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DSCC FRIDAY TAKEAWAYS – GOP NO.2 SAYS TRUMP NEEDS A GOP MAJORITY – DSCC LAUNCHES “PARTY OF TRUMP” – SCOTUS NOMINEE BRINGS NEW ROUND OF CRITICISM FOR GOP SENATORS – MEETINGS ARE NOT THE SAME AS HEARINGS – NO PRIMARY PROBLEMS HERE

BREAKING: GOP NO. 2 SAYS TRUMP NEEDS A REPUBLICAN MAJORITY. A day after the GOP outlined the strategy to distance vulnerable Senate campaigns from Donald Trump, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate admitted “Mr. Trump… [is] going to need a Republican Majority to govern.” For a party that’s struggled to deal with its frontrunner, sure looks like they’re coming around and ready to rally for one of the most divisive candidates in American history.

DSCC LAUNCHES “PARTY OF TRUMP” CAMPAIGN. This week, the DSCC launched the “Party of Trump” campaign, a sustained campaign that will feature spending across platforms including television, radio, online, Twitter and Facebook, as well as up to the minute “Party of Trump” news alerts, highlighting Republicans’ continued support of Donald Trump as the nominee. With another big round of victories on Tuesday, Trump is even closer to becoming the Republicans’ nominee. Republican Senate incumbents and candidates are to blame for the rise of this toxic, divisive element that has overtaken their party, and they’ve all pledged to support Trump as the nominee. The DSCC’s “Party of Trump” campaign will remind voters that Republican Senate candidates are running in lockstep with Trump and his toxic rhetoric.

WATCH OUR NEW AD “SUPPORT” HERE AND CHECK OUT WWW.PARTYOFTRUMP.COM

               MSNBC: Republicans Nervous About Losing the Senate with Trump at the Top of the Ticket

Washington Post: Democrats target ‘ReTrumplican’ senators in new national campaign

Washington Post Plum Line: Democrats rub salt in the GOP’s festering Trump wound

Roll Call: Democrats Launch Campaign to Tie Senate GOP to Trump

Huffington Post: Democrats Ramp Up Efforts To Tie Vulnerable Senate Republicans To Donald Trump

The Hill: Senate Dems tie vulnerable Republicans to Trump in new ad

Washington Examiner: New ad shows how Dems plan to use Trump to retake Senate

Florida Politics: Democrats’ New Ad Targets GOP Senate Candidates’ Support for Donald Trump

OBAMA NAMES SCOTUS NOMINEE, AND WHOLE NEW ROUND OF EDITORIALS SLAM GOP. After weeks of blistering local press rightly criticizing their SCOTUS blockade, the new round of editorials across the country must feel like déjà vu for vulnerable Senate Republicans. Republicans may be trying to make their races about local politics, but with headlines back home like these…uh good luck with that?

Pittsburgh-Post Gazette Editorial: Do your duty: the Senate must set a hearing for Judge Garland

Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial: Politics wrong scale to weigh Obama, Christie nominees

               Citizens Voice Editorial: Worthy nominee deserves Senate consideration

               Concord Monitor Editorial: The game is clear, so let’s not pretend

               Concord Monitor Op-Ed: If Ayotte cares about climate, she’ll end obstruction

 Kansas City Star Editorial: Obama’s solid Supreme Court choice exposes GOP senators as obstructionist puppets

Kansas City Star Op-Ed: Obama will get nowhere with his Supreme Court nomination, and that’s embarrassing

               Arizona Republic: Supreme Court pick could affect John McCain’s reelection bid

               Philadelphia Inquirer Op-Ed: Another GOPer not doing his job: Pat Toomey

               Boston Globe Editorial: Merrick Garland deserves hearings and a vote

               Arizona Republic: Montini: Upside down McCain flips (again) on Court nominee

 St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial: Sen. Blunt should give Supreme Court nominee a fair hearing

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Editorial: Senate must do its job and grant Merrick Garland a hearing

Toledo Blade Editorial: Give judge a hearing, vote

DON’T BELIEVE THE SPIN – MEETINGS NOT THE SAME AS HEARINGS. After weeks of polls showing voters want the Supreme Court vacancy filled now and after numerous scathing editorials, Rob Portman, Kelly Ayotte and Ron Johnson are attempting to spin their indefensible obstructionist stance by saying they will meet with Judge Garland. But don’t be fooled – their positions haven’t changed at all. These vulnerable Senators are still standing firm with Republicans in their plan to ignore their constitutional duty by refusing to hold hearings or votes on Judge Garland – they just are willing to meet with Garland to tell him that she is putting politics above his nomination. Ouch.

WATCH: Manu Raju and Wolf Blitzer discussed on CNN that “it’s one thing to have a meeting…it’s another thing to have a formal hearing before the Judiciary Committee.”

PRIMARY PROBLEMS? DC Republicans, desperate to distract from their own recruitment failures, tried to create news of Democratic “primary problems,” but Tuesday night’s primary victories proved that the DSCC is backing strong candidates who are running smart, state-focused campaigns. Sorry, NRSC. Looks like you guys are the only ones with primary problems.

IN ILLINOIS… Tammy Duckworth won by a 40-point margin over the second place primary candidate, and counted 200,000 more voters than were cast for US Senator Mark Kirk in his primary.

IN OHIO… Despite up to $13 million spent by Rob Portman and his Washington allies to damage him, Ted Strickland won 65 percent of the vote – a 43-point margin over the second place primary candidate.

IN NORTH CAROLINA… More than 62 percent of Democratic voters cast their ballots for Deborah Ross, giving her a 45-point margin of victory and a better vote share than incumbent Senator Burr secured in his own primary. Political observers noted that Ross’s commanding victory “has to send a few shock waves through the Burr camp.”

NEW THIS MORNING – DSCC ENDORSES JIM GRAY. The DSCC announced the endorsement of Jim Gray in Kentucky today. Chairman Tester released the following statement: “From his experience in the private sector as a successful businessman to building a strong record as Lexington’s mayor, Jim Gray has shown he is a leader in Kentucky. Jim has proven he knows how to work with Democrats and Republicans alike to find commonsense solutions to problems facing middle class Kentuckians, and we know he will do exactly that once elected to the Senate. Kentucky deserves better than a Senator who continues to treats his job as a consolation prize, and we are proud to support Jim’s campaign to be a Senator who finally puts Kentucky first.”

ANOTHER ROUGH WEEK FOR GRASSLEY. It’s been another week of bad headlines of Senator Chuck Grassley.

First, a new poll published in Roll Call highlighted just how much Grassley’s role in Republicans’ Supreme Court blockade is hurting him with Iowans. 47% of voters would be less likely to vote for Grassley because of his obstructionist stance.

Then, Grassley claimed not to know anything about the Judicial Crisis Network, a dark money group running ads to in Iowa to prop him up as he receives SCOTUS-related criticism. Only problem with that claim? He met with the group just a few weeks ago. Oops.

Grassley’s own words on the Supreme Court nominating process came back to bite him this week. Here’s what he said in 1987: “The dangers of politicizing the nomination process are exceeded only by its short-sightedness. After all, presidential elections and Supreme Court nominations come and go. I urge my colleagues to resist the clarion call of raw politics that undermines the independent judiciary.” We agree, Senator Grassley! Maybe you should listen to yourself?

Grassley is being called out by both Democrats and Republicans in Iowa for his Supreme Court blockade. Two former Iowa lieutenant governors, one Democrat and one Republican, joined together to urge Grassley to put partisanship aside and hold hearings on Judge Garland.

And to top it all off…Grassley was roundly criticized for saying he would meet with Judge Garland because “If I can meet with a dictator in Uganda, I can surely meet” with Garland.

Chuck Grassley’s sure hoping next week will be better than this one. It probably won’t be.

IN THE STATES

OHIO – The Strickland campaign is out with a new web ad pegging Rob Portman has a Washington insider and a dedicated outsourcer. Watch “Beltway Rob” here and check out the Strickland campaign’s new website www.BeltwayRob.com.

MORE OHIO – Former Gov. Strickland wasted no time launching his general election campaign with a three-day “Working Families First Tour” across Ohio. Strickland’s living room discussions have touched on student loan reform and raising the minimum wage.

NEW HAMPSHIRE – Over the past week Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has been receiving well-deserved criticism, but one person who’s on his side is Senator Kelly Ayotte. In 2012, Ayotte praised Lewandowski for his leadership at a Koch-backed event. Lewandowski is the subject of a recent report about inappropriate behavior and was accused of assaulting a female reporter a Trump event.

WISCONSIN – President Obama and Vice President Biden endorsed Russ Feingold this week. Both leaders touted Feingold’s record of fighting for issues that matter for Wisconsinites.

FLORIDA – This week, Patrick Murphy nabbed more big endorsements in his Florida Senate bid. On Monday, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Florida Regional Council endorsed Murphy, highlighting his proven record of fighting for hardworking middle class families. On Thursday, 46 Congressional Democrats, including ten from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, announced their endorsement of Murphy.

ILLINOIS – The League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund and the Sierra Club endorsed Tammy Duckworth on Monday, touting her record on climate change and clean energy.

NEVADA – Catherine Cortez Masto went on the air with two ads this week. “La Familia” is a Spanish-language ad that tells the story of Cortez Masto’s large Mexican and Italian family. “Serious Crisis” highlights her strong record of fighting against human trafficking as Nevada’s Attorney General.

TWEET OF THE WEEK – This week’s Tweet of the Week goes to former White House Communications Direcotr Dan Pfeiffer, who highlighted the scariest part of Republicans’ Supreme Court blockade: “@danpfeiffer: Remember the Republican Senate is pledging to block Garland in the hopes Trump can pick the 9th Justice”

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DSCC FRIDAY TAKEAWAYS: SENATE REPUBLICANS HAVE A CANDIDATE QUALITY PROBLEM, DSCC DETAILS ADVERTISING & SENATE DEMS DOMINATE...

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