● NJ-05: Endangered GOP Rep. Scott Garrett hasn't responded to a House Majority PAC poll that showed him trailing Democrat Josh Gottheimer by a 48-41 margin with numbers of his own. Instead, he's answering back with a new TV ad that dredges up some awfully feeble-sounding claims involving a nearly decade-old civil suit brought against Gottheimer by a woman in his apartment complex that was dismissed in 2008. While we don't have a copy of the spot, The Record describes its contents, which feature a narrator saying of the plaintiff, "Gottheimer aggressively intimidated and assaulted her and left her fearful in her own home. Scared and violated, the victim had to move to escape Gottheimer's harassing environment."
For starters, "assault" is being used in a very legalistic—and weaselly—sense. When lay people hear the word "assault," they think of one person striking another. But as first-year law students learn, "assault" only describes the act of making someone fearful that they're about to get hit; actually striking someone is called "battery." So despite what the ad tries to make it sound like, even the plaintiff didn't accuse Gottheimer of hitting her. And that's if we take her allegations at face value! Yet even if we do, they sound trumped up:
The woman's complaint said she was retrieving her keys from an unattended key closet in the lobby when "Gottheimer aggressively approached" and "derisively asked if she was the new security guard."
"When plaintiff informed him that she was a resident, Gottheimer threateningly waived [sic] his finger in her face and aggressively questioned plaintiff in a loud voice and an intimidating manner about who she was and what she was doing," the complaint said.
Gottheimer's actions "were plainly intended to give plaintiff, and did give plaintiff, the imminent apprehension that he was about to strike plaintiff with his finger or hand," the complaint said.
The plaintiff also lodged all kinds of other complaints against the building she lived in, such as the concierge failing to notify her a package had been delivered, before voluntarily withdrawing her suit "with prejudice," meaning she could not refile it. As we often note with ads that make scurrilous charges like this, though, it's all well and good for us to fact-check them in a newsletter read by savvy political junkies. It's harder for Gottheimer to rebut these claims with the only people who matter: voters in the district.
But that's what he's already doing with a new ad of his own. A narrator quotes newspaper editorials calling Garrett an "unskilled liar" with a "shaky grasp on reality," then says that the vehicle for Garrett's "latest desperate lie" is a "frivolous lawsuit a court quickly dismissed," as the word "dismissed" is highlighted in large type on screen. Wisely, Gottheimer avoids repeating the charges against him, a mistake all too many ads make.
The spot then shifts to slam the congressman, saying "newspapers just caught Garrett at a fundraiser with the leader of a homegrown terrorist militia group, who Garrett called an 'unsung hero.'" That's a reference to this Bloomberg article, which reported that a recent Garrett event was organized by a local Republican active in a group called the Oath Keepers, which has been identified by New Jersey's Office of Homeland Security as a "domestic terrorism" group. It's a lacerating attack, and one that ought to stick better than Garrett's.
● LA-Sen: Rep. Charles Boustany is out with a new spot aimed at state Treasurer John Kennedy, another Republican competing in the November jungle primary. The ad features Calvin LeLeux, who is identified as the chair of the Louisiana-based company Swiftships, which manufactures military and commercial watercraft. LeLeux tells the audience that while he's backed Kennedy in the past, Kennedy is now "dishonesty stabbing me in the back. His political fund is now calling my company a bunch of traitors."
LeLeux then mentions his service in the Vietnam War and work building ships for the military and America's allies, and claims that Kennedy is "attacking our company because this time, we support Charles Boustany. I switched from Kennedy to Boustany, and you should too." According to the local Alexandria radio station KSYL, Boustany recently took umbrage with a commercial from a group supporting Kennedy (possibly Ending Spending, which has run ads for him) that alleged that one of his biggest supporters is a company that builds weapons for Middle Eastern regimes. Boustany says that Kennedy's allies were attacking Swiftships, and evidently, LeLeux agrees. Rep. John Fleming is the other major Republican candidate, but so far, Kennedy and Boustany have mostly trained their fire on one another.
Even though Team Red is the clear favorite to hold this seat, two notable Democrats are running, and one of them is airing an attack ad against the other. The narrator in attorney Caroline Fayard's ad says that Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell is attacking her family, while she's focused on the issues. Fayard then appears and lays out what she says are "kitchen table issues," and you'd think she'd actually be at a kitchen table. Nope! For some reason, Fayard chose to shoot her ad in a big, dark, and empty room. Campbell has criticized Fayard's father for his past donations to Republican ex-Gov. Bobby Jindal and other Republicans.
● NC-Sen: In a new TV ad, Democrat Deborah Ross responds once again to GOP attacks on her record regarding sex crimes. This time, she speaks directly to the camera for most of the ad, slamming GOP Sen. Richard Burr for "exploiting victims of sexual assault because he's afraid he may lose an election." Ross says she "voted to strengthen the law against sex offenders" while in the legislature, then castigates Burr for voting against the Violence Against Women Act in Congress but for increasing his own pay.
In a second spot, also narrated by Ross, she tells the story of a Marine veteran and electrician named Zach whose "paycheck doesn't go as far" each passing year. Ross then says that Burr "voted to protect tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas" but "voted against a tax break to help working people like Zach."
Meanwhile, Burr is firing back with his own ad, featuring prosecutor Jim O'Neill, who says that Ross' "dangerous record angers" him. He calls her out for voting "against public disclosure of sex offenders," sued "to end our 48-hour cooling-off period for domestic violence," and "fought against a law" to allow law enforcement to collect DNA "from criminals who willfully injure innocent people with an explosive device." Ross issued a 31-page "fact-check" of Burr's ad, but it doesn't really rebut any of these claims in a specific way.
● Polls: Get yer fresh hot polls here!
● NC-Sen: Marist: Deborah Ross (D): 46, Richard Burr (R-inc): 46 (45-41 Clinton) (Aug.: 45-44 Ross)
● NC-Sen: Suffolk: Burr (R-inc): 40, Ross (D): 36 (45-43 Clinton) (Sept.: 41-37 Burr)
● NC-Gov: Marist: Roy Cooper (D): 49, Pat McCrory (R-inc): 48 (45-41 Clinton) (Aug.: 51-44 Cooper)
● NH-Sen: PPP (D) for Americans for Responsible Solutions: Maggie Hassan (D): 44, Kelly Ayotte (R-inc): 43 (48-37 Clinton) (Aug.: 47-44 Hassan)
● NV-Sen: Clarity Campaign Labs (D) for End Citizens United: Catherine Cortez Masto (D): 44, Joe Heck (R): 41 (43-43 presidential tie)
● NV-Sen: Public Opinion Strategies (R) for Senate Leadership Fund: Heck (R): 47, Cortez Masto (D): 44 (45-39 Clinton)
● PA-Sen: Selzer & Company: Katie McGinty (D): 47, Pat Toomey (R-inc): 45 (48-39 Clinton)
So far, we aren't seen big shifts toward Democrats in state-level polls that we've seen in some national polls conducted after the release of Donald Trump's 2005 "Access Hollywood tape" (as all these polls in fact were). But the numbers remain broadly, though not uniformly, positive for Team Blue.
The most interesting come out of underpolled Nevada, where a Democratic poll finds Hillary Clinton tied but a Republican survey finds her leading—yet at the same time, the former has Cortez Masto in front while the latter has Heck ahead. If you believe Clarity, then Heck is running behind Donald Trump; if you think POS is right, then he's running far ahead. The Daily Kos Elections polling average (which doesn't yet include these two polls) splits the difference, with Trump and Clinton tied at 45 but Heck leading 44-41.
Speaking of separation between the top and bottom of the ticket, have a gander at that PPP survey. While it does find Ayotte narrowly trailing, it's pretty remarkable she's still keeping things that close given that her party's nominee is down a massive 11 points. Hassan has been hammering Ayotte for aligning herself with Trump, but Ayotte's evidently managed to survive this barrage so far. We'll see what the next week holds.
● MO-Gov: The GOP pollster Remington Research is out with another weekly poll for The Missouri Times, and they give Democrat Chris Koster a 48-42 lead over Republican Eric Greitens. That's up a little from the 44-41 Koster edge they found last week, though two weeks ago, they gave Koster a 51-36 lead. (It's still unclear why Remington showed him plunging so quickly.) Earlier this week, Monmouth had Koster up 46-43. Frustratingly, Remington did not release Senate numbers, though they did survey the presidential race this time. They give Donald Trump a 47-42 lead, similar to the 46-41 Trump edge that Monmouth found.
● AK-AL: On behalf of the Alaska Dispatch News, Alaska Survey Research takes a look at the race for the state's only congressional district. They give Republican Rep. Don Young a 44-30 lead over Democrat Steve Lindbeck, with independent Bernie Souphanavong at 9 and Libertarian Jim McDermott at 8. This poll, which was conducted before the 2005 Donald Trump tape leaked, gives Trump a 36-31 lead.
Alaska is a tough state to poll, and Lindbeck may be able to gain if the Libertarian and independent candidates shed some support. Still, if he has anything like a 14-point deficit, he has a lot of ground to make up and not much time to do it in. National Democrats aren't acting particularly optimistic about this contest, either. While the DCCC added Lindbeck to their Emerging Races list back in July, they haven't upgraded him to their top-tier Red to Blue program. And according to our House ad reservation chart, neither the D-Trip nor their allies at House Majority PAC have committed any money to this seat. Maybe that will change, but with early voting set to begin Oct. 24, the clock is ticking.
● CA-10, CO-03: The Congressional Leadership Fund, the main super PAC supporting GOP House candidates, just announced two new large TV reservations in races that had, until recently, looked like more marginal pickup opportunities for Democrats. In California's 10th District, where the DCCC recently kicked off a $791,000 effort on behalf of Democrat Michael Eggman, the CLF is answering back with a $2 million ad buy of its own to prop up GOP Rep. Jeff Denham. It's the first outside spending from Republicans in this swingy Modesto-area seat that favored Barack Obama by a 51-47 margin four years ago.
CLF is also dropping $1.3 million into Colorado's 3rd, another race that, until now, had seen almost no involvement from third-party groups on the right. There, GOP Rep. Scott Tipton is facing down a challenge from Democrat Gail Schwartz, who's being aided by a $2.2 million reservation from the House Majority PAC. This district, which includes much of western Colorado (including Grand Junction), is significantly less hospitable to Democrats, as Mitt Romney carried it 52-46. But both sides are now treating this race, and the one in California's 10th, like serious contests.
● CA-24: Several Democratic candidates have already run ads featuring clips from the recently released tape of Donald Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women, and for good reason. Even though most of the audience knows about the video by now, and even though lines like "grab them by the pussy" need to be censored, it's still jarring to hear Trump saying them. Quoting Trump directly also makes it easier for Democrats to use this video to tie Republicans to their nominee: After watching just a few seconds of it, it's tough to understand how anyone could have ever supported someone this vile.
So it's really frustrating that, while Democrat Salud Carbajal has a narrator describe how terrible Trump is, his new spot doesn't actually use any real clips of Trump to make his case against Republican Justin Fareed. Instead, the narrator starts off by saying, "After Donald Trump's long history of degrading women, Justin Fareed supported him." She goes on to say that Fareed stuck with Trump despite his attacks on immigrants, the disabled, POWs, and is only running away from him now "in a desperate attempt to protect his campaign."
The ad has the right idea, especially with that last bit about how Fareed waited so long before trying to distance himself from Trump. But without any actual clips of Trump to get the viewer's blood boiling, the whole thing is nowhere near as effective as it could be. When the narrator talks about Trump, he sounds like a pretty bad politician. When Trump talks about Trump, he sounds like an utter monster. Compare this ad to a recent commercial from Democratic New Hampshire Senate candidate Maggie Hassan, who effectively uses footage of Trump against Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte.
There are times when it makes more sense not to highlight Trump directly. Texas congressional candidate Pete Gallego spent most of his ad speaking directly to the camera and making a moral case for why his Republican opponent, Rep. Will Hurd, didn't show leadership when he had the chance to denounce Trump. That commercial mostly featured just Gallego speaking, and including Trump might have distracted from his message.
Carbajal, who has highlighted his military background in other ads, is more than qualified to make a similar kind of case if he wants to. But here, we only have a narrator talking, so the spot fails to convey either the moral authority Gallego brings to bear or the sheer horror of Trump himself speaking, as in Hassan's ad. There's just no reason to summarize Trump's offenses when there's ample footage of The Donald disqualifying himself—and anyone who backs him.
● CA-46: On behalf of ex-state Sen. Lou Correa, one of the two Democrats competing in the general election for this blue Orange County seat, FM3 is out with a poll giving him a 47-23 lead over Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen. The campaign tells us the poll was in the field Sept. 20-24.
Even before Correa dropped this poll, he looked like the clear favorite. Correa represented about three-quarters of this seat in the state Senate until two years ago, while most of Nguyen's constituents live outside the seat. Correa has much more money and institutional support than Nguyen, and he outpaced him 44-15 in the June top-two primary. Daily Kos Elections rates this same-party race as Likely Correa.
● FL-07: The DCCC is out with an in-house poll giving Democrat Stephanie Murphy a 45-43 lead over Republican Rep. John Mica, while Hillary Clinton takes this suburban Orlando seat 47-36. The poll was conducted Oct. 10, a few days after the 2005 Donald Trump tape surfaced. Obama only narrowly carried this seat, but this is the type of suburban area that was already inclined to vote against Trump even before this last week.
In September, the D-Trip released a poll showing Mica up 48-45, while Clinton was ahead 47-41. Mica and his allies eventually released their own survey from the same period giving him a huge 52-34 lead, though they did not include presidential numbers. National Democrats have spent or reserved almost $4 million here, while national Republicans have barely spent anything to help Mica.
● FL-13: The University of North Florida is out with a poll giving Democrat Charlie Crist a surprisingly large 54-36 lead over GOP Rep. David Jolly; presidential toplines were not included in the release. A few weeks ago, the polls we were seeing showed Jolly in a tight race or even leading in this 55-44 Obama seat. About two weeks ago, the DCCC also reserved $1 million, something they almost certainly wouldn't have done if they felt good about the contest for this redrawn St. Petersburg seat.
However, the last batch of polls have looked good for Crist. Shortly after the DCCC made their reservation, they dropped a poll giving Crist a 50-39 lead. A few days ago, a St. Pete Polls survey for Florida Politics found Crist going from a 46-43 deficit in September to a 48-43 lead, and now we have this UNF survey.
It's very possible that Team Blue's ads have just done Jolly too much damage. Jolly already faced a cash deficit with Crist, and House Majority PAC has been running commercials against the incumbent as well. Jolly has an awful relationship with the NRCC and they haven't lifted a finger to help him; while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently endorsed Jolly, they haven't run any commercials for him yet. We'll see if Democrats continue to pour resources into this race, or if they decide that Crist is in good shape and move on.
● IA-01: While freshman Rep. Rod Blum once looked like the most endangered member of the House GOP caucus, even a new Democratic poll confirms that he's not going to be easy to beat. On behalf of House Majority PAC, Normington Petts gives Blum a 45-44 lead over Democrat Monica Vernon. This poll was taken Oct. 10-11, after the 2005 Donald Trump tape was released, but before several more women came forward and publicly accused Trump of sexually assaulting them. Presidential numbers were not included in the release; Obama carried this eastern Iowa seat 56-43, but polls consistently show Hillary Clinton underperforming statewide.
This is the first Democratic poll we've seen of this contest. In September, an independent poll from Loras College gave Blum a 50-43 lead, while an early October Blum internal had him crushing Vernon 52-36. It's good that Team Blue finally has a poll they're fine releasing, though it's still notable that, even in the midst of one of the worst periods of the Trump campaign, the poll finds this race looking no better than a tossup for Vernon. However, the memo argues that the undecided voters support Clinton 47-26, and that Vernon has room to grow.
The Democratic pollster Lake Research Partners also conducted a poll here for Food Policy Action. Their survey, which was conducted before the release of the Trump tape, gives Blum a 48-46 lead; presidential numbers were also not included. Food Policy Action, which describes itself as a group that aims to "change the national dialogue on food policy by educating the public on how elected officials are voting on these issues," gives Blum a weak 18 percent rating in their score card, so it's pretty clear who they favor in this contest. Indeed, when respondents are told that Vernon supports food and nutrition for seniors, children, and people who recently lost their jobs, she moves into a 48-45 lead.
● IL-10: About two weeks ago, Democrat Brad Schneider released a poll giving him a 46-41 lead over Republican Rep. Bob Dold!, but the NRCC is now out with their own numbers. North Star Opinion Research shows Dold up 50-43 in a poll conducted just after the 2005 Donald Trump tape was released. The NRCC's survey gives Hillary Clinton a 53-31 lead in this suburban Chicago seat, while Schneider had her up 59-32. Obama won 58-41 and this is an affluent and well-educated seat where Trump always was going to struggle, but it's far from clear just how much he'll underperform Romney. Both parties are continuing to spend huge amounts here.
● KS-03: Some huge news out of Kansas' 3rd District: The DCCC is reportedly reserving over $1 million in TV time on behalf of Democrat Jay Sidie, who seems to have thrown a scare into GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder. Polls—even those from Republicans—show Hillary Clinton hammering Donald Trump in this suburban Kansas City district, despite the fact that Mitt Romney carried it by double digits in 2012. Indeed, a survey for the D-Trip just last week found Yoder with a fragile 44-40 lead with Clinton up 52-42 on Trump, and the GOP hasn't responded with any contradictory numbers. If ever there were a seat that Democrats could steal out from under Republicans thanks to The Donald, this one is it.
● MI-08: If Democrats want a shot at flipping the House, Michigan's 8th District is exactly the type of tough target they'll need to flip. The district, which is based in the Lansing area, backed Romney 51-48, but well-funded freshman Republican Rep. Mike Bishop won easily during the 2014 GOP wave. The DCCC hasn't reserved any airtime here yet for Democrat Suzanna Shkreli, but that may be about to change.
The DCCC is out with an in-house poll showing Bishop leading 47-41, while Hillary Clinton takes the seat 44-37. The memo argues that in the congressional race, the undecideds back Clinton by 24 points, giving Shkreli some room to grow. The poll was taken Oct. 3, before the 2005 Donald Trump tape was released. The only other poll we've seen here was a mid-September Bishop poll that showed him up 53-34.
We'll see if national Democrats are willing to spend what they need to spend to win here, but this poll is a good indication that the DCCC is serious. In recent weeks, the group released polls of California's 49th District and Kansas' 3rd District just before it began running commercials in both seats, so this is a good omen for Shkreli at least. Still, Bishop has the resources to defend himself, and he won't be easy to beat.
● MN-02: Democrat Angie Craig and her allies have aired ad after ad using recordings of Republican Jason Lewis' many racist and sexist comments against him, while Lewis hasn't had the resources to adequately respond. However, two new polls indicate that Lewis is still very much in contention in this suburban Twin Cities seat. This week, the NRCC released a WPA Opinion Research survey giving Lewis a 36-33 lead; presidential numbers were not included. Craig responded by dropping a GBA Strategies poll showing her up 46-42, with Independence Party nominee Paula Overby at 7 (Overby was not mentioned in the WPA memo), and Hillary Clinton leading 45-35.
We'll start with the GOP poll. The survey was conducted Oct. 9-10, just after the 2005 Donald Trump tape was released. It seems incredibly unlikely that, less than a month before Election Day, 26 percent are undecided. Back in August, WPA gave Lewis an unlikely 39-27 edge, so even Team Red acknowledges he's lost altitude in the last few months.
However, Craig's 4-point edge is hardly awe-inspiring, especially since back in August, before Team Blue began attacking Lewis, her poll had her up by 43-42. The memo also refers to an unreleased poll from mid-September that showed Craig up 42-40. The good news is that this poll was done in early October just before the Trump tape was released, so maybe things are looking better now. But it still suggests that, despite everything Craig and her allies have thrown at Lewis while he couldn't punch back, he's hardly dead in the water.
National parties aren't making it any easier to understand what's going on here. A little while ago, House Majority PAC cut $700,000 from its reservation in this seat, a sign that they felt good about Craig's chances. However, the NRCC recently began airing ads here, which gives the underfunded Lewis his first real bit of outside support. At the very least, Team Red is signaling that they agree with their poll and that Lewis can still win despite all his flaws.
● NY-21: Well, maybe Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik is really worried about Democrat Mike Derrick. She opens her new ad by asking, "Who's the real progressive?" and answering with Green Party candidate Mike Funiciello, who ran here in 2014 and soaked up 11 percent of the vote. However, Stefanik doesn't really do anything to give lefties much reason to desert Derrick, because immediately after naming Funiciello, she moves on to attacking Derrick over the Iran deal, before pivoting to touting her bipartisan leadership. Usually, ads try to be a lot more subtle about this sort of blatant ratfucking, and it's noteworthy that Stefanik feels the need to resort to these tactics even though she's long been favored to win.
● MO-LG, Where Are They Now?: Four years ago, redistricting threw Russ Carnahan into the same St. Louis district as fellow Democratic Rep. Lacy Clay, and Carnahan lost the primary 63-34. Carnahan has decided to seek a comeback this year by running for lieutenant governor, and a new survey from the GOP pollster Remington Research for The Missouri Times shows him locked in a tight race. Remington gives Carnahan a 44-43 edge over Republican state Sen. Mike Parson, who briefly ran for governor earlier this cycle.
● MO-Sen: VoteVets and AFSCME put $1.5 million behind a spot praising Democrat Jason Kander for serving in Afghanistan after 9/11 while Republican Sen. Roy Blunt was busy adding a pro-tobacco company rider onto a homeland security bill, noting that several of Blunt's family members are lobbyists.
● NV-Sen: Republican Joe Heck is out with two spots (here and here). The first one features an array of diverse women praising the congressman, particularly emphasizing his background as a doctor. The second ad features praise from a veteran whom Heck had helped find a bed at the VA hospital after the man had a heart attack. The Senate Leadership Fund touts Heck's positions in Spanish on immigration reform, claiming he supports DREAMers, but of course ignores that he voted to defund Obama's executive order that would have spared hundreds of thousands from deportation. The DSCC compares Heck to Trump, using Trump's statement that "there has to be some form of punishment" for abortion, noting Heck voted many times to defund Planned Parenthood and wanted to criminalize abortion even in cases of rape.
● PA-Sen: Democrat Katie McGinty features several women bemoaning the attacks against her from special interests. They note that she never was a lobbyist, had worked to protect the environment, and was praised by Pennsylvania native son Joe Biden for standing up for the middle class. AFSCME skewers Republican Sen. Pat Toomey for carrying Wall Street's water by wanting to privatize Social Security and risk it on the stock market.
● WI-Sen: Republican Sen. Ron Johnson released two ads (here and here). The first one attacks Democratic ex-Sen. Russ Feingold for "casting the deciding vote for Obamacare" and features several people blasting the law's impact. The second one also makes unsubstantiated exaggerations about Obamacare's ill effects. The Club for Growth puts down $750,000 to claim Feingold is a tax-and-spend liberal career politician. Feingold hits back hard with a radio clip where Johnson says, "You know, $700,000, in the scheme of things … is a pretty reasonable compensation level" when referring to the yearly rate of a $10 million payout he received from a company he owned. The ad then hammers Johnson for opposing the minimum wage entirely.
● IN-Gov: Republican Eric Holcomb talks up his background and says he will put education first. Democrat John Gregg has several people asked to find some foreign cities on a map, using them to hit Holcomb for supporting tax breaks for companies that outsourced jobs to those countries.
● MO-Gov: Republican Eric Greitens attacks Democrat Chris Koster for supporting Obamacare and supposedly wanting a massive "Obamacare expansion," which might sound ominous in a red state. Of course, it's just referring to the Medicaid expansion, which is absurdly popular pretty much everywhere.
● MT-Gov: Republican Greg Gianforte says he'll stand up for coal miners against Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.
● NC-Gov: Democrat Roy Cooper calls the loss of major sporting events over the anti-LGBT law HB2 an embarrassment, saying we need to prioritize our teachers, lowering taxes on families, and economic growth.
● NH-Gov: Democrat Colin Van Ostern sits outside with his father-in-law while his kids run around playing and touts his plan to invest in renewable energy to look out for future generations. The RGA calls Van Ostern a big-government liberal who wants Washington to have even more influence over the state.
● VT-Gov: The DGA hits Republican Phil Scott for supporting big tax breaks on the rich, raising property taxes on families, and cutting education funding. The RGA comes to Scott's aid with two spots (here and here). The first one features former Republican Gov. Jim Douglas praising Scott as a bipartisan leader and business owner. According to the second spot, Democrat Sue Minter thinks that if you drive a car, she'll tax the street, if you try to sit, she'll tax your seat, if you get too cold, she'll tax the heat, and if you take a walk, she'll tax your feet, 'cause she's the taxman.
● WV-Gov: The RGA attacks Democrat Jim Justice for giving thousands to Democrats and for failing to stand up to Clinton. They tout Republican Bill Cole as someone who will "make America great again."
● CA-17: Democratic Rep. Mike Honda attacks fellow Democrat Ro Khanna for being a stooge of his Wall Street backers, Republican donors, and companies that want to outsource jobs.
● CA-25: Democrat Bryan Caforio uses clips of Trump making offensive statements and says he will stand up to Trump, unlike Republican Rep. Steve Knight. Caforio lays out some of his priorities, such as equal pay and immigration reform.
● CA-44: Democrat Isadore Hall recycles one of his ads from the June top-two primary, a biographical spot that also highlights his endorsement from Gov. Jerry Brown.
● CO-03: Republican Rep. Scott Tipton slams Democrat Gail Schwartz on health care, employing two typical misleadingly Republican tropes that the Democrat voted for Obamacare, and that the law cut Medicare by $700 billion. In truth, Schwartz had voted on wildly popular Medicaid expansion, not passing Obamacare itself, and those billions in cuts were solely to providers, not beneficiaries.
● FL-18: Democrat Randy Perkins is out with two spots (here and here). The first one paints Republican Brian Mast as an extremist like former Rep. Allen West who wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare, allow insurance companies to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and defund Planned Parenthood. The second spot attacks Mast for lying about returning the money he had taken from powerful sugar business interests. The Congressional Leadership Fund hits back at Perkins over getting rich off of overbilling taxpayers and supposedly denigrating double-amputee Mast's military service.
● FL-26: Democratic ex-Rep. Joe Garcia links Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo to Trump, and Garcia rather amazingly pledges he will protect and improve Obamacare. We typically don't see Democrats in swing seats touting the law by that name instead of promoting particular benefits. House Majority PAC goes even further trying to tie Curbelo to Trump and hits him for wanting to defund Planned Parenthood, cut Medicare, and calling Social Security a "Ponzi scheme." The NRCC hits back at Garcia on the Iran deal. They also shamelessly red-bait Garcia by infuriatingly taking out of context a 2014 quote where he awkwardly quipped "We've proved that communism works" when talking about wasteful government spending on anti-immigration efforts creating jobs.
● MN-02: Democrat Angie Craig features a veteran praising her efforts to help veterans get ahead in the business world following their service.
● NY-19: Republican John Faso continues a Republican line of hammering Democrat Zephyr Teachout on taxes. Republicans had claimed she wanted to raise property taxes, and Teachout had run an ad where she repeated the charges before calling them "crazy." Subsequently, Republicans have been using her own words against her. They juxtapose that part of her ad with another clip where she stated her opposition to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's property-tax cap when she was running against him in the 2014 primary for governor.
● NY-22: The NRCC hits "extreme liberal" Democrat Kim Myers over Obamacare, once again trotting out the bogus charge that it "slash[ed] our Medicare." They also slam wealthy Republican-leaning independent Martin Babinec for his company profiting off of Obamacare, repeatedly trying to link both candidates to national Democrats.
● WA-07: Democrat Pramila Jayapal claims the system is rigged, saying we need to expand Social Security, guarantee paid sick leave, and pass single-payer health care.
● WI-08: Republican Mike Gallagher features Outagamie County Sheriff Brad Gehring to highlight his endorsements from law enforcement. Gallagher then hits Democrat Tom Nelson for being weak on crime by voting for the early release of prisoners.
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.