CAMPAIGN OVERNIGHT: Scott Brown's battle cry — or crying wolf?

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown is the last holdout candidate who could significantly shake up the Senate map in 2014 with his decision on whether to enter the New Hampshire Senate race.

The game of will-he-or-won’t-he became even more intense with a CNN report that he’s been calling around to “GOP sources” in New Hampshire in recent days to tell them he’s in.

ADVERTISEMENT
Indeed, a source tells The Hill that Brown told Donna Marzullo, wife of the state party’s vice chairman and Brown’s guest to an upcoming GOP dinner there, that he’s “very much leaning towards running” when he called to invite her to the dinner.

And Cliff Hurst, a former New Hampshire GOP chairman, said he had a phone conversation with Brown last week that indicated for him Brown’s in.

“He’s looking towards doing it, I think,” he told The Hill. “He was talking about the possibilities of him running, that he was here now, fully unpacked, and ready to look at it.”

Brown is seen by Republicans as their best, if not only, shot at taking down Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D), whom they believe to be vulnerable despite her popularity because of problems with ObamaCare.

But this narrative played out prior to the Massachusetts special Senate election, and Brown ultimately opted out of that. And polling has shown his stock dropping somewhat in the state after Democrats began spending on attack ads there — though he did recently say those attacks are making him more eager to run.

If this is another incident where Brown's crying wolf, he risks falling out of favor with the party completely.


TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY

7 p.m. — Polls close in Florida's 13th District, where Democrat Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly are facing off in a special election that has national implications — and particularly high stakes — for Democrats.



SENATE SHOWDOWN

AK-SEN (BEGICH): Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) takes aim at the conservative Koch brothers in his first television ad, accusing them of running a smear campaign against him and blasting the duo for laying off workers at an Alaska oil refinery.

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) has a narrow 40 percent to 37 percent lead over Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) in a new poll from the Democratic firm Hickman Analytics, Inc. When tested against a generic Republican, Pryor trailed by 47 percent to 39 percent. President Obama’s approval rating is 32 percent in the state, according to the poll.

GA-SEN (OPEN): Former charity executive Michelle Nunn (D) leads or is tied with all of her GOP opponents, according to a new poll conducted by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) leads the GOP primary field by a double-digit margin. Republicans went on the attack against Nunn on Monday for not saying whether she’d support legislation to limit the size of ammunition clips. “It’s troubling that Democrat Michelle Nunn is being shady about something as simple as the right to bear arms. Nunn’s silence can only signal that she’ll support President Obama’s attempt to curtail Georgians’ Second Amendment rights,” Republican National Committee spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a release.

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): A new GOP poll shows Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) with a nearly 40-point lead over primary opponent Matt Bevin, just over two months out from Election Day. The survey, conducted for pro-McConnell group Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, shows no new developments in the race — but it does confirm that Bevin continues to fight an uphill battle in the primary, despite conservative frustration with McConnell.

LA-SEN (LANDRIEU): Louisiana Republican Senate candidate Rob Maness told The Hill last week that he would have opposed the $51.8 billion aid package that helped Louisiana residents rebuild after the storm devastated the Louisiana Gulf Coast in 2005. He also said he’d oppose the flood insurance bill going through Congress that would provide relief to coastal residents who are facing skyrocketing flood insurance prices due to an earlier bill that was meant to make the federal flood insurance program solvent. While the positions align him with the fiscal conservatives he’s courting in his bid as the conservative alternative to Rep. Bill Cassidy (D-La.) in the race, it could become problematic for him with Louisiana voters who were or will be helped by the measures.

MI-SEN (OPEN): Former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R) rolled out her “principles for real healthcare reform.”

MT-SEN (WALSH): Both Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) and Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) will have primary opponents, though it appears unlikely either faces much of a challenge. Former Montant Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (D) has opted to stay in the race against Walsh despite saying earlier he was likely to drop out, while Montana state Rep. Champ Edmunds (R) has decided to keep running against Daines. Bohlinger had just $20,000 in the bank as of the end of 2013, while Edmunds had just hundreds left.


BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

CA-17, CA-31, CA-33: Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar (D) and California state Sen. Ted Lieu (D) all won endorsements from the California Democratic Party against their Democratic opponents.

FL-02: An internal poll from Democrat Gwen Graham’s campaign, conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, shows her trailing Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) by just 2 points — 40 percent to his 42 percent. The lead is within the survey’s 4.4-percent margin of error, and confirms Southerland’s position as one of the GOP’s most vulnerable incumbents this cycle.

ID-01:The Club for Growth went on the air to attack Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) for his support of the Wall Street bailout, slamming him as “just too liberal” in the ad.

MI-15: Michigan state Sen. Rebekah Warren (D) says she won’t run for retiring Rep. John Dingell’s (D-Mich.) seat, removing potentially the only real obstacle for Dingell’s wife, Democratic power broker Debbie Dingell (D), to win the seat.

NY-01: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani joined former Gov. George Pataki in backing former Securities and Exchange Commission prosecutor George Demos in his bid for Rep. Tim Bishop’s (D-N.Y.) seat — a position counter to the GOP establishment, which is supporting state Sen. Lee Zeldin in the race. In a statement, Giuliani said Demos will “rattle the cages of the establishment.”

VA-10: Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and the new Republican group RightNOW Women both endorsed Virginia Del. Barbara Comstock (R) in her race to succeed Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), adding to her long list of endorsements from across the party. Comstock faces a crowded GOP primary in the Republican-leaning district.


2016 WATCH

BRIDGEGATE PLAYERS SEEK SILENCE: Lawyers for former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien and his fired deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, have asked the judge to dismiss the subpoenas they’re facing from a legislative panel investigating the George Washington Bridge closures. The lawyers, according to The Associated Press, have said that handing over the documents requested would amount to testifying against themselves. It’s the latest indication that there’s more to the scandal, which rocked the Christie administration and crippled his standing in the 2016 GOP presidential field, than is clear at this point.

PAUL TWEAKS CRUZ: In an op-ed published on conservative site Breitbart.com, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) lambasted “anyone who thinks we will win elections by trashing previous nominees or holding oneself out as some paragon in the mold of Reagan,” a reference to Cruz’s Conservative Political Action Conference speech, in which he did both. The op-ed follows Paul’s win of the CPAC straw poll this weekend, but Cruz’s win of a competing straw poll conducted by the Senate Conservatives Fund — an indication that the two will be competing for the same conservative voters if they run for president in 2016. Paul’s op-ed was a signal he won’t go down quietly in that fight.

Please send tips and comments to Campaign Editor Jessica Taylor, jtaylor@thehill.com; and Campaign Staff Writers Cameron Joseph, cjoseph@thehill.com; and Alexandra Jaffe, ajaffe@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @JessicaTaylor @cam_joseph and @ajjaffe.