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Texas Voters Hit the Polls; AFP Goes Back on Air in MI SEN; Hutchinson, RGA Launch New AR GOV Ads Texas Voters Hit the Polls; AFP Goes Back on Air in MI SEN; Hutchinson...

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Texas Voters Hit the Polls; AFP Goes Back on Air in MI SEN; Hutchinson, RGA Launch New AR GOV Ads

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


  • "In a demonstration of support for Ukraine's fledgling government, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived" in Kiev "on Tuesday with an offer of $1 billion in American loan guarantees and pledges of technical assistance, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday. The purpose of the loan guarantee is to support Ukraine’s efforts to integrate with the West and help offset the reduction of energy subsidies from Russia, which has assailed the new government’s legitimacy and occupied its Crimea Peninsula." (New York Times)
  • On Tuesday, Texas Republican primary voters "are poised to produce one of the most conservative slates of candidates in Texas history." Their positions "have largely been uniform and uncompromising: Stop 'the illegal invasion' of immigrants, teach creationism in schools, outlaw abortions even for rape and incest victims and allow the open carrying of firearms." Some "suggest the push evermore to the right could alienate Hispanic voters, moderate women and business interests and help make the state competitive long-term." (Dallas Morning News)
  • "Obama has lost the nation's largest Latino advocacy organization. The National Council of La Raza is set to declare Obama 'the deporter-in-chief' and demand that he take unilateral action to stop deportations. NCLR ... had been the last significant progressive immigration-reform organization publicly defending the White House immigration stance." (Politico)
  • In GA SEN, Vice President Biden "will attend an event for" philanthropist Michelle Nunn (D) "at a private residence at 1 p.m. Tuesday" in Atlanta. (AP)
  • In MI SEN, Americans for Prosperity launched a new TV ad on Tuesday that "features Julie Boonstra, a Michigan woman who was the subject of an earlier ad, in which she said she had lost the health plan that she preferred for treatment of her leukemia and was facing higher costs because of the health care law. Lawyers for" Rep. Gary Peters (D) "wrote to television stations asking them to demand verification for the claims in the initial commercial. ... In the new ad ... Boonstra says the attacks on her credibility have been devastating and accuses ... Peters of trying to silence her." (New York Times)
  • In MS SEN, Sen. Thad Cochran (R) "will launch the first television ads of his 2014 reelection bid Tuesday, moving to define his legislative record in positive terms to the GOP primary electorate." Cochran's "first wave of television advertising will feature three positive messages – none of them mentioning" state Sen. Chris McDaniel, "a Republican familiar with the ads said." (Politico)
  • In NE SEN, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) endorsed Midland University President Ben Sasse (R). (release)
  • In NJ SEN, a new Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll of RVs, conducted Feb. 19-23, finds Sen. Cory Booker (D) leading Ramapo College professor Murray Sabrin (R) 58-25% in a hypothetical general election contest. (release)
  • In the OK SEN Special, former state Sen. Randy Brogdon (R) "has formally announced his intention to enter the" race for the "seat now held by" Sen. Tom Coburn (R). "Brogdon is running on a pledge to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. ... At least six other Republicans are vying to replace Coburn." (Tulsa World)
  • In SC SEN, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) "released new radio and television ads highlighting his strong conservative record on economic issues and fighting for South Carolina jobs. The six-figure television and radio ad buy will run statewide. The television ad began running over the weekend during the Clemson – South Carolina baseball series." (release)
  • In AR GOV, former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R) released his first TV ad, which "will begin airing statewide this week on cable. Hutchinson's campaign said it is spending $55,000 on the initial ad buy. ... The ad features Hutchinson and his wife, who praises him as someone who's willing to work with the other side." (AP)
  • Also in AR GOV, the RGA launched its third TV ad of the race, labeling former Rep. Mike Ross (D) as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's "go-to guy." (Politico)
  • In CT GOV, a new Quinnipiac poll of RVs, conducted Feb. 26-March 2, 2010 nominee Tom Foley (R) leads the Republican primary field with 36%, compared to 11% for Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton (R), 6% for Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti (R). In the general election, Gov. Dan Malloy (D) is tied with Foley at 42%, and leads Boughton, 44-35%; and Lauretti, 44-34%. (release)
  • In IL GOV, a new Southern Illinois University of RVs, conducted Feb. 12-25, shows businessman Bruce Rauner (R) leading the Republican field ahead of the March 18 primary with 30%, compared to 10% for state Sen. Bill Brady (R), 9% for state Sen. Kirk Dillard (R), 8% for Treasurer Dan Rutherford (R), and 35% who are undecided. In the general election, Gov. Pat Quinn (D) trails both Brady and Rauner, 38-36%; Dillard, 38-35%; and leads Rutherford, 37% to 36%. (release)
  • Also in IL GOV, Dillard "is scheduled to begin airing a biographical television ad beginning" Tuesday. (Quad City Times)
  • Rauner "has set a new record for personal funding in a campaign for" IL GOV, "his out-of-pocket total hitting $6 million after he put another $1 million into his bid Monday. The latest Rauner contribution comes as a coalition of public employee unions and the Democratic Governors Association disclosed another $905,000 to their anti-Rauner political action committee." (Chicago Tribune)
  • In CA-15, President Obama endorsed Rep. Eric Swalwell (D) "for re-election on Monday, his second endorsement of a freshman congressman in the past week." (Roll Call)
  • In NV-03, Americans for Prosperity released its second TV ad thanking Rep. Joe Heck (R) for his "steadfast opposition" to Obamacare. (release)


  • According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll of national RVs, conducted Feb.27-March 2, 46% said they approved of the way Obama is handling his job as president, while 52% disapproved. In a mid-January poll, 45% approved and 52% disapproved. (release)
  • The poll also shows Democrats leading the generic ballot 46-45%. In January, the Republicans led 46-45%. (release)
  • As for RVs in the 34 states with Senate races this year, 50% said they would vote for the Republican candidate and 42% said they would vote for the Democratic candidate. (release)
  • According to a new Elon University poll of RVs in North Carolina, conducted Feb. 23-26, 33% approve of the job Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) is doing, while 49% disapprove. In a November poll, 37% approved and 44% disapproved. As for NC SEN candidate/state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R), 18% held a favorable opinion of him, while 34% held an unfavorable one. (release)


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day


• The main event of tonight's Texas primaries was hyped to be Rep. Steve Stockman's quixotic challenge to Sen. John Cornyn and a long-shot primary threat to former NRCC chair Pete Sessions. But in reality, the results will offer important clues about the power of incumbency and demography. For Republicans, it's whether a nonagenarian congressman (Ralph Hall) can hang on against a more energetic, better-financed challenger (John Ratcliffe). For Democrats, freshman Rep. Marc Veasey, who is African-American, faces Hispanic businessman Tom Sanchez in a majority-Latino seat. Bet on some surprises tonight. -- Josh Kraushaar

• Two polls out Monday confirm that Connecticut's Dan Malloy and Pat Quinn of Illinois are the two most vulnerable Democratic governors up for reelection this year. Both incumbents are statistically tied or trailing their likely GOP opponents. Particularly troubling for Malloy is that the governor's much heralded push for a minimum wage increase doesn't seem to be doing him much good with voters. 71% say they support an increase but just 45% think he deserves reelection. Most troubling for Quinn is that he's tied with Treasurer Dan Rutherford, even though Rutherford's prospects in the GOP primary took a nosedive weeks ago after a lawsuit was filed accusing him of sexually harassing a male employee. Needless to say, the results paint a pretty bleak picture for these two Dems. -- Karyn Bruggeman 



  • "The Texas Secretary of State is advising county election officials to extend polling hours and combine voting locations in case of bad weather. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Advisory for much of the state Tuesday morning." (AP)
  • "E-mails show Wisconsin Gov. Walker as hands-on tactician fixated on public image" (Washington Post)
  • "We are going to treat senators with respect — we are going to work harder and accomplish more. ... The Senate can be returned to the place of great debates, contentious debates, but where you can still get outcomes on things where you have at least 60 senators." -- McConnell, on how he would run the Senate if he becomes the majority leader after the midterm elections (New York Times)
  • "Texas Democrats are scrambling to can stop a controversial pro-impeachment, anti-ObamaCare candidate from advancing in their party's Senate primary. Winning the general election is long shot for any nominee. But with Democrats optimistic about a resurgence in the Lone Star State and their chances in the governor’s race, Lyndon LaRouche acolyte" Kesha Rogers (D) "could damage those hopes if she even advances to a runoff on Tuesday." (The Hill)
  • "They keep running these negative ads and crushing my integrity and distorting my votes and the like — almost antagonizing me, challenging me to get in. Had they left me alone, I may feel a bit different. But they didn’t." -- Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), on the TV ads Democrats are running against him as he weighs a NH SEN bid (Politico)
  • "As has long been expected, the son of the late" Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young (R) "will run for a state House seat this November, challenging a Democrat in a swing district. Bill Young II, 29, the first child from the former congressman's second marriage, has been talking about running ... for a year. But his father's sudden death at age 82 last October delayed his announcement." (Tampa Bay Times)
  • "It won't even be close. ... "I frankly think I'm in better shape with my own caucus than I have been any time in the last three years. ... I think they understand me better." -- House Speaker John Boehner, on his plans to run for a third term as speaker (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • "Fake Outrage in the Kentucky Senate Race" (New York Times Magazine)


Vladimir Putin Gets Caught in a 'Gotcha' Moment



  • Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 20s. Northeast winds around 5 mph.
  • The House and Senate both return at 2 p.m.
  • First Lady Michele Obama holds a discussion with students at the Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School. (2 p.m.)
  • Georgetown hosts No. 13 Creighton (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
  • Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!


  • George Washington delivered the shortest inaugural address, while William Henry Harrison delivered the longest.
  • The winner is Patrick Riel, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Which vice president died a week before the election, but was still on the ballot? And who received his party's electoral votes for vice president in his stead?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"I thought when he had a couple of dinners with Republican senators, we really had a good environment there. Because he is a very, very articulate and attractive guy in a setting with eight or nine senators and him. Because he was smarter than the rest of us." -- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), on Obama (Time)


"In an interview with Phoenix radio station KFYI on Thursday morning, [McCain] described Obama as the 'most naïve president in history.'" (CNN, Feb. 21)

Adam Wollner, Editor

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