last year. (Portland Oregonian)
  • In AZ-01, the NRCC is launching a $25,000 ad buy on cable against Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D). (Politico)
  • Former Treasury Department official Neel Kashkari (R) "formally entered" the CA GOV race on Tuesday, "pledging to improve public education and the jobs climate in California." (Sacramento Bee)
  • Idaho Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter (R) raised "about $686,000" during the second half of last year and has "about $708,000" cash on hand. (Idaho Statesman)
  • In MA GOV, a new WBUR-FM/MassINC Polling Group poll of RVs, conducted Jan. 16-19, shows Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) leading 2010 nominee Charlie Baker (R), 39-29%. (release)
  • Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) will run for LA GOV in 2015, "announcing his decision Tuesday in an email to supporters and immediately becoming the front-runner for the election." (AP)
  • "Weathering snow and scandal," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) "was sworn in for a second term Tuesday with a return to the bipartisan theme that made him a national celebrity." Christie "made no reference to the investigations that have plagued his administration" during his inaugural address. (Newark Star-Ledger)
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) "will make a multi-day swing through California in April, speaking at events in San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego that are sure to spark more talk about whether the former first lady will run for president in 2016." (CNN)


  • A new Quinnipiac University poll of national RVs, conducted Jan. 15-19, shows Republicans leading the generic ballot, 38-37%. In the previous poll, conducted Jan. 4-7, Republicans also led, 38-37%. (release)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• It's just a robopoll, but PPP's new poll on the Florida governor's race shows both Crist's favorability rating (36-46%) and Scott's job approval rating (34-51%) underwater. The race is already one of the most negative of the cycle, and is shaping up to be similar to the 2013 governors race in Virginia: a trench-warfare battle defined by modest gains that may come down to whom voters dislike the least.


    "A new, 9-meter ... sculpture of Nelson Mandela is billed as the biggest statue of the former South African leader. It also has a tiny quirk: a sculpted rabbit tucked inside one of the bronze ears." (AP)


  • Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and his wife, Maureen, "were charged Tuesday with illegally accepting gifts, luxury vacations and large loans from a wealthy Richmond area businessman who sought special treatment from state government. Authorities allege that for nearly two years, the McDonnells repeatedly asked executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. for loans and gifts of money, clothes, golf fees and equipment, trips, and private plane rides. The gifts and loans totaled at least $165,000." (Washington Post)
  • "Tuesday night, a defiant McDonnell made appearance in the lobby of a Richmond law firm accompanied by his wife; their daughter, Cailin Young; and her husband Chris Young." McDonnell: "I come before you as someone who has been falsely and wrongfully accused, and whose public service has been wrongfully attacked." (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
  • "Democrats remained on course to take control" of the Virginia state Senate "after winning a key special election Tuesday, as thousands of Northern Virginia voters braved snow and bitter winds to cast ballots in an unusual, three-way contest." (Washington Post)
  • "The Republican State Leadership Committee, a powerful outside group that has helped fund conservative gains in state elections nationwide, is splitting apart as a collection of GOP attorneys general seeks to chart its own course for the 2014 elections." (Politico)
  • "Speaker John Boehner stumps in the desert" (Palm Springs Desert Sun)
  • "A faction of conservatives will introduce a resolution at this week's meeting of the Republican National Committee urging GOP candidates to speak up about abortion and respond forcefully against Democratic efforts to paint them as anti-woman extremists." (CNN)
  • Iowa Democrats and Republicans "gathered in their neighborhoods for precinct meetings" on Tuesday evening, "the first step in a multistep process that leads to the selection of state party leaders and the honing of the parties' belief statements. ... [S]everal GOP precinct officials told The Des Moines Register they had the best turnout they could recall for midterm caucuses." (Des Moines Register)
  • "Obama's Job Approval Points to 2014 Trouble for Democrats" (RealClearPolitics)
  • 2013 VA GOV nominee Ken Cuccinelli (R) said Tuesday that Christie "should step down from his new role as chairman" of the RGA. (CNN)
  • "2 Friends Reach Across the Aisle on Immigration" (New York Times)
  • "I think I played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart." -- Former Fox News host Glenn Beck (Buzzfeed)


Team USA at the Homophobic Olympics



  • A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect. (until noon)
  • Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Sunny. Cooler with highs around 14. Northwest winds 10-15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph. Wind chill values as low as -10 this morning.
  • "School Closings" (WRC-TV)
  • Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz delivers the keynote speech at the Washington Auto Show. (Washington Convention Center, 1:40 p.m.)
  • The Wizards look to vault above .500 when they host the Celtics. (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
  • Men's basketball: No. 10 Iowa visits No. 21 Michigan. (Big Ten Network, 7 p.m.)
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • Former House Speaker Jim Wright was an amateur boxer in his youth.
  • The winner is Vin Weber, who declined to submit a new question. So here's a bonus Swizzle Challenge: "Which former Minnesota senator was known in his state for operating a flavored milk stand at the state fair?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"I might have won Wisconsin for him." -- Katy Perry, on her support for Obama in the 2012 election (GQ)


"How Bruce Springsteen Elected Barack Obama" (Slate)

Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief

Adam Wollner, Editor


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