Morning Digest: GOP Pennsylvania governor nominee caught saying he agrees with anti-gay cult’s views

2Q Fundraising

You can bookmark our chart to track all of the competitive Senate races, and we’ll have our House chart available after the July 15 deadline passes for candidates to file their fundraising reports.

MO-Sen: Claire McCaskill (D-inc): $4.3 million raised, $12.2 million cash-on-hand; Josh Hawley (R): $1.9 million raised, $3 million cash-on-hand

MT-Sen: Matt Rosendale (R): $1 million raised

VA-Sen: Tim Kaine (D-inc): $2.2 million raised, $6 million cash-on-hand

AZ-Gov: Steve Farley (D): $340,000 raised

CT-Gov (cycle to date): David Stemerman (R): $100,000 raised, $12.8 million self-funded, $9.9 million cash-on-hand; Bob Stefanowski (R): $452,000 raised, $1.75 million self-funded, $646,000 cash-on-hand; Ned Lamont (D): $924,000 spent, $81,000 cash-on-hand

TN-Gov: Karl Dean (D): $1.3 million raised, $1.4 million cash-on-hand

CA-22: Andrew Janz (D): $1.4 million raised

CO-06: Jason Crow (D): $1 million raised, $1.2 million cash-on-hand

MN-02: Angie Craig (D): $1 million raised, $1.5 million cash-on-hand

NV-03: Susie Lee (D): $850,000 raised, $1.2 million cash-on-hand

VA-02: Elaine Luria (D): $930,000 raised

VA-07: Abigail Spanberger (D): $635,000 raised

VA-10: Jennifer Wexton (D): $1 million raised (including $700,000 after the June 12 primary)

WI-01: Bryan Steil (R): $650,000 raised, $615,000 cash-on-hand


FL-Sen: Senate Majority PAC has put $2.6 million behind a new TV ad to support Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson by attacking Republican Gov. Rick Scott over health care. The spot features an emergency room physician blasting Scott for vetoing “millions in healthcare funds” and refusing federal money for Medicaid expansion, which he says could have covered 750,000 more Floridians. The doctor praises Nelson for forcing insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, but he says Scott stands with the insurance industry instead of Florida voters.

IN-Sen: The conservative group One Nation has launched a TV and digital ad that attacks Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly for voting against Trump’s tax cuts. Meanwhile, Republican nominee Mike Braun’s latest ad accuses Donnelly of having his family business outsource labor to Mexico so it could pay lower wages, while Braun claims his own business only created jobs for Americans. As the message plays, Braun even has the face of “Mexico Joe” shaded with the green, white, and red tricolor of the Mexican flag.

Donnelly’s campaign disputed Braun’s charge by noting the senator hasn’t been involved in his family’s business for two decades, never owned it to begin with, and sold his stock last year to give the proceeds to charity. Furthermore, Braun has previously faced criticism over an Associated Press report about how his company distributed foreign-made auto parts and was repeatedly cited for labor law violations and wage theft.

MS-Sen-B: Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s first TV ad focuses on standard conservative themes of “securing our borders, making our military strong, and reducing the debt.” She pledges to work with Trump to serve the people of Mississippi.

MO-Sen: Republican pollster Remington Research has tested Missouri’s Senate race on behalf of the Missouri Times. Their survey has Republican state Attorney General Josh Hawley up 48-46 over Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, which is marginally better for her than their January poll, where Hawley led by 49-45. This race has seen very few independent polls, but those rare unaffiliated surveys and those conducted by Democratic pollsters have typically found McCaskill in better shape than Remington, which has always shown Hawley ahead.

Meanwhile, the conservative group Missouri Rising has made a seven-figure TV ad buy to oppose McCaskill. They accuse her of getting rich over the course of her years in political office and having “billed taxpayers nearly 76 grand for private flights.” They call her out-of-touch for “jet-setting between her Missouri mansion and her multi-million dollar D.C. condo” and contend that her RV tour of the state is a charade.

McCaskill’s campaign pushed back again those claims by noting that her wealth comes from her marriage to her husband in 2002, not from using her office for personal benefit as the GOP’s ad insinuates. Furthermore, she notes she reimbursed the Treasury Department for the cost of her flights.

McCaskill will also be getting air support this week from the Democratic-aligned Senate Majority PAC, which has booked $563,000 for broadcast and cable. However, there’s no copy of an ad available yet.

NV-Sen: Conservative group One Nation has debuted a TV ad that praises Republican Sen. Dean Heller for fighting for veterans’ health care.

WI-Sen: The Koch-affiliated Concerned Veterans for America launched a new TV and digital ad buy to once again attack Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin after having already spent $2.8 million against her. Their latest spot hits Baldwin for supposedly missing 70 percent of “important meetings” on a Senate committee. They insinuate that her absence could have delayed when the public found out about an opioid overdose scandal at a veterans’ facility in Tomah, Wisconsin, where the drugs had been overprescribed to veterans.

However, Baldwin’s spokesperson said the senator had a 100 percent voting record on the relevant committee and that being physically present wasn’t necessary to have her vote recorded. Furthermore, the GOP’s frequent attacks that Baldwin’s alleged negligence contributed to opioid-related deaths in Tomah are themselves unsubstantiated.

Meanwhile, the conservative hardliners at the Club for Growth have launched a TV ad to support businessman Kevin Nicholson ahead of next month’s Republican primary. Their commercial contains numerous conservative platitudes, says Nicholson will work to enact Trump’s agenda, and notes he supports term limits for Congress.


CT-Gov: Businessman Ned Lamont has unveiled his first TV ad ahead of next month’s Democratic primary. The spot has him talking while driving what we’re meant to perceive as a relatively modest car, and he says being 64 years old is “liberating” because he’s not using the governor’s office as a stepping stone or thinking about re-election. Lamont promises not to take a salary or a fancy government vehicle because, after years of the middle class struggling, it’s time for the governor to “give back as well.”

IA-Gov: Democratic nominee Fred Hubbell’s latest TV ad is definitely not your standard fare. The 60-second spot features Hubbell retelling his experience of having survived a 1981 airline hijacking by Pakistani terrorists, who had murdered Pakistani diplomat Tariq Rahim right in front of him. The terrorists held Hubbell and his wife hostage along with the other passengers for 13 days, and Hubbell says that harrowing ordeal spurred him to want to make a constructive difference in the world.

IL-Gov: Democrat J.B. Pritzker’s newest ad hammers Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner for failing to speak out against Trump’s inhumane treatment of immigrants and refugees by taking children away from their parents. The ad argues that Rauner personally profits off of Trump’s policy because he has a financial stake in a company called Correct Care Solutions. That company has millions of dollars in government contracts to provide for-profit healthcare services for prisons and jails, plus immigrant detention centers run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, more infamously known as ICE.


AZ-08: EMILY’s List has once again endorsed physician Hiral Tipirneni, who is facing off against Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko in a rematch this November. In April, Lesko fended off Tipirneni in the special election to replaced disgraced ex-Rep. Trent Franks by just a 52-48 margin, even though Donald Trump had carried Arizona’s 8th District by a punishing 58-37 spread.

MN-03: Is this a sign of things to come? In his first TV ad ahead of what may be his toughest re-election campaign ever, GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen tells viewers he said “no way” when Donald Trump “tried to take away important environmental protections for the Boundary Waters,” a wilderness area along the Canadian border where lots of people like to canoe, among other things. (Paulsen himself is shown paddling.) At the end of the spot, Paulsen declares, “I’ll stand up to my party or President Trump to protect Minnesota,” though this particular slice of Minnesota is about 250 miles away from his Minneapolis-area district.

Last year, Paulsen voted against an amendment to allow mining in the Boundary Waters, but as his Democratic opponent, Dean Phillips, was quick to note, Paulsen’s environmental record is otherwise atrocious: He has a lifetime 16 percent score from the League of Conservation Voters, for instance.

But he’s savvy enough to know that he has to distance himself from Trump somehow, seeing that Hillary Clinton won this well-educated suburban district by a 51-41 margin. Paulsen is the first vulnerable House Republican we’re aware of who’s run television ads expressly distancing himself from Trump, but we’ll soon see if others have the sense to follow suit.

NC-09: The Civitas Institute, a conservative North Carolina nonprofit affiliated with Republican megadonor Art Pope, just released a new poll of the contest for the state’s 9th Congressional District conducted by SurveyUSA, and the news isn’t positive for the GOP. Democrat Dan McCready holds a 43-36 lead on Republican Mark Harris, who unseated GOP Rep. Robert Pittenger in the May primary, while Libertarian Jeff Scott takes 3 percent. What’s more, even though this is a conservative district that Donald Trump won 54-43, he’s now underwater with a 43-49 approval rating—a phenomenon we’ve seen in a number of other districts he carried.

NY-19: In the first poll of the race for New York’s competitive 19th Congressional District since last month’s primary, the DCCC’s in-house polling operation finds Democrat Antonio Delgado leading freshman GOP Rep. John Faso by a 49-42 margin. Delgado also sports a 35-15 favorability rating while Faso is underwater at 30-45. Donald Trump is quite unpopular in this Hudson Valley-area district, too: He manages just a 39-53 job approval score even though he carried this seat by a 51-44 margin two years ago.

The only other poll of the race was an early May internal for a rival Democratic candidate that showed Faso and Delgado tied at 42 apiece. As always, we’ll be looking to see whether Republicans answer back with contradictory data of their own.

Meanwhile, Delgado is airing a new biographical ad that’s unusual for its length: The spot clocks in at two minutes, during which Delgado describes how he rose from humble origins to become a Rhodes scholar and Harvard Law graduate, then switches gears to discuss his priorities, including affordable health care and creating jobs in the region. The campaign says the ad is airing on cable and online.

WA-08: Pediatrician Kim Schrier is the first Democrat to go up on TV ahead of next month’s top-two primary, and she has two initial ads (here and here). The first one shows her speaking in a doctor’s office setting, where she details how broken the healthcare system is when patients have to fight insurance and drug companies to get access to the care they need. She advocates for a Medicare public option and calls health care a right that should be more affordable.

The second ad showcases Schrier detailing how her own experience dealing with diabetes has given her perspective on the struggle everyday people have affording lifesaving health care. She promises to take on insurance and drug companies that “jack up costs.”

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