● IN-Gov: When Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb was trying to convince the Indiana Republican Party's Central Committee to make him the party's new gubernatorial nominee, he offered them one very enticing pitch. When Gov. Mike Pence dropped his re-election campaign to become Donald Trump's running mate in July, he had $7 million in his warchest. Holcomb unsubtly hinted that Pence would transfer all the money to Holcomb's fledgling campaign, and that the governor might not provide this kind of financial help to a different Republican nominee. Democrat John Gregg had $5.8 million in the bank at the end of June, and the idea that the little-known Holcomb could immediately start the general election with a financial edge may have seemed too good to be true for Team Red. And sure enough, it was too good to be true.
In a sizable blow to its finances, Holcomb's campaign now acknowledges it won't receive any more money from Pence's warchest, beyond the $1.25 million Pence sent over late last month. Just hours after Holcomb was awarded the GOP nomination, Politico reported that FEC regulations could prevent Pence from sending over at least a huge chunk of his $7 million. It's unclear if Holcomb suspected that he might be promising more than he could deliver when he made his case to the state GOP, or if he was just completely blindsided. It's also possible that Pence just selfishly wants to maintain his stockpile (as Evan Bayh once did) in case his excellent adventure with Trump doesn't quite work out.
Whatever the reason, it's bad news for Holcomb. We don't know how much money Holcomb currently has, but it's certainly less that Gregg. It doesn't help that Holcomb was a horrible fundraiser during his Senate bid earlier this year. Holcomb may have thought that the Pence warchest would give him a way out of avoiding much of the tough and unpleasant task of raising cash, but he's not going to get that lucky.
● FL-Sen: A new online poll from the nonpartisan firm icitizen offers the closest numbers in Florida's Senate race we've seen since June. The survey has GOP Sen. Marco Rubio edging Rep. Patrick Murphy, the likely winner of Tuesday's primary, by just a 43-42 margin. The HuffPo average currently has Rubio ahead 47-42 (accounting for this latest poll.) The same sample has Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump 42-37 in a four-way matchup.
● IN-Sen: Republicans aren't giving up on Indiana's Senate race, at least not yet. Despite a series of unanswered Democratic polls that have shown former Sen. Evan Bayh with huge leads on GOP Rep. Todd Young, the Senate Leadership Fund is throwing down another $3.8 million to run ads in the last three weeks of September and the first week of October. SLF has already spent $1 million on TV spots attacking Bayh.
● NC-Sen: Karl Rove's One Nation is airing another positive ad on behalf of GOP Sen. Richard Burr in North Carolina. The cheaply produced spot begins with a muffled clip of Burr emotionlessly saying, "There's a vulnerable population out there that we need to, through legislation, acknowledge and protect." What a stirring statement! A narrator who talks too quickly goes on to praise Burr for protecting Medicare.
● NV-Sen: The conservative group One Nation is running new Spanish-language TV and radio ads to boost GOP Rep. Joe Heck. Their television spot praises Heck for opposing mass deportation and supporting DREAMers. According to Politico, the total buy is just $100,000.
● FL-23: In one final ad ahead of Tuesday's Democratic primary, law professor Tim Canova accuses Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of flip-flopping on fracking. What's odd is that, while the spot features a clip of Wasserman Schultz saying that she's open to allowing fracking in the state as long as there are "significant regulations," the spot doesn't actually provide any evidence that she changed her mind on the matter. But in classic Wasserman Schultz style, in a separate statement that goes unmentioned in the ad, she claimed, "I am against fracking, especially in Florida." Whatever, dude.
● IA-01: GOP Rep. Rod Blum, who'd been written off for dead by Republican leadership until quite recently, is showing off a new poll that finds him leading his Democratic opponent, ex-Cedar Rapids City Councilwoman Monica Vernon, by a 50-43 margin while sporting a 44-26 job approval rating. Note, though, that the survey is from the bizarrely named "the polling company, inc./WomanTrend," which is run by Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump's new campaign manager.
The poll also did not provide any numbers on the presidential race, so we can't get a read on how accurate a sample it might have drawn. While Trump has shown some resilience in Iowa, Barack Obama carried this district by a 56-43 margin, so even if Hillary Clinton doesn't perform as well as the president, Blum will still face heavy headwinds. However, Vernon doesn't appear to have any contradictory numbers to offer. When asked about the poll, her campaign only responded with boilerplate, saying of Blum, "When you vote against Iowa's middle class, you don't get voted back to Congress."
● IL-12: Democrat C.J. Baricevic, who faces a difficult fight against GOP Rep. Mike Bost, is airing his first TV ad of the campaign. Baricevic begins by saying he worked at a local steel mill to pay for school, then "fought against Gov. Rauner's devastating budget." Baricevic is apparently referring to a case where he served as attorney for government employee unions who successfully sued to receive their paychecks during a state budget impasse last year. Baricevic then goes on to say he'll "fight for working families, not Washington special interests."
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.