CAMPAIGN OVERNIGHT: Can Dems craft Hobby Lobby ruling into an advantage?

Democrats are putting the Supreme Court in their crosshairs, using its decision against ObamaCare’s contraception mandate to rally their base ahead of the midterm elections.

Within hours of the high court’s decision that so-called closely held companies cannot be compelled to offer contraception coverage as part of their employee health plans, Democrats were trying to raise cash and rally voters to their side.

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Strategists said the issue of women’s reproductive health could play well in elections across the country, helping the party in contests that could largely be won and lost on turnout by turning out unmarried women, suburban moms and minority females. 

And with the current fundraising quarter ending at midnight, many are ramping up their “war on women” rhetoric to finish off strong.

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) picked up the endorsement of former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) in his race against Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.). Jindal, who is appearing at Cotton’s fundraiser Monday evening, praised Cotton as a leader that “Washington desperately needs” and slammed Pryor for “putting President Obama first.”  

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): Sen. Pat Roberts’s (R-Kan.) primary challenger, radiologist Milton Wolf, has bought $250,000 for the final month of the race, starting July 2 and running through Aug. 5. The buy includes 500 points per week each in the Wichita and Topeka media markets, plus a statewide Fox News cable buy for the entire five-week stretch. Wolf is likely to have to stretch every penny he raised this past quarter to fund the ads, however. As of March 31, Wolf had just under $278,000 cash on hand, with $40,000 in debt.

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) joined Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes at a rally and fundraiser Sunday. At the University of Louisville rally, Warren slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for choosing to “protect the billionaires” rather than students. 

MS-SEN (COCHRAN): Chris McDaniel, Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-Miss.) primary challenger, is still looking into the possibility of forcing another runoff election with Cochran. His campaign told The Daily Caller that they’ve found 1,500 invalid votes, and that if they can find more than Cochran’s nearly 7,000-vote margin of victory they can force a runoff. But Noel Fritsch, McDaniel’s spokesman, said the campaign is optimistic even if they don’t find 7,000 invalid ballots that they can force a third election. “We don’t have to prove that we have 7,000 [invalid] votes. ... all there needs to be is enough doubt about the election, and we’re confident about that,” he said.

ME-SEN (COLLINS): Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) became the first Republican this cycle to earn the endorsement of the environmental organization the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund. The group, which also endorsed Collins in 2008, praised her for being “committed to finding bipartisan solutions that will safeguard our environment and combat climate change while promoting clean energy.” 

MN-SEN (FRANKEN): The Human Rights Campaign endorsed Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) on Sunday, hailing Franken as a “longstanding champion for the rights of Minnesota’s LGBT community.”

NC-SEN (HAGAN): Senate Majority PAC slammed North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis (R) in a new ad for cutting the education budget while protecting luxury tax breaks for large yacht owners. In the ad, a teacher brings her class of young kids to the docks, telling a yacht owner, “Our classroom’s too small. I thought we could use your yacht.”    

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) will receive the support of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who will join her at a fundraiser Monday in Boston. Warren defeated Shaheen’s likely Republican opponent, Scott Brown, for her Massachusetts Senate seat in 2012.

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

LA-5 (MCALLISTER): Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) announced his reelection campaign in an interview with the News Star on Monday, reversing his April decision not to run after he was caught on video kissing a former staff member that was not his wife. 

GA-10 (OPEN): Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) endorsed businessman Mike Collins (R) in the runoff primary for July 22, calling Collins a “rock-solid conservative.” Collins faces off against pastor Jody Hice (R) in the runoff to fill Rep. Paul Broun’s (R-Ga.) open seat.

GA-11 (OPEN): Republican candidate Barry Loudermilk released a television ad Monday in anticipation of the July 22 runoff in which he promises to “stop Washington’s big government nightmare.” Loudermilk will face former Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) in next’s month runoff election.

AZ-1 (KIRKPATRICK): Republican candidate Gary Kiehne released his first television ad Monday, touting the fact that he is not a career politician but a “conservative we can trust” that will take action on securing the border and curbing government spending. Kiehne faces state Reps. Andy Tobin (R) and Adam Kwasman (R) in an Aug. 26 primary.

MI-11 (BENTIVOLIO): An internal poll from Dave Trott’s (R) campaign has the attorney leading Rep. Kerry Bentivolio by 14 percentage points, holding 33 percent of the vote to Bentivolio’s 19 percent. The poll indicates an increase in support for Trott from a May poll that had the two candidates tied. Trott also got a campaign visit from 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Monday, who has endorsed his campaign. 

 

2016 WATCH

CLINTON: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was “deeply disturbed” by the Supreme Court’s ruling on contraception during an appearance at the Aspen Ideas Fest, criticizing it both for the view that a corporation “has the rights of a person when it comes to religious freedom” and that “ a sales clerk at Hobby Lobby who needs contraception, which is pretty expensive, is not going to get that service through her employer's health care plan because her employer doesn't believe she should use birth control.”

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found Clinton’s recent struggled to talk about her wealth haven’t yet damaged her — 55 percent say she can relate to the problems of average Americans as well as the other potential presidential candidates, while 37 percent disagree.

PAUL: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is heading to Guatemala — but as a doctor, not a senator.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"[Not] unless someone wanted me to run for vice president." — former New York Gov. David Paterson (D) on running for future political office