Top of the Hour

Good morning. Today we’re getting our calendars set for next year, learning about the newest members of Congress, and wondering if Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and Christopher Nolan are making a movie in the Capitol.

Was this email forwarded to you?

Sign Up Here!

National Journal members receive this email at 9 a.m. every morning, along with Latest Edition, a daily newsletter that takes an in-depth look at federal, gubernatorial, and state legislative races. For more information on becoming a member, please contact [email protected].

What's News

GENERAL ELECTION: The New Hampshire primary will take place on Jan. 23, 2024, New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan (R) announced. “The big question mark is how the DNC will react now that New Hampshire is officially out of compliance with its calendar. The DNC chairman has the power to penalize the state party, and the candidates campaigning in New Hampshire could face sanctions.” Leaders of both state parties applauded the decision. (WMUR)

A Quinnipiac poll (Nov. 9-13; 1,574 RVs; +/-2.5%) found former President Trump leading President Biden in a hypothetical one-on-one matchup, 48%-46%. This is the first time that Trump bested Biden in a national Quinnipiac poll since February. Trump also led Biden in a theoretical three-way and a theoretical five-way general election matchup. (release) Elections aren’t decided through the popular vote, but this is the latest sign that Biden has work to do if he wants to win reelection.

FIELD OF REPUBLICANS: Trump’s team “is trying to build on the GOP’s recent gains among Latinos with a strategy in Florida that’s aimed at voters of Cuban, Venezuelan and Colombian descent—and that casts Trump as a victim of overzealous socialists. Trump's efforts to liken his legal woes and his clashes with Democrats to the difficulties many Latin Americans have faced under socialist and authoritarian rule represent a turn in his push to appeal to the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. electorate.” Trump chose to host a rally last week in Hialeah, Florida, in part because of its large Cuban population. (Axios)

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s (R) “strong performances in the Republican presidential debates have won over several of the party’s big donors and intrigued other Wall Street figures this week, as she swung through New York seeking moneyed backers who want an alternative to” Trump. Haley “drew big names to New York events on Tuesday, among them a small meet-and-greet breakfast with financiers including BlackRock chief executive Larry Fink, and an evening fundraiser co-hosted by” formerTrump economic adviser Gary Cohn. (Financial Times) Spencer Zwick, a longtime adviser to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), is joining Haley’s fundraising team. (Axios)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) launched a 30-second ad touting Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ (R) endorsement. The ad will air on broadcast and cable television in the state and “is part of the campaign's previously announced $2 million ad buy.” (KCCI)

SPECIAL ELECTION ROUNDUP: The House of Representatives will soon be full for the first time since June following the swearing-in of” Rep. Gabe Amo (D-RI 01) and the expected election of former Stewart counsel Celeste Maloy (R). “The special election to replace former Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT 02) takes place Nov. 21. Both races were essentially decided in the primaries, serving as de facto general elections for the noncompetitive seats. Amo cruised to a 30-point victory against his Republican opponent; Maloy is the heavy favorite against” state Sen. Kathleen Riebe (D) next week.

“While Amo and Maloy will be the two newest members of Congress, they’re hoping to leverage their past experiences in Washington to hit the ground running. Amo served in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs in the White House, first as a liaison to state elected officials under former President Obama and then as a special assistant to President Biden. Maloy spent the last four years as Stewart’s legal counsel and is all too familiar with the chaos that defines the House.” (Hotline reporting)

HOUSE PRIMARY ROUNDUP: “Close watchers now expect AIPAC to spend at least $100 million in Democratic primaries, largely trained on eliminating incumbent Squad members from their seats. It’s likely that even more money will be spent by affiliated super PACs, including the Democratic Majority for Israel PAC and the Mainstream Democrats PAC, too.” DMFI and Mainstream Democrats have already launched six-figure ad buys against Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), and Summer Lee (PA-12). (Slate)

In NJ-03, state Sen. Troy Singleton (D) won’t seek the nomination to replace Rep. Andy Kim (D), who’s running for Senate. “Singleton had been widely viewed as a strong contender for the Democratic nomination if he decided to run.” Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (D) launched her campaign last month, while Assemblymen Herb Conaway (D) and Wayne DeAngelo (D) may run. (New Jersey Globe)

In VA-05, state Del. John McGuire (R) launched a primary challenge to Rep. Bob Good (R). McGuire, who was elected to the state Senate last week, said Good “abandoned” Trump by endorsing DeSantis in the primary. He also took aim at Good over his role in removing Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA 20) as speaker, saying it “allowed the party to fall into chaos” (Cardinal News)

AZ SEN: House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik endorsed 2022 GOV nominee Kari Lake (R). Stefanik’s endorsement gives Lake another boost from GOP leadership as she waits to see if the NRSC will back her. (release)

NEW JERSEY: Sen. Bob Menendez’s (D) home county and power base endorsed first lady Tammy Murphy (D). The Hudson County Democratic Organization’s endorsement of Murphy means Menendez will have to run off the influential party line in the county if he does run for reelection. (New Jersey Globe) As he continues to charge ahead despite calls to resign amid the federal charges he’s facing, several members of Menendez’s inner circle are no longer working with him. (New Jersey Globe)

In NJ-07, Summit Council President Greg Vartan (D) made his formal entry into the Democratic primary to challenge Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R). He joins former New Jersey Working Families Party Director Sue Altman (D) and former State Department official Jason Blazakis (D) in the primary. Vartan is “from Union County, potentially giving him a better chance of winning the all-important county line in the towns that make up the largest share of Democratic primary votes in the district. And for another, he’s run for office before, flipping a Republican-held seat on the Summit Common Council in 2018 and winning re-election in 2021.” (New Jersey Globe)

OH SEN: A new poll from Emerson College/Nexstar Media Ohio (Nov. 10-13; 1,000 RVs; +/-3%) found Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) leading all of his potential Republican opponents following the passage of Issue 1. Brown led Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R), 41%-36%. Brown led 2022 candidate Matt Dolan (R), 41%-38%. And Brown led 2022 candidate Bernie Moreno (R), 42%-32%. (release)

PA SEN: 2022 candidate David McCormick (R) “was born, raised, lived, and ran a business in Pennsylvania,” but Democrats are painting him as a carpetbagger, the same tactic they used against 2022 nominee Mehmet Oz (R), a longtime New Jerseyan, when he ran last year. McCormick’s campaign is shrugging off the criticism, noting that his family has lived in the state “for generations.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

OR-04: Air Force veteran Monqiue DeSpain (R) announced her challenge to Rep. Val Hoyle (D) this morning. DeSpain retired from the military in 2019 and joined the nonprofit Common Sense for Oregon, which works to “improve public policies to address rampant homelessness, addiction, and crime in Oregon communities.” (release) Republicans hope with DeSpain that they can defeat Hoyle, who has come under fire for controversies during her time in state government. (Hotline reporting)

NEW YORK REDISTRICTING: “New York’s highest court heard arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit that could reshape congressional districts in the state, which is expected to be a key battleground next year in the fight for control of the U.S. House.” Democrats want the state’s redistricting commission to restart the redistricting process after the high court overruled an aggressive gerrymander from the Democrat-led Legislature last year. Republicans argued that the appointed special master produced “politically balanced districts that shouldn’t be discarded.” (AP) “If Democrats win, new lines would need to be finalized by early February to avoid conflicts with the election calendar before the June primary. … Any new maps drawn by Democrats are all but guaranteed” to result in another legal challenge. (Politico)

NY-03: The House Ethics Committee’s investigation of Rep. George Santos (R) will not recommend him for expulsion. Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS 03)—the chairman of the committee—said that process would have gone “well into next year.” Guest said the report, which is slated for release today, “should offer members the information they need to make a decision on whether a penalty—be it expulsion or something less severe, like a censure—is appropriate.” Santos pleaded not guilty to 23 counts of money laundering, wire fraud, identity theft, among other crimes, and has said he will run for reelection. (New York Times)

DEMOCRATS: Biden “said on Wednesday that four hours of discussion with” Chinese President Xi Jinping “had brought about two significant agreements, on curbing fentanyl production and on military-to-military communications. But both American and Chinese accounts of their first encounter in a year indicated little progress on the issues that have pushed the two nations to the edge of conflict.” (New York Times)

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) “is bulking up hiring at a nonprofit committee he launched that combats abortion restrictions and political extremism,” fueling further rumors that he has future ambitions of running for president. Pritzker “has stepped up his advocacy for the Democratic Party and” Biden’s reelection bid, “particularly in recent months.” (NBC News)

CA GOV: State Sen. Toni Atkins (D), “the first lesbian to be the speaker of the state Assembly,” is mulling a possible run for governor, saying in an interview that she is “very interested in looking at that possibility.” Atkins is “saying publicly for the first time what many have assumed since she announced she would step down as the Senate’s top leader next year.” The race to replace term-limited Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) “will likely be a Democratic free-for-all sure to attract the party’s top talent.” Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis (D), state Superintendent Tony Thurmond (D), and former Controller Betty Yee (D) have all jumped into the race. State Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) “has said he is seriously considering a run.” (AP)

MT SEN: Kalispell City councilmember Sid Daoud (L) has launched a bid to take on Sen. Jon Tester (D). (Daily Montanan) Though Daoud is a longshot candidate, he could siphon votes from Republican voters who may not then vote for former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy (R).

REPUBLICANS: Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford (D) “is investigating the six Republicans who, in 2020, falsely pledged Nevada’s electoral votes to” Trump despite his loss to Biden by 2.4 points. (Nevada Independent)

   What It Takes 2024

The Hotline team discusses its series looking at the political landscape one year out from the election.

 Listen to our Latest Podcast

  Paging the Hotline

Care to share your feedback on the newsletter? Have a tip? Just want to say hello? Drop us an email here.


 Hotline's Graph of the Day


As congressional approval ratings continue to plummet, Americans' basic knowledge about civics is also on the downturn. A new study from Pew Research Center found that "Americans’ knowledge of their government varies widely by topic." Most are "aware of the length of Supreme Court appointments" and "how states’ representation in the House of Representatives is determined" but fewer "Americans correctly answer questions about the filibuster, the length of a Senate term and how a presidential election is decided in the event of a tie in the Electoral College."


 Hair of the Dog

Carnival gives woman lifetime cruise ban for packing CBD gummies” (Washington Post)

Our Call

Since Ohio voters overwhelmingly passed last week, enshrining reproductive rights in the state's constitution, GOP state lawmakers have been not-so-subtly suggested that they are open to subverting the will of the voters. Four Republicans in the Legislature announced plans to introduce legislation that would strip courts of their authority to interpret Issue 1. The lawmakers also claimed, without evidence, that the results were due to “foreign election interference.” The move is the latest development in a state where Republican state lawmakers have taken extraordinary measures to thwart the reproductive rights amendment. They even held an ultimately unsuccessful August special election aimed at weakening its chances. It remains to be seen whether state Democrats' hopes that Republicans are ultimately punished at the ballot box for this pattern of behavior in 2024 comes true. — Mary Frances McGowan

 Fresh Brewed Buzz

A protest outside the DNC headquarters turned violent last night. Demonstrators calling on Israel to halt its conflict with Hamas reportedly engaged in “violent” activity, according to D.C. police. Some protestors suffered injuries of their own, according to the group that organized the protest. (Washington Post)

House Democratic leaders, including Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Minority Whip Katherine Clark, and Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar, were reportedly inside the DNC building during the violent protest. (CNN)

Though Biden and Xi Jinping are grappling with a tense relationship, both leaders have praised a visit of Philadelphia Orchestra musicians to China. The orchestra is in China to mark the 50th anniversary of the orchestra’s 1973 visit, when they became the first American ensemble to perform in then-communist China. (New York Times)

Univision news anchor León Krauze departs after network’s controversial Trump interview” (Los Angeles Times)

Osama Bin Laden’s “Letter to America,” which was published in The Guardian a year after the Sept. 11 attacks, has been removed from the site. Though The Guardian has not given an exact reason behind the timing of its removal, the piece had gone viral on TikTok, with people supporting his commentary against Israel. (Rolling Stone)

Capitol Hill could smell what Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was cooking, but the blockbuster star of Hobbs and Shaw did not comment when asked if he was running for president. (National Journal)

“I wish I could look like that, you know. God damn.” — Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) seeing Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) walk by in the Capitol (Politico)

 Rooster's Crow

The House is out. The Senate is in at 10 a.m.

Biden, who is in San Francisco for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit, will deliver a speech at 1:45 p.m. He will join a group APEC photo at 3:05 p.m., before hosting an informal lunch with leaders at 3:15 p.m. He will deliver remarks and join an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework family photo at 6:30 p.m. Finally, the president and first lady Jill Biden will then host APEC delegation leaders for a dinner at the Legion of Honor Museum at 10:45 p.m.

Swizzle Challenge

Peyton Randolph was the first president of the Continental Congress.

Joe Bookman won yesterday's challenge. Here’s his challenge: When Mitch McConnell was Senate Majority Whip, who was the Republican leader at the time?

The 3rd correct email gets to submit the next question.

 Early Bird Special

Gabe Amo and Celeste Maloy discuss their path to Congress and priorities.

Delay related to defense bill adds to drama of tension-filled week as Congress rushes to avoid shutdown.

PLUS: House stumbles over another spending bill, FCC adopts rule against digital discrimination, lawmakers recess without voting on HHS appropriations, and the White House announces billions in funding for climate resilience.

In May, I bet former Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan a martini that a new farm bill would be enacted in 2024. She took the side that it would not be finished until 2025.


“One thing! I want my Republican colleagues to give me one thing! One! That I can go campaign on and say we did.” — Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX 21) (C-SPAN)


“So, get out, get out, get out of my head / And fall into my arms instead / I don't, I don't, don't know what it is / But I need that one thing / And you've got that one thing” — One Direction (“One Thing”)

Kirk A. Bado, Wake-Up Call! Editor

Associate Editor: Hannah Thacker
Senior Production Editor: Taameen Mohammad
Staff Writers: Mary Frances McGowan, Zac Weisz, James A. Downs, Sydney Kashiwagi
Hotline Intern:  Erika Filter

National Journal
600 New Hampshire Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20037

Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn