Senate races

CAMPAIGN OVERNIGHT: GOP silent on gay marriage move

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 McConnell (R-Ky.), Reps. Tom Cotton (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.

{mosads}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 Cruz (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 Roberts (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 Warren (D-Mass.) returned to Oregon to stump for Sen. Jeff Merkley (D). Vice President Biden is headed to the state later this week to stump with the senator as well.

CO-SEN (UDALL): Sen. Mark Udall (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 Gardner (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 Pryor (D-Ark.) and other Democrats in Arkansas on Monday, saying the elections weren’t about President Obama.

IA-SEN (OPEN): First lady Michelle Obama, 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 Shaheen (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 Paul (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 Boehner 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 Cantor (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 Alexander (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 Barber (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 Manchin (D-W.Va.) decries the “lies being told on TV against” Rep. Nick Rahall (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 Gallego (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 Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), Ami Bera (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 Braley (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 Hagan (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 Ryan (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)  

Tags Ami Bera Ann Kirkpatrick Boehner Bruce Braley Cory Gardner Elizabeth Warren Eric Cantor Jeanne Shaheen Jeff Merkley Joe Manchin John Boehner Kay Hagan Lamar Alexander Mark Pryor Mark Udall Michelle Obama Mitch McConnell Nick Rahall Pat Roberts Paul Ryan Pete Gallego Rand Paul Ron Barber Ted Cruz Tom Cotton

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