HEALTH CARE RANKS HIGH IN NEW POLLS. Heading into the final three weeks and two new national polls from Washington Post-ABC News and CBS News find that health care remains voters’ highest priority:

  • Washington Post-ABC News: 82 percent of voters say health care is one of the single most important or very important issues this midterm. By a nearly 20-point margin, voters trust Democrats to do a better job handling health care than Republicans, 53 percent to 35 percent.
  • CBS News: 70 percent of voters cite health care as very important to their vote. Those who said health care is a top priority support Democrats over Republicans, 57 to 35 percent.

NBC NEWS: HEALTH CARE “NUMBER ONE TOPIC” IN SENATE ADS. When the message works, you put money behind it and NBC reports Democrats’ focus on protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions has forced their Republican opponents to go on defense:

  • “Since Sept. 1, 12 ads have aired in the Arizona Senate race that touched on health care. In 11 of those ads there was a direct mention of pre-existing conditions and 10 of them supported the Democratic candidate, Kyrsten Sinema… At the same time, the one pro-Republican healthcare ad in that time attempted to rebut Sinema’s claims, arguing that McSally has voted to preserve the coverage of pre-existing conditions.”

SMART TAKE ALERT: “Despite a political environment that’s focused heavily on the partisan debate inside Washington — everything from Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Russia investigation — outside of D.C. candidates and voters are focused on bread-and-butter issues.”

AZ REPUBLIC, ASSOCIATED PRESS DIG INTO MCSALLY HEALTH CARE RECORD. It’s the reporting Republicans tried very hard to keep Arizonans from seeing, but the facts on Congresswoman McSally’s votes to eliminate pre-existing conditions protections ran on the front page of the Arizona Republic on Sunday and across the state today, courtesy of the Associated Press. Here are the highlights:

  • Arizona Republic: McSally’s 2017 vote scrutinized
    “After casting her vote for the American Health Care Act, McSally issued a statement saying the legislation preserved protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
    “‘Consumer protections are things people want to see stay,” Derksen said. “The fact is that under the American Health Care Act of 2017, millions of Americans would have lost their health insurance.’”
    “Voters are concerned about spiraling drug costs, losing coverage and potential cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, among other health-care issues, Derksen said.”
  • AP: Democrats go all-in on health care, pre-existing conditions
    “Marylea Evans recounted how, decades ago, her husband had been unable to get health insurance after developing cancer, forcing the couple to sell some of their Texas ranch to pay for his treatment. Now she was worried about Democratic ads saying McSally, currently a congresswoman, supported legislation removing the requirement that insurers cover people with pre-existing medical conditions.
    “‘It’s a lie,’ McSally said quickly, accustomed to having to interrupt a discussion of the tax cut to parry attacks on health care.
    “The exchange demonstrated how Democratic arguments about health care are resonating with voters in the final weeks before the midterm elections.”

    “McSally, voted for a wide-ranging bill that would have, among other things, undermined protections for people with pre-existing conditions and drastically changed and shrunk Medicaid.”

A TREND WITH STAYING POWER: REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES THIS YEAR FALL FLAT. Republicans once had their sights set on a supermajority but are now defending the goal line and look at their disappointing recruits in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to understand why. From the Washington Post:

  • “Republicans running for governor or senator in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, including several who hitched their wagon to Trump’s political movement, are behind in polls by double digits… If current polling averages hold, Democrats will maintain all their Senate seats in those states.”

DEM ENDORSEMENT ROUNDUP. Democratic candidates across the country racked up endorsements from major newspapers over the weekend. Here are the highlights:

  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Editorial: Missouri voters should keep Claire McCaskill in the U.S. Senate. “Incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has a long record of service in elective office. Her bipartisan voting record reflects the moderate political tendencies of Missouri voters. She is tough… We had expected a harder choice, but GOP candidate Josh Hawley, the state attorney general, has made it easier by undermining his own competitiveness with political miscalculations and blunders. He is running his campaign from the gutter.”
  • Billings Gazette: Keep Tester working for Montana in U.S. Senate. “A champion for U.S. veterans, agriculture producers, affordable health care, accessible public lands and the First Amendment, Jon Tester will continue to serve Montana well if voters re-elect him on Nov. 6… Tester has delivered for Montana.”
  • Montana Standard: Re-elect Jon Tester to the U.S. Senate. “There are many reasons, we believe, to vote for Jon Tester in his bid for a third term in the U.S. Senate. Montana’s interests are best served by the man who has proven his commitment to them.”
  • Akron Beacon Journal/ Sherrod Brown for the U.S. Senate. “Sherrod Brown understands what makes for an effective U.S. senator… That understanding helps explain how he steadily has gotten better at his job the past dozen years and why he makes such a strong argument for a third term.”

NB: Each of these editorials noted the importance of health care – whether making it more affordable, protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions or improving access to rural communities – in making their endorsements.

WHAT IS SHE HIDING? Arizona Politics reports “A review of the McSally for Senate reports indicates that more than 2,000 of the approximately 9,000 individual contributions are not properly identified.” The FEC has written twice in the last month to McSally demanding she disclose required information, including occupation and residence, for 20 percent of her donors. It’s part of along pattern of McSally blatantly violating campaign finance law.

CHARLESTON GAZETTE-MAIL: IN US SENATE CAMPAIGN, HEALTH CARE, ‘PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS,’ IN SPOTLIGHT. “From both his campaign and official office, Manchin repeatedly invokes pre-existing conditions and Morrisey’s signing onto a lawsuit seeking to repeal the ACA through the judicial branch.” Read it here.

BALDWIN FOR SENATE LAUNCHES NEW MICROSITE: THEDECIDING.VOTE. The Tammy Baldwin for Senate campaign launched a new microsite targeting Leah Vukmir for being a rubber stamp on the Republican Party’s most dangerous policies and highlighting how if given the chance to sell out Wisconsinites, she would be the deciding vote to eliminate affordable health care and end protections for pre-existing conditions coverage. See for yourself:


… HUFFPOST: MINNESOTA GOP SENATE CONTENDER COMPARED MICHELLE OBAMA TO A ‘CHIMP’ ON FACEBOOK. HuffPost reports on Karin Housley’s 2009 racist quip about Michelle Obama in which she stated: “the chimpanzee in the 1951 film ‘Bedtime for Bonzo,’ starring then-actor Ronald Reagan, likely had better posture than Mrs. Obama.” When asked to clarify her harmful comments, Housley’s campaign chose to berate the journalist rather than take responsibility for them.


AZ- Kyrsten Sinema vows to be a Senator who solves problems for Arizonans in “Go Forward.”

PA –Bob Casey released three new ads featuring Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions who slam Congressman Lou Barletta for siding with the insurance industry and supporting measures to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions coverage: “Stacie,” “Lisa,” and “Amy.”


FL-WJHG: Senator Nelson meets with federal medical responders in Panama City

MT-KTVH: Tester introduces legislation to fund Milk River project

ND-KVRR: Sen. Heitkamp Speaks to Seniors on Importance of Social Security and Healthcare Programs

TN-The Greeneville Sun: Bredesen Visits Stan’s BBQ For Meet-And-Greet

VA -Washington Post: Tim Kaine for U.S. Senate.

WV-Herald-Dispatch: Joe Manchin, Marco Rubio: Bipartisan efforts fight against opioid epidemic


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