FUNDRAISING ROUNDUP: DEM CHALLENGERS SEE OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT IN BATTLEGROUND STATES. With second quarter fundraising numbers rolling in, it’s clear that Democratic candidates are seeing a groundswell of support in battleground states.

WISCONSIN – FEINGOLD BESTS JOHNSON. Russ Feingold raised over $2.2 million in his first quarter in the race, besting Johnson – something incredibly rare for a challenger.

ILLINOIS – DUCKWORTH CLOSING GAP WITH KIRK. Tammy Duckworth raised over $1.2 million in her first full quarter in the race, beating Mark Kirk’s first quarter and nearly closing the cash on hand gap after just a few months in the race.

NEVADA – CORTEZ MASTO SHOWS IMPRESSIVE FIRST MONTHS. Catherine Cortez Masto reported an impressive $1.1 million raised in the second quarter.

OHIO – SECOND STRONG QUARTER FOR STRICKLAND. Ted Strickland reported another strong quarter, raising $1 million for his first full quarter in the race.

FLORIDA – MURPHY DOMINATES IN FLORIDA. Patrick Murphy had another fantastic quarter, raising $1.4 million and reporting $2.5 million cash on hand.

DSCC ENDORSES TAMMY DUCKWORTH IN ILLINOIS. The DSCC endorsed Rep. Tammy Duckworth this week because her record of advocating for veterans, women and working families makes her the strongest candidate to win this race.

Chicago Sun Times: Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Endorses Duckworth

Roll Call: DSCC Endorses Duckworth In Illinois Senate Race

The Hill: DSCC Backs Duckworth In Illinois

Chicago Tribune: Duckworth Gets Key National Senate Democratic Endorsement

MEMO: FLORIDA REPUBLICANS BRACE FOR BLOODY PRIMARY. With the Florida Senate race taking shape in recent weeks, one thing is clear – Republicans are will have one of the most damaging, costly and nasty primaries in recent memory. After Republicans’ top choice candidates passed on the race, four out-of-touch candidates remain in the race.

Patrick Murphy has already shown undeniable strength in the first few months of the race – he’s reported two strong fundraising quarters while maintaining a laser-like focus on his constituents.  The eventual Republican nominee promises to be an extremist, out-of-touch candidate damaged by the messy primary.

Read more on the Florida Senate race from DSCC Executive Director Tom Lopach.

“MONTH OF DIMINISHING PROSPECTS” FOR GOP IN COLORADO. Things haven’t improved much for Republicans in Colorado since their four top-choice candidates passed on the race and Republicans made headlines for scandal and accusations of blackmail within the state party.

Roll Call reports that even with Greg Lopez entering the race on the Republican side this week, Republicans “would rather be talking about someone else.” But with their top choice candidates already out of the race, and a looing messy and expensive primary on the horizon, it’s clear that that “someone else” will be second-tier and badly damaged.

GOP TOUTS SECOND TIER CANDIDATE IN NEVADA. After Republicans outright begged their top choice, Gov. Brian Sandoval, to run in Nevada, he took a pass. Now, the GOP is now propping up their second-choice candidate Rep. Joe Heck. Heck is an out-of-touch lawmaker who has spent his time in Washington catering to insurance companies, big banks and Washington special interest – a record he’ll have a tough time defending throughout the campaign.

Ralston: Republicans have been “wooing the obvious second choice…”

Reno Gazette Journal: “Clinton and Cortez-Masto will be a tough immigration tag-team for Heck and the GOP presidential candidate in Nevada…”

“…Heck will be another Mitt Romney when it comes to the Latino vote.”

VIDEO: Congressman Heck’s Rhetoric vs. His Record

AYOTTE SLAMMED FOR BRINGING OBSTRUCTIONISM TO NEW HAMPSHIRE. Kelly Ayotte is cementing her status as one of the GOP’s most vulnerable incumbents this week. After a new poll showed her in a statistical dead heat with a potential Democratic challenger, she made headlines for interfering with the state budget process in a nasty and transparent political move to prop up her vulnerable re-election campaign by weakening potential opponent Gov. Maggie Hassan.

WMUR: Democrats Blame Ayotte For State House Budget Gridlock

NH1: NH Dems Start Petition Drive Calling On Sen. Kelly Ayotte To Stop Interfering In State Budget Debate

WHY IT MATTERS: This isn’t the first time Ayotte’s been caught playing politics with state business. According to NH1: “Ayotte used her office e-mail while pondering whether to seek the Senate seat Republican Judd Gregg retired from in 2010.”

QUESTIONS STILL LOOMING OVER JOHNSON’S SHADY CAMPAIGN FINANCE PAST. Weeks have gone by since Russ Feingold first proposed the “Badger Pledge” to keep outside money from dominating the Wisconsin Senate race, and Ron Johnson is still attempting to keep his skeletons in the closet by refusing to answer the questions still looming over his shady 2010 campaign finance scheme. Unfortunately for Johnson, these questions aren’t disappearing, and he’ll have to answer to Wisconsin voters.


INDIANA – GOP FACES MESSY, EXPENSIVE PRIMARY. National Journal wrote this week that the Republican establishment in Indiana is already divided in what promises to be a messy, expensive and damaging primary in the Indiana Senate race.

NORTH CAROLINA – BURR’S DISMAL NUMBERS. A new PPP poll this week showed Richard Burr with dismal approval numbers. As 2016 approaches, Burr’s approvals remain underwater and stagnant. The PPP poll showed just 28 percent of North Carolina voters approving with 39 percent disapproving. That’s a 7 percent drop in approval ratings since last month’s PPP poll. Ouch.

FLORIDA – LOPEZ CANTERA’S SHADY FINANCES. As a likely Senate announcement from Carlos Lopez Cantera approaches, the absentee Lt. Governor is now facing an FEC complaint over his shady campaign finance practices.

MISSOURI – KANDER FIGHTS FOR MISSOURI BUSINESSES. The Missouri Times reports that Jason Kander is launching a statewide tour of Missouri businesses to highlight his efforts to collaborate with business leaders.

ILLINOIS – ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS SLAM KIRK. Kirk took heat for voting against the EPA’s climate rule for power plants in a week-long ad campaign by the Sierra Club and NRDC.

TWEET OF THE WEEK: This week’s tweet goes to Youngstown Vindicator’s David Skolnick, who highlighted the absurdity of the NRSC’s new memo: @dskolnick: NRSC memo on Senate races goes ridiculously out of its way to avoid mentioning Quinnipiac poll has @Ted_Strickland up 6% on @robportman.

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