Senate races

Senate races

McConnell hires Ron Paul aide to lead his reelection team

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has hired Jesse Benton, the campaign manager of Rep. Ron Paul's (R-Texas) presidential and Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) Senate bids, to lead his 2014 reelection team.

"We’re committed to running a presidential-level campaign in Kentucky, and that starts with a presidential campaign manager,” McConnell said in a statement. “Jesse is literally the best in the business at building and organizing conservative grassroots movements, and I’m thrilled he’s chosen to return to Kentucky to lead my campaign.”

While McConnell, the Senate's top Republican, should have no trouble retaining his seat, Benton's hiring is an indication that the Kentucky lawmaker is concerned that the tea party could mount a primary challenge. Benton led Rand Paul's insurgent Senate campaign in 2010 to replace retiring Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.). Paul bested early favorite and Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who McConnelll backed, in the primary, hammering the Republican for having once voted for President Clinton.

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Akin, gaining on McCaskill in newest poll, will not attend Values Voters Summit

Republican candidate for Senate in Missouri Rep. Todd Akin will not be attending a Family Research Council Political Action Committee meeting this weekend, despite reports that FRC President Tony Perkins had said he would be there.

Akin spokesman Ryan Hite said he wasn't sure why Perkins had said at a National Press Club luncheon earlier that day that Akin would attend the weekend meeting, scheduled to coincide with the Values Voters Summit, the annual meeting of social conservatives in Washington. Hite said that Akin had plans to campaign in Missouri this weekend, and that those plans would not change.

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First DSCC Wisconsin ad slams Thompson as a Washington lobbyist

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is up with its first ad of the cycle in Wisconsin, a spot that rips former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) for his work for "Wall Street banks and big drug companies."

"Tommy Thompson went to Washington over a decade ago and he hasn't looked back," the ad's narrator says. "Instead, Thompson sold his influence and connections, becoming a partner at a powerful lobbying firm, working for Wall Street banks and big drug companies, making millions from the special interests at our expense. Thompson even admitted, 'Washington changed us.' Yes, it did."

The ad closely mirrors one Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) is running — both attack Thompson for his time spent as a Beltway insider after he left his position as Health and Human Services secretary for President George W. Bush.

Thompson retains a reservoir of goodwill in the state from his time as governor, giving him the edge over Baldwin in the race. But Democrats are hopeful they can keep the race tight by painting him as a politician who cashed in on his political power.

Watch the ad:

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Arizona Senate race a dead heat even as Romney ahead

A new Democratic poll indicates the race for Senate in Arizona remains tight even as Mitt Romney pulls ahead of President Obama in one of the few states in the nation that could see voters split the ticket in November.

The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, gives Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) a lead of just 1 percentage point over Democratic challenger Richard Carmona, within the 3.1 percent margin of error.

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Poll: Brown's lead shrinks in Massachusetts Senate race

A Republican poll shows a drop of 5 percentage points in Sen. Scott Brown's lead in Massachusetts's Senate race following the Democratic convention in North Carolina, at which Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren spoke — but the two remain locked in a statistical tie.

The poll, conducted by Kimball Political Consulting, gives Brown 46 percent support to Warren's 45 percent support, within the poll's 3.5 percent margin of error.

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McMahon calls for ethics investigation into Murphy's mortgage

Republican Linda McMahon's campaign is calling for an ethics investigation into what it has labeled a sweetheart loan Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) received in 2008, an attempt to link him to a possible scandal as their close race heats up.

The call for the investigation from the Office of Congressional Ethics is the culmination of a series of releases from the campaign attempting to focus attention on Murphy's financial difficulties and the loan he received in 2007 and 2008.

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McCaskill: I've asked Obama to come and campaign in Missouri

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) says she would "welcome" a visit by President Obama in her home state.

McCaskill was speaking to reporters in Missouri Friday when she said she had asked the president to come and campaign there.

"I’ve asked him to [campaign for her in Missouri]," McCaskill said, according to local radio station KMOX. "They have made a decision so far in the campaign to focus on those states they won last time. But certainly I would welcome him here to campaign."

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Brown touts Democratic support

Sen. Scott Brown's (R-Mass.) reelection campaign is launching a push to highlight his support from Democrats throughout Massachusetts, an effort to burnish the freshman's centrist credentials to help him win voters in the deep-blue state.

Brown received the endorsement of Charlie Ryan, former Democratic mayor of Springfield, Mass., on Thursday, and on Friday Democratic state Rep. Chris Fallon appeared alongside Brown to become the first sitting lawmaker to offer his endorsement.

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