Republicans were remarkably quiet on Monday following the Supreme Court's decision to let same-sex marriages proceed across the country.

The GOP is looking to avoid an issue the party once used to galvanize its base, with its candidates in red and purple states alike appearing as reticent as the high court itself to get involved in the debate.

Red-state Republicans including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellO'Rourke responds to Buttigieg's gun criticism: 'That calculation and fear is what got us here in the first place' Cicilline on Trump investigations versus legislation: 'We have to do both' The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation MORE (R-Ky.), Reps. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant Cotton2020 Democrats raise alarm about China's intellectual property theft Bolton returns to political group after exiting administration Meadows, Cotton introduce bill to prevent district judges from blocking federal policy changes MORE (R-Ark.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis (R) didn’t put out statements about the court's decision to not consider several challenges to state laws banning gay marriage. Their campaigns didn’t respond to requests for comment.

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Members of both parties are likely to be pushed on the issue in the coming days, with a plethora of debates on tap across the nation, and it's also unlikely to disappear from internal GOP debates: Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Sunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate Cruz on reported Kavanaugh allegations: There's nobody Democrats don't want to impeach MORE (R-Texas), a likely presidential contender, slammed the Supreme Court's move as "judicial activism at its worst," and many in the Republican base still strongly oppose gay marriage.

But it’s notable that Republicans aren’t going on offense on the issue even in those more conservative, religious states. McConnell, Cotton, Cassidy and Tillis seem as happy to avoid the issue as their opponents.

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): The Chamber of Commerce endorsed Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsHillicon Valley: Lawmakers ramp up Silicon Valley antitrust probe | Treasury sanctions North Korean cyber groups | Thiel to host Kobach fundraiser Ann Coulter, Peter Thiel slated to host fundraiser for Kobach's Senate bid: report Rep. Roger Marshall launches Kansas Senate bid MORE (R) on Monday, and his campaign announced Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will be stumping for the senator in the state this Thursday. 

Meanwhile, a new report outlining the varied sources of independent Greg Orman’s wealth — including a failed investment in a Nevada shrimp farm that sought federal loan guarantees — brought new scrutiny to the candidate’s finances. And in an interview with NBC News, Orman said he could “absolutely” switch parties if he’s elected to the Senate this fall.

GA-SEN (OPEN): Businessman David Perdue (R) said he was “proud” of his business career, seeking to redefine the term "outsourcing" following revelations that he’d said he’d “spent most of my career” doing it.

“Defend it? I’m proud of it,” he said on the campaign trail on Monday. “This is a part of American business, part of any business. Outsourcing is the procurement of products and services to help your business run. People do that all day.”

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): A leaked video shows a staffer of Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes’s campaign and local Democratic Party operatives speculating that the candidate's proclamation that she’s pro-coal is simply political posturing to get elected. 

OR-SEN (MERKLEY): Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGun control: Campaigning vs. legislating Booker defends middle-ground health care approach: 'We're going to fight to get there' Democrats spar over electoral appeal of 'Medicare for All' MORE (D-Mass.) returned to Oregon to stump for Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare Overnight Energy: Democrats call for Ross to resign over report he threatened NOAA officials | Commerce denies report | Documents detail plan to decentralize BLM | Lawmakers demand answers on bee-killing pesticide Oregon Democrats push EPA to justify use of pesticide 'highly toxic' to bees MORE (D). Vice President Biden is headed to the state later this week to stump with the senator as well.

CO-SEN (UDALL): Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallPoll: Trump trails three Democrats by 10 points in Colorado The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Colorado candidates vying to take on Gardner warn Hickenlooper they won't back down MORE (D-Colo.) stood by his vote for ObamaCare and expressed support for a carbon tax, and also admitted to voting for cuts to Medicare Advantage in his second debate with Rep. Cory GardnerCory Scott Gardner The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Bolton returns to political group after exiting administration The Hill's Morning Report — Trump's hurricane forecast controversy won't go away MORE (R). Gardner drew fire from Democrats for saying he didn’t support the government shutdown and for expressing support for the DREAM Act, which he’s previously opposed.

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Former President Clinton rallied with Sen. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.) and other Democrats in Arkansas on Monday, saying the elections weren’t about President Obama.

IA-SEN (OPEN): First lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson Obama2020 is not a family affair, for a change Former speechwriter says Michelle Obama came up with 'when they go low we go high' line CBC marks 400th anniversary of slaves' arrival in US MORE, Vice President Biden and former presidential nominee Mitt Romney (R) are all heading to Iowa to help their sides in a tough Senate race there.

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenOvernight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine Defense spending bill advances over Democratic wall objections Democrats ramp up calls to investigate NOAA MORE (D) painted Republican Scott Brown as untrustworthy on issues in their first debate, hammering him on his record on job creation, immigration reform and women’s access to contraceptives. Brown tied Shaheen to President Obama at every opportunity, and declared himself to be the independent in the race.

SD-SEN (OPEN): Mayday PAC is reportedly purchasing airtime in South Dakota to run ads backing long-shot Democratic Senate candidate Rick Weiland.

VA-SEN (WARNER): Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLiz Cheney says world is more stable, 'safer' under Trump Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate Paul calls into Wyoming TV station to talk Cheney feud MORE (R-Ky.) will campaign with Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie next Wednesday, Gillespie’s campaign announced.

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

DCCC: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is in retrenchment mode, shifting its ad spending plans to protect vulnerable incumbents and double down on a few top pickup opportunities, moving money away from a number of districts it had once hoped to target.

According to details shared with The Hill, the committee is adding resources to protect vulnerable Reps. William Enyart (D-Ill.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) and Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.) and add more resources to target Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Iowa's open 3rd District seat.

Democrats are waving the white flag in protecting the seat of retiring Rep. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.) and cutting ad reservations that had been planned to support filmmaker Aaron Woolf (D) against former Bush administration staffer Elise Stefanik (R). The DCCC is also giving up on targeting Reps. David Valadao (R-Calif.) and Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), canceling reservations in their districts for the final two weeks of the campaign, and cutting loose a number of other open-seat targets.

Meanwhile, House Democratic strategists are frustrated that key outside groups are putting their money into the fight for the Senate, leaving House campaigns starved for cash.

NH-2 (KUSTER): After Republican Marilinda Garcia wouldn’t say whether she’d back John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBoehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush Meadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader Scaramucci compares Trump to Jonestown cult leader: 'It's like a hostage crisis inside the White House' MORE for Speaker — despite the fact he traveled to the state to raise money for her campaign — New Hampshire Republicans are reportedly hearing national Republicans won’t be spending on her race in the final month of the campaign.

IL-12 (ENYART): Republican Mike Bost is facing questions about a three-decade-old incident in which he shot a beagle that had mauled his daughter the day before. 

VA-10 (OPEN): Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust (D) celebrated the Supreme Court’s punt on gay marriage, which legalized it in the state, calling it "a significant step forward towards ending discrimination in Virginia and across the country."

VA-7 (OPEN): Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will stump with Dave Brat, the Republican who defeated former House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorEmbattled Juul seeks allies in Washington GOP faces tough battle to become 'party of health care' 737 crisis tests Boeing's clout in Washington MORE (R-Va.) in his primary, next Wednesday.

 

AD WATCH

AR-SEN (PRYOR): A new ad from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee features a woman recounting her experience with domestic violence and calling Rep. Tom Cotton’s (R) vote against the Violence Against Women Act “upsetting.”

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown is continuing to hammer Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) on national security with a new ad tying the senator to President Obama.

TN-SEN (ALEXANDER): Democrat Gordon Ball hits Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar Alexander The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Liberal group urges Senate panel to vote against Scalia as Labor secretary Suburban anxiety drives GOP on guns MORE (R) as “out of tune with the voters of Tennessee” in his first attack ad, which features a clip of Alexander playing the piano.

AZ-2 (BARBER): Republican Martha McSally’s new ads tout her military experience and portray 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) as weak on terrorism, and make her pitch to Hispanic voters in Spanish.

AZ-9 (SINEMA): Republican Wendy Rogers uses footage from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's (ISIS) video of a beheading to paint freshman Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) as soft on terror in a new ad, and touts her own military experience in another positive new ad. Meanwhile, Sinema touts her support for Social Security and Medicare.

WV-3 (RAHALL): Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) Manchin The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Trump, lawmakers consider app that would conduct background checks: report Conservatives offer stark warning to Trump, GOP on background checks MORE (D-W.Va.) decries the “lies being told on TV against” 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), whom he calls a “straight-shooter” and says works with him “to fight the Obama administration’s war on coal.”

CAMPAIGN COMMITTEES: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched new ads hitting Republican candidates Tom MacArthur, Carl DeMaio, Marilinda Garcia, David Young and Bobby Schilling and GOP Reps. Rodney Davis (Ill.) and Lee Terry (Neb.).

The National Republican Congressional Committee attacks Democratic candidates Andrew Romanoff, Brad Ashford and Rep. Pete GallegoPete Pena GallegoGOP candidate scores upset win in Texas state Senate runoff Koch group launches digital ads in tight Texas House race Iraq War vet wins Texas Dem runoff MORE (D-Texas).

MN-8 (NOLAN): Businessman Stewart Mills’s (R) latest ad features a local Minnesota mother who blames her family’s loss of healthcare coverage on ObamaCare.

OUTSIDE GROUPS: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched Spanish-language ads featuring former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) touting the Senate candidacy of Reps. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and backing Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.) and Arizona House candidate Martha McSally (R).

Democratic House Majority PAC released new ads attacking Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) and the GOP opponents of Reps. Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickSwing-seat Democrats oppose impeachment, handing Pelosi leverage McSally gets new primary challenger Two Democrats vow to press forward on Trump impeachment MORE (D-Ariz.), Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), Ami BeraAmerish (Ami) Babulal BeraSeniors deserve access to Health Savings Accounts Democratic lawmakers support Bustos after DCCC resignations Overnight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran MORE (D-Calif.), David Rivera (D-Fla.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).

 

POLL POSITION

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes takes 46 percent to Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) 44 percent support among likely voters in the latest Bluegrass poll, conducted by SurveyUSA.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): Independent Greg Orman leads Sen. Pat Robert (R-Kan.) by 10 points in a new NBC News/Marist poll.

IA-SEN (OPEN): 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-Iowa) and Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) are tied at 42 percent apiece in a new Loras College poll. A new Marist poll gives Ernst a two-point lead, 46-44 percent, among likely voters.

NC-SEN (HAGAN): A new Marist poll gives 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) 44 percent support among likely voters to Republican Thom Tillis’s 40 percent support.

MI-SEN (OPEN): Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) leads former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R) 49 percent to 42 percent in a new automated poll from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling conducted for the League of Conservation Voters, which is backing Peters. 

MT-SEN (OPEN)/MT-AL (OPEN): Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) leads Democrat Amanda Curtis 54 percent to 41 percent in their Senate race, according to a new poll from Gravis Marketing. In the race for Daines’s statewide House seat, Republican Ryan Zinke leads Democrat John Lewis 51 percent to 41 percent.

NJ-3 (OPEN): An internal poll conducted for Republican Tom MacArthur’s campaign showed him leading Democrat Aimee Belgard 44 percent to 37 percent among likely voters.

FL-2 (SOUTHERLAND): An internal poll conducted for Rep. Steve Southerland’s (R) campaign shows him leading Democrat Gwen Graham among likely voters, 45 percent to 39 percent. Meanwhile, Graham released an internal of her own showing her up 3 points, 48 percent to 45 percent.

 

FUNDRAISING FIGURES

MT-SEN (OPEN): Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) raised $1.8 million in the last quarter and has $1.6 million in the bank, his campaign announced Monday.

NY-21 (OPEN): Republican Elise Stefanik reported raising $700,000 in the third quarter, while Democrat Aaron Woolf’s campaign says he raised $800,000, though it’s unclear how much of that came from his own pocket.

FL-2 (SOUTHERLAND): Rep. Steve Southerland’s (R) campaign says he raised $620,000 in the third quarter of this year, a significant improvement from his $430,000 second-quarter haul.

 

2016 RUMBLINGS

POLLS: A new McClatchy-Marist poll gives former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush a slight lead in the prospective 2016 presidential field, with 15 percent support. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThree-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate Krystal Ball touts Sanders odds in Texas Republicans pour cold water on Trump's term limit idea MORE (R-Wis.) come in second with 13 percent each, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie takes 12 percent. The rest of the field fails to crack double digits.

CRUZ: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) slammed the Supreme Court for declining to hear appeals on lower court rulings that overturn same-sex marriage bans, calling the justices’ move “tragic and indefensible.” He was one of the few top Republicans to weigh in on the move.

PAUL: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Breitbart that “a hypothetical candidate that’s for Common Core probably doesn’t have much chance of winning in a Republican primary” — a veiled jab at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R ), one of the party’s more outspoken defenders of the educational standards.

JINDAL: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) attacked President Obama for the defense cuts that have occurred during his time in office and proposed a plan to boost the Pentagon’s funding in a Washington, D.C., speech.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

"To think that I don't support women's rights and ability to get contraception is just a false premise ... I have since I was 18 years old."

—New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown during his first debate with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D)