DEMS LEADING IN FLORIDA, OHIO SENATE RACES. The latest Quinnipiac poll shows Dems opening up strong leads in crucial battleground states. In Florida, Patrick Murphy leads Rep. Ron DeSantis by 8 percentage points, and leads likely candidate Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez Cantera by 12 percentage points. In Ohio, Ted Strickland leads Rob Portman by 6 percentage points.

Washington Examiner: Poll: Democrats Leading In Florida and Ohio Senate Races

The Hill: Poll: Dems Lead Ohio, Fla. Senate Races

Columbus Dispatch: Strickland Continues Lead Over Portman In Latest Poll

Tampa Bay Times: Poll: Murphy Leads Opponents

St. Peters Blog: Is CLC The Waldo Of Florida Politics?

NRSC LOSES A 4TH RECRUIT IN COLORADO. Yeah, you’ve heard it here before. But June has been the month of meltdowns for the GOP in Colorado, with Ellen Roberts becoming the latest in a slew of candidates to pass on the race. With Mike Coffman, Mike Kopp, Cynthia Coffman and Ellen Roberts bowing out, and accusations of infighting and blackmail flying within the Colorado Republican party, the GOP’s chances of running a competitive race in Colorado in 2016 are growing slimmer by the day.

JOHNSON FUNDRAISING SCHEME CATCHING UP TO HIM. Ron Johnson’s sketchy fundraising scheme that amounted to hisbusiness funding his 2010 campaign is finally catching up to him and questions continue to pile up:

  1. When was it decided that his company would pay him a deferred compensation amount of $10 million?
  2. Who made the decision to authorize the agreement?
  3. How was the $10 million figure determined?
  4. If the package was agreed to beforehand why didn’t Johnson disclose the compensation agreement on his Personal Financial Disclosure in mid-2010?
  5. Will he provide copies of the disclosures he allegedly made to the FEC, IRS and Wisconsin Department of Revenue?

VULNERABLE REPUBLICANS BOW TO PRESSURE ON WHITE SUPREMACIST DONATIONS. Rob Portman and Ron Johnson made transparent, calculated political decisions to return campaign donations from a noted white supremacist – only after recognizing the potential for political consequences. Portman and Johnson rushed to sever any ties to Earl Holt III, a self-described “slumlord” and high ranking member of a “white nationalist” hate group only after public outcry.

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CARLOS LOPEZ-CANTERA? Ahead of his Senate campaign launch, Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera is making big headlines in Florida for doing very little. As one local station reports:

Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera makes $124,000 a year, but a review of the lieutenant governor’s official schedule since he was sworn in in January shows that he has turned his full-time job into a part-time gig while he looks for new work. After he took the oath of office on Jan. 6, Lopez-Cantera’s schedule shows that he didn’t work a full day for the rest of the month.

According to St. Peters Blog, Lopez-Cantera worked only 35 hours in April, and under 13 hours in May. At the start of the week, he had only put in 8 hours of work in June. Sounds like a great gig!

News 4 Jax: Gov. Rick Scott Questioned About Lieutenant Governor’s Work Schedule


ILLINOIS – KIRK’S APPROVALS HIT NEW LOW, BADLY LOSING TO DUCKWORTH. A new Ogden & Fry poll shows just 16.9% of voters in Illinois approve of Mark Kirk and find him trailing Tammy Duckworth by a whopping 16 points. No wonder Republicans named him the incumbent most likely to lose reelection last week.

NEW HAMPSHIRE – AYOTTE CATCHES HEAT ON BOLTON DONATIONS. Kelly Ayotte is facing pressure in New Hampshire to return a $5,000 campaign contribution she received from John Bolton, who serves on the advisory board of a group that aired horribly offensive ads last year using the image of the journalist James Foley who was murdered by ISIS.

MORE NEW HAMPSHIRE – ROVE DESPERATE TO PROP UP AYOTTE. In the surest sign yet that national Republicans are growing increasingly worried about Ayotte’s reelection prospects, Karl Rove is already attacking potential opponents in a desperate attempt to prop her up.

NORTH CAROLINA – IS SENATE CONSERVATIVES FUND ITCHING FOR A FIGHT IN NC? Senate Conservatives Fundbashed Richard Burr this week. Burr remains one of the most vulnerable Republicans this cycle, and a challenge from the right will only complicate matters further for him.

MORE NORTH CAROLINA – Dean of the NC press corps, Rob Christensen, recently wrote that “Burr should be prepared for a political brawl” because “North Carolina has a long history of tough, expensive and close races.” He explains that “Burr seems vulnerable. His approval numbers are anemic, with only 35 percent of North Carolina voters approving of the job he is doing compared with 36 percent who disapprove.”

TWEET OF THE WEEK: This week’s tweet goes to the Washington Post: @washingtonpost: Map: Where gay Americans can now marry

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