Candidates in five of the nation's top Senate races debate tonight — here's what to look out for in each one:

GEORGIA: How will David Perdue (R) handle questions about his business record? Perdue has been in hot water this week over his comments in a 2005 deposition that he’d spent “most of my career” outsourcing, and he didn’t help himself when he declared he was “proud” of that record on Monday. He’s had a small lead against former charity executive Michelle Nunn (D) — and how his career is litigated going forward will go a long way in deciding whether this race will keep leaning his direction.

NORTH CAROLINA: What will North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis (R) zero in on? Tillis has hit Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganTillis trails Democratic challenger by 7 points in North Carolina poll North Carolina businessman will challenge Tillis in GOP primary Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 MORE (D-N.C.) for her husband’s company beneftting from stimulus funds, attacked President Obama and Hagan on Ebola and hit them on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in recent weeks. As he looks to close what’s been a small but sturdy gap in her favor in polling, what issue will he drill hardest into to shake up the race?

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VIRGINIA: Can former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie (R) move the needle? Gillespie has been running a strong campaign — but Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLawmakers sound alarm on China's disinformation campaign in Hong Kong Facebook users in lawsuit say company failed to warn them of known risks before 2018 breach New intel chief inherits host of challenges MORE (D-Va.) has been even stronger, and has retained a double-digit lead in most recent polls. Gillespie could have to take some chances he hasn’t in previous meetings — without dropping his nice-guy demeanor — and land some hard attacks on Warner if he’s going to change the race.

WEST VIRGINIA: Will Republican Rep. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoAmerica is in desperate need of infrastructure investment: Senate highway bill a step in the right direction On The Money: Economy adds 164K jobs in July | Trump signs two-year budget deal, but border showdown looms | US, EU strike deal on beef exports Trump border fight throws curveball into shutdown prospects MORE (R) maintain her relatively safe — but flawless — campaign? The Republican is heavily favored to pick up the seat for her party, and her only debate with Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant isn't likely to change that, unless she drops a serious gaffe. Debates rarely win or lose the race for a candidate, however, and this one is unlikely to prove any different for Tennant as she struggles against the red tide of the state.

COLORADO: Does 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) keep up the fire he showed in Monday's debate? The incumbent's performance in his first debate with Rep. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerHickenlooper day-old Senate bid faces pushback from progressives The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democratic field narrows with Inslee exit MORE (R) was criticized by some as lackluster and disinterested, but Udall shifted his focus and strategy and came out swinging at Gardner on Monday. The congressman gave him a number of openings he could hammer tonight, like his insistence he never supported the government shutdown, but Udall left openings as well, like his admission that he voted for cuts to Medicare Advantage.

SENATE SHOWDOWN

AR-SEN (PRYOR): 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.) struggled with his answer when asked how President Obama has handled the ongoing Ebola crisis on Monday.

MI-SEN (OPEN): The National Republican Senatorial Committee has cut the remaining television time it had reserved in Michigan amid signs former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R) is having trouble catching Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.).

GA-SEN (OPEN): Businessman David Perdue (R) said he was “proud” of his business career and sought to reframe his comments in a 2005 deposition that he’d spent “most of [his] career” focused on outsourcing, arguing outsourcing was “the procurement of products and services to help your business run.”

IA-SEN (OPEN): The Washington Post reports that a super-PAC attacking Democrat Bruce BraleyBruce Lowell BraleyOPINION | Tax reform, not Trump-McConnell feuds, will make 2018 a win for GOP Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward Trump: Ernst wanted 'more seasoning' before entertaining VP offer MORE is run out of the office of a consultant for Republican Joni Ernst’s campaign, raising legal questions.

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads What the gun safety debate says about Washington Trump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China MORE (R) endorsed and campaigned with Republican Scott Brown on Tuesday.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): Republicans are targeting independent Greg Orman for his role as head of a company that defaulted on $250 million in loans.

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

AZ-9 (SINEMA): Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton defended Republican Wendy Rogers’s use of ISIS beheading footage in a recent ad portraying Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) as soft on terror.

BLOOMBERG: Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s (R) super-PAC is spending $25 million for candidates in both parties, including Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), running for Michigan’s Senate seat, and former Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), as well as House candidates Carl DeMaio (R), former San Diego city councilman, and Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar (D).

CLF: The Congressional Leadership Fund, a group affiliated with Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerScaramucci compares Trump to Jonestown cult leader: 'It's like a hostage crisis inside the White House' Israel should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support Lobbyists race to cash in on cannabis boom MORE (R-Ohio), is targeting Democratic Reps. Brad Schneider (Ill.), Julia BrownleyJulia Andrews BrownleyKatherine Clark quietly eyes leadership ascent California Democrats unveil redistricting reform bill after Supreme Court partisan gerrymandering ruling WHIP LIST: The 130 House Democrats backing an impeachment inquiry MORE (Calif.) and Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.) with a $3.1 million investment.

CO-6 (COFFMAN): Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) and former Colorado state Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D) sparred in a sharp-elbowed debate Tuesday night.

CA-17 (HONDA): Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) and Democrat Ro Khanna (D) met for their first and only debate Tuesday, with Honda facing questions about whether his official staff did campaign work.

 

AD WATCH

AK-SEN (BEGICH): Republican Dan Sullivan is out with a new energy-focused ad accusing Sen. Mark BegichMark Peter BegichAlaska political mess has legislators divided over meeting place Former GOP chairman Royce joins lobbying shop Lobbying world MORE (D-Alaska) of thinking “Obama’s EPA should make decisions for Alaska.”

NC-SEN (HAGAN): Women Speak Out PAC, an affiliate of Susan B. Anthony List, is spending $620,000 on a television buy hitting Sen. Kay Hagan (D) for opposing a law banning abortions after 20 weeks. Meanwhile, NARAL Pro-Choice America is trying to turn that support into a liability for Republican Thom Tillis in a new ad, and the National Education Association hit Tillis on cuts to education funding.

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSunday shows - Recession fears dominate Lewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' Lewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel MORE’s (D) latest ad charges Republican Scott Brown would “force” women to look at color photos of developing fetuses before getting an abortion.

CO-SEN (UDALL): The Service Employees International Union launched a new Spanish-language ad hitting Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner for not supporting a hike in the minimum wage. Meanwhile, Gardner hit Sen. Mark Udall (D) for his committee absences, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee accused him of running a “negative, single-issue campaign.”

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee charges Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' Pelosi asks Democrats for 'leverage' on impeachment Democrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence MORE (R-Ky.) “has Washington working for him, and not us” in a new ad.

LA-SEN (LANDRIEU)/AR-SEN (PRYOR)/KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): American Crossroads launched ads targeting Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), the first of its $2.1 million buy for October; Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), part of a $2.5 million buy that began after Labor Day; and its first foray into the Kentucky Senate race with an ad tying Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes to President Obama, backed by a $1.2 million week-long buy.

GA-SEN (OPEN): Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn (D) hits Republican David Perdue on his comments in a legal deposition that he spent "most of my career" outsourcing jobs in a new ad. Meanwhile, Perdue ties Nunn to Obama in his own ad on job creation.

IA-SEN (OPEN): Republican Joni Ernst’s new ad is a positive spot that pledges she will “stop Washington’s runaway spending” and “support our veterans.”

OR-SEN (MERKLEY): Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyDemocratic senator and top Trump immigration official argue over asylum claims on Twitter Senate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility Senate Dem seeks answers from DHS on reports of pregnant asylum seekers sent back to Mexico MORE’s (D) new ad highlights his “middle class roots” and calls him a “dad who still struggles to clean the garage” — in which he plays ping-pong with one of his kids to close out the ad.

NRCC: The National Republican Congressional Committee launched ads targeting Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Ami Bera (D-Calif.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), William Enyart (D-Ill.), Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) and Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), as well as two ads aimed at shoring up Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and holding an open Iowa House seat.

CA-52 (PETERS): Republican Carl DeMaio calls himself a "proud, gay American" in a new ad pushing back against Democrats' attacks that he's a Tea Party candidate.

AZ-2 (BARBER): The conservative YG network released a new ad hitting incumbent Rep. Ron BarberRonald (Ron) Sylvester BarberKavanaugh nomination a make or break moment to repeal Citizens United Latina Leaders to Watch 2018 Principles and actions mean more than Jeff Flake’s words MORE (D-Ariz.) for supporting ObamaCare while praising Republican challenger Martha McSally for wanting to replace President Obama’s signature healthcare plan.

CA-21 (VALADAO): Amanda Renteria (D-Calif.) released a new ad touting the Fresno Bee’s endorsement of her over incumbent, Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.). The new ad follows Vice President Biden’s Tuesday campaign visit.

GA-12 (BARROW): A new ad from Rep. John BarrowJohn Jenkins BarrowRepublican wins Georgia secretary of state runoff to replace Kemp The most important runoff election is one you probably never heard of Our democracy can’t afford to cut legal aid services from the budget MORE (D-Ga.) trumpets the lawmaker’s work on veteran’s issues.

IL-17 (BUSTOS): Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosDCCC is out of step with Democratic values Climate report makes agri-business a target Farmers have to be part of climate solutions MORE (D-Ill.) released a new ad where she pitches her job-creation resume.

WI-1 (RYAN): Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanUSCIS chief Cuccinelli blames Paul Ryan for immigration inaction Soaring deficits could put Trump in a corner if there's a recession Paul Ryan moving family to Washington MORE says in his first campaign ad that it’s “time to clean house at the IRS.”

FL-18 (MURPHY): Rep. Patrick Murphy’s new ad features Republican voters and the lawmaker touting his independent voting record.

NY-18 (MALONEY): The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hits former Rep. Nan Hayworth with an ad that features clips of Hayworth calling herself a “radical.”

 

POLL POSITION

GA-SEN (OPEN): Republican David Perdue leads Democrat Michelle Nunn 45 percent to 43 percent with libertarian Amanda Swafford at 5 percent, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey.

MN-SEN (FRANKEN): Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFormer GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment Reid says he wishes Franken would run for Senate again MORE (D) leads Republican Mike McFadden 55 percent to 37 percent a new SurveyUSA/KSTP poll.

LA-5 (MCALLISTER): An independent poll conducted by Cygnal shows Democrat Jamie Mayo leading the field for Rep. Vance McAllister’s (R) seat with 19 percent of likely voters, while McAllister takes 17 percent and Republican Zach Dasher takes 13 percent support.

MI-SEN (OPEN): Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) leads former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R) 44 percent to 35 percent in a new Detroit News poll and 47 percent to 36 percent in a new poll from GOP firm MRG.

VA-SEN (WARNER): Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) leads former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie (R) 51 percent to 39 percent in a new poll from Christopher Newport University.

MA-6 (OPEN): A poll conducted by Garin-Hart-Yang for the Democratic House Majority PAC shows Democrat Seth Moulton drawing 43 percent support to Republican Richard Tisei’s 33 percent support, while independent Chris Stockwell takes 11 percent support.

NH-1 (SHEA-PORTER)/NH-2 (KUSTER): The latest WMUR Granite State Poll shows Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter leading GOP challenger Frank Guinta by 3 points and Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster trailing Republican Marilinda Garcia by 4 points.

 

FUNDRAISING FIGURES

NRSC: The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $15.5 million in September, a one-month record for the group.

MN-SEN (FRANKEN): Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) raised $4.2 million in the last quarter and has $2.75 million in the bank.

WV-SEN (OPEN): Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) raised more than $1.6 million in the third quarter and has $3.4 million cash on hand, her campaign announced Tuesday.

CO-SEN (UDALL): Colorado Republican Rep. Cory Gardner raised $4.35 million in the third fundraising quarter of the year, his campaign announced Tuesday, and had $3.3 million cash on hand at the close of the quarter.

NC-SEN (HAGAN): Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) hauled in $4.9 million in the last fundraising quarter.

WV-2 (OPEN): Republican Alex Mooney raised $604,000 in the third quarter for his bid for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R) seat.

CA-17 (HONDA): Rep. Mike Honda (D) raised $400,000 in the third quarter for his battle with Democratic challenger Ro Khanna.

 

2016 RUMBLINGS

CLINTON: Famously prescient investor Warren Buffett said that he believes former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump takes aim at media after 'hereby' ordering US businesses out of China Trump knocks news of CNN hiring ex-FBI official McCabe Taylor Swift says Trump is 'gaslighting the American public' MORE will run for president — and that she "is going to win" — at a conference held by Fortune magazine on Tuesday.

O'MALLEY: Just 19 percent of Maryland residents say their governor should run for president, compared to 65 percent who say Democrat Martin O'Malley should not, according to a poll by Goucher College in Maryland. 

HUCKABEE: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) will campaign in his home state this week for Republican Senate candidate Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonGOP senator says he suggested Greenland purchase to Trump, met with Danish ambassador It's time to empower military families with education freedom Cotton warns China: Crackdown on Hong Kong would be 'grave miscalculation' MORE, gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson, and 4th Congressional District candidate Bruce Westerman.

SANTORUM: Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) is hitting Michigan, Mississippi and Alabama this week to meet with local activists, attend a fundraiser in Mississippi and campaign for GOP House candidate Gary Palmer in Alabama.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

“People with Ebola in the US need to be humanely put down immediately.”

—Todd Kincannon, the former executive director of the South Carolina GOP, on Twitter