● NH-Sen: Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte is locked in a tough re-election fight, but she's largely been able to put some much-needed distance between her and Donald Trump. While the Daily Kos Elections polling average gives Ayotte just a 46-45 lead over Democrat Maggie Hassan, Hillary Clinton has a 46-40 edge in New Hampshire. But Ayotte complicated things at a debate Monday when, after she was asked whether she would cite Trump as a role model for children, she replied, "I think that certainly there are many role models that we have. I believe he can serve as president, so absolutely, I would do that." Hassan is now out with a commercial that aims to make Ayotte eat her words.
Like Clinton, Hassan understands that there's no one better equipped to make the case against Donald Trump than Donald Trump. Hassan's spot starts with that debate clip of the moderator asking Ayotte if Trump could serve as a role model and her agreeing he can, before the ad just rolls out some of Trump's worst hits. And it is quite the montage. Trump is first heard saying that Alicia Machado "gained a massive amount of weight," before shifting to a clip of the former Miss Universe saying that his attacks on her made her feel "so sad."
The ad then shows Trump calling Clinton "a woman who can't make it 15 feet to her car," before it moves on to the infamous footage of Trump mocking a disabled reporter. The spot continues with two final greatest Trump hits: "I'd look her in that fat ugly face of hers" and "blood coming out of her … wherever." The commercial ends with the same clip of Ayotte at the debate affirming that Trump is an appropriate role model.
Ayotte's team seems to understand that they can't just do nothing and hope this all goes away, so they've released a new ad of their own. It doesn't directly address the debate blunder, but it's certainly a response to it. Ayotte speaks to the camera and declares, "Let's be honest, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are far from perfect, and I'm not perfect either."
Ayotte then quickly moves on and says she's been a bipartisan problem-solver who opposed the 2013 government shutdown, worked to fight the heroin epidemic, and fights to protect the environment. Ayotte concludes by declaring, "Whether I'm working with Republicans, Democrats, or Independents, I'm standing up for New Hampshire." It's nowhere near as memorable as Hassan's spot, but if Ayotte wants to avoid being linked to Trump without alienating too many of his supporters, this is probably her best bet. Still, there's no doubt she badly wishes she could unsay what she said about Trump.
Be sure to check out our third quarter Senate fundraising chart, which we're updating as new numbers come in.
● AZ-Sen: Ann Kirkpatrick (D): $3 million raised
● IL-Sen: Tammy Duckworth (D): $4.1 million raised, $4.3 million cash-on-hand
● PA-Sen: Pat Toomey (R-inc): $5 million raised
● WI-Sen: Ron Johnson (R-inc): $4 million raised, $5.4 million cash-on-hand
● IA-03: Jim Mowrer (D): $630,000 raised
● MN-02: Angie Craig (D): $918,000 raised (no self-funding), $900,000 cash-on-hand
● MT-AL: Denise Juneau (D): $875,000 raised
● NY-01: Anna Throne-Holst (D): $1.2 million raised
● CA-Sen: On Thursday, Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein endorsed Attorney General Kamala Harris in the all Democratic general election. California's two senators join President Barack Obama, incoming Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Gov. Jerry Brown in Harris' corner.
Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who badly trails in the polls, has the backing of some of California's Democratic House members as well as a few Republicans no Democrat should want on their side, like the notorious Darrell Issa. However, while some Republicans talked about spending to help the more conservative Sanchez win, that support hasn't materialized. Sanchez is hoping she can consolidate support from Republican voters while still holding on to enough Democrats to win in this blue state, but surveys show that a huge portion of right-leaning voters plan to just skip this race.
Mail ballots, which are popular in California, will be sent out around Oct. 10, so Sanchez and her allies are just about out of time to change the direction of this contest. Unless Republicans decide to hold their noses and back Sanchez, or unless the polls are all incredibly wrong, it's very hard to see Harris losing. But hey, we'll always have Sanchez's debate dab to remember her by.
● CO-Sen: There's are many reasons why Republican Darryl Glenn has no hope of winning Colorado's Senate race next month. This, from a campaign event last year, is one of them:
If you want an abortion, don't ask me to pay for it. That's not something I'm gonna agree with. That's a gift from God. There are no exceptions with that. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to pray for you. ... That's a life, regardless of how it got there, and I'm going to pray for you.
"No exceptions" of course includes pregnancies that result from rape, so yes, Glenn is going Full Mourdock. The real question is, how many Republicans also believe this but are just smart enough not to say this out loud?
● IN-Sen, IN-Gov: On behalf of the nonpartisan newsletter Howey Politics, GOP pollster Public Opinion Strategies gives us our first look at Indiana since their last poll four weeks ago. In the Senate race, they find Democrat Evan Bayh with just a 42-41 lead over Republican Todd Young, down from the 44-40 Bayh advantage they had previously. In the gubernatorial contest, Democrat John Gregg edges Republican Eric Holcomb 41-39, which is also down from the 40-35 lead Greg sported last month. Yet Donald Trump now beats Hillary Clinton 43-38, which is slightly better for Team Blue than his 43-36 margin last month.
Polls are few and far between here, though hopefully that will change as we get closer to Election Day. But as we always say, you should never let one poll influence your entire outlook on a race, even if all you've got is that one poll. However, both sides are spending in the Senate race like they think this is tight. In August, the DSCC and Senate Majority PAC released surveys giving Bayh huge leads, but now that the GOP has spent millions casting the former senator as a liberal creature of Washington, those days feels like a dim memory. Bayh's campaign manager took to Twitter and declared, "This race is close? Duh," so it seems too much to hope for that Team Blue will once again release polls showing that everything is awesome.
POS still gives Bayh a positive favorability rating, but his 43-39 score is far weaker than the 48-28 he posted a month ago. By contrast, Young's favorables stand at 33-26 a minimal net change from his earlier 30-22 score. Again, this is just one poll, but if Bayh's image really has collapsed like POS says it has, he's in real trouble in this conservative state. By contrast, Gregg's 34-18 favorables are almost identical to the 33-19 score POS gave him a month ago. Holcomb's 24-16 rating is a bit better than his previous 17-14, though both candidates are still unknown to many Hoosiers.
● LA-Sen: The first half of this new ad from Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy is super boring and unmemorable, but the spot gets downright creepy at the end. Kennedy looks at the camera and lays out a ton of conservative views. But just after the midpoint of the ad, which up until this point features just Kennedy and some very picturesque views of Louisiana, the camera pans over Kennedy's wedding photo and a picture of what appears to be Kennedy and his wife with their young son. At that moment, the candidate declares, "I believe that love is the answer. But you ought to own a handgun just in case." That's … really terrifying.
● PA-Sen, WI-Sen: One of the most common topics in Republican attack ads this cycle has been the accord reached last year between major world powers and Iran, an important agreement that experts the world over agree reduces the danger of a nuclear-armed Iranian state. Of course, the GOP doesn't see it that way: They simply portray it as a dastardly give-away of billions of dollars to a state sponsor of terrorism, which will soon equip itself with nukes and threaten the West. This is deeply maddening, since the alternative to this deal was not a better deal but no deal at all—plus the dissolution of an international sanctions regime that had kept Iran's ambitions in check. In other words, the world would have been much worse-off without the agreement.
But Republicans naturally are too cynical to put country (and globe) above party, so they've gleefully tried to portray Democrats who support the deal as stereotypically weak on national security in ad after ad. It's no surprise, then, that an unnamed GOP operative quoted by Politico said that internal polling shows the nuclear deal "performs among the very top hits in virtually every competitive Senate race, and it is extremely potent with independents," including much sought-after "security moms."
Now, though, the progressive pro-Israel group J Street is fighting back with ads of its own in support of the agreement. The organization is spending $500,000 to run nearly identical TV spots in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that praise the deal, saying that Iran was "forced to pour concrete into its reactor and give up its uranium," and adds that "American and Israeli security experts" say "these steps prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons." The narrator also jabs each of the two Republican senators who's a target of these ads (Pat Toomey and Ron Johnson) for thinking they "know better—like Donald Trump."
Compared to the amount Republicans are spending on ads criticizing backers of the deal, J Street's expenditure is small. But it's about time that progressives started standing up for what's right. Democrats refused to defend the Affordable Care Act and it became a major topic of GOP attacks; in fact, it's still used in Republican ads today. The Iran deal might fade from view soon enough, but if it doesn't, Democrats need to show some spine or they'll risk taking a beating on this for years to come.
● Polls: Emerson College Polling Society-free since Oct. 6, 2016:
● NH-Sen: Suffolk: Kelly Ayotte (R-inc): 47, Maggie Hassan (D): 41 (44-42 Clinton)
● NH-Gov: Suffolk: Chris Sununu (R): 40, Colin Van Ostern (D): 36 (44-42 Clinton)
● NH-Gov: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (D) for Save the Children: Sununu (R): 40, Van Ostern (D): 40 (46-38 Clinton)
Obviously these are two rather different pictures of New Hampshire. Suffolk seems too bearish for Hassan, who trails Ayotte by just 46-45 in the Daily Kos Elections polling average, and for Clinton, who leads Trump 46-40 in our aggregate. The GQR poll, which was taken for the non-profit Save the Children, unfortunately didn't include Senate numbers, but they're the first pollster not to find Sununu leading. Save the Children has endorsed Van Ostern, but their presidential results look closer to the mark than Suffolk's.
● NH-Gov: The DGA has added $2 million to their reservation here, taking their total investment to $4.1 million; the New Hampshire Democratic Party also began a $2 million buy a few weeks ago. So far, the RGA plans to spend $3 million here.
● NJ-Gov: For the second week in a row, a major New Jersey Democrat has pulled the plug on what had looked like an all-but-declared 2017 gubernatorial bid. On Thursday, state Senate President Steve Sweeney announced that he would seek re-election instead. Sweeney said that ex-Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy, the only declared Democratic candidate, "has been able to secure substantial support from Democratic and community leaders that would make my bid all but impossible," which is a much more honest statement than the usual "I suddenly realized how much I love my current job" stuff that we usually get from politicians when they choose not to run for higher office.
Last week, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop also announced that he wouldn't run, also citing Murphy's strength (and giving Murphy his endorsement). Murphy, who once served as Barack Obama's ambassador to Germany, has been consolidating support from influential Democrats in North Jersey, with Rep. Frank Pallone also backing him this week. Sweeney is close to the powerful South Jersey Democratic leader George Norcross, but the southern part of the state makes up a much smaller proportion of the Democratic primary vote.
A few other Democrats are considering bids, including state Sen. Raymond Lesniak, State Investment Council Chairman Tom Byrne, and Assemblymembers Shavonda Sumter and John Wisniewski. However, between Murphy's wealth and influential allies, he's going to be very tough to beat next year.
● CA-49: A new poll for the DCCC from Tulchin Research finds Democrat Doug Applegate leading GOP Rep. Darrell Issa by a 46-42 margin. A trio of earlier Democratic polls, including an in-house D-Trip survey last week, all had the race either tied or Applegate close behind, making this the first to show him leading. Last month, by contrast, an Issa internal gave the incumbent a wide 52-38 lead, but that's the only GOP poll we've seen.
More than Tulchin's new House numbers, though, it's the presidential toplines that stick out. This newest poll finds Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump 49-35 even though Mitt Romney carried this seat 52-46. We could definitely believe that Clinton's winning in this suburban San Diego seat, but by 14 points? That would represent an epic collapse for the GOP. The D-Trip's in-house poll had Clinton ahead by a much smaller 47-41 margin, though of course, Trump has nosedived in the polls lately, so perhaps his descent here is for real. And with the DCCC spending more money on TV time for Applegate (see our Ad Reservations roundup below), they certainly look like believers.
● CA-52: While the deep-pocketed U.S. Chamber of Commerce usually sides with Republicans, they do occasionally throw their support behind Democrats, and this week, the Chamber endorsed Rep. Scott Peters for the second cycle in a row.
Peters faces Republican Denise Gitsham in a San Diego seat that backed Obama 52-46. This is an affluent and well-educated district where Donald Trump is unlikely to do well, and according to our House reservations chart, no major outside groups have booked airtime here. However, Gitsham, a former aide to Karl Rove, has raised a credible amount of money, so she can't quite be counted out yet.
● FL-13: The DCCC is out with an Anzalone Liszt Grove poll giving Democrat Charlie Crist a 50-39 lead over GOP Rep. David Jolly. That should be good news, right? But there are two very weird things about this poll.
To start with, the survey shows Hillary Clinton defeating Donald Trump just 45-43 in a St. Petersburg seat that Obama carried 55-44. The Daily Kos Elections polling average has Clinton leading in Florida 46-43 and this doesn't appear to be a particularly Trump-friendly area, so it's downright bizarre that this survey has Clinton in a relatively weak position in the 13th, especially since she's on track to outperform Obama statewide. (This poll was conducted Oct. 2 - 4, meaning it was in the field after Clinton's strong debate performance.)
Crist's wide lead also feels odd. Just last week, Politico reported that the DCCC had reserved $460,000 in ad time. That would be notable on its own, but according to our updated House ad tracker, the D-Trip went from having nothing reserved here to booking $1 million in just the last week. (Their allies at House Majority PAC reserved $1.6 million months ago.) This poll was conducted after the DCCC made their reservations so it's always possible they're just seeing better numbers now, but it seems very unlikely that the D-Trip would dump $1 million here if they felt that Crist had anything resembling an 11-point lead.
● MT-AL: Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke recently got our attention when he launched a very defensive commercial in response to a spot from Democrat Denise Juneau that accused him of wanting to sell off Montana's public lands, then proceeded to go up with another negative ad tying his opponent to national Democrats. So what gives? Hard to say, because on Thursday, Zinke released a poll showing him with a big lead in his re-election campaign, hours before Juneau dropped her own survey arguing she only trails narrowly.
We'll start with Zinke's poll. The Moore Information survey from early October gives him a wide 49-38 lead, and Zinke's camp says that three other unreleased polls conducted for them since June show similar things. Juneau responded with a Harstad Strategic Research poll that also showed Zinke ahead, but by just 45-42. That poll was conducted Sept. 20-25, about a week before Zinke's. Juneau also references an unreleased Democratic survey from a different pollster, GBA Strategies, that reportedly showed Zinke up 49-41 in mid-September. Presidential toplines were not included for any of these three polls. (Frustratingly, they also didn't include any numbers for Montana's gubernatorial race, where we have yet to see a single poll all cycle.)
The only thing these polls agree on is that Zinke is in front, but it's very tough to know which poll is closer to the truth. Zinke has the luxury of running for re-election in a conservative state, and so far, there's no sign that major national groups have reserved any money for this race, which would support the idea that Zinke is positioned to win. However, Juneau is a strong fundraiser, and Zinke is certainly acting like he has something to be afraid of. We'll see if outside groups from either side get involved in the next month, or if they continue to avoid this contest.
● Ad Reservations: The latest installment of our House TV and radio ad reservations tracker is now online, and there are a number of moves to discuss. Note that our chart is both backward-looking and forward-looking, since it covers all reservations made between Labor Day and Election Day, so some of the money it tracks has already been spent, and some has yet to be spend (and can still be modified).
● AZ-01: For the first time, the NRCC has shown some interest in helping badly tainted Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, but it ain't much: just a $52,000 joint buy between the committee and the campaign. The DCCC, meanwhile, added $180,000 here. Last week, Team Blue dropped a poll showing Tom O'Halleran up 45-38, and Team Red never responded. Early voting, which is popular in Arizona, starts Oct. 12, so the GOP is running out of time to respond in full force.
● CA-10: Big news: The DCCC is going in hard for beekeeper Michael Eggman, who is waging a rematch against GOP Rep. Jeff Denham. While the DCCC released a poll as recently as the end of August giving Denham just a 46-43 lead, there'd been no outside spending on this race until now. But the D-Trip just threw down $791,000, and they're now airing a new spot that calls Denham "Donald Trump's man in Washington" for helping broker a deal that turned a historic post office building into Trump's new D.C. hotel. That's very similar to a recent ad from Eggman that the DCCC helped pay for, though this new ad is an independent expenditure by the committee.
And one explanatory note about our chart: On the right-hand side (in Column N), it might look as though the DCCC has reduced its reservations in the Sacramento media market, which covers both CA-10 and CA-07, by $1.4 million. But there's actually been almost no change. Rather, what's happened here is that the D-Trip has finally started earmarking some (but not all) of the funds it's set aside for these two races, so now we know that $791,000 is going to the 10th and $672,000 is headed for the 7th. That still leaves an undifferentiated pile of $4.5 million that could be used in either race. The NRCC, similarly, moved $688,000 into the 7th and reduced its general Sacramento pool by $505,000, for a small net increase in this market overall.
● CA-25: The DCCC has added $196,000 here to help Democrat Bryan Caforio, bringing their total to $281,000 (though some of that is from the candidate). The NRCC has taken notice and has booked their first reservations here to help GOP Rep. Steve Knight, to the tune of $418,000. In July, the D-Trip dropped a poll showing Knight up 46-40 in this northern Los Angeles County seat, but there was no major outside spending here until now.
● CA-49: The DCCC continues to believe in Democrat Doug Applegate, increasing their investment here by $364,000, for a total of $517,000. And according to a paywalled report in Politico, the committee is planning to spend "millions" more, though that's not yet reflected in our chart. Republicans haven't made any moves here yet, though they may be expecting GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, the richest member of Congress, to self-fund if he's in real trouble.
● CO-06: It's not reflected on our chart yet, but the Congressional Leadership Fund said earlier this week that it plans to spend $1.3 million to help GOP Rep. Mike Coffman.
● FL-07: The NRCC is helping out veteran GOP Rep. John Mica for the first time, though it's just a tiny $7,000 joint buy to help air this new ad. The spot is actually Mica's first, a positive ad that features the wife of an elderly veteran who thanks Mica for helping to get proper care for her husband. Democrats have had a massive $3.8 million booked here for a while, and Republicans never responded to a Democratic poll from a few weeks ago showing Mica leading Democrat Stephanie Murphy just 48-45.
● FL-13: Gulp! The DCCC hadn't previously been advertising here, so the committee's new $1 million reservation makes you concerned about Democrat Charlie Crist's chances, especially when you consider that they just released a poll (see our FL-13) item above showing Crist ahead 50-39! Is this insurance, or does it reflect real worry? And all this comes even as the GOP hasn't booked a penny to help Republican Rep. David Jolly. What's going on here?
● FL-18: The NRCC has upped its reservation on behalf of Republican veteran Brian Mast by $776,000, taking its total to $2.7 million and the overall GOP total to $4.4 million. HMP has just under a million booked here, probably because Democrat Randy Perkins is a wealthy self-funder. Honestly, though, he's so rich that he should be able to do without any outside help. Sigh.
● IA-03, NE-02: Here's another race where the DCCC has started allocating from a joint pool, in this case, the one devoted to the Omaha media market. The committee is sending $346,000 more to help Rep. Brad Ashford in NE-02 and $187,000 for Democrat Jim Mowrer in IA-03. That's actually a net overall increase of around $180,000 between the two seats, since the Omaha pile only dropped by $350,000. Republicans added $209,000 for IA-03 and $294,000 for NE-02.
Given the tough polls Mowrer has seen in his race, it's a hale sign that both sides are ramping up rather than backing off. Ashford, meanwhile, recently released a poll showing him leading Republican Don Bacon 50-40 and while Team Red never released their own numbers, both sides' spending is also a sign that neither party thinks he's up by that much.
● ME-02: CLF has jumped in to this race on behalf of Rep. Bruce Poliquin with a $478,000 reservation, and the NRCC has added $160,000, taking the GOP's total booking here for both groups to $3.7 million. Democrats have $2.5 million set aside here to help Emily Cain.
● MN-02, MN-03, MN-08: We're seeing re-allocations on both sides in the Twin Cities market as well. Confirming reports from last week, HMP has completely pulled out of MN-03, but the DCCC appears to still have faith, since they're newly directing $1.5 million to this seat. HMP has also drawn down its buy in MN-02 by almost $700,000, but there the super PAC has said it feels very positive about Democrat Angie Craig's chances.
Overall, the D-Trip has increased its total reservations for this market (meaning the area that covers all three competitive seats) by that same amount. The NRCC, meanwhile, only upped its total buy in the Twin Cities by around $400,000. Interesting, they've now earmarked a further $1.1 million in MN-08, bringing their total to $2.4 million. Republican Stewart Mills is super-rich, so why does he need a handout?
● NH-01: Is the DCCC feeling good here? Last week, HMP cut its entire $700,000 reservation on behalf of Democratic Carol Shea-Porter, shortly after releasing a poll showing her up 44-34 on badly damaged GOP Rep. Frank Guinta, so we took that as a sign of strength. Now the D-Trip has followed suit, slicing almost $2 million from its planned investment in NH-01. The committee is left with just $1 million still on the books, while Republicans are prepared to spent $3.2 million. Given his baggage, his incredibly narrow escape in last month's GOP primary, and his very weak fundraising, it's more plausible that Guinta is dead man walking as opposed to CSP being hopeless.
● NJ-05: Last week, we reported that CLF had made a new $350,000 reservation here. But either we received incorrect information, or CLF hastily reserved time and then cancelled, since that one's no longer on the books. CLF in fact made sure to tell us that they weren't involved in this race, which suggests they're afraid of catching GOP Rep. Scott Garrett's cooties. HMP, meanwhile, added $373,000.
● NV-03, NV-04: There's more reshuffling on both sides in Las Vegas, and we also have an answer to a mystery. Last week, we noted that the DCCC appeared to cut back its reservations by about $1 million here, but it turns out those funds were shifted to "hybrid" ads, which allow the committee to coordinate directly with campaigns. Such spots have to focus on an opponent's political party as much as the candidate itself in order to get around anti-coordination rules, and you can see a good example of it with this ad here, which attacks "Republicans" even more than it does GOP Rep. Cresent Hardy. Obviously, this kind of approach only works in places where one or the other party is unpopular, but Las Vegas is surely one such locale for the GOP.
● NY-01, NY-03: The NRCC has apparently dropped its entire $1.8 million reservation on behalf of GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin in NY-01, and that doesn't seem like a good sign for Team Blue. CLF still has $505,000 booked here, and HMP has $573,000 reserved for Democrat Anna Throne-Holst, but the DCCC hasn't stepped forward to buy any TV time. We haven't seen any polls here, but absent a catastrophic scandal, when a party committee leaves an incumbent to his own devices, it almost certainly means he's in good shape.
But a little further west on Long Island, though, the picture is the exact opposite. In NY-03, it looks like the NRCC has also cut what had been a $1.1 million reservation down to just $100,000. That would mean they've all but given up on Republican Jack Martins, who has trailed Democrat Tom Suozzi by wide margins in a couple of unanswered Democratic polls. (Democrats haven't reserved anything here.)
One big caveat for both of these races, though: Media buying information is imperfect and not easy to acquire. Given that we're seeing two huge moves, both made without much warning, that just happen to affect adjacent seats in the same media market, it's possible there's a hiccup in our data. We'll know more next week—or when the NRCC emails us to complain.
● NY-19: CLF's single-biggest addition comes in NY-19, where they've added almost $1.1 million, bringing their total expenditure to $1.8 million. Recent polling has shown this race very close, so it makes sense. But overall, Republicans have $2.8 million reserved here, while the DCCC has just $231,000, which doesn't sound like a tossup, right? However, Democrats may be counting on Zephyr Teachout, who is a fundraising machine, to make up the slack.
● PA-08: CLF added $821,000 here, taking the GOP's total past the $5 million mark. Democrats also upped their reservations by $324,000, for a total of $4.6 million. This comes in the wake of a mid-September Republican poll that showed Republican Brian Fitzpatrick leading Democrat Steve Santarsiero by a brutal 50-38, so both side's decision to increase their spending is a good sign that neither party things Fitzpatrick has anything like an insurmountable lead.
● TX-23: CLF's final move comes in TX-23, where they increased their reservation by $1 million. Both sides are spending around $3.8 million.
● VA-10: A recent Democratic poll showed GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock beating Democrat LuAnne Bennett 47-45, but Donald Trump is a serious anvil for Republicans in this district, which might explain why the DCCC just upped its buy by $840,000, for a total of $2.6 million. Overall, though, the GOP has a $4.4 million to $3.6 million edge.
● WI-08: Things are even worse in WI-08 than they'd looked. Last week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the DCCC was cutting $240,000 from its reservation. In fact, the reduction is more than twice that, $494,000, leaving the D-Trip with just $238,000 on the table. GOP polling has shown Republican Mike Gallagher crushing Democrat Tom Nelson in this open seat, and reportedly, Democratic polling doesn't disagree. Too bad.
● FL-Sen: Karl Rove's One Nation urges Democrat Patrick Murphy and Sen. Bill Nelson (who isn't up for re-election this cycle) to get tough on Iran.
● IN-Sen: The Senate Leadership Fund portrays Democrat Evan Bayh as a corrupt lobbyist in the pocket of the banking industry. The NRA continues to argue that if Bayh returns to the Senate, he'll vote for an anti-gun Supreme Court justice.
● NH-Sen: Democrat Maggie Hassan talks about her work keeping New Hampshire safe, and she says she opposes President Obama's plan to close Guantanamo. The narrator then argues that Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte endangers America by backing "reckless and dangerous Donald Trump." Senate Majority PAC argues that while Hassan looks out for small businesses, Ayotte helps corporate interests.
● WI-Sen: Democrat Russ Feingold argues that Republican Sen. Ron Johnson backs loopholes that help big corporations and bad trade deals.
● MT-Gov: Republican Greg Gianforte talks about his business background and pledges to create jobs in the state.
● CA-17: Rep. Mike Honda, who is in an all-Democratic general election, features a visual timeline of his life beginning with his childhood in a World War II internment camp. As the spot begins with footage of a camp, Honda says, "When you emerge from America's darkest days to help shape a brighter future, there is no rest. No second best. There is no finish line." Honda continues by talking about being unrelenting for progress.
● IA-03: Democrat Jim Mowrer argues that GOP Rep. David Young and D.C. Republicans could imprison women who have abortions. The narrator says that Young and his allies are putting women at risk by defunding Planned Parenthood. The ad was partially paid for by the DCCC.
● MI-01: Democrat Lon Johnson accuses outside special interests of lying about his family and home to distract from Republican Jack Bergman's plans to privatize Medicare and Social Security. Johnson goes on to accuse Bergman of retiring to Louisiana, and being one of those special interest outsiders who doesn't understand northern Michigan.
● MN-03: Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen once again touts his work helping victims of sex trafficking.
● NE-02: Republican Don Bacon highlights his military career and pledges to take the same oath to Nebraska as he took when he joined the Air Force.
● NY-01: Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin has two spots (here and here). The first features news reports about terrorism before Zeldin argues he's worked to secure America, including by trying to "end the influx of Middle East refugees." His second ad has the narrator describing a ton of unrelated bills and priorities of Zeldin's.
● NV-03: Democrat Jacky Rosen ties Republican Danny Tarkanian to the tea party, arguing he wants to risk people's Social Security
● WI-08: Republican Mike Gallagher pledges to fight for jobs.
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, and Stephen Wolf, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, and James Lambert.