With Elena Schneider, Kevin Robillard, and Zach Montellaro
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 — NRCC raised $3.8 million in November: The NRCC raised $3.8 million last month, bringing its year-to-date total to $81 million in contributions. The NRCC has $42.3 million in cash on hand, more than any previous off-year over the same period. The DCCC hasn’t released its November totals yet, but the DCCC has outraised its Republican counterpart for the past six consecutive months. The NRCC has, however, maintained a cash on hand advantage.
FIRST IN SCORE — End Citizens United revokes endorsement of Kihuen, Leach: The pro-campaign finance reform PAC End Citizens United sent letters this week to two candidates accused of sexual harassment, Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.) and Democratic House candidate Daylin Leach, informing them the PAC was dropping its endorsement and asking for its money back. Leach was recently accused by multiple women and men of inappropriate touching and sexual remarks.
“End Citizens United stands with the women who have come forward to publicly share their experiences facing sexual misconduct,” ECU President Tiffany Muller wrote in a letter to Leach’s campaign. ECU sent a similar letter to Kihuen. “The behavior is not acceptable in any setting and ECU does not tolerate it for endorsed candidates or candidates under consideration for endorsement.” Muller also wrote that donors to ECU “are dedicated to reforming our broken political system” and that the PAC takes “the stewardship of these resources seriously.” The letter asks Leach and Kihuen to each refund the contributions their campaigns received of $5,000 and $6,000 respectively from ECU by the end of January.
POLLING DATA — “Public sours on GOP tax plan as Democrats regain lead on economy,” by NBC News’ Mark Murray: “The tax plan that Republicans are soon expected to pass has grown more unpopular in the last two months, with nearly two-thirds of Americans believing it’s designed mostly to help corporations and the wealthy, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. In addition, the survey finds that Democrats have overtaken Republicans on which party better handles the economy — their first lead on this question since 2013 and their largest since 2009.” Full story.
— Patriot Majority USA releases internal poll on 8 House seats: Patriot Majority USA is out with a Public Policy Polling survey that found a majority of voters in all 8 districts oppose the GOP’s tax bill. In 5 battleground seats, voters preferred a generic Democrat over the named incumbent. Check out the full polling memo here.
VIRGINIA RECOUNT — “One-vote recount win gives Democrats tie in Virginia state House,” by Campaign Pro’s Kevin Robillard: “A single vote in Newport News, Va., is set to give Democrats partial control of the state’s House of Delegates and could help the party pass Medicaid expansion next year. After a recount conducted Tuesday, Democrat Shelly Simonds had 11,608 votes to Republican incumbent David Yancey’s 11,607 votes in Virginia’s 94th House District. Simonds’ apparent victory — which will head to a judicial panel on Wednesday for certification — means Democrats and Republicans will have an even 50-50 split in the House of Delegates and will have to share power when the Legislature begins its next term in January.” Full story.
Days until the 2018 election: 321
Upcoming election dates — Arizona 8th District special primary: Feb. 27. Texas primaries: March 6. Pennsylvania 18th District special election: March 13. Illinois primaries: March 20.
UM, THIS IS WEIRD — “This anonymous Maine ‘news’ site may have tipped a big election,” by The Bangor Daily News’ Michael Shepherd: “As he greeted voters at Longley Elementary School, Ben Chin was hearing all about his emails as Lewiston residents walked out of the polling place during last week’s mayoral runoff election, but it was too late. The progressive activist lost by 145 votes to Mayor-elect Shane Bouchard, a Republican, after he was rocked during the last nine days of the race by seven stories from a new website that caught fire on social media with help from the Maine Republican Party. One Maine Examiner headline said: ‘Leaked Email: Ben Chin Says Lewiston Voters ‘Bunch of Racists’ and featured a real email that apparently forwarded out of a group of campaign operatives. In it, Chin describes a day of canvassing when he had positive interactions but also ran into ‘a bunch of racists.’” Full story.
WEB WARS — DCCC attacks 10 California House seats with digital ads: The DCCC announced Tuesday that it’s going to hit 10 California House seats with digital ads on the tax bill over the holiday week. “By passing their tax scam, Republicans in Washington are stuffing the stockings of wealthy corporations while leaving nothing but a lump of coal for the middle class,” reads one ad. The ads will pop in CA-04, CA-10, CA-21, CA-22, CA-25, CA-39, CA-45, CA-48, CA-49, and CA-50.
HARRIS MEDIA — “The Man Who Made The Republican Internet — And Then Sold It To Far-Right Nationalists Overseas,” by BuzzFeed’s Henry Gomez: “Vincent Harris, whose namesake Austin, Texas–based firm has deep ties to U.S. Republicans, has positioned himself as a digital guru for Le Pen and other far-right leaders overseas against a backdrop of spiking nationalism, ethnic division, and anti-globalism. It’s an odd trajectory for someone who once seemed on his way to being the GOP’s super-consultant of the future. … But now, as he approaches 30, Harris has fallen into a bit of a slump at home. He bet on the wrong 2016 presidential candidate. Pissed off one of his top clients. Disappeared from Donald Trump’s campaign within days for reasons no one seems to understand. As 2017 ends, his highlights are accounts that make even some of his friends and admirers uncomfortable.” Full story.
THE NEW DEMOCRATIC MONEY — “Surge in out-of-state donors fuels Dems in special elections,” by McClatchy’s Ben Wieder and Alex Roarty: “According to a McClatchy analysis of 2017 campaign finance records, more than 1,300 donors gave to each of the Democratic candidates in two of the highest-profile special elections in the year: Doug Jones, who defeated Republican Roy Moore last week in an Alabama Senate race, and Jon Ossoff, the Georgia Democrat who narrowly lost a House election in June. By comparison, the Republicans in those races had only 60 donors in common.” Full story.
GROUND GAME — “GOP Engages Political Ground Game to Defend Tax Overhaul in 2018,” by Morning Consult’s Ryan Rainey: “Republicans are on the verge of enacting a major tax overhaul package that has been a key goal of party leaders for years. Now they’re getting ready to make it a central issue as they face voters in next year’s midterm elections. For several months, state Republican Party affiliates have been pushing the GOP tax bill through a quiet ‘ground game’ initiative targeting voters in states that are emerging as potential 2018 battlegrounds — even before the final contours and details of the package were set by GOP negotiators on Capitol Hill. … In Pennsylvania, where a Senate race between Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and a Republican challenger is likely to dominate headlines alongside difficult races for moderate Republican House members in the Philadelphia suburbs, GOP supporters have knocked on over 195,000 doors. Republicans have knocked on over 20,000 doors each in Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, and Texas, according to RNC data.” Full story.
GETTING THE NOD — Club for Growth backs Saccone in PA-18: “The Club for Growth PAC endorsed Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone in his special election bid to replace Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy.” Full story.
ENDORSEMENT WATCH — Unbeknownst to Rep. Jamie Raskin, a video of him endorsing state Sen. Rich Madaleno in the Maryland gubernatorial race was leaked and posted online. The video was taken down from YouTube shortly thereafter and Raskin released a statement: “I was planning to wait until next year to release my endorsement of my friend Sen. Rich Madaleno, but it seems someone had other ideas. I’ll have more to say about this critical race, all the great candidates on the Democratic side, and why I think Sen. Madaleno would make a magnificent governor next year.”
TV ON THE RADIO — Sen. Joe Donnelly’s reelection campaign has reserved advertising on radio in Indianapolis starting today and going through Jan. 2. So far the campaign has spent $6,000 on the ad reservation, according to Advertising Analytics. Rep. Andre Carson, according to audio of the ad obtained by Score, says, “I’m Andre Carson and I’m proud to say that my friend Joe Donnelly is one of those guys who always has our back. Republicans from Washington are already spending money to attack Joe and mislead us about his record.”
According to a statement from Donnelly campaign manager Peter Hanscom: “Hoosiers support Joe Donnelly because he’s looking out for them in the Senate: protecting their health care, fighting for good-paying jobs, and working to create a fairer tax code. As he runs for reelection, he’s not taking a single vote for granted and plans on reaching every Hoosier that he can. Joe’s record he can be proud of, and he’s pleased to be able to count on Congressman Carson and Hoosiers like him who can vouch for Joe in every corner of the state.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “They obviously couldn’t kill it, so they’re trying to starve it slowly.” — Rep. Bill Pascrell on Republicans’ changes to Obamacare in their tax reform proposal.
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