DSCC MEMO: WHAT TO WATCH WITH TWO WEEKS UNTIL ELECTION DAY. With just 14 days left until election day, we’ve highlighted three trends driving Senate Democrats’ path to the midterms:

  1. Democrats have shifted a historically challenging Senate map: cutting GOP targets in half and expanding offensive opportunities. Now Democratic registration and early voting are surging.
  2. The issue terrain is in Democrats’ favor – especially health care.
  3. Democrats have the enthusiasm, out-performing expectations all cycle.

The bottom line: Senate Democrats have shifted a historically challenging map in our favor, the issue terrain is hostile as ever for Republicans and our campaigns enjoy an enthusiasm advantage that has boosted Democratic candidates all cycle. Heading into the final two weeks, our candidates are well-positioned and executing the strategies developed to win these competitive races. Read the full memo here.

WATCH: DSCC CHAIRMAN CHRIS VAN HOLLEN OUTLINE THE STAKES IN THE MIDTERMS. On CNN last night, Chairman Van Hollen highlighted how pre-existing conditions are the top issue of the cycle and Republicans are on the wrong side:

“THE TABLES HAVE TURNED ON HEALTH CARE IN 2018.” Reporting on the GOP’s health care hypocrisy is piling up as headlines show that their attempts to cover up their toxic records on health care aren’t working:

CNN: “They are especially struggling to defend the provisions in the House-passed repeal bill, and a separate lawsuit by attorneys general and governors from 20 Republican states, to unravel the law’s requirement that insurers provide coverage, with no surcharge, to patients with preexisting health conditions.”

ABC: “In the final weeks of the 2018 midterm campaign, Republican candidates across the country have released ads touting concerns about maintaining protections for people with pre-existing conditions, even as their party and the current administration have moved repeatedly to weaken the anti-pricing-discrimination laws.”

“Josh Hawley, the current attorney general of Missouri and the state’s Republican candidate for Senate, is one of 20 GOP state officials who joined a federal lawsuit earlier this year that could end Obamacare and those protections. Hawley, like many Republican House candidates, has come under considerable attack this month for a last-minute health care ad that shows him with his family.”

NEW GOP THREAT TO PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. After months of Republicans feigning interest in protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions to fool voters while actively working to dismantle those protections, the Trump Administration has revealed their true motives. New reports outline just how high the stakes are:

  • Huffington Post: “Healthcare has become a defining issue of next month’s midterm elections, and Republicans across the country, including President Donald Trump, are promising voters that they care deeply about protecting people with pre-existing conditions…But Monday’s rule change almost certainly means that, overall, people with serious medical problems are likely to have a harder time finding coverage ― and, ultimately, paying their medical bills.”
  • Washington Post: “health-policy wonks have expressed legitimate concern that these leaner plans could draw healthy people away from the marketplaces, resulting in higher premiums for those remaining — a population that would presumably include many Americans with preexisting conditions. Allowing subsidies to flow to these leaner plans could make them even more attractive to the healthy, further exacerbating the problem.”
  • The Hill: “A new guidance issued Monday by the Trump administration loosens restrictions states face to waive ObamaCare requirements and will allow them to pursue conservative health policies that were previously not allowed under the Obama administration.”
  • Roll Call: “The criticism of Republicans over health care and protections for pre-existing conditions, especially as it relates to their support for a Texas-led lawsuit that could upend the health care law, has been among the most consistent messages of Senate Democrats this cycle.”
  • Politico: “The move, however, could recharge the already inflamed debate over insurance protections for pre-existing conditions — an issue that’s been especially problematic for Republicans as midterm elections approach. Republicans have recently vowed on the campaign trail to protect pre-existing conditions, even as many supported Obamacare repeal plans that would have weakened the health care law’s requirements.”

Our take: “A week after Mitch McConnell blew their cover, now the White House put them on the spot by announcing that they would allow states to sell plans without coverage for pre-existing conditions.”

POLITICO: GOP CANDIDATES TRY TO “CHANGE THE SUBJECT.” Republicans’ plan to run on tax cuts in the midterms quickly fizzled out as Politico reports: “With polls showing Americans are more likely to disapprove of the tax law than to approve of it, GOP candidates have been changing the subject to other issues like immigration and health care. Some of the lawmakers who wrote the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are even struggling to hang onto their seats.”

HEALTH CARE TAKES CENTER STAGE IN NEVADA DEBATE. KUNR reports that health care dominated last week’s #NVSEN debate, with Jacky Rosen holding Senator Dean Heller accountable for his “votes during last year’s repeal effort – often referring to Heller’s promise to fight for keeping protections for people with pre-existing conditions and being a rubber stamp for President Trump.”

OBAMA: “JACKY ROSEN BELIEVES HEALTH CARE IS NOT A PRIVILEGE FOR THE CHOSEN FEW.” The Las Vegas Sun reports that during a GOTV rally in Nevada yesterday, former President Obama touted Jacky Rosen’s record on health care and slammed Republicans for their efforts to undermine it:

  • “Incumbent Sen. Dean Heller, whose Democratic opponent Rep. Jacky Rosen sat on stage with Obama during his appearance, has voiced his support for protecting pre-existing conditions as part of any health care bill. Obama said in Nevada, people can bet on almost anything, but should not bet on the GOP protecting their health care.
  • “‘That’s like letting foxes into the hen house,’ Obama said. ‘Jacky Rosen’s a better bet. Jacky Rosen believes health care is not a privilege for the few. … She’s not going to let Republicans gut protections for pre-existing conditions.’”

BIDEN: “I HAVEN’T SERVED WITH ANYONE WITH MORE CHARACTER AND MORE DECENCY THAN BILL NELSON.” Former Vice President Joe Biden is hitting the trail with Senator Bill Nelson this week. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that at a rally on Monday, Biden highlighted Nelson’s record of fighting for Florida and said “I’ve campaigned for a lot of people all over this country…The American people are looking for people with character. … I haven’t served with anyone with more character and more decency than Bill Nelson.”

AZ REPUBLIC COLUMN BLASTS “MCSHIFTY” & HIGHLIGHTS SINEMA VET RECORD. Arizona Republic’s EJ Montini blasted Congresswoman Martha McSally for saying and doing anything to get elected:

  • “McSally wanted to move up from representative to senator, and for that she needed Trump voters…It explains why the congresswoman McShifted to the right, particularly on the issue of border security…But in Democrat Krysten Sinema it became clear that McSally was up against a candidate with broad appeal as a centrist.”
  • Congress passed and the president signed Sinema’s “Sergeant Daniel Somers Classified Veterans Access to Care Act,” legislation aimed at helping vets like Somers, who sought help from the VA after his discharge and didn’t get it. He took his own life.
  • Sinema worked with Sgt. Somers’ parents, Howard and Jean, to put the legislation together. (The grateful couple has filmed campaign ads on Sinema’s behalf.)

HAWLEY FORCED TO DEFEND MISMANAGEMENT OF AG’S OFFICE. In an interview with KY3, Josh Hawley was forced to respond to stunning reports of his gross mismanagement of the Missouri Attorney General office saying “I’ve had an incredibly productive two years.” But the reports of his political opportunism and incompetence which have cost missouri taxpayers millions don’t lie.

Our take: “Josh Hawley has always been out for himself and what these new reports show is how he’s used his taxpayer-funded office to get ahead – at the expense of Missourians. From leading a lawsuit to eliminate protections for the 2.5 million Missourians with a pre-existing condition to spending millions more on litigation, Hawley’s proven he cannot be trusted to the job Missourians hired him to do.”

CONGRESSMAN RENACCI CAN’T RECALL A SINGLE ACHIEVEMENT. When WCPO served Jim Renacci a softball question – what is your proudest achievement while serving in the House – Renacci was at a loss to name a single legislative success. His response: “My proudest achievement is getting there because I never really knew what an honor it would be to be there.” Watch the awkward exchange here.


MO – Veterans make the steadfast case that Claire McCaskill has “moved mountains to help veterans like me,” in the ad, “Lies.”

ND – In her new ad, “Kegger,” Heidi Heitkamp touts her record as an independent voice for North Dakotans.


FL-Sun Sentinel: 1 million people have already voted in the Nov. 6 election
MS-WCBI: Mike Espy Meets With Starkville Community
MO-Columbia Daily Tribune: McCaskill touts record on health care in campaign stop
MO-KHMO Radio: McCaskill Makes Campaign Stop in Hannibal
ND-KFGO: Former US Defense Secretary Hagel stumping for Heitkamp
WI-WBAY: Sen. Baldwin campaigns in Green Bay area

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