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* 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.



* 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.


* 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.


Mr. Burns explains the fiscal cliff.