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 CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea GOP state lawmakers meet to plan possible constitutional convention MORE (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 CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranMcConnell tees up debt, government-funding vote National Flood Insurance Program is the next storm for hurricane survivors Trump exempts Citgo from Venezuela sanctions MORE (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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate passes 0B defense bill Overnight Health Care: New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE 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 PryorMark PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.) and Sen. Mark UdallMark UdallDemocratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups Gorsuch's critics, running out of arguments, falsely scream 'sexist' MORE (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 MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill MORE (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 CottonTom CottonOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Lawmakers grapple with warrantless wiretapping program Senate passes 0B defense bill MORE'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 RyanPaul RyanRyan: Graham-Cassidy 'best, last chance' to repeal ObamaCare Ryan: Americans want to see Trump talking with Dem leaders Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE (R-Wis.) will campaign with Republican Senate candidate Rep. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Moore CapitoOvernight Energy: House moves to block methane rule | EPA delays toxic water standard | Pick for FEMA No. 2 withdraws nomination Air Force One is Trump’s new boardroom Poll: West Virginians approve of Dem senator more than Trump MORE (R-W.Va.) next week in Charleston, W.Va. Ryan’s visit falls on the same day that Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Trump bets base will stick with him on immigration Dems call for action against Cassidy-Graham ObamaCare repeal MORE (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 RahallNick RahallLikely W.Va. Senate GOP rivals spar in radio appearances West Virginia is no longer Clinton country Solution needed: Rail congestion is stifling economic growth MORE’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 AmashJustin AmashHouse votes to crack down on undocumented immigrants with gang ties GOP lawmaker taunts House conservatives: Trump’s base is not ‘small faction of obstructionists’ Overnight Finance: GOP plans to unveil tax framework in late September | Critical stretch for Trump tax team | Equifax CEO called to testify | Sanders unveils single-payer bill MORE’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 ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax hit by earlier hack | What to know about Kaspersky controversy | Officials review EU-US privacy pact Overnight Tech: Equifax hit by earlier undisclosed hack | Facebook takes heat over Russian ads | Alt-right Twitter rival may lose domain MORE 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 PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanWeek ahead in tech: Debate over online sex trafficking bill heats up 'Hillbilly Elegy' author won't run for Senate Brown, Portman urge Trump administration to move quickly on a steel decision MORE (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 PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Lawmakers grapple with warrantless wiretapping program MORE (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