It didn’t take long after Ebola spread to the United States for it to spread to the campaign trail.

North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis (R) on Thursday became the first Senate candidate to weigh in on the news of the diagnosis of Ebola in the U.S., calling for a ban on travel from Ebola-affected nations.

“Keeping the American people safe must be our nation’s top priority, and the White House should immediately ban travel from from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to contain the spread of Ebola,” he said in a statement. “It makes absolutely no sense to risk more cases of Ebola in the United States by continuing to allow travel from Ebola-inflicted countries. It’s time for Washington to take action to protect the American people.”  

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He notably didn’t mention Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 GOP braces for Democratic spending onslaught in battle for Senate Democrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump MORE (D-N.C.) by name, only knocking “Washington.” A virus that’s caused the deaths of thousands globally is a tricky issue, and candidates must tackle the issue lightly lest they be accused of politicizing tragedy.

But he likely won’t be the last GOP candidate to press for solutions to the situation and hammer Washington, or perhaps the Obama administration, as some lawmakers in Washington have done. Before the disease even hit on U.S. soil, in August, Sen. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 Tom Cotton's only Democratic rival quits race in Arkansas Medicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 MORE (D-Ark.) ran an ad saying his GOP opponent, Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonAsian caucus urges fellow lawmakers not to 'perpetuate racist stereotypes' amid coronavirus fears Overnight Defense: More closures possible at US bases in Europe as coronavirus spreads | Pompeo says Afghan 'reduction in violence is working' | Man accused of trying to blow up vehicle at Pentagon Top general: More closures at US bases in Europe possible as coronavirus spreads MORE, “cut billions from our nation's medical disaster and emergency programs."

The outbreak offers Republicans yet another example of what they see as President Obama’s — and more broadly, the Democratic Party’s — incompetence, and another opportunity to frame themselves as an alternative option, offering solutions.

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN

AK-SEN (BEGICH): 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) and former Alaska Department of Natural Resources commissioner Dan Sullivan (R) met in their first general election debate, sparring over the fishing industry in Kodiak in front of an audience that leaned toward Begich.

Sullivan has jumped out to a lead in recent polls, and while the state is tricky to survey, some Democrats are getting worried that Begich is playing catch-up.

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) told donors at a closed-door fundraiser that the "best thing that could happen" to the Senate would be if Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Push for national popular vote movement gets boost from conservatives To avoid November catastrophe, Democrats have to KO Sanders MORE (R-Ky.) "gets beat and Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Hill's Campaign Report: Gloves off in South Carolina Democratic insiders stay on the sidelines in 2020 race Harry Reid calls for end to all caucuses MORE gets replaced,” suggesting Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Democratic mega-donor reaching out to Pelosi, Schumer in bid to stop Sanders: report Trump administration freezes funding for study of hurricane barriers: report MORE (D-N.Y.) would be a better majority leader.

OR-SEN (MERKLEY): Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain says Steyer should drop out: 'I hate that guy' Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman MORE (R-Ariz.) stumps for GOP candidate Monica Wehby as she attempts to rebound from plagiarism charges and close gap with Democratic Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyInterest rate caps are popular — for good reason Overnight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge Democratic senators criticize plan that could expand Arctic oil and gas development MORE.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): Independent Greg Orman has owned multiple million-dollar homes, a detail that prompted Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsRepublicans give Barr vote of confidence On the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Kobach says he discussed his Senate bid with Trump MORE's (R-Kan.) campaign to slam him as out of touch.

NC-SEN (HAGAN): North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis (R) is calling for a travel ban on countries that have been hit hard by Ebola.

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

LA-5 (MCALLISTER): The NRA endorsed Rep. Vance McAllister (R) for reelection.

MI-11 (BENTIVOLIO): Rep. Kerry BentivolioKerry BentivolioIndiana Republican: Leaders duped me Reindeer farmer saves 'cromnibus' with yes vote High drama as .1T spending package advances by one vote MORE (R-Mich.), who got crushed in his primary against businessman Dave Trott (R), will indeed run a write-in campaign. He’d told The Hill two weeks ago he was likely to.

 

AD WATCH

AK-SEN (BEGICH): A new ad for Republican Dan Sullivan fires back against “shameful” attacks from Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) that as attorney general he was lenient toward sex offenders, in which a woman he worked with says “offenders got longer prison sentences and abused women are getting the legal representation they need to restart their lives.”

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): American Crossroads is launching a $3 million ad blitz in the race later this month, having been “encouraged” by polling they’ve seen on the race.

CO-SEN (GARDNER): The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee continues its line of attacks on Rep. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Can Sanders be stopped? GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman Where do we go from here? Conservation can show the way MORE (R) for supporting a law to restrict access to abortions. Gardner pushes back against those attacks and touts his “four corners” policy plan.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): Independent Greg Orman blames Sen. Pat Roberts (R) for failing to support a plan to stop illegal immigrants from crossing into America.

IA-SEN (OPEN): American Crossroads is adding a week of airtime to its already considerable buy in Iowa, spending a total $4.5 million since July. A new Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ad charges Joni Ernst would keep tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas.

MI-SEN (OPEN): The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee claims that Republican Terri Lynn Land supports a Medicare plan that would adversely affect seniors.

Land attacks Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) on the auto industry.

N.C.-SEN (HAGAN): An anti-abortion-rights women’s group is out with an ad hitting Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) on late-term abortions.

SD-SEN (OPEN): Independent Larry Pressler launched two new ads, a bio spot and a spot touting his independence.

Every Voice Every Action went up with an ad hitting Republican Mike Rounds on the EB-5 Visa program.

NY-24 (MAFFEI): The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hits John Katko with two ads, one focused on his handling of an underage prostitution case as a federal prosecutor and one on Medicare.

AZ-2 (BARBER): The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hits Republican Martha McSally on Social Security.

CA-17 (BERA): Rep. Ami BeraAmerish (Ami) Babulal BeraLawmakers frustrated with lack of emergency funds for coronavirus Overnight Health Care — Presented by Philip Morris International — Trump officials to allow Medicaid block grants | WHO declares emergency over coronavirus | CDC reports first coronavirus case that spread in US WHO declares public health emergency over coronavirus MORE (D-Calif.) is out with a contrast ad attacking former Rep. Doug Ose (R-Calif.) on Social Security.

 

POLL POSITION

IA-SEN (OPEN): Republican Joni Ernst leads Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce Lowell Braley2020 caucuses pose biggest challenge yet for Iowa's top pollster OPINION | Tax reform, not Trump-McConnell feuds, will make 2018 a win for GOP Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward MORE (D) 50 percent to 41 percent in a new poll from GOP firm Gravis Marketing.


Braley has a 47 percent to 46 percent lead in a new poll from Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.

MI-SEN (OPEN): Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) leads former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R) 49 percent to 36 percent in a new poll from Mitchell Research for the local Fox affiliate.

N.J.-SEN (BOOKER): Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ) leads Republican challenger Jeff Bell 51 percent to 40 percent in a new poll from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

NY-21 (OPEN): A poll from GOP firm Harper Polling gives Republican Elise Stefanik 45 percent support and Democrat Aaron Woolf 37 percent support.

CA-3 (GARAMENDI): Rep. John GaramendiJohn Raymond GaramendiPeace Corps' sudden decision to leave China stirs blowback LA Mayor Eric Garcetti endorses Biden Impeachment battle lines harden ahead of pivotal week MORE (D-Calif.) leads Republican Dan Logue by 46 percent to 34 percent in an internal poll conducted for Garamendi's campaign by Democratic firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates. Logue recently released an internal poll with Garamendi up by a smaller margin.

FUNDRAISING FIGURES

FL-18 (MURPHY): Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) raised more than $1 million in the third quarter, his campaign said.

 

2016 RUMBLINGS

BUSH: Former President George W. Bush said he thinks his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), “wants to be president” in a Fox News interview.

BIDEN: Vice President Biden is stumping for Democrats in South Carolina later this month and will headline an event in Washington state supporting Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuA decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth Congress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ MORE (D-La.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenOvernight Health Care: Appeals court strikes down Medicaid work requirements | Pelosi's staff huddles with aides on surprise billing | Senate Dems pressure Trump to drop ObamaCare lawsuit Senate Democrats pressure Trump to drop ObamaCare lawsuit Trump under pressure to renew last nuke treaty with Russia MORE (D-N.H.), Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn and West Virginia Democratic Senate candidate Natalie Tennant
 next week.

CLINTON: Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDNC warns campaigns about cybersecurity after attempted scam Biden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Stone judge under pressure over calls for new trial MORE spoke of her new granddaughter to underscore the importance of giving women equal opportunities in the world during a speech to the Commercial Real Estate Women Network Convention on Thursday.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Make no mistake: these policies are on the ballot.  Every single one of them."

— President Obama, in comments that surely made red-state Democrats cringe 

Updated at 10:05 p.m.