OVERNIGHT CAMPAIGN: Voters love Colbert

Haley also said she will not appoint a placeholder to replace DeMint, who is leaving to take over the conservative Heritage Foundation.
 

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"I do not want to tie the next U.S. Senator from South Carolina's hands regarding future office. I do not want to deprive our state's citizens of the chance to render their judgment on the appointee's performance by way of their vote. Most importantly, while I am an avid supporter of term limits, I do not want the effectiveness of our state's new U.S. Senator to be undermined by the fact that he or she will automatically be leaving the office such a very short time after assuming it," Haley said in a statement on Monday.


TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: President Obama will attend meetings at the White House.

First lady Michelle Obama will visit Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, where she will deliver toys and gifts donated by the president’s staff to the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots Campaign.


QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I'd actually like not to be chairman of janitorial supplies if I answer that.” — Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), asked if he’d back John Boehner for Speaker again


POLL POSITION:

A new poll by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling found that 44 percent of people in the United States believe that Santa Claus is a Democrat, versus just 28 who say St. Nick would cast his ballot for the GOP. An identical 28 percent say they're not sure of Santa's political affiliation.


RACE FOR 2016:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) refused to say if he would support Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she decided to seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

“There’s a long way away," Cuomo said on Fred Dicker's talk radio show, as reported by Politicker. "There’s no doubt that she’s incredibly popular, she’s got incredible support. ... She’s going to have to make her decision.”


BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will chair the National Republican Congressional Committee's annual fundraising dinner in March.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is continuing its offense on tax cuts for the middle class with robocalls in the districts of 35 House Republicans it believes are vulnerable on the issue.

ILLINOIS: Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) may not be done running for office. "I don't know what I'm going to do, but I'm going to stay involved in this fight," Walsh told the suburban Chicago Daily Herald.


SENATE SHOWDOWN:

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) took more than three weeks to decide whether he wanted to serve as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee because, he said, he wanted to make sure he could still work across the aisle while holding the partisan position.

MASSACHUSETTS: Newly elected Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) declined to endorse President Obama's "fiscal cliff" proposal to Congress. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Warren played it safe and declined to endorse any plan to prevent scheduled tax hikes and spending cuts next year that economists warn could trigger a recession.

“I don’t know how to answer the question,” she told the Globe. “Let’s see what they’ve got.”

NEW JERSEY: Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) said his decision about whether to run for the Senate does not depend on whether Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) decides to run for reelection.

SOUTH CAROLINA: The American Conservative Union is pushing for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) to pick Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to replace Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) in the Senate. 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) charged that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) was "vulnerable" to a reelection bid, despite recent polling showing the Republican governor with record-high approval.

The Republican National Committee is in a period of reassessment after a disappointing election cycle, when the party lost the White House and failed to take control of the Senate. It has formed a new committee launched expressly for the purpose of evaluating what worked and what didn't in past campaigns, and making suggestions for the future.

The effort, titled "the Growth and Opportunity Project," is co-chaired by Mississippi RNC committeeman Henry Barbour, Puerto Rico RNC committeewoman Zori Fonalledas, South Carolina RNC committeeman Glenn McCall, Florida political operative Sally Bradshaw and Ari Fleischer, who served as press secretary to former President George W. Bush.

The Tea Party group FreedomWorks, like many GOP organizations, will be taking some of its 2014 cues from President Obama’s successful reelection campaign.

“Internally, we certainly studied with admiration what the Obama campaign did in 2008 and in 2012. They took their messages to the next level in terms of mass customization,” President and CEO of FreedomWorks Matt Kibbe told The Hill last week.


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