LESS THAN ONE MONTH UNTIL SCOTUS HEARS GOP ANTI-HEALTH CARE LAWSUIT. We’re now less than one month away from the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments on November 10 in the GOP lawsuit to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act and eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions, kick an estimated 20 million Americans off their health insurance, end Medicaid expansion for at least 12 million people, and cut other health care benefits while giving the richest 0.1% a massive tax windfall. In the middle of a pandemic that has left millions of Americans unemployed and newly uninsured, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are furiously rushing to fill the Supreme Court vacancy with a nominee hostile to the Affordable Care Act before the arguments, and Senate Republican incumbents and candidates are on record either supporting or refusing to oppose this lawsuit. A recent poll shows voters in Senate battlegrounds “overwhelmingly disapprove” of the lawsuit, yet Republicans are ignoring voters’ wishes and plowing forward.
REPUBLICANS REVOLT OVER ATTEMPTS TO RESTART PANDEMIC RELIEF NEGOTIATIONS. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans have once again turned their backs on millions of Americans who desperately need help by agreeing to abandon efforts to pass a new relief package this past week. Now, as Democrats and the White House attempt to “resuscitate bipartisan stimulus talks,” Senate Republicans have “revolted” and are “standing in the way.” Amid an ongoing slowdown in hiring and rising jobless claims, McConnell will not commit to any immediate relief. Some Republicans are even saying the quiet part out loud: Senator Mike Lee “warned that an effort to muscle a spending bill through the Senate could derail efforts to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court before Nov. 3.” Despite alarming reports that suggest that Republicans’ decision to delay relief could be “dangerous” for the economy as “many furloughs are turning into permanent job losses,” Senate Republicans have made the decision to ignore Americans’ wishes and prioritize rushing to fill this Supreme Court vacancy.
VOTERS OPPOSE SENATE REPUBLICANS’ RUSH TO FILL SCOTUS VACANCY. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that a majority of voters say the Supreme Court vacancy “should be left to the winner of the presidential election and a Senate vote next year.” But despite the clear opposition to the rush to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans have decided to ram through a lifetime appointment before voters have had the opportunity to make their voices heard. ABC News: Majority says wait on the SCOTUS seat; 6 in 10 favor upholding Roe: POLL
EMBATTLED REPUBLICANS SUDDENLY ATTEMPT TO DISTANCE FROM TRUMP. New reporting from the weekend highlights how “embattled Republican senators, most of whom proudly embraced Donald Trump through thick and thin, are suddenly running away from the president as he craters in the polls.” It’s the “clearest sign that Democrats hold a clear advantage” in the battle for control of the Senate. But the problem for these vulnerable Republican incumbents who are trying “to separate themselves from President Trump and his possible political collapse, focusing on his carelessness with the virus” is they’ve spent months fawningly praising his disastrous pandemic response. Their sudden about-face is nothing more than a desperate attempt to save their political careers, when the truth is that they’ve repeatedly defended the president’s unpopular handling of coronavirus. The bottom line: it’s too late for vulnerable Senate Republicans to rewrite their records of praising and enabling Trump’s failed pandemic response.
SENATE REPUBLICANS “FREAK OUT” OVER HISTORIC FUNDRAISING HAULS FROM DEMOCRATS. Washington Republicans are freaking out over the “green tsunami” of Democratic fundraising as “the online fundraising edge that Democrats have enjoyed for years has mushroomed into an overpowering force.” Fired up small-dollar donors are flooding money into Senate races across the map, allowing Democrats to expand “the Senate battlefield to a dozen competitive races, burying long-contested states like Iowa and Maine in TV ads while also overwhelming Republican opponents in states like Alaska, Kansas and South Carolina that are suddenly tightening.” Republican consultants have admitted that “the money is indicative [of] how much energy there is on their side, and the lack thereof on our side” while Majority Leader McConnell is frustrated, complaining on a call to donors last week “that GOP incumbents were getting beaten financially across the board in every competitive race.” The money disparities are “exacerbating broader issues as the party battles to hold the majority.” POLITICO: ‘Green tsunami’: Inside Senate Republicans’ financial freak-out
HARRISON SHATTERS SENATE FUNDRAISING RECORDS. Jaime Harrison shattered congressional fundraising records, raking in an astounding $57 million in the third quarter. The eye-popping numbers are just further evidence of Jaime’s unprecedented grassroots support: the $57 million haul was made up of 1.5 million donations from 994,000 donors with the average contribution as $37. Just last week, Cook Political Report shifted the South Carolina Senate race rating to Toss-Up as polling shows the race is a dead heat and Mitch McConnell’s super PAC was forced to start dumping millions into propping up the increasingly vulnerable Senator Lindsey Graham.
THE STATE EDITORIAL BOARD: GRAHAM IS TO BLAME FOR FRIDAY’S NON-DEBATE. Senator Lindsey Graham refused to take a coronavirus test ahead of Friday night’s South Carolina Senate debate, forcing the debate organizers to turn the originally scheduled debate into a forum to keep everyone safe — and The State Editorial Board wasted no time eviscerating the vulnerable Senator for his actions. The Editorial Board wrote, “it defies logic to understand why at a time when the president of the United States and at least two U.S. senators have contracted COVID-19…Graham would refuse Harrison’s request to take a coronavirus test before the Democrat would agree to participate in their second debate.” In their own words: “someone needs to take the blame for what happened. And let’s not mince words about who that ‘someone’ is. It is Sen. Graham.” The State: Lindsey Graham and Jaime Harrison didn’t debate in Spartanburg. Here’s who to blame
BOLLIER RAISES $13.5 MILLION IN Q3. Dr. Barbara Bollier announced raising nearly $13.5 million over the third quarter of 2020 –– more than any Kansas candidate for state, local or federal office has raised in a single quarter in history, and breaking her own record set in the second quarter of 2020. In a show of Bollier’s impressive grassroots support, the haul was made up of 453,555 individual contributions from 364,878 donors with the average contribution of less than $30. Meanwhile, Washington Republicans have been forced to bail out underwhelming candidate Congressman Roger Marshall and have dropped over $16 million into this race since the primary, a reminder that the GOP trainwreck in Kansas is far from over. Kansas City Star: Bollier shatters fundraising record in historically expensive Kansas race for Senate
PORTLAND PRESS HERALD ENDORSES SARA GIDEON IN #MESEN. The Editorial Board of Maine’s largest newspaper, the Portland Press Herald, endorsed Sara Gideon for U.S. Senate, citing her “ability to find common ground and make progress on tough issues.” The Editorial Board heaped praise on Gideon, writing that her health care plans “would be a literal life saver” and her record as Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives shows that she’ll be able to make “worthwhile progress in Washington’s highly polarized environment.” As the Press Herald summed up: “Maine can’t wait any longer while Congress ignores the nation’s most pressing issues” — so “if Mainers want a Senate committed to progress on the issues that directly affect their lives, Gideon is the clear choice.” Portland Press Herald: Our Endorsement: Time for change in U.S. Senate
BEAUMONT ENTERPRISE ENDORSES MJ HEGAR IN #TXSEN. The Beaumont Enterprise Editorial Board endorsed MJ Hegar for U.S. Senate, writing that the decorated Air Force veteran “speaks for many of the concerns of average Texans, like protecting Obamacare and expanding Medicaid in Texas, crucial issues that Cornyn and most Republicans stubbornly oppose.” The Editorial Board lambasted Cornyn for supporting “the Senate’s unseemly rush to fill the Supreme Court vacancy,” calling it hypocritical and writing that “a vote for Cornyn or any other senator who participates in this cynical scheme cannot be justified.” Beaumont Enterprise: EDITORIAL: Endorsements listed for Nov. 3 election
NEW POLLS: WARNOCK “SOARS AHEAD” IN #GASEN. Two new polls show the race for Georgia’s special election “now has a clear front-runner.” A WSB poll found Reverend Raphael Warnock leading the field with 36% and “staking a double-digit lead over the two top Republicans in the race” while a new Public Policy Polling survey found Warnock “continues to grow his support and now has a 17 point lead over the rest of the field at 41%.” The PPP also found that Warnock is “proving to be easily the most popular of the major candidates in the field” with +17 net favorability rating whereas to both unelected Senator Kelly Loeffler and Congressman Doug Collins both have net negative favorability ratings. These numbers are just the latest in a string of polls showing Warnock surging and growing his momentum in the final stretch. AJC: WSB poll: Warnock soars ahead in wild Georgia US Senate race
GREENFIELD LEADS ANOTHER #IASEN POLL. A new CBS News/YouGov poll of Iowa’s Senate race has Theresa Greenfield leading vulnerable incumbent Senator Joni Ernst 47%-43%. The poll found that Greenfield “is getting strong support from Democrats and leads among independents,” while Ernst is doing worse among Republicans than Greenfield is among Democrats. CBS News: Biden leads Trump in Michigan and Nevada, and race is tied in Iowa — CBS News Battleground Tracker poll
POLITIFACT LABELS NRSC ALLEGATIONS AGAINST GIDEON “MOSTLY FALSE.” The NRSC has lost yet another fact check for their desperate claims, this time for false claims about Sara Gideon. While the NRSC has been trying to claim that Sara “‘knew the truth about’ sexual allegations against a state lawmaker” and was “‘using her power to cover up,’” PolitiFact found that “there is no evidence” for their claims and rates the NRSC’s statement “Mostly False.” It’s just another example of the NRSC’s increasingly desperate and flimsy attacks against surging Democratic challengers falling flat. PolitiFact: No evidence that Maine Senate candidate Sara Gideon used her power for ‘coverup’
ERNST CAUGHT USING GOP OPERATIVES IN TESTIMONIALS. Vulnerable incumbent Senator Joni Ernst got caught featuring Republican operatives and former politicians in testimonials posted on her social media. The videos featuring “Iowans speaking to her support for farmers and tax relief” fail to disclose “the links between the Republican Party of Iowa and the men praising Ernst.” It’s not the first time this cycle that a desperate Republican incumbent has gotten caught featuring party operatives in campaign materials meant to convey support from everyday voters. Iowa Starting Line: Ernst Testimonials Feature Not-So-Ordinary Iowans
QUOTE OF THE DAY: IOWA VOTER ON JONI ERNST’S FAILED PROMISES: A CNN report on Senator Joni Ernst’s re-election found that the “the potential path to the Senate majority” is “suddenly experiencing an unexpected Iowa detour” as the vulnerable incumbent faces an increasingly difficult re-election campaign. And Iowa voters aren’t pleased with Ernst’s broken promises: “‘She was a kick-butt candidate, who was going to take names once she got to Washington,’ said Cindy DePond, stopping to chat late last week after casting her early vote. ‘She did not make them squeal. We didn’t see any of that from her.’” Read more about Ernst’s struggles → CNN: Trump’s troubles weighing on Iowa Senate race as Joni Ernst fights for reelection
GARY PETERS SHARES PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH ABORTION. In a powerful interview with Elle, Senator Gary Peters became the first sitting senator to ever share a personal experience with abortion. Peters discussed the “gut-wrenching and complicated” situation he faced with his first wife Heidi when they were pregnant with their second child and experienced complications that left the fetus with no chance of survival. Ultimately, the abortion may have saved her life. Senator Peters decided to share this story “because the right to make such decisions as a family, free of politics, has never been more at stake” as Senate Republicans rush to fill the Supreme Court vacancy with a nominee hostile to a woman’s right to choose. Peters’ support for reproductive freedom is in stark contrast to failed politician John James, who openly opposes abortion in most circumstances including rape and incest and supports overturning Roe v. Wade. Elle: Michigan Senator Gary Peters Shares His Abortion Story
DEM AD WATCH
GA – In Jon Ossoff’s latest ad, his wife Dr. Alisha Kramer talks about her experience as a doctor and how affordable health care for all Georgians is a priority for Ossoff. Watch.
IA – Theresa Greenfield’s new ad highlights her deep commitment to protecting Social Security, knowing from personal experience how important it is to keep hardworking families on their feet. Watch.
SC – Viola Davis narrates Jaime Harrison’s new ad about community, hope and what can be accomplished when working together for South Carolinians. Watch.
IN THE STATES
AL – New York Times: Tommy Tuberville’s Financial Fumbles
ME – News Center Maine: Sara Gideon kicks off ‘Health Care is on the Ballot’ tour
MT – NBC Montana: Bullock holds campaign rally in Missoula
IN THE STATES: Senate Democrats Highlight How They’re Fighting For Working Families During State Work Period
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