CAMPAIGN OVERNIGHT: Republicans vote more

The Pew Research Center has new numbers out showing what many campaign operatives already know: Republicans are more reliable voters, a major problem for Democrats heading into this fall’s midterms.

Pew breaks down voters into eight different categories, with the most likely to vote being “steadfast conservatives,” “business conservatives” and “solid liberals.” The two conservative blocs outnumber the liberals by 22 percent to 15 percent in the survey, but by a whopping 36 percent to 21 percent for the most engaged voters.

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They’re much more likely to vote than the other Democratic-leaning groups that President Obama built his coalition on, including the “faith and family left,” a more racially diverse, religious group, and the “next generation left” of millennial liberals, who make up 27 percent of the population but just 23 percent of likely voters.

It’s no wonder why Democrats are spending so much time and money on field operations this election. In close races, they’re going to need to unearth every voter they can find.

The poll also shows how few Americans are paying close attention to Congress — just four in 10 can correctly identify which party controls both chambers.

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN

SENATE ADS: VoteVets announced a more than $600,000 television ad buy in three states for next week, offering support to Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) and Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and praising their efforts to free the country from foreign oil. The group also praises Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) in the Iowa spot, but slams Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) for voting against troop raises while supporting tax breaks for for big oil. 

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) has gained a slight lead over Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey. The poll shows Grimes ahead of McConnell by 2 percentage points, with 41 percent of voters saying they felt strongly about voting for Grimes if the election were today.

SC-SEN (GRAHAM): Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) could face an independent challenge in the fall from reality television star and former South Carolina state treasurer Thomas Ravenel (R). Ravenel, the son of a former congressman, needs 10,000 signatures to make the ballot. 

HI-SEN (SCHATZ): Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) is out with a new ad touting President Obama's endorsement in his battle against Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii).

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): A new SurveyUSA poll has Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) easily topping primary challenger Milton Wolf (R) by a 2-1 margin. Roberts would also defeat the Democratic nominee, Chad Taylor, by 43 to 33 percent, with 12 percent of voters supporting third-party candidates and another 12 percent undecided, according to the poll.

ME-SEN (COLLINS): Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) became the fourth senator in the Republican Party to publicly support same-sex marriage. Collins announced her support in an interview with the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday, shortly after receiving the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign.

TN-SEN (ALEXANDER): Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) received the support of former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) Thursday. In a statement released by Alexander’s campaign, Gingrich praised Alexander’s “experience and shrewdness” as necessary to “fix Washington.”

Gingrich’s endorsement comes on the same day Alexander was slammed by his primary opponent, Joe Carr, in the first television ad of his campaign. The ad attacks Alexander for supporting immigration reform and presents Carr as a “no amnesty” candidate. 

GA-SEN (OPEN): An internal poll for David Perdue’s (R) campaign shows the businessman leading Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) by 45 percent to 44 percent. Perdue’s internal poll follows several public polls and an internal Kingston poll that found the congressman ahead in the race.

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

CA-31 (OPEN): Republican Lesli Gooch has decided to give up on a recount in her race for the 31st District seat. Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar (D) narrowly defeated Gooch in the district’s all-party primary and will face Republican Paul Chabot in the fall in the race to fill retiring Rep. Gary Miller’s (R-Calif.) seat. 

TX-23 (GALLEGO): Concerned Veterans for America hit Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Texas) with a new ad, charging that Gallego knew about the problems veterans faced but “did nothing to fix it.” The ad urges viewers to tell Gallego to “fight for our veterans” and “hold the VA accountable.”

MN-8 (NOLAN): Rep. Rick Nolan’s (D-Minn.) challenger, Stewart Mills, (R) debuted a new ad Wednesday hoping to win over women voters by touting his work with the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes charity. The positive spot features Mills’s wife describing her husband’s participation in the charity each year as “one of the strongest things he does.” 

NY-13 (RANGEL): A day after the 13th District race was called for Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), opponent Adriano Espaillat (D) conceded to the congressman. Rangel declared victory Tuesday night with an 1,800 ballot lead, despite thousands of mail ballots still needing to be counted. The Associated Press called the race for Rangel on Wednesday. In his concession speech, Espaillat also announced his reelection campaign for the New York state senate. 

MI-11 (BENTIVOLIO): Rep. Kerry Bentivolio’s (R-Mich.) primary challenger, Dave Trott, picked up the endorsement of The Detroit News on Thursday. The newspaper charged that “Bentivolio has never been right for this district” and hailed Trott as “bright, forceful and committed to public service.” 

 

2016 WATCH

BUSH: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) will host a fundraiser in mid-September for crucial GOP Senate candidates, The Wall Street Journal reports. The candidates included in the fundraiser are Reps. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) and Oregon Senate nominee Monica Wehby (R). Bush has held fundraisers for other influential Republican candidates this cycle, and it is speculated whether his increased involvement could indicate a potential 2016 presidential run.

CLINTON: Former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), famous for his “legitimate rape” comments, attacked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, accusing her of waging an “incredibly hypocritical” war on women “when she once got a child rapist off the hook who she knew to be guilty, and laughed about how she did it when interviewed.”

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

"Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation's moral decay." — conservative talking head Ann Coulter in an op-ed 

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