By Kevin Robillard | 10/11/2017 10:00 AM EDT
With Daniel Strauss, Zach Montellaro and Elena Schneider
The following newsletter is an abridged version of Campaign Pro's Morning Score. For an earlier morning read on exponentially more races - and for a more comprehensive aggregation of the day's most important campaign news - sign up for Campaign Pro today. (http://www.politicopro.com/proinfo)
THE NEXT HACK - "Senate Democrats worry Russia could jeopardize reelection bids," by Kyle Cheney, Elana Schor and Cory Bennett: "Democratic senators fighting to hold on to their seats next year are increasingly worried about a troubling reality: Russia appears set to mess with U.S. elections - again. ... 'If there isn't some effort to take steps against Russian interference, every campaign is going to have to be on guard and working against it,' said [Pennsylvania Sen. Bob] Casey, describing himself as 'very concerned.' ... Democrats say the president's disinterest has meant there's been little urgency behind preparing for the next wave of Russian threats, which U.S. intelligence has said included hacking and leaking Democratic operatives' emails and creating fake Facebook and Twitter accounts to push stories that hurt [Hillary] Clinton. ... 'We absolutely need to get ahead of this,' [North Dakota Sen. Heidi] Heitkamp, one of the GOP's top targets in the midterm elections, told POLITICO. 'We need to understand the threat. But more importantly, states need to understand this is real.'" Full story.
OL' VIRGINNY - "Corey Stewart in talks to endorse Gillespie at urging of Trump allies Bannon and Bossie," by the Washington Post's Laura Vozzella and Robert Costa: "Corey Stewart, who pilloried Republican Ed Gillespie during their GOP gubernatorial primary fight in Virginia, has been communicating with Gillespie about a potential endorsement at the urging of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and President Trump's former deputy campaign manager, David N. Bossie, according to five people familiar with the matter. ... At the time, Stewart declared that he would not back Gillespie unless the nominee took a harder line on protecting Confederate statues and against illegal immigration." Full story.
-FLASHBACK - Stewart to Campaign Pro earlier this week: "He's gotten better. He's moved to the right on Confederate statues and immigration. He's moving in the right direction."
-New Northam ad attacks Gillespie on environmental issues: Northam's campaign is airing a new television ad attacking Republican Ed Gillespie over environmental issues. "As a doctor, I trust the science on climate change," Northam say direct to camera in the ad. "But Ed Gillespie worked for a think tank that rejects climate science and fought to pull out of the global climate agreement. Now Ed's going right along with Donald Trump as he tries to roll back our clean air and water protections." Watch the ad here.
-Progressive Turnout Project ups investment: The Chicago-based group is adding $100,000 more to its turnout program, pushing its total spending over $600,000. The group is focusing on 10 competitive House of Delegates races, plus the three statewide contests. The group is sending digital ads, mail and text messages to inconsistent Democratic voters.
PRIMARY CONCERNS - "California old guard under siege," by Carla Marinucci and David Siders: "The state Democratic Party, until recently, has been caught in the throes of a bitter dispute over the chairmanship, pitting party veterans against the activist 'Berniecrat' wing. There are calls for Nancy Pelosi to step down as House Democratic leader. And Dianne Feinstein is now the target of progressives determined to prevent her from winning a fifth Senate term. ... Hours after she announced her reelection campaign Monday, Silicon Valley-based freshman Rep. Ro Khanna said he had urged fellow California Rep. Barbara Lee and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich to challenge Feinstein. ... Following Feinstein's reelection announcement, Markos Moulitsas, founder of the liberal Daily Kos blog, said in a tweet directed at state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, who is mulling running against the senator, 'Hey @kdeleon, let's talk! We share a common interest in this Senate race. Let's beat the most pro-Trump Blue-state Dem in the country!' On Twitter, some of the party's leftist activists began marshaling the hashtag #DraftReich, but also circulated names of other people they're hoping could be drafted for a primary contest against Feinstein - including progressive Democrat Rep. Ted Lieu, a regular tormentor of Trump on Twitter, and CNN political commentator Van Jones." Full story.
HOLD UP - "Twitter reverses decision, will allow Blackburn to promote Senate ad," by Kevin Robillard: "Twitter is reversing a decision to block Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee from promoting her Senate campaign launch video on the social network. ... A Twitter spokesperson said Tuesday: 'Our ads policies strive to balance protecting our users from potentially distressing content while allowing our advertisers to communicate their messages. Nowhere is this more difficult than in the realm of political advertising and the highly charged issues that are often addressed therein. ... While we initially determined that a small portion of the video used potentially inflammatory language, after reconsidering the ad in the context of the entire message, we believe that there is room to refine our policies around these issues.'" Full story.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR - "Senate swing vote Collins to announce Friday whether she'll run for governor of Maine," by CNN's Eric Bradner and Jamie Gangel: "Republican Sen. Susan Collins will announce Friday morning whether she will run for governor of Maine in 2018, a source with knowledge of the senator's plans told CNN. ... A source with knowledge of Collins' thinking said over the last year Collins has taken a serious look at running for governor. Collins values constituent services, felt she could do more in an executive role and, the source said, liked the idea of capping her political career as Maine's first female governor - the job she ran for unsuccessfully in 1994." Full story.
NEW THIS MORNING - AAN launches digital ads on tax reform: American Action Network is out with a new $550,000 digital ad buy effort to boost the GOP's tax reform plan. The ads, which run for the next two weeks targeting 42 House members, will "simulate a search query on tax reform to highlight tax cuts for middle-class families under the Tax Reform Framework," per a memo from the group. View the targeted districts here. Watch the digital ad here.
Days until the 2017 election: 27.
Days until the 2018 election: 391
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WELCOME TO THE RACE - "McCaskill tears into GOP challenger Hawley during Jackson County visit," by the Kansas City Star's Brian Lowry: "McCaskill, a Democratic incumbent in a state that went for President Donald Trump by double digits, railed against Hawley while talking to reporters after a town hall at the Truman Memorial Building in Independence. 'I want to congratulate (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell ,' she said. 'He got his candidate. Mitch McConnell worked very hard. I believe Josh Hawley has spent more times talking to the insiders in Washington in the last four months than he has Missourians. He's got a lot of questions to answer.'" Full story.
-Fellow Republican candidate Courtland Sykes released a video labeling Hawley "RINO NUMBER SIX."
Q3 FUNDRAISING - Wisconsin Senate: Republican Kevin Nicholson raised over $400,000 in the third quarter, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, while GOP primary opponent Leah Vukmir raised $250,000 in the race to take on Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.
- MI-11: Democrat Haley Stevens announced that she raised $200,000 in the third quarter, finishing with $415,000 in cash on hand.
- MT-AL: Democrat John Heenan, an attorney, raised $325,000, including a $100,000 personal loan, while Democrat Grant Kier, a former land-trust manager, raised $192,000 since announcing his candidacy, KXLH reported.
- TX-32: Democrat Ed Meier raised $240,000 in the third quarter, closing the period with $440,000 in cash on hand, per a statement from his campaign.
- AL-05: GOP Rep. Mo Brooks, set to face a primary challenge next year, raised over $486,000, spent over $701,000 and had about $560,000 left on hand from July 27 to Sept. 30, during which time he lost in the special Senate primary in Alabama.
- AZ-08: Democratic physician Hiral Tipirneni raised over $165,000 and has over $123,000 on hand after the third quarter vs. GOP Rep. Trent Franks, who has a deep-red Republican district and not faced a Democratic opponent with six-figure fundraising this decade.
- Florida governor: State Republican Sen. Jack Latvala raised over $800,000 between his campaign and leadership committee, via Florida Politics.
- New Mexico governor: Both Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham and Republican Steve Pearce raised more than $1 million, via the Santa Fe New Mexican.
- South Carolina governor: Gov. Henry McMaster raised over $568,000 in the last three months, the Post and Courier reports.
PAGING SCOTT WALKER - "Democrat Matt Flynn Running For Governor," by Wisconsin Public Radio's Shawn Johnson: "Flynn, who made his announcement official Tuesday, said he respects all of the Democrats running for governor, but he said the most important question for voters is who could win in November. 'I know how to handle myself,' said Flynn, a retired Milwaukee attorney. 'I think that by training and demeanor and experience, I'm the best able to prosecute the case against Scott Walker.'" Full story.
NO NEED TO PAGE SCOTT WALKER - "Gov. Scott Walker's Son Alex Joining Vukmir's US Senate Campaign," by the Associated Press: "Vukmir's campaign confirmed Tuesday that Alex Walker will be working as deputy political director. ... The governor has not endorsed anyone in the race and typically does not get publicly involved in primaries. But his son's addition to Vukmir's campaign is the latest in a line of those close to Walker who have joined her side." Full story.
FIELD PROGRAM UPDATE - "To take back the House, Democrats 'arm the rebels' with new tools and manpower," via The Washington Post's Mike DeBonis: "... And on Tuesday, the organization is rolling out its latest effort to connect motivated activists with the national party's resources, takeitback.com, an online 'toolbox' that aims to put potential activists in direct touch with the party operatives on the ground in battlefield districts." Full story.
DEBATE NIGHT - "Sleepy New Jersey Governor's Race Turns Fiery in First Debate," by the New York Times' Nick Corasaniti: "Though the moderators tried to keep the two candidates from confronting each other, the personal invective at times overshadowed any attempts at addressing specific questions from the moderator or the audience. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the Republican candidate, repeatedly sought to bring up Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street bank where Philip D. Murphy, her Democratic opponent, worked for several years. The references drew boos at one time from the audience who seemed to view them as off topic. For his part, Mr. Murphy, over and over, tried to paint Ms. Guadagno as being attached to Gov. Chris Christie "every step of the way." Full story.
SHOP TALK - Screen Strategies and Talbot Digital team up: Screen Strategies, a Democratic media-buying firm, is teaming up with digital advertiser Talbot Digital. aiming to help clients save money by combing television buying and digital ad buying operations. "This partnership will ensure our clients have the best media plans across all media channels and devices, applying cutting edge tools and targeting techniques to tackle the rapidly changing media landscape," Screen Strategies Media partner Kyle Osterhout said in a release. "We know that integrated media planning delivers more impact, and the combined approach of SSM and Talbot Digital finally brings that efficiency to the political realm: our clients can expect targeted, efficient, cross-channel media plans that get the very most out of every campaign dollar."
CODA - Quote of the Day: "Look, if you talk about an adult day care center, I'm sorry, but I think the Senate is an adult day care center." - House Budget Committee Chair Diane Black on the Hugh Hewitt Show, responding to Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker's description of the White House.
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