CAMPAIGN OVERNIGHT: GOP empire strikes back

The Republican establishment is poised for a big night on Tuesday. 

Business-friendly Republicans are expected to defeat conservative challengers in primaries in Kentucky, Georgia, Idaho and Oregon, giving the Republican establishment a slew of victories over social and fiscal conservative hard-liners.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will likely cruise to victory over businessman and Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin (R). Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), an ally of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), is the heavy favorite to defeat his Tea Party rival in a race where national groups spent millions.

The two candidates establishment Republicans were most worried about emerging from Georgia’s crowded Senate primary are unlikely to make the primary runoff. And Dr. Monica Wehby (R), national Republicans’ favored candidate, is likely to win her Oregon Senate primary.

But while Republicans will likely get their most electable candidates in most races in Tuesday’s spate of primaries, some of those races have taken a toll. Georgia’s already nasty primary race will continue for another two months, McConnell’s primary has forced him to spend millions, and Wehby has had some bad press in recent days.

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN

CROSSROADS: American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS are launching $10 million worth of ads in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado and North Carolina.

CAMPAIGN COMMITTEES: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised the National Republican Senatorial Committee, $6.3 million to $6 million in April. 

MS-SEN (COCHRAN): Two new polls conducted by allies of Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) find him with leads over Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).

McDaniel’s campaign called accusations that his campaign was involved with a blogger who was arrested for filming Cochran’s invalid wife “outrageous.”

A mailer from a super-PAC backing Cochran compares McDaniel to former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.).

GA-SEN (OPEN): Democrat Michelle Nunn repeatedly dodged questions about whether she would have voted for ObamaCare.

Businessman David Perdue (R) is out with an ad slamming Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) as a career politician and defending his own business record.

OR-SEN (MERKLEY): Republican Senate candidate Dr. Monica Wehby’s ex-husband accused her of “ongoing harassment” during divorce proceedings, while she accused him of physical abuse.

MT-SEN (WALSH): Sen. John Walsh’s (D-Mont.) campaign is demanding Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) release all his business records, accusing him of working to outsource jobs to China.

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has maintained his big lead over primary opponent Matt Bevin (R) heading into Tuesday’s primary, according to a new poll.

OK-SEN (OPEN): Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) is touting a new internal poll that shows him up 10 percent over his next-closest GOP primary opponent, former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon. The survey, conducted by The Tarrance Group, gives him 43 percent support among likely GOP primary voters, and Shannon takes 33 percent support.

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

DCCC: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $7.1 million in April.

AR-4 (OPEN): Former FEMA Director James Lee Witt (D) has a new ad featuring his longtime friend, former President Clinton.

CA-17 (HONDA): Democrat Ro Khanna accuses Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) of "slinging mud" in a new ad. 

PA-6 (OPEN): Former Rep. Marjorie Margolies (D-Pa.) slammed Pennsylvania state Rep. Brendan Doyle (D) as “anti-choice” in an MSNBC appearance.

MN-8 (NOLAN): Rep. Rick Nolan’s (D-Minn.) opponent released his first TV ad.

WV-3 (RAHALL): House Majority PAC released another ad tying state Sen. Evan Jenkins (R) to the Koch brothers.

 

2016 WATCH

RUBIO: Did he inhale or not? Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) remains opposed to legalizing marijuana, but in an interview with Yahoo News wouldn’t answer whether he’d ever smoked it, saying his silence was because there’s no “responsible way to recreationally use marijuana.”

BIDEN: Vice President Biden will headline a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer’s home.

WEBB: Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) on Wednesday opened the door to a potential White House run.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

"If you look at all the fiascos that have occurred, 99 percent of them have been by Democrats pulling their guns out and shooting people. So I don't think you have a problem with the Republicans." — Arizona House candidate Gary Kiehne (R), who later apologized