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First Read's Morning Clips: Looking at the 2018 money race

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: A man counts out $100 bills as he makes a bet on Super Bowl XLVIII in Las Vegas
A man counts out $100 bills as he makes a bet on Super Bowl XLVIII at the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino Superbook in Las Vegas on Jan. 23, 2014.Steve Marcus / Las Vegas Sun via Reuters file

MIDTERM MADNESS: Looking at the 2018 money race

Alex Seitz-Wald sums up the money race so far: “At least 45 Democratic challengers in 34 districts raised more money last quarter than the Republican member of Congress they're hoping to defeat in November, according to new campaign finance reports.”

AZ-SEN: Could Joe Arpaio actually win the Senate primary? POLITICO profiles the man who could be “the next Roy Moore.”

CA-GOV: Gavin Newsom is dominating in the fundraising race for governor. (Meanwhile, Kevin de Leon’s fundraising is way, way behind Feinstein’s.)

CA-22: Andrew Janz, the Democrat challenging Devin Nunes, says he raised $65,000 online over the last seven days.

IN-SEN: The Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” leprechaun has become a political issue in the Indiana GOP Senate primary after an ESPN host suggested it should be retired.

MD-SEN: It’s not entirely clear that Chelsea Manning is eligible to run for Senate.

MI-SEN: A fringe candidate has dropped out of the Senate race after calling the judge in the Larry Nassar case a “Feminazi.”

MO-GOV: Eric Greitens might be in hot water over his office’s use of a messaging app that automatically deletes content.

MN-GOV: He wasn’t interested in a Senate bid, but Tim Pawlenty is definitely weighing a gubernatorial comeback.

MS-SEN: Intrigue in Mississippi, via the Washington Post: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has asked the governor of Mississippi to consider appointing himself to the Senate if ailing Republican Sen. Thad Cochran resigns from office, according to two people familiar with the conversations… In particular, a self-appointment by Bryant would complicate the ambitions of state senator and attorney Chris McDaniel, a foe of McConnell, who ran a failed primary campaign against Cochran in 2014, and has been preparing for another run.”

And/but the Clarion Ledger reports that Bryant isn’t interested.

NY-11: It looks like Michael Grimm’s campaign debt to mega-lobbying and law firm Squire Patton Boggs has been forgiven. (And his spokesman is not exactly being helpful in explaining why.)

NY-12: A Democratic primary to keep an eye on: First-time candidate and Obama campaign veteran Suraj Patel outraised Carolyn Maloney by 4-1 over the last quarter.

UT-SEN: Mitt Romney took another step towards a Senate run, with an announcement planned for February 15.

TRUMP AGENDA: Not all Republicans are the same page on releasing the Nunes memo

NBC’s Jonathan Allen has the latest on how Republicans are feeling about the release of the classified FBI intelligence collection memo. (Spoiler: They’re not all thrilled.)

And here’s what the White House is saying about the memo.

The Washington Post reports that there was “never any hesitation” from Trump about releasing the document.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the chances of an immigration deal appear to be fading.

From one of us(!) on this pre-Super Bowl-weekend morning: Nearly half of Americans would discourage kids from playing football due to concussion concerns.