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New poll numbers from TIME magazine show Newt’s surge is for real—not just in Iowa, but in Florida and South Carolina as well. Could Newt be the GOP’s nominee? And how would President Obama run against Newt? We’re asking White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, msnbc’s Howard Fineman, and TIME’s Michael Scherer.

 

Mitt Romney’s campaign is getting aggressive with tough  new ads, TV appearances, and speeches… especially today’s before GOP Jewish voters where he accused Obama of “appeasement” seven times. Did Romney take it too far? It’s a question for msnbc’s David Corn and GOP Strategist Sally Bradshaw.

 

Perry’s spending serious cash in Iowa ahead of the January 3 caucus. We’ll check out his new slew of ads, plus the latest from Newt, Romney, and Ron Paul. Republican Strategist Mark McKinnon and Democratic Strategist Bob Shrum will weigh in tonight.

 

Plus: No end to the Sandusky accusations. The former Penn State Assistant Coach was re-arrested and re-assigned bail today as two new victims’ stories became public. Author and Daily Beast contributor Buzz Bissinger is tracking the story and he joins us tonight. 

Coming up on Hardball...

Updated