● AZ-01: In the non-Donald Trump weight class, the worst human being running for office this cycle is Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, who just won the GOP primary for Arizona's open 1st Congressional District on Tuesday night. Babeu took first place with 32 percent, while wealthy rancher Gary Kiehne finished a fairly distant second with 23; businesswoman Wendy Rogers ended with 22, and former Secretary of State Ken Bennett managed just 16. Shortly before the election, a fifth candidate, state House Speaker David Gowan, dropped out and begged everyone else to united behind Kiehne because he was convinced that Babeu was such a disaster, his candidacy would be a "lost cause." He might just be right.
In 2012, Babeu, an anti-immigration hardliner, made national headlines in the worst way when a former lover of his alleged that Babeu had threatened to have him deported in order to conceal the fact that Babeu was gay. Babeu denied the charges, though not the relationship, and he wound up abandoning his congressional bid for a neighboring seat that year. More recently, a home video emerged showing Babeu bragging about the abusive "discipline" he dished out to students at a school for at-risk youth he once ran in Massachusetts—after Babeu had long insisted he knew nothing about the mistreatment. (The school, mercifully, was soon thereafter shut down by the state.)
There's much, much more on this scuzzball, and Democrat Tom O'Halleran, a former GOP legislator, will have to use all of it if he's to keep this sprawling rural seat blue. It will be a difficult task, as Mitt Romney narrowly won it 50-48 in 2012, but Babeu's revolting baggage keeps this race a Tossup.
● AZ-Sen: Even though she was an underfunded nutter who was best known for holding legislative hearings on one of the most whacked-out conspiracy theories in America, John McCain was right to take former state Sen. Kelli Ward seriously. McCain beat Ward by just a 52-39 margin in Tuesday night's GOP primary, and the result could very well have been closer had two minor candidates not scarfed up the rest of the vote. McCain has always had an antagonistic relationship with his party's conservative base, so it wasn't too surprising that the senator's allies pounded Ward with negative ads.
More unusual was that McCain also did so himself—often a sign of worry, and confirmed as such with the benefit of hindsight. Earlier in the cycle, some much stronger potential challengers, like Reps. Matt Salmon and David Schweikert, had considered bids of their own. You have to wonder if the outcome would have been different had they done so, and whether they're regretting their decisions now.
But feeble as his victory might have been, a victory it was nevertheless, and thus it counts as good news … for John McCain (for real). Yet bad news might still loom. McCain faces a tough general election fight with Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, whose entry into the race was an unexpected recruiting coup for Democrats. What's more, Donald Trump has shown some serious weakness in Arizona, enough to possibly put the state in play at the presidential level. Arizona is still a red state, though, which is why we've rated this race Lean Republican, but an upset for Kirkpatrick remains a real possibility.
● FL-Sen: Once upon a time, both parties' primaries in Florida's Senate race looked like they'd be hard-fought affairs, but in the end, both were a big snooze. After Marco Rubio went back on his word and decided to run for a second term after all, all but one of the Republican contenders who'd been vying to succeed him slunk off to seek re-election or just go home. The only guy who chose to stand and fight, wealthy homebuilder Carlos Beruff, spent millions of his own money trying to cast himself as the Sunshine State Donald Trump, fell pathetically short, losing by a humiliating 72-18 margin. (It didn't help that Trump actually endorsed the man he once derided as "Little Marco.") Beruff acted extremely butt-hurt in the wake of his defeat, saying he would "make no apologies" for refusing to "kiss the Senator's ring." "The Senator" probably does not care.
That's because instead he has to worry about Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, who dispatched fellow Rep. Alan Grayson with ease, winning 59-18. In fact, Grayson, who once declared that Democrats would "crawl over hot coals naked" for him, barely finished ahead of little-known attorney Pam Keith, who took 15 percent. And if you're wondering, he also did worse than Beruff: 17.7 to 18.5. He was also just as butt-hurt, bleating, "I'm not going to be endorsing Patrick Murphy for sure. He's a Republican." (Murphy kinda just won a Democratic primary, so no.) Grayson also claimed he plans to come back "as a political leader" some day, an event no one is waiting for.
While Grayson suffered nothing but endless bad headlines—all self-inflicted—the entire cycle, the real story of the race was money. Even though Grayson is worth at least $30 million and had a reputation as a progressive firebrand, he refused to self-fund and failed to reel in the small donations that had powered his previous campaigns. That allowed Murphy, a tireless fundraiser, to outspend him heavily, a crucial advantage in a huge and expensive state like Florida. And many of Murphy's TV ads featured an endorsement from President Obama, which was more than enough to seal the deal with Democratic voters.
Now we'll get to see a battle royale on which the control of the Senate could hinge. Rubio also has access to plenty of money, and allied outside groups are guaranteed to spend heavily here. The Huffington Post Pollster average currently finds Rubio ahead 47-42, but part of that is due to the incumbent's much greater name recognition. The real problem for Rubio is that Donald Trump, the man who humiliated him so gloriously in the presidential primary, is trailing Hillary Clinton 45-42. Can Rubio continue to run ahead of the top of the ticket? It's not out of the question. But will he? That's another matter entirely, and it certainly won't be easy. Daily Kos Elections has rated this race a Tossup from day one, and it should be a good one.
● WI-Sen: Monmouth and Marquette are both out with new polls of the Wisconsin Senate race, and it's tough to reconcile them. Monmouth, making their first pass of the state, gives Democrat Russ Feingold a massive 54-41 lead over Republican Sen. Ron Johnson. However, Marquette has Feingold up just 48-45, a big drop from his 53-42 lead just a month ago. Weirdly, both pollsters basically agree on where the presidential contest stands: Monmouth has Hillary Clinton leading 43-38, while Marquette has her up 41-38.
Marquette has a solid track record in Wisconsin, so their numbers shouldn't be dismissed. However, national Republicans aren't acting like they think this race is close right now. In mid-July, the NRSC announced they were shifting their planned advertising to just the final three weeks of the race, and there's no indication that they've decided to send more money here. The Koch brothers' Freedom Partners Action Fund also canceled a planned $2.2 million reservation in July, though they launched a smaller $1 million buy a few weeks ago. If more Republican money goes to Wisconsin, it will be a strong sign that Johnson is within striking distance, but that hasn't happened yet.
● AZ-02: In the Democratic primary, Matt Heinz defeated Victoria Steele, a fellow former state representative, 53-47. Heinz now faces a difficult campaign against freshman Republican Rep. Martha McSally.
While Romney carried this Tucson seat just 50-48 and McSally only won her first term by 167 votes last cycle, she has been one of the stronger fundraisers in the GOP caucus. As of Aug. 10, McSally holds a huge $2.06 million to $290,000 cash-on-hand edge over Heinz. So far, no major outside groups appear to have reserved any fall airtime here, either. However, the DCCC preferred Heinz over Steele, who had problems raising money, and they may have been waiting for the primary to end before getting involved. Daily Kos Elections rates this seat as Lean Republican.
● AZ-04: Rep. Paul Gosar defeated pastor Ray Strauss 71-29 in the primary for this safely red northern Arizona seat. This race got some attention after a group called Right Way, which was primarily funded by the Western Growers Association, spent $280,000 against Gosar. However, it was far from enough to help the little-known Strauss.
● AZ-05: With all precincts reporting, ex-GoDaddy attorney Christine Jones appears to have defeated state Senate President Andy Biggs 30-29 in the primary for this safely red Mesa seat. However, Biggs refused to concede on Tuesday night, and his campaign says they're waiting for more provisional and mail-in ballots to be counted. It's unclear how many votes are left, but Biggs will need everything to go right if he's going to overcome Jones' 876-vote lead. Ex-Maricopa County Commissioner Don Stapley and state Rep. Justin Olsen took 22 and 20, repetitively.
Biggs had the support of retiring Rep. Matt Salmon, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and the anti-tax Club for Growth. However, Jones, who took a distant third place in the 2014 gubernatorial primary, used her personal fortune to run a series of ads. While Biggs, who won $10 million in the 1993 Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes, did some self-funding, Jones decisively outspent him on the air. Biggs' allies at the Club ran some commercials for Biggs and against Jones, but it doesn't seem to have been quite enough.
● FL-01: State Rep. Matt Gaetz decisively defeated state Sen. Greg Evers 36-22 in the primary to succeed retiring Rep. Jeff Miller in this safely red Pensacola seat. Gaetz, who comes from a well-connected and wealthy political family, outspent all his opponents on the air, and he had help from an allied super PAC. While Evers represents two-thirds of this district in the legislature, he barely spent any money in the primary, and he only narrowly beat real estate developer Chris Dosev for the dubious honor of coming in second.
● FL-02: Court-ordered redistricting turned what was a competitive seat into a safely red Tallahassee-area district, and the GOP primary became a proxy war between the House leadership and anti-establishment forces. Urologist Neal Dunn, who had the support of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, narrowly beat attorney Mary Thomas 41-39 in an expensive contest. Thanks in part to his personal wealth, Dunn outspent Thomas; Ending Spending, a group close to the GOP establishment, also spent on his behalf. However, Thomas, the former general counsel to the state department of elder affairs, had the support of the anti-tax Club for Growth, as well as Gov. Rick Scott's unofficial endorsement.
Both sides ran ads portraying their candidate as the true conservative, and both also aired commercials tying their opponent to ex-Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican-turned-Democrat who is now the most despised man in Florida GOP politics. Thomas, a first-generation child of immigrants from India, also did her best to tie herself to Donald Trump. One particularly notorious Thomas ad claimed she "led the fight against Obama's plan to bring dangerous Syrian refugees to Florida" and pledged to "put America first." Former U.S. Attorney Ken Sukhia, who was appointed by George H.W. Bush, didn't raise much money, and he took just 19 percent.
● FL-04: Ex-Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford defeated state Rep. Lake Ray 39-20 in the primary for this safely red Jacksonville seat. Rutherford was backed by Lenny Curry, the city's mayor, and he started with clear leads in the polls. Attorney Hans Tanzler III, the son of a former mayor, outspent both Rutherford and especially Ray. However, Tanzler insisted on running some strange cowboy-themed ads, which shockingly don't seem to have resonated in Florida, and he took just 19 percent. Rutherford will succeed retiring Rep. Ander Crenshaw, who is one of the most obscure members of Congress.
● FL-05: On Tuesday, Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown became the fifth House member to lose re-nomination this cycle. Ex-state Senate Minority Leader Al Lawson defeated Brown by a decisive 48-39, and he won't have any trouble in November in this safely blue seat.
Brown spent years fighting redistricting reformers in an effort to preserve the GOP's preferred congressional map, which gave her an infamously gerrymandered district that snaked from her Jacksonville base to Orlando, over 120 miles south as the crow flies. Brown's old district was designed to scoop up as many black voters as possible to help Republicans in neighboring seats, an arrangement that didn't help any Democrat who wasn't named Corrine Brown. However, Brown eventually gave up her hopeless legal challenges, and decided to run for re-election in the new 5th District, which now stretches from Jacksonville eastward to Tallahassee.
Brown only represented about 38 percent of the new seat, and she was virtually unknown in the Tallahassee area. By contrast, Lawson had run for Congress in previous versions of the old-Tallahassee based 2nd District in 2010 and 2012, though he wasn't well-known in Jacksonville. Brown's problems got worse a few months ago, when she was indicted for allegedly abusing her office to solicit hundreds of thousands of dollars for a bogus charity that prosecutors say she used as a personal slush fund. On Tuesday, the new areas of Brown's seat overwhelmingly went for Lawson. Brown's Duval County base made up 48 percent of the vote, and she carried it 62-20, but she lost the rest of the seat 73-18.
● FL-06: GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis defeated state Rep. Fred Costello 61-25 in this Volusia County seat. DeSantis had spent a year running for the Senate, and a number of Republicans jumped in the race for his open House seat. However, after Sen. Marco Rubio decided to seek re-election, DeSantis dropped back into the House race, and most of DeSantis' would-be successors decided to defer to him. Costello remained in the race even though he had already lost to DeSantis 39-23 in 2012, and he predictably went down again on Tuesday. Romney carried this Volusia County seat by a fairly slim 52-47 margin, but Democrats don't have any strong candidates. In fact, state Rep. Dwayne Taylor, who barely raised anything, lost his primary to Some Dude Bill McCullough 37-29.
● FL-09: State Sen. Darren Soto won the Democratic primary for this Orlando-area seat with 36 percent of the vote on Tuesday. Susanna Randolph, the former district director to outgoing Rep. Alan Grayson, and pharmaceutical lobbyist Dena Grayson, the congressman's wife, each took 28 percent. This seat is safely blue in presidential years, though weak Democratic midterm turnout is a potential problem next cycle. This seat has a large Puerto Rican population, and Soto is on track to become Florida's first Puerto Rican congressman.
● FL-10: Redistricting turned what was a reliably red seat into a safely blue Orlando district, and ex-Orlando Police Chief Val Demings decisively won the Democratic primary on Tuesday. Demings defeated state Sen. Geraldine Thompson 57-20; ex-state Democratic Party Chair Bob Poe, who used his fortune to air ads, took only 17. Demings ran for the more conservative version of this seat in 2012, and she came remarkably close to winning. National Democrats, local Orlando politicians, and labor groups consolidated behind Demings after she kicked off a bid for the redrawn seat, and she also benefited from commercials from Michael Bloomberg's pro-gun safety super PAC, Independence USA.
● FL-11: Republican Rep. Dan Webster defeated Justin Grabelle, the former chief of staff to retiring Rep. Rich Nugent, 60-40 in the primary for this safely red seat. For much of the cycle, Webster's 2016 prospects looked bleak. Redistricting turned his old 10th District into a safely blue seat, and he spent months deciding what to do. Webster eventually chose to seek the 11th District, which includes the massive and very restrictive master-planned retirement community The Villages, even though he only represented 18 percent of the seat. Grabelle had been running for months with Nugent's endorsement, but he didn't raise much money.
Webster ran quixotic speakership campaigns against both John Boehner and Paul Ryan last year, but interestingly, the GOP establishment didn't make any obvious moves to beat Webster on Tuesday. Grabelle still struggled to raise cash, and he aired few, if any ads. Outside groups also stayed out of the primary. Webster's fundraising was weak for an incumbent but he did run ads, and that may have made all the difference in this low-key race.
● FL-18: Florida's open 18th Congressional District was the only House seat to host contested primaries on both sides Tuesday night, and it'll be even more hotly contested come November. Democrats wound up nominating wealthy businessman Randy Perkins, who spent several million dollars out of his own pocket to defeat attorney Jonathan Chane by a hefty 60-32 margin. Perkins, who made his fortune as the founder of the disaster recovery firm AshBritt, only became a Democrat last year, but he was the DCCC's preferred candidate thanks to his deep pockets.
Republicans, meanwhile, chose Army vet Brian Mast, who won a decisive 38-26 victory over Martin County School Board member Rebecca Negron; four other shmegegges rounded out the rest of the field, with no one taking more than 16 percent. Negron had looked like the nominal favorite as the most politically connected candidate in the bunch (her husband, Joe Negron, is the incoming president of the state Senate), but Mast unexpectedly surged to the front of the pack in fundraising over the last five months. That allowed him to run ads like this one, which showcased the extraordinary sacrifice he made while in uniform: the loss of both legs.
That sort of personal story probably made Mast the favorite of D.C. Republicans, though they never publicly signaled any preference in the way their Democratic counterparts did. Regardless, this will almost certainly be a very expensive race, just as it was four years ago, when Rep. Patrick Murphy (who is now running for Senate) unseated the notorious Allen West. In that same election, Mitt Romney actually carried the 18th by a 51-48 margin, making this one of just five red seats held by a Democrat. That might point to a small advantage for the GOP, but Donald Trump has been doing worse than Romney in Florida overall, so it's possible this district could wind up almost perfect split this November, which is why we rate the contest a Tossup.
● FL-19: Wealthy GOP donor Francis Rooney, a former ambassador to the Vatican, ran commercials like it was going out of style, and it paid off in the primary for this safely red Fort Myers seat. Rooney defeated Chauncey Goss, a former aide to Paul Ryan and the son of ex-Rep. Porter Goss, 53-30, with ex-Secret Service agent Dan Bongino taking 17. This district has had quite a bit of turnover in recent years. In 2012, four-term incumbent Connie Mack IV left to unsuccessfully run for the Senate, and freshman Rep. Trey Radel resigned in 2014 months after being arrested for cocaine possession. Curt Clawson won the seat in a special later that year, but announced in May that he was retiring to spend more time with his father.
● FL-23: Very little has gone right for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz this year, but she won her expensive primary with law professor Tim Canova 57-43 in this safely blue south Florida seat.
As head of the Democratic National Convention, Wasserman Schultz had long inflamed Bernie Sanders supporters over her role in the Democratic presidential primary. Canova raised massive sums from angry Sanders' supporters even before the senator endorsed him. Wasserman Schultz also attracted plenty of negative attention after Wikileaks released a series of unflattering emails stolen from the committee, which prompted her ouster from the DNC and gave Canova more fodder.
However, this seat gave Hillary Clinton about 70 percent of the vote in the March presidential primary, and Canova needed to win over a significant number of Clinton backers. Wasserman Schultz, who had the support of President Obama, also had more than enough money to defend herself. Canova didn't take his defeat particularly well, refusing to concede on election night and declaring, "I will concede Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a corporate stooge."
● FL-26: Ex-Rep. Joe Garcia defeated businesswoman and 2014 lieutenant governor nominee Annette Taddeo 51-49 in the Democratic primary for this Miami seat. Garcia will face a rematch with freshman Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo in what will be a very expensive contest.
Taddeo had a yearlong head start over Garcia, and she earned the support of the DCCC. When Garcia started making noises about running again, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer urged him to stay out. Garica had some baggage that made Democrats nervous: At the beginning of his term, his former campaign manager went to prison after being convicted in a 2012 voter fraud scheme. While there's no evidence that Garcia knew about it, the story likely cost Garcia some critical votes. Garcia only lost to Curbelo 51-49 during the 2014 GOP wave, but gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist carried the district 51-46 that same night. However, several of Garcia's former House colleagues held a fundraiser for him, so he does still have friends in DC.
Garcia entered the primary with a huge lead over Taddeo, something her own poll acknowledged. Taddeo ran several ads, while Garcia decided to stay off the airwaves and save his resources for the general election, which almost allowed her to pull off an upset. In any case, Curbelo begins the general election with a huge $2 million to $306,000 cash-on-hand edge over Garcia.
The good news for Team Blue is that redistricting has made this district bluer. While Obama carried the old seat 53-46, he won the new version 55-44. The DCCC and House Majority PAC have reserved a combined $5 million in fall reservations, so while they may not like Garcia, they're at least poised to help him. However, while Donald Trump is very unlikely to be an asset to Curbelo, Republicans still do well downballot here.
The Hill also reports that the NRCC is planning to spent at least $3.6 million here, while the Congressional Leadership Fund has invested $1.7 million to help the incumbent. In other words, no one is acting like Obama's strong performance here dooms Curbelo. Even the Environmental Defense Fund recently aired a commercial for Curbelo. Daily Kos Elections rates this as a Tossup.
● NY-03: After a federal judge ordered an Oct. 6 Republican primary be held in New York's 3rd Congressional District because Some Dude Philip Pidot successfully argued he'd been wrongfully tossed off the ballot ahead of the regularly scheduled June primary, state Sen. Jack Martins responded by trying to have a court delay the general election from Nov. 8 to Dec. 6. Everyone else, including Pidot and Democratic nominee Tom Suozzi, opposed the motion, and on Tuesday, a judge ruled against Martins. Had the motion been granted, it likely would have helped Martins, since Republicans usually benefit from lower turnout for oddly timed elections, and it also would have eliminated any "Trump risk." Based on Martins' comments, though, it doesn't sound like he'll appeal.
● SC-05: Biden Alert! Vice President Joe Biden will speak at a September fundraiser for former aide Fran Person, who is challenging Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney. This seat in the northern part of the state has become reliably red in recent years.
● FL State House: Ex-GOP Rep. David Rivera pulled off a narrow 36-34 primary win for Florida's 118th state House seat, a Miami-area seat that backed Obama 51-48. Rivera, who was a close friend of Marco Rubio when they both served in the legislature, was elected to Congress in 2010. However, Rivera got tossed 54-43 two years later after he was linked with an illegal effort to prop up Justin Lamar Sternad, a ringer who was running in the Democratic primary to face Rivera. Rivera ran for his old Miami-area congressional seat the next cycle, but he took just 7 percent in the primary.
The investigation over Rivera's role in the Sternad affair has stalled, but it has not ended. In an unrelated matter, the Florida Ethics Commission has recommend that Rivera be fined $58,000 by state House Speaker Steve Crisafulli for asking for a reimbursement for travel he paid for with campaign accounts, and for improperly disclosing his financial activity. Rivera has challenged the constitutionality of the law, arguing that a speaker shouldn't have that authority over a former member. This fall, Rivera faces Democrat Robert Asencio, a retired Miami-Dade School Police Department police captain.
● Richmond, VA Mayor: It's been a while since we've revisited the long and twisted saga of ex-state Del. Joe Morrissey. Morrissey served seven years in the Virginia legislature as a Democrat representing a suburban Richmond seat. Morrissey had a history of awful behavior, most notably when he brandished an AK-47 on the floor of the state House. In late 2014, Morrissey resigned from office after pleading guilty to having sex with an underage girl. However, Morrissey decided to seek his old seat in a special election as an independent and made national news after he won.
Later in 2015, Morrissey decided to challenge state Sen. Rosalyn Dance in the Democratic primary, even though her Richmond seat didn't overlap at all with his district. Morrissey moved to Richmond, and had to leave behind his position in the state House again since he was no longer a resident of his district. After he didn't collect enough valid signatures to make the Democratic ballot, Morrissey announced that he would run against Dance as an independent, but he dropped out and blamed a paralyzed diaphragm.
Morrissey later announced that he would run for mayor of Richmond, and we thought he would be just a sideshow. However, a new poll from Christopher Newport University of the crowded November race shows Morrissey not only ahead, but in a position to win without a runoff thanks to the city's insane election laws. The survey shows Morrissey leading former Venture Richmond Executive Director Jack Berry 28-16, with six other candidates behind him.
Richmond doesn't require mayoral candidates to win a majority of the vote to avoid a runoff, because that would make sense. Instead, a mayoral candidate needs to win just a plurality of the vote in five of the nine precincts. The poll shows Morrissey ahead in five of them; however, the poll of each district has a massive margin of error, so it's impossible to know where things really stand. It also doesn't help that we don't have any other polls of this contest, so it's tough to know if CNU is on target or not. It's also early in the contest and Morrissey also continues to generate bad headlines, so even if he has a lead, he may not keep it. But this is Joe Morrissey we're talking about, so anything's possible.
P.S.: If this contest goes to a runoff, the winner isn't the candidate with the most votes, it's the candidate that wins a majority of the precincts.
● IN-Sen: The NRSC ties Democrat Evan Bayh to Hillary Clinton and argues that he no longer lives in Indiana. Bayh calls for closing loopholes in the tax code.
● NH-Sen: Democrat Maggie Hassan emphasizes her record as governor. The Democratic group Senate Majority PAC argues that Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte's policies have raised student loan debt; the spot is part of their overall $7.5 million fall buy.
● NV-Sen: Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto has a Spanish ad tying Republican Joe Heck to Donald Trump and says that Heck voted to make it easier to deport DREAMers. The DSCC argues that Heck backs Wall Street plans that hurt the middle class. The NRSC has a Spanish version of a commercial arguing that Cortez Masto made it easier for dangerous drunk drivers to get out of prison.
● OH-Sen: The NRSC bashes Democrat Ted Strickland's job record. Republican Sen. Rob Portman argues that Strickland sided with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to back policies that hurt coal miners.
● PA-Sen: Freedom Partners spends $1 million arguing Democrat Katie McGinty awarded millions in tax dollars to companies that helped her and her husband. Senate Majority PAC argues Republican Sen. Pat Toomey backed policies that help companies that outsource jobs as well as China; the spot features a Chinese flag waving behind Toomey, a visual we've expressed our serious displeasure with many times.
● WI-Sen: Democrat Russ Feingold calls for equal pay for women and paid leave. Let America Work, a super PAC backing GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, has announced a $500,000 ad buy beginning Friday.
● IN-Gov: Democrat John Gregg ties Republican Eric Holcomb to Gov. Mike Pence's 2015 Religious Freedom Restoration Act debacle.
● MO-Gov: Democrat Chris Koster says that as attorney general, he sent the killer of a police officer to death row.
● IA-01: Democrat Monica Vernon talks about her work helping Cedar Rapids recover from the 2008 floods.
● IA-03: Republican Rep. David Young says he was the only member of Congress to ask for his paycheck to be withheld when Congress didn't pass a budget.
● MI-01: Democrat Lon Johnson features a clip of Republican Jack Bergman saying, when asked if Social Security should be privatized or reformed, "Over the long term, we need to privatize."
● MI-07: In her first ad, Democrat Gretchen Driskell argues Republican Rep. Tim Walberg voted for harmful trade deals.
● MT-AL: In her first ad, Democrat Denise Juneau emphasizes her record as state superintendent of public education.
● NE-02: The NRCC argues that Democratic Rep. Brad Ashford voted to protect sanctuary cities and makes it easier for terrorists to hide out.
● NY-23: Democrat John Plumb emphasizes his military background and calls for an agenda that helps the middle class.
● NY-24: Republican Rep. John Katko talks about helping small businesses.
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.