ANOTHER FUNDRAISING WIN FOR THE DSCC OVER OUR NRSC FRIENDS. The DSCC outraised the NRSC again in July, raising $3.7 million and reporting $9.2 million cash-on-hand. Despite being in the minority, the DSCC continues to report record-breaking fundraising numbers and has outraised the NRSC in 5 out of 7 months in 2015. The DSCC has outraised the NRSC on the cycle by nearly $3.6 million.

The Hill: Senate Dems Outraised GOP In July

Washington Examiner: Senate Dems Raise Record Sum In July

MARK KIRK MUZZLED, WORST TV CLIP OF THE CYCLE SAYS HE’S “IN HIDING.” After months of offensive and over-the-top comments, the NRSC very publicly asked Kirk to stop speaking in public – and this week, it looks like he’s decided to finally take their advice. Kirk was supposed to appear at the Illinois State Fair this week, but cancelled the stop at the last minute, prompting another round of terrible media coverage. **This clip, however, stood out as the absolute worst of the cycle so far.** Don’t miss the end where a GOP official reportedly expressed relief that Kirk wasn’t there to “say something inappropriate and mar the Republican rally.”

WBBM: Mark Kirk in Hiding After Recent Gaffes

ABC 7: Sen. Mark Kirk A No-Show At State Fair GOP Day

NBC 5: Sen. Mark Kirk A No-Show At State Fair ‘Governor’s Day’

Chicago Sun Times: Sen. Mark Kirk Skips Big Republican Day At Illinois State Fair

TWO NEW POLLS SHOW RUSS FEINGOLD BEATING RON JOHNSON. The week began with a REPUBLICAN poll showing Ron Johnson down 8 points and ended with yet another poll showing Johnson trailing despite the fact that Johnson & his allies have outspent Russ Feingold on the air by a nearly 4 to 1 margin. Johnson’s struggles clearly explain his refusal to sign Russ Feingold’s Badger Pledge to keep outside money of Wisconsin.

RON JOHNSON’S $2.5 MILLION MEETING? Right wing Club for Growth announced that Wisconsin would be one of the few states they spend in this year – to the tune of $2.5 million. The Club has a notoriously rigorous endorsement process which consists of  face to face meetings with candidates. To sum up—Ron Johnson isn’t just refusing to ban outside groups from Wisconsin, he’s literally meeting with them face to face and begging for their support.

GOP PANIC: REPUBLICANS, OUTSIDE GROUPS SPEND BIG TO PROP UP VULNERABLE GOP SENATORS. Roll Callreported this week that over a year out from Election Day, Republicans and Republican-aligned outside groups have spent seven times more than they had by this point last cycle – a whopping $13.3 million so far. This week alone, outside groups have reported plans to spend big in Wisconsin and Ohio, and Roll Call notes that as the GOP grows increasingly worried about maintaining their fragile majority, even Republican incumbents are already going up on the air more than a year before the election as they panic about their dimming re-election prospects.

GOP SHUTDOWN WATCH: Vulnerable incumbents Kelly Ayotte, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey and Ron Johnson are under fire after voting to defund Planned Parenthood. As the specter of a shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding continues to loom, the group is up on the air with ads in those 4 states to highlight the negative consequences of a shutdown.

RAND PAUL’S KENTUCKY PROBLEM. Rand Paul has made no bones about the fact that “the Senate was always just a means to a presidential end,” but with his presidential campaign flailing, Republicans are growing increasingly frustrated with Paul’s plans to boost his own career at the expense of Kentuckians. Roll Call reported this morning that Republicans in the state are wary of Paul’s expensive “insurance plan” caucus that will allow him to fall back on his Senate campaign as his presidential campaign hurtles toward failure.

Roll Call: Some in Kentucky Wary of Rand Paul’s Senate Insurance Plan

While Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has been campaigning for the Republican nomination for president, his supporters back home have been quietly wrangling the state party to get him an expensive insurance package that could possibly let him fall back on his seat if his upward ambitions are not successful.

The problem? Insurance policies are pricy, and to some on the Kentucky Republican Central Committee, the premium for Paul’s — in the form of a caucus system that would allow him to go around the rules against being on the same primary ballot for two different offices — seems pretty high.



OHIO – “NO JOBS ROB” TOUR DISASTER. The Ohio Democratic Party released a new web video this week highlighting Rob Portman’s jobs tour meltdown.

MORE OHIO – STRICKLAND FIGHTS BACK AGAINST KOCH BROTHERS. Ted Strickland released a new video this week addressing the influx of shadowy, outside money in the Ohio Senate race.

WISCONSIN – WISCONSIN VETERANS URGE JOHNSON TO RETURN MONEY. The Wisconsin Gazette reports that veterans are calling on Ron Johnson to return a campaign donation from a California donor who allegedly manipulated law to gouge service members for phone calls to family from overseas.

ILLINOIS – TALL TALES. Mark Kirk is telling tall tales again. This time it’s about national security. Earlier in the year Kirk claimed a passenger on his flight was on the no-fly list. Turns out…he wasn’t.

NORTH CAROLINA – BURR IS “DELIGHTED” BY TRUMP. On the same day a new poll showed Burr with terrible approval ratings and unable to crack 50 percent in any potential matchups, the vulnerable Senator gave none othe r than Donald Trump a big bear hug. Burr called Trump and his influence on the race “delightful” and said he’s full of “common sense.”

MISSOURI – LOCAL TV SUNDAY SHOW CAN’T GET OVER HOW BAD BLUNT’S NUMBERS ARE. A Missouri Sunday showdiscussed the most recent public polling in the Missouri Senate race showing that Roy Blunt is one of the least popular US Senators.

MORE MISSOURI – BLUNT TAKES HEAT FOR AIR TRAVEL. The Kansas City Star reported this week that Roy Blunt is taking heat for traveling around the state in a privately charter plane at the expense of taxpayers.

TWEET OF THE WEEK: This week’s tweet goes to Chris Cillizza, who highlighted the worst TV clip of the cycle: @TheFix: “U.S. Senator Mark Kirk appears to be in hiding.” OUCH. …

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