The late-breaking opportunity for Democrats in the South Dakota Senate race made it clear this week it's too early to write the party off in their battle to hold control of the Senate.

With public and private polling of the race showing Republican Mike Rounds losing support to independent Larry Pressler, and Democrat Rick Weiland within striking distance of the Republican, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's million-dollar investment there — a huge sum for South Dakota's cheap media markets — could make a serious impact.

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It's likely, at the very least, to cause national Republicans spend precious resources in a race they believed just weeks ago was a done deal. They're already spending time and money they didn't foresee in Kansas, where four of the last five polls showed incumbent Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsEleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid Pressure builds on Pompeo as impeachment inquiry charges ahead GOP lawmakers fear Trump becoming too consumed by impeachment fight MORE (R) trailing his independent challenger.

And it widens the map for Democrats at the very moment Republicans were starting to shrink theirs, having cut their spending in Michigan as it became clear their candidate had no path to victory.

The national atmosphere and historical trends still favor Republicans. But with 27 days left, the battle for the Senate is still very much in flux.

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN

SD-SEN (OPEN): The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is dropping $1 million into South Dakota, a sign it sees a chance to hold a seat it had long ago written off.

NC-SEN (HAGAN): Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganDemocrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems shift strategy on impeachment vote Former North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan dies at 66 MORE (D-N.C.) admitted that she’d missed a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to attend a fundraiser in a post-debate interview Tuesday night, comments North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis (R) jumped on in a conference call. Hagan’s campaign points out that Tillis took a lot of heat last year locally for missing official business to raise funds for his own campaign.

The two sparred over ISIS, gay marriage and Ebola in the debate itself.

GA-SEN (OPEN): Former charity executive Michelle Nunn (D) slammed businessman David Perdue (R) for outsourcing American jobs, while Perdue attacked Nunn as a lapdog of President Obama in a Tuesday night debate.

CO-SEN (UDALL): Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallDemocrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump Poll: Trump trails three Democrats by 10 points in Colorado The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE (D-Colo.) and Rep. Cory GardnerCory Scott Gardner2020 hopes rise for gun control groups after Virginia elections Feehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds Tariffs threaten 1.5M jobs: Study MORE (R-Colo.) sparred in a Tuesday night debate, their second of three this week. 

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Rep. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonHillicon Valley: Senators ask Trump to halt Huawei licenses | Warren criticizes Zuckerberg over secret dinner with Trump | Senior DHS cyber official to leave | Dems offer bill on Libra oversight Senators urge Trump to suspend Huawei license approvals Lawmakers spar over surveillance flight treaty with Russia MORE (R-Ark.) implied on a conference call with supporters that ISIS and Mexican drug cartels are working together.

“Groups like the Islamic State collaborate with drug cartels in Mexico who have clearly shown they’re willing to expand outside the drug trade into human trafficking and potentially even terrorism,” he said. “They could infiltrate our defenseless border and attack us right here in places like Arkansas.”

WV-SEN (OPEN): In their first, and likely only, televised debate, Rep. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoTrump steps up GOP charm offensive as impeachment looms Trump lunches with two of his biggest Senate GOP critics Hillicon Valley: Facebook to remove mentions of potential whistleblower's name | House Dems demand FCC action over leak of location data | Dem presses regulators to secure health care data MORE (R) and Democrat Natalie Tennant both focused on the economy and Obama, with Capito tying Tennant to the unpopular president and Tennant working to show her distance. 

VA-SEN (WARNER): Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerBipartisan senators urge national security adviser to appoint 5G coordinator Hillicon Valley: Commerce extends Huawei waiver | Senate Dems unveil privacy bill priorities | House funding measure extends surveillance program | Trump to tour Apple factory | GOP bill would restrict US data going to China Klobuchar unveils plan to secure elections as president MORE (D-Va.) and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie (R) argued who was the more moderate candidate in a Tuesday night debate. 

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs Trump steps up GOP charm offensive as impeachment looms Congressional authority in a time of Trump executive overreach MORE (R-Ky.) drew national attention for a combative interview with a local Kentucky sports radio host, who pressed him on a range of issues, including climate change and gay marriage, and caused McConnell to lose his cool multiple times.

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

DEMS: Some centrist House Democrats in conservative-leaning districts are attacking House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in ads to put distance between themselves and their national party. 

AZ-2 (BARBER): 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-Ariz.) and former Air Force pilot Martha McSally (R) sparred in a Tuesday night debate, fighting over whose supporters had aired the most inaccurate ads.

NJ-3 (OPEN): The Republican-aligned American Action Network is launching a $900,000 buy in the Philadelphia market to shore up the GOP’s chances in an open New Jersey seat.

 

AD WATCH

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): Ending Spending Action Fund is spending $1 million on broadcast television, cable and radio advertising over the next two weeks on advertising targeting independent Greg Orman as “a liberal masquerading as an independent,” according to Ending Spending President Brian Baker

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is out with a new positive spot touting his Army background.

NC-SEN (HAGAN): Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) fires back at a recent ad from Speaker Thom Tillis (R) attacking her on the military, calling it “outrageous.”

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): Republican Scott Brown hits back on Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenProgressive group to spend as much as M to turn out young voters On The Money: US paid record .1B in tariffs in September | Dems ramp up oversight of 'opportunity zones' | Judge hints at letting House lawsuit over Trump tax returns proceed Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog slams agency chief after deputy fails to cooperate in probe | Justices wrestle with reach of Clean Water Act | Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows MORE’s (D-N.H.) ad accusing him of supporting a measure that would require women to look at photos of fetuses before getting an abortion, calling it a “smear campaign.”

IA-SEN (OPEN): Priorities for Iowa, a new super-PAC backing Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst (R), attacks 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) as a hypocrite on equal pay, saying he paid his own female staff less his male staff.

AZ-2 (BARBER): Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) touts her former staffer, Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), in a new spot from her gun control super-PAC.

GA-12 (BARROW): Rep. John BarrowJohn Jenkins BarrowRepublican wins Georgia secretary of state runoff to replace Kemp The most important runoff election is one you probably never heard of Our democracy can’t afford to cut legal aid services from the budget MORE (D-Ga.) is up with a new ad touting his work on veterans issues.

 

POLL POSITION

NATIONAL: Republicans voters are more motivated to head to the polls this election cycle, but voters in both parties aren’t excited, according to a new Gallup survey that found just one-third of voters are “extremely motivated” to head to the polls this fall, down from more than 50 percent in the 2010 and 2006 midterm wave elections.

SD-SEN (OPEN): Republican Mike Rounds continues to lose ground in the latest poll of the South Dakota Senate race, taking 35 percent support among likely voters, while independent Larry Pressler is surging, drawing 32 percent. Democrat Rick Weiland draws 28 percent, and independent Gordon Howie takes 3 percent.

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): A new WMUR poll gives Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) 47 percent support to Republican Scott Brown's 41 percent support among likely voters.

GA-SEN (OPEN): Businessman David Perdue (R) leads former charity executive Michelle Nunn (D) 46 percent to 45 percent in a new poll conducted by SurveyUSA.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): A new CNN-ORC poll shows Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) leading independent businessman Greg Orman 49 percent to 48 percent. He’s up 44 percent to 39 percent in a new Fox News poll.

AK-SEN (BEGICH): Republican Dan Sullivan leads 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) 44 percent to 40 percent in a new Fox News poll.

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) leads Sen. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorTom Cotton's only Democratic rival quits race in Arkansas Medicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation MORE (D-Ark.) 46 percent to 39 percent in a new Fox News poll.

CO-SEN (UDALL): Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) leads Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) 44 percent to 39 percent in a new Fox News poll.

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kent.) leads Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) 44 percent to 40 percent in a new Fox News poll.

NC-SEN (HAGAN): Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) leads North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis (R) 47 percent to 45 percent in a new USA Today/Suffolk poll.

 

FUNDRAISING FIGURES

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-N.H.) outraised Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) for the quarter, bringing in $3.6 million to her $3.5 million. She has $3.5 million in the bank.

AK-SEN (BEGICH): Republican Dan Sullivan raised almost $2.8 million in the last fundraising quarter.

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) raised $3.8 million in the last fundraising quarter.

MN-08: (NOLAN): Rep. Rick Nolan (D) raised $641,000 in the third quarter.

 

2016 RUMBLINGS

CLINTON: Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic strategist laments 'low bar' for Biden debate performance Wasserman Schultz makes bid for House Appropriations Committee gavel Trump to hold campaign rally in Pennsylvania next month MORE’s allies are looking to help build on the technological advantage Democrats have enjoyed in recent campaign cycles.

Officials from some liberal grassroots groups including Democracy for America are gathering to strategize about how to find a left-wing alternative to Clinton.

BOLTON: Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton (R) took shots at President Obama and said he was undecided about a potential presidential run in an interview with The Hill.

O’MALLEY: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) called Wi-Fi a “human right” in an interview.

"Young people have flipped that on its head. Younger people are choosing to live in cities. They realize that connections to each other are making us better. That Wi-Fi is a human right. That proximity is important to entrepreneurship, access to capital and talent and diversity," O'Malley said.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"The great thing about not being president anymore is you can just say whatever you want ... unless your wife might run for something, then you can say whatever you want as long as you don't make any headlines.” — President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonMedia needs to stop wild speculations about Trump's health Feehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds Press: Ukraine's not the only outrage MORE