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NRSC Raised $4.6M in Jan.; Hanabusa Leads Schatz in HI SEN Poll; Pat Roberts Hit... NRSC Raised $4.6M in Jan.; Hanabusa Leads Schatz in HI SEN Poll; ... NRSC Raised $4.6M in Jan.; Hanabusa Leads Schatz in HI SEN Poll; Pat R... NRSC Raised $4.6M in Jan....

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Hotline's Wake-Up Call!

NRSC Raised $4.6M in Jan.; Hanabusa Leads Schatz in HI SEN Poll; Pat Roberts Hits Back in Radio Ad

photo of Adam Wollner
February 18, 2014

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


  • The NRSC raised $4.62 million in January and has "more than" $10 million cash on hand and no debt. (Politico)
  • In HI SEN, a new Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll of Democratic primary voters, conducted Feb. 1-11 by Ward Research, shows Rep. Colleen Hanabusa leading Sen. Brian Schatz, 48-40%. (release)
  • Also in HI SEN, Democracy for America (D), "the liberal group founded by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D), is endorsing ... Schatz." (The Hill)
  • "After weeks of buzz that he'd be the firecracker to reconfigure" IA SEN, "religious conservative" Bob Vander Plaats (R) "has decided not to run, citing a focus on his message of national spiritual revival. ... His decision — sure to disappoint both the far right and far left — has been awaited for months as Republicans try mightily to find a candidate with the best chances of taking away a powerful seat that has been in Democratic hands for nearly 30 years." (Des Moines Register)
  • In KS SEN, Sen. Pat Roberts (R) released a 60-second radio ad attacking physician Milton Wolf (R) for the support he has received from outside the state. (release)
  • In NC SEN, Americans for Prosperity (R) released a new ad on Saturday attacking Sen. Kay Hagan (D) for saying "the Affordable Care Act is something whose time has come" in a recent appearance on MSNBC. (release)
  • In the FL-13 Special, "slightly more Republicans than Democrats have cast votes so far ..., but it's too early to spot a trend in the three-way battle for the seat. ... Republicans sent in 18,786, or roughly 42 percent, of the ballots received so far. Democrats sent in roughly 39 percent of the votes with 17,387." (Tampa Bay Times)
  • In HI GOV, a new Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll of Democratic primary voters, conducted Feb. 1-11 by Ward Research, shows Gov. Neil Abercrombie leading state Sen. David Ige, 47-38%. In the general election among all RVs, 2010 nominee/former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona (R) leads Abercrombie, 48-40%, and Ige, 51-34%. (release)
  • A new Baltimore Sun poll of MD GOV Democratic primary LVs, conducted Feb. 8-12 by OpinionWorks, shows Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown leading Attorney General Doug Gansler, 35-14%, with Del. Heather Mizeur at 10%. (release)
  • In NV GOV, Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak (D) "announced Monday night he will not challenge" Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), leaving Democrats "bereft of potential candidates less than a month before the filing deadline and effectively concedes the election to Sandoval unless Nevada Democrats have an independently wealthy candidate hiding in the wings." (Las Vegas Sun)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day

• Lots of surprises in the new Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll, so it's important to note the peculiarities of polling in the Aloha State. Hawaii's complex ethnic melting pot makes finding the right sample composition difficult -- especially important when a Caucasian candidate like Schatz or Abercrombie is facing an AJA candidate like Hanabusa or Ige. -- Steven Shepard

• Despite the details, it's clear that Abercrombie, the man who appointed Schatz, is under the same pressure as his appointee. Aiona lost to Abercrombie by 17 points in 2010, but is far more popular now with a favorability rating of 58%, compared to a 43% approval rating for Abercrombie. One state Democratic Party official called the governor's numbers "pre-election jitters," but it looks like it'll be a tough case to shake. -- Karyn Bruggeman




  • "A billionaire retired investor is forging plans to spend as much as $100 million during the 2014 election, seeking to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads against governors and lawmakers. The donor, Tom Steyer, a Democrat who founded one of the world's most successful hedge funds, ... is rallying other deep-pocketed donors, seeking to build a war chest that would make his political organization, NextGen Climate Action, among the largest outside groups in the country, similar in scale to the conservative political network overseen by Charles and David Koch." (New York Times)
  • "A group of major GOP donors, led by New York billionaire Paul Singer, is quietly expanding its political footprint ahead of the midterm elections in an increasingly assertive effort to shape the direction of the Republican Party. The operation was launched discreetly last year, with the previously unreported formation of a club called the American Opportunity Alliance to bring together some of the richest pro-business GOP donors in the country. ... Around the same time, Singer and his allies also formed a federal fundraising committee called Friends for an American Majority that raised big checks for a select list of the GOP's most highly touted 2014 Senate hopefuls. Those candidates are among the big names expected at a two-day retreat organized by the American Opportunity Alliance set for the last week of February at a swanky Colorado resort." (Politico)
  • "The days when political campaigns would try to make inroads with demographic groups such as soccer moms or white working-class voters are gone. Now, the operatives are targeting specific individuals. And, in some places, they can reach those individuals directly through their televisions. Welcome to Addressable TV, an emerging technology that allows advertisers — Senate hopefuls and insurance companies alike — to pay some broadcasters to pinpoint specific homes." (AP)
  • "The Dark Money Man: How Sean Noble Moved the Kochs' Cash into Politics and Made Millions" (ProPublica)
  • "When it came to laying down the ground rules for an upcoming debate in the closely watched" FL-13, former state CFO Alex Sink (D) "— who seems allergic to the national attention her race is getting — had big demands: No NBC. And no Chuck Todd." (Politico)
  • "Under growing political pressure," the NRCC "has overhauled a series of controversial campaign websites that are designed to, at first glance, appear as if they support Democrats." The NRCC "changed the donation page to make clearer to potential contributors that their money wasn't going to the smiling Democrats pictured but instead to the Republicans." (National Journal)
  • "He wanted to weigh in on who I should choose and this was before it was even public. And I said it was none of your damn business." -- Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), on a call he says he received from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in December right before President Obama publicly announced he would nominate then-Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) to be the next U.S. ambassador to China (Helena Independent Record)
  • "Democrats fired Monday on" TX GOV candidate/Attorney General Greg Abbott's (R) "decision to have Ted Nugent at campaign events, with some calling on" Abbott "to cancel the appearances." (San Antonio Express-News)
  • Former Rep. Mel Reynolds (D-IL), who resigned from the House in 1995 "after he was convicted of 12 counts of statutory rape, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography," was arrested Monday in Zimbabwe "for allegedly possessing pornographic material and violating immigration laws," according to state media accounts. (AP)
  • "Rahm Emanuel: Mayor America" (Financial Times Magazine)
  • "I got a 4-year-old and 6-year old -- I can't retire." -- former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY), 76, who heads the New York lobbying firm Park Strategies (Newsday)
  • "Scott Brown sings on stage with Cheap Trick" (WMUR-TV)
  • A Siena College/C-SPAN poll of 242 historians, political scientists and scholars conducted Oct. 10-Nov. 25, 2013 finds that Eleanor Roosevelt is the highest-ranked first lady in U.S. history, followed by Abigail Adams and Jacqueline Kennedy. Michelle Obama finished fifth and Hillary Clinton placed sixth. (release)


Dead Presidents and a #Twizzle at the Sochi Olympics


  • Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Sunny. Highs in the upper 40s. Southwest winds 5-10 mph, becoming west with gusts up to 20 mph this afternoon.
  • Obama talks about fuel-efficient trucks at an event in Upper Marlboro, Md. (Safeway Distribution Center, 11:20 a.m.)
  • The U.S. men will learn their Olympic hockey quarterfinal opponent when the Czech Republic and Slovakia square off in the qualification round. (NBC Sports Network, noon)
  • The Wizards and dunk-champion John Wall begin the second half of the season at home against the Raptors. (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
  • Maryland hopes to bounce back from their heartbreaking loss in Durham when the Terps host Wake Forest. (Comcast Center, 7 p.m.)
  • GW tries to avoid its third straight loss at Richmond. (NBC Sports Network, 7 p.m.)
  • Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel is in Bethesda, Md., to participate in Congregation Beth El's "Conversations with Key American Leaders." (Congregation Beth El, 7:30 p.m.)
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • Sultan Sidi Muhammad Ibn Abdullah of Morocco was the first to recognize the U.S. as an independent country in 1777.
  • The winner is Patrick Riel, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "At the 1920 Republican National Convention, what was the name of the delegate who nominated then-Massachusetts Gov. Calvin Coolidge for vice president, and what state was he from?" The 1st correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"He's the biggest blogger in the world. You look at him, and he's sort of handsome, but his power is immense. ... It used to be the New York Times, now it's BuzzFeed." -- Real estate mogul Donald Trump, on BuzzFeed's McKay Coppins (BuzzFeed)


"It is a totally dishonest and unfair article, written by a politically irrelevant website." -- Trump spokesman Michael Cohen, in response to Coppins's article (TheWrap)

Adam Wollner, Editor

Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard contributed to this article.

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