With Zach Montellaro and Daniel Strauss
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://ift.tt/1rYrnXl)
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FIRST IN SCORE — CASH RACE — DCCC tops NRCC in October fundraising: The DCCC continued its fundraising streak, bringing in just under $7.7 million in October, which the committee said was its best-ever off-year fundraising haul for the month. The NRCC raised $4.5 million last month, but House Republicans continue to hold a cash on hand advantage. The NRCC, in its best off-year total to date, has $40.7 million in the bank, while the DCCC has $32 million. This year, the DCCC has raised $89 million, while the NRCC has brought in $77 million. Full story.
LATEST FROM ALABAMA — “Trump ducks Moore scandal,” by POLITICO’s Eliana Johnson and Alex Isenstadt: “Donald Trump loves nothing more than a good controversy. But the president isn’t touching the Alabama Senate race, the biggest talker in American politics right now. Resisting the entreaties of GOP leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Trump has steered conspicuously clear of the firestorm surrounding Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate accused of pursuing, and in some cases harassing, teenage girls. Trump’s absence from the race has compounded GOP worries the party is about to lose a seat it has no business relinquishing to Democrats. Republicans say a denunciation of Moore from Trump, a beloved figure in Alabama despite his problems elsewhere, offers the only hope of keeping the seat in the party’s hands.” Full story.
— Alabama GOP reaffirms support for Moore: “The Alabama Republican Party issued a statement today confirming that it still supports Roy Moore despite recent sexual misconduct allegations against him. …‘The ALGOP Steering Committee supports Judge Roy Moore as our nominee and trusts the voters as they make the ultimate decision in this crucial race,’ Alabama Republican Party chairwoman Terry Lathan said in the statement.” Full story.
— Moore trails Jones in Alabama Senate race: “Democrat Doug Jones has an 8-point lead over embattled Republican Roy Moore in Alabama special Senate election, according to a new poll released Thursday that shows voters are equally divided on the accusations of sexual misconduct against the GOP nominee.” Full story.
ON THE HILL — “House passes massive GOP tax cuts,” by POLITICO’s Rachael Bade, John Bresnahan and Aaron Lorenzo: “House Republicans passed a $5.5 trillion tax bill Thursday, in a major step toward rewriting the nation’s tax code and providing a sorely needed legislative victory for President Donald Trump. The bill passed 227-205, with 13 Republicans breaking with leadership to vote against the legislation. Not a single Democrat backed the bill, highlighting the sharp partisan split as the tax fight moves to the narrowly-divided Senate.” Full story.
— 13 Republicans vote against House tax bill: “Thirteen House Republicans, largely hailing from tax-heavy states like New York, New Jersey and California, voted against the GOP tax bill today. Several members who broke with the party line said they opposed the bill, H.R. 1 (115), because it would eliminate federal deductions for state and local income and sales taxes, a top concern for highly taxed states. Notably, however, a number of Republicans from battleground districts did back the bill, including 12 California members and several others from New York and New Jersey.” Full story.
— “Ryan gets big — and much-needed — win on tax cuts,” by POLITICO’s John Bresnahan. Full story.
Days until the 2018 election: 354.
FRANKEN FALLOUT — “Franken apologizes after woman says he groped her,” by POLITICO’s Elana Schor and Seung Min Kim: “Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) apologized Thursday after a female broadcaster said the lawmaker groped and kissed her without her consent during a 2006 trip overseas. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) immediately called for an ethics investigation, and Franken vowed to cooperate. Multiple Democratic senators quickly broke with Franken after Leeann Tweeden, a radio anchor for Los Angeles’ KABC, wrote Thursday about the senator’s admitted misconduct. Tweeden described harassment by Franken while she and the comedian, then a host on liberal talk radio, toured the Middle East to entertain military personnel in 2006.” Full story.
— Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota call on Franken to resign: Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto, who’s running for governor, called on the senator to quit the Senate. “Al Franken is my friend, but we can’t have a double standard,” Otto said in a statement.
— Democratic senators up for reelection give away Franken cash: “A slew of Democratic senators facing reelection in 2018 are giving away to charity campaign money originally donated by Sen. Al Franken or his leadership PAC.” Full story.
— House Democratic candidates start to dump Franken cash: “Seven Democratic challengers in House races who received donations from Sen. Al Franken have ‘already [donated] the money to a variety of local charities,’ said Meredith Kelly, a DCCC spokeswoman.” Full story.
IT AIN’T OVER — “Menendez faces Senate ethics probe after mistrial,” by POLITICO’s John Bresnahan: “The Senate Ethics Committee will resume its investigation into Sen. Bob Menendez, a move that came just hours after a mistrial was announced in the New Jersey Democrat’s bribery and corruption case.” Full story.
— “Mistrial declared in Menendez corruption case,” by POLITICO New Jersey’s Matt Friedman. Full story.
RUSSIA WATCH— “FEC votes to make new rules for online political ads,” by Campaign Pro’s Maggie Severns: “The Federal Election Commission on Thursday voted to make new rules for online political ad disclosure with hopes of curbing future election interference like Russia’s 2016 election meddling. The commission reached a rare, unexpected moment of comity in its decision to tackle the new rules. In a move that was a shock to many Democrats, Republican commissioners came out in favor of acting on Russian election interference on Thursday and joined their fellow commissioners in a unanimous vote.” Full story.
BLUE WAVE — “Republican governors fear a 2018 midterm wipeout after Virginia loss,” by CNN’s Eric Bradner: “Republican governors sense a wave coming — and they’re terrified it could wipe them out in next year’s elections. The three dozen GOP governors gathering here this week for a Republican Governors Association meeting — including some close allies of President Donald Trump — said they were jarred by Democrats’ easy victory in the Virginia governor’s race last week.” Full story.
NEW LEADERSHIP — Haslam named RGA chair for 2018: “Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has been elected as the next chairman of the Republican Governors Association, the group announced today. Haslam will serve as RGA chairman for the 2018 elections, succeeding Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. … Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts was elected as vice chairman, succeeding Florida Gov. Rick Scott.” Full story.
REQUEST DENIED — “Hispanic Caucus denies membership to Republican Curbelo,” by POLITICO’s Heather Caygle: “The Congressional Hispanic Caucus denied Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo‘s membership bid today, the latest volley in a nasty dispute between the Florida lawmaker and some members of the all-Democratic caucus. The group voted to oppose Curbelo’s bid to join after weeks of back-and-forth between him and some members of the group who have questioned whether his intentions to join the CHC were politically motivated.” Full story.
WEB WARS — “NRCC And Costello Campaign Launch Digital Ads Targeting Houlahan on AND1 Report,” by PoliticsPA: “The National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) and Costello campaigns are launching digital ads targeting Democrat Chrissy Houlahan over reports tying her former company to sweatshop labor in China. The NRCC’s campaign is centered around a video they are launching titled “Human Rights” that pushes some of the claims highlighted in the report.” Full story.
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS — Axiom Strategies brings on 339 Group: Axiom Strategies acquired 339 Group, a research firm now known as Cannon Research Group. “Reliable research can absolutely make the difference between a winning and losing campaign or millions of dollars in lost revenues in the corporate world, which is why having a research firm in-house is an excellent resource for our clients,” Jeff Roe, Axiom Strategies founder, said in a statement.
GETTING THE NOD — Giffords endorsed four House candidates: Giffords announced four more Democratic challenger endorsements, including Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02), Angie Craig (MN-02), Susie Lee (NV-03) and Veronica Escobar (TX-16).
— EMILY’s List endorsed Democrat Mary Barzee Flores, per a statement from the group. EMILY’s List is wading into a crowded, six-way primary as Democrats eye replacing retiring GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27).
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