CAMPAIGN OVERNIGHT: Final lap of Mississippi marathon

Mississippi voters will head to the polls (again) tomorrow, with Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-Miss.) fate once again on the line and the wind at Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s (R) back.

The Magnolia State’s voters are leaning toward McDaniel, according to most recent polling. Both campaigns have battled to the end in the sometimes-nasty race.

Mississippi’s brawl has drawn attention away from another big Senate race, in Oklahoma, where Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) is hoping to overcome his establishment ties and win an outright victory over former Oklahoma Speaker T.W. Shannon (R) while conservative groups are tied up battling Cochran. If he doesn’t win Tuesday, Shannon could get a spending boost from his Tea Party backers heading into the August runoff.

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Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) is also facing a tough primary challenge in his rematch against New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D), while centrist Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) looks to hold off Tea Party-backed New York state Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R). Republicans will pick nominees to face Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) and for retiring Rep. Bill Owens’s (D-N.Y.) seat.

Colorado and Maryland voters will also head to the polls.

Polls close at 8 p.m. EST in Maryland, Mississippi and Oklahoma and at 9 p.m. in Colorado and New York.

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN

MS-SEN (COCHRAN):  A final poll before Tuesday’s GOP runoff election shows state Sen. Chris McDaniel leading Sen. Thad Cochran by 8 percentage points. The poll, released Saturday by Democratic pollster Chism Strategies, reported McDaniel gaining 52 percent over Cochran’s 44 percent support with only 4 percent of voters undecided.  

The race continued its nasty tone, with McDaniel crying foul over a Facebook post from Cochran's adult daughter attacking his of "lack of wisdom" and "lack of judgment." Cochran's camp had to fire a staffer who was caught removing pro-McDaniel yard signs.

Conservatives, meanwhile, plan to use "poll watchers" to make sure Democrats don't vote in the primary, which has some liberals accusing them of voter intimidation in a state that has a problematic history on the subject and where most Democrats are black.

OK-SEN (OPEN): A new poll shows that Tuesday’s competitive primary between Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and former Oklahoma Speaker T.W. Shannon could head into a runoff. The poll, conducted by SoonerPoll for News9, finds Lankford leading Shannon 43 to 35 percent, with state Sen. Randy Brogdon taking 4 percent of the vote. This slight support for Brogdon could cause neither candidate to pick up 50 percent of the vote, which would lead to a two-month run-off.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): Republican primary candidate Milton Wolf picked up the endorsement of Kansas state Rep. Kasha Kelley (R) Monday, who called Wolf the “constitutional conservative choice for Kansans.” Kelley joins four other state representatives and various conservative groups in supporting Wolf over Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) in the Aug. 5 primary race. 

But a straw poll at this weekend’s Olathe Republican Party Picnic found Roberts easily topping Wolf, with 70 percent of the vote. Among the participants polled, 174 favored Roberts in the race, while only 74 supported Wolf. A new radio ad from the Roberts campaign isn’t helping Wolf either. The ad, released Monday, slams the radiologist for a scandal in which he violated patient confidentiality and made Facebook comments mocking the dead and wounded.

TN-SEN (ALEXANDER): Sen. Lamar Alexander’s (R-Tenn.) campaign hit the air Sunday with a statewide series of 60-second radio ads featuring various supporters, from country music star Kix Brooks to former Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey. The ads touted Alexander’s work as governor in the 1970s and 1980s and his work in the Senate since his first election in 2002. 

WV-SEN (OPEN): Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will travel to West Virginia next month to campaign for Democratic candidate Natalie Tennant. The West Virginia Secretary of State will face off with Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) in November for retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s (D-W.Va.) seat. 

MT-SEN (WALSH): Rep. Steve Daines’s (R-Mont.) campaign released an ad attacking Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.), featuring a female former Montana National Guard member saying “women like me were mistreated” and Walsh “looked the other way” while he headed the Guard.

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): The New Hampshire Democratic Party released an ad Sunday questioning Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown’s allegiance to New Hampshire. The ad slams Brown for his role as a former Massachusetts senator, suggesting that he would put Massachusetts interests first if he were elected to office. 

ME-SEN (COLLINS): Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is leading challenger Shenna Bellows (D) 72 to 17 percent with only 10 percent of voters reporting undecided, according to a new poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. 

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

IA-3 (OPEN): Former Capitol Hill aide David Young defeated state Sen. Brad Zaun in Saturday’s nominating convention to win the Republican nomination for the 3rd District seat. Young, who beat Zaun 276 to 221 votes in the fifth round of balloting, will face Democratic nominee state Sen. Staci Appel in the general election in November. 

NY-13 (RANGEL): New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) publicized his support for Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) on Sunday as Rangel heads into a competitive primary race Tuesday against state Sen. Adriano Espaillat and two other contenders. Former President Clinton is lending support to the congressman as well, urging district residents via robo-calls to vote for Rangel in Tuesday’s primary. 

Rangel also earned the support of the New York Daily News on Saturday but will not pick up the endorsement of President Obama. According to a Democratic National Committee spokesman, Obama will not endorse any candidate in the race for the 13th District seat. 

ME-2 (OPEN): A University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll revealed that Democratic Senate candidate Emily Cain is slightly leading Bruce Poliquin (R) 44 percent to 39 percent. Despite Cain’s edge, both candidates remain relatively unknown, with more than 40 percent of respondents indicating they did not know enough about either candidate to say whether they held a favorable opinion of Cain or Poliquin. 

 

2016 WATCH

CLINTON: Republicans attacked Hillary Clinton for a comment she made during an interview Sunday with The Guardian in which she said she and her husband “pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well-off.” The Clintons’ wealth has become a talking point for Republicans, who criticize her $200,000 speaking fees among other earnings, ever since Clinton said her family was “dead broke” after leaving the White House. 

BIDEN: Vice President Biden (D) talked up his humble beginnings and relatively modest wealth at a White House summit on working families.

“The first thing you're going to say is, 'Look at Biden, man. He's got a mildly expensive suit on. He's vice president of the United States of America. He makes — notwithstanding that he is listed as the poorest man in Congress — he still makes a lot of money as vice president of the United States.' And I do, by the way.”

"Don't hold it against me I don't own a single stock or bond," Biden continued. "Don't hold it that I have no savings account."

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"You know I'm not in the 'Ready for Hillary' camp, right? Why not? It's because of our differences when I endorsed Obama. The differences haven't healed, and I'm not in the suck-up camp." — former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) on Clinton 

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