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 FrankenHirono electrifies left as Trump antagonist Miss USA pageant winner celebrated for addressing 'Me Too' movement on stage NY man sentenced to prison for racist death threats to Obama, Waters 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 WarrenHere are the potential candidates still eyeing 2020 bids Sanders unveils education plan that would ban for-profit charter schools Warren policy ideas show signs of paying off 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 12:30 Report: Tough questions await Trump immigration plan Pat Robertson: Alabama 'has gone too far' with 'extreme' abortion law Pat Robertson on if Equality Act passes: The land will 'vomit you out' 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 HaganNorth Carolina businessman will challenge Tillis in GOP primary Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 NC state senator meets with DSCC as Dems eye challenge to Tillis 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 McCainMSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump Several factors have hindered 'next up' presidential candidates in recent years Small Florida county that backed Trump one of two targeted by Russians: reports MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump: Anonymous news sources are 'bulls---' Trump: 'Good chance' Dems give immigration 'win' after Pelosi called White House plan 'dead on arrival' The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition — Trump: GOP has `clear contrast' with Dems on immigration 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 ClintonWarren policy ideas show signs of paying off Biden at campaign kickoff event: I don't have to be 'angry' to win Top Dem: Trump helps GOP erase enthusiasm gap; Ohio a big problem MORE appears in a new Web ad for Alison Lundergan Grimes (D). Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Treasury rejects Dem subpoena for Trump tax returns | Companies warn trade war about to hit consumers | Congress, White House to launch budget talks next week | Trump gets deal to lift steel tariffs on Mexico, Canada Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act House Dem cites transgender grandson in voting for Equality Act 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 Defense: Trump rails against media coverage | Calls reporting on Iran tensions 'highly inaccurate' | GOP senator blocking Trump pick for Turkey ambassador | Defense bill markup next week Trump reaches deal to lift steel, aluminum tariffs on Mexico, Canada Top GOP senator blocking Trump's pick for Turkey ambassador 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 PaulUS ambassador to Germany ruffles State Department with budget stand Overnight Defense: Congressional leaders receive classified briefing on Iran | Trump on war: 'I hope not' | Key Republican calls threats credible | Warren plan targets corporate influence at Pentagon Rand Paul: Bolton is a 'malign influence' 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 MerkleyOvernight Energy: EPA watchdog finds Pruitt spent 4K on 'excessive' travel | Agency defends Pruitt expenses | Lawmakers push EPA to recover money | Inslee proposes spending T for green jobs Dems request investigation of lobbyist-turned-EPA employee who met with former boss This week: House to vote on bill to ban LGBTQ discrimination 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 WarnerOvernight Defense: Congressional leaders receive classified briefing on Iran | Trump on war: 'I hope not' | Key Republican calls threats credible | Warren plan targets corporate influence at Pentagon Key Republican 'convinced' Iran threats are credible Hillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group 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 Dems ask DHS to appoint 'crisis coordinator' at border Democrats introduce bill to let 'Dreamers' work for Congress Push for ‘Medicare for all’ worries centrist Dems 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 BegichFormer GOP chairman Royce joins lobbying shop Lobbying world Dem governors on 2020: Opposing Trump not enough 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