OVERNIGHT CAMPAIGN: Bleak numbers for McConnell

Judd trails the senator 47-43 percent, as does Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson and Attorney General Jack Conway. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer trails 46-41 percent, and McConnell posts a double-digit advantage over Rep. John YarmuthJohn YarmuthA case for the Yarmuth-Price resolution Subcommittee clears bill on cap for phone, internet subsidies Lawmakers split on cap for internet, phone subsidies at hearing MORE (D-Ky.).

Other polls paint a rosier picture for McConnell. A Bluegrass poll released in September gave McConnell a 51-42 percent approval rating, with the senator showing strong support among self-identified conservatives. McConnell performed similarly well in a SurveyUSA poll conducted at the end of October.

"It speaks volumes that even a liberal Democrat pollster with an agenda to make Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellRyan fans GOP civil war over Donald Trump Third-party push gaining steam Missouri Republican: Trump has not earned my vote MORE look bad still can't find an opponent who can lead him in Kentucky," said McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton. "This Democrat poll has a long-held reputation for skewed approval numbers and that's obviously the case here since there is no poll, public or private, that has shown Senator McConnell's approval ratings anywhere near where PPP suggests."

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

TWEET OF THE DAY: “We're still kids in this place -- happy birthday to @MaxBaucus” — Sen. John KerryJohn KerryUS climate chief's goal: ‘Set in motion’ climate work over next five years Trump's VP: Top 10 contenders Peace equality and stability for religious minorities MORE (D-Mass.), who turned 69 on Tuesday, the same day Sen. Max BaucusMax BaucusWyden unveils business tax proposal College endowments under scrutiny The chaotic fight for ObamaCare MORE (D-Mont.) turned 71


QUOTE OF THE DAY: “My network contract prohibits me from taking on another full-time job. So, the Senate would be perfect.” — Stephen Colbert


AD WATCH:

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Two major Republican-affiliated outside groups are out with new ads criticizing President Obama's deficit-reduction plan. The ad from Cossroads GPS targets five red-state Democratic senators up for reelection with radio ads in their states asking their constituents to pressure them to support a bipartisan plan on the deficit. A separate ad from American Action Network features former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin accusing Obama of not having a plan to avoid the cliff.


BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:

Since election night, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has been lying low, issuing releases outlining Republican leadership shifts and its weekly news roundup but putting out little commentary on the parties’ negotiations to deal with the nation’s debt crisis.

CALIFORNIA: Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.) set a California House race record by spending a combined $11.7 million on their races, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of recently released campaign finance reports.


SENATE SHOWDOWN:

MISSOURI: Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) still hasn't retired his campaign debt, more than a month after an election he lost to Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillDems slam Trump over taco bowl tweet Dem senators: Slash executive pay at pension plans seeking benefit cuts Bill would target retaliation against military sexual assault victims MORE (D-Mo.) after undermining his own bid with controversial comments about rape and pregnancy.

NORTH CAROLINA: A new poll finds Rep. Virginia FoxxVirginia FoxxDannenfelser: ‘Active antagonism’ on International Women’s Day Wilson endorses Foxx as next House Education chairman House votes to start No Child Left Behind talks with Senate MORE (R-N.C.) atop a field of potential Republican Senate candidates vying to challenge Sen. Kay HaganKay Hagan10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2016 Senate Republicans are feeling the 'Trump effect' Washington's lobby firms riding high MORE (D-N.C.) in her 2014 reelection bid. Foxx pulled 17 percent of Republican primary voters surveyed by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, good for a narrow lead over Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), the choice of 14 percent of those surveyed.

PENNYSLVANIA: Sen. Bob CaseyBob CaseyObama-backed Dem makes gains in Pa. primary Senate introduces tariff relief bill Lawmakers react to Villanova's buzzer-beater NCAA win MORE (D-Pa.) will stay in the Senate and isn't considering a 2014 run against Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R), he told The Hill on Tuesday.

SOUTH CAROLINA: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has finalized her shortlist of candidates to replace outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), according to a source close to the governor. The list includes five Republican South Carolina politicians who are close to Haley: Rep. Tim ScottTim ScottAyotte alarmed by sped-up Gitmo reviews CBS News lands Sanders as WHCA dinner guest Department of labor overtime rule is a roadblock to a bright career path MORE, Rep. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyCIA to pay 0K in benefits to Benghazi victim's family House panel hears testimony from victims of immigrant crime Benghazi panel getting close, may release report before conventions MORE, former state Attorney General Henry McMaster, former first lady Jenny Sanford and Catherine Templeton, a conservative attorney Haley has picked to head the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

SOUTH CAROLINA PART II: Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamStoddard: Can Trump close the deal with the GOP? Dem senator: Trump would leak classified information Never Trump voices face tough decision MORE's (R-S.C.) standing with South Carolina's primary voters has improved dramatically in the last year, according to a new survey from the Democratic-affiliated Public Policy Polling. Graham's approval rating with primary voters is at 66 percent, with 26 percent disapproving. He leads a generic "more conservative" Republican in the race by 51 to 40 percent, a big jump from the 37 to 52 percent position he was in when the pollster last checked slightly less than a year ago.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has received his first Democratic challenger in Barbara Buono, the New Jersey state Senator who filed on Tuesday to run in 2013.

Charles and David Koch, the pair of billionaire brothers who helped bankroll a significant portion of outside conservative spending in the last election cycle, announced they were postponing their semi-annual meeting so they could further analyze the election results.


Please send tips and comments to Emily Goodin, egoodin@thehill.com; Cameron Joseph, cjoseph@thehill.com; Alexandra Jaffe, ajaffe@thehill.com; and Justin Sink, jsink@thehill.com

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-- Updated at 9:01 p.m.


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