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Off to the races: RNC goes on the attack

The RNC is releasing ads hitting Democrats on health care, including: Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mark Udall (D-CO), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Reps. Bruce Braley (IA-01), Gary Peters (MI-14), Tim Bishop (NY-01) and Nick Rahall (WV-03). According to an RNC release, shared with First Read: “Each Democrat told a different version of the lie, ‘If you like your plan you can keep it,’ which PolitiFact called the 2013 Lie of the Year. ‘These Democrats repeated the lie that people could keep their healthcare plans under ObamaCare. Cancelled plans and increased premiums prove they cannot be trusted to keep their promises,’ said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. ‘We’re asking voters to join us in making their New Year’s resolutions the same as ours: holding Democrats running in 2014 accountable for their dishonesty.’” Here’s one example

Larry Sabato argues that Republicans could be poised to make gains in the House and Senate: “We all know there aren’t a thousand powerful drivers of the vote. I’d argue that three factors are paramount: the president, the economy and the election playing field. And, at least preliminarily, those three factors seem to be pointing toward Republican gains in both houses in the 2014 midterms,” he writes

Charlie Cook looks at the “six-year itch,” that midterms in president’s second terms usually don’t go so well for the incumbent’s party: “This pattern certainly doesn’t indicate an inevitable outcome, but it certainly isn’t accidental or coincidental. It is just the manifestation of the laws—or at minimum, strong tendencies—of human nature and politics. It doesn’t always happen. It doesn’t have to happen. But it usually does.”

Andrew Kohut, former director of Pew, argues that Hillary Clinton could have a Barack Obama problem in 2016: “Hillary Clinton has a potential problem. His name is Barack Obama. While she had to contend with ‘Clinton fatigue’ in 2008, ‘Obama fatigue’ is her potential stumbling block this time. Should dissatisfaction with the state of the nation and disapproval of Obama persist as 2016 approaches, the former secretary of state may well struggle to position herself as an agent of change.”

Michelle Obama will host a DCCC event Jan. 31.  

CALIFORNIA: The L.A. Times: “L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca, who faced a tough battle for reelection amid scandals in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, plans to announce his retirement, law enforcement sources told The Times. Baca's decision comes a month after federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against 18 current and former sheriff's deputies accused of beating jail inmates and visitors, trying to intimidate an FBI agent and other crimes following an investigation of corruption inside the nation's largest jail system.”

FLORIDA: Roll Call: “Several junior House Republican women are backing the underdog in next week’s primary for Florida’s 13th District in an effort to grow their shrinking ranks. … Reps. Diane Black of Tennessee, Lynn Jenkins of Kansas and Ann Wagner of Missouri are supporting state Rep. Kathleen Peters for the Republican nod on Jan. 14. She faces lobbyist David Jolly, and the GOP winner will run in a highly competitive special election this spring.”

NEW YORK: Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a former Republican turned independent, donated $2.5 million to the Senate Majority PAC, which helps Democrats get elected to the Senate. 

NORTH CAROLINA: Mark your calendars… “North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announced a Nov. 4 special election to replace longtime Democratic Rep. Melvin Watt, ensuring the contest coincides with previously scheduled elections in the Tar Heel State,” Roll Call reports. “The 12th District primary — which will mostly likely determine the next member of Congress from this deeply Democratic district — will be held May 6. A runoff is scheduled for July 15.”

The Raleigh News and Observer notes that the governor is “leaving the seat empty for what appears to be a record length of time.” Here’s another fun fact: “The special election to fill [Watt’s] seat will involve the first special primary election in the state’s history, according to legislative counsel Gerry Cohen.”

WYOMING: Alexander Burns has the details of Liz Cheney’s drop out from the Senate race: “Even as her campaign planned to burst out into the new year with fresh force, however, Cheney’s closest friends and supporters knew that she was grappling with troubling developments at home: her youngest daughter’s juvenile diabetes and a more acute event involving one of her children at college. The result was an abrupt decision to pull the plug on one of the most closely watched Senate campaigns of the 2014 cycle, and to hit pause – at least for the moment – on the larger dynastic ambitions of the Cheney family.”