ONE MILLION MORE FILE JOBLESS CLAIMS, BUT SENATE GOP TURNING THEIR BACKS ON HARDWORKING AMERICANS TO FOCUS ON SCOTUS. Another week of coronavirus cases rising and continued high jobless claims, but Senate Republicans are refusing to negotiate on a serious relief effort that can pass Congress and help Americans. As Mitch McConnell heads off a bipartisan stimulus deal for fear that it would “disrupt the Senate’s plans to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court next week,” not a single Republican Senator has stood up to McConnell and demanded adequate pandemic relief. Instead, Republicans held another stunt vote this week on an insufficient bill that shortchanges workers, schools, and state and local governments, and had no chance of passing. Because of Senate Republicans’ inaction, “tens of millions of Americans are dealing with uncertain futures” as they’re left to deal with the worst economic crisis in more than a generation without Washington’s help.
REPUBLICANS RUBBER STAMP TRUMP’S SCOTUS NOMINEE WITH A RECORD OF HOSTILITY TO THE ACA. In the middle of an ongoing public health crisis, Senate Republicans have abandoned hardworking Americans who desperately need additional relief in favor of rubber stamping Trump’s Supreme Court nominee hostile to the ACA just in time to hear oral arguments in the GOP’s dangerous lawsuit to dismantle the entire law, including protections for pre-existing conditions. Reminder: nearly 8 in 10 Americans say they don’t want the Supreme Court to strike down the ACA’s pre-existing conditions protections, but Senate Republicans are charging ahead with their agenda that’s become the “party’s albatross” and a “political liability” for the GOP that “could help determine control of the Senate.” Read our full statement here.
GOP MEGA-DONORS FLOOD SENATE RACES IN LAST-DITCH EFFORT TO KEEP MAJORITY. GOP billionaire mega-donors are setting new donation records as they pour money into Republican outside groups in a last-minute desperate attempt to hold onto their Senate majority. Sheldon and Miriam Adelson have donated $60 million total to the Senate Leadership Fund, “making them the super PAC’s largest donor” – and they also account for over a third of funding for a group solely devoted to attacking Jon Ossoff and have donated $1 million to a Super PAC attacking Jaime Harrison and supporting Senator Lindsey Graham. This historic spending contributed to Mitch McConnell’s super PAC’s enormous September haul that has “helped Senate Republicans gain a financial edge in several key races.” With vulnerable GOP incumbents falling behind their Democratic challengers, it’s no surprise the billionaires who have profited from these Republican incumbents running the Senate are now trying to rescue their losing campaigns. Center for Responsive Politics: Adelsons give big to GOP super PACs, setting new donation record
SENATE REPUBLICANS PLAY THE BLAME GAME AS THEIR MAJORITY IS IMPERILED. A new POLITICO report highlights how Senate Republicans have begun to play the blame game, pointing fingers at President Trump’s lack of message discipline in the closing days of the election. But here’s the problem for these vulnerable incumbents: they have spent the last several months grossly mishandling the coronavirus pandemic response and blocking urgently needed bipartisan relief and have been nothing but rubber stamps for the President and his toxic agenda. It’s too late now to complain about a lack of message discipline and try to rewrite four years of unyielding support in the final days before the election. POLITICO: ‘There’s just not any discipline’: GOP chafes at Trump’s closing pitch
REPUBLICANS IN SENATE RACES “ESCHEW DEBATES.” Republicans are so afraid of facing tough questions about their toxic records that they’re dodging debates. Senators Bill Cassidy and Cindy Hyde-Smith as well as Republican candidate Tommy Tuberville are all refusing to debate their opponents and hiding from voters. The reality is that they can’t defend their failed response to the coronavirus pandemic or their long records of support for ripping health care protections away from millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. POLITICO: Senators eschew debates in final campaign stretch
MORNING CONSULT POLLING SHOWS DEMOCRATS MAKING GAINS IN KEY SENATE RACES. New polling from Morning Consult showed Democrats maintaining the lead in Senate races in the key states of Arizona, Colorado, Michigan and North Carolina, taking a lead in South Carolina, and gaining serious ground in Texas. In South Carolina, Jaime Harrison “has taken a narrow lead” of two points over Senator Lindsey Graham, and in Texas, MJ Hegar has cut Senator John Cornyn’s lead “in half since earlier this month.” It’s clear that Democratic candidates’ momentum is only growing as we enter the final stretch before the election. Morning Consult: Key Senate Races Are Tightening as Nov. 3 Approaches
#TXSEN – CORNYN’S FORTUNES HAVE “DRAMATICALLY CHANGED.” A deep dive into Senator John Cornyn’s re-election campaign by the Texas Tribune found that “with less than two weeks until the election, Cornyn’s fortunes have dramatically changed.” Cornyn’s “once-staggering cash-on-hand advantage” has been erased and “11th-hour action is making for a fluid, uncertain finale.” Polling shows a tight race in Texas and nonpartisan election analyst Cook Political Report recently shifted their race rating in Air Force veteran MJ Hegar’s direction. Texas Tribune: John Cornyn confronts late spending spree by MJ Hegar, Democratic allies in reelection campaign
#GASEN – REPUBLICANS BELIEVE PERDUE IN “REAL DANGER.” The Daily Beast took a look at the regular Georgia Senate race and found that Republicans believe “Perdue is in real danger” as he faces an increasingly tough challenge from Jon Ossoff. Nonpartisan analysts consider the race a toss up and Mitch McConnell’s super PAC has dumped over $32 million into Georgia to bail out the imperiled incumbent –– which accounts for one in every five dollars spent overall by the super PAC. One GOP strategist even admits “‘It says it all that he’s close,’” while Democratic strategists agree that David Perdue is “in perilous waters.” Daily Beast: David Perdue’s Race Was Under the Radar. Then He Opened His Mouth.
#IASEN POLL: GREENFIELD MAINTAINS NARROW EDGE. A new Monmouth poll found that Theresa Greenfield maintains a narrow lead over incumbent Senator Joni Ernst in the Iowa Senate race. Iowans also viewed Greenfield “as understanding the day-to-day concerns of average Iowans” better than Ernst. And it looks like Ernst’s soybean flub is still haunting her: the director of the Monmouth Polling Institute stated “perhaps knowing the price of soybeans is more important to voters than partisan ideology right now.” Monmouth Polling: Biden Takes Likely Voter Lead; Greenfield Maintains Narrow Senate Edge
IN THE STATES
AK – Alaska Public Media: Sullivan stands close to Trump, stays quiet about his controversies
CO – Colorado Times Recorder: Complaint to Senate Ethics Committee Alleges Gardner’s Tele-Townhall Violated Rules
IA – Iowa Starting Line: Iowa Dems: Ernst Prioritizing Barrett Vote At Expense Of COVID Relief
ME – Bangor Daily News: Barack Obama says electing Sara Gideon key for flipping Senate
MS – Mississippi Today: President Barack Obama endorses Mike Espy in Mississippi Senate race
Rick Scott’s “Rocky” First Week Marked By Growing Republican Fears That New NRSC Chair “Has Dug The Party A Hole”
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