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 YarmuthCongress to clear path for Mattis Pelosi lays out several Dem leadership nominations Dem lawmakers: Clinton should have disclosed illness sooner 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 McConnellSenate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown President Obama should curb mass incarceration with clemency 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 KerryDepleted Dems look to Senate for 2020 nominee Voters want to drain the swamp? They can start with Louisiana GOP As Congress adjusts to Trump, Iran put under the pressure it deserves MORE (D-Mass.), who turned 69 on Tuesday, the same day Sen. Max BaucusMax BaucusBusiness groups express support for Branstad nomination The mysterious sealed opioid report fuels speculation Lobbying World 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
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.
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 McCaskillSenate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown Stopgap funding bill poised to pass Senate before midnight deadline MORE (D-Mo.) after undermining his own bid with controversial comments about rape and pregnancy.
NORTH CAROLINA: A new poll finds Rep. Virginia FoxxVirginia FoxxHouse GOP picks two women to lead committees Speculation and starting points: accreditation, a new administration and a new Congress President-elect Trump: Please drain the student loan swamp MORE (R-N.C.) atop a field of potential Republican Senate candidates vying to challenge Sen. Kay HaganKay HaganGOP senator floats retiring over gridlock 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate 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 CaseySenate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown Senate Democrats dig in as shutdown approaches 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 ScottSenate GOP: National museum should include Clarence Thomas Senate passes college anti-Semitism bill The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE, Rep. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyOversight panel demands answers on Pentagon waste report Chatter grows that Ryan could step down Lawmakers press Lynch for briefing on Yahoo secret email scanning reports 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 GrahamSenators move to protect 'Dreamers' The Hill's 12:30 Report White House orders intelligence report of election cyberattacks 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.