Democrats are hoping to put the brakes on North Carolina's stringent new voting laws, which could hurt their chances in the state’s Senate race if they’re fully implemented.

Their efforts officially began on Monday as oral arguments commenced in the challenge to the laws, which opponents say unfairly target minorities and young voters by putting in place new voter ID requirements and shrinking registration periods.

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Both parties are tensely awaiting a federal judge's decision on whether the changes should be put in place for this fall's election or stayed while the court works its way through deciding on the case in 2015.

How the judge rules will have an affect on Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganWarning signs flash for Tillis in North Carolina Tillis trails Democratic challenger by 7 points in North Carolina poll North Carolina businessman will challenge Tillis in GOP primary MORE's (D-N.C.) reelection chances, with Democrats leaning on strong support from African-Americans and new voters to keep the seat.

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN

IA-SEN (OPEN): Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce Lowell Braley2020 caucuses pose biggest challenge yet for Iowa's top pollster OPINION | Tax reform, not Trump-McConnell feuds, will make 2018 a win for GOP Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward MORE (D-Iowa) is facing a new kerfuffle over farmers.

Braley seems to claim that he's a farmer in a video clip circulated by the pro-Republican group America Rising, an unhelpful comment for a Senate candidate who previously landed in hot water for criticizing Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTrump's latest plan to boost ethanol miffs both corn groups and the fossil fuel industry Syria furor underscores Trump's isolation GOP braces for impeachment brawl MORE (R-Iowa) as a "farmer from Iowa who never went to law school."

CO-SEN (UDALL): Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallPoll: Trump trails three Democrats by 10 points in Colorado The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Colorado candidates vying to take on Gardner warn Hickenlooper they won't back down MORE (D-Colo.) will not greet President Obama when he arrives in Denver on Tuesday, nor will he attend the president’s speech Wednesday, Udall's campaign announced. Udall will land in Denver on Wednesday evening to attend a closed-press fundraiser headlined by the president. Udall’s campaign insists the timing is logistical because the senator has to take votes Tuesday; opponent Rep. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerTrump's GOP impeachment firewall holds strong GOP braces for impeachment brawl Republicans wrestle with impeachment strategy MORE’s (R-Colo.) campaign says Udall doesn’t want to be seen with the president in the midst of his reelection campaign. 

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenOvernight Energy: Advisory panel pushes park service to privatize campgrounds | Dems urge Perry to keep lightbulb efficiency rules | Marshall Islands declares national climate crisis Democrats urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Planned Parenthood charges into 2020 | PhRMA CEO warns against Pelosi drug pricing bill | Medicaid work requirements costing states millions MORE (D-N.H.) topped her likely challenger, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R), in second-quarter fundraising, posting more than $2.8 million in the past three months. Brown raised $2 million in the second quarter but hasn’t yet announced how much cash he has on hand.  

Brown lagged behind former Sen. Bob Smith (R-N.H.) and former New Hampshire state Sen. Jim Rubens (R) in a straw poll for the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers Picnic on Saturday. Out of the 157 people who voted, Smith led with 76 votes, followed by Rubens with 44 and Brown with 34.

SC-SEN (GRAHAM): Former South Carolina state treasurer and “Southern Charm” reality TV star Thomas Ravenel is seeking an independent bid against Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump-GOP tensions over Syria show signs of easing Trump invites congressional leaders to meeting on Turkey Graham opens door to calling Hunter Biden to testify MORE (R-S.C.). Ravenel announced his bid at a Fourth of July event but will still need to gather the 10,000 signatures needed to make the ballot by July 15. 

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Former Sen. David Pryor (D-Ark.) and his wife will hit the campaign trail for their son, Sen. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.), this week, aiming to maintain a Pryor presence in the state while the Senate is in session. Pryor’s campaign announced Monday that the former senator and his wife will visit six Arkansas towns this week and have planned more stops in the coming weeks. 

MT-SEN (WALSH):  Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) and Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) attacked each other on Medicare in dueling ads released Monday. Walsh’s features three elderly women accusing Daines for voting “to cut Medicare benefits while cutting taxes for multi-millionaires like himself,” while Daines’s features a pink-haired breast cancer survivor attacking Walsh for “supporting ObamaCare even when it cut billions of dollars from Medicare.” 

MN-SEN (FRANKEN): Republican Senate candidate Mike McFadden released his first broadcast ad Monday, touting his work as a youth football coach and highlighting the skills he would take with him to Washington. The positive spot features three young football players who tell viewers McFadden would work to stop spending and end ObamaCare and praise their coach for being “tough” — before one punches him below the belt.

LA-SEN (LANDRIEU): Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) released his second ad of the general election Monday, focusing again on ObamaCare in light of the healthcare law’s unpopularity in the state. In the spot, Cassidy speaks directly to the camera in a white doctor’s coat, accusing congressmen of voting for ObamaCare while exempting congressional staff from the law. “It’s good enough for us but not for them — that’s what’s wrong with Washington,” Cassidy says in the ad, which will start in New Orleans and run statewide over the next few weeks. 

IA-SEN (OPEN): The League of Conservation Voters attacks Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) in an ad out Monday, criticizing her desire to “close the doors” to the Education Department and shut down the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

MS-SEN (COCHRAN): Weeks after his defeat in the GOP primary, state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s campaign announced Monday its plans to move toward filing a legal challenge this week to the primary results. Monday was the first day the campaign was able to look in the ballot boxes, including absentee ballots, for evidence, but McDaniel lawyer Mitch Tyner said in a press conference Monday afternoon that the campaign has found evidence it claims shows “there has indeed been election fraud.”

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsJeffress dismisses evangelical opposition to Trump's Syria decision: Not one will 'switch their vote' Overnight Defense: Trump defends Turkey amid fierce criticism | Senators demand briefing on Syria decision | Turkey confirms strikes on Syrian border | White House says it won't cooperate on impeachment inquiry Pat Robertson 'absolutely appalled' by Trump's Syria announcement MORE’s (R-Kan.) primary challenger, Milton Wolf, attacked the senator in an ad out Monday over new questions surrounding whether he actually lives in Kansas, raised by a recent gaffe. The spot repeats a slip-up Roberts made in a talk radio interview Thursday morning where he said, “Every time I get an opponent, uh, I mean every time I get a chance, I’m home." The ad calls Roberts “desperate to reestablish ties to Kansas.” 

TN-SEN (ALEXANDER): Tennessee state Rep. Joe Carr hits Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderGOP braces for impeachment brawl McConnell tightlipped as impeachment furor grows GOP senator: 'Inappropriate' to discuss opponents, but impeachment a 'mistake' MORE (R-Tenn.) for voting for “for bank bailouts and amnesty for illegal aliens” in a new ad. “Lamar Alexander is listening to Washington, not Tennessee conservatives,” a narrator says in the ad.

Carr said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” that Alexander has supported “amnesty” by voting in favor of the bipartisan immigration bill that passed the chamber last year.

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

FL-2 (SOUTHERLAND): Democrat Gwen Graham, challenging vulnerable GOP Rep. Steve Southerland (Fla.), released two new ads in which she touts the work of local fishermen and a T-shirt printing company as examples for Congress. “Imagine if we loaded Congress onto one of these boats,” she says in one ad. “With all their squabbling and partisanship — it would go down before it left the dock.” In both, Graham declares that “this messed-up Congress needs to start doing business the North Florida way.”

IA-3 (OPEN): Iowa state Sen. Brad Zaun (R) hinted at pursuing an independent bid for the 3rd District seat this fall. Zaun, who won the GOP primary but not with the 35 percent needed to clinch the nomination, lost out to former Capitol Hill staffer David Young (R) at the party’s nominating convention. Zaun announced on Facebook on Friday his frustration with the Republican Party and that friends have been encouraging him “to switch to an Independent.” 

IL-10 (SCHNEIDER): Rep. Brad Schneider outraised former Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) in the last three months, bringing in nearly $800,000 to Dold's $610,000. Schneider has $1.9 million cash on hand and Dold has $1.6 million in the bank as of the end of June.

CA-52 (PETERS): Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) outraised challenger Carl DeMaio (R) in second-quarter fundraising by almost $90,000. DeMaio raised $613,000 in the second quarter, leaving him with $1.4 million cash on hand, Roll Call reports, but Peters raked in $700,000, giving him $1.9 million cash on hand in what’s expected to be one of the most expensive House races this election cycle.

WV-2 (OPEN): GOP nominee Alex Mooney outraised his Democratic challenger, Nick Casey, by roughly $100,000 in the second quarter. Mooney’s campaign announced Monday that he raised more than $432,000 this quarter and reported more than $352,000 cash on hand.

TN-3 (FLEISCHMANN): Rep. Chuck FleischmannCharles (Chuck) Joseph FleischmannTrump faces new hit on deficit Lawmakers concede they might have to pass a dreaded 'CR' GOP blasts Democrats for using 2014 'kids in cages' photo to promote migrant hearing MORE (R-Tenn.) picked up the endorsement of the National Right to Life on Monday in his contested primary.

 

2016 WATCH

CHRISTIE: “Who knows? I don’t know,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on Monday when asked whether he’s still a viable candidate for president despite the scandal surrounding lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that has engulfed his administration. “I think the only New Jerseyans who are really all that concerned about that are you guys,” he added. Christie said the situation would have no bearing on his decision whether or not to run.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“It'd be so much fun to shake it up taking on issues that make audiences objectively consider all sides, and I'd do it with my own real-life groundedness, candor and commonsense that I'm known for. Media needs that today, versus the condescension that oozes from TV and radio. ... You know, someone willing to go rogue."

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) on her interest in appearing on "The View" 

This post was updated at 7:30 p.m.