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Republican National Committee finished 2012 cycle debt-free

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FIRST ON THE FIX: 

* The Republican National Committee will release a report later tonight showing zero debt and $3 million cash on hand after the 2012 election cycle, a committee source tells The Fix. The committee outraised its Democratic counterpart $293 million to $181 million this year, and the DNC ended the election with more than $20 million in debt and $9.7 million cash on hand, according to its report. It’s normal for committees to go into debt at the end of the election; the question is usually how much. The RNC had $25 million in debt at the start of Chairman Reince Priebus’s tenure in 2011.

EARLIER ON THE FIX: 

Winners and losers from the Jim DeMint resignation

Republicans’ severe lack of leverage on the ‘fiscal cliff’

The case for Tim Scott

What Jim DeMint’s resignation says about him, the Senate and the conservative movement

Gov. Nikki Haley to fill DeMint’s seat by appointment

‘The Daily Show’ on the Kerry-McCain ribbing (VIDEO)

Why Obama won the 2012 election (in one chart)

Why the GOP needs Jeb — right now

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: 

* Priebus officially announced his reelection campaign Thursday. He says he has 150 votes to win a second term. He would need 85 to secure reelection. In recent days, former Oklahoma Republican congressman J.C. Watts has said he's thinking about running, and former chairman Michael Steele has said that he might run again. 

* Following Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) announcement that he will resign early next year, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) immediately put to rest the possibility that she will name herself as his successor. "That is not even not an option, not something I am considering at all," Haley said. Haley will be responsible for appointing a replacement who will face reelection in 2014. The buzziest name right now is freshman Rep. Tim Scott (R). Meanwhile, one Republican who isn't interested in replacing DeMint is state Sen. Tom Davis, who has ruled himself out. 

* Sheldon and Miriam Adelson gave the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future another $10 million in mid-October for the stretch run, according to a just-filed FEC report. The Adelsons also gave a late $23 million infusion of cash to the conservative super PAC American Crossroads. The group overall raised just less than $124 million this year and had $842,000 cash on hand afterward, with no debt.

* In a conference call with reporters, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) appeared to back away from a previous statement suggesting he was leaning toward running for reelection in 2014. "I should have added more clarity to my comments," Johnson said. "If I run again, I will run a strong campaign. But only if I run again, and it's far too soon to make that statement." Former governor Mike Rounds (R) recently announced that he will run for Johnson's seat. 

WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T MISS:

* Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) plans to return to the Senate on Jan. 3. Kirk has been recovering since suffering a stroke in January. Aides say details of Kirk's return are still being worked out, though people familiar with his plans said the senator expects to walk up the steps of the Capitol as a symbolic gesture of his return and to demonstrate his recovery and continued fitness for office.

* Republican Mike Flood, the outgoing speaker of the Nebraska legislature, is dropping his bid to become governor in 2014 because of his wife's breast cancer diagnosis. 

* There was some vote squabbling in the Senate on Thursday, with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) calling Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) bluff on a proposed vote on President Obama's proposal to allow the White House new powers to raise the debt ceiling. Reid called for an up or down vote, meaning a 60-vote majority wouldn't be needed to pass the measure. McConnell countered and Reid rejected his call for a vote requiring a supermajority for passage. 

* It appears that Republican strategist Karl Rove's time in Fox News's timeout corner will be brief. He's scheduled to appear on “Special Report with Bret Baier” next Monday, according to an update posted to his Web site on Thursday. He will also show up on Fox Business Network a few days later.

* Actress and Obama campaign co-chair Eva Longoria will be one of the four co-chairs of the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee. 

THE FIX MIX:

Mr. Burns explains the fiscal cliff.

The Freddie Gray case

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The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
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Quoted
We'll have half a million voters in South Carolina. I can shake a lot of hands, but I can't shake that many.
Sen. Marco Rubio, speaking to a group of reporters about his strategy to regain support after a poor performance in the last debate
Fact Checker
Sanders’s claim that Clinton objected to meeting with ‘our enemies’
Sanders said that Clinton was critical of Obama in 2008 for suggesting meeting with Iran. In fact, Clinton and Obama differed over whether to set preconditions, not about meeting with enemies. Once in office, Obama followed the course suggested by Clinton, abandoning an earlier position as unrealistic.
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The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

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