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RNC Launches Ad Campaign; AFP to Hit CO SEN, LA SEN Airwaves; Ill. Primary Races Enter Home Stretch RNC Launches Ad Campaign; AFP to Hit CO SEN, LA SEN Airwaves; Ill. Pri...

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RNC Launches Ad Campaign; AFP to Hit CO SEN, LA SEN Airwaves; Ill. Primary Races Enter Home Stretch

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


  • The RNC launched "a new 14-state, six-figure ad buy and sweeping digital effort," featuring "African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic and young voters" in an attempt "to give new and diverse voices to some tried-and-true Republican policies. ... The ads will begin airing Tuesday on cable channels targeting mostly women." (CNN)
  • In AK SEN, Put Alaska First PAC (D) released a new TV ad questioning former Attorney General Dan Sullivan's (R) Alaskan residency. The cost of the ad buy is $75,000, according to FEC records. (Hotline reporting)
  • In CO SEN, Americans for Prosperity "has reserved nearly $850,000 in airtime for TV ads" attacking Sen. Mark Udall (D) "that will begin Monday. ... The money is spread over three weeks." (Politico)
  • In KY SEN, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) endorsed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. (AP)
  • In LA SEN, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) "has reserved $2.6 million in air time between mid-April and the end of June." (Politico)
  • Also in LA SEN, Americans for Prosperity will launch "a new round of television ads against" Landrieu. The ad buy is for $700,000. (Washington Post)
  • In IL GOV, the "Republican candidates ... spent the final Sunday before the primary election taking aim at" Gov. Pat Quinn (D) "as they sought bolster support from their supporters and returned to the themes that launched their campaigns." State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R) "embarked on a two-day fly-around with" former Gov. Jim Edgar (R). (Chicago Tribune)
  • In WI GOV, the RGA launched a new TV ad criticizing former Trek executive Mary Burke's (D) "dishonest attacks" on Gov. Scott Walker (R), and says Burke "is desperate to hide her failed record on jobs." (Hotline reporting)
  • In AZ-02, the LIBRE Initiative "plans to spend around $500,000 on television and digital buys in the coming weeks that go after" Rep. Ron Barber (D). (USA Today)
  • In MN-07, Rep. Collin Peterson (D) "will announce Monday whether he plans to run for a 13th term. ... He has told some Minnesota Democrats he plans launch a reelection campaign Monday. Last week, a source close to Peterson also told the Star Tribune he expected Peterson would run." (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
  • In WV-03, House Majority PAC (D) launched another TV ad featuring Rick Ryan, a local coal miner, and his wife Terri. Terri Ryan says state Sen. Evan Jenkins (R) "vowed to repeal black lung benefits and supports letting insurance companies charge women more for health care." The buy is for $60,000 and will run for a week starting Tuesday. (Politico)
  • FreedomWorks PAC endorsed 12 Republican incumbents facing reelection in the fall: Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), Rep. Thomas Massie (R) in KY-04, Rep. Matt Salmon (R) in AZ-05, Rep. Tom Graves (R) in GA-14, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R) in OK-01, Rep. Mark Sanford (R) in SC-01, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R) in TX-01, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R) in KS-01, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) in FL-06 and Rep. Ted Yoho (R) in FL-03. (Politico)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's share of the primary vote will be instructive in assessing his general election prospects. A recent Strive Strategies (R) survey showed Quinn winning just 64% of the vote against community organizer Tio Hardiman, bleeding similar levels of support among both white and minority voters. Quinn's the most vulnerable Democratic governor in 2014, and losing one-third of the base isn’t the type of momentum Quinn needs heading into the general election. -- Josh Kraushaar

• Outside of the fundamentals, nothing has driven Senate races this cycle like Americans for Prosperity's spending, as the weekend's news reinforced. AFP is expanding its reach into Colorado with a new $850,000 television buy, and going back on air in Louisiana with a $700,000 buy. Landrieu is pushing back hard with a $2.6 million reservation, while the anti-Sullivan super PAC spot in Alaska dovetails with Sen. Mark Begich's first ad there. -- Scott Bland



  • "Democrats are becoming increasingly alarmed about their midterm election fortunes amid President Obama's sinking approval ratings, a" FL-13 Special loss "last week, and millions of dollars spent by Republican-aligned groups attacking the new health law. ... Interviews with more than two dozen Democratic members of Congress, state party officials and strategists revealed a new urgency about the need to address the party's prospects. One Democratic lawmaker ... said ... Obama was becoming 'poisonous' to the party's candidates. At the same time, Democrats are pressing senior aides to ... Obama for help from the political network." (New York Times)
  • "As viewing habits change, political campaigns must change their habits, as well" (Washington Post)
  • "In the DCCC's latest tally," Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) "is the only freshman to have already reached his 'dues goal' by sending $125,000 of his hard-earned campaign cash to the party committee. Further, he blew past the secondary goal of raising $75,000 for the DCCC from others, bringing in a haul of $278,500 so far this cycle—nearly quadruple what has been asked of him. It's a sure sign that the 33-year old scion of one of America's best-known political families is planning to follow in his relatives' famous footsteps. Kennedy has all the advantages needed to climb the political ladder, including his youth and a safe" MA-04 seat. (National Journal)
  • "The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office ran an undercover sting operation over three years that captured leading Philadelphia Democrats, including four members of the city's state House delegation, on tape accepting money. ... Yet no one was charged with a crime. Prosecutors began the sting in 2010 when" Gov. Tom Corbett (R) "was attorney general. After" Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) "took office in 2013, she shut it down." (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (D) "has been diagnosed months after leaving office with an advanced form of cancer that has spread to his liver and lymph nodes, a jolting discovery that he described as the most profound challenge of his life." (Boston Globe)
  • "After months of gathering more than 100,000 signatures and spending more than $1 million, organizers of the Count My Vote abandoned their ballot initiative effort, opting for a compromise that will provide candidates with an alternative to going through the party caucus-and-convention system." (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • "Utah lawmakers were unsuccessful in their effort to push their state to the front of the presidential selection process." Last week "the Utah House overwhelmingly approved" a bill "that would have required Utah to hold the first presidential voting contest in the country ... and sent it to the state Senate for further consideration. But records show it never came up for a Senate vote. It got stuck in a logjam of bills that were defeated when the legislature adjourned at midnight" on Friday. (Des Moines Register)
  • "Oh sure. ... I'm not the only funder of this." -- Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), when asked by Katie Couric if he could outspend the NRA and other gun-control opponents (Yahoo News)
  • "A federal judge Friday struck down Arkansas' attempt to ban most abortions beginning 12 weeks into a woman's pregnancy" on Friday. (AP)
  • Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards (D) "is running for Congress" in LA-06, "according to multiple sources close to Edwards." Edwards's "announcement will come Monday." (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
  • "I've been unfairly maligned about my jeans. The truth is, generally I look very sharp in jeans." -- Obama, appearing on "On Air with Ryan Seacrest"
  • "McConnell launches viral, do-it-yourself McConnell parody" (USA Today)
  • Sportscaster and former NFL player Ahmad Rashad went golfing with Obama last week in Key Largo, Fla. "The reason, present and past administration officials say, has less to do with ... Obama than his closest aide. The player most fondly remembered by Minnesota Vikings fans for his end zone 'miracle catch' appears to have made another improbable grab in Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to the president." (New York Times)


Do Americans believe Putin is a 'stronger' leader than Obama?



  • Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Total snow accumulation of 6-10 inches. Highs in the lower 30s. Northeast winds around 10 mph.
  • A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 2 p.m.
  • "Closings and Delays" (WTOP-FM)
  • Secretary of State John Kerry hosts a university town hall meeting and delivers remarks on "Making Foreign Policy Less Foreign." (State Department, 2:45 p.m.)
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • John Tyler was the first president to have his veto overridden by Congress.
  • The winner is Joe Bookman. Here's today's Swizzle Challenge: "Which senator represented three different states throughout his career? And what were the three states?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"Real estate mogul Donald Trump said Friday he will not run for governor." (AP)


"They didn't ask one question about running for governor. They didn't care." -- Trump, after giving a speech in New Hampshire last month (Buzzfeed)

Adam Wollner, Editor

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