Wake-Up Call! is Hotline's daily morning briefing on campaigns and elections. Click here to subscribe.
- In AR SEN, the Government Integrity Fund Action Network is preparing to air a new TV ad highlighting Rep. Tom Cotton's (R) military service, calling him "a real-life hero for Arkansas." The super PAC is spending "more than $1.5 million" to run the ad "over the next six weeks." (Politico)
- "CREDO SuperPAC hopes to spend $2.5 million this year to help Democrats keep the Senate. However, the progressive super PAC's campaign ... won't include 'supporting some of the worst Democrats in the tightest races.' ... For Credo, that means not helping" Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). "The races where it does plan to have a presence include" Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Colorado and North Carolina "by spending about $500,000 in each state and hiring 30 organizers. The super PAC is not ruling out organizing in Iowa and Oregon if polls tighten." (Washington Post)
- Americans for Prosperity launched new TV ads attacking Sen. Mark Udall (D) in CO SEN, Landrieu in LA SEN and Rep. Gary Peters (D) in MI SEN for supporting Obamacare. (release)
- In KY SEN, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) called on President Obama "to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, joining 11 ... incumbent Democrats." (AP)
- Also in KY SEN, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is out with a new radio ad hitting businessman Matt Bevin (R) "for his appearance at a cockfighting rally earlier this month." (The Hill)
- In NC SEN, American Crossroads (R) launched a new TV ad touting state House Speaker Thom Tillis's (R) "proven conservative values," adding that "Washington liberals" are "so desperate they'll say anything to try and stop" him. The ad is backed by a $514,000 buy. The GOP super PAC has now reported spending more than $1.6 million on the race. (Hotline reporting)
- Also in NC SEN, "[s]ticking to their campaign scripts," the Republican candidates "continued Wednesday to take hard-line positions on climate change and immigration, even as they struggled to differentiate themselves in their second debate in two days. ... More than reinforce the candidate's stances, the back-to-back debates did little to shift the order in the" GOP primary, "as the fast-paced, 30-minute contest ... touched only five issues and revealed little new ground." (Raleigh News & Observer)
- In CA-25, 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney (R) endorsed former state Sen. Tony Strickland (R). (CNN)
- In PA-08, former CIA officer Kevin Strouse (D) debuted his first TV ad, poking fun at the perception that he is a "serious guy." Strouse says he is serious about issues like education as footage of him playing with is children appear on screen. (PoliticsPA)
- In VA-07, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor released a new TV ad attacking his GOP primary challenger, economics professor David Brat (R), for working with Sen. Tim Kaine (D) when he was governor. (WWBT-TV)
- In VA-08, former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer (D) released his first TV ad of the race, focusing on his positions on women's issues. (Washington Post)
- In WV-03, House Majority PAC (D) launched a new TV ad tying state Sen. Evan Jenkins (R) to industrialists Charles and David Koch. The spot has $70,000 behind it. (Roll Call)
- In ME GOV, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will attend a fundraiser for Gov. Paul LePage (R). (Newark Star-Ledger)
- In MD GOV, Attorney General Doug Gansler (D) released a new TV ad, "promising to 'get tough' on proposed rate hikes by insurance companies and calling the state's online health exchange 'a nearly $200 million failure.'" (Washington Post)
- Also in MD GOV, former President Bill Clinton will host a fundraiser for Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) on May 13. (Baltimore Sun)
- In NM GOV, Gov. Susana Martinez's (R) latest TV ad "features northern New Mexico Democratic officials praising" her. The spot "will air statewide on broadcast and cable." (AP)
- In CO SEN, a new Quinnipiac University poll of RVs, conducted April 15-21, shows Udall leading Rep. Cory Gardner (R) 45-44%. (release)
- Also in CO SEN, a new Chamber of Commerce poll of LVs, conducted by Fabrizio, Lee & Associates (R) from April 16-17, finds Gardner leading Udall 44-42%. (release)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• Quinnipiac's new poll comes at the perfect time to explain why Udall went after Gardner hard on abortion in his first ad. The poll shows a huge gender gap (also a fixture of the 2010 Senate race in Colorado): Udall leads 52%-35% among women, while Gardner is ahead 53%-38% among men. Now the Udall campaign and its allies need to make sure that those women vote, especially the younger ones whose participation tends to drop significantly in non-presidential years. -- Scott Bland
• The Boston Globe took a look at how Scott Brown's NH SEN run could negatively impact Republican Charlie Baker's MA GOV bid. Resources will be split and voters will get mixed intra-party messages within the same media spheres. Thankfully though for gubernatorial candidates, particularly Democrats, there isn't much direct overlap this year with Senate contests. Both races are being seriously contested at the same time in just Arkansas, Colorado and Michigan, while three others in Georgia, Minnesota and New Hampshire could become competitive. -- Karyn Bruggeman
HAIR OF THE DOG
"A Kansas man charged with first-degree murder is afraid the tattooed mirror-image letters spelling out the word 'murder' across his neck might prejudice a jury, so he is asking for a professional tattoo artist to remove or cover it up." (AP)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "Some of the country's biggest Democratic donors -- including Tom Steyer and Jonathan Soros -- are huddling behind closed doors next week in Chicago with union bigwigs and progressive superstars like" New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) "to plan how to pull their party — and the country — to the left." (Politico)
- "Can Mr. Jones stay in Washington?" (CNN)
- The family of" Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) "is hopeful and looking forward to the next stage of the senator's recovery following his emergency heart surgery for an acute aortic dissection Tuesday." Boozman "remains hospitalized as doctors continue to monitor him. ... Boozman is awake and responsive, and doctors are pleased with the progress he has made." (Roll Call)
- Beverly Young, the widow of Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young (R-FL), "says she no longer supports" Rep. David Jolly (R-FL), "who campaigned as a 'Bill Young Republican' and was elected to her husband's seat. ... It's quite a switch for Young, who appeared in a Jolly commercial and with him at the rally to announce his candidacy. ... But Young is disappointed and upset that Jolly did not hire more of her husband's staff. (WFLA-TV)
- "U.S. Senate race in Hawaii pits opposing wings of Democratic Party" (Los Angeles Times)
- Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) "signed a bill ... preventing local officials from restricting the sale of firearms and ammunition or regulating how guns are transported and stored." (AP)
- HBO's new documentary about the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards (D) "made it's premiere Wednesday in Austin." (KXAN-TV)
- "I am going to challenge you on spending. I am going to challenge you on economic growth. But first, I am going to challenge you on the basketball court. It's time to man up and accept the 3-point challenge. My house or yours?" -- FL-19 nominee Curt Clawson (R), re-issuing a challenge he made to Obama at the beginning of his campaign (USA Today)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Secretary of Education Arne Duncan delivers remarks to students encouraging them to study the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (McKinley Technology High School, 9 a.m.)
- Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks at the Export-Import Bank's 2014 annual conference. (Omni Shoreham Hotel, 1 p.m.)
- Revolution Messaging holds an event to launch "Revere," a new platform to bring "cutting edge data and technology" to campaigns in 2014. (Baby Wale, 6 p.m.)
- The Nationals open up a four-game series against the Padres. (Nationals Park, 7:05 p.m)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- Since 1860, three presidential elections (1904, 1920, and 1944) have featured two major party nominees who hail from the same state.
- The winner is Bill Pascoe, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "According to Michael Lewis' 'Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt,' a group of very smart traders wanted to start their own exchange to avoid high frequency traders. They wanted to call their new exchange 'Investors' Exchange,' but chose not to. What did they call it instead, and why?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- The Democrat Running on Obamacare
- Conservative Group Targets Liberal Billionaire Donor
- The Pivot Potential in Asia and at Home
- Can a Republican Challenger Successfully Run Against House Leadership?
- Remember Gary Johnson? He Wants to Run for President Again.
"President Obama told me that, 'I was born in Hawaii and ate a lot of sushi, but this was the best sushi I've ever had in my life.'" -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who ate a private dinner with Obama on Wednesday in Tokyo (CNN)
"Report: Obama ate only half of exclusive sushi meal" (The Hill)
Adam Wollner, Editor
CORRECTION: Wednesday's Wake-Up Call stated former Rep. Mike Ross (D) led former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R) 41-40% in a New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation AR GOV poll. Hutchinson led in the poll 41-40%.