AURORA, Colo. — Democrats are using the rise of Ebola to remind voters of sequestration and the shutdown, two issues they've seen as political winners for their party that have largely fallen off the map since last winter.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ran ads recently knocking Republicans for backing cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, which the ad suggested has exacerbated the Ebola crisis.

And the issue is cropping up in races independently of national Democrats' attacks as well. At a forum in Colorado's 6th District on Tuesday night, an attendee asked the candidates in attendance what should be done about the spread of Ebola.

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Democrat Andrew Romanoff took a veiled jab at the Republican incumbent, Rep. Mike Coffman, on sequestration and the shutdown in his response.

"In the long term, we've got to make sure we not slice or slash vital federal funding for medical research," he said. "The truth is, when Congress makes foolish decisions to shut down the federal government or to furlough employees who are doing lifesaving work, it imperils public health and public safety, and that's a mistake."

 

SENATE SHOWDOWN

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Sen. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 Tom Cotton's only Democratic rival quits race in Arkansas Medicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 MORE (D-Ark.) said he thinks middle-class families can make up to $200,000 a year in a Tuesday night debate with Rep. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonSunday shows preview: 2020 Democrats jockey for top spot ahead of Nevada caucuses Senate votes to rein in Trump's power to attack Iran Coronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 MORE (R-Ark.).

Arkansas’s Supreme Court struck down the state’s Voter ID law, making it potentially easier for Democrats to get their voters to the polls this fall.

LA-SEN (LANDRIEU): Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuA 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 Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ MORE (D-La.) gave President Obama a seven out of 10 score when asked to evaluate the president in a Tuesday night debate.

Tea Party candidate Rob Maness is letting his supporters weigh in on his campaign strategy and pick which ad he’ll run on television next week. 

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): The AFL-CIO will back independent Greg Orman against Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsOn the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Kobach says he discussed his Senate bid with Trump Republicans expect Trump to withdraw controversial Fed nominee MORE (R-Kan.).

KY-SEN (MCCONNELL): Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton'Where's your spoon?' What we didn't learn in the latest debate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Roger Stone gets over three years in prison; Brutal night for Bloomberg Poll: Democrats trail Trump in Wisconsin, lead in Michigan and Pennsylvania MORE (D) is set to rally with Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) in Louisville this evening.

She’s also facing mounting calls from liberal groups to take down an ad that uses the term “illegal aliens.” 

GA-SEN (OPEN): Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain after Gaetz says Trump should pardon Roger Stone: 'Oh come on' Advice for fellow Democrats: Don't count out Biden, don't fear a brokered convention McSally ties Democratic rival Kelly to Sanders in new ad MORE (R-Ariz.) stumped with businessman David Perdue (R) on Wednesday.

 

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

DCCC: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) is blaming potential House Democratic losses squarely on liberal outside groups that he says haven't stepped up for the cause.

"Outside groups have always played a fundamentally important role in supporting our candidates and supporting our efforts. When you have 32 races within 6 points and you're making tactical and strategic decisions to shore up incumbents; it is frustrating that the cavalry that's always been there doesn't seem to be there," he told reporters Wednesday morning.

IA-1 (OPEN): Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) stumped with GOP House candidate Rod Blum (R) on Wednesday.

FL-2 (SOUTHERLAND): Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and Democrat Gwen Graham squared off in a debate Tuesday night. 

 

AD WATCH

GA-SEN (OPEN): Businessman David Perdue (R) has another new ad out featuring women praising his business record and tying former charity executive Michelle Nunn (D) to President Obama.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee slams Perdue for wanting to close the Federal Department of Education in their first ad of the race.

NC-SEN (HAGAN): A new Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ad hits Republican state Speaker Thom Tillis over his work in the state legislature.

The U.S. Chamber has an ad featuring Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Pelosi names first-ever House whistleblower ombudsman director The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE (R-Ky.) attacking Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 GOP braces for Democratic spending onslaught in battle for Senate Democrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump MORE (D-N.C.) on ObamaCare.

AR-SEN (PRYOR): The conservative Freedom Partners launched an ad tying Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) to President Obama and blaming them both for Arkansas’s struggling economy.

KS-SEN (ROBERTS): A new U.S. Chamber of Commerce ad says Kansas independent Senate candidate Greg Orman supports the Obama administration on ObamaCare and remains silent on the Keystone XL oil pipeline. 

NATIONAL GROUPS: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hits the opponents of Reps. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) and Tim BishopTimothy (Tim) Howard BishopDem candidate 'struck by the parallels' between Trump's rise and Hitler's Dems separated by 29 votes in NY House primary Flint residents hire first K Street firm MORE (D-N.Y.) on Social Security. House Majority PAC also hits Bishop’s opponent focusing on women’s health issues.

NJ-3 (OPEN): The U.S. Chamber of Commerce attacks New Jersey Democratic congressional candidate Amiee Belgard in an ad for taking a salary after saying she would not and for raising property taxes in two consecutive years.

 

POLL POSITION

IA-SEN (OPEN): Two new polls find Republican Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst leading with fewer than three weeks to go in her race against 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). She leads 47 percent to 43 percent in a new USA Today / Suffolk University live-caller poll and 47 percent to 45 percent in a Quinnipiac University poll.

GA-SEN (OPEN): Former charity executive Michelle Nunn (D) leads businessman David Perdue (R) 48 percent to 45 percent in a new Survey USA live-caller poll.

CO-SEN (UDALL): Rep. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerDemocratic Senate campaign arm raised more than .5 million in January On the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Ernst endorses bipartisan Grassley-Wyden bill to lower drug prices MORE (R-Colo.) leads 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.) 50 percent to 46 percent in a new CNN/ORC poll.

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenOvernight Health Care: Appeals court strikes down Medicaid work requirements | Pelosi's staff huddles with aides on surprise billing | Senate Dems pressure Trump to drop ObamaCare lawsuit Senate Democrats pressure Trump to drop ObamaCare lawsuit Trump under pressure to renew last nuke treaty with Russia MORE (D-N.H.) leads former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) 50 percent to 44 percent in a new internal poll from her campaign.  

MA-6 (OPEN): Republican Richard Tisei leads Democrat Seth Moulton 43 percent to 40 percent in a new Emerson College poll.

 

FUNDRAISING FIGURES

AR-SEN (PRYOR): Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) raised $2.2 million in the last quarter, spent $5.2 million and has just $1 million left in the bank for the final three weeks of the campaign.

VA-SEN (WARNER): Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerTrump officially makes Richard Grenell acting intelligence chief Top Democrat on Senate Intel panel pans Trump's DNI pick Trump expected to tap Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as acting intel chief MORE (D-Va.) raised more than $2 million in the last quarter and has more than $8 million in the bank, his campaign announced.

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.) raised $680,000 and has $1.5 million in the bank.

 

2016 RUMBLINGS

BUSH: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) stumped for his son, Texas candidate George P. Bush (R). 

He said his wife is "supportive" of a potential presidential run — and that his mom isn't dead-set against it like she used to be.

WALKER: Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker waved off suggestions he might run for president anytime soon. “I want to be governor ... that’s a long ways off,” he said, adding he would be unlikely to present a Republican challenge to Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Paul Ryan says Biden likely won't get Democratic nomination Judd Gregg: Honey, I Shrunk The Party MORE (R-Wis.) if he were also to run.

A new poll shows Walker tied with his Democratic opponent Mary Burke at 47 percent, two weeks after the same poll gave Walker a five-percentage-point lead. 

SANTORUM: Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) is weighing a 2016 White House bid, saying, “I’m doing everything right now as if I’m running.” On whether his main rival in the 2012 race, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, might run again: “The more the merrier.”

PORTMAN: Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanGOP senators offering bill to cement business provision in Trump tax law Mnuchin defends Treasury regulations on GOP tax law Bipartisan lawmakers introduce bill to combat cyberattacks on state and local governments MORE (R-Ohio) says he has “a lot of friends who are encouraging me to run” for president.

BACHMANN: Conservative firebrand Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannEvangelicals shouldn't be defending Trump in tiff over editorial Mellman: The 'lane theory' is the wrong lane to be in White House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations MORE (R-Minn.) said Wednesday that she has "no plan" to launch another presidential campaign in 2016. 

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

“What’s the Paycheck Fairness Act?” — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R)