GOP SENATE “PRIMARY WOES” TAKE CENTER STAGE. Donald Trump took his show on the road this week and put the “Senate Republicans’ primary woes” on center stage. Months of recruitment failures have led to crowded primary fields, where candidates are racing to embrace a President who remains popular with the base, but a lightning rod in a general election. These “intraparty squabbles” (made worse by the public feud between Trump and McConnell) will only become more divisive and expensive as time goes on.
Talking Points Memo: Trump’s Arizona Trip Kicks Off Ugly GOP Senate Primary Season.
DSCC LAUNCHES “INNOVATIVE, DIGITALLY SAVVY” ADS SLAMMING GOP ON HEALTH CARE. First reported by The Daily Beast, the DSCC launched bumper flock ads this week highlighting the toxic Republican health care plan that spikes costs and strips coverage. The ads utilize Google’s innovative ad format that reaches viewers across the Internet with three sequential video spots. The ads will reach viewers in Nevada, Arizona, North Dakota, West Virginia, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Check them out here:
US NEWS & WORLD REPORT: HELLER VULNERABLE BECAUSE “ATTEMPT[ING] TO HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.” The latest close-up of Senator Heller’s self-imposed political predicament covers everything from his “whiplash-inducing” positions to the “powerful forces” he’s angered in Nevada. Here are some highlights:
SPEAKING OF HELLER: NEVADA COULD LOSE $250 MILLION UNDER GRAHAM-CASSIDY-HELLER PROPOSAL, NEW REPORT SAYS. Just days after Heller incredulously tried to “portray himself as savior of Medicaid expansion,” a new analysis shows that Nevada would lose $257 million if the health care bill he champions becomes law. Here’s the summary from the Nevada Independent: “The analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found the so-called Graham-Cassidy-Heller plan would restructure and cut the Medicaid program, increase out-of-pocket costs for people who purchase health-care plans on their own and weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions.” Reminder: Heller voted for skinny repeal and for full ACA repeal 20 times before that.
🚨SABATO’S CRYSTAL BALL MOVES #AZSEN, #NDSEN IN DEMS’ FAVOR. 🚨
#AZSEN: “Leans R” to “Toss-up.”
ICYMI: Inside Elections also moved #AZsen “in favor of the Democrats,” from “Leans Republican” to “Tilts Republican.”
#NDSEN: “Toss-up” to “Leans D.”
HOWEY POLITICS INDIANA: DONNELLY REELECTION BID BEGINS LEANS D. Brian Howey’s inaugural ranking of the Indiana Senate race leans in Donnelly’s favor. Key Points:
DONNELLY’S HOOSIER HIGHWAYS TOUR DRAWS “ENTHUSIASTIC CROWDS.” While Congressmen Messer and Rokita “engage in a nasty primary,” Senator Donnelly has been crisscrossing the state on his Hoosier Highways tour – greeting “enthusiastic crowds” and holding roundtables on the issues that matter to Hoosiers, such as veterans health, the opioid crisis, and corporate outsourcing. Check out some of the local coverage:
WIBC: Donnelly Says He’s Down the Middle in Kickoff to Campaign.
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Donnelly says focus is on helping Hoosiers.
Indiana Public Media: Donnelly Touts Work On Opioid Epidemic, Veterans On Campaign.
WISH: US Sen. Donnelly, Rep. Carson hold roundtable on outsourcing.
WNDU: Senator Donnelly returns to South Bend, promotes bipartisanship.
DRIVING DIVA ROKITA UPDATE. Last week’s leaked memo detailing how to properly drive and attend-to Congressman Rokita while he’s in his district raised criticisms of Mariah Carey-level diva status. Rather than fighting the label, Rokita’s campaign seems to be embracing it, planning to host a “swanky California fundraiser” next week. Curious, since Rokita’s campaign slogan is “Defeat the Elite.” Congressman Messer, his primary opponent and longtime “nemesis,” wasted no time in pointing out the hypocrisy:
JOSH HAWLEY RAISING QUESTIONS & DODGING THEM. Missouri Attorney General, and potential Senate candidate, Josh Hawley has raised questions on his residency, whether he skirted federal campaign finance rules, and the dark-money financing his campaign. These issues explain why he “still faces competition for GOP Senate nomination” and why Hawley is dodging other questions, like whether he agrees with former U.S. Senator and booster John Danforth that the GOP must “disassociate” from Trump, and why he won’t adjust his schedule to attend a Trump rally in Missouri next week. Pro-tip: the questions are only going to get tougher, Josh.
MANDEL’S POLITICAL OPPORTUNISM ISN’T MAKING HIM FRIENDS. Mandel’s reputation as a “shameless publicity-seeker” is making Ohio Republicans worried: they “aren’t excited about his campaign and are looking for other options.” That’s no surprise given Mandel’s penchant for being “the state’s campaigner-in-chief, a political animal who is in perennial campaign mode 24/7, 365 days a week.”
DSCC OUTRAISES NRSC IN JULY. The DSCC raised $3.5 million in July and ended the month with $18.5 million cash-on-hand. Thanks to our generous grassroots support, we outraised the NRSC for the 4th month in a row!
IN THE STATES.
FL – Tampa Bay Times: Sen. Bill Nelson ready to campaign on GOP failure to fix Obamacare
(MORE) FL – NBC Miami: Sen. Bill Nelson Asks for TPS Extension for Haitian Community
IN – Indiana Public Media: Donnelly Touts Work On Opioid Epidemic, Veterans On Campaign
MO – Washington Post: McCaskill reaching out to rural Missouri ahead of election
(MORE) MO – Herald Whig: TOWN HALL: McCaskill stresses need for bipartisan compromise
MT – Missoula Current: Trump signs Tester’s VA bill to streamline appeals for disability
OH – Toledo Blade: Sen. Sherrod Brown asks FBI, DOJ for info on Ohio hate groups
PA – Lancaster Online: US Sen. Casey comes to Lancaster to field concerns, wish list for new Farm Bill
WI – Peninsula Pulse: Baldwin Recognized for Maritime Support at Bay Shipbuilding
TWEET OF THE WEEK. The state of #AZsen in less than 140 characters.
Enjoy your weekend,