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 Allen YarmuthHouse Dems see shutdown as inevitable Red state Dem: Trump has 'committed impeachable offenses' Congress reeling from sexual harassment deluge 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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems confront Kelly after he calls some immigrants 'lazy' McConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 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 Forbes KerryOvernight Cybersecurity: Tillerson proposes new cyber bureau at State | Senate bill would clarify cross-border data rules | Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up breach GOP probes put new focus on State Will FISA secrecy doom democracy? MORE (D-Mass.), who turned 69 on Tuesday, the same day Sen. Max BaucusMax Sieben Baucus2020 Dems pose a big dilemma for Schumer Steady American leadership is key to success with China and Korea Orrin Hatch, ‘a tough old bird,’ got a lot done in the Senate 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 Conner McCaskillGovernment watchdog finds safety gaps in assisted living homes GOP Senate candidate fundraising lags behind Dems in key races McCaskill challenger links human trafficking to 'sexual revolution' of 1960s MORE (D-Mo.) after undermining his own bid with controversial comments about rape and pregnancy.

NORTH CAROLINA: A new poll finds Rep. Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann FoxxStudents drowning in debt bewildered by claims college is a 'hammock' GOP bill scraps voter registration requirements for colleges GOP looks to scrap Obama-era rule on college credit hours MORE (R-N.C.) atop a field of potential Republican Senate candidates vying to challenge Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganPolitics is purple in North Carolina Democrats can win North Carolina just like Jimmy Carter did in 1976 North Carolina will be a big battleground state in 2020 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 CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyDem senator: Pence all 'talk, no action' GOP Senate candidate fundraising lags behind Dems in key races Overnight Health Care: Senate Dems block 20-week abortion ban | Azar sworn in as HHS chief | Dems demand answers on family planning funds | GOP takes sting out of ObamaCare 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 ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottTrump rallies Republicans: ‘We’re just getting started’ Senate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA Steve Wynn resigns as RNC finance chair after sexual misconduct allegations MORE, Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyContractor awarded 6 million to provide 30 million meals to Puerto Rico only delivered 50,000: report The Memo: Trump doubles down amid some GOP doubts Lawmakers dispute ‘vindication’ for Trump in Intel memo 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 Olin GrahamMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Tech: Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up hack | Apple considers battery rebates | Regulators talk bitcoin | SpaceX launches world's most powerful rocket Overnight Cybersecurity: Tillerson proposes new cyber bureau at State | Senate bill would clarify cross-border data rules | Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up breach 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.


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-- Updated at 9:01 p.m.