The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is pulling the plug on its Kentucky advertising, leaving Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) to fend for herself after a rough week and all but waving the white flag for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocratic senator to party: 'A little message discipline wouldn't kill us' House to vote on resolution affirming peaceful transition of power Republican lawyers brush off Trump's election comments MORE (R-Ky.).

The move comes just a day after Grimes and McConnell met in their first and only Senate debate, one that didn’t produce any game-changing moments but reiterated Grimes’s steadfast refusal to say who she voted for in 2012.

Grimes has narrowly trailed McConnell in most polls for months, though national Democrats had insisted she remained within striking distance.

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The Senate map remains unpredictable, with South Dakota, Georgia and Kansas giving Democrats some potential spots to pull off an upset. But their inability to close in on McConnell isn’t a good sign for Democrats looking for a pick-up that could reshape the battle for Senate control. 

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN

GA-SEN (OPEN): The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is going on the air in Georgia for the first time, reserving close to $1 million to help boost former charity executive Michelle Nunn (D).

CO-SEN (UDALL) / CO-6 (COFFMAN): Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallThe 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Democratic presidential race comes into sharp focus Democrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump MORE (D-Colo.) and former Colorado Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D) sought to fire up a room full of volunteers Monday night by arguing that that they — not independents or furious conservatives — could hold the key to the candidates' success this fall.

Coming off a series of bad polls showing Udall's Republican challenger, Rep. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerBreaking the Chinese space addiction Trump dumbfounds GOP with latest unforced error Billionaire who donated to Trump in 2016 donates to Biden MORE, opening up a steady lead on the senator, and the news that national Democrats had decided to withdraw funds from Romanoff's battle with Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), the meeting took on an added urgency.

"This is, I would argue, the best chance you're ever going to have, especially here in the 6th District, to flip a district, not just from red to blue, but from paralysis to progress," Romanoff told the crowd.

SD-SEN (OPEN): Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) is heading to South Dakota on Friday to rally Republicans for former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds (R). On Tuesday, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) endorsed Rounds.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): Three more local Republicans — state Sen. Alicia Salisbury, former state GOP Chairman Dennis Jones and state Representative Stephen Cloud — endorsed independent Greg Orman for Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Washington on edge amid SCOTUS vacancy The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Trump seeks to flip 'Rage' narrative; Dems block COVID-19 bill GOP senators say coronavirus deal dead until after election MORE’s (R-Kan.) seat.

Roberts blasted the Obama administration’s handling of the Ebola outbreak and called for a travel ban to affected countries. 

NC-SEN (HAGAN): The Carolina Journal reports that North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations Democrats awash with cash in battle for Senate The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's job approval erodes among groups that powered his 2016 victory MORE’s husband’s company received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of the Stimulus Act in addition to the previously reported grant for $250,000.

IA-SEN (OPEN): Libertarian Party Senate nominee Doug Butzier died in a plane crash.


VA-SEN (WARNER): Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerFBI director casts doubt on concerns over mail-in voting fraud Democrats call for declassifying election threats after briefing by Trump officials It's time to upgrade benefits MORE (D-Va.) and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie (R) sparred in another debate Monday night, with both criticizing President Obama’s Ebola response and Warner facing questions about his role in a state scandal.

LA-SEN (LANDRIEU): Conservative commentator Mark Levin endorsed Tea Party-backed Rob Maness for the seat, saying his win is “doable if the people of Louisiana want a conservative up against Landrieu, who can in fact beat Landrieu and who will be a conservative in the U.S. Senate.”

AK-SEN (BEGICH): Sen. Mark BegichMark Peter BegichAlaska group backing independent candidate appears linked to Democrats Sullivan wins Alaska Senate GOP primary Alaska political mess has legislators divided over meeting place MORE (D-Alaska) and the Libertarian Party nominee met Tuesday in a TV debate that Republican Dan Sullivan declined to participate in. Begich and Sullivan have numerous debates scheduled.

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

LA-05 (MCALLISTER): The Senate Conservatives Fund endorsed Zach Dasher for Rep. Vance McAllister’s (R-La.) seat, calling him the “only conservative who will unabashedly take on the big spenders in both parties.”

IL-12 (ENYART)/IL-13 (DAVIS): The Chicago Tribune endorsed Rep. William Enyart (D-Ill.) and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) for reelection, though both of their districts are far from Chicago.

IA-1 (OPEN): The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is spending $600,000 shoring up their nominee in Cedar Rapids, a sign it's worried about holding 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’s (D-Iowa) Democratic-leaning seat.

 

AD WATCH

AR-SEN (PRYOR): The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee put out an ad criticizing Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump stokes fears over November election outcome The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Abortion stirs GOP tensions in Supreme Court fight MORE for his vote against the Violence Against Women Act.


The National Education Association is hitting Cotton on student loans, saying he’s denying Arkansas students the chance he had to get a college education. 

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a super-PAC backing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), put out a spot hitting Alison Lundergan Grimes for her links to President Obama. 

AK-SEN (BEGICH): The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee says “Alaska women can’t trust” Republican Dan Sullivan (R) because of his opposition to abortion rights. 

The GOP-aligned American Crossroads hits Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) for his time as Anchorage mayor.

GA-SEN (OPEN): Former charity executive Michelle Nunn (D) slams businessman David Perdue (R) for his comments that he’s “proud” of his career, using his acknowledgement that he’d spent “most of my career” outsourcing in a new ad.

The GOP super-PAC Ending Spending ties Nunn to President Obama in a new ad.

SD-SEN (OPEN): The National Republican Senatorial Committee slams both Democrat Rick Weiland and former Sen. Larry Pressler (I-S.D.) as liberals in a new ad.

LA-SEN (LANDRIEU): American Crossroads's new ad links Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuBottom line A 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 MORE (D-La.) to President Obama.

CO-SEN (UDALL): The League of Conservation Voters hits Cory Gardner in a new spot for his environmental and reproductive health policy positions.

A new spot from Mark Udall’s campaign features an OB/GYN slamming Cory Gardner for his votes on contraception access.

Another Udall ad touts his pushback against domestic spying programs.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): Independent Greg Orman’s new ad hits back at incumbent Pat Roberts for using attack ads.

VA-SEN (WARNER): Former Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) endorses Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) in a new ad.

MI-SEN (OPEN): Rep. Gary Peters pushes tough-on-China economic policies in a new ad.

CAMPAIGN COMMITTEES: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee blasts former Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) as a “typical reliable Republican” in a new ad and slams the temperament of Republican Mike Bost, Rep. William Enyart’s (D-Ill.) opponent, in another.

Bost ties Enyart to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) and former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) in his ad.

The National Republican Congressional Committee features Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) in a spot targeting Rep. Pete GallegoPete Pena Gallego4 Texas GOP congressional primary runoffs to watch GOP candidate scores upset win in Texas state Senate runoff Koch group launches digital ads in tight Texas House race MORE (D-Texas), slams Democrat Emily Cain in Maine’s open district, hits Iowa state Sen. Staci Appel (D), touts Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and attacks his opponent, Gwen Graham (D), rips filmmaker Aaron Woolf in an open New York district and attacks Reps. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), William Enyart (D-Ill.), 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.), Joe GarciaJose (Joe) Antonio GarciaOvernight Defense: Biden honors McCain at Phoenix memorial service | US considers sending captured ISIS fighters to Gitmo and Iraq | Senators press Trump on ending Yemen civil war Biden pays tribute to McCain at emotional memorial service Mueller indictments: Congressional candidate asked Russian operatives for info on opponent MORE (D-Fla.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).

OUTSIDE GROUPS: The GOP-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund and American Action Network have new ads out hitting Reps. 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.), Ami BeraAmerish (Ami) Babulal BeraThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: iBIO Chairman and CEO Thomas Isett says developing a safe vaccine is paramount; US surpasses 150,000 coronavirus deaths with roughy one death per minute Democrats fear US already lost COVID-19 battle Karen Bass's star rises after leading police reform push MORE (D-Calif.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) and Scott Peters (D-Calif.), as well as Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust (D).

House Majority PAC released new ads targeting former Reps. Doug Ose (R-Calif.) and Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.)

FL-02 (SOUTHERLAND): Challenger Gwen Graham’s spot focuses on what she would do to take on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

IL-10 (SCHNEIDER): Sen. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkLiberal veterans group urges Biden to name Duckworth VP On the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Biden campaign releases video to explain 'what really happened in Ukraine' MORE (R-Ill.) endorses former Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) for the seat both once held, saying “he’s just like me” in the spot.

AZ-01 (KIRKPATRICK): Republican Andy Tobin hits Rep. Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickArizona Rep. Tom O'Halleran wins Democratic primary Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick wins Democratic primary Cook shifts 20 House districts toward Democrats MORE (D-Ariz.) on border security.

IA-03 (OPEN): Former Rep. Gabby Giffords’s (D-Ariz.) gun control super-PAC launched an ad slamming former congressional staffer David Young (R) for opposing closing loopholes that let those convicted of domestic abuse get guns without background checks. 

The anti-super PAC May Day super-PAC also hits Young on Medicare.

IA-SEN (OPEN):  American Future Fund released two radio ads attacking Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa). 

 

POLL POSITION

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): A new poll from the GOP firm Remington Research Group has incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R) leading independent Greg Orman by 2 percentage points, well within the margin of error. 

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSenate Democrats introduce bill to sanction Russians over Taliban bounties Trump-backed candidate wins NH GOP Senate primary to take on Shaheen Democratic senator urges Trump to respond to Russian aggression MORE (D-N.H.) and former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass) are tied at 47 percent in a new poll from New England College.

IA-03 (OPEN): Former staffer David Young (R) leads former Iowa state Sen. Staci Appel (D) 46 percent to 42 percent in a new poll from the Republican firm Remington Research Group.

NJ-03 (OPEN): Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) leads Democrat Aimee Belgard 51 percent to 41 percent among likely voter in a new poll from Monmouth University. 

ME-2 (OPEN): A new poll from Pan Atlantic SMS Group shows that state Sen. Emily Cain (D-Maine) leads Bruce Poliquin (R) 36 percent to 33 percent. 

IL-10 (SCHNEIDER): Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) leads former Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) in an internal poll from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee by 48 percent to 40 percent. 

 

FUNDRAISING FIGURES

COMMITTEES: The Republican National Committee raised $13.5 million in September and is sending $6.5 million of that to the National Republican Congressional Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee and state parties.

AZ-2 (BARBER): Former Air Force fighter pilot Martha McSally (R) raised $1.4 million in the third quarter.

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes announced that she raised almost $4.9 million in the third quarter and has almost $4.4 million on hand. 

 

2016 RUMBLINGS

CLINTON: Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida Hillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close Trump pledges to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, designate KKK a terrorist group in pitch to Black voters MORE decried the state of the media, saying it creates “hurdles for those who want to serve.”

She overlapped with GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson at a Las Vegas event, where she discussed Russian foreign policy.

IOWA: The 2016 GOP field in Iowa is wide open, with former presidential nominee Mitt Romney leading the pack at 17 percent support and Dr. Ben Carson in a surprising second place at 11 percent, according to a new Bloomberg poll. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a huge lead on the Democratic side.

ROMNEY: “Mitt and I are done” with presidential campaigns, Ann Romney declared.

CHRISTIE: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) favorability ratings are roughly even in his home state as his popularity has slipped in New Jersey.

CRUZ: Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCrenshaw looms large as Democrats look to flip Texas House seat SCOTUS confirmation in the last month of a close election? Ugly The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' MORE (R-Texas) hasn’t been in a position to help most Republicans in tough midterm battles due to his polarizing image.

BOLTON: Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton raised nearly $2.5 million in the third quarter of 2014 and has endorsed 76 candidates this midterm cycle.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Don’t track the trackers. ... Or we’ll have them track you back.”

American Bridge Vice President Kelli Farr to The Washington Post’s Ben Terris, who was looking to follow around her campaign trackers