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 FrankenTrump's new labor chief alarms Democrats, unions Al Franken: It's time to start taking Trump 'literally' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Mexican officials scramble to avoid Trump tariffs 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 Ann WarrenNew CDC overdose estimates are nothing to celebrate 2020 Democrats react to 'send her back' chants at Trump rally Democratic Houston councilwoman announces Senate bid 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 - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Pompeo on Senate run: 'I always leave open the possibility that something will change' CNN's Cuomo spars with Kris Kobach over whether Trump's tweet was racist 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 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.), 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 McCainMeghan McCain promotes July 17 as #GBMday to raise awareness of father's cancer The peculiar priorities of Adam Schiff Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Lindsey Graham: 'Graham wants to bring back 1950s McCarthyism' MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate passes bill making hacking voting systems a federal crime Graham: Trump's attacks on minority congresswomen more 'narcissism' than racism Meghan McCain promotes July 17 as #GBMday to raise awareness of father's cancer 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 CantorGOP faces tough battle to become 'party of health care' 737 crisis tests Boeing's clout in Washington House Republicans find silver lining in minority MORE (R).

 

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KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton slams Trump rally: 'The time has come again' to fight for democracy Trump blasts minority Democrats, rally crowd chants 'send her back' The Memo: Democrats debate Trump response – 'Being righteous and losing sucks' MORE appears in a new Web ad for Alison Lundergan Grimes (D). Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Dems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Senate passes bill making hacking voting systems a federal crime 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 GrassleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Sanders mounts staunch defense of 'Medicare for All' | Biden, Sanders fight over health care heats up | House votes to repeal ObamaCare 'Cadillac Tax' | Dems want details on fetal tissue research ban Senate approves long-delayed tax treaties in win for business The peculiar priorities of Adam Schiff 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 PaulFirst responder calls senators blocking 9/11 victim funding 'a--holes' The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Jon Stewart rips into Rand Paul after he blocks 9/11 victim compensation fund: 'An abomination' 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 MerkleyDems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations Senate Democrat releasing book on Trump admin's treatment of migrants at border 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 WarnerTop Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Senate passes bill making hacking voting systems a federal crime Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency at hearing 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 KirkpatrickHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment The House Democrats who voted to kill impeachment effort House votes to kill impeachment effort against Trump 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 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 (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 political mess has legislators divided over meeting place Former GOP chairman Royce joins lobbying shop Lobbying world 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