OVERNIGHT CAMPAIGN: Robbing Paul to pay Paul?

MAYFIELD, Ky. — Kentucky Republicans were treated to a tale of two Rand Pauls (R-Ky.) ahead of this past weekend’s Fancy Farm picnic. 

One, the state’s junior senator, acted as attack dog for Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), paying deference to the state’s senior senator, who’s locked in a difficult reelection fight and desperately needing some of Paul’s oomph to survive.

The other, a contender for president in 2016, pushed his own agenda, tooted his own horn and bared his teeth, but at the likely Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton.

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The contrasting Pauls highlight the conundrum he’ll face if he does go forward with a run, as seems likely. Paul kicks off a three-day tour of Iowa on Monday, his fourth visit to the state, and has been rolling out a number of presidential-level hires over the past month.

This weekend it may have been Senate Paul on display, but keep an eye out for how Presidential Paul balances the next few weeks in Iowa and elsewhere. 

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN

MS-SEN (COCHRAN): Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) demanded that the state Republican Party overturn Sen. Thad Cochran's (R-Miss.) primary victory and declare him the winner in a Monday press conference.

"They asked us to put up or shut up. Here we are. Here we are with the evidence," McDaniel declared before yielding the podium to his lawyer, who said that the state party should overturn the election's results because of allegations of crossover voting from Democrats, many of them African-American. Cochran won the June 24 runoff election by 7,667 votes.

HI-SEN (SCHATZ): Rep. Colleen Hanabusa leads Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) 50 percent to 42 percent in a live-caller poll conducted for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now by Ward Research.

Most other polling of the race has found Schatz ahead, though polling is notoriously unreliable in Hawaii.

The election could be thrown into turmoil by the weather — Hurricane Iselle is supposed to make landfall in Hawaii late this week before Saturday’s primary.

MT-SEN (WALSH): Two of Montana’s largest newspapers called for Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) to end his Senate campaign in the wake of his plagiarism scandal.

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Rep. Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.) campaign says in a new ad that Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) “voted for amnesty, citizenship for illegals ... voted against a border fence three times, and now Pryor ignores the crisis” before playing video of Pryor saying the U.S. has “a much more secure border than we did 10 years ago.” 

Pryor’s campaign fired back, pointing out that Pryor had voted for new border fences multiple times and had followed his comments in the ad by saying “we all know we need some work” on the border.

The Senate Majority PAC also released a new ad accusing Cotton of wanting to “end the Medicare guarantee.”

NC-SEN (HAGAN), AR-SEN (PRYOR), NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton announced his super-PAC will focus its efforts in Arkansas, North Carolina and New Hampshire this fall, all three of which hold targeted Senate races, though Republicans believe they have a stronger shot at Arkansas and North Carolina than New Hampshire.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): A Google Consumer Surveys poll conducted for the Daily Kos finds Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) leading primary challenger Milton Wolf by 14 points.

CO-SEN (UDALL): Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) pulled the plug on a push for anti-fracking initiatives in the state that had divided Democrats and put Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) at odds with Polis and environmental activists in the state.

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): The United Mine Workers of America has endorsed Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky’s Senate race, an advantage for the Democrat as she battles Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) attempts to paint her as an enemy of coal.

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

FLORIDA: Florida legislators have been called into a special session to deal with a judge's ruling that they must redraw the districts of Reps. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) and Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) before Aug. 15, a decision that could throw this fall's elections into chaos if the redrawn districts go into effect before November.

CO-06 (COFFMAN): The Chamber of Commerce is set to endorse Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) at a press conference Tuesday. Meanwhile, his Democratic challenger, Andrew Romanoff, launched his first ad in the race, touting his work as speaker of the Colorado House balancing the budget — a requirement under Colorado law. He says “it ought to be the law in Washington, too.”

NH-02 (KUSTER): Rep. Ann Kuster (D-N.H.) launched her first ad of her reelection fight, featuring the manager of a local brewery touting Kuster’s work supporting small businesses.

NY-24 (MAFFEI): Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.) has a 7-point lead over his opponent, according to a new poll from his opponent’s campaign.

 

2016 WATCH

CHRISTIE/ROMNEY: Mitt Romney will be a "special guest" at a New Jersey Republican Party fundraiser next month for Gov. Chris Christie's birthday, according to CNN.

PAUL: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Yahoo! News that he's never proposed cutting aid to Israel, comments that contradict previous statements.

PERRY: Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) accused President Obama of “second-guessing” Israeli policy.

“We need to be standing up with Israel, sending a strong message to those in the Middle East that would attack this democracy that we are their ally and they can count on us,” Perry said on CNN.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“We’re in the middle of a recession. Are you going to wear a twenty- or thirty-thousand-dollar dress? Somebody’s going to write about that.” —Republican Governors Association Executive Director Phil Cox, an aide to former Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.), testifying in his ongoing corruption trial that Maureen McDonnell had fired back angrily after he challenged her on accepting an Oscar de la Renta dress from Jonnie Williams Sr.