A new Vox Populi poll in Texas finds Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in a dead heat with challenger Beto O’Rourke (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 50% to 50%.
“Riding a surge of enthusiasm in opposition to President Trump, more Democrats turned out in the primaries for House elections than Republicans this year — the first time that has happened since 2008,” Axios reports.
“2008 was the last time Democrats won a majority in the House. They lost it in 2010, when Republican primary turnout skyrocketed and Democratic turnout plummeted — the reverse of what’s happening now.”
“If Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination sinks, Democrats would turn the midterms into a referendum not just on President Trump but also women’s rights, abortion and the future of the Supreme Court,” sources tell Axios.
“In what Republicans believe is an increasingly unlikely scenario where Kavanaugh tanks, Dems believe they can juice turnout — already hitting record levels — by playing off the huge public attention to the court, and Roe v. Wade in particular.”
“They envision President Obama and Michelle Obama locking arms with the Clintons, the Bidens, and Democratic congressional leaders to crank up a presidential-election-sized campaign.”
Politico: “After weeks of hand-wringing, Presiden Trump on Monday ordered the declassification of a slew of documents related to the FBI’s long-running investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential connections to Russia. The move came on the heels of top House Republicans revealing that they may also release documents related to their probes into Trump-Russia ties, as well as anti-Trump bias at the FBI and Justice Department.”
“The White House and GOP leaders have cited ‘transparency’ as their motive, and Trump has suggested the documents will show anti-Trump bias in the FBI led the bureau to supercharge its 2016 Russia probe based on flimsy evidence.”
“But Democrats see a more sinister plan: to taint special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia probe, while simultaneously motivating Trump’s political base on the precipice of an election in which Democrats are favored to make gains. To Democrats, the situation has eerie similarities to 2016, when WikiLeaks’ slow-drip daily release of internal Clinton campaign emails hobbled Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and offered regular fodder for Republicans.”
Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) called President Trump “a great leader” who had revived Nevada’s economy, a striking departure from the arm’s-length approach Mr. Heller took with Mr. Trump in the 2016 campaign and in the first months of his presidency, the New York Times reports.
“In a private conference call with White House aides, other Nevada Republican officials and local activists, Mr. Heller — the most endangered Senate Republican up for re-election this November — offered an unqualified embrace of the president.”
Said Heller: “Our arms are wide open. We’re so thrilled to have the president.”
Indicted Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) wrote in an email to supporters that he would continue to serve in Congress if re-elected, Roll Call reports.
Said Collins: “Voters can be assured that with the recent turn of events, they can count on me to actively campaign for Congress, and to serve should voters re-elect me. The stakes are too high to allow the radical left to take control of this seat in Congress”
President Trump doubled down on his confidence about this year’s midterm elections, telling The Hill that he liked the Republican party’s chances given the growing economy.
Said Trump: “I think we’re gonna do much better than anyone thinks because the economy is so good, and people do like the job I’m doing.”
Trump noted that his confidence is rooted in his experience from 2016 when he won the presidency against long odds.
Reuters/Ipsos surveyed four U.S. Senate battlegrounds and found very tight races:
- AZ-Sen: Kyrsten Sinema (D) 47%, Martha McSally (R) 44%
- FL-Sen: Rick Scott (R) 46%, Bill Nelson (D) 45%
- NV-Sen: Dean Heller (R) 46%, Jacky Rosen (D) 43%
- TX-Sen: Beto O’Rourke (D) 47%, Ted Cruz (R) 45%
And the governor’s races in the same states:
- AZ-Gov: Doug Ducey (R) 51%, David Garcia (D) 39%
- FL-Gov: Andrew Gillum (D) 50%, Ron DeSantis (R) 44%
- NV-Gov: Adam Laxalt (R) 43%, Steve Sisolak (D) 40%
- TX-Gov: Greg Abbott (R) 50%, Lupe Valdez (D) 41%
California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom (D) publicly addressed the relationship between ex-wife Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. for the first time since the couple’s relationship went public, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Said Newsom: “I think, in those terms, I’m still trying to come to grips with all of it. No, it’s fine. I wish her well, and them well. And we see the world, clearly, with a different set of eyes politically.”
To the reporter who asked the question, he added: “You had the courage to be the first one to ever ask me this. I admire just the courage of that.”
Associated Press: “Groups that typically back GOP candidates, such as the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, are sitting on the sidelines. Mike Braun’s (R) recent three-stop ‘solutions’ tour — spread out across three days — was ridiculed by Democrats, who pointed to Sen. Joe Donnelly’s (D-IN) seven-day, 40-stop trek in August.”
“And while Braun, a multimillionaire businessman, took out $6.4 million in loans to fund his primary campaign, he also publicly groused about the cost. Now, with less than two months until the election, he has yet to purchase air time for October, while Donnelly has outspent him by almost double on TV and radio since June, records show.”
A new Suffolk University poll in Massachusetts finds Gov. Charlie Baker (R) with a 27-point lead over challenger Jay Gonzalez (D), 55% to 28%.
In the U.S. Senate race, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) holds an even larger gap over her challenger, Geoff Diehl (R), 54% to 24%.
Said pollster David Paleologos: “What is fascinating about this poll is that Baker’s and Warren’s path to dominating their races are so different. Warren is using the traditional path of being popular within her party and getting just enough independents, whereas Baker has even numbers across every category, even the opposing party. One is a partisan, and one is a moderate, and they end up at the same spot.”
A new University of Mary Washington poll in Virginia shows Sen. Tim Kaine (D) leading challenger Corey Stewart (R) by a wide margin, 49% to 30%.
Key finding: “Although 73% of Republican respondents said they’d vote for Stewart, 15% of Republicans favored Kaine — a reflection of the deep divisions among Virginia Republicans over Stewart.”
A new Goucher Poll in Maryland finds that likely voters favor Gov. Larry Hogan (R) over challenger Ben Jealous (D) by a margin of 54% to 32%.
Key finding: “In addition to Hogan securing his Republican base by large margins, the poll found he had the support of 38 percent of Maryland Democrats, who outnumber GOP voters in the state by more than 2 to 1.”
“Voters elected political newcomer Pete Flores (R) to the Texas Senate on Tuesday, flipping a Democratic district red for the first time in 139 years and bolstering Republicans’ supermajority in the chamber ahead of the November elections,” the San Antonio Express-News reports.
Texas Tribune: “Flores’ victory grows the Senate GOP majority to 21 members, an important figure as the caucus enters the November elections looking to protect its supermajority with as many as three of its seats in play. Currently Republicans need a three-fifths majority — 19 members — to bring legislation to the floor without Democratic support.”
“Eight races will help determine if the ‘blue wave’ will be strong enough to live up to the hype, allowing Democrats to wipe out the GOP in the House and possibly even win the Senate,” Axios reports.
“If it’s a truly strong wave, we’ll know not just from the high-profile races, but from lesser-known ones that would only be competitive if Democrats are winning everywhere.”
New York Times: The five battlefields for control of the House.
Dick Polman: “To understand why women overwhelmingly support a Democratic takeover of Congress — a landslide majority of 65%, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post survey — it’s worth parsing some of the initial Republican responses to the sexual-assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. The remarks explain why, on the cusp of the first national elections of the #MeToo era, Republicans on the ballot are confronted with a gender gap that threatens to become an unbridgeable canyon.”
“After their initial defensive flurry, Republicans quickly recognized that ramming Kavanaugh’s nomination through without affording Ford an opportunity to testify under oath would be politically suicidal. But even though they’ve hit the pause button and slated a public hearing for Monday, it’s likely that many women in the electorate have already gotten the message, one that mirrors the message they’ve received from Trump Republicans all along: that the ruling patriarchy does not respect, and indeed feels threatened by, the power of women.”