Read more about this race in Wednesday's edition of The Hill or on thehill.com.


TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: President Obama and the first family will attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse.


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QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We shouldn't eliminate the word lunatic. It really has application around this town." — Rep. Louie GohmertLouie GohmertGohmert: People will die due to DHS citizenship mistake The Hill's 12:30 Report Texas rep laments not being allowed to cook ribs on his Capitol balcony MORE (R-Texas), on his lone vote against a bill striking the word "lunatic" from U.S. law


POLL POSITION:

A Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 57 percent say they'd support a presidential bid by Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonSecret CIA assesment: Russia was attempting to assist Trump Joy Behar: Why do I have to be nice about Trump? Poll: Republicans think media ‘intentionally misled the public’ about polling MORE in 2016. 


AD WATCH:

A new ad from Crossroads GPS accuses President Obama of pushing for tax increases without "real" spending cuts as part of the administration's plan to reduce the deficit. 


BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched a new website, GOPhostagetakers.com, that calls 40 potentially vulnerable House Republicans "hostage takers" for refusing to sign on to a Democratic tax plan to extend middle-class tax cuts.

ILLINOIS: State Sen. Donne Trotter (D), a candidate for the congressional seat formerly held by Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), was charged with attempting to bring a gun onto an airplane.


SENATE SHOWDOWN:

ILLINOIS: First lady Michelle ObamaMichelle ObamaObamas post last Christmas card as first family The Hill's 12:30 Report Depleted Dems look to Senate for 2020 nominee MORE has said repeatedly that she does not plan to follow in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's footsteps and seek political office after leaving the White House. But a new poll of Illinois shows she would be a heavy favorite if she wanted to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Mark KirkMark KirkJuan Williams: McConnell won big by blocking Obama Battle for the Senate: Top of ticket dominates The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate MORE. Obama leads Kirk 51 to 40 percent in a hypothetical 2016 match-up, according to a new survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling.

KENTUCKY: Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulTrump stumps for Louisiana Senate candidate ahead of runoff Giuliani won't serve in Trump administration Will justice in America be Trumped? MORE (R-Ky.) ripped actress Ashley Judd (D) for reportedly considering a run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSenate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown President Obama should curb mass incarceration with clemency MORE (R-Ky.) in 2014. In a radio interview on WMAL, Paul described Judd as “way too damn liberal for our country,” and needled her for making one of her homes in Scotland.

“I heard she lives in Scotland, I thought she was running for Parliament,” Paul said, before wondering how she would commute to Washington from overseas, since the Concorde supersonic commercial aircraft is no longer around.

And Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) won't run against McConnell. "I have no interest in running for that or any other office," he told Kentucky reporters.

MASSACHUSETTS: Sen.-elect Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats: Where the hell are You? Dodd-Frank ripe for reform, not repeal Senate Dems offer bill to curb tax break for Trump nominees MORE (D-Mass.), who defeated Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in one of the most closely watched and expensive races in the nation, has asked for help to retire her campaign debt. Warren broke Massachusetts fundraising records with her $42 million haul, but she said in an email to supporters that she incurred some debt because of an "embarrassment of riches," in the form of the unexpected levels of support she says she received.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

President Obama will travel to Detroit on Monday for an economic address, the latest in a push to intensify public pressure on congressional Republicans in the closing weeks of the "fiscal cliff" debate.

Vice President Biden went to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to use the Senate gym and visit friends, according to a White House spokesman.

The White House wouldn’t address a report that it might appoint Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom or France.


Rob Jesmer, the former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), is joining FP1 Strategies.


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