FIRST, A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE. Need a download on how we got here? We broke out the major trends that shaped the cycle and how Democrats shifted the toughest Senate map in recent history.
Where We Started. “Can Republican Senators get to 60 seats in 2018?”
Gop Recruitment Failures Cut Their Targets In Half: “Republican recruitment failures — and strong Democratic incumbents — have cut the GOP’s targets in half, shrinking and shifting a historically challenging Senate map.”
Primaries Damaged Republican Nominees: “Primaries filled with intra-party fighting in key states left GOP nominees’ resources depleted and their campaigns weaker heading into the general while Democrats had the advantage of stockpiling funds and getting our message on the air unimpeded.”
Republicans Lost Health Care in the Off-Year: “We’ll quote Washington Post’s Dave Weigel writing in The Trailer: ‘One of the themes of this newsletter has been that stability is itself a strategy.Democrats, by focusing relentlessly on health care over the daily White House story, have put themselves in a stronger position than Republicans, who seem to be flailing from issue to issue.’”
Gop Talking Point Busts: “As Republicans have meandered from repeal and replace to their tax scam to openly lying about their policies with a generation’s worth of weirdness in between (remember calls for President Trump to get the Nobel Peace Prize for giving North Korea everything it wanted?), Democrats have remained laser-focused on the issue voters care most about.”
WATCH: DSCC Chair Van Hollen outlines how strong Democratic incumbents and challengers have shifted the most challenging political map in decades, and how Republicans have spent the closing weeks of the midterms struggling to defend their unpopular health care records.
HEALTH CARE. HEALTH CARE. HEALTH CARE. New national polls find health care remains the top issue of the cycle:
Washington Post-ABC News poll released Sunday finds 78 percent of voters say health care is “very important” and “Democrats hold a lead almost as large — 39 points — among those voters who rank health care as one of the single most important issues.”
CNN poll released Monday finds 52 percent of likely votes say health care is “extremely important” to their vote.
NEW BATTLEGROUND POLLS SHOW DEMS HAVE EDGE.
EARLY VOTE. The Hill dove into the numbers and found “turnout has increased the most among younger voters, minorities and people who rarely or never vote” – key groups for Democrats. Here’s a look at what’s happening the states:
AZ – Democrats are showing up. After narrowing the GOP registration advantage to its lowest point in nearly a decade, Democrats are on track to narrow the voter-participation gap.
FL – Democrats have the lead in votes cast.
NV – Jon Ralston published his prediction for Tuesday: “[Heller] doesn’t like the job all that much. He didn’t want the job all that much. He won’t have the job that much longer.” More updates from the final early/mail voting:
DEM ENDORSEMENT ROUNDUP. Senate Democratic candidates earned endorsements from newspapers across the country for their strong records of delivering results and leading on the issues that matter most to the people of their states. See the full roundup here.
IN THE STATES
IN-Indy Star: Joe Donnelly: Why Indiana residents should vote for me
MS-WJTV: Mike Espy speaks on the Issues
ND-Valley News Live: Heitkamp to wrap up statewide tour in Grand Forks and Fargo