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 Hagan10 under-the-radar races to watch in November The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations Democrats awash with cash in battle for Senate 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 PryorCotton glides to reelection in Arkansas Live updates: Democrats fight to take control of the Senate Lobbying world MORE (D-Ark.) ran an ad saying his GOP opponent, Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonSenate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Overnight Defense: Biden inaugurated as 46th president | Norquist sworn in as acting Pentagon chief | Senate confirms Biden's Intel chief McConnell faces conservative backlash over Trump criticism 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 Senate race sees cash surge in final stretch Alaska group backing independent candidate appears linked to Democrats Sullivan wins Alaska Senate GOP primary 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 McConnellBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear McConnell faces conservative backlash over Trump criticism MORE (R-Ky.) "gets beat and Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSchumer becomes new Senate majority leader Biden faces tall order in uniting polarized nation Senators vet Mayorkas to take lead at DHS MORE gets replaced,” suggesting Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSchumer becomes new Senate majority leader US Chamber of Commerce to Biden, Congress: Business community 'ready to help' Why pretend senators can 'do impartial justice'? MORE (D-N.Y.) would be a better majority leader.

OR-SEN (MERKLEY): Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Schumer becomes new Senate majority leader Trump is gone, a political pariah — but with influence MORE (R-Ariz.) stumps for GOP candidate Monica Wehby as she attempts to rebound from plagiarism charges and close gap with Democratic Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySenate Democrats make democracy reform first bill of new majority Senate Democrats leery of nixing filibuster Biden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs MORE.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): Independent Greg Orman has owned multiple million-dollar homes, a detail that prompted Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsSenate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes Window quickly closing for big coronavirus deal Trump's controversial Fed nominee stalled after Senate setback 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 GardnerOvernight Defense: Joint Chiefs denounce Capitol attack | Contractors halt donations after siege | 'QAnon Shaman' at Capitol is Navy vet Lobbying world Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes 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 BeraScars of Capitol attack permeate high-security inauguration Hillicon Valley: Judge's ruling creates fresh hurdle for TikTok | House passes bills to secure energy sector against cyberattacks | Biden campaign urges Facebook to remove Trump posts spreading 'falsehoods' House passes bills to secure energy sector against cyberattacks 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 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) 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 GaramendiReport on military aviation crashes faults lack of training, 'chronic fatigue' Wuhan is the final straw: The world needs to divest from China GOP seizes on 'defund the police' to galvanize base 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 LandrieuCassidy wins reelection in Louisiana Bottom line A decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth MORE (D-La.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenBipartisan group of senators: The election is over Seven Senate races to watch in 2022 How Congress dismissed women's empowerment 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 ClintonBiden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear Schumer becomes new Senate majority leader Clinton says it meant 'great deal' to hold inauguration weeks after riot 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.