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Posted at 5:05 PM ET, 12/ 2/2010

Afternoon Fix: Palin's PAC raises more than Romney and Pawlenty; NRCC goes $7 million in the red; House passes symbolic middle-class tax cut extension

By Chris Cillizza

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Fast Fix: The last Kennedy?
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* Federal Election Commission fundraising numbers are in for the PACs run by potential GOP presidential candidates and the big winner, at least this time, is former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney raised $285,000 for his federal PAC between Oct. 14 and 22, while Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's (R) Freedom First PAC raised $140,000. Romney also raised $273,000 for his state-level PACs. Previously, Palin was reported to have raised $469,000, a total that was aided by her book tour.

* The National Republican Congressional Committee ended the 2010 election with $12 million in debt and $4.7 million in the bank, according to a committee source.

* The House has passed an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the middle class, but not for the wealthiest Americans. It passed by a vote of 234-188 but is thought to be dead on arrival in the Senate, where Republicans have promised a filibuster.

* Other notable FEC reports filed Tuesday: Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) had $702,000 leftover for a potential run at Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.); Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) had $847,000 in the bank for a potential run at Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio); and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) had $302,000 in the bank for a potential run at Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), after spending heavily down the stretch in a tough reelection race.

* Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D) is forming a new Democratic-leaning group called American Bridge, which seeks to be a counter-balance to GOP-aligned groups like American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

* Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is putting some distance between himself and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, calling for an overhaul of the committee's leadership.


* Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) raised more than $13 million and spent $11 million on her successful reelection bid this year, and she had $2 million leftover - all numbers that most Senate candidates would be happy with. At the same time, she has shown little interest in a challenge to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in 2012. Does Bachmann change her tune now that her leadership bid fell through?

* The Club for Growth issued a statement today praising new Missouri GOP Senate candidate Sarah Steelman, while also making reference to former Sen. Jim Talent's (R-Mo.) votes "to raid the Social Security Trust Fund, for the infamous Bridge to Nowhere earmark, and for other pork-laden budget busters." The Club is laying a marker in case Talent gets in the primary.

* Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's (R) job approval rating has dropped from 68 percent to 55 percent in the latest Southern Opinion and Media Research poll. He's a long ways away from being vulnerable in next year's reelection race, but it's a bad sign for his national ambitions if his numbers drop further.

* Democratic Governors Association Executive Director Nathan Daschle and Political Director Ray Glendening are leaving the committee to start a new "grassroots social-political start-up." Stay tuned.

* Republicans have won at least a share of control of the New York state Senate, with two races yet-to-be-determined. The GOP's gains there mean Democrats will not have full control over the redistricting process -- a big victory for the GOP in such a big state.

* GOP pollster Glen Bolger is guaranteeing that Republicans will maintain control of the House after the 2012 cycle.


Hard to bring down a Gopher.

With Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake

By Chris Cillizza  | December 2, 2010; 5:05 PM ET
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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