THE GOP’S MIDTERM PANIC. In the final eight weeks of the election, Republicans are increasingly worried that their weak and damaged Senate candidates will prevent them from capitalizing on a historically favorable map. Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin confirmed “Republicans lack a single assured or even likely pick-up” and NBC echoed after a series of polls fielded with Marist last week showed why “candidates matter” and that the GOP field isn’t getting the job done.
Read more about the trends that led to this point from our 100 Days Out Memo: GOP recruitment failures and primaries, strong Democratic campaigns and a powerful Democratic message on health care have all shifted dynamics towards Senate Democrats.
CRUZ’S “GOP RESCUE MISSION.” Speaking of “candidates matter,” top Republicans worry Ted Cruz “is not seen as ‘likeable’ enough” and Politico reports on the “rescue mission” after “a string of polls showing GOP Sen. Ted Cruz’s lead slipping.”
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH HIGHLIGHTS HAWLEY’S LAWSUIT TO CUT COVERAGE FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. As Josh Hawley continues to push his dangerous lawsuit to gut protections for pre-existing conditions, Missourians are speaking out. A St. Louis Post-Dispatch column shared the story of Barb Fleming, a Missourian who “was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2008. Upon attempting to renew her health insurance, the company wouldn’t cover the cancer because it was a pre-existing condition.” She “can’t even imagine what [her] life would be like” if Hawley’s lawsuit succeeds. Fleming’s story echoes those the McCaskill campaign is highlighting as part of their “30 for 30” series that spotlights Missourians with pre-existing conditions who are worried about their healthcare
Meanwhile, Democrats’ messaging on health care continues to resonate…
MANCHIN MAKING HEALTH CARE (AND MORRISEY’S LAWSUIT) CENTERPIECE OF CAMPAIGN. The New York Times profiled how Manchin’s message of affordable and accessible health care is dominating the WV Senate race. Like Hawley, Morrisey is spearheading the unpopular lawsuit to dismantle protections for pre-existing conditions.
CASEY CRITICIZES GOP EFFORTS TO SABOTAGE HEALTH CARE. Bob Casey vowed to preserve health care provisions enshrined in current law, including protections for pre-existing conditions, on a visit to Indiana County, PA. The Indiana Gazette reports Casey said, “We’re not going to negotiate how to cut health care. We have to be united on that, not as Democrats versus Republicans, but as Americans.” He also attacked GOP tax cuts that abandon the middle class, calling it “a bad bill” that only serves the wealthy elite.
NELSON LOCKS IN MORE HISPANIC ENDORSEMENTS. Florida Politics writes that Bill Nelson “picked up the endorsements of two Hispanic leaders—Mayors Jose Alvarez and Maria “Mayita” Meléndez” over the weekend who praised him for his service to Florida and the work he has done for the Puerto Rican community.
AP: “FLORIDA GOV. SKIPS CAMPAIGN STOP AFTER PROTESTORS SHOW UP.” Rick Scott made headlines over the weekend for all the wrong reasons – inviting voters to a campaign stop and then running away from them when he was confronted about his controversial beach access law and self-serving politics. Read the clips from the Associated Press, the Tampa Bay Times and NW Florida Daily News here. Key quote from one Florida woman: “I can’t believe Rick Scott is scared of a bunch of little old ladies in tennis shoes,” “we’re here because we love our beaches.”
ARIZONA PRIMARY TURNOUT BREAKS RECORDS THANKS TO DEMS. Arizona witnessed an all-time high number of ballots cast in the primary election – mostly due to a surge in Democratic turnout. 1.2 million Arizonans voted in the primary, reports KVOA. Democrats had roughly 150,000 more voters cast ballots than in 2016, compared to just 65,000 more for Republicans.
This means trouble for Congresswoman Martha McSally as she struggles to improve voter enthusiasm heading into the general after a bruising primary season…
MARTHA MCSHIFTY GETS A “MOSTLY FALSE.” POLITIFACT dinged McSally with a “Mostly False” rating for her false attack ad claiming that Kyrsten Sinema was “denigrating” military service. Not only did they say her ad was misleading but that it “ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.”
DEM AD WATCH
WV – In “Dead Wrong,” Joe Manchin vows to protect West Virginians from Patrick Morrisey’s health care lawsuit that strips protections for pre-existing conditions
WI – Tammy Baldwin’s ad “Oral Chemo” hits Leah Vukmir for siding with insurance companies and voting against an oral chemotherapy bill in the state Senate.
IN THE STATES
IN – Journal Gazette: Veterans back Donnelly at local visit
MI – Detroit Free Press: Pharmacists can help customers save money under new Stabenow bill