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At the approach of this year's mid-term elections, Democrats are stepping down from the Senate and Congress—but so are Republicans.  Does either one have the advantage?  Will the results in November determine if President Obama succeeds or fails? Also, a glimmer of hope despite a disappointing December job report, and California's latest actor turned governor is beginning his final year in office. We get an assessment of Arnold Schwarzenegger's move from Hollywood to Sacramento.

Banner image: Class photo of the 110th United States Senate

Making News A Glimmer of Hope Despite a Disappointing December Job Report 7 MIN, 47 SEC

November's payroll statistics have been revised to show a net gain of 4000 jobs. But December saw 85,000 more Americans become unemployed. Nevertheless, at the White House, press secretary Robert Gibbs saw a glimmer of progress. Chris Isidore is senior writer at CNN Money.com.

Chris Isidore, Senior Writer, CNNMoney.com

Main Topic This Year's Mid-Term Elections: Which Party Will Party? 37 MIN, 45 SEC

After one year in office, President Obama has yet to deliver his first State of the Union address, but his approval ratings are on the decline. This week, three Democrats made headlines by deciding not to stand for re-election, provoking reports that the party's in big trouble. But even more Republicans are dropping out, the GOP's short of money, and Chairman Michael Steele says his party's "not ready" to seize control on Capitol Hill. We look at the prospects for this year's mid-term elections.  Will they determine whether President Obama finally succeeds or fails? Will the Democrats lose control on Capitol Hill?  Should Republicans and Democrats appeal to their most ideological voters or move to the center?

Ron Brownstein, Atlantic / CNN (@RonBrownstein)
E.J. Dionne, Brookings Institution / Washington Post (@EJDionne)
David Sirota, International Business Times (@davidsirota)
Kristen Soltis Anderson, Washington Examiner / Echelon Insights (@KSoltisAnderson)
Brian Faughnan, Writer, Redstate.com

The Second Civil War

Ronald Brownstein

Reporter's Notebook Schwarzenegger's Last Year in Office and What Might Have Been 5 MIN, 26 SEC

The Terminator became the Governator with the promise that he could use his super-celebrity to end what he called "crazy deficit spending" and "tear up the credit card." Six years later Arnold Schwarzenegger's approval ratings match those of Democrat Gray Davis, the man he defeated in a re-call election, and the state's $20 billion deficit is bigger than ever.  Carla Marinucci is political writer for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Carla Marinucci, Politico (@cmarinucci)

The Uprising

David Sirota

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