Meanwhile, the Obama campaign went hard after Romney's personal finances in a conference call on Thursday, ripping the presumptive Republican nominee for saying he would only move his holdings into a federal blind trust if he’s elected president.
TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: Mitt Romney campaigns in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Friday, and will also be Utah for an event with Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchOvernight Finance: US preps cases linking North Korea to Fed heist | GOP chair says Dodd-Frank a 2017 priority | Chamber pushes lawmakers on Trump's trade pick | Labor nominee faces Senate US Chamber urges quick vote on USTR nominee Lighthizer Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing MORE (R-Utah). President Obama hosts the Super Bowl champion New York Giants at the White House.
TWEET OF THE DAY: “So Gentle/Kind 2 Entire Fam. Told him i would like 2do what i can 2 help Re-elect.” — Cher, on meeting President Obama at one of his Los Angeles fundraisers Wednesday night.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Being the presidential frontrunner was the most exhilarating three hours of my life.” — Texas Gov. Rick Perry, addressing his state’s GOP convention.
President Obama has a 5-point lead over Mitt Romney in Wisconsin, 48 percent to 43, according to a We Ask America poll — the first survey to be conducted in Wisconsin since Gov. Scott Walker (R) won his recall election on Tuesday.
Obama has a 5-point lead over Romney in Virginia as well, 47 percent to 42, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.
And Romney tops Obama in Michigan 46 percent to 45, according to a EPIC-MRA poll.
President Obama is pressuring Congress to act on his jobs to-do list in a new television ad for his reelection campaign. The ad will air in nine swing states: Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and Pennsylvania. It's part of a $25 million ad blitz the campaign announced in May.
BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:
Arizona: The National Republican Congressional Committee has been mostly focused on television ads in the special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), but is making a last-minute push on the radio in the final days before the Tuesday election. The NRCC is spending $23,000 — a big radio buy in an inexpensive market — on an ad criticizing Democrat Ron BarberRon BarberGiffords to lawmakers avoiding town halls: 'Have some courage' Ten House seats Dems hope Trump will tilt House conducts moment of silence for Tucson shooting anniversary MORE for accepting a 43 percent pay raise while serving as Giffords's district director.
Meanwhile, a political action committee supporting Republican Jesse Kelly is getting called out for a fundraising pitch that uses a photo of Kelly holding what appears to be an assault rifle. The email urges supporters to "send a warrior to Congress" and notes that Kelly is a Marine veteran. But the image could strike some as insensitive, considering the shooting spree in 2011 that killed six people, critically wounded Giffords and led to her resignation.
California: The Campaign for Primary Accountability, an anti-incumbent super-PAC, is likely to target longtime Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and could also target Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) with big-spending campaigns this fall.
Michigan: Michigan Republican opinion-makers have settled on a replacement to run as a write-in candidate for Rep. Thad McCotter (R-Mich.), a Republican source confirmed to The Hill. They unanimously decided to back former state Sen. Nancy Cassis (R).
American Crossroads and its sister group Crossroads GPS, two well-funded Republican outside groups, are up with major ad buys in three key Senate races: Montana, Indiana and New Mexico.
Connecticut: Republican strategist Karl Rove was in Connecticut on Thursday to campaign for former Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), who is making a go for the state's open Senate seat.
Florida: Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) has declined to participate in a televised debate with his GOP primary opponents in the Florida Senate race, declaring that he's already been established as the clear nominee. Mack also has the clear lead in the GOP primary to take on Sen. Bill NelsonBill NelsonThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Overnight Tech: Senate votes to eliminate Obama internet privacy rules | FCC chief wants to stay out of 'political debate' on fake news | Wikileaks reveals new CIA docs FCC chairman: Whether NY Times, CNN, NBC are 'fake news' is a ‘political debate’ MORE (D-Fla.), according to a poll from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. Mack takes 34 percent in the primary, compared to 13 percent for former Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) and 10 percent for Mike McCalister. Former Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fla.), who entered the race in late May, is at 6 percent. But Nelson is holding on to a double-digit lead over all of the GOP candidates.
Missouri: Four Republican state senators in Missouri issued a joint letter Thursday defending former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman (R) and demanding that businessman John Brunner pull off the air what they deemed a false attack ad.
Nevada: Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) released a statement heaping praise on President Obama ahead of his visit to Las Vegas on Thursday, a sign that she sees Obama as a help — not a hindrance — in her race against Sen. Dean HellerDean HellerRed-state Dems in Supreme Court pressure cooker This week: House GOP faces make-or-break moment on ObamaCare Shutdown politics return to the Senate MORE (R-Nev.).
North Dakota: Democrat Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support Overnight Finance: Senators spar over Wall Street at SEC pick's hearing | New CBO score for ObamaCare bill | Agency signs off on Trump DC hotel lease The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE has managed to make competitive a Senate race that many expected early on would be a slam-dunk for Republicans. She talks to The Hill about her race. Also, Heitkamp was cautious when asked whether she would back Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThis obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all Sharron Angle to challenge GOP rep in Nevada Fox's Watters asks Trump whom he would fire: Baldwin, Schumer or Zucker MORE (D-Nev.) if elected to the Senate.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Mitt Romney delivered a passionate indictment of President Obama's economic philosophy Thursday in St. Louis, accusing the president of attacking "the cornerstone of American prosperity — our economic freedom." In one of the Republican presidential nominee's liveliest campaign stops of the general election, Romney rallied supporters with a prolonged defense of free-market economics. Breaking from his traditional stump speech, Romney decried the president's economic policies as a "moral failure."
Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson has pledged at least $1 million to the super-PAC backing Romney.
Ann Romney explained therapeutic riding this week on the campaign trail, directly confronting what critics have called an expensive hobby.
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