CAMPAIGN OVERNIGHT: RNC's pragmatic pick for 2016 convention

The Republican National Committee panel unanimously picked Cleveland over Dallas to host the party’s 2016 national convention on Tuesday.

Officials publicly said the pick came down to logistics and necessities: local Republican leaders were convincing in their pledge to raise the tens of thousands needed to host the convention, and the city has experienced a renaissance of sorts in recent years and boasts the necessary infrastructure to host an event of that magnitude.

“I will say it was a business decision, when it came down to hotels, the venue, the arena, it was unbelievable,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on Fox News.

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But it’s also a signal GOP leaders are looking to develop a more pragmatic and diverse image of the party, rather than promote the comfortable conservatism of the deep South.

Cleveland’s large African-American population and positioning in a swing state make it more representative of the nation as a whole, and exactly the type of population Republicans are struggling to woo in time for the 2016 presidential race.

As Priebus admitted on Fox, “In the end, as well, it’s Cleveland, Ohio, and as goes Ohio, so goes the presidential race.”

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN

MS-SEN (COCHRAN): Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Monday called for an investigation into allegations of fraud in the Mississippi Republican Senate primary runoff, and later told Republicans while he won’t step down as vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, he’s furious with its engagement in that race on behalf of Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).

Meanwhile, the Senate Conservatives Fund contributed $70,000 to a legal defense fund Cochran’s primary challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, set up to finance his planned legal challenge to the results of the primary. And he got a surprising pass from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in doing so; the Kentucky Republican told reporters that while “it’s pretty clear” Cochran won, “anybody’s entitled to contest the outcome, and that may well happen in Mississippi.”

Cochran’s likely to fuel further scrutiny from his opponents over his age after getting lost on his way to the Senate Republicans’ weekly lunches Tuesday, which he’s attended in the same room for years.

AR-SEN, CO-SEN (PRYOR, UDALL): Crossroads GPS hit Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) with two new ads out Tuesday. The group slammed Pryor for allowing an “Obamacare exemption” for congressional staff and attacked Udall for voting against the Keystone XL oil pipeline four times. 

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes released the first in a series of television ads Tuesday featuring Kentucky locals asking policy questions of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Grimes’s first ad hit McConnell for voting to raise Medicare costs. Pro-McConnell group Kentucky Opportunity Coalition released an attack ad of its own, criticizing Grimes for “dodging the tough questions.”

OR-SEN (MERKLEY): Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) raised $1.2 million for his reelection campaign from May through the end of June, and had $3.5 million cash on hand at the end of the second quarter.

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): The League of Conservation Voters launched a new TV spot Tuesday targeting New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown (R) for his ties to conservative donors Charles and David Koch. The ad charges the Kochs are funding ads supporting Brown because, as Massachusetts senator, he “voted to keep giving billions in taxpayer funded subsidies to oil companies."

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Rep. Tom Cotton's (R-Ark.) Senate campaign is pushing back against Sen. Mark Pryor's (D-Ark.) attacks over his votes against disaster relief with a new ad, which features a local sheriff talking about efforts to help his county recover after a series of tornadoes demolished parts of Arkansas this spring. The sheriff declares, "Despite what you've been told, Tom Cotton stood with us every step of the way. ... Shame on anyone who uses our tragedy for their own political gain.”

IA-SEN (OPEN): While former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is getting a lot of buzz for calling for President Obama’s impeachment, Yahoo News reported that Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst suggested the president’s impeachment six months before. Ernst spoke out at a candidate forum in January, telling the audience she believed Obama had “become a dictator” and calling for the president to face consequences for overstepping his bounds with executive actions, “whether that’s removal from office, whether that’s impeachment.”

GA-SEN (OPEN): The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released another ad supporting Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) Tuesday, a positive spot touting Kingston as a “trusted conservative” and “the only candidate who actually fought to cut the federal budget.” The ad will run in Atlanta, where Kingston will appear with the Chamber’s political director, Rob Engstrom, at an event Wednesday morning. 

WV-SEN (OPEN): Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will campaign with Republican Senate candidate Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) next week in Charleston, W.Va. Ryan’s visit falls on the same day that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will be in West Virginia campaigning for Capito’s Democratic challenger, Natalie Tennant. Tennant’s campaign slammed Capito for “campaigning with the architect of plans to end Medicare as we know it.”

MT-SEN (WALSH): Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) raised more than $1.25 million in the second quarter of 2014, his campaign announced Tuesday, but he spent a considerable sum over the past three months on ads knocking GOP opponent Rep. Steve Daines, and had just $713,000 cash on hand at the end of June.

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

NY-24 (MAFFEI): Rep. Dan Maffei’s (D-N.Y.) campaign announced raising $426,754 during the second quarter of the year, the congressman’s best quarter since the 2012 election. The second-quarter funds help Maffei maintain a $1.1 million advantage over his challenger, Republican John Katko, who reported only $357,250 on hand at the end of June.


WV-3 (RAHALL): Rep. Nick Rahall’s (D-W.Va.) challenger, Evan Jenkins (R), raised more than $500,000 in the second quarter, posting his best quarter yet by a 2.5-to-1 margin. Jenkins’s campaign announced the number Tuesday, a sum that will bring his overall fundraising total to more than $1.1 million. Jenkins’s campaign reported receiving 1,155 donations from local West Virginians, compared with the just 115 in-state contributions Rahall reported receiving in the first quarter.

NY-18 (MALONEY): Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.) raised $550,000 in second-quarter fundraising, he announced Tuesday, bringing his total cash on hand to $1.75 million in his rematch against former Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.). Hayworth has not yet released her fundraising for the second quarter, but so far has been having trouble keeping up with Maloney’s numbers.

FL-18 (MURPHY): Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) announced raising more than $750,000 in the second quarter of the year and has nearly $2.7 million cash on hand.

MI-3 (AMASH): An internal poll from Rep. Justin Amash’s (R-Mich.) campaign shows the congressman leading his primary challenger 58 to 36 percent, with 6 percent of voters undecided. The survey is in line with public polls done on the race, the most recent of which had Amash up by 20 percentage points. 

 

2016 WATCH

CLINTON: A new poll has Hillary Clinton leading the field in potential presidential nominees, both from her own party and from the Republicans. Clinton swept the other potential Democratic nominees with 58 percent of the vote, her closest competitor being Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) with 11 percent. The Quinnipac University survey also found Clinton leading the potential GOP contenders by 7 to 9 percentage points. 

PORTMAN: Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said that although he is not eager to pursue a 2016 presidential bid, he hasn’t exactly ruled it out either. “But if nobody running is able to win and willing to address these issues, then I might have a change of heart,” Portman told The Washington Post in an interview Tuesday.

WALKER: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a potential GOP 2016 presidential nominee, said Tuesday that though he was aware of his son’s decision to be a witness at a relative’s same-sex marriage, it wasn’t intended to be a policy statement. “He doesn’t need my blessing to do anything he does,” Walker, who is a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage, said of his son. 

PAUL: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) brought on former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s 2012 presidential campaign manager as his chief New England strategist for his political organization, the latest signal he’s moving towards a presidential run. Mike Biundo has deep New Hampshire ties and his New Hampshire-based consulting firm, RightOn Strategies, will support RANDPAC’s efforts.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

"It's time to impeach; and on behalf of American workers and legal immigrants of all backgrounds, we should vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment."

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, calling for President Obama’s impeachment in an op-ed for Breitbart