The progressive angst with 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 is well-documented, but a trove of emails from a private members-only Google group for progressives called “Gamechanger Salon” reveals just how deep that angst goes.

The group was billed as a forum for its nearly 1,500 members — including high-level operatives like Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, journalists like the Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim and movement leaders like NARAL President Ilyse Hogue — to debate issues and craft messaging campaigns.

The use of the listserve was varied, and many of its more prominent members, including Hogue, Grim and Lake, had no engagement in the debate over Clinton's candidacy. But a review of hundreds of emails obtained by The Hill did indicate Clinton has a long way to go to mend fences more broadly with the progressive wing of the party.

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“The establishment Dems need to be punished, and the best way for that to happen is for Warren to beat Hillary in the primary on a populist message,” one activist wrote in an email.

“I have little respect for decisions Sec. Clinton has made in her career and I have a different value set from her,” another declared.

The emails spanned more than a year, starting in June of 2013 through July of this year, but members of the listserve said in interviews this week those sentiments remain the same. And they confirmed that, if Clinton doesn’t take steps to assuage some of progressives’ concerns, she may face trouble at the ballot box if she does run in 2016.

“There’s a danger of progressives tuning out” if Clinton wins the nomination, said Mike Lux, a prominent Democratic strategist and former Clinton aide, in an interview.

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN

RNC: Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer came to the defense of Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, touting her as a “working mother” and slamming the White House for recent reports that President Obama has a frosty relationship with the chairwoman. "What the White House and what others are doing, throwing her under the bus, if they don't like the job they're doing they should respectfully ask her to step down, but treating her this way is just really not something that should be done,” he said.

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the president has “strong confidence” in Wasserman Schultz. "I don't anticipate, at this point, any reason to change that," Earnest said when asked if she should serve until January 2017.

ABORTION: Anti-abortion activists are pledging to turn the Senate red with help from a federal investigation finding that ObamaCare subsidies could be paying for abortions.

AK-SEN (BEGICH): 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) opposes a short-term government funding bill because it authorizes arming Syrian rebels.

“This issue with what’s going on in Syria should be a separate issue, should be debated separately,” he said. “I do not support the arming of rebels in Syria. ... This kind of artificial threat that [the government] might be shut down if we don’t vote in a certain way in regards to the government is just not factual,” Begich told The Hill. “The CR is going to pass.”

Republican Dan Sullivan fired back, saying Begich was hurting the policy debate “by only focusing on what we shouldn't do and taking options off the table.”

“This encourages our enemies. Saying no to everything is not foreign policy. Inaction and signaling to our adversaries what we won’t do has its own consequences,” he said.

Begich also voted against an border security amendment from Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Cruz blocks amended resolution honoring Ginsburg over language about her dying wish Trump argues full Supreme Court needed to settle potential election disputes MORE (R-Texas) that other vulnerable Democrats broke with the party to vote for.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday to grant Democrat Chad Taylor’s request to be removed from the Kansas Senate ballot, dealing a blow to 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’s (R-Kan.) chances for reelection this fall as he faces a surging independent candidate. Meanwhile, independent Greg Orman faced questions about his ties to a business associate, whom he called a “friend,” who was convicted of insider trading.

OR-SEN (MERKLEY): Oregon Republican candidate Monica Wehby is caught in a plagiarism scandal surrounding both her healthcare and economic policy plans, which appear to have been copied from multiple sources.

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Rep. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump stokes fears over November election outcome The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Abortion stirs GOP tensions in Supreme Court fight MORE (R-Ark.) has brought on Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a seasoned operative and daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), as a campaign adviser. Huckabee endorsed Cotton’s primary opponent in 2012.

MN-SEN (FRANKEN): The Progressive Campaign Change Committee endorsed 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 (D-Minn.).

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

DCCC: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $10.2 million in August and this week topped $150 million raised for the cycle, surpassing the committee’s 2012 pace.

WV-03 (RAHALL): The National Rifle Association endorsed Rep. 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) over state Sen. Evan Jenkins (R), saying the West Virginia congressman has "consistently opposed all attempts to ban lawfully-owned firearms and magazines" and "stood strong against President Obama and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun control agenda."

MA-06 (OPEN): The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has named Rep. John Tierney’s (D-Mass.) successful primary challenger, Seth Moulton, to its list of top-tier candidates.

LA-05 (MCALLISTER): The chief of staff for Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated Friday night, according to local media reports. McAllister said he was “disappointed” in Adam Terry and that he was home with his family in the district.

OUTSIDE GROUPS: The League of Conservation Voters Action Fund endorsed Reps. Ami BeraAmerish (Ami) Babulal BeraThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: iBIO Chairman and CEO Thomas Isett says developing a safe vaccine is paramount; US surpasses 150,000 coronavirus deaths with roughy one death per minute Democrats fear US already lost COVID-19 battle Karen Bass's star rises after leading police reform push MORE (D-Calif.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.) and Pete GallegoPete Pena Gallego4 Texas GOP congressional primary runoffs to watch GOP candidate scores upset win in Texas state Senate runoff Koch group launches digital ads in tight Texas House race MORE (D-Texas).

 

AD WATCH

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes launched an emotional minute-long ad featuring her grandmother to hit 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.) on Medicare.

But McConnell's deep warchest has enabled him to respond to his opponent's ads almost in real-time, and his campaign launched, just hours later, a new ad featuring an elderly Kentucky couple touting the senator's work to sort out their Medicare benefits.

SD-SEN (OPEN): Every Voice Action is spending $200,000 on an ad attacking former Gov. Mike Rounds (R) on the EB-5 visa scandal. "Rounds gave his friend a no-bid contract to sell EB-5 green cards to the highest bidder. Now, there's half-million dollars unaccounted for ... and taxpayers are left with millions in EB-5 liability,” the ad declares.

NC-SEN (HAGAN): 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.) released a radio ad focused on turning out African-Americans for early voting that hits North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis (R) on education.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): Independent Greg Orman decries Sen. Pat Roberts’s (R) attacks as “exactly what’s wrong with Washington today,” and pledges to answer “only to the people of Kansas.”

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is firing back at those criticizing his vote against the farm bill with a new spot saying he opposed it because of food stamp provisions.

OR-SEN (MERKLEY): Freedom Partners Action Fund calls 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) “just another paper-thin politician.”

IA-SEN (OPEN): Sierra Club Independent Action has bought almost $1 million in Iowa TV time.

MI-SEN (OPEN): The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ties former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R) to the Koch brothers and slams them for closing a Michigan particle board plant, laying off workers.

NH-01 (SHEA-PORTER)/NH-02 (KUSTER): Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's (D) gun control group Americans for Responsible Solutions is hitting New Hampshire 1st District GOP nominee Frank Guinta and 2nd District GOP nominee Marilinda Garcia for their opposition to gun control measures.

AZ-09 (SINEMA): Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) touts her votes against congressional pay raises and push for a measure to tie congressional salaries to passing a budget.

CA-17 (BERA): Former Rep. Doug Ose (R-Calif.) hits Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) on California’s ongoing water crisis in a new ad.

IA-3 (OPEN): The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee accuses “Washington insider” David Young (R) of wanting to raise taxes on the middle class.

 

POLL POSITION

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): Pick your poll: Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSenate Democrats introduce bill to sanction Russians over Taliban bounties Trump-backed candidate wins NH GOP Senate primary to take on Shaheen Democratic senator urges Trump to respond to Russian aggression MORE (D) leads Republican Scott Brown by 11 points in a poll of registered voters conducted by New England College, taking 51 percent to Brown’s 40 percent support. In another, conducted by GOP pollster Vox Populi, Brown leads Shaheen 47 percent to 43 percent among registered voters.

CO-SEN (MERKLEY): Rep. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerBillionaire who donated to Trump in 2016 donates to Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Cook Political Report shifts Colorado Senate race toward Democrat MORE (R-Colo.) has an 8-point lead over Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallThe 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Democratic presidential race comes into sharp focus Democrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump MORE (D-Colo.) in a new poll from Quinnipiac University.

NY-01 (BISHOP): A Siena College poll gives Rep. Tim BishopTimothy (Tim) Howard BishopDem candidate 'struck by the parallels' between Trump's rise and Hitler's Dems separated by 29 votes in NY House primary Flint residents hire first K Street firm MORE (D) a 10-point lead over state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R) with likely voters, 51 percent to 41 percent, with 8 percent undecided.

CA-52 (PETERS): Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) edges Republican Carl DeMaio 47 percent to 46 percent in a new automated poll conducted by SurveyUSA.

 

2016 RUMBLINGS

CLINTON: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday slammed Congress as “living in an evidence-free zone” and called for voters to turn women’s issues into a “political movement.”

CHRISTIE: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) blasted a panel investigating the closures on the George Washington Bridge. "It's absolutely not true and it is a completely, a completely partisan act to be doing the leaking that they are doing," he said in response questions about claims that his attorneys, citing executive privilege, weren’t handing over some documents.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Democrats, we don't win elections in Kansas. Republicans lose elections."

—Former Kansas Gov. Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusSpecial counsel investigating DeVos for potential Hatch Act violation: report The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mike Roman says 3M on track to deliver 2 billion respirators globally and 1 billion in US by end of year; US, Pfizer agree to 100M doses of COVID-19 vaccine that will be free to Americans The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former HHS Secretary Sebelius gives Trump administration a D in handling pandemic; Oxford, AstraZeneca report positive dual immunity results from early vaccine trial MORE (D) on Sen. Pat Roberts’s (R-Kan.) reelection chances 

—This piece was updated to clarify members of "Gamechanger Salon" actively engaged in the debate over Clinton's candidacy.