● CA-Sen: Field Research is out with their first general election poll of California's Senate race since last month's top-two primary, and they give Attorney General Kamala Harris a 39-24 edge against Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a fellow Democrat. The only other recent poll we've seen here came from SurveyMonkey, and they had Harris leading 47-22.
Harris has more money and support from Democratic leaders than Sanchez. If Sanchez wants to win, she'll need to overwhelmingly take conservative voters, while still holding onto enough Democrats to be competitive in this solidly blue state. However, Field underscores how challenging Sanchez's task will be. Among Republicans, it's Harris who leads, and by a 28-16 score. To make things tougher for Sanchez, another 31 percent of Republican voters say that they're just going to skip this all-Democratic contest.
Sanchez has been reaching out to GOP leaders, and she's gained a few endorsements for her trouble. On Thursday, Sanchez appeared on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt's program, and he endorsed her shortly thereafter. Last month, ex-Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan also backed her. But Sanchez is going to need a lot more help if she's going to win in November in this expensive state.
Be sure to check out our second quarter Senate fundraising chart, which we'll be updating as new numbers come in.
● FL-Sen: Marco Rubio (R-inc): $2.1 million raised (in nine days)
● LA-Sen: John Kennedy (R): $946,000 raised, $1.4 million cash-on-hand
● FL-05: On Friday, the 24-count indictment against Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown and Ronnie Simmons, Brown's longtime chief of staff, was unveiled. Brown's problems are linked to One Door for Education, an unregistered Virginia charity that supposedly existed to provide things like scholarships and computer drives. However, prosecutors say that only $1,200 of the $800,000 that One Door collected actually went to help students. Prosecutors further argue that Brown and Simmons "have used the Congresswoman's official position to solicit over $800,000 in donations to a supposed charitable organization, only to use that organization as a personal slush fund."
The Justice Department also alleges that, "Brown claimed deductions on her tax returns based on false donations she claimed she made to One Door, as well as to local churches and non-profit organizations in the Jacksonville area." Carla Wiley, One Door's head, recently pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. On Friday, Brown pled not guilty. Her trial has been set for Sept. 6, a week after Florida's Aug. 30 primary.
Brown was already in electoral danger before the One Door story became public back in January. Redistricting left Brown running for re-election in a safely blue seat, but one that only includes 38 percent of her current district. While Brown's Jacksonville base is in the new 5th, the seat also includes a large chunk of the Tallahassee area where Brown isn't well-known. Brown faces a primary challenge from ex-state Senate Minority Leader Al Lawson, who hails from Tallahassee. While Brown wouldn't be the first incumbent to win re-election while under indictment, her chances didn't look great even before Friday, and this won't make things any easier for her.
● FL-18: Wealthy businessman Randy Perkins has launched a $192,000 buy that began on Thursday and will last until Monday. Perkins, a Democrat, is out with a second TV spot, and it focuses on the recent outbreak of algae along Florida's Treasure Coast that has threatened public health and could damage the local tourism economy.
Perkins appears on an empty beach before a news clip plays describing the "potentially toxic algae." Perkins, who runs a disaster-cleanup company, cites his experience dealing with "catastrophic events," before another clip plays of Perkins at a Martin County emergency board meeting suggesting that they declare a "major disaster declaration." Perkins' campaign tells us that his first commercial, a biographical spot, will also run as part of the $192,000 buy. Perkins, the DCCC's favored candidate, faces attorney Jonathan Chane for the Democratic nomination on Aug. 30 in this competitive seat.
● GA-03: GOP state Sen. Mike Crane has had a poor relationship with law enforcement groups for years over his support for legislation that would have curtailed "no-knock" warrants. Back in March, Crane was caught on camera telling a group of people that no-knock warrants were illegal and saying of police that if they "come to my house, kick down my door—if I have an opportunity, I will shoot you dead. And every one of you should do the same. It is the only area where the law enforcement community and I differ." Dentist Drew Ferguson, Crane's intra-party foe in the July 26 runoff for this safely red seat, is now making use of Crane's comments in an ad.
The spot, which the Ferguson campaign says was prepared weeks ago, stars Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley. Jolley says that he's put his life on the line, "[b]ut politician Mike Crane said that if police came into his home with a warrant, he'd shoot 'em dead. Then he encouraged others to shoot officers." The sheriff continues by saying that, "telling people it's ok to shoot police officers will get my people killed." Ferguson's camp says the commercial began airing Friday morning, but that they've take it off TV until Monday due to Thursday's police shooting in Dallas.
● KS-01: Last cycle, the Kansas Farm Bureau notably declined to endorse Rep. Tim Huelskamp in his closer-than-expected GOP primary, but they didn't outright oppose him. But on Friday, the group threw its support behind physician Roger Marshall, who is challenging Huelskamp in the Aug. 2 primary for this safely red seat. The Farm Bureau is a powerful force in rural Kansas, and Huelskamp has had a bad relationship with agriculture interests over his opposition to farm subsidies. The Topeka Capital-Journal says that this is the first time the group has called for unseating an incumbent.
For his part, Huelskamp is launching another negative TV spot against Marshall. The narrator charges that while Marshall says he's pro-life, he actually "supports pro-abortion groups that back Planned Parenthood and Hillary Clinton." (The commercial doesn't give any examples or cite any sources.) The narrator then says that Marshall wants to raise taxes, and a statement plays where the candidate calls for "some type of sales tax… on internet sales." The rest of the ad features Huelskamp bragging about his own conservative views and standing up to Obama.
● TN-04: Attorney Grant Starrett recently said that he would not attack Rep. Scott DesJarlais, whom he's trying to unseat in the Aug. 4 primary for this safely red seat, on "personal issues," and would instead stick to "policy differences." Starrett's new TV spot argues that the incumbent "voted for $700 billion in Obama's food stamps," backed military cuts, and "even failed to hold America's largest abortion provider accountable." The narrator insists that the viewer is "paying for welfare and abortions, all while we're under attack by radical Muslims. You've been betrayed by DesJarlais."
The abortion references may be Starrett's way to remind the audience about DesJarlais' old scandal without looking like he's attacking him on personal grounds. Back in 2012, voters learned that when he was a practicing physician, DesJarlais had an affair with a patient and tried to convince her to have an abortion. But as we've noted before, Starrett's decision to avoid directly mentioning this story probably isn't a great strategy. DesJarlais narrowly won renomination in 2014 against another primary foe that didn't capitalize on his scandal, and voters have had even more time to forget about DesJarlais' past. Subtlety and vague attacks on the congressman over welfare and ISIS probably aren't going to convince the people who re-elected DesJarlais two years ago that they need to change course.
● WA-07: A few days ago, state Sen. Pramila Jayapal unveiled an endorsement from ex-Gov. Gary Locke. Locke has been out of office since 2005, but he hasn't completely faded from public view: Locke was Obama's first secretary of commerce, and he was ambassador to China until 2014. Jayapal faces two other Democrats, state Rep. Brady Walkinshaw and King County Council President Joe McDermott, in the Aug. 2 top-two primary for this safely blue Seattle seat.
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir and Jeff Singer, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and Stephen Wolf.