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McConnell Won't Back Cruz Filibuster; McAuliffe Leads Polls; Cutler, Gansler, McCord Enter GOV Races McConnell Won't Back Cruz Filibuster; McAuliffe Leads Polls; Cutler, G...

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McConnell Won't Back Cruz Filibuster; McAuliffe Leads Polls; Cutler, Gansler, McCord Enter GOV Races

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


  • Senate Min. Leader Mitch McConnell "and many of his rank and file are poised to cast votes this week that will effectively rebuke" Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) "effort to filibuster a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government funded" past the end of the month (Roll Call).
  • In his speech Tuesday to the UN General Assembly, Pres. Obama will "focus on U.S. policy in Middle East and North Africa," a WH official said (CNN).
  • AL-01 Special primary: Polls are open until 8 pm EDT/7 pm CDT. A 11/5 runoff between the top two GOP vote-getters is "expected," given the "crowded field" (Mobile Press-Register).
  • Boston Mayor '13: "Voters are flocking to the polls today in chilly, bright weather to cast ballots in a preliminary election that will winnow the field of 12 mayoral candidates to two hopefuls who will face off in a final election" on 11/5. The polls are open until 8 pm EDT (Boston Globe).
  • A new Quinnipiac Univ. poll of NJ SEN Special LVs, conducted 9/19-22, shows Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) leading ex-Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan (R), 53-41% (release). A new Stockton Polling Institute poll of NJ SEN Special LVs, conducted 9/15-21, shows Booker leading Lonegan, 58-32% (release).
  • A new Washington Post/Abt SRBI poll of VA GOV '13 LVs, conducted 9/19-22, shows ex-DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe (D) leading AG Ken Cuccinelli (R), 47-39%, with Robert Sarvis (L) at 10% (release). A new WRC-TV/NBC News/Marist poll of VA GOV '13 LVs, conducted 9/17-19, shows McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli, 43-38%, with Sarvis at 8% (release).
  • The IA GOP voted Monday night "to return the date" for its '14 GOP state convo to 6/14, "as originally planned." Some had argued that a later convo date "would damage" the GOP's chances in IA SEN (Des Moines Register).
  • In KY SEN, McConnell said last week that he'll "stay out of the budget fray" on Capitol Hill, as he "balances his leadership imperatives with his" reelection campaign (New York Times). Meanwhile, Dem candidate Ed Marksberry "is dropping out of the primary to run as an independent," saying Sec/State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) "isn't speaking to progressives or their issues" (WFPL-FM).
  • In ME GOV, when '10 candidate Eliot Cutler (I) announces his candidacy on Tuesday, he'll be greeted with Dem criticism that he's helping hand the race to Gov. Paul LePage (R) (Hotline reporting).
  • MD AG Doug Gansler (D) "will formally launch" his MD GOV campaign on Tuesday with an appearance in downtown Rockville, "setting the stage for what is likely to be a fiercely competitive contest" for the Dem nod (Baltimore Sun). Meanwhile, Rep. John Sarbanes (D) on Monday endorsed LG Anthony Brown (D) (Washington Post).
  • PA Treas. Rob McCord (D) announced his PA GOV candidacy early Tuesday in an email to supporters (Allentown Morning Call).


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• Two new polls show Cuccinelli is badly underperforming with two groups: women and conservatives (which we wrote about last week). Even with a sizable gender gap, Cuccinelli could still compete if his base was significantly more enthusiastic. But if he's losing 21% of the conservative vote to McAuliffe (per WaPo), and bleeding support to an unknown libertarian challenger, he doesn't have a shot.

• There are two important things happening in the Cuccinelli camp right now, as they attempt to turn the tide with six weeks to go before Election Day. First, they're redefining McAuliffe, shifting away from attacks on his business record, which have yet to move the needle in polling, and making the race about character and preparedness, building off of McAuliffe's breezy style and poor showing at a business PAC's recent endorsement interview. Cuccinelli, meanwhile, is portraying himself as the wonk with a plan for VA (see his 30-minute lecture running at 2:30 a.m. on a television station near you). And second, Cuccinelli's camp is clearly putting a renewed emphasis on turning out the base (see his recent campaign appearances with Mark Levin and E.W. Jackson). With such high negatives on both sides, swing voters may not bother turning up, giving an edge to whichever candidate can get their most fervent supporters to the polls.

• NV Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) is involved in several efforts to rehabilitate the state GOP, but backing challenger (and Adelson lobbyist) Robert Uithoven for state party chair knits them together. Sandoval and the national GOP have been working around the state party for the past year, dividing resources and manpower into efforts like the RNC's "Team Nevada" effort to aid Mitt Romney in 2012. Control over the NV GOP would add a semblance of order to the GOP's attempts to close its registration gap and improve its standing with Hispanic voters there, among many other things.


    "In a move destined to shake up the fast-food industry, Burger King Tuesday will unveil a simple but startling french fry innovation" they call "Satisfries": "french fries with 30% less fat and 20% fewer calories than BK's current fries. (And 40% less fat and 30% fewer calories than McDonald's fries) (USA Today).


  • Ex-FBI agent Donald Sachtleben "has agreed to plead guilty to leaking classified information to The Associated Press about a foiled bomb plot in Yemen last year," DoJ announced on Monday (New York Times).
  • "We wouldn't have survived some of those years, we wouldn't have made budgets. And then that story implying we had a deficit might have been true, but it wasn't. We always made budget, and he made sure we did" -- Bill Clinton, defending longtime adviser Doug Band (CBS News).
  • "At a morning sermon Sunday" in Northern VA, VA LG nominee E.W. Jackson (R), a pastor, "said people who don't follow Jesus Christ 'are engaged in some sort of false religion'" (Washington Post).
  • "Did Lynne Cheney tell Alan Simpson 'shut your mouth?'" (Casper Star-Tribune).
  • "You know, I see our president criticized for playing golf. I don't -- I think he ought to play golf. .. Because I know what it's like to be in the bubble. And I know the pressures of the job. And to be able to get outside and play golf with some of your pals is important for the president. It does give you an outlet" -- George W. Bush (Golf Channel).
  • CA first lady Anne Gust Brown tweeted a photo Monday night of Shaquille O'Neal lifting her over his head (Twitter).



  • Nationals CF Denard Span had a 29-game hitting streak broken last week.
  • The winner is Mike Amery, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "What father of a current Nationals player won a World Series ring, and with which team did he win it?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"I was criticized for having too much maturity, but with maturity comes experience and even some dignity" -- Ex-Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), criticizing his successor, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), for a lack of dignity after Swalwell advised GOPers "to awake from their 'wet dream' of defunding Obamacare" on Friday (San Jose Mercury News).



"Stark Hurls F-Bomb At Swalwell Following Caustic Debate Featuring Bribery Charges" (East Bay Citizen).

Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor

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