Everyone hoping for definitive answers on election night had better hope things aren’t as close as they look in a number of Senate races.

The closer the race, the more likely one side or the other pushes for a recount — and the more likely it becomes that Senate control could be decided in the courts rather than at the ballot box.

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A Georgia judge ruled on Tuesday against civil rights groups pushing to force 40,000 newly registered voters onto the voting rolls, most of them African-Americans and Hispanics. The move could hurt Democratic turnout — and because those voters will have to vote provisionally, it increases the likelihood of chaos and questions on Election Day and potential legal challenges from both sides in a close contest.

Much attention has been paid to potential runoffs in Georgia and Louisiana. But there’s a real chance we could see a repeat of what happened with Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenGOP Senate candidate says Trump, Republicans will surprise in Minnesota Peterson faces fight of his career in deep-red Minnesota district Getting tight — the psychology of cancel culture MORE’s (D-Minn.) narrow victory in 2008 — a protracted legal fight — with control of the Senate at stake. 

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN

GA-SEN (OPEN): A Georgia judge ruled against civil rights groups pushing to force 40,000 newly registered voters onto the voting rolls, most of them African-Americans and Hispanics. The move could hurt Democratic turnout in the state and lead to later legal fights.

N.H.-SEN (SHAHEEN): To hear Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Democratic senators ask inspector general to investigate IRS use of location tracking service MORE (D-Mass.) tell it, New Hampshire voters have a choice between an incumbent senator from Vermont and her former Republican foe in Massachusetts on the ballot next Tuesday.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): The Tea Party Patriots is endorsing Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Washington on edge amid SCOTUS vacancy The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Trump seeks to flip 'Rage' narrative; Dems block COVID-19 bill GOP senators say coronavirus deal dead until after election MORE (R-Kan.), a boost for the incumbent as he struggles to shore up conservative support for his reelection bid. 

SD-SEN (OPEN): National Democrats and national Republicans are reportedly scaling back or completely cutting their planned ad buys in Republican Mike Rounds's race in South Dakota as polling shows him regaining a comfortable lead. 

NC-SEN (HAGAN): Democrats are going to need their vaunted ground game to help close out for Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations Democrats awash with cash in battle for Senate The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's job approval erodes among groups that powered his 2016 victory MORE (D-N.C.), whose lead in public polls has been erased.

North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis (R) will be joined by former White House nominee Mitt Romney (R) on the campaign trail Wednesday. He stumped with Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainAnalysis: Biden victory, Democratic sweep would bring biggest boost to economy The Memo: Trump's strengths complicate election picture Mark Kelly: Arizona Senate race winner should be sworn in 'promptly' MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Key Democrat opposes GOP Section 230 subpoena for Facebook, Twitter, Google MORE (R-S.C.) on Tuesday.

OUTSIDE GROUPS: The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity launched a get-out-the-vote campaign on Tuesday with NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer is turning to actor Woody Harrelson and director Darren Aronofsky in a new ad urging voters to “take the fight against climate change to the ballot box.”

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

GOP: Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) is predicting his party will pick up a dozen seats in the House and regain control of the Senate.

VA-7 (OPEN): A small liberal arts college in a typically placid Virginia town is buzzing with talk about the ballot box as two professors there vie for the House seat most recently held by former Rep. Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorThe Hill's Campaign Report: Florida hangs in the balance Eric Cantor teams up with former rival Dave Brat in supporting GOP candidate in former district Bottom line MORE (R).

 

AD WATCH:

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio Trump, Biden court Black business owners in final election sprint The power of incumbency: How Trump is using the Oval Office to win reelection MORE appears in a new Web ad for Alison Lundergan Grimes (D). Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power MORE (R-Ky.) took an unusually comical tack in his latest ad.

The pro-McConnell Kentucky Opportunity Coalition ties Grimes to Obama in a new ad, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s latest ad features a teacher hitting McConnell on job creation and the minimum wage.

IA-SEN (OPEN): Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power The Hill's 12:30 Report: Ginsburg lies in repose Top GOP senators say Hunter Biden's work 'cast a shadow' over Obama Ukraine policy MORE (R-Iowa) touts Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst’s (R) “Iowa knows best” worldview in a new ad for Ernst.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Rand Paul says he can't judge 'guilt or innocence' in Breonna Taylor case Overnight Health Care: Health officials tell public to trust in science | Despair at CDC under Trump influence | A new vaccine phase 3 trial starts MORE’s (R-Ky.) political action committee launched a six-figure advertising buy boosting Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).

NC-SEN (HAGAN): The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee hits North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis (R) on education.

GA-SEN (OPEN): Former charity executive Michelle Nunn’s (D) campaign is out with a four-minute Web ad featuring former workers from Pillowtex, a company that closed after businessman David Perdue (R) left as CEO, talking about the damage it did to their town. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List hit Perdue on outsourcing.

OR-SEN (MERKLEY): Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump, Biden renew push for Latino support Sunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response Oregon senator says Trump's blame on 'forest management' for wildfires is 'just a big and devastating lie' MORE (D-Ore.), whose race has been a rare bright spot for Democrats in a tough cycle, is launching a positive closing spot as a new independent poll shows him with a huge lead over Republican Monica Wehby.

VA-SEN (WARNER): Republican Ed Gillespie accuses Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerFBI director casts doubt on concerns over mail-in voting fraud Democrats call for declassifying election threats after briefing by Trump officials It's time to upgrade benefits MORE (D-Va.) of breaching ethics in a new ad.

AZ-02 (BARBER): A worker at a local energy plant, who's identified as a Republican, endorses 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.) and touts his work to defend local jobs and keep electricity costs down. 

FL-26 (GARCIA): Republican Carlos Curbelo says "money and corruption" is "not just a history lesson, it's our politicians today," and says children inspire him as he walks through a busy classroom.

MI-11 (OPEN): Democrat Bobby McKenzie hits “foreclosure king” Dave Trott (R) in a new ad featuring a woman whose home he foreclosed on.

NY-18 (MALONEY): Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney's (D-N.Y.) latest ad features former President Clinton endorsing him.

CAMPAIGN COMMITTEES: The National Republican Congressional Committee launched its final round of new ads of the election cycle, most featuring President Obama. They attack Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), William Enyart (D-Ill.), Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickArizona Rep. Tom O'Halleran wins Democratic primary Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick wins Democratic primary Cook shifts 20 House districts toward Democrats MORE (D-Ariz.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), 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.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) and Nick RahallNick Joe RahallWe shouldn't allow politics to impede disaster relief Break the cycle of partisanship with infant, child health care programs Clinton mulls role in 2018 midterms MORE (D-W.Va.), as well as the Democrat targeting retiring Rep. Tom Latham's (R-Iowa) seat.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hit Rep. Rick Nolan’s (D-Minn.) opponent for his wealth and tied Rep. Scott Peters’s (D-Calif.) opponent to the Tea Party.

OUTSIDE GROUPS: The GOP-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund and American Action Network released their final House TV salvo of the 2014 elections, including an ad driving a wedge between Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her former staffer, Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.). Other spots target  Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), William Enyart (D-Ill.), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), and the Democrats running for an open New Jersey seat and against Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.).

The Democratic-aligned House Majority PAC released new ads hitting Reps. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Southerland, as well as the GOP opponents of Reps. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) and Ann Kuster (D-N.H.).

 

POLL POSITION

SD-SEN (OPEN): A Monmouth University poll gives Republican Mike Rounds 45 percent support, Democrat Rick Weiland 31 percent support and independent Larry Pressler 19 percent support among likely voters.

GA-SEN (OPEN): Republican David Perdue leads Democrat Michelle Nunn 48 percent to 45 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll.

IA-SEN (OPEN): A new Loras College poll shows Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce Lowell BraleyThe Memo: Trump attacks on Harris risk backfiring 2020 caucuses pose biggest challenge yet for Iowa's top pollster OPINION | Tax reform, not Trump-McConnell feuds, will make 2018 a win for GOP MORE (D-Iowa) leading Republican Joni Ernst 45 percent to 44 percent. 

VA-SEN (WARNER): Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) leads Republican Ed Gillespie by 45 percent to 32 percent.

OR-SEN (MERKLEY): Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) leads Republican Monica Wehby by 19 points in a new independent poll.

AK-SEN (BEGICH): A poll from GOP firm Ivan Moore Research gives Sen. Mark BegichMark Peter BegichAlaska group backing independent candidate appears linked to Democrats Sullivan wins Alaska Senate GOP primary Alaska political mess has legislators divided over meeting place MORE (D-Alaska) 48 percent support to Republican Dan Sullivan's 42 percent support.

NE-02 (TERRY): A poll conducted by Democratic firm DFM gives Democrat Brad Ashford 46 percent support to Rep. Lee Terry's (R-Neb.) 41 percent support.

NY-24 (MAFFEI): A Siena College poll gives Republican John Katko a 10-point lead over Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei, 52 percent to 42 percent.

NH-01 (SHEA-PORTER)/NH-02 (KUSTER): A New England College poll shows Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter trailing Republican Frank Guinta, 43 percent to 49 percent support, and Democratic Rep. Anne Kuster leading Republican Marilinda Garcia, 49 percent to 42 percent.

 

2016 RUMBLINGS

PALIN: Sarah Palin said on Tuesday that she is "hopefully running for office in the future,” although she didn’t offer insight as to what office she planned on seeking. 

O’MALLEY: The New York Times takes a look at the one-time ally to Hillary Clinton that could make a bid to challenge her in 2016.

ROMNEY: Former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) said he wants Mitt Romney to run for president again.

PERRY: During a Monday night event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) skirted the question of whether he will run for president again in 2016.

WARREN: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) hit New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) for his response to the Ebola crisis.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

"I've been sued lots of times before. Get in line. I'm happy to take it on."

—New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) defending his quarantine of a nurse returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa, and dismissing her planned legal action against him